Gemma Halliday - Uncover in High Heels

Publisher: Dorchester Publishing Co

ISBN: 978 0 8439 5834 8

My rating: 1 / 5

Secret affairs, hunky gardeners, and housewives desperate enough to bare it all... welcome to Magnolia Lane, TV's hottest new prime time show. A place where L.A. shoe designer Maddie Springer should be in fashion heaven. That is until the body of a rising young starlet is found dead on the show's set. Now it's up to Maddie to sift through a leading lady with a secret, an actor on the verge of a nervous breakdown, a sexy cyber scandal, and one tabloid reporter who'll stop at nothing to get the story of the century. Not to mention Maddie's hot-cold relationship with the case's familiar lead detective, Jack Ramirez. In a world where secrets, lies, and deception can earn you an Oscar, Maddie plays the role of a lifetime to catch Hollywood's hottest killer. But if she doesn't watch her step, Maddie's fifteen minutes of fame just may be her last.  (

My thoughts

The thing is: I should have stopped reading after the first ten pages - Maddie's "boyfriend" police cop Ramirez cancelled their date because of other committments. The thought that Ramirez has other committments in a pick-up bar really doesn't sit well with Maddie so she's off to "spy" on him. So far so good - BUT not only does she blow up the undercover work, no she was then on a mission to help out Ramirez, who got demoted to bodyguard to the celebrities, to get back to homicide.

I took me more than a month to get through this book. Admittingly some of the annoying habits Gemma had in the first two books are well and truly under control (the number thing of the motorways and the mention of "for good measure"), but Maddie is just a character I cannot warm to and the story was a drag for me, especially as I had figured out the "whodunnit" half way through.

I still have another two books from this series on my desk, but I'm still arguing with myself to just simply not finish the series ....

My verdict - don't bother !

Ron Knight's Top 50 Facebook Authors

So ... Okay, I wasn't in the top 50, but I did get a mention. Gotta start somewhere, right ? Right!

Anyway, thought it was an interesting blog and I will definately consider having a read of the mentioned books.

Click here to read Ron's complete list.

Thanks, Ron!

Need someone to review your self-published book ?

For anybody out there who has self-published and needs some more exposure for the book, check out this website.

The Self-Publishing Review: How This Is Going To Work:

 If you've self-published or vanity-published your book, and you're confident that it's good enough to compete with the books on the bookshop shelves, then send me a copy. Submission details are in the bar on the right.

I'll read it as I would anything from the slush-pile. As I'm reading I'll count the errors that I see, and once I get to fifteen errors then I'll stop reading. I'll include errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar, as well as problems with tense and point-of-view. If I don't spot many errors I'll read it for as long as it holds my attention: once my interest slips (and remember that I am known for reading the back of the milk-carton at breakfast, such is my need for reading matter), I'll persist for another couple of pages.
I'll post the title, author and sundry details of each book that is submitted to me, including the number of pages I got through before putting it aside (I hope the page-counts will end up as a league-table rather than a catalogue of shame).
If I finish your book I'll write a review of it here, and recommend it to my friends. I can't say that it'll lead to fame and fortune for any of the writers that I review: but I hope it will give some encouragement, and a reason to keep writing.

A few Ramblings just before Christmas

Here's the thing ...

With all this Christmas excitement ... who gets to really sit down and read. Okay, I do, but the book is just dreadful, so two pages at the time is the most I can cope with.

So, I'm dealing with other things, having a big dispute with PayPal, trying to find a agent or publisher for my second book (any recommendations or ideas?), buying Christmas presents for my beautiful family .... and checking out some other blogs - it's a wonderful world and it's a shame that my daily life leaves me so little time to read more. You're all doing a great job!

If you're guys find a minute or two, check out these sites:

Tara's having a competition, if you like music (like I do) you should have a look here to win "a 5 page (1250 word) crit" - and don't we all just like to win this prize. Good luck to all who will take part!

Maria's just posted this really, really delicious looking Beef Stew which is on my list "to do" over the holidays. But she has also posted few good tips regarding writing and posts about books and movies.

Can't forget Sigrid! She's an Editor from Canada with really good tips on editing - check it out, it's well worth it.

Perhaps one day I will get myself organised enough to have a competition as well .... who knows.

Have a wonderful Christmas season everyone!

Rachel Gibson - Daisy's back in town

Publisher: Avon

ISBN: 978-0060009250

My rating: 5/5

He loves me not
Daisy Lee Monroe thought she'd brushed the dust of Lovett, Texas, off her high-heeled shoes years ago, but she's come back home only to find that little has changed. Her sister is still crazy, and her mom still has pink plastic flamingos in her front yard. And Jackson Lamott Parrish, the bad boy she left behind, is still so sexy it hurts. She’d like nothing better than to avoid this particular man, but she can’t. Daisy has something to say to Jackson, and she’s not going anywhere until he listens.
He loves her not  Jackson learned his lesson about Daisy the hard way, and now the only word he's interested in hearing from Daisy's red lips is good-bye. But she's popping up everywhere, and he doesn't believe in coincidence. It seems the only way to keep her quiet is with his mouth, but kissing Daisy had once been his downfall. Is he strong enough to resister her now? Strong enough to watch her walk out of his life again? Is he strong enough to make her stay?  (

My thoughts

I have to say this story surprised me – not at all that I didn’t see Rachel Gibson being able to write something like it, but because she was more known to me as a “chick lit” author! So lets take her out of this drawer and into the ... none at all, she’s obviously an author of many talents.

It was a book hard to put aside, but also hard to read while having a big lump in the throat.

The main plot is about Daisy, Jack and Steven who were very good friends growing up. And even though both boys (and later teenagers) were both in love with Daisy they agreed that she was “off limits” for both – easier said than done. Jack and Daisy started a crazy roller coaster relationship behind their friend’s back. At the tender age of seventeen Daisy finds out she’s pregnant with Jack’s child, who in turn has just lost his parents and needs some space. With a teenage mind, Daisy freaks out, confides in Steven, who in turn offers to marry her and to look after her and the baby. Fifteen years later – Steven has just died of cancer and it is now Daisy’s turn to tell Jack about his son.

Phew! What dilemma and Rachel Gibson has done a wonderful job to stir the readers’ emotions – I went from understanding to anger back to understanding. The dialogues are brilliant and for me were the part where the characters came alive. I think each reader will have a different point of view whether Daisy should have told Jack earlier or not, whether Steven is really the “baddie” in the story by taking advantage of the situation or whether he really helped out of the good of his heart, whether Jack has a right to treat Daisy the way he does or the way he copes with his anger and loss – the loss of the time he had missed out on spending with his son.

I really liked Daisy. I think we can all remember how confusing teenage years can be and I can in a way understand why she moved on with Steven, and in a way I can also understand why the decision to tell Jack had always been delayed to tomorrow – don’t we all do that sometimes with things we feel uncomfortable with. I liked her also the way she understands Jacks anger and accepts his anger and accept the fact that there will be no future for them together if he isn’t able to move forward. I loved Jack – for me the testosterone laden Texan man who is portrayed mainly as a sex-driven male, but over the period of the story becomes such a “man” by dealing with his past which is catching up with him, we feel for him that at an early age he did not only lose his parents, but the love of his life, his best friend and his son.

I believe Rachel Gibson did a convincing job of showing us how that anger can eat at a person.

My favourite quote:

"Mom," Nathan called to her.
Daisy pulled her gaze from the tent and the fleeting glimpse of Jack's bare back, the smooth planes and indent of his spine, the sliver of the white elastic just above the blue waistband of his jeans..."Hmm?"
"What's a faaar ant?" he asked just above a whisper.
"Fire." She chuckled and shook her head. "Fire ant. They have a nasty bite that burns."
Nathan smiled. "Well, why didn't he just say fire?"
"He thinks he did."

I loved the book – it got my emotions going. Kudos to Rachel Gibson! Now where's the next book ....

PS – Rachel’s trademark of lengthy and detailed sex scenes are included as well

HarperCollinsPublishers is looking for a Marketing Manager

Careers, HarperCollinsPublishers

Marketing Manager• Are you looking for the next step in your Marketing career?• Do you want to work with a fun and dynamic team?• Do you want to market a product that is loved?• Start in the New Year!

HarperCollins Publishers are seeking a Marketing Manager to work with the Marketing and Publicity Team. Reporting to the Head of Marketing, you will have qualifications in marketing/communications and experience in marketing, promotions and perhaps the media.
In this role you will be responsible for:• Developing promotional plans• Building strong relationships with our partners • Identifying opportunities to co-promote our books • Budget management • Ensuring brand compliance.
To be successful in this role you should have:• Previous experience creating innovative and eye-catching campaigns• Experience analysing marketing campaigns • Good communication and organisation skills.• Experience in the book publishing industry desirable but not essential.
To apply please forward your resume and cover letter, including salary expectations, to Camilla Sproule, Human Resources Consultant at

Please note Harper Collins is currently located in Pymble, but will be moving to the CBD mid way through 2011.


The tradition of Saint Nicholas Day, usually on 6 December, is a festival for children in many countries in Europe related to surviving legends of the saint, and particularly his reputation as a bringer of gifts. The American Santa Claus, as well as the Anglo-Canadian and British Father Christmas, derive from these legends. "Santa Claus" is itself derived from the Dutch Sinterklaas.

I hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful Pre-Christmas Season

Win a free Edit by CA Marshall

I think this is not only a wonderful but very generous idea. Check out the details on CA Marshall's website.

(copied from her website)

It's that time again! Time for another FREE EDIT contest!
Just like previous contests, I'm giving away a FREE substantial edit! (That's plot, pacing, character development, etc, up to 100k words) to one lucky reader!
It's really easy to enter, just fill out the form linking to something specific you want for christmas, or something you'd give to your favorite writer or reader. ENTER ONCE PER DAY.
To get more than one entry per day, link to this contest. Fill out the form again every time you link or tweet, or whatever. Please include direct links, and if you post somewhere, the post must be about this contest only. Please don't spam your friends. One entry per type of post (one twitter status, one blog post, etc) per day. To fill out the form again, refresh the page.
For 10 bonus entries, post my button anywhere on your blog! If you include the button in your blog post, that post is worth 11 entries! If you use the button, make sure you note that the button is included when you fill out the form. The button and code can be found in my sidebar.
Contest is open worldwide (but has to be in English) as everything is done by email. I can wait up to a month for you to finish your MS if it isn't finished by contest end (midnight December 10th), SO GET WRITING!

Gemma Halliday - Killer in High Heels

Publisher: Mass Market Paperback

ISBN: 9780505527127

My rating: 2/5

L.A. shoe designer Maddie Springer hasn't seen her father since he reportedly ran off to Las Vegas with a showgirl named Lola. So she's shocked when he leaves a desperate plea for help on her answering machine - ending in a loud bang. Gunshot? Car backfire? Never one to leave her curiosity unsatisfied, Maddie straps on her stilettos and, along with her trigger-happy best friend, makes tracks for Sin City in search of her MIA dad.

Maddie hits the jackpot, all right. She finds not only her dad, but also a handful of aging drag queens, an organized crime ring smuggling fake Prada pumps, and one relentless killer. Plus, it seems the LAPD's sexiest cop is doing a little Vegas moonlighting of his own. In a town where odds are everything, Maddie bets it all on her ability to out-step a vicious murderer. She just hopes her gamble pays off before her own luck runs out. (

My thougths

“Killer in High Heels” is number two in the series with Maddie Springer and as in the first book, this one doesn’t disappoint with clich├ęs and annoying repetitions.

The book starts with the big bang within the first pages as Maddie talks to her “real” dad on the phone when she hears a gun shots (or so we're to believe) in the background before he hangs up .... but then nothing really happens until about hundred pages into the book. It was a drag!

There were a couple of things already in the first book that got onto my nerves , like the constant mention of the numerical road that Maddie’s driving on, yet, that was toned down quite a bit; but the constant eating frenzy was quite tiresome, as well as the “mental eyerolls” and “mental forehead slapping” ... most of all though was the phrase “just for good measure” – one more time I think I would’ve thrown the book into the bin.

As for the sex with Ramirez ... I have no idea, and perhaps I’m a bit naive, but nevertheless, honestly, how many women would stop during a passionate situation because of the possibility of having hairy legs when having a guy like Ramirez nibbling on their earlobe? So she stops and whinges afterwards, that she should have gone the whole way. Annoying!

Got the third book sitting on my desk staring at me to be read – not sure whether I’m ready yet to cope with another story with Maddie ....