I’ve already ticked off one of my 2015 resolutions and got a newsletter type situation organised. Now, I promise not to share your details with ANYONE for any purpose, and I also promise not to spam you. You might have noticed, I’m not so great at putting words on paper that aren’t fictional and romantic… but this is the best way to keep up to date with my latest product information and any other little juicy tidbits! I promise I’ll newsletter you whenever something exciting is happening in the world of Clare Connelly.
I’m just absolutely pleased as punch, and tickled a bright shade of pink, to have heard this morning that I’ve been named an All-Star Author for both the UK and USA again in December.
That’s every month, since the award program was rolled out in August, that I’ve garnered the All-Star badge. Instead of growing accustomed to it, the feeling of ‘pinch me!’ has just become stronger and stronger.
Thank you, each and every one of you, that has made me one of the most-read authors exclusive to the amazon e-store. I absolutely write because I can’t think of anything I like to do more (okay, maybe eating scallops, and curry, and chocolate, and drinking red wine and coffee – not together, you know, in succession). Writing is its own reward for me. It really is. But these acknowledgements are mind-blowingly awesome – far better than the cherry on top.
I’m so glad that my books are resonating with someone other than me.
Okay. That’s all the toot-toot-horn-blowing I can muster in one post. Thanks again – I feel so super blessed to have such avid, voracious readers.
And today, on Christmas Eve, mine begins! I’m off to spend some time with my little family… as well as my family, back home.
I love Christmas. This year, as I set about making rustic looking wreaths from branches the kids and I had snaffled on long walks to the park, I realised that this love of all things festive and merry must have come directly from my mum. Some people inherit obvious physical traits from their parents. I got a passion for thrift shopping and an almost obsessive delight in the Christmas season.
The gift of memories and time are very precious. Making wreaths with my kids, it all came back to me with a jingling bell clarity… the memory of doing the exact same task, except I was small, and attentive and completely fascinated by the way my mother’s hands would seemingly weave magic. Bending branches and twigs and perfectly shaped May Gibbs style gumnuts and somehow turning them into a beautiful circlet to hang on our door.
There were pomanders too. Oranges so stuffed with cloves that they became black, and spiky, and lent the house a wooded, alpine scent for weeks leading up to the day itself.
And the food… oh, the food. My mother never shies away from an excuse to bake a fruit cake. Some of my first memories involve licking the spoon after she’d made one of her delicious, rich, dark cake batters. Christmas day, is, of course, a time for the fruit cake to really come into its own.
For us, in my iteration as a mummy, we make gingerbread houses. Magical looking ones, with funny little leaning bits and lots of cheery white sugar syrup to keep them glooped together. The kids stick lollies over them, higgledy piggledy, and when they’re set hard, we wrap them in cellophane and give them to their much adored great grandparents. Over the last four years, that’s become our little tradition.
We also have a family pudding recipe, though this is one tradition that I’ve learned rather than inherited. My husband’s family have a rich and interesting history as Lutheran settlers to this part of Australia. There is the most fantastic family bible in safe-keeping for my son – gold edged pages and indescribably beautiful pictures, hand colored, and kept between wafer-thin sheets of protective parchment. It’s old, old, old, and so special. The pudding, while delicious, is staunchly Lutheran too. Yes, that’s code for no alcohol. The flavor is delicious though, and all the more so for the fact that all over the country, descendants of granny K are cooking up this pudding right now. Over the years, some slightly less adherent members of the family have improved on the recipe (in my humble outsider’s opinion), incorporating a wine sauce to top it with at the last moment. Now, dare I say, it is the perfect way to end a Christmas lunch. I hope my kids one day look back on all this festive togetherness with as big a smile and sense of wonderment as I do now on my childhood.
Whatever you’re doing, however you’re marking this time of the year, I hope it’s filled with hope, wonder, and time with those that you love most. Oh, and a few lovely books for good measure… CC.x
Another writer has begun to publish romance novels using my name.
If you are searching for new works of mine, and come across a novel that does not link back to my official Amazon author page, please be aware that it is not one of my stories.
I’ve been indecisive about whether or not to give any energy to this situation, but I have finally decided that it is necessary to at least acknowledge what is going on. For the sake of those of you who have bought my books and enjoyed them, I needed to say something!
As for me, I’ve got two new books on the horizon. Book four in the Casacelli family series will be out on Friday 21st November, and in the days following, THE GREEK TYCOON’S FORBIDDEN AFFAIR.
It’s just the most magical, wonderful time of the year for me. I absolutely adore almost everything about this holiday. It heralds some precious family time for us, as my husband takes a few weeks off work. The kids grow so much with the extra attention and time, and I get a little respite to bury my head in someone else’s books for a change! There’s the food. Such decadent, delicious food, boasting the best of the season’s bounty. Down here, in Australia, that means seafood, mangoes, cherries, asparagus, and the stone fruits like plums and peaches.
Today, we’re starting to get our gingerbread house project under way. Each year we make several. One for our home, but a few as gifts – and as the children are growing older, the number of gingerbread houses we make seems to be growing with them! One for their daycare, one for their creche at the gym, one for their old creche teacher, and so on and so forth. Lucky we have quite the production line going, now, and my little ‘elves’ only nibble every third or fourth slab of cookie!
However you mark the occasion, or even if you don’t mark it at all, I hope you’re feeling the outpouring of love that December heralds.
The pre-order period ends today and The Tycoon’s Christmas Captive will be winging its way into all of the kindles/devices of people who’ve clicked to buy it over the last month. I’m always incredibly excited and incredibly nervous when a pre-order period ends. The sales of this particular story have been beautifully overwhelming, but now is the time where people start to read the story… and it’s nail-biting for me! I loved everything about this novel. The characters seemed to be overflowing with personality when I was writing. Kat is so sassy and has such an air of entitlement about her. But beneath her spoiled-brat facade is a sweet, uncertain girl who just wants everyone to be happy. That duality in a character is such fun to write.
If you’re one of the people who have pre-ordered the third installment in the Casacelli saga, I do so hope you enjoy it. Happy reading!
When it comes to writing, I’d call myself prolific. With two small children at home, I maintain a gruelling schedule so that I can hit my word counts each day. Some days, this means writing 2,000 words before anyone else in my home is up. I absolutely adore writing. I always have. Even as a child, I wrote copious pages of hand-written stories. Now, I get to do it for a living, and I know how lucky that makes me. Like many creative types, I live my life in a sort of half-dream-state. I can be at the park with my ragazzi, laughing as they swing higher and higher, but a part of my mind is in a mysterious desert country, planning what fate will next befall my brave heroine. I fall asleep thinking about my characters, and even when writing, I usually have a minimum of two other stories swirling through my imagination, waiting to be put to paper. I would go so far as to say that writing is a compulsion for me. When I can’t write for a space of days, for one reason or another, I get cranky and panicked. In the same way reading a good book makes us crave solitary time, writing makes me wish to be alone, in a darkened room, with just my thoughts and my computer.
So why do I find it so hard to blog? I guess I’m just not good at this whole social media thing. When I write, I inhabit the minds of other people. I almost feel like an all-powerful director, making my characters speak and behave as I want them too. In writing a novel, I reveal surprisingly little of myself. My words are their story, not mine. When I blog… I’m blogging my words and thoughts. In any event, I was shocked out of my shell to log into this blog thing today and see how many people had visited the page. So, if you’re here, thanks for stopping by, and I’ll try to blog more than once in a blue moon from now on.
I’ve just this minute put the proverbial pen down on a chapter that saw my characters remove to the scottish highlands. I’ve set them in a small fictional town surrounded by snow-capped mountains, with character-rich old pubs, small shops, winding streets and cobbled paths. The fires are a-crackle and the Scotch is robust, and outside the windows of the ancient castle they’ve come to stay in, the snow has just started to fall thick and fast. Christmas is just around the corner and the air is alive with magic and desire.
As you may imagine, writing my characters into this beautiful setting has been a bit of a dream. And I am, frankly, a bit jealous that they’re getting to rediscover their love in such a romantic setting!
Well, it’s a romance writer’s prerogative to give them a little helping hand, isn’t it?
This is the first book of my upcoming Holiday trilogy, centred on the three dynamic Casacelli brothers. They’re tall, dark and handsome but a dark family feud has made them cynical of women, and too damaged to believe in love… what fun!
I’m so excited to see THE ITALIAN BILLIONAIRE’S BETRAYAL available for kindle e-readers. This was such a passion-filled novel to pen, just the kind of book I love to read. I especially love this hero, Matteo Maratelli (even his name sounds like the deepest, darkest chocolate, yummy!). So dark, so brooding, and in trying to do the right thing, he keeps hurting the one person he cares about most…
Here’s the blurb from the book:
What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive… When Meghan Walker agrees to pose as her flatmate’s girlfriend for one weekend, she has no idea it will set in motion a course of events that may make it impossible for her to ever find her own happiness. How was she to know that the very man she’s aiming to trick is the one man she’s ever fallen in lust with? Matteo Maratelli has every reason to think ill of the beautiful English rose Meghan, not least because she ran out after they’d shared an incredible night of love making! Now, to discover she’s seriously involved with his younger, fool-hardy brother Pietro is a pill too bitter to swallow. What can he do? Only what any good older brother would do. He’s going to rescue the foolish Pietro from the scheming woman… by seducing her right back into his bed, where she belongs!
You can check it out in the online store by clicking here!