I know I'm in my own little world, but it's OK.
They know me here...


Tuesday, August 27, 2013


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 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.

Release date: 1 February 2013 (for the first of five serialized episodes)
Release date: 1 June (for the Omnibus edition)
Publisher: Momentum

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…

Adina's books:

You can find out more about Adina on her website, or follow her on Twitter, Facebook or Goodreads.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

CONFERENCE TIME: Memorable Moments with...Sasha Cottman

Conference season has started! Woohoo! No more counting down the days until I meet up with friends I usually only see once a year.

So much gets packed into 3-4 days and everyone's experiences are different. We go away with a variety of highlights or "a-ha" moments.

I thought I'd poll some of my RWAustralia & RWNew Zealand friends and ask them to recall their most memorable moments of the conferences they've been to.

I hope you've been enjoying the snippets I've been featuring. For any first timers out there, don't be nervous or afraid of going to conference. More often than not you're going to find yourself welcomed VERY warmly and will probably go away with a host of friends whom you can't wait to meet next year at conference.


Sasha's Memories: My aha moment was at the Melbourne conference 2011, when the workshop guest, Bob Mayer mentioned that your first manuscript was for learning and you should put it away and forget about it.

The Hilton Ballroom - attendees in a workshop

I had struggled with my first attempt at a novel for over two years. Sitting in the middle of the Hilton ballroom, I made the decision to put my manuscript aside and start a new story.

The following week I began the manuscript for Letter from a Rake which is now about to be released by Destiny Romance.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

RWNew Zealand conference!

I hadn't planned on going to "A Capital Affair", the Romance Writers of New Zealand conference this year (not with RWAmerica & RWAustralia - the budget didn't stretch quite far enough to do three conferences) but some wonderful people on the RWNZ conference committee decided to invite me as a workshop presenter this year and I accepted.

So the stars & planets aligned and I'm winging my way over to Wellington, New Zealand tomorrow!

My wonderful BILD friends - the Book-in-50-Days loop!

Not only will I get to catch up with a whole host of wonderful Kiwi friends but I'm uber-excited to be presenting two workshops and moderating an author panel.

* Following the Yellow Brick Road: The Journey to Publication Panel (Kylie Griffin, Nalini Singh, Yvonne Lindsay, Louisa George, Catherine Robertson) - if you're attending this is your chance to ask anything and everything of 5 authors about the industry & business of being a published author. There's no question too silly!

* The Rip-Tide of Social Media - I'm sharing my experiences in using various forms of social media and offering tips on how to best utilise it.

* Welcome to My Worlds:Paranormal & World-Building - a look at world-building and writing paranormal romances.

The crowd at conference!

Will I see you there?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


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 Peta Crake.

Peta Crake grew up in a small town on the south coast of Western Australia, where the idea of fairies and monsters residing in the thick forests was perfectly believable.

After spending nearly a decade living in Japan and revelling in its culture, she turned her hand to writing.

Now living back in Australia with a husband, two kids, a cuddle-addicted cat, and a thoroughly confused dog, she writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance full of strong sassy heroines, surprising heroes and disturbed side-kicks.

Release Date - August 2012
Publisher - Destiny Romance
Call Story - I originally pitched this book to Penguin at the RWA Melbourne conference in 2011. They requested a partial then the full manuscript but then sent back a lovely "revise and resubmit" letter.

It took me a few months to sort out some of the problems and I had just finished editing it for the second round of the Emerald Award when Sarah Fairhall contacted me. She told me that Penguin were starting up a new digital first imprint and if I had made the suggested revisions she would love to read the manuscript as she thought it would be perfect for it. She loved the changes I had made and about four or so months later Harbinger became one of the launch books for Destiny Romance.

What made it even more special was, at the Melbourne conference I decided I wanted to be able to stand up and get my first sales ribbon at the next conference and I just made it.

Peta accepting her First Sale ribbon
About your book:
Hero - Aden Karras, demigod son of Aphrodite and Adonis.
Heroine - Ophelia Lind (Phi),  a human messenger for the gods with a dislike of the deities she works for, and her father Hermes in particular.
Setting - Perth, Western Australia.

