Sunday, December 31, 2006

ARC Winner #4

To be totally fair, I picked this winner as randomly as I could - I assigned all the entrants a number, then ran a random number generator. The person whose number came up was:

Robin Snodgrass

Robin, please email me at nalinisinghwrites @

Everyone else - several more weeks of winning to go!! :)

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Favorite Love Songs

First up, a public service announcement: Tomorrow's post with the winner of the ARC contest will probably be up late but it will appear, so keep an eye out. Secondly, if you won an ARC last time, it's in the mail, baby.

Onto today's post: Sara tagged me to do my five favorite Christmas songs, but I missed the tag in the madness before Christmas, so I'm going to do it now. But since Christmas is over, I'm going to change the tag to five favorite love songs.

Here goes:

1. The Rose - Bette Middler
2. Last Kiss - Pearl Jam (If you haven't heard this, it is the most amazing love song but fair warning, it will probably make you cry).
3. Slow Hand - Pointer Sisters
4. Ordinary People - Clay Walker
5. Friends and Lovers - I don't actually know who sings this!

Tag, you're it. What are your favorites? Spread the love (on your blog or in the comments - take your pick)!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Random Picture Day: Xian

This is a close-up picture of the terracotta soldiers and their horses in Xian, China. The pits where they were discovered are just huge - they were buried with an emperor, to help him in the afterlife.

Age has turned them all brown, but when made, they were beautifully colored. Apparently, the archaeologists may have found some that are sealed in a chamber and remain colored - but they can't open the chamber because as soon as they do, the color will dissipate.

Here's another shot that shows the size of these pits and the enclosure built to protect them. It's a truly awesome sight. The sense of age in the place is amazing.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Lora Leigh's Breeds

If you've been reading this blog over the past month, you'll have realized I've gone crazy over reading lately. One of my 'discoveries' just before Christmas, was Lora Leigh's Breeds series. I raced through Megan's Mark, then began Harmony's Way.

If you haven't read these books, Lora Leigh's world is a place where the Genetics Council has engineered human and animal DNA together to create Breeds. These Breeds were meant to be soldiers and assassins and were kept locked up in labs, but have now found freedom and the world has to deal with them.

Here's the blurb for Megan's Mark (from LL's site):

Cursed with the extraordinary power to feel other peoples' emotions, Megan Fields has tucked herself away in a remote corner of New Mexico, working as a small-town sheriff's deputy. She finds solace in the silence and heat of the desert. But when Breeds begin dying on her watch, Megan realizes that the secrets from her past can't stay buried forever. Someone is out for blood - her blood.

An arrogant Feline Breed, Braden Arness broods with feral intensity. His mission to solve the mysterious murders brings him to Megan, a woman who accosts his senses like no other. Only with him can she let down her guard - and surrender to the insatiable hunger that wracks her body. But as they team up to hunt the elusive killers, Braden and Megan find themselves becoming the prey...

These books are hot enough to singe (talk about sizzling chemistry!) but what really did it for me was that I fell in love with the characters and more importantly, I could imagine them falling in love with each other. Megan and Braden just 'fit'.

I had the same reaction to Lance and Harmony in Harmony's Way. These couples might be driven together by the mating heat, but what keeps them together is how right they are for each other.

It's sexy, it's original and it has great characters - I totally recommend this series. (FYI: Megan's Mark isn't actually the first book - several of the series came out in e-format, but I had no trouble picking up the threads of the world so go forth and read!)

The next book is Tanner's Scheme (Aug 07), which I have managed to get my paws on in advance through various nefarious methods! I'll post on that closer to the release date since it would be just mean to tease you all so far in advance! *g*

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Visions of Heat ARC: Week 2

I'm opening up new entries for the Visions of Heat ARC contest. If you want the full details, here's the link to the original post. But basically, if you win an ARC, I'm asking you to please do a review in the last week of Feb 26-Mar 3, just before the book releases.

Everyone who entered originally and didn't win is still entered. If you didn't enter last week, leave a comment on this post and you're in. I'll pick a random winner Sunday morning my time so you can comment anytime before then. Good luck!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


I've just realized that this is the first year I've blogged through Christmas. It's kind of fun - since the blogsphere is so quiet, you'll all just have to read my blog *grin*

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. Want to share any good presents you got? I'm currently listening to one of mine - Westlife's "Love" album. According to my 'cool' friends, I shouldn't admit to liking Westlife in public but I'm at peace with my taste in music.

Ok, your turn!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from New Zealand!!

I hope you all have a fabulous day!


Sunday, December 24, 2006

ARC Winners: #1, #2 and #3

Yes, you read that right. I've decided to give away three ARCs simply because of the amount of interest. Thank you to everyone who spread the word that this is happening. See, good deeds do get rewarded! Special thank you to Jane at Dear Author who is a goddess for, as one poster put it, "pointing a giant arrow" in this direction. :) And feel free to keep spreading the word (who knows to what heights of generosity I might be driven).

Yeah, I know, you don't care. You just want the names of the winners. Here they are (picked by a combination of me closing my eyes and pointing, a random number generator and the fact that I think any woman with Kat's news deserves an ARC while she's still got free time to read one!):



3.Kat O+

Email me your addresses at nalinisinghwrites @ and we'll get the ARCs in the mail to you.

As you know, I'm giving away at least one ARC for the next five weeks. Because I think you all are awesome people, I'm not going to make you return each week to re-enter. If you've thrown your name in the hat once, consider it entered for the entire duration. (I'll put up a reminder every week for new entries).

However, as I said, I don't have everyone's emails and some of your profile links aren't working so make sure to drop by on Sundays to check if you've won. If an ARC stays unclaimed for longer than a week, I'll redraw - I figure that's fair.

One sleep to go till Christmas!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Work Post

I know I owe some people replies to emails - hopefully I'll get through them all this weekend so bear with me folks. And if you don't get a reply by end of next week or so, assume it's bounced and send it to my gmail (nalinisinghwrites @, as the bounce gremlins have been working overtime this week.

Don't forget - the ARC winner will be up tomorrow so swing by then as I don't have everyone's emails.

And have a fabulous weekend!

Friday, December 22, 2006


I admit I have no idea how I'm going to pick the first winner of the ARC draw but we shall leave that decision till I actually have to do it. Until then, have you guys seen the Time magazine person of the year? It's YOU! It's all about how the people have driven the news this year - bloggers, YouTubers etc. It's interesting stuff.

Do you think the revolution will last? Everyone's blogging now but five years down the track? Any predictions?

p.s. I meant to add this in the ARC post. If you actually review for a review site, then email me so I can make sure the site gets put on my list of places to send to.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Visions of Heat - ARC

Okay, first, I'm giving away an ARC (Advanced Review Copy) of Visions of Heat (Out March 2007). To be in to win, leave a comment on this post. You can even just say "I want!" *grin*

But wait, there's more - I'll be giving away at least one ARC per week through to the end of January, so even if you don't win this week, there's always next. I've had these ARCs made for this giveaway, so they're fairly simple but you'll get the book.

What's the catch? As the whole point of an ARC is to get the word out about a book, I'm asking all the winners to review the book. It doesn't matter where you do it - on your blog/your myspace etc, but please review Visions if you win an ARC. And because I'm giving away copies so early, I'm asking that those reviews be posted up in the final week of February (Feb 26-March 3), just prior to the book's release.

I'll pick a winner this weekend and post up the name on Sunday 9am my time, so drop your name in the hat anytime before that and you're in.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Blog Tour: Venus Envy

I'm working on a giveaway - the words ARC and Visions might feature, so watch this space. But today, I've got a Out of the Blogosphere tour book for you. Check it out.

VENUS ENVY by Shannon McKelden
(TOR Books, December 26, 2006)

Take one hunky firefighter, one stubborn "Cinderella," and one very reluctant fairy godmother and what do you get? Rachel Greer wants no part of Venus's scheme to land Mr. March as her Prince Charming, but Venus is determined to do just that. She's only a few love-life fixes short of returning to her former goddess status, and she's not letting one mulish mortal stand in her way.

It appears the only way Rachel can get rid of the very un-Disney-like fairy godmother is to play along. So she follows Venus's plan to interview Luke Stanton's ex-girlfriends...which Venus believes will cure Rachel's relationship fears, but which Rachel knows will only prove her point that men are never what they appear to be. But, when Venus's plan appears to work, and Rachel and Luke fall in love, does Rachel dare set aside her fears about happily ever? Or will betrayal send her back into relationship seclusion...this time forever? And what happens when a goddess-turned-fairy godmother breaks the most important rule--protecting herself from human emotions?


Shannon McKelden has wanted to be a writer since she earned a coveted ‘A+++’ from her 9th grade English teacher. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her high school sweetheart, two kids, two cats, a dog and a crow.

Witty, funny, and truly original, McKelden’s romance is a standout. -- Booklist

Sexy, clever and fun, Venus Envy is absolutely delightful from beginning to end. Author Shannon McKelden has talent to spare. – Jane Porter, author of The Frog Prince

Debut author McKelden is undeniably talented, milking a fun plot for all it's worth. 3 Stars. – Romantic Times


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Releases & Catchup

It struck me sometime over the past month that I have four releases next year. This is the first time that's happened. Here's the list:

Bound By Marriage
- Feb 07
Visions of Heat - March 07

Caressed By Ice - Sep 07
Novella in Anthology - Oct 07

I'm going through the draft of the novella at the moment and absolutely loving it!

Okay, your turn. What's happening in your life at the moment?

Monday, December 18, 2006

How I found the Kellermans

I started reading Faye Kellerman through a somewhat odd route. I used to see all these books on the library shelf with the name Kellerman on the spine, except some were by Jonathan and some were by Faye.

Now, given that Kellerman isn't the most common of names, I wondered if these two were related. And being the nosy parker that I am, I read the jackets and realized that they were, in fact, married, which I (being a romance novelist) thought was pretty cool. So I took a couple of their books home and that is how I started reading J & F Kellerman.

The Garden of Eden and Other Criminal Delights is an anthology of short stories. Most of them focus on the criminal element, but there are four pieces at the back of the book that focus on the theme of family.

If you read the Rina Lazarus/Peter Decker books, you'll be happy to know they appear in a couple of the stories. But there are several completely stand-alone stories too so you can just dive in even if you've never read this author before. And there's quite a bit of dark humor in a few of the stories. One of these is my personal favorite in the collection - Malibu Dog has a twist that I just did not see coming. Anybody else read it? Did you guess the twist?

So, do you have any stories about how to came to start reading a particular author?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Confessions of a reformed tv addict

I admit it! Ever since I came back from Japan, I've been watching a bit too much tv. Thankfully, the addictive stage has now passed and I'm back to a shortlist.

1. Scrubs - how funny is this show? I love it! (Dr. Acula anyone?)

2. Killer Instinct - this just started playing in NZ and I'm hooked. And it has nothing to do with Johnny Messner *g* Okay, maybe a little bit. But the storylines are nice and twisty, which I like.

3. SVU - I reckon this is one of the most intense and well-written shows on tv. Olivia is one of my favorite characters ever.

4. Random Documentaries - this is one of the things I missed most living in Japan. They had brilliant documentaries on but I could only understand about half of them because of the language used - ie. on the fascinating doco about Bird Flu, there was a lot of science vocabulary that I didn't know.

5. House - I've only caught two episodes of this but I think I'm going to like it.

Okay, your turn. What's on your "must-watch" list?

Friday, December 15, 2006

Darkly Dreaming Dexter - Jeff Lindsay

I've got another book for you that I enjoyed, one that has a hook unlike any other thriller I've read - the narrator is a serial killer. But he's a good serial killer - he only kills other serial killers.

It's a little creepy (ok sometimes a lot creepy) but this book also has a sort of dark humor. Dexter is a very engaging narrator - certainly not one you can forget. He's the nice guy you'd never pick as a homicidal maniac (his description of himself). Since this book is told in the first person, it's an extremely interesting ride. Pick it up if you want something different.

I have to thank Bam for bringing this book to my attention. If you want a more in-depth review, have a read of hers.

Have you read anything recently that was just so "different" it stuck in your mind?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Xmas Shopping

Have you all finished doing your Xmas shopping? Me, I like to wait till the last minute and drive myself insane. I went to the mall the other day and every spot in the carpark was full - this is unusual given the size of this mall, which leads me to believe that I'm not the only procrastinator out there.

So, got any good Xmas shopping (or plain old shopping!) stories to share?

This isn't a shopping story, but last Xmas we were in Tokyo and I've never seen a city so beautifully lit up for the holidays. This is a shot of the small lights outside Shinjuku Station. And talking about crowds - apparently one million people pass through Shinjuku at rush hour. It's amazing to watch!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Prequels & Dragonsblood - Todd McCaffrey

I'm a big fan of Anne McCaffrey's Pern series and I was particularly interested in reading this book because it's not written by Ms McCaffrey, but her son, Todd McCaffrey. I was part excited at the new directions Todd McCaffrey might take this world, and part scared for that same reason.

I'm happy to say I needn't have worry. I really enjoyed this book. It's set in tw
o time periods - the first generation after Pern has been settled, and then four hundred years later. The issue that connects the two times is a sickness that's begun to affect and kill the dragons that protect Pern from the deadly 'thread' that falls from the sky.

While I liked the stuff set in Pern's future, what really caught me was the past, where we got to meet Wind Blossom, the daughter of Kitty Ping - the woman responsible for developing the dragons. In previous books, Wind Blossom was in the background and I wondered about her. I feel like this book gave me a chance to know her.

Because of its references to things that have been explored in previous books, Dragonsblood probably won't be as interesting for those who haven't been following the series, but if you're looking to pick up a good fantasy series, the Dragons of Pern books are amazing. A big thumbs up from me.

While this book wasn't actually a prequel in the real sense of the word, it did make me think about that topic. Most of the time, I like reading prequels. It lets me color in the past that might've affected the characters I've already fallen in love with. But I tend to back off from reading them when I know that something really bad is going to happen to the characters in the future. It just seems that the knowledge compromises my belief in the the "happy ever after". And I like my HEAs!

