Sep 2, 2015

"With a Song in My Heart!" Anna Campbell visits the LoveCats!

I've got lovely Anna Campbell to visit today to talk about her new e-book:
  • The Seduction of Lord Stone: The Dashing Widows Book 1.  
I've been lucky enough to read an advance copy of this marvellous story and I'm absolutely thrilled to say that Anna's giving away a download of this book to one lucky commenter!

For this reckless widow, love is the most dangerous game of all.

Caroline, Lady Beaumont, arrives in London seeking excitement after ten dreary years of marriage and an even drearier year of mourning. That means conquering society, dancing like there’s no tomorrow, and taking a lover to provide passion without promises. Promises, in this dashing widow’s dictionary, equal prison. So what is an adventurous lady to do when she loses her heart to a notorious rake who, for the first time in his life, wants forever?

Devilish Silas Nash, Viscount Stone is in love at last—with a beautiful, headstrong widow bent on playing the field. Worse, she’s enlisted his help to set her up with his disreputable best friend. No red-blooded man takes such a challenge lying down, and Silas schemes to seduce his darling into his arms, warm, willing and besotted. But will his passionate plots come undone against a woman determined to act the mistress, but never the wife?

Over to Anna...

Hi Love Cats! Hi in particular to my hostess today, the fabulous Sharon Archer! Thank you for having me as your guest today to talk about my new digital novella The Seduction of Lord Stone: The Dashing Widows Book 1. 

I know a lot of authors put together soundtracks for their books, with inspirational songs to get them into the writing mood. I don’t do that, although I do like to work with instrumental music playing – words put me off my game. 

But every so often a song pops up that acts as a theme for a character and I can’t get it out of my head. 

To give you an example, in Midnight’s Wild Passion (Avon 2011), the song that fitted the action was Muse’s Undisclosed Desires. If you’ve read that book, you’ll know that both the hero and heroine are living a lie in many ways. Only when they fall in love and give in to their “undisclosed desires” can they get their happy ending. 

The song fitting the story thing happened again recently while I was writing my new digital novella, The Seduction of Lord Stone. This is the first in my Dashing Widows series and it’s out 1st September from all good e-tailers at the bargain price of 99 cents.

Except, in TSOLS’s case, it was two songs. 

So here in musical terms is a description of what my hero and heroine need to resolve before they can walk off into the sunset together.

Beautiful, wayward, reckless Caroline, Lady Beaumont, in London for the season after a very dull year of mourning for a husband she didn’t love:
All I Wanna Do Is Have Some Fun – Sheryl Crow
Dashing, rakish, clever Silas Nash, Viscount Stone (yeah, he might find himself seduced somewhere in this story – hate to include spoilers!), patiently conducting a subtle courtship of his skittish beloved: 
When I Fall in Love, It Will Be Forever – Nat King Cole
You can see why Houston, we have a problem, can’t you? 

Whatever the case for my bewildered hero and heroine, the writer had some fun with this story, anyway. Silas is one of those heroes who just seems to get more and more entangled in disasters as he pursues Caroline, while she keeps dancing one step ahead of him. 

It was mean to laugh at his dilemmas – but I DID! 

Until, of course, he turns the tables on Caroline and catches her. Which is when I can promise you that Silas and Caroline BOTH have some fun! And yanno, there might just be some falling in love forever going on there too. So the two songs end up playing in perfect harmony! 
Anna and Sharon

Let’s talk favourite songs. Do you have one? Does it have any particular associations for you? I’ve got a download of The Seduction of Lord Stone (international) for one lucky commenter. 

You can read an excerpt from The Seduction of Lord Stone here: 

Buy links: 

You can visit Anna on social media:
  • and on Twitter: @AnnaCampbellOz

Aug 31, 2015

Release Day for Bidding on Her Boss

Tuesday is the 1st of September, and the release day for my second Hawke Brothers book, Bidding on Her Boss

And what's the most appropriate way to celebrate the release of a book about a florist? Why, a bunch of flowers of course! So my plan on Tuesday is to duck out and buy myself a lovely flower arrangement. 

But that begs a question: when you receive a bunch of flowers, either from the shop or handpicked, do you stuff them in a vase, or do you rearrange?

I'm a chronic rearranger. Though, if it's clearly an artistic arrangement in the first place, I try to make as few changes as possible and really only move them around a little to match the vase shape (after trimming the bottom of the stalks, naturally).

When I was researching Bidding on Her Boss, I watched a lot of clips on Youtube. (Well, I told myself it was important research. It might have been a little bit of me indulging a hobby...)

My heroine, Faith, is a florist who works in one of the Hawkes Blooms stores. Dylan Hawke is one of the three brothers who run the company, and Dylan's area of responsibility is the retail arm - the florist stores. So, you see, with all that flower action there was a very real need for me to keep watching these videos...

And it's possible that now I'm a little addicted to flower arrangement clips...

Of course now that Dylan and Faith's book is done and will be out in the world tomorrow (and the third brother's book, His 24-Hour Wife, will be out in October), I don't really have an excuse to keep watching them. Perhaps I need to write a new series about florists...

How about you - do you plop your flowers in the nearest jar of water, or do you have an urge to play? And most importantly, do you have any flower arrangement tips for me? I'd love to hear them! 

Florist Faith Crawford has a brilliant plan—win her company's CEO at a bachelor auction and use their "date" to show him her designs. But her plan backfires when the focus of their meeting shifts from flowers to a floor-tilting kiss. 

For Dylan Hawke, it's time for damage control. Promoting the talented Faith is a no-brainer, but fraternizing with her is strictly forbidden. Dylan must remain professional—the fate of his business rests in the balance. Too bad Dylan won't rest until he gets another kiss…

Aug 30, 2015

Sunday Smooch with Sue MacKay

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from Sue MacKay but first 

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

Can you please contact Jennifer St George  at to receive your copy of The Billionaire's Passionate Revenge.

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Reunited ... In Paris by Sue MacKay.


A second chance ...
When Dr. Tori Wells arrives to speak at a conference in France, she finally feels as if her dreams are coming true! Until her ex-husband, Dr. Ben Wells, turns up unexpectedly...
Ben might be a changed man after his pride nearly destroyed his career, but one thing certainly hasn't changed: the way Tori makes him feel.
Reunited in Paris, the city of love, Ben and Tori are forced to share the secrets that tore them apart seven years ago. Dare they take another chance on their future - together?

Coming soon: September

Scene set-up

Ben and Tori spent the night in hospital with their friend who's had a heart attack. Now they've gone back to their hotel for some much needed sleep and breakfast, except Ben fell asleep in Tori's room while waiting for breakfast to be delivered and Tori didn't have the heart to wake him.

Smooch  -

The alarm was harsh, the bleating phone worse. Tori blinked awake and reached first for the hotel phone. There was a weight around her waist. Warm and heavy, and comfortable. Familiar.

‘Merci,’ she muttered into the phone and hung up, slid her mobile phone alarm to off.

‘That went too fast,’ Ben growled in her ear.

Rolling over, Tori came face to face with him, and this time she did run her fingertips over his stubble-darkened chin. ‘You were asleep when I got back from Rita’s room.’

‘I was drinking coffee. How did I end up on your bed?’ he whispered. Then, ‘Who cares how? I’m here and I slept.’ His eyes held the rest of that sentence. With you.

Sort of with her. Ben still lay on the outside while the bedcover hid her body from sight. Her dressed-only-in-lingerie body. ‘You’re going to have to leave so I can get up.’

‘In a moment.’ His head was inches from hers. Those startling eyes watched her with an intensity that reached deep inside her. That mouth that could do the most amazing things on her skin looked soft after sleep. His arm was still on her waist, only now she was being pulled closer to his body. ‘I’ve missed you, Tori. I’ve missed us.’

