To all intents and purposes it has been a quiet year for me, relatively speaking. I don’t have a Dani Kristoff book out this year. Invoked is coming out in January 2017—just missed out!
Yet, this is a cause for a happy dance.
Invoked has been the hardest book ever for me so far. It’s probably the first book ever that I was tempted to throw into the bin, the too-hard basket, along with most of my hair! I don’t think I have ever wanted to stop writing a story before, but then I refused to give up. (It was rejected on first submission too! Crushingly!) I had to make it work. I wanted to make it work. Earl had so much potential as a hero. Also, some of the content pushed my boundaries quite a bit. (I’ll let you discover what that means in due course.) Anyway, I’m sorry you have to wait so long for it, but that is the way the publishing schedule goes! I don’t even have a cover to flash at you.
Invoked is the third book in my Spellbound in Sydney series and occurs after the action in Bespelled. Jake’s cousin Nea is in for some interesting times ahead up on Lake Macquarie. You also get a bit of an insight into the history of the Sydney coven and Gregor Royston, the warlock who keeps himself quite young. There is also dark magic in this … but I’m not going to spoil it.
I have more ideas for this series. I’d really like to do a story on Lyle Wentz, the doctor who treated Declan in Spiritbound. We will have to wait and see. I’m still a newbie to paranormal romance writing.
Meanwhile, the other me (Donna) is having a great time with the romance PhD. I was given a large collection, called the Grace Collection, of Mills & Boon that I have ogled, touched, arranged and dipped into. I’ve also been reading Juliet Flesch’s From Australia With Love (2004), which has heaps of information about Australian romance authors, and many of them are in my collection. It’s been opening my mind and given me some background to identify Australian authors who I didn’t know were Australian. I also have a nice collection of Silhouette novels that the lovely Debbie gave me. I’ve dipped into them and they have been quite stunning really. I probably resemble a toddler in a wading pool on a hot day splashing around with a puppy.
The Sydney coven is suffering from a man drought – some witches complain, and some witches just get creative.
Grace lives with her cousin Elena and her mother Elvira, and life is pretty damn fine, barring the warlock drought that has the coven’s younger witches a bit itchy. Grace isn’t worried – even if a suitable warlock were available, he wouldn’t be interested in Grace. Ever since she raised her dead cat as a child, Grace’s necromancy skills have put everyone around her on edge.
Then her childhood beau, Declan Mallory, returns from overseas. He’s a battlemage and hot property. To Grace’s dismay, she is but one face among many as the coven witches pull out all the stops to attract the tall, dark and handsome warlock’s attention. Fortunately their childhood friendship still holds some sway, and Grace and Declan soon find themselves reconnecting on all sorts of levels. But there are dark secrets in the coven, and Declan’s family is determined to shut their relationship down. But Grace has finally found her warlock, and she is not giving him up without a fight: not to the bitch-witches, not to his family, and certainly not to the past.
Check out our August titles—including the latest historical romance from Tea Cooper, author of The Horse Thief.
Kate and the Escape Team
Releasing 5 August
The Cedar Cutter—Tea Cooper. From the bestselling author of The Horse Thief comes a historical story of love, intrigue and danger in the majestic cedar forests of the Hunter Valley.
Releasing 15 August
Recovery—JC Harroway. She can’t help but want him. But neither can his millions of fans.
Backpack and a Red Dress—Maddie Jane. A fresh contemporary romance about a lonely girl looking for love, family and the perfect dress.
Releasing 25 August
Catch Me a Cowboy—Jacquie Underdown. The biggest risks yield the greatest gains—especially in the game of love.
Today is the official release of Charity’s Cavalier by Isabella Hargreaves (ebook, self-published). Here’s the blurb:
In a nation divided, two enemies are united.
Widowed during the Battle of Worcester, Puritan woman Charity Goodwyn, dares to dream of an independent life, living with her aunt, unbeholden to men. Sir Edward Lovelace, a Royalist, gravely wounded in the same battle, wants to live to serve his king again. Charity’s only way to safely reach her aunt is to take the Cavalier with her, disguised as her husband, and helping him escape the Parliamentarian forces. What happens when Sir Edward unexpectedly recovers, surprises and endangers them both.
Isabella dropped by today to tell us a little about this book:
When considering writing this novella, set during the English Civil Wars, I knew it would be an enemies-to-lovers’ trope, but where and when during those nine turbulent years should my story take place? How would my hero and heroine from opposite sides of politics and religion, and different social and economic backgrounds, find each other, overcome their differences and fall in love? The last battle of the English Civil Wars was fought at Worcester on 3 September 1651 after Charles Stuart (later Charles II) led a mainly Scottish army into England hoping to rally forces against Cromwell and his New Model Army. It was a terrible defeat for the Royalists – with about three thousand dying compared with approximately three hundred of the Parliamentarian army. Charles Stuart escaped and spent weeks in hiding, sheltered by loyal subjects, until he finally sailed to France from Shoreham-on-Sea on the south coast on 15 October. My hero, Sir Edward Lovelace, however, owed his escape to one Puritan woman, Charity Goodwyn, who found him injured on the blood-soaked battlefield. Where to set my story after the Battle of Worcester? One of my favourite places in England, is the New Forest on the south coast, so it wasn’t a hard decision to set much of the story in those beautiful surroundings. I hope you enjoy this action-romance, which shows that reconciliation, as well as love, are possible despite divergent beliefs and backgrounds.
Our authors have been nominated for and won many RWA chapter awards, and received glowing praise from romance stars like Carly Phillips, Linda Howard, Kat Martin and other USA Today bestselling authors.
Our books have received starred reviews from Library Journal and glowing praise from Publishers Weekly, USA Today, RT Book Reviews and Heroes & Heartbreakers.
Thanks for taking a look at our new releases this August …
Mystical Love: 3 Paranormal Romances by Rachel James (paranormal)—Love is in the cards when three mediums go up against their mental matches in these tales of otherworldly connections. Will their crystal balls foresee their fate, or can love prove stronger than the ancient arts? Find out in this 99-cent digital bundle!
Eternal Paths by Christy Newton (paranormal)—Hallie York has finally got her college degree and a job as a museum curator lined up at the Smithsonian. She’s even crossing off a bucket list item with an extended trip to London. But the vacation takes a strange twist when she wanders into an antique shop and buys a set of old journals from the handsome but rude owner, Graham McCoy. The journals contain a correspondence between lovers cursed to be separated in the afterworld, and soon spark some eerie events that pull Hallie and Graham together. To save their sanity, this unlikely duo must team up to try to reunite the lovers’ spirits.
Live, Laugh, Love: 5 Romantic Comedies by Evan Purcell, Shelley K Wall, Dana Volney, Jenny Jacobs and Tiffany N York (contemporary)—Love not only captures your heart but tickles your funnybone in these five fabulous romantic comedies. The hilarious antics and wacky hijinks will leave you in stitches, and the low price of just 99 cents will leave your wallet happy, too!
The Texas Takedown by Kathryn Brocato (contemporary)—When Berry Challoner arrives in Houston determined to solve her brother Daniel’s murder, she knows Tyler Reid, his best friend and college roommate, is the perfect man to help her. Berry’s convinced that Daniel stumbled onto something criminal at the company where he worked, and she plans to go undercover to expose the killer. Berry knows next to nothing about business, but if she can get a secretarial job with one of the company’s womanising owners, she’s sure that Tyler, a certified public accountant, can help her follow the money to the murderer. He’s always been mesmerised by Berry, but Tyler isn’t a fan of chaos or spontaneity. Can he channel his inner alpha to help save her when Berry gets in over her head?
Heartbeats: 7 Medical Romances by Ruby Lang, Nicole Flockton, Kathryn Brocato, Katie Kenyhercz, Jillian David, Peggy Gaddis and Casey Dawes (contemporary)—Bitten by the love bug? Then these seven medical romances might be just what the doctor ordered. From emergency room meet-ups to high-stakes house calls, these delightful couples will discover love is definitely the best medicine in this 99-cent digital bundle.
Visions of Love: 5 Psychic Romances by Nancy C Weeks, Glenys O’Connell, Shay Lacy, Rachel James and Charmaine Ross (paranormal)—Adventure, danger, and intrigue are taken to new heights by these five couples who each share a sizzling psychic connection. Between visions and dreams, mysteries and mysticism mingle to forge a love strong enough to withstand any obstacle in this 99-cent e-book bundle.
Sweet Child of Mine: 6 Secret Baby Romances by Kristina Knight, Elley Arden, MO Kenyan, Iris Leach, Kathryn Brocato and JM Stewart (contemporary)—The bonds of love are truly tested for six couples in these enthralling romances featuring secret babies and surprise pregnancies. Your heart will ache in all the right ways as baby makes three for these winning duos. Collected in an affordable digital e-book bundle, these heart-warming stories will make you swoon!
The Harvester Saga: 3 Romantic Thrillers by Susanne Matthews (romantic suspense)—Join Boston’s crack detective team as its members track down the most heinous serial killer to ever strike the city, the Harvester. Clues and cults, dead ends and danger await these expert crime solvers as they team up with the flames they left behind and race against time to save everything they love. This chilling romantic suspense series is a great deal at just 99 cents.
Building Mr Darcy by Ashlinn Craven
Jane Austen fans will adore this fun contemporary romance! Programmer Zoe Bunsen thinks she has the cure to two centuries’ worth of female disillusionment: a new artificial intelligence program that looks, talks, and thinks like Mr Darcy. No way will she let the chauvinistic atmosphere at her company nor her stuffy colleague Max Taggart get in the way of her wildest dream—creating the perfect man. Even if he isn’t quite human … But when the AI starts using its scary degree of emotional intelligence to reveal their individual secrets, Zoe and Max must rethink everything, and a surprising connection begins to develop. Will these two unlikely cohorts cling to their prejudices or toss pride aside and admit love is stronger than a fantasy?
Building Mr Darcy is out 1 August.
Crimson Romance are offering ARRA members the chance to win a copy of this book. To go into the draw leave a comment below. The giveaway will close on 11 August 2016.
Wild for You by Jennifer St George
She has just been dumped on live television. The man she had been dating had her sign a waiver then managed to dump her when she was expecting a proposal. She leaves the scene in a hurry but the cameras have managed to catch her distress. That does it. She asks her assistant to book a place that is as far away as possible from New York (Tasmania)—no media and no hot men. She also hopes to get her inspiration back. Her assistant achieves two out three.
Daniel Black see his latest client arrive by limousine and immediately decides she is like all the other rich clients. The ones who want their bags carried and find the terrain too much. His last wealthy client had a helicopter lift him out. Daniel does not think this will end well for at least one of them.
Daniel has no idea who he is dealing with and Madison continually proves him wrong. She is tough and can deal with the track walking and mountains. She can also deal with him. Daniel is a returned soldier and has PTSD. He has moments where the dreams take over but he feels a sense of calm when he is around Madison. Madison has some idea of what he is going through as her father had similar issues.
Both Daniel and Madison are grieving for loved ones who have passed and this common link does give them an understanding of each other. In the end, Madison feels betrayed by Daniel and returns home. Daniel has to decide how he can make her see that he didn’t betray her and for them to make the distant relationship work. Daniel really puts himself out there, in probably the most uncomfortable way (and I don’t want to tell), to try and redeem himself in Madison’s eyes. Madison does come around and in a most entertaining manner (again I won’t tell). The epilogue really made this reader smile.
This book was a really good read. I enjoyed the romance of Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain and the description of the scenery. I really liked the interplay between the characters and, while appearances would suggest opposites, they are very much similar in their wants and needs. Both have had to overcome grief at the death of loved ones, and they are able to help each other heal. I liked the interplay between the characters when they were getting to know each other.
This was a really enjoyable read, despite the serious undertones of grief and PTSD.
Reviewed by Heather
A review copy of this book was provided by the author.
This year has been a very difficult year for me as a writer. I feel like the Western genre is flooded, my contemporaries—which I love—don’t seem to get much exposure and, well, I’ve been experiencing a writer’s slump. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, I love creating stories, but well, I’ve had the doldrums this year.
With over thirty books under my belt, I struggle to find plots that are new and different. There are only twenty plots in the world and I’ve probably written every one of them. As an author you have to start looking outside the box for ways to keep the writing fresh and interesting for not only your readers, but yourself.
About five years ago, I almost sold a book to Grand Central Publishing. I had been trying to break into the women’s fiction/contemporary line and they came very close to buying the book, but eventually said no. So for grins, I pulled the manuscript out from under the bed and gave it a thorough editing because, frankly, the world is a lot different from when I wrote this book. I think flip phones are just about dead and several other references no longer worked.
To me this is one of my favourite books because it deals with mother, grandmother and daughter relationships. Oh yes, it’s a romance, but it’s not your typical boy meets girl and falls in love. And how many writers start a book with the wife taking her husband’s clothes over to his mistress’s—aka dominatrix’s—house? No, it’s not a book about BDSM. But what would you do if you found out your husband was cheating again?
Here in the states we have a reality show called Cheaters. You can hire them to find out if your spouse is having an affair. And of course there is a film crew following every move. While watching this show one night, I got the idea of my heroine saying she’s had enough and delivering her spouse’s clothes to his dominatrix. Thus begins the journey of Secrets, Lies and Online Dating.
Publishing this book gave my creative spirit a boost, along with changing genres. I needed to hit the restart button and get out of the west for a while.
Secrets, Lies and Online Dating
One event changes the lives of three women.
A lie changes Marianne Larson’s perfect world leading her on a journey of self-discovery. Brenda Jones, her mother, objects to being left behind and sets off on her own adventure. Katie Larson starts college and discovers that growing up is not as easy as she originally thought.
Can three generations recreate their lives and learn that their bond is stronger than secrets, lies, and on-line dating?