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

My Favourite Reads of January 2018

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Welcome to the first edition of My Favourite Reads for 2018!

I thought I’d get lots of reading done in January but nup. Too many other things going on. I also seem to have had a bit of a crime/thriller/horror binge. No idea why. Usually there’s at least one romance on my reading list but not last month. Guess I must’ve been in a thrillery mood.

VERY hard to choose a favourite though, because all four reads were excellent, but I nominate…

The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor

The Chalk Man by CJ TudorThis was a fantastic read. The Chalk Man hooked me from the opening pages and didn’t let go.

It’s a bit cross genre. A thriller mixed with crime, mystery and horror, and just the kind of thing I adore, especially when the storytelling is of this quality. The writing was brilliant too. If the author had been listed as Stephen King I wouldn’t have been at all surprised. Yup, it was that good.

Set in a small village in England, The Chalk Man swaps between the present and the mid-eighties, when Eddie, the narrator, was a young boy, riding his bike around town with his mates, doing all the things that young boys do. When they discover a dismembered body, life is never the same for any of them.

Cool plot twists, well-written characters, great writing and a satisfying ending. Loved it.

The Mayfly by James HazelThe Mayfly by James Hazel

Another cracking read, also featuring the discovery of a mutilated body in the woods. The Mayfly also switches between time periods, in this case between the present and World War II, and has the same cross genre elements as The Chalk Man along with lots of plot twists. That’s where the similarities end though. This is a very different book.

The Mayfly introduces us to Charlie Priest, a far from average lawyer and who I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of in future books. Charlie suffers from dissociate disorder which adds extra challenge to his already highly challenging predicament, i.e. he’s a suspect in a gruesome murder.

Great stuff.

The Deep by Michaelbrent CollingsThe Deep by Michaelbrent Collings

I’ve been wanting to read this book for a couple of years now, after I heard horror writer Michaelbrent Collings speak about writing on a webcast. I was so impressed with what he had to say it left me determined to read one of his books, and The Deep seemed popular and something I’d enjoy. It just took me longer to get around to than I thought!

And enjoy I did. I adore horror novels anyway, but what made The Deep such fun was the storytelling. The pace made it very hard to put down, and every character was intriguing. I LOVED Haeberle. He was brilliantly bonkers.

I’m going to have to read more of Collings’ books. Like J.A Konrath’s, they are smack in my zone.

he Marsh King's Daughter by Karen DionneThe Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne

The Marsh King’s Daughter has a fab premise. The heroine Helena’s mother is an abductee, lured off the street as a teenager and taken into the Michigan wilderness where she’s forced into sexual and domestic servitude. Brought up in a home where violence and brutality are normal and survival skills learned early, Helena eventually gets away. Her father is caught. Helena buries her past as deep as it will go and tries to make a normal life.

Then her father escapes.

High stakes, great setting, a fantastic strong heroine and a page-turning plot. A blast.


What reads have you enjoyed lately?


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Teaser Tuesday!

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

Are you all ready for Valentine’s Day tomorrow? We’re not! Not that the Hein house doesn’t have its romantic moments but with a house move coming up we have other things on our minds. Cleaning out accumulated junk being the biggest. I swear stuff breeds at night.

As for books… ay yi yi! They definitely breed.

Speaking of books, on this week’s Teaser Tuesday I thought I’d tease you with a couple of lines from a work-in-progress. Those of you familiar with the Levenham Love Story books might remember a minor character called Eddie Argyle. Eddie is Harry from Summer and the Groomsman’s younger brother, and has popped up in a couple of books, namely Santa and the Saddler and Chrissy and the Burroughs Boy.

Now he’s getting his own story – Eddie and the Show Queen.

And who’s the Show Queen? That’d be Alice Lindner, Chrissy’s perky blonde friend from Chrissy and the Burroughs Boy.

No release date for this one yet, but it’s likely to be around October/November.

A word of warning. This is an unedited snippet, which means it might change a lot between now and release day. In fact, it might not even make the final cut. I think it will though. I’m rather fond of this scene.


For a long moment Alice said nothing. Eddie held his breath as her gaze flicked over his face. A chance was all he wanted, to prove that he wasn’t who she thought, and to make amends for the hurt he’d somehow caused her and still didn’t understand.

That he was still the bloke she’d once loved.

‘Go on then,’ she said. ‘Surprise me.’

He tapped the raffle book. ‘This Show Queen thing is open to anyone. I could have a go.’

Alice laughed. Eddie didn’t. He’d thought it was quite a clever idea.

‘What’s so funny about me entering? No reason I couldn’t win this thing.’

‘You? As Show Queen?’

‘King, not queen.’ There was nothing queenly about Eddie. ‘Why not? It’s not like it takes any special skill. It’s just running a few raffles.’

‘Just a few raffles, huh?’

He shrugged. ‘Maybe a sausage sizzle.’

Alice’s blue eyes took on a dangerous glitter. ‘Go on then. Enter. I dare you.’


As you can probably guess, Eddie takes up the challenge, leading to all sorts of shenanigans in his race to impress Alice.

But will it work? Sorry, can’t tell you. You’ll have to wait until release to find out!

By the way, those fab folk at Booktopia are celebrating their 14th birthday with a sale and free shipping offer. If you’re in Australia or New Zealand, you could grab the paperbacks of Santa and the Saddler, Chrissy and the Burroughs Boy, Summer and the Groomsman or any of my novels freight-free. Cool, huh?


Note: For free shipping use promotion code BIRTHDAY at the checkout. Code can be used as many times as you want. Ends midnight Australian Eastern Daylight Time, Wednesday 14th Feb, so you’d better be quick. Minimum spend $17.

Go get ’em!

Newsletter subscribers are always first to hear details of any new release. If you’re not already part of the cool gang, join here. You’ll even receive a couple of short stories to enjoy over a cuppa.


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Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser Tuesday MemeWelcome to Teaser Tuesday 2018!

After our usual January blogging hiatus we’re now back for another year of bookish goodness, and I can’t wait to share more snippets from new, past and upcoming releases from me and good author buddies.

First, a gigantic thank you to everyone who has read The Country Girl. The response has been phenomenal. I can’t tell you how amazing it has been to read your emails and comments on social media. It seems Tash and Patrick’s story has touched a lot of people. I even had a reader email me about one of Pa’s gardening tips. Pa would be THRILLED by that!

Second, a heads-up about the next few months. I’m moving house soon (and city – hello, beautiful Newcastle!) and though we’ve done it many, many times before there’s always a degree of chaos. That means I might not be able to respond to comments here and on social media as quickly as I’d like, but I’ll do my best.

Third, watch this space for news about my coming releases. I can’t reveal anything right now but there are some exciting things happening. As soon as I’m able to share details I will.

Right, on to our Teaser Tuesday. I’m torn between teasing you with a snippet from a work-in-progress because it’s on my mind and I’m excited about it, or another taste of The Country Girl. I think it’ll have to be the latter. Mostly because my current work-in-progress is so messy I fear it’s in no fit state for sharing. Better to save that for later.

So here’s a few paragraphs about Patrick from Tash’s point of view. The man might be sexy, but that doesn’t mean she trusts him.


Patrick grinned. Tash wished he hadn’t. She preferred him bad-The Country Girl by Cathryn Heintempered. Grinning showed off his dark-haired handsomeness, sparkling blue eyes and straight teeth. And the sod hadn’t shaved today, leaving his jaw sexily stubble-flecked. Worse, he was wearing a pair of jeans that clung to his thighs and showed off his long legs. As for the rolled-up sleeves of his shirt, on Pa it looked agricultural and competent. Patrick made it both those things, and hot.

She didn’t trust any of it. Smiling and looking sexy was one of those things that beautiful people did when they were determined to get their own way and were being thwarted.


Purchase your copy of The Country Girl in print or ebook today from these retailers or your favourite bookstore. | |
iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Barnes & Noble
Booktopia | Dymocks | Angus & Robertson Bookworld

Discover how I came to write The Country Girl in The Magic Bullet, The Story Behind The Country Girl. Want another snippet to read? Check out its book page.

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The Country Girl ebook sale

Right now, for a limited time, you can pick up the ebook of my new release THE COUNTRY GIRL at a heavily reduced price.

And I mean heavily reduced.

This promotion is for a short period only, so secure your bargain-priced copy today before the offer runs out.

Buy now from:



Google Play


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My Favourite Reads of December 2017

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Welcome to the final edition of My Favourite Reads for 2017. What a great reading year! I read 70 books this year (not including those I judged for the Romance Writers of Australia and Romance Writers of America Ruby and Rita awards). That’s down on last year’s 88 but still good going. I think the difference comes from reading fewer novellas and shorter novels in 2017 compared to 2016, however I could be wrong with that.

I had a blast with my December reads, catching up on favourite series and trying some new-to-me authors. With four standouts it was very hard to choose a favourite, but I had an absolute ball with…

Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner

Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Megan SpoonerI adored the Starbound trilogy by these two talented authors, it was one of my favourite reads of last year (my thoughts on those books here), so buying Unearthed when it came out was a no-brainer. Unearthed didn’t disappoint. It had the same action and intrigue and romance as the Starbound books.

Mia is scavenging the planet Gaia for valuable alien tech to sell so she can free her beloved sister. Jules is a (totally sighworthy) British scholar determined to solve the riddle of The Undying, an extinct alien race who may not be as benign as everyone on Earth wants them to be. Something he can’t do if scummy scavengers keep stealing the clues.

There’s action, romance, creepy goings on, puzzles, bad guys, really bad guys, ticking clocks, and all set an uninhabitable planet.

This is being spruiked as Indiana Jones in space, probably because that’s exactly what it is, which makes Unearthed waaaay cool. Bring on the sequel!

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa TahirA Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

This is the sequel to the brilliant An Ember in the Ashes. Even though I bought A Torch Against the Night ages ago I’ve been holding off from reading so there wouldn’t be such a big gap between reading it and book 3, which comes out in April.

As with the first book, A Torch Against the Night contains lots of unexpected twists, along with plenty of action and a good dollop of romance. And it’s wonderfully visual. I feel like I’m there with Elias and Laia and Helene in their dystopian world as they cope with their dangerous journeys and conflicts. I also love how evil the Warden and Commandant are. Their nastiness makes them even more fun to follow.

Cold Blood by Robert BryndzaCold Blood by Robert Bryndza

Another series I’m enjoying hugely, but I’m a sucker for a good crime novel and Bryndza’s are very satisfying.

Cold Blood is the 5th featuring Detective Erika Foster, and she’s in excellent form. Well, excellent for her sometimes screwed-up life, but that’s what we love about these popular fictional detectives – they’re brilliant and flawed in equal measure. Cold Blood has dismembered bodies in suitcases, a serial killer, terrible betrayals, and danger for Erika, and all that before the stakes get really high.

These books are great page-turners and so easy to read. Love them.

The Undateable by Sarah TitleThe Undateable by Sarah Title

Oh, I wish I’d thought of this premise! A librarian unwittingly has her scowly face turned into a viral internet meme called the Disapproving Librarian, but our heroine is not your stereotypical mousy (or pucker-faced) booklady. Bernie is clever, with a good job, lovely friends and is perfectly happy with herself and her life. If people want to get their jollies from her disapproving expression, that’s their issue. Bernie will just carry on, thank you very much.

But when an internet magazine urges her into a makeover and 30 dates in 30 days type challenge, with a dishy staff writer assisting and writing about each date, a whole lot of fun and excellent banter ensues.

The Undateable is a cute, fab romance.

The Quality of Silence by Rosamund LuptonThe Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton

Lupton’s Sister and Afterwards were fantastic reads – deeply emotional and thrilling, and total page-turners. The Quality of Silence has that same latter attribute, with the suspense built early and not letting up. Alaska in winter is perilous enough but with someone on Yasmin and her deaf daughter Ruby’s trail as they race to find Yasmin’s husband, the danger is even more profound.

My favourite – and the most thought-provoking – parts were those in Ruby’s point of view. Her arguments about her voice and how she needs it to be heard her own way, as opposed to how her mother wants, were very moving.

The Damned by Andrew PyperThe Damned by Andrew Pyper

My second favourite read of December. I love a good horror story, and The Damned was an absolute ripper. I raced through it in a day or so.

This is a tale about twins – our hero, Danny, and his ‘ugly-beautiful’ sister Ash. Both should have died on their 16th birthday, but Danny somehow survives and goes on to write a famous book about his near-death experience. Fame and wealth mean nothing when Ash has the power to haunt him wherever he is. If Danny want’s a ‘normal’ life, he needs to get rid of her.

The characterisations in The Damned were fantastic. I’ll be returning for a second look so I can study how he did them so effortlessly.

Wimmera by Mark BrandiWimmera by Mark Brandi

Another close contender for my favourite read of the month. Brandi’s story brought back many memories from my own childhood, especially long summer holidays at our beach shack, when it was perfectly normal for us kids to disappear off adventuring for a day, returning home only when hunger or thirst struck, tired, thrilled and usually sunburnt. Fortunately, my childhood was free of darkness, unlike Fab and Ben’s in Wimmera.

Wonderfully written, this is a short but punchy crime/mystery novel, filled with finely observed detail, anxiety inducing scenes, and bucketloads of atmosphere. Quite a few times I wanted to yell aloud in the hope the characters would hear my warnings but, sadly, no.

Caraval by Stephanie GarberCaraval by Stephanie Garber

Ooh, this was fun and yet another contender for my favourite read. I gobbled this one down, hooked by the mystery and illusion of the game our heroine Scarlett must play and, more importantly, win. I liked the fantasy of the Caraval world, the multiple twists and the high stakes, which got even higher as the game progressed. There’s magic and romance and intrigue and puzzles, and a lot of red herrings. And the ending gives a nice hint of what we can expect in the sequel.

Loved it.

What were your favourite reads of December?


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Cooking The Country Girl!

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So, yesterday I made a silly video in which I cook one of Tash’s recipes from The Country Girl while wearing a ridiculously unflattering pink rabbit onesie. Honestly, the things we authors do for publicity…

Those of you who have already read The Country Girl (thank you, darling people!) will understand the onesie reference, but the rest of you will have to take it on faith that it fits the story perfectly. Which is more than I can say for how that onesie fits me.

Anyway, I hope you get a kick out of me making a tool of myself and enjoy this delicious recipe from Tash’s collection.

No excuses not to make this one. As demonstrated, it’s dead easy!

Mini Ricotta Cheesecakes with Currants Soaked in Sherry

4 tablespoons currants

4 tablespoons sherry

350g fresh ricotta

125g mascarpone

Grated rind of half a lemon

½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste

50 ml golden syrup

1 egg, lightly beaten


Soak currants in sherry overnight, then drain. Drink reserved liquid to put yourself in an excellent frame of mind.

Pre-heat oven to 140 Celsius.

Line a 6-capacity muffin tin with patty cake or muffin cases.

Beat ricotta and mascarpone together with lemon zest and vanilla until smooth. Mix through golden syrup, then egg, and stir until well combined. Stir through currants until evenly distributed.

Spoon mixture into patty cases.

Bake 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven. The cheesecakes should still have a slight wobble in the centre.

Cool in tin, then chill in the fridge for a few hours.

Gobble down accompanied by a glass of aged Pedro Ximenez.

Variations: sultanas soaked in marsala, raisins soaked in rum. Golden syrup can be substituted with honey, if you prefer.


Grab your copy of The Country Girl in ebook or print from your favourite store or these retailers: | |

iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Nook

Booktopia | Dymocks | Angus & Robertson Bookworld


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It’s THE COUNTRY GIRL’s Release Day!

The Country Girl by Cathryn Hein

Hand around that bottle of fizz and bust that box of chocolates open cos today is the day The Country Girl hits shelves around the globe!

That means it’s time for you to discover cool secret things about the book and for me to waltz around the house drinking champagne and giggling a lot.

It’s also a day when I wax lyrical about how excited I am and what a ball I had writing the book. And yeah, I know, I say that all the time. But it’s true, it really is. I did have a ball writing this book.

It’s because of Tash. That girl just radiates happiness and it’s contagious. Little wonder Patrick can’t resist, no matter how crazy-hard he tries.

The Country Girl is a boy-next-door or friends-to-lovers romance that will wring out your heart, tingle your tastebuds and leave you sighing with happiness.

Grab your copy today from your favourite bookstore or chain, or order online from: | |

iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Nook

Booktopia | Dymocks | Angus & Robertson Bookworld


And now, as has become tradition on release day, here are…

6 Secret Things About The Country Girl

1/. The Country Girl’s original title was…

Castlereagh Road, after the road Tash, Patrick and Maddy live on. Then I decided to call it Quarry Road, except that made it sound like a serial killer novel so I reverted to the original.

Unfortunately, Castlereagh Road didn’t appeal to my publisher, and with solid reason. It’s more like an historical novel’s title and would probably fit awkwardly on a rural romance cover. It doesn’t give the right feel for the book either.

After much brainstorming – and I mean MUCH – we settled on The Country Girl.

2/. The theme song for The Country Girl is…

Just Another Girl by The Killers.

It’s perfect for the book and for Patrick because no way in hell is Tash just another girl. She’s special. Bright, joyous, big-hearted and irresistible, and the perfect girl to heal his sore heart.

3/. The Country Girl had quite a long music playlist…

The longest since Rocking Horse Hill (which had a whopping 49 songs on its playlist). Usually my playlists hover around 4-6 songs, with one or two setting the theme, but it really does vary between books.

Other songs on The Country Girl’s playlist included:

When Love is Dying – Elton John and Leon Russell

Everytime – Broods

Look Up – The Finish and Toni Collette

Nature’s Law – Embrace

Try – Pink

Be Still – The Killers

Come Around Again – Jet

Run – Snow Patrol

It’s Beautiful – Spiderbait

Steal My Sunshine – Len

Le Manque a Donner – David Hallyday

Black – Pearl Jam

Can you guess which songs belong to Patrick and which are Tash’s?

4/. I came up with Tash’s character during…

a beautician’s appointment after a misunderstanding about… um… female pleasuring devices.

You can read the full tale in The Magic Bullet: The Story Behind The Country Girl.

5/. The horse Khan’s original name…

was Flash. I changed it because it rhymed too closely with Tash and there were too many -ashes going on.

I didn’t settle on Khan straight away though. For a while he was Prince, but that was a P word like Patrick and Pa, and had to go. I also liked Mr Bojangles but that was too close to Tash’s old pony Bubbles.

6/. I have made every one…

of the recipes mentioned in the book. Sadly not with the same success as Tash. But I tried!


I hope you enjoyed these revelations about The Country Girl. Here are those links again for you to grab your copy: | | | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | NookBooktopia | Dymocks | Angus & Robertson Bookworld

Thanks to everyone who has helped get The Country Girl onto shelves, including editors Rachael Donovan and Di Blacklock, all the amazing team at Harlequin, and my agent Clare Forster from Curtis Brown Australia.

Also to my writing buddies who are a delight and keep me from going potty when this writing biz threatens to send me bonkers. Last but never, ever least, thanks to my Jim. My rock and darling man.


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My Favourite Reads of November 2017

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I’m a little late with My Favourite Reads this month. We’re all so busy this time of the year, aren’t we? The Christmas silly season is well and truly upon us, but it’s fun, too, with all the parties and decorations. There are streets near me where I think there’s some sort of Christmas lights war happening between the neighbours. The effort some have gone to is eye-popping!

November was a bit lean for me reading-wise but as usual those I did read were terrific. Good friend Anna Campbell certainly helped put me in a festive mood with her new release The Christmas Stranger. But the title of favourite must go to…

The Pretty Delicious Café by Danielle Hawkins

The Pretty Delicious Cafe by Danielle HawkinsI am a huuuuuge fan of Hawkins, whose debut novel Dinner at Rose’s was an absolute joy of a book (my thoughts on that here). As was her second release, Chocolate Cake for Breakfast. The Pretty Delicious Café didn’t disappoint.

This book is funny, sweet, heart-warming, romantic, quirky and, as the title suggests, filled with delicious things. There are even bonus recipes at the back. The setting for this one was great too. An idyllic seaside town that makes me want to book a trip to New Zealand ASAP.

I adore Hawkins’s romances. They’re delightful and real and if you like Aussie rural romance then you need to try Danielle Hawkins too. I promise you’ll have a wonderful time and finish reading with a big smile.


The Christmas Stranger by Anna CampbellThe Christmas Stranger by Anna Campbell

My second favourite read of the month. Yes, Anna and I are buddies and feel free to call me biased, but I honestly think her books are wonderful. The hero and heroine of The Christmas Stranger are so lovely, you can’t help cheering like mad for both as they struggle with their attraction.

Romances where the hero and heroine are trapped together are a blast, although I don’t think Josiah and Maggie see it quite the same way at the beginning of their story! Ooh, now that reminds me of one of my all-time favourite Anna Campbell’s – Her Christmas Earl. That’s a forced proximity romance too.

The Christmas Stranger is only 99 cents on Amazon. Get festive and romantic with a copy today!


The Magician's Diary by CJ ArcherThe Magician’s Diary by CJ Archer

I love this series. Love it. Matthew and India’s romance is fraught with conflict and twists. I know they’ll get together eventually, but it’s such frustrating fun to follow them as they struggle with their attraction and more and more obstacles are thrown in their way.

As with CJ’s Ministry of Curiosities series, the characters in the Glass and Steele books are great, and the stories made even richer thanks to some romantic subplots.

The Convent’s Secret is out in March. You can guarantee I’ll be reading it.


Strange the Dreamer by Laini TaylorStrange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series is one of my absolute favourites. Her writing is vivid and lush, and she weaves beautiful fantasies.

Strange the Dreamer is very much in the same vein. It’s big and dense with expert world-building, and the character of Strange is very imaginative. I had no idea this was the first in a series and was a bit taken aback to have it end without resolution, but that’s my fault for not checking. Now the wait for book 2!


What were your favourite reads?


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Teaser Tuesday!

Teaser Tuesday 2017 logoWelcome to Teaser Tuesday, the series where I share snippets from new and past releases, and works-in-progress, and occasionally badger author buddies into joining me.

Well, my lovelies, this is our final Teaser Tuesday for the year. Next Monday is release day for THE COUNTRY GIRL and I’ll be sharing lots of fun things that week, including, as is now tradition with my new releases, a list of secret things about the book. Then it’ll be Christmas and New Year and my usual summer blog holiday.

I’m still undecided whether to continue Teaser Tuesday next year or think up a new series to entertain you. A good mull over the holiday period will help me decide. Whatever happens, be assured that the blog will go on!

A few exciting things are happening right now that I’d like to alert you to.

First, the 12 Days of Down Under Christmas promotion that I’m involved in, where you can enter lots of giveaways, score free books, and enter a major prize draw to win a $50 Amazon gift card, is on until December 13th.

Check out my blog post for all the details and a truly scrumptious recipe.

Secondly, HEART OF THE VALLEY, one of my most popular books and which features the truly delectable Lachie Cambridge (I still sigh at the mention of that man’s name), is in Kobo’s current 50% off Christmas promotion. Visit Kobo and use code GIFT50 at the checkout to claim your discount. The code can be used multiple times so go your hardest with it. Find the full list of included titles on the promo page.

BUT, the deal ends Dec 11th US time, which means you have minutes to claim this. So hurry!

Finally, another bargain. WAYWARD HEART is currently heavily discounted (more than half price) across all the major ebook platforms. Again, this offer is for a limited time only, so if you want to snap up this emotional and uplifting romance at a bargain price, you’d better do it today. Try: Amazon.comAmazon.auiBooks, Google Play

Righty-o, on to our teaser, which is, of course, from my upcoming release THE COUNTRY GIRL.

Only SIX sleeps until release day on Monday 18th December. Sooooo close! If you haven’t already pre-ordered your copy, then there’s still time and you won’t have to suffer the stress of Christmas shopping chaos. Pre-order now from: | |

iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

Booktopia | Dymocks | Angus & Robertson Bookworld

Time for our teaser. Here’s a sample of Tash and Patrick shooting sparks off one another. Enjoy!


‘Don’t look at me like that. You know what that animal is capable of and, let’s face it, you were never in the same league as Maddy when it came to riding, and look what happened to her.’

The Country Girl by Cathryn Hein‘Maddy was galloping helmetless over makeshift jumps in thick scrub when Khan fell. All I plan on doing is pottering around Castlereagh. They are hardly the same circumstances. Besides,’ she said, her chin lifting, ‘you can’t stop me.’

‘I can and I will.’

Unafraid, she came to stand in front of him and looked up. The top of Tash’s head just reached the line of his shoulders and gave him a bird’s-eye view of her cleavage, along with the urge to bury his face between those soft, swollen mounds. An urge that only heightened his anger.

Tash’s smirk was as provocative as her voice. ‘I’d like to see you try.’


Discover how I came to write THE COUNTRY GIRL in The Magic Bullet, The Story Behind The Country Girl. You’ll also find another excerpt from the book on its book page.

For an even longer sample, the first two chapters are available for your reading pleasure at

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Huge 12 Days of Down Under Christmas Giveaway!

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12 Days of Down Under Christmas 2017

Welcome to the 12 Days of Down Under Christmas super giveaway.

I’m thrilled to be a part of this event. What authors! What prizes! What fun you’re going to have!

The promotion runs from Saturday December 2nd (December 1st for US folk) until Tuesday 13th December, and hops from author to author. Each day a new post will go live, featuring something fun and Christmassy, and an individual giveaway.

Feel free to go your hardest and enter all the giveaways for more chances to win great prizes.

But wait, there’s more!

On top of the individual blog prizes, you’ll have the chance, via Rafflecopter, to enter the overall prize which is for a $50 Amazon gift card. How cool is that?

We’re at Day 7 already, but that doesn’t mean you’ve missed out on the previous posts and giveaways. They’re still open and will remain open for entries until December 13th.

You’ll find the list of participating authors and links, and the major Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of this post. Have fun reading and entering!

But first…

My 12 Days of Down Under Christmas Fun

I’ve decided on two special things for you, both with a suitably seasonal theme.

Santa and the Saddler by Cathryn HeinThe first is a beautiful recipe that will have friends and family oohing and ahhing over your cleverness. The second is a giveaway which, given it’s the season to be jolly, can only be for a paperback copy of my Christmas themed, Romantic Book of the Year finalist, Santa and the Saddler.

Those of you who have followed this blog for a long time might recognise this recipe from a 2011 episode of Friday Feast. I’ve decided to share it again because it’s truly delicious, one of my all-time favourite do-ahead desserts, not difficult, and looks stunning.

The kind of indulgent dessert that everyone should have on their Christmas party table.


Begin this recipe one day ahead. The undecorated cake will keep for three or four days in the fridge (probably more if you can resist eating it for that long), which means you can make it well in advance. I don’t recommend freezing. I tried it once and it seemed to abnormally affect the texture.

Use full fat everything. This creamy cake is meant to be decadent!

White Chocolate Decadence


450g cream cheese, at room temperature

¼ cup (60 ml) caster sugar

3 teaspoons (15 ml) cornflour

3 eggs

1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla bean paste

3 teaspoons (15 ml) finely grated lemon zest

2 cups (500 ml) sour cream

1 cup (250 ml) thickened cream

240g block of good quality white chocolate, melted then cooled to lukewarm. I use Lindt.

Fresh seasonal fruit and fruit puree to serve.


Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease a 20cm springform cake pan and line base and sides with baking paper. Wrap the outside of the tin tightly in a few layers of foil. It is important that the tin is made waterproof or water will leak into the tin during cooking and spoil the cake.

Or you can use a well-lined, plain round cake tin and pray like crazy that the cake doesn’t crack when you invert it at the end!

Whiz cheese and sugar in a food processor or mixer until smooth. With the motor running, add cornflour, then eggs one at a time, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides. Add vanilla, zest and creams, and ¼ teaspoon salt, and process until just combined, scraping down sides.

Add chocolate and pulse until smooth. Pour the mixture into the lined tin then set on a folded tea-towel in a large roasting dish (the tea-towel prevents the tin slipping around). Pour hot water into the dish until it comes halfway up the sides of the cake tin.

Bake for 45 minutes, then leave the cake in switched off oven with the door closed for one hour. Remove tin from roasting dish, remove exterior foil and cool cake completely on a rack, leaving it in its tin. Cover and chill overnight.

Turn out onto a plate or cake stand. Remove baking paper, top with fruit then drizzle with fruit puree. Slice using a hot, dry knife.

Go on, make it. I dare you.


What’s your favourite Christmas dessert? Do you have something special that you make, like a pudding using an old family recipe, or perhaps you prefer to whip up a simple but colourful fruit platter (much easier and more refreshing when faced with a stinking Aussie summer’s day)?

Share your favourite Christmas dessert for parties or the traditional lunch and I’ll pop you into the draw to win a copy of my gorgeous Christmas themed Australian rural romance, Santa and the Saddler!

Open worldwide.

Giveaway closes midnight Australian time, Wednesday December 13th 2017.

As promised, here are the links to all the other giveaways and the major Rafflecopter draw to win a $50 Amazon gift card.

Good luck!

12 Days of Down Under Christmas participants

(remember, these giveaways will remain open until the end of the promotion, so make sure enter them all for even more chances to win)

Day 1 – Kris Pearson

Day 2 – Joanne Dannon

Day 3 – Cassandra O’Leary 

Day 4 – Annie Seaton

Day 5 – Monique McDonell

Day 6 – Kate O’Keeffe

Day 7 – Cathryn Hein

Day 8 – Tracey Alvarez (live from  December 9th Australian time)

Day 9 – Leeanna Morgan (live from December 10th Australian time)

Day 10 – Wendy Vella (live from December 11th Australian time)

Day 11 – Charmaine Ross (live from December 12th Australian time)

Day 12 – Aislinn Kearns (live from December 13th Australian time)

Major $50 Amazon Gift Card Prize

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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