Thank you!

 
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My very first book launch – Readings Hawthorn (Melbourne), 21 August, 2014

Today is five years since the launch of my first book, Luna Tango. It had taken ten years, three manuscripts (that will never see the light of day), lots of workshops and conferences, thousands upon thousands of hours honing my craft and a dash of luck to get to the point of seeing my first book published and available in bookshops. It was a dream come true and I’ll never forget that moment of standing in a bookshop and seeing my book on the shelves for the first time. It was a magical moment and scary at the same time. My story was out in the world and people were going to meet my characters for the first time. It felt surreal and I really did have to pinch myself (after wiping away tears of joy).

Before I was published all I had focussed on was getting a publishing contract. What I never expected was the wonderful friendships I would make with other writers, booksellers, book reviewers, journalists, librarians and readers. I love that my non-reader friends get behind me as well, promoting any events I’m doing or new releases. I adore the publishers I work with, their passion for the written word shining through in everything they do, and I am so thankful every day for my wonderful literary agent, Lucienne Diver, who works so very hard and is brilliant at what she does.

Never in a million years did I expect to see my books translated into other languages or be published around the world. I never expected to release a new book every year, be a bestseller or have one of my books voted into Australia’s top 100 books. I never expected that I would get the opportunity to do book tours in Australia and overseas, to be invited to literary events, mentor, and to teach workshops and run writing retreats with one of my best friends who is also a writer. I never expected opportunities to take my storytelling to the screen. But all these things have happened and I am grateful for every single one of these magical moments.

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A selection of books – more to come!

On this fifth anniversary, I wanted to thank each and every one of you for getting involved in this precious, uplifting, wonderful writing journey. Without you, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Alli 

Capricorn Coast Writers Festival

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With a little over four weeks until The Cinema at Starlight Creek hits the shelves in Australia and New Zealand (it will be released as The Cinema of Lost Dreams in November throughout the rest of the world), I’m gearing up for lots of events that will have me travelling Australia far and wide in the months of May, June and July. I’ll be posting a calendar with all the events shortly, but for now I want to announce my first event which will be appearing at the Capricorn Coast Writers Festival in Yeppoon, Queensland. 

I’m really excited about this festival as it’s the inaugural one and I know the organisers have been working so very hard to make this happen. It is so wonderful to see the passion and care they have put into this event and I hope that if you are in the vicinity of Rockhampton and Yeppoon that you can come along and support this festival.

I’ll be running a workshop on Creating Memorable Characters and also doing a breakfast panel about the state of the publishing industry. I’m really looking forward to these and also attending other sessions presented by some of Australia’s most talented and loved authors. 

If you know of anyone in this region, please let them know about this wonderful festival and if you’re in the vicinity, please come and say hi!

You can find out more details about the festival HERE

 

 

Cover reveal & pre-order

One of the biggest thrills when a book is coming together is seeing the cover. I’ve been blessed by the cover fairies on every book of mine and just when I think they can’t do any better they come up with something like this …

 

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Isn’t it beautiful? I’m very excited about my May 20 release date for The Cinema at Starlight Creek. This is for my Australian and New Zealand readers and shortly I’ll be able to show you the cover and announce the date for the international edition which will be titled The Cinema of Lost Dreams.

Would you like to know a little more about the book? Here you go!

A heart-stirring novel of loss, love and new hope set against the glamorous backdrop of 1950s Hollywood and a small Australian country town.

How far would you go to follow your dream?

Queensland, 1994: When location manager Claire Montgomery arrives in rural Queensland to work on a TV mini-series, she’s captivated by the beauty of Starlight Creek and the surrounding sugarcane fields. Working in a male-dominated industry is challenging, but Claire has never let that stop her pursuing her dreams-until now. She must gain permission to film at Australia’s most historically significant art deco cinema, located at Starlight Creek. But there is trouble ahead. The community is fractured and the cinema’s reclusive owner, Hattie Fitzpatrick, and her enigmatic great nephew, Luke Jackson, stand in her way, putting Claire’s career-launching project-and her heart-at risk.

Hollywood, 1950: Lena Lee has struggled to find the break that will catapult her into a star with influence. She longs for roles about strong, independent women but with Hollywood engulfed in politics and a censorship battle, Lena’s timing is wrong. Forced to keep her love affair with actor Reeves Garrity a secret, Lena puts her career on the line to fight for equality for women in an industry ruled by men. Her generous and caring nature steers her onto a treacherous path, leaving Lena questioning what she is willing to endure to get what she desires.

Can two women-decades apart-uncover lies and secrets to live the life they’ve dared to dream?

And good news is that The Cinema at Starlight Creek is now available for pre-order!

