A milestone moment for me today… I saw my first book in print out in the wild!
TIME FOR THE BEACH is now available from Big W and Target stores in Australia (perfect Christmas gift!) 😉
It features the first novel in my Tarrin’s Bay series, THE JANUARY WISH, and also includes novels by Victoria Purman and Eliza Redgold. Thanks to Harlequin MIRA Australia for putting this compilation together!
Here is me looking like a lunatic:
And here is me looking slightly more professional:
And here is the book close up:
And here is… nah, I guess you’ve seen enough! 😉
But I will share with you what each story in this coastal collection is about…
Nobody But Him – Victoria Purman
At the age of eighteen, Julia Jones left her hometown — the small beachside town of Middle Point — with a head full of grand plans. Plans for an exciting life in a town that didn’t involve a main street with only one pub or a particular boy named Ryan Blackburn.
But fifteen years and a lifetime later, Julia’s forced to put her career and big-city life on hold when she returns home to finalise her mother’s estate. Which is exactly where she runs smack-bang into the town’s hero, Ryan Blackburn! The sensible thing to do? Stay the hell away from him and head back to Melbourne as fast as her stilettos can carry her! But instead, Julia finds his offer of a helping hand and a hot body too delicious to refuse.
The January Wish – Juliet Madison
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. 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. Soon 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.
Hide and Seek – Eliza Redgold
A little birdie tells Hope Buchanan that American hotel developer Sullivan O’Dare isn’t just in town for a holiday. As the manager of Hot Tropics Bird Sanctuary, Hope has more than a vested interest in protecting natural habitats, and pulls out all the stops to convince Sullivan to come out with her to the WA bush, with its beautiful trees and unique wildlife. But what is initially about saving the Sanctuary soon becomes about finding a connection. Could it be that Hope has finally found the bird of a feather to form her own flock?
To get a copy, head into your local Big W or Target store, where you’ll find it on the shelves (it’s quite a fat book!). It can also be ordered online from Booktopia but will not be officially released until 1st Jan.
Happy reading and Merry Christmas! 🙂
~ Juliet xx
I’m jumping up and down with excitement for my buddy and critique partner Alli Sinclair on the launch of her debut novel, LUNA TANGO!
Luna Tango releases in print and ebook today in Australia and New Zealand with Harlequin MIRA, and can be bought from all good bookstores both online and offline. So once you’ve read this post, go out and grab one! It’s a fabulous story.
And see the bottom of this post for details of a one-of-a-kind competition you can take part in! 😉
Desperate to understand the reason her mother abandoned her twenty years ago to become a world-class tango dancer, journalist Dani McKenna delves into the world of tango in the hope of exposing decades of lies and deception that have threatened three generations of her family.
When Dani meets the enigmatic Carlos Escudero—a revered tango dancer and man of intense passion—they work together to understand why her grandmother lives in fear of all things tango, and how the brutal murder of a tango music legend in 1950s Buenos Aires now affects her family.
Despite her lack of rhythm, Dani and Carlos create their own dance of the souls, until the differences in their cultures causes a deep rift. As she seeks to reconnect with Carlos and rebuild her family, Dani finds tango—the dance of passion—becomes a complicated dance of betrayal.
Alli, Will you be having an official book launch to celebrate?
Oh, yes, most definitely! I’m holding a tango event at Readings Hawthorn (Melbourne) on 21 August and it’s an open invitation for anyone who wishes to come along. A wonderful tango duo will be performing and they will also give attendees a simple tango lesson to whet the appetite. Drinks and food and tango show are all included in the $10 ticket and any proceeds of ticket sales will go to the Parkinson’s Victoria. This cause is very close to my heart as my dad suffered this terrible disease and Luna Tango is dedicated to my wonderful dad who passed away recently.
You can buy tickets here:
How does it feel to have your first book published?
Surreal at the moment! I’ve had quite a while to get used to the idea that my dream is finally being realised but I really don’t think it’s sunk in yet!
Describe your book in three words:
Passionate, intriguing, sexy.
If Luna tango was made into a movie, who would you cast in the lead roles?
What are you working on next?
Book two of The Dance Card Series. This time it’s about flamenco and is set in Granada, Spain.
How can readers connect with you?
>>LUNA TANGO can be purchased from bookstores in Australia and New Zealand, or you can order the ebook or paperback online:
Congratulations Alli! Wishing you the success you deserve for this fabulous book. 🙂
Today is also the launch of a super special competition. The winner will receive a one-off prize that has been created especially for this competition. Click HERE for more information.
> BOOK LAUNCH EVENT:
When: 21 August
Where: Readings Books in Hawthorn, VIC.
Why: Internationally acclaimed tango dancers will perform and attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a tango lesson. Proceeds of ticket sales will go to Parkinson’s Victoria in honour of Alli’s father who recently passed away and to whom Luna Tango is dedicated. Ticket bookings essential.
Cost: $10, includes wine and food and dance lesson.
Details & Bookings: http://www.readings.com.au/event/wine-romance-and-a-tango-lesson
After dealing with a flooded garage at home due to heavy rain here on the south coast of NSW, I’m finally taking off the gumboots (or galoshes, or rain boots…whatever you like to call them!) to do a quick post about my weekend visit to Sydney! 😉
On Friday I visited the place where all the bookish magic happens – the Harlequin Australia headquarters in North Sydney. They have really nice, red light-shades hanging from the ceiling there. Just sayin’. 😉 Of course, I wasn’t there to inspect their decor (though, as I studied interior decorating in a past life I do tend to notice these things!). I was there to meet with my publishers and discuss present and future books. How exciting! My first visit to a publishing house. 🙂
Escape Publishing is the digital arm of Harlequin Australia and have published my first five books (which you can see here). It was great to meet some of the staff I hadn’t yet met, and chat about marketing and promotional strategies, book titles and plots, the often back-and-forth process of designing the perfect cover, and also some new and exciting things happening later this year which I’ll reveal when I’m allowed! I’m grateful to be with such an innovative and supportive publisher.
On Saturday I attended the Australian Romance Readers Association (ARRA) awards dinner. Two years ago I attended the awards dinner as an aspiring author; a little starstruck around these wonderful established authors who were winning awards, and this year I was there as not only an a published author but a finalist in the Favourite New Author category! Though I didn’t win (congrats to Anna Cowan!), I was thrilled to be nominated and I’d like to thank everyone who voted for me. 🙂 You can see the full list of award winners in the different categories HERE. Congrats to everyone! I love seeing fellow writers achieve milestones like this. And thanks to ARRA for putting on a great night and coordinating these awards. if you’re not yet a member, what are you waiting for? It’s not expensive and there are great perks. All the info on joining is HERE.
So it was a weekend of books, bling, and buddies. Books to write and publish, bling at the awards dinner (including a bling-off contest for the person with the best bling), and catching up with writing buddies and meeting new ones. I would add ‘yummy food’ to the mix but it doesn’t start with B. But there was yummy food involved too. 😉
2014 is shaping up to be a great year… so far I’ve had two back-to-back releases to kickstart my new Tarrin’s Bay series of coastal romance/women’s fiction novels; THE JANUARY WISH and FEBRUARY OR FOREVER. I’ve completed a new romagic comedy manuscript (HAUNTED EVER AFTER) and handed it in to my publisher, and was thrilled to have seen my first book FAST FORWARD make the Top 100 on Amazon recently. What’s next? Soon I’ll be starting to write a Christmas novella, and then I’ll move on to writing the third book in my TB series, MIRACLE IN MARCH (tentative title!). I’m looking forward to both, and looking forward to the rest of the year. I LOVE my writing life! Housework and cleaning up flooded garages…not so much 😉
Now, where did I put those gumboots?…
It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to the fabulous managing editor of Escape Publishing, Kate Cuthbert! She’s here today for Escape’s one year birthday to discuss the past year and what the future holds for Escape, and how you could be a part of this innovative imprint!
1. Happy Birthday Escape! So tell me, if you could receive any birthday present to commemorate your first year as Managing Editor, what would you choose?
Is it mercenary to ask for 50 Shades level sales? Probably, huh? 🙂 Alright, first anniversary is paper. So how about a certificate of achievement. Something old school like you used to get in primary school, that I can frame on my wall that says, ‘Hey! Escape! One year down, many to go!’
2. What are one or two of your biggest highlights from working with Escape over the past year?
The biggest highlight for me is the community of authors that we’ve built up, the Escape Artists. Their talent, their enthusiasm, their professionalism – just a great bunch of writers and a fantastic bunch of people.
The second highlight is the range of stories that we unearthed over the year – we’ve covered so much ground, put so much out there. I’m really proud of the variety of quality stories that we’ve published.
Apart from a monstrous amount of reading, I’m also heavily involved in editorial direction (which means identifying holes in our catalogue and looking to fill them, as well as some future-gazing into what we think will be the next big sellers), marketing, briefing for covers, reviews, blogging, social media – pretty much all aspects of Escape barring the technical stuff which is handled by people much more adept than me!
4. Escape has published books in a wide variety of sub-genres. What have been the three most successful genres for Escape so far?
Science Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Australian Rural Romance.
5. Escape does fabulous book covers. Do you have a few favourites out of all the wonderful designs so far? (Or is that like choosing between kids?)
Oh wow. Umm…I really really love the covers for the erotic historical novellas The Secret Diaries… and The Wicked Confessions…from Viveka Portman – they just encapsulate the stories so well, and are incredibly sexy and classy. We couldn’t have found a better image for Fast Forward, and I love the candy colours of that cover. And Words Once Spoken by Carly Drake and Awakening by Lara Morgan are just beautiful fantasy covers.
6. How many submissions do you get on average each week? How many of these do you request the full manuscript of?
On average I receive 10 – 15 manuscripts a week. I probably request fulls of 25% of those, and publish 15% of the whole.
