Catching up with Author Davina Stone

I am very excited to welcome Davina Stone to Off the Beaten Track today, especially as it is publication day for her debut novel, The Alice Equation! I have been fortunate to read an early copy and absolutely loved it. Here’s my review on Goodreads.

Tell us what inspired you to write The Alice Equation?

I love the idea of how love can change us, make us a better version of ourselves. So it started with Alice, the painfully shy bookworm and her unrequited love for her charming but womanising friend, Aaron. And it grew from there. In fact it went through a complete rewrite before either Alice or Aaron (particularly Aaron, he kept behaving very badly), were ready to be introduced to the world!

When did you start writing seriously? 

I’ve always written stories and I won a prize in a young writers competition with a novel I wrote when I was twelve. (Painstakingly hand-written it was called Grandpapa’s Secret, and was all rather “gothic”  if I remember rightly.) But I can pin-point when it became serious. I was diagnosed with a large hole in the heart four years ago. I had to undergo open heart surgery and that was a wake-up call that life is short and we need to live our dreams. I’d always wanted to write romance so I closed my health counselling business, my husband and I moved  away from the city to a bush block near Margaret River and I focussed “whole-heartedly” on my goal of becoming a writer.

What do you love most about being an author? 

The wonderful quirky characters my mind comes up with. I love sending them out to play, watching them tie themselves – and each other – in knots, then helping them fathom out how to get to their Happily Ever After. When you write romance the world you build is a world of emotion and the five senses. Nothing is more intense than truly falling in love. And that’s probably what I  enjoy about it most of all.

What are you working on now? 

I’ve just finished the second book in the series, about Alice’s best friend, Polly. It’s more enemies to lovers, because Polly is very feisty, and Solo her love interest, well, let’s just say he’s got some secrets in his past he’s running from. The Polly Principle will release in April 2021. And I’m now working on the third book, The Felicity Theory which is set in London and Sydney, two of my favourite cities.

What do you hope readers will take away from The Alice Equation?

I hope it leaves a smile on their face. It may sound a very simple goal, but I really just want to write stories that make people happy. Because we need a whole heap more happiness in the world right now, and I reckon writing romances is the best way I can contribute to that.

About Davina

Davina Stone writes romances about flawed but lovable characters who get it horribly wrong before they finally get it right. They also kiss a fair bit on the way to happily ever after. Davina grew up in England, before meeting her own hero who whisked her across wild oceans to Australia. She has now lived half her life in both countries, which makes her a hybrid Anglo-Aussie.

When not writing she can be found chasing kangaroos off her veggie patch, dodging snakes, and even staring down the odd crocodile. But despite her many adventures in her heart, she still believes that a nice cup of tea fixes most problems – and of course, that true love conquers all.

Davina’s short stories have been published in five Romance Writers of Australia anthologies. Her first novel, The Alice Equation was a finalist in the 2020 Valerie Parv Awards. Her second novel, The Polly Principle (release April 2021), took second place in The Romance Writers of Australia 2020 Ripping Start Competition.

Follow Davina

Facebook | Instagram | Website

More about The Alice Equation

Alice Montgomery’s life is like Groundhog Day. Five years after graduating, she’s still working in her mum’s bookshop, hiding her stash of romance novels under the bed and pining for the gorgeous guy who helped her over a panic attack before her final uni exam.

Aaron Blake loves to party – hard. His idea of commitment to anything other than his legal career is strictly three months. Until landing a job with the most prestigious – but conservative – law firm in town means he has to convince the partners he’s deeply committed to family values.

Aaron needs a fake date fast – and who could be safer than his bookish friend Alice?

Soon Alice finds herself dating her secret crush, sporting a daring new look of vintage frocks and itsy-bitsy lace lingerie.

Now the heat is notching up. Aaron’s feelings for his fake date are proving anything but safe, and Alice is discovering her inner sex-goddess.

But when secrets are revealed and lies uncovered, both Alice and Aaron will have to work out the hardest equation of all… what this crazy thing called loved is all about.

Author confession: Okay, things do get a bit hotter than kissing. Heat level: 3–4 sizzling flames.

Where can you get The Alice Equation?

Amazon AU | Amazon US | Kobo | Books2Read

Romance Must-reads

I was a romance reader long before I was a romance writer – actually, since I used to sneak Mills and Boon books from my mother’s beside table at the precocious age of 12.

By 13, I’d graduated to Shirley Conran and Jackie Collins, and she’d ‘graduated’ to just handing them to me.

At high school, I read every Sweet Dreams book ever written along with all the other teenage girls in existence. As an adult, I discovered chicklit – mostly romcoms, but also the more heartfelt side of the genre.

And when I read my first Lindsey Kelk book in January 2013, I knew two things. First, I wanted to read all her books (there were 5 then; there are soon to be 13). And second, I wanted to write romance novels.

I still read widely across the genre and wanted to share some (old and new) favourites with you.

AAG - LKThe first in the Tess Brookes series (my fave chicklit series ever) – this book is hilarious.  Buy it here. Kelk’s book that started my love affair with romance writing is I Heart New York, and you can now pre-order the 8th ‘I Heart’ book, I Heart Hawaii.


Outlander is, simply, one of the most beautifully-written books I’ve ever read; the prose is sublime. Couple that with a love story that transcends time, it is an absolute must-read. And if you’ve been living under a kilt, there’s also a television show – perhaps the sexiest one on air. I am up to #7 of Diana Gabaldon’s series.

Penny Reid

Penny Reid’s Knitting in the City series is terrific, and I devoured book 1, Neanderthal Seeks Human. I am only 3 books in (there are 8, each focussing on a different member of the knitting circle), but the way she crafts distinct characters through first person is just terrific.


How I adore Frances Mayes’ writing. She evokes place like no other. Women in Sunlight is not your typical romance novel, as it’s not the primary theme, but I love the approach in this novel which explores love, sex and romance in your 60s.


The Time Traveller’s Wife is one of my favourite books – ever. This story will simply take your breath away.


The 3rd in the trilogy, this was actually my favourite of the moving, yet hopeful ‘Me Before You’ series. An original concept brings Louisa and Will together in a the most devastating ‘meet cute’ ever. Buy the first one here.


Traversing generations, Allende has woven a beautiful and epic love story in The Japanese Lover.

Some other lovely romantic reads I’ve loved over the past few months are: Her Brooding Scottish Heir (my first foray into M&B in decades) by Ella Hayes; French Kissing (sexy, funny, dreamy) by Lynne Selby; A Room at the Manor (heartfelt and lovely) by Julie Shackman; A Village Affair (laugh out loud) by Julie Houston; One Way Ticket to Paris (rekindling true love) by Emma Robinson, and Lottie Loser (romance with a dramatic twist) by Dana L. Brown.

I’m making myself stop there and if you think that’s a lot of books, you should see my TBR (to be read) list!

Happy Valentine’s Day or Galentine’s Day or just plain old February 14th.

Sandy xx