This Writing Life: Sculpture on the Farm 2019

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Sculpture on the Farm is an art exhibition and competition held at ‘Fosterton’, an idyllic grazing property north of Dungog in New South Wales, and a partner event to the Dungog Festival. What a brilliant way to bring art lovers and tourists to the area! And with the major prize-winning artwork being acquired by Dungog Shire, everyone will be able to enjoy the winner’s sculpture into the future.

This is the second year Sculpture on the Farm has been run. Thanks to being stuck in hospital, I was hugely disappointed to miss last year’s inaugural show and was determined to make it this year. Dungog is only an hour or so drive north of Newcastle, and a lovely little town nestled in the foothills below the glorious Barrington Tops. No matter what the art was like, I was guaranteed gorgeous scenery and a terrific day out.

Last year’s exhibition attracted over 2,000 visitors. Given the stream of cars headed up Fosterton Road to the farm, the wonderfulness of the art on offer and the overall excellence of our experience, I have no doubt this has been well-exceeded this year. I’ll have to make a note to go early next year and beat the crowds.

As with so many rural events, this was run by volunteers and they did a great job. Everything was smooth from the parking to the ticket-buying to the easy to navigate layout.

Make Sculpture on the Farm a must-see for next year. If it’s anything like this year’s event, you’ll love it.

Here are some of our piccies from the day. Enjoy!

Sculpture on the Farm. Dusty Days in the Saddle by Sam Anderson.

Dusty Days in the Saddle by Sam Anderson. This was Jim and my favourite.

Sculpture on the Farm. Sticky Fleece by Greg Salter.

Sticky Fleece by Greg Salter. Some of you may remember a photo I took of a monster fleece in the National Museum of Australia that came from a sheep nicknamed Shrek. The sheep had been left unshorn for years and was in a terrible state when found. The artist has taken the idea of Shrek’s fleece and what wondered what would happen if you could pull objects out of it like a magician’s hat, with the strangest thing being… a donut! I loved this one. It was incongruous and funny.

Sculpture on the Farm. The Theatre of the Shadow by Peter Tilley.

This was the winning sculpture – The Theatre of the Shadow by Peter Tilley. The photograph doesn’t do it justice. It was amazing!

Sculpture on the Farm. Big Old Buck by Tobias Bennett.

Another favourite – Big Old Buck by Tobias Bennett. He looked so proud in his landscape. He even had metal goolies!

Sculpture on the Farm. Waiting for Rain by Jimmy Rix.

Waiting for Rain by Jimmy Rix. This was rather poignant, in particular when it was displayed next to the farm’s rain gauge.

Sculpture on the Farm. The Mob by Catie Sully.

The Mob by Catie Sully. This was huge fun. Like a mob of teenage boys racing off to do mischief.

Sculpture on the Farm. Selfie Girl by Laurent Rivory.

Selfie Girl by Laurent Rivory. “A parody of the self-obsessed, complete with hair extensions, filler lips, Brazillian butt lift and fake eyelashes.”

Sculpture on the Farm. Dance Around the Moon by Inge King.

Dance Around the Moon by Inge King (1915-2016). This could be yours for $75,000.

Sculpture on the Farm. Flowers of Glass by Lynden Jacobi.

Loved these flowers made of old plates. They were so happy! Flowers of Glass by Lynden Jacobi.

Sculpture on the Farm. Heart to Heart by Amanda Harrison.

Heart to Heart by Amanda Harrison “explores friendship, sharing and always being there to listen. Good friends are to be treasured, with joy and grace.” I think this sculpture reflects this perfectly.

Sculpture on the Farm. The Next Generation by Rod Buckland.

Another favourite. The Next Generation by Rod Buckland.

Sculpture on the Farm. Emergent by Bridget Whitehead.

Emergent by Bridget Whitehead. A lovely limestone carving representing a seed that pushes into the ground before emerging upward.

Sculpture on the Farm. Posed by Nicole O’Regan.

Posed by Nicole O’Regan. I liked the animation in this one.

Sculpture on the Farm. Topiarius by Carolyn Rendle.

Topiarius by Carolyn Rendle.

Seed I, II and III by Natalie Duncan. “You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars.”

Sculpture on the Farm. Fore by Gary Boote.

Fore by Gary Boote. One for golf lovers (like us).

Sculpture on the Farm. Much Like Life by Tobias Bennett.

Much Like Life by Tobias Bennett. “Much like life, the universe and everything, there is no beginning or end. Everything is connected in time and space.”

Sculpture on the Farm. Isle of Flowers by Lynden Jacobi.

Isle of Flowers by Lynden Jacobi.

Sculpture on the Farm. Surface Tension by Keith Chidzey.

Surface Tension by Keith Chidzey. This was almost creepy, as if the timber and steel hand was just waiting for a lightning strike to bring it to life.

Sculpture on the Farm. Rowers by David Perkins.

Rowers by David Perkins. This was cute. The rowers move on the breeze or if touched lightly.

Sculpture on the Farm. Chess Set by Gary Boote.

Chess Set by Gary Boote. Made out of mesh bins!

Sculpture on the Farm. The Butterfly Effect by Amanda Harrison.

Had to laugh at this sculpture. The Butterfly Effect by Amanda Harrison.

Sculpture on the Farm. Villanelle by Nigel Dobson.

Villanelle by Nigel Dobson. I liked how this stood out in the landscape.

Sculpture on the Farm. Earth Cry by Keith Chidzey.

Earth Cry by Keith Chidzey. A beautiful sculpture carved out of Huon pine.

Sculpture on the Farm. Sir and Madame Leather by Ren Thackham.

Loved these! Sir and Madame Leather by Ren Thackham. Instead of animals being made into coats, the artist has made coats into animals. So clever.

Sculpture on the Farm. Bush Spirit II by Jane Dawson.

Bush Spirit II by Jane Dawson. “Bronze for strength, its form suggests a movement forward, clothed in the iconic Akubra and Driza-Bone for shelter against the elements, all reference the Spirit of the Bush.”

Sculpture on the Farm. Sirens by Kim Elliot.

Sirens by Kim Elliot. Beautiful.

Sculpture on the Farm. Horse’s Ass by Felicity Cavanagh.

Horse’s Ass by Felicity Cavanagh. Right up my alley.

Sculpture on the Farm. La Foglia by Emilia Krumm.

La Foglia by Emilia Krumm.

Sculpture on the Farm. Malus by Natalie Duncan.

Malus by Natalie Duncan. “malus is the genus the common apple belongs to. This work explores the Garden of Eden tale, and the relationship of Eve and the snake; forever bound together in their crime, the downfall of mankind.”

Sculpture on the Farm. Left, Right, Left by Ionas Kaltenbach.

Left, Right, Left by Ionas Kaltenbach.

Sculpture on the Farm. Maximus by Rod Buckland.

Maximus by Rod Buckland. “This piece was inspired by my late father-in-law Max. Braford bulls are strong and quiet in nature which encapsulates Max. He is mounted on a worn stair tread which represents his footsteps in life.” Lovely and poignant.

Sculpture on the Farm. Besos by Sallie Portnoy.

Besos by Sallie Portnoy. The photo doesn’t do justice to the colours. They were stunning.

Sculpture on the Farm. The Fox and the Moon Stick by Michael Garth.

The Fox and the Moon Stick by Michael Garth. “… an Aesop’s fable yet to be written.”

Sculpture on the Farm. Much Like Water by Tobias Bennett.

Much Like Water by Tobias Bennett.

Sculpture on the Farm. A Long Walk Home by Sam Anderson.

Another favourite. A Long Walk Home by Sam Anderson.

Sculpture on the Farm. The Vision by Ian Scott.

We adored these. The Vision by Ian Scott. “In The Vision, people are staring at something in the sky.” Except it looked like they were staring at us in wonder. What fun!

Sculpture on the Farm. Ginkgo Tree by Rudi Jass.

Ginkgo Tree by Rudi Jass, a kinetic sculpture. I liked how this was placed in a paddock on its own, with the hills as backdrop.

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Which is your favourite Sculpture on the Farm?

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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 do my best con author buddies into doing the same.

Which I have for this week’s Teaser Tuesday. Yes, my lovelies, we have another guest. Rah!

Before I pass you over to our visitor, news from the Hein house.

Umm

Not a lot, to be honest. Except I bought a new KitchenAid mixmaster and have been going a bit potty with it. So potty I’ve been temporarily banned from making any more cakes. Which is fine. I’ll just switch to bread and test out its dough hook instead. Or the bonus pasta roller and cutter set that came with it. Got to run my new toy through its paces!

Enough of that. Time for our guest.

I’m delighted to welcome back Cheryl Adnams to Teaser Tuesday. It’s been a long time since her last visit but Cheryl has been a very busy lady. Not only with writing but travelling too. The Instagram feed of her recent journeys left me green with envy. Oh, the places she went! Check it out when you get a moment. The photos and videos are fantastic.

Also fantastic is Cheryl’s foray into historical romance and women’s fiction. You may be familiar with her highly rated Muller’s of McLaren Vale rural romance series, which included Handpicked, Chasing the Flames and Bet On It. Although still Australian-set, Cheryl’s most recent books have moved back in time to turning points in Australian history. The first was The Girl From Eureka (ebook available now with print coming out in 2020) and now Cheryl’s newest title, The Bushranger’s Wife has hit shelves, and I know you are going to love it.

Here’s Cheryl to tell you more and share an excerpt.

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Cheryl Adnams authorHi Cathryn!

Thank you for having me as your guest today. I’m thrilled to be able to tell you and your readers about my latest release, “The Bushranger’s Wife”.

This book is a follow on from my first Australian Historical romance “The Girl from Eureka” which introduced readers to amateur bushranger Jack the Devil. Jack was a fun side character and friend to my heroine Indy.

The Bushranger’s Wife” takes up Jack’s life six years after the famous Eureka Stockade rebellion and he is now a fully-fledged bushranger who is also running a semi-legitimate transport business. The story begins with him robbing our heroine, Pru and her grandmother, and he is instantly captivated. A series of encounters throws the two together until finally an event forces Pru into marriage with Jack. But this is not your usual marriage and some fun scenes as well as challenging moments test the love that they find within what started out as a marriage of convenience.

This scene is one of the fun pre-marriage scenes that Jack and Pru have. I hope you enjoy enough to want to read the rest. Cheryl xxx

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Pru spent a fitful night and was up earlier than usual. She’d tossed and turned in her bed, having worked herself up to a state she knew would only be sated by Jack’s kisses and hands. Hands that he still refused to lay on her, damn him. It was romantic really and she admired him for his patience and his strength, but didn’t he know how much she wanted him to make love to her?

Having dressed and made breakfast, she went to the little spare room to see if Jack was awake. He must have returned very late from town, as she hadn’t heard him come home. The door was slightly ajar and she pushed it a little to see if he was there. No Jack. The bed was made, just as she had left it the day before.

The Bushranger's Wife by Cheryl AdnamsFollowing her instincts out to the barn, Persephone and Misha stood chomping on their morning feed. They lifted their heads to look at her momentarily before digging back into their chaff. He must have come back at some point in the night, or early this morning, and had taken the time to feed to horses. But why had he gone out again?

‘He’s run away again, has he?’ she asked Misha, giving her a good scratch.

A few hours later, Pru heard a horse and wagon coming up the driveway and opening the front door she stepped out onto the wide wooden porch to see Jack just pulling a small dray to a halt at the bottom of the steps. When he grinned at her before jumping down off the wagon, she smiled and placed a hand over her belly. It never failed to amaze her how the sight of him caused butterflies to wake in her stomach.

‘Where have you been?’ she asked. ‘And where did you get the dray?’

‘I’m sorry I was gone so long,’ Jack responded. ‘I needed to go a little further afield for this particular delivery, and required something larger to carry it in.’

‘Another present? For me?’ she asked, clapping her hands in delight.

Taking a step forward to help him unload the dray of whatever he’d bought, she stopped dead when instead he unloaded a man, bound and gagged.

Jack walked his prisoner towards the house and her eyes widened as she saw the man’s distinctive clothing.

‘What’s this?’

‘It’s a priest.’

‘I can see that,’ she said. ‘Why is he bound and gagged and standing on our doorstep?’

‘He wouldn’t come of his own accord.’

‘So … you kidnapped him?! You kidnapped a priest?’

‘He said we had to come to church on Sunday,’ Jack said, as though it ought to make sense to her. ‘But I needed him to marry us today. He refused. So I talked him into it.’

Pru struggled against the smile that threatened. ‘How romantic?

Jack removed the gag from the old priest’s mouth. The man coughed and spluttered. ‘He dragged me out of my bed before dawn. Made me get dressed. Dragged me all the way here from Daylesford.’

‘Daylesford?’ Pru shot another angry look at Jack.

‘Well, I couldn’t use a priest from Ballarat. They all know me.’

‘Really?’ Pru raised an eyebrow. ‘Priests know you?’

Jack rolled his eyes. ‘Fine, so I’ve never stepped foot inside a church in my life. But I couldn’t risk anyone recognising me from town. This was the only way.’

‘Untie his hands too,’ Pru ordered.

But …’ Jack started, rubbing his chin as he hesitated. ‘He already hit me once.’

‘I’d say you deserved at least one, wouldn’t you?’

‘What happened to “how romantic”?’ Jack huffed.

She stepped down the wooden steps and kissed him. Then she slapped him across the back of the head.

‘Ow!’

‘I was being sarcastic, you madman.’ Pru shook her head and turned to the priest.

‘Father, I apologise for my wayward, romantic, husband to be. You are free to go.’

‘Now hold on,’ Jack complained. ‘I brought him here to marry us and that’s exactly what he’s going to do.’

‘I’ll not be married by a man of God who is being held against his will.’

‘I do not know why you agreed to marry this reprobate, child,’ the priest said, rubbing his rope-burned wrists.

‘She proposed to me,’ Jack grumbled.

Pru ignored him. ‘Can I at least offer you a cup of tea before you go, Father?’

The priest looked from Jack to Prudence with some remaining suspicion before he yielded. ‘The name is Father Flaherty. Your friend here did not even bother to ask.’

‘You were too busy taking swings at me,’ Jack threw in.

‘You were dragging me out of my bed!’

‘Jack, enough!’ Pru ordered.

‘A cup of tea, you say?’ the priest said, ignoring Jack and stepping up onto the porch. ‘Don’t mind if I do.’

Both of them turned their backs on Jack and walked into the house.

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Hooly-dooly, how much fun does The Bushranger’s Wife sound!! You want a copy, oh yes you do, so satisfy that want with an instant purchase via any of these links.

Amazon.com | Amazon.au | Amazon.uk

Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | Barnes & Noble

Happy reading!

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

Make sure you tune in this coming Friday when I’ll be sharing a stack of photos from our recent trip to Sculpture on the Farm. Not to be missed!

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My Favourite Reads of September 2019

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My Favourite Reads image

Welcome to My Favourite Reads for September 2019.

September was a month of fat books, with one over 800 pages, one at 500 and another at 450, I felt like I read seven books instead of five.

My favourite read of the month was beautiful, moving, and a wonderful, wonderful book. Stand by for some serious fangirling.

The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey

The Glittering Hour by Iona GreyI couldn’t rave enough about Grey’s debut novel Letters to the Lost (my thoughts on that here). I adored that book and wondered how Grey could possibly top it, but she has.

The Glittering Hour is stunning. STUNNING!

Gorgeously written, it’s an early 20th century historical that brings to life the intervening war years, with all its social and political upheaval. Selina Lennox, the heroine, is a “Bright young thing” – basically an “it” girl. But her life changes when she meets artist and photographer Lawrence Weston, a man not of her class. What follows is a breathtaking, emotional journey that left me sobbing and wrung out and wanting to go back to the start and do it all again.

A must-read. No, seriously, get reading The Glittering Hour now. NOW.

Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz ZafonLabyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

This is the final instalment in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series and ties together many of the mysteries of the first three novels.

At 800 pages it’s a monster, and I admit to having moments of wanting to put it down but I so adored the first two books in the series (The Shadow of the Wind was an incredible read as was The Angel’s Game) and the third book had so many loose ends that I had to see them tied up.

There are some deliciously creepy characters in Labyrinth of the Spirits and I love Ruiz Zafon’s gothic Barcelona. As with all his books, he really brings the city and era to life. It’s fascinating.

I look forward to seeing what he writes next. I hope it’s something like Marina (I talk about that here). That book is amazing.

The Ridealong by Michaelbrent CollingsThe Ridealong by Michaelbrent Collings

I am such a Michealbrent fan. His writing, storytelling and characters capture me every time. I keep wanting to pull apart his books to work out how he’s done things, but I’m always too caught up in the story to stop.

Like Terminal, my last Michaelbrent read (I rave about that here), The Ridealong was a cracking read. It’s a fast-past thriller featuring a teenage girl who goes for a ride-along with her cop dad. All pretty straightforward, except you know from the start that something is very wrong, and as the day progresses it just gets worse and worse.

So, so clever with its concluding twist. Highly recommended.

The Honourable Thief by Meaghan Wilson AnastasiosThe Honourable Thief by Meaghan Wilson Anastasios

Now, this was an interesting read. I thought The Honourable Thief was a stand-alone but it looks like it’s as series now, with another Benedict Hitchens story having just been released.

Another 20th century historical, The Honourable Thief follows the adventures of brilliant archaeologist Benedict Hitchens, a man once feted but who falls from grace in quite a spectacular way.

I enjoyed this a lot. It had some seriously cool moments, but I did find the hero difficult to like. I wonder if that’s me though, comparing Ben to Indiana Jones too much. Like Jones, Ben Hitchens is charming, sexy, brave and clever, and both have their flaws. Ben’s are a bit harder to forgive, though. For me, anyway. I’ve passed The Honourable Thief on to Jim to read and it’ll be interesting to hear his opinion.

