• Writing Book Blurbs that sell
    Blog

    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.

  • Happy Blogaversary
    Blog

    This blog is officially 9 years old!

    Happy Blogaversary

    So this is what 9 years of blogging looks like

    Mr Right and Other Mongrels Mug and Postcards Promotional Material
    How adorable was my original cover and swag? Pity about the poor photography skills!

    I started my blogging journey as a way to talk about my books and my writing 9 years ago because that’s almost how long it’s been since my first book, Mr Right and Other Mongrels was published. I never would have imagined back then I would have published over 40 books across multiple pen names and over thirty in my own name.

    Since then I’ve hosted hundreds of authors on here doing Q&A’s and other posts. Those have also been shared on my Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest accounts as well.

    I’ve announced many, many new releases and hosted umpteen cover reveals.

    We’ve shared book recommendations, favourite songs, and some cracking recipes over the years too.

    There have been the highs and lows of my publishing career – though I tend to keep the lows to myself because nobody cares about those except me.

    It’s been a fun journey. I haven’t always been consistent, and I have certainly considered quitting. I used to think I was a quitter, but it turns out that isn’t always true – I just quit the nasty stuff.

    Anyway, a huge thank you to the many authors, editors, VA’s and friends from across the globe who have been part of my blogging journey with me. Along the way this blog has helped me feel part of a community, make friends, discover new authors and new books and learn an awful lot about publishing.

    This month, as well as the regular features I run, I’ll be revisiting some memories, running some giveaways and looking to the future. So hang on and enjoy the ride. (Or is that read?)

    Monique McDonell Kindle Digital Launch Mr Right and Other Mongrels
    Release day for Mr Right and Other Mongrels.

     

  • 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.

  • Writers on Wednesday
    Blog

    Writers on Wednesday with Shail Rajan

    Writers on Wednesday

    Today for Writers on Wednesday we have a Q&A with debut author Shail Rajan

    Shail rajanShail is a contemporary women’s fiction writer and the author of The Summer Breeze, her debut novel which celebrates the role family, friendships, food, and falling in love play in our everyday lives. Shail lives in the Bay Area with her husband and three wonderful, noisy, mischievous children. When she is not writing and reading, she serves as the president of a non-profit, cooks nonstop, tackles the occasional DIY project, and obsesses over her vegetable garden. Don’t be surprised if you hear your stomach growling while reading her books because Shail is a serious foodie and often includes vivid descriptions of the food her characters are eating. If you feel the urge to cook something up, she often shares her recipes on her website and social media!

    1. Why do you write in the genre, you do?

    I’ve always been drawn to stories about strong women taking control of their lives and doing it with grace, kindness, and humour. I love stories which center around new beginnings and second chances. My writing contemporary women’s fiction is just a natural extension of what I love to read.

    1. When did you take up writing?

    I started writing as a way to pass the time back in 2003. Since then, The Summer Breeze and other partially completed manuscripts have been waiting patiently on my laptop. At the end of 2020, I finally mustered up the courage to send my first book baby out into the world!

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

    It’s always been very important to me for my readers to be able to vividly imagine setting/place throughout my books. What I wasn’t prepared for was how it would resonate with them. In so many reviews and so much of the feedback I’ve received, people have appreciated the visual imagery I’ve created. It’s a great feeling.

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

    Callie, the female protagonist in The Summer Breeze, is my absolute favorite. She’s kind, independent, flawed, funny, a foodie, and unstoppable. I think there’s something inherently relatable about a woman who is so multi-dimensional – like so many of us.

    1. Do you have a schedule for writing?

    I’ve always been an early bird and usually wake up a couple of hours before the rest of my family. I try to take advantage of the quite time and focus on my writing in the mornings. I’d love to be able to do more during the day, but it’s been challenging with three kids learning remotely. Once they’re back in school full-time, I think I’ll be able to dedicate even more time creating these stories and characters that I absolutely love.

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

    When I started out on my writing journey, I tried to wing it. However, I quickly realized I needed to be more of a plotter because I was writing over such a long span of time (years!) that I found myself forgetting details about certain characters and events. Now, since I have committed myself to chasing this dream, I’m writing at a much quicker pace and I’m able to wing it because I can get fully emerged in the story.

