Blog Archives

Elise K. Ackers answers my Ten Awkward Questions

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 Elise K. Ackers! Elise is a finalist in this year’s RUBY award for the romantic elements category, with her Destiny Romance title, Small Town Storm. The winners will be announced at the RWA conference in Fremantle this August. Good luck, Elise!

 

Elise K. Ackers1. 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!)

My romantic suspense title, Small Town Storm. As hard as it is to choose one over others, it feels like this book has always been in me. It’s a big, complex plot full of characters I adore, issues I’ve wondered about for a long time, and a love I would want for myself. I wrote it over a few years – there were many iterations of it, and it was my debut title with Penguin’s Destiny Romance.

It was published as an ebook last year, and is available as a print book from certain Australia Post shops. I still feel a swell of pride and comfort each time I look at it, and I still think about the characters often – the way one might recall old friends.

 

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

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

I’m very generous with my heart, my time and my forgiveness. Probably too generous with forgiveness, but most days I’m zen about that.

 

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.

Complete klutz. It’s inevitable considering the crazy things which happen around me. A window once fell out of its frame, on top of me, for example. And I bruise like a peach, so I keep finding new bruises almost every morning.

 

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

Absolutely. All of the guys. If I don’t fall for them, how can I expect a reader to? They each have qualities I esteem in a partner, values I share or respect and they fight for what they want and who they love. None of them are perfect – they’re flawed, but that’s what makes them real to me, and hopefully real and wonderful to a reader.

 

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

I’ll sometimes mimic an expression I’m writing about, or gesticulate similarly to a character, just to check I’m getting it right. This probably makes for interesting viewing for those sitting around me on the morning commute.

 

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

No, but I do talk to other people. My parents and I often talk about my characters like they’re real people and we’ll brainstorm for hours. I’ll start to talk faster, my words will squash together and then I’ll completely space out, because I’ll start writing a scene in my mind.

 

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

Emma Watson. Seriously, does anyone in the world have anything against that woman? She’s gorgeous, talented and full of substance. I would cheerfully be represented by her. Cheerfully, of course, being an enormous understatement.

 

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

Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series (preferably not a day she’s fighting for her life), because I’d get to be a witch for a day and wander around Hogwarts! Magic!

 

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’m going to pick D, despite the concerning lack of all-important supplies. I’d have to make sure the conversation kept me amused for as long as possible…

All I can think is that two would surely become three over the course of the year, which would complicate an already – there I go, adding drama to the story again!

 

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

Be kind to one another. I could expand, but that’s my core message.

 

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

Ultra-BraveAuthor

Visit Elise at her website, blog, facebook, and twitter.

Ask Me For More cover>>Buy her new release, Ask Me for More, here.

When Olivia Law returns home for her best friend’s wedding, it stirs up a lot of unexpected memories – not all of them good ones. Liv has a history here she’d prefer to forget, and a life in the city she wants to get back to. She certainly doesn’t expect to find herself attracted to the bride’s elder brother, Cal O’Hara.

Cal remembers Liv as the trouble making friend of his little sister. He doesn’t expect to be faced with an incredibly sexy grown-up version. But Cal has been hurt in the past and is not prepared to risk his heart again. Certainly not for someone who is leaving town in a few days.

Nothing is certain in this delicious tale about escaping the past. Ask Me for More is a poignant story about finding love where you least expect it. 

Past, Present, & Future with Carla Caruso – & Giveaway

In celebration of the release of my debut novel, Fast Forward, I’m doing a series of interviews with authors about their past, present & future. Today, please welcome a fellow writer of a time travel romantic comedy… Carla Caruso! Carla is giving away a copy of her new release Second Chance to one lucky commentor!

PAST: 1. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Carla aged about 18, with her sister, Natalie, out on the town!

Carla aged about 18, with her sister, Natalie, out on the town!

It’s rather boring of me, but I only ever wanted to be a writer – either as a novelist or magazine reporter. I’ve done both. Probably because I wasn’t creative enough to come up with any other ideas. I didn’t know what, for example, a forensic scientist was at the time…

2. What did you do before you became a writer?

Oh dear. I’ve done everything from being a checkout operator to a newspaper thrower, bank teller, gift wrapper, shoe salesperson, soccer stadium attendant, and public servant – and failed miserably at most of the gigs. Now I also moonlight as a freelance journalist.

3. What is one of your most treasured memories from the past?

Dressing in matching clothes with my elder sister, Natalie! I also used to love spending summer holiday stints at my Nonnis’ (Italian for ‘grandparents’). I remember hearing the rooster crow at breakfast time, eating too much biscuit dough when Nonna was trying to teach me how to bake (I’m still hopeless at it), and watching daytime TV together.

PRESENT:

Second Chance4. What’s your latest/upcoming release about and/or what are you currently working on?

My latest is called Second Chance and it’s out through Destiny Romance . The premise… After a disastrous 36th birthday, Flora wishes she could be 20 again and delete all her romantic mistakes. She wakes to find she has gone back in time – the summer of 1998, to be precise – but things don’t go to plan!

I’m now working on a rural romance, set in the SA coastal town where I had my first media job.

5. What’s a typical day like for you? (If there is such a thing!)

I’m a freelance journalist, as well as an author, so there’s often a lot of sitting at my computer and tapping on my keyboard – sometimes with my mischievous tabby cat, Luca, nearby. I work from home and my hubby is also a freelance photographer, so we always seem to have unexpected visitors dropping by to keep things interesting.

6. Name three things you are grateful for in your life right now:

My husband, my family, and being able to write for a living!

FUTURE:

Carla Caruso - author pic7. If you could fast forward in time to any age or year for just one day, what would you choose & why?

