Skip to content

Guest blogger: Mel A Rowe

26 May 2019

The romance of Australia’s remote outback

It’s a place where they say there are more cattle and crocodiles than people, filled with over two-thirds of Australia’s tropical bird life. Its air is so fresh and free of any man-made toxins your sinuses believe they’re in heaven. It’s only a stone’s throw away from Kakadu National Park, which interestingly enough, I rarely ever visit.

My name is Mel A Rowe, and I live in the Top End of the Northern Territory. It’s a unique part of Australia that very few people seem to know about. Although I’ve worked and travelled intimately throughout the north’s remote regions, it’d take another ten lifetimes to discover all of her secrets.

There is a true romance to the Northern Territory’s wilderness …

Our winter is similar to a mild southern summer.

Sure, we have heat, humidity, flies, and lots and lots of red-ochre dust.

But …

In the Dry season you could drive across a cracked savannah so desolate you’d think you’ve landed on Mars. You can stare into a cloudless sky, so infinite and flawlessly blue you realise how small you are in the universe.

Then the rains come. Bringing with it some spectacular electrical storms, attracting storm chasers from across the globe. We get walls of rain that dump a southern city’s monthly spring average in just a few hours.

And that same desolate spot we drove over earlier, we’ll skim across it in an airboat! What once looked dead becomes an inland sea filled with long neck turtles, wallowing water buffalo, and the mighty fighting barramundi. There are crocodiles, file snakes, and wild boar to avoid among the flowering wild lotus, but the bird life is a delight for the eyes. If you find my Instagram feed, which is basically all about my big and beautiful backyard in the NT, be sure to say hi.

If you like the sound of the NT, then allow me to introduce to you the Elsie Creek series. It’s about the people, their pets, and it’s surrounds of life in a small outback NT town called Elsie Creek. She may not exist, yet I’ve discovered parts of her in the NT townships, roadhouses, dusty sports grounds, crocodile-crowded boat ramps, on the edge of cattle station airstrips, and even in the pubs sparsely scattered across northern Australia. In The Art of Dust, I’ve introduced readers gently into this quirky town. It’s like any other small town where people face challenges as they fall in love, except each story reveals another layer to this unique land that only a few truly call home.

Don’t you think your bookcase deserves a touch of the Territory too?

You could win an ecopy of The Art of Dust. Just leave a comment below to go in the draw. The giveaway will close on 9 June 2019. (The giveaway is now closed. The winner was Barbara E.)

The Art of Dust

After seven-years, creative Mumpreneur, Kathryn (Kat) Jones, returns to the outback town of Elsie Creek at the request of her dying uncle. Kat can’t fix the man but she can care for his wife, fix his home, and fix his beloved vehicle to get him there.

Workaholic, Kyle Smythe, owns the only mechanical workshop in town, and he’s about to propose to another woman when his ex-muse rolls into his yard seeking help to restore her uncle’s ute.

For Kat, Kyle was her best friend, her creative collaborator, and first and only love. But his rejection tore her heart apart.

Kyle’s scars still sting over Kat’s desertion—especially when he’d needed her the most.

Yet these long-lost summer soulmates are compelled to team-up to make a man they both care for happy in his final days.

Can they work together without re-igniting that spark shared those many summers ago? Or will it remind them of their promises of forever that ended in never…

Find your copy of The Art of Dust here: Amazon | Other online booksellers

Or add it to your Goodreads TBR shelf here.

Mel A Rowe is a writer and weekend wanderer, trying not to get too lost outback of northern Australia. Besides random road trips, fumbling with her camera, and annoying her family with her bad singing—it’s her novels she enjoys creating the most. Suffering from an allergy to all things corporately serious, Mel’s novels are dished up with a dash of drama, witty humour, and quirky family units. Known for reinventing romantic versions of home, Mel takes her common characters on an uncommon journey that leads from boardrooms to billabongs as they try to find their own happily ever after.

You can find Mel here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


  1. 27 May 2019 4:05 pm

    Hi Mel, You description of the Northern Territory makes me want to go visit. In the meantime, your book The Art Of Dust, will have to do, intriguing premise and great title 🙂

  2. 26 May 2019 10:55 pm

    This book sounds really interesting

  3. 26 May 2019 6:22 pm

    Hi Mel,
    You describe the northern territory so well that I want to hop on a plane to explore it. Congratulations on the release of The Art of Dust! I look forward to immersing myself in some NT romance and red dirt.

    • 27 May 2019 6:48 am

      Thank you, Juanita, for your kind words, they’re very much appreciated.

  4. 26 May 2019 10:47 am

    Congratulations on the release of Th Art of Dust Mel, I have just finished it and can highly recommend it and I look forward to more in the series, I loved the town and the people and Cecil 🙂

    Have Fun


    • 26 May 2019 12:34 pm

      Thank you, Helen, for reading this and your amazing review on this too. Cecil has lots of flower-filled adventures in the future of this tiny NT town.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: