If you’re visiting this page as part of the Coastal Romance blog hop, welcome. Good luck with the $100 gift voucher major prize, plus the 26 e-books to be won. Please navigate back to the Coastal Romance blog (link is at the end of this post – or click the competition icon) to gain your entry points from visiting me, via the rafflecopter. And to see more blogs from great Australian and international coast romance writers.
My new (very) contemporary romance, Fairway To Heaven, is set in the coastal playground of Busselton in South West, Western Australia, alongside the smooth and shallow blue waters of Geographe Bay. In the book, I describe Geographe Bay as “curving sweet as a wine glass, mile on mile of sand the colour of white pepper, strewn with dry strands of brown seaweed as if the mermaids cut their hair.”
I know Geographe Bay well. I found the perfect beach shack for Fairway on a drive there not so long ago when my family and I went to Busselton for fish and chips on the beach. In Fairway, my heroine, Jenn, flees to the sanctuary of a beach shack, owned by her best friend’s family, after she discovers her boyfriend (Golf Pro Jack) bonking one of his lady golf students in a fairway bunker.
Geographe Bay’s waters are molten smooth, but the renowned surf beaches of this region are not far away. These have names such as Redgate and Boodjidup, Surfers Point, North and South Point, Left Handers, Cobblestones, Guillotines, Gallows.
Did you ever wonder why some of these names are so full of doom?
It is a beautiful coastline, perfect for setting a romance, but it can also be tragic. That’s what I wanted to write about today. The beach isn’t always romantic.
Just last month, a surfer was killed in a fatal shark attack at Gracetown. As I write, there is an argument raging between people who want to see the Great White Shark taken off the protected list and possibly culled, and those who say when a surfer or diver enters deep waters off this coast, they are entering the shark’s territory, and the sharks should be left alone.
It isn’t just predators in the surf that pose a risk to surfers, divers, and swimmers here. These surf breaks are some of the most challenging and fierce found anywhere in the world. In another of my books I’ve described the waves at Margaret River as: “Massive mountains of water that can toss a man like a sock in a washing machine.”
There are many stories of near-misses in the Margaret River surf. My husband has had a few. In his younger days he got caught way out of his depth when some of his new mates in this region (not knowing he was an inexperienced surfer) took him to some of these big, gnarly breaks. Lucky for hubby, he realised he was in over his head, and made it out.
Others haven’t been so lucky. I know people who have had life-threatening injuries from the power of the surf here. Years ago, a teenage boy lost his life at the Margaret River main break, pinned under the reef by waves and being unable to find his way back to the surface.
So this coast is beautiful, and it is not a place for the faint-hearted. Passion rolls in the waves that crash against rocks and shores. Drama hides in every rock-pool, and every reef.
Fairway To Heaven has some of this passion, danger and angst. It is about one woman’s very personal struggle to reclaim her sexuality and her independence as she tries to begin a new life with her son, on a stunning Busselton beach.
And yes. It’s about golf. But not as we know it.
Fairway To Heaven releases on January 8, 2014. Please like my Facebook page or follow my blog for news. You can see the first 1000 words as an excerpt by clicking here. And if you want to add it to your ‘Want To Read’ shelf at Goodreads, you can do that here.
Now! To business. If you’d like to win a copy of Fairway To Heaven, please leave me a comment about which world sports person you think is best looking (or sexiest), and why. I was always a bit partial to a golfer called James Nitties, and I think it’s because he has something Vin Diesel about him. (Trust me – no one else can see it!)
I’m planning all sorts of prizes as I lead in to the release of Fairway. One of these is going to be a lovely gift pack filled with prizes such as books and goodies from the Margaret River wine & tourism region where I live, and where Fairway is set. For *goodies* think books, food, chocolate. And it’s up for grabs for anyone who shares (Facebook or Twitter or blogs) news of my book. Just tag me in your posts and I’ll know who you are!
There are some wonderful authors involved in the Coastal Blog Hop. Please take the time to visit their posts each day. Good luck in the grand prize draw – and whatever you’re reading – may it be coastal!