New release!

a-the-cinema-of-lost-dreams-2Release day is always exciting, especially when the book is being released worldwide in print and e-book. Today is the official release of The Cinema of Lost Dreams.

Here’s a little more about the book:

In Alli Sinclair’s moving story of love, loss, and ambition, two independent women, born decades apart, strive to fulfill their dreams.

In the movies, anything is possible. But as location manager Claire Montgomery knows, real life offers constant challenges, especially in an industry dominated by men. For her new project, Claire needs access to a beautiful Art Deco cinema located in Starlight Creek, a small town in northern Australia wine country. Though the movie theater and its elderly owner, Hattie, are both charming, Hattie’s handsome great-nephew isn’t so easy to convince. Claire must win their trust and permission, though even if she succeeds, she’ll face more complications that she could have anticipated . . .

1950s Hollywood: Lena Lee has worked hard to get ahead in Hollywood without getting caught up in backstabbing and infighting like so many other actors. In an era when censorship is rife and accusations of communism are rampant, Lena sees her star on the rise. But with increased visibility comes a greater awareness of what’s expected from women in her position. Lena is not willing to stay silent and go along with the game. Will she risk her career—and a newfound love—to stand up for what she thinks is right?

Thank you to everyone who has already pre-ordered a copy and thank you so much to the lovely reviewers who have already read and posted their thoughts. And a special thank you to all of you who support my books and spread the word, especially on release day! You’re the best!

Buy links:

AMAZON

iBOOKS

GOOGLE PLAY

KOBO

NOOK

 

 

Thank you!

 
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My very first book launch – Readings Hawthorn (Melbourne), 21 August, 2014

Today is five years since the launch of my first book, Luna Tango. It had taken ten years, three manuscripts (that will never see the light of day), lots of workshops and conferences, thousands upon thousands of hours honing my craft and a dash of luck to get to the point of seeing my first book published and available in bookshops. It was a dream come true and I’ll never forget that moment of standing in a bookshop and seeing my book on the shelves for the first time. It was a magical moment and scary at the same time. My story was out in the world and people were going to meet my characters for the first time. It felt surreal and I really did have to pinch myself (after wiping away tears of joy).

Before I was published all I had focussed on was getting a publishing contract. What I never expected was the wonderful friendships I would make with other writers, booksellers, book reviewers, journalists, librarians and readers. I love that my non-reader friends get behind me as well, promoting any events I’m doing or new releases. I adore the publishers I work with, their passion for the written word shining through in everything they do, and I am so thankful every day for my wonderful literary agent, Lucienne Diver, who works so very hard and is brilliant at what she does.

Never in a million years did I expect to see my books translated into other languages or be published around the world. I never expected to release a new book every year, be a bestseller or have one of my books voted into Australia’s top 100 books. I never expected that I would get the opportunity to do book tours in Australia and overseas, to be invited to literary events, mentor, and to teach workshops and run writing retreats with one of my best friends who is also a writer. I never expected opportunities to take my storytelling to the screen. But all these things have happened and I am grateful for every single one of these magical moments.

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A selection of books – more to come!

On this fifth anniversary, I wanted to thank each and every one of you for getting involved in this precious, uplifting, wonderful writing journey. Without you, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Alli 

New release!

BURNING-FIELDS.png

Release days are always exciting, and today I’m happy to announce the release of Burning Fields – the international edition. So for those of you who have been patiently waiting for it to be released outside Australia, it’s now available in print and e-book worldwide!

Here’s a little more about Burning Fields:

A powerful and sweeping historical novel of love, loss, and hope, set against Australia’s vast sugarcane fields in the turbulent days after World War II.  

1948: Change has come to every corner of the globe—and Rosie Stanton, returning home to northern Queensland after serving the war effort in Brisbane, plans to rescue her family’s foundering sugarcane farm with her unstoppable can-do spirit. Coming up against her father’s old-world views, a farm worker undermining her success, and constant reminders of Rosie’s brothers lost in the war, Rosie realizes she wants more from life and love—but at what cost?  

