Book Bouquet for Valentine’s Day

Hey look! My title is a love poem in the making 🙂

I adore freebies and here’s another chance for you to win, not one, not two but five rural romance titles. How’s that for a fabulous Valentine’s day gift to yourself?

All the romance, none of the drama! And unlike flowers, they last forever 🙂

One of the novels in the bouquet is my FIFO story, “The Girl in the Yellow Vest,” together with four other titles by four Australian bestselling authors.

Head over to Australian Rural Romance before 14th February 2015 to register your chance to win!

bookprize

Giveaway Time! Score a FREE copy of my novella, OPERATION:VALENTINE

Hi everyone!
Hope you’ve all been following my blog tour as a I go through my inspiration for the main characters in “The Maxwell Sisters.” The competition to win a free copy is still going. You can add a comment to this post or any post in the blog tour (schedule in previous post) for your chance to win. Tomorrow I’ll be at Friday Feast with Cathryn Hein.

Valentinecover
However! If you would like a FREE BOOK from me right now. Today is your lucky day. For a limited time, Random House is offering my romantic comedy novella, “Operation: Valentine” absolutely FREE on iTunes.

You can down load it right here till the 4th Feb.

So if you’re looking for a quick treat or just want to get in the mood for Valentine’s Day, get on line now to score your complimentary copy.

Operation : Valentine (The Blurb)

“Once upon a time, there was a young girl called Sarah Dubert who needed to fall in love in six weeks …”

Thanks to food poisoning, broken dates, airport malfunctions and even death, Sarah Dubert has never had a boyfriend on Valentine’s Day. However, this year she’s determined to break the curse and snare herself a man before Big V. Signing herself up to the online dating site soulmates.com, she begins eliminating possible candidates through dates at her favourite bar, The Blue Saloon…

Owen Black, the handsome new owner of The Blue Saloon, likes his women fast, experienced and temporary. A woman on a mission to find love – particularly one with a six-week deadline – would normally have him running for the hills. So why is he so uncharacteristically interested in Sarah’s search? And, more importantly, the success of her dates…?

Bringing In “The Maxwell Sisters”

Well, it’s 2015! Happy New Year! I hope you’ve all had a relaxing holiday season. Perhaps you’ve picked up a copy of my latest release, “The Maxwell Sisters,” finally on shelves this month. I’ve had a few local sightings of my book in store and am very excited to see this story out there and thriving. Absolutely love the feedback and reviews I’ve received so far. So glad readers are enjoying this novel.

As for myself, I’ve had a wonderful Christmas and have just returned from a very “Maxwell Sister” themed holiday in Yallingup – the setting of Eve, Phoebe’s and Tash’s reunion.

Photo from Down South DEC2014Every year around this time, my husband and I pack up the kids and hit the road to his parents place in the Margaret River Wine region. The kids love it and so do we. I’ve just enjoyed six fabulous days catching up with family, eating great food and drinking sensational wine. I enjoyed it even more this year because I was thinking about all my readers experiencing the exact same setting through my story. As an added bonus, I decided to cook a Moussaka. It’s the dish in my novel that brings the family all together when the sisters first arrive at Tawny Brooks Winery. I’ve eaten it many times but never actually cooked it myself, so I decided I must give it a go. Glad I did. It wasn’t half bad if I do say so myself. Especially served with a glass of Blind Corner’s spicy Shiraz.

If you’d like the recipe or want to read about the importance of this dish in the “The Maxwell Sisters,” then don’t forget to visit me, when I guest blog at Cathryn Hein’s, Friday Feast on the 30th Jan.

Moussaka

In the meantime, I’m about to kick off my “Maxwell Sisters” blog tour next week. Over the next couple of months, I’ll be visiting the blog pages of all my favourite authors talking about my inspiration for each of the characters in “The Maxwell Sisters.” I hope you’ll join me on the road. If you leave a comment at any of my posts on the tour,(including this one) you’ll go in the draw to win a free signed copy of “The Maxwell Sisters.”
If you’ve read the book already, please do drop by anyway and tell me what you liked about it. I always LOVE hearing from readers. The winner will be announced on my wrap up blog on the 23rd February.

Happy Reading!

Sites for Blog Tour

Jan 12th – Margareta Osborn
Jan 19th – Jennifer Scoullar
Jan 27th – Helene Young
Jan 30th – Friday Feast
Feb 2nd – Fiona Palmer
Feb 9th – Jenn J Mcleod
Feb 16th –Rachael Johns
Feb 23rd – Wrap up on this blog including the announcement of the winner of my Book giveaway.

Revving up for Release

With “The Maxwell Sisters” due on shelves shortly before Christmas I’ve been doing all sorts of pre-celebration preparation. Firstly, I’ve got a new website banner! Have you noticed? Courtesy of my wonderful website designer, Paula Roe. She’s done an amazing job as usual.
I felt I really needed something fresh this year given “The Maxwell Sisters” is definitely not set on a construction site or anywhere near a jetty. I also hope to continue the vineyard theme for the next couple of books. So I think this new banner is more representative of my writing. I also love it!

Thanks to all the people who voted on my “Who am I?” poll. As you can see, the winning phrase that described my writing was, “Witty, Passionate and Real” as featured on my new banner.

In other, fantastic news – this year to promote “The Maxwell Sisters” I will be going on a three week national book tour from mid Feb to mid March. I will be travelling through Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia.

I’m very excited because I’ve never done a book tour this long or this extensive before and am really looking forward to meeting as many of my readers as I can. So if you’d like to catch up with me sometime in the new year, please do check my events page. I have a preliminary timetable already up. More details will follow in the next few weeks. Would love to meet you!

