RWA Romantic Book of the Year (The Ruby) 2015 Finalists announced

The finalists for this year’s Romantic Books of the Year Award, affectionately known as The Ruby, have been announced!

Voted on by Australian readers, the contest is open each year to any Australian or New Zealand romance author who has published a long or short romance novel with the winners to be announced at the Romance Writer’s of Australia conference in August.


Long Romance:moonlight-plains

Risky Business by Amy Andrews

Deadly Secrets by Sarah Barrie

Moonlight Plains by Barbara Hannay

Attraction by KM Golland


Romantic Elements:outback-ghost

Flight to Coorah Creek by Janet Gover

The Trader’s Reward by Anna Jacobs

Outback Ghost by Rachael Johns

The Lace Balcony by Johanna Nicholls

Riverboat Point by Tricia Stringer


Short Sweet:dr-perfect-on-her-doorstep

Dr. Perfect On Her Doorstep by Lucy Clark

Waves of Temptation by Marion Lennox

A Little Christmas Magic by Alison Roberts

The Maverick Millionaire by Alison Roberts

The Tycoon and the Wedding Planner by Kandy Shepherd


Short Sexy:damaso-claims-his-heir

Wanting What She Can’t Have by Yvonne Lindsay

Romance For Cynics by Nicola Marsh

Tycoon’s Temptation by Trish Morey

Damaso Claims His Heir by Annie West


Nine Naughty Questions with… Rachael Johns, author of The Road to Hope

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Rachael Johns

author of The Road to Hope and many more…

Nine Naughty Questions

———————————-

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

I was made from heartache mixed with a liberal dose of teenage dramatics. I’d never been a huge reader in school (aside from the entire Babysitters series) but I was a mad romantic, crushing on the same guy for almost five years. We ended up “together” for five months and when we broke up at the end of year twelve I was devastated. I thought my life was over and for some reason turned to writing as a form of therapy. I wrote 80000 terrible words about me and that guy but by the end of it, I’d caught the bug. It took me fifteen years after this before I finally got published. During those fifteen years I also did a writing degree, became a teacher, got married, had three kids and moved to the bush.

Author: Rachael Johns

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 think romance readers rock and I love that they are as invested in the characters as me as a writer. I think the reason they’re invested and devoted is because romance characters usually experience universal emotions – love, grief, anger, loss, etc – that make them easy to relate to and barrack for. Romance, although it can take readers on a rollercoaster of highs and lows, guarantees a happy ending and in today’s often sad world, I think this feel-good escape is wonderful. Obviously all my books have a little part of me in, but I don’t feel exposed.

3. Please tell us about your latest novel…

The Road to Hope is linked to my first book Jilted and is about nurse Lauren Simpson and Doctor Tom Lewis. Lauren featured in Jilted and I myself had nicknamed her The Nasty Nurse, never intending to use her as the heroine in a future book. However I had such great feedback from readers wanting to go back to Hope Junction that I decided to write another book set in that town. The Road to Hope is a story about overcoming life’s hurtles and making the best of what is thrown at you. It’s about giving yourself and others a second chance. It’s mostly set in a rural hospital and nursing home and so there are a whole host of elderly eccentric characters which were hugely fun to write about. And for those readers who loved Jilted, you’ll be pleased to hear The Road to Hope opens at Flynn and Ellie’s wedding.

Grab a copy of Rachael’s novel The Road to Hope here

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

Hmm… I’d like to tell you that it is but the truth is that aside from a few times a year when I hang out with writer friends at conferences and wine and dine, my life is pretty much the same as any other working mum. I get up, organise everyone for school, drop them off, come home do laundry, emails, etc and then sit at my laptop and pray for words. I’m interrupted by school carnivals, sick kids, dogs that need walking… I think you get the picture. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have a job I can do from home and, in winter, from my bed with my electric blanket on. What’s better than that?

5. 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?

