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Click here to go to the sale page.
Whether you are gearing up to celebrate 4th of July and all it’s 🎇fireworks🎆, or snuggling up in the cold weather looking forward to 🎄Christmas☃️ in July, this heartwarming story about love and friendships might be just what you need.
Today I’d like to introduce best-selling Australian author, Leisl Leighton. Leisl is a tall red head with an overly large imagination. As a child, she identified strongly with Anne of Green Gables. A voracious reader and a born performer, it came as no surprise to anyone when she did a double major in English Literature and Drama for her BA, then went on to a career as an actor, singer and dancer, as well as script writer, stage manager and musical director for cabaret and theatre restaurants (one of which she co-owned and ran for six years).
After starting a family Leisl stopped performing and instead, began writing the stories that had been plaguing her dreams. Leisl’s stories have won and placed in many competitions in Australia and the US, including the STALI, Golden Opportunities, Heart of the West, Linda Howard Award of Excellence, Touch of Magic and many others.
Leisl lives in the leafy suburbs of Melbourne with her two beautiful boys, lovely hubby, overly spunky dogs, Buffy and Skye, and likes to spend time with family and friends. She is addicted to the Syfy channel, and her shelves are full of fantasy and paranormal books and scifi DVDs. She sometimes sings in a choir, has worked as a swim teacher, loves to ski, can talk the hind leg off a donkey and has been President of Romance Writers of Australia from 2014-2017.
It’s a pleasure to have this talented woman here today, and to find out about her books. But before we do that, let’s get her to answer three questions. Who in your life is your greatest cheerleader or support in your writing?
My whole family really – my hubby, my two boys, my mum and dad and my brother and sister. Also, my best friend, Helen, who passed away last year from cancer. She was always a massive cheerleader, encouraging me and telling me I was an idiot if I told myself I couldn’t do it, because she knew I could. I’ve also got some wonderful writing friends who always make me feel good about myself and pick me up when I’m down and celebrate the successes, no matter how small.
That’s awesome. None of us can do it without some support and a few pep-talks now and then. Now, next question. How important do you think marketing is for authors today?
Hugely important. I wish I was better at it. I’m constantly reading about it and trying to educate myself, but I know I can do better. However, time is a factor because I do work part time and have a family and struggle all the time with giving up writing time to market.
I agree that marketing is a big challenge for almost every author. We want to spend our time writing, not working out how to get the word out. It’s definitely a balancing act. Now, one last question for you. Where did you get the idea for your first or latest book?
The idea for my CoalCliff series came to me in a dream as many of my ideas do, but it was also an idea based a bit in reality too. I used to go to a horseriding camp at a Palomino stud when I was in my teens and into the first few years at Uni when I went from being an attendee to being hired to look after the kids on the camp. I started having a series of dreams about the camp, but those dreams weren’t about me or anyone I knew on the camp and had a definite romance and suspense element to them. After a number of dreams occurred, I realized a few characters were returning in them and a plot was developing, so I started to explore that and that’s how I came up with Climbing Fear. Blazing Fear came into being when I was writing Climbing Fear as I began to think about a few of the other characters who appeared in Climbing Fear and wondering about what made them tick.
That’s fantastic … I love romantic suspense, and credit my love of writing to reading books by Daphne du Maurier, who many refer to as the Queen of Romantic Suspense! So, let’s hear a bit more about this book, and where we can find it.
Climbing Fear is available on Amazon NOW as a pre-order, with the release on 12th June.
A Coalcliff Stud novel – His beloved home is under threat, and with it the beautiful, haunted woman he’s never been able to forget …
X-Treme TV sports star Reid Stratton has everything-until his best friend falls to his death on a climb while shooting their show. In the fierce media fallout, Reid begins to question everything about himself. Crippled by a new fear of climbing, Reid returns to CoalCliff stud, his family’s horse farm, to recover.
Single mother Natalia Robinson is determined to start afresh, away from the shadow of her past. A job at CoalCliff Stud where she lived as a child is the perfect opportunity to live the quiet life she always wanted. But she is unprepared to see Reid, and is even more unprepared for the passion that still burns between them.
But after a series of menacing events threaten the new home she is trying to build, Nat realises that Reid is the only person she can rely on to keep her and her daughter safe. Together, Reid and Nat must face the pasts that haunt them if they are to survive the present and forge a future of hope.
Today I’d like to introduce you to my fellow CIR author, Wendy May Andrews. Welcome, Wendy. Would you like to tell us a bit about yourself, and your writing?
Thanks for having me, Sandy. I’ve been writing pretty much since I learned to read when I was five years old. Of course, those early efforts were basically only something a mother could love 🙂 I put writing aside after I left school and stuck with reading. I am an avid reader. I love words. I will read anything, even the cereal box, signs, posters, etc. But my true love is novels.
Almost ten years ago my husband dared me to write a book instead of always reading them. I didn’t think I’d be able to do it, but to my surprise I love writing. Those early efforts eventually became my first published book – Tempting the Earl (published by Avalon Books in 2010). There were some ups and downs in my publishing efforts. My first publisher was sold and I became an “orphan” author, back to the drawing board of trying to find a publishing house. It has been a thrilling adventure as I learned to navigate the world of publishing.
I believe firmly that everyone deserves a happily ever after. I want my readers to be able to escape from the everyday for a little while and feel upbeat and refreshed when they get to the end of my books.
When not reading or writing, I can be found traipsing around my neighborhood admiring the dogs and greenery or travelling the world with my favorite companion.
I agree wholeheartedly. I love for my readers to escape from the day to day world and I’m over the moon when I hear they’ve done just that.
Now, before we hear about your books, I’ve got three little questions for you. First, what was the inspiration for your latest book?
Friends of mine were adopting a little boy. They are a great match and I am thrilled for them. But I found the process heart breaking. There are so many children in need of good homes. I started researching the history of adoption. I came across the Orphan Trains and I just knew there were stories to tell.
Oh, that sounds wonderful. I’ll have to look at this series of yours, and I bet some of the readers of my blog will do the same! Now, next question, where are your books set? And have you been there, or spent significant time there?
I write Regency Romance and Western Historical Romance so my books are set in England and mid-west USA. I have traveled to several locations in England for research. It was wonderful. There is so much history in England, it’s around every corner. We’ve also traveled to some of the locations of my US set books, but not all of them – it’s a really big country 😉 Thankfully the internet has many resources like old maps and so much historical information. There are also some amazing museums. One really cool museum we visited to research my Orphan Train books was the Tenement Museum in New York City. They have some perfectly preserved tenement apartments from the 1800s. I loved those tours!
Wow, maybe I need to visit New York one day … as for England, Cornwall is one of my favourite places in the world! I’ve not set any books there, but how fun writing stories set in those beautiful places. Now, one last question. Are you indie published, traditionally published, or hybrid? And what are your thoughts on the whole indie vs. traditional topic?
I am a hybrid author. My first six books were traditionally published. It was a wonderful education. It really taught me all the steps that go into producing a good book. I think indie authors can produce as good or better books as traditionally published authors as long as they go through all the professional steps required. I love having the control as an indie author. I just don’t love having to do all the work 😀 But unfortunately, even traditionally published have to do more than just write, so I’ll take indie any day.
Interesting you say that … about the control. That’s what I love, not having to make changes unless you want to, and having full control over the end product. So, with all that said, let’s have a look at your books!
All of my books are Sweet/Clean Historical Romance. Half are set in Regency era England, the other half are Historical Westerns (circa 1855). There is zero violence or foul language on page. There is no sex in my books. All of my stories conclude with a sweet kiss and a happily ever after.
All of my books can be found online: Amazon
From Book 1: His pursuit of her threatens everything – except her heart:
Sophie Brooks has lived at the orphanage since she was ten years old. Now nineteen, she’s not only a resident, she works there as well. It’s the only true home she can remember and she’ll do whatever it takes to keep it safe.
When her budding relationship with the son of one of the orphanage’s benefactors threatens the charity’s funding, Sophie must choose between her loyalties and her heart.
The fourth book doesn’t show in the photo, so here is its cover:
Now, I’ve just noticed that the first book in this lovely series, Sophie, is just $.99 so grab a copy. I’ve read several of Wendy’s books, and I’ve never been disappointed!
Thanks again for coming here today, Wendy. I look forward to reading this series!
Today I’d like to introduce best-selling author, Ann B Harrison. Ann has the perfect backdrop for her imagination to run wild, the lush wine growing region of the Hunter Valley in Australia. She alternates her time between writing western romances, romantic suspense and walking her dog, Chilli.
Two kinds of hero make Ann to a mass of nerves. The hot cowboy with a slow sexy drawl (she used to live out in the desert where they were more common than where she lives now) and a man in a kilt. Imagine Jamie Fraser and you’ll understand why. She can’t wait to visit Scotland where she can get her fill of the tartan clad hotties for, um, research purposes, of course.
In the meantime, her dear husband puts up with her talking to her characters and getting lost in worlds only she can imagine as she battles to bring stories to the page for everyone to enjoy.
Ah yes, the life of the author’s husband … 🙂 Now, Ann, I have three questions for you and then we’ll learn all about your new book!
