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Guest blogger: Ellie Jean

22 October 2017

Entering this world of romance novel writing has been daunting and scary, but also so very exciting and rewarding. I must admit, I have been overwhelmed by the great community of authors, bloggers and people who genuinely care to support writers on this journey in this wide world of romance genre.

Having a love of reading romance novels, I found I was reading quickly the books I loved and then I branched off into MC romance novels, erotica and also dark romance stories. I have a great love for them all. After having studied for many years, reading text book after text book, it was so refreshing to be able to read for enjoyment once again.

I soon found myself immersed in all things romance, and because I and free time on my hands now, I thought I would challenge myself to see if I could write a romance novel.

After deliberating with myself for a few months, I finally thought I’d give it a go and started typing one day. This lead to a weekend and then every weekend and chance I got for a few months until my husband finally asked me what was taking all of my time on the computer?

Yes, that’s right, I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing in case it was a flop and I never finished it. My husband shrugged his shoulders and said ‘that’s nice’ and left me to my computer, only registering months later that I was actually writing a novel. I’ve tried to keep the subject matter, the alpha male, the hot sex and descriptive details to myself so he doesn’t get any funny ideas! Crazy I know!

With perseverance, support from other indie authors and groups, I found some beta readers, then an editor, and contacted a formatter to make the book professional and give it the best opportunity I could. After two years, I finally had Sweet Deception completed and ready to launch.

I’m so glad I decided to challenge myself. I’ve made so many genuine friends on this path and I can’t wait to see where it will lead.

If you’re thinking of writing, give it a go. There’s so many people out in the world willing to help and support you and it’s never been easier to self-publish.

Sweet Deception is available from Amazon and is free with Kindle Unlimited. Sweet Redemption, the second part in the duet, will be available soon.

Sweet Deception

Isla

I want to be a normal twenty-four year old.

With a normal job. A normal family and a normal relationship.

But I know that it is impossible.

I’m not allowed.

EVER…

The Boss owns me.

Fooling myself into believing differently plays havoc with my mind. The small reprieve from my normal life has thrown me into a tailspin.

His large powerful hands and the strength and passion he takes me with makes me forget reality.

Devouring my body expertly, making me scream his name over and over is my new favorite pastime. Nothing else matters.

Making me reckless and deceitful.

But he wants me so badly. His words, his touch and his actions show me without a shadow of a doubt.

He protects what is his.

Will I still be his when I reveal my normal life? Or will we both pay for my deception?

Alex

My life is routine, busy, dangerous and with little privacy.

I’m consumed with my multimillion dollar ‘Raven Resort and Casino’ unless my family needs my help.

Discreetly, silencing any problems.

My dick, my brain and very quickly my heart has different ideas.

Her curves, the way her body melts under my touch, her voice when I take over her completely and the persistent need to fiercely protect her throws my ordered life into chaos.

I simply can’t get enough of her.

I can tell she is trying to fight us.

She has secrets. But I do too.

There is one thing I know without any confusion – She will be mine…

Debut novel for Ellie Jean for pre-sale now at Amazon.

You can find Ellie Jean here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

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Meagan Spooner to visit Australia

20 October 2017

Next month Meagan Spooner will be visiting Australia and will be doing a book tour along with her co-writer Amie Kaufman. We caught up with Meagan and Amie this month for an interview …

What kind of books did you love when you were a child?

We both grew up reading lots of science fiction and fantasy, but we were both the sorts of readers who’d pick up anything and everything we could get our hands on, from the side of the Weetbix box to the rather saucy novel somebody had unwisely left lying around. We were absolutely under-the-covers-with-a-torch kids.

What authors do you read and/or admire now?

This interview is hard already! This is like being asked to pick body parts we can do without! We both have huge shelves with thousands of books at home, and it’s almost impossible to pick our favourites. Some authors we love who have brand new releases include Marie Lu (Warcross), Emily Suvada (This Mortal Coil), Kylie Scott (Trust) and Ryan Graudin (Invictus).

Do you remember the first romance novel you read?

Oh gosh, the first? Neither of us really remembers a time when we weren’t reading romance! From early adventures with Georgette Heyer to recent reads with Aussies like Kylie Scott and CS Pacat, we both pretty much always have a romance novel on the go.

Other than books, what is one item you can’t resist buying?

Bath bombs. For reading in the bath.

How old were you when you knew that you wanted to be a writer?

Meg was about four, so it was a very early ambition! Amie remembers telling stories to others as early as grade two, but didn’t actually work out that authoring was a thing you could do until about the age of fourteen. Either way, it’s been a long-time ambition for both of us.

If you weren’t a writer, what career do you think you would have now?

