Tag Archives: Rachael Johns

Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser TuesdayIt’s Teaser Tuesday time again, the blog series where I share juicy bits from works-in-progress, up-coming releases and published novels. Except when I let good buddies take over, as is the case today!

I’m thrilled to welcome Rachael Johns to the blog again. Rach is mostly known for her fab rural romances but last year she released her first women’s fiction novel, The Patterson Girls, and it was a ginormous hit (read a Teaser Tuesday snippet here). It also won a prestigious Australian Book Industry Award for General Fiction Book of the Year. Pretty. Damn. Cool.

This week sees the release of Rach’s second women’s fiction, The Art of Keeping Secrets. Here’s Rach to tell you a bit about it and share a taste.

 

Author Rachael JohnsI’m so excited that my new book THE ART OF KEEPING SECRETS is FINALLY out!! This book is about female friendship and the secrets we keep for our friends, sometimes from our friends, and occasionally, the secrets we even keep from ourselves. My three main characters – Flick, Neve and Emma – head off on a girls’ trip to New York for a bit of fun and frivolity but even more importantly to hunt down Neve’s ex-lover and tell him he has a now seventeen year old son. However, while they’re in NYC, some other secrets come out. This extract I’m sharing with you today is from a scene in Central Park just before Flick reveals her big secret to her two best friends. Happy reading.

 

As their waiter retreated, Emma took a sip of her sparkling water and Flick’s phone beeped. She glanced down at where it sat beside them on the table, then sucked in a breath. Her cheeks flared red.

            ‘What it is?’ Emma asked.

            ‘Nothing. Just an old friend I met last night requesting friendship on Facebook.’

            ‘Jeremy?’ Neve exclaimed. ‘You’re not going to accept, are you?’

            Emma had no idea who they were talking about.

            Flick shrugged. ‘Why wouldn’t I? It was nice to see him again.’

            The Art of Keeping Secrets by Rachael JohnsNice? The way you two were acting it looked a lot more than nice.’

            ‘Could someone fill me in?’ Emma asked, wondering what exactly she’d missed by going to bed early.

            ‘Flick met an old boyfriend in the bar last night and things got pretty damn cosy.’

            ‘What?’ Flick spluttered, her eyes wide. ‘For one, he was never my boyfriend and for two, things weren’t cosy. We were just catching up.’

            Neve raised her eyebrows. ‘And would your catching up have been any different if your husband had been there?’

            But Neve had to be overreacting – she’d had an emotional night and drank a fair bit – no way Flick would ever do anything to jeopardize her relationship with Seb. Emma scrutinised her friend’s face as they waited for her answer.

            ‘That’s none of your business,’ Flick said finally.

            Worry lodged itself in Emma’s throat. Where was Flick’s defence that of course she’d act the same if Seb had been there?

            ‘I beg to differ.’ Neve leaned forward, encroaching across the table into Flick’s personal space. ‘You’re a good friend, Flick, but so is Seb. He dotes on you and the kids, he’s a great father and the best darn husband I’ve ever known. Not many men would stay up so they could pick up their wife from a drunken night out with her friends you know. I don’t like to think of you…’

            Flick slammed her hand against the table top, rattling the silver cutlery. ‘Can you just stop going on and on about how bloody wonderful Seb is? Sometimes I think the two of you are more in love with him than I am, but things on the inside aren’t always as they look on the outside. And you don’t have the patent on secrets, Neve.’

 

Ooooh! Secrets! Just the sort of story we all love and you could be reading The Art of Keeping Secrets right now with just a clickety-click. Buy from Booktopia, Angus & Roberston Bookworld, Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play or duck down to your favourite independent book store or chain and grab a copy off the shelf.

 

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High Tea and High Fun at the 2015 Australian Romance Readers Awards!

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It was a gala day last Saturday with the Australian Romance Readers Association‘s A Romantic High Tea event and the 2015 Australian Romance Readers Awards, both held in Sydney at Cello’s Restaurant in the Castlereagh Hotel. And what a brilliant time was had!

Stuck in front of our computers, deep in imaginary worlds, writers tend to live comparatively solitary lives, which makes it huge fun to get out, frock up, and meet with passionate readers and writing buddies. Events like these are also terrific for the romance genre. They’re where we get to show off what enthusiastic readers and talented writers we have in Australia. We’ve known for years how special and important the genre is but many others have no idea. The message is getting through though, as was demonstrated by the industry representatives present at the awards and their generous sponsorship.

Here are a few photos from the High Tea and 2015 ARR Awards dinner. If you’d like the full list of awards and winners, you’ll find them all on the ARRA blog.

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On Friday night before the High Tea, I caught up with Rachael Johns and Emily Madden at Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant in Sydney. Naturally, there was fizz!

Rachael Johns, Cathryn Hein, Emily Madden at dinner

Hot Chocolate the Blow-Up Wonder Horse has been coming to events with me since last year’s Australian Romance Readers Convention in Canberra. Admittedly, he doesn’t get a lot of care, being thrown around in suitcases and the occasional bar, but I had hoped he’d last a bit longer than a year. Sadly, with only a few hours until the High Tea, Hot Choc sprang a leak. As you can see, it left feeling him very deflated…

A saggy and flat feeling Hot Chocoalate

Guests on my High Tea table received April’s Rainbow mugs filled with Chupa Chups and decorated with ‘love’ butterflies. Cos we’re all about the luuuurve at Chez Hein and ARRA!

High Tea guest gift

Here are my gorgeous High Tea people! We had such fun. I can’t thank them enough for coming along and being such great company. As you’d expect there was LOTS of book talk. Cello’s Restaurant is a lovely venue too, full of light and pretty architecture. Perfect for A Romantic High Tea.

L-R: Malvina, Amy, Belinda, Me, Veronica, Suzanne, Jo (who came all the way from Edenhope, Victoria!).

High Tea guests

Some of the scrumptious treats on offer.

High Tea treats

Amy, me and Belinda.

Amy, me and Belinda at High Tea

Me and Suzanne.

Suzanne and me at High Tea

ARR Awards MC and Favourite Paranormal Romance winner Shannon Curtis doing her stuff. And do it very well she did!

ARR Awards MC - Shannon Curtis

Guest speaker Kat Mayo. Her speech “There’s never been a more exciting time to be a romance reader” was excellent. You can find the transcript on her Bookthingo Blog. Well worth a visit and read.

