Friday, September 23, 2011

Melanie Milburne: Outback Heroes

One of the biggest thrills of being a Harlequin Mills and Boon author is having one of your books come out in a collecting with other authors. It's even more thrilling when those other authors are ones you know personally and count as friends. Fiona Lowe and Amy Andrews are out with me in the outback this time with our Outback Heroes collection called Australian Bachelors.

I love the Australian outback. It's so rugged and the colours so rich and unusual. The red ochre of the rocks and the shimmering of the heat on the vast landscape is something I think of again and again here in my green English countryside-like state of Tasmania.
One of my favourite holidays was to the Northern Territory a few years ago. We went to Darwin and then Uluru and Alice Springs and Kings Canyon. We also went out into the desert for dinner under the stars where an astronomer showed us the constellations in the brilliant night sky.

Another highlight was when I went to the Darwin Show. It had such a wonderful old world feel about it. And all those gorgeous men in moleskins! I had to fan my face many times. It was such a great trip and truly inspiring, which is why I came to write this particular book.
In Top-Notch Doc, Outback Bride I have Kellie Thorne thrown out of her depth in the outback. She really is a fish out of water as she is a beach chick from birth. 

The guarded and unfriendly Matthew McNaught is not quite what she is expecting. She is all bubbles and enthusiasm. He is brooding and enigmatic. Just what I love in a hero! But behind Matt's aloofness is a man who is not quite ready to let go of the past. His fiancee was tragically killed six years ago and he has not moved on from it.

One of the things I thought about as I wrote this novel was how soon is too soon to have another relationship after a partner has died? Does grief have a time limit? What do people think is the right period of time? Does the length of time say something about the relationship that has been lost?
I used to think if men remarried quickly that they must have been really unhappy before, but apparently that's not what studies have shown. It is more likely for a happily long-term married man to remarry sooner rather than later after the death of his spouse. Interesting, isn't it? What do you think is the reason? I will send a copy of Australian Bachelors to a random comment posted.
Warmest wishes,
Melanie Milburne

***Marybelle, your name was picked as the winner!  Please email me at with your full name and mailing address so we can get the prize in the mail to you. Thanks to everyone else who commented!***


scarlet wilson said...

Melanie - that is possibly one of the nicest book covers I have ever seen! Love the australian photos too x

Laney4 said...

I have thought for years that happily married men remarry quicker than unhappily married men. Some men really miss that feeling of coming home to someone who cares about them and who takes care of them (yes, I know this sounds archaic). As well, some men feel that they need to be needed. I could even understand that some do not feel comfortable unless in a marriage. The same can be said about some women, I'm sure. One should also consider that many in the "older generation" do not feel that they can "have a relationship" with a woman out of wedlock.

Laurie G said...

I like they miss that feeling of companionship. They get lonely. They are used to having someone to share their lives with. It's nice to rehash the day, share the work load, cook together, share the decision making etc. It's nice to feel connected to someone on an intimate, loving level.

I too love the cover!

Desere said...

Hi Melanie, Congrats on your book ! I am no expert but I think it could be because their lives might feel empty, there is no one to talk to except for guy friends and or the kids if any.

There are certain things that you can discuss with a guy friend but not everything and they seek something different. Also liek Laurie G said they miss coming home to someone and being lonely is never any fun nor can I imagine is it all that good for your health, maybe every now and then but not when you were use to having someone that is now suddely gone.

And there is also something I have seen in a few books and movies , when the man feels he cannot control his kids alone usally a daughter who needs a mother to help her become a lady.

Thanks for a great post !


Melanie Milburne said...

Hi Scarlet,
It is a nice cover isn't it? It's exactly as I imagined the characters.
And the photos are exactly as the outback is in real life. So vibrant and rich. Can't wait to go back!

Melanie Milburne said...

Laney, I agree that the loneliness is what gets to them. It's just too hard to come home to an empty house. It's funny because sometimes when women lose their husbands after a long term marriage they blossom and go out and do things they wouldn't have dreamt of doing before. I guess it all depends on the relationship and the personalities. Women generally have better relationship networks too.

Melanie Milburne said...

Hi Laurie,
I think I would miss the "guess what happened to me today" conversations. Who else is interested in those things other than your partner? As to the sharing of the chores... where are the men who do that?!!! Australian men are not good at doing their fare share. Maybe it's different in other countries.

Melanie Milburne said...

Hi Desere!
It must be so hard being widowed with young children to look after. I can imagine a lot of men would be keen to find someone to help him with that.
But hooking up before you're ready is a disaster. I've got friends who got involved with recently widowed men and it was just so hard competing with a dead wife whose photos and things were still in the house. There is definitely a point when it's time to move on but who knows when that is? It must be different for each person, I guess.
Thanks for dropping by!

Fiona Lowe said...

Melanie, those photos are gogeous, as is the cover of the book.

Sonali said...

Hi Melanie,

The cover of 'Top-Not Doc, Outback Bride' is fabulous.

Well i'm not married yet, but i will take a shot at answering your question. I think man marry sooner rather than later after the death of their spouse is because they become very lonely. They miss the companionship that used to exist in their marriage.

Sonali said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melanie Milburne said...

Hi Fiona!
This is the book that is out with yours and Amy's in Australian Bachelors. Thanks for dropping by.

Melanie Milburne said...

Hi Sonali,
I think you are right- it is the loneliness that gets hard to cope with. That sense of companionship is an integral part of a marriage, especially a long term one.

marybelle said...

I'm loving the idea of an Outback Heroes collection. Australian Bachelors looks wonderful.

Kaelee said...

Hi I'm a bit late commenting as I was away for a bit. I love the pictures and your cover is wonderful as well.

I think men get remarried quicker because there are so many ladies out there looking for a mate. A good friend remarried quite quickly after his wife died. He told my husband that he couldn't stand all the widows chasing him. He married his wife's best friend. She had been included a lot of the times when they were doing things and our friend just felt really comfortable with her. He told my husband he had always liked his wife's friend and was very happy it had developed into something more. He also felt his first wife wouldn't mind his choice.

Melanie Milburne said...

HI Kaelee,
I think that is also quite common-the friend who has always been there in the background. It's kind of romantic, isn't it? Nice too, that the wife would have approved.

marybelle said...