Narelle here. I’m delighted to welcome my Aussie author friend Jessica Kate to Inspy Romance. Jessica and I may live in the same country, but if you listened to our different Aussie accents you’d think we lived worlds apart, lol. Check out Jessica’s broad Aussie accent by tuning into her Story Nerds podcast.
Last year I shared with you my book recommendation for Jessica Kate’s debut book ‘Love and Other Mistakes’. Jessica’s second book, ‘A Girl’s Guide to the Outback’, released last week. Congratulations Jessica! Let’s sit back and arm chair travel with Jessica to Australia.
Have you ever looked at a picture of Australia’s pristine beaches or rural sunsets and felt the urge to travel Down Under?
One of the most fun parts of writing A Girl’s Guide to the Outback was getting to give readers a behind-the-scenes look at Real Australia—drop bears and all. But I never expected the book I wrote about rural life to come out at a time when Australia was battling its biggest bushfires in recorded history.
The heartbreaking scenes we’ve all watched on the news reinforced one of the themes in my story of the struggle to save a family’s dairy farm—life on the land is hard. Especially in this country, where rural areas are often in drought, on fire or flooding—sometimes all three in the same year.
But amongst the difficulties of long distances, dangerous work and slow internet speeds, there’s a beauty as well. Basing the fictional ‘Yarra Plains’ on a real farm I lived on as a kid, I got to incorporate some significant childhood memories into this novel. Our flying fox (zip line) into the river. The massive slip’n’slide we made with silage plastic and dairy buckets arranged like human ten pin bowling. Attending rodeos with childhood friends. Paddle boarding at the beach. Learning to rely on family when town is a long drive away. Dad’s cattle dogs (you’ll see our family dog names of Meg and Nip in the book.) Riding motorbikes. Hearing wild survival stories from grizzled men who’d been further west and north, past our cultivated farms and into the true Outback.
The truth is, I have way too many anecdotes about growing up on the farm than I could even fit into this book. The two times a snake got into our house. The multiple times we had trucks and tractors snagged on power lines, which could blow the tires and kill the driver (which one time was Dad) at any second. The employee who was secretly growing drugs on the property (and was enthusiastically fired.) The time the haystack spontaneously combusted. The day my brother was blown off his feet by the electric fence. The time Dad was chased by a bull, or the time with an emu, or the time with bees…you get the picture.
So, whether you travel by jet plane or arm chair, I invite you to visit my childhood Down Under through the eyes of my American heroine, Kimberly, who’s struck a deal with her former colleague and nemesis. She’s flown to Australia to save his farm and her youth ministry, but she might find more in the Great South Land than she ever bargained for…and you might, too.
Australian author Jessica Kate is obsessed with sassy romances.
She packs her novels with love, hate, and everything in between—and then nerds out over her favorite books, movies and TV in the StoryNerds podcast. When she’s not writing or discussing fiction, she’s hunting the world for the greatest pasta in existence.
Receive her sassy shorts The Kiss Dare and The Kiss Thief FREE when you sign up for her newsletter at jessicakatewriting.com.
StoryNerds podcast: Available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts and at www.storynerds.podbean.com.
Giveaway – A Girl’s Guide to the Outback
Thank you, Jessica, for visiting with us. Jessica is kindly offering a print book giveaway (US mailing addresses only) of A Girl’s Guide to the Outback.
To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment on this post. The giveaway will close on Friday and the winner announced in the Sunday Edition.