Starting 2023 on the theme of ‘new’

Happy New Year to you all, and welcome to my new MP Book News subscribers. I notice some from the UK, the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia and it’s such a big deal for me to have so many people from around the world in my book circle. Thankyou!

I saw in the New Year in the Australian outback and I managed a pretty impressive sunset star for the last day of 2022. If you are a Yellowstone fan you might notice that sun stars are a prominent feature and I think my photo definitely gives Yellowstone a run for their money!
It means so much to us to be here after a forced four-month hiatus from being able to run our fence contracting business. We haven’t been able to get here until now because it has been under flood water all that time, including our living quarters. A lot of areas in NSW flooded during 2022 and there was extensive media coverage when towns were inundated. But one story that didn’t make the news was the one about the rural families who were isolated for months and months, desperately trying to save their livestock while flooded inland river systems converged and spread water onto paddocks where they’d never been flooded before. There were many rural businesses like ours whose equipment was inaccessible, and for all those months we had to sit on our hands and wait it out. It was tough.
It is the longest running flood in many people’s memories and the damage, destruction and heartache it created is beyond compare. The farmers who we rely on for the food we eat are saying they would prefer a drought to a flood. They were isolated for a start, with the only access to their properties by boat or helicopter. The number of sheep, cattle and wildlife that perished will break your heart because the water spread over such a large area and there was nowhere for them to go. Hundreds of thousands of hectares of crops* were unable to be harvested because they were under water and it will take a long time for the agricultural industry to rebuild.

But the resilience of the people who live out here is like nothing you’ve ever seen, and they are moving forward day by day and leaving it all behind. We are too. I think this is a fantastic approach for the New Year and my theme for 2023 is NEW.

New year.
New beginnings.
New starts.
New ideas.
New opportunities.
New books!

Speaking of new books, this segues into what I’m planning for today.

I’ll start by asking, what’s the weather like where you are? As you would expect in the Australian outback in summer, it is HOT. Today the forecast temperature is 42 degrees Celsius and so this afternoon my plan is to sit under my air-conditioner and keep working on my new outback crime novel! My main character’s name is Bunny Brown-Leather and I’d love to know if that resonates with you at all? Naming characters is the hardest thing to do so I’m using names from my subscriber list as inspiration. Once I have a name the character starts to come to life. Bunny is a city girl, super smart, conservative upbringing and with a dream to be a reporter. She has landed her first job in Bourke which is a wild west town, and a far cry from the suburban, leafy city streets she grew up in. Bourke isn’t quite the romantic outback town with cowboys wandering the streets that she envisaged. She’s pretty sassy though, and is determined to get the latest scoop. There’s plenty of mystery and intrigue planned and a twist you won’t see coming.I’d love to get some feedback on her name though, all ideas welcome!

More free books

Amazon Kindle is offering the next two books in my Rhiannon Series for free this month. If you are still book binging for the holidays, now is a great time to download them so when you reach the cliffhanger of each one (sorry, not sorry) you can keep going!

Go to my Amazon page to keep an eye on when which book is free. When they’re not free I have them priced as low as Amazon will let me, less than a cup of takeaway coffee, so they are more accessible to more people.

If you are reading my books and love them, I would love if you could share a review. This helps my books get noticed in the biggest bookstore in the world, plus gives me a huge confidence boost and inspiration to keep writing. Have a great day wherever you are!

Melissa x

*I don’t know the exact numbers for crop losses or stock or wildlife losses of the NSW Floods, so the hectares of crop losses is an estimate only