Allison Butler spends her mornings writing and her afternoons caring for the elderly as an assistant in nursing at an aged care facility. Her series of sexy Scottish historical stories were launched digitally from 2014-2019. The Healer was the first instalment, originally published with Escape in 2016, getting a paperback re-release with Harlequin Mira in August 2020. A budding photographer, Allison loves spending time with family and friends, and taking in the sights of Australia from the back of her husband’s motorbike.
The Healer takes readers to the United Kingdom in 1402, where the divide between Scotland and England is so much more than just a border. Medicine woman, Lynelle Fenwick, is the shunned daughter of an English Lord. Believed to be cursed by her small community, she strives to gain her father’s approval by rescuing her half-brother from a rival Scottish clan. She barters a fortnight of her healing skills in return for his freedom. Arriving at the castle of Laird William Kirkpatrick, Lynelle is given the challenge of healing several sick and injured Scots. I had the shivers when an eerily uncanny plague entered the plot line, and threatened to tear the couple apart. Thanks to Harlequin Mira for the review copy, this story will appeal to readers who love a little steam in their historicals.
Short and sweet questions
Current book on your bedside table: Where Fortune Lies by Mary-Anne O’Connor
Where do you do most of your writing? In our cluttered, messy office. The mess and clutter is all mine.
Favourite Australian holiday destination: Most recent favourite – Mudgee – relaxed feel, delicious food and fine wine.
What’s your preferred drop? A full-bodied red wine. Either a Cab Sav or a Shiraz.
Guilty pleasure? Cheese (any but blue) or Kettle Sea Salt chips (or both😊)
Pet peeve: People not replacing the toilet roll.
Favourite fictional couple and why? Jamie and Claire Fraser. They’ve struggled through so much together and love so deeply.
If you could pack two non-essential items for a deserted tropical island, what would they be? My camera and cheese with Kettle Sea Salt chips.
Name an emerging author to keep an eye out for: All emerging writers. It takes courage to persevere with a story and then put it out there.
Established authors who inspire you? Alissa Callen, Anna Campbell, and Anne Gracie. All three write fabulous stories.
Best thing about being a writer? Bringing an idea to life.
Worst thing about being a writer? The words don’t always flow.
Do you prefer music, podcasts or silence when writing? I like complete silence while I write.
Favourite perfume: Beautiful by Estee Lauder.
TV/film crush: Robert Downey Junior – he’s naughty but nice.
The best non-writing related prize I won… A boom-box and beach towel back in the 80’s.
Top three tips for aspiring authors? Fill your well when not writing, so you can give all to the story. Keep the joy alive because it will show. Support other writers and they in turn will support you.
What theme do you hope shines through in your writing? Hope – never give up.
Proudest author moment? Holding my first print book in my hands.
My favourite thing about writing romance is …. My characters reaching their Happily Ever After.
If anyone gives me flack about writing romance, I tell them… They don’t know what they’re missing.
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Maya Linnell was recently shortlisted as the ARRA 2019 Favourite Australian Romance Author for her bestselling rural romance debut Wildflower Ridge. Her second novel Bottlebrush Creek is out now, with both stories gathering inspiration from her rural upbringing and the small communities she has always lived in and loved.
A former country journalist and PR writer, Maya now prefers the world of fiction over fact and blogs for Romance Writers Australia. She loves baking up a storm, tending to her rambling garden, and raising three little bookworms. Maya lives on a small property in country Victoria with her family, her menagerie of farm animals and the odd snake or two.
Follow Maya online