I loved this story so much! I read it while I was holidaying in Tasmania where it was freezing and every night I looked forward to being snuggled by the fire, cup of tea in one hand and Down Outback Roads in the other. It was the perfect cosy comfort read. Now I can’t wait to read the rest of the Outback Dust rural romance series.
Alissa has been a source of much support to me as I paved my way as an author and her guidance and comfort have been amazing. She is a BIG DEAL here in Australia so I was beyond honoured to interview her for you. I adore her and I know that after reading about her, so will you! Here is the Amazon blurb of Down Outback Roads, my review of the novel, as well as a little about Alissa and my interview with her. I hope you enjoy it!
Down Outback Roads is available as a paperback edition at all good book stores and as an eBook at all online book stores. Grab your copy quickly and tell me what you think (and thank me for suggesting it to you) when you’ve read it!
Kree Garrett's younger brother Seth is all the family she has left, so when he goes missing while working in the Australian outback, she races from America to join in the search.
To everyone's relief, Seth is rescued by local volunteers and Kree finds, in an abandoned historic Cobb & Co Coach House, the opportunity to thank the community she's fallen in love with. But it isn't only the town she's fallen for.
Ewan Mackenzie has given up everything for his brother's family, but he can never give enough to assuage his guilt at what happened one dark night, years ago . . . Ewan knows he doesn't deserve happiness, however with Kree he finds it hard to keep his distance.
Can Kree and Ewan leave the tragedies of their pasts behind long enough to find a future together?
My review of this book:
Down Outback Roads is like hot chocolate and marshmallows - it's warm, comforting and wonderful. It's two love stories in one book and the characters are incredibly loveable. It is the book of the slow reveal as little by little more of the backstory is shared to keep you hanging. Alissa Callen does an amazing job at evoking life in rural Australia with its natural beauty, its hardships and its sense of community and mateship. I loved the townsfolk of Glenalla, I love how parochially Australian this book was and how it celebrated our beautiful outback, but most of all I loved reading about the quintessential hero - the good honest (and hot!) Aussie farmer Ewan and his love for the beautiful American visitor Kree as well as his love for his family. This is a beautiful story that I can't recommend highly enough and I'll be rushing out to buy any other books released by this amazing author.
When Alissa Callen isn't writing she plays traffic controller to four children, three dogs, two horses and one renegade cow who really does believe the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. After a childhood spent chasing sheep on the family farm, Alissa has always been drawn to remote areas and small towns, even when residing overseas. Once a teacher and a counsellor, she remains interested in the life journeys that people take. She also is partial to historic homesteads and country gardens and has been known to drive hours to see an open-garden. She currently lives on a small slice of rural Australia in central western New South Wales.
You can find Alissa on her website http://www.alissacallen.com/books/ and on her author page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alissa-Callen-Author/355366704552838?fref=ts
Down Outback Roads revisits the colourful and close-knit community of Glenalla that featured in Beneath Outback Skies. There will be familiar faces as well as quirky new characters and animals with plenty of personality. The drought has now broken but the bush community still has many challenges to face, least of all finding the missing backpacking brother of the heroine, Kree Garrett.
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I’m loving being back in the Montana mountains and writing the 5th book in my Wildflower Ranch series called Hold Me, Cowboy. This is another Copper Mountain rodeo story and have just been to the Coonamble Rodeo and Camp draft for research.
What do you love the most about the main character in your book?
I always have a soft spot for all of my heroes (and cowgirl heroines). Life on the land can be challenging and it takes a certain set of timeless values to survive. A hero and heroine need to be resilient, courageous and honourable. Their toughness also needs to be tempered by tenderness. In Down Outback Roads the character of Ewan Mackenzie was both a challenge, as well as rewarding, to write. Damaged, guarded and closed off from the good things in life, Ewan has an endless road to travel but he does so with strength and determination. He also looks good in dust, boots and denim.
Why do you write?
I wish I knew. It’s more than a compulsion, not quite an obsession, but definitely a part of who I am.
Where did the inspiration for this book come from?
The small town of Glenalla, and the surrounding red earth countryside, is very much based on my local area. From bushranger murals, to an old Cobb and Co. coach station, to a tin hut standing alone and aloof in a canola crop, threads of the central west of NSW are woven into Down Outback Roads. I hope readers enjoy visiting Glenalla as much as I liked bringing this fictional town to life.
What tricks do you have to beat writer’s block?
If a story trickles to a stop I know I haven’t planned it sufficiently or have my character’s motivations drilled down. Often I’ll go for a walk, or do something outside, and it’s then when I’m not thinking about the story, that the words will again flow. I also revisit what I’ve written as sometimes my subconscious has planted story seeds that will provide a new way forward or a character insight that will untangle the plot threads.
Do you write with a plan or do you see where the story takes you?
A title always comes first. For some reason I can’t seem to settle on a plot if I don’t have a title to pin the story on. I must confess I’m slightly addicted to Google so it then doesn’t take much to send me off down a research rabbit hole so I must have a brief blurb to keep me on track. I’m then a hybrid-plotter. I plot in broad brush strokes and then pantser my way through filling in the finer details.
What is your all time favourite movie?
Persuasion staring Rupert Penry-Jones.
What is it about this genre that appeals to you so much?
I’m a country girl so I love writing stories that encapsulate the rural way of life and that pay homage to the resilience of bush communities. I also love the strong heroines in the rural genre (no swooning allowed) and the way the unique and vivid landscape becomes a character in itself. I also really enjoy writing a confident, beta hero, and not an alpha, overbearing one.
What aspects of storytelling do you like the best, and what aspects do you struggle with the most?
A lifetime ago I was a counselor and saw firsthand life doesn’t always deliver a happy ending. So now, no matter what I might throw at my characters, I know there always will be a happily-ever-after and I love this about story telling. The aspect that I’m not so enamored with is the writing of non-closed door sex scenes. I’m all about the emotional journey, not so much about the destination, so I can struggle when an editor might ask me to amp up the sexual tension of a scene.