It’s very sad but I can’t think of many truly romantic moments – maybe I’m hard to please or maybe the lack of them is why I turned to writing romance. One pretty special day for me was when my husband proposed. He’d asked me (hypothetically) what I would like in an ideal proposal and I told him chocolate, champagne, fairy lights, rain and all my pets (at the time I had two guinea pigs, two budgies and a cat). Three months later it was raining and he whisked me out onto his patio. He had fairy lights strung across the awnings, chocolate, wine and all pets out there as well. He got down on bended knee and asked me to be his wife. After he went to all the trouble of getting the animals organised, of course I said yes. It may not have been everyone’s idea of romance, but I think that’s what makes a good romance novel – the romantic moments are tailored very specifically to the hero and heroine of that book. What works for one couple, would seem wrong for another.

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?

In my books I don’t close the door but neither do I explicitly describe the sex scenes. The heat levels also vary from book to book depending on the characters. To me the emotion is the key to writing a truly fulfilling sex scene – I want to be inside the characters’ heads as much as their bodies when they are making love, to see/know how their feelings and opinions are changing and growing about their lover and also about themselves. Sex in a book shouldn’t be gratuitous, it should change things and be absolutely essential to the plot, otherwise I don’t want to read (or write) about it.

7. 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. Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding – This was the book that brought me back to reading in my early twenties and one of the few novels I’ve re-read.
2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – classic romance. I simply love Austen’s heroes, especially in this book.
3. Faking It by Jennifer Crusie – a book that had me laughing pretty much on every page. The sex scene stood out as being fresh and funny, not clichéd at all.
4. Northern Lights by Nora Roberts – my first ever Nora Roberts book and one of the books that got me hooked on romance.
5. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens – the only book I read in high school and a story that stayed with me.

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

I think it’s always been hot, just before a certain book came out a few years ago and took the world by storm no one that read erotic romance admitted to it.

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

Read and write – it’s really as simple as that. I don’t understand when I hear writers say they are not readers. To me, these passions go  hand in hand and you can learn a lot from reading other people’s work. Oh and when you are ready, submit your work to publishers. It took me a long while to realise that one of the reasons I wasn’t getting published was because I wasn’t putting my work out there.

Thanks for joining us Rachael!


The Road to Hope

by Rachael Johns

Nurse Lauren Simpson is known in Hope Junction for the wrong reasons – and she’s over it. Watching the man she’s always loved marry someone else is the last straw – she decides to get out of Hope. But her resolve is tested when the hot new locum doctor arrives in town.

Doctor Tom Lewis also has skeletons in his closet – including a painful breakup and devastating family news. He’s hit the road with his vintage ute and surfboard, to travel the outback and live in the moment.

When Tom and Lauren meet the attraction is instant, but for Lauren Tom threatens to be just another fling and Tom has his own reasons for hesitating. Everyone else – their friends and patients – can see how perfect they are together, but just what will it take for them to admit this to themselves?

A brand new Hope Junction story of fresh starts and second chances.

Grab a copy of The Road to Hope here

GUEST BLOG: Bestselling author Rachael Johns lists her Top Ten Romance Books

We’re so lucky to be able to host guest blogs from some of Australia’s Favourite Authors, and with the dust settling on Valentine’s Day, we’ve got a special treat for Romance lovers. A guest blog from romance bestseller Rachael Johns!

Rachael unveils her Top Ten Romance Books of All-Time. Did your favourites make the cut?


Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

bridget-jones-s-diaryThis book was the first book I read and enjoyed after a long drought in high school. It reignited my passion for reading and partly inspired me to write my own book.

Blurb: In the course of the year recorded in Bridget Jones’s Diary, Bridget confides her hopes, her dreams, and her monstrously fluctuating poundage, not to mention her consumption of 5277 cigarettes and Fat units 3457 (approx.) (hideous in every way). In 365 days, she gains 74 pounds. On the other hand, she loses 72! There is also the unspoken New Year’s resolution–the quest for the right man. A dazzling urban satire of modern human relations? An ironic, tragic insight into the demise of the nuclear family? Or the confused ramblings of a pissed thirty-something?

Celebrating 40 years of outstanding international writing, this is one of the essential Picador novels reissued in a beautiful new series style.

Grab a copy of Bridget Jones’s Diary here


Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

wallbangerIt was one of my fave reads of 2013, I laughed out loud in so many places but I also loved the way the author portrays the development of the friendship and romance.

Burb: The first night after Caroline moves into her fantastic new San Francisco apartment, she realizes she’s gaining an—um—intimate knowledge of her new neighbor’s nocturnal adventures. Thanks to paper-thin walls and the guy’s athletic prowess, she can hear not just his bed banging against the wall but the ecstatic response of what seems (as loud night after loud night goes by) like an endless parade of women. And since Caroline is currently on a self-imposed “dating hiatus,” and her neighbor is clearly lethally attractive to women, she finds her fantasies keep her awake even longer than the noise …

Grab a copy of Wallbanger here


Heart of the Valley by Cathryn Hein

heart-of-the-valleySuch a heart-wrenching story that had me teary early on. This is a hard feat. I rarely cry in books!

Blurb: Brooke Kingston is smart, capable and strongwilled – some might even say stubborn – and lives in the beautiful Hunter Valley on her family property. More at home on horseback than in heels, her life revolves around her beloved ‘boys’ – showjumpers Poddy, Oddy and Sod.

Then a tragic accident leaves Brooke a mess. Newcomer Lachie Cambridge is hired to manage the farm, and Brooke finds herself out of a job and out of luck. But she won’t go without a fight.

What she doesn’t expect is Lachie himself – a handsome, gentle giant with a will to match her own …

Grab a copy of Heart of the Valley here


Northern Lights by Nora Roberts

northern-lightsThis was my first ever Nora Roberts novel and since then I’ve read loads more. She is not known as the Queen of Romance for nothing and I love the way she crafts characters.

Blurb: Lunacy, Alaska – population 506 – is Nate Burke’s last chance. As a Baltimore cop, he had watched his partner die – and the guilt still haunts him. Maybe serving as Chief of Police in this tiny, remote town, where darkness falls by mid-afternoon and temperatures fall to below zero, will bring some kind of solace. It isn’t as if he has anywhere else to go Aside from sorting out a run-in between a couple of motor vehicles and a moose and pulling apart two brothers fighting overJohn Wayne’s best movie Nate’s first weeks on the job are relatively quiet …

Grab a copy of Northern Lights here


The Secret Life of Lady Gabriella by Liz Fielding

the-secret-life-of-lady-gabriellaThis book broadened my thinking about what a Mills & Boon book was and I gobbled it up in one sitting.

Blurb: Lady Gabriella March is the perfect domestic goddess at least, that’s what her editor at Milady magazine thinks. In truth she’s simply Ellie March, cleaner and aspiring writer, who uses the beautiful mansion she is housesitting to inspire her.

When the owner returns unexpectedly, Ellie’s fledgling writing career is threatened. But even more dangerous is the man himself! Gorgeous Dr Benedict Faulkner is quite the opposite of the aging academic she imagined, and soon it is her heart, and not just her secret, that is exposed.

 Grab a copy of The Secret Life of Lady Gabriella here


the-ultimate-heroThe Magnate’s Indecent Proposal by Ally Blake

Another favourite Mills & Boon of mine. I loved the cute premise of this book and the rest of the book lived up to it.

Blurb: After her third nuisance call of the morning, Chelsea finally twigged. She must have accidentally swapped mobile phones with someone in the cafe that morning! To her pleasant surprise, the owner was darkly handsome and seriously sexy Damien ‘Rich-list’ Halliburton. Chelsea had sworn off men long ago, and hadn’t since been tempted. But with a guy this gorgeous how could she refuse his wicked, seductive and very indecent proposal?

Grab a copy of The Magnate’s Indecent Proposal here


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

pride-and-prejudiceWhat can I say? Jane Austen is a master of romance and Mr Darcy is swoon-worthy!

Blurb: When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited; he is indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships,gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life.

Grab a copy of Pride and Prejudice here


Too Good To Be True by Kristan Higgins

too-good-to-be-trueMy first Higgins book and definitely not my last. I adore Kristan’s writing and the embarrassing situations she throws her heroines into.

Blurb: When Grace Emerson’s ex-fiance starts dating her younger sister, extreme measures are called for. To keep everyone from obsessing about her love life, Grace announces that she’s seeing someone… Someone wonderful. Someone handsome. Someone completely made up.

Who is this Mr Right? Someone…exactly unlike her renegade neighbour Callahan O’Shea. Well, someone with his looks, maybe. His hot body. His knife-sharp sense of humour. His smarts and his big heart. Whoa. No. Callahan O’Shea is not her perfect man! Not with his unsavoury past. So why does Mr Wrong feel so…right?

