About Me

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Queensland, Australia
I'm an Australian author of Contemporary Romance, Romantic Action/Adventure, and Historical fiction. I live in Queensland, Australia. www.noelleclark.net

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Meet me in person

I'm delighted to announce that I'll be delivering a series of author talks at libraries in the SE Queensland area. I can't wait to meet all the readers and library staff from Logan City and Redland City Libraries.

Here are their links:       Logan City Libraries      Redland City Libraries

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Day in the Life of: Author – Sharon Woolich

Today I welcome fellow writing group member, Sharon Woolich, to my blog. Sharon is an Australian author of Young Adult novels, and the first book in her Divine Trinity seriesDivine – is to be released in the Winter of 2014 through publishers, Renegade YA

Sharon, congratulations on your forthcoming release.

I see your novel, Divine, is part of a series. Can you tell me a little about the world you’ve created?

Divine exemplifies extraordinary things happening to ordinary people. As such, the world is one we can all relate to, where folks pin notices on boards and young people hang out to whittle away the summer. There’s a small town mentality, capturing both the positives and negatives of living in a smaller community. As you can possibly imagine, everyone knows everyone and some think they know best.

My main character, Olivia, is new to town and not exactly extroverted, so it’s interesting to learn her complicated first impressions and, as time goes on, how she finds her place in it all.

Geographically, the town at the center of the story – of the fictional variety – sits at the foothills of the White Mountains in New Hampshire. I built the town from research of many different places in that vicinity, taking a piece from here, and a bit from there. Collectively, it’s created a lovely little town by the name of ‘Manor’.

Is there a hidden message in your story and if so what is it?

I’d love to divulge the hidden message, but that would ruin the experience! That’s what makes this series interesting, I think. There’s mystery riddled throughout so much of the plot (and many subplots). The first book will tease you, leaving you satisfied but with many questions. The second will possibly make you think you know where it’s going – I expect quite a few theories from readers (looking forward to this!). The third book will reveal all – but not right until the very end.

What’s great about it is that you learn the pieces of the puzzle as Olivia does. It’s an action-packed journey filled with danger and triumph, love and loss. And that’s about all I can say on the matter. Heh.

Fair enough. :-) Does your main character, Olivia Mae Batkop, have any traits that could be found in yourself?

Perhaps. I mean, they say you should write what you know. We have some similar life experiences and hobbies i.e. soccer. But we’re quite different in other ways. Olivia deals with things differently to me at the same age. She strikes them head-on, and is far more selfless than I could ever be. I like her. Though, as an adult with the benefit of hindsight, I can see how she could handle things better. The book is in first person so of course you, as the reader, are only privy to her internal thoughts. Where she might feel a bit indignant or clueless about something, you might want to shake her and/or give her a talking to. But that’s kind of the point. We’re human, after all. She makes mistakes, and teenagers make mistakes particularly well – at least, I know I did.

What was the hardest part about writing this novel?

As I’m sure you understand, writing a book is a bit like creating a puzzle. You can’t force the pieces to fit; you have to caress them into place. All one thousand of them. It’s painstaking, and greatly satisfying at the same time, just like anything you have to work at to achieve.

Which two mainstream authors would you say your work most closely resembles and why?

This question pops up quite a bit when you’re hunting down a publisher for your book. Honestly, I never quite know how to answer it. Like most people, there are writers I admire, with writing skills and storytelling I aspire to: Neil Gaiman, C.S. Lewis, David Eddings, Daphne Du Maurier, Anne Rice… and countless others. I can’t compare my books to theirs – that would be ridiculous. But one day, with a lot of work and many more stories under my belt, I hope to.

I’m more interested to learn what the readers will compare Divine to, based on how they perceive what I’ve put on the paper. This is the true test of the book, I believe.

Wow. Wasn’t that a convoluted non-answer to your question! Heh.

What do you think readers will enjoy most about your novel?

The journey. The discovery. The mystery. All of the above. Then, of course, there are the characters. You’ll meet a motley bunch of kids that’ll throw caution to the wind, each for their own set of agendas, mostly pure. You’ll root for them, cry for them, and miss them when it’s all over.

How do you balance writing with all of life’s responsibilities? Which ones do you have to juggle?

Gosh, where do I start?! I have three little girls, aged four, two and three months. This should be enough to bring my writing to its knees, right? But wait… there’s more! My husband and I run a very busy motorcycle performance manufacturing company. We sell our products all over the world, which means we have to be available to our customers around the clock, seven days a week, thanks to the mind-bending time differences. It’s exhausting but satisfying. On top of all that, we’re building a house for our little tribe. To be honest though, I’d be bored if I wasn’t so busy. Bring it on! *cries softly to herself in corner*

Is there anyone who stands out as a mentor in your writing career?

Absolutely. The team at Flourish Editing (www.FlourishEditing.com) have helped me immensely. Salome Jones and Tim Dedopulos worked with me to hone my writing skills, which are of course, ever evolving. Salome runs a mentor program. She herself has earned a Master’s degree in writing from universities in both the United States and the United Kingdom, so it’s a very well rounded program comprised of the lessons she’s learned over her many years of study. I’d recommend her to anyone who wanted to improve his or her prose.

What is a typical writing day for you? Do you stick to a regimented pattern of writing so many words per day?

When I’m in the thick of the first draft, it’s all or nothing. I immerse myself in the story, the characters, the twists and turns. I’m completely useless for conversation during this time, unless of course if it’s about the story itself – just ask my husband! It’s as though I have to wrench the story out of my brain and onto the paper in one huge word vomit.

The second draft is a wholly different, and much lengthier, experience. Pleasant, mostly. Though, I labor over word choice – trying out five different variations before returning the first. All writers do this, don’t they? It sounds painful, but I quite enjoy this part of the process.

Where do you like to write? At your desk, or perhaps wherever looks comfortable at the time?

Where I’d like to write and where I actually write are two very different things. Perhaps we should discuss this in these terms: Before New House ‘BNH’ and After New House ‘ANH’. BNH has us in rather cramped quarters. With three little ones to watch over, it means we’re all in the same small space with a lot of noise and giggles and temper tantrums. Meanwhile, ANH will have a breathtaking view of the mountains out the back, the perfume of seawater wafting in at the front, and a number of places I can escape to slip into Olivia’s world while still being in range of the kids. I. CAN’T. WAIT.

Thanks for visiting today, and for sharing so generously with us. Good luck for the release of Divine (Winter 2014), and I’d love to have you come back again when you have the cover art.

Sharon Woolich

Sharon Woolich discovered the joy of books when her third grade teacher read ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’ to the class. The escape and wonder were so addictive, her nose never left the delicately inked pages of every good book she could find after that.

Finally, when it seemed like every good book had been thoroughly devoured – which isn’t true, of course, there are always a ton of good books to be read – Sharon interpreted it to mean it was time to create something to call her own.

She resides by the seaside in Brisbane, Australia, where she juggles her writing with a family business, and being a mom to three beautiful girls.


“All of my worldly and unworldly possessions are hereby bequeathed to my only grandchild, Olivia Mae Batkop.”

That’s when it happened, right there. Olivia hadn’t a clue what it meant. Why should she? No one had ever bothered to explain the family secret, not even when it was shoved upon her just weeks after her Grandfather’s death. Turns out, this was the moment an ancient spirit infused inside of her.

A 16-year-old with a troubled past, Olivia’s the kind of girl who doesn’t believe what she can’t see. Imagine her reaction then, when she starts to see the past, the future, all as if it were a dream. If that wasn’t troubling enough, when she begins to involuntarily fling things across a room, it’s enough for her to begin to question her sanity.

As she seeks to uncover the full extent of her unwieldy new talents – let alone her untold family history– they encounter one who could explain Olivia’s inexplicable link to the spirit. Unfortunately, he’s the man who murdered her grandfather, and he’s hell-bent on terminating Olivia next, even if he has to sacrifice the whole town to do it.

She’s not entirely alone, though. Her staunchest ally is a little girl who thinks Olivia’s the bees’ knees. Then there’s the cute boy she’s dating, a second cute boy she wishes she was dating (who, funnily enough, really doesn’t like the first), and an older girl who might just be a psycho... It’s not much of an army, but if Olivia’s going to find a way to unlock her new abilities and save the town – and her own life – she’s going to need all the help she can get.

Contact links

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Australia Day Book'd Out Blog Hop & Giveaway - The Call of the Bush

Visit Book'd Out for more blog posts with giveaways

The Call of the Bush

Join in the Book'd Out 2014 Australia Day Book Giveaway and Blog Hop - Visit the other blogs. Lots of fun and giveaways - click HERE

In the mid 1960’s, when I was in primary school, I was given a fourth-hand book called The Call of the Gums. It had a beautiful sketch on the cover.  Graceful gums, their branches casting a dappled shadow over the ground, seemed to sway in the breeze as I gazed at it. I loved that picture – and I loved that book. So much so, that I still have a copy. Inside the cover are the names of my cousins and older sisters who also owned the book before me, each one crossed out and the new owner’s name proudly written in a childish scrawl.

From this anthology of Australian verse, I learned to recite, by heart, poems that I still remember. The Call of the Gums introduced me to Australian poets such as Kenneth Slessor, Henry Lawson, Judith Wright, and local Aboriginal poet, Kath Walker – who changed her name to Oodgeroo Noonuccal in 1988. The anthology also gave me a sense of what it meant to be Australian. Kenneth Slessor’s Beach Burial never failed to make my eyes sting with tears; I learned about war, about droughts, about dogs dying, and I learned a deep love for the Australian bush which has lasted a lifetime.

