Let’s Talk Books With Alyssa J. Montgomery, Author Of The Irredeemable Prince

letstalkbooks

Today’s super star guest for Let’s Talk Books is none other than Aussie author Alyssa J. Montgomery. Alyssa is a new-to-me-author, having other discovered her writing with through her current Royalty Series. It’s been an absolute blast hosting Alyssa on the blog today and I can’t wait to get stuck into the rest of her books and some of the ones she mentions here; my TBR Pile will never end!

Alyssa lives on acreage south of Sydney with her husband, three children and a menagerie of animals. As well as writing, she works as a Speech Pathologist in her own private practice and has been a professional pianist and international flight attendant. Her hobbies include gardening and playing tennis, but most of all she loves to travel overseas with her husband and children, and get together with friends and family. She writes contemporary romance for Escape Publishing as Alyssa J. Montgomery, and uses the pen name Alyssa James for her medieval romances.

 

                                                             

What are you currently reading?

Lisa Kleypas’ Again the Magic

What was the last book you bought?

Sophie Jordan’s  All the Ways to Ruin a Rogue

Do you prefer to read books in print or electronically?

In print

What do your bookshelves look like? Do you have an organisation system (genre, colour, author…) or are you just happy to go with the flow?

I have a wonderful lot of bookshelves in my dedicated “writing” room. One section of book shelves houses my contemporary Harlequin series books that I’ve read (stacked by author first name in alphabetical order), the middle section houses all my TBR pile as they come (and some photo albums) and the third section holds the historical novels I’ve read, some reference books for writing and a few folders containing my children’s’ portfolios from school. These are exclusively my bookshelves for romance. My husband has his own bookshelves in his study for other non-fiction genres (which I’ll also read), and any how-to or non fiction books are in a separate sitting room in bookshelves. The kids have their own in their rooms…so we are a huge book family!

How often do you read?

Generally every night before I switch off the light.

Describe what you would expect to find in your dream book? 

Romance, humour, a dash of intrigue and of course a to-die-for alpha hero.

 

How do you choose what to read next?

My TBR pile is so extensive I admit I have just gone to the section at times, closed my eyes and reached out!

So you’ve started a book and discover it’s not for you. Are you more likely to discard it or finish it?

Discard it.

If you could read any book again, for the first time, what book would you choose?

That’s the toughest question so far. I really love regency romances and I can’t say one book springs to mind from my adult years. I love Aussie authors Stephanie Laurens, Anna Campbell and Cassandra Samuels. But, a series I adored as a child which I haven’t re-read is Anne of Green Gables, so maybe that one.


What is about books that appeals to you so much? What is your favourite part about reading?

Putting all the hectic schedule of life on hold and being able to escape my “To Do” List. Reading can be physically and mentally relaxing yet mentally stimulating at the same time, and it can be really emotionally fulfilling. My favourite part about reading I think is the exclusive “me” time I’m snatching out of a hectic day. It’s my pleasure after I’ve done all the other important things for everyone else. It’s my reward!

Can you tell us a bit about your writing style. Are you a pantser or a plotter? Do you prefer to write in 1st or 3rd person? Are you an early riser writer or a late night owl writer?

I definitely used to be a plotter but my style has changed. These days I have a rough idea of my characters initially and their goals, motivations and what sort of conflicts they’ll have in the story, however I’m tending to start writing, get three quarters the way through the story then sit down and go back to plotting.

I did a course with Cherry Adair on “Plotting by Colour”, which I found very useful. I’m up to chapter ten of my next submission (Book 4 in a royalty series for Escape publishing), but I’ve decided that this weekend I’m going to go back to using my plotting chart to really pull it apart and look at it again.

I definitely write third person rather than 1st, and whilst I am an early riser (to feed animals, make school lunches and get kids off to school before I start in my speech pathology private practice by 9am), I am a late night owl writer. I much prefer writing when the household is calm and quiet and all the essential jobs are done for the day.

