Lily ‘Beanie Queen’ Malone has a new book out in October called So Far Into You.
So Far Into You is a contemporary novel set in the stunning wine regions of Margaret River in Western Australia, and the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. Lily, born in the Margaret River area, grew up there before getting conned into marrying a bright-eyed South Aussie boy who spirited her back to his roots in South Australia. Lily spent 12 years in Hahndorf, a tourist town in the Adelaide Hills, before returning with her family to Margaret River in 2013.
"Something I always loved to do when I was a girl was bushwalking and more particularly in October, bushwalking to find native orchids growing wild," Lily says. "There’s a particular track that became like a tryst for me to walk at least once every spring. Even when I lived away but came back to Margaret River on holidays to visit my mother or sister, I’d plan that trip hoping I’d manage to hit the wildflower season."
The track Lily’s talking about veers off a gravel road running West off Caves Road that runs through National Park at the back of Ellensbrook Homestead. “Ellensbrook is important to me too,” Lily says. “It’s where I got married.”
With all this mushy romance of Lily’s favourite walk and the place where she tied the knot, is it any wonder she set up Seth and Remy’s first kiss in So Far Into You at a picnic at a secret spot on her favourite Ellensbrook walking track? Here’s a sneak peek of the scene below...
GIVEAWAY: Where’s your favourite spot for a picnic? Let us know (by leaving a comment below, or using the contact form for this site) and you could win an e-copy of So Far Into You. Lily has two copies to give away.
Excerpt from So Far Into You
The track got narrower and more rutted, before it finished at a gate where a sign said private property. There was a small flat area of grass by the track and Seth parked. They both got out of the car.
They were under tall, thick peppermint trees that flanked a meandering stream. The gurgle of the water and the whistle of birds were all she could hear. Everything smelled like rain.
‘That’s the Ellen Brook.’
‘Is it private property?’
‘That place there is,’ he indicated the gate. ‘Where we’re going, it’s all National Park.’
He fished his picnic box out of the back of the car and put the contents in a backpack that he slung over his shoulders. ‘Come on, we go this way.’
He nodded toward a narrow bridge that crossed the stream and opened into a paddock beyond.
Seth glanced at Remy. Most of the time her gaze was on the bush by the track as she walked easily through the thick yellowish sand, even though they tramped steadily uphill. Sometimes he’d catch her taking a deep breath in, like she was sifting all the sights and scents of the bush through her lungs, and she’d smile as she’d breathe out.
‘Look out, Seth.’
She’d said that a couple of times now, because he’d been watching her and not where he was going and he’d been about to trample some little plant she thought precious. ‘You get any closer you’ll step on that cowslip.’
She pointed out a dainty yellow flower. An orchid, she told him, a triple-header. She said it with something close to reverence.
He felt like he could talk to her for a year and there’d still be more to learn. She intrigued him and he didn’t know why. So what if she was easy to look at? So what if she glided at his side, natural as the stream slipping beside them.
He’d known plenty of stunning women with a walk that could stop traffic.
Seth didn’t believe in fairytales. The only thing he’d ever loved at first sight was a Monaro and when he’d loved that car, he’d been seventeen.
‘There’s a double spider orchid.’ She’d stopped a few steps behind him with her finger on the stalk to display it. He felt almost guilty for missing it.
‘Yeah. It’s beautiful.’ So are you.
‘You didn’t even look at it,’ she admonished him. ‘It’s so fleeting, wildflower season down here. You can miss it by a week. We’re so lucky to see this.’
He stepped over a log that had crashed on the path during last year’s controlled burns and held out his hand to help her.
‘I’m okay. Thanks though.’ Her gaze was on his face in that second before she returned her attention to the track and the bush and the flowers.
‘When did you last take a girl on a bushwalk and a picnic?’ She asked him.
He didn’t have to think about it: ‘I took a girl called Leeanne to a waterfall at Moses Rock.’ He’d kissed her there too, spread out on the blanket while the casserole he’d made cooked in a camp oven. He’d been damn proud of that casserole.
‘Did you kiss her?’
‘Did you like it?’
‘It was okay.’
‘Did she like it?’
‘She let me do it again.’
Remy blushed, and found a bunch of donkey orchids to show him.