Choosing the Setting

Now that I have  a rough story idea in my head, and have chosen a name for my Rapunzel (I think I’m going with Olive or Olivia by the way), I’m looking into the where. The setting.

Where am I going to place this story?tower

Considering I’m looking at a convict scenario, I need to choose from the penal colonies in Australia. Obviously there were convict settlements in Sydney, and others in New South Wales, and there were several places in Tasmania, plus a couple in Queensland and one in Western Australia.

Since I’ve set novels in Sydney before, I am leaning towards Tasmania. I love the idea of Port Arthur, but more likely need to use the sites where the female convicts were sent. That’s where the research comes in.

The other thing I’ve begun looking at is, because it is a Rapunzel story and Rapunzel was kept in a tower, what kind of historical towers there are in Tasmania.

The first one I found was the Guard Tower at Port Arthur. A possibility that I might be able to work with.

Then a friend suggested the Shot Tower near Hobart. When I looked into this, I discovered that it wasn’t built until 1870, too late really for the convict idea.

With some more research I found some more towers across the Tasmania:

  • New Town – The Towers – a residential property built in 1845
  • Evandale – the Water Tower – built in 1896 and full of water so unsuitable
  • Oatlands – Callington Mill – built in 1837 and rather fascinating
  • Hobart – Post Office Clock Tower – built in 1906, so too late (there is also one of these in Launceston but was also built too late for my story)
  • Richmond – St Luke’s Church – built in 1836 (one of many churches throughout the state)

And then I discovered the lighthouses, and I must admit, these draw me more than all the others, particularly the Iron Pot Lighthouse (1832) and the Cape Bruny Lighthouse (1838). These seem to have been mostly run by convicts, so might work well for my story.

What kind of tower would you like to see a Rapunzel character in?

Published in: on 4th June, 2017 at 8:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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What’s in a Name – Rapunzel

Did you know that Rapunzel was named after a plant?

rampion_at_degensRapunzel is the German name for a leafy plant called Rampion, whose leaves can be eaten like spinach and whose roots can be eaten like radish.

The character Rapunzel, was named after this herb that her mother craved and ultimately stole from Gothel’s garden. I’m thinking that her mum must have REALLY loved this veg if she named her only daughter in honour of it!

So, now I’m thinking, what will I name my Rapunzel? Is there another vegetable that sounds nice enough to be a name? I mean, let’s face it, Potato is not going to work, even though I LOVE potatoes — especially cut into little sticks and deep fried in oil, oh, or mashed with lashings of butter and cream. Yum! Now my stomach is rumbling.

But, I digress. The point is I would never name my child Potato. Imagine the nicknames — Mr Potato Head, etc. So, what is a more appropriate name for a pretty girl with fabulous long locks? Mizuna? Rocquette? Pumpkin? ;p

What do you think? And remember, it has to be something that would have been available in London in the early 1800s.

Published in: on 23rd April, 2017 at 6:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Author Life – What’s next?

So, now that I’m finished writing Unhinged, an Aussie retelling of Beauty and the Beast, what’s next?

Well, other than heaps of editing on the Unhinged manuscript, it’s time to start thinking about and planning the next one.

rapunzelRight now, I’m forming ideas for another fairy tale retelling — Rapunzel, working title, Unravelled.

As I have with the other two, my first step is to go back to the original tale. I prefer to draw from the original rather than to just refer to the Disney versions or other versions out there. And as far as fairy tales go, Rapunzel is quite a bleak story, until the happy ending. If you like, you can read it here, but the main points are as follows:

  • Rapunzel’s parents coveted and stole some rampion from an enchantress.
  • Rapunzel was locked in a tower at the age of 12 for her parents’ crime.
  • Rapunzel had impossibly long golden hair – about 23m.
  • Rapunzel had a sweet singing voice.
  • The prince was drawn to her because of her song, and they fell in love and married.
  • When the enchantress discovered their love, she cut Rapunzel’s hair and sent her into the desert.
  • The prince, after discovering his love was gone, fells into thorn bushes which pierced his eyes, making him blind.
  • Twins were born to Rapunzel in the desert, but their life is wretched.
  • The prince managed to wander into the desert where he heard her singing and knew immediately it was his Rapunzel.
  • Her happy tears miraculously healed his eyes and they lived happily ever after.

