Yesterday I wrote those wonderful words, “The end.” Actually it should have been “The beginning,” because this is book one of an upcoming series. A few trusted people have to work their magic before I push the publish button, but not long to wait.
Here is a sneak preview.
A bleak December day, a slippery highway, and Shona McGuire’s ordinary life would never to be the same.
Before the accident Shona’s life was not exactly as she would have planned it. In fact, it was nothing like the dreams that filled her head while she struggled with the trials and tribulations of adolescent hood.
For Shona McGuire, her early memories always return to the beach. To the tumble down bach her family have owned since she was a child, covered in sticky candy. As far as she can remember, it has always been tumbled down, with threadbare carpets and frayed curtains. A special place where sand carried in by bare feet, and their old dog’s tooth marks on the corner of the sagging couch, go unnoticed. The lawn is a tapestry of course white sand and sparse patches of Kikuyu, the only grass resilient enough to survive the salt laden air that blows off the waves, and coats the distorted glass windows in a thin, greasy film.
The handful of tiny wooden homes sit empty for most of the year. But when the holidays arrive, they come alive with the sound of laughter, and the smell of sausages, pipi fritters and crayfish cooking on the barbeque.
Her mind takes her back to Sea Dog Takeaways, and the old couple wrapping greasy fish and chips in unsold newsprint. Of her father sipping cold beer, while her mother tossed green salad, and baked fresh loaves of crusty bread.
It takes her back to a time of innocence. Memories of a handsome boy named John Myer, of two free spirits galloping ponies down the windswept beach, of diving in the crystal clear waters of the harbour, and gathering shellfish from the shallows.
Now only the bach remains unchanged, a tumble down wooden structure, that holds the family’s memories etched deep within its walls.
They say you can never go back. That the things you have left behind are best not revisited. But they never told her to go back would be the biggest mistake of her life. It all started on a slippery highway on December 23rd.
We have a few days left to enjoy this tropical paradise. It is work for one of us, and writing for the other. But the good news, there are no dishes, no animals to clean up after and no meals to cook.
Our time in the Yasawa Islands was unkind weather wise. Torrential rain and temperatures lower than we have ever experienced here before. My favourite place to write had one submerged boat, lost their beach and caused me much anxiety on the float plane trip back to the mainland.
The Quilt, Unravelled hit #1 in World Literature, Australian and Oceanian this week, and the new manuscript is progressing nicely.
I cant wait to share a part of this story with you. The new book is another rocky life story, full of life’s trials and tribulations and some colourful characters.
Enjoy a few images of our time in Fiji. The resort in the Yasawa’s normally has a deep sweep of white sand beach. The boat photograph is taken just after boarding our small float plane. This is not my favourite thing to do and always makes me question my failing agility.
Have a great day and please visit my Facebook page. I love to share news about books, writing and life down under.
It is not a secret that I don’t like the cold. In fact, during my younger years, I headed back to New Zealand from the UK when my drip drying jeans grew leg icicles. Currently I am sitting in the Yasawa Group of Islands in Fiji, looking at a dismal grey sky and hoping the rain will stay away long enough for me to walk off an indulgent breakfast. Of course it is winter up here, and it is warmer than at home, but the likelihood of a tan is fading as quickly as my allocated days of rest.
When the word Fiji is mentioned I am sure, for most of us, we think of low atolls of white sand, sitting in crystal clear expanses of blue water. Yes that is the correct image for many areas of this paradise. However many more Fiji’s exist. Rugged rain forest covered islands, scant iron clad housing and rock formations that are a testament to a violent volcanic past.
We are up in the Yasawa group of Islands, a chain of spectacular rocky cliffs and coves of white sand beaches. Here are some of the images I took while flying over, and some I captured while walking yesterday. Enjoy and have a great weekend.
