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Contracts, Conversations & Cow Fairs…

About Contracts
HQN contractToday my new three-book Contract for the Chalk Hill series arrived from Harlequin head office. Book 1 of the Chalk Hill Series is Water Under The Bridge, the book I was working on at the start of this year.

Luckily for me, (and hopefully for readers), Harlequin MIRA’s editors loved Water Under The Bridge and on the strength of Book 1, they’ve signed two additional titles set in fictional Chalk Hill. Book 1 will be out in spring of 2018, with books 2 and 3 following in 2019 and 2020.

You won’t find Chalk Hill on a map. It’s the first fictional town I’ve created in my writing journey and if you did have to pin Chalk Hill on a map of West Australia, you’d aim about halfway between Manjimup and Mount Barker on the Muir highway, slightly east of Rocky Gully.

The idea for the book came after a camping trip I did with hubby and our two boys in spring last year to the Porongurups and Albany… little did my travelling companions know how much I was plotting stories at the time, as we climbed the Granite Skywalk and visited the Natural Bridge and the Blowholes, and saw whales in Lucky Bay!

In Conversation
This coming Thursday July 6,  I”m thrilled to join rural romance West Australian author, Sasha Wasley, at Dymocks bookstore in Busselton. Sasha has a new book, Dear Banjo, out now – getting rave reviews. The ‘In Conversation’ is Sasha’s gig, but I’ve got myself invited along by lovely Beth Herbert of Dymocks to gatecrash the party…

Cow Fairs
Mooooo! Saturday is the big legendary festival of my hometown of #Cowaramup. Not long ago Cowaramup won the accolade of being the ‘Legendairy capital of West Australia’ and later this year we will be judged alongside other legendary state capital finalists, to find the ‘legendairy’ capital of Australia. I’ll keep you posted!

This Saturday marks the birthday for the Cowaramup cows – the life-size herd of fibreglass cows you’ll find in and around Cowaramup’s main street and its parks… Have you visited our cows? It’s great to see the joy the cows have brought so many visitors to our town, and to see that businesses in the town are enjoying the benefits of having people stop and stay a while in the town, rather than dash through…

19149129_1913197075617446_4988892993438585655_nSaturday’s fair is called Deja-Moo – the Legendary Country Fair.

It kicks off at 9am on Saturday. Apart from a whole heap of family fun, there are many stall-holders and exhibitions. If you’re planning to come to Deja-Moo – please come and find me with my books in the Cowaramup Hall. You can check out my Cowaramup-set Butterfly House book, Who Killed The Bride?, which I always think of as: ‘Bridget Jones meets the Cowtown Cows…’

I’d love to have a chat! If I was any good at baking or craft, I’d have cow cupcakes and butterfly cookies… but I don’t have any of those (because I’m crap at baking and craft). I do, however, have lolly snakes!

xx Lily

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

It’s a Red Letter Day…

Today is one of those writerly days I’ve dreamed about for, oh, say the last six and a half years…

Today, I signed with The Nash Agency, and I finally can say I have a literary agent.

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The Nash Agency is owned and operated by Haylee Nash. I was lucky enough to have something to do with Haylee when she worked for Harlequin Australia when my debut book His Brand Of Beautiful was published by Harlequin Escape.

Haylee has published some of Australia’s highest-selling books from authors such as Rachael Johns, Fiona McCallum,  Sally Hepworth and Kylie Scott, and has worked for Pan Macmillan Australia, Harlequin Enterprises Australia and Booktopia.

The Nash Agency will represent my contemporary fiction with a book called ASHES, and also my future rural and contemporary romance books, including the Chalk Hill series I’m working on now.

Thank you for your faith, Haylee! I’ll be doing everything I can to do you proud.

 
 

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Margaret River Region Open Studios April 22 – May 7

I had the huge pleasure last night to join two talented Cowaramup artists, painter Kerry Sibly and sculptor Alan Meyburgh, at the launch of Kerry and Alan’s exhibition for this year’s Open Studios.

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One of Alan Meyburgh’s sculptural creations. This looked amazing lit up at night.

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My connection to this clever and versatile pair is that Kerry illustrated and designed my Butterfly House ‘Who Killed The Bride book cover… plus he lives in the same street as me, and in our street we’re always up for a party. 🙂

About 80 people came along to the launch, held at Kerry and Wendy Sibly’s house. The house itself made an amazing frame for an art exhibition. At different times Kerry and Wendy’s home has been in the lens of programs such as ‘Grand Design’; and on the radars of some of Australia’s house and lifestyle magazines. It’s an incredibly special place, filled with personal traits, tricks and treats.

