Chris Gardner

The joys of self-publishing.


Oranges and Wine–Title of my new book?

This is one of the hardest parts of writing a book–coming up with a title. It needs to grab attention and somehow indicate something about the content. I’m a long way from finishing this one but I’d appreciate suggestions if you have any.

This is the third and final book of my rural romance series (Red Dust Series); the first one is Stony Creek and the second, The Road to Karinya. Both of those titles use the names of rural properties involved in the story but that’s not an option for the current novel.

Like the first two books I have one heroine in the late 20th century and another much earlier and I need to find a title that suits both stories. Both women move to Sunraysia, an area on the Murray River which includes a small part of both New South Wales and Victoria. Clare, originally from a citrus property in Queensland, leaves her home in Sydney in 1985 to live in Mildura (Victoria), nearer Karinya Station, where her brother and his family live. She lives in a flat in a converted house, the other half of which is occupied by Fern, an elderly woman with her own story.

Fern left her home in Sydney in 1920 to marry George, who was one of the original soldier settlers in Curlwaa, New South Wales, and spent most of her life there on their citrus property. She sold the property and moved to Mildura as an elderly widow. Fern and Clare become good friends and Fern worries when she suspects someone is watching Clare.

Without giving away too much of the story, wine is an important part of Clare’s story which is why I’m currently using the working title of ‘Wine and Oranges’, but I’m not sure yet if I’ll end up keeping it. Is it catchy or boring? Opinions please.

Stony_Creek_Cover_for_Kindle                 karinya cover



Another one bites the dust . . . And the joys of self-publishing

Whew! Finally finished, formatted and uploaded my latest book, ‘The Road to Karinya’. What with RSI and my son’s overseas wedding in the middle of it I was starting to think it wouldn’t happen. The formatting with Createspace is so much easier now, after 13 books, but that page numbering is till a source of pain. Trying to get Word to start the numbers on page 3 instead of the title page. I did it with nothing but persistence last time around and even wrote notes for myself for next time; obviously not very good notes because it was still ridiculous. Eventually I succeeded but I don’t really know how so I won’t know any better next time.

Anyway I’m happy with the book, so that’s what counts. It would be lovely to hand it over to a publisher to do all the formatting and so on but, on the other hand, I am a bit of a control freak and as difficult as the process is I do find satisfaction in doing it all myself. The covers are fun as long as I can find the right picture and I’m happy with this one. Galahs in a gum tree is about as Aussie as it gets.

‘The Road to Karinya’ is Book 2 of my series ‘Red Dust’, the first of which was ‘Stony Creek‘. We met Prue King briefly in Stony Creek, as a 15 year old neighbour on Karinya Station. I decided she was worthy of her own story, set a few years later, and instead of a city girl going to live on a station, Prue is an outback girl who sets off on the ultimate road trip around Australia, with her friend Sally. She finds romance and trouble and grows up along the way.

Quite a few of the settings are based on my own experiences around the country–I certainly haven’t been everywhere but I lived on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland for a while, as well as Mildura, where Prue starts out. I was born at Wentworth, where Prue and her six sisters were born and I have been to Perth, as well as Brisbane and Adelaide. I worked at the Big Pineapple on the Sunshine Coast and will never forget those tropical sundaes we had for morning tea every day! I also picked oranges with my husband in both Mundubbera, Queensland and Waikerie, South Australia, but not for long–it’s  really not in my skill set!



Free ebook–Inheritance.

I’ve put Inheritance up free on Amazon for the next four days, starting tomorrow, so have a look and let me know what you think. I hate writing blurbs; I find it very difficult to describe a story without giving too much away, but here goes. It’s set mostly in country Victoria, Australia, and begins, with Jo, in a contemporary setting. An efficient executive who has worked for the same company for years, she suddenly finds her comfortable life turned upside down when her long-term boyfriend dumps her for a younger woman. As she is wondering what to do next her uncle dies and leaves her his quaint old country cottage. Throwing her usual caution to the wind she decides to move in to the charming little Rose Cottage, but life in the country is not at all what she expected and as she learns the history of the cottage  . . . well, that’s enough said. I think it’s a good read and I’m pretty sure you won’t be bored. I happen to live in country Victoria myself but the imaginary Hope Valley is nothing like where I live.

We’ve been here over 20 years and it is home but I still find it a slightly odd feeling when I visit my family back in Mildura, where I grew up. I went to see my mother last week for her 93rd birthday and it’s good to see the town seems to be thriving. It’s kind of in the middle of nowhere-like a rather large oasis in the desert. It’s set on the beautiful Murray River, which is the border between Victoria and New South Wales; I was actually born on the New South Wales side and lived in a settlement called Curlwaa, on a citrus orchard. On this visit my sister took me for a drive and we found the property where we lived; the house has gone and so has the school we attended but there are still some vaguely familiar areas. I was only six when we left there and grew up in Mildura but I do have some memories of the old place. I vividly remember sitting at the big old dining table watching my mother pull all the gizzards from chickens and spotting the occasional soft egg amongst the mess. Very exciting! I also remember picking the middle out of the fresh bread when we walked up the long driveway to pick it up from the gate where the baker left it. Bread has never tasted better than that!

Let me know which of my books you’d like to read for free next. I’ve just had Sanctuary up and all of the others will be free at some time in the next few weeks.

Happy reading.


Here are some of the reviews for Inheritance from the Amazon UK page, which don’t show up on my Author Page.


5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 28 Feb 2013

By s johnson – See all my reviews

This review is from: Inheritance (Kindle Edition)

Absolutely brilliant book. Looked forward to reading it every evening. Expected the book to be quite predictable but that was not the case. Really recommended.


5.0 out of 5 stars GRIPPING, 31 Jan 2013

By P. Scholtz – See all my reviews


Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)

This review is from: Inheritance (Kindle Edition)



4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual, 2 Mar 2013

By jill wood – See all my reviews

Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)

This review is from: Inheritance (Kindle Edition)

Expected easy going book but was pleasantly surprised although sad in places very enjoyable read not the usual predictable end.