Maya's July 2020 NEWSLETTER with Top 10 excitement, YouTube cooking tutorial and a giveaway
Updated: Jul 8
I hope this newsletter finds you well and warm this winter. We're all happy and healthy down here in south west Victoria, and we're enjoying a mix of gloriously clear days, salty winds and sideways rain. A very big welcome to the new subscribers who have just joined - lovely to have your company - and thanks to the fab longterm readers.
Grab a cuppa, there's plenty of fun in this newsletter, a giveaway and a very special recipe. Happy reading!
Stay safe folks, happy reading!
Bottlebrush Creek hits the road!
Huge thanks to everyone who has taken Bottlebrush Creek out in the wild. It's fantastic seeing Angie in your backyards, on your holidays and snuggled up with your pets. One lovely reader even sent her partner on a 200km drive with the book and props, and strict instructions to find a beautiful 'fixer-upper' backdrop. And also a big thanks to Kym in Uruguay (top photo), the highest bidder on my #authorsForFiries fundraiser in January. She's also my childhood best friend whose family dairy inspired John and Rosa's farm, and the reason Max Jones travels around South America in the story.
Thanks also to everyone who has left a review or sent me a message - here's a few of my favourites so far!
'If you're looking for a heart-warming story full of the joys and foibles of renovating, a believable romance and a slice of country living then you are going to love this one.' Michelle, SheSociety
'A stellar follow up... an incredibly modern and relatable tale.' 6PR PerthTonight Book Club
'Rural fiction filled with heart, humour and no shortage of tension.' MicLovesBooks blog
'We absolutely loved Maya's first bestselling novel Wildflower Ridge and her second book is an equal winner... A heartfelt story of love, hard work and family.' Mt Gambier Library
'Bottlebrush Creek really helped me while I was going through radiation for breast cancer. Your book kept me feeling good and happy for all those days I was feeling sad scared and unhappy with my body...keep writing your beautiful books and spreading your happiness.' (shared with permission from Sandy in Queensland)
Top10 romance list!
I was SO delighted to see Bottlebrush Creek come in at #3 on the Romance Top 10 list in last weekend's Sunday Age and Sydney Morning Herald. I got up super early and raced into town before sunrise to buy the paper. What a thrill, especially sharing the list with Danielle Steele and Nora Roberts (two of the writers who hooked me on romance in the 90s) and four fabulous Aussie authors I adore- Karly Lane, Rachael Johns, Mandy Magro and Darry Fraser. Thanks again for all your support, friends, it means the world to me!
Launching a book Covid-style
I've had so much fun launching Bottlebrush Creek from my home office, lovely to have many of you at the June online events! Here's my 'highly technical studio backdrop' from behind the camera.
If you missed them, there's links to all my events on my website, or if you're keen to ask your own questions or join in an upcoming event, there are plenty more in the pipeline including one with Tabitha Bird for Brisbane Libraries on July 9, with Frankston Library on July 16, Stories on Stage event on July 28 and Casey Cardinia Library on July 28.
On the homefront
There's never a dull moment in our household! As well as great excitement about Bottlebrush Creek hitting the shelves, we welcomed six orphaned lambs to our property and have loads of fun bottle-feeding them four times a day. We've enjoyed plenty of bonfires (such a perfect way to connect with the kids), two snake sightings (goodness knows why they weren't hibernating!) and take great joy in amusing motorists every time we set out for a stroll with our neighbour's donkey's.
We all got a huge kick out of watching Bottlebrush Creek rolling off the printing press (check out the fab video here). Our chooks are laying a dozen eggs a day, which means there's even more baking than normal and we had an epic few days filling the freezer with 140kgs of the tastiest and most tender homegrown meat. We love growing great food in both the garden and the paddock.
It was my birthday on Friday! Being school holidays, the children plotted and planned the most amazing birthday cake. I was banned from the kitchen all morning and only asked to help with two small tasks. I tell you folks, they absolutely knocked my socks off!! Determined to make it memorable, they baked three cakes - lemon, caramel mud cake and chocolate fudge cake - and piled them up into a triple-decker masterpiece. What a special treat, it makes me proud to know they love baking too.
Bookwise, I've been super busy with Bottlebrush Creek promo and I'm almost ready to send the second draft of Lara's story to my publisher. It won't be long until you find out all about the leading man (a journalist called Toby), plus the unfortunate accident that lands the local shop in dire straits. Fans of the darling Eddie Patterson will be delighted to hear he's back by popular demand. More soon!
Coconut cake recipe
This super-easy coconut cake is a firm family favourite. It’s my daughter’s go-to recipe as she can make it all by herself and I’ve featured it in Bottlebrush Creek, as one of the special cakes Angie bakes with her daughter Claudia. Visit here for the recipe or click the button below to watch a very fun (and blooper-filled) YouTube tutorial. With only four ingredients, it's my number one 'friends are calling in soon' recipe. I'd love to see photos if you give it a shot!
Five fast minutes with Josephine Moon
If you've been into a bookstore lately, you'll have seen Bottlebrush Creek sharing the shelves with another gorgeous novel - The Cake Maker's Wish. Any story that features baking is a winner in my opinion, and Josephine Moon's gorgeous cover inspired me to use the last of my roses on a hummingbird birthday cake for Jase.
I'm thrilled to have Josephine in the spotlight this month. We both adore James Herriot's vet stories, click HERE to read more on her fabulous new novel, her horses, the baking themes that run through her books and your chance to win a copy...
That's it for this month, folks. Stay well, stay safe and stay warm! Love, Maya x
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