Ally Blake Romance Author - Blog

Latest news from Australian romance author Ally Blake, writer of fun, fresh flirty romance novels.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

where am I?

Were you a romance reader from way back? Even in your teens?

I was. I must have read nearly all of the Sweet Dreams and Sweet Valley High books when I was in my teens and on Thursday 28th I'm blogging all about it at the Pink Heart Society!

This is also the last day you can enter the Modern Heat Authors Valeentines Day Treasure Hunt. So go get those clues!!! The winner will be announced at the Modern Heat blog on Friday!!!


Sunday, 24 February 2008

lovely reviews

My FALLING FOR THE REBEL HEIR, which comes out in North America and the UK next month, was one of those books that I felt utter joy in writing.

My memory of the experience is kind of dreamy and magical. It might well have been the happy pregnancy hormones, but I'm not sure that's all it was. It all began with my clever husband giving me the idea of a guy finding a mystery girl swimming in the pool of his abandoned mansion. Fairy dust ensued and the rest was history.

Here's what Romantic Times had to say... (4 stars)

Returning home is bittersweet for photographer Hud Bennington. The country house he inherited is in disrepair, except for the pool, which freelance fact-checker Kendall York has kept up and had been using in his absence. The two strike a deal: Hud will allow Kendall continued use of the pool if she'll type his memoirs. Romance isn't part of the plan -- Hud's been damaged by what he's seen overseas, and Kendall's still grieving the loss of her fiance -- but love finds a way. Ally Blake's Falling for the Rebel Heir (4) is a sweet, often funny story with a wonderfully written pair of lovers and a believably developed relationship.

And Cataromance... (4 stars)

Falling for the Rebel Heir by Ally Blake is a charming and tender tale of two people that live with experiences that have changed their lives, for good or bad. I really enjoyed reading about these two challenging characters, Hud because he’s recovering from a horrific experience while reporting on a story he was following and Kendall because of a tragic accident that changed her life and made her unable to forgive herself. There are some that say tragedy can either break you or make you stronger, and for these two in some ways it made them stronger but also more fragile. Fragile because they were second guessing themselves and not willing to live their lives they always dreamt of but also making them survivors, which I really enjoyed reading about. Kudos to Ms. Blake for penning a demanding yet enduring tale of love conquering and bringing about a happy ending.

And don't forget to enter the Modern Heat Valentines Day Treasure Hunt! To find out how to get all of the clues, head on over to the Modern Heat blog before the 28th and lodge your entry!

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Saturday, 23 February 2008

Modern Heat Treasure Hunt recap

Since the beginning of the month you've done the rounds of the Modern Heat authors' blogs and you've been collecting clues in our Modern Heat Authors' Valentines Day Treasure Hunt, right?

If you've missed a clue head to the Modern Heat blog now where you can find links to the exact pages on each author's blog where the clues can be found. Aren't we good to you?

I'm giving away a signed copy of STEAMY SURRENDER, my second Modern Heat and a book not yet released in North America! And there are eleven other signed copies for authors all around the world that could be yours!

To be in the draw to win the lot you have from now until the 28th of February to email us with every clue listed with "TREASURE HUNT" in the subject line .

Happy hunting!

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Tuesday, 19 February 2008

i've discovered ebay

Ridiculous that it took me this long right? I mean I've bought things on their before. A couple of DVDs and a couple of books. But I started looking up, of all things, baby shoes a few days back. And!

Within about three hours I had bid on ten things. TEN! And when I realised that if I won those ten things it would come to over $100 I was a tad startled to say the least. Thankfully I have been outbid on about half. I've won three. Including these toooo cute pink suede shoes that are faaaaaar too big for my Miss Boo right now.
I did lose out on a pair of red mary janes that were sooooo cute I was really upset. Less than a week at this and I already need counselling.

Heaven help me!


Saturday, 16 February 2008

why i love libraries...

Thanks to all the lovely people who attended the library talk I gave at the Doncaster Library today. It was great fun. And getting to listen to Anne Gracie talk anytime is faaabulous so I was lucky too ;).

Juleigh, the librarian who organised this treat of a day, has done a fantastic job with the local "Summer Lovin'" series, all about promoting the reading of romance , in which she had:

"Blind Date with a Book". Selected romance novels were packaged in white paper with nothing but a barcode on the cover, so readers could take a lucky dip in the hopes of discovering a new favourite author!

"T-shirt Reading List". A t-shirt she won on ebay has been signed by a trillion romance authors from around the world and the hopes are that the romance fans at her library will read a book by each author thereon. Brilliant? You're telling me!

