Monthly Archives: November 2013

Fast Forward the sequel?

SequelpicI promised when I got to 50 reviews on Amazon for FAST FORWARD I would share the first scene of the sequel (or spin-off, whatever you like to call it), so now that there are 50 reviews that’s exactly what I’m going to do! I figured 50 was an appropriate number considering the book is about 25 year old Kelli waking up as a 50 year old with no recollection of the last 25 years.

Before I do though, I want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has downloaded the book, and especially those who have left a review on either Goodreads or Amazon. I’m thrilled that the majority of readers have loved the book and left 4 and 5 star ratings. Thank you! You can read some of the reviews here.

Now, onto this sequel business.

Let me say first that although I am about to share the first scene, this is all I’ve written so far!! So I’m sorry to say there is no sequel about to be published just yet, but it is something I definitely want to keep writing, though I am working on some other things at the moment. But I’m a fast writer so I’ll do my best to not take too long!

The sequel is titled DIORA’S DAY OFF, and if you’ve read the book you’ll know who Diora is. So for this book, the story will be from Diora’s point of view, not Kelli’s. But Kelli WILL be in the book (and hehe, did you notice that pun I just did? No? Read it again… got it?). Oh alright, I’ll spell it out for you. The character ‘Will’ will also be in the book! Yep, Will and Kelli McSnelly will be gracing the pages, but Kelli will be 55 years old! The story is set 5 years after the events of Fast Forward (that is to say, 30 years in the future). All your favourite gadgets and technology will be back (and some new ones), as well as the cast of quirky secondary characters.

Without giving too much away, the story is a cross between Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Parenthood (probably both the movie and the TV series). And yes, there will be something magical happening in the storyline. For Kelli in Fast Forward it was time travel, for Diora it will be something different… hmm, I might keep it a secret for now! Any guesses? It’s a tricky concept but I hope I can pull it off and not end up saying to myself: “What in the name of Dior was I thinking?”

Right, well I better stop babbling on and share this scene. If you’ve read this far, well done. But wait – there’s more!

DIORA’S DAY OFF – excerpt from work-in-progress:

Having big boobs is overrated. I’m serious. Who in their right minds would want the bloody things? They get in the way, get bumped and grazed by random strangers brushing past you in public, and wobble like there’s no tomorrow during everyday tasks like cleaning the kitchen benchtops. If I was ever lucky enough to have the luxury of a professional back massage, I’d need two extra holes in the massage table as well as the one for my face. And in hot weather, or even mildly warm weather, the girls need their own anti-perspirant. But nobody makes one for boobs, do they? Can underarm deodorant be used in your cleavage?

I rolled a tube of Lady Fresh down the front of my chest and under the weighty appendages, then fed my arms through the straps of the first non-nursing bra I’d worn in five years, having just finished weaning my youngest child a week ago. It looked like it could pass for an inflatable pool toy if you folded it in half, sewed it together, and blew air into the curved chambers through a straw. Maybe I needn’t have bought those expensive floaties for Sophie after all, I could just strap a couple of these babies onto her arms and she’d be good to go.

I put on my shirt and bent down to get my shoes from under the bed.

Creak!

What was that?

I straightened up, then bent down again.

Creak!

I’m only twenty-eight, surely that can’t be my joints? Or has having four kids under the age of six finally caught up with me and soon I’ll be getting heartburn and indigestion along with my arthritic joints? I walked to the bathroom to do my hair, my arms swinging gently by my side.

Creak, creak, creak!

It’s not my joints. It’s my freaking bra! I swung my arms with the enthusiasm of a marching soldier, then rotated them like an Olympic backstroker. Yep. The bra. Why is it creaking? I twisted my head to the side and peered over my shoulder, sliding my hand under my shirt and feeling the metal clasps holding the straps in place. It hadn’t creaked when I tried it on at the department store yesterday. Then again I’d only put in on briefly to check if it fitted, then ripped it off. Was it like a new pair of shoes that you had to wear in? Or did I give my bra arthritis from the cumbersome load I’d destined it to endure? Oh well, there was no time to change back into one of my worn out maternity bras, I had to get Lucas, Sophie, and Sebastian ready so we could get to Aurora’s school concert in time.

‘What’s taking you so long?’ my husband, Jason, asked as he peered into the bathroom.

‘My bra is creaking, and I haven’t done my hair yet.’ I ruffled my black tresses then smoothed them back into a tight ponytail. Creak, creak, creak. ‘See, can you hear that?’

‘Hear what? All I can hear is the ticking of the clock.’

I watched his reflection in the mirror as he lifted his wrist to his ear. ‘Clocks don’t tick these days, Jase. Unless you’ve switched your e-pad to one of those vintage pieces that are coming into fashion?’ I closed my eyes and finished my hair with a spray of Lady Sculpt, then turned to my husband with my hands on my hips and chest raised in a flirty pose. ‘How do I look?’

He coughed at the hairspray and barely looked at me. ‘Fine, now let’s go.’

