Many of my family vacations were spent at Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, where summer begins on December 1 and ends of the last day of February.
My very first memory is from early childhood: a holiday spent with my parents in a caravan park beneath enormous Norfolk pines which still stand today. I remember the early morning sunlight, the unfamiliar smell of fuel stoves in the cool of the morning; and the little Scotch terrier with his tartan jacket. I’d never seen a dog like that before.
The nightly carnival ground fascinated me: the rides, the sounds and smells, various stalls, atmosphere, and loud music. Dean Martin’s ‘Volare’, which must have been a hit at the time, played continuously.
The evening family concerts in the park provided entertainment enjoyed by both children and adults were something to look forward to every Christmas holiday.
The carnival and concerts continued for many years until their demise, which sadly, marked the end of an era.
Every morning we lazed on the sand beneath the beach umbrella, or surfed the waves. If a shark ventured close to the swimming area, warning bells rang, and everyone scrambled from the water until it was safe to return.
During one holiday, hundreds of enormous round jelly fish covered the entire beach. I tiptoed very carefully between them on my way to the kiosk and back again.
In the afternoons, mum, my sister and I walked along the beach or played in the sand while dad fished in the surf.
We’d often do the nature walk around Burleigh Headland, staying on the path while keeping an eye out for pythons and other snakes.
There were many interesting educational visits to Dr. David Fleays Wildlife Sanctuary. At every visit, I’d hope to see the platypus and, only once, was rewarded with a brief glimpse of this elusive and unique mammal. http://www.fleayswildlife.com.au/about-david-fleay/
Occasionally we’d visit the porpoise pool at Snapper Rocks and enjoy watching the porpoises being fed.
Following a tropical downpour, many of the campers in the camp ground next door packed up the bits and pieces of their drenched belongings and saturated tents and left. A sudden end to what was a perfect summer vacation.
In the mid-sixties, a live band entertained beachgoers on Burleigh Beach with hits from the popular artists of that time: Manfred Mann, Rolling Stones, and Beatles, to name a few. Though now I don’t remember the name of the band, I certainly enjoyed their music.
Just a few years later, the family holidays ended when I transferred interstate with my work.
Attractive Paige Delaney is more woman than Jack Shannon wants in his life, though he's in serious need of her award winning skills in web design. Paige believes her sexy new boss thinks he's God's gift to woman. Both are single parents with shattered dreams and damaged hearts, having suffered betrayals of trust in previous relationships. Each desires to love and be loved, but they are afraid to trust the opposite sex again.
When Jack moves into his new house and discovers Paige is his next door neighbour, their protective barriers and personal goals are threatened. Is it fate or their teenage children conspiring to push them together?
More About Joanie
I am an Australian author of contemporary romance. My novels are a mix of sweet and sexy feel-good stories. I just love a happy ending. With my own romantic hero, I love to travel and have visited parts of the world I never dreamed I'd see. From the UK to US; Italy, Croatia, Spain and Portugal; Tunisia, where I took a camel ride into the Sahara desert; Morocco, Paris; the Baltic Capitals, Shetland Islands, Faroe Islands; Noumea, and late last year, Iceland and Wales. A summary of my visit to Iceland and link to a Writing Retreat in Wales is on the news page of my website. Home, family and friends are important to me. I have blended these elements into some of my stories.