It’s school holidays…

And post submission, which means I am up to my neck in holiday shenanigans and trying to sort out the almighty backlog of home things that built up while I was finishing said submission.

Which translates to: one, three-day Karate seminar (I trained! A bit, anyway. I didn’t die!), one birthday sleepover party (with obligatory breakfast pancakes) one visiting nephew, a lot of thinking about/researching new stories, a lot of wrestling with a dodgy email system and a bit of washing of sheets and rearranging of rooms.  The tax and the filing have yet to be tackled (can’t imagine why).

Which all results in terrible blog neglect.  And any minute now, I have to take said nephew out to see the sights of Melbourne (the bits that haven’t been washed or blown away, that is – it was a bit wild overnight!).  So I thought I’d share a post from the vault.  It was one of a series about what makes a man sexy.  In this case, it was about clothes.  Specifically coats here, but other clothes can do it too.

In my recent release, Playing by the Rules, my heroine, Kate comes over all unnecessary when she claps eyes on the hero, Josh, wearing a dinner suit.  It was the first scene I ever wrote that made my beta readers fan themselves with a manuscript.  And it’s just a bloke in a suit.  Fellas, take note!

So without further ado, I introduce you (or remind you, if you were around the first time) to the wonders of the coat.  Enjoy!

Character is in the eye of the beholder…

Hello, my lovelies!

I must apologise for the radio silence. I have been editing the BOOK THAT REFUSES TO KNOW WHEN IT’S BEATEN and my anal brain will not let me play on the blog until it is done.

But I have beaten my brain into submission for a moment, to share some thoughts about the book that I have coming out tomorrow (my time – 16th of September, all going to plan…)

DESTINY_Playingbytherules_cvr smallIt’s called Playing by the Rules and I think I have mentioned it before. 😉  Once or twice.  Not going to bore you with the details (you can follow the links if you want more info), because there’s something particular I wanted to talk about.

See, with this book, I have spread the word that it is available on Netgalley, for reviewers, with the result that I have some reviews on Goodreads already.

And I’m FASCINATED.

First, because not everyone gave it five stars.  What’s that about? 😉

Not really, folks.  Seriously, though, I am fascinated by how differently different people see characters.  Of course, not everyone is going to like every book.  And I can easily accept that some elements of the story don’t suit some readers.  But I’m intrigued by the reaction to characters, particularly, in this book, the heroine, Kate.

Now, Jo, the heroine of my first book, Rules are for Breaking, I can understand people not liking.  She’s prickly and difficult and set in her ways (although also very likeable, at least according to me).  But I thought Kate was a bit of a love.  In fact, the first time I wrote her, she was so nice she was boring.  Part of the editing process I went through with this book was toughening her up a bit.  And some people agree with me, that she’s nice – but others think not.  It seems she is a little like Mort, the cute lemur from the movie Madagascar.  For some people, he (and Kate) are like this:

A little sad, a touch vulnerable, but mostly adorable.

But for others, Mort (and poor Kate) come off like this:

A little annoying.

So I have a challenge for you, should you choose to accept it.

Playing by the Rules will be available very soon from all the usual outlets, for a very reasonable price (on the Australian Amazon pre-order page, it’s only $3.67).

If you would like to, buy the book, read it, and let me know what you thought of Kate and Josh and their story.  I would love to hear what you think!

(If you’d like to also leave a review on Amazon or iTunes or wherever you bought it, or on Goodreads, if you’re on there, that would be lovely too.  But I realise finding the time to read at all is a big ask for many of us, so please don’t think it’s expected.)

Thank you for considering the challenge and I hope all is well with you and your sometimes-adorable, sometimes-annoying friends (real or imaginary)!

~

PS – note on outlets.  It’s hard for me to check international sites.  It SHOULD be available from the 16th of September in your timezone.  If it isn’t, can you please let me know and I’ll get on to the publisher to sort that out.  Thank you!

