Australian Women Writers Feature: June Loves & Festival By The Sea

June Loves began her career at Women’s Day in 1954 at just 15. With no desire to be stuck writing descriptions of wedding gowns and flower arrangements for the rest of her life, June decided to gain her teaching certificate. Marriage and motherhood stalled her ambitions as the family followed her husband’s Royal Australian Air Force postings before he retired and June took up a position as a teacher -librarian. Eventually June resumed writing, publishing five novels for children before a commision to write an encyclopedia for young readers prompted her to begin writing full time. June now has over 100 non fiction titles for children and adults to her credit, and in 2011, at 72 published her first adult novel The Shelly Beach Writers’ Group with Penguin Australia. Prompted by a seachange and a desire to avoid bowls, golf and iceberg swimmers, June enrolled in a part-time professional writing and editing diploma at a local college. The Shelly Beach Writer’s Group was inspired by a combination of her new surroundings on the Mornington Penninsula, joining a small writer’s group (she is adamant that the members of her writers group in no way resemble her characters) and the tale of an acquaintance  whose up market life style came crashing down when her husband left her.

What do you do when your husband dumps you for his PA, your company goes broke and your nearly published novel is cancelled?

Gina, a barely 50-something corporate high-flier, is counting her losses when a chance meeting throws a sea change her way. A job as a house/dog-sitter – albeit in a minus one-star leaky cottage in windswept Shelly Beach – seems the perfect opportunity to relax and regroup. But Gina hasn’t counted on the locals, and soon finds herself reluctantly convening the writers’ group, babysitting, baking, seal-watching, bicycling . . . and perhaps even falling in love.

The Festival by the Sea is second installment of Gina’s (mis)adventures, released January 25th 2012 by Penguin Australia.

Gina Laurel is ready to move on from her quiet life at Shelly Beach…

…and she’s got the brilliant job offer to prove it. But when her erstwhile lover – and director of the inaugural Shelly Beach Writers’ Festival – takes a job in the city, Gina finds herself the last-minute fill-in as director of the chaotic seaside festival. Before she can rejoin the rat race, she must negotiate her way through celebrity-author hissy fits, champagne galas, rogue pirates and giant mice . . . not to mention a love/hate relationship with the former festival director.

As the festival looms ever closer, Gina has some big decisions to make. Is she really ready to swap her ocean view for an office desk and the bright lights of the city?


The Penguin Australia website includes extracts; book club notes and more from June Loves. Both novels are available in print and electronic format.

Available to Purchase

In Australia: @ Boomerang Books I @Booktopia I Readings I Pages and Pages I Fishpond

International: @ Amazon (Kindle)

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. melliane
    Jan 31, 2012 @ 06:43:06

    thanks for the post. I didn’t know these books but they sound interesting.



  2. VeganYANerds
    Jan 31, 2012 @ 08:01:44

    I enjoyed the back story on June and both of her books sound like fun reads too 🙂




  3. Marg
    Jan 31, 2012 @ 10:56:12

    I saw the second book in the shops the other day but didn’t realise that the author was Australian!



  4. Audrey (Bibliosaurus Text)
    Jan 31, 2012 @ 12:05:01

    All your books are new to me! Outside the Lines sounds like it would be really good.



  5. The Australian Bookshelf
    Jan 31, 2012 @ 19:23:02

    I enjoyed reading June’s background info and previous jobs. Sounds like she has created an interesting saga about Gina and her adventures.



  6. Sue
    Jun 18, 2014 @ 07:07:50

    Loved the first book, enjoying the 2nd book at present and will be looking out for more in the future.



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