Blog tour – With a hip hop hippie to the hip hop…

With A Hip Hop Hippie To The Hip Hop

I have been tagged by a wonderful writer and person, Maggie Christensen in an Author Blog Hop.

Follow Maggie on Twitter, or visit her website.

So here are the questions Maggie sent through to me and my answers:

What are you working on now?

I am currently promoting my most recent novel, Miss Spelled, which was released by Escape Publishing on Sept 1st. Other than that I am plotting the next book in the Hindsight series. It’s set in the 1980’s and is shaping up to be loads of fun. Who doesn’t like blue eye shadow, lycra, shoulder pads and tons of hairspray, right?

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Give the beginning on your WIP as an excerpt?

1988 

It takes a long time to get into my exercise outfit. My neon pink lycra leggings are fighting my thighs this morning, but it’s a battle that has to be won. Otherwise, it will make the crotch of my electric blue leotard sag down between my knees. Saggy crotch is horrid, not only because it will make me walk like Humphrey B Bear, but the high impact aerobic class I am about to participate in contains countless high leg kicks which are difficult enough with a regular crotch, let alone a low flying one. 

‘Urrrrgghhhhh,’ I growl, tugging the leggings into place.  

‘That’s probably a sign you shouldn’t have eaten that cream bun yesterday,’ says Mandy, my best friend. ‘The Lycra doesn’t lie.’ 

She looks gorgeous, as usual, in her white body stocking with matching wrist bands and contrasting black waist belt. She’s so modern.  

‘It was only a small cream bun, and I drank a diet Coke with it, so that takes away some of the calories and most of the fat,’ I say. I am a firm believer in the ability of diet soft drink to negate any or all of the calorific and fat content in any food. 

Mandy gives me the raised eyebrow, although with her Brooke Sheild’s eyebrows she’s probably giving her facial muscles a work out under all that weight. 

‘Besides, Lycra has a mind of its own; a stubborn, evil mind that results in a greater work out putting the bloody leggings on than actually hitting the gym,’ I say. 

I slide my hot pink headband on and walk to the aerobics class, thinking of Richie. He’s the only reason I throw myself around an aerobics room, risking life and limb in a high impact exercise frenzy. Being the fiancée of a rock star on the verge of a career break through requires me to be slim, perky and hot at all times. I can’t let my punishing workout regime drop just because I am exhausted, malnourished and loathe exercise. 

 

How is your work different from others?

I write ‘Magic Realism Romance’ or ‘Romagic Comedy’. Basically it’s romantic comedy with a dash of something magical. It’s set in the real world but allows extraordinary things to happen to ordinary people. Think of ‘Drop Dead Diva’ or ‘Suddenly 30’ and you’ll get the picture.

Romagic Comedy is quite a niche category and there’s not a huge amount of it out there, so being accepted for publication was a battle, but thankfully Escape Publishing have their own ‘Magic Realism’ sub-genre for writers who, like me, add a little of the unknown into their stories!

And now I’m tagging Elsa Winkler, author of Love, in Writing and Touched to the Heart. You’ll find Elsa’s blog on Monday September 15th, 2014  here:  insert link to next blog – don’t forget to pop in and say hi and see which author she’s tagged.

Then you need to find one person who would like to continue the hop. They will be required to post their blog on the Monday after yours. However you will need them to send you:

Author Bio

I have been reading love stories for as long as I can remember and when I ‘met’ the classic authors like Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Henry James, The Brontë sisters, etc. during my Honours studies, I was hooked for life. To try and write a love story was a natural next step and so far nine of my stories have been published in Afrikaans. This will be my first English romance. I married my college boyfriend and soul mate and after 38 years, 3 beautiful children and two grandchildren, he still makes me weak in the knees. We are fortunate to live in the picturesque little seaside village of Betty’s Bay, South Africa with the ocean a block away and a beautiful mountain right behind us. And although life so far has not always been an easy ride, it has always been an exciting and interesting one! I like the heroines in my stories to be beautiful, feisty, independent and headstrong. And the heroes must be strong but possess a generous amount of sensitivity. They are of course, also gorgeous! My stories typically incorporate the family background of the characters to better understand where they come from and who they are when we meet them in the story

Link to Elsa’s blog.

