Monday, December 19, 2011

It's here... One Perfect Night Release Day!

Completely thrilled to have an excerpt from the awesome and lovely Rachael Johns' new Carina Press release, One Perfect Night! It's a wonderful read so please follow the links at the foot of this post and BUY IT!!

Excerpt from One Perfect Night

“Don’t look now, but Mr. McSexy just entered the building.”
“Blast.” Peppa Grant spun round and did exactly what her best friend and colleague Izzy had ordered her not to. Her breathing faltered at the sight of six foot plus of unadulterated male who now towered at the entrance to the company’s function room. An anxious hush fell over the previously buzzing room. As all eyes snapped to him, she tried not to quake in her costume’s fairy shoes.
Until half an hour ago, Cameron McCormac had meant nothing more to Peppa than the new name at the very top of the office food chain. Now he was the man who owned the car she’d sideswiped in the car park tonight.
The dangerously handsome man who was making her pulse spike simply by standing in the doorway. “Oh, God.”
As Peppa pushed her barely touched glass out of reach and let her head fall onto the table in front of her, Izzy giggled.
“It’s. Not. Funny,” Peppa declared when she finally looked up. Her eyes sought the company’s new CEO again and she felt her heart collapse into her stomach.
“You’re right,” Izzy said, reaching out and stroking Peppa’s hair like a mother over a sick child. “If I’d just put a prize-winning dent in the big boss’s red, convertible pride and joy, I’d probably be at Sydney airport boarding a plane or planning to hitch a ride with Santa back to the North Pole.”
“Hilarious.” Peppa shot her friend a sarcastic smile. “Please tell me McSexy has just vanished up a chimney?”
Izzy took a sip of her chocolate mocktail, her sea-blue eyes sparking with laughter as she peered theatrically over Peppa’s head. “No can do. Looks like he’s doing the rounds, handing out candy canes or something to all the children. Molly must have put him up to it.”
Molly, although old enough to be his mother, was Mr. McCormac’s personal assistant. Rumor had it when he did anything remotely human, she’d put him up to it. She’d been with the company longer than anyone and was the brains behind this event, the annual Christmas party for children of Lyrique Recordings’ employees. Peppa had a fleeting fantasy of leaving a message with Molly about her little misdemeanor in the car park but that wouldn’t be right. And she hadn’t been brought up to take the easy option.
“I’ll do it now,” she said, resting a hand on her queasy belly as she pushed herself off the stool and onto quaky feet. Although whether her shakiness was from trepidation or her gorgeous boss’s sexy gait and air-of-confidence, she couldn’t be sure. “Confess before I’m due on stage and then, if he has any sympathetic bones in his body, he’ll let me entertain the kids before the crucifixion.”
“You’re such a drama queen,” sighed Izzy. “The top job pays well. He has enough money to line his undies drawer in gold. You apologize. You give him the details of your insurance company. You get on with your life. Simple.”
Simple. Right. But Izzy didn’t know that Peppa had just switched to a budget insurance provider. As she had never needed to claim in seven years of driving, the switch had seemed a good decision at the time. The upside was low monthly rates. The downside? A mammoth deductible on claims.
Well, that faux-pas may not only have cost Peppa her car and her job, but paying back the damage to the boss’s vintage Lamborghini would seriously endanger her ability to pay her mortgage. Not to mention she’d have to put her plans for an overseas holiday on hold—a holiday that had been all about helping her mind and emotions recover from the battering of the past few months.
“I think he’s looking at you.”
Izzy’s words broke Peppa’s reverie. And of course she looked up, across the room, only to find her gaze colliding with the Head Honcho himself. Her heart hitched a beat. Despite the distance she could see the roguish tilt of his lips, the slight frown of his distinguished black brows and that his devilish licorice eyes were trained on her. Dark-chocolate hair, speckled with naturally sun-kissed spikes, framed a face so chiseled it could have been carved from stone. A man so in-control of his world he had no reason to question it. Heat flooded her cheeks and, not wanting to draw unnecessary attention, Peppa forced herself to break her gaze.