As promised here are the first of the photographs taken by my talented friend, Des Clegg. He has recently returned from a trip to the South Island. Most of our population live in the North Island, and although both are diverse in landscape, the South Island is filled with fjords, mountainous snow peaks and world famous walks. It is dotted with small settlements, spectacular towns and cities and has a backbone of mountains running down its centre. The South has recently hit the headlines with Christchurch’s destructive earthquake, and as the location for several high profile movies.
We in the North boast a milder climate, long beaches, trout filled lakes and of course the geothermal area of Rotorua.
The first photograph captures my daughter enjoying a North Island beach on one of her horses.
Enjoy the weekend wherever you are. Enjoy these glimpses from down under, and make a visit to my facebook page where I update regularly. https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100006150378759
The Quilt, Unravelled a dramatic fiction set in beautiful New Zealand. 504 pages available on Kindle, Kindle Unlimited
Joanne Kyle has earned her degree. She has created a life with her artist fiancée and lives above a deserted beach. When everything falls apart she turns to the one friend she can rely on. But that friend has a problem of her own. It will throw them on to a road that no one wants to travel.
Paul Clarke lives on his family’s farm in high country New Zealand. He has a pretty wife, a loving family and a world created by deceit.
Tragedy brings Paul in to Joanne’s life and changes everything.
What reviewers are saying:-
An unforgettable story of friendship and loss, unexpected romance and family drama unfolds against the backdrop of New Zealand’s stunning landscape.
“This should become a TV series or a movie. It is that good in my opinion.” – Mr Butler
“Moving, rousing and beautifully written.” – Jackie Parry
“A story that is both personal and intimate.. This multi-generation family saga is immense in scope (and intense).” – Mark Fine
“This is not sugar coated romance, but a dramatic and moving tale of the lives and complex relationships of generations of the individuals depicted” – Lola Arnold
“Being away from New Zealand it was such an indulgence to be given such wonderful imagery.” – Meilyrox
It has been awhile. Why you might ask. I am fighting the clock to finish the first draft of my next novel.
New Zealand has continued to suffer a harsh winter. Pipes have frozen and a coating of ice on the surface of our troughs and the ground has greeted us each morning. Of course for many of you our winter would be considered mild. But normally New Zealand has very little variance in temperature between seasons. Yes it gets cold, but not this cold!
The new novel is slowly taking shape. The first in this series can be read as a stand alone. However, it will introduce characters, situations and a location that will form the bases of books to come. Visit my Facebook page for little updates and photo’s. The series will be set in Rotorua, a City of bubbling mud pools, yellow sulphur landscapes, and a rich history that will flow through the veins of the stories and characters to come.
I live a few minutes from two small communities, surrounded by the sea, and a short drive or ferry trip from Auckland City. Our area is blessed with many talented and artistic people who have generously allowed me to share their photography. I will include a few local photo’s for you to enjoy with this blog.
Check back soon. Friend and photographer Des Clegg is currently in the South Island of New Zealand. I look forward to sharing pictures of this wild and unspoilt area in a few days. Landscapes through this lens are always spectacular.
The Quilt, Unravelled is available on Kindle, Kindle Unlimited and as a paperback. If you haven’t read this novel consider the journey from the high country of New Zealand to Auckland City’s vineyard clad Islands. A story of heartbreak to happiness. Joanne Kyle finds not everything she believed will bring her the life she wants. Have a great day.
Photo’s by Claude Therond Photography and Ray Liebenberg. Maraetai Beach, (meeting place by the sea.) Auckland City, New Zealand
I get to wish my friends in the USA best wishes a little early. Today it is the 4th of July “down under.”
New Zealanders celebrate the 1840 signing of a document between representatives of the British Crown and 500 Maori chiefs in The Bay of Islands, Northland.
On February 6th the “Treaty of Waitangi” is marked by a public holiday and formal celebrations. Unfortunately the festivities are often plagued by protest and tension.
Enjoy a little bit of New Zealand this 4th of July. A story that will break your heart and then take you on a journey to heal it.