Q&A With Author Christine Wells!

Today’s Q&A post features author Christine Wells. Ms Wells new release book, The Traitor’s Girl, published by Penguin Random House, is available now, RRP $32.99.


If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

This is what you were meant to do so stop trying to prove yourself by getting published—people won’t take you seriously as a writer, published or not, unless you make writing a priority and treat it like a job. Slow down, take risks and believe in yourself. And for the love of God, develop a better process or you’ll regret it later!

What research do you do when you are trying to brainstorm for writing a book?

Brainstorming a book isn’t something I do consciously. I usually become obsessed with a fascinating part of history and want to know all I can about it. I read everything I can get my hands on, and somewhere in this process, the idea for a book comes to me. I tend to read biographies and general texts in this phase, then delve deeper into original sources as I write the first draft.

Can you tell us a scene that didn’t make the cut while writing The Traitor’s Girl?

I wrote a gorgeous scene where the three friends, Vi, Steph and Annabel, go through the amazing couture gowns stored in Annabel’s grandmother’s attic. I had so much fun researching iconic dresses of the 1920s and 1930s for this scene, but in the end, it had to go because it didn’t do much to advance the story. I can never let anything go completely, though, and I find it easier to cut if I keep cut scenes in a separate file. My ‘snippets’ file for this book was 20,000 words long!

How many hours a day do you write?

This varies greatly. When not on deadline it might be two hours a day of actual writing. Three months out from deadline it is often much more than that. However, it is not at all good for the body to be sitting typing for so long at a time so I don’t recommend long stints at the computer if it can be avoided. RSI is a huge problem for writers.

What can readers expect next from your writing?

I hope readers can expect strong, memorable characters facing great challenges during a fascinating time in history. A bit of humour, a bit of mystery, a love story. All those good things!


About The Traitor’s Girl by Christine Wells

‘I think I’m in danger. It’s a matter of some urgency. You must please come at once.’

After receiving a mysterious summons from her long-lost grandmother, Australian teacher Annabel Logan agrees to visit her home in the Cotswolds. But when she arrives at the magnificent Beechwood Hall, it appears abandoned and the local villagers have no idea where the reclusive Caroline Banks might be.

The one person who might know something is enigmatic journalist Simon Culpepper. He reveals that Caroline Banks was once known as Carrie Granger. A socialite’s daughter, Carrie became a spy and agent provocateur for MI5 during the Second World War. But when British intelligence failed to investigate a dangerous traitor, she decided to take matters into her own hands …

Concerned that her grandmother’s secret past has caught up with her, Annabel stays on to investigate. But the more she uncovers, the more difficult it becomes to know who to trust. There are strange incidents occurring at Beechwood and Annabel must use all her ingenuity and daring to find Carrie before it’s too late.

From the streets of Seville, Paris and London in the thirties and forties, to the modern English countryside The Traitor’s Girl is a captivating story of passion, intrigue and betrayal.

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Q&A With Margareta Osborn!

Today’s Q&A post features author Margareta Osborn. Ms Osborn’s newest book release novel, Lake Hill, is available now and is published by Penguin Australia RRP $32.99.


What was the hardest scene to write?

I always find it difficult to write sex scenes and there are a couple in LAKE HILL. To combat this I find a good song or piece of music for each sex scene, plug in my headphones and simply write to the flow of the music. It’s like the key words at the most passionate points, hit the keynotes in a crescendo and I find, because of the music, I know instantly if the words jar.

Can you tell us a scene that didn’t make the cut while writing Lake Hill?

How about the whole second half of the book? Yes. You heard that right. I re-wrote the whole second half as I’d concentrated on the periphery characters too much. I allowed them to take the focus in this tree-change storyline from Julia, a widowed woman of thirty six, who’s hiding a passionate secret from her long, lost love, Rick. Those secondary characters, whilst at times, hilarious, had to be reined in! But hopefully I’ve managed to keep the best comedic parts.

What was the first book that made you cry?

The Silver Brumby books by Elyne Mitchell. I howled many times through this whole series.

What’s you favourite underappreciated novel?

Dinner at Rose’s by Danielle Hawkins. It’s brilliant. Well written, engaging, warm, funny, and heartbreaking in turns. It’s one of my all-time favourite books.

What research do you do when you are trying to brainstorm or researching a book?

Ahem … well, I guess you can say I go all out.
A character needs to drive a truck? I go and get my heavy rigid truck licence in a 550HP Prime Mover.
A character needs to make a Bargello quilt? I learn how to quilt.
A character needs to catch wild dogs? I follow a wild dog trapper around the bush learning how to set traps.
A character needs to fight a bushfire? I join the CFA.

You get the picture …

In LAKE HILL there is a character that runs a working dog school, so to do that I had to go to a school, and learn how to train a working dog – two schools in fact. I got so intrigued I ended up with my own Kelpie and as I’m a farmer as well as an author, I’m now passionate about learning more about low stress livestock handling using my dog. It’s crazy where books take you.

