Books Spark Joy with Wendy Lee Davies

Books Spark Joy with Wendy Lee Davies

This week’s Books Spark Joy post is a Q&A with award-winning Romance Author Wendy Lee Davies. Wendy began writing romances as a lark after leaving her communications and editing job of many years. Wendy won the Romance Writers of Australia Emerald Award in 2017 with her small-town contemporary romance, The Drover’s Rest. The same story (renamed Good Enough For Love prior to publication), was also a finalist in the 2017 Mid-American Romance Writer’s Fiction from the Heartland competition. Let’s get chatting! Where do you keep your books? Most of my books are on my Kindle. I do have a [very] small bookshelf with some of my favourite, and precious, print books. Do you hoard or pass your books along? No. I just keep them. How do you feel about lending books? It’s virtually impossible to lend books on my Kindle, but I recommend stories I love to other friends and writers to read. I’m also an active member of my local library, so lending books is a wonderful way of sharing great fiction. How does your bookshelf tell the story of your life? It doesn’t, really. And the electronic bookshelf on my Kindle is definitely not a representation of my whole life, just a part of it. The part where I’m both researching and enjoying numerous romantic stories from a variety of genres, not just the small-town, country romance genre that is where I write. How do you organize your books? Yes, I do. I try to keep all the similar genres together. But I don’t do more than that. Are you a print or digital reader? Digital. Have...
Books Spark Joy with Mel A Rowe

Books Spark Joy with Mel A Rowe

This week’s guest on Books Spark Joy is Mel A Rowe and she has a special giveaway for readers (keep reading to find out more!). Australian Bestselling Author, Mel A ROWE is a Writer and Weekend Wanderer, trying not to get too lost outback of Northern Australia. Besides random road trips, fumbling with her camera, and annoying her family with her bad singing—it’s her novels she enjoys creating the most. Suffering from an allergy to all things corporately serious, Mel’s novels are dished up with a dash of drama, witty humour, and quirky family units. Known for reinventing romantic versions of home, Mel takes her common characters on an uncommon journey that leads from boardrooms to billabongs as they try to find their own HAPPILY EVER AFTER.     Over to Mel … SURVIVING IN AN OUTBACK BOOK DESERT. The NT’s (Northern Territory) outback destroys books, and that’s where I live—in a freaking book desert! Until Pamela Cook posed the question, I’d never realised my eclectic book collection had spread throughout my house. Cookbooks are in the kitchen—shocker, right!  But they’re vintage CWA (Country Women’s Assoc.) cookbooks I’d inherited from my grandmother. My mother annually mailed me her local fundraising editions to wherever I was working at the time. Yep, the CWA recipes made it to Papua New Guinea’s hinterlands and many beaches on deserted tropical islands in the Torres Straits. I’m surprised they lasted…maybe because those ladies stapled or tied their editions together with ribbon. Continuing on our book tour of the humble abode, you’ll find an old-school atlas, tropical gardening manuals, and Australiana reference books. They stand next to the...
Books Spark Joy with Leisl Leighton

Books Spark Joy with Leisl Leighton

This week’s guest on Books Spark Joy is Leisl Leighton. As a child Leisl’s literary heroine was Anne of Green Gables. Leisl’s stories have won and placed in many competitions in Australia and the US, including the STALI, Golden Opportunities, Heart of the West, Linda Howard Award of Excellence, Touch of Magic and many others. She is addicted to the Syfy channel, and her shelves are full of fantasy and paranormal books and scifi DVDs.   Over to Leisl … Books for me are necessities. I can’t do without them. I need one with me at all times – whether a physical book or a digital book, it no longer matters – because no matter what the day has brought, if I can sink into a good story at various points in the day, I can let go of everything that is me and become everything that is someone else, and it helps me find my peace.   I have heard many writers say that they have no time to read, and for me, this is crazy talk. I write because I love reading and without reading, there would be no writing. I fill my muse by reading and reading and reading, historic, regency romance, paranormal romance, sci-fi, fantasy, steam-punk, romantic suspense, chic lit and contemporary romance novels. The only thing I don’t read when I am writing, is a book that’s too close in genre to the one I’m writing in – I don’t want to be influenced in the wrong way while writing my own book, so that is one rule I do have about reading and writing....
Books Spark Joy with Darry Fraser

Books Spark Joy with Darry Fraser

This week’s guest on Books Spark Joy is Darry Fraser. Apprenticed on a number of contemporary novels in her early career, Darry returned to writing her favourite genre, Australian historical fiction in 2016. Her first published novel, Daughter of the Murray, began a series set in the 1890s on her beloved River Murray. Darry’s books are set in a rural landscape, and her new novella, Edge of the Blue (2019) is set on fictional Australis Island, which very much resembles her home. The Good Woman of Renmark is due out November 2019, and is the last in the Murray series. Darry lives and works on wild and beautiful Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia.       Over to Darry … My love of Story and books has always been there and by the time I was capable of physically handling a book, I was already enthralled. Story captivated me: the action, the adventure, the characters, the setting. Good vs evil, and I always loved it best that Good won, of course, at least in Story. That might be why I tend to write Happily For Now, no matter what genre. I love to read and also to write a really good Not So Happily At All, but in this day and age, an uplift is always sought after. As soon as I had pocket money, the book buying began. I’d always had books given to me, as well, and early in life had learned the wonder of libraries. However books came to me, I loved to hold the tomes in my hand. Over the years there were many, many books...
Books Spark Joy with Juanita Kees

Books Spark Joy with Juanita Kees

This week’s guest on Books Spark Joy is Juanita Kees. Juanita escapes the real world by reading and writing Australian Rural Romance novels with elements of suspense, Australian Fantasy Paranormal and Small Town USA stories. Her romance novels star spirited heroines who give the hero a run for his money before giving in. She creates emotionally engaging worlds steeped in romance, suspense, mystery and intrigue, set in dusty, rural outback Australia and on the NASCAR racetracks of America. When she’s not writing, Juanita is mother to three boys and has a passion for fast cars and country living.         Over to Juanita …   Thank you for hosting me today and sharing books that spark joy. Growing up, books and stories were a lifeline in our house. My parents didn’t own a television until the mid to late seventies, and because of heavy sanctions in South Africa, our television programs were limited to mostly local productions anyway. As a result, most nights after dinner, we would listen to the radio, play board games or cards, or read a book. When Christmas time came around, our gifts almost always contained a girl’s annual filled with beautiful pictures, puzzles and stories. Both my parents were avid readers and encouraged our reading habits. Saturday mornings were always ‘library day’ for us and I used to look forward losing myself among the bookshelves. My father was (and still is) a wonderful storyteller. He’d make up campfire and bedtime stories, and some of them he and my uncles even recorded on tape with sound effects. We used to love listening to...
Books Spark Joy with Sandie Docker

Books Spark Joy with Sandie Docker

My guest on the Books Spark Joy blog this week is  Australian Women’s Fiction author Sandie Docker. Sandie  grew up in Coffs Harbour, and first fell in love with reading when her father introduced her to fantasy books as a teenager. Writing about love, loss, family and small country towns, her debut novel, The Kookaburra Creek Café, was released in April 2018, The Cottage At Rosella Cove was released Jan 8th, 2019 and her third novel The Banksia Bay Beach Shack is scheduled for release in March 2020.     Over to Sandie … Unlike most writers, I didn’t start life with a love of books. I actually hated reading as a child and couldn’t understand why anyone would want to sit and bury their faces in some musty old pages. But one day in my late teens, my dad, a voracious reader, put a copy of Pawn Of Prophecy, a fantasy novel by David Eddings, in my hand and told me to ‘just give it a go’. Reluctantly I did. And my life forever changed. I was transported mind, body and soul into another world, the characters felt so real to me that I thought of them as friends, and to this day, nearly thirty years later, I can picture the opening scene and conjure images from that story in my mind with vivid clarity.     Eventually I moved on from fantasy and found my reading (and now writing) home in women’s fiction. But the same feelings apply – being swept away by a story and its characters is one of life’s great gifts. An escape from...