Tag Archives: harlequin teen

Blog Tour: Captivate – Q & A with Vanessa Garden


An absolutely gorgeous cover to capture your eye

A glittering underwater world to intrigue your imagination

A beautiful love to romance your heart

I say, how can you say ‘no’ to this book?!  Not a chance!  I’m so very privileged to have received a review copy and be part of the blog tour.  My thanks to Harlequin Books Australia and Vanessa Garden for having me on board.

The Book

captivateCaptivate (Submerged Sun #1) by Vanessa Garden

In a glittering underwater world, nothing is as it seems…

For the past twelve months since her parents’ death, seventeen-year-old Miranda Sun has harboured a dark secret — a secret that has strained the close relationship she once shared with her older sister, Lauren. In an effort to repair this broken bond, Miranda’s grandparents whisk the siblings away on a secluded beach holiday. Except before Miranda gets a chance to confess her life-changing secret, she’s dragged underwater by a mysterious stranger while taking a midnight swim.

Awakening days later, Miranda discovers that she’s being held captive in a glittering underwater city by an arrogant young man named Marko…the King of this underwater civilisation.

Nineteen-year-old Marko intends to marry Miranda in order to keep his crown from falling into the sinister clutches of his half-brother, Damir. There’s only one problem. Miranda is desperate to return home to right things with her sister and she wants nothing to do with Marko. Trying to secure her freedom, Miranda quickly forms an alliance with Robbie — Marko’s personal guard. However, she soon discovers that even underwater, people are hiding dangerous secrets…

Booktopia  |  Amazon  |  iBooks

The Author

vanessaVanessa Garden lives on the coast of Western Australia with her husband, their three chatty children, and three calming goldfish. When she is not  writing, Vanessa can be found at the local bookstore where she works part-time. Being a bookseller as well as an author, Vanessa loves nothing more than immersing herself in the exciting world of books. When she is not gushing about her favourite reads to customers, or dreaming up  her next novel, she enjoys spending time with the people she loves most.

Blog  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

Q & A with Vanessa

G’day, Vanessa, it’s lovely to have you as guest on my blog today.

I have to Googling your name but all I found is that your Western Australian & the author of ‘Captivate’ – would you mind sharing a little bit about your self?

Thanks so much for having me!

I have been writing seriously for nearly twelve years. I started writing after my first child was born and I was home looking after her. An idea for a novel came to me and I’ve never looked back. That novel will never see the light of day but it was a great practice book and so were the next two that followed. Funnily enough, when I started writing Captivate, I had a feeling it was the one that had a good chance at getting published because I simply could not stop writing it. It was an exciting time and, because I’m a pantster, I could hardly wait to find out what my characters would do next.

A few quick fun questions:

Vegemite or Nutella? Vegemite

Cats or Dogs? Can I say both?

Bushwalk or Beach? Beach

Favourite read of 2013? Bridged Kemmerer’s ‘Spark’ – I love her Elemental series.

Favourite reading spot? Outside on the outdoor couch near the garden or in the school car-park while I’m waiting for my kids to finish for the day

Favourite accompaniment to reading (eg. Chocolate, coffee, etc)?

I have a little three course ‘snack’ menu. First I’ll have something savoury like a small handful of potato chips or cheese and crackers, then chocolate, then maybe a piece of cake or a biscuit. A coffee is also a must!

What would be a “perfect novel” for you (ie. what do you think makes a perfect novel)?

A nice balance of love and danger – in a setting I’m unfamiliar with.

How do you think ‘Captivate’ rates against your standard of a ‘perfect novel’ [above]?

Actually, it ticks all the boxes. I guess I wrote the book I wanted to read 😉

What was your inspiration to write ‘Captivate’?  Was there a particular incident which first gave birth to this idea of ‘Captivate’?

Yes. A gorgeously romantic song gave me a scene inside my head (of Miranda and Marko standing in a beautiful garden) and the story quickly developed from there.

Was there a scene in the book that is based on something that’s happened to you in life?  Which part is it (please let me know if it’s a spoiler and I’ll make sure warnings are included)?

Well, Bob’s Bay is actually based on a real place called Bob’s Hollow – a place on the South-West Australian coast.  Also, I love to play the card game, War. My cousins in Slovenia taught me to play when I was a kid.

As part of your writing mode, do you doodle or draw particular scenery / characters / scenes or listen to particular music?  Could you share with us a snippet of your drawing or your playlist?  If you do neither, please share anything that helps your creative juices going

I love to make a cup of coffee and play particular music suited to the story I’m writing at the time. I also have a really daggy cardigan that I love to wear when I write during the colder months. It really makes me feel like a writer when I wear it.

Do you have a favourite writing spot?  Would share the view with us, please?

I move all over the house and write in different chairs and rooms (my writing desk is too messy to work from!) If I get stuck, then a quick trip to the local café with my laptop usually does the trick and the words start flowing again.

Lastly, would you share a couple of your favourite quotes…

From the book:

‘In all my visits to the mainland, to your world, I’ve only seen the rain once,’ he said. ‘When I stood beneath it and looked up at the sky, it was as though all the stars were falling.’

– Marko Tollin, Captivate

Of life / writing

‘Who loves, raves’

– Lord Byron

Thank you, Vanessa, for sharing some of your time with me today.  Best of luck for your future writing projects and I look forward to where you’ll be taking us to next!

Review: Waterfell

waterfellWaterfell by Amalie Howard
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Source: eARC courtesy of Harlequin Teen via NetGalley

They live underwater, in the deepest part of the sea that is closest to the centre of the earth. They are referred to as ‘monsters’. Beautiful monsters but monsters nonetheless. They are Aquarathi. They have a very old history and have a deep interest in the wellbeing of earth and especially that of the sea. That is the reason why they will interfere in human business to ensure the survival of their race. There are differing thoughts on how much they should participate in the human world, however, and this led to turmoil within the kingdom.

What interest me most is the story behind the existence of the Aquarathi followed by their culture. Whilst the story itself was pretty basic, it provided enough background for this book. There wasn’t too much of the culture though I’m hoping there will be a lot more in the next instalment. Without spoiling it too much, I just think it was quite different from what’s out there and I wish that side of things were developed a little more.

A little unfortunate that I found Nerissa to be really annoying. Although she has pretty good reasons to be how she is, it doesn’t make it easy for me to swallow. She seems to be utterly self-centred but really, it was to hide a painful past which she refuses to face. Thankfully, she grew to be tolerable until right at the very end when again she became rather annoying but again with a somewhat acceptable reason… I just didn’t want to accept it.

It was the romance and the humour which drew me through the story. Interactions between Nerissa and Lo was just adorably cute!

“What are you doing here?”
“You’re here. So I’m here, too.” His words could incinerate ice, far less a girl with a definite non-icy heart. I’m hanging on by a thread not to be a puddle on the floor.
“Oh.” It’s the only word I can translate from my brain to my mouth. Everything else is gibberish. “But you don’t work today.”
“No, but you do.” And… puddle.

Thank you, Harlequin Teen for eARC via NetGalley

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