Wednesday, 24 July 2013

A Year in Review

As the 2013 Romance Writers of Australia annual conference approaches, I'm finding myself thinking back to this time last year, and shaking my head.

So much has changed. Relationships have strengthened and dissolved, my family has gone through some tough knocks and my work life has evolved so much that I'm struggling to capture it all in my annual review. But what I want to explore in this blog is how far I've come as a writer.

This time last year, I was hugging my first contract to my chest. Destiny Romance had yet to announce itself and I was practicing an excerpt from Small Town Storm, my first book and Destiny's debut romantic suspense title, because I was lucky enough to be doing a reading at the launch. I attended the conference with a blue first sale ribbon stuck to my name tag, and marvelled at how different it felt to be one of them. The authors.

Little did I know that I would return the following year with five published titles and a RUBY nomination for the very book I'd launched - my first baby, Small Town Storm. And instead of visiting the ARRA author signing event, I'll be signing at it. If you'd told me all of this last year, I wouldn't have believed you.

This last year has been a whirlwind. After Small Town Storm's release in August last year, I released The Man Plan in December, again with Destiny Romance. In January this year I released Unforgettable with Escape Publishing, then in April and July Destiny Romance and I released the first two novellas in the Homeland series, Ask Me To Stay and Ask Me For More. The third novella, Ask Me For Tomorrow,  will be released in October and something very special is coming in December.

It's little wonder I'm exhausted, but adrenaline and I have become really good mates. We go way back and it's a relationship I see myself embracing for the rest of my life. Amongst the countless things I've learned, I've also had to teach myself how to embrace down-time. I'm a planner. If you leave me to my thoughts for too long, I'll not only plot out the next few weeks of my life, but a book or two.

Yet for all my foresight and planning, I could never have guessed I'd be where I am now.

And standing here. looking around, looking back and looking forward - dreaming of what's to come - I can honestly say, I'm so, so happy.

For all of you presently standing in the shadows, I hope that you, too can look back in time and marvel. For those who dream of being published - it's never been a better time to crack into the industry - the opportunities are everywhere in both digital and print. And for those of you who have been on this journey with me this last year, thank you. From every inch of my swollen heart, thank you.

Here's to another year together.

Imagine where we'll be then!

Monday, 15 April 2013

An 'element' of reader beware...

Today is the official publication date of the first book in the Homeland series, Ask Me To Stay.

I am very proud of this book, and I'm endlessly grateful to those who have already downloaded it. This title was - incredibly - a buzz book on iTunes the day before its official release. I'd love to get the names of everyone who's bought it, knock on their doors and hug them. But, you know... invasion of privacy, and all that.

So instead, I'll say this.

Reader beware.

If you have read any of my other titles, or if you have downloaded this one expecting a certain degree of romance - I need to warn you that Ask Me To Stay is a little different. It focuses almost entirely on the fractured relationship between brothers Ethan and Dean. There is a romance subplot in this novella, but the first in the Homeland series is - to my mind - contemporary/rural fiction with romantic elements.

I think I'm incapable of writing a book which doesn't feature two people falling in love - that's just what keeps me interested in the story. But some of the early reviews of this title seem to suggest that the degree of romance took some readers by surprise.

Read this title to read about family. About redemption and reputation and second chances, both for the heart, and the soul.

Ask Me For More and Ask Me For Tomorrow are infinitely more focused on romance. Ethan and Sam's relationship arc continues throughout the second and third titles as readers explore Cal and Dean's stories; so you will get the romance that you crave. There will be stomach-dropping nerves, black-moments and soul-stirring intimacy.

I promise you all of this and more.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Guest interview with Juanita Kees

I'm delighted to welcome my second guest to The Write Frequency blog; freelance editor and contemporary romance writer, Juanita Kees. Juanita's first title, Fly Away Peta, was released by Eternal Press in August 2012, and her second title, Under The Hood, was released last month with Escape Publishing. Juanita has been patient enough to answer my many and varied questions, and has supplied an excerpt of her latest release. Read on to learn more about this talented author, and find out what she's up to next.

Describe yourself in four words:
Creative writing cleaning fairy

Are characters’ names in your novel important?
Absolutely! For some reason, the name always comes to me first.

