Friday Finds

All the bloggers here at Magical Musings are thrilled to introduce Friday Finds, which we will be running every Friday. In Friday Finds, we’ll be providing a list of books that have become free, are on special offer, new releases, book recommendations and contests where books are the prize. We love that Magical Musings is a conversation with our readers and other authors, and so we welcome your input.

If you’ve seen a book on sale or for free, have read a great book you’d like to recommend, know of a new release, or if you’re the author and want to let us know about your new release, or if you have heard of or are running a contest where books are the prize, please feel free to submit that information to us through our Friday Finds Submission Form. The cut-off is Wednesday for that Friday’s post, and please make sure that the offers you are submitting will be running that Friday.

So here we go, the first FRIDAY FINDS!


In+the+BeginningBook title: In the Beginning

Book author: Lori Handeland

Book blurb: From New York Times Bestselling author Lori Handeland, comes a short story in her urban fantasy world, The Phoenix Chronicles. Liz Phoenix does her best not to let anyone on the Milwaukee Police Force know that she’s psychic. But her partner, Max Murphy, suspects. She’s had one too many spot-on hunches. When they’re sent to the scene of a murder, Liz’s latest psychic flash leads to disaster. In the Beginning reveals how Liz came to be an ex-cop and started on the road to becoming the Leader of the Light.

Amazon | B&N


Yours at MidnightBook title: Yours At Midnight

Book author: Robin Bielman

Book blurb: One night. One love. One secret that could rip them apart…

Lyric Whetsone only had eyes for Quinn Sobel’s brother Oliver, until a car crash took Oliver’s life on New Year’s Eve. Then, a moment of shared grief between Quinn and Lyric became something more impassioned, something that frightened Quinn so much he ran from Lyric’s bed and her life, disappearing for four long years.

Now Quinn’s back for another New Year’s Eve, struggling for closure, desperate to leave his grief in the past and make amends with the girl of his dreams.

But Lyric has a secret—one that could drive Quinn from her life forever. Will Quinn run away from the love and acceptance he’s always wanted…or will he claim his New Year’s kiss and make her his at midnight?

Amazon | B&N | iBooks

cmBook title: Crescent Moon

Book author: Lori Handeland

Book blurb: From the author who brought you the RITA ® award winning BLUE MOON, comes another book in the USA Today Bestselling Nightcreature Novels!

For over a century there have been whispers of a werewolf in the Crescent City. The recent discovery of bodies in the Honey Island Swamp draws cryptozoologist, Diana Malone, to Louisiana.
Thrilled to have a chance to prove the impossible to the world, she is soon immersed in a world of danger, intrigue and murder. Something is killing the locals and though no one wants to tell what, Diana is determined to discover the secret.

When her first swamp guide turns up dead, sexy, reclusive former Special Forces officer, Adam Ruelle, offers his services. Diana accepts, though local legends label his Cajun family as cursed, deranged, even mad.

By night, Adam is everything she ever dreamed of in a lover. By day, Diana has her doubts. Is he helping her or distracting her? What is he hiding? Who is he protecting?


dhBook title: Demon Hunter

Book author: Jenny Schwartz

Book blurb: You can bleed and die banishing a demon, but Fay Olwen discovers there are worse hurts. Betrayed by the Collegium and by her father, she must build a new life away from New York. Leopard-shifter Steve Jekyll would have her build it with him. But loyalties are never simple and new love never easy. When demons are unleashed, Fay tracks the evil back to the Collegium, and now all hell will break loose because Fay fights for the innocent, and Steve will protect what is his.

For fans of kick-ass heroines and shifter heroes who are alpha-male and sinfully sexy.

Demon Hunter is a paranormal romance novella.



Eyes-to-the-soul-R1.3-220x330Book title: Eyes to the Soul

Book author: Dale Mayer

Book blurb: This is book 7 in the series – and it’s Stefan’s story!

Just because a person can see – doesn’t mean they should look.

Celina Wilton was technically blind, a state she wasn’t very happy about. In her case the alternative was worse. So she’d learn to adapt, one way or another.

Stefan Kronos has wanted to get close to Celina for a long time, but she has walls that he’s been forced to go around in some unusual ways. When a case he’s been called to consult on puts her square in his radar he has to watch his step…and hers.

Unraveling the threads twisting between them and a killer like none Stefan had seen before means Celina has to trust him enough to let him inside her barriers.

That’s when Stefan realizes he’s not the only with eyes into her soul.

Amazon | B&N | Itunes | Google Play


The Golden Apple 300 wideBook title: The Dark Forest series: The Golden Apple & The Silver Pear

Book author: Michelle Diener

Details: Two sets of the Dark Forest series, made up of The Golden Apple and The Silver Pear, are up for grabs. US residents only, winner can choose either ebooks or print.

More info

Posted in Friday Finds | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Authors Invade the Big Easy by Guest Blogger Maggie Mae Gallagher

Hotel Monteleone

Hotel Monteleone

The weekend before Christmas, I had the distinct pleasure of attending Heather Graham’s Writers for New Orleans Conference for the first time. The conference is held at the stunning historic Hotel Monteleone in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter. The New York Times bestselling author of more than 100 novels, Heather Graham, started the conference as a way to give back to one of her favorite cities after Hurricane Katrina’s devastating storm ripped through the area. In its ninth year, the conference draws a plethora of professional speakers. This year Chris Mooney, the international bestselling author of eight novels, most recently, The Killing House, and Donna Bagdasarian, President and Founder of Publication Riot Group, Inc., were just a few of the industry bigwigs who shared their publishing knowledge with authors at every stage of their career.

The conference kicked-off Friday night with a welcome party at Rita’s Tequila House on Bourbon Street where authors brushed up on their pirate trivia with an ipad prize for grabs. All three days of the conference, there were workshops to satisfy every writer at different steps in their career with wide-ranging subjects from creativity to marketing to the state of the industry.

Saturday evening conference attendees were treated to a cocktail hour before the festivities began. Attendees enjoyed a fabulous dinner at the Banshees on the Bayou Dinner Theater, which was an eclectic cemetery party with a little something for everyone. During dinner, guests were serenaded with Christmas Carols, music videos, impersonations, and theater.

DinnerTheaterCastNOLA copy

The conference wrapped up on Sunday with a Mid-Morning Tea where attendees bid on raffle items donated from authors and publishers. All the proceeds from this year’s raffle was donated towards a cure for ALS. The delightful tea was followed by an author book signing open to the public and hosted by Bent Pages Book Store. Readers had a room full of bestselling authors to choose from with offerings in just about every genre from thriller to romance to sci-fi and everything in between.

With such an extensive variety of opportunities, if you are an author just entering the publishing business, a traditional author investigating becoming a hybrid author, considering Indie publishing, or need a little assistant with your marketing skills, add this conference to your must attend conference list for 2015.

Michelle and Maggie at NOLA

Michelle and Maggie at NOLA



My Bio

Bestselling Author Maggie Mae Gallagher doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing. When she was a kid she acted out her favorite scenes, only better, with her brother and cousin. As a teenager, she wrote reams of poetry, but realized her true love lay with creating characters and stories. A former music and history major, Maggie is a total geek at her core. When she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her two furry felines.




Amazon author page:


AnointedPW copy

My name is Alana Devereaux. I enjoy the simple things in life, walks in the park, sky gazing, and ripping a demon’s heart out through its chest. I am a demon slayer, the last of my kind, and I have been sent back through time to save your world. How am I doing so far? My time travel went haywire, all the signs I needed to stop the prophecy have passed, and the only way I can save my world is by keeping yours from ending.  Then there’s Gaelen, most days I want to deck him. He hides his true motives and if it was not for the intel he had, I would be rid of him. Any day in my life without a demon attack is a good day; I haven’t had a whole lot of those lately. The only problem is, if I don’t stop the Mutari, this world will burn.

Amazon    Nook    Kobo    iTunes



RupturedBV copy

It has been eighty-three years since the walls between Earth and Infernus fell, and now our world stands upon the razor’s edge of extinction. Demon platoons are marching upon us. My home, one of humanity’s last bastions of existence, is under siege.


