Giveaway: ‘Isla’s Inheritance’ paperback

If you’ve been waiting for Isla’s Inheritance to come out in paperback but haven’t quite gotten around to buying it, this may be of interest to you — I’m giving away three paperback copies over at Goodreads. The contest is running for all of February, so if you live in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US or the UK, now’s your chance to enter.

I suspect you need to have a Goodreads account to enter, although I don’t know for sure since I’m already a member.



‘Isla’s Oath’ (Isla’s Inheritance 2) release day

Button_Isla's OathThey say that new parents always freak out and obsess about their first child’s milestones, whereas with second and subsequent children they tend to be more relaxed. I only have the one actual child so I can’t comment on it, but in some ways, this definitely holds true for books.

Or maybe it’s that I’ve been so busy trying to get all three books ready for the tight release schedule that everything sort of snuck up on me!

Either way, to my surprise, today is the release day for Isla’s Oath. The book blitz will be kicking off on 23 January (at least I remembered to book it a birthday party!), which is very exciting. And, for those of you that haven’t already preordered, the buy links I have so far are here:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon Australia | Barnes & Noble
Kobo | iBooks

As this post goes live, the only one of those that says “buy” instead of “preorder” is the Amazon Australia one, because it isn’t 20 January in the northern hemisphere yet. But throughout the day, the rest of the sites will catch up with us.

(The one place I feel like I’ve really let Isla’s Oath down is that I have to work today, whereas last year I was at home when Isla’s Inheritance launched, so I got to hang out all day on Twitter like a giddy schoolgirl. Still, I know I’ll be checking retailers throughout the day, and squeeing in my office even if I can’t do it on the internet till I get home! Maybe you guys could squee on the internet for me? That’d be awesome!)

If you haven’t read the first book in the series yet and are interested, you can find the relevant purchase links here.

The all-important thank yous

I owe so much to everyone who helped during the process of producing Isla’s Oath, whether it was with a bit of advice, assistance or even just a chance to decompress.

As always, to my alpha reader, Peter — who would provide advice on anything except “the girly bits” — thank you. Luckily Shelby, my fantastic editor, was more than happy to pick up the slack! Thanks also to the rest of my cheer squad: Ali and Craig, Mikey and Karen, the Pageinators, my work colleagues, my sister Kristy, and the Aussie Owned and Read girls — especially Stacey Nash, who was simultaneously on this crazy ride for her own books, and held my hand (virtually) while I hyperventilated over what I was getting into. To the BC09 girls, and my friends on Twitter and Facebook, who’ve also provided a ton of virtual support: I couldn’t have done it without you. Thanks for putting up with how distracted I get when I’m drafting.

A special mention goes to Sharon, who came up with the name Isla’s Oath back when I was just calling the manuscript Book Two. Your title is so much snappier!

Finally, to Nathaniel, my bright little boy and the light of my life: I love you to the moon and back. No, the sun! No, infinity! I’m sorry the books don’t have pictures. xo




‘Isla’s Inheritance’ paperbacks now available

On the eve of the release of Isla’s Oath (today is your last chance to preorder it; tomorrow you’ll have to … post … order it?), I realised that although I squeed about it on Facebook, Twitter et al, I hadn’t shared the news here.


In fact, it has been for three weeks, but I got so distracted with the holiday season that I plain forgot to blog about it.

Here are the buy links I have collected so far:

Amazon US | Createspace | The Book Depository | Barnes & Noble

Last year I promised photos of me fondling the paperback when it arrived. I don’t have one of those, but I do have one of me doing my very first every author signing — in my dining room — and grinning like a loon. I hope that will do!

Isla's Inheritance in a box

Isla's Inheritance signing

Isla's Inheritance Cass signing

(Note the TARDIS pendant. Because I am a nerd. Or geek. I’m never sure which is the better term.)

Happy happy joy joy!

The colour of happiness: emotions as colours in the Isla’s Inheritance trilogy

Those who’ve read my debut novel, Isla’s Inheritance, will be aware that one the talents Isla discovers is the ability to read people’s emotions via their auras. Until she gets used to and learns to interpret the colours, this is quite overwhelming for her.

Over time, Isla built a mental list of what the different colours mean. As for me, as her creator, I had a physical list that I often referred to while writing, to make sure that I kept the colours consistent. Building this list meant I often wrote Google searches like “what is the colour of happiness?” It was interesting to see the variety of responses this turned up, and of course everyone is going to attach different moods to different colours, depending on their cultural background and personal associations. (I had happiness as a shade of pink when I wrote the books, but now I’d make it canary yellow.)

IslasOath-CPage-MD-SMLA good example is red: in Western countries it tends to be associated with passion; with strong, hot emotions. Because Isla is Australian and has that cultural filter, those are the associations she has with shades of red, whereas if she’d been from an Asian background she would probably have associated red with happiness and prosperity.

Isla’s experience of emotions of colours is almost — but not quite — like synaesthesia. I have a friend who has grapheme-color synaesthesia, meaning that her perception of numbers and letters is shaded by a colour (she doesn’t associate numbers with colours; she sees numbers as having colours). The difference in Isla’s case is that she doesn’t experience every emotion she sees as a colour. She observes it in more of a detached fashion — albeit one that swamps her vision until she gets used to it.

Here is a sample of some of the different colours I used in the trilogy, and the emotional associations that I made with them. I often used adjectives, because as you can see, you can have the same basic “colour” meaning a few different things. (Wikipedia was a fantastic resource for this!) The examples below are all toward the red end of the electromagnetic spectrum:

Sickly yellow – fear

Amber yellow – caution

Vibrant orange – terror (beyond fear)

Soft pink – compassion

Salmon pink – embarrassed, like a blush

Deep pink – happiness

Scarlet – lust

Blood red – angry, aggressive or enraged

Rose red – love

Red shot through with black – when fury has crossed over into mindless, ragey violence

For me as a writer, the most fun part was finding creative ways to describe emotions and colours mingled together. Here are some examples from Isla’s Oath, which comes out on 20 January:

Jack seemed calm—his aura a uniform light blue, like a winter sky—and I resolved to emulate him.

Jealousy and grief clashed in her aura, lime green and silvery grey.

His aura was primarily the deep blue of suspicion, but a slow tendril of sickly yellow fear curled there too.

I’d seen fear before, sickly yellow and pulsating. This boy’s fright was beyond that, a blazing orange that hit me like a punch to the gut, knocking the wind from my lungs.

What emotions do you associate with different colours? Are there any I’ve listed that you disagree with? I’d love to hear from you!

A week to go: ‘Isla’s Oath’ teaser


Isla’s Oath comes out in a week. A WEEK! I have no idea where the time went, but that kinda snuck up on me! To celebrate (and to hide my panic), I decided to share a teaser. Because everyone loves to be teased, don’t they?

If you’re interested in preordering, here are some handy links…

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon Australia | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Excerpt from Chapter Six

“I’m so sorry, Dad! I overslept.”

He glanced at his watch. “It’s almost eleven. It’s not like you to sleep so late.”

“I know, I know. Late night.”

His eyebrows shot up. “Dominic?” Although his tone was neutral, anxiety clashed in his aura, too bright for first thing in the morning.

Wincing, I glanced around, wondering where my aunt was. “No. Other stuff.” This keeping secrets thing was hard work. “I’ll tell you later. Do you mind waiting while I get ready?”

“Not at all. Your cousin’s out in the shed; I’ll go see what he’s working on.”

The shed was Ryan’s art studio. I didn’t go out there anymore, because there were several shelves of Dad’s ironwork along the back wall. I used to store his dozens of gifts to me out there, having no use for that many candleholders and coat hooks. Since my eighteenth birthday, when my duinesidhe heritage manifested, I had extra incentive. Proximity to that much iron made me lose my lunch.

Dad had offered to take the ironwork back. Sarah told him not to. “It might come in handy. You know, for stuff.”

Probably thinking of the duinesidhe that attacked him, Dad had agreed.

Refreshed after a quick shower and with minty-clean teeth, I went out onto the back porch. “Dad! You ready to go?” There was no answer, and anxiety made me grip the railing in tight hands. Only a couple of months ago I’d found Ryan passed out in the shed. “Dad? Ryan?”

“Here.” He stepped into the shed doorway and beckoned me. “I think you need to see this.”

I shook my head, staying where I was. “See what?”

“Ryan’s latest painting.”

“Can he bring it out?” I asked plaintively.

“Oh. Right.”

There was a murmured conversation in the shed. I clenched my jaw with impatience. After a couple of minutes, Dad and Ryan filed out and up onto the porch. They weren’t carrying the painting. “It’s too wet to move,” Ryan explained. He had a smudge of paint on the side of his nose, and his face was pale. “But I took a photo on my phone.”

“Clever.” I smiled.

He didn’t smile back as he handed me the phone.

At first the photo, small as it was, appeared to be an abstract style uncharacteristic of Ryan’s work—his usual preferences were either realism or comic book. The photo was comprised of curving yellow, red and orange lines, with a black shape underlying them. I shaded the phone’s screen from the sun’s glare and zoomed in to get a better look.

My eyes widened. Flames encompassed the entirety of the painting, from edge to edge, licking at the black sticks of trees and rolling across familiar ground.

It was Mount Taylor.

“Do you think this is an aislinge vision painting?” I whispered. A cold ball settled in the pit of my stomach, its tendrils of ice seeping through my body.

He nodded.


I have ‘Isla’s Oath’ news – and an excerpt to celebrate!


So it’s all happening at once in the world of my second release, Isla’s Oath. Here’s a summary in case you missed it…

Preorders are now available
(for everyone)

Isla’s Oath preorders for the ebook are now available from the following retailers: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon Australia | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

If you’re a Smashwords aficionado, the link is here. But they don’t do preorders; instead you can add the book to your preorder and I think view a sample? I confess I’m not 100% sure. (I expect the aficionados will know this already.)

Advanced Reader Copies are now available
(for book bloggers)

If you’re a book blogger, Isla’s Oath is now available for review on NetGalley. If you are going to request it and haven’t yet read the first book in the series, Isla’s Inheritance, contact me and I’ll get you a copy of that too.

Book blitz sign-ups are now available
(for bloggers)

Again, this is one for bloggers (for now!). The Isla’s Oath book blitz is running from 23–29 January (you may have guessed that from the fabulous banner above, courtesy of XPresso Book Tours!) — you can pick a day in that range to post. There will be excerpts and an interview provided, and perhaps other things if I get struck with inspiration. There’ll also be a grand giveaway of a $50 Amazon or B&N gift voucher.

Phew. I’m exhausted just thinking about it!

Here’s an excerpt from the first chapter of Isla’s Oath, to celebrate!

“Ready?” Jack asked, standing beside me. He was wearing board shorts and a tank top, his feet bare on the sandy path. Blond hair stirred in the evening breeze, brushing his shoulders. He looked like any Australian male on holiday at the beach.

Except your average male didn’t have four-inch-long ears protruding from sun-bleached hair.

“I guess.” I took a deep breath, savouring the briny smell that evoked memories of vacations with my father. I picked my way down the path to the beach, sandals clicking against my heels as I stepped between the weathered log retainers. Jack followed. The plastic bag he was holding rustled.

When we reached the beach, I shook off my shoes and picked them up, hooking them over one finger. The sand was cool under my feet; the radiant heat of the hot February day had faded into a mild summer evening. “Where to?”

Jack pointed towards the worn, even stones scattered at the feet of the towering headland. The water pounded, working patiently to undermine the rocky bluff and send it crashing into the sea. A deep rock pool shimmered in the moonlight, connected to the ocean by a winding channel that surged and retracted with the tide.

We picked our way across the stones to the empty pool. I glanced at Jack. “This is the place,” he assured me.

I nodded, trying not to feel nervous. Jack seemed calm—his aura a uniform light blue, like a winter sky—and I resolved to emulate him. Or at least try.