Just flying through to say…

RAFB cover with ARRA Finalist graphicThat I just discovered that Rules are for Breaking is available in print (almost certainly for a limited time) from the Penguin website.  That was a nice discovery, as they aren’t available in the Australia Post shops any more.  Also, I kind of love that I have more than one title up on the website now, even if the second one hasn’t landed yet.  Small joys! 😉

Ta-da! Book (and other) news

DESTINY_Playingbytherules_cvr smallI have a new cover!  Which is because I have a new book coming out.

Ta-da!

This one is another contemporary romance, a companion book of sorts to my first one.  Those of you who read it might remember Kate, the heroine Jo’s pregnant sister-in-law?  Well Playing by the Rules is the story of how she came to be Jo’s sister-in-law.

Here’s my quick, hasty-tasty blurb for Playing by the Rules…

Playing by the Rules is the story of Kate, a woman who had her life all planned out – until her intended dumped her. Now, her best friend is pushing her to have a fling and, with the gorgeous Josh on offer, she’s very tempted.

But she’s never been very good at casual. Before long, she fears she’s falling for him: a man who can’t commit to anything past lunch and who’s flitting off for another adventure at the end of the week. She doesn’t know the rules of this game but it seems its name is heartache…

Tempted?  I hope so!  And if you are, you don’t have too long to wait.  Playing by the Rules is out next month from Destiny Romance.  The buy links should all be live on September the 15th – trust me, I’ll let you know!  (UPDATE: There’s a ‘coming soon’ link up now, with a rather cute blurb on the Destiny site.  I’m coming soon!)

And now, for the reason why the blurb above is a quick, hasty-tasty one: I’m not in Kansas any more, Toto!  In fact, I am typing this from Perth – or, more correctly, for those who know Western Australia, Fremantle –  where I have come to attend the annual Romance Writers of Australia conference.  The conference doesn’t start till Thursday night, but I have family here, so I’ve come a bit early to catch up.

I probably won’t be posting much to the blog over the weekend, but I will be tweeting, from https://twitter.com/Imelda_Evans, so feel free to follow the shenanigans there.  And watch this space next week when I get back.  I’m planning a bit of celebratory carry-on for the new book, which will probably include prizes…

It’s always hard to know what readers will like, but this book is close to my heart.  I am very fond of the characters and the story and I really hope you will like it as much as I do.

But for now, off to the conference, to learn to be a better writer and to see my writer buddies.  I hope you have as great a weekend as I hope to!

Not quite sure what happened there… but there were books involved

Ahem.

It appears I have accidentally gone AWOL on my own blog.  I wish I had excellent reasons, but the real truth is that a combination of sick child, editing, school holidays, more editing and then sick me has just eaten the best part of a month and a half and the blog seems to have fallen off the list.

To anyone who has missed me, I’m sorry!  I promise I’ll make it up to you in the next few months, as in that time I put up about 25 draft posts or ideas for posts that never quite made it, so now that I’m feeling better, I have plenty of material to be going on with.

In the meantime, though, I thought I’d share a bit of bookish news, both mine and friends’.

The first is that my next novel with Destiny Romance, called Playing by the Rules is off with the editors and should be out in September (all going to plan)!  For anyone who read Rules are for Breaking, it’s Kate and Josh’s story.  For those who haven’t, I’m going to be offering a chance to win a copy of that one soon, so watch this space (and yes, I’m leaving it at that, because I like to tease).  I don’t have a cover yet, but when I do, you’ll be the first to know!

In other news, while I was ill, I did some reading and the next two books were just what I needed to make me feel better.  They were both easy to read, with characters I liked and could relate to and I enjoyed them very much.

Letter from a RakeThe first is Letter from a Rake, by my Destiny imprint-mate Sasha Cottman.  This is a charming Regency romp, with a heroine with an unusual background and a hero who is rendered quite charmingly clueless by her charms.

