Nine Naughty Questions with… Jennifer St George, author of Tempted by the Billionaire Tycoon.

tempted-by-the-billionaire-tycoonThe Booktopia Book Guru asks

 Jennifer St George

author of Tempted by the Billionaire Tycoon

Nine Naughty Questions

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1. I wonder, is a romance writer born or made? Please tell us a little about your life before publication.

I suppose they could be both, but I was certainly a romance writer that was made. Before taking up a creative pen, I spent twenty years in corporate marketing and management consulting roles.  Some career highlights include launching Guinness beer in Russia; reaching 40 million people through a publicity campaign that ‘gave away’ a pub in Ireland and launching the Ford Ka brand in Australia. It took determination and hard work to transform from a business executive to a published romance author. Having said that, I’d always loved reading and books, which is a good start for any writer.

2. For all the glitz and the glam associated with the idea of romance novels, writing about and from the heart is personal and very revealing. Do you think this is why romance readers are such devoted fans? And do you ever feel exposed?

I don’t know about exposed, but I do become quite emotional while writing my stories.  Often while drafting the ‘black moment’, when all seems lost, I’m crying my eyes out. Other times I feel completely exhausted after writing a scene. I put my characters through hell and I can’t help feeling their pain (and their joy of course!)

00000069873. Please tell us about your latest novel…

A series of strange accidents are occurring at Sirona, a luxury spa resort in the picturesque English countryside. Billionaire owner Nic Capitini wants the person responsible sacked. But the law requires he give three official warnings. Nic checks in undercover to gather the evidence he needs, and when he arrives to find his general manager, Poppy Bradford enjoying the spa’s facilities, he doesn’t think it will prove very challenging.

But, it isn’t long before Nic realises that not only is Poppy beautiful, she’s a brilliant manager and the chemistry between them is undeniable. When Poppy herself is threatened, it seems clear the incidents are part of a systematic campaign of sabotage. Even though he believes she’s innocent, Nic knows Poppy is hiding something. But will learning her secret mean losing her forever?

Grab a copy of Jennifers’s novel Tempted by the Billionaire Tycoon here

4. Is the life of a published Romance writer… well… Romantic?

I like to think so. I knew I was up for a lifetime of romance when my now husband flew across the world (I lived in London, he lived in Brisbane) to declare his undying love after only knowing me for three weeks.

Everyday romance-writing life however, it a lot of hard work and copious amounts of coffee! But, I do try to visit the locations I set my stories. Tempted by the Billionaire Tycoon (my latest story) is set in Paris, Versailles and the Lake District (UK). I travelled to all these places to ensure I captured the essence of each location. A nice job perk!

the-billionaire-s-pursuit-of-love5. Of all of the Romantic moments in your life is there one moment, more dear than all the rest, against which you judge all the Romantic elements in your writing? If so can you tell us about that special moment?

My husband’s international dash outlined above is pretty hard to top, so yes, my heroes have to work pretty hard as I have very high romantic standards.

6. Sex in Romance writing today ranges from ‘I can’t believe they’re allowed to publish this stuff’ explicit to ‘turn the light back on I can see something’ mild. How important do you think sex is in a romance novel?

I write sexy category romance stories in glamorous international settings, so sex is a vital ingredient in all my novels. But, I think building the sexual tension in the story is critical to delivering an emotional and engaging read.

isbn97818440803807. Romance writers are often Romance readers – please tell us your five favourite (read and re-read) romance novels or five novels that influenced your work most?

1. Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier
2. Pride and Prejudice –  Jane Austen (I recently visited her house in Hampshire where she wrote the book…fascinating)
3, 4 and 5. Anything by category romance authors, Kelly Hunter, Rachel Bailey and Amy Andrews (I could go on and on and on)

8. Erotic Romance writing is ‘so hot right now’, do you have any thoughts on why?

I have to admit it is not really a genre I read, but I suspect it is a great way to escape into a fantasy world that whips reader away from the every day. There’s something pretty exciting about having a hot werewolf imprint on you or a vampire bite you so you live forever!

9. Lastly, what advice do you give aspiring writers?

Read and learn (and never stop) and write, write, write.

Once I decided I wanted to be a romance writer, I voraciously read the types of books I wanted to write.  I wanted to understand readers’ expectations. I travelled all over Australia to attend the best romance writing courses and I didn’t let rejection stop me. I kept writing until I got that call.  Also, I’d recommend joining Romance Writers of Australia…it will save you years of wandering around in the romance-writing wilderness!

Thanks for joining us Jennifer!


tempted-by-the-billionaire-tycoonTempted by the Billionaire Tycoon

by Jennifer St George

The latest sexy international romance from the bestselling author of The Billionaire’s Pursuit of Love.

Three strikes and you’re out…

A series of strange accidents are occurring at Sirona, a luxury spa resort in the picturesque English countryside. Billionaire owner Nic Capitini wants the person responsible sacked. But the law requires he give three official warnings. Nic checks in undercover to gather the evidence he needs, and when he arrives to find his general manager enjoying the spa’s facilities, he doesn’t think it will prove very challenging.

Despite first impressions, it isn’t long before Nic realises that not only is Poppy Bradford beautiful, she’s a brilliant manager who runs the resort superbly. And the chemistry between them is undeniable. When Poppy herself is threatened, it seems clear the incidents are part of a systematic campaign of sabotage. Even though he believes she’s innocent, Nic knows Poppy is hiding something. But will learning her secret mean losing her forever?

Tempted by the Billionaire Tycoon is part of the Billionaire series by Jennifer St George, but can certainly be enjoyed as a stand-alone book.

Grab a copy of Jennifers’s novel Tempted by the Billionaire Tycoon here

BOOKTOBERFEST GUEST BLOG: Five Standout Dicks – A Tribute to Philip K. Dick (by David Henley)

Henley_David-300x300If you ever tried the Dick challenge and attempted to read all of Philip K. Dick’s science fiction works, after a while you may have felt, as I did, that all those strange worlds and characters seemed to blend together and it is hard to remember what happens in each book.
 
For me, as a Dick lover, I don’t mind this and think it was maybe intentional on the part of the author. He was interested in exploring ideas, not world building. Dick loved having an Everyman protagonist and wasn’t afraid to shift to new protagonists if the story made it necessary. Dick is it’s own oeuvre which explores the questions of what it is to be human, what is reality and surveillance society.
 
If you suffer from Dick-blindness, either from too much Dick or you’re looking for your first and they all look the same, I’ve chosen 5 Dicks that stand-out from the rest.

the-man-in-the-high-castleMan in the High Castle

You’ve got to read The Man in the High Castle. This one is really well known and won some famous award. It’s main schtick is the premise that in WW2, Germany and Japan won the war and co-occupy the USA. What more do I need to say?

counter-clock-worldCounter-clock World

The premise for this one is that cause and effect has started moving in reverse, ie as people get older their bodies get younger and going to the toilet is eating, and eating is regurgitation. Gross! But, it also means that the dead are coming back to life and the story follows this group of grave-robbers, who are actually rescuing reanimated corpses. When they come upon a reborn prophet, the fun begins.

do-androids-dream-of-electric-sheep-Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

Yeah, you know the film, the dystopian, over-populated mega city, always raining, hunting down human like androids called replicants. The book is different. It still has the replicants but the main story is about Deckard, his wife and the post apocalyptic environmental crisis that has nearly wiped out all animal life on the planet. It’s a totally different story from them film with a completely different focus, and I find reading the book makes me like the film more and vice-versa.

a-scanner-darklyScanner Darkly

This is a paranoid acid trip of a book. Apparently inspired by some of Dick’s friends who had walked too far down the path of intoxication, combined with Dick’s usual fears of the surveillance state. The main character is an undercover narcotics agent who begins video surveilling the very group he has infiltrated, and is so whacked out he can barely remember which of the suspects is him.

valisValis Trilogy, (Valis The Devine Invasion. Transmigration of Timothy Archer)

This is where shit gets weird. Dick had a real life experience/hallucination where he saw some pink light that revealed the true nature of reality to him. In this trilogy people are trying to break through the false world that we all experience, either helped or hindered by a mysterious and hypothetical Vast Active Living Intelligence System, thus the name Valis.

Every year I like to celebrate Dick Day, on December 16th. Take the day off and read a Dick.

David Henley worked in Australian trade publishing for many years; for the last 10 years he has been growing Xou Creative, a successful design and publishing studio. He has written and illustrated two novellas and one gift book, and is the art director of SEIZURE, a magazine for new writing. David lives on a diet of science fiction – particularly Stanislaw Lem, Masamune Shirow, Philip K Dick, Orson Scott Card – and fantasy, including comics, manga, anime.

manifestationsManifestations

by David M. Henley

The Weave is left reeling after an explosion devastates the city of Busan. Who is behind it? What does it mean for the psis?

Pete Lazarus has been taken captive and Colonel Pinter is discovering the joys of rejuvenation, while the most powerful telepath ever born marches steadily towards world domination, collecting subservient Citizens in his wake.

In this second installment in the trilogy, following on from The Hunt for Pierre Jnr, David Henley immerses us into a world of ambiguity where the end does not always justify the means.

Grab a copy of Manifestations here

Celebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and Bolinda – you could win a prize pack worth over $800!

bolinda-prizeCelebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and Bolinda and you could win this amazing prize pack worth over $800!!

Just buy any title in Bolinda’s Booktoberfest Showcase and you could win!

Click here to enter Bolinda’s showcase

Our Top Pick

amnesiaAmnesia

by Peter Carey

How does a young woman from suburban Melbourne become America’s public enemy number one?

When Gaby Baillieux releases the Angel Worm into the computers of Australia’s prison system, freeing hundreds of asylum seekers, she sets off a chain reaction. These prisons are run by US companies, and so the doors of some 5000 American institutions have also opened. And to some watching eyes, the secrets of both countries threaten to pour out.

Was this a mistake? Or has the elusive Gaby declared cyberwar on the US, as part of the longstanding covert conflict between the two countries that has as its most outrageous act the CIA-engineered coup of 1975 – a coup so brazen we immediately forgot it as part of our Great Amnesia.

Amnesia is Carey at his best: funny, sweeping, intimate, exhilarating. It is a novel that speaks powerfully about our history but most urgently about our present.

Click here to enter Bolinda’s showcase

What Cathryn Read – The September Round Up (by bestselling author Cathryn Hein)

Australian novelist Cathryn Hein, author of The French Prize, Heartland and much more gives her verdict on the books she’s been reading.

I read some wonderful books this month, from a traditional Mills & Boon romance that surprised me hugely, to heart-pounding thrillers, an Australian bush-set Gothic mystery and the heart-warming tale of a socially awkward vet.


Damaso Claims His Heir

by Annie West

It’s been quite some time since I’ve read a Mills & Boon, and I have to admit the traditional Sexy and Presents lines with their über alpha heroes has never really appealed. I tend to wish the heroine would just push the silly man back into his Bentley and find herself a nice beta good sort, preferably a footy playing one with a farm, a collie and a ute. Damaso Claims His Heir, however, was a revelation. The story took off from the first page, and galloped wonderfully along to the end. The characters had amazing backstories, the settings were interesting and exotic, and the writing vivid.

Dogged by scandal and heartbroken from the death of her brother, Princess Marisa of Bengaria is not only running from her homeland but from her emotions. When she meets Brazillian billionaire Damaso Pires she senses a man who might heal her. But at the end of a passionate night together, scared by the intensity of his feelings toward this amazing woman, Damaso walks out and Marisa’s emotional shutters slam once again closed. But one night stands can have consequences, and when Damaso discovers Marisa is pregnant, there’s no way he’s letting go of his heir.

If you’re curious about what a modern Mills & Boon is like, or simply after page-turning, emotional romance from a skilled and experienced author, then Damaso Claims His Heir is for you.

Grab a copy of Damaso Claims His Heir here


Thornwood House

by Anna Romer

This has probably been said many times, but if you’re a fan of Kate Morton (as I am) then Thornwood House is right in your zone.

After the unexpected death of her ex-partner, single mum Audrey Kepler is stunned to find she’s inherited Thornwood House, a large rural property in the rugged Queensland bush. Though long abandoned and valuable, Audrey’s plan to sell Thornwood disappears when she feels an immediate affinity with the house. Affinity that grows when she discovers a photograph of the house’s former occupant, Samuel Riordan, a man accused of bashing a young woman to death. But there have been other suspicious deaths in the area, and soon Audrey becomes consumed with their mystery. As she comes closer to the truth, Audrey discovers her obsession might come at an unthinkable price.

I adored this book. Beautiful writing, a wonderfully complex mystery, fantastic Gothic atmosphere and a romantic subplot that still makes me gooey when I think of it. I look forward to sinking into Romer’s new release, Lyrebird Hill.

 Grab a copy of Thornwood House here


Blood Secret

by Jaye Ford

Oh, I so adore having the pants scared off me, and Jaye Ford managed to do that within the first few pages of Blood Secret. This is fast-paced, clever thriller writing at its best.

Rennie Carter has been on the run for most of her life but for the last few years the sleepy area of Haven Bay and lover Max Tully have provided sanctuary and a kind of contentment. Though Rennie knows one day she’ll have to run again, for now she’s making the most of it. Except one night Max goes missing.

No one seems to believe that Max is in danger, but Rennie does. She’s convinced that her past has stolen into her life again, but as she searches for Max she discovers that, like her, the man she loves may also not be who he seems. Except whose secret has caused him to vanish so suddenly? And what other things are being hidden in Haven Bay?

There aren’t that many books that can make me physically anxious for the characters but Blood Secret certainly did. Whether it’s this one, Beyond Fear, Scared Yet? or her new release Already Dead, give yourself a thrill and read a Jaye Ford book. They’re brilliant.

  Grab a copy of Blood Secret here


Dog Gone, Back Soon

by Nick Trout

This series is so much fun. It started with The Patron Saint of Lost Dogs and I don’t know if there are any more planned but I hope so. It’s like James Herriot for a modern audience with a tricky romance thrown in.

Without giving too much of the first book’s plot away, our hero vet, the nerdy, socially awkward Dr Cyrus Mills, has managed to save the practice he inherited from his father. Now he’s determined to make The Bedside Manor for Sick Animals a business to be proud of. Except there’s stiff competition from Healthy Paws, the factory-like practice across town, and they like to play dirty. Nor do Eden Falls locals, with their eccentricities and baffling animal mysteries, make it easy. Then there’s Amy, the beautiful girl Cyrus hankers for but seems to stuff up every meeting with.

Life tends to become complicated for poor Doc Cyrus, but that’s what makes these books such a hoot to read. Nick Trout is a vet himself and draws both his animal (and people) characters wonderfully. The veterinary mysteries and facts are fascinating too.

Heart-warming and adorable. Like a beloved pet, this is a book to cuddle up with.

Grab a copy of Dog Gone, Back Soon here


The Fallen Angelthe-fallen-angel

by Daniel Silva

This is this first novel I’ve read from this acclaimed thriller author and unlikely to be the last. The Fallen Angel was so good that half way through reading I ordered a copy for my dad. He’s reading it now, and is completely hooked. I bet he ends up borrowing every book in the Gabriel Allon series from the library.

Gabriel Allon is an accomplished art restorer who also happens to be a sometime Israeli spy. When a woman is killed in Saint Peter’s Basilica, Gabriel’s Vatican connections compel him to abandon the Caravaggio he restoring and investigate. It’s not long before he’s drawn into the criminal underworld, but one dangerous night he discovers this underworld might be linked to something bigger. Something in the fearsome realm of terror that could destroy peace forever.

This is race against the clock, edge of your seat thriller-land. I particularly admired the swift sketches that brought clearly to life characters regular readers would know without being boring or slowing the plot. Great stuff.

Grab a copy of The Fallen Angel here


Hein, CathrynThanks Cathryn Hein, we look forward to seeing what you have read next month!

Cathryn Hein was born in South Australia’s rural south-east. With three generations of jockeys in the family it was little wonder she grew up horse mad, finally obtaining her first horse at age 10. So began years of pony club, eventing, dressage and showjumping until university beckoned.

Armed with a shiny Bachelor of Applied Science (Agriculture) from Roseworthy College she moved to Melbourne and later Newcastle, working in the agricultural and turf seeds industry. Her partner’s posting to France took Cathryn overseas for three years in Provence where she finally gave in to her life-long desire to write. Her short fiction has been recognised in numerous contests, and published in Woman’s Day.

Now living in Melbourne, Cathryn writes full-time.

Click here to see Cathryn’s author page

The French Prize

by Cathryn Hein

An ancient riddle, a broken vow – a modern-day quest for a medieval treasure.

Australian-born Dr. Olivia Walker is an Oxford academic with a reputation as one of the world’s leading Crusade historians and she’s risked everything on finding one of the most famous swords in history – Durendal. Shrouded in myth and mystery, the sword is fabled to have belonged to the warrior Roland, a champion of Charlemagne’s court, and Olivia is determined to prove to her detractors that the legend is real. Her dream is almost within reach when she discovers the long-lost key to its location in Provence, but her benefactor – Raimund Blancard – has other ideas.

For more than a millennium, the Blancard family have protected the sword. When his brother is tortured and killed by a man who believes he is Roland’s rightful heir, Raimund vows to end the bloodshed forever. He will find Durendal and destroy it, but to do that he needs Olivia’s help.

Now Olivia is torn between finding the treasure for which she has hunted all her life and helping the man she has fallen in love with destroy her dream. And all the while, Raimund’s murderous nemesis is on their trail, and he will stop at nothing to claim his birthright.

Grab a copy of The French Prize here

Move over Breaking Bad, welcome to Baking Bad!

This week’s Booktopia Book Trailer of the Week goes to Walter Wheat’s methmerising new cookbook book Baking Bad. Cupcakes like you’ve never seen them before.

Grab a copy of Baking Bad here

baking-badBaking Bad

by Walter Wheat

You’re hooked on Breaking Bad.

You’ve got high on the escapades of Walt and Jessie.

Now it’s come to an end and you’re missing your latest fix.

We have just the drug for you: Baking Bad. 98% pure but 100% edible and delicious, Baking Bad is a spoof recipe book created in homage to the TV series that we STILL can’t stop talking about. A cookbook for fans of the greatest cult show ever produced (and no gasmask is required).

From ‘Ricin Crispie Treats’ to Walt’s patented ‘Meth Muffins’ (complete with blue sugar crystals), ‘Apple and Banana Hank-cakes’ to ‘Chocolate Gustavo Fingers’ and ‘Heisen-batten-Burg Cake’ (topped with a licorice hat), this book comes with so many in-jokes that you’ll need a fake carwash just to process them. So, get your protective gear on and your tool kit ready. Because, as Jessie would say, ‘Let’s Cook. B*tch’.

Grab a copy of Baking Bad here

Celebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and HarperCollins- you could win a prize pack worth $999!

harper-collins-prizeCelebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and HarperCollins and you could win this amazing prize pack worth over $999!!

Just buy any title in HarperCollins’ Booktoberfest Showcase and you could win!

Click here to enter HarperCollins’ showcase

Our Top Pick

kerry-stokes-the-boy-from-nowhereKerry Stokes : The Boy from Nowhere

by Andrew Rule

The compelling and inspirational story of the rags to riches life of Kerry Stokes, a remarkable Australian.

Kerry Stokes is a remarkable Australian. Not because he is one of Australia’s wealthiest and most powerful people, but because of what he overcame to get there and because he has endured when others didn’t. His success and his rise have intrigued the business world for decades but there is so much more to him than multi-million dollar deals or mergers.

Behind the laconic front is a human story as tough and touching as a Dickens tale: Oliver Twist with great self-expectations. It is the story of a poor boy who stared down poverty, ignorance and the stigma of his illegitimate birth to achieve great wealth and fulfilment. He’s a backstreets battler who has become a power player. It’s a compelling and inspiring story that, until now, he has not told.

Now he oversees a multi-billion dollar media, machinery and property empire. He is renowned for his art collection and for philanthropy, spending millions of dollars to buy – among other things – Victoria Crosses from soldiers’ families to donate to the Australian War Memorial.

But he’s a private man. A man apart. He made his name in the West but kept his distance from the buccaneering band of entrepreneurs who forged fabulous fortunes in Perth from the 1960s until the 1987 crash. Bond went to jail, Holmes a Court died; Connell did both. Lesser lights flickered and faded but Stokes grew stronger, becoming a player alongside Murdoch, Packer and Lowy. His story fascinates all the more because he has spent most of his life guarding it. But now he’s telling it, to one of Australia’s great storytellers.

He is the boy who came from nothing, who had nothing to lose. And now he has everything. It’s a great Australian journey.

Click here to enter HarperCollins’ showcase

Are you a winner of a Where’s Wally pack or 1 of 5 South Sydney Rabbitohs caps signed by John Sattler?

Kids Month_PromoLarge_Mobile

In August we gave you the chance to enter our Kids Month Where’s Wally competition. We had 1 of 5 Where’s Wally packs valued at $175 RRP to giveaway! All you had to do to enter was find Wally on the website and buy a book from our Kids Month range.


And the lucky winners of a Where’s Wally pack are…

L.Randall, Ivanhoe East, VIC
M.Hakeem, Mortdale, NSW
E.Wells, Springwood, NSW
S.Mathews, Altona Meadows, VIC
D.Maloney, Noosaville, QLD


Glory Glory

In October we gave you the chance to enter our Glory, Glory competition. We had 1 of 5 South Sydney Rabbitohs caps signed by John Sattler to giveaway! All you had to do to enter was buy Souths Legend John Sattler’s memoir, Glory, Glory.


And the lucky winners of a South Sydney Rabbitohs cap signed by John Sattler are…

J.Coyle, Cronulla, NSW
J.Murphy, Chifley, NSW
J.Crump, Aberdare, NSW
T.Brown, Surry Hills,NSW
C.Lambert, Rouse Hill, NSW


Congratulations to the winners!
Not a winner? Don’t worry because Booktoberferst is on right now and we have over $13,000 worth of prizes to giveaway!

Booktoberfest - Rotating HomePage Banner 770x200 - FINAL

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