Sarah and the Secret Sheikh is set in the fictional Arabian country of Keddah Jaleel, and while I’d love to show you pictures of my adventures in that part of the world, I’ve never had the opportunity to experience it (maybe one day).
The desert sounds so magical, doesn’t it? But I haven’t been outside my own country in over four years! However, Keddah Jaleel does have the most spectacular coastline…and those who know me know how much I love the beach. It doesn’t really matter which beach—I pretty much love them all. So today I thought I’d share some of my favourite beaches with you.
My childhood beach was in the tourist hamlet of Tuncurry, which is just over two hours North of Newcastle (which is where I live). This particular spot is called The Rock Pool (though it’s more a netted beach than an actual rock pool), and is very child friendly. It’s tucked into the mouth of the harbour, bordered by the breakwater, and it’s not unusual to see dolphins frolicking in the harbour on the other side of the net. J (This spot featured in my 2011 release, The Secretary’s Secret).
Port Stephens is an hour north of where I live. When I was a child my family would sally forth on day trips here—and now Mr Douglas and I will occasionally sneak away for the day too. I think it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth (which may be why I’ve set two of my books here over the years). These photos from Gan Gan lookout will show you how big it is—it’s 2 ½ times as big as Sydney Harbour.
There are lots of different coves, bays and inlets here. Little beach is a great place to swim and snorkel.
But my very favourite is Fingal Bay. If you’ve ever seen the Australian Tourism commercial “Where the Bloody Hell Are You?” then you’ll have seen Fingal Bay (on this YouTube clip it’s at the 17 second mark and right at the end—with Laura Bingle who looks right at home there J).
In the last few years I’ve discovered Hawks Nest—a tiny beachside town on the Myall Lakes—and it could just be one of my favourite places ever. The beach is all national park…and it just goes for miles and miles. In the school holidays this place is over run, but the rest of the year it’s practically deserted.
But to be honest I have some glorious beaches right on my doorstep. There’s the iconic Nobby’s Beach that’s only a ten-minute drive away.
And this one—Dixon Park Beach (at the far end is Merewether Beach and behind me at the other end is Bar Beach). It’s a gorgeous strip of beach.
So, as you can see, I’m spoiled for choice. And very, very lucky. Do you have a beach nearby or a favourite beach you like to visit—maybe one I should put on my bucket list?
About Michelle Douglas:
Making up stories of her own has always been one of Michelle’s passions. She received her first rejection letter at the age of eight for Keri the Koala Baby, and has been writing ever since. A love of literature led her to major in English at the University of Newcastle where she recently completed a MPhil (Creative Writing).
She has worked an assortment of jobs. Everything from waitress at a wedding convention centre (where the staff oohed and ahhed over fairytale wedding dresses) to answering the complaints line at a call centre for a bank. All of which have provided her with endless ideas for stories.
Her own “happy-ever-after” came in 1998 when she eloped to England with husband Greg. They were married in Westminster – the town hall not the Abbey – lived on tinned soup for a month so they could afford to spend their wedding night in The Dorchester, and then flew out the next day to honeymoon in Paris.
She is a sucker for happy endings, heroines who have a secret stash of chocolate, and heroes who know how to laugh. When she’s not writing she can usually be found with her nose buried in a book.
Michelle Douglas on the web:
She has a new book out:
Sarah and the Secret Sheikh
Expecting the sheikh’s baby…
When one magical night with gorgeous and enigmatic Majed leaves Sarah pregnant, she’s torn apart over whether to reveal her secret. She already loves this baby, but will confirmed bachelor Majed feel the same?
Discovering he’s going to be a father changes everything for Majed. It’s time to face the music and unveil his true identity as Prince of Keddah Jaleel! He’d love to make Sarah his sheikha, if only he can convince her she’ll be much more than his convenient bride…
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