"Romance Reading Book Group". She is in the middle of planning a book cirlce in which each participant reads and brings their favourite book and talks about it so everyone can pick up some great advice on who next to try.

Isn't she a dream? Don't we love her?

I also love my editor who came back to me within revisions on my first post baby book within about 7 hours after I sent it to her. All perfect ideas, all things I felt but didn't know quite how to fix, now I am a woman with a plan!

La di dah!!!


Thursday, 14 February 2008

happy valentines day!

This morning I received a big box of chocolates! From my publishers ;).

And for the remainder of this Valentines Day my plans are:

To sit at the computer in my tracky daks and my ugh boots tweaking my latest Modern Heat hopeful while I await the verdict from my busy - and might I say utterly lovely - editor. To play with my gorgeous 3 month old who is becoming a noisy chatty little creature with a great love of sticking her hands in her mouth. Watch a little Gilmore Girls while we eat.

And not even open the choccies until my hubby gets home. We might even snuggle up in front of the telly tonight after bub goes to sleep and watch last night's House. Oh what a romantic life we romance authors do lead ;).

And don't forget come this Saturday 16th Anne Gracie and I will be appearing at the Doncaster Library in Melbourne from 2-3:30! There is a door prize giveaway of a signed copy of 'Sizzle, Seduce & Simmer'.
BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL on 9848 2644 or phone any library branch

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Sunday, 10 February 2008

what a difference a picture makes

I'm currently working super duper crazy hard finishing my first post-baby book. I didn't write a word for the first two months after Bridget was born, preferring instead to simply be with her, anhd sleep when I could!

And now that I'm neck deep in this story there is something I am sooo glad of. And not just my super-understanding editor!

I'm really glad of my process.

These pictures of my hero and my heroine have given me so much for this book which is the most character centric one I have ever written. I guess that's what comes of a terrifying time limit; no time to do anything but work out the romance.

McSteamy - AKA Eric Dane - was a no brainer choice for Caleb. The stubble, the lazy smile, the sex appeal. I orginally used a picture of Amanda Peet that gave me the vulnerability I needed when getting to know my Ava, but now this picture of the heavely Zooey Deschanel is giving me everything else I need to make Ava loveable. Hoorah for Google!

I've also had the most amazing soundtrack; several slow songs and several happy songs that each fit the mood for different scenes. I even gave these to my editor to help her come up with a blurb and cover picture and title they were that important to my story. George Michael's Kissing a Fool and A Different Corner are staples for me.

Anyhoo I'd better get back to editing like crazy. And I haven't yet quite written the end which is always one of the most pleasurable parts for me. Getting to write those two magical words...

Don't forget to keep track of the Modern Heat Authors Valetines Treasure Hunt clues! Check out the Modern Heat blog to find out how to win a dozen signed Modern Heat/Harlequin Presents/Sexy Sensation novels!


Saturday, 9 February 2008

Modern Heat Treasure Hunt with Anna Cleary!

Today the lovely Anna Cleary has taken over my blog which is veeerrrry exciting as she is a brand new Modern Heat author!!! And she is joining in the super fun Modern Heat Valentines treasure hunt so read on to find out today's clue!

Anna's first book, MY TALL DARK GREEK BOSS was released in UK in December 2007. Is out in Australia now and will be a Harlequin Presents release in April! What I really wanted to know from Ms Anna was how she came to write her first romance hero...

Here is what inspired Ellie on the night of the Masked Ball—Sam, in all his brooding intensity. (Alex Dimitriados was my inspiration for Sam. I feel sure he’s inpired others.)

Those strong slashing eyebrows, sinfully deep dark eyes and lashes, proud cheekbones and that stirringly sensuous mouth have sizzling impact for heroines of all varieties. In terms of pure male beauty—heart-stopping.


But there’s more, so much more behind that gorgeous facade, and that’s what draws us, and draws Ellie to Sam. There’s pride and pain and passion to be read in those midnight eyes. Intelligence and humour. Strength and vulnerability, and surely the capacity for tenderness and love. All the things a warm-hearted woman desires in a mate.

And please, let’s not forget the chemistry. Certainly, from the moment Ellie meets Sam the sparks of sexual tension fire up the universe.

Now, lovely, clever Ellie is a subtle woman who’s not above using some graceful female subterfuge to manipulate her bosses. Imagine her surprise when she discovers the devilishly clever tactics a sleek, sophisticated boss is capable of using to reel a woman in.

Thanks Anna! Sounds just delicious!! And to whet your tastebuds here's a little about Anna's first book, MY TALL DARK GREEK BOSS.

Ellie O’Dea knows about broken hearts. And she knows about heart-breakers in the workplace. So when Sam Stilakos, tall, sophisticated and stunningly sexy CEO of the Sirius Bank makes her his PA, she knows to beware.

Especially after the night of the masked ball. Ellie kept on her mask, but that was all she kept on. Having had one taste of his lovely, beguiling PA, could Sam be blamed for wanting more?

Treasure Hunt clue: At what event does Ellie O'Dea meet Sam Stilakos for the first time?

Don't forget to go to the Modern Heat blog to find out where you can find the other clues. And check out Julie Cohen's blog for the next clue...

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Wednesday, 6 February 2008

a thousand words

This is one of the most amazing photographs I've ever seen. It appeared in today's paper had me in tears all afternoon.

A baby was thrown from the window of a burning building in Germany. Thank God the little one survived, having landed in the arms of a policeman waiting below. I can't even imagine how the parents felt having to do this.

This image just broke my heart. And sent me cuddling my own little one more than I even usually do.

Read more about this amazing and very sad story here.

I'm off to gaze at my peacefully sleeping little love. If I wake her then so be it. She'll just get more kisses tonight.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Modern Heat Treasure Hunt

As part of the Valentines Month Modern Heat Treasure Hunt, I'll be giving away a copy of my most recent Modern Extra novel, STEAMY SURRENDER.

Saxon Ciantar, the hero in STEAMY SURRENDER is one of my favourites. Shhh, don't tell my other heroes! But how can you not love a guy who has a nineteen sixties Jag, wears 'The Clash' t-shirts tow work and owns his own log cabin in the snow. Added to that the guy owns a string of gelato shops. If that doesn't put him over the edge I just don't know what could.

In my head he's a lot like Christian Bale, but that's a no-brainer really as I reckon I could cast that gent in every book I've ever written ;). But in casting heroes it's never so much about the particulars of the actor I use, it's more about a look in the eye of a particular picture that gives me the essence of my guy. So how else could I describe Saxon? Maybe I ought to leave it up to the heroine Morgan to fill us in on her first impressions...

For the moment her eyes had met his she'd felt... peculiar. Not bad peculiar. But funny in the tummy peculiar. Like she'd had too much coffee. But considering she congealing latte in her hand hadn't deserved the three sips she'd afforded it...

Okay, maybe, just maybe, the peculiar feeling had nothing to do with milk overload. Maybe it had everything to do with the fact that the guy was the most overtly male person she had ever laid eyes on. Even though he was blokey; no doubt the type who roved in a pack and thought calling out to a woman that she had a nice butt was commensurate to a first date, he was also just so...big. Tall and broad. A silver chain clung tight to his solid neck, allowing a small medallion to rest in the dip in his clavicle. Smooth, tightly bound arm muscles strained under a dark t-shirt advertising a rock band she was fairly sure had broken up before she was even born. They were the kinds of muscles that made her want to reach out and touch. And she just knew his stomach would be washboard flat. And rippled. The potential for ripples was super high.

All that healthy robust manliness was something if she really thought about it. Especially when compared with the overly thin, overly coiffed, overly gay types she worked with every day. And she was thinking about it. Quite a lot.

She risked a sideways glance at the guy to find he was watching her and she had to hold a hand over her stomach to quell the sudden strange bouncy uncalled-for butterflies within.

Can you see now why I love the guy? And why I love love love writing for Modern Heat?

TREASURE HUNT CLUE: Who inspired Ally's hero choice in Steamy Surrender?

To find out how to win a slew of fabulous signed novels by your favourite Modern Heat authors, head on over to the Modern Heat blog all through this month! Visit the blogs and websites of the MH authors and enter your Treasure Hunt clues by the 28th of February for the chance to win big! Good luck!

(HINT: We've already had clues by Natalie Anderson and Kate Hardy and next up is... Robyn Grady!)

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Friday, 1 February 2008

wanna win a loada fantabulous books?

February being the month of romance, the Modern Heat authors have banded together to give you a real treat.

Check out the Modern Heat blog and follow the treasure map from blog to website to blog again all this month to find out all about the merry band of authors who'll be leaving you clues the Modern Heat Authors' Treasure Hunt!!!

And you can win copies of the latest Modern Heat and Harlequin Presents and Sexy Sensation novels from the lot of us. Some which haven't even been released yet!

So head on over to the MH blog, add it to your favourites, bookmark it, make it your home page ;) ...

And just case I'm that nice I'll give you a big hint - check out Natalie Anderson's blog on the 1st of February to see what's up first...

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