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About the author:
Lea’s second novel ‘Silkworm Secrets’ was released in March 2017 and as a work of fiction has been widely praised for covering a range of sensitive issues. This emerging Australian author draws on her experiences gained from travelling around Australia and years spent studying and teaching history to bring together compelling contemporary fiction. Passionate about literacy, she believes in the power of books to not only provide entertainment, relaxation and enjoyment but also to educate readers in both historical and contemporary issues and events.
What inspired you to write your book?
The beautiful Whitsundays in tropical Queensland is a perfect setting for a love story. My aim was to make the book more than just a romance and to include historical and local characters and settings to draw the reader in. I have always loved the mixture of history and romance and of course a feel-good ending! Many hours sitting in a small boat waiting for the fish to bite, left plenty of time to day-dream and create characters and the plot which easily transferred onto the pages once I started writing.
Here is a short sample from the book:
Luke tried to remember exactly how old he had been, seventeen perhaps nearly eighteen, when Sylvia had led him away from one of the many social gatherings that were commonplace in the tiny township of Quindry. Along the dirt pathway in the dry scrubland, guiding him through the darkness to the cabin; an isolated, tin building, rented to her cheaply, tucked away in the paperbark scrub at the back of a block owned by a trawlerman, who was rarely home.
Sylvia, a good ten years older, had decided that he was manly but young, easy and too innocent to let go past. The local party they were at had deteriorated quickly, the toxic home brew kicking in as the drunken night wore on. Some guests were passed out in their chairs, the XXXX beer cans resting on their balloon-shaped stomachs, the obvious result of a lifestyle full of bad food and copious amounts of alcohol. Many of the women had left, staggering together, arm in arm, leaving only a handful of very drunk fishermen who were still gathered, sharing the usual bullshit around the fire that burned in the 44 gallon drum.
The group from school Luke had come with had either passed out on the mattresses inside the shed nearby, or were asleep in the cars parked under the trees. As usual Luke was freely roaming, no adult to worry about his whereabouts. Sylvia had been keeping him occupied, entertained for the last hour or so, talking and laughing with him, ensuring his drink was topped up. He had not noticed the others filtering away, either to try their luck with the chosen girl they had lined up for the night or simply to fall where they sat or stood, to sleep the night away. Here he was, alone with an older woman who was laughing at his slurred words, sympathising when he stumbled and entertaining him with her own hilarious tales of a strict Italian upbringing.
He did not have the guts or the sober sense to decline, following where she led. Jumbled thoughts filled his head, his dark eyes wide open with the fact that the woman who was paying him so much attention was gorgeous, with voluptuous breasts that bulged over the top of her tight t-shirt, seemingly pointing straight at him, as he tried continuously, unsuccessfully to avert his eyes.
Leaning over him she laughed, her hands smooth and sensual as she stroked his back. Long legs, topped by a bright, tiny tight red skirt were flawless, copper toned and sculpted to perfection. Slender calf muscles stretched down to thin sexy ankles, joined by bronzed feet with long slender toes, their ends painted bright red. Giddy, his legs unsteady, he followed as she guided, his eyes roaming, legs to breast, ankles to indented waistline. Sylvia’s eyes, dark and similar to his own were encircled with long black lashes that seemed to take in every part of his body. Luke’s stomach kept lurching and doing strange little flips, a churning, burning feeling moving over his body. Not knowing what else to do, he followed her instructions as she made it clear that she was taking him home for the night.