ARR Awards guest speaker Kat Mayo

Rachael Johns with one of her two ARR Awards. Way to go, buddy! Rachael won awards for Favourite Short or Category Romance and Favourite Contemporary Romance.

Rachael Johns with one of her ARR Awards

Me and special person Len Klumpp who’s a great supporter of Australian romance and ARRA, and who, along with his wife Carolyn, travelled all the way from Tamworth for the event. Len also presented Helene Young with the award for Favourite Australian Romantic Suspense (great stuff, Helene!).

Great fan and ARRA supporter Len and Cathryn at the ARR Awards

We had a lovely lady named Linda on our table. Linda had come all the way over from Western Australia, and was absolutely delightful company. I was so thrilled to have met her. The photo-bomber is Amy Andrews who just can’t help herself!

Cathryn and Linda at the ARR Awards

Me trying to pinch Shannon Curtis’s and Cathleen Ross’s ARR Awards. They really should share… Cathleen won her award for Favourite Sci-Fi, Fantasy or Futuristic Romance.

Cathryn, Shannon Curtis and Cathleen Ross at the ARR Awards

And finally, but not in the least bit last – in fact she was first, first, first! – Anne Gracie, who took out three awards on the night: Favourite Historical Romance, Favourite Continuing Romance Series and the big gong, Favourite Australian Romance Author. Well done, Anne!

Anne Gracie collecting one of her ARR Awards

I would like to thank the hard-working and dedicated members of ARRA for making the High Tea and ARR Awards such brilliant events. It was a very special weekend that I’ll remember very fondly. I, and everyone I spoke to, had a ball. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser TuesdayWelcome again to another intriguing instalment of Teaser Tuesday, the blog series where I share snippets from my works-in-progress, up-coming releases and published novels. Most of the time. Occasionally it’s good to swap things around and invite good writing buddies to play.

Today is one of those days, and I’m delighted to welcome back super-popular romance and women’s fiction author Rachael Johns.

Rachael’s Outback series has been a phenomenal success. Starting with Outback Dreams and continuing with Outback Blaze and Outback Ghost, the series is much loved by readers who can’t wait to discover what’s happening in Bunyip Bay. These are heart-warming, delightful stories, loaded with characters you’ll fall in love with.

Outback Sisters is book four in the series and will knock your socks off. Don’t believe me? Check out this sample from the book!

 

Logan smiled as she approached and she almost stumbled at the sight of him in black cargo shorts and a greenish-blue t-shirt, a picnic rug at his feet, and an honest to God wicker basket sitting on top of it. Swoon.

‘You came,’ he said as he reached his hand out.

‘As if there was ever any doubt,’ she replied, slipping her hand inside his, heat flooding her at the connection.

He pulled her against him, dipped his head beneath the brim of her sun hat and kissed her. It was as simple as that. And she kissed him back because it felt more right than anything had ever felt before, as if her sole reason for being born was to kiss this man.

Outback Sisters by Rachael Johns‘Why are you hiding all your gorgeous hair?’ he asked, reaching under the hat to touch it when they finally broke apart.

‘It’s a disguise,’ she whispered with mock-seriousness, and his beautiful lips broke into a grin.

‘Ahh, I see.’ Then, ‘It’s so good to see you.’

‘Ditto.’ Her brain was still a bit scrambled from that kiss so a more eloquent description of how she felt was out of the question.

‘Are you hungry?’ he asked, gesturing to the picnic rug and basket.

She nodded. Truthfully she was only hungry for one thing but she didn’t want to appear like a hussy.

‘In that case, take a seat.’ With the hand that wasn’t still holding hers, he gestured to the picnic rug – a quaint tartan number that Frankie guessed had been in his family a while. Her family had never been the camping or picnicking type – like Simone, their mum Ruth had been single for almost as long as Frankie could remember and she’d never bothered much with outdoorsy pursuits. Visits to Aunty Esther and Uncle Dave’s farm had been as close to nature as they’d got.

Getting comfy on the rug, she made a vow to herself that when she had a family, she’d take them on hundreds of picnics and they’d camp out under the stars and roast marshmallows on bonfires.

‘What are you grinning at?’ Logan asked as he knelt down beside her.

‘Oh… just the beautiful day,’ she said, nodding ahead towards the ocean. Probably too early to be telling him the truth – that she’d been picturing him with a little red-headed girl on his shoulders and a little boy that looked the spitting image of him running ahead along the beach holding her hand. Didn’t want to scare him off.

©Rachael Johns

Excited by that teaser? Of course you are! But think of how even more excited you’d be with the whole book. A book you can purchase right now from our good friends at Booktopia. Or, for the ebook, try Amazon, iBooks, Kobo or Google Play. Go on. It ‘s the first day of the month and a new season. Surely that deserves a present!

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10 Secret Things About Summer and the Groomsman!

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Summer and the Groomsman

Crack the champas, bring out the choccies, for today is Summer and the Groomsman’s release day. Whee!

For those of you who have pre-ordered copies of my new rural romance, THANK YOU! I hope they’re a-winging their way into your e-readers, phones, tablets and computers now (although because we’re always early here in Australia we might have to wait until midnight ticks over in the USA before the files are actually released).

Most of all I hope you enjoy Harry’s and Summer’s sweet, cute romance. I had a ball writing it.

And now, for your delectation, here are…

10 SECRET THINGS ABOUT SUMMER AND THE GROOMSMAN

1/. Poor Harry was not always Harry. He started out as Cameron (Cam) but he never really fitted that name. So I changed it to Henry, which I adored. Then I discovered that Henry clashed with a character from Admella Beach (the two stories overlap) and I had to rename him Harry. Summer was always Summer.

The change from Cameron to Henry was not without its dramas. Idiot me did a universal change for Cam without specifying whole and capitalised words only, resulting in EVERY letter sequence of “cam” changing to Henry. Thank god for the undo button.

2/. The idea for the story came to me in a day spa at the QT Hotel on the Gold Coast where I was staying for the 2012 Romance Writers of Australia conference. Good buddy Rachael Johns and I decided we deserved a pampering and booked ourselves in for a morning of bliss. Harry drifted into my brain during a very pleasurable massage. I don’t know why I don’t try this plotting method for every book. It’s lovely!

 

Me and Rachael Johns at the 2012 RWA conference

Me and Rach at the RWA Gold Coast conference wearing red for for the Heart Foundation, that year’s charity.

3/. Harry’s looks were very loosely inspired by Midshipman Alonso Frame (actor Russell Tovey) from Doctor Who’s Voyage of the Damned (he’s the one with the gunshot wound in the TV trailer).

4/. Summer and the Groomsman’s stunning cover was designed by Kellie from Book Cover By Design. To say I’m thrilled with it would be an understatement.

5/. Gavin Chalk’s property, where Summer agists her horse Binky, was inspired by one where I once kept my beloved first horse Mysty. It was also the location where my dad, an ex-jockey, infamously fell off her one Christmas and broke his wrist, resulting in endless teasing about his riding prowess.

6/. Summer and the Groomsman is my first self-published work. It was a hell of a learning curve but very exciting. Special thanks to author and editor Dianne Blacklock who edited the novella and was a great pleasure to work with, Kellie from Book Cover By Design, and to wonderful people like New Zealand author Maggie Le Page who held my hand throughout the journey, and happily answered all my dumb and panicked questions. Also to the private BI50Days loop for their support and error spotting, and Rachael Johns for her endless belief and encouragement.

7/. The exterior of the church where Em’s and Josh’s wedding takes place was inspired by my home town of Mount Gambier’s Christ Church where my Mum and Dad were married.Christ Church Mount Gambier

8/. Because this book is my first to be published world-wide I agonised over what spelling to use – Australian English or US. Initially I directed edits be skewed for the US market but when the time came to accept the changes I couldn’t do it, and so the novella remains Australian. With the setting and characters all Aussie, it just seemed right.

9/. Sometimes I write books to music, sometimes I don’t but almost every book has at least one “theme” song. Summer and the Groomsman is one of the few that doesn’t. No idea why. It just happened that way. I suspect it was because the story and characters were vivid to me from the start and didn’t need the extra creative input.

10/. Harry has a brother Eddie, who is very competitive, convinced he’s far more heroic than his brother could ever be, and now won’t stop nagging me to write his story. Looks like I’ll have to book myself in for a spa session and indulge in another long massage to find out what it is!

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I hope you enjoyed these ten secret things. But what I really hope is that you have a ball with Harry and Summer and all the Levenham crew.

Keen to read an excerpt? You’ll find one on Summer and the Groomsman’s book page on this website plus others on Teaser Tuesdays here and here. And don’t forget you can download samples from ebook retailers.

Of course, I know that deep down you’re excited enough to want a copy right now, oh yes you are! To satisfy that want, simply clickety-click on these retailers and Summer and the Groomsman will be yours.

Amazon.com

Amazon.au

Amazon.uk

Kobo

iBooks

Nook

 

Thank you. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to stick a bottle of fizz in the fridge for later. One must celebrate book releases in style. ‘Tis the rules!

PS. Due to Summer and the Groomsman hogging the bloggy limelight, there will be no Teaser Tuesday today. Never fear, it’ll be back in all its tantalising glory next week.

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FRIDAY FEAST with Nicki Edwards

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Hello, Feasty Lovelies, and welcome to another slurpalicious edition of Friday Feast. This week: the Thermie cult snags another member, a quiche to make your mouth water, and a rural romance giveaway. Seriously, we have it all.

But first, all the drama from Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf. Exciting news! Last Sunday I was asked to fill in for our ladies pennant team – think club representative golf and that’s kinda what playing pennants is – and not wanting our girls to have to forfeit a match, agreed to have a go. Oh. My. God. I can’t remember when I had a more stressful round of golf. The pressure! Made worse because the lady I was playing against was a gun, with a much lower handicap than me. But despite trailing almost the entire round, come the 16th I rallied and won the hole, then I won the next, which put us tied on the 18th tee. After smacking my drive long and far up the middle of the fairway then hitting a not bad second just off the green, in a fairy tale ending I won. Whoop! Sadly our girls lost the day but we remain in pretty good stead in the overall competition in equal first. Honestly, I don’t know how the ladies do it every week. It was bloody stressful!

Author Nicki EdwardsSpeaking of stress, we book lovers know that the best way to wind down after a tough day is with a heart-warming read and my guest this week is a lady who delivers just that. Geelong girl, critical care nurse and romance author Nicki Edwards’s first release Intensive Care was enthusiastically received by reviewers and readers, as has been her second, Emergency Response, which hit shelves last week. Not least because Nicki’s rural-set medical romances reflect her love of country life and small towns, and teem with authenticity.

Check out Emergency Response. You’ll love it.

EMERGENCY RESPONSE

Emergency Response by Nicki EdwardsRunning away didn’t solve anything … at least, not the first time.

Intensive care nurse Mackenzie Jones is no stranger to running. As a teenager she fled her family home leaving tragedy and loss in her wake. Now, after fifteen years alone in Sydney, with the strain of working in a city hospital wearing her thin, she’s tempted to run again.

Mackenzie jumps at the chance to work in a mining town in the West Australian desert – anything to lift her spirits. Though she barely dares to hope, she wonders if she might find the kind of love that can ease her loneliness.

In the outback, Nathan Kennedy is at a loose end. He’s been making money in the mines for years, and pressure from his family to return to the east coast, settle down and get married is reaching fever pitch. The problem is, he hasn’t met the right woman.

When Mackenzie turns up in town, there’s an instant attraction between her and Nathan, maybe even true love. But tragedy’s not done with Mackenzie Jones – the past is about to catch up with her in more ways than one.

Can Nathan convince Mackenzie to stop running, or is this just another tragedy in the making?

Emergency Response is a heart-warming read that you should buy right now. Try Amazon.com, Amazon.au, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play, Booktopia or your favourite book retailer.

Now come join the newly converted Nicki!

My New Love (I Joined A Cult)

Thanks so much Cathryn for having me on Friday Feast again.

Last time I admitted to readers that I have a little secret – I despise cooking which made it ironic that I was writing a cooking related blog post! I also admitted I didn’t even own a recipe book, which shocked a few people.

But I’m here to announce all that has changed in the last two months!

I am now the proud owner of a thermomix.

Yes, I have joined the ‘thermie’ cult and I’m a cooking convert!

Over the past few weeks I’ve made all the usual thermie staples – sorbet, hummus dip, risotto, soup – and I’ve been brave enough to try ice cream, fried rice, bolognaise sauce and beef stroganoff. I’ve also made my own peanut butter, raspberry jam, egg mayonnaise and Caesar salad dressing. I know, I’m impressed with myself too!

