Ally Blake Romance Author - Blog

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

Thursday 26 April 2012

I'm reading...Rachel Gibson


This is the first in Rachel's Chinooks Hockey series, and my first ever Rachel Gibson.  She's one of those names that have been on my radar for ages as someone I'd love to try, I just never found the chance.  And now I'm soooo glad I finally tucked one into my shopping trolley as I enjoyed Simply Irresistible to absolute bits.

The blurb:
Georgeanne Howard, charm school graduate and Southern belle extraordinaire, leaves her fiancé at the altar when she realizes she just can't marry a man old enough to be her grandfather, no matter how rich he is. John Kowalsky unknowingly helps her escape, and only when it's too late does he realize that he's absconded with his boss's bride. At the height of his hockey career, this bad boy isn't looking to be anybody's savior but his own, no matter how beautiful this angel may be. But a long night stretches ahead of them--a night too sultry to resist temptation.
When Georgeanne and John meet again, she is on her way to becoming Seattle's domestic darling and he is past his hellraising days. But he is shocked to learn that their single unforgettable night in paradise produced a daughter, and he is determined to be part of her life. Georgeanne has loved John since the moment she jumped into his little red Corvette seven years ago, but she doesn't want to risk her heart again. Is he really a changed man? And will he risk the wrath of his boss, and one final chance at glory, to prove that this time his love will be everlasting?

The hero John, is hot hot hot.  And damaged.  And real.  Georgeanne's past is heartbreaking, and gives her an edge, a vulnerability and a strength that lifts her a level above your usual heroine.  The fact that there's a whole slew of Chinooks hockey players in need of good women to tame them is even better news!  Add an adorable kid, a cast of sidekicks and Simply Irresistible is funny, warm, heart-tugging fun.  As for the rest of the Chinooks hockey series?  I devoured them in like a week flat!  The sixth and latest has just arrived and I'm salivating to see what happens next!

More about the author here.  Buy the book here.

Next I’m reading... The Hunger Games  by Suzanne Collins.

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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Thursday 19 April 2012

I'm reading...Julie Cohen


There was no way I was waiting long before diving into The Summer of Living Dangerously.  I love, love, loved Julie's last book, GETTING AWAY WITH IT.  I devoured the earlier book in two days.  My family barely saw me ;).

The blurb:

An ordinary woman. An extraordinary adventure.
Alice Woodstock has been running away.  Well, not literally. She spends most of her time glued to her desk, writing about grommets and model aeroplanes. No, Alice is avoiding the real world because there’s something—someone—in her past that she’s desperate to forget. So when she’s commissioned to write about life in stately home Eversley Hall, she jumps at the chance to escape into Regency England, even if it does mean swapping her comfy T-shirt for an itchy corset. Perhaps she’ll meet her own Mr Darcy…  But when her past resurfaces in the shape of Leo Allingham, Alice is brought down to earth with a bump. Reckless, unpredictable Leo reminds Alice of the painful price of following her heart. And the new Alice doesn’t live dangerously.  Or does she?

I was honestly torn between Alice's two possible loves.  The lovely, wealthy, handsome Darcy-esque squire, or the lean, mean, reckless, wholly screwed-up ex who hurt her sooo bad.  The fact that Julie manages to keep the reader on such tenterhooks throughout, hurting when Alice hurts, not wanting to forgive when Alice refuses to forgive, hoping for the rosier version of a future, even while making her story with Leo so real, is a testament to her talent.

I laughed.  The daily rainbow is hilarious!   And I bawled.  Til I could scarce breathe. 

So grab yourself a couch, a blanket, a cup of hot chocolate, a spare day, and a box of tissues and dive into THE SUMMER OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY .  You'll thank me.

More about the author here.  Buy the book here.

Next I’m reading... Simply Irresistible by Rachel Gibson.

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 17 April 2012

ebook of the month :: stonnington drive


The location

I've set a couple of books on Stonnington Drive now.  It's a fictional street, but in my mind's eye I know exactly where it is.  Across the road from where I used to live was a gold course lined by a sweet creek.

In my imagination, Stonnington Drive is a wide tree-lined avenue lined with stately mansion on large half acre blocks backing onto that same creek.  The kinds of houses that could host the society wedding of the decade in their backyard.  The kinds of houses with gables, and wings and grand ballrooms.  The kinds of houses brimming with all sorts of family dramas going on behind those beautiful facades.

