Iris Blobel’s ‘New Beginnings’…

 

new beginnings

The story is set in Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, the most southern state in Australia. A most beautiful place. I went there a few years back and imagined how it would be to live in this city, how to adapt as a “non-local”, and bit by bit I wrote the story of two sisters moving there.

Obviously, I added a little romance into the story as well – so I added Mark and Zach.

This is the second edition of NEW BEGINNINGS.

The story is now a bit sexier and has also received another edit.

Literary Chanteuse’s review: “This author has a way of endearing her characters and it is easy to fall in love with them. An intriguing story with emotion, love and hope.”

Sharon’s review: “This was a very enjoyable read and it left me wanting just a little bit more. I highly recommend it.”

“Other people have to fight battles in their life as well.”

~~  New Beginnings ~~

(2nd Edition)

by Iris Blobel

♥♦♥  SYNOPSIS ♥♦♥

The chance to start life all over with the help of a stranger. 

Twenty-two-year-old Sophie Levesque has been guardian to her eight-year-old sister Mia since their mother’s death a few years ago, and it hasn’t been easy. Luck comes their way when they inherit a small house in Hobart. Problem is, though, they don’t know and have never heard of Clara Bellinger, the testator. Settling into their new life, Sophie is still afraid it’s all a mistake.

Mark O’Connor, attorney in Hobart and the bearer of the good news for Sophie and Mia, curses himself for the lack of information about the testator. However, researching the questions gives him an opportunity to see Sophie again, and the more time he spends with the two, the more he realises that his life is missing something. And it’s not his casual lover Linda.

But then there’s Zach, Sophie’s sexy neighbour from across the road… and a very good friend of Clara’s.

Will unravelling the mystery unravel Sophie and Mark’s promise of a future?

 

♥♦♥  EXCERPT ♥♦♥

 

Sophie Levesque stared at the attorney in front of her, waiting for some answers. She and her little sister, Mia, had been quietly sitting in Mr. O’Connor’s office for more than half an hour, learning about the details of their inheritance.

Once he was finished, silence hung in the air before she asked with raised eyebrows. “Who?”

“Clara Catherine Bellinger.”

Mia leaned closer to her elder sister and gave a soft tug on Sophie’s shirt. “Who is she?”

Sophie shrugged. “I wouldn’t have a clue.” Then turned her attention back on Mr. O’Connor and asked the same thing. “Who is she?”

The handsome attorney on the other side of the massive desk leaned forward and rested his elbows on it before he started to repeat his earlier speech. Although hearing his words, Sophie still found it all very hard to comprehend. Here she was in this old office, furnished with heavy antique oak furniture, the curtains in a pretty shade of aubergine, and the carpet beneath her shoes thick and warm in a matching shade, hearing about an inheritance from someone she’d never even heard of.

Startled by the subtle sound of the clock chiming across the road, Sophie’s gaze turned to the window, where she saw the post office building across the road. It looked impressive and old. It’d been only a few hours since they’d arrived in Hobart, the most southern capital in Australia, but she already liked it. A lot more than Sydney, the place she’d lived all her life.

Hauled back from her thoughts, she heard Mr. O’Connor say, “I believe she was a distant relative of yours. I’m afraid I don’t have any further details.”

Sophie arched an eyebrow in disbelief, doubting the accuracy of it all. Not only did she try not to question his competence as a lawyer, but she also hoped it wasn’t a dreadful misunderstanding.

With a slight shrug of her shoulder, she asked, “Why not?”

He met her gaze steadily. “Pardon me?”

Sitting up straight, she repeated, “Why not? Why aren’t there any further details?”

He rubbed his chin with his fingers, his unease now obvious, and although she almost felt sorry for him, she tried not to care. She needed to know more. And not just the what, but why and who as well.

Only a week earlier, Sophie had received the call from Mr. O’Connor telling her about an inheritance. Initially, she’d thought it had been a horrible joke when he’d given her details on where to pick up airplane tickets to Hobart. It was important for her to come, he’d explained. Some legality she hadn’t understood. Something about her having to sign documents for the transfer of ownership of some assets. It’d sounded too farfetched at the start, but after some research on the firm with the help of a friend, it sounded valid, and she’d hoped her life was finally turning around for the better.

new beginnigns

You can purchase ‘New Beginnings’ here:

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

AMAZON AU

 

♥♦♥ MEET THE AUTHOR ♥♦♥

IRIS BLOBEL

Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she met her husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only emerged recently, but now her laptop is a constant companion.

Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her two beautiful daughters. Next to her job at a private school, she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.

Social Media Links:

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Author Limelight and Giveaway: Contemporary Romance Novelist, Elise K Ackers…

Today’s Limelighter is a 2012 Romantic Book of the Year (RUBY) finalist, multi published romantic suspense and contemporary romance author, and  a lot of fun to share a taxi with! Her newest release, Dear Stranger, is up for grabs today.  Please welcome the always lovely, Elise K Ackers!

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What was the first story you ever wrote?

I’ve been writing since I could first grip a crayon, so it’s hard to remember, but it was probably about Trixie and Shiloh. My dad and I used to send our cat and dog on great adventures – to the moon, to a waterslide park (poor cat). I’ve heard I wrote an ‘episode’ when he was at work that we read before bedtime.

Of all the individuals you have created, do you have a particular favourite? What appeals to you the most about this character?

I shouldn’t have favourites, but the hero in my first published title has resonated with me the most. Jordan Hill, a small-town cop with a hero complex in Small Town Storm is everything I esteem in a man; loyal, witty, brave and off-beat. He’s devastatingly handsome (please excuse the bias) and he has this way of loving people that I admire.

small town storm

Has being published changed you at all? If so, how?

It has – it’s been the override switch for excuses. I’ve always written, but once I landed a publishing contract, I wanted another one. Then another one. Being published has helped me to prioritise my writing in a way I didn’t before, and given me a hunger for the next project, the next release. I’ve got so many goals now, whereas before I just had the one goal: to get published.

What would we find on your bookshelf / e-reader?

On my e-reader there are lots of books by my fellow Escapees and Destineers – I like to support the authors I’m published with. There are also heaps of young adult, new adult and contemporary titles, and a bunch of fantasy and historicals. My book shelf is full or Nora Roberts, Julie Kagawa, J.K.Rowling and classics.

What’s the most unappealing thing you’ve ever eaten?

Escargot. In my mind, I couldn’t separate the delicacy from the slimy garden pest. I couldn’t bring myself to chew it, so I swallowed it whole then drowned it with wine.

unforgettable

If you could be any of the following characters for one day, who would you be and why?


a) Scarlett O’Hara
from Gone with the Wind.

b) Thelma or Louise from Thelma and Louise.

c) Princess Leia from Starwars.

d) Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffanys.

Holly Golightly. Not because I’m a fan of her choices or even the man who claims her heart, but because if I were her for a day, I’d never ditch that poor cat on the raining, frightening streets of New York.

the man plana     aske me to stay

Of all the books in history, which do you wish you wrote and why? 

The Harry Potter series. Sure, there’s the fact that J.K.Rowling captured the hearts of millions of readers worldwide (oh, and the billionaire thing), but my answer’s from a fan perspective. If I’d created these characters, I’d know all the things that never made it to the page. As writers, we have to know details that the readers never need to know – if only for character depth, motivations and continuity. I wish I had greater insight into all of the characters I love so much.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

The ability to stop or significantly slow time. I’d get so much done! I would be multitasking in the moments between moments. I’d never be late. I’d get to savour the beautiful moments and possibly prevent the bad ones. I’d write thirty books a year and need a dozen pseudonyms so everyone didn’t know to be sick of me.

Elise K. Ackers

If you could go back in time, where would you go and when? What is one thing you would want to take with you?

*romantic sap alert* I’d probably go to my parents’ wedding. They are so in love with one another after almost forty years of marriage, and it would be a joy to sit in a back pew and see them make promises to one another that I know they’ve kept. And I’d take a digital camera.

Can you tell us about your works in progress?

I’m doing the final edits of a New Adult title called One for the Road. It’s about a wallflower who crosses the world to find herself, and the larrikin who finds her first. Set on an organised group tour through Europe, it’s got lots of cultural flavour, lots of settings, and hopefully lots of laughs.

 

Dear Stranger blurb:

A beautiful love letter to the most troublesome of holidays…

Soft-hearted Reese Ahearn is single for Valentine’s Day. Again. But that’s not going to stop her from spreading the holiday’s sentiment on the streets of Melbourne with short, sweet, anonymous love letters, left for strangers to find.

