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Guest blogger: Annie Seaton

16 February 2020

For those of you who are familiar with my books, you will know that landscapes often inspire my stories. From familiar landscapes such as Kakadu and Daintree, and the Whitsundays to lesser known landscapes such as Undara and the Bungle Bungles.

My new series, Pentecost Island (a series of ten books each titled with one of the character’s names) was inspired by the sight of an island.

About two years ago, I was on a classic thirty-three-metre fishing charter boat that was ploughing its way through rough seas from Airlie Beach, through the Whitsunday Passage down to the marina at Mackay. I was on our nephew’s boat—the Elizabeth E 11—to research my upcoming book that is set on the Great Barrier Reef. (Stay posted for a title and a release date later this year from Harlequin Mira.)

As we made our way past Hamilton Island and headed south my attention was caught by an island that seemed to rear from the sea on the eastern horizon. It was an interesting shape and appeared deserted. With fascination, I watched as we travelled past, and my imagination was fired.

I made my way to the glass-covered old-fashioned map of the reef that was in the saloon of the Lizzie (you will read more about that map in my Reef book) and I traced my finger along the glass until I found where we were and discovered that the island was called Pentecost Island.

On 1 June 1770 Captain Cook on the Endeavour entered one of the most spectacular stretches of his first voyage around the world. After two days of sailing and on the feast of Pentecost, they sailed past spectacular islands dotted on the crystal-clear waters of the Coral Sea. He named Pentecost Island, the magnificent volcanic island rearing from the sapphire seas of the Whitsunday Passage. The beauty of the Whitsunday Passage belied its violent geological history. Centuries of debris from the movement of tectonic plates and volcanic eruptions had fused into solid rock and created these breathtaking islands.

To my mind, Pentecost Island was the most beautiful of them all. By the time we had berthed on Mackay Marina four hours later, I had taken many photos for the book I had gone to research, and for the new series called Pentecost Island that came to my mind as I spotted the amazing Pentecost Island.

Pippa, the first book in the series, was released at the beginning of this month. I was delighted to find that I had taken a photo that was suitable to be used on the cover, and with a bit of photoshop magic, the cover came into being. While Pippa has romantic elements, it is an exploration of women’s friendship.

Eventually, by Book 10 of the series, we will discover what happens to the ten girls who in one way or another find themselves living and working on Pentecost Island at Ma Carmichael’s resort.

The series will be complete by the end of 2021 with ten books:
Pippa, Eliza, Nell, Tamsin, Evie, Cherry, Odessa, Sonia, Tess and Isla.

A big thank you to my readers group (all most welcome to join) for coming up with the names that spell out PENTECOST I.

Pippa

When Pippa Carmichael inherits a house on a deserted tropical island, it couldn’t have come at a better time for her. Life’s been tough lately; she’s lost her job, given her boyfriend the flick, and now it’s time for her to make a new start. With her two best friends, Pippa heads off to Pentecost Island to investigate her inheritance and is surprised to find there is another resident on the island.

Reclusive author, Rafe Rendell, is not impressed when a boatload of women turns up on his island, interrupting his peaceful existence. He is less impressed when he meets Pippa, the sassy new owner of Ma Carmichael’s sprawling house.

Can these two live in harmony on the same small island, or is Pippa’s dream destined to fail?

You can read more about this series over on my website. I hope you enjoying meeting these characters and discovering the beauty of the islands from your reading chair.

Pippa is available now in print and ebook, and Eliza will be out in a month or so.

Ebook links: Amazon | Kobo | Apple | Others

Print copies are available from Annie’s store.

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