Caleb and Ava of  A NIGHT WITH THE SOCIETY PLAYBOY are by-products of that existence.  Ava ran from it, Caleb embraced it. Or did they?
The excerpt:

Stonnington Drive.  A row of thirty homes, no more, but a stronghold all the same.  It was the last bastion of the provincial old-fashioned good life to be found in what was now a relatively cosmopolitan city.
Stonnington Drive men wore suits long after they’d retired from high powered jobs in the city.  Stonnington Drive women believed in gin, tennis, and boarding school for the kids.
Ava believed it a suffocating, pulverizing existence.  The pressure to keep up with the Joneses, and the Gilchrists for that matter, had broken down her parents’ marriage in the most vociferous, public, ravaging way.  The run on effect had left her searching for guidance wherever she could find it.  And every day she’d been away from the place she thanked her lucky stars she’d managed to get out when she had.
For who knew at nineteen how strong one’s principles really were?  Another year there, another reason to stay, who knew...
She glanced over to her brother to find Caleb had joined him.  Damien had survived their childhood and made good.  But he’d been older.  Stronger.  Luckier.
The two men put arms around one another as they ducked heads and talked.  Best friends, even after all these years.  As close as brothers.  Closer even, considering her father had always treated Caleb like the second son he’d never had.
No wonder.
He was the perfect by-product of his upbringing; rich, good looking, arrogant, lackadaisical.  As such she ought to have felt ambivalent in his company, despite their friendship all those years ago.
So why, now, couldn’t she shake him off?
 Buy the eBookBuy from iTunesMore about the book

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Saturday 14 April 2012

my favourite...quotes about writing :: writers write

'Contrary to what many of you may imagine, a career in letters is not without its drawbacks - chief among them the unpleasant fact that one is frequently called upon to sit down and write.'
Fran Lebowitz

'Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.'
Gene Fowler
‘If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster.’
Isaac Asimov

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Thursday 12 April 2012

I'm reading...Jennifer Probst


Jennifer Probst is the big success story with the newly launched Indulgence category romance line from Entangled Publishing.  You can read all about her debut novel's awesome release here.

I loved the excerpt I'd read of the book, so grabbed a copy. (Aussies without Kindles, who can't buy through B&N who only seem to accept American credit cards, even on ebooks!, grab it at Books on Board)

Anyhoo, what a ripper book it was!

THE MARRIAGE BARGAIN has a super strong heroine, a lovely upright hero with a touch of the clueless that always makes this reader happy, and is just jam packed with warm, believable story.

More about the author here.  Buy the book here.

Next I’m reading... THE SUMMER OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY by Julie Cohen.

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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Wednesday 11 April 2012

Lucky 7 meme

The lovely Natalie Anderson - whose gorgeous novella MELT I raved about hereupon not so very long ago - has tagged me in the Lucky 7 meme, which means I have to head to my current work in progress, land on page 77, line 7, and give you the next 7 lines.

Fun, right?  A bit nerve-wracking too!  Take 7 lines from any book and out of context they can so easily make no sense at all.  And yet...  Amazing how much 7 little lines can give away about a writer's voice.  Eg. check out Natalie's, and Nicola Marsh's, 'cause she tagged Nat in the first place.

So here 'tis, 7 lines form line 7 of page 77 of my current WIP, working title The Blonde Bombshell.

She blamed his bed.
My god the bed!  Now she understood what he’d been waiting for.  The thing was so big, so lush, so very conducive to absolutely mind-blowing sex.
And it was like sleeping on a cloud.  She knew because she had slept.  For half an hour at least before her common sense had slapped her awake and she’d jumped out of the thing so fast she’d caught her toe on a sheet and almost landed head first on the floor.
So I'm blushing ;).


Tuesday 10 April 2012

ebook of the month :: a hero is born


The hero 

Caleb Gilchrist  first appeared in the award-winning best-selling THE MAGNATE'S INDECENT PROPOSAL, as the hero's Lothario best friend.  A total cad.  Irrepressible.  Shameless.  Soooo not hero material.  And then as I neared the end of revisions on that earlier book something happened.  As Caleb and Damien sat in a darkened bar, Damien lamenting the loss of his true love, Caleb let something slip.  The reason behind his playboy ways. He said:

'...if it wasn’t for the number their divorce did on the two of you I would have run off with your sister years ago.’
Damien kept his mouth shut and let Caleb’s words sink in.  Chelsea.  The one.  His sister?
‘You and Ava?’
Caleb smiled though there was no roguish humour in his eyes.  ‘We’re focussing on you right now my friend.’

And just like that it all made sense!  Poor Caleb was nursing a broken heart!  For his best friend's sister.  The one who got away.  How could I not make it alright?  And what with Damien all set for a big wedding, guess whose little sister is all set to come home?

