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Guest blogger: Rachael Johns

6 March 2016

Rachael JohnsOutback Sisters

Aside from getting new covers and hanging out at writing conferences in fabulous hotels, probably the best thing that has come of my writing career is the friendships I’ve made along this journey. My writing friends, many whom I met when I first joined RWAus in 2006, have become some of the best friends I have. We’ve shared the highs (of first calls and getting published) and the lows (of rejections from dream publishers and nasty reviews) of this writing life, but we also have become so close that we turn to each other for non-writing things as well. I’ve met the families of many of my close writing friends and, with some, even our kids have met and become good friends. I talk to these girls on a daily basis, whether it be on the phone or via email or Messenger. They are ALWAYS there for me and I like to think I’m always there for them.

Rachael and FionaOne of these wonderful friends is fellow rural romance author, Fiona Palmer, who was one of the first authors published in this popular genre. Fee inspired me to try writing rural romance when I was ready to give up on writing all together and she continually helps me when I need someone to brainstorm with.

In 2014, we had books out the same week (Outback Ghost and The Sunnyvale Girls) and decided to go on a WA tour together. We called it the #RuRoRoadtrip and you can read about our adventures here. We drove a huge distance over the course of about 10 days and so we had a LOT of time on the road to talk, not to mention all those nights we stayed up way later than we should talking. Inevitably our conversations turned to writing more than often and Fee took up the plight of some of the readers we met on the road who wanted Frankie and Simone from my Bunyip Bay series to have their stories.

What started as a conversation about childhood abuse, piqued an idea for Outback Sisters, which in the end had nothing to do with childhood abuse at all. On the drive, Fiona helped me brainstorm a story revolving the two sisters and Simone’s teenage daughters, Harriet and Grace, so that by the time I arrived home I was itching to put pen to paper and writing another Bunyip Bay story.

I’ve been published about five years now and it’s always exciting when a book comes unexpectedly to life when you hadn’t been ever planning to write it. But without my writing friends, I wouldn’t have people to bounce such ideas off or people like Fee hammering me to “get that story out there”. Friends are a blessing in every walk of life and I’m so very blessed to have such good ones.

I’d love to hear about a friend who you’ve met through your work and have become bosom buddies with. One lucky commenter will win a copy of my new book Outback Sisters! (The giveaway is now closed. The winners was Marilyn F.)

Outback Sisters

Frankie and Simone are sisters and best friends. Could a new man in town drive a wedge between them for the first time ever?

Cafe owner Frankie has been unlucky in love all her life. It’s hard in a small town like Bunyip Bay to meet prospective partners. Her sister, Simone, lost the love of her life years before and is now devoted to raising their two teenage girls, leaving little time for romance. When Frankie is kissed by a handsome stranger who calls her Simone, it’s a case of mistaken identity – but who is this man and how does he know Simone?

Logan Knight is in town to meet up with a woman he has met online. Although raised on a farm with his brother Angus, he has travelled the world as a journalist and is now looking forward to meeting a girl and settling down. The girl in the cafe was an amazing kisser – but not the one he thought he was meeting!

Reclusive farmer Angus wants nothing to do with Logan’s plans for improving the property’s finances and finding a partner – until he meets the sisters at a wedding. Who is attracted to whom? More importantly, can Frankie and Simone sort out their feelings for the two brothers without destroying their very close bond?

A Bunyip Bay novel

Rachael Johns is an English teacher by trade, a mum 24/7, a chronic arachnophobic, and a writer the rest of the time. She rarely sleeps and never irons. A lover of romance and women’s fiction, Rachael loves nothing more than sitting in bed with her laptop and electric blanket and imagining her own stories.

Rachael has finaled in a number of competitions, including the Australian Romance Readers Awards. Jilted (her first rural romance) won Favourite Australian Contemporary Romance in 2012 and she was voted in the Top Ten of Booktopia’s Favourite Australian Author poll in 2013.

Rachael lives in the Perth hills with her hyperactive husband, three mostly gorgeous heroes-in-training, two fat cats, a cantankerous bird and a very badly behaved dog.

Rachael loves to hear from readers. You can find her here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

  1. Sue Gerhardt Griffiths permalink
    11 March 2016 7:44 am

    I’ve just finished Outback Ghost, wow, what a story- loved that bit of suspense you had going in the book, Rachael! Really looking forward to reading Outback Sisters and I’ve now become part of the Bunyip Bay community so you must find ways of keeping this series going! Hee hee.
    I haven’t worked in over twenty years and the friends I made then have fizzled out long ago but from the love of reading I have found many like-minded people on Facebook whom I now consider my friends and that includes you, Rachael, and a few other amazing authors. It can’t get much better than that!

  2. 6 March 2016 5:33 pm

    Hi Rachael, I’m so glad to have my two crit partners, Cassie and Enisa, in my life. They’ve become like part of my family and I hope they think of me the same way. Looking forward to reading Outback Sisters.

    • 6 March 2016 11:22 pm

      We writers are very blessed, that’s for sure. Looking forward to reading your book too. I need a reading holiday. xx

  3. Len Klumpp permalink
    6 March 2016 2:53 pm

    Through reading I have met so many wonderful people who I now call friends, yourself included. You all comment on my posts whether they are anout books, if there are things going on in my life or if I just put up a funny post you like. Then when you all release a book and I read it becomes more than a book. It becomes my friends book. Thank you Rachael

    • 6 March 2016 11:22 pm

      It’s a wonderful world the world of books. We are richer for having you in our lives too, Len. I truly mean that! x

      • Len Klumpp permalink
        6 March 2016 11:42 pm

        Thank you Rachael

  4. 6 March 2016 11:17 am

    Sounds great Rachael. We are all feeling part of the Bunyip Bay community. Lovely to hear so many good reviews.

    • 6 March 2016 11:55 am

      Thanks Deb. I’m so glad you and other readers have embraced my little fictional community! x

  5. 6 March 2016 10:47 am

    Hi Rachael

    I love having friends that I have met through work and I do have a lot of them some have passed away sadly but I still have a couple that I talk to often and we meet up for coffee and lunch and are those days fun all three of us now no longer work and one has moved down the South Coast but we still plan to have our lunches even though we don’t see each other so regularly now we know that we are forever there for each other 🙂

    Huge congrats on the release of this book I loved it from start to finish it is so good it was one of my favourite reads last month and I highly recommend it to everyone 🙂

    Have Fun

    • 6 March 2016 11:59 am

      Hi Helen – thanks so much for choosing Outback Sisters as one of your fave reads and I reckon you’re the type of person that would make friends wherever you go. xx

  6. Shelagh permalink
    6 March 2016 10:46 am

    Loved reading the blog Rachael and of course I jumped to the bit about your road trip. I nearly met Fiona Palmer when she came to Henty, last year I think though my memory does silly things to me. I couldn’t get there as I had to meet a tradesman at Beechworth at the same time but maybe when you both do a Vctorian road trip you could include Beechworth n the itinerary. No need to bring bubbly – we make some lovely drops here, and the Beechworth Sweet Shop has a huge range of chocolate. 😁

    • 6 March 2016 12:00 pm

      Oh Fee and I would LOVE to do a road trip around Victoria and if we do, we’ll definitely put a shout out on our Facebook pages, so be sure to remind us about Beechworth then. It sounds lovely. x

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