New Release Book Review: The Kookaburra Creek Cafe by Sandie Docker

I’ve never re-blogged anything before, but this review got me! Not only is it a great review, but here is a reader who really ‘got’ my little story…..

Theresa Smith Writes

The Kookaburra Creek Cafe…

About the Book:

Welcome to the Kookaburra Creek Cafe.


For Hattie, the cafe has been her refuge for the last fifty years – her second chance at a happy ending after her dreams of being a star were shattered. But will the ghosts of her past succeed in destroying everything she’s worked so hard to build?


For Alice, the cafe is her livelihood. After Hattie took her in as a teenager, Alice has slowly forged a quiet life as the cafe’s manager (and chief cupcake baker). But with so many tragedies behind her, is it too late for Alice’s story to have a happy ending?


For Becca, a teenager in trouble, the cafe could be the new start she yearns for. That is, if she can be persuaded to stop running from her secrets. Can Becca find a way to…

View original post 1,084 more words

Updates Galore

A lot has been happening in Kookaburra Creek lately. And for those of you not on Facebook, I’m here to share all the latest news with you.

  1. Final Cover and Blurb – the final-going-to-print-any-day-now cover complete with official blurb and tag lines has landed!! And I couldn’t be happier. The art dept at Penguin and my amazing publisher Kimberley have produced something quite special..


2. Pre-order now available – You can now pre-order The Kookaburra Creek Café. What does that mean? Well, for you it means that you don’t have to worry about getting to the shops and fighting the crowds, because if you pre-order it will be mailed on April 30th direct to your home (for print version), or delivered direct to your eReader (for ebook). No fuss. No drama.  It also means you can do your Mother’s Day shopping now and be well ahead of the game! And for me, it means that my publisher gets a nice little heads-up that they made the right decision taking me on. Publishers LOVE pre-orders (like, seriously love them!!), so if you are thinking about getting yourself a copy, please consider pre-ordering it.

For Australian readers you can get print or ebook by clicking  here at Booktopia.

For International readers you can a print book by clicking here at Bookdepository – who have FREE world-wide shipping (love that). Ebook will be available at release date for international readers.

Other retailers can be found here.

3. Website Facelift – in the lead up to release, my website has had a bit of a facelift. If you’ve got a few spare minutes, have a look around and see how we’re looking. And while you’re there…

4. Sign up for my Very Important Reader (VIR) Newsletter. With things moving so fast and so much going on behind the scenes, a newsletter seems a great way to keep in touch. Newsletter subscribers will receive exclusive offers, and I promise not to bombard you. If you’d like to sign up to the VIR newsletter, you can do so here. If you’re on Facebook, I do share a lot of “everyday stuff” there so feel free to connect there too.

5. Tour Dates – I’ll shortly be finalising some tour dates where you can come and hear me waffle on about Hattie and Alice and Becca and all my friends in Kookaburra Creek. I’ll post the tour dates here on my new-look website once everything’s locked in, so do check back in a week or so.

I haven’t shared this yet on Facebook, so exclusive for you guys – if you can get along to one of the author events on the tour, I’ll have one of these gorgeous bookmarks with me to give away to anyone who gets their book signed. Shhh…don’t tell too many people – we don’t want a stampede. Oh, actually, yes we do – TELL EVERYONE!Thanks for riding this crazy journey with me, everyone. Only 64 days to go till release!!!

S xo

Author Interview – Josephine Moon

I’m thrilled to have Josephine Moon with me today for a quick author interview.

What is your favourite part of being a writer?

JM : The days when I completely slip into another world and the characters are talking and everything is just rolling out in front of me so that all I have to do is keep up my typing speed to capture what I’m seeing and hearing… those days are gold. I am never happier than when I have been immersed in my current work in progress.

SD : Being immersed is the best, often our characters feeling more real to us than the real people on our life.

Romantic elements feature in most Women’s Fiction. Who is your favourite fictional couple?

JM : Of my own books, definitely Christmas Livingstone and Lincoln van Luc from The Chocolate Promise. That book comes the closest I’ve ever written to a straight love story and they are just such a beautiful couple. (Side note: Lincoln is named after my rather dashing black horse of the same name, who charms all the ladies with his snuffles and lashes, be they equine or human!)

SD : Lincoln is one of the sexiest male leads I’ve ever read!

JM : Other than that, I really loved Jess and Ed from JoJo Moyes’ novel, One Plus One. I have so much love for JoJo as a writer, for this book (I don’t think I’ve ever laughed or loved so much in any other novel), and for those two flawed and wonderful characters.

SD : Jojo is queen

Which five fictional characters would you love to have over for dinner?

JM : Albus Dumbledore (from Harry Potter) for his magic. Anne Shirley (from Anne of Green Gables) for her irrepressible spirit. Maria Lindsey (from my book, The Beekeeper’s Secret) because I suspect she has a few more secrets yet that we might coax out of her. Captain Jack Sparrow (from Pirates of the Caribbean… okay, he’s not from a novel, but still fictional, and can you imagine the calamity? Sword fights, thievery, witty banter, rum… brilliant!) Violet Crawley, played by Maggie Smith, from Downton Abbey because her acerbic wit is something to behold. And I think she and Maria Lindsey would get on well.

SD : That sounds like an awesome dinner party!

What is one trait that one of your own characters has that you wished you possessed?

JM : Not so much a trait as a skill, but my character Sunny Foxleigh (from my forthcoming novel Three Gold Coins) can up-cycle old furniture she picked up at the dump into cool, trendy and beautiful new pieces that cost her next to nothing. In my head I’m that person, but then I try to do something as simple as open blinds without tangling them up and I realise how far away I am from being that person!

SD : I have a table I want to ‘re-do’, but I’m too sacred. Like you, in my head it will turn out perfect. In reality?????

If money, time and talent were no object, what job would you love to do other than write?

JM : I think I would be a vegetable and flower farmer. Again, in my head I already am that person, but the jungle of weeds out my window right now would suggest otherwise.

SD : Sounds idyllic.

What are you working on next and when can we expect it out?

JM : My next novel, Three Gold Coins, will be out at the end of March, right before Easter. It’s just about to go to print now!

Its blurb reads:

One coin for love, one for marriage, one to return to Rome.

Two days ago, Lara Foxleigh tossed three gold euros into the Trevi Fountain. Now, she is caring for a cranky old man and living in a picturesque villa, half a world away from her home and the concerns of her loving family.

Soon, it seems as if those wishes she made in Rome just might be coming true, and she may even be able to help heal a fifteen-year-old tragedy.

Until Lara’s past threatens to destroy everything she loves . . .

Three Gold Coins is a masterfully written celebration of food, family, triumph over adversity, and love—a deliciously imperfect life.

I am also halfway through the first draft of my fifth fiction book, one that doesn’t have a title yet, and all I can tell you is that it is set in Melbourne, and it will be out in April 2019 😊

SD : Have to say, I’m very much looking forward to Three Gold Coins coming out.

Thanks for stopping by Josephine. If you want to find out more about Josephine and her wonderful novels, you can find her here….

on her website

and here on facebook

S xo



Cover Reveal

Over the weekend I was able to share on Facebook the cover for my debut novel, but I know some of you aren’t on FB, so I’m going to share it here too.

I don’t mind admitting I was really nervous about the cover. Basically the process is – my publisher, Kim, briefs the art department on the themes, feel, audience etc of the book, they go away and design something, they liaise till they’re both happy with it, then it goes to the rest of Penguin for approval, then I get to see it.

I had no idea how it was going to turn out, but once Kim sent it trough to me, I was so thrilled. It’s so pretty and really does capture the ‘feel’ of my work.

So, without further ado…here it is…..Kookaburra jacket 10.11.17

Hope you like it as much as me. I can’t wait to get my hands on my baby! As for you – you can get your hands on it come May 2018. Yep, just in time for Mother’s Day 🙂

comingmay 2018S xo

Author Interview – Rachael Johns

This month I’m very excited to welcome international bestselling Aussie author Rachael Johns to my blog in the next in my series of author interviews. Rachael has 22 works of fiction published, ranging from Rural Romance to Women’s Fiction. Welcome Rachael.

What is your favourite part of being a writer?

RJ: The covers – definitely the covers!! Seeing a beautiful sparkly cover with your name on it makes all the pain and hard work that comes before worth it. I think publishing a book is a bit like having a baby, once you have the actual finished book in your hands and see it on actual shelves, you forget all the suffering that came to get to that point! I also like the friends I’ve met and the fun I have with them at conferences. Being able to work from home and not get dressed or wear make-up is also a perk 🙂

SD: And your covers are so pretty!! PJs and good friends. What more can a girl ask for?

Rachael’s works of Women’s Fiction

Romantic elements feature in most Women’s Fiction. Who is your favourite fictional couple?

RJ: Well, that would have to be Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy. I love them on the page and I love them on the screen. She’s just utterly delightful in her imperfections and I love the way she cracks beneath his stiff, serious veneer to the real hero beneath.

SD: How can you not love anyone based on Mr Darcy?

Which five fictional characters would you love to have over for dinner?

RJ: Bridget Jones, Miss Havisham, Garfield, Hermione Granger and Silky from The Faraway Tree. And I hope Silky would bring some of her pop cakes!

SD: Now that would be an interesting dinner party!

What is one trait that one of your own characters has that you wished you possessed?

RJ: I would like to be able to play the violin (or any instrument really) like Abigail from THE PATTERSON GIRLS – I never put the hard work in as a child so my mum made me quit! AND I’d like to be able to knit and crochet like Tabetha from TALK OF THE TOWN – or I’d like to stick at these things long enough to actually make something. I can actually knit but I always give up after a few days.

SD: Abigail is certainly talented. I’m wondering if your mum making you quit is why you gave Abigail that trait…Hang on, I’ll just go get my psychology degree off the internet….

If money, time and talent were no object, what job would you love to do other than write?

RJ: Oh there are so many – that’s the best thing about writing, I can give my characters jobs that in another lifetime I’d have loved to have myself. I always wanted to read the news for Channel Seven, I’d also love to be an actress, or a voice narrator for audio books. At various stages in my life I’ve wanted to be a vet, a nutritionist and a flight attendant!

SD: Maybe we could convince Channel Seven to do guest news reader spots?

What are you working on next and when can we expect it out?

RJ: I’m currently working on HER MOTHER’S DRESS, which I’m hoping will be out late next year but that really depends on whether my life slows down and gives me the time to finish it by deadline. Currently we’re trying to sell a house, build a house and in November I’m doing a three week national tour for THE GREATEST GIFT. Time to write is running out BUT I can tell you it’s about four women and a wedding dress that connects them all. There’s a bit of a fun eighties theme and also touches on adoption and organ donation!

SD: You do have a lot on! HER MOTHER’S DRESS sounds great. Check out dates for Rachael’s tour here.

Thanks for stopping by Rachael. If you’d like to find out more about Rachael and her work you can find her here…




And if you’d like to win a copy of Rachael’s THE ART OF KEEPING SECRETS before THE GREATEST GIFT comes out at the end of this month, stop by my Facebook page (here)  and enter my giveaway.

S xo








I have NEWS

Two posts in one month? Something must be up.

Oh yes it is, peeps. Big time!

I am so excited to share with you all the news that I have signed a two book deal with Penguin!!

And not just in my dreams. For real. Actual real.

It’s been a long and often tough journey, but it’s totally worth the wait. First, it’s Penguin – home to some of my literary heroes like Jojo Moyes, Monica McInerney, Marian Keyes, Fiona McIntosh, Kate Forsyth… (I could go on). And second, a wonderful editor there fell in love with my little stories and took on both manuscripts. Yep. Both of them. She was a little disappointed to learn that Kookaburra Creek is a fictional place, as she’d fallen so hard for the community that she wanted to go live there. Praise for a writer doesn’t come any higher than that.

Over the next few months I’ll be able to share more details as I embark on this amazing journey from writer to author, but for now I just wanted to share the amazing news with you as I’ve been bursting at the seams having to sit on this while contracts were signed.

Thank you for coming on this journey with me so far, and I hope you stick around for the next part – it’s going to be a wild ride!!

S  🙂

Author Interview – Jenn J McLeod

Author, Jenn J McLeod

I’m switching things up a bit to accommodate some interesting things this month (stay tuned!!) and am doing my next author interview a little earlier than usual. I’m very pleased to welcome Jenn J McLeod to the blog. Jenn was the first real-life author I stalked befriended when I started this writing journey, and she is warm and generous and fun, so I’m thrilled to have here.

What is your favourite part of being a writer?

JM : Aside from getting to make up amazing characters (who I really do fall in love with or wish they were my best friend – don’t tell my best friend that!!) my favourite thing is hearing from readers who tell me they also loved a character, or they could relate to the characters and took something positive from the story.

SD : It’s wonderful that you can touch the lives of readers. Such a special thing.

Romantic elements feature in most Women’s Fiction. Who is your favourite fictional couple?

JM : I’m going with one of my own. I have a soft spot for Paige (a food reviewer until she lost her sense of smell – and therefore taste) and Aiden, once an executive chef in the city until his girlfriend swindled his food dream (so now he’s executive chip fryer in his uncle’s country pub). They are the lead characters in Season of Shadow and Light and Aiden goes from Mr Grumpy to the bloke you want in a crisis.

SD : And for some reason I’m a sucker for the name Aiden????

Which five fictional characters would you love to have over for dinner?

JM : Having spent time along the mighty Murray River recently, and staying a week in Echuca to tick riding a paddle steamer off my bucket list, I have been devouring Nancy Cato’s – All The Rivers Run. So, I would have:

  1. The feisty and determined Philadelphia at the table to get a debate going.
    2.Father Ralph de Brisassart, from The Thorn Birds, because I’d like to tell him a thing or two! (Or Deli would!)
    3.Strong and passionate Meggie, also from the Thorn Birds, so she can have her Julia Roberts moment. (I can see her standing there, hands on hips, defiant chin, and telling Ralph, “Big mistake! Huge!”)
    4.The mystical, magical Gypsy, from House for all Seasons. I have a lot of questions about her life and how she ended up at Dandelion House.
    5.Hunky Aiden, from my Season of Shadow and Light – because he’s a chef and we’ll need food! He’s also gorgeous, sensitive, and has a great sense of humour.
    6.Naughty Tilly, from The Other Side of the Season, so we can discuss a few things she did that were not very nice!

SD : That sounds like a great dinner party. I think we all wish we could have our Julia Roberts moment.What is one trait that one of your own characters has that you wished you possessed?

JM : Positivity.

Pearl, in The Other Side of the Season, has such a positive outlook and a real passion for life, despite the challenges she faces as a person with albinism.

SD : And it can be such a hard thing to harness. We all need a little more positivity.

What are you working on next and when can we expect it out?

JM : I am so excited to tell you my next book will be needing a passport! I have THE most amazing new editor and my next (5th) novel will be published by the UK’s Independent Publisher of the Year – Head of Zeus. And that amazing editor…? She was Maeve Binchy’s editor for years and, oh, another ‘small’ book you may have heard about. I just blogged about her.

SD : That’s such exciting news, Jenn. Congratulations.

If money, time and talent were no object, what job would you love to do other than write?

JM : If money, time and talent were no object I’d turn every Aussie novel into a TV mini series and give talented Aussie actors back the jobs reality TV takes away.

SD : That is an amazing idea! How do we make this happen?

Thanks for stopping by, Jenn.

If you like the idea of reading more about Aiden and Paige, stop by my Facebook page tomorrow and you can enter the draw to win a copy of Season Of Shadow and Light for yourself!

About Jenn

Jenn with a fellow who makes an appearance in book 5.

Jenn J McLeod was fifty when she started ticking things off her bucket list. So far she’s made that sea change, written that bestseller, and downsized her life to hit the road full time. Since 2014, home for Jenn (and her partner) is a 3-tonne, 25-foot caravan named Myrtle the Turtle. Selling her slice of suburbia and every stick of furniture was liberating (as was saying goodbye to the glut of kitchen gadgets and swapping a wardrobe of classy clothes and shoes for rubber Crocs, T-shirts, and shorts). (Check out her blog post on that.)

With her Seasons Collection of four novels already adored by readers in her home country, April 2018 will see her fifth novel released by the UK’s 2017 Independent Publisher of the Year, Head of Zeus, and distributed worldwide. Best described as heart-warming tales of Australian country life, friendship, family, love and contemporary issues, readers who enjoy family and friendship stories in the style of Monica McInerney, Mauve Binchy and Liz Bryski, will enjoy Jenn’s small town stories.

In addition to her novels, Jenn is published in short form and in industry magazines (including the Australian Literature Review’s ‘Novel Writing in Australia’ education series). She also maintains her own blog and loves connecting with readers online

Thanks for stopping by.

S 🙂



A Surprise Round Every Corner

At the Sydney Writers’ Festival on the weekend, one of the events I went to was ‘The Most Unlikely of Paces’ all about authors and their research. It was a fascinating panel and one that I was particularly interested in because one of the things that has surprised me most about my own writing journey, is the amount of research I’ve had to do for my two novels, despite the fact I write contemporary fiction.

If you haven’t read Brooks, do. She’s brilliant.

If I were writing historical fiction, then I would expect to have to do a lot of research. Geraldine Brooks, an absolute writing God when it comes to this genre, does so much research for each of her novels it is mind-blowing. But when you write a story about the first Native American to graduate Harvard in 1665(Caleb’s Crossing), or a story about an English village cutting themselves off from the rest of the country during The Plague in 1666 (Year of Wonders), then there’s no way around doing ridiculous amounts of research.

Writing contemporary fiction, though, I didn’t think ‘research’ would be high on my to-do list.


Granted, in Tall Gum Point, through Ivy’s letters we do go back into the forties and WWII and I had to do research for that – check timelines and dates and how the end of the war was received. But even with The Kookaburra Creek Café when we see part of Alice’s story set in the nineties, a decade I’ve lived through and not that long ago – research! Can I have Alice and Dean using mobile phones at this time? Email? When exactly did they become everyday use by everyday people?

Maybe we can justify the nineties – it isn’t ‘today’ after all.

But…you guessed it…even with parts of the stories that are set today – research!!

In The Point Nicole renovates her cottage. Research! How would she bring the window frames of a 1930’s cottage back to life? Where would she source reclaimed tiles for the fireplace? What would the fireplace have been made of?

Moreton Bay Fig photo credit –

In Of Cupcakes and Dandelions, I originally had Alice’s favourite tree, where she escapes and dreams, as a Moreton Bay Fig – a tree that I’ve always felt was magical in its growth. Until I checked and discovered that where I’d set the fictional town of Lawson’s Ridge, Moreton Bay Figs would never grow in the wild. So I had to research what trees would grow in the area, and which of them had special properties that would fit Alice’s story. I even had to cut one of my favourite lines because I had to cut the Fig – “Sitting in a tree that grew from top to bottom, anything seemed possible.”

Before you panic, I did find a new tree and I like it (almost) as much my discarded Fig. Which tree? Well, you’ll have to wait till I get published to find out.

I reached out to a few of my author friends (all writers of contemporary) and asked them…

What’s the strangest/silliest/most interesting thing you’ve done in the name of research for one of your books?

Dianne Blacklock

“For my second book, Wife for Hire, I had to move Sam after her divorce from a McMansion in outer suburbia to somewhere cheaper and closer to the city. I finally settled on Marrickville. I barely knew where the suburb even was, so I spent the best part of a day driving around the streets, getting a feel for the place. I didn’t fall in love with it or anything, there was no epiphany, but ten years later, in a case of life imitating art, guess where I ended up after my own divorce? And I have fallen in love with Marrickville. Sam chose wisely.”

Pauline Wiles

“My second book, Secrets in the Sky, involved several scenes with small aircraft. At the time, my husband was learning to fly, so I went with him and took careful note of procedures and terminology… also whether it was possible for the pilot of a Cessna to lean across and kiss the passenger.”

Lily Malone

“I’ve bought biographies from swimmers such as Leisl Jones and Ian Thorpe to find out about training regimes for top level swimmers… I’ve also been googling top 50 disco tunes of all time. Donna Summer comes out on top.

So, who’d have thought? Even writers of contemporary fiction do a lot of research to bring you the stories you love

What about you? What’s the strangest/silliest/most interesting thing you’ve done in the name of your job?

S 🙂



Author Interview – Cathryn Hein

Cathryn Hein

This month I’m thrilled to welcome to my series of author interviews best-selling romance author Cathryn Hein. Cathryn has 10 books published, from rural romance to romantic suspense. I added Cathryn to my reading list recently and she’s definitely there to stay. Check out Cathryn’s answers to my fun questions below and then go check out her website. She hosts great giveaways over there and showcases some amazing authors.

What is your favourite part of being a writer?

CH: I have lots of favourite parts! Living in my imagination is a big one but I also like that I work for myself, set my own hours, and can flop around the house in daggy clothes raiding the fridge and espresso machine as much as I want. I also LOVE the writer friends I’ve made. That is such a special thing. The romance community is amazing – inclusive, passionate, smart and generous. There’s no other writing community like it.

SD: Raiding the fridge can also be a dangerous side effect of being a writer!

Romantic elements feature in most Women’s Fiction, and, obviously in romance genres. Who is your favourite fictional couple?

CH: Gawd, that’s like asking my favourite wine or food or book or song. I have so many and honestly, a lot of the time when this question gets posed my first reaction is to nominate the couple from the last book I read because they’re the strongest in my mind. Which, at the time of writing this, would be Amani and Jin from Alwyn Hamilton’s Rebel of the Sands.

But if you really insist on me choosing…

SD: I do…

CH: I thought Beth and Lincoln from Attachments by Rainbow Rowell were just adorable. Mind you, I also thought Lilac and Tarver from These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner were incredible too, as well as Karou and Akiva from Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, and Ove and Sonja from Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove, and, oooh, about a bazillion others.

Ask me the same thing next week and I’ll likely choose differently.

SD: Umm, that wasn’t choosing, but I’ll let you off the hook as clearly you are passionate about fictional couples, and I’m ok with that.

Which five fictional characters would you love to have over for dinner?

CH: Sherlock Holmes, although he’d probably drive everyone bonkers.

A young Rupert Campbell-Black, Jilly Cooper’s gorgeously scandalous toff from Riders, Rivals and the rest of the Rutshire Chronicles. He’d be uncontrollable, possibly even rude but I’d forgive him because he’ll make me laugh. He’d have to be the young rakish version though, not the older Rupert. Rupert turned seriously cranky in his maturity.

I’d really like to meet Lachie from my book Heart of the Valley. I had the biggest crush on that man while I was writing the book and it’s never really faded. He was perfect!

Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series. She’s brilliant in so many ways, and she could keep Sherlock and Rupert in line with just a swish of her wand. Lachie is too much of a gentleman to misbehave.

Katniss Everdeen from Suzanne Collins’s incredible Hunger Games series. She’s one tough cookie. Rupert wouldn’t want to try any groping. He’d likely lose his hand.

SD: That sounds like one very interesting dinner party.

What is one trait that one of your own characters has that you wished you possessed?

CH: I so wish I had Emily Wallace-Jones’s innate elegance and class. She’s a character from Rocking Horse Hill who is not only beautiful, but smart and extremely poised. To some she can appear aloof but the hero Josh knows that beneath that calm façade simmers deep passion.

