I know I'm in my own little world, but it's OK.
They know me here...


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Happy Release Day!

Happy Release Day to Dakota Harrison - her debut contemporary romance, EXHALE hits virtual shelves today!

Takeshi is finishing up a brutal double shift in the ER when a familiar—and bloody—face erases all thought of heading home. The broken body of the woman fighting for her life belongs to Gabby, his best friend’s mother. A woman he's loved since he turned nineteen, when he foolishly declared his love for her.

 She’s not dying today. Not on his watch. And not with a promise left unfulfilled.

Gabby has never forgotten the taste of the kiss Taka gave her under the mistletoe all those years ago. Or the silly promise that surely by now he’s forgotten. She’s wrong. Taka remembers. And she melts as he uses every trick in his highly trained surgeon’s hands to heal her—and rekindle the heat between them.

But there’s a secret lurking in Gabby’s past. And when it follows her all the way to Seattle, it threatens to drag the one man she loves into the nightmare she thought she’d left behind.

Samhain Buy Link


Time for a new series, and what an exciting one it is - New Authors!

All the featured authors are from the Romance Writers of Australia or Romance Writers of New Zealand, and have just been or are newly published with the digital imprints of Australian publishing houses like - Random House, Harlequin, Penguin and Pan Macmillan.

This week, please welcome Juliet Madison.

Juliet Madison is a naturopath-turned-author with a background in dance, art, internet marketing and perfume sales (yes, she was one of those annoying people in department stores who spray you with perfume).

Nowadays she prefers to indulge her propensity for multiple careers by living vicariously through her characters. She likes to put these characters into extraordinary situations and take them on a challenging journey to discover their true passion and inner strength, weaving in some laughs, tears, romance and sometimes a touch of magic along the way.

Living near the beach on the beautiful south coast of New South Wales, Australia, Juliet spends her days homeschooling her son and running her internet business, and her nights writing fiction while doing her best to avoid housework.

Release Date - 1st February 2013
Publisher - Escape Publishing (Harlequin Australia’s digital imprint) 

Call Story - FAST FORWARD was my third completed manuscript, and my first to be published. I finished writing it during RWA’s 50 k’s in 30 days challenge, and after editing I started querying it to agents and entering pitch competitions.

I had a few requests here and there, and racked up about twenty rejections overall! (what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?).

Then I went to the RWA conference in August 2012 and heard about Harlequin’s new digital imprint. I was aiming for print initially, but then got thinking about digital... faster release schedule, global reach...etc, and after doing some research I decided to go for it. I submitted to Escape, got a full request after ten days, and an offer of publication after three weeks.

For an impatient person such as myself, this made me very happy! Less than four months after the offer, FAST FORWARD was published. :)

About your book:
Hero - William McSnelly
Heroine - Kelli McSnelly
Setting - City and suburbs, twenty five years in the future.

Aspiring supermodel, Kelli Crawford seems destined to marry her hotshot boyfriend, but on her twenty-fifth birthday she wakes in the future as a fifty-year-old suburban housewife married to the now middle-aged high school nerd.
Trapped in the opposite life of the one she wanted, Kelli is forced to re-evaluate her life and discover what is really important to her. Will she overcome the hilarious and heartbreaking challenges presented to her and get back to the body of her younger self? Or will she be stuck in the nightmare of hot flushes, demanding children, raunchy advances from her husband and hideous support underwear forever?

FAST FORWARD Excerpt - [Set up: Kelli is a twenty-five-year-old model who’s been transported to the future where she’s a fifty-year-old housewife married to a nerd, and is desperately trying to find a way to return to the past...]

