About Me

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Queensland, Australia
I'm an Australian author of Contemporary Romance, Romantic Action/Adventure, and Historical fiction. I live in Queensland, Australia. www.noelleclark.net

Monday, June 25, 2018

Unearthing Family Treasures - Love's Great Adventure

I am very pleased to announce that I had a feature article in the latest edition of Love's Great Adventure - a fabulous glossy magazine created by Award Winning Historical Romance novelist, Elizabeth Ellen Carter.

The magazine is chockablock full of interesting interviews, articles, and the inside scoop on Historical novels.

My fabulous editor and cover designer, Duncan Carling-Rodgers from Business Communications Management, talks about the excitement at unearthing a fabulous family treasure - the real Madame Liechtenstein!

And do you know the best part? It's FREE! Yes, all you have to do is subscribe and it will arrive in your email inbox every few months. No strings attached.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

SHADOW of the CORSAIRS - a chat with Elizabeth Ellen Carter

SHADOW OF THE CORSAIRS by Elizabeth Ellen Carter 

Out June 26, 2018 – order here


Go back to where it all began with this prequel to Captive of the Corsairs and Revenge of the Corsairs.
Shadow of the Corsairs tells the story of Jonathan Afua a member from a noble Ethiopian family who is torn between heartbreaking grief and revenge.
Morwena Gambino hides her aptitude for business while working for her father and all of her best laid plans come under threat from jealousy surprising close to home.
Their lives are changed forever when they encounter the dangerous and brilliant Captain Christopher ‘Kit’ Hardacre and his crew of privateers.
Jonathan and Morwena might even have a chance to fall in love – as long as Kit’s erratic behaviour doesn’t get them killed first…


Q1.   Elizabeth, how wonderful to see a prequel to the amazing Captive of the Corsairs, and also Revenge of the Corsairs, coming our way. What idea triggered the need to tell readers more about Kit Hardacre?
In Captive of the Corsairs, the heroine, Sophia sees Jonathan and Morwena’s wedding celebration. Shadow of the Corsairs goes back four years prior to their first meeting and their romance.
Kit plays such a pivotal role in all three books. He is one of the most dominant personalities I’ve ever written. What Shadow does is allows me to show Kit without Sophia’s grounding influence.

Q2.   Will readers see a different side to Kit in ‘Shadows’? Will we like him more? Or less?
There are times Kit is pretty unlikeable but we see the reasons he does what he does. Anyone reading Shadow without having read the first two, I hope will glean enough of his back story to recognise it.
In Shadow, Kit is still in thrall to opium and he crosses the line into recklessness more times than not.

Q3.   The dark and mysterious Jonathon sounds so intense. His wrestle with grief, revenge, and love, have the potential to overshadow the charm and eccentricities of Kit Hardacre. What do you think readers will think of Jonathon?
I hope readers will fall in love with Jonathan as I have done. He is the most mature and sensible of all the Corsairs heroes. He has a quiet dignity. Jonathan is not flamboyant like Kit or as naive as Elias.
His story starts off as heartbreaking but ends in hope. Jonathan has lost everything but through Morwena has chance to live life anew.

Q4.   Is the character, Morwena, based on anyone in history?
No one directly, but I hope I’ve given justice to the independent spirit of Sicilian women. I was so pleased how her character came together. She is all about her family and when one of them betrays her badly, it is the source of great heartache.

Q5.   Can you rule out another in the Heart of the Corsairs series?
This universe is technically at a close, but the Hardacre name lives on! My new series goes back ten years prior to Captive and tells the story of Kit’s father who is recruited to become a spy against Napoleon.
In the first book Live and Let Spy, we find out about Kit’s origins and discover the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
I’m also planning a father and son reunion short story for 2019. 

Shadow of the Corsairs is the third instalment in the Heart of the Corsairs series and the sequel to Captive of the Corsairs, now available at Amazon and Revenge of the Corsairs, also on Amazon to order now.
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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Unlocking the past – the joys of Research

Turning family history into a novel – a challenging path to take.

My first historical novel - Stone of Heaven and Earth – is about to be published.

This story is based on the real lives of my grandparents in China, and spans the years 1914 to 1929. I never met my Grandfather, but remember being told their story as a child. Their life together was one of the highest of highs, and devastating tragedy.

Apart from my grandmother telling her story, I was able to draw on two memoirs written by my mother and my aunt. But their memory was almost hearsay, as they were both quite young at the time. I also had a couple of letters, but the actual details were lost over the years.

I mulled over how best to present their story for a long time. The only way to do it justice was to write Fiction based on Real Life. Memoirs are written by people who were there, and so I had no
choice but to add meat to the skeleton.

I did this with two main tools.
Research and Imagination.

Before I could start writing, I needed to know some details so that I could bring to life the characters of my story. It took me many, many hours, but I remember a rush of warmth flowing through me when I found my Grandmother and her sister’s name in the passenger list in the Brisbane Courier dated 22 June 1914. No one in the family knew the name of the ship they left Brisbane on. I felt like I had dug up a long forgotten treasure chest when I discovered the ship was the Tasman from the KMP Line, captained by Captain Lucardie.

Further research put me in touch with a UK research project undertaken at Bristol University. They were able to give me information about my two leading men – their Service History from the Chinese Maritime Customs Service.