SD: Innate elegance and class are certainly something I could do with a pinch of. A big pinch.

What are you working on next and when can we expect it out?

CH: I recently handed in the first round of edits on my next full-length release The Country Girl. It’s a book I’m ridiculously excited about and one my agent and editor are describing as my best yet. It’s hitting shelves in late December. Perfect for relaxing over the holidays with.

SD: I’ve been watching this development on social media. I’m excited too.

If money, time and talent were no object, what job would you love to do other than write?

CH: I would be an equestrienne, probably eventing which involves dressage, cross-country jumping and show jumping. I was born horse-mad and as a little girl always dreamed of making the Olympic eventing team. That takes serious discipline though (along with all the other things you mention, like time, talent and money) and I’m not sure I ever really possessed that kind of drive. And I certainly don’t have the fitness now. Still, a girl’s allowed her fantasies!

SD: You are indeed. That’s exactly what this question is about. Horses do seem to feature in your novels, so I’m thinking you’d find the drive easily.

To find out more about Cathryn and her novels, you can find her online here…



Twitter: @CathrynHein

And if you want to win a signed copy of her most recent release Wayward Heart, blurb below, make sure you tune in to my Facebook page next Wednesday…


Jasmine Thomas should feel safe in her cosy cottage at Admella Beach after finally putting an end to an ill-advised romance. But her perfect sanctuary is shattered with the arrival of hand-delivered threatening notes. Someone has discovered her secret.

When the notes escalate to vandalism, Jasmine’s anxiety rises. But in such a small place, telling the police would mean the whole town finding out.

Digby Wallace-Jones is stumbling through the motions of life, wrapped in a fog of grief since his fiancée Felicity died. Withdrawn from his family, Digby doesn’t care about anything beyond his loss. But in a chance meeting with Jasmine, his sister’s best friend who he’s known forever, even he can see the tension she carries. Worried and feeling protective, he continues to drop by, but it’s more than that. Jasmine soothes him; and, unlike the rest of his family, he can talk to her about his pain without fear of judgement. But as much as he likes Jasmine, Digby’s enduring love for Felicity means he has nothing left to give and he pushes Jasmine away.

Jasmine knew they were supposed to stay friends ‘with excellent benefits’ but she can’t help her wayward heart from falling for this tortured, kind and sexy man. How can she ever loosen the grip Felicity’s memory has on Digby’s soul and remind him he still has a life ahead of him?

S 🙂

Author Interview – Dianne Blacklock

I’m moving my series of author interviews from Facebook here to my blog, as it gives us more scope, I think, to do the interviews justice.

This month I’m thrilled to have the author of 9 works of wonderful women’s fiction stopping by – Dianne Blacklock.

I met Di last year while doing one of her writing courses and we’ve become good friends since. She is one of the most generous writers I’ve met in the last few years and, as you can see from her answers, she’s pretty cool.

So sit back with a cuppa and get to know Dianne Blacklock a little better…

What is your favourite part of being a writer?

DB: Well, I’m writing this in my pyjamas … but really, that’s just a bonus. I think the only reason most writers persevere is because of the magical stage when it feels like it’s writing itself, and you can’t get the words down fast enough. It’s all-consuming, filling your head even when you’re not writing, and allowing no room for the bane of all writers – doubt – to fester. You don’t question any more, you’re writing too fast. Honestly, it’s like a drug. If it was like that all the time, I could have written twice as many books.

SD: Pyjamas are definitely a bonus. And don’t we love it when ‘flow’ hits and the story pours out. (Not that I’ve had for a while!)

Romantic elements feature in most Women’s Fiction. Who is your favourite fictional couple?

DB: I’m going to be terribly unoriginal and go for Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy. But they still stand up so well, don’t you think? For the time it was written (and even now) Lizzie is such a strong intelligent woman, an early feminist, who would not forego her values for a bloke, and Darcy ultimately loved her for that. They both admitted their flaws – which is rare enough – and then got on with it. I suspect theirs would have been a very modern marriage.

SD: It’s not unoriginal. It’s classic. And classic becomes classic for a reason.

Which five fictional characters would you love to have over for dinner?

DB: Atticus Finch, and Aragorn from Lord of the Rings (though he’ll always be Strider to me) – both of whom will add dignity and wise counsel to the proceedings. Then I’d invite Rachael Samstat from one of my favourite novels of all time, Heartburn by Nora Ephron, which is really just an extremely thinly disguised account of the breakdown of her own marriage, so this is a sneaky way of having Nora Ephron at the table (writer of When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and more), or Meryl Streep, who played her in the movie. Either way it’s a win. And Bridget Jones would be good for a laugh, self-effacing, and likeable, just the way she is. Also a great drinking partner. And lastly, Vid from Liane Moriarty’s latest, Truly, Madly, Guilty. He’s my favourite character in that book – a big-hearted gregarious man who would actually do the cooking, and revel in it. I can just see him getting a huge kick out of the whole thing, and somehow he’d manage to make Atticus and Aragorn feel comfortable, despite them thinking they’d landed on another planet.

SD: You had me at Aragorn!

Just a couple of Di’s books.

What is one trait that one of your own characters has that you wished you possessed?

DB: Any one of the partners they end up with! Oh, but that’s not a trait, is it?

SD: Hahaha.

DB: Never mind … This was hard. I strive to make my characters ordinary, relatable women, so I see parts of myself in all of them, both the good and the flawed. Then I remembered Annie, the ‘absent’ character from Three’s a Crowd (too spoilery to explain why). She’s one of those people who has her own style, is not a slave to fashion but looks great in anything – she knows how to wear a scarf, you know what I’m saying? And she can throw a few shells or pebbles she’s just picked up on the beach into a bowl and it’ll look like a work of art. Without trying. I’d like to have that kind of effortless panache.

SD: Your characters are incredibly relatable, though I can’t say I can relate to effortless panache. I once read my horoscope that said no matter how hard Pisces try, we always look daggy!!!!

What are you working on next and when can we expect it out?

DB: I’m working on other people’s books mostly! I’ve been editing fiction for the past few years, and I love it to death. So much so that my own writing has taken a back seat for a while. I stepped off the publishing treadmill intentionally because I wasn’t feeling inspired. I felt like I’d explored most of the things I’d wanted to write about, and I didn’t want to start repeating myself. It’s been fun and rewarding to bring what I’ve learned to other people’s books. But I do have some irons in the fire right now, and though I’ve been saying this to my patient readers for some time, I really will have some news this year.

SD: After 9 successful novels, I’m not surprised you needed a break. But, like all of your fans, I’m excited that you’ll have some news later this year. Can’t wait!

Thank you so much for joining me Di.

Below is the blurb for Di’s most recent novel, The Best Man. If you want to win a signed copy of The Best Man, make sure you follow my Facebook page and the Mega March Birthday Giveaway.

Oh, and while you’re here, leave a comment below answering one of the interview questions yourself – who’s your favourite fictional couple?

S 🙂


With American fiancé, Henry Darrow, publicist Madeleine has at last found the yin to her yang – or whichever way round it is. The calm to her storm, the stillness to her constant motion. Balance.

Her boss, Liv, had to be talked into marriage, which predictably ended in divorce. Liv knows that she and her twins are better off alone anyway.

However, when Madeleine meets Aiden, Henry’s choice for best man, and Liv has a spontaneous chat with a stranger, the settled lives these women thought they had finally achieved are thrown into chaos. Secrets are unravelled and new doors are opened.

May the best man win.

A novel for fans of Maeve Binchy’ CANBERRA TIMES

‘Dianne Blacklock writes from the heart and The Best Man is a terrifically entertaining read about the choices we make in life.’ HOOPLA

‘Blacklock’s books have always touched a nerve with readers, addressing the complicated aspects of relationships with honesty, empathy and some humour.’ CANBERRA TIMES