May I introduce: Sara Donovan "Love By Numbers"

Love By Numbers
by Sara Donovan

Reading Sara's bio, I felt like picking up the phone and tell her my teacher failed me in that English! And I still turned out to be okay. 

Anyway, I love the blurb of "Love By Numbers" and the sound of the story, so my obvious question is:
1 - How did you come up with the idea for "Love by Numbers"?

I read a lot of non-fiction books about neuroscience in my day job which led to a fascination with the ‘brain in love’. I had a personal interest as well. I wanted to figure out how “trustable” attraction was as when I looked back over my romantic history and those of my friends, I could think of times we all got attracted to completely incompatible people.

2 - Your Seven Easy Steps of "How to Fall in Love with (Almost) Anyone" sound easy and scary. We want the truth ... made up or real research? J
Research, believe it or not!
Experiencing peak emotional states, laughing a lot, sharing novel experiences, lowering your inhibitions, touching, eye-gazing and sharing secrets are listed as intimacy increasing activities by well-known scientist Dr Robert Epstein in his article, ‘How Science Can Help You Fall in Love’, (Psychology Today, 2010).
Dr Epstein was so sure there was a technology to falling in love, that he put an ad in Psychology Today for a woman who would be willing to date him exclusively and follow various intimacy exercises for 6 to 12 months. He expected the experiment would end in marriage.
Dr Epstein didn’t marry the woman he chose for the experiment, but he still stands by the theory that you can influence romantic love significantly. As does renowned anthropologist Dr Helen Fisher, whose book, ‘Why We Love? The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love,’ is also one of the main inspirations for the Seven Steps and my book.
3 - A house full of kids (I've counted five!). What's the secret to find the time to write a book?
Waiting for them to grow up (my youngest was 17 when I started writing Love By Numbers), having an addictive personality and having an unbelievably supportive husband who cooked and cleaned and constantly answered my questions about what a ‘guy would say if a woman said……?’ 

4 - Tell us a bit about your current WIP.
I like exploring edgy relationship topics and hopefully making them fun and romantic as well.
This time round, I’m curious to write a story that explores degrees of monogamy – from couples who are co-dependent, to couples who have close friends of the opposite sex, to those who have covert emotional affairs, or even relationships they believe support the primary one. I’m going to set the story among a group of activists living in the bush for a year who are also serialising their experiences as a documentary on the internet.
I’m also contributing a chapter for a non-fiction book called ‘Born To Do This’. It’s about the psychology of creativity.

Thanks so so much for the opportunity Iris! It’s been fun - An absolute delight to have had this small "science lesson in love" ! IB

What if there was a scientific 7-step formula that triggered the heart into feeling passion? Would you follow it to have a hot and heavy romance with your available 'nice guy’ bestie?

Set in the glittering lower north shore of Sydney, Love by Numbers follows the story of April, a young successful HR consultant who escapes the boredom of her serious man-drought by fantasising more than she should about her uninterested office crush, Ryan. When April finally gets Ryan to drinks after work one night and he falls for her flirtatious house-mate, April decides to never again trust her instinctual‘man-picker’. Her only solution is to rewire her brain and create passion with the one guy she knows she can trust
 This is a story about how far you can go to control your heart's choices, and what happens when you try.

My dream job when I was fifteen was scriptwriting for TV or film, only I was a writing wimp. A few bad marks for English essays I thought were great and I pursued a career in science instead of creative writing - determined to never again be evaluated on anything subjective.

It took a few decades of writing non fiction in my day job while living an accidental romantic comedy life before I was willing to manage the uncertainty and give my creative writing dream a go - and I'm so glad I did! Writing Love By Numbers was the most fun I've ever had.
In my day job, I run a small and busy Learning and Development Consultancy, where I write and teach neuroscience, communication and congruent influence programs to very smart and talented clients who constantly teach me.
My greatest blessing is my wonderfully supportive and inspiring family - my personal superhero husband, my two amazing children, three wonderful step children and my love-addicted dog.

 Purchase Links:

How to Fall in Love with (Almost) Anyone in Seven Easy Steps.

Choose an available friend who doesn’t turn you off, and rewire your brains for a hot and heavy romance.

