Thursday, 30 August 2012

Thanks Universe - what a happy birthday

It was my wee man's first birthday on Tuesday. His FIRST Birthday!!! Yikes. People tell you the time flies and for the first three months of his life I wondered what they were talking about, but now I think I'm starting to understand. Where did that year go!
It was a very eventful day. He took his first step, turned one, we traipsed out to the middle of Dartmoore to hang out near some rocks he's sort of named after AND my book snuck up to #5 on the Amazon Romance Series List!
Epic day.
Lots of happy dancing. In fact when I put the cake in front of him and let him go for it - really go for it - face plant and everything, such was the  joyful belly laughing among all of us that most of the photos have come out blurry. That's gotta be a good sign don't you think?
I love to make cake - you might have noticed that if you've followed any of the other blogs I've been guesting on. And so I finally got to make the sugar free birthday cake I'd been planning. My wee man is super chirpy/smiley/giggly so for him there could be nothing else than a Mr Happy Cake. I'll share the recipe on the Indulgence blog shortly in case you're a Mum like me who is hoping to keep chocolate off your wee one's plate for a little while longer.
But mostly I thought I'd just share what a wonderful joy it was to see him smile. See his daddy smile. And to have him walk (only a couple of steps but still) and get ratings to die for made the day, well, simply wonderful. Thanks universe!
x Michele


Monday, 27 August 2012

Small treats and easy indulgence - Guest Author Robyn Thomas

Today I have a special guest and as she is one of the loudest and most vivacious of my recent cheerleading squad I’m super pleased to have her here! Three cheers for cheers *waves pompoms wildly* Robyn Thomas, author of Her Unexpected Family is talking about little things, tiny treats, and great indulgences. What’s not to like? Take it away Robyn.

“Life's full of things that we have to do: take out the garbage, shop for groceries, eat, sleep, pay the bills, walk the dog... you know how it goes. So when we get a chance for some rare down time we want it to count. That's one of the reasons Indulgences (of all kinds) are so important. Entangled Publishing's Indulgences are a current favourite - for obvious reasons - but variety makes the world go around.
Imagine a day where you get to sneak a chocolate biscuit with your coffee, someone posts a hot guy on Facebook and you happen to see him half a dozen times when you 'accidentally' cruise back past. You have a few spare minutes to stick your head in a good book, your favourite song plays on the radio when you jump in the car, and the hand soap in your bathroom smells like strawberries and cream. Maybe the sun's shining outside the window and the postie by-passes your letterbox because he has no bills to torture you with - for a change :-)
Days like that aren't as rare as we sometimes imagine them to be, and the reason is simple: all of the things I listed are everyday treats. Sure it'd be great to do something amazing, but those kinds of experiences usually take careful planning as well as time and money. Why wait to be happy when small indulgences are available NOW.
I love that for $2.99 (for books from the Indulgence line) we can take a romantic journey with two gorgeous characters. They’ll do some of the things we'd like to do: anything from taking a cruise (*grin*) to riding in a limo, leaping out of a plane, eating at a fancy restaurant or housing a gorgeous rock star. When "life" gets in the way of your rock star/tycoon moments then a good book can give you a taste of what you're missing out on.”

Thanks for your thoughts Robyn. How about you all? Are you a fan of small treats taken often or do you like to save yours up for a whopper every now and then? Me, I definitely like little treats, especially surprise ones (a chocolate bar at the bottom of my bag is a favourite) but I also like to save up…like how I’ve been saving all year and so was allowed to buy THREE pairs of shoes this week. More on that later...

Robyn is quite right about the Indulgence titles from Entangled Publishing being a tasty treat for everyday and hers is great.  Her Unexpected Family is out now. 

 Sometimes you have to take the leap…again.
Newly widowed with a new baby, Ren Jamieson is putting her life back together after her thrill-seeking husband’s death. But when she’s called to show a high-end property to a prospective client—a commission she desperately needs—she meets a man who makes her pulse pound like nothing she’s ever known…
Cole Matthews is more than he seems. Real estate is only part of the reason he’s in Australia – the other is to see Ren, and make amends somehow for the life lost. The last thing Cole expects is a woman whose humor, sweetness and sexiness give him a rush greater than any he’s ever experienced…
Torn between her growing feelings for Cole and the risks of loving yet another adventurer, Ren will have to choose between keeping her feet on the ground…and taking the most dangerous leap of her life.

About Robyn Thomas

Robyn is a cheesecake connoisseur, caffeine addict, and mother of two boys. Happily married, she lives in Melbourne, Australia. Writing romance helps her balance the effects of living in an all-male household. Robyn loves movies, art glass and browsing in quirky gift shops.

Read the first chapter for free on Amazon or Barnes and Noble

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Cover girl baby or Home is a story

So while I've been away the lovely people at Your Home and Garden have published a big spread on our tree surrounded home. They even liked the green wall in the lounge so much it made the cover! Does that make me a cover girl? Hehe.
These past weeks have been a bit of here there and everywhere - most recently I've popped in over at Romance University (*waves to anyone who has popped over from there*) and I've been overseas staying with the in-laws. All of this combined has made me really appreciate my home. And so I thought I'd share a little of it with you. Here's a behind the scenes look at the cover shoot for Your Home and Garden NZ recently.

