Feed Your Reader: A M/M romance and a Bound bind-up!

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A diva who lives for the spotlight, a sailor deeply in the closet, a love that will change them both.


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From hot author Nicole Flockton comes three steamy stories of powerful men discovering what they need the most…

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Hot Toddies: Nicole Flockton

NSFW content: please note that our ‘hot toddies’ series contains explicit language and (very) adult situations.

Here in Australia, the weather is getting colder. We’re dragging out the blankets and brewing up the cocoa, but it’s not doing the job. We need something hot.

Luckily, Escape artists have come to the rescue. They’ve provided some of the most scorching scenes from their books for us to enjoy. As the cold winds blow outside, we’ll be heating up with some ‘hot toddies’.

Winter is coming. And so our are heroes and heroines.


From Bound by their Love by Nicole Flockton

‘Second thoughts?’ he asked as he reached across and unclipped her seatbelt. His arm brushed her breasts, her nipples tightening in response.

Feeling brazen she reached out and ran a hand down the front of his trousers, feeling the evidence of his desire. ‘No, you?’

Jeff’s response was to growl low in his throat as he stepped away. The sound travelled down her spine, sending sparks of fire through her nerve endings. ‘You’re playing with fire, Angel.’

Greta laughed and stepped out of the car, the action bringing her flush against him. ‘Didn’t you know? I like fire. I like the heat and burn of it.’

‘Enough.’ Jeff reached past her and closed the door, then pushed her back against the warm metal. ‘I can show you all the fire you want. But I’d prefer to do it without an audience.’ He swooped in, taking her lips in a hard swift kiss. It was over before she could take it any further. He turned and walked away, leaving her panting against her car.

Giving herself a mental shake, she followed him into the depths of the resort. It took a moment for her eyes to adjust to the muted light of the lobby after the bright sunshine.

‘Where’s your room?’

‘This way.’ She grabbed his hand, all but dragging him through the lobby.

Her villa was close to the main building but it could’ve been ten miles away. The anticipation to have Jeff take her was overwhelming.

Finally they reached her door. Greta fumbled in her bag looking for where she’d put the key. The purse slipped when Jeff’s arm slid around her stomach, pulling her against him. Through the layers of clothes she could feel his erection. It was impossible to stop the shiver of anticipation shaking through her.

Her fingers closed over the card and she pulled it out, sliding it into the slot. The green light flared. Jeff’s hand moved from her stomach to the door handle, flinging it down and pushing the door open in one slick movement.

He propelled her forward before turning her in his arms in a blur of movement so quick she lost her breath.

‘I have to have you,’ he said as his hands moved to the zipper of her dress. ‘It’s going to be hard and fast but it will be the ride of your life.’

She bit her lip against the urge to cry out. Yes, hard and fast. Her purse dropped to the floor with a thump.

Cool air flowed across her exposed back. With a quick shimmy the dress fell from her shoulders and pooled at her feet. Greta couldn’t help but smile at the hiss of breath coming from Jeff. She was pleased she’d put on her sexy lingerie that morning.

She bent to take her shoes off.

‘Don’t.’

Greta looked up from beneath her lashes, her hand on the buckle of her sandal. ‘Don’t what?’

Jeff pulled his shirt from his pants and she caught a glimpse of a lightly tanned stomach. She wanted to see it all. ‘Don’t take your shoes off. Do you have any idea how sexy those shoes are?’

Greta straightened. His words were unexpected and a little scary. Standing there in only her shoes, bra and panties she felt exposed.

‘What?’

‘I saw you standing in the gift shop,’ Jeff paused as he divested himself of his shirt, throwing it to the ground. ‘So beautiful and confident. Your dress a powerful colour and your shoes like nothing I’d ever seen before. Delicate yet alluring.’

His explanation didn’t sound sinister, but still she wondered if this was a good idea.

‘Oh.’ What else could she say? She’d never had a guy tell her he wanted her because of her shoes.

A warm hand cupped her cheek. Jeff had moved until he was standing right in front of her. She kept her eyes firmly on his tanned chest.

Why did this encounter feel so different to all her other ones? Why did it feel like she was about to wade into uncharted waters? Why did all thoughts of work and her career seem so far away?

Heat emanated from him, warming her front and weakening her knees. He was impossible to resist and she needed to stop trying to make sense of what was happening between them. It was one afternoon.

‘Greta,’ he whispered her name. She looked up at him. ‘Fate threw you in my path. I hadn’t planned on going to the pearl farm today, but something compelled me. And that something led me to seeing you.’

She melted against him, laying her head on his chest. The thumping of his heart beneath her ears reassured her all would be okay.

Words weren’t needed between them. As if by an unspoken consent, they’d reached an agreement to take things slow. Savour each other and the joy they could bring to one another.

Jeff’s hands smoothed slow circles on her exposed skin. With each movement the tension within her dissipated, giving her the confidence to take charge.

Greta turned her head a fraction and kissed his warm flesh. She trailed her lips over his chest, her hands reaching down to the waistband of his trousers. In seconds she had the belt undone and was tackling the button and zipper of his pants. Slowly she lowered the metal tab, her fingers brushing his hard length, her lips now caressing his rough jaw.

‘You’re killing me here, Angel,’ he muttered, before grasping her chin and lifting it, bringing their lips colliding together. Desire went from a small smoulder to a fully-fledged five-alarm fire in seconds.


bound

From Nicole Flockton comes the intense, emotional conclusion of her bestselling Bound trilogy…

My book setting: New York, New York!

by Nicole Flockton

Have you ever gone to a city or country that you never in your wildest dreams imagined you would visit?

Back CameraIn my book Bound by His Desire my heroine, Pam, gets the opportunity to go to New York as part of her new job. Being saddled with her mum’s medical expenses, she never thought she’d get to travel the world. When she arrives in New York and goes to Times Square for the first time she asks our hero, Nick, to pinch her so she knows she’s not dreaming.

Pam’s reaction was my reaction when I went to New York in 2011 for the first time for the Romance Writers of America conference. I never thought in a million years I’d be standing in the middle of Times Square looking at the building where the ball drops on New Year’s Eve. Seeing all those video screens that flash continually day and night. Walking the streets that are constantly full of people and traffic.

Back CameraThere are so many sites to see in New York, and of course Pam and Nick had to visit the Statue of Liberty. Lady Liberty is awe-inspiring. Sitting on the ferry watching the statue become larger and larger is amazing, then getting onto the island and walking around her is humbling. She has stood the test of time, has seen many great things and witnessed one of the most tragic events of the 21st century. Lady Liberty looks over the river at a changed skyline now. I remember thinking that she must have been crying that fateful day in September. But she’d be proud of how her city has rebounded.

It’s hard to describe the energy and pace of New York. It really doesn’t sleep. It has a magic all of it’s own. And you really haven’t experienced life until you travel in the front seat of a yellow cab in rush-hour traffic. More cars than you can think of, and everyone honking their horn every second. Throw in a mass of pedestrians and you have a recipe for disaster—or so you’d think, except it works. I experienced that adventure last year when I went back. It’s an experience I don’t plan on repeating and one I won’t ever forget. But it’s one I plan on using in another book in the future!

New York 2011 001


bound

The last thing he wants is an emotional attachment to his new assistant, but it might be the only thing he truly needs.

December Recipes: Grandma’s Chocolate Cake

by Nicole Flockton

When my brother and his wife and daughter came and visited me in Houston in December 2012 he told me every Christmas Eve he makes our Grandmother’s chocolate cake. It’s a very easy recipe and tastes awesome!

  • 2 Cups Self Raising Flower
  • 2 Cups Castor Sugar
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 250g Butter – Melted
  • 4 Eggs
  • 4tbs Cocoa
  • Method:

Pre-heat over at 250C

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth.

Pour mixture into greased cake tin and place in pre-heated oven until cooked in the centre.

Serve with vanilla ice cream.


 

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From Nicole Flockton comes the intense, emotional conclusion of her bestselling Bound trilogy…

Feed Your Reader – Early October Releases

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From Nicole Flockton comes the intense, emotional conclusion of her bestselling Bound trilogy…


 

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From Beverley Eikli: A dissolute rake, a virtuous lady, a ruthless society beauty and a missing plantation owner with secrets — just another day in Georgian England…


 

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The sinfully seductive Secret Confessions: Backstage finishes today with Jet: He’s never been into the chase, but there’s something about Charlie that just won’t let him go.

Try one of Escape’s Rising Stars of Romance – for Free!

Apple iBooks Australia is promoting the Rising Stars of Romance for the next two weeks, and many Escape Authors are featured. The best part? You can get the first book in one of their series for free!

Most of these titles are also free on Amazon AU. So check them out!

House on Burra Burra Lane – Jennie Jones

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Just ten days after her fresh start in the isolated Snowy Mountains, Samantha Walker trips over a three hundred pound pig and lands in the arms of Dr. Ethan Granger — and the firing line for gossip. It was hardly a ‘date’ but sparks of the sensual kind are difficult to smother in a community of only 87 people. Now there’s a bet running on how long she’ll stay and what she’ll get up to while she’s in town.

Ethan has his own issues — Sammy’s presence in his childhood home brings with it painful recollections of family scandals and a bad boy youth. When the gossip around them heightens, his life is suddenly a deck of cards spread on the table for all to see. Then Sammy’s past catches up with her… and it looks like all bets are off.

(iBooks)
(Amazon AU)


In Safe Hands – Lee Christine

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She thinks she needs him, but she doesn’t know the secrets he keeps…

Threatened with the publication of naked photographs taken in her law student days, defence attorney Allegra Greenwood enlists the help of former SAS Commander Luke Neilson, unaware of his involvement in her brother’s death in Afghanistan.

In a race to stop the photographs appearing on the Internet, Luke battles a hidden enemy, his growing feelings for Allegra, and his conscience, which demands he protect a fallen comrade’s sister. As the stakes increase and more sinister motives unfold, Luke not only has to fight to save her career, he has to fight to save her life.

(iBooks)
(Amazon AU)


Treasured Secrets – Kendall Talbot

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From Romantic Book of the Year winner Kendall Talbot comes an adrenaline-fuelled new series with sexy characters, exotic locations, and action-packed adventure.

The last place Rosalina expected the clue to a 700-year-old mystery to lead is back into the arms of Archer, the one man who broke her heart. But neither can solve the puzzle without the other, so together they set off on a new adventure, weaving from Tuscany’s underbelly to Archer’s luxurious yacht in the Greek Islands, trying to ignore the sparks that still fly unhindered between them.

Archer desperately wants to salvage the relationship he shattered years before, but fighting for Rosalina’s love soon takes a back seat to fighting for their lives. They aren’t the only one on the trail for the treasure, and their competition isn’t bothered by ethics and morals to achieve their goals. With evil close on their trail, and Archer wrestling with the remnants of a childhood tragedy, Rosalina begins to wonder if perhaps there are some secrets that were never meant to be revealed.

(iBooks)
(Amazon AU)


A Life Worth Living – Amanda Canham

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For lovers of Marion Lennox and Fiona Lowe comes a sweet, touching novel about secret desires and second chances, set in the intriguing world of sleep medicine.

Dr Cameron Lewis has been running from his past for a long time, so when a career opportunity opens up in his hometown of Brisbane, he takes it as a sign to move home and pick up the pieces of his life. But his vow to never have a child remains steadfast — it’s the one thing he can’t compromise on.

Nurse Stacey Carter has always craved a family of her own, and, following a bitter divorce and the death of her mother, she finally decides to make her dreams come true. She doesn’t need a man to help, but she can’t help thinking that the new doctor in the Sleep Medicine ward might be the ideal alternative…

(iBooks)
(Amazon AU)


Bound By Her Ring – Nicole Flockton

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Luciano Morelli has perfected a plan to get revenge on his runaway wife; confronting her at the opening gala for her father’s hotel. What he didn’t plan on was the flaring of emotions the moment he sees her again.

Jasmine Anderson has no memories of her husband. Her only link to him is the wedding rings she wears. Luciano storms back into her life announcing he is her husband, demanding she join him on a business trip or see her father’s livelihood crumble.

