ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Monday, 29 September 2014

Helen Lacey welcomes us to Crystal Point, near the Great Barrier Reef - horses, beaches and her latest book.

Hello everyone!

It's no secret that I harbor a desire to be published by Harlequin. I know what hard work it is, so I marvel at multi-published Harlequin authors, and I marvel that I rub shoulders with several here in little ole Queensland. One such is Helen Lacey, who hails from a paradise very close to the Great Barrier Reef.  I've invited her here today to tell us about her latest Harlequin romance penned from her own little paradise.



Now I know this is a long post, so flip through and read what interests you...

Hello there Denise!

Welcome to Crystal Point!

Of course, Crystal Point doesn’t really exist.....but it is the main setting for the books I am currently writing for Harlequin Special Edition. It’s a small town with around eight hundred residents that sits at the southern most point of The Great Barrier Reef. It has a beautiful beach, a fabulous walking path that runs for a several kilometres along the shoreline and is surrounded by sugar cane, sweet potato and macadamia farms. You can see dolphins and turtles in the rocky shallows and every year whales frolic and breach a hundred metres from the shore.

It’s a little piece of paradise…and lucky for me I have lived there for seven years.

Of course, it’s not really called Crystal Point. But it does sit at the southern tip of The Great Barrier Reef. At it is surrounded by farmland and has an incredible constantly changing landscape. The cane farmers are harvesting at the moment and the sweet scent lingers in the air for days after a harvest. Strawberry season is just finishing and lychee season will be upon us soon. There are produce stalls spotted along the roadside and not too far away a flower market every Friday. There’s a kiosk and small general store and a caravan park that bulges at the seams during school holiday times.

Photo
We found this little town by accident – we were visiting a friend and fell in love with the place and a few months later a sea change ensued.  Regrets? Not one. I love that I can set my books in a place that is so special to me. Since moving here I’ve been able to pursue my passion for horses once more, cultivate a vegetable patch that actually thrives and sit out on my deck in the evenings and look out at the ocean. I still get a kick out of waiting at a crossing for a cane train, or having to round up the neighbours cattle when they escape into our horse paddock.



PhotoSo perhaps I should say that Crystal Point does exist, I just changed the name. And like in my current release Once Upon A Bride, there is a strong sense of community and friendship in the small town. People say hello. Neighbours know each other’s names. It’s not for everyone, but for this romance author, it’s a place where ideas flow and where you can visit anytime in the pages of my books.

Thanks for sharing your paradise with us today, Helen. Here is a link from a 2013 interview I did with Helen where she shared very touching stories of her childhood travelling around Outback Queensland and how her father imbued in her a love of books. You can read her USA Today interview here. 

About the Author:
Helen Lacey grew up reading Black Beauty, Anne of Green Gables and Little House on the Prairie. These childhood classics inspired her to write her first book when she was seven years old, a story about a girl and her horse. Her parents’ love of travel meant she saw much of the world in those early years and she feels fortunate to have had a diverse and interesting education over several continents. She continued to write with the dream of one day being published, and becoming a Harlequin Special Edition author is the realization of that dream. She loves writing about tortured heroes—both cowboys and CEOs—and heroines with gumption who finally get their men.
From Welsh parents and a large family, Helen lives on the east coast of Australia in a small seaside town at the southernmost point of the Great Barrier Reef; she lives with her wonderfully supportive husband, many horses and three spoiled dogs.


Find Helen online:
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Once Upon a Bride
Helen Lacey
Happily ever after…?
Once Upon a Bride
When Gabe Vitali escapes to a fresh start in Crystal Point, Australia, the former physician isn’t looking for a storybook ending. For the first time he’s living in the moment. His new five-year plan does not include serious relationships. But he doesn’t anticipate his unavoidable next-door neighbor…and an undeniable attraction.
Bridal consultant Lauren Jakowski wants marriage. She’s just sworn off love and sex! To avoid getting burned again, she’s looking for safe and forever-after. But they’re not Gabe’s to give–for reasons he can’t share with anyone, least of all this pretty complication.
Gabe and Lauren don’t figure on a fairy tale. But fate has other plans….
Reviewed by RT Book Reviews  |  Read Reader Reviews
Amazon  |  Amazon UK  |  Amazon Aust  |  B&N  |  Harlequin US  |  M&B UK  |  M&B Aust 

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17 comments:

  1. It's also a dream if mine to write for harlequin. I enjoyed reading this post. It paints such a beautiful picture of crystal point. Good luck to you and I may just have to go pick this baby up!

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  2. Hi C.S.H - It took me 23 years and 18 submissions to get the call from Harlequin - never give up your dreams :) Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. I must admit, that part of our country is gorgeous. Makes the perfect setting for your book.

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    1. Hi Lynda - yes, it is a beautiful part of Australia. Thanks for dropping by today :)

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  4. You're making me want to visit. What an awesome setting for your book.

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    1. Hi Natalie - The Great Barrier Reef is a an awesome sight and well worth a visit. Hope you get the chance :)

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  5. Looks like living in paradise to me. Such clear water!

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    1. Hi Alex - it is a little piece of paradise. :)

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  6. It looks like a wonderful part of the world in which to live. I would want to be scuba diving in your neighbourhood.

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    1. Hi Jo - a lot of local go diving along the shore line. I'm not much of a water baby I'm afraid :) But I do like to ride my horse along the beach.

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  7. HI Denise and Helen - description perfect ... we'd have similar places in the UK - but the weather never quite matches up regularly enough! I've never been down under - but one day I'd love to ...

    Great that you can set your books around your hinterland and with all that travel you can bring touches in to your characters ... looks to be a fun read .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi Hilary. Yes, a pity about the UK weather, but at least everything is green and lush. Hope you do venture Down Under someday.

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    2. Hi Hillary - hope you get to visit our shores on day :)

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  8. Thanks for this great post Helen and Denise! Congratulations on the new release, Helen!

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  9. What a gorgeous spot. I'd be inspired if I lived there.

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  10. I loved the one book of Helen's I've read in the past - definitely look forward to reading more.

    Helen, you are lucky to live in such a beautiful spot! I think I wouldn't be able to hack the warm weather too well, but the rest of it sounds great. :) I think I'll just stick to Perth, where it's not quite so humid, but still plenty gross and hot enough in summer to please most people who actually like heat. :P

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    1. Amazing the difference between humid and dry heat. When in WA, I'm amazed that you can get cool by standing under a tree out of the sun. Doesn't happen in Qld.

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