Italian immigrant Tomas Conti arrives at a neighboring farm, and sparks fly as Rosie draws close to this enigmatic newcomer. When an enemy appears with evidence of Tomas’s shocking past, long-held wartime hatreds rekindle . . . and an astounding family secret sets Rosie’s world ablaze. At the dawn of a new era, Rosie must make her own destiny amid the ashes of yesterday—by following her heart.

Kobo has a special edition that contains exclusive bonus content if you buy a copy this month (November, 2018). You can find out more HERE

You can also purchase a copy through these retailers:

BOOK DEPOSITORY

AMAZON

iBOOKS

GOOGLE

BARNES AND NOBLE

Cover reveal and give away!

BURNING FIELDS 3I’m super chuffed to reveal the cover for the international edition of Burning Fields. And to celebrate, my USA publisher, Kensington Books, is giving away 100 copies prior to its November release. All you need to do is go over to Goodreads to enter. Good luck!

ENTER GOODREADS GIVE AWAY HERE

Here’s a little more about the book:

1948: Change has come to every corner of the globe—and Rosie Stanton, returning home to northern Queensland after serving the war effort in Brisbane, plans to rescue her family’s foundering sugarcane farm with her unstoppable can-do spirit. Coming up against her father’s old-world views, a farm worker undermining her success, and constant reminders of Rosie’s brothers lost in the war, Rosie realizes she wants more from life and love—but at what cost?

Italian immigrant Tomas Conti arrives at a neighboring farm, and sparks fly as Rosie draws close to this enigmatic newcomer. When an enemy appears with evidence of Tomas’s shocking past, long-held wartime hatreds rekindle . . . and an astounding family secret sets Rosie’s world ablaze. At the dawn of a new era, Rosie must make her own destiny amid the ashes of yesterday—by following her heart.

 

Burning Fields cover reveal!

I have been anticipating this day! I am so very pleased to finally reveal the most gorgeous cover for my upcoming June release, Burning Fields. This is the Australian and New Zealand cover with my wonderful publisher, Harlequin MIRA and it is now available for pre-order (links below). For those of you outside Australia and New Zealand, I am very pleased to inform you Burning Fields will be available through my wonderful USA publisher, Kensington Books, in November this year (I’ll keep you updated as to when it is available for pre-order. So without further ado, here’s Burning Fields (Aus/NZ edition):

Burning Fields

Isn’t it beautiful? And Rosie on the cover looks just how I imagined her. I am so very fortunate to have the wonderful Barbara Hannay provide such an amazing quote! 

Here’s a little more about the story:

1948 The world is struggling to regain a sense of balance after the devastation of World War II, and the sugar cane-growing community of Piri River in northern Queensland is no exception.

As returned servicemen endeavour to adjust to their pre-war lives, women who had worked for the war effort are expected to embrace traditional roles once more.

Rosie Stanton finds it difficult to return to the family farm after years working for the Australian Women’s Army Service. Reminders are everywhere of the brothers she lost in the war and she is unable to understand her father’s contempt for Italians, especially the Conti family next door. When her father takes ill, Rosie challenges tradition by managing the farm, but outside influences are determined to see her fail.

Desperate to leave his turbulent history behind, Tomas Conti has left Italy to join his family in Piri River. Tomas struggles to adapt in Australia—until he meets Rosie. Her easy-going nature and positive outlook help him forget the life he’s escaped. But as their relationship grows, so do tensions between the two families until the situation becomes explosive.

When a long-hidden family secret is discovered and Tomas’s mysterious past is revealed, everything Rosie believes is shattered. Will she risk all to rebuild her family or will she lose the only man she’s ever loved?

