Friday, January 31, 2014

UP-CLOSE with the lurvely Emmeline Lock (and Little Gems second-place-getter!)

Take it away, Emmeline...!

Thanks for having me here today in the SARA lounge. Very plush. Love these big recliners with the drink holders in the arms--functional and comfortable!  And such an interesting colour! What is that, fuchsia? Magenta? Regardless, I heart it. Classy!

Tell us about your work background.

While I would dearly love to tell you that I'm an astrophysicist, a lion-tamer and Hugh Jackman's personal masseuse, I'm guessing you're talking about outside my head, huh?  

I've done admin work in a real estate company, and have worked twice in different fruit shops, while I studied. I also have had a long, relentless stint as mother and wife in the fruit shop called my house. As far as real jobs go, I've been a teacher for over ten years. Ten years!? Ye gods!

How long have you been a member of the South Australian Romance Authors, and what made you join?

That is a mighty fine question, Carla, and one I had to look up the answer to, because my mind is a steel trap, but only for the things that have happened in the last four to six hours. I first went to SARA for their June meeting in 2010.

I guess I went because writing is a very solitary pursuit, and I wanted to touch base with other like-minded people. Not only to clarify that I wasn't the only crazy, there're-people-living-in-my-head, person out there, but because Eleni Konstantine had a very cool blog, and I wanted to hang with her. I also had a lot of drive and enthusiasm for writing, and wasn't sure if I was pushing my apple-cart up the right tree, so to speak. I'm totally allowed to make up stuff like that. It's called artistic license. SARA taught me that*.

What is EverTrue, which came second in Romance Writers of Australia’s Little Gems contest nationally, about and where can people get the anthology?

EverTrue is a short story about a cupid who falls in love with the man she's got in her bow-sight to make fall in love with someone else. It's messy. Well, as messy as something can get in 3,000 words.  

I was completely gobsmacked to final in that one, let alone come second. Talk about freak me out! I did a lot of embarrassing happy weeping when I got that message. Got really drippy. That'll teach me to open emails on my phone whilst at the checkout...

You can get get your awesome copy of the Little Gems 2013 Anthology - Sapphire from the RWA website. These little stories are perfect for a bus ride, or to fill a few minutes if your doctor is actually running on time, or while you're waiting for your bubbles to chill and can't bring yourself to walk away from the freezer in case you forget about it and it explodes.

Hey, we've all been there. 

You write funny paranormal and futuristic romance. Very specific hehe! What attracts you to this kind of scribbling?

I do! I think I like it because I've always been delighted to read speculative fiction, because of the pure escape it provides (my early love being fantasy), but I'm also looking for a bit of a laugh, because, let's face it, I'm a clown.

Even if I'm trying my hand at coastal romance, or contemporary romance, some kind of joke-cracking ghost, or sexy angel with a very big ... halo seems to pop up.

Ha! Pops up.

Sorry. ;)

Your fave form of procrastination to avoid doing writing?

Totally, reading! Though, in my head it doesn't count, because they go hand-in-hand. Like a kitten and that fan of newspaper on a string, like coke and icecream, like Sunday mornings and hangovers. Same goes for movies, especially rom-coms and action films.

Same goes for trolling online for images to use for story boards. Not a time-suck at all! Nuh-huh.

I am also an enormous fan of sleeping. So, if I've got the don't-want-to's I usually feel like I'm going to die if I can't get intimate with my pillow asap, and just hit the hay.

And, just between us, I have been known to play a game or two on my tablet. That scrabble game with friends and that hideous fabrication from the pits of hell, Candy Crush Saga. 

What are you working on now, and how many manuscripts have you notched up?

I'm currently working on cleaning out my wine cellar, because I found some great specials online and... Oh. You mean writing-wise, don't you?

When the cellar doesn't need my attention, I'm working on a novella set in the EverTrue world, plus having a go at a coastal, small-town ghost story. I'm also scribbling illegible notes for a few more short stories, and playing with Scrivener and calling it work.

You are often a “lady in red”, if I’m not mistaken! How many red things do you reckon you own and why do you like the hue?

Ha! Sing it to me, Carla! Mr DeBurgh, stand aside! ;)

Being a blue-eyed blonde, my mum always dressed me in blues, and now that my hair has gone from Scandinavian ash to arse-o-housemouse brown, I've, quite unconsciously, been reaching for the red. It's kinda odd.

Possibly, the birth of my children caused my life to spiral out of control, and I was looking to reestablish my self-identity, so was drawn to the power colour. Or possibly, there was some long-forgotten childhood trauma involving toffee apples or fire trucks.  

I vote for my vast love of Christmas leaking out into other months.

My wardrobe would probably hold ten or fifteen items that are red. Then there are the phone and tablet covers, and my kitchen kitsch.

I also really like red wine, but that may just be a coincidence, because I also like turquoise, and don't drink (much) blue curacao.

You’re also a real technology/social media guru. When did this obsession start and what are your fave communication devices and sites?

You know, since the birth of the interwebs (I remember meeting a web browser for the first time at uni. Does that date me?), I've loved getting online and meeting people. One of the first things I did when we got dial-up at home was join the eHarlequin Community. Blow my mind!  

While I don't hang there any more, I met my awesome CPs [critique partners] there, and we still CP to this day. You can't tell me that isn't Fifty Shades of Awesome.

I do have a (possibly unnatural) great love for my iPad. A love which was only five inches smaller on two edges when I just had the iPhone. What marvellous technology! There are eight iDevices in this house now, and I don't think we're at saturation point yet.

That said, we also have a few hours a day when we turn off the devices and do crazy shizz like talk to each other, and catch a few rays that aren't generated by an completely fabulous back-lit Kindle app.

The great thing about technology is that everyone can be a guru. You just have to give it a crack.

I think sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are ground-breaking. I also love how you can get any information you need on the internet (so long as you're not overly concerned about it's authenticity and factuality). So much fun!

When you’re not writing, what occupies your time?

Is this the part where I get to mention Hugh again?  

No, sadly, or quite joyously, my family is it for me. I coach a bit of netball (badly, but with great enthusiasm), teach singing to kids (see previous), and work at the school where the offspring go. I also do a lot of dancing around the house in my socks rockin' out with a hairbrush, and love to catch up with friends and family for a quiet (or often quite noisy) drink and a card game.

I like shopping, cooking and buying wine online... If you're seeing a pattern regarding wine here, please ignore it.

Thanks ever so much for having me here today, Carla. You're the perfect hostess. Sorry about the popcorn crumbs on the recliners. Luckily, that red wine ring on the arm there blends with the hot-pink leather. Or is that cerise? ;)

* SARA taught me no such thing. I made that up!

Monday, January 27, 2014

SARA News ~ Rose petals, Destiny, In the Wild

Welcome to another week of our SASSY news...

More Rose petals for Lilliana

Our resident poet, Lilliana Rose's has had her poem, First Line of Defence has been accepted for publication by Every Day Poet.

It's Destiny

Leesa Bow has contracted her New Adult manuscript, Winning the Player, to Destiny Romance (Penguin Australia). 

This is Leesa's FIRST sale! Way to go!!!

 SARAs are doing the Snoopy dance.  

If you have never seen the dance, first of all that's very sad. Secondly you can follow this link here

Spotted in the Wild

Spotted in Big W a few days before it's 1st February release is Victoria Purman's  Someone Like You (by Harlequin Australia).  

Below is the fanning that occurs *mysteriously* after fans or other authors depart the scene. :)

In Other News

The 2014 meeting schedule for the SARA meetings is now up on the website. Maggie Mundy will facilitate the February with a look at the synopsis and outlines. 

Until next time...

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What A Character! - Sophia from Behind the Courtesan

Today we have Bronwyn Stuart's character from Behind the Courtesan being interviewed.

Please welcome  Sophia Martin – Courtesan.

Character Questionnaire

1.What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you?

My father sold me to a Duke for a neighboring farm when I was just 14 years old. I was forced to flee into the night, broken, beaten and battered. That one event made the nightmares that followed seem more like pleasant daydreams.

2. How would you describe yourself in one sentence?

I can do it in one word. Resilient.

3. Do you have a secret?

As a courtesan I have plenty of my own secrets but more of the men of the ton’s than they’ll ever comprehend. It’s always good to have a backup plan in the form of an indiscretion or crime committed. It’s interesting what men will confess to one they think is loyal to only them.

4. On what occasion would you lie?

On any occasion that it saves my own neck.

5. What is your greatest achievement?

My greatest achievement is that I lived. I’m a survivor and no one will take that away from me.

6. What is your greatest fear?

I have so many but the greatest is that I will never be accepted. I fear I’ll never find a place in my world where I actually fit and can be content.

Thanks, Sophia!


When courtesan Sophia Martin returns to the village she fled as a young woman, she knows it won't be a happy reunion--but she can't refuse her brother's request to attend his expectant wife. Trapped until the baby arrives, she must navigate the social rift she caused when she left to pursue a disreputable life--and keep the true reason for her departure from the man she once loved, the bastard son of the Duke who ruined her.

Blake Vale has never forgotten Sophia, but he can't accept the decisions she made, the courtesan's life she leads, or the fact she's cast aside her true self. Plain old Sophia has to be inside this hardened woman somewhere, and he's determined to make her see she doesn't need rich men to be happy, and that their future has nothing to do with the past.

When the dukedom suddenly falls within his reach, Blake must come to terms with his own past and his birthright, and what that means for his future...and Sophia

Behind the Courtesan buy links: Carina PressAmazon | Barnes & Noble | All Romance eBooks 

You can find Bronwyn at her website | blog | Twitter | Facebook.

Monday, January 20, 2014

SARA News ~ 2014's first WHOPPING issue

Have you got your SASS on? No? 
Well it's time to get SASSY with the first
SARA News for 2014. It's a beauty!

It's a Rosey ol' week

Lilliana Rose's No Friends hits the top 10 lists for Every Day Poet.

Join the crowd and read Lilliana's poem if you haven't already read it.

Not only that but she has a whopping cool cover for her novella, Circus Escape. It will be out in the 'A Loose Screw' collection with Less Than Three Press in April 2014.

Can you tell it's a steampunk? Yep? Well it's also a romance. Double yay!

V for Victoria

Our own Victoria Purman has been nominated for the Favourite New Romance Author for 2013 by ARRA (Australian Romance Readers Association).

Way to go Victoria!

Check out the full nominations here!

She was heat 3 in the Booktopia's Australia's Favourite Novelist. She even made the long list....

Not only that, but she was spotted in the Sunday Mail on Sunday 5th January.

Look out, Victoria is taking over the world.

Fire and Snow continues...

Khloe Wren's latest release is now the 2nd installment of the Fire and Snow series, Cinderella's Guardian out with Rogue Phoenix Press.


After watching his older brother win the heart of his mate, Conner White can’t wait for his turn. When he finally has his first dream of his mate, he is both relieved that he knows who she is and worried as he hasn’t been able to get near her since he caught a glimpse of her at his brother’s wedding weeks earlier.

Tina Anderson is beyond miserable. Her mother abandoned her after a life altering injury that left the vibrant gymnast in a wheelchair. Her father has been forced to leave her to go work off shore. She’s been left in the care of a harsh bitter woman who is only after her father and will do whatever she deems necessary to take her place in his life. No matter the cost.

Conner and Tina’s road to happiness is filled with twists, turns and pot holes, but are they strong enough to pull each other through it all?

Buy links:  Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Barnes & Noble 

Now a little trailer love...

Carla's Catch

Carla Caruso's Catch of the Day was listed as a Best Summer Reads over at The Hoopla.

"If Summer Romance is where your heart is at in the holiday season, then Catch of the Day has to be the exact book for kicking back on the banana lounge with long cool drink and time on your side."

Go SA and Kingston. Speaking of Kingston, this month Carla had her first book signing in the small South Australian coastal town of Kingston SE, where her novel, Catch of the Day, is based (and also where my media career started). It was a sell-out and even made the local newspaper, Coastal Leader, where Carla used to work. Here are some piccies.

A Star is Born!

Susanne Hampton has a her cover for her debut release, Unlocking The Doctor's Heart, coming in March!

And it doesn't end there! You're all invited to her first book launch...

Scandalously Divine

Tamara Gill has signed a contract for her Regency time travel romance, A Stolen Season,  to Entangled's Scandalous imprint.

More details of this as it comes to hand!

Also here's the lovely cover for FallenBook Three in the Daughters of the Gods series - coming to us in March!

In Other News

We had our New Year's lunch and you can see piccies over on Facebook.

Eleni Konstantine as HelzKat Designs has designed a new cover for DarkSider Shona Husk.

What a wickedly great start to 2014!