Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday Film Night - Movies From Romance Novels

What happens…when fantastic category novels….get picked to be turned into movies….and have their stories altered….to find out what happens…when you take over 200 pages of text…and turn it into under 90 minutes of programming…

My Sexiest Mistake by Kristin Hardy is my favorite Blaze of all time. It’s the first Blaze that truly hooked me and took me out of my own head for a few short hours and gave me the escape good category romance provides. For me, it’s no wonder this story was on the Waldenbooks bestseller list, won a National Readers’ Choice Award, and was the first of a series of Blaze novels picked up by the Oxygen network to be made into television movies.

I loved how the workaholic heroine who was trying to squeeze in a romance writing career into her spare (ha!) time was struggling to write realistic love scenes because her love life was…well…missing. In desperation her agent hires her a gigilo whom she meets and um, greets at a hotel. All is very well thank you, until the next day when her agent calls to ask why she stood up the gigilo. Confused, she walks into a meeting and who is there? Oh, yeah. You guessed it.
Brilliant, right?

The movie is a bit different…still nice, but not the story I fell so in love with I went and bought (cough) Blaze novels. Yes, that many. Off Amazon. Before I was writing and it was a write-off. Yeah. They took my hero and made him a neighbor, made the new hero her editor – which I must say boffing your editor is definitely tension!

The same thing happened with Tempting Adam by Dorie Graham. The quintessential best friends to lovers Blaze in my book. He’s ready to settle down, she thinks he’s trying to tempt her into it by playing the sensual secret admirer, and while he is happy to play the part he isn’t the one with the gifts…so who is?

In this one, they made Adam kinda, well, Beta. The movie was fantastic, another wonderful romantic comedy that I wish there were more of in the theaters for date night (why must there be so much tragedy and explosions when I want to enjoy myself?), but the book was better.

Making me doubt my point that the book is always better than the movie is Unfinished Business By Suzanne Forster, retitied Romancing the Bride by the Oxygen network.

A bridezilla who has planned the perfect wedding wakes up married to a stranger on the morning of the big day. Great as a book. But add in Laura Prepon (That Seventies Show) and Carrie Fisher (Star Wars) and OH-MI-GAWD is this hilarious!



Jenna is hard at work on her next title for Mills & Boon Modern Extra. In the meantime, check out her
website, blog, or reading group, We Call It Research.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Thursday Talk Time - My Favourite Romance

Here at the Pink Heart Society we're continuing our series of 'Favourite Category Romances' and today we have Silhoutte author Jenna Mills to tell us about hers.

It was the cover that drew me. There was this luscious, hunky, shirtless guy leaning into kiss a smooth, sultry woman in satin, against a silk backdrop. Something about the look on his face — tender, rough, aching, wounded — had me reaching for the book. And the title…all I could think was I wanted to know more. It was Labor Day 1998 when I sat down with Kylie Brant’s seventh book from Intimate Moments, 'Undercover Lover'.

Having been working to sell my first book for three years, reading for pleasure had become virtually impossible. I was too busy analyzing, editing and critiquing. But once I started 'Undercover Lover' I didn’t leave my chair until I turned the last page (I had yet to become a mother at that point!) And once I did turn the last page, the very next thing I did was write Kylie Brant a gushy letter (quaint, I know, but email hadn’tquite taken over yet).

Now, sitting here with the book once again in my hands, that warm, excited, satisfied feeling comes back to me. You know the one…the one that has you eager to cozy up to your significant other. But now I’m asking myself why. Why did 'Undercover Lover' sweep me away? Why did 'Undercover Lover' make me forget about craft and entice me to lose myself in a few hours of sheer pleasure?

For me, for 'Undercover Lover', it was the hero, John Sullivan. He was—and is—everything I crave in a romance hero. He’s sexy and dangerous, rough around the edges but heartbreakingly sensitive. Gruff but romantic, tortured but still. Somehow, noble. Brave, of course, but terrified of the one thing he wants most—the one thing he doesn’t think he can ever let himself have: the love of his best friend, Ellie Bennet.

