Tuesday Book Club: Heather Garside’s Colonial Daughter
When it comes to historicals it seems that European history and to a lesser extent, American history fills the bookshelves but not the experience of many other countries. Australian history is quite frequently overlooked despite some absolutely stellar Australian historical romance authors such as Tea Cooper, Virginia Taylor and Darry Fraser.
Now it’s my pleasure to introduce another Australian historical romance author Heather Garside. Welcome to my blog!
What were you like at school?
Super quiet and a bookworm!
What inspired you to write?
Growing up on an isolated cattle property, I was reliant on reading and my imagination to entertain myself.
Which writers inspire you?
As a child, I loved Enid Blyton and later, Mary O’Hara. In my teenage years, Georgette Heyer was a big inspiration. Recently I’ve enjoyed Kimberley Freeman and Kaye Dobbie, among many others.
What inspired you to write this story?
My parents’ stories of their pioneering ancestors. The setting was inspired by a book about the history of a tiny Central Queensland town called Banana. Banana was a busy teamsters’ hub in the late 19th century and the wealth of detail in this little book fascinated me. One set of great-grandparents were pioneers in this area, so that was another link.
How much research do you do?
Lots! There is nothing more annoying than reading a poorly researched novel, whether historical or contemporary.
Can you give us a blurb to let us know what the story is about?
Determined not to join her wealthy parents in England, Louise Ashford finds work as a governess in the frontier settlements of Central Queensland. She falls in love with Lloyd Kavanagh, a young cattleman of convict descent. But she knows Lloyd will never be accepted by her family.
Their romance ends abruptly when her brother Charles intervenes, carrying her off to England. Charles’s lies ensure Lloyd will not try to follow her. More grief awaits her in England and a disgraced Louise seizes the chance to accompany Charles back to Australia. She must defy all that is safe and secure if she is to reclaim her love and rebuild the life she longs for.
Previously published as The Cornstalk.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does she do that is so special?
Louise Ashford is a wilful young lady who has grown up in a cold, uncaring, but wealthy family. During her visit to her cousin’s isolated property, she grows to appreciate both his loving, unpretentious family and the pioneering lifestyle. In order to avoid being forced to join her parents in England, she must call on all her courage and resourcefulness.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
Aidan Turner from Poldark makes a lovely romantic hero!
What book/s are you reading at present?
Mackenzie Crossing by Kaye Dobbie.
What writing project are you working on next? The third in the series of which Colonial Daughter is the first. It is a dual time line story.
Tell us something unique about you that they wouldn’t guess from just looking at your photograph?
Until I was twelve, I had never set foot inside a classroom.
What is your favourite positive saying?
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
What is your favourite book and why? Georgette Heyer’s Devil’s Cub was a favourite for many years.
What is your favourite movie and why?
Can’t think of a particular one but I love the Poldark series on TV.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
- Website/Blog: www.heathergarside.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Heather-Garside-733843639971164/
- Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HAVP85E
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1200479.Heather_Garside
Would you like to share an excerpt from your book?
She gave herself a mental shake, wondering why she was even looking at him. Strapping he may be, in his striped Crimean shirt and stockman’s moleskins, but the gulf that separated them was wider than she could begin to imagine. He wasn’t the sort of company she was accustomed to keeping. She would do well to remember that.
In spite of this resolution she found by the end of the meal that they were talking companionably, mostly about cattle and horses. Louise commented on the condition of the herd and Kavanagh nodded, taking a pipe from his pocket and tamping tobacco into the bowl.
‘They were better than I expected, seeing how dry it is around Springsure. And I’ve nursed them along pretty well.’ He held a burning stick from the fire to his pipe and puffed vigorously, looking at her through narrowed eyes. ‘Talking of Springsure, who were you governess for there?’
The question took Louise off balance. She paused a moment to gather her wits before improvising hastily. ‘A Mr and Mrs Jones. Do you know them?’
‘What’s his first name?’
‘George.’ Heavens, these names were imaginative.
‘No, don’t think I’ve met him. Where do they live?’
‘In the main street.’ This had to be safe enough, since there had to be a main street, although she knew nothing of Springsure. ‘Next to the hotel.’
He looked askance at her. ‘There’s three hotels, you know.’
His tone was indulgent, as if he thought her a little stupid. She flushed, stung into recklessness. ‘I’m talking about the Grand,’ she retorted defiantly. With any luck there could be a Grand Hotel–there seemed to be one in almost every town in the colony. If not, that was just too bad. Who did he think he was, asking so many questions?
He was staring at her with a strange expression on his face. ‘There are three hotels in Springsure,’ he repeated softly. ‘The Commercial, the Springsure and the Shearer’s Arms.’ He paused, watching her keenly as he drew on his pipe. ‘I don’t think you’ve ever been there in your life!’
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