TOOWOOMBA is a big inland city with the relaxed feel of a large country town. Dotted with parks and family-friendly, ‘The Garden City’ is usually green. Nestled high on the edge of the Great Dividing Range and looking east over the Lockyer Valley towards the unseen coastline, the air is clear and some days, it feels as though I really can ‘see forever’.
For a writer, Toowoomba is the best of both worlds; a city marking the transition from coastal plain to edge of the Outback. Lines of blue hills beckon me. If I want to paddle in the ocean, it’s only two hours east. West of the city, beyond the Wellcamp airport, the land is drier and cattle take the place of crops. The sky arches overhead, unrelentingly blue and vast. Adventure beckons and narrow ribbons of road lead me into the Australian Outback.
Is it any wonder living here inspires me to write outback and rural romance? In my early books, I flirted with city settings; in Engaging the Enemy, I explored hidden laneways and architectural buildings in Melbourne. But the rural communities that surround my home town, and my time in Cloncurry in the remote north west of Queensland, sent out a siren call I couldn’t refuse. I’ve written and been part of several rural series, from Hearts of the Outback to my new release with Escape Mira.
Starting Over (in Heart of the Town, print) incorporates the gritty reality of life in a small community when the cotton mill at the heart of the town’s business closes unexpectedly. It is also an exploration of the best of small towns. A community is made up of people who might disagree over petty things, but who ultimately want the best for their town. Much like Toowoomba.
We grow them hot up on the Range!
When fashion designer Serena Quinlan arrives in Mindalby for the annual cotton festival, she is hoping to do two things: meet local leather worker Paul Carey and check out all the 50–year–old men to see if they might be her father. She doesn’t expect the explosive attraction she feels towards Paul, nor the untimely and unwanted arrival of her ex–fiance. When her search for her father leads to unexpected results, Serena will be torn between the past she came searching for and the possibility of a future she never expected.
“The realism in these stories makes them wonderfully vivid, and I’d highly recommend to anyone who wants a taste of real life in an Australian outback town. Five stars.” – Goodreads
One building, two would–be owners and a family feud that spans several generations: all relationships have their problems. When Andrea finds herself in a fake relationship with billionaire property developer Matt Mahoney it feels like she’s betraying everything she’s ever worked for. And there’s something about the charming Irish man that makes her want to build something real…
‘Engaging the Enemy’ ticks all the boxes for me – strong, likeable characters, great conflict, both internal and external, and great sexual tension.’ – Goodreads
‘Engaging the Enemy is a great read. This book has it all….sexual tension, great chemistry, intriguing storyline, and feel good characters that you want to root for. I loved the setting and Matt’s accent was a highlight for me.’ – Goodreads