Pilgrimage of Death by Sally SpencerPilgrimage of Death by Sally Spencer

I’ve been enjoying Spencer’s Inspector Blackstone series hugely (more on those here) so when Pilgrimage of Death came up on sale I snapped it up.

Pilgrimage of Death is narrated by Geoffrey Chaucer of The Canterbury Tales fame. I studied the tales in year 12 and loved it. Admittedly, it took some serious effort to get the hang of the language, but in the end, I found the Tales bawdy, funny, interesting and clever. Which is exactly how I found Pilgrimage of Death.

Chaucer calls this tale his “who-hath-done-it” and credits himself with creating a new genre. That’s what the book is – a historical whodunnit, featuring the pilgrims from The Canterbury Tales.

Great fun.

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What did you read in September that tickled your fancy?

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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.

Did you enjoy the last few weeks of guests and giveaways? It was great fun, wasn’t it? There were some wonderful answers to Pamela Cook’s question on friendship and Anna Campbell’s celebration of swashbuckling was also a blast.

Today you have me again but keep your eyes peeled for more guests over coming weeks, some of whom write in the best genre of all – rural romance!

What’s been happening in the Hein house? Golf, that’s what. Well, calling the thing I’ve been doing golf is probably not entirely accurate, but I have been hauling a set of clubs around a golf course while hitting and chasing a little white ball.

Those who’ve been following this blog for a long time and remember Friday Feast, may also remember a little segment called “Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf”, which is saying of my dad’s. And, in his case, it’s true. The poor man is even more untalented than me.

Cathryn ready to golfAnyway, in that segment I used to talk about my golfing adventures. Like the time I gave myself a black eye or hit three balls into the water off the first tee on round three of the club championships. None of these things stopped me from playing, though. I loved the silly sport. When you spend a lot of your day parked in front of a computer it’s good to head out in the open air and get some exercise. I haven’t been able to do much of that this year but now my health is on the improve I’m making the effort to get out again.

And it’s good. The getting out, not the golf, and you have to start somewhere, don’t you?

I suppose it’s a bit like writing in that way. I’m still making careful progress on Scarlett and the Model Man but careful progress is still progress. I want this book to be the best it can be. Can’t let you lovely readers down!

As the title suggests, the heroine of Scarlett and the Model Man is Scarlett Ash. She’s an up-and-coming artist who’s gaining attention for her, er, unusual take on femininity.

Those of you who’ve read Eddie and the Show Queen will already know what I mean. For those who haven’t, here’s a small taste of Scarlett when we first meet her.

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Scarlett was as eye-popping as her artwork. Her clothes were simple – khaki camouflage-patterned cargo pants, heavy lace-up work boots, and a black, paint-splattered fine-wool jumper. But it was her hair, eyes and skin that made her spectacular. Everything seemed overdone, from the cascading dark curls to the greenness of her eyes and the porcelain beauty of her face. Dramatic and finely drawn, like her art, and probably just as complicated.

Eddie & the Show Queen coverAlice also suspected she was more than a little drunk. A cosy-covered teapot sat on a bench, along with a sugar bowl and a half-empty bottle of gin. Having greeted Mrs Wallace with undisguised mistrust and Alice with strange interest, Scarlett now paced the studio, sipping from a delicate teacup and sliding narrow glances at Mrs Wallace as the older lady flicked through canvases.

‘I don’t do free, as you well know, Audrey.’

Alice had no idea what the relationship between these two was, but the use of Mrs Wallace’s first name suggested a long association. She hoped that was a good sign.

‘This would be a favour.’ Mrs Wallace smiled in a way that reminded Alice of a politician. ‘To me.’

Scarlett’s gaze sharpened even further. ‘Calling one in, are you?’

Mrs Wallace’s expression remained benign.

Scarlett’s attention switched to Alice. She gave her the same up and down that she had on arrival. It didn’t seem critical, more curious. ‘Are you expecting to model for it?’

‘Model?’ Alice couldn’t help her glance at one of the more revealing canvases. ‘No. Not at all.’ Not those bits anyway.

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Watch out for more of Scarlett in the future as I start to share snippets from Scarlett and the Model Man to whet your appetite!

Eddie and the Show Queen is available now in ebook and print from these retailers:

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

Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | Barnes & Noble

Booktopia | Angus & Robertson | Bookdepository

I have a limited number of Eddie and the Show Queen paperbacks available for direct purchase. If you’d like one of these personally signed editions, order now using this form. Orders also include a special Eddie and the Show Queen bookmark.

If you’d like to know more about Eddie and the Show Queen and how I came to write the story in Country Shows and Title Woes, the story behind Eddie and the Show Queen. You can also discover Five Secret Things about Eddie and the Show Queen in its release day blog post.

Never want to miss out on a new release? Join my newsletter team. It’s where all the cool people are!

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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 cajole author buddies into doing the same.

Like last week, we have another guest on Teaser Tuesday. A much-loved and highly entertaining guest too, but more on this special author in a minute.

First, news from the Hein house.

I’ve had more lovely feedback on Eddie and the Show Queen, which is incredibly heart-warming. If you’re after a personally signed copy, I have a few copies left in stock. They’re only $22AUD and that includes delivery to your Australian postal address and a super sparkly bookmark. Simply fill out this form and I’ll shoot you an invoice.

Scarlett and the Model Man is moving steadily along. Not as fast as I’d like but we’re getting there. I think I mentioned last week that I was considering changing the hero’s name because it clashed with a previous minor character’s. Well, I’ve decided it’s too embedded in my idea of him and I’m going to keep it. For now, anyway. These things are never set in concrete!

Now to our guest.

Please give a very warm welcome back to Teaser Tuesday favourite, historical romance author Anna Campbell. Rah! We love having Anna on. Her posts are always fun and interesting and her snippets super tantalising, and she usually generously offers a giveaway. Will she this time? You’ll have to read to the end to find out.

Here’s Anna to tell you about her new release and share a juicy excerpt of her sparkling new release, The Highlander’s Defiant Captive.

Anna Campbell author - thumbnailHi Cathryn!

Thank you for having me as your guest today. I’m so excited to be here to tell you and your readers all about my latest release, The Highlander’s Defiant Captive, Book 4 in my Lairds Most Likely series.

I’m playing in a different era with this romance set in the late 17th century. No Regency polish on this one, but a full-blooded tale of feuding clans and abducted maidens and a gallant, if arrogant hero who finds a spirited lassie has put a spanner in the works when it comes to his plans for establishing peace in the glens. As you read the excerpt, which takes place just after Callum Mackinnon, the Laird of Achnasheen, snatches Bonny Mhairi Drummond away from her home, imagine Maureen O’Hara and Jason Momoa as my two protagonists. It’s such a pity that there’s no time travel – those two would really strike sparks off each other. Sparks that promise to turn into a might conflagration of passion before my story is over!

And make sure you read to the end because there’s a great giveaway and a chance to talk old-time Hollywood swashbucklers!

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The door to the tower room opened silently, and Callum stepped inside. From the corner of his vision, something large and dark swung toward him. He had a second to release a grunt of shock, as he staggered under the blow to his head.

Pain shuddered through him. He’d barely registered what happened when another blow struck his temple. Seeing stars, he slumped back against the door.

“What the devil?” he grated out, instinctively reaching for his assailant.

Through reeling confusion, his hands closed on soft female flesh. Over the ringing in his ears, he heard a furious exhalation. When the girl wriggled to escape him, it was too much for his precarious balance. He tumbled to the floor, dragging his captive with him.

Something thudded to the ground near his pounding head as a slender body collapsed on top of him with another oof of furious breath.

The Highlander’s Defiant Captive by Anna CampbellHis grip tightened as he forced his eyes open. “Lie still, plague take ye.”

She wrenched far enough away for him to see brilliant blue eyes promising him injury. “Let me go.”

Even in his extremity, Callum noticed how perfectly Mhairi Drummond’s body fitted against his. Without thinking, he ran his hand down her back. For one vibrant second, she remained still under his touch. Then she gave a disgusted exclamation and twisted to bring her knee up.

He gave a surprised exhalation and wrenched out from under her before she made his hopes of children an impossibility.

“My God, you’re a wildcat.” Admiration rang in his voice.

“Ye patronizing pig,” she snarled, scrambling out of his hold.

She was panting for breath. His clearing vision settled on that heaving bosom. By heaven, Mhairi Drummond was a lot of woman, and his stirring interest firmed into a determination to win her and keep her and turn all that passion and spirit to his causes.

Callum lay where he was on the priceless carpet as he took stock of what had just happened. A careful turn of his aching head revealed the assault weapon. The metal bucket that had held peat to feed the fire blazing behind her.

Another careful turn of his head, and he encountered Mhairi’s glower. She’d staggered to her feet and stood glaring at him with an expression that told him his admiration wasn’t reciprocated. In fact, she looked like she wanted to carve out his gizzards and feed them to the crows.

The last thing he noticed – sign enough of how this extraordinary lassie turned his brain to porridge – was the small dirk clutched in her hand. It was familiar. He didn’t need to check that his knife was missing from his belt.

“The devil, that was quick.” She had clever hands. He hadn’t even felt her steal it. He forced his imagination away from just what such clever hands could to do to his body. “Give me back my dirk before ye do someone a mischief.”

“I ken how to use this.”

Watching her confidence burgeon, he sat up slowly. “I’m sure ye do.”

As he worked out how best to deal with her insurrection, he studied her. He should have expected something like this. He’d allowed his optimism to lull him into a false sense of security when she responded so calmly, if negatively, to his plans for her. And Jean had told him she’d accepted the servants’ help with cold politeness, but without causing trouble.

When he knew trouble was the very blood that flowed through her veins.

“Get up.”

Callum didn’t obey, but continued to regard her steadily from where he sat with his back against the door. When he’d brought her to Achnasheen, she’d look tired and worn, despite her best efforts with his comb. Tired and worn, but unbowed.

A bath, a few hours of rest, and some hot food had restored her fire. She was dressed as befitted the lady of his lands, too, in a blue silk gown that belonged to his sister who was around her size. The vivid color made her skin look like rich cream.

He took in that imperious pointed chin. Great Jehovah, she was indomitable. The rich red hair was arranged away from her face and neck, revealing the pure line of her jaw. A jaw set with stalwart determination.

“I said get up.” Her voice was hard and steady.

He arched his eyebrows. “Or what?”

“I am armed.”

“Och, Blind Freddy can see that.”

“You’re going to come downstairs with me and escort me to the stables. You’ll give me the swiftest horse ye have, and you’ll tell your foul minions to open the gates to let me out.”

“Will I indeed?”

When he didn’t immediately leap to obey her, uncertainty flashed in her eyes. “Aye.”

“That’s a gey powerful influence ye lend to yon wee bodkin, mistress.”

“It might be wee, but it’s sharp enough to do ye damage, Black Callum.”

“Nae doubt.”

She took a step closer. “Move.”

Callum raised one knee and rested his good arm on it. All the bumping and battling made the arm she’d already cut ache like hell. If this wooing went on too long, he’d be a physical wreck by the time he got this lass into bed.

He let himself smile, although his head still rang like a peal of bells. “Och, Mhairi, you’re going to make a braw lady for Achnasheen.”

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What a hoot!!! I bet that has whetted your appetite. It certainly has mine. Don’t let this Scot get away. Order your copy of The Highlander’s Defiant Captive today from any of these retailers.

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

Apple Books | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

Want more of the Laird of Achnasheen and his bonny lass? You’ll find a longer excerpt on Anna’s website.

Has Anna come through with a giveaway for you? Indeedy, she has! Here’s Anna again to tell you about it.

GIVEAWAY!

