Author Archives: Cathryn Hein

Cathryn Hein

About Cathryn Hein

Best-selling Australian romance author, mad keen but inept golfer, and die-hard Sydney Swans supporter. For news, excerpts and more visit cathrynhein.com

Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser Tuesday MemeWelcome to Teaser Tuesday where I share snippets from new and past releases and works-in-progress, and occasionally twist the arms of author buddies into doing the same.

What’s been happening in the Hein house? Eddie has been happening! Yes, my lovelies, Eddie and the Show Queen is veeeery close to the pre-order stage now. I’m just waiting on the final print cover and then it’ll be go-go-go. Can’t wait!

An Eddie and the Show Queen pre-order newsletter with all the good bits, including the cover, blurb and pre-order links, is coming soon. If you’re not a member already, make sure you’re signed up to the newsletter team so you don’t miss out. Besides being among the first to score all the cool news, you’ll receive a couple of free short stories to enjoy over a cuppa.

Okey-dokey, time for our teaser. I’m tempted to whet your Eddie appetite with a snippet from Eddie and the Show Queen, but there’ll be LOTS of that around release time, and as gorgeous as Eddie and Alice are, I wouldn’t want to wear you out. So lets have a lovely snippet from Elsa’s Stand instead. Because JACK! Sigh. I love that man. He’s so big and silent and sexy, and Elsa runs rings around him which leads to a lot of fun.

Elsa’s Stand is part of the Outback Brides continuity which includes Kelly Hunter’s Maggie’s Run, Victoria Purman’s Belle’s Secret and Fiona McArthur’s Holly’s Heart, but can easily be read as a stand-alone novel.

Here’s a teaser from the scene where Jack returns to Elsa’s hairdressing salon for the second time.

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The months had eroded her memory of how achingly attractive he was. Not just his size, but the sheer ruggedness of his looks. Her Elsa's Stand by Cathryn Heinbody hadn’t forgotten though. Elsa had been buzzing from the moment she’d spotted him at the door.

‘Don’t worry, I haven’t been spying. I remember you from school. You were a couple of years above me.’

‘Right.’

Elsa decided to get the tricky conversation out of the way early. Not that conversation was going to come easily. So far, the longest sentence Jack had managed was ‘You, if you’re free.’ Which shouldn’t come as a shock. He’d barely spoken on his previous visit and, from what she could recall, Jack had been quiet at school too.

No, not quiet. Remote. Which had only added to his aura of untouchability and cool danger.

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Elsa’s Stand is available in print and ebook from these retailers. Grab your copy today!

amazon.com | amazon.com.au | amazon.co.uk

iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Barnes & Noble

Booktopia | Angus&Robertson | Bookdepository

For those who have been wondering, yes I do have plans to write Jesse and Serenity’s story. Not sure when, but it’s definitely on my to-write list..

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My Favourite Reads of May 2019

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My Favourite Reads image

Welcome to My Favourite Reads for May 2019. May proved to be a good reading month, with seven books read and plenty of enjoyment had.

Here they are.

I Ate the Sheriff by James Scott BellI Ate the Sheriff by James Scott Bell

This series was a hoot. Not to everyone’s taste I admit, but I thought it was cool. I Ate the Sheriff follows on from Pay Me in Flesh (which I talk about here) and The Year of Eating Dangerously (I talk about this one here), and concludes Mallory Caine, Zombie At Law’s story. It went out with suitable apocalyptic mayhem.

If you like fast-paced, action-packed wittily written stories with funny dialogue, and don’t mind a bit of ickiness, then this series might float your boat. It did mine!

Fair Game by Amy AndrewsFair Game by Amy Andrews

This is book 3 in the Women of W.A.R. series, a continuity that features an Australian Women’s Australian Rules Football team. Such an excellent idea.

And this is a fab book, but that’s no surprise. Amy Andrews writes fantastic romances. Fair Game is a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Rita awards with good reason. It has lovely characters (the hero is a total babe), a great friends-to-lovers premise, and is a joy to read.

Grab a copy.

The Hunting Party by Lucy FoleyThe Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

Even though I pegged the killer early on, I enjoyed The Hunting Party a lot. Loved the isolated Highlands setting, which added much to the atmosphere and tension, and I loved all the characters. I especially liked how we got to live in each of their heads and experience their inner selves, which was often veeeeery different to their outer selves.