What about you? Any thoughts?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Website & Unleashed Book Tour

First up - the website's been updated, with the excerpt for Bound By Marriage and a teensy bit of spoiler info on the Psy/Changeling series. And oh yeah, a couple of new stars!

Also, I've got another Out of the Blogosphere tour book - an anthology - for you. Personally, I like anthologies - they often give me a chance to read new authors. And I really appreciate how I can pick one up when I'm busy, read one of the stories, then put it back down. It's like having a snack to pep you up. What about you? Anthologies work for you?

Here's the tour book. I must say I find myself intrigued by the blurb. Check it out.

Come Moonrise” by Lucy Monroe featured in UNLEASHED
(Berkley, December 5, 2006)

Ty MacAnlup has seen the tragedy that a mating between a werewolf and a human can bring and he wants no part of it, no matter how much his body and heart ache for a taste of Frankie's softness. Frankie has loved Ty for years and while she doesn't know he's a werewolf, or even that such things exist...she does know that to her, he's always been more than a mere man. Ty's hidden beast wreaks havoc with his determination to stay away from Frankie when they are trapped together in a small cabin in the snow bound wilderness.


Award winning author Lucy Monroe sold her first book in September of 2002. Since then she has sold more than 30 books to three publishers and hit national bestsellers lists in the US and England. Her highly charged, sensual stories touch on the realities of life while giving the reader a fantasy story not easily forgotten. Whether it's a passionate Harlequin Presents, a sexy single title for Kensington or a steamy historical or paranormal for Berkley, Lucy's books transport her readers to a special place where the heart rules and love conquers all.

Website: or

Monday, December 11, 2006

Strange Candy - Laurell K Hamilton

Okay, back to talking about books. I love books. I love reading. It's creative brain food! Now onto the book...

This is a collection of short stories by Laurell K Hamilton, including a couple of Anita Blake stories (one new and one previously published in the Bite anthology).

I'm a LKH fan so I expected to enjoy this collection and I did. My favorite story was probably "There Be Dragons". This was a very dark story about an empath - Jasmine - who works as a dream therapist with serial killers. She's called back to her old training facility (a place she hates) when a little girl with the same powers starts killing people. The story is about whether Jasmine can stop the child. Very intense.

On the opposite end of the spectrum was "A Lust of Cupids" which is set in a world where baby cupids exist and go around shooting people with arrows of true love. And oh yeah, they can be bribed by matchmaking mothers. Cute story. Made me smile.

Another one I really liked was "A Scarcity of Monsters", about a researcher who works with lake monsters. The monster (Irving) had his own distinct personality, which I thought was awesome, especially within the confines of such a short format.

And then there was, "Selling Houses". This is set in the Anita Blake world but is about the ordinary people in that world, in this case, a real estate agent. Abbie has to sell a house that has very bad karma - the last tenants died after a case of demonic possession led to murder. Now she has to deal with bloodstains that won't disappear and a possible ghost. I was totally rooting for the heroine in this story.

Overall, I thought this was a great collection. I think it shows exactly how broad LKH's imagination is - I especially wouldn't mind seeing more of the world in "There Be Dragons". And if you haven't read LKH before, this is a good place to start as you get an intro into the Anita Blake books as well.

(p.s. How awesome is that cover? I lust after it!)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Links, Brides & Tigresses

Today's a bit of a grab bag.

First, I have a confirmed release date for Caressed By Ice, the third Psy/Changeling book. It's going to be September 07. Yippee!

Second, if you're in the mood to win stuff, Paperback Writer is doing giveaways - plus she has a list of others doing the same.

Third, have you seen the movie Bride and Prejudice? It's been out for ages but I couldn't get hold of a copy in Japan (though I did manage to find Bend It Like Beckham). I was prejudiced (*g*) to like this anyway because that cute Martin Henderson is from NZ, but I thought it was a sweet, romantic movie that had me grinning throughout. That song "No Life Without Wife" is hilarious. If you haven't seen this, leave your serious side at the door and have a look-see.

Fourth, I have to rave about a book I finished at 1a.m. last night: Animal Instincts by Gena Showalter. The reason I have to rave is that this book is a single title contemporary - a funny one, which doesn't usually work for me (I'm into the darker stuff in case you hadn't guessed). But the second I read the first line of Gena's book, I couldn't put it down. Naomi, the heroine, is a doormat (in her own words) who is trying to channel her Inner Tigress. Unfortunately her sexy (whoa!) new employer keeps throwing her off the path to Tigress-ness.

Sexy, funny and emotional, this is just a great book. Go read! Here endeth the book pimp section of today's post.

Have a great weekend folks!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Happy Friday!

I have more books to talk about but I thought we'd take a break today and just drool over Mr. Lucky Vanous. So here he is!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Boss's Christmas Seduction - Yvonne Lindsay

I bought this book because Yvonne is a friend of mine and this is her first release (woohoo!). But I'm writing this review because I adored the story - so much so that I forgot I knew the author and just became entralled with finding out how it all ended.

Here's the blurb from Yvonne's site:
Connor Knight, the youngest of the Knight brothers, wants the one thing Holly Christmas could never give him - a child of his own. Holly wants what Connor has sworn never to part with again - his heart. Sleeping with her boss after the staff Christmas party was not the best career move Holly ever made - but on the anniversary of the day she was abandoned as a toddler, who could blame her for seeking a sense of belonging in the arms of the man she's secretly loved for years

For Connor, finding solace in his virgin secretary's arms is salve to his wounded heart after the shock discovery his ex-wife had terminated their child. What is Holly to do when she discovers she's pregnant with the child he never dreamed he'd have? She has to find the strength to face her deepest fears and find the answers to her past while standing up to Connor's determination that nothing will go wrong this time. They must both learn to break down the barriers they've built around their hearts and learn to trust in love again.

What really made this book stand out for me was Holly. She's a wonderful heroine that you just want to cheer on. Then there's Connor. He's a strong, alpha male but Yvonne did an awesome job of showing us how hurt he was by what his ex-wife did, and how badly it wounded him.

I also loved how these two talked - sometimes at painful cross-purposes because of their emotional scars - but they did talk, and talk about things that mattered. There are a lot of heart-wrenching moments and I'll admit I might've been a wee bit teary-eyed during some of it. Oh, and it's hot enough to burn. *g*

If I had one complaint about The Boss's Christmas Seduction, it would be that I wanted it to be longer. And in my eyes, that's not a bad thing to say about a book! Lucky for me, this is the first of the New Zealand Knights trilogy and the next book - The CEO's Contract Bride, comes out in Jan. (Though some of us shameless types might have twisted the author's arm and gotten an advance copy ;) ). I absolutely recommend this book - go grab a copy!!

I love discovering new writers to enjoy. What about you - any new or new-to-you discoveries this year?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Born In Death - JD Robb

It's Eve and Roarke. Need I say more? If JD Robb (for no reason that I can think of except to mess with us) decided to write a story about the two of them sitting around counting lint, I would buy, read and adore that.

These two are just the most amazing characters, and that's not even counting the wonderful supporting cast. I have a soft spot for Trueheart in particular. So really all I'm going to say is if you haven't read the JD Robb books, go now and do it! Start at the start - Naked In Death, for maximum impact.

Okay, fess up. Who's your I-would-read-it-even-if-they-were-counting-lint author/characters?


p.s. I'm also over at Between The Covers today, talking about cake. *g*

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Books & Inferno Tour

So, last week after I sent off the galleys of Visions of Heat, finished the first draft of my novella and polished up the almost-kind of-last draft of Caressed By Ice, I decided to take a few days off to read (in between partying). Yup, it was a busy week!

I'll be talking about some of those books in the next few days, but first, I have an Out Of The Blogosphere tour book for you. I haven't read Inferno, but it looks (excuse the pun) seriously hot. And I gotta say, Vivi Anna's bio is way more interesting than mine! Check it out.

(Oh and Denise's winner has been posted up - scroll down).

INFERNO by Vivi Anna
(Kensington, December 2006)

Vivi Anna's gorgeous, leather-clad heroine, Kat, is back in another wildly erotic adventure set in a future world where passion has no rules — and no limits ...

Kat needs to find a scientist rumored to have created an antidote to a deadly virus, but he's hiding out in the violent underground city of Inferno. Her one-time lover Hades will take Kat where she needs to go, but only if she promises to be his, body and soul.




A BAD GIRL at heart, Vivi Anna likes to burn up the pages with her original unique brand of fantasy fiction. Whether it's in ancient Egypt, or in an apocalyptic future, Vivi always writes fast paced action-adventure with strong independent women that can kick some butt, and dark delicious heroes to kill for.

Once shot at while repossessing a car, Vivi decided that maybe her life needed a change. The first time she picked up a pen and put words to paper, she knew she had found her heart. Within two paragraphs, she realized she could write about getting into all sorts of trouble without suffering the consequences.

When Vivi isn't writing, you can find her causing a ruckus at downtown bistros, flea markets, or playgrounds.


Combine two star-crossed lovers, a deadly virus, a passel of Dark Dwellers, and an underground nemesis bent on destruction and you get one heck of an adventure. This follow-up to Hell Kat will have you cheering for the good guys all over again — and laughing out loud while you do it! A fun, sexy romp that leaves you crying out for more. – 4 stars, Romantic Times


Monday, December 04, 2006

Party Cleanup & Denise's Winner!

Wow, what a party!! This will be the last official party post -I'll be editing it this evening once Denise has picked her winners (so if you haven't commented on her post yet, there's still time). And if you haven't already checked to see if you were a winner of a prize, please go back through the posts and have a look.

I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who came along to party with me and all the other authors. I hope you had fun!

It'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming from tomorrow (ie. a state of organized chaos). Have a great Monday folks!



On my, oh my! I loved your funny Christmas stories. You made it very difficult to pick, but it's pretty hard to top the fire brigade and a naked DH, don't you think? *LOL*

So, Barbara, you win the free download of Gift of the Goddess!

And because I can't resist cats, there's an oversized colour postcard of Mr Gorgeous for Cathy and Froggie. If you go here, you can see a photo of my cat, who likes to consort with dragons -

To collect your prize, email me - deniserossetti @ (no spaces)

Many blessings to you and yours for the holiday season. May all your dreams come true.


Sunday, December 03, 2006

Party Post 22: Winners of Ally's and Sara's Giveaways


Thanks for all your fun comments. You've all made me want to go back to Italy and now!!! (Not like I really needed any sort of prod of course.) And I wish I could have given all of you a trip to Rome as a grand prize, but alas, my funds don’t quite extend that far. Now if I had ended up with the hero from my giveaway book, HOW TO MARRY A BILLIONAIRE then it would have been a different story ;).

Maybe if we all just close our eyes, tap our heels together and say, three times, 'There's no place like Rome' ;).

Anyhoo, the winner of HOW TO MARRY A BILLIONAIRE is - drum roll please…


who said that she reminisces about her trip to Italy every time she sees scenes from movies or reads other people's stories. I’m with you there Angela! Please contact Nalini (nalinisinghwrites @ with your addy and I’ll pop it in the post.

And to see how my Italian hero turned out, A MOTHER FOR HIS DAUGHTER is on shelves all this month through Silhouette Romance.

Merry Xmas to all!!!



Thanks for all the posts..... we certainly have some very inventive liars among us. The winner is debra g for not only making me laugh out loud, but also for being brave enough to share her
story. debra if you can email me at sarahantz @ your address I'll send your prize.

And thanks Nalini for the blog party. It was a really neat idea and has been great fun.

Party Post 21: Denise Rossetti

When Denise Rossetti was a little girl, she had an aunt who would tell her the most wonderful fairy stories - all her own creation. Denise grew up, as little girls do, but the love of stories has never left her. She loves happy endings, heart-pounding adventure and the eventual triumph of good over evil. All hail the guys in the white hats, she says - unless the ones wearing black are interesting?

Denise lives in a comfortable, messy old house in the Australian suburbs and keeps busy writing erotic romance for Ellora's Cave. She tends to wave her hands around a lot, which can be unfortunate if the tale she's telling happens to have explosions in it!

Christmas is such a family time, isn't it? With everything that implies, all the joy and sadness, all the laughter and angst. When we were first married, we didn't bother with a tree—not until the year I fell pregnant. Then we got one! Plastic of course, I couldn't cope with drooping branches when the temperatures are in the nineties! (Not very housewiferly, I'm afraid. If that's a word.)

Every year, I've wrangled the kids into a photo opportunity in front of that plastic Christmas tree. The sequence starts with a little bub rolling around on the rug all mixed up with the presents. It continues this year with two beautiful young people, both their heads higher than the angel on the top. Let's face it, they're taller than me, let alone the poor tree! My babies…

I'm getting all sentimental and soppy, but I reckon it goes with the Christmas territory. I've been sitting here remembering the laughter and the love. Every family has its Christmas stories. We all sit around the table and play "remember when?" It's part of the glue that keeps families together.

There was the year my mother used a can of black cherries on the pavlova. That's a yummy Australian desert – frothy egg white meringue gooey stuff and sugar and fruit on top. (You can tell I'm an eater, not a cook.) The whole thing went blue, BRIGHT blue. I can still see my Mum and my sister leaning on the fridge literally crying with laughter. We ate it, of course. *grin*

Then there was the time my sister gave my stepdad (who's a terrible hoarder) a pretty little box labelled "Pieces Of String Too Short To Be Of Use". You should have seen his face!

On one never to be forgotten occasion, my mother drank a whole glass of sparkling burgundy, very quickly. Nothing remarkable in that, it was a hot day. But my Mum is a little lady and she rarely touches alcohol. After about five minutes, she said, very quietly, "I feel a little tired. I'll just…go and…lie down…for a bit." Whereupon she wandered away and wasn't seen again for four hours.

I'd love to hear your funniest Christmas story. A free download of Gift of the Goddess if you can make me laugh out loud. Two prizes of a full colour oversized postcard of Mr Gorgeous (aka the cover of Gift of the Goddess) for snickers and giggles. He's hot, hot HOT! (And on my website—go see!)

