Posted in Australian Rural Romance, Kees2Review, Meet an Author

Families First I Say!


Today, I’m very proud to introduce you to Linda Charles. I first met Linda when thirteen authors embarked on a journey in the fictional town of Bindarra Creek and fell in love with her writing. Her book in that series, One More Day, was a heartwarming read I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m so happy to see another Australian Rural Romance series hit the shelves with this lovely lady’s name on it. Here is Linda to tell you all about what constitutes a family.

First, I’d like to thank you, Juanita, for asking me to write this blog post.

When I first heard the premise for the township of Mindalby, where the biggest employer in town closes its doors, my first thought was how do families cope with such a crisis? The next question was what constitutes a family? I think families comprise many different variations, and perhaps they always have. I’ve worked alongside the same people for the past 18 years and I regard them as my second family. I spend more time with them than I do my own family. That’s a sentiment I hear a lot in our office! They know all about my foibles, weaknesses, strengths and sense of humour, which is so important. I feel right at home with these colleagues. They have supported me and offered comfort through some of the toughest crises in my life. I think the world of them and regard them as more than good friends. We are like one big blended family all with the same aim, to enjoy our time at work together, despite not always enjoying the work side of things.

Families are fun! Who else would put up with our private goofiness?

Families are trusting! Who else would put up with all our traumas?

It takes a lot of effort to make today’s modern family work. Blended families, once rare, are now quite common. When you mix in various step parents and step-children, and, in some cases, many marriages which can have its own branch of children, and in-laws, you’re talking about quite a lot of people.

The vast majority of us want a happy home-life, and we try our best to navigate and negotiate around individual needs to make everyone feel part of a family. That’s when Rachael, my heroine came to mind. Rachael, despite her in-control and calm public veneer, yearns for a family, the type of mad mix she grew up with as a foster child in Mindalby. The type of family where you feel at home, can drop your bundle, and nobody minds.

You want that firm, solid base in your life and being part of a happy family can provide that. It gives you the strength to pursue new ventures and take calculated risks. You can flourish, knowing that someone is there, watching you with interest and love.

The beauty of families is that they are elastic and forgiving. They can be stretched and pulled, but manage somehow to retain their strength and stay firm for all its members.

As a foster child Rachael had experienced many forms of families and it wasn’t until she moved into the Henderson home that she truly understood the strength of being part of a loving family. When tough times hit she works hard to make things work out for them, she sacrifices a lot to do this.

Mike, my hero, craves for a family of his own. He misses his own family in Ireland very much and would do anything he could to recreate it.

I hope you enjoy Rachael and Mike in A Reason To Stay.

Rachael, a successful lawyer in Sydney, returns to her foster family and the only place that ever felt like home: Mindalby, to help with the failing family business, the town’s bakery. With the cotton gin’s closure, all businesses are struggling, and it looks like the only option is to close up the bakery and hope to sell. But when Rachael returns, she realises that her skills give her other options: refreshing and revitalising the bakery and a chance to rekindle her love of baking.

Irishman, Mike O’Malley is a staying kind of man, looking to settle down in Mindalby with a woman who loves the wild country and wants to get involved in the community. Rachael is not that girl, but the attraction is hard to deny. Determined to show Rachael that Mindalby can be a home, he draws her out into the community and deeper into his life. But when it comes time to make a decision, can he trust Rachael to risk her heart?

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A Reason to Stay by Linda Charles

Rachael, a successful lawyer in Sydney, returns to her foster family and the only place that ever felt like home: Mindalby, to help with the failing family business, the town’s bakery. With the cotton mill’s closure, all businesses are struggling, and it looks like the only option is to close up the bakery and hope to sell. But when Rachael returns, she realises that her skills give her other options: refreshing and revitalising the bakery and a chance to rekindle her love of baking.

Irishman, Mike O’Malley is a staying kind of man, looking to settle down in Mindalby with a woman who loves the wild country and wants to get involved in the community. Rachael is not that girl, but the attraction is hard to deny. Determined to show Rachael that Mindalby can be a home, he draws her out into the community and deeper into his life. But when it comes time to make a decision, can he trust Rachael to risk her heart?

Mindalby, a small town, a community, a home. But when the mill that supports the local cotton farmers and employs many of the town’s residents closes unexpectedly, old tensions are exposed and new rifts develop. Everyone is affected and some react better than others, but one thing is certain: living on the edge of the outback means they have to survive together, or let their town die.

 

 

 

Posted in Between the Pages, Meet an Author

Love Your Story


Today’s guest on the blog is MC D’Alton, author of Iron Heart, a steampunk novel written in collaboration with Melanie Page. MC is here today to tell us what it’s like to love what she writes. Welcome to Book Love, MC!

As a writer most of us are asked and answer the same questions all of the time. What inspires you? What do you do when you have writers block? And so on, and so on… But the question I’d like to answer today is, what is it like to write a story you believe in so much it haunts your every waking moment? For those of you who will read this blog and who are not writers, I sincerely hope I can convey the intense emotions and sacrifice that goes into any serious storytelling, whether it be a short story, or an epic novel which treks across space and time.

To me, the first hints of a story come in a prophetic dream. What I mean about this is not that I am some prophet who sees the future, (or I might have already won the lotto 😉 ) only that it is so vivid I am almost convinced it happened in real life. Most every story I have ever written has come to me in a dream. For instance, Epona, my contemporary romance novel with paranormal elements and a dollop of suspense, came to me in a dark dream. In an old library in Scotland stood a man with long dark hair… and then I stood in a field of Heather beside a blue roan mare. I was the heroine, but I was also an onlooker as the heroine told me her story… creepy? Nah, its bloody awesome!

It’s also a bloody wonder I’ve not given my husband a heart attack, because I usually wake up in the darkest hours of the night and run to the study to scribble the dream down on paper. (No, I no longer keep a pad beside my bed, not enough space beside my TBR pile.) For me this burst of inspiration compares to the moment I found out I was pregnant. For the next few months I walk around hiding the fact I have an entire universe coming to life in side my head.  Characters will tell me things at the most inopportune times; like the middle of a shower, or while I’m driving, or even in the midst of a conversation. Hours are spent at my desk with fingers that don’t type as fast as my brain would like them to. Life takes on a rhythm all its own as I drag my way through the motions of everyday, with one foot in this reality and the other in my story world. Once, when I had to pick the boys up from school I was so deep in thought I drove to the centre of town instead – now that’s a little bit freaky.

But this, my dear readers, is how we writers live, or at least this writer does. I toil for months over chapters, words, and phrases. I ask my characters a thousand and one questions, allow others to peek at my soul’s creation and cringe when criticized (when its delivered in a harsh way). I curl up in a ball when the hundredth ‘Thank you, but no thank you’ letter arrives in my inbox from a publisher, and question my belief in my writing, and storytelling. Rejection is a bitter and painful pill to swallow because you know what you have breathed life in to is more special, more beautiful, and wonderous than anything else you’ve created (besides one’s real life children of course).

I cried when my heroine cried. I grieved for her loss and fought beside her when she faced her darkest enemy. I sighed when my hero finally found his way into her heart and fell hopelessly in love with the broken beauty. Honey coated my lips for days after they shared their first kiss. I felt the chill of the highlands and smelled the damp earth beneath their feet. When I write a story for you, I remove the armor from my heart, so it may open, and I may gift to you, my dearest reader, a story which will remain with you always and forever.

This is what it is to love what you write.

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