‘Summer Daze’: FREE Chick Lit anthology!

‘Seasoned With Romance’ is a group of Aussie Chick Lit authors comprising:

Georgina Penney, moi, Carla Caruso, Laura Greaves, Belinda Williams, Samantha Stacey Bond and Vanessa Stubbs, and we’ve released another FREE Chick Lit anthology!Summer Daze cover [82841]

Summer… when hot days, steamy nights, surf, sand and sizzle make that first flush of new love feel dreamlike.

Book Boyfriend by Carla Caruso
Forget ‘opposites attract’ – book-loving Laila Laughton is done with guys who are nothing like her. So when she comes across the library receipt of a gorgeous bookworm who seems like her perfect match, she’s determined to track him down.

That Voodoo That You Do by Sarah Belle
Lila is sick of waiting for the criminally sexy Ben to ask her out, so she’s taking matters into her own hands. But when her attempts to harness the power of voodoo go awry, has she lost him forever?

Awkward Chocolates by Georgina Penney
Tom has been out of the dating game for a long time. A very long time. When his internet date makes a sexy request, can he rise to the challenge – or is it just too awkward for words?

Sunny, With A Chance by Laura Greaves
Brydie is moving on from a bad breakup with her adorable dog, Sunny, in their cute country cottage. City boy Leo doesn’t have time for a girlfriend, especially not a hippy artist with a ton of baggage. But Sunny may have other ideas…

Lily and Viv by Vanessa Stubbs
Teddy has been an outsider as long as he can remember. With high school finally behind him, does he have the courage to be true to himself with his dream girl by his side – or will school’s seductive Queen Bee lure him away?

Killer Heels by Samantha Bond
Tough Private Investigator Scully has landed the case of a lifetime: probing the disappearance of a celebrity lifestyle guru. She doesn’t need her gorgeous ex, police detective Logan, getting in her way – until her life is at stake.

Relax by the water’s edge and dive into this all new collection of summery short stories by six Australian chick lit authors.

Download your FREE copy here:

Amazon US 

Amazon AU

Smashwords

Itunes

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Free Chick Lit anthology to warm your winter!

‘Seasoned With Romance’ is a group of Aussie Chick Lit authors comprising:

Georgina Penney, moi, Carla Caruso, Laura Greaves, Belinda Williams, Samantha Stacey Bond and Vanessa Stubbs, and we’ve just released another FREE Chick Lit anthology!

Winter Heat cover [614266]

Six sizzling fun-size chick lit stories

Wish Upon a Star by Sarah Belle
Abby can’t wait to marry her gorgeous fiancé, Xander – until she realises they’ve never had an argument. How can she expect their marriage to weather life’s storms when their relationship has never truly been tested?

A Friend in Need by Laura Greaves
When her best friend announces that it’s not possible for people in committed relationships to have single friends of the opposite sex, Megan is determined to prove her wrong. But are her feelings for her boyfriend’s best mate, Rye, purely friendly – or is Megan playing with fire?

The Reject Club by Carla Caruso
Tired of being rejected in both her personal and professional lives, Maya has retreated to her grandmother’s seaside cottage to clear her head. The last thing she needs is a man to complicate matters – especially one as alluring as Garrett…

The Getaway by Vanessa Stubbs
When Dominique heads to the Tasmanian wilderness with husband Ricky, it’s a make-or-break weekend for their struggling marriage. Is Ricky the same man she fell in love with – or is rugged Cal what she really needs?

Bad Things Come in Threes by Belinda Williams
First her marriage collapsed. Then she lost her job. Wynter isn’t sure whether she can cope with another disaster. And when Marty enters her life, she doesn’t know whether he’s the best thing to happen to her – or the very worst.

Songbird by Samantha Bond
Washed-up pop star George would do anything for another crack at the big time, and when he discovers talented young singer Annabella he sees his chance. There’s just one problem: Annabella’s feisty mother, Catherine.

 

So, if you’re looking for some winter giggles, some warmth, some lurve you can download your free copy here:

Amazon AU

Amazon US

iTunes

Smashwords

 

 

 

 

Call in Scully and Mulder…

truth

Call in Scully and Mulder because I want to believe…

I walked downstairs on Saturday morning and, stunned by the scene in front of me, became convinced I was in the wrong house.

Something woo-woo had happened in my sleep, causing me to astral travel to another woman’s home, even though it was disturbingly similar to my living room. Even the kids were identical to mine.

But despite the similarities, it couldn’t possibly have been my house because…

There were three children sitting at the table in complete and utter silence…

doing their homework…

Voluntarily!

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Da-da- dahhhhhhhhh!

I know! Shocking, right?

Completely freaking unbelievable?

Immediately, I whipped out my phone to record the moment for posterity, because surely this was a once in a lifetime event- never to be repeated, ever again in the history of the universe.

Oh-you-didnt-2uks1a

I snuck around behind them and looked at their screens, the cynic in me too suspicious to truly believe my own eyes.

Expecting to see ‘Lego for kids’ or bloody ‘Minecraft’, I was stunned into silence when the screens displayed ‘Mathletics’ and ‘Reading Eggs’- their assigned homework sites.

Holy crap!

