My site has reached 30,000 views!

30000 views Melanie Toye author

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

As a writer, I constantly wonder is anybody reading what I write?

I love to write and to know that I have a wonderful fan following of fabulous, intelligent, awesome readers who know what they like to read, makes me smile!

So thank you my lovely readers, thank you.

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A preview of what to expect

How do they do it? 16 Business Mums share how they juggle life” 


How do you have time to clean?

“I love a clean house but realise with a busy working life that it can’t be perfect. My dear Nana used to say that “no-one ever won a medal for housework,” said Kim Liddell, Non Destructive Excavations Australia Pty Ltd in How do they do it?

Read more from Mums in all various industries about how they juggle running their own business and being a Mum in my latest eBook.

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On character writing with Claire Varley

On character writing with Claire Varley: How did you come up with your characters for The Bit In Between and how did their personalities evolve throughout the writing of the book?  

From the start the book was meant to be an awkward love story and my two central characters, Oliver and Alison, were the starting point for the story. I knew who they were from the very beginning but as I worked over each version of the story I took the time to anchor them more firmly. By this I mean sharpening their motivations, desires and drivers, and trying to find that unique balancing point of genuine, flawed and well-meaning.

Alison in particular took the longest because I wanted a character who wasn’t sure what she wanted from life but she still needed motivation or else she seemed like this stagnant floundering nothingness compared to the rest of the characters. Her relationship with Sera helped define her motivations and evolved to encompass both a personal and professional element. When I finally figured this out it seemed really obvious and was a bit of a face-palm moment. Throughout the whole process of writing this book, every time I worked out a plot link it was like ‘Of COURSE! Clearly that’s what needs to happen!’ I had a lot of solo micro-Eureka moments with this novel.

In this book I write about a country and culture that is not my own and from the start I felt an incredible sense of responsibility to do this in a way that didn’t diminish, cheapen or rob the humanity from my Solomon Island characters. In my Arts degree Said was my staple and my Masters explored indigenous knowledge and decolonized methodologies, so I was very conscious of avoiding the romanticism and ‘noble savage’ lens through which the Pacific has so often been cast. I was so conscious of ensuring every character in this book was a whole character that had their own backstories and motivations, rather than simply being some kind of furniture for the central characters to navigate around.

Throughout the book there are little vignette’s that provide a momentary glimpse into the lives of passing characters. I decided on this early on because I wanted to provide a story that had central characters yet still engaged with the complex web of people we may only notice momentarily, but who each possess their own story. So in a way it was very much like real life: each character was themself right from the start but the more I got to know them, the more I understood all the things that had come before and made them who they were. 9781743535608

The Bit In Between by Claire Varley, Macmillan Australia, $29.99’

Thank you Claire for sharing how you came up with your characters for your novel, The Bit In Between.

Maddox Family Adventures – Kids TV Series

Exciting news, I have uploaded the pilot script of the first episode for my pitch of a new kid’s TV series, titled Maddox Family Adventures.

Maddox Family Adventures is about the adventures of the Maddox Kids, Kelly, William & Derek & what they have to go through in order to find a way back to their parents, who are away on holidays when a volcano erupts, forcing the Maddox Kids to leave their home.

About Episode One: The volcano escape

The Maddox kid’s lives change when an active volcano erupts & they are forced to escape their island home, into the big ocean, only to be faced inches away from a shark feeding frenzy. They are saved by Pirate Boniface. The Maddox kid’s arrive to Laughing Island.

Please rate my pitch and pilot script via Amazon Studios by clicking here.

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Blog Tour – The Bit in Between


The Bit In Between by Claire Varley, Macmillan Australia, $29.99

First Impressions:

The bright colours and text people are intriguing on the book cover. Plus, I had a chuckle when I read the tag line, ‘Writing a love story is a lot easier than living one.’

About this book:

There are seven billion people in the world. This is the story of two of them.

After an unfortunate incident in an airport lounge involving an immovable customs officer, a full jar of sun-dried tomatoes, quite a lot of vomit, and the capricious hand of fate, Oliver meets Alison. In spite of this less than romantic start, Oliver falls in love with her.

Immediately. Inexplicably. Irrevocably.

With no other place to be, Alison follows Oliver to the Solomon Islands where he is planning to write his much-anticipated second novel. But as Oliver’s story begins to take shape, odd things start to happen and he senses there may be more hinging on his novel than the burden of expectation. As he gets deeper into the manuscript and Alison moves further away from him, Oliver finds himself clinging to a narrative that may not end with; happily ever after.