Passion reignites as they rediscover what first drew them together. But more than just memories are lost. Can their bond be rebuilt or will secrets infect their already shattered trust?

(iBooks)
(Amazon AU)


The Chieftain’s Curse – Frances Housden

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Nominated for the 2014 RITA Award for Best Historical Romance
Euan McArthur is a chieftain in need of an heir.

While still a young a warrior, Euan incites the fury of a witch. She retaliates with a curse that no wife will ever bear him an heir. As he buries his third wife and yet another bonnie stillborn son, Euan can no longer cast her words aside.

Morag Farquhar is a woman in need of sanctuary. With a young relative in tow, Morag flees the only home she has ever known to escape her brother, Baron of Wolfsdale, and find sanctuary in the MacArthur stronghold. Pronounced barren by a midwife, Morag is of little value to her family, but a Godsend to Euan, a lover he can’t kill by getting with child.

Years ago, chance drew them together, and tangled their lives in ways they could never have imagined. This time their destiny lies in their own hands, but it will take courage and strong hearts to see it through to the end.

(iBooks)
(Amazon AU)


Insecure – Ainslie Paton

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The worst thing a man can do is not be with the woman he loves.

She could have him sacked quicker than licking her lips. He could ruin her reputation with an email.

Jacinta was the CEO in waiting. Mace was the geek from IT. She had an office suite on the top floor. He worked in cubicle hell.

She had power, influence, her life mapped out. He had big dreams, and an appetite for risk.

They had one hot night written all over them, except the city conspired to turn that night into a weekend of unexpected passion and deep connection.

Will love be enough when Jacinta’s star falls and Mace’s dream takes flight, or will ambition, expectation and insecurity pull them apart?

(iBooks)
(Amazon AU)


By The Sword – Alison Stuart

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From award-winning author Alison Stuart comes a stirring historical trilogy about soldiers, spies, and the strong women that love them. 

England 1650. In the aftermath of the execution of the King, England totters once more on the brink of civil war. The country will be divided and lives lost as Charles II makes a last bid to regain his throne.

Kate Ashley finds her loyalty to the Parliamentary cause tested when she inherits responsibility for the estate of the Royalist Thornton family. To protect the people she cares about, she will need all her wits to restore its fortunes and fend off the ever-present threat of greedy neighbours.

Jonathan Thornton, exiled and hunted for his loyalty to the King’s cause now returns to England to garner support for the cause of the young King. Haunted by the demons of his past, Jonathan risks death at every turn and brings danger to those who love him. Finding Kate in his family home, he sees in her the hope for his future, and a chance at a life he doesn’t deserve.

In the aftermath of the Battle of Worcester, Jonathan must face his nemesis, and in turn, learn the secret that will change his life forever. But love is fragile in the face of history, and their lives are manipulated by events out of their control. What hope can one soldier and one woman hold in times like these?

(iBooks)
(Amazon AU)


The Secret Diary of Lady Catherine Bexley – Viveka Portman

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In the vein of Portia Da Costa and Charlotte Featherstone, Regency England gets just a bit raunchy in this novella about a gently-raised lady who wants to feel like a woman…

“I have never seen fit in my life to divulge my secrets in a diary, yet now, after today’s proceedings, I do…”

Lady Catherine Bexley is new to marriage and the marriage bed, but surely there must be more to it than this? Her husband is proper and perfunctory — treating her with careful respect but leaving her aching for more.

When she witnesses a gentleman disciplining a maid at a house party, the ache explodes into ravenous desire. She finds herself no longer willing to wait for her husband’s stiff and passionless attentions — and soon develops a naughty plan to finally get what she wants.

(iBooks)
(Amazon AU)


Words Once Spoken – Carly Drake

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YA meets high fantasy in this lush series debut about a girl who never quite fit in — and the reason why…

Evelyn might not love the confines of her village life, but she takes her small freedoms where she can get them. But everything changes when her parents decide it’s time for her to wed. Suddenly she loses her tunic and breeches, her bow, her horse, and gains rigid gowns, restrictive manners, and carriage rides.

The best way to escape is through her dreams, but as they become more and more real, Evelyn begins to worry that she is losing her grasp on reality. It is only when she makes two new friends that the truth is revealed: she is destined for far, far more than even she could imagine.

(iBooks)
(Amazon AU)


King Hall – Scarlett Dawn

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A fresh, meaty, sink-your-teeth-in-and-hold-on-tight new adult fantasy series kicks off with King Hall…

King Hall — where the Mysticals go to learn their craft, get their degrees, and transition into adulthood. And where four new Rulers will rise and meet their destinies.

Lily Ruckler is adept at one thing: survival. Born a Mystical hybrid, her mere existence is forbidden, but her nightmare is only about to start. Fluke, happenstance, and a deep personal loss finds Lily deeply entrenched with those who would destroy her simply for existing — The Mystical Kings. Being named future Queen of the Shifters shoves Lily into the spotlight, making her one of the most visible Mysticals in the world. But with risk comes a certain solace — her burgeoning friendships with the other three Rulers: a wicked Vampire, a wild-child Mage, and a playboy Elemental. Backed by their faith and trust, Lily begins to relax into her new life.

Then chaos erupts as the fragile peace between Commoners and Mysticals is broken, and suddenly Lily realises the greatest threat was never from within, and her fear takes on a new name: the Revolution.

(iBooks)
(Amazon AU)


Legend Beyond the Stars – SE Gilchrist

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Seeking redemption from a mission gone terribly wrong, Captain Alana Knight volunteers to aid a dangerous operation to transport colonists between Earth and alien traders. But on board the spaceship, she learns of a galactic war raging for power. A power that can be transformed into a terrible weapon.

When the colonists are betrayed and sold, Alana’s mission is re-defined. Nothing will stop her from keeping those in her care safe and finding a passage home. But her new captor is nothing like she expects…

Commander Tarak El Rajan is human, male and equally determined to retain his payload. With his race on the brink of extinction he is under strict orders to transport all females to the planet Isla for research purposes.

In a world of uncertainty, where the wrong decision could mean the death of an entire race, the last thing either of these two soldiers expects or needs is to fall in love.

(iBooks)
(Amazon AU)


Out of Rhythm – Shona Husk

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They might be one of the hottest up-and-coming bands in Australia, but the members of Selling the Sun have a lot to learn about life, love, sex, and each other.

Coming off a successful Australian tour and prestigious industry award nominations, Gemma Field’s life should be perfect. Instead her parents want her to get a real job, the second album isn’t coming together, and her best friend, Kirsten wants nothing to do with her.

Falling for her best friend was never going to make life easy. After an almost accidental drunken kiss almost six months ago, they aren’t even talking. Gemma can’t even talk about it with anyone – not her family, not her bandmates, not even the one person she used to share everything with. Instead she lives in a space of indecision and pain, and it’s affecting all aspects of her life, including the band.

Kirsten Vincent missed Gemma like crazy, but did she miss her as a friend or as something more? She’s confused and Gemma is hurt, and the consequences of a bad decision will affect more than their personal lives. Will another kiss, a sober kiss, a kiss with intent, do more damage, or could it be the start of something more?

(iBooks)
(Amazon AU)


The January Wish – Juliet Madison

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From Escape’s queen of ro-magic comedy comes a sweet, emotional contemporary romance about the pleasures of making a wish and seeing it come true.

When Dr Sylvia Greene makes an impromptu wish at the Tarrin’s Bay Wishing Festival, it’s the most out of character action she can think of. Hers is not a life of wishes. Hers is a controlled life of order, plans and preparation…of science and research and diagnosis and treatment. But her past has been weighing on her mind, and decisions made long ago have far-reaching consequences.

A week later, the daughter she secretly gave up for adoption at sixteen arrives in Sylvia’s small coastal town with secrets that can’t be shared. Between feelings of guilt, gossip, and a growing attraction to an emotionally unavailable colleague, Sylvia’s well-ordered life is soon thrown into chaos. She is no longer alone, and for the first time she feels as if her world is open to possibilities.

They say be careful what you wish for, but, for Sylvia, the unexpected consequences may be just what the doctor ordered.

(iBooks)
(Amazon AU)


Children of the Mist – Jenny Brigalow

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An original paranormal YA about an unconventional girl, an unconventional boy, their extraordinary transformations, and the secrets of the Scottish Highlands.

When skater girl Morven Smith turns sixteen, she develops boobs, acute appendicitis…and a pair of pointy teeth. While she is stunned by her metamorphosis into vampire, her best mate, the enigmatic Zest, is not. For the young werewolf, Morven’s transformation is an answer to his lonely prayers.

But they are unable to celebrate their mutual paranormalcy for long — there are too many dangers, too much suspicion, and too many questions. It’s only in Scotland that Morven can learn the truth about her past. But she discovers more than she bargained for when she meets her birth family — an ancient feud between vampires and werewolves. They may both be Children of the Mist, but only one species can survive.

(iBooks)
(Amazon AU)


Beckoning Blood – Daniel de Lorne

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A gripping,  blood-drenched saga about twin brothers, the men they love, and the enduring truth that true love never dies  — no matter how many times you kill it.

Thierry d’Arjou has but one escape from the daily misery of his work at a medieval abattoir — Etienne de Balthas. But keeping their love a secret triggers a bloody chain of events that condemns Thierry to a monstrous immortality. Thierry quickly learns that to survive his timeless exile, he must hide his sensitive heart from the man who both eases and ensures his loneliness…his twin brother.

Shaped by the fists of a brutal father, Olivier d’Arjou cares for only two things: his own pleasure and his twin. But their sadistic path through centuries is littered with old rivals and new foes, and Olivier must fight for what is rightfully his – Thierry, made immortal just for him.

(iBooks)
(Amazon AU)

October Releases – Mach 2

We introduced our first set of October releases a fortnight ago. Here are the fabulous second round October releases!

22347When Stars Collide
SE Gilchrist

The third full-length novel in SE Gilchrist’s bestselling erotic SF series mixes one sexy spy, a soldier looking for salvation and an unlikely mission to save the world.


22544Bound by His Desire
Nicole Flockton

From Nicole Flockton, author of Bound by Her Ring —the last thing he wants is an emotional attachment to his new assistant, but it might be the only thing he truly needs.


22349Jazz Baby
Tea Cooper

In the gritty underbelly of 1920s Sydney, a fresh-faced country girl is about to arrive in the big, dark city—and risk everything in the pursuit of her dreams.

Happy 4th of July!

july4thHappy Independence Day to all of our American readers and friends, and special fireworks go to our American Escape Artists:

18880Beth Fred!

19223Carly Drake!

21488JM Bray!

19228Katherine Givens!

19569MA Grant!

18615Nell Carson!

20378Robyn Rychards!

19726Sarah Daltry!

19913Scarlett Dawn!

19720Sunny Cole!

19222Tara Chevrestt!

19911Nicole Flockton! (Nicole is an Aussie living in the US)

Apple pie for everyone!

RT Post 4 – The Art of the Selfie

In which Kate stalks readers, reviewers, bloggers, and authors. No one is safe.

Today was a day for meeting people. Harlequin Australia set us up with an absolute mountain-load of free books on USB keys that we are giving away to readers, bloggers, reviewers, and random passers-by with the message that Australian romance rocks, and they need to get into it now.

But one of the best things about being at a romance conference for everyone involved in romance (because everyone involved in romance loves reading romance, and everyone is enthusiastic about romance) is meeting favourite authors.

Oh, boy, did I meet some favourites!

Just from today:

Me, Keri Arthur and Escape Artist Donna Maree Hanson! (check out Donna's squid necklace)

Me, Keri Arthur and Escape Artist Donna Maree Hanson! (check out Donna’s squid necklace)

Escape Artist Nicole Flockton

Escape Artist Nicole Flockton

Rachel Vincent and I. I also got sneak peeks at the covers for her upcoming series and they look AMAZING!

Rachel Vincent and I. I also got sneak peeks at the covers for her upcoming series and they look AMAZING!

Escape Artists Rhian Cahill, Sami Lee and fellow International Heat author Lila Dubois

Escape Artists Rhian Cahill, Sami Lee and fellow International Heat author Lila Dubois

Victoria Dahl (squee! I love her so much!)

Victoria Dahl (squee! I love her so much!)

Megan Hart (who is *so* gracious)

Megan Hart (who is *so* gracious)

Zoe Archer and Nico Russo, a truly awesome couple who write truly awesome books. Check out Zoe's Blades of the Rose series for fab, diverse action-adventure romance

Zoe Archer and Nico Russo, a truly awesome couple who write truly awesome books. Check out Zoe’s Blades of the Rose series for fab, diverse action-adventure romance

Not to get all hipster or anything, but I've loved Larissa Ione since she was writing for Secrets. Yes, that makes me a better fan than you.

Not to get all hipster or anything, but I’ve loved Larissa Ione since she was writing for Secrets. Yes, that makes me a better fan than you.

Courney Frickin' Milan, everybody. *And* she knew who I was from Twitter. I just about died.

Courney Frickin’ Milan, everybody. *And* she knew who I was from Twitter. I just about died.

There will be more photos from the Giant Book Fair tomorrow, so be prepared.

One of the things I highly recommend to future RT attendees is to take part in the games sessions. They’re much more low key, a lot of fun, and a great way to meet people and authors alike, as everyone is interacting with everyone else. I hooked up with Gabby and Rudi from Orchids and Peach Cocktails, and headed up to Bad Boy Bingo! , wherein if you won Bingo, you had to read a dirty passage from one of the attending authors’ books out loud. I, who never win anything, won a Bingo on the first go-round, and had to read from Megan Hart’s Broken.

I don’t know if you’ve read Broken (you totally should), but it’s not the easiest book to read out loud. Luckily, after the first round, we had a special guest, who came to do our reading for us:

Shane

Shane

That, right there in the yellow shirt, is a cover model. And he started reading the passages for us.

First, he did it from the front. Then he did it from the middle.

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An equal opportunity for appreciation of fine literary readings.

And then, ladies and gentlemen, he did it without his shirt.

Damn fine literary readings.

Damn fine literary readings.

Poor man was blushing all over the place by the time he finished, but he was much applauded for his efforts.

Next up: Bourbon Street!

Don’t You Forget About Me…

Have you ever wondered why amnesia stories are so popular in romance and why they work so darned well? All of us have things in our life that we treasure and others that we wish we could forget, but amnesia stories push that concept to the edge. Let’s hear what three Escape authors have to say on the subject.

Ms Rogers029+ copyNina Blake, author of Forget Me Not

What drew you to write an amnesia story?

I’ve always been drawn to extremes and amnesia is an extreme. On one hand it’s much more rare than we’ve been led to believe by movies and the media but, on the other hand, the reason it’s in the movies is because it’s so fascinating and opens up so many questions. What would it be like to wake up and have no idea where you are, where you’ve been or who you are? How would you feel if you couldn’t recognise anyone, for there to be no familiar faces? And how would it feel for the people who care about you?

Confession time – when I wrote Forget Me Not, I didn’t think I was writing an amnesia story, silly though that sounds. For me, the book was based on my love for my husband. Sometimes I feel a stab of fear if I think about what it would be like to lose him and that’s where the story came from. I wondered what would happen if you lost the person you loved but then had the chance to have them back again? What if they were different? What if they didn’t want you any more?

Why is it that music features strongly in Forget Me Not?

I always have music playing when I write. That may be one reason. The Beatles song Oh Darlin’ plays a significant role because when that song is played in the story, it’s a turning point for my heroine, Claire. She realises she can never have her husband back because whether his memory returns or not, he’s still going to leave her. Also, this is another area where my husband inspired me because he’s an expert in useless information and rock trivia. I’m still not sure if it’s a good or a bad thing when he knows all the answers on Rockwiz!

Speaking of amnesia, what would you like to forget?

I wish I could forget how bad I was at sport as a kid. I couldn’t run, catch or throw. I still can’t! School sports carnival day was a killer. Everyone had to participate in at least one event so every year I had to go in the running race and every year I came second last. I was always grateful there was one girl who was worse than me and she was always behind me.

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Elise K. Ackers, author of Unforgettable.

Amnesia can sometimes giveElise K. Ackers a person a second chance. Did clearing your character’s mental slate give them an opportunity for change?

In Unforgettable, Connor Abbott’s head injury wipes years from his life. He loses the successes and trials of friends and family, milestones and setbacks at work, and all conscious trace of the woman he loved. But what first appears as a tragedy soon transforms into a second chance. Not just for Connor, but for the woman who wishes she could forget him.

Connor’s supervisor, Emma Kitchener, has a curious amount of familiarity with his life, but when he asks for her help all she can offer are filtered truths.

Before Connor’s accident, the pair were secretly in love but their relationship ended when he caught her out in a lie and couldn’t forgive the deception. Now they’re drawn to one another again and Emma’s facing an ethical dilemma: protect her secret and lie her way into a happy ever after, or confess and lose him again?

In Unforgettable, the amnesia trope is a much longed for reset button. It’s an opportunity to change behaviour, and to better navigate a path already travelled before. Connor’s mental slate was cleared, but his emotional one was not. Emma still resonates with him, and without all the mistakes of their past clouding his judgement, he has the opportunity to change what it will take for him to walk away.

What drew you to write a story with amnesia?

The amnesia trope is an exciting one because of the gross imbalance of power. One person is armed with the past, one is not. One person can move forward having learned from previous mistakes, and one is in many ways starting again. Writing Unforgettable taught me that there can be many victims of a single head injury, and many opportunities for self-discovery.

Amnesia gave my characters a second chance, but there was still an enormous temptation to let history repeat itself. In Emma’s case, she was responsible for rebuilding Connor’s sense of identity. That level of responsibility intrigued me. Add in that an ex is in the driver’s seat, and the stakes become even higher!

What memory/memories would you least like to lose?

So much of my past is backed up on hard drives – pictures, videos, diaries, stories – and I have a close circle of friends and family who could put the most important pieces of my life back together with me. So maybe my ideas. Plans for my life. Books yet to be written. Complex outlines stored in my head that I would be bereft to lose. There are so many of them and I’m so passionately attached to each – it would be losing a part of myself that nobody could help me get back.

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Nicole-7502-LR-ColorNicole Flockton, author of Bound By Her Ring

What drew you to write a story with amnesia?

I wouldn’t say I was drawn to writing a story with an amnesia trope more that it found me. I was just starting out on my writing journey and I had an image of a woman dressed in a gorgeous dress in a room surrounded by people but alone, standing apart from the party going on around her. Immediately I was asking the question why? Why is she standing alone? Why isn’t she joining in with the festivities?

The character of Jasmine and her amnesia evolved from there—she was alone because her husband wasn’t there, standing by her side and the reason he wasn’t there was because she couldn’t remember him, and it seemed no one else did either.

But standing on the steps of the ballroom was a sexy man impeccably dressed in a tux watching her. He didn’t look happy to see her, but he knew he wanted to get close to her again.

With those thoughts and images not leaving me alone, Bound by Her Ring was born.

Do you like amnesia as a trope?

Yes, I have to say amnesia stories have always been a favourite of mine to read. The characters can, like Elise said, start over. They have the opportunity to be a better person. To change their destiny. One of my all time favourite books is a book by Sandra Marton called “The Second Mrs Adams”, the characters were on the verge of a divorce until the heroine lost her memory and turned back into the woman she was when she first met the hero. Of course, she had changed her personality on the advice of another woman who wanted the hero for herself. It’s a book I can read over and over again.

I also remember, way back in the late ‘80’s amnesia was a great tool for the hero to ‘trick’ the heroine into thinking they were married so he could achieve his goal of having her. Amnesia is such a great plot device. I think I might have to write another one!

What memory/memories would you most like to lose?

Oh there are so many things I’d like to forget. I’ve done many an embarrassing thing. One memory could be when I followed my school girl crush onto the dance floor at a school dance, and then having him leave me standing on the dance floor and all the cool kids snickering at me.

Or it could be the time when I was in 7th grade and it was the end of 1st term assembly and the Principal announced the names of students who had improved academically during the term. Naïve me thought, when my name was called, I was going to get a certificate—umm no. I walked up and the Principal took pity on me and shook my hand, but man I wish I could relive that day and just keep sitting on my butt.

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