Feed Your Reader: Triplets Looking for Trouble

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They’re beautiful, accomplished, and they have identical interests…

In their spare time, identical triplets the Farris sisters work together to solve cold cases. Lizzie uses her skills as a Criminal Profiler, Nina her Scenes of Crime Officer experience, and Carrie assists through her work as a both a Forensic Scientist and Forensic Anthropologist.

Romantic and idealistic, Lizzie is picky about men. But despite the good-natured teasing of her sisters, she refuses to settle for anything less than ‘The One’. She loves her life, her job as both a profiler and a university lecturer, and her sisters, and won’t make changes for anything less. If that makes her unrealistic, then so be it.

Gabe Montcoeur has just moved across Australia from Perth to Cairns and starts a job as a journalism teacher at Cairns University: the same university where Elizabeth Farris works. On the surface, the move seems innocent, but he has an ulterior motive. Gabe wants to elicit the aid of the Farris sisters in solving the murder of his family members, and the only way to circumvent their notorious ‘no contact’ policy is to reach out to them in person.

But when Gabe meets Lizzie for the first time, the attraction is instantaneous — and mutual. The deeper they fall into each other, however, the more guilty Gabe feels about his real motivation for getting close. Lizzie wants the real deal, the one, true love — can Gabe ever offer her the future she deserves if he keeps holding on so tightly to the past?

Feed Your Reader: Opal Miner v Paleontologist

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A charming adventurer. A pragmatic paleontologist. A hundred-million-year-old treasure buried in the Australian outback.

The last person Gemma Stephens expects to meet in the tiny, remote, opal-mining town of Rainbow Cliffs is Jamie Coltrane, her university boyfriend who chose his past over their potential future. Now, seven years later, he is the only obstacle between her and the goal she has been pursuing tirelessly since he left. The goal that means everything for her future and that of her six-year-old son.

Jamie has long outgrown the wanderlust that caused him to leave Gemma, and he and his father have settled into Rainbow Cliffs, making a living out of opal mining and running the only accommodation in town. But now a big find — a once-in-a-lifetime find — has opened up opportunities that Jamie never thought possible. Opportunities that mean everything for his father and himself.

Fate may have thrown them back together, but this is no happy reunion. There is only one fossil, and there can be only one winner in this battle between preservation and prosperity. Gemma and Jamie may have the chance to find true love — or be torn apart, this time forever.

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Marilyn Forsyth Uncovered

Tell me a bit about Falling in Love Again. How did it come into being? What was your Eureka! moment?

I read an article about Eric, an opalized pliosaur on exhibition at the Australian Museum, and went to check him out in person. (Although not near as large nor as spectacular as Gracie, the plesiosaur in my story, he is quite beautiful.) It broke my heart to learn that finds like this are not uncommon in opal fields, but that the skeletons are usually broken up to sell off as individual opals because they are worth more than the fossil as a whole. That idea as a source of conflict between two characters really appealed to me, and from this small beginning Falling in Love Again came into being.

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Give us a little tease of the relationship between Gemma and Jamie. How did that come about in your head and subsequently the book?

My favourite romance trope is Lovers Reunited and Gemma and Jamie were the perfect pair for this story. They fell madly in love at university and had a wonderful six months together; Gemma presumed their love would lead to marriage, but Jamie had an obligation to fulfil to his widowed father before he could even contemplate a permanent relationship. Hence the breakup. Seven years later, when they meet up unexpectedly, all the old feelings come rushing back for the both of them. Now, though, they have other major problems to contend with, not the least being Gemma’s abusive ex-husband who is also after the fossil.

What came first: the plot or the characters? What did you find more difficult to write?

Once I began researching, the plot almost wrote itself for this story (that doesn’t happen nearly enough! 😊). What I loved about writing Falling in Love Again was fleshing out all the characters—not just Gemma and Jamie, but Jamie’s caring dad and his dad’s lovely lady friend, as well as the narcissistic ex-husband. Once I knew where they were all coming from I had a lot of fun with all of them.

What draws you to Gemma’s qualities as a heroine?

Gemma has suffered a lot of tragedy in her life. Her abusive relationship with her ex was her lowest point, but from it she eventually emerges as a strong woman who knows exactly what she wants. I’m grateful I’ve never had to cope with any of her particular trials, but I do know women who have. I have so much admiration for them; they need to be lauded as life’s survivors.

And Jamie’s as a hero?

Ahhh, Jamie (sigh). Okay, I’ll admit it: I kind of got jealous of just how much Jamie loved Gemma (not that I should, with a lovely husband like mine 😊). But I love the way Jamie is so protective of Gemma and the very real angst he suffers over not being able to make her dream come true (by giving her Gracie).

What began your romance writing career? What drew you to outback romance in particular? Is it the genre you most enjoy reading in?

My enjoyment in writing short stories and having them published had run its course and I was looking to challenge myself further by writing a full-length novel. I joined RWAus and was put in touch with the Breathless in the Bush writing group. Among that group of wonderfully supportive ladies I met my two fabulous critique partners, Cassandra Samuels (Regency author) and Enisa Haines (Paranormal author) who continue to inspire and assist me in writing great stories.

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I was drawn to outback romance after reading some of our terrific Aussie Rural romance authors. Barbara Hannay and Rachael Johns are among my favourites, but there are SO many more (and way too many to name)! I love the Aussie flavour of RuRo and if we Aussie authors don’t celebrate our own uniqueness, who will??

I love to read outback and rural romance, but not exclusively. I read literally anything—from English classics to historicals, from fantasy to thrillers—as long as they have at least a little romance in them.

Where do you like to write? How do you write?

I have a gorgeous writing room—it’s painted peacock blue and filled with books. My mornings are usually spent dealing with emails, Facebook and other things that life throws at me, and I probably spend five afternoons a week writing. I am, however, an incredibly s-l-o-w writer so my weekly word count is not as high as I’d like. (My desk faces into a corner so that I won’t get distracted by any ‘goings-on’ outside.)

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Lighting a citrus candle is a ritual I always carry out before beginning to write and I like to listen to music with headphones on.

What are your favourite books? Romance or otherwise?

Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series is probably my all-time favourite read. I also love George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series. Both of these are so epic in scope, and have such a fantastic range of interesting characters and amazing plot-lines. I can only be in awe of the authors who create such masterpieces.

Can you give any advice to aspiring authors out there?

The best advice I can offer any aspiring author is the same advice that got me to where I am today. Don’t give up. There’ll be times when you will feel like doing just that, but PERSEVERE. The road to publication is littered (figuratively speaking) with the bodies of writers who gave up too soon. Don’t be one of those bodies.

I hear you are a bit of an adventurer yourself? What kind of travelling adventures do you go on? Are there any real-life places that serve as your inspiration for your novels?

Family and writing aside, my greatest pleasure in life is travelling. There’s a big wonderful world out there and I want to see as much of it as I can. I’ve been overseas often (I even worked in Harrods in London for a time), but Australia, too, has much to offer in terms of spectacular scenery and unique features.

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For my book The Farmer’s Perfect Match I spent some time in Broome and the Kimberley region, and for Falling in Love Again I visited Lightning Ridge and White Cliffs, a couple of opal mining towns. Google maps is fantastic for research but nothing beats actually travelling to a location to get a real ‘feel’ for it.

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A charming adventurer. A pragmatic paleontologist. A hundred-million-year-old treasure buried in the Australian outback.

The last person Gemma Stephens expects to meet in the tiny, remote, opal-mining town of Rainbow Cliffs is Jamie Coltrane, her university boyfriend who chose his past over their potential future. Now, seven years later, he is the only obstacle between her and the goal she has been pursuing tirelessly since he left. The goal that means everything for her future and that of her six-year-old son.

Jamie has long outgrown the wanderlust that caused him to leave Gemma, and he and his father have settled into Rainbow Cliffs, making a living out of opal mining and running the only accommodation in town. But now a big find — a once-in-a-lifetime find — has opened up opportunities that Jamie never thought possible. Opportunities that mean everything for his father and himself.

Fate may have thrown them back together, but this is no happy reunion. There is only one fossil, and there can be only one winner in this battle between preservation and prosperity. Gemma and Jamie may have the chance to find true love — or be torn apart, this time forever.

Feed Your Reader: A Bluestocking Historical!

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She wants to be one of the world’s first female doctors; romance is not in her plans.

1887: Too tall, too shy and too bookish for England, Lady Josephine moves to Holland to become one of the world’s first female doctors. With only one semester left, she has all but completed her studies when a power-hungry professor, intent on marrying her for her political connections, threatens to prevent her graduation. Together with the other Bluestockings, female comrades-in-study, she comes up with a daring, if somewhat unorthodox plan: acquire a fake fiancé to provide the protection and serenity she needs to pass her final exams.

But when her father sends her Lord Nicholas St. George, he is too much of everything: too handsome, too charming, too tall and too broad and too distracting for Josephine’s peace of mind. She needed someone to keep her professor at bay, not keep her from her work with temptations of long walks, laughing, and languorous kisses.

Just as it seems that Josephine might be able to have it all: a career as a pioneering female doctor and a true love match, everything falls apart and Josephine will find herself in danger of becoming a casualty in the battle between ambition and love.

Feed Your Reader: Next in a Best-selling Australian Historical Trilogy

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An Australian historical romance about a woman with a past who is fighting with everything she has for her future.

All of Sydney knows she was a convict and a prostitute, but Nellie Malone is now the manager of the ‘Tullamore’ Inn, a respectable businesswoman who makes her living on her brains and hard work – no longer on her back.

But when gentleman Harry Chester, fresh to the colonies, shows up at the Tullamore with papers of ownership and plans to collect rent, Nellie’s carefully controlled world is sent into a tailspin. She has barely enough money to keep her doors open, let alone pay an owner the rent he is demanding.

The Tullamore is Nellie’s home, her hope, and her freedom all tied up into one, and she will do anything to save it. Now, she has to decide what she is willing to sacrifice to hold on to the dreams for a future she’s only just beginning to realise.

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Where Love and Reality TV Collide

by Jacquie Underdown

Nothing can divide a room more than reality television.

You either love it, or you pretend not to.

For a people watcher (aka author) like myself, I’m firmly in the love camp. Give me The Block, MasterChef, Famer Wants a Wife or The Bachelor, and I’ll gladly have my eyes glued to the television every night of the week.

A nod, wink, and finger-gun salute at my reality-television-loving tribe.

As for the pretenders, I hear you loud and clear. Why the f***?

Yes, reality shows’ sets are staged, some of the storylines are scripted, but the one thing that remains constant is that the contestants are real. The emotional reactions are real.

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Image Source: Davey Lloyd/Instagram

Don’t scoff. I know some contestants might look like Prince Charming with a side order of yes please, or the latest swimsuit model for Sports Illustrated (The Bachelor, I’m looking at you.) But mostly, a closer-to-real-life diversity among contestants on reality television is not found anywhere else.

Only on MasterChef will you see a woman wearing a hijab. Only on Farmer Wants a Wife will you find a sixty-year-old Central Queensland farmer pursuing realistically shaped women his own age. And I’m not even starting on The Great Australian Bake Off or My Kitchen Rules.

Watching real people, who are placed under extreme pressure in a confined competitive environment, reacting in ways we ourselves might, holds a tremendous amount of appeal.

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Image source: Network Ten

Witnessing Richie’s face on the new season of The Bachelor, with all his adorable awkwardness, when Lady Eliza serenades him seconds after their first introduction is priceless viewing. An actor could not portray or improvise that raw, tender human expression and emotion, nor evoke in the viewer a sinking twisted feeling of embarrassment for having watched the interaction it in all its uncomfortable glory.

And no script-writer is going to come up with the line, ‘Wow! Olena is a total babe’ like Richie delivered making us marvel at his me-good-at-words skills.

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Image source: Network Ten

Okay, okay, that’s all ‘cool bananas’, but what’s this got to do with romance—specifically, a romance novel?

I’m glad you asked.

Let’s focus on reality dating shows, shall we? You know the ones—The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, Farmer Wants a Wife and Married at First Sight. If you look closely, each of these shows possess all the components you love in a romance novel:

  • a heroine we can love and sympathise with
  • a sexy hero who may not be perfect but he sure as hell is mouth-wateringly close
  • exotic settings
  • loads and loads of conflict.

Bless reality television for showing us so many tears, tantrums and tender moments. *sigh*

But don’t you ever want to know what happens behind the scenes?

Did last season’s Bachelor, Sam, really fall hopelessly in love with Snezana like we all hoped?

Did they sneak a moment to secretly get hot and heavy with each other between filming?

How did Snezana react when she saw the footage of Sam kissing the other beautiful contestants and whispering his sweet-nothings in their ear?

And when all the girls were getting sloshed on champagne, did any take it too far and have to secretly rush to the toilet to vomit?

Okay, maybe scratch that last one.

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The point is, I want to see what’s left on the cutting room floor. Or what didn’t even make it on to film in the first place. I want to know the motivations, secrets, regrets, excuses, and behind-the-scene squabbles. But mostly, I want all the romance and love found in a reality dating show dished up with a big bowl of happily-ever-after, wouldn’t you?

Of course you would. And your wish is my command.

*waves magic wand*

Enter the romance author. (That’s me!)

I’ve taken all of the best parts of reality television and a romance novel and mixed them up together. The result is Catch Me a Cowboy: a big, delightful mishmash of catty contestants who risk their hearts to win the love of a hunky man-mountain cowboy.

The best part is, nothing is left out. All the goodies are on show.

Eveeerrrrything! 😉

And that is how reality television and romance collide!


Crash into Jacquie’s new novel, Catch Me A Cowboy

29172The biggest risks yield the greatest gains—especially in the game of love.

Emily Wolfe, real estate agent to the elite, is tired of being alone. So when she gets a chance to compete on a reality dating show she decides to risk it all for love in the biggest game of her life.

The city girl is surprised how much she enjoys switching her high heels for cowboy boots and pedicures for mud treatments—and not the kind you find at a day spa. And she’s falling hard for Wil Parker, the sexy, rugged farmer at the centre of the show.

Amidst the chaos, tantrums and editing tape, the heat and passion between Emily and Wil reaches boiling point. But can they survive the imminent explosion, let alone the fallout?

Feed Your Reader: first Feb releases

Released February 5

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The second saga in the bestselling, Forever Evermore series continues with Chosen Fool, where deception runs deep and Caro’s transitioning life turns even more deadly…


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A brand new rural romance trilogy from a brand new voice: Shirley Wine introduces you to the secrets and scandals of Darkhaven