Oct 7, 2016

HUGE Welcome Party for Two New Love Cats!

There have been some recent changes within the Love Cats. Two members have decided, for personal reasons, to become Cats in the Wild. Sharon Archer and Barbara De Leo have been lovely and long-standing members of the group and we're sorry to see them go. But we're looking forward to hearing about their adventures in the wild and to welcoming them back whenever they want to share their experiences.

With two Love Cats leaving that means two new Cats joining us here. We're absolutely delighted and chuffed to welcome Ally Blake and Melanie Milburne, both talented writers and lovely women! 

As you know, new Cats means it's time to PARTY! So get comfy and prepare to join us with the tipple of your choice (mine is champagne!) to celebrate Melanie and Ally's arrival. There are four stupendous prizes to be won (I'm not exaggerating) but first, let's get to know our newest Cats who are kindly sharing some tidbits with us.  

Welcome, Ally Blake!

Ally, do you remember the first category romance you read? Is there a book (romance or otherwise) that made you want to become a writer?
Not the first but my first favourite.  “Enemy in Camp” by Janet Dailey.  Feisty blue-blood heroine, laconic blue-collar hero, lots of fun secondary characters (including a meddling little sister - very Philadelphia Story) and a lovely, rich, wry, heart-tugging romance.
It was such a stand out to me I still have the original copy.  The spine is falling apart; the pages are yellowed and brittle, and I often wonder if that hero helped shaped the heroes I write today.

There’s something warm and wonderful about the 30c price tag and store stamp from the ‘Book Swap’ shop where it was bought.  But I especially love that I discovered it amongst the trillion Mills and Boons my grandmother always kept under her spare bed.   For me writing category romance was meant to be – it was in my blood.

Is there a category romance you’ve read so far this year that that stands out for you?
Amy Andrews’ “Some Girls Do” (the free first book in her Outback Heat series) was an absolute blast.  Fun, fast and super sexy.   I also powered through a slew of Stefanie London’s fantastic romances.  I’ve been saving her bestselling “Pretend Its Love” for one of those rainy days when you NEED to curl up under a warm blanket and read something yummy.

What part of the writing process do you enjoy most?
Oh the blissful possibility of that perfect blank first page – when the story is a shining gem inside your mind; unblemished by human error, untwisted by characters who don’t act how you want them to, the purity as yet unveiled to the world.  The moment you write the very first word…it’s not longer yours.

Do you share your life with anyone furred, feathered or scaled? If so we’d love to hear about them.
You bet I do!  First a disclaimer. One of the many strings to my husband’s bow is professional snake catcher.  He’s also a licensed breeder of reptiles and has been since he was a kid.  So it’s no surprise that we live in a veritable menagerie.

In the past we’ve had black-headed pythons, blue tongued lizards, shingle backs and more.  The current state of affairs is relatively tame!

We have…a cat (Friday), a penny turtle (Cupcake), a half dozen chooks, and five aviaries filed with Kakariks (the sweetest, friendliest, chattiest little parrots that my husband breeds). And last Christmas holidays our lucky kids got their first dog.  Cookie is a Brittany Spaniel – a vivacious, adorable creature who wants nothing more on this earth than to snuggle, cuddle, sit on us, lick us, and love us.  Oh and cheese.  She reeeeally loves cheese.



Finally, can you share one fact about yourself we might not already know?
Ooooh.  Okay.  How about my favourite movie in the whole wide world?
Aliens.
I loved it so much when I was in my teens I sat down and wrote out EVERY WORD OF THE SCREENPLAY (and then discovered you can actually buy copies of the things – sigh). And it’s not all action and awesome one liners.  It’s romantic too.  It is!  The extended edition when Ripley is heading off to fight the big bad alien mumma, unsure if she’ll ever see badly injured (and terribly handsome) Hicks again and they share their first names for the first time…

Ripley: See you, Hicks.
Corporal Hicks: Dwayne. It's Dwayne.
Ripley: ...Ellen.
Corporal Hicks: [smiles weakly] Don't be gone long, Ellen.
Oh, how the heart flutters!

Thanks for that, Ally. And a big welcome too, to Melanie Milburne!


Melanie, do you remember the first category romance you read? I read Kay Thorpe’s An Apple In Eden when I was seventeen and was totally hooked on category romance from that moment.

 Is there a book (romance or otherwise) that made you want to become a writer?
 I had always wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl, even before I began to read, as I loved stories so much. But it was reading Mary Stewart’s Nine Coaches Waiting (romantic suspense) when I was in my late teens that really made me dream of being a romance writer.

Is there a category romance you’ve read so far this year that that stands out for you?
This is going to sound really strange but I haven’t read a category romance in its entirety this year. I find it distracting to read category when I am on such a busy writing schedule (five to six books a year). I am always afraid of inadvertently borrowing phrases or being influenced by other author’s stories. I feel more comfortable reading other sub-genres of romance or crime or thriller and memoir and biography instead. But having said that, I do keep up to date with current trends in category romance and what the market wants.

What part of the writing process do you enjoy most?
 I love typing The End! I also love starting a new novel where the story idea is fresh and I’m in love with my characters and they haven’t yet started to annoy me by being difficult. But the whole process is wonderful. I love how things appear on the page as I’m typing that I hadn’t expected. It’s truly magical.

Do you share your life with anyone furred, feathered or scaled? If so we’d love to hear about them.
I have three miniature poodles: Polly, Lily and Gonzo. They are my writing and walking companions.  They do about twenty tricks now and I really enjoy teaching them new ones. I also have two cats: Matias and Mango. I am basically their butler! Matias is an Australian Long Hair and has the most placid personality. He and Gonzo adore each other. I have never seen a dog and cat have such a close and playful relationship.

 


Finally, can you share one fact about yourself we might not already know?
I used to school and break in horses when I was a teenager and young adult. And I have the aches and pains to prove it!

Thank you, Melanie!

And now for the final part of our celebration. Prizes! A party isn't complete without goodies, is it? We Love Cats have got together with Harlequin Mills and Boon to organise some fabulous prizes to share with you. All you need to do is comment on this post to go in the draw. Then, come back on Saturday 15th October to check out who has won.


2 winners (international) 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)

We're delighted to announce that Mills and Boon Australia has also generously promised some fantastic prizes. So 2 other winners (must be located in Australia) will each receive:
·         A $50 book bundle from Mills and Boon Australia and
·         Jennifer St George’s ‘Wild for You’ (ebook).

If you're in Australia, don't forget to mention it in your comment so we know to include you in the draw for the book bundles.

So come and join the party and welcome our two newest LoveCats! 

168 comments:

  1. Whoa! Big changes are afoot! Happy welcome to Ally and Melanie! Woohoo! What a lovely group you're joining! And best wishes to Sharon and Barbara--I'm sure we won't have seen the last of you ;)

    Can't wait to be reading more from everyone!

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    1. Hi Fedora! Thanks for dropping by. Yes, I'm sure Sharon and Barbara haven't disappeared completely. It's thrilling welcoming our new Love Cats too!

      Yes, definitely lots more reading coming from the LoveCats!

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    2. Thanks for the welcome, Fedora! Super excited to be a part of the gang.

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  2. Woohoo huge welcome to Ally and Melanie I love visiting The LoveCats and hearing about all of the happenings lots of fun and it will be awesome to find out more about you both Ally and Melanie and to Sharon and Barbara I am sure I will catch around the web lets party

    Have Fun
    Helen

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    1. Waving hi, Helen. Thanks for stopping by the party. I think there'll be lots of fascinating posts coming up too.

      I'm assuming you're going in the draw for the Australian prizes too?

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    2. Oh yes please :)

      Have Fun
      Helen

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  3. Welcome to two new authors. I have been a Melanie Milburne fan for years....can't wait to read Ally's books!I am on a campaign for my local library to buy more romance books for their on-line collections, and Harlequin authors are my favorites!

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    1. Laurie, it's lovely to have you here. Aren't we lucky having Melanie and Ally join us? And thank you for asking your library to buy more romances! It's great when readers make their preferences known to librarians. I've found them pretty helpful and sometimes they've got in new titles just because I queried them! Here's to lots more romance reading!

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    2. Melanie is one of the reasons I write romance, Laurie. I went to one of her workshops years ago and was hooked. I love Melanie's stories.

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    3. Hey Laurie - thank you so much for championing our books at your local library. I looooove my library. One of my favourite places in the whole world.

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    4. Hi Laurie, so lovely of you to say that!
      And Jennifer- I'm so glad you became a romance writer and I bet everyone of your fans thinks the same.

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    5. Laurie, love that you're campaigning for more romance in your local library. Every library needs more love on their shelves. Go you!

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  4. Welcome, Ally! Welcome, Melanie! It's wonderful to have you both here. Thanks for sharing those snippets with us. I so enjoyed your interviews. Aliens as a romance - who'd have thought it? And Melanie as a horsetrainer - I'd never have guessed.

    And welcome everyone else to our huge LoveCats party! I love a celebration, and even though it's breakfast time here in Australia, a nice glass of bubbles sounds tempting, or alternatively a celebratory cup of tea. Good luck too, in the big giveaways!

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    1. Thanks Annie! And it's never too early for bubbly :).

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  5. Welcome Ally and Melanie! So lovely to have you joining LoveCats. We love parties and looking forward to this one!

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  6. Welcome Melanie Milburne and Ally Blake to our favourite stop: Lovecats Downunder!

    Loved reading about both of you and thanks for sharing about your pets!

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    1. It's a pretty good place to be, isn't it, Nas? And so lovely to have Ally and Melanie join us.

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  7. Welcome! Great learning about 2 new-to-me authors and looking forward to learning more. I think we all can look back to a book or story that made us go "Aaahhh" and hooked us on romance. And you weren't kidding about the giveaway - fabulous! Thanks for the chance.

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    1. Grandma Cootie, it's fun finding new authors to read, isn't it? And then you discover their backlists...! It's like a whole new world opening up!

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    2. Grandma Cootie, you are in for a treat discovering Ally's and Melanie's books. They are both wonderfully talented writers as well as super awesome people.

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  8. There are big changes going on !! I'm glad to meet here Melanie Milburne, an author who really appreciate and Ally Blake I've read some of his books translated into Italian, that I liked, but I do not know her very well
    Greetings,
    Franca

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    1. Franca, it's lovely to have a visitor from Italy at the party. Now you'll have a chance to get to know Melanie and Ally a lot better!

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    2. You are always so sweet, Franca. It is having fans like you that make being a romance writer such a joy.

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  9. Welcome, Ally and Melanie! I'm sure you'll love it here on this extremely cool site!

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    1. Thanks Anna! We have been made to feel very welcome. Fun times ahead!

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  10. Yay, Ally and Melanie -- so glad you've joined us...and so glad we can now tell the world and celebrate. :-) You are two very cool cats who happen to own the world's cutest dogs! Love the pics.

    Right...well let's put a bit of music on -- ABBA for now, I think. I know Rachel will be along in a little while to put some Elvis on (and given the title of Ally's newest release that will be very appropriate). So, am now circulating through the room with a tray of utterly delightful glazed donuts and there's champagne, orange juice, and a huge pot of tea on the sideboard over there. Any takers? ;-) Oh, and if you'd like to leave a suggestion for a song we'd be happy to add it to the playlist. :-)

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    1. Champagne for breakfast, Michelle. That will certainly get me going today!!

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    2. Champagne with my fresh fruit breakfast sounds marvellous, Michelle. As for music - something sunny and upbeat!

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    3. The fresh fruit platter has just arrived, Annie! Sunny and upbeat...oh, am off to dig out some Beach Boys albums. ;-)

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    4. Um, fresh fruit sounds nice, but chocolate sounds better! And pastries. Chocolatey pastries. Goes well with bubbly, no?

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    5. Music you say? KC and the Sunshine band never fail to get me on the dance floor. Or Katy Perry!

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    6. Ooh, I'm rushing to add KC&SB and Katy P to the playlist -- excellent suggestions, Melanie!

      Ooh, Ally, look what just arrived -- lovely chocolatey pastries! Mmmm...divine. :-)

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    7. Righto, ABBA has had enough air play - time for some Elvis! *Rachel passes around a plate of catnip-laced chocolate*

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  11. Just a quick update from Melanie. She's having major trouble getting an internet connection where she is. She's going to keep trying as she's desperate to join the party, but please be patient as it may take a while!

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  12. Love me a party with giveaways!!!

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    1. I'm here, Annie, even though I have to do the Mr Bean thing. Ha ha.

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  13. Farewell to Sharon and Barbara. They've been fabulous LoveCats!

    And welcome to Ally and Melanie. I'm fan of both of your books and I look forward to seeing your blogs here at LoveCats. You're in good company!

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    1. Hi Lauren,

      It's thrilling to have Ally and Melanie here with us. It's definitely a great place to be.

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    2. Aw, ta Lauren! Thanks for having me!

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    3. Aw, that's so nice of you, Lauren. I loved doing Margie Lawson's Immersion Class with you in August. xxx

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  14. Lovely to read about Ally and Melanie. I've read many of Ally's books and always love when they are set in Australia. I love the local flavour, and I also love seeing how Australia is written about for an international audience - how to make it make sense to others but still be familiar to Australians (which I am)!

    Melanie is new to me, so looking forward to discovering a new author!

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    1. Amthea, lovely of you to pop by. Are you living in Australia? If so you'll be eligible for the Mills and Boon/Jenn St George book bundles as well as the other prizes.

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    2. Hey Anthea! Thank you so much for your gorgeous words about my Aussie settings. I love that I can keep my 'Australianess' in my writing and its nice to know that its a draw card too. Mwah!

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    3. Hi Anthea,
      I hope you enjoy my books. I'm always happy to find new readers!

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  15. Hi everyone! Phew! I was worried I was going to miss the party. I'm on the east coast of Tasmania with patchy Wifi. I am literally standing on one leg on top of a sand dune!
    It's fabulous to be here and with such an awesome bunch of women writers. Thanks for the wonderful welcome.

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    1. Thrilled you made it, Melanie. That is a hilarious image on you on the sand dune in the wilds of Tas.

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    2. Hi Melanie. So glad you got here. Hope your connection holds out long enough for you to see the comments!

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    3. LOL, Melanie. I want to see you standing on one leg on that sand dune...balancing a glass of champagne. ;-)

      So glad that you managed to make the party. We're thrilled to have you join us. :-)

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    4. Hey Melanie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So excited that we are here together.

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    5. Yay!!! Ally! We go a long way back, don't we? Love being anywhere you are. 😀

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    6. I'm also smiling at the sand-dune image. Very clever, esp while juggling a glass of champagne!

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    7. It's the new Pilates- sand yoga!

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  16. Thrilled you have joined us, Ally and Melanie! I loved reading more about you and your amazing lives.

    I'm dancing around the room to your ABBA compilation, Michelle. Anything disco and I'm up and dancing.

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    1. I can just see you dancing, Jenn!

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    2. Ooh, disco! Jen, I seem to recall you have a penchant for a bit of Earth, Wind & Fire. Am now blasting out "September" just for you. ;-)

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    3. My favourite song in the whole, wide world, Michelle. How can anyone not dance to EW&F?

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    4. Yes, I love a bit of a boogie, Annie.

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    5. Happy sighs! It's all happening here. ;-)

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  17. Welcome Melanie and Ally, how exciting for us readers to have you both posting. Hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoy your posts :D xxx

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  18. Hi there Ally and Melanie from another Aussie. I've enjoyed a few of your stories, Ally, and looking forward to more. Melanie, you're a newbie to me but now I know a little about you I'll be on the look-out for your stories. Enjoy Love Cats!

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    1. Hey Shelagh!!! So glad you've enjoyed my stories. Warms this writer's heart. Melanie is a fantastic writer with a nice juicy backlist (my favourite thing) so you HAVE to check her out.

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    2. Hi Shelagh,
      I hope you enjoy my books. Lovely to meet you!

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    3. Shelagh, might I be so bold as to suggest my favourite of Melanie's books, The Most Scandalous Ravensdale. Loved that story, and those characters, to bits!

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  19. Thank-you all so much for your gorgeous welcome!!! I'm thrilled to be a LoveCat - it sounds so decadent. And now I see there's bubbly and ABBA I know I fit right in.

    Waving madly to Melanie Milburne. A cool bit of trivia - we sold our first books within mere months of one another!

    Love Melanie. Love being a LoveCat. Love writing (and reading) love stories . Today's all about the love!

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    1. Oh, Ally, I'm *so* feeling the love. We're so thrilled that you've joined our little LoveCat pride.

      ABBA + bubbles + romances + romance writers + romance readers = Best Party Ever :-)

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    2. I second what Michelle said. Basically: YAY!

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    3. Love that piece of trivia, Ally. Also love me some serendipity, which you both joining LoveCats at the same time seems to be!

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  20. Hello! Hello! Sorry I'm late to the party, but I bring mojitos (of course) and cheese straws and Happy by Pharrell Williams- such an uplifting song to dance too. So excited about having Melanie and Ally here with us at Lovecats, two amazing authors whose books I adore! Yay!!!

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    1. Ooooo - another song I love to dance too, Louisa.

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  21. Hello! I just saw this from Anna and thought I'd drop by. Looks like I've got a couple of new authors I need to be on the lookout for! Weird seeing Oct 7th on the boards as it's still the 6th here :D

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    1. Hey Terry! Even within Australia our time zones are different - so for me the time is all wrong :). But here we are!!! Lots of fabulous romance authors on this blog. So worth checking them out.
      Ally
      xxx

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    2. Terry, it's lovely of you to stop by. You're an early bird for your time zone. Good on you!

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  22. cannot wait to read your books love meeting new authors but Ally what is a penny turtle and do they really stay that small? I had a turtle for a long time along with a bunny and a bird who would steel sips of my coffee when my back was turned. Best of luck to both of you and looking forward to reading your books

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    1. Hey Maria! I love finding new authors too. Especially those with a nice juicy backlist :). A 'penny' turtle is a nickname for when a turtle is itty bitty. In a small tank they can stay that small, but ours is now as big as my palm! So friendly and very sweet, cupcake sees us coming and follows us back and forth waiting for food :).

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  23. Hi ladies! So excited to have you in the LoveCats pride! Welcome! I feel like I've known you both for ages already (actually, I have!) and I really look forward to getting to know you better! Love your introductory post.

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    1. Hey Yvonne! Trying to figure how to spell "meeeoooow" in a fabulous "LoveCats pride kind of way. That'll do!

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  24. Welcome aboard ladies so happy to see Mel and Ally joining this fabulous group of ladies, sorry to see Sharon and Barbara go, but I'm sure they have great adventures ahead of them. WooHoo *\o/* Best ever. Jan. xxx PS from Aussie land ;)

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    1. Hey Jan! Happy to *be* joining!

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    2. Hi Jan! It's always lovely too see your name pop up in comments.

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    3. So glad to see your names as well :)

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  25. I've read quite of bit of both Ally and Melanie. Great writers and lovely people. Congratulations on joining the Lovecatsdownunder.

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  26. Late late late to the party! Thrilled to have 2 new cats along for the ride - welcome Ally and Melanie!

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    1. Thanks AA!!! So happy to be here :).

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  27. Cookie is cute! That is so cool to have an old book! I have a couple myself.

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    1. Donamae, I fell a bit in love with Cookie from that photo!

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    2. Hey Donamae, Cookie is sooo cute! That's how they get away with chewing all your shoes, am I right? And yep, I love my old book. It's treasured.

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  28. Enjoy life as 'cats in the wild', Sharon and Barb!

    Welcome Melanie and Ally!

    It seems like an age since the last LoveCats party! Love the relaxed atmosphere and the catnip ;)

    Happy LoveCatting!

    Cath xox (in Aus)

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    1. Cath, so lovely of you to join in the party! Here, have another catnip-laced treat. :)

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  29. Ack I came back to check on comments and saw that blogger had eaten mine!! Here goes again...

    Welcome Ally and Melanie, so thrilled to have you both joining the lovecats! I'm already a fan of you both, but it was so great to read more about you. I am having some serious pet envy right now. Those beautiful dogs look like they'd give such good cuddles :)

    Hope you're enjoying the books, Ally! I've got AA's Some Girls Do on my Kindle, must bump it up to the top of my TBR :D

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    1. Hi Stefanie!
      Great to be with you at Love Cats. Hopefully we will get to meet in person soon!

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    2. Hey Stefanie! (Boo, Blogger) It's so nice having a dog in the house again. The cuddles are awesome :).

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  30. I just learned of your site in the "Australian Romance Readers" group on Facebook (post by Kylie Short), and must say I'm thrilled to learn of its existence. I look forward to getting to know more about this site, and all you 'Cats'. :)

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    1. It's lovely to see you here, Donna! We look forward to getting to know you too. :-)

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    2. Hi Donna and welcome to the LoveCats blog. So glad you found us and hope you find some wonderful new reading via our authors.

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    3. Thrilled you found us, Donna. Look forward to chatting over time.

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    4. Donna, how nice to be found. Hope you enjoy popping in from time to time!

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    5. Hey Donna, we can be newbies together :).

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  31. It's disappointing to farewell Barbara and Sharon... but I also understand that there are only so many hours in each day.

    Huge welcomes to Ally and Melanie :) Looking forward to becoming more familiar with you both as writers.
    (I'm sure that several of the experienced LoveCats are aware of this, but I'm in NZ)

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    1. Lyn, I was *so* sad about losing Barb and Sharon too! We'll have to get them back for a visit from time to time. :)

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    2. Hi Lyn. Thanks for stopping by the party.

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    3. Hey Lyn! Waving to your from across the way!

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  32. Hi Ally and Melanie, cheers! The bubbly is excellent. It's good to know I'll be hearing from you both regularly now that you are members of the Love Cats. This post brought back so many memories. Ally's mention of Janet Dailey meant I spent a good half an hour scouring Janet's booklist to try to remember the title of the first one I read. I was a teen and I found it very daring. I might now have remembered the title, but I'll never forget the love scene on the fur in front of the fire :) It was Ride the Thunder. Probably very unPC these days with its background of big game hunting, but I bought a e-copy on the basis of the memories anyway! (Australia)

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    1. Hi Laura, I'm fascinated by your first romance. Yes, probably very un PC but what fun. Sadly I don't recall my first romance. I do however, recall the impact. I was hooked, just hooked from that first book.

      Now I'm wondering about a love scene on a fur in front of the fire!

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    2. Yay Laura! Glad I opened that door for you. So cool that you can revisit - from a whole new perspective, I'm sure. I should track down an ebook of my Janet Dailey so I can read it again - I'm too sacred it will fall apart!

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  33. Very sad to say farewell to Sharon and Barbara, although I know we'll meet again (some sunny day!)

    Welcome to Ally and Melanie, who are both such wonderful writers and super-wonderful women that I'm grinning with excitement...or perhaps that's due to the champagne and dancing. *ponders* Nah, it's due to getting to welcome you both that has me smiling large.

    I've thrown my favourite dance tune, Daft Punk's Get Lucky, onto the turntable and deposited a pitcher of margaritas on the table. Enjoy!

    Sings: We've come too far to give up who we are...

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  34. Oops, got distracted by the dancing and forgot to say how darn cute your furry friends are, Melanie and Ally.

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    1. Hi Bronwyn,
      Thanks for the lovely welcome.
      And that's for thinking my pets are cute. I adore them too!

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    2. Hey Bron!!!!!!!!!! So excited to be here. And yeah, the dancing and bubbly is helping :).

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  35. Welcome Melanie and Ally, two talented authors I read regularly joining a bunch of other talented authors I also read regularly. What's not to like about that! Enjoy! x

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    1. Brooke, it sounds like you've got a very busy reading schedule. Good on you! :)

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  36. Waving to the gorgeous Cats and to the gorgeous new Cats! Ally and Melanie! How great to see you guys join the blog - I know you'll love it here and be such wonderful LoveCats! Nice to learn a bit more about you both and to meet your fur-friends... and feather/etc friends in Ally's case!

    hugs

    Sharon

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    1. Sorry to see you going, Sharon, but hoping for some good catch ups in future.

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  37. It is sad to say farewell to Sharon and Barbara but life does seem to be getting busier and busier...
    A very warm welcome to Ally and Melanie - I am very happy to have a glass of bubbles with you!
    I love that Ally favourite book was from the late 60's/early 70's Mills and Boon as they are the vintage I started reading from my Mother's stash under her bed - I loved Essie Summers and Mary Burchell and I now have most of my Mother's copies!
    I am extremely excited to see Melanie joining the Love Cats as I had the huge privilege of meeting her at my hometown, Adelaide, at the ARRA Book-signing Event!!!

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    1. Lucy, it's lovely to see you here. Wasn't the Adelaide event fun?

      I've never read either Essie Summers or Mary Burchell, though I've heard a lot about their books. I may have to get hold of some. I love revisiting older romances. Terrific that you've now got most of your mother's books - I bet there are some great memories in those.

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  38. Welcome to the new ladies , its always lovely to find new authors. Life gets buzy but I am sure in time we will see the ladies come and go and say hi : D

    Thanks for the snippets :D will def have to check these out

    Katrina :D

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    1. Hi Katrina. Do check out Ally and Melanie's books. I think you'll find plenty to enjoy!

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  39. Just found this site. Wonderful to find so many of my favourite authors here and can't wait to try the new ones. Thank you for the invitation.

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    1. Great that you have found us, Kelly.

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    2. Kelly, it's terrific you found your way here. Hope you visit often!

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  40. Sad to see Barbara and Sharon leave but welcome Ally and Melanie! Look forward to seeing you on these pages in the future!
    Congrats!

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    1. Waving hi, Diana. Nice to see you here. It's always sad when lovecats leave but I know they'll keep in touch.

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  42. Was great to meet so many of these fab writers at the Melb ARRA book signing event last year! Enjoying the great stories and romance.
    Looking forward to the next event in Melbourne and many more books from you all.

    Thanks, Karyn.

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    1. KD, aren't the ARRA signings fun? Such a great event. My only complaint is that there's no time for me to visit other authors doing the signing. Looking forward to plenty more of them.

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  43. Welcome Ally and Melanie! It's so lovely to have you here and especially in such a party atmosphere! I loved both your interviews but don't dare risk a longer comment as I have intermittent internet down here in the south of Crete where I've been on a swimming trip. A toast to many wonderful LoveCat moments!

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    1. I am so envious! I've always wanted to go to Crete. It's on my must do list!
      Enjoy every minute!

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  44. Sad to say "au revoir" to Sharon and Barbara but feel happier knowing it isn't goodbye as I know LoveCats in the wild stay friends! xx

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  45. Sue Gerhardt GriffithsOctober 8, 2016 at 12:51 AM

    Hi Ally and Melanie, loved the interviews, they were so cool. So glad I've been introduced to this blog, it seems to be heaps of fun.

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    1. Hi Sue,
      Thanks for your comment. It is a great blog and I'm really thrilled to be part of it.

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  46. Replies
    1. Hi Lynn! It's a lovely group we've got here, isn't it? Thanks for stopping by.

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  47. Hi there Ally and Melanie - wow, this is quite a party. *pushes way through to the bar and grabs some champagne* This must be one of the happiest romance writing groups there is. *whispers* Don't tell Rachel but I have this trick of microchipping all the VPA minions, so I can find Barbara de Leo (also a minion) any time, even though she's been released into the wild. Can't stay long, book is calling - well, nagging really, but any excuse for a party!!!!!

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    1. Hi Valerie!
      Thanks for the welcome. You are such a legend among romance writers and the way you support others on their journeys is just amazing.

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    2. Valerie, you are so sneaky! I'd be upset, but I might need access to that Barbara-locating information, so I'll let it pass. :)

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  48. good to see you both have joined Lovecats downunder welcome have enjoyed many of your stories----LynW

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    1. Hi Lyn, we're lucky to have two more such talented, lovely Cats join us. :)

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    2. Hi Lyn,
      Thanks so much for your kind words. I'm glad you've enjoyed both Ally's and my stories. She is a fabulous person as well as an awesome writer.

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  49. I do enjoy a party & it's lovely to meet everyone here.

    Hello from a very sunny QLD.

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    1. Lovely of you to stop by, Mary!

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    2. Hi Mary,
      Big wave from sunny but windy Tassie!

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  50. Welcome Melanie and Ally! So sorry to see you go Barbara and Sharon!. Let me grab a glass of champagne and lurk in a corner. When the band plays good music, I will come out and dance. Belly dance, anyone? Have a great time with the cuddly ones downunder, Melanie and Ally. *lurks back in a corner, sips champagne and enjoys watching all the people)

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    1. Riet, I didn't know you were a belly dancer! Sounds great. Thanks for stopping by!

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    2. Oh, Riet! I'm so getting you out on the dance floor to teach us all how to belly dance!

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  51. Great to Melanie and Ally join the 'party'
    Love Aussie romance authors. Their way with words, that cheeky playfulness.
    Must go - my area of Queensland has internet speeds that occasionally reach the giddy heights of 2.5. Today is not one of those days, and I'm about to lose my connection. Keep leading the romance charge ladies.

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    1. Hi Pam! Sorry to hear about your internet connection but glad you found time to stop in. Nice to hear that you're a fan of Aussie romance authors!

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  52. A great big welcome goes out to Ally Blake and Melanie Milburne!!! So great to see you here!

    I started keeping track of which books I've read back when I started blogging in 2009, and guess what? I've read TWENTY of Melanie's books so far! Yes, twenty. I just love them. I fall in love with her heroes ... I can feel the attraction, love, and passion between the heroes and heroines ... I enjoy the witty conversations ... and afterwards I enjoy sweet dreams. Who could ask for anything more???

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    1. Hi Laney. That's marvellous! Twenty books! Hope you get a chance to explore Ally's now too. :)

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    2. Oh thanks for reading so many of my books! I hope you enjoy lots more!

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  53. Welcome to Melanie and Ally! I m already a can of Melanie's books. Look forward to reading Ally.

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  54. Just a reminder that the four winners of our party giveaways will be announced on the blog after 2pm Saturday 15th October, Sydney time!

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  55. Melanie and Ally have now drawn the prizes and we're thrilled to announce that the winners of prize A, the book collection courtesy of the LoveCats DownUnder, are:

    Terry Traveler and

    Laney4

    The winners of prize B, the $50 book bundle courtesy of Mills and Boon Australia, and Jennifer St George's book, are:

    Lucy Waterhouse and

    Laura Russell

    CONGRATULATIONS ladies and thank you to everyone who dropping 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?

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  56. Congrats to all the winners Enjoy :)

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