Tag Archives: Harlequin Australia

Lily Malone – Portrait of an Author (w/ giveaway)

Welcome to my fun Q&A where you’ll discover new things about some of our favourite authors. I’m delighted to welcome my good friend (funny, very talented and multi-published), Lily Malone, to a blog series that celebrates another art form (as my new novel is a love story about a sitter and an artist!!)

 Let’s start, Lily …

Q: As pose and composition are important factors for a portrait, choose what kind of ‘look’ would you like for your portrait.

  • On a chaise lounge (Kate Winslet/Titanic style)
  • Fully clothed in a rocker (Whistler’s Mother style)
  • A close up of your face (Girl with the Pearl Earring style/Mona Lisa)
  • In all your formal finery befitting your ‘authorly’ status (Regal style)
  • Other

I’d like something a bit more glamorous thank you very much, because everyone thinks of glamour when they think of me, (they do, don’t they, Jenn?) thinking Reese Witherspoon/Nicole Kidman red carpet at Big Little Lies premier-style.

Q: *Snap* I just took your photo as a reference for my portrait of you. Tell us where you are and what you’re wearing. (Be honest.)

I’m at my computer desk. Wearing socks. Black leggings (I’ve just been for a walk) and a long sleeved pink sloppy shirt. Oh, and a wrist brace because I’m an author and I type too much! (I also have my hair in pigtails. Don’t tell anyone!)

Q: Given a choice, what precious item would you want to be included in a portrait of you?

A bottle of red wine. A pack of cards, Joker facing out.

Q: With acquired savant syndrome* featuring in my next novel, I’m curious . . . If you were to wake up from a coma one day to find yourself totally obsessed and a genius (in something other than writing, of course) what would you want it to be? (music, painting, languages, maths, touching your toes while typing, etc)

Is that what acquired savant is? I’d no idea. I’d like to be brilliant at poker. A genius/world champion at Texas Hold-em. If that’s not an option, then golf. A genius at golf would be good (not to mention lucrative).

Q: If you happened to wake up one day and be a genius with a paintbrush, whose portrait would you want to paint and why?

I think I’d like to paint Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) and Harrison Ford (Han Solo) together, now they’re old. They made me cry in the first of the newer Star Wars movies (Was it The Force Awakens?), and now, of course, the very lovely but so tortured, Carrie Fisher has passed, I wish even more that I’d had this skill and opportunity.

Q: Your preferred medium would be?

A: Oil on canvas

B: Watercolour

C: Pencil/Ink

D: Pastels

E: Kiddy crayons

Lily says: F: Patricia Arquette

(Oh, Lily, you always make me laugh.)

Picasso once asked the question: “Are we to paint what’s on the face, what’s inside the face, or what’s behind it?” In my next novel, the artists says to 58 y.o Ava, “A mature person has depth of character and it’s their layers, built from life’s lessons that interest me the most—when wisdom replaces curiosity and experience replaces youthful exuberance.”

 Q: What two traits would you hope an artist captures in a portrait of you?

Hopefully that my life is rich with wonderful family and friends, and that I’ve made some big mistakes but they didn’t kill me, and they’ve made me stronger.

Q: Because every fireplace deserves a portrait, in whose house would you hang a portrait of you as a surprise and what would they say?

My friend Carrie’s, where it would sit over our Thursday night girls card table… and (if we refer to 3 above, I would have my pack of cards with the Joker showing.) Carrie would say: “bloody Lil, and she reckoned she never gets dealt the Joker”)

Q: Keeping in mind that lucky recipient of your portrait, how would see yourself framed?

  1. Minimalist or no frame at all – just the canvas (take me as I am) This one!
  2. Modernist – chrome, nothing too fancy
  3. Sophisticated – warm, wood, old world
  4. Flamboyant – go all the way and gilt-edged!

A: Minimalist or no frame at all – just the canvas (take me as I am) This one!

Q: Finally, if someone was to add a plaque/title your portrait, how would it read?

Life is always about the next hand


Lily Malone might have been a painter, except her year-old son put a golf club through her canvas. So she wrote her first book, His Brand of Beautiful instead. Lily has now written three full-length rural romance stories and a novella all published by Harlequin Escape. Her debut trade paperback, The Vineyard In The Hills was published by Harlequin MIRA in September 2016, and her new release with MIRA is Water Under The Bridge, Book 1 in the Chalk Hill series, out now. When she isn’t writing, Lily likes gardening, walking, wine, and walking in gardens (sometimes with wine). She loves to hear from readers and you can find her on Facebook, and on Twitter: @lily_lilymalone. To contact Lily, visit www.lilymalone.wordpress.com


Lily is giving away a print copy of her book – Butterfly House Book 1: Who Killed The Bride? (a whole lot of fun and based in her hometown, featuring the very famous Cowaramup Cows. Oh, I do love cows!)

Just LIKE this post and tell us in the comments if you’d like to be in the draw. (Aust. only, sorry. Blame Aust Post for the exorbitant prices.)

Before you go, I have some more author portraits to celebrate the release of my 5th novel (March 19 in Australia/NZ and April 5 overseas) so you might want to subscribe to my blog (right) or check out my Book Room for info about A Place to Remember.

*Acquired savant syndrome, in which a person acquires prodigious capabilities or skills following dementia, a head injury or concussion, epilepsy or other disturbances.


Author Rachael Johns – a letter to my 17 y.o self

Dear Rach

I know you’re heartbroken right now, but don’t waste your time or money (on tissues) crying over that boy you accidentally dumped. You’ve already spent four years lusting after him and that is far too long to be chasing a boy who to be blatantly honest… is just not that into you. More fool him! But don’t worry, one day you’ll appear on breakfast TV show, Sunrise, and thank him for breaking your heart. That heartbreak is the reason you start writing in a couple of months and although you don’t know it now, writing is your calling. It’s what you were born to do.

BUT, I recommend NOT transferring from a primary school teaching degree to a writing degree. If you don’t want to do teaching anymore, take some time out and get some life experience or do another degree that you’ll actually be able to use in the big bad world. I suggest library studies, women studies or criminology – basically anything but that writing degree because it is an absolute waste of time. You don’t learn anything except that you do not want to write poetry or literary fiction.

You know how you love Bridget Jones Diary? That’s the type of book you want to write. Don’t be ashamed of it. Read as much as you can get your hands on. Try an odd romance as well – I think you’ll find you love them. Oh and while you’re at it, join an organization called Romance Writers of Australia – it might save you a lot of time and you might end up taking less than fifteen years to get published.

But don’t obsess about writing – just enjoy it. You’ll put in the hard yards and you’ll get there eventually. In the meantime, read more and don’t be such a prude. Date more boys, have fun and don’t stress so much about your body. You are NOT fat and starving yourself isn’t cool!

Soon you’ll go to England and meet your dad and your half-siblings for the first time. It will be both wonderful and heart-wrenching. Try to spend a little more time with your older sister – life takes her much sooner than it should and you’ll regret not getting to know her better.

Oh and stop dreaming up lots of lovely girls’ names for future daughters – there are only boys to come!

See you in the future.

Love your older self! xox

rachael-photoartofsecretsfinalcoverABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Rachael Johns is an English teacher by trade, a mum 24/7, a chronic arachnophobic, and a writer the rest of the time. She rarely sleeps and never irons.  Jilted (her first rural romance) won Favourite Australian Contemporary Romance in 2012 and she was voted in the Top Ten of Booktopia’s Favourite Australian Author poll in 2013. The Patterson Girls won the 2016 Romance Writers of Australia RUBY Award and also the 2015 Australian Book Industry Award for General Fiction. She lives in the Perth Hills with her hyperactive husband, three mostly-gorgeous heroes-in-training, two fat cats, a cantankerous bird and a very badly behaved dog.

Rachael loves to hear from readers and can be contacted via her website – www.rachaeljohns.com You can find Rachael on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/RachaelJohnsRomance/) and on Twitter (https://twitter.com/RachaelJohns)

Latest book – THE ART OF KEEPING SECRETS – Grab your copy now!

[bctt tweet=” What advice does author @rachaeljohns give her 17 y.o self? #LetterToMyself https://www.jennjmcleod.com/blog/a-letter-to-myself-author-list” username=”jennjmcleod”]


 To see the list of authors taking part in this letter-writing blog series: CLICK

Wanting to honour the lost art of letter writing through this blog series, I also opened my fourth novel with a character writing a letter. And not just any letter. It’s a story — perhaps the most important he’ll ever tell.

The Other Side of the SeasonReady for a sea change

Life is simple on top of the mountain for David, Matthew and Tilly until the winter of 1979 when tragedy strikes, starting a chain reaction that will ruin lives for years to come. Those who can, escape the Greenhill banana plantation on the outskirts of Coffs Harbour. One stays—trapped for the next thirty years on the mountain and haunted by memories and lost dreams. That is until the arrival of a curious young woman, named Sidney, whose love of family shows everyone the truth can heal, what’s wrong can be righted, the lost can be found, and . . . there’s another side to every story.

BUY now from Amazon, KoboiTunes, or



#WriteRoundOz w/ Alli Sinclair

UTSS Feb 2016 Harlequinblack and white photo AlliAn intriguing book title for an author dancing her way to the top. Yes, I am at home with… Alli Sinclair from Victoria

Thank you for letting my park my rig on your….

Veggie patch.  (Oops!)

What’s that I see written on your ‘welcome mat’?

“The writer is an explorer. Every step is an advance into a new land.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Downsizing my life into a 24 ft caravan meant leaving lots of things behind in boxes. What (or who!!) would you have trouble leaving behind if you took off in a caravan?

I would have major trouble leaving my kids and partner behind (most days …), as well as my trusty laptop and iPad. And I’d definitely make sure the iPad contained all my favourite photos, movies, and books. I can’t do without those!

Whose home would you like to visit in your caravan and why?

I would love to visit my friend Daniel in London. We met in South America twenty years ago (!!) and travelled some extremely remote areas and shared lots of adventures and laughs. I haven’t seen him for ten years and I would love to meet his wife and kids.

Do you REALLY have room at your house to park a fifth wheeler caravan and do you mind visitors? Oh, sorry, you don’t have to answer that one!! 

Ha! You know the offer is always there …

(You might be sooooooooory!)

Country curiosities…

My latest novel, Season of Shadow and Light, has a strong horse theme. (I love what horses can teach us). If you were an animal what would you be?

Without a doubt a llama! I love the way they look down their noses at you and if they’re not impressed, they spit (gross, I know, but we’re talking llamas here!). The fact they have three stomach compartments is weird, and I’m a sucker for weird. Plus they come from South America, the continent of my heart.

You’re cooking and your food going up against the best cooks from the CWA (Country Women’s Association). What would be your winning dish?

Oooh, my quiche! It’s one of those “throw what you have in the house” recipes and it never fails!

(And what do you know? I love quiche.)

About you…

What is the hardest part of writing for you?

First drafts! I detest them more than anything! I’d rather stick hot pokers in my eyes … A tad dramatic? Maybe. But boy, first drafts are painful! I’d rather edit any day, thanks!

If someone was to write your biography, what do you think the title should be?

Alli Sinclair – The Unstoppable Adventurer

You’re a fiction writer. Tell us a secret (any secret – about you, your books, etc) and we’ll guess if it’s true or not.

I once visited a prison in La Paz, Bolivia.

(Okay readers. Give it your best shot. Fact or fiction?)

Favourite four…

Favourite place in Australia – The Great Ocean Road

Favourite holiday destination – Montañita, Ecuador

Favourite movie – Gah! That’s a tough one as it changes depending on my mood. Today it’s Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark (never strays far from number one on my list)

Favourite quote – T.S. Eliot “Little Gidding”

“We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.”

If I said to you, “Just entertain me for five minutes, I’m not going to talk,” what would you do?

(Need I ask? Really? I think I know.)

I’d break out into song and dance ala Gene Kelly, but if you threw things at me then I would revert to some seriously impressive break-dancing moves (although my back may not hold up!).


IMG_5332 copyGIVEAWAY CLOSED – winner, Mary, advised.

To celebrate the release of Alli’s new book, Under the Spanish Stars, Alli has a beautiful Spanish fan up for grabs. All you need to do is leave a comment for your chance to win! (So… Fact or fiction?)


Published by Harlequin MIRA (Australia) http://www.harlequinbooks.com.au/product/9781760374181

Under the Spanish Stars is available in print and e-book.

PRINT:  Booktopia   Bookworld   Dymocks   Boomerang books   Fishpond    The Nile

EBOOK: iBOOKS   Amazon    Booktopia   Kobo   Bookworld


#WriteRoundOz w/ Rachael Johns w/ giveaway

The-Patterson-Girls-final copyrachael-photo
Have you heard?

Rachael Johns has a new book out. So I am dropping by to say ‘Hi’!

Rach! Thank you for letting me park my rig on your…. new half-finished driveway. Mind the steep hill, Jenn. On second thoughts maybe you’d better park in the bay across the road, near the entrance to one of the many bushwalk trails around here.

What’s that I see written on your ‘welcome mat’?

The neighbours have better stuff!

Downsizing my life into a 24 ft caravan meant leaving lots of things behind in boxes. What (or who!!) would you have trouble leaving behind if you took off in a caravan?

I could NOT leave my pets behind – our huge, very naughty (Maremma) dog, Rose and our old, extremely affectionate tabby cat, Simba. I’d also need my electric blanket!

Whose home would you like to visit in your caravan and why?

I’d like to do a road trip right round Oz, a bit like you’re doing Jenn, and stop in and visit all my writing friends. They live in some very interesting places from the very bottom of Australia to the very top. We have such a big beautiful country and I reckon visiting all them would have me seeing a diverse slice of it. 🙂

(Oh, do it, Rach! We can have ourselves an author convoy and talk books all night long!!)

Do you REALLY have room at your house to park a fifth wheeler caravan and do you mind visitors? Oh, sorry, you don’t have to answer that one!!

See above re the caravan but yeah, happy to have visitors, as long as they don’t stay TOO long and disrupt my writing time. Us authors have to protect this time!

 Country curiosities…

My latest novel, Season of Shadow and Light, has a strong horse theme. (I love what horses can teach us). If you were an animal what would you be?

Definitely a cat. I’m a huge cat lover. But can I specify that I live with a very good family who feeds me only the best tuna and lets me lounge on their beds all day?

You’re cooking and your food going up against the best cooks from the CWA (Country Women’s Association). What would be your winning dish?

Scones – proper ones, not the three ingredient easy variety. I’m a pretty much hopeless cook these days but for some reason I’ve always made perfect scones. And really, who can resist a warm scone fresh from the oven with a dollop of jam and cream?

About you…

What is the hardest part of writing for you?

Coming up with the initial idea and then pushing on through the doubt while I try to get the words down. The doubt seems to be arriving earlier and earlier in each book now and I always think I’ve finally lost the ability to craft a good story.

If someone was to write your biography, what do you think the title should be?

A Little Bit Crazy

Rach, you’re a fiction writer. Tell us a secret (any secret – about you, your books, etc) and we’ll guess if it’s fiction or furphy. 🙂

I write crime novels under a pseudonym.

Favourite four…

Favourite place in Australia – by the pool at my house in the hills.

Favourite holiday destination – French Quarter of New Orleans (I even set a book there)

Favourite movie – Father Of The Bride

Favourite quote – Don’t regret the things you do, regret the things you don’t do. 

If I said to you, “Just entertain me for five minutes, I’m not going to talk,” what would you do?

Hand you over to my children – three boisterous boys can be VERY entertaining!

Find out more about Rachael Johns and her books…


Website – www.rachaeljohns.com

Publisher – www.harlequinbooks.com.au

Latest book – http://www.booktopia.com.au/the-patterson-girls-rachael-johns/prod9781743693070.html and



How can four sisters build the futures they so desperately want, when the past is reaching out to claim them?

When the Patterson daughters return home to Meadow Brook to be with their father after their mother’s death, they bring with them a world of complication and trouble.

The eldest sister, obstetrician Madeleine, would rather be anywhere but her hometown, violinist Abigail has fled from her stellar career, while teacher Lucinda is struggling to have the children she and her husband so desperately want. The black sheep of the family, Charlie, feels her life as a barista and exercise instructor doesn’t measure up to that of her gifted and successful sisters.

Dealing with their bereft father who is determined to sell the family motel, their loves old and new and a series of troublesome decisions doesn’t make life any easier, but when they go through their mother’s possessions and uncover the shocking secret of an old family curse, they begin to question everything they thought they knew.

A warm and wise novel about secrets revealed, finding your soul mate and the unique bond between sisters. 

Want to WIN a signed copy of THE PATTERSON GIRLS (Australian postal address only.) CLOSED: Congrats Dale. Your book will be on it’s way soon.      

Leave a comment below.

Take a stab at the FACT or FICTION. (Does Rach write crime novels under a pseudonym??)

If you like the sound of The Patterson Girls, check out my 2013 release, House for all Seasons, about four women finding their way back home to the country over four seasons.

HFAS Email-Sig_Final

#5 Best selling debut novel – 2103




A Bar Yarn with Author – Victoria Purman


I’m so excited to have someone like Victoria Purman, Harlequin’s big hit with a winning formula (and the prettiest covers) join me in the Calingarry Crossing pub for a beer and a bar yarn.

Here you go, Vic, take this beer coaster and jot down the blurb for your newest book –

Someone Like You.

Love! Summer! The beach! Lizzie Blake and Dan McSwaine think hiding out in the beachside town of Middle Point means they can also hide from love. But fate has another thing coming!

When Lizzie Blake knocks on the door of Dan McSwaine’s beach house at Middle Point, she barely recognises the man who answers. What ever happened to the guy who swaggered into her home town with a grin and left wither heart in his back pocket? Lizzie wonders if he’ll ever be that man again – and if she should risk everything she’s built her life on to help him.

Dan can’t normally bear to be more than ten minutes from a hip bar, an imported beer and a group of hot women. So what is he doing holed up in a falling down beach shack at Middle Point? All he knows is that he’s made some crazy decisions since the night a truck slammed into his care and almost killed him. The first one was to think that buying a crumbling piece of coastal real estate was a good idea. The second crazy decision was to try to hide away from the world when a woman like Lizzie Blake is determined to drag him right back into it.Screen Shot 2013-11-29 at 10.01.44 AM

Someone Like You – officially releases February 1st 2014 through Harlequin Australia, but you may  just find it on shelves and you can certainly preorder online. Check out links below.

Now, Victoria, what can I get you to go with your beer nuts? (Shandy? Wine Spritzer? Pink Lemonade?)

A glass of South Australian white wine thanks. I couldn’t drink anything else!

Pub joke time. Hey, did you hear the one about … ?

A horse walks into a bar. The barman turns to him and asks, “Why the long face?”

An oldie but one you’ll hear in every pub in the country I reckon!

I’m a beer nut nut! What bar snack would you be and why?

Who needs snacks? Another wine please!

Oh, a girl after my own heart, Vic. That hit the spot. Let me slip a drink coaster under your glass while you tell us—on a scale of 1 to 10—as a writer are you a messy desker or tidy desker?

I have the smallest desk in the world tucked away in the corner of the bedroom. Three kids means we have no spare room, so I have to be tidy in my little space. Except for the basket to my left which seems to have a whole of crap in it.

The publican offers you free drinks all night if you will:

  • Dance to Gangnam Style
  • Sing John Denver’s ‘Take me Home Country Roads’ on the Karaoke machine
  • Spend an hour washing dishes

Which do you choose?

Oh this one’s easy! I love country music, always have. Maybe it stems from my mother’s love of John Denver back in the ‘70s. Give me that mic! “Almost Heaven, West Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River…”

Time to liven the place up. Got a buck? We can crank up the old jukebox in the corner. You get to pick three songs.

  1. “Dancing Queen” by ABBA
  2. “Times Like These” by Foo Fighters
  3. “Baggage Claim,” Miranda Lambert

An author, an agent and a chicken walk into the bar… how do you know which one crossed the road?

It will probably be the author – because she’ll be taking mental notes as she’s doing it to write the scene into her next book.

There’s a stapler on the bar. Tell me what it’s doing there.

Waiting to carry out a mob hit.

The pub is the heart of a small town and most locals would be lost without one. What are three things you’d be lost without?

  1. In no particular order, my lovely Apple Mac. I write my books on it and stay connected to the world through it
  2. My family and friends – goes without saying.
  3. Did I mentioned that lovely South Australian white wine?

There are a few good prizes up for grabs in the bar jackpot. Do you have a lucky number?

My lucky number is 22. The 22nd of December 2012 was the day I signed my current three-book deal with Harlequin Australia. That’s pretty lucky to me!

Last drinks, my friend! It’s been great. But before we go, tell us how we can find out more about you and your writing/books.Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 3.02.48 PM

I love social media because I can connect to readers and other writers, so you’ll frequently find me on facebook at Victoria Purman Author
On twitter @VictoriaPurman
At www.victoriapurman.com  and on pinterest as VictoriaPurman

Here is where you can get your hands on this brand new release:
Amazon Australia – on sale for $2.29
Amazon  – on sale for $2.01
iTunes Books – Picked as one of the Best Books of February

Three books? I am already eager to see the next gorgeous cover and clever title. You are on a roll, girl!

Speaking of roll…. Watch out! The clouds are rolling in.

This storm season, in Calingarry Crossing, a perfect storm is heading Maggie Lindeman’s way.  For emergency alerts and warnings for SIMMERING SEASON, subscribe to Jenn J McLeod’s blog or newsletter before you go, or LIKE her Facebook Page.

Simmering Season: April 1, 2014  Find out more, right here.