The series continues, and what an exciting one it is - so many fab new authors!
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 Jacquie Underdown.
Jacquie resides in sunny Brisbane with her husband and two sons. Numbers
and practicality are a way of life for Jacquie as she works as an
accountant by day. So it’s no wonder, for sanity’s sake, she balances
this banality with words, characters and imagination in all other
Jacquie is an author of a number of novels and
writes contemporary women’s fiction that is emotionally driven and
possesses unique themes beyond the constraints of the physical universe.
She strives to offer romance, but with complexity; spirituality,
without the religion. Her novels express a purpose and offer subtle
messages about life, the spirit and, of course, love.
Title – THE PALER SHADE OF AUTUMN
Release Date – 1 February 2013
Publisher – Escape Publishing
Call Story – I didn’t receive a ‘call’ as such but, rather, an email from Kate Cuthbert from Escape. It was 9.30pm and I was just about to jump into the shower when my phone whooshed letting me know that I had an email. I opened it, saw it was from Kate, and my heart began to pound in my chest.
After four years of rejections with the other novels I had written I was anticipating a stock-standard rejection but, instead, the opening lines of the email read, ‘I really, really, really loved your story’. I had never received a personal message back from any publisher, let alone one that started like this, so you can understand that I was so excited I could barely read on.
Unfortunately that first email came with a ‘but’. I had to rewrite the ending of my story to make it happier. So I did and sent it back to Kate.
I checked my emails every five minutes for the next three weeks until my next email came back saying that I needed to change some more things with my ending. So I did. Then, thankfully, the third email read, “Alright, Jacquie, let’s do this.” Two months later, my book was released.
About your book:
Hero – Jet Stark
Heroine – Autumn Leone
Setting – Bodh Gaya, India and Brisbane, Australia with visits to Sydney, Tokyo and Mongolia.
When Autumn bumps into Jet
back in Australia after five long years apart, it’s difficult to dispute
fate’s intention in crossing their paths not only once, but twice.
Autumn knows it is a risk to fall for an old fling, especially because
Jet now happens to be rich, her new boss, and involved with another
But a connection like theirs proves impossible to sever.
with the only man she has ever truly loved, Autumn thinks their
relationship is flawless. But she fails to see that Jet is hiding
secrets from his past. Secrets, which threaten to fracture not only
their love for one another, and her career, but also her relationship
with her family.
Will the truth about her gift and their
unbelievable history be revealed in time before Autumn loses all she
cares about? And will the truth be enough to mend old wounds?
THE PALER SHADE OF AUTUMN Excerpt
“Do you mind if I ask you a question?”
His voice reminds her of his presence and when she raises her head she actually sees him as though for the first time. Before he was a solid shadow, a nebulous structure of strength who had taken her from the lifeless eyes of the old woman and led her, unseeing, to the refuge of this quiet space under a tree. Now, as her mind begins to restore a vague sense of equanimity, he has substance, takes on form, and she is shocked because he is utterly gorgeous. She opens her senses to him, seeing his buttery brown eyes, dark brown hair hanging loosely around his ears and neck, long overdue for a cut. His face possesses a strong, square jaw with a long, masculine nose and full lips. He is tall and lean, shoulders broad, skin tanned an Australian copper and complimented with a few freckles.
“Um,” she answers, shaking her head. “What did you say?”
“I want to know how it is you could see that old woman’s life?”
Autumn’s eyes widen.
“You said that you can see all that she has seen and I want to know how that is possible?”
She glares at her drink bottle and internally berates herself for having even given the hint that she has such ability. Her gift of insight is not something she shares with people, especially men she doesn’t know one thing about. “Bloody old witch,” she whispers, focus
still on her water bottle.
“Are you ok?”
She nods and finally lifts her gaze to his. “I didn’t mean to share that information with you.”
“I see,” he says, eyes narrowing.
She can’t quite look away from those eyes, compassionate and warm, the colour of melting caramels. “I don’t even know your name,” she says.
His lips curl up slightly at the corners. “My name is Jet.” He extends his hand. She glares at it, outstretched before her, but after all that has happened she cannot take his hand in hers. He retracts the gesture after the moment passes.
“And you are?” he asks.
“Autumn?” he questions.
“That’s a beautiful name.”
She lowers her eyes feeling her cheeks prickle.
“It suits you,” he continues.
She inclines her head, eyes narrowed. “How so?”
“You share the shades of autumn, your hair and your eyes.”
Jet is right. Her hair shares the colour of fallen autumn leaves: a luminous russet. And her eyes are of faded grey and blue, like a cloudy autumn sky. Her skin is pale, possessing colour only in her cheeks and in the pink of her plump lips.
“Anyway, I’m sorry,” he says. “That’s appearances—rather off topic.”
Autumn nods and takes in a deep, courage‐drawing breath and reaches for his hand. Why? She doesn’t know. Perhaps because he is a stranger in a strange country, and she will never see him again after today. She first takes his wrist and slowly brings her fingers to the palm of his hand, crawls her fingertips along the length letting splashes of colour and imagery, all belonging to Jet, to saturate her mind.
Any upcoming releases? I have my second novel, BEAUTIFUL ILLUSION, set for release on 1st October 2013, with Escape Publishing.
I also placed in RWA’s Little Gems short story competition so you’ll get to read my contribution, At a Glance, in the Sapphire Anthology.
If you'd like to know more about Jacquie and her books, check out her website or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.