As you can probably tell, I’ve taken every opportunity for my hero to buckle The Highlander’s Defiant Captive by Anna Campbellhis swash. I’m a huge fan of old-style Hollywood historical adventures like The Adventures of Robin Hood or Ben-Hur. Are you an Errol Flynn fan? Or is Charlton Heston at his steely-jawed best your pick? Do you have a favourite historical movie? Both of those would be among mine!

I’ve got a Kindle download of The Highlander’s Defiant Captive for someone who comments today. No geographical restrictions.

Good luck in the draw!

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Ooh (or should that be och?), I do love a bit of swashbuckling! My favourite is “The Musketeers” television series starring Tom Burke and others. Not old-style Hollywood and, I admit, silly sometimes, but highly watchable. All that metal and leather

What about you? What’s your favourite bit of swashbuckling? Is it “The Musketeers” like me or maybe your darling hubby, when he playfights in his pyjamas? Swashbuckling can have many forms!

Share your favourite in the comments and you’ll go into the draw to win a Kindle ebook of The Highlander’s Defiant Captive.

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Friday, Australian Eastern Standard Time, 4th October 2019. Open internationally.

If you’d like to learn more about Anna and her wonderful novels, 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 twist the arms of author buddies to do the same.

As is the case today!

But more on our lovely guest in a moment.

Eddie and the Show Queen appears to be giving lots of people the warm-fuzzies which is wonderful to hear and gives me even bigger warm fuzzies in return.

For those who have already savoured the delights of Eddie and are hankering for the next instalment, I can assure you I’m working hard on Scarlett and the Model Man. This week I had the horrible realisation that I might need to change the hero’s name so it doesn’t clash with a previous character. I hate that. I love the name I’ve chosen for him. But we shall see. There yet might be a way to make fun of the similarity and save it. Wish me luck.

Ah, this writing biz throws up some conundrums sometimes. Half the fun!

Speaking of fun

If you’re a rural romance fan (and who isn’t?), then you’ll be thrilled with our guest today. Pamela Cook galloped into the genre with her debut novel Blackwattle Lake and continued her success with Essie’s Way, Close to Home, and The Crossroads.

Pamela is now branching out into the women’s fiction market with her gorgeous new release Cross My Heart, hitting online stores in just a few days on September 26th. Never fear, country lovers, there’s still plenty of rural and small-town (and horsey!) goodness to be had, and today Pamela is on hand to tell you more about it, tease you with a lovely excerpt and maybe, if you’re good little Vegemites, offer a GIVEAWAY!

Please give Pamela a hearty Teaser Tuesday welcome.

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Author Pamela CookHi Cathryn and All,

Thanks so much for having me as a guest on Teaser Tuesday. I love reading the excerpts on the blog and getting a taste of so many great books. This week I’m celebrating the release of my fifth novel, a women’s fiction title called Cross My Heart. It’s the story of Tessa De Santis, a thirty-something career woman who becomes foster-mother to her oldest friend’s daughter, and is haunted by a promise she should never have kept. This one is similar-but-different to my previous rural fiction titles in that it still has a gorgeous country setting, a smattering of horses but focuses very much on the main character’s journey without any romantic elements (although there could be a teensy hint of things to come).

Cross My Heart is available on all major online retailers and signed copies via my website. To celebrate the release I’m giving away a copy to one lucky Teaser Tuesday reader who will be selected randomly from the comments. So be in it and please share the chance to win with your friends.

I hope you enjoy reading this excerpt.

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Something crinkled under the sole of her foot as she swung her legs over the edge of the bed: the mail she’d been too tired to deal with last night. She gathered it up and shuffled through the envelopes. As predicted most were bank statements addressed to them both, one was an electricity bill— overdue—and a few were for TDS. A thrill tripped through her veins. It was the same whenever she saw the acronym, especially in logo-form, the letters entwined with a rough sketch of a heart: Team-Driven Solutions. A play on her own initials joined by the heart of her own human resources consultancy, which just happened to be going gangbusters. Not bad for a thirty-five-year-old. Even if it was Plan B. One last envelope fell from her lap as she stood. This one addressed to Ms T. De Santis, her full name, and while it looked official, it didn’t seem to be a bill. She slid her finger under the seal and ripped, unfolding the single-page document.

     FACS, Department of Family and Community Services.

Cross My Heart by Pamela Cook     Why would they be writing to her? Her stomach hollowed as she skimmed over the first few lines, and she dropped back onto the bed. She needed to read from the beginning, but each word sucked her a little further out of her own skin, so by the time she reached the end of the letter she was watching herself from somewhere outside her body. She stared down at the signature and the department-speak at the bottom of the page, the muscles in her chest tightening as if a too-small elastic band had been wrapped too many times around her heart.

     This could not be happening.

     No.

     It was not happening.

     She folded the paper back into the torn envelope and placed it deliberately on the bedside table, pinching the points of her elbows tightly as she crossed her arms, holding herself together.

     ‘Tess?’ Josh’s voice came to her through a cotton-wool fog.

     ‘What’s wrong?’

     Somehow he was right there, standing by her side, already showered, the brown waves of his hair wet and towel-ruffled.

     ‘It’s …’ She tried to pick up the letter, but it fell from her grasp like a hot coal. Her hand flew to her mouth. If she didn’t say the words then they wouldn’t be true, would they?

     ‘Tess … what is it?’

     As much as she didn’t want it to be real it was right there at her feet, black print blurring into a haze of grey. She pressed her fingers against her palms, scoring the soft pads of flesh with her nails.

     ‘It’s Skye.’ The name was foreign on her tongue after all these years, like a rare fruit she’d tasted long ago, in another lifetime, and then forgotten. But it wasn’t as strange as the answer to Josh’s question. It came out quickly in a strangled cough, a bitter seed she couldn’t stand to swallow. ‘She’s dead.’

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Hooly-dooly, what a teaser! I bet that itchy buy finger is a-twitching right now. Cross My Heart releases September 26th but why not secure your copy today with a pre-order? Simple to do with any of these retailers:

Booktopia | Bookdepository | Angus & Robertson

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

Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | Barnes & Noble

Now, as mentioned above and because Pamela is lovely and generous, and because we adore them, we’re having a

GIVEAWAY!