Elsa book Elsa

 

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You’re invited to a Magical Triple Book Launch- prizes to be won, virtual champagne to be sipped, calorie free chocolate to be eaten!

3 Escape Publishing authors of Magic Realism (stories set in the real world but with a touch of magic) celebrate their new releases with a fun event full of prizes, chatting, photos, trivia, and sneak peeks. 

We will be giving away some great prizes at the online book launch, including ebooks, Amazon gift cards, movie gift card, writers critiques, and even your name in a book! If you have friends who would like to win prizes and join us for all the fun, please send them an invite to this event  at Magical Triple Book Launch!

Starting at 7.30pm tonight, (Australian Eastern Standard Time) and continuing until 7.30pm on Tuesday Sept 2! There will be loads of giveaways and prizes to be had, so come along and celebrate with myself, Juliet Madison and Jacquie Underdown.

MISS SPELLED

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Magic Realism mixes with romantic comedy in this new novel from Sarah Belle about the dangers of internet shopping – and using magic to solve real world problems.  

Lou’s life is perfect. She loves her job, her renovated house, and most of all, her gorgeous fiancé, Aidan. But when her old flame and Aidan’s school yard nemesis turn out to be the same person, Hunter Wincott, Lou’s life is blown apart. She must divulge her secret past, or have Hunter give it away. Either way, she runs the real risk of losing Aidan.  

In desperation, she turns to Google. A quick search turns up Majique, the Internet Witch, and a spell that will delete herself from Hunter’s memory. But something goes wrong in the casting process, and Lou deletes much much more than just a memory. She deletes herself from her life completely.  

Luckily, there’s a one-week window for Lou to get back to the life she loved. One week to win back Aidan, before he walks down the aisle with the wrong woman,  and damns everyone to a lifetime of misery. It would be easy, if only Aidan had any idea who Lou actually is. 

 

HAUNTED EVER AFTER

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Mixing romance, humour and a sparkle of magic, Juliet Madison is back with a new full-length novel about a bride-to-be, a mystery and the stripper next door.

When bride-to-be Sally Marsh attends a weekend away with her bridesmaids, the last thing she expects is an uninvited guest: the ghost of her fiancé’s ex-girlfriend.

Red is quirky, loud and distracting, and Sally is soon desperate to find the reason behind her presence, so she can rid herself of her embarrassing shadow before the wedding day. Unfortunately, the ghost is reluctant to share the reason for her existence, but very enthusiastic about Ty, the surprise hen’s night stripper who keeps showing up at awkward moments.

Time is running out for Sally, but it’s also running out for Red. By the time all is revealed, Sally will be tested to the limits, and go above and beyond everything she’s ever believed in order to ensure not only her own happy-ever-after – but Red’s as well.

 

BEYOND COINCIDENCE

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Mixing romance, history, and a touch of the unexplained in a new novel from Jacquie Underdown about love that needs to cross oceans and time before finding a place to come true.

In 2008, 250 Australian and British soldiers are uncovered in a mass grave in Fromelles, France, lost since the Great War. One soldier, bearing wounds of war so deep it scarred his soul, cannot be laid to rest just yet.

When Lucy bumps into the achingly sad soldier during a trip to France, she doesn’t, at first glance, realise what he is – a ghost who desperately needs her help. Lucy can’t turn away from someone who needs her, even someone non-corporeal, and they travel back together to Australia in search of answers and, hopefully, some peace.

This chance meeting and unexplainable relationship sets into motion a chain-reaction of delicate coincidences that affect the intertwined lives of family, friends, and lovers in unexpected, beautiful ways.

We look forward to seeing you there!

First sneaky peek reveal of my new novel ‘Miss Spelled’…

To celebrate the pending release of my new novel, Miss Spelled due out on September 1st  via Escape Publishing, I thought it would be fun to have a cover reveal as well as the first sneaky peak excerpt!

To begin with here’s the blurb…

Magic Realism mixes with romantic comedy in this new novel from Sarah Belle about the dangers of internet shopping – and using magic to solve real world problems.  

Lou’s life is perfect. She loves her job, her renovated house, and most of all, her gorgeous fiancé, Aidan. But when her old flame and Aidan’s school yard nemesis turn out to be the same person, Hunter Wincott, Lou’s life is blown apart. She must divulge her secret past, or have Hunter give it away. Either way, she runs the real risk of losing Aidan.

In desperation, she turns to Google. A quick search turns up Majique, the Internet Witch, and a spell that will delete herself from Hunter’s memory. But something goes wrong in the casting process, and Lou deletes much much more than just a memory. She deletes herself from her life completely.

Luckily, there’s a one-week window for Lou to get back to the life she loved. One week to win back Aidan, before he walks down the aisle with the wrong woman,  and damns everyone to a lifetime of misery. It would be easy, if only Aidan had any idea who Lou actually is.

 

And the cover- thanks to the wonderful team at Escape Publishing!

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And now for  the very first, sneaky peaky excerpt. This is the beginning of the Miss Spelled

There’s a new number one on my ‘List of Dumb’. The list  is not just run of the mill dumb things, like walking into a glass door because a nice set of biceps has caught my attention, or trying to open the garage door with a tampon packet instead of a remote. No. The list and the  new number one is something so incredibly dumb, that I should be taken out of the gene pool so as not to pass my genes onto my offspring. Here’s the Lou Mercer top three list of dumb things so far:

Number 3: inadvertently forcing a confession of adultery from a student’s Dad, in a supermarket, after telling him that he was the father of one of my kids (my school kids — as a grade two teacher I call the entire class ‘my kids’).

Number 2: contracting vaginal pneumonia after using an old tissue from my handbag when the loo paper ran out in a deserted public toilet.

And new at the top of the list is buying a magic spell off the internet in order to erase the memory of me from the mind of my long ago ex-boyfriend.

Number three would have been easy to laugh off, albeit uncomfortably, had the man’s wife not been standing next to him when he made the confession. Clearly the guilt of his infidelity was killing him, but apparently they have worked through their marital issues with the help of her new credit card and diamond bracelet.

Number two was quickly fixed with a short course of antibiotics, after medical students were brought in to discuss, in detail, just how a woman might catch pneumonia of the vagina. Never one for the centre of attention, I prayed to the Universe to take me away when one of the interns queried if my vagina would be kind enough to cough for him.

And number one? Well, it didn’t quite work out as planned. Like most things that appear brilliant in theory but are failures of cosmic proportions in practice, the impact of this is still unknown. It’s probably better to start at the beginning…

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Miss Spelled  is a Magical Realism Romance – which means that the story takes place in the real world, but uses elements of magic to enhance the storyline, just like my first novel, Hindsight.

Miss Spelled is available for pre-order from the following E-tailers:

Amazon Australia

 Amazon US

iTunes 

 Amazon UK

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Escape into Magic Realism Blog Tour…

After over a year of answering the question: ‘in what genre do you write?’ I now have a definitive answer.

Up until now I have only been able to answer that question in a very round about, confusing way, that leaves the asker sorry that she inquired whilst simultaneously reaching for a paracetamol and large glass of wine.

For example:

‘Well, it’s when extraordinary things happen to ordinary people, like a mum time travels 50 years into the past, or a woman buys a spell off the internet and ruins her life, or a mum is plagued by a matchmaking imaginary friend.  It’s not quite fantasy, because it happens in our world, and it’s not really paranormal because there are no vampires or were-imaginary friends. It’s not contemporary  either because it has magical elements, it’s a bit chick lit and romantic comedy…’

‘That makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. What the hell do you write, Sarah?’

‘Hmmmm, well…..’

Yeah. This kind of answer is worthy of chewing bubble gum, twirling my blond hair and tilting my head on the side like an inquisitive golden retriever.  Throw fifteen or so ‘likes’ in that answer and I would be legally obliged to change my name to Paris.

But now, thanks to Escape Publishing, I – and others like me, namely Juliet Madison, Jacquie Underdown, Jennifer Brassel, Katherine Givens  and Robyn Neely– finally have a bookshelf to plant our virtual bottoms on and call home.

Magic Realism Romance.

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Yeah, baby!

So, let’s take that disjointed and migraine inducing conversation from the top:

‘So, Sarah, in what genre do you write?’

‘Not quite paranormal, not quite fantasy, this genre believes that magic is a part of the every day, and that there’s more to our lives than can be explained. If you’re looking for a little mystical, a little miraculous, a little more, this is the romance for you.’

‘That sounds amazeballs! How clever of Escape Publishing to give you guys a subgenre.  Where can I learn more?’

My new Magicl Realism Romance  novel, Miss Spelled will be released on September 1, 2014 via Escape Publishing.

Magic Realism mixes with romantic comedy in this new novel from Sarah Belle about the dangers of internet shopping – and using magic to solve real world problems.  

Lou’s life is perfect. She loves her job, her renovated house, and most of all, her gorgeous fiancé, Aidan. But when her old flame and Aidan’s school yard nemesis turn out to be the same person, Hunter Wincott, Lou’s life is blown apart. She must divulge her secret past, or have Hunter give it away. Either way, she runs the real risk of losing Aidan.  

In desperation, she turns to Google. A quick search turns up Majique, the Internet Witch, and a spell that will delete herself from Hunter’s memory. But something goes wrong in the casting process, and Lou deletes much much more than just a memory. She deletes herself from her life completely.  

Luckily, there’s a one-week window for Lou to get back to the life she loved. One week to win back Aidan, before he walks down the aisle with the wrong woman,  and damns everyone to a lifetime of misery. It would be easy, if only Aidan had any idea who Lou actually is.

 

 

 

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and my debut Magical Realism Romance novel, Hindsight is currently available at all good etailers!

Humour, wit, and just a touch of humility: the swinging 60s as you’ve never seen them before! 

The universe has sent Juliette a sign. She wishes it had been an email instead…

Juliette’s career is on fire, her marriage and family are in melt-down, and a red-hot goddess wants her husband. But those are the least of her worries when she wakes up on her lounge room floor in the year 1961.

Without any of her modern conveniences — nanny, housekeeper, surgically attached mobile phone, designer wardrobe, and intravenous lattes — Juliette is just over fifty years out of her comfort zone. But as she takes on the role of a 1961 housewife, with gritted liberated teeth, she discovers an unexpected truth: slower doesn’t mean boring, at home doesn’t mean dull, and priorities don’t mean sacrifices.

As she finds unexpected friendships, a resuscitated love life, tragedy and triumph, Juliette begins to wonder if she really wants to return home after all.

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We need help! Win some books!

Win books from Escape Publishing and get bragging rights for coming up with a new genre name!

The Escapades

9689 There were many reasons for starting Escape Publishing, but one of the most compelling was the stories that we were reading that were fantastic, breath-takingly romantic stories that just didn’t fit into any of the traditional categories.

Since then, we’ve gloried in diversity, publishing titles that we loved across a number of different sub-genres (and even invented some of our own!)

In the next few months, the Escape Publishing website is being updated, and we get the opportunity to update our categories at the same time. We’re very excited to be able to better signpost to readers where they can find the book they really want to read. But some of our titles are easier to categorise than others.

19225Which leads to our current dilemma.

We have a group of stories that have a similar theme, but no current category that adequately describes them.

Behind the scenes, we call them…

View original post 271 more words

My Writing Process- the blog tour…

Today is Blog Tour Day. This blog tour is where writers and authors answer questions about their writing process. My friend M.A. Grant posted hers last week. You can check out her writing process here.

So, now it’s my turn:

1)     What am I working on?

I am currently working on a romantic comedy (surprise, surprise) about an imaginary friend who returns and intervenes in the non-existent love life of Natalie, single mum, who really needs a little romance in her very safe and boring life.

It originally started off as a novella, but tanked in a very disturbing way because the art of writing novellas is not one I am about to master any time soon. So, it has been extended and I am currently having loads of fun making life very difficult for Natalie and the extremely sexy Dr Alex Cameron- her teenage sweetheart.  Throw in a hormonally charged Gothic teenager, a cheeky five year old, a narcissistic-sex addicted ex husband and an imaginary friend who looks like a budget superhero and what do you have? (I don’t know because I haven’t come up with a name yet! I suck at coming up with names.) Stay tuned!

 2)     How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I’ve come up with the term ‘Romagic Comedy’ to describe my style of writing. It’s romantic comedy with a dash of magic, but not enough or it to be truthfully termed Paranormal. In Romagic Comedy, extraordinary things happen to every day people in the every day world- such as time travelling back to 1961 in my debut novel, Hindsight. My most recent completed manuscript Deja Vu Lou centres around Lou who casts a spell with disastrous consequences- because she’s not a witch and has no idea of what she’s doing.

Think of movies / TV shows like Drop Dead Diva, Suddenly 30, About Time, The Catch Up, Freaky Friday….

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3)     Why do I write what I do?

Simply because I love the ‘what if’ factor. Writing with a dash of magic allows me to be quirky, imaginative and explore my sense of adventure. It allows me to do put my characters through their paces and really turn up the conflict.

I used to think my dream job would be writing for a big USA soapie – look at the crap that happens to them! Demonic possessions, being kidnapped and turning up 5 years later as an Arabian Princess,  kids growing up but the parents never aging – how cool to write that stuff!

4)     How does your writing process work?

I get an idea, a scenario that is pretty far out – like waking up to find that you and your entire family has time travelled back to 1961. Then I create characters for whom this would cause the utmost conflict and challenge – such as an ultra modern, independent career maniac. After that I get to throw as many challenges their was as possible and watch them fight their way out of it.

I am a plotter so most of this is already determined before I sit down at the laptop. Once I’m there creativity takes over and anything can happen, which is a wonderful, organic feel to writing.

It can take me 3-4 weeks to plot an entire novel, however, having said that, I plotted my next novel in the time it took me to iron my kid’s school uniforms – when the muse strikes, she really strikes!

Sarah Belle

Hindsight is available via Escape Publishing.

Four of my very talented friends have joined me on this blog tour and you can see their posts next week- on the 10th of March.

Alli Sinclair author of The Dance Card series, which explores dances and music that capture hearts both on and off the dance floor—Buenos Aires and the tango, Granada and the flamenco, and the Russian Ballet in Paris. With stories about love, loss, passion, and betrayal, the Dance Card Series takes readers on a journey full of colour, glitz, and dreams.

Charmaine Clancy – Charmaine Clancy is an author of novels for kids and teens, tutors students for English and runs children’s writing workshops in Brisbane.

Cassandra Shaw Writer of Romance which includes Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Fantasy and Romantic Suspense with paranormal twists.

Ruth Roberts Ruth Roberts has worked in public relations for fifteen years.  She lives in Texas with her very own romantic hero of eighteen years, and their teenage daughter.  Her hobbies are reading romance novels and writing them.  Her family says she is addicted to books, in her opinion that’s not a bad addiction to have. You can find her on Facebook or on the web at RuthRobertsRomance.com. You can also email her at ruthrobertsromance@yahoo.com.  She loves hearing from fans

Guest Post and Giveaway: Juliet Madison – Writer’s Craft Corner- 5 Ways to Choose Character Names…

Today my guest is the very talented Juliet Madison, author of Romagic Comedy, Women’s Fiction and YA Fiction. She’s not yet celebrated 12 months as a published author, but in that time has managed to release 2 Novellas and 3 Novels! Busy lady.

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Today also heralds the beginning of a new type of post for my blog – Writer’s Craft Corner, where we will discuss the craft of writing and hopefully pass along a few tips.

However, in celebration of Juliet’s newest release, The January Wish, which will be followed up next month with another newbie, February or Forever, here’s Juliet with some craft tips for us…

5 Ways to Choose Character Names

I love this part of writing, coming up with new characters. It’s like having kids but without the pain and sleep deprivation. Here are some ways to help choose character names:

1. Random, first name that comes to mind: Many of my characters are chosen this way. I simply choose the name that pops into my head if it suits the character and story. Not all are that easy though, some take a bit more work and consideration.

2. Ask on social media for ideas: Online friends are a great source of ideas, so ask away! Many are happy to help as it can be fun to come up with character names. You can brainstorm as many names as possible and then create a shortlist for first name and surname, or even get readers to vote on their favourite.

3. Hold a competition: Similar to the above, invite people to submit their choice for a name, and put all contributions into a draw for a prize. If you choose one of the suggestions, that person wins, or if more than one person has suggested the chosen name, you can put them into a random draw to pick a winner. Perhaps the winner can receive a copy of the book when it’s released, or a previous book.

4. Look up ideas: Use baby name books, name websites, the phone book, movie credits..etc, anywhere there is a list of names. Highlight those that catch your attention, then choose the most appropriate, or again, get feedback or votes from others to make the final decision. Remember to choose names that suit the character’s age… you can work out what year they may have been born and look up popular names for that year, so that your choice is suitable to the era in which they were born.

5. Find one with a deeper meaning for your story: This is an interesting way to find a suitable character name. Think of the traits your character possesses, or something meaningful about their heritage or the themes of the storyline, then look up names that mean those things. This can be a fun way of adding an extra element to your book. For example, if your character has warrior traits, he could be called Alex which means warrior or defender.

In my new novel, THE JANUARY WISH, I used tip number 1: the names popped into my head. Dr Sylvia Greene, Mark Bastian, and Grace Forrester. But now that I’ve written more books I’m finding I need to think a bit more carefully about names!

Writers, how do you choose your character’s names? Readers, have you ever read a book where you really disliked the character’s name?,

Thanks Juliet – great advice. I struggle at times with names, and change them often! I use the online registry for Births, Deaths and Marriages to determine which names were popular in a certain year or decade for authenticity.

THE JANUARY WISH

When Dr Sylvia Greene makes an impromptu wish at the Tarrin’s Bay Wishing Festival, it’s the most out of character action she can think of. Hers is not a life of wishes. Hers is a controlled life of order, plans and preparation…of science and research and diagnosis and treatment. But her past has been weighing on her mind, and decisions made long ago have far-reaching consequences.

A week later, the daughter she secretly gave up for adoption at sixteen arrives in Sylvia’s small coastal town with secrets that can’t be shared. Between feelings of guilt, gossip, and a growing attraction to an emotionally unavailable colleague, Sylvia’s well-ordered life is soon thrown into chaos. She is no longer alone, and for the first time she feels as if her world is open to possibilities.

They say be careful what you wish for, but, for Sylvia, the unexpected consequences may be just what the doctor ordered. 

Buy THE JANUARY WISH from all good ebook retailers:

Amazon – Amazon UK – Amazon Aus – iTunes/iBookstore – Kobo – B&N/Nook – GooglePlay – BigW ebooks – Booktopia – JB HiFi – ebooks.com – All Romance ebooks

Visit Juliet online at her website, blog, facebook, Goodreads, and twitter.

Juliet_Madison300dpi  Prize-blogtour

>> WIN! Enter via Rafflecopter below to win a $25 Amazon gift voucher and a coastal photographic print of the setting of The January Wish. Competition is open worldwide and the winner will be drawn at the beginning of February.

Rafflecopter link