Happy Valentine’s Day 2015

I Love You- Valentine's DayNo one would question the fact that this day is for the ultimate romantics but I think Valentine’s Day brings out the romantic in many of us, even just a tiny corner. We begin to think about what it means to us to have a valentine and how we should show our appreciation.

Does it all have to be about the dollars we spend? Did you know that Australians will spend nearly one billion dollars on Valentine’s Day? Expensive gifts are one way to show someone we love them but not the only way. Simply the spending of time with your loved one – a good long chat, sharing a movie together, going on a walk, reflecting on how you came to fall in love and telling your valentine the things you love about them – are all great, inexpensive alternatives.

No matter how you celebrate the day, I believe the important thing is that Valentine’s Day is a chance to stop and appreciate each other. So let’s do that this Valentine’s Day: take a moment to pause and remember all the great things about your valentine: the loveable, the funny, the romantic, the thoughtful, the caring, yes all those attributes that make it worthwhile being in a relationship.

The Lady's Choice Cover- newValentine’s Day is dear to the hearts of romance writers- you might say it’s our ‘one day of the year’. This year I would like to give all my readers the gift of one of my new covers for 2015, hot off the press. The Lady’s Choice was previously published by Destiny Romance and the second edition of this story will be available in the first half of 2015.

Happy Valentine’s Day xx

2015- Dream Big!

FireworksHappy New Year! I love this time of the year. It holds so much promise that I can’t help feeling hopeful.

We can finally take a breather after the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. The pressure is off for a short while and we are able to look ahead and imagine how we might change our lives.

Is there something you’ve wanted to achieve for a long time? Is there a talent you’ve never fully explored? Do you want to be fitter, happier, wealthier, less stressed, less busy? Do you want to find the love of your life? Would you like to explore your country or travel overseas?

The New Year is a great time to review the previous year, discover what worked in 2014 and what needs improvement. There’s never been a better time to create your goals for the year ahead and your plan for achieving them.

The term ‘New Year resolutions’ is thrown about so casually but when you look at the definition of ‘resolution’ it means  resolve,  determination, steadfastness, tenacity, perseverance, purpose.

In 2015, let’s keep this definition firmly in focus, set achievable goals, plan for them and tackle them with determination and perseverance. What are your goals for 2015? Please share them with me here…

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,900 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 32 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Momentous News

Mermaid 1(123)I know things have been a little quiet lately on this blog but this was worth waiting for. After a year of not knowing what the future would hold for my writing, I’m pleased to announce that this week I have signed a two book deal with Momentum, Pan Macmillan’s Australian Digital First Romance Imprint.

The genre is of course fantasy romance and I’ll be continuing my series begun with Princess Avenger and The Lady’s Choice with Destiny Romance. This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for me and I hope to bring you further good news in the near future. Both books will be released in 2015.

In Love Thy Enemy, my heroine is a mermaid yearning for a human to love; my hero a dread-locked sailing captain desperate to find his brother, lost at sea. It’s a redemption story involving Nikolas Cosara, a sailor with tragedy in his past, and Merielle, a mermaid who has fled her people, determined to find a man who will love her. For Nik, it’s hate at first sight but Merielle instantly recognises this damaged man needs help. Merielle must somehow overcome the antipathy he feels but the devastating secret she holds might bring all her efforts to naught.

Kain JazaraLove Alliance begins with the dark elven menace threatening the kingdom. Captain Kain Jazara must juggle the demands of a strife-torn city and kingdom while rescuing the family of the irritating Lady Alique Zorba. Readers will remember Alique as the younger sister of Ramón Zorba from The Lady’s Choice. As they are thrown together, the two develop feelings for each other. When Kain’s world is torn apart by a personal revelation he shuts Alique out. Can he overcome the accident of his birth or will he allow it to destroy his relationship and his happiness?

I can’t wait to bring my readers more from my world of fantasy romance.

Kiwi Author Breaks North American Stranglehold on Amazon’s 2014 Top Romance Picks

Bernadette Rowley:

Have your say here on the top 20 books for 2014 as nominated by Amazon Editors. What do you think?

Originally posted on Romance Writers of Australia:

Amazon editors have released their annual Best Books lists, including their pick of this year’s romance novels. We were delighted to find, Nalini Singh, New Zealand’s Queen of Paranormal Romance, firmly entrenched on this best books’ list. Nalini, who was nominated for the Psy/Changeling series novel Shield of Winter, was the only non-North American author to feature on the 2014 list. All the rest were US citizens with the exception of Canadian indie author Sarah Castille, who squeaked in at #20.

Nalini Singh composite

Lists are great places to pick up on trends and find out what others are reading. They also generate debate. This particular list is quality-based on the Amazon editors’ preferences rather than being based on absolute numerical values such as the number of books sold. However, most, if not all, of these authors are NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors, proving once again that quality and popularity

View original 487 more words

The Mermaid

Mermaid 1(123)My fantasy elements series rolls on today with the mythical mermaid, nemesis of sailors. Mermaids have appeared in the folklore of many cultures worldwide. This aquatic legend has the upper body of a female human and the tail of a fish. It is thought that the sea nymphs arose from sightings of dugong but anyone who has seen a dugong would be sceptical of this.

