Guest blogger: Tania Joyce
It’s all … Strictly Business
Standalone titles were all I envisaged writing. I’m a plotter, I had no plans to write a series. It’s funny how things can change.
Propositions (book 1 in the Strictly Business series), my debut novel, was written as a single title. But day after day, one of the sub-characters kept niggling away inside my head. Pleas and demands came to me from my readers, bloggers and fans, so I finally gave in. After much plotting, planning and a great deal of research, the sequel, Acquisitions, made the Strictly Business series come to life.
Together, the stories possess a ‘city vs country’ feel. While Propositions is all about the fast-paced corporate life, glitz and glamour in Sydney, Acquisitions has more of a rural pace, set in the wine region of the Hunter Valley. I grew up in the country, but now I’m a city girl. While I feel more at home among the bright lights and with a pair of stilettos strapped to my feet, I still love the outdoors, camping and horse riding. My love of city escapes came shining though in Jessica Mason, the heroine in Propositions.
When writing, I don’t often think about the elements that influence me. The stories come to me; I write them. It’s only afterwards, often during book promotional activities or at events, people ask the question, ‘What influences you to write this?’ It’s only then do I realise how many of my life experiences I have utilised.
My own career has a strong impact, especially in Propositions. I like to write about strong, career-minded woman. Women who are at the top of their game, fight for what they believe in and are rewarded for their hard work. I have drawn on my own experiences from working many years in professional marketing. The constant struggles I endured while working in male-dominated industries and with employers who possessed old boys-club mindsets has given me grit determination and I think readers will see that feistiness in my characters.
When writing Propositions, I was going through the phase of high school and university reunions, and catching up with friends I had not seen for years. I was faced with meeting old boyfriends, girlfriends and was intrigued by all the life choices we had made to end up where we were. It made me reflect on my own situation and realised that in spite of all the hurdles, challenges, experiences and decisions I’ve made, I wouldn’t have done anything differently. This helped form the foundation for my main character, Jessica Mason. Regardless of everything she has been through, she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Travel, my love of shoes, wine and sparkles all play a part in my writing. I have been fortunate enough to visit many countries around the world and love to write about the places I have seen. My weakness is shoes—there are always shoes in my stories. As the Disney princesses say ‘One shoe can change your life.’ It may be a Jimmy Choo or a steel-cap boot, but all shoes are worthy of a mention.
Acquisitions took a while to come to me. I knew the main hero from writing him into the first book, but my heroine, Kelleigh, revealed herself slowly. A couple of friends of mine where going through some personal struggles. Seeing them start over from scratch after tough times made me admire their strength and courage. This formed the foundation for Kelleigh.
I love the fact these women still have hope, that one day they’ll find someone to love, who treats them right and they’ll find their happy ever after. This is why I write romance—a happy ever after is always guaranteed.
Acquisitions (Strictly Business, book 2)
A new start. A short term project. That’s all it was meant to be.
Losing his wife in a car accident has left Troy Smith doubtful of ever finding love again. He’s tried, but failed. Now he thinks he’s found solace as a hard-working business partner at Gumtrees Winery.
Kelleigh Johnstone needs a break from dealing with the mess and debt her fraudulent ex-boyfriend left behind. The opportunity to manage a project in the Hunter Valley seems like the perfect escape.
When these two strangers meet, a one-night stand delivers unexpected surprises. Troy is shocked when he finds out Kelleigh represents the company trying to purchase his vineyard for a new golf resort. In order to protect his home and community, Troy must do whatever it takes to stop the project from proceeding.
Kelleigh and Troy may be on opposite sides of the boardroom table, but when they are together the attraction is hard to deny. With livelihoods at stake and broken hearts vulnerable, who will risk everything for another chance at love?
Tania Joyce is an Australian author of erotic, contemporary and new adult romance novels. Her stories thread romance, drama and passion into beautiful locations ranging from the dazzling lights of Sydney Harbour or the glitter of New York, to the rural countryside of the Hunter Valley or Darling Downs.
She’s widely travelled, has a diverse background in the corporate world and has a love for shopping, shoes and shiraz. She’s rarely seen without glitter, sparkle and stilettos.
Tania draws on her real-life experiences and combines them with her very vivid imagination to form the foundation of her novels. She likes to write about strong-minded, career-oriented heroes and heroines that go through drama-filled hell, have steamy encounters and risk everything as they endeavour to find their happy-ever-after.
Tania shuffles the hours in her day between part-time work, family life and writing. One day she hopes to find balance!