In the second of our Musical Monday posts with authors of the Oceanic Dreams series let's chat with Holly Kerr, author of I Saw Him Standing There.
I'm currently loving the new Shawn Mendes song, If I Can't Have You and the Ed Sheeran/Justin Bieber I Don't Care. But I keep going back to the soundtrack of The Greatest Showman - just love it!
Do you have a go to karaoke song?
I haven't done karaoke in a long time, but I think I'd go with ABBA or maybe Dolly Parton. I've been listening to a lot of Dolly lately and I think I could pull off Here You Come Again.
If you had to choose your theme song what would it be?
Dancing by Myself. Because that's what I do! Give me an empty kitchen and some loud tunes, plus a glass of wine and I'll all set!
I Saw Him Standing There get your copy today
This stowaway sets sail for love!Small-time con artist Siggy needs to get out of town fast. When she’s offered tickets on the legendary Oceanic Aphrodite, Siggy jumps at the chance to get away. A week on a luxury cruise ship, with a suitcase full of clothes and all expenses paid? Yes, please! The only catch is that she has to pretend to be someone else.
No problem. Siggy has no intention of getting close enough anyone to discover her secrets.
But this is the Oceanic Aphrodite and love is in the air. When Siggy sees assistant cruise director Will taking tickets, Cupid’s arrow hits the target. Luckily, Will’s too busy smiling at her to check out her fake passport because he’ll toss Siggy off the ship if he finds out about the scam.
Onboard, dolphins and cameras and runaway ferrets bring Siggy and Will together. The more time they spend together, the more Siggy wants to tell him the truth.
Cupid’s arrow has struck deep but can Siggy stop running?This novella-length romantic comedy is the first book in the Oceanic Dreams series
Books in series:
I Saw Him Standing There by Holly Kerr
Time of My Life by Laura Heffernan
Circle in the Sand by Tracy Krimmer
I Thought it Was You by Kirsty McManus
I Will Follow Him by Holly Tierney-Bedord
Take a Chance on Me by Delancey Stewart
Shut Up and Dance With Me by Monique McDonell
The Best of You by Sophie-Leigh Robbins
Every Book in the new Oceanic Dreams series I'm a part of is named after a song - let's get to know Holly Tierney Bedford author of I Will Follow Him, Book 5 in the Series.
Riptide by Vance Joy (what a great video!)
Motion Sickness by Phoebe Bridgers
Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Wish I Knew You by the Revivalists
Pumped Up Kicks by Foster the People
lots of different songs by the Lumineers
lots of old songs by Stevie Nicks (I never get tired of her)
Do you have a go to karaoke song?
I've only sung karaoke a time or two as part of a group. I'm really better off being a spectator.
If you had to choose your theme song what would it be?
That changes on an hourly basis, but right now I'll go with Live in the Moment by Portugal. The Man
I Will Follow Him there is available on pre-order be sure to get your copy here
It's release week for Laura Heffernan's Book Time of My Life, Book 2 in the Oceanic Dreams Series so the authors are running this giveaway. Be sure to enter
The week that was in the year of saying yes
First off I'm not going to lie- I didn't love 2018 from an author perspective. I set some lofty goals and I fell short. There were lots of reasons for this that include the fact that even I need to sleep and as much as I love my author life it's not worth missing out on real life to make it work. Still, I was bummed at the end of the year. 2017 was my best year in terms of sales and goals and I felt like I was gaining traction and it all slipped away in 2018.
Fast forward to 2019 and I set new ambitious goals that included launching a book a month - I haven't quite done that - but I will have published twelve times by the end of 2019 so we'll take it. In order to make that happen I said yes late last year to a lot of projects.
I said yes I'll try and get a on board with Sweet Promise Press when they launched last year which meant I had No Time For Temptation ready to roll in January.
I said yes to joining the Coffee Talk on the Board Walk multi-author series and yes to the Oceanic Dreams series as well. Originally that had me releasing my Oceanic Dreams book - Shut Up and Dance With Me in May and my Cinnamon Bay book with Coffee Talk in June. Then the Oceanic Dreams book got bumped to August and we added a novella to the Cinnamon Bay series.
So that meant that the novella Love on the Boardwalk, launched this week along with the first book in the Oceanic Dreams series. That was a lot of partying and promoting for both books.
You know what is awesome about being in a multi author series? Everyone has their own special talents that they bring to the table from graphic design, building websites, book formatting or book trailers. It's so nice to be part of a team and not figuring all that stuff out all on my own.
I'll be featuring all the amazing authors here on my blog and on my Facebook page so you can see how great they are for yourselves.