Kerry and Alan made a combined sculpture that they offered as a prize on their launch night. Alan sculpted the heart, and Kerry (in his words) “added the rusty barbed wire to it”.

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Kerry Sibly stood on the kitchen bench to make his speech at the launch. He’s holding the sculpture he and Alan put together as a prize for launch night. Alan is pictured in the centre bottom of the screen, and the lovely lady in the background is Wendy Sibly, Kerry’s better half. PHOTO: Emily Cockburn.

 

We were thrilled to have the sponsorship of Stella Bella Wines and the Margaret River Dairy Company for our launch. There’s nothing like viewing art, sculpture, and books whilst enjoying classic Margaret River wine and cheese!

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A sample of Kerry’s artwork above Alan’s sculptures.

The Margaret River Region Open Studios (MRROS) is now in its fourth year, involving artists of all pursuits from Busselton to Augusta who open their studio/shop/shed or workplace to visitors where people can peruse and buy artworks, but also talk to the artist and see them at work.

Over the next few weeks, I’m relocating my ‘writing room’ across to the Sibly’s house for several mornings a week, and I’d love to see you for a cuppa and perhaps to chat all things books, writing, and reading…

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People are laughing… so Kerry’s speech must have been funny. PHOTO: Emily Cockburn.

If you are in or around the Margaret River region, please look for the Open Studio signs everywhere, or visit www.mrros.com.au to see what’s on offer.

Kerry and Alan’s exhibition is No. 51 in the Guide. They’re open every day from 10am to 4pm, including ANZAC day.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2017 in News, Uncategorized

 

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Bringing in a Brand New Year

Guess what folks? New Year’s Eve has suddenly ended up at my place. Holy cow, I’d better start cleaning the house!

Before I do – wanted to pop in and wish everyone a Happy New Year!

I’m very excited about what lies ahead in 2017. The number one thing for me is more writing time! I’m cutting my 5 days of administration work down to 2 per week, and I’m very excited about it. It means lots more of the ‘good’ hours (which for me are hours in the daytime when the house is quiet because kids are at school and hubby is working) where I can hopefully get lots more words down than I managed in 2016.

I’m finishing the year with a WIP (work in progress) sitting at about 35,000 words, mostly due to NaNoWriMo in November when about 30k of those words got done. That book is called Water Under The Bridge, set in my first ‘fictional’ town in West Australia. I have a sneaky suspicion this might also be my first ‘series’ as I’ve thought of two further books while I’m writing this one.

I’m also finishing the year with a great reader email about my Who Killed The Bride, Butterfly House story that I’d like to share with you. This is what makes writing books worth it!

butterfly-magnet‘Loved it. Great Sunday read, plus I loved the cow theme, having seen the Cowaramup cows in WA. When is the next book out?
Love the fridge magnet, I grew up on a dairy farm, then we had beef cattle. Love cows. I had a pet one called Penny who was black and white, part Jersey part Aberdeen Angus. Was so sad when she had to be sold. But that’s life on the land.’
Julia Reynolds

 

What will your New Year’s Eve look like? Mine is very low key – on our deck as long as the weather stays nice, with some neighbours who (like us) have ended up at a bit of a new year’s eve loose end.

And there will be cricket! (Yes, I warned the unsuspecting neighbours… well, I warned a few of them anyway)

Happy New Year to you and yours…

xx Lily

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Merry Christmas!

Christmas is always exciting, but the lead-in to Christmas 2016 has been even more exciting for me because there are such big things ahead in 2017 🙂

Next year is the year I’m dedicating towards producing more words and more stories, and so I’ve given notice at my ‘day’ job and from January 1st, I’ll be job-sharing with this wonderful lady in the photo – Sue.

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I intend to spend much more time at the beach, (NO! I was just trying to check if you were paying attention) of course I mean, writing.

First though, there are presents to wrap, food to prepare and eat, champagne to uncork and drink… and cricket to watch!

Whatever you are doing for Christmas, I hope it brings you smiles and joy.

Every best wish from me,

Lily

xx

 

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2016 in News, Uncategorized

 

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Book Signing at Barefoot Books, Busselton

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Jacinta and Izzy.