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

    I recently finished reading American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins and Know My Name by Chanel Miller. Both books moved me in different ways, but both educated me about journeys vastly different from my own. Anyone who loves to read knows this is one of the best things about books: the ability to engender empathy for the lives of others.

    For me, American Dirt was a page turner from start to finish. Whenever I had to put it down to do something else, I was eager to get back to it to learn what was coming next. I found myself feeling the stress, anxiety, fear, and hope of the characters throughout the book.

    Know My Name literally pried my eyes open. Learning about the experience of sexual assault through the eyes of the victim – starting with the days and hours leading up to an assault, the actual assault, the response of first responders immediately after, the fear of telling family and friends, the trial and subsequent appeals, and of course, the emotional upheaval that the victim and her family face – was truly an emotional education. Did it make me feel uncomfortable? Yes, incredibly so. Will I have my children read it when they’re older? Most definitely.

    There are also two books that I always have on my nightstand. The first is Pride and Prejudice because I absolutely love everything about Jane Austen, from her writing style, to her description of setting, to her wonderful female characters. And of course, Mr. Darcy.

    The second is A Town Like Alice by Nevile Shute. I came across this book years ago and loved it so much that my husband managed to find a first edition copy which I have read and re-read numerous times. There is something so magical for me in the emotional journey of the main character Jean Paget.

    Note from Monique: A Town Like Alice is also one of my favorite books!!!

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

    I’m working on two projects right now, and I’m so excited about both of them!

    The first is book #2 in The Summer Breeze series where readers will be able to catch up with all their favorite characters from The Summer Breeze Bed and Breakfast! Callie will continue her unsuccessful attempts to not meddle in her guests’ lives, eat even more mouth-watering food, and try to keep her head on straight when Nick is around. Two weddings and a catastrophe will be the backdrop to Callie’s life in the beautiful lakeside town of Seneca Springs.

    My second projects is a romantic suspense novel that I’m having a the best time researching and writing. Stay tuned for more info on how small town life takes a dark turn when a rock star comes to Sycamore Ridge!

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

    Do NOT stop. Write every chance you get and be prepared for bumps and detours along the way. I started writing The Summer Breeze in 2003. Take a minute to let that sink in! It took me 18 years to put my dream back at the top of my to-do list and make it happen. But I’m here now, and I’m having the best time ever!

    The Summer Breeze

    The Summer Breeze

    Tired of her fast-paced life in NYC, Callie Williams leaves her successful career and demanding fiancé behind and makes a life-changing decision to open a bed & breakfast in the lakeside town of Seneca Springs. Navigating the complexities of small-town life, Callie forges lifelong friendships, eats more than her fair share of delicious food, and tries not to meddle in the lives of her guests. The only thing hindering her newfound happiness is the attraction she feels for Nick, a rough-around-the-edges construction worker who is determined to get under Callie’s skin.

    Buy Links:

    https://bit.ly/TheSummerBreezebyShailRajan

    Social Links:

    Website: https://www.shailrajan.com/

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shailrajanauthor/

    Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20957911.Shail_Rajan

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

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShailRajan

  • Blog

    Writers on Wednesday with Renee Dahlia author of The Shipwrecked Earl’s Bride

    Writers on Wednesday - Rose

    This week for Writers on Wednesday we have a Q&A with Renee Dahlia author of new release The Shipwrecked Earl’s Bride

    Author Renee DahliaAbout Renee

    Renée Dahlia is an unabashed romance reader who loves feisty women and strong, clever men. Her books reflect this, with a side note of awkward humour.

    1.What was the inspiration for your current novel, The Shipwrecked Earl’s Bride?

    Our family booked a trip to Italy last year but had to cancel due to the pandemic. It was a frustrating process, as we’d saved up for a couple of years for the trip, and didn’t end up getting refunds until months after the trip was cancelled. This novella came from a need to do some travelling! I imagined an Earl on his way home from a Grand Tour getting shipwrecked on a Spanish beach, and it just fell into place from there.