The last thing she expects, however, is a reply…

Excerpt:

Temptation called Adaline forward with a finger curl and a smile. The man’s fairy tale hero good looks had drawn the eyes of every woman in the room, and as he worked his way down the passenger list, speaking briefly with those he would show the world, he alternated between lothario and lad, endearing himself to all.

Adaline could almost hear the quickening heartbeats of the women in line behind her as they moved closer to the spotlight of his attention.

She stepped forward, introduced herself and heaved her suitcase onto the scales.

‘Adaline Sharp,’ he repeated, checking his list, his affected Australian accent hinting at how long he’d been so far from home. He noted the weight of her bag. ‘Solo. Aussie. One bag, fifteen kilos.’

It was a good thing he hadn’t weighed her emotional baggage – her crap was well in excess of the allowable limit. It was also what was going to keep her immune to him.

If you’d like to connect with Elise, here are her links:

Facebook

Website

Twitter

Elise is giving away three e-copies of Dear Stranger. To be in the running all you need to do is enter via the Rafflecopter link below.

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About Elise K. Ackers:

Elise K. Ackers is a romantic suspense and contemporary romance author based in Melbourne, Australia. She is a 2013 Romantic Book of the Year finalist, print and ebook published with Destiny Romance and Escape Publishing, and known to do some pretty strange stuff in the name of research.  You can chat with her on Facebook and Twitter (@EliseKAckers), and find out more at her author website.

Author Limelight: Lily Malone, Contemporary Romance author…

Hello Lily Malone and welcome to Author’s Limelight! A huge congratulations to you on the release of ‘Fairway to Heaven’. I love that cover – very clever!

Thank you for having me Sarah. You have very interesting (and tricky to answer) questions!

What was the first story you ever wrote?

Oh please don’t remind me. I called it Fringe Benefits and it has been the bane of my life for three years. It was my first attempt at writing romance and I think I threw every possible trope into it except Secret Baby. For example, it was a reunion romance, between a boss and employee, that involved a marriage of convenience. Midway through this year I dubbed it: “The Book That Shall Never Be Written” and abandoned it. Then I started Fairway To Heaven, which is now finished. (I had SO much more fun writing that).

NewFinalFair#2

Of all the individuals you have created, do you have a particular favourite? What appeals to you the most about this character?

Hmm. Having just answered the question about the First Story I ever wrote (and the book that shall never be written), would you believe that the character who I think is my favourite, is Seth Lasrey from That Book? Seth was the epitomy of a stereotypical romance writer’s hero, Arrogant, Tall, Dark, Rich. In my mind he looks like Timothy Olyphant (Deadwood, & Justified). This guy hits all my buttons. His character in Deadwood was even called Seth…

Has being published changed you at all? If so, how?

It hasn’t changed me, except I have more confidence about my writing prowess having gone through the credibility check of having a Publisher say: “We Want Your Book”. Thank you Kate Cuthbert & Escape Publishing for accepting my debut novel, His Brand Of Beautiful (published March 2013).

What would we find on your bookshelf / e-reader?

Right now we are living in a rental house and I don’t have a bookshelf. We really culled our bookshelf when we moved interstate at the beginning of this year. The print books I return to again and again are: anything by John Sandford, particularly the ‘Prey’ novels. The Twilight Saga. The Earth’s Children books (Jean M Auel). And the books that have been with me longest are The Silver Brumby books by Elynne Mitchell.

On my Kindle right now are: Gather The Bones by Alison Stuart, and Fast Forward by Juliet Madison, and I recently finished your book Sarah, Hindsight, which (along with The Yearning by Kate Belle & House For All Seasons by Jenn J McLeod) is one of my favourite books of the year.

Awww, thanks so much Lily!

HBOB

What’s the most unappealing thing you’ve ever eaten?

Unappealing?? Gosh. I love my food. I can’t really imagine I’ve ever eaten something that didn’t appeal. I enjoy cooking, but I’ve never been one of those women who can magically decorate a cake (for example) or garnish a meal so that it looks gorgeous. When it comes to food, presentation definitely comes second to me after taste. So I guess you could say that a fair degree of my cooking might ‘look’ unappealing, but usually it’s reasonably tasty. There. How’s that for a very long answer to what should have been a single word question!

If you could be any of the following characters for one day, who would you be and why? How would you re-write the ending?

 a) Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind.

b) Thelma or Louise from Thelma and Louise.

c) Princess Leia from Starwars.

d) Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffanys.

Consider me your slave for life. Please. Please. Please, can I be Princess Leia. I have been a Star Wars nut all my life. I think Star Wars was my first obsession. Or it may have been Harrison Ford who was my first obsession. But that didn’t matter, the two went hand in hand.

As for changing the ending. Lordy, pick me up off the floor. Why would I want to change an ending where I (as Princess Leia) get to live and love with Han Solo (Harrison Ford when he was young and extremely do-able… err… gorgeous) for the rest of my life??

The ending change? I would not. (Yoda-speak)

Goodbye_Ride

Of all the books in history, which do you wish you wrote and why?

Kate Belle’s The Yearning. Such a gutsy, gritty book in my opinion. I have a lousy memory so even if you offer me all of history, I’ll tend to return to the most recent incredible thing I read.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

Oh! I don’t know… just one superpower? I think I’d like to be able to use The Force… and a light saber.

My boys have light sabre night lights on their walls, Lily. Sooo cool! My husband even has one in his office, (big kid).

If you could go back in time, where would you go and when? What is one thing you would want to take with you?

I’ve always had a bit of a fascination with the William Wallace period of Scottish/English history. Possibly I’d go back to that kind of era. Or maybe Robin Hood. What would I take with me? A toothbrush.

Can you tell us about your works in progress?

As I mentioned way back when you started asking me these incredibly brilliant questions, I said I’d just ditched The Book That Shall Never Be Written. What I then started doing was writing a new story, Fairway To Heaven, based on my entry for the 2013 Little Gems (Sapphire). It’s a golf romance about love on the greens and lust in the bunkers. It’s a very personal story about one woman’s struggle to regain her sexuality and her independence after the birth of her son, and it’s set in the beautiful coastal playgrounds of Busselton and Margaret River in South West WA.

Now that Fairway is finished, maybe, just maybe, I’ll turn my head back to writing The Book That Might One Day Be Written.

LilyM_lowres

Finally, can you give us a sneaky excerpt from Fairway To Heaven, please?

Excerpt:

Then Geographe Bay unfurls before us, curving sweet as a wine glass, mile on mile of sand the colour of white pepper, strewn with dry strands of brown seaweed as if the mermaids cut their hair.

Busselton Jetty straddles the water far to the right. Where the famous landmark meets the coast, pines jut from the foreshore.

“There’s a train that runs out the jetty now,” Brayden says. “You’ll have to take him out there.”

“Maybe. We’ll see.” I don’t like forking out cash on tourist things Seb won’t remember. “This is a good spot.”

Brayden spreads the towels to mark our territory and I rummage in my bag for sunscreen to squirt over Seb’s arms and legs.

My city brain struggles to comprehend all this space. We’re in prime school holiday time, yet it isn’t packed. Near the jetty—with its fun parks and cafes—there’ll be crowds, but here, there’s nobody in our pocket. I like that.

“Here.” I hand Seb’s cap to Brayden. “You see if you have the knack to get him to keep it on.”

Brayden bends low to pick the bulldozer out of my bag and carries it to where last night’s high tide has left its signature.

He gives the dozer to Seb, and Seb squats on the sand. As he starts ploughing, Brayden stoops to my son’s level, and fits the cap over his curls.

I wait for those little hands to send that hat cartwheeling toward the sea, and of course, he leaves it perfectly in place.

My sun-smart little angel.

I lay back on the towel, resting on my elbows. The sand is incredibly fine. I bury, and then lift my feet, making sand pour between my toes.

A hundred metres to our left a group of kids plays cricket, every thirty seconds or so I hear the whack of bat on ball and shouts of “catch it” and “run”.

Beyond them, at least three different sets of people are walking—two in pairs, one solitary—all with dogs. A jogger cuts through them, heading in our direction.

The bay is millpond quiet. Shallow waters stroke the shore. A boat noses along an imaginary line where the aqua waters merge with the darker depths. I think the guy in the front is pulling crab pots, but I can’t tell if he’s having any luck.

 

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Sarah – thank you so much. I loved these questions and it is a pleasure to be part of your blog!

Thanks so much for coming Lily,  and congratulations again on Fairway to Heaven. I can’t wait to read it!