Happy release day, Vet’s Country Holiday

Yesterday came and went in a blur of social media congratulations and best wishes, and I missed cementing the milestone of a new book on my blog. So, one day later than would have been ideal… welcome to the world THE VET’S COUNTRY HOLIDAY. It’s my newest rural romance and it’s set in my fictional town of Chalk Hill in West Australia’s great southern region.

Vet’s Holiday isn’t part of the original ‘Chalk Hill Series’ which means you don’t need to have read the first three books to read this one. The story is about city vet Izzy (Isabella) and forensic accountant Elliot. Izzy is a friend of a previous character, Taylor Woods. Elliot is the son of the people who built the waterski park in Chalk Hill.

Elliot’s a numbers man. Izzy much prefers dogs to decimal points.

I absolutely loved Izzy and Elliot together.

All The Books I Can Read

These two on the page have become two of my absolute favourite characters, and I have simply loved the stunning cover from the moment I first laid eyes on it.

I’m really proud to have delivered two books within six months for my readers (THE WATERHOLE in November 2021 and now Vet’s Holiday) and it warms my soul to see them performing well in rankings on release day.

Yesterday was a day I’ll never forget. This is partly because the launch of my new book (great happiness) coincided with the televised funeral for one of my absolute idols, Shane Warne (great sadness) and I felt completely split up the middle. I couldn’t watch Warney’s service, so I went for a beautiful walk on a lovely late afternoon and took this picture. The picture kind of sums up how still and sombre I felt inside, and my wishes for peace for this incredible man and his family.

It’s funny how the moment you release a new book to the world, everybody asks you: ‘what’s next?’ I don’t know what’s next for me at the moment. I’m not writing, but I’m thinking about writing, and sometimes that’s just as good.

So for those of you with THE VET’S COUNTRY HOLIDAY already on your shelf, on your way in the mail, on your buy list, or if you’ve pre-ordered on an electronic device, thank you yet again from the bottom of my heart for buying my book.

xx Lily


New directions for 2022

It’s been a quiet two years on the writing front since the release of my third Chalk Hill book, Last Bridge Before Home in December 2020, but while I haven’t had a new book out in 2021, I’ve been busy and there is good stuff happening.

I’ve just finished the second series of edits on my 2022 release with Harlequin MIRA (Harper Collins). This is a revisit to Chalk Hill in a whole new stand-alone story called The Vet’s Country Holiday.

The heroine is Isabella Passmore, a Perth city vet. Izzy makes a very brief cameo at the beginning of The Cafe By The Bridge. She’s Taylor’s friend and in The Vet’s Country Holiday, Izzy comes to stay at Taylor’s house to look after Taylor’s dog Bruno while Taylor and Abe are travelling. 

This is a snippet of what my editor, Rachael Donovan, said when she read the submission draft: ‘I thoroughly enjoyed the read, and think readers – old and new to Chalk Hill – are going to love it! I never thought I’d find myself chuckling over a chicken, but such is the power of your storytelling! Poor little thing.’

It’s always great to get that sort of feedback, and that was before all the spit and polishing that goes into the editing process. 🙂  Not long to go now and I’ll have a new cover to show you.

My second big piece of news is: I’ve joined independent publishing group, Pilyara Press.

Established in 2018 by former lawyer, Jennifer Scoullar (herself a best-selling author with Penguin Random House), Pilyara Press is described as ‘a trail-blazing group of professional writers who have left behind the Goliath world of publishing to form a small independent press. We offer a diverse and distinctive range of books, created on our own terms. We’re a bunch of professionals, and each of us brings a very specific talent to the group.’ 

I joined Pilyara Press for two main reasons. First: I appreciate the quality of authors already involved (they include Jenn J McLeod, Monique Mulligan, Kate Belle (I’m an absolute fan-girl of Kate), Kath Ledson and Jen Scoullar herself.) Second: I believe Pilyara will be a good fit for some books I want to publish moving forward.

While I’ve been very lucky to have The Chalk Hill Series and other paperbacks and e-books published by Harper Collins, which has opened enormous opportunities for me in Australia, I’ve had trouble getting other genres and styles accepted by the big publishers here.

There is debate about the ‘Lily Malone brand’… established in rural romance and romance settings, and whether my readers are ready for different genre writing from me. While I want to continue writing rural romance, I am keen to branch into other areas.

My new book, and the first that I’ll publish with Pilyara in 2022 is called The Waterhole. It’s a contemporary story of complicated family dynamics with a crime/mystery element that kicks off when excavations along a small-town creekline discover decades-old human bones.

While the timeline is a little fluent in order to fit around the release of The Vet’s Country Holiday, I am hopeful The Waterhole will be ready for release in January 2022. If I really pull my finger out, I might even have it available in December in time for Christmas.

Two books in the next six months! Now that’s exciting!

xx Lily