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Today I’m honoured to have four special guests on the launch day of Second Chance Cafe. Three are known to me and I love their stories, and Abbie is a new- to-me author and I’m looking forward to reading her story and getting to know her.
So without further ado, I present the authors of Second Chance Cafe...happy launch day!
Who are these coffee loving writers? Almost two years ago, four SE Queensland authors met face-to-face for the first time and ‘clicked’. So well that the Bathing Beauties Publishing Group was formed and we released our first free Christmas anthology, A Season to Remember, in 2014. This year, we take great pleasure in offering four short stories of love and coffee in Second Chance Café.
Second chances are, by virtue of missing out the first time around, sweet and precious. With this premise in mind, the authors of Second Chance Café sipped their lattes and said: Why not write about those sweet moments and set these stories in a café?
Annie asked us to share where our inspiration came from. The initial idea was second chances, set in a café. What each of us did with that displays the breadth of possibilities and variety of approaches we took.
Abbie Jackson is a young mum of four toddlers, runs her own business, and in her spare time (that’s a joke), she writes novels and enjoys cooking and baking.
Shannon’s Legacy – Abbie Jackson
After discussing the concept of Second Chance Cafe over lunch one day, I drove home pondering what a true second chance would be to me and the only thing I could think about was my children. My overwhelming urge to protect them from anything and everything was in overdrive during that period of my life and so, that part of my personality was the basis of my gutsy main character, Shannon. The idea of Shannon's illness came from a friend of mine, whom I watched from afar battle against the medical odds and win.
I tried not to, but the character of Anderson was based on a young version of my son. He was, and is, the sweetest boy I've ever met. Then there's quirky Dr Maxwell Dent. Every time I picture Dr Dent in my mind, I see a dear old colleague of mine, Dr Smith and a smile comes to my face. And finally, the character of Matt is a strange blend of my brother, and my friend, Joe.
Once I had these characters firmly in my mind, the story really wrote itself. I knew Shannon and her disease, and I knew how the story would end. From there, my characters did all the rest for me.
Abbie lives in South-East Queensland and has travelled extensively around the world prior to having her family. She loves writing across multiple genres including fantasy, sci-fi, romance, crime and children’s stories.
Elizabeth Ellen Carter’s debut novel, Moonstone Obsession, was published in 2013 by Etopia Press. Earlier that year, the Regency adventure romance had been shortlisted in the Romance Writers of Australia Emerald Awards for Best Unpublished Manuscript. September Harvest – Elizabeth Ellen Carter
The inspiration for September Harvest came from a couple of different places.
I started thinking about a few of books I’d read over the past couple of years – The Go-Between by LP Hartley, Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee and the Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy.
They were beautifully expressed pastoral stories set in England in the latter part of the 19th century – filled with luscious descriptions of the landscape and the hard life of the rural working class. Those stories also reminded me of a film I saw in the 1990s called A Summer Story, about an ill-fated, cross-class love affair.
When the subject for this year’s anthology came up – second chances and coffee – the theme for September Harvest came to mind.
I tend to write historical action romances and I wanted to try something different this time, one which focused on the burgeoning love and the journey to adulthood of Tilly, a young woman whose eyes have been opened to the wide world outside of her small village in Kent and whose future lies in the hands of one of two men – Andrew, the smart, aspiring teacher, and Noah, the softly spoken farmer.
The author lives in Australia with her husband and two cats. A former newspaper journalist, she ran an award-winning PR agency for 12 years.
Buy Moonstone Conspiracy here:
Etopia Press Bookstore
Barnes and Noble
All Romance Ebooks
Noelle Clark is an Australian author of contemporary romance novels, rural romance, and historical fiction. Her books weave romance, intrigue, and adventure into colourful and interesting settings. They feature characters who deal with love and loss; and who experience the often difficult facets of life, such as forgiveness and redemption.
Noelle lives close to the sea in sunny Queensland, Australia, and shares her home with one cat and two dogs. She has two grown up children and four very small grandchildren. When Noelle's not writing and travelling, she procrastinates a lot thinking about travel, and perfecting ways to avoid housework.
Inspiration for ‘Encore’ – Noelle Clark
When the other authors in the anthology and I agreed on the theme for this year’s anthology – Second Chance Café – I had an immediate idea for my story.
Second chances, thankfully, come around pretty often, especially in love and relationships. Often, we don’t make use of these opportunities. Many times we have already moved on, begun a new phase in our lives, or were bruised so badly the first time around that although a second chance sounds on the surface to be a good thing, it can often generate a renewed fear of being hurt. The second, and subsequent, chances disappear into the ether.
Then I began to wonder at the timing of things. What if our second chance came a day, a month, maybe even a minute, after the first one that somehow didn’t work out? Or what if there was a long, protracted wait for that elusive second chance to turn up?
Enter Louisa Frank, one-time fêted actor who won acclaim as the leading lady in plays and musicals performed in the cafés and bars in the backstreets of Hell’s Kitchen, a colourful neighbourhood off-Broadway. Way off.
Louisa has the patience of a saint, and an unwavering certainty that her second chance is only one Saturday night away.
Other books by Noelle Clark
Let Angels Fly
Honor’s Debt – Book 1 Robinhill Farm Series
Honor’s Promise – Book 2 Robinhill Farm Series
Honor’s Legacy – Book 3 Robinhill Farm Series
Contact Noelle Clark
And last but not least, Susanne Bellamy.
Born and raised in Toowoomba, Susanne Bellamy is an Australian author of contemporary and suspense romances set in exciting and often exotic locations, and rural romance set in Australia. She adores travelwith her husband, both at home and overseas, and weaves stories around the settings and people she encounters.
Her heroes have to be pretty special to live up to her real life hero. He saved her life then married her.
The Wish List – Susanne Bellamy
Some days, inspiration arrives like a thunderstorm, sweeping in from the south and raining ideas and story snippets. And sometimes I chase it down, spilling gallons of sweat and tears in pursuit of an idea that doesn’t sound silly.
‘The Wish List’ slipped into mind on a wash of tears in the wake of the death of our beautiful 12 year-old German Shepherd, Anna, in June this year. Her death hit hard and my original opening scene was more my need to bring some sense to her sudden and unexpected passing. In part, I was also mourning the loss of our children’s pet and the last connection to their childhood. Burying our Anna closed a sweet and wonderful chapter in our lives.
I’ve never set a story in my hometown before but somehow, this didn’t feel right anywhere else. Welcome to Toowoomba, the Garden City at the top of the Range and home of the Carnival of Flowers, Queen’s Park, and “Puppy”, mascot of the Scots Pipe Thistle Band. We love our dogs! And just in case you’re wondering, we recently welcomed another very boisterous puppy into our lives. Meet Freya!
Susanne is a member of the RWA and was a finalist in their 2011 Emerald Award. She placed third in the 2015 Pan Macmillan short story competition with Chez Romeo. Mentoring aspiring writers, and working as a freelance editor keeps her off the street! She loves connecting with readers and fellow writers.
You can find her at: