Monthly Archives: April 2012

Upcoming Special Event on the Blog: MOUTHWATERING MAY!

Books and food are two of life’s greatest pleasures, so I thought… why not combine both topics on my blog for the month of May? And so, Mouthwatering May was born!

During May, my blog will come alive with posts about delectable treats, delicious reads, and entertaining guest author interviews. I’ll be discussing food-themed books, ingredients of successful novels, and holding a mouthwatering giveaway at the end of the month!

But this month won’t go ahead without contributions from my fellow writers, so here is what I am looking for if you want to take part:

1. Mouthwatering Moments – a brief excerpt (no more than a page) from your novel, showing a mouthwatering moment, or in other words – a snippet of a delicious scene that will leave the reader’s mouth watering for more! This doesn’t have to be food related, but can be a romantic moment, or a beautifully vivid description, or a turning point with a cliffhanger. My only request is that it be at a PG-ish level and not contain harsh language. I’m looking for around ten ‘moments’ to include on the blog. Email me to secure a place, and then send through your excerpt as soon as possible, to: info (at) julietmadison (dot) com , or my private email if you know it.

2. Guest interviews for ‘Sunday Lunch with…’ – each Sunday in May (that’s four interviews in total) I’ll interview a writer with questions relating to food experiences, such as memories around food, favourite foods, who you’d love to have dinner with…etc. I’d also love you to share a recipe if you could. As I’m only accepting four interviews, get in quick if you want to participate! If it’s popular, I may extend this interview series into future months. Email me (address above) to request an interview.

 

As this is the first of my ‘themed-months’ on the blog, it’s a bit of a test run. If it proves to be popular with contributors and blog readers, I’ll do further themed months on the blog. I already have a couple of ideas; July Journeys (travel and adventure themed), and Supernatural September (magical books and spooky stuff!), so keep an eye out, and make sure you subscribe to the blog in the right hand menu to keep updated and be eligible for great prizes!

See you in May!

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Anita Heiss Answers Juliet’s Awkward Questions! Plus a giveaway!

In this segment, authors will be subjected to a list of awkward questions that may reveal more about themselves than they really wish to share, and they will receive a score on the ‘Braveometer’. If they choose to answer only five questions, they are a ‘Brave Author’, if they answer 6 to 9 questions they are a ‘Mega-Brave Author’, and if they answer all 10 questions they are an ‘Ultra-Brave Author’!

Photography: Amanda James

Today I’d like to welcome the lovely Anita Heiss to the blog!

1. If only one of your books could have been / could be published, which one would you choose? (C’mon, I don’t want to hear ‘Oh, I love them all, there’s no way I could choose.’ Time to be ruthless, these are the Ten Awkward Questions after all!)

Who Am I? the diary of Mary Talence, Sydney 1937. An historical novel about the stolen generations it is probably the most significant work I will ever do in my lifetime.

 

2. Okay, now which one of your children/family members would you… nah, just kidding! Which of the following words most accurately describes your best personality trait (you must pick only one!):

Punctual. Good listener. Neat.  Graceful. Generous. Cheerful.

I’m cheerful!

 

3. Which of the following words most accurately describes your worst most challenging personality trait (even if you’re perfect, you must pick one):

Always late. Blabbermouth. Slob. Complete klutz. Scrooge. Grumpy pants.

My lawyer says I am not challenged by any of these.   

         

4. Have you ever had a romantic crush on one of your characters? Who and why?

Yes, I fell in love with Cash Branigan from Manhattan Dreaming. I remember sitting at my desk one day and bursting into tears because I realised he was my perfect match – strong, hot, capable, romantic, thoughtful, runs a restaurant in New York. What more could a girl like me possibly want?

 

5. When writing an important scene, do you act it out to allow you to better describe what’s happening?

Yes, especially the sex scenes, they require a lot of acting out.

 

6. Do you talk to yourself when writing or coming up with plot ideas?

I talk to myself all the time. In terms of my writing though, as I type I say the words out loud and then I read them back to listen for clunkiness.

 

7. Who would be ideal to play YOU in a movie of your life?

Halle Berry or a younger Angela Bassett.

 

8. If you could be any book character for one day, who would you be and why?

I’d be my own character Lauren Lucas from Manhattan Dreaming, because even with her flaws she was a great gal AND got to live in NYC for 12 months, eat a lot of cake, shop with the girls, go on dates and work at the fabulous National Museum of the American Indian.

