A Story Fit For The Queen

It’s the Queen’s Birthday long weekend this weekend on the East Coast of Australia, which is an extra special time of year for my re-published novella, The Goodbye Ride. Not that I’m an avid royalist or anything, it’s just that I chose to set the book on the Queen’s Birthday holiday, in gorgeous Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills, and write about a boy, a girl, and a Ducati bike. If you fancy taking a fun sweet ride on the back of a classic old bike, this may be the perfect escape read for you 🙂

TGR

Here’s how the story starts:

Olivia Murphy had brass in pocket. One thousand dollars’ worth of brass to be exact—all hers and all hard-earned. Technically, the money was in her handbag not her pocket, but Liv wasn’t about to split hairs. The sun—for the moment at least—was shining, she’d given herself the day off tomorrow, and her parents were in Melbourne. She had the house to herself for four whole days.

Bliss.

The Langs’ place wasn’t far—just another few hundred metres’ walk out of town along the Hahndorf main street. She couldn’t see the glint of red, not yet. There were too many hedges in the way, too many neat brush fences, and her prize was set back from the road. Luke’s bike. Her brother’s Ducati Pantah 650. The bike she was about to pay Dean Lang ten thousand dollars to buy back.

If there’s one oak leaf stain on that paintwork, Mr Lang, you better get ready to knock another few hundred off your asking price.

Liv checked over her shoulder, just as she had every thirty seconds since she’d left the bank carrying ten hundred-dollar notes crisply folded in a plastic bag. The odds of getting mugged in Hahndorf weren’t high, unless by a Japanese tourist who wanted his photo taken. But why tempt fate?

She quickened her pace.

Her handbag bumped her hip. Liv clutched it close with her elbow and concentrated on where she put her feet. Rotting autumn leaves made slimy passage underfoot and the pavement was a twisted roller-coaster of treacherous roots.

On the opposite side of the road, ahead near the sixty sign, a bright red utility pulled to a stop. The driver braked hard enough to grind shining Mag wheels through the roadside slush.

It was one of those big, bristling testosterone-fuelled boy toys—one with more aerials than a radio station, mudflaps the size of a swamp, spotlights everywhere. A bull bar covered in RM Williams stickers snarled across the front.

Liv figured the driver must be heading up to camp in the backwaters of the Murray River for the Queen’s Birthday long weekend—some choice spot where he could shoot pigs and suck beers. He’d probably stopped to change CDs, throw One Hundred Best Beer Songs of All Time into the stacker.

‘Neanderthal,’ she muttered under her breath. He looked like the exact kind of arsehole who’d made her brother’s life hell.

The driver-side door opened and two feet eased out. Two feet clad in thongs. Thongs! Liv pulled her jacket tighter across her chest. Didn’t Mr Muscle Car know it was June and freezing?

No sense. No feeling.

Those feet were attached to a muscular pair of legs in black cargo shorts, and from there to a sculpted torso in a T-shirt that looked a half-size too tight.

The driver shoved his sunglasses to the top of his head, checked left and right, and his weight edged forward.

Fear iced Liv’s spine.

The brute had parked opposite Dean Lang’s house—directly opposite her bike—and now he zeroed in on the Ducati like a heat-seeking missile.

Guys like that don’t want 650 Pantahs. Guys like that drive utes! Utes with a cabin for bonking their bimbo girlfriends. Utes with a tray in the back so they can throw in a swag at the end of a big night.

Dammit. 

Where was a Greyhound bus when a girl needed one? Not to hit him, mind. Just to slow him down a little. Okay, maybe wing him.

****

How far will Liv go to make the motorbike hers? Can a viticulturalist fall for a man who prefers beer? And will a romp on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend among the grapevines be long enough for Owen to convince Liv he’s interested in more than just a holiday fling?

The Goodbye Ride is a fresh, funny and poignant novella set in the beautiful Adelaide Hills. Enjoy it this Queen’s Birthday weekend, perhaps with a glass of your favourite wine.

Buy the book:TheGoodbyeRide_REVISED

Amazon AUS

Amazon US

KOBO

iTunes

Or visit Escape Publishing for more options

What’s Old Is New Again…

Great to see this little book back in circulation. I wrote The Goodbye Ride in 2013, not long after we moved from Hahndorf (where the book is set) to Margaret River. I wrote most of it while the kids and I were guests at my sister’s place, before we found our own house to rent.

It’s set on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend holiday, which on the East Coast happens in early June, so it’s a nice little short story to sit down with for an evening or a weekend, if you feel like some romance and escapism to finish your day.

Special mention to one of my good writing friends, Kerrie Paterson, for her debut title with Escape Publishing – Return to Jacaranda Avenue. Love that cover, Kerrie, and it’s nice to share a book birthday with you!

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 7.39.50 PM

The Goodbye Ride is out on May 5 and is available for pre-order at all ebook sites now.

Amazon US

Amazon AUS

iTunes

Kobo

More options at Escape Publishing.

Cover Reveal | The Goodbye Ride

Feel like playing a little game of ‘compare the cover?’

This is my new cover for my contemporary novella The Goodbye Ride, out with Escape Publishing on May 5th. Underneath on the right is the old cover, designed for me by the incredibly talented Wendy Johnson of Bright Eyed Owl when The Goodbye Ride was a self-published book. On the left is another version that was all part of the cover design process. How cool to see three versions of the same book!

TheGoodbyeRide_REVISEDTheGoodbyeRideGoodbye_Ride

You are welcome to let me know which one you prefer, but please make sure you be tactful about it! You do realise it’s kind of like asking me to compare my children 🙂

 

 

Bookish News & Dinosaur Spellings

School started again a couple of weeks ago and that means we’re back in the school-going groove, after a few hiccups in the second week with sick kids… It also means I’m making lunch boxes again (pet hate)… but it’s all okay.

On the writing front, things have been interesting… to say the least!

I finished edits on my novella THE GOODBYE RIDE before school went back. This was another of my self-published books that is now being contracted by Escape Publishing. It will be fun to have Liv and Owen’s story back in the cyber-world and I’m looking forward to seeing & sharing the new cover for it soon. THE GOODBYE RIDE should be back on the cyber shelf in early May.

SO FAR INTO YOU was part of Amazon Australia’s Valentine’s Day sale a few weeks back, which meant for the first time I saw a book of mine get a gorgeous piece of artwork and be part of the front page of Amazon Australia. Very exciting!

Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 9.48.48 PM

During this, SO FAR INTO YOU was ranked the No.1 book in Westerns on Amazon, which is what Amazon categorises what Aussies call ‘rural romance’… It meant I got one of these – a Bestseller flag. First time for me.

No. 1 Westerns flag

Now months ago, I wrote a story for an anthology called COMING TOGETHER, STRANGE SHIFTERS… it was about two sabre-tooth cats who could turn human and it was pretty “out there” as my stories go… anyway, I saw a review of the book on Amazon.com today and the reviewer said this:

“Perhaps my favorite story (among many that stand out) is Lily Malone’s “Tar Pit Triage”. Two male sabre-tooth tiger shifters compete for a scarce female, and for the lordly title of Khan. Ms. Malone’s primordial universe is new and fascinating, but I was most impressed by the contrasts she creates between the human and animal experience. In cat form, the characters have finely-tuned senses and powerful muscles, but limited intellectual capabilities. Human shape offers the advantages of analysis and agency at the expense of physical weakness.”

I read the review and thought: “Wow. My primordial universe is new and fascinating???” It left me rather chuffed that I’d created such a universe! I had no idea there was so much to think about in my 3000 word contribution about a female sabre-tooth cat stuck in a tar pit 🙂

In books on the drawing board, I finished my current project and sent that to my editor. It has the working title of BUTTERFLY HOUSE BOOK 1, which is a bit boring, but will do for now. It’s a novella set near where I live which involves a murder mystery game and a thief who is stealing the Cowaramup cows.