More than 50 years since The Call of the Gums was first published, I can say that, thanks to the words and imagery contained within its covers, I have enjoyed a life-long love affair with the bush. Nothing makes my heart sing as much as being in the heartland of Australia – the bush. It’s where my senses soar; it’s where a spirituality enters my sometimes hardened respect for religion; and it’s where I’m filled with peace and wonder at its beauty.

Some of you may know that I have written a number of songs over the years. Most have themes inspired by being in the Outback – the country – the bush. But there’s one song I’d like to share with you this Australia Day. It’s called The Bush Church, and it fairly well sums up my feelings.

THE BUSH CHURCH                                              (© Noelle Clark/ND 2002)
A hundred foot tall gum tree makes a most imposing spire
The fallen logs around me make good pews
The carpet of a million leaves soften where I tread
And a hollowed out old tree stump tells His news.

I look about me at the congregation gathered round
Their peaceful faces show no signs of care
For the faces that surround me are the creatures of the bush
All the animals whom God has made are there.

No bricks and mortar, glass and walls, could ever be this good
The glory of God’s work is at hand
The lofty ceiling echoes as no real church ever could
And my bush church makes me feel as no place can.

A choir starts to sing a song of praise to God on high
No chorus ever sounded quite so sweet
The bird song of the Aussie bush, God’s creatures one and all
And now this bush cathedral is complete.

No bricks and mortar, glass and walls, could ever be this good
The glory of God’s work is at hand
The lofty ceiling echoes as no real church ever could
And my bush church makes me feel as no place can.

There is no better place to sing God’s praise than way out there
Where the fragrance of the bush acts like wings upon my prayer

No bricks and mortar, glass and walls, could ever be this good
The glory of God’s work is at hand
The lofty ceiling echoes as no real church ever could
And my bush church makes me feel as no place can.

Here’s my ‘bush’ version of The Bush Church

That's right. Just leave a comment below to be in the random draw to win an ebook copy of my latest release, Rosamanti.
An Aussie girl finds love in the most unexpected place

Entries are now closed. Thank you to all who entered.
The winner is Faith Hope Cherrytea. 
Thanks to Book'd Out for hosting the great 2014 Australia Day Blog Hop & Giveaway. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Loving Lady Lazuli - new release from Shehanne Moore

Good friend and fellow Etopia Press author - Shehanne Moore - is releasing her latest book on January 17th.

Loving Lady Lazuli is Book 1 in the new series: The Starkadder Sisterhood. London Jewel Thieves, and focuses on Sapphire, one of the eight members of the Sisterhood.

As you'll see, the sisterhood are not part of a religious order, however they certainly lay claim to some odd, and even dirty, habits.

Shehanne, can you tell us a little about Sapphire, and why you chose to write her story first?

Firstly Noelle, thank you so much for asking me here today to your lovely blog. It's a great pleasure  for me to be here. I value it and I value your friendship too. Okay Sapphire, well, Sapphire has been stealing since she was five years old. There's mysteries about the years before that, before she and her brother Matthew, wound up in London with 'Uncle' Starkadder. These are mysteries she wants to solve. She's the number one jewel thief. The woman who can pull off any heist. The mistress of disguise.  But this gang is like Fagin's in a way. The girls don't gain anything from their efforts. They are forced to steal. Every time Sapphire refused  she was beaten till she agreed. So she and Ruby determined to escape. They've spent ten years planning it and they've faked their own deaths to do it.

I never meant to write about her first or indeed write a series. I only ever start with a spark of an idea. In this instance I saw Christmas Eve and this beautiful sixteen year old girl walking along the highway in distress so this young man offers her a lift in his coach. She plants a stolen necklace on him and he goes down for it. Lol! I'm sure you know what it's like. If I had written this twenty years ago that scene would have been chapter one and all the action would have taken place after it, with them ending up as convicts in Australia or something. But now, Regency romance is so popular, that's not how you'd write it. So that scene became the backstory.

When I got to chapter two and the idea of her past, and the girls coming into her thoughts, I found I was naming them after jewels, and I saw I could make up stories  about their lives after the gang breaks up.

This sounds to me like it will be your most powerful book yet. You always have extremely strong heroines, and they get into some tough situations, but do you consider Sapphire to be your grittiest girl yet?

Hmm. I don't know. Fury bolted over her emotions and Kara was fairly tough, although she bubbled away underneath. Sapphire has her emotions in control. Being  gritty without making that special effort is second nature to her because she's been getting out of tight corners since she was five years old. In some ways she doesn't know any better that way. It's what makes her so confident about
dealing with Devorlane Hawley, when the sensible thing to do would be to bolt. Her undoing, as I am sure you can guess.

There are eight girls in the Sisterhood - Sapphire, Amber, Diamond, Emerald, Splendor, Ruby, Jade, and Pearl. Can you share with us which of the sisters will feature in Book 2?

Splendor features in Book 2. She's actually not a thief. She's Dora-Do-It-All, their general skivvy. But she would like to be like them, so she has all these airs and graces. That's why she calls herself Splendor.

On your Pinterest board, I notice that Pearl looks totally out of place among the strong, sassy, sisterhood. You even describe her as "Pearl - plain as milk". Does that mean that Pearl won't get to star in her own book? Is she really too plain? Or does she have a dark side?

Pearl does look out of place and that is deliberate. She is only fifteen in Loving Lady Lazuli and she actually isn't a 'proper' thief like the other girls. She was being trained. Anyway when Sapphire and Ruby made their plans to escape from the gang they cut in Pearl in as they couldn't stand to see her having the kind of lives they've had. She's not the brightest spark. All the stories are set over a period of years after the gang has broken up, because Diamond has murdered Starkadder, so cutting forward, Pearl might get her own story.

Here's the blurb:
Only one man in England can identify her. Unfortunately he’s living next door.
Ten years ago sixteen year old Sapphire, the greatest jewel thief England has ever known, ruined Lord Devorlane Hawley’s life. Now she’s dead and buried, all the respectable widow, Cassidy Armstrong, wants is the chance to prove who she really is.

But not only does her new neighbor believe he knows that exactly, he’s hell-bent on revenge.  All he needs is the actual proof.  So when he asks her to choose between being his mistress, or dangling on the end of a rope, only Sapphire can decide…

What’s left for a woman with nowhere left to go, but to stay exactly where she is?
And hope, that when it comes to neighbors, Devorlane Hawley won’t prove to be the one from hell.

Buy Loving Lady Lazuli by clicking here!

And here's an extract:

“Let him go.”

“Aye. Don’t ‘ee think ‘ee and yore fancy boots ‘ull get away wi’ this. Oih’ll defend ‘ee, moih lydy. Oih’ll get him. Leave this ter me.”

“That’ll be interesting.” Devorlane Hawley tossed his hair out his eyes. “You.” He jerked his head at Ruby.

“Whot? Me?”

He dragged a breath. “Unless you think I am somehow meaning the tree there? Fetch Lord Koorecroft.”

Lord Koorecroft? The county’s most senior magistrate? A turn for the worse? Now it was a somersault. A woman who planked a stolen necklace on this specimen should not blush to say it was rape. She would have to if he fetched Lord Koorecroft, because then there would be the matter of what the damned man could say to Lord Koorecroft. Being dead and buried might not be enough to save her then. Not when her crimes had been dutifully reported by every newspaper up and down the land. She would hang.

“Lord Koorecroft?” Ruby smoothed a copper tendril of hair back from her forehead. “Whot soddin’ fer?”

“What do you think it’s soddin’ for? To accuse me of rape and molestation. It won’t be difficult. He’s at Chessington right now. You can cut through the hedge. Go on.”

“That’ll be shiny bright.” Fortunately Ruby could always be counted on to do absolutely nothing. “What do yer think I am exactly? Yer bleedin’ servant?”

“’Ee got no roight after what ee—”

Barron made a strangled sound as Devorlane Hawley jerked the stick so hard across his windpipe, Cass was almost jerked off her feet.

“I have every right. You all want Lord Koorecroft fetched, don’t you?” He huffed out a breath. “So let’s fetch him. I’m relishing the thought of the little chat I’m going to have with him about our Mrs. Armstrong here.”

Let's watch the video trailer:

Visit Shehanne's website for more information on the intriguing Jewel Thieves. http://shehannemoore.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shehanne-Moore/163736780417433

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ShehanneMoore

More information here:

The Starkadder Sisterhood. London Jewel Thieves  -  related link: http://shehannemoore.wordpress.com/the-starkadder-sisterhood-london-jewel-thieves/

Pinterest link http://www.pinterest.com/shehanne/some-rare-jewelsmeet-the-sisterhood/

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Friends With Benefits - new from Anne Lange

Canadian author and good friend, Anne Lange, is releasing Friends with Benefits on January 17th. A Contemporary Erotic Romance, Friends with Benefits is Book 1 of the Vault Series, released through Etopia Press.

Can a summer of sexual exploration, lead to an unconventional forever.

Tyler O’Neil
Until pillow talk exposed his wife’s fantasies, Tyler had no idea some of Angela’s desires so closely matched his own. So, when he decides to enlist the help of his best friend to fulfill a few for her, he secretly hopes it will lead to his own personal desire - a permanent threesome. Tyler and Connor shared women in the past, he’s the one and only man Tyler trusts with this special summer assignment.

Connor Jones
Connor can’t believe it when he best friend asks if he would consider seducing his wife. Then he meets Angela, and all the women in his past fade away. With his friend’s blessing he sets out to seduce the man’s wife. And when Tyler joins the party, the three of them set the sheets on fire. Angela is one sexy woman, and Tyler is one lucky man. If only Connor could find a woman like her, one who would love him unconditionally.

