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


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

CONFERENCE: RWAustralia (Part 1)

I had never been to Western Australia, so this year when the Romance Writers of Australia conference was going to be in Fremantle, WA, I jumped at the chance to see more of my home country. And wow, it was worth the turbulence-filled trip over to the west coast!

The conference was held in the beautiful Esplanade Hotel, right down on the waterfront of Fremantle and within walking distance of so many restaurants and cafes. It made for a great excuse for going out for coffee and meals!

The Esplanade

A friend and I discovered Joe's Fish Shack the first night we were there - I highly recommend going there for a night or three, if you're ever in Fremantle. The service, the ambiance, and the food are well worth it.

Joe's Fish Shack
Inside Joe's - old memorabilia of all things coastal & local

I had a few cocktails, and could not go past the seafood chowder (yes, I ordered it three nights running!).

An Aussie Gold - my fav cocktail at Joe's

To-die-for Seafood Chowder!

I also shared a Seafood Platter for One with my friend as well as tried the grilled sea perch.

Upmarket fish 'n' chips! Yummo!!!

My friend and I also took a turn or ten on the Skyview Ferris Wheel the first night when we wandered the waterfront. It gave a great view of the foreshore and the lights of Fremantle.

A great way to check out Fremantle up high
Next post I'll share some of the highlights of the RWA/Harlequin cocktail party!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Saturday Seven (Masters of the Shadowlands series)

It's Saturday Seven!

Cherise Sinclair is now an auto-buy for me. I love her intense, character driven erotic romances. The BDSM elements woven into her stories aren't everyone's cup of tea (fair warning - this series revolves around a group of people at a BDSM club called Shadowlands and the lifestyle is an intricate component in her characters lives and the plot) but I enjoy reading this genre as much as I do science fiction romance or urban fantasy. The setting is as integral to the story as the characters conflicts.

This scene comes from CLUB SHADOWLANDS, the first book in The Shadowlands series. After a breakdown outside Shadowlands, Jessica's intrigued by what she observes while inside the club and the owner, Zachary, is more than interested in introducing her to the lifestyle when he senses her interest.

Life has taught Jessica that there's little difference between a man who dominates a woman through fear and a Dom - or so she thinks. Zachary (or Master Z as he's known within Shadowlands) helps her to understand there is a huge difference.
"Mmm, there's quite a bit I don't know about you, either." Like why his little sub kept attacking Doms. He pulled her back so he could massage the muscles in front of her shoulders.
"Like what?" she murmured. With her worry abated, her emotions had turned to a warm hum, almost like a purr.
"You've been in the club two nights and attacked a Dom each night to defend someone. Instead of finding a dungeon monitor, you jump right in."

Jessica felt her mind go blank and she tried to sit up. "I...Anyone would do the same, keep someone from being hurt."
"Of course. What makes it so personal for you, Jessica?" His hands pinned her against the chair.
"That's-" She huffed out a breath. "Do I get to keep anything private?"
"Well...no." He kissed the top of her head, but his hands, flattened against her chest, didn't move. "Tell me what happened. Who was hurt by a man?"
CLUB SHADOWLANDS (Bk#1 The Shadowlands series)
Her car disabled during a tropical storm, Jessica Randall discovers the isolated house where she’s sheltering is a private bondage club. At first shocked, she soon becomes aroused watching the interactions between the Doms and their subs. But she’s a professional woman–an accountant–and surely isn’t a submissive . . . is she?
Master Z hasn’t been so attracted to a woman in years. But the little sub who has wandered into his club intrigues him. She’s intelligent. Reserved. Conservative. After he discovers her interest in BDSM, he can’t resist tying her up and unleashing the passion she hides within.
Read another excerpt here.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

CONFERENCE: RWAmerica (Part 2)

Some of the wonderful moments for me of the RWAmerica conference was the chance to take part in the Literacy Autographing and Berkley signing events. I got to meet some readers I've known via Facebook, Twitter and my newsletter. It was awesome meeting you!

