Mum taught me to sew when I was a teenager. The first thing I learned to make was a basic wrap around skirt first which I wore with pride. Then, I graduated to more complicated dresses.
Smock style clothes were my favourite I have a picture of me wearing a smock top I made when I was about forteen. I loved the feel of cotton the most and the sight of luxurious, meters spread out on the dining table. It seemed a shame to cut into it but I wanted the new dress so the paper pattern pieces were pinned on and cut out with Mum’s best sewing scissors.
Those early clothes making attempts gave me a can do attitude to crafting with fabric. I altered patterns and combined two different patterns to get the style that would suit me best. I made party dresses and the dress I wore to my high school graduation ball. I also made the dress I wore to my engagement. But with the price of patterns and fabric going up and the cost of buying a new dress coming down, it didn’t make good financial sense as I went into my twenties. What had once been a necessity was a luxury later on. But sewing my clothes during my teenage years created a lifelong love of fabrics and fashion.
I went to work in an office and that allowed me to buy an expensive fashion magazine called Harpers Bazaar. During the early 1980’s I cut out pictures of the fashions I loved and pasted them into a scrap book. I still have it. I dreamed of being a fashion designer and going to Paris, but it was never something I could fund so it remained a dream. There in the back of my mind until I began writing romance. A fashion designer came to me, a rebel with vibrant magenta hair at high school and a dog eared scrapbook that she took everywhere with her.
She woke in me the girl who’d made her own clothes and took pride in her work and she lived the dream I couldn’t. Ruby Baxter finished high school and went to work for a middle of the road family fashion house. She designed bread and butter styles that sell but dreamed of having her own line. She put in hours of work to pull a new collection together to relaunch the fading fashion house but when it was met with rave reviews her boss took all the credit. So Ruby leaves determined to pursue her dream and work as a freelance designer but her ex boss is afraid Ruby’s work appearing elsewhere will uncover her lie so she tells another. She claims that Ruby stole the designs from her and passed them off as her own.
Of course she needs a white knight and there’s one who’s been following her career for years. He’s the boy she loved back in high school. Hushing up a family secret had divided them but now he’s determined to clear her name. Ruby has no other option than to accept Jarrod’s help but he commands a high price. Ruby’s hero turns out to be a calculating businessman in the fashion industry who will turn protecting an old friend from scandal into an advantage.
It always amazes me where my stories come from and I’m really enjoying the memories of how much I enjoyed sewing and creating a fresh design to wear that no one else will have. I think if I’d been on the verge of achieving my dream and having it stolen from me, I’d so just about anything to make it right. If it was the handsome Jarrod who I’d never really gotten over, it would be a major challenge but I think I’d take the chance. What would you do?
The Australian Billionaire’s Secret Proposal is the final book in the Baxter Sisters Series and is coming soon.
Sign up for my newsletter for a free short story, Brave in Love and get the details of when Ruby and Jarrod’s story will be released.
I want my novels to have an uplifting effect on the reader. I take passionate, sexually attracted couples with terrible emotional wounds on a journey through the relationship they are meant to have. In finding a healing love it leads them to strive for their happy ever after.
In this week’s blog I’ve posted an excerpt from The Italian Billionaire’s Secret Baby. It falls close to the end of chapter two, and begins in Katrina’s point of view. It changes to Alessandro’s in chapter three. I did this because it’s about a man meeting his child for the first time. I want you the reader to be able to feel what each is suffering and hoping for It’s a huge moment in all their lives, Katrina, Alessandro and their baby Alex.
For Katrina and Alessandro, their past is playing a huge role in their present, and it is playing out through their internal thoughts and is preventing them reconciling.
In the first couple of chapters we see that both Katrina and Alessandro are still very sexually attracted to each other. It’s a strong pull that is matched by real love. But the hurt that this love once delivered makes them reluctant to let those feelings resurface. But it’s still there. You can read the first chapter on Amazon.
Have a read of the excerpt below and after it I’ll talk more about how healing love is working in the story.
Katrina and Alessandro fell in love but their relationship didn’t work out the first time because Alessandro lacked the ability to commit and Katrina couldn't believe a man could truly love her.
In the excerpt, baby Alex brings Katrina and Alessandro back together. You can see the effect on Alessandro that meeting his child has. Also what is shown is that their pasts play a huge role in how they internally process the events taking place. Alessandro finds the will to be a better man and show up, while we also see how Katrina is going to have to rethink her plan of raising Alex alone.
Neither is comfortable with the way things are changing. No one ever is, but the love they feel for each other and their little boy will keep them trying hard to work things out. Of course they have a lot of changes to make regarding their view of the world and each other but their love enables them to heal.
Although Katrina and Alessandro are good people, their past hurts have caused them to make hurtful errors of judgment, so that now it’s almost impossible to put things right. But this is a romance and they do find a way. That is because of the healing kind of love which is my kind of romance.
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The Italian Billionaires Secret Baby is available in eBook and print or borrow for free from your Kindle device with Amazon Prime.
In the evenings we walked along the foreshore and stopped at a restaurant that took our fancy for dinner. The sun would set as we sipped a cocktail or glass of wine and listened to the waves patting the shoreline. We were treated to a full moon one night and I managed to get a picture of it
Last year, we had just moved into our house when we had to leave it again because we had a holiday booked. For me, Sam and I were starting our lives together. I’d looked forward to it for so long and had expected to be in our house a month or two earlier. But delays in the renovation put us back so far that our holiday had rolled around just as the removalists finished bringing in the furniture. So we locked the front door and left all the boxes and headed off to Palm Cove, just out of Cairns. For non Aussies, Cairns is the tourist capital of northern Queensland
We caught a gondola back down, which also had the most amazing views. We did have to share with another couple but you know, we were high up. Even though the view was wonderful, there was plenty of eye contact too.
I wrote that I'd like a man who was tall, like me, kindhearted, honorable and someone my children would admire and like. I kept hope there, in the presence of fear that it might never happen. I just knew I needed to do more. I needed to help myself to be in the right frame of mind for romance to come into my life. I decided to start saying yes to new experiences and to practice being romance ready.
I was invited to join a friend on a trip to Europe and in particular Italy. I had always wanted to go and so I jumped at the chance. I purchased a red lipstick at Harrods before the tour started and I wore it everyday of the bus tour leg of our trip. I was tired but when I put on that lipstick I felt alive. I absolutely loved Italy and I've always had a soft spot for Italian men. Paris might be the city of romance but Italy is the country of romance. The beautiful countryside, the villages with cobblestone piazzas and the ornate, pretty architecture all filled my previously empty romance well.
I came home feeling so inspired, I began taking myself out for dinner and picturing a loving partner sitting opposite me. I went to bed at night and imagined how it would feel to have that loving man curled behind me. I imagined walking down the street next to him and the feeling of my hand in his.
I had doubts about it ever really happening but, kept hope alive with my imaginings. I went on to finish writing a novel about an Italian hero and an Australian heroine, 'The Italian Billionaire's Secret Baby'.
I enjoyed meeting some very nice men that I'd met through internet dating sites but they weren't the right nice man for me. Then one day when I least expected it to happen (because I'd just come home from hospital) Sam contacted me. Born in Australia he has deep roots in the Italian culture, and he was exactly right for me. My grown up children think he's fantastic.
I still occasionally wear my red Dior lipstick. But I always hold Sam's hand when we walk down the street. He takes me out to lovely restaurants and it feels so wonderful gazing into his long lashed brown eyes. He's there at night beside me and I love it. All the imagining and dating was completely worth the journey to finding the man who makes my life romantic everyday.
Romance author and lifestyle blogger
My whole life is inspired by romance. I write romance novels of course but also love creating DIY's and decorating in a romantic style. I'm rejuvenating an old garden, including rescuing a couple of old rose bushes and planting new ones.