Saturday, 20 September 2014

When the CEO Calls

WHEN THE CEO CALLS is my latest release! It's a contemporary romance novella and a prequel to Undercover in the CEO's Bed (which was released in May 2014).



A late night call out, a handsome, sexy CEO, and a brother who needs protection…Jacinta Greene knows she’s courting trouble when she assists Lex Rochester while disguising her true identity. When he pursues her, she knows she should turn him down and walk away, but this man is too irresistible for her own good. 

Just 99 cents!



Saturday, 13 September 2014

September reading roundup

Recently I’ve hit a purple patch in my choice of reading. Lots of wonderful books have fallen my way or caught my fancy on my e-reader. I love it when that happens, or maybe I was just in the mood for a lot of reading. Either way, here are some of the books I’ve enjoyed over the past month or so:

One Hundred Proposals by Holly Martin

Initially I’d heard good things about Martin’s first book The Guestbook, but after reading the preview, I didn’t think that was for me (the entire story is told through the entries of a guestbook at a holiday cottage), so I picked up her latest book, One Hundred Proposals.

This was such a fun, sweet, funny British romance.  Best friends Suzie and Harry run a business creating unique, romantic proposals. They’re secretly in love with each other but of course can’t seem to get those important words out. I was surprised to find myself tearing up at a certain moment in the book, which had nothing to do with the romance.





The Hidden Blade by Sherry Thomas

In imperial China Ying-ying is the illegitimate half-English daughter of a concubine. She lives a sheltered life until her mother dies and she’s forced to live with her mother’s former protector. Her amah, who turns out to be a martial arts warrior and member of a secret society, decides to make Ying-ying her disciple.  Meanwhile, across the world in England, Leighton leads an idyllic life until his family is torn apart and he becomes a virtual prisoner to an evil relative.

The book follows Ying-ying and Leighton as they struggle for survival in an unfriendly world. I have to admit I found Leighton’s story more compelling, perhaps because he is the more proactive character and I could pretty much guess what was going to happen to Ying-ying.

This book is a prequel to Thomas’s My Beautiful Enemy, but it’s still a full-length book. I spent the entire first half waiting for Ying-ying and Leighton to meet, but by three-quarters I knew that wasn’t going to happen. There’s plenty of action and tears in the final quarter, and also a preview of the first chapter of the next book, but for me I wanted to know what happened in the intervening four years (because that’s really where Ying-ying’ story becomes interesting after she's forced to leave Peking). Still, a great historical adventure story and a great setup to the next book.

For One Night Only by Phillipa Fioretti

I’m a big fan of Mary Stewart’s romantic suspense stories, and this book strongly reminded me of Stewart’s writing. In For One Night Only, Ornella, an Australian actress of Sicilian background, is holidaying in Sicily when she meets Hugh, a British archaeologist working on the excavation of an ancient mosaic. There’s instant attraction between these two, but just as the romance is heating up, Hugh vanishes, and Ornella’s idyllic holiday quickly turns into a nightmare.

I really enjoyed this book. Fast-paced action, beautiful scenery, great hero, and a spunky heroine who never gives up.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Book review: The Chocolate Rose by Laura Florand


I picked this up when it was free on Amazon. I’d previously read Laura Florand’s Snow-Kissed, which I hadn’t found as marvellous as some others had, so I doubt I would have read The Chocolate Rose if it hadn’t been free. And I’m glad I did, because The Chocolate Rose was a delight to read.

Jolie Manon is a food writer and the daughter of famous chef Pierre Manon, with whom she has co-written a cook book. Her father is still recovering from a stroke, which has plunged him into depression and apathy, when Jolie receives notice that her father’s former chef patissier, Gabriel Delange, is suing them for appropriating twelve of his recipes in the cookbook, including the famous chocolate rose depicted on the cover. Jolie had a teenage crush on Gabriel when he worked for her father but hasn’t seen him in years. Anxious to spare her father from further stress, she hastens from Paris to the Cote d’Azur, where Delange now runs his own world-famous restaurant.

Needless to say, sparks fly when these two characters meet. Gabriel and Jolie argue, flirt, lose their temper, sulk, laugh, make love, fight and make up. The setting of the three-star restaurant and its high pressure kitchen set in an ancient, charming French provincial town is wonderfully depicted in lush detail. Jolie’s torn loyalties between her father and Gabriel are touching and real. I got a real insight into the pressures of running a world-class restaurant, and how it completely dominates a chef’s life. Thank God I’ve never had any inclination in that direction.

The only quibbles I had were the ending, which was a touch saccharine, and the fact that Jolie never truly confronts her father over his plagiarism. I would have liked to have heard his reasons or justifications why he ‘stole’ Gabriel’s recipes, but the story never really goes there satisfactorily. But these were minor niggles and didn’t stop me from enjoying this sweet and satisfying romance.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Two releases! White-Hot Holiday and Timeless Encounters

This week I have two book releases.

The first is White-Hot Holiday, a Christmas novella previously released as part of the Stranded With a Hero anthology. White-Hot Holiday is now available for individual sale.


Nice is about to meet Naughty…

When Aussie Naomi Spencer hears her uncle's American friend is coming Down Under for a short visit, she can't wait to be rid of him. Aaron's “Bah Humbug” attitude drives her crazy...and so does his incredibly sexy smile, and the way he pitches in to help her get ready for all her relatives. Okay, so maybe he's not a total Grinch. But when Naomi’s uncle warns her to stay away from his playboy friend, Naomi’s simple holiday gets even more complicated.

When a volcano grounds all flights back to the States, Aaron Cade finds himself stranded in Oz. For Aaron, family holidays are to be endured, not celebrated. Only Naomi brings magic to the simplest things: shopping for gifts, finding the perfect decorations, and making him feel at home in the bizarrely tropical December heat. His sudden, overwhelming attraction to Naomi will turn his idea of home upside-down…but can he change everything for one white-hot love?




My second release is Timeless Encounters: An Anthology of Romantic Novellas.


Three time-travel novellas from Jennifer Brassel, Shannon Curtis, and me.

The Tipping Point: Returning to Ashwood House, the accursed money pit that destroyed her marriage, catapults Bella and estranged husband Reuben into a past where both have the opportunity to make different choices. If they dare.

The Black Gordon: In pursuit of a serial killer, Brenda is held captive by The Black Gordon, a handsome warrior intent on stealing more than just her freedom.

The Photograph: Whilst crossing the threshold into her doppelganger’s enigmatic past, archivist Erin discovers the key to her own future, answers to her past, and heals the heart of a man wounded by tragedy.

Ebook available at:


Print copies available at:

Your Bookshop (Rhodes) | Amazon

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Coming soon - White-Hot Holiday: a Real Men Novella


Previously released as part of the Stranded with a Hero anthology, White-Hot Holiday will be available for individual sale on July 28.

Nice is about to meet Naughty…

When Aussie Naomi Spencer hears her uncle's American friend is coming Down Under for a short visit, she can't wait to be rid of him. Aaron's “Bah Humbug” attitude drives her crazy...and so does his incredibly sexy smile, and the way he pitches in to help her get ready for all her relatives. Okay, so maybe he's not a total Grinch. But when Naomi’s uncle warns her to stay away from his playboy friend, Naomi’s simple holiday gets even more complicated.

When a volcano grounds all flights back to the States, Aaron Cade finds himself stranded in Oz. For Aaron, family holidays are to be endured, not celebrated. Only Naomi brings magic to the simplest things: shopping for gifts, finding the perfect decorations, and making him feel at home in the bizarrely tropical December heat. His sudden, overwhelming attraction to Naomi will turn his idea of home upside-down…but can he change everything for one white-hot love?

Reviews:
"ANOTHER WINNER ..... yippeeeeeeeeeeee Now I cannot wait to read all the Real Men series!!!
the story flowed beautifully and was captivating!
the chemistry between Aaron and Naomi burned~~they had the perfect balance of flirting, romance and touching heartfelt moments *****swoooooon*****
AWESOME NOVELLA!"

"This was a sweet and romantic book. The characters were really likeable. I really enjoyed watching the sparks fly with Naomi and Aaron."

"Very sweet, light romance novel. A breath of fresh air..."

"Coleen Kwan gives us some holiday joy Australian style...no snow here. Just a hot guy, a volcano and lots of sparks between Aaron & Naomi. Great story with wonderful characters"

Buy

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Short Soup revisited

It's a cold and blustery day today, and I'm making winter soup. Which reminds me of my Short Soup story. So what is short soup anyway? Some people know it as wonton soup. Basically it’s a Chinese dish of dumplings filled with pork mince and tasty seasonings served in a clear broth. It's delicious comfort food, and it seemed like an apt title to my story about two Australian-born characters whose parents jointly own a Chinese restaurant.

Toni Lau and Dion Chan have been lifelong friends growing up together in a small seaside town. Toni moved away, first to study and then, after her marriage, moved abroad to work. Dion, on the other hand, stayed behind, seemingly unambitious. Now, after a five year absence, Toni is newly divorced and back in her home town for a little R&R. But things have changed while she’s been away. Dion is taking over their parents’ restaurant and he seems to have definite plans for change. More disturbingly, Dion himself has changed, and Toni begins to find herself inconveniently attracted to this new Dion.

Here's a short excerpt:

~*~

“Welcome back, Toni.” A husky note lurked in his voice. An awkward pause developed before he moved forward and wrapped his arms loosely around her. “It’s good to see you again.”

As their bodies met, she found herself tensing. Over the years she’d received hundreds of hugs from Dion. But this one felt different. Now she was hyper-conscious of his physicality. His biceps were rock-hard, his chin rough stubbled, the mound of his shoulder disturbingly smooth. He smelt of sea and masculinity. Unfamiliar. This wasn’t the Dion she used to know. She pulled away, perplexed.

“Sorry.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “I probably need a shower.”

She shook her head. “No, it’s just–” She broke off, unable to explain why she felt so off kilter. “I’m not exactly myself today. That’s why I stopped here for a breather when I arrived.”

He nodded in sympathy. “Not ready to show up at your folks’ place, huh?”

“I’ve been looking forward to seeing them so much, but now I kind of have to gather my thoughts first.”

He pushed sand around with his foot. “Your mum’s been worried about you. Your dad too, though he doesn’t say as much.” He pressed his sole down on the sand hill he’d created. “I know I’ve told you before, but I’m sorry about you and Nick.”

The words sounded flat, rehearsed. She couldn’t decide whether he meant it or not. Dion barely knew her ex-husband. She’d met Nick at Sydney University where they’d both been studying commerce. Nick’s busy social calendar meant he’d only accompanied her to Piper Bay a handful of fleeting occasions. Soon after graduation, she and Nick had married and migrated to London, both of them landing jobs at the same investment bank. They were going to work and travel all over the world, forging their careers, then when they tired of globetrotting they would return to Sydney, buy a house together and start a family. So much for their dreams.

Toni drew in a deep breath. “Thanks,” she replied. “So am I.”

“You’re better off without him.”

“That’s what I keep telling myself.” But it didn’t always help.

He shot her a sharp glance, his eyes not soft any more. He looked like he was about to say something, but at the last moment he changed his mind and shook his head. What? she wanted to challenge him. What were you going to say about Nick and me? I need to know. But he turned away to pick up his beach towel, leaving her to stare after him in disappointment.
~*~