Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, where I share snippets from new and past releases and works-in-progress and sometimes twist the arms of author buddies to do the same.
I’m very excited about today’s Teaser Tuesday because we have a special guest whose book you’re going to love. But before I introduce her, here’s some news from the Hein house.
Eddie and the Show Queen is now at the formatting stage. Rah! What does that mean for you? Well, it means that it’s suuuuuper close to being put up for pre-order. It also means that I’ll be doing a cover and blurb reveal very soon. As always, newsletter subscribers will get all this juicy news first, plus other goodies like a preview of the opening chapter and first dibs on personally signed print copies. So if you want this and more, sign up with the team here.
Right. Back to our Teaser Tuesday guest.
I’m thrilled to introduce you to Maya Linnell today. Maya’s debut novel Wildflower Ridge hit bookstores last week and is already garnering fantastic reviews. If you love rural romance – and who doesn’t! – Wildflower Ridge needs to be on your to-read pile.
Maya also comes from a special part of the world – far western Victoria, not far from my hometown of Mount Gambier and also where I’ve set a lot of my own books. If you follow her on Instagram you’ll see how truly gorgeous the area is. Maya’s also a champion baker, so be prepared to have your tastebuds teased too.
Which brings me back nicely to today’s teaser. Here’s Maya to tell you a little about Wildflower Ridge and tempt you with an excerpt.
Thanks so much for having me on Teaser Tuesday, and letting me pick a scene from my debut rural romance WILDFLOWER RIDGE. This story is set in the Western Districts of Victoria, a place that’s close to my heart, with the backdrop of the beautiful Grampians mountain range.
I’ve had a great time writing Penny’s story, and making her choose between the city life she loves and the farming dream she buried long ago. It’s all about farming families, country living and following your heart, with a dash of romance, a hefty baking sub-plot thrown in for good measure and topical social issues.
Today I’ve chosen one of my favourite scenes from WILDFLOWER RIDGE. Penny’s sisters Diana and Angie have sneakily whipped up a baking therapy class with Penny and her ex-boyfriend Tim Patterson at the helm. The mischievous pair add a dozen children and disabled people into the mix, set the temperature to high, and watch the recipe rise. Penny is unimpressed with her sisters’ hare-brained scheme, having traded her apron and wooden spoon for fitness and 80-hour working weeks when she migrated to the city, but she never backs away from a challenge. Romance begins to simmer, and they soon discover it’s easier to ignore one another on a 3000-acre farm than in a tiny country kitchen.
Penny folded her arms across her aproned chest, enjoying the newfound camaraderie between her and Tim. It was an improvement on the strained awkwardness that had marked the earlier eight weeks. A screech from the blender and a shriek made them turn in unison.
‘Erghhh,’ cried Evie. The young girl’s eyes were wide, and her hands clamped over her mouth as the blender sprayed its sticky contents everywhere. With the mixture dripping down her brow, Penny blindly searched on the benchtop for the absent lid. Tim’s arms reached around her to flick the machine off at the power point.
The younger children gasped, the older students giggled, and Penny felt her lips twitch as she took in Tim’s face. Chunks of cream cheese hung from his beard. Beads of condensed milk oozed off the tip of his nose. He pursed his lips, nostrils flaring with amusement as his eyes scanned her face. She smelt the lemon, felt the thick droplets rolling down her cheek, and a roar of laughter pealed from her lips.
From the sight of Tim’s broad grin, Penny knew she was as much of a spectacle as him. His laughter also echoed around the room, sending the junior chefs into stitches.
Emboldened by the eager audience and suddenly playful, Penny kept her gaze locked on Tim’s eyes, and she reached for the blender.
‘You missed a spot, Evie.’ She scooped out a handful of the mixture and rubbed it into Tim’s hair.
The children went wild as Tim maintained a deadpan expression, lifting an eyebrow and looking back at her quizzically. He leaned in closer, smelling like sweet citrus.
Penny bit her lip with a combination of mischief and anticipation. She felt the heat of his body next to hers, and the room faded away as his face took up her entire field of vision. She caught her breath as he ran his finger gently along her cheekbone. She wrenched her eyes away from Tim’s to watch his fingertip travelling to his mouth.
‘Mmmm, tastes good to me . . . still, reckon it needs more lemon juice though.’ His voice was low and husky as he stepped away with a smile, still sucking on his finger. Hoots of laughter brought a flush to her face.
Penny flicked on the tap, allowing the cold water to bring her back to her senses. What the hell was that? And in a room full of children, to boot.
Ooh, I bet you’re hankering for a copy of Wildflower Ridge now. Satisfy that hanker in an instant with a click on any of these buy buttons!