Harper Collins:  https://bit.ly/2Cp1ywN

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2DenZ9o

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2FEcIAR

Booktopia: https://bit.ly/2TSL6fp

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2Mhf61G

Google Play: https://bit.ly/2Mlz8IN

 

Behind the Story: Sarah Williams

Retouched 1.jpgToday I’m excited to introduce you to Sarah Williams. Sarah spent her childhood chasing sheep, riding horses and picking Kiwi fruit on the family orchard in rural New Zealand. After a decade travelling, Sarah moved to Queensland to raise a family and follow her passion for writing. She currently resides in Maleny on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. 

When she’s not absorbed in her fictional writing world, Sarah is running after her family of four kids, one husband, two dogs and a cat. If that’s not enough, she also mentors and teaches writing workshops and hosts Write with Love- a weekly writers and readers podcast.

Sarah, please tell us your story behind the story!

The Brigadier Station Series is a family saga about three sons who each have their own love story. They are very family and small-town community focused.

The Sky over Brigadier Station is the second in the Brigadier Station series which is set near Julia Creek in the isolated Queensland Outback of Australia.

In this novel I reversed the gender stereotype. Riley, my heroine is very Alpha and dominates the relationship while Noah is the one who gets left behind on the station, so she can go fly Helis!

The Sky over Brigadier Station also touches on Domestic Violence and PTSD. These are both big issues I wanted to draw attention to.

The-Sky-Over-Brigadeer-Station-Kindle-FINALMore about Sarah’s book: 

Noah McGuire stayed away from Brigadier Station for a reason. He’s spent almost a decade in New Zealand’s South Island, trying to forget his past. But the memories still haunt him and the last thing he wants to do is see his estranged family and attend his brother’s wedding. 

However, the only way he can collect his inheritance is if he returns to his family’s property and faces the demons he’s been hiding from. 

When it comes to rounding up hundreds of cattle in a day, doing so by horseback doesn’t do the trick quite like a helicopter does and Riley Sinclair is one of the best pilots in the country. It’s a dangerous job, but she has nothing to lose. Until she meets Noah and her bravery is finally tested.

Can they make a life together or is the pull of the sky too strong? 

To connect with Sarah or purchase her book: 

Print and digital through all the usual online retails. Here’s a link: http://www.books2read.com/TheSkyoverBrigadierStation

Sarah is regularly checking social media when she really should be cleaning. 
You can find her online at:
http://www.sarahwilliamsauthor.com
http://www.facebook.com/sarahwilliamswriter 
http://www.twitter.com/SarahW_Writer

Burning Fields events

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One of the best parts of being an author is getting the chance to meet readers and other writers. I’ve got a few events in Bellingen, Geelong and Melbourne, and towards the end of July I’ll be heading to the gorgeous Sunshine State and doing a series of author events in bookstores and libraries, and also teaching a one-day writing course with Queensland Writers centre. 

I hope to see you there and please feel free to let your friends and colleagues know about any of the following events if you feel it’s for them. 

Please note: each event has something different to offer, so it’s just a matter of which one appeals the most (or you can always go to more than one!).

Boy, am I looking forward escaping a southern Australian winter and enjoy some sunshine soon!

Here are the dates and events:

BELLINGEN
Bellingen Writers Festival
Saturday, 9 June panel – Writing From and For the Heart (10.30 am)
Sunday, 10 June panel – Challenging Women: Perspectives on Life and Writing (9.00 am)
More information HERE
 
GEELONG
Tuesday, 17 July – 6.00-7.00pm Dymocks Waurn Ponds

I’ll be discussing my research behind Burning Fields, as well as the themes of equality, racism and going against tradition that occur throughout the book. And there’ll be lots of time for questions about anything writing related!

Call the store to reserve your seat: 03 52438720
 
MELBOURNE
Emerging Writers Festival
Sunday, 25 June (Victoria State Library) – Subverting the Genre – 1.30 pm
Tuesday, 26 June (The Wheeler Centres) – Romance writing workshop – 6.30-8.00 pm
More information and bookings HERE

BRISBANE
Thursday, 26 July – RIVERBEND BOOKS
In conversation with TM Clark, we’ll be discussing the research behind Burning Fieldsand the themes of equality, racism and PTSD that run throughout the story. There will be plenty of time for writing-related questions!
More information here and bookings HERE

Saturday, 28 July – WORKSHOP at QUEENSLAND WRITERS CENTRE
Full day romance writing workshop with Queensland Writers Centre
More information and bookings HERE
 
Monday, 30 July – AVID READER
In conversation with TM Clark, Anna Campbell and Ally Blake, this fun and informative panel about romance books and its role in today’s world.
More information and bookings HERE
 
PEREGIAN BEACH
Sunday, 29 July – 10am-12noon
Annie’s Books on Peregian – in-store book signing
More information HERE
 
GOLD COAST
Tuesday, 31 July – 6.30-7.30 pm
Elanora Library
II’ll be discussing my research behind Burning Fields, as well as the themes of equality, racism and going against tradition that occur throughout the book. And there’ll be lots of time for questions about anything writing related!
More information and bookings HERE

Isle of Pines, New Caledonia

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Photo by Sébastien Jermer seb  (Wikimedia Commons)

One of the things Tina and I are excited about with the Writers at Sea retreat we’re running at the end of August this year, is the amazing places participants will get to experience. If the idea of sandy beaches and warm azure waters appeals, then the Isle of Pines is the perfect place to visit.

The Isle of Pines is situated 100 kilometres by ocean from New Caledonia’s capital, Noumea, and a visit to this beautiful island will leave you refreshed and inspired. Surrounded by the New Caledonia Barrier Reef, there’s plenty of opportunity to go snorkelling, paddle boarding, sea kayaking, hiking, or lying on the beach reading a book, working on your own book, or having a nap (because why not?).

The world’s largest gecko resides on this island that once served as a French penal colony in the 1800s. When Captain James Cook first saw the island he named it the Isle of Pines because of the tall native pines. It’s an impressive sight and one you’re likely to remember forever.

Aptly nicknamed l’île la plus proche du paradis (the closest island to Paradise), a visit to the Isle of Pines is likely to be high on your list of favourite places ever visited. Yes, I’m that sure you’ll love it!

We stil have some places available on the Writers at Sea retreat and Carnival currently have a sale on cabins so you can snap up a bargain!

For more details, please CLICK HERE.

 

 

Sun, Sea and Writing!

I am so very excited to announce that I will be collaborating with my very good friend and super talented writer, T.M. Clark on a unique writing retreat that sails to one of the Pacific’s most treasured destinations—New Caledonia. The relaxing nature of cruising will give you plenty of time to work on your projects as well as meet like-minded writers. When in port, you’ll have the option of exploring the vibrant local culture, swim in crystal clear waters or stroll along pristine beaches lined with palm trees—the perfect way to inspire creativity and rejuvenate your spirit!

Suitable for writers with any degree of experience, this retreat includes workshops, writing sessions, feedback, and mentoring. There’ll also be time to relax and gaze out at the azure ocean and endless blue sky, take in a show or game of trivia, read by one of the many pools, or undertake an on-shore adventure.

If you’d like to find out more, please click on the graphic below or email me directly. I’m more than happy to answer any questions!

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Burning Fields cover reveal!

I have been anticipating this day! I am so very pleased to finally reveal the most gorgeous cover for my upcoming June release, Burning Fields. This is the Australian and New Zealand cover with my wonderful publisher, Harlequin MIRA and it is now available for pre-order (links below). For those of you outside Australia and New Zealand, I am very pleased to inform you Burning Fields will be available through my wonderful USA publisher, Kensington Books, in November this year (I’ll keep you updated as to when it is available for pre-order. So without further ado, here’s Burning Fields (Aus/NZ edition):

Burning Fields

Isn’t it beautiful? And Rosie on the cover looks just how I imagined her. I am so very fortunate to have the wonderful Barbara Hannay provide such an amazing quote! 

Here’s a little more about the story:

1948 The world is struggling to regain a sense of balance after the devastation of World War II, and the sugar cane-growing community of Piri River in northern Queensland is no exception.

As returned servicemen endeavour to adjust to their pre-war lives, women who had worked for the war effort are expected to embrace traditional roles once more.

Rosie Stanton finds it difficult to return to the family farm after years working for the Australian Women’s Army Service. Reminders are everywhere of the brothers she lost in the war and she is unable to understand her father’s contempt for Italians, especially the Conti family next door. When her father takes ill, Rosie challenges tradition by managing the farm, but outside influences are determined to see her fail.

Desperate to leave his turbulent history behind, Tomas Conti has left Italy to join his family in Piri River. Tomas struggles to adapt in Australia—until he meets Rosie. Her easy-going nature and positive outlook help him forget the life he’s escaped. But as their relationship grows, so do tensions between the two families until the situation becomes explosive.

When a long-hidden family secret is discovered and Tomas’s mysterious past is revealed, everything Rosie believes is shattered. Will she risk all to rebuild her family or will she lose the only man she’s ever loved?

