May 31, 2013

Too much Dean Winchester? No such thing…..

My lovely husband recently bought me the full series of the television show Supernatural. I’ve seen the odd episode over the years, but it’s been wonderful watching commercial free, uninterrupted episodes and confirming that I am 100% Team Dean. Maybe it’s because he just seems so darn tortured and I’ve always been a sucker for a tormented man.

Watching the show had me thinking about T.V heroes. The big screen guys always seem to get the most attention (Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, Gerard Butler, Zac Efron, Channing Tatum etc) and the small screen boys often get overlooked. So I thought it would be nice to celebrate some of our favourite TV hotties.

Without a doubt Dean Winchester (The uber handsome Jensen Ackles) is currently at the top of my list. He’s handsome, impulsive and cynical and certainly has a way with the ladies. He’s also loyal and brave and would do anything for those he loves. Sigh.

I’m generally more pro-Angel than pro-Spike from Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I’ve never understood the Dr McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey) revolution when Dr McSteamy (Eric Dane) was generally only metres away in Grey’s Anatomy. I must admit to liking Dean Cain’s Superman. And in recent weeks Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) from Arrow has got my attention – and since he’s also a brave, tortured man I seem to have something of a pattern happening.

Do you have a favourite TV hero….is he a bad boy or boy next door? Superhero or villain? Is he a tormented man with secrets or an open book?

Leave a suggestion of your favourite TV hero and for a bit of fun I’ll use that name as the hero in one of my upcoming books!

May 30, 2013

Christine Rimmer Winner.......

The winner from Christine's Rimmers Legends blog is Dawn Povijua!

Congratulations Dawn....please contact Christine on christine (at) christinerimmer (dot) com to collect your prize.

And thank you again Christine for visiting LoveCats!

May 29, 2013

What's Your Favourite Song?

For each book I write, I make a soundtrack. It helps me set the tone in my head, and to 'feel' the book as I write it. And I never use a song on more than one soundtrack.

Which, of course, leaves me with a problem - as I write more books I'm running out of songs!

Luckily, Josh Groban has released a newish album so I'll take a couple of songs from that. (I blogged about going to his recent concert here, and posted a couple of videos of his songs.) 

And after watching The Voice Australia, I've fallen a little bit in love with Ricky Martin (oh, okay, a big bit in love with him) and bought some of his songs, which I'll also use. And maybe a couple of songs from contestants, like this one:

And an old favourite, Muse, has a newish album and there are a couple of songs there I haven't used before. Here's a Muse song I used for Million-Dollar Amnesia Scandal. It was perfect.

But that's about it. So I'm asking for suggestions. What's your favourite song? I'm after love songs, break-up songs, lonely songs, I feel on top of the world songs, songs in foreign languages, classical music - any song that really touches you.

Thanks in advance!

May 27, 2013

Food Glorious Food

Yes, sorry, it’s me again. A double dose of Amy Andrews for everyone!
And no, this blog is not going to be some recipe swap fest. Sorry. I cook but I don’t live for it – having a fussy child killed any joy I used to find in the kitchen.
But I do love to eat.
Which somehow transfers across to my heroines. Strange that :-)
I recently wrote a Twistie loving heroine in Driving Her Crazy.
Mmm, lurve me some Twisties.
Avoid them like the plague cos they’re just a big old carb-fest but, for the sake of this blog and its accuracy, I did go out and especially buy a packet just so I could take a picture for those who don’t have a clue what Twisties are.
I also bought a violet crumble cos they look so pretty together.
I’m generous like that.
Don’t worry, no Twisties were harmed in the writing of this blog. They all found a safe home inside my intestinal tract!
It was pointed out to me recently by a reader that I tend to use food in sex scenes.  I hadn’t really thought about it as a thing until it was mentioned. But yeh…in the Twisties book its marshmallows. And come to think of it, Twisties do get used too…

In The Devil and the Deep aka the pirate book, my hero uses a mango to pretty devastating effect....
Bad Amy.....

In One Night She Would Never Forget there’s a cute/sexy cup-cake scene.

In my current WIP, there’s creative use of beer. Also by the hero.  Here’s the Pinterest board for it if you want to check it out.
Hmmm, I see a pattern. Maybe I should stop writing heroines that make their men want to eat food off them?
Nah….. :-)

What about you guys? Do you enjoy reading about creative use of food in books? Or can you not switch your brain off as you think about sticky skin, chocolate and whipped cream smears on the sheets and crumbs in the bed?

