Behind the Story: Tracy Brenton

Author Tracy brenton.jpgI’m delighted to introduce you to Tracy Brenton, whose favourite books to read are “kissing books” (full credit to ‘The Princess Bride’) and if there isn’t at least a little bit of romance in a story then she’ll probably lose interest. So it won’t come as a surprise to learn that all of the stories she writes have a romance at their core. Even the zombie ones!

Tracy love all things creative and take way too many pictures of sunsets and all the pretty flowers around her home on the Mid North Coast of NSW. She’s currently working hard on developing a taste for coffee and writing the next book in the Tempest Beach series.

Tracy, we’d love to hear your story behind the story. Take it away!

I’m an accountant by day and a writer by night (& morning, and weekends, and any spare 5 minutes). I started writing about five years ago when I realised I wasn’t doing anything just for me.

I tried a bunch of different things:

  • Dragon Boat racing, which was awesome, but then I injured my shoulder
  • Yoga, which I still do intermittently
  • I joined Rotary, and have been President of my club the last two years
  • And, I did a writing course with the Australian Writers Centre (AWC)

That course was the start of my writing journey. I joined an AWC writing group and wrote a short story for an Anthology we put together, just to see if I could. That story was High Tide and when I released it on its own recently it made number one in it’s Amazon category – short Romance stories – and stayed in the top three for over a week!

After High Tide, I decided to see if I could write a full length novel. After a great start, I got lost and couldn’t figure out what happened next (that book’s still sitting half complete on my cloud drive). So I set out to learn more about story structure, and plotting. When I felt ready for my second attempt at a full length book I gave myself a deadline, my birthday.

Deadlines are awesome. I finished it by my deadline, got feedback, got it edited and started submitting to publishers. It wasn’t quite what they were looking for, so that book’s sitting on the cloud drive too, waiting for its time.

In the meantime I had started writing the next book which turned out to be Spark. Again, I gave myself a deadline. I wanted to see if I could write it in twelve weeks. In the process I became a morning person (that was short lived) and hit my deadline. Mind you, it took another four months to get feedback, a professional editor, and to do all the edits.

I’d pitched Spark to a publisher at a writing conference and they said to send it through once it was finished. So, when it was finished I had to decide – submit or self publish.

I’m a business woman at heart, so have gone down the self publishing route. It’s been a huge learning curve, but my book went live on my birthday.

Spark Cover smallTo make time to write I completely rearranged my life, selling my business and getting a part-time job. My part-time job turned into two part time jobs so I’m actually working full-time hours, but I still have more time than when I was working for myself and it’s made all the difference to getting my book finished.

Fun fact: I can only write first person. I tried third person at first and it wasn’t working. Then I rewrote it in first person and it just clicked. My story suddenly worked and it was easy, it flowed.

So that’s the story behind the story – my first full length book – Spark (Tempest Beach Book One).

I’m about to start writing the second book in the series – Sing. And I’ve set myself a challenge to write it, get it professionally edited, and have it ready to publish in six months. Just to see if I can.

Watch this space in December to see if I made it!

Here’s some more about Spark:

I might be inexperienced, but that’s not going to stop me from saving my brothers business. Even if HE gets in my way.

He might be a black belt mechanic, but that doesn’t make him the boss.

The only problem is, I can’t seem to stop KISSING him.

I won’t let him distract me. I won’t, dammit.

Sparks fly between a sassy business graduate and a black belt mechanic when they join forces to save her brother’s business while he’s in an induced coma after rescuing their parents from a fire.

But the fire was deliberate, and a shadowy underworld threatens not only the business, but their lives.

Throw in a kick-ass crew of sexy martial artists and you’ve got yourself a delicious mix of adventure, mystery and mayhem, complete with a gorgeous beachside location and love at first sight.

2S connectionIf you’d like to purchase a copy:

Amazon Australia –https://amzn.to/2HUEOat

Amazon US –http://a.co/apkoE5w

iBooks –https://apple.co/2rzjGPX

Google Play –http://bit.ly/2jPjPKD

Universal –https://books2read.com/spark-tb1

If you’d like to keep in touch with Tracy:

19S this kiss

 

Behind the Story: Cathryn Hein

Cathryn Hein author photoI’m super excited to have Cathryn Hein on the blog today. Cathryn is the best-selling author of ten rural romance and romantic adventure novels, and a regular Australian Romance Reader Awards finalist. A South Australian country girl by birth, she loves nothing more than a rugged rural hero who’s as good with his heart as he is with his hands, which is probably why she writes them! Her romances are warm and emotional, and feature themes that don’t flinch from the tougher side of life but are often happily tempered by the antics of naughty animals. Her aim is to make you smile, sigh, and perhaps sniffle a little, but most of all feel wonderful.

Cathryn currently lives at the base of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales with her partner of many years, Jim. When she’s not writing, she plays golf (ineptly), cooks (well), and in football season barracks (rowdily) for her beloved Sydney Swans AFL team.

Welcome, Cathryn. Please tell us your story behind the story!

I come from a land of volcanoes.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Not what you think about when you think of Australia, is it? But it’s true. Australia has one of the best volcanic fields in the world. The Newer Volcanic Province stretches from Melbourne through to Mt Burr, north-west of my home town of Mt Gambier, and contains a whopping 400+ volcanoes. There are at least 20 eruptive sites around Mt Gambier alone.

Volcanoes are what I grew up with. As a kid, a great day out was climbing to the top of Mt Schank crater, south of Mt Gambier, and sliding to the bottom again on your bum. We also did it around Mt Gambier, from the Potter’s Point lookout to the Valley Lake far below. We’d get filthy, tear clothing, occasionally hurt ourselves and have the best fun imaginable.

Mount Elephant in western VictoriaThere’s a kind of romance about volcanoes too. They’re ancient, majestic and the view from the top is spectacular. I love them – their crooked forms and cratered bellies, their eroded slopes and stony ridges. And I’m particularly pleased that my favourite, Mt Schank, is only dormant. That it’s like a hibernating bear, snoring softly as it waits for the right moment to reawaken.

It seems inevitable then that I would one day write about a volcano. Not only write about one but develop a whole series of stories set in the shadow of my fictional Mt Schank, Rocking Horse Hill.

Rocking Horse HillRocking Horse Hill is the first in my Levenham Love Story series, and features an old money rural family with an historic property at the base of a volcano. The hill plays a pivotal role in the story, as a place of beauty and passion, as well as great drama and heartache for both its heroine Emily Wallace-Jones and sexy hero Josh Sinclair. At its heart, Rocking Horse Hill is a lover’s reunited story, but it’s also a story about friendship and family, and its lush southeast South Australia setting is stunning.

My latest release Wayward Heart continues the story. It’s a friends-to-lovers romance, a much-favoured trope. And in the Jasmine and Digby’s case, these friends are also two very broken people—Digby from tragedy and grief, Jasmine from heartbreak and humiliation. When circumstances bring them close, they discover unexpected strengths and wonders in each another. What happens next is deeply emotional and passionate, but it’s a relationship tangled with family drama and the wreckage of Digby and Jasmine’s past, and their happily ever after isn’t going to be easy.

Summer and the Groomsman 800x1200Other books so far in the Levenham Love Story series are Summer and the Groomsman – set around Josh and Em’s wedding – and RomantiSanta and the Saddler - 400x600c Book of the Year finalist Santa and the Saddler, which introduces two new characters and their families. Its follow-on story, Chrissy and the Burroughs Boy will release this year and there are plenty more to come. I think at last count I had at least 5 more in the pipeline.

I can’t keep away from the place but there’s a reason for that. I feel passionately about the setting, it’s in my memories and in my heart and I want my characters to find as much happiness in this land of volcanoes as I had growing up.

Wayward Heart by Cathryn HeinCathryn’s latest release is WAYWARD HEART, available in all good bookstores and online now.

Blurb for Wayward Heart:

Jasmine Thomas should feel safe in her cosy cottage at Admella Beach after finally putting an end to an ill-advised romance. But her perfect sanctuary is shattered with the arrival of hand-delivered threatening notes. Someone has discovered her secret.

When the notes escalate to vandalism, Jasmine’s anxiety rises. But in such a small place, telling the police would mean the whole town finding out.

Digby Wallace-Jones is stumbling through the motions of life, wrapped in a fog of grief since his fiancée Felicity died. Withdrawn from his family, Digby doesn’t care about anything beyond his loss. But in a chance meeting with Jasmine, his sister’s best friend who he’s known forever, even he can see the tension she carries. Worried and feeling protective, he continues to drop by, but it’s more than that. Jasmine soothes him; and, unlike the rest of his family, he can talk to her about his pain without fear of judgement. But as much as he likes Jasmine, Digby’s enduring love for Felicity means he has nothing left to give and he pushes Jasmine away.

Jasmine knew they were supposed to stay friends ‘with excellent benefits’ but she can’t help her wayward heart from falling for this tortured, kind and sexy man. How can she ever loosen the grip Felicity’s memory has on Digby’s soul and remind him he still has a life ahead of him?

If you’d like to see Cathryn climbing Mount Schank click here!

A SPECIAL GIVEAWAY!

Cathryn has kindly offered to send one lucky commenter on the blog a book of their choice from the volcano/Levenham stories: Rocking Horse Hill, Wayward Heart, Summer and the Groomsman, or Santa and the Saddler. 

What we’d like to know is: what’s your favourite landmark and why? It can be from your childhood or now.

Good luck everyone! Comment by June 30 for your chance to win!

Discover more about Cathryn and her stories at cathrynhein.com or email Cathryn at cathryn@cathrynhein.com

Facebook

Twitter

Google+

Goodreads

Sign up to Cathryn’s newsletter

 

Ballets Russes in Paris

It’s been busy-central here and I’d like to get you up to date with happenings.

July is just around the corner and I’m super pleased to let you know that BENEATH THE PARISIAN SKIES is now up for pre-order. Woo hoo! Here’s a little more about the story:

A sweeping saga about love, truth, grief and passion–and what it takes to fulfil a dream.

Paris, 1917

Ballerina Viktoriya Budian narrowly escapes Russia with her life. She arrives in Paris, determined to start fresh with the famed Ballets Russes but her newfound success is threatened when her past returns to haunt her. Forced to choose between love and fame, Viktoriya’s life spirals out of control and the decision she makes seriously affects the lives of many for years to come. 

Paris, present day

Australian dancer Lily Johansson returns to Paris, the city that broke her heart and destroyed her ballet career, hoping to move past her fiancé’s death and to make amends with her estranged sister Natalie, a ballerina with the Bohème Ballet.

Terrified of loving again, Lily nevertheless finds herself becoming entangled with talented composer Yves Rousseau. Lily has many reasons for keeping Yves at arm’s length but as he recounts the drama of the Ballets Russes in Paris, the magic of this Bohemian era ignites a spark within her.

Meanwhile, vying for the role honouring Ballets Russes dancer Viktoriya Budian, Lily’s sister Natalie develops an unhealthy obsession. Natalie’s behaviour becomes increasingly erratic as elements of Viktoriya’s tragic life resonate in her own. Lily fears for her sister’s safety and sanity so when Natalie goes missing, she and Yves set out on a desperate quest across France to find her and, along the way, battle their own demons.

Could the search for her sister, lead Lily to realise that ballet—like love and life—should not be abandoned so easily?