So that means we have two gorgeous book trailers which I will share over the next week. First Coffee talk on the Boardwalk and then Oceanic Dreams later this week.
Some of you may know I've set up a small business GetSocialWriteNow to help other authors on their path to publishing - I've learned a lot on my journey and I hate it when I see people struggling when there's no need. I've always been happy to help people and I know most authors are very generous with their time. Building an author platform takes quite a bit of know how so I started sharing mine,
Anyway, part of promoting this, and books as well is getting out there and talking about what I can do. As part of this strategy when I was asked to be on a panel at the WriteNow! Festival in Lake Macquarie I said yes. I had no idea it would end up being the same week that all of this was happening and I was a little overwhelmed mid-week thinking about it.
As it turned out it was the perfect way to spend the day - surrounded by authors and aspiring writers and librarians and books. It was actually a really fun and joyous experience I'm glad I said yes to.
So that's my week on review. If you want to support the projects I have said yes to you can see all my books here on Amazon.
"Delicious Disasters" by Isabella Louise Anderson
Blurb: When Tessa Markham’s bookstore gets bought out, she is forced to face an uncertain future. After her best friend challenges her to start baking, she accepts—even if the last time she baked wasn’t what she would call a delicious success.
After a small kitchen fire, Tessa’s life begins to change. She finds encouragement from a sexy fireman, agrees to a questionable ruse to help another business owner with a complicated situation, and needs to be there for her best friend now more than ever.
Can a delicious disaster lead to a new future and a successful baking career?
**Click HERE to add "Delicious Disasters" to your Goodreads list!
About the author: Isabella Louise grew up with a book in her hand, and to this day nothing has changed. Aside from writing, she focuses her time on featuring other authors on her blog, Chick Lit Goddess, along with sharing book reviews. Isabella Louise is also a member of the Romance Writers of America.
She lives in Dallas with her husband, enjoys spicy Indian and Mexican food, margaritas, and red and white wines. She loves spending time with family and friends, and cheering on the Texas Rangers. When Isabella Louise isn’t working on her next release, her attention is also on her Scentsy business, where she’s a consultant.
Today I thought I'd ask myself the Top 5 questions I get asked about my writing life.
1. How's your writing going?
This is the question people who know I write but don't really know about the details ask. It's the most common question I get.
It's going fine. I have another book out next month and my last release was okay although I didn't promote it properly. It was a novella and I don't think people really want novellas from me. My January release No Time For Temptation went well and readers are giving it great reviews which makes me happy.
2. When is the next book out?
This is the question from my friends who read and love my books.
Girlfriend, I'm doing my best here. It takes a lot longer to write a book than read a book you know. I'm working really hard here and but you'll have books in April, May, June so don't panic. There will be lots to read. I do really appreciate that you love my books and your support makes me cry all the happy tears.
3. Can I get it in paperback?
Asked by lots of non e-reading friends.
You know I used to do paperbacks and they just don't sell unless you have a book launch or a signing but I have No Time For Temptation in paperback and it will be live on Amazon soon. I'm also ordering duets of the Upper Crust series soon, I promise. Here's an example!
4. How do you write so fast?
This is usually asked by other authors who don't write as quickly as I do.
Firstly, I have had years of practice at being quick at turning work around in my day job where I've basically written all day for a living. Secondly, I'm not bad at time management in general so I'm really good at using 15 minute increments to get stuff done - a Facebook post, some emails, or some behind the scenes activity. Thirdly, I know my best times of day for creativity and it's good to work these out for yourself. (Mine are 10am -12noon , 2-4pm, and 5-6.30pm) If I can get two one hour blocks in these times I can get 2-3,000 words of a draft done. I try and do a minimum of 1,000 words a day. That adds up. Fourthly, by writing every day I can dive straight back in where I left off which saves time and backtracking. Finally, i enjoy writing (editing and promoting not so much) but I do it because I like it and that makes it easier.
There is no correct pace to write at. It depends on a lot of things. I like to release regularly because as an indie romance author that helps me with sales, visibility and the pesky Amazon algorithms. Also I read quickly so I understand that kind of reader who wants to read a series back-to-back. That means I need to write quickly and it's important to me so I make time for it.
Also I don't watch TV hardly at all (except the odd cooking show) . I haven't seen a movie since January 2018 and I don't play sports or have a time consuming hobby. As does meal preparation (we don't eat take-away) and planning on the home front. Oh yes, and my house isn't company ready 95% of the time. You'd be amazed how much time that frees up.
5. How do you come up with your ideas?
Lots of people ask this.
Ideas are not an issue for me. I have books planned out and so many things I'd love to write that I'll never get to. The characters appear before me and then I want to tell their stories. Picking the right stories in the right order is the challenge for me as is deciding what people would like to read. I'll have a plan and then get distracted by shiny new things. Staying focused is the challenge.
If you have any question please feel free to ask me in the comments below.
It can't be just me who is amazed we're into March already. Still I'm pulling on my boots and marching forward because that's the kind of year I have planned for myself. 2018 was kind of a tough one and I'm ready to fave down all the challenges this year brings. I'm working on my book business like the crazy, coffee loving maniac I am.
At the risk of sounding like some kind of self-help guru there's really no one who can get this stuff done for me but me so I just need to get on with it. Moaning and lamenting about the many challenges of being an author in 2019 is really just a big old waste of my very precious time and energy.
Today I sent out my newsletter, if you're on the list you'll see that I'm part of an exciting multi-author project launching in the US Spring. Check out the pretty cover for Love on the Boardwalk, the novella that will launch the series. There'll be six books out in this series over the summer, including on from me in June.
Here is the Blurb:
She’s hiding a broken engagement.
He’s concealing his true birth heritage.
They’ll have to trust their hearts even if they’re sure love is a lie.
Now that Eva Halloway is back in her hometown of Cinnamon Bay, she has one full plate with the grand re-opening of her newly inherited boardwalk cafe and a broken engagement to hide from the town gossip mill. First, Eva must bury her bruised heart, and second, she must ban the ridiculous Cafe Amour drink from the menu. But, sexy stranger, Mac Jenssen strolls into her cafe and before she knows it, they’ve both sipped on the legendary love concoction. By the end of the day, Eva is up to her neck in a feud with a trio of matchmaking little old ladies and wondering if she can trust herself to help Mac uncover his past.
Macklin Jenssen arrives in Cinnamon Bay to search for the family who gave him up for adoption. Instead, he finds Eva, a legend about love, and a lighthouse with ties to his past. Plus a spiced drink that is out of this world delicious. He hasn’t bargained for any of it, although he isn’t saying no to love. In fact, the more he comes to know Eva, the more he’s considering a permanent move. Too bad she’s made up her mind about him, and it isn’t looking good. But, if he wishes to unravel the mystery of his birth parents, he’s going to need Eva’s help.
With town gossip and crazy bat-wielding locals, Eva and Mac face an uphill battle. It might be opposites attract or even fate, but they will have to learn to trust in each other and the power of love. Delve into a new world of romance, mystery, and magic in the quirky coastal town of Cinnamon Bay, North Carolina.
We have a whole interactive Facebook community working with us to build the town of Cinnamon Bay by naming all the parts of the town. Click below of you would like to join us.
Don't forget I've already launched two books in 2019 - if you haven't read them yet be sure to download your copies today!
FlightBound is a fun, fast read set between Sydney and Brisbane and No Time for Temptation is my contribution to the No Brides Club series. It's getting great reviews which makes me super happy.
If you're a fan of my Jewel Sisters series I apologies for making you wait a whole year for a new book. To make up for it I'll be releasing Something to Savor and Something Worth Saving just a month apart starting in March so the wait won't be too long. If you haven't started the series yet then now is the time!
Ann talks Valentine Kisses and Keto cookies
I love cooking and it may come as no surprise that I include this in some of my stories. We’re off to America for a family holiday in May so most of the recipes I’m trying are either sugarless or keto. If I can drop another 3 kilos, I’ll be happy. That way I can eat my way around America and not fret over the extra weight I know I’m going to put on.
Valentine Kisses is the second in the Moore Sisters of Montana and features a hot fireman and a celebrity chef. Bella Moore thought she had everything she ever wanted. The host of a hit reality show, she's at the top of her career. So when her show goes on hiatus for six months and she finally has downtime, she decides to return to her roots and visit her sister in Cherry Lake. What she doesn't expect is to love the town and the temporary chef position she's taken on at the Lake Hotel.
Jake Woods is focused on his son and his job as the local fire chief. Things are moving along nicely until the new chef at the Lake Hotel almost burns the place down. Jake knows that Bella inherited a mess from the chef before her and he's keen to help her.
After weeks of working together in tight quarters, Jake and Bella can't ignore the sparks between them. But Bella's stay in Cherry Lake is only temporary and Jake still hasn't recovered from losing his wife a few years ago. They'll have to decide whether or not the flame between them can survive without the heat of the kitchen.
I’ve signed an agreement with an LA producer who is keen on getting Valentine Kisses made into film which will be incredible exciting. To keep up with progress, you can sign up to my newsletter here www.annbharrison.net and follow the journey with me.
For those that love to cook, here is my latest ‘go to’ for something sweet and diet friendly. Be sure to double the recipe. The first time I made them my daughters attacked them like a flock of hungry seagulls and the grandkids took a bag each to school for snacks. I guess that makes them a family favorite already!
Keto Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup salted peanut butter
6 ( only used 3) Tbsp sweetener like Stevia
¼ cup toasted almond flour. (I use a mix of almond and coconut and toasted it in a dry pan)
1 large egg.
Mix all together. It will be thick and dense.
Scoop onto baking sheet and press down with a fork in both directions giving it a criss- cross pattern. Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes. When you take them out of the oven, leave to cool on the baking sheet. They’re very soft but firm up when cool.
Best-selling author, Ann B Harrison has the perfect backdrop for her imagination to run wild, the lush wine growing region of the Hunter Valley in Australia. She alternates her time between writing western romances, romantic suspense and walking her dog, Chilli.
Two kinds of hero make Ann to a mass of nerves. The hot cowboy with a slow sexy drawl (she used to live out in the desert where they were more common than where she lives now) and a man in a kilt. Imagine Jamie Fraser and you’ll understand why. She can’t wait to visit Scotland where she can get her fill of the tartan clad hotties for, um, research purposes, of course.
In the meantime, her dear husband puts up with her talking to her characters and getting lost in worlds only she can imagine as she battles to bring stories to the page for everyone to enjoy.
You can find Ann on Facebook here - https://bit.ly/2UUWaZW
Her website – www.annbharrison.net
Amazon page - https://amzn.to/2sX4wF5
Notice some changes here on the blog?
I've been running this blog since 2012 if you can believe that. That's a long time and during that time not much has changed. Same banner, same style, same look but the truth is, I've changed since 2012 so I thought it was time to update my site to reflect that.
I love my old look and banner but it was reflective of the books I used to write and the covers I had then. It's funny because people tell me they love the illustrated stand alone covers but those books just don't sell in 2019. I wanted the blog and the site to show readers who stop by now, most of whom find me from my more recent books, to find a site that matches the books they've read. So I've had a new logo made and I'm doing a little revamp. I'm still tweaking a few things but let me know what you think in the comments below.
It's also release week for Flight Bound, A Sweet Valentine's Romance. I got the idea for this book when I was on a plane one day and I was in the very front row opposite two flight attendants who were discussing their personal lives. It was fascinating. I had to pretend to read a magazine because they were right there and otherwise all I could do was stare at them and listen. It got me thinking how weird it would be if I recognised one of them but they didn't recognise me and from that idea Flight Bound was born.
Here's the blurb for Flight Bound, A Sweet Valentine's Novella
He was her first kiss, she was his first love - a decade later and she's a broken-hearted flight attendant who has sworn off men and he's the guy determined not to be relegated to to the friend-zone again.
A chance encounter on a commuter flight brings Mel back into Tucker's life again and while he's excited to see her it's clear she has other things on her mind, like the ex who just dumped her.
Mel needs a break from men and anyway, Tucker is everything Mel doesn't usually go for in a man - he's smart, he's kind and he's fun - but he's Tucker the boy the next door. He's totally not her type or is he?
Can Tucker convince Mel to take a chance on him this Valentine's Day or will this relationship be grounded before it even takes flight?
Get your copy today
If you follow me on Facebook or get my newsletter you'll know I'm involved in a couple of Valentine's Hops with some great prizes. You should definitely pop over there and get involved.
I'm also part of a multi-author Instagram promo (click here or the image below to enter) and Any Way You Want It is free until Feb 15th 2019 as are the books in the February Free For all promo (click here or the image to discover new authors)
I hope you enter some competitions, download some books and revisit my revamped blog often.
2/4/2019 0 Comments
Thanks for your welcome, Monique. It’s lovely to be here.
When my thoughts turn to Valentine’s Day the first thing I think of is roses. But food always figures highly. Magazines are full of what to cook, more pink recipes than you can shake a stick at, and suggestions for the most romantic restaurants to dine at.
There’s no doubt that food and sex, and by extension love, are inextricably linked. The experience of falling in love is tactile, using all the senses. Our scent receptors are as open to pheromones as to the aroma of beautifully cooked food. Both make our mouths water. And it’s unsurprising that we describe desirable physical characteristics in terms of food: peach or strawberry coloured lips, chestnut coloured hair, almond shaped eyes and cheeks like apples.
On Valentine’s Day I enjoy cooking something special at home rather than dining out. I’ll push beyond my usual efforts, choose a special recipe or two and use the best ingredients I can find. I’ll pull out my best china and linen, light candles and make sure the table looks pretty. All of this shows care and love.
Food abounds in my sweet Valentine’s Day novella, Miss Valentine’s Love Emporium. Lexie Valentine has been taken in and protected by the small town of Carter’s Crossing and on this special day each year she expresses her love for the townspeople by throwing a huge party in the vacant emporium she rents as a pop-up. In doing this she demonstrates her belief in love in the face of a traumatic past experience.
Ethan Taylor is a world-weary big city divorce lawyer with a jaded view of love but he has been roped into taking his elderly grandmother to Lexie’s party. He arrives at the party, carrying his grandmother’s contribution:
“At one end of the counter two tall stacks of mismatched floral plates were flanked by small buckets of cutlery, the old fashioned kind with bone handles buffed shiny with age. Piles of old linen napkins in cream and pastel shades, carefully starched and ironed, sat beside them. He placed the pavlova on the counter together with the other offerings. He’d forgotten the largesse of a country gathering. Not for them the large white platters holding wispy herbal fronds and miniscule pieces of food that he was served at smart city functions. The counter groaned with plates loaded with cakes and sandwiches, fruit platters and cheese boards.”
May Valentine’s Day bring you flowers and delicious food but most of all love and happiness!
You can follow Lexie and Ethan on their journey by selecting your favourite retailer here: https://books2read.com/u/49P6gM
Louise Reynolds is an author of contemporary romantic fiction.
On receiving her library card at the age of six she borrowed her first book, an illustrated story about onions. Over the years she progressed from vegetables to romance. It was a logical step to take her love of romance novels to the next stage and tell her own stories.
Set in both the city and Australia’s outback, her books have been described as warm and witty feel-good reads.
Let’s connect on social media:
Musical Monday with Australian author Joanne Dannon
Thanks to Monique for inviting me to her Musical Monday blog.
I love music and dancing but my favourite music is jazz and swing. I’ve always had a thing for songs by Gershwin and Berlin. It must be the romantic in me J
As an author, I’ve always written the books I want to read, rather than “writing to market”. I don’t write a book and use a trope simply because it’s popular and everyone else is doing it.
I love the “opposites attract” tropes for my books, because it happens with love. When you fall for the person you don’t expect to. Often we have preconceived notions of who we want to be with, and sometimes the person that makes us believe in love is the person we least expect it to be.
At the time of writing Kissing under the Spotlight, Michael Bublé was in Melbourne and I went to his concert (of course!!) and it made me think…what would happen if I met him? I’d probably dissolve in to a pool of giggles and act like a complete tosser around him because I’m a huge fan.
I used that as the basis for my book. What would my heroine do if she came face to face with the world famous singer she has a major crush on? And ta-da, I wrote the book which has a fairy-tale ending.
And because all awesome women need a fab BFF, I gave my heroine a friend. But at the end of the book, I couldn’t let my characters go…so I wrote another book, and then more after.
I have book one of my Kissing Down Under series for free, and I hope you download and enjoy this romance between a superstar and an ordinary gal (like you and me) J
If you like handsome crooners, then Kissing under the Spotlight is for you. Here’s an excerpt –
“Yes. We agreed our kiss was a mistake—”
He snorted. “I never said it was a mistake.”
The speech continued, with rapid vagueness. “Well, whatever. You’re Alex Jackson and I’m Violet McKenzie. You’re a somebody and I’m a nobody. You’ve got gazillions of women falling over themselves to be with you.” She paused. “Which I get, who wouldn’t? Plus you’re a great kisser. But we come from different worlds and we should keep it that way.”
His brow arched. “You think I’m a great kisser?”
Her eyes widened to the size of a small planet. “Um.” She cleared her throat a couple of times. “Well, yes.”
Kissing under the Spotlight is free for a limited time, and the second book in the series, Kissing like she means it, is on sale at $0.99 (instead of $3.99).
Note – these books are not sweet and have a 3/5 heat rating.
About Joanne Dannon
Best selling, award-winning Australian author, Joanne Dannon, writes to give her readers the experience she loves to savor--indulging in a sigh-worthy-happily-ever-after, being swept away from the everyday by diving into a delicious romance novel.
Joanne is a happily married mother of two heroes-in-training who loves spending time with friends and family. She can be found on Facebook and her website www.joannedannon.com chatting about reading, writing, cooking, vintage-inspired dresses and all things romantic.