But I have to tell you about the bread. O.M.G. The bread. I’m talking better-than-Baker’s Delight white bread. It’s just perfect with the home made jam! Close your eyes for a moment and inhale deeply. Can you smell that just-out-of-the-oven fresh bread? MmmHmmm.

Nicki's Bread

As part of the full thermie experience with Trixie (yes, I named my Thermomix), we invited friends for dinner and I made almost everything from scratch in the thermomix. But before you get the idea that owning a thermomix has totally transformed me from cooking hater to cooking lover, let me set the record straight. The thermomix is awesome, but it doesn’t do the cooking for me. Neither does it clean up after itself! Apparently, that’s still my job.

Nicki's Thermie in the kitchen

Anyway, this post is not just about my thermomix. Today I want to share a scrumptious secret recipe with you – one of the very few recipes I own that’s hand written on a piece of paper. I remember tasting this quiche about 25 years ago and once I had the recipe, I’ve never used another one for quiche. I figure if I can actually master something, there’s no point messing up perfection! And this quiche is perfection. You’ll be emailing me and thanking me, I promise.

Nicki's Quiche

This is what it looks like before you put it into the oven. I don’t have an “after” photo because trust me, you’ll want to be eating it straight off the screen.

It’s perfect served hot with a salad, or cold the next day (but we never have leftovers!)

Nicki’s Quiche

4 rashes of short cut bacon or 4 bacon rashes, diced

2 spring onions, chopped

¾ cup grated tasty cheese (light is fine)

4 eggs

1tblsp plain flour

¼ tsp dried thyme

1 ½ cup milk (light or full cream)

½ cup cream (light or full cream)

1 large tomato, sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Whisk or beat eggs with flour, cream, milk, thyme, salt and pepper. Saute bacon. Line quiche dish with shortcrust pastry (Feel free to be clever and make your own – I buy the frozen stuff!). Place bacon, cheese and spring onions on top of shortcrust pastry. Pour egg/milk mixture over this. Carefully place sliced tomato on top. Bake for 45-55 minutes at 190C.

For a chance to win a copy of “Emergency Response”, share your recipe — the one you never mess with (or share your favourite quiche recipe).

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Jeez, that Thermie cult is rampant. It’s already taken my buddy Rachael Johns and now it’s claiming more authors. Mind you, I can see the benefits. A gadget that takes all the  work out of stirring risotto has to have status, and I did taste an amaaaaazing sorbet at the Thermie demonstration I attended. For busy people with families, or for those who don’t enjoy cooking, I bet a Thermie is a life saver, and if you love kitchen gadgets – and who doesn’t? – this would be a must. I mightn’t be quite prepared to fork out for one, but if someone offered me a Thermie as a present I sure wouldn’t knock it back!

Nor would I knock back a slice of your quiche, Nicki. It looks lovely. Bacon, cheese, eggs… you can’t go wrong.

Now, food and book lovers, you heard our generous guest, we have a…

GIVEAWAY!

To be in the giveaway draw for an ebook copy of Emergency Response, simply share the recipe or dish that you never, ever mess with. Or, if you prefer, your favourite quiche recipe.

The recipe I never mess with is an Asian noodle dish made with pork, thick rice noodles and chilli bean paste. Oh, I LOVE that recipe. It’s spicy and fast, delicious and, with all the veg I chuck in, nutritious. The perfect weeknight meal. In fact, I made it Monday just gone.

So what’s the dish you never mess with? Share and you’ll be in the draw to win Nicki’s brand new release, Emergency Response.

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Tuesday AEST, 3rd November, 2015. Ebook only. Open internationally.

If you’d like to learn more about Nicki and her books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook and Twitter using @nicki_edwards.

Friday Feast recipe index link.

Teaser Tuesday!

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It’s Teaser Tuesday time again, the blog series where I share tantalising snippets from works-in-progress, up-coming releases and published novels. Except when I let good buddies take over. Like today!

Teaser TuesdayRachael Johns is known and loved for her rural romances, including her phenomenally successful Outback series. But Rach is multi-talented and has now turned her hand to women’s fiction. The result is The Patterson Girls, a story I’m very much looking forward to reading and I know Rachael’s fans are too. Which means it’s going to be in huuuuge demand and you should snare your copy right this instant. Grab The Patterson Girls from Booktopia, Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play or your favourite retailer.

Now here’s Rach to tell you a little bit about the book and give a taste of what’s to come. Enjoy!

Author Rachael JohnsTHE PATTERSON GIRLS is my first women’s fiction book, but it also has a lot of the trademark elements of my rural romances. It’s set mostly in a small South Aussie town and has four delicious male leads for you to fall in love with. About sisters and a family secret, I hope you’ll love it as much as I do. This extract is in Abigail Patterson’s point-of-view. Abigail is the youngest sister and lives in London, but is on the edge of destitution after recently losing her job!

 

Her hands shaking—she’d never done anything illegal before in her life but couldn’t afford the time or money it would take to get a busker’s permit—she bent down and released the clasps on her violin case.

‘I’m sorry,’ she whispered as she tenderly picked it and the bow up out of its case. It felt like sacrilege to be playing her prized instrument on a dirty London street with the overcast sky frowning down at them, but the second she lifted it up and put her chin on the chin rest, she began to relax. She positioned her fingers on the strings, took a deep breath and launched into Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D major.

The Patterson Girls by Rachael JohnsBefore long a small crowd had gathered around her and people were tossing money in her case at a pleasing rate. She smiled her thanks as the coins dropped and clinked against each other, thinking that perhaps she’d go out and splurge on a baby name book when she was done. And something delicious to eat. If she was pregnant, she needed to keep her strength up. She was so distracted by these thoughts and the actual glee of playing for an audience again that she almost didn’t hear the shout from one of the onlookers.

‘Pigs are coming!’

Her fingers faltered on the strings, as she wondered what farm animals were doing in central London, and then it clicked. Police. How the person guessed she didn’t have a busker’s permit she had no clue, but she called out her thanks as she shoved her violin and bow back into the case and fumbled to get it shut. A coin lodged in one of the clasps and a cold sweat erupted on the back of her neck as the crowd dispersed.

A menacing figure dressed in the Met’s navy blue approached from about twenty metres away. Clutching her not-quite-shut case under her arm, Abigail launched into a run. She didn’t know where she was headed, just that she needed to get away.

‘Oi, Miss!’ The policeman’s angry voice followed her and she upped her speed as if she were running from a rabid dog. No Abigail, nothing like that. Just the law. Good Lord, what had become of her?

©Rachael Johns

 

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FRIDAY FEAST with Rachael Johns

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Hello, food and book lovers, and welcome to another tastebud tingling Friday Feast. This week, one of the hottest authors in Australia, a delicious New Orleans treat, a sexy book that will also win your heart, and a giveaway!

But first, the ongoing saga that is Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf. So even though it is now spring, the winter of my golfing discontent has carried on. I appreciate that I had a little time away from the golf course, but you’d think the Great Golfing God would cut me a bit of slack, wouldn’t you? In particular when I kindly sacrificed 4 (or was it 5?) balls into water hazards to keep the big fella happy, but no. Not only could I barely hit the ball on the fairways, I couldn’t putt either. I had 6 three-putts. SIX! That’s just humiliating. Fortunately, as a golfing Hein I’m used to it, didn’t chuck a tanty and laughed my way round. Only cos it beats crying.

Author Rachael JohnsRachael Johns is one of, if not THE biggest selling rural romance author in Australia. Right from her debut novel Jilted she cemented her place in rural romance stardom and hasn’t looked back, following Jilted with hits like Man Drought, and the much-loved Bunyip Bay series. But as many of you already know, Rachael is talented in more than the rural romance genre. She can write sexy stories too, and her latest is Fire Me Up, book 2 in the Deacons of Bourbon Street series, which also features titles from leading authors Maisey Yates, Megan Crane and Jackie Ashenden.

Take a look at Fire Me Up.

FIRE ME UP

Fire Me Up by Rachael JohnsCan a scorching affair with a bohemian beauty tame a motorcycle man with a dark side? Rachael Johns takes the wheel in the sexy series co-written with Megan Crane, Jackie Ashenden, and Maisey Yates.

Travis “Cash” Sinclair values only two things from his days with the Deacons of Bourbon Street: his prized Harley Davidson and the man who gave it to him. But now Priest Lombard is gone, and Cash has inherited the Deacons’ clubhouse—not to mentions its unexpected tenant. She’s exactly the type of woman he tries to avoid: all incense and art, with a sharp tongue that promises trouble. So why does Cash want to push aside those flowing skirts and lose himself between her legs?

Billie Taylor fled a bad marriage to start a new life among the grit and glamour of the French Quarter. She refuses to let another man distract her from her dreams, especially an outlaw biker with nothing to offer except hot sex and an eviction notice. Cash is dangerous, with an untamed streak he tries desperately to conceal. He drives Billie wild, sending her too close to the edge for her own good. And she won’t fall under his spell—or into his bed—without a fight.

How hot does that sound? Phew! Fire Me Up can be yours right now with just a clickety-click. Try Amazon.au, Amazon.com, iBooks. Kobo, Google Play, Barnes & Noble or your favourite ebook retailer.

All set? Now come on a tasty journey with Rachael.

A Taste of New Orleans

Beignets and hot chocolate in New Orleans

Beignets, coffee and hot chocolate at the famous Café du Monde, New Orleans.

Last year I had the absolute joy of attending the Romantic Times readers’ convention in the French Quarter of New Orleans. I’d never been to the convention or New Orleans before and had no real idea of what to expect from either place. Except people kept raving to me about how much I’d LOVE the food. Two things I was told I must absolutely try were “gumbo” and “beignets.”

For the uninitiated like I was here’s the Wikipedia definitions for both:

Gumbo – a stew or soup that originated in southern Louisiana during the 18th century. It consists primarily of a strongly-flavoured stock, meat or shellfish, a thickener, and the vegetable holy trinity of celery, bell peppers and onions.
Beignet – is the French term for a pastry made from deep-fried choux pastry. They can also be made from other types of dough, including yeast dough. Commonly known in New Orleans as a breakfast served with powdered sugar on top.

Well, I had a couple of tries of gumbo and personally couldn’t see the appeal but the moment I put my first beignet into my mouth, I understood what everything was raving about. Although they tasted a little like a donut, they were so much better than donuts. The fried dough melts in your mouth and there is no way to eat them without covering yourself and your clothes in icing sugar dust. I had beignets (on more than one occasion) at the famous Café du Monde, which is open twenty-four hours a day and only sells beignets and drinks. Each time I went the venue was very busy and their hot chocolate was almost as good as their beignets.

Café du Monde at midnight

Café du Monde at midnight

The fabulous Megan Crane (author) about to head into Café du Monde with me and eat beignets.

The fabulous Megan Crane (author) about to head into Café du Monde with me and eat beignets.

So in love with beignets I bought a packet beignet mix from New Orleans to take home, but being a slack cook didn’t get around to trying to make them before it went out of date. However, I recently decided to give them a try from scratch – no packet mix entered the equation. I adapted (halved) a recipe I found online at Food Network and hubby and I had a right laugh trying to recreate the amazing beignets I tasted at Café du Monde.

The first bit was easy and lulled us into a false sense of our own cooking abilities. All we had to do was mix the water, sugar and yeast in a large bowl and let sit for ten minutes. In another bowl, we got busy beating the eggs, salt and evaporated milk together. Then in ANOTHER bowl, we measured out the flour. Once the yeast mixture had rested, it was time to combine yeast mixture with egg/milk mixture. After that we added half the flour and mixed, then the shortening and then the rest of the flour, until we mixed it into a dough. How much do I love dough?! We kneaded until perfection and then put it in a greased bowl, covered with plastic and left to (hopefully) rise well.

Beignet dough

 

During this time, I walked the dog, read some of the awesome book I’m currently reading (Come Away With Me by Karma Brown) and then checked the dough, which had risen as expected. So far this was one of the easiest things I’d ever made!

And then came the tricky bit. Well, the rolling out wasn’t hard, but working out exactly how thin it needed to be to cook to golden perfection took a little bit of trial and error. We’re lucky that we had a brand new deep fryer someone had given us YEARS ago, so we dragged that out and fired it up. We learnt it takes a long time for oil to heat up in the deep fryer, so had to wait a little bit longer. You could use a deep saucepan instead if you don’t have a fryer. Anyway, I digress.

Rolled out beignet dough

 

Deep frying the beignet dough

In essence making and cooking beignets was easy, but you do need to roll them fairly thin and continue turning them when they are in the hot oil.

Although the recipe told me to fill a plastic bag with icing sugar and toss the (drained on paper towel) beignets in the bag, I chose instead to sift the icing sugar over the top of them, thus dusting them as I’d experienced them at Café de Monde.

Finished home-made beignets

I have to say the result wasn’t too shabby. Even two (out of three) of my very fussy kids declared them “delicious.”

Now, this love affair with beignets didn’t only make it into my kitchen but also into my latest book – FIRE ME UP, which just happens to be set in New Orleans. It’s a little bit different from most of my books – with a little more heat and a few more naughty words, but I hope everyone will fall in love with Travis, Billie and the beignets they devour as much as I did.

*

Rach, those beignets sound delicious, if very, very naughty, and your trip to New Orleans for the Romantic Times convention must have been a fantastic experience. Every one I know who’s been to New Orleans has raved about it. One of these days I’ll get there too.

Now, because Rachael is such a faaaaabulous person, she’s offering a special…

GIVEAWAY!

To be in the draw to win a super special, limited edition Deacons of Bourbon Street FIRE ME UP cards answer this question: What place would you like to visit for the food?

Fire Me Up playing cards

That’s easy for me: Greece! Just as well there are lots of things to see and do in Greece. I’d need as much exercise I can get to wear off all the delicious things I plan to eat while there.

What about you? Maybe you want to try an authentic Indian curry? Or perhaps a fair-dinkum Cornish pasty in Cornwall? Simply reveal where you’d like to visit for the food and we’ll pop you into the draw.

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight AEST, 8th September 2015. Open internationally. Rah!

If you’d like to learn more about Rachael and her books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook, Twitter using @RachaelJohns, Pinterest and Goodreads.

Friday Feast recipe index link.

FRIDAY FEAST with Rachael Johns

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Hello food and book lovers, and welcome to this week’s whiz-bang edition of Friday Feast. This week: one of Australia’s most loved rural romance authors, some serious foodie technology, cupcakes to die for, and a giveaway!

But first, the no-news zone that is Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf. I’m currently in Mount Gambier, my home town and the place where my golfing life began. Also the location where the phrase “Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf” originated, courtesy of my father. Again this week I have nothing to report game wise, although I did go out with Dad for smack around the practice fairway, where I got to laugh at his air swings and other duffs. Never fear, the Great Golfing God will get me back for my meanness. He always does. The bugger.

Right, onto to our most fantabulous guest.

Author Rachael JohnsAnyone who loves rural romance and Australian romance fiction knows who Rachael johns is. She blasted onto the best-seller lists with Jilted in 2012 and hasn’t looked back, growing her readership with Man Drought, her hugely successful Outback series and more. She’s also a great friend, and we’ve spent many an email, phone call, text, and late night in conversation, talking all things bookish and life, which is why she’s featured in the acknowledgements of my books. Gotta thank our friends. God knows, they put up with enough.

I’m thrilled to have Rachael on Friday Feast and if you haven’t already done so, you should all go out and buy Rach’s latest release and sequel to Jilted, The Road To Hope, right now. It’s a beauty!

THE ROAD TO HOPE

The Road to Hope by Rachael JohnsNurse Lauren Simpson is known in Hope Junction for the wrong reasons – and she’s over it. Watching the man she’s always loved marry someone else is the last straw – she decides to get out of Hope. But her resolve is tested when the hot new locum doctor arrives in town.

Doctor Tom Lewis also has skeletons in his closet – including a painful breakup and devastating family news. He’s hit the road with his vintage ute and surfboard, to travel the outback and live in the moment.

When Tom and Lauren meet the attraction is instant, but for Lauren Tom threatens to be just another fling and Tom has his own reasons for hesitating. Everyone else – their friends and patients – can see how perfect they are together, but just what will it take for them to admit this to themselves?

A brand new Hope Junction story of fresh starts and second chances.

Told you The Road To Hope was a beauty and it can be yours right now with just a few clicks. Try Booktopia, Bookworld or Angus & Robertson. You can also buy from Dymocks, Abbey’s Bookshop, QBD The Bookstore, Amazon.au, Amazon.com, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play, JB Hi-Fi, Boomerang Books, Fishpond, direct from the publisher Harlequin or try your local independent book shop or chain store.

Now settle back and be whizzed by Rach!

I Bought A Thermomix

So… I recently relented and bought a Thermomix. It was just over a year since I went to my first demo and saw this kitchen tool in action. At that first demo, I remember not being THAT impressed. Sure the Thermie made a yummy dip and pretty delicious sorbet, all fairly easily, but Rachael Johns's Thermomixwas it really worth it’s $2k+ price tag? I am not a domestic goddess these days and my kids are so fussy that what I cook is so mundane I’m even bored myself. The only enjoyment I get from cooking is baking cakes and yes, I enjoy eating them just as much.

I left the demo semi-impressed but still unsure how much I would use such a gadget. Then, over the next few months every time I made a cheese sauce or a soup or a cake, I thought about how much quicker, how much easier it would be if I had the super machine on my bench. During this time a number of other friends became Thermie owners – and maybe it was a case of coveting what I didn’t have but I felt myself coming around to the idea. When we had to bake cakes for a school cake-stall it took up my whole day, thus I lost ALL that writing time, and I thought, you know… if I had a Thermomix I could do this SO much quicker. I could also make MORE cakes to sell.

Carame; cupcake batter in the ThermomixThen, a year after that first demo I went to the second and THIS time the host made cocktails with her old Thermie while the consultant cooked up a feast with the new Thermie (note, the old was pretty cool but the new one is all digitalized and awesome. It has a  micro-chip recipe book and everything that pretty much cooks for you! Seriously good for those dunces in the kitchen like me). Well, I took one sip of said cocktail and my decision was made. I’ve had my Thermomix for almost four months now and I actually haven’t MADE any cocktails but knowing I CAN is enough 

So… what have I made and was the $2k+ price tag worth it? Well, I threw out my rice cooker, my blender, my electric beaters and most of my other kitchen appliances, so now I cook all my rice in Thermie and do all my cakes, biscuits, etc in there too. I always made pancakes lots and now do these in the Thermomix as well. I’ve made a couple of full meals – a steamed chicken dish, risotto and a really delicious chorizo and sun-dried tomato pasta – and it is SO easy.

