‘The day I met Jane Harper’s best friend’… and other stories of the West Coast Fiction Festival

It’s been about two years in the planning by an amazing team of WA authors and an equally amazing team of volunteers, but the inaugural West Coast Fiction Festival has now been run and won during an incredible weekend in Perth. And I am so very stoked to say ‘I Was There’!!

45253361_1515271765283374_8833620659734052864_oI almost wasn’t there… because I nearly got lost on the way to the Rendezvous Hotel in Scarborough, driving up at night and relying on my trusty print-outs of various road maps (because me and my phone don’t talk to Google. We barely talk to each other). I didn’t get to put my feet up until about 22.19 (yes I like to be specific about these things but the photograph helps!)

The goal of the WCFF, apart from connecting readers and writers, was to raise money for the awesome Australian charity, Share The Dignity. And so we did! $18,000 to be exact which is enough to buy two vending machines for women’s sanitary hygiene products for Perth.

For me, the WCFF was always about the chance to catch up with authors and friends who I don’t get see much of, living 3 hours south of Perth and on the West Coast of this awesome country of ours. Authors and Readers from across Australia made a weekend of this event and flew across – and it was awesome to meet them. Particularly for me, Len and Carolyn Klumpp, and Janine Kimberley, who have all been long-time Facebook friends.

On the writing side of things, I got to meet Josephine Moon and Clare Connelly, along with Lisa Ireland and Perth local, Holden Sheppard. We’re all ‘agency mates’ with Haylee Nash at The Nash Agency, and this photograph of us having a beer after the festival cracks us all up each time we see it.

Amid highlights, I have to mention how great it was to meet Len and Carolyn Klumpp. Len is a wonderful supporter of Australian authors, and we share a love of two lots of Eagles footy teams. West Coast Eagles in AFL for me, and the Manly Sea Eagles (NRL) for Len. You know in those crazy Facebook quizzes that pop up now and then? I always remember somewhere years ago one of these said which of Len’s friends would he be most likely to share a jail cell with… and Len’s answer was Lily Malone – which I think is hysterical. Having met Len, I reckon we’d have an awesome time in a jail cell!

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Another highlight (there were many)… I got to sign a book for Jane Harper’s best friend, aka Tracey G. These three ladies, Jacie (on the left), Tracey (blondie in the back of the photo) and Sarah (on the right) were so much fun to chat books with, and to sign books for.

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Amanda Barrett runs the fabulous Mrs B’s Book Reviews. We’ve never met – so it was great to meet Amanda (on the right below) and her friend and fellow reviewer, Nicole.

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With the WCFF wrapping up Saturday afternoon, it was time for lipstick & dancing… so we all frocked up (well, not Len, Phil or Craig … but everyone else) and had a blast with The Velvet Amps. AND I met a new best friend (no, not Jane Harper although I am sure she is lovely!) I met Erica Tonkin from Collins Booksellers in Bunbury… but none of our photos came out because there was obviously too much dancing going on with waaaay to much camera shake!

I also met Pamela Cook and Alissa Callen and Helene Young – who are every kind of lovely 🙂 And it was both another hello and a farewell to Jenn J McLeod and Jeannette McAnderson – which is a bit bittersweet as it may well be a long time till we catch up again.

And so I’m home, feeling inspired by my ‘tribe’ and ready for a busy November with wonderful things to come… the wedding of my most lovely friend Julie-Ann; a combined 50th birthday for two old mates (literally, ha ha, I crack myself up); a work catch-up/Christmas do for my ‘former’ workplace; and another chance to talk books at the Cowaramup Christmas Fair at the end of November (25th)… and don’t get me started on December when, OMG, I’ll have a new Chalk Hill story out, The Cafe By The Bridge!

xx

p.s. Just in case Jane Harper’s *real* best friends think they’ve been dumped… I’d better explain. Tracey and Jacie and Sarah went to an author talk the night before (or during the week of WCFF) with Jane Harper and they all thought she was lovely, and they all got books signed and the private joke from Jacie was that Tracey was now Jane Harper’s best friend… 😉 That’s okay, because Jacie is now MY best friend… so everyone’s a winner!

 

When Famous Friends Come To Cowtown

Where do I start with the day I’ve had today?

After 6 years of cyber friendship, I met in person the writerly woman who was my first Facebook friend, and has always been an amazing supporter of my writing career, Jenn J McLeod; with her partner in all things writing and life, Jeannette – also known in official circles as the ‘J’ in Jenn J McLeod.

Jenn is the author of the ‘Seasons Collection‘ plus her new book A Place To Remember.

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When I first ‘cyber met’ Jenn, it was through common links and goals in our writing, and a very similar sense of humour, plus I think a love of red wine clinched the deal…

We’ve been writing mates since, but our paths haven’t crossed in person in all this time, and today I got to meet the ‘nomadic novelist’ on her journey to WA. Jenn is here for several special events, including being writer in residence at Serenity Press’s upcoming Writing Retreat near Busselton in October, plus a signing author at West Coast Fiction Festival in Perth (where I’ll be too) on November 3. She’s also visiting various libraries across the South West, and whenever she’s resting, she’ll be writing in her mobile home, affectionately known as ‘Myrtle, the Turtle.’

So, to throw in a few twists to my day (because let’s face it, what is a typical Lily Malone day without twists??) it was my eldest boy’s 11th birthday today, and the day began with a visit to the dentist to repair a chipped front tooth!

Meanwhile, Jenn and Jeannette were traversing the town of Cowaramup, waiting for me to let them know I was back from said dentist visit before we could hook up. On the way back through town to deliver my newly-re-toothed boy to school, I spied the famous #WriteRoundOz vehicle, with the even more famous magnetic strips on the side… my first clue that the Double JJs were officially in town…

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I decided to stalk them and see if I could track them down in Cowtown… (for those not in the know, Cowaramup is the size of… well, kind of a postage stamp. My task should not prove too difficult!)

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Me in stalker mode…

My first stop was the post office, where I got my second official clue. Mail delivered to my address on behalf of Jenn J McLeod… Yes, she is bookish royalty, quite obviously, we all wait on her hand and foot. (Any more parcels to come, my-Lady?)42044292_1472721026205115_4809871056598728704_o

Next thing there are hoots and hollers across the highway, and lo and behold, I see these two ladies waving at me! 41991263_1472659849544566_4529771693488472064_o

Well, much hilarity and a good few hours of coffee, toasted sandwiches, muffins (yes I baked!!) and conversation ensued… plus more photographs and a visit to Ellensbrook to see the sea.

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Tomorrow, it happens to be Jenn J McLeod’s birthday! Yes, the day after my son’s, which feels doubly kismet & special. We have the day planned, and poor Jenn and Jeannette get the dubious honour of being invited to dinner with me, whereby I will set my mad baking skills to work for her! Bwahahahaa…

Lovely to see you, Jenn J & Jeannette. Welcome to Cowaramup and WA. I hope your visit is every bit of extra special awesome!

 

xx
Lily

Cover Reveal! The Cafe By The Bridge

Ta-da! Without further ado, I give you Book 2 in the Chalk Hill series, and more specifically the heroine: Taylor Woods 🙂

Taylor is about to rock Abel Honeychurch’s world… I almost feel sorry for him because the youngest Honeychurch brother really doesn’t know what’s about to hit him…

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Child psychologist Taylor Woods needs a man. Flashy restaurateur Abel Honeychurch to be specific. Abe can help her get justice for her brother, Will. Taylor knows Abe, too, was scammed by the same woman who broke her brother’s heart and stole everything in his pockets.

But bringing a lying, cheating scammer to justice isn’t easy when all Abe wants to do is forget the whole sorry saga. He’s returned to his home town of Chalk Hill to lick his wounds and repay his debts, renovating his nanna’s house and opening the Chalk ‘n’ Cheese cafe.