My review:

The two main characters are unique and lively, with strong voices of their own. The story showed the two very different lives intertwining, even when they were living fairly separate lives, their bond to be together stayed strong. I enjoyed how part way through the novel, the main character Oliver found what he wrote started to occur in reality. As a writer, I always think that I should write about winning the lottery in the hope that it will happen in real life!

The author really brought to life the unique traits of the different characters. From Alison’s ex, Ed, the travelling flirtatious self-centered hippie. To Oliver’s overbearing mother, who loves to promote girls she approves for him to date, while he is living with and dating Alison. She even mails him toilet paper, just in case you can’t buy toilet paper at The Solomon Island’s. To Alison’s new friend, Sera, who is soft and sweet.

I also really liked how the author included inside snippets of background to new characters that were introduced throughout the story.

Some really laugh out loud scenes are a great touch too, here’s an example:

‘Alison climbed out of the taxi, looked around and then quickly yanked one side of her bathers out of her bum. She hadn’t realised when she put the bathers on that they hadn’t been properly washed since she last went to the beach and the crotch was still full of sand.’

and …

‘Oliver looked at the young man. He leant forward. ‘We were terrible, weren’t we?’

The young man looked at his hands shyly.

‘You can be honest.’

‘Yes. Terrible. My ears hurt.’ He looked at the wood block lying there on the table between them. ‘How can something so small make such a noise?’

Now, you are reading this out of context. Go read the book, so you can understand why I literally laughed out loud, when I read the above.

Thank you to Pan Macmillan for asking me to be apart of Claire Varley’s blog tour and sending me a copy of her very first published book. I look forward to ready more of this author’s books to come. You can follow Claire Varley’s blog by clicking here.

The Bit In Between by Claire Varley, Macmillan Australia, $29.99

If you enjoy reading my blog, please do follow me on social media:

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Fashion in the mountains

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This is me. I am wearing jeans from Top Shop, a white singlet underneath this really light and breezy blouse from ASOS. (A great summer top and for this occassion, winter too!)

It’s winter in Australia right now but you wouldn’t guess it! With beautiful blue skies and the warm sun beating down. For the first time, I went exploring with my family to the Glass House Mountains Lookout in Queensland. What I loved about the visit was the mountains were not too high to drive up. I hate driving up mountains, so driving to get here wasn’t really bad at all. Thank goodness!

I told my husband, I want to go visit the mountains today, so off we went to find a place we had never been before. I was very surprised to find the car park to the lookout was full! Such a popular place this hangout. The lookout is stunning, with 180 degree views of mountains, pine trees and we could even see the sunny coast!

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What I love about any adventure, is getting to explore the area and with this lookout, there is a 800 m track you can go walking around the mountain to explore. So off we went!

2015-07-25 14.28.06-1Funny enough, I packed my joggers but left them in the car, thinking that it was just a lookout. Although by the end of the walk, I did wish I had worn them. However, aren’t my shoes too cute though. :)

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I love being amongst nature. It makes me feel alive. These photo’s don’t do the mountain views justice. There was so much to see. Incredible views, fallen tree trunks, stone pathways, wooden bridges, butterflies and just breathing in the fresh air is worth it.

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A selfie in the Mountains. I couldn’t help but share my smile with you from the sky!

Business Mums – How do you feel running a business and being a mother?

Running your own business and managing the household is full on. In “How do they do it? 16 Business Mums share how they juggle life,” I sought Mums who owned their own business to find out the truth on how they juggle it all. Here is what one Business Mum commented on, when I asked this question …

Bridget - Adventure Race Team Oliver logo

Tell us about how you feel being a Mum and running a business?

“…I have had times where I have wondered if it is worth doing this while the boys are young and if I should have waited and be spending more time with them but it is also something that I need to do for myself. I really miss working and bringing in my own income and having my own independence so having my own business that I can schedule around the boys and still be there for them is an ideal solution for me,” said Bridget Deuble, Team Oliver Health Coaching in How do they do it?

Are you a business Mum? How do you feel trying to juggle it all? I would love to hear from you through supportive comments below, for other Mums to read.

Read more from Mums in all various industries about how they juggle running their own business and being a Mum and wife here.

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