The black (mud) moment

Firstly, some upcoming news and events.

Many readers have asked whether my books are available as audiobooks, so I’m delighted to let you know that my House of Diamonds is now available as an Apple Audiobook. You can listen to the preview here.

If you’re not already listening to Apple Audiobooks and you’d like to purchase the audiobook for yourself or someone else, please follow these instructions for your Apple device (phone or iPad or Mac). Then search for House of Diamonds and scroll down to the audio version. Happy listening!

Come and meet me!

I look forward to meeting readers and other authors at Book Fair Australia coming up on the weekend of 14 and 15 October at Sydney Showground.

On 21 October at 3pm, I’ll be part of a Cosy Fiction panel at the Maitland Independent Writers’ Festival. I’d love to see you there!

Next year, please join me at the Australian Romance Readers’ Romantic Rendezvous in Sydney on Sunday 10 March and in Melbourne on Saturday 16 March.


Did you hear that a bookstore named The Ripped Bodice has opened in New York? Enjoy this New York Times account which includes what readers love about love stories, including the “hit of joy” and “guaranteed happy ending.” 

Meanwhile, far from cities, in spaces so vast they defy capture by camera, I’ve been afloat on a boat, at the mercies of the winds and tides, in awe of nature.

The prow of a yacht slices mirror-like waters reflecting at thin strip of land.

In Queensland’s Great Sandy Strait and beyond, my hero has navigated shoals with tides running in both directions at once, along with headwinds and repairs to key equipment.

In quiet night anchorages we’ve admired infinite stars and in busy ports, we’ve met adventurous souls who’ve explored waterways of the world.

At sea we’ve witnessed breaching whales, dolphins playing in our wake and the slow birth of islands.

A beacon shows shallow water next to a sandy island so tiny it has only one tree.

As with any good novel, our cruising holiday included a fair share of adventures. Fresh from rowing ashore for a stroll and aquamarine swim at pristine Rainbow Beach, we found ourselves marooned at low tide by 300 metres of black, oozing mud.

Half way across, pulling the dinghy and oars, we sank in it up to our knees. Step by gluggy step, extracting and replanting each foot time after time took equal effort. A hawk circled.

In a novel, this would be called “the black moment” when all is (almost) lost.

Four hours later, covered in mud and laughing with relief, we scrubbed off the goo and reflected that people pay good money for mud baths – an activity now excluded from our bucket list. 

We were grateful to avoid a face to face encounter with this dingo at K’gari, the world’s largest sand island formerly known as Fraser Island and a vast and timeless sliver of sand between the Pacific Ocean and Queensland’s Great Sandy Strait, its flora and fauna built up over millennia. 

K’gari means “paradise” in the language of the Butchella people who lived on the island for thousands of years before Eliza Fraser was shipwrecked there in 1836.

The dingo boarded another vessel close to shore and retrieved a plastic bag from it before trotting away!

A dingo on a beach at K'gari (Fraser Island)

Further north, we visited Lady Musgrave Island at the southern end of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. 

As if in a nonsense story by Lewis Carroll, the island’s trees live for thousands of years, resprouting from the side when blown over by typhoons. 

It’s named after American Lady Musgrave, wife of a former Queensland Governor, who held tea parties here in the 1880s to raise money to empower young women.

Beneath the water, we were fortunate to snorkel and drift among turtles and intricate coral, blue starfish, big black-lipped clams and thousands of tropical fish of every shape and colour.

Photo courtesy Unsplash and Hiroko Yoshii

Whatever your own adventures, I wish you every joy and success.

Love Match chat

I was delighted to interview Aussie rural romance and romcom author Clare Fletcher about her latest release, Love Match, at Better Read Than Dead bookshop in Sydney’s Newtown.

We discussed genres, diversity, inclusivity, own voices, the writing life and much more over tea, scones and sparkling wine with other readers and writers. What a joy! Brava, Clare!

Some free and affordable sweet reads

Small town clean romance

Sweet and clean October

Clean romance deals

October sweet reads

Fall into romance

Tales by the fire

Sweet with low heat books

Sweet books (opens soon. Please revisit in a few days if the link is not yet live.)

Keep in touch

Please feel free to follow me on GoodreadsInstagram and Facebook to enjoy uplifting photos and other feel-good fiction news.

Find my books.

Happy reading!

PS: That’s me, below, at last year’s Book Fair Australia. This year I’ll also have Summer Beach for sale. Come and say “hi” whether or not you plan to buy!

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