As a mother of four school-aged children, education is a top priority for me. Being in the right catchment zone for the best school has a huge effect of where we live. I know this is an issue that faces many families in urban areas.
In rural and remote areas, however, this doesn’t happen. Often the schools are too far away to travel to each day. So thousands of families utilise distance education and School of the Air as a means of accessing primary and often secondary education.
Of course, this isn’t just a case of plonking a child in front of a computer for six hours a day. A parent, teacher or governess is required to plan and supervise the daily lessons.
For many mothers, juggling school work and station duties just has to be done. But for those who want to and can afford it, hiring a Governess is a great option.
This paid role is often taken by European girls on their Gap year as a way to experience the Outback.
Many Aussie girls take positions too. Especially the adventurous and those with an interest in education. Many go on to study teaching afterward.
My new novel The Outback Governess follows Paige a special needs teacher from Victoria who takes up a Governess position in Outback Queensland for three young children. She has no idea just how much and how quickly she would come to love the dusty, dry country, and the family who desperately need her.
Logan was heartbroken when his wife died, leaving him to raise their three children with the help of his aging parents on their remote cattle station. To avoid the constant reminder of the love he lost, he works on a mine in Mt Isa, meaning he only sees his family week on, week off.
But then tragedy strikes and Paige and Logan are forced to work together to look after the children, alone on the station. As well as being their teacher, Paige also becomes a substitute mother and teaches Logan how to be a parent again. A role he has avoided since losing his wife.
Can Paige bring the family back together or have the wounds of the past cut too deep?
It’s out 14 November but is available now to pre-order here: http://www.books2read.com/TheOutbackGoverness
Sarah Williams spent her childhood chasing sheep, riding horses and picking Kiwi fruit on the family orchard in rural New Zealand. After a decade travelling, Sarah moved to tropical North Queensland to enjoy the heat and humidity and run around after crocodiles.
When she's not absorbed in her fictional writing world, Sarah is running after her family of four kids, one husband, two dogs and a cat. She helps to run the local writers centre and supports her peers achieve their publishing dreams.
Sarah is regularly checking social media when she really should be cleaning.
You can find her online at:
On 28th January this year I wrote the first chapter of Whitsundays, my first historical single title. The book wasn't contracted when I began my story, but by March, my wonderful agent, Haylee Nash of The Nash Agency had sold it to Harper Collins, for the Harlequin Mira imprint. Today, seven months later, I wrote the last words and I cried.
I cried because I was happy.
And I cried with my characters in the final chapter.
I believe this is the best story I have written yet.
I've loved each character, and I've loved every word as I wrote the story. I loved researching the history, the landscape and the contemporary issues I've explored. I've shared some of my photographs of my research with you here. This is the longest it has ever taken me to write a book. The research was painstaking, and I enjoyed each minute of it, especially talking to the older fellows at Cannonvale who were there as children in World War 11. Taking photographs of the island landscapes that haven't changed since the 1940s, and climbing over a Catalina flying boat was as much fun as writing the story.
Now the long process of edits, and cover creation, and publicity planning begins in tandem with my publisher, Harlequin Mira.During the writing of this story, I have learned so much about the impact of World War 11 on families, and I have learned more about the dangers to our beautiful Australian environment in contemporary times.
I hope, you, my reader will love it as much as I do and learn more about the beautiful country that is Australia, more about our history, and the events that shaped the people we have become.
And recognise the dangers that today, threaten our country under the guise of development.
Stay posted. At this point, release day is 20 August 2018. One year and two days away! It will be available for pre-order a few months before that. I'll keep you informed.Now to start the next one!
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A big welcome to my dear friend, Susanne Bellamy, today. Susanne and I met at a romance writers' conference six years ago and have been great buddies ever since. She supports me in my writing, and is a fabulous critique partner. We have a great collaborative system going and I am proud to say she has trusted met to design each of her covers. It's sad to think that Wild about Harry is the last book in the fabulous Hearts of the Outback Series! Do your self a favour and read the series!
Guest post: Wild About Harry
I used to be afraid of flying. I was one of ‘those’ passengers. You know the type; white-knuckled grip on the armrests, tense posture, shallow breathing, glazed eyes turned for one last look at Mother Earth before I left it ... forever!
