THIS WRITING LIFE: Release Day Approacheth!

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Can you believe it? There’s only ONE sleep until my new rural romance, Heart of the Valley, releases.

I’m always amazed how quickly release date comes around. When the last edits are handed in you think it’s forever until release day, but then suddenly it’s racing toward you, bringing with it all the nerves and bubbly excitement that comes with knowing people will soon be buying, reading and commenting on your book.

I’m far more excited than nervous about Heart of the Valley because, quite frankly, I love this book. I love the characters, the emotion, the drama and the complex family relationships. I love how the animals are so integral to the story they’re almost characters in their own right. I adore the landscape of the Hunter Valley, viewed so passionately through the heroine, Brooke’s, eyes. I admire Brooke’s strength, her devotion to her friends, to her animals, to the property she loves. And I still have an embarrassingly monster-sized crush on the hero, Lachie. Sigh. I’m not sure I’ll ever recover from that man. He is one hell of a babe. Good thing he’s fictional or there might be trouble in the Hein household!

There have already been a few reviews.

The West Weekend Magazine’s Amanda Keenan had this to say:

Brooke Kingston is a pure-bred horsey girl soaring to great heights in the saddle. But a tragic twist of fate robs the agile rider of her confidence, and life as she knows it. Cue a love triangle including an old friend and a brooding man with a complicated history who will seek to salve her wounded soul and get her back in the saddle – so to speak. This sounds like the master stock for a rural romance recipe because it is. But that’s not a criticism – there’s something wonderfully absorbing about a rough and ready country yarn heavy with heartache, which weaves in complex family relationships, our gorgeous environment and a bit of raunchy rainstorm sex. Yee ha!

The Age and Sydney Morning Herald also had a large spread on rural lit, with Heart of the Valley reviewed alongside Fiona Palmer’s fabulous The Road Home, Fleur McDonald’s Purple Roads and Margareta Osborn’s Bella’s Run. In other words, pretty illustrious company!

Heart of the Valley is shown in great glory in this week’s BigW catalogue alongside Karly Lane’s Morgan’s Law, which also releases this week. Okay, so that’s not exactly a review but it still gives me a complete attack of the warm fuzzies.

Much to my surprise, I also received a gorgeous review for Promises this week which appeared in the Ipswich Advertiser.

Australian author Cathryn Hein had me from the first page and I’m sure anyone who likes romance novels without bodice ripping or cliché phrases will also love this story.

Lastly, I have a lot of blog visits coming up, some with giveaways, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for those. You can currently find me at Booktopia, answering their Nine Naughty Questions and on Mandy Magro’s Awesome Aussie Authors segment. Friday I’ll be here for Friday Feast sharing a favourite winter-perfect soup recipe I nicked from my mum and giving away a copy of Heart of the Valley to one lucky commenter.

Yup, it’s all happening!

Before I go I’d like to leave you with a few photos from our time in France. Jim and I were fortunate enough to attend two ANZAC Days on the Somme, as well as the Service of Reinterment of four Australian soldiers whose remains were found near Merris in 2003 and reburied in an incredibly moving ceremony at Outtersteene Communal Cemetery Extension, Bailleul, near the Belgian border.

Dawn service at Villers-Bretonneux is one of the most moving experiences I’ve ever had and one I will never forget.

View from the tower

Australian National Memorial, Villers Bretonneux, France

An unknown soldier of the Great War

Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery

Passchendaele, Belguim.

Tyne Cot is the largest Commonwealth war cemetery in the world.  There are now 11,956 soldiers buried here, 8,369 are unidentified.  This photo doesn’t do any justice to the heart-breaking scale of the place.

Reinterment for the four Australian soldiers whose remains were found near Merris in 2003

Outtersteen Communal Cemetery Extension, Bailleul, France

Lest we forget

13 thoughts on “THIS WRITING LIFE: Release Day Approacheth!

  1. Avatarrachael johns

    I think I’m ALMOST as excited by this book as you. And you are right, the animals ARE characters in their own right – that’s one of the things I love most about your writing. xo

  2. AvatarAlison Stuart

    We were in Villers Brettoneux for the Anzac Day Commemorations in 2005. One of the most moving days of my life. Like you we had also visited the battlefields of Belgium. The experience sowed the seeds for my upcoming release GATHER THE BONES which is coming out later this year.

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      It’s incredible, isn’t it, the feelings these places evoke. I’m with you, Alison, ANZAC day at the Australian National Memorial is something very special and I recommend anyone who has the chance to attend.

  3. AvatarFiona Marsden

    I picked up a book a few years ago titled Uppingham School Roll for a British school. It basically just listed every student from 1888 to 1960 and what they did after school. Reading the classes from 1910 onwards is heartbreaking. Some classes up to fifty percent of them died in the war or shortly after, presumably from residual gas or wounds. Some of them went on to serve in WWII as officers.

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      That’s so sad, Fiona. Things like that always leave me choked up. The scale of loss is incredible and something I have never been able to get my head around.

  4. AvatarHelene Young

    Congrats on your release, Cathryn! Can’t wait to read it!!

    And lovely photos of Villers-Bretonneux. I drove through that area of France with a girl-friend when we were in our early twenties. I remember crying as we passed acre upon acre of white crosses and headstones. It put into perspective just how many men lost their lives there. It seemed even more cruel because the graves were set amongst such beautiful rollings fields and hills. Tragic…

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Very tragic. One of the most terrible besides the Menin Gate was the British memorial at Thiepval which has over 70,000 names, all of whom are missing. That was just heartbreaking. All those people with no known grave.

      The Somme really is a must-see for anyone visiting France.

      Thanks so much for the congratulations. Such a delight to have another book on the shelves.

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Thanks! Heart of the V should be working its way onto a shelf near you veeeeery soon. But keep your eye out for giveaways. There are a few coming up. In fact, there might even be one with tomorrow’s Friday Feast.

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