Down Under Author: Isabelle Rowan

Standard

DownUnder_January Is Banner

Izzy

Meet Isabelle Rowan!

Isabelle Rowan is the author of A Note in the Margin, Twelve Days, and many other books listed below.

To get to know Isabelle Rowan a little better, the author agreed to an interview. Look for the interview below and the Down Under Scavenger Hunt word found somewhere within.

✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍

Author Bio 1

By day I teach English and Media in a suburban High School, but whenever I manage to find I spare minute I fill it with writing.

Although I wrote a lot as a teenager academia ate my brain and stifled my urge to write fiction. The odd poem here or a very short story there until a midlife crisis made me pick up my pencil again. Several years of blogging encouraged me to try my hand at longer fiction and my vampire short was picked up by Dreamspinner Press for their Desire Beyond Death anthology.

Although I write mainly mm romance I am also a member of the Australian Writers of Horror Association.

I’m also co-director (with Matthew Lang) of the Queermance Festival. Please have a look at our website and maybe join us! http://www.queermance.com.au

Author Contacts

Contacts/Follow at :

Twitter: @Aussie_Izzy
Goodreads: Isabelle Rowan
Website & blog: http://www.isabellerowan.com
Facebook: Isabelle Rowan
********************

Author Books Stories Down Under1 copy

Isabelle Rowan Books:

InkThe Red HeartThe Road to ByronTwelves Days

 

 

 

 

A Note in the Margin:   Rainbow Awards (Elisa Rolle) – Runner up, Best Contemporary Romance (2009) – Best debut novel (2009)

Blurb: margins

John McCann, a man who judges life by the tally of an accounts ledger, has a supreme goal in life: To achieve, live, and enjoy the rarified executive lifestyle. But he’s encountered one problem: The migraines are going to continue to get worse unless you make some major changes in your lifestyle. What you need is a ‘sea change’… Perhaps buy a nice little business in the country, settle down, something easier to occupy your time…

While John knows the doctor is right, he just can’t resign from the job he’s fought so hard for. He decides the sacrifice of taking a year’s leave of absence won’t interfere too much with his plans, and so he finds himself running Margins, a cozy little bookstore, with the help of the former owner’s son, Jamie. John expects to put in his year, get his stress under control, and then get back to business.

What John doesn’t expect is how Margins and its denizens draw him in, particularly the quiet, disheveled man who takes refuge in the old leather chair in the second-hand book section. John’s plans for an unattached year of simple business crumble when he meets David and is forced to reevaluate life, love and what he really wants from both. John and David are forced to come to terms with their pasts as they struggle to determine what possible future they might build together.

Book Details:

ebook, 276 pages
Published March 2009 by Dreamspinner Press
original titleA Note in the Margin
ISBN139781935192664
edition languageEnglish
seriesA Note in the Margin #1
charactersJohn McCann, David Robinson
settingAustralia

Ink :  Rainbow Awards (Elisa Rolle) – Honorable Mention, Paranormal Romance. (2012)
Snowman  – released mid year (2015)
Novellas:
Twelve Days (A Note in the Margins Story)
The Road to Byron
The Red Heart – our review follows today.
Anthologies:
Under the Southern Cross

Genre(s): Contemporary, paranormal

********************************************

Contests and Giveaways:

1. Today’s Giveaway (thank you, Isabelle Rowan) is an ebook of A Note in the Margin. Enter using this Rafflecopter link here. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2. Down Under Scavenger Hunt – find the Hunt “word or phrase” in bold green . Collect all the words from each author and submit the list in writing no later than midnight on February 1st. Make sure you include an email address where you can be reached. Prizes will be given to 5 people selected, from 1st place to 5th! Happy Hunting.

**********************

Author Qand A

 

A Chat with Isabelle Rowan

What books as a child has the most impact on you?

Stories have always been part of my life. My parents either read to me at night or made up stories. The Wind in the Willows was always my favourite and I honestly believe it still resonates with me in so many ways – I think I was a mole personality (shy and not very brave) wanting to be Toad (adventurous and fearless). By primary school it was The Hobbit and then The Lord of the Rings. Similar themes that I’ve carried over into my own writing – step up, take the risk to be brave and it might just work out. Ha ha, see, I’m still saying might instead of will, but I’m getting there.

Actually The Wind in the Willows plays a role in Twelve Days (Book 2 in the A Note in the Margins series) and this continues into the book I’m writing now – WIP title – Jamie’s Notes.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Wow, there is no one answer to this question, unless it’s everywhere – sights, sounds and smells! Ink came from my favourite tattoo parlor on Chapel Street. While I was being inked it struck me that the small purple room would be exquisite torture for a vampire. The heady smells of blood and adrenaline. Whereas, A Note in the Margin came from an indulgent night spent in a posh hotel in Melbourne and seeing a homeless man bed down on cardboard in a doorway. I didn’t sleep that night. The Red Heart’s genesis was a conversation with my high school students about the concept of home and country. Many of them are refugees and come from backgrounds I can’t even begin to imagine, so it was amazing to hear them talk country and belonging. Hopefully I captured a little of that essence in the central Australian landscape.

Favorite book/story you have read as an adult?

Poppy Z Brite wrote a vampire novel called ‘Lost Souls’ that I’ve reread so many times that I’ve had to buy at least four copies of the paperback (I still have them all). Her character Ghost stays with me. He is an ethereal character who, although human, seems to exist between worlds. He is a true innocent and for some reason that struck a chord for me.

Do you have a certain regimen that you follow as a writer?

Write whenever I can steal some time. I teach high school so that can be hard. Those who know me or my tweets will know that I usually escape to cafes to write – not with wifi. I have the attention span of an insect so don’t need distractions! Somehow, the steady hum of voices, music and coffee machines soothes me to write. I have a release in June, Snowman, that involves cafes and baristas as well as mountains, dogs and horses!

How do you think books written from authors in Australia or New Zealand differ in style, language, and culture?

Hmm, ask some of my poor frustrated editors! I didn’t realise that there were that many differences until I was told I have very Australian sentence structure. Seriously, I didn’t know there was such a thing! But I do know that we have what a good friend from the US calls Aussie-isms. Other than that I think you’d have to ask a non-Aussie because I can’t necessarily spot the difference – too close to it I guess.

If you were a tour guide, what would you like a visitor to see and what impression would you want them to take away with them when they leave?

I was toying with the beautiful Dandenong Ranges (1 & 2), or my local beaches, but I think the sights and sounds of Melbourne would have to win out. Tourists often head to Sydney and Uluru leaving Melbourne for ‘next time’, but it is an amazing city. So, I would base my tour around Art and coffee culture! We have galleries galore as well as wonderful street art. We could take a tram ride around the city or perhaps up to Lygon Street(3) or down to St Kilda(4). Many café stops would be needed as well as sampling delicious cakes and chocolate. So kick back with an espresso and try to decide how to fit in all the theatre, music, and history Melbourne has to offer.

Dandenong RAngesDandenong 2Lygon StreetOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

 

What are your current projects?

Snowman is just about to start its editing cycle and that should be released in June.
I’m almost half-way through Jamie’s Note (working title only).
I have a zombie YA novel in the works.
I’ve also started musing on a steampunk novel.

A MelanieM Review: Whitewater by Meredith Shayne

Standard

Rating 4 stars out of 5

Whitewater coverBaker Luke Henderson loves his job, and owning a bakery at Coogee Beach makes it even better.  His Black Dog bakery is becoming known for its delicious concoctions and Luke dreams of spreading out to other restaurants and stores.  Each morning before Luke opens up his bakery, he heads to the beach for his favorite pastime, watching surfers, a particular surfer. Little does he know that the surfer has been looking back.

Cameron Brown, surfer, chef, and café owner of a popular beach front cafe, spies Luke leaning  against the wall, watching him surf but nothing more.  A chance meeting occurs when Luke pops into Cameron’s  restaurant to sample their food and deserts, hoping to get the owner to take his bakery goods on consignment.  Cameron is intrigued by Luke, and his scrumptious deserts, and soon a deal is struck.

Working together brings Cam and  Luke closer but there remains several obstacles to romance.  The main one being Cameron’s idea of the perfect man, physical perfection being a key.  That’s something that Luke can never attain.   Can Cameron put aside his “ideal man” in order to find love with the real one in front of him?

Whitewater (part of the Under the Southern Cross Anthology but can be purchased separately) is a perfect example why I love Meredith Shayne so much.  The characters of Luke Henderson and Cameron Brown are so marvelously textured, so nuanced that it puts them far outside the norm of the typical romantic leading characters.  Luke Henderson has cerebral palsy.  It gives him a decided limp but the real driving force in Luke is his passion for baking, the other is just a small part of who he is.  I love the matter of fact treatment given to his disability and his outlook.  Luke is a beautifully well rounded character, full of hopes and dreams and wonderful concoctions that makes him so easy to connect with, especially when he’s covered in flour, immersed in his recipes.

Cameron, the surf god who also happens to be a chef and restaurant owner, long ago lost the passion that Luke thrives on.  Cameron’s search for perfection happens not in the kitchen but in gay bars and hookups nightly.  Those men he finds are easy to discard, but Luke?  Imperfect Luke becomes the itch Cameron can’t scratch and Cameron is intelligent enough to look inside for the answers.

What did I wish for?  A longer story.  Luke and Cameron cry out for a full length novel.  I wanted a little more of the life they were building at the end.  But that would be the icing on the cake for this reader, others readers will love it as it is.

As in her other stories, Shayne brings the local settings and locations vividly into focus.  The Black Dog Bakery and Cameron’s restaurant reside on or near Coogee Beach in New South Wales, Australia near Sydney.  Shayne captures all the flavor andcoogee-beach atmosphere of this beachside suburb of the little town known as  “Sydney’s Seaside Village”.  I got a real feel for the people and shops that fill the streets and line the shore, the nightlife and the family packed pools.  The full picture is so enticing, that like all the other places Meredith Shayne writes so lovingly about, I’m ready to pack up and go see it for myself.

Not familiar with author Meredith Shayne?  Whitewater is a wonderful introduction.  Read it, love it, and then go looking for all the other stories that we have tucked close to our hearts, including Cutting Out.  I absolutely recommend Whitewater and its author, Meredith Shayne!  Happy Reading.

Cover artist:  Anne Cain.  I like the cover but don’t love it.  It’s just too generic considering what she had to work with.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press    All Romance (ARe)     Amazon    Buy it here

Book Details:

ebook, 117 pages
Published March 13th 2013 by Dreamspinner Press (first published March 12th 2013)
ISBN 162380468X (ISBN13: 9781623804688)
edition languageEnglish
Anthology/series: Under the Southern Cross