Posts tagged with: Australian Authors

Vanessa Barneveld’s Winner!

BanditBootyThanks to everyone who swung by yesterday to turn my friend Vanessa Barneveld’s launch of her debut YA THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE into such a party. I’m delighted now to announce the winner:

DONNA FLINT!

Donna, please email Vanessa on ness @ vanessabarneveld.com (no spaces) with your preferred ebook format and the address where you’d like Vanessa to send both your Amazon $20 gift card and your download of THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE. Happy reading!

This Is Vanessa Barneveld!

v1I’m delighted to host for the very first time in the lair, my very dear friend Vanessa Barneveld, a triple Golden Heart finalist. Vanessa’s debut young adult romance THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE comes out from Bloomsbury Spark today!

Vanessa and I met some years ago, working as captioners on television programs for the Deaf. We bonded over a mutual love for romance and a shared dream to be published romance writers. I’m so happy for Vanessa that her dream has come true in such style!

Here’s the blurb for THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE:

When the one boy you crushed on in life can’t seem to stay away in death, it’s hard to be a normal teen when you’re a teen paranormal.

Sixteen-year-old Keira Nolan has finally got what she wanted—the captain of the football team in her bedroom. Problem is he’s not in the flesh. He’s a ghost and she’s the only one who can see him.

v2Keira’s determined to do anything to find Jimmy’s killer. Even it if means teaming up with his prickly-yet-dangerously-attractive brother, Dan, also Keira’s ex-best-friend. Keira finds that her childish crush is fading, but her feelings for Dan are just starting to heat up, and as the story of Jimmy’s murder unfolds, anyone could be a suspect.

You can find out more about Vanessa and her books on her website: http://www.vanessabarneveld.com/

By the way, I love the ‘ghostly’ pics Vanessa sent to accompany this article. The cemetery ones are from Camperdown in Sydney – and of course every paranormal writer needs cats, especially black ones!

Check out the great trailer Vanessa made for her book. That Dan’s a bit of all right, isn’t he?

Vanessa, I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to host you at the Romance Bandits to celebrate the release of your first book THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE. Can you tell us something about this story?

v3Anna, I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be in the Lair as a debut author! You and the Banditas have been so good to me over the years. (Waving to the Golden Rooster and the trusty cabana boys!) THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE was a finalist in this year’s Golden Heart YA category. It’s a paranormal that brings new meaning to “teen spirit.”

Sounds great! What were the inspirations behind this story?

The idea of ghosts is endlessly fascinating to me. As a child, I fed my imagination with a UK series of magazines called THE UNEXPLAINED, which was chock-full of paranormal phenomena. So it’s no surprise that this led me to writing ghost stories!

V 5As with most of my books, it was the title that came first. I don’t remember the exact moment it hit me, but from then on, characters started “talking” to me. Jimmy, the dead guy, had looks, talent and his own fan club. The world was at his feet, but it was ripped from under him in one terrible moment. My heroine, Keira, is clairvoyant. That means she sees dead people. Her character is loosely based on a member of my husband’s family who was psychic and helped police with investigations many years ago. Keira was a card-carrying member of Jimmy’s fan club. “What bugs me is that I’ve been invisible to Jimmy for years. Now that he’s dead, he finally sees me. There is no justice in the world,” she says.

V 6Oh, no wonder Keira’s a bit annoyed! What’s coming up next?

I’m partying for the next week – literally! I’ve got a stellar line-up of YA authors sharing spooky stories on my blog. Once the paranormal party’s over, it’s back to work on my follow-up book, AFTERLIFE GOES ON. I may or may not be traveling to Amsterdam to research that story. I’m partway through a UFO abduction book. It’s a ton of fun! I may or may not be traveling to another galaxy to research that story. Next year, I hope to continue my master’s degree in writing.

We love, love, love call stories in the lair. Can you please tell us yours?

With pleasure! I’ve been writing with the aim of publication since 1997 and have written eight or nine paranormal and contemporary YA manuscripts since then. In 2007, after facing more than 100 agent rejections on three different books, I signed with Writers House. (Third time lucky!) Then we proceeded to rack up so many rejections I was sure I’d make the GUINNESS BOOK OF RECORDS. The rejections were rarely about the writing—that was comforting!

V 7THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE was the fourth of my books to be shopped. Rejections galore, which I had come to expect. My agent submitted to Bloomsbury’s New York office in July 2013. A few days later, my sister and I went to London and we kept drifting toward the Bloomsbury area. Just by accident, but I thought it was a nice omen.