What changed it for me? My son.
Passionate about flying, it was a close-run thing whether he’d have his pilot’s licence before his car licence. Three days between them in the end. He got his open licence before the end of his senior year at school and his commercial licence the following year. And he got me into a small Cessna 170 and took me up, up, and away!
It could have been the stuff of total meltdown, but he was so good; calm and practical and I trusted him. He’s my son. I know him. He opened up an amazing world of small planes and showed me my hometown and district from a whole new perspective. So how does this link into my new release?
Harry Douglas, the hero of Wild About Harry, is a geologist with a passion for ... flying. He was hijacked in book 4 and I used my own experience of the first time my son made a steep (I mean STEEP) turn for that scene. Other than that one moment, I now love flying, at least with my son. My husband gave me a hot air balloon flight for my birthday last year once he recognised my hitherto unsuspected love for getting ‘high’, and I mean that literally!
Wild About Harry is book 5 in my series, Hearts of the Outback. Set in and around Mt Isa, the books are linked by location, and characters from each book pop up in other books, although each story is complete in itself. I love meeting familiar characters again, especially when I’ve previously enjoyed their company, and this group of characters have ties that bind, family and friends. I hope you enjoy them too.
Wild About Harry - Blurb:
Trying to be both father and mother to his young daughter, Harry Douglas has no interest in a new relationship. If he had known that helping Briony Middleton on a lonely Outback road would put his closely guarded secret at risk, he wouldn’t have played the white knight.
Bri has no time for relationships; her focus is on avenging her grandfather’s ill-treatment at the hands of a big mining company by gathering photographic evidence of wrongdoing and stopping a proposed super mine.
But as fate and Harry’s daughter keep throwing them together, what will Bri do when she discovers Harry’s secrets?
Buy link: http://amzn.to/2rt5Ekt
A warm welcome to the awesome Robby Dennis whose new book, Love in Speranza is now live for your reading pleasure.
I must admit the video trailer has me hooked!
Click here for the fabulous video
When passion and culture collide, secrets from long ago are revealed, forever changing lives in the sleepy town of Speranza.
Australian author Gabby Craven, travels to Speranza, Sicily, immersing herself in its culture. Enchanted by its beauty and friendly people, she quickly becomes entangled in their colourful lives. Especially that of the town’s sexy doctor Nic Ravisi. He’s the complete package, sending her temperature soaring. If only he didn’t keep retreating from her…
Dr Nic Ravisi is driven by his duty to care for the people of his home town. Turning his back on a promising career as a surgeon in the city, he chooses to live a humble life, costing him his first love. Despite the underlying pressure to marry from the well-meaning community and his mother, it’s the last thing on his mind.
When his path intersects with Gabby’s, he finds it hard to concentrate on his priorities. She’s too hard to ignore. What good can come of a short-term fling?
After a chance meeting with a mysterious older woman, Gabby uncovers a tale of lost love and a secret that could turn lives upside down. Can Gabby help her to reveal the truth and set into motion the destiny that awaits, before she returns home?
Love in Speranza takes you on a journey of love in its many forms. Love, hope and second chances.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, Robby...
I was born in Palermo, Sicily, and migrated to Australia when I was four. Most people around me had no idea I was Sicilian as I was very blonde and blue eyed as my mum is Austrian. I have always been drawn to my Sicilian roots, perhaps those first few years spent in Palermo got into my blood. I’ve had the pleasure of returning to my birthplace on several occasions and after all these years, it’s pretty much the same now as it was fifty years ago.
During these trips, I began a love affair with the culture and people and realised it was deeply ingrained in my DNA. Although I’m a typical Aussie, it thrills me to dip into my native roots and remember all the little things which were a part of my childhood. I yearn to visit “Home” more often.
As a young child, I began writing and illustrating my own “books” after seeing the movie, The Sound of Music. I was enthralled with the idea of HEA. I continued to write and illustrate throughout high school, and early adult life, until motherhood distracted me.
I enjoy interacting with people. A clown at heart, I like to impart my own brand of fun and humour. Three years ago, a shift in my health status and a new sense of joy compelled me to sit down at my computer and dabble in writing for the first time in over twenty-five years.
