Thursday, December 31, 2009

Books Read in 2009

I was hoping to have read stacks more books this year but, similarly to last year, life got in the way. Will have to aim to read more this year.

Highlighted in red were my fave reads which is not to detract from the other books which were still enjoyable. So, without further ado, here goes:

1. Get a Clue by Jill Shalvis
2. Flashpoint by Jill Shalvis
3. Confessions of a Millionaire's Mistress by Robyn Grady
4. Playboy Boss, Live-In Mistress by Kelly Hunter
5. Untamed Billionaire, Undressed Virgin by Anna Cleary
6. The Boss's Bedroom Agenda by Nicola Marsh
7. A Night With the Society Playboy by Ally Blake
8. Hired: The Boss's Bride by Ally Blake
9. Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
10. Two Weeks In The Magnate's Bed by Nicola Marsh
11. Kate Walker's 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance by Kate Walker
12. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
13. The Italian Boss's Mistress of Revenge by Trish Morey
14. The Billionaire's Baby by Nicola Marsh
15. The Secret Mistress Arrangement by Kimberley Lang
16. The Mile High Club by Heidi Rice
17. Pleasure, Pregnancy and a Proposition by Heidi Rice
18. Savas' Defiant Mistress by Anne McAllister
19. Heart and Craft: Bestselling Romance Writers Share their Secrets With You, edited by Valerie Parv
20. Time to Write by Kelly L. Stone
21. Hot Nights With A Playboy by Nicola Marsh
22. Hot-Shot Tycoon, Indecent Proposal by Heidi Rice
23. Between The Italian's Sheets by Natalie Anderson
24. Exposed: Misbehaving With the Magnate by Kelly Hunter
25. Spanish Magnate, Red-Hot Revenge by Lynne Raye Harris
26. Memoirs of a Millionaire's Mistress by Anne Oliver
27. The Antonakos Marriage by Kate Walker
28. Antonides' Forbidden Wife by Anne McAllister
29. Hot Boss, Wicked Nights by Anne Oliver
30. Bought: Damsel in Distress by Lucy King
31. Getting Red-Hot With The Rogue by Ally Blake
32. At The Boss's Beck and Call by Anna Cleary
33. Revealed: A Prince and A Pregnancy by Kelly Hunter
34. Public Affair, Secretly Expecting by Heidi Rice
35. The Millionaire's Mistletoe Mistress in Christmas With The Boss by Natalie Anderson
36. Devil In A Dark Blue Suit by Robyn Grady
37. The Secrets of Successful Romance Writing by Emma Darcy
38. Hot Boss Boardroom Mistress by Natalie Anderson
39. Married: For Business or Pleasure? by Nicola Marsh (part read)

Now off to put in a dent in my TBR pile...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Editing Blues

My wordcount meter hasn't been budging lately. The reason for that is that I'm trying to edit my second chapter. Trying being the operative word.

I'm following Margie Lawson's Deep Editing: The EDITS System through her lecture packet that I purchased. I've only got one word to describe how I'm feeling at the moment: overwhelmed. Cliches abound, too much introspection, not enough witty dialogue. Right about now, I'm hating everything about my chapter.

So I've decided to try and rewrite the chapter and see if it reads better than how it does at the moment. This editing biz is harder than writing. Now I now why they say 'Writing is re-writing' (though I can't remember who said this, so apologies because I don't know who to attribute this quote to).

How do you go about editing/revising/re-writing your manuscript? Have you got a systematic method or is your way random?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Desperately Seeking Writing Mojo

I've lost my writing mojo.
Life seems to have gotten in the way once again. I'm mentally, emotionally, psychologically and physically fatigued from all the constant challenges I've had to face in the last 16 months. Just as I think the worst is behind me, then something else happens. It's all finally taken a toll.

I know that sometimes writing needs to take a back seat - especially when there is no energy left. But I wish I'd stop feeling so damn guilty about it.

I've decided to write at least 100 words per day. Because not writing feels so bad. And I lose track of my story and where I'm going with it if I take too long away from the WIP.

The point of this post is not to whine, believe it or not. I want some suggestions from those who care to share them. What do you do when your writing mojo goes AWOL?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Plot hole bigger than the Ozone Layer

More than 15,000 words into my WIP and I've realised that I have a massive plot hole. And it's integral as it relates to the reason my hero needs a marriage of convenience. Now, I can hear you asking: How did she not pick this up earlier - like in the planning stage? Unlike my previous mss, I did actually plan this one. I spent ages brainstorming with my teacher, getting to know the characters, their backgrounds, and the internal and external conflict. And yet...I knew there was something wrong, something niggling away at me.

S'pose it's better that I picked it up now rather than at the end. Now in order to address the plot hole issue, I'm coming up with ideas that are making it more and more complicated. And I keep remembering the KISS principle: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

So I can either keep trying to bust my brain trying to come up with a way to fix this thing. Or I can change the reason entirely as to why the hero needs the MOC. Which means I need to go back and rewrite. Grrr...whoever says writing is easy ought to be shot!

Oh well...might as well get back to it.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Great reads

Natalie Anderson's fast becoming one of my fave HM&B Modern Heat authors. I was fortunate to win two of her recent new releases in a comp on her blog. First was her novella 'The Millionaire's Mistletoe Mistress' in Christmas With the Boss.

If you haven't read this yet, you're missing out. From the opening scene (gorgeous half-naked hero anyone?), she had me hooked. Her sexy hero, Ryan Taylor, was to die for. The way he regularly tries to spend time with the heroine while she volunteer gift wraps at the department store during her breaks was sweet and funny. I'm usually not one for Christmas-themed books, but I absolutely loved this one.

The other book I won, Ruthless Boss, Royal Mistress ,which is part of The Royal House of Karedes continuity, is on my TBR list.

I also recently read Natalie's Hot Boss Boardroom Mistress which was another fantastic read. Wonderful inner conflict, sizzling hot sexual tension and love scenes, and I loved how the hero's misconceptions about the heroine were eventually all blown out of the water as he realised how wrong he had been about her. This novel actually had me wondering how the hell these two were going to have their HEA. Which just goes to show how skillful a writer Natalie Anderson is.

I'm currently reading Nicola Marsh's Marriage: For Business of Pleasure. Her books never fail to deliver and this one so far certainly is delivering in spades. It's also interesting because I'm currently writing a marriage of convenience.
Now if I can only write half as well as these talented authors...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


My fellow aspiring romance author, Rachael Johns, recently posted on her blog asking for recommendations on e-Readers. I decided to post about my e-reader which I've had since September 2009. It's the ECO Reader and it's the best thing I've ever bought.

I decided to buy an e-reader since moving to my new house which had less space for my precious books than my previous residence. I've got stacks of books in cardboard boxes in the garage because there's nowhere to put them. My e-reader cuts the need for storage space and hubby is much happier!

Also, I get to purchase and download all the latest HM&B Modern Heats as they're released in the UK rather than waiting for them to be available in Australia. Considering I like instant gratification, the e-reader is ideal. I don't have to wait for books to arrive in the mail. I also get to carry my ECO Reader in my handbag and have a number of titles stored on there. And the battery lasts for ages (7,000 pages - to put this in perspective, I've read stacks of books since I've purchased it in early September and I haven't needed to recharge since then).

When doing my research for what e-reader to purchase, I found a problem. Sony eReader wasn't available in Australia, neither was the Kindle (which didn't suit my purposes either because I wanted to purchase Harlequin novels), and there were two e-readers available in Australia and they cost a small fortune. And iphone wouldn't cut it for me because I have poor eyesight and I read for hours on end.

I purchased my ECO Reader from DA Direct in Melbourne, Australia for $449 (incl. GST) plus delivery. Or rather hubby purchased it for me as my birthday present :)

I got my 12-month warranty and the option of technical support plus regular firmware updates for my e-reader.

So there you go! Anyone, else got an e-reader? Care to share your experience?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

NaNo and other things...

For me, NaNo is off at a snail's pace. All I've written so far is 654 words.

I've been mulling over the feedback that's been provided on my first chapter as part of the Category Romance Writing course I've enrolled in. Overall, the feedback was positive. My marker (not my original teacher) had some really good suggestions on how to improve the work. Boy, am I glad I didn't enter it into the Harlequin Presents comp! The chapter needs a rewrite. Problem is, I don't know how to keep the elements in there that the marker praised me on when I change the things she suggested. And she also suggested writing the rest of the ms first before coming back and layering in individual details about my characters. But I seem to have stalled...

Anyhoo, one criticism related to my title which reflects my warped sense of humour, I guess. The marker was correct in stating that it suggests I'm not serious about the genre, even thought that wasn't my intention at all! So 'My Big Fat Fake Wedding' will have to go. Any suggestions? I've got a billionaire who owns a strings of luxury hotels, a cocktail waitress and a marriage of convenience.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Harlequin Presents comp

Well, I've decided that my first chapter is nowhere near ready to be seen by an editor. Instead of entering the Harlequin Presents comp with a sub-standard entry, I'll work on it some more and submit it as my second assignment for the Category Writing Course that I'm doing. With the feedback that I'll receive from my fabulous teacher, then I can either rewrite, scrap, or edit the first chapter. There's something lacking, but I can't pinpoint exactly what...

At least I have a plan, so I'm happy. I've also signed up for NaNoWriMo this year with the aim of finishing the first draft of MBFFW. So instead of completing 50k, I'll be aiming for 44k.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Taking the plunge

I've finally decided to take the plunge into Blogland. I've been toying with the idea for a while, but didn't think I'd have anything interesting to say. Still don't. I also didn't want to spend time blogging when I could've been writing.

So what's changed?

  1. By blogging, I'm hoping to increase my writing output by being accountable. Even if no-one reads this blog, at least I can see that the wordcount meter for my latest ms is/is not moving upwards.

  2. I realised that even though I've been a member of Romance Writers of Australia since 2007, I don't know many other writers. Hopefully by blogging (and commenting on other writers' blogs), I can come out of my shell and network with other romance writers.

  3. If I can state my writing goals up where the whole world can see them (not that I think the whole world will be interested - LOL), then I have to work harder to achieve them.

There. Now that that's out of the way, I can talk about what's currently on my mind. For the third year in a row, I've thought about - then abandoned - the idea of entering the Harlequin Presents Writing Competition. To be fair, I couldn't enter last year as I had to pack my belongings, move our stuff into storage, and move house around the time of the comp. This year I wasn't going to enter because...well, because I didn't feel ready. But after this post, I'm considering about entering. My first chapter needs a rewrite and I haven't written a synopsis yet. Is it doable? Coincidentally, I have a whole week off work. So if I work 12-hour days on it...Maybe I can get my entry in before the deadline? Or am I nuts to even consider it?

One thing's for sure. I'm through with sitting on the sidelines watching others doing something with their writing, while I sit in my comfort zone.


©2009 Angie Peters | by TNB