Friday Five: Darlene Fredette

2230Author: Darlene Fredette
First published with Escape: December 2013
Favourite romance trope: Returning Home
Ideal hero (in three words): Strong, Charismatic, Dependable
Ideal heroine (in three words): Determined, Feisty, Independent
Latest book: Winter’s Kiss

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

In my teenage years, I read Harlequin romance novels, and I was hooked. From that point, characters came to life in my head and demanded to have their own stories told.

How did your latest book come to life? What was your eureka moment?

I’m currently stranded in a small town called Redford Falls, but loving every moment. The residents in this town make the stories real. Winter’s Kiss was created for the guy who didn’t get the girl in One Sweet Christmas. The cold and snowy theme was the perfect setting for him to get his happy-ever-after.

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

I stop and take a breath or two, or three. Doing house work always give me my ‘ah-ha’ moment. By the time the house is clean; the scene has unravelled and is as clear as the glass tabletop.

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar? Do you have one already? 

I love all animals, especially dogs. So my mascot would definitely be a dog. Their strength and loyalty goes above and beyond. I have a Yellow Labrador Retriever who is my shadow. He follows me everywhere, and when I’m sitting at my desk writing, he’s close by, lying at my feet.

DarleneFredetteYellowLab

Besides writing, what is something else that you’re really good at?

I enjoy painting, and people have said I’m good at it. I paint for the enjoyment and the escape it allows. I can’t replicate another drawing or painting because my own style needs to be released. I take the image and turn my own spin on it.

DarleneFredettePainting


30327Return to beautiful Redford Falls: a woman who knows what she wants and a man who knows what he needs…

Nothing thaws the chill faster than a warm winter kiss…

She’s been on a flight from hell for over eight hours, lost four hours of daylight, and arrived in temperatures twenty degrees lower than accustomed to. Disliking winter for a reason she refuses to discuss, Danielle Lerato would rather be anywhere than in Redford Falls. She needs to get the job done and return home before getting caught up in the small town’s charm…and the arms of the handsome, brown-eyed restaurant owner.

Andrew Haley’s first encounter with the buttery blonde didn’t go so well, and he well-remembers the chill of the glass of water she dumped over his head. Now, two years later, a raging storm drops Danielle back into his life. She’s determined to leave, but he’ll do whatever it takes to convince her to fall in love with Redford Falls…and him.

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Christmas Titles

If you love them, we’ve got them!

Contemporary Christmas!

We can recommend all of Rhian Cahill’s holiday titles, but her latest is super fun.

25629

For a man called Chris Kringle, Christmas is the most magical time of the year.  But this year, there’s something about a certain elf that’s grabbed his attention in the best of ways. 


Christmas Magic!

Like your Christmas with a bit of sparkle? Try this funny, sweet story about a ghost, 12 Daves, and true love…

22839

A beautiful, uplifting holiday story from bestselling author Juliet Madison about a lonely writer, her grandmother’s ghost, a road trip, and twelve different Daves.


Country Christmas!

The small town of Swallow’s Fall will make you feel the Christmas spirit, even if they have to force it upon you…

22819

From the author of the internationally bestselling The House on Burra Burra Lane comes a Christmas story — country style.


Heart-warming Christmas

Not everyone gets to spend Christmas with their loved ones, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be special…

22581

What began as an impersonal-but-cheerful holiday gift for a soldier far from home becomes so much more…


Sweet Christmas

Because what’s Christmas without a special treat?

19723

It’s going to take more than a few pieces of chocolate to fill this Scrooge’s heart with Christmas cheer. Luckily Candice Cane has a whole shop full…


Christmas that’s out of this world

For SFF fans – we haven’t forgotten you!

19729

What if your only chance at survival was to seduce the man who broke your heart?

 

 

 

Feed Your Reader! December 8 Releases

25633 (1)

The Scottish Highlands meet The Bachelorette in this new historical romance from Allison Butler…


25629

For a man called Chris Kringle, Christmas is the most magical time of the year.  But this year, there’s something about a certain elf that’s grabbed his attention in the best of ways. 


25631

She would trust him with her life. But can either of them trust their hearts?


25632

Bremy St James is back in a brand new adventure, mixing chaos, humour, sex, and superheroes in this fresh, funny, flirty series. It’s the superhero romance you didn’t know you needed…


25630

He knew everything he wanted…until she showed him everything he never knew he needed


25634

A story about starting fresh, letting go, and risking it all for love…

December Recipes – Candy Cane Vanilla Fudge

by Darlene Fredette

Here’s a recipe for the Christmas fun – it’s a recipe my heroine makes in my novella, One Sweet Christmas.

 

Candy Cane Vanilla Fudge

Ingredients:

  • 1 package vanilla milk chips
  • 1 can of Pillsbury Vanilla Creamy Supreme Icing
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 4 drops red food colouring
  • 2 tablespoons of peppermint candy canes (chopped)

Directions:

Place vanilla chips in a pot on the stove at medium heat. Stir until the chips have melted.

Add icing to the pot and continue stirring.

Remove from heat and add peppermint extract until dissolved.

Pour mixture into a pan.

Add one drop of food coloring in each corner of pan.

Use a butter knife to swirl the food coloring into the fudge for a swirl effect (don’t overdo it).

Add chopped peppermint pieces to the top of fudge.

Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until the fudge has hardened.

Cut into small pieces.


19723

It’s going to take more than a few pieces of chocolate to fill this Scrooge’s heart with Christmas cheer. Luckily Candice Cane has a whole shop full…

Available Now!

‘Tis the Season – For a Cahill Christmas

christmas-wonderlandYou better watch out, you better not cry – Rhian Cahill is back with another naughty-but-nice Christmas story (make sure you check out her other spirited holiday stories here!).

1. Give us a Twitter-length description of your Christmas title, A Touch of Frost.

This year Jack Frost isn’t biting fingers. He’s melting hearts. #ATouchOfFrost

2. Why did you set your story at Christmas?

Because my editor told me to. 🙂

3. What is your favourite thing about Christmas time?

The food. Family time. The lights. Yes, I LOVE all the lights. The sparkly trees and houses all over our neighbourhood.

4. What do you hope Santa will leave you under the tree this year?

A clean house. More words. A million dollars. Oh, you want realistic wishes? Book money!

5. Finally, are your characters naughty or nice?

They’re nicely naughty. 😉


 

22837International bestselling author Rhian Cahill kicks off a steamy new holiday series about a very Christmassy company and the three directors who need more than a little mistletoe.

Jack had a great reason to be over Christmas: it’s not seasonal blues, it’s his family business, and there’s only so much tinsel you can have in your life without feeling bah humbug about it.

But this year is different. He’s home after a long absence, with fences to mend, bridges to build and a commitment to change he intends to keep.

Elle loves Christmas, and she is not about to let an arrogant Scrooge like Jack Frost ruin it for her. He might have her libido flashing like fairy lights, but she’s been burned by a guy on the rebound before and she doesn’t need a Boxing Day-bargain boyfriend.

But there’s more than a little magic in mistletoe, and it may just see Elle and Jack ringing in a very happy new year.

Run, Run, Rudolph – a list of alternative Christmas movies

by Kate

In my family, we grew up watching the Christmas specials: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and all the rest. It was a tradition – we’d get half of a cup of (non-alcoholic) egg nog and settle in.

While there’s something sweetly nostalgic about re-watching those childhood favourites, sometimes they just don’t cut it with an (almost all) adult audience. So as we have grown, so too has our Christmas list to include what some might call ‘alterna-Christmas’, or movies that classify as a Christmas film solely because Christmas appears, however tangentially, in the movie. Looking for something seasonal to watch that won’t set your sweet tooth aflame? Check these out:

The Obvious Choice:

bad santaObvious, yes, but that doesn’t mean wrong. For black humour and shock laughs, you just can’t go past Bad Santa. Maybe not for watching with Grandma. Unless your Grandma is really cool, in which case, definitely watch it with Grandma.


 

The Shane Black Trio:

Lethal_weapon1long kiss goodnightBasic CMYKDirector Shane Black loves himself a little Christmas action (not to be confused with Christmas action, if you know what I’m saying) and these are three classics that will only enhance your seasonal celebrations. My personal favourite is Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which features Robert Downey Jr and Val Kilmer in one of the best bro-mances of cinematic history.


 

The Classic Action Choice

Die_hardA Christmas classic – bonus, Die Hard 2 also takes place at Christmas. Yippee-Kay-Yay, Christmas celebrators.


The Christmas Comedy

MV5BMTc0ODg5NjYwNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDU5MzY0MQ@@._V1_SX640_SY720_The culmination of this double-fish-out-of-water classic comedy happens at Christmas, and that, folks, makes it an alternative (hilarious) Christmas choice.


The Horror, the Horror choiceblack christmas
It is crucial that you get the original Canadian 1970s version of this story, not the terrible 1990s remake. A spin on the whole ‘the caller is in the house!’ urban legend, this is sure to put a bit of spook into your spirit. Silent_Night_posterAnd, for those who like their horror a little gore-friendly, check out this horror romp about a serial killing Santa.


 

The Crowd Pleasercatch-me-if-you-can.12390A great choice for the whole family, with Leo playing a master con artist and Tom Hanks as the cop chasing him. Bonus side game of ‘spot the actress before she was famous’.


 

The Don’t Feed Them After Midnight ChoiceGremlins-PosterAlso known as the ‘show this to your kids early, or they’ll never really get it’ Christmas movie.


The No, Seriously, this is a great movie and deserves some recognition choice220px-MerryChristmasfilmPoster3
Based on the true story of the Christmas truce during World War I, Joyeux Noel (Merry Christmas) is a beautiful film that will not only stay with you for a long time, but will also raise the tone of your celebration, allowing you and yours to smugly refer to the subtitled film you saw over the holidays.


 

The Why Can’t I Quit You Choice

Muppet_christmas_carolIt was a childhood favourite, and it endures through adulthood. The once choice that is truly for the whole family, and the one film that represents Christmas for me.

(Got a choice? We’re always looking for something to add to the list!)

‘Tis the Season – for a bit of magic

magic-christmasThe weather outside might be frightful, but I think you’ll find Juliet Madison quite delightful!

1. Give us a Twitter-length description of your Christmas title, 12 DAVES OF CHRISTMAS.

12 Daves over 12 days – some sweet, some quirky, some downright dangerous. Will Abby find her grandma’s long lost love before Christmas?

2.       Why did you set your story at Christmas?

I’ve always wanted to write a Christmas story, and when the idea came to me to change 12 Days of Christmas to 12 Daves, I knew I had to write it.

3.       What is your favourite thing about Christmas time?

The nostalgia, connecting with loved ones, childhood memories, and the magic of believing in something beyond the everyday. Also – food.

4.       What do you hope Santa will leave you under the tree this year?

Henry Cavill.

henry-cavill-hd-wallpapersFailing that, a certain Christmas story to become a bestseller. 😉

5.       Finally, are your characters naughty or nice? 

Mostly nice, but Grandma Charlotte’s ghost is a little naughty. So are some of The Daves.


22839A beautiful, uplifting holiday story from bestselling author Juliet Madison about a lonely writer, her grandmother’s ghost, a road trip, and twelve different Daves.

Abby Solomon may write happy-ever-afters for a living, but doesn’t believe she’ll have her own. But then a surprise visit from her grandmother’s ghost sets her off on a journey she’ll never forget.

Grandma Charlotte wants to find her first love, Dave, who she mistakenly thought had died in World War II. A quick trawl through the Yellow Pages yields a list of twelve possibilities, and Abby and Charlotte set off on a Christmas road trip — twelve Daves over twelve days along the sun-drenched east coast of Australia.

With just over a week to make the meeting happen, Abby has to meet a dozen Daves — some sweet, some quirky, some downright dangerous — while trying to honour her book deadline and enduring the awkward challenges of having a ghost as a travelling companion.

But when she comes across a young doctor who looks like the hero in one of her novels, Abby has the chance to discover that true love transcends time and space, and that happy endings aren’t only to be found between the pages of a book.

‘Tis the Season – Country Christmas

r326211_1462163O’er the fields we go with Jennie Jones!

1. Give us a Twitter-length description of your Christmas title, 12 Days at Silver Bells House.

Christmas, no snow. A heatwave & a problem with Santa. Will mistletoe magic still work?

2. Why did you set your story at Christmas?

Because I believe in enchantment and Christmas is the time of year we can attempt to acknowledge everyone who means something vital to us, and even to those we don’t know.

3. What is your favourite thing about Christmas time?

The 12 day ritual. The whole run-up, that’s where the real excitement lies for me; plus the day itself with lots of wrapping paper flung around as gifts are given and received; and the sense of relaxation and rejuvenation as the holidays continue – with platefuls of food and fine-stemmed flutes of bubbly – with no regard for counting calories.

4. What do you hope Santa will leave you under the tree this year?

A huge doll house. Sindy doll is my personal fave, but I’d give her (my) doll house over to Barbie and Ken, so I can re-arrange their lives (and the furniture) until they come to their senses and Barbie cuts her golden locks to a short sexy bob, and Ken stops looking like an action He-Man and actually gets down to the action.

JennieJonesSindyDoll_lowres

5. Finally, are your characters naughty or nice?

They’re spicy.

Things happen in the bedroom and the door is open, but you won’t find Jamie or Kate from 12 Days at Silver Bells House anything other than active and provocative (they prefer to tease your senses…).


22819From the author of the internationally bestselling The House on Burra Burra Lane comes a Christmas story — country style.

Kate Singleton has twelve days to find herself. With Christmas Day and her thirtieth birthday approaching, the best thing a city-chic fashion designer who no longer has a raison d’etre can do is nullify herself in the country. With Chardonnay.

When trouble strikes, the country presents her with Jamie Knight — a gallant but uncommunicative He-Man who drives an excavator and arrives to rescue Kate, her shoes and her case of Chardonnay from a boggy field.

The adventure should be over — nothing but a good story to tell to her friends in the city — but her saviour turns out to also be an unexpected roommate, the new owner of Silver Bells House, Kate’s holiday home.

Forced together and dragged into the community Christmas spirit of the town, Kate and Jamie flounder their way through mistletoe, kissing games, carolling choirs, and a bone-deep yearning for community and acceptance.

Can the enchanting Silver Bells House and the holidays bind them together? Or will love get lost on Highway B23 back to the city?

December’s Got Your Holiday Reading Sorted

22837International bestselling author Rhian Cahill kicks off a steamy new holiday series about a very Christmassy company and the three directors who need more than a little mistletoe.


22838From Lee Christine, the critically acclaimed author of In Safe Hands, comes a tense, taut, urban romantic suspense about two lawyers, a high-profile divorce case and an attraction that even opposing counsels can’t shut down.


22836From the best-selling author of A Man Like Mike comes a new contemporary romance: he can buy anything he wants — except the perfect woman to help rebuild his family.


22835She came to Paris to forget about men, but the city of love has different plans for her…


22839And finally, one more Christmas title to really help you find that holiday spirit: A beautiful, uplifting holiday story from best-selling author Juliet Madison about a lonely writer, her grandmother’s ghost, a road trip, and twelve different Daves.


Have you caught up with the Sydney Housewives lately? Two titles release this month!

22818A strong man needs a strong woman, and Nella’s love is as strong as steel.


22817Sienna knows that she’s got a good thing going with her boyfriend, Charlie, but when he sets Sienna up with a very unusual gift accepting it will test all of their limits and the strength of their relationship.
(releases 18 December)

‘Tis the Season – For a Christmas Out of This World

christmas-robot-ornaments-gift-ideas-2012We’re dreaming of a White Christmas…with Ros Baxter.

1.    Give us a Twitter-length description of your Christmas title, White Christmas.

What if your only chance at survival was to seduce the man who broke your heart 10 years ago? A quick sci-fi bite; love, Xmas & apocalypse.

2.    Why did you set your story at Christmas?

Post-Apocalypse, the survivors of Earth are circling the universe in a series of space stations, looking for a new home.  They gave up on God after an alien race blew up their home planet (and who could blame them?), so no-one celebrates X-mas anymore. But when two old flames crash-land on a hostile planet on Christmas Eve, it’s a second chance to reconnect. Christmas is a time for people to come together, in love and understanding, and that’s what this story is about.

3.    What is your favourite thing about Christmas time?

Putting up the tree (except the bit where I have to referee fights among the small people about whose it is to put up the angel!).

4.    What do you hope Santa will leave you under the tree this year?

A big box of sleep-in.

5.    Finally, are your characters naughty or nice?

Oh dear, they are very very dirty. Who knew an ice-cave on a frozen planet could get so hot????


19729What if your only chance at survival was to seduce the man who broke your heart?

Seventeen years after the Apocalypse, Admiral-class Explorer Tabysha is caught up in a firefight and shot down over Tyver, where ice vampires hunt human warmth. Seeking shelter in an ice cave, she is instructed to stay put and await rescue. But after another ship crash-lands, and the Hunter Gatherers stalk its wounded pilot, Tabi breaks protocol.

When it turns out the survivor is the man who stole her heart then skipped out on her ten years before, it seems to Tabi that no good deed goes unpunished, and things can’t get any worse. But she’s so wrong.

As the Hunters pick up the escalating heat signature of the former lovers, Tabi has to tell Asha that there is only one way to repel the creatures stalking them.

And it involves picking up where they left off ten years before.