Set Me Free
The Evans Trilogy, #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Date of Publication: April 28, 2013
Number of pages: 298
Cover Artist: Cameron Eaton
Disastrous love life aside, Charlotte Evans is rather content with her life. Her quaint little art gallery is plodding along nicely and her sister Emily’s artistic career is about to take off, thanks to her tireless promotion. She even gets to see her best friend every day and drink his delicious coffee in the café next door.
But when dastardly property developer Craig Carmichael comes along, threatening to demolish her gallery and take everything away, Charlotte has an unexpected fight on her hands. Not only is she battling to stop Craig’s development, she’s also struggling against the mysterious magnetic pull that has her on a collision course with Craig himself.
Craig Carmichael is fighting the Battle for Boundary Street on more than one front. The tenants of the building he wants to knock down are mounting a strong case against him and in a hot-headed moment he put his career on the line for a project that is threatening to fail. If the project doesn’t succeed he will loose everything but for some reason he’s having trouble maintaining his focus.
As their worlds begin to unravel around them, anyone could win. It’s what they might lose that has Charlotte and Craig wondering what it is they really want.
Open My Eyes
The Evans Trilogy, #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Date of Publication: April 7, 2014
Number of pages: 293
Cover Artist: Cameron Eaton
Everything happens for a reason, they say. And sometimes the reason is you're stupid and make bad decisions. Sleeping with her sister's best friend is one of the dumbest things soon-to-be divorcee Emily Evans has ever done. But she's determined to put it behind her and move on. She's walked away from her cheating husband, managed to make a new friend, and found herself a real job and somewhere to live so she doesn't have to couch-surf any more. Everything should be falling into place but for one problem – there are some mistakes from which you can't move on.
Meanwhile, Ben Cameron is getting on with his life. After all, it's the only thing to do once your heart has been stomped on by the woman of your dreams. Expanding his business and getting cosy with the girl next door are proving welcome distractions. He's even happy to babysit his nephew, as long as he can to hand him back when he's done! And thankfully, Emily Evans, the woman with the heavy boots, is avoiding him like the plague.
But Emily can't avoid him forever, and when she drops a bombshell that turns Ben's world upside-down, suddenly, getting on with his life takes on a whole new meaning.
Bring Me Back
The Evans Trilogy, #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Date of Publication: January 30, 2015
Number of pages: 246
Cover Artist: Cameron Eaton
Andy Evans is on the move. For six long, lonely years, he’s been running from his past, leaving his family and his life as a drug-addicted rock star far behind. His latest move takes him to the sleepy seaside town of Oamaru, New Zealand, to sell cigar-box guitars to tourists. The only running he’ll need to do will be training for half-marathon in nearby Dunedin. But when Andy sets eyes on Steampunk HQ, Oamaru's main tourist attraction, he realises his days of running might not be over, especially if a certain Steampunk fan from his past catches up with him.
Annie Martin is on the cusp of great success. Her career as a Steampunk academic is about to take off, as long as she can convince one disagreeable, New Zealand-based Professor to sign up to the anthology she’s putting together. Thankfully, Annie is a master at maintaining her poise and few people, no matter how nasty, can rattle her. Not any more. In fact, it’d been a good six years since anyone had gotten under her skin, after her best friend’s brother had vanished into thin air.
When Annie finds her future career on a collision course with her secret past, Andy Evans is the last person she expects to find tangled up in the mess. With a vengeful drug-dealer or two hot on his heels, and a vindictive academic determined to ruin her credibility, can Annie bring Andy back to his family before it’s too late? Annie and Andy are used to being alone, but if they don’t work together, there’ll be much more at stake than her livelihood and his sobriety.
Book 1: Set Me Free
‘You know I’m going to fight you in this development, don’t you?’
They walked in silence until they rounded the corner into her street and crossed the road in front of her building.
Charlotte stopped. ‘You lied to me,’ she accused, finally seeking out his eyes.
‘No I didn’t. Not technically. I failed to tell you something, but I didn’t lie.’ Was he teasing her?
‘Same thing,’ she snapped. ‘I don’t like liars. And I’m not very fond of people who are out to ruin my life,’ she added.
‘I’m not going to ruin your life,’ he said, not looking away, holding her with his dark brown gaze.
‘Well that means that you are because you’re a liar.’
He chuckled softly and gently. ‘Your argument is not sound.’
Charlotte withheld a grin. He was right. She sounded like a petulant child. She decided not to bite back.
‘I’m going in now,’ she said. ‘Thanks for seeing me home, I guess.’
He shrugged. She paused, and her gaze fell on his lips. When the corners of his mouth started to turn, so did she, on her heel, to stomp up the stairs to her apartment.
‘Goodnight, Charlotte,’ he called.
Throwing him one final glare, she closed her door on him and made a beeline for the shower to wash away the sinful desire threatening her good judgment.
Today, we welcome Jennifer Collin to Musings and Ramblings. Let's all give a big Geeky welcome!
Hello! Thanks so much for having me, Judy.
Let's start with some writer specific questions before moving into the fun stuff. That way everyone can really get to know the person behind the writer. We will finish things off with a round of Think Fast. Ready for the interrogation to begin?