He’s miserable. And it would be easier to stay miserable if everyone else around him wasn’t so darn cheerful. It’s wildflower season in Chalk Hill with a cafe full of upbeat bushwalkers, and it’s all Abe can do to remember to put sugar, not salt, in his customers’ cappuccinos. He definitely has no time for the mysterious red–headed guest who admires his cheesecake and adores his flat white.

Taylor’s mission to help her brother seems doomed – how will she gain the trust of a man whose every instinct tells him never to trust a woman again?

Coming December 2018!

Amazon AUS
itunes
Kobo
Booktopia (print & online)

Butterfly House Book 2 is out now!

A sneak peek at my hometown of #Cowaramup during the recent DejaMoo – Udderly Legendairy Country Fair. It’s the only place you can wear a cow onesie or a milk carton and feel totally at home!

movie 7 copyAs usual when there is a Fair going on in the local hall, I take out a stand to support the Cowaramup Retailers Association and sell my books and have a chat about books to anyone interested in reading. I always have an awesome time and meet some great people, and this year I had a new book to launch!

It’s WHO KILLED THE MOVIE STAR? Butterfly House Book 2
— the sequel to WHO KILLED THE BRIDE? —

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Pic by Nicky Lefebvre.

My Butterfly House books are set in Cowaramup and I describe them as: ‘Like Bridget Jones meets the Cowaramup cows…’ They’re mad-cap fun, great for a giggle, a wonderful souvenir of our town and gorgeous hand-crafted gift for you or the reader in your life.

Who Killed The Movie Star follows the tale of Cally Minter and her best friend Sienna Devereux who we met in Book 1 where they’re trialling their new tourism venture in Cowaramup:  Murder Mystery at Butterfly House.

Who Killed The Movie Star starts the day after events of Who Killed The Brideand so I’d definitely recommend you read Book 1 first, or you’ll be lost!

Available at:
Mukau Giftware & Gallery in Cowaramup
Just Add Passion, in Stoneville (Mundaring, near Perth)

Or personally from me, signed and comes with a bookmark. For pricing and order details please send me an email to lilymalone@mail.com

 

Who Killed The Movie Star? Butterfly House Book 2

Book 2 cover

About the book:

It’s Sunday morning on a long weekend in the quirky little town of Cowaramup and Cally Minter and her best friend Sienna Devereux are about to host a new murder mystery game, Who Killed The Movie Star?

But before an arrow can be shot from its bow, the girls are in a pickle. The Sheriff of Nottingham has gone rogue; they’ve lost a Maid Marian, and someone keeps reporting them to the local police for shooting their guests.

In all the confusion, Lovely First Class Senior Constable Daniel Reardon becomes a regular visitor to Butterfly House, and if Cally plays her cards right… whoever murdered the movie star might not be the only one in handcuffs by sunset.

 

Available at:
Mukau Giftware & Gallery in Cowaramup
Just Add Passion, in Stoneville (Mundaring, near Perth)

Or personally from me including postage anywhere in Australia for $18.95, signed and comes with a special Lily Malone bookmark. For order details please send me an email to lilymalone@mail.com

Lily
xx

The Evolution of a Butterfly Book Cover

How cool is it to have a book series called Butterfly House, and to be able to show the metamorphosis of a book cover… just like a butterfly!

If you scroll through the photos, you’ll see the unveiling of my latest Butterfly House cover, version by version, once again designed by the ever-talented Kerry Sibly.

