Ally Blake Romance Author - Blog

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

Saturday 31 March 2012

my favourite...quotes about writing :: some cheeky ones

'I get a lot of letters from people.  They say "I want to be a writer.  What should I do?"  I tell them to stop writing to me and to get on with it.' 
Ruth Rendell

I like to write when I feel spiteful: it's like having a good sneeze.

Many (modern novels) have a beginning, a muddle and an end.'
Philip Larkin

‘There are three rules for writing a novel.  Unfortunately no-one knows what they are.’
Somerset Maugham

'A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped self-addressed envelope, big enough to send the manuscript back in.  This is too much of a temptation for the editor.'
Ring Lardner
'Outside of a dog, a man's best friend is a book. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.'
Groucho Marx

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Thursday 29 March 2012

I'm reading...nicola marsh

Nicola and I sold our first books within a couple of months of one another.  Met.  Found out we lived about 20 minutes apart!  It was soooo lovely for a first time author to find someone going through the exact same deal living so close.  

A happy coincidence I love reading her books too.  They’re so fast, so fluid, so harmonious, that I’ve always said they feel like she sat down one day and wrote from the first word til the last.  And when I know how I piece a book together over many months, to read a story that feels that way is just such a pleasure.

So needless to say when she sold her first single title I was so so excited!  And now I’ve read the thing I’m even more so.  The colour, light, life, va va voom in this book is constant.  Like a Bollywood movie itself!  And the food.  My god the food.  If you have a thing for Indian food, even a tiny little undernourished thing, then this book will send you over the edge.  I'd go so far as to say wear a bib when reading this book.  It's a hazard if you're reading it on an e-reader!

With a multitude of gorgeous, vibrant, distinctive characters within a classic chick-lit framework, BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD is fun, fresh, and fabulous from the first word til the last.
More about the author here.  (Nic is an uber-blogger and super tweeter, so follow her for awesome writing tips and more other fun.)  Buy Busted in Bollywood here.
Next I’m reading...Melt by Natalie Anderson.  What are you reading?  Which book MUST I read this year?  Find the other books I've enjoyed in my "I'm reading..." series this year here!  Or join me at Goodreads.

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Tuesday 27 March 2012

ebook of the month :: secondary characters


Secondary characters
It got a lot of mail about this book when it first came out, and so many of the readers wrote to tell me how much they loved the secondary characters.  Most especially Damien's best mate Caleb (the impossible playboy) and Chelsea's sister Kensey. 

I reckon it's because considering after their first meet, Damien and Chelsea spend something crazy like 75 pages apart - !!! - they needed to talk to their best friends about one another a lot!  And that kind of talk is fun.  Naughty fun.  Silly fun.  Honest fun.   So when our two lovebirds lock eyes on one another for the first time in an age, they're well-primed ;).

And as a by the way, Caleb - who unexpectedly came into his own for me near the end of this book - ended up with his own happy ending A NIGHT WITH THE SOCIETY PLAYBOY.

The excerpt:

Caleb glanced up at the phone Damien held by his fingertips.  ‘Looks like yours.’
‘But it ain’t.’
‘But it looks like it...’
Just then the offending machine began to ring.  The two men stared at it as it blared out its powder-puff tune.
‘That’s not your phone,’ Caleb said, deadpan.  ‘Give it to me.’
Damien pulled it out of Caleb’s reach.  ‘Every time you go anywhere near my computer I end up with porn pop-ups I have to call on others to delete.  Every Friday for the past two months Jimmy the IT guy has asked me if I want to join him and the other techies at the Men’s Gallery.’
‘I can’t put porn on this phone by simply answering it.’  Caleb clicked his fingers, and half-believing him Damien handed over the offending instrument.
‘This is Caleb,’ he said after answering the phone, leaning back in his chair, and proceeding to grunt and ask sensible questions.  When Caleb’s voice dropped and he began to have a chat, Damien kicked hard against the side of his desk.
‘Right, nice talking to you, Susan,’ Caleb said then hung up.  ‘She was returning a missed call herself.  Didn’t know whose phone it was.  If you’d let me talk for a few more minutes we might have figured it out between us.’
‘I think it’s a chick’s phone,’ Caleb said.
‘I do believe it is.  Someone rang earlier looking for a Chelsea London.’
‘Now why do I know that name?’
‘You don’t,’ Damien said, knowing that Caleb wouldn’t spot the obvious.
Caleb grinned.  ‘You bought a chick’s phone.’
‘On your recommendation.’
‘That was a month ago.  Times change.  I can’t see the future.’
‘I wonder what they did with my old Nokia.  Do you think it’s too late to get it back?’
‘Far too late.  If they haven’t melted it down they’ve donated it to a museum.’  Caleb’s thumb began zooming over the keys at lightning speed.
‘You’re going through her personal files?’ Damien asked.
‘That I am.’
‘Good idea.’  He moved behind Caleb and looked over his shoulder at the bright flashing screens.
‘No photos of herself or her friends.  Means she has no friends or isn’t the cutest thing on her block.  But we do have photos of...’
Damien’s eyebrows lifted and he was sure Caleb’s did the same.  The first photo they came upon was of a black studded dog collar.  He should have guessed.
‘Kinky,’ Caleb said.
‘Just your type,’ Damien said.
‘Ha.  Ha.  Okay, moving on, in her diary we have ‘lunch @ Amelie’s with Kensey’.  Kensey.  Sounds like the name of a fortune teller.  Ooh, maybe this Kensey knows what they’ve done with your old Nokia.’

Re-released as part of the PASSIONATE PLAYBOYS collection.   
Paperback collection.  Buy the eBookBuy from iTunesMore about the book

Monday 26 March 2012

I'm reading...Sarah Mayberry


I don't even know where to begin in saying how much I LOOOOVED Sarah Mayberry's ANYTHING BUT YOU.  Simply, truly, deeply loved.  So much so I couldn't line it up in my list of reviews I just had to tell the world!  This was one of those books that gave me a heart ache the whole way through and left me all  dazed afterwards, wondering what I was going to do with my reading time now it was done!

Brilliant friends to lovers theme, with real, raw, wonderful heroine, gorgeous, hot, clueless man-boy hero, bittersweet affair.  Heaven!!!


More about the author here.  Buy Anything For You here.
Next I’m reading...Busted in Bollywood by Nicola Marsh.  What are you reading?  Which book MUST I read this year?  Find the other books I've enjoyed in my "I'm reading..." series this year here!  Or join me at Goodreads.

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Saturday 24 March 2012

my favourite...quotes about writing :: ain't that the truth

'Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.'
Henry David Thoreau
'Writing is the hardest way of earning a living, with the possible exception of wrestling alligators.'
William Saroyan

'I have never know any distress that an hour's reading did not relieve.'
Baron de Montesquieu
'The writer who possesses the creative gift owns something of which he is not always master - something that at times strangely wills and works for itself.'
Charlotte Bronte

'Wanting to know an author because you like his work is like wanting to know a duck because you like paté.'
Margaret Atwood

'Why shouldn't truth be stranger than fiction?  Fiction, after all, has to make sense.'
Mark Twain
'Reading groups, readings, breakdowns of book sales all tell the same story: when women stop reading, the novel will be dead.'
Ian McEwan

'Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents and everyone is writing a book.'
Cicero, circa 43 BC

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Thursday 22 March 2012

I'm reading...mj scott


I’ve known MJ Scott for years.  A fellow Melbournite we’d meet up at writers’ conferences, and even bumped into one another at the shops on occasion!  She finalled in so many unpublished writers comps it was only a matter of time before some lucky publisher grabbed her.

SHADOW KIN is the first novel in the Half-Light City series, and it’s a ripper!  I’ve been struggling with how to describe this book in a way that does it justice.  I read it in a gulp, which shows how much I loved it.  Why?   For a start there was such clarity and surety and in the writing.  I felt like I was in good hands.  It’s a story of a woman, a wraith, who has lived a life of darkness, and servitude, bound to a Blood (a vampire) in a most unsavoury way, and yet the flavor is so beautifully light.  Tenuous.  Diaphanous.  Like the whole balance of the heroine’s journey could fracture at any second.  The setting, against a steam punk background, is complimentary yet subtle.   The bad guys comfortingly recognizable yet unique.  The hero and heroine both inventive yet true.

SHADOW KIN is great adventure of a story, with beautiful nuance and light and shade (true, but also hee hee if you’ve read the book) with at its centre a romance with heart and hurt and wariness and desperation and hope.  It’s a story that will grab you by the shirtfront and tug you through the Half-Light City.

Thank goodness the second book of the series, BLOOD KIN is out in a few months.  Can’t come soon enough for me!!!!

More about the author here.  Buy Shadow Kin here.   Pre-order Blood Kin here.
Next I’m reading...Busted in Bollywood by Nicola Marsh.  What are you reading?  Which book MUST I read this year?  Find the other books I've enjoyed in my "I'm reading..." series this year here!  Or join me at Goodreads.

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Tuesday 20 March 2012

ebook of the month :: writing by colour


Writing by colour

I talked last week about how my heroine was all wrong when I first started writing this book.  The vision in my head as I wrote was very red.  Red lips, red lingerie, red velvet.  Like chocolate covered strawberries, hot, sexy, decadent.  Here’s the collage I was using while writing.

 Yet it wasn’t working.

So I took down the collage, stripped away the heroine, and started afresh.  Let a new heroine appear on the page.  And suddenly the book took on a whole new colour.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but when reading the book I get such a sense of yellow it’s like looking at summer.

Chelsea makes Damien think of sunshine.  She’s blonde.  He drives a yellow Austin Healy.  The book ends in the Yarra valley, surrounded by hills covered in yellow grape vines, over which a bright yellow hot air balloon floats across the sun-drenched sky.  And again, none of this was on purpose.  It just happened.

I tend not to question where this inspiration stuff comes from in case it stops coming!

The excerpt:

 Then he and Chelsea were alone, hidden from view of the rest of the restaurant by the angle of their table, a large potted Ficus and the clever lighting.  Their booth was cramped.  But intimate.  Low candlelight flickering from an alcove on the rendered wall above shot waves of gold through Chelsea’s hair, and created shadows beneath her lashes, her nose, and full lower lip.
Simply looking at her he felt anything but unaffected.
A waiter with an eyebrow ring and three more through his nose came back with their wine.  Damien did the whole sniff, sip, thumbs up before they were each poured a healthy glass and the bottle was left in an icebox nearby.
Chelsea fussed with her dress, her hair, the placement of the napkin in front of her and said, ‘There is something I’ve been meaning to ask you.’
Damien leant his elbow on the table and his chin on his palm.  ‘This should be good.’
Her hands fluttered to her lap, but she gave him direct eye contact.  All golden light and sunshine and radiant energy.  He could have snuffed out the candle and his senses would have told him exactly where she sat.
Re-released as part of the PASSIONATE PLAYBOYS collection.   
Paperback collection.  Buy the eBookBuy from iTunesMore about the book

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Monday 19 March 2012

Want to write for Harlequin Romance?

Exciting opportunity at Harlequin, the Romance line is, right this second, fast-tracking submission for  whole month!

Here's what they have to say:   "...we’ll be launching a fast track submission period! Anyone who sends us their first chapter and synopsis between 14th March and 23rd April will hear back from us less than ONE MONTH after the closing date, before the 18th May.The email address to send your submission to is  Please attach your first chapter and short synopsis to the email as well as a short query letter, letting us know how much of the manuscript is complete.  Please note, we’ll be looking at only one submission per person."

For more about the Romance line, and what the editors are looking for, head here.

And you can find my most recent Romance, MILLIONAIRE DAD'S SOS in paperback here, ebook here.

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Saturday 17 March 2012

my favourite...quotes about writing :: ways to go about it

'I can't start writing until I have a closing line.'
Joseph Heller

"You can fix a bad page, you can't fix a blank page."
Nora Roberts

'When asked, "How do you write?" I invariably answer, "one word at a time."'
Stephen King:

'I think it's bad to talk about one's present work, for it spoils something at the root of the creative act. It discharges the tension.'
Norman Mailer

'You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or even despair - the sense that you can never completely put on the page what's in your mind and heart.  You can come to the act with your fists clenched and your eyes narrowed, ready to kick ass and take down names.  You can come to it because you want a girl to marry you or because you want to change the world.  Come to it any way but lightly.  Let me say it again: you must not come lightly to the blank page.'
Stephen King

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Thursday 15 March 2012

I'm reading...Anne Gracie


You simply can't go wrong with an Anne Gracie book. It's literally impossible.  There aren't many authors I'd pre-order a hundred days in advance, but she is one of them. That way, when it turns up on my doorstep a few months later it's a blissful surprise!

Bride by Mistake is the 5th book in her Devil Riders series, but you could read them out of order no worries.  (If you want to start at number one, grab The Stolen Princess here)  This one's about Luke, the daredevil who came back from the war in Spain a changed man.  A man with a secret wife as well!  After saving Isabella on the roadside from the hands of terrible men, he married her in order to keep her from the clutches of her cousin who had every intention of marrying her himself in order to get his hands on her late mother's fortune.  The chance of him surviving the war were so slim after all...

Yet he survived.  And came back for her.  And there the romance really begins.

Bride by Mistake is shiny, gorgeous, and heartwarming, with loads of fabulous secondary characters and superb lashings of wonderful historical context - much like every book Anne Gracie has ever penned!  I love love love her stuff.  did I mention that already?  If not, I'll say it again.  LOVE!  Now go buy every book she's ever written, take a month of sickies, live on your couch with a blankie and a hot chocolate and enjoy ;).

More about the author here.  Buy Bride by Mistake here.

Next I’m reading...Shadow Kin by MJ Scott.  What are you reading?  Which book MUST I read this year? Find the other books I've enjoyed in my "I'm reading..." series this year here!  Or join me at Goodreads.

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Tuesday 13 March 2012

ebook of the month :: the middle of the book panic


The middle of the book panic

So I was about halfway through the writing of this book when I realized it just wasn’t working.  I liked the hero just fine, in fact Damien was perfectly dreamy!  But the heroine was just all wrong.  Too strong, almost, too forceful, too red (I’m a visual writer so that makes perfect sense to me ;)).  They were fighting against one another instead of falling towards one another.  And something had to be done.

So I made the big – and scary! – decision to start again.  With a whole new heroine.  Was a big risk.  But I reckon it paid off.   My big scary heroine was replaced by Chelsea, a serious girl with a plan and a past and the sparks just flew!  Lucky girl.   (And if you want to know what "colour" she is to me, come back next week for more!
Til then, I give you – Chelsea and Damien.

The excerpt:

Chelsea watched as the fiftieth dark suit in eight minutes rounded the corner.
But this one was a half head taller.  A couple of inches broader.  Dark hair gleamed under the created lamplight.  And the length of his strides meant that people simply got out of his way.  She wasn’t sure it was Damien, but at the same time she just knew that it was.
He neared.  He was even more beautiful than she remembered.  More blessed by the gods of all things extraordinary.  Through the noisy crowd their eyes caught and held.  Pacific blue, she thought with an internal sigh, like the ocean at night.
‘Hi Damien,’ she said.
‘Chelsea,’ he said as he stopped in front of her.
She must have swayed towards him, or maybe it was an optical illusion, but he suddenly felt closer.  And then he was leaning in towards her.  She instinctively lifted her cheek for a friendly peck, but instead his lips landed square upon hers.  She blinked in shock for a good second or two before his mouth began to move over hers.
As her eyes flittered closed her hand fluttered up to land gently upon his chest.  His arm slunk around her back to pull her closer.  And right there, in front of a street full of bustling pedestrians, everything floated away, leaving only the taste of him, the scent of him, the feel of his heavenly lips.  Her hand curled into his shirt, and she hoped against hope that would be enough to keep her from collapsing in a puddle at his feet.
When the kiss broke her eyes opened.  A small smile lit his, creases fanning out from the edges.
‘Well what do you know,’ he said, his voice low, rumbling, pure sensuality.
Re-released as part of the PASSIONATE PLAYBOYS collection.   
Paperback collection.  Buy the eBookBuy from iTunesMore about the book

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