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!

 

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December Gift Guide: For Fantastic Dads

by Catherine Evans

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I bought my Dad (who’s an avid reader in his 70s) a couple of Robin Hobb books. OMG! They’re the gift that keeps giving. He’s addicted, so each birthday or Christmas, he gets another. They’re fantasy, mostly in trilogies that are all interconnected, with about 20 books in total and more coming. I think there’s a couple of years’ worth of gifts!


28148Catherine Evans debuted this year with The Healing Seasona beautiful novel about a man in need of a new start and a town offering them up for a dollar a week. Also available are the two linked stories from Jennie Jones and Lisa Ireland.

Gateway to Romance: Catherine Evans

by Catherine Evans

The first romance I remember reading was Lucy Walker’s Gamma’s Girl. One of our neighbours dropped it in because she knew I loved rural stories and Mum had shared with her the Mary Grant Bruce Billabong series.

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In Gamma’s Girl, I don’t remember the exact story, what I remember is the aching sweetness of their love. I think it was her first love, and he was her everything. It was a rural Australian story and I loved it. I devoured everything I could find by Lucy Walker. I still have a copy of The Bell Branch, which is set in England so I’ve no idea why I kept that one.

I had a hunt around the internet to see if I could find a blurb, but I’ve had not much luck. It came out in 1977, and I would have read it a few years after that. On Goodreads it hasn’t got many stars, so maybe my first romance isn’t the best I’ve ever read! Looking on eBay, there are a lot of Lucy Walker stories but no Gamma’s Girl, although, I’d probably not read it again in case it bursts my gorgeous memory!

Here’s a bit of a blurb from AusLit.edu.au: “Gamma’s Girl tells the story of Nairee, who is found as a baby by an Aboriginal woman, and brought up by Widow Peech, whom Nairee calls ‘Gamma’ (a childish way of saying ‘Grandma’).”

Does anyone else remember this story?

If you’re looking to try romance, my suggestion is to pick the sub-genre you like to read and start there. I loved Aussie rural stories so it was perfect to read a romance along those lines. If you’re not into rurals, there’s pretty much romance to suit all tastes – I have Dad addicted to the fantasy and suspense romances!


Catherine Evans stays true to her roots: her story, The Healing Season, is a true blue rural romance. 

New in Town!

Dulili is suffering a people drought. Over the years more people have moved away than have arrived to stay in this old New South Wales farming town, and now only a handful of young families and elderly residents are left. The locals put a plan into action to entice newcomers: offering the town’s empty houses to people from anywhere in Australia. Who could resist renting a beautiful homestead for a dollar a week?


Three writers, one town, three stories…

How do you make a collaborative writing endeavour work? Take Catherine Evans, Lisa Ireland and Jennie Jones and have them like each other! Then have them wrangle the necessities of creating one fictional country town in need of help. Give them a few weeks of emailing back and forth across three states and hey presto! Dulili, a forgotten town in NSW is born.

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The series A Dollar for a Dream is made up of three stories, each a stand-alone book, but each set in the town of Dulili (which means Together).

All three stories will be available together in a paperback called Last Chance Country in all the usual places at the end of March.

We wondered what kind of inspiration our authors had for writing their story, and they said: ‘being new in town’. We couldn’t resist asking why…

 

Jennie Jones—A Heart Stuck on Hope

heartstuckComing from a countrified town in Wales, my biggest ‘new girl in town’ moment was moving to London when I was 18 to spend the next three years of my life in drama school. London is a big city. It seemed to me like all the suburbs were simply one large town themselves.

And in all the 15 years I lived in London, I only got to know about seven or eight suburbs really well, although I could drive through London without a problem, and without GPS, I might add.

But that was when I was young—and everything is so much easier to handle (mainly) when we’re young, because we’re enthused and adventurous even if a bit shy, like I definitely was.

When I reached what people think of as ‘adulthood’ (I refuse to think I’ve truly grown up—where would the fun be if that happened?) it got a lot tougher.

Remember joining the new book-club group? The mothers and babies group? Or nodding hello to a group of women in the local grocers who were chatting, and having to walk on when nobody asked you to stop and talk because you were the new person and they hadn’t sussed you out yet?

Scary stuff! And yet everyday ordinary stuff that everyone has to go through.

Living in London taught me many things that are valuable to me now as both a person and a writer of small town country stories. For starters, I discovered that I don’t ever want to live in a city again.

But living in a big city taught me to venture out and discover what’s on offer when I moved to smaller towns. It taught me to see, understand and appreciate friendships, no matter how fleeting— even a great conversation in the local deli about the weather makes you feel part of something when you’re the new person in town.

I remember so many fleeting friendships or acquaintances from the varied new towns I’ve had to live in. People in corner shops. Odd characters who lived in my street. The lady I met on a bus. They all touched my life in some way. I thank them for that.

 

Lisa Ireland—Honey Hill House

honeyWhen I took up a teaching position in the small town of Longford, Victoria, I wasn’t too worried about moving from the city to the country. In fact, I relished the thought of all that fresh air and beautiful scenery. I was sure I’d adapt easily. After all, I was from farming stock. My dad grew up on a dairy farm and I’d been holidaying in the country all my life.

Turned out, living in a tiny country town wasn’t quite as I expected! (Are you surprised?)

My introduction to the harsh realities of living in the bush came in my second week of teaching. I was at the school’s annual ‘Welcome Bush Dance’ when a lightning strike started a grassfire nearby. The fire siren sounded and half the school’s parent population disappeared to go fight the fire. I had no idea what I was supposed to do in such a situation.

Fortunately the grassfire was short-lived, because of the torrential rain that followed the lightning. Unfortunately this created a new problem—flooding that cut us off from the nearby regional centre. The usual ten-minute drive into town was now a 100-kilometre round trip. The locals were all well prepared for this, but with no groceries, a near-empty fuel tank and no petrol station in town, I was in a spot of bother.

It was then that I learned the true beauty of living in the country. Offers of help came from far and wide for the new girl in town. Sure, I had to cop a bit of good-natured ribbing about being such a city slicker, but my fridge was filled and I had a ride anywhere I needed to go for the few days the flood persisted.

Evolving from a certified city chick to a bone fide country gal took some time, but I had a lot of fun learning and, thanks to some old-fashioned country hospitality, I was never short of company (or advice!) along the way.

 

Catherine Evans—The Healing Season

healingWhen I was preparing to leave home I got some advice from my family that has always stuck with me—not saying it was all good though *big grin*.

Mum’s advice: It’ll take at least three months before anything feels familiar. You can’t come home for 12 months; you have to give it a fair go.

Grandma’s advice: Always have fruit cake in the cake tin so you can offer it to visitors.

Da’s advice: It’s bloody cold in winter so wear thick socks and have a damn good coat.

Those first few months in a new town were hard. Mum was right—nothing was familiar. I could have been in a foreign country for all that was recognisable to me. But I was desperate to learn, so I asked questions, devoured the local newspaper, shopped locally, joined clubs, and went out to events in town.

Almost to the day of being three months in Wagga Wagga, I was doing the groceries and I met a lady from work also shopping. I almost fell over myself saying ‘hello’. She must have thought I was nuts but to me it was a sign that I was beginning to settle in. And that was a huge relief!

Winter was cold, and thick socks and a coat were a good thing. Not so sure about the fruit cake, though it may have been applicable if you were the new bank manager’s wife, as Grandma was in her day. But country hospitality was amazing—it just took a while to kick off. I think Mum’s advice was the best I was ever given…except she should have said those first three months could feel like years!

Feed Your Reader: mid-March releases

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A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Maddie Jane debuts her romantic comedy novel about a woman who knows how to fix things and the man who wants to convince her that DIY is more fun with two…


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Lachlan has spent his life running, and Dulili is just far enough away for a new start. But small towns have few secrets…

Book 2 in the new Dollar for a Dream rural romance series

Move to the country for $1 a week… 

Dulili is suffering a people drought. Over the years more people have moved away than have arrived to stay in this old New South Wales farming town, and now only a handful of young families and elderly residents are left. The locals put a plan into action to entice newcomers: offering the town’s empty houses to newcomers from anywhere in Australia.  Who could resist renting a beautiful homestead for a dollar a week?

A Heart Stuck on Hope

Honey Hill House

The Healing Season