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

Sunday, March 23, 2014

I'm the guest blogger over at ARRA today! Happy ever after. Fact or fiction?

I'm very pleased to announce that I am the guest blogger on the ARRA - Australian Romance Readers Association - blog today.

My article is titled: Happy Ever After. Fact or Fiction?

Here's the link:  http://australianromancereaders.wordpress.com/2014/03/23/guest-blogger-noelle-clark/

Thanks to the volunteers at ARRA for all their hard work.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

One of the best blogs on the benefits of blogging from Erin Moore on the MFWOrg site


It's the Liebster Award!

Friend and fellow author, Shehanne Moore, has nominated me in her list of Liebster Award winners. What this means, is that I have to display the badge, plus answer some questions. Then I'm supposed to nominate some other authors to go through the same process. So, thank you Shey for this award. Much appreciated.

1. Which fictional character would you most fancy having a fling with and why?
Pietro Lombardi in Rosamanti. But not just a fling. I’d like to keep him forever. He’s just a lovely guy. He's good looking, he can cook, he makes Sarah laugh, and he's hot in bed.

2. Do you have a favourite type of character?
I like men who are strong, fit, and easy on the eye, but they must also have a soft spot which can be very well hidden, but it’s there.

3. Apart from writing, what are you most passionate about?
my grand children (and children but they'd kill me if I put a pic here)

my dogs and cats
my Maton guitar

my vege garden


4. What are you working on right now?
Honor’s Debt: a contemporary romance set in Ireland.

5. You’ve been shipwrecked on a desert island, what book can’t you be without?
Well, it's a TV show, not a book.  Who can tell me who this is?

6. Who is your favourite author and why?
I have too many to list. I like reading many genres: romance, biographies, historical, suspense, mystery, memoirs. Partial to Louis deBernieres.

7. Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a plotter, with pantserish tendencies.

8.  Have you been known to ‘torture’ a character and if so why?
Um, not yet.

9 Do you remember your favourite childhood book?
Yes, and I still have it. Alison’s Island Adventure.

10. Have you ever cried over a book? If so, which one?
I often cry when reading a book where I have connected with the character and care about what happens to them. When I was very young – too young to be able to read – I remember looking at the colour pictures in Peter Pan and Wendy. There was one picture of the little boy and his teddy with a neck brace and chain. I remember howling over the injustice of it.

11.  Do you prefer sweet or angsty?
Sweet but realistic, believable.

12. Is there anything you do particularly to get inspiration for writing?
Yes. I turn off Facebook, email etcetera and put my phone on silent. I re-read my notes and plotting outlines. Sometimes I look at pictures I’ve taken of the location. I sketch the house, characters, I draw maps. I sit quietly and focus my thoughts on the characters and ask myself, what would they do? How will they react when they find out….? And I ask all the ‘What if?” questions. Sometimes I go for a walk with my dogs to clear my head. If all that fails to get me inspired, I read books and watch movies until my subconscious pushes them aside and lets my story come through.

Who shall I nominate for the Leibster Award?

Kendall Talbot
Isabella Hargreaves
Tania Joyce
Susanne Bellamy
Suzi Love

There you are girls. You know the rules. Write a blog post, answer the questions, display the badge, link back to moi, and nominate some recipients. Hop to it.

Now, I’d like you all to go and visit the very extensive list of wonderful writers below who were also nominated by Shehanne Moore.

Ellis Vidler http://t.co/aBdBygwLCX
Sharon Struth http://t.co/fwHWRlJXmk
Christine Elaine Black http://t.co/0mtcFYgj53
Catherine Cavendish http://t.co/un1uiotgNq
Aubrey Wynne   http://t.co/QmoxBcf3rD
Amelia Curzon. http://t.co/G9CmQkNot9
EE Carter http://t.co/PnzIrl890o
CeeLee http://swimintheadultpool.com/2014/03/14/its-been-a-star-studded-week-the-lighthouse-award/
Renea Mason  http://reneamason.com
Poet Quinn http://perspiringpoet.wordpress.com/2014/02/19/no-be-lang-noo
Faith Ashlin http://t.co/uoOgTgVyXY

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Beware the Ides of March

In the year 1599, William Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar, played at the Globe Theatre in London. It was popular with audiences, and highlighted the topic of the differences in the Julian and Gregorian calendars, which over time, had got out of sync. It seems to me a bit like the predicament we currently have in Australia – when most of the country moves to Daylight Savings time, my home state – Queensland – stays in standard time. The English had the Julian calendar, a version created by Julius Caesar, whereas the Catholic countries in Europe used the Gregorian calendar. Then, as now, the difference in the calendar (or time in the case of modern day) caused much confusion.
The Ides was a name given to the 15th of the months of March, May, July and October. (It was the 13th on the other months). These dates marked divisions in the annual calendar where debts should be paid; they also once coincided with the full moon, but the calendar and the moon phases somehow got out of whack.

