Natasha Oakley - British Romance Author

Writer of tug-at-the-heartstrings, feel-good romance for Harlequin Mills & Boon

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Romantic Times Review

I'm writing hard today, tucked away in a world of my own making - but this is coffee-break-time and I've not been able to resist looking up the Romantic Times review of my December 'Silhouette Romance' release.

'Millionaire Dad: Wife Needed' is a special book for me because I managed to incorporate one of my personal interests - British Sign Language. There were moments during the birth of this book when I regretted the inclusion of a deaf child because it's tricky to write a 'conversation' when both participants are speaking with their hands!

Although all authors have to accept a review is subjective and just one person's opinion - it is *lovely* when they're nice!!!

Chosen to write the biography of human-rights activist Wendy Bennington, journalist Lydia Stanford is eager to begin, but the project's delayed when Wendy suffers a stroke. Then Lydia has to contend with Wendy's godson, multimillionaire businessman Nick Regan-Phillips, who makes no secret of his lack of trust in her. That changes while Wendy's recovering and Lydia's working on the book. But Lydia's as centered on her career as Nick's ex-wife was, which could be an obstacle. Natasha Oakley's Millionaire Dad: Wife Needed (4) has a clear, well-paced narrative, nicely rounded, colorful characters and a sweet, slow-building romance.

—Catherine Witmer

And doesn't it look beautiful in its latest incarnation as a 'Silhouette Romance'.

And here's the blurb on the back of the book.
Can she help the millionaire bond with his child ...?

Nick Regan-Phillips: a millionaire, whom the world assumes has it all ... but he's got a secret that he's kept from the world - he's a single dad. Nick's daughter, Rosie, is deaf. Nick missed the first five years of Rosie's life, but now she's come to live with him he's struggling to communicate with her ...

Lydia Stanford
: beautiful, courageous, award-winning journalist. And seemingly the only person who can help Nick forge a bond with his daughter ...

But when their fragile relationship is tested, will Lydia realize how much this millionaire dad really means to her - and needs her - before it is too late?

Sunday, October 22, 2006


I've been so touched by the lovely comments and the private emails I've received since my last post. You're all very lovely!

My mum is home for a few days before being transferred to Addenbrook's Hospital in Cambridge. That's going to be a bit of a trek - particularly since my dad can't see well enough to drive now - but it is a fantastic centre for cancer treatment.

Overall, I'm just so grateful my husband is not having treatment at the same time. It makes me feel a little like Marilla in 'Anne of Green Gables' when she says something like 'nothing's perfect but then then nothing is unbearable either'.

I have to admit I've not written anything at all since I heard the news. More because of a lack of time than anything else. There's been so much to do and organise but I really need to start focussing. Bottom on seat, fingers on keyboard ...

I'm going to resist the temptation to tidy my office. Just looking at the writers' caves we posted on the Pink Heart Society blog this last Saturday makes me feel so inadequate. I'm one of those people who feel my life would be perfect if only I could get some more storage!

I have, however, sorted out all my paperwork. Bills must be paid! And guess what I found??? Here in the UK you can now buy postage stamps on the internet. It's very convenient but I'm not sure what I think about that. It can't be good for the network of post offices which are so necessary to rural communities. And it's a little sad to see the end of a tradition dating back more than 160 odd years - the Queen's head is replaced with a barcode.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The reason we need category fiction!

For me, the hardest thing about blogging has been trying to decide whether I should mention all the trials and tribulations of my life. For the last six years I seem to have been a mecca for all things depressing. In fact, it's why I began writing in the first place and, judging from some of the heartbreaking emails I've received, it's why a good number of you read it. Life can be tough. And mine has taken another downward shift.

We had good news concerning my husband's cancer - but within two days my mum was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer. At this precise moment I feel cold and sick. And I'm tired from juggling all the millions of things I need to do each day.

Writing will be my solace. There is nothing better than disappearing into a world where I'm in complete control. My fellow Pink Hearters tease me for rejecting all books and movies that don't give me a happy ending - but who can blame me??

What I love most about writing for 'Romance' is that I'm able to give my characters real problems and issues - the kind we all face - and then I can give them the resolution we all desperately want for our own lives. We're having fun in the Pink Heart Society defending category fiction from those who denegrate it - but what's to defend? If the books we write and read celebrate love triumphant what's wrong with that?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Hugh Jackman's Birthday

I know we've already had a Hugh Jackman day curtesy of the Pink Heart Society - but what kind of a Pink Heart blogger would I be if I didn't tell you that today is 'the' Hugh Jackman day???

Hugh Michael Jackman was born 12th October 1968 - and didn't he turn out well!

6ft 3" tall
Fluent in German
Extremely near-sighted
Likes sushi - actually, not so sure about that one. I hate sushi. Anyone else???

Now I must stop 'researching' and concentrate on my WIP. It's slow going. Not because I'm finding it difficult to write but because I'm lacking time. Being ill set me back and now my mum has been taken into hospital.

I do wish life was as easy to control as fiction.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Sean Bean

I'm feeling so much better now - though not 100%. Still, I did manage to do my 'Male on Monday' blog for the Pink Heart Society. (Trish Wylie had to step in and do my Saturday Surprise this week. Thanks, Trish!)

I've placed British actor Sean Bean in the Pink Heart Society Hall of Fame. And here, especially for Michelle Styles, is a picture of him in Troy.

There just isn't room in one blog to post all my inspirational photos. :)

Troy aside I had a couple of other unforgiveable omissions - Carver in 'Lorna Doone' (and yes I know I was attracted to the villian)

and Lovelace in 'Clarissa' (which is, actually, as bad!).

Now, must write. I'm soooo far behind where I should be by now!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Displacement Activities 2

My head still feels like it's stuffed with cotton wool. Not a good feeling!

I'm going to make another lempsip and see if I can conjure any words today. I think it might be possible - it certainly wasn't yesterday.

In the meantime I've discovered:

You Are A Realistic Romantic

It's easy for you to get swept away by romance...
But you've done a pretty good job keeping perspective.
You're still taken in by love poems and sunsets
You just don't fall for every dreamy pick up line!

I think that's probably a good thing???

Monday, October 02, 2006

Displacement Activities!

Now, on top of everything else, I'm sick. It's more than a cold but probably not as bad as flu - but I'm prepared to debate that with you! Since Saturday I've spent considerably more hours asleep than awake.

My poor book!

Fortified with lempsip I've now done my blog for the Pink Heart Society ready for tomorrow. And I've gone on a wander of other people's blogs and discovered Kate Hardy and I have much in common. I, too, appear to be a sunrise.
You Are Sunrise

You enjoy living a slow, fulfilling life. You enjoy living every moment, no matter how ordinary.
You are a person of reflection and meditation. You start and end every day by looking inward.
Caring and giving, you enjoy making people happy. You're often cooking for friends or buying them gifts.
All in all, you know how to love life for what it is - not for how it should be.
I've also discovered we're right in the middle of British Food Fortnight. Rather depressingly I now know the ten most dangerous foods when it comes to my waist line and since I'm in a sharing mood ...
. Chips - have high level of trans fats
. Chocolate
. Pizza
. White Bread - which is bleached, aged with chlorine dioxide and then whitened by chalk. Really must tell my children that!
. Cola
. Sweets
. Coffee - which, among many sins, contributions to cellulite.
. Ice Cream
. Hot Dog - high in salt and preservatives
. Cheese

Then to cheer myself up I wandered through the winning entries of a National Trust competition to find the ugliest vegetable in England. I'm pleased to announce my own county of Bedfordshire came away with the top prize.

In case you're in any doubt, it's a parsnip. The competition was designed to encourage people to grow their own veg and challenge the cosmetically perfect examples we find in supermarkets. I'm all for that BUT ... How exactly would you prepare a parsnip that looks like something from the deep?

Now, wish me luck, I'm going to see if my befuddled brain is capable of writing anything sensible!