I'm still basking in the USA Today! Bestseller listing for A FATHER'S SECRET last October, LOL!
What Iím reading:
Lisa Gardner. I truly enjoy her D.D. Warren character.
What Iím listening to:
Oh, crikey! We forgot to update the CD collection in the car before embarking on our eleven hour round journey so too much Adele, Paul Rodgers, Meatloaf and Cat Stevens, with the Top Gun soundtrack music thrown in!
I've been busy preparing new outlines for new books and delivering books under existing contracts and now I'm gearing up to get ready for a trip the USA to attend RWA's 2012 conference in Anaheim. If you're planning to come along to the Literacy Signing event, I'll be there! I'm so excited! Please do stop by and say hello. Here's more information about the Literacy event:
2012 "Readers for Life" Literacy Autographing
Wednesday, July 25, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Anaheim Convention Center, Ballroom (third floor)
Proceeds from book sales go to ProLiteracy Worldwide, Read Orange County, and Literacy Volunteers-Huntington Valley.
No outside books are allowed in the event.
It's winter here in New Zealand at the moment and we've been treated to the usual stuff -- cold weather, rain, wind, and on the clear sky days zero temps in the morning and thick frosts. I have to admit I'm looking forward to the warmer climate of California right now.
I've been treated to some lovely new covers for my next two books, due out in September and October this year. Do check them out on the books page!
The year is already flying past and here in New Zealand our very lacklustre summer has already rapidly turned to autumn/fall. It's my favourite time of season. It makes me feel like snuggling under the bedcovers at night and like picking up my knitting needles and rediscovering the joy of knitting socks during TV in the evenings. I never thought I'd be so 'into' sock knitting but it's the kind of project you can finish quickly and I'm totally into instant gratification like that.
March 2012 is Harlequin Desire's 30th Anniversary month as well. A great reason to celebrate and there is a fabulous line up of books available, each with a bonus story by another author included. In my A FORBIDDEN AFFAIR, is a wonderful novella by the very talented Elizabeth Bevarly, called FOR LOVE OR MONEY. It's a great read.
So, since I'm short on time this will have to wrap up the month this time around, a deadline beckons!
January is traditional holiday month for our family, especially once the busyness of Christmas and New Year's is past us. Normally we go camping, and normally we love it. Last year, however, we were rained and blown out of our holiday long before we were ready to come home and it left us feeling a bit cheated, helpless and even anxious about this year's holiday. With the winds still high this January and unpredictable weather patterns forecast, at the last minute we changed our plans and cancelled camping and booked a holiday home close to Lake Taupo instead. Oh boy, did we have the holiday of a lifetime. We went for walks, we went on a river cruise, we swam in the lake (cool, clear and delightful,) we went para-sailing on the Lake (very peaceful, I highly recommend it,) we ate lunch in a pub on the lake side, we saw a massive motorbike and muscle car funeral procession including the coffin being towed on a trailer behind a bike, we watched our daughters do a bungy swing over the Waikato River and we went sky diving! We also relaxed lots, read lots and talked lots. Fabulous fun with fabulous people. If you're ever lucky enough to come to New Zealand do make sure you allow plenty of time to enjoy Lake Taupo and what it has to offer.
So now we're in February and I'm super excited about the release of my first book in the MASTER VINTNERS series. I hope you'll look out for it and that you'll enjoy reading about Judd and Anna's rocky road to romance. Oh, and if you're Auckland-based, I'll be doing a library talk at the Howick Library, Uxbridge Road, Howick, Auckland, NZ, on 14 February 2012, 11am-12pm.
The past couple of months have been a blur of writing and right now I'm staring down the barrel of two deadlines. One being my continuity book which is written but needs polishing and which is due at the end of the month, the other being the full proposal for my next book which is also due at the end of the month. And wouldn't you know it, my Muse has decided to desert me! Outrageous, I reckon.
It's been a quiet month socially for me, which is a good thing I suppose given the deadlines, but we, as a family, are really looking forward to hosting Christmas at our house this year. It'll be a fabulous combination of close family, extended family and close friends and we're hoping for fine weather so we can enjoy the Auckland summer and celebrate outdoors as much as possible.
Sometimes its a good idea to step out of your comfort zone and I did that recently with a competition entry for a new project that's been simmering away in my mind for some time. While I haven't worked on the project in about a year, because I have been busy with my Desire stories, it was gratifying to get some very positive reader feedback from competition judges. Now all I need is to be able to clone myself so I can write that book to its conclusion and see if it can find a home in the publishing world and, hopefully, on reader shelves!
In the meantime, I'd like to wish all my readers all the very best of the festive season, however you do, or don't, celebrate.
I mentioned in my last update, the death of Sandra Hyde (writing as Sandra Hyatt.) A Trust has been created by her family, in her memory, to continue her legacy of generosity and kindness by furthering the career of an emerging writer.
Money raised by the Trust will form an annual education grant, awarded to an aspiring NZ-based romance writer to enable them to attend a national or international writers conference, to improve their craft and progress their writing goals. Sandra knew from her own experience that attending such conferences is an important step on the road to publication.
If you wish to be part of Sandraís legacy to future writers, you can make a contribution to the trust by:
- Direct credit to the Bank of New Zealand, Sandra Hyde Memorial Romance Writers Trust Ė Account Number 02-0400-0092688-00
(For International Transfers Ė Sort Code 02-04-00 Swift Code BKNZNZ22)
-Cheque (within NZ) made out to the Sandra Hyde Memorial Romance Writers Trust and posted to: 191 McNicol Rd, RD5 Papakura, Auckland.
August is conference month for romance writers in Australia and New Zealand and I was lucky enough to attend both conferences this year. I had the great pleasure of gushing over Susan Wiggs in a hallway (Note to self: learn to do this with aplomb) and meeting delightful Harlequin Mills & Boon editor, Lucy Gilmour, as well as meeting the wonderful Megan Crane/Caitlin Crews and renewing friendships with many other authors I rarely get face to face time with. There's nothing quite like a good old girlie/writer talk over coffee or a few glasses of wine. I am so blessed with my friends. Plus, I adore Melbourne, although, as usual, the conference programme was so full that I didn't have enough time to dawdle around the city. Will have to make another trip I think!
Sadly, at the Romance Writers of New Zealand conference we lost a very talented writer and good friend, Sandra Hyatt. Due to an undetected congenital arteriovenous malformation, she suffered a cerebral hemmorhage and passed away on the last day of conference. It was a very sad day but the RWNZ committee and conference organisers really stepped up to the plate and continued to bring attendees a wonderful professional format throughout the entire weekend. So, August has definitely been a month of highs and lows for me.
Throughout September I will be working on my newest contracted manuscript. I'll be participating in another continuity during the latter half of 2012 and I can't wait to get stuck into my story. After that, I have a Billionaires and Babies book to write as well. It's so good to be busy!
I've been very remiss in the blogging department, however I do post updates every few days on what's happening in my world on facebook. Please, do pop by to my author page and "like" the page to keep fully up to date.
Okay, the last few months have been a bit of a blur of writing and family things. My girls are busy with the current winter netball season and I love watching them play. I actually forget my kids are on the court, I get so wrapped up in the game, except for when one gets hurt and then, boy oh boy, does my stomach drop. This year I'm team manager for my oldest girls' squad and they're a great bunch of girls. Their coach is seeing the benefit of her time with them as they recently promoted to a higher grade for the next round of competition. Going to be some serious nail biting on the sideline, that's for sure.
I'm still busy knitting. If you want to see the fruits of my endeavours, do join Ravelry.com (it's free) and I'm on there as NZYvonne. I have a gorgeous scarf pattern that I've yet to try, with some yarn I purchased at Debbie Macomber's yarn shop in Port Orchard last December. It's just as well I live almost half a world away or I'd just about be living in that store, it's so gorgeous!
Writing wise, I'm busy plotting for a Billionaires and Babies book which is due out next year. I've recently delivered the second book in my new family saga series. Those first two books will be released in February and March 2012. It's conference time and RWA National is currently happening in NYC as I type this. I'm very disappointed I can't be there but I will definitely be at the RWNZ conference in Auckland in August (still fence sitting over the RWAustralia conference as our exchange rate isn't looking too pretty at the moment, darnit!)
It's good to be busy but sometimes it means I do get behind with updates, which invariably means I get a little behind on updating this site. Bad, I know, but I'm sure you'll agree, the books come first. I'd like to remind everyone to please "like" me on my facebook page to get the most up to date information on what's happening with my writing world. And speaking of my writing world, Judd's story is in with my editor and his sister, Nicole's, story has been contracted together with another book with Harlequin Desire, both of which will be out in 2012! Exciting stuff, and to add to the excitement my editor emailed me two days later to ask if I'd like to participate in another continuity with Harlequin Desire. Of course I said "yes!" Looks like the busy-ness isn't going to let up any time soon and I kind of like things that way.
As New Zealand heads further into autumn I have taken out my double pointed knitting needles again and I'm busy knitting socks. I love the sense of satisfaction you get when working on projects that can be completed (and worn!) in a very short period of time. I have quite a lovely stash of coloured hand-dyed merino wool that I'm working through but I find it oh, so hard, not to keep ordering more. Is there such a thing as a wool-magpie?
April sees the release of BOUGHT: HIS TEMPORARY FIANCEE, and I was thrilled to see that the story garnered a 4.5 star review from RT Magazine. I was also trilled to see the cover and see USA Today Bestselling Author featured above my name! A career milestone, that's for sure.
Oh my, 2011 is already flying past me. Sometimes I'm afraid that if I blink I'll miss the entire year! January is usually our family's holiday month, and we like to head away camping for about ten days or so mid month. Well, the best laid plans of mice and campers were very thoroughly put asunder by some very severe weather. It's not a huge amount of fun camping when there's a river of water running through your tent because the water table has come so high that there's no where for the water to drain to. Regrettably, we had to cut our camping holiday short but with only one fine day in seven we were pretty relieved to get back home safe and sound and relatively unscathed. Here's hoping next year's camping will have more settled weather.
One thing I've done a lot of in recent weeks is read. I always make time to try and read a bit every day, I tend to get a bit cranky if I don't, but lately I've been devouring stories by a wide range of authors and I've really been enjoying myself. For me, there's nothing quite like getting lost in an awesome piece of writing and escaping for a while.
February looks set to be busy for me as I'll be busy completing a manuscript which is currently scheduled for April 2012. At the moment I'm working with the title "Judd's Story." You'd think with all my imagination that I'd be able to come up with something better than that, hmm? Anyway, the book is due to my editor mid March so I definitely have plenty to occupy my time with.
In the meantime, I'd like to wish all my readers a very Happy Valentine's Day and wish you all the best for fabulous times, and even better reads, ahead!
This month has been busy with writing and completing my latest work in progress as well as planning and celebrating our eldest child's 21st birthday celebrations. Thankfully, both have gone off very well and now its time to turn our thoughts to a wee bit of travel. I'll be in Seattle for a few weeks and I'm looking forward to revisiting some of the places we saw during our last stay there as well as finding some new ones to explore (weather and snow permitting, of course.)
In the meantime, I'm busy with my new proposal which is due in the New Year and I'm looking forward to plotting out the bare bones of some new stories for my readers.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my US readers who celebrate the holiday! And, happy planning an shopping for those who celebrate Christmas! Here in New Zealand it's already gearing up to be a warm one.
So far not a lot is happening in October for me aside from family birthdays and celebrations and lots of writing! At the moment I'm busy with line edits on my continuity book for April next year as well as working on writing the first book in my new contract, which I'm hoping will be scheduled in the latter half of next year. The book will be a reunion story with some very bitter and some very sweet memories to overcome.
I'm eagerly awaiting to see how well FOR THE SAKE OF THE SECRET CHILD fares with readers. I know from some who've received the book already through Harlequin's reader service that they've really loved the wrap up story in the WED AT ANY PRICE trilogy. It certainly has reviewed well. Here's what Pat Cooper, from Romantic Times had to say in her 4 1/2 star review:
Recovering from a nearly fatal car crash, Benedict del Castillo arrives at Parkerís Retreat to recover away from the prying eyes of the media. He comes face to face with the woman he shared a weekend with a few years earlier. Mia Parker is stunned when she crosses paths with the man she privately considers her worst mistake, the father of her son. Ben believes being with Mia and her son is a way to live up to his family obligations and to have the woman heís never been able to forget. The satisfying wrap-up to the Wed at Any Price trilogy is a steamy romance wrapped in a family drama.
Wow, where to begin. August saw the 16th annual conference of Romance Writers of New Zealand, which coincided with RWNZ celebrating 20 years since it's inception by Jean Drew, writing as Jean Adams, our founder. I always love attending romance writing conferences for several reasons, usually the chance to catch up with so many of my online writing buddies being foremost in my mind. But this year RWNZ's conference committee put on an amazing collection of speakers and while I loved the catch up time with my mates, I was spoiled for choice for workshops and speakers at the conference. My total and absolute highlight was hearing Christopher Vogler speak on THE WRITER'S JOURNEY. I've always been wary of this, I don't know why, maybe because of the sometimes spiritual content of the journey, maybe not, maybe because I thought it might test me in ways I didn't want to be tested, maybe not. Either way, I am so very glad I attended Chris's full day workshop. Seriously, I think I could listen to him speak on writing every single day and still get something new out of what he has to say. I have a photo that was taken of the two of us during the Awards dinner, which you can see on my gallery page. Entering into the sprit of the 'Sparkle and Shine' themed dinner, he's wearing a black sequin covered beanie. What a star!