In fantasy literature, mermaids are sprinkled throughout though nowhere near as common a fantasy icon as witches or dragons. The most memorable mermaids made an appearance in The Little Mermaid, a tale first published in 1837 by Hans Christian Anderson. Hans tells the story of a young mermaid, willing to give up life in the ocean and her mermaid identity to win the love of a human prince.

Stephen Donaldson had half human mystical hybrids called mer-wives in his ‘Chronicles of Thomas Covenant’

We also find mermaids, or at least mer people (people of the sea) in JK Rowling’s The Goblet of Fire.

 

Potter merpeopleHere and there at the dark windows, Harry saw faces…faces that bore no resemblance at all to the painting of the mermaid in the prefects’ bathroom… The merpeople had grayish skin and long, wild, dark green hair. Their eyes were yellow, as were their broken teeth, and they wore thick ropes of pebbles around their necks.

 

These mer people sound a far cry from those we traditionally think of.

In Doctor Who, The Curse of the Black Spot, a mysterious monster rears her head. When our three stowaways appear in their blue box, aboard a 17th century pirate ship, the crew is being mesmerized one by one by the haunting song of a beautiful siren. Her attention means certain death.

And that is the common theme amongst mermaid legend: that the sea nymphs appear to sailors at sea, singing their haunting songs, and the sailors are lured to their death, drowning in the ocean. Mermaids may be beautiful but their attraction has a deadly side effect.

Coastal Scene (123)- cliffsIn my third fantasy novel, which I will have more news on soon, my heroine is a mermaid. Merielle has just never ‘fit in’ amongst her people. She makes a decision to flee her family, rather than take part in their murderous activities. Merielle is found by naval captain Nikolas Cosara, washed up on his beach. Having been a sailor for decades and with his brother recently lost at sea, Nik has every reason to hate Merielle. She, on the other hand, has seized on a plan to make a human love her and so become a human woman. Suffice to say that the relationship between these two is turbulent.

The working title of this book is Love Thy Enemy and it has been an amazing and at times difficult ride to explore the possibilities of a mermaid as heroine of a romance novel. I think it very possible that the mer people will return in coming stories.

 

 

 

 

Sorceror

GandalfMagic is essential in fantasy fiction so how could I have a series on fantasy elements without including the sorcerer? You may know him as the wizard or magician if you are a fan of the genre. This character can be the hero or he might be a mentor as was Merlin for Arthur of Camelot. Other famous wizard mentors are Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings and Dumbledore from Harry Potter. Of course, a sorcerer can also be the  villain as was Voldemort who used his abilities for evil and was the nemesis of Harry Potter.

Some of my favourite stories are built around a wizard as he comes into his power, from normal human weakling to all powerful world saviour. This can come about as a result of innate ability, through study or even as a gift from an all-powerful being. You need a long series to accomplish this or even perhaps several series such as Raymond E. Feist used to bring Pug from castle boy to world changing sorcerer. In fact Pug coming into power encompassed two worlds which could be accessed via a rift. But that’s a topic for another day.

Harry PotterWhat magic does a sorcerer wield? I feel that the magic of the sorcerer is quite different to that of the witch, both in the manner of the magic and in the delivery.

Wizards, being male, are more likely to use their magic to fight a war, to directly kill or influence events. The wielding of their magic is often via weapons of violence such as swords, knives and spears. A sorcerer may cast down bolts of lightning from his very fingertips or use his magic to project his voice to the masses. The wand was the favoured magical tool in the Harry Potter series with this tool being unique for each wielder.

Wizard 1This is a sweeping statement but generally, the magic of the sorcerer is not as subtle as that of witches. There is an element of patience in the magic produced by females. They are much more likely to use their magic to manipulate, setting into motion a series of events over which they may have little control. Male wielders of magic tend to be more up front, casting their spells for immediate and devastating effect.

The wizard can appear in any form but generally in fantasy this character will be clothed in robes, have white hair and often a flowing beard. He is easily recognisable, as someone who is wise and powerful, by his looks and bearing. The sorcerer is generally of advanced age, and may even live much longer than the rest of society. He will generally have an exalted position such as at the side of the king or perhaps as the headmaster of a school as Dumbledore was at Hogwarts. However, some of my favourite wizards lived very humble existences, even to being nomadic as Gandalf was in Lord of the Rings.

Wizard 2Lord Acton once said: Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. One of the most delicious aspects of fantasy fiction is the potential for internal conflict created by this fact. At some point, the wizard will be faced with a choice or several choices or even whether to intervene at all. In a fight between two opposing forces, which side should he take? He may have the power to bring someone back from the dead but should he exercise that power? What effects will his magic have in the long term? There might be certain magics that are traditionally forbidden because of their far reaching effects. Is it ever acceptable to use this magic? Sorcerers are continually walking the fine line between good and evil.

But as the wizard battles enemies, changes worlds and fights his own demons he will ever remain a critical component of fantasy fiction.