Saturday, 19 May 2012

Having fun!

I'm just back from London and lying on top of my bed in a state of all-out recovery.

Thurday was a 5 am start to Glasgow airport, followed by the Stansted Express into London, a quick ride on a tube train to drop off my case at the gorgeous Charing Cross Hotel, then another ride on the tube to Richmond to reach..........
Mills and Boon Headquarters
I was a bit nervous at Mills and Boon headquarters.  I had arranged with my editor to film an interview to help publicise the Medical Fast Track coming up in June.  I also filmed some Love Bites segments that will be released in September when A Bond Between Strangers comes out, then again in November when Her Christmas Eve Diamond is released.
I was obviously in mid flow here!
I'm a bit worried people won't understand my strong Scottish accent but I'll just need to wait and see!

Next it was off to a lovely restaurant with my editor called Rock and Rose.  Very opulent!
There might have been cocktails......and wine......and lovely food......and then coffee and dessert.  But my lips are sealed!
Then it was a mad dash back to my hotel, then onto Waterstones in Piccadily for 5 o'clock as that's where the RNA members were meeting.
Talli Roland, Denyse King, me and Nina Harrington, who isn't paying attention!
Myself and Fiona Harper
It was then a quick (but not in my shoes!) walk along to the Royal Overseas League where the RNA Summer Party was being held.

Nina Harrington and Fiona Harper outside the Overseas League
The contenders for the Joan Hessayon award
The party was great fun with Evonne Wareham winning the Joan Hessayon award for her novel Never Coming Home.

Myself and my lovely editor Carly Byrne.

And after the party myself and my shoes disappeared for drinks with some fellow authors.

And whilst the shoes were beautiful, by this point my feet had died.  The lovely Anna Louise Lucia volunteered her silver sandals - well, actually I borrowed them as we walked back to the hotel.

Brigid Coady and Abby Green.

Abby and Heidi Rice.

At this point I had to don my shoes again and walk back to Charing Cross with Fiona, except we took the scenic route.  I could show you a photo of my feet but it isn't pretty!

And so I finished my visit to London the following morning by visiting my new nephew Oliver, who was born over a month ago and this was my first chance to see him.  Needless to say, he is gorgeous!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Reading List: Trying Something New

I have the scariest TBR pile in the world.  No, really, I have.

If I were to pile the books on top of each other they could take out a few bodies when they fell.
All  because I am addicted to books.  And it's an addiction I'm happy to admit.
Unfortunately this results in daily deliveries and massive amounts of books on the surfaces in my home.  Buy a kindle! I hear you cry.  Well, yes.  I have.  And the less said about the amount of books I have on my kindle the better.  But really -secretly, it's like I can hide them all from my other half and my kids - it's fabulous.

So why buy all these books.  Because I want to.  And where do the recommendations come from?
Everywhere.  Sometimes people blog about a favourite, sometimes I've just read reviews.

So here's what is currently on my TBR pile.  Would you care to recommend where I start?

John Irving A Pray for Owen Meany - I saw Julie Cohen talk about this book as she used to use it as a teacher.  I'd never read it so thought I would add it to my collection.
 Owen Meany is a dwarfish boy with a strange voice who accidentally kills his best friend's mum with a baseball and believes--correctly, it transpires--that he is an instrument of God, to be redeemed by martyrdom.  The scene of doltish Dr Dolder, Owen's shrink, drunkenly driving his VW down the school's marble steps is a marvellous set piece. So are the Christmas pageants Owen stars in. But it's all, as Highlights magazine used to put it, "fun with a purpose". When Owen plays baby Jesus in the pageants, and glimpses a tombstone with his death date while enacting A Christmas Carol, the slapstick doesn't change the fact that he was born to be martyred. 
Kristan Higgins Fools Rush In
 Millie Barnes is this close to finally achieving her perfect life... Rewarding job as a local doctor on Cape Cod? Check. Cute cottage of her very own? Check. Adorable puppy suitable for walks past attractive locals? Check! All she needs is for golden boy and former crush Joe Carpenter to notice her, and Millie will be set. But perfection isn't as easy as it looks--especially when Sam Nickerson, a local policeman, is so distracting. Sure, he needs a friend after being dumped by Millie's fortune-hunting sister, but does she really need to enjoy his company that much? He is definitely not part of her master plan. But maybe it's time for Millie to start a new list...
Linda Howard Mr Perfect

What would make your perfect man? That's the delicious topic heating up the proceedings at a certain table of professional women at their favourite restaurant. As the conversation picks up momentum, so do the quartet's requirements for Mr Perfect. And they write down a tongue-in-cheek list that's both funny and racy. The next thing Jaine Bright and her three girlfriends know the List becomes an overnight sensation, grabbing the interest of local newspapers and television coverage. No one expected this avalanche of attention for something that began as a joke among friends. But the joke turns deadly serious when one of the four is murdered...The prime suspect in the case is the victim's boyfriend, one of a number of men who found the List sexist and offensive. But an impenetrable alibi gets him off the hook. Now, with the help of Jaine's neighbour, an unpredictable police detective, the puzzle must be solved - and time is running out as a deadly stalker targets the three remaining friends, and the dream of Mr Perfect becomes a chilling nightmare.

I have 2 Susan Mallery books on my TBR pile.

