With a love of old-school chick lit and of the fabulous seventies, I decided to combine the two and my Seventies Collective was born. As the title implies, it's all about the 70s and the challenges facing women at the time. But it wasn't all bra burning and doom and gloom, there was a lot of laughter, too. I like to think I've captured this authentically.
To help get you into a 70s' state of mind, here's a little video I put together. It was so much fun finding the right sort of images and footage. That image of Burt Reynolds was a big hit back in the day - no really, it was.
Sixteen hundred kilos of German engineering, enough alcohol to preserve a dead wallaby, and a crazy woman who's in possession of both? How's Brenda going to escape this time?
It's 1977 and the height of the sexual revolution when we join Brenda in Surfers Paradise, Australia. Enter a world of gold bikinis, lots of sunshine, and no regrets. It's also where a man can be viewed as attractive because of the size of his wallet. At least in Brenda's eyes.
Okay, so Hilton isn't the only thing stopping her from being hungry and homeless. But working as a famous Surfers Paradise Meter Maid to make ends meet hadn't been high on her list of life goals, either.
And while she'll happily strut around town in a gold lamé bikini, tiara, and sash, doing so while wearing gold platform shoes has her feet crying out for relief.
Samantha Bennett dreams of marriage. But, before she can fall in love with her dream guy, she needs to fall in love with herself. Easy, right?
Sam’s life is perfect until she finds out her boss wants to bed her and her fiancé (well, that was the plan) is sleeping with someone else. Willing to do anything to avoid confrontation, she escapes to Australia packing her lack of self-worth right next to her beloved flares and platform shoes.
It’s only after running into a hunky Italian Stallion that she discovers even 3,000 miles isn’t far enough to escape your troubles. And with this man’s nasty habit of stalking, she’s going to be hard pushed to escape him, too.
Sick of looking over her shoulder, she’s close to swearing off men altogether when she meets Chris. This Australian is different to any man she’s ever met, he might even be her dream guy. He might also be too good to be true.
Will Sam learn to love herself enough to fight for Chris, or does she still have more to learn?
She’s lost her soul mate. She doesn’t believe you get a second. Will the least likely candidate of all be able to change her mind?
Jennie Farrell always believed there was a happily ever after out there for everyone. Shame she’s missed out on her own. Rocking up in London with close friend Samantha, Jennie falls back on her long-ignored artistic skills to make ends meet. Her future is even looking bright when she runs into Rupert Smythe-Brown, an aristocratic prat used to getting his own way, no matter who gets hurt in the process.
Painted into a corner, Jennie turns feral and Rupert doesn’t know what’s hit him. Well he does, but for once he’s not enjoying it. Thank goodness she’s got Mark, a strapping six foot four Aussie bloke watching her back and keeping her out of trouble — at least when he’s not trying to get her into it.
Brush With Fame is a chuckle along, feel good book for any woman who’s ever wanted to fight back but hasn’t felt strong enough.
A stolen nest egg, historic art thefts, and politically-charged B&D? Life's never boring when Brenda is around.
Brenda Munroe was mercenary even as a child. It was that or going hungry, or worse. From stealing school lunches, she’d moved onto bigger, better and even legal things. Life is finally looking up for her when her carefully created world comes crashing down. Stuck thousands of miles from home and broke, it’s going to take every ounce of her street smarts to survive this time.
Strapped for cash — and with a real aversion to the old nine-to-five — Brenda opens a residential school for girls, teaching them in weeks what it’s taken her years to master. Namely, how to get by on good looks and a bucket-load of charm.
Will her students be the only ones learning new skills, or will Brenda finally understand family’s about a whole lot more than the blood relations you’ve been lumbered with?
Strapped for Cash is a rollicking, laugh-out-loud book for any woman who’s ever wanted to take life by the scruff of the neck and shake the heck out of it.
While there are a lot of humans in my books, the list of stars doesn't end there. Here are just a few of the dogs that feature in the books as well as Charlie the Cougar, who is scarrier than any lap dog.
Friday Night Fever
Gentian Silver (that's blue to you and me)
Sapphire has a room at least five times the size of Sam’s. The bloody dog’s even got a double bed complete with a pale blue satin cover and bone-shaped pillows. A basket, full of balls, leather chews and assorted bits of fluff, sits next to the bed. The dog has a newer model telly than the girls have at the flat.
Jack Russell Terrier
Loves swimming and burying shoes
Sam absently walks back across the curved step. Monty follows, tight on her heels and up to his undercarriage in water. She swings around and starts the return journey. Monty doesn’t. She overbalances and does a headlong tumble into the pool.
John-John de Graaf
Pug - Fawn
Weight challenged, great balance
They hear yapping from the back of the house that makes its way towards them confirming for Sam that John-John is definitely not human. He flies around a corner and into the entrance hall. Once he clears the white carpet and hits the marble, he demonstrates cornering skills more commonly seen in competition-level speed skating.
Brush With Fame
Charlie the Cougar
Tuxedo Cat of Mixed Origins
Has been known to be vicious
“Charlie, out of there now,” she hisses at the large black and white cat who’s concentrating on sucking a pale yellow t-shirt into submission. He ignores her, the goofy look on his face proving beyond doubt that he’s entered his catnip zone.
Hates Polaroid cameras
While Jennie chats to their hostess and gets a feel for the style of painting she’s after, Sam takes some Polaroids of Peanut. This proves difficult when the micro dog explodes into a fluffed-up, bouncing, yapping mess each time the flash goes off and a photo pops out of the front of the camera. Sam gives up after three attempts and the small dog calms down.
She walks over and picks up the limp and sleepy pooch. Monroe hardly rouses, draping herself limply over Caroline’s arm. The little face is clear of a fringe, the hair pulled back tight and held in place with a pale pink bow. The eyes, nose and mouth look dark in comparison with the pure white fur. If it weren’t for those features and the bow, the dog would be borderline albino.
Strapped For Cash
Hates Charlie the Cat
Countess transforms from shivering and timid to pulling on her leash in an effort to reach the cat and rip it to shreds, but if Charlie’s concerned, he doesn’t show it. Rather than become a fluffed-up spitting ball of mean, he growls deep in his throat; on seeing his bum winding up in readiness to launch himself at the interloper, Brenda jumps between the pair.