Please welcome Monique McDonell to my chair!
Her new release Any Way You Build it sounds fabulous!
HI there...I am an Australian author who writes contemporary women's fiction including chick lit and romance.
I have written all my life especially as a child when I loved to write short stories and poetry. At University I studied Creative Writing as part of my Communication degree. Afterwards when I was busy working in public relations I didn't write for pleasure for quite a few years although I wrote many media releases, brochures and newsletters. (And I still do in my day-job!)
When I began to write again I noticed a trend - writing dark unhappy stories made me unhappy. So I made a decision to write a novel with a happy ending and I have been writing happy stories ever since.
I am the author of six stand alone novels and novellas including Mr. Right and Other Mongrels and Hearts Afire and the Upper Crust Series. Many of my novels focus on an Australian characters meeting and visiting US characters.
I live on Sydney's Northern Beaches with my husband and daughter where I enjoy drinking copious amounts of coffee and long walks on the beach.
To learn more about my books, my writing, my caffeine obsession and my upcoming books please visit www.moniquemcdonell.com.au.
Any Way You Build It
When single-mother Sarah pulls up in front of the house her aunt left her she has three goals; help her kids be happy and healthy, find a job and stay away from men. The last year has been a hellish roller-coaster and now she needs to create a stable life where everyone, including her, has their two-feet firmly planted on the ground. What she didn’t count on was a sexy neighbour who made keeping her focus and her balance way too hard.
Todd has two rules, never date locals and even more importantly never date women with kids. Growing up with his own mother and a revolving door of ineffectual step-fathers Todd has vowed never to put anyone in that position. He’s perfectly happy living his life with his Peter-pan syndrome undisturbed – until Sarah and her two adorable children move in across the street and turn everything upside down.
Todd isn’t the kind of guy who can stand back when someone needs help and Sarah clearly needs a lot. When Sarah gets injured Todd has no choice to step in and be a good neighbour who lends a hand, because he’s definitely not helping her because he likes her, after all that would be crazy.
Opportunity, proximity and attraction mean two neighbors determined to remain single have quite a struggle on their hands.
If you like tree houses, indoor camp outs and shameless flirting you’ll love Any Way You Build It.
Any Way You Plan It is Book 6 in The Upper Crust Series
Book 1 – Any Way You Slice It
Book 2 – Any Way You Dream It
Book 3 – Any Way You Fight It.
Book 4 – Any Way You Plan It
Book 5 – Any Way You Want It
Amazon Book Link
Amazon author page
A huge welcome today to Cheryl Adnams with a trip to a winery!
In 2014 my first novel hit the ebook shelves. “Bet On It” features a winemaker named Seth Muller who, with his two brothers, runs a winery in the stunning region of McLaren Vale in South Australia.
This first novel found a following of readers who enjoy stories based in rural Australian locations. So with Seth firmly planted in the hearts of readers, I turned to his older brother Brian. Less happy go lucky than Seth, Brian hasn’t had an easy life. His wife left him shortly after the boys lost their mother to cancer. But in “Chasing the Flames”, Brian finds happiness in the arms of local café owner Trisha Carne. Their path to true love is far from smooth with a pesky journalist, Brian’s ex-wife and a catastrophic bushfire threatening to derail their new-found relationship.
The final brother, Andrew, was a challenge. A notorious playboy, I’d written myself into a corner with Drew in the first two books and had to come up with something special to turn the bad boy good. In “Handpicked”, Andrew is reunited with childhood friend Taryn. They were each others first kiss at about eleven years of age, but that doesn’t mean they just fall into each other’s arms with ease. Taryn seems eager enough and Andrew is super keen, until Taryn’s little secret is revealed and knocks Andrew for six.
I was thrilled when my followers nagged constantly for me to hurry up and release the final Muller’s Field story. The conclusion to the Muller’s stories, gave me the chance to throw in a few curve balls for fans who have come to know the Muller’s as I do – as family.
I’ll miss the Muller boys, but luckily I live less than an hour from McLaren Vale, and can visit the location of their stories to soothe my woes with a nice bottle of Shiraz.
Buy Handpicked and all the Muller’s Field books at
Hi Annie. Thanks for inviting me to sit in your chair and discuss my novel.
Welcome, Renée. The title of your book, To Charm a Bluestocking, speaks strongly to Regency Romance, but it isn’t set there. Why that title?
