Imagine Hugh Jackman, standing beside you, shirt off, hunting for opals. Wouldn’t that do it for you? Inspiration? You bet.
No, that’s not the inspiration behind my story, Hidden Fire, although it sure fires up my imagination. It was a man though who inspired me to write Hidden Fire, or rather, the memory of a certain man. My father.
Hidden Fire is set primarily on an opal field called Opalton out in western Queensland, close to where I lived as a child. The first person to take me out there to fossick for opal chips was my dad. Opalton is exactly as described in Hidden Fire. It’s a barren, dry land. A few sparse trees scattered around, offering very little in the way of shade. There’s no running water, which means you have to cart it with you. And no mod cons to speak of.
The carbide lanterns mentioned in the story are still used today, albeit a more modern version. Dad would light the lantern as the sun dipped down and we’d cook over an open fire, before rolling out our bedrolls and settling down under the stars to listen to the tales my father would tell us. An amazing adventure for a kid.
We grew up on the stories of the local people, lived our childhood with a lot of them, and sucked in those legends like we were little sponges. And although the land was rough, hot, and hard, there was a certain romance to it, too. It’s something I’ll never forget. Something else I’ll never forget? I had my first kiss as a teenager out at Opalton. Fancy remembering that after all this time.
When I got older I joined a lapidary club and we would regularly travel out to Opalton. Then we’d bring back what we’d found and polish the opal chips until we could fit them into pre-made jewellery settings. I still have a few unpolished opals from that opal field in my possession, one of them a piece of fire opal. It’s not as grand as the magical fire opal that features in Hidden Fire, but it was enough to fire my imagination, which in turn led to the story taking shape in my mind.
The kisses in Hidden Fire are way hotter than my first foray into the world of romance, but no less satisfying. The land is just as hot and rugged, but still produces opal for those adventurous enough to hunt for them. And the memories of the man who taught me to enjoy sleeping under the stars remain to this day.
Come visit Opalton with me through the pages of Hidden Fire. If you like a little spicy romance with your intrigue, then Hidden Fire is for you.
An Australian-set paranormal drawing on the Aboriginal Dreamtime in a hot, suspenseful series debut.
Gili Adams is willing to do anything to protect her parents, even travel to Australia in search of the mythical opal, the Dreamtime Fire. But her resolve is tested when she has to enlist the help of anthropologist Morgan Hunt, the Guardian of the opal and the man who once accused her of using her feminine wiles to steal a priceless artefact. She’s faced with an impossible choice: lie to the man she never wanted to lose or risk her parents’ lives.
Nothing can be allowed to stand in her way… not even her own heart.
Alexis Fleming writes sassy, fun erotic contemporaries, as well as paranormals and fantasies where you’ll find yourself coming face to face with anything from sexy shifters to beings from other planets. When she isn’t tied to her computer, Alexis walks the beautiful beaches of Hervey Bay, or watches the farmer across from her house bring his cattle out to graze. The best of both worlds. What more could any writer ask for?