Monday, June 30, 2008

Getting there....

Well, the house is getting there. I never imagined refinishing the hardwood would create so much dust. A thick film over everything. The kitchen and bedrooms weren't bad and cleaned up fairly quickly, as they were closed against most of the dust. We had those rooms ready on Friday when the moving truck finally brought our stuff.

We unpacked the bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchen right away (chaos, every step of the way) and got groceries so that by suppertime on Saturday, at least that much was livable. And good thing...the husband's sister and family arrived for the night, and we ate, had a swim in the pool, put the kids to bed and played cards. Another sister and brother in law stopped in, and it was a great time despite the mess.

Yesterday was more work...the laundry is also caught up, and the office and family room are cleaned. This involves 3 steps...shop vac-ing the sills, fixtures, and baseboards, using a swiffer broom for the first coat of dust on the walls, and then taking a microfibre sweeper over them for a final coat, and more shop vac-ing for whatever has fallen again. Then there is the dust all over the windows....

By the time the kids were in bed, we were whipped. And so dearest husband put a half dozen candles around the tub and I had a jacuzzi bath...heavenly. And boy did I sleep last night.

Today it's back to work. The latest winner has been announced at the Harlequin Romance Author blog....and I'll have the new releases up later this week. I have a newsletter article to write and a chapter to critique. And we're gearing up for Canada Day as well...the dh is off tomorrow and so are our friends, so they are coming over for dinner and we're getting the Margarita machine ready.....

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Book Blog 23 - The Italian's Passionate Revenge


I just finished Lucy Gordon's The Italian's Passionate Revenge - her debut Presents that intrigued me so much when I read her post about it at the Pink Heart Society.


It has all of Lucy's trademark emotionalism and larger than life-ness, with the added intensity of a Presents novel, wrapped up in a tale of revenge and passion and hot love making.


I enjoyed it a lot and as I got closer to the end I kept wondering how on earth it was all going to be resolved.


I am in a rush today as the furniture comes tomorrow and I only have a few hours to get some crucial work done, otherwise I would blog longer on it. But it definitely didn't disappoint! I can see why she has been contracted to write more for the Presents line.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Contest Winner and Dark and Dangerous


I think I really must be back in the swing of things. I'm finally announcing the winner of my May/June contest that was open to newsletter subscribers. Congratulations to Gigi Hicks who has won a signed copy of my August release, Falling For Mr. Dark and Dangerous. Romantic Times has said it has a "great sense of place" which pleases me no end as I really worked hard at making my WINDOVER books a "home" for my characters.

Speaking of Dark and Dangerous, imagine my surprise to see the first reader review up on eharlequin yesterday. Turns out the North American subscribers have already received theirs! And the hardbacks are available on the amazons this month too. Time has really flown.

Over the next week or so, I'll be updating my website and sending out a newsletter with a brand new contest.

Stay tuned....I have some reel reviews and book blogs to update as well!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Blogging at the PHS


Today I'm over at the Pink Heart Society talking about Canadian Boys for Male On Monday! Come on over to see some yummy hotness and maybe post in the comments about who your favourite Canucks are.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Thanks, and settling in....

First of all thanks to Trish for starting up the housewarming and for all of your lovely comments. Leave it to Trish. But then that's why I love her. She's great, isn't she?

We're slowly getting settled - still without furniture, but I think our family is single handedly rejuvenating the Canadian economy. Clean and shop, shop and clean. That's about the gist of our life right now, with breaks added in for walks around the neighbourhood. Oh and last night we FINALLY went for a dip in our pool! It felt very cool knowing it was in our backyard!

Of course work has been nonexistent, but I think that will be adjusted on Monday when the dh is back to work. I should have a good couple of days to work before the hardwood guy finishes, and then it will be a mad frenzy of cleaning before the stuff comes on Friday. Still, the end is in sight and one of these days I'll hit a routine again and will wonder what all the fuss was about.

I will say, the area is lovely. Yesterday we went with our buddy to the provincial park about 10 min away and dipped our toes in the lake while the dog went for a swim. You know I always thought about missing the space and the LOOK of countryside, but I'd forgotten the lovely smells and sounds. It was a great afternoon.

I also got my copies of my alumni magazine. The spring issue focused on alumni who write for a living...and I was one of those featured. They did a lovely job with the article. Once I have my printer I'll try to scan it and post it if I can.

I'm off to the laundromat....will I be glad to have my washer and dryer or what...so I'll catch up later.

THanks for hanging in there with me!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

AUTHOR Magazine Article

I have an article out this month in AUTHOR magazine.

You can read it via the cyberlink HERE.

Today our floors are being ground down for refinishing. But we have internet and cable and PHONE! Hallelujah!

Now I'm off to help hubby cook dinner. :-) Stay tuned, I should be more active now in the days ahead!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

HOUSEWARMING PARTY!!!


