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Author spotlight: Erin Grace

21 February 2020

For ARR2020 in March we will be featuring more than 90 romance authors across five cities. If you live in (or near) Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth or Adelaide, come along and meet local authors, as well as our international guests—Darynda Jones and Susan Donovan.

Today we are spotlighting Erin Grace. She will be attending ARR2020 in Sydney.

How old were you when you first started writing romance?

I was 39. I’ve been writing for 11 years.

Who was the first romance author to catch your interest?

Anna Campbell.

Have you written genres other than romance (or are you thinking about it)?

No. Always romance, various sub genres—historical, western, time travel.

Choose one of your books to turn into a movie—who would you cast in the lead roles?

I’d choose my Christmas book, The Viscount’s Christmas Miracle. Richard Armitage as the hero, and Emily Blunt as the heroine.

What is the hardest part of creating a story?

Getting through the saggy middle.

What is your favourite place to write?

Victorian period England/Scotland.

Have any of your characters been inspired by real-life people?

Many have been inspired by real characteristics from people I’ve met.

What was the last romance you read and loved (and why did you love it)?

Ransom by Julie Gardwood. It’s my favourite romance and my ‘go to’ book when I’m feeling a little down.

Tell us about your latest release in 100 words or less

My latest release is my first historical western romance, called Made for Montana, which is book one in the Black Rock Brides trilogy.

What else will you be working on in 2020?

I have several books planned, including the first in a new series, the Scandalous Lords, called How to Dare a Duke. The second book in the Black Rock Brides trilogy, The Runaway Bride of Black Rock.

If you haven’t booked your ticket for ARR2020 yet, you can buy one HERE.

 

Author spotlight: MJ Scott

20 February 2020

For ARR2020 in March we will be featuring more than 90 romance authors across five cities. If you live in (or near) Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth or Adelaide, come along and meet local authors, as well as our international guests—Darynda Jones and Susan Donovan.

Today we are spotlighting MJ Scott. She will be attending ARR2020 in Melbourne.

How old were you when you first started writing romance?

In my twenties. Though I wrote some stories in high school.

Who was the first romance author to catch your interest?

Jennifer Crusie was the first one after I decided I wanted to give it a go.

Have you written genres other than romance (or are you thinking about it)?

I write fantasy with a romantic leaning and urban fantasy.

Choose one of your books to turn into a movie—who would you cast in the lead roles?

Wicked Games, with Matt Bomer as Damon and Rachel Weiss as Maggie.

What is the hardest part of creating a story?

For me, writing the middle section.

What is your favourite place to write?

On my couch.

Have any of your characters been inspired by real-life people?

Not really. I use some actors etc for inspiration but that’s more about the mood of a character than being that person.

What was the last romance you read and loved (and why did you love it)?

I really loved Headliners by Lucy Parker. She writes great characters and is funny. Plus enemies to lovers is a fave trope of mine.

Tell us about your latest release in 100 words or less

The Unbound Queen will be coming out in April and is the last book in my Four Arts series. It continues on from where The Forbidden Heir left off. Witches. Demons. Kissing. Betrayals. Queens in peril. Amusing ravens. All the good stuff!

What else will you be working on in 2020?

Wicked Words, the follow up to Wicked Games; Bring on the Night, which is book three in my Wild Side trilogy; and playing with a couple of fantasy ideas.

If you haven’t booked your ticket for ARR2020 yet, you can buy one HERE.

 

Feature book: Christmas in Winter Valley

19 February 2020

Christmas in Winter Valley by Jodi Thomas

Subgenre: western romance
Release date: 24 Sep 2019
Publisher: Harlequin/HarperCollins
Format: print
Length: 368 pages
RRP: $15.99 (print)

As with all Jodi Thomas stories there is a mix of love stories. This story involves the Halloway family who first appeared in Mistletoe Miracles which was Griffin’s story. In this story, Griffin has married his love and they need to be away to look after Sunlan’s father. This story focuses on the remaining two brothers and others on the property.

Cooper is in the winter camp to look after the mustangs. He finds a young boy who is skittish and alone. Cooper is able to make Tatum feel welcome and useful. Then Cooper has an accident. It takes a young vet to assist and get him to the hospital.