7. What are three key ingredients in a successful submission for Escape?
Following the submission guidelines is a good first step! But the way to get published by Escape (and, really, anyone) is to have the three components of a good book: excellent pacing, fantastic characters, and breathtaking emotional development.
8. When you’re not reading submissions, what books/authors do you like to read for fun?
You may find this hard to believe that I still love to read romance! But I’ve been getting into crime fiction and non-fiction recently as well. I met Kathryn Fox at GenreCon and have been enjoying her novels (slowly, between submissions). The next three must-reads for me are Cecilia Grant’s A Woman Entangled, Julia Quinn’s The Sum of All Kisses, and Laura Lee Guhrke’s When the Marquess Met His Match.
9. What are the benefits of publishing with Escape Publishing?
I like to say we have the four F’s – fun, fearless, flexible, and fast. We take risks, we really understand and love romance fiction, and we’re dedicated to building careers as well as our imprint.
10. Now that Escape has turned one, what’s the vision for Escape over the coming months and years?
Our first year was about building a catalogue, getting a backlist up, and mapping out a place in the Australian publishing landscape. Our next steps are establishing and cementing that place, identifying and promoting key authors, and building reader trust in our brand.
Make sure that your story is the best it can possibly be. Edit, revise, rework. Make sure someone you trust to be honest reads it, and listen to them. Take advice, but don’t compromise your voice. Take risks and write your story, not the story you think will sell.
And, for goodness’ sake, begin your story and narrative at the same point. The number one reason I have for rejecting a manuscript is the narrative starting long before the story, or starting and then looking backwards.
Escape is always open for submissions, via our website, www.escapepublishing.com.au. Submission guidelines are available there, and I look forward to hearing from you!
Thanks Kate! So c’mon writers, polish up those manuscripts and send them to Kate, and readers, head over to the Escape website and check out the fabulous titles available!
In celebration of the imminent 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… Rachael Johns!
AND, it’s her birthday tomorrow (25th), so let’s wish her a very happy birthday!!
1. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Oh SO many things. I was one of those kids who changed occupations as frequently as I changed my socks. I wanted to be a vet, a teacher (which I did eventually become), a flight attendant, a news presenter, a journalist, an actress, a zoologist, a nutritionist… I don’t think there are many careers I didn’t contemplate at some time or another 🙂
2. What did you do before you became a writer?
I was a high school English teacher (but only for six months before I went on maternity leave)! Before that I was a checkout chick and front-end supervisor and a copywriter for an on-hold messaging company. Believe it or not I liked the supermarket work better AND it paid better too!
3. What is one of your most treasured memories from the past?
Going on holiday with my mother to England the year I finished school. It was an amazing holiday seeing places she’d talked about my whole life – I was born in England but we left when I was 18 months old and this was our first trip back. On this trip I also met my dad, my half-brother and half-sisters for the first time in my life. It was an emotional and rewarding holiday.
4. What’s your latest release about and/or what are you currently working on?
I have two January releases – Stand-In Star from Carina Press and Man Drought from Harlequin Australia. Although both are contemporary romances, Stand-In Star is set in the glamorous world of Oscar Academy Hollywood and Man Drought is set in a small Aussie country town. In some ways both involve fish-out-of-water heroines who have to adapt to a new and sometimes scary situation. You can read more about each book on my website books’ page .
Right now, I’m working on my first ever novella – currently titled The Kissing Season, but of course that’s subject to change!
5. What’s a typical day like for you? (If there is such a thing!)
Haha – I’d like to say a typical day involves a nice sleep in, followed by breakfast in bed delivered by my sexy manservant, following which he brings me my laptop and I write in luxury all day but that would be a lie. I don’t really have a typical day. About two days a week I have a kid-free, shop-free (that’s my day job) day. Those days I get up, get everyone else organised and off to school/day care, chuck on a load of washing and do the washing up (sometimes I leave this till later) and THEN I sit down at my desk, check emails, Twitter, FB, etc and THEN I write. On these days I aim for as many words as I can, ‘cos the rest of the week, I can only steal writing time in snatches, most of which are at night.
6. Name three things you are grateful for in your life right now:
My family, my family’s health and my health. I could say my writing career finally going to plan and I am thankful for that, but when I hear such horrible stories of other people and families suffering, I often have to pinch myself that we are so blessed right now. Really as long as you have your loved ones around you and they are healthy, I don’t think you can ask for more.
7. If you could fast forward in time to any age or year for just one day, what would you choose & why?
I’m not sure of the age exactly, but I’d love to fast forward to when my boys are adults. I hope they are all well and happy and I am just so curious as to what they decide to do with their lives!!!
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?
It’d have to be a robo-maid-cook!! Need I say more!
9. What are your hopes & dreams for the future?
Thanks Rachael, and have a FANTASTIC birthday!
And don’t forget to give Rachael the best birthday present ever – book sales! Buy MAN DROUGHT from Australian bookstores, Amazon, Harlequin, or Google play, Kobo, and ibooks. Buy STAND IN STAR from Amazon, B&N, and Carina press.