Guest Post: Kate Cuthbert from Escape Publishing

So, there’s been a lot of hype about Harlequin’s latest romance venture, Escape Publishing. It’s such an exciting time for romance authors in Australia right now with publishers like Escape providing such great opportunities to promote stories with a fresh Australian voice in a local setting. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make the launch night as I was interstate, but I did accept the opportunity to chat to Kate and throw some questions at the authors. Thank you so much for stopping by, Kate!

Hi Lauren! Thank you so much for having me on The Australian Bookshelf.

So I’m Kate, and I’m the Managing Editor of Escape Publishing, the new digital-first imprint from Harlequin Australia.

I thought I’d focus on three things that might best interest your readers: our Aussie authors, their new books, and what Escape Publishing is looking for and how to submit your own Aussie manuscript.

Ainslie Paton works in marketing, public relations and advertising. She lives in Sydney, and her launch title Grease Monkey Jive is her debut novel. And, if you’re wondering, she does have first hand experience with the dance scene – I asked. But now she only dances for herself. I picked up Grease Monkey because of it’s big, meaty story with a big ensemble cast, friends and families and relationships outside the main love interest. There’s a lovely, long, building story.  Plus ballroom dancing, sequins, and sparkle. And a hot surfer hero. Ainslie blogs on her website:

Keziah Hill used to work in the criminal justice system (though Australian legal system justice is no doubt a little different from the kind she dishes out in Chains of Revenge). A tree change led her to the Blue Mountains north of Sydney to focus on writing. As well as steamy erotic romance, Keziah also writes romantic suspense and takes care of her garden. Chains of Revenge is an erotic fantasy novella, and I loved it because even though the hero and heroine were always at odds power-wise, their relationship and their feelings for each other also meant they were always on even footing. Also, it was hot. You can find out more about Keziah here:

Lee Christine revealed to us during the launch celebrations that her first stories were actually songs – when she was a teenager, she dreamed of being a singer/songwriter. Which naturally prompted us all to plan a karaoke outing quick smart. Lee lives in Newcastle with her husband, and has two grown children. She’s worked in a number of settings including law and software training. In Safe Hands is her first novel and did very well on the contest circuit before I snapped it up for Escape because it’s smart, it’s savvy, it’s suspenseful, it’s sophisticated, and it scared the pants off me. You can find out more about Lee on her website here:

Rebekah Turner works as a graphic designer and admits to an addiction to stationary (which, honestly, is a vice I share). She lives in Brisbane with her husband, two kids, and a dog that you can see pictures of if you follow her on Twitter, which you should. She also loves 80s action movies. She calls them trashy. I substitute ‘awesome’. Chaos Born is Rebekah’s debut novel and I couldn’t accept this manuscript fast enough. The world-building is incredible, complex, deep, dark, sinister, yet familiar. Her heroine, Lora, limps but in a total bad-ass way. And, while there’s technically a love triangle, I’m currently recruiting everyone I know to Team Roman. Rebekah’s website is here:

Rhian Cahill will already be familiar to readers who like things a little hotter – she’s multi-published  in erotic romance, and chose Escape Publishing when she wanted to take her writing in a different direction. Rhian lives in Sydney with her husband and those of her four children who have decided not to leave home yet. When she approached me with her idea for a holiday-themed novella that would still carry her trademark heat level but move away from explicit erotic romance, I made her send it to me the next day. Christmas Wishes is still steamy, but it’s incredibly sweet, with a light-hearted touch and a sigh-worthy ending. Best of all? The sequel, New Year’s Kisses is available from Escape in December. You can learn more about Rhian on her website:  Cool Rhian fact: she also has her own app, which can be downloaded via iTunes or Google Play for info, new releases, and contests.

The launch of Escape Publishing

Want to join these awesome women? Well, Escape Publishing is open for submissions, and we are looking for everything. It has to be a romance – a strong focus on a relationship and an emotionally uplifting ending – any existing subgenre or any you care to invent. We accept manuscripts between 5000 and 250 000 words, and at the moment we’re trending at just over three months between acceptance and publication.

Our website is here:, which has submission guidelines, more information, and a super easy-to-use submission form. And, if you have any questions, you just have to ask! I’d also love to hear what you think about our titles, or if you have any fascinating ideas for our next title!

Thanks for having me!

Thank you Kate! 

Tomorrow I’ll have up a brief Q&A with each of the debut authors signed up with Escape, so check back in then for more info!

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