Mar 5, 2015 - Uncategorized    3 Comments

Little Gems Excitement!

I’m jumping out of my skin with excitement to announce that I’ve made it into this year’s RWA Little Gems Anthology! My short story, Lost Love, will be part of this year’s Peridot themed anthology of romantic shorts. See here for the official announcement!

Congrats to my fellow anthologists :) Big “thank yous” to all the contest co-ordinators and judges who have helped me tick another item off my writing goal list!


Mar 2, 2015 - General, Release Day, Writing    3 Comments

Moonstone Cottage is live!

If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll probably already know this – but if not, I finally bit the bullet last week and sent my short story live on Amazon and Smashwords.


moonstonecottage-fullsize-cloudsNearing the second anniversary of her daughter’s murder, Peta Collins flees the media scrum by renting a cottage in the Hunter Valley.

Unknown to her, the cottage is owned by Daniel Woodman, the retired detective formerly in charge of her daughter’s murder investigation.

Peta has come here seeking to forget and the cottage is the perfect place with its reputation for healing. But she finds herself increasingly drawn to Daniel.

How can they have a future when he reminds her of everything she lost?

Moonstone Cottage is a sweet, contemporary romance short story of 3,000 words.

It’s available at all good ebook stores :)






Feb 23, 2015 - General, Writing    No Comments

Take a pause


As planned,  I did get the 1st draft of Letting Go finished the week before last. I had great plans to do a quick edit and send it off to my CPs by the end of last week. Unfortunately, an extended family member passed away suddenly so the week was a bit of a write-off as far as finding the time and the right head-space. So I decided to take the week off and give myself the gift of a pause.

My head is back in the game this week. I will finish the first edit. I have a few scenes that need to be rewritten in a different POV, some scenes that probably need to be expanded and I’m not 100% happy with the ending yet. I plan to send that off to my CPs by the end of the week so they can give me their initial thoughts – what needs strengthening, does the plot work and hit the right beats, are the characters relatable, distinct, do they grow etc? All those structural things that have to be right, before I get stuck into more in-depth editing.

And I’m also looking at rewriting the ending to Moonstone Cottage before I send it out into the world. I’m not sure if that’s just a procrastination excuse as I’m scared to send it off, or not. It’s a big step!

Oh and how could I forget! It was announced that my romantic suspense novella has made it through to the second round of the RWA’s Emerald competition! Please keep your fingers crossed for me as it goes into the next round of judging!

Have a great week!

Feb 9, 2015 - Cover Reveal, General, Writing    6 Comments

Cover reveal and flexible goal posts!

I moved my goal posts last week. I said I was going to write 3000 words on Letting Go. I wrote 1600, but I also finished editing my romantic suspense novella, AND I created a cover for the short story I’m going to self-publish. Which was great fun but a major time suck!



So now I’m slightly behind schedule for Letting Go. I want to get the first draft finished this week, so it’s bum on seat and my major focus will be on writing! No word count goal, but I have about 8 scenes left to write.

I survived the first week of being Coke Free – despite the inevitable headaches which arrived on cue around Day 3 and lasted a few days. I think I’ve eaten too much chocolate to compensate though!

Hope you all have a great week, and I’d love to hear your opinion on my cover.

Feb 2, 2015 - General, Writing    6 Comments

Back into routine…

I think the universe likes to test me.

From when I posted my goals last week, I had several time-consuming and emotionally involved issues thrown at me that had to be dealt with. They would have been the perfect excuse not to get my writing done, but I couldn’t bear to come back after the first week and say I’d failed! So it meant a big writing day on Sunday, but I made my 3000 words! I’m really loving rediscovering these characters again, and fingers crossed, the words are coming reasonably easily.

This week I’m aiming for another 3000 words. School is back, and while for many authors with school-age kids, it means more time for writing, since I homeschool, it means less for me! My son is quite independent with his learning, but I’m still needed to drive him to classes and be there when he wants to discuss or ask questions. And of course, it means all the extra-curricular activities start back for us both.

Speaking of my son, I have to share with you the amazing video he made, featuring me! Some of you may have already seen it on Facebook. I may be slightly biased, but I think he’s done a fantastic job!

I start the RWA self-publishing course with Cathleen Ross today – I’m looking forward to learning all about it!

I’ve also decided to unofficially join FebFast by giving up Coke for the month of February – and hopefully, maybe, for good. I did it before, years ago, and was off it for about 18 months – lost a heap of weight and felt so much better. Once it creeps back into my life, I find it hard to stop. But for now, I’ll focus on a day at a time for 27 days (since I only decided to start today).

Have a great week!

Jan 28, 2015 - General, Writing    6 Comments

This year’s for writing!

348 - happynewyear

I got sidetracked last year. By quite a few other things, but possibly especially by my photography and the 365 challenge I undertook. I certainly don’t regret it but this year I have one goal – to focus on my writing.

Last year had its good points. I wrote a Little Gems entry that missed out by *this much* on being in the anthology. My women’s fiction novel, Elsie’s Place, came 2nd in the Ripping Start and 6th in the 2nd round of the Emerald. I subbed to agents and got a request for a full, but that, unfortunately, was the last I heard from said agent. I then subbed it to all the major traditional publishers with no response.

I started another women’s fiction, then got side-tracked by a shiny new idea which turned into a romantic suspense novella. I subbed it too early, but got a useful rejection back, and was able to expand and deepen the story quite significantly. It came equal 7th in the Ripping Start this year and is currently in the Emerald Rd 1. (Fingers crossed!)

So yeah, when I write it all out, it was still a reasonably productive year. As you probably remember, I had a lot going on at the end of last year and pretty much fell in a heap saying ‘No more!’. I took a break from writing for 6 weeks – which was the best thing I could have done. I’ve come back to it refreshed and brimming over with ideas and plans. While on holidays, I wrote a Little Gems story, formulated my goals and even wrote a business plan and schedule.

I’ve decided to dip my toe into the self-publishing waters this year, while also attempting to get a publishing contract with my romantic suspense novella and Elsie’s Place. I’ve signed up for Cathleen Ross’s online course through RWA about self-publishing and have a plan to publish my ‘missed-it-by-that-much’ 2014 Little Gems short story, as well as two (still to be written) rural / small-town contemporary romance novellas during the year. My hope is that self-publishing will give me a new challenge, deadlines and – eeek – people to actually read my words! (And if I make a couple of dollars, that would be nice too!)

In an attempt to stay on track, I’m going to use this blog to stay accountable. There’s nothing like putting my goals out in public to make me reach them! I’m using both Rescue Time and Freedom on my computer to limit & monitor my internet usage. I have weekly word counts that are doable given all my other commitments (if I put bum on seat!), and importantly for me, I’ve built a few breaks in through the year.

So here goes.

The novella I’m working on is actually a revamped version of the women’s fiction I started and didn’t finish last year, tentatively titled “Letting Go”. My goal this week is to write 3000 words. I’ve only done 770 of them so far, so had best pull my finger out!

Thanks for reading and for your support :)



Dec 30, 2014 - General    4 Comments

What’s my passion?

Firstly, I’d like to give a special thanks to all my special guests this year who shared their deepest passions with us. To recap in case you missed any…

11/03/2014 Ann B Harrison
25/03/2014 Demelza Carlton
8/04/2014 EE Carter
22/04/2014 Delwyn Jenkins
6/05/2014 Monique McDonell
20/05/2014 Helene Young
3/06/2014 Leisl Leighton
17/06/2014 Kate Belle
1/07/2014 Tea Cooper
15/07/2014 Suzi Love
29/07/2014 Susanne Bellamy
26/08/2014 Bernadette Rowley
9/09/2014 Heather Garside
23/09/2014 Alli Sinclair
7/10/2014 Lily Malone
21/10/2014 Eva Scott
4/11/2014 Phillipa Fioretti
18/11/2014 Sandra Antonelli
2/12/2014 Jenn J McLeod
16/12/2014 Mary Costello

Thank you all once again.

