Posted in A Bindarra Creek Romance, Australian Rural Romance, Between the Pages, Kees2Review

Take Me Home by Suzanne Gilchrist

I’m very excited to welcome to the blog, Suzanne Gilchrist, the brains behind A Bindarra Creek Romance.

Love romance? Love adventure? Love suspense? Welcome to my writing world.
If you love reading sweet, heart-warming and small town romances or passionate love stories sprinkled with suspense or sexy, dangerously high-stake romances then visit my books page. Under my new writing name of Suzanne Gilchrist, my stories encompass contemporary, sweet small-town romances and under S. E. Gilchrist, you can find edgy science-fiction/space opera romances, apocalyptic, and contemporary romantic suspense/adventure romances. No matter the genre, my stories always feature strong, independent women and gorgeous men they soon realise they can’t live without.

Hi everyone and thanks so much Juanita for hosting me as guest on your blog today to help celebrate the release of my latest novel, Take Me Home.

Over the last few years, I’ve become torn as a writer – do I continue to write in the genre I was first published in (science fiction romance) or do I concentrate on writing small town, sweet romances? It’s a hard decision for me as I love both worlds.

While my passion for science fiction was born from watching Doctor Who and Lost in Space on our old black and white telly with my father (not to mention reading everything I could get my hands on), my passion for stories set in small country towns was fuelled by my love for the vast open spaces of Australia.

From the time I was sixteen, I had itchy feet. My first venture travelling without my family was when I hopped on a bus alone to visit a girl friend who’d moved to Melbourne. My first interstate trip. I quickly followed this up with a camping tour through South Australia, the Northern Territory and Outback Queensland. Since then, I’ve travelled throughout Tasmania (again camping and Oh MY Gosh is it cold down there!), extensively through New South Wales and the Northern Territory and parts of Queensland and Western Australia. I’ve also travelled to Hong Kong, Bali, Singapore, New Zealand, Florida, Los Angeles and Boston.

Along the way I met some lovely people, struggling to make a living in harsh landscapes and difficult economies, and who gave me a new appreciation of life beyond my normal urban parameters.

My fascination with the amazing variety of the Australian landscape has never waned. Couple that with my desire to highlight the often heart-breaking difficulties facing our cousins living in small, dying towns manifested itself in the Bindarra Creek group writing series I organised.

Take Me Home is the first book in series three set in the fictional community of Bindarra Creek. As is often the case with writers, my first vague idea quickly morphed into a far different story than I’d envisaged.

Usually I begin my books with a situation or event before populating my story.

However with Take Me Home, I began with a character.

Abby Taylor, almost forty years old and living a life alone. The first question I asked myself was – why? Why was this attractive and personable woman living that kind of life? And it came to me immediately – she couldn’t have children and, in her grief and disappointment, now shuns all thoughts of family life.

I instantly knew I had my story. And I also knew how to turn Abby’s life upside down and challenge her hard-won choices. And I also knew I had to give her a HEA.

I hope readers enjoy meeting the quirky characters of Bindarra Creek again through our series.

And I hope you join me in cheering on Abby as she struggles with past griefs and learns to move onto a brighter future in my romance, Take Me Home.

To celebrate the release of Take Me Home, the ebook version of Bindarra Creek Makeover which was the first romance in the original Bindarra Creek series, has an updated cover and will be on sale this weekend 20th July and 21st July at $0.99.

Details of buy links are on my website

Take Me Home

Forgiving the past was too painful until now.

Almost forty, Abby Taylor has built a new life for herself in the small country town of Bindarra Creek. When an old friend convinces her to give two adolescent boys a temporary home, she is torn between a growing love for these orphans and the grief in her past.

After his marriage fell apart, Roman Taylor has focused on his career. An unexpected phone call sends him rushing to Abby’s side where he is drawn into his estranged wife’s new life – a life that could offer a future he thought he’d lost forever.

Will they seize this second chance? Or will fate once again destroy their dreams?

Books2Read Amazon 

Posted in Australian Rural Romance, Meet an Author

Writing Australian Rural Fiction with Pamela Cook

It is my pleasure to welcome Pamela Cook to the blog today.

Pamela Cook writes Rural and Contemporary fiction. Her novels feature complex women, tangled family relationships and sometimes a sprinkling of romance. She is the co-host of the exciting new podcasts Writes4Women and Writes4Festivals, and Program Director for the inaugural Storyfest Literary Festival happening in Milton, on the south coast of NSW, Australia in June 2019. An eclectic reader, Pamela also enjoys writing poetry and memoir pieces and is proud to be a Writer Ambassador for Room To Read, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes literacy and gender equality in developing countries. When she’s not writing, podcasting or festival planning she wastes as much time as possible riding her handsome quarter horses, Morocco and Rio. Her books are available on all online platforms and through Booktopia.  Over to you, Pamela!

Being part of the huge phenomenon that is Australian Rural Fiction has been a highlight of my writing career. Connecting with both readers and fellow writers in this community is a daily joy and one I hadn’t expected as I never really set out to write in this genre. But when I think back it’s really not surprising that it’s where my story ideas led me.

Although I grew up in the southern suburbs of Sydney I spent a good part of every Christmas holiday at Burrill Lake on the south coast of New south Wales. My family rented a house opposite the lake and I’d spend hours sitting by the water watching fish jump, pelicans cruise by and hermit crabs scurrying along the shore. We bought Jaffas and Fantales to devour at the small open-air theatre, sitting in canvas seats under the stars, covered in blankets. Days blended into weeks and even though there were moments of boredom the return to city life always came with a sense of regret.

Other school holidays were spent out west. My mother was born in Parkes, and still had aunts and cousins scattered around the area. Aunty Flo lived in my great grandmother’s house, an iconic country shack with a rickety veranda, chooks nesting in rusty backyard cars and a couple of kelpies chained up out the back. Uncle Harry was a sheep farmer and I have vivid memories of hopping in the ute beside him and watching his favourite dog Beau respond to the ear-piercing whistle as he rounded up the mob and we moved them into new paddocks.

As an adult I had weekend getaways to the coast in the kombi my husband and I bought (and still own 30 years later!) venturing north from time to time but always feeling a pull to the south. Eventually we swapped the camping weekends for a holiday house a couple of hours south of Sydney near beautiful Milton and it just so happened there was a horse riding ranch just up the road. My daughters became hooked, closely followed by me and pretty soon we were all riding our own horses. We kept them closer to Sydney and spent every weekend hanging out with them on an idyllic ranch-style property. School holidays were spent in the holiday house, surrounded by bush, not far from the beach and getting a taste of small-town life.

By this stage I’d already finished a literary style novel and was yearning to write something different. When I sat down to write my next book an image of a woman standing by the locked gate of horse property popped into my head. I started with that and the plot developed as I wrote. Within a month the first draft of Blackwattle Lake was complete. I went on to write Essie’s Way (set in a fictional township further down the south coast), Close To Home (set in a town very like Milton and centred around an outbreak of the Hendra virus) and then The Crossroads (set in outback Queensland where I was lucky enough to visit for an author talk). My new novel Cross My Heart is largely set in the central west of NSW. Returning there last year on a road-trip with my 94 year old mum is an experience I will always treasure.

Most of my books have a few scenes set in Sydney but inevitably the story draws me away to the country. While I do have a hankering to write a book set in Paris, for me writing Australian stories set in rural locations comes naturally and it’s the perfect escape. Hopefully my readers enjoy coming along for the ride.

Thank you, Pamela. What a lovely insight into your inspiration for writing Australian Rural Fiction. I have no doubt your readers are loving the ride! If you’d like to know more, Pamela loves to connect with readers both in person and online. You will often find her lurking in one of these places:

Twitter @PamelaCookAU

Instagram @pamelacookwrites and @w4wpodcast