Grab a copy of Too Good To Be True here


Faking It by Jennifer Crusie

faking-itThe love scene from this book stands out as being one of my fave love scenes of all times. The sex wasn’t clichéd at all, in fact it was almost too real but somehow it worked and taught me a lot about what makes a believable and affective sex scene.

Blurb: Meet the Goodnights, a respectable family who run a respectable art gallery—and have for generations. There’s Gwen, the matriarch, who likes to escape reality; Eve, the oldest daughter, who has a slight identity problem (she has two); Nadine, the granddaughter, who’s ready to follow in the family footsteps as soon as she can find a set that isn’t leading off a cliff. And last, Matilda, the youngest daughter, who has inherited the secret locked down in the basement of the Goodnight Gallery, a secret she’s willing to do almost anything to keep, even break into a house in the dead of night to steal back her past …


The Perfect Rake by Anne Gracie

the-perfect-rakeThis was my first Anne Gracie and my first historical with actual sex in it. Until that moment, I didn’t know such fabulous love scenes were allowed in historical books. I love all of Anne’s characters, but her hero in this book is to-die-for.

Blurb: She ran from a brute…
Fleeing the harsh guardianship of her grandfather, Prudence Merridew escapes with her beautiful younger sisters to London. One of them must marry—and fast. To act as her sisters’ chaperone, Prudence invents a secret engagement to a reclusive duke… But when the duke arrives unexpectedly in London, she needs his help to avert disaster…

Grab a copy of The Perfect Rake here


About Rachael Johns

rachael johnsRachael Johns is an English teacher by trade, a supermarket owner by day, a mum 24/7, and a writer by night. She lives in rural Western Australia with her hyperactive husband and three mostly-gorgeous heroes-in-training.

At 17 she began writing, enlightened by the thought that she could create whatever ending she liked, and almost a decade later, after many, many attempts at writing different types of novels, she joined the Romance Writers of Australia association.

It was there that Rachael learnt there was more to writing a book than just typing out random thoughts. She learnt about the craft, conflict, consistent characters, etc, and also discovered that she LOVED contemporary romance.

The Road to Hopethe-road-to-hope
by Rachael Johns

Nurse Lauren Simpson is known in Hope Junction for the wrong reasons – and she’s over it. Watching the man she’s always loved marry someone else is the last straw – she decides to get out of Hope. But her resolve is tested when the hot new locum doctor arrives in town.

Doctor Tom Lewis also has skeletons in his closet – including a painful breakup and devastating family news. He’s hit the road with his vintage ute and surfboard, to travel the outback and live in the moment.

When Tom and Lauren meet the attraction is instant, but for Lauren Tom threatens to be just another fling and Tom has his own reasons for hesitating. Everyone else – their friends and patients – can see how perfect they are together, but just what will it take for them to admit this to themselves?

Pre-order a copy of The Road to Hope here

Australia’s Favourite Author 2015 – Places 50-41

Australian Stories - BannerJanuary is the month of Australian Stories at Booktopia, and to celebrate we’re counting down Australia’s 50 Favourite Authors, as voted by you!

Every day we’ll unveil 10 authors until, on Friday, we announce Australia’s Favourite Author for 2015!

Let the countdown begin!


trudi50. Trudi Canavan

Trudi Canavan was born in Kew, Melbourne and grew up in Ferntree Gully, a suburb at the foothills of the Dandenongs. In November 2001, The Magicians’ Guild was first published in Australia. The second book of the trilogy, The Novice, was published in June 2002 and was nominated for the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel. The third book The High Lord was released in January 2003 and was nominated for the Best Novel Ditmar category.

Trudi’s second trilogy, Age of the Five, has also enjoyed bestselling success. Priestess of the White reached No.3 in the Sunday Times hardback fiction bestseller list, staying in the top ten for six weeks.

