Aussie Romance Readers Convention ’09

whew!! Just as I was packing to leave for Melbourne and Australia’s very first ARRC, the copyedits for my  third book, The Magnate’s Baby Promise, arrived on my doorstep.  Of course, they were dutifully packed and I got a bit of reading done (but not much – my roomie Sandra and I have a tendency to… well… talk a bit.  And laugh.  A lot.)  Now I’m home from a most excellent weekend and back in the swing of things.  I’ve posted a summary of the ARRC  at the Desirabelles blog, but I’ve downloaded p2210018some happy snaps here for you to enjoy.

Me and Anna Campbell (who’s wearing my top from Macy’s!!!  Of course, I can’t wear mine when Anna does, so it’s only seen the light twice since I bought it).

p2210023Me and newest M&B Medical author Sharon Archer.  When she sat to talk to me at the booksigning, people thought she was Samhain author Jess Dee because Jess’ books were on the table in front of her.  So naturally, conversation morphed into just what kind of medical procedure the hero is giving the heroine on Jess’ sexy cover… and then we just had to take a photo 😀

p3300001The panel for “Aussie Voice – why the whole world loves our accent.”  L-R:  Melanie Milburne (Harlequin M&B Presents and Medicals), Michelle Douglas (Harlequin M&B Sweet), Dorchester author and scriptwriter Jane Tara; Avalon author Elisabeth Rose and me.

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Above left: The gorgeous Jane Tara (L) and my travelling buddy and fabbo crit group gal, Jenny Brassel (R).  Above right: me and Annie West at Saturday’s book signing.

p2210006The hilarious author panel from “This one time… at band camp”, which was basically anecdotes and quips about how their stories came to be.  The audience were in stitches the whole time, from Amy’s “hair mousse up the bum” (a patients’ not hers!) to Liz’s party for a visiting fruit fly while she was working in the Antarctica.   (L-R): Liz Maverick, Amy Andrews, Mary-Janice Davidson and Susan Grant (Bek from the ARRC committee is at the back).

p2210020Denise Rossetti (left) snapping me snapping her.

p2210011The queue for Sherrilyn Kenyon’s book signing (right), with my roomie Sandra taking centre stage.

So a great time was had by all (despite breaking my favorite pair of shoes), our overseas guests were revered as Gods (as they should be!) and I struggled back home with an overstuffed suitcase that was busting at the seams.  Roll on, ARRC 2011!

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February – sweating our heads off!

Since Christmas I’ve been lost in a Deep Dark Writing Void (otherwise known as school holidays).  I’ve often heard other authors say that writing is like a muscle and you have to exercise it regularly to avoid it getting flabby.  And you know what?  It’s totally true.  For the last few weeks I’ve been jotting down scenes, notes and things that occur to me with my current work-in-progress, frustrated I can’t get right into the story.  So now school’s back, I’m determined to throw myself into it and work towards my new goal of writing more, procrastinating less.

The weather around my way has been unbearable the last few weeks – 44C (or over 110F if you prefer) and I’m praying the air conditioning holds up until the end of March when it usually (but not always) starts getting cooler. 

For Australia Day (26th January) we were holidaying at The Entrance, a gorgeous beach-side community with fabulous hotels and restaurants.  Here’s a photo of Quay West,  the resort we stayed in.  And wouldn’t you know, during our five days there, I got a great idea for a new story <g>.  I’m thinking lovers reunited: a heroine desperate to have a baby and a workaholic hero who needs a life change. Hmmm… I’ll have to let it percolate a bit more!

qwrms_poolIf you’ve been visiting the Desirabelles, you’ll know that I’ve got a new love in my life – a brand-new white iMac Book  <g>.  I absolutely love it and no wonder – it’s fast, cute and totally portable.

Only a scant few days until the Australian Romance Readers Convention down in Melbourne.  I always look forward to these gatherings: meeting old friends, making new ones and talking about my favorite topic – books!   And lucky us, we’ve got some big names in the publishing industry appearing: Sherrilyn Kenyon/Kinley MacGregor, Liz Maverick, Stephanie Laurens, Mary-Janice Davidson, as well as reader favorites Anna Campbell, Annie West, Sara Bennett and heaps more.  I hope to see you there!

January 2009 news

At first I thought it was the hot weather but I suspect it was actually a solar flare that not only took out my computer and my external hard drive, but also my editors’ and a couple of other friends’.  I bought an external hard drive years ago to avoid these aggravating glitches, so I never save anything on my computer hard drive, except for the programs that are already saved on the removable one.  My ENTIRE life, both personal and writing are on that hard drive, a very scary thought when it looks like everything’s crashed and wiped.  My poor computer techie guy suffered daily calls until he could confirm that the removable drive was indeed savable.  Whew!   I rushed out and bought another back up, this time independent of a power source because apparently that’s what did everything in – a huge power surge. Technology always fails me at this time of year! 

So the week before Christmas I figured out how to connect the laptop and managed to get through my emails and onto the internet.  I can’t even tell you the probs I’ ve been having with my F drive now becoming my G drive and having to fiddle about with changing pathways in different programs… arrgghhh!

And now onto the good news.  First, I’m excited to announce that the Diamonds Down Under series has taken flight around the world!  It’s already off and running in Holland and the UK, and will see Germany and Italy in January.  I’m so excited because this is first time on British and Dutch shelves for me 🙂

Next up, I have a title for Cal and Ava’s story – The Magnate’s Baby Promise.  It’ll hit the US shelves in August, so traditionally this means it comes Down Under in September… just in time for our conference!  But wait, there’s more!  I’m thrilled to announce I’m one of the authors in an Aussie three-book series, tentatively called “Outback Billionaires and Babies.”  Robyn Grady is  kicking off the series in March, followed by Maxine Sullivan in April, and me in May.  I’m really excited about writing it (w/t His Seductive Alibi).  I guess you could best describe it as a seductive revenge-lovers reunited-secret baby-tragic past story.  Let’s just say things aren’t as clear as they appear to be!

I’m thrilled to see my good friend, Anna Campbell’s new release, Tempt the Devil is on the shelves… and garnering well-deserved praise from Romantic Times BookReviews.  It only seems like yesterday we were completing for the title of Contest Slu… ummm… Diva. I especially love the Aussie cover – check them all out below!

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At this time of year, thoughts go to two things: my “stuff I loved about…” list – here it is:

STUFF I LOVED ABOUT 2008

And now, onto New Years Resolutions.  I read an interesting email from a fellow writer the other day where she calls them ‘goals’ instead of ‘resolutions’.  I love the idea that you’re striving towards something tangible (goal) rather than listing an intention to do something you might not actually get around to (resolution).  During our first meeting of the new year, my writing group each lists their writing goals and I like to use Vicki Hinze’s example of setting goals for not just your professional life but for personal achievement, for family and for learning the craft and developing your writing skills.  So here’s some I’d like to share with you:

  • finish writing two books by August
  • attend two writing conferences this year
  • produce some promotional material for both conferences (my other creative outlet)
  • read at least two craft-related books
  • try at least four brand-new-to-me authors
  • get better at sticking to my allocated writing time 🙂

And on that note, come and visit us at our Desirabelles blog where we’re talking about what we’re looking forward to in 2009.