Jan 23, 2017

How I met the LoveCats by Amy Andrews



The other day I was looking at the LoveCat’s blog header and remembering how I met each of the cats. It’s weird because I probably met most of them “online” before I actually ever met them in real life! But for sure we all eventually met through various Romance Writer’s of Australia functions over the years and I'm honoured and humbled to be in their tribe. The funny thing is I can really only remember clearly (or semi-clearly anyway) how I met three out of the thirteen. But I thought it might be fun to share a little snippet of what I do remember of each of the cats because, I don’t know about you, but I love hearing about how people met and not just men and women! I've even managed to dig up photos of almost all of us.

It will be interesting to see which of the cats has a differing memory because honestly, all these recollections could be wrong. I have a memory like a seive….

Rachael Bailey – I actually don’t remember which conference was the precise one in which we met, all I do know is that in about half an hour of meeting her, I’d agreed to be on the RWA committee… She’s sneaky like that, you gotta watch her!

Awww, aren't we sweet?


Bronwyn Jameson – it was actually at a Harlequin dinner during one of the conferences where I first met Bron. I remember chatting to her at one point, crouched down beside her chair. At some stage during that evening I lost one of my earrings, it was a dangly thing, not expensive but my favourite at the time. I looked for it but couldn’t find it. The next morning Bron tracked me down and gave it back to me – it had fallen into her coat pocket while we were talking.

I know I must have a pic with just Bron and I but I couldn't find one but Jen always makes a picture better!


Ally Blake – Ally and I were picked up by Harlequin at about the same time. She was registering at the conference desk the same time I was at our first conference since being signed. She had these amazing red-gold ringlets and, I cannot tell a lie, I developed a huge girl crush on her. Imagine my surprise to find the next day that she actually had straight hair!

See? Ringlets! Girl crusssssh!


Now for some memories with the others……

Michelle and Annie – you know, I don’t remember formally meeting either of these women but I feel like they’ve just always been in my circle. Michelle and I are scarily alike in many ways it’s almost like we were separated at birth and for sure, after every conference there’s going to be a 2am pic of us that is not very flattering…..I remember attending a couple of early Harlequin functions with Annie where I met her lovely hubby but the moment of introduction….I’m just not sure. 

Annie and I at one of those early Harlequin functions with Robbie Grady and Lisa Chaplin


This was breakfast at the Windsor, the morning after the last Melbourne conference. Because why not?

The most recent Harlequin do - haven't aged a bit.....

One of those 2 am shots.....


Sue and Louisa – my fellow medical authors. You know, I’m not sure which conference we met at, but I know it was in the bar 😊 I think it was Sydney but there have been many bar meetings since then!  And then they took me under their wing at the Auckland 2011 conference which will be forever seared into my brain because of the tragic loss of Harlequin author Sandra Hyatt who fell ill during the event. I've also hooked up with Louisa in New York in 2015!

Louisa and I with some other medical authors in NYC!


Melanie – I think we first met at a Harlequin author dinner too but again, I don’t remember where or when. Or maybe it was a medical author dinner…I do remember being utterly impressed by Melanie’s dedication to her craft and remember hoping that I could grow up to be like her 😍

Not a great shot of either of us I'm afraid.....we weren't drunk, I promise.

Helen and Kandy – again, I think I’ve known these two via osmosis for such a long time. Always at the same conferences together, hell, last year Kandy and I were on the same flight home from NY together in 2015 😎 Have looked high and low for pics but alas.....


Jen – she’s probably going to kill me for not remembering our exact meeting…it seems like I’ve always know her too. I think she introduced herself to me at a conference….I do know that Rach and I tag teamed to recruit her onto the RWA executive. I told you, you had to watch out for that Rachel Bailey 😊

Okay, I think we were probably a little tipsy in this pic...
 

Stef – I think Stef and I have only physically met once. Correct me if I’m wrong Stef…and that was in New York! I think most of our correspondence has been online but I think she’s coming to the Brisbane conference this year so we’re going to have to get a drink or two together Ms London for makeup tips if nothing else!


Stef and I with some fellow authors in NYC!
Another Love Cat pic with a ring in!

















Five out of the six of us LoveCats at a conference somewhere...the lovely Sharon Archer one of our cats in the wild!



So there you have it. My recollections – patchy and imperfect as they are! I’m sure the cats are going to come on and completely correct me 💗

What about you? I’d love to hear about how you met one of your really good friends.




Jan 22, 2017

Sunday Smooch with Amy Andrews

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!


Today we have a smooch from Amy Andrews but first ....... the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is  Helen Sibbritt!  

Helen can you please contact bronwynjameson (at) gmail (dot) come to receive your prize!











And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Playing the Player........


https://www.amazon.com/Playing-Player-Sydney-Smoke-Rugby-ebook/dp/B01N325A58


After a long history with crappy guys, high school teacher Em Newman is going man-vegan. Four months of revirginization has opened her eyes to her doormat imitation but, baby’s got spine now, and some smooth-talking—even if he is sinfully hot—rugby player, won’t be adding her as a notch anytime soon.

Lincoln Quinn loves rugby, women, and poker. And he likes to win at all three. When his team mates bet him he can’t break through Em’s resolve, he’s more than up for the challenge. But this lady has a shoebox of stipulations before she’ll even go on a date with him, much less use that mouth for kissing instead of giving orders.

Something’s gotta give but this time Em’s not settling. And Linc’s questioning everything he ever knew about matters of the heart.



Em and Linc have just been to the wedding of Dex and Harper. They didn't go together but she's a little tipsy on booze and migraine pills and he's offered her a lift home. During their drive they've discussed why nothing is going to happen between them because Em is done with players and because Linc doesn't take advantage of inebriated women. After a couple of attempts to get out of his low, low car in her high, high stillettos, he's removed them for her so she doesn't break her neck and decided he'd better walk her to her front door as well.



“Come on.” He reached for her elbow again. “I’ll walk you to your door.”
            She didn’t argue this time. She figured his car was probably difficult enough to get out of sober, so she allowed him to help her out and guide her down the path. She didn’t notice the cold cement beneath her bare feet, conscious as she was of his hand on her bare arm, of the brush of his sleeve against her shoulder, and the occasional bump of their hips.
She was glad the distance was short because her resolve to go inside alone was weakening by the second. Ever since he’d mentioned kissing she could think of little else.
Oh, that’s right, she was the one who’d mentioned kissing.
            Em turned as she mounted the one step that formed a small alcove to her recessed front door. He stayed on the path, but he was well within touching distance. The overhead light shone directly on his head, spilling golden rays over his blond hair and making the snowy white of his expensive shirt glow. The open collar and the dangling tails of his bow tie added a whole extra dollop of sexy.
He was simply dazzling, and Em’s pulse fluttered madly at the sight of him.
Green. His eyes were a pale green.
“Thank you for the lift. And for the hand out of your ridiculously low car and your assistance to my door. And for not making a move on me.”
            “It was my pleasure. Or, you know”—he grinned and shoved his hands in his pockets—“not, as the case may be.”
Em grinned back, momentarily awed by the way his face moved in perfect combination to create such utter masculine beauty. It was hard to believe it was regularly driven into the dirt in the name of sport. She half expected to see a little fake sparkle shining from one of his front teeth like a toothpaste commercial.
Standing here smiling at each other like idiots under her front porch light, Em thought maybe they could actually be friends. She’d never had a guy friend, due to the whole desperately seeking daddy thing that had been occupying her psyche for far too long. It could be kinda cool, and Harper would like it. But then his gaze dropped to her breasts. And lingered.
Nope. Definitely not friends.
“You should go in. You’re cold.”
            He could have been referring to the goose bumps on her arms, but he wasn’t staring at her arms. He was staring at her fripples, twin headlights beaming at him, the tight points almost painful against the fabric of her bra. Those green eyes widened at the sight, the small dark blobs of his pupils dilating slightly. She might still be a little tipsy, but she knew lust when she saw it.
And just like that, she was back to wanting him.
Friends? She could never be friends with Lincoln Quinn. She was always going to want to tear his clothes off.
Damned if that didn’t send a frenzy of signals to all her good places. A flood of heat erupted from her pelvis and flashed like wildfire through her system. Her heart beat drummed through her head and throbbed between her legs—the perfect duff duff beat for her vagina party.
Em couldn’t ever remember wanting a man like this.
“Oh, screw it,” she muttered to herself, dropping her clutch, phone,  shoes, and wrap in a messy, noisy heap as she took a step forward, rose on her tiptoes, slid her arms around his neck, and pressed her mouth to his.
            She didn’t know what to expect. There hadn’t been a plan, like so often when she kissed a guy.
Hell, she wasn’t thinking logically.
She just...wanted. Desired. Needed. Like a drink of water for a parched throat. Or a blast of oxygen to deprived lungs.
But Lincoln seemed to know what to do, opening to her straight away on a groan that vibrated through her belly, his hands sliding around her waist and pulling her closer.
He tasted like wedding cake and every bad thing she’d been denying herself. She had four months of pent up lust vibrating inside her, and she was giving it all to him.
Suddenly, though, he was tearing his mouth away, shaking his head. “Okay, wait,” he panted, pressing his forehead to hers. “Wait.”
Em sucked air in and out of her lungs, confusion muddying her thoughts. Her heart hammered against her ribs like it was trying to get out.
Wait?
“We really shouldn’t be doing this,” he whispered, his voice low and throaty, the light green of his eyes practically swallowed up by the dilation of his pupils.
He was right. They shouldn’t be. They should stop. If they didn’t, she was going to hate herself in the morning for her lack of control.
“I know,” she said huskily, trying to clear her head, trying to resist temptation, but failing as her hips moved restlessly against him. “I know,” she repeated.
But maybe, just for now, they could...







For a chance to *win a digital copy of Playing the Player (must have an Amazon account) leave an answer to the following question in the comments and yes, it may make us all blush a little so fair warning....

I think this is the first book - and I've written 60+!! - where I've actually used the anatomically correct name for the errr.....lady parts. I almost didn't. And then I thought - why not? Half of the world has one and it fitted perfectly into the sceneBut do "real" words drag you out of a book? Lets face it, they're not pretty words, right so is it an ewwwww moment? Would you rather read soft euphemisms or just have genitalia (another unpretty word) mentioned through implication rather than direct language?


*The winner will be gifted a copy after the Jan 30th release date!


Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced and another smooch will be posted!



Smooch Graphic by WebWeaver

Jan 16, 2017

Stefanie London's Favourite Podcasts

In the last twelve months I've really gotten into podcasts. They help me while away the hours while I'm doing housework, cooking dinner, sitting on the subway or working out at the gym.

The thing I love about podcasts is that there are so many types - if there's a topic you're interested in, then there will be a podcast covering that subject.

Here are a few of my personal faves:

True Crime - this is probably my favourite topic for podcasts. There are tons of options in this category!

Serial - the first true crime podcast to real gain momentum. This follows a case per season set-up, with the first season covering the high profile case of Adnan Syed's murder conviction.

Criminal - this podcast takes one case per episode and explores all types of crimes. The episodes are a short but perfect for quick commutes to and from work.

Casefile - similar to Criminal in that it takes a case per episode (for the most part), but the host is Australian and many of the cases are Australian cases.

Writing/Publishing:

Self-Publishing Formula - Host by Mark Dawson, an experienced indie publisher, and James Blatch, who is getting his first novel written and ready for market. Together Mark and James talk to some of the biggest names in the industry bringing you actionable tips and ideas from across the spectrum.

Sell More Books Show - a weekly podcast focusing on helping new and experienced authors stay up-to-date with the latest self-publishing and indie news, tools and book selling/marketing strategies.

Other:

Death Sex & Money - A podcast about the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation. A great look at people, our hangups and modern society.

Stuff You Should Know - A podcast about everything! The Stuff You Should Know team cover everything from genes to the Galapagos, the Great Wall of China to frostbite and everything in between.

Are you a podcast fan? Let me some of your faves in the comments. if not, what do you like listening to while whiling away travel time or housework?

Jan 15, 2017

A Vintage Sunday Smooch with Bronwyn Jameson


Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a vintage smooch from way back in 2001, from In Bed With the Boss's Daughter by Bronwyn Jameson, one of the books listed in the Summer of Romance research project featured in a recent Rachel Bailey post.  But first ...

... the winner of our last Sunday Smooch Giveaway, from before we took a smooch-free break over Christmas and New Year, is Donamae Kutsa.  


Donamae, can you please contact Kandy (AT) KandyShepherd (DOT) com to receive your copy of Heart of the Bay.

And now for today's Sunday Smooch.



In Bed With the Boss’s Daughter

Corporate tough guy Jack Manning hadn’t laid eyes on Paris Grantham, his boss’s daughter, since the night he’d refused her invitation to take her virginity.

Six years later, the former innocent carried her pedigree like a shield—and was fighting her way into his world of billion-dollar deals. He’d sworn off loving this woman years ago...yet how badly he ached for her.

Scene set-up:
Jack has been manipulated into working with Paris, teaching her the ropes in her father’s property development empire. Jack is determined to keep her – and his desire for her – at arm’s length. This day he’s escaped to the corporate gym but Paris tracks him down, impatient that he’s been avoiding her and the obvious chemistry between them.

Smooch:

He snatched up a weight and started a set of bicep curls. Curl, release, three. Curl, release, four. “I thought you wanted to talk,” he bit out. Curl, release, five. When she didn’t answer, he made the mistake of glancing up and found her attention fixed on his arm, her focus hazy, her lips softly parted.

“Hell, Paris, I told you not to look at me like that.” He slammed the weight back into the rack, breathing harshly as he battled the tight, hard clutch of desire. “What is it you want to talk about? I have to be out of here in five minutes.”

“Of course.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Eyes narrowed, hands on hips, he dared her to take issue. “Come on. Spit it out, princess.”

She almost did; Jack saw the instant she changed her mind. The almost imperceptible shake of her head, the compressed lips, as if she’d bitten down on the words. The movement of her throat as she swallowed them. She straightened. “Maybe this isn’t a good time.”

“No?”

She took a step backward. Jack followed. It wasn’t rational, it wasn’t smart, but he couldn’t stop himself. He ached for an argument, a release from the hot roiling restlessness that had driven him to the gym. He’d hoped to pound it out of himself on the bag and maybe he would have succeeded. If she hadn’t shown up.

“Running away again?” he asked as she continued to backpedal. He was still one step from reaching her when she tripped. In slow motion he saw her flailing arms, heard her startled breath, felt the grab of her hands as she tumbled backward over the edge of the bench, dragging him down with her.

They hit the floor hard. The dull sound of the impact throbbed in his head as he attempted to fill his winded lungs. Somehow he’d managed to end on the floor side of their tangled bodies. And despite the ringing in his ears and the elbow planted in his abdomen, he was instantly aware of the leg nestled between his. The soft weight of her breasts against his chest.

“Are you all right?” she asked. And when she scrambled off him, both the heavy silk of her hair and her stockinged leg dragged against his skin. He was not all right.  Eyes closed, he groaned in response to the dual-edged torture.

“I’m sorry. You took all my weight and I’m no lightweight. Did I hurt you?”

He felt her moving, heard the soft rustle of her clothing as she sat up. And then, God help him, she was touching him. Her hands skimmed across his shoulders, up his neck, over his skull. Another hoarse sound, part pleasure and part pain, tore from deep in his chest.

“I did hurt you!”

Constantly. I hurt constantly.

“Where?” As her fingers probed further around the back of his head, she must have leaned forward. He felt the brush of her jacket against his arm, the whisper of her breath on his face. He inhaled her soft scent until his senses overflowed, and then he opened his eyes and looked directly into hers. The concern in their woodsmoke depths caused something to squeeze tight in his chest, then to unfurl slowly, as if releasing him.

“Everywhere,” he replied simply. Whatever she read in his answer or his eyes caused her lips to part on a barely audible “Oh.” Then, “Would you like me to kiss it better?”

Her throaty tone resonated through his body, marking every spot he wanted kissed.

“Here?” she whispered, feathering her lips against his chin. Then she opened her sweet mouth against his skin and branded him with the delicate slide of her tongue.

Oh man, had he really been avoiding this?

Her mouth lifted, and she traced a gentle fingertip across the bump on his nose. “How did you do this?”

“I walked into a steel girder.”

“Silly you.” She smiled.

“Silly me,” he echoed as he slid his hand under the fall of hair that curtained their faces. Gently but insistently he pulled her mouth down to his.

It was nothing like their first kiss, rough with anger and disappointment, yet her mouth seemed familiar, and absolutely perfect under his. He couldn’t describe the complexity of emotions tumbling through him as he tasted the smile on her lips, but he knew whatever he felt transcended physical need. And as he increased his pressure on her nape, he embraced it with all his being.



Hello, Bronwyn here, thinking about avoidance and how futile it can be (as Jack discovered in the above scene.)  I've been avoiding a really tricky (emotional) scene in my work-in-progress and writing all around it.  Futile, right, as I know it must be done.

Is there something you've been avoiding lately?   Come on, 'fess up.  I'll be selecting one winner from the comments who can choose a copy of my book (in a duo) or a $5 Amazon gift card.


Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway -- a copy of Bronwyn Jameson's Bestseller Collection containing In Bed With the Boss's Daughter and Addicted to Nick -- will be announced and a smooch from Amy Andrews'  brand new Playing the Player will be posted!


Smooch Graphic by WebWeaver