Fellow Aussie author, Erica Hayes
Local Aussie author & RITA finalist!
From memory, the Literacy Autographing raised a massive $57000 for a local Atlanta charity - an amazing effort!

Kiwi author, Louisa George
I also had my own fan-girl moments with some of my favourite authors.

I met up with Joss Ware again at the Literacy Signing
C.L.Wilson, Nancy Northcott & I
Meeting Kristin Callihan!

My luggage was filled with an extra 4kgs of books collected from the free publisher signings - I didn't think I'd picked up so many!

My writing buddy, Bec McMaster at the Sourcebook signing
As Chris took part in her Golden Heart experience, the tension grew the closer we came to the Awards Night dinner. I don't know who was more nervous - her or me! LOL It was an awesome moment to see her name and picture up on the large Jumbotron screen in the ballroom!

Erica Hayes, Chris Taylor, Bec McMaster & Bronwyn Parry on the Awards night

Celebrating achievements, birthdays and fun times with the Aussie contingent at RWA, Atlanta, GA.

The week in Atlanta went too quickly and I look forward to my next trip to the USA, whenever it may be.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

CONFERENCE: RWAmerica (Part 1)

This year I undertook a 26+ hour flight across the Pacific Ocean to attend my second Romance Writers of America conference ever.
It was a momentous occasion for many reasons, least of all attending workshops and listening to industry professionals talk about all things writing.

My writing buddy, Chris Taylor, was a Golden Heart finalist in the Romantic Suspense category and I loved sharing her excitement and being there as support as she walked that journey.

Chris celebrating her birthday in Atlanta
Joanne & I at RWA
I also wanted to be there as a cheer squad for another Aussie Golden Heart finalist, Joanne Lockyer and RITA finalist, Bronwyn Parry.

For the first time, I met my agent, Elaine Spencer (from The Knight Agency), and my editor, Leis Pederson (from Berkley) - finally! After two years of emailing them back and forth meeting them was scary and exhilarating but wonderful.

I caught up with some of my Golden Heart Unsinkable sisters and some other friends I made in 2010 when I came to the Orlando, FL conference.

And, it was also a chance to have a few fan-girl moments of my own as I met some of my favourite authors during the conference.

But first, let me show you where we stayed - the lovely Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, Georgia.

This is the view taken from my floor looking back down to Level 1.

The central column of elevators.
The view from my room of Atlanta.

I met a couple of readers at the RWA Literacy Autographing - May and Wendy!

Wendy is also a writer!
May and I

And, of course, I couldn't not share a few shots of the food and drinks consumed during my week there...

Scrumptious dessert
Mouth-watering main meal

My fav.cocktail of the trip - a Mohito
Another cocktail

And I'm going to skip to the end of my stay in the USA - to Los Angeles, CA (where I was stranded for a day after delayed flights, yeah, I know, it's tough, but Chris and I had to fill in time somehow!) - and show you some of the sights our tour covered in the City of Angels.

Make it so!
I found him!!!

A $4.2m Maserati in Beverly Hills
The Viper Room

Venice Beach

After the 30 degree Celsius humid heat of Atlanta, the 30 dry heat of Los Angeles was lovely!

Beverly Hills town hall

Join me for another installment of CONFERENCE: RWAmerica (Part 2) tomorrow.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Cat-urday! - Lazy is my middle name...

 Yes, it's...


For those who have cats, we all know lazy is a cat's middle name...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

NEW AUTHOR SERIES: Nicole Flockton

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 Nicole Flockton.

On her very first school report her teacher said, ‘Nicole likes to tell her own stories.’

It wasn’t until after the birth of her daughter and after having fun on the community board of eharlequin.com that she finally decided to take the plunge and write a book.

The stories she writes are contemporary romances with either a medical setting or in the boardrooms of high powered business. Nicole enjoys taking two characters and creating unique situations for them.

Apart from writing Nicole is busy looking after her very own hero – her wonderfully supportive husband, and her two fabulous kids.

Release Date – 10th June, 2013
Publisher – Crimson Romance
Call Story –  This is my 2nd book with Crimson so I presented a proposal to my editor and she loved the idea and told me she wanted it. :) This book is a companion book to my first book with Crimson "Masquerade".

About your book:
Hero -
Andrew Holmes is a newly trained paramedic. He's returned to Perth after spending 10 years on a competitive sailing team participating in races around the world. He was Dawn's high school sweetheart and left her to chase his dream. He's come back after a boating accident and when he sees Dawn he decides he wants her again.

Heroine - Dawn Granger has closed herself off from everyone after the death of her husband and infant son. She doesn't want to get hurt again so she thinks the safest way to do that is to keep to herself and just work, work, work. When Andrew turns up again, she doesn't want anything to do with him. She doesn't want to risk getting involved in case he leaves her again.

Setting – The books is based in Perth Western Australia in a busy city hospital.

Dawn Granger has loved and lost and she’s not traveling that road again, that is until her past turns up and has her questioning her resolve.
Andrew Holmes has sailed the globe numerous times, when he almost loses his life, he decides that he needs to give something back so he returns home and trains as a paramedic. When he runs into his former sweetheart he knows his feelings for her had not died and he will do anything to make her smile again.

"Why are you here, Andrew?” she asked the question that was bugging her. She really hoped it was just a coincidence.
He laughed and the sound trailed slowly down her back, reminding her of the good times they’d shared. “It’s pretty obvious why I’m here; we just brought a patient in.”
“Yes, but why are you back in Perth? Shouldn’t you be sailing into the sunset somewhere?”
Dawn was surprised to see shadows dull the brightness of Andrew’s eyes. With a quick lowering and rising of his lashes, the look was gone. It was only because she had spent countless hours gazing into his eyes that she had noticed the subtle change. “Sunsets tend to look the same after a while,” he said quietly, before giving a shrug of his shoulders. “Besides, I decided it was time to come back home. Time to start a more meaningful career.”
She soaked in the information. He’d always glamorized sailing when they were dating. How one day he would sail solo around the world. She wondered if he still wanted to do that. Although sailing had seasons, there were always races happening somewhere. It burned that she still remembered so much about the sport. She’d tried not to, seeing as sailing had been the reason she and Andrew had broken up. He’d wanted to chase a dream and she’d wanted her dream of a husband and family. Their dreams hadn’t matched. Probably still didn’t match. But after Tom’s death she’d been in a low place and had succumbed to a “what if” moment and had looked Andrew up on the Internet. She’d read the newspaper articles on his racing team as if they’d been the very air she needed to breathe.
“Perth must be extremely boring after all the places you’ve been.”
“I need a little boring right now. But I’ve never thought of Perth as boring, more as peaceful.”
Dawn didn’t know what to make of his words. There was an underlying sadness in them, as if he’d seen tragedy and needed to distance himself from it. She tried to recall if she’d read anything about any accidents he may have been involved in and came up blank. Then again, she’d also imposed an “Andrew ban” in her life again, once she’d realized she was becoming obsessive of any piece of news she could find out about him. What they’d had was finished. It had ended over ten years ago.
The sound of uncontrollable sobbing reached her. The family members of the car accident victims had arrived.
“Look, it’s been really great catching up but I’ve got a job to do and I’m sure you and your partner want to get out of here.” She moved away from the desk and towards the door that would lead out into the waiting room where the crying was coming from. “See you around,” she threw over her shoulder.
As the door slammed shut behind her, she reminded herself that the door belonging to the relationship between her and Andrew had also shut a long time ago. She would do well to remember what she’d vowed when Tom and little Brody had died. She was never loving anyone again. It hurt too much when you lost the ones you loved.

Any upcoming releases? Yes, in October 2013 SEDUCING PHOEBE will be released through Crimson. Phoebe is a character who has featured in both MASQUERADE and RESCUING DAWN. She deserves a HEA like her good friends.

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