Just from the oven caramel cupcakesI’ve also taken to making myself a veggie juice every morning and am really enjoying experimenting with this. Best thing is probably that I have less mess at the end of a cooking session and also that I can go away and leave the Thermomix cooking while I attend to other things. Great news for a busy mum and writer who sometimes gets lost in her own little world.

I use my Thermomix at least once a day if not more. I find the recipes it comes with are fabulous but there are also millions more online tried and tested by other Thermomix users. I’ve even used non-Thermomix recipes and find they are really easy to adapt. I recently made an apple and oat cake from a recipe Cathryn gave me 🙂 I’m sure there are a lot of Thermomix users who utilize theirs a lot more than me, but I do not regret the purchase and find I’m using it more and more each day.

And right now… I’m off to try a caramel cake recipe I saw in a magazine. I’m going to convert it for Themie!!

***

It worked! But I decided to make cupcakes instead. Here’s my adapted recipe – they might look bland but they taste AMAZE-BALLS!!

Caramel Cupcakes

caramel cupcakes

Ingredients

125 grams softened butter

220 grams packed brown sugar

1 ts vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 Ts golden syrup

150 grams plain flour

75 grans SR flour

a pinch of cinnamon

125 mls milk

Method

Line 12 large muffin tins with cases. Put oven to 180 degrees.

Put butter, sugar and vanilla in Thermomix bowl and mix for 20 seconds on speed 5.

Add eggs one at a time, set blades on speed five and add eggs through hole in the lid. Mix about 30 seconds.

Add half flour and half milk and mix for 10 seconds on speed 5. Repeat with the rest of the flour and milk. If not quite mixed together, scrap down sides and turn up quickly to speed 6 for a second.

Spoon into prepared muffin cases and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Caramel Icing:

Ingredients

50 grams butter

30 grams milk

70 grams brown sugar

100 grams icing sugar

Method

Add butter, milk and brown sugar to bowl and cook for 6 minutes at 50 degrees on speed 3. After two minutes increase the temperature to 90 degrees. After four minutes (two minutes to go) drop temperature back to 50 degrees and remove the measuring cup from lid.  Once done add icing sugar and mix for 10 seconds on speed four. Scrape sides and remix if necessary. Allow to cool before icing the cakes!

 

They sound and look DIVINE, Rach. I’m definitely giving these a run, although I’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way with my mixmaster (which I’m still trying to blow up so I have an excuse to buy a new one). Mind you, looking at that icing, I might just skip the cake bit and make the icing. That’d be pretty tasty scooped into my mouth by the spoonful. Not healthy, mind, but we don’t get too het up about things like that here at Friday Feast.

Now, my sweet little dumpling Feasties, Rachael, as we all know, is a bloody luverly person and an open-hearted one too, which is why she’s offering a…

GIVEAWAY!

For your chance to win a signed copy of Rachael’s gorgeous new release, The Road To Hope, simply share your favourite cupcake flavour in the comments below.

I bags lemon! I’m a sucker for anything tangy and citrusy and lemon will trump chocolate for me almost every time.

What about you? What’s your favourite cupcake flavour? Strawberry? Plain vanilla? Or do you have an exotic flavour for us to drool over? Share and we’ll pop you in the giveaway draw.

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Tuesday AEST, 19th May 2015. Australian postal addresses only.

If you’d like to learn more about Rachael and her books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Twitter using @RachaelJohns.

Friday Feast recipe index link.

THIS WRITING LIFE: ARRC Part 2 – The Photos

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I’m sure you’ll see from these photos that everyone who attended the weekend’s Australian Romance Readers Convention in Canberra had an absolute ball.

Victoria Dahl during her keynote speechI think the highlight for me (other than catching up with old friends and meeting new) was Victoria Dahl’s speech on unsympathetic heroines. I’ve never read any of her books but was left so impressed that by the end of her talk I’d bought two of them. Gotta love technology.

The booksigning was, as it always is, loud and enormous fun. I’m very grateful to that most excellent of book sellers, Booktopia, who generously gave away multiple copies of Rocking Horse Hill over the course of the weekend. So many people came up to me to get them signed and have a chat. It really made my convention. There were plenty of delegates with The French Prize too, which they’d received in their welcome bags thanks to Harlequin Australia. All of us came away loaded with excellent reads. I’m looking forward to Yes, Chef by Lisa Joy (thanks to Penguin Australia), The Brewer’s Tale by Karen Brooks and Luna Tango by Alli Sinclair, who also won the ARR Award for Favourite New Romance Author (both titles from Harlequin).

Here are some of my favourite happy snaps from the weekend. There would have been more only it appears I have managed to kill yet another camera. Sigh. Oh well, at least this one was only a cheapie, unlike the last.

Hot Chocolate, the blow-up horse, being given the kiss of life by Cathryn Hein in the QT bar at ARRC 2015

Hot Chocolate being given the kiss of life by me in the QT bar (pic thanks to Amy Andrews)

I arrived in Canberra a day early and after a spot of shopping wandered off to check out the Spirited: Australia’s Horse Story exhibition at the National Museum of Australia. The exhibition was nearing its end and the shop had discounted all its stock. Naturally, with all that lovely horsey stuff on offer, I went on a bit of a spendy-fest and one of the items I came away with was an inflatable horse. I thought I might use him as a prop during the booksigning or simply as a fun toy for my office.

But as I passed the bar on the way back to my room, I found myself waylaid by Anne Gracie and Kelly Hunter. I resisted their entreaties to join them hard. Really hard. These ladies are persuasive though, and it was with great reluctance *cough* that I settled down for a catch-up over a few drinks.

The crowd soon grew (must have been our magnetism) and somehow the blow-up horse was dragged out for a show-and-tell. After a bit of encouragement, I agreed to inflate him. What an effort! It was a close run thing but I eventually managed to get him blown up without passing out. He then needed to be christened, and while a few names were bandied about I believe it was Amy Andrews who came up with Hot Chocolate. And thus Hot Chocolate he became.

Anne Gracie with Cathryn Hein admiring Hot Chocolate the blow-up horse in the QT bar at ARRC 2015

Anne Gracie with me, admiring Hot Chocolate the blow-up horse in the QT bar at ARRC 2015 (pic thanks to Amy Andrews)

I’m proud to say that Hot Chocolate even scored a mention in Helene Young’s wonderful opening keynote speech, and was much-admired by many over the weekend.

My shy roomie at ARRC 2015, Rachael Johns

Rach was feeling a bit camera shy…

My ARRC roomie was good buddy and rural romance star Rachael Johns. She took a bit of prodding to get up on Friday morning. Rach blames the 3 hour time difference from WA to the ACT but I don’t know…

As mentioned, Helene Young (whose novel Safe Harbour also won Australia’s Favourite Romantic Suspense award) gave a wonderful opening keynote speech, in which she talked about her reading and writing journey. Helene was followed by book launches for Rachael Johns (The Road to Hope) and Shannon Curtis (Tribal Law). All proceeds from Tribal Law’s sales go to ARRA so if you haven’t yet nabbed a copy, go get! You’ll find across all major ebook platforms, including amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords or your favourite retailer. Or order the paperback from Booktopia.

Dangerous Liaisons panel at ARRC 2015. L-R: Cathryn Hein, Shannon Curtis, Helene Young and Bronwyn Parry

L-R: (a grumpy-looking) me, Shannon Curtis, Helene Young and Bronwyn Parry (thanks to DB Tait for the pic)

The rest of my morning was taken up by the Red Dust Heroes panel with Rachael Johns, Lisa Ireland, Alissa Callen and myself, and superbly moderated by Jeanie Misko, followed by the Dangerous Liaisons panel where I was joined by Bronwyn Parry, Helene Young, Shannon Curtis and moderator with the mostest, Amanda Knight.

Saturday night was awards night, and what fun was had! The theme was roaring 20s (or something like that!) so there were lots of flappers.

Rach and me getting ready for the ARR Awards dinner at ARRC

Me and Rachael Johns getting ready for the awards dinner. A couple of glammypuss flappers!

Me with Red Sand Sunrise author and all-round gorgeous person Fiona McArthur showing off our sexy flapper outfits

Me with Red Sand Sunrise author and all-round gorgeous person Fiona McArthur, showing off our matching sexy flapper outfits.

Some of the crowd at the awards dinner.

Great crowd at the awards dinner!

Fiona Lowe, Shona Husk, Delwyn Jenkins and Cheryl Adnams all dressed up for the ARRC 2015 dinner

L-R: Fiona Lowe, Shona Husk, Delwyn Jenkins and Cheryl Adnams.

Kylie Scott (deserving winner of Australia’s Favourite Romance Author and more) sponsored a photo booth at the dinner where a lot of fun was had. Here’s my collection.

Pictures from the ARRC dinner photobooth

Another highlight of ARRC was the booksigning. This is such a great event and very well attended.

The booksigning room

Alyssa Montgomery, me and Trish Morey

Alyssa Montgomery, me and Trish Morey

Cathryn Hein and her blow-up horse at the ARRC 2015 booksigning

Me and Hot Chocolate the blow-up wonderhorse.

Sunday was another full-on but fun day. As mentioned, Victoria Dahl gave a great speech and there were plenty of fascinating panels to keep us perky after a big night.

Anna Campbell, Christina Brooke and me enjoying the romantic destinations panel

Anna Campbell, Christina Brooke and me enjoying the Romantic Destinations panel.

L-R: Kate Cuthbert (moderator), Margareta Osborn,  Cheryl Adnams, Barbara Hannay and Victoria Dahl.

L-R: Kate Cuthbert (moderator), Margareta Osborn, Cheryl Adnams, Barbara Hannay and Victoria Dahl on the Small Town Seduction panel.

Reader Jeanie Misko  enjoying the Changing Lanes panel at ARRC 2015, featuring Trish Morey and Fiona McArthur (plus Amy Andrews and Fiona Lowe out of shot).

Reader (and our fab Red Dust Heroes panel moderator) Jeanie Misko enjoying the Changing Lanes panel, with authors Trish Morey and Fiona McArthur in the background.

Overall, a wonderful time was had at ARRC 2015. Everyone left Canberra feeling fab except for poor Hot Chocolate, who was feeling very flat that it was all over.

Hot Chocolate the blow-up wonderhorse felt very flat that ARRC was over.

Never mind. We’ll resurrect him again in 2017!

If you’re after a romantic read that won’t let you down and would like a list of all the 2014 ARR Award winners, you’ll find them all on the ARRA blog.

 

THIS WRITING LIFE: ARRC Part 1 – The Videos

Phew! What a weekend we all had at the Australian Romance Readers Convention in Canberra. The weather was perfect, the atmosphere wonderful, the speakers and panelists clever, interesting and funny, but most of all what a thrill it was to catch up with so many lovers of romance novels. We’re an amazing bunch of people, that’s for sure.

The convention committee and Australian Romance Readers Association deserve every accolade for this event. It ran like clockwork from start to finish, and without fail everyone I spoke to enjoyed themselves hugely. I sure had a ball!

For the first time at an event I played roving reporter and took a series of videos of authors, readers and industry people. You can find them collated on my YouTube channel, but here are some of the best. Oh, and my apologies for the sound quality. Next time I’ll remember to pack a microphone!

Kylie Scott and Amy Andrews

For more on these best-selling ladies, check out these links.

Kylie Scott: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Latest release: Lead (Book 3 in her fab Stage Dive series).

Amy Andrews: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Latest release: Ask Me Nicely (which follows on from the super hot No More Mr Nice Guy).

Helene Young

Connect with Helene via her website, Facebook and Twitter.

Latest release: Safe Harbour (read it before Northern Heat hits the shelves!)

Rachael Johns

Discover more about Rachael at her website, on Twitter and via Facebook.

Latest release: The Road to Hope (the much-anticipated follow up from her best-selling debut, Jilted).

Jennie Jones

Connect with Jennie via her website, Twitter and Facebook.

Latest release: The House at the Bottom of the Hill (from Jennie’s best-selling Swallow’s Fall series begun with The House on Burra Burra Lane).

Lee Christine

Find out more about Lee at her website, on Twitter and Facebook.

Latest release: In Safe Keeping (an urban romantic suspense you won’t want to miss!)

Readers Helen and Barbara

Destiny Romance’s Carol George

Discover more on the Destiny Romance website.

Reader Pamela

Anna Campbell and Christina Brooke

For more on these fab authors, check out these links.

Anna Campbell: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Latest release: What A Duke Dares (another wonderful read in Anna’s Sons of Sin series.)

Christina Brooke: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Latest release: The Wickedest Lord Alive (brilliant book with a very strokable cover!)

Booktopia’s John Purcell

Want books? Then look no further than our home-grown bookstore Booktopia.

Hope you enjoyed the videos!