That was different. Friends. The hero and heroine were…friends. They didn’t start the story fighting or arguing, there was no great big misunderstanding…not until later, anyway. Ellie and Sully are friends. Confidantes. He’s standing by her in the wake of her painful, humiliating divorce. And in return, he’s asking for nothing. Even as he longs for everything. As does she. Because beneath all those platonic veneers simmers a desire that frightens both of them. But especially Sully. Because Sully is a man leading a double life. He’s living a lie, keeping a dangerous secret, trying so damned hard to do the right thing, even as it rips at him.

But even as he tries to keep his life as an undercover narcotics cop separate from his friendship with Ellie, those two worlds are about to collide. And when they do, when the secrets spill out and the lies give way to cold, hard truths, the fallout is heartbreaking. But riveting. Because when all else falls away, the desire is still there, the near violent emotion between man and woman—the only bridge between before and after. Ah…..

What a wonderful read. Without doubt, 'Undercover Lover' captured my imagination, the fantasy literally swept me away. And the hero, Sully—my goodness. The only thing I wanted to do more than hug that man, was to—Well ....

That’s why we love romance, yes?

Jenna's June release is ' A Little Bit Guilty', the second of her midnight secrets mini-series for Silhouette Romantic Suspense.


For more information on the series and Jenna herself drop by her website by clicking here.

Writers Wednesday with Abby Green


Now for something a little different... On Wednesday we'll be bringing you lots more lovely "the call" stories as well as looking at the next stage of becoming a published author. So here to tell us how her life has changed since selling to Harlequin is newbie Presents author Abby Green!!!


How my life has changed…


· Well. I am more broke than I’ve ever been (!).


· I now spend inordinate amounts of time on the internet. I am obsessed with people’s blogs and websites.


· I have developed a hitherto non-existent ‘lurker’ personality. I hover suspiciously in bookshops and rearrange shelves.


· I am obsessed with the post, waiting for it, listening out for it, practically jumping on the poor postman. I now order nearly a book a day on amazon and will be bankrupt soon.


· I find myself sometimes in the middle of the street with a surge of pure joy when I think of what I’ve achieved. And the same reaction when I think of getting 'the call'.


· I live in fear of being told in a very nice way by my Ed, thanks for everything but really you only have three books in you and they’re done, please don’t send us anything again.


· I am developing a chair bottom, and can’t touch my toes anymore.


· I now have a nice fancy computer and a proper desk in my spare room/office. I steal stationary and especially reams of paper whenever I do my day job.


· I now have justification for all the voices in my head. I wake up happy every day that I am getting to do a job that I love. I now write a lot more than I used to, which is handy as I’m getting paid to do so. I think I can now call myself a writer without feeling like a fraud.


· I have new friends, some I’ve met and others I can’t wait to meet.


· All in all, it’s been pretty whirlwind and I’m looking forward to more and more changes!



X Abby Green





Abby's first Spanish language version is available now! Heredero De Amor (a translation of Chosen as the Frenchman's Bride) is available now through Harlequin Bianca.


And for the rest of you, The Brazilian's Blackmail Bargain will be out and about for your reading pleasure come August first.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Temptation Tuesday - Brunette Beauties

Today I continue with my series on heroine inspiration. Last month we had the blonde bombshels, piccies and rundowns on just who you can use as the next blonde heroine you read or write about.

This month we have...

- THE BRUNETTES -

THE SMART GALS

Catherine Zeta-Jones –

Classically beautiful, I think she’d like to be a sexpot, was fabulously so in ZORRO, had a million teenage boys fall in love with her in THE DARLING BUDS OF MAY, but too me she just comes across as far too smart to be anything but a smart girl. She's wily, focused, and ambitious. So watch out!

Aishwarya Rai –

The most beautiful woman in the world? Well she's certianly the most well-paid actress. This Bollywood star is truly gorgeous, and appealing with it. But there is an underlying streak of smarts that cuts through any of her other attributes. Any girl who can play Lizzie Bennet, as she does in BRIDE AND PREJUDICE gets my vote as a smart girl.

Emily Deschanel –

The lead in TV’s BONES. What I love about our Emily is that she's super curvy, she's tall, she's able to stand up to the boys and look like she means it. But there is also an underlying fragility about her. Lots of room for clashing tempers and clashing intelligence.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

THE NUBILE SEXPOTS

Angelina Jolie –

Cat's eyes, big lips, big boobs. If this woman ever becomes the heroine of a book of mine then I’ll eat my hat. She is such a sexpot I’m not altogether unsure there isn’t something supernatural involved. But the guys seem to like her.

Jessica Biel -

This girl to me seems like walking trouble. She's played nice girls before, but with that killer bod including a butt to rival J Lo's, those piercing eyes, and that focus, I think that if she wanted something she wouldn't stop until she got it. Or him...

Jessica Alba -

Is there something in that first name? Recently voted the world's sexiest woman, Jessica can be a bit too sweet to be true. Dare I mention the forgettable HONEY? But try her up on stage swinging a lassoo in SIN CITY and you'll see why she's here.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

THE GIRLS NEXT DOOR

Anne Hathaway -

This girl is the queen of the silver screen makeover. From a school girl to a princess, and most famously from a daggy journalism student to glamorous "Miranda girl". But even when glamorous she never quite loses that feeling in the back of your mind that on her very next step she might yet trip over a bump in the sidewalk and land flat on her face. Beautiful, and loveable.

Jewel Staite -

Known to those of us who are devotees of Joss Whedon's FIREFLY. If you wanna see how to play a girl next door, you must watch this show. Jewel is delightful, moving, funny, sweet, and just a little bit sexy when you least expect it.

Evangeline Lily -

Okay, so in LOST she's a tomboy. A crim on the run. Good with a knife. But if we just take a good look at her without the bikinis and the backpacks, I really think I could use her well as a girl next door. The curly hair, the freckles, the overbite. Too easy. In fact I am beginning to see her as my next Romance heroine ;).

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

THE WAIF/ THE INGENUE

Winona Ryder -

She's teeny tiny. Pretty as a picture. With skin like porcelain and raven dark hair in that famous pixie cut. And those big brown eyes a man could lose himself in. Beautiful in parts such as HOW TO MAKE AN AMERICAN QUILT and THE AGE OF INNOCENCE she was born to be an ingenue. And isn't it time we give her a break over the light fingers?

Halle Berry -

She was super hot as a Bond girl, no dount. And her topless scene in SWORDFISH almost made the internet blow up with excitement. But to my mind there is something infintely fragile about this woman.

Natalie Portman -

Another teeny tiny poppet of an actress. Dainty, lovely, sweet, far too pretty for her own good. She made her mark on me in THE PROFESSIONAL, her first film. And she has grown into a seroiusly beguiling creature with a kind of faraway sadness in her eyes that makes me want to know why...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

THE BOYS’ BEST FRIEND

Amanda Peet -

She hits our small screen in JACK AND JILL; loud, obnoxious, and seriously gorgeous. All shaggy brown hair, and a smile like sunshine and huge blue eyes surrounded by unfairly dark lashes. Topless in THE WHOLE NINE YARDS she still came across as such a tomboy it was adorable. This is one girl I for one can't wait to use as heroine inspiration.

Minnie Driver -

Curly hair, freckles, funny, did the boy’s best friend really well in GOOD WILL HUNTING. Was an ingenue of sorts in RETURN TO ME, but her place is with the boys. Hanging out, telling dirty jokes, laughing loudly. Dontcha reckon?

Sandra Bullock -

Is she the ultimate boys best friend? In combat boots and a short skirt in SPEED or in what could be her poster movie, MISS CONGENIALITY, Sandra is a girl we all root for, in life and in the movies. Your ultimate spunky kid.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Sandra Oh, Audrey Hepburn, Neve Campbell, Alyssa Milano, Liv Tyler, Katie Holmes, Catherine Keener, Demi Moore, Rose Byrne, Ashley Judd, Bridget Moynihan, Kate Beckinsale, Madeleine Stowe, Penelope Cruz, Jennifer Garner...

Who's your favourite brunette?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Ally’s next Harlequin Romance, BILLIONAIRE ON HER DOORSTEP, is out now in the UK and hits North American bookshelves any day now!!! It was also a Top Ten Mothers Day read on eHarlequin.

