Sunday, April 24, 2011

Clare Austin and 'Hot Flash'

Thank you for having me on your blog site today. I’m thrilled to be here and chat a bit about my LROS novel, Hot Flash.
Like many writers, I started making my stories into books for my own pleasure. I wanted to see if it could be done. The idea that anyone else would want to read my tales came only after I had written two full length novels in 2006. Hot Flash became number three.
When this story started to form in my mind I was, literally, working out in an all women’s gym.  In my oxygen deprived state…oh wait…my mind was clarified by the sweat pouring off my body…right… I decided I needed to write a book featuring women like us.
 There we were, jogging and pumping away as Cher belted out a song on the CD player, a room full of smart, beautiful, mature women. Sure, we might have a wrinkle here or there and a little cellulite on our thighs, but we know the value of relationship and never discount the virtue in good color and highlights! Though we live in a culture obsessed with youth, it is not true that it is more likely for a woman over forty to be abducted by aliens from outer space than she is to attract the hot guy. Not if we believe in ourselves.
As it turned out, Hot Flash, was the first book I submitted to publishers and agents. I felt it filled a need in a romance market rarely targeted…baby-boomers.  To me, boomer that I am, it felt like the perfect moment to spotlight mature women. We have time to read, our children, if not grown, are independent enough to allow us a modicum of freedom and we have maturity and sophistication that only experience in life can teach. Why not a heroine turning fifty years old?
Publishers in general did not agree with my market strategy. So, I put Hot Flash away.  I wrote Butterfly and sold it almost as soon as I finished it. The Fadό Trilogy was born out of the joy I had spending time with the characters in Butterfly.  Angel’s Share, the second book in the series, came out just a few months later. While I wrote the third book, Selkie’s Song, my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, asked if I had any other stories. I submitted Hot Flash to the Last Rose of Summer line.
Hot Flash is about starting over, learning to trust again and believing in one’s own value. It is about the freedom of relationship without fearful dependency, love without the urgency of youthful inexperience.
The story of Kate Aiello and Bran Sullivan is, I think, tender, filled with sensuality and emotion, but not forgetting the humor and joy that are the necessary comic relief in fiction as well as real life.
If you enjoy an in-depth story of relationships and the challenges of blending families, and a sizzling hot romance set in the exciting world of equestrian sport, this novel will capture your imagination and, hopefully, your heart.
I wrote Hot Flash for you. I hope you enjoy it.

Clare Austin

My novels are available in paperback and electronic formats from, most online booksellers and selected book stores throughout the U.S., Ireland, the U.K. and Australia.
If you would like an autographed copy of any of my books or just want to read a little more about my writing journey, please go to my website

“Sexy but sensitive, powerful but poignant---Hot Flash is not your daughter’s romance! This is a story for real women. Savor every word.”
---Award winning author---Deb Stover

About this excerpt…
The hero in my novel Hot Flash is Bran Sullivan. He’s Irish, wears his emotions shamelessly and is demonstrably affectionate to family and friends. He’s often inclined to give a  hug and kiss on the cheek. He’s a man who loves being in love.
Kate, whom Bran insists on calling Katie, is facing her fiftieth birthday, suffering hormonal hot flashes and has recently been ingloriously dumped by her philandering husband. To discourage her mother from “fixing her up” with a distant cousin, Kate lies and claims she is engaged to Bran Sullivan, her riding instructor.
But when she is caught in her deception and must confess to Bran to get his cooperation, he takes the opportunity to “seal it with a kiss.”

Excerpt from Hot Flash by Clare Austin, The Wild Rose Press 

“Katie, if it will make you happy, I’d be honored, but I think we need to seal the deal.” He pulled her to him, encircled her slender waist with one arm and slipped his other hand into her hair at the back of her neck, coaxing her to look up at him. “You asked me to do this last night…I told you I wanted you sober. Are you sober, Katie?”
“As a judge.” But she couldn’t breathe, her heart failed to pump enough blood to her brain and a sensation of heat that started at the place where his hand touched her back spread to her neck, trickled down her spine, across her belly and landed, softly, low in the cradle of her pelvis. She was certain that the source of this heat had nothing to do with waning hormones.
“Do something for me, Katie.” His breath came in soft gasps against her ear. “Believe, even if it’s only for now, when I tell you that you are the most beautiful woman who walks the earth.” He brushed her lips with his. “Believe me,” he whispered and kissed her again, his mouth soft, warm, moist and wanting.
And for that moment Kate did believe, while he tasted her, teased her with his tongue and lips. Kate Aiello, for the first time in half a century, made the conscious decision to believe that she was, for this unequivocal moment, the most beautiful woman on the planet.
Clare Austin has been courting a love of literature since reading The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins in primary school. Now, inspired by a belief in a happy ending and a passion for lyrical prose, Clare spins her own tales of romance with a touch of humor and pathos.

Clare makes her home at the foot of the Colorado Rocky Mountains with her husband, their three horses and Maggie the Cairn terrier.

The Fadό Trilogy:
Butterfly, the first book in the Fadό Trilogy
Angel’s Share, the second book of the Fadό Trilogy
Work in progress, book three in the Fadό Trilogy, Selkie’s Song

Hot Flash, a contemporary romantic women’s fiction


Sandra Koehler said...

Hello Clare. Like you, I am a baby boomer and couldn't agree more that it is a market niche overlooked not only by publishers, but retailers, etc., who only cater to the under thirty crowd. Good for you for persevering and writing about what you and all us boomers care about.

Alison Chambers

Clare Austin said...

Thanks Sandra, I was a really fun book to write. I hope you will take a look.

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Clare - I agree that there is something missing, a segment of women being under-represented, and I'm glad that you and the Last Rose of Summer authors are filling that gap!

Let's get that word out, shall we?

Ashley March said...

Hi Clare--I'm so glad to see this post! Although I'm 27, I would love to read about "mature" women. I like the idea that romance is for women of all ages, not just ones with perfect skin and bodies. I applaud you for reaching beyond the ordinary and writing about a heroine that I think a lot of readers will be interested in.

Clare Austin said...

Thanks Lynne and Ashley,
I'm not sure if writing Hot Flash was a leap of faith for me or just my naivete about the climate in the romance publishing business. I simply wrote my heart. That doesn't always get the book published...guess I was a bit lucky as well.

Hillary Seidl said...

Hi Clare,

I love the story on how Hot Flash got published! It warms my heart that you 'wrote your heart' and saw your book published. Wonderful blog post!!

Hillary Seidl