We’ve also travelled all over with the kids and incorporated research for my novels into those trips. For my next novel – working title TRUE NORTH – my husband and I packed up two kids, four swags, two motorbikes and one Kelpie dog and trekked across and half-way up Australia to WA’s Pilbara and worked the mustering season (four months) on a remote half-million acre cattle station, five hours from the nearest major town.
It was a tad radical. Fun and exhilarating. Tough and eye-opening.
But all excellent research. We all learnt a lot.

What can reader’s expect next in your writing project?

A book set in the remote W.A. Pilbara – working title TRUE NORTH. It’s about three women on a station … I can’t tell you much more than that, as I’m an organic writer. I’m pretty excited to see what arrives next on the page myself!


About Lake Hill by Margareta Osborn

All her life Julia Gunn has been weighed down – first by a controlling father, then by a staid older husband, and always by a long-buried secret from her teenage years.

Now, widowed at just thirty-six, she’s going to do something for herself.

Except en route to a new life on the coast at Lakes Entrance she finds herself – courtesy of a rockslide – stuck in the remote mountain town of Lake Grace.

Yet maybe fate is on her side. Because Lake Grace is home to Rick Halloran – ex-rodeo king, sculptor and grazier – and the man with whom she enjoyed a brief, unforgettable romance twenty years ago.

Not only that, but Julia has dreamed of running her own café, and she’s just spotted a For Sale sign outside the prettiest little tea-room by the lake . . .

Julia is finally on the verge of the life she’s always wanted.

Then her long-buried secret knocks at the door . . .

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New Release! No Job For A Girl by Meredith Appleyard

Happy new book release to author Meredith Appleyard! No Job For A girl is available now and is published by Penguin Australia RRP $32.99.

Author Meredith Appleyard brings to the pages some shining characters that break through some standardised personas. Strong and likeable spirited characters, No Job For A Girl by Meredith Appleyard is another story to add to the must reads list.
Review copy received from Penguin Books Australia

About No Job For A Girl by Meredith Appleyard

NoJobForAGirl_MeredithAppleyard_PenguinAusLeah Jackson leaves behind everything familiar, taking up a job as the resident safety supervisor and nurse in a construction fly camp in the remote South Australian outback. Everyone has told her that it’s no job for a girl, but this isn’t the first time she’s had to prove her mettle.

Project adviser Alex McKinley is happy to be as far away from the city as he can get. Recently divorced, he’s reassessing where he went wrong. Alex has nothing against women specifically. He’d just rather they weren’t working on his construction site, sharing his office, invading his space.

In the close confines of the desert camp, anything can happen, and Leah soon finds herself the centre of attention – from bothersome bureaucrats to injured workers and hordes of isolated men. But it is one man in particular who pushes her to her limits … in more ways than one.

Purchase Links

Penguin Books Australia  *  Amazon Australia  *  Booktopia


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thecountrypractice  thedoctorcalling


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Q&A With Author Fiona McArthur!

Today’s feature post is my Q&A with author Fiona McArthur! Fiona discusses her newest novel Heart Of The Sky which is available now! Welcome to Talking Books Blog Fiona! 😀


How many hours a day do you write?

The more consistent I write the easier it is to get the words – I only aim for 500 words and fionamcarthurthat seems to be the perfect brain stream length for me for a new scene. That can take one to two hours. I’m happy to get up after that and go to my day job. Closer to deadlines I spend a lot more time polishing, re-reading, expanding all those 500 word episodes until I get lost in the whole thing. But I still work as a midwife 28 hours a week so I can’t write then.

Can you tell us a scene that didn’t make the cut in your latest novel?

Thank you. I laughed at this question. Can I! I had a wedding in THE HOMESTEAD GIRLS at the end and it had to be cut. So I tried to start HEART OF THE SKY with it. But it had to be cut. I loved that scene. Did you want to read it 🙂

What is the most difficult aspect of your artistic process?heartofthesky_fionamcarthur_penguinaus

Reminding myself that I can’t be too brief. Too staccato. That’s how my mind works and I need to slow my pace so other people can see the picture I can see.

On average, how long does it take you to write a book?

Apparently 160 days –(I kept a record of every day I wrote and how many words this time) So 160 spread over six months. If I’m a good girl. 🙂

What can readers expect next from your writing?redsandsunrise_fionamcarthur

After HEART OF THE SKY, I have Sienna’s story. She was the least mentioned sister in RED SAND SUNRISE. The city obstetrician who solves medical mysteries. That’s what I’m polishing at the moment and I’m seriously loving it. I hope everyone else does too.

Thanks for reading my book and letting me drop in to chat – I wish you all a 2017 filled with wonderful stories xx Fi


About Heart Of The Sky by Fiona McArthur

heartofthesky_fionamcarthur_penguinausA year after a tragic accident changed her life forever, Tess Daley is in desperate need of a change. When she is offered a position with the Flying Doctor Service, she seizes the opportunity to make a fresh start. Yet once she arrives in remote Mica Ridge she feels like an outsider, unable to connect with her patients and unsure if she’ll ever fit in with this outback community.

Station owner Soretta Byrnes has grown to love the company and chaos that comes with living in a house filled with boarders. So with tenants moving out and bills piling up, it’s a welcome relief to have Tess and new pilot Charlie Fennes arriving in town and looking for somewhere to stay.

As they share life’s triumphs and challenges, it isn’t long before everyone at the station feels like family. But Charlie has yet to reveal his motive for coming to Mica Ridge and his secret will change the life of someone in the house forever …

Heart Of The Sky is available now and is published by Penguin Random House Australia, RRP $32.99.

Purchase Links

Penguin Random House Australia  *  Booktopia  *  Angus & Robertson  *  iBooks  *  Amazon Australia  *  Google Play


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About Fiona McArthur

Fiona McArthur has worked as a rural midwife for many years. She is a clinical midwifery educator, a mentor to midwifery students and is involved with obstetric emergency education for midwives and doctors across Australia.

Fiona has been nominated for Romantic Book of The Year with Romance Writers of Australia and the US-based CataRomance Readers Award. She has sold over 2 million books, in twelve languages.

Fiona’s passion for rural fiction titles grew from her admiration of Australia’s outback pioneers, the community spirit within these towns and the medical staff who care for them.

She lives on an often swampy farm in northern New South Wales with her husband and any children and grandchildren who drop in.

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Q&A With Georgina Penney!

Happy new book release to author Georgina Penney! Today’s feature post is my Q&A with the author. The Barbershop Girl by Georgina Penney is available now and is published by Penguin Random House Australia RRP $32.99. Welcome To Talking Books Blog Georgina!

georginapenneyWhat was your hardest scene to write?

The end one! I think the end of a book is the most important. If it doesn’t feel satisfying, I always feel like I’ve left something half finished. Plus I wanted something really funny that cracked me up. Hopefully it will leave my readers with a smile too!


If you were not a writer, what would be your chosen profession?

Something based outside. I used to want to be a forester. After living here in Scotland for two years and meeting a couple of people in that profession, it looks like a great job, if not a challenging one! The one thing I find hard about writing is having to be in one place to write all the time. My husband will be the first one to tell you I’m not a natural sitter. I can’t even stay still long enough normally to watch a full movie without getting up and pottering around.


thebarbershopgirl_georginapenney_penguinrhausWhat is the first book that made you cry?

This is such a hard one to answer! Hmm, well, I read an awful lot as a kid and can’t really remember. Actually, I do know… the bible. I was raised rather religious and I’m sure I probably had a moment or two over the various deaths that appear in the bible stories I read as a kid!


What’s your favourite under-appreciated novel?

Can I write a huge list here? There are so many! I think the one I throw at people most, ordering them to “READ NOW” would be But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes by Anita Loos. She was the amazingly talented screenwriter who also wrote the novel Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (that was published a long time before the movie with Marilyn Monroe was made) and both books are hilarious and so incredibly sharp. I read both books a number of times while writing The Barbershop Girl and hope a little of Loos’ genius brushed off on me.


What research have you been known to do when you are trying to brainstorm for writing a book?

Does crazy travel count? I tend to try and go to the place the book is based. It’s the only way to really capture how a place looks, smells and feels. I really think it’s important to get the sensation of being in a place right.

I always talk to people doing the job my characters have. There’s nothing like getting first-hand stories. That was a lot of fun for The Barbershop Girl because hairdressers and barbers always have the best stories! Ben in The Barbershop Girl is the result of talking to a number of men in journalism over the years. I just took all the cheeky, naughty bits from them and their stories and amalgamated them into the one character.

In general though, I drink a lot of wine my characters drink (mandatory) and I like to make sure I’m tuned in to what my characters are feeling. If there’s a scene where a character is sad, it’s pretty much guaranteed that I was writing the scene while cry-eating chocolate at some stage!


What can readers expect next in your writing?

So many things. I’ve got a lot of projects on the go. I’m currently writing a fantasy novel with my lovely husband. And I have a number of other romances ready to go to the publishers. I’m also hoping to write Scott Watanabe’s story in the next year. He’s one of my absolute favourite characters and has proven quite slippery when it comes to getting him on the page.


About The Barbershop Girl by Georgina Penney

You don’t become a notorious British celebrity without rubbing a few people the wrong thebarbershopgirl_georginapenney_penguinrhausway, so writer and comedian Ben Martindale has decamped to Australia until the media frenzy surrounding his latest scandal dies down. When he meets Amy Blaine, a perky blonde barber who dresses like a 1950s pin-up girl, he knows he’s hit the comedy jackpot.

He begins to fill his weekly London column with snarky observations about her house, style, troubled family members and dramatic employees. It doesn’t occur to him that Amy, who is slowly letting her guard down for the first time in her adult life, might be just a little bit upset when she finds out …

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