It’s not always possible to visit the places where you set your books, either for geographical or monetary reasons, and that’s fine; that’s what Google Earth is for, right? But in the cases where it is possible, I’m of the opinion that it’s a good thing to do. Google Earth can’t tell you what a place sounds or smells like, or how long it takes to walk from one end to the other in actual reality, not just Google Maps reality. So when I got the opportunity to visit Queenstown, where Shane Cooper, one of the main characters in my novel Cutting Out, lives, I jumped at the chance.
Queenstown is known as the “adventure capital of New Zealand”, because if you’re the sort of person who wants to bungy jump, or go on a high-speed jetboat, try whitewater rafting or hang-gliding, you can do all of that in Queenstown. And good luck to you if you do, I say! Knock yourself out, probably literally. If you’re more like me, and prefer leisurely strolls, good food and maybe a glass of wine or two, you can find that in Queenstown too. Let’s not forget the skiing; with four ski fields, Queenstown caters for all manner of ski bunnies. During winter, the population of Queenstown swells by about 20,000 people. Considering there’s only just over 28,000 people who live there permanently, that’s quite the population explosion. Almost 2 million people in total visit Queenstown each year, so it’s no real wonder Shane avoids the tourist bars as much as he can.
But it has to be said that the scenery of Queenstown makes up for any annoying tourists. It would make up for almost anything, because the scenery there is truly breathtaking. Here are a couple of shots of Lake Wakatipu, the lake that Queenstown is built around:
Just outside Queenstown, about 30 minutes by car away, is a little hamlet called Arrowtown, which is as cute as cute can be:
On the way back to Queenstown, you can drive past Lake Hayes, where I absolutely recommend stopping to take some photos. I drove past this place at first, and then turned around to head back to it, because I knew I’d be disappointed not to get any photos of it:
I think it was worth the time to stop, don’t you?
With that, I conclude my little tiki tour of Queenstown and its surrounds, and I hope I’ve given you even just a little glimpse of why someone—even an expat shearer from Australia called Shane—might step out into the fresh air there and never want to leave.
Bottom Drawer Publications is proud to present Cutting Out by Meredith Shayne, a contemporary mm romance based in New Zealand.
Book Details: Novel
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance
Release Date: October 11, 2014
Blurb: A twenty-year veteran of the shearing shed, Aussie Shane Cooper loves his job, and the home he’s made for himself in New Zealand. If he’s a little lonely, he’s got good mates to keep his spirits up. When a hot, cocky young shearer named Lachlan Moore catches his eye at a competition, he’s content to look but not touch, knowing the young man is out of his league.
Lachie wouldn’t mind a piece of Shane, but the gorgeous gun shearer from Australia is soon forgotten when the Christchurch earthquake hits, and tragedy strikes Lachie’s family. Lachie deals with it the best he can, cutting himself off from all he knows. A year later and he’s back in the shearing shed, out of practice and lacking confidence. That Shane’s there to watch him flounder doesn’t help his nerves.
As Lachlan struggles to re-acclimatise, Shane can’t resist giving him a hand to get back on his feet. As they move from friends to something more, Shane finds himself wanting to know everything he can about Lachie. But Lachie’s got secrets he desperately wants to keep, and when things come to a head, those secrets might just mean the end of them before they’ve truly begun.
Buy Links: The e-book is available for sale for $5.99 via the BDP Digital Shop and other online booksellers.
About the Author: A scientist in a past life, these days Meredith Shayne mainly uses her scientific training to poke holes in television pseudoscience. Originally from Australia, she moved to New Zealand to start a new life a few years ago and hasn’t regretted it for one minute, even if she frequently wishes that the New Zealand weather was a little better; if she’s forced, she’ll admit that the refreshing lack of animals that can kill you in New Zealand makes up for a little rain.
Meredith travels a lot, so much so that she has developed a shameful love of airplane food and knows her passport number by heart. When she is at home, she enjoys baking, horrible music from the 1980s, reality television, and gloating any time Australia thrashes the living daylights out of New Zealand on the sporting field.
Find Meredith at her website: www.meredithshayne.com
Release & Blog Tour Giveaway: Paperback copy of Cutting Out, $10 BDP voucher, 3 x Cutting Out e-books