Most of this I think I can construct something with, however I’m not sure whether I can use the very, very long braid in a realistic historical romance (especially not the climbing the tower using hair part). Well, perhaps it could be long, but not THAT long.

What would you dowith this kind of fantastical detail?

Published in: on 2nd April, 2017 at 6:30 pm  Comments (5)  

At last – a new novel!

I must make a confession. I love fairy tales. I love happy-ever-afters, and all the magic that goes with them. I love princes and princesses and true love. Nothing appeals to my romance-loving heart more. Something within me says “this is how it’s meant to be” even if the reality of our world looks a lot different. Eternal optimist? Maybe.

Anyway, my favourite fairy tales on the screen are Beauty and the Beast (Disney), Cinderella (the Ever After version), and now Rapunzel (the Tangled version).

Several years ago I began to grow some ideas to write some of these fairy tales, twisting them a little to fit with my usual genre – historical romance. And so, Unnoticed came into being.

Set in Australia in 1878 on the Murrumbidgee River in Hay, New South Wales, Plain Jane O’Reilly is my Cinderella and Price Moreland is my handsome prince.

unnoticedes

Plain Jane O’Reilly is good at being unnoticed. Detested by her stepmother and teased by her stepsisters, Jane has learned the art of avoiding attention. That is until Price Moreland, an American with big dreams, arrives in her small town.

Does she dare to hope someone might notice her?

However, Price Moreland may not be the prince that the whole town thinks him to be. Was his desire to be a missionary a God-given call, or just a good excuse to run from his past?

Complete with an evil stepmother, a missing shoe and a grand ball, Unnoticed takes the time-old Cinderella fairy tale and gives it an Australian twist.

Unnoticed is due for release on 1st March, just under two weeks away. Three years in the making, and it’s finally here. I’m very excited to introduce it to you. You can order it here, and it will be available on Amazon soon, too.

And, another fairy tale is planned for later in the year – Unhinged. This one will be my version of Beauty and the Beast. But the beast will not be a monster per se, or even a physical deformity. I guess you will have to wait and see!

Speaking of Beauty and the Beast though, I cannot wait for the new Disney version about to be released! CAN’T WAIT! How about you? Or do you have another fairy tale favourite?

Published in: on 16th February, 2017 at 6:54 pm  Comments (4)  

D.J. Blackmore – Charter to Redemption

2nd – 6th May 2014

Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance

is introducing
Charter to Redemption

(Even Before Publishing 1 May 2014)By

D.J. Blackmore

About the Book

At the close of 1821, the penal colony of Newcastle looks to be every bit as black as it’s painted. Emma Colchester charters a ride to Australia with a promise of marriage to a man she has never met. But appearances aren’t always as they seem. And with a commitment unavoidable Emma learns that shackles are not always forged from iron. Tobias Freeman longs for redemption and hope. After a rough journey to New South Wales, Tobias learns the rations, the regulations, and the reprisal. But neither Emma nor Tobias expect the repercussions.

About the Author

D.J. Blackmore grew up in the wine growing region of the Hunter Valley, New South Wales and is currently based in Central Queensland.

She draws inpiration for her historical fiction novels from her love of age-old crafts such as spinning and cheese making. She considers being the mother of five, her greatest achievement.

Amanda’s Review

Being a fan of historical romance, especially Australian, I have been looking forward to this novel for months. And I wasn’t disappointed. D.J. Blackmore has presented a wonderful debut novel in Charter to Redemption, and it had all the elements I like in my fiction: Aussie history, romance, a little suspense and an edifying message.

Blackmore really showed how looks can be deceiving. Someone of consequence, who says and does the right things (apparently) might be harbouring dark thoughts and plans. On the other hand, someone who appears to be the dregs of society might just have a heart of gold. It is a great reminder that God looks on the heart, not on the outward presentation of a person.

If you, like me, enjoy a historical romance, then you will also love Charter to Redemption. I will be looking forward to future novels from this author. Recommended.