As a messenger for the all-powerful and sometimes frightening gods, suburban Aussie girl Ophelia Lind is used to being at their beck and call. When gorgeous demigod Aden moves into her neighbourhood and starts taking advantage of her services, she believes life could not get any worse.
She's about to be proven very wrong.
Without warning an odious creature - evil incarnate - begins to stalk her. Ophelia is accustomed to adventures and scrapes but this is different. Even Aden, finds it difficult to protect her. Suddenly Ophelia is in a battle for survival and begins to question everything - her upbringing, her identity and her true feelings for the alluring and entirely frustrating Aden.

The scarlet seal on the black scroll glowed and disappeared as soon as it touched Aden’s outstretched hand. His eyes flicked up to look at me; the spark of interest in them sent warning shudders down my spine. He slowly looked me up and down, as if appraising a piece of furniture he wanted to buy.
‘So you are one of Hermes’ little friends. Glad to see he is making his messengers more attractive.’
‘I’m sure Daddy dearest didn’t do it for your benefit.’
Aden couldn’t have looked more surprised if I had slapped him across the face with a fish. ‘Hermes is your father?’
‘Supposedly.’ I wasn’t about to tell him I had never met the god and the only thing Hermes had ever given me was my job and a lonely mother. I hadn’t even inherited any demigod powers.
Aden’s forehead crinkled as he slowly re-read the message. I would have given anything to see what Aunt Hera had written, but that was not part of my job description. I could touch but not look. He glanced up at me again, eyes full of speculation. Time to go. If I didn’t, I was going to say something I would regret. The guy seriously set my nerves on edge.
 ‘Wait.’ He touched my arm to stop me from leaving, and then waved his hand over the scroll to record a new message. It sealed automatically as he handed it to me, the red wax forming a perfect circle as a pulsing gold bar of light flowed through it.
‘Take this to Nym Dryad.’
‘Your wish is my command.’
‘Oh yes, I know.’ He dismissed me with a cocky grin and a flick of his hand.

Any upcoming releases?
My latest release, REVELRY, was out 14th August through Destiny Romance. It is a paranormal romance involving wolf shifters, a serial killer and a chocolate shop.

Shifter Revelry Bell is on the run. Pursued by both her pack and the Enforcers of the Preternatural Council, there are few places to hide. When her cash starts dwindling, Revelry picks up work in the small town of Ridgewood, USA. Trouble is, Ridgewood is home to a large shifter community and staying hidden isn't easy. Particularly with the sexy Connor Blythe home on leave and watching Revelry's every move.

Connor is everything Revelry is trying to avoid. A fellow wolf, he is also an Enforcer, and very suspicious of the new girl in town. But when danger and violence rock Ridgewood to its core, Revelry must decide if she can trust him, even if it means losing her freedom – or possibly even her life.

You can find out more about Peta on her website, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

CONFERENCE TIME: Memorable Moments with...Anna Jacobs

Conference season has started! Woohoo! No more counting down the days until I meet up with friends I usually only see once a year.

So much gets packed into 3-4 days and everyone's experiences are different. We go away with a variety of highlights or "a-ha" moments.

I thought I'd poll some of my RWAustralia & RW New Zealand friends and ask them to recall their most memorable moments of the conferences they've been to.

I hope you've been enjoying the snippets I've been featuring. For any first timers out there, don't be nervous or afraid of going to conference. More often than not you're going to find yourself welcomed VERY warmly and will probably go away with a host of friends whom you can't wait to meet next year at conference.

Short & sweet this week - enjoy!

Anna's Memories: Kylie, my most memorable moment from a conference is someone peering closely at my hair and saying in surprise, ‘You don’t colour your hair, do you?’ Just because I’m older, I suppose.

Anna Jacobs
I come from a baby-faced family and my father’s hair was still ‘salt and pepper’ when he died at 87.

The comment wasn’t meant at all nastily, I hasten to add. I think the person was just surprised. I’ve never met a nasty person at a conference.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

RWAustralia conference!

The Romance Writers of Australia are converging on Fremantle, Western Australia, for its annual conference ("Riding the Waves" theme this year!) - and I don't know if the city and its people will realise just what hit it come Monday morning!

At the RWA Awards dinner
It's my first trip over to Western Australia to attend the conference and I'm so looking forward to seeing some more of Australia.

Some of the highlights coming up:
  • the RWA Awards dinner - every year this is the time we celebrate the achievements of our published and unpublished authors.
  • The VPA Minion Breakfast - on the Sunday morning previous VPA winners meet to welcome the newest Minion into Valerie's Horde.
  • ARRA Book-Signing event - it's always lovely to meet readers face-to-face and chat about our love for books
  • meeting up with fellow writers we usually only see once a year at conference
  • attending a myriad of workshops and upskilling!
The ARRA Book-Signing event
 I'm so looking forward to this year's conference - I can't wait!

The Valerie Parv Award Minion Breakfast

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

ARRA Author Chat is live!

As part of the Australian Romance Readers Association ‘Author Chat’ program, ARRA Host Sharon recently interviewed me.

The video is now available for viewing!

Or you can watch it here!

I chat about my books, including books in the planning, as well as my world building techniques and obsession with all things paranormal/fantasy.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

GUEST AUTHOR: Dakota Harrison

Dakota Harrison and I met several years ago, during our days of entering writing contests. Within a year we met face-to-face at a Romance Writers of Australia conference where we realised we were as passionate and obsessed about writing as each other (we both loved writing paranormal romances, particularly fantasy romances), AND we were undeniably as crazy as Mad Hatters (this was a friendship destined to flourish!).

We're now writing buddies, and geographically about 5 hours apart, but we don't let distance or time stop us getting together to talk about all things writer-ly. We're two of a small group of writers who make up the ELE writing group (Evil League of Evil - yes, I know, this confirms our pick up on the next trip to the nearest institution, but the orderlies have to catch us first!).

But I digress!

This her post, not mine, and EXHALE is her debut contemporary romance novel. Please welcome my good friend-in-mayhem-and-madness, and writing buddy, Dakota Harrison!

Hi Kylie, and thank you for having me today!

My debut release, EXHALE, has a Japanese hero. I was asked by Kylie to explain how my fascination with Japan and Japanese heroes came about. I’ve never been there (it’s on my bucket list!) but I’m a major history fan – Egypt and Japan being the two that most caught my attention from a young age. Anime has been a huge interest for me since childhood, so it was a natural progression from the children’s versions, to the adult.

For years I received a subscription from Harlequin MIRA. Once a month, I’d get three new books in my letterbox. One set contained a book called, ICE BLUE, by Anne Stuart. I fell in love with the not-so-nice Japanese hero about three chapters in.

This was the year I joined Romance Writers of Australia – the first time I’d even heard about a writing association for readers/writers of a genre I loved. And the funniest thing? Anne Stuart was one of the keynote speakers at that first conference I attended that year.

During one of her workshops, this idea flashed into my head, so I madly wrote notes while trying to listen to the rest of the workshop. Those notes turned into a romantic suspense novel.

Near the end of the session, Anne mentioned J-Rock and J-Pop. My ears pricked up. I'm a huge music fan, and the thought of Japanese rock piqued my interest. I went home from the fabulous conference weekend, and googled J-Pop. What I found had me glued to YouTube for *days*.

Over the next few months I bought CD's and DVD's of  a particular group, and immersed myself in the language and styles. At the same time, a story for a romance was growing in the back of my head, so I ran with it. I was writing a fantasy romance at the same time, and gave myself permission to write this one as well – for me. It was a way for me to feel-out a genre I loved to read, but had never attempted to write, and also a way to get an idea on how I would write a hero from a different culture.

I researched until I couldn’t see straight, and became hooked on Yakuza history and how it influenced modern culture. I’d had a love affair with the Samurai as a teenager, and this research just reinforced it.

What I was coming to see about the culture was how I wanted my hero to be. Strong. Respectful. Determined. Honorable. Inscrutable. More than a little mysterious. All these things spoke to me about how they lived their lives, and how I would want a man to treat me.

While not Yakuza, my hero, Taka, has connections to the organization. This isn't mentioned until the last chapters, as it’s not his story. His family left Japan to get away from the influence, but his cousin, Shin, is a Yakuza prince, and firmly entrenched in the organization.

So, what began as teenage interest and curiosity, became the strong fascination that has created several worlds within that culture – all from different angles. One who left and chose a different life for himself; one who embraces all that he is within that world; and one who places himself outside the organization but makes himself indispensable and plans to bring the entire thing down around the ears of the corrupt Families.

I also developed a small crush on an actor. He was my muse for the story of EXHALE.

My love of Japan and Asia has even influenced my fantasy and sci-fi romance writing, with attributes from Asian culture pervading my elven world building.