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Version 1: Kerry started with pink in the background, like my original Butterfly House Who Killed The Bride? … but I want something different from pink, so the first alteration was easy.
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Version 2: Right from the get-go I love this purple through gold. The Butterfly House Book 2 line on cover and spine are hard to read… they need to be white… and there is a lot going on with ‘Marilyn figure’ ‘actor bloke’ ‘cow’ and ‘camera’… I’m thinking, we need to simplify. Let’s make ‘Marilyn’ bigger and lose the bloke.
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Version 3: Now we’re cooking with gas! I’m loving this… but because it’s ‘movie star’ I’d like to see some twinkle twinkle little stars on there… stay tuned!
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Version 4: Ask for stars and ye shall receive!!!
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Version 5: More stars! Too many?
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Version 6: Subtle stars… I’m loving this! Now we’ve just got the back cover blurb to update and a new barcode to add, and we’re done. Here’s our Beautiful new Butterfly!

 

So there you have it folks! Can you see the progression? Isn’t it beautiful? It’s got all the quirk and character of Cowaramup, and it’s so very original and pretty! 🙂

Love your work, Kerry Sibly!

For more information and a gallery of work for Mr Kerry Sibly, please visit http://www.mukau.com.au

Three Months Of Firsts

water under the bridge smallWater Under The Bridge has been out in bookstores and cyberspace for three months now, and I figure as she’s a little more mature, it’s a good time to reflect. It’s been 3 months of firsts for me, with lots of positive news.

  1. For the first time, I had a print book receive a ‘top up’ print, ie, a second print run. This means that there was enough demand for the book from bookstores to encourage my publisher to print additional copies to make sure those orders could be met. Super news!
  2. I made a list! Water Under The Bridge was the 7th highest-selling romance in Australia for the month of March, according to a report in The Sydney Morning Herald.
  3. I made a hashtag… what began as a bit of fun with a writing mate, Holden Sheppard, has turned into one of my favourite things to check on Amazon rankings. I give you, the #AbSandwich (meaning Ella is sandwiched between a couple of hefty bookish chests)… Amazon in its wisdom put my ex-nearly-olympic swimmer lady Ella in Water Under The Bridge in the category of ‘sports romance’, as well as ‘small towns and rural’, and this has led to many photo opps with err, ripped torso book covers like these below 😉DYO-dE1X0AAA2Hy.jpg-large
  4. I made the Beauty & Lace online Bookclub… with 20 of the B&L readers reviewing Ella and Jake’s story. I’ve never had a book in an online bookclub discussion before
  5. Water Under The Bridge was published the same day as two other Harlequin MIRA stablemates Fiona Lowe with Birthright, and Vanessa Carnevale with The Memories The Make Us. The three of us have enjoyed several Facebook conversations since release day, talking about book tours and speaking gigs, and it’s been lovely to share Ella and Jake’s release launch with these ladies. I think it’s fitting that, as our book babies turn 3 months old (which means we’re now too darn old for what Amazon deems a ‘New Release’), I managed to snap this screenshot of our 3 books all in a row in the Amazon Australia ‘small towns and rural’ category.Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 7.41.52 PM

From a branding perspective, I’d describe myself in the ‘emerging author’ category so I need to keep making leaps and bounds if I’m to graduate to ‘established author’ status. Quite where these two lines blur is a bit of a mystery, but I think for me it might be when the second of the Chalk Hill books comes out next year (February 2019).

The Cafe By The Bridge: Chalk Hill Book 2 will bring me to 3 traditionally published print works (The Vineyard In The Hills; Water Under The Bridge; and The Café By The Bridge); 1 trad-published anthology (Fairway To Heaven), 6 ebooks (adding my first two stories His Brand Of Beautiful and The Goodbye Ride to the list); and 2 self-published novellas Butterfly House Books 1 and 2.

But on the purely personal front, I’ve absolutely loved the surge of support I’ve had for Ella and Jake’s story in its first three months of publication. There have been lovely reviews on Goodreads and Amazon; I’ve had emails from readers and Facebook photos and messages; I’ve had wonderful support from family and friends who’ve bought, read, gifted, and recommended the story, and I have a happy agent and publisher, which from a business and career perspective, is a truly important thing.

Thanks to everyone who has been on this ride with me… here’s to many more years of firsts ahead.

xx Lily