August Check-in

After an action-packed July, it’s been nice to have the pace slowed a tad in August. I’ve had to deal with a few curve balls in the day job that have left me awake and stressing at night, but other than that all has been travelling along as it should.

Okay, without further palaver, let’s wrap up August.


Okay, not strictly sunrises because the sun isn’t up properly until after we’ve finished our walk, had our coffee and headed home to start work. The “blue hour” though – that 20-30 minutes before sunrise (and the 20-30 minutes after sunset) – has been glorious. It’s made getting up at 4.30am to walk in the dark and the cold worth it.

Out and About

As this post is published I’ll be at the airport waiting for a flight to Sydney. Even though I know I should take another few days and go into the office and catch up with my colleagues I’m just down for the weekend to see Mum and Dad.

Earlier in the month Adventure Spaniel and I had a week up in Hervey Bay with Sarah. I day-jobbed as usual, but it’s a nice change to do it from her place.

Kookaburra eyeing off my lunch

It also adds some variety to my morning walks and she likes coming home to someone to talk to – and who has made dinner for her (and filled her freezer and cleaned her house #mumoftheyear).

It’s right in the middle of the whale-watching season up there at the moment. Hervey Bay is the whale-watching capital of Australia and in 2019 was crowned the world’s first Whale Heritage Site, so is one of the best places in the world to see these gentle giants. I told you a little about that in this post.

The day we went out was cold and drizzly, but we were rewarded with whaley antics by at least a dozen whales. Sadly I had my Nikon set on the incorrect exposure so my pics are disappointing, but hey ho.

On the foodie front up there we began and ended one Sunday at Enzos by the beach – breakfast and sundowners. The pics are above – including my amazing spanner crab omelette. Yummo.

morning coffee at Cody’s Shack

I also caught up with my friend Debbish for lunch one day at Table Eleven (I’m in the background in the stripey shirt)…

…and Sarah and I ate at Banksia Seafood one night – purely for the scallops.

Finally, we met up with some friends for an impromptu picnic on the weekend at Noosa Botanic Gardens which isn’t actually at Noosa but is at Cooroy (see this post). I made some marinated chicken wings and drummies, and baked this rocket, cheese and onion tart and some scones.


writing at Mooloolaba Beach

This has taken a back-seat this month due to the afore-mentioned day-job curve balls, but I have finally managed some new words on a novel that I had wanted to release for Christmas this year but now won’t make that target. I’ve been too slow in writing it and I don’t have a cover designer booked in yet…it is what it is. So instead of being Christmas at Mannus Ridge, it will be titled something different… maybe…

It’s sort of a spin-off to my Melbourne chick-lit series but is set in Mannus Ridge – a fictional Southern NSW country town – and has one of my most disliked characters – Ainsley St James – at the centre. The blurb will be something like:

Ainsley St James turned her back on Mannus Ridge fifteen years ago when she left Angus McGuire at the altar and headed for the city. In the years since Ainsley has achieved everything she left Manus Ridge to achieve – with a high-powered job and the designer wardrobe, apartment, sports car and boyfriend to match. But in just one day Ainsley manages to lose it all. Forced to go back to Mannus Ridge home she finds that her parent’s hotel – which has been in the family for generations – is under threat. Can she save the pub and win back the respect of the townsfolk she previously turned her back on? And does she deserve a second chance at love with the man she left behind?

In other news, Philly Barker Investigates is due for release on September 28. For the first time, I’m organised enough to have print copies available on the same day.

You can preorder digital copies on all platforms – the links are here – and print copies will be available through your favourite online bookseller after publication.

Selfie of the month

A fashionista I most certainly am not. In my defence, I was at Sarah’s and her house is designed to keep the heat out so is cold in winter and I’d forgotten my ugg boots and my feet were freezing on the tiles while trying to work. I did, however, have a nice top on under the poncho for zoom work meetings.

On the last Friday of each month (Southern Hemisphere), the co-hosts of What’s On Your Bookshelf hold a link-up for readers to share their reflections and actions inspired by their Words of the Year (or goals/intentions for 2022). SueDebDonna and, of course, myself are looking forward to you joining us and sharing how you have focused on your WOTY during the previous month. The linky is below.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter…

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

22 thoughts

  1. Return to Manus Ridge? Ainsley’s Second Chance? A Second Chance at Manus Ridge? Okay, so you can clearly see why I am not in charge of coming up with book titles. 😀
    Enjoy your time with your parents — please send pics!
    Oh, and speaking of pics — this post definitely should have come with Hunger Trigger Warnings! All of that food looked divine! 😀

    1. Lol re the titles…who knows I may still call it Christmas at Mannus Ridge & release it in March…I’ve got to finish it first!

  2. Hello Jo another busy month for you. I’m not surprised you didn’t do much writing. It must be lovely to visit your daughter and be able to work while there. I love the whale photos. I was excited when you mentioned Cooroy as I was there recently and loved it. I missed the Botanic Gardens as my son didn’t tell me about them. He’s not into gardens so probably doesn’t know about them himself. I love the photo of Philly Barker Investgates

    1. Make sure you get over to the gardens next time. My friend lives very close and says she goes over most Sunday mornings and finds a spot near the lake to read a book.

  3. I have similar look at home right now: socks and birks. We are actually up to date and on trend. Here almost everyone wears socks and ‘scuffs’ as my husband calls them. Here’s to us. Trendsetters. Your blog is drool worthy. Honestly so many bites I would like to have there..because I can’t eat much more than snack size. Congratulations on your writing and publication! Exciting times…Hope the weekend is a nice and relaxing one with your parents. Thanks for the link up Denyse x

  4. Another amazing bunch of photos – especially the food ones! I always feel hungry after reading your posts! Re the book title : Easter at Manus Ridge?, it gives you another date to aim for and you can include lots of scrummy Easter eggs in the story 😂
    Enjoy September and hopefully some warmer weather

    1. That crab omelette was the business. They did it with a miso lime dressing that I’ve been trying (and failing) to replicate.

  5. Jo, Congratulations on the upcoming release of your Philly Barker Investigates book! The cover looks beautiful. I’m glad to hear you’ve had a great time Sarah and friends. Thank you for sharing your August and gorgeous pictures with us, and co-hosting #2022WOTY link party with Sue and Donna this month. Have a safe and enjoyable trip!

  6. Jo, the whale photos are pretty incredible even if you were dialed into the wrong setting. Sounds like there will be other opportunities in the future. No fair with the food pics! I am still counting calories in order to fit into my dress for the wedding. I think I gained a few pounds just looking.

  7. I love your wrap WOTY posts Jo. The sunrise photos start my day and they have been glorious, thank you. The whale photos are spectacular. You are definitely making time for your WOTY ‘ME’ despite what the day job throws at you. I’m excited that Philly is almost here – congratulations! xx

  8. Your book blurb sounds fantastic! Those sunrises are just beautiful even if the sun isn’t quite up yet in most of them.

  9. Hi Jo – it sounds like a really nicely balanced month with a bit of everything you enjoy to offset the work curve balls. Congrats on the soon-to-be-released novel, it must be such a blast seeing your words in a real book – something I’ll never get to see!

  10. Long time since I’ve been able to catch up with blog posts. Lovely to catch up on what you’ve been up to. I always enjoy your sunrise pics on Insta! Congratulations again on your new book. I am in awe on how you get these things done! Hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend in Sydney with your family. Have a great September!

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