Blog Archives

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.

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!

At Home With… Kate Belle

To celebrate the upcoming 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’m starting a new interview segment called ‘At Home With…’

Today, for the first interview in this new segment, we’re paying a visit to author Kate Belle…

Let’s knock on her door… knock! knock!

 

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

I feel like a gypsy when asked this question. I’d moved house five times by the time I was seven. My family settled in Benalla, a small town in Northern Victoria, where we lived until I was 13 and I kind of consider it ‘home’, although I’ve lived longest in various parts of Melbourne, so really the city is my home now.

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

I loved growing up in Benalla in the 1970’s. We had so much freedom to explore the Broken River, parks and train station at the end of my street. Now, in the city, I love the sense of community in my small suburb in the North East. I also love the cultural diversity the city has to offer – Melbourne has a strong Aboriginal community and people from over 150 countries. It makes for a fascinating place in terms of food, entertainment and literature.

Were St Food Store 13. Do you have a favourite local cafe, restaurant, bar, club, business, or store? Give them a plug here!

We have an old fashioned shopping strip in Were St, Montmorency. The Were St Food Store makes THE BEST COFFEE ANYWHERE (because if it weren’t for the PASSION, we’d all be drinking instant). There are mosaics inlaid on the footpaths depicting some fascinating local history, like the dog with a cart that used to show up to buy his masters milk, bread and newspaper every day. Or the line of gumboots left at the railway station waiting for their owners to return from their city jobs and walk home through the mud. I know I’m bound to bump into someone I know there so I never feel lonely.

Bear & Miss 94. Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names? (Feel free to share a photo)

Like everything else in our home, our pets are second hand. Marmalade, our neurotic ginger (girl) cat arrived first, after our last adopted Greyhound died. But the cat wasn’t enough for Miss 9, and waiting for a cat friendly Greyhound was taking too long, so we went to Save a Dog Scheme and adopted Bear.

I walked past him because he’s long haired, but the volunteer there kept saying ‘THAT is a great dog. You can’t go past that dog.’ Turned out she was right. He is an amazing animal, so aware, clever, loving and gentle – even if a bit dependent and needy.

At first Bear was a nightmare. We couldn’t leave him alone without him destroying everything he could get his teeth into. He filled the lounge with towels from the bathrooms, half chewed toys from Miss 9’s toybox, and ripped up cushions and carpet. He became extremely anxious when we were away, even for 10 minutes.

Marmelade & BelleSo when we got a call from the Greyhound Adoption Program we thought maybe a companion was what he needed. Coincidentally her name was Belle – a sign it was meant to be.

She joined our family and we learned she is more Princess than dog, so not the ideal companion for Bear we hoped for. It’s taken Belle and Bear a good six months to work out their differences and they seem to be very good friends now. Although Belle will still turn over the dog beds in the middle of the night and settle herself on the couch, leaving Bear to sleep on the unforgiving floor.

[Juliet– too cute!]

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

My bedroom. Especially when my husband’s not in it. It’s the one place I can thoroughly escape from the world and be an introvert. No phone, no tv, it’s a haven of books and soft lighting and way too many second hand clothes.

Pic 16. If you had to evacuate your house, what three items (apart from people and pets!) would you take?

Gosh, I struggle with these questions. My laptop, my diaries and my daughter’s baby photos probably. But then there are all my wonderful and rare books. And the cd’s. And the irreplaceable 1960’s coat of midnight velvet. Too hard!

[Juliet– I hope to see you wear that at a future RWA conference, Kate!]

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

I’d definitely make Melbourne smaller. It was a perfect size in the mid-nineties I think. That or magically create the BEST public transport system in the world so it would be easier to get around. I’d also give all our homeless folk somewhere decent to live so they weren’t stuck with the indignity of living on the streets.

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?

Well that is a huge argument waiting to happen, right there. Miss 9 will want to watch Harry Potter or Grease AGAIN! Hubby will want to watch a cheesy comedy or chick flick (yes, sometimes I wonder). I’ll want to watch something arty, perhaps even foreign with subtitles. You’ll have to choose, Juliet, or we will end up reading books instead.

[Juliet– Okay, I vote for…Dirty Dancing!]

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?

Don’t you find with food, like movies and books, it depends on your mood? Is it winter or summer? Are the guests all adults or families? I’d have to do some research, come up with something incredibly complicated I’d never attempt myself. Something rare, delicate, Asian perhaps. Or a fragrant Indian feast.

Kate's Bookshelf10. Name three books on your To Be Read bookshelf or e-reader:

Only 3 Juliet? But I have literally hundreds! Okay, okay.

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

I Take You by Nikki Gemmel

The Swan Book by Alexis Wright

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

Wait, let me go look.

[Juliet– I’m guessing you didn’t find anything unique in there, Kate? ;)]

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

By the coast somewhere warm, but not the tropics. Maybe Northern New South Wales, up around Coff’s Harbour somewhere. I’m open to suggestions if someone’s 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.

Do people do A, B or C?

[Juliet– I certainly don’t]

 

bloomandbreakingtherulesEven though Kate Belle would probably love you to pay a visit, why not visit her online right now?

Website: http://ecstasyfiles.com

Blog: http://ecstasyfiles.com/blog

Facebook: http://facebook.com/katebelle.x

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ecstasyfiles

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6572571.Kate_Belle

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

Ebook: Amazon or iTunes or Kobo

Print book: Target, Kmart, Myer, Collins, Dymocks, Big W, Eltham Bookshop and other independent bookshops and major airports. If not in stock just ask.

Read an extract here.

Yearning lo resThe Yearning

It’s 1978 in a country town and a dreamy fifteen year old girl’s world is turned upside down by the arrival of the substitute English teacher. Solomon Andrews is beautiful, inspiring and she wants him like nothing else she’s wanted in her short life.

Charismatic and unconventional, Solomon easily wins the hearts and minds of his third form English class. He notices the attention of one girl, his new neighbour, who has taken to watching him from her upstairs window. He assumes it a harmless teenage crush, until the erotic love notes begin to arrive.

Solomon knows he must resist, but her sensual words stir him. He has longings of his own, although they have nothing to do with love, or so he believes. One afternoon, as he stands reading her latest offering in his driveway, she turns up unannounced. And what happens next will torment them forever – in ways neither can imagine.

 

Thanks Kate!

Next week we visit the home of bestselling romance author with Entangled Publishing, Annie Seaton, so be sure to come back next week for another installment!