Paula Vince – Imogen’s Chance

5th – 9th May 2014

Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance

is introducing

Imogen’s Chance

(Even Before Publishing April 2014)By

Paula Vince

About the Book

She has given herself a chance to fix her personal history. But will old mistakes bring up new emotions?

Imogen Browne longs to make up for past mistakes before she can move on. She quietly resolves to help the Dorazio family, whose lives she accidentally upset. Her biggest challenge is Asher, the one person who may never forgive her. And he is facing a crisis of his own. Imogen must tread very carefully, as trying to fix things may well make them shatter.

A sensitive story about misplaced loyalty, celebrating life and falling in love. Can family secrets concealed with the best intentions bear the light of day?

About the Author

Paula Vince’s youth was brightened by great fiction and she’s on a mission to pay it forward. A wife and homeschooling mother, she loves to highlight the beauty of her own country in her stories. Most of them are set in the lovely Adelaide Hills, where she lives. Paula’s books are a skillful blend of drama and romance. Together with elements of mystery and suspense, you will keep turning pages.

Amanda’s Review:

I’m a fan of Paula Vince’s books and Imogen’s Chance didn’t disappoint. I love that Paula delves into interesting topics while keeping me turning the pages with a bit of intrigue and romance as well. It was great to watch the growing relationship between Imogen and Asher even as they dealt with difficult issues in their lives — issues that threatened that very relationship.

I took away a great idea from this book. That sometimes the journey of faith might not work out the way we were believing, but that doesn’t make us a failure — just like an athlete who doesn’t achieve the number one ranking is not a failure either. We still applaud them for their efforts and hard work. Faith is a journey and it is what we learn in the process that is important, not necessarily the final result.

I heartily recommend this novel to anyone who loves contemporary romance with a bit more substance than most.

Narelle Atkins – Falling for the Farmer

3 – 7 March 2014

Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance

is introducing

Falling for the Farmer

Heartsong Presents

 

By

Narelle Atkins

About the Book

KATE LAWSON IS A RUNAWAY BRIDE

And she’s incredibly grateful when Jack Bradley offers her a job on his apple farm. Working side by side in the orchards with her best friend’s brother seems like the perfect way to get over her disastrous engagement. Until Kate finds herself falling hard for the handsome farmer.

Jack Bradley knows city-girl Kate isn’t here to stay. Yet suddenly he’s imagining a life with her in the country. When Kate considers going back to the city, can Jack find a way to show her that her real home is here on the farm, by his side?

About the Author

NARELLE ATKINS writes contemporary inspirational romance and lives in Canberra, Australia. She sold her debut novel, set in Australia, to Harlequin’s Love Inspired Heartsong Presents line in a six-book contract. She is also a member of International Christian Fiction Writers group blog.http://internationalchristianfictionwriters.blogspot.com

Narelle is a co-founder with Jenny Blake of the Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance (ACRBA). http://acrba.blogspot.com

Her debut book, Falling for the Farmer, will be a February 2014 release, followed by The Nurse’s Perfect Match in May 2014 andThe Doctor’s Return in August 2014.

Twitter: @NarelleAtkins https://twitter.com/NarelleAtkins

Amanda’s Review

It is great to see an Australian author hit the shelves through the Heartson Presents range of romances, and I congratulate Narelle for that.

Falling for the Farmer is a light and easy read with a simple and satisfying plot. I enjoyed Narelle’s writing style and the way she wove Christian concepts through the storyline without sounding preachy.

If you enjoy a shorter read with a straightforward romance plot, then you will enjoy Falling for the Farmer.

Thanks to the author and publisher for a free review copy.

Christine Lindsay – Shadowed in Silk

3 – 7 February 2014

Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance

is introducing

Shadowed in Silk

WhiteFire Publishing Sept 2011

 

 

By

Christine Lindsay

About the Book

She was invisible to those who should have loved her.

After the Great War, Abby Fraser returns to India with her small son, where her husband is stationed with the British army. She has longed to go home to the land of glittering palaces and veiled women . . . but Nick has become a cruel stranger. It will take more than her American pluck to survive.

Major Geoff Richards, broken over the loss of so many of his men in the trenches of France, returns to his cavalry post in Amritsar. But his faith does little to help him understand the ruthlessness of his British peers toward the Indian people he loves. Nor does it explain how he is to protect Abby Fraser and her child from the husband who mistreats them.

Amid political unrest, inhospitable deserts, and Russian spies, tensions rise in India as the people cry for the freedom espoused by Gandhi. Caught between their own ideals and duty, Geoff and Abby stumble into sinister secrets . . . secrets that will thrust them out of the shadows and straight into the fire of revolution.

About the Author

Christine Lindsay writes historical inspirational novels with strong love stories, and she takes pride in her Irish roots. Her great grandfather and grandfather worked as riveters in the Belfast shipyard, one of those ships her ancestors helped build was the Titanic. On her mother’s side it was stories of ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in India that seeded Christine’s long-time fascination with the British Raj and became the stimulus for her Twilight of the British Raj series.The Pacific coast of Canada, about 200 miles north of Seattle, is Christine’s home where she lives with her husband, David, and they enjoy the visits from their adult children and grandchildren. Like a lot of authors, Christine’s chief editor is her cat

www.christinelindsay.com

Amanda’s Review

I have to admit I read Shadowed in Silk after Captured by Moonlight, so in the wrong order. But it didn’t really matter too much. It was great to read the story of characters that were only mentioned a little in the second novel. They both can be read as stand alone novels.

Once again I was transported to the exotic setting of India amidst the turmoil of political upheaval. That backdrop gave the story great tension and kept me turning the pages. And I loved the way the romance built between the main characters. There were enough twists and turns to keep me satisfied until I put Shadowed in Silk down with a sigh of contentment.

I look forward to the third instalment of the Twilight of the British Raj series and I recommend Christine’s novels to anyone who loves a good romance with a bit of suspense and a different setting.

Lizbeth Klein – Firelight of Heaven

20 – 24 January 2014

Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance

is introducing 

 

Firelight of Heaven

Wombat Books Oct 2013

 

 

By
Lizabeth Klein

 

 

About the Book

While he searches for the last king to gain total control, two orphaned brothers and an Elf girl begin a quest to locate the seven lost crystals of the Morning Star. This jewel alone holds the key to Morgran’s overthrow. Their journey leads them through the perilous land of Gardenia, where their friendship is tested. But one dark secret threatens to tear them apart altogether … Firelight of Heaven is the first volume in the Bethloria fantasy series. Greenheart of the Forest, Book 2 is due for release 2014.

About the Author
Hi, I’m Elizabeth (Lizbeth) Klein and I live in the Sutherland Shire with my husband, Malcolm. I have over 19 years experience in the classroom and 6 years as Tutor of English for both Primary and High School students. Four of my students have completed actual novels (unpublished).
I have published several stories for the Yellow Box, a reading kit for early readers in Primary School. I have also had many on-line Educational articles and lessons published as well as poetry and stories in two anthologies. Currently I am writing a fantasy series and have almost completed the fourth book. There are three to go in the Bethloria series.
My website is: Bethloria.com.au

Review by Jacinta – aged 12

I really like fantasy, and this one didn’t disappoint me. In Firelight of Heaven, the evil King Morgan wants to take over Bethloria. Two boys, Robbie and Dougray, climb the forbidden mountain to escape Morgan’s soldiers. Over the other side they meet a strange Elf girl, Belle Shadow-chaser, who joins them on a journey to find the seven crystals hidden in the seven lost lands to destroy King Morgan.

I like the action and adventure because it kept me turning the pages. I also like the characters because they are cool. I didn’t like that I didn’t know it was a series, so now I need to wait for the other books. It was exciting and I can’t wait for the next one. I need it NOW!!!

I would recommend this book to 10+ year old girls and boys who like action, adventure and fantasy.

PS. This book is AWESOME!!!

Rose Dee – A New Resolution

 
2 – 6 December 2013

 
is Introducing

( Even Before Publishers Oct 2012)

By Rose Dee

About the Book:
Resolution Island is a safe haven for Anika Demeur – a chance to fulfil dreams, find her place in the world, and a new life for her and young son, Kye. But her dreams of a future are shattered when her son’s security is challenged, and the rich and privileged Texan, Nate Hollingsworth sails into the bay. Now Ani must not only fight for her son, but also a growing attraction she has to the one type of man she loathes.

Nate is on a mission – to fulfill his mother’s last wish, and change his life. Dropping anchor in the idyllic Resolution harbor, he didn’t anticipate becoming involved in illegal fishing, a murder, or an unexpected attraction to the most exasperating woman he has ever met.

The Australian tropical Island, Resolution, sets the scene again for adventures, dreams, and new beginnings. A New Resolution is the final book in the ‘Resolution’ trilogy, following Back to Resolution and Beyond Resolution.

About the Author:
Rose Dee was born in Ingham, North Queensland, Australia. Her childhood experiences growing up in a small beach community would later provide inspiration for her first novel. Rose, who holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree, decided to try her hand at writing two years ago. The result of that attempt is her first novel, Back to Resolution. Her novels are inspired by the love of her coastal home and desire to produce exciting and contemporary stories of faith for women. Rose’s other releases include Beyond Resolution – the second book in the ‘Resolution’ series. And A New Resolution the final book in the series. Rose has also co-written a novel in conjunction with three other outstanding Australian Authors: The Greenfield Legacy. Rose resides in Mackay, North Queensland with her husband, young son, and mischievous pup, Noodle.
 

Amanda’s Review:

As with the previous novels in the Resolution Series, I greately enjoyed this final episode. It was great to see the characters from previous novels make their appearances without detracting from Nate, Anika and Kye’s story. I always love a great romance with a bit of mystery thrown in to keep me turning the pages, and A New Resolution didn’t let me down.

Rose doesn’t hide the realities of life, including its tempations, fromher writing, and I love that raw honesty that comes through. Especially the pull of the physical versus the choice to do what is right. This came through even in Anika’s dealing with Kye’s reaction to the wrong around him. And of course, there is the tropical setting of North Queensland, which makes you feel like you are on a warm summer holiday.

I congratulate Rose on winning the CAELB Award for Fiction for this novel. It is well worth it. I recommend A New Resolution to all those who love a strong romance with something extra.

 
Giveaway:
For all ACRBA members who post the will get an entry into this giveaway. All who leave a comment on any blogs will get an entry into the giveaway. The more blogs you comment on the more entries. This giveaway is open to Australian readers. To enter you need to answer a question about what part of North Queensland you would like to see or leave a comment with a question for Rose. Comments saying sounds interesting enter me will not be equate to an entry. Also leave a way to contact you if you win for example myemail at mymail dot com. entries open til Thursday 12 Dec.

FIRST PRIZE:
E-Reader (Details below) AND: an e-reader version of each one of my 4 novels – the 3 ‘Resolution’ series novels, and The Greenfield Legacy (gifted via email).
 
 
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E-Reader:
Reader™ with 6.0″ paper-like touch screen (Red)
Model:
PRST2RC
This slim and light Reader with touch screen puts thousands of your favourite stories at your fingertips. Effortlessly turn the page with a swipe of your finger and the glare-free screen reads just like a real book, even under direct sunlight.
6″ E-Ink® Pearl is designed to feel like a real book with a glare-free paper-like screen for reading
Battery life of up to 2 months with wireless off and up to 1.5 months with wireless on. Up to 30,000 continuous page turns when reading only
Let your friends and family know what you are reading and share excerpts up to 140 characters with Facebook® built into the Reader™
Store posts, articles, and text-based webpages all in your Reader™ with Evernote’s integrated services
Access public library eBooks and PDF files through the integrated OverDrive® service
eBook purchases will need to be completed via computer
 
SECOND PRIZE:
A copy of ‘The Greenfield Legacy’, and a Silver and Amber Grapevine inspired pendant. Really pretty, and ties in nicely with TGL as it is set on a vineyard in the McLaren Vale region. Also the cover is pendant inspired.
 
 
 
 
THIRD PRIZE:
A personalised sign copy of each books in my ‘Resolution’ Series. 3 hard copy books in total.