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Eva Scott: Red Dust Dreaming

Interview with Eva Scott

Susana: Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

Eva%20Scott%20Web copyEva: Red Dust Dreaming is about losing your dreams, and finding them again. It’s about what makes a family—and that sometimes it’s okay to choose your family rather than stick with one that diminishes you.

Susana: Are you working on something at present that you would like to tell us about?

Eva: I am working on another rural romance—this one is about an Aussie showgirl who has spent the last 12 years dancing at the Moulin Rouge in Paris. She’s exhausted ( a dancer’s life is short) and inherits a farm off of her favourite uncle. So she decides to head home and see if she can make a career out of farming cattle. Of course she knows nothing about cows—but she can learn anything she needs to know off of Google, right? Throw in a handsome neighbour with a secret and stir.

Susana: What are you reading now?

Eva: Right at this very moment I’m reading The American Lady, the second book in The Glassblower Trilogy by Petra Durst-Benning. Next on my list is Deep by Kylie Scott. I’ve been hanging out for that one…

Susana: What author or authors have most influenced your writing?

Eva: I read Isabel Allende in the early 1990s and she blew my mind. Magic Realism was something I’d never encountered before and it was mesmerising. More recently I learned a lot about the elegance of writing from reading Donna Tartt and Kauai Hart Hemmings.

Susana: What would we find under your bed?

Eva: Abandoned Lego, my dog taking a nap and the odd random shoe.

Susana: Describe the “perfect hero.” What about the “perfect hero” for you?

Eva: Okay, so this will sound super corny but it’s my husband, G.W.Gibson. He is thoughtful and attentive. My happiness is a priority for him and he knows me better than I know myself. As a result he is there to catch me long before I fall from exhaustion/stress/whatever else ails me. He’s romantic (yes, flowers and jewelry girls!) and there’s never a moment I don’t feel valued and loved.

Susana: What is the one modern convenience you can’t do without?

Eva: My smart phone. It acts as a book/phone/notepad/internet/game. If I’ve got it on me I can get anything done on the run. Genius!

About Red Dust Dreaming

In the battle of duty versus desire, only one can survive the hot Australian sunshine.

Elizabeth Langtree has her life in order—safe, organised, planned. Sure, she has her troubles, but they are nothing she can’t handle. Then everything is turned upside down when her family send her to Australia to collect her orphaned nephew.

It all seemed so simple in New York, but Australia is nothing like she expected, and she soon falls under the spell of the Outback—the station, the lifestyle, and the seriously sexy owner who has been caring for Luke since the death of his mother.

Elizabeth soon discovers that what seemed simple a world away is anything but, and her duty is at odds with the dictates of her heart. She must choose, knowing that a mistake will not only cost her everything, but destroy the future of a devastated little boy.

Escape PublishingAmazon.com Amazon.aus iTunes

Excerpt

“You know it’s wrong to put those ideas into Luke’s head, don’t you?” Elizabeth hissed at him from across the table.

Red Dust Dreaming Cover copy“Don’t look at me.” He raised his hands in mock surrender. “All of that came from your sister.”

“New York smells and there are no horses?” She folded her arms across her chest and glared at him with those blue eyes.

“Okay, so that bit was me,” he admitted.

“And I bet you think it’s all very funny, don’t you?” She glowed with a strange kind of beauty when she was fuming.

“You’ve got that wrong, sister. This isn’t a joke to me. This is war. You’re trying to take Luke away from the only home he’s ever known to give him to people who his mother spent her life trying to get away from.” He leaned towards her, palms pressed flat against the table.

Elizabeth pushed her chair back and stood up. “You’re the one who’s got it wrong, buddy. And if you cared so much for my sister and her son why didn’t you marry her and adopt him?”

Caden’s chair scraped loudly on the floor as he rose to his feet. “My relationship with Angela is none of your business. She lived her life the way she wanted to.”

Elizabeth gasped in outrage. “What are you implying?”

“Implying? Nothing at all. I’m not implying anything I’m saying it plainly. She ran away from your dysfunctional family and made a new family here with us. We’re Luke’s family, maybe not by blood but sometimes blood just doesn’t matter.” He noticed he’d walked around the table to face her. When had he done that?

“I live my life the way I want to.” She narrowed her eyes, her fists were balled up at her sides. Unless he was mistaken she was sizing him up.

“Right, sure you do. You did whatever Mummy and Daddy wanted. I bet life is just peachy. Well it wasn’t, to hear Angela tell it.” Caden really hadn’t meant to start this fight. If he could take it all back he would but the words just kept pouring out of his mouth uncensored. He had to stop before they both all went too far.

“My childhood wasn’t so great either but I made the best of it. Angela rebelled every inch of the way and look where that got her!”

“What exactly are you implying?”

“I’m not implying anything. I’m calling it as I see it. She ran away to hide in this godforsaken place and left me to face our parents on my own.” Her hands were on her hips and her cheeks were flushed. Damn she looked pretty! And that particular fact only fuelled his anger.

“I can’t stop you from taking Luke to New York. Believe me if I could I would. Just ask yourself this question, if New York is so damned good why did Angela run so far? Why did she deny your parents their grandchild? Why didn’t she tell you she was dying? She had a choice and she exercised it. She chose freedom. Do you really want Luke to wind up as uptight and miserable as you are?” He’d gone too far now. His words whirled about their heads like a flock of startled sparrows. Caden’s heart pounded in his chest. In some strange way he was having Angela’s argument for her, the one she never got to have. He’d heard her side of the story a thousand times and part of him justified his cruel words in defence of Angela.

Elizabeth looked as shocked as if he’d slapped her, and in some way he had—verbally. His bravado evaporated as he looked into her eyes. Fury and pain lurked in their blue depths. He’d ignited both tonight.

“I am not uptight,” she bit out between clenched teeth. She looked so angry, so small and alone in his kitchen there was only one logical thing to do.

He took a step closer, inhaling her scent of sultry summer flowers. “Oh really,” he said before crushing her to him and kissing her with everything he had.

About the Author

Eva Scott writes contemporary romance set in her homeland of Australia and historical fiction set in the Ancient World. Her books offer passion and adventure in some of the most beautiful and intriguing places in the world. Her heroes and heroines are strong, sassy and ready to rise to their challenges, and learn a little bit about themselves along the way.

Having lived overseas for several years, Eva returned to study anthropology before heading off to live in Papua New Guinea for a year. There she met the love of her life, author G.W. Gibson, who was stationed there with the Australian Defence Force. The rest is history, romantic history.

She now lives on the Redcliffe peninsula with her husband, small son and an assortment of animals. When Eva is not writing she enjoys mentoring first-time authors, cooking up a story, practising yoga and getting out on the bay on her stand-up paddle board.

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Eva Scott, Susanne Bellamy, Elizabeth Ellen Carter, and Noelle Clark: A Season to Remember

combined author pic

A Season to Remember

A Christmas anthology from four Australian authors

Eva Scott, Susanne Bellamy, Elizabeth Ellen Carter, and Noelle Clark

Release Date: November 28, 2014

Free download from Amazon

Four short stories on the Christmas theme, spanning time, places. Uplifting, funny, thought-provoking, heart-warming, ‘A Season to Remember’ will make your heart sing.

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Interview With the Authors

What advice would you give writers just starting out?

Elizabeth Ellen: Get the words out. Don’t mentally edit as you go. Concentrate on telling a good story first. Don’t worry about pithy prose or vivid description – that can come in subsequent drafts. Also read. Read the best writers in the genre you love and work out why you love the story. Is it the characters? The plot? The description? By identifying ‘why’ you love those things will point you to the ‘how’ on creating that yourself.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

Susanne: I have the luxury of being able to move between several work spaces, inside or on one of our verandas, depending on the temperature. The change of perspective will often trip the ‘on’ switch in my head. Failing that, I work through the plot point as a logical problem that needs to be solved.

What comes first, the plot or the characters?

Susanne: First meetings! Knowing where and how characters meet tells me so much about them and their personalities. For example, the couple in my first Italian novella, One Night in Sorrento, sprang into being while my husband and I were travelling on the Amalfi Coast in Italy. It’s a busy, winding, but stunningly beautiful coastal road, and their meeting simply arrived in my imagination!

Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

Elizabeth Ellen: The two cats in Three Ships are based on my two cats, Claude and his little sister Coco.

Are you working on something at present you would like to tell us about?

Elizabeth Ellen: I’ve just finished writing a short story sequel to my debut Regency romance, called Moonstone Promise. I have also done a full length sequel Moonstone Conspiracy which will be out next year.

I’m also researching a Roman era (3rd century AD) story what is interesting is I’m pulling today’s headlines for the plot.

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

Eva: Isabel Allende (House of the Spirits, Eva Luna), Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch), J.K. Rowling (no need to list those titles), Kaui Hart Hemmings (The Descendants). All of these writers made me walk around for weeks wishing I could write like them.

What is your work schedule like when writing?

Eva: Crazy! I call it the Sara Lee Method – layer upon layer upon layer. I’ve got a toddler so things get hectic. I layer writing in amongst the kid stuff and the house stuff. There’s no set time, I’ve just got to grab it as I go.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Susanne: A ballerina (I studied ballet and contemporary dance for thirteen years), an air hostess (as they were then called; I studied French and Japanese at high school in preparation for a glamorous, international lifestyle!) and finally, an archaeologist because I fell passionately in love with Ancient History.

Noelle: Mature and sophisticated. Alas, I never achieved that goal.

What is your favorite food? Least favorite? Why?

Eva: Least favourite food – Chokos! My grandmother used to boil the hell out of them and I loathe the taste. There is absolutely nothing you can do to make them better in my opinion. Favourite food – probably pizza. If I was on death row that’s probably what I’d order even though there are far more amazing dishes to have. I find pizza a very satisfying comfort food.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Noelle: I’m a hybrid of both methods. I plot, create my characters in great detail, know my location intimately, study maps, climates etc…but then when it comes to writing, I just follow the characters and end up somewhere entirely different to what I planned.

What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?

Elizabeth Ellen: I like to drive fast cars.

Is there a writer you idolize? Is so, who?

Susanne: Margaret Atwood. I love the possibilities firmly rooted in some real aspect of present life. She takes an idea and marches it down the road of ‘what if’ and creates fascinating tales. Alias Grace and The Handmaid’s Tale are two of my favourite books by her.

What would we find under your bed?

Noelle: I’m ashamed to say there’s mostly dust bunnies, but I try to keep them under control.

Eva: Several small toys and the dog, an ancient cocker spaniel named Taj.

Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book. Where would you most likely want to go?

Susanne: Back to Nepal! I travelled through parts of the country many years ago with my husband, who has returned to trek and climb several times. My next romantic suspense, Her Mountain Man, which is part of a trilogy, is set on the Everest track.

Noelle: Italy and/or France. Those locations set my muse into a frenzy of story ideas.

Do you have a favorite quote or saying?

Elizabeth Ellen: I’m sorry, I forgot.

Eva: There’s more ways than one to skin a cat. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?

Noelle: This is an interesting question as I have yearnings to write in several genres. At the moment I mainly write Contemporary Romance, but I’m drifting towards Women’s Fiction too. I also have a completed manuscript of a Commercial Historical Fiction book that hopefully will be published in 2015.

Elizabeth Ellen: I love historicals but I do have great ideas for outside this genre. I have a contemporary rom-com and a ghost story short story that I’m looking forward to writing.

What is something you’d like to accomplish in your writing career next year?

Noelle: I would love to try self-publishing. I have a novella manuscript all ready to go that I’d like to use as my experiment into self-publishing. I also have two more books contracted with Secret Cravings that I need to finish. I’d love to do another Christmas anthology with my buddies, Eva, Elizabeth, and Susanne.

illustration for Three Ships

Three Ships by Elizabeth Ellen Carter

An adventure romance set in the early 19th century on the Devon coast.

Excerpt

“Why doesn’t the lieutenant do something?” Laura whispered tautly.

“Just wait,” her father insisted.

Blackwell too had stopped running as he watched his two men close the gap. They were now only ten yards away when Renten picked up the lantern, pulled out the candle and dropped it in the cauldron.

The blackguards closed in – five yards, two yards – then the powder in the cauldron ignited. Renten disappeared in a flash of light and billowing smoke.

The two men ran into the miasma and, a moment later, their cries of distress were heard as they ran right off the edge of the cliff.

Laura gripped her father’s hand at the sound and the sight.

When the white-blue smoke cleared, the cliff edge was deserted, save for the cauldron.

illustration for Sands of Time

Sands of Time by Noelle Clark

Kitty faces her first Christmas without the love of her life. She looks back with fondness on the memories of Christmases past and, with the love and support of her grandson Joe, finds inner strength to face the future with anticipation. Kitty realises that, as she gets older, time passes so quickly. Although sad and happy memories flood through her on this special Christmas day, she chooses to embrace every moment of life.

Excerpt

They were nearing Kingfisher Island. Not a grain of the tract that joined the small sandy cay to the mainland was visible. A couple of small boats were moored along the deep channel on the southern side of the causeway, with people fishing from them. The boats bobbed up and down on the whitecaps, sometimes disappearing from view, then emerging again.

“Just over there, please, Joe. Near that clump of mangroves.”

Joe pulled on one oar, turning the bow of the boat towards where she pointed. Within a minute, she heard the sand scraping against the keel under the boat. Clamping her hand on the gunwale for support, she stood carefully and jumped over the side, landing in knee-deep water. Joe shipped the oars and joined her, the water not even reaching halfway to his knees. He grabbed the pointy prow and pulled the boat up onto the beach.

