Cassandra Piat

All about the woman, the author and Mauritius…

Looking for a book to read this weekend?



If you’re looking for a book to read this weekend, here are the ones that were part of my Valentine Hop giveaway, a great selection of novels from a number of talented Australian authors (including quite a few from Western Australia where my family lives!)

(1) Lily Malone’s “Fairway to Heaven


It’s going to take more than summer loving to heal old wounds, but a remote beach, old friendships and a bit of sunshine might just spark a second chance at love.

When Jennifer Gates drives to Sea Breeze Golf Club to kick off date-night with her boyfriend, the last thing she expects is to find Golf Pro Jack giving one of his lady students a private—and very personal—lesson in bunker-play.

Lucky for Jenn, her best friend gives her the keys to the Culhane family’s beach shack on the white-pepper shores of Western Australia’s Geographe Bay. Jenn hopes a weekend on the coast with her young son will give her the space she needs to rebuild her confidence after Jack’s betrayal.

But she’s not the only person seeking sanctuary by the sea. Brayden Culhane is there too, and Jenn can’t look at Brayden without remembering the tequila-flavoured kiss they shared on the shack steps years ago.

As long-buried feelings are rekindled, and a friendship is renewed, Jenn knows it is more than lazy summer days bringing her mojo back. Romantic sunsets, ice-cold beers and the odd round of golf can only go so far, because this time trusting Brayden with her heart won’t be enough. Jenn has to learn to trust her body, too.


(2) Tess Woods’ “Love at First Flight


What would you risk to be with the love of your life? A family is threatened by an irresistible attraction in this compelling debut that will appeal to fans of Liane Moriarty and Anita Shreve.

Looking back on it now, I can see it was instant. The second we locked eyes. Boom. Just like that. The me I had spent a lifetime perfecting began its disintegration from that moment. And despite the carnage it brought to all our lives, I still don’t regret it.

What would you risk to be with the love of your life? And what if your soul mate is the one who will destroy you?

Mel is living the dream. She’s a successful GP, married to a charming anaesthetist and raising a beautiful family in their plush home in Perth. But when she boards a flight to Melbourne, she meets Matt and her picture perfect Stepford life unravels as she falls in love for the first time ever.

What begins as a flirty conversation between strangers quickly develops into a hot and obsessive affair with disastrous consequences neither Mel nor Matt could have ever seen coming. Mel’s dream life turns into her worst nightmare.

LOVE AT FIRST FLIGHT will take everything you believe about what true love is and spin it on its head.


(3) Maggie Bolitho’s “Outback Promise


Can Ros and Grady move on from the past, or will their pain drive them apart? Six years ago, the Balfours lost their son Cadel to a hit-and-run driver. A few months ago, Ros discovered Grady’s affair. With their marriage fast disintegrating, they decide to take a three-month camping trip into the heart of Australia to try and mend deep wounds and rekindle the fire that once fused them close. This trip will decide the fate of their relationship: do they have enough strength and enough love left to accept what life has put them both through? But trust and forgiveness don’t come easily, and Ros and Grady have to navigate not only the wilderness of the Outback and the challenges of other travellers, but also the chasm of grief and bitterness they have sunk into over the last six years. Their only hope for survival lies in facing the secrets they have both tried to keep buried …


(4) Deborah Disney’s “Up and In


A laugh-out-loud debut that will delight fans of Liane Moriarty and Fiona Higgins, this is The Devil Wears Prada at the school gates.

Distinctly middle-class parents, Maria and Joe have committed every bit of available income to giving their daughters Kate and Sarah the best education possible, which to them means attending the most exclusive girls school in the state. But when Kate befriends the spoilt and moody Mirabella, Maria must learn to play nicely with Mirabella’s mother, Bea – the beguiling yet beastly queen of the toffee-nosed school mothers at Riverton.

A series of social blunders and intentional snubs make Maria determined to ensure Kate’s rightful position both at school and on the Saturday morning netball team, but as Maria works hard to negotiate the social hierarchy, her previously contented life with Joe falls far from view.

With her mastery of dialogue and character, Australian author Deborah Disney skillfully balances keen and witty observations about daily life with the more serious issues of schoolyard bullying and social isolation.

You will laugh, you will nod along, and you will want to take the increasingly neurotic Maria aside and point out that in all her desperate, gaffe-filled attempts to fit in with the well-heeled, champagne-swilling mummies of Riverton, she might just be risking all that she holds dear.


(5) Rocky Romance – a collection of six short love stories



Rocky Romance is an anthology of short stories of love set in the West Australian beachside city of Rockingham. This collection includes heartfelt stories of healing and simply not wanting to be lonely, as well as temptation, the butterflies of early love, and, of course, the inevitable romantic conflict. The stories explore romance as a possibility and as a ‘happy ever after’, giving readers a variety of warm, touching and funny moments to ponder.

A Place to Belong by Monique Hall

The Point of Love by Monique Mulligan

Perhaps Love by Teena Raffa

Love on the Rocks by Louisa Loder

The Whale Whisperer by Karen Weaver

Under the Rotunda by Mike Murphy


Have you read any of these books? Any other Australian authors or novels you can recommend? I’d love to hear from you 🙂


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The proposal

Hi everyone! First of all, I wanted to wish you all a very belated Happy New Year 2016! I hope 2016 will be everything you wish it to be and that it’s filled with happiness, love, laughter, good health, success and friendship…

As you’ve probably noticed (or not 🙂 ), I wasn’t very present, if at all, on the internet over the Christmas holidays because we went to Australia to spend Christmas with my wonderful family in Perth. I have to say that I’m in total awe of all those of you who managed to keep writing your blogs and posts all through the holidays – I just don’t know how you do it!

Although I didn’t get any writing done whatsoever during our trip, it was nevertheless inspiring in lots of ways. First of all, I realised that I was an ideal muse for any scatter-brained, typically ‘blonde’ female characters!!


Yep, from almost missing the plane because we just didn’t hear them calling our flight, to going to the supermarket and taking a man’s shopping bag by error and not realising until he caught up with me near my car, to wearing my t-shirt inside out, to putting petrol instead of diesel in my dad’s car and having to get it towed out of the petrol station (by a huge tow truck too)… and that’s only the half of it!

But over and above my air-headedness, there were just so many everyday situations that served as inspiration – it was just fascinating to people watch and imagine all the stories I could make up about each person, couple, family. One example was quite fun and along the lines of my chicklit/romcom genre…


One afternoon we went to Castle Rock, a beautiful place in the south west, for a sundowner. When we arrived, a girl in her late twenties approached us and asked us (very nicely) if we could avoid going too far down the beach as there was going to be a wedding proposal happening there soon! How exciting! So we sat on the beach and couldn’t help keeping a lookout for the happy couple, and finally, about half an hour later, they showed up. We knew straight away that it was them because the girl looked super relaxed and the guy – super tense! It was actually a laugh watching them knowing what was about to happen!

The proposalAnyway, they headed behind a bunch of rocks in a little cove and we were thrilled because we could still see them from where we were 🙂 – (yes, of course we watched them!!). We didn’t have to wait long – the guy was soon down on one knee and before we could even say ‘so is she, or isn’t she?’, she had jumped into his arms. We oohed and aahed from a distance and found the whole thing very romantic.

And then – out of the blue – comes a great potential cliff-hanger moment for someone with a super active imagination like mine! Yep, this guy suddenly starts sprinting down the beach in their direction, looking like he was on a mission!

gril thinking about writingNeedless to say that my creative jujus went into overdrive! There were so many potential scenarios to make up using just that one little moment… and it struck me that life, in itself, is an inspiration and everywhere you are or look there’s something to draw on for a story.

So next time you’re out of ideas, go and sit down in a park or on the beach or in a pub and watch the world go by… you’ll find inspiration in ways you never imagined.

As for me, although I haven’t written at all for over a month, I’ve stored a lot of great ideas in the back of my mind for when I do get back down to it. I’m really hoping that I will now find the time to do just that – and hopefully this blog post is my first step 🙂

That’s all for today, but I’m really looking forward to sharing great things with you this year and I really hope to hear back from a lot of you throughout the year so that I can get to know you all too 🙂

A bientôt!

P.S. For the record, the guy didn’t actually go up to the couple and we didn’t see him again!! So I guess we’ll never know where he was rushing to 🙂 🙂

Thanks for reading! To return to the FICTION WRITERS BLOG HOP on Julie Valerie’s website, click here:

And if you’re looking for an Australian novel to read, have a look at a few suggestions from my recent post Looking for a book to read this weekend? Fairway to Heaven is actually set in a coastal town not far from Castle Rock!