Café Cala welcomes Sarah Belle

Hi Sarah, Welcome to Café Cala. Having grown up in the sixties, I love the idea that Juliette time travels back there. This morning I’ve baked up some special coconut and raspberry bread for us. Would you like tea or coffee with a slice (or two)?

sarah belle

Tea please, Maggie. English Breakfast, tea bag left in. One sugar and a bit of milk!

1 Where did you get the idea for Hindsight?

It came to me one morning when I found a wedding ring on the bedside table. It wasn’t mine or my hubbys, and I thought ‘imagine if I put this on my finger and take on the life of that person’. Then it grew from there – what if I walked into my family room and everything was different – like 1961 different, but my family were the same and were unaware of the change. How would I cope as a housewife in 1961 when I am so used to all the conveniences, and modern values now? (the ring turned out to be my hubby’s grandmother’s).

2 What have you found most rewarding about your writing?

Everything! After doing a business degree and working in some mind numbing jobs, I really value the creative freedom involved in writing. In a writer’s world, there is nothing that is impossible. But the best thing is meeting other writers, because we can get together and talk writing for hours and no one’s eyes glaze over!

3 How did you start writing?

I started writing the annual family newsletter and made it a funny one. Then I had my ‘Hindsight’ brainwave and decided that I needed to learn the craft of writing, so I did lots of reading of craft books, joined the RWA and did many courses via Qld Writers Centre.

4 What would you say has helped you most?

Taking the time to learn the craft via QWC, to listen to feedback (even when it stung), and getting involved with other writers. No one will understand the hurdles you face better than another writer.

5 What are you working on at the moment?

I wrote a 25K novella that needs substantial re-workings, and am waiting on an editor to finish critiquing my current novel, as well as plotting another story. They are all in the ‘romagic’ genre – romantic comedy with a dash of magic, such as time travel, spells, imaginary friends, etc.

6 What advice would you offer aspiring writers?

Learn your craft. The more you understand the technicalities of writing, the more you will grow. Never, ever give up. It doesn’t matter what other’s say – if you love it, then do it and keep doing it.

7 Which authors do you enjoy reading?

I love Jo Nesbo, Steig Larsson, Jenny Colgan, Shari Low, and Anne Gracie. I am also discovering an entirely new set of authors through e-books.
HINDSIGHT is available via http://www.escapepublishing.com.au/product/9780857990587
You can also meet Sarah at http://www.lovesarahbelle.com

hindsight

Humour, wit, and just a touch of humility: the swinging 60s as you’ve never seen them before!
The universe has sent Juliette a sign. She wishes it had been an email instead…
Juliette’s career is on fire, her marriage and family are in melt-down, and a red-hot goddess wants her husband. But those are the least of her worries when she wakes up on her lounge room floor in the year 1961.
Without any of her modern conveniences — nanny, housekeeper, surgically attached mobile phone, designer wardrobe, and intravenous lattes — Juliette is just over fifty years out of her comfort zone. But as she takes on the role of a 1961 housewife, with gritted liberated teeth, she discovers an unexpected truth: slower doesn’t mean boring, at home doesn’t mean dull, and priorities don’t mean sacrifices.
As she finds unexpected friendships, a resuscitated love life, tragedy and triumph, Juliette begins to wonder if she really wants to return home after all.

Thanks so much for having me Maggie, you make one mean cup of tea!

Café Cala welcomes Iris Blobel

Hi Iris. Welcome to Café Cala. Since you’ve spent time in my native Scotland I‘ve made some of my Grandmother’s shortbread recipe this morning. Would you like tea or coffee with that?

Iris blobel

Aww … a cup of Earl Grey would be lovely!

1 Where did you get the idea for New Beginnings?

I took some “family-time-out” last year and went to Hobart for the weekend. Wandering through the streets of Hobart, I tried to imagine how it would be to live in this city, how to adapt as a “non-local” and bit by bit I had the story of two sisters moving there from Sydney. Obviously I had to add a little romance into the story as well – so I added Mark and Zach.

2 What have you found most rewarding about your writing?

Worth more than anything else is when people, friends, neighbours come and tell me how much they love my books. One of local school-mum said once: “This was the first book I’ve read in years and years, and I couldn’t put it down.” I nearly cried.

3 How did you start writing?

Coincidence basically – I was bored, nothing on telly, kids in bed … I put a few words together. A friend had a read through it and gave me some hints. This is how “Sweet Dreams, Miss England” was born. Initially only for family and friends, it took off … now I’m really happy to have found my creative outlet.

4 What would you say has helped you most?

I’d definitely say my family’s support. The encouragement to keep going when I received bad reviews or negative feedback. The time to let me sit in my corner with my laptop and let my words carry me away into a different “world”.
I’ve published three of my books with Astraea Press and have found not only the AP team, but also the fellow authors to be supportive in every aspect.
And then in May, I joined the RWAus … and couldn’t be happier with the help, support, but most of all, the friendship.

5 What are you working on at the moment?

I’ve just contracted the sequel for New Beginnings “More Beginnings” and have started the 3rd book in this trilogy, “Fresh Beginnings” which tells the story of Mark’s friend Jared.
I have also started another trilogy including Melbourne sports stars – a football player, baseball and soccer player. I love writing these stories …. the bad boys, naughty language and arrogant attitudes.

6 What advice would you offer aspiring writers?

NEVER EVER GIVE UP!

7 Which authors do you enjoy reading?

I’m a romance junkie, so books by Jill Shalvis and Susan Elizabeth Phillips are a must. But I also enjoy books by Cecelia Ahern, Janet Evanovich and my best friend Diane Krueger. Currently, though, I’m hooked on the Reacher series by Lee Child.
To believe in new beginnings is to trust in tomorrow

NewBeginnings

You can buy New Beginnings at

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/New-Beginings-ebook/dp/B00ENU02BU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1377251351&sr=1-1
Astraea Press: http://astraeapress.com/#!/~/product/category=662245&id=27261175
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/349320
Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/new-beginnings-6

Bio:

Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she actually had met her future husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only recently emerged, but now her laptop is a constant companion. Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her beautiful two daughters as well as her two dogs. Next to her job at a private school she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.

Excerpt:

Sophie stared at the house. With tears stinging behind her
eyelids, she slowly turned around and helped Mia out of the car.
The little girl looked fragile in the unfamiliar environment, even
though she wasn’t anywhere near fragile. Very clever for her age,
Mia had seen and gone through a lot, but handled most situations
with trust and belief. Sophie wasn’t sure whether that was a good
thing or not. Her younger sister undoubtedly had her mother’s
looks, with the long, straight blond hair, her bright grey-green eyes,
and pale skin. But deep down inside, there was a survivor instinct
as well. Something, she wondered, her mother might have lacked.
“Is this our new home, Sophie?” her sister asked quietly.
Hesitantly she nodded. “Yes, sweetie, I hope so.”
Mark took the suitcase from the boot of his car and walked
towards the house, opened the gate, and placed the girls’
belongings next to the fence. He turned, and Sophie made no effort
in hiding the struggle with emotions.
“That’s it. This is Forty-Six Chestnut Avenue,” he told them.
It was all too much for her, and she sat down onto her
suitcase and took everything in. She stared at the old brick-built
English cottage house. A small path ahead of her led to two worn
out steps and up to the arched entrance. Tucking a strand of hair
behind her ear, her gaze moved over to the windows. Multi-pane
windows with shutters and flower boxes in front. Beautiful.
Though the flowers seemed long dead. The garden was true to the
cottage style, but looked wild and unattended. It was in need of a
lot of work. She looked up and saw a chimney and instantly
thought about cold winter evenings in front of the open fire. She’d
heard that Hobart was very cold during winter.
And then she just cried. Emotions that had bottled up over
the years surfaced, and she wasn’t able to hold back any longer.
The cautious thought that life could improve from now on was too
overwhelming. Tears fell down her cheeks, but she wasn’t
embarrassed.
“Don’t cry, Sophie,” Mia said tenderly to her. “It’ll be all
okay.”
Mark came closer and kneeled in front of her. Carefully he
wiped away a tear from her cheek. “How about we go inside?” he
asked quietly with a gentle smile that made her yearn for a man’s
touch, missing from her life for so long. She gazed at him and
wondered how it would be to have someone else in her life. A man,
who shared a gentle touch or kiss, a kind word, or a well needed
hug. Sophie had had less than a handful of young men dating her,
because looking after her little eight-year-old sister, Mia, on her
own made it difficult to have a social life. But no way would she
complain. She and Mia loved each other as much as they needed
each other. Even more so since their mother had passed away. And
they bot