Thursday, November 28, 2013

Author Spotlight - Sue Fortin

Today we welcome Harper Impulse author Sue Fortin into our Minxy Spotlight. Welcome Sue!

1. Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
Hi, I live in West Sussex in the UK, right on the south coast and when not writing, I’m mum to four children, although my eldest moved into his own place earlier this year. I work part-time at a local higher education college where I support the students in their learning.

2. What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th?(Nora only!)
United States of Love is my debut novel and I’ve just finished writing my second novel. Book Three is plotted out.

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 give myself short time frames for writing. For example, an hour to write 500 words or half an hour to write a particular scene. I work better under pressure and deadlines so this method suits me.

4. What is your top promo tip for other authors?
For myself, I prefer in-direct promo. I like to talk around my book, maybe about setting and share some photos or talk about the research. I think it engages readers without being pushy.

5. How does writing fit into your day? Or does your day fit in around your writing?
As I mentioned above, I work part-time at a local college and I have three children living at home, so my writing has to fit in around my other commitments. I’ve recently started a new routine of getting up early and having an hour’s writing. So far it’s working as it means I can write every day, even on a work day.

6. Is there a book you haven't written yet that you're dying to? What genre?
The book I’m currently working on is Romantic Suspense which is a new sub-genre for me but I would also love to write a historical. I just need to make plenty of time for research first.

7. Could you be friends with any of your heroines?
I could definitely be friends with Anna from United States of Love. For a start we have a son the same age and, also, she lives local to me – plenty of opportunities for coffee and a natter. I know also she’d look out for me and be there through thick and thin, she would be the perfect best friend.

8. Have you ever written a hero you'd be happy to run off with?
I could easily run off with Tex from United States of Love, hopefully he’d take me over to Texas where we could spend time together at his family’s ranch. I think hanging out with his brothers and their wives would be great fun.

9. Do you write to music, or with the tv on in the background, or do you need complete silence?
Ideally, I like to write in silence, but with a busy household it doesn’t always happen.

10. Writing snacks – what are your favourites?
I feel I should say something healthy, like, bananas or nuts but I’m going to confess to chocolate and cake.


Since splitting from her husband, single mum Anna Barnes is enjoying her new found freedom and independence.

However, she didn't bank on working for Tex Garcia – or the sparks that fly between them. The gorgeous American chef is getting the locals hot under the collar and not just because of his culinary prowess!

One problem: Tex can't commit and women pass through his life like dishes going out to service! Will it be the same with Anna? One thing’s for sure, this All American man is determined to break her self-imposed rule of never mixing business with pleasure – and add some spice into the mix…

United States of Love is available from Amazon, Amazon UK and for all other suppliers through Harper Impulse.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Inspiration and frogs - not necessarily in that order

Would the frogs outside my window please just get it on already?! I can’t even hear myself think they’re making such a racket!

So if this blog post is a little all over the place, it’s the frogs’ fault (not the fact that I’m currently surviving on 4-5 hours sleep a night rather than my usual 6!) I’m doing Nanowrimo. Fifty thousand words in thirty days. Please remind me why we do this to ourselves again?

The day job hasn’t been as kind as in past years and my word counts are lagging. Or, as my fancy Nano spreadsheet so helpfully keeps reminding me, I now have to write 2,894 words per day if I’m to have any hope of claiming my winner’s certificate.

Whether you’re Nano-ing or not, here’s a little inspiration from Hollywood:

"Life is very interesting… in the end, some of your greatest pains, become your greatest strengths." - Drew Barrymore

"Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power." - Clint Eastwood

"A lot of people give up just before they’re about to make it. You know you never know when that next obstacle is going to be the last one." - Chuck Norris

On the news front, I’d like to say CONGRATULATIONS to Tara Pammi, who has become the first Minx to be nominated for an RT award. We are so proud of you Minx Tara, and you so deserve the accolades!

But she is by no means our first award nominee. Minx Lorraine was recently nominated for not one but two TWO awards at the recent Festival of Romance in the UK. Lorraine has a special place in my heart since she’s the Minx I’ve spent the most time with in person, so I cannot tell you how excited I am that she’s getting the recognition she deserves.

And finally, to end with still more good news (for me, at least) I received a lovely review this weekend from Chloe’s Chick Lit Reviews for my second novel, The Trouble with Mojitos. Thank you, Chloe.

To wrap up this rambly blog post, I’m going to share a clip I’ve been using as inspiration for my current work-in-progress. Meet Christian...

(This isn't the clip I wanted to show, but after an hour of searching and not finding the right one, this will have to do!)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Author Spotlight - Rosanna Leo

We're delighted that Rosanna Leo is here on the minxes today, to answer the minx questions and tell us a little about her new release. Without further ado, here we go!

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself. 
The first thing I should warn you about is my somewhat-unreasonable obsession with Nutella. Once you understand that, we can be friends. ;) Kidding aside, I am a writer and librarian from Toronto, Canada, and saw my dreams realized last year when my first romance was published by Liquid Silver Books. I live for romance, and love pairing hot (preferably immortal) men with real women who have real bodies and issues. When not writing, I spend my time working at the local library and shuttling my two sons hither and yon.

What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th?(Nora only!)
From your mouth to God’s ears! I would love to be Nora one day. J Predator’s Serenade is my 8th book and I am so proud to bring it to you.

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?
Well, because I also work outside the home, my writing times are few and I can’t afford to waste time. No shoe shopping for me on a writing day! If I have time to write, that’s all I do. Yes, it takes some discipline, but I love it too much to want to do anything else.

What is your top promo tip for other authors?
Network…properly. If you join a group online, don’t just post and disappear. You have to engage readers, and also relate to them. Answer questions. Respond to comments. Be there, and have fun with promotion!

How does writing fit into your day? Or does your day fit in around your writing?
Writing has to fit into my day, even though I’d love it to be the other way around. If I don’t have to be somewhere else, I am sitting in front of my laptop and losing myself in other worlds.

Is there a book you haven't written yet that you're dying to? What genre?
I’m dying to return to the first book I ever wrote, which remains unpublished. It was a sprawling love story/historical/paranormal and had some great qualities, but was far too long and unwieldy. It was my first, after all. I hope to pare it down and polish it one day…one day.

Keeping fit: Do you have an exercise regime to counterbalance all those hours sitting at a computer?
Yes! Run, don’t walk to kitchen. Whip open the cupboard door, thus engaging arm muscles. Retrieve Nutella from cupboard and wrench open top. Jump in spot from excitement as you thrust a spoon into the chocolate mixture. Breathe deeply as you ingest…and go sit down again. ;)

What was the most fun part of writing this book?
The banter. My hero is a cocky professional percussionist and bear shifter. My heroine is a regular mom who happens to have a shape shifter son (we explain how in the book). She is not afraid to take my hero down a peg or two, and I found their banter just flowed out of me. I guess snark comes easily to me!

Just for fun: a year from the end of the book, where would your couple go on holiday?
Ooh! I love this question. Gioia, my heroine, loves the outdoors. Soren, the hero, loves the city. However, by the end of the book, he gains an appreciation for nature too. I think, to taunt him, she’d force him into a tent and make him camp. However, I know for a fact he’d love snuggling in said tent!

Which of your characters would you like to be?
Um, yes, I could stand to be Gioia from Predator’s Serenade. She’s funny and has a cool, talented son who she adores. She’s mated to a very sexy bear shifter who happens to have oodles of money (not that she cares about that). And her mate is, ahem, very into her…often.

 About Predator's Serenade:
There are three things that make bear shifter Soren Snow’s skin crawl: mothers, their children, and the great outdoors. Soren is a famed musician and playboy, and he would rather spend his days pressing the flesh with the women in his fan club than developing meaningful relationships. When his brother calls in a favor, forcing Soren to revisit the Ursa Fishing Lodge in Northern Ontario, he couldn’t be more displeased. However, he owes his brother big time.
Gioia Clementine would rather not meet Soren, her drummer son’s rock idol. But when tragedy strikes her home, it seems the only one the boy might respond to is Soren. Gioia begrudgingly agrees to let her son meet him, hoping the rock star won’t turn her tween into a musical misogynist.
When Gioia and Soren meet, the sexual chemistry threatens to set the Ontario woodland ablaze. Can these two opposites find a common ground? And can they manage to resolve their unwanted feelings, even when a mysterious stranger arrives at the lodge, threatening everything?
Buy link:

Learn more about Rosanna by visiting her blog, facebook and twitter.

Thank you for joining us today, Rosanna!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Busy weekend!

Some of the minxes have been wicked busy this weekend....

Kitty attended Totally Booked Blog's London Author Signing Event, where she was rubbing shoulders with other heavy-hitting authors such as Colleen Hoover, Jasinda Wilder, Alice Clayton (and many more), meeting readers and signing stuff...

And Lorraine was at the Festival of Romance in England where she was nominated for both Best Romantic e-book and also Innovation in Romantic Fiction.

Some minxes are doing Nanowrimo - some buried in the editing cave, and some writing their fingers to the bone...

There will doubtless be pictures and gossip to follow over the weeks ahead, but for now, I'd like to leave you with something pretty to look at, namely these incredible celebrity dolls by Noel Cruz. (See more at his website,

These are my favorites....aren't they awesome?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Author Spotlight - Mimi Strong

Today we're delighted to have USA Today Bestselling Author Mimi Strong on the minxes. Mimi's storming up the charts with her latest series about Peaches Monroe-a fabulous heroine. Not only are her books erotic and funny, she's also a great supporter of other writers, and fun too. Now, the questions!

