Wednesday, 25 April 2018

72. Writing Frenzy

Today is a special day in modern history as far as Australia and New Zealand are concerned. April 25th is when we acknowledge the sacrifices made at home and at war on behalf of our respective countries. So, on behalf our ANZAC’s –

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them."

This month I attended a Self-Publishing workshop hosted by none other than the President of Romance Writers Australia - Author, Claire Boston. :)

It was an intense few hours and I soon discovered how little I knew about the subject – about nine A4 pages of notes’ worth to be exact. We talked about the motivation behind wanting to self-publish as opposed to being traditionally published. How much control we wanted over our work, which, when you’re self-publishing, is all of it. Then there were all the must haves – professional editing and proofreading, professional cover art, the blurb, formatting, purchasing an ISBN number, organising a schedule for your book and sticking to it, and are you going to do a hard copy run or a print run only? We then progressed to marketing, advertising, keeping track of your expenses and copyright. And that’s just the overview. Phew!

Ms Boston showed us varying ways of getting our stories out there, shared some of her experiences, and provided a list of reputable contacts. It was an awesome workshop, and while I admired writers for getting their books published on their own steam before, I am now amazed at just how much hard work they do behind the scenes. The workshop gave me a different perspective and a future option I hadn’t given the full consideration it deserved, but it’s certainly making me think now.

You can learn more about Ms Boston, her books, and her workshops here. :)

Book Reviews

I read a trilogy by Charmaine Ross who recently chatted to our Aspiring writers group when she was our guest author a couple of months ago. Ms Ross was generous with her experiences, her answers to our many questions, and her time. :)

I read these books one after the other. Should you decide to read all three, I suggest you only read the review for the first book as elements in each book (and therefore the reviews) lead on from the previous comments. :)

Ghost: a Paranormal Ghost Romance: Damned Series Book 1

What happens if you could suddenly see ghosts? With amnesia?

Cassie Hunter wakes to find a man with serious green eyes staring down at her in the morgue, but her initial confusion turns to absolute horror when she realises this man has been dead for over seventy years.

Elliot Stone doesn’t know he’s dead. Or how he came to end up in the morgue. Or why he can’t keep his eyes off the sexy doctor. Or anything else, for that matter.

But the truth is, the family curse has awakened. Something Cassie went out of her way to prevent from happening. How can she turn away the soulful, amnesiac detective who strikes a chord in her like no—living—man has ever been able to do?

Ghost is a powerful new paranormal romance series that will captivate your imagination. Follow Cassie on her journey through perilous dimensions of reality to fight for the love of her life.

Dr Cassie Hunter regains consciousness in the morgue of the hospital where she works as a cardiologist. She has a vague recollection of how she got there, but where did the handsome detective come from and why is he wearing clothes more suited to the 1930’s? Then one of her patients, who was very much alive when she left him, walks into the morgue with a simple request – find his will, and Cassie realises something startling – they’re both ghosts. In truth, it would be more of a shock if it weren’t for her mother, a woman who’s always been terrified of the things she could see, wasn’t cursed with a similar ability. Cassie knows it meant the world to her mum that neither she or her sister inherited that ability, but clearly that’s all changed.

Cassie soon learns she has an important part to play in not only helping her recently deceased patient, but also helping Elliot because apart from his name, he has no idea who he was or how long he’s been in limbo. A pity the road to uncovering the truth never runs smoothly. There’s her patient’s murder to solve, Elliot’s past to uncover, battling strange creatures intent on crossing into her reality and stealing the life forces from all they touch, and of course there’s a growing attraction between herself and a man she can see and hear but never touch. And in the process, if Cassie’s not careful, she’s going to lose more than her hard-won reputation and her heart. She may even lose her soul.

The characters in this story are written so vividly they almost step off the page. Elliot’s 1930’s demeanour is a mix of old-fashioned charm and manners combined with sheer frustration regarding his thoughts of women are capable of and how they should behave. Cassie’s a contemporary woman, a doctor leading in her field, and her reaction to Elliot’s mannerisms makes for interesting reading. This book covers a variety of paranormal happenings, but Ms Ross does well with her world building. An enjoyable read.

Spirit: a Paranormal Ghost Romance: Damned Series Book 2

Thrown against a sinister threat, Cassie Hunter must race to save the soul of her sister.

The Grey-Mists, the dimensions between dimensions, are filled with perilous danger. But what’s a girl who can see the unimaginable to do when souls are annihilated right in front of her eyes?

Cassie and detective Elliot Stone are thrust into a world between worlds. The place where souls are trapped for all existence. And Cassie and Elliot are trapped right alongside them.

Although they can still touch, kiss, and love each other, things are not as good as they seem. When the villain that has ties to Elliot’s life captures Cassie, bad turns to worse. An evil force has plans to open a portal with enough power to decimate life on Earth and everything in between.

How can a ghost and a living soul ever hope to overcome such dark power?

Spirit is the second instalment in the Damned series. Follow Cassie on her journey through perilous dimensions of reality to fight for the love of her life.

Paranormal journalism takes on a new meaning when Cassie Hunter discovers her sister has connections that not only uncover her ghost lover’s past and the reason he died, but also discloses more questions about his future. Laura manages to share a little of what she’s uncovered before a soul eater steals her soul. Cassie is determined to get it back even if that means travelling into the world between worlds, a place she promised Elliot she wouldn’t return to, especially not alone. While her sister’s body is kept alive in hospital, Cassie once again travels to the world where she can feel Elliot’s touch, only this time, it’s a world neither of them recognizes – at first.

Amnesia may be a huge obstacle in Elliot’s death, but he soon realises the buildings and everyone in them belong to the time before he died. Then he sees an all too familiar face – Black John – formal criminal, gangster, and all around bad guy. Other memories come back too, those of a wife and child he left behind.

Heartbroken at the thought Elliot still loves his long dead wife, Cassie’s determined to save Elliot, for in this strange world Black John’s created, pain and agony are all too real. The gangster demands Elliot give him the power he promised him before he died, an artefact that allows the owner the ability to control everything in the world between worlds. And if he does that, then Black Joh can return to their reality and create havoc once more. But in this world, Elliot’s home exists, and inside it is something Elliot asked his wife to keep safe long ago. Something that just might save them from Black John’s crazy plans and help recover Laura’s soul too if Cassie can just work out what it is and how to use it.

Ms Ross ramped up the stakes in the second book. While havoc, worry, and heartbreak abound, it also gave Elliot and Cassie a magical moment. Finally they can be together, to touch, to hold, to kiss, but that brings about more torture than either of them are prepared for, and that’s just the beginning. J

Soul: a Paranormal Ghost Romance: Damned Series Book 3

How bad can bad get?

Pretty damn bad. That’s the conclusion Cassie Hunter draws, and it’s quite easy to reach. Not only is she the embodiment of a powerful portal that can open dimensions of reality, but she has accidentally unleashed an entity so dark it is annihilating thousands of souls right in front of her eyes.

The darkness is intent on Cassie’s destruction, but she must stay alive to protect the innocent. Cassie and detective Elliot Stone find themselves in a desperate corner, condemned to make an impossible choice that will forever change the human world.

Besides that, Cassie can’t touch the man she loves. An unknown entity has taken up residence inside her. And she won’t survive long enough to tell Elliot how much she loves him.

Soul is the third instalment in the Damned series. Follow Cassie on her journey through perilous dimensions of reality to fight for the love of her life.

By travelling to another reality, destroying a long dead gangster’s plans for ultimate power and saving her sister’s soul from the creatures in the Grey Mist – the one place she and Elliot can actually touch, Cassie has unwittingly released a demon into her reality that’s intent on destroying the world. What she doesn’t realise is that something else has come along for the ride.

Then there’s Elliot’s grandson, Thomas. The boy he never met has been acting as a lawyer for the grandson of Elliot’s enemy, Black John. Trouble is, no one knows whether he’s a pawn in a dangerous game or someone far more sinister. The only thing they know for sure is that Thomas is the key to discovering what’s happening in contemporary Melbourne, a city now besieged by a dark and powerful entity. A city where more than one power hungry monster is desperate to take control.

Ms Ross ties all the loose ends in this book, but she also delivers some amazing twists. Some hinted at in the previous books, and some that are completely unexpected. Let’s just say I was satisfied with the conclusion. :)


I’ve been working my ‘writing’ fingers to the bone this month. The beta-reading is complete and I’m looking forward to seeing where the stories take their respective authors. The current book I was editing for a client is complete. I finished editing a story that grew from a novella to a novel and I entered that into a competition. (Yes, I am certifiably insane.) The short story is progressing. I attended the self-publishing workshop as mentioned earlier. I have another workshop to look forward to in early May, which is close to the deadline of the short story I’m working on. And I’ve started rewriting another story. The fun never stops. :)

Until next month, may your words be golden, Happy Star Wars Day for May 4th, Happy Mother’s Day wishes to all the mums, and big hugs for those who find this particular day the hardest to manage.


  1. I'm in awe of Claire. To self-publish and head up RWAus - just wow! and now, learning she presents workshops as well ... we know some smart people :)

    Good luck with the novel competition! Fingers crossed for you.

    1. We do know some smart people. :) The workshop was great.

      Thank you, Jenny. I'm crossing fingers for me too. LOL

  2. Sounds like you have had a busy month, and a fun one at that. Good luck with the comp.

    1. Thank you, Shelley.

      I don't think I've been as busy as you though. I see you're at another 'con' this month, and still rocking the purple hair. :)