Grief and Writer’s Block


, , , , ,

IMG_20170408_212517My big brother Peter died 15 months ago. Sounds like such a long time when I say it like that, but somehow the memory is still painfully fresh. He was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer 10 weeks earlier, and that was all it took – 10 weeks from diagnosis to death. Not nearly enough time for me to get over my shock and have any real appreciation for what he was going through, let alone work out how I could cope with it. So I concentrated on practical things: flying into Brisbane every fortnight and staying long weekends, going to appointments with him. I packed up my house and was moving down to Brisbane to help care for him but he died suddenly, 2 days before I got there, way sooner than any of us had expected.

The funeral was blur, then instead of grieving the big brother who’d always been there for me, all of my life, I focused on my mum who had longstanding health problems because I didn’t want her to die too. Peter had been living with mum for thirty years, since dad died, so I knew she’d take his loss badly. She’d not only lost a son (unthinkable enough) she’d also lost her companion. I couldn’t comprehend that kind of loss, so I didn’t try. I just moved into her house, cleared out my brother’s things and started the long process of settling his estate while I tried to prepare mum for life without him.

13124959_1191691010841723_5811980408688105280_nIt didn’t work. She died 5 months later despite a huge effort by all our remaining family members to support her. She was frail and hiding her grief. Also hiding the fact that when no one was looking, she wasn’t eating… anyway, another funeral. This time the combined shock just seemed to numb me. I took comfort from the fact that every day, women all around the world are losing their mothers. I knew we were all trying to cope with the terrible severing that occurs when the one person in the world who loves you unconditionally is gone.

MOTHERS DAY 2018-03Just as I had when my brother died, I took refuge in keeping busy, sorting through hundreds of ornaments and photos and vases, boxes of embroidery cotton and knitting wool and dress patterns she hadn’t looked at for 40 years. She’d lived in the same house for 62 years, and for every Christmas of my life I’d sat at her table for Christmas lunch: when I’d been single, married, a mother of two, single again and then a grandmother. So much of my life sitting at that kitchen table.

The thought that I’ll have my first Christmas Day somewhere else was incomprehensible, yet somehow we all managed it. My 30 year old son hosted Christmas lunch at his house for the wider family and without mum and Peter it was impossibly strange, and so awkward it hurt my heart. We kept telling ourselves Next year will be easier. Next year will be better. And maybe it will. I hope so.

I’m coming up to 18 months since I stepped away from writing, and after 20 years as a published author, writing full-time, that’s hard. The stories that used to buzz around my brain with chattering dialogue and steamy emotions are gone – for so long now that I almost forget what it was like to live in those fictional worlds.

I’m not depressed. Rather the opposite – I’m trying to live the rest of my life because my brother didn’t get to. But I don’t have any impulse to write, and I don’t know what to do about that. It’s been so much a part of my adult life…I’m not quite sure who I am without it.

A writing teacher, mentor and manuscript assessor. Yes, I can still do that and I’m getting better at it all the time. But the year I stopped writing I had three of my Husband Series novels shortlisted in the Australian Romance Readers’ Association Top Ten Erotic Romance awards. So shouldn’t I get back to that?

I don’t know, and a decade ago I could not have imagined thinking that. I was so sure I knew what life was about and what I was on the planet for. But now I don’t. Life has slowed down into coffees that last all morning, conversations with loved-ones that feel pivotal and taking the time for self-care: eating, sleeping, tending the garden.

IMG_0420Perhaps this is the business of grief, now that my role as the executor of two estates is over. Time is the healer, and to do justice to the love that has been lost, I seem to be taking that time, lingering over life as if it’s a book I’m not ready to put down. Examining small details. Allowing a space between thoughts. Listening instead of talking all the time.

Is this normal? I don’t know. But it seems to be heading in a positive trajectory, rather than the opposite. And whether it ends in me writing again…well, I hope so. My characters were always so real to me that I miss them as if they were friends on holiday. I’d like them to come back. I want to share their highs and their lows, but I’m not promising anything. All I can do at this stage is stay with each day and give myself the best chance I can to get back to those worlds.

Time willing…


Free erotic romance to snuggle up with


, , ,

We’re coming to the end of winter here in Australia but the days are still cold enough to curl up under a quilt with a steamy romance!

If that idea seems appealing to you, I’ve got a great giveaway to share this month: over 70 titles to choose from (including my Husband Sit: Husband Series book 1) that you can download for FREE in any ebook format you choose.

Don’t waste time, CLICK NOW! This giveaway closes on September 5:

If you’ve not been to Instafreebie before, it’s an easy process to sign up, then you’ll be able to happily download any books on offer that catch your eye, and there are new giveaways each week.

If you enjoy any these books, please take the time to review them on Goodreads or your ebook retailer of choice. Authors are happy to offer these ‘free samples’ but they also need to sell some books to make a living! Reader reviews help them so much.

Thanks from me!






Lazy Days of Summer Kindle Romance Sale – June 21 to 25th


, , , , , ,


Need to fill your Kindle with romances that will make you swoon this summer? Whether you’re lazing poolside or relaxing on the sand, these books will heat you up, sizzle your skin, and melt your heart. In this choice selection there are 45+ FREE and bargain $0.99 romances to get you through the rest of summer. From sexy or sweet contemporaries to romantic comedy, historical, paranormal, romantic suspense, erotica, women’s fiction, and Urban fantasy/Sci-fi/fantasy – we’ve got you covered.

Are you excited? Then click here before the sale ends:

During this period, book 2 of my Husband Series, Husband Stay has been reduced to 0.99c so if you haven’t already grabbed a copy, this is a good time!

Husband Stay FOR WEBAngela Lata is the quiet friend, who only ever wanted two things out of life: a singing career and children. So she’s entitled to a little craziness after discovering that her cheating husband had a vasectomy before their wedding. Still, that’s no excuse to succumb to sexy man-whore Jack, even if he is so gorgeous she can barely breathe in his presence. Hadn’t she learned anything from her girlfriend’s example? The best way to get over one man is NOT to sleep with another.

The trouble is, Angela has never had good sex, let alone great sex, and on the eve of her diva dreams coming true, Jack promises her both. All it takes is one night with him to ruin her completely. Every date afterward suffers in comparison, and with her biological clock ticking loudly and her career not living up to her expectations, what she needs is father material, not pleasure-on-tap.

Tradition meets testosterone in a clash of expectations as unlikely lovers struggle to uncover what they really want from life—and each other.

You can purchase HUSBAND STAY (Husband Series Book 2) for 0.99c up until 25 June 2017 at these retailers:

Amazon Kindle:


Barnes & Noble:


Or find Husband Stay on Goodreads:

And Pinterest:

Kindle Unlimited Book Blast


, , , , ,

Are you a romance-loving Kindle Unlimited subscriber who’s looking for new authors to read? Click on the picture below to find a heap of new Kindle Unlimited books, everything from cowboy and medical romances to paranormal, erotic, sci-fi and romantic suspense. Not to mention, a heap of contemporary romances to linger over while you’re enjoying some delicious “me time”.







Kindle Unlimited Romance Books: Boxed Set


, , , , ,

If you read books on Kindle and you haven’t yet heard of Kindle Unlimited, you’re in for a delightful surprise!

Kindle Unlimited (or KU for short) is Netflix for books, and if you tear through books as fast as I do, it’s a real bargain.

As Amazon’s blurb states: Enjoy the freedom to explore over 1 million titles, thousands of audiobooks, and current magazines on any device for just $9.99 a month.

If you’re already a KU subscriber, you can click on my boxed set and settle in for some steamy, emotional romances, free of charge. If you’re not, do yourself a favor and check out a Kindle Unlimited subscription here:





March Prizes and Promotions


, , , , , , ,

Congratulations to Newsletter subscriber, Beth W who’s won a $10 Amazon Gift Card in my monthly draw. If you haven’t subscribed to my Louise Cusack News author newsletter yet (some of the people receiving this are subscribed to my website blog), you’re not in the draw for next month! But don’t worry, you can easily fix that by popping over HERE to subscribe.

arra  websiteheaderboxset

Exciting things are happening in the Erotic Romance world. Last month I shared that 3 of my Husband Series novels (above) were finalists in the Australian Romance Readers Association Awards for Best Erotic Romance of 2016. Well, the award has been presented and I was pipped at the post by Vi Keeland, who won with her book Bossman, which BTW is a fabulous read. So no hard feelings here. I’m just thrilled to have three books in the top ten, and am looking forward to publishing book #5 of the Husband Series in the next few months – look out for Cal and Rosie’s sexily-ever-after!

Husband Series Promo Set

If you haven’t started my Husband Series yet, you can always grab book #1 for free. The list of retailers is below:

And if you like my books well enough to recommend them to friends, I’ll be very grateful.

I hope you all have a fabulous March wherever you are in the world. Here in Australia we’re coming out of one of the hottest summers I can remember, so I’m looking forward to Autumn, cooler days and all the deliciousness of hearty soups and snuggling in front of my laptop with a coffee!

joeyI’m sure our local wildlife will appreciate cooler weather (and rain) as well. We’ve had quite a few kangaroos coming into the yard looking for water, and earlier this week a joey just out of the pouch got separated from his mother when the mailman frightened them. He ended up in my gated backyard (still haven’t worked out how – that’s a very high fence!) and I had to enlist neighborhood friends to coax him back out and reunite him with his mother. He was one jittery little guy! I caught him briefly on video, so if you’re interested to see him in all his delicious cuteness, click HERE.

Well, that’s it for now, folks! Happy reading until we’re chatting again, and don’t forget, if you love a book, please take the time to review it!







Book 1 is FREE


, , , , , , , , ,


I’m excited to share the news that while we wait for the Australian Romance Readers Association Awards tomorrow night (three Husband Series novels are finalists for the Best Erotic Romance of 2016), we’re celebrating already by launching book 1 of the Husband Series across all ebook platforms (not just Amazon) and making it permanently free (to lure readers into the series – Shhhh! Don’t tell.)

If you’d like an ebook copy of Husband Sit (Husband Series book 1) for free, click on THIS link and pick your retailer of choice. If any of your friends read erotic romance, I’d love you to share this information with them. And if you aren’t already signed up for my newsletter, you can do that HERE. I share private news and offer special promotions and giveaways to newsletter subscribers as well as each month giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

I hope you enjoy Husband Sit. Put on your oven mitts for the scorching sex scenes and be ready for a funny emotional romp. Book one is the raunchiest of the series but like the others that follow, it’s a full length, stand-alone erotic romance with no cliffhangers – four books, four girlfriends, each looking for sexily-ever-after with the man of their dreams…






Three day sale: grab it while it’s HOT.


, , , , , , , ,

arraHello and welcome to a shiny New Year!

I’m in celebration mode this week. The first three books of my Husband Series are currently shortlisted in the ’Favourite Erotic Romance of 2016’ award by the Australian Romance Readers Association. A fabulous validation from readers – many thanks!

For those who haven’t read the series yet, I’ve created a bargain opportunity: my Kindle box set containing all four Husband Series books has been discounted to .99c USD for a limited time.

To grab your copy and see what everyone’s talking about, click here:


In other news, I’m closing down this blog soon so I’m hoping you’ll switch over to my newsletter where I’m currently running a competition. Everyone who’s listed as subscribed to my newsletter on Valentine’s Day, is in the draw to win a $50 Amazon gift card. If you have a friend who likes erotic romance and you think they’d like to subscribe and be in the draw as well, please share this blog with them so they can follow this link to subscribe:

valentineDo have a great lead-up to the most romantic day of the year, and if you don’t have a ‘significant other’ to share romantic treats with on Valentine’s Day, can I suggest that you spoil yourself? Despite all the glamor of romance, the love you have for yourself will be the most significant love in your life, and it’s also true that you can’t give what you don’t have. So love yourself up so much you feel pampered! And then you’ll have heaps of love to overflow onto those around you.

That’s my Agony Aunt advice for the week!

Stuff your E-reader for 2017

stuff-your-e-reader-for-2017-bannerI hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas. If you’re like me and ate too much food, you may be making New Year’s resolutions about diet or exercise! But before all that hard work, you deserve a relax with some holiday reading, and I have just the opportunity for you to fill your e-Reader with some great romances.

Best-selling Australian and New Zealand authors have combined forces to offer over 75 free and $0.99 romances from sexy or sweet contemporaries to romantic comedy, historical, paranormal, romantic suspense, erotica, women’s fiction and Urban fantasy/Sci-fi/fantasy – we’ve got you covered.

The sale only lasts from Dec 27 to 30 so don’t miss out. Pop over here and stock up while you can:

You’re welcome!



Scout out the next Amazon best-seller


, , , , , , , , , , ,


Amazon has a new website: Kindle Scout where Amazon customers can ‘scout’ through unpublished books and nominate those they like for publication. This is reader-powered publishing where you get to choose what gets published and what doesn’t…

…which brings me to SILK.

Authors will tell you they love all their “babies” equally, but most will have one project that’s the book of their heart, and this series is mine. The Florentia series began it’s life over ten years ago when I first came up with the idea for a portal that joined our world with a lost world that DaVinci had discovered. Then I imagined what would happen if DaVinci’s patrons, the Medici, stole the device from him, conquered the lost world and had been ruling it for 500 years. What sort of society would they have by now? And what would happen if someone from our world stumbled into it?

During the last decade I’ve written many iterations of this story, moving it from straight Sci fi into Fantasy and now firmly into the Fantasy Romance genre. I undertook a research trip to Rome and Florence where I met Medici scholars and even stayed in a building where lesser members of the Medici had lived during DaVinci’s lifetime. In my two decades of writing, this story is the one I’ve loved the most and had the hardest time selling (maybe there’s a correlation there!)

In any case, when Kindle Scout came along, I realized this was an opportunity to share details of the Florentia series with the public to see if it has the sort of wide appeal I’m hoping it will. That’s where you come in!

As someone who subscribes to my blog, I’d love to share this with you. If you are an Amazon customer and have time during December, please pop over to Kindle Scout here: where you can see the cover, read the first 5000 words of the story and nominate SILK.  You can also check out other books you might like to nominate, and become part of the process of readers deciding what they want to see published. And if you want to share this blog post or the link to SILK on Kindle Scout with your social networks, you will earn my eternal gratitude!

As a reward from Amazon, if your nominated books are published, you’ll receive a free copy for taking the time to support them.

Thanks so much for reading this, and for being part of my journey. Writing is a solitary job, which I love, but it can feel lonely at times. So your interest in my career helps me with moral support to keep going through the tough times and the momentum to surge ahead when opportunities arise.  You’re much appreciated!