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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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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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.

Are you ready for Easter? I hope the weather behaves for us all and we can get out and about. Jim and I won’t be travelling far, mainly catching up with friends locally and enjoying the beach and harbour. And enjoying my beloved Sydney Swans AFL team. Although, given the number of losses we’ve suffered so far this season, I’m not sure enjoying is the right word. It’s felt more like despair and frustration. Still, early days. Our hopes for the season aren’t dead yet.

The eternal optimism of fandom, eh?

I’ll probably make another batch of hot-cross buns too. They’re so easy using a bread-maker and they’re beautiful fresh out of the oven, and they make the house smell heavenly! I’ve been making them for ages from a recipe that I adjusted for use. You can find it here in this old Friday Feast, if you want to give it a try. (Remember that blog series? Faaaabulous recipes from a stack of even fabber Aussie authors.) Honestly, these hot-cross buns are dead simple and the most work you’ll have to do is kneading in the sultanas.

Looking at that Friday Feast reminded me that it was very close to this date five years ago that Rocking Horse Hill released. Rocking Horse Hill has now gone onto to spawn the (loosely related) Levenham Love Story series which has been huge fun to write, and for which Eddie and the Show Queen will be the next addition.

So to celebrate its five year anniversary, here’s a little snippet from Rocking Horse Hill. This one features Audrey Wallace, aka Granny B and matriarch of the privileged Wallace family. She’s naughty, clever and doesn’t suffer fools but she’s also generous, loyal and adores her family and community. I love her and I know many of you do too.

Here’s Granny B with the book’s hero Josh, who she invited to the Wallace family’s historic home for a drinks party …

‘Thinking about the last time you were here?’

He turned to Granny B. ‘How did you know?’

Rocking Horse Hill by Cathryn Hein - global cover‘I would consider it rather unusual if you didn’t recall that night.’ Granny B nodded Em’s way. ‘Fortunately, she’s grown up since then.’

‘We all have.’

‘Yes. Rather nicely, in your case. Although you always were a good-looking boy.’

He leaned in close and lowered his voice to a tease. ‘Granny B, are you flirting with me?’

She cocked her head and considered. ‘Do you know, I think you’d rather like it if I was.’

‘You bet I would.’

She laughed throatily. ‘Oh, I do so like you, Joshua. It’s good to have you back.’

Rocking Horse Hill is available in paperback and ebook from these stores. You can also order personally signed copies direct from me. Simply contact me via the Contact page of this website and we’ll sort it out.

Booktopia | Angus & Robertson | Bookdepository

Amazon.com | Amazon.au | Amazon.uk

iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Barnes and Noble

Remember, if you want to be the first to hear about Eddie and the Show Queen’s release, or any other upcoming books, make sure you 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 cuppa. Join here or click the image below.

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My Favourite Reads of March 2019

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Welcome to My Favourite Reads for March 2019!

I had an excellent reading month, fitting in more books than normal. Probably because they were all so good. There are even a couple of non-fiction reads this month. Very unusual for me.

But my favourite read has to be…

The Lost Man by Jane Harper

The Lost Man by Jane HarperYep, it lived up to the hype. Bigtime.

As with The Dry (which I talked about here), the setting for The Lost Man was wonderfully drawn. You could feel the isolation and danger of the land. It added an extra dimension to what is already a tension filled story.

Lots of twists, fascinating family situation, the rules of survival in a harsh country, and a truly intriguing mystery. I’ve been reading quite a few Australian thrillers/crime novels recently and this is one of the best.

Highly recommended.

The 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart TurtonThe 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

I’ve been wanting to read this award-winning murder mystery since release but it was ridiculously priced in ebook (my reading preference) and I let it slide. Then it appeared on sale and there was much yippee-ing and one-clicking.

Be warned, The 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a complicated story (think Groundhog Day) and it took me a while to get my head around how it worked, but it was worth it in the end. Great characters. I enjoyed it a lot.

Hangman by Jack HeathHangman by Jack Heath

Regular readers will know how partial I am to juicy horror and gory crime, and Hangman looked smack in my zone. It certainly has elements of both horror and gory crime but… yikes! Sometimes this was even too much for me.

Fab read though. Great pacing and tantalising mystery and, despite his… um… interesting predilection, I couldn’t help admiring our icky hero.

Hangman is NOT for the fainthearted though. You have been warned.

