Joanie MacNeil is an Australian contemporary romance author of sweet and sexy feel-good stories. She loves to travel and has visited parts of the world she never dreamed she’d see. Learn more about Joanie and her books at her website.
Why did you choose the Sapphire Coast as the setting for your book?
At the beginning of my writing journey, and when the children were young, our family would occasionally escape Canberra’s icy winter chill for a weekend break in a slightly more temperate climate. My son and daughters would go fishing with their dad while I sat nearby in the sand with pen and paper. After dinner, I’d type my notes on my borrowed laptop. These weekends were time out for me as well as family time. Escapism. And isn’t that why we like to read romance novels?
The setting inspired me to write my first novel, Loving Nick…Again, as the area is diverse in scenery, from coast to mountains, lakes, state forest, and lovely little historical villages…something a little bit different from my life in the city. I love the ocean and just couldn’t get enough of that wonderful fresh sea air and relaxed coastal lifestyle away from the daily grind. What better way to write descriptions and setting than when you are actually seeing them for real; hearing the lap of the water while walking along the lake’s edge; listening to possums clambering over the roof of the caravan, or seeing them sitting around the base of a large tree when walking through the van park at night. I can still hear the wind blowing through the tops of the enormous eucalyptus trees.
As a result of those weekends, I set two more novels around that same area, the northern end of the Sapphire Coast…Sapphire Kisses and my latest release, Sweet Temptations.
The settings for my stories are loosely based in and around the locations mentioned and I’ve also changed a couple of place names.
My current work in progress is set along Haywards Beach which begins at Camel Rock Surf Beach and curves three kilometres south to Haywards Point, where my hero lives.
Some interesting snippets about the areas mentioned in my stories.
Positioned along the far south coast of New South Wales, this coastal paradise is known for its clean beaches and clear water. From Canberra, where I live, it’s a three-hour drive over the mountains, or a six to seven-hour drive from either Sydney or Melbourne.
A thriving little town situated on Horseshoe Bay and famous for its deep-sea fishing and fishing competitions. Its name apparently stems from the Aboriginal word ‘Bermaguee’ which means ‘boat with no paddle’.
The caravan park in Bermagui is named after the American author, Zane Grey, not because of his fame as a western novelist, but because he wrote about his big game fishing experiences in Australia.
A quaint township of craft shops, a short drive inland from Bermagui, and situated on the Princes Highway. There’s no sea breeze here so it can be extremely hot in summer. Settlement in Cobargo began around the 1860s.
There are many charming and picturesque little towns and villages spread throughout the Sapphire Coast region. For photos and more information, visit http://www.sapphirecoast.com.au/the-region/towns/
Zachary Cordell returns to the Sapphire Coast of New South Wales to search for his estranged father’s young widow. Zac is certain that Elizabeth Marshall married his father for his money and he wants revenge.
Elizabeth is looking for a quiet lifestyle away from the notoriety the press associated with her name following the death of her husband. All she wants is a quiet, secure home in her old hometown. When her uncle Max recommends Zac as a handyman, she is nervous about hiring a drifter. She soon begins to trust him and finds herself attracted to Zac. Little does she know his relationship to her late husband, his reasons for coming to the coastal area, or the sweet temptations which will follow.