So head on out to your nearest bookstore and pick up a freshly minted, super-scented, fairy dust sprinkled hot off the presses copy today!

Check out an excerpt here...

Monday, June 11, 2007

Male On Monday - Michael Weatherly

This Monday on The Pink Heart Society we're inducting into the Male On Monday Hall Of Fame a man whose real-life story is possibly even more interesting than his on-screen ones... Trish Wylie tells us all about Michael Weatherly...


And I tell ya girls - if there's not a category romance or two borne out of this one then all hope is lost! Because I'll admit I knew very little about this guy until I started researching for this Blog and well... you'll see...

Let's just see if it sparked your muse the same way it did mine shall we?

Michael Weatherly was born on July 8th 1968 in New York City and was raised in Farifield Connecticut in what has been described online as a Gatsbyesque lifestyle of private schools, tennis lessons and summers spent in Europe. His father; Michael Weatherly Sr. is a millionaire exporter, famous in the US for introducing the Swiss Army knife and when he discovered his son was considering taking up acting after he left college, he threatened to disinherit him! Michael Jnr. stuck to his guns and his father then carried out the threat and despite later admitting his son's conviction for what he wanted to do, didn't offer to help him financially...(I swear gals - you couldn't make this stuff up...okay... well yes, alright, we could... still you can see why my muse started making notes as I read all this...but I digress...)

Anyway, a year after taking up acting Michael's career began with a role as Theo Huxstable's college room-mate in The Cosby Show, followed by a regular part on a soap opera called Loving. And it was this role in what is described as 'the sensitive, brooding heartthrob Cooper Alden' (muse liked that description), that he quickly became one of the show’s major stars, thanks to a mass of swooning female fans. He stayed on until the end of the show’s run and in its final year on the air, the show came back slightly revamped with a new title of The City in which he appeared as the same character. After this show was also cancelled, Michael apparently received *handsome offers* from bigger, even better known soaps, but turned them all down - probably 'cos he'd been there already - and instead opted to take the gamble of trying to make the 'upward move' from daytime soap to primetime.

Relocating to LA in 1998, the gamble got off to a promising start when he landed a lead role on a new romantic comedy, Significant Others co-starring with an unknown Ms. Jennifer Garner. Unfortunately the show was short-lived but Michael managed to rebound by landing a recurring role as Roy, the ex-husband of title character Jesse Warner, in the sitcom Jesse with Christina Applegate. But even though it was regularly ranked among the Top 20 every week throughout its run the show failed to be as successful as the network had hoped and once again, this time after two seasons, Michael saw the show cancelled from under him. Poor Michael!

But the cancellation proved a blessing in disguise as he then moved onwards and upwards - cast to co-star in Dark Angel, a sexy, new Sci-Fi type action drama from director James Cameron, with newcomer Jessica Alba -where I first tripped across him... Though in fairness I always wanted Max (Jessica's character) to end up with Alec - played by Jensen Ackles (a previous Male on Monday of mine) - cos I apparently have a bit of a thing for the wounded hero-type with a sarcastic sense of humour... (C'mon - you've *met me* - haven't you???) . Anyway, as Logan Cale, a wheel-chair bound leader of an underground resistance movement, it proved to be the role that would catapult Michael under more noses than just mine - including his leading lady's! Despite a 12 year age difference, Michael and Jessica began dating while filming the pilot episode, eventually getting engaged and they would continue the relationship for most of the show’s run – a union that apparently delighted both the fans and the press - even though ultimately it didn't last.

The show itself had a cult following, but due to huuugggeee production costs the network dragged its feet when it came to a second season. Cameron entered talks and managed to secure another run with some of his Hollywood clout - but that was it. And another show bit the dust... You kinda gotta feel for him at this stage, don't you???

So with no Dark Angel and no Jessica anymore either our *hero* was hired for a two-episode stint in the military law drama (and a favourite of mine), J.A.G. - the story serving as a launch-pad for a spin-off they named N.C.I.S - a kind of "CSI" meets "Cold Case" meets "JAG" would be a *very loose* description for the uninitiated. And it's as the playful, wisecracking Agent Anthony (Tony) DiNozzo that we can find Michael right to this date - the show doing very nicely in it's third odd season now thankfully - building on the original JAG fanbase and then adding to it with some fans of its own.... Michael himself says of Tony:

"...he has the attention span of a gnat. He is like a goldfish that swims from one end of the bowl to the other, turns around and goes, 'Look at this.' It is always a brand new goldfish bowl [for Tony]. I love that about him. He is very enthusiastic. But it means every relationship lasts about three weeks."

