Thursday, 28 August 2014

My Humble Little Blog Has Been Nominated for a Liebster! 

The last two weeks I've been sick in bed with the flu, so poor old blog got neglected. But, here I am—nearly recovered—and ready to post. 
About a month ago, my good friend—and best selling author—Lindsay J Pryor, nominated me for the Liebster Award. It's designated to help bloggers/readers find new blogs by nominating my favourite ones. 
Thanks for nominating me, Linds. I'm finally doing it! 
To participate, you have to:
1. Display the Liebster Award Logo on your blog (check)
2. Link back to the person who nominated you (check)
3. Answer the ten questions they have posed
4. Create ten questions of your own
5. Choose your own nominations to continue the torture… err fun.
Well, here goes - 

1) What attracts you to paranormal romance?
There's far more scope for the imagination, besides the spooky, gothic aspects of PNR. I've always been fascinated by the darker aide of human nature, those hidden elements that can either strengthen a character or destroy them. To me, paranormal romance is like a fairytale for grown-ups. And who doesn't like fairytales? (Yes, I'm sure there are some who don't.)
2) What defines a great book?
Difficult question, because it's so subjective. What I might regard as the characteristics of a memorable book might not necessarily resonate with others. But to me, it has to be a compelling plot; sympathetic characters; gripping descriptions that make drag me into the author's world, and a hint of mystery. There are many great novels that do that for me. One of my favourites has to be The Lord of the Rings. Once I began to read, I couldn't put it down, so totally was I captivated by Tolkien's middle Earth and the brilliant assortment of characters in it. Yet I know of people who can barely get past the first five pages. It's a mystery *shrugs* 
3) What is the most meaningful object you have?
When I turned twenty-one, I inherited a beautiful gold, chain bracelet from my mother. She in turn had inherited it from her mother—my Babi (Czech for grandma)—who had received it as a gift from my grandfather. There's quite a history to it, as my grandfather bought it in Prague in the 1930s. It survived WWII and the Nazi occupation of (then) Czechoslovakia; a midnight run from a communist takeover in 1948, and my family's immigration, by ship, to Australia. It also survived my childhood, since Mum used to let me try it on and play with it.
4) A cityscape or a rural/coastal view – which do you prefer?

Coastal view. I escaped from the city three years ago, happily swapping a view of Sydney rooftops for a tree-covered hilltop, and a seven-minute drive to the beach.
5) Describe the true meaning of a hero/heroine.
To me, it's someone who willingly places the good of others before themselves. Not the so-called sporting heroes who triumph only for their own glory, but those people who give of themselves, often with no expectation of a reward. They give their time, efforts and even their lives. These are the true heroes.
6) What sends your irritation levels to dizzying heights?
Rudeness and injustice. That's why I dislike going shopping, and watching the News.
7) What makes you happy?
So many things. To narrow it down, though, I'd say knowing my family is safe and healthy, and that I am loved by God through my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. There's a security in that like no other. How could I not be happy?
8) I’m not going to tell you where you’re going or what you’re doing, but you can only pack three things in a suitcase. What are they?
My Bible (because the battery would run out on my iPhone and kindle, if you chose a desert island), my favourite pair of jeans (with my toothbrush stuck in the back pocket) and good walking shoes.
9) You write. Why?
I breathe. There's no alternative.
10) You are given the task of changing the ending to a well-known fairytale. Which one do you chose and what would the altered outcome be? Explain why.
I never liked the ending of Hansel and Gretel. The poor witch got chucked in the oven, but it was the two juveniles who were eating her house! I'd have her feed them a potion, transforming them into two little pigs, and send them to the Big Bad Wolf.

And if anyone else wants to answer any of the above questions, feel free to join in! :-)
I'm done! Now to hand over the Liebster Award to fellow authors and pnr/urban fantasy fans, but ladies, only do this if you have the time.
Here are my questions … 
1.   Why did you choose your particular genre to write?
2.   If you had the chance, would you live in your created world? 
3.   Who is your favourite paranormal/fantasy character?
4.   Would you prefer to live in a) cottage b) fairytale castle c) gypsy caravan?
5.   If you could interview any famous person, who would it be?
6.   Name the actor you'd like to portray you if a movie were ever made of your life.
7.   You're going on a mystery flight. Where do it doesn't land?
8.   You're faced with three doors. One is labelled 'Adventure', the other 'Romance' and the last 'Danger'. Which one would you go through.
9.   Could you survive without a TV for a year?
10. If you received an offer from a film producer interested in making a movie from your book, but it meant it would be significantly altered, would you sign the contract?  
Have fun, everyone :-) 

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Meet Elizabeth Ellen Carter - My Guest Post

I don't often do these guest posts, but sometimes it's nice to showcase the work of an excellent author, and fellow Aussie. Today I'm thrilled to present historical romance novelist, Elizabeth Ellen Carter. Her  book, Moonstone Obsession, is set in one of my favourite periods of history—the late 18th century. It was the era of discovery; of Mozart; of the ideas of the Enlightenment and French Revolution; a time of danger and romance, and Elizabeth captures it all perfectly in her exciting novel.
So, without further ado, here's Elizabeth Ellen Carter—

1. Where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born in Liverpool, Sydney but my family moved to the Gold Coast when I was three months old. My father and grandfather came to Queensland to in the late 1960s work on the high rise buildings that Surfers Paradise is famous for.
2. What inspired you to start writing, and when?
I was quite lonely as a child, so I found my escape in reading books and when I was about 9 years old I decided to write my own adventure stories. It was a great way of spending a school holiday.
3. How many books have you written?  If more than one, are any a series…or trilogy?
I'm writing my third and have started research on my fourth! My first book, Moonstone Obsession was originally written as a stand alone, but my husband loved one of the supporting characters and asked that Lady Abigail Houghall get her own story. So I'm nearly finished Moonstone Conspiracy.
4. What is the name of your most recent book and please sum it up in 50 words or less.
My second book, Warrior's Surrender is going to be released on November 7. It is medieval romance.
Lady Alfreya of Tyrswick has returned to her family home after seven years in exile — not victorious as her dead father promised – but defeated by Baron Sebastian de la Croix, the Norman who rules her lands.
To save her gravely ill brother’s life, Alfreya offers herself hostage to her enemy.
Sebastian is a man with a secret – one that could destroy him.
Seven years earlier, he made the impetuous decision to spare the life of a Saxon Earl and his family – the act brands him a traitor, even now.
For Alfreya’s protection and his, Sebastian makes another impetuous proposal just as a new threat emerges.
5. If you gave one of your characters in any of your books an opportunity to speak for themselves outside the realm of the story, what would they say?
I am really loving Lady Abigail Houghall - she is such a vixen but she has a heart of gold. She's fabulous and flawed.
She would annoy people by telling them to suck it up and get on with life.
6. What books or authors have influenced your writing the most?
I read history and science quite extensively as well as romance, so two authors who have been the most influential are Agatha Christie and Rebecca Brandewyne who wrote the first historical romance I read, Rose of Rapture back in the late 1980s.
8. Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?
Yes! Oh... that question was supposed to be multiple choice?
10. Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version?
I preferred the film version of The Thin Man (1934) with Myrna Loy and William Powell over the original book by Dashiell Hammet.
11. What book are you currently reading and in what format (ebook/paperback/hardcover)?
Engaging The Enemy by my wonderful author friend Susanne Bellamy!
17. What are your pet peeves?
Rudeness. That's about it really. Everything else I tend to go with the flow.
18. What are your favorite food and beverage?
Red wine and Chocolate (and not necessarily in that order!)
19. Do you write outside of your favorite genre? Why?
I haven't but I'd like to. I would love to work on a crime fiction series with my husband when I get the chance. I have an idea for a techno thriller and a couple of traditional ghost stories. My romance stories tend to be epics, so I think my other stories might be short stories I write between edits of the longer stories.
20. In your case, how many hours do you devote to research and writing per day?
I work full time, but I try to devote about four hours each day to researching and writing. I have a pretty good broad knowledge of history, so I have a strong starting point but I have to fill in strong historical details along the way.
22. Your thoughts on receiving book reviews – the good and the bad.
I've been fortunate not to have had a bad review (knock wood), but as a former newspaper journalist, I've received my share of knockers. My favourite was a fervid three page letter from a Prince fan who was upset because I gave a review of Under The Cherry Moon 1-star.
23. Where is one place in the world that you would really love to visit someday?
Only one place? If it could only be one place, it would have to be England because I've set most of my stories there.
24. One of your favorite quotes -
"If you want to be a good writer, then read good writing." CS Lewis.
25. List 3 books you just recently read and would recommend?
The Go-Between by LP Hartley
Claiming The Rebel's Heart by Alison Stuart
Engaging The Enemy by Susanne Bellamy
26. List 3 of your favorite movies?
The Thin Man - I can watch this film and its sequels every year
Die Hard - one of my favourite Christmas movies
The Women - The dialogue is amazing. It's worth viewing twice in succession. And I mean the 1939 film version not that awful Diane Keaton one from 2008, that was a shocker.
29. What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a writing career?
Write, and write some more. Don't be discouraged. Read and read some more. Deconstruct the book, work out what elements make you love it so much. Why does it emotionally resonate? How is it structured? How is the story told?
And lastly, where can your readers stalk you?

Is your book in Print, ebook or both? Both

Friday, 8 August 2014

Bloodpledge Blog Tour with Chick Lit Plus.

The second book in my Dantonville Legacy series, Bloodpledge, is on another exciting blog tour. The lovely ladies at Chick Lit Plus are hosting it the whole of August, with interviews, book excerpts and reviews. They're also running a rafflecopter to give readers a chance to WIN an Amazon Gift Voucher.
What are you waiting for? Go for it :-) a Rafflecopter giveaway