COMING SOON … It’s Raining Shoes

COMING SOON … It’s Raining Shoes

Nothing delights a child’s imagination more than a muddy puddle. Be swept away on an adventure of shoes, shoes and more shoes … and one sneaky Dad. Perfect for 2-4 year olds.

Reviews: ‘Beautifully animated. Loved this read,’ C T Mitchell, Author of the Jack Creed Mysteries.

‘Loved this book. Author and illustrator are the perfect pair,’ Davide A Cottone, Author – Shriek.

 

It’s Raining Shoes‘ Author Cate Sawyer is cheeky, tough, soft, the protector of correct grammar, Grand Poobar of pronunciation. She dislikes bullies. She loves challenges, exotic and unusual words, and making you laugh.

The illustrator, Adriana Avellis – when she isn’t laughing and sobbing over one of her favourite books or singing classic Disney tunes, she has a pencil in her hand, imagining new characters for you.

Thank you for supporting local talent!




COMING SOON … Discombobulated

COMING SOON … Discombobulated

Can a rhinoceros squeeze through a tiny gap? Most certainly, probably … not, but I’d like to find out for sure. Fun with phonetics. Perfect for 4-7 year olds. Parents, think sneaking veggies in spaghetti bolognese. The words are delightful, lyrical, challenging. Inquisitiveness is encouraged. More than one million new neural connections are formed every second in the first few years of life. Learning new words IS fun, and a precursor to your child doing well in school! Happy days!

Introducing Jerry and Paul to the Hawkeye family – look out for more of these feathered critters.

Reviews: ‘Cool, funny and oh so charming,’ multi-award winning romance author, Amy Andrews.

‘An absolute winner for adults and children alike. Cate Sawyer and Adriana Avellis as author and illustrator take all the confusion out of Discombobulated … the next supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!’ Davide A Cottone, author of Shriek.

‘Educational, funny and written with love. The gorgeously creative illustrations will keep you smiling. The text is clear and easy to say out loud. Highly recommended for children and bedtime readers,’ Debbie Terranova, author of Enemies Within These Shores.

 

Author Cate Sawyer is cheeky, tough, soft, the protector of correct grammar, Grand Poobar of pronunciation. She dislikes bullies. She loves challenges, exotic and unusual words, and making you laugh.

The illustrator, Adriana Avellis – when she isn’t laughing and sobbing over one of her favourite books or singing classic Disney tunes, she has a pencil in her hand, imagining new characters for you.

Thank you for supporting local talent – the ‘little fella’!




COMING SOON – The Umbilical Family

COMING SOON … The Umbilical Family

Start a loving conversation about adoption, egg & embryo donation, step-parents, same sex couples, fostering, single parents, traditional couples. There are sensitive, yet beautiful, conversations to be had. Sometimes, parents need a helping hand to introduce complex topics and this book offers that. As the mother of an adopted son, and a daughter born from embryo donation, I struggled to find the book I connected with to explore the diversity of family origins. The concept of an umbilical chord growing from heart to heart came to me while I was walking on the beach early one morning. It grew from the seed of an idea, into a full story that I entrusted into the hands of my wonderful illustrator, Adriana Avellis. I send this story from me to you with love. Perfect for ages 5 – 8.

Reviews:
‘As funny for parents as it is reassuring for children, this delightful book is a heartfelt exploration of the wondrous diversity of family,’ Author Kylie Kaden.

‘The illustrations brought a smile to my face and the words of love warmed my heart. I love how The Umbilical Family spoke to me as a father and a grandparent,’ Author C. T. Mitchell.

‘Another great addition to our Cate Sawyer collection. The Umbilical Family is an educational tale that travels straight to the heart,’ Author Dean Blake.

***

Author Cate Sawyer is cheeky, tough, soft, the protector of correct grammar, Grand Poobar of pronunciation. She dislikes bullies. She loves challenges, exotic and unusual words, and making you laugh.