PRE-ORDER LINKS:

PRINT: 

HARLEQUIN

BOOKTOPIA

BOOKWORLD

DYMOCKS

eBOOK:

AMAZON

iBOOKS

GOOGLE PLAY

New covers never get old

TANGO-POD-MESECINOM-00007423582175Today I’m super excited to reveal the Serbian cover of Luna Tango (Australian/NZ edition) which is also called Midnight Serenade (USA/Canada/UK edition). I love how the publishers in the different territories I’m published in put their own spin on covers and titles – it’s always a surprise to see what they come up with!

Just to show you how different the take can be on one story, I’ve posted the Australian/NZ and USA/UK/Canada editions as well. 

By the way, I have some exciting news about to be announced so if you would like to be one of the first to know, please sign up for my newsletter HERE.

 

 

Behind the Story: Monica McCabe

monica

Today I’m delighted to introduce you to the fabulous Monica McCabe. Adventuring is in Monica McCabe’s blood. She’s addicted to travel, National Parks, & exploring new places and mysterious locales. She’s climbed glaciers and ancient Mayan pyramids, dived shipwrecks and reef caves, camped in Sasquatch country, and drove across the USA three times. When not traveling she’s writing romantic suspense and adventure for Lyrical Liaison, Kensington’s digital line. 

Welcome, Monica! Please tell us about your stories behind the stories!

I freely admit that I’m addicted to travel. My favorite thing in all the world (besides critters and a good glass of wine) is to visit places new to me, sparkling locales that I’ve not experienced beyond pictures or Google Earth. Whatever it takes…planes, trains, cars, or boats…it doesn’t matter. Let’s just go!

That wanderlust impacts my writing too. Some authors start their story with characters. The WHO is important. They want to know everything about them – eye color, hair color, where they went to school. Not me. I start my story with the WHERE. Then I move into the WHAT. Until I get deep into location and plot, characters are just a vague impression.

Setting motivates me to begin the book. Imagery helps create my story. I have a blank wall next to my computer and as I build my story world, that wall turns into a collage of pictures that detail out every major scene location. The deeper into the book I get, the more images fill that space.

What inspires me to choose a location? I can’t say. I saw something, heard something. It doesn’t take much to capture my imagination. I’m always game to research location. I love digging in to find the details that make a setting feel real. Google Earth, Trip Advisor, travel journals, tourist sites, I’ve a whole list of places to hit when a destination catches my eye. That’s why every one of my Jewel Intrigue books takes place in locales far away from me.

DIAMOND LEGACY is set in Botswana, Africa. It’s the perfect place for a story about diamond smuggling because minin9781616507077g for the gemstone dominates the country’s economy and work force. Unfortunately, it also inspires a ruthless criminal underground. But you can’t imagine Africa without being dazed over their spectacular animal kingdom. So intro Roz, a kleptomaniac monkey who threatens to steal the show.

9781601836540EMERALD FIRE opens in St. Lucia, West Indies. What better place to hide modern day pirates? Full of secret coves, luxury yachts, & breathtaking scenery, it’s every bit the perfect Caribbean island. It’s also a hotbed of high-seas and high-stakes action that is hard to combat. We visited a few years ago, after I wrote the book. Despite the danger, I absolutely want to go again.

9781601836557PHANTOM PEARL is a book divided. First half takes place in the rainforests of Far North, Queensland, Australia. Remote and beautiful, it’s an exceptional location for an epic WWII mystery. A treasure hunt is on and the truth hides in the wilderness.

Then it’s on to Singapore for a grand finale on Jurong Island, a massive industrial seaport. It’s a maze of piers, cranes, ship traffic and desalination plants. Perfect for a showdown of epic proportions. I’ve yet to visit Singapore, but it’s on my list. Did you know their airport is consistently voted best in the world? It’s a destination all its own.

The best part … all that delicious research seems to be justified. Because book reviews have a consistent theme – vivid imagery, sensory description, a few even declare the setting takes on a life of its own. I had one swear I’d been to Africa. I wish!

