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A New Doctor Who

When my blog was very new, I wrote a post called ‘The Most Romantic Doctor Who’ which was, in essence, a tribute to my favourite Doctor, David Tennant. This post is one of my most popular and is still viewed by people every week. The Doctor resonates with so many people around the world, what ‘Who’ lover wouldn’t want to tap into that wealth of material? But the subject is so massive that it’s difficult to pin down a topic to write on.

I came across a blog by my friend and colleague Leisl Leighton called Saying Goodbye to the Doctor in which she eloquently describes her journey through the evolution of the different doctors both old and modern day. It’s really worth a read as is the rest of Leisl’s blog. I could relate to much of what Leisl had written. I never watched Doctor Who’s old series though I’ve seen some episodes and footage from this era.

Christopher EccelstonMy experience of Doctor Who came with the advent of the new Doctor Who, Christopher Eccleston. He bounced onto our screens as the ninth Doctor and I thought he was fabulous, as was Billy Piper who played Rose Tyler. I was still trying to get my head around Doctor Who and all its laws and possibilities, not to mention the assorted baddies, when Doctor ten, David Tennant, came along.

David Tennant imageIt didn’t take long for me to fall completely in love with David and he is still my favourite to this day and always will be. It didn’t seem to matter whether he was with Rose or Martha Jones or Donna Noble, each brought out a different aspect of his character, to give us a more rounded picture of his strengths and flaws. So far, he appears to be the only Doctor who has fallen in love. Perhaps this is why so many of us were mesmerised by him.

Girl_in_the_FireplaceThe main writer of the Eccleston and Tennant series was Russell T Davies, and I give a lot of the credit for my enjoyment of these Who eras to the wonderful writing. However my favourite episode, The Girl in the Fireplace was written by Steven Moffat and directed by the brilliant Euros Lyn.

As I said goodbye to Doctor David, there could not have been a more distraught devotee than myself. For one who had come to identify Doctor Who with Tennant, I just couldn’t conceive of another playing The Doctor. Along came Matt Smith and I prepared to love him as much as David. After all, I had successfully transitioned from Eccleston to Tennant, why not to Smith? Along with a new doctor, a new premier writer took over the series. Steven Moffat began weaving his convoluted yarns and I was very lost at times.

The_Eleventh_Doctor_and_Amy_PondMatt Smith was too young, too bumbling and I just couldn’t warm to Amy (Karen Gillan) either. On top of all this, the show had a new executive producer. It could be said that the entire landscape of Who was changed dramatically. I faithfully viewed the first few episodes, trying to get my head around the stories and the new Who and I admit, I gave up. I was devastated that my favourite show had been changed beyond my enjoyment. Occasionally I would catch part of an episode and find that, even in light of the odd laws of Doctor Who and ‘timey wimey’ stuff, I just couldn’t follow the stories.

Dr Who VincentI don’t know what happened to bring me back. It took me two series to accept Matt Smith and I’d be interested to hear if other fans had the same experience. I’ve now watched all the Matt Smith episodes several times over and love them, especially Vincent and the Doctor in which The Doctor and Amy take Vincent Van Gogh forward in time to show him how famous he became in the hope that it might save him. Each time I view these episodes I understand them better and feel that they are so complex that you can’t fully appreciate them without multiple viewings.

I will miss Matt Smith. I came to love his three way rivalry with Amelia Pond and Rory Williams. River Song added a feisty other dimension and Clara Oswald will continue into the next series with the new Doctor. TwelthdoctorWhich brings me to Doctor Peter Capaldi. You won’t be surprised to hear that I’m unconvinced about Peter as the new Doctor. He’s not young and sexy and I think that the three recent Doctors have really added dimension to the role in this area. Capaldi is much more in the mould of doctors in the old series, though we did have several younger men playing the character. We shall see.

Last, I can’t end this without mentioning The Day of the Doctor.  The episode introduced Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor and featured David Tennant and Matt Smith along with Tom Baker and Billie Piper. We even got to spend time with the War Doctor. It was magnificent television, creating a world viewing record for simulcast of a television drama. The show has us hooked and I don‘t mind admitting it. Long live Doctor Who in all his incarnations.

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Valentine’s Day 2014

I Love You- Valentine's DayNo one would question the fact that this day is for the ultimate romantics but I think Valentine’s Day brings out the romantic in many of us, even just a tiny corner. We begin to think about what it means to us to have a valentine and how we should show our appreciation.

Does it all have to be about the dollars we spend? Did you know that Australians will spend nearly one billion dollars on Valentine’s Day? Expensive gifts are one way to show someone we love them but not the only way. Simply the spending of time with your loved one – a good long chat, sharing a movie together, going on a walk, reflecting on how you came to fall in love and telling your valentine the things you love about them – are all great, inexpensive alternatives.

