Works Well With Others…5 Reasons to Seek Out Group Projects

by Cate Ellink

22584I’ve had the pleasure lately to be involved in a few group efforts. Each has been a unique experience because of the different people involved changing the dynamics.

No matter what the dynamics, here are a few of the reasons why I enjoy these experiences.

  1. Brainstorming sessions are heaps of fun. You never know what you, or someone else, might come up with. Someone’s idea might spark something really crazy in your mind.
  2. You never really know people until you work with them. Writers are notorious introverts, so it’s not easy to get to know us. But working in a group allows for interaction, communication, and an online form of ‘bonding’. You cyber-meet, sometimes become friends, with people you may never have met otherwise. You’re working towards a common goal, which immediately gives you something in common – that’s great for introverts.
  3. You learn. My writing always improves. Sometimes it’s because of someone in the group’s feedback. Sometimes it’s watching how another works with critique. Other times it’s learning how people develop stories. Or how much importance some writers place on factors you had dismissed, or hadn’t thought of. There’s always something to learn.
  4. You’re exposed to story ideas/characters you’d never have thought of yourself. Take Lana from the Sydney Housewives. I would never have thought of, let alone tackled, a character who was an older woman who loved young men. Yet that was my task. It was challenging. Lana stretched my writing ability and my imagination. I had to work with a character a long way outside of my experience. She was a challenge I’d never have had if I hadn’t agreed to the project.
  5. You share the promo with others. Promo makes me shudder, sweat, wriggle and squirm. When you can promo in a group, it takes the pressure off. I’m not shoving my book down people’s throats…I’m sharing our group project with the world.

That’s why I love group projects. Do you like group projects, or reading books from group projects?

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.

Eleven women are members of the influential Double Diamond Dinner Club. They are wealthy, elegant, poised and constantly in the public eye. But what goes on behind closed doors, in the private homes and parties where the cameras and paparazzi aren’t welcome?

Each woman has everything to lose if their fellow members learn of their needs, desires, and bedroom inclinations.

Eleven stories from eleven of Australia’s hottest authors — a scandalous, sexy collection that uncovers the privileged lives of Sydney’s affluent housewives: their work, their families, their friends and their men. Nothing is hidden, nothing is forbidden — and nothing will ever be the same.

Featuring: Rhian Cahill, Cate Ellink, Cathleen Ross, Tamsin Baker, Lexxie Couper, Shona Husk, Keziah Hill, Viveka Portman, Christina Phillips, Mel Teshco and Tracey O’Hara!

November is Naughty *and* Nice!

New releases!

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

Contemporary/Holiday/Rural romance, heat level: sensual

22578From the talented and versatile Ros Baxter comes the first full-length novel in her sexy, engaging, groundbreaking SF Romance series.

When everything else is gone, all you have is hope.

SF Romance, heat level: steamy

22586From the internationally best-selling, award-winning Chieftain series comes a Romeo and Juliet style Christmas novella with a Scottish twist. A bad boy highlander is about to meet his match…

Historical Romance: Scottish/Holiday romance, heat level: steamy

22579From 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.

New Adult/Action & Adventure romance, heat level: sensual

22580They’ve been colleagues, allies and best friends forever, but he wants more — and he’s not above using the magic of the Christmas season to get it.

Contemporary/Holiday romance, heat level: sweet

are you caught up on the Sydney Housewives? Meet Lana – available this week.

22584Meet the Housewives of Sydney. They are wealthy, elegant, poised, and constantly in the public eye. But what goes on behind closed doors, in the private homes and parties where the cameras and paparazzi aren’t welcome? Delve into the most personal details of their relationships, their friendships and their lives. The only question is: can you handle the heat?

Happy Reading!

#SydneyWives – Luscious Lana

(reblogged from AusRomToday, where J’aimee is running an amazing competition!)

Tell us a little more about your housewife, Lana:
Lana had to work hard to achieve her success and status; she never forgets that even if others do. She’s loyal, independent, strong-minded, but fair. She lives life her way. She loves young men and has no shame about her flirting or her sexual habits. She treats men well, but only for a short time.

What inspired Lana’s story:
I had to create Lana from these instructions: “A once famous soap star who is into toy boys. Big flirt who makes eyes at all males in her vicinity especially the young handsome ones”. I wanted her to feel real, so I started looking around at famous people who had some of the characteristics I thought Lana needed – Samantha from Sex and the City, Kerri-Ann Kennerley, the late Charlotte Dawson. These women are all strong, independent, attractive, and they flirt. So I created Lana using bits of them as inspiration. The rest is all my crazy, warped mind!

What was your biggest challenge in writing Lana’s story?
At one point, reality overtook fantasy. I realised Lana was about my age, and she was picking up young men who were just older than my nephew. I got creeped out and it showed in my writing. A friend asked me what happened, and I had to go back and fall in love with the fantasy of Lana and forget reality. It was a very important thing to learn – we’re writing fantasy! Plus I was a bit overawed by the company I’m keeping with this series. There are authors here who I look up to and admire, whose careers I’ve watched grow.

Why will we love Lana?
To love Lana, you have to buy into the fantasy. Forget reality. Focus on a strong woman who is doing what she wants to do. A woman who isn’t hurting anyone. A woman enjoying the life she’s made for herself. A woman who takes what she wants and enjoys herself. Let yourself fall into a world of fantasy, fame, money and sex.

The Housewives of Sydney series promises that we’ll “find out what goes on behind the doors of the most exclusive addresses in the country”. What was the appeal of joining this series? Similarly, what has been the biggest challenge?
The appeal and the biggest challenge are probably the same thing for me – working with the 10 other authors and Kate Cuthbert. When I worked with many of these authors before, my writing went from sub-standard to publishable – that’s how much I learned and how much they shared. I wanted that again – the camaraderie, the tips, and learning from being in discussions with these more experienced writers. They give out gold nuggets without even noticing!

Another appeal for the series was that it’s a brilliant idea. Kate is visionary – who else would think of a secret confession series? To be invited took my breath away. How could you ever say ‘no’?

The challenge was holding my own when I wasn’t sure I belonged. Within a few days, some authors had stories, characters and motivations developed. I was still in shock after reading my instructions and trying to think what I knew about fame, riches and toy boys! I had to stick to my writing process and believe in my writing process. That was a challenge.

Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. I learned so much, again. Working with more experienced authors is priceless.


Secret Confessions: Meet Lana

This housewife is a woman who knows what she wants and makes sure she gets it. Public opinion has little impact on her life, her choices or her actions. She’s supremely confident, fiercely independent, and thoroughly individual. She may not agree with the choices of others, but she’s all about letting people live the lives they want.

Meet Lana. She’s available today.

22584Can’t get enough?

The Housewives Lounge – excerpts, behind the scenes details, chatter.

Which Housewife Are You? – take the quiz and find out!

Secret Confessions: Sydney Housewives – meet the other housewives, pre-order, links.

And don’t miss out on the amazing competition AusRomToday is running – five copies of each Housewife Title to win, and a fantastic, Sydney-focused major prize!


#SydneyWives – Exclusive Excerpt: Lana

22584As they neared her wharfside apartment, she drew Tom to her side, tucking close to
him. “I’d like to invite you inside…”

He blushed a deep crimson and looked out over the inky black water and the
twinkling lights of the harbour. He shifted his feet and slowly withdrew his arm from hers,
although he still stood close enough she was warmed by his body heat.

“Lana, ummm, I’ve heard, ummm, of your, ummm…”

With her heart melting at his quiet fight for courtesy, she relieved him of his struggle.
“No doubt you’ve heard of my desire for young waiters as dessert?” She lifted her brow and watched as he gulped hard and then tried to look up and meet her gaze. “It’s okay, Tom. You can just walk me home. It’s not compulsory to come inside.” She rested her hand against his forearm, lightly, with a no pressure touch.

“Oh, no. I want to come inside.” He turned crimson again but this time he maintained her gaze. She didn’t imagine it was easy, but he managed.

“You’ve never been with a woman before?” Her words were a gentle caress against
his ear as she leaned close to whisper.

“Not like you. Just girls at uni.” The words seemed to choke him up as they slowly
tumbled from his throat.

“And you’ve heard rumours about me?”


“And you’re feeling intimidated, scared, concerned, excited, quite overwhelmed.”

His eyes widened as she spoke each emotion, as if he was surprised she could read him so well.

She pressed her mouth to the side of his, right where his lips met. After a few
seconds of pressure, she flicked her tongue against the seam and then stepped away from him.

“I enjoy sex. I’m not asking for a relationship. When the morning comes, it’s over. I enjoy young men like you because they’re enthusiastic and eager. I will never do anything to harm you. I will not laugh at you, or expect more than you can give me.”

She waited until the words were processed and he looked at her. “Your invitation to join me still stands but the decision is entirely yours. Thank you for escorting me home, Tom. I appreciate your kindness. Give my regards to your mother.” She smiled, turned and walked to the door of her apartment complex.

She opened the door and stepped through, turning to wave, only to find Tom on her heels.

“I’d like to join you.” His words were softly spoken but there was the strength of commitment behind them. She smiled, slipped her hand into his, and led him to her apartment.

Win a copy of Lana go on over to the Housewives Lounge to answer a trivia question to go into the draw.

The trivia question is –
In Virginia, the first in the #SydneyWives series, what meal does Carter prepare for Virginia to serve at her dinner party with the rest of the Sydney Housewives?

For more, check out our exclusive Housewive Lounge on Facebook. You’ll find longer excerpts, behind-the-scenes chatter, and conversation with the author.

To find out more about the #SydneyWives series, click here.

You can also take our Which Housewife are You Quiz (Kate is totally Meaghan)

Lana is available for pre-order now and will be released on Thursday of this week.

Meet the Housewives of Sydney. They are wealthy, elegant, poised, and constantly in the public eye. But what goes on behind closed doors, in the private homes and parties where the cameras and paparazzi aren’t welcome? Delve into the most personal details of their relationships, their friendships and their lives. The only question is: can you handle the heat?

Lana lives her life by her own rules – and she has very few. What she wants, she goes for, and she very rarely fails. So when a young, handsome waiter at her favourite restaurant catches her eye, she has no hesitation in asking him to escort her home.

But one night of passion opens up exciting new possibilities, and a chance for Lana to enact one of her deepest, most illicit fantasies.