Saturday, April 12, 2014

Give 'em what they want

I recently contributed a post to Sweet Romance Reads on romances in public libraries.
Take a look here.
It's a theme in libraries that's been relevant for decades - where to shelve romances in the library. In their own area so they're all together, or mixed in with the other fiction? Vexing third world issues!
And a reminder... Return to Frazier Bay is out May 3rd - exclusive to the iBooks Store. You can pre-order your copy on the site now.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

My Holiday and Travelling Tips with Joanne Hill

Don't you just want to roll your eyes when you see articles about Travel Tips from so called celebrities who are swanning off all around the planet as if it's the most natural thing in the world to do, telling you about their holidays in Bali and New York and Singapore, and stuff like that? They never ask "real people" who travel what their tips are, and, you know, I travel a bit. I leave home several times a year.
So here is my interview, and its all legit. No BS or embroidery in this story as my bank account will attest to.

What is your best traveling tip? It is definitely to get a seat up near the front of the bus. This is imperative because I feel nauseous otherwise and even a bottle of Homebrand Ginger Ale doesn't help. If it means the back half of the bus is empty and I have to sit next to someone up the front, who objects to me choosing to share a seat with them, when there are dozens of empties down the back, I apologize, sincerely, but I must sit up the front in the first two rows or I'll get sick.
What was your greatest holiday meal? One time when the bus stopped in Taihape, I was with my daughter, and we went to the tea rooms and I had a mince pie. I'm not allowed to eat mince pies much cos I'll get fat(ter) so when I travel I allow myself a mince pie. I had it with chips and tomato sauce and a pot of tea and it was really, really good. You can't beat that in my book.
What was one of your worst holiday experiences? One time in Hamilton the toilets at the bus station were disgusting and I really needed to go.
What was your greatest holiday? The first time I went camping with my daughter at Shakespear Regional Park in Whangaparaoa just north of Auckland. It has flush toilets and showers, doesn't cost a lot, and the park and the beach are amazing. Plus we squashed into our little tent and it didn't fall down on us. Successful all around.
What's your dream destination? It would be Frazier Bay, which is a town I invented, located at the bottom of the South Island. I invented it about ten or fifteen years ago for a short story and I loved it so much, I wrote a book called "Return to Frazier Bay" and I would love to go there. It's got a lighthouse, and being as I love animals, there's a cat the size of a Maine Coon called Elijah and I would love to see him in real life. Plus he had emergency surgery near the end of the book, and I'd like to make sure he's okay, since he was still recovering from the blocked urethra when the book finished.
Complete this sentence: I can't travel without ... Clothes. I think they are pretty important when leaving the house.
What's the best travel tip you've ever been given? To take underwear with you just in case you get separated from your actual luggage. Probably not as important when one busses but a good tip, I say.
Favourite airport to land at? Well, naturally if I need to travel I take the bus, cos its cheaper, but I did fly last year to Wellington for the Romance Writers of New Zealand conference in August (I went 'carry on', naturally, because why pay for luggage?) and as we were walking through the airport we saw former Prime Minister Helen Clark being pursued by media. That was petty exciting, seeing a celebrity in the flesh at the airport like that.
What's the next trip you've got planned? Bussing down to Palmy to see my mum and my daughter. Can't wait.

Sunday, March 30, 2014


I was (kind of) tagged from Rowena My O'Sullivan:
The Rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen authors (poets included) who've influenced you and that will always stick with you. List the first 15 you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.
So here goes....
1. Nora Roberts
2. Jennifer Crusie
3. LaVyrle Spencer
4. Enid Blyton
5. Laura Ingalls Wilder
5. Helen Doss
6. Fiona Brand
7. Betty MacDonald
8. Abby Gaines
9. Sophie Kinsella
10. Francine Rivers
11. Jane Porter
12. Essie Summers
13. Maggie Osborne
14. Helen Fielding
15. Jack Finney

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Here's an excerpt from my upcoming release Return to Frazier Bay. It's a heartwarming, fun romance (with deep emotional elements) set in the fictional town of Frazier Bay, Oregon. Release date: early April. This is from the opening chapter. Enjoy.

Patty Callaghan was five minutes late for the meeting, but there hadn’t been a lot of choice. Jonas Piper’s hound couldn’t wait.
She locked the door on her pick up, and took the steps to the Council chamber two at a time. She’d learnt at the first meeting that the members of the newly convened Frazier Bay Restoration Society did not appreciate tardiness.
Now, like then, she rapped on the door of the meeting room before she pushed it open. Inside, she glanced around and with a sinking feeling realized she was the last one there. The five members sat around the oval table with Bob Warrington presiding, the wall behind him depicting framed portraits of his predecessors, Frazier Bay mayors dating back to 1865. Pioneers of southern Oregon
“I’m sorry I’m late,” she apologized as she pulled out the nearest seat.
Bob nodded. “I heard you had an emergency with Jonas Piper’s hound. How’s that old coot doing?”
“Which old coot you referring to?” Nessie Sweetman remarked.
Bob scratched his chin as he eyed Patty. “So is that old dog gonna live?”
Patty sat down. “He’ll be fine although his leg is pretty bad. It looks like he jumped on some old wire and it pierced it a long way. He’s comfortable for now, and I’ll check on him in the morning. Make sure Jonas is giving him the antibiotics.”
As she finished, she took a note pad from her satchel and glanced around the table of people old enough to be her grandparents and racked her brain to remember why she’d agreed to take part in this thing in the first place. The Restoration Society – or Operation Frazier Bay as they’d decreed at their inaugural meeting – had been formed after some smart alec travel reporter from Chicago had named Frazier Bay, Oregon, one of the fifty worst small towns in America. In the short word space allocated to the Bay, they’d called it a relic of an age that should have never existed. The fact the reporter had the month before run a series on the fifty best towns and had included a town from the neighboring county had gotten everyone’s ire up. None more so than the people around the table now who had given years of service to Frazier Bay, and had each taken it as a personal slight on their abilities to perform their civic duties.
Patty flipped through the folder to find the notes she’d made at the last meeting. No one, she noticed, had made a move. Bob looked at his watch and Nessie stared at the ceiling. Impatience was written across the faces of the remaining three.
“Maybe,” Patty suggested, “we could start now?”
Bob took a while to look at her. “We’re waiting on one more.”
“What do you mean? We’re all here.”
Nessie shook her head the barest fraction, her dyed brown hair barely moving. For a second there was a flash of hesitancy in her eyes that sent Patty’s back tight with warning. Nessie examined her fingernails. “We’ve got a new person. At least for the time he’s here. Kind of an expert on these matters.”

Friday, March 14, 2014

Busy blogger

I have a few posts on other blogs this week, so hop over and leave some comment love!

At Sweet Romance Reads we talk all things Irish in the lead up to St Patrick's Day.

At Fabulosity, I talk about getting published and trying to stand out from the crowd in A Funny Thing Happened...

And also on Sweet Romance Reads, I blogged about giving up my car and living to tell the tale!

And in the interests of St Patrick's Day... here's my favourite U2 song, Electrical Storm.