MuseTracks Guest – Serena Clarke

February 18, 2013

MuseTracks plays host today to a world-traveling, cheeky author of Contemporary Romance, Serena Clarke. her debut novel All Over The Place released from Crimson Romance TODAY! And to celebrate, she’s brought us an excerpt.

Welcome Serena!

WWW gives you wings – but don’t forget your roots

We’re so international these days. We zoom around the world by air – and by www. As soon as something happens, everyone knows about it. And while it’s happening, we’re sharing it on Facebook, or live tweeting it, or blogging about it. We’re plugged in and switched on. I don’t know about you, but I love feeling like I’m part of the world, no matter where or who I am.

But…could it be that having access to everything, all the time, is just too much? Too many choices, too many distractions, and too much to live up to?

All Over the Place cover

In All Over the Place, Livi meets Journey, a free-spirited believer in ‘voluntary simplicity’, a movement that embraces happiness through simpler living and mindful consumption. Livi has left one country in search of a new life, only to find that you can’t always outrun your past – and Journey’s words hit home. “Maybe what you think you’re searching for,” she says, “is just something to keep you busy, so you don’t have to look for what you really need to find.”

Despite our aspirations and achievements out there in the world, so many of us struggle to find our own true home. The truth is, home isn’t just about where, it’s also about who. The people you have around you – and that one special person who can be so hard to find.

I’m not suggesting we give up our international online lives. After all, here I am on an American blog, promoting a book set in London, New Zealand and Paris, featuring American, British, New Zealand, Swedish and Australian characters! And I’d love to ‘meet’ you on Twitter or Facebook. But while we’re busy looking here and there – all over the place – we’ll probably be happier if we remember what counts the most. Then wherever you are, as Phillip Phillips would say, you can make this place your home.

About All Over the Place

Livi Callaway has fled back to London after a reality TV disaster in New Zealand. Safely anonymous in the big city, she’s determined to stay under the radar from now on. But her attempts to build a new life are complicated by unexpected visitors from her old one, and new dangers and temptations lie in wait.

Late one night, she meets a mysteriously sexy American on the Underground – and the events that follow take her from Pooh Bear to the golden lights of Paris, via a trail of rock stars dead and alive. A family in disarray, a determined Swede, a crazed Australian and a childhood friend (who might yet be more than that) have her all over the place as she tries to discover the American’s secret – while keeping her own.

With help – and occasional hindrance – from her friends, what she eventually finds is something unexpected…sometimes, running away can lead you to exactly what you didn’t know you needed.


Livi had her hands full the next day getting the salon back in order after her time away. It was remarkable how a place could fall into disarray in such a short time.

But all day the idea niggled at her. Should she ring him? What the hell would she say? “Um, hello, I was just wondering, are you planning to knock off a rock star tomorrow? If so, could you please not?” As though any decent would-be assassin would confess immediately and cancel his plans.


By the end of the day, she was almost convinced that she was the only thing standing between Fleet Donnelly and an untimely end. How would she feel if she was back on the couch watching the late news on Tuesday night, and the story was now ‘Fleet Donnelly victim of transatlantic killer’? Brian Jones, Keith Moon, Jim Morrison…would that trail lead to one more headline? Okay, maybe it was delusional—but could she take the risk?


Cass, of course, thought absolutely not, when Livi asked her that night. Something had to be done. And if it meant Livi seeing the divine Ryan Velez again, all the better. When Livi pointed out that the divine Ryan Velez could, after all, be a twisted, dangerous madman, Cass said really, she thought probably not, but did Livi remember any of her self–defence moves?


She thought back to Len. Maybe she’d play it safe after all. The police knew what they were doing, surely.


On Tuesday morning she made sure to watch the news before she left for work. She yelled out for Cass to come and see. A reporter was outside the prison as Fleet Donnelly was released, wearing his signature jaunty hat, but looking less drug–addled than usual after his stint at Her Majesty’s pleasure. He stopped to light a cigarette and give the waiting cameras a peace sign. Time away clearly hadn’t dampened his swagger at all. Then she was reassured to see several very large bodyguards get him safely to an anonymous black car.


“He’ll probably be all right,” she said. “Don’t you think?”


Cass nodded. “Oh, I think so. More than likely.”


Neither felt a hundred percent convinced.


Click the link to buy All Over the Place

Serena’s Bio:

Serena Clarke colour

Serena grew up in a family of itchy-footed readers and dreamers – not concentrating, reading the atlas and Narnia books, and planning to escape somewhere magical as soon as she could. When she was 16, she went from New Zealand to live in Sweden for a year. It was the beginning of many travels and adventures – and quite a few disasters! She didn’t know it at the time, but eventually she’d be grateful for all the downs as well as the ups. As writers say in the face of adversity: “I can use that.” She’s now living back in New Zealand, where she writes stories reflecting her determined belief in magic, possibility, second chances and happy endings.

Find Serena here:

MuseTracks Guest – Angela Campbell – Cry Wolf

May 21, 2012

Hear that? Sounds like the theme song to The Twilight Zone. Or maybe that’s the X-Files. Whatever that strange music is, it’s perfect for today’s special MuseTracks Guest.

Witty romantic suspense author Angela Campbell as joined us  to tell us about her quirky writing. And she’s brought us an excerpt of her latest Carina Press contemporary romance CRY WOLF.

Take it away Angela!

Some of the best writing advice I ever received was from a professor at the University of South Carolina, who told me simply, “Write the type of stories you enjoy reading.”

For me, that must mean, “Write weird stuff.”

I’ve always gravitated toward reading books that feature paranormal elements or unusual heroes, heroines or situations. The stranger, the better. When I read the news online each morning, I don’t start with the regular headlines. Oh, no, not me. I go straight to the “news of the weird” link first. I also have a strange sense of humor, so I usually sit snickering at my desk for a while even after I’ve moved onto the regular news.

When I sit down to write fiction, I usually start with a premise most would label as “out there” and try to shape it into something that isn’t, or at least something that seems a little more realistic and fun. My favorite question to ask myself is “what if?”

The book I’m writing now is another unusual one, featuring a pet psychic who gets drawn into protecting two snarky pets and their sexy owner. I’m having so much fun writing it, you have no idea.

My debut novel from Carina Press, “Cry Wolf,” was also ridiculously fun to write, and its reception has been overwhelmingly positive — so I guess I’m not the only one who enjoys reading “weird stuff.”

In “Cry Wolf,” Andrea Lockhart’s job as a reporter for cheesy tabloid The Naked Truth isn’t exactly where she thought her journalism career would end up. She’s determined to make the best of it, but when her editor sends her to Woodbine, South Carolina, to investigate a werewolf sighting, Andrea decides the ridiculous assignment will be her last. Until she meets Sean Hunter.

The last time she saw Sean, he had just beat her out for the position of editor of their college newspaper, and told her she’d never make it as a reporter. Given his grand ambitions, she’s shocked to find him editing the Woodbine Weekly. Once they start competing for leads on the werewolf, Andrea becomes determined to break the story first—she can’t let Sean beat her again.

As they each get closer to finding the source of the rumors, the only thing more surprising than the truth are the feelings Sean is able to stir in her, feelings she thought she had left behind…



Andrea glanced at the man sitting across from her. “You actually keep records on this…werewolf?”

“Yep.” The animal control officer cocked a grin and slid a manila file folder with bold, black writing on it across the desk. The Werewolf Files.

Charles Browder snickered and leaned back in his chair. His voice was heavy with a Southern drawl. “Go on, take a peek if ya want. I doubt there’s anything in there of any real use, but some of it’s plenty interestin’ to read. Probably twenty or more incident reports this year alone.”

She took advantage of his generosity and picked up the folder and its contents. No matter how much she wanted this to be a non-story so she could get out of town tonight, few officials were as accommodating as Mr. Browder. It was at least an hour past his quitting time, but he’d stayed to meet with her instead of rescheduling their appointment. She’d be both rude and a fool not to at least look at the reports he’d compiled.

Andrea despised deliberate rudeness, and she was no fool, despite what those familiar with the publication she wrote for these days might think.

Damn Sean.

Working at The Naked Truth didn’t embarrass her. So why did running into Sean suddenly make her self-conscious about it? Okay, she admitted, working for a tabloid sometimes bothered her. She’d been an award-winning reporter at a large newspaper on the fast track to management. A life time ago. Before the accident. Before Lisa died. Everyone had said it wasn’t Andrea’s fault, that she shouldn’t feel responsible.

Yeah, right. Even now, four years later, Andrea lived with the guilt of her friend’s death. Living with that guilt— living with what had happened, period— had changed Andrea in so many ways.

So, writing for a tabloid wasn’t that bad in the scheme of things. After everything she’d been through, Andrea was simply glad to have a job reporting anything.

Whether you believe in things like werewolves or the Loch Ness Monster or not, I hope you’ll give my novel a chance to entertain you with the possibilities. After all, the best relationships seem to start with “What if…?”


Angela Campbell is an overachiever with a soft spot for men who dress funny. Superman, Charlie Chaplin, Dracula…she loves them all (and don’t get her started on Elvis!). In her spare time, she can usually be found browsing the comic book store or has her rear-end planted somewhere watching Intelligent television (you know – Scooby Doo/Hell’s Kitchen/ Supernatural) or having a profound movie marathon (ah, The Twilight Saga); that is, if she’s not obsessing over a good book! She currently channels all of her enthusiasm and weirdness into blogging and fiction writing. A mild-mannered reporter with almost 15 years experience as a general assignment reporter, features editor and page designer, Angela has also worked as a production assistant on TV shows, small film projects and commercials. She lives in the Southeast with her loyal companion, writing supervisor and furry best friend, Dusti.