Friday, February 25, 2011

Catch Me a Catch

The second of my amazing crit partners to be published was Sally Clements. Though Sally wrote Catch Me a Catch before we formed the Minxes of Romance, I was there when she made this first sale, and it was a memorable moment for us all.

Catch Me a Catch was released by The Wild Rose Press in July last year and I was quick to buy a copy. Not so quick to read it. Bad, bad Minx. Sally has my full permission to wield the Big Minxy Stick (usually reserved for slaying the crows of doubt, and other Minxy foes).

Sally, please accept my deepest apologies. I didn’t know what I was missing.

So that no-one else can use this excuse, I’m now going to tell you all what you’ve been missing if you haven’t yet read Catch Me a Catch.

  1. A hunky hero. A little ruffled at first, but he cleans up real well.
  2. A really likeable heroine who makes chocolate. Not just any chocolate, but those really fancy ones that make your mouth water and your senses come alive.
  3. A gorgeous setting. I would love to read more romances set in Ireland. Windswept beaches, pubs and ceilis, glamorous hotels and Grafton Street... what more could any reader want?
  4. A supporting cast of well developed, fascinating secondary characters.

At first, the story seems light-hearted and frothy. While Sally keeps this delightful, light tone going throughout, don’t be misled. This book may be centred around a Match Making Festival, but this story is not a comedy. It’s a romance with a great deal of depth, covering some truly heartfelt issues. You might laugh as you read this book, but you also might cry.

Finally, a private note of thanks from me to Sally: It has been a very long time since I visited Dublin. This novel helped me re-live some wonderful memories. I’d completely forgotten about Bewley’s! Your novel brought back all the sights and sounds of Dublin to me. Thank you, and I cannot wait to read your next novel, Bound to Love. This time, I’m definitely not going to wait so long!

Catch Me a Catch is available from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, Amazon UK and All Romance eBooks.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Yuletide Fire

I’m finally clearing my teetering TBR pile. Top of the eBook pile are the novels published by a few of my amazing crit partners, the Minxes of Romance.

First up was Yuletide Fire by Nyla Rose, which I read (unsurprisingly) in the run-up to Christmas. This story was full of heat, and I’m not just talking the eggnog and blazing Yule log variety. It was a wonderful read, with really great characters and an edge of the seat quality that kept me turning the pages.

I’ll be honest and admit that because I know Nyla, and admire her, I would have read this book cover to cover regardless of whether I enjoyed it or not. The fact that I read it cover to cover in a single sitting, on my laptop, at a very uncomfortable desk, might give you an indication of just how much I enjoyed this story.

Yuletide Fire is excellent reading for any time of the year. While the setting might involve Christmas parties and mistletoe, the characters and their conflicts are universal, and let’s face it, a great romance is a pleasure to read at any time of the year!

This book is available from Cobblestone Press and All Romance eBooks.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Juggling Briefcase and Baby

I loved Jessica Hart’s Oh-So Sensible Secretary, so I had high expectations for this linked ‘sequel’. Juggling Briefcase and Baby did not disappoint. Together, these two novels are the best examples of office romances I’ve ever read. They set a very high bench mark.

What really excited me about this book was that the heroine shared my name. I can honestly say that I have never read a novel with a character called Romy before! But what started out as a novelty became the only thing that disconcerted me about this novel. I’m not sure how readers with less unusual names handle it, but it was a little jarring to read love scenes (no matter how short!) or emotionally-charged scenes in which the heroine is addressed by my name!

I have just one more Riva launch novel to read (Nicola Marsh’s) but I can’t believe it’s mid February already and the next four are already piled up on my TBR pile. At this rate, I suspect I’m not going to be reading much else this year other than Riva!

Friday, February 11, 2011

I did it!

I hit send yesterday evening and the partial of Beneath the Ionian Sun is now hopefully, finally, sitting in the editor's inbox. And not in her spam filter. Or email heaven. Or the hundred and one other places lost submissions go. Me, anxious?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Please help Egyptian author Olivia Gates

It's been a big week for Harlequin Desire & Medical author Olivia Gates. Her latest book launched on 1st February, and since she lives in Egypt this has been somewhat over-shadowed by recent events there. Her friends have put out an internet call for readers to help Olivia promote her book, since her access to the internet has been seriously curtailed by the drama on her doorstep.

Please spread the word - and better yet, go out and but a copy in support of Olivia. You can also buy the book online from Harlequin and Amazon.

Blurb

He rescued hostage Talia Burke from his royal family's rival tribe and swept her into his strong embrace. But Prince Harres Aal Shalaan soon discovered there was more to the brave beauty than he knew. Talia held information vital to protecting his beloved kingdom...and she had every reason not to trust him.

Marooned together at a desert oasis, Talia couldn't resist Harres. Yet even as his sizzling seduction entranced her, his loyalty to his family and country would always make them enemies. Falling for the sheikh would be her heart's greatest mistake...but she feared it was already too late....

You can find out more about Olivia Gates at her website, and if you've been living in a cave and aren't quite sure what's been happening in Egypt, here's an interesting article.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Chapter Three

I’ve been toiling away at polishing Chapters 2 and 3 of Beneath the Ionian Sun for what feels like weeks now, in anticipation of finally getting another submission out there. The reason for the toiling was because I just couldn’t get Chapter 3 to sparkle.

This is the all-important end point the editor is going to read up to, so of course I want this chapter to end on a high note. Except that the sparkly dialogue and pivotal decision were sitting at the end of Chapter 2, and Chapter 3 was more of a bridging chapter.

Re-write after re-write just hasn’t worked, so in pursuit of a solution I re-read the third chapters of all my favourite category novels. Without exception, every single one had a pivotal point in which the stakes were raised.

It took me until just a few days ago to realise what I had to do: swap the chapters around.

So simple! Why couldn’t I have figured that out weeks ago?

Now I’ve cut and pasted sentences all over the place, rewritten so that the chapters flow nicely and Voila! It works. Chapter 2 now bridges the gap, as the characters get to know one another better. Chapter 3 has them facing a major decision and ends on a high point.

Expect news of a submission in the near future.