Elisabeth has been an avid reader all her life. She dabbled in writing as a teenager, but gave it away to study music which has also been a lifelong passion. It is why musicians are often, but not always, her main characters. She plays clarinet in a community orchestra and loves getting back into regular practice and music making. Tai Chi is a part of Elisabeth’s life and has been since 1987. She and her husband travel a lot and she also plays tennis on a regular basis.
Thanks for the invitation, Jennifer. I enjoyed going down memory lane for this post.
I grew up in the 1950’s on a small farm near Canberra. Dad started out with poultry, but switched to apples when I was about ten or eleven. It was an idyllic childhood, looking back. My brother and I, when not at the small primary school down the road, did pretty much what we pleased. We played tennis, rode our ponies or bikes, played in the creek and generally mucked about with the other kids in the small community of five and ten acre rural blocks. Nobody’s parents seemed worried where we were or what we got up to.
We lived next door to Monty, a race horse trainer, and I spent many happy hours hanging around the stables and probably annoying him. He taught me to ride and loaned me a pony called Midge, short for Midget, who I rode bareback everywhere. Later, as a teenager, I had a chestnut mare called Del, the result of a swap Dad did with Monty for a jersey cow. I’d ride her after school, and on weekends head off with a friend to explore the area or attend a pony club meet which involved our horses being floated across town. All those quiet dirt country roads we travelled on horseback, singing Beatle’s songs, laughing and gossiping about boys, are now long gone — tarred and filled with fast moving traffic.
My latest release, Where There Is Smoke, draws on my experience with horses but I did have to hone my knowledge through chats with a horse owning friend and a very obliging breeder of Arabians. The story revolves around a thoroughbred mare called Calypso Sun and a look-alike called Arch Rival. Which one is the beautiful animal in the above picture, I wonder?
is the second in my Taylor’s Bend romantic suspense series. I chose the beautiful area around Batlow and Tumbarumba as the setting for the town because a cousin owned an orchard there. My fictitious stud farm, The Grange, is a twenty minute drive away—far enough to be isolated but close enough to be the subject of gossip about the wealthy owners. And far enough for my heroine Krista’s hair raising drive to safety when a bushfire threatens.
I’m fortunate in that I’ve never been in the path of a raging fire although Canberra lost 503 homes, and four people died in the terrifying fires of January 2003. I’ll never forget the weird light, the smell, the smoke and the wind bringing charred leaves and twigs from kilometres away before the fire hit the suburbs on the far side of town from us. My suburb backs on to natural bushland and every summer we know the possibility is there.
My heroine Krista, although frightened and knowing she has to drive four horses to safety can’t leave without her little dog Lola, who has disappeared. Lola, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, has quite a role to play in the book.
I haven’t owned a horse for many years, but riding is a great way to enjoy the Australian countryside and the ways less travelled. Now, when we’re travelling overseas, my husband and I sometimes go horse riding and explore different landscapes. Here I am riding Carlos on Maui, which, on the south western coast inland behind Kaanapali is surprisingly scrubby, rocky and dry and very like parts of Australia. Carlos resembles Calypso Sun. He liked going backwards, however, and needed stern words to make him behave, whereas she would never do that.
Come visit me on my website. www.elisabethrose.com.au
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