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
I’m a former good girl who writes about bad girls, bad boys who want to be good, and good sex that goes hilariously bad sometimes.

What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th?(Nora only!)
Like any former good girl who’s gone bad, I’ve lost track of my actual numbers. Fourteen rings a bell, though.

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?
Lucky for me, I hate shoe shopping, due to my monstrously large feet. I’ll take writing over that, any day! My main method is deadlines and beating myself up.

What is your top promo tip for other authors?
Write a bunch of books, because you’ll gain confidence and readers with every one.
How does writing fit into your day? Or does your day fit in around your writing?
I was self-employed for a good decade already before I started writing, so the cycle of procrastination, not showering or eating properly, and staying up late to meet a deadline hasn’t changed much. My new thing is doing a three-hour block of writing, early in the day. This allows me the smug self-satisfaction of bragging to my author friends that my word count has been met for the day. It’s kind of like the superior high you get a few days into quitting sugar. (i.e. Doomed to not last more than a few weeks.)

Which blog(s) do you read regularly?
My top blog is a message board--I check the KBoards Writers’ Cafe regularly.

Keeping fit: Do you have an exercise regime to counterbalance all those hours sitting at a computer?
I now have a sit/stand desk. The unit cost $369 plus tax and shipping, and it converts from sitting to standing with the touch of a finger. I now stand more than half my time at the computer, and my knees are doing much, much better. I need more exercise, but this is a start in the right direction.

Which of your characters would you like to be?
I’m happy to be me, because all the true love, great friendships, and hilarious characters in my book worlds are inspired by the wonderful people in my real life.

Could you be friends with any of your heroines?
I’d gladly hang out with any of them! I swear sometimes I see them around town. I see Peaches Monroe everywhere, always a little different, and always dressed better than me.

At what point in your career did you actually start to feel like you were a writer?
Once my first book hit the USA Today Bestseller list, I knew that other people would think I’d “made it,” and I resolved myself to neither brag nor downplay my level. If someone compliments me, I try to accept it graciously. I still act like a neurotic freak at times, but I try not to complain when things aren’t going so well, because I know how annoying it is to writers who are still trying to get any traction at all. (Which is where I was for a good year and a half.)

Do you have any tips, tricks or sacrificial rituals you do when you hit a story roadblock?
Most roadblocks won’t survive a five-minute staring contest with the blank page. I’ve never (knock wood) been blocked. However, there are plenty of days I have difficulty getting out of bed, or opening the document. At times, the act of opening the manuscript will make me feel so sick I have to immediately close it, lest I vomit. We writers suffer from excellent memory and imagination. I can write a sentence and suddenly imagine the least appropriate person reading it over my shoulder. I am not so special as to be the only writer with this affliction. I understand these feelings are so common as to be cliched! How dare I take up space on a page speaking of such obviousness? I will say this: I remember who I was before I began writing, and how I had days both bad and good; I know that not every dark mood can be blamed on low sales, critical reviews, or the crushing indifference of the book-reading population. The universe has always been indifferent to my desires. I accept my humanity. I may be very small in this world, but I am enough.

STARFIRE - Peaches Monroe #3 - comes out December 10th.
Books #1 and #2, Stardust and Starlight are available now.

STARDUST - Peaches Monroe #1
STARLIGHT - Peaches Monroe #2
Barnes&Noble / Nook:
STARFIRE comes out December 10th. Want an email reminder? SIGN UP FOR Mimi's newsletter:
(Free gift when you sign up)

Thanks so much for being minxy today, Mimi!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

November, Nano and Coffee

I love November. Here in Johannesburg the sun is shining (when doesn't it?), the days are warm, and the spring rains have cleaned the air. The shops are filled with Christmas decorations, but we're not yet so sick of hearing Christmas carols that we want to punch the next shopping mall Santa who says "ho! ho! ho!"

But best of all, November is Nanowrimo - National Novel Writing month. For professional authors (i.e. anyone taking this writing lark seriously, not just those whose monthly bills depend on it) every month is novel writing month, but in November we get to use the excuse of doing Nano to feed the family instant meals all month and to ignore the ironing.

If you've ever done Nano you'll know the feeling - that thrill of being so involved in your story that the words just flow. That amazing feeling when you crawl into bed (an hour later than usual) knowing you've achieved a higher than expected word count. The excitement when your fingers are moving across the keyboard and suddenly your characters do something unexpected and you think "yes! this is even better!"
(Can you tell I haven't yet hit the Saggy Middle of my story?!)

So for all you Nano-ers out there: may the force be with you!
(And what the hell are you doing reading this blog? Go write! Now!)