Jan 22, 2014

Welcome Party for New LoveCat Claire Baxter!

Today the LoveCats DownUnder are in party mode as we welcome the lovely Claire Baxter to our group. Yay! Claire is a firm favourite both with the LoveCats and with other lovers of romance fiction and we’re so excited she’s agreed to join us. To celebrate we’re posting an exclusive interview with Claire and giving away some wonderful party prizes.


Claire’s novels have been translated into 20 languages and have finalled in the Romance Writers of Australia's Romantic Book of the Year Award, the Booksellers' Best Awards, the RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Awards and the CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Awards. She has also branched out into novellas and her short stories have been published in commercial women's magazines around the world. First published by Harlequin (Mills and Boon Romance), her publishers now include Entangled (Bliss and soon Ignite as well with an upcoming romantic suspense) and Random House Australia. She’s one busy lady! If you want to find out more about her you can visit her website but in the meantime here’s Claire, answering some ‘getting to know you’ questions:

Monty and Phoebe

Does anyone with fur, feathers or scales share your life now, or have you had a pet in the past? If so, tell us a bit about them. 
We had two gorgeous dogs who were a huge part of our lives for sixteen years, Monty and Phoebe. Monty was a Rhodesian Ridgeback cross and a big boy who thought he should be a lap dog, a sweet, gentle giant. Phoebe was a Gordon Setter cross and was always on the go, keeping the garden free of pigeons, and generally being busy. We lost Monty over a year ago, and Phoebe a year before that, but I still look for them when I come home. It will take a long time for the memory to fade. 
 
Our garden has now been claimed by the neighbours’ cat. She spends the whole day in our garden and I have no idea why she prefers it to her own. She stands on the outdoor table watching me work in my office.
 
Where Claire spends a lot of her summer!
Even though you're now a Cat, if you could be any mythological creature, which one would you be? Why?
 
 Well, I did once go to a fancy dress party as Medusa with my hair full of (jelly) snakes and that was fun. Not sure that I’d fancy the whole turning-people-to-stone thing, though.

What was the first category book you read?
 
The first one I remember reading is A Bride At Birralee by Barbara Hannay. I loved it, and it made me want to write sweet category romance.
 
What do you like about writing category stories?
 
It’s the romance, the whole romance, and nothing but the romance. There’s no room for distractions and sub-plots that take the focus away from the developing relationship.
 
What's something we wouldn't know about you?
 
 Hmm...I had to think about this question. I guess not many people know that I used to drive trucks around France. Not big trucks. I worked for a hire company and delivered the vehicles to customers. That was only part of the job, but it was the fun part.
 

Claire's newest book
 Can you share one goal for 2014 with us?
 
That’s easy. I intend to be more productive and stop spending so much time on the internet when I should be writing. I WILL be more productive in 2014.


To celebrate having Claire join us at the LoveCats  we're giving away to fantastic prize packages. To be in the draw just leave a comment on this post. To get you started Claire's asking:
 Do you see the new year as a chance to wipe the slate clean and start again with new goals? Or do you avoid setting goals in January, preferring to set them at different times throughout the year?

Check back at the end of the week when we'll post the names of the two winners. Here's a list of the 'Sweet Somethings' on offer, donated by the LoveCats. 

One winner will receive:

'From Duty to Daddy' from Sue Mackay,
A cosmetic bag from Yvonne Lindsay,
'Last Chance Proposal' from Barbara DeLeo,
A surprise gift from Louisa George,
A signed book of the winner's choice from Annie West,
'The Redemption of Rico D'Angelo' from Michelle Douglas,
A book of the winner's choice from Sharon Archer,
An ebook of 'Taming the Tycoon' by Amy Andrews,
An ebook of 'Flirting with Danger' from Claire Baxter (Amazon or Kobo),
A book of the winner's choice from Rachel Bailey,
Something sweet from Bronwyn Jameson,
A backlist book from Helen Lacey, and
An ebook of 'The Billionaire's Pursuit of Love' from Jennifer St George.
One of Claire's hand made necklaces

A second winner will receive:

'How to Resist a Heartbreaker' by Louisa George,
A book of the winner's choice from Rachel Bailey,
An ebook of 'The Billionaire's Pursuit of Love' from Jennifer St George,
A backlist book from Helen Lacey,
A surprise gift from Barbara DeLeo,
A signed book of the winner's choice by Annie West,
A manicure set in a kitty-cat case from Michelle Douglas,
'From Duty to Daddy' from Sue Mackay,
A book of the winner's choice from Yvonne Lindsay,
Harlequin Australia's Valentine's Day Collection from Bronwyn Jameson,
A book of the winner's choice from Sharon Archer,
A personally-made charm necklace from Claire Baxter, and
An ebook of 'Holding Out for a Hero' from Amy Andrews.

58 comments:

  1. Welcome, Claire! You've chosen to spend more of your time on a great blog with great people!
    I set goals/prioritize throughout the year. Sometimes I remember them and sometimes I get busy and forget - but I try to keep coming back to them.
    That being said, I DO try to come up with motivational words/phrases. At some point in 2012, it was "ruthless", as in being ruthless when cleaning out drawers and cabinets. In 2013, it was "balance", as in when I spend so much time doing things for friends and family, I try to balance my time by doing something for me too. In 2014, it is "everything", as in trying to do a little bit of everything most days, as, when I prioritize one thing, I feel tremendous guilt for not working on the other things too.

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  2. Welcome Claire

    This is a great place to hang out :)

    I don't normally set goals I just try to enjoy myself and get done what has to be done make time for myself and my family and seeing as we are going on a cruise in November I need to save as well

    Have Fun
    Helen

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  3. Welcome!
    Not really; set them as I go

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  4. Yay! Welcome to the LoveCats, Claire! We're so happy to have you in the play pen with us. :-)

    So, before Rachel gets here and puts Elvis on for some gorgeous crooning, I'm popping ABBA into the sound system for some fun and funky singalong music. Bubbles anyone? I also have the most gorgeous plate of donuts here -- every variety under the sun -- so, everyone, please help yourselves. I have a feeling that Claire will be bringing the jelly snakes along shortly…but perhaps not on her head. ;-)

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    1. It's great to be here, Michelle! Thanks for the music and donuts!

      No, you wouldn't want the snakes that I wore on my head. I spray painted them bright green and attached them to combs with florist wires so they wriggled and bounced when I moved. It was very effective!

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  5. Welcome, Claire. I do try to set goals every January. A new year is a good time to reflect.

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    1. Thanks, Tammy. That's what I think too.

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  6. Hi Claire! I set up some general resolutions, but they don't really take. I guess I am not too motivated! LOL!

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    1. Hi Sharlene! Nothing wrong with that if it suits you. We're all different, aren't we?

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  7. Hiya Cool Cats! Claire, so glad you're joining one of my favourite places on the Net. You'll fit in here like...like a cat into a box! Didn't know about you driving trucks - you go, girl!

    By the way, while I'm dazzled by Claire joining, I'm completely hoolabaloozled by the prize packs! Whoever wins those is one lucky cat fancier!

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    1. I know, Anna! I'm pea-green wishing I was eligible.

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    2. It seems like a previous life, Anna!

      I know what you mean about the prize packs. Two people are going to be very lucky.

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  8. Thanks for the welcome, Laney! I love the idea of a word to live by. I'm going to start thinking about my word now.

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  9. Thrilled you've join the LoveCats, Claire. How could you get more productive? You already seem very productive!!

    I love setting goals and I set new ones in January but also review and update them all year round.

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    1. Jennifer, I'm not surprised that you set goals, and review and update them. You're one very organised person!

      I could do more. I waste time and then get annoyed at myself because I haven't achieved my targets. When I have a deadline, though, I can be very productive. I just wish I could be like that all the time.

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  10. Thanks, Helen. I'm envious that you're going on a cruise. I'm sure you'll have a lovely time, but yes, saving would be a necessary goal.

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  11. Welcome, Claire!

    I don't set goals for New Years. I find I never stick with those. I just set mini goals throughout the year as they're needed.

    Marcy Shuler

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    1. Thanks, Marcy! Mini goals sound achievable. Good idea.

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  12. Welcome, Claire!

    Don't really set any goals but I am hoping to be in better shape/health before taking a long cruise in November and trying to eat healthier than I have been eating.

    P.S. Both prize packs sound really good!

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    1. Thanks, Amanda!

      Eating healthier is something I need to do too. I've slipped into bad habits over the past year. I hope you're feeling in top shape by November and ready for that cruise.

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  13. Welcome, Claire :)

    i don't really set any goals this year, well, i do hope i can live happily, healthy thru this year as well as my family :) And i really hope i can read as many books as i can this year, since i was kindda hiatus from books last year..so many personal things happened..

    *drooling over the prizes, LOL*

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  14. Thanks, Mariska!

    Health and happiness for the whole family is something to aim for, definitely.

    I think I say every year that I will read more books. Hope you can manage it this year.

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  15. Yeah Claire - nice to see you on Love Cats! Looking forward to your posts!

    I avoid setting 'January goals' like the plague...but for the last few years I have put my 'achievable and out-of-my-control dreams' down on paper, then at the end of the year have seen how many of my achievable dreams I have got done, and then how many of those I have no power over have happened.

    Enjoy the cruise!

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    1. Hi Tina! Your 2013 list must have some very satisfying ticks, I'd guess. :)

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  16. Great to see you here today Claire!!

    I don't set goals, or make resolutions, at the beginning of the year. I like to let the year unfold & then make some decisions. This year I have decided that I would like some more ME time. We shall see.

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    1. Thanks, Mary!

      More ME time would be a good goal for most women, I reckon. Hope you do manage to find some.

      Delete
  17. Hi Claire, welcome to Lovecats. I'm sure you're going to enjoying being one of us.
    I'm not good at setting goals for the new year. Mine tend to come at times when I'm sorting out what the heck I'm doing. I do always say, almost daily, that I'll write more. Don't always listen to myself though.

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    1. Hi Sue, I'm sure I will too.

      Would be so much easier if we'd listen to ourselves, wouldn't it?

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  18. Hi Claire. It's wonderful to officially welcome you to the LoveCats. (Perhaps the neighbour's muggy knew you were turning into a Cat?) I love the pictures you've included -- what beautiful dogs and that pool!!!!

    Not every year, but this year I have started afresh with a new set of goals.

    Oh, and I love that Barbara Hannay book as well.

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  19. Hi Bron, and thanks for the official welcome. Actually, the cat does have a knowing look, so you might be right.

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  20. Welcome to the Cats, Claire! It's so awesome to have you here! And it was great to learn about you with your answers - fancy driving a truck around France! I'd love to know more about how that came about!

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    1. Thanks, Sharon!

      I'd only just passed my driving test when I got the job too. On my first day I broke a brake light reversing into a tight spot! Oh, the shame.

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  21. So nice to attend another LoveCats party! Thanks for the excuse, Claire :)

    I love that you want to be more productive and spend less time one the net - yet you join the LoveCats :) My kind of goal setting!

    I don't usually set goals, but since I've been writing I do set writing goals. They're always overly ambitious, but I get some achieved!

    Good luck with your goals this year, Claire. I think I'd find it difficult to be productive with the lure of that pool!

    Cath xo

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    1. Hi Cath,

      Thanks for pointing out the flaw in my plan. :)

      But at least I don't have to resist the pool because it's part of my push to get healthier.

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  22. Yay!!! Claire is in da house! So fab to have you here, Claire! And you come baring gifts - very nice :-)

    I do usually set a big goal every year - this year its only drinking on weekends. Unless I'm at a party. Or a tea/lunch/liquid meeting. Or on holidays. Or at someone's house visiting and they say, hey, would you like a glass of wine. Well....you get the picture :-) Anyway, doing pretty good so far at almost 2 weeks down!

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    1. That's an interesting goal, Joye, and it must be satisfying to achieve it.

