What’s Old Is New Again…

Great to see this little book back in circulation. I wrote The Goodbye Ride in 2013, not long after we moved from Hahndorf (where the book is set) to Margaret River. I wrote most of it while the kids and I were guests at my sister’s place, before we found our own house to rent.

It’s set on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend holiday, which on the East Coast happens in early June, so it’s a nice little short story to sit down with for an evening or a weekend, if you feel like some romance and escapism to finish your day.

Special mention to one of my good writing friends, Kerrie Paterson, for her debut title with Escape Publishing – Return to Jacaranda Avenue. Love that cover, Kerrie, and it’s nice to share a book birthday with you!

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The Goodbye Ride is out on May 5 and is available for pre-order at all ebook sites now.

Amazon US

Amazon AUS

iTunes

Kobo

More options at Escape Publishing.

Cover Reveal | The Goodbye Ride

Feel like playing a little game of ‘compare the cover?’

This is my new cover for my contemporary novella The Goodbye Ride, out with Escape Publishing on May 5th. Underneath on the right is the old cover, designed for me by the incredibly talented Wendy Johnson of Bright Eyed Owl when The Goodbye Ride was a self-published book. On the left is another version that was all part of the cover design process. How cool to see three versions of the same book!

TheGoodbyeRide_REVISEDTheGoodbyeRideGoodbye_Ride

You are welcome to let me know which one you prefer, but please make sure you be tactful about it! You do realise it’s kind of like asking me to compare my children 🙂

 

 

Fremantle fun, & Bookish Stuff

How has your start to 2016 been? I have to keep reminding myself every time I write the date that we’re in a new year. But that’s pretty normal for me, it took me until about August last year to stop writing 2014 on everything.

Last weekend we were in Fremantle with the kids. We went to the Erth’s Dinosaur Exhibition at the WA Museum and I’d tell you, if you have junior palaeontologists in your house and this exhibition visits a city or town near you – take them! It was great. This is the second time Mr 6 has seen the exhibition, and the first for Mr 8. They both enjoyed it a lot.

5884_521924201195703_1778355084_nWe went to the WA Maritime Museum at Freo, which is a great modern exhibition and really worth the entry fee. Australia II is there, winged keel and all. There are tours of a submarine that you can do but you need to book. We missed the tour, but it’s something to do another time.

This holiday we used AirBnB for the accommodation. Have you heard about AirBnB? It’s a great way of finding (usually shared) accommodation. If you don’t mind being on a property where you might cross paths with your host from time to time, then it’s a great way to (usually) save some money on accommodation and often you can cater for yourselves a little more than normal – which can save on meals and eating out.

This is Christine’s, where we stayed in Freo. We’d highly recommend it and Christine was lovely.

We also visited Adventure World where our family mastered the new ride there, the Kraken!  Lots of fun – we’ll be going back there a few times over the years I’m sure!

The only sad thing about our holiday was it coincided with the desolation of fires at Waroona, Yarloop and Harvey last weekend. We had to detour around the fire zones (which closed both the Forest Highway and South West Highway) to get to Perth and we could see the smoke for the entire 5 hour journey. Coming home, they opened the Forest Highway that morning and we drove through blackened trees where there wasn’t a leaf to be seen and the ground had burned everything down to nothing but sand. Some power poles were burned through which left power lines hanging in the air.

Barefoot BooksSo sad. I have an Aunt at Coolup where we used to spend every Christmas Day from the time I was probably 5, through to being about 25, minus the years I was overseas. We’ve driven through Yarloop, with all its sleepy timber history. There have often been times my hubs has wanted to stop to check out some of the antiques and other shops and we always said: “we’ll do it another time…” Now I guess, there won’t be another time. I don’t think they’ll rebuild the town and even if they did, you can’t rebuild history.

In Busselton on the way home, we saw this great sign outside Barefoot Books in Fig Tree Lane. The bottom book on the list is MORE TIME AT THE BEACH, the print book which includes my story FAIRWAY TO HEAVEN. Barefoot Books sold out before Christmas so it’s nice to know they have more in stock.

Finally, on Friday night I got news that my newest book SO FAR INTO YOU is a finalist in the 2015 Australian Romance Readers Association annual awards for Best Contemporary Romance. This is a big deal! It’s also on the back of a Booktopi2015 ARRA finalista Australia’s Favourite Author nomination earlier in the week. I didn’t get through the Booktopia heats and I’m in a very hot category in the ARRA awards, but it’s very nice to be on a ‘list’… So I’m stoked. I get to use this cute graphic on the left for a while!

Meanwhile, Fairway To Heaven (ebook) is Kindle Monthly Deal at Amazon Australia for January. This means it is 99c for Australian readers, all month and it’s doing well on the charts, reaching No 13 during the week and No 3 in Contemporary. If you have a Kindle and you haven’t read it yet, maybe this is the time to risk it! One click it at Amazon Australia here. If your account is with Amazon US, click here.Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 3.21.01 PM

I had a lovely 5-star review for Fairway from Kirsty Wenn who said “I didn’t want this book to end.” That’s always nice! I had a less than lovely 2-star review from a reader who said “Nice story but very boring”… so, it just goes to show in this writing business you have to roll with the punches and enjoy the good times when they come!

On that very zen note, I’ll leave you to your weekend!

 

 

 

Did You Buy My Book, Mum?

SO FAR INTO YOU - smallerThe first week of a new release is always a nail-biting time… 

So far, my two cousins Sam and Yvette have read So Far Into You. My lovely boss has read my book, and a work colleague confessed to staying up till 2am last night, reading till her eyes were so blurry she couldn’t get the last few pages finished. I’ve had great feedback from writer and reading friends and early reviews have been awesome. (Sneak a peek at reviews here if you’d like)

My mother, however, is in the dog house. This is why.

Me: “So, Mum. Have you downloaded my new book?”

Mum: “No. I don’t like all the ads. When I bought your last book on my tablet, Kindle sends me all the ads. All I do is delete them.”

Me: *a little shocked*: “So delete them and buy my book. It’s no big deal. It’s not every day I write a new book.” 

Mum: “I thought I’d just wait till it was in print.”

Me: “You could be waiting a very long time, Mum.”

Mum: “Your Fairway book is going to be in print. I thought this one might be too.”

Me: “Well it might be, Mum, if the sales go well. But that might not happen at all, and it might not happen for a year or more.”

Mum. “Oh. I guess so.”

Me: “Sam and Yvette have read it. That means Aunty Jan will read it, I bet. She’ll read it before you… then you’ll be in trouble.” Guilt trip. Guilt trip. Guilt trip.

Mum: “That’s true. Okay. I’ll buy your book. I’ll put up with the ads.”

Me: *Job done.*

 

Fairway’s Great Escape Story

About a year ago I made a big decision. It was to offer my self-published book, Fairway To Heaven to Escape Publishing to see if they liked it, and FairWayToHeavenFinal-harlequin 200_200x315wanted to re-publish it in the Escape stable.

Escape’s managing editor, Kate Cuthbert, sent me a lovely note saying, “this book was great” and from that point on, deal memos and contracts were signed. I hit the ‘unpublish’ button at Amazon to remove Fairway To Heaven from sale and it took four or five months before the book appeared again for sale, under Escape and Harlequin’s banner, in April 2015.

Fairway to Heaven got a new cover. It went through an edit with lovely Laurie Ormond, but other than a few changes to the ending, it remained the very same book it had always been. I joke with my writing friends about Fairway as “The Dodgy Fanny” book. It is a book that takes risks both with the heroine (Jenn’s) story, and for her love interest, (Brayden). Some readers have found it too explicit but not because of the sex – more for the medical issue that plagues Jenn’s life and that she must resolve, during the book. 

It’s quite something to have a “dodgy fanny book” in your portfolio… 🙂 

In this ever-changing publishing environment, many aspiring and established authors wonder about the merits of self-publishing versus going with a traditional publisher. I thought long and hard about it too. I had one title (my first title – His Brand Of Beautiful) with Escape, and after that I self-published two other works, Fairway To Heaven and The Goodbye Ride.

Now, all my books are contracted to Escape and I no longer have any titles self-published. In the end, I think it comes down to what individual authors are seeking from their writing, and what stage they might be in their careers. For me, the motivation for moving from self-publishing was multi-factored. One was the ease of being with a major publisher – getting one royalty statement at Tax Time rather than trying to track Amazon sales against my bank statements.

The other was to engage the marketing expertise of Harlequin, the largest romance publisher in the world, and have them repackage Fairway (with new cover, new blurb etc).

By far the major factor was sales. I wanted better sales. My reviews and feedback for Fairway were excellent, but the book didn’t sell as a self-pubbed title.

In August, Fairway To Heaven became a Kindle Monthly Deal on Amazon Australia. In that month it hit the Amazon Top 100 which was the first time any book of mine had reached that level, and then it kept going. Top 50, Top 20, and the highest ranking I saw it reach was 12 overall and 5 in Contemporary Romance.

Fairway spent more than 20 days in the Top 100, and sales of my debut book, His Brand Of Beautiful also bounced to levels I hadn’t seen before. In October, His Brand Of Beautiful was a Kindle Daily Deal, reaching No 22 in the charts. During the time when both these books were doing well, my newbie, So Far Into You came up for pre-release, and pre-sales and sales in its early days have been wonderful, brilliant, great! (I’m not comparing to anyone except me!)

The good news didn’t stop there! Fairway To Heaven will be in a print book bind-up with Victoria Purman and Juliet Madison called More Time For The Beach, released in January 2015-16, but possibly on shelves in time for Christmas. Booktopia is selling it already on pre-order.

So from self-pubbed and wallowing, to a Kindle Monthly Deal, the Top 100, and now a print book bind-up. That’s pretty good going. It’s another tick on my writing bucket list. A print book! My first one.

More Time for the Beach

So that’s my Fairway To Heaven story. It’s not every self-published author’s story and it won’t suit every writer, but for me, I’m so very glad I made the decisions I did, and I’m very grateful to Kate Cuthbert and Escape Publishing for the opportunities they’ve given to me. 

Chasing Chris Judd… and other news

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C’mon… you’d chase him too, admit it!

Here’s a snapshot of my Friday. It’s a busy one, coming right up!

First, it’s a school day, so there are two boys to get into uniform, make lunch for and get to school on time. A complicating factor is that the youngest boy turned 6 yesterday, and he has so many presents to play with/look at/draw in/construct, getting him interested in something as boring as brushing his teeth and getting ready for school is gonna prove difficult.

D.I.F.F.I.C.U.L.T

Tonight I have to make a birthday cake for Mr 6’s party tomorrow. Plus, party loot bags. Mustn’t forget to make those. It’s also the local agricultural show starting tonight, which means there may be sneaky firework watching… but that will depend on the appropriateness of above-mentioned cake. Otherwise, I’ll be baking a new cake while the fireworks snap, crackle & pop.

We have a visitor! My brother-in-law arrives from South Australia tonight for a week’s holiday with us. Little does he know there’s a 6-year-old birthday party to contend with tomorrow. (And he thought he’d have peace and quiet… ha-ha).

In bookish news! My debut book, His Brand Of Beautiful (which incidentally I started writing the year Mr 6 turned 1) published in March of 2013 by Escape Publishing is Amazon Australia’s Kindle Daily Deal today. When I woke up this morning, it was sitting at no. 132 in the paid books on the Amazon charts… which made me No. 10 in Kindle ‘Movers & Shakers’ so I took this screenshot, because it’s pretty 🙂Picture 1

His Brand Of Beautiful is 99c at Amazon for today only… if you are interested in it, please click through to the book here. I was told it was also the daily deal at Kobo, but I can’t see it on special there yet. If I get an updated link, I’ll post it during the day.

So mine is a busy day. My goal for the day (other than to bake a worthy birthday cake) is to see if at some stage during today, His Brand Of Beautiful can find itself in a screen shot close to Chris Judd’s new autobiography. We’re snuggling quite close: HBOB is 132, Juddy is 139. He was my favourite player at the West Coast Eagles till he defected back to Melbourne… where upon he was still a great player, just not my favourite anymore.

Whatever you’re up to this weekend, I hope it’s a fun one!

POSTSCRIPT!! Dreams can come true! Look world, look what happened to me and Juddy on Friday!!

judd

 

More Bat Fun

I wrote about my short story, Tar Pit Triage, a few weeks ago when it got accepted into an American anthology called Coming Together: Strange Shifters.Strange Shifters
 
I was a bit tongue in cheek about it, and I’m still tongue in cheek because:
  • I can’t quite believe I wrote the story for it and
  • I can’t quite believe it got selected…
  • I can’t quite believe that apparently there is enough interest and involvement in this anthology in the US that it may well find its way into print as well as e-book…

Meanwhile, behind the scenes in September/October the anthology has been ticking along. My contribution has been through edits, and it now has a cover. Check out this puppy… (or would that be werebear/werewolf/werepuppy?)

All proceeds from the anthology go to Bat World Sanctuary to save the bats! So that’s kind of fun https://batworld.org/ 

The anthology is the brainchild of Lynn Townsend – more about Lynn here:
 
So. Which good deed have you been doing lately? Saving any bats, anyone? 🙂
 

 

Joining the team at Australian Rural Romance

Wonderful news this week to be invited to join a wonderful team of rural romance authors at the dedicated website for rural romance fans, Australian Rural Romance.

There’s a great team behind ARR, and I’m very pleased to call them all friends. Many of the names already at ARR are known to me, but some are new authors and I’m looking forward to reading their books.

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Giveaway time at the blog | So Far Into You

Picture 1Look at the authors I get to share a book birthday with! Three of us are West Aussies too – or ex-pats (me, Shona Husk and Nicole Flockton). These are Escape Publishing’s new releases for October, and So Far Into You is one of them 🙂

Thank you to my many friends and readers who have already pre-ordered So Far Into You. You cannot know what a thrill it is to have your support.

If you have a Kindle as your e-reader of preference, then you might like to know that So Far Into You is on pre-order sale at Amazon Australia, currently 99c. If you are in Australia but use Amazon.com for your book purchases, you should be able to snap it up cheap there too. If I hear of other etailers offering specials, I’ll be sure to let you know.

You can find all etailers where So Far Into You is available on the Escape Publishing website here.

If you’d like to win an e-book copy of So Far Into You, tell me what it is about Aussie romance and/or Australian settings that you love. You can email me your comment at lilymalone@mail.com with GIVEAWAY in the subject line, OR – write your comment below. I’ve got more than one copy to win… and I’d love to see what you love about Aussie writers and Aussie writing. If you already have the book on download, you can enter for a friend.