Here i will share my journey of hopefully one day recognising my dream of becoming published writing what i love to read; Romance!

Thursday, December 15, 2011


My goodness i have been very remiss on the blog the past few weeks. Crazy with final stuff for kids' school and kindy things, knitting (i've taught myself and am now addicted!), and getting ready for the drive to Wellington for the Christmas period!

On Dec 6 Nicola Marsh's new contemporary romance hit the shelves!
Busted in Bollywood is an eclectic mix of contemporary romance/romantic comedy/chicklit/women's fiction. Think 'Sex and the City' meets 'Eat, Pray, Love.'
This story is written entirely in first person narrative by the leading lady Shari Jones.

This fantastic book is available from Book Depository (free worldwide postage!), Barnes and Nobles, Amazon and Kindle.

For those you love a humorous romance with a good dollop of culture and heaps of food, this is the novel for you!

Here is the blurb:

Shari Jones needs to get a life. Preferably someone else's.
Single, homeless and jobless, Indo-American Shari agrees to her best friend's whacky scheme: travel to Mumbai, pose as Amrita, and ditch the fiancé her traditional Indian parents have chosen. Simple. Until she's mistaken for a famous Bollywood actress, stalked by a Lone Ranger wannabe, courted by an English lord, and busted by the blackmailing fiancé.
Life is less complicated in New York.
Or so she thinks, until the entourage of crazies follows her to the Big Apple and that's when the fun really begins. Shari deals with a blossoming romance, an addiction to Indian food and her first movie role, while secretly craving another trip to the mystical land responsible for sparking her new lease on life. Returning to her Indian birthplace, she has an epiphany. Maybe the happily-ever-after of her dreams isn't so far away?

Go on, get yourself a copy today!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Conflict or GMC

I've heard this acronym a few times during my blog hopping.
Briefly it means Goal Motivation Conflict.

All our characters come to the story with their own backgrounds, battle scars and inner conflict.
Well, they should do anyway, to make your story and characters believable to your readers.

Kate Walker in her 12 point guide to Writing Romance (excellent book!) tells us that the most important element of conflict is internal, the stuff that goes on in the character's head, the stuff that gives reason to their thoughts and actions. As a writer we must use this internal conflict so show character growth, how they change in order to achieve their HEA.
Kate explains (p 43) that the emotions involved in the characters internal conflict, affect the character's thinking, but they are unaware of them.
The internal conflict comes out when the Hero and Heroine meet and clash, this forces them to each face their own fears or inner demons.

I realised after writing a good 5k of my Status Quo story that i didn't really have a good handle on my characters conflicts.
So using what i've picked up during my blog hopping i tried to break them down.

Goal: What the hero/ine wants
Motivation: Why they want it
Conflict: If the hero/ine wins the other loses.

For me (and i could be very, very wrong!), on examining my characters and some of the books i love, i've found two sets of GMC for each character. (I think this was brought about by the character questionnaire on Nicola Marsh's website!)
The first set is the clear goal and reason that we are given right at the beginning of the story - should be within the first few pages of meeting each of them.
Then as we read, we discover a deeper Goal and motivation - which to me is stemmed from the conflict of the first, but at a deeper layer.
Have i lost you?

Okay, a bit of behind the scenes look to hopefully help explain this!

So in my story Emma wants Matt. They have been best friends for ever and she has been in love with him for just about the same amount of time. But when they kissed on New Years, it was made plain to her that they were made for each other. He stirred her blood in a way no other man had come close to. And that's what she wants.
So Emma's initial GMC is
G: To have Matt,
M: She loves him and he stirs a passion in her she wants for life.
C: they are best friends and she could lose him by insisting on this.

Then as the story develops we learn that deep down Emma's goal is to love and be loved with a passion and foreverness otherwise missing in her life. Her motivation is from  how she felt in Matt's arms, how they are together doing mundane things. Her conflict, is that she may just not be good enough for the type of love and passion she desperately craves, after all her parents seemed to forget about her once they started their separate lives.

So, tell me. Do you think i've completely missed the point, or overcomplicated it?
How do you work out your characters conflict and motivations?

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Nicola Marsh is stopping by to give us a tasty recipe from her new novel Busted in Bollywood out on December 6th!

Thanks to Kerrin for inviting me to pop in as part of my BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD blog tour.  I was thrilled she enjoyed the book and gave it a glowing review!
BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD is a contemporary romance/romantic comedy/chicklit/women’s fiction novel. Think ‘Sex and the City’ meets ‘Eat, Pray, Love.’ With food. Loads of food!
For anyone following this tour, you’ll know I’m sharing my love of food, posting Indian recipes for dishes taken from the book in my BOLLY-BITES.
I’m hoping you’ll stock up on spices and cook up a storm alongside me!
Today’s BOLLY-BITE is a drink Shari becomes hooked on in Mumbai.
(This is my dad’s version.)
Ingredients (makes 2 cups)
1 cup water
1 cup milk
3 tspns black tea leaves
4 cardamoms
2 cm cinnamon stick
4 peppercorns
2cm-thick slice ginger
Sugar to taste
Peel the cardamoms.  Pound (in mortar and pestle) or grind (electronic gizmo) cardamom pods, cinnamon and peppercorns to a powder.
Place water and milk in a small saucepan. Add the ground spices and ginger. Bring to boil.
Add tea leaves when starts to boil.
Boil 1 minute.
Strain liquid into cups.
Add sugar to taste.
Hope you’ll join me for more tasty Indian BOLLY-BITES coming up.  For details of recipe stops on the tour, check out my blog.
There are so many different teas on the market these days. 
To be in the running to win an E-book of BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD, leave a comment about your favourite type/brand of tea. More exotic the better!
Thanks so much for the tasty recipe Nicola, and thanks for stopping by :)

USA TODAY bestseller Nicola Marsh has published 30 books with Harlequin Romance and Presents series, and BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD is her first mainstream contemporary romance with Entangled Publishing.
She loves chatting with readers and you can find her:

Friday, December 2, 2011

RFW: Snowed in!

Another great theme from the Romantic Friday Writers group. Click here to check out other participants stories :)

It was cold. So not what it should be at Christmas.
What the bloody hell are we doing in this frozen land at this time of year. Stupid business trip making us leave the heat of the Southern Hemisphere summer.
"Gerry? Honey, here's a nice hot chocolate."
I couldn't help the scowl, but i did offer thanks as Mike handed the steaming mug to me with his usual smirk. Kills me every time.
He wrapped an arm around me as he snuggled under the soft blanket. "Don't sulk love." He simultaneously squeezed my thigh and kissed my cheek, a move that caused waves of heat to bloom inside me, warming me before i'd taken a sip.
"Just think of it as the perfect opportunity to warm each other up."
His devilish grin, slightly lopsided caused an answering tug to my own lips.
I love this man to distraction. And he knew how to push all the right buttons. Even the ones his snaking hand was already making a start on under the blanket.
Spluttering in shock as his frigid fingers touched the skin just below my bra i did my best to save us from being scalded by the contents of my mug. "You are incorrigible!"
His lips, warm and oh so soft trailed a path from my ear to my collarbone in excruciating slowness. "You love it."
I did. I loved the way he could get me out of a grump. How he bought me steaming hot liquids. How he put up with my moods. How he knew just how to touch me.
"Can you please wait a minute." I didn't even try to mask the giggle that escaped as his lips followed a path of their own design and his evening stubble tickled the tops of my breasts.
"Why wait when you're all warm and ready to melt just as the marshmellows did." The blanket was now tangled between our bodies, wedged under his thigh pressed solidly between mine. I was no longer cold and no longer needed the hot cocoa to warm me. Just him.
My man.
"You're sweeter than marshmellows." His mouth closed over my breast, soaking the thin satin and thrilling me. Taunting me, leaving me humming for more.
I moaned in protest when he lifted his head and looked at me, his blue eyes nearly eclipsed by the passion in his irises. "Sorry we ended up stuck here. In a week we'll be back home."
"It doesn't matter." I pulled him to my lips and feasted on all the goodness, the love that was on offer. It didn't matter. Not when he was here with me.