The Woman Who Fooled the World by Nick Toscano and Beau DonellyThe Woman Who Fooled the World: Belle Gibson’s Cancer Con by Nick Toscano and Beau Donelly

Gawd, this book made me angry. Not because it was bad – it was fascinating, well-researched and well-written – and not all because of Gibson’s con. It was infuriating because of the people who enabled this farce and never questioned her story. Why the hell not? Blind Freddie could see her claims were bullshit.

Oops. I’m getting ranty-ragey so I’ll shut up now.

Then again…

For crying out loud, what the hell happened to our belief in science? Since when did someone with an aptitude for posting pretty, aspirational pictures on social media become more trustworthy than those with education, expertise and experience? Are we seriously that bloody shallow?

Grrrrrrr.

Maybe this is why I don’t read a lot of non-fiction. It triggers too many rages.

Good book though.

The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder by Sarah J Harris

I loved this. A very close second for my favourite read of the month.

The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder has an autistic boy as the narrator and it’s hard not to want to compare the book to Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. There are similarities I think, but I read Haddon’s book so long ago it wouldn’t be fair to compare. All I know is that I loved both stories.

Very highly recommended.

Damn Fine Story by Chuck WendigDamn Fine Story by Chuck Wendig

One for the writers out there.

Like many authors, I have a decent library of writing craft books. Some are stuck at the back of the shelves, others are always within reach. Damn Fine Story will be an in-reach one.

This isn’t strictly a March read. I read it over a long period – months – but that’s not unusual for me with craft books. I find I miss too much of the good stuff if I try to gobble them down all at once. Either that, or I get information overload, develop terrible hang-ups or suffer plain old boredom. Much better to read them bit by bit.

My copy of Damn Fine Story looks a bit messy now that I’ve finished. It’s covered with sticky tags and pen marks where I’ve circled and ticked things, which is a good sign that I found it useful, with advice and tools I want to return to. The chapter on the building blocks of tension was particularly handy.

It also helps that Damn Fine Story is a fun read. Not something that can be said for a lot of craft books.

I found it very good. As with all how-to books, your mileage may vary.

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What were your favourite reads of March?

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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 arm-twist author buddies into doing the same.

I hadn’t planned on doing a Teaser Tuesday this week. Life’s still a bit chaotic in the Hein house, with medical appointments and whatnot, and I need every moment I can spare to make up for the writing I’ve missed this past year. But I’m too excited that Eddie and the Show Queen is finally finished and ready to go to my editor to let the moment slide without at least a little wahoo.

So here are some (unedited) lines to whet your appetite. Not much, mind. Just a few to give you a taste of Eddie’s and Alice’s gorgeous lovers-reunited story.

When is Eddie and the Show Queen’s release date, you ask? It’s a-coming, I promise. Let me get through edits first and I’ll let you know.

In the meantime, enjoy!

Eddie grinned and plonked himself down, his shoulder pressing against Alice’s as though he was homing in for a kiss. Her breath caught, suspended between her ridiculous want and the need to desist, but the kiss didn’t come. He settled for a low ‘Hey’ instead.

A good thing, the non-kiss. Of course it was. Those lips were probably all over Zoe Robertson on Saturday night.

Want to be the first to know when Eddie and the Show Queen goes up for pre-order? Join my newsletter and you’ll also receive a couple of free short stories to put a big smile in your day.

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This Writing Life: ARR 19

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Last weekend I attended A Romantic Rendezvous in Sydney at the Bankstown Sports Club, where a lovely time was had by all.

There are four events in the A Romantic Rendezvous series, with Brisbane and Sydney held last weekend and Melbourne and Perth scheduled for this coming weekend (30th and 31st March). They were (and are) chockers full of authors representing every romance genre, and feature special guests like Aussie urban fantasy star Keri Arthur (who generously filled in at the last minute when Sherrilyn Kenyon had to pull out) and American historical author Celeste Bradley.

It’s always a thrill to catch up with readers, new and old. I love a good natter and what better topic to natter about than books?

I had planned to take lots of photos but got distracted, as tends to happen at these events. But here are a few piccies of the event for you to enjoy.

If you haven’t booked for this weekend in Melbourne or Perth, that’s okay. I’m sure you’ll be able to buy a ticket at the door. Visit the Australian Romance Readers Association for attending authors, venue details and times.

