The story of my book: The Goodbye Ride

by Lily Malone

One of the first questions an author is often asked is ‘how do you come up for ideas for your stories?’

I am not one of those authors who has story ideas battling for space in my brain, but I do have a lovely tale to tell when it comes to my contemporary novella The Goodbye Ride, released tomorrow.

The story is set in Hahndorf—a gorgeous little German-settled tourist town in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia. I was living in Hahndorf when I got the idea for the book, but by the time I actually sat down to write it I’d moved to Margaret River in Western Australia. Not being there didn’t matter, because after living there for 12 years Hahndorf will forever hold a special place in my heart.

So, to the story. Hubby and our two boys (they must have been aged about four and two at the time) were driving back on a Saturday afternoon after spending time in Adelaide.

I was minding my own business, probably thinking about what I’d cook for dinner, when my husband hit the brakes in our vehicle and almost gave me (and the kids) whiplash.

He stopped our car opposite a house on the outskirts of Hahndorf town, and his attention was completely captured by a gleaming red motorbike for sale on the property’s front lawn.

I like to think I’m the only girl to catch my husband’s eye … but on this day, he fell in love all over again!

This red motorbike happened to be a Ducati Pantah 650, a carbon copy of the Ducati my husband owned in his misspent youth—a ‘collector’s item’, he assured me as he leapt out of the car (dodging oncoming traffic) and worth every cent of the emblazoned five-figure price tag I could see hanging off it.

This was the seed of the idea for The Goodbye Ride.

I thought to myself: what would happen if there was a girl walking down the Hahndorf main street on a mission to buy that bike … only to find herself pipped at the post by a boy (such as my equally on-a-mission husband)?

From there, I started fleshing out:

  • Why would each of these characters want this particular bike?
  • What would the one who wasn’t the successful buyer do to get the bike back?
  • What were their backgrounds?
  • Why were they both in Hahndorf on this particular day?
  • How could I throw these two together?
  • How could I tear them apart?

And I ended up with a novella exploring the hopes and fears of Olivia and Owen, their dreams, and their journey to a Happy Ever After (or at least a Happy For Now).

The Goodbye Ride was originally self-published in May 2013 and is now being re-released by Escape Publishing.


A fresh, funny and poignant romance set in the beautiful Adelaide Hills.

ARRA nominees: Lily Malone

Hell and Tommy! 

That’s what Remy would have said when she discovered So Far Into You was a 2015 ARRA finalist for Favourite Contemporary Romance. Remy says ‘Hell and Tommy!’ when something takes her by surprise, or if something good or bad happens (you know, like if you whack your thumb with a hammer). It’s much nicer than saying ‘holy sh*t’!

And Remy is nice.

Everyone says that.

Except Seth.

Don’t get me wrong, he thought she was nice when he met her, saving her from a spring storm at the Margaret River Wine Festival a few years back. He thought he’d found Snow White and Sleeping Beauty all rolled into one.

Then Seth heard Remy talking on the phone one afternoon (yes, okay, he eavesdropped because Seth is not nice) and what he overheard changed his mind about Remy and fairy tales. Changed it completely!

So begins So Far Into You. It’s a reunion/second chance romance that begins in the vineyards of Margaret River in southwest Western Australia, and moves to the vineyards of the Adelaide Hills in South Australia.

It involves Seth and Remy and two crazy American Staffordshire Terriers called Occhilupo and Breeze.

Jars & Breeze

These two are inspired by the two dogs I used to own. I always knew they’d squish their way into one of my books one day!

Thank you to the readers who have read and enjoyed So Far Into You and who voted it into the finals of the ARRA Awards. I was so surprised, so excited to get the email from ARRA, I bet you can guess what I said!

Yep. ‘HOLY SH*T!!!’

Because I am not nice either 😉


An Australian rural romance about a millionaire wine tycoon, the woman he betrayed and the second chance neither was looking for


A Second Chance at Love, part 2: My real-life romance trope

This is the second ‘A Second Chance at Love’ post in our series about tropes in romance literature

by Lily Malone

We always remember our first love.

He is usually the one we could never have; or the one who got away after we’d had him a few times. Or he might have been the one we threw away because we really knew better… but he’s still memorable and every now and then we cast our mind back and think about that bloke and wonder what he’s doing now…

In the real world, there were usually very good and practical reasons for breaking up with your first love. He wasn’t right for you. You weren’t right for him. The time wasn’t right. You caught him shagging his lady golf student in a sand bunker…


In the romance world the reasons are never quite so black and white. Often there’s a nasty third party who splits the couple apart with some well-placed lies; or the hero gets an attack of guilt at being about to steal his best friend’s sister’s virginity… and so he leaves and becomes a tycoon with an armada of yachts in the Mediterranean instead. One thing is for sure, neither ever forgets the other, or what might have been.

I love a good reunion (sometimes called second chance) romance. The previous history of a couple always creates a great tension and chemistry. You devour pages and pages just waiting for the characters to rip their clothes off and shag till they’re silly… but usually whatever it was that drove them apart years ago rears its ugly head yet again and must be resolved once and for all.

sofarAs with all tropes, there are sub-categories. In my new book, So Far Into You, I use this one to set up the second chance: Seth is with Remy, they split because of his truly awful mother and a jealous co-worker, and five years later, Seth and Remy meet again.

Insta-sparks fly…

In Fairway To Heaven, I use this one: Brayden is friends with Jenn, but not lovers, because he is about to start a new job in the mining industry and doesn’t want her stuck in the life of a fly-in, fly-out partner. But the chemistry was always there—there was a previous tequila-flavoured kiss—and roughly seven years later Brayden and Jenn meet again, and their second chance is nigh.

Insta-sparks fly…

Second chance/reunion romances make a perfect trope for authors like me who write small town/rural stories.

I was born and raised in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it kind of town in the south-west corner of Western Australia. I got married and moved away from my birthplace for 12 years, before returning to my ‘roots’ in 2013.

And there were a few of those roots still in the area… so to speak.

For three years, I’ve managed to avoid running into blokes that knew me back then. Then just last month, my reunion cup overflowed.

In the checkout at Coles, I glanced over my shoulder, whereupon I spied a tall, dark (okay, a little on the grey side now) stranger. My brow furrowed… his brow furrowed… and there was this ping of recognition. My ping went along the lines of: “Oh no!”

From five metres and two checkouts apart, we were taken back more than 15 years in a whirlwind of slow-motion movie scenes… until my movie ended on the scene where he shagged his lady golf student in a sand bunker …

Meanwhile, I fumbled my Coles Fly Buy card and my credit card. I dropped my cauliflower. I got my PIN wrong and the machine beeped rudely at me.

I was through the checkout first and I had to decide. Do I wait, or do I walk?

I waited.

We had a very sweet little chat outside the Coles where he enquired about my mum’s health; told me he was married now; told me he had fur babies but no children; and told me there were lots of snakes on his sheep and cattle farm… (I didn’t ask if he’d been playing any golf).

We bid each other a very civil farewell (aren’t you proud of me?) and he went home to his wife and his snakes, and I went home to my hubby and my kids and whatever I intended to cook for dinner.

And do give my regards to your wife...

And do give my regards to your wife…


I was in the middle of my normal mad dash about the house getting my two boys ready for school, which always involves many shouts of “Get dressed”, “Have you cleaned your teeth?”, “Get your shoes on,” “Where’s your f&%king drink bottle?” while wrangling two school bags and two kids into the car.

There was a tradesman assessing some tradesman-style thing with my neighbour. I didn’t recognise him, but it DID occur to me that the bloke was staring at me funny. It made me wonder if I’d actually sworn about the drink bottles out loud, instead of just in my head…

Reversing out the driveway, changing gear up the street—and this tradie from next door is still staring at me! Then he smiled… my brow furrowed… and I got this ping of recognition that went along the lines of: “Oh no! Not again!”

I drove the kids to school with my heart beating faster than normal and a flush in my cheeks, not only because I am always last mum rushing through the school gates but because even though he’s lost most of his hair now, that tradie really was rather cute when he was 19…

So next time someone says: “That would only happen in the pages of a romance novel”, ask the name of the book so you can put it on your Reunion/Second Chance reading list. Then whack that person with a golf club for being narrow-bloody-minded.


fairwayIt’s going to take more than summer loving to heal old wounds, but a remote beach, old friendships and a bit of sunshine might just spark a second chance at love.

December Recipes – Wine

by Lily Malone

Lily’s bringing the Christmas spirits (and wine)

When it comes to Christmas, the first thing I say is: “I’ll bring the wine!” The family is happy with that (they’ve had enough of my turkey disasters.) It helps that my extended family Christmas feasts in recent years have been in both the Barossa Valley and Adelaide Hills in South Australia, and in Margaret River (WA), three of the great wine regions of our wide brown land. I have a lot of great wine to choose from!

So if you were to invite me for Christmas, this is what I would bring:

Seppelts Sparkling Shiraz: Yes! Red bubbles! Sparkling Shiraz on Christmas morning is such a wonderful treat. Red sparkling wine is big in South Australia. I discovered it there and it’s a Christmas Day tradition I’ve brought home to Margaret River.

The Seppelts is a favourite but I also like Shingleback ‘Black Bubbles’ and if my royalty cheque had just come in (or I’d won Lotto) I’d bring a bottle of Rockford Sparkling Black Shiraz.

So with the red bubbles merrily popping in our system, it’s on to the lovely crisp whites with lunch. Turkey, ham and pork all cry out for white wine, plus the Aussie Christmas is usually so hot that red wine at lunch would put everyone to sleep. What’s that? You’re asleep already? Wake up, Nanna, I’m talking about wine!

This year I’ll be bringing Fermoy Estate wines to the Christmas table. Fermoy is an up and coming winery in Margaret River (and my hubby works there). I love their Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc (SSB for those in the know), and their Chardonnay is yummy too. All their whites are good.

Every year I also pull out another Rockford classic. It is my favourite rose wine and is lovely with ham and pork. It’s called Rockford Alicante Bouschet. Pronounced Ali can’t booshay. (Try saying that after a few glasses. It’s impossible to say booshay without dancing).

After dessert and a little bit of ‘feet up and relaxing while everyone else does the dishes (because I’ve worked so hard bring and pour the wine)’ a nice sparkling white might be called for. Yarra Burn Vintage Pinot Noir Chardonnay Pinot Meunier could be just the ticket to finish Christmas with a bang, not a ‘Lordy I’m so full,’ whimper.



A new Australian rural romance about a millionaire wine tycoon, the woman he betrayed and the second chance neither was looking for

Feed Your Reader – Late October Releases


From Lily Malone: a new Australian rural romance about a millionaire wine tycoon, the woman he betrayed and the second chance neither was looking for


From award-winning author Kendall Talbot comes a new romantic adventure to dive into…


In the acclaimed, best-selling The Apollo Academy, Aurora fought for her life and her chance at love. Now she’s ready to conquer the final frontier… space.


reblogged from Write Note Reviews

Romance writers Jennie Jones, Lily Malone and Juanita Kees treated an appreciative audience of more than 50 to laughs, cheekiness and a tad of sauciness at Stories on Stage: Date Night last night.

Part of the Stories on Stage series held at Koorliny Arts Centre in Perth’s southern suburbs, Date Night celebrated the romance genre, with the writers put under the spotlight during a panel interview … with me! The stage was set for the date with atmospheric lighting, a candle and a bottle of champagne, and quiet jazz music in the background. And then, once the audience was settled, the “getting to know you” bit began.

It’s fair to say, there were a few nerves at this point. For me, this was a new experience – interviewing three writers in front of a crowd. Jennie’s no stranger to the stage with her theatre background, but Lily and Juanita had to take a few deep breaths and employ whatever tactic worked for them to speak in public. Since the audience was mostly female, I don’t think they imagined everyone in their underwear, but they might have pretended the room was full of firefighters.


Whatever they did, it worked. Lily, Juanita and Jennie had the audience captivated from the start, leading to laughs, red-faces and possibly even a few face-fans when things got a bit steamy. The panel interview was split into three sections: “Defining the romance genre”, “The art of writing romance” and “Just for fun”, with a reading in between each section. The authors talked about “bodice-rippers”, “escapism” and their inspirations; they shared how they felt when people made derogatory comments and assumptions about the romance genre. The audience heard about the importance of balancing conflict and romance, how the characters determine when and where a first kiss or love scene will take place, and the key elements of romance stories. And just for fun, Lily, Juanita and Jennie revealed their preferences for butts or biceps, strange things they have Googled as part of their research, what their husbands thought of their love scenes, and whether they’d choose Edward Cullen (Twilight), Mr Darcy (Pride and Prejudice), Jamie Fraser (Outlander) or Christian Grey (50 Shades of Grey). The last question prompted a witty response from one of the older audience members:

“You didn’t say if it was for romance or love. If it was for romance and so on (*naughty giggle here*), I’d say ALL of them! If it was love, none of them.”

In between each group of questions, Lily, Juanita and Jennie read excerpts from their novels – well, Lily read Jennie’s, Juanita read Lily’s and Jennie read Juanita’s. Cue red faces and embarrassed giggles as the authors heard their excerpts read aloud … especially when hands went under shirts, mouths opened, hips met, and “I want you” was breathed.


Audience members came up with some good questions after the panel concluded, but most saved their questions for the onstage meet and greet, which included book sales, signings, freebies and photos. Here’s one from romance reader Trudie: 11148705_921174041236686_4581916584704236186_n The evening concluded with a tasty home-made supper of Melting Moments (because romance is full of those); brownies (because they are soft and gooey … like the first stages of love); my special Choc Chunk Slice aka Choc Hunk Slice (because it’s yum); orange, date and walnut cake, and egg sandwiches.

I’d like to thank Juanita, Lily and Jennie for their time and effort in making Date Night such a fun evening. Romance readers, if you haven’t checked out their books, you must! They are all fantastic at what they do. Thanks also go to Escape Publishing and Harlequin Books Australia for providing 10 books, discount vouchers and USBs pre-loaded with the authors’ books to give away, and to Alex at Koorliny Arts Centre for his fab tech support (he’s been promised a role in all three authors’ books, as long as he understands that his shirt will come off). And finally, thanks to Jim at Rockingham Books for helping with book sales and supporting Stories on Stage. You’re a star.

For more information about Lily Malone, click here. Read my reviews of her books here and here.

For more information about Juanita Kees, click here. Read my interview with her here.

For more information about Jennie Jones, click here. Read my review of her latest book here.

April Showers New Reads!

Available today!

23722Eva Scott debuts a new rural romance: in the battle of duty versus desire, only one can survive the hot Australian sunshine.

23726New in the fresh, sexy world of The Seek: he can’t trust anyone, so why should he trust his heart?

23729It’s going to take more than summer loving to heal old wounds, but a remote beach, old friendships and a bit of sunshine might just spark a second chance at love.

23730Coastal romance short read at its best: She went to Sydney to hide, instead she was found by love.

Q&A with Lily Malone – in which she only answers one question

Q: So, Lily, why did you write a romance with a heroine who has a dodgy vagina?

  • Because I enjoy flushing pink as my beanie whenever I’m asked this question, that’s why!
  • Because I always wanted my mother (who has read Fairway To Heaven) to study me over her glasses and say: “is everything really alright with you, Love? You know… down below?”
  • Oh heck, because I like an author research challenge as much as the next writer!
  • Because I wanted to write a heroine with a sexual physical disability, and make this as natural in a romantic context as I could.
  • Because I wanted to raise awareness about Lichen Sclerosus as a women’s health issue, AND because auto-immune diseases/illness of all kinds SUCK!
  • Because one of the romance books I best remember reading about 20 years ago featured a heroine with huge breasts, (and not in a good way). I cannot remember the title of the book but the heroine played violin or bass brilliantly and was only comfortable when playing the instrument (because it hid her breasts). The story was as much about the romance between the H&H as it was about the heroine’s personal journey toward eventual breast-reduction surgery and a happier, healthier life. This resonated with me and still does! Too many perfect heroines, or heroines given token issues as character ‘flaws’.
  • Because a friend in my mother’s group dared me to do it.
  • Because it felt like a good idea at the time.
  • Because I was interested in pushing the boundaries of ‘realistic’ contemporary romance, to see how readers responded and to see where this would go.
  • Because I really want to write a heroine or hero (or both) who have genital herpes. DO YOU THINK THE ROMANCE WORLD IS READY FOR THIS??

Long live Jennifer Gates’ and her dodgy fanny. Loud and Proud!

23729It’s going to take more than summer loving to heal old wounds, but a remote beach, old friendships and a bit of sunshine might just spark a second chance at love.

When Jennifer Gates drives to Sea Breeze Golf Club to kick off date-night with her boyfriend, the last thing she expects is to find Golf Pro Jack giving one of his lady students a private—and very personal—lesson in bunker-play.

Lucky for Jenn, her best friend gives her the keys to the Culhane family’s beach shack on the white-pepper shores of Western Australia’s Geographe Bay. Jenn hopes a weekend on the coast with her young son will give her the space she needs to rebuild her confidence after Jack’s betrayal.

But she’s not the only person seeking sanctuary by the sea. Brayden Culhane is there too, and Jenn can’t look at Brayden without remembering the tequila-flavoured kiss they shared on the shack steps years ago.

As long-buried feelings are rekindled, and a friendship is renewed, Jenn knows it is more than lazy summer days bringing her mojo back. Romantic sunsets, ice-cold beers and the odd round of golf can only go so far, because this time trusting Brayden with her heart won’t be enough. Jenn has to learn to trust her body, too.