Ally Blake Romance Author - Blog

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

Monday 31 March 2008

falling for the rebel heir...and nice reviews!


As I wind down my week of inspiration posts about my current release, Harlequin Romance FALLING FOR THE REBEL HEIR I just found this lovely five star Amazon review as posted by a reader. Had to share!!! (I also added a few last piccies that helped me along my journey...)

Ally Blake's FALLING FOR THE REBEL HEIR is a wonderful romance of opposites. War-Zone correspondent photographer meets quiet, book-loving heroine who craves security. Trespassing, physical attraction and pursuit are one thing, but can they also find true love?

Kendall York doesn't like risks, not after a car accident took away her fiance and her light step. Seeing her external scars, feeling her internal scars, Kendall is afraid to truly live. Hudson Bennington III, prep school achiever and famous war-zone correspondent catches a glimpse of what appears to him to be a mermaid when he comes home to his estate and pool to find Kendall has made herself quite at home. Not able to get her out of his mind, he makes her a proposal -- to help him type his memoirs. In such close proximity, will their hearts find a home in each other? Have Kendall and Hud found the one person that can release them from the nightmares of their past or are their ambitions and dreams just too far apart?

FALLING FOR THE REBEL HEIR starts off with a bang as the hero catches the heroine trespassing on his property. An initial attraction leads to love as the author opens layer and layer of the richness of her characters. Each encounter between the hero and heroine shed those things which separate them, mainly class differences, careers, and even personality labels. Visual meets verbal as a photographer encounters a literary, Shakespeare-quoting heroine. Both Kendall and Hud find liberation from the scars of the past in sharing, but when ambition and Hud's job come into play, will Hud choose his job or love?

Readers of Ally Blake's previous book, BILLIONAIRE ON HER DOORSTEP, will enjoy her new romance FALLING FOR THE REBEL HEIR for the look inside her characters which characterizes both romances. FALLING FOR THE REBEL HEIR, however, looks further inside her characters while revealing increasing technical skill in this author's romance writing. Although the hero and heroine do confront each other as well in a verbal fireworks scene, the changes in them come from within. The pairing up of the hero and heroine starts some kind of chemistry, both physical and internal, but here the reader sees the inside evolution come from within each character.

FALLING FOR THE REBEL HEIR is Ally Blake romance at its best!

I remember Billy Joel once saying "it's not every job in which a man finishes a day's work and gets a standing ovation". This sure feels close.

The book is out now in the UK and North America and next month in Australia and New Zealand as part of the Mothers Day Gift Pack. You can also find it online here: UK, North America, Aus/NZ.

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Saturday 29 March 2008

falling for the rebel heir...and inspiration


My inspiration for particular scenes in FALLING FOR THE REBEL HEIR were many and varied.

This picture of a pine forest inspired a scene or two linking the hero's home, Claudel with the nearby town of Saffron. It felt kind of magical to me:

She ducked into the pine forest and looked over her shoulder just the once to find Hud standing outside the pool house looking for her, hands on hips, eyes straining. But she knew this part of the world too well and by now she would be no more than one of a thousand shadows between the trunks.

This picture is a library in a Marriot hotel, can't remember which, and it inspired me to write a scene in which my hero becomes familiar with one of my favourite Shakespearean scenes, it also gave me the chance to give a teeny tiny ode (which I loooove to do) to a bunch of my favourite authors...

He ran his fingers gently over the spines of the books organised as far as he could tell with no regular rhyme or reason. Knowing Fay it could have been the order in which she bought them, or read them, or loved them. Many names familiar and some not so much Chaucer, Francis, Christopher, Neels, Bradbury...
And one William Shakespeare.
Hud stopped. His eyes roving over the curly gold script of several volumes until he found what he was looking for.
He slid the leather bound copy of Henry V from its slot then roamed to the middle of the room, and absently slid the white sheet away from a long red velvet chaise lounge and let it flutter to the floor, the wafting dust now feeling somehow normal.