For your chance to win a paperback copy of Cross My Heart, simply share with us in the comments a favourite memory of a friend and we’ll pop you into the draw.

Easy!

One of my favourite memories is playing mud baths in the backyard with my girlfriend Megan and then being rinsed off in the old concrete laundry sink. There’s a great photo of us somewhere, grinning naughtily in our pink bikinis and covered in mud. Must dig that one out.

We’re still great friends, even though we haven’t seen each other for over 20 years. Special friends are like that though, aren’t they?

What cool memories do you have of friendship? Share for your chance to win a copy of Cross My Heart.

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Friday, 27th September 2019. Australian postal addresses only.

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

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Teaser Tuesday!

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

What a week in the Hein house! The release of a new book is always a blast and it was great to have Eddie and the Show Queen out in the wild. As I mentioned in its Secret Things blog post, this book was a long time coming and it was both a relief and a thrill to see it finally published and being read.

Thank you so much to all who have already read Eddie and said lovely things about it. It’s been heart-warming and humbling and I can’t tell you how pleased I am that Eddie and Alice have brought you smiles. Making you feel good is my writerly aim!

Speaking of writerly aims, I have my fingers to the keyboard grindstone with Scarlett and the Model Man, the next Levenham Love Story. Watch out for more news on that one over coming months. And watch out for some faaaaaabulous upcoming guests on Teaser Tuesday. You won’t want to be missing these authors and books.

Today you have me again and Eddie. Because I love him. He’s gorgeous and kind and funny and so mad for Alice he’ll do anything to win her back. Totally sighworthy.

A little snippet today. I don’t want to spoil things for those who have yet to read him!

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Eddie stared at her, feeling stupidly dopey, and his smile stuck at high beam. She smiled back, blue eyes luminous.

Eddie & the Show Queen coverProud. She was proud of him. He wanted to yell it to the room, but all he could do was grin while his heart ping-ponged around his chest and his belly tightened with want.

The moment clung. With each ticking second anticipation surged. Alice was flush-cheeked and glowing and looking at him like she used to, in the days when she loved him and he could do no wrong.

This was his chance, he was sure of it.

‘Alice,’ he said softly, reaching out to touch her.

.

You want Eddie, oh yes you do! Grab your copy today from:

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

Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | Barnes & Noble

Booktopia | Angus & Robertson | Bookdepository

I have a limited number of Eddie and the Show Queen paperbacks available for direct purchase. If you’d like one of these personally signed editions, order now using this form. Orders also include a special Eddie and the Show Queen bookmark.

If you missed last week’s Secret Things release day blog post, you can check that out here. Want another excerpt? Visit its book page. Discover how I came to write the story in Country Shows and Title Woes, the story behind Eddie and the Show Queen.

Mark your diaries for next week, when Teaser Tuesday will host a special guest!

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My Favourite Reads of August 2019

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My Favourite Reads image

Welcome to My Favourite Reads for August 2019.

Between the Romance Writers of Australia conference (check out my piccies here), a road trip to South Australia and Eddie and the Show Queen’s release, I didn’t have a lot of reading time in August.

What I did manage was good though, with my favourite being…

Terminal by Michaelbrent Collings

Terminal by Michaelbrent Collings coverRegular readers know how much I love a good horror story and Michaelbrent Collings produces beauties. I really enjoyed The Deep (my thoughts on that here) and Darkbound (my thoughts here) but Terminal was a ripper.

Fantastically gory, Terminal focuses on a group of strangers who find themselves suddenly (and suspiciously) fog-bound in a bus terminal. Their night goes from average to weird, to downright terrifying in quite innovative ways.

I loved the characterisations in this. They were vivid and compelling, and every single person was carrying a secret that could play a major role in their survival.

Clever, thrilling and icky. What’s not to love?

As an aside, Michaelbrent Collings has a TED talk called Confessions of a Supervillain: The Psychosis of Lies. I found it entertaining, heartfelt and uplifting. Worth a look.

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Matters of the Heart by Fiona Palmer coverMatters of the Heart by Fiona Palmer

If you love rural romance and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice then Matters of the Heart is is for you!

The Bennets are a hard-working Western Australian farming family. Daughter Lizzie, our heroine, runs the farm with enthusiasm and expertise. When Charles Bingley lands at Netherfield Park, the property next door, the district is abuzz. He and his friend Will Darcy certainly turn heads at the local dance but finding Will particularly unfriendly, Lizzie remains unimpressed.

How these two find their way to happiness is cleverly done. Fiona has reimagined Austen’s plot for a contemporary audience, flavouring it with her own voice and freshening it further with lots of the authentic rural life that her fans love.

Watch this sell its socks off!

The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox coverThe Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox

This was an enjoyable American-set historical novel with a nice Gothic atmosphere.

Hammered by scandal, the Montrose family flee their comfortable lives in Boston for their summer mansion. Despite its amenities, Willow hall is a far from happy place. It has secrets, as do the three Montrose girls, Catherine, Lydia and little Emmeline. As time passes, those secrets begin to emerge, threatening them all.

Besides the interesting story and lovely writing, The Witch of Willow Hall also featured a sweet romantic thread for extra goodness.

The Gilded Shroud by Elizabeth Bailey coverThe Gilded Shroud by Elizabeth Bailey

I have author buddy and regular Teaser Tuesday guest Anna Campbell to thank for putting me on to this one, and I’m glad she did because it was an easy, fun book perfect for reading while on the road.

The Gilded Shroud is the first in the Regency-era Lady Fan Mystery series and it’s an entertaining introduction. Ottilia Draycott has just started as companion to Dowager Lady Polbrook when the mistress of the house is found murdered. A strong woman, with excellent observation skills, Ottilia soon makes herself invaluable in the investigation, endearing herself to the family and the rather delicious Lord Francis Fanshawe.

One for cosy mystery fans!

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What have you enjoyed reading lately?

