Sunday, 25 February 2018

70. Justice

Confession time: My blog is the only writing I’ve done this month, loathe as I am to admit it. However, the house won’t unpack itself and no one will tell me where the housework fairies are hiding. So now, here I am, sneaking in a blog amid unpacking boxes, washing more sheets and towels than I thought possible, and trying to convince myself I really do need a hundred and one coffee cups crammed into a drawer. (Okay, some exaggeration may have slipped through.)

And that wonderful office I’ve been daydreaming about for over a year – it now has more boxes than I dare count. I think the books may have multiplied too.

We did make some lovely friends at the old place and I am already missing our little chats, coffees, and get togethers. Hopefully the new neighbours are ready for the onslaught of random bursts of singing, (life’s a musical in this family) me firmly (possibly screaming) asking the youngest to do her homework, and random mutterings of ‘we’re never moving again’ escaping the windows.

What I did find (make) time for when I wasn’t falling into exhausted oblivion was not only reading, but happily interviewing a new author who is sharing news of her debut novel ‘JUSTICE’ with us. :)

Ms Georgia Tingley sat down to my Twenty Questions that somehow morphed into a few more, and graciously answered them all. I love learning what makes authors tick, their thought processes, and sharing their stories. I had the pleasure of Beta-reading for Georgia and enjoyed the story immensely. I loved ‘watching it evolve.’ I hope everyone reading it enjoys it as much as I did.

Author Interview

1.              When did you first consider yourself a writer?
It took a while to accept that I am a writer. Probably after I finished completing my first draft. It was 50,000 words and I thought holy crap… I did it!

2.              Do you have support from family and friends?
Yes, I have heaps of support from my family. Especially my husband and my two daughters. My mum and sister too are supportive. I think they get sick of me talking about writing though.

3.              Do you have a particular writing style?
Yes, I think I do. I like short chapters. Since discovering Scrivener I write scenes for my stories and then decide after the first draft where the chapters should be. It’s usually the scenes ha-ha since I like short chapters, but occasionally I’ll have a chapter with a couple scenes.

4.              What are your favourite story writing genres and authors, and what draws you to them?
I love romances first and foremost. But I have pretty much been through most genres… not in any order –I went through my Agatha Christie stage where I loved the whole understated British detective i.e.: Miss Marple and Inspector Poirot (even though he is Belgian). I loved the quaint English villages that she always set her novels in. With the Poirot books, I liked the 30’s timeline, and the art deco style that featured in the stories.

I loved scary stories - Stephen King, Misery, Dreamcatchers. Dean Koontz – Midnight. I admire that a writer can make the reader uncomfortable, so that they feel the need to put the book down and hide under the covers at every strange sound, when only a few hours earlier everything was normal. I remember reading Midnight, at home. My husband was out, and with my kids asleep, I felt the need to go and check on them repeatedly. Silly!

Then my Sci-Fi stage, John Wyndam’s, The Chrysalids – this is the first adult book I ever read, and it really influenced me. The fact that a writer can create a new world, good or bad. Amazing! Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park and Timeline both made into movies, both awesome books. Too much technical stuff in Jurassic Park though.
Non-Fiction - self-help, true crime and Biographies.

But my all-time favourite was Johanna Lindsay who writes historical romances (the Mallory Books are the best), Janet Dailey, who wrote light romances for Mills and Boon years ago. I also love Karen Robards, One Summer (I read it every few years), it’s a suspense/romance. I could go on and on even more… but I won’t.

5.              Where can we buy or see your works?
You can buy my eBook through Amazon, Google, and Kindle from March 1st, 2018 and print books will be available shortly afterward. I’m happy to sign copies too.

6.              Can you tell us what are you working on now?
I currently have two books for 2018 that I am hoping to get published. The first is a contemporary romance for mature aged women. It’s a series I’m working on called ‘Mature Love’ about women who find love later in life i.e.: over 35.

My first book is called ‘Having Faith’ -  At 42 years-old, Faith has just been informed via text message that her ex-husband is getting remarried to a much younger, gorgeous, intelligent woman, - an ex-husband that she fantasied would come crawling back one day.

