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 Meme

Welcome 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 this same.

Ha! You thought TT wasn’t returning, didn’t you? Well it is, although more on an ad hoc basis than weekly, but with the same news and juicy teasers from myself and guests.

Last year was a difficult year for me personally and the beginning of 2019 isn’t being much kinder. The things I’m going through continue to have a major effect on my productivity, which is stressing me out, quite frankly, and stress is a demon none of us need. I have a LOT of writing to catch up on and that means I need to prioritise. Books must come first. The blog will be a lagging second.

I’ll do my best to keep it rollicking along though. I like blogging and I know a lot of you enjoy the posts but if I’m not making my word count, then it’s blog that will miss out until they’re done. I’m sure, like me, you’d much rather a new book than a new blog post!

Speaking of writing, I’ve finally come to the last chapters of Eddie and the Show Queen. Rah! Once I get those done, I’ll settle in for a full read. I’m looking forward to that. This book has taken a long time to write and revisiting Eddie’s and Alice’s romance will be fun. I love this couple. They’re ridiculously cute and Eddie is a sweetheart, and the Levenham gang are great to hang with.

Here’s a little sample of what you can expect from Eddie and the Show Queen. Please note that this is from an unedited manuscript, so you’ll have to forgive any wobbly bits.

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Eddie might have sauntered up to the microphone like a seasoned rock star but the truth was he was crapping himself.

What if Alice hated his poem? Or the footy boys laughed and made him look like a numpty in front of her? Dressing up as Elvis and belting out “It’s Now or Never” to a bunch of shoppers was just a bit of stupid fun, as was modelling jocks and socks in McAdams front window, but this was serious. He’d watched Alice’s face as she’d listened rapt to emo fringe-kid and the urge to create that same reaction ached like hunger.

He glanced at his poem. Sheep. He wrote about frigging sheep. Great way to impress a girl.

Not.

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Stay tuned for news on Eddie and the Show Queen’s release date, cover reveal and pre-order links. Newsletter subscribers always get the exciting bits first. Join the cool kids here and be smug little Vegemites, just like them. Plus you’ll receive a couple of free short stories to enjoy over a cuppa. All the wins!

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My Favourite Reads of January 2019

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Welcome to the first My Favourite Reads for 2019!

I read some fabulous books in January. Only four for myself as late in the month my allocation of Romance Writers of America Rita Award books arrived, and I wanted to get started on them straight away.

No question as to what my favourite read was, and it’s…

December Park by Ronald Malfi

December Park by Robert Malfi

I read The Night Parade back in October 2017 (read my thoughts on that here) and meant to read December Park soon after, but like so many of my best laid book-plans that didn’t happen and it ended up taking me over a year to get there.

Usual thing – too many books, not enough reading time.

December Park was excellent. I love the way Malfi writes, he has a style that draws me deep into a story and unable to stop turning those pages. This is a long book – 700+ pages in paperback I believe – yet it flowed beautifully and never felt too long. Having a bunch of engaging and funny teenage boys enjoying summer adventures in a sleepy outer suburb the early 90s helps. He captures those hazy days and the emotions and dramas of adolescence perfectly. Except Harting Farms isn’t really a sleepy suburb and the days certainly aren’t all hazy. Children are going missing and when one turns up dead, the boys put themselves into the thick of the danger.

I’ve already bought Bone White, Malfi’s latest release, and I won’t be waiting a year before I read it either. The blurb sounds fab and Malfi is awesome.

Pay Me in Flesh by James Scott Bell

Pay Me in Flesh by James Scott Bell

James Scott Bell is a well-known name in the writing world thanks to his workshops and books on writing. I own a few of his craft titles and find them both enlightening and entertaining, but it wasn’t until I read How to Write Pulp Fiction that I became interested in reading his fiction. In it, Bell uses a short story to demonstrate what he means by pulp fiction and it was so clever I wanted more.

Pay Me in Flesh is book one of a series with a fantastic premise: Mallory Caine, Zombie at Law, defends the creatures no other lawyer will touch… and longs to reclaim her real life. Yep, a zombie lawyer with, er, appetites.

It sounds bonkers and is, and I loved it. Fast, hugely entertaining, great characters and, yeah, he knows how to write pulp fiction. I had a ball with it. A word of warning: Pay Me in Flesh does have a few gross-out moments that made even me go ewwwww, but it’s a zombie story, some grossness is a given!

The Cowgirl by Anthea Hodgson

The Cowgirl by Anthea Hodgson

I adored Anthea’s debit novel The Drifter (which I raved about here) and have had The Cowgirl in my sights since. It was a gorgeous read with beautiful writing, an emotional storyline, a subtle but enjoyable romance and a strong message about moving on and living life.

I liked the dual timeline and how Deirdre’s backstory unfolded as we came to understand her more in the present, and I really like the metaphor of Barnaby the cockatoo. That was clever.

A great New Year read and a must for lovers of rural romance.

Breaking Good by Madeline Ash

Breaking Good by Madeline Ash

I’ve wanted to read Breaking Good since 2017, when it was a finalist in the prestigious Romance Writers of America Rita Award then went on to win a Romance Writers of Australia Ruby Award for best short romance. The idea of a hero with ADHD is an intriguing one and I was curious as to how that would work for a romance. Perfectly in the hands of Ash, as it turns out.

Breaking Good is a gorgeously written story that will reach deep into your heart and tug hard on your emotions. The characters are fabulous and it’s hard to resist a Byron Bay setting.

What were your favourite reads of January?

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My Favourite Reads of December 2018

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The Palace of Lost Memories and The Echo of Broken Dreams by CJ Archer

The Palace of Lost Memories by CJ Archer

I’ve been looking forward to CJ Archer’s new After the Rift series ever since she announced it and to my delight it exceeded expectations. I expected The Palace of Lost Memories to be good but this was in another class again. I think because it’s a bit darker. This is a world where even those you trust may not be who they seem.

There are so many questions about the King’s new palace and even more questions about those who staff it. Where did they come from? And where are their memories? These are puzzles that I’m sure will be slowly solved as the series progresses. In the meantime, we’re treated to smaller mysteries that are just as enjoyable. In The Palace of Lost Memories, it’s who poisoned the king’s favourite, while in The Echo of Broken Dreams it’s who is attacking palace maids, among other questions.

Love the heroine Josie, love the hero Hammer, and the minor characters are interesting and well crafted. As with all CJ Archer books the pacing was spot on.

I gobbled these down and now cannot wait for book 3.

A Baby In His In-Tray by Michelle Douglas

A Baby In His In-Tray by Michelle Douglas

This was hilarious, and I defy anyone not to at least smile at the early scenes with the baby. The poor heroine. The poor hero!

The premise of A Baby In His In-Tray is a beauty too. To help her twin sister Eliza, Liv agrees to impersonate her at work while Eliza sorts out a personal issue (I hope Michelle writes her story). With the boss Lord Sebastian Tyrell away, no one should be the wiser. Then Liv returns to her desk post-lunch and finds a baby on it with a note requesting that Sebastian sort it out. Liv has no choice but to call him and act as nanny while he returns. This does not make for a happy Liv!

The relationship between these two is wonderful, but as you’d expect from an excellent romance it’s not without its complications. For her sister’s sake, Liv must keep her true identity hidden, while Sebastian has his own issues thanks to an awful upbringing. Then there’s the question of who the baby’s mother is…

Huge fun.

The Million Pound Marriage Deal by Michelle Douglas

The Million Pound Marriage Deal by Michelle Douglas

The Million Pound Marriage Deal made me cry more than once, then smile at the end and feel a bit soppy, which is exactly what I want from a romance.

I really liked Sophie, she was a great heroine. That perfect combination of sass, smarts and vulnerability that she keeps well hidden. She’s the sort of capable, organised person you’d want on your side in a crisis, and I loved the way she handled the hero Will’s crotchety grandfather.

If you’re partial to a marriage of convenience story, you’ll love this one. I certainly did.

The Laird’s Christmas Kiss by Anna Campbell

The Laird’s Christmas Kiss by Anna Campbell

Ah, I do love me an Anna Campbell Christmas story. They are so much fun.

Elspeth is a smart as a whip wallflower who’s harboured a secret crush on rakish Brody for years. Deciding she’s had enough of this nonsense, Elspeth forces herself out of this hopeless and silly love, only for Brody to suddenly notice her in a major way. What follows is a gorgeous struggle between a young woman determined to keep her promise to herself and a man who, for once in his life, has only honourable intentions and can’t understand why the object of his affections won’t swoon at his feet. Then the family get involved…

An absolute delight and perfect for any season. And highlanders!

Read an excerpt from The Laird’s Christmas Kiss and more on Anna’s recent Teaser Tuesday.

Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty

Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty

My second favourite read of December (or should that be third given CJ Archer took the top spot with two books?).

I’ve wanted to read Apple Tree Yard since its release back in 2013. In fact, I still have clippings of its newspaper reviews on my “want to read” pile so I wouldn’t forget about it. Which reminds me, I can chuck those now.

I adore books that make you feel anxious for the heroine (or hero) and Apple Tree Yard kept me in a state of constant worry. This is a combination of courtroom drama and the secret retelling of an affair. For some reason it reminded me a lot of Killing Me Softly by Nicci French even though they’re quite different stories. It’s that opening blast of attraction between strangers followed by out-of-character behaviour I suspect. That and the unsettling storylines.

Highly recommended and I hear the recently released TV series is excellent too.

Tikka Chance on Me by Suleikha Snyder

Tikka Chance on Me by Suleikha Snyder

This came highly recommended by writing buddy Amy Andrews, who praised Snyder’s great voice and fresh story. I was a tad sceptical – bad boy bikers really aren’t my thing – but having read Tikka Chance on Me I can only agree. This was a whole lot of sexy fun, with a fantastic heroine and great banter. It’s also short and whizzes along. Perfect for an afternoon of fun. And you can pick it up for around a dollar on most ebook platforms.

What were your favourite reads of December?

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Bargain Alert!

THE COUNTRY GIRL is part of Kindle’s 12 Days of Christmas promotion which means you can score this heart-warming tale of friendship, food and falling in love for only $1-99. What a bargain!

Link: https://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B072ZY8XZD/

THE COUNTRY GIRL Kindle Sale

This deal is for a limited time only, so get in quick before it goes back to full price.

PS. While you’re there, why not grab SANTA AND THE SADDLER for only 99 cents and double your bargain? Go on, you know you deserve books.

My Favourite Reads of November 2018

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My Favourite Reads image

Welcome to my favourite reads of November 2018.

Another mixed bag of fantasy, crime and, of course, romance. A girl needs her feels!

No question this month which was my favourite. Actually, let’s make that favourites because the honour goes to …

Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows by Leigh BardugoBardugo’s Grisha trilogy of Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rising was my favourite read of 2014 and when Six of Crows first released I meant to jump on it. For some reason I didn’t and I’m not sure why. I have a feeling I read a preview of Six of Crows and was expecting one thing and got another. I had no problem this time round. I couldn’t put either Six of Crows or Crooked Kingdom down. They were amazing.

The plotting of these stories is extraordinary. Twist follows twist follows twist, and almost every one of them left me in a state of anxiety over the characters. So many challenges, most of them impossible, and yet the Six of Crows gang manage to fight and overcome them.

Then there are the characters, all so wonderfully done, with compelling backstories and motivations, and individual voices. If I weren’t so caught up in the story I would have taken notes on how Bardugo made them unique, sympathetic and admirable, even the ones that shouldn’t have been.

Loved these books. Just loved them. Can’t wait for more.

 

Elevation by Stephen KingElevation by Stephen King

Hmm. The first thought that springs to mind when I think about this book? It was short. Really short. By my guess, Elevation would be lucky to be 25,000 words (maybe even closer to 20,000 but as I said I’m guessing here) and most novels are around 90,000 or so, depending on genre, which means we’re talking short story/novella length.

Now I love a shorty, but I had no idea that Elevation was one when I went to grab it from my local discount store and was even more brain-fuddled when I couldn’t spot it on the shelves. We’re talking the new Stephen King here. It was in the catalogue. How could Elevation not be smack in my face? I can only guess it was something to do with its size versus its unappealing full-length price.

I still bought it because… Stephen King.

Anyway, it was a sweet book, reminding me a little bit of Insomnia, which is a favourite King of mine. A pleasant way to spend a weekend afternoon.

 

The Ash Doll by James HazelThe Ash Doll by James Hazel

I really enjoyed Hazel’s debut release The Mayfly (I talked about it here). It was a cracking read and left me eager for his next. The Ash Doll didn’t disappoint, with the same great pace and tension and a juicy dark plot. The Ash Doll’s lawyer hero Charlie Priest seems to find himself in messy cases, that’s for sure.

Great to see Priest’s work colleague Georgie Someday play such a starring role too. And the fish. Mustn’t forget the fish.

 

Circus Hearts - All the little Bones by Ellie MarneyCircus Hearts: All the little Bones by Ellie Marney

Now this was cool. Kinda like a running away to join the circus book but in this case the runaways are already performers – Sorsha is a trapeze artist while Colm is a strongman, and both are very good at their art.

Circus Hearts is a friends-to-lovers story as well as a coming of age tale and one I enjoyed a lot. The romance was lovely and I especially liked Marney’s portrayal of circus life.

I have plans to read book two in this three-book series over the Christmas break. I’m keen to see what happens to Fleur in Circus Hearts: All Fall Down.

 

Manhunting by Jennifer CrusieManhunting by Jennifer Crusie

This was a hoot of a book, with super-snappy dialogue and some very funny moments. I was glad I picked it up because it was perfect for my mood. I was after something easy and fun and feel-good, and Manhunting was all that and more.

This is only my second Jennifer Crusie – the first was Faking It – and I really should read more. I’ve lost count of the number of fellow authors who’ve recommended Welcome to Temptation, Bet Me and other much-adored titles in the Crusie backlist. Makes me feel left out.

 

What reads did you enjoy in November?

 

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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 occasion con author buddies into doing the same.

Woah, hasn’t the year flown! Here we are in December with Christmas sparkling around the corner and a shiny new year poking its head over the horizon. I hope it’s been a brilliant year for you and your families.

This will be the final Teaser Tuesday of the year. I’m off to visit family in north Queensland and to enjoy some outback heat and dust, and to relax with a bunch of books I’ve saved for the break. A couple I’m really looking forward to are Anna Campbell’s The Laird’s Christmas Kiss and Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, but there are plenty more on my pile.

I’ll also be sending out a newsletter very soon with an exclusive present inside. If you’re not already a subscriber, join the cool people now so you don’t miss out.

It probably comes as no surprise that my final teaser for the year is from my 2017 Romance Writers of Australia Romantic Book of the Year finalist Santa and the Saddler. It’s a Christmas book after all, but it’s also a gorgeous read for any time.

What you may not have seen is that it’s temporarily discounted to only 99 cents on Kindle, in the iBooks store, and on Kobo the US and Canada. Bargain!

Here are those links:

Amazon.com | Amazon.au | Amazon.uk

iBooks | Kobo

Now for a lovely snippet. Dressed in an unflattering Santa suit for his shift at a local pub, Danny makes a quick call into the local saddlery to order a present for his little sister and encounters Beth.

 

Four others waited, and from their pissed-off expressions and the way they were glancing at their watches, they’d been doing so for a while. An extremely pretty brown-haired girl was at the register, ringing up a purchase. Her lightly freckled cheeks were flushed and tendrils of hair had escaped her bun to fall around her face. She was wearing a bright red top with a cartoon reindeer on the front, the singlet’s cut revealing tanned, muscled arms and very straight shoulders.

Santa and the Saddler by Cathryn HeinShe was his age, mid-twenties maybe. A quick glance at her hands revealed no rings. Pretty, possibly single, and here was Danny looking like a dick in a Santa suit. He could kill his boss, he really could. There was such a thing as taking the Christmas spirit too far, and Jase had done it.

‘Oh,’ said the woman Saddlery Girl was serving, holding up a finger. ‘Just one more thing.’ She dashed off, leaving the girl to smile a brittle apology at the other customers.

‘I won’t be long.’

Danny’s eyebrows lifted at the English accent, so incongruous to her freckled, summery Australianness.

‘You said that five minutes ago,’ muttered the bloke in front of Danny, throwing another look at his watch. He clocked Danny’s stupid costume. ‘Nice suit.’

Like he hadn’t been hearing that all week. But Danny never saw the point in being cranky, and it was Christmas. Season to be jolly and all that.

‘Thanks. Just spreading the cheer.’

He glanced back at Saddlery Girl and found her looking him up and down. Realising she’d been caught, she raised a single eyebrow. Danny smiled and winked, delighted when she grinned broadly in return, showing off perfect white teeth and laughter-filled golden hazel eyes.

The entire room somersaulted.

Oh man, she was pretty.

 

These two are so gorgeous together. Just the read to make you feel warm and gooey this Christmas.

Those bargain-buy links again:

Amazon.com | Amazon.au | Amazon.uk

iBooks | Kobo

See you Friday for My Favourite Reads!

 

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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 occasionally con author buddies into doing the same.

Did you pick up any Black Friday or Cyber Monday bargains? I didn’t, but I can’t say I looked that hard. We have too much stuff for our little house as it is. I did get presents, though! Friend and fellow author D. B. Tait (Cold Deception, Desperate Deception, Festive Deception) came to visit and bought me some beautifully scented thyme, which I’ve now planted out. The orange thyme in particular smells divine. I’m thinking I could try that with fish, chicken or duck, or maybe add a few leaves to an orange and polenta syrup cake for a bit of extra zing.

What better lead-in for The Country Girl than recipe talk? Its heroine Tash is not only a fabulous cook and famous food blogger, she’s also a gorgeous person. She’s big-hearted, brave, enormous fun to be with and as irresistible as her cooking. No wonder The Country Girl’s hero Patrick falls for her. I would!

Here’s a snippet where Patrick is feeling a bit low and decides to call on Tash.

 

He drove up Castlereagh Road with his fists tight around the wheel and his mood spoiled. The sight of Tash’s flat with its cheerily smoking chimney was like a siren call to his longing. If anyone could restore his humour, it’d be Tash.

She didn’t fail him. Patrick found her in her kitchen, dressed in a baggy pink-and-white rabbit onesie complete with floppy ears and paws. For an unsexy outfit, it was The Country Girl by Cathryn Heinstrangely arousing. Not that that was unusual. His hormones were so out of control these days Tash could have worn a hessian sack and he’d probably be turned on.

‘Interesting,’ he said.

She presented her bum and wiggled, showing off a large fluffy tail. ‘Like it?’

‘Very cute.’

‘I bought it for a party ages ago. I didn’t feel like writing so I thought I’d make Italian Easter bread and film it instead.’

‘In a rabbit onesie?’

‘Why not a rabbit onesie? It’s Easter Bunny time!’

 

To celebrate this scene, I created a video of me wearing a pink rabbit onesie and cooking one of Tash’s recipes. Not the Easter bread – far too hard! – but delicious Mini Ricotta Cheesecakes with Currants Soaked in Sherry. You’ll find the video and the full recipe on Cooking The Country Girl.

Cooking The Country Girl!

The Country Girl is available for purchase in paperback and ebook from your favourite stores. Or try these retailers:

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

iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Nook

Booktopia | Dymocks | Angus & Robertson Bookworld

If you’d like to learn more about The Country Girl, please visit its Book page on this website. Hankering for news on my next release? Newsletter subscribers get all the news and other goodies first. Join the cool readers here.

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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 occasionally twist the arms of author buddies to do the same.

Newcastle is in rev-head mode. The V8 Supercars Championship hits town this week and with an anticipated 150,000 visitors arriving the place will be rocking. Not my thing but even I have to admit the track makes for some spectacular images of Newcastle. The circuit runs through historic Newcastle East, and includes slides past Newcastle and Nobbys Beaches and a pit straight that runs parallel to the harbour.

Spectacular indeed but also where we walk each morning and, come Wednesday, won’t be so easy to access. That’s okay. We’ll simply swap our trundle to further down the coast. As they say, a change is as good as a holiday and I’ll get to swap hellos with new morning walkers and joggers. Fingers crossed for dolphins, seals and whales too. Spotting any one of those makes my day.

Which leads me to… um… nothing book-related at all!

So lets have a snippet from my romantic adventure The French Prize in which its hero, the very staid and stoic Raimund, surprises the heroine Olivia with a moment of levity.

In a car.

Well, lookie at that. I managed to relate it back to the Supercars after all. *claps self on back*

Enjoy!

 

Aix-en-Provence was bustling with produce-laden locals. Thursday was one of the main market days and Olivia knew finding a park would be nigh on impossible.

The French Prize by Cathryn HeinRaimund crawled around the périphérique, his eyes sweeping the side streets for a parking place. After two unproductive laps, one appeared near the end of Rue d’Italie, a short walk from the museum. Olivia watched in envy as he manoeuvred the car into a park into which she would have had to have been lifted by crane.

The day before, with the assistance of a retired Legionnaire who owed him several favours, he had returned the Clio to the gîte and retrieved another car from a property near Narbonne. The car, he had explained on the drive into Aix, was registered under the name of yet another indebted ex-soldier, which he hoped would prove difficult to link to him.

She had pointed out that the make was disguise enough. No sane person would expect a man of his height to drive a tiny Peugeot coupé-convertible. With the roof up, Raimund had to hunch over to drive.

But it is sexy, non?’ he had said, his French accent deliberately emphasised.

 

Grab your copy of The French Prize today, available in print and ebook from your favourite retailers, including:

Booktopia | Angus & Robertson

Amazon.com | Amazon.au

KoboiBooks | Google Play

If you’d like to learn more about The French Prize or read how I came to write the novel, please visit its book page on this website.

Remember to join my newsletter to keep up to date with new releases and have access to other goodies.

 

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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 occasionally con unsuspecting author friends into doing the same. Like today.

Read on

It’s been hot!

I’ve actually had to break out shorts from my wardrobe. Nice for me, not so nice for the unsuspecting populace of Newcastle who’ve been blinded by my lily-whites. We Heins don’t really do tans. We’re too fair and freckly and prone to painful sunburn, and I usually don’t venture outside without first slathering on sunscreen and donning a hat. Which gives me the excuse to buy hats. Lots of hats.

But enough about hats. We’re here to talk dresses!

Well, one dress in particular. And it’s a very special dress with a story. A story by none other than Rachael Johns so you know it’s going to be a cracker.

Four women, one dress, and the secret that binds them all

That’s the tag for Rachael’s brand-new release Lost Without You, and she’s here today to share a little about the book and treat you to a peek inside.

Please give Rachael a warm Teaser Tuesday welcome!

 

Author Rachael JohnsARGH – it’s always so hard to choose an extract for Cathryn’s fab Teaser Tuesday because all the juicy ones contain spoilers… but I did my best. LOST WITHOUT YOU is at its core a story about family and how keeping secrets from those close to you can have an impact on your relationships and so I’ve decided to give you an insight into Rebecca’s secret.

Rebecca is one of four main characters and in many ways, she is the link between them all…

Happy reading! X Rach

 

As Molly twirled three times like she always did before a snooze and then settled herself down in her favourite spot in front of the bed , Rebecca glanced at the closed door, praying Hugh would respect her request for privacy. Then, taking a deep breath, her hands shaking ridiculously, she went into their walk-in robe, stretched up high on her tippy-toes and pulled down a box she’d labeled ‘Old Music Notebooks.’ Neither Hugh nor Paige shared her love of music and so they would never think to pry into this box. Besides, it wasn’t a lie – the box did contain her old journals, but, right at the bottom, it also housed a whole load of mix-tapes leftover from her teenage years, letters, and something even more precious to her than them.

She took the box over to the bed and her breath caught in her throat as she lifted the lid. What if the photo was gone? There was no reason why it should be but suddenly the fear felt real. Without care, she lifted the notebooks that were at the top and flung them on the bed beside her, then rifled through the rest of the box, resisting the urge to look at the tapes from her high Lost Without You by Rachael Johnsschool boyfriend – she should have thrown them away years ago. Finally, she found what she was looking for, the old journal filled with the angst-ridden songs she’d written as a teenager. They were all dismal – singing was her skill, not song-writing – but she’d put her heart and soul into them anyway. Ignoring the R&R Forever scratched into the front cover in her flowery adolescent handwriting, she flicked straight to the end.

And there it was.

There he was – tiny and perfect, a bald-headed angel looking up at her with big blue innocent eyes. Well, not at her, she’d never got that close to him; he’d been looking up at whoever took the photograph and she didn’t know who that was. Maybe a nurse. She certainly couldn’t imagine her mother would have done so.

Tears prickled Rebecca’s eyes as she touched a finger to the photo. She let out a long slow breath., one she felt like she’d been holding since she’d thought of this photo in the hospital two weeks ago. This little boy had never been far from her mind these last thirty-five years, but she’d kept him in a box and kept that box buried deep in her heart. Yet now, having come face-to-face with her own mortality, everything felt like it had changed. Now it was like her long-lost son was actually in that box and that he was knocking on the lid, trying to push it open and get her attention.

Pain throbbed in her forehead and she forced deep breaths in and out, unsure whether her sudden breathlessness was because she was having a panic attack or if it was a symptom of her blasted kidney disease. Either way, this photo couldn’t stay here, in the house, where it could so easily be found by someone looking for something else.

But what could she do with it? She didn’t trust her parents not to ‘lose’ it and besides, her dad hadn’t been in the best of health lately either; she didn’t want to put anything else on them.

Did banks still rent out safe boxes? Rebecca wasn’t sure if they were actually a thing or if it was just something used in the movies. She could ask Hugh – he always knew stuff like that – but of course then he’d want to know why she needed one. Google! The answer landed in her head and she went to grab her mobile only to realise her handbag was still out in the hallway where she’d dumped it when she’d dropped down to hug Molly.

Bugger. Why did everything have to be so hard?

 

Lost Without You is gathering brilliant reviews everywhere and making a lot of readers very happy. Which means you deserve a copy of your own, oh yes you do, and thanks to the internet instant gratification can be yours.

Purchase Lost Without You in paperback and ebook from these stores now.

Booktopia | Dymocks

Amazon.com | Amazon.au

iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

By the way, those good folk at Booktopia have signed copies of Lost Without You available for purchase but they won’t last long. If you’d prefer one of those, grab it today!

If you’d like to learn more about Rachael and her books, please visit her website. You can also connect on Facebook, Twitter using @RachaelJohns, Goodreads and Instagram.

Read a longer excerpt of Lost Without You here.

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