Tag Archives: Escape Publishing

Life After Release Week

readingWith Hero Duty out and earning some fantastic five star reviews, this little duckie can go back to paddling in her own writing pool. Joy!

I’ve been reading some great books to take my mind off Release Week terrors, including Barbara Freethy’s Just As You Are which was emotional and compelling — and free! Unbelievable. Another fabulous freebie was Cait London’s Season of Truth.

I’ve also re-activated my Wattpad account — or to put it another way: after signing up two years ago, I finally got the courage together to pop up two short stories, Dark Oasis and Guarding Christmas, that I’ve had as free reads here on my website. The only problem? Finding MORE stories and books at Wattpad that I want to read.

I was hoping to get to the beach and take some quiet time, maybe a few photos, but yeah … life doesn’t want me to be quiet right now! So, no photos.

A project I’ve been working on for a while is nearly at the point where I can share it with you. Nearly, but not quite. So frustrating.

kimberleyI can tell you that I’m writing a full length book (80,000 words have never been so terrifying) in which the hero is so down to earth and yet alpha male amazing that I want to run away with him rather than let the heroine have him. I think Jolene would fight me for him, though. She’s a fabulous heroine. So strong, but working out who she is and what she’s willing to fight for. Throw in an old shipwreck, tangled family loyalties and the beautiful, remote Kimberley coast and you can see why writing “Chasing Xanadu” is rocking my world.

So what have you been doing? Read any great books? Written any?

“Hero Duty” Release Day!

HeroDuty

Hero Duty releases today. It may take the various book sites a while to catch up (Australia being half a day ahead of the US), but this is it!

thankyou

I want to say a heartfelt thank you to some people who played a big part in getting Hero Duty out and awesome.

First up, my critique partner Eliza Redgold. If I could grant one wish for all authors, it would be to have a crit partner as good as Eliza. Thank you for loving Brodie’s story and making it better.

Escape Publishing and the Harlequin Australia team are amazing. Kate Cuthbert accepted Hero Duty for publication and Lauren McKellar made it shine. Good editors deserve chocolate forever and a day. Danielle Maaitt designed the gorgeous retro-style cover.

Reviewers and fellow readers on Goodreads, BookLikes and Twitter have been supportive, encouraging and more important in my writing journey than they may guess. Thank you!

Finally I want to say thank you to the members of Romance Writers of Australia and of the Australian Romance Readers Association. I consider you all friends because you’re crazy like me: crazy in love with romance!

Reviewers Wanted: Hero Duty releases 1 June

reviewers“Hero Duty” releases 1 June and I’m calling in all favours — even those I haven’t earned! counting on your kindness. Please, if you review contemporary romance, consider adding “Hero Duty” to your reading list. For everyone else, a re-share of the graphic or a mention on your “watch for this book” list would be huge. Having reviews up on release day really helps a book launch, and I’m hoping this romance between an Australian billionaire Cinderella & an ex-soldier brings joy and a lovely couple of hours entertainment to readers.

Review copies are available via Netgalley:
https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/show/id/46472

She can buy anything she wants, except the courage to stand up to her family. That’s where he comes in.

Jessica Trove is a billionaire Cinderella, bullied by her family, and terrified of the responsibilities crashing down on her shoulders. She knows what she needs to do – she just needs to find the courage to do it.

That’s where Brodie Carlton comes in. Jessica is used to buying anything she wants, and what she wants right now is a hero. She’s going to make Brodie Carlton an offer he can’t refuse: be her emotional bodyguard, and she’ll make him rich. The only question is who will guard their hearts?

 

SAMPLE

Two dogs hurled themselves at the wire fence, barking viciously. They were mutts, dangerous mutts with bit white teeth and the bigger of them stood waist-high.

She shrank away, as far from the fence as she could and kept her eyes on the garage at the end of the driveway.

Its two doors were open showing a large, tidy space and a man’s legs sticking out from beneath an old, beat-up, black car. He had to have heard the dogs’ announcement of a stranger’s arrival, but he gave no indication of it. Not even the twitch of a scuffed boot.

The radio played an 80s rock ballad.

Hesitating in the doorway, Jessica heard the man singing along to it. His voice was low and muffled by the car, but it struck her how relaxed he was — and how awful she felt. Rather than raise her voice, knock on the car or tap his boot, she crossed to the radio and switched it off.

There was a thunk, followed by the rattle of a trolley and the man rolled out from under the car.

Shivers slid under Jessica’s skin.

Brodie Carlton. Instantly recognisable from his photograph, even out of uniform. Six-foot two, muscled shoulders covered by blue overalls, brown hair cut short and hazel eyes, frowning up at her.

The dogs had stopped barking, but she still wanted to cut and run. This man was too much challenge.

But if she ran now, she’d never stop. ‘Sergeant Carlton?’

‘I’ve left the army.’ He pushed a boot to the floor and the trolley rattled back under the car. Like sliding a door closed or an escalator descending, he simply shut her out.

‘I know.’ Her simple words hung on the air.

The trolley reversed. He rolled out completely, put aside the wrench he held and stood. At his full height all that power, under perfect control, intimidated her.

Instinctively she stepped back as he stepped forward, but the bench on which the radio sat blocked her retreat. The edge cut into her spine.

He stopped.

Jessica watched, wide-eyed. She was used to men who used their power to intimidate, but Brodie Carlton had seen her distress and respected it, not exploited it. Hope tangled with nervousness, almost choking her. Her voice was thin when she said, ‘I’m Jessica Trove. I’m a friend of Sonia Dwyer.’ She held out her hand.

The frown returned to his face. No, not a frown. His battle face. There was no expression, just steel determination; blocking her out. He glanced at his hand and wiped it down his overalls. ‘I’m dirty, Ms Trove.’

‘I don’t mind dirt.’ It took courage, but she kept her hand out. She looked at his face, not at her hand, which trembled.

Slowly, his fingers closed around hers.

His handshake was firm but gentle. His skin was calloused. He was warm where she was freezing.

She wanted to hold onto his strength, but she hadn’t the right. She released his hand and tucked hers into the back pocket of her jeans. ‘I know what it cost you to help Sonia.’

‘I’m thinking you don’t.’

‘You lost your life in the army.’

‘I quit. They didn’t fire me.’ The gentleness he’d shown her vanished, beaten out by impatience. ‘If you’re here to say “thank you” — ’

‘No, I…I’m here to offer you a job.’

The seam of the back pocket of her jeans ripped, giving way under the pressure of her nervous pulling at the pocket. She forced her hand to still. ‘I need a hero.’

***

Review copies available via Netgalley:
https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/show/id/46472

“Hero Duty” Release Update

Hero Duty releases 1 June from Escape Publishing.

SoonHeroDuty

The edits are complete. Thanks, Lauren McKellar, for improving the story and, as with all my editors — I’ve been so lucky — honing my writing style.

I can’t wait to see the cover. Unlike many authors, I don’t use actors as inspiration, so I don’t even know who I’d cast to play Brodie and Jessica. For Brodie, the actor would have to convey power under complete control. A man of few words, but those he says, he means. And for Jessica, an actress who is smart, whose inner strength shines through, who is beautiful and haunted. One cover to communicate all this, and the drama of the Australian coastal setting. What a challenge!blurb

Hero Duty is a book that completely absorbed me, well before I started writing it. I remember boring a friend silly outlining it over lunch — she’s a very good friend and I don’t normally do this, so she was enthusiastic and helpful. Maybe we both fell a bit in love with Brodie?

The story is simply one that reminds me to hold on to hope. Jessica has so much, and yet she is scared and lonely. Brodie is an ex-soldier, a man of honour, who has to build a new life. They need each other for the courage and joy they bring each other. That’s the power of love.

Juliet Madison – In Love with Coastal Romance

JulietMadisonI know Juliet as the author of magical romantic comedies such as Fast Forward and I Dream of Johnny, but starting with The January Wish, Juliet’s revealing her soul as a coastal romantic.

Welcome, Juliet! and thank you for sharing your five favourite beach things — and that’s not all she’s sharing. Check out the end of the post for a chance to win photographic print of Tarrin’s Bay, the setting of Juliet’s new series, and a $25 Amazon giftcard.

***

My five favourite beach things:

1. Favourite beach: Kendall’s Beach at Kiama, which is close to where I live. It’s small and quiet (though can get busy in summer holidays), and has a kids park, grassed area, a view of the Lighthouse, BBQ areas & picnic tables, and shaded areas with trees for the sun-sensitive people such as myself!

2. Favourite beach food: Sushi from our local sushi place. It’s fresh and tasty for a hot summer’s day.

3. Favourite beach drink: I only ever bring water, but I think the ideal drink would be a nice cold and  fruity frappe. One of our local cafe’s makes really nice berry frappes.

4. Favourite beach music: All I need is the sound of the waves, that is music to my ears. But if we’re talking beach songs, the one that keeps popping into my mind is a little daggy but fun – Kokomo by The Beach Boys. It makes me think of summer, sun, and relaxation!

5. Favourite beach memory: The first time my son went to the beach and experienced the sand, rocks, and water. He was a toddler at the time, and it was great to see his smile and laughter at the new experience.

TheJanuaryWishcover

My new Tarrin’s Bay series is inspired by my small coastal town, and the first book THE JANUARY WISH is available now:

When Dr Sylvia Greene makes an impromptu wish at the Tarrin’s Bay Wishing Festival, it’s the most out of character action she can think of. Hers is not a life of wishes. Hers is a controlled life of order, plans and preparation…of science and research and diagnosis and treatment. But her past has been weighing on her mind, and decisions made long ago have far-reaching consequences.

A week later, the daughter she secretly gave up for adoption at sixteen arrives in Sylvia’s small coastal town with secrets that can’t be shared. Between feelings of guilt, gossip, and a growing attraction to an emotionally unavailable colleague, Sylvia’s well-ordered life is soon thrown into chaos. She is no longer alone, and for the first time she feels as if her world is open to possibilities.

They say be careful what you wish for, but, for Sylvia, the unexpected consequences may be just what the doctor ordered.

>> Buy THE JANUARY WISH from all good ebook retailers:

Amazon - Amazon UK - Amazon Aus - iTunes/iBookstore - Kobo - B&N/Nook - GooglePlay - BigW ebooks - Booktopia - JB HiFi ebooks.com - All Romance ebooks

>> Visit Juliet online at her website, blog, facebook, Goodreads, and twitter.

Prize-blogtour

>> WIN! Enter via Rafflecopter below to win a $25 Amazon gift voucher and a coastal photographic print of the setting of the Tarrin’s Bay series. Competition is open worldwide and the winner will be drawn at the beginning of February.

Rafflecopter link:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Coastal Romance: The New Wave of Rural Romance

wavesWhen Harlequin used the term Coastal Romance (or CoRo) at the Romance Writers of Australia Conference in August (see my notes here), it was a lightbulb moment for me.

Rural Romance is huge in Australia. It’s triggered discussions on the Australian Romance Readers Association loop and we all have our favourites.

I recommend Kelly Hunter’s Wish, Cathryn Hein’s Heart of the Valley, Rachael Johns’ Man Drought, Jennie Jones’ House on Burra Burra Lane and the romantic suspense of Helene Young and Bronwyn Parry, among others. So many great books.

The appeal of Rural Romance is its:

  • SETTING  The Australian outback is gorgeous, varied and dramatic. All by itself, it is romance.
  • HUMOUR  Often this is understated, but it is real. Aussie heroes and heroines can laugh at themselves, and underlying that laughter is hope. No matter how tough things are, they’ll survive and things will get better.
  • CHARACTERS  Determination, resilience and honour.
  • COMMUNITY  This is the big one. Against the sense of society fragmenting, of loneliness, Rural Romance celebrates the spirit of community. There is love — not just between the hero and heroine, but in giving them a place to belong, a web of relationships to support them.

To this, Coastal Romance adds two important elements:

  1. It taps our happy memories of seaside holidays.
  2. The sea has always meant freedom.

I remember the success of the TV series, Seachange. Coastal Romance doesn’t ask us to imagine a radically different life (most Australian cities and towns cluster on the coast), but to embrace the chance to be free, to be who we really are. When you stand on a beach and look at an endless horizon, anything is possible.

Do you have any favourite Coastal Romance novels? I enjoy the many books Jayne Ann Krentz sets on America’s north west coast, and can’t wait for River Road. And yeah, Coastal Romance isn’t just Australian :)

***Update: There is a new Coastal Romance group on Facebook. All welcome!

It's Love Dude cover

It’s Love, Dude – Release Day!

It's Love Dude cover

 

From our favourite short story writer comes a debut full-length novel about sand, sun, small towns, and surfing…

Zane Carlton is a World Champion surfer. Molly Georgiou is a shy, small-town girl. They have nothing in common except an instantaneous attraction and an impossible quest for a rare, endangered Australian marsupial. But Zane is determined to make it work, and invites Molly to take a step into his world. But Molly isn’t ready for the spotlights and attention — she loves her town, its quirks, its characters. Opposites attract, but can two such different people find both a woylie and forever?

Releasing a digital book in Australia is interesting. Some places have it for sale at the start of the release day – like iTunes Australia. Others are operating on American time and I have to WAIT till their clocks catch up – like Amazon (so worth the wait!). “It’s Love, Dude” is available in a whole heap of places, and Escape Publishing has all the links in a cute pop up here. Just click the “Buy Now” button.

To celebrate the release of this fun coastal romance, I’m chatting with J’aimee Brooker and to be honest, I’m a bit startled at how painfully truthful I am. Being an author is not for wimps.

Finally, don’t forget your chance to win a copy of “It’s Love, Dude” over at BookLikes. Open internationally, but closes 6 October.