September has seen me busy polishing up three book proposals for my editor. I'm waiting to hear back whether the pitch is successful and whether or not I'll be progressing those stories further. And, in other exciting news, my THE TAKEOVER continuity book has been accepted and has been retitled to BOUGHT: THE TEMPORARY FIANCEE.
Goodness! It's a while since I've posted updates here. Please remember you can always follow my most recent happenings on my author page on Facebook! November and December passed by in a blur of completing a continuity story, Book 3 in The Texas Cattleman's Club: The Missing Mogul, and Christmas celebrations with family. I always feel so very blessed to have the wonderful family we have. Each and every member is so important to us and we relish the opportunity to get together and feast and laugh and have a great time. Through January I've been busy with revisions on the continuity book and we've been away camping. we were lucky with the weather this year up until the afternoon and evening of our last day, when it rained. So, we packed up wet. Good thing we have plenty of experience with that! I have to say that by the time we got home and unloaded and everything washed and put away we were thinking very fondly of our holiday to Taupo last year where we rented a holiday home on lake and only had to take some food and bedding along with our clothes!
Early February saw us hit the road again to travel to Hawera, in the Taranaki district of New Zealand. Our five hour drive down was made longer when the road was closed so workers could clear the mangled wreck of a truck and double trailer unit that had rolled earlier that morning. A very sobering sight to see the chaos and damage but we understand the driver wasn't badly hurt. A huge relief. Anyway, in Hawera we had the pleasure of attending the wedding of the eldest daughter of very good friends of ours to her long time boyfriend. It was a terrific day and wonderful celebration of love. Now, we're back home again and ready to get back into routine with more books to finish, plot and plan and submit. Plus, next month sees the release of ONE SECRET NIGHT, which is book 3 in my The Master Vintners series. I do hope you enjoy it!
September proved a bit of a blur for me. I had a proposal to knock together and also spent quite a bit of time being anxious about having knee surgery, having knee surgery and recovering from knee surgery. And now its October and I have another proposal due as well! So, it's very much a case of nose to the grindstone for me right now. Grindstones are such uncomfortable things! ;-)
I've been receiving boxes and boxes (my poor postie must be wondering what on earth I'm up to) of foreign editions of my books lately. Books released all over Europe and Scandinavia and, more recently, Japan. Opening these boxes is always a treat and I feel quite humbled by the evidence that my books really are released worldwide. I wouldn't change what I do for all the world.
I was very fortunate to attend the Romance Writers of America 32nd Annual Conference last month in Anaheim. Prior to conference my husband and I did a short research trip north of Los Angeles and had the opportunity to catch up with very special friends, one of whom I've known since we were both 18. There really is something special about getting to spend time with people you've known for years and feel comfortable with. While there, we visited the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and wow, what an eye opening experience that was. Hubby is in the aircraft industry and he also really enjoyed checking out Airforce One.
Conference was a blast. I roomed with the RWAustralia President, and fellow Desire Author, Rachel Bailey and we had a fabulous time together. Conference is often a good time to catch up with old romance writing friends and to make new ones and I was lucky to have time to do both, as well as enjoy the experience of several excellent workshops. I'm looking forward to receiving my discs with the rest of the talks on them that I missed! It was also fabulous to be there when Australian Harlequin and Carina author, Fiona Lowe, won her RITA!
After conference, Trish Morey (Presents Author) and I went to Santa Monica for a night, staying at the Hotel California. The hotel itself is a very short walk from the pier, and shopping! Being by the sea, with the delightful sea breeze and the gorgeous sunny weather was such a treat and a fabulous way to wind down after conference. I can't wait to use the setting in a book. So many people of so many walks of life. Santa Monica just teemed with colour and activity. I loved it!
This month sees the Romance Writers of New Zealand conference at the Crowne Plaza in Auckland City 24-26 August. I'll be appearing on a panel discussing The Road to Publication and presenting a workshop called You Don't Love Me? Say It Isn't So! on coping with rejection. I hope to see you there!