Coastal Romance Holiday

Rafflecopter at end of post

Sometimes a coastal romance is right on our doorstep. In Fremantle, Western Australia, there’s a Boxing Day tradition of picnicking beneath shady pine trees, eating Christmas leftovers while the kids hit the water to try out their presents.

                                         South Beach, before the crowds
South Beach, before the crowds
1939 ‘SOUTH BEACH—REFLECTS.’, Sunday Times (Perth, WA : 1902 – 1954), 29 October, p. 26, viewed 25 November, 2013,

But go back a few decades and this same quiet area just south of Fremantle city centre was home to a hippodrome, a fun fair. My neighbour remembers working there before the Second World War took him off to adult duties. It was the “Brighton of the West”.

Can you imagine the noise, the romance, the smell of fried food and the kids’ laughter? People would have paraded in their Sunday best — or maybe not! There’s an article that they raced cars here.

The coast has always been a favourite escape for West Australians. My gran grew up in the hills, about an hour inland, but on rare occasions, the family would holiday at the beach, travelling down on the old steam train, probably over tracks her dad helped to lay.

An escape to the sea promises freedom and adventure — and that’s the appeal of Coastal Romance. Coastal Romance is about freedom, wide open horizons, taking chances and daring to love. It celebrates the sea in all of its moods. When we escape the everyday, anything is possible.


Share your memory of a seaside escape — yours or one you wish had been yours, like Cary Grant on the Riviera in To Catch a Thief — for your chance to win this gorgeous box of soaps. Wherever you are in the world, you’ll be able to enjoy the fragrance of the Australian bush, a scent that for me is part of the coastal experience. It is rain on gumtrees and the freshness of crushed leaves.  The contest is open internationally and I’ll do a random draw on Christmas Eve.

Plus, enter the Rafflecopter contest below for the Big Prize: a $100 Amazon giftcard and 26 awesome Coastal Romance ebooks.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tomorrow’s Blog Hop host is E E Carter. Be sure to check in with her for another chance to win!

Our Christmas Blog Hop Calendar– each one another chance to win!

28 November
Annie Seaton

29 November
Jenny Schwartz

30 November

1 December
Nicole Flockton

2 December
Dilys Carnie

3 December
Elsa Winckler

4 December
Maureen O Betitia

5 December
Sherry Gloag

6 December
Chris Stovell

7 December
Jaimee Brooker

8 December
Susanne Bellamy

9 December
Barbara Cool Lee

10 December
Tea Cooper

11 December
Juliet Madison

12 December
Linda Mitchelmore

13 December
Julie McCullogh

14 December
Eva Scott

15 December
Maureen Fisher

16 December
Rachael Johns

17 December
Susanne O’Leary

18 December
Jean Joachim

19 December
Demelza Carlton 

20 December
Lily Malone

21 December
Marisa Cleveland

22 December
Monique McDonnell

23 December
Lauren McKellar

24 December
Annie Seaton 

Drawing Closer Release Day!

Happy reading! Drawing Closer released, today, and I hope you enjoy it. At 10,000 words it’s the perfect length for a stolen hour of romance. Plus, it’s set in one of my favourite places, Fremantle. I hope it makes you all book your tickets to Fremantle and indulge in the port city’s living history, hippy heritage and serious commitment to the Arts. A romance set in Freo (as the locals call it) can’t help but be fun.

Escape Publishing is Harlequin’s new Australian digital imprint and I’m still pinching myself at how lucky I am to be involved in such a fabulous venture bringing distinctive Aussie (and Oceanic) voices to the world. In particular, I’ve had the good fortune of working with editor, Nas Dean, on Drawing Closer and her editing eye, ideas, tact and support are invaluable. Thank you, Nas.

5 out of 5 stars!

“…really fun, sexy and passionate read”  Desere, Contemporary Romance Reviews

And don’t miss the other fantastic Australian stories releasing today from Escape Publishing!

December Escape Party

Escape Publishing launched in November, and the Australian digital romance imprint is already making waves. The launch books showed strong Australian voices and compelling emotional intensity. Now the next six books are due to release on 10 December (no geographic restrictions, no DRM — which means you can buy and read them anywhere). If you’d like to see what all the enthusiasm is for, be sure to check back here on 10 December when the December Escape Party kicks off.

All six December release authors will be sharing a holiday blog post and a chance to win a copy of their new book. I’ll be giving away a copy of Drawing Closer, my contemporary romance short story. All you’ll need to do is visit the blogs and leave a comment.

Rhian Cahill, New Year’s Kisses

Bridget GrayNo Strings Attached

Coleen Kwan, Short Soup

Caitlyn NicholasThe Danger Game

Serenity Woods, Summer Fling

and my short story, Drawing Closer.

* with huge thanks to Coleen for designing the gorgeous banner for the December Escape Party.

Courting Trouble releases 1 Oct

To celebrate the release of “Courting Trouble“, the second Bustlepunk Chronicle, I’m indulging in a round of festivities. Yes, I’ll be talking about my book, but also about other passions in my life: history, steampunk, Western Australia — hang on! I forgot to do a post on food! How did I forget food? Never mind. As I party my way around the world, there are a number of copies of “Courting Trouble” up for grabs; as well as a special Release Day post here on 1 October. Please join me at the brilliant sites (hosted by some wonderful people) listed below:

27 Sept – Steamed – visit the Antipodes for real Steam 😉
1 Oct – A Clockwork Christmas on Facebook, we have the Steampunk Pet Photo Contest
1 Oct – Riverina Romantics – Springtime is wildflower season and Diwali – the Indian Festival of Lights
1 Oct – Australian Romance Readers Assoc
3 Oct – Monique McDonell – Interview – great questions!
4 Oct – Carina Press – Improving on history – the Indian connection
5 Oct – Here Be Magic – Museums & communal memory
6 Oct – Manic Readers – Australiana
Courting Trouble - Steampunk

Swan River Colony, Australia, 1895

All suffragette Esme Smith wants is respect. Her beau, American inventor Jed Reeve, may be more enlightened than most men, but lately his need to protect her is at odds with her need for independence. Esme begins to wonder if a modern woman can share her life with a man without losing some of herself.

With his courtship of Esme stalled, the last thing Jed needs is the pressure of saving the Prince of Wales. But when blueprints for a sonic destroyer fall into his hands, he uncovers an anarchist plot that could have deadly consequences.

While investigating the threats, Jed is determined to keep Esme out of harm’s way, despite her protests. But when the terrorists capture Jed and demand a priceless emerald in exchange for his life, it’s Esme who must draw on all her strength to save the day.


Reviewers: Review copies are available from Netgalley.