Amie would be a mediator, which is what she did for years before moving to full-time writing—and it was a pretty great job! (She’s a lover, not a fighter.) Meg briefly flirted with archaeology, before discovering that it’s usually very hot and the sand gets everywhere.

When did you first sit down and start to write? How long after that before you were published?

We’ve both been writing as long as we can remember, making books as kids and stapling them together, then illustrating them with terrible stick figures. In terms of sitting down with an intent to write something publishable, Amie sat down to her first serious attempt at a novel in 2010, and sold her first novel to a publisher in 2011. Meg took her first run at it in 2009, and sold in 2010. (Which may have motivated Amie.)

How did your writing partnership come about? How complicated was the co-writing process?

We were friends for many years before we thought about writing something professionally together—we were flatmates, in fact, twice! We always say that if you can negotiate who washes the dishes, writing a book together is a breeze.

We fell into writing together very naturally, at first just for fun and to entertain each other, before starting to wonder if there might be a wider audience for our work.

We know that These Broken Stars is being developed as a television show. Is there any news you can share on this? Has casting started? How involved will you be?

Oh, this is difficult! We know more than we’re allowed to say. We can tell you that the crew that’s being assembled is very exciting, and that developments are trundling along pretty well, but that’s about it for now.

We’re exactly as involved as we want to be—we really trust our team, and we appreciate that they check in with us as they go, but this is their area of expertise, so we want to let them do what they do best.

Are you planning to write together again?

Absolutely. We plan on writing together for the rest of our lives. We’re not just co-authors—we’re much more like sisters. We talk every day, and inhabit every part of each other’s lives. Writing is just one piece of that puzzle.

What do you have coming up next?

Our next science fiction/action adventure/romance is coming out this November! It’s called Unearthed, and we like to describe it as ‘Indiana Jones teams up with Lara Croft … in space!’

And speaking of exciting film news, this is one where we can say a little more—the film’s in development with Sony and Cross Creek Productions! We have the amazing Doug Liman (The Edge of Tomorrow, The Bourne Identity, Mr and Mrs Smith) down to direct, and Jez and John-Henry Butterworth (SPECTRE, The Edge of Tomorrow) drafting the screenplay right now!

What are you most looking forward to doing while Meagan is in Australia?

Meg’s lived in Australia twice already, for a total of about two years, and she absolutely can’t wait to get back. Amie will be meeting her at the airport with a caramel slice (can you believe they’re not common in the USA?) and we’re definitely planning a trip to the Peninsula hot springs, where we’ve done lots of brainstorming in the past.

– –
Here are the dates for Meagan and Amie’s upcoming book tour:

Monday 27 November, 6.30 pm
Dymocks Melbourne

Tuesday 28 November, 6.30 pm
Kinokuniya, Sydney

Wednesday 29 November, 6.30 pm
Dymocks Adelaide

Thursday 30 November, 6.00 pm
Harry Hartog Woden, Canberra

Friday 1 December, 6.30 pm
Brisbane Square Library

More details and links for bookings are available here.

[This article first appeared in the October 2017 issue of the ARRA newsletter.]

Release day: The Bridesmaid’s Royal Bodyguard

18 October 2017

Today is the official release of The Bridesmaid’s Royal Bodyguard by Liz Fielding (book 3, Wedding Invitations) (ebook, Tule Publishing). Here’s the blurb:

After being sacked from her job on the gossip magazine Celebrity, Ally Parker is forced to return home to Combe St. Philip with her tail between her legs. She is given a fresh start when her childhood friend, Hope, asks her to work PR for Hope’s marriage to Prince Jonas of San Michele.

When Count Fredrik Jensson, head of security for the royal family, arrives to check out the village, he makes it clear that her past employment makes her unfit for the role. The fact that there’s a sizzle between them from the moment they meet only makes everything worse.

Forced together on a trip to San Michele for the official announcement of the wedding, Fredrik and Ally find themselves stranded overnight in his mountain retreat. Their sizzle flares into an inferno. However, their night of passion sours when he sees her with her ex-boss. Believing that Ally is about to buy back her job with wedding secrets, Fredrik turns back to ice. What will it take to see the
person she truly is and a thaw to set in?

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

A royal wedding. Words to make everyone smile and when you’re working with three friends (Sophie Weston, Jessica Hart and Anne McAllister), it’s a very big smile indeed. My heroine is Ally Parker—bridesmaid, PR peep and, having lost her glamorous London job on gossip magazine Celebrity, cleaner in the local pub. Count Fredrik Jensson, security chief for the San Michele royal family, turns up unexpectedly to check out the location of the royal wedding. He’s already suspicious of this gossip queen and, when he catches her in her pinny and rubber gloves, he’s certain she will try to buy her job back by giving away royal secrets. Oh dear … He’s met more than his match in smart and feisty Ally. She gets under his skin, turns up the heat and melts the permafrost in his heart. But can he trust her? Here’s your Invitation to a Royal Wedding. Sit back and watch the sparks fly!

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

 

Feature book: The Desert King’s Captive Bride

18 October 2017

The Desert King’s Captive Bride by Annie West

Princess Ghizlan of Jeirut has finally made it home. She was rejected by a neighbouring king, as he chose the love of his life, instead of the arranged marriage with Ghizlan. Her father has died and she has some concern as to who the next king will be. She finds out within minutes of her arrival. Ghizlan also finds that she is to be his wife. She is somewhat peeved that this man would dare to presume she would accept. She has more concerns, such as her sister and the business she is trying to set up.

Sheikh Huseyn of Rasheed makes it clear that Ghizlan does not have a choice in the marriage if she wants to keep her palace and position, as another sheikh is poking at the borders. Ghizlan finally agrees to the marriage but with conditions. Huseyn gives her all the conditions, although he silently disagrees with the divorce part.

Huseyn keeps close tabs on Ghizlan and is constantly surprised by her personal touch with the people and respects her knowledge of the kingdom; together they make it work. During this time, Ghizlan gives him a gift and he is blown away. I think this has to be one of my favourite scenes in this story. He eventually tells her that it was the first gift he has ever received. He gives Ghizlan many gifts he hopes are special to her, which they are, and she feels much loved. Then she discovers why her gift to him was so special to him.

This story is Ghizlan’s story. She appeared as the jilted bride to be in The Desert King’s Secret Heir. I’m so glad Ghizlan got her own story and her own happy ever after. It always seems to be that if the man or woman has been jilted, then it was never meant to be, but I always hope that they will get their HEA. There was no major fights between Huseyn and Ghizlan, they just got on with their roles as Sheikh and Sheikha, but as they observed and spent time together, they were able to build the connection. A very enjoyable story.

reviewed by Heather

A review copy of this book was provided by the author. ARRA members who leave a comment on the blog by 1 November 2017 will go into the draw to win a copy of the book.

Release day: Mistletoe Kisses

16 October 2017

Today is the official release of Mistletoe Kisses by Nancy Stopper, Christa Maurice, Maria Luis, Reese Patton, Susan Saxx, July Dawson, Kimberly Readnour, Natalia Banks and Ev Bishop (ebook, self-published). Here’s the blurb:

One Last Gift by Nancy Stopper. They can’t forget their shared history, but when they see each other again after ten years, can they put the past behind them? Will the Christmas spirit help Jack and Casey find their way back to each other?

Celebrating Flora by Christa Maurice. Wally Kohler’s job is cleaning up after his superstar employers so babysitting Flora Mason after a PR disaster isn’t new, but what he wants for Christmas is a nice girl.

Hat Trick by Maria Luis. Marshall Hunt may be the NHL’s hottest new forward, but this charming playboy wants only one thing for the holidays—a date with the woman who’s had his emotions all tangled up for years.

The One with the Christmas Trees by Reese Patton. When attorney Brandt Hayward is set up with Mallory Davies, on Christmas Eve of all nights, neither has time to date, much less start a relationship. Can Brandt and Mallory find their Christmas miracle under the mistletoe?

Real Miracle by Susan Saxx. Christmas Eve. One night, one last memory to revisit, before he’s off the grid. It won’t take long. And it won’t hurt. Much. Then SHE opens the door…

The Fourteen Days of Christmas by July Dawson. When high school sweethearts are reunited for this Marine’s fourteen days of holiday leave, will she be able to convince him to believe again in love and Christmas magic?

Bottom of the Ninth, the Novella by Kimberly Readnour. When stranded with the girl he stood-up in college, this professional baseball player must redeem his past actions or else lose the one shot at true happiness.

No Reservations by Natalia Banks. Gavin Rossi is an arrogant, conceited restaurateur. No one would ever dream of putting him in his place, until Cindy walks in. Will love break down Gavin’s walls? One thing is for sure, it’ll take a Christmas miracle!

Silver Bells by Ev Bishop. One lonely highway and a brutal snowstorm. Two broken hearts and an accident. Can Bryn and Sean find lasting love in such random, fleeting circumstances?

Christa dropped by today to tell us a little about this boxed set:

I am a complete sucker for Christmas. I love the movies, the books, the crafts, the decorating, the baking (oooooh the baking). So this year I decided I was going to write a Christmas story of my own. I had a character who was such a great guy, but never got the girl. I also had a starlet with some control issues who needed to be off the grid for a while. And I had a small town that specialised in dark pasts and redemption. As I was discussing this with my friend Nancy Stopper, she said she also planned to do a Christmas story and wouldn’t be great if we joined forces and invited along some friends? And thus, you have Mistletoe Kisses, a nine-story boxed set of contemporary holiday magic, which will be on sale for the first month for 99¢.

You can find out more about this boxed set, including buy links, on Christa’s website.

 

Guest blogger: Cate Ellink

15 October 2017

Sporting heroes

I’m a huge sports fan, even though I’m pretty useless at sports myself. My real-life heroes are usually sports people, although I’ve been told I pick weird heroes.

In high school, I had jockeys and rugby league players as my heroes. I didn’t have the ‘best’ or the ‘cutest’, I had ones who had some other characteristic I couldn’t always articulate. Family and friends used to shake their heads and mutter ‘weird’ but I didn’t care. These were my heroes, they didn’t need to be popular.

One jockey hero had overcome all manner of illness and adversity, and kept riding because it was what he loved. A few years ago, I saw him at Kembla Grange races and I got all teenage fluttery when he, very politely, gave some random, drunk, yelling man in the crowd a tip. Always a hero.

I had a rugby league hero from my teen years who was my pinnacle of heroes and I didn’t think anyone could tip him off that pedestal. Then in 2012, he got knocked off. Over the last 5 years, I’ve watched this guy become a better footy player and a better person (in my mind anyway).

I wrote Deep Diving while thinking about these two rugby league heroes. I put things in the story that reflected my ideas about these men. My story hero was committed to football, but deeply wanted a family—wife and kids—yet he didn’t know how to get that, or he hadn’t met the right girl. Along came Samantha, my heroine, an athlete who’d recently retired and didn’t really know what she wanted. As their friendship-with-benefits continued, she started to think about a family, a future with this guy.

I didn’t know how to end Deep Diving. I’m not the most romantic soul, so grand romantic gestures aren’t really in my repertoire. I contemplate them, then go, ‘As if that would really happen’, and dream up something more ‘realistic’. So, in Deep Diving, I wondered if my hero could chuck his career to chase family life—and dismissed it as unrealistic.

Imagine my complete and utter surprise when earlier this year my real-life sporting hero did exactly that. He chucked his career to be with the woman he loves. Or maybe he hasn’t chucked his career entirely—but he’s certainly moving cities and has left the team he’s been with for 14 years to start a family. He said he’d been selfishly playing footy and focused on himself for a long time, and it was time to put other dreams ahead of playing footy.

He’s always said he doesn’t believe in fairy tales, just hard work, but his club have just given him a fairy tale finish after winning the grand final in style. After the grand final at the club awards night, he made the most beautiful speech of thanks; emotional, heartfelt, and publicly declared his love for his soon-to-be wife. He said she holds the #1 place in his heart.

I’ve learned a lot from my sporting heroes, but this year I’ve learned some important lessons—I should never dismiss things as unrealistic just because I’ve not experienced it. Reality is different for everyone. Sometimes real life is better than fiction. And sometimes your heroes leave you breathless … and that’s the best feeling in the world.

My latest sporting story, Team Player, is a ménage with two male footy players and a female journalist. I don’t know of any gay/bisexual male players in elite team sports in Australia … but you never know what the future holds.

You can find Cate here: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Team Player

She’s never been shy about what she wants – and now she wants them both…

Hannah Maynard, sports reporter, is sure it’s only her lust-filled fantasies linking Australian rugby league captain, Charlie Maxxin, with relative newcomer, Lyle Smythe-Jones. She and Charlie have shared quite a few steamy sessions over the years, so surely he’s not in a relationship with the young, unflappable player she’s dubbed Marble Boy?

Hannah lures Charlie to dinner and his reaction is all the answer she needs. But she doesn’t want to report on the biggest secret in Australian sport—she wants to take part. However, it’s not just Charlie’s decision and it can’t be just casual. If Hannah wants in, she has to be all in, with Lyle, with Charlie, and with the hottest action any of them have ever experienced.

 

ARRA newsletter #99

15 October 2017

Purple news

The October issue of the ARRA newsletter is out today. Members should have received the download code via email.

Here’s a quick run down on what you can find in the newsletter this month:

  • preliminary results from the newsletter review
  • early results from the annual romance reader survey
  • some breaking news for the Jayne Ann Krentz events
  • a special interview with Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman ahead of their book tour
  • the next #AuthorHour is on 25 October
  • Charlotte’s webwatch column this month asks readers what they would like to see more of in romances
  • don’t forget to try your hand at the Find the Heart giveaway—a $10 gift card to be won
  • and check out the events calendar—there are a lot of events coming up!

Plus our regular columns—romance roundup, publisher news, self-publishing highlights, events, reviews, freebies, author interviews and upcoming releases.

If anyone has any publishing news or deals to report, please send information through. And we are always looking for authors to do a Q&A for the newsletter. If you haven’t done one yet, please contact me at arra.editor@gmail.com.

Happy reading everyone!