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

    I write both historical and contemporary romances, across a range of heat levels and pairings. Why? Because I write to entertain myself and I don’t like feeling restricted to one time period or place. My ideas are often chaotic before they become books. They come from little pieces of conversations that I overhear, or non-fiction that I’m reading, and a whole bunch of other places. I keep all the ideas in a big file and let them kind of roll around for a while until they form enough of a story to become a book. All my books are listed on my website with heat levels and pairing type.

    3. When did you take up writing?

    My first book, To Charm a Bluestocking, was published in 2017. I’ve written non-fiction for about a decade prior to that, mostly magazine articles. Oddly, I didn’t want to be a writer when I left school, and studied science instead. I fell into writing almost accidentally when I was asked to write a series of articles that explained statistical results to non-mathematicians.

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

    Not very! Description is my least favourite part of writing. My first drafts are mostly dialogue with a few notes, and I add the descriptions later.

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

    I’m fickle! My favourite is always the one I’m writing right now! In my novella, The Shipwrecked Earl’s Bride, the heroine Sofia is a Spanish fisherman’s daughter who has taught herself to read English from books washed up on their beach. Her family supplement their income with things they find from shipwrecks, and they dismiss her need for reading. Reading shows her the world, and when Rupert washes up on her beach, she takes the chance to leave. When I first started to write, I imagined her as quite aspirational, but as I wrote, she turned out to be more empathetic and unsure about the decision to leave.

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

    Read a lot. Read in the genre you want to write in, so you understand what readers love about it, and better yet, write the genre that you love to read because then that understanding comes naturally.

    7. Do you have a schedule for writing?

    Yes. I have a spreadsheet that I’ve designed that tracks both my daily word count and my writing schedule by book.

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

    Somewhere in the middle. I like to have a good idea of where I’m going, so I set out the book’s basic plot with a few one liners that indicate the emotional arc for the two characters, then I just let the dialogue go where it feels natural. Sometimes I end up in places that I didn’t intend, and have to adjust either the dialogue or the vague plot notes, but that doesn’t happen often.

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

    I’ve just finished reading Talia Hibbert’s Brown sisters series which is really adorable. My favourite historical novels are Olivia Waite’s The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics and Courtney Milan’s Duchess War. I adore Alexis Hall’s writing – the characterisation in Glitterland is outstanding. How can anyone pick just four books?

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

    I’m currently writing a medium heat contemporary lesbian romance series set in a Burlesque club in London.

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

    Read and write. Practice will make you better.

    The Shipwrecked Earl’s Bride

    Blurb:

    LORD RUPERT STANMORE was banished to the continent for a grand tour after being caught kissing his best friend, Lord Benburgh. Two years later and life back in England has caught up to him. His father died recently and now he’s the latest Earl of Stanmore. On the way home, his ship is wrecked in a storm, and he washes up on a beach in Spain, only to be rescued by a beautiful woman. As the Earl, he has an obligation to marry. He’d rather be hung for sodomy than allow his mother to choose his bride, and who better to annoy his proper and distant mother than a poor foreigner as a bride? He plots for Sofia to fall in love with him, not expecting to fall for her.

     

    SOFIA LUCIANA RIAL is the only daughter of a fisherman in Spain. She taught herself to read English from books washed up on their beach, a skill her widowed Father sees as pointless. In his opinions, she should spend all, not most, of her time doing domestic work. When a man washes up on the beach near their cottage, she realises he might be her ticket out of poverty. She sets about to make him fall in love with her so he can take her to England where she will never again have to worry about where her next meal will come from. Only her plan fails when she falls in love with him. But how can she convince him that her love is real?

     

     

    You can learn more about Renee here: 
    Twitter
    Facebook 
    romance.com.au
    Instagram 
    BookBub

     

  • Cinnamon Bay booksin KU
    Blog

    A renewed commitment to blogging

    A little catch up on what’s happening in my author life.

    Cinnamon Bay booksin KU
    Get these Cinnamon bay Romances in KU today

    I’m sitting here in my office on a very damp Sunday afternoon blogging. Meanwhile most of the East Coast of my home state of NSW is having an “extraordinary weather event” in the form of way too much rain. Flooding, bursting dams and road closures are affecting a lot of people. Fingers crossed everyone stays safe and dry.

    It’s what you’d call “wonderful weather for writing”, but some days you just feel like curling up with a good book. Am I right? I know that’s what I’ll be doing next.

    The books in the original Cinnamon Bay Series are now all in Kindle Unlimited so if you’re a KU subscriber they’re free for you and if not, you can still buy them on Amazon.

    It’s 9 years since I started this blog and I realised over the last few days I really needed to get back to blogging, so hopefully you’ll start to see some more activity here in the coming weeks.

    There have been some changes on social media platforms of late that have made a lot of people nervous about how much visibility we will continue to have. You don’t own your content o Facebook for example but here this is my own domain (and domain name ha ha!)

    If you talk to any writer, they’ll tell you there are a lot of balls to juggle behind the scenes and sometimes things slip. Hopefully, it won’t be my blog  slipping anymore. I’ll be back hosting cover reveals and other writers here, as well as getting back to some of the memes  (Musical Monday, Taste of Tuesday) I loved during the week.  Thanks for hanging in with me during the leaner posting period.

    Apart from secret pen name projects – which I can’t discuss because they’re secrets –  I’m currently working on Any Way You Wish It, Book 9 in the Upper Crust series and Saltwater Wishes, Marlin Shores Book 3…both will be out mid-year. Both stories are pretty fun ones to write so I hope they become fun to read as well.

    If you have any questions about my writing or anything you’d like to see on the blog please leave me  comment below.

     

     

  • Blog

    Marching into March – an update from my desk

     

    saltwater wishes Fb banner

    The month of March is upon me and I’m wondering how that is possible.

    January is always a crazy month here because of summer vacation, and I had some family commitments that ate into the start. I released Saltwater Tears in January, so it wasn’t a total loss. I hope you enjoy reading Banner’s story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

    February I’ve been hunkered down in my writing cave, mainly working on projects for a couple of pen names and planning out my books for 2021. I’m happy to say I have a Cinnamon Bay romance out in June, which is all plotted and the next (and final Upper Crust Novel) will be ready for Christmas in July. I’ve started that one at least and it is all plotted too. I’m still trying to see if I’ll be releasing Saltwater Tears – the third Marlin Shores book in May or August – I’ve also started Tony’s story, and it’s a fun one to write.

    2021 for me is about reflection – I’ve written over 40 books, over 50 if we count pen names and I love writing but I’m considering moving in a new direction with my books so I guess that will take thought and planning. When I started out, I wanted to write a book, then I wanted to publish, then I wanted to see if I could do it again…and again. I’ve reset my goals many times to include being more productive, grow things like my social media following or release more often.

    Aside from my financial goals, I’ve hit every writing target I’ve aimed for. Maybe that’s where my focus needs to be in 2021.

    Meanwhile, there’s a sneak peak, of the cover for the cover for Saltwater Wishes above.

    I hope you have a wonderful month.

     

  • Shine
    Blog

    Happy New Year and welcome to 2021

    Shine

    Welcome to 2021 my lovely readers. Happy New Year!

    I think we’re all more than ready to embrace the new although I don’t think 2021 will be the instant panacea to 2020 many of us are hoping for. I’m optimistic it will be better.

    My word for the year is SHINE. I hope to shine brightly in 2021.

    I had lots of plans for last year and I achieved some. I did write a lot of words. I have a couple of secret pen names and published under those and my own name. 

    I definitely didn’t release everything I wanted to but that’s okay. I became a USA today Bestseller, I came second in the Australian RUBY Awards novella section and released several new books. We’ll take it.

    We moved out of our home of over 24 years and relocated to a new town with about 6 weeks’ notice, so I’m being kind to myself about my lack of accomplishment in the final quarter of 2020.

    The good news is those projects will be completed in the first half of 2021 so all is not lost.

    I started serializing Playing With Trouble in 2020, and I promise to get back to that and share the rest of it with you in 2021. You can catch up here with the opening meanwhile.

    The next books in the Marlin Shores world will be out in January and March and I can’t wait to share those as well. You can preorder Saltwater Tears here.

    Have you read the prequel Kissing The Captain? If not grab your copy here for free.

    We have big plans for the Cinnamon Bay romance world in 2021 so look out for news about that soon.

    I also have Upper Crust Series news…meanwhile have you seen the box sets I made for the Upper Crust series? You can grab them here and they are free in Kindle Unlimited.

    There are a couple of other exciting projects looming in 2021 so stay tuned.

    Happy New Year – 2021 here we come!

    Playing with Trouble

     

  • Blog

    July 1 – an update on my writing life

    More Thank Ornamental Graphic
    more than ornamental graphic

    It’s been a while since I posted here so I thought I’d give you a little update on what I’ve been busy doing as it clearly hasn’t been blogging.

    In June I wrote 90,000 words. That’s my biggest writing month yet. I wrote 44,000 on one novel, 10,000 on another, 20,000 on another and some words for a secret project as well…so that was a whole lot of writing and it didn’t leave a whole lot of room for other things.

    Yesterday I launched More Than Ornamental – a sweet single dad Christmas romance (It originally appeared in the 2019 Romancing the Holidays Boxset). In October and November of 2018 I asked my Facebook followers a ton of questions about what sort of story they wanted to read including tropes, location, character roles and names and this is the novella that came out of it. More Than Ornamental is set on the Australian coast so if you’ve ever wondered what Christmas downunder is like, this is the book for you.

    My next No Brides Club book releases in September and it’s almost ready to go off the the editor, fingers crossed for this week. The Sweet Kisses Limited Edition Box Set releases this month too.

    Kissing the Captain, my contribution is a prequel to my next series which will launch with a trilogy in the next couple of months…I’m expecting to get my covers this week and I can’t wait to share them with you.  He’s the cover of Kissing the Captain with the boxset.

    Kissing the Captain and the Sweet Kisses Box Set
    Kissing the Captain coming soon in the Sweet Kisses Box Set

    So that’s enough to keep me out of mischief for July I think.

    I promise the next chapter of Playing With Trouble will be live this week.

    Anyway, I hope your July is off yo a cracking start!

     

  • Playing with Trouble
    Blog

    Read Along while I write Playing With Trouble Chapter 4.

    Playing With TroubleAnother week another chapter

    I’m sorry for the delay in the next installment of the Courtside Romance series – Playing with Trouble. It’s funny how everyone is talking about life slowing down during this COVID-19 outbreak and so far that hasn’t been the case for me. It’s a coincidence that I’m finishing up my day job and pitching for new clients at the same time, as I re-open my PR consultancy after a couple of years working in house. I’d already resigned when we were all sent home but all the changes have met my cruisy finish up and handover have been anything but.

    Retstaring a new business has all kinds of administration as well as pitching to new clients and let’s not forget my book babies. So, I look forward to next week when I’m100% working for myself again and have a little more control over my time.

    Meanwhile here is the next chapter in Tiffany and Andrew’s story.

    Previous chapters:

    Chapter One

    Chapter Two

    Chapter Three

    Don’t forget this hasn’t yet been edited so there may be some typos and errors that will be fixed prior to publication.

    ***

    True to her word she was back in ten minutes and he nearly swallowed his tongue when he saw her. She wore sky-high spiked black heels and a dress made of shimmery silver fabric that was high in the front and fell low on her back like a waterfall. He was sure there was a name for that style of dress but as he could barely remember his own name, he didn’t much care. Her long blonde hair fell loosely around her shoulders and she looked amazing.

    “Wow.” Was all he managed. “Just wow.”

    “Thanks, it’s new. I bought it for the week.” He knew that meant she’d bought it for him, and he liked that. Maybe she’d relax and see that this was all still very doable if they were subtle and not overt.

    He stepped closer and put his hand on her back as he guided her towards the lift. “You do realise your dress is not helping your plan to keep me at a distance or to keep my feelings hidden.”

    “Sorry.” She probably was at least a little.

    “I’ll cope.” The lift door closed, and they were alone inside. “But you need to know I’d really rather kiss you than do anything else at all on the planet right now.”

    Her cheeks pinked and she gave him a shy smile. “Likewise.”

    He might have done so if the door hadn’t pinged and opened spilling them into an exclusive section of the casino that Axel had reserved. Thumping music came at them as did a large bouncer with a door list which had both their names on it. Andrew had never wanted to go to a party less in his life but he was going to have to take any time he could get with Tiffany while he tried to win her over and demonstrate their week long fling wasn’t going to impact either of them in any way that was less than positive. And he was going to have to do it without looking like the possessive caveman he felt like as he watched the hungry eyes of the other men in the room devour Tiffany. There was exactly one word for his current predicament and that was torture. Pure and utter torture and yet for Tiffany he would take it. It occurred to him his feelings for the woman were way more than lust but now was not the time for introspection, now was the time to be a perfect non-date while keeping the hands of the likes of Alexi well away from Tiffany.

    Axel was the first to approach back-slapping Andrew and giving Tiff a shy smile and nod.

    “You made it. I wasn’t sure you would.”

    “Sure did. Tiffany wanted to blow off some steam and I said this was the place.”

    A guy with a tray of tequila shots came by and they each took one. Tiffany smiled.

    “Looks like you were right.” She said after downing hers at lightning speed.

    “That must have been quite a day.” He said in her ear before he and Axel downed theirs.

    Andrew wasn’t much of a drinker, body of an athlete and all that. He was now two whiskey’s and a tequila in. He needed to watch it. That was about his limit during season, or ever really. He had a few beers now and then but nothing too serious. Tiffany however had been handed a glass of champagne, no doubt the very expensive stuff and was guzzling it like water.

    “Shall we sit.”

    “Or we could dance.” She said. And then to his utter annoyance she turned to Axel. “You want to dance Axel?”

    He gave a nod and she handed her glass to Andrew. “I’ll be back.”

    Okay. Well, this was not at all what he had in mind.

     

    Tiffany hadn’t danced in ages. Sometimes she felt like she was a forty-year-old woman trapped in the body of a twenty-seven-year-old. It was like she had Dylan at twenty-two and all the fun stuff the parties and the dancing stopped and the serious business of being a grownup had gone into overdrive. Ninety nine percent of the time she was fine with that. She had her cute condo, a great job, some sweet friends she’d made at mommy and me classes and now a few moms from the school she was getting to know. But they did not go dancing at exclusive parties and guzzle very pricey champagne surrounded by A list celebrities. They didn’t look at her like she was hot and young and beautiful and every so often it was nice to feel that way.

    She’d brought the dress on a mark down rack just after the tournament last year, just in case she got to hang with Andrew again this year. She’d had it hanging in her wardrobe and when she needed a boost, she would take it out and look at it and remind herself she was still a young woman with lots of opportunities ahead of her. Part of her had thought it ridiculous and the other part thought there was nothing wrong with a bit of dreaming.

    Now here she was. The man in question was standing off to the side of the dance floor being very polite to the young ingénue who was talking to him. He was holding her drink and his eyes rarely left her. Meanwhile she was shaking her thing with Axel. Wait until she told the PTA moms this, their minds would explode. If she had her preference, she’d be dancing with Andrew, but she needed to blow of some energy, and she would be so obvious dancing with him. Her dance wouldn’t say this is fun it would say, take me now and that couldn’t happen.

    The song switched and she found herself dancing with another tennis player and then by the third dance Alexi. Not at all her preference. She kept moving avoiding him touching her. She was sure the surly Russian was a decent enough guy, but she didn’t feel like that about him and his touching her felt creepy. She knew Andrew was watching and she had a feeling if Alexi’s hand went anywhere it shouldn’t there be a scene.

    “Thanks. I need a drink.” She said at the end of the dance and headed towards and her drink. She had no idea if Alexi would follow. She hoped not.

    Andrew held out her glass when she approached one eyebrow raised. It was probably because she was all sweaty. She grabbed a napkin and discreetly patted her upper lip. “Thanks.”

