Thursday, June 27, 2013

Author Spotlight - Kamy Chetty

Today the Minxes are pleased to welcome contemporary romance, with medical drama, author Kamy Chetty.

1. Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.

Firstly, thank you for having me here. I am a hopeless romantic who was born with Cupid’s smile(I’d like to think). I have always written about love and hope. I am a mother and wife and when I am not chasing deadlines and promoting books then I am a nurse.

2. What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th? (Nora only!)

This is my third published book. My first one was out in January this year and the second was out last month, so I have been busy.

3. Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?

I am the world’s biggest procrastinator and will find anything else to do instead of writing or editing but what I find works is the reward system. I tell myself that if I write a set amount of words then I get to watch my favourite movie or episode of True Blood.

4. What is your top promo tip for other authors?

Not to do it yourself unless you know what you’re doing. The best thing I could do was get a professional on board. I don’t have to worry about anything but writing and she does all the hard yards for me. Promotion is very important and I see that in the sales, you have to keep at it and you have to know what to do and how to do it. I always thought all I had to do was learn my craft and become published, well there’s an entire new learning curve once you get that contract.

5. How does writing fit into your day? Or does your day fit in around your writing?

I wish I had the job that allowed me to write full time but I am not JKR, not yet :) So I work for five hours and when I get home I try and spend a few hours working on my writing.

6.  Any craft books you recommend?

As a writer you also have to spend time researching and reading so it gets to be very busy. This an old one but it is still a good one. Dwight Swain - Techniques of the Selling writer. If there is one message this book taught me it is the motivation reaction units. I always read my work and make sure I write in the order it happens, it makes such a difference to the experience the reader gets.

7.  Have you ever written a hero you'd be happy to run off with?

I would definitely run off with Nick in Breathe Again and it has nothing to do with the perfect abs or the uniform, okay, maybe it does. A little. But can you blame me? The man is sex on two legs, wouldn’t you want to run away with a man with that much power.

8.  Keeping fit: Do you have an exercise regime to counterbalance all those hours sitting at a computer?

Well my exercise of choice is the treadmill while watching an episode of True Blood, this is my reward and it gives me at least fifty minutes of exercise.

9.  Do you have any tips, tricks or sacrificial rituals you do when you hit a story roadblock?

When I hit a road block then I have to clear my mind. I light my candles and play my music, I do some deep breathing and I make notes with a pencil and paper. By then something clicks and I get a spark of an idea. If it gets really bad, then I have to step away from the situation and take a time out and watch a movie or take a shower and usually when I get back, I might have an idea or two.

10.  Is there a book you haven't written yet that you're dying to? What genre?

At the moment I write contemporary romance and lots of medical drama but I would love to write something with paranormal elements in it. I love vampires, witches and psychics so anything that can bring that out would be a great book for me.

Breath Again

After a tour at war and countless shifts in the hospital emergency room, Nick knows that no matter how hard he tries to change things, people are the same. So when his estranged wife Skylar reveals that she stopped taking birth control and is pregnant, he shouldn’t be shocked.

Betrayal burns and panic sets in as memories of his shattered home life remind him that he can’t play happy families. Skylar knows one thing—she’s head over nurse’s shoes in love with the stubborn and unemotional Nick. She loves him enough to believe in the man he is, even though he can’t see it for himself and hides behind a mask. As he calls their child “hers” and tries to live apart from her, Skylar’s heart breaks, but she refuses to give up hope that he’ll do the right thing.

When disaster strikes, Skylar realizes Nick might never change, so she risks everything and sets him free, hoping he’ll come back, for her and their baby. Is heat, passion and a vow enough to seal this marriage and make them a family?

Reader Alert!

Their passion and devotion will make you root for them, and their sexual tension will set you ablaze.

Red Sage Amazon US Amazon UK B&N

Monday, June 24, 2013

Failure as the Key to Success

I stole that title from Matthew Wright. Yes, while I was working from home this morning, I had the TV on for company. Nobody believes me when I say that, but I find working in a quiet house is very creepy and get much more done if the telly’s on in the background.

