The Castaway Bride

I love the cover!

Deep breath. Toe in the water. Dive in!

I’ve joined the indie e-book publisher community. THE CASTAWAY BRIDE went live on Amazon and Smashwords on the weekend, and will soon be up at Barnes & Noble and other e-book retailers.

It’s kinda scary to put a story out there by yourself, when you’ve only worked with a publisher before. But I have faith in my story; got it professionally edited; a beautiful cover designed by the amazing Hot Damn Designs; learned how to format; and uploaded.

I was inspired by all the buzz surrounding indie publishing at the Romance Writers of America national convention in New York City. And, as I have worked as a magazine editor for most of my working life, I wasn’t daunted by the process.

Within hours of the book being on Amazon, I got my first review—five-star and very positive: “A fun story with spicy scenes make this a great beach read.”

What more could I ask? Thank you, lovely reviewer!

One of the first question people ask me is: “Is there a dog in THE CASTAWAY BRIDE?” (My books LOVE IS A FOUR-LEGGED WORD and HOME IS WHERE THE BARK IS, published by Berkley Sensation, have lots of dogs in them.)

Yes and no. Burnt out and betrayed by people he trusted, my hero Matt Slade is taking time out on his yacht. He’d love to have his beloved black Labrador Jake sailing with him, but Jake gets seasick and so can’t be on board. Matt has to Skype his dog to keep in touch. So Jake is part of the story but never actually appears on the pages.

Needless to say my heroine Cristy Walters finds this endearing in such a hot, handsome hunk. I couldn’t love a man who didn’t love animals, and I don’t expect my heroines to either!

But the focus of THE CASTAWAY BRIDE is purely on two people, both emotionally wounded in their own way, finding passion and true love on a beautiful tropical island. With white sands and turquoise waters; waterfalls and palm trees. Sigh! No wonder I liked writing this romance so much—it’s a happy, sensual fantasy. A love story. I so enjoyed giving Matt and Cristy their happy-ever-after!



My 20-year-old kitty

The day after I got back from the Romance Writers of America Conference in New York City, my precious Albert turned twenty–that’s well over a hundred in cat years. My heart lifted when I saw him tottering down the hall to greet me on his increasingly shaky legs.

Is she awake yet? It's breakfast time!

People ask me how we got him to this venerable age. The vet says a strong constitution and lots of loving care. I add another reason: he has always been very vocal in letting us know his needs (see pic of him in alarm clock mode). In short: non-stop meowing until he demands are met! We sometimes say that if he could talk and people asked him his name he would reply: “My name is Shut-up Albert.”

I am  grateful to have had this special animal with me for this long and continue to cherish every moment–yes, even when he’s yowling!

Snug on his 20th birthday

The smoke clears

Wattle lights up the garden, and our spirits!

The disaster of the kitchen

Three weeks ago we had a house fire at the farm. We heard via one of those phone-calls you hope you’ll never get. Black smoke seen billowing from under the eaves by a vigilant neighbour. A neighbour whose actions saved our lovely old heritage-listed cottage from being razed to the ground. Instead of a lost house, we have a burnt-out kitchen and severe smoke damage to every other room. Severe smoke damage to every other thing, in fact.

But, as the fire authorities said, it could have been much, much worse. No one–and no animal–was hurt. There is nothing that isn’t replaceable or repairable. And we were insured. The insurance company has been wonderfully  efficient–the house has already been cleared out and cleaned ready for repainting, and measured for a new kitchen. Cause of the fire? Most likely an electrical fault in the dishwasher.

Just yards away from the fire, the garden is untouched

Surrounded by bushland, we always thought the threat was from outside, not inside. But in spite of the devastation inside the house, the garden goes on untouched and with the first signs of spring unstoppable. Fortunately for us, we have an apartment elsewhere so are not homeless. We have much to be thankful for!