Hmm… maybe to my last day, so I’d know what age I was going to get to and could plan accordingly!

8. If you could have any new technology or invention in the future that would make your life a whole lot easier (or more fun), what would it be?

Something that could do the tedious daily routines for me like teeth-brushing or hair-brushing haha!

9. What are your hopes & dreams for the future?

To start a family, be an author full-time (no other work distractions hehe!), and visit New York and the Hamptons – one day soon hopefully.

Thanks for visiting the blog Carla!

You can visit Carla online at her website, twitter, and blog.

You can also buy Second Chance at:

Destiny Romance

Amazon

Apple

Google Play

Kobo

WIN! To go in the draw to win an ebook copy of SECOND CHANCE, simply leave a comment for Carla. (Open worldwide. Winner drawn 7th March)

Past, Present, & Future with Jennifer St. George (& giveaway)

Jennifer-AuthorPhotoIn celebration of the upcoming release of my debut novel, Fast Forward (see announcement here), I’m doing a series of interviews with authors about their past, present & future. Today, please welcome… Jennifer St. George! (leave a comment to win a kindle copy of her new release…)

Thanks so much for having me Juliet!!

You’re welcome!

 

PAST:

1. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I was an ambitious kid.  At the age of nine I would review the weekend newspaper looking at job ads and circling the ones I was qualified for.  Sad, but true.  Obviously I wasn’t qualified for much. I wasn’t sure what industry I wanted to work in but I definitely wanted to do work involving travel.  I remember writing job applications to cruise liners when I was in high school (yes, I know, again quite sad, but two companies replied with encouraging letters)

2. What did you do before you became a writer?

I spent the first 20 years of my career in corporate marketing and management consulting roles.  Some career highlights include launching Guinness beer in Russia; reaching 40 million people through a publicity campaign that ‘gave away’ a pub in Ireland and launching the Ford Ka brand in Australia. I also launched an online business and had my own marketing company for about four years. I also love studying and have a graduate business degree and an MBA from Melbourne Business School and Duke University (USA).

3. What is one of your most treasured memories from the past?

Wow – that’s a tough one.  I think it would have to be from the time when I lived in South America as a child.  One weekend, my family visited a farm far out in the centre of Uruguay.  None of us had ridden horses before, but my brother and I were thrust up onto these huge Uruguayan stallions (the rest of the family were on ponies!!) Accompanied by gauchos, we headed out to the pampas for a tour of the property.  It was like something from a Spanish western movie. When the horses were turned for home, mine took off.  It galloped about two kilometres back to the farm with me clinging to its back. I had to keep my head down to avoid being scalped by low tree branches.  It was the most terrifying but exhilarating experience.  One I’ll never forget.

 

PRESENT:

4. What’s your latest release about and/or what are you currently working on?

My debut novel, The Convenient Bride, was recently launched by Penguin’s new digital-first romance imprint, Destiny Romance. To say I’m a little excited about it is an understatement.  It’s a sexy romance set mostly in luxurious surroundings in Venice and Lake Como. My second novel is coming out in January 2013.

5. What’s a typical day like for you? (If there is such a thing!)

I (try!) to get up early and write 500-1000 words before the children are up.  After dropping them to school, I walk to the Byron Bay Lighthouse, go to the gym or go for a run. Then I write for as long as my brain will let me until it’s time to pick up the kids.  In between I do the occasional freelance marketing job.

6. Name three things you are grateful for in your life right now:

Happy family, flexible career and a positive out-look on life.

 

FUTURE:

7. If you could fast forward in time to any age or year for just one day, what would you choose & why?

I’d speed ahead to a time when the medical community had found a cure for all the terrible diseases (eg cancer) inflicted on the world. I’d come back and mass produce vaccines (as while I was in the future I’d have learned all about which stocks to invest in, so I’d be a billionaire too!).

8. If you could have any new technology or invention in the future that would make your life a whole lot easier (or more fun), what would it be?

I’d love a machine you could program to a particular destination, for example, southern France, where you’d arrive instantly.  A port key from Harry Potter would do.

9. What are your hopes & dreams for the future?

Wow  – where do I start (world peace, no poverty, an end to the GFC….)? If we are just talking writing, I simply hope that readers enjoy my stories and they come back for more!

 

Jennifer around the web:

Website Facebook Twitter Author Page

 

Jennifer’s debut book just released!

TheConvenientBride_cvr-1The Convenient Bride

Back Blurb

Sienna De Luca will do anything to save her family’s hotel, and ruthless Italian businessman Antonio Moretti knows it. With problems of his own, he proposes a marriage of convenience and plans to use Sienna to secure his next business deal. But things don’t go quite according to plan.

In keeping with her part of the bargain, Sienna travels to Venice to be with Antonio, who introduces her to a life of great luxury and opulence. As befits the fiancée of the famous Antonio Moretti, Sienna is given a new wardrobe of designer gowns and outfits and instructed exactly how to behave when out in public. But after thinking he can manipulate her at his will, Antonio begins to realise he has seriously underestimated Sienna, her intelligence, her skills, her courage – and her beauty. Unexpectedly, Sienna gets too close and when she discovers his dark secret, Antonio’s perfectly planned life begins to unravel.

The Convenient Bride is a fabulous romance set in a world of great beauty and luxury, portrayed in picture-perfect detail. Two opposing souls strike up a partnership in a deal that has overlooked one important detail – that it involves a woman who knows her mind and her heart.

 

Buy links for THE CONVENIENT BRIDE

Destiny Romance      Amazon      iTunes

WIN! Jennifer will be giving a Kindle copy of The Convenient Bride to one lucky commenter here today!