Blog Archives

Past, Present, & Future with Monique McDonell

In 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… Monique McDonell!

mon webPAST:

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

That’s a good question. When I was three I wanted to be a trapeze artist. When I was ten I thought I’d like to be a mother of eight and a journalist (not sure how I planned to juggle that, my working mum must have made it look easy!) I always wanted to be a writer as well, maybe not at three but pretty soon after.

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

I studied Communications at Uni and always worked a related field doing PR, events and fundraising. I worked for several non-profit organisations where you had to wear more than one hat. I still work in PR now, even though I write as well. I run a boutique agency with one of my best friends.

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

Wow, how do you pick just one? My best most magical childhood memory ever is going to America when I was eight. We went for Christmas and spent part of the week before at Disneyland. On the first day we flew from Australia and then my parents had a nap but when we went in the park for dinner I was allowed to have apple pie for my meal, not a ‘proper dinner’. I remember my sister had a hot fudge sundae. That was so exciting!

 

PRESENT:

hearts_afire24. What’s your latest release about and/or what are you currently working on?

My latest release is a contemporary romance called Hearts Afire. Cassie Callahan has a disastrous wedding day. First she is jilted and then her catering business catches fire and in comes Jack Callahan, a fire-fighter, to save the day. It’s a story about meeting the right person at the wrong time – which so many of us have done.

My next novel is called Alphabet Dating and will be out in January. It’s a chick lit novel about a girl whose friends dare her to date 26 guys in a month, one for every letter of the alphabet, and the consequences of taking on that challenge.

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

I don’t think too many of us have typical days do we? Mine is spent juggling my day job, my writing commitments and family life. I do most of my work between nine and three or when my daughter is at after school activities. I’m not very good at saying ‘NO’ so I’m often over-committed. I’m working on that. My day always involves coffee and usually ends with a glass of wine or two.

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

My health, my family and good friends.

 

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 fast forward to when I turn fifty. I want to know if that trip to New York I’m planning with some girlfriends is really going to happen. If so, I’d like to go visit myself at the Red Door Spa, go to The Plaza for afternoon tea and have cocktails somewhere fancy with my girls.

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 would like a hover board like in Back to the Future. But I would like the board to be in the form of high heels, and then I wouldn’t get sore feet at parties.

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

Honestly, my main hope is that my daughter grows up to have a happy and fulfilling life. Aside from that I hope I continue to make new friends and meet interesting people, because that’s what makes life fun! On a writing front I hope I’m able to continue to write and that my books find an audience.

 

Thanks Monique! Visit Monique online at her website, facebook, and twitter. Buy HEARTS AFIRE now at Amazon.

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Past, Present, & Future with Coleen Kwan…

In 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… Coleen Kwan!

ColeenKwanHeadshot2PAST:

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

As a kid I was always daydreaming but I never really thought about what I wanted to be. At one stage I thought having a book store would be cool because I could spend all day reading!

 

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

I worked for many years in information technology. I designed computer systems for mortgages, superannuation, and stock broking. It paid the bills, was well-paid, and it was challenging but not as creatively satisfying as writing.

 

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

When I was very young, maybe only three, my father built his own campervan from bits and bobs. Then we — dad, mum, and three children — set out for a long cross country trip. I don’t recall how many weeks we spent on the road, but I remember having lots of fun with my family. Looking back now, I marvel at my parents’ gung ho attitude. The campervan was unreliable, the distances were long, and my siblings and I were very young at the time. But I’m very glad I have that memory.

 

RealMen_cover_FINAL-500PRESENT:

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

My new release is Real Men Don’t Break Hearts, published by Entangled Publishing. It’s a sweet, small town romance between Nate, a reformed bad boy, and Ally, a good girl wanting to reinvent herself. Six years ago Ally was jilted at the altar, and she always blamed Nate, her ex’s cousin. Now Nate is back in town and he’s her new landlord. To make things worse, she finds herself reluctantly attracted to him. Cue lots of tension and conflict.

I’m currently working on the next book of the Real Men series. This story deals with Tyler, Ally’s best friend. Nate and Ally put in an appearance in this book, and it’s fun to see them deal with the next stage of their relationship.

 

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

I wake my two teenagers up (sometimes that involves a lot of yelling) and somehow manage to get them out the door in time for school (usually). Then my partner and I do our morning walk for about 40-50 mins. I try to write from about 10 until 2, with a break for lunch. If the story is flowing or I haven’t reached my daily word count, then I work some more. By 3 or 4 my creative juices have usually dried up, so I find that’s a good time to do email or research or just browsing on the internet.

I rarely write at night. I’m not a night person and my brain just isn’t creative when the sun goes down.

 

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

Spending time with my parents, my family. Having the opportunity to concentrate on my writing without worrying about full-time work. Working with great editors and meeting other writers and sharing the ups and downs of the writing 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 like to fast forward to 22 Dec 2012 just to check that the end of the world hasn’t happened!

 

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 would love a robot to cook fresh, healthy, yummy dinners for me and clean up afterwards. I’m a reluctant cook at the best of times, so an invention like that would really make my life easier and more fun.

 

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

I hope I and my family stay healthy. I hope my daughter has chosen the right subjects for Year 11. I hope I keep on writing and being published.

 

Thanks for being on the blog today, Coleen!

