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Release day: Jasmine Sea

14 November 2017

Today is the official release of Jasmine Sea by Phillipa Nefri Clark (book 2, River’s End Love Story) (ebook and paperback, self-published). Here’s the blurb:

Sometimes facing the past is the only way forward.

Starting over never felt better. Christie Ryan adores the little cottage she’s renovating, the seaside town that embraced her, and Martin Blake, the man she longs to marry. Ex-fiancé Derek Hobbs is finally out of the picture, and there are no more secrets in her life or mysteries to solve.

Will the arrival of a mysterious woman who commissions a portrait from Martin under a cloud of secrecy break her after all? Unrest and suspicion remind Christie that happiness can be fleeting, and when the peaceful town is shattered by crime, her past is again thrust into the limelight.

With one chance and only minutes to save those she loves, Christie comes face to face with her greatest fear—and there is no way around it.

Jasmine Sea follows on from The Stationmaster’s Cottage, set shortly after its stunning conclusion.

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

After releasing The Stationmaster’s Cottage last February, I was inundated with requests for a sequel. Until then it had not been on my radar as The Stationmaster’s Cottage was written as a standalone. The idea intrigued me. I looked for loose ends, no matter how small. I scribbled notes everywhere, posing questions to myself on a title, what would I do to my characters, and when to set it. Two things played in my mind: had Christie’s fears/hang-ups been resolved, and did other characters need the chance to grow? The answers were no and yes, and once a name came along, nothing would stop the process. The Stationmaster’s Cottage took around fifteen years to release. Jasmine Sea I wrote in five months and will release exactly nine months after Cottage.

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

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Release day: The Outback Governess

14 November 2017

Today is the official release of The Outback Governess by Sarah Williams (print and ebook, Serenade Publishing). Here’s the blurb:

When special-needs teacher Paige, takes up the position of Governess for three young children in the Queensland outback, she has no idea just how much and how quickly she would come to love the dusty, dry country, and the family who desperately need her.

Logan was heartbroken when his wife died, leaving him to raise their three children with the help of his aging parents on their remote cattle station. To avoid the constant reminder of the love he lost, he works on a mine in Mt Isa, meaning he only sees his family week on, week off.

But then tragedy strikes and Paige and Logan are forced to work together to look after the children, alone on the station. As well as being their teacher, Paige also becomes a substitute mother and teaches Logan how to be a parent again. A role he has avoided since losing his wife.

Can Paige bring the family back together or have the wounds of the past cut too deep?

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

I recently spent some time in Longreach, Qld, where we visited the School of the Air classrooms and facilities. I took my four children with me and my husband and I had to drag them out. They loved the school and the staff so much. They still ask when they will start doing SOTA and get to stay home every day. During my research for The Outback Governess I learnt how much is involved for the tutors preparing lessons and supervising them. I take my hat off to all the mums and govies in outback and rural Australia who juggle teaching, motherhood and life on the land. You are all heroines!

You can find out more about this book at Sarah’s website or buy it via books2read.

Guest blogger: Esther Campion

12 November 2017

It’s early Sunday morning when I’m writing this—7.30 is early for a Sunday in my world—and I’m in one of my favourite spots in my Tasmanian home, curled up on the couch with my ‘shadow’ warming my feet. Yes, the Labradorable is up here on the couch too! I especially love this time of day when the rest of the household sleeps on and I can think.

As some of you will know, Leaving Ocean Road, my debut novel, came out in July, turning my life into what seemed like a series of interviews, author events and book signings. I will readily admit to being scared out of my wits before that first book launch here in Devonport where I actually believed I’d give myself a heart attack and had to take myself off to the toilets and give myself a good talking to along the lines of ‘Get a grip of yourself Campion … this is a wonderful opportunity and those lovely people have come out specially on this wild and woolly winter’s night just to hear about yourself and your lovely book.’ So, after a few deep breaths, I went back out and found that once I started, I loved it especially when people asked me questions. The interest and positive feedback has been very reassuring, and I am so grateful to all the people who have supported and encouraged me. As I was lucky enough to land a two-book deal with Hachette Australia, I am now hard at work on the next one where a couple of the support cast from Leaving Ocean Road are taking centre stage. Some women’s fiction writers, especially Irish ones, have a knack for linking books and keeping characters alive, while at the same time allowing the books to stand completely alone so if you haven’t read them all, the characters are still familiar to you. It reminds me of soap operas; when you miss a couple of episodes, but you still know exactly what’s going on. For me, it’s all about investing in my characters. You know the feeling when you finish a book you love, and don’t want it to end? Well imagine writing that book and all the time spent with those characters and you get the idea of how attached writers like me get to those ‘people’. I’ve already had lots of readers come back to me asking what happens to some of them!

Although I have only recently begun to consider myself a writer, the process has made me realise that I’ve actually been writing for years. Since my teens, I’ve kept a journal; nothing systematic, just thoughts thrown down early of a morning or maybe when I’m lying in bed, sometimes in those hollow hours in the middle of the night if I can’t sleep. I don’t know if many of you journal, but it can be the most therapeutic thing. I use it when I’m grappling with a problem, usually in a relationship, or when I get a flash of inspiration and jot down a few goals. In fact, I hope no one ever reads my journals as they will think I’m a man-hating yoyo-dieting chocoholic! As it happens, I also have an addiction to buying notebooks, but a friend of mine recently introduced me to a clever way of getting through the backlog that has amassed on my bookshelf over years. Have you heard of bullet journaling? A quick look on Google or You Tube will show you what I’m on about, but believe me, after two months of the practice, I am totally won over and am nearly through a whole notebook that might have taken me a year to fill up.

I’d love to hear if any of you journal and maybe why you do so. You can leave a comment below. Hachette have kindly offered a copy of Leaving Ocean Road for a giveaway. Everyone who leaves a comment will go in the draw. I’m sorry everyone can’t win it, but I will be most grateful to read all your comments. The giveaway will close on 26 November.

A massive thanks to ARRA for their support for Leaving Ocean Road and the opportunity to connect with the Australian romance reading community.

If you would like to follow me, here’s the link to my author page on Facebook.

Leaving Ocean Road

Twenty years ago, Ellen O’Shea left her beloved Ireland to make a new life in Australia. Now a popular local in a small coastal town, but struggling to cope with the death of her much-loved Greek husband, Nick, Ellen finds her world turned upside down when an unexpected visitor lands on her doorstep. The arrival of Gerry Clancy, her first love from Ireland, may just be the catalyst that pulls Ellen out of her pit of grief, but it will also trigger a whole new set of complications for her and those she holds dear.

Home is where the heart is – but where exactly is home? Can Ellen and Gerry’s rekindled romance withstand the passage of time, family, young adult children with their own lives, and the shock disclosure of a long-held secret that will put all their closest relationships at risk?

Set in Ireland, Greece and small-town coastal Australia, Leaving Ocean Road is a warm-hearted, poignant story about treasuring our memories while celebrating our new beginnings.

Feature book: Secrets at Wongan Creek

8 November 2017

Secrets at Wongan Creek by Juanita Kees

The Wongan Creek farming community is doing it tough. And their anger is focused in one direction.

Tameka Chalmers will do whatever it takes to keep her secrets. She saw something when she was younger but can’t believe it is real and actually happened. The latest incident has her convinced that perhaps what she saw was real. After Tameka was caught with the boy next door by her father, he locked Tameka in her room, forced her mother to leave and then gave Tameka an ultimatum. Tameka has stayed in case her mother returns. She has endured the bullying and harassment of her father for many years, and fear has also kept her on the farm.

Harley Baker is the boy next door. He is still hot for Tameka and believes she is his forever girl. He has not had face to face contact with Tameka since they were caught together by her father when they were both nineteen. Eight long years. When Tameka nearly dies in a fire it creates a connection he is desperate not to break again and wants her to admit that she wants to be with him.

Louis, Tameka’s father, goes missing and with the homestead being partially burned, she stays with Harley. One day she makes a gruesome discovery and the secrets are finally exposed. Tameka has some decisions to make.

I really liked the understanding that Harley brings to the story. He is committed to Tameka, after eight years, even though he struggles with how she deals with situations. And shuts him out. But when her secrets are finally exposed, he is still there insisting they can have the new beginning. It will take some time for Tameka to get through her issues but we, as readers, know that Harley has the love for them to get through.

I really loved this story. I like that the couples are from a small farming community and it deals with issues facing many communities. There are the additional aspects that each couple has to face so they can be together, and I really hope that there will be more about the Wongan Creek community. I am really looking forward to seeing how Harley and Tameka’s plans develop into the future.

Reviewed by Heather

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

Release day: Addicted To Love

7 November 2017

Today is the official release of Addicted To Love by Christa Maurice (ebook, self-published). Here’s the blurb:

1977

Los Angeles, California

After she catches her fiance in bed with another woman, Colleen Duncan accepts a job that takes her across the country where chance finds her with two boyfriends, police officer Nick O’Brien and paramedic, Paul Luis. She likes them both, but before she can decide, her ex arrives in town and begins stalking her. As other factors ramp up her stress, she goes looking for ways to relax and finds drugs. When a confrontation between Nick and her ex causes the ex to commit suicide, Colleen plunges into her addiction.

Then she finds out how difficult recovery can be.

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

I have long been obsessed with cops, firefighters, and addiction. When I was a kid it was Emergency! and later I discovered its sister show, Adam-12. Then I grew up and bought a house three blocks from the former home of one of the founders of AA. (Dr Bob’s birthday weekend is noisy around here.) A long time ago I worked in a chain bookstore that no longer exists (and the world is poorer for it) so this book is an attempt to combine all those passions and relive some glory days of bookselling.

You can find out more about this book, including buy links, at Christa’s website.

All ARRA members who leave a comment on this post will go in the draw to win one of two copies of the book. The giveaway will close on 21 November.

 

Release day: A Secret Scottish Christmas

6 November 2017

Today is the official release of A Secret Scottish Christmas by Regan Walker (book 4, Agents of the Crown) (ebook and print, self-published). Here’s the blurb:

Spies and Scots and Shipmasters, oh my!

Scotland 1819

Twin brothers Nash and Robbie Powell of Powell & Sons Shipping, London, sail with their fellow Agents of the Crown to Scotland for a secret celebration of Christmastide, a holiday long frowned upon by the Scottish Kirk. But more than Christmas is being kept secret. The two brothers have accepted an assignment from the Home Secretary Lord Sidmouth to ferret out a fugitive fomenting rebellion among the Scots.

Aileen Stephen, the only daughter of an Aberdeen shipbuilder, had to be clever, devious and determined to gain her place in the family business. She succeeded to become a designer of highly coveted ships. One night, a man’s handsome face appears to her in a dream. When two men having that same face arrive on a ship full of Londoners, Ailie wonders what her second sight is telling her. Is the face she saw a portender of the future, a harbinger of danger, or both? And which of the two Englishmen is the one in her dream?

Older than Nash by a mere five minutes, Robbie has always been protective of his twin. When he realizes Nash is attracted to the sister of their Scottish host, he thinks to help matters along. But Nash wants no help from his brother, not where Ailie Stephen is concerned because Robbie is attracted to the girl himself!

Two brothers vie for the affection of the Scottish lass but only one stirs her passion. Which one will it be? And what will she do when she learns they are spies?

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

Among the things I love are spy stories set in turbulent times, shipmasters who have mastered the sea and the country of Scotland. All of them come together in my new Regency romance, A Secret Scottish Christmas, set on the north-east coast of Scotland. Britain was certainly in turmoil then. With high taxes from the Napoleonic wars and the lack of any Parliamentary representation for the growing numbers of workers in the north, the winds of rebellion were stirring. When Lord Sidmouth gets word of a man of the Scottish gentry raising emotions in Scotland, he sends two of his agents north. They just happen to be identical twins. Their cover to get them there? An invitation to a “secret” Christmastide celebration at the home of a successful shipbuilder in Arbroath. Into the mix steps a beautiful lass with fiery red hair and two loyal dogs she has named “Goodness” and “Mercy”. Throw in a snowball fight, ice skating on a frozen pond and a trip to Stonehaven for Hogmanay and to see Dunnottar’s ghosts, and you have a Christmas to be long remembered.

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

All ARRA members who leave a comment on this post will go in the draw to win one of 2 copies of The Holly & The Thistle, the novella that introduces you to the couple who is hosting the Christmastide gathering in A Secret Scottish Christmas. The giveaway will close on 20 November.

 

Release day: Heart Note

6 November 2017

Today is the official release of Heart Note by Cassandra O’Leary (Spritzer Chicks #1) (ebook, self-published). Here’s the blurb:

Love is like a fine perfume. The top note draws you in, an instant attraction, but the Heart Note is the true essence. Like true love – a great perfume should be a woman’s perfect match.

At least, that’s what perfume counter manager, Lily Lucas, tells her customers in one of Australia’s largest department stores.

It’s almost Christmas, the store is bedecked with baubles and Lily has about eleventy billion gifts to wrap and sell. She and her team of spritzer chicks are glamorous, professional and hoping they don’t have to wear the hideous red onesies and reindeer antlers the store manager has in mind.

The high point of Lily’s work life is Christos Cyriakos, ex-cop, security guard, possible Greek god. He’s a mystery box she’d love to unwrap. But can she trust him?

All Lily wants for Christmas is to kiss Christos (and more), catch a band of thieves running amok in the store, and live happily ever after. Is that too much to wish for?

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

Heart Note is the first in a new series of novellas titled Spritzer Chicks, set in and around a department store perfume counter. I actually worked on fine fragrance and cosmetics counters for several years when I was studying, so I had my research done! It’s a Christmas romcom, since the season is one of the biggest few weeks in the whole retail year. When you’re working on a perfume counter, it’s fun but also manic and exhausting … I was a bit like my heroine, Lily, about to fall off my high heels at the end of a long day. I never fell in love with a security guard though!

You can find out more about this book at Cassandra’s website or buy it from books2read.