Today I’m very excited to welcome historical author and fellow Hunter Romance Writer , Deborah Challinor, to my blog. 

Deborah writes full time. Her new release, Girl of Shadows, is her eleventh novel. She writes Australian and New Zealand historical fiction set in the 19th, and occasionally 20th, centuries. When she isn’t writing, she’s trawling antique shops, visiting historical sites, or lying on the couch watching Meerkat Manor and Baboon Bandits. She lives in New South Wales with her husband, who lives to surf. She can’t cook, keeps all her books in alphabetical order, and actually likes ironing.

(She also doesn’t like having her photo taken!)

Deborah’s website is and she’s on Facebook at

Welcome Deborah! Please tell us – What was the last book you read?

dr sleepThe last book I read was Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. It’s the sequel to The Shining, and I’ve been waiting for it for years. It’s excellent. I’ve always wondered what happened to Danny Torrance. I’m currently half way through A Humble Companion by Laurie Graham, one of my favourite authors, along with Kate Atkinson and Pat Barker. I’m also reading Possessing the Dead: the artful science of anatomy by Helen MacDonald, a non-fiction about the 19th century cadaver trade in Scotland, England and Australia.

An eclectic mix there Deb – and explains so much about you 🙂 So what’s next on your list?

secretlifeofjamescookOn my (print) TBR pile are: The Last Days of the National Costume by Anne Kennedy; The Burial by Courtney Collins; The Secret Life of James Cook by Graeme Lay; Burial Rites by Hannah Kent; The Keeper of Secrets by Julie Thomas; The Liar’s Daughter by Laurie Graham; The Secret Fate of Mary Watson by Judy Johnson; and Shift by Hugh Howey. Don’t know if I’ll get to that last one – I’m still only half-way through Wool. I’m finding it hard to get into, though I am a fan of speculative fiction. I loved The Passage and The Twelve by Justin Cronin.

Most of the above, I’ve noticed, are historicals, and as I’ve just finished writing my latest, perhaps I don’t like to read them when I’m writing one. Mostly I read crime (usually British), a bit of paranormal, spec.fic., and non-fiction when I’m working. I’ve also just noticed the titles on my TBR pile – clearly ‘burial’ and ‘secret’ are ‘in’. I’m not even going to start on what’s on my digital TBR pile. I’ll be here forever. It’s so easy to be indiscriminate when all you have to do is click to buy.

It is far too easy to buy ebooks, isn’t it?!  Can you tell us about your latest release?

Girl of Shadows, published by HarperCollins Australia, is out in Australia on 1 December, and is the sequel to Behind the Sun.

Girl of Shadows front cover‘1830: Convict girls Friday Woolfe, Harriet Clarke and Sarah Morgan have been transported to Sydney from London. Sarah has been assigned to jeweller Adam Green, Harriet is a maid for the Barrett family, and Friday is working as prostitute in a brothel. Each of them is struggling to forget the brutal crime they committed.

But their fate is no longer their own to control. Vicious underworld queen Bella Jackson holds the girls’ futures in the palm of her hand, biding her time until she exacts payment for what she knows about their misdeeds.

Harriet, racked with guilt, becomes convinced that their lost friend is haunting them, and while Friday succumbs to the bottle, Sarah has to fight for everything she holds dear. Once again, the girls must join forces to save one of their own. But which one?’

Available from Dymocks, Big W, etc, and as an e-book from Amazon, Kobo and ibooks.


I’ve had the pleasure of a sneak preview read of Girl of Shadows – and as Molly Meldrum used to say – ‘do yourself a favour’! It’s a fantastic read. 

Thanks for being my guest today, Deborah, and good luck with your new release.