The Full List of 100 Books to WIN, supporting Townsville and surrounds with funds for flooding relief

Thrillers, romance, suspense, fantasy, contemporary, rural, memoir, historical and kids…. whatever you read, you’re sure to find something in this list, with plenty left over to fill your gift buying needs for a long time to come!

Here it is, the full list of 100 books up for grabs in the giant book raffle, raising much needed funds for flooding relief support for residents of Townsville and beyond. A huge thank you to all the Aussie authors who have donated their books to this cause and another round of applause to everyone who has already bought tickets in this competition. Your ticket money will be going straight to GIVIT, the charity coordinating the distribution of donations. You still have time to buy tickets, with 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes being drawn on Friday 29th March at 9am.

Without further ado… here they are.

Josephine Moon Three Gold Coins + The Gift of Life + The Beekeeper’s Secret +

The Chooclate Promise + The Tea Chest

Monica McInerney The Trip of a Lifetime
Lia Weston Those Pleasant Girls
Rachael Johns Lost Without You
Michelle Johnston Dustfall
Michaela Daphne Purlieu
Rachel Bailey The Finn Factor
Liz Byrski A Month of Sundays
Karen Viggers The Orchardist’s Daughter
Michael Trant Ridgeview Station
Christian White The Nowhere Child
Annie Seaton Diamond Sky
Lisa Ireland The Shape of Us
Anna Campbell A Scoundrel By Moonlight
Wendy J Dunn Falling Pomegranate Seeds
Barbara Hannay The Summer of Secrets
Kirsty Manning The Jade Lily
Darry Fraser The Widow of Ballarat
Tess Woods Love and Other Battles
Anna Daniels Girl In Between
Jane Gillespie Journey to Me
S.D. Wasley Downfall
Fiona Palmer Sisters and Brothers
Vanessa Carnevale The Florentine Bridge + The Memories that Make Us
Christine Wells The Juliet Code
Helene Young Return to Roseglen
Kali Napier The Secrets at Ocean’s Edge
Michelle Endersby Awakening Around Roses
Louise Guy A Life Worth Living
Emily Madden The Lost Pearl
Jodi L Perry Nineteen Letters
Louise Allen The Sister’s Song
Charlotte Nash Saving You + The Paris Wedding + The Horseman
Donna Cameron Beneath the Mother Tree
Kylie Ladd The Way Back
Fiona Lowe Home Fires
Sally Hepworth The Family Next Door + The Mother-in-law
Jay Ludowyke Carpathia
Lauren Charter The Lace Weaver
Nene Davis Whitethorne
Esther Campion The House of Second Chances
Beth Prentice Dangerous Deeds
Phillipa Nefri Clark The Stationmaster’s Cottage
Eliza Henry Jones P is for Pearl + Ache + In The Quiet
Rhonda Forest Two Heartbeats
Lisa Ireland The Shape of Us
Kelly Rimmer The Things We Cannot Say + Before I Let You Go
Pamela Cook The Crossroads
JoanneTracey Happy Ever After
T.M. Clarke Nature of the Lion +

(Child of Africa; and Slowly! Slowly!) (to go together)

Cass Moriarty Parting Words + The Promise Seed
Maggie Christensen A Model Wife
Joanna Nell The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village
Sandie Docker The Cottage at Rosella Cove
Lynne Leonhardt Finding Jasper
Sara Foster The Hidden Hours
Lily Malone Butterfly House: Who Killed the Bride?
Di Morrisey Arcadia
Robyn Cadwallader Book of Colours + The Anchoress
Amanda Hampson Sixty Summers
Jenn J McLeod A Place to Remember
Katherin Johnson Matryoshka
Kristine Charles Love Sabre
Alicia Tuckerman If I Tell You
Torre DeRoche The Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World
Terry L Probert Kundela + Voss: The Price of Innocence
John Purcell The Girl on the Page
Judy Nunn Sanctuary
Amanda Curtin Elemental
Cassie Hamer After the Party
Michelle Dalton (via Sarah Williams) Epona
Sarah Williams The Outback Governess
Rashida Murphy The Historian’s Daughter
Stephanie Parkyn Into the World11
Alissa Callen The Round Yard
Kerri Turner The Last Days of the Romanov Dancers
Candice Fox Hades + Gone By Midnight
JP Pomare Call Me Evie
Christopher Raja The Burning Elephant
Kirsten Alexander Half Moon Lake
Catherine Evans, Kim Petersen, Beth Prentice Untamed Destinies
Lea Davey Silworm Secrets + The Shack by the Bay

1st prize: 70 books

2nd prize: 20 books

3rd prize: 10 books

Word of Mouth TV appearance, and WIN a huge book pack!

