But Amber's totally the opposite to me, I wailed, everything about her! She treats me like dirt, and she thinks she's so cool...
Heath's island world is turned upside down when sophisticated cousin Amber and her dysfunctional family come to stay. Life on the remote farm is devoid of funky shops, clubs, proper TV reception and emails, and the bored and arrogant Amber soon makes Heath's existence hell-at school as well as at home.
As tensions mount between the two girls, it seems the only thing they can agree on are the two European backpacker friends that Amber has made-one of whom is the gorgeous Jamal... Or is Amber going to ruin Heath's love life too?
It's only when a group camping expedition to a remote beach starts to go disastrously wrong that Heath and Amber have to decide whether blood really is thicker than water.
Charlotte Calder lives near Orange in the Central West of NSW with her husband and the youngest of their three children, who are aged twenty, eighteen and thirteen. The rest of the family consists of a dog, two cats and two old horses nobody rides any more.
She's also worked, among other things, as an actor and a photographer, and has written occasional columns for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian.
Charlotte was born in Adelaide and grew up in the Adelaide Hills and Darwin, the setting of her first novel Settling Storms, which was published in 2000. She later lived in Sydney for many years, the background for Cupid Painted Blind, published in 2002. Surviving Amber's location contains hints of Kangaroo Island, where she spent just about every summer holiday for the first thirty five years of her life, although Heath's island is pretty old-fashioned compared to the real one.
(Children's Fiction & True Stories)