“Take a deep breath, Kelli,” Ben instructed. “And then allow yourself to simply fall forward.”
I didn’t know whether to cry or vomit, or both. I imagined my half-digested yolkless eggs going on a bungy jump of their own, only without the cord, landing in the water below with a big splosh. That made me want to vomit even more. I looked back at Ryan one last time, and his enthusiastic expression combined with his ridiculous hairstyle only reinforced the fact that I didn’t belong here. Didn’t belong in the McSnelly family. I needed to get back to my young, carefree, childless life. With Grant. I couldn’t wait for him to wrap his arms around me again and get down on one knee to…
I lost my balance before I was ready, my arms circling frantically around in an attempt to stay on the ledge. But to no avail. My scream followed me down before, all of a sudden, the air inside my lungs whooshed out like someone had stuck a vacuum cleaner nozzle in my mouth.
I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t scream anymore. I was surely about to die. Something yanked at my ankles and my body flung upwards. Oh thank God, it must be over…
Here we go again. Whatever breath was left was sucked out again, along with what felt like all my insides. Yank. My ankles jerked again and my body went upwards. And back down again. I could feel my eardrums vibrating! Up … and back down again. Oh my God, it’s never going to end! Up, down, up, down. Bounce, bounce, bounce. The eggs in my stomach were surely scrambled by now.
The dark water below swam into focus as the bouncing subsided and I hung there, desperate for something to hold onto. Now what? Were they just going to let me hang? Help! And then the best thing I’d seen all day caught my eye. A boat, yippee! I thought I’d died and was in heaven, but the putrid stench of body odour assured me it wasn’t.
“There you go, sweetie. Wasn’t so bad, was it?” Smelly man said as he pulled me into the boat.
I couldn’t speak. I just lay there, limbs shaking. Wait. He called me sweetie. That’s a name reserved for young women, isn’t it? I must have changed back to ... I jerked upright and looked down at my body.
My scream lasted longer than my bungy jump. Nothing had changed. I was still fifty-year-old Kelli Jelly Belly McSnelly. Or McSmelly, thanks to my deodorant-phobic rescuer, whose primal scent had rubbed off on my clothes.

Escape Publishing, Amazon, Amazon UK, iTunes/iBookstore, Kobo, Google Play, B&N/Nook, JB Hi-Fi, Booktopia. 

Any upcoming releases?
    •    I DREAM OF JOHNNY - A romantic comedy novella with a fantasy twist , coming 1st September 2013.
Getting three wishes isn't all it's cracked up to be when an unfortunate typo in Mandy's high-tech magic lamp changes her wish for a Greek God into a Geek God.
    •    STAR STRUCK IN SEATTLE - A contemporary romance novella with a magical twist , coming 1st October 2013.
TV extra, Anna, has a crush on the leading actor and seeks help from internet guru ‘Lulu The Love Angel’ to transform from extra to leading lady in life & love. But Lulu really IS an angel and destiny has other ideas.
    •    THE JANUARY WISH - A contemporary romance/women’s fiction, coming 1st January 2014.
An eighteen year old secret, a hidden talent, and two guilty hearts collide when Dr Sylvia Greene’s impromptu wish comes true. 

Connect with Juliet online: Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Saturday Seven! (Heart of Iron)

It's Saturday Seven!

HEART OF IRON is the second in Bec McMaster's London Steampunk series and features two secondary characters from her first book, Kiss of Steel.

The hero, Will Carver, is Verwulfen, a human-werewolf hybrid scorned & hated by Echelon society, and he's also Blade's right-hand man. Lena, the heroine, is the younger sister of Honoria Todd, and she's admired Will since she first met him. But when he spurned her advances she left Whitechapel to live among the Echelon blue bloods, taking up a role as a spy for the Rebels, those who would see the Echelon's domination over humans ended.

With tension about to explode between the Rebels and Echelon, those in the Whitechapel district are caught in between. When the blue bloods seek an alliance with the European Verwulfen, they want Will's help in approaching them. Lena is charged with "educating" Will in diplomacy and court etiquette.

During one of their tutoring sessions, neither are prepared for the simmering passion between them to erupt.
"Let me go," she whispered.
"Why? Ain't this what you want? Me hands on your body? Ain't this what you been playin' at this last hour? Or have I pushed the boundaries? Either say what you mean, Lena. Or I'll take this little game of yours where you don't mean to take it."
One word. Yes. One word and he'd do it. But as she met the steely look in those extraordinary eyes, she realized he wasn't playing. When had this become more than a game? More than a light flirtation?
I'll stake a hundred pounds that you're wrong. Adele's voice whispered in her head. That he'll kiss you next time.
Yes? Or no? Len'as heart hammered in her chest. She'd kissed him more than once. A game, nothing more. But the message now was very clear. Will wouldn't stand for any more games. And part of her was afraid to play for real.
She wasn't that brave. Because if it meant nothing to him, if he used her and then discarded her without a care, she suddenly realized that it would matter. To her.
"No," she whispered.
In the mist-shrouded streets of London’s dreaded Whitechapel district, werewolves, vampires and a clockwork army are one step away from battle…
Lena Todd is the perfect spy. Nobody suspects the flirtatious debutante could be a rebel against London’s vicious elite—not even the ruthless Will Carver, the one man she can’t twist around her little finger.
Will Carver, is more than man, he’s a verwolfen and he wants nothing to do with the dangerous beauty who drives him to the very edge of control. But when he finds Lena in possession of a coded letter, he realizes she’s in a world of trouble. To protect her, he’ll have to seduce the truth from her before it’s too late.
Read another excerpt here.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Time for a new series, and what an exciting one it is - New Authors!

All the featured authors are from the Romance Writers of Australia or Romance Writers of New Zealand, and have just been or are newly published with the digital imprints of Australian publishing houses like - Random House, Harlequin, Penguin and Pan Macmillan.

This week, please welcome Alison Butler.

Allison Butler lives in a small country town in NSW Australia with her very own Scottish hero, two beautiful daughters and a Jack Russel named Wallace.

Allison writes by day and cares for the elderly by night. She loves travelling, dancing like no one's watching and seeing the sights from the back of her husband's motorcycle.

Release Date - 10th February 2013
Publisher - Penguin's Destiny Romance

Call Story - I attended the Penguin launch of their new digital-first Destiny Romance imprint at the RWA 2012 conference on the Gold Coast and when they announced they were taking pitches, I decided to give it a go. I pitched the next day to the lovely Carol George and she requested the full manuscript. I returned home, finished polishing my story and sent it off. Three weeks later, I received the 'CALL' from Carol. I pretended to be calm and in control, but must admit to shedding a few happy tears.

Hero - Jamie Graham is a gorgeous, strong hero with a kind heart, protective instincts and a dash of humour, who has promised to sire an heir but has vowed never to fall in love.

Heroine - Kenzie Irvine is a likeable firebrand who bravely protects and provides for the neglected, but has vowed never to marry and bring a child into an uncaring world.

Setting - The Scottish Borders.

To fulfill his father's dying wish, border laird Jamie Graham must marry and sire a legitimate heir. But his marriage will be one of convenience, for he has vowed never to open his heart for betrayal.  While guarding his cattle from thieves, Jamie catches the spirited daughter of a neighbouring laird stealing his horse.
Despite viewing an arranged marriage as a death sentence, feisty Kenzie Irvine has no choice but to wed the domineering laird. But she has sworn an oath never to bring a child into an uncaring world...

'All I possess becomes my brides the day we wed. My home is a castle. The people of clan Graham are my family, and my garron, De Brus, is a sturdy mount and is brave of heart.'
She stared into the fire, hard. Was talking his special form of torture?
'Aren't you curious to know who the lucky lass is?'
The only thing she was curious about was what he would do once she escaped.
'I also have a talent for making the ladies sing.'
Before she knew it, she found herself looking at him, watching his brows waggle above his glittering blue eyes, brows a shade darker than his wheat-coloured, shoulder-length hair.
She frowned. He should save listing his attributes for his unfortunate bride.
A wave of pity swamped her for the woman destined to be his wife. Jamie Graham was charming and smiled often and with ease. A dangerous smile that could melt the stoutest of icicles clinging to winter trees.
Whoever the woman was, she'd best have her wits about her at all times. She'd soon be lost within this man's beauty, his confidence and his charm. A shade, as many women who wed became. Women like her mother had been - alive but adrift; known but forgotten. A shade instead of a whole.
'I also have a large herd of prized cattle. But you are aware of that already.'
Her gaze met his before darting back to the fire. She swallowed. She'd been lulled by the sound of his voice and teasing banter. For a few moments, she'd forgotten why she was here. His next words ensured she'd never do so again.
'Lifting a man's cattle is punishable by death.'
The teasing tone had been stripped from his voice. A chill swept through her.
'A fitting punishment, and one I'm certain you know of also.'
She forced her gaze to meet his, refused to show him any fear.
'My bride will take my name and have my protection,' he said quietly.
He held her life in the palm of his hand, yet continued speaking of what his wife would gain when they wed. Just like her father, his thoughts only ever concerned himself.
'What say you, Kenzie?'
Her senses scattered, torn from her mind like the last autumn leaves clinging for life to bare branches.
'Aye. I know who you are. I also know I am the only one who can keep the noose from about your bonny neck.'
His soft-spoken words sent her world tilting again, but she refused to let him see. She returned his stare and despite his calm facade, she noticed the anxious gleam lighting his eyes.
He wanted something from her. Just as she expected.
'Marry me, Kenzie?'
Her heart seized, and then pounded in her ears. She fought for every breath and with each breath she won, her shock and fear subsided.
She swallowed and looked into his summer-sky eyes. 'I'd rather hang.'

Buy Links
Destiny Website

Any upcoming releases? I'm currently revising another Scottish medieval romance tentatively titled, The Healer. This story is linked to THE BORDER LAIRD'S BRIDE and I'm hoping it will be published late 2013.

Thanks so much for having me, Kylie. 
It's been a pleasure having you visit, Alison! :-)

If you want to find out more about Alison go to her website, or you can follow her on Facebook.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Cat-urday! - Sad Cats...

 Yes, it's...

Don't these guys make you want to pick them up and hug them?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

NEW AUTHOR SERIES: Jennifer St.George

Time for a new series, and what an exciting one it is - New Authors!

All the featured authors are from the Romance Writers of Australia or Romance Writers of New Zealand, and have just been or are newly published with the digital imprints of Australian publishing houses like - Random House, Harlequin, Penguin and Pan Macmillan.

This week, please welcome Jennifer St.George.

Jennifer St George is a romance author whose sexy stories feature courageous, career-minded heroines, strong heroes in glamorous international settings. Jennifer has three books – The Convenient Bride, Seducing the Secret Heiress and The Love Deception - published by Penguin’s digital-first imprint, Destiny Romance. The Convenient Bride won the 2012 Romance Writers of NZ Clendon Award.

She spent the first 20 years of her career in corporate marketing and management consulting roles. Jennifer is currently a member of the Romance Writers of Australia Executive Team and is a member of Romance Writers of America and Romance Writers of New Zealand.

Release Date – 10 June 2013
Publisher – Destiny Romance (Penguin)
Call Story - I do lots of volunteer work for Romance Writers of Australia (RWA).  I was talking to the lovely Sarah Fairhall from Penguin about their sponsorship of the 2012 RWA Gold Coast conference. She casually asked me what type of stories I wrote.  I told her category romance.

She asked “Do you have anything you could send me?” I said, “Penguin don’t publish category romance.” (Yes, perhaps it would have been better to just say yes!) What I didn’t know then was Penguin was in the process of developing Destiny Romance, their new digital-first romance imprint.

I sent her The Convenient Bride and from there, everything happened so fast. Sarah came back to me in about a week saying she loved the story and I ended up being one of the launch authors for Destiny.  All very exciting!!

About your book:
Hero – Damon Fullbright – hot sexy lawyer with tragic past.
Heroine – Felicity Carter – feisty law graduate with a secret life or death mission.
Setting – THE LOVE DECEPTION is set in Melbourne and the exotic island of Barbados. 

Felicity slammed into something hard. Something warm. Something . . . Damon’s chest. She jumped back, as if scalded.
‘At it again?’ A scornful smile marred his otherwise annoyingly perfect face.
‘At what?’ She snapped on her professional mask.
‘We’ve not been alone for a minute and you’ve already got your hands all over me.’ He folded his arms slowly, deliberately, knowingly.
Her eyes swelled. Her jaw tightened. Her fury soared.
‘In your dreams.’ She tried to edge past him to the safety of reception. His body blocked her path.
Damon opened a side door. He put his hand on the small of her back and ushered her into a tiny meeting room. The transfer from the corridor to the room was executed so quickly that she didn’t have a chance to react. Felicity swung around to face him. The door closed with an ill-omened clunk.
Imprisoned again.
‘Don’t you dare touch me.’ She backed around the table.
‘You’re kidding, right?’ He leant against the wall as though the world owed him a confetti parade. ‘Felicity, there’s something you need to understand. We have an extremely strict code of conduct. You clearly have a drug and alcohol problem, and this is not a rehab centre.’
Her pulse kicked up as though she’d just had a line of crystal meth. She blinked stupidly. Drugs? Alcohol? The words swirled like a fancy lime cocktail. What in God’s name was he talking about? Sure, she liked a chilled chardonnay once in a while, but drugs?
She searched frantically in her mind for missing details of that night. The lack of factual evidence made it impossible to mount a credible defence.
‘I don’t use drugs.’ The words sounded lame and strangely well rehearsed, as though she’d practised them over and over for some small role in a television pilot.
‘All evidence to the contrary. I’ll give you this, you’re the first scholarship-winning addict I’ve met.’
‘Your qualifications got you over the line today, but one false step and you are out. Don’t even think of bringing your problems to the office, they won’t be tolerated.’
‘You have me all wrong. That night—’
He placed his palms on the table and loomed across the small distance between them.
The tang of his minty citrus aftershave compounded the confusion hurtling through her mind. She tried not to react to his obvious attempt to intimidate her, but took an involuntary shuffle back.
‘Don’t even try it with me. I know all the tricks,’ he said.
Her brow furrowed with what felt like as many lines as your average affidavit. Tricks?
‘I’ll be watching you.’
She squared up. Bloody hypocrite. ‘Professional conduct?’ she laced her voice with a heavy note of scorn. ‘What about you?’ Take that. She enjoyed planting triumph on her own face.
His face twisted with shock.
‘Me?’ He pushed off the table with such force that wood creaked and the metal legs shuddered. ‘What would you have preferred I do? Explain exactly how I knew you? What you did? I don’t think that would have done either of us any good.’

Any upcoming releases? I’m working on a story about two characters from completely different worlds. The hero is an IT guru working in central London and she runs a wildlife sanctuary in Brunei. Having them find anything in common is proving difficult. It creates fabulous conflict. I’ve already cried a couple times while writing their story, so I hope I’m conveying this emotion on the page.

You can follow Jennifer on Twitter, Facebook or Goodreads, or find out more about her on her website or the Lovecats DownUnder blog.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

RWA National Conference!

As you read this I'm probably on a plane about 30000ft above the earth making my way across the Pacific Ocean and the International Dateline.


It's conference season!!!

And I'm attending the Romance Writers of America® national conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

Thankfully, I'm travelling with a friend, Christine Taylor (one of the 2013 RWA Golden Heart® finalists in the Romantic Suspense section) so it should make the time spent travelling go faster...maybe.

We'll no doubt chat up a storm for some of the 28 hours it takes to get there. We'll certainly be psyching ourselves up for the amazing experience I know RWA is going to be.

This is Chris's first time to RWA, and with all the fun surrounding her with being a GH finalist,  I know she's going to have a ball!

Some of my much anticipated events attending RWA will be:
  • meeting my agent & editor face-to-face for the first time
  • meeting & talking to readers at the Literacy Autographing & Berkley Book-Signing
  • catching up with friends I made when I first came over in 2010 (when I won a Golden Heart® for VENGEANCE BORN)
  • attending the GDRWA® Book Sellers Best awards night (where VENGEANCE BORN is a finalist in the Paranorma/Time Travel/Futuristic & Best First Book sections)
  • attending Margie Lawson's workshop (I had such an a-ha moment when she visited RWAustralia® & RWNew Zealand® a few years ago)
  • sitting beside Chris at the RWA® Awards dinner and cheering her on
Are you going to RWA? If so, then I'll see you there!

There's no doubt I'll come back exhausted...but it will be so worth it!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Saturday Seven! (Iron Kin)

It's Saturday Seven!

IRON KIN by M.J.Scott is the third in her Half-Lght City series. M.J. calls it a gaslight fantasy series - a combination of alternate earth, fantasy and paranormal romance. Fantastic world-building and engaging characters and it's written in the first person narrative for both the hero and heroine.

Fen is a Fae-Beast-human hybrid prone to crippling visions and it's only the iron bracelet he wears that helps him keep control of them and stop him from going insane. Until he discovers Saskia, a human metalmage, and her touch blocks them as effectively as any barrier. Saskia and Fen are aware of their attraction to one another and circumstances bring them together until the sparks fly!