My name is Alana Devereaux. I am the resident demon detector of Cantati Forces and Platoon Commander. My job is to hunt down the vermin unleashed upon my world, and I love it. I live for the day I can kick every last demon’s ass out of this world. Except as enemy forces reign down terror upon us, the Densare Council sentences me to a fate worse than death. 

Amazon    Nook    Kobo    iTunes



Posted in Sheila's Posts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Introducing Something New to MM

medium_8514057083We love interacting with the MM readership, and over the holidays, Edie came up with a great idea which we’ve expanded and turned into something called Friday Finds. We’ll be running Friday Finds every Friday and it will be a place for readers to find information on free books, 99c books, books on special offers, to get book recommendations and to find out about contests where books are the prize.

Readers and authors can let us know about any of the above by filling in the Friday Finds Submission Form on the menu just below our blog header. The cut-off is Wednesday for the upcoming Friday, so if you’d like to recommend a book or let us know about any freebies or special deals, you need to do it today to have it included this Friday :)

Getting a book on special or which is free for a short time is a great way of getting to know a new-to-you author, and it is always good to hear about book recommendations, so we hope the whole MM community enjoys and benefits from this new direction.

Do you subscribe to any free or special offer book services, like Bookbub or Book Sends? And do you like getting book recommendations? I really love getting recommendations, I must say. Nothing better than word-of-mouth :)

photo credit: W Mustafeez via photopin cc

Posted in Michelle's Posts | 4 Comments

Writing with Dogs

No, I don’t write about dogs, though I did just give a dog to Frankenstein in my new Gothic Suspense, but as a rule I don’t write about dogs in my novels, which is funny since I’m surrounded by them while I’m writing.

Sheila, Jack, Jill and Chico

Sheila, Jack, Jill and Chico

You might ask, “Sheila, how in the world do you get any writing done when you have seven dogs?”  Yes, I have seven. And thank you for asking.

Let me tell you, it’s not always easy.  I am working away and inevitably someone (Bella) is certain there is a monster outside and wants me to go look.  Normally, said monster is a squirrel, but she won’t leave me alone until I go look and scold the squirrel.  Yeah, really.

Then there’s Chico who is always on alert if the typing stops.  It’s like it’s his super power.  If he doesn’t hear the clack, clack, clack of the keyboard it signals him to scratch at my pant leg until I pick him up.  In Chico’s world you are either typing or holding him.  There’s no other option.



I got smart, to an extent, and installed doggie-cams.  Now, when the dogs try to say someone is in the yard I just look at the app on my phone that shows me what’s out there.  It’s never a monster, zombie, burglar, terrorist or murderer, just the UPS or FedEx guy, so at least to my doglettes, it’s close.  Uh, yeah, “doglettes”, they are all small dogs so I made that term up for them.

I do what we call “power hours” where my other writer friends call in and we check where we are, write for one hour and call in with a progress check.  This has been so helpful with my writing.  But, with 21 other hours in the day that need my attention, it is one of the three power hours in which my dogs have urgent needs that must be addressed.  They also know the sound of my ring tone on my phone signals a barkfest.

Life on a Leash Comic Strip

Life on a Leash Comic Strip

Sometimes my dogs draw my attention away from writing or work, but it’s not always their fault that I get distracted.  It is true that I sometimes make up humorous comic strip-like stories to post to my Facebook instead of doing my work.  But, they are just so naughty and cute I feel compelled to share.  And if you follow me on Facebook you know what kind of shenanigans those MinPins get up to (i.e. orange panties in the front yard).  Never trust a MinPin.  If you take away nothing else from this post know this- Never trust a MinPin and never leave your sandwich on the table if you have a Jack Russell.

Our newest doglette is Hank (a.k.a. Hanky Poo, Hankster, Hankenstein). All of my dogs are rescue dogs!

Our newest doglette is Hank (a.k.a. Hanky Poo, Hankster, Hankenstein). All of my dogs are rescue dogs!


Now if you are looking for books that include animals I highly recommend Must Love Pets, which is a boxed set of stories by some awesome authors!

So, how do I get any work done when I have seven dogs?  Sporadically, but with lots of joy and laughter.