Our Pick

Our Pick

In early 2006 Trudi signed a seven-figure contract with Orbit to write the prequel and sequel to the Black Magician Trilogy. The prequel, The Magician’s Apprentice was released in 2009 and won the Best Fantasy Novel category of the Aurealis Awards. The sequel trilogy has enjoyed great success on the bestseller lists and The Rogue reached no. 11 in the Fantasy category of the Goodreads Best Books of 2011 Awards. In 2011 she embarked on a tour that included the UK, Ireland, Poland, France and Germany.

Click here to go to Trudi Canavan’s author page


49. Tara Moss

Tara Moss is a novelist, journalist, blogger and TV presenter. Since 1999 she has written 9 bestselling novels, published in 18 countries and 12 languages. Her first non-fiction book, the critically acclaimed The Fictional Woman, was published in 2014 and became a number one bestseller.

the-fictional-woman

Our Pick

Her writing has appeared in Australian Literary Review, The Sydney Morning Herald News Review, The Age, The Daily Telegraph, The Australian, ABC online and more. She is a PhD Candidate at the University of Sydney, and has earned her private investigator credentials (Cert III) from the Australian Security Academy.

Her non-fiction writing has appeared in The Australian Literary Review, Vogue, ELLE, The Australian Women’s Weekly, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian, among other publications.

Click here to go to Tara Moss’ author page


48. Michael Robotham

Before writing full-time Michael Robotham was an investigative journalist in Britain, Australia and the US. In 1993 he quit journalism to become a ghostwriter, collaborating with politicians, pop stars, psychologists, adventurers and showbusiness personalities to write their autobiographies. Twelve of these non-fiction titles were bestsellers with combined sales of more than 2 million copies.

life-or-death

Our Pick

His first novel The Suspect, a psychological thriller, was chosen by the world’s largest consortium of book clubs as only the fifth “International Book of the Month”, making it the top recommendation to 28 million book club members in fifteen countries.

In 2012 he released his eighth novel Say You’re Sorry. It went on to be New York Times bestseller and was named by Stephen King as one of his best books of 2012, who praised its, “Never-lets-up suspense and beautiful writing.”

Click here to go to Michael Robotham’s author page


220px-Miles_franklin47. Miles Franklin

Miles Franklin was born into a pioneering family settled in New South Wales, Australia. She wrote My Brilliant Career when she was only sixteen. Publication in 1901 brought instant fame and a notoriety that was so unwelcome that she forbade its republication until ten years after her death.

my-brilliant-career-my-career-goes-bung

Our Pick

Franklin travelled to America, where she worked for the Women’s Trade Union League, and later during WWI to London and Salonika, where she did war work. In 1933 she returned to Australia, where she spent the rest of her life. My Career Goes Bung, the sequel to My Brilliant Career, was published in 1946, and her autobiography, Childhood at Brindabella, posthumously in 1963.

Click here to go to Miles Franklin’s author page


46. Graeme Simsion

In 2007, Graeme completed his PhD in information systems and enrolled in the professional screenwriting course at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. He has made a number of short films and his screenplay, The Rosie Project, won the Australian Writers Guild/Inception Award for Best Romantic Comedy Script in 2010.

Our Pick

While waiting for The Rosie Project to be produced, he turned it into a novel which in June 2012 won the Victorian Premier’s award for an unpublished fiction manuscript.

Readers of The Rosie Project and its sequel The Rosie Effect will know that Graeme Simsion has a first-class sense of humour. At professional conferences he has given addresses from on top of a ladder, dressed as a duck, and he once engaged a group of spellbound chartered accountants in community singing.

Click here to go to Graeme Simsion’s author page


fiona45. Fiona McCallum

Fiona McCallum spent her childhood years on the family cereal and wool farm outside a small town on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula. An avid reader and writer, she decided at the age of nine that she wanted to be the next Enid Blyton! She completed her final years of schooling at a private boarding school in Adelaide.

saving-grace

Our Pick

Fiona writes “heart-warming journey of self-discovery stories”. Her first novel Paycheque was released on April 1, 2011 and became an ‘instant bestseller’. Her second novel Nowhere Else was an even bigger hit, outselling Paycheque by early January 2012.

Fiona’s third novel, Wattle Creek, was released April 1 2012. Wattle Creek’s success saw it chosen as one of the Get Reading! “50 Books You Can’t Put Down” for 2012.

