Ally Blake Romance Author - Blog

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

Saturday 30 January 2010

important research

Every book needs at least a little research in order to make it as real as possible and my current Modern Heat wip THE LONG WEEKEND has been no different.

Here are some random things I’ve had fun googling thus far:

  • private jets
  • whiskey sour cocktails
  • amanda peet
  • ruffle handbags
  • brunswick street cafes
  • cradle mountain resorts
  • karaoke
  • george michael’s best of
  • man satchels
  • gerard butler

Googling one Gerard Butler has, naturally been the most fun. The lovely and talented Robyn Grady has kindly leant him to me for the interim. I have every intention of returning him in full working order, and hopefully with a few extra tricks up his sleeve than when I borrowed him. It’s the least I can do Robbie!

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Thursday 28 January 2010

library lovers' month

Romance Author Ally Blake at the Library
For Library Lovers Month
Thursday 11 February, 10.30am - 11.30am
Dandenong Library

Ally Blake, author of fun, fresh and flirty romance novels, will be visiting Greater Dandenong Libraries during Library Lovers Month celebrations. Library Lovers Month is an Australia-wide promotion of collections and Libraries.

Budding writers, Romance enthusiasts and library lovers are invited to attend this free author talk. Morning tea will be served at this session.

Bookings essential, phone 9238 1489. For more info, check out the library website.


Sunday 24 January 2010

steamy stories @ eharlequin

The top ten Steamy Stories as voted by eHarlequin this week include my latest Harlequin Presents, GETTING RED-HOT WITH THE ROGUE. How fun is that?

To stave off the chills, best head on over now and grab yourself a copy! It's available as an eBook too. You can read it, and all of my other Harlequin eBooks, right from your computer using the free Adobe Digital Editions. Too easy by half.

Check out the rest of
the Steamy Stories list here...

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Friday 22 January 2010

tagged - 7 things you might not know...

The lovely Nicola Marsh has tagged me on her blog with a "7 things you might not know about me" challenge, and since I'm a girl who's utterly addicted to making lists, here goes:

1. I bite my fingernails.

2. Since having kids I still drink decaf as normal coffee now tastes funny gives me the shakes.

3. I work best surrounded by mess and noise. Music is a must. Teetering piles of paper a great help. Post-it notes scrawled with "things I must do yesterday" covering half my monitor a bonus.

4. When I was in pre-school I cried until my teacher would let me hold the Easter Parade banner with my boyfrined Barry Davies. That was the only year we went to school together. I wonder if he remembers me at all...

5. I've been carefully collecting Little Mermaid merchandise for twenty odd years, only now much of it has been sucked, chewed, and loved to bits by my daughter.

6. I love all things tangy and bitter. I could happily eat a whole lemon, no sweat!

7. I hide away on Oscar day so I don't hear any of the award winners til it's replayed on TV that night. And as I plonk on the lounge with my bowl of chips, I get into the spirit by - at the very least - popping on some dangly sparkly earrings. I know, what a glamorous life I do lead!

I hereby tag everyone out there looking to procrastinate by writing a fun list!


Wednesday 20 January 2010

I *heart* my new office!

Trish Wylie and Jenna Bayley-Burke have been making all sorts of noise about their fabulous new offices, with Jenna posting pics of her new space as well. BTW - you must check out her post to see the pictures on her walls, drawn by her grandmother who at one time had a dream of being a romantic novel cover artist - they are so lovely!

I thought I might jump into the game, as I love my new office so much I have to shout it from the rooftops!!!!!!!

So here 'tis - I give local library.

I head down one afternoon mid week when hubby has a day off, and a couple of nights a week, with my latop in tow. I sit at a desk overlooking this beautiful lake, and I write. And write and write. A billion times more successfully than I can at home with the kids and TV and the fridge so close at hand ;). When I take a break from writing I stroll I love love LOVE it!!!


Sunday 17 January 2010

my real heroes and heroines!

Meet Alex and Justine. My every day hero and heroine. For they are two of the hadnful of hosts of Play School the best kids' show on around.

Play School is all lovely nursery rhymes, great stories, fun cooking, easy arts and crafts and lots of music and smiles delivered by bright charming folk who feel like one of the family. And they do it all with a twinkle in the eye that makes mum and dad feel like they can watch with a grin as well.

The theme song begins and my 8 month old bounces on her bottom and Toddler Girl sings along and commentates the entire show with much pointing and gasping and excitement when familiar songs and toys and hosts appear.

The lady who does all their arts and crafts stuff doe such an ammaaaazing job with everyday items, she makes me think that even I could make a fairy castle out of those old boxes collecting dust in the back room!

For those moments when Mummy needs to wash the dishes, or wipe up a spill (or ten) before it gets trodden into everything, or answer the phone, or settle the baby, or sit on the couch and not move for ten solid minutes, Play School can come to the rescue.

So thank-you Justine and Alex and Matt and Leah and Karen and Rhys and all you good folk for your thoughtful, fun, educational selves.

XXX Ally

Friday 15 January 2010

aaahhh, golden!

What with the advent of DVDs and and the arrival of two children in the past two years, I don’t get to the movies much anymore. So when our best friends recently gave us a gift of two Gold Class movie tickets, my hubby and I jumped on the chance to get out of the house!

I’d never done the Gold Class Cinema thing before, but now, I’m not sure how I’ll ever appreciate regular cinema viewing again!

For those of you who are as slow to catch onto Gold Class as I was, here's how it goes -

- express queuing for tickets
- a private lounge with private waiters
- a full three course menu to choose from
- the choice of three separate times throughout the movie to have your food hand delivered.
(We had chocolate and masala mousse with berry compote and double cream, then coffee, then choc-top ice creams, a must have at Aussie cinemas!)
- a personal escort to your lush, reclining lounge chair seats
- only 24 people per session
- nobody sitting in front of you

We had to see something that had to be seen on a big screen. Both being big James Cameron fans, we saw AVATAR. Oh my...

For those who'd like my take on the movie, rather than the heavenly meals ;), check out my first
Pink Heart Society post of the year for today's MUST WATCH FRIDAY post.


Tuesday 12 January 2010

the invisible man

How cool is this?!?!
Liu Bolin, is a Chinese artist whose art is blending into any surrounds. Look closer, see him? Hiding amongst the cans? Want more? Check out some amaaazing pictures here.
The time and effort this man puts into his craft is mind-boggling. Such detail and commitment. Such a vision. Such entertainment!
It reminds me that even though I have a list of things a mile long to do this week - call plumber, call kinder, do late tax, do a trillion loads of washing while the weather's so hot and dry - there's always time left in which to wallow deep in a great book, snuggle up in front of a fantastic movie, and appreciate a glimpse into another's artistic soul.

Saturday 9 January 2010

looking for a new favourite author?

In the spirit of sharing the love, here's three books I've read of late that I adored.

LUCY KING "Bought: Damsel in Distress". Lucy is a brand, spanking new Modern Heat author and this is her fantasmagorical debut. Juuuust my sought of book - fun, airy, sexy with a lovable heroine and a simply delicious hero. (Grab a copy here)

ANNE GRACIE "The Stolen Princess". For those of you yet to discover Anne Gracie, boy am I envious!!! She's a faaaabuous historical author who writes lovely, warm, funny, meltingly romantic books. This is the first of a series. Yippee! Three books are available right now and I've heard from the horse's mouth that the fourth has been delivered! Is there anything better than finding a gorgeous series you can dive right into??? (Grab the first Devil Rider book here)

SOPHIE KINSELLA "Twenties Girl". Brought to you by the author of the Shopaholic books. My clever godmother bought me this stand-alone tale for Christmas. I polished it off in a glorious day and a half. (Order now from The Book Depository for 25% off and free delivery worldwide!)

Any new books or new authors you've discovered of late that you simply must crow about? If so, share!!!


Wednesday 6 January 2010

chocolate & coconut, a great romance

As a people we Australians are very fond of the coconut/chocolate combination.

Throughout the bulk of the year it's the lamingon for which we are known - squares of sponge cake covered in chocolate icing and rolled in shredded coconut.

Come Christmas it's all about the chocolate truffle. If this picture doesn't make your mouth water, then you've obviously never tasted one!

This year we were going to our friends' house for Christmas so I decided to learn how to make them. Lucky it's ridiculously easy! Unlucky too. For, since Christmas, I keep seeming to make them. And eat them. Your turn!


1 400g can sweetenend condensed milk
1 packet of Milk Arrowroot/Marie biscuits (plain sweet biscuits)
1 cup shredded coconut (for the mix) plus extra coconut for rolling the rum balls in.
2 heaped tablespoons cocoa

Crush the biscuits. Mix in all other ingredients. (With a food processor this can be done in about two minutes.) Roll into Lindt ball sized balls. Roll in more coconut. Done! For more Christmas cheer add 3-4 tablespoons of rum.


Monday 4 January 2010

don't we all love a 25% discount???

The Book Depository is offering 25% off pre-orders of the faaaabulous reissue of the magnificent Brides of Bella Lucia miniseries! How nice are they? Add to that they always offer free postage worldwide, you simply must take a look.

Coming in March - "Unexpected Proposals" - and April - "Secrets Revealed" - there are 4 stories in each volume. The Brides of Bella Lucia 8 book series launched the all new Harlequin Romance in 2007. For more inside goss, check out the blog the authors put together when the series first hit bookstores.

Including stories by reader favourites such as Liz Fielding, Linda Goodnight, Barbara McMahon, Raye Morgan, Teresa Southwick, Patricia Thayer & Rebecca Winters you truly can't go wrong.

And how beautiful are those covers? If I wasn't already assured of landing a couple of author copies - spoilt! - I'd be grabbing them just to have them on my shelf. Soooo pretty!

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Friday 1 January 2010

my unnatural love of even numbers

Gosh, I love a new year!!!

Like a brand new Word File it looms before me, brimming with endless possibilities. Travel? A new niece or nephew? The best books I've read written, the best books I've ever read?

2010 feels even more exciting because I have an endearing love for even numbers. For example, the volume on the TV always has to be even. Always. In the second half of this year I will be aged an even number so that can only bode well, right?!?!?

I sit here breathing deep of the rain-filled air that overnight washed away the heat of the last few days. It even smells like a fresh start.

Then I peak into the kitchen to find I've yet to wash the kids' breakfast dishes, and I realise, this day is not so much about a clean slate as it is an oppurtunity to take stock. To realise the wonderful things the past year, and all past years have brought me thus far. To begin not a new book, but a new chapter.

But still to dream and hope and imagine and be giddy about what's to come!

x X x