Friday, 26 April 2013

Author Hot Seat Welcomes Maggie Nash

The author hot seat specials are designed to help readers get to know some of todays popular and up and coming authors a little better. The questions are broken into four sections - About your writing, about you, fun stuff and finally. Some of the questions are easy, other may need a little more thought and some may cause our author friends to hesitate before answering. Still, they all answer.

Today we welcome Maggie Nash to the hot seat, Maggie is not only a great author but a fun  person to hang out with.  Having attended the Australia Romance Readers Convention earlier this year with her I can vouch for that. Let's see what  Maggie has to say today.

About your writing:

How did you get started as a writer?

I know this sounds really cliché, but I really did start writing one day when I ran out of books to read. I was a stay at home mum at the time, and I’d gotten in the habit of reading at least one book a day! Yes, it’s true – I am a book addict. This particular day my car was getting serviced and I was stuck in the house. Public transport and shops weren’t much of an option where I was living, and I realised that I’d already re read most of my keepers. I sat at the computer tapping my fingers on the mouse and wondering what I could do, then it came to me – why not write one myself? So I made myself a cup of tea, thought about what I would like to read, and then sat back at the computer and wrote the first chapter of my first book.  I realised very quickly that I had no idea what I was doing, so I researched and found writing organisations and groups online, and joined Romance Writers of Australia and from there I was hooked!

Why do you write?

I’m not sure, to be honest. I’ve always been one of those people who notice things…things others don’t necessarily see, and I like to share what I see, feel and think. So maybe that’s it? Or maybe I’m just an exhibitionist at heart LOL.

Have you ever had a day you wanted to quit and never write again?

Absolutely! But they don’t last long because as soon as I think I want to quit, I start thinking about how much I would miss it and I start planning the next writing session J

Do you feel lucky to be doing what you are doing?

Oh yes, I love writing, I love working with my editor, and getting a new cover and seeing the book for sale…all of it is so much fun and I feel very blessed.

Tell me how you got to where you are today?

To be honest, it’s been a long and rocky journey LOL.  I started my first book in 2003, it was published in 2005, then a few publishing company disasters happened and I was out of circulation for a few years, but I came back and since 2009 I’ve had 5 books out.  Yes, I’m a slow writer!

How do your family/spouses react to your work as an author? Do they know what you write? 

My family are very supportive. My husband loves reading my books and my mum says the sex scenes are “very educational” J  My sons think it’s cool, but will never read any of my stuff… “We don’t want those pictures in our heads!”

About you:

What are you passionate about in life?

My family, my friends, my writing and my day job teaching at university.

If you had to give a thank-you speech at the Oscars, who would you thank and what would you say?

I’d thank my writers group for their support and friendship, my editors and publishers for helping me be a better writer, Romance Writers of Australia for getting me off on the right track, my readers for taking the time to look at my work, and my family for putting up with me when I’m on a deadline!

What are the three most important life lessons you’ve learned that might make life easier for others?

Forgive and move on.
Don’t stress about what you can’t change.
Keep working towards that dream and it will happen!

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional. Whom would it be and why?

I want to be Eve Dallas – because I want to be married to Roarke!

What's the worst thing you did as a kid?

When I was 3, I was supposed to go to a neighbours house for the day while she visited my brother in hospital, but I hated them, so I tricked my mum into thinking I’d gone there…then snuck back into the house and stayed by myself for the day….until some friends of my mother dropped by and found me!  They got me dressed in my best clothes and took me to the beach and bought me fish and chips and icecream!

What do you do to have fun?

I love to spend time with my friends while I’m drinking a great coffee.

Share a funny incident in your life.

You mean my adventure as a 3 year old isn’t funny enough?

Fun Stuff:

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see play the lead role as you?

Definitely Julia Roberts.

If you were a type of food, what type of food would you be?

Chocolate brownies…crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside.

What is your favorite color- food- song- movie?

Purple-chocolate-Home by Michael Buble-Moonstruck

What's the funniest pick up line ever used on you?

D’you root?  (Yes – really!)

What's the one thing you can't live without?

My Redness Solutions makeup for my red face!

And finally:

You are driving along in your car on a wild, stormy night, it's raining heavily, when suddenly you pass by a bus stop, and you see three people waiting for a bus:
                       -An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.
                       -An old friend who once saved your life.
                       -The perfect partner you have been dreaming about.
You can only fit one person in your car, who would you choose to offer a ride to?

Wow – that’s a tough one!  I am thinking I would comfort the old lady, give the perfect partner a kiss, then save my old friend. 

Thanks Maggie, and yes the story of when you were threee was funny enough :) If you'd like to ask Maggie anything just pop your questions in the comment section or if you just want to find out more about Maggie and her work then check out the following links.


Maggies has a new book, KINKY BET (Releasing on 29 April, but available for pre order now!) Here's a littel peek at what you're in for. For anyone wanting to pre-order please click the buy link at the bottomof this post. 


Who knew losing a bet could be this much fun?

Erica Nielsen agreed to a bet with her best friend, but she never imagined losing would involve a weekend of punishment at Dangerous Liaison, a BSDM retreat. But was it really punishment being trained by a sexy Irishman who takes her on a sexual journey of a lifetime?

Conal Brennan agrees to help a young woman find her submissive nature. He always enjoys being the one in control, but one look at the Nordic blonde he calls 'Fire girl' and he’s not sure who’s controlling whom.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of light BDSM, spanking, bondage, voyeurism, group sex, public sex, M/F/M, some F/F action and a whole lot of kink!


Thursday, 25 April 2013

Lest We Forget

April 25th is Anzac Day in Australia. It's our day to honor veterans and remember those who have died defending our freedom. Anzac stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corp and the day initially referred to the those soldiers who served and died in the battle at Gallipoli during world war two.

For more information about this special day for Australian's here's an interesting link to check out. Anzac Day History and Traditions.

At the traditional dawn service for Anzac Day, Australians often leave red poppies as a sign of rememberance for the fallen. 

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. 

At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.

Lest We Forget.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Author Hot Seat Welcomes Bronwyn Stuart

The author hot seat specials are designed to help readers get to know some of todays popular and up and coming authors a little better. The questions are broken into four sections - About your writing, about you, fun stuff and finally. Some of the questions are easy, other may need a little more thought and some may cause our author friends to hesitate before answering. Still, they all answer.

Today I have Australian Author Bronwyn Stuart sitting in the hot seat. Bronwyn is an author of Historical Romance. Her first novel, Scandal’s Mistress is currently out through Carina Press and her second Regency, Behind the Courtesan is set to release on April 22nd. I’m so pleased to feature Bronwyn here today, now lets see what she has to say. 

About your writing:

How did you get started as a writer?

Pre-kids, I used to work long night shifts in a security control room and spent most of the time reading to stay awake. One night I finished a book with the worst ending (I don’t remember what book) and decided I could have done so much better. I started writing that very day and haven’t stopped since. But I do have to say, that first book was not better than anything. Ever.

Why do you write?

Mostly because I can. Also because I love it. In my own way, I like to entertain, and I feel as though I have things to say that some people may want to hear. For those who know me, I never shut up. Being able to make stuff up and write the happy endings is awesome too.

Have you ever had a day you wanted to quit and never write again?

Not quit. No. I honestly think if it’s something you love, you could never even think about quitting. I have thought about quitting a particular book or story. I get a little edgy when it’s time to edit too.

Do you feel lucky to be doing what you are doing?

Lucky is not the word I’d attribute to what I’m doing. I work my butt off to get a contract and then work even harder to get it published. I do feel honored that people spend their hard earned dollars on my books so I can write the next one. I’m ecstatic to be an author. 

Tell me how you got to where you are today?

Really hard work. Lots of really hard work. And then when you think you’ve done enough, you have to do more. I started with an idea and a very supportive husband who didn’t laugh like I thought he would when I said I was writing a book. Then the hard work came in. Add that I’m very persistent, stubborn and single minded when I set a goal. You have to really want it, then you would do just about anything to get it.

How do your family/spouses react to your work as an author? Do they know what you write?

I never hide the fact that I’m an author from anyone. Sometimes I get tripped up when they ask what I write. I feel there’s still a taboo tag stuck to the ass end of romance so depending on who I speak to and how I think they are going to react, depends on how much I tell that person. My family and friends are behind me 200%. Without that, this would be so much harder! 

About you:

What are you passionate about in life?

Shoes. No, just kidding. Sort of… I am passionate about my children and making sure they grow up intelligent and well adjusted. I find that even though I’m the biggest pessimist out, I’m passionate about so many different aspects of success and building self confidence in women so they can stand up to bullies and men and... I could be here all day…

If you had to give a thank-you speech at the Oscars, who would you thank and what would you say?

I would like to thank my children for putting up with the three meter partition we had installed across the open plan dining room so I could write. Thanks to my husband for not following up the eye rolls when he walks in the door with “what did you actually do today”. And thanks to everyone who has ever come to my little pity parties and helped lift me up. Oh and RWA. Without the amazing support of Romance Writer’s of Australia and her members, I would still be groping about in the dark…

What are the three most important life lessons you’ve learned that might make life easier for others?

-Be yourself. If someone doesn’t like who you are, then stiff. You should never have to change yourself to suit the people around you.
-There is so much more to life than you think when you are in your teens. I hate seeing teens commit suicide because they think life could not possibly get better for them. I wish someone had of revealed the perks of being an adult in all its glory while I was in high school.
-Nothing ever comes for free. If it feels too good to be true, then it usually is. If you want something in this life, you have to make it happen. No one else will.

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional. Whom would it be and why?

Ooh, only for a week? If it didn’t have to be a person I would say one of my cats. Then I could sleep for a week. I would have to say Angelina Jolie. Do I need to explain the Brad factor?

What's the worst thing you did as a kid?

I did lots of things that were bad when I was a kid... I used to steal money from my parents to swim in the local pool. A whole 20 cents here and there and I still feel bad about it.

What do you do to have fun?

Drink wine? I love being around my friends and family so BBQ’s are something we do often. We also have cards nights where we play 50cent hands of Texas Hold’em. As long as I’m laughing, I’m having fun.

Share a funny incident in your life?

There are so many to choose from! I’ll go with one that I know gets other teens sometimes too. I finished work one afternoon and walked out to my death trap car (it was super cheap), put the key in and nothing happened. I thought the car was dead. I popped the bonnet and had a look around (my dad taught me my way around a car’s engine) but couldn’t see anything wrong. I called my dad and asked him to come and help me with the car because I just couldn’t figure it out. He drove down to me and got in the driver’s seat. He didn’t even turn the key. He checked the handbrake and then put the car into park. I had left it in drive and of course an automatic car won’t start while it’s in gear. Very stooped moment for me.
Fun Stuff:

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see play the lead role as you?

Emma Stone for sure. She played the lead in Easy A and I loved her in Zombieland. More than anything she has freckles all over her face and so do I. She has a kick-ass sarcastic attitude as do I. But most of all, she owns it. All of it. I’ve never heard her apologize for being her.

If you were a type of food, what type of food would you be?

Chocolate. Smooth, sophisticated, not apologetic for not looking fantastic (let’s face it, how much brown food do you eat that actually looks good?).

What is your favorite color- food- song- movie?
Black – Salt – Thousand Years by Christina Perri – What Dreams May Come with Cuba Gooding Jnr and Robin Williams.

What's the funniest pick up line ever used on you?

You must be an angel and I must be in heaven.

