There was standing room only at the Sydney launch of my House of Jewels series earlier this month, amid chocolate hearts, pink prosecco, mini cupcakes and generosity.
I could not be more grateful to my readers and supporters — and to the scientists and health care workers who’ve shepherded us through the pandemic to make such gatherings possible again.
I was over the moon that the team at Galaxy Bookshop — above iconic Abbeys Bookshop in Sydney’s CBD — was able to host so many of my VIPs, family, friends and writing buddies.
Galaxy, a haven for fiction, is best known for stocking sci fi, fantasy, paranormal romance, horror, game worlds books and pop culture. It also has a growing range of romance.
Australian Writers’ Centre legend Pamela Hart, who “launched” me, prompted amusement when she said there was “a natural fit between fantasy and romance”.
It was Pamela who first recognised the “romantic elements” of my writing, and I thank her for accompanying me out of the shadows at this event.
Pamela (left, in fabulous happy pants to acknowledge “feel-good fiction”) told the audience romance has changed a lot since the days of Barbara Cartland.
“Romance is now an extremely feminist genre which puts women’s needs first,” Pamela said. “In that sense it’s a very subversive genre, even though it appears so conservative on the surface”.
I thank Pamela for asserting that women must pursue their creative passions not only for their own fulfillment but to demonstrate to others, including their children, that women’s pursuits matter just as much as men’s.
I also thank Pamela for acknowledging the completion of my series.
“Writing one book is quite an achievement,” she said. “People struggle with it their whole life and never achieve it.
“To write five accomplished, well written, interesting, connected books is a great achievement.”
To hear this from Pamela, a successful author across seven genres and a distinguished writing teacher and Twitter aficionado, certainly made my day.
Pamela praised the “lyricism” of my writing in the dark moments, the well-rounded characters of all ages, and the “enormous awareness of nature” in each novel.
I explained I find solace in nature in my daily walks, taking photos of flowers and other everyday beauty for my Instagram account @JakemanAmber. There’s such richness in the world if only we stop to look at it.
In a neat segue to thanks, sales and signings, Pamela kindly directed readers to my books for other “riches”.
Whether or not you were able to make the launch, please know that your feedback means the world to me.
One VIP even sent a bunch of flowers which arrived in the middle of the event, from the appropriately named “Sweetheart” florist!
As I told the audience, I’ve acted on every piece of feedback to improve my writing. Thank you, Gail, and so many others! Without my VIPs and mentors, this series simply would not exist.
Heartfelt thanks to you all for helping me realise a dream.
Other interviews and reviews
Thanks, too, to New Zealand reviewer Pauline for sharing another review on social media, this time for Full House, the fifth book in the series.
“The author has such amazing plotting skills … balanced nicely with historical information …” Pauline wrote.
“I found the book easy to read and it flowed well … A well earned 5 star review.”
Warm thanks also to fellow author Cindy L Spear for featuring me on her website. Cindy’s perspicacious questions forced me to reflect on the Huntleys, their adventures, and the themes in each book.
“This is a very special lady with a wonderful gift for ‘feel good fiction’,” Cindy kindly wrote of me. “It has been a real honour and pleasure getting to know Amber and her House of Jewels series and characters.”
Cindy, the honour is all mine!
I thank each of you for your reviews and recommendations, all of which are helping others to discover my books.
Come and meet me!
I’m excited to announce I’ll be attending the inaugural Book Fair Australia on 26 and 27 November 2022 at Sydney Showground.
Please come and meet me and a host of other writers as we celebrate the joy of books and reading at this new literary festival. There’ll be stalls, discussion panels, workshops and more.
I also look forward to signing and selling my books at the Australian Romance Readers Association Romantic Rendezvous in Sydney on 12 February 2023 and in Melbourne on 18 February 2023.
Road tours may also be on the cards. Would you please email me if your local bookshop would be interested in hosting an author Q & A and signing session with me?
Looking for a fresh read? You might enjoy browsing the covers of these romance selections, including some from my House of Jewels series!
Clean Romance Deals includes my House of Diamonds and House of Hearts.
Sweet Second Chances includes my latest, Full House.
You can also find my House of Diamonds among these Start a New Romance Series options. (Warning: This promo includes a few “man chest” options!)
Enjoy my books
A reminder that Harry Hartog at Sydney’s Macquarie Centre, North Ryde, carries my House of Diamonds and House of Hearts paperbacks.
Galaxy Bookshop carries the entire House of Jewels paperback series. Abbeys and Galaxy also offer this handy order paperbacks online service.