The illustrator, Adriana Avellis – when she isn’t laughing and sobbing over one of her favourite books or singing classic Disney tunes, she has a pencil in her hand, imagining new characters for you.

Thank you for supporting local talent!




Coming Soon – Places to Poop

COMING SOON …

The laundry basket looks like a delightful posi for a quick poop … and yet … so many screams and running of adult feet and picking me up by the scruff and plonking me onto a cold plastic seat when I do. Toilet Training fun – fill the oopsies with laughter. The contemporary illustrations and fun captions will delight you as much as your child. This book comes with an interactive exercise at the end to keep your kids engaged. Perfect for ages 18 months to 3 years.

Reviews: ‘Laugh out loud funny for parents, and clear and engaging for kids, Places to Poop is a hilarious romp that doesn’t sugar coat the realities of parenting,’ Author Kylie Kaden.

‘Anything that brings some light and frivolity into the seriously taxing business of toilet training gets my tick. Great fun for trainers and trainees alike!’ Author Deborah Disney.

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Author Cate Sawyer is cheeky, tough, soft, the protector of correct grammar, Grand Poobar of pronunciation. She dislikes bullies. She loves challenges, exotic and unusual words, and making you laugh.

The illustrator, Adriana Avellis – when she isn’t laughing and sobbing over one of her favourite books or singing classic Disney tunes, she has a pencil in her hand, imagining new characters for you.

Thank you for supporting local talent!




K M Steele and Why All Authors Should Go Regional

K M Steele is an Australian author who loves a good plot and a great sentence. She recently published her debut novel, Return to Tamarlin. It started out as a diarised account of fictional family events experienced by two sisters, because she was fascinated by the way siblings can remember the same events so differently.

Author Q&A

Why do readers connect with the story?
A good percentage of my readers are Australian and female – readers who enjoy two strong female characters. The novel is also enjoying a strong readership in Western NSW where it is set – exploring the landscape and the difficulties of rural life.

What is your professional background?
I have a PhD in English (Creative Writing/ Australian Literature). Return to Tamarlin was part of my final thesis. I was writing and submitting fiction for many years before I started my PhD, but the discipline of completing a thesis that was half theoretical exegesis and half creative writing certainly helped to hone my craft. I currently write in between a full-time day job, teaching creative writing, and marketing my novel.

Tell us about your process – are you a plotter or a winger?
I often start with a plot, but I rarely stick to it. I usually have a very strong beginning and ending – it is the bit in the middle that takes time to evolve. I tend to write my first draft at a gallop. I want the bones of the story there, and I’m always impatient to get to the end. Once I have the story down, I go back and start layering. That’s when I’ll add plot twists, and little idiosyncrasies in characters or communities, and start to explore certain themes within the novel in more depth. The first draft can be painful because it often feels like I have to force the story from one end to the other. The layering is the fun, creative part.

What have been the hardest lessons you’ve learned as a writer?
Patience. I never had much and I still have to work on it, but your entire life as a writer is consumed by waiting, and that takes patience. Waiting for ideas, waiting for replies on submissions, waiting for competition results, waiting for proofs – it doesn’t matter where you are in your career as a writer, you still have to wait!

Do you enjoy the promotional side of being an author?
Yes, and no. I enjoy meeting people face-to-face, and doing readings and talks. I enjoy answering questions, and talking about the process behind the writing. However, marketing the novel and selling my author brand, while necessary, is not quite as easy and very time consuming.

What’s been the most extraordinary ‘meeting a fan’ experience you’ve had?
I just finished a mini book tour to Lightning Ridge, Walgett and Coonabarabran. I was amazed at how much everyone appreciated the fact that I’d travelled all the way out there to read to them in person. It proves that no amount of digital interaction is as good as a real live author.

What’s next for K M Steele?
I’m currently writing Tiny’s World, a novel set in Mackay in the 1980s. I’m trying to recapture the zeitgeist of the time and having plenty of fun in the process.

Carolyn Martinez is an author, editor and speaker.




Kylie Chan – On Writing, Publishing and Marketing

From Taoist immortals to distant galaxies, Author Kylie Chan writes Fantasy based on Chinese mythology. She’s had 10 novels published by Harper-Collins, and 3 novellas self-published. In a hybrid mix, her manga/text combined novel ‘Small Shen’ (manga by Queenie Chan) was published in Australia by Harper-Collins and self-published in the US and UK with Ingram Spark. That’s a lot of experience all wrapped up in one author so of course I was quick to pick her brain for your benefit.

Who are your readers and why do they connect with your books?
I have readers from thirteen to ninety. I’m approached by children at conventions who I feel are far too young to be reading my stuff, but many of them are extremely mature for their age! One of the best things that happened was at a signing, and the bookstore manager, her mother, and her grandmother all came to get the books signed. Her grandmother was in her nineties and was a huge fan of the ‘White Tiger’.

What’s your professional background?
For most of my life I’ve been a specialist in information technology. I started out in the early eighties working on mainframes in the Bureau of Statistics in Canberra. PC’s hadn’t even been invented then, and when they appeared I raced to learn about this more portable and accessible technology. I’ve worked as a trainer, and in Hong Kong I was a consultant and expert in business intelligence systems. When I returned to Australia I had to start from the bottom again (for the third time) and just couldn’t face it. I decided to write a best-seller instead. I’m a full-time author now.

In terms of process, are you a plotter or do you wing it?
I do both: I have a big story arc idea in my head, and then release my characters into the world and gently steer them in the direction I want them to go. Sometimes they refuse.

What are the hardest lessons you’ve learned as a writer?
That the income isn’t nearly as much as I thought it would be. I would be making far more as an IT consultant. But writing gives me freedom and happiness that I wouldn’t give up for anything!

Do you enjoy the promotional side of being an author?
I love it! I love getting out and meeting the fans, and talking to everybody. Catching up with my peers at events is the best thing ever. Going to conventions is super fun, I adore the cosplay and because I have a nerdy background I can relate to my fellow nerds!

What marketing channels are worthwhile for authors, and what’s over-rated?
‘Building your author platform’ is seriously over-rated. It’s more important to produce quality stories. Having a terrific marketing effort and online presence will only work ONCE if your books aren’t fun to read or poorly edited; your readers will go to your work, see that it’s of poor quality, and never return. They’ll tell their friends, too. The biggest reason people buy books is because someone they trust has told them the book is good. No amount of the author telling them to buy their stuff will work (more than once).

What’s been the most extraordinary ‘meeting a fan’ experience you’ve had?
This happened at an Oz ComicCon last year.
Young woman: ‘You have thirty seconds to convince me why I should buy your books, with ten seconds to think about it. Starting… now.’
Me: ‘No.’
Her: (shocked)
Me: ‘They stand on their own merit. If you don’t want them, that’s fine.’
(She just went away.)

Another one:

Young man: ‘I don’t read books, I’ve never read a book, and I won’t read yours. If I did read, why should I read these ones?’

Oh! I have another one! This happened at Angus and Robertson in Post Office Square a few years ago, when I was just starting out. I was doing a signing with Marianne de Pierres.

Older woman: ‘Oh you’re signing your books? What are they about?’
Marianne: ‘Mine are space opera science fiction.’
Me: ‘Mine are fantasy based on Chinese mythology.’
Woman: ‘So they’re fiction?’
Us: ‘Yes.’
Woman: ‘Oh, I’m far to intelligent to read fiction.’ (Sticks her nose in the air and walks past us into the store.)
(Marianne and I still laugh at that one)

What’s next for Kylie Chan?
I’m busy working on the next ‘Dragon Empire’ book. I have a few workshops coming up that I’m presenting at the Queensland Writers Centre: one of them will be ‘self-publishing 101’ where I go through the basics. I’m appearing at Byron Writers Festival in August to talk about self-publishing with Ingram Spark. I’m giving a workshop at the Rainforest Writers Retreat. Oh, and I have an idea for a new story based in the ‘Dark Heavens’ universe!

Carolyn Martinez is an author, editor and speaker.




Inspiring IVF Stories

As seen on The Project, and in Woman’s Day and That’s Life…

Respected literary critic Magdalena Ball REVIEW

“A great resource for all those involved in the world of IVF – patients, their loved ones and professionals alike, promoting a deeper understanding of the process.” Dr Lisa Blackwell, Psychiatrist

Inspiring IVF Stories contains intimate chats with men and women across Australia. This book is unique; a must read for IVF couples, singles, egg and embryo donors and recipients alike. Author Carolyn Martinez speaks at conferences and libraries to promote better experiences for IVF patients. Her passion for the subject has seen her interviewed on ABC, KOFM and 2HD radio.

I read this book during my third IVF cycle. I couldn’t put it down, and laughed and cried my way through it. It gave me extra strength to get through the cycle.” Beth Curran

“I was thoroughly moved reading these stories. I laughed and cried with them all. A truly inspiring read.” Lynette Hammond

For IVF tips and conversations, join us on Facebook Facebook

Twenty-four men and women with courage, determination and a dream share the realities and highlights of their IVF journeys. This is a must read for anyone thinking about starting IVF, or already in the midst of IVF and struggling with the realities of the isolation and disappointments.

$15 FREE DELIVERY in AUSTRALIA

Purchase Hard Copy (Delivered in Australia) of Inspiring IVF Stories
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Author Carolyn Martinez has written two pieces for ABC Open 500 Words Project. Click below to read.

Ribcage Expanding to Accommodate Love

First Impressions of Newcastle




Finding Love Again (A Guide to)

Reviews – ‘life changing’, ‘real, honest & inspiring’, ‘brilliant’, ‘easy-to-read’, ‘engaging and thought-provoking’. If doing what you’ve always done is not giving you the results you seek, it’s time to do something different. Finding Love Again is a treasure trove of useful information for those looking for love again through divorce, separation or loss. Practical tips and information from relationship experts, real-life interviews, case studies, and self-reflection exercises. Choosing your next partner is an important decision – potentially impacting the rest of your life. You’ll learn what Critical and Negotiable Personal Values are, why these are just as important as physical attraction when choosing your partner, and why we so often get these wrong. You’ll also learn the art of open-ended questions and why these are paramount while dating. The parallels drawn from relationship theory to the experiences in the stories told by men and women – some of them partners – make for riveting reading. The self-reflection exercises help you discover your own values and round off what is a truly thought-provoking and engaging look at dating today. You will be inspired that it is possible to love again in this easy-to-read, highly informative, book. The author describes Finding Love Again as the book she wished she could have read when she found herself single at 32 years of age after a 12-year relationship ended. Finding Love Again is the compilation of three years of research and writing by the author.

Reviews

$18.95 FREE DELIVERY in AUSTRALIA

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Please note: We recently re-covered and re-named our book. Finding Love: 7 Things You Need to Know Before You Date Again is the same book as Finding Love Again.




Examining Life Under a Different Lens – Fantasy Author Bernadette Rowley

‘All children, except one, grow up.’ That’s the opening line in J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, and that’s the brilliance of fantasy writers – they grab our attention, drawing us into scenes that examine life through a different lens, under different rules.

Author Q&A:

What draws you to writing Fantasy Romance?

First of all, I love fantasy so that comes first. I spent decades living in the fantasy worlds of Feist, Tolkien, Eddings and Robert Jordan to name but a few. When I was challenged by my mentor, Louise Cusack, to write a romance, I naturally chose the fantasy genre. Princess Avenger was that romance and from there, my world of Thorius has given me seven other stories so far. What could be better than ‘happily ever after’ with a big serve of magic?

Why do you think your characters resonate so well with readers?

That’s lovely of you to say that, Carolyn. I’d like to think readers can relate to the faults and failings in my characters as well as their heroic qualities. I try to get to know the characters before I start writing and some really do capture my imagination and take on more of a life of their own- most do actually. Princess Alecia from Princess Avenger is a favourite and shares much of my idealism from my younger days. There are others like Lady Katrine Aranati from The Master and the Sorceress (soon to be released) who were secondary characters in previous books and demanded a story of their own.

