Tag Archives: australian

It’s been 84 years …

The Joy of Not Blogging or Do I have an Excuse.

It wasn’t until I decided to write a blog post that I realised it was over two years since I last blogged. Ironically it was for my last Escape Publishing release A Matter of Trust. In between I’ve published three other rural romances for another publisher and several historical novellas in anthologies. (See my Books in the Wild page). Also life happened.

Book cover for A Matter of Trust. Image of red headed man embracing a young woman against a rural Australian background. Beside it is the quote "Twelve Years is a long time to keep a secret ... or two. 4th July 2021 from Escape Publishing.
Remember this? A Matter of Trust. It even won a Koru Award of Excellence. Escape Publishing Release 4th July 2021.

So here I am, finally, with book two in the Redemption Creek series.

A Chance to Believe is the story of Shayne Smith and Cassie Long. Two strangers who found a connection and left it behind for reasons of their own.

It will release on the 1st February, 2024.

About the Book

Can a fling turn into a family?

After a chance meeting in Brisbane, Shayne Smith and Cassie Long had a perfect fortnight together. But when Shayne returned to his historic sheep property, they both assumed there was no future in a relationship between a city girl and a grazier.

Six months later, Cassie arrives at Maiden’s Landing to let Shayne know they made more than memories in their brief idyll. She has no expectations, only a duty to let him know.

Shayne’s life is already complicated with a property to run and a sixteen-year-old daughter growing up fast. He never expected the woman he can’t forget to turn up on his doorstep bringing news that is all too familiar.

Fiercely independent Cassie isn’t asking anything of him, but he persuades her to stay at his homestead until the babies are born. Cassie’s difficult pregnancy means that any possibility of romance must be put on hold – despite the intense attraction they feel for each other. How long can they resist? And will each of them overcome their own baggage so they can build a future together?

Isn’t this pretty? A historical homestead. Two people destined for a HEA, eventually, and sheep. Also jet trails in the sky. One of my favourite things. Unless you count forearms.

Pre-orders are available now. Click on the image to go to the Harpercollins home page or choose your preferred seller below.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3sMNoU2

Apple Books: https://apple.co/3sMtVTn

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3EABE9W

Google Play: https://bit.ly/468GlmO

Valerie and the Wannabe Minion

The Valerie Parv Award was the first competition I ever entered when I discovered Romance Writers of Australia. It promised the world. Or at least a twelve-month mentorship with Valerie Parv, a noted best-selling author of Mills & Boons. As my dream was to become a Mills & Boon author (I didn’t really know much about the Harlequin thing at that point) I figured this would be my goal.

In the meantime, I discovered Valerie Parv was the featured author at a writing retreat at a Pacific Island resort. Naturally, I signed up. This was back when I actually had an income. DH could do his photography thing while I bathed in Valerie’s wisdom.

Valerie Parv signing books at the 2019 RWAus Conference.

Sadly, it never happened. They didn’t get the numbers to make the writer’s retreat possible. You are all cursing about now because it was a missed opportunity that will never come again. I have never forgiven those unnamed people who did not sacrifice themselves to my need.

I first met Valerie Parv in person at the Gold Coast conference ten years ago. I also met Presents great, Helen Bianchin so it was a red letter conference. The funny thing is that I don’t remember reading Valerie’s books when she was first published. I desperately wanted to travel so I looked for books set mostly in Europe and Britain and the American outlier, Janet Dailey. I have since made up for that initial lapse by collecting and reading dozens of her books. They are fabulous and apart from the phone thing, have worn well.

I did discover at that conference that Valerie’s winners became her Minions and that became my primary ambition. To become a Minion far outweighed the whole being published thing. My plan? Become a Minion and then get published.

My interactions with Valerie continued over the years, on her blog, on social media and at conferences. Peak Valerie experience was receiving a VPA Highly Commended for my book “Tell Me No Lies” at the 2017 conference. When I spoke to her afterwards, she joked that it was probably just as well I didn’t win as she suspected we would butt heads all year.

Bookcover with young couple embracing
My VPA Highly Commended book Tell Me No Lies.

I had one more attempt at minionhood the following year but after receiving flack for entering while having several novellas published, I sadly set aside that ambition and self-published my 60k VPA finalist thus making me no longer eligible to enter and removing all temptation. Had I known there would only be two more Valerie presided competitions, I might have made a different choice.

I last spoke to Valerie in person at the 2019 conference. She would often in her speeches or seminars, mention how she was embarrassed at having the award named for her. I told her at the time and later in a post that she put in the work and she should own it. She contacted me last year to ask if she could include my comments in her autobiography, “34 Million Books”. Naturally I said yes and there I am on page 216.

So, I may never have become a minion, but I’m in her book. Not a bad alternative.

It is the end of an amazing era and she will be sadly missed.

Vale Valerie Parv.