Tagrural romance

Léonie Kelsall – The Blue Gum Camp

Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2024
Cover design Nada Bakovic
Cover photos Getty Images; Kim Miller; iStock, Unsplash
Inside back cover photo Taylor Portelli

True to the Trojan Horse approach adopted by so many contemporary Australian rural romance writers, Léonie Kelsall has incorporated a number of significant social and human issues into this novel.

Léonie Kelsall talks to Barbie about The Blue Gum Camp
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Fiona Palmer – The Wrong Sister

Hachette, Australia, 2022
Cover design by Christabella Design
Cover photos courtesy Trevillion and Alamy

With a cover reminiscent of the 1969 film version of Age of Consent, it comes as no surprise that The Wrong Sister is a steamy rural romance. However, alongside the straining trousers and moist folds, the book raises several serious social and philosophical issues.

Fiona Palmer talks to Barbie about The Wrong Sister
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Kelly Cameron – Dancing with Dandelions

Independently published, Australia, 2022
Cover design SGB Book Cover Designs
Images from Istock

It is cause for great celebration, I think, that the Canberra region is not only become home to a growing number of fine writers but also that the region itself has finally been accepted as a suitable place in which to set stories. The lamentable cultural cringe our writers have had to contend with for decades has, at last, abated.

Kelly Cameron talks to Barbie about Dancing with Dandelions
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Nicole Hurley-Moore – Summer at Kangaroo Ridge

Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2022
Cover design by Mika Tabata
Cover photo Getty Images

Rural romance is a very popular genre in Australia and Nicole Hurley-Moore certainly knows how to grab her readers – this is the seventh of her books and it’s bound to be as successful as its predecessors. Many people are grasping for some cheerfulness in dark times and this author is a fan of happy, or at least positive, endings.

Nicole Hurley-Moore discusses Summer at Kangaroo Ridge with Barbie
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Deanna Copeland – Reluctant Pioneer

Internal illustrations by Julie Stapleton
Self-published, Australia, first edition 2016, second edition 2019, third edition 2020

Deanna Copeland is a Canberra-based visual artist and writer. Reluctant Pioneer, the first of her two novels, is inspired by stories told to her by her mother, who came to Australia from England with her husband in 1948.

It is however a work of fiction, an Australian rural romance set in the recent past during the 1940s and 1950s.

Barbie talks to Deanna Copeland about Reluctant Pioneer
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Karly Lane – Take Me Home

Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2021

Take Me Home is a story of the search for self and family. Our heroine Elle honours the wishes of her beloved grandmother by taking her ashes to her Scottish homeland, which she left at the age of 15 with a mystery in her wake.

Elle’s life to date has been one of feeling like a square peg in her family. Her siblings have all followed academic paths to successful careers; her mother is a bit of a helicopter, wanting Elle to also follow that expected path. Only her dad and her grandma (his mother) seem to understand that she is of a different ilk.

Barbie talks to Karly Lane about Take Me Home
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