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!

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?

Spring and Autumn are my favourite things

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s May…well it’s the 5th actually and in typical southern Victorian style, winter has blown in an entire month early. Wet, cold, damp and miserable, we propped inside for the weekend and huddled under the doona. That first blast of wet, damp, cold seeps into your veins and makes me pine for the Wisconsin cold…yes it is FREEZING but it is a DRY cold.

The flip side to all of this is that it’s still autumn and the leaves are now changing. The vinegrapevines are turning fire-red, the deciduous trees golden yellow and orange and I know, none of these trees are native to this country but I do LOVE their colours. The signal that a season is changing. Despite the chill, I still have some roses flowering and loving the scent of Mr. Lincoln’s in the house. My spring bulbs are coming up (!!) Yes the climate is a confused state.

mr lincoln rosesChange of season always makes me nest for some reason and this weekend I cleared out my wardrobe from top to bottom. I threw out shoes, clothes, found things I had forgotten I owned and sat back with a sense of achievement. Mind you, I still have to get all the stuff to the Salvation Army but we’re half done!

On the writing front, am busy brain-storming title and series names for my Montana books and looking at artwork. I’m also planning the second book. Exciting times!

Spring and Autumn/fall are my favourite seasons. Not sure why. Perhaps because the weather is less extreme and because they show change is afoot.  What are your favourite seasons?

I’m Twenty-five!

yippeeI’m Twenty-Five!

I wish! However, I have just turned in my 25th novel to Harlequin Mills and Boon. Cue sparklers, pop Champagne, blow bubbles!!  It’s not going to hit the shelf until mid 2015 but I have to say, I am a little excited.

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My very first novel 2006

Back in 2005, when I sold my first novel, Pregnant On Arrival, I couldn’t see beyond the next book. I recall my first Harlequin Authors’ Dinner where authors were getting pins for milestones such as 25, 50, 100 books…GULP. I could never envisage getting anywhere close to those numbers. You see, my brain does not POP with ideas and I can’t juggle more than one book idea at a time so I guess I am a slogger.

The thing is though, as much as I find it hard to start a book, I ADORE finishing them. Love the BUZZ that comes when I hit Send on a manuscript, even if it does bounce back with revisions. The sheer JOY of knowing I have completed another book, that I got through the dark times in the middle when I had no clue where I was going or what I was doing, buoy me up for the next time….although there is always a point in every book where I say, never again!

Faned coversSo, here we are! Since 2005 I’ve written twenty-one category romances for Harlequin and four single title novels for Carina Press which is the digital-first arm of Harlequin. Twenty five books!

I’ve also written two short stories and a single-title novel for Berkley/Penguin which is out next year.

What’s next? Book two in my Montana series! I just have to go find an idea…..

ANZAC Day. Lest We Forget

It’s April 25th today and in Australia and New Zealand that means Anzac Day. For those of you reading this who are  not from either of these countries, it is a day when we remember the men and women who have served in the defence of our countries. A bit like Memorial Day in the US, although Anzac Day came into being because of a specific battle in Turkey on April 25th 1915.

It was the day Australia lost it’s innocence and came of age. 8,700 Australians and 2,700ANzac_hatNew Zealanders died during the Gallipoli campaign along with many British, French and Indian and Turkish soldiers. With a small population, the deaths of young man during WW1 changed the lives of an entire generation.

Of course in later years Australian troops fought in WW2, the Korean War and Vietnam. During the Vietnam war years, Anzac Day became a focus for anti- war sentiment. Then during the 70s and 80s it became for many a public holiday and the chance for a sleep in and a picnic.

Life changes and in the decade there has been a definite shift. Perhaps having forces serving in Afghanistan and Iraq effected us.  Perhaps it is to do with more Australian history taught in schools or the fact that more Australians travel and are visiting the Turkish peninsula, but Anzac Day is once again a day where many people take time to reflect and give thanks.

Lest We Forget.

Recipe for ANZAC Biscuits…these are ‘cookies’ that were sent to the soldiers. They had no eggs so could keep for a long time and they are YUMMY! We make them a lot and they’re an Australian cultural icon.

  • 1 1/4 cups plain flour, sifted
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup or treacle
  • 150g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
Preheat oven to 170°C. Place the flour, oats, sugar and coconut in a large bowl and stir to combine. In a small saucepan place the golden syrup and butter and stir over low heat until the butter has fully melted. Mix the bicarb soda with 1 1/2 tablespoons water and add to the golden syrup mixture. It will bubble whilst you are stirring together so remove from the heat. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix together until fully combined. Roll tablespoonfuls of mixture into balls and place on baking trays lined with non stick baking paper, pressing down on the tops to flatten slightly. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown