Kia ora everyone,
We're heading toward the festive season, so I'm running a competition that has a special festive flavor in keeping with the fact that I've just released My New Year Fling, Book 2 of my Love Comes Later series of sexy festive romances. My Valentine Seduction, Book 3, is also up for pre-order with a release date of 18 December, so you can make sure you have the whole series in time for Christmas!
Do you have young children, young grandchildren, or a friend with kids? The prize this time is a lovely Kiwi Christmas book for kids called Santa is Coming to New Zealand, along with a Kiwi calendar, and - for mum - a signed copy of A Festive Treat!
I usually run my competitions on Facebook, but I know not everyone is on there, and I don't want any of my readers to miss out :-) Therefore, to enter, you can also leave a comment below - you just need to check back on Sunday 20th November to see whether you've won!
After such a big week last week, I'm trying to settle down and get back in the rhythm of writing regularly. Book 2 of Love Comes Later is due out at the end of this week, and I’m a good way through Book 3, so it will definitely be out in December.
Like many of us, I suspect, my thoughts are gradually turning toward Christmas. It will be a sad one for us this year with the passing of my father-in-law, but I count my blessings in that my lovely parents will be around for the festive season, and of course the Silver Fox and the Foxcub, who has now finished school. I’ve started looking at recipes for Christmas Day, and ordering the first few presents, which is quite early for me, as usually I’m tied up with school stuff until the last minute.
With my father-in-law being ill for the first four months or so, and then dealing with his passing, it’s taken a long time to sink in that I’m now a full-time writer. But I’m gradually settling into the new role. I have more time to write, which was of course the idea, but I’m also less stressed and have more time for hobbies other than writing. I’ve been painting mandala stones – you can see one here. And I’m hoping to work on a few craft projects for Christmas over the next few weeks. Anyone got some good ideas or links to easy things to make at home?
And the big news for today is that I am officially now a USA Today bestselling author!
My Three Wise Men Box Set got to No. 1 on Barnes & Noble and beat John Grisham for a whole morning - take that, John! And as you can see below, it made No. 53 on the list, coming in just behind Nora Roberts.
It's a somewhat bewildering moment for the girl who used to write short stories for Jackie magazine when she was fifteen, who wrote six books before she finally got her seventh published, and who waited EIGHTEEN MONTHS an incredible THREE times to hear from publishers and agents, only to receive a one-line rejection each time. And who's currently writing her sixty-fifth book. A long journey, but I've loved every minute (except the rejections!)
So yeah. There may be bubbly drunk tonight. And a little bit of dancing.
My big news this week is that my Three Wise Men box set, which features books 1-3 of my Three Wise Men series of contemporary romances, is now only 99 cents (or 99p!) Individually the books add up to $10.97, so that's a hell of a discount! Here is the cover in both 3D and flat formats, with the links.
I have a Bookbub ad on 24th October and lots of other adverts that week, so here's hoping for lots of eyes on the books and don't forget to spread the word!
JUST FOR YOU!
In the mood for some Halloween loving? Just for you, Trick or Treat is now FREE for the whole of October!
This is a fun and sexy "marriage of convenience" romance between the feisty Caitlin and sexy chef Fox, full of laughs and loving. Download today!
I've just come back from a trip to our capital city, Wellington. We had a nice break, but the most important thing that came out of it was a reminder to myself of how much I love my home, and how much I hate being away!
On the flight back, I felt compelled to jot down a list of the things that are important to me, and when I got home I put them into a word cloud and this is what I got.
It's been a busy year, and I've neglected myself a bit, out of necessity due to there being so many other things going on, but it's meant that I've felt a little lost recently, and I intend to rectify that. I want to concentrate more on the things that are important to me - hence the word cloud. I write all the time, and my family is always on my mind, but I've neglected everything else in the list (apart from wine and chocolate!) and I want that to change.
Also, I haven't blogged much - at all! - and I miss it. I want to be more creative, and I want to share that creativity with others. And that's why this is going to be my new banner!
As most of my readers already know, July was a difficult month for me following the passing of my father-in-law. He'd had bowel cancer, and he went downhill very quickly, but luckily we were able to look after him at home and he didn't have to go to hospital, and he remained relatively pain free, happy, and content with his family until the end.
It was difficult for us because grief is always selfish, but he's now free, and it's we who have to carry on without him and get used to him not being around.
I still managed to write in July - not as much as normal, obviously, because some things are more important - but I did publish my three shifter romances (written as Freya Jackson - click on the pictures (or here) to go to Freya's Amazon page).
I've also been plotting and playing about with ideas for my new Christmas trilogy that I hope to write in August and release in September. It's great to get back in the writing seat again. I lose myself when I write, the same as I do when I'm gaming or watching a great movie, and I'm looking forward to getting stuck into the new story (My Christmas Fiance). Writing in the first person is going to be fun and challenging. I'm starting with the hero, Stratton, and if you don't fall in love with him on the very first page, I'll be very surprised!
I'm now writing a new sexy contemporary romance series for Christmas! Here are the covers - aren't they gorgeous?
These books will be in my normal sexy, breezy, fun and flirty style, with the usual undercurrent of serious issues that affect the everyday lives of women (and men!)
However, they are a little different from my usual romances in that they'll be first person, written from the point of view of both the hero and heroine.
The reason for this? Persuading Spring is my 48th romance. It's often argued that romance has a 'formula', and if you accept that the genre is about two people (usually) who meet, fall in love, have ups and downs, and then live happily ever after, that is kind of true.
With that in mind, it's not easy to keep stories fresh so that readers don't feel as if they're reading the same story over and over again with only the names changing. I try very hard to include something different in each story - a different problem they have to overcome, or another issue they have to address.
This time though, I thought I'd try a different writing style, and I hope my readers will enjoy my adventure with me! The first book will probably be available in September, so watch this space!
Here's the blurb so you know what it's about:
It’s not easy to reinvent yourself, but my thirteen-year-old son and I were ready for a new start. Old Maggie had been a magnet for disaster, but I’d decided that New Meg was going to be suave, sophisticated… and blonde. I’d landed a dream job at the other end of New Zealand as PA to three rich directors in a huge gaming firm and found a beautiful new apartment on the waterfront, and I felt reborn.
Then I wrote an email to a friend describing in vivid detail what I wanted to do to the sexiest of the directors—involving melted chocolate and/or whipped cream—and mistakenly sent it to All Staff. It turned out that New Meg was pretty much just Old Maggie with different packaging. Some things never change.
I’d wanted Meg since she first walked into my office with her red lips and sexy curves, but she wore another man’s ring, so I’d steered well clear. My mind had been occupied anyway since discovering my girlfriend in bed with another man. Natalie was desperate for my forgiveness—and, I suspect, my money—so I came up with a brilliant plan to hire a fake fiancée for Christmas to prove to her that we were done.
After sending her hot-as-hell email, Meg confessed the truth about her past, and it gave me an idea. She would make the perfect fiancée, and I could protect her from the guy she was running from. Sounds like the perfect plan, right? It did mean sharing her life, her very teenage son, and maybe even her room, for two whole weeks, but that was no problem. I’d always had excellent self-control.
Yeah, I know. I’d forgotten about the melted chocolate. What an idiot.
Life can be a struggle sometimes, can’t it? I’ve often thought how the moments when something amazing happens, when your heart swells and you feel ecstatically happy, are vastly outweighed by the times when the car breaks down, the zipper breaks on your new jeans, or a big bill arrives you weren’t expecting.
It struck me yesterday though how it’s so important to celebrate and value the little things. It was my first day back at “work” after the school holidays, and I had a lovely day. I wrote on and off for about four hours, then met up with hubby for lunch. I spent an hour or so at the supermarket taking my time to shop for groceries - which I actually quite enjoy - and then came home and wrote for another hour.
Then I made dinner, and after that I made myself some simple bircher muesli - just half a cup of muesli, a quarter cup of milk, a small pot of yoghurt, and a grated apple, placed in the fridge for the next morning.
And while I was doing that, a sense of real contentment came over me. Life’s problems hadn’t gone away, but at that moment - standing in the sunlight while I grated and stirred - I felt content. Not euphoric or ecstatic, just content. And that can’t be underestimated, can it? Those small moments where you take a break from the whirlwind of life to stop and literally smell the roses, or to admire something pretty.
My Treats series is so named for a reason - I’m a big believer in giving oneself treats. A nurse I was talking to at the hospice the other day was bemoaning the fact that the chocolate shop in town has opened up a cafe, and said it was the last thing people need when doctors are trying to encourage everyone to eat healthily. I thought well yes, she’s right in one way, but she’s also missing the point. I wouldn’t eat at the cafe every day, but there are times when you need a treat to give yourself a lift. It’s treats that keep you going, and that make life worth living. Those blinding moments of happiness don’t come around very often, but we can make up for that by filling our lives with the little things that make us happy. For me, it’s chocolate, and wine, being with my family, watching a good movie, reading a book, and surrounding myself with bright, colorful things.
How are you going to treat yourself today?
Today I've been giving lots of thought for the things I'm thankful for.
I'm thankful that my readers have given me the opportunity to do the job I love full time. It's what I've wanted to do since I was fifteen, and I'm thrilled to finally be able to do it. Thank you!
I'm thankful for my family, including my lovely parents, who have always been there for me, and for my father-in-law. His house was delivered this week - how amazing is that? He'll be living next to us very soon, so that will be great.
Lastly, I'm thankful for my boys, the Silver Fox and the Foxcub. Here's the Fox with his new BMW - he's the happiest man alive, LOL! And the Cub took a selfie with his Dad on the way home. They are just the best. Love you both!