Monday, 31 December 2007

Gratuitous Professor Hottie pic and end of year ennui

Isn't he gorgeous? I'm trying to focus on him, looking so hawt, as a way to connect better with IN TOO DEEP. I have to say, the Christmas break has really messed up my concentration, and I'm feeling slightly panicked about the months and the year ahead. There's so much to do, and some of it, I just don't want to do but I have to. Grrr... And 'cos it's there, it sort of distracts me from my focus in writing...

Everyone seems to be making lists and plans. Lists of achievements in 07 and plans for 08. I have achieved some stuff in 07, that I'm very pleased about, but I'm not one for looking back, because I always have the spectre of 'you're only as good as your *next* book' hanging over me like a looming black shadow. And that's very scary when, at the moment, I've no idea what that next book might be... and I get awfully depressed when I go to boards and blogs and folk are talking about the multi book deals they have for 08, and the fabulous book ideas that they're just dying to write.

At the moment, I feel as if I've lost some of the joy I once had in writing. And I don't think I'm going to write at my very best until I reacquire it again.

Any tips, writers out there? How do you maintain the magic and the joie de vivre in your writing when it's a job you do, of necessity, to earn your living?


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Telly: Numb3rs
Choc/Yummy: Celebration minis
Mood: despondent
Writing: nothing yet
Reading: The Ipcress File
RSI/FMS: achy


Don't forget Portia's Promos - new stuff being added all the time!

Saturday, 29 December 2007

This is just a small part...

of the Christmas chocolate I have to 'eat up'. Sigh... it's a tough job, but someone's got to do it. ;)

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Telly: Numb3rs
Choc/Yummy: see above
Mood: oppressed by sheer weight of jobs to do
Writing: not yet
Reading: The Ipcress File - Len Deighton
RSI/FMS: sore


Don't forget Portia's Promos - new stuff being added all the time!

Friday, 28 December 2007

Post Christmas Limboland

Well, it's the day after the day after Boxing Day, and I'm in a sort of post Christmas limboland. Part of me wants to try and get back into some kind of routine, while the rest of me is clinging to the 'what film is on next, shall I have another mince pie, work, wot that?' mentality of the seasonal festivities. This, coupled with the sheer mountain of 'stuff' that Christmas generates eg. wrapping paper, ludicrous amounts of extra 'strange' food, gift items to be assimilated into the household, is making it very hard for me to get into any kind of productive state of mind.

I haven't been entirely idle over the last few days. I have been doing a bit of editing on In Too Deep since Boxing Day, but it's very slow progress and my motivation level isn't high. Am very easily distracted by something on the telly or the desire for more unsuitable Xmas food. On Boxing Day itself, the book seemed like horse pooh, but yesterday, I seemed to get a sort of handle on it. But really, some of the stuff I've written is truly, truly dire. Boring, clunky, uninspired, story-less, strange characters with stupid motivations that people just won't like. This book will need many more rounds of revision after this one if it's to come anywhere near the standard of my beloved Suite Seventeen, which seems to have turned out to be one of my best works, given it's prizewinning status!

What does cheer me up though is that Suite Seventeen seemed like a pile of festering crud for much of the time while I was working on it. It too had to go through a lot of changes and enhancements. It too seemed flat and stupid and pointless. So, if I can get from that, to being judged a year's best novel, with one book, I can do it with another... And I went through the same journey with Gothic Heat too. I don't yet have much in the way of feedback other than the approval of my critique partner and my agent, but I like GH myself now, and it was really one of the hardest, hardest books I've ever had to write!!!

So there's hope for In Too Deep... I think I will probably have to go through this process with every book from now on, as part of the constant raising of the bar. Both in terms of my own writing, and because of fabulous books I read by other writers. I've got to keep pushing, working, improving, not accepting anything less than my best. It's tough out in romance writing world and you can't let yourself slide, even in the tiniest way... You can't sit back and think, 'oh, I'm the dog's wotsits, everybody loves me, I don't have to try now...' because there are hundreds of writers out there, with great ideas, who readers are going to discover and abandon you for if you don't produce the goods to the best of your ability!

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Telly: not yet
Choc/Yummy: mince pie in a minute
Mood: uneasy
Writing: not yet
Reading: not yet
RSI/FMS: very, very sore and achy, mainly due to waking up with small but heavy cat sitting on my rib cage!


Don't forget Portia's Promos - new stuff being added all the time!

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Wahey, I won an Award!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Guess what?

SUITE SEVENTEEN has been judged the:

2007 "Romance: B(u)y the Book" Best Contemporary Erotic Romance

Isn't this awesome news? Especially as it's one of my faves of all my own books... :)

It's like Christmas just started all over again today here!


Check out the rest of the Year's Best list here

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Telly: not yet
Choc/Yummy: not yet
Mood: thrilled
Writing: not yet
Reading: not yet
RSI/FMS: who cares


Don't forget Portia's Promos - new stuff being added all the time!

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Our Xmas DVD viewing...



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Telly: Tanks!
Choc/Yummy: everything
Mood: Christmassy
Writing: In Too Deep
Reading: Radio Times
RSI/FMS: so so


Don't forget Portia's Promos - new stuff being added all the time!

Friday, 21 December 2007

Amazon.com now...

In Too Deep

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Telly: Numb3rs
Choc/Yummy: mince pies, lindor
Mood: bit out of sorts
Writing: editing In Too Deep
Reading: ComputerActive/Cosmopolitan
RSI/FMS: so so


Don't forget Portia's Promos - new stuff being added all the time!

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Today's Photos


I am eating too many of these... the demon puff pastry mince pies!


Alice looking grumpy in her new favourite sleeping spot, himself's sock drawer.

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Telly: Numb3rs S2
Choc/Yummy: see above
Mood: okay
Writing: In Too Deep
Reading: Lord of Scoundrels
RSI/FMS: so so


Don't forget Portia's Promos - new stuff being added all the time!

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Oh God!


In Too Deep is listed at Amazon.co.uk!!!!!!!!!!!

How can it be listed when it's still only a half @ssed, barely half written piece of crap!

ps. just realised that it's going to be published in the UK on my wedding anniversary too.

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Telly: Hot Fuzz
Choc/Yummy: cake
Mood: not too bad
Writing: In Too Deep
Reading: Lord of Scoundrels
RSI/FMS: a bit sore


Don't forget Portia's Promos - new stuff being added all the time!

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Back in the saddle...

... writing IN TOO DEEP again aka Professor Hottie McHotstuff's story.

I looked at my records and it's nearly a month since I worked on this book, and that's quite a gap. I wanted to keep moving forward, but I knew I had to go back and 'learn' the book again. A tough choice, but I compromised. I completed the sex fantasy scene I was working on when I left the book, then scooted back to the beginning and began reading/editing again. At first the text seemed a bit wooden, but after a little while, it started to come alive a bit more, and I was getting a better feel for it. And for Gwendolynne, my librarian heroine; Nemesis, my secretive and pervy anti-hero, and Professor Daniel Brewster, my hero. I think it could be all right, if I weed out some of the terribly clunky language, and just get real with it.

Am facing a challenge, as usual, but overall, I'm really, really glad to be back with this story...

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Telly: Numb3rs S1
Choc/Yummy: cherry Madeira cake
Mood: good
Writing: 1K In Too Deep
Reading: Lord of Scoundrels
RSI/FMS: extremely achey and tired


Don't forget Portia's Promos - new stuff being added all the time!

This just made me giggle....

funnyƂ pictures
moar funny pictures

I'm sure the doggie was okay afterwards... :)


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Telly: not yet
Choc/Yummy: not yet
Mood: okay
Writing: thinking about it
Reading: nothing yet today
RSI/FMS: sore and tired


Don't forget Portia's Promos - new stuff being added all the time!

Monday, 17 December 2007

Entertaining Mr Stone - German cover

Hot or what? The translation seems to be 'The Boss'...

I think this must be a piccie of Mr Stone as a younger man, because in the book, he's a fairly stocky middle aged guy, not a young stud with a six pack!

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Telly: not yet
Choc/Yummy: jam tart
Mood: panicky over stuff to do
Writing: notes for In Too Deep
Reading: Lord of Scoundrels
RSI/FMS: bit sore, not too bad


Don't forget Portia's Promos - new stuff being added all the time!

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Ups and Downs...

Yesterday, I was astonishing!!! I wrote 4K words on The Retreat. Yes, a whole 4000 words in one day... isn't that amazing. I felt like a real, productive writer, the sort I read about in blogs who are prolific as nobody's business and are surging forward and securing faboo contracts all over the place!

Today, I'm less astonishing... in fact, I'm crap. Have done nothing so far, and have got hooked into watching a movie I know I shouldn't have, because I won't be able to stop now...

It's about this guy...

Jason Bourne - one man mayhem factory. Mmmmm..... me like.



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Telly: The Bourne Ultimatum
Choc/Yummy: thorntons alpini bar
Mood: disatisfied with self
Writing: **** all
Reading: Lord of Scoundrels
RSI/FMS: achy


Don't forget Portia's Promos - new stuff being added all the time!

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

What a relief!

After grappling with a variety of Christmas stuff, and a deluge of web design chores, I'm finally writing again... Thank God for that! I'd almost forgotten what it's like!

My current WIP is my romantic BDSM novella The Retreat, with a hero, Ben Chambers, inspired by Eisenheim the Illusionist aka Edward Norton.

Isn't he gorgeous?

I think I have a slight thing for handsome guys with beards. The Divine Vincenzo looks fab with some facial hair, and Professor Hottie often seems to be sporting a manly growth of designer stubble. Mmmmm....



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Telly: Top Gear
Choc/Yummy: jam tart
Mood: okay
Writing: 1.2K The Retreat
Reading: Lord of Scoundrels
RSI/FMS: so so


Don't forget Portia's Promos - new stuff being added all the time!

Monday, 10 December 2007

Isn't this adorable?

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Don't you just adore ICanHasCheezburger?


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Telly: LOCI
Choc/Yummy: choc brioche thing
Mood: stressed
Writing: not this morning
Reading: Lord of Scoundrels
RSI/FMS: very sore and tired


Don't forget Portia's Promos - new stuff being added all the time!

Sunday, 9 December 2007

I'm High School Standard reading... is that good?




ps. if you do this test for your own blog, watch out for the sneaky link added into the html code. Just slice out the offender before adding to your blog post. :)

Don't forget Portia's Promos - new stuff being added all the time!

Friday, 7 December 2007

Review! :)


Extremely chuffed today to read a lovely Five Ribbon review of SUITE SEVENTEEN by Lacey at Romance Junkies!

Here are some of her comments "My first thought after finishing this novel was wow!" and "well developed and creative, giving something new to the erotic genre."

Not bad, eh? :)

You can read the full review here.



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Telly: not yet
Choc/Yummy: not yet
Mood: pleased by above
Writing: not yet
Reading: Lord of Scoundrels
RSI/FMS: so so


Don't forget Portia's Promos - new stuff being added all the time!

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Phew, what a brilliant day!

Well, I had the best time yesterday over at the Let's Talk Romance blog! It was a blast! The question of the day was... "do you prefer glamorous exotic locales and situations or more everyday backgrounds as settings for your erotic romances" but the chat amongst the Michelle and the Bellas ranged across all manner of topics to do with my favourite genre!

The conclusion was... I think... that we all like a good mix of fantastical 'luxe' settings and sexy fun in the same sort of town, hamlet, village, city, workplace etc that we actually live in. Which just goes to prove that the old saw 'variety is the spice of life' is alive and well! :)

Another conclusion was that there's a great fondness in Bellaland for brawny lumberjacks, sexy window cleaners, horny guys who ride motorcycles and even a certain eccentric and exotic Italian stud who wears a frock every now and again! LOL

Romance B[u]y the Book aka Let's Talk Romance is just the most wonderful place, and I urge all lovers of romantic fiction, in whatever its many marvellously diverse sub genres, to visit and join in the friendly, funny, thoughtful and sometimes quite intense chat there.