The Death of Caesar (1798) by Vincenzo Camuccini

But in 44 BC, Brutus and Cassius assassinated Julius Caesar on the Ides of March. It’s not clear who,
but someone warned Caesar not to attend the meeting in the Senate that day. He ignored them, and was viciously, and fatally, stabbed to death by his political rivals. It was a momentous time in Roman history, and played a huge part in the evolution of the Roman Empire.

A later artist's conception of the funeral of Julius Caesar, who was killed on the Ides of March in 44 B.C.
(Illustration by C. Vottrier, Mary Evans Picture Library/Alamy)

Shakespeare wrote about topical subjects that would resonate with his audiences. His plays were for the entertainment of the populace. So, in his play Julius Caesar, he included the warning by the soothsayer:

Caesar:  Who is it in the press that calls on me?
I hear a tongue shriller than all the music
Cry "Caesar!" Speak, Caesar is turn'd to hear.
Soothsayer: Beware the ides of March.
Caesar: What man is that?
Brutus: A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.
Ref: Julius Caesar Act 1, scene 2, 15-1

The popularity of Shakespeare’s plays brought the expression, ‘beware the Ides of March’, into common usage as a warning of a fateful day. In fact, the expression was already in use as a reference to assassination. Therefore, the audiences would not have needed to be told anything other than ‘beware the Ides of March’ to know that an assassination was going to take place in the next scene of the play.
Reverse side of a coin issued by Caesar's assassin Brutus in the fall of 42 BC, with the abbreviation EID MAR (Ides of March) under a "cap of freedom" between two daggers
For the political assassins – Brutus and Cassius – their act had mixed results. Half the population of Rome were glad Julius Caesar was dead, the other half mourned the death of their leader. As in modern days, political rivalry can bring out the worst in some, especially those who take it upon themselves to forcibly and permanently remove an opponent.

As a social commentator, Shakespeare was the master. He knew his audience so well, writing plays that resonated with their lives, their knowledge, and their sensibilities.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

My Writing Process - the wisdom that comes with learning from others

This is my second shot at discussing my writing process, however this time around I’m going to be discussing the four questions from the viewpoint of what I’ve achieved in the six weeks since I did my last post.

Have I achieved much in that short time? I think so.

First of all, I’d like to tell you about fellow Brisbane author, Michaela Miles. You see, Michaela
asked me if I’d like to be part of this very interesting chain-style blog that’s been doing the rounds. I’ve been following it now for some time, and have been reading each author’s unique approach to their craft. Whilst we are all different in what and how we write, the commonality of the hurdles, difficulties, and goals, is very unifying. Each author who has participated in the Writing Process Blog has taught me something. It may only be a tip on time management; or a fresh way of looking at my own process. But it has, I believe, made me a better writer to read what others do.

For a glimpse into a busy mother, business owner, home renovator – and writer – check out how upbeat and hard-working Michaela is. Click here to read her writing process.

The common thread in all of the posts is that we don’t write for fame or money. We write because we are driven to bring to life the characters, places and stories that buzz around in our head. But above all, we write because we love it.

What am I currently working on?

I’m currently half way through my third contemporary romance novel, Honor’s Debt. But as often happens, my characters are playing hard to get with each other, and I’m being taken on a merry chase into uncharted territory. My plot outline has been thrown out the window, as my characters surprise me by taking over the direction of the story. However, I’m going along for the ride to see where they take me.

I’m also writing a couple of erotic romance novellas; doing final edits on my historical novel; and am doing some editing for a friend. I also just finished a series of author talks at libraries in my region, delivering an hour-long talk called ‘Person, Place and Passion’. Add to this, several book club visits to chat about my books, and it’s been a pretty busy month or so. But I’m loving every minute.

 How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I don’t know that my Contemporary Romance books are all that different to several other authors who like to use locations and settings that they’ve travelled to and fallen in love with. But what I do try to do, is to have several little subplots weaving through the stories which contain mystery,
intrigue, suspense, danger, adventure. I also like to have a couple of interesting support characters, who will one day be the main characters of future books. I then combine these elements with a well described (I hope) exotic location, two likeable main characters, and some pretty good romance.

My historical novel, Stone of Heaven and Earth, will – I hope – be fairly unique, as it’s based on fact and my family history.

Why do I write what I do?

I write books like Rosamanti, Let Angels Fly, and Honor’s Debt, because they are the sorts of books I

love to read. I also love to use locations that I’ve travelled to or lived in, and then watch as the setting makes my characters behave in a particular way, which may not have happened had I set the stories somewhere else. I believe strongly that location/setting has a huge influence on the behaviour of characters.

But apart from writing books, I have written many songs, essays, short stories, as well as academic papers and online education content in my career.

How does your writing process work?

Last time I answered this question I thought I had a process that suited me.

But I am revising that
thought now.  Instead of just one idea pinging into my brain, usually when I’m driving, or when I’m just waking up in the morning, I’m now receiving dozens of random, way out, crazy ideas. I’ve always loved those moments when the creative right side of the brain is acting superior to the normally dominant, logical, left side. I became a full-time writer two months ago – I can only guess that the freedom I now have to focus on my writing is allowing my creativity to run rampant. How lucky am I?

I still jot down dot points, everything I can about the characters, setting, conflict etc that spins
through my grey cells. But that’s it. What I’ve learned with Honor’s Debt, now that my creativity has this newfound freedom, is that no matter how much I plot, sometimes the characters are strong and pull the story in directions I didn’t even think of.

I’m enjoying this new (to me) way of letting them have their way.

Who will we meet next week?

Well, last time I did this blog, I passed the baton to fellow Aussie authors Isabella Hargreaves, Kendall Talbot and Susanne Bellamy. This time I’m going to ask any writers who read this to volunteer.

But right now, do me a favour and click on these three other authors. They are, like me, sharing their writing process. We can all learn from each other.
Renea Mason
Lea Bronsen
Roberta Pearce
Kerry J. Donovan

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Brand new release from Ally Shields - Fire Storm

Just released by Etopia Press, Fire Storm is Book 5 in Ally Shields fantastically popular Guardian Witch series.

Sometimes you just need to stay alive to fight another day.

Six months ago Ari moved in with the vampire prince Andreas. They defied the vampire elders in Europe, killed their enforcer, and have waited for retaliation that never came.

Until now.

On a trip to Italy, Andreas is captured by the vampire rulers, the notorious O-Seven, and taken in chains to their stronghold in Germany. Ari goes after him, even though it’s against the orders of her Magic Council. She is fired for her actions, losing her special Guardian powers at a time she needs them most.

But the vampire rulers are not through with her or with those who attempt to help her. They launch attacks in Europe and at home in Riverdale. Ari is forced to fight them on several fronts, and victory grows increasingly uncertain.

Her last chance to rescue Andreas is a daring plan that places her in the hands of the O-Seven and relies on untested witch magic, the final hope for their survival.

Buy Links: 
Barnes and Noble

Watch the book trailer here:

Read this special excerpt from Fire Storm:

Ari dragged her feet as she climbed the front steps of the Victorian home she shared with Andreas. They’d talked twice during the day. He’d called right after he first awoke, concerned when their magical link telegraphed her unsettled mood. She’d brushed him off, saying it was nothing important, but he hadn’t believed her. There were definite drawbacks to having a strong psychic connection to someone. It made it impossible to lie with impunity.

He’d called again, later in the evening when she was beginning patrol, but she’d delayed the discussion again until she got home. Well, she was home now and not looking forward to the coming rehash of her meeting with the wizard.

She keyed in the front door code, raising a brow when Andreas pulled it open. “Hi, I figured you’d at the club.”

A slow smile parted his lips, and his dark eyes gleamed. “No, you did not. You knew very well I would be waiting.” His magic reached out to brush against her skin, a warm, soothing sensation.

She sighed. “OK, so I figured you’d be home, but not manning the front door.”

“I wanted to give you these.” He pulled a bouquet of daffodils, her favorite flower, from behind his back. “You sounded like you could use a little TLC. Consider this my first contribution to that end.”

She tipped her head and took a long look at him. The black wavy hair, the sexy dark eyes with those incredible long lashes. His black Armani jeans and the bluish-silver silk shirt unbuttoned at the throat couldn’t have fit him better. Long, lean, muscled. And he shared his life with her. Ari smiled and leaned forward, resting her head against his chest. Did he know what one look, one gesture from him could do? And how much she’d come to count on it?

She turned her head to bury her nose in the fresh, delicate scent of the bouquet. “I won’t even ask where you found them at this time of year. But thanks, I guess I needed this.” She raised her head and brushed her lips across his. “You’re too good to me.”

He wound an arm around her waist. “Always glad to help, but dinner awaits, and we can talk afterward.”

Andreas steered her toward the study, his favorite room. She was delighted but not surprised to see a candlelit table and bottles of wine. This wasn’t the first time he’d arranged intimate dinners brought in from Club Dintero, his fancy supper club. Nor was the dinner menu a surprise when he pulled the silver cover off her plate to reveal chicken marsala. It was her favorite fancy dish. Well, fancy when compared with the sandwiches, chips or fries that she often grabbed on the run.

As he pulled out her chair, his fingers brushed her neck. Her breath quickened, and he responded with a deep chuckle. She smiled up at him, and an understanding passed between them. They’d been together long enough that the unspoken promises were comfortably tucked away for later.

Heat level: PG-13      

Author Contacts:
Website: http://allyshields.com
Blog: http://allyshields.com/blog.html
Facebook: http://facebook.com/AllyShieldsAuthor
Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShieldsAlly
Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6527209.Ally_Shields
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/allyshields

Other books in the series:
Title 1: Awakening the Fire (Guardian Witch #1), GR link to cover:
Title 2: Fire Within (Guardian Witch #2), GR link to cover: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16283418-fire-within
Title 3: Burning Both Ends (Guardian Witch #3), GR link to cover:
Title 4: Blood and Fire ((Guardian Witch #4), GR link to cover: https://www.goodreads.com/book/photo/18583974-blood-fire
All books can be accessed through my author page at Amazon: http://amzn.to/13LH078 or this search link at B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/?series_id=842187