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Books By The Beach: The Drive at Miami

We are practically half way through my Books By The Beach tour! I hope you have enjoyed visiting the beautiful Gold Coast beaches I have featured so far! Which has been your favourite??

Miami is stop no. 7 of my Books By The Beach tour. Not to be confused with Miami, Florida!

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View of Miami Beach from the Miami/North Burleigh Lookout

For 69 years, this relaxed Gold Coast suburb was home to Miami Ice, an iconic ice factory built from two recycled army huts which were demolished in 2013. Even Australian singer John Farnham used this venue to film his Two Strong Hearts film clip.

Miami is blessed with a beautiful beach and a host of beach shacks which remind you of the Gold Coast of old.

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View looking south to Miami Beach

Behind me is the Miami/North Burleigh Lookout, which offers fantastic views all the way up to Surfers Paradise and south to Burleigh National Park.

In this post I am sharing with you all about my short story ‘The Drive’.

This was yet another story that went on quite a developmental journey. I explored a number of story concepts before I was finally satisfied with what is now the finished product, but because of that it is now one of my favourites.

Intent on leaving her troubles behind, Tamara sets out to return to her remote home town, but encounters unwelcome company out on the road.

PLEASE NOTE: At the end of this video there is information about purchasing The Drive on Amazon/Kindle. My books are not currently available on Amazon/Kindle. Instead you can download a FREE PDF version of the story HERE: The Drive

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I hope you have enjoyed your time here with me at Miami Beach. Next stop, Burleigh Beach!

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Books By The Beach: The New Neighbours at The Spit/Main Beach

Welcome to The Spit!

The Southport Spit is a neighbourhood within the northern end of Main Beach. A permanent sand spit separates the Southport Broadwater from the Pacific Ocean. The Spit is also a popular dog beach, with a large protected cove on the Broadwater and the uninhabited surfside sands of the northern tip of Southport.

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Dogs playing at The Spit
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Dogs playing near the sand pumping jetty at The Spit

The Spit was formed between 1897 and 1898, a product of longshore drift when high seas broke through a small area of land called Jumpinpin on Stradbroke Island.

During the 1940s the Southport Yacht Club gew and added marina facilities to the increasing number of private boats wanting to moor on the Spit’s eastern side of the Broadwater. Since the 1950s and ’60s, the local prawning industry used The Spit for their berth. The Spit continued to develop, with tourist attractions opening in the 1960s.

The Spit is home to the Sea World theme park and resort, the Sheraton Mirage Resort and Spa, as well as the Palazzo Versace hotel. On the end of The Spit is the Gold Coast Sand Pumping Jetty, a popular destination for fishermen and part of the Gold Coast Seaway’s Sand Bypassing System.

Pedestrians and cyclists explore the Spit via the Gold Coast Oceanway and the Federation Walk.

Here at The Spit I’m going to tell you about my short story collection The New Neighbours.

PLEASE NOTE: At the end of this video there is information about purchasing The New Neighbours on Amazon. My books are not currently available on Amazon. Instead you can download a PDF version of the title story for FREE at the end of this post.

The New Neighbours is a collection of eight psychological suspense short stories, exploring the secrets hidden behind closed doors, and the dark side of the human psyche. In the title story, a curious teenager uncovers a sinister neighbourhood secret when he loses his football over the fence. In A Kind Gesture, a lonely divorcee picks up a young hitchhiker, but all is not as it seems. The New Neighbours is a mix of twisted stories and unsettling characters, compiled into a cleverly written short fiction collection.

Download the title story from the collection HERE:

The New Neighbours PDF (Short Story Only)

The New Neighbors Cover

I hope you have enjoyed your time here with me at The Spit. Next stop, Surfers Paradise!

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Launch of My NEW Blog Series Books By The Beach!

Welcome to my BRAND NEW blogging series- Books By The Beach!

The world famous Gold Coast is a major tourist destination and is widely known for the high-rise dominated skyline, and also the theme parks, nightlife and rainforest hinterland. The Gold Coast is renowned for its beaches, from the iconic Surfers Paradise to the World Surfing Reserve between Burleigh and Snapper Rocks.

I will be starting the tour at at Paradise Point in the northern Gold Coast, and traveling south all the way down to Coolangatta on the Queensland/New South Wales state border. I will share with you a little about each location, its history and what makes it unique.

At each beach, I will also share with you one of my short stories or books, which will be available as a downloadable in PDF (books will have an excerpt available). I will be giving a little insight into the inspiration behind the story/book and the process of writing them.

I started working on this blog series about a year ago, when I was still living in Broadbeach. However some significant life changes and upheavals caused long delays in the completion of this series, and I have since relocated to beautiful Coolangatta, where the series concludes.

My first stop is Paradise Point, at the northern end of the Gold Coast.

The suburb lies on the Gold Coast Broadwater with direct access to the Coomera River. The area is protected by South Stradbroke Island, which lies off the coast.

Paradise Point is an upmarket suburb on the northern end of the Gold Coast, with many properties worth millions of dollars.

The esplanade parklands along the east side of the suburb makes it a locally popular area for casual waterfront park picnics and recreation, and also a monthly arts and crafts market. As part of a Gold Coast parks upgrade the local esplanade acquired new children’s playground, public amenities, barbecue facilities and picnic shelters.

Prior to its subdivision and development, the area was a quiet fishing spot that could be reached by a track that went through swampy land, studded with eucalyptus trees.

Following World War II, approximately 200 hectares of the land which eventually became Paradise Point was owned by Ralph Faulkinder who had acquired it for £600 from his deferred pay following the war. By the early 1950s, Faulkinder decided to subdivide part of his property.

The views over the Broadwater, excellent fishing spots and proximity to Hollywell provided additional appeal. By August 1954, three houses had been built and there were plans for a store and boating business to be opened by December. A further eight houses were to be constructed in the following months. In 1957, electricity poles had been erected within the estate in preparation for power lines to be installed. By 1959, more than 300 lots had been sold in Paradise Point. The development was advertised at the perfect location for a holiday home and an ideal place to escape the crowds further south along the coast. As a result, Paradise Point was a popular choice for older retirees looking for a quiet home near the water.

By 1983, Paradise Point had approximately 1400 homes, with more being built. With a growing community, the 200 members of the Paradise Point and Northern Districts Progress Association lobbied for improved amenities including a community centre, street lighting, parking areas, bike racks, a fire station, improved drainage, and the Pine Ridge Environmental Park. Land was set aside for a police station.

In 1986, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen opened the $3 million Haddon’s Marina at Paradise Point. The marina had berths for 50 boats, supplied both equipment and boats for hire and was a departure point for boats travelling to Tipplers, North Stradbroke Island and Jumpinpin.

By the 1990s, lobbying to protect the mangroves at Jabiru Island resulted in the establishment of the Phil Hill Environmental Reserve. During the same period, a $200,000 streetscaping project commenced along The Esplanade to remove overhead powerlines, install a swimming enclosure and beautify the area.

In later years, Paradise Point was further transformed by the development of Andys and Griffin Islands into Sovereign Island and the subdivision of Ephraim Island into prestige waterfront housing with deepwater moorings capable of accommodating ocean cruisers.

I hope you’ll join me for the next episode of Books By The Beach, where I will be coming to you from The Spit!