Giveaway: Country Secrets

Country SecretsCountry Secrets, the “3-in-1 Australian bestsellers” anthology featuring The Wildwood Sisters by Mandy Magro, Secrets of Whitewater Creek by Sarah Barrie and my very own, Snowy River Man, is due to be released on 1 August.

To celebrate, I’m giving away two copies to Australian residents or, for international readers, an ebook copy of your choice of either Snowy River Man or By Her Side from Amazon/Kindle.*

To enter, simply fill out the form below.

For extra chances to win, you can sign up to receive my blog updates by email, follow me on Twitter @Lizzy_Chandler or “like” my Lizzy Chandler Facebook page. Or you could simply share this post with your friends. Let me know what you’ve done in the comment section of the form.

Entries close 31 August 2016. The winners will be contacted by email.**

* International residents must have an Amazon/Kindle account to be eligible for an ebook prize.

** Email will only be used to contact the winners and if you indicate you would like to be notified of further book giveaways.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Advertisements

Snowy River Man – soon to be in print

Country SecretsLoved the concept of Snowy River Man, but don’t read ebooks? Here’s good news for you.

My first novel, Snowy River Man, will be coming out in print next month. It will be published by MIRA as part of an anthology, Country Secrets, alongside stories by best-selling Aussie authors Mandy Magro and Sarah Barrie.

You can pre-order a copy of Country Secrets from the following book stores:

What do you think of the cover?

The story

Is the romance of the majestic Snowy Mountains enough to heal the wounds of the past?

The last time Katrina Delaney saw Jack Fairley was the morning after a one-night stand. Seven years later, she dreams of a missing boy – Jack’s son. Frantic with worry, Jack is willing to do anything to find his son, even though neither Katrina nor Jack have any reason to trust each other, or the attraction that flares between them.

Praise from Aussie bookbloggers for Snowy River Man

A nice mixture of suspense and romance, with a gritty plot and delightful characters; the word pictures painted of the countryside around the Snowy Mountains, the chill in the air, the blackness of the night sky plus the vividness and brightness of the stars – all was exceptionally well done. – Brenda Telford, Goodreads

Lovers of the outback and overseas audiences will enjoy the luscious settings, and the romantics will certainly appreciate this love story with a difference. – Deborah Cook from Debbish

With a dash of suspense, a sprinkle of romance and bucket loads of just great fiction you will be quickly immersed in this short, sharp and sweet tale that will warm your heart and leave you feeling content with the world at large. – Jess from The Never Ending Bookshelf

A quick, engaging read offering an appealing tale of love, betrayal, forgiveness and family… – Shelleyrae from Book’d Out

Save

Save

Save

Save

Jack Fairley: romance hero

imageWhen I first saw the cover of Snowy River Man, I was thrilled. That’s my hero: Jack Fairley! Just as I’d imagined him.

The character of Jack was inspired, in part, by my uncles, Jack and Rody. They were wheat-sheep farmers from the Riverina district. Both rode horses. Both were kind, solid men with a strength borne of long years battling drought, floods and fluctuating prices. Both had big families, too, like ours, and a special way with children.

Although I grew up on Sydney’s northern beaches, like a lot of city kids I’d visit my country cousins during school holidays. I loved staying on the farm, especially at Jack and Rita’s. That’s where I discovered the family “library” and snuck away to read ancient books like Mary Grant Bruce’s Billabong series. But there was plenty of outdoor activity, too. Rita taught us to ride and we’d help round up mobs of sheep. As we got older, Jack let us drive his ute while he stood on the trailer at the back to distribute feed, or stopped to treat a fly-blown sheep. Back at the farm, we watched, fascinated, as he strung up a wether, cut its throat and slit its belly, letting the farm dogs snap up the bloody entrails. He enjoyed our horrified reaction. “You like eating lamb’s fry, don’t you?” he asked. “Where do you think it comes from? City slickers!”

I can’t remember ever hearing a cross word from Jack. Even that time when I accelerated the ute instead of braking and he fell off the back of the trailer.

Years later I learned that he’d distinguished himself as a soldier before he settled down and had a family. He rarely spoke of it, only opening up when one of my nephews went off to Afghanistan. Jack was a modest man. I like to think my hero Jack Fairley shares some of his good qualities.

~

This is the fifth in a series of guest posts I wrote when Snowy River Man was first published. It first appeared on The Neverending Bookshelf.

Why romance?

Romances, like coming-of-age stories, deal with one of the most dramatic and risky times of the human lifespan: choosing a mate. Choose wisely, and happiness may result; choose badly, and we get misery. Many of us have experienced the misery, but we still like to be reminded of the courtship phase, that thrill of meeting someone and thinking, “Could this be the one?”

Could this be the partner who will help protect and provide for us when we’re at our most vulnerable; who’ll share the housework – not as a “help” but because it’s their job as a human being; who’ll stay fit and good in bed; who’ll share our sense of humour; who’ll put us first – but can care for others, too?

With 3.5 billion females on the planet, logic tells us that we can’t all find that perfect partner or, at least, not in the same person continuously. Most of us have “settled” for someone all-too-human, someone with irritating habits, a little selfish at times: people like us. We’ve had to develop our own qualities to keep seeing the good in the person we wake up with, qualities such as patience, tolerance, forgiveness and a willingness to let go of mistakes, both ours and theirs; as well as a sense of humour. We’ve had to become the kind of person we want our partner to be.

In reading romance, we relive the time when everything was at risk. We hope that something good will come of it, and fear that maybe the person we’re falling for is not the one we want them to be. We remember that extraordinary high called “limerance”, and the agony of not being sure it’ll work out. Except, in romance novels, we know it will work, because it’s fantasy.

My debut romance, Snowy River Man, is about more than limerance; it’s about love, and the qualities a couple need to create a happy life together. It’s a story of what happens when two people who have seen the worst in each other are given a second chance.

~

This is the fourth in a series of guest blog posts I wrote for the release of Snowy River Man. A version first appeared on Love Reading Romance blog and is reprinted here with permission.

It runs in the family

imageThe heroine in Snowy River Man, Katrina Delaney, isn’t an ordinary romance heroine. For one thing, she has psychic dreams. And she hates it. Hates it because it reminds her of the time she had a breakdown and ended up in a psychiatric ward, an event pivotal to the story. What Katrina, her mother and the doctors didn’t realise was her “breakdown” was part of the awakening of her psychic gift. This gift later helped her locate missing children – including the son of the hero, Jack Fairley, a wealthy mountains grazier.

So how it I get interested in psychic phenomena?

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve heard stories of psychic dreams. My nana had them. One morning, she woke up after dreaming of an old family friend who’d been missing for years. “I’ve been up in the Pilligar Scrub,” he told her. Nana was so convinced the dream was real, she tried to find the place on a map. Weeks later, the old friend turned up in my grandfather’s office in the city and announced where he’d been: the Pilligar Scrub!

My dad also had psychic dreams. Sometimes it was just the answer to a problem he’d been working on. (He was a mechanic and would dream of what was wrong with an engine.) But other times…

When I was little, Dad used to take us kids to Mass and we’d fill the whole pew. (There were ten of us back then.) We made so much noise, fidgeting and squabbling, that the old priest told my father not to bring us unless he could make us behave. Dad never went back. Years later, we were holidaying up at Forster in a caravan park and Dad had a dream. “Keep taking the little ones to Mass,” he heard a voice say. Dad discovered later that was the night the old priest died.

I’ve had my share of psychic dreams, too, some to do with the writing of Snowy River Man, but I’ll leave that for another time.

~

This is the third in a series of blog posts I wrote when Snowy River Man was released. A version first appeared on Book Muster Down Under and is reblogged here with permission.

The Lost Child

Lost by Frederick McCubbin, 1886

Lost by Frederick McCubbin, 1886

Snowy River Man opens at a country rodeo, with mountains grazier Jack Fairley riding a brumby stallion. When he finishes his ride, he looks around and discovers his six-year-old son Nick has disappeared. Jack lost his wife when Nick was still a baby and he’s terrified the boy has wandered off into the Snowy Mountains wilderness.

The story of the “lost child” is an enduring motif in Australian culture, but it also has a special meaning for me. When I was three and my mother was in hospital with her tenth child (yes, we’re a big family!), my aunt took me and my older brothers and sisters down to a harbourside netted pool to swim. While my aunt was minding the 18-month-old, I paddled on the shore. As the late afternoon shadows crept, I looked back at the beach and I couldn’t see my family. I thought they’d gone home without me. So I walked. I walked up the hill for a couple of kilometres till I arrived back out our old Federation bungalow and found no one there. After that, I had a terror of getting lost. I remember the horror of looking around and not finding the person you want to see. I’ve used those emotions in this story.

The motif also has a deeper resonance. While I was writing Snowy River Man, there was a lot in the press about the stolen generations, and the anguish of mothers losing their children. It’s a national shame and the injustice of it still impacts on current generations of Aboriginal people. When I chose to hint that my heroine, Katrina, was part-indigenous, I wanted to gesture in some way towards the stolen generations, but also to make it personal. I’ve never lost a child, but I did lose the opportunity to have one, and have endured that grief. I know what it’s like to yearn for a baby in my arms, to look at the children of my ex-boyfriend and current partner and wonder what might have been.

In Snowy River Man, I take “what might have been” and give it a happy ending.

~

This is the second in a series of blog posts I wrote when Snowy River Man was published. It first appeard on Book’d Out and is reblogged here with permission.

Snowy River Man – $0.99 Mother’s Day special

Snowy River Man is currently on sale from Amazon Kindle Australia for only $0.99 – a special discount for Mother’s Day.

If you don’t already have a copy, I hope you’ll take advantage of this special. Or maybe your Mum would enjoy it as a gift? My mum read it on an iPad I loaned her a few weeks ago, and she loved it – and she wasn’t just saying that just to please me. She started reading at 9pm and stayed up until she finished it after midnight.

The reviews on Amazon US have been very favourable – almost all 5-star. If you haven’t read it yet, why not give it a go?

Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com.au/Snowy-River-Man-Lizzy-Chandler-ebook/dp/B00S493CSQ

image

 

 

Snowy River Man’s setting: the inspiration

On the road out to Angler’s Reach on Lake Eucumbene (where Murray Tom has his cabin)

When Snowy River Man was published in February, I wrote a number of author spotlights for various blogs. Over the next little while, I’ll be reblogging a few of them here.

The first is about the inspiration for the setting.

~

When I was a born, there was a record heatwave. Mum and Dad packed us kids into a bus and we all headed south to Jindabyne where it was cooler. Along the way, we stopped at Lake Eucumbene on the northern reaches of the Snowy River Shire.

In the early 1960s, to make way for the lake as part of the Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Scheme, the old town of Adaminaby was flooded. As residents moved to higher ground, they left pubs, churches, shops and houses to the rising tide. My family must have talked about that sunken town for years afterwards. Or maybe I read about it for a school project. I don’t know. But the idea of a ghost town hidden underwater haunted me.

Years later as an adult when I visited the site, and saw the skeletal remains of gum trees reaching out of the water, I had the weirdest sense. It was as if I could see through the depths to the old town – to a time of bullock carts, prospectors and settlers, and before that, to the indigenous tribes who had inhabited the area. I knew I had to use that setting in a story. Eventually, the story became Snowy River Man, which features a child who is fascinated with the lake and what lies beneath.

Snowy River Man starts with a country rodeo and grazier Jack Fairley riding a brumby stallion. By the time he finishes his ride and looks around, his six-year-old son Nick has disappeared…

~

A version of this post first appeared on All the Books I Can Read blog and is reblogged here with permission.

Launch giveaway winner announced

imageThe winner of the launch giveaway for Snowy River Man is Catherine McLean.

Catherine originally entered Book’d Out’s Australia Day Blog Hop giveaway, so I’m glad she won this time round.

So far, Snowy River Man has attracted several 5-star reviews on AmazonUS and an average of 4-stars on Goodreads.

If you do read and enjoy the book, I’d encourage you to write a review. It helps to get the word out there.

I’m surprised – and gratified – how many readers have found the book engrossing. Here’s what some have had to say:

I read this book in one night, it’s a real page turner, the plot is full of suspense, mystery, and when you’re sure of what is going to happen next, the author changes the direction and leaves you again, desperate to know how things are going to resolve! (Julia Damatto)

There is a lot of plot packed into Snowy River Man, which made for a fast, page-turning read. (Sam Still Reading)

I guess my love of suspense shines through. Even a confirmed crime reader enjoyed it. (You can read her review here.)

For everyone who missed out, you can buy Snowy River Man for around the price of a cup of coffee from Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon AustraliaBarnes and NobleBooktopiaBookworld, Google Play,iBooks StoreKobo, and the publisher: Escape. Remember, it’s in ebook format only.

Thanks for participating and happy reading!

Cheers
Lizzy

First review of Snowy River Man – and it’s 5 star!

imageSnowy River Man, my debut romance novel, is being released on Sunday and the first review is out.

Over the past few years, I’ve heard a lot of warnings from authors, “Don’t read the reviews!” But when someone tags you on Facebook and says they loved your story, it’s very tempting to check out what they have to say. And I’m glad I did!

Brenda, a Goodreads librarian, writes:

I thoroughly enjoyed Snowy River Man which is the debut novel for Aussie author Lizzy Chandler. A nice mixture of suspense and romance, with a gritty plot and delightful characters; the word pictures painted of the countryside around the Snowy Mountains, the chill in the air, the blackness of the night sky plus the vividness and brightness of the stars – all was exceptionally well done. I did feel the ending was a little rushed, but I have no hesitation in recommending Snowy River Man highly, and will be looking out for the author’s next title with interest. (Read the rest of the review here)

For a first review, it couldn’t get much better and I’m thrilled. I’m so glad someone loved my characters and setting. When I read it out to my mum she said, “That sounds like a book I’d like to read!” I’ve always been a bit nervous about my family reading my work, but maybe it’s time to get her an e-reader?

Snowy River Man will be available from this Sunday, 22 February. You’ll be able to buy a copy at Escape, Booktopia, Bookworld and Amazon. (How come they’re all different prices?) I do hope you’re temped to read it.

Note: Book bloggers can still request a review copy on Netgalley for another four weeks, but you must use this link because it won’t appear on a search. Let me know if you have any trouble!