May 26, 2013

Sunday Smooch with Amy Andrews

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from  Amy Andrews, but first ...

the winner of the Sunday Smooch Giveaway from two weeks ago is -

Louisa George! 

Louisa can you please contact rosbaxterink (at) gmail (dot) com to recieve your copy of A Fish Out Of  Water 

The winner of Jenny Brigalow's smooch from her book Outback will be announced next week! 

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from One Night She Would Never Forget

Spontaneity is not in Miranda Dean's vocabulary. Life as a single mum with a demanding career leaves no time for anything impulsive! But that was before the appearance of the delectable Dr Patrick Costello.

Miranda has been resisting all men's charms, but there is something about Patrick — his gentle eyes, cheeky smile, and the feeling that she's always known him. So when he takes her by the hand she knows this will be one night she'll never forget!

Scene set-up: Miranda and Patrick, both single parents, are attending the same medical symposium together. They first meet in the lift and then discover their rooms are next door to each other. They meet later at the bar where their attraction blossoms....

But for all their chatter, Miranda had the strangest feeling that she and Patrick were just marking time. There’d been a sense of inevitability to the night since he’d walked into the bar and it tugged more insistently as the minutes ticked by. But she liked that he wasn’t rushing her back to his room. It felt kind of old fashioned – in a modern way – and gave him another layer of sexy.
But her yawn at somewhere past midnight spoiled the build-up. “Sorry,” she apologised, covering her mouth. “I’m normally passed out cold by nine o’clock.”
He groaned. “I envy you. I feel like I haven’t had a decent sleep since Ruby came along.”
Patrick had enjoyed talking with her. He liked her entertaining stories and easy laugh. He liked how relaxed he felt. He liked how she hadn’t outwardly flirted but he still knew she was in to him. He also liked that any other woman would have jumped in and said I can help you with your sleep situation but Miranda had just smiled at him. 
“Shall we go?” he asked, his voice surprisingly husky.
Miranda nodded. “Yes.”
They didn’t talk as they walked through the bar and across the lobby. They didn’t exchange a word as they waited for the lift. Or even inside the lift. Although Patrick leaned on the opposite wall and didn’t take his eyes of her for a second. Miranda’s belly went into freefall but she held his gaze, anticipation pumping her heart rate higher.
The lift doors opened and he said, “Yours or mine?” as he ushered her out.
“Mine,” she replied.
She knew zip about one night stands but she’d heard enough staffroom chatter from other nurses to know she really did not want to be the one doing the walk of shame in the morning.
Patrick stopped outside the door and turned to her. “Key?”
Miranda reached into her back pocket, slid the piece of plastic out and handed it over. He went to take it but, suddenly nervous, Miranda didn’t let go for a moment. He raised an eyebrow. “You okay?”
The question was low and slid into all the places that were suddenly reminding her how good it felt to be touched. “I don’t...usually do this,” she murmured.
Patrick smiled. “I figured.” He watched her looking at the door, obviously torn. “Would it help to know that I don’t either?”
Miranda smiled. “Yes.”
“We don’t have to do this, Miranda.”
She blinked at him, searching his face for signs of disingenuousness. Relief flooded through her when she found none. Patrick looked like he was perfectly willing to say goodnight and leave things as they were.
And he’d be gone tomorrow and she’d never see him again.
But she’d always wonder.
She smiled at him then, dropping her hand from the key. “I want to.”
Patrick kept his arm in place, the key still extended in her direction. “Are you sure, Miranda? Really, really sure?”
She grinned at him. She’d never been surer of anything. “Open the damn door, Patrick.”
He grinned back then turned towards the door, swiping the card through and hearing the click as the lights turned green. He pushed it open and said, “Ladies first.”
Patrick’s gut clenched as she brushed past him on the way in, his pulse picking up in anticipation. The door closed behind him and then it was just him and her in the darkened alcove and she was standing there looking at him with possession in her eyes. His groin throbbed in response.
He walked two paces until their bodies were almost touching. She smelled like soap and Shiraz and the combination was intoxicating. He dipped his head to capture her mouth, to savour her taste and to slowly explore her mouth, her neck. 
But a little whimper from somewhere at the back of her throat was his undoing and he was deepening the kiss, and her arms were twining around his neck and pulling them together, and before he knew it he’d pushed her up against the wall and they were both breathing hard.

For a chance to win a copy of the book with possibly the sexiest medical cover ever! I'd love to hear your thoughts on the one-night-stand trope in romance fiction. Yes? No? Depends? A turn off at the very mention or is it all in the execution?
Come back next to check out the winner and also a smooch from the lovely Emmie Dark!
Amy xxx

May 24, 2013

Books v Movies?

When it comes to pure escapism my first love is and always be reading, but when I have a spare couple of hours I do also love watching a decent movie. Before I became a nurse before I became a writer I did a bachelors degree in Communication Studies which had a large film studies component so we watched, analysed and even made movies- (lots of fun and challenging to tell a story in such a short space of time).

So you’d think that watching a movie of a book would be escapism to the power of two…but we all know films of books that just don’t in any way showcase the real story (I was pleased when my young son told me he didn’t like the Harry Potter films because they weren’t as ‘real’ as the books because that meant he’d keep reading). But yet, I still like to watch a movie of a loved book anyway- and I always try to make sure I read the book first, that way I have my own idea as to what the characters and setting look like.

Until The Hunger Games—watching that movie made me go straight home and read all three books in the series- and no, the film isn’t exactly like the book, but it’s pretty darned close, I’d say- and if it makes you want to read the books then it’s done a good job. (I was recently told by my son's English teacher that one way to encourage teenage boys to read is to get them to read a book of a movie they enjoyed, or to read books with themes/characters from movies.)

There are of course lots of movies that disappoint- My Sister’s Keeper is a good example. THEY CHANGED THE ENDING! Completely- and even Jodi Picoult couldn’t make them change it back!! But even knowing this I was still compelled to watch the dvd. (disappointing).

I recently watched Life of Pi- wow what an absolute feast to watch, it is a thing of beauty- the cinematography is amazing. And the movie is pretty close to the book.

I’ve just finished reading Silver Linings Playbook and that is such a ‘cerebral’ book- in that there is a lot of internal stuff going on, so I’ll be interested to see whether the movie encapsulates the inside workings of the protagonist’s mind. And it has the sexiest man alive in it, so I'll take a risk and watch it!

I’m also keen to see The Great Gatsby- if only because it has had such terrible reviews here that I’m interested to see just how bad it is- but with Baz Luhrman directing I imagine it’ll be quite a spectacle!

What about you- movie or book first? Any movies of books that you’ve hated? Any that you’ve loved?

May 23, 2013

Emmie's Just For Today... Winner

The winner of yesterday's giveaway of a copy of Just For Today... is:

Lauren James! 

Lauren, drop Emmie a line at emmie(at) and she'll organise to get your copy to you. Lauren was a fellow fan of The Following's bad boy, James Purefoy.

Just For Today hits the shelves in North America on 4 June and will be available in Australia a couple of weeks after that.

May 22, 2013

Are you a good-guy girl?

I have a confession to make. I like good guys. I know, as a romance writer, it's almost compulsory to like the bad boys. But I've never really fallen in lust with the bad guys.

I know there's a difference between a "bad boy" and a "bad guy". One has a cheeky grin, the other has a maniacal laugh.

But even still, I've always been more of a fan of the good guys. I have a friend for whom it's the complete opposite -- she loves the baddies. The villains  the bad guys, the evil schemer -- that's who floats her boat. I've never shared her interest.

That is until...
Meet James Purefoy from The Following. If you haven't been watching it, it's a TV show about a jailed, charismatic serial killer who builds a cult following and has his disciples exact his revenge against the world and, more specifically the Kevin Bacon FBI agent who was responsible for putting him behind bars.

I know movies and TV are full of "charismatic serial killers", but to be honest I've never found any of them particularly "charismatic". But this time, yeah, I can almost understand it. (Almost, because no matter how good looking and charming, I really don't think anyone could convince me to do some of the things he convinces his followers to do.)

James was also Mark Antony in the exotic series Rome. Apparently he was a contender for Bond but was beaten out by Pierce Brosnan. (Pity, that.)

So, if you, like me, are a good-guy girl who needs her horizons expanding, I highly recommend checking out The Following and James' cute-yet-diabolical charm.

There aren't any real baddies in my June release SuperRomance, Just For Today..., although I did have a lot of fun with my heroine's ex-husband and a little revenge scene.

Tell me your favourite on-screen villain and I'll chose a comment at random to win a copy of Just For Today...

May 20, 2013

Legend on LoveCats...... with Christine Rimmer!

Welcome to another Legends on LoveCats. Today we are excited to have the wonderful Christine Rimmer as our guest. Christine is a USA Today Bestselling author and writes for Harlequin Special Edition.

Greetings, LoveCats!  Thanks for inviting me to visit with you today!

1/ Please tell us a little about your journey to first getting published?

 It was years and years ago.  I was young and adventurous. After giving up the acting career I’d pursued without much success into my 20’s, I tried my hand at a number of different writing disciplines.  I was a playwright and had my plays produced in Southern California; I wrote and published poetry and short stories.  But you can bet at the end of the day, a great romance was always close at hand for my reading pleasure.  I finally got smart and decided to try to write what I loved most to read.  I bought a book on how to write a romance and followed the instructions, which sounds quite simple but really was an interesting journey.  There was research that lasted for months.  I had to read and catalog and analyze 200 romances.  I enjoyed every one those love stories and when I got down to the actual writing of that first book, I found I loved writing romances as much as I loved reading them.  And so I’ve been writing them ever since.  I started out in series/category romance and I’ve written a few mainstream stories, but in the main, my career has been in category, which I still love to write.

When I wrote my first series romance, there were several other category romance publishers here in the USA.  I tried them all, avoiding Harlequin because I had some idea that a beginner like me would never have a chance there.  Finally, after several rejections, I decided to go ahead and query Harlequin, though I was doubtful anything would come of it.  They asked to see my book!  I was so thrilled.  And then, months later, I got the call.  What a day that was!  I walked on air for months after.

 2/ How many books have you had published so far in your career? 

Oh, 80 or so.

 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 read, read, read.  And then I read some more.  I know, that’s not particularly surprising, it’s just what all authors do.  We are, all of us, readers first and foremost.

When I’m reading, I stay open to how the syntax and rhythm of the language keeps changing. I watch for new turns of phrase. I pay attention to how social mores develop and our perceptions of what’s desirable in life and love alter.  I try to keep current on how people talk and behave.

That said, so far in my romance writing career, certain beloved storylines have remained consistently popular: the Marriage of Convenience, the Secret Baby, Hero or Heroine with Amnesia, the Sexy Single Dad, Reunion Stories, Runaway Brides, Alpha Heroes—all these and more never seem to lose their appeal.  And I happen to love writing such stories.  It’s the place where what I love to write intersects with an audience, and that means I’m fortunate to have wonderful readers all over the world who enjoy a book by Christine Rimmer.

 4/ What has been the highlight of your publishing career so far?

 I honestly can’t name just one.  Though I enjoy the satisfaction of making bestseller lists and winning awards for my writing, I do think I love the process of writing most of all.  So the highlights are those days when everything is working and the words just seem to flow into my head and out my fingers onto the screen.  My dear friend Susan Mallery and I have a sort of salutation we share.  “May you write like the wind.”  That’s it.  That’s as good as it gets.  When I write like the wind.

 5/ Which of your books is your favourite, and why?

 Sorry.  Can’t name a favorite. The others might get jealous.  ;)  I am thoroughly enjoying writing my Bravo Royales series now.  It’s fun, for a change, to write about princes on the Cote d’Azur instead of American heroes in Texas.  Or Wyoming.  Or California...

 6/ Are you a plotter or a panster?

 Er, both.  Probably more on the plotter side than the panster.

 I work with a plot group and love the plot/brainstorming process.  Twice a year I meet with Susan Mallery, Kate Carlisle and Teresa Southwick in Las Vegas.  For four days, we brainstorm each other’s plots and get the sessions on tape.  I get two taped sessions per plot group.  Of course, when I sit down to write my proposal, a lot changes from whatever we worked out in the session.  But I always get so many more ideas from those three other brilliant brains than I could if I were working completely on my own.

 By the time I’ve put the story into outline/synopsis form, it’s pretty thoroughly planned out. But then I’m always changing it up once I’m writing the manuscript, discovering new things about the characters and the story.  Often the second half of the book will be different in some ways than planned.  But the general arcs of plot points and character development usually remains, well, if not the same, definitely close.

