Monday, April 24, 2017

Virtual Book Tour: Lake Of Sins: Hangman's Army by L. S. O'Dea



Lake Of Sins: Hangman's Army
by L.S. O’Dea

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE: YA, Dystopian Fantasy

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BLURB:

A rebellion is brewing in the world of the Lake of Sins while Hugh Truent sits in prison days away from his execution.

After taking his findings about the genetic similarities between the classes to the Supreme Almighty and the Council, Hugh had been arrested for treason and all his evidence had vanished as if made from smoke.

To protect his family, he cut off all contact with the outside world while he sat in prison for over four years waiting for his execution. He has no idea that some of his reports were leaked to the other classes and that civil war looms on the horizon.

Trinity and her friends have no hope of winning the war unless they can unite the classes. In order to do that, they need someone everyone will follow. They need the one person all the classes trust and believe in. They need Hugh.

That means they have to break him out of a maximum security prison and convince him to lead their army, but that won’t be easy because Hugh wants revenge and he’s not going to let anything get in his way especially mouthy, attractive, know-it-all Trinity.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt Three:

Hugh

“What do you suggest we do?”  From this position, the next tree was quite a distance away.  The River-Men waited in the water below.  He didn’t want to go back but he didn’t think they had a choice.

She went farther out on the branch toward the other tree.  “Do you think you can jump?”  She turned toward him, her golden eyes searching his face.  “Don’t lie.  If you miss, you die.”

“I’ll never make that jump.”  There was no room for manly bravado in this situation.

She stared at him for another moment and then leapt.  The River-Men dipped below the surface and then back up as she landed safely on the other tree.  His heart thudded in his chest.  She wasn’t leaving him.  She wouldn’t do that.  He had faith in her.  He trusted her, but his stomach knotted.  He’d trusted before and had been betrayed.

She tied the end of the rope around the trunk of the tree.  “Do you think you can cross on the rope?  If you don’t, I’ll come back, but then we’ll have to backtrack and that means sleeping in the swamp tonight.”

His arms and back ached and his hands were a bloody mess, but he could do this.  He had to do this.  “Throw me the rope.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah.”  He wasn’t sure at all but they didn’t have time to go back.  He caught the rope and tied it to the trunk of the tree, making sure it was tight-really, really tight.  Then he grabbed the taut rope and wrapped his ankles over the top of it.  Hand over hand, he moved away from the safety of the tree.  He glanced down.  The River-Men were swimming faster, excited and anticipating a meal.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:


L. S. O’Dea grew up the youngest of seven in a family that uses teasing and tricks as an indication of love (or at least that’s what she tells herself).  Being five years younger than her closest sibling often made her the unwilling entertainment for her brothers and sisters.
Before she started kindergarten her brothers taught her how to spell her first and middle name—Linda Sue.  She was so proud she ran into the kitchen to tell her mother.  She stood tall and recited the letters of her name:  L-E-M-O-N   H-E-A-D.
She’s pretty sure she has her siblings to thank for the demons that lurk in her mind, whispering dark and demented stories.

Website:

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email:
lsodea7@gmail.com

Join Readers’ Group and Get the First Two Books in the Lake of Sins Series for FREE

Buy Links: This book is the third in the series--and the series should be read in order.  The first two books is the series are FREE.
links to Amazon to purchase

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Interview with L S O'Dea
How did you do research for your book?

I didn’t sit down and research before writing the book.  I did do a bit of research on animals and their senses (hearing, smell, sight etc).  That research I just googled topics and did some digging.  Couldn’t find much about some of the critters I was looking up (like cows) but I just switched to deer and other large prey animals.

I did however, throughout my life, read about animal rights – factory farming techniques, slaughter practices, etc – and these topics are a major theme in this series.  The books aren’t preachy and many people don’t even realize that animal rights is a theme of the stories, but if you are familiar with farmed animals then you’ll see the remnants in my books.

Do you have another profession besides writing?

Yes.  My day job – or as a friend calls it – the dreaded day job – is System Analyst.  I don’t dislike the job.  The company is great and the people I work for are fantastic, plus I’m very good at it and that’s a much needed ego boost especially when I get a bad review.  

