Next Release Announcement

Okay, it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for… Or maybe the moment I’ve been dying to get to. I’ve just been itching to show you this cover and blurb for weeks now. But the team at Random House just needed a little more time to perfect it. The title, particularly, was very hard to settle on. There are a lot of suggestions on the cutting room floor between my editor, me and my agent as we tried to come up with something catchy. Finally, we settled on strong and simple and I think it works rather well. Don’t you?


Anyway, enough babbling!! I am soooooooo excited to announce my next release, hitting shelves in January 2015. This is a book about sisters, “The Maxwell Sisters,” and it’s very close to my heart as I have three wonderful sisters of my own and have been hanging out to tell a story like this for a long time.


I’m sorry to all my FIFO fans out there. No, it’s not a mining story. But after three years on a jetty, I had to try my hand at something else. Not to say, I’ll never go back. I definitely do have more FIFO stories in me. But I hope you all enjoy the change as much as I have.


Anyway, let’s get on with the reveal… my most heart warming cover yet, I think. Enjoy!


‘ You are cordially invited to the wedding of Phoebe and Christopher . . .’

All families have their problems. No more so than the Maxwells of Tawny Brooks Winery. Situated in the heart of the Margaret River wine region, this world-renowned winery was the childhood home to three sisters, Natasha, Eve and Phoebe.

Today all three women are enmeshed in their city lives and eager to forget their past – and their fractured sibling relationships. Until Phoebe decides to get married at home. . .

Now the sisters must all return to face a host of family obligations, vintage in full swing and interfering in-laws who just can’t take a hint. As one romance blossoms and others fall apart, it seems they are all in need of some sisterly advice.

But old wounds cut deep. Somehow, the Maxwell sisters must find a way back to one another – or risk losing each other forever.

The Maxwell Sisters is a heartwarming romantic comedy about three extraordinary women on a journey to find love and rediscover family.


The Ending

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before but I always find the last few chapters of a novel the most challenging to write, mainly because this is where the book is the “fastest.”


You usually start at about 60km/hr. A comfortable pace, not to slow to be boring, but not so quick that the reader can’t take in the scenery out the window. It’s a time to build tension.


You feed it in slowly, here and there, drop your hints, incrementally increasing your speed little by little as you go. In engineering speak, if you’re upping the velocity by about 10km/hour per chapter, you’re doing it about right. In general, I have a lot of fun around the middle of the book, where the reader knows all the characters pretty well and I can just start having fun with them. You know, really laying on the torture thick and watching them tie themselves in knots.


But the ending, damn it, there’s just no time for fun. No time for looking out the window anymore. You’re just going too fast. I like the finish to be explosive. And so, with that in mind, I try to tie up as many of my strings all at once, in one big focal event that brings everything together – both emotional and external conflicts. The race to the finish line should be, well… a race. I want my reader to arrive there breathless.



My latest manuscript is no different. Only this time around I’ve been battling. Why? Because I have three heroines and about six story lines all colliding in the final chapters. That’s a difficult set of balls to juggle, especially for a panster who has no idea where she’s going.


So this week, I did the ultimate flip face. I decided to do something I’ve never done before and plot, (yes I do say that like it’s a dirty word), the ending – Scene by scene. I just couldn’t see a way around not doing it without my head spinning out of control.  So with the aid of paper cards and colour coding textas, I have managed to story board my ending into eighteen scenes.


It feels amazing!


In fact, I feel like I’ve just discovered a new food group. And I’ve cut down my stress levels by about half. Now all I have to do is stick with it.


I’ll let you know how I go!


My Story Board, Scene by Scene, on the floor of my study