Hi there - Trish Wylie here - So for those of you who don't know the lovely Donna and her family have been driving clean across Canada to their brand new home. It's both a scary and an exciting time for them and I for one am not at all jealous of the lovely new office she's gonna end up with when they're all settled in...

MUCH.

And I have to say I've missed her something FIERCE while she's been offline. It's not like her to be so quiet. She's always there with a cheery word or a helping hand when you're stuck a-la-manuscript... so I thought about all you nice blog visitors who might have been missing her too and it came to me...

CYBER HOUSE-WARMING PARTY!!!

I'm a GENIUS. So here in this lovely empty room we can throw her a HUGE welcome home party and bring her lots of nice gifts and help the Alwards feel right at home WITHOUT them having to clean up after us. You in???

So let's get this party started shall we? I'm bringing some nice Bailey's Ice Cream, cos I know she's partial - and a Welcome Mat for the front door of their gorgeous new home...

Now over to you... words of wisdom for surviving a giant move? Tips for settling into a new neighbourhood? Maybe you've done what Donna and the family are doing now and you know some of the pitfalls? Maybe you just wanna tell her how much we've all been missing her and how glad we'll be to have her back? Food, drinkies and cyber housewarming gifts all welcome too of course ;) Maybe the link to a nice hot hero for her to come home to??? With all this moving lark I'm sure the poor darling will love us for saving her the research time on Google...

WELCOME HOME ALWARDS!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hello...it's me again

And I'm over at Tote Bags 'n' Blogs again, talking about ideas and hooks and execution.

Also the new Spotlight in Six is up at the Harlequin Romance Author blog and this month it features an interview with Barbara McMahon.

Currently we are at our destination but we don't take possession of the house for a few more days. Still it is good to have the driving portion of the adventure done. In just under 2 weeks, our renos will be done and the furniture will be in the house. It will be about time.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Explicit....and then there's Harlequin Romance

I mentioned in my post on reader expectations how with Romance you do not get an explicit read. That is one of the "guidelines" for the Romance line. Your characters may or may not have sex but the bedroom door will be closed.

Well, except when it's not.

For what it's worth, so far with me I have only had my characters consummate their relationship ONCE in the six books I've written for Romance. And indeed, the bedroom door was shut. That's not necessarily intentional, by the way. In that book, sex wasn't in the plan. But it worked. In the others, I didn't consciously NOT have them do it, it just didn't fit the stories. Whenever you put sex in a book, it has to do one of two things...it has to complicate matters, or it provides a temporary resolution and goes on to make things complicated. The main thing is sometimes sex can take all the tension out of a book.

Lots of people like their books hot, and there's been great debate over the RWA's decision to do away with the Traditional category for the RITA's. It was getting to be a smaller and smaller category, especially after Silhouette Romance merged with Harlequin Romance. I get that. And I think story-wise, Romance can stand up against any other short romance line out there.

But there will always be those whose tastes run to the spicier and who just don't like Romance. That's fine...people are allowed to like what they like. I don't expect everyone to enjoy my books. Goodness knows I like me some hot reading too. I really enjoy a lot of the Presents Extras right now as well as those lovely steamy historicals. So do I think that Romance is at a disadvantage sometimes, going head to head with these books? Yes. Do I think that is a reflection on the quality of the books? No way. It just is what it is, and so I don't get all fired up about it.

If you go back to the branding topic, the readers know what they want, and lots of people still want Romance so whether or not we're all in one category for an award doesn't matter a lot as long as the market for the stories is there.

So let's get back to the "except when it's not" comment I made earlier. I read Marion Lennox's latest recently and lo and behold my jaw dropped at a fully consummated love scene right there. That's not usually done, but it was lovely. And so here we can highlight another difference with Romance...though the scene went from start to finish, it wasn't overly explicit. There was of course a certain level, but the language was less of the sex and more of the emotion of the scene.

And even when characters DON'T have sex, that certainly doesn't mean there's not a certain level of sensuality to it. I love books that simmer with tension but hold back just that bit...so that you're teased throughout the book like that moment just before a kiss, when you have your breath held and you're waiting for that first touch of lips on lips....

I love writing for the Romance line. There's a lot of scope there. It can be very sensual and with lots of sexual tension, but the reason I love the books so much is that because there is little reliance on the physical relationship being consummated, so they have a lot of depth. They are often called Big Books in Little Format. That sense of a big book comes from the focus on internal conflict and deep emotion of the characters.

I also think that's why authors that write for Romance also do extremely well in other lines. They have done their apprenticeship on focus and depth and so when they do branch out, their stories stand out too.

Have I stirred the pot? What are your thoughts on the whole explicit/non-explicit issue? I'd love to hear some comments.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Radio interview

My radio interview will be on at 8 a.m. Atlantic time tomorrow morning (Sunday). You can go to www.khj.ca to listen live. Then you can tell me how it went since I won't be able to listen!