I'll be in San Antonio, Texas, for the Romance Writers of America annual conference and I'll be participating at the Readers for Life literacy autographing on Wednesday July 23, at the Mariott Rivercenter Hotel from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Come and see me!
What I’m reading:
Emily MacKay's THE LAIR, she's a brilliant Desire author but an equally brilliant YA author as well. I highly recommend her.
What I’m listening to:
Florence and the Machine, Ceremonials, brilliant!
What I’m watching:
Not a lot. Unless you can count watching the calendar fly past while ticking off to do lists!
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August saw the Romance Writers of New Zealand conference in Wellington and it was fabulous. It was the first time the conference was hosted outside Auckland and the committee did a sterling job. Adding to the excitement of spending time with other romance writers was the fact the New Zealand rugby team, The All Blacks, were also staying in the hotel with us and there was much swooning and many stories told, that's for sure! I was really proud to be awarded my 25 title pin by Harlequin's representatives at the conference. Since conference I've been busy writing and editing manuscripts, September also saw the release of my Texas Cattleman's Club book, SOMETHING ABOUT THE BOSS. In December I have my third release for the year (and the book which is my 25th title with Harlequin) THE HIGH PRICE OF SECRETS. This is book four in my The Master Vintners series. It was a tough book to write but rewarding at the same time. Sometimes, when a book is released, it can feel like a very long time since I actually wrote it and it's always fun to revisit the story.
Life's been busy and good and demanding all at the same time. Kind of normal, I guess! My husband and I were lucky to be able to enjoy a week's vacation in Hawai in early April. I love Hawaii, it's one of my (many) favourite places in the world. The balmy air, the friendly people, the crash of the ocean on the shore. Bliss! A couple of highlights from our trip included a day visit to Pearl Harbor and the Aviation Museum, several hours in the Army Museum at Fort DeRussy and an amazing submarine ride. Next time we go back I'd like spend time at the outer islands as well. I may need a month to do it all properly, right? ;-)
I've had some more health issues, which are a pain (literally, in this case!) and which necessitated having my gall bladder removed. Thankfully, all went extremely well and I'm feeling much better, which is a very good thing because I have four books to write in the next year.
It's always wonderful to receive validation for your writing, whether it be a good review, a comment on my facebook page, a fan letter through my contact email, but receiving a nomination in the Romance Writers of Australia Romantic Book of the Year Award ranks right up there. I've been fortunate enough to have a nomination once before, with my very first book, and to receive a nomination again is just the most amazing feeling. The list of nominees (book and author) can be viewed at the RWAustralia blog site and on their website as well. I'm so grateful to the readers, the co-ordinators and RWAustralia for this recognition, and big thanks, also, to my publisher, Harlequin Mills & Boon (Australia) for providing the books for the competition.
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!
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 Sandra’s 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 – Account Number 02-0400-0092688-00
(For International Transfers – 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!)
I was really pleased to discover that ONE SECRET NIGHT is a finalist in the Romance Writers of Australia RuBY (Romantic Book of the Year Award!) I love that book and it's fabulous to see it strike a chord with readers too.
This is a big month for me. I have a book to finish (again!) and a trip to make (flying, woohoo!) and a conference to attend (yay!) and a signing to attend (so excited to meet some readers!) So I'm frantically busy writing, making lists, writing, packing, writing...well, I'm sure you get my drift. :-)
We've had a very wet and windy winter so far in New Zealand so I'm looking forward to the warmer climates of California and then Texas.
Hubby was sent to Seattle for six weeks recently for his work and I was lucky enough to travel with him for the duration of his stay. While we were there we got to do quite a bit of travelling on the weekends and I managed to get a novella written in a new project for Tule Publishing's Montana Born Books into the bargain. I was super excited to be invited to write a novella for Montana Born and had already been enjoying the stories written by the authors working with this exciting new publisher. I will let you know closer to the time when my story will be published online!
It was kind of tough coming home from Seattle's very warm spring (we had temps into the low 80s a couple of days, can you believe it?) to New Zealand's very sudden arrival of winter. We've had frosts and rain and cold already in the week that we've been home. Good weather for writing in, that's for sure, and the little black cat is thrilled not to have to be put outside all day every day as well. Winter's such a great time for snuggling up, isn't it? All the better with a great book, too.
This month sees the release of my contribution to the DYNASTIES: THE LASSITERS continuity with Harlequin Desire. EXPECTING THE CEO'S CHILD is already receiving some lovely reviews from readers so I hope you'll look out for the book and get your copy soon!
Well, the Lindsay family had a very different summer this year. WE DIDN'T GO CAMPING!! In fact, we didn't even go away as a family this year and I have to say that it felt very, very strange indeed. That said, my husband and I managed to get away to stay with very good friends in Hawera, in South Taranaki, for a few days in early January. It was far too short, of course, as time with good friends always is, but it was a much needed break and it gave us a chance to take my new car for a decent road trip as well.
Most exciting news for me lately has been the RT Magazine review for WANTING WHAT SHE CAN'T HAVE. The story earned four and a half stars and the reviewer, Susannah Balch, closes saying: The newest Master Vintner installment is a moving love story. Readers will feel the pain and guilt the hero carries as they go through the emotional wringer with him. The dilemmas faced by the main characters feel legit, and the heat is off the charts!
Needless to say I was thrilled with that review and I'm really looking forward to reader feedback as well.