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Welcome to my New Look Website, and to 2024


The clock will soon tick over into the year 2024, many of us being glad to wave goodbye to the year 2023. As my first blog post to my new-look website I'm wishing all my family, friends and loyal followers a healthy and happy new year. I’ve known some of you for a long time, with some of my newer social media interactions becoming genuine friendships in real life, with face-to-face meetings. My distinctive hair has enabled at least one Facebook friend to recognise me in the street, at Circular Quay of all places, and we’ve since enjoyed chatting over a coffee.

I'm writing from Sydney’s seaside suburb of Manly, currently bustling with summer visitors, many parading in the streets wearing next to nothing. Sometimes the rear view of females comprises just two bits of string, one crossing the upper torso, the lower one being a G-string, although I've never been game to take a sneaky photo as proof of this claim. When I was a teenager living in this Northern Beaches area I was far too bashful and lacking in confidence to don even a regular two piece costume! 

We residents need endless injections of patience as we share our space with the carefree holiday makers and day tourists disgorged by the famous Manly ferry. These pedestrians have absorbed the historic marketing message that Manly is ‘Seven Miles from Sydney and a Thousand Miles from Care’. Phones in hand, they blissfully ignore the Don’t Walk signs, while staring at their screens and wearing headphones. True, this behaviour is a driving hazard everywhere, but in Manly it’s prompted the introduction of 30kph speed limits on local roads. It takes a long time for local drivers to get anywhere in and around Manly.

The Corso leading from the harbourside wharf to South Steyne Beach is full of tempting cafes, ice cream and beachware shops. Along the ocean beachfront, the towering Norfolk Island pine trees offer a shady haven from sand, surf and sunburn. 

You are likely familiar with pictures of Manly's numerous scenic attractions, so I'll skip those, because you need to see that this beautiful part of the world is a pretty wild place too. The East Esplanade promenade exhorts you to ‘Watch Out, Penguins About’. Occasionally a Bearded Water Dragon lizard pops out from his hiding spot. Shelly Beach, along the seafront walkway from South Steyne Beach, is part of the Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve where my eldest grandson and his friends love to snorkel and watch the marine life.

Above sea level, on North Head, bandicoots, echidnas and marauding brush turkeys enjoy their home in a spectacular national park which is also a paradise for walkers, joggers, cyclists, photographers and whale watchers. North Head is a favourite vantage point for watching the New Year’s Eve fireworks displays and the start of the Sydney Hobart yacht race. 

My website makes it clear that I mainly write non-fiction, as Louise Wilson but, as Louisa Valentine, I’ve included a few of Manly’s attractions in the setting for the second of my three novels ‘Trading Secrets’, available through major online stores as a paperback or ebook. If you’ve read it, I’d love your feedback.

My first novel 'Retreat into Paradise', a rural romance, is included in a current worldwide promotion of 2,000 FREE romance ebooks, covering all romance genres, for all types of e-readers. If you are a romance bookworm, here's your chance to stock up on free ebooks, using this link, for ONE DAY ONLY - 27 DECEMBER 2023. The date is set on west coast American time, which means up to 5pm Sydney time on 28 December. Take your pick and grab your free copies, as many as you like. My Louisa Valentine book can be found in the contemporary romance (sweet) section.

That’s it from me, for now. Next time I expect to be writing from my quiet desk in South Melbourne, after spending nearly two busy years on Gran duty in Sydney. My sole-parent daughter has needed help with her two sets of teenaged twins born a year apart, their long COVID health issues, her ongoing home renovations and her large dog. Families matter!

And so, dear extended family members, friends and followers of my writing efforts, please go well in 2024. Happy reading too.