I could have taken a sample of that light blue calm to help me relax, but I didn’t know how to do it without damaging him. That was, after all, why I was lurking on a beach on the south coast of New South Wales in the middle of the night.

One of the shadowy rocks in the pool moved, floating towards us. I jumped, staring. The shape drifted from the shadows into the moonlight, revealing it wasn’t a rock but a head, hairless and with tiny, round ears. Two solid black eyes opened wide, examining us for a long moment before their owner stood.

Water streamed off his naked body, splashing into the pool. His skin gleamed silvery blue and his chest was broad and flat, tapering to a narrow waist. He didn’t have a bellybutton. Mercifully, the water was opaque and reached the middle of his taut belly, so I didn’t have to avert my gaze from an ironclad confirmation of his sex.

“This is your half-breed master?” The creature spoke to Jack with a watery hiss, slow and deliberate.

Jack bristled. I stepped forward. “I’m Isla.”

Cover reveal: ‘Isla’s Oath’ (Isla’s Inheritance trilogy, #2)

I’m thrilled to be able to share the cover to Isla’s Oath, the sequel to Isla’s Inheritance. As with last time, thanks go to Kim Jacobs at Turquoise Morning Press for producing such a lovely cover. Mwah!

Also, once you’re done admiring the cover, I’ve got two bonus memes sitting there below it. Both of them have teaser quotes from the book. (Also, I’m hoping to have some exciting news for both Isla’s Oath and Isla’s Inheritance this weekend. Stay tuned!)


Genre: Young adult urban fantasy

Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press

Release date: 22 January 2014

Australia is a long way from the Old World and its fae denizens … but not far enough.

Isla is determined to understand her heritage and control her new abilities, but concealing them from those close to her proves difficult. Convincing the local fae she isn’t a threat despite her mixed blood is harder still. When the dazzling Everest arrives with a retinue of servants, Isla gets her first glimpse of why her mother’s people are hated … and feared.

But Isla isn’t the only one with something to hide. Someone she trusts is concealing a dangerous secret. She must seek the truth and stop Everest from killing to get what he wants: Isla’s oath.

Add on Goodreads




Book name reveal, teasers, and other goodies…

If you’re a regular around these parts of the blogosphere, you may have noticed I haven’t been posting as much as usual in the last week or so (although I did review The Jewel by Amy Ewing over at Aussie Owned a week and a bit ago). That’s because I’ve been a tad busy, and not just with the start of the silly season.

See, for some reason, someone (um, me) thought it was a good idea to have all three books in the Isla’s Inheritance trilogy come out in the space of just over six months.

So since Isla’s Inheritance came out, we’ve been going back and forth on the edits for Isla’s Oath. And the same week I sent back the galley proof on that, my editor sent me the first-round edits on the third book in the series.

“So, what is the name of the third book?” I hear you ask. “I don’t think you’ve mentioned it before.”

No, that’s right, I haven’t. Because it’s a tiny bit spoilery. Only a tiny bit, mind you. But I feel like it’s time to let the cat out of the bag. Wanna know what it is?

Melpomene’s Daughter

*flings confetti*

It’s the last book in the trilogy and although I love all my children equally (of course), it’s maybe a tiny bit more my favourite than the other two. Because I get to gather all the big plot threads, the major plot arcs of the series, and tie them into a bow. Or cut them with a knife. You know, whatever. 😉

Melpomene’s Daughter is scheduled for release on 23 April, and Isla’s Oath on 22 January. Mark those dates down in your calendar!

In the meantime, have you guys all seen my first teaser for Isla’s Oath? This is Everest. You can tell because I put his name on the teaser. I’m a graphic design genius!


If you haven’t yet read Isla’s Inheritance, here is a handy link to the Amazon page that I prepared earlier. If you have, please consider leaving a review. And if you’ve done that too, I love you more than words can say. ❤

‘Isla’s Oath’ excerpt (and other things)

Reviews tweetIt’s been just over a month since Isla’s Inheritance was released, and it’s received some lovely reviews, especially on Amazon and Goodreads. If you’ve left a review, I LOVE YOUR FACE! To say thank you, I’m going to share an excerpt from the start of the sequel, Isla’s Oath. Because I know Dominic has some fans out there. 😉

A couple of admin things first, though.

If you’re a book blogger and are looking for some young adult urban fantasy to review, Isla’s Inheritance is now on NetGalley.

Also, [INSERT OBLIGATORY LINK TO AMAZON PURCHASE PAGE HERE]. That’s for the ebook. There’s still no word on the paperback (I know a bunch of people are holding out for papery goodness). When I know, you’ll know.

Isla’s Oath is on track for its 22 January release date. I’m proofing the galley now (well, not right this second — but when I’m finished writing this!). Isla_Dominic

Disclaimer: this excerpt is from an unedited proof and may differ from the final, published version.

The others were halfway to the sand. I followed them down the dunes, trying not to look too hard at the rock pool, suspended high above the waterline due to the retreating tide. Empty. At least Mako wasn’t lurking in there, watching. My gaze drifted out to the vivid blue ocean. Was that a shape, out beyond the waves? A watching face? It vanished with the next swell, and I chided myself for paranoia. But I wasn’t sure—despite Jack’s reassuring words about the sirens’ oath—that I wanted to go into the water. Visions of sentient sharks flashed behind my eyes.

Ryan spread his towel high up the beach, placing his sketchbook carefully in the centre. He started a fresh one every year. The pages on this one still sat flat and didn’t have little smudges of lead on their edges from twelve months of handling.

Gazing at the rolling waves as though mesmerised, Sarah shed her tank top, shorts and shoes, placing them in a messy pile. Her emerald swimsuit stood out like a jewel in the bright sun, bringing out the flecks of green in her eyes. I hesitated, feeling my ears burn with embarrassment, before doing the same.

Dominic stared at me, eyes wide and mouth agape. I hid a smile behind my hand, pleased he didn’t give my taller cousin more than a passing glance. Scarlet flashed in his aura. Did it represent what I thought it did? I turned my face away to hide the blush that warmed my cheeks.

Sarah squirted a generous amount of sunscreen into her palm before offering the bottle to the rest of us. Ryan and I, with painful experience to urge us on, took similar portions and made sure we didn’t miss an inch of exposed skin—although Ryan was careful not to get too much on his fingers so he didn’t smear his sketchbook.

That was going to make for an uncomfortable sunburn if he wasn’t vigilant.

Dominic hesitated. He’d removed his T-shirt and thrown it down on the pile with the rest of our clothes. “I want to work on my tan a little.” His skin already gleamed golden brown.

“Don’t be an idiot,” Sarah said, one hand on her hip. “We’re not going to baby you if you get burned.”

“I won’t!” he protested, offended.

I squeezed some more sunscreen into my palm and, before Dominic guessed what I was about to do, splatted it onto his bare chest. He squeaked and drew a breath to object. When I started to rub the white lotion across his chest, he smiled and held his arms out. His skin was warm and smooth under my fingers. I glanced up; he was gazing down at me, eyes hot.

My stomach fluttered.

“Lucky bastard,” Ryan muttered.

‘Isla’s Oath’ blurbiness

YOU GUYS! Isla’s Oath, the second book in the Isla’s Inheritance trilogy, now has its very own page on Goodreads. Feel free to go and add it to your “to read” shelf. You know, if you want to.

*stares at you*

The copy edits are back with TMP and the book is on track for a January 2015 release. Between now and then I get the super-giddy joy of another cover reveal too. I can’t wait to share this one with you!

Australia is a long way from the Old World and its fae denizens … but not far enough.

Isla is determined to understand her heritage and control her new abilities, but concealing them from those close to her proves difficult. Convincing the local fae she isn’t a threat despite her mixed blood is harder still. When the dazzling Everest arrives with a retinue of servants, Isla gets her first glimpse of why her mother’s people are hated … and feared.

But Isla isn’t the only one with something to hide. Someone she trusts is concealing a dangerous secret. She must seek the truth and stop Everest from killing to get what he wants: Isla’s oath.