In March this year, my agent emailed me when I was at the day job and said she wanted to call me. I immediately thought, “Maybe she wants to drop me!” I quickly emailed a very wise and trusted friend who told me I was a total loon. (Not in so many words.)

As it turns out, my agent had the best news of all — an offer from Bloomsbury Spark! My workmates managed to find a bottle of champagne at 10 o’clock in the morning and we had a little celebration. The book received a Golden Heart nomination a few weeks after that.

v 8Great story! Young adult books are huge in the market right now, with all ages. What do you think is the appeal of the genre for the general reader?

I can speak for myself in that teen fiction allows me to see the world through a younger person’s filter. I like seeing how teen characters react against the problems they face and choices they have to make. It brings back great (and not-so-great!) memories of firsts – first kisses, first dates, first time you felt like you were growing into your identity.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Simplest advice? Read! Study the masters of your genre. I recommend reading out of your genre for a fresh perspective, too. If there’s one thing I know about writing it’s that I don’t know enough about writing! So whatever level you’re at, keep learning through workshops or craft books and blogs. Join an organisation for writers (e.g. RWA) where you can find a critique group, learn from others, and importantly, share what you’ve learned. And one last thing—just write. It doesn’t have to be Pulitzer Prize-winning prose, not in the first draft, anyway! Good luck! :-)

Great advice, Vanessa. Do you have a question for the Bandits and Bandita Buddies to get conversation going?

If you could have a paranormal power, what would it be and why?

BanditBootyGet commenting, people! Vanessa has very generously offered a download of THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE along with a $20 Amazon giftcard for someone who leaves us a message today. Good luck!

Sandra Antonelli’s Winners!

BanditBootyThanks to everyone who swung by to give Sandra Antonelli such a great welcome on Friday. I’m now delighted to announce Sandra’s winners:

DEBBIE OXIER (Driving in Neutral)

SHANNON (For Your Eyes Only)

Congratulations, girls. Please contact Sandra on sandraantonelli! @ gmail.com (no spaces) with your e-book account information (email address and preferred format, Kindle or whatever) and she’ll get your prizes off to you. Happy reading!

 

Annie West’s Winners!

1BanditBootyThanks so much to everyone for giving Annie West such a lovely warm welcome yesterday. The winners of Annie’s DAMASO CLAIMS HIS HEIR are:

DEANNA

JANE

Congratulations, Deanna and Jane! Email Annie on annie @ annie-west.com (no spaces) with your snail mail details and she’ll get your book off to you. It’s a doozy of a read so I’m sure you’ll love it!

Stefanie London’s Winner!

1BanditBootyThank you so much for the lovely warm welcome you gave debut Aussie author Stefanie London yesterday. We wish her all the best with her first book ONLY THE BRAVE TRY BALLET.

The winner of the signed copy of OTBTB is:

LOUISA CORNELL!

Congratulations, Louisa. Please email Stef on stefanie @ stefanie-london.com(no spaces) with your snail mail details and she’ll get your book off to you. Happy reading!

 

Meet Debut Author Stefanie London!

stef 1

Oh, we do love a debut author in the lair!

I first met the delightful Stefanie London at a Melbourne Romance Writers Guild retreat in May 2013 on the coast just outside Melbourne. Annie West and I ran a half-day workshop on characterization. I was immediately impressed with Stef’s talent and professional approach to a writing career. At that stage, she’d received encouraging responses to her submissions to Harlequin Mills and Boon and I wasn’t at all surprised when shortly afterwards, Stef went public with the news that she’d had a book accepted in the KISS line.

Here’s the blurb for her first book, ONLY THE BRAVE TRY BALLET:

Step up, Grant Farley…not your typical ballet student!

stef 2Football pro Grant Farley is nursing an injury and needs to get back into shape—fast. Ballet wouldn’t be his first or even his last choice, but he’s desperate. Enter tantalizingly prim teacher Jasmine Bell—one disapproving arch of her eyebrow and Grant knows he’ll enjoy getting her tutu in a flutter!

But it’s not only Grant’s flexibility that Jasmine’s pushing to the limit! He knows she feels the heat between them, so why won’t she give in to it? Time to convince Jasmine that if she’s brave enough to dance en pointe she can certainly handle a fling with him!

ONLY THE BRAVE TRY BALLET is a July release in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia.

You can find out more about Stefanie and her sparkling romances at her website: http://stefanie-london.com/

stefStef, welcome to the lair! Firstly, can you please tell us about your debut for Harlequin Mills and Boon, ONLY THE BRAVE TRY BALLET?

ONLY THE BRAVE TRY BALLET is a story about two people who’ve worked hard at their dream, only to have it crumble around them. Jasmine Bell is a former professional ballerina who can no longer dance en pointe and Grant Farley is an AFL player trying to shake off his wild-child past. On the surface they seem like complete opposites, but deep down they’re both passionate, hard-working people who find it difficult to trust. They have to learn what it means to be brave in order to regain passion in their lives.

Sounds yummy! What were the inspirations behind this book?

Well, I always wanted to be a ballerina when I was growing up and I studied it for over ten years. But the idea actually sparked when I read an article about football players who took ballet lessons to improve flexibility and prevent injuries. I wondered how they would feel (as professional athletes used to being at the top of their game) being plunged into a completely foreign activity. Would they fight against it? Would they grow from the experience and learn to appreciate what an art ballet is? Our hero, Grant, experiences the frustrations of many new ballet students: sore calves, steps that seem impossible, a lack of balance. Luckily for Grant, his ballet teacher is right there to help him every step of the way.

stef 3What is coming up for Stefanie London?

In October my second book with Harlequin Mills & Boon will be out. BREAKING THE BRO CODE is linked to my debut. This time it’s Elise Johnson, the owner of the ballet studio, who’s mixing business and pleasure.

I’m also making an exciting personal move. My husband and I are setting off to live in Canada, which is a long way from home in Melbourne! But we’re very excited at the prospect of being able to travel and explore what looks to be an absolutely beautiful country.

mrwg retreatGood luck with the move! By the way, Stef is centre front in the picture from the retreat to the left. Stef, we love call stories in the lair. Can you please give us yours?

Absolutely! ONLY THE BRAVE TRY BALLET is the first book I’ve ever written, so I really had no idea how to submit a manuscript or get published. Luckily, I found a competition online which was being run by the wonderful editors of Harlequin KISS. They wanted entrants to pitch their story in a single paragraph, no easy task!

stef 4While my pitch wasn’t selected as a winner, the editors were interested in the premise and wanted to see my manuscript. I was so excited that I accidentally deleted the email and had to trawl through my trash file to find it again! I sent my manuscript off, not thinking it would go anywhere, and after three rounds of revisions (and about eight months) I got a call from the Mills & Boon office in London with an offer of a two book contract. I actually cried when I got off the phone, I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited in my whole life.

Congratulations! Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

There’s so many wonderful pieces of advice that I’ve come across, but these are my top three:

stef 5- Get a support network – writing is tough, it takes a lot of time and sometimes it makes you crazy. You need people around you who will help when things aren’t going well and who will cheer when you do something great.
– Read, read, read – it seems obvious, but it’s so true. Read far and wide, devour your genre like you’ve discovered it for the first time, read outside your genre, read non-fiction. Reading helps to refill the ‘creative well’ and I always write better when I’m reading regularly.
– Look for opportunities – I owe my success to a writing competition, these are a great way to get your work discovered. Getting a request from an editor means skipping the slush pile. Also, look out for editors on Twitter and Facebook, they often write about the things they’re looking for in submission.

That’s great advice, Stef. Do you have a question for the Bandits and Bandita Buddies to get conversation rolling?

Part of writing ONLY THE BRAVE TRY BALLET was fulfilling my childhood dream of being a ballerina. What did you want to be when you were growing up?

1BanditBootyStef has very generously offered a print copy of ONLY THE BRAVE TRY BALLET (international) for a commenter today. So good luck, people!

Susanne Bellamy’s Winners!

BanditBootyThank you to everyone who swung by Susanne Bellamy’s post yesterday. We all had a wonderful time talking about our fantasy holidays!

I’m delighted now to announce the winners of Susanne’s prizes:

JANE!

PEARL!

Jane and Pearl, congratulations! You’ve won your choice of either WHITE GINGER or ONE NIGHT IN SORRENTO. Can you please email Susanne on susannebellamy @ gmail.com (no spaces) and let her know your email address and the format you prefer (Kindle or whatever)? Happy reading!

Susanne Bellamy Is Going Places!

Sue 1Today, I’m delighted to introduce to the lair one of the nicest people I know, bubbly Aussie contemporary romance author Susanne Bellamy. Sue and I met at a workshop Bandita Christina Brooke and I ran for the Brisbane Writers Festival some years ago and it’s always such a pleasure to meet up with her and catch up on her doings. So I thought you guys should share in the fun!

You can find out more about Sue and her books on her website: http://www.susannebellamy.com/

And Sue is a Facebook maven! You can find her at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Susanne-Bellamy-Author/165832666817825

Susanne, welcome to the Bandita lair!  I’m so excited to introduce our Bandita Buddies to a great new Aussie author. Firstly, can you please tell us about your latest release ONE NIGHT IN SORRENTO?

Delighted to visit your lair, Anna! I’ve been in my writing cave recently and needed to venture out!

Sue 2Italy has fascinated me for a long time. As a young teenager, I went to Italian language classes with an older sister and fell in love with the language; it’s not called a ‘romance’ language for nothing! Films such as “Roman Holiday” and “Only You” fed my addiction, and Italian dishes are my favourite foods. When I decided to try the novella form, I was on the Amalfi Coast and the story sprang almost fully formed into my mind.

Rhiannon Butler is on a business trip to Sorrento in place of her ill stepfather when an accident throws her in the path of Luca d’Alberghi, leather-clad and riding a monster motorbike. Serious chemistry sparks between them when they take a ride along this glorious coastline. What will one night in Sorrento bring?

Yummy! What were the inspirations behind this book?

Would you believe—the Amalfi Coast road! My husband and I spent a week there. The road has to be experienced but honestly—it was the inspiration for Luca and Rhiannon’s story. They meet on this road and Luca in his leathers takes Rhiannon up on his modern version of the ‘white charger’, a very big silver and black motorbike! There is something magical about this stretch of coast with its myriad bends and narrow passages. Brilliant driving and common sense negotiations keep it flowing and the views are stunning. It’s one of the top ten coastal drives in the world.

Sue 3Your debut release was WHITE GINGER. Can you tell us about that story?

While the cat’s away! My husband was on his fourth or fifth trip to Nepal and, to fill in the evenings while he was gone, I wrote WHITE GINGER. We chatted over incredibly slow internet connections and he would tell me about the cold and the snow; I transposed that to heat and sand. What better place than Kauai, one of the Hawaiian Islands!

Amelie Mackenzie needs an escape from her ex-fiancé and her boss offers her the chance to continue her fabric designs in Hawaii in preparation for a major trade show. Arne (Keanu) Keloki is a marine biologist fighting a desperate battle to protect the reef from a wealthy developer. Being with Arne is exciting and sparks become sizzling attraction as he challenges Amelie to overcome her deepest phobia. But danger and sabotage threaten not only their relationship but also their lives. Will their efforts to save the reef tear them apart?

Sue 6What is coming up for Susanne Bellamy?

On August 1, ENGAGING THE ENEMY releases with Harlequin’s Escape Publishing (digital). This story came into being on my first tram ride in Melbourne when I sighted an abandoned red brick building. The protagonists jumped into my head and my heart.

One building, two would-be owners. He needs it to avenge his past, she needs it for her future. When Matt Mahoney buys back the old home turned pub turned shelter for abused women and children, he buys into a fight he never expected. Wanting to restore his mother’s family home, he is challenged on every front by Andie de Villiers as she fights to keep the only shelter many of her clients have. His proposition is to become his fake fiancée in return for a brief reprieve. But what of the family feud neither knew existed?

Sue 7I’m currently in the middle of revisions for EMERALD QUEST: WINNING THE HEIRESS’S HEART for Entangled Publishing. It is the fourth of five books by five authors in a series that spans two centuries and releases in early 2015. My part of the story is set in — HAWAII! It’s 1960 and Hawaii has just joined the US as the 50th state. This romantic suspense will continue the search for a fabulous emerald and diamond necklace when English ‘heiress’, Eva Abbott, takes her nephew to a new life on a plantation in Hawaii. Her handsome neighbour, Luc Martineau, provides both help and hindrance. Who can Eva trust when bad things start happening?

Three other author friends and I are working on a Christmas anthology—our Christmas gift to our readers so keep an eye out for A SEASON TO REMEMBER come December!

I notice that you love to use exotic destinations as the settings for your books. Have you been to all these wonderful places? What’s your favorite travel destination?

Sue 4Tough question, Anna! I enjoy wherever I am though I recently realised I have a thing for high places. I love the cable car ride in Singapore, the funicular to Hong Kong’s Peak, the Eiffel Tower, Hitler’s Eyrie, Villa Jovus on Capri; if you can go up high to look out, I’ll probably be there. Places and atmosphere often stimulate a story idea for me. I love to people a place like the stretch of coast road in Atrani (next door to Amalfi) and see what happens when characters are taken out of their familiar environments. Rhiannon (ONIS) speaks not a word of Italian which leads to her dilemma in the first place! I also love to travel and have either visited, or plan to visit the places I write about. I have a story set in Nepal simmering away; I travelled there years ago with my husband who keeps going back to do harder climbing and trekking than I can manage. If I can evoke the feel of a new place for readers and give them a fun escape and vicarious travel, then I’m happy.

Sue 5If I have to pick just one place though, I’ll go with Tuscany. We lived in a vineyard villa for a while and took lots of day trips into the surrounding towns. Siena is stunning and Montepulciano is lovely (and high up!). The views are unbelievable.

As this is your first visit, we’d love to hear about your writing journey.

Like other writers, I’ve always been a voracious reader; I don’t remember a time when I haven’t read, including under the sheets with a torch after ‘lights out’. I won a writing competition at high school but didn’t write for many years while I worked and raised my family.

WHITE GINGER was my first full length book and it won third place in the RWA (Oz) Emerald Award. I have to thank you for encouraging me at the Brisbane Writers Festival to join the RWA and enter competitions! Unbelievable as it still seems, that first book was picked up by a small publisher. Wonderful writer friends have continued to encourage me along the way and I find myself with two works published, three more scheduled and a thousand and one stories calling to me to write them. I’m drawn to write romantic suspense but my reading tends to be historical romance; however, the Emerald Quest will allow me to combine both loves. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy WHITE GINGER and ONE NIGHT IN SORRENTO.

If you want to see some of my visual inspiration, check out my boards on Pinterest. I’m a visual person and these help me to construct character and place. http://www.pinterest.com/susannebellamy/

BanditBootyINTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY

I’m offering one copy of either book to two commenters but you need to leave your email address in your comment to be in the running. If you’d like to be in with a chance, please tell me what you would like to do or see on a trip to either the Amalfi Coast or to Hawaii.  Easy!

Ooh, right now the thing I’d like to see is a ticket to either place! Thanks so much, Susanne. Get commenting, people! We could all do with some extra international glamour and romance in our lives!  

Alison Stuart Reflects on Old Friends

AB6I’m delighted to welcome back to the lair my friend, Aussie historical romance writer Alison Stuart. Alison’s here to tell us about her latest release, the Regency mystery-romance LORD SOMERTON’S HEIR. Here’s the blurb: 

Can the love of an honourable man save her from the memory of a desolate marriage?

From the battlefield of Waterloo to the drawing rooms of Brantstone Hall, Sebastian Alder’s elevation from penniless army captain to Viscount Somerton is the stuff of dreams. But the cold reality of an inherited estate in wretched condition, and the suspicious circumstances surrounding his cousin’s death, provide Sebastian with no time for dreams, only a mystery to solve and a murderer to bring to justice.

AB4Isabel, widow of the late Lord Somerton, is desperate to bury the memory of her unhappy marriage by founding the charity school she has always dreamed of. But, her dreams are shattered, as she is taunted from the grave, discovering not only has she been left penniless, but she is once more bound to the whims of a Somerton.

But this Somerton is unlike any man she has met. Can the love of an honourable man heal her broken heart or will suspicion tear them apart?

To find out more about Alison and her books, please visit her website: www.alisonstuart.com

LORD SOMERTON’S HEIR is available from AMAZON, Barnes & Noble and all good ebook stores.

For the month of May, Alison is offering a Rafflecopter contest with the prize of an author goody bag. You can enter HERE.

Here’s Alison!

I was very sad to hear of the death this month of Mary Stewart (although to be honest, I didn’t know she was still alive so I shouldn’t have been taken aback by the announcement of her death). Anyway, it got me thinking about the authors who have most influenced me in my writing.

AB3I actually haven’t read many of Stewart’s mystery stories for which she was best known in the early part of her career. The books that grabbed me by the throat and which sit on my ‘keeper’ shelf battered and thumbed and reread are her three Merlin stories beginning with THE CRYSTAL CAVE. What set them apart for me from the hundreds and hundreds of Arthurian reinterpretations (MISTS OF AVALON is another fave), was the humanity she invested in Merlin. Instead of a mystical being in a tall pointy hat, Merlin starts out as a boy in a Romano British household and comes to his position of power and influence in a thoroughly human way. Along the way he loves, he loses, he is betrayed… It is not, as has been described in some reports, a “romance”… there’s not a happy ever after for Merlin but there is a satisfactory conclusion and when you close THE  LAST ENCHANTMENT you have the feeling of a life well lived. I had great pleasure in introducing my teenage son to these books and watching him devour them as I had done. 

AB5Like most writers, I was a voracious reader from an early age.  However my taste was for action and adventure and although I cut my teeth on Enid Blyton, it was not the namby pamby FAR AWAY TREE, I was straight into the Famous Five and the Secret Seven, the shenanigans of Mallory Towers.  Other childhood favourites included:

  • Horsey stories such as the MY FRIEND FLICKA stories by O’Hara
  • The fantasy stories of Alan Garner such as ELIDOR
  • The Laura Ingalls Wilder stories which I read and reread until I could practically repeat them and were probably the most “girly” books I read.

But my overwhelming favourites were the stories of Rosemary Sutcliff and Ronald Welch and the English Civil War stories of Barbara Softly – strong historicals written for young adults with plenty of action and adventure and a good dose of romance but not necessarily romance stories. I devoured these books and there is no doubt that they had the strongest influence on the stories I write. I think I damaged my eyesight reading EAGLE OF THE NINTH under the covers by torchlight after my light was supposed to be out.

Has anyone out there read Ronald Welch? They were boys own adventures revolving around the “Carey” family – wherever there was a war or an interesting period of history, there you would find a Carey.  Of course my favourite was FOR THE KING  – the English Civil War story.  I graduated to the stories of Jean Plaidy and Robert Neill by the time I was fifteen I had pretty much exhausted every historical book that the Parkdale Library had to offer.

My passion for all things English Civil War began with THE KING’S GENERAL by Daphne DuMaurier. On Sunday afternoons my father would read to my brother and I but he loathed reading “children’s books” so the choice of book tended to be his and he, of course, chose the books he liked which is how I came to have THE KING’S GENERAL read aloud to me when I was only eight. The love affair between Honor and Richard Grenville and the derring do of the period really struck a cord with me and inspired a life long interest in both the period and books that encompassed a strong relationship between a man and a woman within the context of a historical period.

AB1My other great love was Agatha Christie. Every year my family holidayed at a guest house in Marysville (sadly destroyed in the 2009 bushfires) and my overwhelming association with that guest house are the books of Agatha Christie which I would purchase from the one shop in the town and read either curled up in front of the fire or in one of the chairs on the wide, wooden verandah. 

On the other hand, I was a Georgette Heyer fail. I think I might have read THE BLACK MOTH and I know I read THE ROYAL ESCAPE (because it was about the English Civil War) but her regency romances held no interest for me whatsoever. However, I hasten to add, I have come to Georgette in more recent years and as an adult (and a writer) I love her books (although am I the only who find THESE OLD SHADES just a bit creepy?). While I am making my confession, I wasn’t all that fond of Jane Austen either. As for Harlequin Mills and Boon, I read my first one on the plane home from my very first Romance Writers of Australia conference (a gorgeous Marion Lennox story which I still have on my keeper shelf). To be honest I didn’t even know the first book I wrote (later published as BY THE SWORD) was a romance. I was, in short, a romance fail.

AB2So I suppose it is little wonder that my own writing cuts across all these influences – romantic action adventures with action, mystery, murder, ghosts, time travel – sometimes all in the same book.  Even with my latest story LORD SOMERTON’S HEIR, which is my first venture into the world of the Regency, the romance is bounded by a murder mystery that must be solved before the hero and heroine approach anything like a happy ever after.  I think I can quite safely describe my style of writing as cross genre!

Just recently I started trawling Ebay looking for copies of my childhood favourites. Having them back on my bookshelf with the familiar covers, is like being reunited with old friends. 

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE CHILDHOOD BOOKS?

Thanks, Alison, that was fascinating. And yeah, I get you on THESE OLD SHADES, although as a pre-teen when I first read it, the age difference didn’t strike me the way it does now. Good luck with Lord Somerton. I loved GATHER THE BONES and this looks like another winner!

Annie West’s Winners!

BanditBootyThanks so much to everyone who swung by to say hello to Annie West yesterday, not to mention Annie herself. We launched BACK IN THE ITALIAN’S BED in style!

Two commenters have won their choice (print) from Annie’s backlist. Annie’s lucky winners are:

CECILIA

SHANNON

Congratulations, girls. Please check out Annie’s current books at: http://www.annie-west.com/books.html Then please email her on annie @ annie-west.com (no spaces) with your choice. Happy reading!

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