game, set, match!

It’s April 14th, which means two things: only one day left for US citizens to file their taxes, and release day for LOVE IN STRAIGHT SETS! Its release is part of Carina Press’s Sports Week, spotlighting sexy athletes and the men and women who love them.

Love in Straight SetsIn addition to being in Kansas on vacation – where the state has kindly decided to make up for nine months of tropical South Africa by going through three seasons in four days, topping it off with a dusting of snow this morning – I’m all over the web like a zombie plague.

You can win stuff by commenting at Give Me Books and Fresh Fiction and later today at RT, and you can read an excerpt at the Contemporary Romance Cafe.

If you want to see whether this one’s worth the money, there have been some great reviews from the Dirty Girls and my personal intellectual hero, Jackie Horne from Romance Novels for Feminists.

That’s it for now, but watch this space for even more surprise appearances from my tempestuous tennis player Regan and her sexy Zimbabwean super coach!

save the date

ROSACon2014

 

It’s official! The first-ever Romance Writers of South Africa national conference will be held 25-26 October in Johannesburg! The inimitable Romy Sommer and Elsa Winckler are just two of the amazing South African authors who’ll be in attendance, and we’ve already booked Tristan Banha from The Juice Box to tell us how to maximize our authorial social media (which I desperately need to know). It should be a fun, informative couple of days as well as a rare chance to unite the South African romance community.

Click the image above for the official announcement, and watch this space!

Secure Target release day!

It’s finally here – Secure Target hits digital shelves today!

Secure Target‘s journey to publication was much more fraught than anything else I’ve sold. It was the first manuscript I completed after a five-year hiatus from writing, and racked up several rejections before my amazing editor at Samhain Publishing saw enough potential to offer the opportunity to revise and resubmit. I vividly remember one eight-hour stretch of revisions, hunkered on the bed in my little flat in London, but it was all worth it. The contract came through and my sexy South African supercop was unleashed on the world!

Secure Target was inspired by my first-ever trip to South Africa and the remarkable experience of being surrounded by so much vibrancy and beauty tucked way down at the tip of a continent. I hope readers enjoy Lacey’s unexpected escape from the ordinary, Bronnik’s rough path to reconciling love and honor, and this little glimpse of a country I’m so privileged to now call home. :-)

Now let’s get one more look at those abs…

Secure TargetAvailable now from Samhain * Amazon * Amazon UK * Barnes & Noble * Kobo

anyone for tennis?

Faithful readers, I hope your Valentine’s Week (if there is such a thing) is going better than mine! I got back to Joburg on Monday evening after an awesome extended weekend in Cape Town and have spent the ensuing several days trying to get around this petrol-fueled city without my car, which is being held hostage by the world’s most inefficient panelbeaters. Commuting to work via taxi and begged rides from co-workers is really less than ideal, and I can’t wait to retrieve my beloved, TARDIS-blue Honda tomorrow. At least I hope the mechanic meant it when he said tomorrow…

So to cheer myself up in this final furlong before the weekend, why not have a cover reveal? There are almost exactly two months to go before the release of my second sports romance with Carina Press, LOVE IN STRAIGHT SETS, the story of an uptight professional tennis player and her deliciously laid-back coach. I love this cover almost as much as I love this novel (which is a lot). Please to enjoy!:

Love in Straight Sets

Regan Hunter came to tennis late in life, but she’s worked hard to become one of the world’s top players. Beating the odds has made her unstoppable on the court and neurotically controlling off of it. So when her manager hires a new coach, a has-been who left the sport after a scandal, Regan wants him gone, fast.

Ben Percy, a former Grand Slam winner, is well aware of Regan’s reputation for driving coaches away—usually screaming. But working with the notoriously mercurial Regan could be just the break he needs to take his career to the next level, and he’s never been one to scare easily. He must stick to only one rule: hands off Regan.

Keeping his distance from Regan is more difficult than Ben ever imagined. Behind her tough, sexy exterior is a woman he wants to get to know better. And Regan feels a connection with her patient, easy-on-the-eyes coach that’s hard to ignore. But with the biggest championship of all on the line, romance may be completely out of bounds…

I won’t lie, probably one of my favorite elements of this cover is the hero’s slight resemblance to Roger Federer. Did you know that ol’ Roger is half South African? Or that he’s on a huge, billboard-sized ad for Moet Chandon that I pass every morning on my way to work? In fact sometimes I sit at the red light and just stare at all ten floors of him. Certainly improves the morning commute!

Roger Federer

#ROSACon2014

Just a day after registration opened for RWA ’14 in San Antonio – and which I considered trying to attend for about five minutes before realizing how many books I’d have to sell to cover the entry fee alone – I am kind of ridiculously excited to share that the inaugural ROSA Conference will be held in Johannesburg in September!

http://saromancewriters.blogspot.com/2014/01/announcing-rosa-conference.html

Every year I watch enviously as Twitter fills with people at the RWA and RT conventions in the US. And while it’s still a little unlikely that Nora Roberts will be heading down to Jozi for ROSA Con, but I’m still super psyched to have the opportunity to network with South African readers, writers, bloggers and reviewers.

I’ll post more details in due course, but in the meantime I want to offer a hearty sanibona to anyone interested in attending! You won’t get shot, I promise.

Bunker-Play Blog Hop

I’m not going to lie to y’all – I’m not a huge fan of professional golf. It takes ages, winners and losers are often determined long before the game is finished, and how seriously can you take a sport where guys like Angel Cabrera can become champions?

Angel enjoys a performance-reducing drug.

I always groan when golf is the sport du jour on the gym TV screens…yet I don’t mind playing a bit of mini-golf or even hitting a few balls at a driving range. Just recently I found myself taking a couple of swings at a golf course here in Johannesburg, and with a cloudless blue sky and incredible highveld vistas I suddenly understood why so many people love to play.

Which brings me to that essential distinction: sports we love to watch vs. sports we love to play.

bunkerhop2I’m a fairly committed middle-distance runner, always training for the next 10K or half-marathon. A colleague recently asked whether I was interested in joining her harriers club, and as I analyzed what turned me off about the prospect I realized that what makes running my favorite activity is that it’s completely solitary. Every run comes down to me versus my personal goals, and having to make conversation or keep up with a group is the last thing I want.

On the flip side, one of my favorite sports to watch – but not play – is football (or soccer for my fellow North American natives). Weirdly, what I love most about it is the team dynamic! I find it fascinating that a player can be a superstar on one team yet become shockingly bad when he moves to the next, or the way the addition of a new player can transform the cohesion of a side. And let’s not forget those on-pitch moments that are practically soap operatic with thrown-up palms and angry pointing!

The Striker's Chance by Rebecca CrowleyHow do your preferences shake out when it comes to playing versus watching? Are there any sports you love to do but can’t bear to sit through on TV? Tell me which sports you love and loathe and why, and one lucky commenter will win a copy of THE STRIKER’S CHANCE, my Carina Press debut about a sexy soccer superstar who joins a failing team and meets his match in – and loses his heart to – the ambitious publicist assigned to revamp his image.

BUT WAIT! As part of the Bunker-Play Blog Hop you also have the chance to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway including some awesome swag from author Lily Malone whose latest, Fairway to Heaven, is available now! Follow the links below for the giveaway and to visit the other amazing bloggers, and be sure to check back here on January 15th to see whether THE STRIKER’S CHANCE will be winging its way to an eReader near you!

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

And click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list!