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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

A New Year, A New Book! THE JANUARY WISH is here… [Plus Giveaway]

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, 2014, here we are! And what better way to kickstart the new year than by relaxing with a good book? Don’t know what to read? Problem solved: my new novel releases today, 1st Jan, THE JANUARY WISH. 🙂

Here’s what the book is about:

TheJanuaryWishcoverFrom Escape’s queen of ro-magic comedy comes a sweet, emotional contemporary romance about the pleasures of making a wish and seeing it come true.

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. 

 

THE JANUARY WISH is perfect for fans of Susan Wiggs and Sherryl Woods, and those who like small town books like Susan Mallery’s ‘Fools Gold‘ series. The (then unpublished) manuscript of The January Wish was also a finalist in the Choc Lit Search for an Australian Star contest  in 2012. It is the first in the Tarrin’s Bay series, and the second book FEBRUARY OR FOREVER is releasing soon, on 1st Feb 2014.

>>Buy THE JANUARY WISH from all good ebook retailers:

AmazonAmazon UKAmazon AusiTunes/iBookstoreKoboB&N/NookGooglePlayBigW ebooksBooktopiaJB HiFi ebooks.comAll Romance ebooks

 

WIN STUFF! I’m running a giveaway for the whole month of January. You could win:

Prize-blogtour1. A $25 Amazon Gift Card to spend on anything at Amazon (you can get quite a few ebooks for that!)

2. A beautiful coastal photographic print of the setting of the novel (South Coast of NSW Australia). The print is unframed so you can put it in a frame of your choice, and measures approximately 30 x 21cm (12 x 8 inches). I’ll also throw in some autographed book cover cards for you too. I will send this anywhere in the world.

>>Enter via rafflecopter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

There are several ways to enter and if you like you can tweet about the giveaway each day and get extra entries, just visit any of the posts during my tour schedule and click the rafflecopter link to ‘tweet about the giveaway’ on as many days in January as you choose. All other entry options in the rafflecopter form are once only. The winner will be drawn on 1st Feb and will be notified via email.

THE JANUARY WISH BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Read more about The January Wish, myself, and my writing life during my blog tour. Here are the blogs and dates in January I’ll be visiting:

1st: ARRA blog.

2nd: Jenn J McLeod’s blog – interview.

3rd: Jennie Jones’ blog – interview.

4th: Special Event: THE WISHING FESTIVAL day 1 – on Facebook. Join now!

5th: Special Event: THE WISHING FESTIVAL day 2 – on Facebook. Join now!

6th: Rachael Johns’ blog – guest post.

7th:

8th: The Australian Bookshelf – Author Q&A.

9th: 

10th: Whitney K-E’s blog – guest post.

11th:

12th:

13th: Juanita Kees’ blog – guest post.

14th: Eva Scott’s blog – interview.

15th: RWA (Romance Writers of Australia) – Author Spotlight.

16th: a) Tea Cooper’s blog – guest post.

 b) Aussie Owned & Read – guest post.

17th:

18th: Fiction Dreams – interview.

19th:

20th: Darlene Fredette’s blog – Book spotlight & excerpt.

21st:

22nd: Katherine Givens’ blog – interview.

23rd: Jenny Schwartz’s blog – guest post.

Escape Publishing blog – guest post.

24th:

25th:

26th:

27th: The Neverending Bookshelf – interview.

28th:

29th:

30th: Chick Lit Central – interview.

31st:

 

>> Join the Tarrin’s Bay Series Readers Group on Facebook here, for fun, discussions, competitions, sneak peeks, photos, and more.

Make a wish… Take part in THE WISHING FESTIVAL!

To celebrate the new year, my new book, and to spread some new year’s cheer around the world (well, Facebook at least), I’m hosting the inaugural Wishing Festival in January! You are all invited, and I hope to see you there (details below).

iStock_000010658066XSmallWhat is a Wishing Festival? Well, first of all let me tell you about the one in my book, The January Wish, which releases on 1st January. In the story, it’s an annual Tarrin’s Bay event held on the 4th January at the Wishing Fountain in Miracle Park, the popular meeting spot for the town’s locals. People come from far and wide to the small coastal town to take part in the festivities and make a wish in the historic fountain. Legend says that on the day of the fountain’s completed construction, a woman tossed in a coin, walked around the fountain, and later on her missing husband returned safe and sound. Another woman who made a wish was cured of a serious disease. Or so the legend says. Dr Sylvia Greene, sceptic and all round party pooper doesn’t believe in wishes, but on the day of the festival she does her bit for charity and takes part, and what comes next turns her life upside down and inside out…

So instead of going to the trouble of finding a fountain and getting my friends from around the globe to trek all the way to my little part of the world, I’ve created an online version of the event!

