Tag Archives: Family saga

I’m often asked: Is your book based on a real person? My American neuro surgeon was ….

I wonder how many authors get asked this question? Is your book based on a real person?

And in fact some great fictional heroes have become so real to the reading public, they are treated as if they are real.

Think Hercule Poirot, proudly claimed by the Belgians. Or Sherlock Holmes. Or in more recent times, Ian Rankin’s creation Inspector Rebus, who, aged in real time, became too old for the police force.

In writing my family saga with its mixture of family drama, deep buried secrets, a terrible crime, infidelity and romance, beginning at a time when the world was at war, I was tapping into stories my father told of our local district, complemented by my own research.

American men stayed behind in my local city after the war to marry their sweethearts and become Australian citizens. Some Australian girls headed to America after marrying their American boyfriends.

In amongst all this, I found the inspiration for my American Army surgeon Philippe Duval – there was an American neuro surgeon posted to American Army forces in Queensland.

He had an interest in photography and joined a local camera club. I know nothing of his life after the war or whether he had a local sweetheart, but those small details were enough to help me flesh out the character of Dr Philippe Duval. I made him a native of Long Island, (Sag Harbor).

Why Sag Harbor? It suited the story line of his life and my husband and I visited Long Island in 2003. We loved it!

Philippe Duval’s story is a key thread through my three Belleville novels – we meet him in Julia’s Story, again in To Love, Honour and Betray and finally in Return to Prior Park where his story is centre stage. I hope you’ll love this character as I do.

Check for full details of the books at http://www.pmabooks.com or Amazon.com or your favourite retailer.

My Belleville family: Love affairs, seduction, temptation …. this story took on a life of its own

The story of the Belleville family had been in my head for so long I feel as if they are old friends. Yet I could not have imagined how book 3 would turn out.

Something amazing happened as I wrote it. My characters’ lives really took over the writing. I cannot describe just how satisfying that was.

As I wrote the story, it took so many surprising turns. 

New people inserted themselves into the story. New ideas and new directions for their lives took over the storytelling.

There is no one main protagonist. It is, instead, the story of a family and a story of their lives as they cope with tragedy, disappointment, failed marriages and love affairs that threaten to derail their lives.

Who will you fall in love with as you read about the Belleville family?

Is it the handsome war hero Richard Belleville? Or the charismatic James Fitzroy with his roving eye? Or will you be seduced by the suave charm of American surgeon Dr Philippe Duval? Or the polite and sophisticated Englishman Sir Edward Cavendish? Or does your heart belong to the steady and faithful William Belleville?

And of the women? Who would my women readers most like to be?

The controlling matriarch Elizabeth Belleville? Or her daughter Julia Belleville whose life is changed irrevocably in Book 1 by the actions of her mother?

Of is it the aristocratic beauty Catherine Cavendish who tries hard to love the Australian way of life but cannot settle?

Or Alice Fitzroy whose ambitions are simply for a good marriage and a happy family?

And then, in Book 3, we meet the new friends.

Kate Lester, a wife and mother who had settled for a loveless marriage until … (no, sorry, no spoilers here).

AND finally

Karen Clarke … glamorous, provocative, a temptress ….. a woman not used to be denied. 

Through all this there are two great family secrets. One ends in …… (no, no spoilers) … and the other ….. you must read the books. You must know the outcome of these Belleville family secrets. 

You must read the books, cover to cover. Only that will do.

And who am I secretly in love with? That will remain my secret …..

The pleasure of writing the story of the Belleville family

The Belleville trilogy is now complete

Some years ago, as I was completing a Year of the Novel course at Queensland Writers Centre, I had an idea for a story. Or more precisely, an idea for a story found me through a dream. Several years on, the story has now been told through the Belleville family trilogy with the third book – RETURN TO PRIOR PARK – being released this week.

As I wrote the third book, I was amazed at how the characters’ lives took over their stories. In some ways book 3 is quite a departure from the first two – so I will be very interested to hear what readers have to say.

I wanted to refresh the first two books – not the stories – but the presentation, so I have released each book with a new more contemporary cover design.

The Belleville story is a timeless story – of love, of betrayal, of secrets and tragedy. Its origins are Australian but its reach is international – from New York to London to Sydney and to country Australia.

The Belleville trilogy

Julia’s Story (previously The House of Secrets: Julia’s Story)
Book 1 – ISBN 9780994327642

To Love, Honour and Betray
Book 2 – ISBN 9780994327659

Return to Prior Park
Book 3 – ISBN 9780994327635

My one hope is that my readers enjoy reading the books as much as I enjoyed writing them. Will there be more Belleville books? Perhaps. 
For more information, including links to buy the books, go to
my website.

Gatton, Laidley, Ipswich & Nowra – that’s where you’ll find me in November

The House of Secrets: Julia’s Story and To Love, Honour & Betray – book 2 of the Belleville family saga.

OK so I confess – I’m still struggling to balance my day job and my life as an author but November will be a busy month for Library visits in Queensland and NSW.

If you are interested in hearing me talk about my writing, the era in which my books are set, the social settings that shape the stories and how the story has developed, I look forward to meeting you at one of these events.

Forthcoming appearances

November 3rd
Gatton Library    10.00am
Laidley Library     1.30pm
Further information:     https://lockyervalley.spydus.com/Events

November 11th
Ipswich Library    10.00am-1.00pm  Indie Author Expo
Further information:     http://www.library.ipswich.qld.gov.au/events/

November 24th
Nowra Library    11.30am
Further information:     click here

Criterion Hotel – this is where all the trouble started for Julia Belleville

b88964281z1_20170908170021_000genpesls2-0-6w2iwoz80nyae6bzvo2_t620
It isn’t fiction – the Criterion Hotel, Rockhampton – owners: Megan and Ryan Turnbull (Image courtesy The Rockhampton Morning Bulletin)

Readers of my two books The House of Secrets: Julia’s Story and To Love, Honour & Betray – will know this hotel – The Criterion Hotel in Rockhampton – because it featured prominently in both books.

Yes, that’s right. It wasn’t a figment of my imagination although it’s internal layout might have been fictionalised.

READ THE FULL STORY OF THE HOTEL HERE

American troops did commandeer the hotel as an officer billet in WWII and it was the location for many social events – my elder sister Deidre Hofmann​’s engagement party was held here (probably late 1962).

If you’re ever visiting Rockhampton, you should check it out. It’s well located overlooking the Fitzroy River – and there’s another name from my books.

Other local landmarks that were mentioned include the Rockhampton General Hospital (up on the hill). The city name was fictionalised.

While all the characters are purely fictional, I chose to set my books in a setting I knew well – even though I left the area as a teenager.

Check out the book details at this link – http://www.jmarymasters.com