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 Adina West.
Adina West grew up on a remote property on Australia’s east coast, in country New South Wales. She spent most of her childhood curled up with a book, and her first teenage job was shelving books at the local library, where she was cautioned more than once for reading them instead of putting them away.
Her first stories were laboriously typed up with two fingers on her parents’ old typewriter. Her dream of one day being a published writer progressed much faster after she learned to touch type and switched to a computer.
Adina lives in Sydney’s leafy north-west with her IT guru husband, two children, and a couple of unwelcome possums who really don’t know how to take a hint. You can visit her online at www.adinawest.com.
Title: DARK CHILD
Release date: 1 February 2013 (for the first of five serialized episodes)
Release date: 1 June (for the Omnibus edition)
Main character: DARK CHILD centers around the experiences of Katerina (Kat) Chanter, a small-town West Virginian pathology technician who discovers a secret about her heritage that will change her life forever.
Setting: DARK CHILD begins in the city of Charleston, West Virginia and the small Appalachian town Richwood, Kat’s hometown. But a new job sees Kat making the big move to New York, and landing herself neck-deep in trouble...
Perfect for fans of The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, this intriguing urban fantasy follows the story of Kat Chanter, who discovers that the world she knows is controlled by ancient creatures who feed on blood. And she might just be one of them …
Lately things have been getting weird for pathology technician Kat Chanter. She’s been craving raw meat, and having dreams so realistic they’re scary. When she accepts a job offer from the prestigious Hema Castus Research Institute, she hopes she’ll have the chance to discover what’s wrong with her, but instead, her move to New York thrusts her headlong into a treacherous hidden world, where the wrong move could be fatal . . .
Tarot, witchcraft and astrology all take on a frightening resonance in Dark Child’s richly imagined alternative reality where vampiric beings live among us, hidden by magic. Dark romance tangles with paranormal fantasy and page-turning suspense in this enthralling tale of ‘dark child’ Kat Chanter, half human and half vampire, who has woken an ancient prophecy and must face a formidable destiny.
DARK CHILD excerpt
Kat’s life is under threat, and she’s hiding out deep in the White Mountains, under the protection of the wild and dangerous unalil…one of whom doesn’t always make her feel completely safe. Meet Alek.
He tilted his head, blue eyes suddenly shining with a slumberous, sensual light. She’d seen that expression before. It sent her imagination tumbling into dark and unfamiliar territory, making her face heat. One minute he had her wanting to flee to safety, and the next . . . She swallowed again, struggling to marshal her wayward thoughts. She didn’t want to be feeling this right now.
“Would it help if you knew I’ve never done anything to a woman that she didn’t want me to do?” Alek asked.
God, that she could certainly believe. A melting heat pooled in her belly, liquid and deep, and she tensed, fighting the unwelcome response. Damn him for the pictures he was putting in her head. He may have been gorgeous, but his behavior around her was so completely over the top. He really did take sexual aggressiveness to a new level.
“Alek, you don’t need to tell me about your . . .”
He laughed. “I meant what I said about fulfilling your desires Kat. If you’ll let me. So if you want a back rub one night . . .”
And here we go with the seduction routine, Kat thought. Maybe I am getting to know him after all.
“Umm . . . yeah, well if I don’t get murdered or kidnapped by the Directorate in the next little while I may keep that in mind.” She might have sounded a little sharp, but he was too intense for comfort, and she did find him unnerving, whether he was trying to intimidate her or turning on the charm. But if she was being honest with herself, what unnerved her most was her own reaction to him. Not to the Alek who was trying his damnedest to seduce her with his words; to the man she sensed hiding beneath the smart comments and overconfidence.
“You’re privileged, Kat. Usually I don’t offer. Usually they beg me. And then later, they beg for more.” He gave a wicked grin.
Kat didn’t smile. She eyed him thoughtfully. “I think you like trying to shock me.”
He shrugged in response. “I think you don’t want to believe the offer’s genuine.” There was an edge to his voice, as if she wasn’t responding the way he’d hoped she would.
Kat blinked. What offer? What in heck had they been talking about, before . . . Oh, that’s right, the back rub. If that was really what he had been offering, which she doubted.
“Okay. Whatever.” She took refuge in silence, and then realized he was holding his hand out in her direction – like he wanted to shake hands.
“Friends?” he asked, with a spine-melting smile, and at that moment Kat thought she could forgive him anything.
My road to publication, and the story of the day I got ‘The Call” (or email!)
"You never answer your mobile phone," my sister always complains. "It's really annoying."
She's right though - I often have my phone muted so it doesn't disturb me when I'm putting my son to sleep...and then I forget to turn the sound back on. So my call was actually a missed call.
But I'll start a bit further back, with the story of how this book came about.
I've been jotting down story ideas since I was a child, but it wasn't 'til I had my first child in 2007 that I started taking what I was doing seriously. I had less free time than I'd ever had before, but I knew I wanted to write.
I'd worked on dozens of ideas over the years, usually not getting more than a few chapters in (or less!) before abandoning them. One manuscript - for a historical romance - I'd spent about six years on, and it was almost complete at 75,000 words. But I was deeply unhappy with it, and not sure why. Looking back, it was because it was riddled with rookie errors - but at the time, I couldn't put my finger on the problem.
Anyway, I'd told myself that I wouldn't start another project until my historical was finished - but I was well and truly blocked. Meanwhile, I'd been reading some paranormal romance by various authors, and then Twilight fever hit...
Late in 2008, I found myself writing something - just a disjointed fragment - in a real-world setting but with paranormal elements. Over the coming months, I kept thinking about the story surrounding that one scene, and early in 2009 I started to write in earnest. By September, I had a complete first draft, and I revised and polished, and then got feedback from a group of wonderful beta readers. By the beginning of 2010, I'd incorporated their suggestions and revised some more, and then I started querying agents. Many months - and many rejections - later, I signed with my agent. She requested further revisions, and I completed them late in 2010.
Unfortunately the GFC hit then, and selling anything to publishers was harder than ever, so it wasn’t until early in 2012 that my agent sent the first part of DARK CHILD to Momentum, Pan Macmillan Australia's new digital-only division.
Then a month or so later, in February 2012, she emailed to say that they'd requested the full. Still, after playing the waiting game for the previous year, I didn't let myself get my hopes up. On a Tuesday morning at the beginning of April, I was at playgroup with my kids, surrounded by screaming children, and somehow, I heard the beep of my phone as a text message came through. It was from my agent, asking me to call her!
And then I checked my email (gotta love these smart phones) and there was one from her, again asking me to call her. Getting not one, but two messages was enough to have me in a mild state of shock, because my agent is more the email type. Until then, I don't think she'd ever rung me before.
So I called her straight back - and she gave me the news that Joel Naoum, the publisher at Momentum, loved DARK CHILD! And he'd made an offer for world e-book rights.
Honestly, I think I was in shock when I first heard - and rather than scaring all the playgroup kids by jumping up and down and squealing, I limited myself to telling all the other mums and contacting my entire family (and my beta gals, my wonderful cheer squad) to let them know the good news!
It’s taken plenty of work to get DARK CHILD edited and polished and ready for the world, but now it’s out there and I couldn’t be prouder. Hearing from readers who’ve enjoyed Kat’s story makes all the hard work worthwhile!
And now, of course, I’m working on the sequel…
You can find out more about Adina on her website, or follow her on Twitter, Facebook or Goodreads.