Isn’t it wonderful when a project you’ve been working on comes to fruition?
I’d love to bottle that heart-thumping feeling of joy and anticipation when a dream comes true. There’s nothing like it …
This week, Destination Romance, a Serenity Press anthology, is released. It’s a project that close to my heart because:
a) I have a story in it (“Spoilt for Love”)
b) I worked on this project as editorial director from the moment the brief was conceived all the way to proofing. I read all the submissions, selected the stand-outs, edited them, copy-edited, and proofread. It took months!
The brief was similar to the one used for A Bouquet of Love, which was released by Serenity Press in 2017. Each of the ten stories were to be linked by one common place – in this case J’Adore Travel Boutique (and its staff) – and each needed to feature travel in some way.
Reading the submissions was like travelling the world – I was taken all over, from London and Paris, to New Zealand’s south and outback Australia. It’s tough having to make a decision when a lot of the stories were very good, but it had to be done. I was looking for stories that allowed readers to escape to romantic destinations while still weaving in the common elements – it was important the stories in the finished anthology could stand alone yet still be linked.
I remember writing my story. I remember giggling as my character found herself in funny situations (my short romances always end up as rom-coms). I remember being embarrassed because my husband said I had a goofy smile on my face as I was writing.
I do a lot that when I write, apparently. Make faces.
And talk to myself.
My Destination Romance story features Maggie, owner of the travel agency. She’s never gotten over losing her first love – a man who walked in and out of the Scottish cafe she was working in before she could say hello. He’s her dream husband and no one will ever match up. No one except Rafe, the guy she’s hired to fill in for another staff member. But Maggie has a policy of not mixing work and love and she does all she can to keep Rafe at arms’ length. Will she break her own rules?
It’s a rom-com, of course. I save the tear-jerking moments for my other stories. And you can bet I was thrilled with this review from Mrs B’s Books:
Spoilt for Love by Monique Mulligan
Monique Mulligan is an editor of this anthology and it is very evident that she has worked her magic on every single story featured in Destination Romance. Now it is her time to take to the stage, delivering the final piece in this anthology collection. It is a fitting end to a whirlwind set of globe trekking love adventures. Spoilt for Love grants Maggie Redmont with an opportunity to find the love of her life, which she will find close to home. There is some travel narrative threads featured in this parting story, but it is locally based, giving our country a chance to show off its startling features. Expect plenty of heart, emotion, sensual moments, fun dialogue and will they/ won’t they moments from this love story. I guarantee this concluding story, along with all the connecting stories in Destination Romance, will leave you feeling like you were just hit by cupid’s arrow!
Heart-thumping moment right there.
Mrs B was full of praise for the individual stories, and the whole anthology:
What I loved most about Destination Romance was the opportunity this anthology has served to introduce me to a whole new set of Australian women writers. There are such a diverse set of voices and new talents in this collection. Through the overarching themes of travel, romance and life experiences, along with the placement of J’Adore Travel Boutique, each story has its chance to shine thanks to capable Serenity Press team.
Getting a review like that is a dream come true.
And I love the point about being introduced to new Australian women writers, because that’s what the point of the project was – to give new writers a chance to shine. Some have never had anything published, others have had a few books or short stories published – but all are trying to make it in a tough publishing environment. To my fellow contributors – Carolyn Wren, Lisa Wolstenholme, Jean Jenkins, Renee Conoulty, Mel A. Rowe, Melanie Page, Michelle Beesley, Tanya Kean and Michelle Rule – you’re amazing and you deserve this dream-come-true moment.
To work on a project like this has been a challenging, but rewarding experience. It’s not easy making all the stories work together but it’s been worth the effort, every minute and hour of it.
And now we celebrate another book baby!
Bon Voyage Destination Romance.
Destination Romance retails at RRP $29.99. It will also be available as an eBook on all major platforms.