Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the blog series where I share snippets from my novels, old, new and in progress, and occasionally invite author friends to play.
This coming Friday the 2107 Australian Romance Readers Convention kicks off in Melbourne at Rydges and I can’t wait! This is a convention focused on readers, and the joy of chatting to people who adore the genre and are enthusiastic about it is huge. It’ll also be lovely to catch up with author buddies who I usually only get to chat to online.
I’ll be at the convention all weekend so please come up and say hi. I promise to be friendly! You can also catch me at the booksigning at Bobby McGees from 4 pm – 6 pm on Saturday, on a speed date on Sunday morning at 11 am, and on the Regular Joes panel at 1-30 pm with Jennie Jones, Kelly Hunter and Joanne Dannon, with Penelope Janu moderating. For other panels and events, check out the convention program.
The Regular Joes panel has had me thinking about characters and the kind of heroes I like to read and to create. It doesn’t take much thought to work out that for my rural romances I like to write about ordinary, Aussie blokes. The sort who play footy and cricket, who like to have a beer with their mates and their dads, who adore their families and are loyal, kind and honest. Pretty much the same as most of the men in my life.
Most of all they must love the heroine with a fierceness that tells you they would move the world to make sure she’s never hurt and that she’s always happy. Which is what we all want I suppose. Someone – man or woman – who adores us despite all our human failings and idiosyncrasies. Who sees us as special and precious and a person to be cherished. And this in turn makes them special.
I could go on, but this is a Teaser Tuesday and I need to get teasing. But I am going to share a little of one of my favourite regular Joe characters – Matt from Heartland.
Matt sees himself as just a normal bloke who has a dream of being a farmer. But he’s also been a soldier, one who’s been wounded in Afghanistan and lost mates in conflict. He’s had a difficult upbringing, with distant career-obsessed parents who use money to show love. And he’s been badly hurt in the past, by the heroine Callie’s sister no-less, yet he has never lost the hope that one day he will find the right girl. And when he does, he’s going to cherish her forever. Which is kinda gooey-making to my thinking, but in my defence I am a romance author. These things are meant to make me gooey!
Anyway, here’s a sample of Matt being sexy and seductive with Callie while undertaking the mundane chore of stripping house paint.
After a brief discussion, they decided it was best to tackle the worst parts first, even if it did mean working in the sun. After taking it in turns to regrease themselves with sunscreen, they carted their equipment to the badly weathered western side of the house. Declaring that the tool-bringer gets to decide who uses it, he banished Callie to Wal’s low-set scaffold and took over the under eaves work on the ladder.
‘What are you looking so pleased about?’ she asked when she caught him grinning down at her.
She narrowed her eyes and pointed her scraper at him. ‘You’re up to something.’
He feigned innocence. ‘Me? Never.’
Callie watched him for a moment before resuming her work. A minute later a flake of paint dropped between her breasts. She frowned and picked it out only for another to hit her shoulder.
‘Great view from up here,’ he said, one eye closed as he aimed another paint scrap at her chest.
The scrap stuck on the swell of her right breast. She picked it off, rolling her eyes.
‘I can be very adult if you want.’
Callie did want. Scraping this side of the house was a mistake. She was hot, sweaty, bored and, after a week of non-stop work, in need of some fun. She gave him one of her sideways looks, mouth quirking in an ‘I dare you’ smile.
He sobered fast. ‘Keep that up and there’ll be consequences.’
‘Oh, yeah. What sort of consequences?’
‘Like I said, keep that up and you’ll find out.’
Want to learn more about Heartland? You’ll find story behind the book, reviews, and more excerpts on its book page on this website.