Last, sharing this bit of cuteness from Mr 6, who got an Honour Certificate at school today:

honour 1

This is what the teacher’s message says: “For putting in a great effort into your writing and sounding out ‘piranha’ and ‘sarcosuchas’. Keep it up!”

The funny thing was, even the school principal had a battle pronouncing ‘sarcosuchas’ (sookus) and he called it a sarcosaurus.

For a second there I was worried Mr 6 was about to correct him!

Have a great week.

xx Lily

Bye Bye Liv & Owen

My novella, The Goodbye Ride, has come off the cyber shelves for a while.
Today, I signed a Contract with Escape Publishing for the book, and took The Goodbye Ride down from Amazon where it has been self-published since May 2013.
Hopefully it will be back in publication in 2016 with a new cover, and maybe a few edits and tweaks. But, it will always be Liv and Owen’s story set in Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills over the June (Queen’s Birthday) long weekend.
I also have big news about Fairway To Heaven. Fairway is a ‘Kindle Monthly Deal’ for August. It’s been discounted to $1.09 (Australia), about 72cents in the US. Today it cracked the Amazon Australia Top 100 – which is virgin territory for me.
I took a screen shot to prove it!

Picture 1

It has been a wild, wonderful, crazy week – and there is more news to come for Fairway, but the powers-that-be at Escape won’t let me tell anyone yet 🙂

 

Naming Babies (and book characters)

I’m thinking about my next book, which means I’m thinking about characters and character names. I like this stage very much – it’s a bit like naming a new baby. 

These are the names I’ve used so far for my main characters, and a bit about why I chose them.JPEG Names

His Brand Of Beautiful

Christina Clay
Right from the beginning, I thought of having a character who would be nicknamed CC by her friends. I also needed something that would work with the name of the family winery in this book, Clay Wines. In the book, a brand is developed for Clay Wines that is called Cracked Pots. Clay. Pots. Get it?

Tate Newell
On a visit to the Sunshine Coast in 2012 we drove on the Newell Highway… need I say more? As for ‘Tate’ this book begins with a ‘mistaken identity’ premise, and I needed a quick short name that could get confused if heard over dodgy reception on the phone. So for me this became a mixup with Tate and Nate.

There is also the character of Christina’s best friend, Lacey in this book. Lacey’s name came from the American So You Think You Can Dance that year.

The Goodbye Ride

Olivia Murphy
Olivia is a personal favourite. If I’d ever had a baby girl, I would have called her Olivia, or Liv, as Olivia gets shortened to in The Goodbye Ride. As for Murphy, I’m not so sure. There was a family with the surname ‘Murphy’ and they had a boy going to my son’s school. I don’t think it’s any deeper than that.

Owen Carson
Being brutally honest, there was an ‘Owen’ in my early years who I didn’t like much at all, but it’s a nice name… As for Carson, I have no idea. Carson’s Law anyone?

Fairway To HeavenFairWayToHeavenFinal-harlequin 200_200x315

Jennifer (Jenn) Gates

I have met and got to know so many Jenn’s since I started this writing life. Jenn J McLeod, Jennie Jones, Jenny Schwartz, Jennifer Scoullar, Jennie Brumley, Jennifer St George… it starts to read like the ‘attack of the Jen’s’ – and they are all lovely. The Jenn in Fairway to Heaven was never going to be named anything else. From the time she first swung a golf club, she was Jenn in my head.

Brayden Culhane
My mother is convinced my fictional ‘Brayden’ and my real husband ‘Brian’ are one and the same… I have no idea if she’s right of course 😉

Sebastian
Sebby is Jennifer’s toddler son in Fairway. I know a lot of Sebastian’s (Sebby’s) and they are great kids. Kudos to my cousin Yvette and my friend Tanja for this name. Thank you for letting me borrow it!

