October 18, 2012

Guest Post and GIVEAWAY with Author Toni Kenyon

Toni Kenyon
For my sins, when I contacted Cath I suggested something "Smart, Sassy and Pithy" for her blog she agreed.

I'm not sure that I've been smart, sassy and pithy all in one article in my life!

So, I thought about the reasons Cath and I connected in the first place - aside from me being a writer and Cath being a reader.

1. We both live in New Zealand - Aotearoa - the land of the long white cloud;
2. We're both imports. We were transplanted to New Zealand as youngsters from England.

I consider myself an Antipodean gal now, even though due to some inbred kind of patriotism that I don't understand, I can still be found glued to the television bawling in front of a Royal Wedding. There's something inherent about the pomp, ceremony and tradition that pulls at my heartstrings.

So then I took a moment to think about how my background (displaced youngster, struggling to come to terms with a new life, new rituals and a new country) may have influenced the way I approach writing romance novels. If you've read PRIVATE LOVE IN A PUBLIC PLACE, you'll have come to see that my take on romance is little outside the 'usual'. I realize that's a massive generalization, but my writing has been described as 'gritty' and I think that's appropriate and a fair observation.

I love the romance genre and I adore happy endings, but there's some deep-rooted, intrinsic part of me that rebels at the thought of writing a 'traditional' romance. When I look at my own personal history, the way I grew up and the effect being transplanted from my motherland had on me, it makes sense that I would rebel. One of the things I'm enjoying about indie publishing is that I no longer have to 'fit' inside the strict boundaries of a 'line' and the internet gives my work the chance to find its readership over time. As I was explaining to a friend recently as we walked the beach with my dogs, "My stories don't have to come out of the starting gate with a hiss and a roar." They can build to a slow boil - just the way I like my sex scenes... :-)

The lack of restrictions involved in shelf-life as well, means that the stories will be available on-line ad infinitum. I don't know about you, but that kinda blows my mind.

So, what is it that I've mined from the story-telling well to take it's place for eternity in the internet library? PRIVATE LOVE IN A PUBLIC PLACE is the story of Mags and Julian and essentially focuses on Mag's experience with Julian the man and Julian the mega super star. I have always been surrounded by musicians, unfortunately not of the mega super star status, but we're working on that :-) My dad was a bass player and I grew up with a double bass and Vox amplifier in my bedroom. I could often be found as a youngster gaffa taping cables down at the gigs Dad played that evening. Strangely, my husband-to-be is a musician, I sing in a band and my son is currently studying for a degree in rock music. It's not surprising that music plays a large part in my life and that experience (with a lot of help from my imagination) has translated nicely onto the page.

Here's the blurb:

Mags O'Brien lives on the alcohol-soaked, drug-enhanced concert circuit, managing out-of-control rocker Julian MacAvoy. She helps him spread his musical gospel to his adoring followers, despite the fast-spinning turnstile on his bedroom door, and the broken hearts he leaves in his wake.
Mags believes she’s immune to Julian’s magnetic personality but when controversy hits the tour, she finds herself in danger of falling at his feet, slave to his appetites and her own desire and need.
Julian refuses to be tamed, but the pressure of the ravenous crowds clamps tighter and tighter around him. His chaotic world starts to crumble when he realizes his motivation to continue touring comes from an unobtainable woman. Can he force her to make the agonizing choice between himself and her estranged husband?
An erotic and candid look at life on the road.

I hope you enjoy PRIVATE LOVE IN A PUBLIC PLACE. Book two in the series is scheduled for release in April 2013 and also keep an eye out for my short novella, THE FAN which follows the journey of one of Julian's groupies.

In the meantime, I have another couple of novels due for release. If you want to stay informed, sign up for my newsletter at http://www.tonikenyon.com 

I've been blessed to have music touch my life in various ways. Why don't you tell me how music, or a musician has touched your life.
Cath will be making a random draw from those who have commented and I'll send you a $15.00 gift voucher from your preferred ebook retail store.

Thanks for having me, Cath. It's been a pleasure.


Thank you so much for the great guest post Toni, and WOW, what an awesome giveaway :)

So come on friends, leave a comment (and include your email address)
, answering Toni's question for your chance to win that $15 gift voucher!

Giveaway will be open until next Wednesday (NZ time) and 1 winner will be drawn at Random :)

You can read my review of Private Love in a Public Place here


  1. All my man choices have been bad and they've all been musicians. That has had an impact for sure. Note to self don't do it again lol

  2. I'm here! *Toni puts a nice peppermint tea on to brew* I have herbal teas, biscuits, sweet pastries and more delights to come later in the week.

    Jessica, I know what you mean! :) Fortunately, my musician choices (and there have been a few....) have turned out pretty well.

    What they don't tell you is that all the glamour and excitement on stage translates to hours and hours and more hours *yawn* in a dark, sweaty studio, living in track pants and slippers!

    There's some great studio scenes coming in up in book 2 of the Private Love series :)

    Thanks for visiting and sharing.

  3. Coffee!! I forgot the coffee for Cath. *Prepares to make a strong, steaming brew*

  4. I hung out in the music scene alot in the late 80's and early 90's. Crazy time back then but I am a huge music lover, especially 80's metal. Bon Jovi was one band, that helped me thru some major rough patches in my life.


  5. Hi Mistress,
    Yeah - those 80's, there's some influential music that's come out of the 80's. I didn't get the Bon Jovi bug... but I succumbed to plenty of others ;-)
    Thanks for popping in.

  6. nice interview...I love the Royal Weddings too....

  7. Hi Toni,
    Hi everyone,
    Thanks for putting the coffee on Toni, I need a huge bowl of the stuff right about now!

    Hi Jessica, bad boy rockers are rather appealing though aren't they?!

    Hi BLHmistress, While I did crush on Jon Bon Jovi for a while and went to there 'slippery when wet' concert, I was mostly going through an 'I'm a teenager and I hate you all' stage in the late 80's, early 90's and listened to a lot of the Sex Pistols, Black Sabbath, The Cure, anything that annoyed my parents...I even shaved one side of my head!!

    Hi Rhonda,
    Weddings of any kind will get me teary, but a Royal wedding is like no other, absolutely love them :)

    Thanks for dropping in ladies, hope you enjoyed Toni's company...man that coffee hit the spot :)
    I'll pop back later in the week for another, and maybe snag one of those pastries too :P

  8. I love listening to music. I find it can really inspire, motivate and soothe me. I listen to all kinds but my favorite is soft rock. If the lyrics are meaningful I can listen to a song over and over!


  9. "Gives Rhonda a nice cup of peppermint tea and hands around a plate of French pastries*

    I think it's all the red and gold and flag waving by the masses that gets to me with Royal Weddings, Rhonda. Then there's also the history and knowing that you're actually watching a piece of history in the making. That's special!

  10. Hi Cath,
    I'll make sure that the coffee pot keeps perking for you all week and I'll keep a pain au chocolat aside for you - they're great with coffee :)

  11. Hi Na,
    Pull up a seat. Lyrics are wonderful things aren't they? I especially love songs that tell an entire story in their allotted three-or-so minutes.
    Help yourself to tea, coffee and pastries.

  12. *Yawn* Well it's to bed with me - it's nearly midnight here in New Zealand. I'm tucking myself in bed with a cup of warm chamomile tea. See you all tomorrow.

  13. See - it's all that coffee you were doling out why I'm still awake Toni! Great brew thanks! ;)

    *hands up* I'm another Bon Jovi fan. "You give love a bad name" still has the power to send me straight back to those girly-crush feelings. Luckily for us, Jon Bon Jovi has weathered the years well and he's still lovely to look at :) I can't say the same about such bands as Poison, Aerosmith... I'll stop now before I embarrass myself! :)

    Music is still very important in my life. I write to it - my very favourite band being Muse, who never fail to help me write certain emotional scenes when called for.

    I hadn't realised this book was part of a series Toni! How exciting! I'll be looking out for the others for sure!


  14. Like a lot of us, I'm sure, music had the biggest influence on me when I was a teenager. I can still hear certain songs/bands, and get sucked through a time vortex. Sometimes they make me cringe, sometimes smile, but it's that visceral reaction that always surprises me.

    I have PRIVATE LOVE IN A PUBLIC PLACE on the TBR list, looking forward to reading it! :)

  15. Woops forgot the email address! sherileewakelin(at)yahoo.co.nz

  16. *Puts the coffee on and toasts some raisin bread* Right, it's Friday morning here in New Zealand and we're gearing up for a long weekend. Whoopee! I plan to spend lots of time catching up on my TBR pile.

    Sorry the coffee kept you up, LaVerne ;-) Writing with music playing is just great, isn't it. We have a recording studio at home, so there's always something filtering up from downstairs!

    Yes, I have three books in the Private Love series plotted. I'm planning to have book 2 available in April 2013.

  17. Hi Sheri,
    I have nice blueberry jam for the raisin bread this morning.
    The time vortex and music is interesting isn't it. I had really tough time about ten years ago and Robbie Williams sang me to sleep for a long time. I still can't hear some of his early music without getting all melancholy.

    It's nice to hear Jules and Mags are on your TBR pile.

  18. Yummy jam, thanks, Toni. Water feeds my muse with music following a very close second. Robbie Williams, Peter Frampton, David Bowie often find the muse when she is trying to hide!
    At the moment I am writing a time 'vortex' book about a hunky 70s rock star at Glastonbury and time shifts. I am loving it! And the music gets turned up a notch higher every day!

  19. Good morning Toni,
    I LOVE raisin bread, but I usually smoother it in butter! Not the healthiest I know, but it tastes SO good :) I'm doing some baking later this morning, so I'll bring along some freshly iced cupcakes for afternoon tea...

    Hi Na,
    I am terrible with lyrics, I'm always singing (out of tune too) the wrong words! Thanks for stopping by :)

    Hiya LaVerne,
    OMGoodness Poison *clears throat*
    and to think I was in love with Bret Michaels when I was 13!
    MUSE are awesome, agree with you 100% Their music is achingly emotional and very evocative...I can see why you'd write to them :)

    Hi Sheri,
    Its funny what things make others cringe too...I made my Miss 14 cringe over the weekend by playing some New Kids On The Block...I told her they were my generations One Direction!! She was not amused ;p

    I'll pop back later with those cupcakes, hope everybody has a great day :)

  20. Hi Annie,
    Robbie Williams is great isn't he...I loved the album of Sinatra songs he did, great voice.
    He hasn't released any new material for a while though. Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed the raisin bread :)

  21. Hi Annie,

    Hang around - rumor has it that Cath's arriving back any minute with home baking!

    Glastonbury - sigh. How I'd love to attend a concert there one day - the atmosphere looks amazing. Your book sounds fascinating as well. I'll keep an eye out for that one.

    Robbie and David are a couple of my fave musicians. "Swing When You're Winning" that's the album Robbie made, Cath. The video is amazing *swoon* The man's a perfectionist - not a single move or note or anything out of place.

  22. I have butterfly cakes/angel cakes/fairy cakes...my girls all have a different name for them!
    They are yummy (I've already had two!)
    here's a photo...
    I need some help, I cant eat them all by myself you know....

  23. Gorgeous,
    Angel cakes to have with a nice soothing cup of tea. *Toni puts her feet up on the couch and settles in for a slovenly night*
    Well, we're nearly at the end of another day here in New Zealand. I wonder who'll come and visit tomorrow?

  24. Great title!

    I like all sorts of music. Most often, though, there's something classical playing in the background.

  25. Hi Roxy,
    I'm cooking bacon and eggs on toast for breakfast if you're interested =D

    I used to listen to a lot of classical when I was pregnant...I found it very calming.

    Oh gotta go, I smell the bacon burning!!
    Thanks for stopping by :)

  26. Ooh, bacon! *Rustles around in the cupboard looking for muffins to toast*
    Classical... hmm I'm not sure if I have any classical music in my collection, Roxy. If I do, it's probably a soundtrack of a local band playing with the New Zealand Symphony orchestra. I'm not sure if that counts :)
    I love the title as well - but I'm biased!

  27. my favorite artists are josh grobin, celine, whitney houston, cher, susan boyle and christian music. when i was a teenager i listened to all the motown music. captain and tennile was a favorite from the past. i would like to win the gift card so i can buy a new book. i also love christmas music. i too watched and enjoyed the royal wedding. i even have the kate bride doll lady dipap@yahoo.com

  28. Hi dipap (Anonymous)
    That's a great list of artists you've got there. I guess that's one of the wonderful things about music - there's something for everyone.
    Wow! A Kate bride doll - wonder how Kate must feel having a doll made in her likeness?
    Thanks for visiting. It's late at night again here in New Zealand and I'm settling down to read.
    Thank goodness for books and music.
    Good luck in the draw.

  29. I always feel like music connects me with people who feel the same pain, worry, and love I do. It makes me feel a little less alone in this world. Same with fiction :)

    thestephanieloves AT gmail DOT com

  30. Hi Karielle
    *digs around in the cupboard and locates a nice packet of cranberry tea*
    There is something special about connecting on a universal level with others. That's something I have always found fascinating about musicians - the power they have to bring emotions to the fore in so many people. It's one of the reasons I wrote PRIVATE LOVE IN A PUBLIC PLACE. I wanted to explore the deep emotions evoked by music and musicians. I still find it all incredibly interesting and am looking forward to exploring the concept more in the next book.
    Enjoy the tea!

  31. Hi dipap (annon),
    Wow, that is a great collection of favourites :)
    I love Susan Boyle's version of the Rolling Stones classic Wild Horses, makes me cry like a baby though :'(

    Hi Karielle,
    I couldn't have said it better myself :)
    Thanks for stopping by the blog...

    I'm late for breakfast but I'll pop back later for a coffee :)

  32. Music has been a main stay in my life. As a child of the 60's & 70's Listening to every rock band out there, The one that impacted my life the most was Pink Floyd. Not understanding as a child why. That amazing answer came much later in my life. But to know that a few that meant so much to me and that I could recite was because they were for me and my soul. I will always love all genres of music, but P.F. will be #1 in my heart and soul.

  33. Music has always played a large part in my life. I listen to music most days. Music can feed your soul, help you cry, make you think, lift your mood, and make you feel good!

  34. Well my Mom and I really got into this band called The Temper Trap. When we heard their song in 500 days of summer it was like love at first note. We got the chance to meet them one on one and go to a private acoustic thing that had us and only 10 other people. While my Mom passed on in Jan of this year I'll always listen to Temper Trap and think of her. Music is awesome!

    flockparty (at) hotmail (dot) com

  35. Hi Patches,
    Pink Floyd was a bit before my time, so I'm not much of a fan - but I applaud your dedication :)

    Hi books4me,
    Music is great for evoking emotion, which is probably why more and more authors are including play lists with their books - to help set the mood :)

    Hiya Katie,
    I'm sorry sorry for your loss, but what great memories you have...I love their song Sweet Disposition <3

    Thanks for stopping by everyone :)

  36. This looks interesting. I don't see where it's for sale though. Can you list an ISBN number? Is it an ebook?

    I'm practically tone deaf and I sing like a cat so music doesn't play a big role in my life. I use it to drown out construction and other noise (I live in Malaysia; land of the chainsaw and cement drill).

    But the blurb looks interesting.

  37. You can buy the book from Kobo Smashwords AMAZON etc, here's the Amazon link

    I also sing like a dying cat, but I'm happy doing it lol!!

  38. Wow! So I head away from the computer for eight hours or so and everyone's been having a party without me :)
    This may well be the last pot of tea I'm rustling up, so I'll pop in my favorite jasmine and green tea blend. *Toni sets the pot aside to steep*

    Hi Patches,
    Music's pretty much been a mainstay in my life as well. I think Pink Floyd were fantastic songwriters and technically brilliant musicians and producers - that's why their songs will always live on.

    Hi Books4Me,
    Like Cath said, I write with music playing in the background - sometimes the lyrics can be distracting, but most of the time the emotion of the song does help with the story telling.

    Hi Katie
    I don't know The Temper Trap, but isn't it wonderful that when you hear them you think of your Mom. I do hope the songs give you some comfort as you grieve your loss. There's something special as well about acoustic shows.

    Hi Katz,
    There's no requirement to be able to sing or play an instrument to appreciate music. Gosh, it sounds as if you live in a pretty noisy environment - I'm glad you have music to block out the industrial noise around you. Thanks for taking an interest in the book - hopefully Cath's link helped! :-)

    Really, you sing like a dying cat.... *shudders*

  39. Every time i listened to Justin Timberlake in high school my problems went away. He was my favorite singer and he helped me get through a lot!
    prettyhaydengurl at yahoo dot com

  40. Hey Janeira,
    Ohh, you're lucky last as I'm closing the giveaway, counting the entries and getting my cat to draw a name...*what?! you say*...all will be revealed soon!!!

    Cant go past some good old JT <3, he's still got it!!

    Thanks for everyone's comments, I'll post a winner soon :)

  41. Hi Janiera,
    You just snuck in before closing! ;-) Ah, yes Justin Timberlake, he's come a long way since he started out in the New Mickey Mouse Club!
    Thanks for stopping by Janiera.
    And thanks for having me all week, Cath - I've had a blast.


I'd love to hear your thoughts, so please don't hesitate to leave a comment :)

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