PRE-ORDER LINKS:

PRINT: 

HARLEQUIN

BOOKTOPIA

BOOKWORLD

DYMOCKS

eBOOK:

AMAZON

iBOOKS

GOOGLE PLAY

New covers never get old

TANGO-POD-MESECINOM-00007423582175Today I’m super excited to reveal the Serbian cover of Luna Tango (Australian/NZ edition) which is also called Midnight Serenade (USA/Canada/UK edition). I love how the publishers in the different territories I’m published in put their own spin on covers and titles – it’s always a surprise to see what they come up with!

Just to show you how different the take can be on one story, I’ve posted the Australian/NZ and USA/UK/Canada editions as well. 

By the way, I have some exciting news about to be announced so if you would like to be one of the first to know, please sign up for my newsletter HERE.

 

 

Behind the Story: Monica McCabe

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Today I’m delighted to introduce you to the fabulous Monica McCabe. Adventuring is in Monica McCabe’s blood. She’s addicted to travel, National Parks, & exploring new places and mysterious locales. She’s climbed glaciers and ancient Mayan pyramids, dived shipwrecks and reef caves, camped in Sasquatch country, and drove across the USA three times. When not traveling she’s writing romantic suspense and adventure for Lyrical Liaison, Kensington’s digital line. 

Welcome, Monica! Please tell us about your stories behind the stories!

I freely admit that I’m addicted to travel. My favorite thing in all the world (besides critters and a good glass of wine) is to visit places new to me, sparkling locales that I’ve not experienced beyond pictures or Google Earth. Whatever it takes…planes, trains, cars, or boats…it doesn’t matter. Let’s just go!

That wanderlust impacts my writing too. Some authors start their story with characters. The WHO is important. They want to know everything about them – eye color, hair color, where they went to school. Not me. I start my story with the WHERE. Then I move into the WHAT. Until I get deep into location and plot, characters are just a vague impression.

Setting motivates me to begin the book. Imagery helps create my story. I have a blank wall next to my computer and as I build my story world, that wall turns into a collage of pictures that detail out every major scene location. The deeper into the book I get, the more images fill that space.

What inspires me to choose a location? I can’t say. I saw something, heard something. It doesn’t take much to capture my imagination. I’m always game to research location. I love digging in to find the details that make a setting feel real. Google Earth, Trip Advisor, travel journals, tourist sites, I’ve a whole list of places to hit when a destination catches my eye. That’s why every one of my Jewel Intrigue books takes place in locales far away from me.

DIAMOND LEGACY is set in Botswana, Africa. It’s the perfect place for a story about diamond smuggling because minin9781616507077g for the gemstone dominates the country’s economy and work force. Unfortunately, it also inspires a ruthless criminal underground. But you can’t imagine Africa without being dazed over their spectacular animal kingdom. So intro Roz, a kleptomaniac monkey who threatens to steal the show.

9781601836540EMERALD FIRE opens in St. Lucia, West Indies. What better place to hide modern day pirates? Full of secret coves, luxury yachts, & breathtaking scenery, it’s every bit the perfect Caribbean island. It’s also a hotbed of high-seas and high-stakes action that is hard to combat. We visited a few years ago, after I wrote the book. Despite the danger, I absolutely want to go again.

9781601836557PHANTOM PEARL is a book divided. First half takes place in the rainforests of Far North, Queensland, Australia. Remote and beautiful, it’s an exceptional location for an epic WWII mystery. A treasure hunt is on and the truth hides in the wilderness.

Then it’s on to Singapore for a grand finale on Jurong Island, a massive industrial seaport. It’s a maze of piers, cranes, ship traffic and desalination plants. Perfect for a showdown of epic proportions. I’ve yet to visit Singapore, but it’s on my list. Did you know their airport is consistently voted best in the world? It’s a destination all its own.

The best part … all that delicious research seems to be justified. Because book reviews have a consistent theme – vivid imagery, sensory description, a few even declare the setting takes on a life of its own. I had one swear I’d been to Africa. I wish!

That said, research for PHANTOM PEARL hit a whole new level. Hubby and I visited Australia. It was two weeks of pure awesomeness. This article could easily cover how endlessly amazing the country is, but I’ll restrain myself. Let’s just say – if you’ve ever thought about going – DON’T WAIT. DO IT. It is absolutely worth the 17 hour flight to get there.

Meanwhile, I’m hard at work on the next book in the Jewel Intrigue Series. The story opens in the Florida Everglades, but will move to the other side of the planet pretty quick. I’m currently scanning the globe for that second location.

Tell me the #1 spot on your bucket list and you’ll be entered to win a free digital copy of your choice – DIAMOND LEGACY (Africa) or EMERALD FIRE (St. Lucia) or PHANTOM PEARL (Australia). Choose your destination!

To learn more about the series, or to sign-up for her newsletter (it might include travel photos!) visit Monica at her website:  www.monicamccabe.net