Sisters of the heart. Macy, Bella and Rogue

Sisters of the heart. Macy, Bella and Rogue

Do you have a pet that demands your attention when you’re busy doing other things? Tell me about it!

She really did pee on Santa.

She really did pee on Santa.

Chico as Yoda

Chico as Yoda

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Favorite Heroes

I just realized that I’ve been seeing a lot of contractor heroes in contemporary romances. I’ve actually thought of having a contractor hero in my books, but so far I haven’t. I wonder what makes them so attractive. Maybe the fact that they know how to use tools? If something breaks in your home, you have someone who can fix it. And of course, that means they’re good with their hands…

blue_bloods_0Cops are often heroes, too. My husband and I watch Blue Bloods, and if all cops were like the Reagan clan, with its three generations of cops, I would definitely put them in my books. But in real life, there’s sometimes a ‘power corrupts’ side to being a cop. Politics has that, too. In fact, to some extent, probably every career has people who are good and are bad – and most are probably somewhere in-between.

But I’m getting away from the subject. Heroes. A lot of my heroes – and heroines – tend to be self-employed. My hero in my current book is a former Marine who buys and sells stocks. Not for others; for himself. (It’s part of his PTSD.) Active Marines and Navy SEALs are often heroes in books.

Billionaires and millionaires are often heroes, too. Often they seem to own hotels in exotic places where they meet the heroines. But it doesn’t seem to matter what they do. Money is a great aphrodisiac in books – and in real life it’s not a bad thing, either.

I’ll be writing my next book soon. I don’t have the hero chosen yet, and I would love some help. What kind of hero do you like in books?

Posted in Edie's Posts | Tagged | 7 Comments

Eyes to the Soul is now available!

Hi everyone,

It’s a new year, a new day and I have a new release — one that has been a long coming. This is the 7th book in a series I started many years ago. Tuesday’s Child is book 1 and was in a major writing competition with Kensington and RT Reviews a few years back. Tuesday’s Child came fourth and from that point forward, I’ve never looked back. Here’s to Stefan’s story!

Eyes to the Soul released on Tuesday, January 20th, 2015. A great start to a new year. ☺

[ Eyes to the Soul ]

Buy at AmazonBuy at BNBuy at iBooksBuy at KoboBuy at GooglePlay
Print edition will be available at the end of the week!

This is book 7 in the series — and it’s Stefan’s story!

Just because a person can see — doesn’t mean they should look.

Celina Wilton was technically blind, a state she wasn’t very happy about. In her case the alternative was worse. So she’d learn to adapt, one way or another.

Stefan Kronos has wanted to get close to Celina for a long time, but she has walls that he’s been forced to go around in some unusual ways. When a case he’s been called to consult on puts her square in his radar he has to watch his step…and hers.

Unraveling the threads twisting between them and a killer like none Stefan had seen before means Celina has to trust him enough to let him inside her barriers.

That’s when Stefan realizes he’s not the only with eyes into her soul.

And no this is not the end of the series! Now You See Her… is book 8! Planned for an October release! :) 

What about you, reader? Do you like long series or do you prefer trilogies?



Posted in Dale's Posts | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Talking Travel with Guest Dee J. Adams + a Giveaway!

Hi everyone! I’m super happy to have my friend Dee J. Adams here today. She’s talking about travel (something I so wish I got to do more of) and she’s got a giveaway. Take it away, Dee…

Are You a Traveler?

Some people love to travel. They live for it. They save for it and plan their life around it. I envy those people since I’m not one of them. It’s not that I don’t enjoy new experiences or exploring historical/amazing places, I’m just not a fan of all the details that go into getting there.

Take for instance my recent visit to Texas (from Los Angeles). I’m not adverse to flying and let’s get real, the flight isn’t even four hours long, yet on arrival home after a short weekend visit, I spent the whole day cleaning, unpacking and dealing with all I’d missed in 2.5 days. It was only a weekend people, but I still found myself totally exhausted trying to get life back in place.

Then I remind myself that this little excursion came 10 days after a giant 9 day vacation in Hawaii. (Suddenly it sounds like I’m jet set and I’m really not!) This was a mammoth vacation. I’d never spent that much time away from home. Talk about loads of laundry. Jeez.

It’s not like all I did was worry about the actual travel part (the turbulent planes, long airport waits and rude travelers), or the massive amount of clean up/laundry on the back end, but I find those things so annoying that it really puts a dent in enjoying the actual travel experience.

I think one of the reasons I enjoy reading so much is that my brain gets to travel while my body gets to stay at home. I get to visit other locals and meet new people and none of it requires that I pack a bag or do laundry at the end of it. (Although that’s kind of not true, because a good book will take me out of my usual routine when I can’t put it down and then I’ll inevitably fall behind and low and behold… it’s almost like I really did take a vacation because I’ve got so much to do when I finish the book! But I guess a good book is like a good vacation. You fall behind in the day to day stuff, but it was worth the ride.

If you’d like to take a vacation, I’ve got the perfect getaway! Time is running out to snag your copy of Eight Nights with a Hero. Eight romantic suspense novels for only 99 cents. The book disappears Jan. 31 so grab it now!

Eight Nights with a Hero – Romantic Suspense Boxed Set: Cold Nights, Hot Heroes and Eight Deadly Secrets.


Amazon     B&N     iBooks     Kobo     ARe

What about you? Do you love to travel? What’s your favorite thing and least favorite thing?

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment for Dee and two random commenters will be chosen to win Eight Nights with a Hero! Winners will be selected Sunday morning and their names posted in the comments.


The Thundermans Production PhotosDee J. Adams was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. After graduating high school, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting. For twenty years, she acted in television before transitioning behind the scenes as an acting/dialogue coach for sitcoms. Her experience in show business led her to narrate most of the books in the Adrenaline Highs series (Carina Press) for

Dee J. loves writing books filled with action, mystery and love. (Not necessarily in that order.) She is a member of several organizations, including Romance Writers of America and SAG-AFTRA.


Excerpt from Imminent Danger:

She was twenty-four years old and never had a boyfriend.

He must have looked skeptical because she continued.

“You heard me right.” She folded her arms across her chest and watched him. “I’ve never done a lot of things. I’m pretty useless when it comes to any type of relationship knowledge, so you’re better off knowing that now and…you know…moving on.”

Her body language said hands off, but her eyes looked wistful, like a woman who knew she was missing out on something, but didn’t know how to get it. She looked over his shoulder and the longing on her face had him following her gaze. A young couple had set out a blanket beneath a nearby tree and the kiss they currently shared might’ve gotten them arrested if a cop walked by.

“Has anyone ever kissed you, Ab?” he whispered the question.

She looked at his lips as she shook her head. She’d started breathing harder and he hadn’t touched her.

“You look scared and interested at the same time,” Blake said, reading her expression.

“I guess I am.” She met his gaze and struggled with something. “If I’m being honest, I’m afraid I won’t ever share a first kiss with someone.” She uttered the words so softly that Blake barely heard her.

“We could fix that right now, if you want to.” He didn’t dare get his hopes up. “You know I won’t ever hurt you, right?”

Her eyes widened. “I didn’t mean now. Here. God, how embarrassing. Blake…” She trailed off, but the look in her eyes changed to something closer to optimism.

“We can start small. An Eskimo kiss,” he blurted.

Her brows pulled together. “What?”

His confidence spiked. “An Eskimo kiss. You know what an Eskimo kiss is. No lips.”

She looked suspicious and he smiled.

“It’ll be completely painless. I promise. Want to try?” It took her a few seconds to think about it, but when she gave him a slight nod, an instant bolt of heat shot through his gut. “Keep your eyes open, okay. Watch me.” He leaned in slowly, clued in to her uncertainty by the rising of her chest. “Eyes on mine,” he whispered as he closed the distance. He grazed the side of her nose with his as they stared at each other. Their lips so close together, he felt the warmth of her breath across his cheek. He continued to softly nuzzle her nose. First one side, then the other. His skin tingled all over with electric energy. It took every ounce of will power he possessed to keep his hands stuffed in his pockets, to keep his lips from joining the party. Just his nose, brushing against hers in a playful little two-step. God, she smelled like fresh lemons. Finally, he pulled away but not too far. He had something else planned. “Not bad, right?” he asked.

