Tag Archive | Penguin Australia

2013 – My Blog in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,800 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 47 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Interview with Ms Destiny

Destiny LogoToday I’m reposting this interview with Ms Destiny which was undertaken just before the release of my latest book, The Lady’s Choice. I hope you enjoy it.

Over a lazy, late afternoon drink I recently caught up with Bernadette Rowley, author of The Lady’s Choice, to talk about bad boys, hidden passions and romance.

Bernadette, I’m wowed by your new book. It’s an enthralling mix of lust, palace life, plotting princesses and swashbuckling swordsmen – have you always been a fantasy fan?

I’ve been a fantasy fan since my aunt introduced me to the genre when I was about fourteen. She gave me The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks and since then it’s been one fantasy saga after another for me.

The Lady's Choice Cover- high resYour writing suggests that some intense passions lurk beneath your neat, elegant exterior?

I’m passionate about many things including following your dreams and more than that, being allowed to dream. Intense? Yes, I am that, certainly. I guess my heroines reflect that quality that I have – go after what you want.

Ramon is simply divine … who were you thinking of when you created him? Who would play him in a film?

When I created Ramón initially, he was just a secondary character in Princess Avenger, my first book. But I quickly realised he needed his own stage. I see him as every woman’s best friend, the perfect man; the man you can count on who will put your needs before his always; and he has unforgettable good looks and impeccable grooming.

I would nominate Liam Hemsworth. He has gorgeous blond looks, amazing blue eyes, is the right height and has a great body.

Your hero is a character with a strong sense of what’s right – I prefer someone a bit naughty – you?

I prefer someone naughty and probably dark-haired as well. There’s definitely something within my nature that is drawn to the ‘bad boy’ so it was quite a challenge to see if I could write a sexy beta male.

Your heroine, Lady Benae, has to choose between passion and duty – have you been torn like that?

I’m not too good at duty and would go with passion any day. I think we are all torn between what we ‘should’ do and what we truly wish to do. I try to make decisions that make me happy because you only get one shot at life.

Cruelty and power play a part in your plot – did you find this challenging to write?

I don’t find power and cruelty difficult to write. It seems to be quite as natural for me as writing about love and loyalty. I believe we all have two opposing natures that hopefully are in balance. Fantasy holds much darkness as well as uplifting themes so I’ve had a steady diet of these contrasting values in my reading.

Unless there’s a yacht and a millionaire involved, I’m not very outdoorsy, but I so adored Benae’s horse, Flaire, I can imagine myself galloping off into the sunset, astride some magnificent steed. Clearly you adore horses?

I’ve always loved horses and rode, bred and trained them in my teens and twenties. They’re magnificent creatures and so rewarding to work with.

Benae and her maid are more like sisters than mistress and servant – are you a believer in having good female friends or are they superfluous if you have the attentions of a gorgeous man?

I find I need contact with my close female friends on a regular basis but my husband is my best friend. I’ve always found girlfriends wonderful for sharing your difficulties and bringing problems back into perspective. A problem shared is a problem halved they say.

We know you are a vet and have a family, tell us something else about yourself that will shock or surprise us?

I love being on stage. Before moving to Townsville in 2006, I was part of a ladies barbershop quartet and chorus and just adored singing for a crowd. It was one of the most amazing and fulfilling periods of my life.

Princess Avenger High Res CoverYou write great romance – what’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done in real life?

I’m still doing the most romantic thing I’ve ever done and that’s being part of a loving and supportive marriage. I’ve been married to Michael for coming up 26 years and we’re now entering the phase where children are moving out. We’ve faced some really difficult times, but we’re still best friends and I can’t imagine life without him.

2013 in Review

Looking for InspirationIt’s the silly season and I’m on holidays until just before New Year. 2013 has been a difficult year in many ways and I’m sure when I look back upon it in years to come, it will be a blur.

Tom and SamAs a family, we’ve faced the challenge of the middle child gaining his driving licence and of him and his big brother leaving the nest. Alternating between fear and pride seems like a permanent state for me. Now that two of our sons are living thousands of kilometres to the south we’ve had to find new ways to keep in touch and to support them. It’s a big deal for teenagers living away from home. Lucky they have an extended family close to hand.

There have been the inevitable financial hardships that most families face and it has been difficult to have the boys away and not be certain we can give them that extra financial help if required. Needless to say, we have all made ends meet.

24.3.2013 U15 Batting Champion wests 2We’ve also adjusted to being three instead of five and forging a closer relationship to the youngest son who has lived his life in the shadow of his older brothers.

And then there is the issue of impending ‘empty nest’ syndrome. Most parents would relate to the struggle to keep the focus on their relationship as children demand so much time and attention. In the closing weeks of 2013, we can see an exciting future for us after children- the bucket list is getting longer.

The Lady's Choice Cover- high resPersonally, I have published my second book – The Lady’s Choice– and as was the case for Princess Avenger, I learned so much in the editing. Writing is a delightful life and an amazing escape from reality. I’ve learned so much about myself through my writing as well. My reading pile is ever growing and in it lie the books of many new friends.

