Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saturday Surprise - December Hamper & Foreign Book Giveaway!

Well, it's another Hamper Day here at The Pink Heart Society!!! And you know what that means....prizes out the wazoo as a great big thanks to all of you for coming along to play with us this month!!!

This time around we would like to know:



Which movie would you add to the Pink Heart Society Hall of Fame if you had a Friday Film-Night slot and why??? And you can only pick one!!!

The gates are open from 12 midnight GMT today until our next Friday Film Night!


This months prizes are:

AT THE SHEIKH'S COMMAND + a special bookbag by Kate Walker
THE GIRL MOST LIKELY by Donna Alward
THE BRIDE OF MONTEFALCO by Rebecca Winters
INHERITED: BABY by Nicola Marsh
THE ANTONIDES MARRIAGE DEAL Anne McAllister
CLAIMING THE CATTLEMAN'S HEART by Barbara Hannay
THE MISTAKEN WIDOW by Cheryl St John
GLADIATORS HONOUR & SOCIETY WHIRL - 2IN1 Aus Edition from Michelle Styles & Anne O'Brien

And from Lee Hyatt 's Tote Bag:

A GENTLE FRAGRANCE by Pamela Griffin
SPINNING OUT OF CONTROL by Vickie McDonough
THE RANGER’S WOMAN by Carol Finch
A TOUCH OF SILK by Lori Wilde




And as if that's not enough we have a Foreign Book Giveaway as well... Just add a language preference to the end of your answer to be eligible for these great prizes!!! Authors can still add any foreign titles to the list as well and the Competition will run until the end of January...



IN JAPANESE:

1 Title by Kate Walker
1 Title by Liz Fielding
2 Titles by Trish Wylie

IN AFRIKAANS:

1 Title by Kate Walker
2 Titles by Trish Wylie

IN FRENCH:

1 Title by Liz Fielding
1 Title by Trish Wylie

IN GERMAN:

1 Title by Kate Walker
3 Titles by Trish Wylie
1 Title by Anne McAllister
1 Title by Pat White
1 Title by Nicola Marsh

IN SPANISH:

1 Title by Kate Walker
1 Title by Liz Fielding
3 Titles by Trish Wylie
2 Titles by Anne McAllister
1 Title by Barbara Hannay

IN PORTUGESE:

4 Titles by Trish Wylie

IN INDONESIAN:

1 Title by Kate Walker

IN DUTCH:

1 Title by Trish Wylie

IN GREEK:

3 Titles by Trish Wylie

IN RUSSIAN:

1 Title by Trish Wylie
1 Title by Barbara Hannay
1 Title by Nicola Marsh

IN HUNGARIAN:

2 Titles by Trish Wylie

IN ITALIAN:

4 Titles by Trish Wylie
1 Title by Jennie Adams
1 Title by Anne McAllister
1 Title by Pat White
1 Title by Barbara Hannay

IN POLISH:

1 Title by Pat White


AND DON'T FORGET OUR NEW YEARS EVE PARTY TOMORROW NIGHT WHERE YOU CAN COME ALONG AND CONFESS YOUR RESOLUTIONS FOR 2007....

Friday, December 29, 2006

Friday Film Night ~ When Harry Met Sally

This week’s induction into the Pink Heart Hall of Fame is a classic tale of man, woman, and miscommunication. A movie that tries to answer the question, can men and women really be just friends?

WHEN HARRY MET SALLY

This is one of my favourite movies. Period. I own the DVD, movie poster, I even bought a copy of the screenplay! As I think it's one of the best written movies EVER! The fact that it was co-written by a man and a woman, long time friends who could be completely honest with one another, made for a telling tale of he said she said. Add in a depressed and not really all that heroic hero in the form of Billy Crystal, a perky heroine played by Meg Ryan in her rom com heyday, and you've got yourself a 1980s winner.

THE STORY:

HARRY: The first time we met, we hated each other.

SALLY: No, you didn't hate me, I hated you. And the second time we met, you didn't even remember me.

HARRY: I did too, I remembered you. The third time we met, we became friends.

SALLY: We were friends for a long time.

HARRY: And then we weren't.

SALLY: And then we fell in love.

This love affair was eleven years in the making. In the beginning Harry drives Sally from Chicago to New York after college. She wants to become a journalist so that she can "write about things that happen to other people". OIn the way they discuss her days of the week underpants, the fact that you quite simply can't have a good sex life with a man called "Sheldon Gordon" and the fact that men and women can't be friends.

HARRY 'Men and women can't be friends. Because the sex part always gets in the way.'

SALLY 'That's not true. I have a number of men friends and there is no sex involved.'

HARRY 'No you don't.'

SALLY 'Yes I do.'

HARRY 'No you don't.'

SALLY 'Yes I do!'

HARRY You only think you do.'

SALLY 'You mean I'm having sex with them without my knowledge?'

Over the years they meet again and again, in airports, on planes, in the self help aisle in bookstores and talk always turns to relationships. Friendship, sex, and why Sally hasn't slept with anyone since Joe while Harry has slept with the whole of New York to get over his ex-wife..

11 years and 2,000 miles later, they're still no closer to finding the answer. And they've never ventured past their friendship to discover the love that's right in front of them. Will these two best friends ever accept that they're meant for each other...or will they continue to deny the attraction that's existed since the first moment When Harry Met Sally?

THE HERO: Harry Burns thinks about death. Alot. He even reads the end of a novel first that way in case he dies before he finishes at least he knows how it ends.

THE HEROINE: Sally Albright - has there been a perkier romantic heroine? She dates. She hopes. She falls in love. And even though it never seems to work out for her, the glass is half full.

THE ROMANCE: The beautiful thing about this romance is the fact that it takes so long. They do actually become friends. They talk about things that men and women ususally keep from one another, the dirty little secrets of their gender. She fakes orgasms and he lies in bed after sex wondering how long he has to lie there and hold her before he can go home "to clean his andirons".

And then there is the most wonderful scene when her ex boyfriend, Joe, who she is soooo over, is getting married. Harry goes to her, comforts her. This is the first moment in which they act like something else. They become something else. He hugs her and pats her hair, and she cires into his sweater, all but blowing her nose on him.

SALLY ‘All this time, I've been saying that he didn't want to get married. But the truth is he didn't want to marry me. He didn't love me...I'm difficult.’

HARRY ‘You’re challenging.’

SALLY ‘I'm too structured. I'm completely closed off...I drove him away. And I’m going to be forty.'

HARRY 'When?'

SALLY 'Someday.'

HARRY In eight years.

SALLY ‘But it's there, it's just sitting there like this big dead end. And it's not the same for men. Charlie Chaplin had babies when he was seventy-three.’

HARRY ‘Yeah, but he was too old to pick 'em up.’

And then they make love.

Everything turns bad from here when Sally suddenly becomes just another woman to Harry. That whole "sex always gets in the way of friendhsip thing came true. Or did Harry make it come true as it was always his safety net to stop him from ever getting really close to a woman he truly liked?

New Year comes around (hence my choice for this film today!!!) and Harry comes to his senses.

HARRY: I love that you get cold when it's seventy-one degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're lookin' at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely. And it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.

SALLY: You see. That is just like you, Harry. You say things like that, and you make it impossible for me to hate you, and I hate you, Harry. I really hate you. I hate you.

Don't you wish you'd written it?

WARM AND FUZZY RATING: 8

Ally's latest Silhouette Romance, A MOTHER FOR HIS DAUGHTER is her first book set outside of Australia. It was the winner of the Cataromance Best Tender Romance for the first half of 2005. Think Rome, Tuscany and a gorgeous Italian hero that Romantic Times says "could tempt almost any woman".

For excerpts and the behind the scenes inspiration for this book, check out her website!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Thursday Talk Time - January With The PHS

As Christmas begins to wind down, Nick thinks of taking his annual
holidays and we all prepare for a party to see in the New Year - we here at The Pink Heart Society are already working on a new programme to keep bringing you all back to visit...


We still have a film to tempt you with on Friday, our December Hamper Giveaway with its equally generous Foreign Book Hamper day on Saturday and then on Sunday, we have our New Years Eve party, where we'll be bringing you cocktail and party snacks recipes and inviting you all to share your resolutions and dreams for 2007!!!

Then on Minday we launch into our new schedule, with old favourites, new authors, guest star bloggers and a few new topics to keep you all occupied... Mmm... wonder who will be our first potential hero of 2007...


January is the traditional month to think about dropping a few pounds after the excesses of Christmas - but it's an especially pressing topic with writers, who spend so much of their time sitting down nibbling while writing. So, the first Tuesday of every month we will be having our NO Temptation Tuesday Diet & Fitness Club with tips and recipes and advice where you can join in and help egg each other on to a healthier lifestyle and gorgeous figures in time for the Summer Conferences...


Is one of your New Years Resolutions to sit down and finish that book that's been in your head forever??? Then one Saturday of each month come along and join like-minded writers as we discuss the discipline of writing - we ask published Authors from each of the lines to contribute tips - swap ways we all manage to get through those periods of writers block - look at how to present your story in the best way possible to sell it - and egg on all those potential category romance writers out there as they work their way from beginning to end as their personal schedules allow. Goodness knows we'll all be there to cheer when the first PHS members become new authors and visit us on a Wednesday to tell their CALL STORY!!! And remember at the PHS Yahoo Group we have a wealth of information swapped on writing, books, authors promotions, contests and conferences...

