Saturday, June 29, 2013

I need your help

Everyone loves a reformed bad boy, right? The man the heroine's mother always warned her about. The man the heroine herself would rather have nothing to do with, but of course she still falls for him.

So why am I struggling to come up with movie examples of rom-coms where the bad boy is reformed through the love of the right woman? It really shouldn't be so hard!

So far I've come up with the following examples:
  • Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing. The bad boy who turns out not to be so bad after all.
  • Matthew McConaughey in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. The heartless womaniser who finds the one woman he wants to settle down with.
  • Flynn Rider in Disney's Tangled.
  • Edward Cullen in Twilight.
But there must be more, and this is where I need your help. Can you suggest any other movies with a bad boy hero?

PS: This is serious research, I promise, not just an excuse to indulge a bad boy fetish!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Movie Review: The Next Best Thing

I had a blast from the past on the weekend when I rewatched this movie from 2000. I remember it being a sweet, touching story - which just goes to show that either my memory is failing or I've changed a lot in thirteen years.

Madonna's character is such a bitch through the second part of the movie that I'd have slapped her if I could.
After spending the first part of the movie convincng us (a tad unbelievably) how much she wants a child, and what a great mom she is, this entire characterisation goes out the window when she meets a man. She becomes completely selfish, severing all ties between her son and the only father he's ever known.

Why? Because Rupert Everett as the Dad is an abusive waste of space? No, simply because he doesn't want his son to move across the country and never see him again.
Huh? Does she not know how many single women struggle to find a positive father figure for their sons in this day and age?

But it gets worse. The custody battle between the two made my blood boil. The devoted dad is told by his lawyer that he doesn't stand a chance of getting any sort of custody because ... wait for this ... he's gay.

This wasn't the 1980s. This was the start of the new millenium. Were US laws seriously that discriminatory such a short time ago?

The final scene is played out on a hilltop. Rupert Everett walks up the hill to his parked car. Why had he parked his car in this arb spot? Why was he walking to get to it? We'll never know.
Though no doubt the director thought the view would make a sweeping backdrop to the movie's climax. It does, but it's also so random that it completely took me out the scene when I should have been crying great big crocodile tears.

And what was with the shadows over everyone's foreheads throughout the movie? Boom shadow - or someone's idea of art?

The Amazon editorial review describes this movie as "lazily directed" and I completely agree. There was some great material here - great actors (Lynn Redgrave among them) and a wonderful opportunity to examine the modern family dynamic - but it never reaches its potential. The only highlight of this seriously anti-climactic movie was Neil Patrick Harris in a supporting role.

The best thing to come out of The Next Best Thing is that I'd love to rewrite this story in my own way. Maybe I will...

Endless Possibilities

It's play time! Today we're playing Endless Possibilities. Guess where in the world this is and who lives behind these doors.

There are no prizes, just the fun of letting your imagination run free. Leave a comment below to tell me your story behind this picture.


Friday, June 14, 2013


I've been a bad, bad blogger these last few weeks, but I rationalise it by saying I'm sure you'd all rather have my next book than yet another blog post. Right?

But just so you don't forget me, here's a quick round-up of some of the lovely reviews Waking up in Vegas has had so far. Thank you to all the reviewers for taking the time to not only read the book, but to write down and share your thoughts. Reviewers rock!

Desere Steenberg of Romance Book Haven's Contemporary Romance Reviews gave the book 5/5:
"I highly recommend this read to everyone that enjoys a fun and spicy romance read with a difference. The fact that the author incorporated a fairy tale backdrop made it that much more magical!"
You can read the full review here.

Jeannie Zelos gave the book 4 stars on her blog:
"This is a fun romantic tale with a lovely HEA. Sometimes you want light-hearted and funny and this book does it."
You can read the full review here.

And 4 hearts from Cat at The Cat's Meow:
"If you like a Cinderella type sweet romance, complete with princes, and castles and kingdoms, toss in  a modern day setting, with a strong female lead, that is afraid to follow her heart and accept her prince charming,  lots of sensuous romance you will love this one."
You can read the full review here.

From Andrea Heltsley Books: "I give this read four glittery stars for being a fun, romantic read!"
You can read the full review here.

And the most recent review is from Laura at Laura's Book Reviews:
"I really enjoyed this author's writing style; it was easy to read and the pace and flow was perfect. This was quite a surreal book in places; it bordered on the fantasy boundary but was deep seated in reality for the most part....This would be a great read for the beach or sitting in the garden."
You can read the full review here.
[Best of all, Laura got my Katy Perry glitter reference!]

Another review from Jackie's Book World.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Next Big Thing

Mega congratulations to my fellow Minx, Lorraine Wilson, whose debut book, Confessions of a Chalet Girl has sold to Harper Impulse! Well done, Lorraine - so, so proud of you!

* * *

I’ve been tagged by Rachel Brimble (a friend from our earliest days together with The Wild Rose Press) to join in The Next Big Thing.

Rachel is a versatile and prolific author who writes historical & contemporary romances and romantic suspense for (amongst others) Harlequin's SuperRomance and Omnific. She lives near Bath in England, which is the setting for the book she talks about in her contribution to The Next Big Thing. You can find out more about Rachel's books here.

If anyone isn’t familiar with The Next Big Thing, it's a blog chain that gives authors the opportunity to discuss their latest books, while getting word out about the author who tagged them - and then tagging other authors to keep the chain going. It’s also a great way for readers to learn more about the many wonderful stories out there and new soon-to-be-favorite authors!

I participated in The Next Big Thing once before, chatting about An Innocent Abroad.
Here are my new questions and my answers...

1) What is the working title of your book?
I've tentatively titled this book Plan B (which is a whole lot catchier than its original name of Rik's Story!)  

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?  
Even before I started writing my debut novel Waking up in Vegas, I was intrigued to know what became of Max's big brother Rik after he was unceremoniously booted out of Westerwald. This is Rik's story.

3) What genre does your book come under?

It's a contemporary romance, with some comic elements thrown in.

4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
This is easy to answer since I start planning my books by first finding images online that fit the characters.

Rik is very definitely Tom Hardy as he appears in This Means War. Beneath the tattoos and stubble, he's a complete gentleman - but for the first time in his life he's giving in to a rebellious streak.

The heroine, Kenzie, is a little more difficult to cast, since the perfect image I found was on Pinterest and I have absolutely no idea who she is!

Can you recommend any ginger-haired, delicate actresses who might suit the role?

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Rik is in desperate need of a Plan B for his life. Kenzie is the queen of coming up with Plan Bs. Will there be a place for her in his new life?

6) Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

 This book will be published by Harper Impulse.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Ouch - I'm still busy with it! But since my deadline to deliver to Harper Impulse is 8 weeks away, I can tell you that it definitely won't be more than another 8 weeks!

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I find it so hard to compare my books to others, because every book seems so different. The one book that it most certainly compares to is my debut novel, Waking up in Vegas, to which this story is linked.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
See question two! In a way I guess you could say it was my curiosity about Rik that inspired this story.

10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
This book is set in a sunny, exotic locale. And there are sea turtles.


Now it's time to tag some of my fellow authors to participate in the Next Big Thing. However, since almost everyone I know has already taken part, if you're reading this, are a writer, and haven't yet done a Next Big Thing post, then consider yourselves tagged!

And just because it's my blog and I can, here's another gratuitous picture of Tom Hardy.