This is in Saskia's point of view...
"Oh, be quiet. I have just as much reason to be upset with Simon and the rest of them as you do. If not more. Come and sit down." I patted the velvet chair next to mine, trying to coax him like I did Hannah when she was in one of her moods.
He waited along moment, then obeyed. But not before he picked up a shirt from another chair as he passed and dropped it over his head, hiding all that expanse of muscle and chest from my view. I tried to ignore the part of me that wanted to protest. I was here to help him. Nothing more. This was about ease and comfort. Nothing different from the touches we'd already shared.
But once he'd lowered his long, lean form into the chair, I hesitated, not entirely sure where to put my hands. Should I take one o f his? Or lay my hands on his head? Simon would do the latter, I thought, but whatever it was that let me do this for Fen, it wasn't healer power.
"What's wrong?" he asked, tilting his head back to look up at me, eyes half closed against the light. He looked like a big, black cat, half languid ease and half coiled power.
He looked...tempting.
I was determined not to be tempted. "Nothing."
Imagine a city divided. Fae and human mages on one side, vampire Blood Lords and shape-shifting Beast Kind on the other. Between these supernatural forces stands a peace treaty that threatens to shatter at the slightest provocation….
I was raised to do the right thing. But to my family that means staying safe behind the walls of human society. To be a respectable metalmage and never put myself at risk. But the treaty is faltering. And if it fails, nothing is safe. To help save the city and everyone I care about, I will use whatever means I can to ensure the negotiations to renew the treaty are successful—even if that means forging an alliance with a man who is the very opposite of the right thing….
Fen is trouble. Wild. He would rather bind himself in iron and drink himself into oblivion than learn to master the visions that come to him. Those visions might just hold the key to peace, and it seems that my power might hold the key to his control—if I can keep it around him….

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


The series continues, and what an exciting one it is - so many fab new authors!

All the featured authors are from the Romance Writers of Australia or Romance Writers of New Zealand, and have just been or are newly published with the digital imprints of Australian publishing houses like - Random House, Harlequin, Penguin and Pan Macmillan.

This week, please welcome Nina Blake.

Nina Blake didn’t learn English until she went to school but that didn’t stand in the way of her love of reading. Unlike many other authors, when she was growing up her house was never full of books and as a teenager, her mother told her she read too much. As if such a thing was possible.

After university, Nina worked in public relations managing publications. She still loves publications, both hard and soft copy. She is delighted that Escape Publishing has picked up Forget Me Not, her personal favourite of all the romances she has written.

She was lucky enough to meet the man of her dreams when she was at university. Though it wasn’t love at first sight and Nina was a bit slow off the mark, they’re now happily married. And it’s staying that way.

Nina was always lousy at sport and still can’t run, catch or throw. Despite this, she enjoys aerobics and working out at the gym. Some of her friends call her a gym junkie, an accusation that’s completely unfounded.

She lives in Perth, Australia with her husband and son.

Release Date - 1 May 2013
Publisher - Escape Publishing

Call Story - The "call" came by email. It's the first email I've received from an agent or publisher that started off "I am delighted..." Well, I was delighted too! My husband and I celebrated that night with beer. It's bubbly and similar in colour to champagne. We waited for the weekend for a bottle of the real thing.

About your book:
Hero - Stefan Porter has amnesia. He's lucky enough to have an ex-wife who will help him, but why on earth would he ever have left her?
Heroine - Claire is a compassionate lawyer (no, the two are not mutually exclusive) who must help Stefan get back on his feet.
Setting - Sydney from the spectacular harbour to the terrible traffic.

Claire and Stefan’s marriage was over. They’d been estranged for six months, living in separate apartments, leading separate lives. Until an unknown accident leaves Stefan with no memory of who he is, what he wants, and the wife he left behind.
Claire’s compassion leads her to caring for Stefan. Though he is back to being the thoughtful, affectionate man she fell in love with, she can’t let herself get too involved. The instant Stefan’s memory comes back, he’ll remember who he was and what he really wants – and it’s not Claire.
Or is it?

Stefan needed her. Whether he liked it or not. And there was nothing either of them could do about it.
Claire Simons followed the nurse down the hallway. It felt like a tunnel, the walls painted pale gray to match the carpet, the muted prints on the walls failing to brighten the place up even slightly. She wished the nurse would talk to her, say something, anything; the only noise was the soft thud of their footsteps on the threadbare carpet and the faint clink of crockery in the distance.
Stopping outside one closed door, the nurse knocked and pushed it open without waiting for a reply.
Her heart racing, Claire wanted to yell. She needed more time, she wasn’t ready, she was never going to be ready. One look at her and Stefan would remember everything, and they’d be back where they started—or finished—and that was more than Claire could handle.
But she’d already come this far. Taking a deep breath to steel herself, Claire followed the woman into the room.
“Mr Porter,” the nurse said.
He sat on a chair, looking out the window, with his back to them. Stefan’s shoulders were broad in a crisp white shirt, his figure imposing. Even in the bland surrounds of a hospital room, he had a certain presence that was palpable.
It was strange to see Stefan so still. He was normally so busy, so active, never stopping for a moment. Whether he was working on a case, working out to an exercise program, or ordering people around—as he often liked to do—he was always on the go.
“Stefan,” the nurse said, more loudly.
He turned his head. “Yes.”
“Your wife is here.”
He shifted his gaze to Claire, standing by the bed. ‘I guess I should say “hello”.’
Claire was glad to hear his voice again, a distinctive American accent tempered by years of living in Australia, a voice wholly his own. It was so familiar, so reassuring.
Claire looked him up and down. Same dark brown hair, though it was longer now. Same blue eyes, same chiselled features. Only the neatly trimmed goatee was new, adding a funky edge which softened his features.  But something else was different. The Stefan she’d known seemed missing. His eyes had always been striking, pale irises ringed in dark blue, lined with thick lashes. They now seemed dull and empty.
That was it. In his eyes, there was … nothing.

You can find out more about Nina on her website. Check out her other romances at Amazon. Here's one of her book covers:

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

SLCLS Reader’s Choice Award nominee!

Great news, folks!

Salt Lake County Library System notified me in an email this morning that VENGEANCE BORN has been selected as a nominee for their semi-annual Reader’s Choice Award. It's one of twenty six titles chosen by readers across 18 libraries!!! Voting will be open until November 1st, 2013. 

What a fantastic way to begin my morning getting this news!


Time for a new series, and what an exciting one it is - New Authors!

All the featured authors are from the Romance Writers of Australia or Romance Writers of New Zealand, and have just been or are newly published with the digital imprints of Australian publishing houses like - Random House, Harlequin, Penguin and Pan Macmillan.

This week, please welcome S.E.Gilchrist.

S.E. juggles her writing around a full-time job and family duties. She writes in the romance genres of sci fi / futuristic, fantasy, post apocalyptic / dystopian, ancient history.

Her first release, Paying the Forfeit, a short erotic romance story set in a post-apocalyptic world, was published by Momentum Publishing in e-book format under the Hot Down Under series.

Legend Beyond the Stars, is her first single title (debut) release published by Escape Publishers in e-book format and is book 1 in the series, Legends of the Seven Galaxies. A hot short story set in the same world, The Portal, will be published by Escape Publishing on 1st March 2013.

S.E. has also indie published two books / novellas set in Dark Ages Britain and with fantasy elements, Bound by Love and Bound by Lies; available on most e-book sites.

She is currently working on more stories set in the sci fi / futuristic world and the fantasy / historical world.

Release Date - 10th January 2013 
Publisher - Escape Publishing, a digital imprint of Harlequin Australia 

Call Story - My call story is a fairly simple one. I was impressed with the pitch Escape Publishing gave at the RWA Conference on the Gold Coast, August 2012, particularly how they were interested in Australian authors and prepared to look outside the box.

So on 10th September, I submitted a partial and a 100 word blurb on the New Harlequin Escape website. Kate Cuthbert requested the full on 21st September and on 12th October, I received that special email.

My reaction...similar to my brain imploding I think. Disbelief, heart pounding, a lot of squealing etc etc and I must have read that email a hundred times that night for I was certain I’d misunderstood.

About your book: 
Heroine - Alana Knight, captain in the United Earth Corporation forces and test pilot for shuttles from Earth to Moon / Mars. Alana has been married in the past and tragically, born a still born child and she now focuses on her career. She volunteers to assist oversee the colonists who intend to terra form a new earth-like planet. 
Hero - Tarak El Rajan, Commander of the Darkon Flight, son of ruler of the Darkos currently besieged and on the run from the Supreme Leader bent on obtaining control of their energy source which can be transformed into a powerful weapon.
Setting - The Seven Galaxies, space stations, space ships, alien planets.

Seeking redemption from a mission gone terribly wrong, Captain Alana Knight volunteers to aid a dangerous operation to transport colonists between Earth and alien traders.
But on board the spaceship, she learns of a galactic war raging for power. A power that can be transformed into a terrible weapon.
When the colonists are betrayed and sold, Alana’s mission is re-defined. Nothing will stop her from keeping those in her care safe and finding a passage home. But her new captor is nothing like she expects…
Commander Tarak El Rajan is human, male and equally determined to retain his payload. With his race on the brink of extinction he is under strict orders to transport all females to the planet Isla for research purposes.
In a world of uncertainty, where the wrong decision could mean the death of an entire race, the last thing either of these two soldiers expects or needs is to fall in love.

“Planning your escape, my slave?” His breath stirred the hairs at the nape of her neck, as he pushed her hair aside and trailed his mouth to the side of her neck just above the rim of her translator collar.
Alana swallowed over her dry throat. “Escape is a soldier’s first duty when captured by the enemy.”
He chuckled. “As you can see, Cerciron is not an easy planet. Note the cloud formation to your right, my Alana. Already the storm is gathering its momentum. In a bare one rone it will unleash its power onto the earth. At such times, it is best not to be above ground.” His grip tightened. “I will protect you if I have to chain you to my wall.”
“There’s no need to do anything so drastic. At the moment I have nowhere else to go.” She shuffled her booted feet and scowled.
The Commander spun her around to face him. He cupped her face with one hand and his dark eyes scorched into hers with the intensity of a furnace. “And you will go nowhere. Your place is here. By my side.”
“As your slave,” Alana challenged. She glared at his smug expression.
Tarak smiled and Alana could not stop her gaze dropping to follow the slow curve of his mouth. “Of course, what else?”
Her lashes swept down and she turned her face away but she had a sinking premonition he could read her far too well. Crap! His careless words hurt. She dug deep for pride and tried to push past.
“One moment, my slave,” Tarak ordered.
Alana stopped and stared as coolly as she could muster at him.
“It is my duty to also inform you Cerciron is also plagued by other natural elements.”
“Yes I know. Norman told me there are wind storms.”
“Aaaah, but did he mention the eruptions?”
Alana eyes narrowed as she stared at his innocent expression. She chewed her lower lip as she thought, then noticed how he now stared at her mouth. Clenching her fists, she fought the urge to drag him off to the side and run her hands over his taut muscles.
The man was a menace!
“Eruptions?” Alana queried and squirmed inwardly at her husky betraying tones.
Tarak folded his arms across his broad chest. Smirked. Unwillingly Alana met his eyes and her toes curled inside her heavy boots at the urgent hunger blazing in their melanic depths.
Surely he wasn’t referring to ...?
“The mountain range in the distance is subject to volcanic eruptions of lava.” He paused and waved a regal hand towards the horizon. “What other types of eruptions are there?”
Alana blushed to the roots of her hair and stomped off. She could hear him chuckling as he strode behind her. 

Any upcoming releases?
A futuristic short story titled, The Portal, and set in the same world as Legend has been accepted by Escape Publishing and will be released on 1st March 2013.

When Janni, a young salvager, boards a space wreck, she is caught for daring to steal Darkon tech by a patroller and the one man she had thought never to see again.
Several months ago she had allowed him to slip past her defences for a brief and wonderful interlude. But with both of them on either sides of the law, they had walked away. Now they are trapped on a wreck and with an alien life-force hunting them. Will the patroller save her or abandon Janni to her fate?

I hope for a second futuristic short story, titled, Awakening the Warriors, to follow soon.

You can follow S.E.Gilchrist on Facebook or Twitter, or learn more about her on her website.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Aussie Author Giveaway!

Enjoy paranormal romance? Fantasy romance? Urban fantasy? Post-apocalyptic romance? Steampunk romance?

Would you jump at a chance or three to win a box full of these sorts of books?

Who, what, where, when and how can I win? - I hear you cry!

Well, 9 Aussie paranormal romance authors have banded together and each have donated books and swag from their latest series to go into the Aussie Author Giveaway - three huge giveaway packages which will be on display at some of the specialty romance bookstores here in Australia.

Rendezvous Books (Victoria) will host the first box of goodies and the giveaway will run the entire month of June 2013.

The second box of authorly-goodness will reside at Rosemary's Romance Bookstore (Queensland) right through July 2013.

The third box of giveaway-fun will be with Galaxy Books (Sydney) over August 2013.

All readers have to do is order a book (or books) from these stores in the designated giveaway month - either in person or online. You'll earn one entry per purchase in the Giveaway. The prize winner will be drawn at the end of the month and the Aussie Author Giveaway box of goodies will be posted to you.

NB. Due to postage costs, entry is restricted to Australian readers.

So, come on Aussies, come on! Support your specialty romance bookstores, get to know some local Aussie authors - and you could find a huge parcel of books in your mailbox at the end of June, July or August!

Participating authors:

Bec McMaster
Christina Ashcroft

Erica Hayes
Keri Arthur
Kylie Griffin
Kylie Scott


Rowena Cory Daniells

Shona Husk