Sep 30, 2012

Sunday Smooch with Anna Campbell .......

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from Seven Nights In The Rogue's Bed by Anna Campbell, but first ...

the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is -- Alyssa Susanna!

Congratulations, Alyssa! Can you please contact Barbara De Leo at barb (at) barbaradeleo (dot) com to claim your prize.

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Seven Nights In The Rogue's Bed by Anna Campbell .....

Will a week of seduction...

Desperate to save her sister's life, Sidonie Forsythe has agreed to submit herself to a terrible fate: Beyond the foreboding walls of Castle Craven, a notorious, hideously scarred scoundrel will take her virtue over the course of seven sinful nights. Yet instead of a monster, she encounters a man like no other. And during this week, she comes to care for Jonas Merrick in ways that defy all logic-even as a  dark secret she carries threatens them both.

...Spark a lifetime of passionate surrender?

Ruthless loner Jonas knows exactly who he is. Should he forget, even for a moment, the curse he bears, a mere glance in the mirror serves as an agonizing reminder. So when the lovely Sidonie turns up on his doorstep, her seduction is an even more delicious prospect than he originally planned. But the hardened outcast is soon moved by her innocent beauty, sharp wit, and surprising courage. Now as dangerous enemies gather at the gate to destroy them, can their new, fragile love survive?


[Set-up: Sidonie and Jonas have gone riding on the beach outside Castle Craven, his crumbling lair on the wild Devon coast. He kisses her and realizes she’s never kissed a man before. He’s about to give her a very nice lesson!]

Devon Coast, November 1826

Heat. Softness. Trembling uncertainty. A hidden longing to respond. Jonas tasted all of that when he dipped his lips to Sidonie’s. He couldn’t say why he was so deeply moved to be the first man to kiss her. Her merest presence aroused him. It had from the first. Whatever power she possessed, he was helpless against it.
Experimentally, he nibbled, licked at the seam. She was bewitching. Even now when she conceded little more than she had when he’d kissed her last night. She quivered under his hands. He still wasn’t sure whether she was excited or frightened. He’d read both curiosity and dread in her pansy eyes. Her thick tortoiseshell hair tickled his fingers. After her wild ride, she looked enchantingly disheveled. It made him contemplate other wild rides he’d like to take with her.
Raising his head, he stared at her. Her eyes were shut and her lashes fluttered against flushed cheeks. His nostrils flared as he drew in the evocative scents of the sea and Sidonie.
“Open your mouth, tesoro.” He angled her face higher. “Open your mouth for me.”
At his raw demand, her eyes flared wide. For a drunken moment, he drowned in glorious brown, rich, autumnal, sensual.
He took advantage and claimed her, sliding his tongue into the interior. She made a sound of surprise and tried to back off. “No.”
Bella, don’t be afraid.”
She stopped edging away but her lips closed against him again. He returned to demanding nothing more than her stillness. She stood unresponsive, although her choppy breathing indicated she was far from unmoved. She resisted to the point where he thought he’d run mad with wanting her.
Just resistance, resistance, resistance. Endless resistance.
Then in the space between one second and the next, endless resistance dissolved. Her hand curved around his shoulder. On a sigh, she leaned into him. Warmth powerful enough to melt the chill from his obsidian heart enveloped him. The hand on his shoulder flexed into a caress. Her lips parted and at last gave up the honey within. Luxuriously he savored her mouth. She was delicious. His tongue flickered over hers and he heard a smothered protest.
If he had an ounce of charity in his soul, he’d release her. But her flavor was as addictive as gin to a toper. He’d blithely imagined he’d keep his head during this impromptu lesson. Instead she made a mockery of arrogance. She who had never kissed a man.

Seven Nights In The Rogue's Bed is released in the US on 25th September (Grand Central Publishing) and in Australia/New Zealand on 1st October (Harper Collins Aust)

Leave a comment to be in the draw to win a signed copy of Seven Nights In The Rogue's Bed!

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced -- and a smooch from Wild Encounter by Nikki Logan will be posted!

Sep 28, 2012

Dating and Other Dangers!

It's been a bit of a rough week here in the Anderson household - won't give you gory details, just think vomit and virus and that's enough said! Fortunately October is just around the corner and I'm so happy because that means one of my favourite books is out on the shelves (I know, we don't really have 'favourites' but this one does have a special spot in my heart).
DATING AND OTHER DANGERS is out as a Presents Extra in the US and has also been re-released digitally in the UK as part of the RIVA relaunch. The covers are quite a contrast aren't they? Which do you prefer??

So, as I'm busy doing the dreaded laundry mountain, I'm going to leave you with something far more fun--an excerpt from Dating and Other Dangers!

A ripple skittered down Nadia's spine and her brain sharpened. She blinked away the blinding effect of his beauty. He didn't look as if he hoped to score a job at the most prestigious insurance firm in the city. He looked as if he had the world and its riches at his feet already, and could take or leave anything at his leisure. But that edge was there—simmering—and something raw was a scant centimetre below his incredibly smooth surface. Something she wasn't sure she wanted to identify.

He paused another moment just inside the doorway, then carefully closed the door behind him. All the while he stared as hard at her as she belatedly realised she was staring at him. Finally he spoke. 'You're Nadia Keenan?'

She swallowed. 'That surprises you?' she asked, with a coolness that surprised her. She gestured to the seat across the table, because she was going to get a crick in her neck if she had to look that far up for another moment. Yeah, she should have stood, but her legs were as supportive as soggy tissue paper, and somehow she knew revealing weakness in front of this guy wouldn't be a smart idea.
He took the seat, moving his all-muscle, no-fat frame in a too controlled kind of way that made the ripples run even faster across her skin. Apprehension…and something else she definitely didn't want to identify. Instead her brain tracked down another avenue. Exactly how had he known to ask for her specifically? Because she was sure now he had—it wasn't Steffi fobbing anyone off. This guy was here for some very precise reason. But she was merely an HR assistant. It wasn't as if her name was listed on the company website. So why her?

Silence sharpened another second. She glanced past him, relieving her strained wide eyes and trying to regulate her pulse back to normal. Two of the walls were windows—the lower half frosted, but the upper part clear. Her clenched muscles eased a smidge. Anyone walking past could see in. There was no reason to feel isolated—no reason to feel as if the room had been sucked of all its oxygen. There was no reason for those ripples to relentlessly slither back and forth across her skin. And it wasn't exactly fear…it was that something else.

She swallowed again and drew another cooling breath. 'How can I help—?'
'What's the policy on internet use here at Hammond?' he interrupted.
Pressing her lips together, she nudged the recruitment pack on the table between them, avoiding looking at him as she pulled her scattered thoughts together.

'I should imagine it's pretty conservative,' he continued, before she'd collated her answer. 'Pretty conservative establishment all round, is Hammond.'

'Do you have a point, Mr.?' She paused deliberately, still not looking him in the eyes.
'Rush. Ethan Rush,' he said, as smoothly and unselfconsciously as if he were James Bond himself. 'Do you recognise my name?'

'Should I?'
'Yes, I think you should.'

She blinked and pushed the pack again, to buy another moment of thinking time. Except she couldn't really think—she could barely breathe—and her pulse was pounding. 'Well, I'm sorry, Mr Rush, you'll have to explain.'

'But you've been warned about me.'

'I have?' Startled, she looked up—and found herself snared in the reddish tint of his brown eyes—the hardness of those eyes.
'Yes, on WomanBWarned. Do you know that website, Nadia?'
In less than the micro-second it took for her to gasp, shock had covered her body in goosebumps. Every inch of her skin screamed with sensitivity; every cell was shot with adrenalin. She let another second slide, and as it did she decided to avoid—then feign ignorance. And if that failed she'd deny, deny, deny.

'Was there something you needed today, Mr Rush?'
'Yes, I wanted to be sure about the internet policy here at Hammond, and apparently you're the HR expert on it.' He didn't seem to move, but he was somehow even bigger, filling the room with ferocious energy. 'Tell me,' he said drily, 'does your employer know you run one of the bitchiest, most defamatory sites on the internet?'

Nadia's throat tightened as if a hangman's noose had just been jerked, rendering speech impossible.
'It wouldn't do your little HR role much good if your bosses found out about your hobby, would it? Not when you're sending out these little edicts to all their employees about online protocol. Not in a great position to give advice, are you?'

Nadia firmed her jaw—she resented the "hobby" description.

He pulled a paper from his pocket and unfolded it, placing it in the table. She glanced at the heading, and then back up to his simmering countenance. She didn't need to read more because she'd written most of it. The internal memo on internet access and computer use, explicitly detailing that social networking sites, forums and such, were forbidden. She'd drafted the updated policy before getting it approved by Legal and her supervisors.

'Where did you get that?' And how on earth had he tracked her down?
'I find it so ironic that you deliver seminars to the other employees about protecting their online presence and reputation when you're so vicious in cyberspace yourself.'

'Do you have a point, Mr Rush?' She curled her toes and tensed her muscles. She wanted to escape but refused to run away. Because she really needed to know what his point was. Despite her hammering heart, she told herself to keep calm. She was safe. She'd never used Hammond computers for her forums and she never would—her job mattered too much.
'What do you think, Nadia? Why am I here?'

She shrugged her shoulders slightly. 'No reason I can think of. Unless you wish to discuss possible employment at Hammond, I don't think we have anything to say to each other.'

He smiled as he surveyed her. Sitting back in his seat, he was now completely at ease, as if he was the one who worked here, and not total stranger who'd just come in off the street. And he was completely gorgeous, in an all-male, all-arrogant way.

Oh, yes—woman be warned. She knew his type—too good-looking for his own good. A spoilt playboy who'd been outed as a two/three/four or more timer for sure. And he wasn't happy about it?
Too bad.

Dating and Other Dangers is available now from: AmazonBarnes and Noble and if you’re in the UK, it’s also just been rereleased in digital form and you can grab it from Amazon UK. 

Nadia Keenan’s first date Do’s and Don’ts:

    1.     Do boost your confidence by looking hot

    2.     Don’t put out until at lease date two
    3.     If the man is trouble (however sexy!) do report all on
After being trashed on Nadia’s website, serial dater-and-dumper Ethan Rush is about to put Nadia’s rules to the test. He’s determined to change her mind about him. She’s determined to prove him for the cad he is.

Let the battle of the dates begin…

Sep 26, 2012

The morning after...

by Emmie Dark

I think I need to poll writers to see how they all feel on the day after deadline day. 

I think the poll would be multiple choice, and I think the options for answering would be along the lines of:
  • Quite sad.
  • Very sad.
  • Extremely sad.
  • Am crying into my fish fingers and custard right now.
Is it just me, LoveCatters, or is it a writerly thing? To me, it’s kind of like saying goodbye to house guests. You know, the really good kind of houseguests: the ones that do the dishes, provide entertaining company, and don’t make a mess in the bathroom. You stand in the driveway, waving goodbye as they back their car out into the street, and then you go back inside. But something’s missing. The house is too quiet. There’s a subtle kind of energy missing.

It’s a futile feeling, because of course my characters haven’t really gone anywhere. I could just open that document and visit with them all again instantly. But that special time has passed – the time when it’s just me and them, when I get to learn all about them and play with their lives like a devious, capricious god.

When I visit them next time, with my editor’s and copy editor’s revisions, it’ll be different. It won't be just us, and what will be happening will be far more "work" than those lovely first weeks we spent together discovering what was going to happen. 

I've just said "farewell" to my biggest book ever. It involves a wedding, dogs, vampires, Twitter, household accidents, a 1970 Ford Falcon XY GT, and quite a bit of steamy hawt stuff. I always love whichever book I'm working on at the time best. But I really really love this one*. 

And I've hit send. It's off to my editor. And now I'm here, at my 'puter, wondering what to do. The fact that I have a "to do" list as long as my arm filled with all the things I didn't do while I spent every waking moment writing (and some of my sleeping moments too), seems, well, irrelevant. Thank goodness I had you guys to come and chat to. Otherwise I don't know what I would have done! 

Luckily, Melbourne town has put on some sunshine today. I think I might peek out, blinking hard, and see what the outside world has got up to while I've been locked inside the deadline cave. Maybe go find a cup of tea somewhere in the sun. And then, maybe -- if I get really desperate -- have a go at attacking that "to do" list. 

Wish me luck! 

*Watch me say the same thing about whatever I write next in a couple of months' time!

Sep 25, 2012

The winner of Robyn's The Wedding Must Go On post is...

Jo Fereday!

Jo, please contact Robyn at robyn-grady (at) and she'll organise to have a copy of the book sent out to you.

Thanks, everyone, for your comments!

Sep 24, 2012

If it's worth having....

by Nikki Logan

Imagine if all babies gestated for five years. Elephants have the longest gestation of all living creatures (22 months) and all human babies come out effectively undercooked because we’re simply not built to carry them to what should be full-term (ten months). But five years....

My latest baby, Wild Encounter, had a gestation that long. It was conceived in May 2007, I typed ‘The End’ on it in August 2007 and then spent the next year reworking it over and over as I learned more and more about commercial fiction.

Then I got busy (as you do). Really busy. I signed with Harlequin for four books a year and went back to full time work, and my very patient, very understanding Africa book stepped quietly into the shadows. But for the next three years I thought about my wild dogs and my loyal conservationist heroine and my handsome, mysterious hero and I wondered how I would ever find them a home bigger than my top drawer. The book was too much of a hybrid for most publishers, including my own.

Then, along came Entangled Publishing. Their Dead Sexy line was looking for romantic suspense that was different with any mix of suspense and romance (20:80, 50:50...), and I thought ‘boy do I have a story for you!’. Fortunately for me, the senior editor for Dead Sexy, Nina Bruhns, loved the premise and the story and they bought the book in mid 2012.

And so now my baby has been born and Wild Encounter has the title I always wanted and the cover I always imagined but the story is so much more than it originally was under Dead Sexy's encouraging guidance.

It’s set in Africa and my wildlife warrior heroine, Clare, is hijacked (along with a load of unconscious African wild dogs that she’s moving to protected habitat) by wildlife traffickers. Or so she thinks. She fights for survival, trussed up in an abandoned farmhouse in Zambia, and has to trade on the conditional compassion of the dominant member of the traffickers, a man she comes to look to for her emotional survival as much as physical.

I loved this story and these characters from the moment I started writing them. I loved being able to let my darker side off the leash a a little and hurt characters literally as well as emotionally. I loved the ingenuity of my heroine and her willingness to use whatever she has to get herself out of trouble. I loved the intellectual challenge of writing the twists and turns that come with romantic suspense.

And I love my new trailer for Wild Encounter too. I made it myself and am very happy that it captures the gritty tone of the story.

So anyway, it’s a big, long-cooked baby, but it’s my baby and I’m really pleased that I can finally tell you all that it’s available now via Entangled Publishing. And it's very affordable. Hooray!! I hope you all enjoy reading something slightly different from Nikki Logan. Please let me know if you do.

Sep 23, 2012

Sunday Smooch — Barbara DeLeo

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from Contract for Marriage by Barbara DeLeo, but first ...

the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is Jo Fereday!
Congratulations, Jo! Can you please contact Michelle at
and she'll send you a copy of Bella's Impossible Boss.

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from 

Pregnant and alone after her ex lover’s death, magazine editor RUBY FLEMING’s not about to give up her home to the man who broke her heart—until she discovers her mother left half of the estate to somebody else, and realizes she’s trapped.

Property tycoon CHRISTO MANTAZIS wants the one thing his riches can’t buy—the villa where his mother has lived and worked as housekeeper for forty years. That it’s the same house he was banished from after being caught making love to the owner’s irresistible daughter stirs up old memories and sweetens his desire.

When Christo offers a marriage of convenience to break the deadlock, Ruby knows it’s the only way for them to get what they want. Ruby needs her baby to have the link to its past, Christo needs his mother to retain her home, and for him to have the child he could never father.

But it’s another need—to have Christo again—that Ruby must resist at all costs.

Set up: After much agonising, Ruby has agreed to a marriage of convenience with Christo. They've just attended a charity ball held in Christo's name and are leaving the crowded venue via a private elevator. A pregnant Ruby is feeling a little sick in the lift.

“Oh,” she said, as her mouth dried. She pressed against the far wall, but the ground seemed to suddenly drop away, and her heart was in her throat.
Christo took a step closer. “Are you okay?”
She pulled her tongue across her lips as the dropping sensation intensified.
When he next spoke his voice was closer, a whisper against her cheek, and as she lifted her lashes, he was centimeters away. “It’s the nature of the mechanism,” he murmured. “It makes everything swifter, less steady.”
The second she shut her eyes, the dropping sensation stopped. When she blinked open, Christo had his hand pressed against the stop button. “We’re between floors now. Not much longer. Are you okay?” Concern gathered at the corner of his eyes. “Maybe you’re more sensitive to motion now that you’re pregnant.”
She pulled in a calming breath and smoothed damp palms down her dress. “Thank you.” She managed a dry whisper. “I’ll be okay in a minute.”
“It’s a strange feeling. Like being out of control.” His voice was a low, comforting rumble. “That’s something you and I always had in common, neither wanting to feel out of control.”
The skin across her breasts heated and she could feel it crawl up her neck. “True.” She’d been in this situation before with Christo, when the pull of his body had caused her to lose focus, forget what was important.
He shifted his weight so he was a fraction closer, and all air seemed to siphon from the cell-like space. “Do you feel out of control now, Ruby?” Desire flashed bright across his features, from the set of his shoulders to his look of certain promise.
The tips of her breasts pearled tight and she lifted her chin. He could’ve been speaking about her reaction to this lift or her body’s reaction to him. Every part of her hungered for him to move closer.
“Say the word and I’ll start the elevator again.”
In the smallest of movements she shook her head and, as she did, he brushed his knuckles down her cheek. When she reached up to place her hand on his, he dipped his face and claimed her lips.
His warm, solid mouth met hers and Ruby couldn’t help herself. Obeying only her body, she pulled him closer, reveling in the strength and surety of him inside the tiny space. As he opened his mouth and his tongue slipped between her lips, she dug her hands into his hair.
His fresh, ocean scent ignited the adrenaline already shooting through her veins, and when he walked her back to the solidity of the lift wall it was as if nothing could ever frighten her again.
Every sound around them—her breath in short, sharp bursts, the slide of her dress silk against his fine suit—echoed around and around.
“Christo.” She tried to catch her breath as his fingers found the shoestring straps at her shoulders and slipped beneath. “Who are you?” The steely man at the pool when she’d first arrived, the protective son, the charity founder—they all seemed so different, but were all wrapped in the skin that lay so close to her now.
For a moment he said nothing, just drifted his fingers across her inch by inch as his gaze bored into hers. “A man who needs to taste a woman.” He growled the words, pushing the straps down so the swell of her breast was exposed and he reached down to kiss her there.
Her mind swirling in confusion and need, Ruby dragged his face back to hers and kissed him, long and deep again. Searching the warm cave of his mouth with her tongue, every part of her body cried out to be closer.
He returned the depth of her kiss, and his hands slipped in unison down her quivering sides, past her rising breasts, her body aching for his touch beneath. As his hands traveled lower, she let her own fingers trail the lengths of his arms, from the tight biceps only a gym trainer could own to forearms, then to hands she imagined pinning her to a bed. His kiss, the intensity of him, took her breath away.
Looking up she was startled by the image in the mirrored wall opposite. She had a view of his jacketed back, her fingers buried in his hair, his hands traveling down her body and a delicious shiver ran across her skin.
As his fingers curled into the fabric of her dress, she arched her neck, inviting the ribbon of kisses he trailed hot and damp. Burrowing her hands under his suit jacket, she slid them across crisp cotton, searching across the rigid stomach muscles—an instrument she could play.
And then, despite her racing heart, her fingers froze.
The only place for her hand to go was under his shirt, to the heated flesh she could feel beneath. And then what? Move her touch to his trousers? The buckle at the front? Everything—the marriage going ahead, securing the house for her child, being unaffected by Christo’s presence in her life—depended on her not taking this further. She’d surrendered to him once before. It wouldn’t happen again. If she lost perspective and everything came crashing down, they’d all suffer.
She stiffened and he pulled away.
Reaching for the straps that had slipped from her shoulders, she righted herself then brushed away hair that had fallen across her face. “Christo...” She caught her breath. “Could you start the lift again, please?”
He didn’t move, the fiery imprint of his palms on her thighs constant. “You don’t feel out of control anymore?” His breath was warm against her hair.
Her answer scraped the back of her throat. “I think we should go.”
He stepped away, and his warming shroud was replaced by cool distance. She busied herself with smoothing her dress and tucking loose strands of hair behind her ears.
“I’m sorry,” she said. He stood facing her, back to the doors. “I don’t know what came over me.”
“Motion sickness?” His lips turned up in a perfect crescent.
As she spoke, his head moved in acknowledgement but the understanding in his face spoke to her. This was about him convincing her that she should give her whole self to him. When he had her in his bed she’d be fulfilling his every need, just as she had when they’d been teenagers.
It wouldn’t happen. She’d lost all judgment when it came to Christo Mantazis’s manipulation once. For her own sake, and for that of her baby, she needed to keep that part of herself out of his reach.
“Thank you for coming tonight,” he said. “I think it was a successful evening all around.”
With a sudden jolt, the elevator came to a halt. Ruby tugged in a breath as Christo pulled back the door of the shiny black cage, stood aside, and let her walk out first. Of course it was successful. He knew exactly where her weak spot for him was, and she needed to keep it guarded. To keep her baby’s family stable, she had to never let him see that vulnerable part of her again.
What she did need to do was negotiate the limousine ride home, endless nights with Christo under the same roof, and the burning understanding that she still wanted him—only much, much more than before.
And now he knew it, too.

To be in the draw to win a e-copy of Contract for Marriage, just tell me about your most interesting/scary/funny elevator/car journey!

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced -- and a smooch from Anna Campbell   will be posted!

Sep 21, 2012

Why I love old movies ......

By Helen Lacey

When I’m in the middle of writing a book I rarely read. I save up all that lovely reading time for when the book is done and off with my editor and the reading for pleasure is my reward. I do, however, watch movies. Somehow, watching movies helps my muse and keeps my creativity ticking over. And my favourite movies to watch are old classics from the halcyon days of Hollywood. While working on my current wip I’ve watched some fabulous old films – like The Two Mrs Carroll’s with Barbara Stanwyck and an eerily creepy Humphrey Bogart; One of my favourite's, Rebecca with Joan Fontaine and the mesmerizing Lawrence Olivier.  Yesterday I watched Laura – one of my all time favourites – was there ever a more beautiful woman than Gene Tierney. The women in these movies ooze class and style and most of them have gumption by the bucketload - even in the case of poor Ms Stanwyck who's husband is tyrying to make her crazy. She never loses her spirit even as she comes perilously close to losing her mind. 

There’s something dark and alluring about these old thrillers. There’s very little violence, only the occasional gun shot and never anything gruesome. But to me, there is a sense of menace that doesn’t seem to need the gratuitous violence of modern day films – the stories are told through the characters, through a turn of a head, (channelling Lauren Bacall) through a line of dialogue, through the music and clever camera angles, or a well placed scream from a heroine in peril. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I would much rather watch an old Hitchcock thriller than Wolf Creek.

Do you like the old Hollywood movies? Or do you prefer the modern day films? I’d love to add some more to the list of ‘must see’ old movies. These are my favourites - Rebecca, Gaslight, Mrs Minniver, Goodbye Mr Chips, Of Human Bondage, In This Our Life, Dark Passage ......... I could keep going, so will stop there. I do, however, have a $10.00 Amazon gift card to give away to one commenter!

Sep 19, 2012

Legends at LoveCats . . . . Meredith Webber

The LoveCats are delighted to host another wonderful Legend this month . . . the fabulous Meredith Webber.

1/ Please tell us a little about your journey to first getting published? 
Many years ago I heard Tessa Shapcott interviewed on radio and the one thing she said that stuck with me was that wanted writers who produced.  Eager to prove my production ability I sent of three chapters and a synopsis to London every month, then RWAus came into being and I heard about medical romance so sent them three chapters and a synopsis and back came a letter – no email in those days – asking for a whole book.  I’d never written a whole book, but terrified the editor would forget me if I didn’t get it there fast, I finished the book in a fortnight, sent it off and it was accepted – phone ringing in middle of the night with a fax coming through – that was the usual way of communication.

 2/ How many books have you had published so far in your career? 
I’ve had 86 M and B medical romance, one ST set in Brisbane during the war, and in the early days of e-books about 6 books published by New Concepts Publishing.

3/ The world of publishing is ever evolving, how have you stayed on top of trends and continued to give your readers what they want? 
I kind of went backwards with this.  I didn’t realise for a long time that readers actually want the same story all the time, just told with different twists and quirks.  I set my first book in India and early ones in the outback, up in the Himalayas during trekking season, one was a medical rescue team that flew into South America and Africa repatriating sick or injured Aussies.  I had a non-medical hero and a few vets and various other ‘different’ books all of which had my up and down reader ratings driving m editor nuts.  Now I do try to write the same story all the time, but my characters live today and live as today’s twenty to thirty something’s live so they are real people.

 4/ What has been the highlight of your publishing career so far? 
I suppose being number one on some list in the US – a fact that I was unaware of – didn’t know there were lists – until a friend told me.  My next book came out with a little flag on the cover saying Number One best-selling author.

 5/ Which of your books is your favourite, and why? 
Very hard!  I was asked to write a book solely from the hero’s viewpoint and I loved that book.  Another had an Army officer as a hero – Army helping people in flooded outback town – and he was bossy and irritating and the heroine fought with him all the way through but it was fun.  Recently Taming Dr Tempest had a hero who was very much a city man sent to the outback and that was fun to write as well.

 6/ Are you a plotter or a panster? 
I do wish I was a plotter. Believe me, I’ve tried.  The only time I did the whole plotting thing, thinking it all out, having little cards to shuffle around, I spent so much time on the plotting I felt as if I’d already written the book and the writing felt stale to me and it took ages to write.  I realised then that the only thing that keeps me writing to the end is to find out for myself what happens.

7/ What’s the one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors? 
Sit down and write.  It’s my mantra.  You can talk about writing, read about writing, go to seminars and workshops and conferences but eventually it’s butt on seat and fingers moving so sit down and write.

To go into the draw to win a signed copy of The Sheikh and The Surrogate Mum, please leave a comment.

Thankyou Meredith for joining the LoveCats today.

Sep 17, 2012

Seasonal Affected Disorder

lemons for gin!
Boy, do I like September! Down here at the bottom of the world September heralds the beginning of spring- which is way opposite to you Northern types. But just like spring everywhere the weather gets a little crazy, we have hot spells and cold snaps and everything’s kind of shaking around and unsettled. It’s reading outside weather one minute and snow the next. You need to remember to carry gloves, an umbrella, sunshades and sunscreen. Be prepared for four seasons in one day. I love it.
I love the heat starting to warm my bones, the new buds of life braving the hardened ground, the longer nights. Birdsong. Vibrant colours.
spring color
There’s something special about spring- new hope, promises of long hot days just around the corner. The debate about when is the best time to take the heated blanket off the bed! (We never get it right!).
Come to think of it, I like living in a place where there is a definite change every few months - don’t get me wrong, I imagine it must be bliss to live in eternal sunshine, or a constant heat like Singapore, but I like the change that seasons bring. 

tiny radishes
I also like the fact we can start planting out our veggies for summer. When I was away at conference my darling husband got busy and sowed a few seeds. I can’t wait until these are ready to pick! Also, the spuds are in, we have seedlings to plant this weekend- and I saw tomato plants in the garden centre the other day so I’ll nip down and get some of those too. We only have a small veggie garden, but it makes me happy! My husband laughs at me because I have a rule for gardening- I will only plant and care for things we can eat. (Anything else- he gets to do). 

So tell me, what’s your favourite season. And what are some good recommendations for spring planting and summer eating?

Sep 16, 2012

Sunday Smooch: Bella's Impossible Boss

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from Bella's Impossible Boss by Michelle Douglas, but first ...

the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is -- Rita!

Congratulations, Rita! Can you please contact Robyn at robyn-grady (at) hotmail (dot) com and she'll send you a copy of Losing Control.

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Bella's Impossible Boss by Michelle Douglas ...

Falling for the boss's daughter

From the wrong side of the tracks, Dominic Wright is fiercely proud of his successful career--and his latest project is his gateway to the big time! The downside? Dominic is expected to babysit the boss's spoiled daughter.

Bella Maldini knows hotshot Dominic by reputation, and where women are concerned, it's a bad one! Still, if Bella wants this project to succeed she must work closely with Dominic. If only he weren't so impossible--cynical, complicated, controlled--and, worst of all, sexier than any man she's ever met!

[Set up: Bella and Dominic have just had a heart to heart, and emotions are running high.]

All she could focus on was the warmth of Dominic’s hand curving against her cheek, the firm promise of lips that hovered tantalisingly near and the scent of cinnamon that dredged her senses. The ridiculous chandelier overhead steeped them in a pale-pink light, bathing the man no more than a kiss-distance away in a red-gold halo. Temptation, that was what this man personified, and she wanted a taste.

‘You better stop looking at me like that, Bella.’ The hand belied his warning as it trailed a path down her cheek, her throat and then around to the back of her neck.

‘Like what?’ she murmured as his fingers moved back and forth across her nape, raising gooseflesh. She’d do whatever he asked when he touched her like that.

‘Like you want me to kiss you.’

She dragged her gaze from the delicious promise of his mouth and back to his eyes. ‘If you can tell me how to do that—’ her voice came out all breathy ‘—I’ll do my best to comply.’

He traced her bottom lip with the thumb of his free hand, sensitising the tender skin there, until with a gasp her lips parted.

‘That’s not how to do it,’ he said, his voice low, his chest starting to rise and fall to the same tempo as hers. She moistened her lips and hunger flared across his face. ‘Neither is that.’

Her pulse pounded in her ears. She stared at his mouth and knew she’d taste heaven if he kissed her. Both of his hands tightened on her face as she lifted her gaze back to his. ‘You should draw away.’ He swallowed. ‘You should frown, flash scorn from those beautiful eyes of yours and press your lips together. You should—’

‘No.’ She shook her head. She should stay here and beg him with her body to kiss her until he gave her what she craved.


‘Dominic, please,’ she whispered, her hands lifting to tangle in the silky strands of his hair and to pull him down to her aching, starving mouth.

With a groan, he tilted her head back and his lips claimed hers.

Dominic’s kiss devastated her. It stole her breath and it stole her mind. It left her clinging to him and drowning in an ocean of sensation. As his lips plundered hers, pleasured hers, she came to life. His heat, his passion, became her heat and her passion. She’d known instinctively that he’d taste delicious, but she hadn’t known that his kiss would encompass everything rich, divine and addictive. He tasted better than the most extravagant three-course meal she’d ever had. He tasted better even than the twelve-course degustation menu she’d once sampled. He tasted better than chocolate mud-cake.

As she found her balance again, she half-lay across his lap and she tasted him as thoroughly and completely as he had her, attempting to define and name his very essence, to stamp it on her memory and her soul.

To be in the draw to win a signed copy of Bella's Impossible Boss, just tell me what's your favourite food?

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced -- and a smooch from The Marriage Contract by Barbara DeLeo will be posted!

Sep 13, 2012

The Wedding Must Go On!

by Robyn Grady
I’m getting into a show called Don’t Tell The Bride. A betrothed couple are given $25,000 to stage their wedding – on one condition. The groom must choose and organize *everything*.

The theme, the venue, the cake as well as the wedding dress. Now some guys are pretty clever. There’s been 20s gangster themes and romantic commitments uttered in snow-covered wonderlands. And luckily the gals have all loved their gowns.

This kind of concession wouldn’t work for Roxy Trammel, the heroine of my October UK Modern Romance release, The Wedding Must Go On. Roxy creates exquisite wedding dresses and is particularly in love with the gown she designed for her best friend. It’s a finalist in a prestigious contest, the prize being a job in New York and a wad of cash, which means she can pay back a clutch of impatient creditors. The only condition? Her gown must take its walk down the aisle at month’s end. Not a problem. Until Roxy’s friend unearths a shocking secret about her now ex-fiancé – a piece of sordid information that Roxy isn’t sold on. The wedding is off and gown put away as are Roxy’s dreams of winning that contest.

Then the insufferably sexy, commitment-phobic best man comes up with an idea. Crazy. Doomed to failure. However, Nate Sparks assures Roxy their friends will be reunited. He even sweetens the deal. If she helps him with this scheme and he’s wrong – if his plan fails – that dress will still have its big day before the end of the month. Roxy can dress up and he’ll marry her himself!

I’m giving away an autographed copy of The Wedding Must Go On. Simply leave a comment about whether you've known anyone to call off their wedding at the last moment - or whether you hoped they might.

Connect with Robyn at , @robyngrady on Twitter or AuthorRobynGrady on Facebook.

Sep 12, 2012

Life's a Beach

by Michelle Douglas

One of the things I really enjoyed about the RWAust Gold Coast conference was the location. Oh the joy of sneaking out for a walk along the beach!

I love the ocean and, while I know I’m not alone in that, I love it more than I do a river or a lake. There’s something about the surge and movement of waves and tides, the salt tang in the air, the sound of waves breaking onshore and the cries of seagulls on the breeze .

It makes me feel alive.

I live on the coast. I can drive to the most glorious beaches in less than five minutes. Of course, I hardly ever do, but I’ve decided to change that. I love walking, and I love the beach. So I’m making the effort to get myself to this most inspirational of locations to soak up the atmosphere and recharge the batteries. And man oh man is it blowing the cobwebs away!

So, in an effort to share the love, I thought I’d share my beach walk with you.

This is where I start my walk. If you look to the very end of the beach, just above it on the bluff is a car park -- that's where I walk to. And then I turn around and walk back. Depending on my mood and energy levels it takes thirty to forty minutes all up.

This is the halfway point, looking back the way I've come. This is my favourite spot to just gaze out to sea, sigh in bliss and soak up the atmosphere. :-) I mean, man, look at the colours!

And this is when I've reached the other end. Nice view, huh?

Here's the midway point again. Can you see those incoming storm clouds ?

Oh, my, look at those storm clouds!

And here I am nearly back at where I started from. And can you see the building at the end of the beach? You probably can't make it out too well, but it's over three levels and is mostly glass--it's called The Surfhouse. There's a cafe on the lower level that makes the most excellent coffee...and gives you the most divine place from which to watch a storm play out.

So what about you? Have you been doing anything to recharge your batteries lately? And do you have a favourite beach you like to visit?

P.S. If you'd like a chance to win a copy of my October release Bella's Impossible Boss, as well as The Man Who Saw Her Beauty, pop on over to Jennifer Doloski's blog. She's running a fundraiser for two special little boys in need. :-)

Sep 9, 2012


We’re four weeks into our three month trip to Greece and Cyprus and it’s as incredible as I imagined. One of the main reasons we decided to do such an extended trip with the kids was to forge links to one part of their heritage. 
The ancestral home in Agios Isidoros, Plomari, Lesvos
I remember the first time I went to Ireland where my own grandfather was from. All those little mannerisms and sayings that I'd thought were my family's (often embarrassing) quirks, were owned by a whole town! After that visit I felt suddenly more "connected", and more proud than embarrassed.

My husband's parents are travelling with us this time and we’re visiting the places where they're from.
Last week we were in the village of Plomari  on the island of Lesvos. My husband’s grandfather  left the village in his twenties to seek a better life in New Zealand. A wife from the same village was sent over for him a few years later!

They came back to the village for a time when my father-in-law was young and to be here now with my father-in-law and my children is very special. We’ve had afternoon tea in the garden my  children’s great-grandmother tended, swum in the beach where their grandfather learned to swim, and walked the cobbled streets of their ancestors.
Me in the garden of the old house.
Greek sweets for afternoon tea!
A village stroll after "another" long lunch

The girls (me, my twin daughters and their Yiayia)
take a walk to get the bread
In two weeks time we’ll be visiting the village in Cyprus my mother-in-law left when she was seven. She’s very excited about showing my kids where she helped tend the almond trees and to introduce them to village life. Her memories are still so vivid of that time that it makes me realize the deep seated connection to a place we can have.

More pictures of me in Greece here!

In my first book Contract for Marriage, released next week, (squeals a little bit, next week!!) Ruby, who is pregnant and alone, suddenly realizes she needs to be back where she belongs. Only problem is, it’s the same place the man who broke her heart ten years ago wants for himself.

I'd love to know where you feel you belong. Is it a place, is it with certain people, or is it somewhere you’re still searching for?