The Captain’s Secret Baby

Last week, I followed  my own advice and pitched my book during an online pitch session. I had one request for the manuscript and it was a good one.

Today, I sent the manuscript along with the query letter and synopsis to that editor.

At 90,000 words, the novel is longer than my PhD thesis but was much more fun to write!

It’s a contemporary rural romance, set in Victoria, Australia.  I’ll let you know how it fares.

Now it’s time to move onto the next one!

When did I first want to write romance?

It’s seems ridiculous to state the obvious, but I’ve loved writing since childhood. I truly enjoyed daydreaming ideas and then turning them into stories. Like so many of my generation, earning a living had to come first and there was no guarantee that writing fictional stories could do that for me.

Still, I had the dream.

I was doing a post-NaNoWriMo cleanout over the weekend and came across this article I had saved from the Australian Women’s Weekly in 1993IMG_2438 written by Valerie Parv , an icon of Australian Romance writing.  Most of the content is relevant today, except maybe the tips on presentation for when you want to send off your manuscript. Some younger writers might not know the meaning of : “Use a clean ribbon or good quality printer typeface – not dot matrix.”

It was a balanced piece that pointed to the delights and how-tos of writing in the genre but it also warned that achieving publication was, statistically, not a likelihood. So, at once, I could imagine myself as a writer – yes, I can do this –  but then, just as effectively, it told me to stick to my day job if I wanted to contribute to the family finances.

The article appeared at a time in my life when I wanted to lose myself in writing romance, but it was also the time when I was slap-bang in the middle of research and writing for my PhD, an imperative for career advancement as an academic. The PhD was awarded not many years later but the romance writing was left on hold.

It was another twenty years before I took the risk to write romance and that was for my first attempt at National Novel Writing Month.

That story eventually became “Happy with the Millionaire” which was published in October.

I’m pleased to say that @ValerieParv is still providing encouragement for people stepping up to write romance. She warmly offers advice, counsel and mentoring.

To add my tuppence worth: If you want to write, don’t wait. Do it now, even if you have to make time to do it; find a good editor who will be blunt about what needs to be changed or improved; then go out and pitch the story especially when there are twitter pitch events happening. If the story is a good one, it will find a home.  If you want more direct control, then publish it yourself.

Keep writing.

Happy with the Millionaire is doing well

It seems that people who read Rosettis Book 1, “Loving the Celebrity Chef” are also enjoying Rosettis Book 2, “Happy with the Millionaire”. Hap’s story was the first one I wrote and it was inspired by a pair of $2 Christmas earrings that had garnered a lot of flattering comments. The earrings didn’t make it as the story evolved but proved that inspiration can come from anywhere.

My husband and I were transporting his latest boat acquisition from Rockhampton, Queensland to Albury, New South Wales and the boat’s trailer bearings had problems.

We were sitting in the carpark of the local service station in Moree, NSW waiting for the doors to open so we could fix the trailer and complete the next 900 kilometres (560 mi) to get home, preferably that day.

Daydreaming, I conjured up Merry, an events organiser in Sydney and the reclusive paraplegic IT Millionaire. In the end, a business called Merry… something only worked at Christmas time. Merry Birthdays or Merry Occasions did not quite convey the image that I wanted. So ‘Merry’ became ‘Hermione’ with initials that spelled HAPPY who ran Happy Occasions. It took me another decade to find time to write the story of Zach and Hermione.

I hope you enjoy it.

Millionaire final

We went for the pool scene for the cover on this one because that’s the scene that triggered the events that followed.

One week to go…

It’s now only one week till Release Day for “Happy with the Millionaire”.

Millionaire final

You can check out the new book on the Passion In Print  site. At the moment, it’s still listed under the ‘upcoming’ tab but next Saturday, it will be live!

This is book 2 in the Rosettis series, and the cover blurb reads like this:

Zach Yarborough is wheelchair bound even though the doctors say his body has healed. He meets Hermione when his company hires her to organize a Halloween party. He begins to believe he might find with her the happy ever after that his parents have. Then he reads a text that tells him all too clearly that Hermione is like all the other women he’s met and only wants his money.
Hermione has built her events business in an abandoned fashionwear factory, established by her great grandparents, to honor her family’s legacy. But her business is threatened when Zach belittles her in front of high profile potential clients. Selling the business will break her heart. Keeping it will destroy it.
Zach comes back to apologize when he finds out he was wrong, but can Hermione let herself trust him again?

Book 1 of the Rosettis is “Loving the Celebrity Chef” and it introduces Vincent, Angelique and Nonna with  Hermione being the unwitting catalyst that nearly undoes the budding romance between Vincent and Angelique. Now she has her own story with all the other characters cheering her on.

If you haven’t read “Loving the Celebrity Chef” yet, you can find it at Books2Read and choose your preferred reading format.

Gotta love five star reviews.

“Loving the Celebrity Chef” has attracted five star reviews and I’m tickled pink! And I’d like to send out a great big thank you to those reviewers.

This is the first book in the Rosetti series and I was so hoping that readers would love it so they’d want to tune into Book 2, due for release in October, and then books 3 to 5 further down the track.

Here’s a little of what the reviewers have been saying:

The first thing you will notice in this novel is the massive attention to detail that Ms Kerr has included. French, Italian, the Sydney waterfront and wider areas, backstage at a high end restaurant… it has it all!! Even oyster farming. Each scene is crafted to be a feast to the senses – sights, smells, tastes are all thoroughly explored. (BV)

Caenys Kerr is a master of tangled plots that make it hard to put this story aside. The complex storyline, along with the quirky and lovable characters of “Loving the Celebrity Chef” were twisted into an incredible tale, which takes place in Australia. The author’s knowledge of places, wines and foods made the tale and its ending nothing short of miraculous. (KA)

I tend not to binge read (or watch) anything! However, I could not put ‘Loving the Celebrity Chef’ down! I found myself saying ‘one more chapter, just one more chapter!’ Before I knew it I had finished, and I’m now eagerly awaiting Book 2 of the Rossetti series. Thanks Ms. Kerr, I can’t wait to read about what happens next! (Amazon Customer)

It is a rollicking tale – I could not put this book down! I really liked the main characters and it was hard to say goodbye to them at the end of the book. Excellent to see that there is another book in the series coming out. I read this over a rainy weekend so the vivid scenery of Sydney and the Blue Mountains made me feel like I was on holiday. I thoroughly recommend it to romance readers everywhere! (B)

If you haven’t had the chance to read it yet, you can find it at your favourite reading site through Books2Read  or from the publisher’s website, Passion in Print.

Loving the Celebrity Chef is live…

Release Day! What an awesome feeling. Loving the Celebrity Chef has hit tLoving the Celebrity Chef Final Front Cover 3 28 2017he virtual bookstands. You can use the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon to check it out! :)

It’s taken a bit to get here and I have to thank family, friends, beta readers, editors and publisher for making sure that this book saw the light of day beyond the window of my study.

PIP have the next in the Rosettis series already and have it slated for release in September. First, you should get to know Nonna, Vincent, Angelique and Co before Hermione’s story becomes available.

One of the beta readers who read both stories wanted more, more, more of the Rosettis and so Book three is a work in progress. I hope you’ll feel the same way. For now, though, try Loving the Celebrity Chef.

Here are the buy links  for Loving the Celebrity Chef on PIP’s site. (PIP is the wonderful publisher),
Amazon AU
Amazon US:
Amazon UK
and Amazon CA