Australia/New Zealand Tour by the Numbers

It's been two weeks since I've been home and getting re-adjusted to...well, everything...has taken more time than I'd expected.  I'm working on a short story I thought I could knock out in a few days.  I don't know why I thought that since nothing I write is ever "quick" even blog posts take me longer than I'm sure they do for others.  I'm also supposed to be working on book 2 of the Healer Series - I've two pages written - yikes.

And I've gotten off the topic, which is my tour down under.  If you receive my newsletter some of this may be a repeat, but I've added a few things and pictures for my blog :)

The three weeks on tour just flew by and it was unbelievable to meet so many of my readers.  So here's a summary of my trip by the numbers:

15 hours - The flight from San Fransisco to Sydney - The steward on my flight called it,"purgatory," perfect description as it's dark outside almost the entire trip. Landing and sunrise coincided beautifully.

1 - Gorgeous Harbor (see picture above)

3 crossings of a roundabout in Byron Bay without getting hit!  Confusing traffic patterns for an American.

4 days in Byron Bay - The hippie culture is alive and well there - so fun to see such free spirits. Picture is a camper you can rent for your vacation (  1 day off to see the sights.

1 Lighthouse - Hiked uphill both ways to the lighthouse in Byron Bay - the eastern most point of AU - worth the heart attack!

2 dinners at the Hog's Breath Cafe (hog tail fries are yummy!), 2 brekkies at the Why Not? cafe and 1 brekkie at the Twisted Sistah cafe.

30+ cups of English breakfast tea for me and 50+ cups of skinny lattes for me new Mum :)  Latte at the Bay Leaf restaurant (above).

60 Brisbane readers (see above). They had emailed me, asking for me to visit, and they all came even though it was a Monday night and they had a week's notice!

6 days in Melbourne (pictured above).  4 schools and 4 public events all well attended :)  Chilly rain and cloudy all 6 days.  2 days off - I shopped at the Queen Victoria's Market the first day and had dinner with friends. Second day I went to the Melbourne Zoo and played with the kangaroos :)

• 21 nights that I saw rugby and Aussie Rules Rugby (called footy) on TV. I'm currently experiencing withdrawal.

5 days in Sydney - 4 schools and 4 public events. Took a tour on a cold, windy, cloudy day to Bondi Beach - saw the Opera House up close, but didn't go in.  Wished I had more time to see Sydney.

5 days in Auckland, New Zealand for the Romance Writer's conference - had a great time and made lots of new friends.  1 sad loss - author Sandra Hyatt (Hyde) passed away that weekend :(  My condolences to her family and friends.

1 day off in Auckland - went to the Waitakere Ranges Park to see waterfalls, rain forest (see above) and black sand beaches (see below).  New Zealand is gorgeous and I MUST go back there.

1 regret that I wasn't able to have a public event in Auckland :( 

5 bags of Snickers Pods and 1 package of Tim Tams consumed

12 hours - number of hours one way Meaghan and her boyfriend drove to see me

9 public events - all well attended; 14 new words learned

And finally, 1 new Mum who made the trip extra special (you know who you are!).

Thanks to everyone who attended one of my events and to the Harlequin office in Australia who did all the hard work in setting the tour up and to Amy and Deb at dmcpr-media who helped spread the word and arranged all those fun radio and TV interviews.


  1. Don't you think Gab is a little young to be your new Mum? Hehe

    Glad you had the time of your life down under and hope to see you again in the future.

  2. Thanks for coming to Sydney. It was lovely to see you. My three and a half hour trip to Sydney doesn't seem like a lot compared to the twelve hours :)

  3. Hehe, glad that you enjoyed coming to Australia. :D It was nice meeting you. :)

  4. Wow! Pretty pics Maria! Glad you had an awesome time!

  5. It makes me feel so much better to know you write slowly too! And it's fun to know you're in the midst of a book right now :)

    Your trip looks absolutely beautiful.

  6. Fun recap post! Pity about the rain in Melbourne but that's the way it is I guess!

  7. Looks fantastic! I hope you can come out and visit So Cal when you tour for TOP! Should I start writing letters to your publisher now? *angelic grin*

  8. Hi!
    Your visit to my school in Sydney, Australia [Hornsby Girls' High] was amazing- it brightened up my day and inspired me to write more! Thank you for being an amazing writer and inspiring talker- I really enjoyed meeting you! :)

    When our school had it's annual open day for younger primary school students to visit (about two months after your wonderful visit), we were able to show off that you had actually come to our school library- a fact that amazed many younger students! :)

    Lots of love from a huge fan,
    Queenie L. :)

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