First, what inspired you to become an author, and how old were you at the time? Funnily enough, I never planned on being an author. I was happy so long as I had a book in my hands and that was from a very early age. One day in 2010 I had a sentence go through my head when I woke up and every day it grew. I decided to write it down and that became a three book YA series. My brain hasn’t stopped since.
Ha! Well, you’ve been busy then if you only started writing in 2010 … did I see 35 books for you? Well done! Now, next question … If you could tell your younger self something you know now, with respect to your writing career, what would it be? Start earlier. Seriously, I don’t know how I’m going to get all the stories in my head out with the years I have left.
Great advice! Wish I’d started earlier too. I’ve got three books floating around in my head at the moment, so I know the feeling. Last question … what three things would you say are the most important for an aspiring author to keep in mind as they being their writing journey? Listen to those that go before you and know what they’re doing, learn from anyone prepared to teach you and never give up if this is your dream.
Well said! Now, tell us about your new book.
The Convenient Cowboy is the second in my Hansen Brother’s Series.
It follows the trials and tribulations of three young men who lost their parents at an early age and have to make the best of their lives after the grandfather who raised them, dies. This means changes which can be a challenge.
Thanks for joining me today, Ann, and I look forward to seeing more of your books in the future!
Today I’d like to introduce my fellow RWA author, Juanita Kees. Juanita escapes the real world by reading and writing Australian Rural Romance novels with elements of suspense, Australian Fantasy Paranormal and Small Town USA stories. Her romance novels star spirited heroines who give the hero a run for his money before giving in. She creates emotionally engaging worlds steeped in romance, suspense, mystery and intrigue, set in dusty, rural outback Australia and on the NASCAR racetracks of America. When she’s not writing, Juanita is mother to three grown boys and has a passion for fast cars and country living.
**Juanita’s books contain mild language but the doors are closed on sex scenes.**
Welcome, Juanita! Some of my family are big NASCAR fans, and I must say I enjoy seeing some of the photos. Now, I’m going to tell my readers about some of your books, but first we want to learn a bit more about you, so I’ve got three questions for you. Firstly, what got you started writing?
I inherited my imagination and gift for story-telling from my father and wrote my first book between the pages of my mathematics exercise book at the age of sixteen. The story evolved over many years until it finally found a home with a publisher back in 2012. The book was first released as Fly Away Peta, but when the publisher sold out, it was revamped and re-published as part of the Under the Law series by Escape Publishing as Under Shadow of Doubt.
Oh, I love that title, Under Shadow of Doubt! A must read to add to my TBR list! Now, 2nd question, what challenges did you face when you first started writing?
In 1999, I’d just started to embark on my publishing journey when I found out I was pregnant with our second child. That was a surprise, I tell you! I thought I had flu 😊. Writing took a backseat as I juggled full time work, two kids (eight years apart), nappies, bottles and a husband who worked awkward shifts. It gave me time to learn more about publishing and writing, though, for which I am very grateful.
And here I thought it was challenging to write between riding my horse, playing cards, and socialising! Ha, ha, ha! Kidding … I did try to write while I was still working full-time and that was a challenge, but probably nothing like what you did! So, one last question. Who in your life is your greatest cheerleader or supporter of your writing?
That’s a hard question, because I have a group of wonderful critique partners who have my back on the hard days as well as the good days. I used to have a Daschund, Sam, who was my sounding board and constant writing companion. Sadly, she passed away last year and I miss her terribly. Second in line to Sam would be my partner, Gavin, who never lets an opportunity slip by to promote my books to whomever will listen. My whole family are very supportive, so I’m blessed.
That’s so important isn’t it, having a supportive family. That’s great. Now, tell us about your rural romance series, and where we can find the books.
The newest release is Shadows over Wongan Creek
When the shadows ride in Wongan Creek…
Fenella Rose-Waterman is happy running The Cranky Lizard winery until a broken relationship lifts the lid on the Pandora’s Box of her past. After years of repressed memories haunting her dreams, she is forced to face the truth to find justice. But with truth comes a danger that puts everyone she loves at risk.
Kieran Murphy left Wongan Creek a newly-wed and returned a widower. He believes he and his young son will find healing in the town that healed him once before. Instead, he finds the woman he loved running scared, her life in turmoil and her business under threat.
As the shadows of the past gather on the horizon, will they lose their chance of happiness or will they find healing together?
Shadows Over Wongan Creek is Book 3 in the Wongan Creek series. To promote the release of book three, the first two books in the series, Secrets at Wongan Creek and Whispers at Wongan Creek will be on price promotion through the 15th of April, priced at $0.99 each on all digital retailers, or via my website (see link below).
Thank you for joining me here today, Juanita. And readers, do check out Juanita’s website, as she loves to hear from fans and would love for you to share her writing journey.