Though mot all that much of the research I did on family coffee plantations in Colombia ended up in the book, it all certainly helped flavour the story. Our hero last worked in a small village called Salento and here you'll find
high concentrations of the national tree - the Palma de Cera. Spare, beautiful and for all that a survivor. Kinda like my hero...

I hope this little pictorial travel through some of the inspiration behind FALLING FOR THE REBEL HEIR has given you some hints as to how the story evolved from an idea about a girl, a guy and a pool into a full-fledged story.

The book is out now in the UK and North America and next month in Australia and New Zealand as part of the Mothers Day Gift Pack. You can also find it online here: UK, North America, Aus/NZ.

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Thursday 27 March 2008

falling for the rebel heir...and rachel mcadams


My heroine came to me easily in this book. As soon as she rose from the depths of the hero’s pool a mermaid in all her glory this book became sprinkled with fairy dust, and so did she. For a mermaid / wood sprit / nymph who actually turns out to be utterly down to earth there was only one place I thought to go for inspiration…

Rachel McAdams, the fantastic actress from The Notebook, The Family Stone, The Wedding Crashers. Adore her to bits and her naturalness leant itself to my Kendall York with ease.

Dear readers, I’d like you to meet Kendall York…

‘I’m thinking you’re the one who ought not to be in here Miss...’

‘My name is none of your damn business, buddy.’

Kendall had taken self-defence classes since she’d come to town and moved in with Taffy. Two single girls living together she’d figured better safe than sorry. So she knew it was better to run than to try to make an assailant see reason.

She dropped the towel in order to grab her clothes, and then realised she was naked bar a sliver of Lycra covering not all that much skin. So she grabbed the towel again, then used it as a makeshift screen as she hurriedly pulled her long red sundress on over her swimmers.

It wasn’t until her head popped through the neck hole, and the dress dragged and twisted uncomfortably against her wet bathing suit, that she realised it was inside out and back to front. Too bad. Too late. He was getting nearer.

She grabbed her wet hair and tossed it over her back, and it instantly soaked right through to her skin making her feel clammy as well as anxious and embarrassed and just a little bit intimidated.

‘Now, don’t come any closer,’ she insisted, grabbing her Doc Marten boots and holding them in front of her like they were some kind of lethal weapon. For whatever reason that seemed to work. The guy stopped.

But does he stop there really? Me thinks not. Especially when he begins to see that his mermaid is very very real.

So we’ve seen Claudel, we’ve met Hud and Kendall, we’ve been inside the all important pool house, but I still have a smattering of other piccies that will show you behind the scenes of FALLING FOR THE REBEL HEIR. Come back later for a sneak peek of my favourite places inside the book!


North America & United Kingdom ~ out now!

Australia & NZ ~ Mothers Day Gift Pack ~ April 08

read more ~ buy now!

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Tuesday 25 March 2008

falling for the rebel heir ... and marat safin!


Finding the perfect hero and heroine pictures takes much research for this writer. I have huuuuge files filled with pics of possible nominees but oftentimes I end up trawling google images. Sometimes it takes many hours, even days to find the right picture, or even better collection of pictures that sum up my hero and heroine. Especially the hero. Mmm, many man many hours were spent looking at pictures of this guy!

The tennis was on at the time therefore Marat Safin was front and centre. Like I needed that excuse!

Dear readers, I’d like you to meet Hud Bennington…

He was close enough now that she noticed a thin scar slicing through his stubble from the edge of his nose to his top lip. She knew about scars and the fact that it was still pink meant it was fairly recent.

Apart from that one flaw, it turned out he had a lovely straight nose and a strong jaw like one of the statues to be found hidden beneath the dense foliage in Claudel’s grounds. Up close his dark hair curled with a delectable just out of bed look. Like some sort of modern day Lord Bryon.

But all that was swept to the wayside when she glanced back into his eyes. Hazel they were. Deep dark enigmatic hazel clashing against the whitest of whites she’d ever seen framed by long dark lashes. And all that's best of dark and bright meet in his aspect and his eyes, she thought.

The guy was in need of a shave and haircut and a shopping expedition, but he was utterly gorgeous. So gorgeous she realised she had spent the past twenty seconds staring, and paraphrasing Byron, like she hadn’t seen a man this beautiful before. Up close. In the flesh.

A low, lazy hum of awareness settled in her belly.

Wow, that takes me back. Even now I wish I could write every book about him he was just sooo beautiful.

Now what kind of woman would it take to tame such a man? Come back later in the week to find out...


North America & United Kingdom ~ out now!

Australia & NZ ~ Mothers Day Gift Pack ~ April 08

read more ~ buy now!

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Sunday 23 March 2008

falling for the rebel heir ... and for big ideas


If you've seen me anywhere on the web this month I've pretty well established that my clever husband helped me come up with the initial idea for the book. We were sitting in front of the telly watching Cocoon - you know the old eighties movie with Steve Guttenberg? - when clever hubby said, why couldn't your hero and heroine meet when he finds her secretly swimming in his pool?

Light bulb!!!

So then all I needed to do was trawl google images for the photo of the perfect pool…

Dear readers, I’d like you to meet the pool house…

Hud cricked his neck, pressed his hands into the tight small of his back and glanced upwards to find brilliant red bougainvillea creepers seemed to have swallowed half the long building, leaving the hundred odd remaining white-framed glass panels that had survived the tests of time, thick with dust and mould. He could only hazard to guess how foul the inside might be after not having been blessed by a human touch for a good ten years.

‘If memory serves correctly...’ he said out loud, the sound of his voice raspy and deep in his ears after hours of non-use. Then he made his way around the back of the building to find the door was ajar, at an odd angle, askew on rusted hinges, as though it had been yanked open.

Instinct born of years spent stepping unannounced into dark, secret places he stepped quietly - toe to heel - over a small pile of worn broken glass and inside the pool house where his feet came to a giveaway scraping halt of boot soles on tessellated French tile.

The pool house was clean. The mottled green tiles around the margins sparkled and the dozen white marble benches were spotless. Miniature palm trees in plant boxes edging the length of the room were luscious with good health. And the water in the pool shimmered dark and inviting against the black-painted concrete bottom.

A sound broke through Hud’s reverie. A soft ripple as water lapped gently against the edge of the pool. And he was hit with the sense that something was about to break the dark surface.

Cruel spot to leave you right??? Well, you’ll have to buy the book to find out what happens next!!!

Next week I’ll talk you through the evolution of my hero and heroine with more thanks to google images!!!


North America & United Kingdom ~ March 08

Australia & NZ ~ Mothers Day Gift Pack ~ April 08

read more ~ buy now!

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Wednesday 19 March 2008

falling for the rebel heir ... and for google images!


So FALLING FOR THE REBEL HEIR is out now in North America! (Check out the gorgeous cover in the sidebar.) So I now seemed a prime oppurtunity to give you guys glimpses into the behind the scenes story of the book. Every time you see this logo in the next month and a half, you'll be in the right place!

The setting of this book is a house named Claudel. Claudel is the beautiful old house our hero returns to after many years away from home. It was built by his Aunt Fay who I imagined to be a fabulous, exotic and slightly, well, fey woman who modelled her extensive home on the Hotel Biron in Paris which today - in real life - houses the majority of the artist Auguste Rodin's pieces. Rodin is my favourite sculptor and one of my favourite films is a French movie about his lover Camille Claudel, hence the name of the house. Phew! As you can see I have fun throwing in a little secert Ally flavour in my books!

So dear reader, meet Claudel...

Hud hitched his dilapidated rucksack higher onto his shoulder as he stood staring at the façade of Claudel, the grand old house before him.

Ivy trailed over masonry outer walls, the front marble steps were steeped in mould, the delicately framed picture windows layered in many years worth of storm-splattered mud, the multi-gabled grey roof was now missing tiles and the gutters were filled with rotting leaves.

But even the decade worth of invading shabbiness couldn’t stop the memories of sunny days spent with his Aunt in the big house from melting into one another; a dozen summers during which his parents took off on adventures to far flung lands to authenticate new discoveries about old civilisations, leaving him behind. He pictured himself lying in the cool grass at the side of the house reading Aunt Fay’s original editions of The Chronicles of Narnia wishing himself a faun, or a lion, or even better, one the four Pevensie brothers and sisters taking part in adventures. Together.

He sniffed in deep through his nose, then leaving the house and her deluge of memories for later he hooked a sharp left to head into Claudel’s colossal garden only to discover far sorrier disarray.

What had once been a perfect green lawn littered with croquet arches and bordered by a dramatic garden boasting random marble sculptures worthy of any gallery, was now overgrown weed-infested chaos. Once immaculately clipped conifers were now untamed, with patches torn apart by storms leaving raw-looking wounds. Chickweed, blackberries, and roses ran wild. Any patch of grass still visible through the shrub was littered with wild daises. Had Aunt Fay been alive to see how much he’d let the place go, she would have screamed bloody murder.

But after the initial shock wore off, Hud began to notice the air had been made pungent with a rich floral scent, and through the gaps in the brush bees and wattle dust floated on the hazy summer air. As a photographer for Voyager Enterprises, for both their documentary TV channel and magazine, he’d shot the gardens of queens, rainforests which by now had been demolished, and thick, viny, mystical swamps protected by rednecks with guns. But this place was so out of control, so uncontaminated and crazy beautiful, Hud’s throat clogged with some unexpected emotion.

Come on back on the weekend to find out how google images helped me find the place where Hud and Kendall first meet...


North America & United Kingdom ~ March 08

Australia & NZ ~ Mothers Day Gift Pack ~ April 08

read more ~ buy now!

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cooking a book :: add one heroine...

Meet Wynnie.
My friend Emily has a little girl called Wynnie and I think it the cutest name. The Wonder Years used to be one of my favourite shows as well. Wynnie for me is short for Gwendolyn. And I learnt sooo much about her in particular from my collage.

I found out what she did for a living, her habits, her home, her family situation and her conflict, all from a bunch of random piccies I cut out of magazines that felt right when I stuck them next to one another on a scrap of paper.

I usually know very little about my heroines as I dive into the story as I find it most fun to discover things the same way the reader would. As they occur. Wynnie and I have a long way to go yet...

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Monday 10 March 2008

cooking a book :: take one hero...

It's taken me a while to settle on a hero.
Going from the gooorgeous Richard Armitage, who I must admit inspired the idea of the story in the first place but I just couldn't find the right picture, through Collingwood footy player Alan Didak who has the right beautiful eyes but in the end felt too young, and I think I'll save him for a Modern Heat ;), and even through Harrison Ford (Working Girl era) but in the end he still felt a tad too old.
But now methinks I've found my man!

So heeeeeere's Whatshisname! Otherwise a fair bit similar to one Johhny Depp. Okay, so I know who my hero is, what he does, what he looks like and where he's come from.
As to a name? Aaaaargh!

Today is the last day to visit Liz Fielding's blog with the view to possibly winning a signed copy of this month's Harlequin Romance release FALLING FOR THE REBEL HEIR!

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Friday 7 March 2008

cooking a book :: the name and the glossy picture

This monthy sees the release of my latest Harlequin Romance, FALLING FOR THE REBEL HEIR in the UK and North America which is so exciting as I loooove that book. It's my fairy dust book. And at the same time I am about to set forth and write my next Harlequin Romance. So - big deep breath - here goes!

Before I could even start to cook my book I needed a working title. To me this comes part and parcel with the creation of a collage. As both things are all about creating the mood of the book.

My last Harlequin Romance working title was "Ring a Ding Ding". It's a fun book, with a hero who looked in my mind like a 1950s dreamboat. The Modern Heat I sold next had a working title of "Hanky Panky". Sexy, flirty, a more than a little bit naughty. The working title gave me that feeling every time I saw it which helped keep that feeling through the writing of the book.

The book I am about to begin is a Harlequin Romance, a story with depth and heart and hope and sweetness and softness. There is a kind of "pretty" feeling I get in the back of my head when I think of it.

As I sat down to work on my collage, I found a picture of a couple kissing in the sunshine. It seemed to have all the warm feelings I was having about the story. The name of the article attached to the piccie? TREATS, TREASURES AND SIMPLE PLEASURES. (Or a version thereof.) Done!