In the meantime, you can catch me on my blog tour about to start next month, where I talk about all the main characters in “The Maxwell Sisters” and how I was inspired to write about them. This starts on my blog, Jan 7th and then continues on the blog sites of all my favourite authors for six consecutive weeks. Hope you’ll join me for the ride and your chance to win a copy of “The Maxwell Sisters.”

Until then, hope the lead up to Christmas isn’t getting too hectic for you. I just finished all my gift buying and not a moment too soon. My kids start school holidays next week. Then the real fun begins. 🙂

If you’re stuck for a gift for mum, best friend or sister, why not pick up a copy of “The Maxwell Sisters”. Available for pre-order now and in store just before Christmas.

Good Luck!!!

Who am I?

Hi all,

I know it’s been a while since I last posted.  I’ve been very busy in the editing phase of “The Maxwell Sisters.” Just finished the copy edit, which let me tell you, was extremely hard to focus on during the school holidays with four kids also screaming (literally) for my attention.  Somehow however, (don’t ask!) I managed to squeeze my revisions into our already almost full holiday itinerary. Now I’m free to look at other things, like my blog and my webpage and what I might like to do with it in 2015. As you are well aware, my FIFO girls series has now ended. And my new book, while still 100% Aussie fiction, is not set on a construction site. So I was thinking I need to update my website a little. Design a new banner with a new theme that encompasses all my writing.

But what will that be?Me and the books

Who am I?

What sort of writer is Loretta Hill?

Most writers have a slogan or tag line on their site to explain who they are. In fact, at the Australian Romance Writers Conference this year, it was highly recommended to get yourself a good phrase that effectively sums up your writing angle for marketing purposes. Anyway, after much thought and self debate. I thought I might use three catchy words to describe my writing. So I came up with four short phrases below as tag lines. But I need your help. I can’t seem to choose between them. So if you’ve read my books and you think you have an opinion, please do give it to me.  Would love to know your thoughts!

Next Release Announcement

Okay, it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for… Or maybe the moment I’ve been dying to get to. I’ve just been itching to show you this cover and blurb for weeks now. But the team at Random House just needed a little more time to perfect it. The title, particularly, was very hard to settle on. There are a lot of suggestions on the cutting room floor between my editor, me and my agent as we tried to come up with something catchy. Finally, we settled on strong and simple and I think it works rather well. Don’t you?

 

Anyway, enough babbling!! I am soooooooo excited to announce my next release, hitting shelves in January 2015. This is a book about sisters, “The Maxwell Sisters,” and it’s very close to my heart as I have three wonderful sisters of my own and have been hanging out to tell a story like this for a long time.

 

I’m sorry to all my FIFO fans out there. No, it’s not a mining story. But after three years on a jetty, I had to try my hand at something else. Not to say, I’ll never go back. I definitely do have more FIFO stories in me. But I hope you all enjoy the change as much as I have.

 

Anyway, let’s get on with the reveal… my most heart warming cover yet, I think. Enjoy!

maxwellsistersfinal

‘ You are cordially invited to the wedding of Phoebe and Christopher . . .’

All families have their problems. No more so than the Maxwells of Tawny Brooks Winery. Situated in the heart of the Margaret River wine region, this world-renowned winery was the childhood home to three sisters, Natasha, Eve and Phoebe.

Today all three women are enmeshed in their city lives and eager to forget their past – and their fractured sibling relationships. Until Phoebe decides to get married at home. . .

Now the sisters must all return to face a host of family obligations, vintage in full swing and interfering in-laws who just can’t take a hint. As one romance blossoms and others fall apart, it seems they are all in need of some sisterly advice.

But old wounds cut deep. Somehow, the Maxwell sisters must find a way back to one another – or risk losing each other forever.

The Maxwell Sisters is a heartwarming romantic comedy about three extraordinary women on a journey to find love and rediscover family.

The Ending

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before but I always find the last few chapters of a novel the most challenging to write, mainly because this is where the book is the “fastest.”

 

You usually start at about 60km/hr. A comfortable pace, not to slow to be boring, but not so quick that the reader can’t take in the scenery out the window. It’s a time to build tension.

 

You feed it in slowly, here and there, drop your hints, incrementally increasing your speed little by little as you go. In engineering speak, if you’re upping the velocity by about 10km/hour per chapter, you’re doing it about right. In general, I have a lot of fun around the middle of the book, where the reader knows all the characters pretty well and I can just start having fun with them. You know, really laying on the torture thick and watching them tie themselves in knots.

 

But the ending, damn it, there’s just no time for fun. No time for looking out the window anymore. You’re just going too fast. I like the finish to be explosive. And so, with that in mind, I try to tie up as many of my strings all at once, in one big focal event that brings everything together – both emotional and external conflicts. The race to the finish line should be, well… a race. I want my reader to arrive there breathless.

 

 

My latest manuscript is no different. Only this time around I’ve been battling. Why? Because I have three heroines and about six story lines all colliding in the final chapters. That’s a difficult set of balls to juggle, especially for a panster who has no idea where she’s going.

 

So this week, I did the ultimate flip face. I decided to do something I’ve never done before and plot, (yes I do say that like it’s a dirty word), the ending – Scene by scene. I just couldn’t see a way around not doing it without my head spinning out of control.  So with the aid of paper cards and colour coding textas, I have managed to story board my ending into eighteen scenes.

 

It feels amazing!

 

In fact, I feel like I’ve just discovered a new food group. And I’ve cut down my stress levels by about half. Now all I have to do is stick with it.

 

I’ll let you know how I go!

 

My Story Board, Scene by Scene, on the floor of my study