Book Spotlight! Blood Vow by J. R. Ward

bloodvow_jrward_hachetteausA tough vampire warrior in training and a quick-witted aristocrat develop an irresistible attraction and work together to uncover a mystery. The second in a new spin-off paranormal romance series set in the world of the #1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Trainees at the Black Dagger Brotherhood’ training centre continue to prepare for the fight against the Lessening Society, but fighting is the last thing on Axe’s mind. Still plagued with the guilt of his father’s death, the brooding loner finds himself battling an unlikely attraction to Peyton’s bright, aristocratic cousin, Elise.
Elise feels it too – and when the two are thrown together in unusual circumstances Elise must decide whether she can trust Axe to help her uncover the mystery surrounding her sister’s death.

Meanwhile, Mary and Rhage are in the process of adopting Bitty, a young pretrans orphan, until the appearance of a young male claiming to be Bitty’s blooded uncle threatens to tear the new family apart.

Purchase Links

Hachette Books Australia  *  Booktopia  *  Kobo  *  Amazon Australia


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Book Spotlight! The Whisperer by Elsa Winckler

TheWisperer_ElsaWincklerHigh school teacher Cilla Stevens has always been different, especially in how she connects with animals. When she calms a stray dog during an incident at school, she’s asked to help a nearby farm with a difficult horse.

Cameron Rahl has had a very different relationship with animals since his mother died in a horse riding accident. But now he’s inherited his family’s farm, he’s determined to never let anyone affect him that way again.

Until he meets Cilla. He tries to stay away from the gorgeous horse whisperer with the potential to tame him, but something keeps pulling him close. And as much as Cilla tells herself she can keep it casual, she knows they’re too connected to be ‘just a fling.’

Will Cilla’s heart win out? Or will it take history repeating itself for Cameron to realise just how much he needs her?

Purchase Links

Amazon  *  Booktopia  *  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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Cover Reveal! Without Words by Delancey Stewart

Cover Reveal! Without Words by Delancey Stewart, published by Entangled Publishing and releasing May 22nd!

About Without Words by Delancey Stewart

withoutwordsAfter an accident in the line of duty, firefighter Roberto DeRosa’s life is turned upside down. His career fighting fires is over, and he’s left with an uncertain future and an injury that makes communicating difficult for him. The only time words flow easily is when they’re lyrics and he has a guitar in his hands. Talking to women is definitely out, especially if they have bright blue eyes that seem to see right into his soul.

Dani Hodge is on the brink of realizing her dream of opening a small combination wine and book store in San Diego’s funky Ocean Beach neighborhood. But before she can open the doors, there’s work to be done, more work than she can do herself.

When the tattooed guy who completely ignored her at a bar walks by and offers her a hand wrangling a tile saw, Dani can’t afford to say no—and why would she say no to Mr. Strong and Silent when his stare conveys more than words could?


Want to be one of the first to know when Without Words is available for preorder, as well as receive exclusive excerpts and teasers and more? Sign up for Delancey Stewart’s newsletter here!

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About Delancey Stewart

Delancey Stewart has lived on both coasts, in big cities and small towns. She’s been a pharmaceutical rep, a personal trainer and a wine seller. Despite lots of other interests, she has always been a writer.

A military spouse and the mother of two small boys, her current job titles include pirate captain, monster hunter, Lego assembler, story reader, and tech writer. She tackles all these efforts from her current home outside Washington DC.

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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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