AWW Feature & Giveaway: Peta-Jo, Feral Bells and an Apology

The feminist touch: A romance writer’s apology

WHENEVER someone asks what I write, I want to apologise.

You see, I write romance.

Yes, yes, have your snort of derision now. I understand. We may like to read romance, but won’t necessarily admit it. Well, try admitting you write it without your face flushing slightly.

Click here for my review

When I wrote Feral Bells – my debut romantic-comedy – I was not trying to make a statement on feminism. It does reflect a contemporary woman’s decision to forgo marriage and children in favour of her career, and how real affections for another can co-opt those priorities.  But I was not illustrating how little has changed in the grand scheme of feminist things.

It’s like life… your beliefs, your social activism and your feminist agenda might not always line up so beautifully with your real life.

Every day women make judgment calls on feminism, whether they consider themselves a feminist or not. From working instead of child-rearing; from household chores to avoiding the Barbie lane at Target; from writing an article as your husband folds washing and loudly envies your life to deciding not to have that fight in front of the children.

It seems there is little we do that isn’t subjected to a feminist touch lately. When a working woman publicly admits she doesn’t consider herself a feminist, she is the subject of prominent feminists’ scoffing. But if one woman criticizes an anti-feminist woman, isn’t she too being anti-feminist?!

Riddle me that, Batman!

So it is with romance writing… I’m not making a political statement here. I’m taking the personal journey that so many of us have when our situations challenge our ideals. Whether it’s spiritual, moral or political… it’s the tension of living up to our own expectations – or failing them – that I wanted to explore.

And, of course, it centres around the most universal of themes… love.

Peta-Jo is a debut author of romantic comedy Feral Bells (available at all good bookstores and online at Her second book is due out in early 2013. She is also a mummy blogger at and can be found purchasing mock cream buns at Woolies most days.

Peta-Jo at WebsiteFacebook I Twitter I LinkedIn


Peta-Jo is offering

1 print edition of Feral Bells

Open worldwide

To Enter:

Like Peta-Jo on Facebook

& then


Entries close November 25th 2012

Winner drawn via

17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. guiltlessreader (@guiltlessreader)
    Nov 13, 2012 @ 08:25:38

    I did not snort. Nothing wrong with a well-written romance 🙂



  2. Jen Nelson
    Nov 13, 2012 @ 08:26:15

    Thanks you for the awesome giveaways Shelleyrae



  3. Kate Loveday
    Nov 13, 2012 @ 09:30:04

    i can’t seem to get the link to work for this one Shelleyrae!



  4. Audrey (Bibliosaurus Text)
    Nov 13, 2012 @ 11:59:40

    I always like seeing the Australian books you post about, since I feel like we can be very focused on American books here in the US. There’s so much more good English writing than just the stuff from the US and Great Britain 🙂



  5. Lauren @ The Australian Bookshelf
    Nov 13, 2012 @ 18:00:00

    Even though romance is one of my favourite genres, I still blush a little when I say I read or write it too. Hopefully the stigma will disappear one day! Great post and thank you for the giveaway.



  6. Trackback: Review: Feral Bells by Peta Jo « book'd out
  7. Marcia Bezuidenhout
    Nov 13, 2012 @ 18:58:46

    Thanks for hosting the giveaway Shelleyrae – sounds like a great book.



  8. Marg
    Nov 13, 2012 @ 21:50:43

    I don’t have any trouble admitting that I read romance, or any other genre really!



  9. Mary Preston
    Nov 13, 2012 @ 23:29:26

    We really do need to change how people view readers, and writers, of Romance. After all, what the world needs is more love.

    It’s been ages since I had a Mock Cream Bun.

    I look forward to reading FERAL BELLS.



  10. Val Pearson
    Nov 14, 2012 @ 01:32:09

    I’m a romance freak so instead of snorting, you got a huge whoooohoooo! I haven’t read many authors that aren’t American for the simple reason I’ve not been exposed to them. So that being said, I can’t wait to read “Feral Bells”. Thank you for the giveaway and thank you for giving us a glimpse into the book. Congratulations on being a debut author!



    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Nov 14, 2012 @ 14:56:02

      It can be difficult to find books by Australian authors overseas but that is changing slowly as publishing becomes a global concern



  11. April
    Nov 14, 2012 @ 14:50:46

    I am really surprised about how much I wanted to read this book after I read the review. I don’t think it sounds like a traditional “romance” at all.



    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Nov 14, 2012 @ 14:57:23

      You are right April, though there is a traditional romantic connection at it’s core, Feral Bells is more than a love story.



  12. Jen
    Nov 16, 2012 @ 22:09:08

    I blame this book for my lack of sleep lately. It was a case of ‘ I’ll just read one more chapter”. So believable and I do like that I know most of the places in the book. I am looking forward to Peta-Jo’s next one 🙂



  13. Kaya
    Nov 19, 2012 @ 20:41:25

    Thanks for the chance to win a copy. The book looks really good 🙂



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