Tag Archive | rural romance

Australia Day Romance

AustraliaDaybloghop2014This blog is all about romance, so when I agreed to be part of the Australia Day Book’d Out Blog Giveaway series, I needed to link the subject to romance. Sure, I could have written something unrelated to Australia Day OR just written on Australia Day without worrying about romance. I didn’t want to do either of those things.

Still, I had charged myself with a difficult task because what is romantic about Australia Day? Let’s see…

Man and BBQWhen I think of our national day I immediately think of food. We have some magnificent national dishes such as pavlova (I choose to believe it’s ours), the lamington, prawns and lamb on the BBQ, Anzac biscuits, pineapple on burgers, macadamias and damper. What could be more romantic than a man cooking a BBQ feast? Damper reminds us of the romantic days of the drover and the freedom of a life of moving cattle from one place to another on the back of a horse. Pavlova, pineapple and macadamias are all close to our hearts as national foods. Last of all, our own biscuit reminds us of the sacrifice of our young men for their country and the romanticism of a life given for others.

MitchWho are our Aussie heroes? Hugh Jackman comes to mind and men and women alike have admired Hugh for his looks and myriad talents but many of us look for our heroes on the sporting field. Chief amongst sporting heroes this Australia Day is Mitch Johnson complete with his moustache, conquering the English on the cricket field. And the mo is so reminiscent of the cricket heroes who have gone before him: Lilley, Merv, Boon and the like. The romance of being a hero, of being admired by an entire country cannot be overlooked.

So many of us will reflect on our history this Australia Day and there is romance in the adventure of arriving in a foreign land and forging a new life. Our forefathers accomplished this and many new immigrants continue to discover the delights and challenges of modern Australia.

Man from Snowy RiverOne of our classic films The Man from Snowy River was based on a poem by the same name, written by the great Banjo Patterson, and showcased the Aussie bush and country life. Our many successful rural romance authors use the same themes today.

RainforestAustralia is a beautiful country full of romantic escapes from coastal scenes to desert landscapes and secluded rainforest hideaways. It is an ancient land which has its own prehistoric history and indigenous people. So much of this country can touch our hearts, get under our skin and stay with us wherever we travel. I’m from the Sunshine Coast and whenever I see one of the Glasshouse Mountains they engender a nostalgia that for me is akin to romance.

So, maybe I’m drawing a long bow on some of these but, being a fantasy writer, the long bow is a weapon I am familiar with and I choose to use it on this occasion.

Princess Avenger High Res CoverDo you think there is romance in Australia Day? Leave a comment and the person with the most convincing argument for or against will win a paperback copy of my book Princess Avenger– entries restricted to Australian residents.  Entries close at midnight on January 28th and the winner will be announced here on February 2nd.

Please support the other writers involved in this Australia Day Book’d Out Giveaway Blog Hop for your chance to win more prizes and discover amazing authors.

Book’d   Out Australian   Women Writers Challenge Blog
Helene   Young 1girl2manybooks
Juliet   Madison – Humorous & Heartwarming Fiction Lily   Malone – romance writer
Nicole   Hurley-Moore Kendall   Talbot Blog
Creative   Conversations Jenn J   McLeod
When I   Was a Kid  Annie   Seaton
 Carpe   Librum  Karen   Wyld: Yarn Weaver
 Booklover   Book Reviews  Booksaremyfavouriteandbest
 Tien’s   Blurb  BernadetteRowley
 A   Reader’s Heaven  Jennifer   Scoullar
 Eleni’s   Taverna  The   Never Ending Bookshelf
 Write   and Read with Dale  Phillipa   Fioretti
 Suzi   Love  Journeys   with Noelle
 The   Sweet Escape  Sarah   Belle – Romagic Comedy
 Marisa   Wikramanayake  Biest   Books
 Pieces   of Whimsy  The   Eclectic Reader
 Elise   K. Ackers, The Write Frequency  Carol   @ reading,writing and riesling
 Elisabeth   Storrs  My   Word
 Kathryn’s   Inbox  Maureen   Helen on Writing and Ageing
 The   Incredible Rambling Elimy  Loretta   Hill
 Kate   Forsyth’s Blog  Tea   in the Treetops
 Rachael   Johns  Things   Made From Letters
 Musings   by Wink  Margarette   Lyn Sharp
 Sarah   Foster  Matthew   S Wilson
 Write   Note Reviews  Jennifer   Collin
 Sherryl   Caulfield  Literary   Exploration
Lisa   Walker  Wendy   Orr