Are there any occupational hazards to being a writer?
Yes, chocolate belly, numb bum, and a crick in the neck from falling asleep on the keyboard :)

Do you write around anything? i.e. day job, kids…
I wish I could! I’m easily distracted by Facebook, the telly or radio, so I like to have complete silence when I write.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?
Insanity (you can’t go insane if you’re already there, can you?), a sense of humour, chocolate, wine and a husband who can cook and clean.

Was there a lot of research needed for you novel?
Yes. I spent a lot of time researching the Young Australian League, Police & Citizens' Youth Clubs and of course, the history of Holden. I had to get my facts straight :)

How much impact does your childhood have on your writing?
Heaps! We grew up on books and story-telling. My dad is a wonderful storyteller and Mum is a big fan of romance novels.

What are books for?
Reading, loving, cherishing and escaping the real world.

Are you fun to go on a holiday with?
You might have to ask my family that one J I get a bit cranky on aeroplanes…

If the story on the front page of the newspaper was about you, what would the headline say?
Crazy Author begs Sexy Policeman to Arrest Her

Do you work better with a word-count goal or time period goal?
Time period – word counts scare me :)

What is the most amount of words you’ve written in a day?

If your book was made into a movie, who would you want to play the main characters?
Scott – Hugh Jackman
TJ – Sandra Bullock

Strangest place you’ve been writing?
In front of the bathroom mirror using my eyeliner pencil – true story :)

The most untimely moment when inspiration struck?
On the back of a motorcycle in sub- zero temperatures and our first stop 100km away.

Does your book have a theme song?
What about Me – Shannon Noll’s version

Do your friends ever recognise themselves in your books?
No, but my husband likes to think he’s the role model for the love scenes :)

If you could swap this world for your "book world," would you?
I could answer that but I might end up in very hot water!

How many books are in your TRB pile?
How long is a piece of string? :)

Craziest thing you ever ate?
In my wild youth, I once ate a snake we cooked over the campfire and washed it down with coffee that looked and tasted like tar…eew.

When all is said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?
That’s highly likely J Sometimes the days just aren’t long enough…

To what degree have you controlled the course of your life?
The nth degree.

Would you agree to reduce your life expectancy by ten years if it meant becoming extremely attractive or famous?
Definitely not…I’d rather be an old man’s darling than a young man’s fool :)

Under The Hood Blurb:

When Scott Devin buys a struggling car dealership in semi-rural Western Australia, the last person he expects to see in charge is a stilletto-wearing, mini-skirted foreperson. Exactly the distraction a struggling, male-dominated workshop doesn’t need! But there’s more to TJ Stevens than meets the eye.
TJ Stevens has two major goals in life: to preserve her grandfather’s heritage and protect her teenage rehabilitation program — and she’ll go to any lengths to do it. Scott Devin’s presence is a threat to everything she’s worked hard to achieve, so keeping him at arms-length shouldn’t be a problem…or will it? 

Under The Hood Excerpt:

All the way up her steep driveway, he had a view of her perfectly rounded butt encased in snug fitting denim. All she had to do was wiggle that lovely butt and she’d have him panting at her feet, he thought wryly.  As she veered off the driveway towards a massive shed, he tried to remember the invisible line…and the rules. She dragged the heavy door back on its sliding groove and snapped on the light.  Industrial lighting blinded him momentarily as it revealed a beautifully restored 1953 Holden FJ utility. 

“Meet Bruce, the love of Sheila’s life,” TJ said waving her hand. 

Bruce and Sheila. He shook his head as he watched her snag a polish cloth off the work bench nearby and rub at the chrome badge on the hood. Scott stepped up to run a hand over the smooth cream fender before strolling around to admire the rear.

“New look tail light lens, original name badge, original hubcaps. Are these real white-walls?” He moved around the car. “Modified grille, genuine leather upholstery...” he noted in awe.  “Where did you get all this stuff?”

“...Straight-six grey motor with modified, longer-life pistons and torsional type compression rings,” she finished for him.  “I worked a lot of extra hours to pay for those parts.”

“Do you plan to do the same for Sheila?” He paused with his hand on the polished chrome door handle to look at her as she leaned a hip against the work bench.

“Yes.” She hooked the key off a nail above the work bench and tossed it to him. “Start him up.”