At one point today, Matthew Wright grabbed handfuls of his own moobs to demonstrate how big they were. Not pretty. I had to stop working for a full ten minutes and have some chocolate to get over the shock. But don't worry, that's not what I'm going to talk about here.

On the Wright Stuff, Matthew and guests discuss news stories. Topics today included a newspaper headline where an Oxford girls’ school is setting impossible tests to show 11-year-old pupils that it’s OK to fail. Read the story here (it’s the Daily Mail). It’s my personal feeling that this is bonkers and if my daughter went to this school I’d be asking for a refund of fees. But this is supposed to be a writing post not a ranty mama post, so I'm not going to talk about that story, either.

However, ‘failure as a key to success’, now that’s something I can relate to – particularly in terms of my writing. And I didn’t need anyone to teach me how to fail. I found out all by myself.

Only writers don’t call it failure – we call it rejection.

And rejection is part of writing. Or at least it is for most of us. I know there will be the odd superstar who will have sold everything they’ve ever written, but they will be exceptional. The rest of us will have had to deal with the dreaded R. Some of us on more than one occasion.

Success from failure is possible as many writer have found out, but it requires a few things. And I have prepared one of my beloved lists:

1. Firstly, tenacity: Don’t give up. Keep writing, keep submitting.

2. Secondly, flexibility: If one kind of writing isn’t working, try another for a while. A different publisher. A different genre. A different type of writing.

3. An ability to learn from mistakes: This can be a hard one and most of us need help with it. Which leads me neatly onto...

4. Luck: I’ve been very lucky – I have Minxes to rely on for feedback for novels. And I have short story writing friends for (surprisingly) short stories. I’ve also been extra lucky with editors – particularly the very lovely Shirley Blair at The People’s Friend, because not everyone finds an editor who is prepared to guide them through rewrites so that rejected stories are turned into something suitable for the magazine.

5. Finally, stubbornness: This is linked to tenacity. Do not give up. On a story or on yourself. Rewrite as though your life depends on it. My greatest day with short stories was seeing one published five years to the day after it had first been rejected by the same magazine. And with novels it has to be Trust In Me – this went through several rewrites to the extent that it was no longer the same story by the time I eventually sold it. The first version had a different title, a different hero, a different heroine and a different setting – and there weren’t even any donkeys.

Do you have any ideas for using failure as a key to success?

PS for British blog visitors: Brendan from Coach Trip is one of Matthew's guests tomorrow, but I won't get to see it because I'll be working in a proper office and my colleagues would frown on anyone watching TV. Really not happy. Someone watch it for me, please, and tell me if it's good? I love Brendan.

And, for those of you who don't know, this is Brendan, the host of Coach Trip, which is a reality TV version of the film Driving Aphrodite (aka My Life In Ruins) which I also love.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Author Spotlight - Nicole Flockton

Today we welcome Crimson Romance author Nicole Flockton into the Spotlight.

1. Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
I’m originally from Perth Western Australia but have spent the last nearly four years living in Houston Texas. I share a house with my uber supportive husband, two gorgeous kids, Maya our Siberian husky who isn’t quite user friendly some days and our cat Scooter who made the trek from Perth to Houston with us – he settled in the best to life in Houston.

2. What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th?(Nora only!)
This is book number 3.

3. Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?
Having a deadline makes it easier to stay at the computer, but some days it’s a fight that I don’t win.

4. What is your top promo tip for other authors?
Be friendly on social media and give back. I made a promise to myself that when I got published I give back to aspiring writers like so many authors who helped me when I was aspiring. I try to help where I can.

5. How does writing fit into your day? Or does your day fit in around your writing?
I honestly don’t know. I should do more when my kids are at school, but as I also work remotely for my job in Australia it’s a constant struggle.

6. Keeping fit: Do you have an exercise regime to counterbalance all those hours sitting at a computer?
Oh I try! And I need to get back into it. But I do like to jog. Started last summer – yes I ran through a hot, humid Houston summer. I must start it up again. Actually I ran mainly so the dog was exhausted and didn’t bother the kids during the summer break. As the kids are on summer break – I’ll be doing that again.