Oh yes! And a postcard to the first nice person who posts a pavlova recipe for our overseas readers. A cook I ain't. But my husband is. *evil grin*

And BTW, because humour relaxes me, I write a free serial about a girl called Alice for my newsletter readers. But I post chapters on my website too. It's funny, but it IS naughty!

Right. Um. I think that's all. Shut up, Denise.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Party Post 20: Winners of Nicola's, Amy's & Anna's Giveaways


A huge thanks to everyone who posted (and added to my TBR pile!)
I was going to choose the winner by who introduced me to the most authors I'd never read but it become a bit tough so I did the old 'random out of a hat' thing!

And the winner is....drumroll please....Froggie!

So please send me your contact details at and I'll forward you a copy of INHERITED: BABY.

Thanks for the party, Nalini.
It has been a blast!

I'd like to wish everyone a safe and merry Christmas, with loads of fabulous reading :)



Hi All and thanks for participating in the competition. Thanks also to Nalini for hosting the party its been so much fun.

And the winners are.....drum roll please....
The first 3 people who posted the answers were -
jennifer y


I had a great response but man, those ladies were quick!!
If anyone's interested the answers are -
Fran's puppy is called Fonzie (named after my own black Labrador).
And Harriet laments that of all the men in all the world she had to marry one that looked like a naughty angel.

Those books are already in the post ladies.
Merry Xmas to everyone. May you all have a happy and healthy festive season and a wonderful New Year.

Amy xxx



Thank you so much to Nalini for inviting me to join this blog. I've had a ball. And thank you to everyone who took the time and trouble to comment on my post yesterday. It was such fun dropping in and seeing what people had to say on the eternally fascinating subject of heroes! May all your celebrations be full of heroes (hey, I might patent that one! Do you think Hallmark would be interested?).

It was SOOOOO tough trying to pick a winner. A lot of the posts were really moving, especially the ones about family and loss. And a lot of the posts were really sweet and funny. In the end, though, and after a lot of toing and froing (that looks odd - perhaps going to and fro?), I chose the following winners:



Winners of the Desk diaries - and because it's Christmas, I'll throw in a cover flat for my book along with a few other bits and pieces:

Little Lamb Lost
Pam P

Please email your snail mail addresses to Nalini and I'll get your prizes off to you next week, hopefully in plenty of time for Christmas.

Congratulations! And sorry to everyone else. I wish I had prizes for you all! If you want another chance at a copy of CTC, please enter my December contest through my website:

Finally, I'd like to wish everyone a very happy and healthy Holiday season and all the very best in 2007! And lots of good books for all of us. Whoo-hoo!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Party Post 19: Ally Blake

When Ally was a little girl she made a wish that when she turned twenty-six she would marry an Italian two years older than her. After it actually came true she realised she was onto something with these wish things.
So, next she wished that she could make a living spending her days in her pyjamas, eating M&Ms and drinking scads of coffee while turning her formative experiences of wallowing in teenaged crushes and romantic movies into creating love stories of her own. The fact that she is now able to spend her spare time Googling pictures of handsome guys for research purposes is merely a bonus!

Come along and visit her website at

All I Want for Christmas... is a tall, dark, handsome stranger

Two years ago my husband and I took a two week trip to
Italy. He is of Italian descent and ever since I saw The Godfather I wanted to marry a man of Italian descent. So a trip to Italy for the pair of us was a no-brainer.
I went with great plans to write a book set there. Because:
a) Italian heroes are ever popular – no argument from me.
b) it would make the trip a write off – boy do I love this job!
c) it would give me a perfect excuse to ogle handsome strangers while still in my husband’s company! (Seriously, the partners of romance writers really should be given awards, back rubs and condolences for what they have to put up with on that front;))
My heroine, Gracie Lane, was set, as this was the third book in a trilogy about three girls living in a beach side suburb of my home town Melbourne. And I knew she was going to Rome to find her long lost father. I, on the other hand, was going to Rome to find her hero.
Luca Siracusa was an enigma to me. I had a fuzzy image in my head. Okay, so the fuzzy image looked a fair bit like the heavenly Raoul Bova from Under the Tuscan Sun. But that was all I had. So as we traversed the length and breadth of that beeeeautiful country, I was on the look out for real, flesh and blood, Italian hunks to fill out my two-dimensional hero.
Would I find him chatting up girls on the Spanish Steps in Rome? Would I find him posing for a photograph pretending to hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa? Or would I find him sitting back in a café on Capri drinking an espresso with the sun on his face?
I thought I’d found him in Verona, a city full of beautiful people, in which the locals promenade the twining cobbled streets in fur coats, and designer clothes and elegant suits just because they can. The crowd parted to reveal a little girl in a navy velvet dress with white lace cuffs, white stocking, patent shoes and a blue bow in her ringlets. And on the other end of her hand was a man. Tall, dark, and handsome, even from the back ;). He wore a coat that floated behind him like a cape as he carefully led his daughter through the busy street. I kept a close eye on him, taking heed of his movement, his walk, the tilt of his head before I lost him in the crowd.
I used all of that in my book in the end. But it still wasn’t enough. I knew what he looked like, I knew how he walked, I knew how moving it would be to see such a gorgeous man taking such care of a delightful little girl. But I didn’t know him.
As I sat on the steps of the magnificent Trevi Fountain when we returned to Rome for the last days of our trip, alone, with my notebook and pen in hand, while my husband went off in search of cappuccinos, there were people everywhere; tourists throwing coins, local men selling bottle openers emblazoned with the Pope’s face, pairs of nuns sifting through the bottle openers, gypsies “giving away” one Euro roses.
I closed my eyes and let the sounds and scents and feel of Italy wash over me. And when I opened them there he was. Tall, dark, handsome, Italian...ish and holding out a cappuccino he’d gone searching for, on his own, for me, with little more local language in his vocabulary than “ciao” and “mamma mia”.
Of all my heroes Luca has the most of my husband in him; his kindness, selflessness, his innate style, and natural smarts, and of course his irresistible gorgeousness ;).
But I have no complaints about travelling the world over to find what I had under my very nose. I mean come on, I got to see the statue of David up close and personal! But that’s a whole other book...
Where else to find heroes...
The Pink Heart Society is the daily destination for lovers of category romance. In search of a hero? Come to Male on Monday, our most popular destination, and no wonder! With breakdowns and pictures galore of new beautiful men every week – Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Paul Newman to name a few of my favourites – you could never be short on hero inspiration!
A MOTHER FOR HIS DAUGHTER” is a Silhouette Romance release in North America this December.
To go into the draw to win an autographed copy of Ally’s preceding novel, “HOW TO MARRY A BILLIONAIRE”, featuring some of the same characters from her current novel, leave a comment at the end of this post!

Party Post 18: Anna Campbell

Anna Campbell decided she wanted to be a writer when she was seven years old. If she couldn’t be a writer, she wanted to be a ballet dancer. Luckily for the world of dance, she sold her first book in 2006.

Avon will release CLAIMING THE COURTESAN as a Romantic Treasure in April, 2007. You can find out more at

Would Santa Claus cut it as an alpha romance hero?

Mostly because it’s fun, I’ve been discussing romance heroes lately. Tough work, but somebody has to do it. It’s particularly difficult when visual aids are involved. NOOOO!!! Don’t show me another photo of Hugh Jackman! Hmm, Hugh in only a towel? OK, go on, show me! I can take the pain!

I started to wonder about the man of the moment. Well, 25th December, anyway. Does Mr. Claus cut it as a romance hero?

That red and white wardrobe isn’t up to scratch, especially the naff fur trimming. He’s on the mature side and overweight, and heroes sport a six pack. At least mine do. And that facial hair is a distinct turn-off. Has anyone read a hero with a moustache? A schoolfriend’s German mother once announced that a kiss without a moustache was like bread without butter. Hmm. Jury’s out on that one.

But a leading man needs more than a pretty face and taut abs. An alpha hero is a leader. Santa is that – look at the way he wrangles reindeer. Not to mention getting those elves to produce to deadline in a spirit of goodwill. An alpha hero is faithful to his woman. I’ve never heard a whisper that Santa has looked at anyone but his wife for hundreds of years. Santa has paranormal powers to rival those of any vampire. He’s more generous than the sexiest billionaire adorning his sweetie with diamonds.

So, yes, Santa Claus is an alpha hero. Although he’s not featuring in my dark Regencies any time soon.

Character is what makes a hero, not good looks, although usually good looks come with the package. A hero is a man with heart and courage and integrity, even if he doesn’t immediately recognize those qualities in himself.

Tell me about your favorite hero. The comment I like best wins an advanced review copy of my first book CLAIMING THE COURTESAN. Two runners-up win the Anna Campbell 2007 desk calendar – gorgeous scenes from round the world.

Party Post 17: Winner of Jolie's Giveaway

I just want to thank each and every one of you for sharing your childhood memories of Christmas with me. They’ve really set the tone for a warm and wonderful holiday season.

Some were funny, and some were poignant, but they were all very special. Thanks also to Nalini for setting up this X-MAS COME EARLY blog party!

I wish I could give a prize to EVERYONE!!

My winner was chosen in a very scientific manner. I printed out all the posts, and cut out each poster’s name (with my handy-dandy zig-zag scissors, one entry per person) and mixed them up and pulled one out at random.

Congratulations KRIS! You have won a signed copy of THE SEA KING and a special Holiday treat! Please contact Nalini (nalinisinghwrites @ and she’ll get us together!