Monday, 29 December 2008

IN TOO DEEP - another nice review!


IN TOO DEEP has received another super review! This time it's from Sarah W at Romance Junkies, and she says it's "an intriguing and very fun story" and "Sexy, sexy, sexy! Portia Da Costa had me hooked..."

Here's the full review. Many thanks, Sarah. :)

Sunday, 28 December 2008

The ingenuity of Mulder

Was walking through the hall, and heard a rustling sound coming from a pile of coats there, which were on top of the box containing our new boiler [it's a long story...] As I watched, there was movement amongst the coats, and a second later, a head popped out!

Mulder loves to 'nest'. :)

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

'Tis the season...

... to eat loads and loads of these muthas!

My thighs are begging for mercy, but the orgy of Mince Pies has begun!

Enjoy Christmas Eve folks! Hope the last minute shopping and prep aren't too gruelling, and that pretty soon the warm glow of peace and goodwill enfolds you. :)

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

I should never get off the Merry-Go-Round!

I've come to the conclusion that I should never completely get off the merry-go-round of writing, no matter how ill or tired or uninspired I feel.

If I ever stop writing for a day, it's twice as hard to start again the next day, and three times as hard if I leave it a couple of days... and so on, and so on. And so the feeling grows and perpetuates until writing becomes some horrible, hated monster I just can't face.

I've been falling off the merry-go-round quite a bit in this last month or two. Health problems, other worries, life crap and other disappointments have all put me again and again in a 'I'll take a break today' mood and those 'day' breaks have turned into longer and longer intervals between writing. And this just won't do!!!!

These gaps make me easily forget that I *can* actually write, and even if I'm not one of these golden, talented writers who everybody adores, I am quite good at some aspects of the craft, and quite a few people *do* love what I do! :)

I also forget how much I *enjoy* writing, if I don't do it. I somehow manage to block all memory of the pleasure I experience from writing, and only remember the hard aspects of it, like coming up with plots and ideas... I focus on my shortcomings instead of relishing and celebrating my strengths.

So, from today onwards, I will be engaged in attempt no. #23,742 to write a little bit of something every single day, even if I don't feel like it and haven't the foggiest idea what project to work on! Call this me getting an early start on my New Year's Resolutions!

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

A new review for an older title...

I just found a delightful and very thoughtful review of SUITE SEVENTEEN at Just Erotic Romance Reviews!

Reviewer Roxy Blue describes it as "an engaging read with strong character development, splashes of humor, and arousing sex" and says "Trust me, Valentino will surprise you repeatedly as you read this engaging novel"...

Great stuff, eh? You can read the full review here!

Saturday, 13 December 2008

What's going on...

Ack, another terrible gap in my blog, so better check in and report what's going on around here.

Not a great deal to be honest. At the moment, I seem to be bouncing around between quite a few writing projects and finding it hard to settle on just one. My head is a pot luck stew of ideas, all milling around together, rather than gelling into strong story concepts. My jottings notebook has bits and pieces from across about half a dozen different stories, novels and novellas. I find it a bit disquieting, to be honest, too, as I'm an author who usually likes to immerse herself in one big project and really get inside my characters and live their story.

I think I'll be more settled when I hear some news from publishing land. Apart from one remaining Spice Brief, I'm pretty much out of contract at the moment. I have some stuff 'out' and my agent is pursuing it, so hopefully, I might have something to focus on soon. But it's tough right now, for obvious reasons, and horror stories keep floating around. Authors dumped, lines contracting or disappearing, publishers cutting back all round. Very scary. As my agent said, though, all I can do is keep writing my fiction. Actually, she said 'the wonderful fiction that you write'... so I'm hoping that I can manage to be wonderful enough to snag a new contract of some kind soon. :)

On the home front, the recession or whatever you choose to call it is hitting hard too, just as it is for many thousands and thousands of families, small or larger, across the globe. Like everyone else, himself and I are looking to cut our bills a bit, and squish any tendencies towards extravagance. Looks like we'll be plumping for supermarket own brands and cheaper options more than ever from now on.

And it's certainly looking like yours truly will *not* be winging her way across the pond to RWA in 2009, much as I'd love to. I had such a ball this year, and met so many fabulous buddies, but a major, major expense like that is just out of the question in the short term future.... Wah!!!!!

Anyway, to cheer me up, and to cheer you gentle readers up, here's a goodie I found at Cute Overload that has me chortling every time I watch it... Enjoy!

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Another wonderful review!

I've got flu or some kind of virus crap thing at the moment, but a new review of IN TOO DEEP has really listed my spirits! It's by Julie Bonello at EcataSensual, and this is what she has to say about ITD...

In Too Deep is another fabulous classic from one of the pioneers of erotic romance: Portia Da Costa. Steamy, sexy, tender, sensual and poignant, In Too Deep is a sizzling story about two flawed souls coming together from the pen of one of the genre’s most talented, most innovative and most original voices.

If you want to read the very best in erotic romance, forget about the rest and read the very best: Portia Da Costa!

Not bad, eh? Really makes me feel better about my writing at a time when my confidence and motivation are bit low. :)

IN TOO DEEP - review at EcataRomance Sensual


Tuesday, 2 December 2008

New Interview

There's a new interview with me up at ERWA at the moment. My friend Ashley Lister - author, journalist, reviewer and all round renaissance man - asked me a few 'Between the Lines' questions about how I create and then re-use characters, especially in my Stoneworld novels.

Between the Lines - Portia Da Costa

For those of you not aware of Stoneworld, it's the fictional northern municipal borough I created around this delicious man... Borough Director of Finance Robert Stone as 'played' by the awesome Vincent D'Onofrio. :)

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Auction for Jo Leigh

Author Jo Leigh, a buddy from the Seventy Days of Sweat challenge, lost her husband earlier this year to cancer. As if losing the love of her life wasn't terrible and heartbreaking enough, Jo has also been left saddled with enormous medical bills too, so people in the romance community are getting together in a grand auction to raise some money to help Jo out.

Items on offer include bundles of books, critiques by authors, agents and editors, author mentoring, and all sorts of other highly desirable goodies. I'm offering a collection of four signed books from my backlist, and the winner can choose which ones they want, as long as I have copies available. :)

Click the button below to visit a page with full details of all the auction items...



Happy bidding!

Friday, 28 November 2008

Bits and bats...

First of all...

READ A HOT EXCERPT OF 'CHANCE OF A LIFETIME' AT LUSTBITES!

Well, I've finished writing KISS IT BETTER and the manuscript file has gone off to the editor now. After quite a wrangle with this mutha throughout the months I've been writing it, I did end up liking the story and the characters very much. It's very sexy, in a playful sort of way, and has a rather touching [hopefully] romantic storyline at the heart of it. It's also a Stoneworld story, although characters from previous books only appear in a peripheral sort of way, and then only one or two of them. I didn't want to shoehorn everyone into it, and it seem too contrived in consequence. ;)

I've also just sent off a story for the Black Lace 'Misbehaviour' anthology. This isn't a commissioned piece, so fingers crossed everyone that the editor likes it and wants to include it. 'The Distraction' is a rather naughty BDSM type story, and another of my older woman/younger man tales... although not cougarish, as it's definitely the guy who's the hunter in this case!

With those two projects off my desk, I now have to decide what to do next. I've been working on the second of my Risque Reunions novelettes for Spice Briefs, and have a first draft of SECOND TIME AROUND. That's currently sitting and 'fermenting', ready for me to go back to it and edit and polish it with a fresh eye in a little while. I have the third of the Risque Reunions to write, but I need to give that some serious thought, as it's going to be the most emotional of the three and will need careful handling.

Aside from that, I'd like to sub to two more Black Lace anthos, The Affair and Sexy Little Numbers, although I must admit I don't have the foggiest clue what to write for either of those as yet.

What else? Who knows... I don't seem to be the most efficient of career planners, as there's nothing commissioned in the hopper after Risque Reunions. :(

I've got some ideas, but there's nothing 'big' enough somehow... no high concepts, no storylines that grab me by the throat and demand that I write them. It's hard... I feel I should be stretching myself and pushing myself, but I'm not quite sure in what direction.

Anybody out there got any suggestions? What would you like to see ol' PDC write?

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Normal service...

will be resumed eventually! I've been hard at work finishing and polishing KISS IT BETTER, and thinking about new stories and ideas. :)

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Shock! Horror!

I thought my cats adored me... but it seems it may be an evil deception...

Is your cat plotting to kill you?

Link sent to me by my friend Ruth from the naughty LoveHoney site, where IN TOO DEEP has received some rave reviews from readers.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Keep it up, Portia!


Well, I've had a really good firs week on the Seventy Days of Sweat challenge. Yesterday, in spite of already having reached my weekly goal total, and thus being subject to the temptation to take a day off, I managed to clock up a tidy 1K words and maintain my output. Now, that means I could have a day off today... The total on the right shows that I've already 'done' today's writing, but I'm determined not to succumb to slacking this time round, so hopefully I'll be working.

The other big news is that crit partner Saskia has read all of KISS IT BETTER now and she really likes it and thinks it works! Wahey! Feel *so* much better now... I was so incredibly worried about this one. There are some tweaks and bits to do to it, but nothing radical, so it looks as if it's going to be ready nicely in time for the deadline. I also have to read through and polish a short story for a Black Lace anthology for around the same date, although that's not a commissioned piece, so crossed fingers will be required that it meets with approval.

My other ongoing projects are my two remaining Spice Briefs to finish [first of those is well on the way] and a couple more stories I'd like to write for subbing to two other Black Lace anthos. After that, who knows...

Readers, what would you like ol' PDC to tackle next?

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Busy Week!

It's been a busy week this week!

Started out by reading through and editing my main WiP, KISS IT BETTER. Was worried about this book, but as I read it, I discovered that I didn't think it was quite as crappy as I'd feared, and ended up really enjoying certain bits of it. Even though I'd written it... It's a fairly frisky and sexy story, but there's also sort of reunited lovers angle in there too, that tends to make me go 'ah' a bit, even though I wrote it. Whether it'll induce that reaction in my readers remains to be seen, but preliminary news from crit partner Saskia is very encouraging. The first half at least gets a thumbs up from her, although I'm rather afraid that, thanks to me, she might never be able to put Lurpak spreadable butter on her jacket potatoes ever again! LOL

At the same time as all this KIB activity, I've also been participating in the Seventy Days of Sweat challenge... and trying to rack up *new* words on a different project entirely. This is unusual for me, as I'm the world's worst multi tasker, but actually, I've managed much better than I expected, and I've written about 5.5K words on SECOND TIME AROUND, which is a commissioned Spice Briefs novella, and the second story in my Risque Reunions trilogy. STA is about a couple who were married then divorced, but who meet up again at a school reunion. In the meantime, both have grown up, and learnt a lot about themselves. They discover a new perspective on their relationship, their sensual needs... and their love. I'm enjoying writing this, especially as Mr Daniel Craig has kindly agreed to star in the role of James. [honestly, I'd chosen the name and the storyline first... before I even cast 007 in the part!]

Thursday, 6 November 2008

This blog thing is total BS!




Your Personality is Somewhat Rare (ISFP)



Your personality type is caring, peaceful, artistic, and calm.

Only about 7% of all people have your personality, including 8% of all women and 6% of all men

You are Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, and Perceiving.


Yeah, I'm artistic, and I care about my friends and loved ones and people in general if they are decent and kind to others... but peaceful? Calm? Don't make me laugh! I'm mostly a seething cauldron of disgruntled rage... and that's on a good day! LOL

Found this one courtesy of my buddy Nadia, via Twitter.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Mini Review - Caught in the Act - Saskia Walker

Here's a delightful pocket sized reading treat for you! CAUGHT IN THE ACT, by my writing buddy Saskia Walker... a short novella about wild sexy shenanigans in the pursuit of office espionage. Hunky but deliciously devious Liam and fiesty Chrissie burn up the cyberpages in this fast paced story, but share moments of tenderness too. Saskia's writing is warm and vivid, as always, and even in this short format, her story people are strong characters who quickly make you like them. Bravo!

You can read a hot taster of this ebook at:

http://www.saskiawalker.co.uk/caughtintheact.html

And it's available from:

eHarlequin

Amazon Kindle

Fictionwise

Plus various other ebook outlets

Monday, 3 November 2008

Do you like bargains?

Well, nip over to eHarlequin's AFTEROON DELIGHTS between Noon and 3pm today, 3rd November, and you can get CHANCE OF A LIFETIME for the super duper bargain price of only 89 cents!

What's more you can also get Saskia Walker's delicious CAUGHT IN THE ACT at this unbeatable price, and a variety of other tempting short ebooks from Harlequin, including the exciting new HISTORICAL UNDONE line!

The Afternoon Delights promotion is running throughout all this working week, from 3rd November to 7th November, with a different selection of titles every day.

Dig in folks! At these prices, you can't lose!

HARLEQUIN AFTERNOON DELIGHTS

Saturday, 1 November 2008

At last, I'm a Harlequin Author!


Let joy be unconfined! A twenty year old dream comes true today... I'm a Harlequin author at last!

Yes, today sees the publication of my first Spice Brief ebook title CHANCE OF A LIFETIME, the story of Rose who finds unexpected perks to the temporary job she takes at Blaystock Manor while waiting to pursue her dream career in the Caribbean. These unforeseen employment benefits take the form of her tall, dark, delicious and very perverse employer, the mysterious Marquis.

You can meet the Marquis here in a tantalising excerpt, and buy his and Rose's sexy story from eHarlequin, Fictionwise, Books on Board and Amazon Kindle.

And don't forget that today is also the publication day of HOT ON HER TAIL by my writing buddy Saskia Walker.

Visit Saskia's Blog today for a yummy excerpt of this delicious third instalment of her Loving on the Edge trilogy!

Oh, and don't forget to enter our Twice as Spicey contest for a chance to win print books from both of us. :)

Friday, 31 October 2008

TWICE AS SPICEY! A CELEBRATORY CONTEST

UPDATED! SEE END OF POST!

Portia Da Costa
and Saskia Walker are celebrating a joint release day over at Harlequin Spice Briefs!

On November 1st CHANCE OF A LIFETIME by Portia and HOT ON HER TAIL by Saskia
are available for download. Two hot, kinky, and sexy reads!





To celebrate, we are running a contest for our readers. Check out the excerpts and answer the following questions.

a) in CHANCE OF A LIFETIME what colour eyes does the Marquis have?
b) in HOT ON HER TAIL what object does Colin take off Lara?

You will find the excerpts here:

http://www.portiadacosta.com/chance.html
http://www.saskiawalker.co.uk/hotonhertail.html

Send your answers to: saskiawalker@gmail.com with TWICE AS SPICEY CONTEST in the subject line.

One lucky prizewinner will win a TWICE AS SPICEY prize – a print novel from us both! GEMINI HEAT (Black Lace 15th anniversary edition) from Portia and DOUBLE DARE from Saskia.



The contest will stay open until Saturday 8th November.

STOP PRESS!

If you buy CHANCE OF A LIFETIME from the AFTERNOON DELIGHTS web page, between noon and 3pm EST on Monday 3rd November 08, you'll get it for the stunning bargain price of only 99 cents! It's a snip!

MANY AFTERNOON DELIGHTS HERE!

Monday, 27 October 2008

Hee hee, it's popping up all over now!

Chance has popped up at Fictionwise now too! It'll not be long before it appears at Harlequin, and I'll have achieved the dream of a lifetime... ie. become a Harlequin author at last, after waiting around 20 long years!

There's also an insanely hot and kinky excerpt from Chance here... to whet your appetite. :)

Saturday, 25 October 2008

My latest toy!


It's a second hand Palm Tungsten T3, purchased from Ebay to replace the Psion 5x that recently died a horrible screen death. Needless to say, it's tempting me to play with it a lot, but I'm hoping to just explore it in little nibbles than spending days gorging on exploring its functions.

I blame Charlene Teglia who recommended this particular PDA to me on Twitter.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Speechless with delight!

Available on 1st November... advance deets at BOOKS ON BOARD now.

CHANCE OF A LIFETIME


Also available on the same day, to my utter delight!

HOT ON HER TAIL by Saskia Walker

I'm totally thrilled that my buddy and I have a shared release date!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Normal service will be resumed...


Am having a bit of trouble catching up with stuff at the moment, so I'm not sure when I'll be blogging again... Have lots to post inc. lovely reviews, covers, me-mes, bits of news in general, so hopefully there'll be something again shortly.

In the meantime, here's a link to one review. Done by the fabulous Wendy the Superlibrarian for IN TOO DEEP.

HE'S SO SHY!

Have to admit, was pretty blown away when I read it. It's cool to know I'm so appreciated!

More review news shortly...

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

KISS IT BETTER - cover

Just look at this awesome mutha! Isn't it divine? I'm thrilled to bits!

Now, those of you who've been following this blog will know that Jay Bentley, the hero, has a rather nifty goatee beard... but methinks that any time now there'll be a scene where he shaves it off! ;)

At least it's not like GOTHIC HEAT, where I had to rewrite Rafe's hairstyle completely. At least I can make Jay's cover status as clean shaven part of the plot this time!

I am smiling today!!!!

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Still grappling...

... with a to do list that's far too unwieldy, and a work in progress that doesn't quite know what it wants to be.

It's tough to think up blog posts when your mind is going round in circles.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Visit me at Lust Bites today!

To read an incredibly rude and naughty excerpt from IN TOO DEEP. :)

Hot exploits in the library archives, and much abuse of dilapidated furniture! Hee hee!

Click here to enjoy the fun...

This guy has a lot to answer for...

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

I'm a rubbish blogger, aren't I?

Sorry for not blogging much lately. I have been pretty busy, what with one thing or another...

I've been trying to do a regular writing stint each day, towards a weekly total of 8000 words. Not massive by some people's standards, but enough so that if I keep chugging along at this rate, I'll reach my deadline on KISS IT BETTER fairly comfortably with time to spare for a good edit. Which it'll need!

This week, I've also been prepping an excerpt post for LUST BITES in Friday. This is a bit from IN TOO DEEP. I find it very, very hard to choose excerpts for these sorts of thing. I can never pick out a piece that seems to be standalone, and yet a good sample of the book. The bit I've chosen for Friday is pretty naughty stuff, so I hope anyone who reads this, will nip along and read and hopefully leave a comment. There will be a prize!

I've also been hanging about on Twitter quite a bit, something of which I'm unashamed. I love Twitter and I love my buddies there. I originally started tweeting as a way to have micro updates to this blog [see right] but inevitably, I got hooked into Twitter itself and the interaction with other Tweeters... But it's easy to do, and not too taxing on the grey matter. Just like chatting with a bunch of buddies, really.

Have been doing some reading and DVD watching too. I'm reading the Belle De Jour memoir and at the same time, watching the telly version on DVD. In some ways they're very different, but in others, the essence is the same. Am enjoying both. Belle is a very good writer. I didn't read the blog very much at the time the entries in the book were posted, but I like her conversational style. Dare I say that in some ways, it reminds me of my own first person writing?

Friday, 19 September 2008

Stolen from Cute Overload... couldn't resist!



Hilarious! Thanks to the folks at Cute Overload for bringing this to my attention today!

It's that day again!



My pirate name is:


Black Morgan Flint



Like anyone confronted with the harshness of robbery on the high seas, you can be pessimistic at times. Like the rock flint, you're hard and sharp. But, also like flint, you're easily chipped, and sparky. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.
part of the fidius.org network

Six Unspectacular Quirks About me

Nadia tagged me.

The rules:

  1. Link to the person who tagged you.
  2. Post the rules on your blog.
  3. List 6 unspectacular quirks you have.
  4. Tag 6 bloggers by linking them.
  5. Leave a comment on each person’s blog to let them know they’ve been tagged.

Six Unspectacular Quirks About Me:

  1. I used to eat 2 or 3 bananas a day, and now I've gone right off them. Am experimenting with pears and grapes.

  2. I have an office all of my own... but can't work in it because it's uninhabitable.

  3. I always wear black when I get dressed up to go anywhere and I never even look at clothes in other colours when I go shopping.

  4. I went to RWA in San Francisco at the end of July... and I still haven't fully unpacked my suitcase.

  5. I eat breakfast cereal for lunch... or porridge.

  6. I am totally ruled by my cats.

Tagging: nobody specific, but if you feel inclined to have a bash at the 'six unspectacular quirks', please do, and let me know what you come up with! :)

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Grovelling apologies...

... for being a rubbish blogger.

It's the usual excuses. Busy trying to engage with the old WIP and not doing so great. Trying to come up with some ideas for new book proposals. And generally feeling a bit rough and under the weather. The latter is nothing serious, nothing to worry about... just basically the knackerage of old age and damp weather produce aches and twinges.

Still slogging away with KISS IT BETTER, which you'll see by my counter is nearly a third done. I really need to buckle down and crack on with this though. Time is flying by, and the deadline of 1st December is fast approaching... along with Christmas!!!! Agh!

Proposals-wise... well, it's always a struggle. I am so crud at coming with new ideas! Have a few bits and bobs slowly coalescing, but my agent would like to be sending stuff out sooner, rather than later, so must try and focus on that too!

Keep watching my Tweets on the right, by the way. Even if I'm not doing full blog posts, I mostly twit on a bit, several times a day! :)

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Omigod!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Kiss it Better has popped up on Amazon.co.uk!!!!!!

I've only written about 21K of the mutha so far... better get my finger out and rack up some words!

KissDay is 4th June 2009!

Breaking news from CERN!

A big day for Big Science!

The Large Hadron Collider has just been switched on! And apparently, according to tweets by the wife of one of the scientists, the first beam has already been around the the accelerator three times! Don't think they've actually smashed any atoms yet, so no sign of the Higgs Boson for a while yet.

Here's a game to play that explains some of the science.

And there's even an LHC rap!