Friday, 29 April 2016

Fixation Fridays - Feature Author A.L. Simpson

Hi readers!
It's Friday! Time to talk about our reading fixation again. This week we have author A.L. Simpson joining us on The Flare Up. Her latest book in the Born Series, Born to Achieve, is out today! Happy book birthday Ally! Read on for a deeper look into the characters in the book.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Fixation Fridays - Featuring Wendy Louise!

Hi readers!

I'd like to extend a huge, awed welcome to Wendy Louise, our feature author on Fixation Fridays here at The Flare Up. What an inspiring, talented lady. Her Forever Series is out now. You can get books one and two of the series as a boxed set for FREE. But not for much longer.

Wendy Louise talks candidly about juggling her careers and family, and about taking on the big C and winning.

There has been a lot of talk lately about the guilt that writers and those with artistic pursuits feel for wanting to devote time to their craft. Have you experienced this personally?

Most definitely. I love to spend time writing and when I am in the midst of a story which just keeps flowing, I don’t want to stop. With a full time career and a family, I need to be able to juggle my time so that nothing gets neglected. I am fortunate that I have a very supportive hubby and kids who allow me the time to write.

How do you deal with the juggle of taking time out of a busy life to write?

When I am writing, I set time aside to concentrate on the story, usually a day at least per weekend and time in the evening when the kids are in bed. I love the writing process. I love it when I am in the middle of a story and the characters are ‘talking’ to me. I can’t get the words down fast enough. The most difficult part for me is after I finish writing, when I need to make time to edit, proof and market the book. That takes time and I find that my writing takes a back seat when I am in the middle of that part of the process.

Some authors, particularly those who write steamy romance, prefer to keep their ‘other life’ a secret, or somehow separate from their normal day to day. Is this something you feel you need to do?

I write under the name Wendy Louise which is my first and middle name. I don’t use my surname as I do like to keep my writing separate to my corporate life. Most of my friends at work know about my writing, but I don’t ‘advertise’ it to them as such, as I work in a very conservative, corporate environment. I’m sure if they knew about it though, they would be really supportive. I do get a little bit embarrassed when my friends or family read the steamy scenes that I write, but in the end, they are an important part of a contemporary romance so they can’t be left out.

How has your family adjusted to your burgeoning second career?

They are so supportive. My kids are way too young to read my books but they are very proud and get so excited when I am writing or releasing. They love to see where the book is sitting on the charts and follow it’s progress. My husband has been a huge help to me with self-publishing. He has set up my website, assisted me with uploading my books and helped me to navigate the scary path (that is now not so scary) of sef-publishing my first book. Most of all they allow me the time to write and that in itself is a wonderful gift.

In your bio you disclose your battle with breast cancer, and how you realised it was ‘now or never’ to pursue your writing. Your story is incredibly inspiring. How did you push past the challenges you faced to take on the huge commitment of a writing career, on top of everything else?

I had always wanted to write. I considered becoming a journalist in High school but then went in a different direction. I have always loved to read and I have always had stories in my head, but never the time to write them down. After a breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent surgeries and treatment I realised that life is short. You need to take every opportunity to fulfil any dreams you have. I sat down and started writing my first novel, which was a much easier process than I thought it would be, and I loved it. I loved the process. I loved getting to know my characters and I realised it was a great way to relax for me. After cancer, ensuring you stay stress-free and relaxed is really important. For me, writing is my pleasure and I love it, so I don’t feel like it is a burden or a commitment for me. It is now just part of what I do.

If you could offer advice to someone who is facing a similar battle, what would you say?

A breast cancer diagnosis at the age of 43 is pretty scary. I’m sure it is scary at any age, but you just don’t expect it in your early forties when you have young children and a busy life. I found out that I carried the BRCA2 gene (just like Angelina Jolie) in 2012 and was on the wait list for a preventative mastectomy and ovary removal to reduce my risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. (There is a huge history of breast cancer on my Dad’s side of the family and I inherited the gene from him). While I was undergoing a routine MRI, my breast cancer was diagnosed and my surgery was rushed forward. It was a big surgery and long recovery time, and while going through it all, it was difficult, but at the same time I had time to spend with family (who looked after me), to sit and reflect and to think about what I wanted to do moving forward. My writing is something that was born from this experience and I wouldn’t change that for the world.

Breast cancer is frightening but it is those negative experiences that make us who we are. They shape our future and make us re-evaluate life. I feel like I live my life to its full potential now. I appreciate every day and feel thankful to be here.

Thank you so much, Wendy! What an inspirational lady.
Check out Wendy Louise's Forever Series below

Every so often someone special comes in to your life and it is so monumental that it marks time. It’s like a date is forever imprinted on your heart. After that, everything before pales in comparison and you wonder what you ever did without them….

Feeling the need for a change in life, Ava Lucas boards a plane for LA to work with her movie star sister. After making a vow to steer clear of men while she is there, she comes face to face with danger and temptation - all wrapped up in a 6 foot, blue-eyed, smoking-hot package. Her promise to herself is compromised as soon as she locks eyes with her sister’s gorgeous co-star, but already knowing his reputation with women, can she resist?

Ethan Drake is Hollywood royalty. Hot and charismatic. A total player. He sets his sights on Ava from the moment he lays eyes on her and what starts as a conquest turns in to more as she manages to chip away at the walls he has built over the years to protect his heart.

Can Ava resist the powerful lure of Ethan and stay true to her promise? Can Ethan bury his demons and turn his back on his playboy ways to convince Ava to be his?

When I look at you, I smile for no reason. I had no idea that the day I met you, I was meeting the person who would become not just my heart, but my everything….

Olivia Lucas is the latest Hollywood ‘it’ girl. Her first movie is a huge box-office success and she is in hot demand. For a down-to-earth Australian girl, her life is pretty spectacular - beyond her wildest dreams in fact - and although she is revelling in the limelight, she really just wants what her younger sister Ava has…. Someone to love her for herself and not the star she has become.

Grayson Adams is the lead singer of Awesome Rebel. He is a hard-working, dedicated and supremely talented musician who has the looks to carry his talent all the way to the top. Awesome Rebel has just been signed to a major record label and Grayson’s life is about to change monumentally. 

Grayson has been wildly attracted to Olivia since his best friend, Ethan, introduced them, but she has been unavailable to him…until now.

When circumstances find them both living under the same roof, a special relationship develops. When filming movies and touring with a rock band intrudes, their time together is ripped apart and the relationship is put to the test.

Can they put their relationship first while still fighting for the careers that they have both worked so hard for? Is there a way to have both?

Currently FREE!

Sienna Adams wants to dance. It’s all she’s ever wanted. When she has the opportunity to tour the world and dance on stage with her brother’s band - Awesome Rebel, she takes it. But Sienna gets a lot more than she bargained for when she falls for the lead guitarist, the laid-back and gorgeous, Cooper Lane.

Falling in love wasn’t part of her plan, but sometimes plans change.

Cooper Lane loves to have fun. He’s easy-going and never takes life too seriously. Until a shock discovery in his family has him torn between touring with his band, staying with Sienna, or going back home to Australia to support his mother.

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and the dreams that were always so important to you no longer seem so meaningful.

With everything life throws at them, Cooper and Sienna face some hard decisions. But sometimes it’s the hard times in life that make you realise which dream is the most important, and that love is all you need to carry you through.


(Book 4 in the ‘Forever’ series)
Coming soon.

Madeline Rose is one of the hottest tickets in Hollywood. Her career is soaring, making her one of the most sought after stars on the planet. After finally discovering who her mother is, and finding out about a brother that she never knew she had, everything is finally starting to make sense. Her life is full of sparkle and attention, but there is always something missing, something out of reach that she can’t quite capture. 

When she embarks on a friendship with Christian Adams, brother of Awesome Rebel’s Grayson Adams, she starts to discover that the simple things in life are sometimes the best.

But can she settle for simple, when she lives a life of complicated?

Christian Adams has no interest in the Hollywood scene, but somehow he finds himself totally absorbed in it when he agrees to work on the behind-the-scenes doco of Madeline Rose’s latest blockbuster. After touring Australia with his brother’s band and spending time with Madeline, he sees her as a friend, one of his best in fact. The more time he spends with her, the more he falls, until he has a decision to make. 

But how do you make a decision when you’re not sure what the options are? Christian needs to decide whether he can live a life in the spotlight, or give it all away to live the life he already knows.

Sometimes the road less travelled is the one we need to take, but taking that first step is always the hardest part.

Paperback of Forever is Mine and book swag from Wendy Louise!

Hi, I’m Wendy Louise.

I’m a wife and mum living in Melbourne, Australia. I love to read and write, and I somehow manage to fit writing my books in between my regular daytime duties, which include a full-time job and life in general with two busy children.

Two years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After many surgeries and treatments, I learnt that life is short and you need to grab it while you can. I always wanted to write, and I realised that it was now or never.

You can usually find me with a few books on the go at once – whether that be reading them, or writing them. I love chocolate and trashy reality TV. It’s not unusual for me to combine all these and attempt to write, while watching an episode of the Kardashians or The Bachelor, and devouring a block of Cadbury Dairy Milk.

I am so excited to bring my ‘Forever’ series to you all. It has been such a labour of love for me. I have a number of projects in progress at the moment, and I’m excited to introduce those to you all soon.

I hope you enjoy reading my novels as much as I enjoy writing them.

Much love,

Wendy X
Follow Wendy
Website - * Facebook  * Twitter - @wendylouisebook * Instagram - wendylouisebooks * Amazon Author Page 

Fixation Fridays - Featuring Wendy Louise!

Hi readers!

I'd like to extend a huge, awed welcome to Wendy Louise, our feature author on Fixation Fridays here at The Flare Up. What an inspiring, talented lady. Her Forever Series is out now. You can get books one and two of the series as a boxed set for FREE. But not for much longer.

Wendy Louise talks candidly about juggling her careers and family, and about taking on the big C and winning.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Fixation Friday - Featuring Kirsty Dallas!

Hello! I'm super excited about today's Fixation Friday Feature. Today we're welcoming author, screenwriter and mum extraordinaire, Kirsty Dallas, to The Flare Up. She has a new book out and she has kindly shared a little insight into her story world. 

"Cinderella meets Mad Max." 
Are you interested? You might just be blown away...

Friday, 1 April 2016

March in Review & RWDU!

March in Review

Hi lovelies!
March, March, March. Can march right out the door. *Waves hands and gives it the boot*
Seriously. Life sends us tests from time to time to see if we're still paying attention and appreciating all that we have. That was March for me. It turned into a big snotty, vicious monster testing my resilience, courage and tenacity. Well, I'm pretty sure I kicked March's butt, and now I'm back with a brand new book release and a revamping of the blog. 

Check out the pics of the Readers and Writers Down Under book convention. RWDU on the Gold Coast was the trail blazer for book signing events here in Australia, and sadly 2016 was to be its final year. Dang it! I finally got to go and it was the last one. What a mammoth task. Organising not only the book signing, but also the day of seminars, and the masquerade ball. I can understand why they need a break.
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