7. Could you be friends with any of your heroines?
Oh I think I could be friends with all of them. I think they’d be a great group of girls to go have coffee or wine with.

8. At what point in your career did you actually start to feel like you were a writer?
Probably when I realised I’d just signed my 5th contract in 10.5 months.

9. Do you write to music, or with the tv on in the background, or do you need complete silence?
As my desk is in my living the TV is my constant companion. Sometimes I write to music but find that quite distracting. Other times when I’m having difficulties I try to go somewhere quiet. Found writing in the car in the kids school carpark a creative place to write.

10. Writing snacks – what are your favourites?
Chocolate mini cupcakes, chocolate, and around Easter Cadbury Chocolate Mini Egges with the crispy outer shell – do you see a theme here? LOL

He helps save lives, now he wants to save hers.

Dawn Granger has loved and lost and it’s a road she’s not prepared to travel again, that is until her past turns up and has her questioning her resolve.

Andrew Holmes has sailed the globe numerous times, when he almost loses his life, he decides he needs to give something back so he returns home and trains as a paramedic. When he runs into his former sweetheart he is surprised to find an attraction he thought dead come to life. When he sees the sadness in Dawn he knows he will do anything to make her smile again.

Dawn tries to resist Andrew but their past pulls at her in ways she thought long dead. Can she trust a man who's run out on her once before? Can she risk putting her heart on the line again? Or will it all be taken from her again.

Rescuing Dawn is available from Amazon, Amazon UK, iTunes, Kobo and direct from the publisher.
You can read an excerpt here and the reviews here.

Nicole can be contacted via Twitter, Facebook, and on her website.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Runaway Groom - Out now with a signed paperback giveaway!

I'm exhausted this week, because last week was the release week of my eighth novel - if I add my book of short stories New Beginnings, and the Blaze anthology, I now have ten works with my name on them on Amazon...which makes me feel a little faint!

I love Runaway Groom, and so the reviews so far show that readers do too (relief!), so I thought I'd blog today about the kernel of an idea that grew into this book.

It started with a thought...
People want to sympathise with the bride in the event that a wedding is called off. There can be understanding and caring sent her way, and small town communities close ranks to protect her, even if she's the one who calls off the wedding.
Everyone loves to hate a runaway groom.

My hero, Matthew Logan is a runaway groom, and he's never been allowed to forget it. People ignore him in shops. Talk about him behind his back. It doesn't matter to him, because he's left the village of his youth, and doesn't have to deal with it everyday. But when someone who used to be his friend can't hide her animosity for his past, he's had enough... and the story begins!

You can read more of Runaway Groom by clicking the look inside tab on Amazon....
It's available from here, and here.

Runaway Groom is also available in paperback from all the usual online places, and if anyone has a paperback of any of my books and would like it signed, just find me on twitter let me know, and I'll post you out a signed bookplate.

And because I'm a minx, I'm giving away a signed paperback to one commenter on this blog post who tells me why they think Matthew might deserve a second chance at love...

Oh, another couple of things - I've just got the rights back to Marrying Cade, and the new, self-published version with a yummy new cover went on sale on Amazon yesterday... here and here... and my first book, Catch Me A Catch will be on sale at 99c on 20-23 June!

Finally, I just wanted to say, if you've read any book and enjoyed it, do consider leaving a review on Amazon - it really is the best thing you can do for any author, and it makes their day!
My links:
Blog – Love and Chocolate.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Author Spotlight - Rae Rivers

Today I have the pleasure of introducing an author who is not only a fellow South African but also a fellow Harper Impulse author. Yay, and welcome to Rae Rivers.

1. Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
I’ve always had a love of storytelling and handwrote my first book at the age of 12. I’ve always written contemporary / romantic suspense novels and never considered branching out into paranormal romance until out of the blue, a witch came to mind with her story. It was daunting at first as it was completely out of my comfort zone but I had so much fun writing The Keepers.

2. What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th? (Nora only!)
Archer will be my first book published, followed later with the other two books of the trilogy.

3. Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?
I read somewhere that a writer should write consistently, even when the creative spark is absent. I can’t do this. I have to be in my story, feel inspired, and connect with my characters. If I don’t, then all I have at the end of a writing session are words I hate and a lot of frustration. Sometimes, when shoe shopping seems more attractive, I go shoe shopping. Then I write. I’ve learnt to go with the flow but with two more books to write, I’m trying hard to develop some sort of writing routine that works for me.

4. What is your top promo tip for other authors?
Social media is a great tool for any author in terms of exposure, connecting with other authors, and getting your name out there. I only joined this online world a year ago but I’ve made so many new author friends who have taught me so much. Thanks, ladies! As for the promo tips - I’m new at this and still learning so please send some tips my way!

5. How does writing fit into your day? Or does your day fit in around your writing?
Up until now, my writing has had to fit into my day but as it’s become so much more than what it was originally, I’ve had to reassess my daily routine to make more time for it. It’s hard with two young children around to find the quiet time needed to write, so most of my writing is done when they’re asleep. Fortunately, my hubby has been very supportive and often whisks the kids off on outings to give me some precious time alone with my imaginary friends.

6. Do you write every day?
No, there are days when life simply runs away with me but I really need to start writing every day. If I’m away from the story for too long, it takes a while to get back into it. This, combined with the several writing deadlines looming, I’m making a huge effort to write more consistently. My family just needs to get the memo!

7. In what way is being a published writer different to how you thought it would be?
It’s so much fun but it’s hard work and requires a lot of time behind the computer doing everything but writing! Social media, planning, marketing, research ... the list is endless! The one thing I didn’t expect was the amount of continuous support and enthusiasm from other authors. This has been wonderful and something I treasure.

8. What was the most fun part of writing this book?
I loved the magic system in this book and the way it connects Sienna to her three Keepers. It was fun to explore this and create a mythology of my own. I also loved the relationship between the three brothers and had so much fun with the brotherly banter.

9. At what point in your career did you actually start to feel like you were a writer?
The more I wrote, the more I started to feel like a writer. It was only after my first sale that I started to believe that I could actually write. Hopefully, readers will think so too!

10. Do you have any tips, tricks or sacrificial rituals you do when you hit a story roadblock?
I hate story roadblocks! I love using Pinterest for gathering images for inspiration and I have a friend who is always keen to brainstorm ideas with me. I also know when to walk away for a day or two if my head’s not in the right space. Sometimes, a little distance gives me the light bulb moment I need.

The Keepers: Archer

Lose yourself in the world of The Keepers, an exciting new Paranormal Romance trilogy from Rae Rivers.
“Don’t ever look for me again, Archer.”
His mouth curled into a smile. “Game on.”

Central Park. Sienna Beckham is out jogging in the autumn sun, feeling almost ordinary. Trouble is, she'll never be. She's on the run from her life as a powerful witch and the three Keepers blood-bound to protect her.

Evil is hot on Sienna's tail and Archer Bennett is searching for her, desperate to find her before they do. As one of her Keepers, he will fight to his death to defend her.

Sienna must return and defend her hometown, Rapid Falls – but she has to face the past and master her powers. And as forbidden feelings blossom between Sienna and Archer, will their love survive the ultimate war?

The Keepers: three strong and handsome warrior brothers, born to protect.

The Keepers: Archer is published by Harper Impulse, Harper Collins, and will be available from 20 June 2013. In the meantime, you can read the opening chapter here.

The book is also available to pre-order on Amazon, Amazon UK, Kobo and Barnes & Noble.

You can catch up with Rae on Facebook, Twitter and on her blog.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Movie Review: The Great Gatsby

Ssshhh... don't tell anyone, but I'm another year older today. My birthday treat was to see Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby with my English literature teacher mom yesterday.

Since I adore the 1920s (and write novellas set in the 20s under the name Rae Summers) I've been avidly awaiting this movie for months and months. I pored over the trailers and read the reviews, including those by Fitzgerald officionados, so I had a pretty good idea of what to expect .... I expected to be wowed.
I was.

If you haven't yet seen the movie, it's a visual feast - sumptuous settings, stunning costumes, full of colour and vibrancy. Baz Luhrmann has taken a little creative license in his adaptation (which film director doesn't?) but I believe he's captured the spirit of both the book and the Fitzgeralds' generation.

I could so see Zelda Fitzgerald in mercurial golden girl Daisy Buchanan, and could easily understand Gatsby's fascination with her. And though I've never been a fan of Leonardo di Caprio, I completely fell in love with his Gatsby. There's a moment where Gatsby holds Daisy in his arms as they sit on his shirt-strewn bed, and my heart melted for the both of them. I so wanted them to be happy together.

But while The Great Gatsby is a powerful love story, this is no romance with its inevitable HEA. I had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes when the end credits rolled.

For me, though, the great tragedy of this story is not what happens on the page or on the screen, but the story behind the story. As I watched this movie, the tragedies of Scott Fitzgerald's own life loomed large. He is present in all three of the male leads in this movie - the hopeful idealist Gatsby, the careless Tom, and the 'morbid alcoholic' narrator, Nick Carraway.

When Fitzgerald wrote this book in 1922 he was married to his own golden girl, Zelda Sayre. But life imitated art and Scott and Zelda did not get their happy ending either. Like Tom and Daisy Buchanan, after their tumultuous period in New York they drifted from place to place, and their marriage, against a backdrop of wild parties and excessive drinking, was torn apart by affairs.

Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald

My own novellas obviously can't compare to the great prose and depth of The Great Gatsby, but I hope that like Baz Luhrmann I've managed to capture a little of the spirit of the time. Let's Misbehave has the parties, champagne, hot jazz and despair (and a Gatsby quote), and Prohibited Passion shares the setting: New York City in 1922. And at least with my stories you know you're guaranteed a happy ending!

Have you seen Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby? What did you think - a glorious reproduction or a complete misrepresentation? More importantly ... did you enjoy the movie?

Let's Misbehave
Wild child and dedicated Flapper Gabrielle gets more than she bargained for when she sets out to seduce staid aristocrat Sebastian.
Available from Amazon and Amazon UK.
(Incidentally, the song this book was named for appears in Luhrmann's movie)

Prohibited Passion
When respectable English widow Jenny is stuck in an elevator with Prohibition gangster Tom Gallagher, her greatest fear becomes a reality.
Available from Amazon and Amazon UK.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Author Spotlight - Louise Rose-Innes

Today we have South African author (now living in the UK) Louise Rose-Innes in the spotlight talking about her brand new release The New Year's Resolution.

1. Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
I write contemporary romance and have just branched out into romantic suspense. I’ve been writing for about five years, seriously – and about ten years, stopping and starting and generally playing around.

2. What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th?(Nora only!)
The New Year Resolution is my fourth book (but first novella)

3. Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?
I have limited time to write, so it’s precious to me. I write while my child is at school, so I sit down as soon as possible after I drop him off, and I don’t get up until it’s time to collect him (unless I do have something important to do). But that is it for the rest of the day, so I have to make every second at the keyboard count.

4. What is your top promo tip for other authors?
Building your social media presence can help get your name out there. Some authors have hit it big that way.

5. How does writing fit into your day? Or does your day fit in around your writing?
I like to write for substantial blocks of time. I can’t do much in an hour (it takes me that long to read through my previous work and get my thoughts in order). So I like to sit down for at least four hours at a time. If I don’t have that, then I won’t bother to work on my latest manuscript. I’ll do something else like marketing and promotion, or catch up on emails and blog posts – and then go and get my toes done!

6. Which blog(s) do you read regularly?
I enjoy as they have good marketing articles. I also pick up useful info from A Newbie's Guide to Publishing, and I subscribe to the Google Webmaster Blog for SEO advice (to keep up with my online marketing), and various other web design and e-marketing blogs.