Are there any rules you have to follow to ensure fantasy characters are believable and relatable?

Not rules as such. It’s the same for any character. The author has to know and understand the character to be able to portray them realistically and consistently. Before I start writing, I brainstorm each main character from physical characteristics, strengths, weaknesses, greatest loves/hates, ambitions, family structure they grew up in, place in family, their deeply held beliefs and much more. I get a sense of their experiences leading up to the start of their written story. The hero and heroine may be larger than life but they still have the same basic flaws and failings as the reader. It’s about placing challenges in front of them and having them solve them in an authentic way, but perhaps with magic or even in another form.

What’s the difference between an expertly written character that draws the reader in, and a poorly written character that readers don’t connect with?

Once I know the character, I can write deep in that head space. As I’m writing, I become the character and express what the heroine is feeling/thinking in the moment. This deep point of view allows the character to get their hooks into the reader and gives them a deeper experience. Of course my editor is such a help in drawing to my attention anything that isn’t consistent or believable for a particular character.

What are the Top 3 Best and the Top 3 Worst features of being a writer?

Editing is my favourite part of being an author. I love seeing the prose take shape into something I can be really proud of. The first glimpse of a new cover is such a buzz. Receiving praise from a reader who has enjoyed your book is totally wonderful.

Balancing that, the worse features would be the struggle to get your work out there (marketing), the poor monetary return and self-promotion which is so difficult for introverts- which most authors are.

Would you care to share with us your proudest moment in your writing career, and perhaps also a low-light moment for perspective?

I was really proud when Penguin Australia offered to publish Princess Avenger. It had taken six years of deliberate focus on writing to be published to get to that point. Penguin published The Lady’s Choice as my second book as well and I was over the moon. Then they declined further books. That was probably the lowest point. I knew I could self-publish but I wanted to have books with a major publisher as well. I pitched to Pan Macmillan Australia who offered me a two book contract-another very high point. The Lord and the Mermaid and The Elf King’s Lady were born.

Do you have a personal favourite from your booklist?

My favourite is The Lady’s Choice. The heroine, Benae, has a very strong relationship with Flaire, her horse, and is also a healer. She can communicate telepathically with Flaire and her healing style is also with her mind. Being a vet, I would love to be able to delve deep into the body and heal with nothing more than the power of thought. I also had a very close relationship with my horse, Captain, when I was a young woman.

Princess Avenger will always hold a special place in my heart, being my first published work. I love how sassy Alecia is. I also adore shapeshifting hero Vard.

Princess in Exile was the second book I wrote and continued Alecia’s love affair with her dark and dangerous hero. Once I self-published, I was able to bring this story to the world. I’m totally in love with the cover.

The Lord and the Mermaid is fabulous as it is such an impossible love story. The hero is sailing captain Nikolas and he is so delicious. He shelters Merielle when he finds her washed up on the beach even though he is sworn to hate mermaids.

The Elf Kings’ Lady tells the love story of two secondary characters from The Lord and the Mermaid, Alique and Kain. They are also impossible together but they manage to find a way to overcome that. This is another story where my healing background takes centre stage.

The Lady and the Pirate brings together a pirate hero and a desperate lady smuggler. I love these two so much! Again they beat the odds to find an enduring love. And this book gave birth to The Master and the Sorceress which will be released in April 2018. Katrine is the younger sister of Esta, the heroine of The Lady and the Pirate, and demanded her own story as only younger siblings can. I love her and I adore the cover of this book!

What’s next for Bernadette Rowley?

I have two books for release this year. The first is The Master and the Sorceress in April and the second is Elf Princess Warrior. Elf Princess is a spin off from The Elf King’s Lady and has a dark elven princess as the heroine. I can’t wait for you to read this one!

Carolyn Martinez is an author, editor and speaker.




