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.

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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!

Second sneaky peek excerpt from ‘Miss Spelled’…

In celebration of the pending release of my new novel, ‘Miss Spelled’ on September 1st, here is a second sneaky peek excerpt…

In this scene the lead character, Lou Mercer, has orchestrated a ‘chance’ meeting with her bad-ass but irresistible ex, Hunter Wincott. Her goal is to persuade him not to divulge their past relationship to her fiancée, Aiden- Hunter’s school yard nemesis. Good luck with that one, Lou!

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 Hunter is at the concierge desk and my tummy does flip-flops as I make my way over to him attempting to look nonchalant on the way, but most likely doing a bad impression of it. The sound of my sprinting heart beat rises above the hub-bub of people in the foyer.

“Yes sir, Mr Wincott, I will organise that right away,” the concierge says as I draw nearer.

His aftershave, a spicy blend with sandalwood undertones, takes me back to our time together, when he was every naive girl’s dream of the ultimate boyfriend—passionate, charming, lethal in bed and very opinionated but in a sexy kind of way. His star was on the rise when we met, after he had attended Oxford.

My stomach lurches upwards and I stop, suddenly overtaken by dizziness and confusion. What the hell am I doing? This is a ridiculous idea. Hunter probably wouldn’t even remember me. There were so many women during our time together, I can only imagine how many have followed. It’s absurd to think he will help me now.

“Yes sir, I will have that waiting for you tomorrow morning on your way out,” says the concierge.

“Good, and make sure it’s the top of the range, will you?” he says.

  Only the best for Hunter Wincott. Just like old times.

My nerves get the better of me and I turn to walk away. This was a stupid idea. Aiden needs to know the truth, no matter the cost. Honesty has to be the best way to go.

My mobile launches out of my sweaty hand and drops to the floor. None of my fingers seem to be working, my nerves are shot and eyes blurry with tears as I bend down to pick it up.

“Lou?”

The voice is unmistakeable, although the north London accent has thickened since our last conversation eleven years ago.

“Lou, is that you?” he asks again.

I look at the expensive men’s shoes in front of me, all the way up the exquisite woollen suit, to the incredibly handsome face at the top. Those sapphire eyes, thick black glossy lashes and slightly olive complexion. He’s still a sexpot.

Oh shit!

He crouches down on his haunches and places one strong, warm hand on my elbow. A shiver flashes through my body as though he is a live charge plugged into me. With the other hand he picks up the phone.

“Is this yours?” He smiles the same smile that seduced me all those years ago. The same smile that probably seduces countless other women as well. When you’re onto a good thing…

“Ah, um…yes. Thank you, Hunter,” I stammer. “What a coincidence!” My smile feels lopsided and a manufactured giggle catches in my throat.

 He helps me back up to a standing position and leaves his hand on my elbow, his current  still passing through my body.

 A huge void has developed between my brain and mouth. All I can do is stare and feel myself overheat, almost forgetting the reason for my journey here.

 His eyes run all over my body as he puts the other hand on my arm and looks at me as though my body is a fine piece of artwork he is thinking of acquiring, just trying to figure out which room it would look best in. He always said I was perfect in every room of his flat. As was he—except for the cheating thing, that is—but it’s easy to forget betrayal in the presence of this man.

“Lou,” he says in the deep voice that is an aphrodisiac in itself. “You look good enough to eat…slowly.”

Yep, he still has the touch. All the moisture in my mouth evaporates and reappears under my armpits.

Hunter takes a step closer and I feel my body being enveloped in his strong, thick arms, the kind of arms that appear on the cover of romance novels. As tall as Aiden, but broader and stronger in frame, like a rugby player. I can feel every contour of his athletic body beneath his shirt. Momentarily, it’s not possible to remember my own name. It’s as though it was yesterday we were together.

He takes a small step backwards, enough so that we are no longer embracing but still in each other’s personal space.

“I can’t tell you how often I’ve thought of you over the years. How are you?” he says.

I clear my throat and tell my heart to slow down, and my loins to stop quivering.

“I’m good, great in fact. Thanks. And you?”

“Life has treated me very well. What a coincidence to meet you here. Do you have time for a drink, dinner perhaps?”

I check my watch to make it look as though I have something planned. It’s past nine o’clock.

“A very late dinner?” Hunter asks and then gives me the smile that no sane woman can resist.

Trying to remain focused on my mission is so hard with this perfect specimen of manhood standing so close. There’s something about him, a quality that is consuming. It becomes crystal clear to me how fell for him in London, and then forgiven him for his regular betrayals.

“I…uh…”

“Just you and me. I’ll organise it.” He waves over the concierge, who scurries towards us. “A table set up in my suite, fresh seafood for two. Make sure there’s an icy bottle of Krug Vintage waiting. An eighty-eight if you have it.”

“Yes sir, very good.”

Hunter turns back to me and smiles. Should I run out the foyer and flee for my life, or stay and run the risk of being charmed to death, especially in his room of all places. He was like a magician when it came to bedrooms. One wave of his warm hand and my panties used to disappear.

“What about the restaurant?” I say. “Can’t we eat there?”

“Are you afraid you won’t be able to resist me, Lou?” he smiles.

 

It’s only 6 days to go until ‘Miss Spelled’ is released! Whoo-hoo! And to celebrate, Amazon US, Amazon Aus and ITunes have reduced the pre-order price to only 99c!

The pre order links are below:

Itunes 

Amazon US

Amazon Aus   

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.

