What a beautiful, sunny and warm winter’s afternoon we had in Canberra (and a great end to the school holidays, if that has an effect on you!).
We had lunch in the city today, driving past all the Australian and Papua New Guinean flags near Parliament House for the PNG Prime Minister’s visit (second picture).
The first picture is from my walk to the local shops this afternoon. I love going there, even if only for the spectacular mountain views in the south of Canberra.
Outdoor ice skating and fairy lights in Canberra last night.
One thing that thrilled me about the cover for The Landowner’s Secret, my upcoming book, was that the designer really took the setting into consideration.
Yes, the story is set in colonial Australia, and yes, I know many people think of Australia in terms of either beaches or deserts. However, *my* Australia is about the mountains and the bush, and my book is set in the shadow of the Brindabella Range.
I look at these mountains every day. I can see them from the backyard, the front yard, from half the windows of the house (which proved pretty scary when fire came rolling down the hills during the devastating Canberra firestorm!).
Here is an image from of the mountains from Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons. I think the view is reflected so well on the book cover:
Here are a couple of random shots of I’ve taken while in the car (not driving!). The farmland in the second one is where I’ve set my hero’s homestead.
I know a lot of book covers in this world don’t have a lot to do with what’s actually written on the pages, and I consider myself very lucky that mine does!
Not to be confused with the Indian myna bird (officially recognised in Australia as a more damaging introduced species than the cane toad), these are native Australian noisy miner birds – and yes, they’re very loud!
A huge flock of them has taken up residence here recently. Here are a few of them raiding the leftover rice.
The Brindabellas (the mountain range that surrounds Canberra) seen from the back seat of the car this afternoon. Canberra is gorgeous, and all the Australians who constantly insult us for no reason are missing out on so much.
Well, it feels like winter here this morning. It’s so foggy you can’t see the backyard next door, so what does our neighbourhood cat do? Stay home, you say? Nope, he comes here to sleep on the back deck!
I haven’t mentioned it here, but I signed a contract with Escape Publishing (an imprint of HarperCollins) earlier this year, and have a book coming out in September.
I think it’s relevant to this blog because it is historical fiction set in what is now the Canberra/Queanbeyan region.
Here is the cover (the Brindabellas feature in the story), the blurb, and I’m also adding some preorder links:
New South Wales, 1885
When Alice Ryan wakes to find thugs surrounding her cottage, on the hunt for her no-good brother, she escapes into the surrounding bush.
It is wealthy landowner Robert Farrer who finds her the next morning, dishevelled, injured, and utterly unwilling to share what she knows. With criminals on the loose and rumours that reckless bushrangers have returned to the area, Robert is determined to keep Alice out of danger, and insists on taking her into his home-despite the scandal it may cause. Convincing her to stay on with him for her own safety, however, is going to take some work.
What Robert doesn’t expect is his growing attraction to the forthright, unruly woman staying in his home. Before either of them can settle into their odd new situation, their home and wellbeing come under threat and they will need to trust each other to survive. But they are both keeping secrets, secrets that have the potential to ruin their burgeoning love, their livelihood … and their lives.
HarperCollins AU US UK
Amazon AU US UK
Kobo AU NZ US UK CA IE IN ZA
Barnes and Noble