2020 ~ Finding The Slow Lane


So, 2020! Or… the year I learned how to sleep properly by walking away from the social media feed in my quest for peace. Well. Kind of. I’m still a work in progress. I haven’t deactivated any accounts yet. I know social media is useful and I don’t plan on walking away forever. But I will probably never return to partake the way I used to. Time will tell…

Because… I have discovered the peace of mind that comes from tuning out the myriad voices that have arisen, this year in particular, full of passion and urgency. I’m not discounting the messages. Voices are important. As well as our freedom to use them. I’m simply choosing how much of the noise I carry home with me. And into the night.

Australian Bushland, This Aussie Writer’s Slow Lane ~ Winter 2020

For years, compounded sleeplessness has robbed me of many good writing days. Add to that the extra concerns that flood us during a worldwide pandemic, a mother’s heart for her family, and the threads of a story just begging to be told… and you have an overstimulated, overwhelmed, overtired author.

After months of extra-anxious Covid-Era sleeping, I recently tried something new. I walked away from Facebook and Instagram. The next day, I walked away from the drip, drip, drip of the news feed I’d come to rely on. I also tweaked my sleeping routine to include all the calming efforts vigilant parents employ to settle their babies.

An early night. Soft lamp-light. An engaging bedtime story. Steaming chamomile tea. Blue-light glasses, and earlier in my day…. a long, long walk to tucker me out.

Australian Bushland, This Aussie Writer’s Slow Lane ~ Winter 2020

What did I reap in return?

I now fall asleep almost immediately. And I stay wrapped in the thick of sleep most of the night. If I wake, it’s not with an anxious jolt. And I don’t lay there, starring at the ceiling, my mind revving like a wild engine with no where to go.

This means I’m alert and refreshed when I awake. And ready to write.

If you think this sounds like some kind of a hack I played on my body and mind… you’d be right. I can sink into my writing early each day. And I walk away mid-afternoon, happy to count the good words I’ve added to the page. The voices that get my attention first are those of my characters, and at the end of the day when I fall asleep it’s their continuing story that I dream about.

Writing from home has taken on a new meaning, with beloved family members also working from what was once my space. I’m happy to share. And happy to explore other options, too. I recently spent a few days by Australia’s famous Yarra River in the Melbourne suburb of Warrandyte. Just for a change of scenery.

Because if you’re going to take yourself into the slow lane… I figured it may as well look this beautiful.

 

Australian Bushland, This Aussie Writer’s Slow Lane ~ Winter 2020

*Have you found a good sleeping hack/regime for insomnia?

*Have you ever done a social media detox?

*Have you had to slip into the slow lane in ways you didn’t anticipate in 2020?

Sending  peace and love to my Ink Dots friends ~ whether you’re cruising the fast lane of life, or you’ve turned off into the slow lane, like me.

Blessings,
Dotti

PS – I’m not disappearing altogether. I will always be here on my website journal page. You can email me at any time. And if you sign up for my Ink Dots email, you’ll get all my book news, in your inbox, once a month.

 

 

 

 

My Little Cabbage… and other charming blunders in translation

With over 70 years of marriage under their belts, Prince Phillip and Queen Elizabeth II have
lived an extraordinary public life together. But did you know in private the duke uses a pet name for his wife?

Claire Foy and Matt Smith, The Crown, Series 1

 

If you’re a fan of the Netflix series, The Crown, you may already know of the affectionate term ‘cabbage,’ used to refer to this most famous of women by her devoted husband.

Yes, Cabbage! Kind of cute.

Also a little weird.

Unless your ears are tuned to the French, from where some say this pet name originates.

mon petit chou, a French way of saying “my darling.”

In English, though, the term translates literally to “my little cabbage,”  though it actually comes from the pastry chou à la crème. 

So why am I throwing terms of affection around like a French pastry chef?

Because I need one, dear friends, and I need your help.

In the writing of book 3 of the Blue Wren Shallows series, I find myself hunting for a name our hero might use… kind of by accident.

He’s an American from Portland, Oregon, who tangles with our somewhat younger, Australian-born heroine. He wrongly assumes she’s way youger than she is, and makes the mistake of calling her something that will really annoy her.

A little off… like ‘cabbage’ …and perhaps a little condescending to her ears.

Of course, he means no harm with his word choice, innocently choosing the word(s) he might use for a little girl in his own real world.

The pet name Sugar comes to mind, but I know this is used more in the South. And yeah… it already sounds wrong.

But what about a man from the other side of America? What would he say? How would he caution a ‘young girl’ if he saw her heading for some kind of trouble and wanted to hurry her home to where her anxious parents will be waiting for her? (Oh the humiliation – she will be livid.)

If you have a great idea, share it in the comments below. And if I go with your suggestion, I’ll be sure to use your beautiful real name in my thankful acknowledgements.

 

Much love,
Dotti

 

2019 Ink Dots Christmas Giveaway

I am SO thankful, so very #giddy-thankful for the wonderful reader feedback and reviews I have received for the second book in my Blue Wren Shallows series, Carry Me Away.

Bless you, dear readers, for the comments, reviews, and heartfelt emails… and for all the love. As always, faithful readers like you have made my launch month a true delight and I continue to add new readers to this list of wonderful people worldwide who’ve embraced my stories and celebrated with me!

I’d love to give you all a big hug, but here’s something even better. Books! 

More specifically, an introduction to the Blue Wren Shallows series set on Australia’s beautiful Phillip Island.

Are you new to these stories?  Have you already read Carry Me Home and Carry Me Away? It doesn’t matter. I’d like to invite you all to enter my 2019 Ink Dots Christmas Giveaway ~ and bless someone in YOUR life. 

Three lucky winners will receive a signed paperback copy of Shadrach and Finllea’s story in Carry Me Home. An Australian historical romance, I believe, is a wonderful gift for any lover of fiction. And who doesn’t love a new book to snuggle up with during a wintery afternoon … or a summer’s day at the beach, the way we Aussies like to spend our January?

All you need to do is leave a comment here on this post telling me who you think should receive this gift and why. Yes, it can be you, why not? But if you’d like to nominate someone you adore, someone who’d be encouraged by this kind gesture on your behalf, I’d love to play my part in delivering some of their Aussie Christmas cheer. 

You could be one of three lucky winners, so enter now with your answer to this question: Who would you like to bless with a signed gift copy of Carry Me Home and why? 

This international contest closes on Dec 15th 

Good luck to all who enter. I hope you’re inspired to embrace your moments of thankfulness and heartfelt giving in these increasingly busy weeks ahead.

As ever, happy reading,
Dotti 

This contest is now CLOSED.  Thank you to all who entered. 
Congratulations to our winners….WinnIe, Gail, and Sarah. 

 

Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt Stop #24

This contest is now closed. Congratulations to Sandra Dufoe… winner of the Blue Wren Shallows Giveaway.

G’day Scavengers,

Welcome to the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! If you’ve just discovered the hunt, be sure to start at Stop #1, and collect the clues through all the stops, in order, so you can enter to win one of our top 5 grand prizes!

  • The hunt BEGINS on 11/7 at noon MST with Stop #1 at Lisa Bergen
  • Hunt through our loop using Chrome or Firefox as your browser (notExplorer).
  • There is NO RUSH to complete the hunt—you have all weekend (until Sunday, 11/10 at midnight MST)! So take your time, reading the unique posts along the way; our hope is that you discover new authors/new books and learn new things about them.
  • Submit your entry for the grand prizes by collecting the CLUE on each author’s scavenger hunt post and submitting your answer in the Rafflecopter form at the final stop, back on Lisa’s site. Many authors are offering additional prizes along the way!

 

My name is Dorothy Adamek, writer of Australian Historical Romance, and I love it when my friends call me Dotti. I adore all things old-worlde ~ black and white floors, blue and white china, and licorice. Yum. Did you know licorice was invented in the 16th century? My most recent heroine also loves to nibble on licorice. And when you read my stories you will travel through time and across the globe, straight into Colonial Era Australia, with a dash of Dotti thrown in for good measure.

Yes, I’m a proud Aussie and love introducing my readers to our beautiful country and its courageous people.

You can learn more about me and my Blue Wren Shallows series set on Phillip Island, (two hours drive from my home in Melbourne) right here on my website and on Facebook and Instagram.

 

If you’re new to my Australian series, this is a great time to start with book 1, Carry Me Home ~ currently at the special price of 99c (ends November 11th) and you can find it here.

 

PLUS, you are scavenging through my Ink Dots Journal Page in a week of great celebration.

My newest book, Carry Me Away, released TWO days ago! And I’m delighted to welcome readers back into the 1870s pioneering world of Australia in her infancy.

 

Carry Me Away  – AVAILABLE NOW AT AMAZON 

 

When the Black Swallow sinks off the Australian coast in 1877, Australian midshipman Tom Darley rescues English passenger Ada Carmichael from the disaster that claims her entire family. News of the only two survivors enchants the world, but Ada needs to hide before secrets and old foes find her. Tom is chasing big dreams of a crumbling house he will convert into a small hotel ~ but the promising start he’s acquired now sits at the bottom of the sea.

Inexplicably entangled, Ada and Tom lean upon each other to make sense of the tragedy that’s displaced them. But when scheming journalists observe their affection they drag Tom into life-altering riches and a news-worthy romance he cannot resist. So he arranges for Ada’s protection where only he might find her ~ the quiet Phillip Island farm of his friends Shadrach and Finella Jones.

And that’s where real trouble finds them. When heroic promises fail to shelter, and love refuses to be silenced, only surrender will pluck Ada and Tom from where life has wrecked them.

 

 

Chris Hemsworth ~ Tom Darley, Carry Me Away

How Did I Pick My Most Recent Aussie Hero?

I know many authors have been smitten by Aussie actor Chris Hemsworth when they’ve gone looking for a romantic hero. He’s handsome and fights for what’s right. He often appears in hero material Pinterest collections and writing room vision boards. And with good reason. Look at those eyes!

But did you know Chris and his famous brothers were raised on Phillip Island in their teen years? Yes, they were. (Around the same time my family holidayed there every summer.) What better choice for my hero inspiration than someone who also holds the island among his formative memories and who returns there from time to time to visit his parents?

I’ve yet to bump into Chris Hemsworth in the Phillip Island supermarket. But I might, someday. And wouldn’t it be fun to let him know he’s the inspiration for a hero who walked the very shores that lap the island…. 140 years ago?

And if Chris and I ever discuss a Blue Wren Shallows movie, I’ll be sure to let you know.

 

 

Here’s the Stop #24 Skinny:

If you’re interested, you can order Carry Me Away from Amazon. 

Clue to Write Down: -Hal

Next Stop on the Loop: Camille Eide’s site! 

Good luck to all those entering for major prizes.

But wait, before you rush off ~ here’s another chance to WIN.

To celebrate the release of Carry Me Away, I’m giving away a Blue Wren Shallows Gift Pack to one lucky entrant. Enter the Rafflecopter form below to win Carry Me Home, along with the beautiful sounds and earthy aromas of the Australian bush!

This is an international contest ~ open to all.

Signed print copy Carry Me Home (book 1)

Blue Wren chirping soft toy

Olive oil soap made on Phillip Island

Australian-made Kakadu lip balm

Two Australian botanical notepads

Blue Wren Card – painted by renowned Melbourne botanical artist, David Reynolds

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Thank you so much for stopping by, and GOOD LUCK in your book gathering and new author discoveries. Fabulous readers like you are the reason we write, and I am ever grateful for each one.

Happy reading,
Dotti

 

 

 

 

Carry Me Away ~ Release Day!

Carry Me Away ~ Now Available on Amazon

Here in Australia, the first Tuesday in November is all about ‘the race that stops a nation.’

Sometime this afternoon, the historic Melbourne Cup will run and most of us who live in Melbourne are grateful for a sunny public holiday, even if we’re not into horse racing.

For me, this day is much more than a public holiday.

I chose today to release Carry Me Away because it’s the day my dad arrived in Australia, in 1950 as a post-war Greek immigrant, aged fifteen.

On that November day when his ship dropped anchor, the streets of Melbourne were deserted. Upon disembarking he wondered what kind of a ghost-town he’d rolled into. His father, (who’d arrived in Australia earlier that year) met him at the wharf and explained the people of Melbourne were enjoying a day off.

My dad’s arrival into Melbourne has always fascinated me. Displaced from all that was familiar, he stepped into what may have looked like an empty life ~ without a proper grasp on the English language, without a home to call his own, with no work experience and no opportunity for further education that he’d wished for in Greece.

My dad, Bill, (Vasili) just before he left Greece for Australia

But my dad’s story is one of triumph. Like many migrants of that era, he embraced his new identity with determination. He studied the language, he worked hard and created his own business. His roots dug deep and his Christian faith took hold. Together with my mum, they raised a family and created a full life beyond the wildest dreams of the fifteen year old boy who ran aground into an empty Melbourne-town.

Today he celebrates 69 wonderful years in Australia.

So on this day, I honour the journey that brought him home and shaped my own identity.

As an Australian author, I’m delighted to ‘land’ something of me, on this day, too. In tribute to my mum and dad and their immigrant experience, and in celebration of the many Australian stories of displacement I long to tell… it’s my pleasure to release the e-book edition of Carry Me Away, book 2 in the Blue Wren Shallows series into the wide world of fiction readers. (Print copies and Large Print copies available later this week.)

Woo Hoo!!!

Thank you to the many who’ve cheered my own author-race to this happy day. The nation may stop to watch the horses, but I will stop to give thanks for those whose stories inspire me to write… and those who choose to read them.

Happy reading,
Dotti

 

 

Carry Me Away ~ Now Available on Amazon 

 

The Loch Ard Disaster

I have often wondered about those who lost their lives when the Loch Ard sank off the Australian coast in 1878. It’s a tragedy that continues to capture the hearts of those who visit this majestic stretch of Victoria’s coastline along the Great Ocean Road. And for a country that’s welcomed immigrants and refugees onto its shores… this is one journey that did not end well for those who dreamed of a new start in a fresh world.

Named after the the iron ship that ran aground on the reef near Port Campbell, the Loch Ard Gorge will always be remembered for the wreck that claimed the life of 52 passegers and crew… and washed ashore only two survivors on the fateful day of June 1, 1878.

Loch Ard Gorge, Australia

The history-lover in me became swept up in the Loch Ard disaster when I learned the two survivors, Tom Pearce and Eva Carmichael, became full-blown celebrities in an era when social media came in the form of day old newspapers and animated drawing room discussions. Along with survival, the promise of romance wafted over their story in the hearts and minds of many who read of the incredible rescue of the orphaned English girl by the heroic Australian midshipman. Theirs would have been a romance unlike any other. And those who cheered their survival wanted to cheer for so much more.

The real Tom and Ada were not meant to enjoy a romance. Such was their fate. Much to the disappointment of Victorian era romantics, their futures never merged into happily every after. 

But I had come across the fascinating detail about those who survive a near death experience together ~ often bonding in ways similar to those who fall in love, with the same chemical responses flooding the body. So I took the buried bones of a romance already chewed by the imagination of generations past, and turned them over in my mind until Tom and Ada’s battles took on flesh and a real heartbeat. At least within my storyteller’s veins.

I played with the names of our hero and heroine, who became Tom Darley and Ada Carmichael. I changed the ship from Loch Ard to The Black Swallow, and wrote a fictional account of what may have shaped our survivors if affections had taken hold. And I set all this in the world of characters I’d already created, Shadrach and Finella, and their new home on Phillip Island.

If the real Tom and Ada could read this story inspired by their horrific entry into Australia that June night… I hope they would smile at the liberties taken …and the match I made of them.

Because now, 140 years later… my version of their romance is here for the telling.

To secure your E-book edition of Carry Me Away, please head on over to Amazon and pre-order your copy now at the early-bird price.

Happy reading,
Dotti