A Country Vet Christmas – new book

Here’s a project I’m excited to tell you about. With four other authors, I’m involved in a collaborative effort to produce a Christmas-themed, vet-themed, all-new-story book that will be available everywhere in October!

It’s called A Country Vet Christmas, and it’s the brainchild of the very awesome, Penelope Janu. Pen pitched the idea to our publisher, Harper Collins, of combining five rural romance bestselling authors into one bumper of a book, because we’re all friends, and we’ve all written books that feature a vet character and animal-loving themes.

My story in the anthology is a return to my much-loved fictional country town, Chalk Hill. Izzy (from The Vet’s Country Holiday) is heading off on maternity leave, and the heroine in my novella is Izzy’s locum.

It’s called: A Country Music Christmas.
Here’s the blurb:

Country music star, Jolene June Carter, has been singing since she could talk. By night Jolene is half of the hugely successful ‘Ozzy Dolly Show,’ a Dolly Parton-inspired tribute act in Queensland’s Southern Downs. By day she works in a vet practice in Warwick.

When a vicious rumour links her with an affair with the Mayor, Jolene has never been more relieved that she has veterinary skills as a career back-up plan. She escapes to the opposite side of Australia to be the locum at the vet clinic in small-town Chalk Hill.

Staying incognito until the scandal fades, Jo’s plan works perfectly until she meets Rueben Manning, the son of the local postmistress—a huge country music fan who threatens to foil her brilliant disguise.

Fighting his own demons, Rueben only ever intended to be in town long enough to help his family deal with the pre-Christmas parcel rush. Finding a country music star undercover in Chalk Hill is enough to make him want to stick around. It may also be inspiration enough to make him reach for the mandolin he hasn’t touched since his best friend’s accident.

Jolene has spent most of her life trying to outrun the reputation of the woman in Dolly Parton’s iconic song. But if she keeps running this Christmas, will she lose her chance for love?

Pre-orders are open now:






This book will also be out in print at all your favourite bookstores and department stores from October 4.

Naughty Ninjas, News, Procrastination

Words, Words, Words = New Book Done!


It’s been quiet here and there is a bloody good reason for that! I’ve been incredibly busy since February when my two boys went back to school. I’ve been head down, bum up, writing to finish my new rural romance, Water Under The Bridge.

This is the book I started in NaNoWriMo last year (National November Writing Month). In November I got to my personal target of 30,000 words on the book. The vast majority of those (particularly the latter half) were drivel… and have since been dumped. Then it was end of school, Christmas, New Year, school holidays, camping, back to school, and I didn’t do much writing in January.

But the day school started in February, my new work/life balance of working two days in my administration job, and writing Wed-Thurs-Fri, kicked in… and I am so happy to tell you I’ve been very disciplined!

I finished my book on Friday last week. I typed these words with such gusto!


That means I wrote about 53,000 new words (probably more because some of the earlier drivel had to get cut to smithereens), and edited the entire lot, in about 5 weeks. That’s good going. That’s about 10,000 words a week, with edits along the way.

Here’s how I did it (if my tips help any procrastinators out there):

  • After I dropped the kids to school on Wed/Thurs & Friday, I set the oven timer for my 1.5 hour sprints, and sat down and wrote. I would have done this at least 3 times in the day, so 4.5 hours of writing, usually with a bit of an edit after school.
  • So that I didn’t go too hard and hurt myself (writers/office workers, all types who spend hours at the keyboard will know that neck/back issues can be a problem) when my oven timer ‘timed’ I’d get up and move and do something else. That might be make a coffee and take a walk around the garden; hang out some washing, empty the dishwasher, go for a quick 45minute walk etc. I’d stretch against the door on my way into my writing room and stretch coming out, using an elastic rope of my hubby’s. My great mate and pilates’ instructor neighbour explained that it was important to stretch/release the chest muscles to counteract how tight typing can make my back and shoulders… and so far it’s worked perfectly.
  • I made myself accountable for my time – using the adage of “make an appointment with your writing self”… and it worked too.
  • I didn’t give in to temptation to do other things, like lunch with mates, coffee, longer walks. See – disciplined!
  • I surrounded myself with positive people who were cheering me on! Thanks Louise Allan and the Lollygaggers, my mates, and all the usual suspects!

So now that the book is with beta readers, I have time for other things – like blog posts! I have a few to do. One for the Naughty Ninjas, one for Maureen Eppen’s Shelf Awareness series. I’ve been for a walk this morning down the beach – just beautiful – and tomorrow is my Mum’s birthday so we’re going out for lunch. I’ve been catching up on my reading and I have to share with you how much I’ve just loved a book called SHELTER by the amazing Rhyll Biest. Here’s my review.

When your book is out with beta readers, the waiting is such a killer, so keeping busy is the plan. Then it will be a case of acting on what they come back to me with, then submit, submit, submit.

Then I get to write a new book! And you know what the really cool thing is? I’ve discovered Water Under The Bridge, featuring Jake and Ella, is the first in what will be my Chalk Hill series… and it’s Abe’s story next 🙂

Now that’s really exciting!

Marketing and promotion, News

Joining the team at Australian Rural Romance

Wonderful news this week to be invited to join a wonderful team of rural romance authors at the dedicated website for rural romance fans, Australian Rural Romance.

There’s a great team behind ARR, and I’m very pleased to call them all friends. Many of the names already at ARR are known to me, but some are new authors and I’m looking forward to reading their books.

Picture 1


Robert Pattinson goes Outback

It was even bigger news in South Australia than Kirsten Stewart snogging her director and breaking R Pat’s heart… that he’s filming a movie in South Oz in January next year called The Rover.

Well I’m excited. I wasn’t writing when the Kidman/Jackman Australia movie hit the screens. I know Tourism Australia planned huge promotions around that and I’m sure they’ll piggyback on the R-Pat back too if they can.

I keep reading that rural romance is doing really well in Australia right now and hopefully for those writing rural themes, there may also be a kick to come from this movie, especially from an international audience (and maybe international agents/publishers)… she says fingers crossed 🙂

I don’t write rural romance in the sheep-shearing/cattle station sense, but my current book does have big sections which occur in outback South Australia, the Flinders Ranges and north of there, The Ghan railway track region and then a climax on the Birdsville Track, so I’m hoping there’s lots of red dust gonna get caught in R Pat’s Akubra…

Meanwhile, we leave tomorrow for our Noosa trip, driving across the Hay Plains… my husband keeps on about ‘making hay while the sun shines’ in terms of our driving and I snicker. The kids are really excited about visiting Queensland but I don’t know if they’ve quite grabbed the concept of three days driving. They’re mad keen on the whole Olympics thing at the moment and I keep getting asked if Queensland is further than London and couldn’t we go to London this time instead.

I am on track with the revisions I’ve been doing all July but I can’t decide whether to print and take the book with me, or use the holiday as a break from it and come back with fresh eyes. Given the Olympics will give us lots to watch at night, I’m kind of leaning towards the latter.

I think it will feel like I’ve left the baby behind…