Shannon here: Jessica Kate takes us on a tour of her native country, Australia. Comment or answer the question at the end of any post dated June 11-14 to enter the drawing for a copy of her latest Romantic Comedy, Love and Other Mistakes. U.S. only. Deadline: June 22nd, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Jessica:
G’Day USA: Bringing American Rom Com Novels Down Under
We all love a great romantic comedy, but what’s one thing that can make a hilarious love story just a bit better?
The country that produced Chris Hemsworth, of course.
As a proud Aussie myself, I had buckets of fun writing A Girl’s Guide to the Outback, where my American heroine, Kimberly Foster, chases her ex-colleague and Aussie bloke Samuel Payton from the Virginia-based youth ministry they once ran together all the way to his family farm in outback Queensland, Australia.
Forget the Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge—Kimberly gets the
full Aussie experience as she works with Sam and his twin sister Jules to help save their family farm—all on the condition that Sam returns to the USA with her to save the ailing youth ministry.
If only Kimberly had a list like this one to aid her in her quest. But if you, dear reader, decide to visit the more rural areas of the Land Down Under, here’s a little something to help you: A Girl’s Guide to the Outback.
- Store your boots upside-down to prevent spiders, mice, frogs and/or baby snakes from curling up in them when you sleep.
- Our kangaroos are like your deer. They look cute, but at some point you’ll need to slam the car brakes.
- Enjoy our coffee—it’s amongst the best in the world.
- Don’t trust tall tales Australians tell you about mythical scary creatures.
- Beware the drop bears.
- When you hear someone talk about their ‘thongs’, they’re probably referring to flip-flops.
- Our money is color-coded for your convenience.
- Our toilets have two buttons: half flush and full flush. For some reason this causes tremendous confusion amongst tourists.
- Locals pronounce the name of our country as ‘Straya’. Say it right and you’re an honorary citizen.
- If you see a stick that moves, don’t touch it.
Kimberly encounters plenty of local wildlife, including our kangaroos.
My parents helped inspire the subplot for this book, as one loves the beach and the other the farm (just like my hero’s sister Jules and her ex-boyfriend Mick.) I combined rural farm settings plus some beach scenes set at the Gold Coast. As you can see, the water at the Goldie really does look golden.
I grew up on farms across rural Australia, which inspired the fictional Yarra Plains property. Our landscape can be pretty brown at times, but the sunsets are spectacular.
About Jessica: Australian Jessica Kate is a sassy romance author and addict.
Her novels feature wit, snark and grit, and her StoryNerds podcast gives her a chance to nerd out with others about these ingredients in books, movies and TV.
She has a passion for garlic bread, theme parks and Batman.
Sign up to her newsletter at jessicakatewriting.com to hear first about her books, including her upcoming novels Love and Other Mistakes and A Girl’s Guide to the Outback.
Facebook and Instagram: Jessica Kate Writing. StoryNerds podcast: Available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts and at www.storynerds.podbean.com.
About the book – A Girl’s Guide to the Outback:
Kimberly Foster needs help from the last man in the world who would give it.
She and Samuel Payton fought so much during their three-year stint as colleagues that they now reside in different halves of the globe. She’s still the business director of the Virginia-based youth ministry that Sam founded, while he’s back at his family’s farm in rural Australia.
But Kimberly can’t find a suitable replacement for Sam, and the ministry is in trouble. She needs him back. What she doesn’t know is that the Payton farm’s finances are scarier than statistics on Australian spider bites.
She and Sam strike a deal: if she can use her business savvy to save the farm, he’ll return to Virginia and recruit and train his replacement.
Soon Kimberly’s on the edge of the Outback, working more closely with Sam than ever before. Can she protect his family’s legacy, the ministry, and her heart?
Get your preorder now! A Girl’s Guide to the Outback
Question for Readers: If you could travel Australia (or read a novel set there), what would be your top locations?
Come back June 18th for Lindsey P. Brackett!