Thursday, May 23, 2013

Guest Post: "New Zealand – It's A Great Place to Set Your Book!" by Jackie Ashenden

About the Author:

"Jackie has been writing fiction since she was eleven years old. Mild mannered fantasy/SF/pseudo-literary writer by day, obsessive romance writer by night, she used to balance her writing with the more serious job of librarianship until a chance meeting with another romance writer prompted her to throw off the shackles of her day job and devote herself to the true love of her heart – writing romance. She particularly likes to write dark, emotional stories with alpha heroes who’ve just got the world to their liking only to have it blown wide apart by their kick-ass heroines.

She lives in Auckland, New Zealand with her husband, the inimitable Dr Jax, two kids, two cats and some guppies (possibly dead guppies by the time you read this). When she’s not torturing alpha males and their stroppy heroines, she can be found drinking chocolate martinis, reading anything she can lay her hands on, posting random crap on her blog, or being forced to go mountain biking with her husband."

Find Jackie OnlineWebsite | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

About the Book:
Talking Dirty with the CEO cover
Gadget journalist Christie St. John is more geek than chic. But when research for an article she has to write on online dating leads to the bed of the hottest guy she’s ever met, she knows that if the geek is to keep the hottie CEO, she’s going to have to come out of her digital shell.
Tech mogul Joseph Ashton never expected an Internet blind date to end in the best sex of his life. Yet as the chemistry between him and Christie burns out of control, he can’t help but think this woman is out for his money like all the rest. She claims she wants his heart instead – but that’s the one thing he can never give.

Guest Post-

New Zealand – It's A Great Place to Set Your Book!
by Jackie Ashenden

When I first started out writing for publication I got told by a lot of people that setting my book in New Zealand was a mistake. In fact, that's what a lot of New Zealand authors get told. Apparently readers - and American readers in particular - are suspicious of settings in places that they aren't familiar with.  

Just to be clear I do NOT agree with this assessment of American reader's tastes.

However, just in case people are unsure of or are a bit timorous about New Zealand settings, I thought I'd do a small post about what to expect when you read a book set in New Zealand.

Firstly, we're not Australian. Australia is the big continent off to your left on the map. Kiwis affectionately refer to Australia as 'the left island'. And we're not connected to Australia by a bridge either - yes, believe it or not, some people think this is true.  It actually takes a good 2 - 3 hours to fly to Aussie so it's not just a quick half hour's drive.

Secondly although there ARE a lot of sheep in NZ, they're not everywhere. I live in Auckland and I can go days without seeing a single one. ;-)

Thirdly we have cafes and ATM machines, and even an Apple store. We're pretty cosmopolitan here in NZ.

Fourthly, and funny you should ask, living here IS like living on a giant Lord of the Rings set. I've even walked up Mt Doom (and no, I didn't have a ring with me) and yes, it's bloody hard yakka (translation – hard work).

Obviously I am talking tongue in cheek. But here are a few pics to help you get your bearings if you should happen to pick up Talking Dirty with the CEO, which is set in Auckland.  

Here's Auckland Harbor. Note Sky Tower. It looks like a proper city so don't be alarmed.

The harbor IS actually in the book.

 Here is the Auckland Harbor bridge. Not as nice as Sydney's or obviously as majestic as the Golden Gate. But we rather like it (except at rush hour).

 Sheep. None appear in the story, I just thought you might like to see one.

Ugg Boots. Which are in my story. And are actually quite warm and cosy.

So there you are, not much about NZ that's too scary, right? (except that sheep. It looks kind of mad).

Anyone have any questions about scary NZ?  Ask away!



  1. No questions, but just wanted to say that I've known that NZ wasn't OZ since the 1960's... friends of my family had an exchange student from your lovely country. She stayed a year and the now women are still in touch and have had a couple of get-togethers over the years! Gads.. they are in their 70's now!!

    1. Hey girlygirl! Yeah, I think most people do, I was being very tongue in cheek. ;-) Wow that's a long time to stay in touch - how cool!

  2. Aussies claim anything good that comes out of New Zealand, makes fun of the accent and thinks it's a great part of the country to go on a holiday.

    1. Lol Fi! I love Aussies. All the Aussies I know are great chicks. :-)

  3. One of my writing partners lives in NZ and I keep telling her I'm going to come live with her for six months a year so I never have to put up with a winter ever again. Maybe next I'll ask her about driving over that bridge to Australia and see if I can't get her dander up.



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