Louise Reynolds – ‘Outback Bride’

ImageMy fabulous CP Louise Reynolds has agreed to be on my blog today! Hi Louise, thanks so much for coming on. Outback Bride is as the title suggests but this is a rather complex and well-written novel. There are some real life issues that are explored in this book that I enjoyed immensely.

LR: Thanks for inviting me, Dana. You’re my very favourite person to chat with 🙂

DM: Why thanks! Louise, you do the struggle between Lara’s quest to succeed in her law career and her burgeoning life back on the farm so well. For me, when Lara returns I get a sense that she is overwhelmingly ‘home’. It really jars when she goes back to the city.

LR: I guess this is something many people struggle with. What may be ‘right’ for them can be apparent to an observer and maybe even to them on a subliminal level, but they continue to follow other paths and deny their true self. Change is hard. In ‘Outback Bride’ Lara has already turned her life upside down once so it takes a very special person, Jake, to change that and show her where she really belongs. 

DM: Change can be very hard! I love how Jake ‘left for the bright lights’ and then came back home. I love how you build the sense that Lara is being drawn back to Jindaburra on so many different levels.

LR: Sometimes it takes us a while to realise that, as the saying goes, all that glitters is not gold. Jake’s family background is subtly abusive, the allure of riches hiding an unloving, manipulative father. I wanted the reasons for Lara’s return to be more multilayered. First she returns to care for her niece, the call of responsibility but with a deeper tug of familial love. Then there’s the allure of Jake, her old love. And sitting over the top of all that is her deep-seated loved for her family property.

 DM: EEEE! And to introduce a child into the mix when the conflict is already so volatile. Little orphan Jessie’s character is cast perfectly, throwing Jake and Lara into a turmoil that seems unending. Was it hard to find the HEA at the end?

LR: WC Fields said never work with children or animals. I know writers who write children all the time but as a childless woman no one was more surprised than me to see Jessie pop up. But she’s intrinsic to the story – she connects my heroine Lara with the child she once was, as well as ensuring Jake and Lara must stay together long enough to realise how they feel about each other. Endings are always hard because there are a lot of hoops of fire for your characters to jump through but these three – Jake, Lara and Jessie – were destined to be a family.

DM: You seem to know so much about the outback, what it looks like, the way it feels. Have you grown up there or do you visit regularly?

LR: I visit the outback regularly, Dana. It’s a beautiful place full of larger than life characters. As a city girl I find it recharges me, refills the well. I have time to sit and think and just be. Which is awfully good for dreaming up stories.

DM: Dreaming under the stars. Sounds perfect! At the end of ‘Outback Bride’, I did a bit of a fist punch in the air when Lara turns her back on city life/city career and finally knows where her heart lies. Did you enjoy writing that part as much as I loved reading that?

LR: Thank you! There’s a lovely tension in writing these scenes. They’re hard. In this case it was painful because Lara was forced to confront her feelings about her father and about how she believed Jake had betrayed her in the past. On the other hand, you’re about to give your characters (and reader by extension) the happy ever after they deserve, so that’s pretty cool.

DM: Thanks for coming on my blog Louise. Please tell us what’s coming next from you?  

LR: Thanks for having me here, Dana. I’ve really enjoyed it. I’m just finishing another romance, tentatively titled ‘The Love Tattoo’. It’s about a jaded English aristocrat, a strong and resourceful Aussie outback girl and a helluva mystery about a painting.

DM: Oooo, you heard it first here folks!  ‘The Love Tattoo’ sounds extremely mysterious and fascinating. Who can go past one of Louise Reynolds Aristocrats? 

