Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Travel Tuesday :: Brisbane, Australia

After setting almost all of her novels in her adopted home of chic, cosmopolitan Melbourne, a series of stories popped into Ally Blake's head one day. A series about the Kelly family living and loving in the city in which she grew up. To tell us about her ode to Brisbane here's Ally!

Beautiful one day, perfect the next. That's the catch phrase used to describe the city in which I grew up.

Brisbane is a city with a young heart. When I think of her I picture myself sitting on South Bank, the glittering skyline looming, traffic rushing silently across the riverside expressway on the other side of the river. I think of sitting on my old balcony in the western suburbs looking out over lush green hills dotted with terracotta rooves of beautiful old Queenslanders.

I think of nightclubs along Eagle Street pier where I used to dance the night away. The football stadiums I used to cheer at. The school playgrounds my dad and I helped build on weekend working bees.

I think of her snaking river, silver and still in the moonlight. I think of the warm golden beaches only a stone's throw away. The coffee shops on every city corner. Bike paths everywhere you look. And the weather. Ahhhh, the weather. Year round sunshine. I'm not kidding, it's bliss.

And I think of family.

My family, and my husband's family all live up there. Which is probably why when the Kelly family popped into my head, fully formed, there was nowhere else they could live but Brisbane.

But you know what? It's was a really strange thing writing about my home town. Especially when I haven't' lived there for almost ten years. Cruelly, she hasn't remained as I remember her, waiting for me to one day return. Brisbane has changed. Favourite restaurants have closed down, shopping precincts that were once cool are now passé, and even street names have disappeared into the cavernous blur that is my memory. But that has given me the chance to rediscover Brisbane in a new way, and more great excuses to head on up to visit my gorgeous family!

The Romance Writers of Australia Conference was held in Brisbane last weekend. Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend, but from what I hear it was an absolute blast. My old city did herself proud!

And now that I've started writing about the fabulous and formidable Kelly family and their place in the beautiful Brisbane landscape, I'm not sure where I'm going to stop! Dylan and Cameron's brother and sister - and their friends - have all clamoured to the surface of my sub conscious, begging for stories of their own. Now my only concern is who will be the next to fall in love?

I even dedicated my current book, GETTING RED-HOT WITH THE ROGUE to the city itself. Here's what I had to say!

To beautiful, sunny Brisbane.

The city which gave me my first crush, first kiss, and first love.

Homesick much??? Maybe a teenty tiny little bit ;).

DATING THE REBEL TYCOON is out now in Australia and New Zealand as a Sweet Romance and is still available as a eBook from eHarlequin.com. Check out Ally's eBook page here, where eight of her backlist books are now available!

Modern Heat novel GETTING RED-HOT WITH THE ROGUE is out now across the UK and in November across North America through Harlequin Presents. Can't wait? Try an eBook!

Read more about the Kellys of Brisbane at Ally's website today!


  1. Ally, Brisbane sounds gorgeous. And a world away from my home town of London.

    My foster sister lives in Brisbane and she keeps singing its praises too.

    It makes me want to brave that endless flight in economy class to get there... Time to start saving up methinks...

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