Secret Confessions: Sydney Housewives – First Peek!

The first in our Sydney Housewives steamy sex-capades drops on 6 November. To tide you over, here’s an exclusive excerpt. Meet Virginia:

SLAH_Ginny_Final (6)


Virginia tossed her Prada tote on the bed and strode into the walk-in. She went straight for
the back wall where she kept the clothes she’d never dare be seen wearing anywhere but at Boyd’s. It might not be her usual night to visit but she needed it. Needed the anonymity
Boyd’s gave her more than she needed her next breath.

Yanking out a pair of jeans and a blue jumper with a low V-neck, she headed for the
set of drawers that held her lingerie. Tonight called for sexy—skimpy—something to titillate her chosen one with before she took him for a ride. She smiled. Just the thought of hot sweaty sex brought relief from the strain that had wound her insides tight over the last few hours.

She loved the girls. Loved the time they spent chatting, or catting, depending on who
sat next to whom, and she totally loved the girl-only time. Except sitting next to Camilla and her sickly sweet newlywed happiness had dug a claw into Virginia that had ripped her wide open tonight.

It had nothing to do with the fact today would have been her fifth wedding
anniversary if Colin hadn’t walked out.

“Damn him.” The words were uttered on a harsh breath.

Virginia selected a red bra and matching thong, and headed for the shower. She’d
showered before going to dinner but it wouldn’t do to have a man between her thighs
without freshening up.

It took only minutes to wash, the other fifteen she spent fixing her hair and touching
up her make-up. Just a light swipe of waterproof mascara and a bit of lip-gloss. It wouldn’t
do to have make-up smeared all over her face after she’d worked up a sweat. And she
definitely planned on working one up. In fact, hot sex against a wall appealed tonight.

Hot. Hard. Rough.

Virginia needed to obliterate everything but pleasure from her mind, and that meant
some nameless guy with a hot bod and the right moves was going to get lucky before dawn broke.


For an extended excerpt and behind-the-scenes exclusives, check out
The Housewives Lounge, the all-access series Facebook group!

Pre-order this title and the others now, and never miss an episode!

Winner Winner Books for Dinner!

We ran a few contests over the last few weeks, and we’re very pleased to announce the winners!

The Winner of our SF catalogue giveaway is: Mel! Congrats Mel – you win a selection of books and ARCs from our SF catalogue.

And because we’re so excited about our new SF range, we’re also giving away ARCs of the upcoming release The Seek to the other commenters: congrats Narrelle, Kathryn, and Helena!

The Winners of our Action & Adventure Week books are:

A Fiona Palmer Bundle featuring MTA Agency books: The Recruit and The Mission – Maureen!

A copy of Serenity Woods’ One Hot Winter’s Night – Shelley!

Copies of Nina Hamilton’s North QLD Rescue series: Rescue Heat & Rescue Night – Shelley!

A copy of Wendy L Curtis’s Above and Beyond - Debbie!

Congrats to everyone – and please let us know what you think!

October Releases – Mach 2

We introduced our first set of October releases a fortnight ago. Here are the fabulous second round October releases!

22347When Stars Collide
SE Gilchrist

The third full-length novel in SE Gilchrist’s bestselling erotic SF series mixes one sexy spy, a soldier looking for salvation and an unlikely mission to save the world.


22544Bound by His Desire
Nicole Flockton

From Nicole Flockton, author of Bound by Her Ring —the last thing he wants is an emotional attachment to his new assistant, but it might be the only thing he truly needs.


22349Jazz Baby
Tea Cooper

In the gritty underbelly of 1920s Sydney, a fresh-faced country girl is about to arrive in the big, dark city—and risk everything in the pursuit of her dreams.

Camping – the Cons

by Robyn Rychards

camping_fullsize_story1(1)Let’s talk camping! My father loved camping and our summer vacations were spent doing it the whole time I was growing up. We went to a lot of great places and I’m really grateful for the opportunity to see and do so many things. My latest release, Her Knight in Shining Armour, starts off with the Hero and Heroine camping in a national park. Not only do I have a lot of experience with camping, I know the park it’s set in quite well. But here’s the thing… While camping has elements that make it romantic in a story, the reality for me is, I don’t like it. Pretty much loathe it. Since I left home, my trips have been spent sleeping in a hotel. I’m sharing a list of five things I hate about camping. I could come up with a lot more than five, but we don’t have that kind of time!

  1. Scary AnimalsBears in tent

This is a picture of a bear in a tent, but there are more scary animals in the woods than just bears! Mountain lions, coyotes, moose, elk, etc. I have a bear and a buck do some damage in my story.

  1. Creepy crawliesspider tent

Or in other words, BUGS. On one of our camping trips as a child, the mayflies in Minnesota had just hatched and they were EVERYWHERE. I had nightmares about them that night and for years afterwards. Never mind scary stuff like spiders and ticks! Along with annoying ones like ants and mosquitoes. And of course, there’s the scene in Arachnophobia where the guy is sleeping in a tent and the spider… Well, enough said. Don’t want to think about that anymore.

  1. No bathroomsouthouse

Some people don’t really care about this, but I’m not one of them. I hate outhouses, I hate going to the bathroom in the woods (see reasons 1 and 2). One year, we were camping in a tent trailer and my mom had a portable toilet set up in the middle of the room for us kids to use during the night. Not only was I a little freaked out by the lack of privacy, when I was desperate enough to use it, it fell apart and you-know-what went all over the place. EW!

  1. It can get fricking cold!camping-outdoor-fire-bonfire

I don’t tolerate cold very well, so this is a bit of an issue for me. Freezing my butt of while trying to sleep is not my idea of a good time. Sorry!

  1. Cooking outsideBowron Lakes

I really should have been a princess. I don’t like cooking, I don’t like cleaning, I don’t like being uncomfortable. All these things go hand in hand with camping. So, having to cook outside on a campfire or camp stove. No thanks. I’m supposed to be on vacation, I don’t want to cook. And now I have to do it under more difficult circumstances? Outside? Where’s the closest restaurant?

Let me know what you think. How do you feel about camping? Yea or Nay and why?


20378She may not need a knight in shining armour to save her, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to look a gift knight in the visor…

Paisley doesn’t need a knight in shining armour to rescue her from her high-powered, abusive ex-husband. She’s got it covered on her own: she’s changed her name, liquidated her assets, and has a plan to disappear in the Rocky Mountain National Park.

Psychiatrist Sterling James has absolutely no intention of being anyone’s saviour. The only woman he has any time for is his sister. But circumstances change when Sterling finds Paisley in an unexpected and life-threatening situation. Brought in to the drama of her escape, Sterling finds himself invested, and he can’t move on until he knows Paisley is going to be safe.

It should be a simple enough exercise to get Paisley out of the park and into her new life. But nothing is ever as simple as it should be, and Sterling soon discovers that even if her ex-husband buys the set-up, he might not be able to watch Paisley go…

Seven ways to smash action-adventure characters out of the ballpark

by Wendy L Curtis

Giveaway details found at the bottom of this post!

Giveaway details found at the bottom of this post!

I’m often asked what inspires me to develop my characters. Are they me? Are they my hubby? Are they anyone that I know personally? The fact is I draw my inspiration for my Action & Adventure heroes and heroines from everyone I’ve known. But especially I look to everyone doing the daily grind, keeping their heads above water, being a part of a family, and continuing the pioneering spirit of our people.

Here are seven must-haves for my action & adventure characters to ensure they can handle all that I’ll throw at them:

  1. Working Class Values – every one of my heroines and heroes must work hard. They have to know what it’s like to do an unfair day’s work for too little pay, or at least they have learn along the way that sometimes you have to put in more than you seem to get out.
  2. Be Resourceful – when something needs to get done, I like to know that it will get done. It may not be the prettiest way, or neatest way, or even the logical way but it gets done. This comes from the wonderful attitude that there’s more than one way to do things. Sure some ways are more advisable, but when the chips are down and resources are limited, don’t give up; find another way.
  3. Be a Teacher – a chain is only as strong as its weakest link and breaking that link won’t help. Just because a person can’t do something doesn’t mean they are an idiot, they just need to learn, practice, get confidence. Teach, support, and build confidence. Never criticise, ridicule, or assume it’s a gender issue. This is where my support characters come in also. To break down barriers and stereotypes.
  4. Have passion – yes, okay, my books do have the detailed sexytimes, but we all know passion is about way more than that. My characters must have passion. They need something that they swoon over, something that makes them livid, something that tickles their funny-bone, something that breaks their heart every time. If they have a goal, they have it for a good reason, and even if it takes forever, they keep plugging away. Emotions people. Have them. Feel them.
  5. Cooking skills – I don’t care if it’s a sausage on a stick in the flames or a six course gourmet meal, but my characters will get some food on the table. I also don’t care who‘s cooking; male or female, as long as they both can do some kind of food then I know no one is going to starve or sit around wasting time waiting to be fed.
  6. Dream Big – if they don’t have a dream then they are going to get one. Just like in real life, my characters have to dream big, have to want more. There has to be a reason to get up in the mornings. Even by the end of the story, they still need to have things to aspire to.
  7. Sense of humour – if we don’t laugh we’ll cry. We do this, all the time. Humour can help diffuse a situation, it can help people find rapport. Looking at the funny side of things is an endearing quality, and can also be infuriating. There’s real skill in having and great sense of humour and knowing when it is appropriate and when it isn’t appropriate, and sometimes failing at both.

20833In the sticky, steamy jungles of Papua New Guinea, they fight for the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people. They didn’t expect to have to fight for their own.

All investigative journalist Roxy Williams wanted was a hot one-night stand: quick, dirty, and completely one-off. A business transaction to ease stress, loosen tension, and allow her to get right back to her job — exposing the heart-breaking realities of people smuggling. So when all hell breaks loose in a small village on Papua New Guinea, the last person Roxy expects to see is her one-night-stand and male escort, Rob, with a boat, a beach, and an escape plan!

Rob is supposed to be long-gone from this assignment, but after their one night together, he can’t seem to let Roxy go. Using all his resources, Rob risks his job to keep track of her — and when a huge storm threatens, he goes after the sexy journalist. Now they’re together, in danger, and fighting for their lives. People smuggling is a big money industry, and the smugglers are playing for keeps.

We’re giving away a copy of Wendy’s Above and Beyond title. To be in the running, leave a comment, including your email address, telling us your favourite action hero/ine of all time.

High Stakes

by Nina Hamilton

Giveaway details found at the bottom of this post!

Giveaway details found at the bottom of this post!

Whether our characters are saving the world or surviving the elements, Action & Adventure tends to be a high stakes game. The moment that leaves both the character and reader breathless as we await the outcome of a rope (and character) slipping off a cliff is why I write about the rescue heroes of the emergency services.

My romances, set in Far North Queensland, tend to be grounded in the real world because I continue to be genuinely amazed by the courage that the emergency rescue teams show in their work. When saving lives comes in the job description of men and women, the sexiness isn’t just in the uniform.

Out of respect for the real life protagonists involved in rescues in the area I definitely shy away from depicting real life incidents on the page, However, I do also try to make sure that the scenarios that I create are both plausible and interesting. I regularly read the rescue helicopter updates available through their website and with my mother as part of the volunteer emergency rescue community I often get the behind the scenes stories.

To that end, my brother, a doctor, and my friend Rob, a former lifesaver, often get a call or email late into the night. A few times they’ve laughed and I’ve known I had a little more research to do. Apparently one of the lifesaving techniques I had considered for a scene really, really couldn’t have happened and what I thought was the protocol for cracking a chest wouldn’t have worked out well for anyone… so we work towards the moment where they say,”Yeah that’s cool.”

The best romance is one where both parties are changed by the moment of falling in love and I can’t imagine a more powerful time to do that than in the action of saving a life or in saving each other. The Action & Adventure romance genre is a long established one and millions around the world love a bit of suspense mixed with a love story. Favourites of mine are Nora Roberts Chasing Fire and Linda Howard’s Cover of Night. Looking up Linda’s title just added three more of her backlist to my Kindle’s to be read (again) list. Getting addicted to those thrills is a danger of being a fan of the genre.

What is your favourite romance where the stakes are that much higher?


 

8869Hanging, strapped together, ten metres above a sea platform forces a quick intimacy between workmates. For Dr Brigid Adair, dangling from a helicopter wire is an everyday occurrence in her job working for the helicopter rescue crew in North Queensland, Australia.

For former US Army medic Matt Roberts, Australia means a new future; a place to escape from the war zones of his past. Despite his significant wealth, he’s taken a job as an elite helicopter paramedic, wanting to make a positive contribution to his new community.

Matt Roberts knows very well the destruction that romance can reap on a unit, so when he first arrives and sees the gorgeous single doctor, Brigid, assigned to his rescue crew, he’s nervous. Very nervous.

Dr Brigid Adair is going to need more than just her medical training to lead Matt back from his self-imposed isolation. High-pressure situations hovering over some of Australia’s deadliest land and sea and the ignition of a passionate flame might just do the trick.


 

20381Opposites attract in this medical romantic suspense set in the high adrenalin world of the Cairns Rescue Helicopter team.

English surgeon Andrew Wentworth left behind a successful career and a failed engagement to join the Cairns Rescue Helicopter team, but it’s not shaping up to be the rejuvenating working holiday he expected.

Rescue paramedic Kate Spears is used to proving herself in a man’s world, so informing the handsome surgeon that all his orders now come from her is deliciously satisfying. But she soon finds that Andrew cannot only take everything she throws at him, he keeps coming back for more.

They couldn’t be more different, from their histories to their personalities to their plans for the future, but the flames between them can’t be ignored. And, in the close quarters of chopper rescue, they’re about to find that there’s no place to hide from love.

We’re giving away one bundle featuring both of Nina’s fabulous Rescue stories. To be in the running, leave a comment, including your email address, telling us your favourite high stakes romance: it could be physical, emotional, or psychological high stakes!

An idiot’s guide to action & adventure romance

by Serenity Woods

Giveaway details found at the bottom of this post!

Giveaway details found at the bottom of this post!

One Hot Winter’s Night is an action/adventure, fun and sexy romance novel that follows two archaeologists as they travel around the globe on a treasure hunt for priceless artefacts. How easy is it to transfer action and adventure stories to novel form? Here’s an idiot’s guide to the top five things you need to write action/adventure romance:

1. A gorgeous gamma hero

What do I mean by this? Well, Harrison Ford has been labelled the ultimate gamma hero—that is, a blend between the arrogant alpha and the boy-next-door beta. Think Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Han Solo in Star Wars, or Michael Douglas’s Jack T. Colton in Romancing the Stone. Your gamma man takes all the best bits from the alpha—he’s tall, dark, and handsome (or a variation of), arrogant, or at least confident in his abilities, brave and adventurous, but he also wields the wicked sense of humour and down-to-earth qualities of the beta hero. Heath in One Hot Winter’s Night exemplifies my perfect man, and yes, there’s more than a little Harrison Ford about him!

Raiders of the Lost Ark2. A feisty, courageous heroine

Think Kathleen Turner in Romancing, Karen Allen in Raiders, Princess Leia, Lara Croft, and The Mummy’s Rachel Weiss. Heroines have to be independent, adventurous, gorgeous, funny, and determined to resist the hero (although of course they can’t.) Cat in One Hot Winter’s Night is classy, witty, and smart, but like all these heroines, she can also be amazingly clumsy and she doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty!

The Mummy3. An exotic setting

Raiders went from jungle to desert to cities like Berlin. Romancing delves deep into the heart of the Columbian jungle. The Mummy moves from London to Egypt. One Hot Winter’s Night starts in an ice hotel in Sweden under the Aurora Borealis, travels to the Pyramids in Cairo, to Xi’an in China, the sub-tropical Northland of New Zealand, and finally to London. Want to write an adventure story but never been to that country? That’s what’s the internet’s for!

Romancing the Stone4. A priceless treasure

Your hero and heroine have to be hunting for some kind of ancient artefact. In Raiders it was the Ark of the Covenant, in Romancing it’s a gemstone, in The Mummy it’s…well…a mummy. Often the artefact has religious or historical significance. In One Hot Winter’s Night they begin by fighting over the necklace of an ancient Swedish princess, then an Egyptian cat statue, then the Terracotta warriors. If the artefact has some kind of supernatural power, so much the better.

5. Romance

Ultimately, the novel has to have romance. What would Raiders or Romancing or The Mummy be without the love story? Your hero and heroine’s relationship has to be packed full of chemistry, and although these are ultimately romances, they’re not soppy stories but fun-packed adventures often full of sex ‘n’ sizzle. Cat in One Hot Winter’s Night seduces Heath so she can steal the priceless necklace from under his nose. Little does she know it’ll start a chase around the globe!


9505Indiana Jones meets Lara Croft in a hot, desperate treasure hunt that spans the globe and captures the imagination.

Dr. Cat Livingstone works for the British Museum, and she’s frustrated as hell when the mysterious man she knows only as the Silver Fox snatches yet another artefact from under her nose. Determined to steal the priceless necklace back, she tracks him to the Swedish Ice Hotel, but she doesn’t bank on him being the most gorgeous guy she’s ever laid eyes on.

Heath has no idea that the hot blonde in the ice cold hotel has ulterior motives. But when a night between the sheets ends with both Cat and the necklace gone in the morning, Heath jumps into action.

Unfortunately for Cat, Heath lives for the thrill of the chase. And the chase is on.

We’re giving away a copy of One Hot Winter’s Night! To be in the running, leave a comment, including your email address, telling us your favourite Action movie pairing!

Strong feisty girls

by Fiona Palmer

Banner_v02(1)

scroll all the way down for the giveaway!

I love them. I’m constantly drawn to this type of female character. I always wanted to be tough, to do what the boys did, to prove myself. That’s why I learned to drive my dad’s trucks, raced speedway, drove tractors, changed tyres, and generally just loved spending time in the shed with the men. Even if sometimes, I was scared. Sometimes those scary things can be so rewarding, life changing, and give you confidence when you thought you had none.

When I was younger, I was drawn to shows like Dark Angel and Alias, where kick ass girls had the staring roles. I’m still no different, loving books and movies like Vampire Academy, Hunger Games and Divergent. I worship these strong, determined ladies…even if at times they don’t think they are. Yet they have courage in spades. And I want to be them. (Maybe the gorgeous guys they end up with is a huge plus too!)

katnissSo it was no surprise that I wrote a YA series with a tough, determined and courageous leading lady. Jasmine (Jaz) believes she’s just your average normal teenage girl but most kids don’t love spending time in a gym, nor do they know how to do karate or fight men twice their size. Jaz is everything I’d love to be. (She also has abs. I would love abs, not this squidgy middle that having two kids has helped create along with my love of chocolate.)

trisI like these girls to have spunk, to be witty like Rose from Vampire Academy. But still they aren’t perfect either…they have flaws, normal human traits, which only makes me adore them more.

Rose

Of course, Jaz has to have that obligatory gorgeous guy, so in comes Ryan. He’s older, strong and muscled like a soldier. His dark eyes are mysterious, but intriguing, but Jaz is cautious…he seems dangerous. But there is something about him she can’t shake. He draws her into his secret agent life, recruiting Jaz and changing her life forever. Hopefully I’ve made Jaz just as awesome as my favourites like Rose, Tris, and Katniss.


The Recruit_FinalFrom one of Australia’s Queens of Romance comes the debut in a brand new YA series about secrets, strengths, and what lies beneath the surface.

Jasmine Thomas may not be completely normal, but she’s a pretty typical seventeen-year-old girl. She hates the rich mean kids, loves her best friends, and can’t wait to get out of school each day. Her spare time is spent at The Ring — a boxing gym where she practically grew up — learning karate, boxing and street fighting. So, yeah, Jaz can kick some major butt.

Life seems pretty normal until the day Ryan Fletcher enters her gym…mysterious and hot with heaps of bad boy charm. Sure, she checks him out. Who wouldn’t? But what doesn’t show on his gorgeous abs are secrets and lies that dominate his very grown-up world. Now Jaz has to figure out just how far she is willing to go to know more. Could Ryan really be offering the life-fulfilling life path she’s always dreamed of?


 

TheMission_Final_smlFrom bestselling author Fiona Palmer comes the second in a young adult / new adult crossover series about sexy spies, a super secret agency and the work they do to save the world.

Recruited into the secretive, shrouded MTG Agency, Jaz dives headfirst into her training, regretting nothing about her decision to help save the world at the age of 17. Now she’s ready and anxious for her first mission — to prove she has what it takes…and to start making a difference.

The only thing that stands in her way is Ryan, the dangerous and sexy agent who first recruited her, and is now guiding her. He doesn’t want Jaz to sink too deeply too quickly into his world of secrets and lies, but his inability to trust her to know her own mind only makes Jaz furious.

When a job comes along that only Jaz can do, Ryan has to let go, and Jaz soon learns that she can swim with sharks, but she’ll come away with scars.

We’re giving away one fabulous bundle of both of Fiona Palmer’s titles – to be in the running, leave a comment, including your email address, about your favourite feisty girl – in real life or fiction!

Action and Adventure are in my bones

by Kendall Talbot

Banner_v02(1)White water rafting, hang gliding, snow skiing, scuba diving are my adrenalin-rush drugs of choice. I write action adventure stories. I love the ‘set your heart racing’ scenes where exciting, danger-fuelled journeys take my characters from one cliff hanger moment to another. And I’m an action adventure movie junkie.

I grew up watching Indiana Jones. I confess to watching it so often I can almost recite the dialogue word for word. “Indiana, we are simply passing through history. This… this is history.” Or how about this one… “It’s not the years, honey. It’s the mileage.” I may have fallen in love with Harrison Ford a couple of times too. How could you not? He’s the epitome of an action adventure hero if you ask me: sexy, suave, flawed, brave and reckless. He can throw me over his shoulder any day.

Indiana Jones

Another favourite is Romancing the Stone. In fact I watched it again the other day. I love a good treasure hunt. I love them so much I’ve written a whole series. Treasured Secrets is due for release in April and it’s a modern day hunt for a 13th century treasure. It was so much fun to write. Romancing the StoneBlurring the lines between fact and fiction offers unlimited creative potential. How about Jurassic Park for blurring the lines between fact and fiction. This is another series I’ve devoured over and over. Actually anything to do with dinosaurs has me hooked. If only I’d been an archeologist. Jurrasic ParkI’m hooked on survival themed action adventure too: Cliffhanger, Hunger Games, Poseidon, Titanic are a few of my favourites. Maybe that’s why I wrote Lost in Kakadu. Crashing my characters into Kakadu National Park offered many opportunities for action and adventure. It was important for me to keep the survival aspect very real. From wild animals, to wild weather and near starvation, every day my characters had a new aspect of living hell to get through. Fate brought them together but they needed more than luck to escape Kakadu alive.

So I say, bring on the big action adventure block buster movies any day. Poseidon

What are your favourite action adventure movies? And do you watch them over and over like me?


Lost In Kakadu with Ruby award smallWinner of the 2014 Romance Writers of Australia RUBY (Romantic Book of the Year) Award.

An action adventure novel set in the Australian jungle where two unlikely people prove just how attractive opposites can be…

It’s pretentious socialite Abigail Mulholland’s worst nightmare when her plane crashes into an ancient Australian wilderness. Things go from bad to downright hellish when rescuers never come. As she battles to survive in an environment that’s as brutal as it is beautiful, Abigail finds herself also fighting her unlikely attraction to Mackenzie — another survivor, and a much younger man.

Mackenzie Steel is devastated by his partner’s death in the crash, the only person with whom he shared his painful past. Now, as he confronts his own demons, he finds he has a new battle on his hands: his growing feelings for Abigail, a woman who’s as frustratingly naïve as she is funny.

Fate brought them together, but they’ll need more than luck to escape Kakadu alive. Could the letters of a dead man hold the key to their survival?

To celebrate Action & Adventure Romance, we’re pleased to offer Lost in Kakadu, the award-winning novel FREE for this week only. Get in now!