Tag Archives: Sarah Mayberry

Winner of the Sarah Mayberry giveaway!

All They NeedThanks to everyone who commented on my interview with Sarah Mayberry. I loved her answers and I’m glad you guys found it interesting.

The winner of All They Need is…Kim!

Kim, send me your mailing address and we’ll get you the book.

Everyone, this week I’m giving away a book gift voucher to one commenter and to a contemporary romance author they recommend. Leave a comment for a chance to win!


Filed under Author interviews

Winner of the Brenda Novak giveaway!

In Close coverThanks so much to Brenda Novak for being a brilliant interviewee and guest, and to everyone who commented on my interview with her.

The winner of In Close is…tori lindsey!

Tori, I’ve emailed you asking for your address.

Everyone, comment on my interview with Sarah Mayberry for a chance to win her Harlequin Superromance novel All They Need. I’ll randomly choose the winner next week.

Leave a comment

Filed under Author interviews

Sarah Mayberry interview – and giveaway!

Sarah MayberryLast year, after reading loads of buzz online about a couple of Harlequin Superromance authors, I bit into my book-buying budget and ordered about a dozen Superromance novels.

Why was this expensive? Because they wouldn’t ship to me in London, so I had to have them sent to my parents’ house and then reimburse my mom for shipping a big heavy box to London.

Worth it?

Oh God yes!

In that box, I discovered two new favorite authors: Sarah Mayberry and Karina Bliss. Sarah Mayberry has a new release out this month—All They Need—and she’s giving away two copies here. Huzzah!

Thanks for being here, Sarah!

Thanks for inviting me. I always love talking about writing and reading – two of my most favourite things in all the world.

1. In addition to writing romance, you also write for TV, including the insanely popular Australian soap Neighbours. What skills have you developed through writing scripts that carry over into writing novels? And what’s the craziest storyline you’ve ever developed for Neighbours?

One Good ReasonI actually credit Neighbours with helping me develop me the story chops that led to me getting published. Before I’d worked on the story table, I had made something like 8 different attempts at writing a romance novel, all of which had been rejected.

Then I worked at Neighbours and helped plot a long term, slow burn romance between two of the characters and I suddenly understood what I’d been doing wrong.

Working on Neighbours also taught me to love planning and plotting my books in advance. A lot of romance writers are “pantsers” – ie they write by the seat of their pants and what happens next is as much of a surprise to them as it is to the reader. But Neighbours taught me to love thinking about the story and teasing out the nuances of the story before sitting down to actually write it.

It also taught me to love thinking about character. I always try to build layered, multi-dimensional characters who feel real and who you can believe existed before they walked onto the set (or onto the page) and who will continue to exist after the show ends (or the last page is read).  That’s something we spent a lot of time on on the show – talking through who people were and what they wanted and what their strengths and weaknesses were before throwing them into the mix.

As for the craziest storyline… I wasn’t actually working in-house at the time, but I can remember there was a storyline where Paul Robinson, the show’s current big baddy, and his daughter, Elle, arranged to have one of the other character’s delivery van blown up. I’m actually not sure if that story ever made it to air – my memory has become a little hazy over the years. As storylines go, it was a little out there for a show set on suburban cul-de-sac. But I guess far weirder things have happened on Desperate Housewives!

Continue reading


Filed under Author interviews

Why Australia’s the sexiest country in the world

The Power and the PassionMy first introduction to the romance genre was through Harlequin Presents novels, so not only did I learn a whole lot about what boys and girls do when they like each other, but I also got to explore new countries for only a few dollars a month.

That’s how I realized Australia’s the sexiest country in the world.

Lots of the novels were set in London and Australia—places where they called their friends “mate” and lived in flats (which for years I pictured as apartments with lower ceilings).

Both places sounded amazing, but Australia kicked London’s ass on several levels. First, the London novels often took place in offices (*yawn* I’d seen 9 to 5 with Dolly Parton—offices looked like dreadfully boring places to fall in love). The heroes seemed uptight and the heroines wore stockings.

Not the grown-up life I wanted to have.

Australians, on the other time, chased each other through the Outback. They frolicked in the surf. They occasionally encountered animals so bizarre that only funny-sounding words could describe them: kookaburra, wombat, kangaroo.

Okay, maybe there weren’t wombats and kookaburras. I do recall some storylines with kangaroos, though.

Continue reading


Filed under Contemporary romance spotlight

Keeping it in the family: when a heroine dates brothers

My husband’s the youngest of four boys. If I were a romance novel heroine, that would mean I’d have plenty of dating opportunities if anything awful happened to my husband.

As a real woman, that thought fills me with the ickies.

Dating two people in one family is a common theme in contemporary romance. Kristin Higgins’s The Next Best Thing, for example, is about a woman who starts sleeping with her dead husband’s brother while she’s grieving, but eventually learns he’s more than a way to forget her pain for a while.

One Good Reason by Sarah MayberryOne Good Reason by Sarah Mayberry—released this month by Harlequin Superromance—tells the story of Gabby, who falls in love with her ex-boyfriend’s brother. She’s only recently met Jon, who lived in Canada when she was dating his younger brother Tyler. And she dumped Tyler three years ago. Perhaps these details ease the ick-factor those of us with real-life brothers-in-law feel.

Jon himself is not immune to feeling uncomfortable that the woman he’s having sex with also used to practically live with his younger brother. And the sexual side of their relationship is what he focuses on.

Continue reading


Filed under Contemporary romance spotlight