      Thanks for dropping in.

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    2. Oops, that reply was for Joye. Don't know how that happened.

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    3. Only 50 weeks to go, Amy. I'm sure you'll make it.

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  23. I kept the same goal this year as I did last year. I achieved it so wanted to see if I could do it again.
    My resolution was to for every 10 paperback books I read ( romance and mystery) I read one of the Classics. Last year I read all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's books whew This year I am going to read some of the ones I missed in Literature classes in school.
    Thanks for the giveaway.
    JWIsley(at)aol(dot)com

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  24. Hi Claire, and welcome to the gang! I'm suffering severe pool envy now! That looks gorgeous. Oh, and your fur-babies look gorgeous! Tell me, how did you get into making the charm jewellery? I love the look of that necklace. Very pretty.

    As to goals, normally I am very goal oriented. Lately it's been more about getting through one day at a time, one hour at a time and, generally, one word at a time! LOL!

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    1. I was looking for another creative outlet, Yvonne, and stumbled upon this one. My son is studying to be a manufacturing jeweller and I was looking on-line for some of the supplies he needed when I found a blog about making resin jewellery and became fascinated.

      Thanks for the welcome!

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  25. Hi Claire - welcome to LoveCats! And truck driving in France? There's a story in that for sure :)
    I always set writing goals at the beginning of a new year.

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    1. Thanks, Helen!

      It was an interesting time and mentioning it here has brought back memories. I was based in a town in Normandy called Evreux.

      I always set writing goals too.

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  26. Welcome Claire to the Lovecats!

    Lovely to see you here!

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    1. Thanks, Kelly!

      So glad you could drop in.

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  27. Coming in with a fresh round of pomegranate martinis to say YAY CLAIRE! It's so wonderful to have you here. I've always loved your Harlequin books and am so excited to have you as a Bliss sister.

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    1. Thanks, Barb! And I'm so happy to be writing for Bliss - all the books are wonderful and so are the authors. :)

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  28. Hi Claire
    Might I say you have a beautiful from your office.
    You are a new to me author via Ally Blake and Liz Fielding. And, I love your cover for Flirting with Danger. I will definitely go to your website and check out more of your books.

    Now, I don't make resolutions but make a list of what I wish to complete. And, I try to make my list realistic.
    Thank you
    Ginger

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    1. It's good to meet you, Ginger, and thank you for your kind words.

      A realistic list is a good idea, and very satisfying as you tick off items completed.

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  29. Claire, I'm so, so thrilled you're here! So excited, in fact, that I've updated the banner at the top of the blog to include your photo. I must say, you look right at home there. :)

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    1. Ooh, look, it's as if I've always been there. :) Thanks, Rachel.

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    2. Oh look at you up there! I look at that banner at least twice a day and didn't notice!!! But then I've never been very observant.....
      Guess its definitely official now you're in the banner :-)

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  30. Hi Claire! So lovely to have you join us on Lovecats!

    I don't make resolutions in January because we're always slap bang in the middle of holidays- so can't really start anything until Feb. This year I am going to stop procrastinating- and if anyone knows how to do that I'd be grateful for advice! I'm also hoping to increase my writing productivity.
    Louisa xx

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    1. Hi Louisa!

      If either of us works out how to be more productive we'll have to share the secret with each other.

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  31. Claire, I'm late (I've been away with no internet) but had to stop by to welcome you to the group. It's a real thrill having you here! Thanks for joining us.

    I'm aiming for productivity this year. We'll see how that one goes - but I'm hopeful. So far it's been busy with non-writing things but I'm meeting my deadlines so that's a start. Here's hoping 2014 will be a terrific year for all the LoveCats and our friends.

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    1. Thank you for the welcome, Annie! I'm thrilled to be here.

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  32. Just in case you missed the separate post about our two winners of the fabulous prize packages, I'm pleased to announce that the winners are
    GINGER and
    MARISKA.
    Congratulations, ladies! If you email annie(at)annie-west(dot)com we can sort out how to get your prizes sent to you.

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