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With Steph and Kim of Barefoot Books 🙂

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Signing. Signing. Signing. So much fun!

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With the lovely Lynda!

It has been the hottest day of spring yet in West Australia, and the south west shone today…

While my lovely friend Carrie was doing the Anaconda marathon/triathlon at Augusta, which involved swimming, bike-riding, running and a kayak to finish, I was very hard pressed signing books at Barefoot Books in Busselton today. Boy, that book signing is hard yakka. I had cupcakes to eat, coffee to drink, people to chat to, books to sign. I had to drive there without any children… I mean, phew! This is HARD WORK!!

Anyway, here are some pics of the book signing of The Vineyard In The Hills, More Time At The Beach and my new release, Who Killed The Bride, Butterfly House Book 1. Thanks to everyone who came along – was amazing to see your friendly faces!

Barefoot Books have copies of Butterfly House at their shop, and copies of all of my print books – they’re a wonderful supporter of local West Aussie authors. Be sure to call in and ask for a copy if you’re there 🙂

p.s. Thanks to Steph for the photos – and congrats on your very recent engagement! You should have seen the rock on Steph’s finger! 🙂

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With Peta, Mistress of Barefoot Books…

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Fly, Fly, Butterfly

butterflyhouse-for-blogI have a new book project… as always seems to happen, it feels like it has taken forever to write, but all of a sudden I have the most amazing cover, and I’m signing off on printing plans, and I have a launch date and publishing deadline, and everything is happening at warp speed!

It’s called Butterfly House and its a real change of pace for me. First – it’s a series – which I’ve never done before and second it’s kind of chick-lit, not romance. It’s a seriously local story, set in an imaginary location in my home town of Cowaramup. If you’ve ever visited Cowaramup it’s that little dot on the map snuggled in the middle of far more famous cousins such as Margaret River, Busselton and Dunsborough… and for years and years if you blinked driving through on the Bussell Highway, you missed it.

Not anymore. Now you blink because you think some farmer just let his prize herd of dairy cows escape out the farm gate…

These days, Cowaramup is famous for its herd of life-size fibreglass cows that munch imaginary daisies on our main street, chew their cud, a-low and a-moo and lie or stand around doing their thang day in, day out. (Here are some photos of WA romance authors Jennie Jones and Juanita Kees checking out the cows during a visit with me in 2014).

Not everyone loves the Cowaramup cows, but most people do, and I’m one of the latter. The cows have been wonderful for retail businesses who might otherwise have had to close their shop doors as our town got bypassed for the bigger, more touristy places. Now people have a reason to stop, take photos, and enjoy so much of the community spirit that makes Cowtown, such a cool town.

In the first of the Butterfly House books, Who Killed The Bride, we meet Cally Minter and her best friend, Sienna Devereux, just as they are about to launch their new business: Murder Mystery at Butterfly House.

Do you remember those old fashioned murder mysteries that were a ‘thing’ about 20 years ago? I wrote one once (incidentally). It featured Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, Sylvester Stallone, Russell Crowe, Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz, Angelina Jolie and Jack Nicholson. (Hubby played Jack).

I wrote scripts for everyone and the game ran on the clock. People had to be some place at a certain time and say something to another character. Or some other character might see them leaving the garden, or the shed, or the house (with a dripping bloody dagger in their hand) kind of thing.

In the game I wrote years ago, ‘Tom Cruise’ was found dead in the front yard of our garden in Hahndorf… and it turned out Angelina and Russell were the dastardly pair who combined to knock him off. (Russell was jealous because he’d missed out on the lead in The Last Samurai, which Tom went on to get…). We played the game and ate, drank and made very merry… we had a blast.

Butterfly House kind of takes off, where that fledgling idea began.

I can’t wait to show you the AMAZING full cover for Who Killed The Bride? Butterfly House: Book 1. It was designed by local artist (incidentally – he doubles as ‘vet’ to the Cowtown cows) Kerry Sibly who runs the gift shop Mukau in Cowaramup main street. This man is a genius!

I also can’t wait to tell you about my plans for the launch and sale of the book and how, where and when you can get your hands on a signed PRINT copy. Lots of exciting news to come including a cover reveal tomorrow! I’ll post it here first 🙂

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2016 in Marketing and promotion, News, Uncategorized

 

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