That said, research for PHANTOM PEARL hit a whole new level. Hubby and I visited Australia. It was two weeks of pure awesomeness. This article could easily cover how endlessly amazing the country is, but I’ll restrain myself. Let’s just say – if you’ve ever thought about going – DON’T WAIT. DO IT. It is absolutely worth the 17 hour flight to get there.

Meanwhile, I’m hard at work on the next book in the Jewel Intrigue Series. The story opens in the Florida Everglades, but will move to the other side of the planet pretty quick. I’m currently scanning the globe for that second location.

Tell me the #1 spot on your bucket list and you’ll be entered to win a free digital copy of your choice – DIAMOND LEGACY (Africa) or EMERALD FIRE (St. Lucia) or PHANTOM PEARL (Australia). Choose your destination!

To learn more about the series, or to sign-up for her newsletter (it might include travel photos!) visit Monica at her website:  www.monicamccabe.net 

 

 

 

 

 

Europe – a dream come true

book at thalia vienna

First real-life sighting of my book!

I’ve been very quiet on the blog lately, mostly due to deadlines (hooray – deadlines are good as it means I have books contracted!), plus a family holiday (cruises rock!), and the chance to fulfil a dream I’ve held close to my heart since I started this publishing journey many, many years ago – a book tour in Europe! Now things aren’t so hectic, I’ll be writing a series of blog posts about the cities I visited and I’ll include travel tips (the ex-travel agent in me can’t resist!). I hope you enjoy the journey!

When I found out that the translation rights for Under the Spanish Stars had been sold by my USA publisher, Kensington Books, I was ecstatic! The German publisher who bought the rights, Aufbau Verlag, are very well-respected and I was excited to see one of my books in a language other than English. The German market has always been in my sights as I had heard from German friends that their book industry is very strong as reading is a valued part of their lifestyle. Plus, German-language readers tend to like Aussie author’s stories. Always a bonus!

So when the opportunity arose to go to German speaking countries and visit booksellers, readers, authors and my publisher, as well as undertake research for future books – I couldn’t say no! I packed my bag and jumped on a plane (okay … three) and flew from Australia to Europe in a daze because I couldn’t quite believe I was about to tick a few items off my wish list. 

First stop was Vienna and even though I was jet-lagged I had to find the nearest bookshop and get a copy of Die spanische Tänzerin (The Spanish Dancer). I found the biggest bookstore in Vienna (four floors!), called Thalia and went in search of my beloved book. Yes, I may have squealed when I found a copy and the shop assistants were so very sweet when they realised who I was and why I was there.

inside book

Inside the book

I had always hoped that one day a book of mine would be released in hardcover, but I didn’t expect to get so emotional to see if for the first time! The book designer at my publisher did such an amazing job, and the white on the cover feels like linen, and the graphics and type are glossy and raised. Inside is a gorgeous floral design and there’s also a built-in bookmark that is a lovely grey ribbon. One of my bookish German friends told me these bookmarks were very popular with the East German publishers and, as my publisher was originally in East Berlin (and was the largest publisher in the GDR), they’ve continued with this tradition. I found it very hard to stop gazing at this beautiful piece of art that my publisher had created. 

inside book 2

The in-built ribbon bookmark!

After signing books I started my trek back to the hotel, exhausted but elated. As I walked through a gorgeous park and in front of a statue of Strauss, I found a group of people dancing tango. The DJ played music but it could only be heard by the dancers as they wore headphones. Given my first book was about the tango, I couldn’t help but take this as a sign that this trip would be unforgettable. Vienna had already captured my heart but that was just the beginning … Stay tuned for more!

If you’d like to keep up-to-date with new releases, give aways and author interviews, please sign up for my newsletter HERE.

 

 

Behind the Story: Jen J. Danna (aka Sara Driscoll)

Jen J Danna.jpgToday it is my pleasure to welcome the lovely Jen J. Danna to Behind the Story. A scientist specializing in infectious diseases, Jen works as part of a dynamic research group at a cutting-edge Canadian university. However, her true passion lies in indulging her love of the mysterious through her writing. Together with her partner Ann Vanderlaan, they write both the Abbott and Lowell Forensic Mysteries and the FBI K-9s (as Sara Driscoll). Jen lives near Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and two daughters.