On a more personal note 6ft 2 Michael is currently single (and if anyone can find any other info than that then they're a better gal than me - tho you kinda gotta respect that kind of privacy after such public affairs with the likes of Rachel Hunter and Jessica Alba). He has a son from a short-lived marriage, and he's one of a family of 5 sisters and one brother. To supplement his early acting career he played in a band - guitar and piano - and he sold shoes, delivered pizzas, and dabbled in songwriting. And finally, for all you gals down in Aus, he was at the TV Week Logies in Melbourne last month as an international guest, accompanied by his niece, Alexandra Breckenridge (who acted in the movie She's The Man) - so if you missed him... well... tough.

So there you go - that's Michael Weatherly for you. To discover more there are several good sites out there - one of them being http://www.michaelweatherlyfans.com/ - and remember you can look back on all of our previous Male On Monday inductees by following the link on the side-bar - ENJOY!!!

H's & K's - Trish



Trish hits us with double releases in July - The Return Of The Rebel (which is a follow up to Breathless!) in Modern Extra - and Bride Of The Emerald Isle (the book she'll be signing at the RWA Nationals) in Romance...



The Return Of The Rebel is available from Amazon UK next month or from Mills & Boon right now! And Bride Of The Emerald Isle is available from Eharlequin or Amazon in the USA & Canada and Mills & Boon or Amazon UK in the UK.

AND you can also buy it as an E-Book here!!!


For more info visit her Website or her Blog.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sunday Spotlight on Kate Walker's The Sicilian's Red-Hot Revenge



This week on The Pink Heart Society we take a break from the norm to Spotlight a book rather than an author - and this is something we'll do from time to time so you lovely ladies can see some of the books reviewed at our Pink Heart Society Review Blog...


This month we Spotlight Kate Walker's 50th Title - The Sicilian's Red-Hot Revenge - out now in the UK and next month in the US. And to see more of our Reviewers thoughts on the Category Romances sent to them don't forget to stop by The Pink Heart Society Review Blog


Title: The Sicilian's Red-Hot Revenge

Author: Kate Walker

Line: Modern/Presents

Release month: UK - June 07 USA - July 07

The S-Factor: Sizzling!

Back-Blurb:

Emily Lawton never expected to see him again. But somehow Vito Corsentino has tracked her down! The fiery, brooding Sicilian wants Emily. This time he’ll take her and he’ll be the one to discard her when it’s over!But quiet Emily has one last shock in store for Vito… She’s having his baby and if he finds out he’ll want more than revenge!

Review:

This is Kate's 50th book and oh what a book! It's a very powerful and passionate love story with another of Kate's "hot" Italian men and this time it's Vito!

THE SICILIAN’S RED-HOT REVENGE exemplifies a Harlequin Presents book at its very best! Vito is drop dead gorgeous, spirited, stubborn at times, and very passionate. And when he's angry, well watch out!As you learned in Sicilian Husband, Blackmailed Bride, Guido has a brother Vito and they are in business together. For years they worked non-stop and promised each other on their 30th birthday they would take a year off and this is Vito's year. As he comes from a shipbuilding family, his passion is carving; so he rents a flat near the shore in England. In this same book, you also learn that at a wedding a woman faints and of course this is one introduction in meeting Emily.

On one very particular day Vito is out walking and sees a beautiful Englishwoman on the beach and is immediately captivated by her and while watching her from afar, he realizes she is in danger of drowning in the ocean and he comes to her rescue. Their attraction is immediate and Vito insists that Emily accompany him back to his flat to get warmed up and out of her wet clothes. After a short kiss on the beach, Emily realizes she is in trouble, but in the end goes home with Vito.Of course, any hot blooded Italian who is so desperately attracted to a woman like Emily...not just her simple beauty but her spirit and the passion he sees in her eyes can't control himself. Once they come together all is lost for them both.

However, the tables are turned when Vito retrieves Emily's personal belongings and answers her cell. There he finds out that she is married and anger doesn't even describe his emotions. Emily flees back home and Vito returns to Italy. One evening while dining with his brother and sister in-law he learns that at the wedding his brother broke up there was a woman who fainted and her name was Emily Lawton. Vito is shocked and reacts quickly, flying to England and to Emily.

Vito and Emily's reuniting was very painful for me to read. It so depicts how miscommunication or lack of it can destroy a relationship. Honesty finally prevails, a lesson we can all learn and their passion, longing and yearning will take your breath away.

Congratulations to Kate Walker on this 50th book. However, I would personally like to say, thank you to Kate for the wonderful hours of reading you have personally provided this reader and please keep those books coming! Perhaps we can find another Corsentino sibling out there so we can see how Vito and Guido are doing?

Reviewed by: Marilyn

Hero Hotness Factor ♥♥♥♥♥
Heroine Lovability Factor ♥♥♥♥♥
Awww Factor ♥♥♥♥♥
Stickability Factor ♥♥♥♥♥
Humour Factor
Weepy Factor ♥♥♥


Did you know that this book is Kate Walker's 50th book to hit the shelves??? Yes - 50!!!

As part of the celebrations Kate will be running several special features and competitions on both her Website and her Blog - witha host of special guests along the way!!! How can you possibly miss out on all of that fun???

To find out more, why not visit her website or her Blog?

And we here at The Pink Heart Society would like to join voices with Marilyn to say CONGRATULATIONS KATE ON THIS TRULY AMAZING MILESTONE!!!

Did you know you can have your book reviewed FOR FREE at The Pink Heart Society Review Blog??? And did you know you can volunteer to become a reviewer??? For further details just visit here or email us at thepinkheartsociety@hotmail.com

Saturday Surprise :: FinDaBoo!

Today on the FinDaBoo, I'm gonna give you guys some research to do okay? Now don't panic, it won't hurt a bit. Just warm up your mouse wrist, place your hand over said mouse and get ready to click!

For today I am giving you a short list of fabulous blogs and websites on which to find out more information about how published members of the Pink Heart Society have managed to finish a book or two.

Fiona Harper, a Harlequin Romance gal, is huuuugely organized, using the likes of coloured paper on corkboards to sort out her plots. Check out her blog to find out how she prepares before writing a book, and how deeply she delves into things like "The Hero's Journey".

Early this year, another Harlequin Romance author Donna Alward gave us a series entitled “The Construction Zone”. where she talked us through the process of writing a novel.

Trish Wylie has been running a “Book With Trish” series on her blog for a while now. Most of her previous posts have graduated to her fantastic website. And she has even been running a contest where she will critique one lucky winner! Watch out over the next couple of weeks for the winner!

The lovely Liz Fielding has a range of seriously practical articles about getting started. Finding a way in with a grat idea and then with a smack bang opening line just as a couple of examples. Check out her articles "About Writing".

A couple that always get mentioned by hopeful authors as being extremely helpful are Melissa James’s “Emotional Depth” series, and Barbara Hannay’s “Emotional Punch” article.

And just ‘cause I can, I’ll now direct you to my blog where I blogged a series called “Between the Sheets” about the process and progress behind the writing of my last Harlequin Romance, FALLING FOR THE REBEL HEIR. Looking at collaging, why I listen to music as I write, helpful foods to eat while writing, and why hours spent trawling Google images are so very important to a writers craft ;).

And these are just a handful of our Harlequin Romance members! What other treasures are out there for you to forage and plunder??? Well, before you go looking, check these out, take from them what you can, and do, please let us know below if you have any other favourites that have helped you over rough patches or struck light bulbs!

~ ~ ~

Ally’s next Harlequin Romance, BILLIONAIRE ON HER DOORSTEP, is out now in the UK and hits North American bookshelves any day now!!! It was also a Top Ten Mothers Day read on eHarlequin.

So head on out to your nearest bookstore and pick up a freshly minted, super-scented, fairy dust sprinkled hot off the presses copy today!