It led me to write several stories based on my beloved family home in Sicily. Villa Nave is a pocket of heaven where my closest relatives live and where I draw my inspiration from. Although my characters are fictional, there is often something to be found inside each one that has been inspired by someone in my life. From there, a series of books have evolved, sharing some common characters.
Working as a corsetiere for many years, including fitting breast cancer patients with prosthetics, I draw inspiration from the lives of those battling or surviving cancer. Life is filled with adversities and heart ache, a theme I often address in my stories. Three of my novels are based in Australia and deal with overcoming grief, fear and hopelessness.
I am happily married to my childhood sweetheart Paul, who is my muse, computer "tech guy", proof reader and Publishing Department. We share two grown children, Krissy and Jake, a son in law Alex and two grandsons. A menagerie of pets over the years have brought laughter and fun into the equation. My favourite pet Sully, the Silky Terrier, features in one of my stories.
Writing has enabled me to escape to a world far removed from my daily life as a sales assistant. It is a world I want to share with others. My desire is that people will not only enjoy reading my stories, but find inspiration to believe in love, hope and second chances… and perhaps yearn to travel to Sicily and indulge in a ricotta cannoli or two.
CLICK ON THE COVER or you can find them here:
Please give a big welcome to Sun Chara...who is telling us about the inspiration for her Italian Millionaire
The Inspiration behind Italian Millionaire, Runaway Principessa
I think the inspiration came from the many fairytales I’d read as a child…got my imagination whirring…and I thought why not a modern day fairytale? That’s the fairy dust part of it. But the ‘reality’ part of it came from having heard women speak on how they put their life on hold so their husbands finish their studies, and afterward, it would be the wives’ turn to do… but too often, the wife’s time to study or follow her dreams never materializes, and instead, she kinda loses her dream in place of his. I know that sometimes it happens the other way as well, and the husband puts his life on hold to take care of the wife, the family… but for this story, I focused on Peter’s grueling and demanding medical career to act as the catalyst that tore them apart. But ironically, it was his profession that reunited them. So, the fairytale & the reality mergedd in Italian Millionaire, Runaway Principessa for a HEA!
Infamous Italian neurosurgeon, Peter
Medeci, has a score to settle with his
estranged wife: her reckless bid for
independence has nearly destroyed his
Ellie, desperate to reassert herself as
more than his bedroom playmate, flees
the ‘fairytale’ for a gig in a Hollywood club
until Peter comes looking for her. For her
freedom, Ellie must spend the next three
weeks being the ‘good doctor’s wife’ in
public…and his mistress in private!
Please welcome, the talented Elizabeth Ellen Carter to my chair today, on the release day of Dark Heart. I predict this is the book that is going to set Elizabeth on the path to success. A great story, and with a cover like that... isn't it glorious...it has gone onto the list of one of my favourite covers ever! Welcome Elizabeth!
Hello, I'm an Australian author who writes historical romantic suspense.
I've always been a romantic at heart -- and a huge classic movie buff. When I was young I'd prefer to stay home on a Friday night to watch Bill Collins present a classic from the Golden Years of Hollywood to going out.
Those films introduced me to classic literature - Pride and Prejudice with Greer Garson, Ivanhoe with Elizabeth Taylor, the Woman in White with Eleanor Parker, Gone with the Wind with Vivien Leigh, and many, many more.
These tales had strong heroines, dashing heroes and lashings of adventure. I would lose myself for hours in these stories and attempt to write some of my own.
Although I did well in English and history, I wasn't exactly the most diligent student - I was too much of a daydreamer.
But I was practical enough to realise that the only job that was going to pay me for writing was being a journalist.
As it so happened, I also had a teenage crush on our local newspaper's music, TV and film reviewer. But that's a love story for another time, suffice to say that my crush and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary last month.
All of this television and film watching influenced the way I write. I see movies played out in front of my eyes, including camera angles, pans, cutaways, crossfades... it's all terrible cinematic in my head.
And it’s the reason I enjoy writing historical romantic suspense – the action provides added tension – sure the hero and heroine like each other and would make a great couple, but will they live long enough for it to happen? Of course, they do, but it’s so much fun to get from A-to-B viaTimbuktoo.
Please welcome the lovely Louise Guy to my chair today.
Happy Release day, Louise!
Hi Annie, thanks so much for having me today.I’m delighted to finally be releasing Everyday Lies, my first published book for adults. I’ve been writing fiction for a number of years and in the past two years have become well known for my children’s middle-grade fiction. I never set out to write for children, but raising an 8-year-old reluctant reader will do that to a mum/writer! It’s wonderful for me to see him, and other reluctant readers, enjoying my books and realising that the world of fiction is huge and so exciting to explore.
Recently my adult stories have been pushing more and more into the forefront of my mind; characters demanding I write their stories and get them into the hands of readers. These characters can become quite annoying at times – one minute I’m off in a magical fantasy world for children and the next a crazy woman throws open the adult fiction door in my mind and demands I tell the story of how her life was stolen! Her story is my current work in progress and whilst challenging, is also a lot of fun.My second book for adults, Fortunate Friends, will be released in November.
Everyday Lies – Blurb
For Emma and Lucie, the art of lying appears all too easy . . .
Emma Wilson has it all. Beauty, wealth, a loving and successful husband. But appearances can be deceptive. Bored and restless, her need for more fuels a dangerous craving; one she intends to keep hidden. Against her husband’s wishes and trapped in a deep web of lies, Emma returns to the family and hometown she left seventeen years earlier. Here, her lies magnify, threatening to destroy her marriage and all she holds dear.
Widowed and struggling financially and emotionally, Lucie Andrews is pushed to her limits. Delayed grief combined with an obstinate five-year-old drive her to rash decisions and reckless behavior, the consequences of which she is determined to keep secret. For Lucie, the most damaging lies are not the ones she tells others, but those she tells herself.
Thrown together by circumstance, will friendship be strong enough for Emma and Lucie to survive the fallout from their lies, or will the fragile threads of their lives continue to unravel?
Please welcome Tamar Sloan to my chair today...
Tamar, tell us a little bit about yourself and your writing journey.
Interestingly, I never considered I'd be a writer. As a child I loved to read (I devoured romance novels from the moment I discovered them), but it NEVER occurred to me that I could write one myself.
My first book came to me in a dream (so cliché, right?). But it was a beautiful dream. There were moving scenes of a boy who never came of age like every one of his kind has. It was a story about the girl who has wounds of her own (and totally underestimates her potential) and the power of their connection. A connection powerful enough to spark Noah's change, and to challenge Eden's beliefs. And it was an idea that wouldn't go away.
Many dedicated hours later punctuated by much cursing and face-palming because it was far more difficult than I realised, Prophecy Awakened was born, and it was a pretty big high when it won the Romance Writers of Australia 2015 First Kiss competition and finalised in the Heart of Denver 2015 Molly competition. The biggest high was an offer of publication from Clean Reads…although the positive reviews are up there too ; ) Now the second book in the Prime Prophecy Series, Prophecy Accepted, is set to be released later this year.
About the Author:
A school psychologist by day, Tamar channels her passion for books into creating young adult stories about discovering life and love beyond our comfort zones. She is the award-winning author of the Prime Prophecy Series. Her debut novel, Prophecy Awakened, is an epic story of a love that defies boundaries.
When not reading, writing or working with teens, Tamar can be found with her ever-patient husband and two beautiful sons enjoying country life on their small acreage in the Australian bush.
Tamar finds it deeply rewarding to share her stories and she loves to hear from her readers and fellow lovers of all things book related. You can find her at:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads
About the Book:
Eden - shy, wounded...all she wants is to finish her senior year and escape to college.
Noah - the guy who’s spent two years drifting aimlessly, not knowing why he failed to come of age as every one of his ancestors has.
When the two meet the connection is instantaneous and undeniable. A connection that has Eden running and Noah burning to know more.
A connection destined to be the catalyst for a prophecy that neither knew existed.
A prophecy others are willing to kill for.
As families rupture and struggle to realign, as their hearts connect and ignite, Eden learns to trust. But with their love and life on the line, Eden must find the power to believe.
Website | Goodreads | Amazon |B&N | iBooks | Kobo |
Please welcome Monique McDonell to my chair!
Her new release Any Way You Build it sounds fabulous!
HI there...I am an Australian author who writes contemporary women's fiction including chick lit and romance.
I have written all my life especially as a child when I loved to write short stories and poetry. At University I studied Creative Writing as part of my Communication degree. Afterwards when I was busy working in public relations I didn't write for pleasure for quite a few years although I wrote many media releases, brochures and newsletters. (And I still do in my day-job!)
When I began to write again I noticed a trend - writing dark unhappy stories made me unhappy. So I made a decision to write a novel with a happy ending and I have been writing happy stories ever since.
I am the author of six stand alone novels and novellas including Mr. Right and Other Mongrels and Hearts Afire and the Upper Crust Series. Many of my novels focus on an Australian characters meeting and visiting US characters.
I live on Sydney's Northern Beaches with my husband and daughter where I enjoy drinking copious amounts of coffee and long walks on the beach.
To learn more about my books, my writing, my caffeine obsession and my upcoming books please visit www.moniquemcdonell.com.au.
Any Way You Build It
When single-mother Sarah pulls up in front of the house her aunt left her she has three goals; help her kids be happy and healthy, find a job and stay away from men. The last year has been a hellish roller-coaster and now she needs to create a stable life where everyone, including her, has their two-feet firmly planted on the ground. What she didn’t count on was a sexy neighbour who made keeping her focus and her balance way too hard.
Todd has two rules, never date locals and even more importantly never date women with kids. Growing up with his own mother and a revolving door of ineffectual step-fathers Todd has vowed never to put anyone in that position. He’s perfectly happy living his life with his Peter-pan syndrome undisturbed – until Sarah and her two adorable children move in across the street and turn everything upside down.
Todd isn’t the kind of guy who can stand back when someone needs help and Sarah clearly needs a lot. When Sarah gets injured Todd has no choice to step in and be a good neighbour who lends a hand, because he’s definitely not helping her because he likes her, after all that would be crazy.
Opportunity, proximity and attraction mean two neighbors determined to remain single have quite a struggle on their hands.
If you like tree houses, indoor camp outs and shameless flirting you’ll love Any Way You Build It.
Any Way You Plan It is Book 6 in The Upper Crust Series
Book 1 – Any Way You Slice It
Book 2 – Any Way You Dream It
Book 3 – Any Way You Fight It.
Book 4 – Any Way You Plan It
Book 5 – Any Way You Want It
Amazon Book Link
Amazon author page
A huge welcome today to Cheryl Adnams with a trip to a winery!
In 2014 my first novel hit the ebook shelves. “Bet On It” features a winemaker named Seth Muller who, with his two brothers, runs a winery in the stunning region of McLaren Vale in South Australia.
This first novel found a following of readers who enjoy stories based in rural Australian locations. So with Seth firmly planted in the hearts of readers, I turned to his older brother Brian. Less happy go lucky than Seth, Brian hasn’t had an easy life. His wife left him shortly after the boys lost their mother to cancer. But in “Chasing the Flames”, Brian finds happiness in the arms of local café owner Trisha Carne. Their path to true love is far from smooth with a pesky journalist, Brian’s ex-wife and a catastrophic bushfire threatening to derail their new-found relationship.
The final brother, Andrew, was a challenge. A notorious playboy, I’d written myself into a corner with Drew in the first two books and had to come up with something special to turn the bad boy good. In “Handpicked”, Andrew is reunited with childhood friend Taryn. They were each others first kiss at about eleven years of age, but that doesn’t mean they just fall into each other’s arms with ease. Taryn seems eager enough and Andrew is super keen, until Taryn’s little secret is revealed and knocks Andrew for six.
I was thrilled when my followers nagged constantly for me to hurry up and release the final Muller’s Field story. The conclusion to the Muller’s stories, gave me the chance to throw in a few curve balls for fans who have come to know the Muller’s as I do – as family.
I’ll miss the Muller boys, but luckily I live less than an hour from McLaren Vale, and can visit the location of their stories to soothe my woes with a nice bottle of Shiraz.
Buy Handpicked and all the Muller’s Field books at
Annie loves sharing her writing chair with special guests! If you'd like a turn...please email her! firstname.lastname@example.org