BookBoyfriendHopGrandPrizeGiveawy

#ChickLitMay Book Boyfriend Blog Hop

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Thank you to everyone who participated in this blog hop! The winner of the Kindle Paperwhite is Kathy Davis! And for anyone wondering who the ultimate boyfriend is, Geralyn Corcillo’s Arlen Black was the reader favourite! Stay tuned for more fun giveaways in future!

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Welcome to #ChickLitMay and our celebration of all the amazing book boyfriends out there! Join us on our Blog Hop by checking out the thirty participating authors – and then go into the draw to win a very cool prize (details below). But for now, let me introduce you to Daniel Richards, the charismatic perfumer in my soon to be released novel Perfume Therapy.

DANIEL RICHARDS from Perfume Therapy

Uh, hi. I’m not sure about this whole ultimate boyfriend thing. Frankly, I find the notion of being judged on how great I am a little daunting. As a bit of a cop-out, I asked a few people what they thought, and after they stopped laughing, this is what they said:

From Gan, my I.T. guy: Daniel is one of the industry’s great perfumers, and I am honoured to work with him. (He is also very generous, and bought me an iPad for my birthday. Plus, he paid for everyone at the perfumery to go out for dinner at a fancy restaurant.)

From Kitty, my youngest staff member: Daniel is a great boss. If it wasn’t for him, I would still be begging on the streets. He has changed my life, and also my family’s.

From Rosie, a client: Daniel made me the most amazing perfume! I don’t know how he did it, but it was like he was able to see into my soul or something! (He is also a hottie, but I would never hit on him because I know my friend Chloe has a crush on him.)

From Chloe, the loveliest woman to ever set foot inside my perfumery: I literally owe Daniel my life! If he hadn’t helped me out when I was stranded in the back streets of Bangkok in the middle of the night, I might not be alive now. He is super sweet and helpful, and I wish him all the happiness in the world. (And if I didn’t already have a boyfriend, I would snap him up in a second. Oops. Please don’t tell Aaron I said that.)

So there you have it. Do you think I have what it takes to be the “ultimate boyfriend”?

(I don’t know if this helps, but people say I look like Gerard Butler. I think it’s just because I’m Scottish and my hair looks like his on a good day.)

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Thank you so much for visiting! If you’d like to vote for Daniel as the ultimate book boyfriend, please e-mail traciebanister@gmail.com. And to go into the draw to win a Kindle Paperwhite filled with e-books from 30 authors, visit the other authors participating in this blog hop and collect the names of all the other book boyfriends (scroll down for the list of authors). Add these to the e-mail and send before Sunday, May 21st at midnight E.D.T. to be eligible. A winner will be chosen on Monday, May 22nd. This Grand Prize giveaway is open internationally.

BookBoyfriendHopGrandPrizeGiveawy

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Available for pre-order on all major retailers! Out on August 8th, 2017!



Lessons Learned from…Simply Irresistible

I don’t know if it’s because movies are more visual, but I find that my writing is often inspired more by films than books. And thanks to Netflix, I have an almost endless supply of classic movies to analyse.

Today’s pick is the awesome 1999 film Simply Irresistible, starring a baby-faced Sarah Michelle Gellar and Sean Patrick Flannery. (The 90’s was full of people with three names.)

In terms of it being a classic, I personally think it is, but the 90’s was my time, so I pretty much loved everything that came out that decade. It was sort of like the 80’s, where the plots were a bit kooky, the main characters didn’t always look like they’d just stepped out of a hair and beauty salon, and you felt that realistic ‘grit’. I don’t know what’s happened to movies this decade, but they’re all so polished that even the ‘realistic’ ones aren’t.

Simply Irresistible has a slightly weird plot involving a magic crab that somehow makes an average chef amazing, and in the process, helps her get together with a millionaire department store guy.

What I liked about this movie:

  • Sarah Michelle Gellar (as Amanda) was quite a strong, unapologetic woman. While she was a little too forgiving at times, on the whole, she dominated Sean Patrick Flannery’s character, Tom.
  • Both characters felt like real people, even though their world was full of magic seafood and bizarre happenings.
  • The food scenes were great. I’m sure it must have been done before, but I love the concept of someone putting their feelings into their cooking and the emotions transferring to the people eating it. I have a vaguely related concept in the novel I’m currently working on, with a perfumer who ‘magically’ knows how to create the perfect perfume for its recipient.
  • Patricia Clarkson as the sassy Lois. It was nice to see a rich young guy hire an older woman as his assistant, and have her be competent and attractive. The fact that he treated her like an equal was awesome too. I know we’re supposed to have come a long way in terms of women’s rights, but there were already some great strong females in movies and TV in the 90’s.
  • Lawrence Gilliard Jnr as Nolan. He could easily have been turned into a caricature, but he was just the perfect amount of funny and supportive as Amanda’s sous chef / best friend.

The movie is far from perfect. ***SPOILER ALERT*** I felt like the ending was a bit weak, using a montage of memories for Tom’s ‘realisation’ moment, and there was no follow-up at the end as to whether Amanda stayed working at her own restaurant or helped out at Tom’s. But! There was just something so real about it compared to rom-coms these days. Which is saying something when you have a scene where the main couple literally float up to the ceiling while kissing.

For a Friday night in, I’d definitely recommend it.

7/10

ferrari

Cars!

Conversation with my four year old

Me: Hey, dudie… did you know that your dad and I put $5 into a bank account for you every week, so that when you turn 18, you can buy a car?

Four year old: Will it be enough for a Ferrari? Because I really want a Ferrari.

Stuff…

For someone who had a career in web design before turning to writing, I should really be more diligent in keeping my website up to date. But when you have two kids and one of them is home part of the week, it leaves very little time for anything outside of parenting and keeping the house from looking like a bomb site.

And then when you set yourself goals like finishing two novels in the space of a couple of months, you definitely don’t have time to keep up with things like social media and blogging. But I really shouldn’t be making excuses. I will do better next time.

In August / September, I finished the first draft of Perfume Therapy. Part of this book was pulled from the original second half of Saved by the Celebutante – before I rewrote it without the perfume element. I did a perfumery course a few years ago in Thailand and thought it would be the perfect setting for a novel – and when I re-watched Chocolat recently, I was inspired to write something in that style. I don’t think it’s actually turned out anything like Chocolat, but hopefully the spirit is still there.

Edits for that went on hold for November while I decided to use Nanowrimo to do a complete draft of another book I had sitting on the backburner for a few years. We’re two weeks in and I’ve managed to stay on track so far. I’ve only completed Nanowrimo once before – although I used last year to finish Saved by the Celebutante – so I didn’t actually care that I didn’t reach 50,000 words. This new book is called 1996 and inspired by my love of time travel stories and one of my favourite years in my personal history.

I have one other book that I’ve started a few drafts of, and so I hope to possibly finish that too in December / January and then spend a few months editing everything before releasing them all some time in 2017. They obviously won’t all be out on the same day, but the aim is to put them on Amazon within a month or two of each other.

This weekend I’m going to see the very talented Kylie Scott at a Romance Readers High Tea in Brisbane. I’m currently reading her book Lick and enjoying it immensely.

Other than that, I recently ran a promotion with E-Reader News Today and it went much better than I expected. So for any writers out there who are looking to advertise their book, I highly recommend them.

I think that’s all for now. I’ll try and be more entertaining next blog!

P.S. Does this qualify as entertaining? The other day, my four year old was playing out on the driveway with his Nerf rocket, and as it was shooting up into the air, it scared a bird, which dropped its lunch, which happened to be a freaking SAUSAGE it had found somewhere! It landed a couple of inches away from my four year old. My husband hadn’t actually seen the bird, so he was very weirded out when my son told him a sausage fell out of the sky. I think that’s more bizarre than when I was in the front yard the other day clearing out some weeds in the landscape rock and found that someone had tucked a piece of salami in there. Considering we’re a vegetarian family, I have no idea how it got there!

Books From Our Backyard 2015

Books From Our Backyard 2015

I was very excited to attend the launch of BOBY15 last night at Brisbane’s State Library. Each year, the Queensland Writer’s Centre puts together a catalogue of books released by QLD authors. And since I released Dismissed in 2015, it has been included in that awesome list.

Dismissed will now be displayed on Level 2 of State Library for a whole year. When I tracked it down, it was right inside the door on the right hand side. Woo-hoo!

If you would like to check out the catalogue, go here!

Comedy Book Week

#ComedyBookWeek

I have teamed up with a bunch of other indie authors to participate in #ComedyBookWeek – which is happening from the 16th – 23rd July 2016.

We will be doing giveaways and posting reviews and interviews with authors of funny books.

I will be offering some free goodies that week – so you’ll have to come back then and find out what that means!

I will also be reviewing a couple of books and interviewing their authors:

Click here if you would like to check out the full calendar of events. More details to come!

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The latest…

I swear I always come up with great blogging ideas when I don’t have time to blog. And then when I finally sit down, I can’t think of anything to say!

I should know better by now and write everything down when it occurs to me!

Anyway, I thought I’d just check in. My new book has been out for about three weeks. Reviews have been lovely, and I’ve had a few sales. But obviously, not many people know it exists yet, so the next step is a little promo starting on the 23rd June. I’ve advertised with a bunch of sites, so I’ll post what they were afterwards and any success I had. I also have another promo scheduled for mid-July with just two sites who didn’t have room for me on the 23rd.

In other news, I am now a beta reader at Quiethouse Editing. So if you want your new book checked out, visit them to organise a time! (http://www.quiethouseediting.com/meet-kirsty-m.html)

I have also recently been featured on a couple of websites:

So it’s all happening! I am now working on a sequel to Saved by the Celebutante and hope to have a rough draft finished in the next couple of months. Stay tuned for updates!

Oh! And I’m going to be participating in #ComedyBookWeek which is an online event featuring a bunch of different independent chick-lit / comedy authors. I’ll let you know more about this soon!

Comedy Book Week

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The publishing roller-coaster

Oh. My. God.

If you have a heart condition, I definitely don’t recommend self-publishing your own book.

Saved by the Celebutante is going up on NetGalley today, but it has been a crazy ride to get here!

If you read one of my previous posts, you will see I had a strategy for publishing this time around:

  1. Write and edit the book to as high a standard as possible.
  2. Get my two critique partners to review it before handing it over to a couple of beta readers in the US and some friends and family members.
  3. Put it up on NetGalley for a month.
  4. Publish on Amazon on the 24th May.

I guess nothing is foolproof, but I have already learnt a couple of things:

  1. Don’t only leave two days between getting beta reader feedback and uploading to NetGalley. In this case, one of the readers provided A LOT of suggestions (which put me into a bit of a spin) and the other had some personal issues that meant she couldn’t submit in time. (Thankfully, when she did submit, there weren’t too many major suggestions – and there’s still time to implement them before I publish on Amazon.)
  2. If you make any changes at the last minute, check this doesn’t affect other areas of the book. Fortunately, even though I realised one error after already submitting toNetGalley, the lovely Giselle at Xpresso Book Tours (who is uploading the book for me) was able to accommodate an updated version.

There’s still a bit of work to do, but hopefully it will all be worth it in the end.

I’ll keep you posted!