Friday, October 24, 2014

Blog tour: Jilted by Rachael Johns


Jilted
By: Rachael Johns
Releasing Sept 30th, 2014
Harlequin



She'd left him at the altar, but her heart was always his……
After more than ten years away, Australian soap opera star Ellie Hughes returns to the small town of Hope Junction, determined to fly under the radar while caring for her injured godmother, Matilda.
But word spreads fast in the tight-knit community. It isn't long before the people of Hope Junction are gossiping about the real reason for Ellie's visit and why she broke the heart of golden boy Flynn Quartermaine all those years ago.
Soon Ellie and Flynn are thrown back together, forced to deal with the unresolved emotions between them. Because Ellie is not the only one with secrets. Flynn has his own demons to battle, and Matilda is hiding something from her much-loved goddaughter.
When all is uncovered, can the ill-fated lovers overcome the wounds of their past? Or is Flynn destined to be jilted again?






Rachael Johns is an English teacher by trade, a mum 24/7, a supermarket owner, a chronic arachnophobic, and a writer the rest of the time. She rarely sleeps and never irons. She writes contemporary romance for HQN and Carina Press and lives in rural Western Australia with her hyperactive husband and three mostly-gorgeous heroes-in-training. Rachael loves to hear from readers and can be contacted through her website at www.rachaeljohns.com.




Hello Rachael! Welcome to Roberta’s Dreamworld and thank you for your time. First of all, tell us something about yourself, both as a writer and as a person.

I’m a writer who starts with a tiny seed of an idea and then sits down at the computer with not very much of an idea where I’m going. I guess I’m what you call a pantser… and although this is fun most of the time, it can also be a little bit scary and sometimes I wish I could do that planning thing! 
I’m a person who loves the colour pink. Possibly eighty-percent of my wardrobe is some shade of pink and one day I’d really like to own a pink car. I even wore an ice-pink wedding dress and hot pink Doc Martins to my wedding. 

How/when did you realize you wanted to become a writer? 

When I broke up with my high school boyfriend (at almost eighteen years old), I was absolutely devastated. I thought he was the love of my life, the one, and that my life was over. For some reason I started writing our story that summer, which was weird cos I hadn’t been a big reader until then and I’d certainly not have considered myself a writer. But writing this book was like therapy – I gave my ex an awful disease and killed him off so no one else could have him. It was 80000 words of absolute yawn-worthy dribble but I’d caught the bug. The writing bug that is. Even though I was due to start a primary school teaching degree the following week, I decided to change to a writing degree at university. From that day on I’ve wanted to be a published author. It took almost ten years to discover that what I wanted to write was romance and another five years before I actually got a contract. By the way, I discovered how good reading was that same summer and have been devouring books ever since.

Let’s speak about “JILTED”. We’ve read the synopsis but can you tell us a little more about what the book is about?

The book is about first love and second chances, which probably isn’t that surprising if you’ve just read my answer above. My first love really affected me and I think in writing JILTED I drilled deep into those adolescent emotions. Everyone says you never forget your first love and I wanted to explore this idea in my book. In addition to first love, the book deals with illness, grief and alcoholism but I hope in an empowering rather than depressing way. And of course, at its core, it is a sweet and heart-warming romance.

How did you come up with the idea and how did you create the characters?

I’d always wanted to write a runaway bride and at the time I decided to write this heroine, rural romance was becoming a big thing in Australia. I’d been targeting category romance (Mills & Boon) for years with little success and a published friend told me to switch tack and write a longer rural romance. I was living in a rural town at the time and so my friend told me to mine my own life experiences. As is the case with most rural romances, I made the hero (Flynn) a farmer, but I felt a bit of a fraud as I was not a farmer or a farmer’s wife. So I decided to focus on other aspects of a small town community more. At about this time, our little town decided to revive the theatrical society and as I’d always loved drama, I really wanted to be involved. Problem was I had a two toddlers and a near newborn and it wasn’t practical, so I decided to write about it instead. I combined all these elements and my love of first love romances and came up with JILTED. 

If you should describe your books in three words, what would you pick?

Fun, feel-good and easy-reading (those hyphens make them one word right?).

Do you have any favorite authors and did they influence your choice of the genre?

When I first started writing my favourite authors were chick-lit authors like Helen Fielding, Marian Keyes and Lisa Jewell, but then I discovered romance and although I still love these authors, I think my decision to write romance came from reading some Aussie romance writers such as Barbara Hannay, Sarah Mayberry and Kelly Hunter. 

What else do you enjoy doing, when you’re not writing? 

With our own business and three young boys, I don’t get much time for myself outside of writing, but of course I’m a huge reader. In addition to reading I do enjoy baking cakes (and eating them), jogging or walking with my dog, and a long time ago I enjoyed sewing and craft, so I hope to get back to these things one day.

As a writer do you get support from your family and friends?

Yes, I’m very blessed with my support team. My mum has always been very encouraging of anything I want to do but in a practical and emotional way. She now works in our business so I can spend more time writing and she often looks after my children so I can write or when I need to travel. When my husband met me, I already had the dream to one day be a writer and he’s supported and helped me achieve that ever since. He’s a man not afraid to cook or clean, he’s an awesome dad and he’ll even brainstorm with me when I feel like my book isn’t working. As for friends… everyone is very supportive and through writing I’ve made some more fabulous friends as well.

What are your dreams and plans for your future as a writer?

I really hope that JILTED does well in the US so that I can get more of my Aussie romances published overseas. I hope to keep writing romance and intersperse it with women’s fiction as I really love books written about relationships between women – friends, sisters, etc as well. 

Would you like to say something to the readers to encourage them to read your books?

What besides, I’ll love you forever if you do? Nah, seriously… I hope you’ll all try JILTED because it had great reader love in Australia and I think what people enjoyed is universal. If you enjoy small-town, feel-good romances, then JILTED should hit the right buttons for you. And, it has a quote from the AMAZING Kristan Higgins on the cover!! She liked it, so if you like her books, I hope you’ll like JILTED too.



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I loved this book! The small town and farming setting (and Australian, as a bonus) was great. I've developed a love for small town romances, especially if there's a cowboy (or in this case, a farmer) involved. It's all about the hat! :)
I'll admit I was a little confused at the beginning, when the town gossip was described. I wasn't sure what that meant, but then as the real story began, I realized what the author did and I liked it. I actually found it quite amusing!
Flynn swept me off my feet from the moment he entered the story. I like a hard working man, with strong principles and a love for his family, and even though Flynn had had his weak moments after Ellie left, he pulled himself together and went back to being a good man. He was adorable!
Ellie is a great heroine. I felt for her throughout the story, I shared her grief and at times I wished I could jump into the book to hug her. When the town gossip described her, I thought I wasn't going to like her. I don't like heroines who are selfish and egotistical, and from what people said about her, I thought this would be Ellie. I was glad the description of Ellie was wrong. She is a very likeable heroine, who made a mistake and paid for it for over ten years. I was happy to find out that she was still in love with Flynn despite leaving him at the altar, and I was rooting for her up until the last chapter.
There were some great side characters, Lucy first of all, and obviously Matilda and Joyce as well. 
I truly enjoyed this book and the author did a great job of keeping me on the edge of my seat until the very end.
If you love small town romance and second chance romance, this is the book for you. Go grab a copy now!







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