The past year was a difficult one for me, much of it spent glued to the computer struggling with a book, and then almost two months in Canberra through my beloved mother’s last illness and death, age 83.
But looking forward is much brighter than looking backwards, and there are good things coming in 2016!
First up, I’m delighted that my short story, Dear Ruth, is currently featured as one of 3 free stories with the current edition of That’s Life magazine. Dear Ruth isn’t a new story, but it’s the first time in print and it is lovely to see it out on the shelves! The other stories are by Charlotte Nash and Kimberley Freeman. The promotion ends this week, though, so you may have to hurry if you’d like to get a copy.
I’m also thrilled that Storm Clouds is a double finalist in the Australian Romance Readers Awards – in the Favourite Romantic Suspense category, and also in the Favourite Cover category. The awards will be announced at the ARRA gala dinner in Sydney on March 19th – an event I’m definitely going to!
There are still (I think) tickets left for the awards dinner and it’s always a fantastic night full of fun, laughter and book talk, so if you’re in Sydney and love romance books, why not come? Even if you think you mightn’t know anyone, they’re the friendliest bunch and very welcoming and I’m sure you’ll have a ball. More info is available at this link.
And now for the most exciting news – all that struggling with writing last year has (finally) worked out, and I’m delighted to announce that my next novel will be titled Sunset Shadows and will be published by Hachette in Australia and New Zealand in August!
For police officers Steve Fraser and Tess Ballard, a split-second decision saves the lives of fifty members of a cult – but it also puts their careers on the line.
Tess’s upbringing left her unprepared for the world, however she’s left her past behind her and forged a life for herself through dedication and determination. Her work is everything to her, and she’s committed to protecting the vulnerable.
With his life abruptly turned upside down, his own career has just become Steve’s least concern. As senior officer he won’t see Tess’s career ruined if he can help it, even if it’s his last act as a police detective.
But in the aftermath of the cult members’ rescue nothing is simple. The alleviation of one threat has left a power vacuum and as the new leader takes over, Tess’s past comes back to haunt her – and Steve – with tragic consequences. As the violence escalates out of control, Tess becomes the focus of the mob’s anger, but she’s not the only one in danger. Isolated in rugged country, they’re both faced with the impossible choice: who do you protect when there is more than one innocent life at risk?
As I work through the copy edits and polishing, I’m becoming more excited about Sunset Shadows and I’m very much looking forward to sharing Steve’s and Tess’s story with readers.
In general news, life continues on quietly here at The Wolery. Tansy, our oldest dog, turned 15 in December and is still enjoying life. She has her puppy-like moments every morning, racing to the house for breakfast and jumping up at the door, but she enjoys snoozing most of the day. Skye is almost five now, and a typical teenager – although she is getting the idea that, while racing around with the rope/toy/ball in your mouth is fun, the humans don’t throw it again unless you actually bring it back to them! Pippin the Energiser Puppy is two now and will chase the rope/ball/toy and bring it back for however many millions of times we throw it.
We’ve had some good rains over summer which is a relief after too many dry years. The paddocks are green, the tanks are full, the dams are half-full, and the wildlife is happy. So are my potted plants – including my roses. My particular favourites, and a special joy to me, are several Queen Elizabeth roses I’ve grown from cuttings, with a long history. My parents planted the original QE rose at their first home east of Melbourne, in 1959. A cutting from that bush was planted outside our home in Canberra, in 1970. It’s been blooming for 45 years now – and my roses are grown from cuttings from it. My mother loved roses, and now that my cuttings are established in their pots and blooming, every time I walk past a bloom I find myself saying, ‘Hello, Mum.’