Oct 24, 2016

Reality TV by Amy Andrews

My name is Amy Andrews and I am a reality TV addict. Specifically talent show TV.

Keep your Masterchefs and your Survivors and your Great Races. Give me people who can - even the ones who think they can!!! - sing and I am one happy camper. The Idol franchise, the XFactor franchise, the xyx country Has Talent franchise. LOVE THEM ALL - although I do prefer the ones where its just singing, I have to admit. I don't really care if you can juggle flaming swords or bend yourself into a box the size of a rubics cube. I mean, its clearly talented, just not my catnip.

I love everything about singing shows. I loved the snippets of peoples lives. I love the utter confidence some people have in themselves despite often times no real reason for it. I love listening to judge critique/feedback. I love it when people surprise the judges. I love when they can make a judge cry. I love it when they make me cry but hey....that's not hard to do!

Here are some of the ones I have loved over the years -

Who can forget this amazing audition for Britian's Got Talent that went viral around the world and made this woman a superstar!

And here in Australia, Dahmi Im knocked us all for 6 with her incredible talent in X-Factor a few years back.

Another thing I love about these shows is how they put new spins on classic songs. This guy - Taylor Henderson - was also on Australian X-Factor a few years back. He has this little rough note in his voice that used to make my 15 year old daughter whimper. I was not far behind! I absoutely loved this version of Cindi Lauper's Girls Just Want To Have Fun.

And, I've kept the best to last. Anthony Callea was on Australian Idol about ten years ago now. I was watching the night he performed The Prayer and I will never forget the goosebumps and the tears that spurted immediately to my eyes when he hit the chorus. I knew I was watching magic happen!

What about you? What's your reality TV catnip?

Oct 23, 2016

Sunday Smooch - Melanie Milburne

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from Melanie Milburne but first 

... the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is Jan VanEngen!

Can you please contact amy(at)amyandrews(dot)com(dot)au to receive your copy of Swept Away by the Seductive Stranger.

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Unwrapping His Convenient Fiancée.

The perfect lie… 

Violet Drummond can't face another office Christmas party as a singleton, but charismatic family friend Cameron McKinnon seems like the perfectly platonic "plus one" for the festive season. Until he reveals his plan to make Violet his convenient fiancée!

Wealthy architect Cameron sees this charade as the perfect escape hatch from the unwelcome attention of an important client's wife, but soon fake feelings shift to real attraction…

There's only one thing Cameron wants to unwrap on Christmas morning—the staid suit from Violet's lush body—and he's willing to push the boundaries of their agreement to accommodate his growing desire…


Thanks so much for inviting me to blog about my next release. So lovely to be with you again!  

A few months ago I was asked by my editor to write a Christmas story. After writing over 70 books I can’t believe I hadn’t done one until now, especially when I love everything about Christmas. Sorry for mentioning the C word in October! But I have already seen Christmas decorations in the shops and I am in the process of making my pudding and cake. I know, I know, I know. Way too organised. Don’t hate me too much. J

I decided on a friends-to-lovers plot and Violet and Cameron were the perfect candidates. Violet is dreading attending her office Christmas party because of an incident at a party when she was a student in her first year of university. Cameron is desperate to shake off the unwelcome attention of an important client’s wife so offers to be Violet’s ‘date’. But a mischievous tweet about them being ‘engaged’ on Twitter goes viral and Violet and Cam have to pretend to their families (just so everyone’s Christmas isn’t spoilt) that they are officially a couple.
Here’s their first kiss just after Cam offers to take her to the office party…

Smooch  -

Violet took a step backwards to enter the building but stumbled over the first step and would have fallen if it wasn’t for Cam’s hand shooting out to steady her.  

‘You okay?’ he asked with a concerned frown.

 Violet looked at his stubble-surrounded mouth that just moments ago had been against the smooth skin of her cheek. Had he felt that same sensation ricochet through his body? Had he wondered in that infinitesimal moment what it would feel like to press his lips to hers? Not in a brotherly kiss, but a proper man-wants-a-woman kiss? She sent the point of her tongue over the surface of her lips, her breath hitching when he tracked every millimetre of movement. Keep it light. ‘For a moment there I thought you were going to kiss me,’ Violet said with a little laugh.

The navy-blue of his gaze turned three shades darker before glancing at her mouth and back again. But then his hand dropped from her arm as if her skin had scorched him. ‘Let’s not go there.’

 But I want to go there. I want to. I want to. I want to. Violet kept her smile in place even though it felt like it was stitched to her mouth. ‘Yes, that would be taking things too far. I mean, not that I don’t find you attractive or anything, but us kissing? Not such a great idea.’

  There was the sound of heels click-clacking behind her and Violet turned to see Lorna coming back. ‘Silly me. I forgot my phone,’ Lorna said and with a sly smile at Cam added, ‘Aren’t you going to kiss her and let her get back to work?’

  Violet sneaked a glance at Cam but instead of looking annoyed at Lorna’s comment he smiled an easy smile and reached for Violet’s hand and drew her against his side. ‘I was just getting to that,’ he said.

  Violet assumed he would wait until Lorna had gone back into the building before releasing her but Lorna didn’t go back into the building. She stood three steps up from them with that annoying smirk on her mouth as if daring Cam to follow through. Cam turned his back to Lorna and slipped a hand under Violet’s hair, cupping the nape of her neck, making every nerve beneath her skin pirouette.

  ‘You don’t have to do this…’ Violet whispered.

  Cam brought his mouth down to within a whisker of hers. ‘Yes, I do.’

  And then he did.

   Cam pressed his lips to Violet’s mouth and a bomb went off in his head, scattering his common sense like flying shrapnel. What are you doing? But he didn’t want to listen to his conscience. He had wanted to kiss her from the moment he’d walked into that café earlier and now her annoying workmate had given him the perfect excuse to do so. Violet’s mouth tasted like a combination of milk and honey, her lips soft and pliable beneath his. He drew her ballerina-like body even closer, his body responding with a fierce rush of blood to his groin. Her small breasts were pressed against his chest, her slim hips against his, her hands gripping the front of his jacket as if she couldn’t stand upright without his support. Hell, he was having trouble keeping upright himself, apart from one part of his anatomy.

  It’s time to stop. You should stop. You need to stop.


I hope you enjoy my first Christmas story. I have a signed copy (all regions) for a reader who answers the following question: Apart from world peace, what do you want most for Christmas this year?

 Happy reading,

Melanie xx

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced and a smooch from Kandy Shepherd will be posted!

In the meantime, if you'd like to order a copy of Unwrapping His Convenient Fiancée, you can do so here.

Smooch Graphic by WebWeaver

Oct 19, 2016

Shopping, Sales and Bargains! Annie West

Sadly none of the contents are for me.
I recently went shopping. Ho, hum, I hear you say. But by shopping I don't mean grocery shopping. I mean SHOPPING! Browsing shopping. Shopping with time to think ahead about gifts for other people (yes, Christmas is coming) and about all those things I've been putting off looking for for myself. 

I've been very busy lately with writing and family stuff and my daughter is living elsewhere so I have no excuse to take a morning off to suss out what's new in stores. No market research. No buying up for birthdays and Christmas ahead of time. No checking out sales.

Until last weekend when I was in the big smoke (Sydney) and found I had several hours free to spend in the shops! It turned into an absolutely joyous excursion - possibly because I spent most of the time by far in some fantastic book stores. But there were also the makeup and lingerie sections, kitchenware, stationery (I defy anyone to find an author who doesn't love stationery) and lots more.

Silver servers from a previous sale
I now have some beaut presents lined up for Christmas - all of them things I'd love myself. I even managed to get a few items on sale (always a good feeling) but I won't post pics here as they're being given to friends. There's something about sales, isn't there? That wonderful feeling of getting a great deal, or perhaps being able to afford that extra special something as a gift which you normally wouldn't be able to buy. 
And more goodies from a previous sale - a set of 8
In fact, it's made me eager to visit the post Christmas sales to check out the china and glassware. That's something I always used to do with my mother and it still feels special.

Now I've started on the Christmas planning, I'm enthusiastic to keep going. I might even write a list - something I usually do before I head out to buy. In addition I've been buying wedding gifts for two separate weddings this week. All such fun!

And for those out for a great bargain, let me just say that Harlequin is having a massive, MASSIVE sale right now. From 18-25 October you'll find thousands of ebooks on sale for just $1.99! And if you're wondering where to start, I'm not too shy to give you a suggestion. Every single one of my backlist books with Harlequin is available this week for $1.99. Time to stock up on backlist books you've missed and maybe buy gifts for friends!

How about you? Do you love or loathe shopping? Do you enjoy a day in the city, or maybe a morning on the computer, organising all your upcoming gifts? Do you only buy in sales? Do you buy ages in advance? Are you a planner or do you buy on impulse?

Oct 16, 2016

Sunday Smooch with Amy Andrews

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from Amy Andrews but first ... the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is  Katrina W!

Can you please contact stefanie (at) stefanie-london (dot) com to receive your copy of A Dangerously Sexy Secret........

Also recapping the winners from our party to celebrate Melanie and Ally joining the Cats. have drawn the prizes and 

Prize A, courtesy of the LoveCats DownUnder, are:
Terry Traveler and

The winners of prize B, courtesy of Mills and Boon Australia, and Jennifer St George, are:
Lucy Waterhouse and
Laura Russell

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Hanky Spanky Christmas.


T'was the night before Christmas....

With a sudden hankering to be spanked, Darcy Henderson figures Mitch Callaghan is the man for the job. But is she woman enough to take it?

A fun, sexy Christmas novella with a sprinkling of kink from Amy Andrews.

The previous night, under the influence of one too many of Mitch's lethal's cocktails, Darcy propositioned him over some kinky action. Not really believing she wants what she thinks she wants, he tells her to come back when she's sober. 

Now its the next day, she's sober and she hasn't changed her mind....

She threw a quick look over her shoulder again before pressing her ear to the wooden surface thankful that Mitch’s unadorned door gave her easy access. His was the only one in the complex not boasting some kind of giant, mine’s-bigger-than-yours Christmas decoration. 

She listened hard but couldn’t hear any movement. The television wasn’t on. The stereo she often heard in the afternoons pumping out hard rock wasn’t playing. Maybe he’d gone out for a surf?  

Damn it

Darcy sighed, resigned to trying again. She was just about to unglue her ear from the door when it opened abruptly. She squeaked as she lost her balance and pitched forward, nose first, into a solid wall of warm man.


Firm hands slid onto her hips as soft cotton, washing powder and some amazingly sexy cologne filled her nostrils. “Sorry,” she said, grasping his muscular forearms as she righted herself. 

Embarrassed at being caught listening at his door, she unhanded him immediately. He followed suit.

His air-con drifted around her and Darcy realized how hot it was. Or maybe that was because he was only in a t-shirt and underwear that clung to hard, tanned thighs and left nothing to the imagination.

He had a very impressive-looking bulge going on down there. She could only imagine how much more impressive it would be pitching a tent in his expensive Calvin Kleins.

A pair of hands appeared in her line of sight, long fingers spreading out over narrow hips. “Finished?”

His low, amused rumble dragged her gaze up to his face. His shaggy hair was bed-messy and he had a mark on his face she presumed was from his sheets. A smile played on his wicked-sexy mouth.

“Sorry...” she said, cheeks pinking up at being sprung perving at his cock. “I didn’t mean to wake you. I thought you were usually up—” she swallowed, Christ...do not think of up! “—by now.”

He ran a hand over his jaw, his t-shirt lifting slightly, his whiskers rasping sinfully. Muscles in her belly pulled taut as the sound slid between her thighs. “Did you want something?”

Did she want something? Fucking A she did. She wanted him to paddle her ass. And then she wanted whisker burn—everywhere.

“Yes,” she said, raising herself on her tiptoes, her hand spearing into the hair at his nape as she stepped into his space. “And I’m one-hundred-percent sober.”

Then she yanked his head down.
The thing with kissing Mitch Callaghan that wasn’t like kissing any other man was how he seized command. She may have initiated every one of their kisses but he had wrested control immediately, owning the kiss and her in less than a glimmer of a heartbeat. 

It wasn’t any different this time.

From the moment his mouth opened under hers, Darcy’s brain short-circuited as her body flared to life and he had the con. All she could do was moan, tangle her hand in his hair and try and keep up.

She barely registered him walking her backward. She vaguely heard the noise of the door being kicked shut. Felt the cool, solid press of the wall at her back on only a peripheral level. 

But the warm, solid press of him at her front was an entirely different matter.

His long, lean body trapped her there, a bare thigh thrust between her legs as he rained sex and heat and want down on her. Need, rough and desperate, sluiced through her body like quicksilver. It was in the trip of her pulse and the ragged tempo of her breathing. In the tremble of her thighs, the weakness of her knees, the clench of her belly. 

It tingled in her breasts and crept between her legs right at the spot where his thigh jammed and rocked all hard and urgent and so damn good Darcy cried out, her mouth wrenching from his.

His breath sawed in and out, his lips were wet and swollen and his whiskey eyes glowed like flame viewed through the prism of heavy crystal and fine malt.

“Have you thought about my proposal?” she panted.

For a chance to win an e-copy of Hanky Spanky Christmas, tell me whats the most outrageous thing you've ever asked someone to do for you? 

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced and another smooch will be posted!

Smooch Graphic by WebWeaver

Oct 15, 2016

Love Cats Welcome Party - Winners Announced!

Well, the time has arrived to announce the winners from our massive giveaway, run as part of our big party to welcome Ally Blake and Melanie Milburne to the Lovecats Downunder!

Just to recap, here are the prizes:

A) 2 winners will each receive:
·         Amy Andrew’s ‘Holiday Swap’ duo with Emily Forbes
·         Rachel Bailey’s ‘ The Finn Factor’ (ebook)
·         Michelle Douglas’s ‘An Unlikely Bride for the Billionaire’
·         Louisa George’s ‘Something Borrowed’ (ebook)
·         A note book and bookmark from Bronwyn Jameson
·         Helen Lacey’s ‘The Cowgirl’s Forever Family’
·         Yvonne Lindsay’s ‘One Heir…Or Two?’ (in advance of its November release)
·         Stefanie London’s ‘A Dangerously Sexy Christmas’
·         Sue MacKay’s ‘Dr White’s Baby Wish’
·         Kandy Shepherd’s ‘The Bridesmaid’s Baby Bump’
·         Annie West’s ‘The Desert King’s Secret Heir’ (in advance of its December release)

B) 2 other winners (located in Australia) will each receive:
·         A $50 book bundle from Mills and Boon Australia and
·         Jennifer St George’s ‘Wild for You’ (ebook).

Melanie and Ally have drawn the prizes and we're thrilled to announce that the winners of prize A, courtesy of the LoveCats DownUnder, are:
Terry Traveler and

The winners of prize B, courtesy of Mills and Boon Australia, and Jennifer St George, are:
Lucy Waterhouse and
Laura Russell

CONGRATULATIONS ladies and thank you to everyone who dropped in to our party and helped make it a special occasion!

Winners, could you please email annie(at)annie-west(dot)com as soon as possible with your postal and preferred email addresses so we can start sending your prizes? 

Oct 14, 2016

Love my neighbours

Great neighbours are good for Friday wines, saying hi to as you put the trash out, and complaining with a about the not so good, play loud music all night neighbours.
Living out here in the Sounds they are even more important. We check up on someone who hasn't been seen for a little while, feed pets while owners are away, collect eggs and mail, mow lawns - if absolutely have to, keep an eye out whenever one of the guys goes out in their dinghy to bring in a net, haul out tractors stuck in the mud. And often tourist's cars in the same predicament.

I have access to a number of homes in our bay, same as those people can get into our house any time it's necessary, especially when home owners are away and we've had a storm or one of the shake, rattle and roll events.
Even better, in summer neighbours are great for sitting on someone's deck with and enjoying a wine and homemade pizzas.
We rely on these people to have our backs as we do them.

Do you have good neighbours you can rely on in good times and bad?

Oct 12, 2016

The Bachelorette...and me!

Due to this…

…I’ve become utterly hooked on The Bachelorette.

The “this” of the above—if you haven’t heard me squeeing on FaceBook—is the fact that a Mills & Boon cover shoot was one of the show’s first group dates…and lucky me ended up with one of the covers. If the truth be told, I ended out with the BEST cover. ;-)

Don’t get me wrong, I love them all…but mine is the most traditional…and there’s a definite smoke factor happening there, don’t you think?

I’ve never watched much reality TV (except for GoggleBox and I believe I’ve blogged about my love for it before). Big Brother, Survivor, and I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here have never appealed. You know, I’m not even drawn to things like The Block or Master Chef because…well…it seems to me that these shows thrive on a rather large dose of participant humiliation. As I have a tendency to identify with the losers rather than the winners, this doesn’t make for comfortable viewing. And, believe me, the rose ceremony in The Bachelorette is far from comfortable viewing either.

The set up of The Bachelorette is utterly artificial too—one girl gets her pick from eighteen guys (none of them have ever met), with the view to finding true love…while an entire nation watches on. Would you do it? I sure as heck wouldn’t. Are these people crazy!!!

So why have I become hooked? Do I believe I’m seeing the whole picture onscreen or that I’m privy to everyone’s motivations? Not a chance! I think that might be part of the show’s beauty—trying to work out what’s really going on.

But the thing is…I’ve found myself liking some of these people. Quite a lot if you want the truth.

Sure there’s game-playing, competitiveness, and out-right rivalries, but there’s also friendship and bromance. There are moments of real sincerity that catch at me. I love watching the interactions among the guys and thinking: “He behaved well, what a nice guy,” or “OMG! I can’t believe he just did that!” And Bachelorette Georgia is so perky and so much fun, and yet she seems really down to earth. She doesn’t shy away from asking the hard questions or letting one of the guys know when he’s made her feel bad. And you know what? I think the world has far worse role models when it comes to the subject of love and how to treat people, than this show.

Oh, and one more reason I love The Bachelorette—Cameron! Cam features on my cover. If there’s a Mr Congeniality Award for the house, Cam will win it. Not only is he HOT, not only does he have the cutest smile, but he’s also a fireman. Swoon. And on their date he and Georgia played with puppies. It doesn’t get much better than that. :-)

Who else has been watching The Bachelorette? Come on, ‘fess up—do you love or loathe reality TV?

Mills & Boon