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.
In July of 1518, dancing mania – a phenomenon that occurred across Europe for several centuries – hit Strasbourg, Alsace (France). Approximately four-hundred people danced themselves to exhaustion, and even to their deaths.
The plague began when a woman named Mrs Troffea began to dance in the street.
At the time, it was decided that the people could be cured with more dancing, and so musicians were hired to encourage them – which resulted in more deaths.
One modern-day theory suggest that consumption of fungi containing psychoactive chemicals (similar to LSD) was to blame. Mass hysteria has also been suggested.
Wounded British soldiers come in from the advanced dressing station at Bernafay Wood on the 19th of July 1916. The photograph was taken by Ernest Brooks, the British military’s first-ever official war photographer.
The Battle of the Somme ran from July to November of 1916 and claimed well over a million lives, making it one of the worst battles in the history of war.
One thing that thrilled me about the cover for The Landowner’s Secret, my upcoming book, was that the designer really took the setting into consideration.
Yes, the story is set in colonial Australia, and yes, I know many people think of Australia in terms of either beaches or deserts. However, *my* Australia is about the mountains and the bush, and my book is set in the shadow of the Brindabella Range.
I look at these mountains every day. I can see them from the backyard, the front yard, from half the windows of the house (which proved pretty scary when fire came rolling down the hills during the devastating Canberra firestorm!).
Here is an image from of the mountains from Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons. I think the view is reflected so well on the book cover:
Here are a couple of random shots of I’ve taken while in the car (not driving!). The farmland in the second one is where I’ve set my hero’s homestead.
I know a lot of book covers in this world don’t have a lot to do with what’s actually written on the pages, and I consider myself very lucky that mine does!