You can find Louise Reynolds at:

Website:  www.louisereynolds.com.au

Blog:  http://louwrites.wordpress.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LouiseHReynolds

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/LouiseReynoldsauthorpage?ref=hl

 

Outback Bride can be purchased here:

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Outback-Bride-Destiny-Romance-ebook/dp/B00DW1MICW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1376375072&sr=1-1&keywords=Outback+Bride

Kobo Books:  http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Outback-Bride/book-rS9bXcBPWEWpbsEwJL2K7Q/page1.html?s=PlcefpM5fUCoLVlXduNYHw&r=8

Apple:  https://itunes.apple.com/au/book/outback-bride/id673009558?mt=11

Destiny Romance:  http://www.destinyromance.com/products/9781743482643/outback-bride-destiny-romance

 

Blurb: Legal star Lara Burke has worked hard to escape her country past and is finally on the way to being made a partner at her city law firm. At the worst possible time, her former flame Jake Forester arrives, bringing tragic news from home.

Forced to return to her family property, Jindaburra, Lara must confront her past at the home she loved and lost. But big-sky country and bittersweet memories are not all that await her at Jindaburra.

As Lara’s past and present collide, old passions are rekindled and new connections are formed. And as her visit comes to an end, how will Lara choose between the city life she’s grown to love, and the life she left behind?

 

Imelda Evans – Rules Are for Breaking

Hi there Imelda, thanks so much for taking the time to be on my blog today! Can I just say, I adore the cover of you book.

IE: Thank you for having me!  I am very fond of this cover too.  I love the look in her eye.  It’s very ‘Jo’ (the heroine, for those who haven’t read it).  Although, as an ardent Kerry Greenwood fan, I was amused to discover that I had apparently written Phryne Fisher…Image

DM: Delicious! How did you come about Jo’s character? Despite the fact she perhaps embodies how a lot of women view   trying to find ‘The One’, she really came across to me as a complex, fabulous mix of cynicism, vulnerability and hope.

IE: Aw, shucks!  I’m not really sure where Jo came from.  She walked into the manuscript with a   cocktail in her hand and a chip on her shoulder and I couldn’t shake her!  I think she was a    manifestation of thoughts I had been having about the baggage we don’t know we have that can get in  the way of our dreams.  She is generous and she thinks she is open, but past hurts have left some big  scabs on her heart that need to be peeled off before she can let anyone new in.

DM: Scabs on the heart! Yikes and yet it’s an apt description of emotional pain. Did you struggle with matching Declan’s character with Jo? She was a tough nut to crack and it really did take a special man to get past all those barriers.

IE: I needed someone as pig-headed as she was!  Declan wasn’t bossy or arrogant, but he was very determined.  The more she threw rules at him, the more he found ways to use them to his advantage.   He wasn’t intimidated by her beauty, her brains or her strength, which made him a match for her.  He was very secure in who he was and had a deep centre of calmness that appealed to Jo, as it does to me.  We dramatic females need someone centred!

DM: How long have you been writing, Imelda? What got you into writing in the first place?

IE: I’ve always loved words.  When other girls were playing netball, I was reading.  So I always loved the idea of writing.  But it took me a long time to get here.  After doing a lot of other things, I spent ten years freelancing as a copywriter before I was game to try fiction.  I’ve been seriously working at fiction for 5 years and I still struggle every day with the fear that I’m no good at this!

DM: Throughout ‘Rules Are For Breaking’, there shines through a love of music. Do you sometimes use music as inspiration for your writing?

IE: Thank you for noticing!  I am very eclectic in my musical preferences (which I suppose shows in the pop-to-opera coverage of the book).  I’m not sure I have ever consciously used it as story inspiration, but I do like listening to love songs written by men when I’m trying to get into the heads of romance heroes.  Our culture sometimes seems to deny that men can love deeply or care as much as women – but their love songs tell a different story!

DM: I agree!  I especially love the scenes following where Jo feels Declan has seen her as a challenge and nothing more. It was intriguing to see how she struggled with her emotions, trying to work through them. How hard was that to write?

IE: I’m glad you enjoyed that.  It was her worst nightmare made manifest.  I based her devastation on a personal experience (from a long time ago) so the emotions were easy to come by.  The hard part was conveying them convincingly and showing that she’d changed from the girl at the start of the story, who would have just grown another layer of armour and moved on.  I’m glad you think I managed it!

DM: Thanks so much for coming on my blog today, Imelda. Your second book, ‘Playing by the Rules’ is also out which is fabulous! Folks, if you love intense, character-focused romance, you’ll love Imelda Evans. If you’d like to connect with Imelda, you can find her here:

To purchase any of Imelda’s books, try the following links:

Playing by the Rules:  http://www.destinyromance.com/products/9781743483961/playing-rules

Rules are for Breaking:

http://www.destinyromance.com/products/9781742538020/rules-are-breaking-destiny-romance

My website/blog: http://imeldaevans.wordpress.com/

Thank you!

Uncovered By Love – Madeline Ash

I’m here today talking with Madeline Ash and her deeply emotional book, ‘Uncovered By Love’. 

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Madeline, thanks for coming on my blog. I view the emotion of love as making the world revolve. After reading UbL, I was reminded that people sometimes have to overcome huge emotional and sometimes physical obstacles to find that special someone.

I found your story so inspiring; you wrote about the issues your characters were dealing with such tenderness and respect. Vera and Leeson were two people that very much deserved to find happiness and despite knowing that romance carries the promise of a happy ending, I still found myself cheering for Leeson at the end. ❤

DM: Your heroine, Vera, has a heart condition and required a transplant, a major disruption to anyone’s life. I love how her brother Jayden is so protective of her, having gone through that awful journey by her side. Is this something that has affected you or someone you know?

MA: Thank you Dana, Jayden was a really sweet character to write. And yes, a member of my immediate family has a heart condition (ARVC). I developed the idea for Vera’s illness when we discovered the condition is actually genetic, so any of us could be carriers. After doing research, I learned that the most severe form of the condition would ultimately require a heart transplant. As an issue so close to home, I was able to consider the possibility on a personal level and really feel through Vera what it would be like to cope post-transplant. Not to mention being able to imagine, as a family member, what it would be like to have to sit by and watch someone I love go through such suffering.

Oh dear – that all sounds quite tragic! To anyone who hasn’t read it, the book isn’t a downer, really! I like to think it’s full of hope and tenderness. It IS escapism, after all J [DM: It is so not a downer! More like inspiring!]

DM – Leeson, your hero, has his own issues to deal with, namely being dyslexic and unable to read. Yet he was still able to successfully run a large business enterprise. *Sigh. J How hard was it to reconcile the successful business man to the real Leeson?

MA:  Not hard for me – I knew he was just confused! But Leeson finds it very difficult to accept that the two aren’t mutually exclusive. He uses the successful investor as his façade; the man he wishes he could be. Secretly, he defines himself by his inability to read fluently, believing he is a fraud of a businessman. Only when he gains Vera’s acceptance does he realise that he IS successful – not pretending to be. And that his success is made more impressive, not less, by his dyslexia.

DM: When writing such weighty issues, how do you find that place to concentrate on ensuring the emotion is leaping off the page? Are you a plotter, or like me, do you have it all in your head?

MA: I’m more of a plotter, but I certainly have a lot stored in my head too. Before I start writing, I need to know how the characters’ conflicts will clash, what their goals and motivations will be (both internal and external), and the basic plot of the story. I don’t plan on a scene-by-scene level though – I let the characters’ emotional journeys shape what needs to happen next.

Specifically, to ensure emotion leaps of the page, I often play music to manipulate my mood (I’ve got some very achy contemporary piano albums). I couldn’t pull off a sad/moving scene if I wasn’t feeling that way myself. I have a very simple motto for sad scenes – if I don’t cry with my characters, readers won’t either!

DM: I found the details of Vera’s art very interesting. Do you also sculpt or have an interest in art?

MA: Unfortunately, I have no talent for fine arts. I practically needed help with coil pots in high school. But I do love art, so Vera’s sculptures are what I would create if I were that gifted.

DM: And finally, I’m really looking forward to your next book, Madeline! Are you currently working on another? (please say yes!)

Okay, yes, I am! J I’m currently writing another contemporary romance set on a vineyard in the Yarra Valley. It’s really sweet and sexy, and I’m hoping to have it finished by October (I write slowly). [DM: Me too, don’t worry]

Thanks so much for having me here, Dana. I’ve loved chatting with you!

Thanks again, Madeline!

The Convenient Bride – Jennifer St George

Today, I have the lovely and talented Jennifer St George on my blog, talking about her very first book, ‘The Convenient Bride’. We’re sort of like kindred spirits as both our first books were set, in some part, in beautiful Venice.

Jennifer tells a very good tale of passion and secrets, of trying to reconcile the past while embracing a new, uncertain future and of course, falling love! She’s very kindly answered a few of my questions…

DM: Jennifer, other than the obvious, why did you choose Venice for the setting of ‘The Convenient Bride’?

JSG: I’d been to Italy a few times but only visited Venice for the first time a few years ago. I was totally blown away by the beauty, history, architecture and sheer magnificence of the city. Just walking those cobble-stoned streets, soaking up the atmosphere I knew I had to set my next book in Venice. I loved recreating the Venetian setting in The Convenient Bride. Trying to capture the true essence of Venice was a fantastic challenge. 

DM: Sienna is a wonderful character, full of interesting quirks that were surprising – like her love of design and architecture. Is this something that you have an interest in personally?

JSG: I grew up in Brisbane, which was mostly gorgeous Queenslanders, post-war houses and brick and tile suburbs. When I was eleven, we moved to South America and travelled there via Italy (I know, the long way round). I was in awe of the architecture and have loved old buildings and interesting architecture ever since.

DM: Antonio’s character is a lot darker, driven by his dark past. Did you have difficulty writing some of the scenes where he was awful to Sienna? 

JSG: I think terrible grief has a profound affect upon a person, so I guess I understood why Antonio behaved the way he did, even though Sienna didn’t. Yes, some of those scene were very hard to write!

DM: In ‘The Convenient Bride’, Sienna runs a hotel. Have you ever worked in the hospitality industry? If not, to what extent did you research?

JSG: Before I began writing, I worked in marketing I was required to travel a lot all over the world from Russia to the Canary Islands to Canada to New York to Korea – everywhere, so I stayed in lots and lots of five-star hotels. Great for research purposes.

DM: Your new book, ‘The Love Deception’, is coming out in June…so wonderful, can’t wait to read! Can you give us a teaser in three sentences? 

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JSG: The Love Deception combines legal intrigue, courtroom drama and a dash of exotic Barbados.  When Felicity Carter wakes up naked in a strange bed, she has no idea how she got there and no recollection of meeting the gorgeous man calmly offering her breakfast. Felicity flees and the last thing she expects is to discover that her mystery man is Damon Fullbright, partner at the law firm where Felicity has just started work – and her new boss! [DM: Eeeek! Sounds wonderful Jen, can’t wait!]

Her Italian Aristocrat – by Lousie Reynolds

9781742538747[1]There’s something about an Italian hero that reels me in every time. In Louise Reynold’s debut novel for Destiny Romance, we immediately get the sense that Gemma is in a little bit of trouble, not able to understand the lingo while stuck in an Italian hospital. So why is she there? Why, to buy a prestigious shoe company, of course.

Enter Luca, Gemma’s saviour as he translates so the nurse from hell doesn’t stick her with a needle that she shouldn’t. And who is this Luca? He is the local Aristocrat, determined to save the town’s industry. You know things from here are going to get interesting.

Not only does Louise create a memorable character in Gemma, with that unique Australian charm, but also weaves an effortlessly beautiful setting. It was a wrench to come back to reality!

I would recommend this book with a good drop of red, some candles and no interruptions please! Am looking forward to Louise’s next release with anticipation.

Yours,

Dana x