Ally Blake Romance Author - Blog

Latest news from Australian romance author Ally Blake, who writes fun, fresh flirty romance novels for Harlequin Mills and Boon.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

allyoop!

 
I'm so excited that the website for my new graphics business - ALLYOOP DESIGNS - has finally gone live!
 
From the very beginning of my writing career I've designed my own website - wanting, needing, to know how that kind of thing worked.  (And gosh that first one was terrible!)  Since then I've built dozens of other people's websites on request, taught myself html, and Photoshop, figuring things out as I needed to know them.
 
And today I can add...
 
 
And a slew of other design strings to my bow.
 
I love the work, love that it uses a different part of the creative brain from writing.  I love the pretty and the colour and balance and the evolution of a design.  I love the joy in a client's voice when a project is complete.
 
Follow my Facebook page for the latest AllyOop news,
and for any design enquiries email me at allyoopdesigns@yahoo.com

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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

resisting the musician - blog tour

The Resisting the Musician blog tour is up and away!  (Dates and links below)

Giveaways include books, a signed post card, and custom made guitar picks with the name of the book's signature song - "I Pick You" stamped upon them.

I hope you win :).

Ally
xXx

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Saturday, 26 July 2014

harlequin junkie

Head on over to the Harlequin Junkie where I'm chatting about SECOND CHANCE HONEYMOON!

There's a giveaway, and a fab review of the book in which Sara so graciously said, "Second Chance Honeymoon is a fast paced, light hearted, great romantic escape read."

Enter the comp and say "hi" for your chance to win a back list Ally Blake ebook!

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Monday, 21 July 2014

the man was a poet

Billy Joel - An Innocent ManMy husband MP3 player is currently filled with Billy Joel.  I love me some Billy Joel - the man's a poet, honest to goodness.

Only I gut stuck between the kitchen and the hall yesterday when Innocent Man came on.  It's a song I adore, the music beautiful, the lyrics poignant.

But not having heard it for a good while it's the first time the lyrics meant something new to me.  When it hit me that this song is about every hero I write. About the kind of man who can see past a woman digging in her heels against love, knowing she's doing so because of past hurt, and is willing to wait it out.

INNOCENT MAN

Some people stay far away from the door
If there's a chance of it opening up
They hear a voice in the hall outside
And hope that it just passes by

Some people live with the fear of a touch
And the anger of having been a fool
They will not listen to anyone
So nobody tells them a lie

I know you're only protecting yourself
I know you're thinking of somebody else
Someone who hurt you
But I'm not above
Making up for the love
You've been denying you could ever feel
I'm not above doing anything
To restore your faith if I can
Some people see through the eyes of the old
Before they ever get a look at the young
I'm only willing to hear you cry
Because I am an innocent man
Oh yes I am

Some people say they will never believe
Another promise they hear in the dark
Because they only remember too well
They heard somebody tell them before
Some people sleep all alone every night
Instead of taking a lover to bed
Some people find that's it's easier to hate
Than to wait anymore
I know you don't want to hear what I say
I know you're gonna keep turning away
But I've been there and if I can survive
I can keep you alive
I'm not above going through it again
I'm not above being cool for a while
If you're cruel to me I'll understand

Some people run from a possible fight
Some people figure they can never win
And although this is a fight I can lose
The accused is an innocent man
Oh yes I am
An innocent man

You know you only hurt yourself out of spite
I guess you'd rather be a martyr tonight
That's your decision
But I'm not below
Anybody I know
If there's a chance of resurrecting a love
I'm not above going back to the start
To find out where the heartache began

Some people hope for a miracle cure
Some people just accept the world as it is
But I'm not willing to lay down and die
Because I am an innocent man

I am an innocent man
Oh yes I am
An innocent man

See what I mean?  An honest to goodness poet.

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Thursday, 17 July 2014

writing what you know

One of the best things about writing for a living is that everything is research; eavesdropping, navel-gazing, googling pictures of Justice Joslin…

And travel.

I’ve done a bit of travelling in my time.  Europe, North America, bits and pieces of my home country of Australia.  And every time I go anywhere new I do so with a notebook, a pen, and a wide open imagination, meaning many of the places I’ve been have ended up in books.

Paris (Steamy Surrender)
Tuscany (A Mother for His Daughter)
Venice (The Secret Wedding Dress)
Louisiana (When Honey Got Married…)

My latest Harlequin Kiss is set in the fictional beachside town of Crescent Bay but most of the locales were based on a week I spent in Palm Cove in Far North Queensland.
 
It’s a resort town, with local shops, gorgeous resorts, pristine white beaches, island hopper boats to schlep you out to the Great Barrier Reef as well as lots of untouched local colour.  All of which is imbedded on my brain from my holiday there years ago which I hope helped make Crescent Cove feel like a real place, a warm place, a place you’d love to visit.


Then again I don’t know.   Justice Joslin, and googling pictures of him, helped the book just fine too J.  (Check out the Pinterest board for this book and you'll know what I mean :))
 
Happy reading
Ally
xXx

HER HOTTEST SUMMER YET
out now thru #HarlequinKiss - Amazon

(THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT - book two of Those Summer Nights - by Amy Andrews is out next month!)

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Wednesday, 25 June 2014

"Second Chance Honeymoon" release day!

I have a problem with secondary characters.  Don't get me wrong, it s a good problem.  Kind of.  the problem?  They have a way of trying their darndest to takeover my books!
 
In fact the one time I tried to write that had only the hero and heroine and not another soul, my editor asked me nicely to put some in because she loved my secondary characters so much. Lesson learned.  Give them free reign.  As they can be mighty fine at giving insights into the main characters.
 
