October 22 is release day for my new contemporary rural romance So Far Into You.
I’ve done release day a few times now and it is always special. It’s nice to see the culmination of so many months of writing, revising, submitting, editing, plus all the work that Escape Publishing do to prepare the book for the world.
I’d like to thank the people who helped me get Seth and Remy’s story to the page. They know who they are, but for the record, I’m blessed to have Jennie Jones, Juanita Kees and Kylie Kaden in my corner. Kate Cuthbert, managing editor of Escape Publishing had a lot to do with making this book better, as did its editor Belinda Holmes.
Four books down the track, it gets a bit tricky to think of new people to dedicate one’s book to… so this time, I didn’t choose any people. I chose these dogs.
Jarman and Breeze… this book is for you.
‘More than enough dog for anyone, and too much for most.’
Finally, to the people who read and enjoy my books: you keep me and so many other authors writing when we’re convinced we should chuck the whole messy industry in … Thank you for your encouragement, your comments, your Facebook ‘likes’ and smiles; your reviews and your wishes. We write for you.
I’ve come home refreshed after another lovely Saturday night in Perth catching up with my writing buddies and beta reading partners, Juanita Kees and Jennie Jones, at Juanita’s place. We dubbed it ‘Hotel Kees’ this morning because we get so incredibly well looked after by Juanita and her family when we take over (err, visit) for a weekend.
Juanita’s youngest son Daniel gives his bedroom over to one of us, and Gav always cooks a feast for the evening plus the most brilliant bacon and egg toasted sandwich you ever did see (which makes the perfect hangover cure for a Sunday morning).
I am so lucky to have found Juanita and Jennie. It is a tough road, this writing caper. Lots and lots of hard yards spent on your own, in your own imagination, typing words on a page that you will then delete by the bucketload later. It gets lonely, and having folk you can talk books and writing with (who don’t glaze over when you mention turning points and character arcs) are worth their weight in gold.
Positive people are worth their weight in gold, I’ve come to discover. So my motto from the weekend is, surround yourself with the people who give you wings, not with those who set out to clip them.
I love surprises – when they’re good ones. Not such a fan of bad surprises!
But this was very welcome this morning. The good fairies of Amazon have put Fairway To Heaven on sale for $1.49 at Amazon Australia and when I woke up this morning it was ranked 220!
Right now, I’m sitting beside my wonderful author friend, Jennie Jones, side by side with The House On Burra Burra Lane and 12 Days At Silver Bells House. It’s got to be said, I don’t often get to sit beside Jennie, unless we’re drinking champagne!
Somehow, that makes my day even more special!
The trick here is, it’s impossible to know how long the sale lasts. So please make sure you check before you click, just in case it’s all over red rover 🙂
Would you please slow down? I cannot keep up with today!
It is release day for Fairway To Heaven – Mark 2 – out today with Escape Publishing. If you’re a regular visitor here you’ll know Fairway was first launched in 2014, but due to subsequent decisions about self-publishing not being the best fit for me, Escape accepted Fairway for publication late last year.
So – Fairway To Heaven – with a new cover, new blurb and a slightly newish ending, is out again today. It’s like having deja-vu all over again.
Amongst wonderful things that have happened today is:
a blog post about what makes a house a home with blockbuster rural romance author Jennie Jones at her place (so much classier than my place).
This great image by the incomparable Rhyll Biest, which won’t mean much unless you either wrote Fairway To Heaven (like me) or you’ve read it.
An amazing amount of support from fellow Aussie authors and bloggers, and Facebook and Twitter friends. I appreciate your support so very much. When I got home from work, my FB notifications were at 62. 60-bloody-2, and don’t mention Twitter!
A shout out to my wonderful Beta reading and writing friends, Jennie Jones and Juanita Kees, both of whom have had wonderful book-related news this week.
Jennie, Juanita and I met on Facebook last year, and then in person at the RWA Conference in Fremantle. We are all Escape Artists (published by Escape Publishing), and we’re living in West Australia, although I’m a fair way south of these two. This, by the way, is a good thing. I’m sure if we lived closer, we’d talk books and drink wine and very little writing would get done! After Fremantle we chatted loosely about joining forces with joint promotions or other bookish things… and this eventuated in the gem of an idea, that we form a Beta reading team.
So far, I’m proud to say, our record is exemplary! We started with Under The Cover Of Dark, Juanita’s follow-up story to Under The Hood in her Tag Raider series, staring the hunky Detective Mark and the lovely (but scarred) widow, Lily Bennetti. How could I not fall in love with Detective Mark when every line I’m reading has ‘Lily’ swooning over his cop charms? (And cop arms, and those big guns, – please, somebody stop me.) We had a giggle on Facebook mid-way through last year when Juanita posted a line about the sexy things Lily had been doing with Detective Mark, and someone (I think it was Susanne Bellamy from memory – thought it was ME!) So I wrote a little story about me, Lily & Mark which I hope to post here one day when Juanita says it’s okay.
Anyhoo… while we waved goodbye to Under Cover Of Dark and wished it well on its journey through the submission straits, I think next cab off the rank was my book, Fairway To Heaven, closely followed by Jennie Jones’ next book in her Swallow’s Fall series. This is ‘The House At The Bottom Of The Hill’ (the follow-up to Jennie’s blockbuster, ball-busting Escape’s biggest-selling wonder-book: The House On Burra Burra Lane). Yes, I am trying VERY hard to get Jennie to cull her book titles… but she does love telling a story on her front cover! Me, Jennie & Juanita call it THATBOTH… it’s much easier!
I like to think of Jennie as writing ‘Chardonnay Country’. You don’t find wheat fields, red dusty outback roads, sheep or cattle stations in Swallow’s Fall, instead it’s in the Snowy Mountains, all green and wildflower-filled, and the community and characters Jennie Jones has developed there never fail to make me giggle. I love visiting Swallow’s Fall, pet pigs and all.
Juanita’s writing is different. Her Tag Raiders series is romantic suspense… tackling all the tough issues like teenage gang culture, drugs, street kids, homelessness and the wonderful people who assist in the rehabilitation of these teens.
Is it any surprise that after the emotion she spent on the page writing Tag Raiders, she threw us a curve ball? Juanita needed a holiday. So off to a Greek beach she went, while we all chewed our nails waiting on news about Under The Cover Of Dark… and phwoar, have we enjoyed watching her Greek Gods in their speedos on Mykonos… my little heart be still.
Then Jennie, in the space of a few months, wrote my favourite story of everything she’s done so far: 12 Days At Silver Bells House. This is a Christmas novella set in Swallow’s Fall, and it is absolutely delightful. Talking about ‘Chardonnay Country’ I loved how her heroine crashes her car in a paddock near Swallow’s Fall and awaits her rescue more worried about how she’s going to get the box of wine out of the boot (trunk), than how she is going to get out of the aforesaid mud patch in her designer heels. This novella is magic!
And the huge news that’s had us all dancing: Under The Cover Of Dark has been accepted for publication by Escape Publishing this week! And Jennie Jones has news too… although I’ll let her tell it!
So huge congratulations to Jennie and Juanita. They are two of the most generous people you could meet in the Australian writing fraternity.
And while I’m dishing out the love: It’s also been a big week (month) for two other buddies, Jenn J McLeod and Kylie Kaden, both of whom have new books (Simmering Season for Jenn, and Losing Kate for Kylie) in print and e-book that have captured readers’ attention in Australia and beyond.
It sure has been a good news week! #girlwritersrock #australianwritersrock
I’m finding myself filled with the joy of Christmas – especially so as I’ve just returned from a weekend in Perth, where I caught up with my great writing buddies and beta readers, Jennie Jones & Juanita Kees.
2013 has been some kind of year for me, here’s a quick recap:
a) In January, my family moved from South Australia to the fabulous wine region of Margaret River in the south west corner of Western Australia. My kids will now grow up in the same place as I did, ride their bikes on the same trails, and skin their knees on the same BMX track!
b) Thanks to the incredible people at Escape Publishing, I published my debut novel, His Brand Of Beautiful, in March.
c) I self-published my novella The Goodbye Ride in May.
d) Hubby and I bought a block of land, a half acre, in August, which settled in October, and upon which we now have the framework of our new house. (I wish those hard-working tradies didn’t stop for Christmas!)
e) I wrote and finally finished, my second full-length novel that will now release in January 2014, Fairway To Heaven.
e) I met so many wonderful people through this incredible writing and reading community I’ve found!
