Little Gems 2012 Author: Carol Hoggart

Hi, legally I’m Carol Hoggart, but such a name is quite unsuitable for an author of medieval romances. Not a sniff of romance there, so I’ve cooked up a pseudonym (partly so my parents never read my stuff!).
I plan to publish as Venetia Green, although my Little Gems are going to remain prosaically Hoggarty.
Carol has two short stories in the Diamond Edition:
 And the names are quite wierd enough for you to remember: ‘The Nun and the Thief’ and ‘The Diamond of Friday Street’.
What challenges you most in writing a short romance story?
Regarding the challenges of a short story – the biggest one had to be length! Plan as I might, the words just didn’t want to stay contained within the 3000 word limit. Then there was research – these were the first stories I had written set in medieval London, so the research I needed to do was completely disproportionate to the word count. Just finding out that goldsmiths and the like usually set up shop on Cheapside or Friday Street took a whole load of discovering. Still, it’ll all come in handy later on.
Regarding tips for short stories, I’m really not sure I’m the right person to give them. These were the first I had written pretty well since high school. But I’m definitely a plotter. I suppose my tips might be: keep the number of characters to a minimum, the plot relatively simple, and plot first to make sure the story is do-able within the length.
Do you have a favourite line/short piece from your short?
Seeing as I have two stories in the anthology, I’m going to be greedy and give you two excerpts, one from each:
From ‘The Diamond of Friday Street’:
‘We have other stones, my lord. Amber a-plenty, ruby that dropped as dragon’s blood from the skies, a handful of pearls from seas warm as bath-water …’
‘No, I want no other stones.’
‘But … we are lapidaries, my lord. We have no other stock. So … your business with us is done.’
Her eyes were upturned to his now, pools of grey light sparking with a million tints. Like Adela herself – seemingly colourless at first, but threaded with all the richness of the meadow.
And from ‘The Nun and the Thief’:
The man lounging beside her might be low-life scum – attractive in a lithe and cocky sort of way, admittedly – but still first-cousin to the slime that rimmed the Thames at low-ebb. But he was not stupid, and he would take her diamond if he could. The liripiped man had known what he was about: two thieves made an honest man.
What was your inspiration for the story?
The theme of diamond, of course! I was determined to remain within the Middle Ages, and diamonds were not particularly well known then. Engagement rings were unheard of, and the cutting of stones was still pretty rare. I had lots of fun in ‘The Diamond of Friday Street’ with incorporating ancient beliefs about the diamond or ‘adamant’ as it was sometimes called. Then in ‘The Nun and the Thief’, I was inspired by a historical robbery in medieval London, although the details are quite different.
What are your writing goals for the future?
My first project was a full length historical romance featuring Vikings, entitled Enslaved. I’m currently on tenterhooks waiting to hear back from 2 publishers on that score. But for the future: writing short stories has proved to be so satisfying that I’ve decided to try my hand at novellas for a bit. I’ve just finished an erotic novella with a Viking setting, and now I’m trying to psyche myself up to beginning another – set in medieval London. With the boom of e-books, short stories and novellas are suddenly a lot more marketable!
Will we be able to catch up with you in person at the RWA National Conference in August?
Absolutely! Would I miss the chance to catch up with the most interesting and inspirational ladies (and occasional gents) in Australia? No way. I’ll see you there.
 Anthology Orders Now OpenWould you like to order the anthology for yourself, as a special gift or a Christmas (yes I said Christmas) stocking filler?Orders are now open and we are taking pre-release orders until the end of June, so plenty of time. Use the order form on our RWA website.

NOTE: Pre-release ordering means you are ordering and paying but the anthology will not be available until August (launched at the national conference).

Cruisin’ the Blog & Members News

Good morning everyone. Due to needing time to concentrate on my writing this will be my last Cruisin’ the Blog.

We have the delightful Juanita Kees joining the Online Services team and she has kindly offered to take over Cruisin’ and Facebook updates for me. This will also allow me more time to work in other areas to help promote our members both published and unpublished.

I would like to thank everyone for their support over the last eighteen months and hope you will continue that support with Juanita. Contact details remain the same just address all correspondence to Juanita.


From Here To Eternity

Romance Writers of Australia’s 20th Annual Conference

August 11-14, 2011

Hilton on the Park


Registrations are now open for this year’s 20th Anniversary Annual Conference. Visit the RWA ‘From Here to Eternity’ Conference webpage for more information and watch for the conference feature in your March Hearts Talk.

The North Queensland Writers Roadshow 28th May 2011

COSTS: (Including lunch, morning and afternoon teas)


After 31st March 2011

Cost: One-day Seminar $ 140 RWA Members

Cost: One-day Seminar $ 160 RWA Non-Members


(Optional and additional cost for dinner following seminar).

Cost: $44.50


What’s happening in the world of ‘Who, Where & When’.


Where Our Members are Blogging ~

Dark Side DownUnder ~

TUES 5th April  – Good News Day

WED 6th March – Winner announced for Nicola E. Sheridan’s Magical Gains

THUR 31st March – Magic Thursday (with giveaway) – Tracey O’Hara with giveaway of DEATH”S SWEET EMBRACE.

SAT 2nd April – Darklight On…Emmeline Lock (Q&A)

Julia Burns ~

FRI 1st April – Julia had the pleasure of having author Tansy Rayner visit her blog to chat about all things writing.

Helene Young ~

MON 4th April – Catch up with Helene chatting to Fiona Palmer

TUES 5th April – Helene is interviewing Kate, the heroine in North Star, Karly Lane’s new release novel. It’s a lovely insight into Kate and takes a different look at the story.

April is Aussie Author Month on four blogs and several indie booksellers sites.

Book Thingo

A Writer Goes on a Journey



Reading Adventures

The girls from Australian Outback Romances and Mysteries – Bronwyn Parry, Fiona Palmer, Fleur McDonald and me are joining in and you’ll find us at Outback Romance as well as on Their own blogs.

There’ll be heaps of giveaways, interesting blogs and swags of favourite Aussie authors to discover as well as some familiar ones to catch up.

Kylie Griffin ~

MON 4th April – Guest Author: Christina Phillips (she comes bearing gifts for those who leave a comment)

THURS 7th April – Who’s That Girl? interview with Anita Joy (from RWAustralia)

SAT 9th April – “The Tough World of Contest Feedback!” Learn how ‘ADD + DA’ affects you and how to cope with contest feedback.

Mark that date – April 11th !!!– my next guest author is Sara Creasy! For Sci-fi romance addicts, pencil this date in, you do not want to miss out on this interview (and Sara’s generously donated a book as a giveaway).

Paula Roe ~

WED 6th April – Catch up with Paula on Tote Bags ‘n’ Blogs

FRI 8th April – Paula swings by the Silhouette Desire Blog

RWAus Blog ~

We have a new member joining our blog team this week, Juliet Madison is taking over our Author Spotlight segment. Welcome to the team Juliet.

MON 4th April – Juliet Madison – Author Spotlight – Karly Lane

TUES 5th April – Bronwyn Jameson – Conference Session Spotlight on – Terrie Garey

WED 6th April – Jenn McLeod – Face2Face with … Melbourne Romance Writers Guild

THUR 7th April – Sandie Hudson- Q&A with Dr Debra Holland

FRI 8th April – Jenn McLeod – Blog Bite – Cara Gabri

SUN 9th April – Juanita Kees – Cruisin’ the Blog & Members News

Blogs our Members Regularly Visit ~

Historical Belles and Beaus

Historical Saga Novels

Romance Bandits

Tote Bags ‘n’ Blogs

We Love YA

Wink Girls

Blogs of Interest ~

NOTE: If you come across a blog you think will interest our members drop me a line with the details. ~

As Kylie Griffin said when she sent this post “Something to aspire to – the Top 10 Highest Earning Authors

Rants & Ramblings ~

This week Rachelle Gardner posted ‘What I’m Looking For’, Update 2011


Anna Campbell ~

Anna Campbell is celebrating the launch of her brand-new website by sharing some great Anna’s Midnight’s Madness!

On Tuesday, 26th April, Anna’s sixth Avon Historical Romance MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION hits the sale stands.

In all her excitement Anna is giving away six signed copies as prizes in her April contest. Visit Anna’s contest page for more information. Contest closes 30th April 2011.

Annie West ~

March 2011 – Curl Up with a Harlequin Presents!

Annie loves discussing favourite stories with other readers and writers. So, for her new contest she’d love to hear about some of your reading favourites.

The winner will receive some great Harlequin Presents/Modern/Sexy reading:

A copy of THE DESERT SHEIKH’S DEFIANT QUEEN, which includes stories by Annie and fellow Presents author Jane Porter.

A signed copy of CARETTI’S FORCED BRIDE by Jennie Lucas, another Presents author, and something sweet to nibble on while enjoying your new books.

Find out more on Annie’s contest page.

Paula Roe ~

March/April 2011 contest

For March/April you have the chance to win:




Check out Paula’s contest page for more information


Congratulations to our First Kiss Finalists:

Elise Ackers

Carol Challis

Carol Hoggart

Fiona Mackenzie Kekic

Bec Sampson x 2

Their entries will be sent  to Debra Dixon ( President of Belle Bridge Books) for final ranking.

Congratulations to all the winner at the ARRA awards:


Anna Campbell


Bonds of Justice – Nalini Singh


Archangel’s Kiss – Nalini Singh


The Billionaire Baby Bombshell – Paula Roe


My Reckless Surrender – Anna Campbell


Home is Where the Bark Is – Kandy Shepherd


Raising the Stakes – Jess Dee


Border Watch – Helene Young


Psy/Changeling series – Nalini Singh

Other News

Bronwyn Stuart ~

Bronwyn placed first in the Historical category of the Linda Howard Award of Excellence. Huge congratulations Bronwyn.

Christina Phillips ~

Christina was thrilled during the week when Night Owl Reviews gave CAPTIVE a 41/2 star Top Pick rating. Congratulations Christina.

Erin Grace ~

Erin signed her 5th book contracted, this time with Noble Romance. YAY Erin, very happy for you.

Janet Woods ~

Janet’s novel DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS has been picked up for Portuguese language rights. The sale is to a Brazilian publisher, and Janet’s first to go foreign language. Great news Janet congratulations.

Kaz Delaney ~

Kerri announced during the week that she had been sitting on the news that she had sold her 70k YA novel DEAD, ACTUALLY back in December. Release date March 1212. Congratulations Kaz, that is wonderful news.

Kylie Griffin ~

Kylie finally has a new name for her Golden Heart/Clendon Award winning/Valerie Parv placing manuscript once known as BLOODBORN: Bk1 of the Light Blade series!

Kylie was informed by her editor, they going with VENGEANCE BORN: A Novel of the Light Blade to be released in February 2012 with Berkley Sensation. Wonderful news Kylie. Congratulations.

Rachael Johns ~

A very excited Rachael announced on Friday the she had received ‘The Call’ for her contemporary Christmas Romance to Carina Press. Racael, this really is wonderful news and so deserved. Congratulations.

Shona Husk ~

Shona has signed her 3rd contact with Samhain. Her new story “Brightwater Blood” is a paranormal novella due for released in 2012. WOOHOO Shona. It’s always great to hear this sort of news.

Suzi Love ~

Suzi looks set for another great contest year placing second behind Bron in Historical category of the Linda Howard Award of Excellence. Fantastic Suzi, looking forward to seeing your name on here a lot more this contest season.

CONTESTS for 2011 ~

Our RWA 2011 contest season is quickly coming to an end if you haven’t entered any of the contests so far we have only three left. Check the closing dates below.

Valerie Parv Award

Opens:  Friday February 25, 2011

Closes: Friday April 8th, 2011 CLOSES THIS FRIDAY

See website for details.

Challenges ~

Date for  2011 BIAW

July 25th to 31st

October 24th to 30th

For more information contact Pam Collings


Tuesdays 5 & 12 April
Creative Writing 101 ~ Siboney Duff
When: 6:00pm–8:00pm
Where: SCU room, Byron Community Centre
Cost: $95 M, $125 NM
FMI + Bookings: NRWC OR email OR phone (02) 6685 5115

Saturday 9 April
What Every Writer Should Know – And Most Never Do ~ Colin Falconer
When: 10:00am–1:00pm
Where: SA Writers’ Centre
Cost: $55 M, $77 NM
FMI + Bookings: Email or (08) 8223 7662 or SA Writers’ Centre Website

Saturday 16 April
Story Structure Workshop ~ Kathryn Heyman
When: 11:00am–4:00pm
Where: SCU room, Byron Community Centre
Cost: $65 M, $78 NM
FMI + Bookings: NRWC OR email OR phone (02) 6685 5115

Saturday 30 April
Building Suspense into Fiction ~ Katherine Howell
When: 10:00am–4:00pm
Where: Northern Rivers Writers Centre, SCU room, Byron Community Centre
Cost: $70 M, $85 NM
FMI + Bookings: OR email OR phone (02) 6685 5115

Saturday 30 April
Plotting, planning and avoiding soggy bits ~ Laurine Croasdale
When: 10:00am–4:00pm
Where: NSW Writers’ Centre
Cost: $105 M, $90 MC, $150 NM
FMI + Bookings: NSW Writers’ Centre

Saturday 30 April & Sunday 1 May
Everything you need to know about publishing ~ Linda Funnell & Special Guests
When: 10:00am–4:00pm
Where: NSW Writers’ Centre
Cost: $205 M, $175 MC, $290 NM
FMI + Bookings: NSW Writers’ Centre

Wednesday 4 May
Massaging the Manuscript: The Assessor & the Editor ~ Antoinette Eklund & Belinda Byrne
When: 6:30pm–8:00pm
Where: Victorian Writers’ Centre
Cost: $12 M, $10 MC, $15 NM
FMI + Bookings: Victorian Writers’ Centre OR (03) 9094 7855

Saturday 14 May
Turn up the heat ~ Nicole Murphy
When: 10:00am–1:00pm
Where: ACT Writers’ Centre
Cost: $54 M, $48 MC, $85 NM
FMI + Bookings: ACT Writers’ Centre OR phone (02) 6262 9191


Julie Rowe, a 2006 Golden Heart double finalist, moderates the Announce Online Writing Classes list.

The Announce Online Writing Classes list notifies subscribers of around 25 to 35 workshops available each month. Most tutorials are sponsored by Romance Writers of America chapters, but on occasion, other reputable teachers are handpicked too.

Interested? Subscribe by sending an e-mail

That rounds it up for another week. Congratulations to everyone who had good news to share this week. Don’t forget to support our bloggers.

Happy Reading


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