7/ What’s the one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?

Read, read, read and then write, write, write.  Write a whole book.  And then write another one.  I know, I know.  It’s not very original.  But it works.

 8/ What do you love most about being a romance author?

 It still comes down the work for me, the satisfaction I get when a synopsis finally clicks, or when I finish a book and know I’ve written the best book I could for this moment in my life as a writer. Beyond the writing process, I love when the paperback author’s copies of my latest release come in the mail.  I love to hold my latest book in my hands and grin at the sight of my name on the front and think, “I did that.  And I can do it again.”

Thank you so much Christine for visiting us today...

Please leave a comment to go into the draw to win a copy of Christine's latest Harlequin Special Edition Her Highness And The Bodyguard

May 19, 2013

Sunday Smooch with Jenny Brigalow.....

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from Jenny Brigalow, but first ...

the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway will be announced next week.

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from A Man For All Seasons by Jenny Brigalow........

When rodeo rider, Chad Cherub, steps off the plane at Heathrow, love is the last thing on his mind. He's travelled from Australia to do a business deal with wealthy Walter Driscoll. However, he is distracted by Wally's gorgeous daughter Seraphim.

Sweet, spoiled Seraphim, a gifted dressage rider, is troubled. Engaged to the eminently suitable Barry Wellington-Worth, Chad's arrival forces her to acknowledge the truth. She does not love her fiancé.

When Chad's cook is injured Seraphim jumps at the chance to fly south to Oz. In the great dust bowl of the Australian outback they discover they have more in common than horses.  But the secrets of the past and the prejudices of the present threaten to tear them apart. Can love bloom in the Outback?

Scene set-up: [ A clear, cold English night in the stable yard at Seraphim's family home. Seraphim is delighted to be going to Oz with Chad, but distressed by the distance that is developing between them. Unsure as to the reason, Seraphim longs to find a way to show Chad the depth of her feeling. And realises that, this time, there is only one way. She must show him...]

    Between them they dug the last of the carrots out of the bag, then she gained several more precious moments as the big stallion and Chad played tug of war with the empty bag. She watched, entranced and touched by the pair's youthful exuberance.

    For a moment she could imagine that it was her playfully fighting with the tall, handsome man. She could just see it. For a while he'd tease, let her think she was winning. Then he'd pull her down and pin her gently to the ground. He'd laugh down into her face and then…

    “Penny for them?”

    She startled, and then blushed when she realised his remarkable amber eyes were fixed upon her. What must he think?

    He'd relinquished the bag and Trick had retreated into his stable with his prize.

    Forcing a small smile, she lied. “I was just wondering how Trick would enjoy his flight.”

    “He'll be fine. Flying doesn't seem to faze them much.” Then two crease marks formed between his eyes.

    She jumped a little as he reached out one brown hand and ran his thumb softly down her cheek. She could barely breathe.

    “You're absolutely frozen,” he said.

    She stared at him blankly for a minute until she realised he was quite right. Her toes were numb and the marrow in her leg bones seemed to throb in protest. Small spasms coursed through her body and she shivered like a sapling in the wind. But how could he know that it was nothing to do with the cold? How could he know that desire fizzed through her like a Catherine wheel? How could he know that her lips wanted to part to ask for a kiss? How could he know? The answer of course, was that she had to tell him.

    She caught his wrist in her hand and looked at him. Her breath came in jagged bursts and she felt as if she would implode with need. “Warm me,” she whispered.

    For an agonising eternity he remained frozen, his eyes locked on hers. And then his hand slid over the fall of her jaw and slowly encircled her throat. “I can feel your pulse,” he whispered. “It feels like a butterfly in a net.” Then he dropped his head and his mouth met hers, softly catching up her lower lip.

    She tipped back her head, a small moan of ecstasy filtering through their union. Instinctively she moved into the unfamiliar realms of his body and her mouth began to explore. Heat flared in her core as his hands slid around her and pulled her close.

    Tentatively at first, and then with growing confidence, she began to explore the iron hard muscles of his shoulders and back. Her legs felt so hollow that she believed she would fall without his hold upon her. Surrender beckoned with her mysterious smile.

Leave a comment to go into the draw to win an eCopy of A Man For All Seasons.

  Come back next Sunday when the winner will be announced and a smooch from Driving Her Crazy by Amy Andrews will be posted.