But the jewel in the crown was the discovery of a small newspaper article describing, in detail, a wedding. Pure gold!

From that moment on, I felt like I was holding my Grandmother’s hand and she was leading me along the journey. I never wrote this story alone. My grandmother was with me the whole time, I swear. I heard her voice, saw her eyes and her smile. Shed tears with her, and with her, I fell in love with my Grandfather.

A month spent in China retracing, as best I could, their footsteps, helped me to understand why they loved China, a very exotic land, especially a hundred years ago.

As I walked along the Bund in Shanghai, I retraced the steps of my Grandfather. He had walked there too, on his way to work at the Customs House which still stands proud on the Bund.
In my story, I have both my Grandmother and Grandfather walking along that very place, talking to each other, falling in love.

Research has enabled me to reach my Grandparents, to feel their presence. I’m sure they are both very happy with the outcome.

Stone of Heaven and Earth
Out March 2018

Buy Here:

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

A Journey Through Time

A Journey Through Time

Touching the past

My fascination with China has been there all my life. As a child I was drawn to the knickknacks and ornaments that were always referred to collectively as 'things from China'.

Back then, the exotic and unusual items conjured up for me a desire to know more, to understand more about foreign places. The appeal of the items had me fondling them, touching them, and asking relentless questions of my grandmother as to their origin.

Many, she said, were wedding presents—poignant reminders of the marriage of my Grandmother - Gladys Houston, to my Grandfather - Oliver Clark.

·         The intricately carved ebony jardinière stand sat in pride of place as you walked through my mother's front door, right up until she died.

·         The hand painted and handmade fine-as-egg-shell porcelain tea set, each piece with its own unique delicately painted birds by some unknown artist a hundred years ago.

·         The silver salt and pepper shakers, the cloisonné snuff boxes, the exquisitely painted little porcelain bottles;

·         The stunning silver vase hand hammered with a rich chrysanthemum and peony design that I loved polishing.

·         And most beautiful of all - my mother's jade and gold pendant – the star of STONE OF HEAVEN AND EARTH.

When I was a child I used to stare for ages at these objects through the glass of my mother's china cabinet. I knew these items were special and had no problem conjuring up, with my child's imaginative but unworldly mind, the mystical place called China and what it must have been like. The china cabinet was the place all the 'precious' things were housed. (Was it just a coincidence that the 'stuff from China' was housed in a china cabinet?)

But in my view the best and most cherished possession that my Nana brought back from China was an old, hessian covered photo album. It held photos of her life in China. There were many photos of the two happy couples who lived the comfortable life of expatriates in an exotic place.

Hard to believe, but there was something even more precious than the photos inside that album.

My Nana had pressed two flowers inside the pages of the photo album. I can still feel their delicate dried petals as I caressed them with my child's fingers. They were thinner than tissue paper, lighter than a rose petal, and unfortunately prone to crumbling when touched by a young girl with clumsy fingers.

They were, I knew even as a child, my Nana's tangible memory of the place where she had found the love of her life. Now that the innocence of my childhood years are long gone, my heart aches when I think of my Nana placing them inside the album.Maybe they were from her wedding bouquet? 

And so, my tangible connection to my grandparents helped me to enter their world over one hundred years ago. Writing Stone of Heaven and Earth has been a labour of love, and an accomplishment that I am proud of.

The story of the lives of the two couples - Gladys and Oliver, and Anne and Jack - is one that is brimming with happiness, and is at times tragic almost beyond belief. The setting is exotic, exciting and fascinating. The story deserves to be told, not just for the memory of these four special people, but because it is a really good yarn. It is full of courage, pathos, emotion and is set against the backdrop of violent and crime-ridden China in the years when the rest of the world was in the chaos of the First World War. A time when China was being infiltrated and exploited by Japan, Germany, Russia, France and Britain to the extent that civil war and a fight by the Chinese to regain ownership of its own country made it a dangerous place to be.

There are several good books set in this turbulent time of China's history. One notable one is 'The China Saga' by C.Y. Lee which takes the reader through the various wars, battles and invasions that have plagued China from ancient times until its leap into Communism in 1949. This book is well worth reading. China is widely recognised as the world's oldest continuous civilisation and many relics there pre-date the Pyramids. It is a fascinating country with a rich culture.

The story I have written – Stone of Heaven and Earth - is about four people whose lives were changed forever in the years from June 1914 until March 1929 whilst living in China.

Stone of Heaven and Earth

Buy Here:

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Stone of Heaven and Earth

Stone of Heaven and Earth    

Spanning the years 1914 to 1929, Stone of Heaven and Earth is an epic tale of love and loss, extravagant expatriate lifestyles, intense danger, heroic acts, and the hideous effects of a cruel and barbaric civil war. The complex and volatile politics in China is played out in the intimate story of two intrepid couples, foreigners who embarked on the adventure of a lifetime and made their home in China.

Based on the author’s true family history, this work of fiction is interwoven with real stories gleaned from memoirs, photographs, and from growing up hearing the stories from those who were there. Extensive research, which included time spent in China tracing the footsteps of the characters in this book, has resulted in a captivating account of foreigners in China during some of the most violent and devastating times.

Stone of Heaven and Earth.

New Historical Fiction from Noelle Clark