• Writers on Wednesday - Rose
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    Today for Writers on Wednesday we feature Iris Blobel and her new release In The Shadow of a Lie

    Today we feature Iris Blobel and her new novel – In The Shadow of a Lie.

    In the Shdow of a Lie new release banner

    Let me take you to New Zealand

    I’m happy to share with you another story which is set in NZ.

    If you love Australian / New Zealand romance, be sure to get your copy today!

    About IN THE SHADOWS OF A LIE

    In the shdow of a Lie pull quote

    The discovery of her mother’s diaries unravels a secret which sends Lani on a journey to New Zealand …

    She lost her mother in an accident. Now, Lani Dekker is determined to meet the man who, according to her mother’s diaries, is her father. He’s not what she expected, a bit on the extravagant side, but she soon warms up to him, thanks no less to Dylan, her father’s neighbour. Despite her attraction to Dylan, she can’t figure out whether he’s a friend or foe.

    Dylan Harper is merely going through the daily motions after his wife died in a ski crash. That is, until his life is turned upside down by the arrival of his neighbour’s daughter. Their attraction is instant, even more so when they wake up in the same bed after an earthquake. However, it’s her accusation that his interest in her involves her father’s money rather than their mutual magnetism that derails their newfound bond.

    Will finding the truth about her parents be a chance for Lani and Dylan to overcome their differences?

    Get your copy of IN THE SHADOWS OF A LIE today on Amazon

    What reviewers say about the story:

    5 stars:

    A beautiful plot line with very emotional characters.. The path to love is difficult and has lot of interesting turns for the characters.Loved the book and the leads.

    5 stars:

    Heartwarming story about love, forgiveness and acceptance. Lani’s grieving her Mother’s death and trying to cope, when her grandpa opens up and tells her about an untruth, lie. She finds her lost father, unbeknownst to him he even has a daughter. Toby, Lani’s birth father, never married or loved another woman after her mother. Toby’s neighbor, Dylan, and long time friend had lost his wife after only 2 years of marriage and he is still missing her when Dylan finds Lani in the stairwell of Toby’s home. Lani’s mother’s belief in memories and forgiveness helps Lani move on in forgiveness toward her Grandpa, accepting and loving her Dad, Toby and loving Dylan for who he is.

    Add IN THE SHADOWS OF A LIE to your Goodreads TBR !

    In the Shdow of a Lie cover

    Where to find Iris:

    Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bQ68rL

    Website http://www.irisblobel.com/

    Blog http://www.irisblobel.com/blog

    Twitter https://twitter.com/_iris_b

    Facebook https://www.facebook.com/IrisBlobel

    Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4067254.Iris_Blobel

    Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Iris-Blobel/e/B00FNFP3LI/

    Other Online Bookstores https://books2read.com/irisblobel

     

  • Falling for the Hokcey Player
    Blog

    Q&A with Jayne Kingsley to launch Falling for the Hockey Player

    Hopeless Romantics banner

    I’m doing Q&A’s with all the Hopeless Romantics of Willow Ridge Authors and this week it’s Jayne Kingsley’s turn.

    Jayne is a fellow Australian author who I have been lucky enough to meet in person! We’re looking forward to getting together to celebrate the launch of this series.

    1. What made you decide to write about this particular hero? 

    I love ice hockey and have always wanted to write a sweet ice hockey romance
    2. If you could spend an hour in Willow Ridge where would you go? 
    The book store of course! Followed by a trip to Latte Da to grab a coffee and then I’d meander to the Village Green and find a spot near the gazebo to read. Bliss!
    3. What did you enjoy most about writing this story? 
    I loved writing the meet cute between Georgia and Blake- they have a past where she left him so it was nice to turn the tables a little (hehe).
    4. What’s your favorite thing about writing small town romance? 
    The community and secondary characters. I love to include a few quirky characters and cute pets
    5. Are you or have you ever been in a bookclub yourself?
    No I haven’t! I’d love to join one though.

    Falling for the Hokcey Player

    Falling for the Deputy: A Small-Town Southern Romance (Hopeless Romantics of Willow Ridge Book 4)

    Can a group of hopeless romantics finally find love? Or are they destined always to be a bridesmaid and never the bride?

    After losing at love twice, Barbara Wilton needs a change, some place far from her home in Boston, so she takes a position as manager of a small branch bank in Willow Ridge, Georgia. She’s done with relationships and ready to concentrate on her career. The experience in Willow Ridge will help her move forward in the banking industry, but she doesn’t plan to stay there permanently. Nevertheless, an invitation to join the Hopeless Romantics book club, a position on a planning committee, helping a little league team that needs coaching, and being adopted by a stray dog begin to wind her into the community.

    Chris Harper was a police officer in Charlotte until his marriage fell apart. With his mother and elderly aunt in deteriorating health, Chris returns home to Willow Ridge to help them and takes a job as chief deputy to the local sheriff. The wound left by his failed marriage is still raw and, despite his mother’s nagging, he’s not interested in pursuing any relationship, even with the attractive new bank manager.

    Fate, helped by a few local residents, conspires to push Barbara and Chris together. They meet during a false alarm at the bank and then he assists her with a car problem. But when his aunt receives a foreclosure notice on her house, Chris is angry with Barbara for not warning him that his aunt was behind on her payments.

    She agrees to help him work out the problem with the bank, but the deeper issues between them keep flaring. Can two wary, wounded people learn to trust again and find happiness together? Find out in this sweet, second chance, enemies to lovers romance.

    The Hopeless Romantics of Willow Ridge series are sweet, small-town contemporary romances. Each book is a standalone and can be read individually or as part of the series.

    Hopeless Romantics of Willow Ridge series
    Book 1: Falling for the Boss
    Book 2: Falling for the Fireman
    Book 3: Falling for the Doctor
    Book 4: Falling for the Deputy
    Book 5: Falling for the Hockey Player
    Book 6: Falling for the Single Dad
    Book 7: Falling for the Farmer
    Book 8: Falling for the Scotsman

    Get it here

    And if you’d like to see the previous week’s Q&A click here.

  • Karen McCulloch release week banner
    Blog

    Q&A with Karen McCulloch to launch Falling for the Deputy

    I’m doing Q&A’s with all the Hopeless Romantics of Willow Ridge Authors and this week it’s Karen McCullough’s turn.

    Happy release week for Falling for the Deputy by Karen McCullough

    3. What made you decide to write about this particular hero?

    As a long-time mystery writer as well doing romance and fantasy, I’ve spent a fair amount of time around police and other law enforcement officers. U like and admire them. Most of them are good people, trying their best to help others and keep peace. I was intrigued by the idea of a man moving from the fast-paced life of a police officer in a large city (Charlotte) to a small town to become the Chief Deputy.  Why would he do that and how would it affect him?

    2. If you could spend an hour in Willow Ridge where would you go?

     Latte Da!  Love coffee and it seems like a warm and friendly place. Plus Georgia’s pastries…

    3. What did you enjoy most about writing this story?

    Pretty much everything. The heroine of the book is partly modeled after my sister, who is a banker, but not in a small Southern town. I knew that both my hero and heroine were coming off heart-breaking losses and that recovering from those and being open to a new relationship wouldn’t be easy. And of course I threw a few other obstacles in their way as well. But I also brought in the stray dog Mookie, and he tried to steal the show, along with my heroine’s heart.  Once I had the basic idea of what would happen, the book almost wrote itself.

    4. What’s your favorite thing about writing small town romance?

    As best I can remember, this is actually my first small-town romance and it’s required a considerable change of mindset. I grew up in a suburb of New York City and have lived in cities (or their suburbs) all my life. My books generally have urban settings. However, my husband is from a very small town in South Carolina, and we’ve spent enough time there and in other small towns in the southeast that I’ve been able at times to immerse myself in that culture and get the feel for it. There are a lot of things to like about writing in a small town setting – a warmth and friendliness to the people that you often don’t find in larger cities; the fact that everyone knows everyone else and their history;  and a simpler, more down-to-earth culture.

    5. Are you or have you ever been in a bookclub yourself?

    No, but I know people who are. I’ve been tempted to join because, of course, I love to read and do it a lot, but I think an author has very different perspectives on books and I’m not sure it would be helpful to other readers.

    Falling for the Deputy

    Falling for the Deputy: A Small-Town Southern Romance (Hopeless Romantics of Willow Ridge Book 4) 

    Can a group of hopeless romantics finally find love? Or are they destined always to be a bridesmaid and never the bride?

    After losing at love twice, Barbara Wilton needs a change, some place far from her home in Boston, so she takes a position as manager of a small branch bank in Willow Ridge, Georgia. She’s done with relationships and ready to concentrate on her career. The experience in Willow Ridge will help her move forward in the banking industry, but she doesn’t plan to stay there permanently. Nevertheless, an invitation to join the Hopeless Romantics book club, a position on a planning committee, helping a little league team that needs coaching, and being adopted by a stray dog begin to wind her into the community.

    Chris Harper was a police officer in Charlotte until his marriage fell apart. With his mother and elderly aunt in deteriorating health, Chris returns home to Willow Ridge to help them and takes a job as chief deputy to the local sheriff. The wound left by his failed marriage is still raw and, despite his mother’s nagging, he’s not interested in pursuing any relationship, even with the attractive new bank manager.

    Fate, helped by a few local residents, conspires to push Barbara and Chris together. They meet during a false alarm at the bank and then he assists her with a car problem. But when his aunt receives a foreclosure notice on her house, Chris is angry with Barbara for not warning him that his aunt was behind on her payments.

    She agrees to help him work out the problem with the bank, but the deeper issues between them keep flaring. Can two wary, wounded people learn to trust again and find happiness together? Find out in this sweet, second chance, enemies to lovers romance.

    The Hopeless Romantics of Willow Ridge series are sweet, small-town contemporary romances. Each book is a standalone and can be read individually or as part of the series.

    Hopeless Romantics of Willow Ridge series
    Book 1: Falling for the Boss
    Book 2: Falling for the Fireman
    Book 3: Falling for the Doctor
    Book 4: Falling for the Deputy
    Book 5: Falling for the Hockey Player
    Book 6: Falling for the Single Dad
    Book 7: Falling for the Farmer
    Book 8: Falling for the Scotsman

    Grab it here now.

    See my previous Q&A with Cindy Ray Hale here.

  • Falling for the Deputy
    Blog

    Release Week for the first three books in the Hopeless Romantics of Willow Ridge Series

    Release day banner 2

    Finally, it’s release week for the first books in the Hopeless Romantics of Willow Ridge series!

    As of today, the first three books in the Hopeless Romantics of Willow Ridge Series are live.  Falling for the Boss, Falling for the Fireman and Falling fot the Doctor are all available to start reading today and they’re all in Kindle Unlimited. I’m so excited they’re live and can’t wait for the release of the rest of the series in the coming weeks.

    I asked Cindy Ray Hale, author of Falling for the Doctor a few questions about the inspiration for her book. (I’ll be asking the authors this through the release process in the coming weeks so come back to read their answers.)

    release banner for Falling for the Doctor1. What made you decide to write about this particular hero? 

    I know what it’s like to be a single mom, and my son just had tubes in his ears. Also, I was a home health aide to my grandpa who had dementia.   

     2. If you could spend an hour in Willow Ridge where would you go? 

    Anywhere near the water. Or Latte Da. It sounds like a fun coffee shop. I’d love to hear the gossip.   

     3. What did you enjoy most about writing this story? 

    I loved the part about going to Blackbeard Island and boating. It made me miss sunshine and summer.  

     4. What’s your favorite thing about writing small town romance? 

    I love the town gossips and how the entire town pulls together to help each other.  

     5. Are you or have you ever been in a bookclub yourself?

    Yes. I’ve been in many book clubs. I’m not in one currently, and it’s really too bad. It was great to connect with the other readers, eat good food.

    You can get Falling for the Doctor here.

    And you can check out the whole series here!

    See Karen McCulloch’s interview here.

     

     

  • Hopeless Romtics banner
    Blog

    Announcing the Hopeless Romantics of Willow Ridge

    Hopeless Romtics banner

    I’m so excited to be announcing the Hopeless Romantics of Willow Ridge. It’s a while since I’ve had a new series to share with you.

    This fun new sweet, small town romance series is launching in March 2022 and I’m a part of it. I think you’re going to love all the women of Willow Ridge and their fun bookclub.

    Here’s the blurb for my book Falling for the Fireman

    Can a group of hopeless romantics finally find love? Or are they destined always to be a bridesmaid and never the bride?

    Falling for the firemanBronte Fishburn loves her hometown of Willow Ridge and her job as an elementary school teacher, but she wishes she could find someone to spend her life with. Someone who loves this town and wants to settle here as much as she does. She used to dream that someone would be her neighbor Ben, but he left her behind years ago and it’s time she created a new dream. Except now Ben is back, sleeping in her spare room and a constant reminder of what she can’t have.

    Firefighter Benjamin Wakefield vowed never to return to Willow Ridge. But his grandfather needs his help to clean out his house and move to a retirement community, so after ten years away he’s back in a town that seems unchanged. Another thing that hasn’t changed are his feelings for Bronte, who is brighter and more beautiful than the day he left. But she’s still too good for him and he’s still not planning to stay. He needs to resist the urge to ignite that growing spark between them to be the good guy she thinks he is.

    Is the pull between Ben and Bronte enough to build a future on? Find out in this friends to lovers, boy next door small town romance.

    The Hopeless Romantics of Willow Ridge series are sweet, small-town contemporary romances. Each book is a standalone and can be read individually or as part of the series.

    Hopeless Romantics of Willow Ridge series

    Book 1: Falling for the Boss

    Book 2: Falling for the Fireman

    Book 3: Falling for the Doctor

    Book 4: Falling for the Deputy

    Book 5: Falling for the Hockey Player

    Book 6: Falling for the Single Dad

    Book 7: Falling for the Farmer

    Book 8: Falling for the Scotsman

    You can preorder the whole series here.

  • Writers on Wednesday
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    Let’s talk about making friends as an adult…

    Reflection and life advice at the end of 2021

    So a little context here if you’re new to my blog – in late August 2020 (yes, already a tough year, and if I’m honest, my 2019 was already a doozy for me personally) my husband got transferred for work. We packed up our life,friends rented out our house (which needed more than a little TLC before we could do that), we found somewhere to live and moved to Newcastle, located about 2.5 hours north of Sydney (depending on traffic).

    We lucked out on a great apartment, and my husband went to work. As a writer who also does some professional consulting, I gave myself the rest of the year to adjust and went to work writing…or recovering. It was a brutal move.

    It was the suddenness, I think, combined with the fact that we’d built our house and our college aged daughter had never lived anywhere else. Although I never believed she’d permanently live with us again, our new home was not/is not her home. She has no friends here and no emotional connection to the place.

    Layer on the fact that we’re not people who whine and I’m a big believer in making the best of things. Our photos of the local beaches or the view from our balcony made our new life look awesome. And there’s nothing at all wrong with it, but it wasn’t home and the friends I’d spent a lifetime making were not around the corner.

    Let me be frank, I consider making friends very important. I always have.

    My New Year’s resolution every year includes – make a new friend.

    At every job I start, or every new hobby or activity I commence, I make it a goal to make a new friend. Sometimes I just make one. Sometimes I make many.

    I don’t lack for friends. In fact, I was so overwhelmed by the number of people I needed to put on my list and include for my last significant birthday, I took a vacation instead. I didn’t want to leave anyone out.

    I have high school friends, college friends, mother’s group friends, tennis friends, P&C (PTA friends), bookclub friend, writing friends not to mention the aforementioned work friends – it’s probably lucky I worked alone so much or it would be overwhelming .

    I collect people happily.

    Sometimes, but very rarely, I shed friends. This always makes me sad and I always have regrets about it, especially if I messed up. None of us is perfect. We’re going to say things or make mistakes and that’s painful to deal with. It happens. That doesn’t mean you should stop putting yourself out there and get bitter.

    All this might lead you to believe I’m an extrovert and you would be dead wrong.

    I’m the biggest home body you’ve ever met – I just also like people. I spend hours and hours alone, in silence and I’m 100% okay with it.

    So what’s the point of this blog post? Making friends as an adult is a skill and most of us don’t develop it.

    As kids opportunities for friendship abound – school, sports, activities. As we grow and go to college, and have kids at school those opportunities seem endless, but for adults without children and empty nesters the opportunities come to you less and less.

    It’s hard work putting yourself out there. It’s hard to make the first move. When I arrived in Newcastle, I knew a couple of writers from RWA conferences and several from online writing groups. At the conferences in the past, I always tried to be friendly, and to talk to people who were standing alone or looked lost. Some of these people I saw for a couple of days once a year but not always.

    Anyway, I didn’t know that some of those efforts of putting myself out there when I could have stood with my friends in the corner would pay off years later.

    I was so grateful when these women invited me to join their writing groups. I started 2021 as part of two writing groups. One meets mainly online and the other in person monthly. Here’s the truth – I really did not want to join a writing group – I just wasn’t in the headspace for it but I knew if I didn’t that I wouldn’t get invited again so I said yes to both.

    They have both been sources of great joy and companionship for me. As a result, I’ve had walks, coffees, Zooms, dinners, and glasses of wine with lots of lovely people and I’ve made new friends…and so have they.

    I started writing this after a morning tea with one of these writers. She asked to meet up and I could read even in her email that she was nervous to reach out. She’s a smart and accomplished woman but I suspect it’s a while since she made a new friend. We had a lovely outing and have plans to do it again. I could see how happy and relieved she was that it went well.

    Why am I writing this?

    Never underestimate the difference your offer of friendship might make to someone and try to make new friends. Yes, it can be risky putting yourself out there. Sure someone people turn out to not be your people but you won’t know unless you try and you never know when that skill might be needed more than you ever expected.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Blog

    Writers on Wednesday – Blog Tour for Alinta Bay Series by Iris Blobel

    Writers on Wednesday - Rose

    Defying Rules

    Alinta Bay Book 1

    by Iris Blobel

    Genre: Contemporary Australian Romance

     

    Sometimes one has to break rules in order to find happiness…
    Widower Logan Hendrix is puzzled by the recent series of small crimes against his son’s new teacher. It’s a mystery to him, and he offers her his help. There’s an instant attraction, and Logan wants to take their parent/teacher relationship to a more personal level.
    It doesn’t take Addison Ryker long to fall in love with Alinta Bay, the small town she’s moved to for her new teaching position at the local primary school. Her newfound haven is threatened, however, when her house is broken into and she is relying on the unbelievably stubborn but very sexy Logan for help. Although captivated by him, Addison worries her career could be compromised, because there are rules about dating a parent.

    **Only .99 cents!!**

    Goodreads * Amazon

    Tell It To My Heart

    Alinta Bay Book 2

    Confronted with the choice to care for his friend’s family on the other side of the world or to return to Alinta Bay to be with his own newfound family, how will Noah choose?

    Following the death of his grandmother, Noah Fielding returns to Alinta Bay and the first thing — or person — he finds is the next-door neighbour in his nan’s bathroom — naked no less. Still jetlagged, he doesn’t hit it off with Molly at first. Yet, over the next few weeks, as his past uncovers itself bit by bit, she becomes is anchor, his friend, and his lover.

    Molly Reid had the world at her feet, happily married with a young son … until a tragic car accident took everything away from her. With her heart broken, she moves to Alinta Bay to escape the memories of the past. Her peaceful existence, however, is interrupted after a heavy storm floods her house and she temporarily moves into her recently deceased neighbour’s house next door.

    When Noah’s friend and partner goes missing during a routine flight, Noah returns to Alaska to help, but will he come back for Molly?

    Goodreads * Amazon

     

    Between Goodbye and Hello

    Alinta Bay Book 3

    Can two seemingly incompatible people who judge each other on past events be able to find some common ground?

    Harrison Hendrix believes in second chances, but when it comes to Melody, he has every reason to doubt it’s possible. He’s conflicted when he sees her back in town and tries his best to see the change in her that other friends mention. Even more so when spending a night with her after being set up for a dinner date.

    Life hasn’t been kind to Melody Foster, and she returns to Alinta Bay for a new beginning. Hit by tragedy again, she’s determined to live life to the fullest and with no regrets. She creates a bucket list … on which #8 the very difficult, yet extremely sexy Harrison has been included. Why does it seem he’s always around when she’s in trouble?

    Maybe it’s time to take a risk and leave the past where it belongs, but will trusting their instinct be the right choice for them?

    Goodreads * Amazon

     

    Touch Me

    Alinta Bay Book 4

    She loves the feel of his skin beneath her hands …

    Lexie Marshall packs up and moves 3,000 km east with her daughter Zoe, to forget and move on. Now, all that matters is her daughter and her new job. She tries hard to stay focused, but the sexy and extremely kind park ranger, Jesse, is not making it easy. And when her husband shows up in the small coastal town creating chaos, all she can do is hang on and trust her new friends.

    After his last girlfriend walked out on him, Jesse Parker is doing just fine on his own. Until his accidental meeting with single mother Lexie, when he rescues her and her daughter from getting lost in the forest. But when her past catches up with her, he is right in the middle of it all and it might ruin his career.

    Will returning to her old life be the only chance to save his career?

    Goodreads * Amazon

    Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London, as well as Canada where she met her husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper only emerged late in life, but now her laptop is a constant companion.
    Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her beautiful two daughters as well as their dog.

    Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

    Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

    $15 Amazon

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • Writing Book Blurbs that sell
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    Writers on Wednesday with Belinda Williams author of Writing Book Blurbs that Sell

    Writers on Wednesday - Rose

    Today for Writers On Wednesday Blog I have my lovely friend Belinda Williams.

    Belinda and I met at the Romance Writers of Australia Conference a few years back. (Belinda is giving a blurb writing workshop at the RWA2021 on the Gold Coast) She lived close to me in Sydney and we’ve met up several times since for a coffee and a chat about all things publishing. Belinda writes romantic comedies, but she also has a blurb writing business and has released a book about blurb writing for authors – Writing Book Blurbs that sSell.
    I asked Belinda what are the three most common mistakes we writers make in blurb writing- check out her answers below.
    3 Book Blurbs Mistakes Writers Make
    • Your blurb reads like a synopsis. A book blurb should never detail your complete storyline. It’s as much about what you don’t say as what you do say.
    • Your blurb is too long. I recommend keeping book blurbs to under 250 words, ideally somewhere between 150 and 200 words if you can, otherwise you risk losing readers.
    • Failing to pinpoint the main conflict. Writers generally know it’s important to include stakes in a book blurb, but unless these are linked to the main conflict of your story, your blurb will most likely miss the mark with potential readers.
    Writing Book Blurbs that sell
    Writing Book Blurbs that Sell

    Now here’s the official book blurb:

    Enticing a reader to buy your book relies on an intriguing blurb that captures attention and encourages people to hit the ‘buy’ button. Unfortunately, not all book blurbs are created equal, and the difference between a good or bad book blurb can impact your sales.

    In this no-fuss, actionable book, you’ll learn the art of writing book blurbs with one main aim: to sell more books. Topics covered include:

    • What a book blurb is, and more importantly, what it isn’t
    • The essential components of a book blurb
    • What to include in a book blurb and what to leave out
    • Examples from a range of fiction genres
    • How a book blurb should look (and why)
    • The difference between fiction and non-fiction book blurbs
    • Terrific taglines, tone of voice, plus much more!

    Whether this is your first or twentieth book, your book deserves an impossible-to-resist ‘I want to read more’ book blurb that converts book browsers to readers and proves to the world that your book is worth reading. This book will show you how.

    Visit her website to learn more about her books.

    About Belinda Williams

    Belinda Williams is a copywriter turned fiction author with more than twenty years of experience in marketing. She can switch from writing steamy romance to punching out attention-grabbing sales copy before you have time to say, ‘book blurb!’ With her unique skill set, she aims to help other authors market their books.

    Belinda Williams

    Belinda Williams is a marketing copywriter who fell in love with romance and writes romantic comedy as well as romantic suspense featuring good guys. She’s occasionally tempted by bad boys, but prefers to write strong women characters and men with big hearts.

    When she’s not writing, Belinda is a music lover who sings lead vocals in cover bands, and her eclectic taste forms the foundation for many of her writing ideas.

    Her other love is the water. She can often be found counting laps instead of words at her local swimming pool. Or you might also spot her boating on the harbour with her husband and son in her home town of Sydney, Australia.

  • Writers on Wednesday - Rose
    Blog

    Writers on Wednesday – a little writing update

    Writers on WednesdayAs much as I love having other people on my blog and I do, sometimes it’s good for me to pop back and give you an update on what’s happening in my writing life. I share a lot of this information on my social media and in my newsletter, but sometimes I forget I have a blog to share it as well! There are so many balls to juggle in a writer’s life.

    Since I’ve moved to my new home, I’ve been lucky enough to have been invited to join two writers’ groups which I’ve done. One meets once a month, we have dinner at a club and then talk about writing romance for 2 hours. Such fun!  Many of the members I’d met already at various Romance Writers of Australia conferences over the years. That group is a mix of indie and traditionally published authors and indie authors, so there’s always lots to learn. The second one has largely met online because the members are more geographically spread and there’s slightly more of an indie focus with that group. I feel so lucky to have been included in both these groups and I’ve also met up with several of the authors to talk books over a coffee or a drink, which has made my transition to my new life so much easier.

    Meanwhile, I have Saltwater Wishes in hand and I’m getting ready to send it off to the editor next week. (If she’s reading this, she will be thrilled to know I’m on schedule for once!) It’s up on preorder for its end of May release.

    After that it’s back to work on Any Way You Wish It – I know several readers are waiting patiently for the 9th book in the Upper Crust Series after a wait of over 2 years. I’m writing Jacob’s story and it’s a redemption tale, so that’s always fun.

    We’re always at May which is also known as #ChickLitMay. If you’re on Facebook, please join us for the

    Annual Chicklit Hop.

    ChickLit May 2021
    #chicklitmay2021

    That’s it for today. Tomorrow I’m launching my new Travel Thursday meme here on the blog. Maybe we’re not going far these days, but many of my author friends allow us to travel vicariously through their books! Also, I’m doing a bit of local travel and discovery I’d love to start sharing with you.

  • Blog

    Writers on Wednesday – A Q&A with author Sophie Barlow

    Writers on Wednesday

    Today Sophie Barlow talks about the inspiration for her Swan Harbor series.

    1. What was the inspiration for your current novel?

    A swan. I find them to be fascinating and when I created my town of Swan Harbor, I began researching. There are ‘beliefs’ behind swans that revolve around hope and communication and purity. I’ve taken that and in several books have this: 

    “Swans are symbols of purity, beauty, grace and love. Some say when they are around, they help your communication with other people. Some say they are a sign of marital fidelity. And others say they combine the elements of air and water and embody eternal life. And what is the first step to forever?”

    Hope.

    And I’ve tied the ‘hope’ of the town and whether it can survive or not to a swan, Jonesy. He is first talked about in this Kittens, Puppies & Love. And then the story of hope plays out through five books. Swan Harbor’s Hope. 

