Dear readers,

Happy New Year to all my readers! I hope 2018 brings you everything you ever hoped for.

The exciting news I wish to share is that my next novel 'The Opal Dragonfly' is being officially released on 1 March 2018 and will be in bookshops from 21 February. Designer Nada Backovic has done a stunning job on the cover! 

Allen & Unwin's New Books brochure for March 2018 - with The Opal Dragonfly featured on the cover - can be downloaded here:

https://www.allenandunwin.com/au-media/new-books-brochure 

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Allen & Unwin are running a second Goodreads give-way of 20 copies : https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/272272-the-opal-dragonfly 

More news  as it comes to hand!

Cheers

Julian 

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A daughter sacrifices her reputation, two men bid for the love of a woman, freedom is found in the heart of a dust storm, a father’s legacy reveals past crimes.

 “Miss Isobel Clara Macleod, youngest of the seven children of Major Sir Angus Hutton Macleod, Surveyor-General of the colony of New South Wales, had the singular misfortune to know that at seven o’clock that morning her father was going to die.”

September, 1851. Sydney, city of secrets and gossip. Seventeen-year-old Isobel Macleod is determined to save her father because she loves him. But when she dares to trespass in a forbidden male world, she will be plunged into social disgrace. A wave of ill fortune threatens to swallow up her family and their stately home, Rosemount Hall, ‘the finest house in the colony’ on the foreshores of Sydney Harbour.

Is Isobel to blame for her family’s fate or does the cause lie further in the past? When Isobel was four, Major Macleod returned from an expedition with two ‘souvenirs’: an Aboriginal girl who became her friend and two opals fashioned into a dragonfly brooch for her mother.

When Isobel inherits this ‘unlucky’ heirloom, she wonders if the terrible dreams it summons are a curse or a gift. Now Isobel’s hopes for her future depend on a charming bohemian who encourages her hidden passion to become an artist. Will she now be permanently exiled from her family home? Or will she be transformed into a new self like a magnificent dragonfly emerging into the sunlight?

Inspired by Elizabeth Bay House and the other grand villas of Sydney’s Woolloomooloo Hill, The Opal Dragonfly tells the bittersweet story of an ambitious family’s fall from grace and a brave young woman’s struggle to find her true self.


 

Angie loved Mr Fox's magnificent, absurd hotel. In fact, it was her one true great love. But ... today Angie was so cross, so fed up with everybody and everything, she would probably cheer if a wave of fire swept over the cliff and engulfed the Palace and all its guests.

A sweltering summer's day, January 1914: the charismatic and ruthless Adam Fox throws a lavish birthday party for his son and heir at his elegant clifftop hotel in the Blue Mountains. Everyone is invited except Angie, the girl from the cottage next door. The day will end in tragedy, a punishment for a family's secrets and lies.

In 2013, Fox's granddaughter Lisa, seeks the truth about the past. Who is this Angie her mother speaks of: 'the girl who broke all our hearts'? Why do locals call Fox's hotel the 'palace of tears'? Behind the grandeur and glamour of its famous guests and glittering parties, Lisa discovers a hidden history of passion and revenge, loyalty and love.

A grand piano burns in the night, a seance promises death or forgiveness, a fire rages in a snowstorm, a painter's final masterpiece inspires betrayal, a child is given away. With twist upon twist, this lush, strange mystery withholds its shocking truth to the very end.