Author Limelight and Gift Card giveaway: Chick Lit author,Monique McDonell…

Hello Monique, congratulations on the release of ‘A Fair Exchange’, and welcome to Author’s Limelight!

Here’s the blurb-

Who hasn’t wondered about their first love?

What happened?

What went wrong?

Where are they now?

What if you got a second chance?

Amelia Armstrong is about to find out.

What a shame her long-lost love, Matt, has returned (looking way too good and acting way too sweet) when her life is a shambles and she has finally decided once and for all to put herself and not whichever man is currently in her life, first.

How do you balance that desire to recapture that loving feeling with the need to finally be the best version of yourself?

What if this really is the one, how do you choose when to stand your ground and when to cut your losses?

Amelia takes a journey from Sydney to New York and back again trying to find the answers while negotiating with pop-divas, ex-lovers, crazy teenagers, a well-meaning cousin and the tabloids.

A Fair Exchange is a story about being a grown up when, maybe, you’d much rather be sixteen again.

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What was the first story you ever wrote? I don’t remember the very first story I ever wrote. I wrote a lot of stories as a kid. I had notebooks full of them. I do remember writing a story about Sunny the Easter Bunny that I got to read out to the school assembly in Year 1.

Of all the individuals you have created, do you have a particular favourite? What appeals to you the most about this character? That is such a hard question. I always love my female leads, I consider them friends that I get to hang out with for the duration of the novel. In A fair Exchange my favourite character is Matt. He has a big heart and even though he’s had a few tough breaks he is a really optimistic and generous character.

Has being published changed you at all? If so, how? I think being published has opened me up to a whole new world of people I wouldn’t have accessed otherwise. Lots of writers and readers have come in to my life. Also I’m really bad at talking about myself in real life, I love asking questions and finding about other people but being a writer I’ve had to get over that a bit or no one would ever know I’d written a book.

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What would we find on your bookshelf / e-reader? I read loads of romance and I also read lots of chicklit and literary fiction. In paperback this week I’m reading The President’s Hat for book club, I recently read the latest Fannie Flagg book, The All Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion. On my Kindle you’ll find a mish mash of romance, writing books, cosy mysteries and chicklit. One of the lovely things about writing is you meet lots of authors and I tend to readapt least one book by an author I’ve had contact with, and if I like it then more.

What’s the most unappealing thing you’ve ever eaten? I don’t like soggy food at all. I can’t have pie and ice cream because it gets mushy, no cereal for the same reason or trifle. Having said that, isn’t tripe the most disgusting thing anyone has ever eaten?

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.

I’ll take D Holly Golightly thank you. (I’d be no good in a war so that eliminates A and C and I don’t want to die so there goes B). I’d give them a happy ending of course. Maybe a nice penthouse overlooking central park and I would like a proposal with a ring from Tiffany’s as well. 

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Of all the books in history, which do you wish you wrote and why? Little Women, it’s my all time favourite book. I love the family and I adore Jo.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why? I do think I’d enjoy being able to fly.

If you could go back in time, where would you go and when? What is one thing you would want to take with you? Fun question. I think I’d got to the 1960’s in the USA, maybe I watched too much Happy Days as a kid but it has an idyllic look to it. I might take a computer so I could write down what I saw.

Can you tell us about your works in progress? This week I have released my fifth novel A Fair Exchange. It draws a little on my own experience as an exchange student as a teen and looks at what happens when your first love comes back into your life (that part isn’t based on experience). I have also just completed a novella which I hope to have out mid-year.

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Finally, can you give us a sneaky excerpt from ‘A Fair Exchange’, please?

It was not as if he was the first one to mention it. In the past week everyone who had entered my apartment had commented on the shiny new Vespa parked in the middle of the otherwise empty living room. In fact, each and every one of them had imaginatively said “Amelia you have a red Vespa parked in your living room!” And they all said it in a tone that implied I might not have noticed, as if it may have magically appeared there.

How could I not notice a vehicle parked in what was otherwise an empty room?

What amazed me was that the Vespa was what they chose to comment on. 

Not that Nick had dumped me, after ten years, for a twenty-one year-old. Nor that he had moved out, taking basically all the furniture and leaving me with a great view over the beach and an enormous mortgage. 

No one even commented about the fact that I, in turn, had quit the fabulous job that had always meant way too much to me. 

No, they commented on the Vespa. 

What I could not understand though was why it hadn’t bothered me until right then, when Matthew Blue commented. And when he did comment, why had I collapsed into this embarrassing sea of tears?  How had this happened? How had I become this sobbing pathetic figure of womanhood? And more importantly how had I ended up thirty-six and alone? 

Didn’t I used to have so much potential?

Everyone had said so, hadn’t they? 

“Amelia Armstrong is something special.”  

I was one of those shiny young girls who took risks and dreamed big.

I was one of the smart ones who knew what she wanted and went after it.

I was one to watch. 

If I hadn’t been that kind of a girl I would never have met Matthew all those years ago.

A different girl would not have found herself, on the other side of the world, at sixteen, staring into his dark and dreamy eyes.  S

o where was that girl right now, I wanted to know? And how had a girl with so much potential gotten it so horribly wrong?   

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

Amazon author page

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Blog

Goodreads

Buy link

Monique is running a rafflecopter as part of the blog tour. The prize is a  $25 Amazon Gif Card and e-book. To be in the running just click HERE

Monique - All books

 

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