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: 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

In Search of Destiny

Monique and PA- Williamstown PO                  Castletown PO Tville 2

There’s been a mad frenzy over the last few days with Destiny Romance authors dashing into post offices throughout Australia desperate to find their books on sale. We’ve known for a couple of months that the deal with Australia Post would see our books in print and sold in post offices throughout Australia. It’s available in 660 stores in total and these are mainly, but not exclusively, the large Post Office stores in shopping centres.

I put out the call for my readers to track down Princess Avenger in the flesh and send me a photo of the illusive royal and themselves. This was no easy challenge as those who know Princess Alecia realise she likes to get about in disguise. I’m happy to announce that Dr Monique from Williamstown was my first reader to succeed in cornering the feisty princess. But that doesn’t mean the challenge is over.

I’m still gathering sightings of Princess Avenger wherever she makes an appearance. There are even rumours that her story remains unfinished and that even though the heroine is exiled, she hasn’t given up on her kingdom or her people.

So keep an eye on those post offices and stay in touch…

Australia Post Holds Destiny

Book at ARRA

In great news, Australia Post have decided to take all 2012 Destiny titles, in print, as one of their rotational offers. This means my book Princess Avenger is now available in 650 Australia Post outlets for a period of about three months. The recommended retail price is $9.99

If you live in Australia, this is a wonderful opportunity to have the Destiny titles from 2012 in paperback. It’s every author’s dream to hold their book and this deal with Australia Post has made that dream come true for me. I hope it’s just the beginning of exciting times for Destiny Romance, Penguin’s digital first romance imprint. Destiny have given a voice to previously unpublished authors of Australian romance and they are to be congratulated for that alone.

Having read all of the 2012 releases, I can tell you there are some truly wonderful titles amongst the dozen on offer. So if you like to hold a book in your hands rather than an electronic device, hop into your local Australia Post store and enjoy a little Destiny romance.

Weekend of Romance-Author Signing

ARRA Author SigningI was lucky enough to take part in the author signing during the ARRA 2013 Convention. It was beautifully organised and set up with around 66 authors involved from the fabulous Amy Andrews, Anna Campbell, Anne Gracie and Nalini Singh through to Helene (Helium) Young. Somewhere in the middle were the Destiny team of myself, Jennifer St George and Imelda Evans. Over two hours, readers filed past, getting us to sign the amazing souvenir booklets which contained information on each of the authors. And oh what information! Who knew that one of Anne Gracie’s celebrity crushes was David Tennant (I’m with you Anne!) or that Anna Campbell would love to live on the west coast of Scotland or that Kelly Hunter would really like to be James Bond?

I got to sign the print version of my book for the first time. It was difficult to know what to write but hopefully I’ll be forgiven if it was a bit lame. What was most amazing to me was the reader interest in paranormal/fantasy stories. It was gratifying to speak to so many who read widely in the genre that I love. I guess I’m not so odd after all.

Writers are, first and foremost, readers and the weekend was a wonderful opportunity to network with other readers who are most definitely passionate about romance and books in general. There was a great sense of being with one’s ‘tribe’ and for solitary writers, which we all are, this was an opportunity too good to miss. I’m so glad I attended!

A Weekend of Romance

Book at ARRAI’ve just participated in a magnificent weekend in Brisbane at the 3rd Annual Australian Romance Readers Association convention. I wasn’t sure what to expect as this was the first readers event I’ve attended. Over the coming weeks I’ll outline my impressions of this wonderful gathering which packed so much into two days and two nights.

As a quick overview of the event, the weekend started with Lady Jane’s Salon where several authors read excerpts from their recent releases. Following this, delelgates attended a welcome reception which was a wonderful chance to catch up with author and publishing industry mates and meet new readers. Over the two days of conference, attendees were treated to no less than three key note speakers and numerous workshop sessions including ample opportunities for readers to ask questions of authors. I have to say that the authors I listened to were very generous and open in their answers.

It was lovely to meet devoted readers who have an intimate knowledge of the romance genre, not to mention many other genres. All subgenres of romance were covered over the weekend including erotica, fantasy and sci-fi, rural, suspense and of course contemporary and category romance.

By far the most amazing part of the weekend was the chance to hold my book. Yes! Princess Avenger has been printed along with all Destiny titles from 2012. I’ll have more info on where you’ll be able to pick up your paperback copy of my story in coming weeks. At this stage it will only be available in Australia.

If you ever get a chance to attend one of these conventions either as a reader or a writer, I can thoroughly recommend it. The next one will be in two years time.

Free Book to Celebrate Destiny Romance

Destiny Romance, Penguin Australia’s digital romance imprint is offering romance lovers a free digital short story by popular romance author, Anne Gracie, this month. Anyone who registers at destinyromance.com, will have the opportunity to read The Laird’s Vow, a charming historical romance by this three time shortlisted RITA award author. https://www.destinyromance.com/

Launched in August in Australia, Destiny Romance is quickly gathering momentum. The imprint which publishes eBooks across the romance genres of contemporary, historical, suspense, paranormal, fantasy, sci-fi and erotica, has a strong emphasis on discovering new Australian voices in the world of romantic writing.

The Destiny Romance website also allows readers internationally to purchase eBooks from the site, so they can enjoy their Destiny Romance eBooks anywhere – from the coffee shops of New York, to the tube stations of London and the beaches of Queensland.

The Penguin team behind Destiny Romance, Sarah Fairhall and Carol George, said “We are proud to be delivering Australian stories in a genre we both love, in a format that reflects changing tastes and times, and to a worldwide audience.”

Destiny Romance releases two new eBook titles every month and requests for media copies can be made via Net Galley.

Current titles available include:

  • · Wish by Kelly Hunter
  • · Harbinger by Peta Crake
  • · Small Town Storm by Elise K Ackers
  • · The Convenient Bride by Jennifer St George
  • · Cityglitter by Carla Caruso
  • · Double Exposure by Charmaine Ross
  • · Rules are for Breaking by Imelda Evans
  • · Princess Avenger by Bernadette Rowley.

To purchase all of these titles go to  https://www.destinyromance.com/

Destiny Romance Launched!

After months of having to hold my tongue, I can finally reveal the launch of Penguin’s digital first Australian romance imprint, Destiny Romance http://www.destinyromance.com/ .You can find fine Australian romance in all genres with many more to come. Including mine! Look out for my debut novel, Princess Avenger, to be launched in October 2012.

First on the launching pad for Destiny are Kelly Hunter, Jennifer St George, Peta Crake and Elise Ackers. In a glittering cocktail party prior to the Romance Writers of Australia conference last weekend on the Gold Coast, Destiny Romance was launched and we heard excerpts from each of the books below read by the authors themselves.

Internationally best-selling author Kelly Hunter has released her delightful rural romance, Wish, with Destiny. Wish is a wonderful, sexy romance that will keep you guessing until the very end. It’s a brilliant collision between two headstrong people, and filled with moments of tenderness that will touch your heart. Keep the tissues on hand.

Jennifer St George is PR queen of Romance Writers Australia and debuts with her contemporary romance, The Convenient Bride. The Convenient Bride is a fabulous romance set in a world of great beauty and luxury, portrayed in picture-perfect detail. Two opposing souls strike up a partnership in a deal that has overlooked one important detail – that it involves a woman who knows her mind and her heart.

Western Australian author Peta Crake has launched her writing career with sexy paranormal romance, Harbinger. Harbinger is a terrific romance laced with humour, danger and adventure. The deeply likeable, unstoppable Ophelia takes us on a quest that puts all the memories she holds dear – and her own heart – at risk.

Talented Melbourne writer Elise Ackers has released her romantic suspense, Small Town Storm, with Destiny. Small Town Storm is a gripping read that captures the intensity and passion of first love and the terror of a town where trust has broken down. This is the unforgettable story of a lifelong romance, and of an innocent childhood tainted by evil that won’t let go.

And if that’s not enough to get you interested, look out for Anne Gracie’s free, short, historical romance coming soon to destinyromance.com .

Head over to http://www.destinyromance.com/ to purchase these fabulous Aussie romances.

Interview with Barbara Hannay

Barb HannayToday I’m talking to Barbara Hannay, author of sparkling, feel-good, emotional romance. Thanks for taking time to answer a few questions, Barb.

Thanks for inviting me to be a guest on your blog, Bernadette.

You’ve realised a dream many of us have- to write for a living. How many books have you published? How many do you need to publish each year to pay the bills?

At the moment I have forty-one books either published or about to be published.  I write three books a year.  Until now that’s been 3 category romances, but I’m now writing single title books for Penguin as well, so I’m feeling my way, learning how much I can manage.

The publishing industry is changing so quickly at the moment it’s hard to make any predictions about earnings, and I haven’t been our sole breadwinner, but so far, we could have lived (modestly) off my earnings.

In the 4.5 years between your first manuscript rejection and ‘the call’ what steps did you take to achieve your dream of publication?

First, I read hundreds of romances. The genre was new for me and I had made the initial mistake of believing I could write a romance after reading just two. After that, I immersed myself in the genre, and developed a deepening love and respect for it. It’s important to “get” why readers love romance.

I kept submitting and being rejected and submitting again. Usually, you can’t be published without risking rejection, dealing with it and moving on. I simply aimed to make each submission better.

I joined Romance Writers of Australia, entered competitions and got helpful feedback. www.romanceaustralia.com

What technique/truth  have you learned in your writing journey that you wish you had known at the start?

I’ve realised that writing’s like life. You keep finding out that there’s more to learn, and it doesn’t get any easier – just different. J It’s also a bit like falling in love – incredibly exciting and fulfilling at first and then day to day challenges creep in, but you make a commitment because you know you can’t live without it.

What is the best part of writing romance? Is there a down side to your job?

I’ve made the most wonderful friends through my writing. I’ve also loved travelling overseas to conferences and having experiences like the fabulous Harlequin black and white ball in the Starlight Room at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.

The downside for me would be the loneliness of writing. Thank heavens for email. J

Your ‘sweet romances’ are much loved.  For those of us who don’t understand HMB categories, what can a reader expect from a Barb Hannay ‘Sweet’ romance?

Thanks Bernadette. My stories usually have a strong emotional element, something personal and important to the characters. My heroines are every day women you might know and my heroes are nice guys, not necessarily mega rich, but able to provide. I walk a thin line between fantasy and reality. I guess my characters’ situations are realistic but the romance is mostly fantasy.

Zoe's MusterYou have your new book ‘Zoe’s Muster’ due for release on July 25th with Penguin. What do you love most about ‘Zoe’s Muster’?

I really enjoyed being able to include extra characters and to explore the world beyond the central couple.  I also loved structuring a longer book and interweaving three women’s different reactions to the same situation.

Where did your love affair with ‘the bush’ begin?

I grew up in Brisbane in the foothills of Mt Coot-tha, so exploring creeks and the bushland was an important part of my childhood. But I think my real love of the bush came when our children were small and we spent so many holidays camping and canoeing.  A friend owned a beautiful cattle property on the Burdekin River near Charters Towers and that has been a huge inspiration.

Can you tell us anything about your current WIP?

I’m working on a sequel to Zoe’s Muster, telling the story of Bella and her aunt, Liz, who’ve been living overseas. It’s a ‘coming home’ story, once again set again on Mullinjim station.

Who in your life do you rely on for support?

My husband Elliot gives me massive support, as a brainstorming partner, sounding board, morale booster. He’s wonderful and I’m very, very lucky.

Having achieved the goals of publication and then writing for a living, what do you dream of now?

A movie deal. No, just kidding. I simply hope to keep building my readership and to write stories they’ll love.

Thanks for joining me on my blog today, Barb and best of luck with ‘Zoe’s Muster’ – out today! For more of Barbara’s fabulous books and her writing life head to http://www.barbarahannay.com/