 With only 30 days to come up with $2 million, Lexi Titan's last chance to save her day-spa chain is to fake an engagement with wealthy Cruz Rodriguez. But neither one of them is prepared for their long-ago shared passion to throw a wrench into what seems like a perfect deal
Wedding bells are ringing in Fool’s Gold, but not for Nevada Hendrix. Her triplet sisters are engaged, and even her mother has a more active love life than she does. Determined to make a fresh start, she applies for her dream job, only to discover that her new boss is her first love. Maybe she could overlook the fact that they’ve seen each other naked, but she’ll never forget the way he broke her heart. Tucker Janack agrees to Nevada’s “business only” ground rules. After all, love is a trap that the construction millionaire has avoided his whole life. But when great business partners turn out to be so much more, every rule gets broken. Will either of them be willing to try again…or will their past get in the way? 
I have all three of Suzanne Collins books The Hunger Games, Mockingjay, Catching Fire and have heard great things about them.   A fight to the death - on live TV. The game show where you kill or die, and where the winner's prize is survival. In District 12, where Katniss Everdeen lives, life is harsh and brutal, ruled from afar by the all-powerful leaders of the Capitol. The climax of each year is the savage Hunger Games - where twelve boys and twelve girls from each District face each other in a murderous showdown. When sixteen-year-old Katniss is chosen to represent her district in the Games, everyone thinks it's a death sentence. Only one person can survive the horrors of the arena. But plucky Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature...

Susan Elizabeth Phillips Natural Born Charmer, Ain't She Sweet

Chicago Stars quarterback Dean Robillard is the luckiest man in the world. But life in the glory lane has started to pale, and Dean has set off on a cross-country trip to figure out what's gone wrong. When he hits a lonely stretch of Colorado highway, he spies something that will shake up his gilded life in ways he can't imagine. A young woman . . . dressed in a beaver suit.
Blue Bailey is on a mission to murder her ex. Or at least inflict serious damage. As for the beaver suit she's wearing . . . Is it her fault that life keeps throwing her curveballs? Witness the expensive black sports car pulling up next to her on the highway and the Greek god stepping out ofit.
As the summer progresses, the wandering portrait artist and the charming football star play a high-stakes game, fighting themselves and each other for a chance to have it all.
Natural Born Charmer is for everyone who's ever thought about leaving their old life in the dust and never looking back. Susan Elizabeth Phillips takes us home again . . . and shows us where love truly lives.

Michael Grant Gone Hunger Plague Lies.  Now I spotted this book in a book shop.  The black cover and red word Plague intrigued me and I realised it was part of a teenage fiction set that started with the book Gone.  I gave my 12 year old son the first book and he read 500 pages in 2 days.  This from a boy who reads nothing.
What kept him interested?  Read the blurb below...
 Suddenly there are no adults, no answers. What would you do? In the blink of an eye, the world changes. The adults vanish without a trace, and those left must do all they can to survive. But everyone's idea of survival is different. Some look after themselves, some look after others, and some will do anything for power...Even kill. For Sam and Astrid, it is a race against time as they try to solve the questions that now dominate their lives...What is the mysterious wall that has encircled the town of Perdido Beach and trapped everyone within? Why have some kids developed strange powers? And can they defeat Caine and his gang of bullies before they turn fifteen and disappear too? It isn't until the world collapses around you that you find out what kind of person you really are. This book offers a chilling portrayal of a world with no rules. When life as you know it ends at 15, everything changes.

Finally my critique partner Rachael Johns, listed this book as one of her favourites last year.  So I had to buy it.
What Alice Forgot
 Imagine losing the most important ten years of your life ...

Alice is twenty-nine.She adores sleep, chocolate, and her ramshackle new house.She's newly engaged to the wonderful Nick and is pregnant with her first baby.

There's just one problem.All that was ten years ago ...

Alice has slipped in a step-aerobics class, hit her head and lost a decade.Now she's a grown-up, bossy mother of three in the middle of a nasty divorce and her beloved sister Elisabeth isn't speaking to her.This is her life but not as she knows it.

Clearly Alice has made some terrible mistakes.Just how much can happen in a decade?

Can she ever get back to the woman she used to be?

So, have you read any of these.  And can you recommend where to start??!!!!!!!!

Friday, 4 May 2012

Amazon: Just when you thought you've made it......

Ho hum.  There was me, all happy that I'm getting my first US release date for my third book.

Until I received an email from a fan with a link attached.  This isn't the blurb for your book she said, is it?
I followed the link and NO, it wasn't.  The blurb attached to my book is the blurb for Sue Mackay's book The Dangers of Dating Your Boss.
So, how do I fix this??

And there begins a very long story.........

Cue, Amazon Author Central.  Now I already have an Author Central Account for amazon uk.  I also have an account for Amazon Fr.  Though, that one is a little questionable.
I know through experience that it's easier for me as an author to get things changed than go back through my publisher.
So I set about getting myself an Author Central Account at  Easier said than done.
When you set up an Author Central Account they have to verify who you are. 
Fair enough.
Or it would be, if they contacted the correct publisher.
Apparently, even though I identified five of their listed books as mine, ALL belonging to Harlequin Mills and Boon, decided to contact Ulverscroft publishers to verify my existence.
Funnily enough after seven days (because you have to wait that long) Ulverscroft haven't verified I'm one of their authors.
Why could that be?
Could it, just possibly be, because every book that has the name Scarlet Wilson attached to it - and that I've confirmed as mine - is published by Harlequin Mills and Boon?
Cue, lots more email sending with long awaited response times.
So, back to the beginning.  Ho hum.
My first US release feels kind of like a damp squib because it doesn't have the correct book blurb attached and quite frankly while it's like that I really don't want to Facebook and Tweet the link.

In the meantime I'm on the homeward straight for the cruise ship book and hope to finish it sometime next week.  I'm also very excited about some upcoming plans for the RNA Summer Party and visiting Mills and Boon Headquarters.  I might have some secrets to tell about that later.

On a personal note, I will also get to see my lovely new nephew Oliver, who was born 26 March.  I'm looking forward to getting a cuddle!