Left Field With Lily: Meet Elise K. Ackers

Elise K Ackers new book, Ask Me To Stay, published with DestinyRomance is the first in a series of three Elise will publish with Destiny Romance this year. Elise has been on a singing, dancing, blogging tour through April that I must admit, leaves me dizzy just watching! So I am very glad she has sat down long enough to be my guest today!

The author with the best smile in the business, Elise K. Ackers
The author with the best smile in the business, Elise K. Ackers



LM: Would you please share with us the opening paragraph of your current book in at least two stages? 

EA: The very first version of Ask Me To Stay:

Death was damned inconvenient. Sure, Bree wasn’t exactly high-stepping it in her modern and somehow feminine casket, but her troubles were over.

Ethan’s were just beginning.

All eyes were on him, despite the occasion. He was neither the deceased nor the widow, yet his existence commanded attention. The rogue brother-in-law, home to offer his condolences after years of neglect. Dean’s kid brother. The youngest son, the youngest Foster.

Ethan thumbed his beer. He knew what they all thought of him. If he couldn’t guess, the locals were kind enough to whisper within earshot. A drinking problem. A falling-out with his brother. Off the tracks, headed for ruin.

It was all true enough.

And the polished version:

Death brought people together. It paid no mind to schedules, to relationships, to distance. And the more senseless and untimely the death, the more people seemed to fracture. Bree Foster, who had so often been described as full of life, was now anything but, and standing in the living room of the house he had grown up in, surrounded by mourners gathered for her wake, Ethan was struggling to believe that his sister-in-law was gone. Here one moment, gone the next – leaving behind a family she adored, and a brother-in-law she hardly knew.

All eyes were on him, despite the occasion. He was neither the deceased nor the widower, yet his presence commanded attention. The reprobated wanderer, home to offer his condolences after years of neglect. Dean’s kid brother. The youngest son, the youngest Foster.

Ethan thumbed his beer. He knew what they all thought of him. And if he couldn’t guess, the locals were kind enough to whisper within earshot. A drinking problem. A falling-out with his brother. Off the tracks, headed for ruin.

Some of it was true enough.

LM: 8 lines from the top of page 88 (yes, I stole this idea, sorry!)


away from the tree and stumbled the remaining distance. She needed her keys. And she needed to be away from the heartache she had inflicted on herself. Because she couldn’t do it again. She couldn’t stand there and watch Ethan leave her in his dust for a second time.

Sam wasn’t that girl – that girl who didn’t get it. She was smart and independent. She was courageous and she went after what she wanted. But Sam didn’t bounce. When she was hurt, it crippled her.

She had to leave town for a while. She’d come back when he was gone, pick up the pieces and move on. It was the only way to get through this.

LM: What is your greatest ‘lightbulb moment’ in terms of Writing Craft. 

EA: I used to struggle with short sentences. It took me a fair while to realise that a short sentence had the capacity to deliver far more punch than a longer, wordier one. That was a real light bulb moment for me – I used to try to say everything at once, amongst too many commas and semi-colons. Not so much now. I’m a big fan of varying sentence lengths now.

LM: Interesting Elise. I feel like I write ‘short’ too.

LM: What keeps you awake at night?

EA: Regrets. Things I said, things I didn’t. Better ways to have said things. But, if I can quieten that voice, then there’s always the crowd of characters jabbering away, telling me their stories. They can be pretty obnoxious about being heard sometimes!

LM: If you could choose three items on the list below to take for a week camping in the Australian outback, which three would you pick? (You can assume there are magical batteries for anything requiring power). 

  • ipod
  • kindle/e-reader
  • your favourite paperback
  • your significant other
  • I will take my chances on there being a gorgeous girl, or gorgeous man (whichever the case may be) to help me pitch my tent
  • food I don’t have to catch first 
  • wine (you can assume it will always be cold – unless you prefer red)
  • battery powered Nespresso & endless supply of Pods (and George Clooney – no, that’s cheating – no George)
  • a torch in case the candles go out
  • moisturiser/cosmetics/hairbrush
  • change of clothes
  • mobile phone/internet connection for twitter & FB

Which suggests I’m up for a potentially romantic getaway, free from raw food, with a “get me out of here” tweet at the ready, should my castaway mate confess to loving skinny jeans, Collingwood and Vin Diesel films.

LM:Hey! That’s cheating. You did your own psychology analysis! You’re the first guest I’ve had who was ready to take their chances on a gorgeous bloke arriving out of the bush mists… This is a romance site, remember! It could happen! Go Elise I say.

LM: My book is called His Brand Of Beautiful. Can you tell me what you would describe as ‘your brand of beautiful’ – in terms of your current partner? 

EA:Thoughtful, sarcastic, clever and generous. Someone who is willing to fight for who and what they want; someone passionate and spontaneous. A leader.AskMeToStay cover - Elise K. Ackers

LM: Can you share your favourite 250 words from Ask Me To Stay and tell us why it’s your favourite part?

Kneeling beneath the shower in the tub of the upstairs bathroom, Ethan gripped the new metal bar and surrendered his entire body weight to its mercy. Rowan and Nina watched from the sink counter, their feet bumping against the cupboard doors.

No one fell. Nothing broke.

Rowan and Nina each took a turn holding it. Rowan was more thorough in his testing than his sister, who attempted to use it as a monkey bar.

‘It’s not for playing on,’ Ethan warned. His stern tone made her pause. ‘It’s only for if you need help, do you understand?’

She nodded soberly.

He crossed to the countertop and removed something palm-sized from a supermarket bag. ‘I also got you guys this.’ He held it out to them. ‘Soap on a rope. You hook it around your wrist.’ He demonstrated on a wide-eyed Rowan. ‘You can’t drop it. See?’

Rowan uncurled his fingers and the soap bounced on its rope in the air. He did it again and again before he allowed Ethan to hook the soap over the shower tap.

‘When it gets skinny just ask your dad for a new one, okay?’

The kids returned to their perch and Ethan set about neatening up the wall tiling grout.

His audience was silent and patient. When Ethan was done, Rowan handed him a piece of paper. Ethan thumbed the sticky tape against the new shower rail. Rowan’s WET sign was back at work.

He stood back and admired the job. His heart fluttered when tiny fingers hooked around his elbow.

‘I wish you’d come before.’ Nina rubbed her nose as she stared at the shower.

Rowan nodded.

This is my favourite part because of how real it feels to me, like a scene in a movie. I see the faces of those gorgeous, grieving children; I hear their feet banging against the cupboard door. Their uncle is trying to fix their fractured lives however he can, and my heart goes out to Ethan in this scene. But this section is a real turning point for the three of them. It’s an important moment, and it has replayed in my mind countless times.

The blurb:

When family tragedy brings bad boy Ethan Foster home, he doesn’t expect a warm welcome. In the small town of Hinterdown reputation is everything – and Ethan’s was ruined long ago. Nobody wants him around, particularly not Sam O’Hara, the girl he left behind.

There’s still a powerful spark between them, but Sam is afraid to risk her heart again. And Ethan is hiding a secret that will have repercussions for his whole family. Will the townspeople ever forgive him? More importantly, will those he loves the most find it in their hearts to take him back?

Web links:

Website: www.elisekackers.net

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EliseKAckers

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elise-K-Ackers/145929782088997

Buy links:

Destiny Romance: http://www.destinyromance.com/products/9781742536118/ask-me-stay-foster-novel

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/au/book/ask-me-to-stay/id631063708?mt=11

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Ask-Me-To-Stay-ebook/dp/B00C10FE6M/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1365916147&sr=1-3&keywords=Elise+K+Ackers

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Ask-Me-To-Stay/book-r3rQIwclqUmS_CEckMRJvQ/page1.html

Good luck with Ask Me To Stay, Elise, and with the series this year. You will be busy! Keep singing and dancing, we love that beautiful smile.

Rewrites. Done.

I finished rewrites of The Goodbye Ride this afternoon. It’s now 28,000 words exactly. I had this ‘thing’ about getting it to 28,000 words when I realised how close I was. I went 28,028; then 27,992 and up and down and then, 28,000. Thank you delete key. Thank you word-count function.

It’s silly really, but when you have a nice big even number like that, it’s fun to hit it exactly.

It’s funny how The Goodbye Ride has inched its way into this very special place in my heart. I think it’s because it’s a story based on true events. I’ve written elsewhere about my inspiration for it, but if you’d like to read it, you can here.

I am going to self-publish it. This has been another momentous decision and there have been various factors influencing that decision.

  • At 28,000 words it’s a novella, and testing the self-pubbing waters by starting with a ‘smaller’ book seems a good plan
  • I love the idea of having more control over the book, its cover and marketing
  • Events in the book take place over the four days of the June Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend, and no publisher even in this digital age, can turn a book around that fast.

Tonight I emailed the manuscript to my Critique Partners, and to Musing Maddie (a book blogger and avid romance reading enthusiast who offers a Beta Reading service).

I’m so excited to see what they think. I’m so excited about self-publishing it.

I’m just… excited!



The Goodbye Ride – Cover Reveal

So excited by the cover of my new novella, The Goodbye Ride.

Cover design by Wendy Johnston of Bright Eyed Owl.
Cover design by Wendy Johnston of Bright Eyed Owl.

This is designed by Wendy Johnston of Bright Eyed Owl. Wendy is from the Barossa in South Australia and she loves a good red… a good white… a great bottle of bubbles. She’s the perfect cover artist to design a book that has wine in its veins.
I’m blessed to count two wonderful graphic designers as friends, Wendy and Lu. (Lu is convinced though, that she is destined to be a nurse).
Now the trick for me is, stop cover gazing and start writing. I need to push through with my revisions…
If you would like to read the start to The Goodbye Ride as an excerpt, click here.

Can You Spot My Boob?

It has been a momentous week in the Malone household. My husband is reading my book, His Brand Of Beautiful.

Now to give you some context, these would be my husband’s favourite authors: John Sandford, Michael Robotham and Leah Giarratano – all crime/thrillers. The last book he read was: Dogs Of Winter by Kem Nunn which is about a journo who goes in search of a mystery big wave surfing spot and encounters no end of trouble on the way. I’ve read this book too and it is BLEAK. (Great book, but seriously. HEAs are very few and far between in this one.)

My Crit Partner was surprised to hear that hubby hadn’t read HBOB. My problem was, there was no way I was going to let my husband read it until I had some validation that it was actually any good. (Which, I now have, thanks to Kate Cuthbert at Escape Publishing, and some lovely reviews).

So when hubby announced he wanted my Kindle so he could read my book, I handed it over. Which means I now get the fun of sharing some of his comments along the way (comment in bold):

I like how you describe things. (And he picked out this passage below).

Dark fish-hooks and dagger points curled in his fringe and at his temple, a fat raindrop quivered like it didn’t dare slide.

You know? I’m not enjoying this too badly at all. (Someone tell me whether that’s a double negative?)

Then a conversation I never thought I would hear: Hubby on the phone to his mother talking about my book. (You’ll forgive me that it’s a one-sided conversation – but it will show you that I paid attention in Point Of View school!)

“I’m reading Lily’s book at the moment.”

“No. It’s good. I’m enjoying it. But I haven’t got to any steamy sex scenes yet.”

Me: *Blush*

But then this one came from out of the blue:

“I found a mistake in your book.”

“What? Where?”

Now I could tell you the boob he found, but that would ruin my fun. I have decided to run a competition for anyone who has already read HBOB to spot the mistake. I will give you some clues.

  • I think only a bloke would find it (or a woman who is very mechanically minded)
  • It involves an item of household machinery
  • It involves my description of a sound that machinery makes
  • It isn’t to do with a wrench or a spanner or a red shirt (sorry Juanita Kees)

Hubby’s reading of HBOB was interrupted by the weekend and its bevy of football games, but I have just been out for my Sunday afternoon walk and on my return, he is once again ensconced with my Kindle… and he’s just given me another comment:

“I think your main character, Christina, swears too much.”

This is the section he read:

Then she heard it. Pow. Pow. Pow.

All the air rushed from her lungs and she felt tears overflow, slide down her cheeks.

My God, Tate! It sounds like a hammer. Like our kid’s a fucking carpenter.

“I think Christina is too prim and proper to swear so much.”

“She’s not prim and proper!” I say defensively.

“Well, she’s the CEO of a winery… she’s a city girl,” he says defensively. “I don’t think she’d say that in a doctor’s surgery.

I get the last word: “She doesn’t say it, she thinks it!”

And hubby shuts up.

So having had my fun for the afternoon at my wonderful husband’s expense… I’m signing off.

Anyone who would like to play ‘spot my boob’… (ahem), if you can leave me a comment and if someone gets it right (or gets close)… I will gift any person you’d like to nominate their own e-copy of His Brand Of Beautiful.


Hello to The Goodbye Ride

I’ve been inspired by Ros Baxter and Lilliana Anderson and Cate Ellink in recent weeks, all of whom have shared some amazing short stories and excerpts on their blogs.

I’ve been kicking my own goals with my WIP, The Goodbye Ride. I’m about to share it with my critique partners, but I thought – what the heck – let’s share some with the world!

The Goodbye Ride. Lily Malone.

Chapter 1.

Olivia Murphy had brass in pocket. One thousand dollars’ worth of brass to be exact—all hers and all hard-earned. Technically, the money was in her handbag not her pocket, but Liv wasn’t about to split hairs. The sun—for the moment at least—was shining, she’d given herself the day off tomorrow, and her parents were in Melbourne. She had the house to herself for four whole days.


The Lang’s place wasn’t far—just another few hundred metres heading out of town along the Hahndorf main street. She couldn’t see the glint of red, not yet. There were too many hedges in the way, too many neat brush fences, and her prize was set back from the road. Luke’s bike. Her brother’s Ducati Pantah 650. The bike she was about to give Dean Lang ten thousand dollars to buy back.

Her chin rose. If there’s one oak leaf stain on that paintwork, Mr Lang, you better get ready to knock another few hundred dollars off your asking price.

Liv checked over her shoulder, just as she’d checked every thirty seconds since she’d left the bank carrying ten hundred-dollar notes crisply folded in a plastic bag. The odds of getting mugged in Hahndorf weren’t high, unless by a Japanese tourist who wanted a photo taken. But why tempt fate?

She quickened her pace.

Her handbag bumped her hip. Liv clutched it closed with her elbow and concentrated on where she put her shoes. Rotting autumn leaves made slimy passage underfoot and the pavement was a twisted rollercoaster of treacherous roots.

On the opposite side of the road, up ahead near the sixty sign, a bright red utility pulled to a stop. The driver braked hard enough to grind shining Mag wheels through the roadside slush.

Liv hated the vehicle on sight.

It was one of those big bristling testosterone-fuelled boy toys—one with more aerials than a radio station, mudflaps the size of a swamp, spotlights everywhere. A bull bar covered in RM Williams’ stickers snarled across the front.

Liv figured the driver must be heading up to camp in the backwaters of the Murray River for the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, some choice spot where he could shoot pigs and suck beers. He’d probably stopped to change CDs, throw One Hundred Best Beer Songs of All Time into the stacker.

“Neanderthal,” she muttered under her breath.

The driver-side door opened and two feet eased out. Two feet clad in thongs. Thongs! Liv pulled her scarf tighter at her throat. Didn’t he know it was June?

Those feet were attached to a muscular pair of legs in black cargo shorts, and from there to a ripped torso in a tee-shirt half a size too tight. A nun would go weak at the knees if she saw that chest and Liv was no nun—although there were times lately, it felt like it.

The driver shoved his sunglasses to the top of his head, checked left and right, and his weight edged forward.

Fear iced her spine.

The brute had parked opposite Dean Lang’s house—directly opposite the bike she’d come to buy—and now he zeroed in on her Ducati like a heat-seeking missile.

Dammit. Where was a Greyhound bus where you needed one? Not to hit him, mind. Just to slow him down. Okay, maybe wing him.

Liv missed her step, skidded on an ice-rink of acorns. Her legs slid like a new-born foal’s. It took a few seconds to regain her balance and in that time, the driver loped across the road and up the embankment. Liv lost him behind the neighbour’s hedge, but she was almost level with the Lang’s driveway now. Almost there.

Then the earth moved.

She had just enough time to thrust out her left hand before she hit the ground. Pain shot through her palm and it felt like a sledgehammer whacked her hip. Her handbag catapulted from her shoulder to the pavement, scattering lip-eze, a pack of chewing gum, and a mobile phone. Her precious plastic bag of cash skidded out late, like the last girl asked to the dance.

“Whoa! Are you okay? Hold on.”

Liv heard a flap, clap sound and thought for a second that some arsehole was applauding her fall. Dimly, she looked for the arsehole, wanting to give him a piece of her mind. She tried to push herself up and turn over but before she could achieve either goal, a muscled arm reached down and a dark shape blotted out the tangle of branches over her head. Her saviour’s bare arm cushioned her shoulders while his voice cajoled her to sit.

“You’re wearing thongs in the middle of winter.” It was all she could think of to say. Liv heard comfort and warmth in his chuckle before his arm again tried to propel her upright. “Give me a sec. My head’s spinning. I need to get my breath.”

“That was some fall.”

She examined her sore, scraped hands, aware of a damp spot spreading on the butt of her jeans. Somehow, she got her feet beneath her. “I’m fine. Thank you. Really.”

He picked up her handbag, lipstick and phone. Then she saw him reach for her money.

“I can manage,” she snapped, bending, stretching for the plastic bag.

The earth spun again. She ended up with her hands on her knees and her head at her thighs. His big knuckled fingers rubbed her back and at some stage, her pink wool beanie fell off and landed on top of his bare toe. That toe looked wild enough to crawl into the nearest cave and hibernate. Most male toes she’d seen in her twenty-four years didn’t look like that. Her brother, Luke, had forgotten more about pedicures than Liv had ever known.

Loss spiked her chest. Luke. 

Liv sucked two quick breaths and stood. She was here to buy Luke’s bike from Dean Lang, not think about pedicures or toes, or caves.

“Here,” the guy said gravely, picking up her cash and beanie, stuffing one in her handbag and the other over her head. Eyes the charcoal side of black seemed to click with hers and it was as if she heard a little voice inside her head sigh: Oh, hello. 

Olivia Murphy didn’t listen to little voices sigh. She was far too sensible for that.


Thanks for getting through my first 1000 words! I’m hoping to have The Goodbye Ride finished so I can release it for June. Off to the crit partners now and a second Beta read soon.

Please watch this space!

Left Field With Lily: Lilliana Anderson

Lilliana Anderson self-published two books in what she’s called, The Beautiful series. A Beautiful Struggle and A Beautiful Forever. A Beautiful Forever is her current release and she’s head down, backside up, on a new novel, Alter, due out next month.Lilliana

Lilliana and I clicked from the start. How can you not click when two people called Lily and Lilliana each release books with ‘beautiful’ in the title in the same launch month?

When I first ‘met’ Lilliana, A Beautiful Forever was ranking in the double digits for sales on Kindle, and it’s still sitting in the top 50 in the category ‘Coming Of Age’. Consider me uber-impressed! Did I mention she is a mum to four (yes, four) and wife?
Make that: Super-uber-impressed!

She is a fun personality who promotes author-love and ethics within self-publishing wherever she goes. Plus she is the first person I can turn to when I have a Facebook question, such as: How do you get a heart symbol? Answer < and the 3.

In short. Lilliana inspires me and it’s wonderful to have her as my guest today on my infrequent interview post: Left Field With Lily.

LM: Would you please share with us the opening paragraph of your current book or WIP, in at least two stages? 

First draft:

I’m standing in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, training one of my regular clients when I look up and see her, her movement is unmistakable. The two years I spent trying to get over her just fell away and I’m taken right back to where I was, wanting her, wishing I could touch her. There’s a pain in my chest when she looks at me and I see the recognition dawn on her.

Final version

Encouraging the sweaty, grunting man in front of me to tuck his knees closer to his chest as he does mountain climbers, I distractedly scan the people and the scenery in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, as I do every time I bring a client here.

LM: What is your greatest ‘lightbulb moment’ in terms of Writing Craft. 

LA: I had a big problem with show vs tell. I didn’t quite understand what it was I was doing wrong. Eventually one of my beta readers highlighted a section in the draft for this book and said – ‘Look! Right here. You’re telling me this – I want to see it’ and then it clicked. Hopefully I have the hang of it a bit better now!

LM: What keeps you awake at night?

LA: My three year old! LOL.

LM: If you could choose three items on the list below to take for a week camping in the Australian outback, which three would you pick? (You can assume there are magical batteries for anything requiring power).

  • ipod
  • kindle
  • your favourite paperback
  • your significant other
  • I will take my chances on there being a gorgeous girl, or gorgeous man (whichever the case may be) to help me pitch my tent
  • food I don’t have to catch first
  • wine
  • battery-powered Nespresso & endless supply of Pods (and George Clooney – no, that’s cheating – no George)
  • a torch in case the candles go out
  • moisturiser/cosmetics/hairbrush
  • change of clothes
  • mobile phone/internet connection for twitter & FB (definitely my mobile, because it has music, books, facebook, email, twitter – everything I’d want to stay entertained and connected)

LM: So food, wine & communication. You might be a bit ON the nose, but you’ll be IN the know… (baaad joke).

LM: My book (released in March with Escape Publishing) is called His Brand Of Beautiful. Can you tell me what you would describe as ‘your brand of beautiful’ – in terms of your current partner? 

LA: He’s actually sitting right next to me – so I’d better make this good in case he looks over! One thing I find beautiful about my husband is his thoughtfulness. He works in hospitality, and every Sunday he finishes work early and stops off at my favourite coffee shop to bring me a coffee so we can sit and talk for the afternoon.

A lot of the time he produces a piece of paper for me to read. He cuts out articles from the paper that I might like and sometimes he has an idea for a future book that he writes down for me.

For my birthday, he filled a book with story ideas for me to show me how supportive he was of my work.

So that’s what I find beautiful, he doesn’t do grand gestures, because he knows I don’t want that – it’s the little thoughtful things that really matter for me and keep me smiling.

LM: Awww…. he sounds wonderful!

booktitleLM: Can you tell me the best thing about A Beautiful Forever? Who would absolutely love it?

LA: Originally I wanted to call this book A Beautiful Redemption (I came across another book with the same name so I changed it) because Elliot, who is the character that I carried over from A Beautiful Struggle, really redeems himself in this one.

We see him come into his own in this book and fight for what he really wants.

Everyone who loved Elliot in A Beautiful Struggle will love this book and so will anyone who loves a good romance about a couple who won’t let anything get in their way. I wrote this book so it could be read on its own, you don’t have to have read the first book to enjoy this one.

LM: Can you share your favourite 250 words from A Beautiful Forever and tell us why they’re your favourite part?

LA: I have a couple of parts that I’d love to share, but they’d really ruin the story line. This is the ‘safest’ of my favourite parts in Elliot and Paige’s story. They are at a bed and breakfast on their last weekend together before Elliot has to fly back to Australia.

A Beautiful Forever is written in a dual point of view – this section is in Paige’s voice.

“I just want you to know that I’ve never been happier than when I’m with you. I want you to know that I – ”

“Don’t Elliot,” I say quickly, cutting him off. “Don’t say anything to make this harder. I’m staying and you’re going. Please don’t try and change that.”