Did the ‘homework faerie’ come to my home last night and sprinkle his magic dust over three of my kids? (the eldest was still snoring in his bed- he’s not a morning person).

Were they hypnotised into obedience? (is that even possible?)

Had my husband bribed them with sugar, salt and grease laden treats the night before?

No, no and no. They had simply decided to do their homework before breakfast so that they could have the rest of the day to themselves.

Utterly shocking. A miracle worthy of canonisation.

Those of you who have children will smile when I say ‘it’s usually very difficult to get my kids to do their homework.’

And by ‘difficult’, I really mean impossible; requiring more bribery than the FIFA World Cup drama, more tears than a screening of ‘Beaches’, ‘Step Mom’ and ‘The Fault in our Stars’ combined. More objections than the entire 20 seasons of ‘Law and Order’, and a level of eye-ball rolling, pouting and groaning that would rival the entire teenage population.

And that’s on a good day!

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Yes, parents – you know exactly what I’m talking about. Homework = nightmare.

It’s possible that every parent hates homework more than their kids do. The act of getting your kid to sit down and do their homework is a trial, a torture and threatens family unity. It ruins that lovely parent-kid bond that you’ve worked so frigging hard to achieve.

And the worst part of homework is that for their entire school career it never ends! It starts in Prep and finishes 13 years later when the graduate high school – and that’s without them going on to University!

So, you can imagine my aneurism inducing shock at the image of the scholarly endeavour in front of me.

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I can’t explain it, and more importantly, I don’t even want to. Whatever happened was perfect – like all the planets aligned and combined with the ethereal powers of the universe, Jedi force and magic ju-ju.

Will it happen again next week?

I’m an optimist, not a deranged lunatic. I’ll leave my homework-performance expectations where they are- somewhere around the soles of my shoes.

Instead I am going to take this victory as a baffling, but extraordinarily wonderful, phenomenon of magnificence. It will be stored in the recesses of my mind and brought out while sitting around campfires telling stories of the eerie and inexplicable. It will take its place in folklore and fable, nestled amongst Big Foot, Nessie and the Min Min lights, and there it shall remain- a distant, yet glorious memory in my mummy mind.

How we should look in licence photos…

My last driver’s licence photo was taken seven years ago when I was heavily pregnant with my third child. I wasn’t a the kind of woman who ‘glowed’ in pregnancy. I was the kind of woman who ‘puffed’ with pregnancy. Consequently, even though my large tummy was nowhere near the frame, everyone could tell that it was a photo of a woman whose tummy bounced off her thighs during uphill climbs.

So, when my renewal notice stated that a new photo was required – because they are now issuing new licences with whizz bang secure identity thingies embedded in them- I was happy because now was my chance to update the photo.

On the bad side,  I was approximately 20kg heavier in the last one than I am now. However, I was also 7 years younger, which created quite a dilemma. My new photo will reveal that I am now back to my normal size post baby, however, I have also developed wrinkles, tired skin and grey hairs at an alarming rate since having children.

This poses the question, which is better: rounded youth or slimmer maturity?

Anyway, I did as instructed by the RTA officer and did not smile when the photo was taken. There is even a sign that prohibits smiling during the photo taking process.

Consequently the photo on my new licence is hideous.

If it was more attractive it would be a mug shot.

On the good side, my grey hairs are well camouflaged amongst the blonde by the flash that had me walking into walls due to temporary blindness for five minutes afterwards.

On the bad side, my pupils are smaller than pinpricks and could lead any police officer viewing it to suspect that I am a long term, habitual crack head.

On the good side, there are no wrinkles on my face because my crow’s feet only come out to play during smile time.

On the negative side, I look like a career criminal who has just been charged with a crime that carries a life sentence of cleaning toilets with a toothbrush. My toothbrush.

My husband and I discussed my new photo and when I asked why no one is allowed to smile he said, ‘because the police want to be able to identify you when they pull you over, and make sure that the holder of that licence and the driver are the same person. How many times have you smiled at a cop who has pulled you over?’

It was a good theory. Certainly one worth investigating, which lead me to consider what types of facial expressions would allow the licencee to be identified quickly, depending on the situation.

The ‘was that a ‘Stop’ sign or just ‘Give Way’? What’s the speed limit around here’ expression.

aa confused

 

The ‘in no way did I break the law’ expression:

aa bill clinton

 

The ‘Yes, I knew it was a 50 km zone and I was doing 55’ expression.

 aa barack

The ‘OMFG was that a speed camera I just flew past?’ expression.

 aa janet

The ‘No, Officer, I wasn’t texting while driving’ expression.

 

 aa emoticon

 

The ‘I’m really, really sorry Officer. I promise not to do it again,’ expression.

 aa golden

 

And finally, the ‘my bosoms are too big for this tiny top, and my lips are so big and red’ seduction expression.

 

 aa sexy

 

So, as you can see, the current licence photo protocol leaves a lot to be desired. It could be improved considerably by allowing people to have a range of facial expressions on their licence so as to accurately reflect that person’s expression at the time of committing an offence. What a pity they don’t have a suggestion box at the RTA.

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

 

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

haunted

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

Beyond_Final-1 (2)

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.