I am delighted to be a featured author on Australia’s first online television series about food and books, Word of Mouth TV, hosted by Kate Forsyth and SL Mills!

Click HERE to watch!

Screen Shot 2018-11-18 at 7.38.46 pmKate, Sarah and I talk about the inspiration behind Three Gold Coins, the biggest challenges in writing the darker, difficult themes inside the story, and the absolute joys of Italian food and romantic heroes!

Kate serves up my scrumptious Tuscan white bean soup, we drink vino and I share the rather amazing moment that led to my big breakthrough into a writing career.

The whole episode is shot in Kate’s fabulous home in Sydney and we had a very long Italian feast indeed. (It is quite dark when we finish!)

You can also win a huge pack of my books, plus a copy of Matt Moran’s cookbook too.

Screen Shot 2018-11-18 at 7.43.33 pm Click HERE to find out how to win this bunch of delicious books.

Best of luck!

The Nash Agency 2018 Writers Retreat

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I am thrilled to be a part of this exciting retreat, offered by my literary agent Haylee Nash of The Nash Agency.

The Nash Agency Writer’s Retreat 2018

When: Monday 3rd September to Thursday 6th September

Where: Cedar Creek Lodges, Mt Tamborine, Gold Coast Hinterland, Queensland

The Nash Agency is pleased to offer our first writers’ retreat.

Open to aspiring, self-published and traditionally published authors, our writers’ retreat offers the chance to hone your craft through sessions with bestselling Australian authors and experienced literary agents, one-on-one consultations with principal agent and owner, Haylee Nash, and engaging and challenging group workshops, as well as offering the space to focus on your writing in the perfect setting.

Here is just some of what you can expect from The Nash Agency Writers’ Retreat 2018:

* Masterclass with top ten bestselling Australian author, Rachael Johns

* Masterclass with international bestselling author, Josephine Moon

* Learn from Alex Adsett about the role of an agent, the importance of copyright and how to understand a publishing contact

* Hear from Haylee Nash about the state of the Australian book market, current trends in publishing and what publishers are looking for

* Polish your pitch to give your manuscript the best chance of snagging an agent and/or publisher

* Partial manuscript appraisals (on three chapters and synopsis), including a one-page report and 15-minute consultation with Haylee Nash

Click here for more information on ticketing, accommodation and more details about the presenters.

I hope to see you there!

Jo

GenreCon Wrap-up

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I was at GenreCon in Brisbane on the weekend, just for a day on account of my young child, and sadly missed out on the cocktails and karaoke, which were responsible for a number of red eyes on the Saturday. I was in a bit of a state myself, actually, having just lost my beloved Golden Retriever, Goldie, and I had several vague conversations with people, where words simply would not make their way from my brain to my mouth. Apologies if you were on the receiving end of one of these uncomfortable conversations.

Here are the highlights from that day, during the moments I was actually engaged with life.

  • Chuck Wendig was a special guest at a session on planning and prioritising writing around the complications of life and gave a hilarious account of what it’s like to have multiple book contracts and a toddler running around while trying to work, something I can empathise with wholeheartedly. Gracie Macgregor was also a guest there and equally funny in her accounts of writing and motherhood.
  • It is always delightful to chat to the lovely and funny, Anna Campbell, who managed to cheer me up for a few minutes. Thanks, Anna.
  • I caught up with a former work colleague, a fellow editor where I worked at John Wiley & Sons, Victoria Steele, and her friend, romance writer, Christina Brooke.
  • The food. Can I just say how amazing the food was at GenreCon? Seriously. Great job.
  • I sat in on a workshop with Damon Cavalchini on preparing for reading from my book, The Tea Chest (out in April 2014). I picked up some great tips, including thinking about what I would do if it suddenly began to rain on me in the middle of my reading (has anyone created an Iddy-Biddy-Book-Umbrella?), and also, the benefit of having my own source of light, such as a book light.
  • And it’s always a delight to hear Kimberley Freeman (Dr Kim Wilkins) speak on all topics related to writing.

 

Well done to Meg Vann and Peter M Ball for organising such a great event. I look forward to staying for the festivities next year too.

Top 10 Romantic Films

The lovely Anna Campbell recently guest blogged at ALOHA and was asked to name her top 7 romance films. And don’t we all love a good list making? I’m the sort of person who makes lists all the time and, yes, I have been known to add something I’ve already done just so I can tick it off. Totally inspired by Anna’s list, I decided to write my own.

I like a good dash of comedy in with my romance, so I’ll be focusing those, but I do

Ever After, my favourite romantic comedy of all time.

have an occasional favourite romance and have allowed those too, almost entirely so I can include Dirty Dancing, which I would estimate I have seen no less than thirty times. “Nobody puts Baby in the corner!” (By the way, did you see the extras on the DVD that was released after Patrick died? Did you see the love scene that didn’t make it into the film? Holy cats!!!!!!!!!)

In no particular order:

  1. Dirty Dancing. Really, no explanation needed there. This film is as near to a perfect film as you can get.
  2. Love Actually. But I really only love the romance storyline between Colin Firth’s character and his cleaner, who can’t speak English. Such wonderful, captivating tension between them. I was working on my manuscript on the verandah just yesterday and a gust of wind blew the papers all across the yard and I thought of that delightfully funny scene where they both end up in the water chasing his manuscript. Gorgeous.
  3. Sense and Sensibility. Starring Emma Thompson as Elinor Dashwood. You can’t go past Jane Austen for great romance and this is a visual feast as well. Emma Thompson is such a star.
  4. Never Been Kissed. I think I might just have a bit of a girl crush on Drew Barrymore and will watch anything she is in. I just love her. This is one of the many, many Drew romantic comedies I love, and it’s a good one.
  5. The Holiday. An incredibly under-rated film starring Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Jack Black. A wonderful combination of actors, a funny and engaging script, gorgeous locations, charming. Another gorgeous film I could watch again and again.
  6. My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I saw this film on the plane on the last leg of my return journey from the UK, so maybe I was delirious with fatigue, but I laughed and laughed and laughed in this film. You know, the kind of laughing that becomes embarrassing when you’re only one of a few people awake and the rest of the plane is quiet. (“What do you mean he don’t eat no meat? Oh, it’s okay, I make lamb.”) And what a clever, clever woman Nia Vardalos is to write and star in the movie! An inspiration to all us writers.
  7. Father of the Bride. What a beautiful and funny film this is, with romance on all levels, starring the wonderful Diane Keaton and Steve Martin.
  8. Something’s Gotta Give. Also starring Diane Keaton, this is a highly amusing and entertaining love story involving (shock, horror!) people over 50.
  9. The Princess Bride. Wonderful fairy tale about love that simply will not die. (“As you wish…”)
  10. Ever After. Although I put this list in no particular order, I might just have to say that this is my favourite romantic comedy of all time. And… gasp!…. it stars Drew Barrymore as a Cinderella but one that gets a good dose of feminist power and humour and gets to save her prince as much as he gets to save her. Funny, funny, funny. Fairy wings. A guest appearance from Leonardo da Vinci. And Anjelica Huston bringing home the evil stepmother. A rollicking good film.

Gosh, it’s hard to end there… I really also want to sneak in Titanic because it has such a powerful love story alongside the visual wonder, humour and historical interest.

What would you add to this list?

Nappies and Vomit Do Not Romance Writing Make

Let’s face it, there isn’t much that’s either romantic or sexy about motherhood. If it’s not the pervasive stains (and odour) of regurgitated formula, or the endless repetition of This Old Man playing knick-knack-paddywhack (what on earth is that anyway?), or the continual sense of chaos in the house, or that you ran out of facial scrub a month ago and keep forgetting to get more, it’s the fact that through sheer exhaustion and the fact that you have five minutes before your baby needs you again that you can’t even manage to wash your hair.

How then does a girl live the writer’s dream and conjure up images of romance and sexiness when the only fantasy she harbours is for four hours (let’s not be greedy) of uninterrupted, deep sleep?

I plan to take my bedraggled self to the Queensland Writers Centre this Sunday for a Masterclass in romance writing with prolific romance author, Anna Campbell. I’m hoping Anna’s expertise can help me contact my inner romantic woman, who is currently helping my characters, Leila and Lucas, strengthen their compelling storyline.

The littlest man romance

Anna, your timing couldn’t be more perfect. But please know that if I yawn the whole way through your masterclass it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the littlest man in my life with whom I’m having a romance of an entirely different kind.