Was there any particular book that inspired you to start writing? 

Not really, but definitely a category. My two elder sisters were always reading the Harlequin Mills & Boon Presents/Sexy series stories and they actually challenged me to write a romance.

Do you have any advice to other writers out there?

If writing is your dream stick at it. It was ten years before I was published, and there are two pieces of advice that resonated with me. First, my husband suggested I phone Harlequin and ask them whether there was something I could do to help me on my writing journey. Romance Writers of Australia was suggested, and I joined RWA and was put in touch with the Sutherland branch. It was through the support of other writers there, particularly Enisa Haines,that helped me improve. I entered RWA contests and got great feedback from judges which also helped me on my way.

I went to a workshop given by Melanie Milburne and I remember her saying “the delete key can be your friend”. I said that to myself again just yesterday as I hit that key. Hopefully my current story will be stronger for it!!

And lastly, what are you currently working on?

The wonderful Kate Cuthbert from Escape Publishing asked me to write a royalty series. The Defiant Princess has been published, the second story The Irredeemable Prince will be released on June 5th and the third story The Formidable King has just been contracted. I’m currently working on the fourth story which is about Prince Marco from this “Royal Affairs” series. At this stage the untitled story about Prince Marco will be the last in the series. Then, Kate’s given me another project!

 

                              

To learn more about Alyssa J Montgomery, visit the following social media sites:

Web Page | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

 

 

REVIEW: Brothers From A Different Mother by Phillip Gwynne and Illustrated by Marjorie Crosby-Fairall

Published: 3rd April 2017

Publisher: Penguin Viking/ Penguin Random House Australia

Pages: 32

Format: Hardcover Picture book (courtesy of the Publisher)

RRP: $19.99

4/5 Stars

Tapir lives in the jungle.
Pig lives in the village.
But when they meet at the waterhole,
they discover they are the same in so many ways.
They might even be brothers from a different mother.

From a master storyteller comes this heartfelt story of friendship…and seeing past our differences.

Brothers From A Different Mother by Phillip Gwynne and illustrated by Marjorie Crosby-Fairall is a stunning and poignant book that I wish everybody knew about. In a world full of fear and hate, it’s a shining light daring children not to dismiss someone based on their differences, but rather to celebrate and explore those differences.

Brothers From A Different Mother is the age old story of how two individuals from very different treks of life meet and become life long friends. When Tapir and Pig first meet they are confronted by each other’s differences, but drawn in by their similar physical attributes and common interests. Before long the pair are the best of friends, but their parents and the community around them fears their differences and seeks to split apart the pair. What follows is a story about the strength of a friendship that defies stereotypes and bulling. In a world full of Cow and Monkey’s (the book’s detractors), Brothers From A Different Mother asks the reader to choose to be like Tapir and Pig; to see beyond what everyone else sees, while illustrating the role that perception and acceptance can play in your life and your friendships.

Phillip Gwynne has crafted a very poignant and engaging narrative that seeks to inform and explain to young children about accepting one’s differences and celebrating diversity. The text is simple and easy to understand, making it an ideal story to start open discussions at both school and in the home.

When a author and his story are combined with the right illustrator, magic happens, and that is exactly what Marjorie Crosby-Fairall’s illustrations have brought to this book. As powerful and poignant as Gwynne’s narrative is, it’s the illustrations that bring this story to life. Each double page spread is a whirl of colour, excitement (and at times sorrow), and there is so much detail in each and every picture. It’s Crosby-Fairall’s illustrations that highlight the fine line between the two leads similarities and differences, and just how special their friendship is. The images are highly emotive and simply stunning; I personally couldn’t believe how life like the animals looked.

Brothers From A Different Mother is a fantastic contemporary text to explain to kids about diversity, differences and acceptance. Given the current political climate with race/colour/religious divide, Brothers From A Different Mother is not only a beautiful text to behold, but it’s a powerful and educational piece that seeks to inform and breed understanding. All in all, there needs to be more books like Brothers From A Different Mother out there.

