Today we welcome Alissa Callen to Romancing the Book as she tells us all about her newest release Beneath the Outback Skies.
Paige Quinn will let nothing and no one distract her from caring for her wheelchair-bound father, Connor, and fighting for her remote, drought-stricken property, Banora Downs. Least of all a surprise farm-stay guest named Tait Cavanaugh, whose smooth words are as lethal as his movie-star smile. Except Paige can’t help noticing that, for a city-boy, Tait seems unexpectedly at home on the land. And he does ask a lot of questions…It doesn’t matter how much he helps out or how much laughter he brings into her life, she soon suspects he is harbouring a big secret – the real reason he has come to Banora Downs…
Interview with Paige Quinn, character from Beneath Outback Skies.
Welcome Paige to Romancing The Book. We’re so pleased to have caught you before you head out into the paddocks again. How about we sit at the kitchen table under the air-conditioner? It must be at least 110F outside even in the shade of the old rainwater tank.
How did you celebrate Easter?
Just like in past years Easter unfortunately was a non-event. It still hasn’t rained and I still have cattle to feed. Dad threw a few sausages on the barbeque and as we have pretty city-boy, Tait Cavanaugh, staying Dad whipped up one of his famous pavlovas topped with cream and fresh fruit.
What do you love about living in Australia?
The scent of eucalyptus after rain. The flash of pink and grey as galah’s fly over head. The peace of living in the bush. Well, the peace I used to have before Tait attached himself to my side like a burr to a saddle blanket. For a man who came out here for solitude he sure goes out of his way to seek my company. And you and I both know it isn’t for my fashion-sense or smooth small-talk, Dad is the social one. I’d bet my last row of emergency chocolate there is another reason why Tait has come to the outback.
What is a must-see place for visitors to Australia?
Can I be biased and say my home? Banora Downs in a historic homestead built by my great-grandfather and when my mother was alive, and we had plenty of water, we had one of the most beautiful gardens in the district. One day … the house will be surrounded by lush lawns and fragrant gardens again.
What is your favourite Australian saying?
Considering we haven’t had a crop for five years, have only a trickle of a cash flow and that I promised my mother I’d take care of my father, no matter what, my favourite Australian saying would be, ‘She’ll be right, mate.’ I have to keep believing in good ol’Aussie optimism.
My blue-heeler puppy called Bundy who is forever chewing things, least of all Tait’s shiny new boots. The Australian Cattle Dog breed was developed in Australia and bred for their toughness, loyalty and herding instincts. Even though at the moment Bundy is just too little and too cute to round up anything. I mean look at him, he’s just adorable.
Thanks so much Paige, I can see you’re eager to head back out in the ute. Is that Tait I hear coming in from your father’s shed?
To read more about stubborn Paige, pretty city-boy, Tait and little Bundy, a free sample is available via Random House Australia at: http://www.randomhouse.com.au/
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Being a rural fiction author I’m lucky enough to live on a small slice of country Australia in New South Wales. When I’m not writing I play traffic controller to four children, three dogs, two horses and one renegade cow who really does believe the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Once a teacher and a counsellor, I remain interested in the life journeys that people take and my books are characteristically emotional, character-driven and heart-warming. I’m currently working on a small town series based in a bush town that holds an annual Elvis festival as well as another full length rural novel set in the same vivid and beautiful area as Beneath Outback Skies.