Introducing – The Vineyard In The Hills

It’s a name change. It’s a cover change. It’s huge news for Seth and Remy from So Far Into You, because (drum roll please) their book is going into print!

I’ve been sitting on this news for months while I worked with my publisher, Harlequin MIRA, through a new round of edits, and a new cover design for the print version of Seth and Remy’s story of big dreams and second chances.

So here it is. A world exclusive for followers of my blog because you are ultra SPECIAL!

In September, The Vineyard In The Hills will be on an Aussie bookshelf shop near you!

The Vineyard In The Hills print cover

Bookish News & Dinosaur Spellings

School started again a couple of weeks ago and that means we’re back in the school-going groove, after a few hiccups in the second week with sick kids… It also means I’m making lunch boxes again (pet hate)… but it’s all okay.

On the writing front, things have been interesting… to say the least!

I finished edits on my novella THE GOODBYE RIDE before school went back. This was another of my self-published books that is now being contracted by Escape Publishing. It will be fun to have Liv and Owen’s story back in the cyber-world and I’m looking forward to seeing & sharing the new cover for it soon. THE GOODBYE RIDE should be back on the cyber shelf in early May.

SO FAR INTO YOU was part of Amazon Australia’s Valentine’s Day sale a few weeks back, which meant for the first time I saw a book of mine get a gorgeous piece of artwork and be part of the front page of Amazon Australia. Very exciting!

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During this, SO FAR INTO YOU was ranked the No.1 book in Westerns on Amazon, which is what Amazon categorises what Aussies call ‘rural romance’… It meant I got one of these – a Bestseller flag. First time for me.

No. 1 Westerns flag

Now months ago, I wrote a story for an anthology called COMING TOGETHER, STRANGE SHIFTERS… it was about two sabre-tooth cats who could turn human and it was pretty “out there” as my stories go… anyway, I saw a review of the book on Amazon.com today and the reviewer said this:

“Perhaps my favorite story (among many that stand out) is Lily Malone’s “Tar Pit Triage”. Two male sabre-tooth tiger shifters compete for a scarce female, and for the lordly title of Khan. Ms. Malone’s primordial universe is new and fascinating, but I was most impressed by the contrasts she creates between the human and animal experience. In cat form, the characters have finely-tuned senses and powerful muscles, but limited intellectual capabilities. Human shape offers the advantages of analysis and agency at the expense of physical weakness.”

I read the review and thought: “Wow. My primordial universe is new and fascinating???” It left me rather chuffed that I’d created such a universe! I had no idea there was so much to think about in my 3000 word contribution about a female sabre-tooth cat stuck in a tar pit 🙂

In books on the drawing board, I finished my current project and sent that to my editor. It has the working title of BUTTERFLY HOUSE BOOK 1, which is a bit boring, but will do for now. It’s a novella set near where I live which involves a murder mystery game and a thief who is stealing the Cowaramup cows.

Last, sharing this bit of cuteness from Mr 6, who got an Honour Certificate at school today:

honour 1

This is what the teacher’s message says: “For putting in a great effort into your writing and sounding out ‘piranha’ and ‘sarcosuchas’. Keep it up!”

The funny thing was, even the school principal had a battle pronouncing ‘sarcosuchas’ (sookus) and he called it a sarcosaurus.

For a second there I was worried Mr 6 was about to correct him!

Have a great week.

xx Lily

Australia Day Blog Hop

2016australiaday-bloghop

This competition is now closed and winners have been announced and contacted via a reply on their comment below. If you’re a winner, please contact me within 48 hours of the end of the Blog Hop. Otherwise, your prize will go to another participant. Thank you for visiting. I hope 2016 is a wonderful year for you 🙂

 

I always enjoy Shelleyrae’s Australia Day Blog Hop and I’ve made new and lasting contacts and friendships with many bloggers, authors and readers over the last few years by being part of this blog hop week.

I love Australia Day. This year I’ll be with our neighbours and their kids and the plan is that hubs and I are going to learn to play Poker, while we listen to the Triple J Hottest 100 countdown and I’m sure we’ll have a few drinks on the way.

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The day my print copies of MORE TIME AT THE BEACH arrived at my office. My story, Fairway To Heaven is inside.

In bookish news, it’s been a huge 12 months for me since last Australia Day. I’ve had my first print book published with MORE TIME FOR THE BEACH (including FAIRWAY TO HEAVEN); and all three of my e-books at different times have been in the top 100 at Amazon Australia, including my debut title HIS BRAND OF BEAUTIFUL, now three years young. I’ve also been part of my first romance panel, as a guest of Koorliny Stories On Stage in April with my two writing buddies, Jennie Jones and Juanita Kees, and great friend, (convenor of Stories On Stage) Monique Mulligan.

I should have my novella, THE GOODBYE RIDE back in circulation soon. I finished edits for THE GOODBYE RIDE on Saturday and I’m looking forward to seeing the new cover any day now. This book was initially self-published but like my other self-published titles, Escape Publishing now has a Contract for THE GOODBYE RIDE.

When that releases later this year, I’ll have four country/rural titles available as e-books, with FAIRWAY TO HEAVEN also available in print.

2015 ARRA finalistSO FAR INTO YOU - smaller

 

In other news, SO FAR INTO YOU – my newest release – is nominated for the Australian Romance Reader 2015 awards for Best Contemporary Romance. If you are an ARRA member, and you read and enjoyed SO FAR INTO YOU, you might consider throwing a vote my way. Check your latest copy of your member e-newsletter for voting information.

 

FAIRWAY TO HEAVEN is Kindle Book of the Month at Amazon in January. If you haven’t yet had the chance to grab a copy of FAIRWAY  it is only 99c for Australian readers right now – but this sale ends in four days! Be quick. Amazon AUS customers buy link here. Amazon US (Australian) customers buy link here.

AND NOW FOR THE GOOD PART! My #GIVEAWAY

Today, I’m offering Australian visitors to my blog the opportunity to win a print book of MORE TIME FOR THE BEACH. This is a three-in-one book that also features stories by fellow Aussie authors Victoria Purman (SOMEONE LIKE YOU) and Juliet Madison (FEBRUARY OR FOREVER).

FairWayToHeavenFinal-harlequin 200_200x315I also have 5 Kindle e-copies of FAIRWAY TO HEAVEN to give away. Leave a comment for me below and tell me if you’re after the print book (Australian only), or a Kindle ebook (open internationally). Tell me something about yourself and what you like to read, including favourite Aussie authors, or tell me anything that takes your fancy. That’s how I roll.

If you are on Twitter, you can find me at @lily_lilymalone

Don’t forget to visit all the other blogs that are part of this year’s BookdOut Blog Hop. You can return to the list here: https://bookdout.wordpress.com/2016/01/24/its-the-2016-australia-day-book-giveaway-blog-hop/

Thanks for visiting!

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. 

RELEASE DAY | So Far Into You

SO FAR INTO YOU - smallerOctober 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.

Jars & Breeze

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.

BUY SO FAR INTO YOU on all e-book platforms

Click here to find the e-reader link for you!