 

To purchase a copy of Brothers From A Different Mother, visit the following online retailers:

Angus & Robertson’s Bookworld | Booktopia | Dymocks | Penguin Books Australia | OBD

To learn more about Phillip Gwynne, visit the following social media sites:

Goodreads | penguin Books Australia |

To learn more about Marjorie Crosby-Fairall, visit the following social media sites:

Marjorie’s WebsiteFacebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Penguin Books Australia |

 

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Previously hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey; Now Hosted by Book Date

 

Currently Reading:

A year ago, a devastating bushfire ripped Annie’s world apart – killing her grandmother, traumatising her young daughter and leaving her mother’s home in the mountains half destroyed. Annie fled back to the city, but the mountain continues to haunt her. Now, drawn by a call for help from her uncle, she’s going back to the place she loves most in the world, to try to heal herself, her marriage, her daughter and her mother.
A heart-wrenching, tender and lovely novel about loss, grief and regeneration, Ache is not only a story of how we can be broken, but how we can put ourselves back together.

hoping TO read:

“It’s not an easy thing, loving a Morelli.”

Vince Morelli.

The closest I ever wanted to get to him was several rows away in English class. We’d never spoken, but of course I heard the stories about his family. I know they’re dangerous. I know he’s dangerous. Vince never had a reason to notice me, anyway—until I inadvertently witnessed his first mob hit.

His family doesn’t believe in leaving witnesses alive, but Vince seems different. He knows the best thing he can do for me is stay away, but something keeps drawing us together. Despite knowing the risks of getting mixed up with him, I can’t resist. Only problem is, Vince is a package deal—you don’t get him without getting swept up in his family’s dark games.

Now entangled with a notorious Chicago crime family, will my life ever be mine again?

Just Finished:

  

 

Last week on the blog:

Sunday Shelve It!

Brought to you (and me) by Magan & Estelle @  Rather Be Reading

I brought a lot of ebooks in the last couple of days. With Fictionally Yours Melbourne (FYM) just months away, I thought it was about time I started reading some of the attending authors whose work I hadn’t previously read.

 

FOR REVIEW (Ebook)

NOTE: The following three ebooks come courtesy of QUIRKY BLIND DATE

“It’s not an easy thing, loving a Morelli.”

Vince Morelli.

The closest I ever wanted to get to him was several rows away in English class. We’d never spoken, but of course I heard the stories about his family. I know they’re dangerous. I know he’s dangerous. Vince never had a reason to notice me, anyway—until I inadvertently witnessed his first mob hit.

His family doesn’t believe in leaving witnesses alive, but Vince seems different. He knows the best thing he can do for me is stay away, but something keeps drawing us together. Despite knowing the risks of getting mixed up with him, I can’t resist. Only problem is, Vince is a package deal—you don’t get him without getting swept up in his family’s dark games.

Now entangled with a notorious Chicago crime family, will my life ever be mine again?

You can predict the tides but not the changes they make. Gunnison Del Valle was the current in the tide that was about to change my life.
Crash one we met.
Crash two we fell in love.
Crash three changed our perfectly planned lives forever.

Just after midnight on a rain soaked highway, a man jumps in front of a car full of teenagers.

Minutes after turning nineteen, Kalliope Harris finds herself searching the side of the road for a dead body. Not exactly how she expected to spend her birthday – then again, neither was speeding down the highway with a trunk full of stolen money. Things seem to never work out the way Kalliope expects them to.
Suddenly, in the blink of an eye, Kalliope is on a different planet – full of princesses, dark magic, and lions that look like lizards. And some weird guy is spouting off about destinies.
It’s every girl’s dream to be a princess; what happens when that dream becomes a reality?

“I was the evil villain in my own story. Oh well, we couldn’t all be princesses.”