“It doesn’t have to end when I go Paige, you could come with me – or I could come back – or you could come with me and then we both come back,” he argues regardless. “Don’t end this Paige, you know how I feel about you, even if you don’t want to hear it, and I’m pretty sure you feel the same way about me. We can do this Paige; we can do this anywhere you want, any country you want. I just want you.”

Tears are threatening to spill from my eyes as I pull my robe back over my shoulders and close it tightly around me. “Elliot, you can do so much better than me. Why are you pushing this?”

“Because I love you damn it!” he yells suddenly, his outburst scaring the shit out of me as he jumps off the bed and starts to pace the room. I sit there, trying not to cry as I watch him work through his emotions. When he stops and looks at me his eyes are shining as well. “Why won’t you tell me what makes you so sad? Why don’t you trust me enough to love you no matter what you may have done?”

If you’d like to find out more about Lilliana and her books, it’s easy.

Visit her website and blog

Find her on facebook or Goodreads or Twitter

Buy A Beautiful Forever at Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Kobo

A Beautiful Forever comes with a Mature Content Warning.

After ruining the best relationship he has ever had, Elliot’s life takes a turn for the worse and he isn’t happy with who he’s become.

Deciding to spend three months in the UK on a working visa, in a bid to find himself again, he boards a plane to London. During the flight he meets Paige, a fellow Aussie with a closed heart and a lot to hide.

The closer he gets to Paige the more he’s sure that she’s hiding something. Will it be enough to send him running? Or does he love her enough to fight this time?

This is Elliot’s story after A Beautiful Struggle, it can be read on it own but Lilliana says you will have better understanding of Elliot’s character if you meet him in book one first.


Don’t We All Speaka-da Engleesh?

My books are Australian.

They should sound Australian? Shouldn’t they?

Lately I’ve been thinking about colloquialisms in my writing, because a wonderful Beta reader pointed them out, and I’ve realised I’m guilty of making quite a few.

For example from the opening scene of my WIP novella, The Goodbye Ride:

The name didn’t ring a bell.

Whatever he did for a crust.

“The rear shocks are shot to buggery.”

“You’re pulling my leg.”

I talk about “thongs” and “sneakers” and a “ute.” (Now everytime I see the word ‘thong’ I end up with a vision of Ali-G and his man-kini… see… it’s not pretty, is it!)

I’ve spent a lot of time around your average dinky-di blokes. This is how people I know talk. This is how my characters think, and talk, and they feel right when I write them. But what would an American reader make of my book? At what point does enjoyment of writing cease, because a reader needs to keep googling colloquialisms? Is this part of the reason I often hear that US readers tend to read US writers (more readily at least, than international authors unless they’re big names?)

I was lucky enough to have a lovely review for His Brand Of Beautiful from a writer and blogger in Florida, Victoria Pinder. She added some translation into her review, mentioning how the book begins with a “hen’s party”… (bachelorette party in the US). When I thanked Victoria for the translation, she said part of the enjoyment for her is reading in the local language. She wouldn’t have wanted to read an Australian-based book using American language or lingoism.

I had another funny experience on Saturday at Jennifer Crusie’s blog. It was an Easter conversation and in the comments, there were many mentions of “peeps.” Now to me, ‘peeps’ are Twitter followers and not much else, and as everyone was talking about cooking, microwaving and eating these ‘peeps’ – I asked the question: “What are peeps?”

I found out they are “little marshmallow chickens that are covered in some sort of spray dye and crystallized sugar.”

Eeewww. I kinda wished I hadn’t asked.

I then found out that in the US people make peeps into tableaux, and enter them into contests. One of the commenters even suggested some links! Seriously – check these out – they’re amazing!


So in the end, I learned something and felt good about the process.

I think I can have my peep and it too. I’m going to be more aware of colloquialism in my writing and do what I can to remove some of it, especially when it really won’t matter if the line was written in another way. But where colloquialisms add to character, or setting, I think I’ll vote to keep it. And I’ll hope that my reader gets involved enough not to let it stop her flow. And in the best case scenario, perhaps she will get a sense of our great Aussie culture in the process.

Now that would be nice, peeps! What do you think?