In a week’s time my husband and I travel south to Brisbane to watch our youngest son take part in a week of cricket, a rite of passage his older brothers have already participated in. We’ll spend Christmas with our extended families and then take the long drive back to Townsville for New Year where the five of us will be reunited for a few days.

I’m sure 2014 will also be a year full of challenges and change- that’s the reality of being human.

FireworksI hope you can look back on 2013 with a sense of achievement and pride and that you can look forward to 2014 with optimism.

Happy holidays!

Talking with Ms Destiny

The Lady's Choice Cover- high resLast week, my interview with Ms Destiny appeared on the Destiny Romance Blog . It was a far ranging discussion where I talk about my reading and writing inspirations and answer some probing questions about myself and about my new book, The Lady’s Choice.

It’s fascinating to examine what parts of your inner world end up in your stories and the perception readers have of you from the outside looking in.

I hope you enjoy this insight into my writing life.

Princess Avenger High Res Cover                          Destiny Logo

Talking Personally

The Lady's Choice Cover- high resLast week on the Destiny romance blog I talked about the inspiration for one of my characters. Flaire is no ordinary character as he is the heroine Benae’s stallion. I’d love it if you’d click on the Destiny blog and get the low down on my horsey connection.

The relationship between man and beast can be truly special.

Release Day Today- The Lady’s Choice

The Lady's Choice Cover- high resWhen I was writing Princess Avenger, Alecia’s confidant, Squire Ramón Zorba kept trying to steal her scenes. He was gorgeous and his clothing immaculate. He kept demanding I describe his amazing blue eyes and the tight breeches, tunic and flowing capes that drew the eye of many a kingdom maiden. But he failed to impress Alecia and Captain Vard Anton always came out on top.

Vard won Alecia’s heart but I knew Ramón needed his story told. Princess Alecia told Ramón that one day he would find a woman who would love him completely and that he should forget her and keep looking for that special lady.

Well, Ramón ignored that advice and convinced himself of a future with Alecia. She would come to her senses and he and the princess would live happily ever after. I wasn’t as sure as Ramón was and so I went looking for a woman who could rival Alecia; who might love Squire Ramón Zorba and be worthy of him.

Destiny LogoThe Lady’s Choice has been released today by Destiny Romance and this is Ramón’s story. I hope you enjoy catching up with familiar characters from Princess Avenger and meeting the new people who inhabit this book. And, of course, there’s a brand new heroine, Lady Benae Branasar. Enjoy!

To buy The Lady’s Choice, click on the links:

Amazon, Kobo, iTunes and Google Play

Princess Avenger High Res CoverPrincess Avenger available on the same pages.

The Lady’s Choice- Pre-Order

The Lady's Choice Cover- high resThese are exciting times and never more exciting than awaiting the ‘birth’ of a new book. I learned this morning that ‘The Lady’s Choice’ is now available for pre-order. How wonderful is it to be able to be amongst the first to read a new book?

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my readers for your support over the last year since the release of my debut novel, Princess Avenger. It has been an absorbing and magnificent experience.

For any wishing to pre-order The Lady’s Choice, here are the links:

Amazon itunes , Kobo and Google Play.

Of course, The Lady’s Choice already has it’s own page on Goodreads. For those readers who haven’t already discovered Goodreads, head on over and join in the fun. It’s a great way to keep track of the books you’ve read and compile your ‘to be read’ list, not to mention sharing your reading experience with other readers. Not a bad way to discover new authors and new books as well.

Princess Avenger High Res CoverDestiny LogoI’m fast approaching 5000 visitors to this blog since its inception and I have loyal readers to thank for that, too. I really enjoy sharing my thoughts, life and achievements with you. Please continue to share this blog in whatever way you can.

My official release date for The Lady’s Choice is the 14th October 2013. I hope you enjoy it. In the coming weeks I’ll be sharing with you interviews and blogs where you’ll get to learn more about what makes me tick and how my stories are born.

The Lady’s Choice- Cover Revealed

I can finally reveal the cover for my second book, The Lady’s Choice. It’s due for release in October 2013. I’ve included the summary below. Please tell me what you think of it. I adore it.

The Lady's Choice Cover- high res


With her people on the brink of starvation, beautiful Lady Benae Branasar has the perfect plan. She will marry the powerful Prince Jiseve of Brightcastle and use his fortune to save them. But first she must compete against three princesses equally determined to win his hand.
When she finds herself irresistibly attracted to her reluctant escort, the handsome Ramon Zorba, her plans begin to unravel. Ramon is dealing with problems of his own, but as he begins to thaw, Benae begins to glimpse the devastating man underneath.  The more time they spend together, the harder Benae finds it to focus on her objective. Will she stay true to her people and pursue the prince? Or will love and fate intervene?
Benae and Ramon face temptation, danger and tragedy in this passionate fantasy romance.

My Next Book

My how time flies! It’s been a month since my last blog and I’d like to tell you what I’ve been up to.

Benae prayingFirst of all, I’ve been doing the final edits on my next book, The Lady’s Choice. It’s scheduled for release in October and I’ve approved the beautiful cover. I hope to show you all really soon.

