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A Night at the State Library–Books from Our Back Yard Launch

Queensland authors gathered on 1 July to celebrate the launch of a Queensland Writers Centre publication called Books from Our Back Yard. The publication is a glossy colour catalogue of fiction and non-fiction published by Queensland authors in the last year.

Nick Earls did the honours of launching the publication, making the point that if every Queenslander bought one of these books, we’d each sell 18,000 copies! That makes you think…

L-R Rachel Amphlett, Charlotte Nash, Christina Brooke, Tina Clark, Kendall Talbot, Noelle Clark, Helene Young

L-R Rachel Amphlett, Charlotte Nash, Christina Brooke, Tina Clark, Kendall Talbot, Noelle Clark, Helene Young

Australian Edition of LONDON’S LAST TRUE SCOUNDREL

Isn’t it gorgeous?
AustralianLondon's Last True Scoundrel

The Australian Romance Readers Convention 2013

A wonderful time was had by all!

Historical Author panel--the serious business of the convention.

Historical Author panel–the serious business of the convention.

As you can see, we historical authors can't remain serious for long!

As you can see, we historical authors can’t remain serious for long!

Gala Awards night! With Kristan Higgins and Nalini Singh looking glam in the foreground

Gala Awards night! With Kristan Higgins and Nalini Singh looking glam in the foreground

With dear friend and mulit-award winner of the night, Anna Campbell

With dear friend and mulit-award winner of the night, Anna Campbell

Collage for A DUCHESS TO REMEMBER

Collage for MAD ABOUT THE EARL

Romance Writers of Australia Conference

With my dear friends Anna Campbell & Denise Rossetti at the RWAus Conference

Monique Patterson (my editor) Me and Helen Breitwieser (my agent) at the RWAus Awards night

Australian Cover for DUCHESS

I love the way they’ve used violet to give the cover added richness. A slightly closer focus on the gorgeous lady too!

The beautiful Australian trade paperback will be out in August. Can’t wait!

Cover Love

Here is the gorgeous cover St. Martin’s have come up with for the third book in the Ministry of Marriage series, A DUCHESS TO REMEMBER.

I saw this cover so early in the writing process that I wrote it into the book–although Lady Cecily owns a string of rare pink pearls rather than the plain white ones. They play an important role in the plot… and in a certain love scene… But you’ll have to read the book to find out how!

Romance Writers of America New York Conference

New York had me at ‘hello’. I’m so in love with this city, I can’t wait for an excuse to go back there. I didn’t take many photos but here are some taken by dear friends PJ Ausdenmore and Joanne Lockyer.

With hundreds of other authors at the RWA Literacy signing

HEIRESS IN LOVE at St. Martin’s Press, sharing shelves with some of my favourite authors

With Susan Sey (top) and Donna Macmeans (right) at the Berkley party at Sardi’s

A Bandita Power Summit at the RITAs: L-R Joan Kayse, Christina Brooke, Susan Sey, Inara Scott

Christina Brooke with PJ Ausdenmore from Romance Dish

Mad About the Earl

In stores, January 3, 2012

Australian Cover for HEIRESS IN LOVE

I’m thrilled that the Australian edition of HEIRESS IN LOVE will be published by Penguin Australia in trade paperback concurrently with the United States edition. Here’s the Australian cover, below. A little different from the American one but equally gorgeous!

Collage for HEIRESS IN LOVE

Usually as I’m researching and a story is taking shape in my mind, I’ll find inspirational pictures and work on a collage at the same time. The amazing Jenny Crusie is an authority on collaging and you can find out more about the process here. I find the process can help the story crystallize in my head. The pictures are not meant to be strictly accurate representations of what goes on in the book. The arrangement of pictures often capture the essence of a character or the mood of a scene and inspire new directions in the story as well.

This is not the actual paste and cardboard collage I made for HEIRESS IN LOVE–it’s a lot neater–but the closest I could get to the real thing using Photoshop. Rufus Sewell was the inspiration for Constantine. Jane was in my head before I saw the perfect actor to embody the kind of physical characteristics I wanted–Claire Forlani from Meet Joe Black.

If you haven’t met Rufus Sewell before, I recommend Cold Comfort Farm, Middlemarch, Tristan + Isolde and Dangerous Beauty. For Constantine, I wanted a big, handsome man who could also turn on the charm. I always associate intelligence with true charm and Rufus Sewell has that in spades.

Some call collage creative procrastination and I’m always wary of spending too much time on extraneous ‘work’ that isn’t writing the book. However, this works for me. If you’re a writer, try it. You might find it works for you, too. And of course, it’s the perfect excuse to trawl through photographs of grand houses and good-looking men!

Coverflat

Japan

I left my handbag on the bullet train. It was returned to my hotel within 2 days, with all contents intact, even money! Only in Japan…

My husband and I took a whirlwind adventure away from our lovely children to Japan. Tokyo–Takayama–Kyoto with trips to Nikko and Nara. The culture, food, scenery and people were fascinating and astonishingly beautiful. Though teeming with tourists, the temples and shrines have a timeless tranquility that inspired awe. But as outsiders and on such a short excursion we feel we didn’t even scratch the surface of this deeply traditional, yet almost futuristically advanced, country.

New Zealand

The Lord of the Rings movies showcased New Zealand’s splendor magnificently, but nothing prepares you for how breathtaking the scenery is. A driving holiday is the perfect way to see New Zealand’s south island with its craggy snow-capped mountains, its glaciers and impossibly blue lakes and streams and the green, green valleys and farms.

There was the enchanting folly, Larnach Castle near Dunedin with its crenelated roofline and Alice in Wonderland gardens with a picturesque flock of geese waddling over them at will. A Scottish castle in New Zealand? It has a checkered history that the writer in me found surprising and absorbing. You can read more about Larnach Castle here.

A contrast, Queenstown seemed to be the home of extreme sports, from bungy jumping off bridges to go carts and speedboating adventures. The Author might have been close to casting up her accounts after one of those rides!

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