She swallowed again and shook her head. “No.”

“I’ve got another one for you,” he said.

“Another Eskimo kiss?”

“A butterfly kiss,” he told her. Before she said no, he leaned in again, his nose grazing hers before he fluttered his lashes against her cheek. He felt her smile, felt the warmth of her lips a fraction of an inch from his skin. After a few seconds, he pulled back. “Not so bad, right?” She lowered her gaze and shook her head. “How about we go for a small one. If you don’t like it, you can bail and I won’t mention it again. Deal?”

She looked skeptical. “I don’t know.”

“Have I steered you wrong yet?” he asked. “No, but…”

“Are my hands still stuffed in my back pockets?” he asked. Touching her would only send her running.

She smiled at that. “Yes.”

“Then…? What do you say? Totally up to you.”

Her tension ratcheted up about ten notches before she said, “Okay.”

All he wanted to do was take away the fear. “It’s all right,” he whispered. Blake moved in slowly and nuzzled her nose again with another Eskimo kiss. He wanted to wrap her up tight in his arms, put his lips on hers and kiss her forever, but if he did that he’d lose her. Slowly, he let his lips brush against hers in a barely there kiss. She was as soft as he imagined. Hell, softer. Her plush lips begged for more, but he kept it simple, kept it sweet. Back and forth, so slowly. Her breath washed over his mouth in short gasps and Blake pulled back a fraction.

She opened her eyes and he saw a mix of surprise and panic. He wanted to touch the smooth skin of her cheek, wanted to run his hands through the softness of her hair. “That wasn’t so bad,” she said.

His heart lodged in his throat and he nodded, tried to find his voice. He gave her reassuring grin. “See? Your first kiss and you survived fine.” He let her process that. “Wanna try another one?”

Shyly, she nodded and swallowed again as her gaze fastened on his lips. She looked more ready to do battle than kiss.


Posted in Robin's Posts | 37 Comments

Gift cards, gift cards, gift cards

The holidays are just a memory now, but one thing remains behind for many of us — all those gift cards we got for Christmas.

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Starbucks, restaurants and retailers galore. You can get a gift card to pretty much any store these days. Over the holidays, I gave out several gift cards to friends and family and got several in return.

Some folks go out and use their cards immediately in the days after Christmas, while others wait a bit longer. Me? I tend to do a little bit of both. I usually use up the restaurant gift cards right after Christmas, just because I don’t feel like cooking after all the holiday dishes I’ve made. With other gift cards, I will wait a bit longer.

But my favorite gift cards are to places where I can buy books.

DefyWhy? Because I can buy anything that I want to with a gift card. A new book by a favorite author. A book by an author that I haven’t read before. A cupcake or cheesecake or some other dessert. To me, a bookstore gift card is just the perfect little treat.

Not only that, but I also like trying to get the most that I can out of gift cards. It’s almost like a little game that I play with myself. How can I use coupons, discounts, and special promotions to get the most bang for my gift card money? I love me some coupons, especially to bookstores. LOL.

This year, I used my bookstore gift cards to buy several books, including Defy by Sara B. Larson, which had been on my wish list for a while. And I got a chocolate cupcake too. :cool:

What about you guys? Do you like gift cards? What books did you buy with your holiday gift cards?

Posted in Jennifer's Posts | Tagged | 12 Comments

Book Trailers

Happy Friday! Hope you have had a fantastic week.

What do you think about book trailers? Do you love them? Hate them? Don’t pay attention to them?

I hadn’t really paid much attention to them in the past, but would give them a watch if I saw them float through my social media feeds. I think a good trailer can help a book, however, there are some out there that seem to have cheesy background music and the images don’t reflect the words on the screen. I actually started a Pinterest Board of book trailers so I could easily find the ones on the books I have read to share with friends. I plan to promote more of them on my personal book blog this year, too!

Pinterest Book Trailers

Have you ever bought a book based on a book trailer or at least gone on to look up more information about the book? What are some memorable book trailers that you have watched? 


Posted in Amy R's Posts | 15 Comments

Guest Post: Rachel Johns

Author pic couch Rachael JohnsRachel Johns is an Australian romance author, and one of a few authors I’m able to meet with face to face from time to time. Please welcome her to Magical Musings! Rachel writes Australian rural romance, and I thought it would be fun to introduce our US readers to the Aussie rural romance phenomenon.

Rural Australia Breaks into the US!
By Rachael Johns

10698413_845469812131778_357990019990345984_nDown under we’ve coined a genre called RURAL ROMANCE and it is booming. It’s the biggest selling genre in Australia at the moment and new authors are being contracted all the time. My first rural romance (published in Australia in 2012) was recently published in the US with HQN and hopefully other Aussie rural romances will follow.

So WHAT is rural romance? These are books set in small rural communities in Australia, where the main incomes for the towns are agriculture (and occasionally mining). Therefore these stories are populated with farmers – male and female – and the setting is often as much a character as the hero and heroine with floods, droughts and other natural disasters throwing spanners in their lives. These books explore what life is like in rural Australia – living on the land and in small close-knit communities.

The heroes are appealing in much the same way as the cowboy hero has always been popular in romance. Think men who can “do” stuff, are good with their hands and look good in dirty jeans and a scruffy t-shirt. Not to mention those wide Akubra hats and Blundstone boots. Of course hey look even better when it gets a little steamy and they have to take off those shirts. Hubba hubba!

The heroines are often strong, independent women who run properties themselves – they are more likely to wear boots than high heels, drive a ute (pick-up truck) and have a dog that works just as hard as they do. Or they are city-girls who find themselves (and the love of their lives) in the outback.

I believe the appeal of these books lies in both the setting – lots of city folks fantasize about moving to the country and getting closer to nature – and also in the community aspect. In addition to the romance between the main characters, these books explore the dynamics of small town life – the good, the bad and the ugly of everyone knowing everyone else’s business. This is probably my favourite thing about writing rural romance. In JILTED the book opens with various communities gossiping about the return of Ellie Hughes who left town ten years ago when she abandoned one of their golden boys at the alter. I portray the good and the bad of country life, but in the end the good outweighs the bad and I honestly believe there is more good about living in rural Australia than bad, which is one of the reasons I was drawn to write these stories.

I’m a converted country girl myself. I spend the first twenty-odd years of my life living in the city and then moved to the country with my new husband. At first it was hard and I felt like an outsider but I soon fell in love with this lifestyle and I cannot imagine ever going back to the big smoke. For years I’d been trying to write and get published with little success, but only when I started writing about living in small rural communities did I finally achieve my dream.

I hope that in my books, I give readers insight into what it is like in OUTBACK AUSTRALIA – our people, our land, our customs, our animals and much, much more.

Jilted US cover finalWhen the rights for JILTED were bought for the US, I was told I would have to change the language for the overseas market, but in the end we decided on putting a glossary in the front of the book as well, so if you read JILTED you’ll get the authentic Aussie version. Who is game to give it a go?

Rachael Johns lives in rural Western Australia with her hyperactive husband and three mostly-gorgeous heroes in training. Her town is supposedly the home of the possums. In 2014 she was one of the highest selling rural romance authors in Australia, ranked number nineteen in Booktopia’s Favourite Aussie Author poll and was nominated in a number of categories in the Australian Romance Readers Association. You can find Rachael online at her website, and also on Facebook and Twitter.

JILTED blurb:

She’d left him at the altar, but her heart was always his…
After more than ten years away, Australian soap opera star Ellie Hughes returns to the small town of Hope Junction, determined to fly under the radar while caring for her injured godmother, Matilda.

But word spreads fast in the tight-knit community. It isn’t long before the people of Hope Junction are gossiping about the real reason for Ellie’s visit and why she broke the heart of golden boy Flynn Quartermaine all those years ago.

Soon Ellie and Flynn are thrown back together, forced to deal with the unresolved emotions between them. Because Ellie is not the only one with secrets. Flynn has his own demons to battle, and Matilda is hiding something from her much-loved goddaughter.

When all is uncovered, can the ill-fated lovers overcome the wounds of their past? Or is Flynn destined to be jilted again?

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