 

9. You’re about to be left on a deserted island for a year, and while your basic food and water needs will be met, you can only bring one extra thing from the following. Which would you choose?

a) A pen and notepad that never runs out

b) An unlimited supply of books

c) An unlimited supply of chocolate, coffee, or alcohol (your choice)

d) A gorgeous man/woman depending on your preference

For the last twenty years all I’ve had is books, paper, chocolate and booze. I’ll take a bloke to pass the time for the next 12 months!

 

Thanks for participating, Anita. Your answers gave me a laugh! You have been awarded Mega-Brave Author status on the braveometer!

Visit Anita’s website here.

*To WIN a copy of Anita’s book, MANHATTAN DREAMING, comment below and answer Anita’s question:

Q: ‘I’ve set books in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, New York and Paris. Where else should I set a book and why?’

*Competition open to Australian residents only, and will be drawn on Monday 30th April. Winner will be notified via email and must respond within one week or another winner will be chosen.

Emmie Dark Answers Juliet’s Ten Awkward Author Questions! + Giveaway!

In this segment, authors will be subjected to a list of awkward questions that may reveal more about themselves than they really wish to share, and they will receive a score on the ‘Braveometer’. If they choose to answer only five questions, they are a ‘Brave Author’, if they answer 6 to 9 questions they are a ‘Mega-Brave Author’, and if they answer all 10 questions they are an ‘Ultra-Brave Author’!

Today I’d like to welcome Emmie Dark to the blog!

1.      If only one of your books could have been / could be published, which one would you choose? (C’mon, I don’t want to hear ‘Oh, I love them all, there’s no way I could choose.’ Time to be ruthless, these are the Ten Awkward Questions after all!)

You do go straight for the heart! 🙂 Okay, my truthful answer is the one I’m writing now – title-less, only five chapters written, and I’m totally smitten by it. The hero is the hero of my heart – if I could find a way to make him walk off the page and into my life, I’d do it!

2.      Okay, now which one of your children/family members would you… nah, just kidding! Which of the following words most accurately describes your best personality trait (you must pick only one!):

Punctual. Good listener. Neat. Graceful. Generous. Cheerful.

Hmm. I’d like to think more than one of these apply to me. But I’ll go with neat. I travel a lot for work, and my friends and family are always amazed that by ten minutes after getting in the door, my suitcase is unpacked, put away and the first load of washing is in the machine.

3.      Which of the following words most accurately describes your worst most challenging personality trait (even if you’re perfect, you must pick one):

Always late. Blabbermouth. Slob. Complete klutz. Scrooge. Grumpy pants.

I think probably more than one of these apply to me too! I’ll go with Always Late. Not by very much, but I’m regularly a ‘just past the hour’ than ‘before the hour’ kind of person.

4.      Have you ever had a romantic crush on one of your characters? Who and why?

Every single hero I’ve written! I always fall in love with my heroes. In my book “In His Eyes” that comes out in August, I have a secondary character called Morris who’s a grumpy old guy with a heart of gold. I think I’m a little in love with him, but it’s more of a girl-crush than a romantic one.

5.      When writing an important scene, do you act it out to allow you to better describe what’s happening?

Yes, I have done that! I also read some of my dialogue aloud – I sometimes wonder what my neighbours are thinking!

6.      Do you talk to yourself when writing or coming up with plot ideas?

Well, there’s an easy awkward question given I’ve already answered it! 😉 Yes, I will definitely read dialogue aloud. I also find when I’m coming up with plot and character arcs, I need to talk them through with someone. I have a few friends and a couple of crit partners who are handy sounding boards.

7.      Who would be ideal to play YOU in a movie of your life?

I’m loving the show “Once Upon a Time” at the moment and I’d love to say Jennifer Morrison. But she’s not really like me – probably I’d more accurately go with someone more quirky, like Tina Fey.

8.      If you could be any book character for one day, who would you be and why?

I’d like to be Bastian in The Neverending Story. He gets to have a fabulous adventure and once he’s overcome the Nothing, he gets to create a whole new Fantasia for himself. I’ve always loved that book and I’d very much like to have my own luckdragon.

9.      You’re about to be left on a deserted island for a year, and while your basic food and water needs will be met, you can only bring one extra thing from the following. Which would you choose?

a) A pen and notepad that never runs out

b) An unlimited supply of books

c) An unlimited supply of chocolate, coffee, or alcohol (your choice)

d) A gorgeous man/woman depending on your preference

This is a very tough one! I’m hopeless writing long-hand, so the pen and paper would be no use to me. I think I’d probably like an unlimited supply of book, but I’d be lost without an occasional glass of chardonnay. And a gorgeous companion… sigh. I’ll go with books. At least then I can imagine wine and heroes!

10.  If you had the attention of the whole world for two minutes what would you say?

Be kind to each other. That’s all.

Thanks for participating, Emmie. You have been awarded Ultra-Brave Author status on the Braveometer!

 

 

 

Check out Emmie’s new book, CASSIE’S GRAND PLAN. PLUS, to WIN a copy, leave a comment for Emmie below!

 

CASSIE’S GRAND PLAN
BACK BLURB

Four steps to a brand-new life

Cassie Hartman knows what she needs to do to get her life under control. First, she’ll get herself promoted. Then she’ll update her appearance. Steps three and four—marriage and family—well, those will have to wait.

Then Ronan McGuire shows up. The too-sexy, too-polished business consultant has the power to derail Cassie’s plans before she’s even really started. If he doesn’t approve her promotion, she’ll be back to square one—and that’s not an option. Cassie needs to keep her focus on that first step, no matter how much Ronan tempts her to skip ahead to the third and fourth ones….

Buy Links:

Harlequin                                Amazon                           Amazon UK
B&N                         Book Depository

Emmie Dark’s Bio:

After years of writing press releases, employee newsletters and speeches for CEOs and politicians – none of which included any kind of kissing – Emmie Dark finally took to her laptop to write what she wanted to write. She was both amazed and delighted to discover that what came out was sexy, noble heroes who found themselves crossing paths with strong, determined heroines. And plenty of kissing.

Emmie’s overnight success has taken about five years to achieve. She began fiddling around with story ideas when the urge to write fiction became overwhelming. In July 2011 she sold her first book to Harlequin SuperRomance and she’s not looking back, with her second sale in September. Both books will be out in 2012.

Emmie lives in Melbourne, Australia, and she likes red lipstick, chardonnay, sunshine, driving fast, rose-scented soap and a really good cup of tea. Like, a really good cup of tea. She’s particularly fussy about it, and has been known to pack her own teabags when she travels. Most members of her family are too scared to make her a cuppa, in case they get it wrong.

Website               Blog               Facebook             Twitter

…What about you, do you have a Grand Plan for your life?

How To Use The New Facebook Page Timeline & How To Run A Facebook Chat

Confused about Facebook’s new timeline display for fan pages?

I found this great cheat sheet to help you get your page organised quickly and working well!

Before I show you, a word about running Facebook chats on your fan page…

A quick splurge of new posts by fans (such as questions during a one hour chat for example) can make it confusing to keep track of, due to the visual layout of the timeline page. Here’s how you can make it easier:

1. At the top of the page, but underneath the main header/banner image, is a faded text box that says ‘Highlights’. This means the page is only showing highlights of what’s been posted to the page, and you may miss some of the posts. Click on the little ‘down arrow’ and a drop down box will show some options for how to display things on the page.

2. Click ‘Posts by others’ to show the posts made to the page by fans. This is good if you are hosting a Q & A session/chat and want to be able to answer individual questions.

3. If you are providing the questions for fans to answer, or hosting something like a book club chat, then click ‘Posts by page’ so you can see all the questions you have posted and check the comments for each one.

4. Keep refreshing the page to see the most current posts and comments.

5. An alternative to using pages for chats, is to create a Facebook group that is associated with your page, and use that for the interactive sessions. The groups page layout resembles the ‘old’ simple Facebook, where you just see posts in a linear way, one on top of the other, with the most recently commented on post at the top. You can even create different groups for different chats, so that the chat sessions don’t interrupt your main page’s functioning and confuse visitors if they don’t realise a chat is going on.

You can make the group open so it is easier for fans to participate, or add more security by making it a secret group in which you have to manually add members, or people can request to join. This is more of a hassle, but can be good for chats that you don’t want visible to the public. Remember, everything you post on a Facebook page is 100% visible to anyone in the world (your Facebook ‘friend’ profile can be visible publically too, unless you adjust your settings and posts to ‘friends only’). You can tell if your posts are public by the presence of a little ‘world globe’ icon under your posts, so if you have this and don’t want complete strangers seeing your posts, change your settings quick smart! Also, if you comment on someone’s public post (ie; their post has a globe icon under it), then your comment will be made public.

Now, back to the cheat sheet for setting up and organising your Facebook timeline page:

 

Facebook Page Timeline Design Cheat Sheet

Facebook Page Timeline Design Cheat Sheet