Angela O’Neil
Angela is floored when her husband suggests they explore some of her fantasies. Sex with a stranger, phone sex, outdoor sex, threesome sex. These were things she read about, thought about, wished for, but never in her wildest dreams thought would she be able to live them. She loves her husband, but soon she finds herself falling for his best friend too. That’s not normal, is it? What will people think? Sandwiched between the two of them, she’s never felt so treasured, so protected, or so loved. 

Oh Anne, this books sounds H.O.T! And intriguing! I'd love to know a bit more about you and your writing.
This book, Friends with Benefits, is the first in the Vault Series. What can readers expect from Book 2 in the series?

Well, let’s see.  There will be some dancing, some hot looks and sweet kisses, some laughter and some sex, lots of sex.  Oh, and some spanking and some handcuffs, and perhaps a visit, or three, to The Vault.

In book one the owners of The Vault are introduced.  In Book 2 we meet and get to know them much better, particularly one of the twins.  Book 2 is not a ménage, it more light BDSM.  And that’s all I’m going to say.
Am I right that this is your first ménage book? Are you able to share what made you decide to write a ménage?

Yes, it’s my first ménage book, but it won’t be my last.   But more importantly, this happens to be the very first story I wrote.  Funny, when I started writing, oh about four years ago, I just went straight to a ménage.  I read a lot of ménage stories, so perhaps that’s the reason why.  But honestly, the first draft of this story came pretty easily.  It has changed quite a bit since then, but the underlying characters and the essence is still the same.  This was my first writing baby.  Now I get to see her fly!

How do you juggle full time work, a family, husband, home - and write. Do you set aside writing time then stick to it no matter what?

LOL! HAHAHAHA.  Sorry.  Um.  No.  I would seem I suck at juggling and commitments.  (And if you knew about my day job, that would make you laugh, too).  I try to set aside specific writing times, but I’m not very good at sticking to them—I get caught up in all the other stuff (email, blogging, promo).  The only time I’ve been able to do it is during NaNo.  This year, one of my goals is to write 1200 words five days per week.  I say five because Tuesday is NCIS night. No writing happens then.  And Saturday is the day I try to set up my posts for the following week.
Which of the two male characters in Friends with Benefits is your favourite, and why?

You know, I almost corrected your spelling of favourite.  That’s how we spell it in Canada, but since I’ve been writing, I always have to remove my “u’s” so, I almost did.   LOL!
Back to the question.  Connor of course.  He looks like the bad boy, but he’s a sweetheart.  All he really wants is what his best friend has—a woman who loves him, unconditionally.
Who is Anne Lange?
Anne Lange grew up with a love of reading. In fact, if you take a close look, she’s got either a book, her Kindle or her Kobo with her where ever she goes, and will usually sneak in at least a chapter or ten whenever she can spare a few minutes. She reads many genres of fiction, but prefers to write sexy romance with attractive men, strong females, and always a happily ever after.
While embarking on a career as a romance author, Anne juggles a full time job and a family. She grew up in Southern Ontario (Canada), but now makes her home in Eastern Ontario where she lives with her husband and three children, and Rocky the bearded dragon.

Buy your copy of Friends With Benefits HERE!

Watch the video trailer for Friends with Benefits:

Anne, it's been an absolute pleasure to have you visit my blog. Please come again soon, and congratulations on your release on January 17th.

To celebrate the release of Friends with Benefits, Anne is holding a massive giveaway! Just look at this beautiful bundle of bounteous gifts - all to be given away to those who enter the competition via the rafflecopter link below. Entries accepted from Jan 4th until January 20th at midnight.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Connect with the Author

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Lights of Aurora - Theresa McClinton - Blog Tour

Lights Of Aurora, book 2 of The Stone Legacy Series

Book Blurb:
After the discovery of her ancient Maya bloodlines, eighteen-year-old Ashley Coreandero is faced with a daunting responsibility. She must protect the stone of Muuk’Ich while Sarian, the underworld general, relentlessly drives her to the brink of insanity.
As the winter solstice approaches, it brings an onslaught of unexpected side effects. Ashley must seize control over her supercharged powers, while dealing with the overwhelming suspicion that her boyfriend, Arwan, is hiding a secret so dark it could destroy them both.
With the arrival of a surprise houseguest, Ashley’s deepest fears about Arwan are confirmed. And when middleworld deities intercede, the group of gifted Maya descendants are confronted with hardships they never saw coming—including an enemy more deadly than they have ever faced.
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned—but when that woman has no soul and a taste for revenge, they will need the powers of every surviving ancestor simply to stay alive.

Buy links:
All Romance eBooks: http://tinyurl.com/yfg6xcv


Here's the link to enter the Rafflecopter competition. For a chance to win, leave a comment here on this post and I will draw a random commenter to win an e-copy of Lights of Aurora.
Rafflecopter Code
For an extra chance to win:
Visit all the other blog tour posts and click here
About Theresa McClinton:
A long time enthusiast of things that go bump in the night, Theresa began her writing career as a journalism intern—possibly the least creative writing field out there. After her first semester at a local newspaper, she washed her hands of press releases and feature articles to delve into the whimsical world of fiction.
Since then, Theresa has been married, had three terrific kids, moved to central Ohio, and has been repeatedly guilt tripped into adopting a menagerie of animals that are now members of the family. But don’t be fooled by her domesticated appearance. Her greatest love is travel. Having traveled to over a dozen countries—not to mention an extended seven-year stay in Kodiak, Alaska—she is anything but settled down. But wherever life brings her, Theresa will continue to weave tales of adventure and love with the hope her stories will bring joy and inspiration to her readers.

Coming Soon: 13th Street, Novella 2.5 of The Stone Legacy Series.


Enjoy this excerpt from Lights of Aurora

    She jerked away. “Please—” She glanced up at his face. “Please stop touching me.”
    He stepped back. “You don’t want me to touch you?”


    He gathered her in his arms and hugged her close. She didn’t respond at first. But soon she uncrossed her arms, slid them around him, and rested her head against his chest.
    “Why are you trying to torture me?” she whispered.

    “What?” He pulled back and stared into her face. “What are you talking about?”

    “You keep…” She stepped back and extended her hand to scale the length of his body, “looking like that. And when you kiss me, I swear, it feels like you really want me, ya know? And I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me! I can’t seem to control this feeling.” She shook her hands out as if they were cramped, then rested them on her hips and hung her head.

    A grin pushed through. He couldn’t help it.

    Her head bobbed up and her lips parted. “Well I’m glad you’re so amused. Ugh. I should have known better than to tell you.” She covered her face with her hands. “This is so humiliating.” The words came out in a muffled humph.

    He let out a laugh and wrapped his arms around her again. “It’s all right, Ashley. I’m so sorry you’re suffering like this. But if it makes you feel any better, it’s not your fault.”

    She uncovered her face. “What do you mean?”

    He couldn’t stop grinning. “It’s the solstice that’s making you—imbalanced.” He dropped his hand and hooked his thumbs around the strap of his backpack. “I remember when my first real solstice hit me.”

    “Wait. What do you mean? What hit you?”

    “Think of it as a rite of passage. Every Riyata reaches maturity, and their abilities take hold. You just turned eighteen so it makes sense. Plus you recently bonded with your stone, and you’ve been using your powers more. That’s good, but it creates…side effects. Your inner ability is being instigated by the pull of the energy of the solstice lights.”

    “Lights?” The word came out in a squeak.

    He let out another laugh. “It’ll go away after the solstice is over. For now, just know that you’re not abnormal. And…” He laced his fingers with hers and grinned. “I hope you don’t stop touching me altogether. Extrañaria tus caricias.”

    Her breath hitched. “That’s another thing. You have to stop doing that.”

    “Doing what?”

    “Saying stuff in Spanish that I don’t understand. It’s bad enough with you looking at me the way you do, but then you say those things and…it’s just not fair.”

    Warmth spread through his chest. He had no idea he affected her so deeply. If he were honest with himself, he’d admit it was endearing. He couldn’t help teasing her further. “And if I were to translate, mi mariposa?”


    “Mi Vida.”

    “You’re so mean.”

    “Mi corazón.”

    “I swear. I’ll get you back.”

    “I doubt it, mi cielo.”

    “You…” She pointed at him, a suppressed smile winning over her attempt to appear stern. With her finger pressed against his chest, she dropped her head, and stared up at him through feathered eyelashes. Her smile bloomed.

    Mission accomplished.




Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Dragon Legacy by Jane Hunt - Review

Jane Hunt's debut novel, The Dragon Legacy, was released just in time for Christmas - on December 20th, through Crimson Frost Books.

Book Blurb:
 'When emotionally fragile Fleur Curwen decides she wants excitement in her boring life she signs up for a Murder Mystery Weekend in the wilds of the English Lake District. She enters a paranormal world where danger and death are common occurrences.

Demon slayer Lukas Draco is a loner. He lives by two simple rules: No emotional entanglements and duty must remain his first priority. His beliefs are challenged when he's inexplicably drawn to Fleur, a human woman with an unusual psychic aura. Sparks of sexual attraction ignite threatening both his search for the dragon's egg he buried a thousand years ago and Fleur's life.

Under the cover of a murder mystery weekend an apocalyptic hunt begins’

About the Author:
As a child I had a complete stable of make believe horses and my imagination remains as vivid. Now it creates characters and scenarios which provide the inspiration for my stories.
I am so excited to finally have career as a writer. My love affair with the written word started as a teenager. I secretly dreamed of writing the romantic novels I loved to read. Life had other plans for me. Marriage at twenty-one whilst still at university launched me into a career in health service management. I often thought about writing in my spare time but my career and two wonderful children kept me occupied 24/7.  Illness forced an abrupt end to my career. Always the optimist I seized the opportunity to write full time in 2012.
The Dragon Legacy is my first published novel and I am excited to be sharing it with a wider audience.
When I'm not writing I enjoy reading, book reviewing, social media and walking in the countryside. Passionate about animal welfare.