When I told my husband the title, he said “A what? No-one will know what a bluestocking is.” I said “Only every historical romance reader. Ever.”
Although we in romance associate bluestockings with unusual, clever women, who usually aren’t perfectly beautiful; the term has more interesting origins. It became popular in England in 1750 when Elizabeth Montagu started a society for clever women to discuss literature and other elegant notions. As with anything that benefits women, it quickly became seen as dangerous. Society (and by that, I mean wealthy male peers) painted them as frumpy harridans who no graces. Romance has reclaimed it to denote clever women.
To Charm a Bluestocking is the first in a series of three about three women who graduate from medical school in Amsterdam. Josephine, the main character in To Charm a Bluestocking, is loosely based on my great-grandmother who achieved this difficult task herself. In doing the research about my great-grandmother, I discovered that there had been only 20 female doctors graduate in Holland between 1875 and 1910. Of which, my relative was one. I started thinking about what problems she would have faced, and which of those problems would resonate with readers today. This book is set in 1887; and includes many of the fun features of the Victorian era, such as train travel.
From there, To Charm a Bluestocking was built. Her two friends, Marie and Claire, make strong appearances in this book. Their stories are coming soon. You can keep in touch with me at my facebook page, or on my website.
She wants to be one of the world’s first female doctors; romance is not in her plans.
1887: Too tall, too shy and too bookish for England, Lady Josephine moves to Holland to become one of the world’s first female doctors. With only one semester left, she has all but completed her studies when a power-hungry professor, intent on marrying her for her political connections, threatens to prevent her graduation. Together with the other Bluestockings, female comrades-in-study, she comes up with a daring, if somewhat unorthodox plan: acquire a fake fiancé to provide the protection and serenity she needs to pass her final exams.
But when her father sends her Lord Nicholas St. George, he is too much of everything: too handsome, too charming, too tall and too broad and too distracting for Josephine’s peace of mind. She needed someone to keep her professor at bay, not keep her from her work with temptations of long walks, laughing, and languorous kisses.
Just as it seems that Josephine might be able to have it all: a career as a pioneering female doctor and a true love match, everything falls apart and Josephine will find herself in danger of becoming a casualty in the battle between ambition and love.
Sometimes you meet people through your writing that change the way you look at life. Incy Black, who I had the pleasure of meeting in London in 2014, and again last year, is one of those people! I offered her a blog post to promote her new book, but no... she doesn't believe in blatant buy my book promo posts. Her post is so beautiful, I hope you will see her wonderful voice, and the sort of writer she is, and go and and click to buy!
Incy is the one in the pink dress in the photo! This is how she describes herself:
It took a swan dive from a roof to convince Incy (aged 5) she wasn’t an avenging fairy and that no, she most certainly couldn’t fly. Bruised but undefeated she retreated deeper into her make-believe world populated with the brave and the poisonous.
When not fighting injustice and righting wrongs on ‘Planet Incy’, she works as a Marketing Director. (Unfortunately, her law degree languishes unused, the distinction between good and evil proving too worrisome in real life.)
Her five children are well versed in what scares her (most things) and delight in pushing her neurotic buttons—at their peril.
Incy taught me not to take myself so seriously, and to love being an author, and to focus on the love of what we do, and not let the little publishing hiccups we meet on the way, take us from our journey. Her post below is one I will cherish.
Australians are a little crazy—but we love them.
Annie Seaton is laid back. She reminds me of an elegant glider noiselessly catching life’s updrafts, no fuss, no bother. If she does have feathers to ruffle, I’ve never found them. So with that in mind, rather than discuss my new release Hard to Protect or my writing process, I prefer to share why my in-person encounter with Annie was a blast—and will forever remain indelibly imprinted on my psyche.
Picture four Australian women—statuesque, gorgeous, proud—travelling the globe. I’m not saying they wrecked havoc, but they came pretty damn close. And that was just in London. The refined folk of Bloomsbury might recover—one day, but they will never forget.
Annie, Savannah, Diane and Kristen ‘pulled’ in a rooftop beer garden, brazenly swapping names and business cards with some young builders. Such was their enthusiasm for the second pub, I’m fairly certain they offered to partnership up with the owner. They wandered off—and got lost—in Trafalgar Square. I won’t mention they did the same on the Underground. None of this was bad, it was curiously endearing to a Brit.
But, Oh. My. God. They kept getting bitten—by a wild and wanton impulse.
Seemed like every ten minutes, up would go their arms, back would go their heads, out would come their war cry, “Ozzie, Ozzie, Ozzie, Oi, Oi, Oi,” loud enough to fell all buildings within a three mile radius! It was shameless. It was hilarious. It was terrifying, mortifying, too. And as an experience it ranks right up there with the top ten in my life. It will also, along with the personalities involved, one day find its way into one of my books.
Go Aussie women, go—never change!
Some Black Op missions are too dark—even for him.
Volcanic hot and ambitious Special Agent Will Berwick doesn’t give a damn what his orders are, he’s not taking the enemy—the lovely, but arctic Dr. Angel Treherne—to bed. Nor will she die on his watch, most certainly not by his hand. Oh, he’ll root out her secrets. But his own way—teaching her a much-deserved lesson while he’s at it: that no one messes with his career plan just because they’re a little peeved with him.
Caught up in a tangled web of deceit and betrayal, psychotherapist Angel trusts no one—certainly not alpha-cocky, cunning Will Berwick. First he’s hostile, then he’s charming, now he wants to protect her? Why? What’s he hiding? With her life—and heart—on the line, she needs to know.
With the risks high and personal, can Will and Angel agree the dangerous choices they must make?
Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon Aus Amazon Canada Apple iBooks Barnes & Noble Kobo
A big welcome to Heather Garside. I had the pleasure of reading Colonial Daughter a few months ago and it was one of the most enjoyable reads of 2016 for me.
The cover is fabulous and the buy links are at the bottom of the page.
My Writing Journey
I have always dabbled in writing, since composing my first poem at the age of seven. Growing up on a 47,000 acre cattle station with only the company of my two brothers and sister, encouraged us to rely on our own resources and to develop lively imaginations. I completed my primary schooling through correspondence, with my mother’s help. That, and being an avid reader, formed a strong basis for writing.
I have written four complete novels over the years and have another in progress, as well as participating in a number of other collaborative writing and publishing projects. I’m by no means prolific and am too easily distracted to be a full-time writer, but my involvement in the writing world has enriched my life in many ways.
Colonial Daughter, originally published as The Cornstalk, was my second novel and was written very much from the heart. The plot was inspired by my parents’ stories of their pioneering ancestors, and the setting came alive for me after reading a book published to commemorate the centenary of a tiny Central Queensland town called Banana.
Banana was a busy teamsters’ hub in the late 19th century and the wealth of detail in this little book fascinated and inspired me. Now, having honed my skills since I originally penned Colonial Daughter, I hope this new edited version with a fresh cover and new title will do the story justice.
Anna Jacobs is the fourth most borrowed author of adult fiction in the UK library system. She was thrilled to pieces to hear that news recently, and I'm thrilled to have her in my chair today!
Please welcome Anna to the chair!
I’ve been thinking about what a ‘brand’ is lately. The word is tossed around in writing circles as if it’s the key to heaven, ie getting published and staying published. (The latter is as hard as the former, by the way.)
To my mind the main component of authors’ brands is their voice ie how they tell their stories and the sort of stories they choose to tell. That’s what readers go for.
It’s exactly like training for a sport: you become good by doing it and working hard at whatever training is needed. For writers, the need is to write and (except in extremely rare cases) write a lot! One book isn’t usually enough to develop good story-telling skills. And notice that I call it story telling. That to me is the crucial element in a novel.
Twenty years ago industry wisdom said you need to write half a million to a million words to learn your craft and settle into your own style. I don’t see that mentioned these days but I think it’s still true. Instead, people talk about PR/brand and being on social media, as if they give you some golden key. They may help as you go along but IMHO only if you have developed your skills and style first.
So . . . good luck with your writing – how close are you to having written your first half million words?
You can find all of Anna's books here:
What an amazing achievement!
Her most recent release is A Stranger in Honeyfield. Click on the cover below.
Welcome to my chair, Bernadette!
I think there is little of me in all of my heroines, whether it be my young idealistic self, as in Princess Avenger, the healer, as in The Lady’s Choice or the leader, as in Esta from The Lady and the Pirate.
My heroes are a little more difficult to track down. They come to me out of the blue or suggested by conversations I have sometimes. One of my author friends mentioned a pirate when they saw the ship on the front cover of The Lord and the Mermaid. I realised Samael, my pirate, would be the ideal addition to the Wildecoast series. And Samael’s looks are based on my son Sam.
As my books are all in a series, sometimes the characters just develop out of a previous story. You never really know which secondary character might get their own story down the track.
I guess it’s lucky my stories are only around 70K long so it’s no as daunting as working on something over the 100K.
Of course, I’ve already admitted that some of my traits have crept into each of my ladies. They can all stand up for themselves, are feisty, not afraid to get into a fight and will usually say exactly what they feel. Passion is a common ingredient whether it be for a cause, or for a favourite horse or, yes, their hero.
Join Romance Writer’s Australia or a similar organisation so you can learn your craft. Try to improve all the time.
Working with an editor is one of the best learning opportunities I’ve ever had. I’ve had the pleasure of working with six editors and they’ve all pushed me to be a better writer.
There’s nothing like escaping – and one of the best ways I know how is by sitting down and writing. Of course the best escape is a real one but when that’s not possible, disappearing into a virtual world, one where you can create your own setting, characters, events and emotions is, for me, the next best thing.
I started writing books set in idyllic country places is because I lived in the city – or at least, the suburbs - but in my heart I wanted to be sitting on a veranda gazing out at the bush. Luckily I did get to do that fairly often, at our holiday home near beautiful Milton on the NSW south coast. The time I spent there fuelled my engines – writing and otherwise – and gave me the inspiration for my first novel Blackwattle Lake.
Since then I’ve written three more books, all set in or around country towns – my visit to the Queensland outback last year gave me ideas for my latest release The Crossroads.
The setting is only one element. Creating strong characters, coming up with complicated emotional plots centered around family and relationships and being drawn into the story as I write all help me to escape in the same way I hope my readers do when they sit down with one of my books.
What do you do to escape when you can’t do the ‘real thing’ ?
Pamela Cook is a city girl with a country lifestyle and too many horses. Her rural fiction novels feature feisty women, tangled family relationships and a healthy dose of romance. Her first novel, Blackwattle Lake, was published in 2012 after being selected for the Queensland Writer’s Centre/Hachette Manuscript Development Program. Her following novels were Essie’s Way (2013) and Close To Home (2015) and her fourth book, The Crossroads, is due for release in December 2016. An eclectic reader, Pamela also enjoys writing poetry, memoir pieces and literary fiction and is proud to be a Writer Ambassador for Room To Read, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes literacy and gender equality in developing countries. When she’s not writing she wastes as much time as possible riding her handsome quarter horse, Morocco.
Pamela loves to connect with readers both in person and online. You will often find her lurking in one of these places:
Welcome back, Darcy Delany!
Does Valentine’s day give you a sinking feeling?
Darcy Delany hears you!
Sweet Revenge is an anti-Valentine’s Day offering from Darcy Delany. Here’s the blurb:
Revenge is a dish best served cold according to Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, but Darcy Delany turns up the heat in Sweet Revenge.
Murderous grandmothers, harried husbands and bullied employees take matters into their own hands in this entertaining collection of short stories from a sassy storyteller.
Darcy dropped by today to tell us a little more about this book:
Valentine’s Day is not a day everyone enjoys, so I wanted to create a collection of stories for those feeling cranky with cupid on February 14!
Ever since reading the The Count of Monte Christo I’ve become intrigued by stories of revenge, particularly in relation to love. For those who haven’t read that book, it’s the story of one man’s intricate retribution on those who had him falsely imprisoned, resulting in his fiancé marrying another. What struck me about the story was how easily the passion of love can be turned in other directions, and how devastatingly effective that redirected energy can be.
My characters in Sweet Revenge are every day people who have been pushed to their limits, are sick of waiting for karma to start working, and take action in entertaining ways. We’ve all had those moments, whether we want to admit it publicly is another matter! They’re stories to make people smile when they’re having a bad day - letting them take revenge vicariously, without the stress of plotting and planning!
You can buy Sweet Revenge from Amazon.
About Darcy Delany:
Darcy Delany writes fiction with sassy heroines and heroes you love to love!
She makes a mean sangria and loves karaoke.
You can find out more about Darcy and her work on her website at www.storieswithsass.com.au.
If you’d like to keep in touch, you can connect with Darcy on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, or subscribe to her newsletter, Sassy Snippets.
Annie loves sharing her writing chair with special guests! If you'd like a turn...please email her! firstname.lastname@example.org