And don't forget The Pink Heart Society Review Blog where you can see what our volunteer reviewers thought of the latest Category Romances sent their way and you can leave comments with other readers on the books you loved or characters from books you would love to see an author visit again...

We're always striving to bring you the topics you like to read about... So if you have something you'd love to see happening at The Pink Heart Society then step on up - don't be shy - tell us what you'd like to see here and we'll see what we can do...

Tonnes of Love
Ally, Jenna, Nicola, Natasha & Trish

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Writers Wednesday - Michelle Willingham

This week The Pink Heart Society brings you one of the very latest authors for the Historicals Line. Please give a warm PHS welcome to Michelle Willingham!

About Michelle:
Michelle currently lives in Yorktown, Virginia, with her NASA engineer husband and two toddlers.
When she's not running after her children, begging them not to cut off all their hair or color on the walls with permanent marker, she teaches sixth grade American History. She enjoys baking, singing, playing the piano, reading historical and paranormal romances, and watching movies like "Braveheart," "Last of the Mohicans," and "Gladiator."

Journey to The Call:

In September of 2004, I mailed a requested full manuscript to the New York Harlequin office, intending my Irish medieval for the Harlequin Historicals line. As luck would have it, Harlequin was in the midst of reorganizing editors and lines, and the editor who asked for my book was switched to a different line. Three weeks later, my manuscript was returned with a form rejection. I was heartsick, but determined not to give up.

I chose to send the book to Harlequin Mills & Boon Historicals next, hoping for another chance. When I learned that the Harlequin Historicals acquisitions line was moved overseas to the Mills & Boon London office, I wanted to knock my head against the wall. Harlequin Historicals had already rejected my book. Surely the editors in London would think I was crazy and would also turn it down. Instead, they requested the full manuscript.

I was a bit superstitious but dutifully sent it off. Then, four months later, I found out that the requesting editor had left the London office. Orphaned for the second time, I was afraid to wonder what would happen. I received a thin envelope in May. When I opened a two-page revision letter, I screamed in my kitchen and started jumping up and down. My husband thought I'd lost my mind. But it wasn’t a rejection, for the first time in my life.

I vowed that I would not lose this opportunity. All my life I dreamed of becoming published, and here I had a new editor who thought I had potential. After I mailed the revisions, I decided to start preparing myself for publication. I built a web site, started a blog, and set goals for the next year. Each day I wrote affirmations and poured everything I had into writing more books. Three months later, I received an e-mail from the editor. This time, they wanted more changes. The changes weren't minor, like the first round. I began to realize that Round 1 was simply a test to see if I would do the revisions. Round 2 was the actual boxing match.

It was like a blindfold had been removed. I was making mistakes I didn't know I was making. I was letting my hero and heroine have their happily ever after on page 274 instead of page 360. Once I saw where I had dropped the tension, I saw how much the pacing improved. The characters were starting to come to life. When I read back the manuscript, I forgot I had written it and simply enjoyed reading. There was magic there.

I mailed the book back. Each time the phone rang, I jumped. Each time I checked my e-mail, my heart would race. Nothing happened for six more months. Then I learned that my editor liked my changes and had forwarded my book onto the senior editor. While I still clung fast to hope, I mentally prepared myself in case the senior editor didn't like it.

Five months after Round 2, almost two years from the time I first submitted the proposal, I received Round 3 of revisions. These came from the editorial director and the senior editor. There were twenty-three changes they wanted, ranging from minor to overhauling the entire first three chapters. I hit a state of panic, but reminded myself that they had invested a lot of time in me. I would do the changes, one at a time.

I signed with an agent that same month. Two weeks after I mailed the last round of revisions, on September 15, 2006, at 10:03 in the morning, I was in the middle of passing out quizzes, when the caller ID on my classroom phone registered an unusual phone number. When I heard the British accent of my editor, I almost dropped the phone. My students were staring at me, wondering why their teacher was mouthing the words, "Oh my God, oh my God, oh my GOD!" while calmly talking on the phone. My editor confessed that she'd tried to reach my agent but couldn't get in touch, and she just couldn't wait any longer. I think I sobbed something to the effect of, "I'm so glad because I couldn't wait any longer either!" I don't remember what else she said except that I was shaking when I hung up the phone. My students eyed me as though I were about to self-combust and I bawled out, "I just sold my first book. I'm going to be a published author." They cheered, and I made them take their geography quiz anyway. Thank goodness, because I was in no shape to teach a class!

Michelle's first book, Her Irish Warrior, a medieval romance set in Ireland, will be released by Harlequin Historicals in May 2007. You can enjoy an excerpt on her website, and she is currently awaiting a decision on her next Irish medieval, Her Irish Lover.

Thanks Michelle!!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Boxing Day

I'm, quite deliberately, writing this on Christmas Eve. I want to make that absolutely clear. It means that the lovely - and tempting - pile of Christmas presents sitting under my tree have not yet been opened.

So, without any prejudice I give you my list of top five worst Christmas Gifts. They are the things I'm hoping very much will not be hidden beneath the red wrapping paper!

In at number 5 I give you the novelty sock.

Socks seem to make all worst present lists but in my family it's 'tradition' to have a pair in your stocking (along with a chocolate orange, a Pritt Stick, a satsuma, shiny penny, a book and a walnut). I actually quite like getting socks UNLESS they are a novelty pair. To me, a pair of novelty socks will take up space in my 'sock drawer' and only be worn when desperate - under boots when all other socks are still in the wash.

At number 4 is the self-improvement gift.

It's perfectly fine to give the latest Nigella Lawson cookbook if you know the recipient loves to bake but great care has to be taken. Personally, I don't want gym membership, any 'how-to' diet book, Trinny and Susannah's 'What Not To Wear', books on 'Time Management' or car maintenance. Nothing, in fact, that might suggest I'm not entirely perfect. :)

At number 3 I give you the home-made gift.

Who can forgot Colin Firth as Mark Darcy in his reindeer jumper??? It's a warning to us all. The home-made gift should always be approached with caution. Probably something which should only be attempted if you have exceptional taste and ability or you're under ten.

In at number 2 is the charity gift.

I admit to a slight pang of guilt in placing this one in my list but the charity gift is a strange one. On the one hand, in my more sober moments, I can see that to give, in my name, a camel/goat/donkey to a family whose lives will be transformed by it is an excellent thing to do, BUT ... there's a problem. The person who's 'given' it has all the fun. They get to feel 'worthy' and everyone is impressed by their 'depth' but what about me? Basically, I don't have a present.

And, finally, my number one worst ever Christmas Gift is ... sexy underwear.

This is the gift men seem to think women want when actually we don't. Not at all. We look for comfort, probably a good lycra content and 'romance' in our undergarments. In my opinion, it's even worse if it happens to be bought in the wrong size. Too large and it clearly says they think you look fat. Too small and it says pretty much the same thing with the dangerous suggestion that they might have thought it would be motivational. :)

So, that's my list. Hopefully none of the above will have been my lot this year. How about you? What was your best and worst presents? AND, did you get any category romance books?

Lots of Love - Natasha


Natasha's latest release is a Silhouette Romance - one of the books being introduced to Silhouette Romance's readers before the line disappears forever at the end of January...

Millionaire Dad: Wife Needed is available now from eharlequin. For an excerpt or some of the reviews you can visit Natasha's website or pop by her Blog to see if she's out of the deadline cave yet...

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas from The Pink Heart Society

WE HERE AT THE PINK HEART SOCIETY WISH YOU ALL A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
And a huge thankyou for all your support and enthusiasm since we launched in September!!!

Without you there wouldn't even be a
Pink Heart Society at all...
Love and Kisses
Jenna, Ally, Nicola, Natasha and Trish
x x x x x

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve

We at The Pink Heart Society will be bringing you a few days of traditional Christmas cheer as we all spend time with our friends and family... So, on Christmas Eve... An old favorite...
Twas the Night before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
"Now Dasher! now, Dancer!
Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid!
On Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch!
To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away!
Dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.
His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Twas the night before Christmas Poem also called “A Visit from St. Nicholas"
Clement Clarke Moore (1779 - 1863) wrote the poem Twas the night before Christmas also called “A Visit from St. Nicholas" in 1822. It is now the tradition in many American families to read the poem every Christmas Eve.
The poem Twas the night before Christmas has redefined our image of Christmas and Santa Claus. Prior to the creation of the story of Twas the night before Christmas St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children, had never been associated with a sleigh or reindeers!
The author of the poem Twas the night before Christmas was a reticent man and it is believed that a family friend, Miss H. Butler, sent a copy of the poem to the New York Sentinel who published the poem. The condition of publication was that the author of Twas the night before Christmas was to remain anonymous. The first publication date was 23rd December 1823 and it was an immediate success. It was not until 1844 that Clement Clarke Moore claimed ownership when the work was included in a book of his poetry.
Clement Clarke Moore came from a prominent family and his father Benjamin Moore was the Bishop of New York who was famous for officiating at the inauguration of George Washington. The tradition of reading Twas the night before Christmas poem on Christmas Eve is now a Worldwide institution.