Scott didn’t need a second invitation. He caught the key neatly and opened the door to slide in behind the wheel as TJ popped the hood. He turned the key and the motor purred to life. He got out and stood next to her.

“Purrs like a kitten.” He ducked his head under the hood and turned his left ear closer to catch the sound. “Smooth as silk.”

TJ beamed. “Hours of fine tuning and good grade oil.”

“You know your stuff,” he said. He straightened and their shoulders touched. There it was again. That zing that couldn’t – shouldn’t – be acknowledged. Yes, she’d crawled right in under his defenses, this enigma that was TJ Stevens. A puzzle he could spend hours trying to solve. Her lack of self-awareness, her energy and enthusiasm, and the fierce pride that came to the fore when challenged – all these traits stirred his senses.

TJ felt his gaze on her face and ignored the pleasant shiver it sent tingling up her spine. She saw the hand he raised and felt his knuckles brush her cheek. She stepped out of reach.

“Mind your hands, Scott. I’ll drop the hood.”

What I’m working on now:
You met him in Fly Away Peta. He starts a murder investigation in Under the Hood. When will Detective Mark Johnson have his chance at happiness and what’s next for the bad guys? Find out over at Romance Book Haven.


Thanks for visiting the blog, Juanita!


Thursday, 4 April 2013

My first fabulous guest on The Write Frequency, author Ros Baxter

I'm very excited to welcome Harper Collins Australia and Escape Publishing author, Ros Baxter, as my first guest on The Write Frequency. I'm fortunate enough to have her answering a few questions and sharing some information about her latest release, Fish Out of Water, available now from Escape Publishing.

Refresh your beverage of choice, sit back and enjoy Ros's fun interview.

Describe yourself in four words?
Busy (busy, busy, busy). Noisy (genetic). Affectionate (love a cuddle). Sleep-deprived. (Does a hyphenation count as one word?).

Do you write around anything? i.e. day job, kids…
I write around everything – four kids, a day job, a charity, and several voluntary roles.  But, as my mother, multi-tasker extraordinaire, always said:  you want something done, give it to a busy person.
Texting was invented for people like me. I have a thumb the size of a pumpkin.

Does your computer/iPad/laptop (choose one) have a name?
Sir. (In my head, it’s kind of bossy. I blame 50 Shades...)

Who would play you in a film of your life?
My daughter (when she’s a little older).  She does THE BEST impression of me.  Not particularly flattering, but accurate.  Loud.  Bossy.  But lots of cuddles.

Biggest writing-related mistake?
The first book I wrote was what I used to fondly call “kinda tangential”.  I had to learn that what works telling drunken stories to your mates doesn't necessarily translate to the page. 
For a start, you can’t scream at readers to “lissenup” if they’re getting bored...

Have you ever read/seen yourself as a character in a book/movie?
I think this is possibly one of those perspective things. Yes, I have definitely seen myself (dreamed myself?)as a character in a novel. Some flawed romantic heroine of course – you know: Catherine from Wuthering Heights, Anna Karenina et cetera.
My kids, however, possibly have a different perspective, depending on the day:  Mrs Dursley from Harry Potter, The Wicked Witch of the West, and various other killjoys.
My husband would probably cast a vote for some character who can’t say no and drinks too much wine.  Probably someone played by Meg Ryan (although I only wish my hair was that good).
And my friends would choose someone who frequently ends up in a muddle: Bridget Jones, Alison Scott from Knocked Up, and so on.

Are you fun to go on a holiday with?
Hell yeah!  If your idea of fun is lying in bed all day reading books in your pyjamas (oops, that’s my idea of fun)!!

If the story on the front page of the newspaper was about you, what would the headline say?

Strangest place you’ve been writing?
I write everywhere – toilet, kitchen, kids swimming lessons, bed.  Strangest (as in, most unusual) place would probably be at my computer.

Many thanks Elise for having me.  Love the questions, and love your work!

Ros :)

You can email Ros at or find her at, on twitter @RosBaxter, or

“It’s  Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum meets Splash in a sexy, smart-talking debut about a mermaid in a desert, a city under water, and the secret that no-one is supposed to uncover.”