And in the end, it is the last point that has given me the most joy in 2013. I feel so blessed to have met and connected with some fabulous people on Facebook, and Twitter, at Goodreads and through my blog. I’ve met wonderful bloggers, reviewers, ninjas, authors, readers, editors and cover designers. And I would like to thank you all this Christmas for enriching my life the way you have. You are my greatest gift!
Thank you for supporting me in so many ways. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.
This one started with Avon Romance, and the sport-loving (and wonderful) Iris Blobel invited me to be part of it.
A little bit about my WIP (Work In Progress)
My current WIP is very much a babe in the woods. It doesn’t even have its name yet, because the original name I’ve now decided I don’t like. It was called Fringe Benefits (it’s been that for 2 years). Now I’m leaning to Taking Me Slow or Taking It Slow… It is a reunion romance (contemporary romance) set between the two places of Australia that have been ‘home’ for me: Margaret River, and the Adelaide Hills. Once again, it has a loose wine industry background tying my characters’ lives together. My hero is Seth (he’s based on Timothy Oliphant’s character of Seth Bullock in Deadwood) and my heroine is Quin (don’t ask me why/how she got her name, I just like it).
This book is being DANG difficult to write, and isn’t playing ball. It started out in third person, and currently I’m rewriting a new draft in first person. It is just giving me all sorts of trouble and if it doesn’t pull its act together, I will NEVER write it! (Please, may my threat work, you bloody book, you!). *mutters & glares darkly at keyboard*…
The blog hop questions:
1) When writing are you a snacker? If so, sweet or salty?
Salty. Kettle sea salt chips are my vice (along with champagne). But that said, I don’t snack when I write. It’s impossible to type and snack and I can’t stand a greasy keyboard. (See this post here for more about greasy keyboards and food in my writing!)
2) Are you an outliner or someone who flies by the seat of their pants? Are they real pants or jammies?
Absolute seat of the pants, and they’re not jammies. I’m a nightie kind of girl and my nighties have patterns of icecream cones; champagne glasses clinking; and multicoloured hearts.
3) When cooking or baking, do you follow the recipe exactly or wing it?
I cook like I write. One of the reasons I make muffins that my husband says “are like hockey pucks” is that I refuse to follow a recipe. I like cooking but I don’t like getting so pedantic about following a recipe that if I don’t have an ingredient I won’t try the recipe. I think like ‘good writing,’ ‘good cooking’ comes with experience. Years ago I’d be more inclined to follow a recipe to the letter. Now I’m more confident in my kitchen and I can wing it. Luckily I have more success than failure (except with muffins).
4) What is next for you after this book?
Gad. This book is such a pup. Right now I don’t know what’s next. ‘Next’ is years away… but I think it may not be romance, and it may not be wine (like my two current releases His Brand Of Beautiful and The Goodbye Ride). And it may not have a HEA. We shall have to see!
5) Last Question…on a level of one being slightly naughty to ten being whoo whoo steamy, where does your book land?
It won’t be erotica, but it will be steamy. It involves a lot of fantasy sex. So I’d say 8-9.
What is the recipe you’ll be cooking this summer!?
Last year great friends of mine introduced me to a new potato salad, and I made this heaps in summer 2012-13. I love it because it uses heaps of parsley. So it’s a potato salad with steamed potatoes, 2 or 3 hard-boiled eggs, sour-cream/mayo/natural yoghurt (I use whatever dressing base I have); olive oil, a wisp of balsamic vinegar, maybe some shallots if I have them, and lots (like a really big bunch) of parsley from the garden.
I’d serve this with steaks that hubby would do on the barbecue; or freshly caught fish.
I have invited Jennie Jones, Juanita Kees, Alissa Callen, Cate Ellink and Elizabeth Ellen Carter to join in the hop, and once they get their recipes up, you’ll be able to click on their names to see what they’ve got cooking!
If you’ve bought the book thank you! Thank you to everyone who shared news about it with friends!
My Lily Pad blog hop continues this morning at the wonderful Jennie Jones site. Anyone who knows me would know I’m not that much of a Country Manor type of girl (I’m a bit more blundstones & beanies), but Jennie is teaching me culture and civilisation and her blog is just lovely. Please come visit!