This Writing Life: Hot Chocolate Rides Again. Well, almost.

4 Replies


It’s Friiiiiidaaaay, and that means I’m in Melbourne for the 2017 Australian Romance Readers Convention. Rah!

Registrations for the convention have closed but you can still come to the book signing at Bobby McGees at Rydges Melbourne on Saturday afternoon, between 4 and 6 pm where you can chat with all your favourite authors, get your books signed, buy latest releases or just mingle and enjoy the buzz.

Breaking News

And in breaking news, if you drop by my table you’ll be able to meet the new, improved, all singing, all-dancing cousin to the late and sadly missed, blow-up wonder horse Hot Chocolate!

Eh hem.

Perhaps I should clarify.

In March 2015, I travelled to Canberra for the Australian Romance Readers Convention, arriving a day early because I wanted to take in the Spirited: Australia’s Horse Story exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia.

The exhibition was in its final days and the gift shop was offering great discounts on their stock items. One of these happened to be an inflatable horse. I was on my way back to my room via the bar when I was waylaid by some author friends (eyeballing you, Anne Gracie and Kelly Hunter) and on discovering I’d bought a blow-up horse, they insisted it be inflated (see piccies here and here). Kylie Scott then christened the horse Hot Chocolate.

Since then, Hot Chocolate has followed me to every book signing event, packed flat in my suitcase and then inflated back to gorgeousness when needed. It wasn’t long before a book signing didn’t feel like a proper book signing without Hot Choc perched on my table.

Cathryn Hein and her blow-up horse at the ARRC 2015 booksigning

Me and Hot Chocolate the blow-up wonderhorse.

Alas, Hot Chocolate wasn’t a hardy soul. Besides some serious conformation issues, he was rather thin skinned, and at the ARR Awards in Sydney in 2016 he sprang a major leak.

Naturally I pulled out all stops in my efforts to save him – as was outlined in this blog post: The Great Hot Chocolate Emergency – but on arrival at the ARRA booksigning in Adelaide August last year, it was obvious that Hot Chocolate’s injuries were catastrophic. Sadly, the decision was made to humanely dispatch him to that great horsey heaven in the sky.

Since then, I’ve been scouring the world for a replacement and discovered some mighty beasts (did you know you can get life-sized inflatable horses? I want one soooooo badly!) but none captured my heart until I discovered this little fellow.

He may be small, but what he lacks in height he sure makes up for in entertainment value.

Take a look!

Isn’t he the coolest?

So, if you’re in Melbourne this Saturday and can make it to the ARRC booksigning, please drop by my table and say hello. We’d love to see you!


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4 thoughts on “This Writing Life: Hot Chocolate Rides Again. Well, almost.

  1. Avatardeebebbington

    Love Hot Chocolate Mark 11 Cathryn and after hearing him sing I reckon Len Klump will fall in love with him.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      I think he will too, Delores!

      Sorry for the late reply. It’s been a very busy weekend and I only made it home last night. Great times at ARRC though, with the new Hot Choc proving a great hit.

  2. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

    I’ve been waiting and waiting to hear what you named your next horsey, surely it’s not Hot Chocolate Mark 11? Sorry Cathryn, but I’m a bit dense and have no idea what Mark 11 stands for, or maybe it doesn’t stand for anything? And it’s such a loooong name! He looks like a Waggles. LOL.
    Love the little singing horse, so cute. We have something similar only it’s a dog not sure if it sings though, must go through April’s toy boxes and have a look. Loved the first Hot Chocolate but inflatable things just never last, I have an inflatable reindeer I’ve had for over 30 years it only stands for a few seconds before he’s crumpled into a heap.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      I never ended up naming him. Everyone simply called him the new Hot Chocolate so I think we’ll stick with that for the moment.
      Mark II just means the second version of something. Kinda like some aircraft, cars, etc are named. You know The Whatever Mark I, Mark II, Mark V, Mark X etc.
      And yes, he beats inflatable hands down. He’s far more entertaining too!

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