Fish out of Water
Dirtwater's straight-talking Deputy Sheriff has a lot on her plate: a nicotine addiction that's a serious liability for a mermaid, a solider-of-fortune ex who's hooked on her Mom's brownies, a gorgeous, naked stranger in her shower, and a mysterious dead blonde with a fish tattoo on Main Street.

Oh, and one other thing.

She's scheduled to die on her thirtieth birthday - in three weeks - unless she can 'change the course of destiny and save the world entire'. Throw in a Mom who's the local Mayor and a Dad who's been locked in the county jail for twelve years, and that's all the trouble she needs without her mermaid roots coming back to haunt her.

Rania's heading home to Aegira for a family wedding but she's starting to have a sinking feeling that's got nothing to do with hydroporting seven miles under the sea and everything to do with some weird connections that seem to be emerging between her, the dead blonde, her Mom's shady past and a ten thousand year old prophesy. Now if she can just steal a corpse, get a crazy Aegirian priest off her case, work out who the hell's trying to kill her and stop sleeping with the fishes, she might be able to unravel the prophesy, the mystery of the missing choirgirls and the secrets hidden in her Mom's past. And maybe even save her own ass while she's at it.

Fish Out of Water is available from Escape Publishing, or Amazon. Find out more at


          The mildewy pink curtain billowed forward and a large shape crashed to the floor, right between Missy and me, wrapped in the voluminous plastic.  Missy screamed.
My heart tapped out a tango and one hand went to my Glock without any conscious command as I tried to disentangle the curtain from the lumpy shape.
As I pulled it free, I had one of those moments.  You know the ones.  Where everything slows down and you know that for the rest of your life you’ll be able to describe it in vivid technicolor.  Like the time I turned on the tv and saw that plane crashing into the towers.
He was almost supernaturally beautiful.  And naked.  A long trickle of thick red blood ran from the side of one temple down to a graceful jaw.
And he was lying on the floor half in and half out of Missy’s teeming shower.
Had he been there, in the shower, the whole time?
“Sweet Jesus,” Missy whistled, clearly impressed as she studied the region I was studiously avoiding.  As beautiful as he was, it didn’t seem right to be copping an eyeful.
Especially when he seemed to be in pretty bad shape.
He was long and lean, dark blonde and strong like a runner.  Golden hair glistened on his wet, brown body, but he was curled like a fetus and moaning softly.  Something about the sight of him, which should have screamed “get the pervert outta here”, touched me right down inside. Right down in my belly.  And lower.  I wanted to cover him up.  I wanted to help him. And some parts of me wanted to do other things too, but I wasn’t giving them any airtime.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Destiny Romance's first series, coming soon.

I'm on a countdown. It's less than a month before the release of the first book in my novella series. It's been given a new town name, a new series title, and an official release date; and any day now, the cover should be arriving in my inbox.

Leonai has become Hinterdown. For various reasons, the top two being the ease of pronunciation and avoiding the hint of fantasy. This is not a fantasy novel by any stretch of the imagination. Ethan, Cal and Dean's stories are hopefully as real as fiction gets. Which is a strange claim to make. But I've aimed for natural dialogue, realistic timelines and reactions, a rich country atmosphere and people so friendly and complex that readers will hopefully feel like they know them.

The new town name was inspired by the Hinterlands, and in my imagination it looks very much like a town I visited once in the Upper Hunter Valley. I'll be talking about this town in a later blog post.

Because each novella features a returning character, someone who - for reason or reasons explored throughout the series - left the town and found cause to return - the title was shaped around the magnetism of home.

So without further ado, I introduce to you all, The Homeland Books and book one, Ask Me To Stay. It will be released on April 15, and will include an exclusive excerpt of book two, Ask Me For More.

I will be on a blog tour next month to promote and discuss the first title, and I would love to read your comments and share a bit of the story with you. My blog tour schedule is below, and there will be everything from interviews, to blog posts and giveaways.

15 April: The Book Vixen (link)
16 April: Book'd Out (link)
17 April: Sassy Book Lovers (link)
18 April: Ex Libris (link)
19 April: You Gotta Read Reviews (link)
20 April: Jenn J McLeod's Author Harvest (link)
22 April: Juanita Kees' Kees 2 Create (link)
23 April: Ros Baxter Ink (link)
24 April: Romance Australia Author Spotlight (link)
26 April: Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer (link)
27 April: Satin Sheets Romance (link)
28 April: Susanne Bellamy's All The World's A Page (link)
29 April: Melissa's Mochas, Mysteries and More (link)
              Nas Dean's Romance Book Paradise (link)
30 April: Lily Malone's Left Field With Lily (link)
1 May: Page Flipperz (link)
4 May: Bookish Ardour (link)
5 May: Nicki J Markus (link)
6 May: Clean Romance Reviews (link)
7 May: Ramblings From This Chick (link)
22 May: Louise Reynold's Cooking The Books (link)

I can't wait to introduce you to Ethan and Samantha. And if you read the series, you may understand why I'm also so excited to introduce you to little Nina.

ARCs will be on NetGalley within a few weeks. If you're a reviewer or blog host and you would like to know more about the series, I would love to hear from you. I've also launched a newsletter, so sign up through my web page (link) if you want to know things before anyone else.

The list above is subject to change. Hopefully the kind of change that makes for a longer scroll! ;)

Happy writing and reading. I'm off to sail around the bay.


Saturday, 9 February 2013

The lovers' month, and the long awaited first kiss.

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, my mind's on romance. I'm thinking about the first time eyes meet, the first date, the first kiss... I have my own experiences to reflect on, but this lovers' month has also got me thinking about the first fictional couple who stepped out into the big wide world with me.

In August 2012 I was a launch author with Penguin's Destiny Romance, and I had the great privilege of reading an excerpt from my launch title, Small Town Storm, to an assembled crowd at the Romance Writers of Australia national conference. It was the first time I introduced Jordan Hill and Erica Lawrence to the public, and even today, these complex characters are never far from my mind.

So I'd like to share a special moment of theirs with you.

The moment that Jordan and Erica finally kiss.

Happy Valentines Day to all of you, may you be spoiled somehow, may someone attempt to touch your heart, and may you smile more than you do on a typical day.

A bit of background first:

It all began with love. The pure, innocent kind that only an eight year old heart can know. But when a family tragedy tore apart her family, Erica was literally dragged from the arms of her best friend, Jordan.

Nineteen years later, the young boy with a plastic police badge and a hero complex has grown up to be a detective, and the fragile, broken little girl has become a vet, letting only animals touch her distrusting heart. But both are dogged by the shadows of that night and independently make the decision to return home.

In Olinda she is known as Erica Lawrence, the charming but emaciated little girl that was poisoned by her mother. Her return is the best gossip the town has had in years, and everyone is convinced that love between the pair is inevitable. All eyes are upon them, watching and waiting.

But their trip down memory lane is interrupted by two brutal murders, and Erica appears to be the next target.

The townspeople are jumping at shadows and pointing fingers in every direction, Jordan’s team has gone rogue, conducting their own investigations and nominating their own suspects, and his objectivity has been clouded – Erica’s safety is now his primary concern.

Even as the horror creeps ever closer, Jordan and Erica are drawn together. The need for answers that once consumed them doesn’t burn so brightly now, and when their hearts begin to align, they dare to do something neither has had the courage to do before: look forward.

On the precipice of confessing their love –the world appears to be against them.

* * *
Erica laughed and settled back against the wall. Her eyes shone in the feeble torch light, the thin beam reflected in her eyes. She rolled her head towards him and smiled.

Jordan shifted so that she could rest her head against his shoulder. ‘If that git Elliot didn’t upset you, then who did?’


Jordan raised a brow. ‘The woman with the poison tongue. What did she say this time?’

Her fingers flexed in his hand. ‘She cornered me when I was coming out of the bathroom. She was digging for dirt, as usual.’

‘That’s our Beth.’

‘Anyway, all she wanted to talk about was you and me. Said the town was fooled, thinking Elliot and I were an item. She knew better, she said. Wanted a confession of sorts so I snapped at her and told her to mind her own business.’ There was a long pause as Erica gathered the courage to continue. ‘Then she said I was just like my mother: secretive and impulsive in love. She said . . . ’ Erica hiccupped, too mortified to continue.

