All the featured authors are from the Romance Writers of Australia or Romance Writers of New Zealand, and have just been or are newly published with the digital imprints of Australian publishing houses like - Random House, Harlequin, Penguin and Pan Macmillan.
This week, please welcome Carla Caruso.
Carla Caruso was born in Adelaide, Australia, grew up amid a boisterous extended Italian family – yet somehow managed to become a bookworm...
She’s worked as a newspaper and magazine journalist, government PR and fashion stylist. The romance genre appeals as she is a sucker for rom-coms.
Title – SECOND CHANCE
Release Date – February 10, 2013
Publisher – Penguin’s Destiny Romance
Call Story – My call story began in 2012 with my first book out with Destiny Romance, Cityglitter (about a half-fairy girl who does the one thing she promised herself she’d never do: fall in love with a human!).
I emailed a submission to Penguin’s ‘Monthly Catch’ unsolicited slush pile, not expecting to get a response as usual. I’d sent out various emails for previous manuscripts with no luck! But in a few weeks, I did get a response, asking if I could ‘up’ the romance thread of the story and resubmit. I did, working madly, and the rest is history!
About your book:
Hero - Lance Devic is the best friend of the heroine’s ex, who she never really noticed before. But he keeps popping up and messing with her head. Lance has never been one to embrace the new, preferring old-style music, cars, cameras and clunky antique presses… which may have something to do with him not wanting to forget the past as his mum died when he was young.
Heroine - On the night of her 36th birthday, Flora Brunelli is full of regrets. The celebrations have turned sour and life hasn’t gone according to plan. She wishes she could be 20 again. Then she finds herself zapped back in time, landing in the summer of 1998 when she was 20 years old. The Spice Girls are at the top of the charts and The X-Files is the hit TV show. It’s also the week Flora’s life unravelled. For Flora, this is a chance to change her future.
Setting – Adelaide, Australia (some say the small city’s still stuck in the ‘90s… you can joke like this, when you’re from there!)
SECOND CHANCE excerpt
‘I thought I said no questions.’ I sigh, fluffing up the feather boa I’ve stolen from the makeup room, currently draped over my semi-naked front in an attempt at modesty. This is where the Old Me’s tendency to throw caution to the wind got me: Major Humiliation Land.
Lance shakes his head, next to me in his Capri, parked in the shadowy side street alongside Xavier’s studio. TLC’s ‘Waterfalls’ wafts from his radio. ‘You can’t turn up looking like that and expect me not to wonder what the hell is going on. You could be caught up in something terrible for all I know, like, I don’t know…a prostitution ring or something.’
I roll my eyes. ‘Thank you very much, but I’m not. Trust me, this,’ I gesture at my poor excuse for an outfit, including a pale blue hand towel masquerading as a skirt and, of course, my black bra, ‘looks worse than it is.’
Lance bangs a hand on the steering wheel, looking anywhere but at me. ‘Do you need more shifts at the newsagency? Is that what this is?’
Oh, man. He really thinks I’m moonlighting as an exotic dancer. He has me pegged for that sort of girl. I’m mildly offended. A sigh escapes through my gritted teeth.
‘Look.’ I turn around, readjusting the towel on my lap so I don’t reveal quite so much thigh. Unfortunately, the fabric has a suspect-looking stain in one corner. Ew. ‘I’ll tell you what happened only if you swear not to tell Ruben or Clementine or, okay, anyone for that matter. Promise?’
Lance glances at me, then, flushing, looks ahead again, his jaw clenched. ‘Fine.’
I suck in a breath, watching a fly tiptoe across the dashboard. Right. Speeding up my explanation might make it less painful, like ripping off a Band-Aid. ‘Okay, I responded to an ad in the paper about posing for a semi-nude portrait for an artist – a respected artist – but I got cold feet. Bad. I realised what a stupid impulsive idea it was and suddenly wanted to get the hell out of there. So I called you, then escaped out of the bathroom mid-shoot. Hence,’ I look down, ‘my lack of proper clothing.’
Thank goodness phones with cameras weren’t ubiquitous in the nineties. It would have been a money shot to catch me wiggling through the window in next to nothing. My arms and legs bear the scratches. Lance remains stony-faced as though processing the information…
You can find out more about Carla on her website, blog or follow her on Twitter.
Other books by Carla: