Friday, 26 April 2013

A Little Bad News

Well, as some will already know there has been an unfortunate delay for the release of What Happens in Ireland. My novel will at this point in time, be releasing on May 7th. As disappointed as I am that it is not currently out in the world today, I'm going to be taking advantage of the extra time. So watch this space for news on the new dates of my blog tour!

And for the authors and writers reading this post, here is a lesson to be learned. Always be prepared for change and embrace it when it comes. :) The publishing industry can at time be a little hit-and-miss and other times, all go-go-go. So be prepared.


Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Resisting the Charms of an Irishman

Hey everyone!
Today, I'm over at The Romance Book Haven revealing all I know on how to resist the charms of an Irishman :) So get ready to take some notes. Time to prepare to meet my hero, Jack O'Reilly! And there two compeitions.  So come on by and comment to enter my blog tour giveaway and also go in the running to win a copy of my novel!

Just two more days until the big release! I hope you are all excited!


Saturday, 20 April 2013

Interview: Heather Garside

Today, my fellow writer and crit partner, Heather Garside is joining me on the blog to talk about her new release! Breakaway Creek is Heather's lastest novel and she's going to share a little about her pervious novels and this new leg in her publishing journey!
Welcome Heather! How about we start with you telling us a little about yourself? When did your writing journey begin and when did you become an author?
My name is Heather Garside and I’ve been writing rural romance (spasmodically!) for over thirty years. At last it has come into vogue!
I grew up in Central Queensland on the family cattle property, which consisted of 47,000 acres before the coal mines started chipping away at it. It was very isolated in those days and trips to town only occurred every six weeks or so. I did my primary schooling by correspondence and loved horses, books and the bush. These are still passions of mine.
I wrote my first poem at the age of seven and at eleven began writing a story called Lost in the Bush! At eighteen I decided to make a serious attempt at a novel, which I self-published a few years later. After a long break I began writing again in 1998 and published two rural historicals in 2007. In between times I’ve contributed to several local historical publications and a couple of anthologies of short stories.
I currently live with my husband on a farm in Central Queensland where we grow grain and raise beef cattle. My daughter is married and lives in South Australia and my son has an engineering business which he operates from a shed on our farm.
I’ve been a member of RWA for about 14 years and thoroughly recommend it as a wonderful source of information and support for writers.
It's seems you've had quite a journey, Heather. And I agree with what you have to say about RWA, such a wonderful and supportive organisation.
Now it's my understanding that, Breakaway Creek is not your first rural romance novel to be published. Do you mind sharing a little information about your previous novels?
My 2007 releases, The Cornstalk and A Hidden Legacy, are available from Amazon or their publisher, Wings ePress. Both received excellent reviews. The Cornstalk is set in the 1870s in Australia and England.Rather than join her wealthy parents in England, rebellious Louise Ashford sets off to work as a governess in the frontier settlements of Central Queensland. She falls in love with a young cattleman of convict descent, but her brother’s intervention brings much heart-break.
A Hidden Legacy is a sequel to The Cornstalk and is set in the 1890s. Matt Jones travels to Australia to find his birth parents. Once he locates his family, there are stormy undercurrents with a jealous younger brother and an illicit relationship with Isabella, an innocent neighbour. Isabella is heartbroken when he leaves her to improve his fortunes at the goldfields. Only a near-tragedy will make him realise how much he loves her.
They sound fantastic. I love the historical factors you've included.
Now, I'm curious, has the editing/publishing process differed for you this time round?
As I write this, I am still waiting to receive my final edits for Breakaway Creek. My editor sent me a thorough manuscript appraisal before Christmas and asked for some structural edits, which have been completed. I would have to say the editing process has been much more thorough so far than I experienced with my previous novels, which was unfortunately quite basic.
has been the upmost highlight of your career?
So far, apart from being accepted for publication, being a finalist in the 2010 QWC/Hachette Manuscript Development Award with Breakaway Creek, would have to be a highlight. Another was learning that The Cornstalk was a finalist in the 2008 Bookseller’s Best Award in the USA.
Those are definitely achievements you should be very proud of. Well done! 
Now, let's talk about Breakaway Creek! Where did your inspiration for this novel come from?
Breakaway Creek is a dual time-line novel. When I was a teenager I read a book from my mother’s bookcase about a young woman who visited a cattle station. She fell in love with one of the stockmen, only to later discover he was of mixed heritage. This story was set many years ago, probably in the 1950s, when the racial divide was very pronounced. It fascinated me and always stayed with me. Many years later it became the premise behind Breakaway Creek.
Another thread was partly inspired by marriage break-ups I had witnessed among family and close friends, along with subsequent custody battles of the children involved.
Wonderful. I love the depth of your stories.
Can you pitch your novel to us in 10 words or less?
Two love stories; two city girls; one dark secret.
Sounds like a book I want to read! Could you give us a brief description of your favourite character out of Breakaway Creek?
Luke Sherman is a man with baggage. His wife has left him for another man, taking his two beloved sons. She was never a devoted mother, so how can he trust her to care for them? Especially when he suspects she and her new partner are on a downward spiral?
When Shelley Blake visits his cattle station searching for her ancestors, part of him welcomes the distraction and another part of him knows he can’t afford to become involved.
So what's next for Heather Garside? Are you working on a new manuscript?
I’m writing a sequel to my two earlier publications, The Cornstalk and A Hidden Legacy. I felt a certain down-trodden woman, a secondary character in these novels, deserved her own story and a possible happy ending.
I wish you all the best with your current project and hope you sell a million copies of Breakaway Creek. Thank you for joining me here today, Heather!
You can buy Heather's book and read the first few chapters at this link:

