Category Archives: What Elise Wrote

The Rose

A gift from my daughter this year was ‘The Rose’  The history of the World’s favourite flower with classic texts and beautiful rare prints. Written by Brent Elliott, Historian, Royal Horticultural Society the society shares the best in gardening.

The Rose

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Audrey Hepburn, an icon of class and beauty, had a rose named after her. The rose named after Audrey is a soft apple-blossom pink hybrid tea rose. The blossoms are a deep pink in bud, but when they open they become a softer pink and then almost white. She grew them in her garden and in a bouquet you have different hues of colour.

Audrey Hepburn

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow . . .

The Audrey Hepburn Rose

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My mother was a gardener and my daughter has inherited the gardening gene and also my son.  I enjoy writing about gardens! In my novel Castle of Dreams I wrote about the rainforest plants and trees and in my WIP I am writing about all things botanical. My protagonist in the modern day is a botanist and my protagonist in the past collects wildflowers and paints botanical pictures. I have written about a medieval garden, a herb garden, an orchard and a vegetable garden. And of course a rose garden. There are dark family secrets and the past impacts on the present. But are some secrets better never to be discovered?

Gardens are a recurring motif in my novels.

Monet’s Garden at Giverny

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Audrey Hepburn:

If I’m honest I have to tell you I still read fairytales and I like them best of all. 

Have a wonderful day, writing, reading, dreaming . . .

Elise

 

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Elizabeth Lhuede – Australian Author

Elizabeth Lhuede will be a speaker at the HNSA Conference Swinburne University Hawthorn, Melbourne, September 8-10 Visit our website to purchase tickets:http://hnsa.org.au/conference/buy-tickets/

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Elizabeth Lhuede has a PhD in Australian poetry and is the author of two novellas, both contemporary romantic suspense, published with Harlequin Escape under her pen-name, Lizzy Chandler. In 2011, still unpublished but with a manuscript ready to submit, Elizabeth began researching Australian publishers and the books they were publishing, particularly books by Australian women. At the same time, she set about establishing an online social media profile, joining Twitter and creating a personal blog. Online, she came across debates raging over gender bias in the reviewing of books by women in mainstream media. As someone guilty of reading more books by men than women, and having read only a few classic books by Australian women (apart from friends’), Elizabeth was inspired to help counter the gender bias by pledging to devote 2012 to reading and reviewing books by Australian women. A number of book bloggers joined her and soon the Australian Women Writers (AWW) challenge was created, with its own blog to host the challenge, and with a declared mission to support and promote books by Australian women. In its sixth year, the AWW challenge now has a searchable database with links to nearly 4000 reviews of books by Australian women. It also has a Facebook group for AWW participants, a dedicated Goodreads group and, on Twitter, over seven-and-a-half thousand followers and its own hashtag (#aww2017). While overseeing the challenge, Elizabeth attracted the attention of a literary agent and, eventually, a publisher, though not in the genre she was expecting. In 2015, her debut romantic suspense novel, Snowy River Man, an ebook, became the most reviewed romance for the challenge that year, and gained Elizabeth a nomination as “Favourite New Romance Author” for 2015 in the Australian Romance Readers Awards. It has since been published in a print anthology with MIRA.

https://elizabethlhuede.com/

The HNSA Melbourne Conference will be a fabulous event with authors such as Elizabeth Lhuede presenting.

Elise

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Historical Fiction

I  will be a speaker at the HNSA Conference Swinburne University Hawthorn, Melbourne, September 8-10 Visit our website to purchase tickets:http://hnsa.org.au/conference/buy-tickets/

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction (formerly known as the Booker-McConnell Prize and commonly known simply as the Booker Prize) is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original novel, written in the English language and published in the UK. The winner of the Man Booker Prize is generally assured international renown and success; therefore, the prize is of great significance for the book trade. From its inception, only Commonwealth, Irish, and South African (later Zimbabwean) citizens were eligible to receive the prize; in 2014, however, this eligibility was widened to any English-language novel.

A high-profile literary award in British culture, the Booker Prize is greeted with great anticipation and fanfare. It is also a mark of distinction for authors to be selected for inclusion in the shortlist or even to be nominated for the “longlist”. Ref: Wikipedia

Historical novels won the Booker Prize in: 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.

Unknown-1Winner 2009.

I write time slip novels that incorporate historical fiction and the modern day.

People who lived in the past are the same as people today in their hopes and dreams. It is also necessary to understand that they were, in many ways different, depending on the culture and centuries they lived in. But, the dead are real, and in my novels they have power over the living.

In The Voyage of Saint Brendan, an eighth-century Latin account,(‘faction’) about Brendan of Clonfert, there are elements of historical fiction. The genre has been around for a long time.

Historical fiction has an enduring popularity.

One of my favourite historical books is Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind a wonderful evocation of history written by someone who sat on the knees of old Civil War soldiers and listened to their stories.

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I enjoy the research I need to undertake when I write about the past. I create a lost world. It takes me months longer to write the historical part of a novel because of the time I take to research (research is a long piece of string). I enjoy discovering about the postal service, the lighting and heating of rooms and the many small details that make up everyday life in the past. I thread the historical narrative through the story. When seen through the eyes of my historical characters what is strange and unusual to me is not noticed by my characters except for a specific reason.

I enjoyed researching my novel Castle of Dreams set during the Pacific War in a castle in far north Queensland. And, I made friends along the way.  Norwegian publisher Cappelen Damm published Castle of Dreams in translation in April, 2017.

The lovely image below was taken by Elise Cathrin. 

https://elisecathrin.com/2017/05/31/slottet-i-regnskogen-av-elise-mccune/

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‘Historical’ means I write as truthfully and accurately as I can about the past and ‘fiction’ means I can make up my story, dream about the past and inhabit the lives of the people I’ve created. When I’ve finished my story I wait hopefully for my characters to knock on my front door.  I would know them well.

Then after a few weeks I purchase a lovely notebook and start scribbling notes for my next novel. My erstwhile characters are, by now, floating away. I bid them goodbye and wish them well on their journey.

Have a good week, reading, writing and dreaming,

Elise

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Ella Carey-Australian Author

Ella Carey will be a speaker at the HNSA Conference Swinburne University Hawthorn, Melbourne, September 8-10 Visit our website to purchase tickets:http://hnsa.org.au/conference/buy-tickets/

about

Ella Carey is the internationally bestselling author of three novels inspired by the discovery of courtesan Marthe de Florian’s abandoned apartment in Paris, published by Lake Union Publishing in the US: Paris Time Capsule, released in 2015 and now adapted into a feature film screenplay, The House by the Lake, released in March 2016 and From a Paris Balcony, releasing in October 2016. Paris Time Capsule is going to be re-released with Harlequin Australia in September 2016. Ella has an arts degree majoring in European history and nineteenth century women’s literature, and a music degree in classical piano. She has traveled extensively in Europe and has a particular fondness for Paris. When Ella is not hard at work writing her fourth novel, she is either busy with her pair of teenagers, walking her pair of Italian greyhounds while cooking up future books and greeting the many people who think the dogs are whippets, reading or dreaming of being in Paris. For more information about Ella’s books and her writing, please visit her at https://www.facebook.com/ellacareyauthor/ or at http://www.ellacarey.com/

From Ella’s website

I grew up in a house full of books. Bookshelves tumbled with old copies of Beatrix Potter, Aesop’s Fables, whole collections of Kipling and LM Montgomery, The Secret Garden, The Wind in the Willows and everything else- often bound together with old sticky tape, having been read and loved a thousand times before they reached me. There were navy blue and deep red leather bound classics in the formal rooms of the house, their spines inlaid with delicate gold ink. It was a privilege to be able to handle the fine paper that contained thousands of words- and stories, always wonderful stories. I have written since I could pick up a pen; first, in a series of odd little journals, made of folded paper stapled together carefully at the spine. I used to draw characters in bright texta pen or soft Derwent pencils. I always loved the feel of putting a pen or pencil to paper. This led to further writing, several novels that are for my eyes only, and poems written when I was studying at university, all of which I threw out, horrified that someone might find them and read them if something were to happen to me. I was furiously passionate about classical music as a teenager, so went to the conservatorium and studied the piano. I did an Arts degree majoring in English literature and Modern European history. It was when I was at university that I knew I wanted to write, properly. Our entire English class was sent to spend the week at a local writer’s festival by a wonderful lecturer, and that was it, for me. I have a passion for travel- particularly to Europe; I am fascinated by its history. I think history adds depth to life. Every time I go away I come back with a new idea for a book. If something resonates with me, it might be an idea, or a person, or an event, then I find it impossible not to write about it and I end up weaving it, along with several other strands, into a story. I write every day. It’s just something I have to do. I’m afraid that I’m probably terribly grumpy if I can’t write.

Secret Shores-Ella’s new book

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In 1946, artist Rebecca Swift’s dreams of love and a life free from convention are crashing like the waves of the Australian coast below her. And it’s into those roiling waters that she disappears. Forty-one years later, Tess Miller’s dreams are crashing, too. The once-successful New York editor has lost her most prestigious author to the handsome new golden boy of publishing. Meanwhile, she’s stuck with Edward Russell, a washed-up Australian poet writing a novel about some obscure artist named Rebecca Swift. But Tess may have underestimated Russell. His book is not only true—it’s a searing, tragic romance and a tantalizing mystery set in a circle of postwar modernists. When Tess uncovers a long-hidden secret, she’s drawn even deeper into Rebecca’s enigmatic life and death. As Rebecca’s past intertwines with the present, Tess finds herself falling for the last man she thought she’d ever be drawn to. On the way, she discovers the power of living an authentic life—and that transcendent love never really dies.

The HNSA Melbourne Conference will be a fabulous event with authors such as Ella Carey presenting.

Elise

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Kelly Gardiner- Australian Author

Kelly Gardiner will be a speaker at the HNSA Conference Swinburne University Hawthorn, Melbourne, September 8-10 Visit our website to purchase tickets:http://hnsa.org.au/conference/buy-tickets/

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From Kelly’s Website

I grew up on the edge of Melbourne, Australia, lived in Sydney for a while, and later on Waiheke Island in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand. Now I live in an old cottage  called Thelma in Melbourne, and in a beach shack on Waiheke for some of the year. I teach creative writing at La Trobe University a few days a week, and run writing workshops at schools, libraries, community organisations and festivals. Here’s my official-sounding biography. I have a BA in Professional Writing and Editing, a Master of Arts (Literature) and a PhD in English (Creative Writing). In my spare time I write, research, read, walk, sit about staring at nothing, and do an awful lot of gardening and cooking. Not necessarily in that order.

Kelly Gardiner’s most recent book is ‘1917’ (published early in 2017), a novel for young readers set during the First World War. Her previous books include Goddess, based on the remarkable life of the seventeenth century French swordswoman and opera singer, Julie d’Aubigny. Kelly’s historical novels for young adults include The Sultan’s Eyes and Act of Faith, set during the time of the English Civil Wars and the Inquisition. Both books were shortlisted for the Ethel Turner Prize in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. Her books for younger readers are the ‘Swashbuckler’ adventure trilogy – Ocean Without End, The Pirate’s Revenge and The Silver Swan – set in Malta during the Napoleonic invasion, and a picture book, Billabong Bill’s Bushfire Christmas. Kelly has worked on newspapers, magazines and websites, and her articles, poems, book reviews and travel writing have appeared in journals, magazines and newspapers as diverse as ‘The New York Times’, ‘Marie Claire’, ‘New Idea’, and ‘Going Down Swinging’.

https://kellygardiner.com/tag/hnsa/

The HNSA Melbourne Conference will be a fabulous event with authors such as Kelly Gardiner presenting.

Elise

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Alison Stuart-Australian Author

Alison Stuart will be a speaker at the HNSA Conference Swinburne University Hawthorn, Melbourne, September 8-10 Visit our website to purchase tickets:http://hnsa.org.au/conference/buy-tickets/

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Born in Africa in the dying days of the British Empire, at the age of ten award winning Australian author Alison Stuart moved to Australia. After a long and varied career as a lawyer, including stints with the military and fire services, Alison turned to her first passion, history.  Most of her stories have an English Civil War setting and several of them have  been shortlisted for international awards. She is loved by her readers for her ability to breathe life into the dry bones of history, particularly a lesser known period of history such as the civil war.

Alison learned her passion from history from her father. She has been writing stories since her teenage years but it was not until 2007 that her first full length novel was published. A past president of the Romance Writers of Australia, Alison has now published seven full length historical romances and a collection of her short stories. Many of her stories have been shortlisted for international awards and BY THE SWORD won the 2008 EPIC Award for Best Historical Romance.   Her inclination for writing about soldier heroes may come from her varied career as a lawyer in the military and fire services. These days when she is not writing she is travelling and routinely drags her long suffering husband around battlefields and castles.

Ref: http://www.alisonstuart.com

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When grieving widow, Australian, Helen Morrow and her six year old daughter, Alice arrive at her husband’s previous home, Holdston in rural England, she is welcomed by his mother Evelyn. But the meeting with wounded and reclusive Major Paul Morrow,  her husband’s cousin, does not go so well. He wants nothing to do with them.  A coded diary, written by Paul’s great-grandmother, is found and Helen and Paul haunted by ghosts from another time and another conflict they search for answers. While they search for answers to the past mystery there is also a mystery surrounding the death of Helen’s husband at Passchandaele. I love reading stories with a past and present thread and the two stories entwine brilliantly.  The novel is character driven, which all the best novels are, and the scenes in early 1900’s England are a delight.

Gather the Bones by Alison Stuart is a fabulous read. This is the first book by this talented storyteller I have read and I look forward to reading more.

(This writer is NOT the Alison Stuart who also writes as Kate Tremayne and authored Fateful Shadows, Sin No More, Barefoot Angel, Innocence Betrayed or Loyalty Defiled.)

The HNSA Melbourne Conference will be a fabulous event with authors such as Alison Stuart presenting.

Elise

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Jackie Ballantyne-Writer

Jackie Ballantyne will be a speaker at the HNSA Conference Swinburne University Hawthorn, Melbourne, September 8-10 Visit our website to take advantage of our early bird discounts. http://hnsa.org.au/conference/buy-tickets/

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email: jgb2@xtra.co.nz

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twitter: SollyMcKeen@Solly McKeen

journal (blog)

Jackie Ballantyne began writing fiction while she was working in advertising in Melbourne. Since then she has won awards and commendations for her short stories. Her first novel, ‘How to Stop a Heart from Beating’ (Random House New Zealand, 2007), was met with acclaim. This was followed by ‘The Silver Gaucho’ (The Doby Press, 2014), subsequently shortlisted for The Rubery Award, UK, in 2015. Jackie has recently returned to live and write in Melbourne after twelve years in Dunedin, New Zealand.

 Jackie Ballantyne (in her own words). 

It’s always been words. As a child I liked to read dictionaries. I sat on the floor of my aunt and uncle’s living room and read the Chambers Dictionary that they used as a doorstop. I dipped into the Greater Oxford English Dictionary that my grandfather revered and kept away from the light (?) under the escritoire. I loved our family Webster’s with its intricate line drawings. In time I built my own dictionary collection. I added exotics: a Dictionary of Culinary Terms, a Pictorial Dictionary of Roses, various medical dictionaries, language dictionaries, a Dictionary of Animal Husbandry and the Dictionary of Derivations of the English Language. At some stage I acquired a copy of The Universal Home Doctor Illustrated (Circa 1937) which was to become an essential resource when I was writing How to Stop a Heart From Beating. In the bookcase beside me are four shelves of dictionaries. I buy them pre-loved, often annotated by a previous owner. I once found a poem about a butterfly tucked inside a Dictionary of Biblical Quotations. I began experimenting with fiction while I was working in advertising in Australia.  Starting out as a copywriter, I pursued my passion with words and ways of putting them together. I spent years inventing advertising captions and jingles and one of the hardest lessons in my writing apprenticeship was to compose sentences of more than five words. Even now I am prone to one word sentences. I might no longer agonise over full stops and exclamation marks, but I’m still finicky about punctuation.

The HNSA Melbourne Conference will be a fabulous event with authors such as Jackie Ballantyne presenting.

Elise

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Elisabeth Storrs-Historical Novelist

Elisabeth Storrs will be a speaker at the HNSA Conference Swinburne University Hawthorn, Melbourne, September 8-10 Visit our website to take advantage of our early bird discounts. http://hnsa.org.au/conference/buy-tickets/

Author-Elisabeth-Storrs

WELCOME ADDRESS: Welcome addresses by Elisabeth Storrs (HNSA Co-founder) and Sophie Masson (HNSA 2017 Conference Patron)

ELISABETH STORRS HAS LONG HAD A PASSION FOR THE HISTORY, MYTHS AND LEGENDS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD.  She is an Australian author and graduated from University of Sydney in Arts Law, having studied Classics. Her curiosity piqued by an Etruscan sarcophagus depicting a couple embracing for eternity, she discovered the little known story of the struggle between Etruscan Veii and Republican Rome and the inspiration to write the Tales of Ancient Rome Saga. Elisabeth lives with her husband and two sons in Sydney and over the years has worked as a solicitor, corporate lawyer and corporate governance consultant. She is the former Deputy Chair of the NSW Writers’ Centre and one of the founders of the Historical Novel Society Australasia. Elisabeth considers herself a ‘hybrid’ author who was traditionally published in Australia, then gained a readership in the global historical fiction community through self-publishing her Tales of Ancient Rome Saga. This led her to securing an international publishing contract with Lake Union publishers.

http://www.elisabethstorrs.com

What fate awaits a Roman treaty bride married to an Etruscan nobleman from a decadent world?

The-Wedding-Shroud-by-Elisabeth-Storrs

As war wreaks havoc, three bold women must fight for their futures with wit and wiles.

The-Golden-Dice-by-Elisabeth-Storrs

During a siege between age old enemies, can love and loyalty withstand the betrayal of mortals and gods?

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The HNSA Melbourne Conference will be a fabulous event with authors such as Elisabeth Storrs presenting.

Elise

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Skylarking-Kate Mildenhall

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Kate Mildenhall will be a speaker at the HNSA Conference Swinburne University Hawthorn, Melbourne, September 8-10

Visit our website to take advantage of our early bird discounts.
http://hnsa.org.au/conference/buy-tickets/

Inspired by a true story, Skylarking is a novel about friendship, love and loss, one that questions what it is to remember and how tempting it can be to forget.

Kate and Harriet are best friends who are growing up together on an isolated Australian cape in the 1880s. As daughters of the lighthouse keepers, the two girls share everything, until a fisherman, McPhail, arrives in their small community. When Kate witnesses the desire that flares between him and Harriet, she is torn by her feelings of envy and longing. Ultimately, a moment of skylarking in McPhail’s hut changes everything.

Praise for Skylarking

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‘Kate Mildenhall’s impressive debut novel takes an historical case and re-imagines it with such sensitivity and insight that we feel this must be how it truly happened.’—Emily Bitto, author of 2015 Stella Prize winner The Strays

‘Skylarking is a strikingly real and deeply moving meditation on adolescent friendship in all its complexities—a heart-wrenching work.’
—Olga Lorenzo, author of The Light on the Water

‘A brave, beautiful and richly textured book that delicately explores the fault lines in love and friendship.’—Lucy Treloar, author of Salt Creek, Winner ABIA Matt Richell Award for New Writer

‘[Mildenhall’s] research of life on a remote cape in a young colony manifests in lovingly drawn descriptions of the natural landscape … the novel’s strength lies with following Kate’s and Harriet’s stumbles and skylarking from childhood to womanhood; and their close, sometimes stifling, friendship.’ —Thuy On, Sydney Morning Herald

‘It is hard to believe that Skylarking is Kate Mildenhall’s debut novel, as her ability to create both character and atmosphere is impressive.’ —Annie Condon, Readings Monthly

The HNSA Melbourne Conference will be a fabulous event with authors such as Kate Mildenhall presenting.

Have a lovely day,

Elise

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Slottet i Regnskogen

The Castle in the Rainforest (Hardcover)

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This is the lovely cover for the translated Norwegian hardcover edition of The Castle in the Rainforest. The title of the Australian edition is Castle of Dreams.

Norway is a Scandinavian country encompassing mountains, glaciers and deep coastal fjords. Oslo, the capital, is a city of green spaces and museums. Preserved 9th-century Viking ships are displayed at Oslo’s Viking Ship Museum. Bergen, with colorful wooden houses, is the starting point for cruises to the dramatic Sognefjord. Norway is also known for fishing, hiking and skiing, notably at Lillehammer’s Olympic resort.

My publisher Cappelen Damm is a Norwegian publisher based in Oslo.

I appreciate Norwegian style which is characterised by simplicity although like in Australia I guess some people love their clutter!

Norway is truly beautiful. I’d love to visit one day!

Elise

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