She gazed around her, the familiar sight of the few remaining stumpy mangrove trees, and the covering of pigface on the small dunes bringing a lump to her throat. The mauve star-shaped blossoms of the coastal succulent groundcover looked exactly as they had done for all these years. Nature’s legacy, constant and predictable, unlike humans, whose term on this planet was fleeting. For a moment she recalled the faint, salty perfume of the little dune succulents whose strong roots helped the sandy hillocks from washing away with each tide. When crushed, they emitted a soft waft of delicate scent. Not for the first time, she wondered why they’d been given the hideous name of pigface.

Joe’s outstretched hand appeared before her eyes, inviting her to take it. She refocused her vision, reached out, grasped it, and took a few steps through the water and up towards the sandy beach. Joe tugged gently on her hand, helping her to stand upright in the choppy waters which made the little boat bob roughly. A cascade of spray caught them both in the face as it slapped against the side of the wooden boat with a thud. They laughed in unison, blinking at each other through salt-filled eyes.

“Gotcha, Nan.” Joe’s smile, always so generous, beamed at her. She smiled back, raised her arm, and wiped her face with the sleeve of her blouse.

He held on to her hand until she reached the dry beach, then he stretched into the prow of the dinghy and pulled out an anchor attached to a sturdy rope, walked further up the beach, and buried it firmly into the sand. When it was secured, Joe turned and retrieved the picnic basket and the rest of the things they needed for their visit to the island, and deposited them where the low dunes met the beach. She walked to the picnic basket, leaned over and opened it, took out an old blue blanket, and spread it down on the sparse tufts of grass. Ignoring her sand-encrusted feet, she stepped onto the blanket, sank back on her elbows and gazed dreamily up at the cobalt sky.

illustration for All That Glitters

All That Glitters by Eva Scott

Molly is a modern day Cinderella, second best to her half-sister Aimee and never measuring up to her step-mother’s expectations. Now Aimee has the chance to marry an elderly millionaire and Molly is expected to keep the man’s grandson, Connor Rathmore, from sabotaging the event. Handsome, charismatic and very, very sexy – how is she going to keep him from sabotaging her heart?

Excerpt

“Well, are you ready?” She sounded rude but it was all she could manage to say. On the way over to pick him up she’d been too preoccupied to consider him at all. Instead she replayed the conversation she’d had with her stepmother. After receiving a reprimand for arriving late, Maria had grilled her over Connor Rathmore and found her answers less than satisfactory. Then the lecture started on her appearance. Where were the shoes? She’d kicked off those horrible expensive shoes at the airport and hadn’t given them another thought. An unforgivable act in her stepmother’s eyes. It was impressed upon her that she must try harder and remember her sister’s happiness. Of course. Molly loved her half-sister, Aimee, despite the fact the girl was spoilt rotten. Underneath all the embellishments she really did have a good heart. It wasn’t Aimee’s fault she’d been raised to be a life-sized doll.

She appraised the man before her. She steeled herself not to react to him. When he’d opened the hotel room door, more primal male than any man she had ever encountered, something unexpected happened to her. Bam! Right to the heart. Very inconvenient and impossible, the idea could not be entertained. Not for a millisecond. The consequences would be devastating.

“Good evening to you too.” He bestowed what she assumed was his best killer smile. “Shall we go?”

He stepped through the door, so close the heat radiating off his body hit her like a furnace. Her natural reserve began to melt. The scent of him was so… masculine and her knees wobbled as she caught her breath. Moving away wasn’t an option, even if she tried.

He smiled as if aware of the effect he had on her. Without looking back he strode towards the elevator and pushed the button. They stood in silence side by side while they waited. The animal magnetism between them shimmered, increasing with every passing second.

Molly’s senses scrambled. She stumbled into the lift. This situation would need careful handling. The man beside her must not guess his presence caused a meltdown. Her attraction to him created a complication she did not need. Just one week. Please help me make it through this one week. If her stepmother suspected an attraction between Molly and Connor, all hell would break loose.

illustration for A Touch of Christmas

A Touch of Christmas by Susanne Bellamy

As Starship Bluefire settles into orbit around Earth, Captain Andra Veluthian anticipates meeting her favourite human, Colonel Nick Madigan. Have his efforts to save the planet succeeded? And if so, will she lose any chance to be with him?

Knowing Andra’s fascination with all things Terran, Nick has planned a surprise for her. After all, it is Christmas, the season of giving. But when Earth’s leader and the Gravlarian captain spend time planet side, the temperature soars.

Excerpt

Starship Bluefire – Log entry #1878 Orbit established around Planet Earth. Local time: 0715 – 22 December 2525 AD

“Reverse thruster off. Docking complete, Captain.”

Captain Andra Veluthian ordered her viewing screen to retract, rolled her shoulders then rested her head against the padded headrest of her Conforma-chair and looked at the view. Framed by a huge window on the bridge, planet Earth appeared close and surprisingly whiter than on her last stopover two years earlier. Through breaks in the dense cloud cover she could even discern the long coastline of what Earth dwellers used to call South America and, just appearing on the western edge across an expanse of ocean, was the island continent they called Australia. Home of the wombat, wallaroo and one handsome colonel.

Colonel Nicholas Madigan, political leader and guiding hand in Earth’s struggle against extinction.

Last visit, the fair-haired colonel had set more than a few hearts pounding among her crew. Including hers.

About the Authors

Elizabeth Ellen Carter

A future with words was always on the books for Elizabeth Ellen Carter who started writing her own stories when she ran out of Nancy Drew mysteries to read at the age of ten. Using her mother’s Olivetti typewriter with all italic keys, she spent endless school holidays making up her own (italicised) stories and then using the Dewey Decimal System to arrange and categorise her bookshelf.

Somewhere around the age of 13, she determined to become a journalist and at 17 was awarded a newspaper cadetship. She covered news, council, education and health but had the most fun as an entertainment and features reporter covering film, TV and music.

Best of all, she met her husband at the newspaper and, together, they started a small award-winning media, marketing and advertising agency. Today, she works as marketing manager for an international organic skin care company.

In 2012, Elizabeth also returned to the keyboard to write stories (and found laptops are so much better than manual typewriters).

Her debut novel, Moonstone Obsession, was shortlisted for the 2013 Romance Writers of Australia’s Emerald Awards for unpublished manuscripts.

Elizabeth is a member of the Romance Writers of Australia, the Australian Romance Readers Association and the Gold Coast Writers Association. She is currently published by Etopia Press.

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Noelle Clark

Noelle Clark is an Australian author of contemporary romance and commercial historical fiction novels. Her books weave romance, intrigue, and adventure into colourful, exotic, and interesting locations around the world. Widely travelled, Noelle uses real life experience of places, culture, and people as a backdrop to her stories, giving the reader an authentic taste of the location. Her novels feature strong, mature heroines and heroes, who—often without knowing it—are ready for new beginnings.

She lives close to the sea and shares her home with two cats and two dogs. She has two grown up children, and five very small grandchildren. When Noelle’s not writing and travelling, she plays guitar, tends her vegetable garden, enjoys the company of family and friends, and—of course—reading.

Noelle is a member of Queensland Writers Centre; YON Beyond Writing Group; Romance Writers of Australia; and Australian Romance Readers Association, and is currently published by Etopia Press and Secret Cravings Publishing.

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Eva Scott

Eva Scott writes contemporary romance set in her homeland of Australia and historical fiction set in the Ancient World. Her books offer passion and adventure in some of the most beautiful and intriguing places in the world. Her heroes and heroines are strong, sassy and ready to rise to their challenges, and learn a little bit about themselves along the way.

Having lived overseas for several years, Eva returned to study Anthropology before heading off to live in Papua New Guinea for a year. There she met the love of her life, author G.W. Gibson, who was stationed there with the Australian Defence Force. The rest is history, romantic history.

She now lives on the Redcliffe peninsula with her husband, small son and an assortment of animals. When Eva is not writing she enjoys mentoring first-time authors, cooking up a story, practising yoga and getting out on the bay on her stand-up paddle board.

Eva is a member of Romance Writers of Australia; North Lakes Writers Group; Queensland Writers Centre and Australian Romance Readers Association. She is published by Musa Publishing and Harlequin Escape.

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Susanne Bellamy

Susanne is an Australian author of contemporary and suspense romances set in exciting and often exotic locations. Her heroes have to be pretty special to live up to the real life one she married. He saved her life then married her. They live on the edge of bush land on a mountain in beautiful sunny Queensland, Australia with two children and their dog.

Paris will always be one of her top spots, and she fell in love with Scotland when they visited the west coast (nothing to do with fine single malts!), and recently had her first real trip to Italy–tick off one Bucket List item!  She has enjoyed New Year in Kathmandu and trekked in the Annapurnas, sailed in Ha Long Bay on a junk, and stayed on a floating hotel beside a tethered elephant in Thailand. The Peak in Hong Kong and Mt Faber cable car ride in Singapore are favourite spots. Susanne loves travelling to new places and exploring the culture and history, and meeting new people. These experiences are gradually being incorporated into her stories.

Her as yet unrealised dream is a trip into Earth’s orbit.

Susanne is a member of RWA and enjoys mentoring new authors. She is published with Escape Publishing, and will be a 2015 release author with Entangled Publishing.

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Eva Scott Re-Release Blog Tour

The Reluctant Wedding Planner

thereluctantweddingplanner-200 (2)Dr Camden James is a rural vet, not a wedding planner, so he quickly feels out of his depth when, in a fit of generosity, he offers to glam up his sister’s budget wedding in a secret move designed to surprise her. With only six weeks to make this the wedding of his sister’s dreams he needs to move fast.

Stumbling around in the largely female world of weddings he gets a lead on the go-to girl for wedding flowers – Georgiana Mac Intyre. Georgi, reeling from a very public breakup, is not interested in men in anyway shape or form. Not even super-cute vets – even when they are clearly interested in her.

Cam shamelessly uses his story to get her to help. It has all the elements; romance against the odds, true love, orphans (you can’t have good story without an orphan or two), and a bride.

The Marriage Makeover

themarriagemakeover-200 (2)Nick and Talia Carmichael were childhood sweethearts. Grief over the death of their baby daughter from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome crushed their marriage. Talia moved to a new city, with a new career and life. Now it’s time to close the door on the past and ask Nick for a divorce.

Nick has other ideas. Once his wife, always his wife. He has no intention of letting Talia off so lightly and proposes terms and conditions to his agreement. It will mean moving back into their marital home, and force her to face long buried grief. Can she do as he asks?

Being with Nick causes her to question everything she thought was true. Has she made a mistake thinking her love for Nick is dead? Can he still love her? More importantly, can he again trust after everything they’ve been through?

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

twasthenightbeforechristmas-200During her Christmas Eve performance, part time Burlesque dancer Miss Ginger Snap looks out into the crowd to see her first and only love, Clay Roberts. The man who broke her heart and betrayed her. The man who caused her to flee her home town to Sydney and never look back. Desperate to avoid him, she makes a mad dash for the last train back to her home town in time for Christmas.

For Clay time stands still as he recognises the dancer. He’s certain it’s Jessica King. She ran out on him at their high school graduation and he’s been searching for her ever since. After missing her train, Clay convinces Jessica to travel home with him.

Can Clay convince his one true love to give him the opportunity to atone and a second chance? Can Jess risk being hurt again by the man she loved?

Musa PublishingAmazon

About the Author

Eva lives on the Sunshine Coast, in Queensland Australia in the town which brought the world the Bee Gees. When she’s not writing romance you can find her out on the water kayaking, fishing or swimming. When on dry land it’s all about the shoes and the coffee (and old Bee Gees records).

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Eva Scott and “Barbarian Bride”

Barbarian Bride

by Eva Scott

I’ve often wondered how I would fare if I were suddenly transported back in time to Ancient Rome.  I like to think of myself as an independent sort of woman, and I’m sure you think of yourself the same way.  But women in Rome were not independent, not in the slightest.  A woman “belonged” to her father even after she married.  The only way a woman could gain her independence was by having children.  Once she’d had four living children she was entitled to a modicum of financial independence.  Of course she had to survive childbirth which was no mean feat!

Interestingly my heroines are not Roman.  They are from other parts of the ancient world – Sarmatia and the great nation of the Hun.  Both these cultures gave women the right to fight alongside their men and to a certain level of equality Roman women did not enjoy.  Not that Sarmatian and Hun women were equal in status to their men, not at all, but they did have more freedom and opportunity than Roman women.  I think I like to see how these independent women tackle patriarchal Rome and I wonder if I’d do the same.

Klara, the heroine in Barbarian Bride, is the daughter of a Hun chief.  Accustomed to riding on the grass plains and wielding a weapon she is unprepared to fall in love with a Roman – even if he is unconventional – and living in a city and being a dutiful Roman-style wife is just not on her agenda.  Nor is fighting for her life in the Coliseum although her upbringing does give her the skills and the desire to win her freedom, or die trying.

If you read The Last Gladiatrix (the first book in the Romancing The Romans series) you may remember Klara.  We meet her briefly when she befriends Xanthe and gives her some valuable advice about surviving the Romans.  Barbarian Bride is Klara’s story; how she came to Rome and how she fares once there.  If you like your heroine’s brave, feisty and funny and your hero bad-boy then this book is for you!

About Barbarian Bride  

On the bloody ground of the Colosseum, she fights to save her life. In the treacherous boxes above, he fights to save their love.

Barbarian Bride smallThough Klara didn’t love the man who was to be her husband, she didn’t want him murdered, and she vows to track down the man who committed the crime. Sickened that she’d been attracted to the mysterious Roman, Klara tracks Lucius Aurelius to the fringes of the Roman Empire, only to find that they’ve both been trapped in a clever plot to overthrow Klara’s father, the Chief of the Huns.

Klara is separated from Lucius, captured by slavers and sold to a gladiator school. She is the only one who can save herself, by fighting for her freedom. Lucius can ensure her battle is easier, but only by sacrificing himself. How much is he willing to give up for the fiery woman he’s come to love?

Available

Harlequin Escape • iTunesAmazonAmazon Australia

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Excerpt

Settling back, Klara surveyed the room for the candidate most likely to know Lucius Aurelius.  With so many unwashed, bearded rascals to choose from it was hard to pick.  Finally her gaze alighted on a burly old man whose eyes reminded her of Lucius.  Abandoning the revolting beer she made her way cautiously to where the man sat alone.  He was intent on a dish of stew and didn’t notice her approach.  Klara stood before him, awkward in her uncertainty of what to do next.

She cleared her throat.  The man shovelled another spoonful of stew in his mouth and did not look up.  She tried again, a little louder this time, and still the man ignored her.  Sliding her knife from its sheath Klara slammed the point down into the table where it quivered menacingly.  The spoon stopped half way to the old man’s mouth.  He looked up under busy eyebrows and regarded her for a long moment before the spoon continued its journey.  Chewing slowly he simply sat and looked at her.

Klara put her hands on her hips.  Now she had the man’s attention starting a conversation about Lucius seemed even harder than she thought it would be.  The man lowered his gaze, scooping up another spoonful of stew, and she found herself dismissed.

“Hey!” she slammed both her hand down on the table.  “I want to talk to you.”

“So talk.” The fact he didn’t bother to look up infuriated Klara.  The man has no manners— and they call Hun barbarians.

“I’m looking for a man.”

He looked up then.  “Really?”  Pushing the bowl away he leaned back in his chair, letting his eyes roam over the curves of her body.  “I’d be happy to oblige.”

Klara swept the empty bowl off the table with the back of her hand.  It clattered on the floor and rolled under the table.  Her chest heaved with suppressed anger.

“Might I suggest you would do better with men if you tempered your aggression?  So unattractive in a woman.”

Klara wrenched the knife out of the table and held it towards the man.  “Do you know a man named Lucius Aurelius?” she hissed.

The old man’s bushy eyebrows shot up and disappeared into his hairline.  “Lucius?  How on earth do you know Lucius?”  He narrowed his blue eyes and leaned forward, his hand shot out grabbing her wrist.  “Who are you?”

She tried to reclaim her hand but the man was too strong.  Cleverly he’d grabbed her hand holding the knife so there was very little point struggling.  She raised her chin and said, “I am Klara…”

Eva%20Scott%20Web“The Hun,” the man finished softly.  He let her go and settled back.  “I’ve heard about you.  Sit down.  You’re in luck.”

About the Author

Eva lives on the Sunshine Coast, in Queensland Australia in the town which brought the world the Bee Gees. When she’s not writing romance you can find her out on the water kayaking, fishing or swimming. When on dry land it’s all about the shoes and the coffee (and old Bee Gees records).

Contacts

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Romancing the Romans

Click here to see Eva’s previous post on this blog.

Guest Interview: Eva Scott and The Last Gladiatrix

Today my guest is Eva Scott, who recently joined a Facebook group called History Lovers, which was originally formed by several of us who were teammates in Savvy Authors NANO Smackdown with Entangled Editors last fall. We’re all history lovers, of course, and we write historical romance, although with quite diverse settings. 

Welcome to Susana’s Parlour, Eva!

eva scottThanks, Susana. It’s great to be here!

What inspired you to start writing?

My first grade teacher told my parents she thought I’d make a good writer one day.  I remember thinking I could do that.  And off I went.

How long have you been writing?

Since I was five years old.  I’ve loads of old notebooks with stories, notes, and general gibberish in them.  They’re hilarious to read!

What advice would you give writers just starting out?

Get a critique partner.  I’m quite sure I wouldn’t be published right now if not for my superb critique partner.  She pushes me to keep the quality of my work high and improving all the time.  And it’s nice to have someone in your corner who really does know what it feels like to get a knockback or that email saying we’d like to offer you a contract.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

I don’t often get writer’s block.  I do, however, get the writer’s blues.  After I finish a book and type THE END I tend to feel down and rather sad for the next few days.  So I make sure I’ve got loads of trashy gossip magazines, some rom-com movies and chocolate.  They’re just the pick-me-up I need.

What comes first, the plot or the characters?

It varies from story to story.  I’ve got these two great characters sitting around in my head, not doing much, waiting for the right story to come along.  Then I also have some great stories in need of characters to go with them.

Are you working on something at present you would like to tell us about?

I’m working on a story about a minor character, Klara, who appears in The Last Gladiatrix. My editor was intrigued by Klara’s story and asked me to write about it.  I’m having tremendous fun following Klara about Ancient Rome.

What are you reading now?

When God Was A Rabbit by Sarah Winman.

The Sisters from Hardscrabble Bay by Beverly Jensen

Lily’s Leap by Tea Cooper

I always seem to have more books on my nightstand then I can manage to read!

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

Jane Austen—I quote her all the time.  I come back to her books regularly as a great example of how to tell a story and win readers hearts and minds.

What is your work schedule like when writing?

Crazy.  I call it the Sara Lee approach—layer upon layer upon layer… I have a toddler so things rarely go according to schedule.  I grab time when I can.  My little boy has recently given up midday naps, which is when most of my writing got done, so it will be interesting trying to adjust my schedule around him.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A writer or a zoologist.  One out of two ain’t bad.

What is your favorite food? Least favorite? Why?

Favorite food would have to be pizza, homemade with loads of delicious deli toppings.  We like to make them on a Friday night and ‘pimp’ up the bases with different herbs and spices.

Least favorite food is probably mussels—too strong a taste for me.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I’m a hybrid—a plonster?  I usually jot down my story scene by scene along with loads of information about the characters.  Then I get writing.  The chapters form naturally as a combination of scenes.  Sometimes the story will change and a scene will be rewritten or left out entirely.  That’s the panster bit of the deal.  It works for me.  You know what they say—don’t fix what ain’t broke.

What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?

I love aprons.  I have a small collection I wear daily.  They somehow make me feel in control of the day, even when it’s clear I’m not!

Is there a writer you idolize? Is so, who?

Vikram Seth blows me away.  So does Kaui Hart Hemmings and Barbara Kingsolver.  I’m always on the lookout for new authors and new voices.  Good writing inspires me to take my own work to the next level.

What would we find under your bed?

Dust bunnies.  Long forgotten lego blocks (belonging to my 2 year old).

Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book. Where would you most likely want to go?

Central America—I’ve got an idea for a book and some of it takes place there.  I know absolutely nothing about Central America.  I hear it’s stunningly beautiful.

Do you have a favorite quote or saying?

I have loads of quotes I love but the thing I say most often is “There’s more way than one to skin a cat.”  Charming!

Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?

At the moment I’m writing contemporary romance and historical romance.  I’m not ruling out anything!  I’ve got some great ideas (at least I think so) for a thriller and a chick-lit style book.  I’ll go wherever the storyline takes me.

What is something you’d like to accomplish in your writing career next year?

Get an agent!

Gladiatrix_Final (427x640)About The Last Gladiatrix

Captured and enslaved by a Roman legion, Xanthe never expects to end up training for the Coliseum floor, but every night after the day’s march, she is put through her paces by a Roman solider who challenges her, tests her, and excites her.

Titus is drawn to Xanthe, her fire and her spirit, so he breaks one of his rules and brings notice on himself, offering to train her as a gladiatrix to spare her a courtesan’s role. But training her, working with her, soon becomes too much. Titus knows the penalty for taking property that does not belong to him, but how long can he resist?

Excerpt

The flash of her green eyes in the candlelight reminded Titus of the verdant wild forests of Northern Italy, which they had recently left. He rubbed a smear of dirt from her cheek with his thumb, and then taking her hand, he raised Xanthe up to stand. With deliberate, slow movements he unfastened her tunic, letting it fall from her shoulders to pool on the ground at her feet.

Xanthe made no move to stop him, their eyes locked, her fear and trust clear to see. He slid his fingers beneath the waist of her leggings and tugged them down over her hips, leaving her naked, standing there before him.

Titus took a sponge and dipped it into a bowl of warm water, letting it soak before applying it to Xanthe’s flesh. He washed her with firm yet gentle strokes, and as the water ran over her skin it dripped deliciously from her breasts. The centurion bent his head and licked at a droplet, pleased to feel her shudder in response. Her nipple hardened, inviting him to explore further. He needed no invitation. Xanthe had to summon all her self-discipline to stand still while Titus explored the curves of her body. His touch turned her core to molten fire; she could barely contain her need.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Last-Gladiatrix-ebook/dp/B00BSKJF98/

http://www.escapepublishing.com.au/products/tag/historical

About the Author

I live on the Sunshine Coast, in Queensland Australia with my fabulous husband and gorgeous little boy. When I’m not writing romance you can find me out on the water kayaking, fishing or swimming. When on dry land it’s all about the shoes and the coffee.

http://www.evascottromance.com/

http://www.facebook.com/eva.scottromancewriter

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Romancing-The-Romans/476218929112324?ref=hl#!/pages/Romancing-The-Romans/476218929112324

http://www.twitter.com/EvaScottWriter