Today, I’m delighted to have Rachael Johns visiting. I have a couple of things I want to say about Rach and her must-by books, but I’ll do that at the end of the post because I know you’re here to read her Coastal Romance post. I’ll just say that next time she goes on holiday, I’m either going with her or she’d better send me a care package of fudge 😉
Thanks Jenny for having me on your wonderful blog to talk about the new phenomenon that is coastal romance! I’m thrilled that my new novella THE KISSING SEASON fits into this genre. I’ve been writing rural romance (another buzz genre) for the past few years, but while I enjoy writing about the country and life on farms, my real love is writing about small communities. And it just so happens my favourite small communities – Margaret River, Busselton, Dongara – are those by the coast. So, it’s no surprise, when I decided to do something slightly different from my normal rurals, I kept the same small town community feel but headed for the beach!
THE KISSING SEASON is set in a fictional town called Wildwood Point in south Western Australia, which has to be one of the prettiest places on the planet. Not only is there the gorgeous coastline as seen on my cover BUT it’s a wine region AND they have a chocolate factory, fudge shops and ice-creameries.
Wildwood Point is loosely based on the whole Cape Leeuwin region and I have holidayed here a number of times with my family, so today I thought I’d share my top five tourists spots down south.
1) The Margarent River Chocolate Factory – on a gorgeous stretch of land, nestled between wineries is this divine chocolate factory, which also boasts a fabulous café. You can buy chocolate gifts and sample the tasty ware in the most picturesque of settings. Last time I visited I came away with a new cap with the caption “I’d Give Up Chocolate But I’m No Quitter” on the front.
2) Simmo’s Ice-creamery – Although chocolate and cake are my first sweet loves, good ice-cream is not to be sniffed at. There are a few ice-creameries down south now but one that’s stood the test of time is Simmos. Not only can you indulge in your favourite flavour, they also have the best milkshakes and waffles AND there’s entertainment for the kids. There’s mini-golf, an Emu and often other fun stuff going on.
3) Berry Farm – I first went here years ago with my mum and later with my then new hubby. It’s a magical place where the wine is made from fruit other than grapes. Their famous strawberry wine is to-die-for and they also sell a number of other wines, sauces and preserves. While you’re there, sit down and try some of their yummy scones.
4) The Fudge Factory – at the end of Margaret River’s main road, this is always a must visit for me. My mum is a great fudge lover, so I always buy her a stash and indulge in a sweet taste for myself.
5) Fonti Farm – it’s now known as The Margaret River Cheese Factory but when I was little and Mum and I went down south we ALWAYS stopped here. They offered free taste testings of cheese (mum liked that) and yoghurt (for me) and we always bought one of their milkshakes before we left.
To me, having always lived inland, the coast is a holiday place and my holidays always involve food! Hey, I have my priorities right, which is why when I write more Wildwood Point novellas, they’ll be sure to feature places very similar to my Top Five above. I hope if you pick up a copy of THE KISSING SEASON, you get to read it in your favourite coastal location.
Merry Christmas folks.
Every family has a black sheep…and Hannah Elliot is it.
It’s no surprise to anyone when Hannah Elliot makes the spontaneous decision to marry a stranger in Las Vegas. But when she finds herself pregnant and her new husband files for an annulment, she dreads having to tell her family.
Returning to her Australian hometown of Wildwood Point, Hannah is determined to become a devoted mum and put her baby’s needs ahead of her own. She’s also set to prove to her family she can actually be responsible. This means putting her wild past behind her and accepting a job back in the family business…while keeping her pregnancy a secret!
Except, when gorgeous Italian Matteo Della-Bosca walks through the shop door, Hannah finds her resolve slipping fast…
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Thanks, Rach, for sharing such a wonderful part of the world with everyone.
I’ve been reading and enjoying Rachael’s books since One Perfect Night published in December 2011. Only two years later and so many heart-warming stories published, Rach, you are amazing!
I’ve just read The Kissing Season and it has your characteristic warmth, a love of family and community, and a very special touch of Christmas magic.
Both Rach and I are involved in the Coastal Romance Christmas Blog Hop. Do join it for your chance to win a $100 Amazon giftcard and 26 ebooks, plus a happy scattering of other prizes along the hop.