It’s fabulous working with the Penguin Australia editors. I love the process of editing because I learn so much. It’s like watching a cocoon hatch into a beautiful butterfly, seeing the finished story emerge at the end.

Here’s the blurb:

Lady Benae Branasar will sacrifice her ‘happily ever after’ for an arranged marriage with a powerful prince who will save her estates and her people. Or so she imagines. But can she turn her back on her feelings for the prince’s squire, Ramón Zorba? Ramon is a man Benae could easily love but he is obsessed with the prince’s daughter and at first tries hard to ignore the beautiful and fiery Benae. As they are drawn inexorably together, Benae and Ramón must choose between keeping their personal vows and being true to each other.

In The Lady’s Choice, you’ll get to know the delectable squire from Princess Avenger, Ramón Zorba. He’s a wonderful beta hero and needless to say, Benae can’t resist him. Get ready for more danger and palace intrigue as the hero and heroine negotiate their way to each other.

Florence Bay 2Along with a couple of hectic weeks working on The Lady’s Choice, I had mum to stay for two weeks. She had to put up with me beavering away on my edits for the first week and then we hit the tourist spots, including the Museum of Tropical North Queensland, Reef HQ and Magnetic Island. We had numerous coffees and even had time to check out a local boutique.

PIC_0944I think Reef HQ was the highlight of her week, though getting stuck trying to return from Florence Bay on Magnetic Island was quite exciting as well. Some of the roads on the island leave a lot to be desired. I’d have photos only I was too busy throwing rocks into craters in order to get the car up the hill. Thanks to the kind woman in the four wheel drive who advised us we had to ‘straddle’ the holes. Yeah, right! My advice? Don’t try to drive to Florence Bay unless you have a four wheel drive.

Anyway, life has settled down again and I’m back to working on my next fantasy romance, Love Thy Enemy- about a third of the way through. The story is based near Wildecoast, the king’s seat in the Kingdom of Thorius- the land of my previous two books. The hero is a gorgeous blonde sailing captain with dreadlocks who runs across the heroine washed up on the beach after a storm. You’ll have to watch this space for more details.

For my next post, I hope to share with you the cover of The Lady’s Choice. Until then…

A Chat with Louise Reynolds

Louise ReynoldsToday I’m talking with Louise Reynolds whose latest book, Outback Bride, has just been released. Welcome Louise.
It’s lovely to be here, Bernadette.
Congratulations on your second release with Destiny Romance. Can you tell us a little about your book?
Outback BrideLegal star Lara Burke has worked hard to escape her country past and is finally on the way to being made a partner at her city law firm. At the worst possible time, her former flame Jake Forester arrives, bringing tragic news from home.
Forced to return to her family property, Jindaburra, Lara must confront her past at the home she loved and lost. But big-sky country and bittersweet memories are not all that await her at Jindaburra.
Readers are certainly seeking out rural romance stories. Many of these have the city meets country theme. What do you think intrigues readers?
For quite a while (and certainly post GFC), much of Western society has been returning to simpler values – recycling, up-cycling, sustainability, making do – and there’s a perception that life is simpler in the country. Having said that, our big cities have never offered such an amazing variety in cuisines and entertainment. It’s natural for people to be drawn to both and that creates a tension between both worlds that’s interesting to explore.

Do you have country roots?
Not at all. In fact I’ve only started travelling in the outback in the last eight years but I love it.
What do you love most about Outback Bride?
I enjoyed creating Jindaburra, Lara’s childhood home. It’s her first love and is buried in her soul.
Destiny LogoWhat was the most difficult part of writing Outback Bride?
There’s a theme of family estrangement and that was difficult to write as, like many families, mine has had to deal with this.
Do you think it’s the similarities or the differences that form the strongest attraction between a hero and heroine?
Definitely the similarities. I’ve never been a huge believer in opposites attract.
How do you come up with your ideas?
For Outback Bride, I met a girl in an outback pub who was devastated that her brother would inherit the family property and her father had refused to consider her contribution and love for the property. That conversation stayed with me for a long time until the character of Lara was born. But generally there are strands from all over the place that come together to create a story.

What genre do you like to read? Who is your favourite author?
Definitely contemporary romance, city or country-based. I like romances that feature problems faced by modern women and I like my heroines if not strong at the outset, certainly resourceful. In rural romance I like to read Barbara Hannay. Otherwise, Jill Shalvis, Bella Andre, Liz Fielding, Jessica Hart.
Her Italian AristocratDo you have any words of wisdom for aspiring writers?
Think about why you are doing this. Make clear goals. Follow through.
What’s next for you?
I’m writing a contemporary romance that starts in the outback but moves to London then on to an old English manor house. I’m having a lot of fun with this one.
Thanks for introducing us to Outback Bride and to your writing life, Louise.
Thank you for having me, Bernadette. It’s been fun.
You can find Louise at:
Website: http://www.louisereynolds.com.au
Blog: http://louwrites.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LouiseHReynolds
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LouiseReynoldsauthorpage?ref=hl

Outback Bride can be purchased on Amazon , Kobo Books , Apple itunes and Destiny Romance