Build Us Your Ideal Story with Jenn J McLeod
I love a food and wine menu . . .
“I’ll have the pasta and a Cab Sav, thanks!”
That is until it comes to having to make a choice.
“Ah, can I change my order? I’ll have what everyone else is having!”
I’m afraid I’m not much better at choosing from a menu of plots and twists the $10.00 budget is plain cruel. So, yes, AusRom Today’s $10.00 challenge was . . . well, a challenge!
To help, I’m going to imagine I’m at a huge banquet table, surrounded by all you fellow fiction lovers, and all happy to have what I’m having. So, whet your appetite, folks. Here we go:
“For starters, we’ll have a $5.00 slice of ‘once in a lifetime love’. Followed by a heap of ‘conflict that forces personal growth’—a bargain at $3.00. To top all that off, we must have the $2.00 serving of ‘surprise with an unexpected ending’. Yum! Best $10.00 ever.”
I do love that my endings have become my signature, with my 2013 release (Australia’s #5 top selling debut novel) touted as “the twist I never saw coming”. It looks like book #4, The Other Side of the Season, is maintaining both the twist and the five-tissue rating trend.
It’s a story about first love, family love, and forever love with a dual-period timeline that spans three decades and with a simple message:
Everything has a reflection and there’s another side to every story.
Now, let me finish our meal together with a blurb and a shot of brandy by the fire as I take you to Watercolour Cove for winter.
When offering to drive her brother to Byron Bay to escape the bitter Blue Mountain’s winter, Sidney neglects to mention her planned detour to the small seaside town of Watercolour Cove.
Thirty-five years earlier, Watercolour Cove is a very different place. Two brothers are working the steep, snake-infested slopes of a Coffs Coast banana plantation. Seventeen-year-old David does his share, but the budding artist spends too much time daydreaming about becoming the next Pro Hart and skiving off with the teasing and tantalisingly pretty Tilly from the neighbouring property. His older brother, Matthew, has no time for such infatuations. His future is on the land and he plans to take over the Greenhill plantation from his father.
Life is simple on top of the mountain for David, Matthew and Tilly until the winter of 1979 when tragedy strikes, starting a chain reaction that will ruin lives for years to come. Those who can, escape the Greenhill plantation. One stays—trapped on the mountain and haunted by memories and lost dreams. That is until the arrival of a curious young woman, named Sidney, whose love of family shows everyone the truth can heal, what’s wrong can be righted, the lost can be found, and……there’s another side to every story.
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