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Author spotlight: Renae Kaye

21 March 2019

We’re featuring a wide range of Australian authors participating in ARR2019 in venues across Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. 

Today we’re having Elevenses with Renae Kaye, author of over twenty romances in the genre of contemporary romance. Most of Renae’s stories are what are called M/M romance or can be known as gay romance. She will be attending ARR2019 in Perth.

When did you first realise you wanted to be an author?

Probably around the age of ten. My parents had this huge old typewriter that weighed about thirty kilos, and I placed it on the pool table at home, and diligently typed out a story. If I remember rightly, it was about a set of triplet girls falling for a set of triplet boys. Unfortunately for me, I had absolutely no encouragement from my family or teachers at school to pursue writing—I even remember getting into major trouble for writing a story during maths class and having it confiscated (yeah, I still dwell on that Mr Saunders!). It wasn’t until I was in my early thirties that I decided to ignore what people thought I would be good at and pursue something that I enjoyed.

Why romance and not a different genre?

Because romance is what I read. I discovered romance about age eleven when I read my first Dolly Fiction paperback. I was hooked. Not only am I a romantic soul, but in a romance, you know that the main couple will get together. I’m not one who can deal with heartbreak and surprise twists at the end. I won’t go near anything that is labelled a tragedy. I move around the sub-genres within romance, reading historical and Vikings and paranormal and everything else, but I stick to romance.

What was the first romance you read and why did you love it?

The first adult romance book I read was a Mills & Boon called Rise of an Eagle by Margaret Way. I can’t remember why I loved it, but I remember thinking that these second-hand paperbacks were cheap to buy. I was thirteen. I had budgeting issues.

What is the single most important characteristic for an aspiring author wanting to be a published writer?

Tenacity. My motto is that there’s only one difference between a writer and a wannabe-writer: tenacity.

What is your favourite part of creating a story?

Character creation. My stories are character driven, which means the plot is about them personally. I love to create a character with a problem or flaw, create a situation for him to be in, then throw him (metaphorically) to the wolves. I don’t plot my stories. I learn my character through writing him.

What is your best tip for fighting writer’s block/writer’s fear?

Write something else while your brain picks through the unwinding of your fear. I’m a 20-stories-on-the-go type of girl. If I get stuck on one, I just pick up another and write that. Pretty soon my brain will work out what went wrong in the original story and I can pick it up again.

Pick a favourite (bold your preference)

  • series or stand-alone?
  • ebook, paperback or hardcover?
  • first person or third?

Who has been an inspiration to you, in life or your writing career?

Miranda Lee was the first author I followed and was interested in her career. She was Australian, which was wonderful. And she seemed so ‘normal’, which gave me hope that one day I could do that too. I thought authors had to be oddball, anti-social spinsters who lived in drafty castles left to them by some crotchety ancestor they never met. Julia Quinn was wonderful to follow too, because she wrote about castles but didn’t live in them. More recently, in M/M romance, Australian M/M authors Sean Kennedy and NR Walker inspired me to try my hand at writing.

Tell us about your latest release in 100 words or less

Knowing Me, Knowing You is the fourth book of the series that first got me published. Shane’s the quiet bookworm of the group who doesn’t say much. He’s hiding a big secret though: for years he’s been in a relationship with AFL super-star Bro-Jak. Ambrose Jakoby grew up next door and the two of them have always been buddies. To Shane he’s not the famous Bro-Jak, but the boy he fell in love with at sixteen. But Shane’s had enough of this relationship on the down-low. He’s calling it quits. But maybe—just maybe—Ambrose Jakoby has something to say about that!

What else will you be working on in 2019?

I wasn’t joking about the working-across-20-stories. I write whatever comes to my mind.

Please recommend an Aussie romance you read recently

Recently I re-read the story that started it all for me—Australian MM romance at its greatest: Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy. Even though it’s 10 years old, it never tires for me.

If you haven’t booked your ticket for ARR2019 yet, you can buy one here.

 

Author spotlight: Maddison Michaels

20 March 2019

We’re featuring a wide range of Australian authors participating in ARR2019 in venues across Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. 

Today we’re having Elevenses with Maddison Michaels, author of two romances in the genres of historical romance. She will be attending ARR2019 in Sydney.

When did you first realise you wanted to be an author?

When I was eleven and my teacher told us about a State writing contest. It was like a light bulb went off in my head, and I literally knew that I wanted to enter the competition and write. I was awarded second place in the State for that comp too!!