Me all set up and ready to go at ARR19, Sydney.
Me all set up and ready to go!
Authors Maddison Micheals, Amanda Knight and (standing) Bronwyn Parry at ARR19, Sydney.
Authors Maddison Micheals, Amanda Knight and (standing) Bronwyn Parry.
Jodi Perry, whose gorgeous book cover tablecloth I'm seriously jealous of, at ARR19, Sydney.
Jodi Perry, whose gorgeous book cover tablecloth I’m seriously jealous of!
Fellow Outback Brides author Kelly Hunter with Avril Tremayne at ARR19, Sydney.
Fellow Outback Brides author Kelly Hunter with Avril Tremayne.
Kandy Shepherd and special guest Keri Arthur at ARR19, Sydney.
Kandy Shepherd and special guest Keri Arthur.
Ann B Harrison with her gorgeous cowboys.
Ann B Harrison with her gorgeous cowboys (photo courtesy of Ann).
Penelope Janu, Amanda Knight and me at ARR 19, Sydney.
Penelope Janu, Amanda Knight and me (photo courtesy of Amanda).
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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 love to tempt author buddies into doing the same.

Well, a brilliant time was had by all at last Sunday’s Australian Romance Reader Association booksigning in Sydney. There were lots of new reader faces and plenty of familiar ones, as well as author friends new and old. I had so much fun. My voice is a bit hoarse from all the chatting though. If I get the chance, I’ll make up a blog post of the photos to give you a bit of insight into the event.

On to what we’re here for: some teasing!

This week I’m delighted to host another author for you. She’s a Hunter Valley local too, which means she’s extra special. We don’t just produce beautiful wines in the region, we nurture wonderful writers too.

Ann B Harrison writes Aussie rural and USA-set cowboy romances. Make that LOTS of cowboy romances. You’ll be hard-pressed to run out of backlist to read with this lovely lady. Her heroines are strong, her heroes sexy, and you know you’re in for a punchy, emotional read when you pick up one of Ann’s books.

Ann’s latest release is The Convenient Cowboy. Here she is to tell you a little about it and share a tasty teaser.

 

Ann B Harrison authorNate Hansen desperately needs a reboot to his playboy image that doesn’t involve women, drinking and fighting. Rehabilitation and building a solid future proves elusive as he can’t land a permanent job until someone mentions local widow Joy Mitchell who’s advertising a full-time ranch job. Perfect.

Joy Mitchell is desperate for a ranch hand to help keep her dead husband’s legacy alive out of the greedy grasp of her manipulative father-in-law. Nate’s reputation precedes him, none of it good, but the ranch is running on empty, and Joy make the hard choice. Problem is the job she’s offering isn’t exactly what Nate had planned

Nate knows what it’s like to lose everything, but seriously, become a mail-order groom? But Joy won’t or can’t compromise.

 

“Mrs. Mitchell? I’ve come about the job.”

Joy stared at the man on her doorstep. Someone had to be playing a joke on her. This cowboy was nothing like the other applicants. He looked familiar but her frazzled and over tired mind couldn’t put a  name to his face. “I’m sorry, what did you say?”

“Someone told me you had a job going. I’m in need of employment. I’d prefer permanent but if you only have casual work, I’ll take that too.” He looked down at Toby clinging to her leg and smiled. “Cute, aint he? Anyways, as I was saying – I’m looking for work and I’m pretty sure that Kurt Whistler will give me a reference. Been filling in there for one of his men.”

“Did Kurt tell you what the job was?” Joy swallowed. Nobody had applied in person before and she had to hold down the wave of doubt and embarrassment that had pushed her to this point.

“No, ma’am, but I’m sure I’m up to the task.”

The Convenient Cowboy by Ann B HarrisonOh, he so was. Tall dark and handsome didn’t quite sound good enough for the cowboy that stood at her door. He had nervous energy running through him that would worry most people, almost like a caged mountain lion who’d had a bad week hunting.

She was too desperate to be picky and the two others that had applied already for the job didn’t have the least bit of appeal to them. Not that she’d seen them face to face, nor did she want to. They’d applied by mail via the newspaper office where she’d placed the advertisement. The first applicant was too old to even consider. She’d be the one looking after him if his age was anything to go by. The other gentleman was looking for his fifth wife and Joy didn’t intend that to be her. Last thing she wanted was a fortune hunter and that greasy suck up letter had oozed its writers character from the smell of cheap aftershave he’d drenched the envelope in to the flowery words he’d used.

She needed a hardworking cowboy that would take care of her and her son. Not someone who’d get a ring on her finger, a foot in the door and an attitude that screamed ‘takeover in progress.’ The man standing before her was used to working. His hands were calloused, his jeans worn and his boots dusty and in need of re-heeling. Even his hat had a work worn battered image to it.

“What’s your name, cowboy?” Toby put his arms around her leg, leaving jelly marks from his sticky fingers on the worn denim. Some clean up job that’d been.

“Nate Hansen.”

Oh heck! No wonder she thought she recognized him. Big sister Cassie had fallen for the love ‘em and leave ‘em man last fall and she’d pointed him out in the street once. He’d broken her heart and she still bemoaned how he was perfect for her. Seemed he didn’t agree as they never got past the third date.

“Seems your reputation precedes you. Not sure I’m willing to employ someone who cares more about drinking, fighting and flirting with every lady in town. I need someone who’s prepared to work an honest day’s work, not play.”

He looked down at his feet and sighed before meeting her gaze. “Mrs. Mitchell, give me a chance. I’ve been doing my best to mend my ways, to make a go of it ever since my grandpa died. I know my reputation and I’m doing everything I can to move on from that, I promise. My brother Jethro is running the ranch and there ain’t enough work for all of us. But if you want references, I know there’re people who’ll give you one, tell you how hard I work.”

“But what have you done long term, other than drink and fight?” And break girls hearts.

“Guess you got me there. Only work around has been short term, you  know. That’s why I’m keen to take on something I can sink my teeth into, something permanent where I can make my mark. If you’ll give me a chance, I’ll prove to you that I’m a good risk. I’ve changed. Ask my brother or his lawyer if you like. I know she’ll vouch for me too.”

“Who’s his lawyer?” It was so tempting to take him on but something still niggled in the back of her mind. Could she trust him after what he did to her sister?

“Sadie St. Martin and Layla Watson.”

Joy swallowed  back her relief. Her lawyer and the lady who wrote up Bradley’s will when he found out he was going to die. “I know them.”

“Great, so you’ll call and at least get a character reference then?”

Joy gripped her son’s hand and lifted him up onto her hip, ignoring the sticky jelly fingers as he clutched her shirt. Toby tucked his head into her neck and watched the stranger at the door. “I guess I can do that.”

“So, what’s the job then?”

I need a husband, Mr. Hansen. And I don’t have much time left to choose one.”

 

Wowsers!! Now how was that for a hook-me ending to Ann’s teaser?

You want this book, oh yes you do! Find out what happens between Nate and Joy by grabbing a copy of The Convenient Cowboy right now from these stores:

 

Amazon.com | Amazon.au | Amazon.uk

iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Barnes & Noble

If you’d like to learn more about Ann and her booksplease visit her website. You can also connect via FacebookInstagram and Twitter using @AnnBHarrison. And don’t forget to follow her on Bookbub to get notifications of more deals and news.

 

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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 con author buddies into doing the same.

Well, so much for Teaser Tuesday being occasional! This year, to make more room for writing, I’d planned to maybe post once or twice a month, yet here we are again with another fab, fun post from a lovely author friend. I’m not complaining, and I’m sure you’re not either because we’ve be treated to some wonderful teasers and some exciting giveaways, and we’ve loved how you’ve joined in. It’s very cheering.

God knows I’ve needed a bit of cheering up. I had a small biopsy operation last week that was supposed to be all very easy and painless, leaving me with a teensy-tiny snick in my throat where they entered for a dig-around. Yes, well, it was neither snick-like nor painless. Instead I ended up with a 4cm cut tied up with stitches that pulled every time I moved my neck, made sleeping more than a little difficult and left me feeling a tad sorry for myself.

Urk. Enough of that. I’m recovering nicely and it’s time for happy things, like this week’s guest!

I’m delighted to host Juanita Kees on the blog again. Many of you will know Juanita from her Wongan Creek books, a hugely successful rural suspense series, as well as her small-town USA stories featuring the Calhoun Customs Garage.

Juanita is here to tell you about the newest in the Wongan Creek series – Shadows Over Wongan Creek. I know you’re going to love this one, so read on. Oh, and make sure you pay attention because there could be another GIVEAWAY!

Juanita Kees authorA big thank you to Cathryn for hosting me today. I hope you’ll enjoy this little teaser from Shadows Over Wongan Creek. Released earlier this month, book 3 in the Wongan Creek series reunites old friends, Kieran and Fenella. Like most small towns, everyone knows each other, so if you’ve read books 1 and 2, you’ll run into some of the usual loveable locals, like dear old Harry, Travis Bailey and Mrs Turner. What I’d love to know from you at the end of this post, is what is your choice in wine and where is your favourite wine region? Mine is the beautiful Southwest region in and around Margaret River in Western Australia. Now to the teaser:

Kieran arrives back in town looking for a fresh start for himself and his young son, Liam, but what he finds is Fen in a world of trouble with danger dogging her every step.

In this scene, Fen is hosting a wedding at The Cranky Lizard winery when her past rises to threaten everything she holds dear. Shaken, she tries to keep the truth from Kieran, but one touch has her reaching for him instead.

‘Fen.’ His voice was quiet in the room. ‘Look at me.’

She shook her head, not trusting her voice because the tightness in her throat would have her choking on her words. Gentle hands settled on her shoulders and turned her around. She kept her gaze on the floor. How much longer could she keep fighting the demons, real and emotional, so determined to consume her?

He pulled her close and wrapped his arms around her, holding her against the unsteady beat of his heart. She put her hands to his chest, meant them to be a barrier, but no real barrier at all, because the feel of Kieran under her hands made her want to finish what she’d started right here in this poorly lit room all those years ago. To sink into his kiss, his body and everything he personified and push away the real world that snapped at her heels.

Shadows Over Wongan Creek by Juanita KeesShadows Over Wongan Creek by Juanita KeesHe tipped up her chin, his gaze holding hers in the dim light of the storeroom. A flicker of something she couldn’t read in the shadows cast by that light, and then his head blocked out what was left of it, and she met him half way.

The minute his lips touched hers, she was lost in his taste, a flavour she remembered every time she thought of him, but different. Newer, fresher, better. Too good. His hands cupped her face, the thumbs — rough from hard work — rubbing against her jaw, creating a hunger far more desperate than she remembered.

Kieran explored at his own pace and created a fire in her that would take more than a cold shower to cool it. She returned each nip and tease, her hands slipping from his chest and tracing a path to his hips, his body hard, muscled and toned under her palms.

His hands tangled in her hair and drew her closer, deepening the kiss until she melted against him, into him, forgetting all the reasons she shouldn’t. He whispered her name against her lips, before releasing her mouth and holding her head against his chest, their hearts beating erratically out of rhythm with each other, bodies radiating warmth off one another, the world outside the storeroom forgotten.

She should stop this before she lost herself in him again, make him go. Make him take Liam far away from the shitstorm to come, from the danger Luke and his damned brotherhood presented. From the mess she’d made of her life and the nightmares she couldn’t escape.

Oooh! There’s nothing like a kiss to ratchet up the drama, and it sounds like Wongan Creek is in for a lot of it. Find out what happens with your very own copy of Shadows Over Wongan Creek. Grab yours today from these stores:

Amazon.comAmazon.au | Amazon.uk

Kobo | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Google Play

Prefer to read a series in order? You’re in luck because the first two books in the Wongan Creek series are on sale from March 15th until April 15th for only 99c. What a bargain!

Grab your copies here:

Secrets at Wongan Creek

Amazon.com | Amazon.au | Amazon.uk | Kobo | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Google Play

Whispers at Wongan Creek

Amazon.com | Amazon.au | Amazon.uk | Kobo | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Google Play

Now, as we hinted at in the intro, there’s a…

GIVEAWAY!

Simply share your favourite wine or wine region in the comments and we’ll pop you into the draw to win an ebook copy of Shadows Over Wongan Creek, thanks to Escape Publishing.

Being from south-east South Australia, I’m always going to be partial to wines from Coonawarra, Wrattonbully and Padthaway, but I’ve also been hugely impressed by some of the wines being produced around my home town of Mount Gambier, especially the Kongorong area to the south. I’ve had some REALLY good rieslings from there and a tasty chardonnay. Must try some reds next time I’m home.

What about you? What’s your favourite wine or wine region? Share and we’ll pop you into the draw.

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight, Australian Eastern Daylight Time, Sunday 24th March 2019. Open worldwide.

Juanita loves to hear from readers! Get in contact via her website, Facebook or Twitter, and make sure you follow her on Bookbub so you don’t miss out on any deals.

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