Takeshi is finishing up a brutal double shift in the ER when a familiar—and bloody—face erases all thought of heading home. The broken body of the woman fighting for her life belongs to Gabby, his best friend’s mother. A woman he's loved since he turned nineteen, when he foolishly declared his love for her.
 She’s not dying today. Not on his watch. And not with a promise left unfulfilled.
Gabby has never forgotten the taste of the kiss Taka gave her under the mistletoe all those years ago. Or the silly promise that surely by now he’s forgotten. She’s wrong. Taka remembers. And she melts as he uses every trick in his highly trained surgeon’s hands to heal her—and rekindle the heat between them.
But there’s a secret lurking in Gabby’s past. And when it follows her all the way to Seattle, it threatens to drag the one man she loves into the nightmare she thought she’d left behind.

Amazon     Samhain    B&N     Fishpond

Dakota's Bio: My first attempt at writing a book was about my first love – horses.

But this was no ordinary horse, he was from Alpha Centauri and could talk. I also illustrated this book. I learned the hard way that my writing was far better than my drawing skills.

Growing up on a steady diet of romance novels and sci-if/fantasy in a house where reading of all kinds was encouraged, I never tired of finding fabulous books in both genres, but none crossing over. I dreamed of the day when the Alpha prince would not only get his princess, but would get the chance to bring their relationship to the fore, making it a major plot line. After marrying and having two fabulous children, I decided to combine my two loves and write the books I wanted to read. I love writing both Alpha and Beta heroes, all whom I torture and make fall to their knees before their heroine and beg her for mercy.

 I live in a (not-so) sunny part of Queensland, Australia, with my human and fur-kids, and harbor a strange love of UGG boots. K- and J-Pop feature heavily in my home, especially when drafting my novels, drawing inspiration for my heroes from the music videos and anime, much to my children’s delight and my husband’s sufferance.

Dakota's next book, BREATHLESS, another contemporary romance, comes out from Samhain on October 28th, 2013!

She ran half a world away to escape from her past…and found the one man who can heal her heart.
It’s been three years since a seemingly insignificant decision destroyed Emma’s life. Western Colorado is a long way for an Australian girl to run from the suffocating guilt she feels, but it isn’t far enough. 
So she’s made herself a promise: No men, no responsibility. Ever again. That was before her pipes burst, and the crusty old plumber she was expecting turns out to be six-foot-two of brooding hard body with a killer smile—which he rarely aims in her direction. 
Gabe doesn’t like it. Even through a layer of plaster dust, Emma’s beauty shines through and grabs him hard. Her laugh wraps around his lungs until he forgets how to breathe. But he’s still looking for pieces of the broken heart another woman’s betrayal left in its wake.
Pretty women are trouble, end of story. 
Too bad no one told his determinedly matchmaking sister. Her efforts could crash and burn, for all he cares. He’s not interested. Not now, now ever. Now if he could only convince his body.


Time for a new series, and what an exciting one it is - 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 Louise Forster.

Louise Forster grew up in a Victorian country town. She ran barefoot along dirt roads and loved looking through the leaves of tall eucalypts at the azure summer skies.

Eventually, she grew up, and the country town became a suburb of Melbourne. Running barefoot to catch her train to work would have caused more than a few raised eyebrows so she opted for stilettos, of course.

At eighteen, Louise travelled through Europe, parts of Africa and the Pacific Islands. These days Louise lives on the far north coast of New South Wales on a small property that includes her extended family, three dogs, three cats and all manner of wildlife.

Release Date –  1st February
Publisher – Escape Publishing

Call Story – I didn’t hear about Harlequin’s Escape Publishing until the first round of authors were announced. Anyone would think I live in a cave and never venture out. The cave does have a window and I do make my escape sometimes.

I submitted a manuscript and thought, they won’t accept…nuh, I’ll never be that lucky. May as well deal with the inevitable now and soften the blow when the rejection come comes through. One morning, not expecting anything, I saw their email.

I looked at it for a couple of beats, took a deep breath, opened it and read, “Thank you for submitting Finding Elizabeth to Escape Publishing. I'm delighted to accept it for publication.”

Arms reaching for the sky, (have no idea why I did that) I jumped out of my office chair, ran around the house, yelling, Aarrgghh YAY-YAY-YAY!!!! I did it-I did it!

Flowers given to Louise by her son-in-law.
DH hugged me tight and took me out to lunch. Dear son-law came home with the biggest bunch of flowers he could find. Hugs and kisses from our DD’s and DGC. Lots of love and huge smiles all around me.

About your book:
Hero   Australian, Jack Riley, had a flawed upbringing, which he has overcome. He’s strong, takes control when heroine is in danger. Always gentle, caring, loving. Knows what he wants and is out to get it. Since he wants Katherine, he’ll freeze his butt off to make her his.
Heroine – Katherine Bell, is a loving, gentle person. She is strong, and protective of those she loves. Katherine makes the difficult decision to give up ballet and take up a new career. Falling in love with Jack soon proves there are far greater challenges ahead for her.
Setting   It’s almost Christmas in a snowbound country town in Alberta Canada.

She’d give anything for a mobile phone connection, and an empty biscuit tin.
Katherine Bell has finally returned home. She’s left the bright lights and the besotted stalker behind—or so she thinks. Can her newly rescued furry sidekick keep her safe? There’s a blizzard outside, and a daredevil girlfriend in her bed; and if that wasn’t enough, sexy Australian Jack Riley needs to be kept at arm’s length. So why did she let him kiss her? Especially since she knew Jack would leave the moment he found the person he was searching for. When Katherine disappears, will Jack go searching for her?
Will Jack’s laid-back strength, tenderness and light-hearted banter change Katherine’s mind about him? He’s full of surprises. Will one too many have Katherine running for cover?

(From CHAPTER 2 Jack sees Katherine across the street.)

Jack Riley’s butt hit the icy bench. Instantly, the brutal cold pierced his skin through a thick layer of thermal underwear and denim.
Man, it was freezing. He should never have slogged into town wearing tennis racquets on his feet. With every step, snow splattered up the back of his legs. The locals must think him a novice. No, rephrase that, the locals knew he was a novice.
Stretching to remove the kinks from his spine and legs, Jack tried to catch as much of the sun’s rays as possible. He could have been lazing on white, sandy beaches under the tropical sun of Port Douglas or Sydney; instead he was in an icebox that made his face ache, his eyes water and his nose drip. He felt like moaning—so he did.
He lifted his sunglasses and rested them on the ridiculous multicoloured hat with a pom-pom on top…Everything about his hat made him smile.      
“Wow, who’s that?” he whispered and quickly forced his slouching body upright.
A young woman had stopped at the kerb opposite him, making sure it was safe before she crossed. The blades of her skates, slung casually over one shoulder, flashed as they caught the sun. Her long raven hair, in brilliant contrast to her red snow hat, had escaped the scarf wound around her nose and face, and the dark waves bounced and fluttered in her wake. She had pushed her sunglasses up on top of her hat and all Jack could see were two inches of pale skin and a pair of expressive eyes. When her eyes met Jack’s, he held his breath.
If only he could see the rest of her face. She made his blood pulse hot through his body, which moments ago had almost been frostbitten. Her elegant posture, the sway of her hips and her long legs—everything about her made him smile.
Pull the scarf down. Come on, pull the scarf down.
Something about her seemed familiar. She waited in the centre of the road for a battered cream pickup to pass. It left a trail of polluted condensation. She coughed, and waved at the smog. It can’t be, Jack smiled. She came closer and caught him staring. Their eyes locked for a heartbeat. Oh, oh. Did he see a spark of anger—or worse accusation?
Dismissing him, she scanned the area up and down the street in search of something or someone. She was humming, perhaps to cover the fact that she was nervous, or wary. She approached, to the right of him, just feet away now, and her gaze dropped, pinning him with clear, blue eyes.
“G'day,” he said, giving her his best, slow easy smile.
Was that a nod? He wanted it to be. As she passed, the air moved and he caught a hint of her perfume; a light scent, a promise of spring.

Louise's lovely beach view

You can find out more about Louise and her books at her website, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

CONFERENCE TIME: Memorable Moments with...Christine Taylor

Conference season has started! Woohoo! No more counting down the days until I meet up with friends I usually only see once a year.

So much gets packed into 3-4 days and everyone's experiences are different. We go away with a variety of highlights or "a-ha" moments.

I thought I'd poll some of my RWAustralia & RW New Zealand friends and ask them to recall their most memorable moments of the conferences they've been to.

I hope you've been enjoying the snippets I've been featuring. For any first timers out there, don't be nervous or afraid of going to conference. More often than not you're going to find yourself welcomed VERY warmly and will probably go away with a host of friends whom you can't wait to meet next year at conference.


Chris's Memories: What I love about RWA conferences is the fantastic atmosphere of excitement, anticipation and enthusiasm as old friends re-connect and new friendships are made.

Erin O'Hara & Chris - new friends!
There's nothing quite like being in a room of 300+ (mostly) women all talking/shouting/gabbling/cheering/sharing/laughing about romance and the art of writing it. To live and breathe and dream and talk romance non-stop for three or four days is exhilarating, liberating and oh, so much fun.

How could you not want to be part of it?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

NEW AUTHOR SERIES: Jacquie Underdown

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 possible moments.

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. 

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.

Autumn Leone travels to India to find answers about her unique ability to see into other’s minds. But instead of answers she finds love. It takes one night of passion to fall for Jet Stark, whom fate had sent her half way around the world to meet. But, too soon, Autumn is to fly back to Australia and out of his life.
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 woman.
But a connection like theirs proves impossible to sever.
Reunited 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?

“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.
She nods.
“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.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

CONFERENCE TIME: Memorable Moments with...Erin Kuhne

Conference season has started! Woohoo! No more counting down the days until I meet up with friends I usually only see once a year.

So much gets packed into 3-4 days and everyone's experiences are different. We go away with a variety of highlights or "a-ha" moments.

I thought I'd poll some of my RWAustralia & RW New Zealand friends and ask them to recall their most memorable moments of the conferences they've been to.

I hope you've been enjoying the snippets I've been featuring. For any first timers out there, don't be nervous or afraid of going to conference. More often than not you're going to find yourself welcomed VERY warmly and will probably go away with a host of friends whom you can't wait to meet next year at conference.


Erin's Memories: My memoral moment would have to be at my very first conference in Brisbane, five years ago.

As a newbie I felt a little lost until Kylie Griffin took me under her wing, showed me the ropes and introduced me to other RWA members. She also invited me to sit at a table with a group of lovely women who smiled warmly at me and included me in their conversations.

Bec McMaster, Dakota Harrison, Nicky Strickland-Cavalchini, Erin Kuhne, Kylie Griffin
It wasn't long before I discovered I was sitting at a table of hugely successful authors I had only ever heard of. I was in awe of these ladies who were so down to earth, friendly and encouraging.

Nowadays when I come across these ladies at conferences, I'm not so much in awe as just plain delighted to see and speak with them again.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Massive Book & Swag Giveaway!

Riverina Romantics have organized another HUGELY AWESOME giveaway for you.

So many talented authors in the one place, giving away a whole heap of goodies ... lots of e-books! E-books galore!!!

Yes, there's a signed print copy of VENGEANCE BORN up for grabs (open internationally)! And check out the cool swag!

Head on over and enter the Rafflecopter to win!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Aussie Author Giveaway!

Enjoy paranormal romance? Fantasy romance? Urban fantasy? Post-apocalyptic romance? Steampunk romance?

Would you jump at a chance or three to win a box full of these sorts of books?

Who, what, where, when and how can I win? - I hear you cry!

Well, 9 Aussie paranormal romance authors have banded together and each have donated books and swag from their latest series to go into the Aussie Author Giveaway - three huge giveaway packages which will be on display at some of the specialty romance bookstores here in Australia.

Rendezvous Books (Victoria) will host the first box of goodies and the giveaway will run the entire month of June 2013.

The second box of authorly-goodness will reside at Rosemary's Romance Bookstore (Queensland) right through July 2013.

The third box of giveaway-fun will be with Galaxy Books (Sydney) over August 2013.

All readers have to do is order a book (or books) from these stores in the designated giveaway month - either in person or online. You'll earn one entry per purchase in the Giveaway. The prize winner will be drawn at the end of the month and the Aussie Author Giveaway box of goodies will be posted to you.

NB. Due to postage costs, entry is restricted to Australian readers.

So, come on Aussies, come on! Support your specialty romance bookstores, get to know some local Aussie authors - and you could find a huge parcel of books in your mailbox at the end of June, July or August!

Participating authors:

Bec McMaster
Christina Ashcroft

Erica Hayes
Keri Arthur
Kylie Griffin
Kylie Scott


Rowena Cory Daniells

Shona Husk