Good fun. Well, for me. Not so much for the characters!

The Crucifix Killer by Chris CarterThe Crucifix Killer by Chris Carter

I’ve been meaning to read this a few years now. I read a brief review in a newspaper aaaaages ago and it sounded up my alley. I bought it and then promptly forgot I had (a sign that maybe I buy too many books? … Nah!). Then last month I noticed The Crucifix Killer heavily discounted in one of the ebook stores and I thought, oooh, I’ll have that, only to discover it was already in my library.

Anyway, The Crucifix Killer is book one in Carter’s Robert Hunter crime/thriller series. Expect lots of plot, plenty of action and some clever, if rather horrible, deviousness by the murderer.

They Call Me the Cat Lady by Amy MillerThey Call Me the Cat Lady by Amy Miller

We are NOT cat people in the Hein house. So why did I pick up They Call Me the Cat Lady, clearly a book involving cats? Because the premise sounded intriguing, sort of along the lines of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and a few others where the hero/heroine is an outcast, and because the reviews were so good.

Nancy Jones is indeed a cat lady. She’s also lonely, secretive, reclusive and big-hearted once you know her. She’d love to keep the secretive and reclusive part of her life but when a person from her past enters it, she’s forced to change. A sweet book about second chances.

Girl in the Bedouin Tent by Annie WestGirl in the Bedouin Tent by Annie West

Annie sure knows how to write a sheikh romance! Girl in the Bedouin Tent is one of her older books (from 2011, I think) but it’s a beauty. I read it because it’s a forced proximity romance and I have plans to write one of those myself, and it’s always handy to study what an expert author can do with a trope.

Prince Amir was gorgeous, super masculine and kind, Cassie was feisty, clever and fun, and the sexual attraction sizzling. A wonderful, passionate read.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa AlbertThe Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

I’ve had my eye on The Hazel Wood since its release and when it went on sale I snapped it up. The premise is very intriguing. Alice’s grandmother is the famous, reclusive author of a book of (nasty) fairy tales, all set in the fantasy world of Hinterland. When Alice’s mother is stolen away by someone from the Hinterland, Alice must enter that world to save her.

Yep, The Hazel Wood is a retelling of Alice in Wonderland, complete with bonkers creatures and dark happenings. Definitely not for kids!

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What have you read lately that you’ve loved?

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Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser Tuesday MemeWelcome 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.

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Maya Linnell AuthorHi Cathryn,

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.

Wildflower Ridge by Maya LinnellThe 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.

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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!

Booktopia | Angus & Robertson | Bookdepository

Amazon.com | Amazon.au | Amazon.uk

iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Barnes and Noble

If you’d like to learn more about Maya and her writing, please visit her website. You can also connect on Instagram and Facebook.

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This Writing Life: Vivid Sydney 2019

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Vivid is an annual light, music and ideas festival that brightens Sydney for around three weeks each winter. Jim and I first went in 2017 and though we didn’t get to see all of it, what we did see was spectacular and left us vowing to return for the full experience. So last weekend we hopped on the Newcastle-Sydney train and did just that.

Here are some photos from the evening we spent wandering the displays. They don’t do Vivid justice, but they’ll give you an idea of how lovely these light shows can be. A lot were interactive this year, which makes things fun. Watching families dance so they can make a sculpture move or flash light was a hoot, and you only had to look at the little ones’ faces when they played with a sculpture to see how wondrous they found it.

I won’t name all the photos and sculptures because that would take forever, and I know you’d much prefer if I was working on Eddie and the Show Queen!

Vivid runs until June 15th so if you can, get to Sydney and be awed.

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The 6 metre high Marri Dyin puppet at Barangaroo.
The 6 metre high Marri Dyin puppet at Barangaroo. It was followed around by a shoal of puppet fish. Wonderfully done.
Vivid Sydney 2019
Museum of Contemporary Art.
Museum of Contemporary Art. The ‘Let Me Down’ light show was absolutely gorgeous.
Turtles promoting Vivid at Taronga Zoo.
These turtles were amazing. We’ll have to go to Vivid at Taronga Zoo next time.
Customs House.
The Customs House ‘Under the Harbour’ light film (not sure what else to call it) was wonderful.
Customs House
More Customs House
Circular Quay
Circular Quay
Circular Quay artwork
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Opera House
Opera House forecourt artwork
Botanic Garden artwork
Botanic Garden artwork
This was the sculpture that made party lights when you danced in front of it.
Botanic Garden artwork
Loved this one. It was kind of spooky.
Botanic Garden artwork
And this.
Ferry ride on the harbour
Catching a ferry is a cheap and fun way to take in more of the displays.
Vivid 2019 - Barangaroo
Barangaroo looked so pretty. There were fish hidden in the trees.
Robot SPACELand music and light show
Robot SPACELand music and light show at Darling Harbour was a blast.
 More Robot SPACELand
More Robot SPACELand
Bright mushrooms at Cockle Bay.
This Darling Harbour display was wonderfully bright and happy-looking.

Hope you enjoyed this peek at Vivid!

See you for Teaser Tuesday next week, when we’ll have an extra special debut guest sharing a snippet from her debut rural romance. Mark your diary because it’s going to be fab!

 

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Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser Tuesday MemeWelcome to Teaser Tuesday, where I share snippets from new and past releases and works-in-progress, and occasionally con author buddies into doing the same.

What an exciting week it was in the Hein household.

First up, I FINISHED MY EDDIE AND THE SHOW QUEEN EDITS!

Sorry for the shouting, but this is a big deal. With all my health dramas it’s been a serious effort to get this book done, and now it nearly is!

This also means I’ll be showing off its awesome cover, releasing its blurb and putting it up for pre-order very soon. If you want to be among the first to know when this happens, make sure you’re part of my newsletter team. Join here.

The other exciting event was that we trekked down to Sydney for Vivid, the annual light, music and ideas festival, and it was spectacular. If I get the chance I’ll do up a This Writing Life blog post with photos (hopefully better ones than my 2017 Vivid efforts). They won’t do it justice. Like Sculpture by the Sea, Vivid is something that needs to be experienced. The festival runs until June 15th so if you can, get to Sydney and take in this wonder.

Now, on to our Teaser Tuesday snippet and I bet you can guess which book it’s going to be from.

Yep, Eddie and the Show Queen.

Here’s a teeny taste of Eddie’s first encounter with Alice, along with a little hint of its gorgeous cover.

Eddie and the Show Queen partial cover revealHe wandered over to the counter. Alice glanced up, pursed her pretty lips and went back to whatever she was doing.

Another tug hurt his heart. With everyone else, Alice was a cute-as-a-button girl whose sweet bubbliness was so infectious people couldn’t help but smile in her presence. With him she was stiff and cold, and nothing like the Alice he once had loved.

Still loved.

Eddie and the Show Queen is coming soon in print and ebook. Make sure you’ve joined my newsletter to ensure you’re first to get all the delicious details.

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Teaser Tuesday!

Teaser Tuesday MemeWelcome to Teaser Tuesday where I share snippets from new and past releases and works-in-progress, and sometimes manage to con author buddies into doing the same.

Well, last week didn’t go to plan. Jim and I had to make a short notice trip to Townsville, leaving Tuesday and not getting home again until Saturday. As it tends to be this time of year, it was glorious in the tropics and a far cry from the sauna-like weather we experienced at Christmas when we were up.

I’ve been visiting Townsville and the top end of the Bowen Basin for 25 plus years now and love it. From the gorgeous coast to the rugged inland, there’s so much to see and experience, and each time I visit I always end up with the same thought – I really must set a book in this area.

I will, however that’s one for the future. My priority right now is to get Eddie and the Show Queen to you and thanks to our trip I’m behind again. But this week I’ll be back on the job and all going well I’ll have edits in the bag at the end of it, then we’ll be able to really crank up the excitement.

Eddie and the Show Queen will be the newest member of my loosely related Levenham Love Story series which started with Rocking Horse Hill. If you’re a bargain lover, then you’ll be thrilled to know that starting this Wednesday (29th May) Friday (31st May) Kobo will be running a special offer for Australian readers where you’ll be able to grab 3 romance novels for only $9, and Rocking Horse Hill will be included in the selection. Watch out for that one!

Which brings me to today’s Teaser Tuesday snippet from Rocking Horse Hill, featuring the inimitable Granny B, who has her bejewelled fingers very much in the Eddie and the Show Queen pie. Which is understandable. The wine show Eddie and the Show Queen’s story is centred around was her idea in the first place, as we discover here during this conversation between Granny B and her granddaughter Emily…

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‘I do so loathe vegetarians. Ridiculous people.’

‘Could have been worse,’ joked Em, desperate to keep things light. Granny B’s tumultuous mood did not bode well. ‘She could have been vegan.’

Rocking Horse Hill by Cathryn Hein - global cover‘Indeed.’ Granny B maintained a special dislike for vegans. ‘Hard to trust these people, though, isn’t it? As I pointed out, if nature had wanted us to be vegetarian she would have given us a rumen. Anyway, how does the silly woman think we grew brains the size we did?’ Granny B huffed. ‘And she refused wine.’

‘She probably had to work.’

‘That may be true, but it’s hardly supporting local agriculture. Barry and I made up for it. Enjoyed a rather nice pinot from Ryan’s. That winery is doing very well for itself. I proposed to Barry that we host a local wine festival to run concurrently with Art Week, but the Herriott woman thought the idea “unwise in light of the town’s youth drinking culture”. What about the rest of us? Just because she’s part of the lunatic greenie fringe doesn’t meant the rest of us should suffer.’

‘Gran.’

Granny B rolled her eyes. ‘Don’t start, Emily. I’m seventy-nine years old. I’m permitted my prejudices.’

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Rocking Horse Hill is available in paperback and ebook from your favourite online store. You can also order personally signed copies direct from me. Simply contact me via the Contact page of this website and I’ll shoot you the details.

And remember to check out the special Australian Kobo store offer starting tomorrow. 3 romances for $9 is a not to be missed bargain but it won’t last long, so get in quick!

Booktopia | Angus & Robertson | Bookdepository

Amazon.com | Amazon.au | Amazon.uk

iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Barnes and Noble

If you want to be the first to hear about Eddie and the Show Queen’s release, or any other upcoming books, please join my newsletter. You’ll not only keep up with all the news, sneak peeks and other fun-stuff, you’ll receive a couple of free short stories to enjoy over a cuppaJoin here or click the image below.

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Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser Tuesday MemeWelcome to Teaser Tuesday where I share snippets from new and past releases and works-in-progress, and sometimes twist the arms of author friends to do the same.

It was an exciting week in the Hein house thanks to the utter brilliance that is the Eurovision Song Contest. Regular readers will know what a fan I am of this joy-fest, and that it’s not unusual for Eurovision songs to find their way onto my book playlists.

I have to say that apart from our own Kate Miller-Heidke’s faaaaabulous ‘Zero Gravity’ and Norway’s ‘Spirit in the Sky’, this year’s grand finalists were a bit lacklustre, although I did enjoy the Netherlands’ winning entry ‘Arcade’ and Sweden’s ‘Too Late For Love’. Unlike most years, I can’t really see any of the songs making it onto my book playlists but you never know. I’ll buy the album as usual and maybe something will stick, perhaps from the semi-finalists. There were a heap of songs I scored highly in the semis (like Poland’s groovy ‘Fire of Love’) that never made it through. Made me feel a bit like the kiss of death!

Which brings me to today’s teaser. Wayward Heart didn’t just have a Eurovision song on its playlist, it actually had one as its theme. Norway’s 2015 entry ‘A Monster Like Me’ couldn’t have fitted the story’s hero Digby more perfectly. At least I thought so until I saw its general release music video which made the song look like it was about a psycho serial killer. Something Digby is definitely not!

Anyway, here’s a teaser from Wayward Heart of Digby being sweet to the book’s heroine, Jas.

The fire had caught and was beginning to crackle in earnest, yet Jas remained shivering. Shock more than likely. Coming home from your best friend’s bridal shower to find your house vandalised would rattle anyone. Shrugging off his jacket, Digby draped it gently around her shoulders.

Wayward Heart by Cathryn HeinStay there,’ he said, stroking the silky dark curls at the back of her head. ‘I’ll be back in a tick.’

A few minutes later he returned, bearing filled wineglasses. He eased down close to Jas and passed one over. It was awkward sitting on the floor but he needed to be close.

‘It won’t be as good as the last,’ he said. ‘Everyone was still in the kitchen when I went across to the house. I just grabbed whatever was closest in the cellar and got out before anyone could corner me.’

‘Thanks.’ She took a small sip and stared back at the fire. The combusting logs seemed to almost pulse with life. ‘What a horrible way to end a good day.’

It was, no question, but the unsettling thing for Digby was that being with her right now it didn’t feel that way. Sitting alongside Jas, keeping her safe, gave him an odd sense of worth, the likes of which he hadn’t felt since Felicity.

Wayward Heart is available now in ebook and print from these excellent retailers. You can also purchase personally signed copies direct from me. Simply email me via the Contact page of this website and I’ll shoot you the details.

Booktopia | Angus & Robertson | Dymocks

Amazon.com | Amazon.au | Amazon.uk

Kobo | iBooks | Google Play | Barnes & Noble

If you’d like to learn more about Wayward Heart and how I came to write this emotional story of healing and hope, please visit its book page.

While you’re here, why not join my newsletter if you haven’t already done so? You’ll be the first to know about any new releases (like Eddie and the Show Queen – coming soon!) and receive a couple of short stories to enjoy over a cuppa and lots more. Come join!

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My Favourite Reads of April 2019

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My Favourite Reads image

Welcome to My Favourite Reads for April 2019. Coming a tad late to you this month. Sorry! My excuse is that I’m desperately trying to finish edits for Eddie and the Show Queen and that’s meant blogging must play second fiddle.

I’m fence-sitting and bowing out from choosing a favourite this month. With such a diverse range of stories it’s hard to single one out and even harder when I enjoyed them all.

So here they are…

Blackstone and the Rendezvous with Death, Blackstone and the Great Game, Blackstone and the House of Secrets by Sally Spencer

Blackstone and the Rendezvous with Death by Sally SpencerOoh, I like this series, as you can probably tell from my 3-book mini-binge. I’m a sucker for Victorian-era set books, especially crime and mystery, and the Blackstone stories are a pleasure to read and well done. Late-Victorian and a bit different from the gaslight gloominess of earlier period stories, they still contain plenty of atmosphere and quite a large dollop of social commentary.

Blackstone is an intriguing character. A war veteran who’s been clearly changed by his experiences, Blackstone can be borderline disrespectful to his ‘superiors’ but is tolerated because he’s so good at his job.

Interesting mysteries set in even more interesting times. I’ll be reading more.

PS. If you want to give the series a try, Book 1, Blackstone and the Rendezvous with Death, is currently only 99c on Amazon.

The Undying by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

The Undying by Amie Kaufman and Meagan SpoonerThe Undying is the concluding story of the Unearthed Duology. I really enjoyed the first book, Unearthed (which I talk about here), and have been hanging out for this one. It didn’t let me down.

Lots of action, a lovely splash of romance, and plenty of tension as Mia and Jules try to save the world from alien invasion. Honestly, after reading the Starbound Trilogy (find my thoughts on that here) and this duology, I think I’d read anything by Kaufman and Spooner.

The Year of Eating Dangerously by James Scott Bell

The Year of Eating Dangerously by James Scott BellBook two of the Mallory Caine series, this is total gross-me-out zombie fun with a cleverly bonkers plot and great characters. Mallory is a brilliant heroine. She’s a lawyer who’s also a human brain-craving zombie, which you’d think would make her completely unlikeable but she’s a hoot – courageous and possessing a fantastically  snarky voice.

The first book, Pay Me In Flesh (I chat about that here), was witty and smart and The Year of Eating Dangerously proved no different. Loads of action and rising stakes. I’ve already bought the final book, I Ate The Sheriff, and will be hopping in veeery soon.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia OwensWhere the Crawdads Sing went on my radar after a book blogger whose reviews I respect raved about it and awarded it a rare 10/10 score. On reading the blurb it sounded like something I’d enjoy. And enjoy I did.

It’s no wonder this book has so much buzz; it’s beautifully written and atmospheric. You can really feel the harsh beauty of the marsh, the terrible disadvantage of Kya’s life, and the appalling discrimination of the times. I did find the beginning a bit slow but that didn’t mean I wanted to put the book down. The story, characters and setting were too intriguing for that.

Think coming of age story crossed with a murder mystery.

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

Once Upon a River by Diane SetterfieldI adored Setterfield’s debut, The Thirteenth Tale, when it came out, which was over ten years ago now. It was a gorgeously written gothic story about an abandoned house, a pair of mysterious sisters and storytelling. The latter also features strongly in Once Upon a River. As a writer, this subject always makes my ears prick.

One winter’s night, a young girl is carried into the Swan Inn (a ‘storytelling’ inn), her saviour almost immediately collapsing from his efforts and injuries. The girl is dead… then she isn’t. Who is the girl? How can she be dead then alive?

Sometimes uplifting, sometimes creepy (I am not good with water and water is a dominant theme in this), sometimes sad, Once Upon a River was a lovely read.

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What have you read lately that you’ve loved?

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Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser Tuesday MemeWelcome to Teaser Tuesday, where I share snippets from new and past releases and works-in-progress, and occasionally twist the arms of author buddies to do the same.

Wasn’t it lovely to have Anna Campbell back on the blog last week? Anna’s always great value and her teaser for The Highlander’s Lost Lady was a beauty. If you missed it, you can read the teaser and book links here.

This week you have me again. I had thoughts of sharing more of Eddie and the Show Queen with you, but I’ll hold off for a little longer. There’ll be plenty of Eddie when the book goes up for pre-order. If you want to be among the first to know when that is, please join my newsletter. Or keep your eye on this blog or my Facebook page.

Whenever I think of Eddie and the Show Queen – which is a lot at the moment because I’m working on its edits – I can’t help but think of Chrissy and the Burroughs Boy. Not only because so many of the characters are linked, but because I had such a blast writing it. The story seemed to fly out of my fingers and every morning I sat down at the keyboard excited to play with Chrissy and Nick. It’s a book with lots of good memories.

There’ll be plenty of good memories with Eddie and the Show Queen too. Once I get through edits!

Here’s a snippet from an early chapter of Chrissy and the Burroughs Boy, when Chrissy and Nick first bump into each other.

 

Nick followed as she stepped out, casting an appreciative gaze over her bum as he probed his soupy brain for who she could be. She wasn’t the kind of girl he’d forget in a hurry, yet he was stuffed if he could place her. It was clear she knew him though.

Chrissy and the Burroughs Boy by Cathryn Hein‘How did you know my name?’

‘Everyone knows the Burroughs boys.’

Nick blinked. This was news. Sure, he’d had his photo in the paper a few times for footy, but that didn’t mean anything.

‘They do?’

‘Of course.’

‘Huh. How ’bout that.’

Suddenly the girl whirled around, causing Nick, who’d been admiring her bum again, to almost crash into her. ‘You haven’t got a clue who I am, have you?’

 

I love this scene. It’s a lot of fun. But what follows is even more fun as Nick desperately tries to make up for the past and capture Chrissy’s heart. Find out how he does with your own copy of Chrissy and the Burroughs Boy, available now in ebook and print from:

amazon.com | amazon.com.au | amazon.co.uk

Kobo | iBooks | Google Play | Nook

Booktopia | Angus and Robertson |Bookdepository

You can also order personally signed copies direct from me. Just shoot me an email using the contact page.

Want to know how I came to write Chrissy and Nick’s romance? Find out in Crushing It, the story behind Chrissy and the Burroughs Boy.

 

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Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser Tuesday MemeWelcome to Teaser Tuesday, where I share snippets from new and past releases and works-in-progress, and sometimes cajole author buddies into doing the same.

How was your Easter and ANZAC weekend break? I hope it was fun. We were quiet little Vegemites and mostly hung around home, which gave us plenty of time to muck around with food. Jim is feeling very smug after cooking up some delicious barbecued octopus and I’m chuffed with my barbecued prawns with chilli-lime salt. Sadly, the only dessert I made – cider-caramel dumplings – was a dud. Just waaaay too sweet. Ah well, can’t win ‘em all!

But you might win this week on Teaser Tuesday because one of our favourite guest authors is back with a fantabulous new read and a giveaway.

It is always a delight to have Anna Campbell on the blog. She’s a lot of fun and her historical romances are gorgeous. I’m especially loving Anna’s new Scottish books. So hard to resist a Highlander.

Anna’s also currently in Scotland, writing and researching, and enjoying some spectacular sights. Scroll through Anna’s Facebook page for some fab piccies and discover where she gains some of her inspiration.

Here’s Anna to tell you a little about The Highlander’s Lost Lady, share a snippet and give one lucky person the chance to win an ebook copy.

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Anna Campbell author - thumbnailHi Cathryn!

It’s always wonderful to be here on Teaser Tuesday! Thank you so much for inviting me back to talk about my latest release The Highlander’s Lost Lady, Book 3 in the Lairds Most Likely series.

I’ve loved writing this particular book. It’s the most dramatic story I’ve done in a while. For those people who have perhaps missed the turbulent emotions and event-filled plots of some of my earlier work, the style of this story harks back to Untouched or Captive of Sin. When Diarmid Mactavish, Laird of Invertavey, finds a beautiful and mysterious woman washed up on his estate after a shipwreck, little does he know that he’s about to be swept headlong into adventure, danger, clan warfare, heartache, and irresistible love.

In this scene, Diarmid and Fiona are on the run from her brutish kinsmen. As the weather worsens, they seek shelter in a tumbledown bothy in a wild mountain glen. But as you’ll see when you read the excerpt, there is a storm about to break inside the hut that rivals anything going on in the skies above it!

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The Scottish Highlands, August 1819

At the first soft touch of Fiona’s hand on his shoulder, Diarmid woke immediately from where he slept wrapped in his coat and with his head resting against the rough sod wall. The room was dim and shadowy, lit only by the banked fire. In the gloom, she was a dark shape kneeling at his side. He couldn’t see her expression, but he read the tension in her body. Behind her, the bed showed traces of her restless sleep. The blanket sagged toward the floor.

“Fiona?” he asked groggily. “What is it, lassie? Is everything all right?”

The Highlanders Lost Lady by Anna CampbellAn unwelcome thought struck him, and he reached out to catch her hand where it hovered above his shoulder. “Is it the Grants? Have they found us?”

Curse his damned complacency. How could he have gone to sleep instead of sitting up to watch? But he’d been sure Allan and Thomas would never find this isolated bothy. And after all those long hours of riding, he’d been stupid with exhaustion. Not even the hard dirt floor and his raging desire could keep him awake.

He strained to hear some hint from outside that they’d been discovered, but all he heard was the crackle of the fire and the faint susurration of Fiona’s breath. Even the rain seemed to have stopped.

When she didn’t answer immediately, he struggled to sit up. By God, he ached. It was a long time since he’d spent so long in the saddle. “Fiona?”

“No,” she said on a whisper of sound. “No, it’s not the Grants.”

Her answer emerged in jerky gasps, and while he was relieved to learn their pursuers hadn’t caught up with them, he wasn’t reassured. “What’s wrong? Are ye ill?”

“No. No, not ill.” The hand he held trembled, but she didn’t try to draw away.

“Then what the devil is it?” He was starting to get seriously worried. He battled the mists of sleep clouding his mind.

“It’s…this.”

He was still so dazed and bewildered that even when she leaned in over him, he didn’t understand what was going on.

Then her lips crashed into his, and all rational thought disintegrated to ash.

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The Highlander’s Lost Lady is out now. Purchase your copy from these stores:

Amazon.com | Amazon.au | Amazon.uk

Kobo | iBooks | Barnes & Noble

Want more? Read a longer excerpt and blurb on my website.

GIVEAWAY!

One of the fun things about being a writer is that I can subject my characters to adventures that would scare me silly. Not just adventure. Diarmid and Fiona don’t even blink at sleeping rough whereas I’m strictly a nice soft bed and an ensuite girl when I travel. I’ve camped once or twice and it’s always ended up being ugly!

So what about you? Are you a fan of camping? What’s been your best experience when you’ve camped? Or like me, do you prefer a nice hotel with a nice room service menu? Any favourite hotels you want to tell me about?

I’ve got a download of The Highlander’s Lost Lady up for grabs today to go to someone who leaves me a comment. No geographical restrictions. Good luck!

Anna, you are so generous! Thanks once again for offering us a giveaway. Hmm… camping. I used to love it when I was younger but like you, Anna, these days I prefer my creature comforts. Glamping is more up my alley. Actually, if I’m honest, a 5-star hotel with all the facilities and lovely showers and comfy bed suits me just fine, although I’ve had some wonderful experiences in some not so good hotels too. Country pub accommodation can be a hoot!

What about you? Are you a camping, glamping, or all the comforts kind of traveller? Or perhaps you have a special hotel you can recommend? Anna and I would love to hear, and your answer in the comments could make you a winner.

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Australian Eastern Standard Time, Friday 3rd May 2019. Open internationally. Prize is an ebook copy of The Highlander’s Lost Lady.

If you’d like to learn more about Anna and her books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook and Twitter using @AnnaCampbelloz.

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