I fell in love with the bays, beaches and natural bushland of the NSW coast as a child and have never looked back.
As a young journalist and parent, I had the privilege of interviewing many of the coast’s people of all ages. While there are no specific similarities between the reality and the characters and action in my next series, Escape to the Coast, there’s no question that memories provide plenty of inspiration.
In the first book, Summer Beach, you’ll meet reclusive guitar maker Jake Bannerman whose famous friends hint at his hidden talents and a past he prefers to forget.
When dynamo Samantha (Sam) Kelly turns up to sell the abandoned beach house next door, Jake is forced to confront his demons.
But an even deeper secret lies waiting to be uncovered within the house, a secret which threatens to shatter Sam’s wellbeing and her fledgling relationship with Jake.
Facing the past hurts. Can workaholic Sam trust anyone ever again? And will Jake step out of the shadows and claim the future – with Sam beside him?
I hope to have this first book of the new series out for you to enjoy in the next few months.
Come and see me!
We are now on countdown for the Australian Romance Readers’ Association Romantic Rendezvous events.
(If you haven’t already, you and your friends are invited to fall in love with the extended Huntley family of jewelers! You probably already know that the recently launched, heart-warming House of Jewels series follows the romantic fortunes of this fallible family in Australia, France and the US. The books may be read in any order.)
I’ll be selling my House of Jewels series and chatting with readers in Sydney at the Boulevard Hotel at 90 William Street on Sunday 12 February from 10am to 4pm, and then in Melbourne at the Novotel on Collins at 270 Collins Street on Saturday 18 February from 10am to 4pm.
Attendees can enjoy a whopping discount of 20 per cent for my books at these events. The usual price per paperback is $25, but you can buy them for $19.99 each, and, as a bonus discount, you can buy the full five-book series for just $85 (down from $125)! (Are discounts romantic? I think so!)
If you plan to attend, you can preorder my books or just use the link to scan a summary of each book.
Thank you for your feedback
Your feedback is so encouraging! One reader, whose enjoyment of House of Diamonds prompted me to go on and write more books in the series, recently contacted me to say he’s now read all five of the House of Jewels series, that each was better than the one before, and he now understands the appeal of uplifting endings.
He said he loved Full House and its “master stroke” best of all. (You’ll have to read it to see what he means. No spoilers here.)
American reader Trudi Lo Prato kindly shares this review:
House of Spades is different than the first two books in the House series but just as good. The story is about an older, more mature couple and spends a good deal of time with them trying to improve the environment. Flame has spent a good deal of her life running from one relationship to another and they have always ended in sorrow. Ross is a recent widower and he shared his life with his beloved deceased wife and two daughters.
They are both about to find themselves in a totally new and amazing place. Flame’s caravan is on land belonging to Ross. When it is about to be lost to a flood, Ross pulls it higher up on his land. As the two meet Flame is furious and Ross is confused but they slowly form an unusual friendship against all odds.
The story line goes in many directions and I was never one hundred percent sure where they would end up.
House of Spades is a must read as it has friendship, family relationships and romance and so much more.
Amber Jakeman is an excellent storyteller and this third volume would also be a wonderful TV movie. I can’t wait for book number four and I am sure you will feel the same, don’t pass this one up.
Thank you, Trudi!
My thanks also to the reader who, inspired by my previous blog, sent this evocative map from another era and this information:
On the romantic question of ‘scheduled’ flying to Pago Pago… Pan Am Clipper Flying Boats flew via Pago Pago in the golden age of trans oceanic travel in late 1930s. An adventurous undertaking.
Pondering on travel, coastlines and the world’s great oceans has inspired ideas for the second book in the Escape to the Coast series, though it’s currently just a few scribbles in my notebook!
Your turn to write!
So many of my VIP readers have suggested I use the Pago Pago experience as inspiration for a short story, that I know it has sparked your own imaginations!
Would you like to write and share a short story about an unscheduled detour? (You may use a nom de plume if you wish.) I’ll be glad to share your stories in future blogs as long as they don’t defame a real person and they fit my readers’ preferences — without violence or horror, and with an uplifting ending. Bonus points for romance.
I look forward to your responses!
I love teaming up with other authors to offer our readers special deals.
In the mood for your own travel adventure but short on time and funds? Fly away for the price of a cup of coffee!