Jordan winced and released her hand so he could drape his arm around her shoulders. He pulled her towards him as sobs shook her body. They sat like that until her rasping breaths subsided, then he pushed her back and cradled the sides of her face.

‘Listen to me. I can understand how that would have hurt you. But you are nothing like your mother.’ He waited as she nodded. ‘She was a famous, attractive and stubborn woman. You are obviously none of these things.’

Erica gave a watery laugh.

Jordan smiled. ‘Seriously though, your mother was a monster. No one could possibly liken you to her and believe it. Don’t let a nasty piece of work like Beth convince you otherwise.’

She melted into his arms and buried her face in his shirt. Very gently he pressed his lips to the top of her head. When he spoke again, he murmured into her hair. ‘As for impulsive in love . . . of all people, I can attest to that being rubbish.’

Erica lifted her shoulders slightly. And he would have traded almost anything to know what she was thinking.

When she finally answered, his breath caught. ‘I don’t know. Maybe I am impulsive. I fell in love a long time ago – very hard and very fast.’ Her face moved against his chest, and it felt like she might be smiling. ‘I fell in love with a boy. He had a police badge and a hero complex.’

Very slowly, she sat up and stared into his eyes. The darkness cast shadows along the lines of her face. ‘Then I fell in love again. With a man. He has a police badge and a hero complex, too.’

The air sizzled with tension.

It would have been the moment to kiss her, but Jordan forced himself to wait just a fraction longer. It surprised him that he could think clearly when she was pressed up against him this way. It made it harder still, that her mouth was lifted and her eyes were on his lips. But there was something he needed to do first.

His hand slipped beneath the jacket she wore and fumbled in one of the inside pockets. He withdrew his wallet and flipped it open, then pulled something free. When he angled the flashlight over the small item on his upturned palm, the slice of light illuminated a small plastic bag. In it was a delicate silver chain and a small blue bird pendant.

‘It would seem,’ Jordan said softly, staring at the old necklace, ‘that I fell in love with you at the same time.’

Seemingly overwhelmed, Erica closed her eyes. Tears slid down her cheeks and Jordan moved in to kiss them away. He clasped the chain around her neck and pressed his lips to the spot where the pendant lay against her throat. It sat much higher than it had when she had worn it as a child.

He lowered his mouth to hers.

And his mind blurred. She tasted sweet and somehow familiar, as if they had kissed before – if only in his dreams. Her tongue grazed his lower lip and he thought he would break with urgency.
He drew back and kissed the sensitive flesh of her neck, curling his fingers in her thick hair. Her sighs quickened his pulse and brought his lips back to hers.

When at last they separated, their hands still clinging to the other, there were no words. So for the longest time they sat in warm silence.
In Jordan’s mind there was no doubt that he had just experienced his last first kiss. This was it – this was that great love that people spoke of. He smiled into the darkness, which somehow seemed much brighter now.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

I'm delighted to be part of The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. I've been asked to answer ten questions about my new work and then tag other authors to do the same. So without further ado, see below for a scoop on my upcoming romance novella (the first of a series - so excited!), and follow the links at the bottom to continue the hop. If you have any questions, I'd be delighted to answer them. If you're a reviewer and you're interested in reading and discussing the title, please contact with me about acquiring an ARC - I'd love to hear from you.

1: What is the working title of your book?

Ask Me To Stay

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?
I was participating in the international 3-Day Novel Contest and I wanted to write a short, emotionally satisfying story about returning home with an undeserved reputation. All I knew when I sat down to start it was that the novella featured two estranged brothers and their best friend, a death and a lie. Then fingers went to keyboard and an entirely unexpected first sentence appeared. After that, I was hooked. I had to finish Ethan's story.

3: What genre does your book come under?
Contemporary rural romance - the setting is a fictional small town in country New South Wales, Australia.

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
In my wildest dreams, Ethan Foster the story's male protagonist would be played by Jared Padaleki. His brother Dean would be played by Jensen Ackles and their best friend Caleb O'Hara would be played by Alex O’Loughlin. Samantha O'Hara, Ethan's high school sweetheart, could be played by Ellen Page. In my mind, little Nina Foster looks a little like child actress Ashley Boettcher, and her brother Rowan like child actor Owen Best.  

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Ethan Foster has been protecting a secret for almost a decade, but when he faces losing everyone he's ever loved all over again, the past becomes too heavy a burden to bear.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
Contracted by Penguin's Destiny Romance, scheduled to be released April this year.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Three days. I wrote into the early morning, all through the day... I achieved nothing else for an entire long weekend.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Perhaps Kelly Hunter's Wish and Rachael John's Jilted. Both are rural contemporary romances. Kelly's is a novella about two people trying to come together despite a traumatic past and the scrutiny of a small town. Rachael's female protagonist returns home notorious and persecuted for running away many years ago. My character Ethan is the same, he has an undeserved reputation and a childhood sweetheart who still stirs his heart.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The challenge of drafting a complete work under an absurd deadline was what initially inspired me. I wanted to see if I could do it, and what I could produce under pressure. Prior to that, I kept imagining a man driving through the night, led home by the magnetism of family and obligation.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
This is the first in a novella series about the lives and loves of Ethan, Cal and Dean. The second and third novellas are expected to come out later this year, so you don't have to wait long between reads. There's a strong focus on family, forgiveness and self-sacrifice, and a gorgeous little girl who stole my heart. The story begins a few days after a tragedy but don't be put off by that because it's also very light-hearted; I want you to laugh and sigh. This story will make you feel good, author's promise!

Thank you to Patricia Zick for inviting me to join the blog hop. Patricia's Next Big Thing Blog Hop post is here. Please take some time to visit her website and blog and read about her latest release, contemporary literature novel, Trails in the Sand. 

See below for a list of fabulous authors you should acquaint yourself with:

Keziah Hill
Author of steamy erotic romance and romantic suspense, Keziah has been recently published with Momentum, and Harlequin imprint, Escape Publishing. 

Jennifer St George
Contemporary romance author of The Convenient Bride talks about her latest release with Penguin imprint, Destiny Romance, Seducing The Secret Heiress, here

Imelda Evans
Published with Destiny Romance, Imelda's debut novel Rules Are For Breaking was a finalist in the 2012 ARRA Awards Favourite Contemporary Romance category.

Louise Reynolds
Another wonderful Destineer, Louise's title Her Italian Aristocrat takes contemporary romance readers abroad.

M.O Kenyan
Author of  Shades of Spring 1964: Letters to my daughter; you can connect with her the following ways:

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

My mad schemes to cheat time...

I confess to being frustrated. If I was science-clever and had a basement, I would be in a lab coat devising a complex process for human duplication. My double could go to work, and I - the original - could write full time.

Of course, being  a writer means that I see all kinds of plot holes in the above. My salary would effectively halve because I would be supporting two of us. My social life would suffer (because said double would be fostering relationships whilst I would be writing), and then there's the conundrum of who sleeps where, and with who.

Clearly, I'm not going to share my partner, but would my double feel that he was in some way hers?

Okay, scratch that. I don't want a double.

What I want is more time. To do everything, to do a bit of nothing. Time to work, play and whatever. I have a full-time day job, and I write in the mornings, at lunch, and most evenings. Which can be exhausting.

If only I didn't need to sleep. If sleep was optional, and my body and mind wouldn't suffer from opting out, imagine how productive I would be. It would be awesome.

But this would only be truly beneficial to me if the rest of the world still had to catch their Zs. Otherwise, people would work longer hours, produce more, expect more - in short, I'd be in the exact same position I'm in now.

Are you starting to understand how much I overthink things?

What I'm trying to say in a circular, of-beat way, is that I am a creative prisoner. I have so many ideas, so many interests and curiosities, and only so many hours in the day. I write on a small laptop and I'm not fussy about time or place. I'll cheerfully tap away on the train, in the car (whilst parked, of course - don't imagine any stop light sentences). If I can snag fifteen minutes, I'll knock out as many words as I can.

It's a brilliant, albeit exasperating position to be in. Whilst I may wish to write all the time, and get frustrated because I can't - I would rather that than the alternative. I just can't imagine suffering writer's block. Not now. Not for a long time. I have too much to say.

And because my characters are screaming at me, I'm going to wrap up my first blog post and return to them.

If you're a writer, how to you find or make time to write? Have you trained yourself to write on command, or do you just hope the words will come when you find yourself in front of your computer?

- -

Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Website.