Check out Coleen’s book, REAL MEN DON’T BREAK HEARTS.

You can also visit Coleen at her website/blog, facebook, and twitter.

 

Past, Present, & Future with Laura O’Connell

In 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… Laura O’Connell!

LauraoconnellPAST:

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

I wanted to be an astronaut ever since I saw Neil Armstrong walk on the moon in 1969. The Milky Way and the moon have always intrigued me. Maybe I’ll go up in Richard Branson’s out of space tours.

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

Sadly, I didn’t get to fly into space.  Instead I settled for a career in the world of numbers in management accounting. It paid the bills, but I love the world of words more.

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

The day my son was born. He was the most precious gift I’ve received.

 

PRESENT:

EBP-weboflies-large-45-646x10244. What’s your latest release about and/or what are you currently working on?

Web of Lies, released on 1st December is a story about two teenagers who made a mistake and are re-united eight years later to find they are two different people. Stephanie, due to her aunt’s ill health and the inability to look after her child because of depression, gave up her child and ended up in an abusive marriage. Lachlan had intended to come back for her, but he ended up in a coma that led to events that stopped him returning to Australia.

Lachlan and Stephanie are forced to confront the consequences of their actions and the entire family is compelled to reveal the truth, find forgiveness, and renew loving one another. Can Lachlan and Stephanie make the right decision about Ryan’s future, or are they on the road to destruction destroying the Hunt family forever?

I have a military story under consideration with a publisher at the moment and I am in the planning stages of another military story. I think I might have a soft spot for men in uniform.

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

My writing is my full-time work now. I’m up by five every morning and writing in my journal until I get in the zone. Then it’s shower and breakfast and I’m back at the keyboard by eight o’clock to work on my current work in progress until about twelve thirty and then I take a break for lunch. I return back to the keyboard and prepare blogs, read, attend to social networking until four o’clock when I take my music and me for a long walk to clear the cobwebs. This is done in the bush around where I live or at the beach.

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

I’m grateful for my excellent health, the opportunity to write full-time and for all the people who are walking with me on this amazing journey of life. They inspire me, keep me honest and best of all love me for the person I am including all those little idiosyncrasies. Thank you all.

 

FUTURE:

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

I would choose the day before I die so that I can see all the things I wanted to do, but was too stupid or lazy not to do. I don’t want to waste my life. This would be a good way of telling me if I’m on the right track to achieve everything I’m supposed to achieve in the time I have in this short time I have on earth.

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?

An automatic flying car so that I don’t have to stop at traffic lights, and get to where I’m going quickly. This would free me up to write when inspiration strikes, too.

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

When I grow up, I hope to be an international bestselling author so that my writing reaches people who may be finding their life journey challenging. When they read my books, I hope there’s a few words that might release them from the bonds that strangle them deep within.

I dream about having one of those flying cars to travel in and share with the special man in my life.

 

Thanks for visiting the blog, Laura!

You can visit Laura online at her website & blog, facebook, and twitter.

Click here to check out Laura’s book WEB OF LIES on Amazon.

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!

 

Past, Present, & Future with Helen Lacey

In celebration of the upcoming release of my debut novel, Fast Forward (see announcement here), welcome to the very first interview in my brand new blog segment: ‘Past, Present & Future’. Kicking things off is Harlequin romance author, Helen Lacey. Read on as I delve into her past, her present, and (bring out the crystal ball) her future!

PAST:

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

I wrote my first book when I was seven years old, so I guess I’ve always known I would be a writer. It was a romance about two horses and was sixty four handwritten pages long.

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

Well, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t a writer. But a couple of years before I was published my husband and I had a sea change so that I could write full time. Before that I worked as a manager in a department store.

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

When I was thirteen I got my first horse. I had wanted my own pony since I was a small child and the day my parents bought me my very first horse, whose name was Oakie, I felt as though all of my dreams had come true.

PRESENT:

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

My latest book is my November release from Harlequin Special Edition called Marriage Under The Mistletoe. It’s a Christmas romance and was just so much fun to write. I have another release out in January called His-And-Hers Family and another book scheduled for the middle of 2013.

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

I write every day. I send my husband off to work around 6.30 am and then try to work on achieving 1500 words a day. Of course this depends on things such as edits and revisions or new releases etc. Around three every afternoon I head outside to spend a couple of hours with my animals, which include eight horse, three dogs, two cats, three birds and a house cow named Ginger.

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

The wonderful life I share with my husband and family. That I have a career doing what I love. And most definitely my animals, as my pets, particularly my dogs and horses are a big part of who I am.

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 go to the day that was meant to be my last day and work out which of my dreams/plans hadn’t been achieved and then come back to the now and make sure I did everything I could to achieve those dreams.

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? Oh, that’s easy – a robot to do housework.

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

To stay happy. To surround myself with wonderful family and friends. To travel to Africa. To write books and create stories I can share with readers.

Thanks for joining me on the blog, Helen, and all the best for the future (I’ll have one of those housework robots too, please!)

Just in time for Christmas you can pick up Helen’s book, ‘Marriage Under The Mistletoe’ via these retailers:

Amazon     Amazon UK

B&N     Book Depository       Harlequin      Mills & Boon Aust

Visit Helen online:

Web        Facebook           Twitter          Author Page