If you’ve enjoyed this excerpt, you can read the first chapter of ONE PERFECT NIGHT at Rachael’s website:

Or, you can buy the book at Amazon ( or Carina Press (

And to celebrate her debut release, Rachael is blogging today at the following places, giving away a copy of ONE PERFECT NIGHT at each spot:
· Get Lost in a Story (
· Chick-lit Central (
· Novel Thoughts (

Rachael Johns is an English teacher by trade, a mum 24/7, a chronic arachnophobic, a supermarket owner by day and a writer by night. She rarely sleeps. Rachael received The Call from Angela James telling her Carina wanted to publish her book on April Fools Day and, when she told her friends, half of them wondered if it was a big joke. Luckily it wasn’t. As an active member of Romance Writers of Australia, Rachael has finaled and placed in a number of romance writing contests. Each success is uplifting and publication is her dream but even if none of this happened, she’d still write. It’s a much better option than ironing, which she refuses to partake in. Ever.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Camping or make believe

As I type, my littlies are camping in the lounge in the tents we made from their blankets. It started out, as these things often do, with Master Four wanting to go play outside. Small problem - it's raining. And windy. And freezing (ok, not literally but it's cold). He's not fussed, dressed as he is in shorts and t-shirt... pretty much standard dress for kid who doesn't feel the cold at all.

I negotiated them to camping inside and it's keeping him happy... for now.

Of course, the bonus of inside camping in the lounge in the middle of the day is what you can take with you. Seems pretty much anything goes. Lego is a necessity. Cuddlies. Cars. Books. Everything they might need. And if they change their minds, they run to their room and grab something else.

In other words a whole heap of stuff they couldn't have on hand if they were really in the middle of nowhere.

It's one of the great things, really, about any kind of make believe. Stories, songs, pictures.... you can put in what you want from everything you have in your mind. But like anything else, there are rules. A minute ago Princess nearly-3 tried to bring in a second pram for her doll. Master 4 declared that it wouldn't ever fit in a real tent.

He had a point. There wasn't really room. But at the same time he fit a whole box of lego in. After some crying she had to choose to live by his make believe rules or her own.

Something I decide when writing every day.

What about you? Played camping recently? Do you write/read by other's rules? Wanna bet what the Princess decided?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

In training

There are exciting times in our house at present with little Princess 2-nearly-3 deciding she'll lower herself to toilet train. She's so stubborn and independent that the day she decided to try, she pretty much got it.

Here's the frustration... in the 'pretty much'.

Yes, i know I'm lucky (she's number 3 kiddo and by far the best at this... although a little older than the others were). Pretty much is very good. One accident per day is brilliant. But that one accident feels like a disaster. She gets all 'I can't do it' and I'm trying to be positive (while cleaning up... hard).

It's like learning to write.

Getting close is wonderful. Great feedback, maybe even some contest success, and stories I know are doing lots of the right things.

But still, there's that #$%@ on the floor and it's not quite there.

Like Princess 2 will hopefully get there one day so will I. And it's the same with learning anything. There are setbacks, it can seem impossible.

What about you? Toilet training? Learning something but not *quite* nailed it?


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Loose ends

Last night I managed to get out with some friends and go to the movies. We saw 'The Help' and despite how long it was and how much of a cold I have (i had no voice much to my friends' amusement) I really, really enjoyed it.

Now this wasn't where the loose ends came in.

Before I left home my kiddos were still awake and I kissed them all and promised to come in when I got home (being little they were all nighs pretty early). You have to understand i am home most of the time. Mummy is the constant and while i did go in and kiss them all, they were in a deep sleep and didn't really wake.

But it must have been playing on their minds. All three woke up through the night. In each case Dad got there first (thanks to head foggy cold) and all were asking whether I'd come home. I reassured them and they settled instantly.

I was the loose end. They couldn't quite relax properly because they didn't know whether I'd come home.

I think it can be the same with a story. Even when the hero/heroine are all sorted it can leave me with a nagging unease if other threads aren't tied up (which can be great if it's deliberate and gets me reading book 2 in the series).

What do you think about loose ends?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Royal Sho...

Yup, I'm too exhausted from yesterday's visit to the Royal Adelaide Show to finish the title. Taking a 2 yo, 4yo and 6 yo to a place full of showbags, amusement rides, hot donuts (mmm... donuts) and games was a tiring (and expensive) exercise.

And fun.

Princess 6's face when she watched some singers perform on the free stage was magic. Master 4's face on the pirate ship (little one) when he went really high and the way Princess and Ruler of the Universe 2 managed to convince the poor guy manning the bouncy castle to lift her to the top of the slide part she couldn't reach... 3 times (he tried to pretend he didn't hear her once when she asked but she was too persistent).

These are memories made.

It was a big day for them but it was the little things I'll never forget. I think the same is true of my fave stories. It's great to have action and big dramatic stuff but the little moments that catch you (and ones with kids always get me) can make a good book wonderful.

What about you, do you like the little moments?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Stealing Time

I'm getting ready to start a new story. There are lots of writerly stuff I like to do... but not yet. This time is all about the mindset.

I like to read.

I like to remind myself of why I love to read a romance and get lost in the journey to happily ever after. There may or may not be chocolate eating involved. It's a time for sneaking in a chapter here and there to race to the ahhhh moment.

This week I have to make Princess 6 a birthday cake too so there is much juggling. I'm sure I'll be able to sneak some good books in.

How do you make time to enjoy a good book between life, kids, work? Any hints gratefully received.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Conference Wrap Up

On the weekend I attended the 20th (but only my 2nd) Romance Writers of Australia Conference. I had the best time. My brain hurts from all the new stuff i'm trying to cram in there. It started with a packed friday workshop by Bob Mayer and continued over other workshops and plenary sessions... and chats at breaks.

Some highlights:

From Bob Mayer

- Be ruthless... with yourself. It's the difference between ordinary and elite.

- Perserverence is more important than talent (yay, that I can do)

From YA (and adults) author Kelley Armstrong on pace

-skip the boring bits - go into scene late and get out early - make it so reader will read 'just one more chapter'

From a panel of wonderful authors/editor

-if the heroine cries, the reader doesn't have to

-changing POV makes the reader change teams... think about why you're changing

The social side was soul revitalising! From rooming with the brilliant Rach and having dinner with the lovely Jackie and her mum (!) to meeting new SE author (and awesome CP) Helen Lacey for the first time it was great to see friends as well as meeting so many new people. It's so great to talk writing for days on end (rambling AT my littlies doesn't count).

The cocktail party was great fun (see pic with me, Rach, Jackie and the lovely Chelsea) and three SARA (SA Romance Authors) members took out the prizes - i was super thrilled for them... especially Charlie 'Maggie' Chaplin.

The first sale ribbons were inspiring (see Rach and Helen with the wonderful Cathryn Hein) and the awards dinner a lovely evening.

Did you make the conference? What was your highlight?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Foodie Friday

We have a tradition, of sorts, in our house. On Friday we have something really nice for dinner to celebrate surviving another week and the stretch of weekend ahead.

Usually that something is cooked by my hubby doing his best hero impression. I cook every other night so it seems fair to me. We give the kids easy dinner and sit down together once they are in bed.

Yep, enjoying something nice is that important to me.

It's kind of like a good book. Uusually hubby cooks one of my faves. I know how it's going to turn out... in that it will taste nice (my HEA) but exactly what he chooses varies, and then he mixes up the recipe a little everytime too. It keeps it fresh and creates a great food experience.

Now, if only I could nail my story so well.

What about you? Is a good meal like a good book?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sweet Blog

Thanks to Rach for this award. Anyway apparently what I have to do is share seven random facts about myself and then nominate ten other deserving blog friends. So, here goes...

- I studied science at university. Laser chemistry in fact. I know... how useful for a romance writer.

- I just rewarded myself with one Fruchoc (delicious choccie treat) for every 5 mins I wrote for

-To make up for the eating of bad food I run (slowly) three mornings a week. Doesn't seem to balance out though.

-I love giving and buying presents - when you get that perfect thing for someone it's the best feeling

-I got engaged in Barcelona

-I stage managed our senior production... and walked straight off the stage in the dark between scenes... ouch!

-Despite the fact Princess 2 is sure our red aussie terrier is a girl... he's all boy.

As far as deserving types... um... anyone who hasn't answered already.


Sunday, April 3, 2011


Bragging alert! Am so completely happy to share that my fab CP recieved the call email. She sold her gorgeous christmas romance to Carina Press.
Congratulations Rach!!

Raising many a glass to you, my friend! Wishing you even more success in the future! =)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

jelly tip ice-creams and expectations

When i was younger, sometime between ten and eighteen years old, there were these ice-creams. they were creamy vanilla on the bottom and then the top had a frozen jelly-like slightly chewy thing happening, all covered with crackly chocolate. i don't think i had many cos they were a limited time only kind of thing. But they were yummy. And special. And i knew exactly how delicious it would be as soon as I bought one.

In fact, half the fun was the expectation...

And they never let me down.

Until yesterday. Fast forward a few (ahem) years and my hubby had bought some as a treat for the kids while I was away. i didn't even know they still existed. I opened the packet and...

Disappointment! From the first look. They were half the size, the choc was skimpy and when i had a taste the vanilla ice cream was blah at best.

I think that's the thing about series writing. The reader (and first an editor i guess) has an expectation about the book, based on the line and the promise it holds. And I need to deliver or I'll lose them.