Q&A With Author Karly Lane!

Happy new release to author Karly Lane! Ms Lane chats about her newest novel If Wishes Were Horses and what projects she is currently working on. If Wishes Were Horses is published by Allen & Unwin Australia, RRP $29.99.


What was your hardest scene to write?

There were a few scenes in this book that were a little difficult to write. The WW1 diary entries were emotional. The things these men endured are hard to imagine. The human spirit and what it can endure, is truely an amazing thing. However, probably the most difficult for me, personally to write, was the scene that revealed the fate of the 120,000 horses shipped overseas during WW1. As a horse lover, its difficult for me to wrap my head around the fact that after everything these horses did for the war effort and the bond they developed with their riders–the government refused to bring them home and they were either sold to be used as farm animals or destroyed.

Can you tell us a scene that didn’t make the cut while writing If Wishes Were Horses?

I can’t think of anything we cut.

What is the first book that made you cry?

I think it would have to be Black Beauty.

What’s your favourite under-appreciated novel?

I remember finding a dog-eared book in a second hand store once and it just jumped out at me. It was called The Showgirl and the Brumby by Lucy Lehmann. It was before rural fiction had kicked off and it had so much gritty, rural earthiness, humour about it. I really loved that book.

How many hours a day do you write?

I usually work to a 9-3 schedule fitting in with school hours for the kids. Some days I write most of that time, other days I might get sidetracked from actual writing by emails and other writing related chores, researching or edits arriving for other books.

What can reader’s expect next in your writing projects?

In December I have another book due, so there’ll be 2 books out again this year. It has some really relevant issues that effect not only rural, but all communities in Australia. The publisher hasn’t settled on a title at this point, but hopefully we’ll have one soon.


About If Wishes Were Horses by Karly Lane

Already struggling to come to terms with the tragic death of her husband, Sophie Bryant nearly loses her own life while attending a domestic dispute as a paramedic. Diagnosed with a mild form of post-traumatic stress disorder, Sophie decides to accept a posting to the remote township of Hilsons Ridge.

Soon after her arrival, Sophie decides on a whim to buy an old house on the outskirts of town. There, she discovers the diary of a light horse trooper from the First World War, which she finds fascinating.

Local vet, Zac Conway, is also struggling in the wake of losing his life partner. So when Sophie brings an abandoned horse to him for treatment and they get to know each other, Zac is surprised to feel emotions he never hoped to experience again.

The peace and tranquillity of living in her new community sees Sophie gradually recovering from her trauma and grief. As she discovers more about her farm’s history, she realises that the past and the present are irrevocably connected and, just like love, it waits for the right person to come along to unlock its secrets.

If Wishes Were Horses is a totally captivating novel combining romance and history with a dash of suspense.

Purchase Links

Allen & Unwin Australia  *  Amazon Australia  *  Booktopia  *  Angus & Robertson  *  Kobo


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Q&A With Author Juliette Cross!

Today’s feature post is my Q&A with author Juliette Cross! Ms Cross discusses her latest book The Black Lily, the first book in the Tales Of The Black Lily The Black Lily by Juliette juliecross_author_entangledCross is published by Entangled Publishing and is available now.


What was your hardest scene to write?

The first sex scene. These are always hard. (No pun intended.) For me, it’s about finding the right balance of emotion and passion. But I always know that even if I’m cruising along in word count that I’ll be hitting a speed bump when I hit the sex scenes.


If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?

Well, I was a teacher of high school English for 17 years, and I enjoyed that immensely. I still miss the classroom, discussing and analyzing Shakespeare and the classics. I’ve always had a deep love for mythology, classic literature, and art. My third choice would be an art gallery docent. That would be lovely.


What research do you do when you are trying to brainstorm for writing a book?

For brainstorming, it’s usually Pinterest. I’m visually stimulated. And I’ve often seen a photo or work of art that suddenly inspires an entire scene or chapter. Research varies for each book, but I spend an awful lot of time on names, and I tend to choose specific cultures/ethnicities for each paranormal race. (Example, my vampires in this series tend to have Russian names.)


What’s you favourite under-appreciated novel?

Ayn Rand’s Anthem, which is really a love story wrapped up in a political statement about individualism.


What is the first book that made you cry?

Jane Eyre. My all-time favorite book. One of the best romances ever—Gothic setting where the most unlikely couple finds their happily-ever-after.


What can readers expect next from your writing?

I’m hard at work on book 3 in the Tales of the Black Lily series. And I’ve got new paranormal projects brewing. More details soon!


About The Black Lily by Juliette Cross

theblacklily_juliettecross_entangledpubWith the threat of the vampire monarchy becoming stronger every day, the Black Lily must take drastic measures. As the leader of the underground resistance, Arabelle concocts the perfect idea to gain the attention of the Glass Tower. Her plan? Attend the vampire prince’s blood ball and kill him. Fortunately for Prince Marius, her assassination goes awry, and Arabelle flees, leaving behind only her dagger.

Marius is desperate to find the woman whose kiss turned into attempted murder, hunting for the mysterious assassin he can’t push out of his mind. But what he uncovers could change the course of his life forever…

Purchase Links

Entangled Publishing  *  Amazon Australia  *  Booktopia  *  iBooks  *  Kobo  *  Amazon US


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Q&A With Author Kirsty Manning!

kirstymanning_author_allenandunwinausToday’s feature post is my Q&A with author Kirsty Manning! Kirsty discusses her
book The Midsummer Garden, published by Allen & Unwin Australia and available now. Welcome to Talking Books Blog Kirsty!


How long have you been an author?

I started writing fiction about two years ago through an online writing course. I co-published a cookbook in 2010 (We Love Food), and had academic work published, but no fiction. Not even a short story!
But I have worked as a lifestyle features writers for about a decade. So I have lots of experience with writing place, food, design and capturing the essence of dialogue. You have to write pretty fast, and clean.
It’s funny, even though I’d been a jobbing writers for years, I couldn’t call myself a writer or author until I finished the fifth draft! Somewhere in among all the words I realised I just had to start believing in my story, and myself. Lo and behold, I became an author and wrote the book!


What is the most difficult aspect of your artistic process?

Finishing! On a more serious note, I find tweaking the plot, making both eras work as their own entity, then tie in with the other plot line quite a challenge. Somehow the book needs to find it’s own rhythm across both eras. I adore doing the research, but the challenge is to make sure that does not dictate the story. So you have to research the history in, then write so it feels natural. Or write a bit of plot, then find what history you need in there to make it believable. It’s give and take the whole way.
It’s a bit like putting together a jigsaw where you don’t know what shape the pieces are yet! But it’s an amazing feeling when it comes together.


Can you tell us a scene that didn’t make the cut while writing The Midsummer Garden?

Oh so many! There was a scene where Pip’s parents died in the very first unfinished draft. themidsummergarden_kirstymanningBut I decided that I loved them too much, so they had to stay!
There were a couple of other wonderful characters with subplots that went nowhere (in different countries) . But I think I’m keeping said characters for another book as they are still in my mind, willing me to write a story around them. Just goes to show you should never press ‘delete’. Save the bits you cut, you never know when they’ll inspire something very different.


On average, how long does it take you to write a book?

Hmmm, well I’m writing my second book and I have given myself just under twelve months. I’m close to finishing the first draft, so should be fine. That’s where the fun starts, for me anyway. With historical fiction, there’s lots of facts to check and bits to be filled in. There’s always a surprise, and that is the delight of writing. It’s a wonderful way to fill the day.


What can readers expect next from your writing?

I want to give the reader a really sensual experience so there will be lots of travel. I am studying a different era (WWII) in different countries! I even managed a research trip.
I hope look forward to curling up and transporting themselves to other worlds. I love the beauty, symbolism and nostalgia of food-the way we connect it to place, family and friends. I’m interested in history of herbs and herbalism, and how plants can be used to heal. Gardens are also my happy place. You can tell a lot about a person, or a place/city/town/ by their gardens. And of course, the symbolism and metaphors around gardening are endless inspiration.
Readers who love those elements in my work can expect to find that in my next one.



About The Midsummer Garden by Kirsty Manning

themidsummergarden_kirstymanningTravelling between lush gardens in France, windswept coastlines of Tasmania, to Tuscan hillsides and beyond, The Midsummer Garden lures the reader on an unforgettable culinary and botanical journey.

1487 Artemisia is young to be in charge of the kitchens at Chateau de Boschaud but, having been taught the herbalists’ lore, her knowledge of how food can delight the senses is unsurpassed. All of her concentration and flair is needed as she oversees the final preparations for the sumptuous wedding feast of Lord Boschaud and his bride while concealing her own secret dream. For after the celebrations are over, she dares to believe that her future lies outside the Chateau. But who will she trust?

2014 Pip Arnet is an expert in predicting threats to healthy ecosystems. Trouble is, she doesn’t seem to recognise these signs in her own life. What Pip holds dearest right now is her potential to make a real difference in the marine biology of her beloved Tasmanian coastline. She’d thought that her fiance Jack understood this, believed that he knew she couldn’t make any plans until her studies were complete. But lately, since she’s finally moved in with him, Jack appears to have forgotten everything they’d discussed.

When a gift of several dusty, beautiful old copper pots arrives in Pip’s kitchen, the two stories come together in a rich and sensuous celebration of family and love, passion and sacrifice.

Published by Allen & Unwin Australia RRP $29.99, and available now.

Purchase Links

Allen & Unwin Australia * Booktopia * Angus & Robertson  *  Amazon Australia



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Kirsty Manning grew up in northern New South Wales. She has degrees in literature and communications and worked as an editor and publishing manager in book publishing for over a decade. A country girl with wanderlust, her travels and studies have taken her through most of Europe, the east and west coasts of the United States and pockets of Asia. Kirsty’s journalism and photography specialising in lifestyle and travel regularly appear in magazines, newspapers and online. In 2007, Kirsty and her husband, with two toddlers and a baby in tow, built a house in an old chestnut grove in the Macedon Ranges. Together, they planted an orchard and veggie patch, created large herbal ‘walks’ brimming with sage and rosemary, wove borders from chestnut branches and constructed far too many stone walls by hand. Kirsty loves cooking with her kids and has several large heirloom copper pots that do not fit anywhere easily, but are perfect for making (and occasionally burning) jams, chutneys and soups. With husband Alex Wilcox, Kirsty is a partner in the award-winning Melbourne wine bar Bellota, and the Prince Wine Store in Sydney and Melbourne.


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Q&A With Author Fiona McArthur!

Today’s feature post is my Q&A with author Fiona McArthur! Fiona discusses her newest novel Heart Of The Sky which is available now! Welcome to Talking Books Blog Fiona! 😀


How many hours a day do you write?

The more consistent I write the easier it is to get the words – I only aim for 500 words and fionamcarthurthat seems to be the perfect brain stream length for me for a new scene. That can take one to two hours. I’m happy to get up after that and go to my day job. Closer to deadlines I spend a lot more time polishing, re-reading, expanding all those 500 word episodes until I get lost in the whole thing. But I still work as a midwife 28 hours a week so I can’t write then.

Can you tell us a scene that didn’t make the cut in your latest novel?

Thank you. I laughed at this question. Can I! I had a wedding in THE HOMESTEAD GIRLS at the end and it had to be cut. So I tried to start HEART OF THE SKY with it. But it had to be cut. I loved that scene. Did you want to read it 🙂

What is the most difficult aspect of your artistic process?heartofthesky_fionamcarthur_penguinaus

Reminding myself that I can’t be too brief. Too staccato. That’s how my mind works and I need to slow my pace so other people can see the picture I can see.

On average, how long does it take you to write a book?

Apparently 160 days –(I kept a record of every day I wrote and how many words this time) So 160 spread over six months. If I’m a good girl. 🙂

What can readers expect next from your writing?redsandsunrise_fionamcarthur

After HEART OF THE SKY, I have Sienna’s story. She was the least mentioned sister in RED SAND SUNRISE. The city obstetrician who solves medical mysteries. That’s what I’m polishing at the moment and I’m seriously loving it. I hope everyone else does too.

Thanks for reading my book and letting me drop in to chat – I wish you all a 2017 filled with wonderful stories xx Fi


About Heart Of The Sky by Fiona McArthur

heartofthesky_fionamcarthur_penguinausA year after a tragic accident changed her life forever, Tess Daley is in desperate need of a change. When she is offered a position with the Flying Doctor Service, she seizes the opportunity to make a fresh start. Yet once she arrives in remote Mica Ridge she feels like an outsider, unable to connect with her patients and unsure if she’ll ever fit in with this outback community.

Station owner Soretta Byrnes has grown to love the company and chaos that comes with living in a house filled with boarders. So with tenants moving out and bills piling up, it’s a welcome relief to have Tess and new pilot Charlie Fennes arriving in town and looking for somewhere to stay.

As they share life’s triumphs and challenges, it isn’t long before everyone at the station feels like family. But Charlie has yet to reveal his motive for coming to Mica Ridge and his secret will change the life of someone in the house forever …

Heart Of The Sky is available now and is published by Penguin Random House Australia, RRP $32.99.

Purchase Links

Penguin Random House Australia  *  Booktopia  *  Angus & Robertson  *  iBooks  *  Amazon Australia  *  Google Play


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About Fiona McArthur

Fiona McArthur has worked as a rural midwife for many years. She is a clinical midwifery educator, a mentor to midwifery students and is involved with obstetric emergency education for midwives and doctors across Australia.

Fiona has been nominated for Romantic Book of The Year with Romance Writers of Australia and the US-based CataRomance Readers Award. She has sold over 2 million books, in twelve languages.

Fiona’s passion for rural fiction titles grew from her admiration of Australia’s outback pioneers, the community spirit within these towns and the medical staff who care for them.

She lives on an often swampy farm in northern New South Wales with her husband and any children and grandchildren who drop in.

Author Social Media Links

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Also By Fiona McArthur

aussiemidwives_fionamcarthur_penguinaus thehomesteadgirls redsandsunrise_fionamcarthur

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Q&A With Author Penelope Janu!

Today’s feature post is my Q&A with author Penelope Janu! InpenelopeJanu_author At The Deep End by author Penelope Janu is available now.  Welcome to Talking Books Blog Penelope!

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to think of yourself as a writer even though you are only imagining your characters, and not actually writing anything down. But make sure that one day, when the time is right, you do actually write something down …

What research do you do when you are trying to brainstorm for writing a book?

inatthedeepend_penelopejanu_harlequinausI’d like to say a lot but … not terribly much. In the early stages of writing I think up my characters, and then I work out what they’re passionate about. I find a voice for the main character. Then I make sure the character has an interesting story to tell. That’s when the research kicks in!

Can you tell us a scene that didn’t make the cut while writing In At The Deep End?

Good question! I wanted Harriet (outgoing) and Per (aloof) to dance together. But the scene was only sketched and didn’t quite fit in anywhere so I hit delete (sob!). However … in my next novel there is a dance scene between my characters early on, and it is crucial to the plot in so many ways. The scene very different to the one Harriet and Per would have had, but it’s a dance scene nonetheless!

What is the most difficult aspect of your artistic process?

I don’t plot my novels, so it is often difficult to assess ‘where I am going’ and ‘will I ever get there.’ Time is the other thing – I love writing and am so lucky that I now have the opportunity to write many days of the week.

But writing is also hard work and you have to dedicate time to it. A lot of time!

How many hours a day do you write?

I try to write for an hour early in the morning before the house wakes up. On the weekend I stretch this out to two hours. In the evening I try to write for another two hours. And whatever I can squeeze in during the day (at lunchtime if I’m at work, on public transport, wherever). It would probably be more efficient (and easier on my family) if I only wrote five days a week, but I don’t feel I get enough hours done that way. My characters clamour for attention seven days a week!

What can readers expect next from your writing?

My next novel is another lighthearted book, and the heroine has an interesting backstory, just like Harriet does. The novel is very much stand alone, but the hero is Per’s twin brother Tør, a Norwegian diplomat (he is a fantastic dancer, by the way).


About In At The Deep End by Penelope Janu

A quick-witted, contemporary romance about losing your cool.

inatthedeepend_penelopejanu_harlequinausWhat woman doesn’t love a real-life hero? Harriet Scott, for one. The fiercely independent daughter of famous adventurers, she grew up travelling the world on the environmental flagship The Watch. So when Harriet’s ship sinks in Antarctica and she has to be rescued by Commander Per Amundsen, an infuriatingly capable Norwegian naval officer and living breathing action hero, her world is turned upside down.

Like their namesakes, the original Scott and Amundsen who competed to reach the South Pole first, Per and Harriet have different ways of doing things. Per thinks Harriet is an accident waiting to happen; Harriet thinks Per is a control freak. But when Harriet realises that Per is the only one who can help her fund the new ship she desperately wants, she is forced to cooperate with him.

Per refuses to assist unless Harriet allows him to teach her to swim. But there is more to Harriet’s terrible fear of water than meets the eye. Can Harriet face her fears and come to terms with the trauma and loss of her past? And will she begin to appreciate that some risks are well worth taking—and that polar opposites can, in fact, attract?

Purchase Links

Harlequin Books Australia  *  Booktopia  *  Amazon Australia  *  iBooks



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