With her self-esteem in tatters, stunning-looking, Adam Warner steps back into her life. Ten years her junior and her best friends younger brother. Faith and Adam always had a connection from the day she held him as a baby, but she was so much older, and married. Now however, there was nothing stopping her from taking that connection further – except herself.

My other novel is a follow up in my ‘Angel Calling Series’ – as yet untitled. The story is about a woman – Caroline, who wakes from a coma with the ability to read minds. Newly converted angel, ‘Asher – Angel of Guidance’ is sent down to help her control and refine her gift.

Together they help the police find missing people. However, when a man’s wife goes missing, Caroline is unable to read his mind – but he can read hers! Not only can he read minds, but he is able to send thought suggestions – a gift reserved for the supernatural. The ladies are way out of their depth. ‘Justice’ is called in to help.

7.              How much research do you do?
I did quite a bit on the internet. For Justice, I had to find out work out where I wanted my novel set. Then discover the little things about the area, what is the state flag, what were the nearest towns, what did the scenery look like, what plants grew in that area, etc.

8.              Why do you write?
Put simply – I love it so much.

9.              Do you have a writing routine?
Yes. I work three full days a week Tue, Wed & Thurs. I’m sitting in front of my computer by 7-8 am with a 30-minute lunch break. I work steadily to 3 pm. Although I have been known to keep writing till 6pm if I’m on a roll. “Sweetheart, it’s takeaway tonight.”

10.           Do you ever get writer’s block and if so, how do you get through it?
No, I haven’t yet. I’m not sure what I would do, but probably something that inspires me. Maybe listen to music, or watch a movie, go for a walk. It’s something that I would need to do alone, so my brain could come up with ideas.

11.           What book/s are you reading at present?
I just finished a book called Bad Boyfriend by Julie Kriss – it’s a contemporary romance about a girl who always had a thing for her brother’s best friend who was a ‘bad-boy’- the type you would have a fling with, but never bring home to meet your parents.
Years later, he returns to their hometown from having spent 4 years in the Marines, and sparks fly between them. And she thinks – what the hell, I want him, even if it’s for just a little while. Until she can’t let him go.

12.           What do you think of “trailers” for books?
Love them. I wish I could afford to do one. Maybe later if I’m successful. It’s as though your book has been made into a movie. How awesome is that?

13.           What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write what is in your heart. Emotion is the payout for readers. If you just write a story, no matter how good the sentence structure is, without the reader feeling moved, or having a connection to your characters, it’s just a bunch of words put together well. A reader needs to care about what happens in the story.

14.           What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I spend a lot of time with my grandchildren and my own kids. I like to knit, read (of course), watch movies and tv shows, garden, swim. My husband and I love to go caravanning, so we escape for the odd long weekend to get away from the rat-race.

15.           What do you think makes a good story?
I like a story with characters who I can relate to, no matter what genre or what age, sex or race. I love to see a bit of humour in a story. Writing humour can be difficult, so when a writer makes me smile or even laugh out loud it’s wonderful. I think emotion in your stories is a must. Whether the story moves the reader to feel, scared, sad, happy, melancholy or angry it’s all part of the storytelling journey which makes a book a great read. Also, I love great descriptions so that I have a clear picture in my mind of a place, or a feeling etc.

16.           If you write more than one genre, how do you balance them?
I do write more than one genre, and I balance them by sticking to the one story at a time. When writing romance for example, I tend to want to watch romantic movies, or read romance books. Same with horror, Science Fiction and so on.

17.           Are you a plotter, panster or a combination of both?
Definitely a plotter. I use a whiteboard and write down in just a few sentences where I want the story to go… e.g.: 1. Open with hook. 2. Introduce protagonist in detail. 3. Move story along with cliff hanger. – You get the gist.

18.           What question do you wish someone would ask, but no one ever has?
Do you fall in love with your characters? Answer is – Yes, I do. I love them so much. Especially the protagonist and some of the other loveable ones, that when I get any criticism, it tends to hurt a bit. When someone wants me to change something about them, I’m like NOOO.

19.           Any writing rituals / superstitions?
No superstitions. As yet! I ritually chew gum when I need to think. I know it’s weird, some people drink endless cups of coffee, me, I chew. I think it’s the rhythm of chewing and blowing bubbles while staring at the screen. Well, that’s my theory anyway.

20.           How did you deal with rejection letters (if you had any?)
I had plenty. I just put it down to a rite of passage that all writers experience. It’s not personal. Publishers don’t always know a good thing when they see it. They only look at what they think will sell and what will make them money. I’ve heard so many stories of self-published authors who make good sales and then the traditional publishers contact them. Plus, I do think they are probably over-loaded with manuscripts and under staffed.

21.           What inspired you to write Justice’s story?
I was watching 48 hours, a procedural police TV show. It featured a story about a little boy who went missing 40 years ago. His body was found at the time, but his murderer wasn’t. It haunted the parents for their whole life. The police even had a good idea who committed the crime but could do nothing without evidence. Years later, a police officer was reviewing the cold case and decided to interview people again. Someone decided to break their silence. This led to the police finding evidence and locking the guy away. I thought to myself, if only there was a super-hero or angel who could solve cold cases like that, to give the parents some closure.

22.           Do you edit as you go or finish your writing first?
I just write and write. Worry about the proper edit later, otherwise it would take me twice as long. No need to be a perfectionist.

23.           What turns you off a story?
I get turned off by smokers, being a non-smoker myself. Especially if it’s the protagonist. I also hate violence against women, so I try to avoid those sorts of stories. Particularly domestic violence, I couldn’t think of anything worse than someone you care about, hitting you. Not too keen on anything about WWI or WWII, I’ve seen enough war movies. I’m not a big lover of fantasy novels either. You must wade through copious amounts of scene descriptions before you get to the story.

24.           Where do you get your titles and character names from?
I get the title from the story. Both my books have titles of the main characters. Characters names are more difficult. It’s usually names that I hear and I like, or dislike. I have a notebook for names, so I’ll grab one from there.

25.           How long did it take you to learn how to step back from your story and self-edit, or do you prefer another method?
I do self-edit to a certain extent, but I highly recommend that writers get someone else to edit for them. Someone who knows what they are doing. It’s so hard to look objectively at your own work.

Thank you for being so generous with your time and your answers, Georgia. Wishing you all the best for ‘Justice.’ Very excited for you.

You can contact Georgia on her facebook page – she loves to hear from her readers. :)

Book Reviews
Raid (Futuristic Romance - Kidnapped Brides Book One) by Jenny Schwartz
No Nomad can ignore a summons from the Oracle. Their culture demands that they submit to a raiding party to find and mate their one true love.

Imprisoned and mistreated by the infamous information broker Fagan, Alexa Maven lives a life that makes the thought of love a painful lie. If she dared to dream, she'd wish for freedom and anonymity; to be alone forever.

Mikal Fforde is a captain in the United Space Marine Corps. Love is a distraction he definitely doesn't need right now. He’s a tough fighter, a survivor, and he can’t afford the vulnerability that love brings.

But the Oracle has spoken, and two mismatched strangers are about to find their unlikely perfect match – if they survive Fagan!

*RAID is a short science fiction romance

Alexa, a star chart expert, is the property of a dangerous pirate. One who would stop at nothing to keep her by his side. After all, Alexa doesn’t need her legs to do her job, does she? But the Nomads all follow a strict code. They can’t ignore a summons from the Oracle.

When the Oracle orders Alexa to attend a Raiding Party to find her mate and unite with her one true love, she does so with the pirate’s solemn vow still ringing in her ears – Come straight back, and if your new mate isn’t useful – he dies. What hope does she have of escape? And now she’s responsible for the life of a stranger.

Mikal Fforde, a United Space Marine Captain, has little time or interest in romance, so when the Oracle pairs him with a mere wisp of a girl, he’s certain the world’s gone mad. The little mouse seems terrified of everything, especially him. But Mikal soon discovers her fear is for him, not of him, and suddenly Alexa doesn’t seem like a timid mouse. She’s a mysterious woman sent to save him from himself. In fact, he’d willingly risk his life to save hers.

Ms Schwartz just keeps those stories coming, and as usual, she left me wanting to know what happens next. This is the start of a new series, and I look forward to seeing where she takes her readers. :)

Dahlia (Book 4 in the Dragons of Riddick series) by Mel Teshco

The dragons will search the universe for their one true mate...
Dahlia Mannett was a princess on her planet, Riddich. Now all she wants on Earth is to be normal and not hunted by the evil Tantonics, who prey on her people for their power. But somehow, she ends up in a bikini and on the catwalk for famous designer, Lincoln Hillier. Turns out he’s also the one man to bring out her inner dragon—a miracle considering no Riddich male achieved that same result.

But even if Lincoln is Dahlia’s one true mate, how can she expect him to give up everything and everyone he’s ever known for an alien woman … a woman who jeopardizes his life just for being with her. Because the Tantonics will destroy anyone who gets in the way of their goal to drain the Riddichians of their power.

Lincoln thought he’d had everything, until he saw Dahlia. Now she’s all he wants, and he’s happy to give up his worldly possessions to stay with her. An existence without her in it wouldn't be living, and he’s willing to risk it all to prove it. She’s his life mate … and she’s all he wants.

Being the lone surviving female comes with its own set of problems. Dahlia has never experienced the dragon transformation, never found her rightful place in Riddich society even if she was loved and accepted by all as a true princess of that world. And never has she fallen in love and found someone to satisfy her inner dragon. When she lands on Earth, she figures she’ll never know what it means to be her true self. But that changes when she meets Lincoln. How can a human succeed where all other male Riddichians have failed?

Lincoln Hillier is used to having beautiful women fawning over him, and he’s never questioned that attraction. When he sees the gorgeous woman intent on gate crashing his modelling show on his private estate, not that he has the slightest objection to this uninvited guest, no other woman matters. For the first time, Lincoln finds himself captivated by a woman, one he soon learns is an alien. When they discover he’s the man to trigger Dahlia’s dragon transformation, Dahlia’s at a loss to know why. Before they can make any sense of what’s happened, the Tantonics find them, and so begins a desperate bid for freedom, and a twist that neither Dahlia nor Lincoln saw coming.

I looked forward to reading from Dahlia’s perspective since she’s the only surviving female dragon, and Ms Teshco didn’t disappoint me. :)  Dahlia is a strong character who was true to her cause yet showed vulnerability and a quiet inner strength that brought her to life for me. On the downside, I believe there’s only two more stories left in this series. :(


Once the house is sorted and I can see my office for the boxes, it will be back to work as usual. Until then, happy cleaning, I mean, happy writing and reading – do more of those. :)

Thursday, 25 January 2018

69. Influential Books

Happy New Year, dear readers. :)

I hope your 2018 is magical and exceeds your expectations.

I’m looking ahead to a busy year. We’ll be moving to a new house soon, so I’ll have all the fun that goes with packing and unpacking boxes again. This will be our permanent home, so I’m looking forward to feeling settled, and cooking in a brand-new kitchen. At least I can open all the boxes and rediscover items I haven’t seen in over a year. Either it will be like Christmas, or I’ll be wondering why I decided to pack said item and drag it across the country when I could have conveniently ‘lost’ it in the skip. The most exciting part for me will be setting up my office, surrounding myself with books, and eliminating a few of the distractions I’ve had in the past year.

Influential Books

Not too long ago, I was asked which books influenced me over the years and drew me into writing. I thought it would be an easy question. Turns out I had to think long and hard about it. By influential, did they mean the books that stayed with me long after I read the words, ‘The End’? The ones that inspired me to write my own? The ones I wish I’d written? Or the ones I escaped to time and again when the real world became too much? So many possibilities and so many books from which to choose. In the end, I picked my top ten, in no particular order.

1. C.S. Lewis’s ‘The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe’ - my favourite of the Narnia Chronicles and the first book I fell in love with. I was terribly disappointed to discover none of the wardrobes, or cupboards or doors in my house (then or now) led to this magical land. I was eleven years old and craving adventure. I wanted to be Lucy, the youngest sibling, and meet Aslan. I may not have found Narnia, but I certainly lost myself in this book.

2. Charlaine Harris’s ‘Sookie Stackhouse’ series – I love how well Ms Harris kept the first-person point of view and how her heroine didn’t always come through adversity without a scratch. I learned what it meant to be a flawed character here, and how sometimes those flaws could become strengths. Not to mention the diversity of paranormal characters I found here – Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies – Oh my!

3. James Herbert’s ‘Domain’ – set in London after a nuclear bomb decimates the city, this was one of three dark and dastardly tales of sustaining life against the odds. Not for a moment did I feel like I wasn’t amongst the carnage and battling for survival along with the main characters. I was terrified by this story and what the characters did to survive. As for the ones who didn’t – I still get chills. Then there are the many rats.

Stephen King and Dean Koontz are on a par for me. They both terrify me, keep me awake at night wondering at the possibilities behind their stories, fascinate me with their brilliance, and these gentlemen are the ones who made me want to write too. While I have many favourites, these are a few of the standouts to me.

4. Stephen King’s ‘Pet Sematary’ – let’s all agree that when someone or something dies, they are meant to stay that way. Mr King is well known for his horror stories, and this was a doozy. I couldn’t put the book down. Not only did it give me chills, it brought me to tears many times. The empathy I had for the family and what they endured, the darkness, and the consequences of messing with that darkness – I’m getting teary just thinking about it. It was bad enough as a teen, but now that I’m a parent, some things in this book cut so much deeper.

5. Stephen King’s ‘Thinner’ – I have a thing about curse stories and this tale about a gypsy curse and revenge was brilliant. Again, this urged the reader not to mess with things they don’t understand, especially all things paranormal and magical. The main character tried so hard to right his wrongs, but some things cannot be atoned. The best part about this story was the twist at the end. After everything the main character endured, and what he did to elude his fate, I never saw this coming – and I’m saying that as a Stephen King fan who ought to know better.

6. Dean Koontz’s ‘Twilight Eyes’ – I loved the carney vibe and the main character’s ability to see demons within their human guise – I was in paranormal heaven. This book had everything – romance, horror, paranormal, deep emotional pain, and the promise that whatever life throws at you, you just keep fighting. The carnival backdrop fascinated me. While I’ve never wanted to run away and join a carnival (or the circus), the people and their deep sense of private community still hold my attention today. I think I was in my mid-teens when I read this, and for a long time, I took to staring at people intensely, just in case I could see the ‘demons’ beneath the surface. LOL

7. Dean Koontz’s ‘Odd Thomas’. As you know, I’ve been reading this series, but I did read the first book some years ago. Odd is another character whom I found fabulous and sad at the same time. It’s very hard to decide at times whether one’s paranormal ability really is a gift or a curse, and reading Odd’s take on life calls to me. I don’t know why I find this character so endearing. He emits from the page such gentleness, such deep caring for the people he loves, yet he carries such a heavy weight on his young shoulders. And despite this calm and passive demeanour, I know he’s capable of such dark things. A part of me doesn’t want to read the last in the series because I’m not sure I’m ready for Odd to end.

8. Wilbur Smith’s ‘River God’ – set in Ancient Egypt at the time of the Pharaohs. Its magic, intrigue, love, murder, and the overshadowing of politics had me on the edge of my seat. Politics isn’t my thing, but I did like the strategic way the characters went about getting what they wanted, even if some of them got what they deserved instead. I love how Mr Smith brought Ancient Egypt to life with all its customs, superstitions, and beliefs, and this is another book I didn’t want to end.

9. J.K. Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter’ series. This author made me believe in magic again. She made me feel the same wonder as an adult in Harry Potter that I found as a child reading #1’s book. I also take hope in the fact that she received several rejections (as did Stephen King) before she was published. Again, Harry Potter is about magic, courage, conviction, and they don’t need help from the adults, thank you very much. (Although having that parental love made a huge difference in the lives of the characters and the decisions they made.) I would love to have read these books as a teen, but Harry Potter certainly spoke to my inner child. I’m not sure whether I wish I’d written this series, but the thought of captivating so many readers and having them love the characters so much would certainly be an amazing feat.

10. Gordon Korman’s ‘I Want to Go Home’. I read this as a teen and I still read it now whenever I need a good laugh. The main characters, Rudy Miller (who’s an ace at everything he does whether it’s sport, dancing, or a game of chess) and Mike Webster (clever, shy, and not sporty in the slightest) are polar opposites. Yet their friendship and mutual hatred of summer camp are the catalysts to some hilarious moments. Korman’s characterisations are amazing, but in my teens, all I cared about was escaping summer camp with those boys. And as an adult, it inspires me to find the humour in tough situations.


You’ll have noticed I didn’t put a romance book in there. It isn’t because I don’t have a favourite or that I’m not influenced by them. I am. But when I was growing up, there was no such thing as a paranormal romance. Whether there wasn’t an audience for it then, or we were waiting for break out authors to be published in the genre and set a trend that’s just as popular today, I’m not sure. The truth is I always planned to write darker stories and embrace the paranormal world, but my characters had other ideas and I came to realise that romance had a bigger influence on my writing that I’d previously considered. There are romantic elements in every book I’ve mentioned above, and they matter in each story, and that’s what I really fell in love with, and why romance in writing keeps finding its way to me. :)

The big question is – what books influence you? I’d love to know. :)

Book Reviews

Jingle Stars (Shamans and Shifters Space Opera Book 4) by Jenny Schwartz

When a starship decides to play Santa Claus…
Ahab is a mLa’an artificial intelligence embedded in the starship, Orion.
The campaign for AIs to be recognized as full citizens of Galaxy Proper is within reach of its extraordinary goal. The only thing that could stop it now is if an AI did something foolish…like take a space station hostage to save eight orphaned children.
And this is the letter to Santa that starts it all:
Dear Santa,
I don’t know if your reindeers work in space. But if you have room in your sleigh after you finish delivering presents to the lucky kids with parents and homes, can you come and get me and my friends? Please?
We’ve been good. Well, we haven’t been really bad. We’re on Station Elphame, in the junkyard, and Zoe is sick. She’s bad sick. I think she’d be better on a planet. We don’t need presents. We just need a way out of here. Ollie tried to sneak onto a trampship…he died.

Please, Santa, I don’t want any more of my friends to die.


Ahab’s goals are simple – to learn and grow in the world around him. As an artificial intelligence he, and others like him, can integrate on a technological level that surpasses all the known species of Galaxy Proper. But their artificial state means they’re not yet recognised as equals. While politics is a great concern to his fellow mLa’ans, Ahab is more concerned about nurturing his ability to identify with humans – another race yet to gain recognition in Galaxy Proper. The humans that live in the starship he navigates have claimed him as one of their own. When he intercepts a desperate message from a human child in need, politics, Galaxy Proper, and his position in mLa’an society are the last things on Ahab’s mind because nothing is more important than family.

What a wonderful tale to read over Christmas. Ms Schwartz’s story really tugs at the heart strings. To read what’s happening to the children, and the lengths they go to just to survive on the space station rallied such a mix of emotions. To a child, to believe that someone as magical and powerful as Santa could save them, and then discover one of Santa’s helpers controls a starship instead of a sleigh with technology at the helm rather than ‘eight tiny reindeer’ was such a clever twist. I was amazed at what those kids went through, but at the end – well, that’s when the tears, and the Christmas miracle, really came together. :)

Baron (Book 3 in the Dragons of Riddick series) by Mel Teshco

The dragons will search the universe for their one true mate...

Piper Meadows hates her strange ability that allows her to sense supernatural beings; it’s made her an oddity and an outcast in her small town. It’s at a party she doesn’t want to attend that her ability is suddenly triggered, making her aware of someone not human. A pity that someone is also the best-looking male she’s ever seen. Not that it matters, a man like Baron wouldn’t look her way twice … would he?

As captain of a mighty dragon army, Baron Alsharma has been exposed to a whole world of violence. Then he sets eyes on the gentle and remarkable Piper, and there is no way in hell he’ll give her up. He doesn’t care that she’s not a rare breeder. If he has to forcibly make off with her to convince her they’re perfect together, he will, even while having to keep one step ahead of the Tantonics, his sworn alien enemy. Except the Paranormal Detection Agency is also on his tail and will do anything to capture a shape shifting dragon, even if it means hurting Piper to get to him.

Piper Meadows is keeping secrets. Some people have noticed she’s different, but they don’t know her true capabilities, and apparently, neither does Piper. But that’s about to change now that a dragon shifter has her in his sights, and he sees more in the gentle loveliness that is Piper than all the stupid men on her home planet.

Baron Alsharma is duty bound to survive and meet with his fellow dragon shifters a year from now. The last thing he planned was becoming side tracked by a human woman, especially one he’s certain isn’t capable of breeding with him and ensuring the survival of his species. That’s his duty too. A pity his heart and mind have other ideas because now that he’s found Piper, he doesn’t want to give her up. His alien enemies and their newfound adversaries on Earth might think they can keep them apart, but Baron and Piper have other ideas. A pity then, that no one told them the Paranormal Detection Agency has a new weapon, one that can change everything.

Ms Teshco’s third book is every bit as entertaining as the previous ones. There are parts of the theme the reader comes to expect, but Baron’s story has a satisfying twist and introduces new possibilities to the series. The previous stories have been about the male dragon shifters, but the next in the series is about Princess Dahlia, and I’m looking forward to how a female dragon shifter attempts to blend into the human world. Something tells me she’s going to be a very strong character. :)

Maid for the Rock Star (Romance Island Resort Series Book 1) by Demelza Carlton

A maid at the exclusive Romance Island Resort, Audra knows how to handle rock stars, billionaires, and celebrities. She keeps their secrets, cleans up their mess and makes sure their holiday is a memorable one. There's just one rule: no relationships with guests. And Audra never breaks the rules.
Jay Felix is rock royalty and he knows it. When one of his bandmates threatens to break up the band, he goes into hiding at the Romance Island Resort. Looking for a distraction, he sets his sights on the unattainable Audra. But what's a rock star to do when the girl he wants is the one woman he can't have?
Welcome to paradise, where the romance is as hot as the weather and the tides aren't all that's surging beneath the surface.

Jay Felix’s massive ego has served him well in the rock star world. He’s at the centre of everyone’s attention, especially his own, always. What he didn’t expect was for a maid to see through his blustery fa├žade and see the real person he fights to hide. Surely, if he makes her another of his many forgettable conquests all will be right in his world. After all, who doesn’t want to bed a rock star?

Audra is a hard-working woman who’s determined to build a better life for herself. A job at a beautiful island resort is a stepping stone to her dream career in meteorology. Education isn’t cheap, and when you come from a poor, struggling family, any job is precious. Which is why she has no intention of succumbing to her teenage crush’s ‘very’ tempting offer. She has goals and dreams of her own and she’s not shifting track for anyone or anything – is she?

There’s many believable aspects to this story. Another life time ago I worked as a maid on an island resort in Far North Queensland. Cleaning is hard work, but working on a beautiful tropical island brings with it an appealing visual aspect. There are strict rules about fraternising with guests, long working hours, a constant changeover of staff, and a clash of personalities like the ones described in Ms Carlton’s book. Now, what happens on island resorts, stays on island resorts, but let’s just say she captured the life perfectly.

From last month’s blog you might remember I planned on reading another of Ms Carlton’s books – ‘Blow’. I put it in a safe place (or so I thought) so it wouldn’t get packed with our other books. I’m sure it will turn up at the new house, (in a box of books no one claims to have packed) and I’ll read it then.


Along with my partner in crime, Emily, our BIAW coordinator, I’ll be undertaking a new role within the RWA structure this year as co-host for our Q&A sessions. This means we approach the many wonderful authors, publishers, editors, book cover designers, agents, and other aspects of the writing industry and have them guest on our eLoop to chat about themselves and their experiences. Our aspiring writers then can ask questions and have the experts share their knowledge.

I’m excited about the possibilities considering the quality of the guests we’ve been blessed with previously thanks to our previous Q&A coordinator – Julie-Anne. If you listen carefully, you can hear my inner fangirl is already squee-ing. LOL

Once I’m settled in my new office, along with my personal editing and writing to my goals, I hope to expand the copy-editing venture. This means I get to read some awesome stories and help the writers and authors polish their manuscripts – who wouldn’t love that?

My writing group started back today. It was lovely to see everyone and to share our writing exercises. I’ve rewritten the last two chapters of a novella and that’s currently being beta read. Novel next, and then the first of the two new stories. I also finished a proofread for a debut author who will soon be releasing her book baby into the world. Stay tuned for a review and interview with this lovely lady. :)

Meanwhile, I’m wondering whether I should invest in a Dictaphone so I can work on my stories as I pack, clean, and unpack over the next few weeks. Preferably one that automatically edits the ‘extra’ swear words that may slip out in the process. Oh dear!

Until next time, may beautiful words soothe your soul. :)