Click here to go to Fiona McCallum’s author page


large_Alison_Lester_Large_44. Alison Lester

Alison Lester is one of Australia’s most popular and bestselling creators of children’s books. She has won many awards, including the 2005 Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Picture Book of the Year Award for Are We There Yet? and the 2012 CBCA Eve Pownall Book of the Year Award for One Small Island.

magic-beach

Our Pick

Her picture books include Running With the Horses, a story based on the evacuation of the world-famous Lipizzaner horses from the Spanish Riding School in Vienna during World War Two; One Small Island, about the possibility of hope and environmental preservation for a World Heritage listed island and for the world itself; Sophie Scott Goes South about a little girl’s voyage to Antarctica and the sense of wonder that it brings; and Kissed by the Moon, a lyrical celebration of the natural world and all that it has to offer a child.

Click here to go to Alison Lester’s author page


Author-shot-for-fb-199x30043. Kylie Scott

Kylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author.

She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into six different languages.

lick

Our Pick

She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.

Click here to go to Kylie Scott’s author page


42. Colleen McCullough

Colleen McCullough was born in western New South Wales in 1937. A neuroscientist by training, she worked in various Sydney and English hospitals before settling into ten years of research and teaching in the Department of Neurology at the Yale Medical School in the USA.

Our Pick

Our Pick

In 1974 her first novel Tim was published in New York, followed by the bestselling The Thorn Birds in 1977 and a string of successful novels, including the acclaimed Masters of Rome series.

In 1980 she settled in Norfolk Island, where she lives with her husband, Ric Robinson, and a cat named Shady.

Click here to go to Colleen McCullough’s author page


41. Rachael Johns

An English teacher by trade, a supermarket owner by day, a mum 24/7, and a writer by night. That’s some of the ingredients that make up one of the most successful Romance Writers in Australia, Rachael Johns.

In a relatively short space of time, Rachael has shown herself a force to be reckoned with, helping to bolster a new movement in Australian Romance writing. At 17 she began writing, enlightened by the thought that she could create whatever ending she liked, and almost a decade later, after many, many attempts at writing different types of novels, she joined the Romance Writers of Australia association.

jilted

Our Pick

It was there that Rachael learnt there was more to writing a book than just typing out random thoughts. She learnt about the craft, conflict, consistent characters, etc, and also discovered that she loved contemporary romance.

She lives in rural Western Australia with her husband and their three children.

Click here to go to Rachael Johns’ author page


Don’t forget to comeback at midday tomorrow as we continue our countdown towards Australia’s Favourite Author for 2015!

Love Australian books?

Don’t forget to check out our Australian Stories collection!

Australian Stories - Banner

Absolutely Fabulous News!

We’ve all heard the news and now we are SO excited!

Aren’t we?

Well, if you haven’t already heard there may be an Absolutely Fabulous film released this year!

ab_fab_-thumb-300x418I have loved this show for so long, I can’t even remember when I started watching it. My mother always hated it but my grandfather adored it, he saw things my way. I think what we both loved about Absolutely Fabulous was how over-the-top and funny it was, yet it was still a sharp commentary on what happens when you hate the life you’re stuck with and will do anything to make it, well, Absolutely Fabulous!

Who doesn’t love a mother trying to hold onto her youth by trying every single diet ever mentioned, wearing ill-fitting clothes by the hippest designers out there, constantly re-decorating her apartment and trying anything new that comes her way! Let’s be honest, you are only as young as you feel, so I applaud you Eddy!

As for Eddy’s daughter, Saffy, who has to look after her own mother and try as she might to make sure Eddy doesn’t get too carried away, I can relate. Sometimes I feel like the parent when I’m dealing with my mother’s life.

Oh, I must mention Patsy. Eddy’s best friend (at times) who encourages Eddy through all her antics because she herself wants to live and love life forever but can’t do it by herself!

Let’s hope the movie doesn’t disappoint!


Now let’s get down to some of the biggest romance books coming out in 2015. We think they are going to be Absolutely Fabulous, and we think Patsy and Eddy would feel the same way.

hard-to-come-byHard to Come By
by Laura Kaye

Caught between desire and loyalty…

Derek DiMarzio would do anything for the members of his disgraced Special Forces team–sacrifice his body, help a former teammate with a covert operation to restore their honor, and even go behind enemy lines. He just never expected to want the more ….

 Grab a copy of Hard to Come By here


quarterback-drawQuarterback Draw
Play-By-Play Series : Book 9
by Jaci Burton

Grant Cassidy knows how to be a football star – Flash that dazzling smile, throw the winning pass, get the girl. But while the hot quarterback loves the game and the lifestyle, no woman has come close to catching his heart. Then he matches wits with a smart, gorgeous model, and Grant finds himself wanting more than a fling. Supermodel Katrina Koslova might live in a world of glitz and camera flashes, but she works hard to provide more…

Grab a copy of Quarterback Draw here


the-road-to-hopeThe Road to Hope
by Rachael Johns

Nurse Lauren Simpson is known in Hope Junction for the wrong reasons – and she’s over it. Watching the man she’s always loved marry someone else is the last straw – she decides to get out of Hope. But her resolve is tested when the hot new locum doctor arrives in town.

Doctor Tom Lewis also has skeletons in his closet – including a painful breakup and devastating family news. He’s hit the road with his vintage ute and surfboard, to travel the outback and live in the moment. When Tom and Lauren more…

Grab a copy of The Road to Hope here


the-secrets-of-sir-richard-kenworthyThe Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy
by Julia Quinn

Sir Richard Kenworthy has less than a month to find a bride. He knows he can’t be too picky, but when he sees Iris Smythe-Smith hiding behind her cello at her family’s infamous musicale, he thinks he might have struck gold. She’s the type of girl you don’t notice until the second-or third-look, but there’s something about her, something simmering under the surface, and he knows she’s more…

Grab a copy of The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy here


cartelCartel
Cartel Trilogy : Book 1
by Lili St. Germain

How much is a life worth?

I grew up in Colombia, the daughter of a wealthy drug lord. I lived a life of extravagance, until one day a drug run went horribly wrong and everything came crashing down around us.

I was given away. A payment for a debt. The Gypsy Brothers Motorcycle Club became my new owners, and I did everything I could to survive.

But falling in love with more…

Grab a copy of Cartel here


Match Pointematch-pointe
by Indigo Bloome

The sizzling new erotic romance from the internationally bestselling author of Destined to Play.

Eloise Lawrance, a beautiful and dedicated ballerina, is on the cusp of achieving her dreams when her career is abruptly left in tatters. Enigmatic gambling tycoon Caesar King approaches her with an alluring proposition she can’t refuse – to dance as inspiration for the top-ranked men’s tennis player for two years.

Cleverly manipulated by more…

Grab a copy of Match Pointe here


And to celebrate the world (person) behind Absolutely Fabulous, here is Jennifer Saunders’ story!

bonkersBonkers : My Life
by Jennifer Saunders

She’s been in two of the most popular double acts in TV history. As the Saunders one out of French and Saunders, she gave the world one of its longest-lasting, most-loved comedy partnerships. And in Ab Fab’s Eddie and Patsy she created two hilarious monsters we’ve taken to our hearts.

Bonkers is the story of how it all came about. Or at least the bits she recalls. The rest she made up. Either way, it’s all more…

 

 

 

 

And to finish this blog here are scenes from Absolutely Fabulous!

GUEST BLOG – Bestselling author Rachael Johns on her real life Outback Blaze

I’m so excited to be releasing the second book in my Bunyip Bay series, Outback Blaze. As the title suggests, the book involves a fire and although the fire and the story that accompanies it are fictional, this book was in part inspired by a real-life event.

In 2009, my husband and I lived in Kojonup (a small but vibrant community in South Western Australia). My husband was the manager of the supermarket part of the Kojonup Co-op – a business owned and operated by the people of the town for over fifty years. The building was a historic icon in town and the business it housed was the hub of the community.

I still remember the night of the fire like it was yesterday. I was in bed early (I had a newborn) and was typing on my laptop when I smelt smoke. I thought it was my laptop and asked hubby if he could smell it. He looked at me like I was insane but within a few minutes the smell intensified.

We rushed into our boys’ bedroom where we had a pedestal fan going to check on that, but all was good, so that’s when we stepped outside. As we smelt the intense aroma of smoke in the air, hubby’s phone rang with the news that the shop was on fire. He rushed down the road and I rushed next door (how convenient) to my mum’s house to ask her to watch the kids so I could follow him.

