Christine Young

I am a writer and avid reader of romances particularly historical romances. Please join me on my journey through time

Starcrossed by Carla Caruso ~ Presented by Christine

Please welcome Carla Caruso author of Starcrossed.

Carla will be awarding an eCopy of Starcrossed to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour, and choice of 5 digital books from the Impulse line to a randomly drawn host.



by Carla Caruso



– Starcrossed author Carla Caruso,

1. What or who inspired you to start writing? I have to blame my mum for always taking my sisters and me to the local library from a young age! Yup, I was (and am) a book nerd. It started with Enid Blyton and continued in my teens with Judy Blume, The Baby-Sitters Club, and Sweet Valley. I always liked easy-to-read, fun books, often with a dash of adventure. From about age five, I wanted to be a writer, but Mum pointed me in the direction of journalism as a more ‘realistic’ path. I did that first, then fulfilled the childhood dream three years ago by being published in fiction, aged 33 (you do the maths!).

  1. If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why? Ooh, probably Celeste Pretty from my ‘Astonvale’ rom-com mystery series, kicking off with A Pretty Mess. Celeste is, I guess, a bit of the clichéd bumbling chick-lit type of character. She’s a neat-freak professional organiser by trade, de-cluttering clients’ homes and offices for a living, but she always winds up getting involved in messy mysteries somehow. She was a lot of fun to write, with a cast of quirky friends and family surrounding her. Plus, her hunky builder beau, Lenny Muscat, is never far away – also a bonus!
    3. What is the best and worst advice you ever received (regarding writing or publishing)? I don’t know if this is advice I’ve heard per se, but I think it’s a mistake to blindly follow another writer’s route to publication. It’s fine to get ideas from others but find out what works best for you, from how you tackle editing to what you feel most comfortable writing to who you want to write for. Do you have the ‘voice’ to write for Mills & Boon just because your friend does? Are you actually interested in writing New Adult or is it just because it’s white-hot right now? You do have to follow the market to some degree, but you also have to follow your gut. And your time (and subgenre) will come, if it it’s meant to be. If it takes you a little longer to have success, that’s no biggie either. A few speedbumps along the way are part of the journey.
    4. Do you outline your books or just start writing? I think I’m what they call a ‘plantser’ – somewhere between a plotter and a by-the-seat-of-their-pantser – because I do a really loose outline of the book first. So it will be the main dot-points of what’s going to happen per chapter. Like, seriously, a line per point! Then I kind of tinker with the characters and their conflicts, and just get going. Different scenes will come to me as I write. I’m often inspired by life happening around me and will find a way to squeeze things in, from a funky, themed restaurant I’ve just been to, to a funny bumper sticker that’s made its way into my vision.

Writing out a really detailed plot first would ‘kill’ it for me creatively. I like finding the magic along the way. But everyone’s approach is different and there’s nothing wrong with that! Oh, and I keep a mini notepad in my handbag, which I’m always scrawling notes in – from manuscript tweaks to future scene ideas. I’m always plotting in a way!

  1. Do you have any hobbies and does the knowledge you’ve gained from these carry over into your characters or the plot of your books? Hmm… I do like fashion and shopping, and in another life, I was a fashion journalist. So I like to mention characters’ outfits every now and again! I’m also into running, so have had a few characters who were joggers – using exercise to mull over things in their minds. Journalists and photographers also feature a lot, because journalism’s my background and photography’s my husband’s. I know I can write about those professions authentically.

Oh, and then there’s horoscopes! I have a bit of an addiction to checking my dailies, and astrology is a theme of my current book, Starcrossed. Four girls go on a cosmic retreat on rugged Kangaroo Island in South Australia… and strange things start to happen. (There’s a hunky hero, with a scorpion neck-tattoo, in the mix, too!)
6. Do you have an all-time favorite book? Sophie Kinsella’s The Un-Domestic Goddess. Or anything by the Brit queen of romantic comedy actually. Yes, I can admit to being a little inspired by her as a writer! I’m currently reading her latest, Shopaholic to the Stars. Her books are such comfort reads for me – fun, cosy and quirky.
7. Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your book? I can! I’ve been blogging about my research at The Un-Italian Wife, Despite coming from a long line of ‘domestic goddesses’, I can’t cook to save my life. So I’ve been writing a novel, inspired by my Italian ancestry and market gardening heritage, and learning to cook and be ‘more Italian’ along with the heroine in my novel. The main character, Nella Martini, has just inherited her late grandma’s market garden and wants to sell up ASAP and fulfill her dream of buying a city fashion boutique. But a handsome neighbor and other life challenges impede her plans…
8. Who is your favorite actor and actress? I always had a thing for Mark Wahlberg and his brother, Donnie, back in their Funky Bunch/New Kids on the Block days. Now, though? Jennifer Lopez seems genuinely nice (and gorgeous) and, well, Tom Hardy’s looks inspired the hunky hero in my current book, Starcrossed.
9. What is your favorite reality show? The Bachelor! We’ve just had a juicy season finish here in Australia and are now onto our first Bachelorette. It’s light entertainment; I know how manufactured it is. But more than anything, it’s a great chance for a girly catchup with friends. Hello, gossip and pizza! I’m also a fan of Celebrity Apprentice. And got into the socialite-heavy Ladies of London. Yep, can you see a theme here? Forget cooking, renovating or anything like that – I just want the glamour and gossip.
10. Anything else you might want to add?
Just a big thanks for having me on your site. Us writers love book bloggers like you! Happy reading, everybody J


Fledgling romance author Simona Gemella is hoping the rugged wilderness of South Australia’s Kangaroo Island will help reignite her creative spark after her husband walked out on her (calling her a workaholic and filing for divorce).

She’s joined her best friend, Nessie, on a health and wellness retreat at a mysterious old manor on the island, run by an astrology guru.

Though Simona’s sworn off men, she can’t help being distracted by a darkly dangerous man with a scorpion tattoo – Denham Cobalt – who’s also staying at the manor. Then strange things start to happen, including uncanny accidents and even a possible murder.

It all culminates at a masquerade party on the night of a total lunar eclipse. Will Simona survive – with her heart intact?




Regal, rather than haunted, was how Simona would describe the two-storey Sea Star Manor, their accommodation for the next week. Wheeling her bulging suitcase, Simona craned her neck to take in the vast windows, Juliet-style balcony, and sweeping, red-roofed verandah.

The old-fashioned grandeur contrasted with the flashy Ferrari 458 Italia blocking their path on the curved, gravel driveway. Simona knew the car model because Carmine had drooled over one at a motor show. This gleaming version — red, naturally — had the numberplate LEO78. Its petrol-guzzling ability didn’t seem to fit with the healthy ethos of the spa, but maybe one of the guests liked to splash the cash.

Nessie, walking ahead with a fuchsia overnight bag in the crook of her arm, looked back, an eyebrow arched. ‘Could have told you the driver was a Leo,’ she whispered. ‘I didn’t need to read the numberplate. Leos are so flashy.’

‘Haha.’ Simona smiled in return. ‘Though it could refer to anything. The driver’s name, for example.’ Her forehead creased. ‘You know, the Ferrari aside, there weren’t many vehicles in the guests’ car park. I thought this place was meant to be fully booked, and we were lucky to squeeze in this week?’

Really, it was bad timing, being the same week as her book release and with the pressure mounting for an outline of her next offering. Unfortunately, Simona hadn’t known the release date when she had agreed to tag along.

‘There are only ten rooms.’ Nessie shrugged. ‘Guess it fills up quick.’

‘I guess,’ Simona echoed, uncertainly.

Circumventing the Ferrari, parked at its look-at-me angle, Simona stepped under the arched entryway onto the tiled porch. A wind chime clanged in the blustery weather and strands of hair whipped at her face. So much for getting her ’do professionally styled. In the distance, a rooster crowed, and beyond vines to her right a glimpse of sea beckoned.

Nessie pushed on the ornate front door. It opened with a creak. As she disappeared inside, Simona was left to struggle through with her suitcase before the door closed. Typical of Nessie to be too excited to wait.

In the slightly gloomy, high-ceilinged hallway, the statue of an angel spread its wings over an intricately carved staircase on the upper landing, and a patterned maroon runner decorated the polished floor. Nessie was already distracted, picking through flyers atop a wooden hall cabinet, her overnight bag at her feet.

‘Ours is the first room, right?’ Simona prompted her friend, as she picked up their name tags and the attached old-fashioned key from the table.

‘Hmm?’ Nessie murmured, before suddenly squealing. Simona doubted this was in response to her question. She was right. Nessie turned to wave a glossy flyer in Simona’s face. ‘Oh my gosh, they’re going to have a fire-and-ice-themed masquerade party — right here — just like on that Revenge show. It’s on Saturday, the night of the eclipse.’

‘You know about that eclipse thing, too?’

Nessie waved a hand in the air. ‘Astrid mentioned something vaguely … We are so going.’ Her eyes widened. ‘Ooh, reckon I’ve got the perfect blue frock for it in my boot, too. Good thing we brought my car.’

‘Lucky you. I didn’t bring any evening gear. Gowns don’t usually go with spa resorts,’ Simona moaned. ‘Guess I’ll have to go shopping.’ Although, the main street of Kingscote, which they had whizzed through, looked anything but fashion central.

Nessie was fortunate that she used her Ford Fiesta like a second wardrobe. It was the reason she could travel so light.

Nessie leaned over and took the key off Simona, then stepping forward, she slotted it in the first door on the right. ‘I’ve got a feeling this week’s going to be life-changing, Sim,’ Nessie said as she turned the key. ‘No more partying and disorganisation for me, and less angst about your career and divorce for you. It’s like … like a fresh start.’

Simona nodded as the door swung open, and she followed Nessie inside. In pride of place was a four-poster queen-size bed with billowy white netting and a wooden chest at the end. Adding a touch of cosiness was an elaborate fireplace, and plush reading chairs by a heavily curtained window. In the very far corner, a single bed was crammed, like a last-minute addition. Everything seemed to be designed for couples.

Before Simona could take another breath, Nessie had flung her bags on the queen bed and squealed. Again. ‘I love it! It’s so olde-worlde. And by the window will be perfect for setting up my meditation altar.’

Simona swallowed a sigh. It was only day one; too early to argue. Plus, the retreat was Nessie’s idea, and she had driven them both. Simona would catch a break next.

‘It’s gorgeous. So what time did you say the welcome drinks were this arvo?’

Nessie checked her chunky, white watch. ‘An hour’s time — in the sunroom, according to my printout. Well, I might dash down the hall for a shower. Relaxation mode starts now.’

Unfortunately, a bathroom wasn’t attached to their room, which would mean long, cold trips in the dark. Joy.

‘Cool,’ Simona murmured. ‘I might unpack.’

Nessie grabbed Simona’s shoulders as she passed. ‘This week is going to be so much fun — I can feel it in my bones.



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Carla Caruso was born in Adelaide, Australia, and only ‘escaped’ for three years to work as a magazine journalist and stylist in Sydney. Previously, she was a gossip columnist and fashion editor at Adelaide’s daily newspaper, The Advertiser. She has since freelanced for titles including Woman’s Day and Shop Til You Drop.

These days, she plays mum to twin lads Alessio and Sebastian with hubby James. Visit

Buy Link:




Carla will be awarding an eCopy of Starcrossed to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour, and choice of 5 digital books from the Impulse line to a randomly drawn host.


5 comments on “Starcrossed by Carla Caruso ~ Presented by Christine

  1. Goddess Fish Promotions
    October 6, 2015

    Thanks for hosting!

  2. Mai Tran
    October 6, 2015

    What is something you want to accomplish before you die?

  3. achristay
    October 6, 2015

    Welcome to my blog. I hope you have a great tour.

  4. Carla Caruso
    October 6, 2015

    Thanks for having me!

  5. bn100
    October 9, 2015

    interesting sounding

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