Nov 25, 2015

Welcome to my rose garden

Welcome to my rose garden

November is my favourite time in my farm garden because it’s when the roses are at their blooming brilliant best. Right now we have hundreds of glorious roses wherever we look. The scent wafts all around the garden and into the house. I thought I’d share a few photos with you.

This gorgeous David Austin rose is a favourite.

 The climate in our part of the Blue Mountains is very favourable to roses—lots of sun, not too humid, cold winter (cold by Australian standards, that is!)
Most of the roses were already in place when we bought the place, planted by the lovely previous owner, but we’ve added some favourites as well.

This is Zepherine Drouan and it has the most glorious scent

 When we moved in more than eleven years ago, my darling husband wasn’t all that interested in gardening. But he really fell for the roses. He does most of the work these days, pruning, weeding, feeding.  Roses are known as “gross feeders”, needing lots of fertilizer. That’s where our horses and little bulls contribute! I just pick the flowers and put them in the vase—lucky me! 

Pink roses are probably my favourite

My August release from Harlequin Romance, Hired by the Brooding Billionaire was set in a beautiful, neglected garden. It was one of my favourite books to write! 

My other favourite story (because it has a cat in it!) is my contribution, Millionaire Under the Mistletoe, to the LoveCats fabulous boxed set Hot Christmas Nights to be released on December 1. These stories are fabulous—each so different I couldn't pick a favourite. There's a lot of romantic Christmas reading there for just $0.99. It's up on Amazon for pre-order now!

All ready to take inside!

Are you a rose lover? Do you have a favourite flower? A green thumb or one that’s a tad brown around the edges?

Nov 23, 2015

Film Review - loving and hating on "The Dressmaker".

I want to talk to you about a film that I saw and loved, loved, loved recently. I loved it almost as much as I hated it and am torn between recommending it and warning people who have romance in their heart and soul to never ever ever see it because it will break you.

Sounds complicated right? Well, it is.

Firstly, here's the trailer -

So here are the pluses -
  1. A half naked Liam Hemsworth - an easy rec there, right? Check.
  2. A magnificent Judy Davis playing the role of hag. Check. 
  3. Kate Winslet doing a pretty good Aussie (IMHO). Check. 
  4. Amazing outback scenery that is so incredibly rich and incredibly accurate. Check.
  5. Fashion to make you swoon. Check.
  6. An Australian film that is delightfully understated and yet not. Check.
  7. Quirk central. Check.

BUT. And this is a very big but. A couple of things happen in quick succession about half way through (no spoliers, although one wasn't entirely unexpected) that left me so bloody outraged I almost walked out of the cinema. Seriously, I was soooo close.

"No, no, no! How can they do this?" I wailed to my movie companion. I was soooo angry. Furious! Incensed! I've never read the book but I figured it had stayed fairly true to the story here (a fact later confirmed) and if the author had been in the cinema I think I may just have......I dont know...slapped her? Certainly demanded she go back to her computer and make it right because if I'd been reading it this is the place I would have thrown the book against the wall!

But, here's the thing, the ending was so brilliantly, magnificently vengeful (I was cheering so hard) that, as a storyteller, I knew I couldn't have one without the other. If the awful stuff in the middle hadn't happened, the ending would have been very different and the movie would have been the poorer. And it wasn't until I got to the end that I realised how subtle the layering of the plot and the intertwining of the threads actually is. The author/scriptwriter weaved them altogether with such a goassamer hand I want to go back and see it again to pick up on all the gorgeous subtlety.

So yeh....complicated. I've never been so torn by a movie. Ever.

My overall thoughts? I laughed. I cried. Man did I cry. Buckets of tears. But I cheered also. Hands down one of the best endings ever. Should you go see it? The romance writer in me wants to say no but it was so damn good I find myself recommending it despite myself.  I know its only on a limited release outside Australia but if you're after something quirky and funny and different that's heart wrenching and delightfully, spitefully uplifting all in one I think it's worth a look.

Oh, and did I mention a half-naked Liam Hemsworth?

Have you seen The Dressmaker? Did you like it, love it, hate it? Would you recommend it? Ever seen a film where you wanted to walk out halfway through because it was just so damn crushing?

PS -  All my Outback Heat series is now out in the world. They can be purchased at Amazon for $2.99 each and should be across all digital platforms soon!

Nov 22, 2015

Sunday Smooch with Yvonne Lindsay

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from  Yvonne Lindsay but first 

... the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is  


Can you please contact  stefanie (at) stefanie - london (dot) com  to receive your copy of A DANGEROUSLY SEXY CHRISTMAS.

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Yvonne Lindsay! (Available for pre-order from Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Harlequin stockists online and near you!)

A sexy Texan has the holidays to decide: close the deal or open his heart? Only from USA TODAY bestselling author Yvonne Lindsay! 

Royal, Texas, native Nolan Dane's homecoming is bittersweet—he'd once lost everything here. But he's eager to finalize a key real estate deal for his mysterious boss by Christmas—even if making it happen means cozying up to local shop owner Raina Patterson. Falling for the beautiful single mom isn't part of the plan. But when Nolan's secrets catch up with him, he realizes his true feelings for Raina run deep. Now, can he prove he's worthy of her—before it's too late?

Single mother, Raina Patterson, doesn't want to make a mistake again, not like the last time. She's slow to trust and has resisted Nolan's efforts to take her out but one day she can resist him no longer...

Their drive back to her house was done in a companionable silence and once they got there, Nolan walked Raina up the path to her front door. Haloed by the porch light, she looked like a beautiful angel but his thoughts and intentions toward her were anything but angelic.

“Thank you for this evening,” Raina said. “I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed adult conversation and company.”

There was a smile on her face that was a wistful and it sent a pang to Nolan’s chest. He could imagine she had little enough time to herself, let alone to share with another person.

“It was absolutely my pleasure.”

Afterward he couldn’t be certain who had made the first move. But it didn’t matter one bit. His senses filled with her—her scent, her taste, the feel of her in his arms and above all else, the beauty of her kiss. A sense of rightness filled him as their lips met, as his hand lifted to thread through her hair and to cup the back of her head. Inside him a knot began to unravel and he knew, in that moment, that he wanted Raina in his life. That he could finally begin to let go of the pain of the past that had kept him in emotional isolation.

He traced the softness of her lips with his tongue as they parted beneath him. Desire unfurled through his body, doubling on itself until it consumed his thoughts. When Raina’s hands pushed through his hair and held him to her, he knew she felt the same. She pressed her body against his and heat flared between them.

Nolan deepened their kiss. His tongue probed her mouth and she responded in kind. A shudder of need pummeled him and he felt an echoing tremor from her.

Overhead the light flicked off and then on again.

He felt Raina pull away. Her lips were swollen and curved into a grin.

“I can’t believe this. My father is obviously letting me know it’s time for me to come inside.” She gave a half-embarrassed giggle before leaning forward to kiss Nolan sweetly, and all too swiftly, on his lips. “I’m sorry. I’d better go in before he comes out with a shot gun.”

“You’re kidding about the shot gun, right?”

“Of course I am, but he’s very protective. Thank you again, Nolan. For everything.”

“We’ll see each other again,” he stated firmly.

“Yes, I’d like that.”


She nodded and laughed, her breath leaving a misty cloud in the air between them. “Yes, soon. How about Monday night? Dinner here, with JJ and me.”

“I’d really like that,” Nolan said. Even though every minute he’d spent with JJ so far reminded him all too much of all the things he’d missed out on with his own son, he enjoyed the little guy’s company and his simple enthusiasm for life. It was a poignant reminder that he needed to inject some of that enthusiasm back into his own. And maybe, just maybe, he needed to consider telling Raina about the wife and son he’d lost, too. “Monday, then.”

“Is six o’clock okay with you?”

“Perfect. I’ll be there. Can I bring anything?”

“Just yourself is fine. See you then.”

She turned, put her key in the lock and opened the front door. Then, with a small wave, she was gone from sight. Nolan shoved his hands in his pockets and jogged down the path to his car. He drove back to the hotel, his mind only half on what he was doing while the other half raced ahead and churned over a million different thoughts.

Sleep would be a long time coming tonight. He hadn’t expected anything like this when he’d returned to Royal. Hadn’t wanted it. He’d been meticulous about his relationships in the past and particularly about avoiding any emotional entanglements. But somehow this attraction had found him and lodged itself within the gaping hole of loneliness he had come to accept as being as much a part of him as every breath he took.

And it felt good. In fact, it felt better than good—it had brought back to life something he hadn’t experienced in far too long, hope—which left him between a rock and a hard place when it came to the job he was really here to do. Did he compromise his integrity and this fledgling relationship or should he focus on the role he was here to complete and then walk away at the end of his time here in Royal knowing he could be walking away from the best thing that had happened to him in a very long time?

I have to admit, I'm a bit of a "Bah, humbug!" type when it comes to Christmas. I haven't always been like that and I live in hope that some of the joy of Christmas will return to me one day, LOL! Whether I'll reach Christmas Fairy levels of joy will remain to be seen, however, but I'm curious...which are you? Scrooge or the Christmas Fairy? All comments will go into a draw for one lucky winner to receive a signed copy of LONE STAR HOLIDAY PROPOSAL!

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced and a smooch from the ever-gorgeous and vivacious Louisa George will be posted!

Smooch Graphic by WebWeaver

Nov 20, 2015

A little celebration.....

I'm having a little celebration this's five years ago today that I got the call from my agent to say that Harlequin wanted to buy my book. It was a long road to publication....eighteen rejections over twenty three years, but that day I forgot about how hard it had been. I'd sold my book!

As I finish writing my tenth contracted book for Harlequin Special Edition, I think about how lucky I have been and the wonderful author friends I've made along the way, and how blessed I've been to have connected with readers all over the world.

I've also been fortunate to be part of the new LoveCats Box Set called Hot Christmas Nights. Seven authors, seven brand new novellas. Available for Pre-order here....

There are many milestones in our lives - birthdays, weddings, anniversaries...and for an author, selling that first book and/or seeing that first book on the shelf.
Are there any milestones you like to celebrate? Do you have a big birthday coming up? An anniversary?

Leave a comment and I will draw one winner to receive any book from my backlist (Including my January 2016 release Three Reasons To Wed)
Happy reading!

Nov 18, 2015

Where Do You Find Your Inspiration?

I've long been a fan of inspirational quotes, especially the ones that make me want to be a better version of myself. Still, I guess that's a lot of what inspirational quotes are about, right?

I think Johann Wolfgang von Goethe had the right idea when he said:

~~Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.

Says it all, really. And this one, also from von Goethe, which I feel really speaks to core values and being true to those in whatever you do. :

~~Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.

Some others that I love:

~~A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the brance but on its own wings. Always believe in yourself. -- Unknown

~~One day your heart will stop beating, and none of your fears will matter. What will matter is how you lived. -- Henri Junttila

~~Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength. -- Corrie Ten Boom

~~You can't live a positive life with a negative mind. -- Unknown

And perhaps more pertinent to the tragedy that bombards us in the news every day:

~~Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace. -- Dalai Lama

What about you? Do you have a favourite quote or verse
that drives you through the day? Or maybe you have a bunch of them? C'mon and share the inspiration!

Nov 16, 2015


We're very excited to be able to share our adorable cover for the Hot Christmas Nights LoveCats BoxSet...

Drum roll, please.....

Isn't it gorgeous?

And here is the sparkly Boxset 3D version.....

We are also delighted to announce that the boxset is now live on AMAZON for pre-orders (out December 1st) and a snip at 99c (actually, it's currently showing at 71cents...that's for 7 brand new stories, folks!!)

Here's a reminder of the all the festive yummy goodness...guaranteed to make your Christmas very happy indeed:

Hot Christmas Nights (A LoveCats DownUnder box set) contains seven brand new holiday stories from award-winning, best-selling and rising star Australian and New Zealand authors. Whether you want to get caught in a summer storm, find a second chance at love or fall for your best friend—there’s a story here for you.
The stories in this box set range from sweet to sexy, and they’re all emotionally satisfying reads with a happy ever after.

All She Wants For Christmas by USA Today Best Seller, Rachel Bailey 
For Maddy to get the divorce she wants, she needs to confront her reclusive husband at his island home. But once she's there and secrets are revealed, will Maddy find that what she really wants for Christmas is something else entirely?

Christmas Wishes, New Year Kisses by Michelle Douglas 
For small town veterinarian Josh Halliday, fantasizing about his best friend is one thing. Falling in love with her is quite another…

Baby, It's Hot Outside by RITA nominee, Louisa George 
When rugged cop Daniel Wade agrees to help organize his friend's Christmas wedding it brings him face-to-face with the bridesmaid, his estranged wife. Emma is determined that divorce is on the cards, but sometimes all it takes is another chance to get things right...

Her Christmas Cowboy by Helen Lacey 
For city-girl Elyse Prescott, returning to her home town of Denary means one thing – facing every reason why she left….including Brett McCrane. Now Elyse has to make a choice - to go back to the city and her old life...or take a chance on love.

Sleigh Bells In The Sand by Stefanie London
American Neve Ritter has traveled all the way to Australia to avoid her family for the holidays. But her plans did not include accidentally breaking into the house of a hunky lawyer who’s looking for a little solitude of his own. When a summer storm traps them together, Neve realizes that maybe Santa has been listening to her wishes all along.

Millionaire Under The Mistletoe by Kandy Shepherd 
London-based chef Carly de Luca and Sydney millionaire Dylan Burke broke each other’s hearts four years ago—but old feelings reignite when she makes a surprise visit home for Christmas. Can Carly and Dylan let go of past hurts and take a second chance on love?

Her Small Town Christmas Wish by Jennifer St George 
When superstar songbird Giselle Harrington is forced to return her hometown, she’s faced with a house full of terrifying childhood memories. Jake Carlton has never forgot his teenage sweetheart and now that she’s back, he’s determined to have a second chance to convince her to stay.

Foreword by USA Today Bestselling author Amy Andrews

Here's that pre-order link again:  AMAZON

We're all very much looking forward to spending Christmas with our noses in lots of Christmas stories...what are you looking forward to?

Nov 15, 2015

Sunday Smooch with Stefanie London

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from  Stefanie London but first 

... the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is Pam Swain.

Can you please contact annie (at) annie-west (dot) com to receive your copy of 'RAFE'S REDEMPTION'.

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Stefanie London's latest Harlequin Blaze release, A Dangerously Sexy Christmas. 

Assignment: A Hot Holiday Affair! 

Aspiring jewelry designer Rose Lawson doesn’t want a bodyguard. Especially the hot, muscle-y one her father hires after a break-in at the jewelry shop where she works. It’s only when her home is also ransacked that Rose realizes the sexy (but infuriating) bodyguard might come in handy…especially on a cold winter’s night.

Max Ridgeway is a former Aussie cop who’s got something to prove in New York. He’s convinced that someone dangerous is behind the robberies and that Rose needs protection. His protection. But what’s even more dangerous is the sexy tension between them—because a hot little fling could compromise their lives…and his heart.

Set up: Given that this is a Harlequin/Mills & Boon Blaze book, it's on the spicy side! I had a hard time finding a scene that would be safe for public viewing ;)

Here, Rose has decided that she wants to deal with the tension between her and her very sexy, Aussie bodyguard, Max. And when Rose wants something, she always gets it...

“It’s my job to ensure your safety. That’s it.”

“You’re not on the clock now.” Her other hand found its way to his thigh.

God, he was so hard. His c*** strained against the zipper of his jeans, creating a solid ridge beneath the denim. If she brushed her hand just a little higher…

It had been so long since he’d had sex…months. Since he’d walked away from his job, his family and his fiancĂ©e, women had been few and far between. A one-night stand every so often, one fling that had lasted a week. No emotional involvement, no commitment, no expectations.

That was all he could fit into his life. Hell, it was all he could fit into his mind.

“Let’s distract ourselves.” She pressed her lips to his jaw.

Need ran through him, lighting up his body like a Christmas tree. “Rose,” he growled.

Her hands went straight to the knotted belt of her robe. The fabric parted to reveal paradise. Pale skin stretched out in sloping curves, the rise and fall of her breasts giving way to a smooth stomach, rounded hips and slender legs.

A scrap of pale lace covered her breasts, but did nothing to hide their beauty. Her nipples pressed through the fabric and he fought the urge to take one into his mouth.

“We need to deal with this sexual tension. It’s going to get in the way if we don’t.”

“What tension?” Had he been that obvious?

“I see the way you’ve been looking at me, Max.” She pushed up and straddled him. “You want me.”

Her thighs pinned him down, and it was all he could do not to buck up against her. She draped her arms over the back of the couch on either side of his head, her breasts inches from his mouth.

“I’m supposed to be working.” He tilted his face up to hers.

She lowered down and the heat of her made him groan, the anguished sound echoing in the quiet hotel room. She had him.

“Tell me you don’t want this.” She rolled her hips gently against his, increasing the pressure just enough to make spots dance in his vision. “I can feel that you want it.”

He knew it was wrong; it was totally against company policy to sleep with the client.

She’s not the client. What his bosses don’t know won’t hurt them…

“I want you, Max.” Her eyes were wide, blackened with arousal.

At the sound of his name on her lips his control shattered like glass against concrete. “I’m still not going to read you that bedtime story.”

“I can read on my own.” She reached for the hem of his T-shirt and tugged upward. “Or maybe I can read to you.”

Find Stefanie's books on:

Amazon US | Aus | UK | CA

A DANGEROUSLY SEXY CHRISTMAS  is the first book in a new series for Harlequin Blaze. 

To go into the draw to win a signed copy of the book, answer this question: 

What's your favourite holiday tradition? Doesn't have to be Christmas, if you don't celebrate it - I love hearing about all holidays!