The second was the latest from my prolific friend Kylie Scott, who usually writes smexy books set in zombie-filled or otherwise dodgy futures, but this time has put out a sweet as well as sexy New Adult book about a 20-something who went to Vegas for a good time and woke up with a husband.  And a tattoo.  And paparazzi.  And a world of trouble.  It was gorgeous and if you don’t end it at least a little bit in love with the Licktattooed, guitar-playing, rock-god hero, I will be very surprised.

In both cases, the main characters were supported by some very likeable sidekicks who I suspect strongly will get their own books in future.

So if you are looking for some light relief from a chest infection, or just life in general, I would recommend both of them.

Finally, I’m happy to be among the first to show off a new work by a new name in Romancelandia.

A Fresh Start Book 1 Monica Donnelly

Monica Donnelly is an Australian author who writes contemporary romance. (And she’s a friend I made through the wonderful Romance Writers of Australia, if you hadn’t already guessed.)

Her Henley’s Bluff romance series charts the romantic entanglements of the Doherty family and their friends in the sea-side town of Henley’s Bluff.  The first three books in the series will be released between July and December 2013, so if you like the first one (pictured here, and isn’t is a nice cover?) you won’t have long to wait for the next couple!

A Fresh Start is the first one and will be available very soon.  Here’s the blurb:

Susannah Morrison is searching for a new life with her young daughter, Maisy, when a car accident, hospitalisation and a chance encounter with Declan Doherty puts her plans on hold.

Declan is only in the annoyingly tiny seaside village of Henley’s Bluff for a quick visit to support his father.  Agreeing to help Susannah by pretending they’re old friends and giving her and Maisy somewhere to stay was a huge mistake.  He has no intention of letting his attraction to Susannah derail his plans to return to life as a magazine editor in London.  It took him years to escape the town and his family and no convenient affair is going to change that now.

Except desire has a will of its own.  And soon Declan and Susannah are wondering if Henley’s Bluff is the new start they both need.

The next two will be A Wave of Love, in September and A Chance to Love, in December 2013.

If you’re interested in following the series, you can find Monica at  www.monicadonnellyromanceauthor.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MonicaDonnellyauthor

So, again, my apologies for the extended and unannounced absence, but at least with this post, I’ve fulfilled the Women and Wordplay parts of my title.  I’ll work on the wine for next time!

Cheers, Imelda

Tired but happy traveller returns: ARRC13 and me, THE AUTHOR!

I have been absent from the bloggery for a while.  For those who noticed, I’m sorry, truly.  It’s not that I haven’t had ideas for posts.  My brain it teems with schemes (as usual).  But a couple of things got in the way of me getting them onto the blog.  The pictures below show the fun one:

It's me! At a real live book signing with real books!And here I am being famous author person (or at least a passable facsimilie in this particular moment)

I have been out of town.  In Brisbane, Queensland, to be precise at the very wonderful Australian Romance Readers’ Convention, run by the even more wonderful Australian Romance Readers Association.  (If you love Romance, you really should check them out.  And give them money.  And come to the next ARRC!)

At this wonderful weekend, I got to be An Author. And talk about being one (a talk which involved a miniature T-Rex for reasons not even I can explain).  And attend an author signing. AN AUTHOR SIGNING! ON THE SITTING DOWN SIDE OF THE DESK! SQUEEEEEE!

Continue reading

So you want to be a writer…

I have many ideas for posts in this series.  I’m actually brimming over with notions and really looking forward to nailing them down in the hope they will help.

But today, I have to finish clearing out a second-hand store’s worth of STUFF out of my house to make room for my husband’s new billiard table.  He never wants anything but this is something he has wanted for ages and I am going to make it happen, if I have to drag the stuff to Vinnies on a wagon!

Also, today I am also on blog duty over at Romance Writers of the Apocalypse (where I’m talking about choosing a word for the year).

So today I am just going to share one idea and a little story to get started.

The idea is this:

Writers write.

I know.  You’ve heard it before.  But it’s true.  The key thing that separates writers from non-writers is that writers write.  I will talk more about how, when, how often and the like at a later time, but I think the key thing here is persistence.