What's the one thing you can't live without?

My family. Then my kindle.

And finally:

You are driving along in your car on a wild, stormy night, it's raining heavily, when suddenly you pass by a bus stop, and you see three people waiting for a bus:
                       -An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.
                       -An old friend who once saved your life.
                       -The perfect partner you have been dreaming about.
You can only fit one person in your car, who would you choose to offer a ride to?

Well, since I’m already married, I guess I’ll go the good Samaritan route and pick up the old lady. I figure the friend who saved me once would be resourceful enough to save their own bacon. On the other hand, I’ve never played by the rules especially if it was an emergency, I would put them all in the car even if someone had to lie down in the boot and get them all out of there. I’ll even sit on the guy’s lap and let the friend drive.

Thanks so much for being here today Bronwyn, I loved reading the interview and wish you mega sales for the new book. If anyone would like to ask Bronwyn a question about her books please leave a comment and I'm sure Bronwyn would be happy to answer. 

Behind the Courtesan releases with Carina Press on the 22nd April.


When courtesan Sophia Martin returns to the village she fled as a young woman, she knows it won't be a happy reunion—but she can't refuse her brother's request to attend his expectant wife. Trapped until the baby arrives, she must navigate the social rift she caused when she left to pursue a disreputable life—and keep the true reason for her departure from the man she once loved, the bastard son of the Duke who ruined her.
Blake Vale has never forgotten Sophia, but he can't accept the decisions she made, the courtesan's life she leads, or the fact she's cast aside her true self. Plain old Sophia has to be inside this hardened woman somewhere, and he's determined to make her see she doesn't need rich men to be happy, and that their future has nothing to do with the past.
When the dukedom suddenly falls within his reach, Blake must come to terms with his own past and his birthright, and what that means for his future…and Sophia.

Buy Bronwyn's Latest book at the following online outlets: 

You can find Bronwyn hanging at the following online sites:

Twitter - @bronwynstuart

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Talking to Dragons

Many of my friends will tell you that I lead a strange and bizarre life. My best
friend actually came up with the phrase 'living my life slightly left of centre', which I sometimes use to describe myself in bios. I also hear the statement 'that could only happen to you' quite a bit. I fail to believe the last is true. I'm sure oddly strange things happen to all of us, I just admit when the silly and bizarre come my way. Which is a nice segue into my topic of choice today.

I've had a bit of trouble writing recently. There are lots of reason for that, which I may blog about at some stage, but not today. Anyway, I came up with a brilliant solution for the problem. Admittedly I was in bed that week drugged to the eyeballs on cold and flu medication and antibiotics so, in hindsight, the brilliant and solution become questionable. I kept thinking to myself...I need to write, I should be writing. I remained horizontal though, until my light bulb moment hit. I can lay in bed and still work, I just need a voice recognition program so I can speak my book onto the page. After all, I can tell a good story, and talking is easier than sitting and typing.

Convinced I was a genius, I dragged my fevered body over to my desk and googled voice recognition programs, downloaded a trial version of the one I thought would best suit my needs and hey presto, I'm in action. The next day, after overcoming the exhaustion of hitting a few computer keys and half a dozen clicks of the mouse to get the program on the laptop, I was ready to go. I did the tutorial, read through the practice pages so the program became used to my voice and went back to sleep satisfied I was set to have my next novel ready to send to the publisher in a week. Once I logged into my manuscript, the words would fly onto the page as fast as I could speak them, which I assumed would be infinitely faster than I type. The word foolish springs to mind, but let's not go there.

By day three (yep, I was really sick) I was ready to write, or speak as was the case. I rested the laptop on the bed, popped on the headphones, opened the manuscript, started the voice program and began telling the computer my story. I fully expected there would be some errors as the program doing a WTF over a few words it hadn't been able to decipher, after all I'd only done limited voice training with the program, but a couple of words would be easy to fix. The first few lines seemed to go well, not many errors so I confidently lay back down, closed my eyes and kept talking. At this point I should probably mention that foolish word once more.

I'm not sure how long I rabbited on before falling asleep, but when I woke up and checked the computer I was astounded at the number of words I'd produced. Of course very few of them made sense. I stared at  a wealth of useless sentences with very few that I recognised the meaning of. I assumed it couldn't get any worse and kept scrolling down the pages. I was so wrong. At one point I decided, in my brilliance, to stop the punctuation points, figuring I could add those myself later. The manuscript had turned into a huge universal word puzzle. I could find words in every direction, vertical, horizontal, backwards, frontwards, on angular slants to the left and right. The problem was I didn't have coherent sentences and unlike some of the previous punctuated mess the program typed, I couldn't even figure out what I had said. As I hit delete I decided, rather than look for more shortcuts and quick fixes to not feeling like writing, I'd concentrate on getting well and look at the program again when I had a clearer head.

I looked at the program after I regained my health. It may eventually work but I will have to do a lot of 'training' to get it to recognize my voice (minus snuffly cold symptoms) and actually work effectively. At this point I type faster than the program does and with less errors. the incentive to train the thing isn't a  high priority. I mean if I wanted to train anything I'd get a pet, at least a kitten or puppy would be company while I work and probably take less effort to do so. At least a puppy or kitten would be cute, fluffy and adorable, giving me affection in return for the work I put into their training.
Dreamstime Stock Photos

So does anyone else use a word recognition program to write or conduct their daily business? If you do, what tips can you give on how to train my dragon. Apart from not operating it while under the influence of cold and flu meds of course.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Does Size Matter - Who wants a millionaire?

Before Christmas I started a four part series called "Does Size Matter?" three of the posts went live - The size of the story,  the hero and lastly the heroine. Today I discovered the last post scheduled for late December didn't post for some reason, so I'm going to share it with you now.

© Liz Van Steenburgh
Dreamstime Stock Photos
The last topic in my series "Does Size Matter?" might seem a bit odd, but it's something I've been thinking about as I write and read the books I love. 

Today I'm discussing the bank account. Do we like our heroes and heroines to be financially independent? Are wealthy heroes more appealing and is a character that never has to worry about where the money is coming from what we want to read? Certainly most of the books I've read over the years have indicated a big yes to those questions. Very few characters struggle to make ends meet. The money is always there via a well paying job, an inheritance or some other windfall. I'm guilty of the same thing to a certain extent, although I have had the heroines in both Finding Angel and Playing Jax have moments of low cash flow, wondering how they will make ends meet. It doesn't last long though because in both instances permanent employment plus an inheritance has always ended up providing for them.  

So why do I and so many other authors write financial security into our books? I'm not sure of the answer. Perhaps it's custom, romance has always been written that way. Maybe tradition explains it, wealthy heroes are a reflection of old held norms that the male is the provider in the family, so the alpha males in our books need to be able to provide and do it lavishly. Lastly it may simply be that, as readers, the last thing we want to read about is financial stress. 

The economy hasn't been great for a while now, lots of people are struggling to make ends meet and books are our escape from reality, so we want that world to reflect an easy financial environment. I guess a lot of us must want the love story with nothing to impede it, not the mortgage repayment hassles, the fights and worry over money that so many of us experience. I mean if we didn't, then we would seek out books that reflected that - wouldn't we?  

So now it's time for your opinion. Would you rather read about a hero who buys the love of his life a diamond necklace or show his love, or a box of chocolates because it's all he can afford? I mean isn't it the thought that counts and not the bank account?

Friday, 5 April 2013

Author Hot Seat Welcomes Lori King

The author hot seat specials are designed to help readers get to know some of today’s popular and up and coming authors a little better. The questions are broken into four sections - About your writing, about you, fun stuff and finally. Some of the questions are easy, other may need a little more thought and some may cause our author friends to hesitate before answering. Still, they all answer. 

Today we welcome back Lori King, who is obviously a glutton for Lori has a new book out, Sidney's Triple Shot and I've designed a whole new set of questions since she previously sat in the hot seat. Let's see what Lori has to say this time around. As usual we have information about Sidney's Triple shot following the interview.

About your writing:

How many books have you written during your career so far and which is your favorite?

I have four books written and published so far: Fire of the Wolf, Reflections of The Wolf, Legacy of the Wolf, and this new one Sidney’s Triple Shot. Picking a favorite book, would be like picking a favorite child. Usually my favorite is my most recent work in progress because I’m caught up in the emotion of the story, and I love the getting to know you moments of learning my characters.

Have any of your books received negative reviews and how did you handle the criticism?

I have been lucky to receive very little negative criticism on my writing. When someone takes the time to share their opinion-good or bad-I try to take it as notes instead of critiques. I’m always trying to learn from other peoples input, and every new idea helps me grow as a writer.

Do you believe in writer’s block and if so, how do you overcome it?

Of course I believe in it, but for me it’s usually more of a writer’s hurdle than a block. I will walk away from a story for a few days and let it stew if I have trouble, or divert my attention to another work in progress. If that doesn't help, I’ll take some time to read some of my favorite authors. Usually that gets my muse talking again. J

What is the one genre you would never write and why?

A memoir or autobiography. I just don’t think that everyone needs all of the personal details of my life, so I can’t see myself ever doing that. And actually, I’m really kinda boring nowadays!

Have you ever written a book that you've regretted publishing and why?

No, and I’m not sure that I would. I spend a lot of time making sure my books are ‘right,’ before they even go to the publisher. Everything I’ve published I stand 100% behind.

If a reader said they wanted to write a book, what advice would you give them? 

Do it! Set a goal of 1k words a day, and after 30 days you are well on your way to a manuscript! I love to encourage creativity, and I think that there are masses of untapped creative geniuses in the world that just haven’t found their moment yet. Put the pen to the paper and get cracking!

About you:

Tell us what a typical day in your life is like?

I work during the day in the financial industry, and usually I’m home in the afternoons to work on whatever I need to for my books. I take a couple hours break from work in the evenings for family time with my three kiddos and hubby, and then I write for a couple of hours before bed. Working two careers can be trying, but it’s very fulfilling to have people enjoy my books.

What sort of things put you in a bad mood?

Not being organized! I have mild OCD and I am meticulous about having a routine. When my routine gets jumbled I get crazy!

Do you have a bucket list and what’s one thing you still want to do that you haven’t done?

Actually, publishing a book was one of the things on my bucket list a year ago, and now I've published four! I’m working my way through my list now, last year I checked off losing weight, publishing a book, and getting a tattoo. This year I plan to conquer my fear of flying, learn a new hobby (I’m thinking swing dance), and publish at least four more books. A big thing on my bucket list is traveling to Scotland and Ireland. I've always wanted too, but first I have to get over my fear of flight!

What makes you laugh?

My kids. They keep my life worth living. I can be in the worst mood ever, and my three year old will come running into my office to hug me, just changing my whole consciousness.

Do you like to read and what are you reading at the moment?

Reading is second only to writing. I LOVE to read. I read a novel in about 2 hours though, so for me telling you what I’m reading at the moment wouldn't help you. In just the last three days I've read the first four books of the Southern Vampire Mysteries Series-the books that inspired True Blood.

If you couldn't write anymore, what would you do instead?

Probably wither up and die! There are so many voice to text programs now, that I would hope that even if I lost my arms I would still find a way to write. If it wasn't an option, because I lost my creativity, I would enjoy being an English teacher I think.

Fun Stuff:

If you could go out with one famous person who would it be and why?

Alexander Skarsgard. I’m on a True Blood kick right now, and that man is delicious!