It's also made me think about what being home really means to me. It's boiled down to some simple but particularly poignant things.
Home is hot sun, green unfurling fronds, black sand in the hairline, and sharp stinging mosquito bites. Home really, is a story. The fiction we pen to boost our spirits when it's raining, or to celebrate the glory of nature, or the sun, or the wide blue ocean. Home is in the summer emails we write to our poor friends still stuck in a European or North American winter; or in living on the beach, looking at a never-ending blue sky while breakers crash and people smother their burnt sausages in tomato sauce. Home, surely, is where we start from and what we compare everything else to. 

What about you? A friend once told me that home was where ever they slept. Is it that simple for you or do you need more home comforts like me? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
x Michele

If you've missed out on finding where Michaela and Dylan call home in The Boss and Her Billionaire - you can read the first chapter for free here. Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Sharing the love - guest Carmen Falcone

I believe that life gives you back what you give out so I figured a round of guest blog posting between the July Entangled Indulgence authors would be a great way to share the love. I popped over to chat on Carmen's blog a while ago (thanks for having me!) so here she is talking about why short romances remain popular. 

Carmen Falcone is the author of fab Indulgence title A Vengeful Affair and one of you could win a copy just by answering her question in the comments below! Take it away Carmen, it's so great to have you!

"I grew up reading short romances, and unapologetically so. I’ve read them for half of my life, so it’s safe to say that I enjoy them. And it pleases me that the genre is still going strong, especially nowadays with so many different subgenres gaining popularity.
I’ve made a list of some of the elements I love about short romances. Please stick around, because we’ll have a discussion at the end—and there’s a giveaway!
Here they are:
·         Fast-paced plot – There usually isn’t much time for set up in the first chapter, or if there is, it’s usually short and to the point. I love the fact that many short romances start right in with the action, with the hero and heroine being immediately thrown into a new situation.
·         Adrenaline at the fingertips – For me, there’s nothing better than to be able to read a whole book in one sitting, especially if it’s so engaging that it won’t let me even blink.
·         A big read in a small book – I love all of the highs and lows, the tension and the rattled emotions that short romances guarantee. Nowadays, life is busy and I need to know what happens to the hero’s conflict or the heroine’s misunderstanding now (or, okay, maybe in twenty pages, but not in three weeks).
·         The escapism – Ahhh. Is there anything better than a page-turner of a romance when you have a load of laundry to fold, or that god-awful project from work weighing on your mind? All you need is a couple of hours’ distance from your problems, your worries—and yes, sometimes even your family. Sure, we all love our families, but if you have kids, when was the last time you had full privacy when you took a shower? If you have a hubby, when was the last time you cooked a meal for one? Or didn’t cook at all, and just indulged in some junk food (mystery meat alert!) instead? Or, if you have an overbearing mother, when was the last time you didn’t overanalyze everything? Well, you get the point. We all need some release, and short romances are one of the best ways to get it.
·         The aftermath – A sensation of pure joy comes with a good ending. Of course, it can work against you if you started to read your romance before bed, but then got so caught up in the story that you pulled an all-nighter reading binge. In which case you’ll have to smile at the great ending, of course, but you’ll also have two dark circles under your eyes. But it was worth it, wasn’t it?

I’d like to think that my debut release A Vengeful Affair  has all those elements in it, but please be the judge. Click here to read my first chapter for free."

Thanks for stopping by! Just answer Carmen's question to be in to win her July Indulgence title A Vengeful Affair.

Question: What do you like/don’t you like about short romances?

About Carmen Falcone

 Carmen Falcone learned at an early age that fantasizing about fictional characters and places beat doing Math homework any day. She traveled the world, achieved a B.A. in Tourism in her hometown in Brazil and was soon invited to work in the USA, where she met her Swiss husband. She'd always dreamed of becoming a published writer, and after her daughter was born, she revisited that dream of writing - this time, unwilling to give it up. She lives in Austin and enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her family and three high energy pugs.

A Vengeful Affair
Rich people get away with murder every day, but Vivian Foster intends to make billionaire Javier Rivera pay for what he did to her best friend—and how better to destroy a money-grubbing bastard than to sabotage the merger that means everything to him.
Javier Rivera would never hurt a woman much less kill one. But when he catches a gorgeous corporate spy in his office, he knows he can’t let her go—not when even a hint of scandal could ruin his career. Until the merger is signed, he’ll keep her close, even if he has to shackle her to his wrist. Literally.
But the closer Javier gets to Vivian, the more he wants her, and the more time she spends with him, the less she believes he could ever be a killer. Now Vivian and Javier have to discover the truth…and Vivian has to win the trust of her worst enemy.