The Wishing Festival will take place on the designated Facebook event page on the weekend of 4th and 5th January. There’ll be fun and prizes galore, and who knows, your wish may even come true. 😉

Why take part? Here’s why you should come! You will get to…

1. Make a wish – toss a virtual coin into the virtual fountain and make your wish! In other words; post your wish to the event page, or in the comment thread of the wishing fountain picture and the ‘make a wish’ post that I’ll put up there on the day. *If you have a private wish, you can simply post: ‘I have made my wish.’ Let’s all support each other’s wishes and some may just come true!

2. Pay a wish forward by sharing the event logo on your Facebook wall, page, group, or on a friend’s wall. (The event logo can be seen on the event page now, but on the day I’ll post it again officially and let you know when it’s time to start the share-fest!). When you share the picture, include a message for your friend or all your friends in general, and tell them what you wish for them in the new year. For example: In 2014 I wish for you…an abundance of success in your career, or ...optimal health and happiness, or anything you think your friend/s might appreciate. You may also like to encourage them to share the logo and a wish to their own friends as well.

3. Win prizes! Throughout the whole weekend you could win a heap of different prizes, from books to gift cards to writing critiques to jewellery and other goodies (I’m currently collating some great prizes. If you would like to donate anything please do so via this link).

Here are the ways you can win:

  • Simply register for the event by clicking ‘Join‘. All registered attendees will be automatically put in the draw for a prize, even if they can’t take part in the fun (though I hope they will)!
  • Share the event logo and a wish for your friends over 4th and 5th January.
  • Post your wish on the event page or (preferably) the official ‘make a wish’ post over the weekend.
  • Leave a comment on any of my posts during the event. I’ll let you know in each post which prize is up for grabs so you can enter all or just the ones you really want!

4. Have fun! Get sneak peek excerpts from The January Wish novel (and maybe even the next book in the series which doesn’t release till Feb!), meet the characters, answer trivia questions and scavenger hunt questions to win prizes, ask me questions, chat with other attendees, mingle with surprise guests, and enjoy gourmet virtual food and drinks all served by the gorgeous Jonah from Tarrin’s Bay’s most popular cafe: Cafe Lagoon (Jonah is a character in the book).

 

So before the mayhem of Christmas and New year’s takes over, head over to the event page now and click ‘Join’, and invite a few friends too if you like. Here’s the link.

I look forward to seeing you there! And if you wish to read the novel before the event (not required but there might be some extra rewards for those that do!), you can preorder here. I might include some trivia questions that need a copy of the book to be answered 😉

Would you like to donate a prize for the event? Click here. Donations close 19th Dec.

 

Make a wish … Pay it forward … Win a prize! Join THE WISHING FESTIVAL!

WishingFestivalLOGO

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.

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

 

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!

 

 

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!

Past, Present, & Future with Jami Deise [Plus Giveaway!]

In the spirit of my debut novel, Fast Forward, I’m doing a series of interviews with authors about their past, present & future. Today, please welcome author of humorous women’s fiction, Jami Deise!

PAST:

Jami and Mike baseball1. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A doctor. But I never had any aptitude for math and science.

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

My only non-writing jobs were before graduating college with a journalism degree. I worked at McDonald’s. I was an RA in my dorm at the University of Maryland. I babysat.

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

I won a poetry contest in the 5th grade. That was pretty cool.

 

PRESENT:

KeepingScore_JamiDeise4. What’s your latest/upcoming release about and/or what are you currently working on?

Right now I’m plugging “Keeping Score,” which is humorous women’s fiction about a divorced mom, her 9-year-old son, and his first summer playing travel baseball.

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

Walk the dog, go the gym, spend the afternoon writing. Make dinner for my son. Spend the evening reading or watching TV. Most of my days are typical!

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

That my son is living with my husband and me and is doing well. That we haven’t been affected by economic turbulence or Congressional shut-downs. That my parents are healthy.

 

FUTURE:

Jami cover shot7. If you could fast forward in time to any age or year for just one day, what would you choose & why?

66. My son will be 40. I want to know how his life is going to turn out.

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?

A robot to make dinner and do dishes.

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

To be able to support myself as a writer or with a job in the publishing industry, and that my son is successful in a job that he loves.

 

Thanks for taking part, Jami!

>You can visit Jami online at her blog, facebook, and twitter pages, and you can buy her latest book Keeping Score here. It’s only 99c for a limited time!

>WIN! Jami is also giving away 2 ebook copies of Keeping score… to enter, simply leave a comment below! Winners will be drawn on 11th October and contacted via email and notified in the comments.

KEEPING SCORE:

When her 9-year-old son wanted to play summer travel baseball, Shannon had no idea the toughest competition was off the field….

