Women to Watch

The Women of W.A.R. series is set in a fictional universe, so our teams and characters – though they feel real – don’t really exist. But Women’s AFL is very much real, and the players and their teams on the field are playing their hearts out and inspiring girls and women all over the country.

So while we hope that you enjoy the stories of Angelica, Cress, and Darcy, we thought that we should also pay homage to those players who inspired them.

daisy pearce

Daisy Pearce

Already a stellar player in VFL Women’s league, Daisy set the AFLW league on fire in the inaugural season, winning the inaugural Melbourne best-and-fairest winner, the AFLW Player’s best captain award, AND captained the inaugural AFL Women’s All-Australian team.


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Moana Hope

Moana is born on Valentine’s Day (which as romance readers, you know we love), but more importantly, she is an incredible goal kicker: the first player to ever kick more than 100 goals in the VFL Women’s, and winner of her AFLW team’s inaugural leading goalkicker award.


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Kirby Bentley

Kirby won’t be playing in 2018 due to an injury, but she hasn’t let that slow her down: she has created the Kirby Bentley Cup to provide young indigenous girls aged between 13-17 the opportunity to put their footie skills on display. Also, just when she couldn’t get cooler, off field, Kirby works in mines as an explosives expert.


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Erin Phillips

Not content with dominating on the basketball court (where she’s an Olympic silver medalist and a player in the US WNBA), Erin also co-captained the Adelaide AFLW team and won the AFLW best and fairest medal and the AFLW Player’s Most Valuable Player award.


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Brianna Davey

Another over-achiever, Brianna played international soccer with the Matildas before becoming co-vice-captain of Carlton and being listed in the 2017 All-Australian team.


meg hutchins

Meg Hutchins

Meg not only plays for Collingwood, but she is involved in the management team as well, in her role as Women’s Football Operations Manager, where her experience benefits the Collingwood board.


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Ally Anderson

Part of the Brisbane Lions team that made it to the Grand Final, Ally is also a coach for the AFL KickStart program and mentors the Queensland under-15 women’s Indigenous side. She’s also training to be a paramedic, and has swapped her boots for a microphone, commenting on the NEAFL for NITV.

Incidentally, if you’re interested in Indigenous players in the AFL/AFLW, there is a great map here  with information about players and their identified language and cultural groups.


hannah mouncey

Hannah Mouncey

Hannah isn’t an AFLW player – yet – but we wanted to include her on our list as she fights to be the first transgender player in the AFLW. Hannah was excluded from the draft, due to concerns that her physical disparity would give her unfair advantage. Mouncey’s testosterone levels fall between those required by the International Olympic Committee, the same guidelines followed by the AFL.

There are so many other inspiring athletes, and you can check them out for yourself here http://www.afl.com.au/womens/player-profiles.

And, for a fictional account of the lives and loves of Women’s Aussie Rules players – on and off the field – remember to check out the Women of W.A.R. series. Pre-order now!

 

Women of WAR 1

All Women of W.A.R. titles are available for pre-order now!

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Anthem for the Fans

by Amy Andrews

There’s quite a famous song DownUnder about Australian Rules Football (AFL). It came out in 1979 and I think most Aussies of a certain age would know it. I was only 10 at the time and we didn’t even get AFL on the tele where we lived, but I know it because my Mum used to sing it around the house. It pretty much became an anthem for the sport. It’s called Up There Cazaly, inspired by Roy Cazaly who played Aussie Rules in the 1920’s.

Listening to this song again whilst writing the Women of W.A.R series, got me thinking about all the songs that have become anthems for football codes over the years.

As far as spine tingling awesomeness goes, nothing surpasses a rugby union crowd singing Swing Lo, Sweet Chariot in full voice.

And I was super, super impressed recently during the rugby league world cup to hear the Fijian players raise their voices in hymn! The Fijian hymn sung with such conviction and passion gave me goosebumps!

And then, somehow, this song from Ricky Martin came to represent soccer a few years back during the world cup in Rio. I’m not sure if Cup Of Life will be a stayer but I can’t hear it without instantly thinking of the sport!

Do you have any songs you’d like to suggest for my list?


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How to mend a broken heart…

Darcy Clarke would do anything to play for the new Women’s Aussie Rules league, even put up with her ex, Tony, who just happens to be the coach of the Brisbane Banshees. Tony stomped out of their apartment – and all over heart – two years ago, but she’s moved on, and she deserves her jersey.

As his best friend’s girl, Darcy has always been out of Levi’s reach, even after Tony dropped her and moved out of the apartment they all shared. Now, two years on and still sharing the same apartment, she should be fair game. But Levi is no closer to getting Darcy to think of him as anything but a roommate and a friend.