Friday, 17 August 2012

I think I'm an addict

It's been almost two weeks and I think it's time to admit that I'm addicted. Not to alochol or cigaretts or even chocolate (although some days I wonder about that last one). No, I think it's time to admit that I'm adicted to my laptop.
I'm not sitting at the beach typing away right now, even though it is summer in the UK, where the family have all been brought together after the long haul flight I talked about a couple of days ago. No. It is summer. But it's raining. Pouring to be more exact. And maybe that makes me miss my computer all the more, because if we were at home, and it was raining, and wee man was sleeping like he is now, I'd be off in my own world, meeting new people, introducing them to love and loss and the best sex of their lives...
Happily I've managed to borrow my father in laws machine for a couple of hours and it's almost blissful to be updating this blog, adding things to facebook and twitter without getting frustrated that the keyboard on my ipad wont cut and paste across programmes like I want it to.
It's a bit sad isnt it? It's okay. You can be honest.
But because this is borrowed time as it were I wanted to let you know where else I'll be popping up (thanks to my ipad and perhaps an internet cafe or two) over the next week or so.

A quick blog tour update:
On the 17th of August I'll be doing double time interviews:
First over with Jennifer - then with Autumn
On the 18th I'll be with the Passionate book Divas
On the 20th I'll be with everyone who loves a good beverage with their book - over at Cocktails and books
On the 21st I'll be chatting romance and seduction with Kaidans Seduction
On the 22nd I'll be with fellow antipodean Annie Seaton
And on the 23rd I feel very priviledged to be popping in for a spot with the Romance University Professors!

I'd absolutely love to hear from you and you might be lucky enough to win a copy of The Boss and Her Billionaire from a couple of those blogs, so do stop by and say hello!
In the mean time I'm having to take a forced detox and step away from the keyboard...sigh. I'll be checking in on my ipad, but it's just not the same, one finger typing and all that!

Thanks and happy reading!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Flying long haul baby.

So after a massive long haul flight across to the other side of the world, the sun has most definitely come out. As we touched down in the UK it was all a bit dispiriting--the horizontal rain didn't make for joyful viewing out of the plane windows. But now with the sun streaming down and my baby all upside down and sleeping when he shouldn't, I'm in that strange half-sleep-fog state where really the only thing I'm good for is reading. Bliss.
I did take notes on the flight, and maybe I'll even use this post as a reference for the article I've been commissioned on taking wee ones one long haul flights. Advice tip number one, load up your ereader with a bunch of tasty Entangled Indulgence titles for when you land...? but as I've only done this once, I wonder who else out in the world has advice on travel with infants. And of course
I have to get back again!
Let me know if you've travelled long haul, what worked and what didnt, and whether romance novels are the best companions for jet lag. Okay, so maybe I know the answer to the last one already...

Just in case you're in need of escape as much as I am, you can read the first chapter of The Boss and Her Billionaire or any other of the great Indulgence titles here.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Whirlwind worldwide

So I've done the unthinkable and dragged my eleven month old half way around the world to a completely different time zone. Happily I'm guest blogging with a bunch of people from all over, so whatever time zone you're in, there should be something for you!
I'm over with fellow July Indulgence writers Robyn Thomas (Australia) and Carmen Falcone (USA) on the 9th and am on a wee blog barrage for the next few days with:

Uh oh, I think the jetlag is starting to destroy my sense of self, this is turning into a list rather than a blog post. Sorry! 
I'll be popping up in a few other places over the next weeks. Starting with Manga Mania Cafe and The Readiacs on the 13th of August. Lots of these posts have the chance to win a copy of The Boss and Her Billionaire so do pop over and say hello!
I'm off to pretend that I know what time zone I'm in now. Night/morning

Friday, 3 August 2012

Happy Dancing - Top 50 Baby!

So there's nothing quite like seeing your ratings move is there? Especially when you have a team of cheerleaders by your side! This week has been a fab one for me and The Boss and Her Billionaire, so today is a big thanks to those people who have been jumping and happy dancing all the way. We've made the top 50 on Barnes and Noble people! Sitting at number 48 today!
Cheers, Heather, Robyn, Jackie, Cassandre, and especially Nicola Marsh who is happy dancing herself pretty hard with the success of her Indulgence title too! Go team Entangled.
Then of course are all of you if you've bought the book. Massive thanks all round! You've made this debut authors week.

And to top it off, the Readiacs provided this great review:
"Immediately I was drawn to this because of the ‘role-reversal’ aspect of the novel. She’s the Cruise Director and while his normal investment banker career would have him in charge, he’s at her mercy. I loved it.
First of all, their chemistry? Off the page. Whew. Thank God they were on the water and could’ve jumped off the deck to cool off.
Michaela, I loved. She was burned once and no matter what, she was determined to steer clear of the new hottie on board. I’m grateful her will caved.
Dylan was just… Dylan.  Unf. He’s out of his comfort zone here and while it’s a culture shock to be in a different position, he handles it well. Very well…
Downside, I sang the Love Boat theme song throughout the entire reading."

Classic, I'm humming that theme song now too!

If you havent yet had a chance to check out the book you can read the first chapter free here or here.

Image: Free digital images