And now to finish the year I thought I’d put myself under the spotlight too.

Do I have a passion other than writing? 

325-oldandnewIt won’t come as a surprise to any of my Facebook friends under my real persona, but I’m a keen photographer.

How long have I been involved in my passion?

I’ve always loved photography but haven’t taken it seriously until this year. One of my New Year’s goals was to improve my photography, and me being me, I jumped into the deep end by signing up to a 365 photo challenge. 1 photo for each day of the day. And not just any 365 challenge, this one requires some part of me to be in the photo. Either a full-on portrait, or part of my body, or shadow, reflection etc. So not only was I attempting to take photos every day for a year, I had to overcome my dislike of having my photo taken. I think I now have more photos of me than I had in the 40-odd years prior :) I’m into the home stretch now, and I’ve found it’s actually changed me. It’s made me more outgoing and more willing to let my quirkiness show to other people :)

What is it about photography that brings a sparkle to my eye?

There’s something pleasing about taking a nicely composed photo. It forces me to see the world differently – I’m more aware of light, shadows and small details. It’s fun to lose myself in wandering and taking photos, especially in nature.

Do I have a funny story about something that’s happened to me while involved in my passion?

Since I’ve spent the last 11 months taking selfies – often in public – I’ve had a few strange look along the way. I’ve had people stop and ask if they can help, or if I’ve lost something, as I’m walking (or running) back and forth between my camera and my position. When I started the challenge, I tried to be very surreptitious about taking photos of myself – it took me ages to work up the courage to take one in public. Now I’m more blase. A few weeks ago, I was on the river walk in my home town. I had the camera set up to take a shot of the bridge and river in the background, with just my legs walking in front. I was intent on my shot – had set it up and taken a few test shots, posing in front of the camera until the timer went off, checking the shot, rinse and repeat. I happened to look up to the top walkway and there was a guy standing there laughing at me. I gave him a smile, a wave and continued taking my shot :)

Can I share a photo of me indulging in my passion?

Actually, I can share over 300 :) This is the link to the photos I’ve taken for my challenge.


I hope you’ve enjoyed my special guest posts this year. I’ve certainly enjoyed sharing my blog with so many talented authors. See you all in 2015!

Dec 16, 2014 - Guest post    5 Comments

What’s Mary Costello’s passion? Guest post

Today I’m delighted to welcome Mary Costello to my blog – writer, reader, talker, poetry enthusiast. Enamoured of dark heroes and enlightened heroines. Plundering the foul rag and bone shop of the heart. And a gorgeous Irish accent to boot!

9781743485514Welcome Mary! Please tell us, do you have a passion other than writing? 

Ah Kerrie! I have many passions – from books, poetry and history to chickens, gardening and earrings. But the most relevant to romance is probably Australian Rules football, because it’s footy that got me into writing romance in the first place.

Okay I’m intrigued – was it the hunky guys, the tight shorts…? How long have you been a footy tragic?

I came to footy late, via my interest in architecture. I’d never been to a single sporting event in my life until, in 2005, a friend invited me to a game at the MCG. I’ve always loved round buildings and here was this magnificent arena that was a theatre, battlefield and a bowl of sound all at the same time. I went along to a second game and became interested in the on-field drama, the stories of the individual players and of the Collingwood – a club that somehow incites passion in the breasts of both its supporters an it enemies. I’ve been a passionate Collingwood barracker ever since.

It is a very impressive stadium, I will agree. Having known many Melbournians, supporting an AFL team a religion down there.  What is it about AFL that brings a sparkle to your eye?

It the combination of the physical excitement of a very thrilling sport with the constant intrigue and drama of the stories surrounding the game, the clubs and the players. As a woman past the first and even the second flush of youth, I’ve been very lucky to find a new passion that absorbs me so completely. There’s nothing quite like the excitement of game day. My heart starts thumping at the first siren and just keeps racing for the next three hours. I get so wound up that I find it hard to sleep after a game, whatever the result.

I started writing romances because I was bored in the off-season and wanted to keep mentally involved with footy. It struck me that the game was full of heroes with fascinating stories of struggle, persistence, brilliance, failure, success and – just as interesting – failure.

Do you have a funny story about something that’s happened to you while at the footy?

My friend Helen and I watched the 2010 drawn grand final between Collingwood and St Kilda from very prominent seats at the Sydney Myer Music Bowl. The game ended in a draw and the TV cameras panned around the crowd. While everyone else was sitting there utterly stunned or devastated, there I was in the middle of the screen, bouncing up and down like an idiot. I couldn’t contain my delight at the prospect of another week of footy.

Oddly, when Collingwood won the following week, Helen and I were so emotionally wrung out after the game that we sobbed through most of the celebratory concert, even while we sang along with Lionel Richie – All night long…

Can you share a photo of you indulging in your AFL passion?

Here I am with a couple of old Collingwood flogs. I’m the one who isn’t a ditzy blonde.

At game

Finally, please tell us a little about yourself. 

I’m an Irish-Australian freelance writer, and despite living most of my life in Australia, I haven’t lost my accent, or the sense of being somewhere exotic. I lives in Melbourne’s bushburbs with my husband of many years, who, oddly, bears no resemblance whatsoever to a romantic hero. The other members of the household are a flock of recovering battery hens and our two daughters, for whom I aspire to arrange advantageous matches to men of large property; but that project isn’t going too well.

My first novel, Titanic Town, Memoirs of a Belfast Girlhood, was published twenty years ago, but I only recently turned my pen to Romance, inspired by the heroics of the men of Aussie Rules football. The result was The Reluctant Wag the first book in the Yarraside Wolves and WAGs series. My second release, Irresistible Enemy, was a very different book. Set in the bushy fringes of Melbourne, it brings into collision a dedicated wildlife warrior and a high-powered property developer for whom ‘habitat’ means luxury houses.

Cassie Bowtell is a plain, no-nonsense girl, and Hart Huntingdon is a man surrounded by glamorous women, but Cassie attracts Hart with her courage, honesty and her dedication to the injured animals in her care. Hart stands for everything Cassie despises, and having been badly hurt in love, she’s determined to repress any emotional impulses that go against her better judgement.

I’m currently working on a second Yarraside romance.

Visit Mary’s blog here: or visit her on Facebook

Thank you so much for being my final special guest this year, Mary. Good luck with your Yarraside Wolves and WAGs books! 


Dec 10, 2014 - Cover Reveal, Giveaway    1 Comment

Cover Reveal + Giveaway – Lauren K. McKellar – Eleven Weeks (NA)

Fellow Hunter Romance Writer, Lauren K. McKellar, is doing a happy dance today – she can finally reveal her gorgeous cover for her new New Adult (NA) novel, Eleven Weeks, book 2 in the Crazy in Love series. Designed by Kila Designs, it makes me want to grab it off the virtual shelves when it’s available in Jan, 2015!

But first a teaser:

About Eleven Weeks

Seven shots

Five siblings

Two boys

One heartbeat …


Stacey is good at pretending.

She pretends that the boy she’s in love with doesn’t exist.

She pretends that she’s happy to live and die in this small town.

She pretends that her life is carefree while her best friend’s world crumbles before her very eyes.

But Stacey’s got a secret …

And it’s going to ruin everything.


And here it is:


Isn’t it gorgeous??!

Now to whet your appetite even more, here’s an excerpt.


I wake to the sound of a drill-saw attempting to channel through a concrete pylon right next to my head.

“Why?” I grunt. Only it sounds more like “uggghhh”, even to my ears. Apparently being woken by drill-saw seriously impedes my ability to form words. I reach my hand out and slam something in front of me, presumably the drill-saw, most likely a clock radio. Regardless, the action makes the noise stop, thank hell.

Ugh. While the blast of noise has stopped, there’s still a ringing in my head of dizzy-making proportions. Not to mention that my tongue tastes like I’ve been eating road-kill. Yuck.

I squint one eye open and then scrunch my lid shut immediately as protection from the harsh yellow light coming in through the window framed by black-flowered curtains. What fresh hell is this? Who has opened my—


I don’t have black-flowered curtains.

I inch open my lid at snail’s pace, this time preparing myself for the assault of light from the left of the room. Yep. Black floral curtains still there.

I open my eyes wider and take in more of the room in front of me. Aside from the window, there’s a black bedside table with a digital clock on the top of it, right next to a red lamp. The floor is covered in a shaggy-looking cream carpet, a black skirt and red lacy bra lying on top of it.

Oh, no. Please, please no …

I slowly raise the white sheet from my body. Yep, exactly as I’d suspected.

My black skirt and red bra.

This, of course, leaves only one question. But do I really want to look? Can I?

I rack my brain, trying to put together the pieces of the night before. There was the party at Joe’s. I’d gone there with Kate, because Dave and the band were playing. Michael. I saw Michael. Tequila. Lots of tequila.

I glanced down at my hand. Seven little lipstick lines mar its surface. One for each shot. At least I can remember that.

But how the hell did I get here? And, more importantly, where is here?


Add it on Goodreads:


About the Author

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALauren K. McKellar is an author and editor. Her debut novel, Finding Home, was released through Escape Publishing on October 1, 2013, and her second release, NA Contemporary Romance The Problem With Crazy, is self-published, and is available now. She loves books that evoke emotion, and hope hers make you feel.

Lauren lives by the beach in Australia with her husband and their two dogs. Most of the time, all three of them are well behaved.

You can find Lauren around the Social Media traps:





About the Crazy in Love series

The Crazy in Love series consists of three titles: The Problem With Crazy, Eleven Weeks and The Problem With Heartache.

The problem with crazy is that crazy, by itself, has no context. It can be good crazy, bad crazy … or crazy crazy—like it was when my ex-boyfriend sung about me on the radio.

Eighteen-year-old Kate couldn’t be more excited about finishing high school and spending the summer on tour with her boyfriend’s band. Her dad showing up drunk at graduation, however, is not exactly kicking things off on the right foot—and that’s before she finds out about his mystery illness, certain to end in death.

A mystery illness she is likely to inherit.

When your whole life goes from adventure and ecstasy to sad and suicidal, what’s the point? Not knowing who to love, and who to trust . . . where does it end?


The Problem With Crazy is a story about love and life; about overcoming obstacles, choosing to trust, and learning how to make the choices that will change your life forever.


Praise for The Problem With Crazy

“Heartbreaking, life-affirming—one of my all-time favourites.” Glass Paper Ink Book Blog

“This story is beautiful, heartbreaking and will leave you thinking about it for days to follow.” A.K.A. The Book Harlots Review


The Problem With Heartache will be released in February, 2015, and is the conclusion to Kate’s story.




To celebrate the cover for Eleven Weeks, enter the competition today to win one of three $10AUD Amazon gift cards.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Dec 4, 2014 - Release Day    2 Comments

Release Post – Outback Heritage – Grady by Ann B. Harrison

Grady_CVR_LRGCheck out the new release by Ann B. Harrison, the first in the new Outback Heritage series.

Grady Ryan is happy doing the job he loves in the rural town of Deepwater Valley. His mother is more determined than ever to marry him off, but he has neither the time nor the inclination to look for wedded bliss. When Lara Williams moves into town with her daughter, to take up the veterinary practice, Beth sees her chance to hone her matchmaking skills. Fate keeps throwing Lara and Grady together when her wayward daughter needs the heavy hand of the law and more than ramps up the heat between them. But Grady knows Lara is hiding something and he intends to find out what it is before he gets in too deep.

Buy it now from Amazon.

You can also follow along with Ann or the Ryans from Deepwater Valley on Facebook.