Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Every Breath Blog Tour + Giveaway
Virtual Tour of Melbourne with author Ellie Marney

Blog Tour organized by Tunrda Books
See full schedule HERE

I'm thrilled to be included in the Every Breath blog tour!

This book is a winner. It combines an awesome Aussie setting with a Sherlock-like genius boy called James Mycroft and a female narrator named Rachel Watts. Of course there's a mystery to solve, and as the suspense heats up, readers get to see these two slowly fall for each other in the most delicious way. It's a magical experience.

If you'd like to see my glowing review, go HERE.

Every Breath takes place in Melbourne, and the setting came alive in these pages. I am such a visual reader and loved the importance of place in this story. But I've never been to Australia, so I asked author Ellie Marney to give readers a tour of the city as she and her characters know it. 
I'm so excited to have her on the blog today to talk with us.

Welcome to Love is not a triangle, Ellie!


Sometimes you choose a city and sometimes a city chooses you – the Every Breath virtual tour of Melbourne

When I first arrived in Melbourne, I was applying for film school and I’d done that very typical thing of following my dream, and a boy.  It was the tail-end of 1993, and the city I was coming from – Brisbane, in the more-tropical north of Australia – was starting to feel claustrophobic.  Mainly, I think it was just a bit too close to my parents.  So I sold my belongings (including three boxes of beautiful books – alas!  The stupid things you do for love!) and went on the road with my then-paramour in a combi van (of all clichéd things) on a great trek to see the distant cosmopolitan south.

(1) Melbourne green cooridors

(1) Melbourne was a shock.  For one thing, it was about four times larger than the sleepy banana-growing city I’d been raised in.  I received an object lesson in that one day when took the tram from the top of the city for a job interview, expecting to arrive in half an hour, and finally gave up two sweaty, frustrating hours later, calling my (highly displeased) prospective employers to tell them I was hopelessly lost.  Needless to say, I didn’t get that job.

(2) Astor Cinema

The other thing about Melbourne was the diversity.  Brisbane was parochial, white-bread yokel-farmers-made-good (locals call it ‘Brisvegas’).  Melbourne was a huge urban multi-ethnic melting pot.  Greeks and Italians had come to city decades before, making it their home-away-from-home.  Vietnamese refugees had arrived soon after, and in the years to come, more overseas talent came to make Melbourne part of their life, and enrich the culture of the city in the process.  St Kilda East – where I first lived, one block behind the glamorous old (2) Astor Cinema – has a huge Jewish enclave nearby (I had never met a Jew before in my life), and for months I cycled around the city, searching out new visions and ethnic areas, and having my expectations and ideas transformed along the way (and if you really want a taste of St Kilda proper, that’s fellow-Aussie author Simmone Howell’s old turf – read Girl Defective for a glimpse).

(3) Melbourne Trams

St Kilda Road, where Mycroft and Watts dive into an encounter with the long arm of the Victorian law at St Kilda Road Police HQ, runs like a throbbing vein through the south end of the city.  It’s where I blagged my way into the foyer of police headquarters one day, while researching Every Breath, by saying I was looking for directions to the police museum at Southbank. Catch one of the many (3) Melbourne trams (a relic of older, more pedestrian-friendly days – you might call them streetcars.  We’ve somehow retained the largest tram network in the world outside of Europe) and travel further north, and you get into the heart of the CBD, over the sluggish brown Yarra River.
(4) Federation Square

Opposite the crazy patchwork architecture of (4) Federation Square is the building that featured on the (5) Australian edition cover of Every Breath: Flinders Street railway station.  It used to be the thing – before mobile phones changed life and punctuality forever – to say ‘Meet you under the clocks’, which is to say, the line of clocks telling local and international time on the gaping-mouth front façade of the station.  Beneath the station is a whole subway underground of little shops selling home-made clothes, classic vinyl, graphic novels and zines.  Pop up out of the tunnel into (6) Degraves Street, where you can get a delicious coffee – Melbourne is famous for its lattes and barista community.  Then work your way up the little cobbled alleyways with European-style street cafes, and enter the high-end cachet of Collins Street, where Tiffany’s sits next door to Subway.

(5) Flinders Street under the clocks is featured on the Aussie cover

(6) Degraves Street

That was the thing I first loved about Melbourne – the variety, and the way the old European influences clashed and melded with the new style.  When I first arrived, I adored the CBD, where you could walk up Bourke Street to see Bullet in the Head or Iron Monkey at the Chinese community cinema, stroll further to Russell Street, where lads in baseball caps and low-slung jeans would ask ‘Are you chasin’?’ and you practically had to beat them off with a stick.   Finally you’d make it to (7) Pellegrini’s, where you could eat spaghetti made with lackadaisical splendour from the giant vats of bolognese sauce out in the miniscule kitchen, and drink real Italian coffee.

(7) Pellegrini's
(8) Red Triangle

I felt grown up for the first time in this city.  I rode my bike everywhere, met up with my future-husband to play pool at the (8) Red Triangle before tripping towards the artsy-fartsy zone in Brunswick Street to have a late dinner at Mario’s (where the waiters condescend to you like the real pros they are).  I shopped at Savers, the best warehouse op-shop in town.  I trained kickboxing at Fitzroy Stars, the old Aboriginal community gym in Gertrude Street, and yoga at Dance for Life barely a block away. 

(9) Sydney Road

By that time I lived in Northcote, closer to the places where Rachel and James make their home.  Nearby are those areas I described in Every Breath as ‘the gristly heart of migrant grunge’, where you can take the tram down (9) Sydney Road to eat Turkish food, see old men gathered in Greek social clubs, and listen to the cadence of Arabic and Lebanese spoken in the street.  Walk along the path near the (10) tennis courts to the Melbourne zoo, and you’ll see the cut-off stump of  (11) the willow tree where Homeless Dave died, near Royal Park train station.  Enter the zoo, and you’ll find the (12) Lion Pen easily enough.

(10) Tennis courts

(11) Homeless Dave's Willow
(12) Lion Pen

Melbourne has changed in many ways since I first arrived – the city has oozed, amoeba-like, into sprawling suburbia, and a lack of far-sighted planning has created streets clogged with cars.  But the places are still all there: the little alleyways and hidden streets I love.  Where else in the world would you find a cobbled stretch of path called Bionic Ear Lane?  Or get a meal of honey-roasted duck in Victoria Street, where the Vietnamese proprietors practically push you out the door (‘Eat and go! Eat and go!) after your last bite?  Or see the graceful time-forgotten arch of the Royal Exhibition building beside the stark modernity of the Melbourne Museum (colloquially called ‘Jeff’s Shed’, in honour of a notorious state premier)?  Where else could you walk through the green tree-sheltered expanse of Fitzroy Gardens on your way to see the football in all its riotous, sweaty-muscled glory at the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) on a Sunday afternoon?

I still don’t get everything about Melbourne – the local footy obsession, for one – but I love this city like it was my own.  It’s not the place I grew up in, but it’s the place that grew me up (if that makes sense).  I live two hours away from it now, out in the country, but going to visit the city still fills me with the same dread and excitement that I think must fill Rachel Watts, when she wakes up in the morning and gazes out over another glorious-drizzly Melbourne day.  It’s my city now – I chose it, and it chose me.  And if Every Breath inspires you to come over and visit here some day, be sure to look me up.

Xx Ellie

I'm dying to see this city for myself now!

**Click the link under the top banner for more stops on the Every Breath blog tour!**

About the Author

Ellie Marney was born in the tropical northeast of Australia, and has lived in Indonesia, Singapore and India. Now she writes, teaches, talks about kid’s literature at libraries and schools, and gardens when she can, while living in a country idyll (actually a very messy wooden house on ten acres with a dog and lots of chickens) near Castlemaine, in north-central Victoria. Even though she often forgets things and lets the housework go, her partner and four sons still love her. Ellie’s short stories for adults have won awards and been published in various anthologies. Every Breath is her first novel for young adults.

Find Ellie: BlogTwitter | Goodreads

Order Every BreathAmazon | B&N | Book Depository | Or at your local bookstore!



Win a finished copy of Every Breath

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  1. Wonderful guest post! Getting the visual of all the locations in Every Breath brings the story more to life for me! I, too, enjoyed Every Breath and I can't wait to get my hands on Every Word. I'm currently searching for it now. :)

  2. I love this post :D Thank you both so so much for sharing. <3 And ack. I am so curious about this book. I hope I would love it too. We'll see, one day, I hope :D And oh. I love all the pictures so so much. <3 I have always wanted to visit Australia. Maybe one day :)

  3. I love all of the photos of Melbourne, it's so nice I hope I can see it for myself someday. It seems to be a great setting for a book, and I'd love to read it.

  4. I did research on Melbourne when I participated in NaMoRiMo one year. Would be interesting to read a book set there.

  5. After reading this post, I really want to visit this city AND read this book. This post is fills me excitement. I can almost feel the love for the city seeping between the lines. Thank you so much for sharing.

  6. Y'know, it's a little odd, but I've never thought of Australia in terms of diversity before. Other than white people and Aborigines, I haven't really considered immigrants and the like. For some reason, the thought of Greeks in Melbourne makes me chuckle.

  7. Wow, this is such a neat post! I love having pictures now to match what I was reading. Thanks so much for sharing, Ellie and Lauren! I really, really hope I can visit there one day. :)

  8. Oh, Melbourne is DEFINITELY on my bucket list. And some of those places are now added to my tour possibilities list (probably not Homeless Dave's Willow or the tennis courts...)

  9. Ok I was going to comment on a review, but then I saw that it was BLLB and I haven't read TDT yet and after seeing Danielle rave about Every Breath, I'm going to read and comment on this instead ;) I hope you don't mind! SHERLOCK-LIKE GENIUS AHHHH GIMME GIMME GIMMMEEEEE. You know, it's funny. So many of my friends went to Australia after HS or after they got a BSc degree and I still haven't been there to work, live, study--nada. But it will happen one day! Even a week-long trip is a must, really. So glad that this post happened on your blog, Lauren! Haa! That hopelessly lost story sounds like an ANTM casting episode :D that's one thing I'm scared of when it comes to big, biiiiiig cities! "We’ve somehow retained the largest tram network in the world outside of Europe" whooop! Europe pride ;) EST doesn't really have a huge tram line, but Finland on the other hand? Oh yeah. Oh! I wasn't aware that the Aussie cover featured this street :O That's so cool! "yoga at Dance for Life" duuude! I so want to visit this club because dancing is life thank you very much! This post in itself is inspiring and makes my fingers itchy to open a tab and get myself a plane ticket tbh. Can't wait to give Every Breath a try, be inspired and love this book a ton ton ton :) Thanks so much for sharing, Lauren! x


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