Preview: Lighthouse

Jase and Devlin and the entire gang are back!

If you’ve read my debut novel The Heart Wants What It Wants and you are eagerly waiting for what happens next in the saga, then I have a treat for you! The sequel of the contemporary romance novel is set to release later this year and is entitled Lighthouse, and I’ve decided to share a portion of the first chapter for free! Just like the title of the first book made sense a bit into the story, Lighthouse will become clear as you read the sequel.

Now I should mention that if you choose to read further, there are OBVIOUS SPOILERS REGARDING THE FIRST BOOK of the series, so if you haven’t read The Heart Wants What It Wants and wish to, I highly suggest you don’t read any further. If you wish to purchase The Heart Wants What It Wants, follow this link for several e-book options.

The sequel to my debut novel will be released soon! Watch this space!

 

At the end of The Heart Wants What It Wants, Jase Morgan got his happy ending with Jordan McMahon, and Devlin Blackthorn wandered the world trying to find himself after suffering the heartbreak of his unrequited love. The friendship between the two main characters had been salvaged, but Devlin felt incomplete. After a drunken night in Las Vegas and one bad decision, Devlin found himself married to the arrogant and charming Atticus Brady. And this is where Lighthouse begins.

Similar to the format of The Heart Wants What It WantsLighthouse goes into a first person perspective of both of the main characters – Devlin Blackthorn and Atticus Brady. For the Jase fans, don’t worry; Prince Charming makes his presence well known in this sequel.

Without further ado, here is a sneak preview of Chapter One of Lighthouse! Enjoy!

Chapter 1

Devlin Blackthorn

Early-mid 2015…

 

I couldn’t imagine alcohol would be the cause of anything worse than last year – oh God, last year – but here I was, sitting in my apartment, staring at the impressive rock on my ring finger, wondering what the hell happened that fateful night in Las Vegas.

A handsome stranger – whom I admittedly despised from the get go – bought me a couple of drinks and after some very fuzzy details, I woke up next to him in bed legally married to him. Just another tragic wedding story to be added to Las Vegas’ archive.

If I needed a bigger slap in the face to stop drinking alcohol than almost losing my best friend, it was marrying someone I had only known for a few hours. Even though I was wrapped up on my warm bed in my sheets, I shivered. Married. I still didn’t know how to comprehend the fact that I was married.

Despite absolutely hating the idea of being married to someone I didn’t know – and I wasn’t exactly sure of his current whereabouts after leaving him in Vegas – I did quite like the ring he had chosen out for me. Sitting next to the more conservative platinum wedding band was a small yellow diamond surrounded by tiny, encrusted silver gems that complimented the modest, silver design; if it told me anything about my mysterious husband, it said that he had nice taste in jewellery, and a lot of money to irrationally spend on it.

I could barely make out the face of the man who had been lawfully wed to me in front of an Elvis impersonator and, God, I don’t even know who else. He was tall and handsome, with a lean, muscular build, and was arrogant as all hell. That’s all I could remember about Atticus.

Atticus…

Something told me I had to get used to that name for the foreseeable future. Well, of course I had to – he was my husband, after all.

I groaned out loud and sunk my head back into the soft cushioning of the pillow. I hadn’t told anyone of my Vegas wedding; not Jase, not Jordan, not my brother Garrett, not even my loyal confidante Monique. I could just imagine Jase’s reaction in my head, and it was enough to make me cringe.

“You what?!” he would shout at me. “Why on earth would you do something as careless and irresponsible as that? As a matter of fact, why were you drinking in the first place? You need to get your life together, Dev.”

I would be lying if I said a small part of me wasn’t still madly in love with Jase. In fact, I’d also be lying if I said a small part of me wasn’t about to use this surprise marriage as a way to show him that I was going to move on from him, as difficult as it was. The year 2014 had been hell for us, and I was glad that somehow, someway, we had come out of the other end of the tunnel barely functioning. I was going to let Jase live his life and hope that I would be in it as much as I was before.

Dwelling on my infatuation for Jase only briefly distracted me from my current situation. What on earth was I going to do?

I was sitting on my bed in Sydney, the evening before I was scheduled to move back to Velvet Springs, and this platinum circle was burning into my ring finger, reminding me of how awful my getaway escape had been. I couldn’t wait to get home and be in a familiar setting, even if it meant revealing to Jase what I had done in Vegas.

After having months off work, I couldn’t wait to get back into my writing at the Velvet Chronicle. Although the sport reporter position had been filled after my quick departure, Harvey, my editor and friend, had found a spot for me on the features team for the newspaper after my moderate amount of success in the same role at Isla Bordeaux magazine. I was fortunate enough to have this opportunity handed to me, but it certainly wasn’t the first thing on my mind right now.

There was a feint knock on my door and, sighing with relief, I got up to answer it. I had ordered a box of greasy cheese pizza to be delivered after I had finished packing; I wanted to spend my last night in the state’s capital with no regrets.

I fished the twenty-dollar note out of my back pocket and opened the door.

“Devlin?”

Oh. No. It couldn’t be… no. There was no way.

I panicked and bounced off the spot, throwing my fist out in an uncharacteristic knee-jerk reaction. The shot caught him on his eye and he let out a quick yelp of pain, but remained rooted to the ground.

I just Superman punched my husband.

“Atticus? What the f-”

“You seem surprised to see me,” he said, his brows furrowing in anger.

Watch this space. As soon as Lighthouse is released on various e-book platforms, Widow’s Lure will be the first to let you know!

– by Noah La’ulu

Review: Nobody But Him

So guys, I finally did it. I got around to finishing the romance novel I have been in the middle of for well over four months now. It’s not to say that the book was terrible, it was just because I lacked the motivation to finish off the novel. Oops.

Anywho, Nobody But Him by Victoria Purman is a romance novel set in the fictitious beachside town of Middle Point in SA, near Radelaide. The story features the two main characters, Julia Jones and Ryan Blackburn, as they encounter each other after years of trying to forget each other after that “one summer” that I’m sure everyone has had.

Follow the love story of Julia Jones and Ry Blackburn. You won't regret it!

Follow the love story of Julia Jones and Ry Blackburn. You won’t regret it!

I’m just gonna say it. There were too many mistakes in the novel that somehow made it past the editors that made it difficult for me to fully enjoy. The sub-editor in me did not approve in the slightest. I understand one mistake or two in the final copy because not everyone is perfect, but when the mistake count requires two hands, that’s when you know that someone stuffed up. With all due respect to Ms. Purman and her superiors, I really feel as if this problem should’ve been rectified before the novel hit the shelves. The wrong use of “your/you’re” was enough to do it for me.

Sub-editing aside, the storyline of it was okay. It didn’t wow me but it did make me feel that bubbly sensation inside when I am experiencing fictional love. The sprouting love, or re-love as it were, between Julia and Ry was inevitable and the developments of their relationship throughout the novel kept me reading on and on. I didn’t feel as if there were any other major stories in the book that were properly explored, but that just only shows you how important the relationship between Julia and Ry is.

I found the style of writing to be effective but I don’t think it suited my style of reading. The books I like to read and the style I like to write my novels in (shameless plug for My Best Friend and I) has action after action and quick, snappy dialogue. Nobody But Him had action and snappy dialogue but it also had a lot of detailed descriptions and imagery used in the book; the language used to illustrate these images was on point and it definitely added to the homely beach feel of Middle Point. However, because I have the attention span of a fly, I found myself lost in these words and I eventually skimmed the lovely descriptions to get to the main juice of the story – the love of Julia and Ry.

Victoria Purman managed to achieve something in this novel that not many other romance novelists manage to do – create a book heroine who isn’t a complete moron. I found myself actually liking Julia Jones, although she had her questionable moments. She wasn’t helpless or needy or whiney and was the epitome of a woman-in-charge. I liked that in her. Ry Blackburn was just a dreamboat, not gonna lie. I couldn’t help but picture Caleb Geppert in the role of Ry as I read this novel, and that is most definitely a good thing.

Solst-o-meter
Storyline: 
7.0
Style of writing: 6.2
Overall: 6.6

Nobody But Him is a keeper and I have no regrets in purchasing this book and adding it to my nearly overflowing bookcase; however, I feel as if the entire novel could have been executed better, especially without the typos and grammatical errors. That’s just me talking, especially because I’m anal when it comes to grammar and spelling. I think all you SolSatters out there would enjoy this novel.

– by Noah La’ulu

Etiquette at a Rugby League Game

It’s the NRL Grand Final. Your team is up by 14 points. There’s only 10 minutes to go. Just as your team spirit is running high, someone behind you spills their beer on your hair and attempts to start a fight with you.

Game over. Your high is ruined.

Don't be like this fat moron, please.

Don’t be like this fat moron, please.

For any sports fanatic, the atmosphere of a big league game mainly depends on your experience as a crowd spectator. If everyone is cheering and generally having a good time, there is a positive vibe floating around the audience setting a good mood amongst those in attendance.

There are times, however, when a select few people have too much fun, get a bit rowdy and ruin the atmosphere by causing disturbances and alcohol-fuelled brawls. The issues that affected the etiquette at league games range from people unlawfully accessing the field of play to throwing projectiles at the field and fighting amongst themselves.

South Sydney Rabbitohs fan and league enthusiast, 21-year-old Lara McKenzie, recalls an instance of aggression at a league game that extended to her 1-year-old son.

“Two drunken fans of the opposing team were cursing and such,” she said, “(they) were calling me a bad mother for dressing my son in Rabbitoh’s colours.”

Although incidents such as the streaker at the State of Origin 2013 decider do happen, which involved a naked man accessing the field in the last minutes of the game which halted a try and greatly interrupted play, the Security Manager for the Sydney Cricket Ground and Sports Ground Trust John O’grady said the crowd behaviour at Allianz Stadium has been good as of late.

“Our eviction rates for any particular offenders have been pretty low… might average 2 per match.

“We have zero tolerance for any offences committed in the venues.”

O’grady continued to say that most of these offences are generally alcohol related, whether that be from high intoxication or from unlawfully bringing alcohol in to the premises.

Compared to the crowd’s behaviour around 5 years ago, however, the etiquette at Allianz Stadium has improved according to O’grady and his staff.

“The evidence that I get from my (junior) supervisors (suggests) the crowd behaviour has essentially gotten much better,” he said.

If there were a scuffle between two or three people, it would be quite easy to ignore it and continue watching the game. However, if the scuffle involved a majority of the section, the same could not be said. These all-out melees are rare with the stricter enforcement placed in today’s society and at Allianz Stadium, O’grady says that he hasn’t encountered a situation that was out of control.

“You may have a brawl that involves 3 or 4 people but not something that occupies a whole bay. Any issue that escalates that’s probably a little bit beyond security level… police take over.

“In general terms, major incidents that cause any levels of consternation is pretty low.”

Here are a few tips on how to properly behave at an NRL game – or any sports match for that matter:
[x] You have the right to cheer as loud as you want for your team just as much as everyone else does. Starting a fight with someone just because they support the other team is petty and stupid.
[x] It’s Australian to sling back a beer or two at a footy game with a pie and chips. Just don’t drink too much that you have to be wheeled out by security.
[x] Don’t throw crap onto the field or insult/yell at the players. It’s really disrespectful to the game that you should love if you’re in attendance.
[x] Don’t streak, for god’s sake. My poor Matty Scott deserved that try.
[x] Lastly, do not wear cocktail dresses and hooker heels to footy games. You will look stupid.

It’s always important not to forget that there are people in the audience that want to watch a good game of rugby league being played. So remember: drink responsibly and keep any unnecessary comments to yourself that might incite hatred or violence.

Stay safe and go the Brisbane Broncos for 2014!

– by Noah La’ulu

How to speak Strayan

Yeah g’day mate. Noah ‘ere with the latest blog post.

Australians have a very distinct accent and way of speaking, so much that when a character in an American TV show or film is “from Australia”, their “accent” is exaggerated so much that I don’t even recognise what country they come from. With our strong (and dead sexy) accent comes our own vernacular, something I like to call Strayan – because no real Australian says the “L” in Australian.

Advance Straya Fair!

Advance Straya Fair!

If you’re a reader from another country and have been confused as to what your Aussie pal is trying to say to you, here are a few translations for you to help you understand your friend from Down Under.

deadset – A word commonly used by hearty Australians. It is pretty much another word for “seriously” when trying to get your point across. For example: “Beyonce is such a great performer. Deadset.” or “Love and Theft are deadset legends.”

fair dinkum – A phrase used to express a number of feelings, mainly that of surprise. For example: “This Guess wallet is reduced to $50? Fair dinkum!”

durry/fag – Now don’t be offended by the latter of the two; it’s not offensive when used properly in Australia. Basically, these two are another word for “cigarette”. For example: “Can anyone spare a durry?” or “I’m going out to have a fag.”

biff – Despite it being the nickname my best friend calls me (BFFL shortened to biff), this pretty much means “fight” as in a physical scrap. Commonly associated with contact sport. For example: “Nate Myles and Paul Gallen got into a biff in Origin 1.”

onya (may be spelled on ya) – This is a phrase of congratulations, meaning “well done” basically. It is pretty much the shortened version of “good on you”. For example: “You got a new full-time job with the NRL? Onya mate!” This may be followed up with “Sonya”, making it “onya Sonya” which paints the same meaning.

spittin’ chips – A phrase used to express one’s frustration or anger. Not as common as its original phrase “spitting the dummy”. For example: “The Broncos lost to the Eels last night and I was absolutely spittin’ chips.” NOTE: The g is omitted from “spitting” for a reason.

off his/her face – A description of someone when they are completely drunk. For example: “Talia had too much to drink last night and she was off her face.” Not to be confused with “off his/her head” which basically means he or she is crazy.

bludger – Not the flying ball from Harry Potter’s “Quidditch”, but a noun used to describe someone who is lazy. For example: “Jack hasn’t moved all day. What a bludger!”

cozzies – A shortened version of “swimming costume”, and ONLY a swimming costume. For example: “We’re going to the pool in 10 so get your cozzies.”

no wackas – Derived from another Strayan phrase “no worries”. It pretty much means “that’s okay” or “don’t worry about it.” For example: “You forgot to bring my jumper? That’s okay, no wackas.”

servo – Another shortened word, this time of “service station” also known as petrol station. For example: “I need to fill up my car so I’m going to the servo.”

bloody oath – Not a vow sworn whilst covered in blood. The English translation of this would be “Yes, that is correct.” For example: “Tahan’s going to win Big Brother? Bloody oath!”

chinwag (sometimes shortened to chinny) – A conversation, as when someone speaks, their chin moves or “wags”. For example: “So I was having a chinwag with Abby last night…”

With these important words in your belt, it is important to remember to throw in a curse word here and there where you see fit because swearing isn’t as frowned upon as much as it is expected in Australia. End your sentences with the word “mate” and you have constructed yourself a good Strayan sentence.

Another important thing to learn about how to speak Strayan is this: if there is a word that is about three or more syllables and you can shorten it to one or two and still make the same meaning, do it. Why waste your time saying “literally” when you can say “litch”. Traffic becomes traff, spectacular becomes speccy, legend or legendary becomes ledge… you get the idea. When in doubt: shorten that word.

And for sobbing out loud, Aussie is pronounced like “ozzy” not “Awssee”.

– by Noah La’ulu