RONA Awards 2022 Celebration Drinks with… AnneMarie Brear


Continuing my celebration of the 2022 RONA shortlisted authors, I am delighted to welcome to the blog an author nominated in the Romantic Saga category with her novel, A Distant Horizon. It’s… AnneMarie Brear.

AnneMarie Brear, Romantic Saga, Romantic Novel Awards 2022

Thank you for joining me for drinks this evening. First things first, what are you drinking?

Prosecco, with a strawberry in it. We are celebrating after all.


If we weren’t here in my virtual bar tonight, but were meeting in real life, where would you be taking me for a night out?

Depends which country we were in. If we were in Australia, where I live, I’d take you to The Surveyor General Inn in Berrima (Australia’s oldest continual licensed public house – c1834) and Berrima is where Ellen lives in A Distant Horizon. If we were in England, I’d take you to one of the bars in York by the river. I love York!


I love York too – I am a Yorkshire lass after all – and I’ve spent many happy hours in the riverside hostelries of that city so I’ll come to Australia, if you don’t mind! If you could invite two famous people, one male and one female, alive or dead, along on our night out, who would we be drinking with?

That is such a hard question, so many people to choose from. Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. I have read so much about her and she fascinates me and Captain James Cook. I’d love to talk to him about exploring unknown countries, the thrill and the terror of it.

So, now we’re settled, tell me what you are up to at the moment. How and why did you start it and where do you want it to go?

Right now I am writing novel #31. When I started writing in 1997 I never knew what my writing path would be, if it would lead to anything or not. Back then, I just wanted to write about the characters that were in my head. I never expected, though of course I dreamed of it, that I would make a good career out of my books. I just want to keep doing what I’m doing for the rest of my life.

What has been your proudest moment since you started writing and what has been your biggest challenge?

My proudest moment was leaving paid work and writing full time — that my books could support me is, truthfully, a dream come true for me. My biggest challenge was believing I could make this happen. I still pinch myself that I am living my dream.

What is the one big thing you’d like to achieve in your chosen arena? Be as ambitious as you like, its just us talking after all!

I would love to achieve making it to film, either big screen or TV series. A Netflix deal would be perfect, actually.

What are have planned that you are really excited about?

My plans are quite simple. I just want to keep writing books that readers love and to do that for as long as I can. I am excited to do this for years!

I love to travel, and I’m currently drawing up a bucket list of things I’d like to do in the future. Where is your favourite place that you’ve been and what do you have at the top of your bucket list?

I also love to travel and have been fortunate enough to visit many places on my bucket list. I live in one of the best countries in the world, but aside from Australia, my favourite place to visit was New York. I loved every minute of it. I felt I was on a movie set, seeing so many places I’d only seen on TV or in movies. I also love London, and Rome was another favourite and Lyon in France. I would like to visit India and Canada.

Tell me one interesting/surprising/secret fact about yourself.

Let’s see… I enjoy most types of music, love to dance to eighties songs and sing to country. 

Books are my big passion and central to my blog and I’m always looking for recommendations. What one book would you give me and recommend as a ‘must-read’?

The Woman from Browhead by Audrey Howard. I loved that book. In fact I love all of Audrey Howard’s books. 


Annie Abbott, daughter and only child of a poverty-stricken hill farmer and his downtrodden wife, who runs away with a theatrical group at the age of 15. Eventually hearing that her parents have died, Annie returns to the Lakes to claim the farm.

But now she has an illegitimate daughter – and virtually no one will speak to her. Only a local landowner, who is engaged to marry another woman, comes to help her.

So, we’ve been drinking all evening. What is your failsafe plan to avoid a hangover and your go-to cure if you do end up with one?

I always end up with a hangover. So, the next morning I like to eat, weirdly, honey and vegemite on toast. (Marmite will substitute if you don’t have vegemite) then go and do something, a walk, garden, shopping, anything, but do not wallow in bed, that makes you feel worse I believe. 

After our fabulous night out, what would be your ideal way to spend the rest of a perfect weekend?

Oh, a nice picnic, read a good book, maybe see a movie, spend time with loved ones.

Sounds wonderful. Thank you so much for chatting with me tonight, it has been great fun.

AnneMarie’s RONA-shortlisted novel, A Distant Horizon, is available now in all formats and you can get a copy here.

AnneMarie Brear, Romantic Saga, Romantic Novel Awards 2022, A Distant Horizon BOOK COVER

1851 Ireland.

After enduring years of a devastating potato famine, Ellen Kittrick is a survivor. Crop failures and a descent into poverty changes her from a happy wife and mother to a woman struggling to keep her children alive.

To put food on the table and to stop the landowner’s agent from tearing down their cottage due to unpaid rent, Ellen defies her family and works at an Englishman’s manor, but with her husband out of work, and a secretive brother-in-law wanting her for his own, Ellen must face every challenge with new strength.

When several shocking events occur, it forces her to make an enormous decision. With aid coming from an unlikely source, namely Englishman Rafe Hamilton, Ellen leaves Ireland with what is left of her family to start again in a new country. But will the colony give her the security and happiness she longs for, especially when she has left her heart behind? Can Ellen thrive in a strange land? Or has she made the greatest mistake of her life?

From an early age, AnneMarie Brear loved reading, working her way through the Enid Blyton stories, before moving onto Catherine Cookson’s novels as a teenager. A long and winding road to publication led to her first novel being published in 2006. She has now published over twenty-nine novels, becoming an Amazon bestseller and with her historical saga novel, The Slum Angel, winning a gold medal at the Reader’s Favourite International Awards. Two of her books have been nominated for the Romance Writer’s Australia Ruby Award and the USA InD’Tale Magazine Rone award.

Connect with AnneMarie:


Facebook: AnneMarie Brear

Twitter: @annemariebrear

Instagram: @annemariebrear


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