The Lady's Choice Cover- high resNo matter how you celebrate the day, I believe the important thing is that Valentine’s Day is a chance to stop and appreciate each other. So let’s do that this Valentine’s Day: take a moment to pause and remember all the great things about your valentine: the loveable, the funny, the romantic, the thoughtful, the caring, yes all those attributes that make it worthwhile being in a relationship.

Valentine’s Day is dear to the hearts of romance writers- you might say it’s our ‘one day of the year’. I appreciate this all the more since releasing my books Princess Avenger and The Lady’s Choice. I love to hear from readers either by email or by leaving a rating or short review on Goodreads or your purchase site.

Princess Avenger High Res CoverHow will I celebrate the day? A romantic meal out seems on the cards. How will you celebrate on February 14th?

This post is part of Annie Seaton’s Valentine’s Day blog hop so click a Rafflecopter giveaway to enter the competition and win great prizes.

Also head over to the authors below to check out their posts.

Date Name
30-Jan Annie Seaton 
1-Feb Tamsin Baker
2-Feb Demelza Carlton
2-Feb Susanne Bellamy
3-Feb Bernadette Rowley
4-Feb Wendy Ross
5-Feb Isabella Hargreaves
6-Feb Heather Kinnane
7-Feb Barbra Novac
8-Feb Ann B Harrison
9-Feb Tarion Keelan
10-Feb HC Brown
11-Feb Kris Ashton
12-Feb Darry Fraser
13-Feb Lisa Knight
14-Feb Annie Seaton and Prize Draw
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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

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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.

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Chatting to Jennifer St George

Jen St GeorgeToday I’m chatting with Destiny Romance author, Jennifer St George. Welcome, Jen!

Thanks for inviting me on, Bernadette.

Congrats on the release this month of The Love Deception. Can you tell us about the story?

The Love Deception is my third novel with Destiny Romance. It combines legal intrigue, courtroom drama and a dash of exotic Barbados.

The Love DeceptionWhen Felicity Carter wakes up naked in a strange bed, she has no idea how she got there. And no recollection of meeting the gorgeous man calmly offering her breakfast. Felicity flees – hoping that their paths never cross again.
 The last thing she expects is to discover that her mystery man is Damon Fullbright, partner at the law firm where Felicity has just started work – and her new boss!

Damon is appalled to find the out-of-control young woman he rescued has been hired to work on his team. Apart from anything else, he doesn’t need the distraction of a hot blonde with a barrel-full of issues. But one-by-one, Felicity blows all Damon’s preconceptions out of the water. When Felicity explosively reveals her dreadful secret, will he risk his reputation and trust her to discover the truth?

How did you come up with the idea for your book?

I used to travel extensively and would often wake up in a hotel in a foreign country and forget where I was.  In those first few seconds of waking, I’d always get a jolt of adrenaline and I’d wonder where I was. Of course I’d quickly realize I was fine, in a hotel and had to get up and go to work. I wondered what it would be like if you woke up and had no idea where you were. Felicity does just that at the beginning of the book. From that point on, her life is a rollercoaster ride in the search for truth, understanding and ultimately…love.

What do you love most about The Love Deception?

I love that both hero and heroine will do anything to protect the ones they love.

The Convenient BrideWhat is different about this book when compared to The Convenient Bride and Seducing the Secret Heiress? What is similar?

This book has an element of romantic suspense about it which is different to The Convenient Bride and Seducing the Secret Heiress. All three books include exotic locations, opulent settings and a hot, hot hero!

How does winning an award like the Clendon (as you did with The Convenient Bride) help your writing career?

I think being a finalist and winning awards helps bring you to the attention of editors. It also adds to your writing credentials, which is invaluable when drafting submission cover letters.

You work in PR, what are the three most important ingredients in promoting yourself?

  1. Develop a brand for yourself
  2. Get your online presence in order. This is important to establish before you are published.  Editors will look for you online.
  3. I’ve found getting to know popular romance bloggers has been very beneficial as they will feature/review your book and/or do an author spotlight

Of course ahead of all of this is to write fabulous books!

Seducing the Secret Heiress, Jennifer St GeorgeDo you have any words of wisdom for aspiring writers?

Probably the top things that helped me achieve publication were

1) Volunteering. I volunteered for Romance Writers of Australia. This put me in touch with lots of published authors and editors through my work in sponsorship
and media.

2) Education. I attended every writing workshop/course (highly recommend Margie Lawson’s online courses!!), author chat and conference I could.  I read loads of romance writing ‘how-to’ books.  I read lots and lots of books in the line I was targeting

3) Competitions. I entered so many competitions as possible with as many entries as were allowed.

4) I wrote, wrote, wrote, wrote.

How has writing changed you as a person?

Hmmm.  That’s a good question.  I probably watch people a lot more than I did before.  Especially for inspiration on how people react in certain situations.

What genre do you like to read? Who is your favourite author?

I read across a lot of genres – obviously lots of romance (mostly category as that’s what I write), but I also love crime (eg recently read Michael Connelly, Stieg Larsson, Gillian Flynn), historical drama/action (eg Bernard Cornwell) and literary authors such as Ian McEwan, Julian Barnes and Iain Banks (who sadly passed away several weeks ago). I don’t read too much fantasy, but I am ripping through George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. I try to keep up with winners of the major awards such as The Booker and Miles Franklin awards (although I am very behind at the moment!!) and am still working my way through the classics. Only read To Kill a Mockingbird last year (I know, I know!).  Unfortunately I’m a slow reader so my TBR pile is huge!

I don’t think I have an all-time favourite author.

Destiny LogoWhat’s next for you?

I’m half way through my next book which I’m hoping my Destiny Romance editors will love and another contract will be heading my way!

Thanks for sharing your inspiration and words of wisdom with us today, Jen and all the best with The Love Deception

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What’s in Name?

Leisl Leightonby Leisl Leighton

What’s in a name? Apparently heaps.

A swimming teacher I work with told me the other day because of multiple negative experiences with boys called Jackson, and girls called Brittany, she couldn’t help but roll her eyes whenever she had a new kid to teach who had one of those names and think, ‘what hell are these ones going to put me through’. Now, I don’t think the kids’ behaviour had anything to do with their names, but it did make me think about what we see in a name, how it affects us and the lasting impressions it leaves. This question became even more important recently when I had to come up with a new name for the novel that Destiny Romance has just published.

When I started to write this novel, as usual, I had no idea what it was about. I am a true pantser (writer who doesn’t plot). But I had a re-occurring dream about a music producer with a dark past she wanted to hide and a rock star she wanted to work with whose fame threatened to bring her secrets to light. There was also a phrase that kept recurring in my dream, ‘sounding the heart’. The hero said it to the heroine when he was talking about what he saw in her. So, of course, that’s what I named it when I had to name my document. What I didn’t know then, was that it would turn into a romantic suspense novel with a stalker and murderer in the mix. I knew when I was subbing it that the name wasn’t right, but I couldn’t really think of anything else, because ‘Sounding the heart’ was what it was to me.

Destiny LogoOf course, that title would be good if it was a straight romance novel, however, it in no way suggests the suspense/murder part of the plot – which is a quite significant part of the story. My editor very carefully asked me how attached I was to the title (my answer when I was writing it might have been, ‘quite a bit’, but now, it was ‘not at all’.)  Knowing this question was going to be coming I had been thinking about the importance of titles and what certain titles said to me. I know there have been times when I’ve picked up a book just because of what it’s called. Of course, if the blurb didn’t appeal to me, I put it right back, but the title was the thing that caught my eye. So, it seemed, there was a lot in a name if I wanted people to pick up my novel and have an idea from the title what it might be about.

I quickly came up with a bunch of titles that encompassed different aspects of the novel – the twin connection, the music, the dark creepiness of the stalker and combinations that encompassed elements of two or three of these. I really wanted something that would speak of the way the hero and heroine’s music spoke to each other (so touching on the feel of the original title), but also suggested the darker side of the novel.

Killing Me SoftlyIn amongst all these suggestions was my favourite, Killing Me Softly. I liked it because it hit the darker elements nicely, but also references Roberta Flack’s 1973 song about a woman listening to a musician whose song speaks to her soul (something that is mentioned by the heroine in the novel), so it shows the importance of music in the hero and heroine’s journeys. Luckily, my editors loved it too and picked it among the dozen others I’d thrown out there.

So, after years of calling the novel by another name, it is now called ‘Killing Me Softly’ – and do you know what? I love it. It feels good, much better than ‘Sounding the Heart’ ever did. It tells me so much more about the story. And I hope it speaks to readers too.

Killing Me Softly is out now. Find it at www.destinyromance.com, Amazon, Kobo or iBooks.

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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.

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New From Destiny Romance

2013 has already been a big year at Destiny Romance. In January the digital first publisher released Seducing the Secret Heiress by Jennifer St George and Wild at Heart by Charmaine Ross. These are both second books in the Destiny Imprint for Jen and Charmaine and I can highly recommend them.

Seducing the Secret Heiress, Jennifer St GeorgeDiamond heiress, Charlotte Wentworth, is passionate about two things – cooking and her billionaire fiancée, Paul.  That is, until she finds Paul has been unfaithful. Shocked, she flees to Europe where she is determined to build a life of her own without her family’s name, fortune or connections.  When she meets gorgeous Englishman, Gabe Grenville, a famous reality TV producer, sparks fly. Charlotte passes herself off as a lowly catering assistant but soon finds herself a star on his TV cooking show. But how will he react when he discovers Charlotte’s true identity? And Paul has not given up – he has his own agenda for forcing Charlotte to return to Australia and marry him.

Will their love turn into a recipe for disaster? Or will it turn out to be a perfect

Wild at Heart, Charmaine RossDocumentary maker Dan Masters is completely out of his comfort zone in outback Australia. Passionate park ranger, Victoria Price, couldn’t be more at home in the wilderness. After Victoria saves Dan from the jaws of a ferocious crocodile, she can’t get away from him fast enough. But her amazing rescue has been filmed and when the film’s investors see the footage, they demand Dan do whatever it takes to get Victoria involved in the movie. Ordered to take part, Victoria reluctantly joins Dan on safari where they fight poachers, fire ants and a powerful attraction for each other that becomes increasingly difficult to deny. But desire is a dangerous game in this riotous romantic comedy…

This month Destiny have released:

Second Chance- CarlaSecond Chance by Carla Caruso
The second book for Destiny from Carla and we love it.  It’s all about 30 something,
lovelorn Flora who is accidentally zapped back in time to when she was 20 and
her life unraveled. Flora decides to win back the love of her life, land the
dream job and stay friends with her bestie. But will Flora find the happiness
she seeks in her past – and will it be what she expects?
To read an extract
from Second Chance, click here

The Border Laird's Bride, Allison ButlerThe Border Laird’s Bride by Allison
Butler

This passionate Scottish romance had us swooning at
Destiny. Jamie, the hero, is gorgeous, strong, masculine – and lovely and kind.
He’s promised to produce an heir, but never to fall in love. Kenzie is one of
the best heroines ever. A likeable firebrand who’s brave, a little wild and has
a very good reason to never want to marry. We found ourselves cheering this
couple on and you will as well.
To read an extract from The Border Laird’s Bride, click here

And of course, there are all the previous fabulous titles including my own Princess Avenger Princess Avenger High Res Cover. All the buy links for the different e-book formats are available on the Destiny website at http://www.destinyromance.com/

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My Family

My FamilyMy husband and I watched an episode of My Family recently and, as is often the case, the program reminded us a lot of our own married life. Sure the situations are more extreme, but the feelings and challenges are similar. All too often we find ourselves looking at each other thinking how eerily My Family reflects our life together.

In the episode, Ben and Susan head off to a marriage retreat to freshen up their relationship. They struggle with all the exercises they are asked to partake in. One activity they are asked to do is to list ten things they love about each other. They both fail to do this and actually start crossing things off that they have already written down. This was an uncanny episode as, in my Valentine’s Day post, I suggested my readers might try to think of all the things they loved about their partners.

Long term relationships like Ben and Susan’s fall into predictable patterns and often we forget all those things that made us fall in love in the first place. People change, we get bogged down with life, endearing traits aren’t so endearing after 20 years and we notice the annoying things much more than the loving, helpful qualities. I think this is why so many people fall out of love.

But Ben and Susan Harper show us that beneath all the sarcasm and harping, mocking and annoying that goes on in everyday married life there often is a strong thread of love and commitment unpinning the relationship. If we focus on that solid, caring core and think about all there is to love in our partner then that might make the difference between a loving partnership and an endurance test.

If you haven’t already watched My Family, I thoroughly recommend it. Here’s a small sample: ‘My Family’ Clip- Susan for a Bruisin’- Aerobics

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Goodreads Best New Author

Happy Australia Day to you all! No, I’m not going to talk about this fine day of ours. I received an invitation from Juanita Kees today which urged me to pop over to Goodreads and vote for the Best New Author. So I did. I also added my debut novel Princess Avenger to the list for voting. There are some mighty fine books in there so pop over and take a look and have a vote (or more than one).

The link is http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/9608?al=OTk0MzQ4MQ==-b34f48e32658e9fdac9b2c0709b89e09ae1c17f2&i=LTM1OTk3NDQ5Mzk6MzU3&utm_medium=email&utm_source=list

I’ve loved being part of Goodreads for the last seven months. It’s a wonderful site for readers and writers and for these two groups to connect. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. Have a great weekend!