An Excerpt from The Dragon Legacy:

            Fleur stole a sideways glance at Lukas as he conversed with Jasmine. His impressive physique exuded an aura of power personified by a fit, muscular body and long, lean limbs. Filled with suppressed sexual excitement, she half closed her eyelids, leaned back against the headrest, and continued her secret study of him. His face was the epitome of masculine beauty, characterized by well-defined angular cheekbones, covered with pale, almost translucent skin. Its apparent delicacy did not detract from his masculinity; he looked like a fallen angel. A tell-tale blush stained her cheeks rosy. A rush of heat pooled between her legs. Fleur shuddered. Shocked at her impulsiveness, she sat on her hands and admired the sleekness of his fashionable long, straight hair, which looked like silk. Neediness overpowered her cautious nature as her gaze feasted on its remarkable black color, reminiscent of an exotic bird or reptile with highlights of metallic turquoise and blue woven through it. Fleur stole another glance at Lukas from under her lashes. He stared back. Horrified, she blushed unable to avoid his inquisitive gaze. She waited for the smug look or the double entendre. Lukas’ smile hid a myriad of emotions. The fire in his heated look betrayed him, luminescent and golden, in stark contrast with the dying afternoon light.

            Lukas slanted a glance at Fleur. The look of rapt absorption on her face stilled his breath. She looked at him hungrily, as if he was a delicacy she would love to taste. His blood echoed in his head as it thundered through his arteries. Arousal exploded in every inch of his body, highlighted by the uncomfortable tightness of his designer jeans, a testimony to his body's readiness to act. He stopped talking in mid-sentence. Jasmine looked at him through the rear view mirror. His body leaned into Fleur's, attuned to her hot gaze's invitation. No. He couldn't, not here or anywhere, with her. Lukas sensed the exact moment Fleur noticed him. He disguised all signs of his arousal. He hoped his expression revealed none of his inner turmoil.

            The truck turned into a concealed driveway. Calmer, he resumed his light conversation with Jasmine, who didn't remark on his recent distraction. Fleur stared through the window. Moments later, the truck stopped with a shudder. Lukas smiled at her hasty retreat. He sighed as the truck door shut behind her. His lack of control bothered him. His mission needed all his attention. A dalliance with a pretty human was not on his agenda. It would jeopardize the dragon egg's safety.

            “Welcome to Hallow House.”

 Jasmine walked around the truck for their luggage. The grey, windswept house stood hidden among the hills. Paint peeled from the window frames and moss grew along the grey stone walls. A wave of coldness swept through Fleur. She shuddered. “It’s so atmospheric, perfect for a murder mystery.” She looked across at Lukas. He seemed preoccupied. A woman appeared at the house's front door. Lukas' face lost its shuttered look. He smiled.

             “It’s lovely to meet you both. I’m Grace.”

            “It’s lovely to meet you too,” Fleur smiled at the older woman, reassured by her kind smile.

             “I’m delighted to meet you.”

            Lukas shook Grace’s hand. Her gaze widened as their physic auras merged. Lukas controlled his response; his face remained devoid of expression. Jasmine frowned and touched her mother's shoulder. With one last puzzled look at Lukas, she said,

 “I’ll show you to your rooms. Afternoon tea is at three. The conservatory is at the back. You'll have an opportunity to meet the other guests there.”

 Lukas smiled. He sensed her interest and strength. They'd met once, years before. She owed him, and he needed her help now.
            Fleur unpacked her bags in her shabby-chic room. Her mind strayed to Lukas' surprising effect on her. Vivid recollections of his strong embrace and the hardness of his muscular body bombarded her. She splashed cold water on her face in an attempt to cool the burn from her inner heat. Why did she crave this man's touch? Intimate images danced through her confused mind. She sprayed perfume on her heated skin. Nothing in her life prepared her for this tangle of conflicted emotions.

            Perhaps she'd hidden away too long? She needed excitement. Her ex-lover didn't understand her grief after the premature deaths of her much-loved parents. Instead, he chipped away at her self-esteem. Lukas saw through her layers of self-protection. He noticed her. The heat in his stare scorched her deep inside. She needed this man. She blushed at her wickedness. The alarm on her mobile sounded, almost three; time to go. She took a deep breath, determined to dampen her aroused state. With a final check of her appearance, she retrieved her bag and headed downstairs.

            Fleur stood inside the conservatory until her eyes adjusted for the brightness. She walked further into the room and scanned the occupants for Lukas, but he wasn't there. Disappointed, Fleur looked around the room. Jasmine's companions drew her gaze. Something set the unusual men apart from the other people there. She saw a familiar face. Grace was deep in conversation with two of the older guests. She looked busy, so Fleur didn't disturb her.

            The designer-clad men recaptured her interest. The dark-haired man appeared fascinated with Jasmine. His face darkened as Jasmine interrupted his diatribe.

  "You'll have to excuse me. I need to welcome Fleur."

            Jasmine headed in her direction. Without Jasmine’s vivacity, the conversation between the two high-powered men lapsed into silence. The younger man looked bored and distracted. The delicate rose- patterned china tea cup appeared awkward in his large strong-boned hands. He ran his long fingers through his shaggy, platinum blond, almost silver, hair. It masked the paleness of his silver-colored eyes. He looked handsome. Fleur waited to see if her heart flipped. It didn't. Her stomach lurched at the implications of her discovery. Her attraction to Lukas was based on something deeper than eye candy.
Copyright © 2013 by Crimson Frost Books and Jane Hunt
My Review:

I enjoyed this story. It provided some twists and turns which I didn’t see coming. The setting in the English Lake District immediately drew my attention, and so did the premise of a group of strangers meeting for a Murder Mystery Weekend.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but this Murder Mystery Weekend is not at all what I – or the main character, Fleur – expected. Not at all!

Fleur’s unusual meeting with Lukas Drako leaves an indelible impression on the somewhat naive Fleur. She can’t get the image of the handsome stranger out of her mind. The chemistry sizzles between them, but Lukas has to avoid getting emotionally entangled at any cost. His mission is crucial. Life and death. No way does he want to be distracted by this gorgeous, innocent, and shy young woman.

But their attraction for each other is just too much. Fleur sheds her innocence in heated – no, sizzling – encounters with Lukas, and she doesn’t mess around in letting him know that she desires him.

Then, along comes the villain – Xavier – who threatens not only the relationship between Fleur and Lukas, but also the future of Lukas’s world.

There are some very interesting supporting characters in this book, and I could see them each starring in a future book. They have interesting stories to be told.

Overall, I enjoyed this interesting story but think that it could have benefitted from a tighter edit in some places.

Join Jane on her blog tour - Giveaways to be won!

Link for Rafflecopter Giveaway:   The Dragon Legacy Blog Tour Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contact Jane Hunt:



Related Blog: Shehanne Moore interviews Fleur, the heroine in The Dragon Legacy http://shehannemoore.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/on-the-fourth-day-of-christmas-there-be-dragons/

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The A.B.C. Award

My inimitable friend and fellow author, Shehanne Moore, has nominated me for an ABC Award. I am truly grateful that you bestowed this on me, Shey. Thank you.

Today – the first day of 2014 – is the perfect time to look at ourselves and seek out what really makes us tick. So, in keeping with the inevitable rules surrounding the acceptance of this award, I’ll do my very best to play honestly.

The rules are as simple as ABC!
1.    Display the logo and link back to the person who gave you the award.

2.    Nominate some other blogs.

3.    Work through the alphabet writing one word or phrase about yourself or things you like or associate with yourself, that begins A...B....C....  All 26 of them.

A – Abhor Arrogance; Adore my grandchildren Andy and Abbie
B – Books
C – Cats, Chardonnay, Chocolate
D – my Doggies too
E – Equality for all
F – Friends and Family
G – Grateful
H – Health, Happiness, and Humour
I – Internet
J – Justice, Joviality, Mum Jokes
K – skip
L – Love, of course
M - My Mum, entering her 96th year, Music, Merriment
N – Never say Never
O – If I hadn’t already used E, I’d say I was Eccentric, but Odd will do
P - skip
Q - Quirky
R – Really Suck at This
S – see above
T – see above
U - skip
V – Verity
W – Wine, Work, Words,
X – Long gone
Y – Not?
Z – zzzzzz
OK, I now bestow this award on:
Elizabeth Ellen Carter   http://eecarter.com/
Sharon Struth   http://www.sharonstruth.com/

Susanne Bellamy   http://www.susannebellamy.com/

and now, linking back to the person who gave me this award, Shehanne Moore.

Book Review - One Night in Sorrento by Susanne Bellamy

I was hooked from the very first page of One Night in Sorrento. As a self-confessed and well-
documented Italophile, there is no way I can pass over any book set in, or about, Italy, particularly the gorgeous Amalfi region.

The action starts early in this novella, with first time traveller, Rhiannon, finding herself stranded in a small Amalfi Coast village with no suitcase, no ability to speak Italian, and a hugely important business meeting to attend in Sorrento, some two hours away.

Rhiannon’s world literally collides with Luca d’Alberghi, a charming, smart-talking, and frankly irresistible local, who offers her a lift to her business meeting on the back of his motorbike. But Rhiannon is feisty, and wary of the stranger’s offer. Sparks fly, with Luca’s well-meant offers of assistance bouncing off her like bullets ricocheting off a rock.

Eventually Rhiannon sees no alternative way to make it to the important meeting, so she ungraciously accepts Luca’s offer. And so begins the bike journey, which can also be a metaphor for the journey they each take in dealing with the undeniable chemistry that consumes them both.

My evaluation?