You won't regret it!

And the fun and provocative chat is in full force today, as Erotic Romance Week continues with a guest blog from Elizabeth Scott aka Janice Maynard, who has a very special take on erotic romance that I really like the sound of. ;) And tomorrow, it's Pam Rosenthal!



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Telly: Top Gear
Choc/Yummy: Tesco Belgian Milk
Mood: very good
Writing: more of The Retreat
Reading: Lord of Scoundrels - Loretta Chase
RSI/FMS: so so


Don't forget Portia's Promos - new stuff being added all the time!

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Two big events today... well, sort of...


Yes, as I mentioned yesterday, it's EROTIC ROMANCE WEEK at Bella Michelle's Romance: B[u]y the Book and today's guest blogger is little old me! Wittering on about this and that, as usual... Well, the title is 'Write About What You Know...' - which is very naughty of me because it *isn't* me answering that terrible chestnut of a question that all erotica authors get asked. No, it's more about writing sexy about everyday settings and people as opposed to exotic, made up stuff.

Anyway... click here to read the post and join in the comment chat. You'll need to register at Lifetime TV, but it's very easy. Just remember not to leave any gaps in your chosen username, and if you live outside the US, you can register as if you lived in Beverly Hills by using CA/90210 as state/zip code! Posh, eh?

Oh, and don't forget to read the fabulous Emma Holly's post from yesterday!

And as if that isn't enough excitement, it's also a big day over at Lust Bites too.




The blog is a hundred years old today... no, sorry, one year old today... and there are zillions of fantastic prizes in the Grand Scavenger Hunt, including excellent goodies from me, such as HOTBED, CONTINUUM and GOTHIC BLUE!

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Telly: not yet
Choc/Yummy: not yet
Mood: okay
Writing: 1.2K of THE RETREAT last night
Reading: Lord of Scoundrels
RSI/FMS: a bit sore


Don't forget Portia's Promos - new stuff being added all the time!

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Sorry for the gaps...

... but I will try and do better now that my Gothic Heat proofs are turned in. Boy was that a task! As usual, I didn't trust the first check, so I forced myself to do another... which was good job, as I found lots and lots of snafus on the second pass. And many of them weren't ones that a proof corrector, looking for just spelling and stuff, would have picked up on. You wouldn't think that a novel from somebody who plots as little as I do could have many continuity errors, but believe me, even with the slightest of plots, it's possible!

And now I have to get back to writing, as well as a zillion other jobs that have stacked up while I've been doing proofs. My first task is a short novella, workingly titled The Retreat, which I have to finish by the end of December. It's going to be one of those naughty ones with spanking and power games, and in the course of some movie viewing, I've discovered the perfect hero for it.

Edward Norton, looking stern and delicious as Eisenheim, in The Illusionist. I love his power and his quiet composure, qualities that make him ideal as a model for my subtle but dominant Ben. My story isn't historical, but there's certainly a slight anachronistic and Edwardian bohemian quality to this guy.

In other news, don't forget to check out my interview at Lovehoney, mentioned below, and tomorrow, I'll be guestblogging at lovely Bella Michelle Buonfiglio's 'Let's Talk Romance' blog, as part of EROTIC ROMANCE WEEK. Why not visit there today, too, as the guest is the fabulous Emma Holly with some of her romance writing friends.


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Telly: nothing yet
Choc/Yummy: nothing yet
Mood: bit stressed
Writing: soon
Reading: Lord of Scoundrels - Loretta Chase
RSI/FMS: very achy and tired


Don't forget Portia's Promos - new stuff being added all the time!

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Exciting Suite Seventeen news!


SUITE SEVENTEEN is the featured title for December at the Lovehoney Erotic Book Club!

There's an interview with me here. An excerpt here. And more info on the book here.




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Telly: The Illusionist
Choc/Yummy: not yet
Mood: okay
Writing: checking Gothic Heat proofs
Reading: Claiming the Courtesan
RSI/FMS: so so


Don't forget Portia's Promos - new stuff being added all the time!