SECOND CHANCE HONEYMOON (out June 23rd and 99c on Amazon for the first 2 days!)  is about JJ.  After losing her job and finding herself on the verge of an existential crisis, she decides to take a cruise to let her hair down and just have some fun.  A little sun, a little rum and, what the heck, maybe a summer fling while she's at it.
 
Here we have another problem.  The cruise her best friend - and newly minted travel agent - books her on is a Second Honeymoon cruise, filled to capacity with marrieds, every one over sixty years of age.
 
And here we come to the secondary characters.  How could a ship-full of septuagenarian party-animals not put in their 2 cents.  Especially when they have themselves a solitary, unattached  twentysomething in need of some life lessons.

Like magic the strongest appeared on the page as JJs dinner companions - ex vacuum cleaner salesman Bernie with his yoda-esque cadence and his dear sweet Myrtle, staid Samuel (or is he) and mousy Carol (oh she'll surprise you!), and best of all Hazel.  Brash, bombastic Hazel with her uber-cleavage and her new husband Frank who'd rather stare at the menu all night than engage in the ship gossip. 
 
Here's a little snippet of JJs first night with her regular dinner table, the beginning courtesy of JJ's fairy godmother the indomitable Hazel:

   “Frank and I are on our honeymoon. Third marriage for me, third cruise. Fifth marriage for him, first cruise. Between us we have eight kids and seventeen grandkids. It counts.”
   Bernie’s eyes opened wider with each confession while Myrtle looked about nervously as if admitting as much might get them chucked off the ship.
In order to ease the strain creaking at the table, JJ dove in. “I’m Juliana, but you can call me JJ. I’m . . . between jobs. Sydneysider. I’m not married, so you’re one up on me. Though I was. Once. Divorced actually. It was all over less than a day after the wedding.”
So much for clearing the strain hanging over the dinner table. JJ sat back in her chair blaming all the honeymoon talk.
“A day?” Myrtle asked, hand to her throat.
“What anniversary would that be, do you think?” Bernie asked into the silence.
“One year is paper,” quiet Carol added helpfully.
“Shredded paper, then?” Hazel added.
JJ coughed out a laugh.
“Bark,” Bernie said, then bit back a smile. “From the tree used to make the paper.”
“Wood shavings,” Frank added without looking up.
“Wood shavings,” Hazel said proudly, as if the case was now closed. “There it is folks.”
While JJ laughed along with the rest of them, enough that she had to hold her belly, she couldn’t help thinking that they’d not gone back far enough. Dust, she thought. The dust left on the air when the tree is cut down. It floats off into nothing, becoming nothing, disappearing as if it had never really been there at all.
Sometimes, sitting alone in her dingy apartment she wondered if she was that dust, all that remained of the dauntless girl she’d once been.
“To the paths that brought us here and the journey ahead,” Myrtle said, lifting her glass and beaming at Bernie’s words.
She nodded at the glass in front of JJ which Hazel was filing to the brim with something red and shiny and delicious-looking.
“To getting up to no good,” Hazel joined in, clinking JJ’s glass before placing it in her hand.
With vigor, and intent, feeling less like dust than she had in a long time, JJ lifted her glass high. “To adventure.”
With a rousing cheer the table yelled, “Here, here!”


SECOND CHANCE HONEYMOON is out now on Amazon.

"Like" the Holiday Books Facebook page and check out their website for more great honeymoon #summerreads coming your way.

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Thursday, 2 January 2014

harlequin junkie

Today is my Mum's birthday - Happy Birthday Mum!!!

And I'm also over visiting with the always gracious Harlequin Junkie chatting about my latest Harlequin Kiss - THE DANCE OFF.



Come say "hi" for your chance to win not one, but TWO back list Ally Blake ebooks!

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Wednesday, 1 January 2014

happy new year!


Saturday, 21 December 2013

Amy Andrews' first...light-bulb moment romance.




Please welcome the fantabulous Amy Andrews to the "You Always Remember Your First" party.  Amy's books and mine have often come out togehter in Australia, and we've written a super sexy duet for Harlequin Kiss due out next July/August!  As an extra double whammy, today's Amy's birthday!!!   Happy Birthday Amy!!!

The first romance I read that made a true, light-bulb moment impression on me was Getting Rid of Bradley by Jennifer Crusie.

It was one of her Harlequins and I remember after I’d devoured it and smiled like a loon a lot and actually laughed out loud in places and sighed a happy sign at the end, I knew this was the kind of book I wanted to write.

Prior to GROB I’d read mostly from the Harlequin Presents/Sexy range – Carole Mortimer, Charlotte Lamb, Ann Mather, Penny Jordan - these were my staples. And I still adore the brooding Presents heroes and all that screaming sexual tension and THE wonderful sexy times. But here was a book that was sexy in an entirely different way. It was light and funny, it was a little irreverent.  But still oh so sexyIt was a freaking revelation!

Ever read a book that’s just taken all your expectations and assumptions and turned them upside down?  Tell me all about it at Ally's Facebook page for the chance to win an ebook of 'Tis the Season To Be Kissed!



Amy
Website  |  Facebook 

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Friday, 20 December 2013

Fiona Lowe's first...romance read!



Next to the party is Fiona Lowe - long time writing friend, conference roomie, and winner of just about every romance award under the sun for her fabulous Boomerang Bride.

The first time I read a romance novel I was 14 and my mother handed me Pride and Prejudice. I started reading and at page 100 said, “this is SO boring.”  She said, keep reading.

Midway through the book I said, “Oh, that horrible Mr. Darcy!” and she said, “keep reading.”

I did and when I put the book down with a sigh of, “Mr. Darcy!” My love of romance fiction was born.

Fiona
Website  |  Facebook 





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