The excerpt:

 ‘So,’ Ava said, head down, hair falling in a waterfall over her face as she scuffed her shoe against the step, ‘which of the bevy of beautiful blondes out there under the stars is your arm candy for the evening?’
‘Who says I have any interest in arm candy.’
She lifted her chin, her mouth twisted as she pinned him with her trademark flat, discerning, too smart for her own good gaze.  ‘There is such a thing as email you know.  And from what I hear from those who’ve used said email to tell me things about home, these days you’re a regular hound dog.’
Caleb laughed.  The sudden explosive release of tension was such a surprise he let it rumble through him a good deal longer than he’d normally bother.
And it felt good.  Really good.
It was enough to make him glad he’d sought her out again.  For one thing she didn’t seem to have an inordinate interest in Roman blinds.  And for another he was definitely enjoying her attempt at being sassy.  She honestly had no idea she looked like butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth.
‘And what makes you think you can trust such stories?’ she asked.
‘The source.’
He glanced her way, eyebrow raised.
‘My brother.’
Caleb laughed again.  ‘You can’t be quoting your brother, I’m sure.’  Damien would have used far less ambiguous language.
‘I am,’ she said.  ‘Or I think I am.  He may have put things another way and I simply extrapolated that meaning.  So you’re not a hound dog?’
The minx actually looked disappointed.
‘Honey, I’m not sure any man has been a ‘hound dog’ since the 1950s.’
‘But – ‘
‘But I understand your meaning.  And he was quite wrong.  I’m perfectly discriminating,’ he said with a devilish smile.
‘How’s that?  No blondes after Labour Day?’
‘I said I was discriminating, not an imbecile.’
This time Ava laughed.  Her eyes brightened, her hair shimmied, and those lips...  Damn but she was one gorgeous creature.
Caleb’s extremities stirred as he wondered how long it might take for butter to melt anywhere else on her body.
‘So anyway,’ Ava said, before he could sink too deeply into that fantasy, ‘I was thinking of heading up to my old bedroom for a sticky beak.  See if my mother turned it into an aquarium, or a gift-wrapping room, or a yoga studio.  What do you reckon?’
‘Knowing your mother I’d say...trophy room.’
Ava clicked her fingers.  ‘Right.  Of course it is.  So, do you want to come see if you’re right?’
Caleb waited for the other shoe to drop, but she merely blinked at him, all ingenuous blue eyes.
Ava was inviting him up to her old bedroom.
It didn’t mean what the sudden surge of adrenalin throughout his body indicated it meant.  Or did it?
Only one way to find out for sure...

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Monday 9 April 2012

free German ebook!

A quick heads up to all German readers, my latest ebook release - THE WEDDING DATE in English, ACHTUNG - SEXY BOSS! - is out now across Germany for free for the next week only!

Grab it for you Kindle or from the Cora website here.

Sunday 8 April 2012

My favourite...things about easter

I love...

Chocolate.  Okay, so that's a given. But there's caramel ones, ones filled with M&Ms, ones with the most colourful wrapping, ones with dingly bells and stuck in mugs and...okay, so in the end its all just chocolate with a bumped up price tag, but still sooo fun!

The colouring in.  I must have drawn 50 A4 sized eggs in the most intricate myriad of patterns for the kids to colour in.  Okay, so I might have done one or two for myself.  Something soothing about colouring within the lines.

Watching the joy on the kids' faces as they find the not so discreetly "hidden" eggs on the landing, the stairs, the lounge.  (They're 4, 2 & 1 this year so if the Easter Bunny doesn't hide them in plain sight we might never find them!)  The video I took of the girls finding their eggs last year is THE most watched home movie we have.

The time off.  It's nice to have any excuse to get the family together, and with 4 days in a row Easter is always one of those few times we seem able to do it.

Hope those of you who've managed to have a break from work this weekend have a good one!



Thursday 5 April 2012

I'm reading...natalie anderson


Natalie Anderson is a perennial reader favourite who writes for RIVA and Harlequin Presents Extra, like me!  She’s also written a novella called MELT.

For a girl who always writes long and has to cut back a ridiculous amount – me! - to see a story with half the amount of words I usually write, written so tight, so rich, so full of context and romance, and heat was amazing.  I love love loved this story.  

The setting, a base in Antarctica, was a third hero for me.  The detail Nat invoked was phenomenal.   What an astonishing place.  I found myself jealous that Hunter and Emma were some of the lucky few who get to experience it!

Now Hunter.  There's a hero.  Gorgeous, hotter than hot, and fun.  Emma, shyer, softer, with nicely unexpected sass, was a great foil.  Together they pack some fabulous sexual tension.

This was one of those stories that made me snatch every minute I could to drink it up.   I made the mistake of reading it while dying my hair.  I had a five minute window.  I took fifteen!  Happy ending, my hair did not fall out, though it might be a tad more vibrant than usual this month ;).

MELT is a flirty, sassy, fun, warm read.  And don't even get me started on the cover.  LOVE!

More about the author here.  Buy the book here.

Next I’m reading... The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst.  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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