Pic 2By the time I arrived, the shop was well and truly up in smoke, the local volunteer firefighters were in attendance and half the town had congregated to watch the disaster unfold. I remember looking around at everyone dressed in their pajamas and slippers and thinking two things:

1)     How absolutely devastating this was for the town and all the people that might no longer have jobs.

2)     That one day I was definitely putting this drama into a book!

While my husband, his boss and the other Co-op employees were thinking about their future and how to rebuild the shop and the business, I was thinking about what it would mean for the town if it was discovered an arsonist had started the fire.

Pic 3How would locals feel knowing one of their own had done this and was living within their midst? Would they be worried about it happening again? Would they start looking at everyone with suspicion?

Thankfully the fire at the Kojonup Co-op was a tragic accident but the fire in Outback Blaze is not! This is the first time I’ve written an element of suspense in one of my rural romances and I had a lot of fun doing so.

I hope you enjoy reading Outback Blaze and I’d love to hear your thoughts once you have.

Photos courtesy of my hubby and my friend Jacqui from Kojonup.

Grab a copy of Rachael Johns’ Outback Blaze here

Outback Blaze

by Rachael Johns

Ruby wasn’t looking for love, Drew wasn’t looking to stay… until they found each other. Can their fling survive the darkness of Ruby’s past and Drew’s desire to move on?

Ruby Jones was always an optimist, but the trauma of her past had made her wary. So when she flees to the small rural community of Bunyip Bay to start afresh, she has her sights firmly set on establishing her horse-riding business and rebuilding her life. The last thing Ruby wants is a romance. In fact, after all she has been through, she can’t imagine she will ever believe in love again.

Police officer Drew Noble has no intention of staying in Bunyip Bay — he is just an outsider seeking temporary refuge. But as the charm of the town sways him, Drew finds himself increasingly drawn to the community and its inhabitants, as well as another newcomer, the lovely Ruby Jones.

When Drew investigates a suspicious fire at Ruby’s parents’ business, he finds himself feeling strangely protective of the girl with the flowers in her hair. As the details of Ruby’s past emerge and she comes once more under threat, Drew realises he will do all in his power to save her.

Soon these outsiders discover they have both lost their hearts — not only to the town but to each other.

Grab a copy of Rachael Johns’ Outback Blaze here

Win a High Tea Experience with bestselling author Rachael Johns

Thanks to Harlequin Books Australia, every Booktopia customer who orders a copy of Rachael Johns’ new novel Outback Blaze before May 1st will go in the draw to win 1 of 10 High Tea experiences at The Tea Cosy, The Rocks, Sydney on 10th May 2014 (flights not included).

Oh, did we mention that Rachael Johns herself will be at the High Tea too!

For those unable to get to Sydney there are also 5 Harlequin book packs to be won! For more details click here.

Grab a copy of Rachael Johns’ Outback Blaze here

Outback Blaze

by Rachael Johns

Ruby wasn’t looking for love, Drew wasn’t looking to stay… until they found each other. Can their fling survive the darkness of Ruby’s past and Drew’s desire to move on?

Ruby Jones was always an optimist, but the trauma of her past had made her wary. So when she flees to the small rural community of Bunyip Bay to start afresh, she has her sights firmly set on establishing her horse-riding business and rebuilding her life. The last thing Ruby wants is a romance. In fact, after all she has been through, she can’t imagine she will ever believe in love again.

Police officer Drew Noble has no intention of staying in Bunyip Bay — he is just an outsider seeking temporary refuge. But as the charm of the town sways him, Drew finds himself increasingly drawn to the community and its inhabitants, as well as another newcomer, the lovely Ruby Jones.

When Drew investigates a suspicious fire at Ruby’s parents’ business, he finds himself feeling strangely protective of the girl with the flowers in her hair. As the details of Ruby’s past emerge and she comes once more under threat, Drew realises he will do all in his power to save her.

Soon these outsiders discover they have both lost their hearts — not only to the town but to each other.

Grab a copy of Rachael Johns’ Outback Blaze here

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 15,833 other followers

%d bloggers like this: