Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Excerpt – Rescuing the Paramedic’s Heart, Emily Forbes

Welcome to Bondi!

As the world slowly comes out of the dreadful fog that was 2020 there is the hope that, with vaccinations, we will be able to go about our lives more normally very soon. In Australia we have been relatively lucky and domestic travel is opening up even while our international borders stay closed. As the northern hemisphere sees summer approaching a literary trip to Bondi Beach in Sydney might be something to enjoy.

My latest book is the first in my four-book Bondi Medics series about the Carlson siblings – Lily, Jet, Poppy and Daisy.  This is Poppy’s story.

Excerpt –

CHAPTER ONE

‘Easy? Keep an eye on Backpacker’s Express, I reckon we might have trouble.’

Jet Carlson’s voice came through the radio, catching Ryder’s attention as he stood beside the lifeguard buggy. Jet was up in the circular lifeguard tower that overlooked Bondi Beach, keeping watch over the one-kilometre curve of white sand, issuing updates to the lifeguards on patrol. Ryder reached into the buggy and picked up his binoculars and scanned the beach, looking towards the troublesome rip to the south. He picked out a dark-haired man swimming alone where the first waves were breaking as the Pacific Ocean rolled into the shore.

He picked up the walkie talkie, certain he was looking at the same man Jet had spotted. ‘Copy that, Central, I see him,’ he responded.

He stood by the buggy as he kept his eyes on the swimmer. The water to the man’s left was deceptively calm between two sets of rolling waves. Ryder knew the tide was turning and the calm water indicated a passage of water flowing out to sea. If the man got any closer, he’d be pulled out to sea with the tide.

It was the danger period, after lunch on a hot Sunday. It wasn’t peak season yet; it was only the middle of spring and school hadn’t finished for the year but the beach was still busy. Holiday makers, shift workers and backpackers all flocked to Bondi at any time of the year. The tide was going out and the notorious rip was going to cause grief. Most likely to an unsuspecting tourist. No matter how hard the lifeguards tried it was impossible to get all the beachgoers to swim between the flags. Ryder knew it was sometimes because they didn’t understand English or the dangers or where to swim, at other times they just chose to ignore the lifeguards and the risks, thinking their swimming ability was better than it was or that the warnings were some kind of joke or scaremongering tactics and the treacherous conditions wouldn’t affect them. It didn’t help matters that the main access point to the beach was closest to the dangerous southern end. But no matter what the reason was for swimmers ending up in the wrong place, the lifeguards’ job was to look after them all. The drunk, the ignorant, the stubborn, the unlucky.

Life was precious and Ryder felt a strong sense of responsibility and, at the end of the day, a strong sense of satisfaction in a job well done whether that had been saving a life or just preventing a disaster. Not every day brought an emergency although there was always some excitement but a quiet day on the beach was preferable to one filled with drama. Either way he enjoyed the work. It was interesting and varied and he met people from all over the world and from all walks of life and he reckoned that would hold him in good stead for his future career as a psychologist. If he could cope with the Bondi beachgoers, he could cope with anything.

He hadn’t worked at Bondi for long. It had only been a couple of months since he’d been offered a position and had become one of several lifeguards employed by the local council to patrol the popular beach three hundred and sixty-five days of the year. It was a highly coveted job and usually went to qualified Sydneysiders who had grown up surfing the waves at the local beaches and had years of experience of the conditions. He’d had years of experience as a surfer and as a lifeguard at Cottesloe Beach in Western Australia but that was on the opposite side of the country, on the shores of the Indian Ocean. But the Pacific Ocean was familiar to him – he’d spent his childhood surfing the breaks at Byron Bay on the coast north of Bondi. The ocean on Australia’s east coast had been home to him until one fateful day, just before his eighteenth birthday, when he’d been uprooted from everything that was special to him and moved thousands of kilometres away to the other side of the continent.  

Eventually he’d settled in his new home and when he’d arrived in Bondi, part way through his transcontinental road trip, he hadn’t planned on staying but he’d been offered a temporary position and it had been too good to refuse.

He was happy with temporary, he knew he couldn’t stay forever, he was needed back west, but for the moment this was good. Casual work would allow him to extend his break and make sure he was refreshed and energised when he went home.

It was a perfect situation, he thought as he had a quick glance along the beach, trying to figure out if there was anyone else keeping an eye on the man he had under watch. Was anyone else aware of his position? In situations like this it could be helpful to speak to someone who knew the swimmer. It could help determine how competent they were in the water. But he didn’t really need confirmation, he’d bet his next pay check on the fact that this guy wasn’t a strong swimmer. He could see him pushing off the bottom, not wanting to get out of his depth, but the outgoing tide was already taking him further from the beach and the minute he got washed off the sandbar he’d be in deep water.

As Ryder watched a wave broke over the man’s head, submerging him. That second or two when he went under was long enough to make him lose his footing. As he surfaced, he was swept into the channel and away from the beach.

He was in trouble.

‘Easy?’ Jet’s voice came through the radio, using Ryder’s nick name.

‘I’m on it.’ Ryder leapt out of the buggy, whipped off his distinctive blue lifeguard shirt, grabbed the rescue board from the rack on the side of the all-terrain vehicle and sprinted into the surf. He threw his board in front of him and dived onto it. He paddled strongly out past the small waves that were crashing onto the shore, past the swimmers who were oblivious to the drama unfolding a few metres off the beach, past the break.

He scanned the sea as pulled his board through the water and caught a brief glimpse of the man’s head as it appeared behind a wave before he lost sight of him again. He dug deep, paddling harder, knowing time was of the essence. His shoulder muscles bunched and already he could feel the burn but he was used to that. He was breathing deeply, his lungs straining and he could feel his heart racing but he wouldn’t stop. He was getting close now.

He crested a small wave just in time to see the man go under again.

Two more strokes.

He reached over the side of the board, plunging his arm into the water up to his elbow. He scooped his arm through the water but came up empty. He could see the man’s dark hair. He leaned over further, plunging his whole arm into the ocean, the sea reaching to his armpit, and this time his fingers grabbed hold of the man’s head. He pulled him to the surface by a fistful of hair. He knew it would hurt but having your hair pulled was a small price to pay in exchange for your life.

He dragged the man from the water, holding him by one arm. He wasn’t breathing. Ryder needed to get him securely onto the rescue board and back to shore. The man was of slight build and probably weighed no more than seventy kilograms. Ryder was six foot three inches tall, fit and strong, a muscular ninety kilograms with no excess weight but even so, he strained with the effort of pulling a dead weight out of the water. He grabbed his patient under his armpits and hauled him up, draping him across the board. He pulled his legs out of the ocean and waited to see if he would start breathing on his own.

The man coughed twice, expelling sea water, and began breathing. Now Ryder just had to get him back to the beach.

He got the man balanced, getting him to lie on his stomach in front of him. It was a long paddle back to shore and he didn’t want the board tipping. He didn’t want to lose his patient and have to go through the process of getting him out of the water a second time.

*

Poppy changed into her swimming costume, shorts and a t-shirt as Lily left for work. She’d go to the beach for a quick swim she decided, say hi to her brother and then come back and make a start on dinner.

 She checked her phone for what felt like the hundredth time as she slid her feet into her flip flops. Still nothing. She tossed it back on the bed. She wouldn’t take it to the beach, she wasn’t planning to be gone for long, if Craig called while she was out she’d call him back later.

She left her car parked on the road in front of the house and walked down Edward Street towards the beach. After consecutive six-hour days in the car driving from Brisbane to Sydney she needed to stretch her legs and the fifteen-minute walk to Campbell Parade would help to clear the cobwebs.

She turned onto the pedestrian path and walked along the Promenade past the skate park and the mural wall towards the Lifeguard Tower.

She stopped before she reached the tower and lent on the railing and looked out over the beach. The sun was behind her and the sea shone in the afternoon light. The sand was crisp and white and, despite the fact that it was not yet the summer holidays the beach was busy. She took a deep breath, filling her lungs with the sea air and stood for a moment enjoying the feeling of warm sun on her skin as she watched the water.

The waves were small but she could spot the rips, the deceptive smooth waters between breaking waves. She had years of experience as a surfer, growing up in Byron Bay she and her siblings had learned to surf almost before they could walk, but she could see why the tourists and the locals who weren’t familiar with the ocean could be fooled into thinking the rips were safe spots to swim.

She turned to the south to see if she could pick out Lily’s house perched on the cliff before she spun on her heels and headed for the circular lifeguard tower. She knocked on the blue door and waited, if Jet wasn’t in there someone would be able to tell her where he was.

‘Poppy! You’re here.’ Jet grinned as he swung the door open. His welcoming smile was wide, his perfect teeth white and even in his tanned face. His blonde hair was pulled back into a messy man bun but that was all Poppy had time to absorb before he stepped out of the tower and wrapped her up in a tight hug. He stood well over six feet tall, and even with his slim but muscular athlete’s build he managed to make her feel small. She was five feet seven inches, not short for a girl, but Jet made her feel petite.

He released her and dragged her into the tower where he introduced her to the other lifeguards.

‘Guys, this is my little sister, Poppy. Poppy met the guys – Gibbo, Bluey and Dutchy.’

Poppy smiled at Jet’s use of the guys’ nicknames.

‘Are you going to hang around here for a while?’ he asked as Poppy finished saying hello.

 ‘No, I just wanted to say hi. I’m going to have a swim and then head home. I hear you’re coming for dinner.’

Jet nodded and looked as if he was about to say something else when the radio on the desk crackled into life.

‘Central, this is Easy, we’ve got a problem down here, south of the flags.’

He held up one hand in Poppy’s direction, asking her to wait as he grabbed the radio. ‘Go ahead, Ryder.’

‘The tourist I pulled from Backpacker’s, he’s not looking great. I’m bringing him back to the tower for an assessment.’

Poppy’s ears pricked up as she listened to the exchange. Ryder was an unusual name. She’d only ever known one and he had been Jet’s best friend when they were at high school. He’d also been her first crush. But the Ryder she knew had moved away when he was seventeen, breaking her young, impressionable heart in the process – although she’d kept that to herself – and she hadn’t seen him since.

It couldn’t be him though, could it? Surely Jet would have said something.

‘Ryder?’ she said as Jet put the radio down.

‘Yeah, Ryder Evans, you remember him?’

Of course, she remembered him.

She could feel herself colouring as she thought about the last time she’d seen him. She hoped Jet didn’t notice the blush she could feel creeping up her neck.

She nodded. ‘You never told me he was in Sydney.’

‘Didn’t I?’ Jet shrugged. ‘Probably figured you wouldn’t care, you haven’t seen him for the best part of twelve years,’ he said over his shoulder as he went to open the door to the tower.

He had a point. He wouldn’t think it was important. It wasn’t important really, although that didn’t stop a frisson of nervousness from shooting through her at the thought of seeing him again. She hadn’t thought about him for years, had finally let the idea of him go, yet at the mere mention of his name all the old feelings rose to the surface along with all the memories of how much he’d meant to her teenage self. She could instantly recall all her teenage fantasies and the memories made her blush.

The lifeguard buggy pulled to a stop at the bottom of the metal stairs that led from the sand to the tower and Poppy’s jaw dropped as a lifeguard jumped out. Tall and muscular, tanned and fit.

Was that Ryder?

She managed to close her mouth as she watched him help his patient out of the buggy and up the stairs.

She hung back, out of the way, as Ryder got the man into the tower and onto the treatment plinth. Jet went to assist, instructing Bluey to keep an eye on the beach. Poppy stayed near the desk by the windows, the lifeguards had a job to do and she didn’t want to be a nuisance but staying out of the way also gave her a chance to check Ryder out unobserved. She knew he hadn’t noticed her; he was too focussed on his patient.

The last time she’d seen him there had been a hint of the man he would become, of the man waiting to emerge, but he’d still been a gangly teenager.  He’d been tall but he’d yet to have a fast growth spurt or develop the muscle definition that would come with young adulthood. But all traces of adolescence had disappeared now. Now there was no hiding the man.  And no ignoring the feeling of warmth that was spreading through her belly and into her groin. Poppy leant on the desk, taking the weight off her suddenly shaky legs.

Fortunately Ryder had his back to her and wouldn’t be aware of her reaction but she was very aware of him.

He’d grown even taller and he’d definitely filled out. He’d developed muscles where he hadn’t had them before. He wore only a pair of black boardshorts with “Lifeguard” emblazoned across his hips and she had plenty of opportunity to admire the view of sculpted muscles and smooth tanned skin. His shoulders were broad, his biceps bulging, his waist narrow. He looked fit. He looked healthy.  He looked magnificent.

She ran her gaze up the length of his spine and up his neck. She could see where the knobs of his vertebrae disappeared into his hair. He’d always had amazing hair, dark blond and thick, and at almost twenty-nine years of age it seemed he’d lost none of it.

Her gaze traced the line of his jaw. It was strong and square.  He looked good, even better than she remembered, and she felt another rush of blood to her cheeks as her heart skittered in her chest.

Her hands gripped the edge of the desk as she observed him, keeping her fixed in place and she wondered at the involuntary response. Was she stopping herself from crossing the room? While her rational mind might tell her that Ryder’s unexpected appearance was of no consequence it seemed her body had other ideas. Her palms were clammy and her mouth was dry and she suddenly felt like the sixteen-year-old schoolgirl she’d been when she’d last seen him.

When she had kissed him.

And he had kissed her back.

She knew from talking to her girlfriends that first kisses often weren’t anywhere near as fabulous as they’d dreamed about but the kiss she and Ryder had shared had been everything she’d hoped for and more. It had been the biggest moment of her young life. It had changed her life. 

She’d fallen in love.

First love.

She had only been a teenager but that didn’t make it any less real, any less all encompassing, any less all consuming.

And it hadn’t made it any less painful when he’d walked out of her life.

***

Australia

In Australia this book has been released as a print duo with Meredith Webber’s 103rd (and final) book – amazing!!


UK

USA –

https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781488074899_rescuing-the-paramedics-heart.html

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

From Australia With Love.

It’s summer down here and although I am thankful for the sunshine, our winter, along with a tough lockdown, is still a very strong memory. I live in the cold bit of Australia so I know all about how that virus loves the cold. My heart goes out to all our northern hemisphere friends who are doing it hard ATM along with the added difficulties of snow and sub zero temperatures. So I thought you all might like a hug in the way of a FREE book.

My novel, Birthright, about a family behaving badly over money, is FREE* for a very short time in the USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany and India.

So what’s it about?

Where there’s a will, there’s a relative,” said Roger Karshner. Very true! Birthright is my novel about a family who, among other things, are behaving badly over money. Three very different adult siblings, all with children of their own, have an aging mother and  after years of living away the eldest son and youngest daughter return to small town Mingunyah. 

Sarah is the eldest by nine months, but has always been overshadowed by her brother, Cameron, who is their mother, Margaret’s, favorite. Ellie was a difficult teenager and no one can see the adult she has become. Cameron believes his father’s early death denied him the family business and feels owed. Everyone has their own set of relationship issues of their own and then there is Margaret – a matricarch in the true sense of the word.When Margaret’s health deteriorates will long-held secrets and childhood rivalries smash this family into pieces?

Download Birthright for Free*

Amazon
Apple Books
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Birthright is availabe for free download in the USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany and India until midnight January 27th USA PST. I hope it brings you some reading pleasure and a few hours respite from lockdown.
Fiona xx
Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Hot Docs!, Readers Blogs

Reading Romance can be Educational by guest blogger, Laurie Bodshaug.

Please welcome to the blog, Laurie Bodshaug, a delightful Amercian, and an avid reader of Harlequin Mills & Boon medical romances. Over to you, Laurie!

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I have been a voracious reader all my life. I read the Nancy Drew books, and became fast friends with the librarian at our Children’s library. Miss Lucy knew everything about books, and she sparked my interest in medicine because she had a disfiguring illness. I’m sure she wondered why a 10-year-old, who loved to visit the library, would want to spend hours talking to her about her disease and treatment. She pointed me to the Cherry Ames nursing books, and then to worlds of Penny and Pam, and Sue Barton, all nursing students who I followed through their studies and adventures when they graduated. After a brief flirtation with becoming an art education teacher, I changed my major to nursing, and I have been an RN for 39 years this week.

At 18, I discovered romance novels when I was babysitting; those very early and not so spicy stories had me hooked. Then came the bodice rippers, which I had to cover and keep on a high shelf to keep my young sons from being scandalized. In the early 2000’s, I came across a box of Harlequins at a yard sale and became hooked again.  About 3 years ago, I found a set of Medical Romances, and I was home! Books that combined my nursing background, love for travel and romance. What could be better? The community hospitals I worked at never had real life romances like those.

There was one thing I didn’t expect to gain from reading romance: it was a learning experience.  As I read, I kept a little notebook and pencil by my side and it became 1453769361153filled with things I wanted to learn more about. I looked up words, recipes, travel articles and medical textbooks from other countries to get a better feel for the stories and the things in them. The British/Australian spellings and alternate words have earned me hundreds of extra Scrabble points. (Thank you to the writers who gave me wadis, sirocco, kumaras and many other words). I have made lamingtons, bought Tim-Tams and attempted a Pavlova.

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I especially enjoy the books set in the UK, (because I have actually been there) New Zealand and Australia. The Sydney Harbor Hospital series reeled me in). If I HAVE to suffer through Italy or Greece, or any of the other countries written about, I will do so gladly. My travel bucket list has many new places, an Australian cruise/tour is at the top of it.

The biggest thing I’ve learned from all those medical romances is that love is what we all need and that you can find your happily ever after in the most unexpected place or situation. Sometimes, love finds you quite literally, by accident.  While things may not always be perfect, these heroes and heroines always look for a silver lining while helping each other and their patients, and it’s so nice these days to read about something that ends happily! lgcover.9781488022074

The first of the month will be here soon, and I will open my Kindle to 6 more medical
romances
and hours of reading enjoyment. Until then, I will have to daydream about being mildly injured in a desert wadi in Western Australia, being rescued by a gorgeous, blue-eyed Italian doctor bearing a green whistle and the key to my heart, who actually is my boss at my new job.  🙂

What do you enjoy most about reading medical romances?

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Summertime and the Living is Hot!

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The heat has hit and the energy levels have plummeted. Combine that with being the one person in the household who is working…make that supposed to be working…while everyone else is on holidays, well, I’m lacking in commitment.

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I’ve had a sensational two months. I spent that last 8 days of November and the first 14 days of December in the USA. Ten days in New York City, Baby! And 12 days in New Mexico and Texas; the urban jungle and then the wilderness. All of it was fabulous. In NYC, Boy Wonder, the son who loves a musical, saw 7 shows, Billy Joel in concert and jazz at the Lincoln Centre. Not bad! I saw half of that…

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We got home a week before Christmas, a time filled with shopping and baking followed by family celebrations, New Year, and houseguests. I did print out the 183 pages of the novel am writing and read it to remind me of the story. I don’t think my mind was ready to cope with an analytical read and I just wanted to change every word. I set it aside and rationalised that a new website was necessary before the cover reveal for my next book.

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The website is live! (Please take a peek, cos Boy Wonder did an amazing job with some help from an IT coder) The cover for Daughter of Mine* is revealed! Can I settle to work? NO!

Boy Wonder is waiting for university offers, which is VERY distracting and I am supposed to be going to the beach to camp for a couple of weeks. I am going to have to take my battery operated word processor and try and write some words each day. That is fine in theory but mostly I am missing the desire to work. I can’t seem to find it anywhere!  It happens every January. The heat zaps my energy. Half the country is on holidays and I willingly and easily distracted.

Anyone got any tips on how I can find my mojo cos I tell you, the deadline for the book isn’t scaring me enough yet and it really should be!

(Shh, but Daughter of Mine isn’t a medical romance per se BUT one of the protagonists is a female surgeon. It’s a 500 page novel about family, tangled secrets and lies. It’s being released on March 1st in Australia and NZ and can be preordered now.)

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Travels Around the World

Location, Location, Location

I was thinking a lot about book settings while I was on holiday in the gorgeous jewel that is Sri Lanka earlier this month. Specifically, I started wondering why – with all the brilliant, exotic, exciting places I’ve visited over the years – I have set just about every one of my books in Australia. And not just Australia, but urban Australia. And not just urban Australia, but Sydney!

Fling cover medI’ve stepped out of the country just once – for my Harlequin medical, From Fling To Forever, which globetrotted its way from Cambodia to London. (Although, come to think of it, even that one started with a wedding in Sydney!)

As a reader, I’ve been known to obsess over a locale or two. It’s no accident that every time I revisit a Poldark novel, I find myself heading for Cornwall shortly afterwards. I’m also a sucker for anything set in ancient Egypt. And don’t get me started on the Brontes and the Yorkshire Moors.

Poldark med
Cornwall, here I come…

 

But as a writer, something different happens once the words are flowing. The setting recedes, and all I can think about is what’s happening between the hero and the heroine. And I can always see them, so clearly, living in their Sydney terrace houses or harbour-view apartments, walking the same streets that I do, sipping coffee at my local cafés and cocktails at my favourite bars, shopping where I shop.

Now, I’m crazy about Sydney and there’s nothing I like better than sharing my wonderful city with readers – but I’m going on the record right here to say I’m going to mix it up a little here and there in the future, because I’ve had escapades worthy of some fictional attention all over the world – from Chengdu to Port Moresby to Mumbai to Abu Dhabi to Portofino to Athens.

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Monkeys in the trees in Sri Lanka

So although I spent my Sri Lanka time sitting under a steamy sun, in a glorious villa courtyard with a couple of monkeys swinging their way around the plants, tapping out scenes set in – drum roll  – Sydney? Well, watch this space…

Surry trees - med
The Sydney equivalent of monkeys in the trees

I’d love to hear what you think! Is the setting a crucial component of your reading pleasure? Do you have any favourite places? Are you happier reading a story set in  a place you’re familiar with, or do you prefer exploring other worlds?

And if you quite like a little bit of Sydney, you might be interested in taking a peek at my latest book, Wanting Mr Wrong. The heroine, not surprisingly, lives just one street away from me!

WantingMrWrong_FINAL_Jpeg-1 (med)Meanwhile, I’d love to see you on Facebook and/or Twitter!

 

Evie Parker has never been one to swoon after celebrities – give her a neuroscientist over an actor any day! So when she develops her first movie-star crush, she’s determined to date her way out of it, starting with the next good-looking doctor she sees. Yet hovering on the fringes of her life is her gay best friend’s determined brother, Jackson J Stevens, a famous actor who comes with trailing paparazzi. The one thing worse than a celebrity in Evie’s eyes is a media circus, so Jack isn’t an option no matter how hard he flirts with her. Evie knows what she doesn’t want; Jack knows what he does. And somewhere in the middle, pheromones are making things go haywire every time they’re together.

Travels Around the World

A Tourist Drive! with Sharon Archer

I thought I’d take you for a pictorial jaunt along a section of one of our best tourist attractions here in Victoria.  The Great Ocean Road is a ribbon of highway that winds its way around the coast for just over 240 kms and was built by soldiers returning from WW1.  An amazing feat that took 13 years of hard labour.

We spent a day exploring one section of it!  There are fascinating limestone cliffs and pillars and arches.  Beaches of golden sand.  On the day we were there, those beaches and the rock formations were getting a pounding from ferocious seas.  I could see how it earned its name of The Shipwreck Coast.  a-Gt-Ocean-Rd4You can see the erosion in action on this pillar.  According to one of the information signs along the way, the whole coast line is being nibbled away at a rate of about 2cm a year.

a-Gt-Ocean-Rd-LondonBridge2This formation – now called London Arch – used to be known as London Bridge. A span of rock used to join the two parts until it fell down in 1990.  Two tourists were caught on the outermost part of the structure.  Pretty unnerving to realise that the rock you’d just walked out on was no longer there, don’t you think!  They had to be air-lifted off by helicopter.

a-Gt-Ocean-Rd-LondonBridge3a-Gt-Ocean-Rd-warningsignThere are plenty of warnings along the way not to get too close to the edges.  Ignore them at your peril, I say!

a-Gt-Ocean-Rd-the-grotto2Here we are at another of the amazing formations along the way – The Grotto.

a-Gt-Ocean-Rd5The sea was showing us firsthand what a force of nature it is – large waves and powerful undertows. Each receding wave was tinged brown with the sand it was dragging off the beach.

And because I can’t resist… a couple of fauna and flora pics!

a-Gt-Ocean-Rd-seagullThis handsome fellow was posing on a fence for me… well, he was probably waiting for a chip!  Bold as brass, isn’t he!

And a correa growing quite happily on the wind-swept cliff.  Must be hardy… Note to self – should probably plant more of these in the garden!

a-Gt-Ocean-Rd-correa2Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed this quick trip!  Been anywhere lately that you’d like to share with us?  Got any special places near you that you like to explore?

Travels Around the World

Footprints in the Sand – by Sharon Archer

We’ve been adventuring again!  And our latest adventure was a challenge – we travelled across the Simpson Desert.  Absolutely fabulous, fascinating, intimidating place.

The scenery was stunning and stark and I came home with a scary number of photographs!  One of the things I found particularly fascinating is the fauna… or perhaps I should say the evidence of the fauna.  Every morning, I’d get up to see countless little tracks crisscrossing the sand.

They were clearest first thing in the morning because the slight damp of the night held the grains of sand in place.

So many little creatures have found a way to survive in the inhospitable environment.  One of their tricks of survival is to hide during the heat of the day and come out in the cooler night to forage.

So here is a selection of the footprints we found…

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We travelled in a group which was wise in Outback Australia.  Getting into difficulties on your own in the middle of a desert is no laughing matter.  The people we were with were very experienced 4-wheel-drivers and between the eight vehicles there were all the necessary items, like ‘sat’ phones, assorted radios, air-jacks, winches, max-trax, snatch straps, first aid equipment.

It was absolutely fantastic but i would have liked to have taken a bit more time to travel across the desert.  But that’s the thing with travelling in a group – it’s all a compromise.

So how about you, when you take a break, do you like to do it on your own, with someone, in a group, or all of the above?  And if you have any suggestions for the owners of my footprints, I’d love to hear them!

Travels Around the World

Been Drivin’! with Sharon Archer

We’ve been getting in some sand-driving practice in preparation for our crossing of the Simpson Desert later this year.

So I thought I’d take you for a spin around the tracks of the Big Desert National Park where we’ve just spent four fabulous days…

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Breakfast on the first morning… homemade muesli… might be a blog about this another time.

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Beautiful full moon on our first night – very clear and crisp

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A spectacular sunrise on our third morning!

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Here we are in the middle of nowhere!

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Spent a lot of time letting the air out of the tyres and then putting it back in again!

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A very tricky hill – just smoothing out some of the ruts!

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Carnivorous car? Nope, just some repairs on the run! Cable ties rule!

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Back in camp a closer look at those running repairs.

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A close up of that sand…

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Apologies for the order of the photos… I had it all planned but the PC had other ideas!  😀

As well as practicing sand driving, we’ve been practicing some food ideas for the trip.  So if you’ve got any suggestions for easy food on the run, I’d love to hear them!