Jen/Sara, please tell us about your story behind the story!

Finding out what inspired an author to write a certain book or series of books is always an interesting peek inside that author’s mind. Sometimes it’s practical. Sometimes it’s a passion. The FBI K-9s series started as a combination of the two.

Ann's 5 Pitt Bulls

Ann’s five pit bulls

Both my writing partner Ann and I are animal rescuers. She has a current roster of five rescued pit bulls she has saved from shelters. I have four cats—one adopted from a rescue, one rescued off the streets after it had been abandoned when its owners moved away, and two kittens live-trapped in our backyard last month because they were slowly starving to death. So, to say we’re animal lovers is a small understatement.

Milo and Autumn

Milo and Autumn

The idea for the FBI K-9s series actually came out a lunch our agent extraordinaire, Nicole Resciniti, had with Peter Senftleben, then an editor at Kensington Publishing. He was looking for a procedural with a service dog theme. At that time, Ann and I had published our first three Abbott and Lowell Forensic Mysteries, with a fourth in progress, and were looking to stretch our wings a bit. Nicole meets with a lot of editors and sends their requests to her authors. When we saw Peter’s idea, we knew it was a great fit. And where I hadn’t owned a dog since I was a child, Ann more than made up for my lack of knowledge at the time.

Launching into a new series also gave us a chance to open our horizons. I love writing Abbott and Lowell, but police jurisdiction can be a little constricting—every case had to take place in Essex county around Salem, Massachusetts. Any other city or county would have the same restrictions around jurisdiction.  But we had the perfect solution, getting around this issue by setting our K-9 team within the FBI. Now the entire United States was our playground, as well as beyond under the right circumstances.

Luna and Nala

Luna and Nala

Within the FBI there are several different K-9 groups: criminal apprehension, explosives detection, and forensic applications. It was the last group that really caught our eye. The Forensic Canine Program consists of the Victim Recovery and Human Scent Evidence Teams. The Victim Recovery Team is made up of cadaver dogs who search for human remains. This is a crucial function, but it ran too close to the forensics of Abbott and Lowell. However, the Human Scent Evidence Team consists of handler and dog teams who search for live humans. We saw the possibilities of this team right from the start—from suspect tracking, to natural disaster rescues, to recovering the missing and lost, there were lots of realistic options for cases and stories. We were also excited to write not just the main K-9 team, but also a number of other handler and dog teams who feature prominently throughout the series. With a black Labrador, a German shepherd, a border collie, and a hound dog, this team has the dogs best suited to this type of rewarding and sometimes heartbreaking work.

Enter Meg Jennings and her search-and-rescue black Lab, Hawk. Meg was a K-9 patrol officer with the Richmond, Virginia PD until her German shepherd, Deuce, was shot and killed while apprehending a suspect. Meg returns to her parent’s animal rescue to grieve, and ends up bonding with a recently abandoned and extremely ill puppy. Nursing Hawk back to health gives her time to grieve and also allows for a steadfast bond to form between woman and dog. It is this bond that makes them such a great team. They intuitively understand each other and each would die for the other (and has come close, on occasion).

In this second book in the FBI K-9s series, BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE, Meg, Hawk and the rest of the Human Scent Evidence Team become entangled in a case where a serial killer plays a deadly game with them with victims’ lives at stake:

Before it's Too Late HCIn this powerful K-9 crime thriller, FBI Special Agent Meg Jennings and her trusted search-and-rescue Labrador, Hawk, must race against the clock before a diabolical killer strikes again…
 
Somewhere in the Washington, D.C., area, a woman lies helpless in a box. Beneath the earth. Barely breathing. Buried alive. In Quantico, the FBI receives a coded message from the woman’s abductor. He wants to play a game with them: decipher the clues, find the grave, save the girl. The FBI’s top cryptanalysts crack the code, and Special Agent Meg Jennings and her K-9 partner, Hawk, scramble to follow a trail of false leads to the scene of the crime. By the time they solve the puzzle, it’s too late. But the killer’s game is far from over . . .

