GUEST BLOG: What’s On Your Bucket List? by Tea Cooper Plus Giveaway!

The Girl in the Painting Banner

My bucket list has been constantly changing over the last few years. When I retired from teaching it revolved entirely around my writing plans:

  • Get a print book published by one of the Big 5 publishers
  • Secure a second (maybe a third and a fourth) book contract
  • Be offered an advance
  • Get a contract without having to write a synopsis (I hate writing synopses!)
  • Make a best-seller list in Australia

As I established my writing career my bucket list contracted, and then expanded:

  • Make a living out of my writing
  • Conquer my fear of talking to large groups
  • Have a print book published outside Australia
  • Win an award for one of my books
  • Make an international best-seller list

I’m happy to report that I’ve emptied that bucket too and am about to start filling it again which leads me very nicely into the question ….

  • How do you keep your written world from encroaching on your life?

For the last five years, my written world has taken up a lot of my world. I approached it as a job, not a hobby, now I’ve reached the stage where I am able to make decisions about my writing life. I decided that my best stories evolved when I had time to ponder and plot. So I now only write one book a year and I take the time to enjoy my research, especially trips to places like the National Gallery, the Australian Museum, and the Mitchell Library in Sydney. I still set my books mostly in the area of Australia where I live—the Hunter Valley—and I delight in walking (driving, riding) the paths my characters take and visiting the places where my stories are set. Due to the restrictions of the last year, I’ve had to rely very much on memory for any places overseas so my bucket list is beginning to refill with research ideas.

I was born and grew up in England. I came to Australia, after spending a year teaching in India and travelling in South East Asia, in my mid-twenties. So my new bucket list looks something like this:

  • Spend more time with my two beautiful grandchildren and my daughter in Sydney
  • Return to England—most especially London, Cornwall, and Somerset, the places I remember from my earlier life. (Somerset plays an important part in The Girl in the Painting.)
  • Visit India again. (I’d love to set a book in Rajasthan.)
  • And keep writing one book a year.

My latest book The Cartographer’s Secret released in Australia in November 2020. It will be available on North American bookshelves in November 2021. Meanwhile, I am about to edit my next Australian release The Fossil Hunters and I am in the very early stages of writing my 2023 Australian book House of Butterflies while I wait for travel restrictions to be lifted and I can attack my new bucket list.

About The Book

Publication Date: March 9, 2021

The Girl in the PaintingA young prodigy in need of family. A painting that shatters a woman’s peace. And a decades-old mystery demanding to be solved.

Australia, 1906

Orphan Jane Piper is nine years old when philanthropist siblings Michael and Elizabeth Quinn take her into their home to further her schooling. The Quinns are no strangers to hardship—having arrived in Australia as penniless immigrants, they now care for others as lost as they once were.

Despite Jane’s mysterious past, her remarkable aptitude for mathematics takes her far over the next seven years, and her relationship with Elizabeth and Michael flourishes as she plays an increasingly prominent part in their business.

But when Elizabeth reacts in terror to an exhibition at the local gallery, Jane realizes no one knows Elizabeth after all—not even Elizabeth herself. As the past and the present converge and Elizabeth’s grasp on reality loosens, Jane sets out to unravel Elizabeth’s story before it is too late.

From the gritty reality of the Australian goldfields to the grand institutions of Sydney, this compelling novel takes us on a mystery across continents and decades as both women finally discover a place to call home.

Deeply researched. Emotional. Atmospheric and alive. . . Tea Cooper transports the reader to a sweeping landscape of turn of the twentieth century Australia—from the raw realities of the Australian goldfields to the sophisticated institutions of Sydney—and does so with an expert pen. Combining characters that are wonderfully complex with a story spanning decades of their lives, The Girl in the Painting is a triumph of family, faith, and long-awaited forgiveness. I was swept away!” —Kristy Cambron, award-winning author of The Paris Dressmaker and the Hidden Masterpiece novels

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Enter to win a paperback copy of The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on March 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Girl in the Painting

About The AuthorTea CooperTea is an award-winning Australian author of historical fiction. In a past life, she was a teacher, a journalist, and a farmer. These days she haunts museums and indulges her passion for storytelling. She is the bestselling author of several novels, including The Horse Thief, The Cedar Cutter, The Currency Lass, The Naturalist’s Daughter, The Woman in the Green Dress, and The Girl in the Painting.


Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, March 9
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Wednesday, March 10
Review at Crystal’s Library

Thursday, March 11
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Review at McCombs on Main

Friday, March 12
Review at Jessica Belmont

Monday, March 15
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Tuesday, March 16
Review at Bibliostatic
Excerpt at The Caffeinated Bibliophile

Wednesday, March 17
Review at the.b00kreader

Thursday, March 18
Review at Novels Alive
Review at Book Drunkard

Friday, March 19
Review at The Lit Bitch
Review at View from the Birdhouse

Saturday, March 20
Review at Nursebookie
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, March 22
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks

Tuesday, March 23
Review at Heidi Reads

Wednesday, March 24
Review at Library of Clean Reads

Thursday, March 25
Review at Read Review Rejoice

Friday, March 26
Review at Hallie Reads

Saturday, March 27
Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Monday, March 29
Review at Bookworlder
Review at Jorie Loves A Story

Tuesday, March 30
Review at Rachelle Loves Books

Wednesday, March 31
Review at Little But Fierce Book Diary

Dayna Linton
Dayna Linton
Dayna is the owner of not only Novels Alive but of Day Agency, a full-service self-publishing agency for independent authors. She has been assisting independent authors to achieve their dreams of becoming published authors for over 15 years. From New York Times and USA Today Bestselling authors to the first-time author to every author in between. Dayna is a self-professed bibliophile. While dancing has always been her first love, reading came as a very, very close second, with gardening coming in as a close third. Dayna is also the divorced mom of four adult children and a very proud grandma. She is also a web designer, social media specialist, book blogger, and reviewer. She's a long-time Disney lover and a Utah Jazz, Utah Utes, and Dallas Cowboys fan. See Dayna's reviews here: Dayna's Reviews



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