Yep, to top it all off, even these whoppers failed to attract the red blooded male who promised to love me till death do us part. Not just today, but he’d barely cast a second glance at me since … um … how long had it been? Did we even have sex to conceive Lucas? Maybe I fell asleep during it and forgot about the whole thing, until a year ago of course when Lucas dashed, skidded, and tumbled out of my birth canal. It was no immaculate birth let alone conception. Hmm, it had been a long time. And Jason seemed … distracted, and disinterested. Something was definitely wrong.

* * *

There you have it. First scene laid bare for all to see. I’m kind of nervous now. 😉

As this book is yet to be written, I’m open to suggestions for what you would like to see, what things/characters you liked about Fast Forward that you would like me to revisit or expand on (SlimFX Magic Suit Version 3.0 anyone??).

I’d be happy to hear your thoughts in the comments below! Thanks for reading 🙂

And check the blog again on Wednesday for another excerpt, this time from my upcoming release, THE JANUARY WISH…

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At Home With… Iris Blobel [Plus Giveaway!]

To celebrate the upcoming January 1st release of THE JANUARY WISH, the first book in my small town series set in Tarrin’s Bay; The Town of New Beginnings, I’ve started a new interview segment called ‘At Home With…’

Today, we’re paying a visit to Iris Blobel, & she has a copy of her book ‘New Beginnings’ up for grabs…

 

iris blobel1. Hi Iris, where are you from and how long have you lived there?
I live in a small place called Miners Rest which is just outside Ballarat in Victoria. I’ve lived here for almost 9 years.

 

2. What do you love about the place you call home?
It took me a long time to get used to Ballarat, but nowadays I feel really comfortable here. Without wanting to sound like the town’s advert, but  it’s close to the mountains, the beach and all the facilities in Melbourne.

We live just outside of Ballarat and it is ideal for raising our two girls. I love the sense of community, the friendship, neighbourhood watch and  the idea that children can walk to and from school or friends without parents having to worry.

[Juliet ~ Sounds great!]

 

3. Do you have a favourite local cafe, restaurant, bar, club, business, or store? Give them a plug here!
The Miners Rest Tavern! YEAH … great meals, great prices, great atmosphere!

In Ballarat – can’t go past the Hogs Breath Café and of course, 99.9 VoiceFM where I present the German Program every Wednesday 🙂

 

IMAG02314. Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names?
Yes, little Spot’s been part of our family for the last three years. An absolute rascal who’s destroyed heaps of shoes in his short life, but a perfect pet and friend for my girls. They adore him and vice versa … and the only dog I know that can put a blanket on him on his own. I am not kiddin’!
Unfortunately, we lost our other dog died two years ago. She was such a loyal companion!

[Juliet ~ Love the tie, Spot!] 

 

5. What is your favourite room in the house and why?
Oh tricky!
First thought was bedroom ;-). But then the family room, because of that … being with the family. But, I admit, I love sneaking into my youngest girl’s room in winter on a sunny day, or on hotter days you can find me in daughter #1’s room.
So, there isn’t really a favourite room as such. I love our little house with a garden. Something I had always dreamt of when I grew up in a small apartment.

 

6. If you had to evacuate your house, what three items (apart from people and pets!) would you take?
OMG, I hope that’ll never happen, because I haven’t got a clue on what I could leave behind.

Again, first thought would be my laptop, the big photo of my husband and me, the suitcase with all the photos, books, kids’ paintings, kids’ pressies …. Whoops … not allowed?

 

7. If you had a magic wand, what’s one thing you would change about your home or your town?
The distance to my family back in Germany!

 

8. It’s movie night at your place, the popcorn’s out, and everyone’s nabbed their favourite couch corner or armchair… what movie/s will we watch?
Love Actually or Avatar
(My choice would be “Tangled”, but I have a feeling my husband would quietly leave the room after five minutes – LOL)

 

9. Imagine you have the luxury of a chef for a night and you’ve invited people over for a dinner party, what would you have the chef cook?
“Leberknoedel”, with Sauerkraut and potato dumplings 🙂
I’d probably had to eat it on my own, but it really is very yummy!

[Juliet ~ I’ll take your word for it!] 

 

10. Name three books on your To Be Read bookshelf or e-reader:
Suzanne Brandyn “Outback Fear”
Lee Goldberg & Janet Evanovich “The Heist”
Cecelia Ahern “One Hundred Names”

 

11. Name something unique or uncommon that you have in your pantry or fridge:
Spaetzle (certain kind of pasta)

[Juliet ~ You learn something new every day!] 

 

12. If you could live anywhere for one year, where would you go?
Oh, the choices!
A year ago, I’d probably have said Canada or Scandinavia, but since our travels through the US, I have to admit, I wouldn’t mind going back to Oregon. We loved the diversity of the state!