    The girl next to him gave her the evil eye and Alexi joined them and did the same to Andrew. The champagne tray arrived, and she took a another. The waiter swung by with some canapes and she snagged one of those too. She hadn’t eaten all day thanks to the diva’s antics, which had taken hours to smooth over. Up until now Tiffany had largely only seen the celebrity players at their best, because it was an event for cancer kids they usually behaved impeccably. Usually being the key word.

    “You are good dancer.’ Alexi said.

    “Thanks. I don’t dance much.”

    “This is shame. Pretty women should dance.” She knew he meant it as a compliment and so she gave him a small smile.

    “So, what do you do to blow off steam then?’ Andrew asked.

    “I hit the gun range.” The young woman said, as if he’d asked her.

    “Interesting.” Alexi said, turning his attention on her.

    “I have punching bag I knock the stuffing out of.” Tiffany said. That was true and a better answer than snuggle on the couch with my son, especially to a man who didn’t know you had a son.

    “Well, it would have gotten a workout tonight.”

    @Yeah dancing is more fun.” He raised his glass and they drank.

    “I know another great way that is great fun.” He winked at her and her ovaries did a dance of their own. She was in so much trouble here, but she couldn’t help but answering. “Oh yeah?”

    And then he answered. “Tennis. Great way to blow off steam.” She swatted his arm. And he feigned innocence. “Why what else could I be thinking of?”

    “Nothing, nothing at all.” She shook her head. “You going to dance with me Benjamin?”

    “Sure, I must warn you, I don’t have Axel’s moves.”

    She led the way to the dance floor and in the din of the crowd looked over her shoulder at him and said. “I’ve seen your moves, they are, way way better than Axel’s.”

     

    She wanted to kill him, apparently. Watching her shake her thing on the dance floor had him fixing his jaw and by the time Alexi muscled in he was sure he was grinding his teeth, not that the sweet girl talking to him seemed to notice she just kept flirting away. He hoped he was more subtle than he felt, and that the girl wasn’t just oblivious, but he couldn’t be certain.

    No as he followed Tiffany on to the dance floor in that dress that made her look incredible, he was going to need all the restraint in the world to hold it together and not pull his body up against those sweet curves. Hopefully the universe would throw him a bone and the music would stay fast. Tiffany headed to the middle of the floor and turned and gave him a sultry look. She was a little buzzed, but she was having way too much fun at his expense. The ridiculous part was he was getting nothing out of it but the pleasure of her company, she’d made that well not clear exactly but, he was fairly certain that was the reality.

    For the next ten minutes he let her shimmy and shake around him like he was a pole. She was so joyous in her dancing he couldn’t help but enjoy himself, but it was pure torture and that was long enough. He couldn’t leave her alone on the dance floor because it was very clear there were plenty of men happy to come and take his place and as hard as it was being here watching her with someone else would be worse.

    “How about we grab a water?” He wrapped his hand around her waist and hauled her off the dance floor.

    “Party pooper.” She said with an adorable pout. “Can I at least have another champagne?”

    “You can have whatever you like but I’m pretty sure you have an early start and divas to handle tomorrow.”

    He hadn’t released her, and he felt the groan she let out all through his body. It wasn’t exactly the sound he wanted to make her make.

    “Now you’re a total buzz kill…” she looked at the thin gold watch around her delicate wrist. “But you’re also right.”

    “Do you feel better than when you arrived?’

    “Absolutely. I love to dance. I miss it.”

    She lived nearby. There were plenty of places to dance here in Vegas, hundreds in fact. It was odd that she didn’t do it.

    “You should do it more often then.”

    “As long as you don’t have to watch.” She gave him a nudge with her hip.

    “Exactly. Come on pretty girl. Let’s get you to bed before you turn into a pumpkin.”

    “I don’t think that’s exactly how the story goes Benjamin.” She smiled. “I’m still resisting you, though you have made it exceptionally hard tonight.”

    He sighed. Hard was definitely the word for it. The man didn’t like it, but he understood.

    Want to read Book 1 – Playing at Love or Book 2 – Playing it Safe click here.

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