Since the term System Analyst is kind of vague, I’ll explain what it means.  Basically, I’m an elevated computer programmer.  I set up and maintain systems related to GIS.

If you could go back in time, where would you go?

Would I maintain my current memories?  I’m going to answer it like I would.  I’d go back to when I was around ten or so and could still sit on my dad’s lap.  He passed away a few years ago and I miss him.  I was sick when I was around nine and had to stay on the couch for several months.  I woke around noon (that’s when the cartoons started) and stayed up late into the evening.  My mom would sleep by me on the couch so I wasn’t alone.  She’d try and stay awake but she was up early with my siblings and taking care of the house all day (seven kids to care for) so she never made it long.  But my dad…he worked shift work and I loved when he worked 3 to 11.  He’d come home and we’d sit together and watch TV.  At the time, I wasn’t allowed to sit up but the habit of staying up and watching certain shows rolled over into my life after I got well.  I’d learned to love Dr. Who and I’d sit on my dad’s lap and we’d watch it together.  I miss him and that time.

What is your next project?

I’m currently working on books four and five in the Lake of Sins series.  There’ll be at least six books in the series.  The last book is in very rough draft format and I’m probably going to have to “flesh out” a lot of it so it may become two books.

I hope to release book four, Betrayed and book five (no title yet) this summer.  Betrayed takes up right where Hangman leaves but we spend a lot of time in Jethro’s head and that’s a lot of fun.  He’s young, strong and mutating into something else.  He’s quite an interesting character.


Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
I think they all have a part of me in them- be it a good part or bad – but other than that, they’re imaginary.  I did use the name of a guy who stood me up once.  I made him a pedophile and had the hero kill him.  It was fun.


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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

The author will be awarding a Kindle Paperwhite to a randomly drawn winner (International winner) during the tour.




NBtM: Brynnde by M Pepper Langlinais



Brynnde
by M Pepper Langlinais

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GENRE:   Regency romance

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BLURB:

Brynnde Archambault seems able to find matches for everyone but herself. With the help of the handsome and witty Viscount Burbridge, she manages to get his sisters, her brother, and a family friend paired off. But if she doesn't find a match for herself soon, she may be stuck with dull Mr. Dallweather. Can she find a suitor--or has the right match been staring her in the face all along?



~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt One:

She was the first lady to arrive at the lawn but discovered the men had already started. Her brother and Graeme Sommerford were laughingly arguing over a shot one of them had made, and Brynnde reflected they had grown friendly quickly.

As if reading her thoughts, a voice at Brynnde’s ear said, “They seem to be fast friends.”

Brynnde turned to find Garrick Sommerford—Lord Burbridge, she reminded herself, though the name did not suit him, was far too stuffy—at her shoulder. She frowned, not liking having been snuck up on, nor having her thoughts so openly spoken by someone else. “It would seem so,” she agreed.

Garrick raised his eyebrows. “You disapprove?”

“Not at all,” said Brynnde. “As a rule, my brother shows good
judgement in his choice of friends. If he were laughing with you, I might wonder, but as it stands…” She gave a tiny shrug.

Garrick placed a hand over his heart. “You wound me, Miss Archambault. Are you still angry about yesterday evening? What if I were to swear I almost never suffer such verbal clumsiness? That it must be your stunning beauty that has caused me to trip over my own tongue?”

Brynnde looked hard at him, the angelic halo of his sunlit hair, the twinkle in his slate-colored eyes. He was laughing at her! Again! “Insufferable,” she muttered and stepped away to find a free target. She had a sudden and acute need to shoot something.


   

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:


M Pepper Langlinais is an award-winning screenwriter, produced playwright, and published author.

M holds a Master of Arts in Writing, Literature and Publishing and a Bachelor of Science in Radio-Television-Film. She has a love of Shakespeare, having both performed and taught his work, and has also interned on Hollywood film sets. M worked for Houghton Mifflin and Pearson before deciding to devote her full time to her own writing (and occasionally parenting). She lives in Livermore, California with her family, cats, and hamster. Find out more about her and her books at http://PepperWords.com.



Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mpepperlanglinais




Interview wth M Pepper Langlinais

Where do you get inspiration for your stories?

I don’t even know. Some of my books and screenplays I can point to definite influences—like, my Changers series grew from the fact my kids used to think I was a dragon in human form, and my script 20 August was born from a friend’s suicide. But for many I have no idea. As far as my latest book, Brynnde, is concerned, it was more that I’d been reading Regency romances and enjoying them and wanted to write one of my own. Same with my Sherlock Holmes stories; I’ve always loved the characters Doyle created and so I wanted to play with them a bit.

How did you do research for your book?

For Brynnde, being set in 1700s England, I had to research a lot of things including the forms of address and the system of titles. In fact, I realized about halfway through that I was using some of the titles incorrectly and had to go back and change things. Readers of that genre know their stuff and they’ll let you hear about it if you get it wrong! I have a book called What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew, and I found that a hugely helpful reference.

Do you have another profession besides writing?

Motherhood.

I used to work in publishing, first as a project manager and then editor, but after having kids I decided to stay home and write my own books instead of working on other people’s.


If you could go back in time, where would you go?

I might try Regency England since I’m writing that time period now. Nothing like first-hand experience to help you get the details right. Victorian England would also be interesting. Not sure how much I’d actually enjoy it, though. We tend to romanticize the past, and I doubt it was as wonderful as we like to imagine.

What is your next project?

I have three going at the moment! I’m writing the second book in my Changers series, I’m writing another Regency romance, and I’m working on a YA contemporary take on Hamlet.




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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

M Pepper Langlinais will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


A Love For Romance Blitz

LFR NowLive FB.JPG


♡♡♡♡
welcome to the release lfr
♡♡♡♡♡♡
About the Anthology 

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Do you have a love for romance stories? 

Included in this anthology are stories that will have you intrigued; make you swoon; all the while warming your heart. 

Fifteen SBR Media authors present to you: A Love for Romance. 

♡A preview of Trading Yesterday by USA Today Bestselling Author Kahlen Aymes 

♡ The Break (Breaking Free, Part 1) by USA Today Bestselling Author Debra Presley 

♡ Always Too Late by Micalea Smeltzer 

♡ Until the Stars Forget to Shine by Amber Garza 

♡ The Only Chance by Magan Vernon 

♡ Awakened: A Leila Marx World Novella by Amber Garr 

♡ Do You Mind? by Freya Barker 

♡ Cock-Blocked by W. Ferraro 

♡ What Happens on Spring Break by R.C. Stephens 

♡ Always There by Elizabeth Hayes 

♡ Falling for Lindy by Ashlee Taylor 

♡ Burning the Midnight Oil by Elison Grace 

♡ Babysitting for the Biker by Sammi Starlight 

♡ Chasing Love by Misha Elliott 

♡ Spellbound by Ashlee Sinn
Buy Links 

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Add to Goodreads
♡♡♡♡♡♡

Redeeming Ryker by Kelly Collins blitz


Redeeming Ryker
Kelly Collins
(Boys Of Fury #1)
Publication date: April 24th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Imagine finding out that everything about your life is a lie.

Imagine falling for the man who thinks he killed you.

Imagine having to remain dead so you can keep him.

Twenty-four-year-old Ana Barrett knows who she is. She’s a struggling artist, a loyal friend, an orphan raised by loving grandparents. After a string of unlucky events leaves her homeless, broke, and alone, she receives a timely gift from her deceased grandmother—a house in Fury, Colorado. It’s a gift guaranteed to change her life in ways she can’t imagine.

Ryker Savage has always known who he is. He’s a brother, a friend, an orphan, and a murderer. One decision made twenty years ago altered the future of an entire town. At twenty-eight, he’s done his time, paid his dues, and wants to be left to his misery.

When Ana arrives in Fury, she changes everything he thought he knew. His light becomes dark, his dark becomes light, and his truth becomes the lie he’s lived forever.

Ana’s future hangs in the balance. Ryker’s future is carved from his past. Destined to have the two collide, can there be a chance for a future together?

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

I opened the door and stepped onto the porch. A soft wind swirled around me, bringing the scent of him. That was Ryker, clean and fresh and strong. A tinge of smoke wafted in on the breeze, and I scrunched my nose. That wasn’t Ryker, or at least I didn’t think it was. “You smoke?”

He pushed off the trunk of the enormous oak tree and tossed his cigarette to the ground, smashing it with the toe of his boot. Out of the shadows, he stepped in front of me. “Generally no. But when I’m stressed, yes.” He dropped his head as if shamed.

I don’t know what compelled me to touch him, but I couldn’t resist laying my hand on his chest. I felt his heart thumping under my fingertips. “What stresses you?”

“Everything stresses me. Sheriff Stuart. This damn house. This damn town. It all stresses me the fuck out.” He kicked at the dead grass under his boot. “You stress me out.”

“Me?” I gripped the edge of his jacket. “Me? Why?”

His gaze lasered into me. “When you dropped me off, I went upstairs and tried to sleep, but I couldn’t. I’m fighting with myself.” He reached for my cheek. His fingers sure and able. His touch soft. “I want you.” He threaded his hand through my hair. “I know if I have you, I’ll destroy you. I destroy everything I touch.”

He leaned closer and then stepped back, but didn’t drop his gaze. Didn’t drop his hold.

I leaned in. I wanted him closer. I wanted the kiss he was denying me.

“Fuck it, I’m weak when it comes to you.” He pulled me into his arms, and his lips crushed mine with a ferocity I’d never experienced. I tried to throttle back the dizzying current that raced through me, but it was no use. If Ryker was intent on destroying me, I was a willing victim.



Author Bio:

Kelly Collins writes with the intention of keeping the love alive. Always a romantic, she is inspired by real-time events mixed with a dose of fiction. She encourages her readers to reach the happily ever after but bask in the afterglow of the perfectly imperfect love.

Kelly lives in Colorado at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her husband of twenty-five years, their two dogs, and a bird that hates her.

In her spare time, she enjoys walking the trails and visiting the mining towns like Cripple Creek. She likes to think it's the ambience that brings her there and not the amazing slot machine in the back of the casino.

In the winter, you'll find her tucked into herseat at The World Arena cheering her beloved Colorado College Tigers Hockey Team. After several losing seasons she knows there's a win coming soon. Kelly is no fair weather fan.

She has three amazing children, and she wonders how they all turned out to be engineers when only the creative side of her brain seems to work. She just chalks it up to the engineering genes her husband contributed to the mix.

Creative minds need an outlet and writing books is where she focuses her excess energy.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Sisters Book Trailer Blast



About the Book:

Title:
THE SISTERS: A MYSTERY OF GOOD AND EVIL, HORROR AND SUSPENSE

Author: Don Sloan

Publisher: Independent

Pages: 239

Genre: Supernatural/Mystery/Horror/Thriller

In
this book, written in the style of Stephen King, two young people on vacation
in a small New England seacoast town battle unspeakable horror and solve a
hundred-year-old mystery. Fourteen Victorian mansions whisper dark secrets
among themselves, and a dangerous shadow roams up and down the wide, wintry
boulevard in search of new prey.

The Sisters: A Mystery of Good and
Evil, Horror and Suspense is available at Amazon


Book Excerpt:



Snow pellets blow white across
the boulevard and up onto the wide, night-shadowed porch of the house just in
the center of the block. Inside, past leaded glass doors and heavy oak
furnishings, something moves.
Up the polished mahogany
staircase, and up yet another flight to the third story something moves that
has no breath, no warmth, no life.
There is a narrow passageway to
the attic, locked behind a heavy door with steel bands. The shadow pauses at
the door only long enough to pass cold fingers over the padlock. It falls
heavily to the floor and the door opens. The shadow passes through, as quietly
as a midnight
breeze in an icy cold forest. Here, no light at all warms the creaking steps.
It is darker than the inside of death.
In the attic, the bitter, knifing
cold whirls and eddies around shapeless mounds of old memorabilia and the
shadow moves silently to a dormer window. Cobwebs—spun by industrious spiders
long dead—are brushed aside and a single candle is placed on the sill. And in
the darkness a flame is struck.
Outside, the wind falls off to
nothing, and snow drifts listlessly to the ground. The candle flickers briefly
and catches, burning a pinprick hole in the vastness of the night.
Far out to sea, a single cry
begins and then falls silent.
And in the dormer window, where
the shadow has settled down to wait, the candle flares brightly and then goes
out.

About the Author




Don
Sloan is a former journalist for a large metropolitan daily newspaper and also
an avid book reviewer, with more than 200 reviews posted on Amazon. His
goal with the Dark Forces Series is to present readers with a new and exciting
horror and suspense thriller experience. He currently lives in the
mountains of Western North Carolina with his wife of 39
years, and, when not writing, enjoys a cold glass of Chardonnay in the
evenings, sitting on his back deck.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK






Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering
    the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner
    will be chosen via Rafflecopter to a $25 Amazon Gift Card
  • This
    giveaway ends midnight April 24.
  • Winner will
    be contacted via email on April 25.
  • Winner has
    48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!




a Rafflecopter giveaway



 






Release Day Blitz THE FIRST YEAR BY GENEVIEVE GANNON


About the Book



The first year of marriage is hard no matter what. Throw in jealous
exes, high-pressure careers and two wildly different families, and the degree
of difficulty goes up a few more notches. Determined to beat the odds, one
couple comes up with a plan to keep their romance alive - but life has other
ideas.
Saskia is an up-and-coming jewellery designer, waiting tables at a
trendy cafe to keep her fledgling company afloat. Andrew is a corporate lawyer
who wants to be known for more than his family's money. They're passionate
about their work and each other, but with Andy's job in jeopardy and Saskia's
jewellery label taking off, the pressure is taking its toll.
As life pulls them in different directions, the two of them are forced
to decide: Just how important is their marriage? And how hard are they willing
to work to protect it?

'Genevieve Gannon writes with a fresh and funny narrative voice ...
chick lit at its very, very best' Tess Woods, author of Love at First Flight



'A clever and entertaining read-into-the-wee-hours-of-morning story
about love, creativity and the things that make us tick. Genevieve Gannon
writes with passion and wit in a story you'll relate to whether you've
struggled through love, art or the wrath of public transport ticket
inspectors.' Claire Varley, author of The Bit in Between

Bio

Genevieve Gannon is an Australian
journalist and author. She has worked in newsrooms in Canberra, Sydney and
Melbourne. Her writing has appeared in The Age, The Australian, The Guardian
and The Daily Telegraph, among others. Most recently she covered crime in
Melbourne for Australian Associated Press before moving to Sydney to be a
feature writer for The Australian Women’s Weekly.
Her favourite books are We Need To Talk
About Kevin, Middlesex, Atonement, Prep and One Day. She likes Terry’s
Chocolate Oranges and wasabi (not together) and hates mangoes.
Her first book, Husband Hunters, was
published in 2014. The First Year is her third novel.
Twitter: @gen_gannon
Instagram: @gen_gannon

 Buy the Book!

Buy links

Participating Blogs




Questions:

What
is your new novel about?
The First Year is a novel about a newly-in-love
couple who got married way too fast. Andy Colbrook is a high-flying lawyer with
a snobby family and Saskia Hill is a bolshy jewellery designer whose father has
done several stints in jail. On their honeymoon, Andy offers to support Saskia
so she can quit her day job at a café and devote herself wholly to her art. But
Saskia’s fledgling business is only just recovering from the financial blow it
suffered when her ex-fiance cheated on her then ditched her with the bill for
the wedding, and she is uncomfortable being reliant on her new husband. Tensions
begin to emerge. Things are exacerbated when Andy discovers his law firm is in
financial trouble. Despite their best efforts to keep the flame alive their
marriage begins to suffer. Then Saskia makes a discovery that blows her world
apart. 

What
inspired the book?
This one came about slowly. When I sat down
to write my first two novels, the concepts were fully formed in my head. I
rejigged the stories and characters a lot, but when they were finished, they
were how I had imagined them from the beginning. With The First Year, I found
myself unsure what I wanted to do. I had an idea of following a couple
day-by-day through their first year, but I didn’t know what would happen to
them over that time. I thought the concept of the first year of marriage being
the hardest was a good one to explore in a romantic comedy. So I wrote a few
chapters and scene fragments, then I hit a bit of a wall. I knew I wanted Andy
to be a corporate type, and Saskia to be an artist, but I didn’t have much more
detail than that. Then one day I came across an article about a designer who
had made the same discovery Saskia makes in the book. I did a bit of research
and it turns out it is a really common problem. I don’t want to spoil the plot
by revealing the big discovery, but once I had that I knew what I wanted Andy
and Saskia’s story to be.

What
makes the main character who they are?
Saskia Hill comes across really brash but
she’s actually quite vulnerable. She loves a man, Andrew Colbrook, who wants to
support her as she builds her business, but the idea of being reliant on him
conflicts with her feminist values. She eventually accepts his offer to back
her financially until she is established, but it never sits right with her and
ultimately is the cause of much tension.
One of my favourite lines in the book comes
when Saskia receives a letter from her mother-in-law addressed to Mr and Mrs
Andrew Colbrook. She has not changed her name and when the letter arrives she
asks of Andy, “What am I? Some sort of subsidiary of you?” I feel like this
sums her up perfectly.

Do
you base your characters on real people?
My characters are original creations, but
inevitably I find myself incorporating traits of family and friends. Usually
it’s just a little thing to give the character a ring of authenticity. When
trying to *show* rather than *tell* - something that a lot of writers struggle
with - I find it helpful to think about how real people display their emotions
- the way their postures change, the tone of their voice, what they do with
their hands and eyes. Sometimes I’ll lift a small anecdote (with permission) or
give a sly nod to a friend by including a personal joke. But generally I try to
ensure the characters are wholly their own people.

How
long did it take you to write The First Year?
I am often asked this question but this is
the first time I’ve ever been able to answer it properly. For about a year, I
had a few fragments of this story and a vague concept but didn’t know what I
wanted to do with it. Then I made the discovery that revealed the plot to me
and it was all very fast. It took me about three months to write a three
chapter sample, a synopsis and a plot outline. I pitched it to HarperCollins in
November, got the go ahead in December and had completed the manuscript by
June. It was quite a fast process because I had been thinking about the
characters and the supporting players for so long. As is always the case, it
needed some major reworking and I relied heavily on my amazing beta-readers.
But it basically took one year of procrastination and six months of furious
writing.  

What
is your typical writing routine?
I used to write at night and on weekends
but now that I live in Sydney I find myself getting up early and writing before
work. I assume that’s because it gets hot and sunny here very early. That being
said, I still try to get some writing in after work. And I can be found most
weekends in a café somewhere with a pile of manuscript pages and a laptop.
People love to ask writers if they are
planners or pantsers. I think I’m a combination of both. I like to have a plot
outline before I begin, but sometimes it is very vague and details emerge – and
characters are created or killed off – as the writing progresses.

Where
do you write?
I do a lot of writing at my dining room
table – but I far prefer to write in cafes. It’s not always possible, of course.
Sometimes you have a burst of creative energy at 2am when all the good cafes
are selfishly closed, and realistically it’s just not possible to mainline
lattes for eight hours and a Saturday or Sunday. But my preference is
definitely to write in a café. When I was living in Melbourne I would write a
lot at Milkwood in East Brunswick (try the white beans on toast) or a Minor
Place (more white beans, these come with Dukkah and avocado). Another favourite
is a café called True North in Coburg. They have lovely booths that I like to
spread out in, and do great sandwiches with heaps of vegetarian options.

What
book do you wish you had written and why?
This is a complete departure from the type
of fiction I write, but I am in awe of We Need To Talk About Kevin. Lionel
Shriver creates so much tension and complexity. I adore her prose and the way
she uses a million little perfectly phrased observations to make-up the
story.  I love the way she tricks the
reader into thinking they know what is happening, only to discover all is not
as it seems as the narrative slowly reveals itself.

Who
are you favourite writers?
This is such a difficult question to answer
because there are so many, and I turn to different writers for different
things. I love Caitlin Moran for the sheer joy she gives me with her hilarious
stories. No less important is the strong feminist message in everything she
does. I really admire Curtis Sittenfeld’s skill as a story-teller, and Gillian
Flynn for the ease with which she spins complex narratives, imbuing her
characters with light and shade. Jeffrey Eugenides remains an all-time
favourite. Whenever I’m asked about my favourite books Middlesex is always at
the top, and his first novel, The Virgin Suicides, was hauntingly,
devastatingly beautiful. Oh, and Michael Chabon for so many reasons, especially
inventiveness.
In terms of my own genre – which I consider
to be a loose grouping of contemporary chick lit with rom-com tendencies -  I LOVE Lauren
Sams
who wrote She’s Having Her Baby and Crazy Busy Guilty. I also can’t go
past fellow HarperCollins authors Tess Woods and Sunni Overend. The Regulars by
Georgia Clark is great fun.

Who
is your favourite literary character?
I have racked my brain, trying to come up
with an answer that isn’t a total cliché, but it is a truth universally
acknowledged that Elizabeth Bennett is a sublime literary creation, and has to
be my favourite character. She’s clever, sensitive, witty and warm. She loves
her sister Jane and her friend Charlotte Lucas, and she’s loyal but not without
flaws. She speaks her mind and isn’t intimidated by those who think them better
than she is. At a completely different end of the spectrum is Uncle Oswald, a
recurring character in the short stories of Roald Dahl. Uncle Oswald is a
hilarious, wealthy, horny old man who often finds himself entangled in
pseudo-scientific schemes with hilarious outcomes.

What
are you working on at the moment?
Having just finished a book I’m a bit of a
free agent at the moment. I have two ideas that are in the very early stages,
so I’m playing with both of them, thinking about the characters and deciding
which one to commit to. I have just started a new job as a feature writer so I
am finding that at night I’m spending the time I would normally dedicate to
fiction thinking about feature ideas. That being said, I want my next venture
to be a departure from my usual books. Neither of the concepts I’m currently
playing with could be described as romantic comedies. The First Year has parts
set in a court room, which came about because I spent the past few years
covering courts as a journalist and my two new ideas are also inspired in part
by that part of my job.

What
would you do if you weren’t a writer?
This one is tricky because writing is both
my hobby (fiction) and my livelihood (journalism). My other hobby is baking, so
perhaps if it all falls in a heap I could retrain as a pastry chef. I have made
a few wedding cakes for friends, and I really enjoy playing with flavour ideas
and pretty shapes. Strangely, when it comes to savoury meals I’m terrible, but
I have mastered cakes.

What
are you reading right now?
I just finished Big Little Lies by Liane
Moriarty which I devoured, barely lifting my eyes to draw breath. Liane dazzles
me with her ability to tease and entice. I am also reading Sweet Bitter by
Stephanie Danler. I cheated on Sweet Bitter with Moriarty because I found
myself at the airport without a book and knew I couldn’t go wrong with one of
Liane’s books.

Coffee,
wine or something else?
I am completely addicted to coffee. I don’t
drink much wine, unless I’m sharing a bottle at a dinner party or something. If
I’m at a bar I’ll order sloe gin (rocks and lime), a gin and tonic or a
cocktail. Sometimes when it’s really hot I’ll take my laptop to a pub and write
while drinking cider and ice. But generally on those days my preference is a
café and an ice coffee.

What
is your favourite social media platform and why?
I am addicted to social media. I love
Instagram and Twitter but for different reasons. In my day job, I work as a
journalist, so I love being able to keep an eye on the issues of the day as
they unfurl on Twitter. I follow major news outlets, journalists I like and
admire, politicians and specialists in my areas of interest. I also follow a
few funny accounts to break it up. I like checking-in on Twitter when I take a
break from work. Instagram is great for book recommendations, food and bar
recommendations, fashion, recipes and just keeping up with what my friends are
doing. I recently moved interstate, so it’s great to be able to see what my
friends have been up to with a few swipes of my phone.

Of
all your books, do you have a favourite one?
This is like being asked to choose between
your children! I hate to admit it, but I do have a favourite one. My latest
novel, The First Year, is my third. I think because I had been through the
process twice before it was less daunting and stressful. I had a lot more
confidence and I think it shows in the writing. I also quite like the story. My
previous books were what I’d call caper romances. In both, the protagonists
hatched hair-brained schemes in order to find love. The First Year is a lot
more grounded in reality. The characters’ families and work colleagues play a
great role and I feel like they’re more rounded because of it.