Blog Archives

Book Bundle Giveaway!

Author Jennie Jones is holding a multi-book giveaway to celebrate the first birthday of her bestselling rural romance, The House on Burra Burra Lane.

It is OPEN WORLDWIDE, and all you need to do to enter is visit my interview HERE, click the little green ‘subscribe to Jennie’s newsletter’ button on the right side of the page, then say ‘yes’ on the Rafflecopter form. Easy!

The winner will receive a special limited edition USB key from Escape Publishing, with six books loaded onto it just for you. Plus you’ll receive swag including bookmarks, postcards…etc.

CLICK HERE to enter and read an interview about my book The January Wish. Good luck, and tell your friends! 🙂

giveaway-jenniej

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

At Home With… Ann B Harrison [Author Interview]

To celebrate the launch of my new series with THE JANUARY WISH and FEBRUARY OR FOREVER now available, I’m running a special interview segment called ‘At Home With…’

Today, we’re paying a visit to Ann B Harrison!

 

AnnBHarrison1. Hi Ann B Harrison, where are you from and how long have you lived there?

I live in the beautiful Hunter Valley in New South Wales, Australia

 

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

I’m surrounded by wineries, rolling hills and fabulous gardens. That does it for me.

 

3. Do you have a favourite local cafe, restaurant, bar, club, business, or store? Give them a plug here!

I love http://www.huntervalleygardens.com.au/ We go to the snow festival in the middle of the year and I take every visitor I get to spend time in the gardens or check out the chocolate factory.

[Juliet ~ I was a bridesmaid at a wedding there. Beautiful place!]

 

zac4. Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names? 

I have three dogs and a multitude of chickens. My oldest boy Zac has had trouble with his little googly eyes and had to have one removed. Here he is before the trouble started.

 

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

My office. I can lock myself away from the family and put on my music – usually Pink on the earphones – and write to my hearts content. It is the one room that nobody is allowed to touch.

 

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

My laptop, my bag of heritage seeds and iPad.

 

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

The wind. I love it some days but lately, we have almost been blown away.

[Juliet ~ I’m the same! It can get very windy here on the coast]

 

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?

I’ve just watched Whitehouse Down and loved it. The next one I want to see and I believe it’s out soon, is Thanks for Sharing, starring Pink. (Can you tell I have girl crush on her?)

[Juliet ~ I really enjoyed Whitehouse Down too.]

 

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?

It has to be something healthy for me. I’m a salad girl and prefer fish or chicken to red meat. Bit partial to a dessert too.

 

10. Name three books on your To Be Read bookshelf or e-reader:

I have hundreds. Presently reading the ARC of Gina Maxwells’ Fighting for Irish, Rome by Jay Crownover, Fallen Crest Public by Tijan.

 

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

Dog injections for arthritis. Is that weird enough? I have an old lab who needs a shot every month.

 

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

Scotland, I need my share of men in kilts.

 

13. You’ve just received a phone call from a friend or relative, and they’ll be arriving in five minutes for a visit. What do you do?

a) Relax on the couch until they arrive.

b) Put the kettle on; place some (probably homemade) snacks onto a tray; set the table; put flowers into a vase; and light a candle (and maybe even make some place cards with your super calligraphy skills).

c) Put the kettle on; tip out a few cookies onto a plate; check your reflection in the mirror, and wait.

d) Freak out; shove excess household clutter under beds, in cupboards, drawers, and the garage; trip over something in the process; hold an ice pack to your bruised forehead while swearing profusely; check the mirror to see if you’re still in pyjamas; frantically change into suitable clothing whilst simultaneously holding ice pack to your head; fall over again; alternate ice pack between head and location of new injury; then shove ice pack under bed and greet visitors with the fakest smile of pure calm you can muster.

C for sure but I’d probably forget to look in the mirror.

 

>> Even though Ann would probably love you to pay a visit, why not visit her online right now?

Website : Blog : Facebook : Twitter : Goodreads : Pinterest

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

Amazon.

 

20429535COMING HOME—but is the price too high for the Williams siblings? 
Their father drove them away, now the conditions of his will are forcing them home and they may not like the rules he’s set. 
The city hasn’t been kind to Doctor Russ Williams and he can’t wait to leave his broken marriage behind him. Superstar rugby player Cade, his career threatened by a crippling injury, has to face the fact that his glory days might be over. Rooney, carrying a secret she won’t be able to hide if she returns but lured by the promise of owning a vet practice. Three very different siblings with their own dreams, forced to face reality on the family property, confronted at every turn by their past. Will there be time for love? 

At Home With… Alissa Callen

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 rural romance author Alissa Callen!

 

Alissa Callen x1. Hi Alissa, where are you from and how long have you lived there?

I live in the red earth country of central western NSW near Dubbo. We used to live two hours further west but have been in Dubbo for the past sixteen years. Where does the time go?

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

We live on a small slice of rural Australia and I love everything associated with life on a farm. I have four children so really appreciate the unlimited space, the local sense of community and the chance for my kids to grow up away from a computer screen.

3. Do you have a favourite local cafe, restaurant, bar, club, business, or store? Give them a plug here!

My favourite café actually comes from a neighbouring country town called Orange. The toasted BLT’s are sublime along with the home made gingerbread biscuits that arrive with your coffee. http://byngstreet.com.au/

IMGP34184. Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names?

We have two dogs, Dusty, a red-heeler cross, and Milly, a Jack Russell who has a rap sheet at the local vets an arm long. She’s been bitten by a brown snake, electrocuted, had a grass seed in her eye and eaten rat bait from the feed shed. We also have a thoroughbred called Big Bad Banjo and the obligatory small grey pony, called Gidget. All our pets are much loved and spoilt rotten.

[Juliet ~ Milly, what a trooper!]

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

Can I say an outdoor room? I love my rose garden. I have over 100 roses and a trellis of Pierre de Ronsards that creates a beautiful living wall every summer.

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

We very nearly had to this last summer when we had a grassfire in our front paddock. My top three things to grab were the kids photo albums, the filing cabinet draw with birth certificates etc and the usb containing my latest rural.

IMG_0307 a

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

In a perfect world I’d love there to be more local employment opportunities for country kids so they didn’t have to head to the city or to the mines for work.

horse 1 a8. 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?

My youngest calls our family favourite movie the Mr Darcy Show, but it actually is the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice.

[Juliet ~ Lol, the Mr Darcy show. Now there’s an idea!]

9. Imagine you have the luxury of a chef for a night and you’ve invited people over for a dinner party, what would you have the chef cook?

I’d forgo the dinner party for a month’s worth of dinners that could be put into the freezer!!

[Juliet ~ ahh, very practical!]

10. Name three books on your To Be Read bookshelf or e-reader:

Both my husband and my kids have worked out how good it is to read on an ipad so at the moment the three books at the top of the ipad list are:  The Booger Book: Pick It. Lick it. Roll it. Flick it. (for the 12 year old Little Farmer), The Silver Brumby (for Miss Mini Farmer) and Blood Secret – Jaye Ford (for Big Farmer).

[Juliet ~ LOL again! Can’t say The Booger Book is on my TBR pile but Blood Secret definitely is.]

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

Cattle vaccine.

[Juliet ~ Loving this interview. Can’t say I’ve ever had cattle vaccine in my fridge either. ;)]

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

There are too many fabulous destinations to choose from – have been lucky enough live overseas and every country has their own unique culture, cuisine, history, natural beauty and attractions.

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.

LOL – me: d)

Laid back Big Farmer: a)

 

Thanks Alissa!

>> Even though Alissa Callen would probably love you to pay a visit, why not visit her online right now?

Website : Blog : Facebook : Goodreads 

 

>> And help her pay for that in-house chef (or housekeeper) by buying a copy of her books here:

 

Book cover RHBeneath Outback Skies – Buy here.

Paige Quinn will let nothing and no one distract her from caring for her wheelchair-bound father, Connor, and fighting for her remote, drought-stricken property, Banora Downs. Least of all a surprise farm-stay guest named Tait Cavanaugh, whose smooth words are as lethal as his movie-star smile.

Except Paige can’t help noticing that, for a city-boy, Tait seems unexpectedly at home on the land. And he does ask a lot of questions…

It doesn’t matter how much he helps out or how much laughter he brings into her life, she soon suspects he is harbouring a big secret – the real reason he has come to Banora Downs…

 

What Love_cvr smallWhat Love Sounds Like – Buy here.

Outback speech pathologist, Mia Windsor, believes her morning from hell is over. Then suited-up, city-boy Kade Reid strides into her office and announces he and his wide-eyed niece are the clients that she will be living with for the fortnight.

Kade Reid adheres to a single edict — money is as important as breathing. But when he becomes an instant father to four-year-old Tilly, he escapes to the only place he was allowed to be a child…the family property of Berrilea.

As Mia and Kade work together to help Tilly overcome her speech delay, can they face their fears in order to give Tilly the family she so desperately needs?

Past, Present, & Future with Rachael Johns

853370_flaming_cakeIn 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!!

PAST:

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 jouLittleRachaelrnalist, 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.

PRESENT:

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

I have two January releases – Stand-In Star from CarinRachaelJohns2a 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 MDcan ask for more.

FUTURE:

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?

StandInStar_finalThat my family stays happy and healthy, my boys grow up into good men and that I get to keep writing and publishing books!!

Thanks Rachael, and have a FANTASTIC birthday!

Visit Rachael online at her website, blog, facebook, and twitter.

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.

Past, Present, & Future with Alissa Callen

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… Alissa Callen!

AlissaPAST:

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

As a child I’d read books by torchlight and scribble stories that I’d put under my pillow for safekeeping only for them to end up in the wash. So have always wanted to read and write and lose self in fictional worlds where no washing ever needed to be done!

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

My background is in education and counselling but for the past fifteen years have been lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mum and traffic controller to four now-not-so-little children.

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

Reading. Being the eldest of seven kids peace and quiet was a rare commodity, so I’d take a book to the shearing shed and hideaway in the lanoline-scented silence. Even now I still have every horse book I ever bought as a child.

PRESENT:

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

Am very fortunate to have two books coming out in quick succession in 2013. January sees the release of What Love Sounds Like with Escape Publishing and then February 1 will have a launch title for the digital-first Random Romance list of Random House called Beneath Outback Skies.

Pony5. What’s a typical day like for you? (If there is such a thing!)

How my day unfolds is subject to the eating habits of a thirty year old grey pony. Depending on what time she finishes her breakfast, I will have either answered emails or have spent far too much time surfing the web. Then once she is back in her paddock (have learned not to start writing before then as can forget to untie her!) I write until twelve. Have lunch. Then write until school pick up at three. Then if am not required for taxi duties will sneak in a little more computer time before dinner.

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

My long-suffering husband

Fabulous friends

Romance Writers of Australia

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 choose 4 days – one for each of my children – with no set date, just so I could share in one of their future milestones and check that they were doing okay.

Book cover small8. 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?

Would love an internet connection that never drops out and only has one speed – fast! And for my husband I’d like a set of car keys that would come to you when you whistle!

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

To keep writing the stories that sprout like mental-mushrooms when I sleep and to live long enough to see my children grow into the special adults that they will be.

Thanks so much Juliet for having me and I wish you all the very best for your own present and future.  I don’t need a crystal ball to know that your future will be bright and filled with many fabulous new releases like Fast Forward.

You’re welcome, Alissa, and thank you for your nice words! 🙂

WLSLVisit Alissa online:

Website:  www.alissacallen.com

Blog: Words, windmills and plot wrinkles @ www.alissacallen.com

Facebook: Alissa Callen – Author

Random House

Buy WHAT LOVE SOUNDS LIKE via Escape Publishing or your favourite ebook retailer.