 

13. You’ve just received a phone call from a friend or relative, and they’ll be arriving in five minutes for a visit. What do you do?

a) Relax on the couch until they arrive.

b) Put the kettle on; place some (probably homemade) snacks onto a tray; set the table; put flowers into a vase; and light a candle (and maybe even make some place cards with your super calligraphy skills).

c) Put the kettle on; tip out a few cookies onto a plate; check your reflection in the mirror, and wait.

d) Freak out; shove excess household clutter under beds, in cupboards, drawers, and the garage; trip over something in the process; hold an ice pack to your bruised forehead while swearing profusely; check the mirror to see if you’re still in pyjamas; frantically change into suitable clothing whilst simultaneously holding ice pack to your head; fall over again; alternate ice pack between head and location of new injury; then shove ice pack under bed and greet visitors with the fakest smile of pure calm you can muster.

Shame on me … it’s D – I’d probably not trip over something, but I can see myself rushing through my house, tidying up in my PJs, especially at the weekend 🙂 LOL. Thank goodness the house is never in a great state of mess anyway, but I do freak out when things aren’t  “at their place”.

 

Thanks Iris! 

>>Even though Iris would probably love you to pay a visit, why not visit her online right now?

Blog : Facebook : Twitter : Goodreads

>>And help her pay for that in-house chef (or housekeeper) by buying a copy of her book here:

Amazon : Astraea Press : Smashwords : Bookstrand

NewBeginnings 500x750 with logoNEW BEGINNINGS:

Twenty-two-year-old Sophie Levesque has been guardian to eight-year-old sister Mia since their mother’s death a few years ago. Luck comes their way when they inherit a small house in Hobart. Problem is, though, they don’t know or have even heard of Clara Bellinger, the testator, and Sophie is afraid it’s all been a mistake.
As Mia settles well into her new school and life in general, Sophie is not only occupied by her search of what connected her to Clara, but also her new studies and the two men, who suddenly have become part of her daily life – Mark O’Connor, the lawyer representing Clara’s estate, and Zach, the hunk from across the road.

>>WIN! An ebook copy of New Beginnings by leaving a comment on this post. Winner will be drawn on Wed 4th Dec and notified here and via email.

At Home With Jenny Schwartz

To celebrate the upcoming January 1st release of THE JANUARY WISH, the first book in my small town series set in Tarrin’s Bay; The Town of New Beginnings, I’ve started a new interview segment called ‘At Home With…’

Today, we’re paying a visit to Jenny Schwartz…

 

JennySchwartzportrait1. Hi Jenny, where are you from and how long have you lived there?

Hi Juliet! Thanks for the chance to visit. I’m from Perth, Western Australia, and like a good sandgroper, apart from a few years sojourn in Canberra, I’ve always lived in the West. The sun has to set over the ocean or it just looks wrong to me!

 

2. What do you love about the place you call home?

My star sign is Cancer, so I really like being near water. Although I can’t afford (hello Lotto fairy, please do visit!) a house by the sea, Perth has its gorgeous coastline and amazing Swan River, and both make me feel good.

 

3. Do you have a favourite local cafe, restaurant, bar, club, business, or store? Give them a plug here!

I’ll confess. I love bread. Yum, yum, YUM! No carbohydrate-free diets for me! If you’re ever at the Fremantle Markets (I remember them when they were rundown and full of hippies), you must buy bread from Abhi’s Bakery. The best bread anywhere.

 

Toby dog4. Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names?

This is Toby, affectionately known as “Fur Factory”. He loves to cuddle and share his fur – especially if I’m dressed to go out and wearing black.

[Juliet – Always the way!]

 

5. What is your favourite room in the house and why?

Kitchen! I did mention my bread-obsession, didn’t I? 🙂 I like cooking. I don’t much like recipes, but mostly the results are edible.

 

6. If you had to evacuate your house, what three items (apart from people and pets!) would you take?

I’m absurdly practical on this one: My purse because replacing cards is a nightmare, ditto my folder of important documents and probably my laptop. Photos tend to be online now, so no worries there, and clothes can be replaced. Hmm. I hate shoe shopping, so maybe I’d scoop up my shoes.

 

7. If you had a magic wand, what’s one thing you would change about your home or your town?

Give me that magic wand! I’d put a barrier around the suburb and not let any fruit fly in. With summer coming, it’s the time of fly traps and hassle trying to keep the critters out of the soft fruit. Although last year I did find that basil grown around the fig tree kept the fruit flies away.

 

8. It’s movie night at your place, the popcorn’s out, and everyone’s nabbed their favourite couch corner or armchair… what movie/s will we watch?

It’s not a movie exactly, but I am desperately waiting on the third instalment of Sherlock. Meantime re-runs of the first two are welcome.

[Juliet – I have heard it’s good!]

 

9. Imagine you have the luxury of a chef for a night and you’ve invited people over for a dinner party, what would you have the chef cook?

I would want to be surprised. Seriously, thinking up menus is hard work. I’ve just been doing that for my current book and it’s tough.

In case you’re wondering what my hero and heroine ate on their “this is definitely not a date” night out: chargrilled mushrooms stuffed with olive and thyme flavoured fetta, followed by roast chicken with pommes noisettes and spring greens, and Cassie insisted on a chocolate dessert. Any chocolate dessert!

 

10. Name three books on your To Be Read bookshelf or e-reader:

Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett – Terry Pratchett does steampunk!!!

Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh – It was tough waiting for this to come out in paperback.

and I’m waiting for January for Jayne Ann Krentz’s River Road. I love her books.

 

11. Name something unique or uncommon that you have in your pantry or fridge:

Umm. *contemplates an emergency run to the supermarket to buy something interesting*

Ripe blueberries just picked from the garden. Not unique, but definitely scrumptious.

 

12. If you could live anywhere for one year, where would you go?

Florence! Wouldn’t everyone?

[Juliet – well, if you’re offering ;)] 

 

13. You’ve just received a phone call from a friend or relative, and they’ll be arriving in five minutes for a visit. What do you do?

a) Relax on the couch until they arrive.

b) Put the kettle on; place some (probably homemade) snacks onto a tray; set the table; put flowers into a vase; and light a candle (and maybe even make some place cards with your super calligraphy skills).

c) Put the kettle on; tip out a few cookies onto a plate; check your reflection in the mirror, and wait.

d) Freak out; shove excess household clutter under beds, in cupboards, drawers, and the garage; trip over something in the process; hold an ice pack to your bruised forehead while swearing profusely; check the mirror to see if you’re still in pyjamas; frantically change into suitable clothing whilst simultaneously holding ice pack to your head; fall over again; alternate ice pack between head and location of new injury; then shove ice pack under bed and greet visitors with the fakest smile of pure calm you can muster.

c) Put the kettle on; tip out a few cookies onto a plate; check your reflection in the mirror, and wait.

I have to add to c) attack hair with comb. When writing, if I’m truly stuck, I scrunch my hair as I stare at the screen. The result is a bit frightening, to be honest.

 

Thanks for your hospitality, Jenny!

>>Even though Jenny would probably love you to pay a visit, why not visit her online right now?

Website : Blog : Facebook : Twitter : Goodreads : Google+

1013 It'a Love, Dude_500>>And help her pay for that in-house chef (or housekeeper) by buying a copy of It’s Love, Dude here:

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?

 

>>WIN! A digital copy of It’s Love, Dude. Open internationally. Enter by leaving a comment. *Winner will be drawn on 27th November and notified via email and in the comments.

Freebies & Giveaways!

With November being Escape Publishing’s 1st birthday, there are lots of giveaways and freebies going around, so I thought I’d share some of them here so you can nab a bargain or a prize!

freebies>>First, here are two ebooks that are FREE right now for a limited time:

1. WHITE CHRISTMAS by Ros Baxter (free for preorders)

2. THE SECRET DIARY OF LADY CATHERINE BEXLEY by Viveka Portman

 

930255_box_gift>>And here are four giveaways to win books from Escape Publishing (including some by yours truly ;))

1. Win I DREAM OF JOHNNY at Novel Escapes (Hurry! Ends soon!)

2. Win a five-pack of ebooks, including FAST FORWARD, at Chick Lit Club.

3. Win one of nine ebook bundles in various genres at Delighted Reader.

4. Win a five-pack of contemporary romance ebooks at Into The Night Reviews.

 

So get in quick and stock your e-reader with some holiday reading!

And once again, HAPPY BIRTHDAY ESCAPE PUBLISHING! 🙂

HappyBirthdayEscape

 

At Home With Victoria Purman

To celebrate the January 1st release of THE JANUARY WISH, the first book in my small town series set in Tarrin’s Bay; The Town of New Beginnings, I’ve started a new interview segment called ‘At Home With…’

VictoriaPurman-190-300x198Today, we’re paying a visit to coastal romance author, Victoria Purman!

1. Hi Victoria, where are you from and how long have you lived there?

Thanks for having me, Juliet! I’m an Adelaide girl through and through and have lived here my whole life. Some would say that’s pretty boring – others might say it’s lovely!

[Juliet – There’s no place like home! 😉 ]

2. What do you love about the place you call home?

Adelaide has a fantastic food and wine culture and the south coast’s beautiful beaches are only an hour away. When I worked in the city, it only took me twenty minutes to get there from home, so that’s pretty family-friendly, too.

3. Do you have a favourite local cafe, restaurant, bar, club, business, or store? Give them a plug here!

I absolutely love my hairdresser Megan Panozzo from In Awe Salon. I’ve been going to her for more than twenty years and she’s cut my three boys hair since they were were bubs! My other favourite places are those which make the things that sustain writers: Haigh’s chocolates (another South Australian classic) and the wineries Bremerton and Primo Estate.

[Juliet – A good hairdresser is worth their weight in gold!]

pet4. Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names? (Feel free to share a photo)

I have a very disobedient spoodle called Charlie who absolutely adores me!

[Juliet – I don’t think he’s camera shy either ;)]

5. What is your favourite room in the house and why?

My favourite place in the house is actually not a room, but the deck in the backyard. In summertime, an enormous Acer Negunda (Box Elder) tree gives us a cool canopy to sit under in Adelaide’s scorching heat.

6. If you had to evacuate your house, what three items (apart from people and pets!) would you take?

My Apple Mac – obviously! Passports and some undies!!

7. If you had a magic wand, what’s one thing you would change about your home or your town?

I would drag Adelaide a little closer to New York!