Elliot keeps the books for the ranch. He gave away his love for the ranch. But he sees her again when she arrives as the accountant to audit the books. Both he and Jess have a few issues to get through before they can be together, forever.

Tye Franklin is a horse whisperer. He has an exceptional rapport with horses. He is also a drunk. He is given a book of clues for his inheritance which his grandfather has given him. He ends up on Maverick Ranch where he finds his inheritance and a woman who will be his forever.

And then there is Tatum. The nine-year-old boy. A boy who has no one. The boy with a sad past and believes he is a death bringer. The boy who wants acceptance. A boy who wants love and a family.

A story by Ms Thomas is always a treasure. The characters are of varying ages. They are of varying wealth. They are of varying social status. But the characters are people we fall in love with. I always find that I laugh, and often I cry for different characters. There are times when my heart aches as it did for Tatum. But his acceptance of what life has dished out for him, made me feel sad but there is joy at the end for Tatum which gave me a warm fuzzy feeling and made me smile.

Reviewed by Heather

A review copy of this book was provided by the author.

Author spotlight: Mickey Martin

18 February 2020

For ARR2020 in March we will be featuring more than 90 romance authors across five cities. If you live in (or near) Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth or Adelaide, come along and meet local authors, as well as our international guests—Darynda Jones and Susan Donovan.

Today we are spotlighting Mickey Martin. She will be attending ARR2020 in Melbourne.

How old were you when you first started writing romance?

Eleven … but seriously, 40!

Who was the first romance author to catch your interest?

Jane Feather.

Have you written genres other than romance (or are you thinking about it)?

Yes, I have written non-fiction. About a family dealing with anxiety and mental illness. And will be dabbling in paranormal topics this year.

Choose one of your books to turn into a movie—who would you cast in the lead roles?

I would love to see The Given turned into a movie/TV series. I’d put a young Liv Tyler in the role of Lilliana. And a cross between Ian Somerhalder and Henry Cavil, for Damon.

What is the hardest part of creating a story?

Hoping it’s exciting enough to keep the readers entertained.

What is your favourite place to write?

In my garden.

Have any of your characters been inspired by real-life people?

Yes! Friends, people that have inspired me, even a stranger’s smile on the street.

What was the last romance you read and loved (and why did you love it)?

Angel in the Baking by Carolyn Wren. I adored it. It was cheeky, fun and a novelette, so I didn’t feel guilty taking an hour to read an entire book, in between writing my third book of a trilogy!

Tell us about your latest release in 100 words or less

Dark Angel. Book two in The Given trilogy. It’s a psychological romance, about a young woman who lives in an establishment that offers a safe sanctuary for people that have been abused, mistreated or through horrific circumstances. She is in love with the Damon, the Head of the Louisiana’s Given Facility. His family has been running the establishment for generations. Its dark, a bit dangerous, but full of friendship, hope, love and keeps the reader guessing, what will happen next!

What else will you be working on in 2020?

I have a few anthologies I’m working on this year. I also am finishing my third book in The Given trilogy, titled The Guardian. I’m planning on writing an adult fairy tale, as well as continuing a paranormal romance I started before Christmas. Plus a collaboration, non-fiction, of many Australian families voices regarding anxiety and school refusal, and how it affects the entire family. Just for starters 😊

If you haven’t booked your ticket for ARR2020 yet, you can buy one HERE.

 

 

Author spotlight: Eleni Konstantine

17 February 2020

For ARR2020 in March we will be featuring more than 90 romance authors across five cities. If you live in (or near) Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth or Adelaide, come along and meet local authors, as well as our international guests—Darynda Jones and Susan Donovan.

Today we are spotlighting Eleni Konstantine. She will be attending ARR2020 in Adelaide.

How old were you when you first started writing romance?

I wrote a paranormal story with romantic elements while at uni, many many years ago.

Who was the first romance author to catch your interest?

The Sweet Dreams and Sweet Valley High books were a big part of my life as a teenager. I then grabbed anything I could get my hands on at the local library and I had joyful years exploring many genres, but especially romance and romantic elements.

Have you written genres other than romance (or are you thinking about it)?

I write speculative fiction on the whole. My short stories don’t always hold romance, but my longer fiction seems to have romance or romantic elements. Being able to combine two of my favourite genres into one story is such a delight.

Choose one of your books to turn into a movie—who would you cast in the lead roles?

I’d love to see ‘Healer’s Destiny’ (an as-yet-unpublished manuscript) turned into a movie. I do leave the character description vague enough so that readers make up their own picture of the characters so I’m sure there’d be many suitable actors out there.

What is the hardest part of creating a story?

Having chronic fatigue syndrome, I can find it difficult to stay the course of a story before getting stuck. Or finding the story doesn’t have legs. I’ve turned this around by embracing my short stories more and not necessarily having to write long fantasies for every project.

What is your favourite place to write?

I really don’t have a favourite place, though I do go through stages of where I write. The kitchen table was the last writing spot that worked. Before that was on the couch.

Have any of your characters been inspired by real-life people?

Not really, though certain mannerisms or behaviours can be inspired by real-life people.

What was the last romance you read and loved (and why did you love it)?

Bound for Temptation by Tess LeSue was such an amazing and fun romp of a western romance. With adventure, a high-spirited heroine hiding as a nun, a gorgeous caring hero, humour, a look at the truth of the frontier, and of course romance, it ticked all the right boxes for me.

Tell us about your latest release in 100 words or less

Enchanted Dreams. Be transported to fantastical worlds in this collection of nineteen speculative fiction shorts of previously published works and new stories. From wizards to magic mirrors, dragons to ghosts, minions to goddesses, space ships to diamond slippers, there’s an enchanting tale right for you.

What else will you be working on in 2020?

A paranormal noir series with romantic elements. It’s about a PI who works on supernatural cases. I’d also want to start working on a dragon short story collection.

If you haven’t booked your ticket for ARR2020 yet, you can buy one HERE.

 

Guest blogger: Annie Seaton

16 February 2020

For those of you who are familiar with my books, you will know that landscapes often inspire my stories. From familiar landscapes such as Kakadu and Daintree, and the Whitsundays to lesser known landscapes such as Undara and the Bungle Bungles.

My new series, Pentecost Island (a series of ten books each titled with one of the character’s names) was inspired by the sight of an island.

About two years ago, I was on a classic thirty-three-metre fishing charter boat that was ploughing its way through rough seas from Airlie Beach, through the Whitsunday Passage down to the marina at Mackay. I was on our nephew’s boat—the Elizabeth E 11—to research my upcoming book that is set on the Great Barrier Reef. (Stay posted for a title and a release date later this year from Harlequin Mira.)

As we made our way past Hamilton Island and headed south my attention was caught by an island that seemed to rear from the sea on the eastern horizon. It was an interesting shape and appeared deserted. With fascination, I watched as we travelled past, and my imagination was fired.

I made my way to the glass-covered old-fashioned map of the reef that was in the saloon of the Lizzie (you will read more about that map in my Reef book) and I traced my finger along the glass until I found where we were and discovered that the island was called Pentecost Island.

On 1 June 1770 Captain Cook on the Endeavour entered one of the most spectacular stretches of his first voyage around the world. After two days of sailing and on the feast of Pentecost, they sailed past spectacular islands dotted on the crystal-clear waters of the Coral Sea. He named Pentecost Island, the magnificent volcanic island rearing from the sapphire seas of the Whitsunday Passage. The beauty of the Whitsunday Passage belied its violent geological history. Centuries of debris from the movement of tectonic plates and volcanic eruptions had fused into solid rock and created these breathtaking islands.

To my mind, Pentecost Island was the most beautiful of them all. By the time we had berthed on Mackay Marina four hours later, I had taken many photos for the book I had gone to research, and for the new series called Pentecost Island that came to my mind as I spotted the amazing Pentecost Island.

Pippa, the first book in the series, was released at the beginning of this month. I was delighted to find that I had taken a photo that was suitable to be used on the cover, and with a bit of photoshop magic, the cover came into being. While Pippa has romantic elements, it is an exploration of women’s friendship.

Eventually, by Book 10 of the series, we will discover what happens to the ten girls who in one way or another find themselves living and working on Pentecost Island at Ma Carmichael’s resort.

The series will be complete by the end of 2021 with ten books:
Pippa, Eliza, Nell, Tamsin, Evie, Cherry, Odessa, Sonia, Tess and Isla.

A big thank you to my readers group (all most welcome to join) for coming up with the names that spell out PENTECOST I.

Pippa

When Pippa Carmichael inherits a house on a deserted tropical island, it couldn’t have come at a better time for her. Life’s been tough lately; she’s lost her job, given her boyfriend the flick, and now it’s time for her to make a new start. With her two best friends, Pippa heads off to Pentecost Island to investigate her inheritance and is surprised to find there is another resident on the island.

Reclusive author, Rafe Rendell, is not impressed when a boatload of women turns up on his island, interrupting his peaceful existence. He is less impressed when he meets Pippa, the sassy new owner of Ma Carmichael’s sprawling house.

Can these two live in harmony on the same small island, or is Pippa’s dream destined to fail?

You can read more about this series over on my website. I hope you enjoying meeting these characters and discovering the beauty of the islands from your reading chair.

Pippa is available now in print and ebook, and Eliza will be out in a month or so.

Ebook links: Amazon | Kobo | Apple | Others

Print copies are available from Annie’s store.

Author spotlight: Bronwyn Parry

15 February 2020

For ARR2020 in March we will be featuring more than 90 romance authors across five cities. If you live in (or near) Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth or Adelaide, come along and meet local authors, as well as our international guests—Darynda Jones and Susan Donovan.

Today we are spotlighting Bronwyn Parry. She will be attending ARR2020 in Sydney.

How old were you when you first started writing romance?

About 8, I think. All my stories had romance in them. (We won’t mention the Lost in Space fan fiction … oops.) I didn’t actually get serious about writing until I was perilously close to 40. That was when I stopped day-dreaming and scribbling scenes and decided to write a whole novel, beginning to end.

Who was the first romance author to catch your interest?

Elsie Jeanette Oxenham. Not really a romance author, but I loved the Abbey Girls books that had romances in them. By the time I was a teenager, I was reading everything I could get my hands on. Mostly Mum’s Mills &Boons: Essie Summers, Mary Burchell, Lucilla Andrews and Betty Neels.

Have you written genres other than romance (or are you thinking about it)?

I have ideas for a fantasy or two, an historical, and a speculative fiction story—but they’re not top of the (long) list of books to write.

Choose one of your books to turn into a movie—who would you cast in the lead roles?

I usually pick Dark Country, but I do think my Regency romance, The Clothier’s Daughter, would make a good mini-series. But I don’t watch TV often or see many movies, so I’ll have to let readers suggest who to cast!

What is the hardest part of creating a story?

The middle. Keeping the pacing going, weaving the threads so that everything can be pulled together in the final chapters.

What is your favourite place to write?

At the dining table, in the still of the night. It’s right next to the kitchen, which is handy for cups of tea and chocolate. (I may get a study of my own sometime soon … but we have a small house and it won’t be much further from the kitchen!)

Have any of your characters been inspired by real-life people?

A few aspects of some minor characters are inspired by people I’ve met in passing, but I’ve never based a character on someone I know.

What was the last romance you read and loved (and why did you love it)?

The Postmistress by Alison Stuart. I thoroughly enjoyed the setting and story.

Tell us about your latest release in 100 words or less

The Clothier’s Daughter. In Yorkshire in 1816, Emma Braithwaite is struggling to keep her family’s wool textile company afloat after her father’s death. When her warehouse catches fire, it brings her only a step away from debtor’s prison. After eight years of war, Major Adam Caldwell is returning home for the first time when he stops to assist at a warehouse fire … and comes face-to-face with the woman he once loved and lost. But as the threats against Emma escalate, they discover someone wants control of Emma’s family company and is prepared to murder anyone in the way of getting it—including Emma.

What else will you be working on in 2020?

The next book in my Regency series, The Hartdale Brides. It doesn’t have a title yet, but is set in part in Australia, in 1817, so it needs a great deal of research!

If you haven’t booked your ticket for ARR2020 yet, you can buy one HERE.