Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Introducing Sapphire Bay (plus Seaside Proposal book giveaway)

By Narelle Atkins

Seaside Proposal, my sixth and final book with the Heartsong Presents line, released last week. Although Seaside Proposal is the third book in my Sydney series, the story opens in the fictitious town of Sapphire Bay. I love creating fictitious settings because my imagination isn’t limited by real life geography.


Tathra Beach, on the NSW South Coast, Australia.

Sapphire Bay is a small seaside town on the South Coast of New South Wales (NSW), Australia. It’s located south of Sydney on the Princes Highway. Named in 1920 after the Prince of Wales who later became King Edward VIII, the scenic coastal highway connects Sydney and Melbourne, Australia’s two largest cities. The South Coast region is a bit of a hidden gem, and not necessarily on the radar for interstate and overseas visitors. A major inland highway is the most direct route between Sydney and Melbourne.

Manly Beach in Sydney, Australia.

Zach and Billie, my hero and heroine in Seaside Proposal, are both from the pretty harbor and beachside suburb of Manly on Sydney’s northern beaches. They are temporarily living and working in Sapphire Bay, and the nearby larger fictitious town of Riverwood, for very different reasons. Despite living near the water in Sydney, they discover the lifestyle in Sapphire Bay and Riverwood is quite different to their suburban home. The pace of life is more relaxed, there’s no rush hour traffic, and the beaches aren’t crowded during summer.




BILLIE RADCLIFFE HAS A SECRET

And she isn’t sharing it with anyone, including Zach Montford. Even though she feels an instant connection with the good-looking banker and youth leader, she’s wary of rejection. Besides she’s only in the close-knit beach community until she meets the one man who can fill in the blanks about her history.

Zach hopes his temporary stint with the church will help him decide whether to go into full-time ministry. Though his career plans are uncertain, he’s sure about his growing feelings for Billie. When a shocking revelation throws everything into question, Zach and Billie have a chance to put the past to rest…and walk into the future together.


In June I’m independently releasing a novella set in Sapphire Bay. His Perfect Catch, a spin off story from Seaside Proposal, is one of nine contemporary Christian romance novellas in SPLASH! The box set is available for preorder on Amazon Kindle for 99 cents.




Today I’m giving away a print copy of Seaside Proposal (worldwide, wherever The Book Depository delivers) to a reader who leaves a comment on this post and enters the Rafflecopter giveaway.

Do you like to write or read stories set in fictional places? Or, do you prefer stories set in real life locations? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

17 comments:

  1. Hi Narelle! Having read the authors' copy of SPLASH! which contains another Sapphire Bay story, I'd love to read about Zach and Billie, too. It was fun to meet them a little in His Perfect Catch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Valerie, I'll hope you'll have a chance to read Seaside Proposal, too :) I love connecting stories and meeting up with characters I've read about in other books in the series.

      Delete
  2. Definitely one on my to-read list! I live on the Oregon coast so the setting is perfect. I like settings in almost real places, ie: maybe a fictional name & fictional characters but the details of the town are real. Hope that makes sense!
    Congrats Narelle on your new book! "Seaside Proposal" sounds so good. Thank you for the introduction to the book and for a chance to win a copy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Trixi, yes, that makes perfect sense :) A true-to-life setting that could easily be a real place. I've taken elements from different towns and mixed them together to create Sapphire Bay, and also Snowgum Creek in my earlier books. Lots of fun!

      Delete
  3. I like fictional places the best. A beautiful beach can be anywhere & I can picture it :) Love your beaches! thanks for a chance to win you new book! dkstevensneAT outlookDoTCoM

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Deanna, I'm glad you love my beaches :) The story I'm about to start writing in a new series is also set in a fictitous seaside town. I can't get enough of them! I grew up in Sydney only a short drive from the beach, and I do miss living near the ocean.

      Delete
  4. Here comes the history teacher, Narelle. To be picky about it, Edward VIII was never crowned. He abdicated before his coronation and his brother George VI received the crown. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alice, duly noted and corrected. The wordsmith in me prefers 'crowned' to 'became', but I can't change the historical facts. Another advantage of writing about fictional rather than real places, event and people. :)

      Delete
    2. Made up is so much more fun. In my historical fiction I modelled the town of Prospect on a real-life settlement, but then I added and subtracted whatever the story needed. The real-life setting was a great inspiration though.

      Delete
  5. Hah, I guess I also like a real place described in detail, but given another name. The locals would be sure to pick it and enjoy the fun. However, why be limited if you can let your imagination run wild? That way you can add a little & move the scenery where you want it, including a romantic spot, etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rita, I totally agree that it's less fun to be limited by real life scenery :) I've used real suburbs in Sydney eg. Manly, and I did my best to ensure the setting details are accurate.

      Delete
  6. I like real places and some of my books are specifically set there and I have used that as an integral part of the story. (Rottnest Island, Bali, Perth) But sometimes the place is fairly vague. Let the reader think about where is might be.
    Though in one of my WIP i have made up a town but do mention Melbourne in the story so you know it is in Victoria.
    As I have lived in 3 states i can clearly see the places.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Melanie, I agree that it's helpful to have lived in different places in order to draw on our real life experiences of the setting. Thanks for stopping by :)

      Delete
  7. Sounds like fun, Narelle. Of course the south coast is a perfect setting. But I'm more than a little biased since it is home,though not quite as far south as where your book is set.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dale, I'm biased as well, and I know you live in a gorgeous area on the south coast :)

      Delete