AWW Feature & Giveaway: Helene Young and Half Moon Bay

Helene-Young-2012-Author-photo-by-Charlotte-Rose-LR-300x200

Welcome Helene Young!

I am thrilled to welcome back Helene Young to Book’d Out today, celebrating the release of her fourth book, Half Moon Bay. Helene has previously been a guest here at Book’d Out  andI  had the pleasure of meeting her last year.

Helene’s previous award winning novels, Shattered Sky, Wings of Fear and Burning Lies formed a loosely linked trilogy and earned her the title of most popular romantic suspense author by the Romance Readers of Australia (ARRA) in 2010 and 2011. My review of Half Moon Bay has been published HERE. In the meantime enjoy catching up with Helene and enter for your chance to win a signed copy of Half Moon Bay. Read on…

This Floating Writer’s Life.

The last twelve months has seen four significant milestones come and go. I had a change of job within the airline, which gave me more time at home with hubbie and hound.

Capt G took extended long service leave in November to coincide with his 55th birthday, which also gave him a whole lot more time at home – a husband underfoot is a dangerous distraction…

We bought a 40 ft catamaran called Roo Bin Esque (named because she’s a voluptuous sexy French Boat with a couple of irreverent Australian sailors and dog aboard.)

Finally, we packed the contents of our house, along with several thousand books, into a shipping container and embarked on a sea change which we’ve been planning for fifteen years. (You can see the photos of our month’s journey north from Brisbane to Cairns on my blog.)

So now I’m a writer afloat with a new view from my window and a different rhythm to the day. It’s a little bit like camping as daylight hours dictate what you do. Sure we have a great big generator that makes lots of noise and produces beautiful 240 volts to run all the modern appliances, but who wants noise if you can have tranquility instead. I’ve always been a sparrow, up with first light, but now more than ever we wake with the sunrise and settle with the sunset.

It’s so much simpler than a house yet so much more labour intensive.  When we’re at sea there’s a dinghy to launch every time we want to go ashore. If the motors are on there’s a flurry of activity with water to make, batteries to charge, clothes to wash and decks to scrub. The fridge freezer demands to be defrosted every five days and the salt spray coats everything in a hazy layer.  Zeus, the long suffering Wonder Staffy, has to have a walk ashore twice a day since there’s not much play room on a boat, and besides those walks can be an adventure all of their own!

When we’re in a marina, there are people to chat to, chores to be done and a never-ending list of maintenance tasks.  Things we take fore granted like internet connection can prove to be fickle. We had several spots without internet or phone access on our sail north. They were the most peaceful days, but it took me a while to stop obsessively checking for service…

So how will all this affect my writing? I’m hoping for more down time to write. Half Moon Bay was released yesterday and my wonderful publishers would like the next completed manuscript in by mid-August. I’m working on it, but the view can be distracting and I find myself hurrying to find the camera and snap off another photo.

The upside is the inspiration in the scenery and people we meet.  For now I’ll soak up the ambience knowing there’s another significant milestone in a couple of weeks. Funny, but I don’t feel a day over twenty-five!

To go into the draw for a signed copy of Half Moon Bay tell us what you’d like to do if you could have a change from your current lifestyle in the comments. Would you be a tree changer or a backpacker, a sea change or jillaroo?

Competition closes Thursday 12 pm 30th May and the winner will be announced on the 31st May. Open worldwide

About Half Moon Bay

Ellie Wilding has been running from her past, but when the residents of Half Moon Bay call for help she knows it’s finally time to return home.  As an international photojournalist, she’s used to violence in war zones, but she’s shocked when it erupts in the sleepy hamlet on the north coast of New South Wales, threatening all she holds dear.

Battle-weary Nicholas Lawson walked away from his military career leaving unfinished business. In a coastal backwater, that decision returns to haunt him. He remembers all too vividly his last lethal assignment in Afghanistan when Ellie’s sister, Nina, was shot and killed. Ellie’s been in his dreams ever since, even if she doesn’t remember him…

As a storm rages and floodwaters rise, Ellie struggles to save her community. But who can she trust? Nick Lawson, the dangerously attractive stranger with secrets, or an old friend who’s never let her down?

Available to Purchase

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44 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jenn J McLeod | Come home to the country...
    May 23, 2013 @ 08:53:44

    I have watched your adventures (especially Zeus) and have so much admiration. Seachanges are such big decision. I did my tree change almost 10 years ago – and even though it’s a lovely place to live, my ultimate dream is to write in a Winnebago so I can discover every corner of this beautiful country (and catch up with all the lovely friends I have met online!)

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  2. Marcia - Book Muster Down Under
    May 23, 2013 @ 09:11:54

    I would love to be in the midst of the goings on of a cattle station as a Jillaroo. Probably comes from watching too many episodes of MacLeod’s Daughters, but I feel that while it is hard work, time spent on a station could be the best place to “be Aussie”. Oh, and I’m entering this competition in the hope that I win the signed copy to be sent to my mother in South Africa (lol). She’s always reading my book reviews, looking for the Aussie authors on South African bookshelves and can’t find most of them (*sad face*).

    Thanks for the great competition Shelleyrae and Helene and best of luck to all the other entrants.

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    • Helene
      May 23, 2013 @ 09:36:38

      Marcia, that sounds like a fabulous change. I must admit I’m always seduced by the channel country in western Queensland. Good luck with the draw, I’d love to be able to spread the word about Australian stories all the way to South Africa:-) Thanks for sharing.

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  3. sandraharrisauthor
    May 23, 2013 @ 09:17:23

    My sea change would be a hobby farm, with chickens roaming free around the door, a big veggie patch and miniature farming equipment to keep the other half occupied while I write in a rose and wisteria covered arbor.

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  4. Melissa Wray
    May 23, 2013 @ 09:20:17

    I would have to pick a backpacker. My fondest memories of being in my mid twenties was backpacking around Europe. I would love for that to happen again – although I might skip some of the cheap places I stayed last time! Helene is coming to Geelong next month so even if I don’t win I will be there to hear her speak and lining up for a signed copy! 🙂

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    • Helene
      May 23, 2013 @ 09:37:57

      Melissa, that backpacking caper in Europe is fabulous. I’d do it again in a heart-beat too! Look forward to meeting you in Geelong. Thanks for dropping by the blog today 🙂

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  5. writenote1
    May 23, 2013 @ 10:28:32

    I know I’m not alone here, but I dream of living in Italy, somewhere rural and quiet where where I can take long walks, cook at leisure, visit markets and choose fresh produce for dinner … I want to look for truffles (not that I’ve ever eaten one) and chat with the locals about the seasons. Instead, I have a backyard garden with three noisy chooks and my husband and I talk about how hot it is in Perth and how we long for a proper winter!

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  6. Rose Milligan
    May 23, 2013 @ 11:50:04

    Thanks for having the giveaway. I would love to go on a trip to Ireland, or I would love to be acting on the stage.

    Rose M.
    harnessrose(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  7. brendat59
    May 23, 2013 @ 13:54:56

    Well, as my comment didn’t work before, I’ll attempt to do it again;)

    Thanks Shelleyrae for a great post with Helene! I loved following your travels up the coast recently Helene, and admire you greatly for making the big change, taking the big step! My idea of a “sea change” is like Jenn’s, we would love to travel our beautiful country in a Winnebago for months on end! One day maybe:)

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    • Helene
      May 23, 2013 @ 15:18:19

      Brenda, it was lovely to have you on the voyage with us even via cyberspace! I’m sure you’ll make your travelling dream come true and we can meet up somewhere on this wonderful coastline!

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  8. Margaret Lynette Sharp
    May 23, 2013 @ 14:51:27

    Lovely post; so interesting to read about Helene’s new lifestyle.

    If I were to change my lifestyle, I’d choose to live by the ocean, provided there was a nice, safe baths nearby. Although I love the sea, it’s a bit too powerful for me to swim in the open.
    Oh, the roar of the waves, and the smell of the spray….

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    • Helene
      May 23, 2013 @ 15:19:43

      Margaret the one thing I miss in Cairns is the roar of the ocean. It soothes me no matter how tempestuous it may be. You live in a wonderful environment that many tree-changers would aspire to 🙂

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  9. KateB
    May 23, 2013 @ 15:03:50

    I’d love to do what Melissa mentioned – backpack through Europe. I’ve driven all over Australia and seen a lot of our fantastic country but I’ve only been overseas once and would love to see the history and architecture of Italy and France.

    Helene – It was great getting to meet you at Literati on Saturday. I picked up a few of your books – I was reading Burning Lies but my sister saw it on my coffee table and borrowed it. She’s in the RAAF and loves the idea of a pilot who is also a romance writer. Thanks.

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  10. Helene
    May 23, 2013 @ 15:21:21

    Kate, great to meet you too! Backpacking is a wonderful way to see the world.

    Glad your sister’s reading Burning Lies. It’s just been short listed for a Daphne du Maurier Crime/Suspense award in America so I’m a little excited about that!!

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  11. Jennie
    May 23, 2013 @ 16:43:50

    I would love to retire to Bali 🙂

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  12. Kristia
    May 23, 2013 @ 18:14:56

    Oh wow that’s great, wish I could do that! I dream that someday I’ll take my backpack and my husband and go through every country in Europe and see the culture changes in each country. I’ve only been to Rome and I love it so much.
    Thank you for the international giveaway 🙂
    I love your book cover!

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    • Helene
      May 24, 2013 @ 08:05:05

      Kristia, that sounds like a great plan! Hubbie and I spent 3 months cycling through Spain and the south of France when we were young and fit. It was awesome!

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  13. Mary Preston
    May 23, 2013 @ 21:03:35

    Most definitely a Sea Change. I live inland, but gravitate to the coast as often as I can. I’d love to live by the sea permanently.

    HALF MOON BAY sounds wonderful.

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    • Helene
      May 24, 2013 @ 08:07:50

      Mary, there is something magical about the ocean but then the stillness of the desert at night is pretty special too. I guess we’re spoiled for choice in Australia 🙂

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  14. 1girl2manybooks
    May 23, 2013 @ 22:58:08

    I dream of being able to move back to where my family are, close to the beach, but more importantly, close to the people I haven’t spent much time with for many years now. I’d love for my parents to be able to spend more time with my little boys instead of their relationship mostly being conducted via Skype! It requires a hefty lotto win but….that’s what dreams are for, right? 🙂

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  15. Trackback: Review & Giveaway: Half Moon Bay by Helene Young | book'd out
  16. Helene
    May 24, 2013 @ 08:09:33

    Bree, I want to give you a great big hug right now! I know exactly what you mean. My sister is living in France and I know she wishes we could all move there too! Skype and Face Time at least keeps everyone connected but you can’t beat a real hug 🙂

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  17. Cathryn Hein
    May 24, 2013 @ 11:47:27

    Congratulations on the release of Half Moon Bay, Helene! So, so love that cover.

    As for my change of life, I’m going to be completely obvious and say I would love some acreage with a big garden, orchard, lots of animals and, of course, a horse (or two). One day this is going to happen!

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  18. helensibbritt
    May 24, 2013 @ 13:12:02

    Helene

    I have been really enjoying your journey and the photos are amazing I would love to move and be by the sea I always find it so tranquil I love cruising and would love to cruise the world although not on a catermaran LOl give me a cruise ship where I am waited on 🙂

    Congrats on the release of Half Moon Bay I have this as a e book and I will be reading it after I finish the book I am reading now and can’t wait

    Have Fun
    Helen

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  19. Cheryl M
    May 24, 2013 @ 13:41:35

    I would love a sea change, however, for the best benefits I would want my daughter and son and their respective families to move with me. No change in lifestyle would be worth not having them close by, sadly my son is based in Cairns in the RAN and I am in Melbourne:-(
    Along with a sea change I would love to be able to travel each year…….not asking much am I LOL

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  20. Patricia
    May 24, 2013 @ 13:43:10

    I would like to travel right around Australia and see the places I haven’t seen yet. I don’t really have any inclination to travel overseas though I did enjoy visiting NZ last year. My trouble is that after I’ve been away for a few weeks I get homesick and miss my family and my cat. Maybe that’s why I love reading so much. I can go places, have adventures and then close the book and I’m home – without needing ruby slippers to get there. 🙂

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    • Helene
      May 25, 2013 @ 03:54:01

      Patricia, that’s a very good reason to read! I’m a home body myself so I’m hoping this sailing caper means I can talk home with me to many new ports! Thanks for dropping by Shelleyrae’s blog today 🙂

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  21. Helene
    May 24, 2013 @ 14:10:27

    Cheryl, we’re allowed to dream big otherwise nothing would ever come true! Family are so important 🙂 Thanks for dropping by and sharing.

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  22. Kathy
    May 24, 2013 @ 14:38:12

    A cottage by the sea on a windswept hill.

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  23. Pris Gormley
    May 24, 2013 @ 16:14:20

    I learnt to fly light aircraft back in the 1970s, when it was affordable and flying schools welcomed everyone. Now I’m in my 70s I’d just love to be able to take a flying holiday as I did then, perhaps to Kangaroo Island, only 45 minutes away in a 2-seater Grumman AA1B, a cute little plane with a canopy instead of doors. It was like flying a racing-car with wings. The sky is my happy place, and flying was my joy.

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    • Helene
      May 25, 2013 @ 03:55:38

      Pris, that sounds like my idea of heaven. I flew a couple of Grumman tigers and they were lovely machines. Kangaroo Island is on my list as well. Must check out potential anchorages!

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  24. Kris
    May 24, 2013 @ 20:27:53

    I would definitely be a house on top of a cliff looking out at the ocean with some sort of bushland at my back.

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  25. Marg
    May 24, 2013 @ 23:11:48

    There are so many options. I think the idea of spending some time in France, but I really think I would love to live near a river somewhere – as long as it doesn’t flood!

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  26. Helene
    May 25, 2013 @ 03:56:11

    Marg, on a hill, overlooking a river in the south of France sounds perfectly reasonable to me!!

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  27. Heidi
    May 26, 2013 @ 21:34:00

    Good on you, Helene, for living your dream – it sounds like a great adventure!
    We are living our sea & tree change, with our family home in a lovely little town in WA near the beach and the forest. But being the intrepid traveller, I am always dreaming of exploring new places. On top of the list is a road trip through Canada and Alaska. Though having been studying for nearly four years I first need to knuckle down, work and earn some money … but am confident it will happen one day!

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  28. Helene Young
    May 28, 2013 @ 07:27:43

    Heidi, Alaska and Canada would be wonderful! I was born in Canada but was only 6 months old when my family returned to Australia. I’ve had several attempts at going back to see Vancouver but something’s always disrupted our travel plans. One day…

    Sounds like you’ve been very busy with studying so good luck with your emerging career!

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