Beneath the Parisian Skies high resAnd you can find the links to pre-order here for AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALAND:

HARLEQUIN

BOOKTOPIA

BOOKWORLD

DYMOCKS

iBOOKS

AMAZON.COM

GOOGLE PLAY

KOBO

AMAZON.COM.AU

 

Now, for those outside this region, don’t worry as you’ll have your chance to get your hands on the same book, but different title and cover! Kensington books are publishing this edition and it will be available from 25 July. You can pre-order here:

Under the Parisian SkyAMAZON

iBOOKS

GOOGLE PLAY

KOBO

BARNES AND NOBLE

 

 

 

 

Behind the Story: C.C. Wiley

profile.jpgToday we have the super talented C.C. Wiley, who lives in Salt Lake City with her high school sweetheart of over 35 years and their four wacky dogs. When given a choice, she prefers a yummy, well-written, historical or contemporary romance that is chock-full of hope, love and a Happy Ever After. She believes there are courageous characters waiting for someone to tell their story. It’s her hope that each adventurous romance she writes will touch the reader and carry them away to another place and time, where hopes and dreams abound.

C.C., please tell us about your story behind the story …

Whether in art or in writing, I love telling a story. When my painting skill came to a point where I couldn’t express the picture in my head, I turned to writing and began painting with words. Sometimes events that have touched me in some way find their way into the tale. And sometimes a bit of traveling will inspire a story.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to travel to England, and while touring through Bath and Bristol, I stopped at a cathedral. The sights and sounds, the scents, and richness of history came to life. I noticed a knight and his lady, their effigy caught in stone, were laid side-by-side for eternity. I couldn’t help wondering about the strength of their relationship. Did they love each other? Was it a love match? My imagination took hold, and I had to know more about medieval knights and the women who captured their hearts.

I like research. I adore a story that brings together, love, history, and adventure. Even if I have a story outline I am still researching while I write. The desire to learn more has the power to carry me down one path and then another. The ‘What if’ list continues to grow. Over the years I’ve had to rein in myself with the promise of keeping notes of what interests me. You never know. It might be that one idea that takes off.

The Knights of the Swan series came about while doing my research. I discovered the Dunstable Brooch. It was found in the Dunstable Priory, hidden in the mortar of the wall. No one really knows who it belonged to, where it came from or why it was there. This caught my attention. Then I learned there was a swan connection through Henry V’s mother. I asked myself, what if his mother set about protecting her son and ensuring he arrives on the throne unscathed? And since he was on the battlefield at a very young age, he would need extra protection that had to reach beyond all the struggles for power.

And from there the secret brotherhood, Knights of the Swan, was formed. I like to think of them as King Henry V’s Secret Service of the Middle Ages.

This band of brothers, formed in childhood, now serve King Henry V in secret. They are his eyes and ears of the court and of the land. While they are about the task of protecting their king and England, their lives are touched by strong women; women who capture their hearts.

I love it when history comes to life, but in the end, I believe it is still the characters’ personal story and a happy- ever-after that is most important.

In KNIGHT SECRETS, Sir Ranulf, Lord of Sedgewic, is a member of a secret brotherhood, Knights of the Swan. Ranulf fears he has seen and done too many things in the name of his king to be worthy of love. His fate is to be a lonely Knight of the Swan. Like Rapunzel, the emotionally abused Lady Clarice Margrave dreams of being rescued by a knight who vows to love and respect her. But those dreams are shattered and are nothing more than broken fairy tales. Her quest for the truth plunges into the world beyond the Margrave walls and forces her to look closely at what she truly wants: To love and be loved at least once.

The next book in the series, Knight Quests, is scheduled to release July 25, 2017.

READER GIVE AWAY!

C.C. has kindly offered two Knight Secrets: Knights of the Swan series e-books to give away to some lucky person who comments. Contest will be open until 13 April, 2017 11.59pm AEST. Good luck!

Knight Secrets_FINAL.jpgSworn to protect the crown, a Knight of the Swan must never surrender—not even to love . . .

England, 1415. Ordered never to leave the lonely tower on her family estate, Lady Clarice Margrave is suddenly set free when her home is plundered. Now she is determined to discover the truth behind her father’s alleged treason. But an act of daring only propels her into a new prison, with the very knight who destroyed her home as her keeper. Sir Ranulf, Lord of Sedgewic, is ruthless in his inquisition, though there is a searing tenderness in his touch. Is it possible her bold jailor is the Red Wolf of whom her father spoke—and the one man she might be able to trust?

As a knight, Ranulf never questions his troth, but his beautiful prisoner stirs his heart and mind like no other. Clarice is achingly vulnerable—and extremely closed-mouth about her possible ties to the plot against the king. Duty demands he keep his distance, though he yearns to take her to his bed and adore her until he discovers what lies within her heart. And he would—if he weren’t in danger of losing his own . . .
Buy links:

http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/34414

https://www.amazon.com/Knight-Secrets-Knights-Swan-Wiley-ebook/dp/B01HWKNJEO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1489533939&sr=8-1&keywords=9781516101009

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/knight-secrets-cc-wiley/1124064084;jsessionid=A86802F94FB56B81ED19AC197B3418F4.prodny_store01-atgap10?ean=9781516101009

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/knight-secrets

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/knight-secrets/id1153379728?mt=11

https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9781516101009&c=books

You can find more about C.C. below:
Website: www.ccwiley.com
Twitter: @AuthorCCWILEY.  
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CCWileyAuthor

 

 

 

 

Release day: Under the Spanish Stars

UTSS KensingtonHooray! Today is the official release day for Under the Spanish Stars for readers living in the USA, Canada, UK and beyond (for readers in Australia and NZ, Under the Spanish Stars was released in February, 2016 – click HERE for details).

So, what’s the story about? Here’s the rundown:

Amid the vivid beauty of Granada, a woman entrusted with unraveling a family secret will discover the truth about her heritage–and the alluring promise of love…

When her beloved grandmother falls ill, Charlotte Kavanagh will do whatever she asks of her–even if it means traveling to a country that broke her abuela’s heart. Can an unsigned painting of a flamenco dancer unlock the secrets of her grandmother’s youth in Spain? To find the answers she needs, Charlotte must convince the charismatic and gifted musician, Mateo Vives to introduce her to a secluded gypsy clan.  

The enigmatic Mateo speaks the true language of flamenco, a culture Charlotte must learn to appreciate if she wants to understand her grandmother’s past–and the flamenco legend that has moved souls to beauty, and bodies to the heights of passion. As Mateo leads her into the captivating world of the music and the dance, Charlotte embraces her own long-denied creative gift and the possibility of a future rich with joy…

And if you’d like to purchase a copy, you can get it through most e-tailers and if you prefer print, you can order it online and it will arrive on your doorstep in no time! 

KENSINGTON BOOKS

AMAZON USA

AMAZON UK

iBOOKS

GOOGLE PLAY

KOBO

BARNES & NOBLE

BOOK DEPOSITORY

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me on this writing journey and for sharing posts, telling people about my book and the lovely readers who take time out of their precious days to immerse themselves in the worlds I create. You are all wonderful!

Stay tuned – there’s some more exciting news about to let out of the bag!

Hot stuff!

HI Hot Stuff Jan 2016I am super excited to announce my short story, Song of the Sea, is part of the Hot Stuff: Surfing Love anthology with Harper Collins. I’m also very excited to be sharing the honour with fabulous authors Tess WoodsCarla Caruso, and Maria Lewis.

If you want some summer fun (if you’re in the southern hemisphere) or you need something warm and sultry to heat up those cold days and nights (in the northern hemisphere) then this anthology is for you! It’s up for pre-order now and will be available worldwide (links below).

Here’s a brief rundown:

Hot sun, warm bodies, tight skin, electricity on the air … four top romance authors give you their take on summer.
From Carla Caruso – A chance meeting with a pro-surfer on an island getaway …
From Maria Lewis – The world of women’s surfing throws two recent bedmates together …
From Alli Sinclair – A world-famous rock star finds her heart and a way to fight her demons in Rio de Janeiro …
From Tess Woods – A Cornish beach retreat proves a full reawakening …

AMAZON USA

AMAZON AUSTRALIA

AMAZON UK

AMAZON CANADA

GOOGLE PLAY

KOBO

ITUNES