Rachel Amphlett – Crime Fiction and Espionage Thriller Author

Before turning to writing, Rachel played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.

She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the Detective Kay Hunter series.

Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel cites her writing influences as Michael Connelly, Lee Child, and Robert Ludlum. She’s also a huge fan of Peter James, Val McDermid, Robert Crais, Stuart MacBride, and many more.

She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.

Call-to-Arms-3D-with-Spine-300x300Her latest release is Call to Arms. (Synopsis – Loyalty has a price. Kay Hunter has survived a vicious attack at the hands of one of the country’s most evil serial killers. Returning to work after an enforced absence to recover, she discovers she wasn’t the only victim of that investigation. DI Devon Sharp remains suspended from duties, and the team is in turmoil. Determined to prove herself once more and clear his name, Kay undertakes to solve a cold case that links Sharp to his accuser. But, as she gets closer to the truth, she realises her enquiries could do more harm than good. Torn between protecting her mentor and finding out the truth, the consequences of Kay’s enquiries will reach far beyond her new role… Call to Arms is a gripping murder mystery, and the fifth in the Detective Kay Hunter series).

AUTHOR Q&A

What draws you to writing Crime Fiction and Spy Novels?

That’s easy – it’s what I was brought up on. Both my parents’ and grandparents’ bookshelves were teeming with books by the likes of Dick Francis, Ed McBain, Jack Higgins, Alistair McLean, Len Deighton, and Frederick Forsyth, so it was only a matter of time before I headed off down that path.

Why do you think your characters resonate so well with readers?

I’m hoping it’s because readers can relate to them, and that I make sure that they’re motivated characters – even the bad guy has to have a reason for what he’s doing, and if you have a motive for every single person on the stage, then it’s easier to get the reader to empathise with them even if that makes them uncomfortable.

With the Detective Kay Hunter series, I was determined to have someone who didn’t have a broken home life – there are enough like that around. Instead, I wanted her to be resilient without being arrogant and gave her somewhere safe to return to after a day’s work.

I have a lot of fun writing the various series, and I hope that comes across in the stories as well.

What are the essentials for success on Amazon and the other big depositories?

I think the best things to do to give yourself a head start on any of the retailers’ websites is to make sure you have your work professionally edited and get the best book cover you can. Take a look at what other publishers are doing and emulate your cover design to be “on trend” – you can always change it in later years if tastes change.

I ran a series of advice segments about publishing and marketing for ABC Brisbane over the Christmas/New Year break in 2016 with lots of tips and tricks. The show notes for those can be found here.

How big a part have your series – Detective Kay Hunter, English Spy Mysteries, and the Dan Taylor Espionage Thrillers, played in your success?

I think series give readers and me as a writer a better chance to explore character development and to let otherwise “minor” characters their time to shine in the spotlight. Often, I’ll get to the end of a new book in a series and think “this person has more to say”, and off I go again.

The standalones were fun to write, too though, so I wouldn’t discount writing a standalone if that’s what you want to do. After all, if a story gets hold of you, it’s not going to let you go until you write it…

What have you been your most rewarding and fruitful marketing experiences?

Building a mailing list has to be number one out of everything I’ve done – I love hearing from readers, and the members of my Readers Group and launch teams are phenomenal about supporting my writing and helping to spread the word. Some of them have been with me since the beginning, and are from all over the world.

Would you care to share with us your proudest moment in your writing career?

One of the proudest moments was when I was asked by the local Sisters in Crime group to read out an excerpt from my first spy novel at the Brisbane Launch of Stella Rimington’s The Geneva Trap – she’s such an inspiration and has obviously had a very interesting life as the former director of the British Secret Service.

Do you have a personal favourite from your booklist?

LookCloserI think it’s Look Closer – that was the standalone novel that gave me the confidence to plan and research the Kay Hunter series.

What’s next for Rachel Amphlett?

Well, I’m halfway through writing book six in the Detective Kay Hunter series, so that will keep me busy for a while!

 

Carolyn Martinez is an author, editor and speaker.