     2. Why do you write in the genre you do?

    I love to read romance and mysteries. I also love interconnected stories where couples come in/out. A what better way to combine all of those then to write small town romantic mysteries.

    3. When did you take up writing? 

    I’ve always had an active imagination but after 30+years working w/ adult strokes, it is fun to jump into something totally different. 

    4. How important is setting/place in your writing?

    Huge. I have tried to set up my small town of Swan Harbor as a character in and of itself. I want people to want to live there and to be able to picture it in their heads. And as a visual person, I have created an interactive map on my website. It’s still a work in progress but fun. Some of the spots have ‘pictures’ of the owners and I talk about which I saw stories the place in.  Interactive map.


    5. Do you have a favourite character (s) in your current novel?

    I love Captain Jack. He’s an eccentric older guy who believes he can understand a swan and who seems to know what others need before they ask. And if I had to cast him, Sean Connery fits the image in my head.  

    6. What’s the best piece of writing advice you were ever given?

    That each scene needs to push the plot. Don’t use the same words in a paragraph and/or to start each sentence. Read out loud when editing.  

    7. Do you have a schedule for writing?

    Whenever I can. If I’m in the middle of a book, I’ve been known to write all day. But I still work as a speech/language pathologist Tues/Wed/Thurs so those days, it’s a bit different. And lately, I’ve been trying to learn the marketing end, which means my writing has been limited to making notes. 

    8. Are you a plotter or someone who tends to wing it?

    Generally, I fly by the seat of my pants. I know the name of the characters and that’s about it. But if I get ‘ideas’ while writing another book, I jot notes. I also don’t write in order. In Hope, I wrote an ending scene before the beginning and then I wrote chapters 2-26 before I wrote chapter 1.

    9. Can you name three of four of your current favourite books? 

    This is hard because I am horrible at keeping track of titles. But I like just about anything by Nora Roberts. Same for Lisa Jackson. Shannon McKenna has series , The McCloud Brothers, that stand out in my mind.

    10. Can you tell me a little bit about what you are working on now?

    My next book is going to be pulling from a thread I left dangling in my first book, From Darkness into Love. And while it will have a story that has a beginning/end, inside of it there will be two other threads that lead into the next 5 books. (wish me luck)

    11. What advice would you give to a fledgling writer to assist them on their journey?

    Start with fanfiction. You can get feedback and you don’t have to worry about creating the entire picture. Plus, you don’t have to worry about creating an entire story. It can be just scene or two. 

    Blurb:

    The word cloak means to cover, hide, or disguise. 
    Would you shed yours and expose your heart for love?

    Veterinarian Emma Foster arrives in Swan Harbor with her goal list in one hand and clinging to the many layers of her cloak with the other. But she didn’t anticipate the lure of the small town or the pull of a man’s magnetic blue eyes. Their potent combination threatens to derail her well-ordered plans. 

    Investigator Killian Reade has used his good looks, flirty talk, and sexy accent to layer masks over his true self. Until a flash of yellow peels off one. And the people of Swan Harbor add cracks in another. But when Emma looks through him, instead of at him, he’s forced to take a journey. One that has him searching for the man he’s meant to be. 

    As their barriers begin to fade, an off-hand comment made by Emma leads Killian to uncover disturbing behavior in their small town. When all is revealed, will they wrap the layers tighter or will they allow love in and set their hearts free?

    Buy Links Kittens, Puppies and LoveKittens Trailer  I also have a prequel novella that is free on my website as well as on StoryOrigin  Free Novella Guided by Light

    Social Links   https://sophiebartow.com/      https://linktr.ee/sophiebartow 

    Also, I’m part of an author group who just started a new FB group. We talk about books, movies, etc.  Adventures in Book Reading: Romance, Mystery & More  

    Author bio: Sophie is a married mother of four who has spent the last 30+ years as a Speech/Language Pathologist working with adult post-stroke patients. Now that her youngest (twin girls) are freshmen in college, it’s time for a new journey. I love books that have complex characters, romance, and a touch of mystery and strive to include those in all my stories.