Soon another message arrives. Another victim is taken, and the deadly pattern is repeated—again and again. Each kidnapping triggers another desperate race against time, each with the possibility of another senseless death. That’s when Meg decides to try something drastic. Break the Bureau’s protocol. Bring in her brilliant sister, Cara, a genius at word games, to decipher the kidnapper’s twisted clues. Meg knows she’s risking her career to do it, but she’s determined not to let one more person die under her and Hawk’s watch. If the plan fails, it could bite them in the end. And if it leads to the killer, it could bury them forever . . .

LONE WOLF finalBEFORE IT’S TOO LATE releases September 26, 2017 in hardcover, e-book, and audiobook formats. The first book in the series, LONE WOLF, is available now in hardcover, mass market, e-book, and audio.

Buy Links for BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE:

Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk, Chapters/Indigo, B&N, BAM, IndieBound, Target, Walmart, Hudson Booksellers

Website:  https://jenjdanna.com/ and http://saradriscollauthor.com/

 

 

 

 

Behind the Story: Pat Esden

Pat_Esden 2-12Today I’m delighted to introduce you to fellow Kensington Publishing author, Pat Esden. Pat would love to say she spent her childhood in intellectual pursuits. The truth is she was fonder of exploring abandoned houses and old cemeteries. When not out on her own adventures, she can be found in her northern Vermont home writing stories about brave, smart women and the men who capture their hearts.

An antique-dealing florist by trade, she’s also a member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and the League of Vermont Writers. Her short stories have appeared in a number of publications, including Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, the Mythopoeic Society’s Mythic Circle literary magazine, and George H. Scither’s anthology Cat Tales.

Thank you for stopping by to tell us your story behind the story. Take it away, Pat!

I’m so excited to be here today. Actually, I’ve been dancing on air since the end of June when REACH FOR YOU, the final novel in the Dark Heart series, came out.

Even though REACH FOR YOU is the third book in a trilogy, the concept for it came to me at the same time as the first book. My decision on how to end the series came directly from my love of fairy tales. More specifically, the idea came from tales where lovers are separated for a majority of the novel and the hero must battle dragons and chop their way through a walls of thorns to save their love.  Well, in the case of REACH FOR YOU, there aren’t any dragons or princes and the one doing the rescuing is a woman, but the idea is the same. The only thing hard about using this fairy tale concept is finding ways for the couple to have sizzling romantic moments when they are apart for a large portion of the novel. It took some creativity, but believe me it’s possible and perhaps even hotter because of the emotional pain caused by the forced separation. I should add, I also included one of my other favorite concepts that fairy tales often lack. I love the idea of strong people being even more powerful as a couple, and that is how I chose to close the very last chapters of the series. A true HEA.

coverREACH FOR YOU

Her passion is her greatest weakness.

His legacy is his prison.

 To reunite, both must fight the demons within.

A world of deception and danger separates Annie Freemont from her mother—and from Chase, the enigmatic half-ifrit with whom Annie’s fallen in love. But she vows to find her way back to them, before Chase succumbs to the madness that threatens his freedom. The only person who can help is the magical seductress, Lotli, a beautiful, manipulative woman . . . a woman who has disappeared.

Annie must stay strong, even as the future she imagined is slipping away. With the help of family and friends, she discovers that Lotli is being held against her will, by those who want to exploit her powers. But though weakened, Lotli remains a powerful alley and adversary. A bargain is struck. And now Annie’s only chance to rescue Chase could also tear them apart . . .

Loyalties will be tested, walls will be breached, and enemies will be fought, yet Annie’s greatest battle lies within her own heart—to trust her love for Chase to overcome its greatest enemy, and to save those she holds most dear from the terrifying realm of the djinn . . .