Monthly Archives: March 2014

At Home With Karen E. Martin [Interview & Giveaway!]

To celebrate my new releases THE JANUARY WISH and FEBRUARY OR FOREVER, the first two books in my small town series set in Tarrin’s Bay; The Town of New Beginnings, I’m running a special interview segment called ‘At Home With…’

Today, we’re paying a visit to Karen E. Martin…

 

IMG_2261_vote1. Hi Karen, where are you from and how long have you lived there?

Hi, Juliet. 🙂 I’ve lived in Ohio for the last ten years or so, and grew up here as well. I spent nearly ten years living in other places, though, including Morocco, Jordan, Romania, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. I was working in the ESL field then (English as a Second Language), so I traveled around for different jobs.

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

My home is very cozy. Bright and airy, with all my favorite things displayed around the rooms (objects collected from my travels, books, mementos from childhood, and so on). The furniture is also COMFORTABLE…my sofa has been called The Couch That Sucks You In. I’ve also started developing a fairy garden in my back yard, which is really charming. Windchimes, miniature plants, sparkly suncatchers, and other little objects have been finding their way there for more than a year now. Most of them have been gifts, though some pieces I found in thrift stores or during travel.

[Juliet ~ That couch sounds great! And I want a fairy garden!]

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

I love going for Sunday brunch at La Chatelaine, an atmospheric French bistro here in town. Super delish quiches and pastries, a nice frothy cappuccino, and a seat at a wrought-iron table on the vines-and-flowers patio. It’s just so…civilized.

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

No pets, though we had a succession of cats and dogs when I was a kid (we lived in the country then, so plenty of space for animals to roam). I’d love to have a cat, but I travel too much to properly care for a pet.

back deck lower5. What is your favourite room in the house and why?

I have a meditation room which doubles as a guest room, so it has great vibes. It’s a room full of happy memories and relaxation. I have a modest collection of inspiration pieces, pretty stones, and small pieces of artwork that I draw from to set up seasonal displays, and plenty of pillows for sitting and lounging. I try to keep it uncluttered in there so I always have a peaceful place to go and think when the rest of my life gets chaotic.

[Juliet ~ I want one of those too. 😉 ]

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

My computer/external hard drive (almost all of my photos are saved there), the family jewelry I’ve inherited, and a box of hand-written journals I’ve kept from over the years (including the current one I’ve been working on for the last year and a half).

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

Easy – I’d add a public transportation system that is clean, efficient, affordable, and comprehensive (goes everywhere you want it to go). I’ve spent a good bit of time in Europe, and I really miss having taxis, buses, and trains that take you everywhere. I would never own a car if I didn’t have to. (FWIW, San Francisco and D.C. were pretty darned good for public transport; having a car was a nuisance more than anything in both places.)

garden8. 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?

Romantic Comedy, Action/Adventure, or very possibly Disney/Pixar. I like anything light and uplifting. The last TV gathering I had was for the Olympics – we probably get together to watch sports more than movies. College football (regular games) and basketball (tournaments) are something my friends and family often enjoy as a group.

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?

Probably some traditional dishes from Morocco that I’ve never been able to replicate. Heck with the trained chef, just send me a little ol’ Berber grandmother with her couscousiere, a mud oven, and some palm fronds for kindling.

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

Well, the Divergent series looks good. Mostly, I read nonfiction. I’m currently making my way through “Medicine Grove” (a book about healing herbs) and about to start “Post-Tribal Shamanism,” which was written by an acquaintance of mine.

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

Soudaniyah, a sweet/hot paprika from Morocco. I brought it back from there, and use it in a lot of my dishes. Can’t find it here in the States, though it may exist by some name I don’t know here.

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

Tough choice. Right now, I think I’d enjoy a year on a backwater, tropical island somewhere, with just enough infrastructure and connection to the outside world to get by. I’d walk on the beach barefoot everyday and eat the fresh-catch for dinner every night at a thatch-roof cafe on the strand. I’d sit around and drink beer with the locals and just chat, since there wouldn’t be much “entertainment” to speak of (including television). Traffic would be nonexistent (no cars), and most people would hike, bike, or boat to their next destination. I’d make my own bagels and tortillas from scratch, since they wouldn’t be available for sale anywhere on the island. And yeah…I’d love it. A place that’s simple and relaxing sounds very appealing after the last few hectic years I’ve had. [This choice may have something to do with the fact that I just visited Ilha Grande off the coast of Brazil two weeks ago, and absolutely fell in love with it.]

