Inspiration Behind the Story – Georgie Tyler

Our Common Humanity

by Georgie Tyler

I watched a short film many moons ago and it got me thinking. Now when I say short, I mean very short. I think it was attached to a popular movie, Love Actually and rolled after the final credits.

Picture this. Two African women sauntering across a dry, cracked earth, each carrying a stack of sticks strapped securely to their backs. You get the idea that this isn’t the first or last time they’ll be taking this journey. In fact it’s a daily routine for them. They’re chatting in their own language and it’s subtitled for the English speakers of this world. While listening to their banter, I was captured and a little stunned, I’m embarrassed to say, because their discussion surprised me, and at the same time connected me to them. Why? Because they were commenting on their life, husbands, children, neighbours, community not much differently to what I do when enjoying a coffee or meal with friends.

Sometimes we forget the common humanity we all share, whether you live in a war torn, famine ravaged country or safely nestled away in a suburb of Sydney. It was one of the many factors that led me to write my debut romance Doctors Beyond Borders released in January, 2014. Ariadne Tate, a doctor with Medecins Sans Frontieres is eager to escape the world of work based gossip having been a prime target in Sydney and discovers that the same observations, elucidations and interpretations are made amongst the Sudanese medical staff about certain employees in Sudan as they are in temperate, laid back and flourishing Sydney.

Ariadne and Ford, the heroine and hero of my story and both doctors represent the many people in the world that dedicate months or years of their lives using their skills to help the afflicted and less fortunate. My ex-pat characters chose this path for many different reasons but the common thread is the desire to offer up their skills in active charity. I admire them. I applaud them. I wish in my younger years I had been more proactive like them. I’m so glad I penned a story around them that’s now available for others to read.

Kids and family are my priority at the moment, but maybe in my twilight years when my brood have flown the coup my passive assistance may transform into something more active. I’d like to think so as these people have the same hopes and dreams as the rest of us; the eradication of poverty, improvement in health and a better world for themselves and their children.


19910She’s about to find out that nothing is fair when it comes to war, except, the healing power of love.

When Ariadne Tate takes a deployment to Sudan with a medical aid organisation, romance is the last thing on her mind…but Dr Ford Gosden puts a glitch in her plans. Too damn attractive for his own good and a thoroughly nice guy, Ford slowly seeps under Ariadne’s skin.

But Sudan is not a stable place to form a relationship, and as political tension escalates in the region, Ariadne has no choice but to focus on her job and her safety. Under the protection of a UN convoy, she heads out into the war-torn countryside — and the unthinkable happens. Captured and held hostage by a renegade with no chance of escape, Ariadne’s hope for a new life with the man she loves begins to fade and the fight for her life begins.

Lost but not Forgotten – How Fromelles Inspired my Story

by Jacquie Underdown

To look at the pretty village of Fromelles, France, you wouldn’t be able see its devastating past hiding behind the abundance of ripe greenery and charm. You wouldn’t be able to tell that this village was once a torn-up wasteland littered with the murderous fragments of war and soaked in the blood of 5553 Australian soldiers either killed or wounded in a single day. And for nearly a century as the small community of Fromelles went about its daily life, they couldn’t see that buried within the fertile soil were 250 remnants of this gruesome past waiting to resurface. History wasn’t going to be laid to rest just yet.

On July 19-20, 1916, Fromelles was host to one of the bloodiest battles in Australian history. A battle, despite its gore and immense number of casualties, has stood in the shadows of its more famous World War I brothers, maybe because some have called this battle a disaster for the Allies, or because it goes down as the worst 24 hours in Australian military history.

250 Allied soldiers (173 were Australian) killed on that fateful day were buried by the Germans shortly after the battle in mass graves. These pits remained untouched, their whereabouts unknown, and their content lost to all until nearly a century later.

Guided by an amateur Australian historian, the Australian Government instigated geological surveys in 2007 to find the lost soldiers. By 2009 exhumations were taking place to recover the bodies and DNA samples were extracted from their bones in an attempt to identify each. The soldiers were then finally laid to rest, with full honours, in a new memorial cemetery located 120 metres from the original mass grave site.

So why did I want to write about this tragic slice of history? Reflecting on it now, I don’t believe I had a choice. When I first heard the reports about the discovery of the mass graves, I realised that despite the decades the soldiers were lost, their voices were still strong enough to demand we acknowledge them and demand we remember them. No author hearing these whispers from the past would be able to ignore them — myself included.

Though I anticipated many tears during the research of this aptly titled novel (and I’ll admit, I cried a river for these brave men and their families), I didn’t anticipate the coincidences that would occur.

My fictional character, Fredrick, reappears as a ghost 90 years after his death on the battlefield of Fromelles. He wants a name on his headstone so he will not be forgotten, and he needs Lucy to help him achieve this final wish by searching for his descendants.

I’ve never had to find descendants before, so some of my research for this novel was in this area. At first I didn’t even know where to start. So I began where most of my searches do and that was with Google. I entered the name of my soldier (whose name I plucked from thin air, a complete fabrication) and didn’t anticipate that the name I chose was the exact name of an actual Australian soldier of the Great War (though the real soldier was fortunate enough to make it home and live to a ripe old age). Through him alone, I learned the exact path to trace descendants of soldiers.

This was the first of many coincidences that occurred while writing Beyond Coincidence and it may merely be that — a coincidence. But I like to think it’s more. I like to think that if we listen closely enough, we just may hear whispers from the past, in our present, guiding us, teaching us, and making sure we remember those who should not be forgotten.

He … was numbered amongst those who, at the call of the King and Country, left all that was dear to them, endured hardness, faced danger, and finally passed out of sight of men by path of duty and self-sacrifice, giving up their own lives that others may live in freedom. Let those who come after see to it that his name not be forgotten.  (King George V)

He … was numbered amongst those who, at the call of the King and Country,
left all that was dear to them, endured hardness, faced danger, and finally
passed out of sight of men by path of duty and self-sacrifice, giving up
their own lives that others may live in freedom. Let those who come after
see to it that his name not be forgotten. (King George V)

22036Mixing romance, history, and a touch of the unexplained in a new novel from Jacquie Underdown about love that needs to cross oceans and time before finding a place to come true.

In 2008, 250 Australian and British soldiers are uncovered in a mass grave in Fromelles, France, lost since the Great War. One soldier, bearing wounds of war so deep it scarred his soul, cannot be laid to rest just yet.

When Lucy bumps into the achingly sad soldier during a trip to France, she doesn’t, at first glance, realise what he is – a ghost who desperately needs her help. Lucy can’t turn away from someone who needs her, even someone non-corporeal, and they travel back together to Australia in search of answers and, hopefully, some peace.

This chance meeting and unexplainable relationship sets into motion a chain-reaction of delicate coincidences that affect the intertwined lives of family, friends, and lovers in unexpected, beautiful ways.

Beyond Coincidence is available for pre-order now.

Do You Believe in Fate? – Frances Housden

I have to confess to regularly reading my horoscope. My husband laughs, ‘How can it be true for everyone in the world born in the same month?’ I don’t care. I do believe in fate—that there is something guiding us but we have the option to follow the advice or not. Right now my horoscope says the next 12 months will be the best period for my career in decades. Who wouldn’t want to believe that, but it’s what we do about it that counts.

Going back to fate, Euan the hero of THE CHIEFTAIN’S CURSE came to me in a dream. He was yelling, ‘Will this bluidy curse never end?’ Now tell me, what red-blooded author wouldn’t want to find out more?

Discovering Euan took me on a journey into my past, into the history of Scotland, my homeland. It was exciting using a lot of what I learned at my grandfather’s knee, but more than that, many places and characters simply popped into my head, especially Nhaimeth the dwarf—a favourite with readers—and this, long before A Game of Thrones reached our screens. I gave a detailed description of the clan castle in my book and discovered it really existed—fate or latent memories from my childhood? I don’t care, why should I? Everything worked to drive the plot of the very first book in my ‘Chieftain’ series.

This is where I accept that we need to give fate a hand. I went to a clairvoyant shortly after I finished ‘Chieftain’. She told me I had a book that would do really well and since the publishers weren’t liable to coming knocking on my door, I left it to my agent to find one who loved the book as much as I did. Years past, editors did love the book, but didn’t know where to place it—yes it’s a wonderful romance but I like to think it is more. I have to admit the wait was disheartening. Then at the annual Harlequin dinner in 2012, I was sitting near Haylee Nash who told us all about Escape Publishing, Harlequin Australia’s new digital imprint. I asked if I could email a book to her and, when she agreed, I sent it off that very night as well as a lot of good vibes.

The rest as they say is history—Scottish History. Without any reviews THE CHIEFTAIN’S CURSE hit #3 overall on iBooks, stayed #1 in Historical Romance for weeks and was an Amazon bestseller, which led to a print edition being published by Harlequin MIRA Australia. Two weeks ago Chieftain was a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s RITA awards and two days ago, it won RWNZ’s Koru Award. How’s that for fate?

I don’t remember the speech I gave, though I’m told it was good. I do know I thanked Kate Cuthbert and Harlequin Australia for having the guts to publish Chieftain, enough said.

8883Nominated for the 2014 RITA Award for Best Historical Romance
Winner RWNZ inaugural Koru Award for Outstanding Long Romance

Euan McArthur is a chieftain in need of an heir.

While still a young a warrior, Euan incites the fury of a witch. She retaliates with a curse that no wife will ever bear him an heir. As he buries his third wife and yet another bonnie stillborn son, Euan can no longer cast her words aside.

Morag Farquhar is a woman in need of sanctuary.Pronounced barren by a midwife, Morag is of little value to her family, but a Godsend to Euan, a lover he can’t kill by getting with child.

Years ago, chance drew them together, and tangled their lives in ways they could never have imagined. This time their destiny lies in their own hands, but it will take courage and strong hearts to see it through to the end.

Available Now!

22037From the bestselling, RITA nominated author Frances Housden comes the gripping, sensual, suspenseful follow-up to The Chieftain’s Curse…

Gavyn Farquhar’s marriage is forged with a double-edged blade. Along with the Comlyn clan’s lands, a reward from the King, he is blessed with an unwilling bride, Kathryn Comlyn, and an ancient fort with few defences that desperately needs to be fortified before it can act as a sufficient buffer between Scotland and the Norsemen on its northern borders.

Gavyn needs wealth to meet his king’s demands, and he knows of only one way to get it — with his sword. Leaving his prickly bride behind in the hands of trusted advisors, he makes his way to the battlegrounds of France and the money that can be made there.

Two years married and Kathryn is still a virgin. A resentful virgin, certain that, like her father before her, she is perfectly capable of leading the Comlyn clan. In her usurper husband’s absence, she meets the clan’s needs, advising and ruling as well as any man.

But she is an intelligent woman, and she knows the only respect and power she will ever hold will be through her husband. And to wield it, she needs to make him love her. An easy task to set, but impossible to complete, when said husband has been gone for two years, and there is no word of his return. But Kathryn is undeterred. After all, a faint heart never won a Chieftain.

Frances’ next Chieftain book, Chieftain by Command is available for pre-order now, and releases September 1.

The Power of a List – Kendall Talbot

Write a Book. That’s what I wrote on my bucket list. I never imagined how much those three words would change my life. My initial motivation was simple. Unlike the fabulous Cherry Adair, numbers are my friend. English was not. So I thought the best way to improve my spelling, grammar, and vocabulary would be to write a story.

Every birthday and Christmas, my husband shakes out my bucket list for inspiration. One year he helped me tick off ‘Learn a musical instrument’. He gave me a beautiful guitar and paid for lessons. But to be honest I’m really crap at it.

KendallguitarThe following year, he scoured my list again and at number 69 – I kid you not – is ‘Write a Book’. So hubby purchased the Year of the Novel Course at the Queensland Writers Centre. During this course, I wrote Lost In Kakadu and it literally changed my life.

But writing it was the easy part. Editing that shitty manuscript took eight years of hard slog. I followed up that first course with several more. Then I hired an editor who also offered mentoring and boy did she have her work cut out for her. I learned about POVs and clichés, first person and third person perspectives. I learned syntax, synonyms, sentence structure, and just about everything else in between. I wrote short stories, drafted two more manuscripts and learned the joys of character arcs. I worked hard, did my homework, read the prescribed reading, experimented, and practised. Then practised some more.

At the Romance Writers Conference, James Scott Bell said that you CAN learn to write – I know exactly what he means. My poor editor nearly gave up on me many times. But now, with my beautiful R*BY trophy glistening with inner glow on my kitchen windowsill she admits the tears were all worth it.


Without my bucket list, I may never have discovered my passion for writing.

By the way, I had also written ‘Publish My Book’ and ‘Win The RuBY Award’ on my bucket list. But never in my wildest dreams did I believe it would happen with my debut novel.

18610Winner of the 2014 Romance Writers of Australia RUBY (Romantic Book of the Year) Award for Stories with Romantic Elements!

An action adventure novel set in the Australian jungle where two unlikely people prove just how attractive opposites can be…

It’s pretentious socialite Abigail Mulholland’s worst nightmare when her plane crashes into an ancient Australian wilderness. Things go from bad to downright hellish when rescuers never come. As she battles to survive in an environment that’s as brutal as it is beautiful, Abigail finds herself also fighting her unlikely attraction to Mackenzie — another survivor, and a much younger man.

Mackenzie Steel is devastated by his partner’s death in the crash, the only person with whom he shared his painful past. Now, as he confronts his own demons, he finds he has a new battle on his hands: his growing feelings for Abigail, a woman who’s as frustratingly naïve as she is funny.

Fate brought them together, but they’ll need more than luck to escape Kakadu alive. Could the letters of a dead man hold the key to their survival?

Inspiration Behind the Story: Juanita Kees


Raising teenagers is hard, no doubt about it. The challenges they face in the modern world can so easily lead them down the wrong path. Temptation surrounds them: drugs, alcohol, nightclubs, parties, driving a car, peer pressure. I dragged mine through those dark times, sometimes kicking and screaming. Luckily, he came out the other side relatively unscathed.

I’ve worked with teenagers and children from all backgrounds, broken homes, alcoholic or drug- addicted parents, first as a volunteer for the Salvation Army and then in the Motor Industry with apprentices. One of their biggest concerns was there was nowhere for teenagers to ‘hang out’ and that was why they got into trouble. They were bored.

It got me thinking. What if there was somewhere they could go? What if there was a magical place, filled with love and a family atmosphere where they could just ‘be’. Where they could find themselves, express themselves, all under the watchful eye of someone on their side, a champion.

My inspiration for Under the Hood came from Australian businessman and politician JJ Simons who founded the Young Australia League and established a holiday camp deep in the shaded Roleystone valley in 1929.

Simons called his camp Araluen, an Eastern States Aboriginal word meaning ‘singing waters,’ or ‘place of lilies’. Using local timber and stone, League members and volunteers built a number of cottages designed by Perth architect WG Bennett. They created a park filled with native and imported plants, shady pathways, stone steps and water terraces that flow all year round. Now owned by the government, Araluen Botanical Park attracts tourists all year round. The Grove of the Unforgotten still remains, as magical as ever, built in memory of Young Australia League members killed in World War I.

How wonderful it would be if young people could return to this peaceful place while they search for themselves through the trials of growing up, a place that would keep them off the streets and out of trouble. JJ Simons provided the perfect place to teach young Australians life skills, gave them stability and taught them respect for the land and their peers. It seemed a fitting background for Under the Hood, the story of an extraordinary woman who has her own goals, commitments that know no boundaries, and a man by her side who shares her dream of saving the world, one teenager at a time.

21769About the book: When Scott Devin buys a struggling car dealership in semi-rural Western Australia, the last person he expects to see in charge is a stilletto-wearing, mini-skirted foreperson. Exactly the distraction a struggling, male-dominated workshop doesn’t need! But there’s more to TJ Stevens than meets the eye.

TJ Stevens has two major goals in life: to preserve her grandfather’s heritage and protect her teenage rehabilitation program — and she’ll go to any lengths to do it. Scott Devin’s presence is a threat to everything she’s worked hard to achieve, so keeping him at arms length shouldn’t be a problem…or will it?


Under the Hood is nominated for a Romance Writers of Australia Romantic Book of the Year (R*BY) award. The sequel, Under Cover of Dark is available now.

Inspiration Behind the Story – Jacquie Underdown


8880You may ask how an idea for a romance novel can spring from gloom? Well, let me tell you.

When you become a mother or father, I believe you enter a special kind of club. A club for people who have learned how deep love can be—where you implicitly, unequivocally love another person so much that you alter your entire existence just to protect and nourish them. You would kill for this other person and know that your soul would endlessly bleed if they were to die. Having children gives one an expanse of empathy unlike any ever experienced before, because you know now what you have to lose.

After I became a mother for the first time, with all my new-found emotion and perspective, I watched a graphic show about Chinese orphanages and Dying Rooms—rooms where babies are placed in cots in dark, empty rooms and left alone for the sole purpose of dying. This show told of so many orphaned babies (mainly girls) who were dumped in underfunded orphanages. Children were not given any physical or emotional nourishment, no love, no hope. Instead, they were placed beside each other, in long wooden seats, a horizontal timber bar to support their back and a timber bar across their lap to lock them in. Lacking any mental stimulation or physical contact, the babies just rocked back and forth in these seats for hours on end, every single day. The children were so used to having no one come to them and offer comfort or motherly affection that they no longer even cried. They just rocked and rocked.

After watching this I sobbed until I could barely breathe. I couldn’t even tell my husband why I was upset because each time I tried, I would cry again. I have never forgotten these images and I never will.

So, as tragic as this reality is, this is where my inspiration for my first novel, The Paler Shade of Autumn, sprouted. Story lines were threaded; compassionate characters, who experience the darkness of life so they can love even harder, were spun. And from this gloom sprang forth a beautiful, happy ever after.


Autumn Leone travels to India to find answers about her unique ability to see into other’s minds. But instead of answers she finds love. It takes one night of passion to fall for Jet Stark, whom fate had sent her half way around the world to meet. But, too soon, Autumn is to fly back to Australia and out of his life.

When Autumn bumps into Jet back in Australia after five long years apart, it’s difficult to dispute fate’s intention in crossing their paths not only once, but twice. Autumn knows it is a risk to fall for an old fling, especially because Jet now happens to be rich, her new boss, and involved with another woman.

But a connection like theirs proves impossible to sever.

Reunited with the only man she has ever truly loved, Autumn thinks their relationship is flawless. But she fails to see that Jet is hiding secrets from his past. Secrets, which threaten to fracture not only their love for one another, and her career, but also her relationship with her family.

Will the truth about her gift and their unbelievable history be revealed in time before Autumn loses all she cares about? And will the truth be enough to mend old wounds?  

Inspiration Behind the Story: Robyn Rychards

She may not need a knight in shining armour to save her, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to look a gift knight in the visor…

20378I love reading romance, whether contemporary or historical, and if I can have it with suspense and intrigue, all the better. My number one fave for years has been the Harlequin Cherish/Romance line and my dream has long been to write for that line. When I read Melissa James’ The Sheikh’s Destiny, Her Knight in Shining Armour flickered to life. It had the suspense/adventure aspect that I longed for and was from my favourite line. Then my basic writing motivator switched on. Since a Harlequin Romance with suspense was hard to come by, I’ll write one. I have always wanted suspense in the Romance line and thanks to Melissa, I knew it was doable.

Enter my first hurdle. Did I have the writing skills for suspense? I have a heck of a time figuring out mysteries when I read them or watch them, how was I going to write one?

The next hurdle followed closely behind: Melissa’s story was set in a part of the world where there’s a lot of strife. Perfect setting for a suspense story. However, I know nothing about such places and was already taking on enough trying my hand at writing more than romance. What situation would have two people on the run from an enemy in the United States?

This led me to hurdle number three. I know nothing about law enforcement or military, so the type of heroes I’m familiar with in the Harlequin Intrigue line wouldn’t work. What scenario puts the heroine on the run and how would she be rescued by a hero who isn’t a professional rescuer? Then I saw Sleeping With the Enemy. Now I had an idea of what might work.

Lots of thinking, lots of rejected ideas, but I kept coming back to a heroine on the run from an abusive husband. However, going with this idea gave me another hurdle. I didn’t want the heroine to still be married. It complicated the relationship with the hero as well, as to how to get her out of the marriage. Once I resolved that in my head—which included changing some of what I had already started writing—I had yet another hurdle. I know nothing about abusive relationships.

BUT that was something I could handle. I know people and I have a library card. I educated myself as best I could and faced the first hurdle again which was now my last hurdle. Could I write suspense?

Having read a lot of suspense, I decided to just go with my gut—I am a pantser after all. The story wouldn’t leave me alone. It had to be written and if I sucked at writing suspense, well, at least I’d know for sure, the story would be out of my head, and I could move on. Now it’s up to you to decide if I can do romantic suspense. If so, I may just take on a Gothic—a la Victoria Holt of course—next.


When Robyn was young she always enjoyed reading, but it wasn’t until her Grandmother gave her her first Harlequin Romance that she fell in love with it. At the age of fourteen Robyn didn’t have the funds to feed her romance addiction, so she started writing them. Writing romance is in Robyn’s blood and she’s happy to be able to share her stories with the world, as well as be part of the Harlequin family. Robyn was raised in Boulder, Colorado, USA and lives in a neighbouring town not far from where Her Man From Shilo takes place. Though four kids have kept her too busy to write for a long time, she is thrilled to be able to dive back into it, now that they are all in school. She hopes you enjoy reading her story as much as she enjoyed writing it!

Inspiration Behind the Story – JM Bray

19576Church, it’s a place where we should receive inspiration, at least if everything is working as it should.

I’m guessing the pastor didn’t intend it to be the kind that popped into my head while I sat in the pew that Sunday morning. The message included the passage where an army surrounds the Israelites. The servant of prophet Elisha goes into panic mode. Then it says this in 2 Kings 6:17:

And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

Right then, whatever the preacher intended, went out the window. I’d heard the passage before, but today it took me somewhere else. Possibilities peeled open like flower petals: The horses and chariots didn’t show up because of the prayer…they were already there, all that changed was the servant’s perspective. What if the army on those horses and chariots were as unaware of our world as the servant was of there’s? Maybe they had their own lives and lived them on the same lands as we have but with each existence shrouded by some sort of barrier.21488

I couldn’t tell you what the message was that Sunday, but I know the one I walked away with changed my life. From those kernels, Tearing the Shroud was born.

J.M. Bray lives in Southern California with his college sweetheart and their two dogs. After a lifetime together, they are happier than the moment they met. In his spare time, he races an old Porsche named ‘Tuffy’.  The sequel to Tearing the Shroud, Mending the Shroud, is available for pre-order now.

Inspiration Behind the Story: Louise Forster

Inspiration for Finding Elizabeth.

8879A friend took us to a ballet performance, and while sitting in the middle somewhere up in dress circle, I wondered how many guys to my left, right and below in the stalls, were enjoying Giselle, or how many would rather be watching footy.

Then I wondered, was I guilty of holding a prejudiced view against men? Not good and not fair. But I kept going: were some here to please a girlfriend? Was there a hot guy watching one of the dancers – let’s say the starring ballerina – and did he want to meet her?

This led to other questions. Was the hot guy visiting from out of state, another country, was he just out of prison, or did he finally surface from a coma to be dazzled by a dancer wearing a red frou-frou thing?

Pretty soon my ideas were spinning out of control. The concert-hall, the people, posters, sights, and sounds inspired me to write about a ballet dancer.

tumblr_lk79669Tya1qgxwpyWhile researching, I discovered the kinds of injuries they would have to deal with. I made life harder on my ballerina and gave her hyperextension, which can be an asset, because their legs can flex more and give the dancer, in some positions, extraordinary beautiful lines. But if a dancer had to deal with hyperextension, would it shorten her career?

To give my romance even more atmosphere, I set my story in Canada during their snowy, freezing Christmas and put the Australian hero there, straight out of a hot Australian summer. Instead of Giselle I chose The Fire Bird where my heroine has to perform a very lively dance.

There’s nothing better than torturing your characters to get the best out of them!

21188Louise’s next book is set much closer to home. Check out Home Truths, available this month!

London-based chef Jennifer Dove loves her exciting, fast-paced life and she has every intention of returning to it ASAP. This trip to Tumble Creek — middle-of-nowhere Australia — is just a blip, a trip out of time, to visit her sister and niece and farewell her beloved Uncle.

But much as she tries not to, Jennifer is sucked in to the small town and the mystery surrounding her uncle. Who is his girlfriend Veronica, and why is she not here? What are the locals hiding? And why can she not get sexy local Calum McGregor out of her mind?

All is not what it seems in this sleepy, small town, and as Jennifer unravels its mysteries, she might just be tying herself to Tumble Creek forever.


Inspiration Behind the Story – Elisabeth Rose

9088Years ago I read an item in the newspaper about a married couple who’d been together for a long time —thirty years or so. Somehow, and I’ve forgotten exactly how, it was discovered they were actually brother and sister.

Can you imagine? They’d innocently met, fallen in love, married, and had children – the way most of us do. What a bombshell that knowledge must have been. How would you deal with the fact the man you loved, your husband, was your brother? Apparently they’d been separately adopted out as babies and grown up quite apart. I can’t remember if they even knew whether they had brothers or sisters somewhere. They certainly didn’t know they’d married a sibling.

I always wonder how their children felt about it. In ancient times, incest wasn’t such a taboo as nowadays and had to do with retaining wealth and property within the family. Most of the European royal families are now closely related to each other as an effect of marrying selected cousins through the ages. I think they drew the line at sibling marriages though.

For us, incest is a big no-no. This painful dilemma intrigued me and made me think there could be hundreds of such couples who never find out, especially after wars or natural disasters rip families apart and destroy records.

My problem was making the lack of early knowledge feasible and, of course, not wanting to write a book about incest, working out how two adult people might come to think they’re related, but fall in love regardless. I needed to avoid the ‘ick factor’ as one editor put it. And then once my couple figure out the truth amongst a morass of well-intentioned lies, they have to set about finding their real parents and what happened all those years ago — thus the ripple effect.

20834Multi-published in romance, author Elisabeth Rose lives in Australia’s capital, Canberra. She completed a performance degree in clarinet, travelled Europe with her musician husband and returned to Canberra to raise two children. In 1987, she began practising tai chi and now teaches tai chi classes. She also plays and teaches clarinet. Reading has been a lifelong love, writing romance a more recent delight. 
Elisabeth branches into Romantic Suspense in May with her new title, Evidence of Love.