7. What was the most fun part of writing this book?
I wrote this book for a friend, who really wanted her own happily ever after. She told me that her only New Year’s resolution last year, was to have a date for this New Years Eve, and it didn’t look like it was going to happen. So I wrote her a gorgeous, wealthy date, threw in a fabulous island holiday and a love triangle with lots of sizzling sex on the top!

8. Just for fun: a year from the end of the book, where would your couple go on holiday?
Back to the luxury island resort off the coast of Mozambique where they fell in love, of course.

9. At what point in your career did you actually start to feel like you were a writer?
After I’d self-published my second novel, The Italian Inheritance, and it hit the Amazon bestseller list and stayed there for a couple of months. That’s when I started taking myself seriously as a writer.

10. Do you have any tips, tricks or sacrificial rituals you do when you hit a story roadblock?
I plan my stories to an inch of their lives before I start writing, so I don’t hit stumbling blocks.

The New Year Resolution is available from and Please sign up to my New Releases Newsletter at to win free copy of The New Year Resolution.

Last year, divorcee Nicole had only one New Year’s Resolution – to have a date for this New Years Eve – but with no strings attached. One thing she knows for sure is that she isn’t ready for anything more complicated than a casual date.

So when eco-tycoon and international jetsetter, Ryan Jackson begs her to accompany him to a tropical island for a week, in order to impress his benefactor, Nicole categorically refuses. He’s way too hot and she’s way too vulnerable. Not a good idea.

Yet Ryan won’t take no for an answer. It’s for a good cause. She would only have to pretend to be his lover. It’s a luxury island resort with all expenses paid. How can she refuse?

Under the tropical sun, things heat up and their pretence goes out the window. Nicole gets cold feet. She’s not ready for this kind of affair. It’s doubtful she ever will be.

But have they come too far? Distancing herself from Ryan will cause him to lose the funding he so desperately needs for his eco-project, but staying with him means she’ll lose something far more valuable... her heart. And that’s a risk Nicole is simply not willing to take.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

SUB TO SALE in 24 hours – My Call Story

Monday 16:00 – Receive double rejection email from an Editor. It’s a nice rejection with an invitation for further submission but still…am plunged into instant depression!
Monday 17:00 – Try to elude the self-pitying vortex by submitting to Harper Impulse, Harper Collins' new Digital First imprint
Monday 18:00 – Fall into self-pitying vortex anyway.
Tuesday 10:30 – Notice there’s an email from Harper Impulse in my inbox and assume it’s just a confirmation of receipt email. Then I read it and see the words:
They. Want. To. Call. Me.
Tuesday 11:00 – Enter into flurry of emails with writing friends. Cue overuse of OMG and exclamation marks!!!
Tuesday 11:30 – Kim Young calls. I evict a crew of terriers from my office in case they want to join in the conversation. I try to sound like a normal person rather than the blithering-woman-in-shock I really am. Little wonder as I’ve gone from rejection to submission to sale in under 24 hours!
Tuesday 15:00 – Receive confirmation email that proves it hasn’t all been a dream and I’ve got a four book deal.

Thank you Harper Impulse for making my dreams come true J

‘Confessions of a Chalet Girl’ is a fun, flirty read set in the exclusive Swiss ski resort of Verbier, the winter playground of the rich and famous.
As the daughter of an alcoholic mother, 23-year-old chalet girl Holly Buchanan is used to putting on an act to keep her secrets hidden. Blending in can be exhausting so when her sexy new boss Scott suggests she lightens up and has some fun, her first instinct is to pray for an avalanche to bury her. 28 year old owner of Luxury Chalet Experiences, Scott Hamilton, comes from a family where hiding the truth has had devastating consequences. However, he’s tried to put the past behind him and chooses to live life to the full both on and off the piste. He knows sleeping with the staff is courting danger but it’s an irresistible challenge to prove to Holly that losing control can be fun.