[Juliet ~ Simple and relaxing sounds perfect!]

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.

d) Freak out. …Yeah, that really does kind of sum it up.

[Juliet ~ You and me both 😉 ]

 

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

Website : Newsletter : Facebook : Twitter : Goodreads : Pinterest

 

Cover_5_31> And help her pay for that in-house chef (or housekeeper) by buying a copy of her book, MODOGAMOUS, here:

Amazon USAmazon UK

Kate Adams has a steady job, a home she loves in the big city, and good friends who always keep her laughing. Everything is going great—until the night she crosses the line with her best friend Mitch, and the boundaries between friendship and love begin to blur. Things get even more complicated when hunky JP enters the scene. Add to the mix a spunky little pug, and things start to get crazy!

“I was hooked from the moment I began reading!” ~ “Fast paced, well written, and laugh out loud funny!”  

 

>> WIN! An ebook copy of Modogamous is up for grabs! To enter, leave a comment below (Open Worldwide). Winner notified 4th April.

Advertisements

Books, bling, and buddies – my weekend in Sydney

After dealing with a flooded garage at home due to heavy rain here on the south coast of NSW, I’m finally taking off the gumboots (or galoshes, or rain boots…whatever you like to call them!) to do a quick post about my weekend visit to Sydney! 😉

On Friday I visited the place where all the bookish magic happens – the Harlequin Australia headquarters in North Sydney. They have really nice, red light-shades hanging from the ceiling there. Just sayin’. 😉 Of course, I wasn’t there to inspect their decor (though, as I studied interior decorating in a past life I do tend to notice these things!). I was there to meet with my publishers and discuss present and future books. How exciting! My first visit to a publishing house. 🙂

HARL_escapeLOGO_redEscape Publishing is the digital arm of Harlequin Australia and have published my first five books (which you can see here). It was great to meet some of the staff I hadn’t yet met, and chat about marketing and promotional strategies, book titles and plots, the often back-and-forth process of designing the perfect cover, and also some new and exciting things happening later this year which I’ll reveal when I’m allowed! I’m grateful to be with such an innovative and supportive publisher.

On Saturday I attended the Australian Romance Readers Association (ARRA) awards dinner. Two years ago I attended the awards dinner as an aspiring author; a little starstruck around these wonderful established authors who were winning awards, and this year I was there as not only an a published author but a finalist in the Favourite New Author category! Though I didn’t win (congrats to Anna Cowan!), I was thrilled to be nominated and I’d like to thank everyone who voted for me. 🙂 You can see the full list of award winners in the different categories HERE. Congrats to everyone! I love seeing fellow writers achieve milestones like this. And thanks to ARRA for putting on a great night and coordinating these awards. if you’re not yet a member, what are you waiting for? It’s not expensive and there are great perks. All the info on joining is HERE.

So it was a weekend of books, bling, and buddies. Books to write and publish, bling at the awards dinner (including a bling-off contest for the person with the best bling), and catching up with writing buddies and meeting new ones. I would add ‘yummy food’ to the mix but it doesn’t start with B. But there was yummy food involved too. 😉

2014 is shaping up to be a great year… so far I’ve had two back-to-back releases to kickstart my new Tarrin’s Bay series of coastal romance/women’s fiction novels; THE JANUARY WISH and FEBRUARY OR FOREVER. I’ve completed a new romagic comedy manuscript (HAUNTED EVER AFTER) and handed it in to my publisher, and was thrilled to have seen my first book FAST FORWARD make the Top 100 on Amazon recently. What’s next? Soon I’ll be starting to write a Christmas novella, and then I’ll move on to writing the third book in my TB series, MIRACLE IN MARCH (tentative title!). I’m looking forward to both, and looking forward to the rest of the year. I LOVE my writing life! Housework and cleaning up flooded garages…not so much 😉

Now, where did I put those gumboots?…

 

Five Reasons You Should Enter The Women’s Fiction Writers Contest (Finally!)

A great opportunity for aspiring authors of women’s fiction…

Book-signing event in Sydney

I’m looking forward to meeting readers and fellow authors at my first book signing this August!

Australian Romance Readers Association

BSE4 banner_600

The Australian Romance Readers Association will be hosting a book-signing event in Sydney this August. It will be held in conjunction with the Romance Writers of Australia conference, and will run from 5-6 pm on Saturday 9 August at the Pullman Hotel in Olympic Park. This is the seventh group signing we have hosted, and it is shaping up to be the biggest yet.

We are very excited to announce that international authors Cherry Adair and Marie Force will headline the event, along with Maisey Yates, Rachael Herron, Barbara DeLeo and Jackie Ashenden, plus more than 70 romance authors from around Australia.

The event will be open to the public, with an entry fee of just $20 ($15 for ARRA members). Or buy your tickets online at a discounted price ($15 for public, $12 for members). Entry will also include the opportunity to score some free books, plus the chance…

View original post 287 more words

Ten Awkward Questions with Elizabeth Cohen

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’! 

Please welcome Elizabeth Cohen, whose book The Hypothetical Girl was featured on Oprah.com as Book of the Week…

 

ECohen1. 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!)

The House on Beartown Road (in paperback, The Family on Beartown Road. I love my short story collection, but this memoir is about the hard and beautiful two years I spent with my baby and my father, and it is a cornerstone of my actual and writing lives.

 

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.

Good Good Good listener. Love to listen. Might take notes. Might steal (be careful what you say to me).

 

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.

Oh no, I am NOT perfect. For sure. I will go with slob here. But only in some areas. Like the BACK of my closet. The RIGHT SIDE of my desk. That one drawer you allow to beocme complete chaos (c’mon, you have one too, admit it!). Let’s call it controlled slobbery.

 

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

I am in LOVE with them, but not romantically. I want to buy them all chocolates and take them to really good, cathartic foreign movies and make them soup because these characters NEED A BREAK. But romantic feelings, nope.

 

newcover5. When writing an important scene, do you act it out to allow you to better describe what’s happening?

Never. But I do dream it. Yes. First. Then write it.

 

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

Never, but I do occasionally talk to my cousin Stuey Cohen or one of my best friends, Ruth Lopez. Then they typicallly say, either—that is hysterical, priceless, or that’s sh*t, babe. I trust them completely. And for that I thank them.

 

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

HAHA. Um. Hmmmm. Julianna Margolies. It is a hair thing.

 

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

Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, DUH.

 

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 am going with the pen and notebook. But I would miss the gorgeous person. I think I would have to write about that.

 

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

Dear Everyone in the Whole World:

There is much you are likely upset about. Like, for example. the fact that you cannot get really good tomatoes in the winter, your toilet is clogged, that there isn’t enough water for your village, or the person you love just left you. And to that I say, welcome to the tribe of humanity. Whatever you are experiencing has been experienced before and will be again. If you take a moment to think about it, all pain is known pain, and it has all been written about beautifully.

The good news is that most bad things are temporary. That eventually you probably WILL get a good tomato, you will find water or someone nice will likely bring you some, there are these things called “snakes” that can unclog a toilet fast, and they are cheap!  As for the person who left you… They were not worth your time anyway. And the best part: You can write about all of it. You own your story. It is yours, to write or die holding secret. That is a powerful thing, if you think about it. Plus, every single night there MIGHT be a meteor shower.

Love,

Elizabeth
(whose toilet would not unclog for a month, who has eaten many really lame tomatoes, had her water pipes freeze and burst and who was left by her husband…witnessed profoundly beautiful and LONGass meteor showers …and wrote about it all).

Was that two minutes? Well, read it faster, then.

 

Thanks for taking part, Elizabeth, you have been awarded Ultra-Brave Author status on the Braveometer!

>> WIN! Elizabeth has an ongoing 350-word love story contest at www.thehypotheticalgirl.com – click on FLASHLOVE to enter for a chance to win a signed copy of The Hypothetical Girl, open worldwide 🙂

>> You can also visit Elizabeth at Facebook and Twitter, and check out her book here.

Ultra-BraveAuthor

 

 

Alli Sinclair on her 3-book deal, writing, and the allure of the tango…

I’m so excited to welcome my wonderful friend and writing critique partner, Alli Sinclair to the blog today! Alli and I have known each other just over two years now, and barely a day has gone by when we haven’t communicated via facebook message, email, text, or phone! I had the pleasure of reading her book, LUNA TANGO, in manuscript stage, and can’t wait to read the finished product when it releases in print and ebook on 1st August 2014! It’s a rich, absorbing tale of dance, romance, mystery, and family ties. I know readers are going to love it. 🙂

I decided to ask Alli a few questions in honour of her first book deal. Here we go…

 

alli profile1. Congratulations on your three book deal with Harlequin Australia! How did you feel when you received your offer of publication?

Stunned is the first word that came to mind. Hubby saw my face as my amazing agent delivered the news on the telephone and he said he’d wished he’d videotaped it because my expression was priceless. Needless to say there was a lot of happy dancing and squeals of delight from the entire family!

2. Tell us about your book series and can you give us a blurb for your August release, LUNA TANGO?

Luna Tango is the first in the Dance Card series that explores dances and music that capture hearts both on and off the dance floor—Buenos Aires and the tango, Granada and the flamenco, and Paris and the Russian Ballet. With stories about love, loss, passion, and betrayal, the Dance Card Series takes readers on a journey full of colour, glitz, and dreams.

In Luna Tango, journalist Dani McKenna delves into the world of tango to expose the decades of lies and deception that threaten three generations of her family. She’s desperate to understand the reason her mother abandoned her twenty years ago to become a world-class tango dancer, why her grandma lives in fear of all things tango, and how the brutal murder of a tango music legend in 1950s Buenos Aires now affects her family.

Dani meets the enigmatic Carlos Escudero, a revered tango dancer and man of intense passion, who helps her unravel tango’s sordid history. Despite Dani’s lack of rhythm, they create their own dance of the souls until the differences in their cultures causes a deep rift. As she seeks to reconnect with Carlos and rebuild her family, tango – the dance of passion – becomes a complicated dance of betrayal.

Tango-credit--CarlosLuque3. What made you want to write a dance series?

That’s an excellent question and does it sound lame to say I’m not really sure? I grew up with dance and was surrounded by it when I lived in South America so it felt like a natural progression to write about something I love.

4. If you could tango with anyone in the world, who would it be? (I think I know the answer to this!)

You really need to ask this question? Who else but the man who inspired the character of Carlos in Luna Tango – Gilles Marini!

5. Your book has a present day timeline intertwined with a historical timeline. Did you face any challenges writing a dual timeline book? 

It can be a challenge tying up loose ends from the historical timeline into the present-day, but my eagle-eyed critique partners, agent, and editors make sure none get missed! I truly believe it takes a village to write a book!

6. What would you say to aspiring authors who are struggling to get published and feel like giving up?

Try it. Give up for a week, or a month – set a time limit – and see how you feel. If you’re itching to get back to the desk then you’re a writer through and through. This is a tough business and we spend hours, months, years honing our skills and receiving rejection after rejection so the only thing that keeps us going is our love for telling stories and the  hope that one day we can share that passion. If you know you are born to do this then giving up will be the hardest thing you could ever do and that will be the perfect sign for you to continue with your dream. I am all about people pursuing their goals and reaching for the stars!

7. What is your favourite dance movie?

Ohhh…. that’s like asking me to pick a favourite child! No fair! Anything with Gene Kelly (I’m a sucker for Hollywood musicals), Dirty Dancing (that one’s for you, Juliet!), Strictly Ballroom, Moulin Rouge, and… and… there’s too many to mention!

8. What are you most looking forward to about being a debut novelist?

Apart from holding my book baby in my hands? Sharing my characters with the world and giving readers a chance to go on a journey to an exotic destination and experience what it’s like to fall in love with tango.

9. You have a love of history and culture, what is your favourite place in the world, and if you could spend a year living in any time period which would you choose?

Another “pick your favourite child” question! But I have to say Buenos Aires, Argentina is my number one place in the world and has been since I first travelled there in 1995. And as for time period, 1920s Buenos Aires because that is when tango came back from Europe as a “civilised” dance, rather than frowned upon by Argentines like it was many years prior. That must have been an amazing time to see the elite Argentines finally embracing a dance that was once considered “uncouth”.

10. What do you hope readers will get out of reading LUNA TANGO?

An experience that triggers many emotions and inspires the reader to get on the next plane to Argentina or book into a tango class!

11. How can readers connect with you or keep updated on your upcoming release?

12. And lastly, would you like to share your book trailer with us?

Of course! A very talented friend, Sean McGee composed the music and some incredibly clever photographers contributed to the trailer. View the trailer HERE.

Thanks Alli! I can’t wait to see the cover for LUNA TANGO when it’s available, and can’t wait for August! 🙂

*Photo credit of tango: Carlos Luque, wikimedia commons

 

FAST FORWARD Characters answer Five Fun Questions!

FF-BestsellerAmazonFor a bit of fun, the characters from FAST FORWARD have dropped in from the future!

They each have the same five questions to answer, but of course, their answers will be quite different from each other’s. 

If you’re new to this blog or my books, FAST FORWARD is my bestselling time-travel romantic comedy from Escape Publishing. You can read about it HERE.

 

And now, please welcome Kelli, Will, Kasey, Ryan, and Diora!

 

Kelli McSnelly (nee Crawford):

1. What is your favourite invention from the last 25 years?

It’s the e-pad! Otherwise known as an electronic personal assistant device – it straps onto the wrist like a watch, and does everything that a phone, computer, and credit card does. It even starts your car’s engine and locks your house! It’s an all-in-one super-dooper piece of technology and I’d be lost without it.

2. How would you spend your ideal birthday?

Despite what my son may think, judging by his choice of birthday present for my 50th, it is NOT going bungy jumping. It would be a costume party with my family and closest friends, and a heartwarming speech from my husband.

3. What is your best quality?

Back when I was 25 I would have said my appearance, but now that I’m more ‘mature’ I would say my resilience. And I mean that in relation to attitude and personality, not skin elasticity.

4. What is something you wish more people would know or understand?

It is not worth risking your life trying to fit into dodgy support underwear.

5. What would you do if you shared an elevator with an extremely famous person:

If they didn’t instantly recognise me from my modelling days I would introduce myself and ask them to share in a selfie to post on Facebook.

 

Will McSnelly:

1. What is your favourite invention from the last 25 years?

The inbuilt coffee machine in my car, helps to kickstart my work day. That, and the app on my e-pad which sends me useful facts and trivia at regular intervals throughout the day.

2. How would you spend your ideal birthday?

A costume party with my family and friends and a heartwarming speech from my wife. Or, a role-playing game marathon with my mates from the middle-aged gamers club.

3. What is your best quality?

My resourcefulness. Did you know I once resolved a traffic jam whilst wearing a Superman costume?

4. What is something you wish more people would know or understand?

That beautiful women can and do fall in love with smart, sensible, practical men, more commonly known as nerds or geeks.

5. What would you do if you shared an elevator with an extremely famous person:

I’d hand them a business card and invite them over for dinner.

 

Kasey Crawford (sister of Kelli):

1. What is your favourite invention from the last 25 years?

Mine, of course. You do remember what it was, don’t you?

2. How would you spend your ideal birthday?

An intimate occasion at home with my husband wearing our favourite caveman and cavewoman costumes.

3. What is your best quality?

My intelligence.

4. What is something you wish more people would know or understand?

Bugs have feelings too. If you step on them or spray them, you are a murderer. MURDERER.

5. What would you do if you shared an elevator with an extremely famous person:

Obviously, given my claim to fame from my Nobel-prize winning invention, I would be the famous person. I would be happy to sign an autograph if the person in the elevator wanted one.

 

Ryan McSnelly (21 yr old son of Kelli and Will):

1. What is your favourite invention from the last 25 years?

The Kitchen Assistant. Instantly boiled yolkless eggs and super fast meals? Hello.

2. How would you spend your ideal birthday?

Jamming it up with my band mates.

3. What is your best quality?

My friendly nature.

4. What is something you wish more people would know or understand?

That just because a man is passionate about interior decorating and wearing pink aprons while cooking does not mean he’s gay. Even though I am, I do, and I am.

5. What would you do if you shared an elevator with an extremely famous person:

Blabber something unintelligible and make it totally obvious I was having a fan moment (as long as I was a fan of the person).

 

Diora Bellows (nee McSnelly, 23 yr old daughter of Kelli and Will):

1. What is your favourite invention from the last 25 years?

My talking, self-driving car. When it takes over I can take the opportunity to do my nails. Multi-tasking at its best.

2. How would you spend your ideal birthday?

I’d eat as much chocolate as possible, have a pampering session at Queen of Beauty, a nice dinner, and a fun gathering with family and friends (which hopefully doesn’t culminate in me going into labour).

3. What is your best quality?

My assertiveness. Those people who delivered the wrong (baby-poo coloured) pram for my firstborn child didn’t know what hit them.

4. What is something you wish more people would know or understand?

That having big boobs is totally overrated.

5. What would you do if you shared an elevator with an extremely famous person:

I’d calmly ask how their day’s been and  compliment them on their choice of clothing or accessories, leading into a chat about good design and how it’s also important within the home, leading to my original objective which is to hand them a business card for KC Interiors and set up an appointment for a complimentary home styling analysis.

 

Thanks Kelli, Will, Kasey, Ryan, and Diora! What a fun bunch!

 

FASTFORWARD-JulietMadisonAbout FAST FORWARD:

Aspiring supermodel, Kelli Crawford seems destined to marry her hotshot boyfriend, but on her twenty-fifth birthday she wakes in the future as a fifty-year-old suburban housewife married to the now middle-aged high school nerd.

Trapped in the opposite life of the one she wanted, Kelli is forced to re-evaluate her life and discover what is really important to her. Will she overcome the hilarious and heartbreaking challenges presented to her and get back to the body of her younger self? Or will she be stuck in the nightmare of hot flushes, demanding children, raunchy advances from her husband and hideous support underwear forever?

>> Available from all good ebook stores. Links are here.

At Home With… Margareta Osborn [Author Interview & Giveaway]

To celebrate my new releases THE JANUARY WISH and FEBRUARY OR FOREVER, the first two books in my small town series set in Tarrin’s Bay; The Town of New Beginnings, I’m running a special interview segment called ‘At Home With…’

Today, we’re paying a visit to Australian rural romance author Margareta Osborn! She’s also giving away an ebook copy of her new release, Mountain Ash, to someone in Aus or NZ – read on for details…

 

Author photo1. Hi Margareta, where are you from and how long have you lived there?

Hi Juliet. I’m a fifth generation farmer from East Gippsland in Victoria. My family have called the Macalister Valley home since the mid 1800’s so you could say the Osborn’s are a tad entrenched in our neck of the woods. In my twenties and early thirties I moved away on occasions, spending time on other properties both here in Gippsland and up north, but I kept coming back over that cattlegrid leading to home, which I’m sure must’ve driven my father nuts 🙂

My husband and I, along with our three children, now have a beef property in the foothills.

 

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

Beautiful property picI love the evocative, yet solid, sense of place, of belonging, of being part of a community where our history goes back so many generations. It gives us strong roots, a very real and grounded place to call home.

Also, the mountains and the sea are all within an hour of us so it doesn’t matter whether you prefer the high country or the ocean, just make a selection and you can be there without driving all day. We have the best of all worlds here in the eastern part of Victoria.

 

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

Oh golly. That’s tough. I don’t do restaurants, cafe’s and such. Ummm … probably the Newry pub for a good old-fashioned family meal or the Tinamba Hotel for more upmarket dining. There’s also a fabulous winery just down the road from our farm called ‘Blue Gables’. They make the most fabulous wood fired pizzas!

 

JM Blog - Me with Echo4. Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names?

Lucy, my dog. She’s a Jack Russell, Papillion Cross and she’s one of my best mates. You’ll find her about a foot from my work boot all day long. I also have a beautiful, old ex-buck-jumping mare called Echo. She is my sanity. When the world of books, kids, cattle and life in general gets too much, Echo is my ‘ride out of town.’

 

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

As we have just moved farms it’s a little hard for me to answer that one. I haven’t decided yet. Can I say that the hill just 20 metres from the homestead is currently my favourite place? Why you ask? Because this is where my writing shack will be built. It has 360 degree views of rolling hills, Lake Glenmaggie and out across the irrigation flats, depending on which direction you look. It is stunning and my husband’s working out how he can make me a writing hut that rotates. That’ll be something to see!

[Juliet ~ a rotating writing hut? Wow! Though I hope you won’t get dizzy 😉 ]

 

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

My hearing aids (worn them since I was seven and can hear pretty much zip without them :)), photo’s and the jewellery box my Dad gave me. In that order.

 

JM Blog - photo of Glenmaggie weir7. If you had a magic wand, what’s one thing you would change about your home or your town?

Blow the garden (which is a dust bowl at the minute), the house (it’ll survive), the area where I live (they’ll survive too), I’d pack the family in the Landcruiser and head north with that wand and wave it over the drought affected parts of NSW and QLD. Those poor people are in diabolical trouble.

[Juliet ~ Good 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?

The Man from Snowy River (because I LOVE it) or 27 Dresses because everyone tells me its great but be damned if I can find it to hire.

[Juliet ~ 27 Dresses IS a lot of fun!]

 

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?

Lol. If a fancy chef managed drive all the way out to our farm, he can cook ANYTHING he likes!

 

JM Blog - Me & Lucy10. Name three books on your To Be Read bookshelf or e-reader:

Cicada – Moira McKinnon

A Savage Garden – Chris Muir

The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles – Katherine Pancol

 

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

Cattle vaccine

[Juliet ~ you have something in common with Alissa Callen 😉 ]

 

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

Northern Territory or Northern outback QLD in the wet.

or

Canada or Montana – I’d love to see the differences in farming here to farming there.

 

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.

 

Well first up they don’t usually ring, they just arrive. But If Lucy barks her ‘someone’s here bark’ as distinct from ‘there’s a rabbit/wombat/roo and I’m gunna chase it’ bark, you have time to do C) minus checking the reflection in the mirror. It’s best not to do that. I’d frighten myself on a normal workday!

🙂

 

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

Website : Blog : FacebookTwitterGoodreads

> And help her pay for that in-house chef (or housekeeper) by buying a copy of her new book, Mountain Ash, here.

 

MAcoverMountain Ash 

From bestselling author Margareta Osborn comes another scintillating rural romance with a devastating love triangle twist.

After years of struggling as a single mother, Jodie Ashton has given up on love and passion. What she craves now is security for herself and her beloved daughter Milly. And marriage to widower Alex McGregor, the owner of the prosperous Glenevelyn cattle station in East Gippsland, will certainly offer that. If only he wasn’t so much older and so controlling.

Needing space to decide her future, Jodie reluctantly agrees to a girls-only weekend at the Riverton rodeo …

Meanwhile, cowboy Nate McGregor vows off women, after his latest one-night stand costs him his job in the Northern Territory. Perhaps it’s time to head back to his family home, Glenevelyn, to check out for himself the ‘gold-digger’ his father seems determined to marry.

But first, on his way through Riverton, he plans to stop off at a rodeo.

Two lives are about to collide in one passionate moment – with devastating results…

…See more here.

 

> MOUNTAIN ASH is also Random House’s MARCH BOOK OF THE MONTH. You can access reading questions here.  

> Should your book group decide to read and review MOUNTAIN ASH, check out this offer!

 

>> WIN! an ebook copy of MOUNTAIN ASH (available to Aus/NZ readers only): Simply comment below for a chance to win. Winner drawn and notified on Friday 14th March. 🙂 

MObooks