So Far Into You (Out October 2015)

Remy Hanley
Remy Hanley was ‘Quinn Jackson’ for a very long time. Years in fact, because this book has been brewing in various guises for about that long. Somewhere in the last rewrite in 2014, Quinn became Remy in a massive case of ‘Find and Replace’. I blame the same friend Tanja once again. She has a daughter called Remy and I love this name! I’ve lost touch with a lovely friend I had years ago with the surname ‘Hanley’… maybe that choice is a tie to her, but I don’t think it was one I consciously thought about.

Seth Lasrey
Big bad Seth was ‘Dex’ all the time ‘Remy’ was ‘Quinn’… then when Quinn became Remy (are you confused yet?) Dex became Seth. This time, I blame a brilliant television show called Deadwood, starring the delectable Timothy Oliphant. (Or Raylan in Justified if you prefer). The moment I discovered Seth Bullock hiding in Deadwood, Dex Lasrey died and was reborn. I like him much better as Seth.

The New Book (No Name)

Characters so far are: Cally Morgan, Sienna Devereux, Uncle Bruce Devereux, also a dude called Brookes… and now I’m wondering, my Mum might be right in her comment about me and ‘Br’ names… Brian, Brayden, Bruce and Brookes. I’ve also got a secondary character of Bryce in So Far Into You and a Burt in another book I’ve been messing around with. ‘B’ and ‘C’ names seem to be on my hit list. I have a sister-in-law called Bronwyn and a wonderful neighbour called Carrie… I guess that puts them on the hit list for a character one of these days!

What about you? If you could name the heroine and hero of your own book, who would they be? If you’re a writer, do you have any deeper motivations than me about what makes you choose a name?

Lots of Bookish News

Well, not heaps of bookish news, but some.

First, my next book for release, So Far Into You, is currently in the hands of one of the wonderful team of Harlequin editors, the lovely Belinda Holmes. Belinda has edited some of my work before, for an anthology called It Happened At Cafe Nix that was released by a group of Escape Publishing authors earlier this year. It made me all warm and fuzzy inside to think I’d be working with Belinda again.Lily's Nix cover

So Far Into You begins in Margaret River and moves to the Adelaide Hills, so it’s sort of mimicking my life. I was born near Margaret River and went to school here before moving to South Australia in late 2001 (although I’ve since moved back to Margaret River in 2013). The book is set in the wine industry and involves several events from my memories, the Margaret River Vintage Festival being one.

My early memories of the Margaret River Vintage/Wine Festival were way back when it was set in what was then a vacant lot (now a carpark and supermarket) beside the Settlers Tavern. I remember plank-walk races, and barrel races, and that the festival involved laughs, community, and drinking lots of wine.

So Far Into You begins with a meeting between the heroine, Remy, and the hero, Seth, at the Margaret River Wine Festival just prior to a storm that puts paid to the day. The book also includes some other favourite memories, such as bushwalking in spring and looking for orchids, which these characters do. Seth doesn’t know his donkey orchid from his cowslip, but Remy sets him straight.

Orchid spotting on a spring bush walk near where I live.
Orchid spotting on a spring bush walk near where I live.

I’ve been told the book will be ready for release in October 2015, which is very exciting!

Yesterday, I heard from Escape about my last remaining self-pubbed work, the novella, The Goodbye Ride. After picking up Fairway To Heaven last year (this too was originally self-pubbed), Escape Publishing has now agreed to take The Goodbye Ride into their expert hands.

For me right now, I’m moving away from self-pubbing my work and I’ve been happy with this decision.

Last, just for a change of pace. A few of us in our writing group, The Naughty Ninjas, challenged eachother to write a shapeshifter romance in the last week or so. So I just did that (you know, as you do). It’s about 3500 words, involving a prehistoric animal as the ‘shifter’… I don’t have a name for the story yet, but it might just find a home at Wattpad.