But when Darcy injures herself in play, Levi’s qualifications as a sports massage therapist are put to good use. Suddenly, their relationship becomes very hands on, and Darcy sees a whole new side of her old friend. A pity he seems immune to her charms. When Tony makes it clear he wants back into her life, she has a decision to make: between the man she once loved and the man who never left her side.

Women of WAR 1

All Women of W.A.R. titles are available for pre-order now!

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Breaking News: Announcing Women of W.A.R.

Women of WAR 1

Escape Publishing is pleased to announce three stand-alone titles in a fun, flirty, footy series featuring the strong athletic heroines of the Women of AFL.

Set in the fictional Women’s Aussie Rules (W.A.R.) League, Women of W.A.R. follows three female footy players as they break down barriers, learning to live and love in the big leagues.

All three books will be released simultaneously on 20/2/18, and are available for pre-order now.


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Are they playing to win…or playing for keeps?

Angelica Bryant has a dream. The only child of a soccer legend, she pays her bills by working at her father’s bar while pursuing her goals: a role in sports management and a place in the newly established Women’s Aussie Rules league. Football is her passion, and she won’t let anything get in her way: including an ill-advised one-night-stand with one of Australia’s most successful agents.

Jaxon Flint thrives on success. His workaholic lifestyle keeps his agency and the athletes he represents at the top of their game – and all of his emotions at bay. Until he meets Angie, W.A.R.’s newest star, who undermines his carefully laid plans and gets under his skin. Is he willing to relinquish his careful control both in and out of the bedroom?

When Angie and Jaxon end up working together, it’s game on!

iBooks, Booktopia, Kobo, Nook, Google, Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon AU

Get more information about this title on Nicola’s blog!


 

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Does she dare pursue all her dreams?

Everyone in Grong Grong knows Cress Kennedy’s childhood dream is to play Aussie

Rules Football, so when the Sydney Sirens sign her in the new Women’s Aussie Rules competition, she heads to the big city to pursue her dream. But no one in Grong Grong knows of Cress’s other dreams: the ones that revolve entirely around Quin Fitzpatrick.

Quin Fitzpatrick left Grong Grong as an eighteen-year-old to play Aussie Rules in Sydney, but after eight years the shine has gone from the lifestyle. When his best friend’s little sister follows in his country-to-city footsteps, he promises to look after her. She can stay with him and he’ll protect her as best he can. Besides, Watercress is the little sister he never had.

But Cress is all grown up now and playing Women’s Aussie Rules, and it’s about time that Quin sees her as a woman too…

iBooks, Booktopia, Kobo, Nook, Google, Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon AU

Get more information about this title on Cath’s blog!


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How to mend a broken heart…

Darcy Clarke would do anything to play for the new Women’s Aussie Rules league, even put up with her ex, Tony, who just happens to be the coach of the Brisbane Banshees. Tony stomped out of their apartment – and all over her heart – two years ago, but she’s moved on, and she deserves her jersey.

As his best friend’s girl, Darcy has always been out of Levi’s reach, even after Tony dropped her and moved out of the apartment they all shared. Now, two years on and still sharing the same apartment, she should be fair game. But Levi is no closer to getting Darcy to think of him as anything but a roommate and a friend.

But when Darcy injures herself in play, Levi’s qualifications as a sports massage therapist are put to good use. Suddenly, their relationship becomes very hands on, and Darcy sees a whole new side of her old friend. A pity he seems immune to her charms. When Tony makes it clear he wants back into her life, she has a decision to make: between the man she once loved and the man who never left her side.

iBooks, Booktopia, Nook, Kobo, Google, Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon AU

For more information on this title, check out Amy’s website!

 

Friday Five: Amy Andrews

646Author: Amy Andrews
First published with Escape: 2014
Favourite romance trope: Small town
Ideal hero (in three words): Funny. Handy. Laidback.
Ideal heroine (in three words): Spunky. Quirky. Mouthy.
Latest book: Limbo

What began your romance writing career? Why do you write romance?

The need to not get off my electric blanket in the midst of a freezing cold English winter… (sorry, not very romantic!) I write romance for the happy sigh and because it privileges women’s experiences and sexuality.

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What do you do when you’re stuck with a scene?

I plough through. Even if its shite – I can fix that in rewrites.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever had to research for a book?

I’ve recently Googled bonnet (hood) heights for pickup trucks to figure out the logistics of my hero going down on my heroine…..never did that in my old job!

Amy Andrews (1)

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? Or any cute quirks in general?

I am boringly un-quirky. I save that for my characters!

Favourite book covers? What draws your eye to a romance cover?

I’m drawn to quirky or different covers. I really like the cartoony type covers (yes, I know, I’m the only one in the entire world….) because they can be really personalised/tailored to a book and are often quirky or different. Nothing quite like a hot man on romance cover or a really hot couple clearly into each other! And I really appreciate when the people on a cover actually fit the description of the characters in the book.


23731 (1)Six Feet Under meets Stephanie Plum in Amy Andrews’  fresh, funny, sexy urban-family noir about a country singer who almost made it, a private investigator who’s seen too much and a mother who will cross all barriers to save her child.

When ex hillbilly-punk rocker turned cadaver make-up artist Joy Valentine is visited by the ghost of a high-profile murder victim begging for Joy’s help to find her kidnapped baby girl, Joy knows from experience the cops are going to think she’s crazy.  So she takes it to the one guy she knows who won’t.

The last thing disgraced ex-cop turned private investigator Dash Dent expected is a woman from his past turning up to complicate his present with a nutty, woo-woo story. The problem is he knows Joy is telling the truth and he can’t ignore the compelling plight of baby Isabella whose disappearance six months prior transfixed the nation.

Discounted and discredited by the police, Dash and Joy work together to uncover the mystery and find Isabella, with a whacky supporting cast including Eve, a brothel madam; Stan, an excommunicated priest; Katie, Dash’s ten-year-old daughter; and two horny goldfish. It’s a race against time and against all odds – but the real battle for Dash and Joy might just be keeping their hands off each other.

 

Crossing Genres, Mashing Labels

Sitting down to write a book that mashes up genres isn’t something a career-minded author does lightly. Often these books are compulsions. I certainly ignored Joy and her story for two years because it was just too weird and beyond my scope of normal until I just had to write it. And it was a lot of fun – scary but liberating and I still love the world of that book so damn hard.

Unfortunately, a mash up book is often just as hard for publishers to grapple with even if they love it and the world you’ve created. Because how do you put a cover on a book that conveys romance, noir, comedy, urban family and a touch of paranormal?

How?

How do you cover Six Feet Under meets Stephanie Plum?

The answer was staring us in the face all the time. Embrace the quirk! The book is quirky as all giddy up – it has fornicating gold fish for crying out loud. And a brothel madam. And an ex-communicated priest! To name just a few of the eccentricities.

Embrace the quirk!

So, Limbo is getting a do-over and I cannot even begin to describe how in love with this cover I am. With Ralph there staring straight back at you, it screams quirky and I am utterly thrilled with it.

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For those who missed it the first time around, here are some reviews to entice you!

Roz from My Written Romance. Holy crap, that was so much fun to read. From the country-singing punk heroine and the ragged and rugged ex-cop hero, to horny goldfish, a brothel madam and an excommunicated priest, Limbo is everything I love about Amy Andrews, and like nothing I had expected.”

Marcia from Book Muster Down Under.  While Amy may feel she has gone out on a limb in breaking with her traditional romances and giving her readers something different to what they have come to expect from her by using elements she’s never attempted before (see an interview held with Amy at AusRom Today), after reading Limbo I can honestly say that, while she may feel that way, for me (a long time reader of romance and all its sub-genres), her combination of comedy, mystery, suspense and romance is an absolute winner and I’d go so far as to say that both Stephanie Plum and Erica Jewell may very well have a rival in their midst – believe me when I say you will not want to miss this!”

Carol from Reading, Writing and Riesling. In the words of the author this book is “urban-noir/paranormal-lite/mystery/romance mash up” and I would add PI in the mix, and a great mix it is too. This is a great contemporary feel good romp that had me smiling and laughing out loud. The characters are quirky, flawed and very very real.”

I hope you love the new cover as much as I do and you’ll be tempted to one-click and give my quirky little baby a chance. Two more books are planned in the series. Book 2 – Neither Here Nor There – should be out early next year

Buy links: Amazon AU, Amazon UK, Amazon US, Nook, Kobo, iBooks, Google, Booktopia

Feed Your Readers: Workplace Romance and Rural Suspense

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She might be the biggest star in Australia, but she never forgot the small town she came from, or the man she left behind…


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A collection of full-length novels about what happens after business hours…

Romantic Book of the Year – Risky Business by Amy Andrews!

Photo courtesy of Ally Blake

Photo courtesy of Ally Blake

Photo courtesy of Amy Andrews

Photo courtesy of Amy Andrews

Photo courtesy of Amy Andrews

Photo courtesy of Amy Andrews

Click through to the Romantic Book of 2015


21489From USA Today best-selling author Amy Andrews comes a new single-title romance about putting pleasure before business, and the risks we all need to take when we find someone worth risking everything for.

Samantha Evans’s life is going to hell. Not only has she rage-quit her beloved, high-powered job, but she is suddenly afflicted by hormones, free time, and an unavoidable, unignorable, undeniably gorgeous irritant in the form of Nick Hawke, her extreme sports star neighbour, who has come home to take over the reins of his grandmother’s second-hand bookshop. Sam needs something to keep her from begging for her old job back until she’s good and sure her boss understands how wrong he was, and taking a low-risk, low-stress job helping Nick at the bookstore might be just the thing.

After all, it’s not like Nick is the right guy to help her with her hormones. He’ll just be fun to look at while she searches for the one.

Nick has six months to get over an injury before Everest and a big, fat contract beckon. That means no sports, no danger and, above all else, no risks. It means playing it safe. And Nick Hawke doesn’t do safe. So he’s going to need something to stave off the boredom while selling books he doesn’t read to people who wouldn’t know a carabineer from a crochet hook. What could be safer than hiring a cranky, unemployed accountant to help run the bookstore? Sam is efficient and methodical and messing up her neat, post-it note world could be a fun way to pass the time….

Ruby’s are red…Two nominations!

We are so proud and excited to announce our two nominations in this year’s Romance Writers of Australia Romantic Book of the Year (R*BY) Awards.

The winners will be announced August 22nd. Congrats to our Ruby Red Escape Artists, and all the nominees. Good luck!


Nominations in the category of Long Romance Novel…

21489From bestselling author Amy Andrews comes a new single-title romance about putting pleasure before business, and the risks we all need to take when we find someone worth risking everything for.

Samantha Evans’s life is going to hell. Not only has she rage-quit her beloved, high-powered job, but she is suddenly afflicted by hormones, free time, and an unavoidable, unignorable, undeniably gorgeous irritant in the form of Nick Hawke, her extreme sports star neighbour, who has come home to take over the reins of his grandmother’s second-hand bookshop. Sam needs something to keep her from begging for her old job back until she’s good and sure her boss understands how wrong he was, and taking a low-risk, low-stress job helping Nick at the bookstore might be just the thing.

After all, it’s not like Nick is the right guy to help her with her hormones. He’ll just be fun to look at while she searches for the one.

Nick has six months to get over an injury before Everest and a big, fat contract beckon. That means no sports, no danger and, above all else, no risks. It means playing it safe. And Nick Hawke doesn’t do safe. So he’s going to need something to stave off the boredom while selling books he doesn’t read to people who wouldn’t know a carabineer from a crochet hook. What could be safer than hiring a cranky, unemployed accountant to help run the bookstore? Sam is efficient and methodical and messing up her neat, post-it note world could be a fun way to pass the time….

Risky Business mixes the classic romance of Philadelphia Story, the humour and wit of When Harry Met Sally, and a strong, contemporary Australian setting to create a delightful, irresistible, utterly satisfying treat of a novel.


21183Jordan must save her farm from debt and sabotage – can she place her trust in a man from out of town?

Born and bred on the land, Jordan Windcroft is brave and independent. She’s had to be. Her life revolves around running her property almost single-handedly on next to no money, and waiting out her four years of probation — a rap that she took for one of her closest friends for a crime she didn’t commit.

Thankfully there’s an end to her problems in sight. Jordan’s probation period is almost up, and if she can just make the cattle sale, there’s a chance she can pull herself out of more than ten years of serious debt and keep her precious farm. The last thing she needs is for Reid Easton to start monitoring her.

Detective Senior Sergeant Reid Easton drives into Whitewater Creek on a mission to wrap up a three-year drug investigation; his only lead, Jordan Windcroft. The attraction between the two is immediate, but Reid is undercover and Jordan has a secret she can’t risk him discovering. Will either jeopardise their cause, for something as transitory as love – or will they keep their secrets to themselves?

This book is nominated under its original digital format title, Deadly Secrets.

May Titles Bloom Into Life

For your reading pleasure!

23731Six Feet Under meets Stephanie Plum in Amy Andrews’  fresh, funny, sexy urban-family noir about a country singer who almost made it, a private investigator who’s seen too much and a mother who will cross all barriers to save her child.


24128Revisit Swallow’s Fall in this beautiful short novel from Jennie Jones about an ex-military man, a single mother and the impossibility of dreams coming true.


24083From the author of the romantic horror debut Beckoning Blood comes the gripping sequel that mixes blood, sex, and magic.


Finally, all the Housewives are together at last – with four bonus stories…

24129Secrets Revealed! Bonus four epilogues, exclusive to this digital bind-up!

You’ve never met housewives as hot as these…They’re wealthy and glamorous. The elite of society. But appearances can be deceiving.

AusRomToday – Reader Choice Nominees!

We are thrilled to be super well-represented in the inaugural AusRomToday Reader’s Choice Awards! Voting is so simple, and we would absolutely love it if you found the time to support your favourite Australian authors by visiting the AusRomToday facebook page.

Here are the Escape Publishing nominees:

Best New Author21471Lisa Ireland


Best Established Author

21489Amy Andrews

22839Juliet Madison

22579Fiona Palmer


Author of the Year

21489Amy Andrews

8864Alissa Callen


Cover of the Year

21767Engaging the Enemy – Susanne Bellamy