I have a very special guest this week. Jenn J McLeod is one lovely lady, a fabulous author and Jenn and J are actually two of my longest and best author friends!
I read The Other Side of the Season last week and it had a deep emotional impact on me. Not only because it is set in my local area on banana plantains where I spent a lot of time in my late teens as my own romance blossomed in this beautiful Nambucca Valley, but because it is also a damn fine read!
Make sure you download the e-book or hurry to your nearest book store...this is a read not to be missed.
I love visiting your blog and I love visiting your beautiful hometown of Nambucca Heads, the inspiration for my latest release.
How many times have I walked that amazing V-Wall with its graffiti gallery of messages: funny, heartfelt . . . curious! Amid the memorials and marriage proposals I remember one rock in particular got my writer’s brain buzzing.
I’ve never met Dean or Brianna. I don’t know them and I don’t know if this message was intended as a proposal when Dean wrote it on an ocean breakwall rock, or if he was simply a man expressing his feelings for everyone to see. If it was a proposal, did Brianna say yes? Did she and Dean marry and live happily ever after, or did one of them meet with tragedy, or have an affair, or did they fall out of love with other?
A thousand words
how strong the
Love is that i have
for you. You are the
Love of my life the one
i want to be my wife.
Without you i dont know how i
would get through. You are my
soulmate my rock my everything.
(Transcribed from picture.)
I stood there, staring at the rock, not knowing anything—except the urge to correct his grammar!
I didn’t, of course, but I am a writer, so it was not long before I was answering all those questions in my head as I wandered along Nambucca’s famous V-Wall where there are hundreds of painted rocks, a graffiti gallery, an accidental art exhibition. Some rocks are painted over and over with new messages and many pieces show real talent. Some, like Dean’s, simply show their soul.
Anyway, the need to get home and start writing meant a speedy trip up the Pacific Highway and back to Coffs Harbour so I could get to work.
The end result is The Other Side of the Season—a story of first love, family love and forever love, and told over two time periods: 1979 and current day. And yes, readers, I am taking you on a sea change with a fictional town I’ve named Watercolour Cove—a place based very much on the Nambucca V-Wall area and the banana plantation hills of Coffs Harbour that I know so well.
Here is a little about the story . . .
The Other Side of the Season.
Everything has a reflection...
And there’s another side to every story.
When offering to drive her brother to Byron Bay to escape the bitter Blue Mountain’s winter, Sidney neglects to mention her planned detour to the small seaside town of Watercolour Cove.
Thirty-five years earlier, Watercolour Cove is a very different place. Two brothers are working the steep, snake-infested slopes of a Coffs Coast banana plantation. Seventeen-year-old David does his share, but the budding artist spends too much time daydreaming about becoming the next Pro Hart and skiving off with the teasing and tantalisingly pretty Tilly from the neighbouring property. His older brother, Matthew, has no time for such infatuations. His future is on the land and he plans to take over the Greenhill plantation from his father.
Life is simple on top of the mountain for David, Matthew and Tilly until the winter of 1979 when tragedy strikes, starting a chain reaction that will ruin lives for years to come. Those who can, escape the Greenhill plantation. One stays—trapped on the mountain and haunted by memories and lost dreams. That is until the arrival of a curious young woman, named Sidney, whose love of family shows everyone the truth can heal, what’s wrong can be righted, the lost can be found, and...
...there’s another side to every story.
My thanks to you, Dean and Brianna—whoever you are. The Other Side of the Season is not your story, but if you’re out there somewhere and reading this blog post I hope you got your happy ever after. And thank you Nambucca Heads and the V-Wall (both the wall and the tavern (a glass on wine on that deck was inspirational each time, too!)
The Other Side of the Season: Out now with Simon & Schuster Australia and available in all good bookstores and online — with BUY LINKS to all Jenn’s books on her website: www.jennjmcleod.com/book-room
Connect with Jenn on Facebook www.facebook.com/jennjmcleod.books and Twitter @jennjmcleod or join in the discussion at Readers of Jenn J McLeod Facebook group (no cat memes allowed!)
