Award winning outback romance

Bookings are now open for my three 2020 residential writing retreats, co-tutored with RNA Chair Alison May. Details can be found here.

Reading

My best reads of the year

It took me far too long to get around to reading this

It took me far too long to get around to reading this

As the end of the year approaches – there’s time for one more wafer-thin book blog… which includes what I have to say are my two standout books for the year.

Both are books that I’ve read in the last few weeks… and they could not be more different.

One is a mega best seller – the other isn’t – but it should be.

One has been made into a Hollywood movie – and oh how I wish the other would be.

Both are a little outside my normal reading zone – and have convinced me that I need to move the boundaries of my reading zone…

My pick for the year is… (drum roll please) Continue reading

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Mail can be so exciting

They are so pretty.

They are so pretty.

 

It’s been an exciting week – mostly postage related.

It started when the nice parcel delivery man knocked on the door to give me a big brown cardboard box. It contained my paperback copies of Little Girl Lost.

The paperback is officially released this month. It’s lovely to have a copy to pat. And no, patting a book is not strange behaviour – every writer does it. So too do a lot of readers.

But there was most postage based excitement the very next day… Continue reading

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A sudden need for a trophy shelf

Thanks so much to the Book Buyers Best Award organisers and judges.

Thanks so much to the Book Buyers Best Award organisers and judges.

Don’t you hate it when someone’s phone goes off at a really inopportune moment. Like during a film, or a live performance. That’s why I always turn mine off, or to vibrate. Last Sunday I was at a folk club, listening to some really good music, when the phone started to vibrate in my pocket. I quickly looked at it, which is something I don’t normally do, but I was waiting for some news.

Then I had to rapidly leave the room. I had to get outside so I could jump up and down and make excited high-pitched noises without disturbing the performance. Because, you see, The Wild One has just won not one, but two awards!

If ever jumping up and down and squealing were needed, this was that moment, because I was having both author excitement and fan girl excitement.

Let me explain. Continue reading

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More reading suggestions

I have really enjoyed this series. It's always good to enter a time and place I don't know much about

I have really enjoyed this series. It’s always good to enter a time and place I don’t know much about

I thought it was time to post another of my semi irregular lists of books I’ve been reading. I’ve been sticking with comfort reads a bit of late.. so there are some old favourites here…

The Gilded Fan – Christina Courtenay (paperback)

I am a big fan of Christina Courtenay’s Japanese historical books. They are romances but set against a clash of cultures and a fascinating time and place in history. This gives the book the added depth that I like so much.

This book follows the Scarlet Kimono – another really good read – but can be read as a standalone title. It tells the story of a young woman of mixed race who is forced to leave Japan and return to England, at a time when that country is embroiled in civil war.

I read this with utter confidence in the historical and cultural facts – it’s clear the author knows of what she writes. And her passion for both the history and the culture shows through.

I was pleased to discover there is another book in this series – The Jade Lioness. I’ll be reading that soon. Continue reading

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She wrote what he said

James Patterson- photo from his Amazon author page. Such a long long list of works.

James Patterson- photo from his Amazon author page. Such a long long list of works.

Can you imagine writing with the world’s biggest-selling novelist? Taking his ideas and turning them into chapters – and then… gasp… he looks at those chapters and criticises them. He tells you exactly what you got right and wrong.

My knees shake at the very thought, but that’s what working with James Patterson is all about. Collaboration. Most of the books that come out with his name on the cover are collaborations. Some criticise him for it. Others think it’s great. And I learned because of it. Continue reading

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International Authordom

Authordom could describe authors, agents and editors from all over the world discussing the state of publishing.

Authordom could describe authors, agents and editors from all over the world discussing the state of publishing.

Ok –authordom isn’t a real word, but bear with me. I think it should be.

According to the Oxford dictionary, dom is a suffix which denotes a state or condition (freedom); rank or status (earldom); a domain (kingdom) or a class of people (officialdom).

That’s us – isn’t it? Continue reading

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Romance by the sea

The view from my balcony at the hotel

The view from my balcony at the hotel

A balcony, a sunset, a sea view and a glass of wine – no, not a romantic weekend away (I wish) – it was the 25th Annual Romance Writers of Australia conference. This had the theme Ain’t Love Grand, and was held in the lovely city of Adelaide.

This is the second time I have travelled down under for this conference… and what a great time I’ve had both times. These are my tribe – like minded readers and writers, most of whom have the same accent I have.

There were some great speakers (I will share some of that with you in the next week or two when I recover) … some fun social events… and many books, of course. Continue reading

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My very first.. first

My writing companion and inspiration for this story.

My writing companion and inspiration for this story.

They say you never forget your first – and in this case, my first first. I am talking about the first story I have written in the first person.

Normally I’m a third kind of girl… that is to say all my books are written in the third person and from multiple viewpoints.

But I have now had my first first person story published – and it’s all the cat’s fault. Continue reading

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Little Girl Lost

The lovely cover beautifully portrays the Australian outback

The lovely cover beautifully portrays the Australian outback

 

Drum Roll Please…

It’s here – the fourth book in my Coorah Creek series.

Little Girl Lost takes us back to Coorah Creek, where we meet up with Sergeant Max, Trish at the pub, Dr Adam and Dan the park ranger… all our old friends. And there are some new faces in town too.

I guess I should warn you …  this book is going to make you cry.  In a good way. At least, I hope it does because, it made me cry as I wrote it.

Little Girl Lost is inspired by a song that has haunted me since I was a small girl. That song always brings a tear to my eye.. Continue reading

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Storm troopers and stories

The two Skelligs rising out of the sea mist.

The two Skelligs rising out of the sea mist.

My visit to the Aran islands (see last week’s blog) was all about knitting, but there were two more island groups I had to see while I was in Ireland. This time it was all about language and literature and puffins with light sabres. Both islands are uninhabited, but both have stories to tell.

It started with the Skelligs – two tiny islands off the ring of Kerry, which are also in a galaxy far far away. Lacking any sort of space ship, my view of Great Skellig Island was from a headland on the mainland.

Continue reading

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Writing retreats 2020 - Intensive tutor-led retreats with Janet Gover and Alison May

Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Finalist for The Wild OneColorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence Finalist for The Wild One
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