Which brings me to the story.  As regular readers know, I had my first novel published this year.

What you may not know is that I didn’t write it this year.  I didn’t write it last year either.

The novel that finally became Rules are for Breaking was written some years ago.  I submitted it at the time; it was rejected.  At the time, the market for that kind of romance was fairly limited, so rather than try to submit it elsewhere, I put it aside and moved on.  Then I ran into some major personal dramas that put writing on hold for the best part of two years.  I didn’t get much new work done.  But I came back (see the persistence theme beginning).  Having tasted the joy of finished stories (even rejected ones) I needed more.

So I started writing a different book (my girly thriller) and, in due course, I submitted the first three chapters of it to a competition run by the Romance Writers of Australia.

I didn’t win. (Did you really think the big finish was this quick?  Have you never seen any movies?)

I came second.  (Rejoicing!)

The editor who judged didn’t request my manuscript.  (Misery!)

But she gave my details to another editor at Penguin, who was starting up a new digital romance imprint, called Destiny Romance.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

(Actually, there is more to this story, but that, including the completely wrong way to handle a phone conversation with a potential publisher, is for another time!)

The point here is the one that my husband made at the time.  I said that this opportunity had come out of the blue.  He said no, it hadn’t.  He said it had come because I had kept working.  Yes, it was for work that I did earlier, but it was the work that I was doing now that got it noticed.  It was, in his words, all part of the body of work.

Or in other words, it happened because I kept writing.

So, here’s my first piece of advice, if you want to be a writer:

WRITE.

Because if you do, you too will have the chance to communicate some of the way you see the world with other people.  And some of them will ‘get it’.  And that is the true joy – and I couldn’t mean that more sincerely – of things like this: 2012 ARRA finalist

So, here’s today’s question for those who want to be writers: Watcha workin’ on?

OH. MY. GIDDY. AUNT!

Okay, I had a post organised for today.  It was all about how I’ve determined that I’m going to finish long-standing crafty projects and post more of my quick and easy recipes and all that good stuff.  But then, I saw THIS.

The Australian Romance Readers Association has published the finalists for their 2012 awards and I AM ON THE LIST!

Or rather, this is:

Rules are for breaking

My little Romance is flying the flag for my publisher, Destiny Romance.  Whatever happens now I’ll always be the first Destiny title nominated and I am THRILLED.  THRILLED, I tell you!

If you are looking at the list, I’m in Favourite Contemporary Romance (man, I loved typing that!).

For those not familiar with the Australian Romance scene, there are some very experienced and deservedly successful authors on that list.  I am honoured – and frankly a little staggered – to be included among them.

I discovered my listing last night while I was casually checking on Facebook before going to bed.  I was cruising down the list, smiling at all the friends and familiar names I saw, including several who are nominated multiple times, when BAM! – there I was.

I read it at least three times just to check I wasn’t hallucinating.  Then I checked with a night-owl friend on FB that she could see it too.

But it seems it is real.

I am so grateful to the members of ARRA who voted for me to get me to this stage.  I was feeling a little down and discouraged last night, then this landed like a message from the universe.  I’ve been too stunned to really feel it up to now, but as I type this I’m starting to tear up.  To everyone who has supported my little book, my first dip into the waters of publishing, thank you!  You rock!

Thank you too, to Carol and Sarah from Destiny for believing in me, for Arwen who helped edit and Alex who designed the cover, to Clare and Annabel from Curtis Brown and to everyone who helped make this happen.

And for any Australians who haven’t bought it yet – or who might like to buy an award nominee [squee!] as a gift – it’s still on sale for a few more days through all the outlets: Destiny, Kobo, Google Play, iTunes and Amazon.

Get in quick and grab some of the other Destiny titles as well while you’re at it!

I’m off to drink champagne for brunch!

Squee!

Forgive the squealing, I’m a bit excited!

Okay, Friday is supposed to be a favourites post, but I have had some good news and I really want to share.

First, and most importantly, my book, my little romance which Destiny Romance took a chance on, is now officially available worldwide!

Rules are for breakingIf you’re on Amazon or Apple, and can buy from the US or UK sites, I believe it’s completely good to go!  It’s been a bit of a wait, so I’m thrilled to finally be able to announce this.

But wait, there’s more!

Grand Gift Ideas from Penguin

Yesterday, I discovered, in the Penguin email newsletter that they think my book is a Grand Gift Idea! (Note capitals!)  There are a couple of other books in the newsletter, it’s true, but the prettiest one is in the bottom right corner.  Scroll down and you’ll see!

On top of all of that, lest Australian readers think they’re being left out of the good news, Destiny is having a sale on all of their titles (because much as I love my book, there are actually some other authors in the line and a big variety of romances and they’re lovely) from the 16th of December through to the 17th of January.  The reduced prices will be available through all the Australian retail sites as well as the Destiny site, so if you were planning on getting someone an e-reader for Christmas (or you get one yourself) this is a great time to stock up on some holiday reading at great prices!

So, it’s party and giveaway time here at Wine, Women and Wordplay.

I have been putting together an email mailing list so that I could let people know when there’s news (just in case they don’t check the blog every couple of days 🙂 ).  I already have some people on the list and they have already gone into the draw for this gorgeous bangle

Pand two copies of my book.  Since the news is now out, I will be closing the competition early next week and doing the draw then.  So if you want to go into the draw, sign up now!  The form is here.

And now I’m out of news, finally!  So, because it’s Friday, I will share a favourite thing, in the form of this song, by the very talented Emiliana Torrini.  It suits my mood!

Thanks for reading and avagoodweekend!

How a horse race made me forget what day it was and an interview!

Ahem.  Apparently, I forgot that yesterday was Wednesday.  This is because Tuesday here was Melbourne Cup day.  Which, because I live in Melbourne, was a public holiday.

Yes, the Melbourne Cup is a horse race.  And we have a holiday for it.  And we have the cheek to say that other places are mental! 😉  If memory serves me right, it used to be a holiday NATION-WIDE.  I feel I should say this is shocking, but actually I find it kind of endearing.  There is too little eccentricity left in the world.

For those who have never been, this little video gives you some feel for what it’s like.

http://media.canberratimes.com.au/life-and-style/spring-racing/melbourne-cup-descends-into-debauchery-3775520.html

Some do come for the racing, but most come for the party. Many, many people descend on Flemington, frocked to the nines (or dressed up in costumes, if that’s how they roll) and proceed to drink and bet the day into submission.  There are so many people indeed, that some don’t even bother trying to get in, but bring their picnic baskets and four-wheel drives and have their party in the carpark.  I kid you not.

But for others, it’s ALL about the frock.  And the ludicrous hat.  The more ludicrous the better.  And the completely nonsensical high heels.  If you’re a woman and you aren’t crippled by the end of the day, you just aren’t trying hard enough, in the footwear department.  Should you ever find yourself sharing a train carriage in Melbourne full of young women in slightly bedraggled finery, with their shoes in their hands and their bare feet glowing like rivets on the dirty floor, you’ll know it’s the end of Melbourne Cup day.

So important is the fashion, that they even have a hotly contested competition called Fashions on the Field, weather notwithstanding…

http://media.canberratimes.com.au/life-and-style/fashion/blown-away-at-fashions-on-the-field-3761046.html

So with all this excitement, is it any wonder that I forgot what day it was?

Oh okay, I wasn’t there.  I was making 38 bottles of lemon cordial from scratch for the school fete.  But I watched the race!

And then, I discovered that this interview that I did for Destiny Romance, was up on their website.  I think it came up okay, but after having paused it several times I now know why happy snaps of me at parties always look dodgy.  For your amusement, you might like to stop it 0.18, 1.29 and 3.41.  One day the wind will change, then I’ll be sorry!  Hope you like it!

Have a great Thursday!