‘We were great together.’ What was she talking about? Their lovemaking? Or everything? Their life, their love, everything.

‘Did we give up too easily?’ he whispered, just before his lips brushed her forehead, then trailed down her cheek to her mouth.

‘Ben,’ she cried softly against his mouth, and her lips opened, pressed against his. Ben. Benji. Her heart.

Their mouths became one, moulded together, while their tongues got reacquainted.

I remember this.

Ben pulled her closer still so there was only the bedcover between them. All the while they kissed. Her eyes were wide open, watching him, drinking in every line, each eyebrow hair, his eyes that were watching her back. Benji.

This was us.

Kissing Benji had always been her favourite way to start the day. His passion and love set her up and made her feel good. Like she was beginning to feel now. Warmth stole from their joined mouths, moved down to her breasts and the peaks that were tightening. Down to her stomach and beyond to that place that needed Ben, had missed him for so long, was moistening in readiness for him. Could they find the way back to each other? Right now anything seemed possible.

‘Hell.’ Ben pulled away and flopped onto his back. ‘Sorry.’

Author photo

Me on top of the Eiffel Tower. What an amazing experience.

Question - Do you believe in second chances ?
Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced and a smooch from Michelle Douglas will be posted!

Aug 28, 2015

Of conference, babies and other things.

When you read this I will be at the RWNZ conference in Auckland with other Lovecats - Louisa, Barbara and Yvonne. I can't wait to catch up with my writing friends and indulge in talking writing for three days.
I'm also looking forward to the Awards Dinner on Saturday night. Being the contest coordinator I have the wonderful job of announcing winners.
Then there's the Koru, RWNZ's acknowledgement of their published authors. Yvonne is a finalist twice, and I'm also one. This is the one contest I have no idea who's won so that will be fun.

Right now I need this weekend very much.
If I ever get my bag packed that is.
Chaos is reigning. Why can't I take 50kgs on the plane? There are loads of books to go up for the goodie bags, let alone those shoes and clothes.

The last few weeks in my family have been all over the show emotionally. We said good bye to a good friend.
BUT we also said hello to an absolute cutey. Our wee granddaughter arrived in a big hurry two weeks ago, not waiting for anyone. All the plans of phone calls and driving the five hour trip to be there to babysit went out the window. It didn't matter. Baby and mum are doing fine, baby putting on weight despite her small start, and mum trying not to put on any extra kgs.

Our two and a half year old grandson is not happy, blaming mummy for bringing this baby thing home. Hopefully he'll come round soon. How could he not? He wanted the baby's face covered for this photo. :)

I also sold my eighteenth book last week. Breaking All Their Rules will be out in March. So now it's back to writing the next one - if I can come up with a story line. My muse has gone on holiday at the moment - another reason to be looking forward to conference. Surely someone will inspire me? The Blenheim Writers group have all told me to take a couple of months off and focus on other things. I'm trying. :) I did not work on writing last weekend and stomped around the house trying to be busy with other things. Even got to know the vacuum cleaner. Scary.

Do you ever have weeks where everything is up, down, all over the show? How do you get back on track?

Aug 26, 2015

In the land of make believe…

Ever since I was a wee small thing, I’ve been attracted to places that don’t exist. Make believe worlds have always fascinated me. The thought of being whisked away to experience adventure and see beautiful things beyond the scope of the ordinary made me ache with longing.

I remember Peter Pan being read aloud to me as a tiny tot…and going to sleep hoping to wake up in Neverland.

I once stayed in the back of my grandmother’s wardrobe hoping to be whisked away to Narnia.

I formed an unbreakable attachment to Enid Blyton’s The Magic Faraway Tree as well as her Mallory Towers series. I wanted to climb The Magic Faraway Tree and have adventures (while eating honeypuffs with Moon-Face), and then race home to Mallory Towers (best boarding school in the world) to have midnight feasts with Darrell and Alicia.
Even now I’ll sometimes write fan fiction in my head where I have a starring role in Middle Earth. And Hogwarts. ;-)

Of course, not every town where I’ve set a book actually exists. And, yes, that also gives me a crazily special thrill. So you can imagine my delight when I was asked to be part of the Vineyards of Calanetti series. Monte Calanetti is a medieval village of cobbled streets in Tuscany with vineyards rolling up and down the adjoining hillsides. And you know what? I’ve discovered it’s even more fun creating a make-believe place with other people! Each of the eight of authors involved in the continuity all want to move there.

Here’s a couple of snippets describing Monte Calanetti:

The driveway in front of him stretched through an avenue of grapevines to a series of buildings in the distance. Grapevines stretched in every direction, up and down hillsides in neat ordered rows. They glowed green and golden in the spring sunshine and the warm scents and even warmer breeze tormented him with a holiday indolence he had no hope of assuming.

She led him through cool cobbled streets that wound through the town with a grace that seemed to belong to a bygone age. He found himself entranced with houses made from stone that had mellowed to every shade of rose and gold, with archways leading down quaint alleys that curved intriguingly out of view. There were walled gardens, quirky turrets and fountains in the oddest places.

She waved to a group of men on the other side of the square before leading Ryan to a bench bathed in warm spring sunshine. The square rose up around them in stone that glowed gold and pink. In the middle of the square stood a stone fountain—a nymph holding aloft a clamshell. It sent a glittering sparkle of water cascading, the fine mist making rainbows in the air.

It sounds gorgeous, doesn’t it? Wanna move there too?

What’s your favourite make-believe place?

REUNITED BY A BABY SECRET is available from September 1

Aug 24, 2015


*****apologies in advance for higgledy piggeldy formatting. Attempting to write this on my iPad and it's not letting me fiddle with the picture layout ******

Avagreatweekend. That's what we say here in Oz. Did you avagreatweekend? All run together like that. And I'm here to tell you I had a bloody great weekend!

In fact I had a bloody great five days. Why? Well it started with a wedding. A surprise wedding - very romance writer. A bush wedding. My besties daughter and what a gorgeous bride she was! And check out the dramatic backdrop! Also my own proud mummy moment with my own gorgeous daughter being one of the bridesmaids.

And then I flew to Melbourne for the Romance Writers of Australia  conference. I caught up with a bunch of people I only ever see once a year including LoveCats Annie West, Michelle Douglas, Rachel Bailey, Bronwyn Jameson, Kandy Shepherd and Jennifer St George and to cap it all off I walked away with a Ruby!!! As did fellow LoveCat Annie West.

How was your weekend?

With Nicola Marsh and Ally Blake

With Annie West and Michelle Douglas

Gala Award Night, my RuBY winner on the big screen

No caption needed!

Aug 23, 2015

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from Jennifer St George but first 

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

Can you please contact Amy Andrews at amy (at) amyandrews  (dot) com (dot) au to receive your copy of The Colonel's Daughter

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from The Billionaire's Passionate Revenge by Jennifer St George.

Heiress Lady Zara Ravensdale and Xavier Hunt, the gardener's son, were once inseparable. But before their romance had a chance to bloom, it was crushed by scandal and betrayal. 

Xavier is now an international celebrity and sexier than sin while Zara is deep in debt, running Ravensdale Manor as an upmarket hotel to make ends meet. Unable to forget the past, Xavier returns to the manor, determined to exact his revenge on the Ravensdale family – once and for all.

Together again, passions reignite and the old chemistry becomes impossible to ignore. But Xavier and Zara are both keeping secrets and neither can forget their troubled history. Will they be able to uncover the truth of that night or will Xavier's need for revenge tear them apart forever? 

The Billionaire's Passionate Revenge is the third book in the Billionaire series.

Scene set-up

Zara fell ill just days before she was to host a charity Fair at her ancestral family home, Ravensdale Manor. Xavier stepped in to complete the final preparations so the event didn't fail. After all, the charity was for a very worthy cause. But was his hard work only for the charity or was there something else at play?


‘I think you’ll find that the stables are now satisfactory for the charity auction,’ Xavier said.

He hauled open the heavy wooden doors, his muscles tensing and bunching under his T-shirt. She held herself tight, to stop herself reaching out and running her hands over those gorgeous shoulders.

‘Your new exhibition space,’ he announced with a flourish.

She stepped inside. Her eyes took a moment to adjust to the dim light. She’d explained to the fair organisers that the space would still be rather rustic but clean.

Slowly, the transformation of the space became clear. She gasped, staring, eyes wide. Xavier turned on the lights and the reality of what he’d achieved in three days was revealed. An electric tingle ran down her arms and her hands flew to her chest.

Whitewashed walls, a freshly laid wooden floor, pearly-white down lights that directed the light into all the right spaces. The beautiful old beams had been sanded back, taking off hundreds of years of muck, and had been finished with a beautiful golden stain. The natural beauty of the ancient wood shone, highlighted against the simple white walls. The old grimy stables were now better appointed than the local art gallery.

‘How . . . What . . . How . . .’ She didn’t even know what questions to ask.

He took her hand and walked her to the middle of the room.

‘Well, I was going to do what you’d planned. Clean it out and whitewash the walls, but it had so much potential. I couldn’t stop at a little paint. So I drew up some plans and called in some help.

She turned slowly around and around, drinking in the changes. Xavier had perfectly blended the old-world charm of the building with modern features. It must have cost a fortune.

The heavy pressure of panic settled on her chest. ‘Xavier, I can’t afford this.’

He held both her hands. ‘Don’t worry. I’ve got it covered.’

‘But . . . why would you do this?’ she asked weakly, not believing it was all real.

‘Well, we couldn’t let the kids down and you were sick, so. . . .’

Pure love flooded her heart. She threw her arms about his neck and hugged him tight. How could she ever have doubted this man?

‘Thank you. Thank you.’

This was her Xavier. The man she’d loved. Surely this must clear the slate of his teenage misdemeanours. He was honourable. He was ethical. He was trustworthy.

His arms circled her waist, bringing her body flush with his. So close. So close she could feel the beat of his heart. Her breath stalled.

He drew her closer. This was no friendly hug. The light caress of his breath stroked her neck. He brushed his cheek against the sensitive skin beneath her ear, then his lips followed. Fire blazed through her bloodstream. She drew in a stuttering breath.

‘Xavier,’ she whispered, her voice already altered with desire.

‘Say it again. Say my name again.’

His demand drove beads of desire deep, down low. Hell, she wanted to scream his name.

‘Xavier,’ she breathed, her lips close to his ear.

His body shuddered and he trailed kisses down her collarbone. She ran her fingers through his hair.

He straightened. The rings around his irises looked like molten gold, his eyes smouldering with want.

‘Now say you want me,’ he commanded.

His words sent a shiver of raw desire straight to her core. Zara placed her palms on his cheeks and drew his face in close to hers. The scent of cloves and raw masculinity assailed her nostrils. She dragged in a breath, dizzy with need. Her body demanded to be touched.

‘I’ve never stopped wanting you.'

* * *

The Billionaire's Passionate Revenge is out on September 15th but is available for pre-order now at Amazon, iTunes, Kobo and other e-tailers so I do hope you'll drop by your local e-book store and pick one up. 

In the meantime you have a chance to win a free e-copy if you leave a comment on this question - have you ever been part of organising a charity event - big or small? Did it all run smoothly?

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced and a smooch from the fabulous Sue McKay will be posted!

Smooch Graphic by WebWeaver