My book setting: the Hunter Valley & the Pasha Bulker storm

The Escapades

by Kerrie Paterson

Around the Hunter Valley, you only have to mention the words ‘Pasha Bulker’ and people are thrown instantly back to a weekend in June 2007. On June 8, the area was hit by a massive storm. A 225m-long bulk carrier, the MV Pasha Bulker, waiting off Newcastle to be loaded with coal, broke free of its moorings and ran ashore on Nobbys Beach.

After almost a month, and three attempts at floating it off its new home, it was finally towed away but not before it became part of the area’s folklore.

Pasha_Bulker_-_panoramioBut the ship’s grounding was only one part of the story. The east coast low battered the Hunter and Central Coast for 36 hours and led to widespread flooding, mass evacuations and a death toll of 10.

The storm has been known since as the ‘Pasha Bulker storm’, and storms of any ferocity are…

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My book setting: Argyll

The Escapades

by Jenny Brigalow

My family tree is actually more of a forest, but one of the bonuses of such a convoluted life has been a Scottish connection. My late stepfather, John, was a Scott.

When I was a young woman I holidayed at the Scottish family cottage in Argyll, just on the edge of the Crinan Canal. And there I was privileged to discover Argyll, a mystical and magical place that is quite possibly the most romantic spot on the planet.

argyl5This early contact with Scotland forged a lasting love of the land and an abiding interest in its myths, legends and history. From the highlands through the still water of the lochs and to the rugged coastline, Argyll is breathtaking.

In August 2013 I returned and rediscovered my Scotland.

It was a joy to come to know Argyll so intricately through my writing. The Macgregor plunges the reader into…

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The Place Time Forgot (and a cover reveal!)

The Escapades

by Tea Cooper

During my twenties I had the world at my fingertips, ridiculously blessed because my father was an airline pilot, travel was cheap and the world was my playground. Fast forward to today and I rarely leave the tiny village time forgot and the place I call home—Wollombi. For me, the old adage ‘write what you know’ has come good and the best setting for my historical romances seems to be my own backyard.

Nestled amongst the hills of the Lower Hunter in New South Wales and guarded by Mount Yengo, a major focus of Aboriginal culture dating back over 13,000 years, Wollombi is the perfect setting for an Australian historical novel.

©HarrisonPhotography ©HarrisonPhotography

If you’ve got some time to spare you can see for yourself. A drive from Sydney to the Lower Hunter takes you along the Great North Road built by convict gangs in the early nineteenth…

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Louise Foster


I often felt right out there dangling on the end of a twig when the conversation turned and friends started to discuss books. Having read very little of anything, I was afraid to open my mouth. It took years to discover why my sight a family joke? Someone would yell from the backseat of the family car, What’s that sign say? My answer, Huh, how am I supposed to read that, you drove too fast. I found it increasingly difficult to read words on the tellie. It turned out that I hadn’t taken to reading because I had Astigmatism, which wasn’t picked up until my thirties. Plus being partially dyslexic had me shy away from the written word. On my dreary train travels to and from work, DH, an avid reader, suggested I read. With my brand new glasses none of the letters…

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Charlie Doyle

Danielle de Valera

Anzac Day

This Australian day of remembrance always reminds me of my Uncle Charlie, one of the many uncles on my mother’s side and the one I knew best when I was growing up; he and my mother were close siblings in that large Australian-Irish family of twelve children.

Charlie got into World War I at the age of 16. Unlike my father who escaped from the dairy farm in Palmerston North at 17 by joining the US merchant navy “when the old man’s back was turned”, Charlie did the whole thing legitimately. After his older brother Dave had joined up, Charlie drove the family mad, pestering them to let him go, too. “You’re too young,” they said. “And you’re not strong enough.”

Charlie couldn’t make himself any older, but he could work on the other objection. From then on, locals were treated to the spectacle of Charlie hanging from various tree…

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My book setting: Colorado

The Escapades

by Robyn Rychards

It’s a wonderful thing to live somewhere that’s an international vacation destination because your backyard is a place that people travel from around the world to see. It also makes it a great locale for a story. Or two. The Colorado Rockies are a travel destination in the winter for skiers from around the world—think Vail and Aspen—and in the summer the national parks have global appeal. You can visit the mountains any time of the year and hear a variety of languages spoken.

mills-lake-rocky-mtn-nat-park-1312717Her Man From Shilo is set a couple miles outside the town of Boulder, Colorado, which boasts a view like the one in the picture here. It’s a wonderful place to grow up and has inspired a plethora of romantic story ideas in me since I was a teenager. If you enjoy nature, there are plenty of activities and landscapes to explore. But…

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