To promote her new book, The Art Of Keeping Secrets, Rachael Johns and her publisher Harlequin Australia, held top-secret-invite-only author events in each capital city around the country.
A couple of months ago, the hard working team at Harlequin Australia held a competition where you emailed them for the chance to win two exclusive tickets to your closest capital cities event. I entered what feels like months ago now, and promptly forgot about it when I never heard anything else, assuming that the event had already taken place. So you can imagine my surprise when a few weeks back I opened my emails to find one from Harlequin telling me I’d won tickets!
Last week, the top exclusive events were held in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and I was fortunate enough to receive an invite to the Sydney event. The event itself was very much like it sounds; keeping with it’s top-secret-invite-only-event-status, attendees didn’t know where or what time the event would be until a text arrived the morning of the event, To my delight, the Sydney event was held at the Harlequin and Harper Collins HQ; I love their offices! Seriously, their bookshelves are amazing and if I have a massive case of bookshelf envy.
To my surprise the night was nothing like I expected, or had experienced before. On arrival Sue Brockhoff, Vanessa (both from Harlequin) and Jacqui Burton (Harper Collins) greeted all six readers attending and introduced us all to the guest of honour Rachael Johns, before proceeding to wine and dine the group…and what a job they did! Dinner was pretty special – I had mango chicken and Mum had pasta – and look at all of those yummy deserts!
What followed was a really intimate conversation where all ten of us talked about everything under the sun from writing, RWA conferences, the Olympics, doctors, books and everything in between. All in all it was a really relaxed and enjoyable evening and the perfect backdrop to talk books.
When it came time to leave, Harlequin didn’t stop with the surprises and produced a goodie bag for everyone comprised of a poster, two Rachael Johns book marks, a bottle of wine, a delightful bird cage of Lindt chocolates and a Rachael Johns book.
I offered my book to Mum, since I owned it already and Sue overheard and swapped it out for me from their impressive bookshelf collections – something I definitely hadn’t expected! It was like Christmas choosing one book!
All in all the night was nothing short of a dream. Not only did I get to hang out with Rachael once more, but we got treated to a VIP experience with two of Australia’s leading publishers in the most idyllic setting surrounded by books and avid readers alike. In fact, days on from the event, I’m still in awe of what the guys at Harlequin Australia and Harper Collins managed to pull off.
Little secrets grow up to be big lies…
They’ve been best friends since their sons started high school together, and Felicity, Emma and Neve share everything … or so they thought.
But Flick’s seemingly perfect marriage hides a shocking secret which, with one word, threatens to destroy her and her family’s happiness. Emma is in denial about a potential custody battle, her financial constraints, the exhaustion she can’t seem to shake off and the inappropriate feelings she has for her boss. And single mum Neve is harbouring a secret of her own; a secret that might forever damage her close-knit relationship with her son.
When the tight hold they have each kept on their secrets for years begins to slip, they must face the truth. Even if that truth has the power to hurt the ones they love, and each other.
Perhaps some secrets weren’t made to be kept.