Do you think the working title suits the collage? I really do. The whole thing gives me a warm fuzzy feeling which is what the aim of a working title is all about!

Ooh, and that reminds me, for members of Romance Writers of Australia, I have an article coming out in the April Hearts Talk called, "A Working Title by Any Other Name" in which I discuss how important, or not, a working title can be. So look out for it!

Now don't forget to head on over to Liz Fielding's blog this weekend because whoever gives me the winning name for the gorgeous daughter of this next hero will win a signed copy of this month's Harlequin Romance release FALLING FOR THE REBEL HEIR!

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Wednesday 5 March 2008

celebrating with liz

This year Liz Fielding has had her fifiteth book released! How fantabulous is that?

In celebration and just 'cause she's such a lovely gal, she's invited a bunch of us to come play at her blog throughout the year. This weekend it my turn!

We've never met, since we live on opposite sides of the world but Liz and I are mates. We first got to know each other when we were both a part of the Brides of Bella Lucia series which helped to relauch the all new Harlequin Romance line a couple of years back. Our heroines were half sisters so we had to make sure they were each represented faithfully in one another's books. It was too easy. a) Liz is such a lovely, warm, funny, emotional writer having any of my characters in her capable hands was not a worry in the least, and b) Liz is such a lovely, warm, funny lady. She was also the very first person to ask me to design their website.

Thank-you for inviting me to blog with you Liz, thank-you for writing such warm wonderful books, and thank-you for continuing to be a mate. Congratulations Liz, on fifty fabulous books, and here's to the next fifty!

Come chat at Liz's blog over the next few days for the chance to win a signed copy of my March release FALLING FOR THE REBEL HEIR!

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Sunday 2 March 2008



This is my fourth Modern Heat and my first post baby book, written and revised in six weeks. Phew! Feeling a tad like superwoman today. We'll see how long that takes to wear off.

The book stars Caleb, the bad boy best friend who appears in THE MAGNATE'S INDECENT PROPOSAL. I say that because from the first sentence I really felt like this was Caleb's book. My others book are usuallY more heroine-centric but after knowing Caleb from the first book, I felt like I could have written the whole thing from his point of view.

Can you blame me. I mean look at the guy! ;)

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Saturday 1 March 2008

"falling for the rebel heir"

From today FALLING FOR THE REBEL HEIR is on sale in bookstores around the United Kingdom, and I'm sooo excited!

This was the book written through my Between the Sheets series on how I write a novel (click on the link to read the whole lot) as I chatter about location, characters, motifs, brain stimulaiton, head-hopping and POV, revising, collaging, locations, eating habits while writing, soundtracks, and how to deal with real life getting in the way ;). (Apologies that some of the pics have gone awol!)

FALLING FOR THE RBEEL HEIR book that made me turn my eyes to Paris. That had me re-reading Henry V. Reseaching things like Colombian coffee plantations and professional still cameras. And staring at pictures of the gorgeous Rachel McAdams and Marat Safin day in and day out.

I had a ball writing this book. There was definite magic in the air. Here is the collage that helped insipire me and I think it really gives off the dreamy, free feeling of the story.

As in all successful collages so many of these pictures, which were originally chosen as they helped create a "feeling" rather than a narrative, inspired me to create actual scenes and special moments within the book. Do have a look back here once you've read the book to see what I mean. And don't you think the book cover even feels kinda the same? See...magic!

To find out more about the making of this book:

~ read an excerpt ot the book's page on my website
~ check out my "Between the Sheets" series of blog posts I wrote at the time.
~ hang out at Liz Fielding's blog from the 5th of March
~ and at Tote Bag blog on 17th March
~ and to find out why I believe in love, head on over to eHarlequin on 20th March

The North American release is the 11th of March with Australia and New Zealand to follow in April as part of the bestselling Mothers Day Gift Pack.

And over ther next month I will be talking about how I write my next Harlequin Romance in a series called "Cooking A Book". Hope you enjoy!

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