When her son Sam asks to try out for a travel baseball team, divorced mom Shannon Stevens thinks it’ll be a fun and active way to spend the summer. Boy, is she wrong! From the very first practice, Shannon and Sam get sucked into a mad world of rigged try-outs, professional coaches, and personal hitting instructors. But it’s the crazy, competitive parents who really make Shannon’s life miserable. Their sons are all the second coming of Babe Ruth, and Sam isn’t fit to fetch their foul balls. Even worse, Shannon’s best friend Jennifer catches the baseball fever. She schemes behind the scenes to get her son Matthew on the town’s best baseball team, the Saints. As for Sam? Sorry, there’s no room for him! Sam winds up on the worst team in town, and every week they find new and humiliating ways to lose to the Saints. 

And the action off the field is just as hot. Shannon finds herself falling for the Saints’ coach, Kevin. But how can she date a man who didn’t think her son was good enough for his team … especially when the whole baseball world is gossiping about them? Even Shannon’s ex-husband David gets pulled into the mess when a randy baseball mom goes after him. As Sam works to make friends, win games and become a better baseball player, Shannon struggles not to become one of those crazy baseball parents herself. In this world, it’s not about whether you win, lose, or how you play the game… it’s all about KEEPING SCORE.

RELEASE DAY! Starstruck in Seattle [plus bumper giveaway!]

Wow, what a month! Last month my novella I Dream of Johnny was released, and this month, today, sees the release of another novella, STARSTRUCK IN SEATTLE!

SIS-wings

I’m so excited for this one as it was written quite a while ago, and is my first story not set in Australia, so it’s good to see it finally out in the world. And if enough readers like it, I’ll write more in the series, each with a new stand-alone story set in different cities but linked by the reappearance of the quirky and loveable character of Lulu and her dog, Spark (see pic below). Lulu has a very important job in bringing soulmates together, so the story possibilities are endless.

Here’s the blurb:

Aspiring actress Anna Hilford might only have a small role in a leading television drama, but she longs to be dreamboat Karl Drake’s leading lady. Sick of being loveless and overlooked, Anna seeks the help of intuitive love coach, Lulu, from LuluTheLoveAngel.com to give her the courage and determination to follow her destiny. But fate has different ideas, Lulu has undisclosed power, and Anna is about to realise that life happens while you’re busy making plans…

White Maltese on dark background

I got the idea for this story when Sleepless in Seattle was on TV. I thought, instead of a call-in-radio show where people ask for advice, what if there was a website that specialised in helping people anonymously with their love dilemmas (and there might be, I just haven’t looked!). So I thought up the idea for a Love Coach, but as I like to do in many of my stories, I decided to give it a slight magical twist. That’s right, Lulu, known as Lulu the Love Angel, might just have more power than people know. 😉

This story is slightly different from my previous two books, in that it’s a bit more ‘romancey’ and not as much of a giggle-fest, though it does have some humorous moments.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading about Anna’s search for love and how, unknowingly, Lulu helps her along the way.

 

BUY NOW: >> STARSTRUCK IN SEATTLE is available worldwide and you can buy it from all ebook retailers, including:

Amazon / Amazon UK / iTunes iBookstore / B&N Nook / Kobo / Booktopia / JB Hi-Fi / Google Play / ebooks.com / All Romance ebooks

 

GIVEAWAY: >> And now, I have a fantastic giveaway for you all! You could win four Escape Publishing ebook packs, using the rafflecopter links below and following the instructions.  Competition closes midnight on 10th October and is open worldwide.

Here’s what you could win. Enter one or all of them!

 

#1 Fun, Fast, & Fabulous novella pack:

prize1

Christmas Wishes, New year’s Kisses, and Valentine’s Dates by Rhian Cahill; I Dream of Johnny by Juliet Madison; The Virginity Mission by Cate Ellink; and Bonjour Cherie by Robin Thomas.

Enter prize #1 here >> a Rafflecopter giveaway

#2 Escape from Reality pack:

prize2

Fast Forward by Juliet Madison; Red Moon by M.A. Grant; Fish Out of Water by Ros Baxter; King Hall by Scarlett Dawn.

Enter prize #2 here >> a Rafflecopter giveaway

#3 Out and About pack:

prize3

Matilda’s Freedom by Téa Cooper; Getting Wild by Sarah Barrie; Swift Runs The Heart by Mary Brock Jones; Riding on Air by Maggie Gilbert; Dark Oil by Nora James.

Enter prize #3 here >> a Rafflecopter giveaway

#4 Emotional Rollercoaster pack:

prize4

Forget Me Not by Nina Blake; Bound By Her Ring by Nicole Flockton; Her Man from Shilo by Robyn Richards; Finding Home by Lauren McKellar; Under The Hood by Juanita Kees.

Enter prize #4 here >> a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Good luck, and happy reading! 🙂 

Click here to visit the STARSTRUCK IN SEATTLE page at Escape Publishing.

Click here to add STARSTRUCK IN SEATTLE to your Goodreads shelf.

Ten Awkward Questions with Aurelia B Rowl [Plus bumper giveaway!]

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

Please welcome Aurelia B Rowl, author of contemporary romance and young adult/new adult crossover to the blog today as part of her blog tour for Popping the Cherry!

 

85257521. 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!)

I’d have to say Popping the Cherry – even though I will be forever grateful for Christmas is Cancelled – but Popping the Cherry was the first time it didn’t feel like a fluke, plus it’s in my favourite genre to read, full-length rather than novella, and there is a large cast of characters who were all heaps of fun to write. Plus I got to write it in British instead of having to Americanise it, and it is was signed by Harlequin UK’s new digital imprint Carina based purely on the first three chapters, which made me feel on top of the world. I finally felt like a ‘proper’ writer.

 

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.

Hahahahaha. Okay, sorry, I’ll try to get myself together and get my laughter back under control… I’ll go with ‘cheerful’ seeing as children have killed my punctuality and neat genes. I am a good listener, but every conversation now has random interruptions from said children, and I’ve always been clumsy, yet elegant 😉 I hope I am considered generous, with my time and my knowledge if nothing else, seeing as there isn’t much else I can give.

 

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.

Only one? That’s not fair! I could do so much better with this set, maybe even a full house on the more ‘challenging’ days. Since I can only pick one, I shall go for slob, purely because I can’t do everything with two young children and writing deadlines so something has to give, and that something just happens to be housework. Complete klutz can’t be far behind though, considering as I gave myself concussion at the kids’ sports day at school, at least I still walked away with the prize. Pity I don’t drink red wine really, but my husband was happy.

 

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

Just one? I write books that I like to read, and heroes that make me swoon and fall a little bit in love. So yes… I have a soft spot for all of my leading men, even the ones seventeen years my junior, but sssssh, don’t tell 😉

 

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

I have a tendency to pull the facial expressions I want to use, so that I can then write them with some accuracy. Thankfully the dog doesn’t seem to notice, and if he does, he’s good enough not to call me on it. As for important scenes, no, I don’t act them out but I do get so emotionally invested I am often left either sobbing or in a foul ‘stand clear before she blows’ kind of mood.

 

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

I don’t talk to myself out loud, but I do have a habit of staring into space with a vacant look on my face as the conversations flow back and forth inside my mind.

 

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

Ha, easy! I choose Kate Winslet. She’s gorgeous, fun, bubbly, curvy, a hard-working mum…and she’s within hours of being the exact same age as me. I’m not actually sure which of us is the elder.

 

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

I’m going to go with my instant reaction to this, rather than give it a lot of thought, and say Hermione from Harry Potter. She’s smart, nerdy, out-spoken, a bit of a jobsworth and know-it-all, but she’s kind-hearted, brave, considerate, and fiercely loyal.

 

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 very nearly opted for b) an unlimited supply of books, but upon further consideration, I shall go with a) a pen and notepad that never runs out, so that I can both stay sane and supply said unlimited supply of books. I get sucked in whenever I read my own work and tend to forget I wrote it, so it would work out beautifully.

 

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

Ooooh, I like this question, and in the end my words could just as easily be said in a playground full of pre-schoolers:

“Please stop fighting and try to get along, it’s okay to be different and to like different things, and stop being so downright greedy and share with those less fortunate than you.”

 

Congratulations Aurelia, you have been awarded Ultra Brave Author status on the Braveometer!

Ultra-BraveAuthor

>>Visit Aurelia online at her website: www.aureliabrowl.com or you can find her hanging out online, far too often, at the following: 

Blog  ¦  Facebook  ¦  Twitter  ¦  Google+  ¦  Pinterest  ¦  BlogLovin  ¦  Tumblr  ¦  YouTube  ¦  Linked-In  ¦  Amazon  ¦  Goodreads

>>Enter the bumper blog tour giveaway via rafflecopter below!

>>And check out Aurelia’s new release, POPPING THE CHERRY, which you can buy via these stores:

Carina  ¦  Amazon UK  ¦  Amazon  ¦  iTunes  ¦  Google  ¦  Sainsburys  ¦  Nook UK  ¦  Kobo

PTC-jpg

>>UK Giveaway: 5 specially commissioned metal bookmarks, 1 Topshop gift card, paperback books – Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, New Girl, Speechless, & The Eternity Cure.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
>>International Giveaway: 1 x $15 Amazon gift card, and ebook series packs including – Peachville High Demons x 6 books, The Dreamwalker series books 1 & 2, Dusty the Demon Hunter x 6 books, & The Sojourner series omnibus.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

More details on the giveaways can be found here. Good luck!