Why romance and not a different genre?

Because I believe everyone should have a happily ever after (my characters included)!

What was the first romance you read and why did you love it?

I first read Deception by Amanda Quick, and I fell in love straight away, with the characters, the setting and the story. I quickly devoured all of her books and then moved on to Julie Garwood, Georgette Heyer, Johanna Lindsay, Nora Roberts, to name but a few. I love romance because you get to experience falling in love with the characters every time … it’s magic!

What is the single most important characteristic for an aspiring author wanting to be a published writer?

Persistence. Don’t consider a ‘NO’ to be a ‘NO’, rather consider it as a ‘next’ and move on, until you get your yes. (A very thick skin also helps.)

What is your favourite part of creating a story?

Plotting. This is my favourite, as I really get to hash out the story and learn about my characters during the process.

What is your best tip for fighting writer’s block/writer’s fear?

Whenever I’m suffering writer’s block, I’ve realised that it’s generally because the story isn’t heading in the direction it should. I have to go back over the scene/plot and work out where it’s not feeling right and brainstorm other possibilities until I hit on the jackpot and then I can easily move forward.

Pick a favourite (bold your preference)

  • series or stand-alone?
  • ebook, paperback or hardcover?
  • first person or third?

Who has been an inspiration to you, in life or your writing career?

Jayne Ann Krentz. She was the first historical romance author I read (writing as Amanda Quick) and was and still is my writing idol. I was lucky enough to not only meet her when ARRA had her to a high tea in Sydney a few years back, but I also got to sit next to her and chat to her, and since then we’ve been emailing and staying in touch. She is just one of the loveliest and kindest authors I know, and has been so kind to me on my publication journey!

Tell us about your latest release, The Elusive Earl, in 100 words or less 

In the heart of Naples, amateur archaeologist Brianna Penderley’s terrible Italian has her accidentally becoming engaged to two men at once. Of course, Daniel Wolcott—the tightly wound Earl of Thornton and the only man ever able to vex her—shows up to rescue her. Swept up in a perilous adventure, Daniel and Brianna must work together to survive their time in Italy. Now if they can just avoid killing each other.

What else will you be working on in 2019?

I’m working on book 3 in the Saint and Scoundrels series, which is set in the Highlands and tells Dr Alec’s story (readers may remember he made an appearance in book 1).

Please recommend an Aussie romance you read recently

OMG, there are sooo many great ones, but I recently read Megan Mayfair’s The Things We Leave Unsaid—and it was a fabulous read!

If you haven’t booked your ticket for ARR2019 yet, you can buy one here.

 

 

Release day: Undaunted

20 March 2019

Today is the official release of Undaunted by Leah Ashton (WASP Team #1) (ebook and print, self-published). Here’s the blurb:

A gunman. Five hostages. And her ex. Trapped. On a train.

A disgraced police constable

Luella Brayshaw is a great cop. Until she isn’t.

Dumped on desk duties and stripped of her firearm, Lou’s first task is a civilian role in a covert training exercise for WASP. But when that exercise goes horribly wrong, she’s stuck on a train to Fremantle with five terrified hostages—and the man who broke her heart more than a decade ago.

An elite tactical operator

Nate Rivers has dedicated his life to his career. That meant making tough choices—including walking away from Lou. But he’s never doubted that decision … until now.

Twelve years on, Nate is shocked to discover the connection between him and Lou is as electric as ever. But first—they need to get off this train.

A desire they never forgot

The gunman has no idea he has two cops on his train—but unarmed, can Nate and Lou keep everyone alive all the way to Fremantle?

And if they do, Lou knows she can’t make the mistake of trusting Nate with her heart again. But faced with a new threat, they must work together to survive as their passion ignites—and this time, there’s no way Nate is walking away.

Leah dropped by today to tell us a little about this book:

Undaunted is my first romantic suspense novel, after writing nine sweet contemporary romances for Mills & Boon. Undaunted is definitely not sweet—it’s fast paced, very sexy, and super romantic! It was such fun writing something so very different to my previous books, and creating the elite WASP Team. It was also fun working out what acronym to use, as I needed to make sure it sounded cool 🙂 WASP stands for Western Australia State Protection, and it’s an elite policing team bringing together tactical response, police bodyguards, snipers, negotiators, undercover cops and more. Each book in the series has either the hero or heroine (or both) from WASP, and in Undaunted the hero, Nate Rivers, is a tactical operator who ends up unarmed in a hostage situation on a train—with the woman he walked away from a decade ago. But Lou Brayshaw is also a cop, and she’s not about to sit back and wait for Nate to save her—or let him hurt her again.

You can find out more about this book at Leah’s website or buy it from Amazon.

Feature book: Tycoon’s Forbidden Cinderella

20 March 2019

Tycoon’s Forbidden Cinderella by Melanie Milburne

Subgenre: contemporary romance
Release date: 1 Jul 2018
Publisher: Mills & Boon Modern
Format: ebook and print
Length: 224 pages
RRP: $5.99 (ebook); $7.99 (print)

Audrey Merrington’s film star, multi-married mother, and Lucien Fox’s rock star father are getting married again … for the third time!

Both Audrey and Lucien are horrified. The two previous, highly publicised weddings and consequent shattering, highly publicised divorces are—enough. They both don’t want to prop up their parents after the inevitable emotional fallout yet again. The last two times have been quite enough, with overdoses and binge drinking, money troubles, and goodness knows what.

Both Audrey and Lucien turn up independently at Bramble Cottage, a getaway in the Cotswolds owned by Audrey’s mother. They are determined to track their parents down and prevent this third disastrous wedding happening. Both are not particularly happy to see each other, and their parents not there. Due to the stormy weather (inside and outside!), they spend an unsettled night together. But it’s also one of the first times they’ve ever had the chance to talk to each other properly. Hmm. And there’s that little spark of attraction between them that’s been there—if they are truthful—for some time …

The search shifts to France the next day, which is a lovely change of location. It also means that Audrey and Lucien continue to talk—really talk—and get to know each other. They bond over the need to keep their parents unmarried, and apart. But again … that little spark of attraction.

It is obvious these two have been completely turned off marriage by their parents. They’ve seen the emotional wreckage when (multiple) marriages break down, and neither wants to wade through carnage like that. Why even get married at all, if that’s what’s going to happen? But in France, in the beautiful surroundings, a fling based on their hot attraction—what can possibly go wrong? They both know it’s not love, it’s not permanent, it’s not even complicated. It’s just sex. Or is it?

You ache for Audrey and Lucien, you really do. They’ve been the adults for their parents for far too long. They’ve put up so many barriers with each other it’s become normal. To suddenly have all that threatened by—gasp!—developing feelings, is horrifying. They have to really battle themselves to see the preciousness of what they could have.

Then suddenly, all trust in each other is shattered. Their fragile romance collapses like a house of cards.

What an emotional ride. Watching these two fight to get through an absolutely tumultuous time is rather splendid, though, and Melanie makes it all work wonderfully well. The ending is a little rushed, but it still works. A terrific read.

reviewed by Malvina

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

Author spotlight: Lily Malone

19 March 2019

We’re featuring a wide range of Australian authors participating in ARR2019 in venues across Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. 

Today we’re having Elevenses with Lily Malone, author of eight romances in the genres of Australian rural romance and romantic comedies/cozy mysteries. She will be attending ARR2019 in Perth.

When did you first realise you wanted to be an author?

When I tried unsuccessfully to exercise my creativity via baking, and then via painting, when my two boys were young. When my son was a year old, he put my hubby’s golf club handle through the canvas I’d been trying to paint for months and months … so I gave that up (I was shit at baking and shit at painting anyway) and I decided I’d write a book!

Why romance and not a different genre?

The ideas I think of are romantic. Even when I’m reading crime fiction, I find it’s the relationship between the cop and one of the other characters, e.g. a friend or a sister of the victim, that I find just as intriguing as the ‘who dunnit’.

What was the first romance you read and why did you love it?

Now I’m not sure it’s the first romance I read, but it’s the one I remember. It was called Savage Surrender by Charlotte Lamb. I believe nowadays it’s seen as a bit controversial, as it featured what I guess (in this age of consent) would constitute a rape. It was set in Greece—and to some extent inspired my visit to Greece and the Greek Islands in my late 20s. I liked that the heroine genuinely wasn’t interested in the hero for a very long time, because she was in love with another man.

What is the single most important characteristic for an aspiring author wanting to be a published writer?

Perseverance.

What is your favourite part of creating a story?

Character creation.

What is your best tip for fighting writer’s block/writer’s fear?

I go for a walk and I find when I’m walking, ideas come to me and the words then flow.

Pick a favourite (bold your preference):

  • first person or third? I love first person, present tense writing!

Who has been an inspiration to you, in life or your writing career?

Rachael Johns inspires me because she shows it’s possible to make a career in this business of writing.

Tell us about your latest release, The Café by the Bridge, in 100 words or less

Chalk Hill local, Abe Honeychurch, has been scammed out of a whole stack of money, as has the brother of child psychologist Taylor Woods. Taylor thinks that if she can enlist Abe’s support, she can get justice for her brother. Abe just wants to forget the whole saga, but Taylor is a hard gal to ignore.

What else will you be working on in 2019?

Book 3 in the Chalk Hill series is with my editor now. I hope she loves Brix and Jaydah’s story!

Please recommend an Aussie romance you read recently

Shadows of Wongan Creek by Juanita Kees.

If you haven’t booked your ticket for ARR2019 yet, you can buy one here.

 

Author spotlight: Lilliana Rose

18 March 2019

We’re featuring a wide range of Australian authors participating in ARR2019 in venues across Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. 

Today we’re having Elevenses with Lilliana Rose, author of over 10 romances in the genres of rural, steampunk and paranormal romance. She will be attending ARR2019 in Melbourne.

When did you first realise you wanted to be an author?

When I was in primary school, I couldn’t help but write long stories to pass the time on the school bus.

Why romance and not a different genre?

Because romance is a lot of fun to write in. And I love helping my characters to fall in love.

What was the first romance you read and why did you love it?

It was a Sweet Valley High book, and I loved it because of the emotions of falling in love.

What is the single most important characteristic for an aspiring author wanting to be a published writer?

To always keep trying and keep writing.

What is your favourite part of creating a story?

World building/setting. It was a hard list to pick from, but I do love a bit of world building, hence the books I write in steampunk romance.

What is your best tip for fighting writer’s block/writer’s fear?

I have a series of tips, but if you’ve tried something and it hasn’t worked, then try something else, and keep doing that until you break through.

Pick a favourite (bold your preference)

  • series or stand-alone?
  • ebook, paperback or hardcover?
  • first person or third?

I used to be a only hardcover reader then, because of cost, I became a paperback reader, and after moving home a number of times I’m now an ebook reader.

Who has been an inspiration to you, in life or your writing career?

There’s been a lot of people who have over the years. Now, I find seeing other people following their dreams is a huge inspiration for me to keep following mine, especially if they’re fellow artists, as it can be a tough journey, albeit rewarding.

Tell us about your latest release in 100 words or less

Cultivating Creativity, which is a book to help get the creative juices flowing and for writers to discover their own writing journey. It’s not romance, but I did have Best in Show out last year, which is now in the box set, Outback Heroes. Best in Show is a sexy short romance, about a sassy city girl falling in love with a tough farmer.

What else will you be working on in 2019?

Well, I’m working on a lot of books this year. I’m hitting 2019 hard. I’ve got a pagan romance series, Pagan Pleasures, coming out through the year, as well as a middle grade book, and a picture book. Plus a few rural romances, especially a couple ready for Christmas. I better get writing!

Please recommend an Aussie romance you read recently

The Right Place by Carla Caruso.

If you haven’t booked your ticket for ARR2019 yet, you can buy one here.

 

Release day: Law and Disorder

18 March 2019

Today is the official release of Law & Disorder by Liv Arnold (ebook, The Wild Rose Press). Here’s the blurb:

Lawyer Juliet Jackson has come head to head with Sergeant Jesse Burns on numerous occasions in court. He is provoking. Pigheaded. Punch-worthy. They don’t get along. Not one little bit. The unfortunate fact he’s also her next-door neighbor brings her loathing off the charts. But when Juliet’s caught locked outside her home in nothing but a skimpy towel, she must swallow her pride and turn to Jesse for help. She doesn’t expect the explosive chemistry between them and can’t help but wonder if Jesse’s as demanding in the bedroom as he is in the courtroom.

Liv dropped by today to tell us a little about this book:

Law & Disorder is a short novella where you’ll be able to finish the story within a lunch break or on your way to work. I started writing romance because my husband plays computer games all day and night. So my imagination started creating book boyfriends. I hope you love my arrogant book boyfriend, Sergeant Jesse Burns, as much as I do.

You can find out more about this book at Liv’s website or buy it from Amazon.