Amy Rose Bennett is one of my favourite authors... here is her latest!
A sweeping, sexy Highland romance about a wanted Jacobite with a wounded soul, and a spirited Scottish lass on the run.
Robert Grant has returned home to Lochrose Castle in the Highlands to reconcile with his long-estranged father, the Earl of Strathburn. But there is a price on Robert’s head, and his avaricious younger half-brother, Simon, doesn’t want him reclaiming his birthright. And it’s not only Simon and the redcoats that threaten to destroy Robert’s plans after a flame-haired complication of the feminine kind enters the scene...
Jessie Munroe is forced to flee Lochrose Castle after the dissolute Simon Grant tries to coerce her into becoming his mistress. After a fateful encounter with a mysterious and handsome hunter, Robert, in a remote Highland glen, she throws her lot in with the stranger—even though she suspects he is a fugitive. She soon realizes that this man is dangerous in an entirely different way to Simon...
Despite their searing attraction, Robert and Jessie struggle to trust each other as they both seek a place to call home. The stakes are high and only one thing is certain: Simon Grant is in pursuit of them both...
Barnes & Noble: http://ow.ly/102Xim
Google Play: http://ow.ly/102XJ1
April 16, 1746
Lochrose Castle, Strathspey, Scotland
‘You’ve got a bloody nerve, Robert.’
‘Aye, I do.’ Robert Grant—the soon-to-be disinherited Master of Strathburn and Viscount Lochrose—squinted through the dark spots clustering his field of vision, trying in vain to focus on his sneering half-brother Simon. The bayonet wound across his shoulder-blade throbbed with such thought-stealing intensity, it was all he could do to stay seated upon his trembling, sweating horse. There was no way he would be able to dismount unassisted. He’d end up with his face firmly planted in the gravel of the forecourt. ‘But for the love of God, Simon …’ he continued, his voice no more than a hoarse rasp. ‘Just help me down. I’m wounded for Christ’s sake …’
He barely recalled the moment the English soldier’s blade had sliced across his back. The horror of everything else that had taken place only hours before on Drumossie Moor flooded his mind. Made the nausea rise in his gullet anew.
Simon snorted. ‘You must’ve had a blow to the head then, or else you would’ve remembered that Father forbade you to come back.’ He glanced past Robert, down the gravel drive toward Lochrose’s gates. ‘You’ve killed them all, haven’t you? It was a rout, just like Father said it would be, wasn’t it?’ His grey gaze, flint-hard with accusation and long-held resentment, returned to Robert. ‘He will never forgive you for this.’
No doubt. Twenty-six Clan Grant men dead. And I was the arrogant young cock who led them all out like lambs to the slaughter.
Robert swallowed down both the bile and bitter self-acrimony burning his throat. ‘I know,’ he croaked. ‘But please … I just need to hide until I can move on … tomorrow.’
Even though he had flagrantly disobeyed their father and had led out the clan at Culloden, Robert prayed that he would be shown a modicum of compassion. That the earl would at least grant his eldest son sanctuary for a single night before he fled Scotland to spend a life in exile in some far-flung place. Robert didn’t want to put his family at risk for harbouring a fugitive, but he just couldn’t go on any farther.
Simon smiled, the sentiment not quite reaching his eyes. ‘Of course, dear brother. I shall have a room prepared for you.’ He gripped Robert’s forearm with one hand at the same time he slapped the blood-soaked plaid sticking to his shoulder.
Bastard. Agonising, white-hot pain instantly knifed through Robert. Even as black oblivion at last rose up to claim him, he didn’t fail to notice that Simon was still smiling.
Annie loves sharing her writing chair with special guests! If you'd like a turn...please email her! firstname.lastname@example.org