Do you have a habit that drives your partner/friends/family nuts and what is it?

They call it the “time warp.” When I’m working on a book I lose all track of time, and tend to even block out sounds. So they can be standing next to me trying to get my attention and I won’t hear them.

In your opinion, what makes a person attractive?


What is the strangest food you've ever eaten?

Barbecue cows tongue. Tastes just like roast beef, but getting past the fact that I’m eating something’s TONGUE was hard.

Would you rather have a classic 1969 convertible Mustang or have the use of a beach side condo any time you want?

The condo. I’m not much of a car person, but I love a vacation!

And finally:

Would you rather survive an apocalyptic event (yes, even a zombie apocalypse) or die instantly without knowing what happened to your family and friends?

            What a great question! I think I would rather survive the event.  Maybe it’s my writer side, or maybe I’m just nosy, but I wouldn't want to not know what happened to my friends and family. Plus, think of the stories I could write after surviving a zombie apocalypse!

Great answers, Lori and I must say I'd fight you for Alexander Skarsgard he is definitely delicious. So what do you think of Lori's interview and the book excerpts below? Also do you agree Alexander  Skarsgard is a good choice of date or would you pick someone else. Inquiring minds want to know :)

Lori's Links:

Twitter: @LoriKingBooks

Sidney’s Triple Shot

Sidney Rowe has been abused in ways that most people can’t even imagine.  After a horrific miscarriage, she left behind everything she had, to escape her ex-boyfriend.  She finds refuge in the kindness of the three Dawson brothers. They give her a job and a sense of security in the small town of Apache Crossing. 

Xavier, Tyce, and Noah Dawson, have built their bar, Triple Shot, into a profitable enterprise.  The three former Marines, have also built a reputation for integrity in the community, but their sex appeal and charm are legendary. They enjoy their playboy status…that is until a jumpy, skittish Sidney stumbles into their lives needing their help.

Sexual tension explodes when the brothers decide they want to protect and share Sidney, but to have her they have to stop her ex from haunting her. Can they keep her safe, and win her damaged heart?


“I’m fine. I’m sorry I panicked,” she said, but her voice came out as a squeak. Reality came crashing into her like a tidal wave. She was sitting in Tyce’s lap, surrounded by the only other two men that had ever made her throb with desire, and she had their full attention. Xavier’s hands had just been running all over her body, making her skin tingle. Her anxiety ratcheted up as she tried to come up with a believable explanation for her panic attack. She looked up, and when Xavier’s eyes met hers, she instinctively dropped her gaze away from the intensity in those blue orbs.
“Don’t be scared. It was a pallet of supplies that got dropped when the loader’s hydraulics broke. No one got hurt, thankfully. We just have a bit of a mess in the back room to clean up.” Noah crouched down next to Xavier, taking her hands into his and drawing her attention. “Honey, why did it scare you so much?”
“Umm…I don’t know…I mean, I heard it, and I thought it was a gunshot…” She fidgeted for a moment, but froze when she remembered that she was still in Tyce’s lap. The thickness underneath her told her that he was very physically aware of her wiggling.
“A gunshot? Why would someone be shooting around here, Sidney?” Xavier’s question set panic building in her chest again, and she started to pull away from Tyce’s embrace without answering.
“No, Sidney, you can’t run away from us this time. What is going on? Are you in trouble?” Tyce pulled her back against his chest and pressed her head back down to his shoulder. Her whole body was trembling, and he kissed the top of her head, running his hand up and down her back. For an instant she wondered how it would feel to be held like this through the night. Comforted and cherished like something precious. She quickly discarded the fantasy and tried to refocus on the situation.
“Tyce, please let me go,” she said with a strength that belied the fragile state her emotions were in. When she turned away from him, she found Xavier still kneeling in front of her. He reached out and gently but firmly gripped her chin, forcing her to look him in the eyes.
“Want to tell us about Robert Wicks?” Xavier said quietly. Sidney felt like her lungs would never expand again. Terror trickled down her spine, followed by sadness that was so overpowering she had to close her eyes against their questioning looks. Like waves each emotion swept over her, leaving her breathless and closer to the edge of an irrationally emotional breakdown. She twisted away from Xavier’s grip on her jaw and jumped up from Tyce’s lap.
“No, actually I don’t. That’s my business, and I don’t need to share it with anyone. I’m going back out to the front to help Kara.” She reached the door before she felt hands on her. Noah’s firm body pressed against her back, and he wrapped his arms tightly around her. One arm was across her chest and the other across her hips, holding her immobile while he pressed a kiss to her ear. It was a beautifully sweet touch that made her ache to share her burdens with him. “Stop, honey. Whatever it is, you can talk to us,” he murmured against her ear, and goose bumps prickled across her arms. She couldn’t tell them about Robert, and she couldn’t let them get any closer to her. It was time to leave.
“Look, I’m sorry if I gave you all the wrong impression, but I don’t want or need your help. What I need is my privacy, and my paycheck. I will finish my shift and leave my uniform in the locker tonight. Clearly I can’t continue working here.” She held herself stiff until she felt Noah reluctantly release her, and then she threw the door open and walked down the hallway. She could feel the tingle of all three men’s eyes on her again until the door shut behind her. Straightening her spine, she fought off tears as she reentered the bar dining room. She wouldn’t cry for a man again. No matter how much she wanted to. 

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

The Difficulty with Convention

Convention is one of those multitasking words having a few different meanings. I've recently been to a convention. The Australian Romance Readers Convention  (ARRC) in Brisbane, Australia. Authors and readers alike convened to discuss something we love - romance books. Coming together as a group has it's advantages.  We  had some fun, made new friends, learnt a few things (well I hope we did) and collected more books for our to be read lists. That's not the usage of the word convention I'm having difficulty with though, and not what this blog is about.

The convention that's troubled me over the last few weeks is - the rules, methods, practices or customs that accompanies congregating together.  What are the conventions of behavior when, as an author, you meet together with other authors and readers at an event like the one I attended. Now I'm not going to spill any gossip about authors behaving badly or such, in fact, I have no idea if such behavior took place. I am however going to ask a question that has sprung to mind. 

As an author, is there a standard of practice, an unwritten code that I need to know about when attending conferences and meeting other authors and readers? 

Of course if the practice is unwritten how do I find out about it?

Australian Romance Readers Convention - 2013 Author photo.

So, back to Brisbane and ARRC. The convention was filled with authors behaving in different ways. Some were so 'professional' they appeared to be aloof, others were acting like they were on holidays and didn't care what they did as long as they had fun. Now, I like the idea of fun, but how much fun is too much? Do readers want to see authors letting their hair down, drinking too much, engaging in risque topics of conversation or do they want to see the professional writer? And what does the professional look like? I think possibly it's a fine line between the two. 

Further questions spring to mind, like...because I write erotic romance if I engaged in discussions about steamy sex (for example) is that more acceptable than an author who writes sweet historical. Would readers have a different perception of what is acceptable from me compared to Ms. Historic? While trying to determine what the correct answer might be, I decided that for me, there is no correct answer. Each author will tackle the rules of convention differently, and each reader will have a different view on the subject as well. 

So what did I do at the convention in Brisbane? I chose to be me and behave as I would in any other workplace situation (yes, I'm an author, a convention is part of my work environment). It was all I could do and still remain true to who I am. I think it went well. No one seemed aghast at any of my behavior, everyone I spoke to appeared to be interested in me and hearing about my work. I didn't experience any silent pauses when I entered a room or participated in discussions. I take that as a successful debut into the world of romance gatherings. 

So what does everyone think? Is there a convention of behavior for authors? How do you expect an author to behave when at a conference or other public event? Is there a line that shouldn't be crossed or is everything acceptable?