Is your writing style more plotter or pantser?
I’m a combination of both. I try my hardest to plot, with mind maps, post-it notes for the story structure and character profiles, but I always reach a point where I get over planning and start doing. So I have a semblance of a structure to work with but in many ways I still fly by the seat of my pants.
When is your favorite time/place to write? Do you write structured or patchworked?
My favorite time and place is in the morning in my home office. But I NEVER get to do that as I have two small children I need to pack off to school five days per week. And because I never get to write when my brain is at its best, I write very patchworked, using moments stolen here and there. It takes a lot of work to smooth the patching and make the books read as though they’ve been written in one sitting.
This summer, I’m going to experiment with super-early starts to see if it works for me. It means going to bed early though, and that will require a lot of discipline. Far more than dragging myself out of bed at 5am.
How do you deal with Writer's Block?
I push on and keep writing. What I’m producing might be terrible and I’ll never use it, but at least I’m still working. I find persistence is the best way to break through Writer’s Block.
Is there any particular author or book that has influenced you or your writing?
I discovered Jenny Crusie through a friend in the noughties and it was the first time I realized romance could be fun. As a teenager I used to sneak off with my Nanna’s Mills and Boons and my sister’s historical romances, but when I hit my too-cool-for-school phase in my late teens/early twenties, I gave up romance altogether. Then my friend dared to bring Jenny Crusie’s Welcome to Temptation to my book club and I was sold. Until then, I didn’t realize such funny, sexy romances were being published. What I loved most was the way Crusie writes heroines you want to include in your circle of friends. She got me back into writing after a long period of abstinence.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
The toughest criticism came via my first one star review on Goodreads. It was in the early days of my life as an author and it absolutely mortified me. The reviewer didn’t like my first book, Set Me Free, because it’s not a clean romance and I think she was quite offended by the sex scenes. For some silly reason, this came as a shock to me. It wasn’t until some time later that I came to terms with the fact that some readers don’t actually enjoy sex scenes and would prefer not to encounter them in their books. It was a total light bulb moment for me, which seems so obvious in hindsight.
The best compliment is when I get a review from a reader who absolutely gets exactly who my characters are and how they shape and are shaped by their story. We’re all different, us humans, and not everyone gets my books, but when I find someone who does, it’s the best buzz.
What was the last movie/concert/show that you saw?
I went to see Strictly Ballroom, the Musical, by Baz Lurhman with my best friend. If you’re not familiar with it, Strictly Ballroom is a 1992 comedy film, centered on ballroom dancing culture in Australia. It’s terribly funny and the stage musical was the sparkliest thing I’ve ever experienced. My BFF and I were in the front rows and at the end of the show the cast came down into the audience and pulled us, and a whole lot of others, on to the stage. We were in heaven, dancing with the cast to John Paul Young’s Love is in the Air.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
The ability to control time. Mostly, I’d try to fit a few more hours in each day so I could do a better job of helping my kids with their homework and squeeze in some more writing time.
What was the name of the last book you read?
The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham. It’s set in the 1950s and about a young woman returning to the small town she was banished from as a child, to help her ailing mother. It’s full of quirky characters and as the lead character is a dressmaker, wonderful descriptions of fabrics and fashion. Not to mention flashbacks of quaint 1950s customs. It’s recently been made into a movie starring Kate Winslet and Liam Hemsworth. The movie trailer looks fantastic and I wanted to make sure I read it before I saw it.
You are going to be stranded on a deserted island and bring 3 luxury items. What would they be?
Having just come back from a weekend camping, my idea of luxury might be a little different to most. For example, I’d like a personal bathroom, please. With an endless supply of hot water. Also a kitchen sink with running hot water. I can manage outdoor cooking as long as there is somewhere to properly wash the dishes. Lastly, a full Kindle so I never run out of things to do.
What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Almost everything healthy you could think of! Upon returning from the camping weekend, I promptly hit the supermarket and loaded up on healthy food. Two days of eating burned steaks and baked beans had me craving the good stuff.
Elvis or Sinatra? Sinatra. He never went through that tragic 1970s phase.
AM or PM? AM. I’m a weirdo morning person.
Mountains or Sea? The sea. There’s nothing more soothing than an enormous body of water. Also, that recent camping trip was in the mountains and it was freezing!
Summer or Winter? Summer right now, because winter is finally over. Give me a month or two and I’ll revisit that. Here in Queensland, where I live, we have weeks where the temperature sits just below 100 degrees Fahrenheit (around 36 degrees Celsius). It’s hot.
Coffee or Tea? Coffee. Always coffee.
Thanks for coming by and spending some time with us. Any final words of wisdom to pass along?
Always be sure to pack extra blankets when you go camping in the mountains. And don’t forget to take some salad.
Jennifer Collin writes quirky, and sometimes gritty, love stories about ordinary people dealing with what life throws at them.
She lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband, two noisy children and a cantankerous cat.
She used to party, but now her idea of a good time is an uninterrupted sleep. These days, her characters do her partying for her, and she doesn't necessarily let them sleep.
To connect with the author online:
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