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Books By The Beach: Asha’s Story Part One at Bilinga Beach

Welcome to Bilinga, the thirteenth stop on my Books By The Beach tour!

Bilinga is close to the Queensland/New South Wales border to the west and has the Pacific Ocean to the east.

Bilinga

The word ‘Bilinga’ is derived from the word ‘Bilinba’, meaning ‘bats’. The name was adopted in 1918 as a place name for Crown lands north of Coolangatta.

Bilinga was located on the Nerang-Tweed Railway line and, after the Crown Land auctions, a rail siding was approved for the site in 1919. By 1923 the nucleus of settlement had formed when Percy Henzel opened a general store near the rail siding.

By the late 1920s, the new coastal motor road improved access to the area for holiday makers and residents.

The drowning of a man on Bilinga Beach in 1937 led to the establishment of the Bilinga Surf Lifesaving Club in 1938.

The Gold Coast Airport is located in Bilinga. Despite being situated in Bilinga and across the border into Tweed Heads West, New South Wales, the airport is also known as Coolangatta, presumably because Coolangatta is better known than Bilinga.

In this post I will be sharing with you about Asha’s Story Part One, the second installment in the Paid To Dance series.

Inspired by a true story, Paid To Dance: Asha’s Story Part One tells of one young woman’s experience working as an exotic dancer in Brisbane, Australia. After a shaky transition into the workforce, eighteen-year-old Asha Graham takes a job at The Runway, a prestigious gentlemen’s club in Brisbane City. During the first two years of a five year journey, Asha’s life is changed in a number of ways, as she learns the ropes and adapts to the often harsh conditions of her chosen profession.

PLEASE NOTE: At the end of this video there is information about purchasing the Paid To Dance books on Amazon/Kindle. My books are not currently available on Amazon/Kindle. Instead you can download a free PDF of the first chapter HERE:

Paid To Dance: Asha’s Story Part One- Chapter One

cover-image-draft-ashas-story-pt-1

I hope you have enjoyed your time here in Bilinga with me. Only two more stops to go! See you next time at Kirra Beach!

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Books By The Beach: Stripping Past & Present at Tugun Beach

Welcome to Tugun, the twelfth stop on my Books By The Beach tour!

Over the hill from Currumbin, Tugun is north-west of Coolangatta and 96 kilometres (60 mi) south of Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland. Tugun is a popular holiday destination, with a number of holiday units and motels lining Tugun Beach, its homey streets playing host to cafés and fish and chip shops. There are also has a number of shops located on its Golden-Four Drive strip.

Tugun

 

This is the Gold Coast without the glitz. Locals fondly call Tugun, Tugz (pronounced choo-gs). It’s joined to its neighbouring suburbs of Currumbin and Bilinga via the Gold Coast Oceanway.

Its name is believed to have derived from an Indigenous word of unknown dialect meaning “breaking waves”.

In 1898, the Farrell family walked overland from Tallebudgera Township along a track now called Simpson Road, to their block of land or selection just south of Currumbin Hill. They established a camp site there and started to clear some land for a home and grazing paddocks for their small dairy herd. The local Aboriginal people often bartered fish and crabs with the Farrells, supplementing the settlers’ diet when times were lean.

Over the creek, known today as Flat Rock Creek, and to the north-west of Currumbin Hill, another Irish family, the Mitchells had settled on their block a few weeks after the arrival of the Farrell family. At first, there was a degree of rivalry between the two families based partly on old country loyalties – the Mitchells were from the north of Ireland, the Farrells from the south.

However, years spent pioneering the land and the experience of isolation meant that inevitably the families became the firmest of friends.

The first home in Tugun village was built in 1916. The construction of a coastal road linking Southport to Coolangatta in the 1920s was a major achievement for the Main Roads Commission. The age of the mass-produced motor car provided the impetus for developing beach properties and accommodation facilities in areas such as Tugun and Bilinga.

The dairy and banana farms however, which dated from the early years, disappeared as the land was subdivided into areas such as the Currumbin Estates in the late 1950s.

In this post I will be delving a little deeper into the Paid To Dance series, and telling you all about the first installment, Paid To Dance: stripping Past & Present.

Paid To Dance: Stripping Past & Present is a comprehensive insight into the stripping industry, from its origins to its modern day evolution. Everyday women share stories of working in gentleman’s clubs, paying their way through university, funding travel and even escaping homelessness and crime. Parents and partners offer intriguing perspectives of their loved one’s occupation, and a manager shares his experiences overseeing the operations of a real gentleman’s club.

Paid To Dance looks inside the trials and tribulations of exotic dancers throughout history into the present day, and explores a livelihood that is often rewarding and always challenging.

What readers had to say about Paid To Dance:

“Wow! What a fantastic read! This book gives the reader such an interesting insight into the lives of strippers… and it’s not just reading their side of it.. but those people around them too.. their parents, partners, and even from a venue manager who does the hiring. Once I started reading I could not put it down.. as I wanted to know how everyone around them felt.. as I found this very interesting after only really knowing the strippers side of it. The history was also excellent and I enjoyed reading about the past and different cultures.”
Barbara, Gold Coast, Australia

“A most enjoyable easy read, lots of interesting facts and is light hearted on a subject that society still sees as taboo. Would highly recommend this book to any interested in the behind the scene in this industry.”
Sharon, Gold Coast, Australia

“The author gives a truthful, unbiased and non-judgemental insight into exotic entertainment industry complete with real stories from real people. Great read for anyone who’s ever been curious about what’s really going on behind the scenes in adult entertainment clubs and in the lives of exotic dancers.”
Julia, Brisbane, Australia

“A book I could not put down. A really interesting read into the lives of women in an industry that many of us no nothing about. Highly recommended.”
Sarah, Brisbane, Australia

“This book has opened my eyes to the lives of strippers and dancers, exceptionally well written and researched. Very much worth the read and I recommend it to all ages enabling a clear and concise understanding of the lives of these ladies.”
Jackee, Brisbane, Australia

PLEASE NOTE: At the end of this video there is information about purchasing the Paid To Dance books on Amazon/Kindle. My books are not currently available on Amazon/Kindle. Instead you can read a FREE PDF Excerpt HERE:

Paid To Dance Stripping Past and Present

Cover Image Book 1 Edited

I hope you have enjoyed your time here with me at Tugun, and I hope you will join me next time at Bilinga. Only three stops to go!

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Books By The Beach: The Wilted Rose at Tallebudgera Creek

Welcome to Tallebudgera Creek, stop no. 9 on my Books By The Beach tour!

Tallebudgera Creek

Tallebudgera Creek is by far one of my FAVOURITE spots here on the Gold Coast. Where I am sitting in this video is on the Burleigh National Park side of the creek. Here there is a small, quiet beach, and I love to come here on a weekday when the crowds have gone and read a book or do some writing. Sitting on the sand, you can smell the rich aromas from the australian native plants and trees just behind you.

Talle 3

 

By hang on, you say. This is Books By The Beach, not Books By The Creek!

Let me explain…

Tallebudgera is best known for its sparkling creek which is framed by the Burleigh Heads National Park on one side and Palm Beach on the other. However, this popular beach destination starts its journey further inland, from the Springbrook Plateau below Burleigh Mountain in the Springbrook National Park near Upper Tallebudgera, and north of the New South Wales/Queensland border. The creek flows generally north by east through the Tallebudgera Valley towards Burleigh Heads before reaching its mouth, south of the Burleigh Head National Park, and emptying into the Coral Sea. The creek descends 100 metres (330 ft) over its 25-kilometre (16 mi) course.

Talle 2

Tallebudgera Creek is known for good fishing, and its name even translates in an indigenous language to “good fishing”. Bream, flathead, whiting and even bull sharks call the creek home. Camping, swimming, picnicking, and kayaking are other popular activities amongst visitors.

While the waters in the creek are renowned for their relative calm, the surf waves are within walking distance at nearby Tallebudgera Beach.

In this post I’m going to share with you about my book The Wilted Rose.

The Wilted Rose is the story of one Australian family’s struggle with mental illness during the 1960s and 70s. The story depicts the rise and fall of ambitious young woman Sarah Ross, whose pursuit of a nursing career in the 1950s is challenged by tradition and religion. After Sarah’s mental health deteriorates, her dedicated husband Jack adopts the role of her carer, and their daughter Grace must survive adolescence through great adversity, before their family finally receive a definitive diagnosis for Sarah’s condition. The Wilted Rose is a moving story of passion, heartache, and unbreakable family bonds.

I started working on this book around the age of eighteen, and published it at twenty one. I held a launch for the first edition at the Suited To Success office in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, attended by several of my friends and family. The first print run of the book, which consisted of fifty copies, sold out quickly.

I held another launch for the revised edition in August 2012 at the now closed Black Cat Books and Cafe in Paddington. Guests at this book launch included representatives from various community groups associated with the book’s subject matter, including mental health organisations and local historical societies.

PLEASE NOTE: At the end of this video there is information about purchasing The Wilted Rose on Amazon. My books are not currently available on Amazon. Instead you can download a PDF version of the first chapter for FREE HERE:

The Wilted Rose Chapter One

If you live in Australia, I can post you a signed paperback copy of The Wilted Rose. Simply send me a message via the Contact page.

The Wilted Rose