About Fiona Lowe

Fiona Lowe’s a RITA & R*BY winning author with her novel Boomerang Bride. Multi-published by Harlequin Medical romance & Carina Press she writes contemporary stories. She’s a mother of two gingers/rangas, a weekend wife, the guardian of 80 rose bushes, the slave of a cat & often found collapsed on couch with wine. She tries to balance writing with the rest of her life although there are some days she does this more successfully than others. She dreams of words being downloaded to her so fast her fingers can barely keep up when in reality she knows each word on the page is chiselled from stone. Fiona loves hearing from her readers and can be contacted via Twitter, her website or Facebook. Please call by and say, HI!

Book Online to Save Time….Yeah, right!

save-timeAll businesses are pushing us online to order things and it’s supposed to save everyone time. Hmm, I think it saves the business time and money but it sure as heck isn’t saving me time. It’s SUCKING my time away from me in hours at a time.

Yesterday, I planned 15 minutes to firm up a few things for my up-coming ski-trip.  First off, the airlinechanged my flights and the website wouldn’t allow me to deal with it despite me completeing all this details. Then, I rang the skilodge and they insisted I book online…so I did, only their website wasn’t working and kept giving me an error message. I called them back and alerted them to it. Sigh. Only thing left to do was book the skipasses and that’s when I got into an infinite loop between agreements and the type of pass. So three phone calls later I was told, “Oh, yeah, the IT guys are working on that.”    So those fifteen minutes took three hours! 

Today, I checked the airline and they still have me on the wrong flights….I’m on hold as I write this blog.

Does anyone out there manage to book something in five minutes because if you do, please send me your top tips!

Sydney Conference; Romance Rocks 2014

IMG_0449.JPGWhat a big four days! I’m home from sunny Sydney, back to the chill of southern Victoria and dreaming of warmer days and being able to walk outside wthout wearing a coat :-) I spent Thursday through Sunday at the Romance Writers of Australia’s annual conference. Spending time with writers is always a treat because they totally understand that you have characters in your head that talk to you :-)

 

I attended the Harlequin dinner on the Thursday 10352137_301880429992009_1546999131968551872_nnight where, among others,  I sat with fellow authors Melanie Milburne & Nikki Logan and with Sam Joice from the Harlequin Australia. It was great to hear all the industry news as well as catching up with old friends and making new ones :-) The food was yummy too and there was plenty of champagne, which is my book automatically makes it a good party!

 

IMG_0430.JPGFriday, I attended James Scott Bell’s writing workshop and came back with some great questions to ask my characters. I’m hoping these questions will help me out with my current stuck scene!  Friday night was the Destiny Publishing Cocktail party. The theme was Leather and Lace and I poured myself into my great aunt’s lace dress…I wore it as a skirt… and my friend’s leather jacket. I teamed it with lacey stockings and little black boots. Nothing like a new bra to pull things together! Who knew I had a cleavage ;-)

Saturday, saw the conference start in earnest. The incredibly entertaining Cherry Adair kicked things off and reminded me it’s always good to revisit your writing goals each year. After morning tea it was my turn to present. After having nightmares that my Mac Pro wouldn’t talk to the AV, I was thrilled to see that it did and that Ryan Reynolds didn’t look green…always a good thing!  I wasn’t expecting  many people because Cherry Adair was presenting at the same time so I nearly died on the spot when James Scott Bell wandered in and sat down. I’d just come to terms with that when Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books fame strolled in, along with Malle Vallik, a VP from Harlequin Entertprises. So no pressure, right? !  Fortunately, Boy Wonder had made my presentation look fab, tying all the colors from the Wedding Fever trilogy covers into the template. Oh, and we had Ryan so of course everything was going to look great!

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That afternoon we had the ARRA book signing and I was very excited to catch sight of my Australian print copies of Saved By The Bride. They’re in B format paperback, which is medium size and they look great. They’ll be on shelf in Australia and NZ in September!

 

I had some chocolates, fridge IMG_0435.JPGmagents and postcards to give away but good writing mate Alison Stuart had cup cakes with her book cover on them! It sure helps to have a talented cake maker in the family! Don’t they look fantastic? Oh, and the book, Gather the Bones is pretty good too!

 

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My roomie, the ever-enthusiastic Jennifer Kloester was signing advaced copies of her second YA novel, The Rapunzel Dilemma. Following on from The Cinderella Moment, which is set in Paris,  I’m looking forward to this one set in London.

There were 80 authors there in total and a big thank you to ARRA who did an awesome organizational job. I’m looking forward to attending their readers’ conference in Canberra next March :-)

The awards dinner was great and I sat next to Roz Groves, who writes the blog, My Written Romance. I didn’t win the RuBY, which wasn’t a surprise to me but I am thrilled that Lucy Clark’s Harlequin Medical Romance took out the short, sweet category :-) The gorgeous Sarah Mayberry, carried off TWO awards winning the Ella and the RuBY. Congratulations to Sarah!    Escape Publishing hosted the after party and I danced for 90 minutes in high heels with no side effects. Obviously, going to the gym pays off. Guess that means I have to keep going…. :-)  As you can see I was having so much fun talking and dancing that I didn’t take any photos!

Conference also means that for three days I wear more good clothes and more makeup IMG_0429.JPGthan I do for the rest of the year combined ;-)  Today, I’m back in the warm fleeces and the ugg boots and trying to find my concentration.  I may need a nap!

A big thank you goes out to Shannon Curtis and her fabulous conference team for another  wonderful conference. Next year, the conference is in beautiful, elegant Melbourne. Can’t wait!

August Update!

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August 1st was my youngest son’s birthday and he’s just turned 16. This means he is old enough to start learning how to drive. Having been though this with one kid, I am a bit more Zen about it than last time but even so, I am letting my husband do the first ten hours as the supervising driver!

He is my baby and it seems appropriate that on his birthday, Mills & Boon Australia re-released my first four novels …my book babies…in eBook format. They titled the anthology, Fiona Lowe’s Babies. Australian and NZ readers can buy it now. Amercian readers only have to wait until August 12th….not long! :-)

7160OBO10FL._SL1206_The weather in southern Victoria is truly atrocious at the moment with wind and rain and hail and snow so it’s perfect reading weather. If you’ve only been reading my books in the last few years you may have missed Pregnant On Arrival (2006), Her Miracle Baby (2006), The Nurse’s Longed-For Family (2006) and The French Doctor’s Midwife Bride (2007).

 

Set all around Australia from the red dust of Broken Hill to the lush rainforest of the Alps_fionaOtways, and the snow of the high-country, these four books feature second chances, new begingings, lots of medical drama and yes, there are babies ;-)

You can buy these books at Amazon, iBooks, Booktopia, Google Play and where all eBooks are sold.

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It’s been really chilly here with mornings of zero degrees Celcius and below. Here is a picture of Maggie-May, cow-dog extraordinarie who featured in Picture Perfect Wedding, standing on the lily frozen lily ponds and not impressed at all by the white frost!

 

On Thursday, I am setting off to Sydney…where I am told it is warmer… for the Australia Romance Writer’s Festival and the Romantic Book of the Year awards. I’m looking forward to catching up with readers and fellow writers….it’s always great to refill the well.

For more August updates, check out the What’s New page at my website

Happy Reading!

Routine Beckons

It’s winter and it’s three weeks siIMG_0410nce I last sat at my desk with my laptop attached to my screen, my fingers on the ergonomic keyboard and stared out the window at the veiw of the sea. It’s pretty cloudy today and hard to see the sea but I know its there.

These three things mean it’s back to work for me. My holiday/vacation was supposed to be two weeks but yeah, it stretched into three due to the fact that both boys were home and it was just too hard to concentrate and if I am honest, I just gave up trying to work! But today, is the day. Yeah, that’s why I’m blogging…..

The problem with not writing for three weeks is you forget where you are in the story. I read the first four chapters of the book but that was a week ago so yeah, I’ve forgotten again!  Studies have shown that after a vacation, we need retraining at our job. I know that today I will sigh a lot, delete a LOT of words and ask myself why am I even trying to write a book. The fact I have written 26 others is irrelevent.

If you have any tips on settling back into work, I’d love to hear them:-)

Fiona Lowe’s Weddings now out in Australia!

My anthology, Fiona Lowe’s Weddings is now available as an eBook in Australia as a prequel to my Wedding Fever trilogy, which will be out on shelf in Oz in September, October and November!Weddings mimibannerThis is an anthology of four of my previously published medical romances including the Warragurra duo; Wedding in Warragurra, The Playboy Doctor’s Marriage Proposal, A Woman to Belong To and The Surgeon’s Chosen Wife. For photos and details about each book click here.

You can buy it where all eBooks are sold in Australia including Booktopia iBooks   Amazon Mills & Boon Australia and all other eBook retailers such as Big W & JB HIFI  Books for less than coffee and cake so THAT is a sweet deal with no calories, only a happy-ever-after feeling :-)

Enjoy!

 

 

Revisiting my Childhood in Madang Papua New Guinea

DSCF2876I’ve just spent the last week in PNG. As a child I lived here for a few years and went to school. Although I was 7 when I left, I still recall a lot of those three years and it was great to be able to revisit.  PNG has been independent since 1975 however, it is still a very poor country and most people live in villages without electricity and children attend schools with dirt floors.

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We spent our week in Madang, where I lived as a kid and we stayed at the Madang Resort, where I did feel like I was being sheltered from the real PNG.

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Over the week we visited villages, went snorkelling and diving, sailed, and I had a trip down memory lane finding my old house, school and church. Here is a picture diary of our trip.

Tropical island with a sandy beach where we snorekelled and The Lad dived.

Tropical island with a sandy beach where we snorekelled and The Lad dived.

Delicate orchids in the gardens of the resort.

Delicate orchids in the gardens of the resort.

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My house then.

My house then.

The house today which is now owned by PNG Nationals.

The house today which is now owned by PNG Nationals.

My favorite flowers; the gloriousy perfumed frangipani.

My favorite flowers; the gloriousy perfumed frangipani.

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PNG women work really hard. They do all the gardening and harvesting and they attend the markets.

Food market

Food market

Kokomo Bird... so cute when they jump.

Kokomo Bird… so cute when they jump.

My school.

My school.

Me telling Boy Wonder about my prep classroom.

Me telling Boy Wonder about my prep classroom. It wasn’t this decorated when I went. It was new and had no windows or doors for the year as we waited for the louvres to arrive from Australia!

Kicking back reading.

Kicking back reading.

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Kar Kar island...the backdrop of my childhood

Kar Kar island…the backdrop of my childhood

Handmade pottery...no wheel involved.

Handmade pottery…no wheel involved.

Clown fish everywhere!

Clown fish everywhere!

Sailing. The resort had sea kayaks & two catamarans.

Sailing. The resort had sea kayaks & two catamarans.

It was a great week and a terrific escape from winter.

 

 

Celebrating the Good

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In a lot of ways, writing books is a crazy business. It’s the only job I’ve had that comes with devastating lows and incredible highs. I’m sure it’s not healthy at all! But given the dismal lows, I always celebrate the good stuff.

Today I’m thrilled to annoucne that my Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance novel, Bundle of Trouble  (third book in the Gold Coast Angels series) has been nominated for a RuBY award.

The Romantic Book of the Year award (RuBY) is a reader-based award run by the Romance Writers of Australia. This is my fifth nomination over the years but it’s still as exciting as it ever has been!  Bundle of Trouble is dedicated to two special women, one of whom had a brain bleed and shared her story with me so I could write a realistic account of that terrifying and life threatening condition. For me, it makes the nomination even more special!

Congratuations to my fellow nominees…I hope you’re having a sparkly day today just like I am!

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So what’s Bundle of Trouble all about?

Almost everyone in Australia associates the Gold Coast, Queensland with theme parks, beaches, holidays and fun. Everyone except of course the people who live there. For them it’s just home. They get to enjoy the lovely beaches and the tranquility of the rainforest in their own back gardens. When I was at a conference on the Gold Coast, I often wondered what it would be like to live in a tourist town thate beats 24/7 because everyday life isn’t vacation, it’s everyday life! How often do the residents get to the beach or the rainforest?

Chloe hasn’t really ever had a vacation even though she’s lived on the Gold Coast for a decade. She’s been too busy supporting her brother, Nick and getting her own life back together after being abandoned by her parents at sixteen. She’s just turned thirty and she’s reflecting on her life and where it’s headed. Have the sacrifices she’s been forced to make been worth it?

Luke loved the casual Gold Coast lifestyle in the huge house on the canal that he shared with his wife and daughter but one moment in time stole all that from him. Now he’s living in a town known for its fun and yet he’s cloaked in sadness and not able to see a way out of it.

Set against the backdrop of sun, surf and life lived to the full, they manage against the odds to find their place in the Gold Coast and they find each other.

If this piques your interest, you can buy it at all eBook retailers!

USA:   Amazon Nook iBooks Kobo Google Play

Australia Amazon Booktopia iBooks Kobo

A Tale of Two Cakes

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My yet to be decorated cake ready for travel

My side of the family tend to gather together every few months to celebrate a clump of birthdays. This weekend was one of those gatherings and my sister was hosting lunch.

We’ve settled into a pattern of whoever hosts provides the main meal, my mother brings the nibbles and I bring the dessert. The kinder who range from 30 down to two have no food responsibilities….they’re just expected to turn up on time and to be entertaining and witty ;-)

On Friday, Boy Wonder and I pored over the cookbooks. Would I bake the coconut cake with lemon syrup. YUM! On closer inspection, it had to be served warm so that wouldn’t work due to the distance we had to travel. The white chocolate cake tempted but I’d made that for the last birthday cluster.  I was leaning toward lemon meringue pie but Boy Wonder said it could be too lemony so we decided on a ginger cake with lemon icing. I’d not made before but it sounded delicious. Plus it was dead easy to make so I whipped it up on Saturday.

Up early on Sunday, I iced it and placed it in the travel cake container to be decorated on arrival.  I also packed the strawberries, putting them in the cooler with Boy Wonder’s fizz. Then I grabbed my phone so I could listen to my bookgroup audio book on 90 minute drive, my knitting… making a blanket for the Fistula Foundation… made a traveller coffee for my husband as he was driving, pulled on my boots, did a final check of the boot box where things we’re taking are aways stacked. It was empty. The men had loaded the car so I locked the door and stepped outside.

Ninety minutes and 123km/76 miles later we arrived at my sister’s  house, opened the back of the car and …no cake. Crap! Perhaps because it was family, I was remarkably calm and just laughed. I tried to find the recipe on my phone but although all the other cakes in the book were there, the ginger cake was not.  With DH on standby for a grocery store dash, I raided my sister’s recipe book and with her advice as she had some “apples that needed using,” I strapped on an arpon.

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The whipped-up emergency cake all decorated and good to go

Dad gave me a glass of champagne, Boy Wonder brought me nibbles and I whipped up an apple and walnut cake, which was served warm and it was yummy!

This episode also provided the family with an opportunity to feel good because hey, what’s better than laughing at someone else’s folly? My 82 & 83 year old parents felt fantastic because they were not the ones to have forgotten to pack something and it gave the kids a chance to roll their eyes so basically it was a win-win. I also have a ginger cake for tennis tomorrow!

What have you forgotten or left behind and how did you cover for your moment of vagueness?

Step Away From The Stove….now!

10353265_10152219866407675_2714594223057580158_oWhile my American readers are enjoying a long weekend and their thoughts are turning to the start of summer, we were lucky to have a glorious autumn/fall regular weekend.

Unlike the heat of summer when we live on salads and grilling on the BBQ, I’m happy to cook the other three seasons. I’m a pretty good cook, my family are generally appreciative of what I serve up and I have to say that I take pride in providing tasty and well-presented food. That was seriously challenged this weekend.

Friday night, instead of salmon, I tried snapper. I’ve cooked it before and I stuffed it with DSC03832herbs and lemon, covered it in garlic and soy sauce and baked it. Sadly, it was quite tasteless and there were complaints about bones. I told them to man up!

Saturday, I served up the vegetable & meat soup that had been cooking in the slow cooker using the leftover ginger and soy from a casserole earlier in the week. I missed the mark again. There were requests for minestrone or pea & ham. At this point I was questioning whether it was my cooking or their tastebuds.  So, for Saturday night I fell back on an oldie but a goodie…roast chicken. First mistake of the evening…I let my husband light the Weber BBQ and unbeknown to me, he didn’t open the bottom vents. I took the chook/chicken off the BBQ and instead of golden brown it was half raw. And we had theatre/theater tickets that night so yeah, we ate a sandwich and left for the show.

So Sunday night? Yep, I ordered in pizza and it was cooked and tasty!

What did you eat this weekend?