1. Get emotional together while watching a sad movie.

2. Share an adrenaline rush by jumping out of a plane.

3. Show how competent you are at something, but don’t make a big deal of it.

4. Have him bring home food from the hunt — a good restaurant will do.

5. Eye gaze in bed without talking until it doesn’t feel weird.

6. Role-play each other’s primal fantasies within reason and without judgement.

7. Sleep together like stacked spoons.

Repeat the above until love and lust kick in. Then when they do, send your attraction into overdrive by not seeing each other. That’s when things really get cooking.

Chapter 1

The trigger that made me do something radical to fix my relationship problems happened a few weeks earlier when I’d broken an unwritten company rule: the ‘don’t show emotion at work’ rule, which really means don’t show female emotions. You could swear, raise your voice, even slam the occasional phone and you’d be seen as strong at Odyssey IT. But get misty-eyed, and you’re a drama queen or worse, weak.

It wasn’t that I found hiding my vulnerability at work difficult. I was great at it. But a couple of unwanted coincidences and I was exposed. Raw. All because of the wrong kind of synchronicity – the kind that orchestrates you away from what you want, instead of the other way around.


Cover reveal ~~ Australian Sports Stars Book One "Let me Love you"

My first book in the Australian Sports Stars series is taking shape. The series has been contracted by "Limitless Publishing" and will be released soon.
The series is set here in Melbourne, Australia, and follows three friends as love finds its way into their hearts.
Book One is titled "Love Will Find You"

Snippet Sunday - My new WIP 24/08/14

It's time for a new story ... as yet untitled.
Meet Jeri.
Jeri's lives in Hobart where she owns a gallery. Since her divorce many years ago, she's finally ready to "be" with a man again. But finding the right one seems to be harder than she thought.

“Don’t’ give me this attitude, honey. Your super boy didn’t show up, is all.”

Olivia’s eyebrows shot up. “Excuse me?”

“You heard me.” Jeri walked past her friend’s daughter. “Your sex-on-legs loverboy hid like a frightened turtle.”

Olivia’s chuckle didn’t go unnoticed, and Jeri turned to her, anger rising within.

“Honey, this is not funny,” she said, with as much calm as she could muster. “Having a blind date with a guy, who half way through dinner goes to the toilet without returning, because his pills played havoc with his heart might be funny. Or being asked for a ten thousand dollar loan on the very first date. That might be considered as funny, too.” Jeri took a deep breath. “But I can’t see the funny side in sitting in a busy restaurant, not to mention, one of the best in town, waiting for your friend’s neighbour who never turns up. Do the words Trust me ring a bell?”

Thank you all for your support and kind comments.
 I do appreciate each single one of them!


May I introduce: Mae Archer "Hollywood Dreams"


Hollywood Dreams
by Mae Archer

We're all a little bit hooked on Hollywood, the good as well as the not so good. "Hollywood Dreams" sounds like a great read, I love the blurb!

1 - The main character in "Hollywood Dreams" becomes a method actor to get a "the part of a lifetime". How did you come up with the idea and how much research went into getting the "method acting" right?

The idea of Hollywood Dreams came with the image of a method actor who is practicing for his next part by being in a wheelchair. While writing this book was really easy after all the years of having it in my subconscious, I did have to do a lot of research about the practicalities of being in a wheelchair. So when Beau takes Maree out on a date there was a lot of detail about how he would have transported himself and the car he would have used.


2 - Do movies / actors inspire you to write a story?

I’m not usually inspired by movies/actors, but what I really love is romance novels about characters who are in some way in disguise. So this whole premise of having a secret identity and then the sense of suspense as to how long will the secret survive and what will happen when it’s uncovered.

3 - What's your current project?

I’m currently working on a follow up to Hollywood Dreams. I fell in love with Allegra, Maree’s best friend, who is a lover of vintage fashion and a dame at heart so I’m working on telling her story. It’s also going to have another element of lovers in disguise so that’s going to be so much fun to develop.

Hollywood Dreams by Mae Archer

Former soap star Tom Calvert dreams of making movies that matter. To get the part of a lifetime he becomes a method actor, living as Beau Tennant, handicapped war hero. While in character he meets Maree Reynard, a costume designer, and takes her on a date. But when this practice date becomes all too real he realizes that he’s made the mistake of a lifetime. Will he be able to get Maree to fall in love with Tom Calvert?

Maree Reynard’s father is an actor and she has grown up on a studio lot. She has no illusions about the artifice of the movie-making business and has vowed she would never date an actor. When she meets and falls in love with Beau Tennant she knows that she’s found her dream man who is genuine and real. But when Beau disappears from her life she is heartbroken. She meets Tom Calvert on the rebound and sees their flirtation as a way of recovering her shattered confidence. Will Tom Calvert be able to convince her he is the real deal?

Mae Archer knew she wanted to be a writer since she was a child. She loved listening to her grandmother's war stories about English maidens falling in love with handsome Yankees while England burnt under the Luftwaffe's blitz.

When she discovered romance novels as a teenager she soon realised that her dream job was to be a romance writer. After many career twists and turns she’s making her dreams come true.

 Her real life is like one of her grandmother's stories. She met a foreigner who travelled through Australia and it was love at first sight. She married him six months after they met and every day since has been an adventure.

She lives in Australia with her husband and daughter.

Mae Archer is the author of Return to Me and the upcoming Hollywood Dreams both published by Momentum.

Mae loves to hear from readers. You can contact her through her website,


Purchase Links:

Return to Me published by Momentum Publishing. Buy it




"Be an Angel Day" #Giveaway ~~ ( #win #Free #books )


"Fresh Beginnings", the third book in the "Beginnings" series was released at the start of this month.
A good reason to celebrate!
I'm giving away three ebooks of "Fresh Beginnings", and all can enter by following the prompts on the Rafflecopter app.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Snippet Sunday - My new WIP 17/08/14


Thank you all for visiting and commenting the last few weeks as I introduced you to my two characters of the upcoming release "Fresh Beginnings".
It's time for a new story ... as yet untitled.
Meet Jeri.

Jeri cursed at her friend’s promise. She unlocked the car and threw her bag onto the passenger seat before sliding behind the steering wheel. Cranking up the radio, the music was loud enough to ignore the outside noises. She leaned back and closed her eyes, considering forgetting about finding the one. Living alone wasn’t that bad. She liked being alone, but the thought of being alone for the rest of her life scared her.

Jeri took a deep breath, turned down the music, and grabbed her phone.

Sex on legs, my ass, honey,” she said by answering the phone and hung up.

She took the long route back home, enjoying the drive and the night lights of the city.  By the time she arrived at her house, Olivia stood in front of her door, hands on hips.

“What the hell happened?”

Thank you all for your support and kind comments.
 I do appreciate each single one of them!


Review: Bella Andre "Never too Hot" - #Review #BellaAndre #HotShots

Publisher: Bantam

ISBN:  978-0440245025

My rating: 3.5/5


Deep in the cool green mountains of the Adirondacks, wounded firefighter Connor MacKenzie has come to rebuild the 100-year-old MacKenzie family cabin – and to be alone. A horrific blaze has left him scarred inside and out and certain of two things: He’ll get back on his hotshot crew no matter what it takes, and any woman who ventures too close will not stay long.
Ginger Sinclair has been burned by a different kind of fire. Having just escaped from a bad marriage, she’s retreated to the safety of the lakeside vacation town in upstate New York to start a new life. She’s done with men, with relationships, with the danger of desires that can rage out of control – until she unexpectedly encounters Connor MacKenzie. As a hot summer on the lake grows ever hotter, they find themselves sharing a cabin and a romance that will swiftly engulf them both. (

My rating

I have to admit, the story took me by surprise. Having picked up the book merely because I read Hot Shot #1 and #2, this book contained that little bit of something which was missing in the first two stories. It had lots of clich├ęs in it, but all in all, I enjoyed reading it.

We met Connor in the previous books when he ended up in hospital after a getting severely burnt in a bushfire. Two years later, while still waiting to be re-instated to the Hot Shot crew, he takes his mind off by repairing his grandparents' cottage in the mountains of the Adirondacks, which is currently occupied by Ginger Sinclair.

While Connor is running from his from his life as it is without being a firefighter, while Ginger is running from a broken marriage, trying to find herself.

I loved the issues in this book with Connor severely scarred, yet still sexy, and Ginger the curvier woman, trying to enjoy life without her parent's money, doing what she wants to do and not what she's told to do.

One of my favourite scene is, when Connor pulls her in front of a mirror and makes her "see" how beautiful she is.

 All in all - nice read..