FOR REVIEW (PRINT)

 

Can rising gymnastics star Abby make her dreams a reality at the Academy? Being accepted into The Royal Academy of Sport for Girls was all Abigail Rogers had ever wished for. But before her feet can touch the ground, the gymnasts are thrown into their first competition of the year to determine who will make up the Academy team for the upcoming State Prelims. The pressure is on and with training harder than ever and growing rivalries amongst the gymnasts Abby begins to doubt if she is in fact Academy material. Can Abby up the level of difficulty in her routines and secure a place in the Academy gymnastics squad? Or will she be persuaded to win with dirty tactics?

 

Purchased (Print)

 

Purchased (Ebook)

In Isabella Austin Evangelista’s life miracles never happen…she knows she’s destined to be the princess who’s stuck in the middle of a fairytale where there will be no happily ever after. Once upon a time, Prentice Cameron loved Isabella Austin. Until he discovered she was a spoiled rich girl who spent her summers toying with his heart. Life led Prentice to his own fairytale, the love of the full-of-life Fiona Sawyer. That being so, that fairytale was torn away when Fiona died, leaving Prentice with a house to keep clean, piles of laundry to be done, a business to run and two children who were getting tired of takeaway. But Isabella comes back to Prentice’s tiny fishing town and she sweeps into his children’s lives like a beautiful, well-dressed fairy godmother who bakes exquisite chocolate cakes and gives the perfect manicure to six-year-old girls. Then Prentice finds out Isabella’s soul-destroying secrets, secrets that explain why she left him so many years ago. Fiona, stuck in her village and forced to haunt her family and watch Prentice and Isabella’s crazy dance, finds the impossible happening. She’s cheering for Bella and Prentice to rekindle their love. Then she finds out why she’s caught in her heartbreaking haunting and discovers she must embrace her magic and keep Bella safe or Bella’s fairytale will never come true.

‘I’m standing here, on top of the building and I need to remind myself to breathe. It’s not like I haven’t done this 146 times before. It’s not like I’m NOT the best in the business. I am the best at this because as sick as it sounds, I WANT to be here. I love doing what I do. I can tell you that I have been in this line of work for the last 13 years. I didn’t quite fall into it, I actually sought it out. I am undoubtedly the best in the industry. I am respected amongst all the big players. I am the biggest player of them all. If a rookie tried to come along and show me up as an example of their capabilities, it didn’t take long for me to work out what they were about.
There is no hesitation. No second thoughts. No doubts. No emotions. No feelings.’ ~ Anna Brookes

Anna Brookes is the most dangerous woman that you hope you will never know.
Her life of danger started the day she turned 15.
The 13 years that follow shapes her life to have her become the most deadly and lethal woman.
HiT 149 becomes her most difficult target. Does she pull the trigger or does she risk becoming the target herself?

My life revolved around two things. Football and my cock. And not necessarily in that order.

Being the head football coach for a top university in Texas had its ups and its downs.

The ups? Endless women to f*ck.

The downs? The politics that came with the job.

From the moment Aubrey Cain walked into my office, she turned my world upside down. Being forced to have her follow me around for a month was going to be a pain in the ass. Especially since I couldn’t keep my eyes off of her.

The best I’d hoped to come out of this was a few nights with her in my bed. I never imagined she’d be the game changer.

Brett Owens was my assignment.

Head football coach for a top college, bad boy reputation, short temper, and handsome good looks should have scared me off. But I was tougher than that.

From the first words out of his obnoxious, dirty-talking mouth, I knew it was going to be a long month. It wasn’t five minutes after meeting him, he hit on me. If only I had known his blue eyes would haunt my dreams and awaken a desire inside of me I never knew existed.

This was business. There was no way I would be tempted by him no matter how good looking he was or how many things he whispered in my ear.

He was only supposed to be my assignment. Not the man who threatened to destroy both my heart and my career. I would follow along with his playbook for now. But who would end up winning was anyone’s guess.

The Playbook is a stand-alone novel.

Darkness is the only thing I see. Ever since the day my life changed. The day that everything and everyone I held close to me ceased to exist. The day I lost it all and the demons of my past consumed my every waking moment. I tried to keep others at arm’s length. Tried not to let my darkness taint them. Ruin them. Harm them. And whether I want to admit it or not, as much as I wish I could keep them locked out, they refuse to leave. Refuse to let me suffer alone. If I hadn’t been so focused on keeping those demons from flying free, I wouldn’t have missed how one perfect angel was able to sneak her way under my skin-refusing to let go. Making me want things I don’t deserve. She consumes me. Her beauty knows no end. The love she promises tempts me every time she’s near. But that pure heart that makes her MY Emmy is the one thing I’m convinced I’ll destroy if I ever let her close. I’m a broken man. A broken man with too much darkness in his soul to ever let her light shine upon me. But even that doesn’t stop me from craving her with every single breath in my body. **This is the final book in the Corps Security series. This book is not suitable for younger readers. There is strong language, adult situations, and some violence.**

 

Sunday Shelve It!

Brought to you (and me) by Magan & Estelle @  Rather Be Reading

 

 

FOR REVIEW (Ebook)

 

FOR REVIEW (PRINT)

Tamara Bennett is going to be the first journalist to strictly report only good news. Finished with high school, Tamara is ready to say goodbye to her sleepy little town and part-time job at the local paper. O-weeks awaits, which means parties, cute boys and settling into student res with her best friend Relle. Things take an unexpected turn, however, when she arrives home to find her house ransacked and her life in danger. What is this mysterious note? And why does it mean so much to one of Australia’s most powerful media moguls? Caught between a bitter rivalry and dangerous family secret, who can Tamara trust? Or should she trust herself?

 

Purchased (Print)

 

Purchased (Ebook)

 

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Previously hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey; Now Hosted by Book Date

I attended the Sydney Writers Festival All Day YA events on Saturday and had the best time talking books and writing with a bunch of writing and book loving friends. Equally amazing where the four amazing panels and one author talk that I was fortunate enough to attend. There is just something magical about being surrounded by a few hundred people who love the same kind of books as you do, just as fiercely if not more so, and without any judgement for why do you like that? As usual my TBR tribled yesterday from various peoples boo recommendations and the publishing panels must read list in Teencon 2017!

This week I’m off on Kell’s Bookmark Clique Readers Retreat over the weekend and I’m really looking forward to talking books with these girls once again. I know Kell has been working tirelessly in the lead up to the event, so I’m looking forward to seeing what amazing things she’s pulled off once again. Due to this event and wanting the books to remain fresh in my mind, I’m concentrating on reading the books for the retreat this week. It’s going to be fun 🙂

Currently Reading:

What else comes at a price?

Miranda is a high-class escort at an infamous agency in Sydney, and always in demand from their top clients. Although it’s a life she never imagined for herself, Miranda has mastered the art of seducing men and makes a good living from it.

Joe Tench, rich, powerful and alluring, owns the majority of the nightlife in Sydney and is a regular client of Miranda’s. He’s demanding, dominating and dangerous, but Miranda finds herself falling for his unexpected, yet enticing charm.

That is, until she meets the mysterious Tom Smythe, heir to a wealthy mining company, and becomes caught between her feelings for these two very different men.

But neither is what they seem, and when tragedy forces Miranda to embark on a journey of discovery she will find it difficult to escape from. What price will she pay for freedom?

A fascinating and fast-paced story about Sydney’s seedy adult entertainment underworld, from the pen of a former police officer

 

I had never really known the full impact words could make until three words changed my life. “I’m being deployed.” They came out of nowhere and turned my world upside down.

I had so many questions for Alex but instead of asking them, three words slipped off my tongue. “We are done.” I loved this man more than anything but his decision to re-enlist broke me. I didn’t have the strength to live out my worst nightmare… Burying the man I love.

He made his decision. Now it was time to live with min


hoping TO read:

Just Finished:

 

Last week on the blog: