Tomorrow the village of Eyam in Derbyshire, England recognises “Plague Sunday”.
The day remembers the decision of the village’s reverend and his wife – in 1665 – to convince the plague-stricken residents to barricade themselves in so that the disease wouldn’t spread to other villages in the area.
Hundreds of people died, but other communities survived.
Below is a picture from last year, when we visited the old well on a hilltop outside the village, which is where others would come to leave the people of Eyam food.
Today is the one-year anniversary of Harlequin making me an offer for the manuscript that would become The Landowner’s Secret. A lot has happened since then, and in that time I’ve worked on a number of other books. So much has changed in the past twelve months.
Just in case you’re interested, here’s the book’s information again:
The Landowner’s Secret
New South Wales, 1885
When Alice Ryan wakes to find thugs surrounding her cottage, on the hunt for her no-good brother, she escapes into the surrounding bush.
It is wealthy landowner Robert Farrer who finds her the next morning, dishevelled, injured, and utterly unwilling to share what she knows. With criminals on the loose and rumours that reckless bushrangers have returned to the area, Robert is determined to keep Alice out of danger, and insists on taking her into his home-despite the scandal it may cause. Convincing her to stay on with him for her own safety, however, is going to take some work.
What Robert doesn’t expect is his growing attraction to the forthright, unruly woman staying in his home. Before either of them can settle into their odd new situation, their home and wellbeing come under threat and they will need to trust each other to survive. But they are both keeping secrets, secrets that have the potential to ruin their burgeoning love, their livelihood … and their lives.
I was waiting to get a file from my publisher before I put this up, but The Artist’s Secret, the second book in what is now named the Brindabella Secrets trilogy, has started to appear online for preorders, so I’m sharing it!
I LOVE this cover. It was supposed to be an orangey-red colour, but was changed to blue, and I couldn’t be happier. The scenery in the background looks just like the region the story is set.
I’ll share more preorder links in a few days, but the book’s page on romance.com.au links to Amazon etc.
So, here it is (and the blurb is beneath it):
Despite their growing attraction, both Peter and Elizabeth have secrets that will come between them.
New South Wales, 1887
Peter Rowe’s life is in the city, but his soul is in Australia’s southern tablelands-a place he’s never seen. Taking the new land manager’s position on the thriving estate of Endmoor is the chance he needs to discover what happened to the family he has never met. What he doesn’t expect to find in the bush is his employer’s talented, beautiful sister.
Elizabeth Farrer’s world is changing rapidly. An artist whose work has begun to gain acclaim, her brother’s marriage has made her redundant in her own home and she intends to leave the country and make a life of her own. Her plans would take her far from her beloved New South Wales, but with the arrival of Endmoor’s newest employee-a man unlike any other she has met-she discovers there might just be a reason to stay right where she is.
Just as they conquer their most difficult obstacles, old prejudices rise up and threaten to keep them apart …