Distraught at her boyfriend’s betrayal, Shelley Blake flees the city to seek refuge with her parents. Her interest in an old family photograph is piqued by their unusual reticence. A search for answers takes her to the cattle station Breakaway Creek.

Here she meets Luke Sherman, a man embroiled in the bitter ending of his marriage and a heart-breaking separation from his two small boys.

Neither of them is ready for a new relationship. Luke's twenty-first century struggle to reclaim his children unravels as Shelley uncovers the truth about her ancestors, Alex and Emma. Their story of racial bigotry and a love that transcends all obstacles takes the reader back to the pioneering days of the 1890s.


The Fun Begins!

Wow. What a hectic month it's been. I haven't posted in a while but I have been busy! What Happens in Ireland will be releasing on the 26th! (US time) and today my release day blog tour begins today at The Romantic Muse.

So let the fun begin!

As a part of my blog tour, I'm giving away two prize packs to two lucky blog tour followers! Comment on any of the blog post posted in celebrate of the release of What Happens in Ireland and you could win a copy of my novel on ebook,a coffee mug with my cover on it, a handmade ribbon bookmark desgined by Swagmaster designs, a paper bookmark!

Today, you'll find me revealing my 'Call'story on The Romantic Muse (  and tomorrow, I'll be chatting with Susanne Bellamy on her blog!
So watch this space and start commenting!

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Interview: Juanita Kees

Today I have Escape Publishing and Eternal Press author, Juanita Kees joining me on the blog to talk about her up and coming release, Under the Hood! Welcome, Juanita!

Thank you for having me on your blog, Whitney. I can’t wait to read What Happens in Ireland! Love the cover, so cheerful and bright.

Aw, thank you, Juanita. I love your cover myself. I remember first seeing it on your facebook page. What does everyone else think?

Don't you love it?
Now, enough about fabulous covers. Time to talk about you! First of all, tell us a little about yourself and your novels?

I’m short, feisty and fun-loving and that’s how I like to describe my novels. I hope readers agree :) I have a soft, romantic heart that bruises easily and I’m a sucker for Nespresso and George Clooney.

Under the Hood was inspired by my love for Holden cars and the history of Araleun Botanical Park. Wherever you look here in WA, you’ll find a blank canvas for a story. Small towns filled with charming characters and a wealth of history, the magic of the Pilbara, the lure of the Goldfields and the dry, red dust of the Nullabor – what more could an Author need?

I think you have all an author needs, Juanita.
So, how long have you been writing and what made you start?

From the moment my mum put a crayon in my hand :). I daydreamed a lot growing up, much to the frustration of my parents and teachers. It started with notes in the back of my school books and grew from there. I penned my first poems in primary school and followed them up with song lyrics. I even wrote the music to match. At about sixteen, I started to write my first novel, Fly Away Peta, which was published in August 2012 (twenty-something years later) by Eternal Press.

I come from a long line of storytellers and talented artists. My dad loved making up stories to tell at bedtime or read to us from our favourite books. We listened to a lot of radio series too. Stories have always been an integral part of my life. I can’t imagine being without a book to read or write.

That's fantastic. I always enourage people to start as soon as the muse awakens. I wrote What Happens in Ireland at sixteen too! But the story has changed much since then.
Juanita, can you pitch your novel, Under the Hood to us in 10 words or less?

I think Booknut 101’s review does it for me :)
“Cars, smouldering eyes, troubled teens and ice cold beers”

Booknut 101's review certainly does. Congradulations on such a fantastic response.
Now, what was the inspiration for this novel?

Australian businessman and politician JJ Simons founded the Young Australia League and established a holiday camp deep in the shaded Roleystone valley in 1929. Simons called his camp Araluen, an Eastern States Aboriginal word meaning ‘singing waters,’ ‘running waters’ or ‘place of lilies’.Together, League members and volunteers built cottages, designed by leading Perth architect WG Bennett, using local timber and stone. They created pathways, roads, steps and terraces and filled the dream garden with native and imported plants to create a garden heaven.

The Grove of the Unforgotten still remains today, built in memory of Young Australia League members killed in World War I.

Now known as Araluen Botanical Park, this has to be the most peaceful garden in Western Australia. Many of the cottages have been restored, except for one that burnt down, leaving only the chimney stack standing.

I chose a similar setting for TJ & Scott’s story, because of its history and original purpose. How wonderful would it be if young people could return to this peaceful place while they search for themselves through the trials of growing up?

Unfortunately, my story is fiction and TJ is no relation to JJ Simons, but his dream and my love for his creation provided the perfect background for this story of an extraordinary woman who has her own dream and a commitment that knows no boundaries.

That sounds wonderful. I can't wait to read it, Juanita!
Now, tell us, what's the best thing about being an author?
I can talk to imaginary people and no-one thinks I’m crazy! Oh, and then there’s the ‘research’ for the perfect hero… ;-)

Haha! It is a definite plus.
Have you always wanted to be an author?

Yes, and I am so blessed that my dream has come true.

Now, you recently did a post on receiving criticism ( What would you say is the best way to handle criticism and overcome the heartbreak?

Criticism—especially the negative variety—is like a knife to the heart. Only the author (and maybe their editor) knows how much of their soul is invested in that story—not to mention the research, planning and countless rewrites to get it perfect.

The best way to overcome it is to read it and put it aside for a while. Have a little cry and comfort (chocolate works wonders!) to get the emotion out of the way. Let’s face it, as Romance Authors, our lives revolve around emotion. So we’re allowed a bit of a sook :)

When you’re ready, take it out and analyze it. What did they like about it? If more than one reviewer finds the same flaw, you can look at how you can fix that. I’ve started a checklist of the mistakes I plan to avoid in my next novel —working title of Under Cover of Dark—which is the continuation of the investigation started in Under the Hood and Detective Mark Johnson’s story.

I'm so glad to see someone working so proactively to be the best writer they can. Well done, Juanita.
Now, I'm going to be mean, but out of your two novels Fly away Peta and Under the Hood, which is your favourite and the most fun to write?

Hmm…tough question. They’re two very different‘tones’. Fly Away Peta was more intense, I think, and Peta took herself very seriously. The scenes were a little more dramatic. Under the Hoodon the other hand, was lighter even though the plot includes murder. TJ is a bouncier, feistier character whereas Peta was more of a hothouse flower –delicate, fragile with a hidden backbone when the situation called for it.

Under the Hood was more fun to write because of the characters, but I think Fly Away Peta will always hold a special place in my heart because I carried it with me the longest.

I think we all hold a special place in our hearts for our first. And they tend to be the book that teaches us the most.
Do you find that it gets easier with every novel?

Gosh no! My current heroine—Lily—is giving me a world of trouble because she’s feeding me tidbits of herself and keeping secrets. What I have found is that with each story, my writing gets stronger as I learn from reviews, critique, tips from writers, and workshops at the RWA conferences.

Damn, I had hoped lol.
Do you have something inspirational or informative to share with aspiring writers?

Do your research, learn from your mistakes, write often and never give up on your dream.
Fantastic advice, Juanita. Thank you so much for joining me on the blog today. I look forward to seeing Under the Hood on my kindle shelf in the near future. :)
And to finish off this interview, here is the blurb for Under the Hood:

Under the Hood

When Scott Devin buys a struggling car dealership in a semi-rural area in Western Australia, the last person he expects to see in charge is a stilletto-wearing, mini-skirted foreperson. Exactly the distraction a struggling, male-dominated workshop doesn’t need! But there’s more to TJ Stevens than meets the eye. TJ Stevens has two major goals in life: to preserve her grandfather’s heritage and protect the teens in her rehabilitation program– and she’ll go to any lengths to do it. Scott Devin’s presence is a threat to everything she’s worked hard to achieve, so keeping him at arms-length shouldn’t be a problem…or will it?

Juanita loves to hear from fans and would love for you to enjoy her writing journey with her at:

Twitter: @juanitakees
On the Web: