Ally Blake Romance Author - Blog

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

Wednesday 31 October 2007

ally and the city

Hello one and all. I'm stiiiiillll here, still whale-like and still finding myriad ways in which to fill my time as I await the arrival of bub. So yesterday, my hubby, our friends Sheree (who's due to have her own bub soon after me), her hubby Chris and their two year old Tom went for a trip into the city.

Tom had never been on a train before, it was Chris's birthday, Sheree and I felt the need to be upright and mobile, and none of us had ever been to the Melbourne Aquarium. So off we toddled.

Starting with lunch in one of Melbourne's fantabulous, cramped and noisy and bustling and aromatic restaurant filled alleyways. This building at the end of the alley is actually where my heroine lived in my next Modern Heat book THE MAGNATE'S INDECENT PROPOSAL. On the left you can see the side of the building. Think art deco lobby, black wrought iron balconies dripping in bougainvillea right in the heart of the city. Gorgeous!

Next we trundled through town, heading past stunning Flinders Street train station in which my hero and heroine from WANTED: OUTBACK WIFE meet - at a funky cafe located beneath the ground! This building is a true favourite. It runs the length of the north bank of the Yarra River and is an icon of the city.

After that we took a tram, and yes it was Tom's first tram, to the Melbourne Aquarium, where I set an important "date" scene in GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS. Here are some piccies of what was a truly gorgeous, peaceful, inspiring place to spend a day - especially with an excitable two year old!

We finished our day with a stroll along South Bank, had ice creams and headed home, exhausted, inspired, and very pleased that we'd headed out, even with only three days until I'm due to have my bub!!!

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Friday 26 October 2007

last chance to read my latest!

For those of you who haven't remember to pick up a copy of A MILLIONAIRE TO THE RESCUE it's only out in North America and the UK for a couple more days so get down to the shops now!!!

Remember this is the book that recieved a 4.5 star review from Romantic Times and a 5 star review from CataRomance. And in case you need another inducement, here's the Dear Reader letter from the front of the book which tells you a little about the background of the tale...

Dear Reader,

I am as guilty as the next girl of picking up magazines in supermarket queues to find out what the celebrities are up to; which ones are looking glamorous in designer frocks, and which have been caught in compromising photos in which we can see their cellulite.

It got me to thinking, how would it feel if you were a regular gal, a wife and mother, trying to go about the business of raising your kids, but if you were married to a famous sportsman. How hard it must be to hold down a normal life with the long lens of the paparazzi and the all-knowing public commenting on your every move.

Out of that thought grew my heroine Brooke, a woman whose whole adult life has been lived in the public eye, but now that fabulous life has come crashing to a halt; her marriage, her finances, the life she knew all gone in the blink of an eye. Don’t you think it would take some kind of man to stand up for a woman in that position? Especially if he had been her ex-husband’s best friend? Ooooh the plot thickens!!!

I hope you enjoy the twists and turns of A Millionaire to the Rescue as much as I enjoyed watching them unfold!

HARLEQUIN ROMANCE - North America October 2007 - buy now
buy now
SWEET ROMANCE - Australia & New Zealand December 2007-


Thursday 25 October 2007

stationery, I lovest thou

Have I mentioned my stationery addiction here? Surely I must have. Alongside M&Ms and coffee, it's my favourite thing about being a professional writer.

That said, one of the things I am doing right now to get myself up to date pre-bub is my taxes. And for that I decided the time had come to update my tax filing system. Currently our receipts all go in a box under my bed, and ALL paperwork, and by that I mean every piece of mail, every scrap of paper to do with the writing of a book, every birthday card that comes through our door goes into a pile beside my desk that ends up teetering 2 feet high by the end of June.

Yesterday, trying to trudge all that junk into the dining room to sort through it I'd had enough. And looking for any excuse to allay the boredom I chattered about here a couple of days back ;), I got dressed, put on some lippy and headed to Officeworks. And there I found my saviour.

Hot pink concertina files! The big one fits all my accounts/bills for the year and the small one all my receipts now labelled and organised into their relevant categories. Aren't they just the most beautiful things you've ever seen? They slot perfectly into the small cupboard adjoined to my desk, now my office floor is clean and tidy and the dusty receipt box under my bed is no more.

Come June next year I think I'll kiss them. And save three days in the sorting. See, this baby brain thing ain't all bad!

Monday 22 October 2007

i'm still here!

I just realised it had been a few days since I came on here to say hello and people might be getting ideas ;). But I'm still here. And my OB thinks it won't be happening anytime this week so I'll still be here in a few days time.

I'm here, and I'm bored.

Now I'm not a person who gets bored easily, if at all. I'm not quite sure what to do about it! I head out to the shops every couple of days, though am trying to stay off my feet, and to stop spending money on baby until we know what flavour we're having so can buy some cool stuff like dresses or shorts and T's. I am watching my fave DVDs and even though we have a collection that would shock a video store, I'm running out of movies that are calling out to be watched for the tenth time. I'm having lots of lovely catch ups with friends, but if I wear them all out now I may stretch the friendships too far.

Sooooo.... Any ideas on how I can spend this down time in new and interesting ways before said downtime disappears for the next twenty odd years ;)?


Wednesday 17 October 2007

Hanky Panky

That's the working title of my next book. Kinda obvious this is going to be a Modern Heat book, huh? ;)

The piccies here are Ava and Caleb two characters who made an appearance in my most recenly sold Modern Heat, THE MAGNATE'S INDECENT PROPOSAL, May 08.

Ava was the hero Damien's sister who though mentioned is overseas at the time of the book, while Caleb is his best mate, and a bit of a lad really, so it will be interesting to see how such a naughty boy roustabout can be tamed!

Do you think this gal looks like she has it in her to try?


Tuesday 16 October 2007


My 16th book, working title RING-A-DING-DING, has been finished and sent into my lovely editors.

Late I am embarrased to admit. But when you take into acocunt the discomfort of having a 3 kilo monkey kicking me in the ribs 80 times a day from the inside out and making it very hard to sit upright at the computer, there's not much that could be done!!!

At least now finally I actually feel like I'm on maternity leave. Meaning of course the bub will probably come any day ;). But at least we've set up the cot and change table, the pram will be ready by tonight, the capret is new, the kitchen gorgeous, and my hospital bags are packed. As to choosing names? Hmmm, we're hoping when we meet the little one one of the several we have kind of agreed on will jump out.

So to start my mat leave I will be...starting my next book!!! So goodbye romance in the form of RING-A-DING-DING - for now - and hello hot, hot, hot stuff in the guise of HANKY PANKY! More about that tomorrow...


Saturday 13 October 2007

book launch party!!!

For a book that my Aussie and New Zealand writing friends and I are sooooo proud of. If you can come along, please do! Just ring Dymocks on the number listed below to book your place in the queue!

click here for more about the book, the authors, and an excerpt from my short story in the collection

or just buy the thing here!


Thursday 11 October 2007

my new kitchen...

A quick hello from the land of the displaced! We are still living out of boxes and I'm writing to you from my laptop atop my coffee table. I only have dial up and can't sit for too long as it hurts my poor back, but I have a book to finish so needs must!

But to make all that inconvenience feel worthwhile beneath my feet is beautiful new carpet. And behind me a kitchen that is like sunshine itself. So to show you why I'm living out of boxes with nary a complaint, on the left is the old kitchen that came with the house. Original 1960s we are sure. The floor was the same colour as the wall tiles - dark mottled green vinyl. Horrid!!!

And on the right... well what can I say? Heaven!


Monday 8 October 2007

now presenting...

What with my office having nothing in it bar a desk and this computer - for the moment before even that gets taken away from me due to new capret going tin tomorrow... I thought I'd better get in bright and early to let y'all know that Monday we are very very proud to launch the brand new website for ...

The Authors of Modern Extra!!!
Click on their links on the sidebar to discover booklists, bios, super hot excerpts, sexy secrets revealed as they go under the spotlight, pics of their favourite hero inspiration (nothing like a bit of eye candy to start your day off right!), their favourite travel spots in and out of their novels, and lots of fun trivia!

You can also find the rundown on their websites, blogs, and where to find their books online.
  • Did you know that from January 2008 Modern Extra will be called Modern Heat in the UK?
  • Did you know that from January 2008 you will be able to grab Modern Heat books as part of the Harlequin Presents line EVERY MONTH??? (click here and scroll down to Harlequin Special releases to find the first titles!!!)
  • Did you know Kate Hardy has a thing for Antonio Banderas? (Okay so you probably did know that one ;))
If you didn't know then you'd better check out the "Sensational Romance" blog every month so you don't miss out on all the hot goss!!!

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Wednesday 3 October 2007

cave land

If you don't see me for a few days, it's not because I'm holed up in a hospital somewhere giving birth - hopefully! - but because I'm on the downhill stretch to finishing my next Harlequin Romance.

So here's a piccie of Mitch and Veronica for you to peruse as I go about the process of telling their fun and fabulous tale. Don't you think they're too cute? Mitch is charm itself and Veronica has him stumped.

Or, you can go out and pick up a copy of my latest Harlequin Romance, MILLIONAIRE TO THE RESCUE, which is out now in the UK and across North America. Here's another little taste test of Brooke & Danny's story to wet your appetites:

‘Down boy,’ Lucille said.

Danny spun to find her sliding back behind her desk with a steaming cup of odd smelling tea in a mug that read ‘World’s Best Receptionist’. Needless to say he had not been the one to buy the mug for her. She’d been a temp a couple of years back. He couldn’t actually remember hiring her but neither had she ever left.

He glared at her. ‘Are you talking to me?’

‘No need for all that frowning,’ Lucille said before shoving a stick of gum in her mouth, taking a big gulp of tea, then clacking away merrily on her keyboard with fingernails so long he had no idea how she managed to do anything without poking herself. ‘I think you’re in there. And you don’t want any more wrinkles. Not unless you’re seriously thinking of Botox.’

Danny turned his feet to catch up with his hips. He chose to ignore the Botox comment, though he did rid himself of the frown. ‘I’m in where, exactly?’

Lucille’s frantic fingers stilled. She looked him in the eye, not in the least bit intimidated by his hiring and firing rights. ‘Don’t look at me like that. I call it like I see it, and that’s what you love most about me.’

Danny blinked, not quite knowing where to begin. In the end he went with, ‘Are you intimating I don’t call it like I see it?’

‘Not as often as you like to think you do. See that was me calling it like I see it. Now tell me exactly how many times you’ve pictured the blonde up to her neck in hot tub bubbles.’

Danny said nothing, all the while trying to find the words needed to send her out on her ear. But though they gathered in fast abandon beneath his tongue he found he couldn’t do it. He thought it his greatest character flaw. ‘Think yourself lucky I do hold my tongue at times,’ he growled.

Lucille smirked, then went back to her typing.

Danny sauntered over to her desk, wiping a finger across the edge looking for dust, chocolate crumbs, anything to chide her over but he found nothing. ‘Do you know who that was?’

‘Sure,’ Lucille said, ‘she’s that big blonde guy’s wife. The motorbike racer who did a Thelma and Louise off that cliff in France or wherever with the model. He was splashed all over the magazines a couple of months back. He’s been in here once or twice too.’ She smiled at him then typed some more.

‘Calvin Findlay,’ Danny said, ‘was the big blonde guy. He won more MotoGP championships than any one else in history. He won Australian Sportsman of the Year three times.’

‘Right,’ she said, flicking a handful multi-coloured fingernails in his general direction while still typing with the other hand, ‘him. Was he a client of ours?’

Danny shook his head in amazement. Everyone in Australia knew Calvin Findlay. He was a larrikin, a superstar, and a classic Aussie bloke. Now of course they would soon know him as a bastard for leaving his family high and dry.

Though he had been in the business long enough to know that none of it would tarnish Cal’s image, in fact it would only add to the legend. While poor Brooke would be left behind to deal with the consequences of being cast as the poor deluded wife. It wasn’t fair. But then again it had been some time since he thought it was.

‘Why are you still here if you care not a lick about this business?’ he asked, his voice gruff.

‘I type a million words a minute, make the best cappuccino this side of Lygon Street, and your clients are so shocked to see a girl like me here when they get off the lift they think you’re a genius and I am your secret weapon.’

Danny wondered for the umpteenth time what atrocities he had performed in a past life to deserve this woman. ‘Are they right?’ he asked.

‘That you’re a genius? Well of course they are.’ Lucille batted her eyelashes and grinned, showing off a decided gap between her large front teeth.

Despite himself, he laughed. He reached down and grabbed a handful from the bowl of M&Ms she always kept on her desk. She tried to slap him but he was too quick.

‘So stop yabbering and prove me right,’ he said as he walked away.

‘Yes boss,’ she called out, and he grinned some more.

Danny retired into his office to try to get some work done and not think about the fact that a single, newly vulnerable, endearingly unsteady Brooke Findlay would be moving in with him.

Showering in his shower.

Sleeping in his house.

Constantly in his line of sight, and thus rarely out of his thoughts, which is where he had purposely tried to keep her for a good eight years.

Nope, he wouldn’t think of any of that. Even though he would be spending the rest of the afternoon in his office which now smelt entirely of apples and sunshine.


Harlequin Romance, North America October 07

Mills and Boon Romance, United Kingdom October 2007

Sweet Romance, Aus/NZ December 07

Available now online!!! @ eHarlequin NA & @ Mills and Boon UK

Read an excerpt here!

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