[Juliet – LOL! Not a bad idea.]

8. It’s movie night at your place, the popcorn’s out, and everyone’s nabbed their favourite couch corner or armchair… what movie/s will we watch?

BBC’s “Pride and Prejudice”. “High Fidelity” with John Cusack and “Nacho Libre” with Jack Black.

9. Imagine you have the luxury of a chef for a night and you’ve invited people over for a dinner party, what would you have the chef cook?

The best, juiciest steak… because I panic when I do it, fearing I’ll overcook.

10. Name three books on your To Be Read bookshelf or e-reader:

Nora Roberts “Dark Witch”. Cathryn Hein’s “Heartland” and everything of Amy Andrews. I’ve just finished her latest “Holding out for a Hero” and adored it.

11. Name something unique or uncommon that you have in your pantry or fridge:

Tahini. I make a mean Hommous.

12. If you could live anywhere for one year, where would you go?

New York, New York. Because I may, simply by accident you understand, bump into Ryan Gosling or George Clooney.

13. You’ve just received a phone call from a friend or relative, and they’ll be arriving in five minutes for a visit. What do you do?

a) Relax on the couch until they arrive.

b) Put the kettle on; place some (probably homemade) snacks onto a tray; set the table; put flowers into a vase; and light a candle (and maybe even make some place cards with your super calligraphy skills).

c) Put the kettle on; tip out a few cookies onto a plate; check your reflection in the mirror, and wait.

d) Freak out; shove excess household clutter under beds, in cupboards, drawers, and the garage; trip over something in the process; hold an ice pack to your bruised forehead while swearing profusely; check the mirror to see if you’re still in pyjamas; frantically change into suitable clothing whilst simultaneously holding ice pack to your head; fall over again; alternate ice pack between head and location of new injury; then shove ice pack under bed and greet visitors with the fakest smile of pure calm you can muster.

(a) Relax on the couch. With a half empty bottle of wine, of course!

 

Thanks for inviting us over, Victoria! 

>>Even though Victoria would probably love you to pay a visit, why not visit her online right now?

Website : Facebook : Twitter : Goodreads : Pinterest

>>And help her pay for that in-house chef (or housekeeper) by buying a copy of her book here:

Kindle : Harlequin :Google Play : Ibookstore : Kobo : Booktopia

NBH>>Victoria’s book: Nobody But Him

She didn’t expect to run into her first love… or to fall back in love with him!

At eighteen, Julia Jones left for the city with a head full of grand plans for an exciting life that certainly didn’t include her home town of Middle Point – a main street with a pub – or Ryan Blackburn.

But fifteen years – and a lifetime later – she’s forced to put her big city life on hold when she heads home to finalise her mother’s estate. Which is where she runs smack bang into the town’s new champion… the same Ryan Blackburn.

The sensible thing to do? Stay the hell away from him and head back to Melbourne as fast as her stilettos can carry her. But Julia finds his offer of a helping hand and a hot body too delicious to refuse and dives into a reckless, one-time fling.

What she doesn’t realise is that tomorrow has a way of sneaking up, and that saying goodbye to her home town – and to Ryan – is much harder the second time around.

Happy Birthday to Escape Publishing! Interview with Managing Editor Kate Cuthbert

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt is with great pleasure that I introduce you to the fabulous managing editor of Escape Publishing, Kate Cuthbert! She’s here today for Escape’s one year birthday to discuss the past year and what the future holds for Escape, and how you could be a part of this innovative imprint!

 

1. Happy Birthday Escape! So tell me, if you could receive any birthday present to commemorate your first year as Managing Editor, what would you choose?

graduation-diploma-533025-mIs it mercenary to ask for 50 Shades level sales? Probably, huh? 🙂 Alright, first anniversary is paper. So how about a certificate of achievement. Something old school like you used to get in primary school, that I can frame on my wall that says, ‘Hey! Escape! One year down, many to go!’

 

2. What are one or two of your biggest highlights from working with Escape over the past year?

The biggest highlight for me is the community of authors that we’ve built up, the Escape Artists. Their talent, their enthusiasm, their professionalism – just a great bunch of writers and a fantastic bunch of people.

The second highlight is the range of stories that we unearthed over the year – we’ve covered so much ground, put so much out there. I’m really proud of the variety of quality stories that we’ve published.

 

Number One Cupcake3. As managing editor you read and consider all submissions for acquisition, what are the other tasks involved with your job?

Apart from a monstrous amount of reading, I’m also heavily involved in editorial direction (which means identifying holes in our catalogue and looking to fill them, as well as some future-gazing into what we think will be the next big sellers), marketing, briefing for covers, reviews, blogging, social media – pretty much all aspects of Escape barring the technical stuff which is handled by people much more adept than me!

 

4. Escape has published books in a wide variety of sub-genres. What have been the three most successful genres for Escape so far?

Science Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Australian Rural Romance.

 

5. Escape does fabulous book covers. Do you have a few favourites out of all the wonderful designs so far? (Or is that like choosing between kids?)

Oh wow. Umm…I really really love the covers for the erotic historical novellas The Secret Diaries… and The Wicked Confessions…from Viveka Portman – they just encapsulate the stories so well, and are incredibly sexy and classy. We couldn’t have found a better image for Fast Forward, and I love the candy colours of that cover. And Words Once Spoken by Carly Drake and Awakening by Lara Morgan are just beautiful fantasy covers.

 

6. How many submissions do you get on average each week? How many of these do you request the full manuscript of?

On average I receive 10 – 15 manuscripts a week. I probably request fulls of 25% of those, and publish 15% of the whole.

 

7. What are three key ingredients in a successful submission for Escape?

Following the submission guidelines is a good first step! But the way to get published by Escape (and, really, anyone) is to have the three components of a good book: excellent pacing, fantastic characters, and breathtaking emotional development.

 

8. When you’re not reading submissions, what books/authors do you like to read for fun?

You may find this hard to believe that I still love to read romance! But I’ve been getting into crime fiction and non-fiction recently as well. I met Kathryn Fox at GenreCon and have been enjoying her novels (slowly, between submissions). The next three must-reads for me are Cecilia Grant’s A Woman Entangled, Julia Quinn’s The Sum of All Kisses, and Laura Lee Guhrke’s When the Marquess Met His Match.

 

9. What are the benefits of publishing with Escape Publishing?

I like to say we have the four F’s – fun, fearless, flexible, and fast. We take risks, we really understand and love romance fiction, and we’re dedicated to building careers as well as our imprint.

 

10. Now that Escape has turned one, what’s the vision for Escape over the coming months and years?

Our first year was about building a catalogue, getting a backlist up, and mapping out a place in the Australian publishing landscape. Our next steps are establishing and cementing that place, identifying and promoting key authors, and building reader trust in our brand.

 

HARL_escapeLOGO_red11. Could you offer some advice for authors wanting to submit to Escape? And how can they submit to you?

Make sure that your story is the best it can possibly be. Edit, revise, rework. Make sure someone you trust to be honest reads it, and listen to them. Take advice, but don’t compromise your voice. Take risks and write your story, not the story you think will sell.

And, for goodness’ sake, begin your story and narrative at the same point. The number one reason I have for rejecting a manuscript is the narrative starting long before the story, or starting and then looking backwards.

Escape is always open for submissions, via our website, www.escapepublishing.com.au. Submission guidelines are available there, and I look forward to hearing from you!

 

Thanks Kate! So c’mon writers, polish up those manuscripts and send them to Kate, and readers, head over to the Escape website and check out the fabulous titles available!

 

COVER REVEAL! The January Wish

TheJanuaryWishcoverTa da! What do you think? It’s amazing to finally see this story come to life as it’s been a long road to publication for this one. I think the cover really suits the feeling and emotion of the story, and hints at the secrets hiding behind the characters and this small coastal town.

Thanks to the team at Harlequin Australia / Escape Publishing for another fab cover!

The January Wish will release on 1st January 2014 and kickstarts my Tarrin’s Bay Series, and the good news is you won’t have to wait long for the second installment – February or Forever releases a month later, on 1st February! Yep, I’ve been hard at work making sure I could have the second one ready for readers right away 😉

So what is The January Wish about? It’s a sweet, emotional romance about the pleasures of making a wish and seeing it come true. It’s a blend of contemporary romance and women’s fiction, perfect for fans of Susan Wiggs and Sherryl Woods. This story is unique in that it is told in three points of view, one of which belongs to an eighteen-year-old girl whose journey and romance of her own make this a New Adult (NA) and Adult story in one! It’s also a small town romance, a coastal romance, and a medical romance (just to cover all bases, you know?) 😉

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.

This book was the second book I ever wrote, and went through lots of revisions to make it the best it could be, and I was thrilled when it was announced one of the six finalists in the Choc Lit Publishing Search for an Australian Star contest in 2012.

The setting of the story, Tarrin’s Bay, is based closely on the town I live in on the South Coast of NSW, Australia, so I hope I’ve captured the heart and soul of this special place on the page for reader’s to enjoy… Tarrin’s Bay is known as The Town of New Beginnings.

If you’d like to see some pictorial inspiration for The January Wish, you can visit my Pinterest board here. And add it to your Goodreads shelf here!

So until January 1st… I hope your wishes come true 🙂

~ Juliet xx

Ten Awkward Questions with Emma Mills

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, please welcome YA author, Emma Mills, who is celebrating the release of WitchHunt!

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!)

Hmm the problem with this question is that so far I have only written a book series and you really need to read them in order! So it would need to be WitchBlood, because without the beginning the rest wouldn’t make sense! However, WitchBlood was my first attempt at writing and since then I have learnt a LOT! And I know from my reviews that my books have become better with each new release… so WitchBlood (but I should probably do a re-edit!)

 

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.

Hmmm Punctual…possibly, but mostly ‘last minute’. Good Listener… I try to be. Neat… definitely not and I don’t think I’m particularly cheerful either. Maybe Graceful is the best (I still have the ‘bottom in/shoulders back’ posture that was drummed into me at ballet school). I was training to be a dancer until I injured my back at age 17.

 

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.

Haha! It’s a choice between Slob and Grumpy Pants! Recently as I’ve been selling our house I have been forced to be tidier and clean more often, but due to the extra stress of my husband working 250 miles away I think I’ve been extra grumpy… So let’s go with Grumpy Cat… who I feel a certain affinity with!

 

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

Hmm generally all the WitchBlood fans seem to love the vampire Daniel (as they should) but because I created him as a main character and know all his idiosyncrasies it feels weird in an almost incestuous way… I also have a soft spot for the clan leader Sebastian. It’s a power thing, also he’s very sexy!

 

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

Erm no! No acting here, but I do visualise it. I’ve always been excellent at daydreaming; in fact it showed up on my school report cards many times! So the characters become very real in my head.

 

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

Yes, I both talk to myself and hum a lot! But when your kids are at school and your husband is working 250 miles away, you have to talk to someone right? I even talk in my sleep…

 

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

My life is going to have to get a LOT more interesting for there to be a movie made… but if I was to choose an actress… I’d go for Liv Tyler because I love her. I love that she’s not skinny, that she got to be an elf and she’s got similar hair to mine. She’s also only 1 year younger 🙂

 

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

I’m tempted to choose Bella Swan, not because I love her character, but because I’d get to stand at the top of a redwood tree with Edward Cullen… but I think I’d have more fun choosing to be Thursday Next from Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair. It’s about as close as you can get to travelling through time & space (minus The Doctor) AND you travel into literary classics. What could be better?

 

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

I hate these questions and refuse to answer… I can never choose and will never get stranded on a deserted island… see I told you I could be grumpy!

 

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

Errm ‘Hi…’ and ‘Errm what the heck is going on? Why do you want to kill each other? And can we please start being nicer to animals?’ Then I’d sidle away quickly and quietly… blushing bright red!

 

Thanks Emma, you have been awarded Ultra-Brave Author on the Braveometer! Okay so question 9 was almost an answer, but I’ll give it to you 😉

Ultra-BraveAuthor

WitchHuntEmma’s latest release: WitchHunt

As the Christmas season is ripped apart by the news that Jess’ old friend Alex has been turned into a vicious killer, festivities are dropped, Jess returns to England and the hunt begins. But Alex isn’t the only one being hunted, for Mary has found a way to extinguish the entire bloodline of Malden witches, and it is Jess’s book of shadows that’s the key. As things hot up, Jess finds she must leave Daniel and the safety of Manchester in a final hunt for her nemesis, Mary. In a fight-off that only one of them can survive, loved ones will fall… daemons will rise… but who will survive?

 

Find Emma online:

Facebook  |   Blog   |  Twitter   |   Goodreads  |

Buy US:

Amazon   |   Barnes and Noble

Buy UK:

Amazon   |   Barnes and Noble

Witchblood>>WIN! To score an ecopy of WitchBlood, the first book in Emma’s paranormal YA series, please leave a comment below. Bonus entry if you like Emma’s Facebook page (let us know in the comments that you’ve liked it).

Winner will be drawn 18th November and notified via email and on this blog. Good luck!

 

 

News! I’ve Signed With An Agent

champagneAlmost four years to the day when I started writing my first novel, I’ve signed with a literary agent!

The novel I submitted, THE LIFE MAKEOVER CLUB, came about during my own life makeover, and had many makeovers of its own (revisions, revisions, revisions) and I’m so glad it’s finally ready to be ‘out there’ and has caught the attention of Joelle Delbourgo from Joelle Delbourgo Associates, Inc in New Jersey, USA.

This milestone has made me realise how far I’ve come in the last four years. So often we keep thinking about the future, wanting to get somewhere, achieve new things, that we can forget what we have achieved already. When was the last time you took a step back and celebrated your progress in life?

Since I made the commitment to being a writer in October 2009, I’ve written five novels (3 with publishing contracts), two novellas (both published), several short stories, and a few partials (3 chapters and synopsis of a potential story), as well as MANY title and plot ideas! I have a title fetish. I collect them and think of new ones all the time, jotting them down on my title list. For me, a simple, catchy title can inspire a whole story idea.

When I came up with the title for The Life Makeover Club, I knew it was something I had to write. I’d been trying to think up an idea for my first story. All I knew was that I wanted to write a novel. I’d participated in a couple of self improvement and business coaching programs, and thought it would be fun to write about people who wanted to change their lives in some way, and who took major action to make their dreams a reality. And so this book was born.

After about seventy queries to agents over three months, I am now one step closer to my dream of having this book published. I had several requests for the full manuscript, a few for the partial, and two offers of representation. Of course, I could only accept one, and let me tell you – it was a very hard decision to make! Especially as during that week I was dealing with the sadness of our old home burning down in the Blue Mountains bushfires. My son grew up there, and the house was mostly designed by my mum, and so much work had been done on it. But it’s the memories we had there that made it so sad. It was heartbreaking to see it burning on the TV news, and then to see the mess of the rubble in photographs afterwards. They say big things often happen all at once, and over those few days they certainly did! Anyway, I was thrilled with both agent offers, and ultimately decided to put myself in the capable hands of Joelle.

Next step: make some improvements to the manuscript to prepare it for submission, then wait and hope a publisher (or two, or three…) wants it! 😉

I’m ready, I’m excited, and I hope to be sharing this story with you soon! 🙂

~ Juliet

At Home With… Annie Seaton [Plus Giveaway!]

To celebrate the January 1st release of THE JANUARY WISH, the first book in my small coastal town series set in Tarrin’s Bay; The Town of New Beginnings, I’ve started a new interview segment called ‘At Home With…’

Today, we’re paying a visit to bestselling author from Entangled Publishing, Annie Seaton!

Annie_Seaton (2)1. Hi Annie where are you from and how long have you lived there?

I live in a small town on the mid north coast of New South Wales and have lived here for over twenty years.

 

2. What do you love about the place you call home?

Family around me makes it home. As well as that, the proximity to the ocean is very special to me. The water inspires my writing.

 

3. Do you have a favourite local cafe, restaurant, bar, club, business, or store? Give them a plug here!

LOL… the coffee machine in my kitchen.  I have been so busy with deadlines, I lead a fairly cloistered life….I even grocery shop online!

 

bob4. Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names? (Feel free to share a photo)

I think most readers are familiar with Bob Dog and Boy Cat and Girl Cat… but here is a photo too!

 

chair5. What is your favourite room in the house and why?

The living room where my writing chair overlooks the ocean and my garden

 

6. If you had to evacuate your house, what three items (apart from people and pets!) would you take?

Laptop, iPad and my gold jewellery (All my important documents and photos are stored electronically!)

 

7. If you had a magic wand, what’s one thing you would change about your home or your town?

I would beautify the public areas that the local council cannot afford to look after.

 

8. It’s movie night at your place, the popcorn’s out, and everyone’s nabbed their favourite couch corner or armchair… what movie/s will we watch?

Love Actually or Billy Elliott.

 

9. Imagine you have the luxury of a chef for a night and you’ve invited people over for a dinner party, what would you have the chef cook?

Creme Brulee! Forget the main course.. . straight to the dessert for me.

[Juliet ~ why not? ;)]

garden10. Name three books on your To Be Read bookshelf or e-reader:

~ Books 3-10 in the Sullivans series by Bella Andre (Can we count that as one?)

~ Jackie Underdown-Beautiful Illusion

~ M J Stedman –Light Between Oceans

[Juliet ~ I have a couple of those on my list too]

 

11. Name something unique or uncommon that you have in your pantry or fridge:

Home made pickles… I think that is a rarity these days!

 

12. If you could live anywhere for one year, where would you go?

New Zealand… I love it and would love to spend a year exploring the country.

 

13. You’ve just received a phone call from a friend or relative, and they’ll be arriving in five minutes for a visit. What do you do?

a) Relax on the couch until they arrive.

b) Put the kettle on; place some (probably homemade) snacks onto a tray; set the table; put flowers into a vase; and light a candle (and maybe even make some place cards with your super calligraphy skills).

c) Put the kettle on; tip out a few cookies onto a plate; check your reflection in the mirror, and wait.

d) Freak out; shove excess household clutter under beds, in cupboards, drawers, and the garage; trip over something in the process; hold an ice pack to your bruised forehead while swearing profusely; check the mirror to see if you’re still in pyjamas; frantically change into suitable clothing whilst simultaneously holding ice pack to your head; fall over again; alternate ice pack between head and location of new injury; then shove ice pack under bed and greet visitors with the fakest smile of pure calm you can muster.

None of the above. Chill the wine!

[Juliet ~ it’s all about priorities, right? ;)]

 

Thanks Annie!

Even though Annie would probably love you to pay a visit, why not visit her online right now?

Website: http://annieseatonromance.com

Blog: http://annieseaton.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnieSeatonAuthor

Twitter: @annieseaton26

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5779458.Annie_Seaton

 

And help her pay for that in-house chef by buying a copy of her book, Outback Affair, here:

Amazon / B&N / iTunes

OutbackAffairSeatonOUTBACK AFFAIR:

Jessica Trent wants to be a full-time writer for Cuisine magazine, but in order to land the gig she has to snare a one-on-one with the reclusive Alessandro Ricardo, a man hell-bent on staying out of the limelight. The last thing she expects as she heads to Crocodile Springs resort in northern Australia is to end up traveling across the Outback with a rugged and far too sexy barramundi fisherman.

Ex-lawyer Alex Richards protects his privacy and his heart in equal measure. So when a Yankee bombshell in need of a ride turns up and threatens both, he decides to teach her a lesson. As they make their way through the wild country together, the attraction between them ignites. Alex must choose between his heart or letting go of his past … and will Jessica understand why he lied once she finds out who he really is?

HA-500>>WIN! Annie’s giving away a copy of the first book in her affair series, Holiday Affair. Comment below to enter (bonus entry if you tell us where you would like to go for your ideal holiday!).  Open worldwide and winner will be drawn on 15th Nov and notified by email.

Good luck!