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It’s EDDIE AND THE SHOW QUEEN’s Release Day!

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Are you ready for Eddie meme 2

Crack that French champagne and break open the good chocolate because it’s Eddie and the Show Queen’s release day. Rah!

Oh, I hope you fall in love with Eddie and Alice the way I have. These two are adorable and deserve to be happy. Not so easy to achieve given their painful past and made even harder by them being in competition for the inaugural Levenham Wine Show Crown, but Eddie is determined to win Eddie & the Show Queen coverback the heart of the girl he never stopped loving.

Nothing like a man on a mission!

Anyway, who wants an easy to achieve happy-ever-after? All the reading fun comes from watching characters struggle and suffer. ‘Tis one of the great joys of romance.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who pre-ordered a copy of Eddie and the Show Queen. For those who love the thrill of the release day one-click, it’s time for you to exercise your finger. Click-swipe-tap now to secure your copy from any of these retailers.

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

iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Barnes & Noble

Booktopia | Angus & Robertson | Bookdepository

I have a limited number of Eddie and the Show Queen paperbacks available for direct purchase. If you’d like one of these personally signed editions, order now using this form. Strictly first in, first served. Orders also include a special Eddie and the Show Queen bookmark.

Now, as has come tradition on release day, here are some secret things about the book.

Five Secret Things About Eddie and the Show Queen

1/. Eddie was originally…

an Edward but we had a plumber come to our house who was an Edmond. He was such a lovely (and rather dishy) country lad that I decided to pinch his name.

2/. Regular ‘Secret Things’ followers will know…

that most of my books have a theme song, sometimes several theme songs. Eddie and the Show Queen’s is ‘I’m Not Over’ by Swedish-American alternative rock band Carolina Liar.

It fits Eddie’s feelings perfectly.

Also on the playlist was ‘Wildest Dreams’ by Taylor Swift, ‘Still Loving You’ by the Scorpions, ‘Just Give Me a Reason (featuring Nate Ruess)’ by Pink, ‘Keep Me Coming Back’ by Casey Barnes, and ‘Never Ever (featuring Sarah)’ by the Rubens (explicit lyrics). Oh, and the German version of ‘Mamy Blue’ by Ricky Shayne for no other reason than I love it.

3/. This book holds the record for…

taking the longest amount of time to write. I should have had the first draft done in six weeks, instead it took me thirteen months. There were two main reasons for this. One, it was meant to be a novella but the story took more words to tell than I anticipated and, two, 2018 (and most of 2019) turned out to be a total annus horribilis. I spent a fair whack of it in hospital sorting out a serious medical issue, and writing proved a major challenge. On the road to recovery now, so all good!

4/. I originally wanted to…

call the story Eddie and the Showgirl because it was to be about a fierce battle for the country showgirl title at the Levenham Agricultural and Horticultural Society annual show. I had to bin it though. The definition of showgirl varies around the world, and I didn’t want readers thinking Alice was an adult dancer when what I was aiming for was a representative for the local A&H Society.

5/. Eddie and the Show Queen features…

several favourite characters such as Granny B (who somehow manages to push her way into most Levenham Love Story releases), Chrissy James (Chrissy and the Burroughs Boy), Eddie’s brother Harry (Summer and the Groomsman, Wayward Heart) and Danny and Nick Burroughs (Santa and the Saddler, Chrissy and the Burroughs Boy).

It also introduces some lovely new characters for at least three of whom I have story ideas – Paige, Tiffany and Scarlett. Yep, the Levenham Love Story series has more to come, starting with Scarlett and the Model Man which I’m working on right now. Keep an eye out for that on in 2020.

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I hope you enjoyed these insights into Eddie and the Show Queen. Remember, you can discover even more about how I came to write Alice and Eddie’s romance in Country Shows and Title Woes – The Story Behind Eddie and the Show Queen.

If you’d like to read an excerpt, you’ll find one on Eddie and the Show Queen’s book page. For a longer sample, grab a preview from your favourite ebook retailer.

Here are those buy links again:

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

iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Barnes & Noble

Booktopia | Angus & Robertson | Bookdepository

Or purchase a personally signed print copy direct from me via this form.

Thanks to everyone who has helped get Eddie and the Show Queen onto virtual shelves and your hot little hands, including my editor Alex Nahlous from Alexandra Nahlous Editing Services, cover designer Kellie at Book Cover By Design, and the good buddies who make this writing life such a joy, in particular Annie West, Michelle Douglas and Jaye Ford (aka Janette Paul) who were a huge support during my health woes. Friends who bring picnics and big smiles to your hospital bed are special. Last but never, ever least, my darling Jim. The man who is my rock.

Happy reading everyone!

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Teaser Tuesday!

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

This time next week it’ll be Eddie and the Show Queen’s release day. Wahoo!!! Yes, my lovelies, there are now only SEVEN sleeps until Eddie hits the world. I can’t wait. This book is so sweet and funny (if I do say so myself) and I think you’ll fall in love with Eddie and Alice as much as I have.

It should come as no surprise, with the book’s release so close, that today’s Teaser Tuesday will be Eddie-centric but before we move onto Eddie gorgeousness, did you catch Sunday’s This Writing Life post on the recent Romance Writers of Australia conference? There are loads of piccies and some thoughts from me about the conference. If you want to peek at what romance authors get up to when they get together, check out the post here.

Did you know that Summer and the Groomsman is Apple Books Free Book of the Week in the Australian store? Yup, freeeeeee!

APPLE BOOKS REVIEW

“Each week, we feature a free and entertaining Book of the Week. What Cover of Summer and the Groomsman by Cathryn Heinimmediately sets this rural romance apart is Cathryn Hein’s commitment to detail. In the fictional South Australian town of Levenham, around the budding connection between burly local Harry Argyle and blow-in beautician Summer Taylor, Hein builds relationships and connections in a way that may lull you into thinking you’re a resident. You’ll pick up a fair bit of local knowledge on looking after horses, repairing fences and what happens when a male customer gets too excited during a spa treatment. If you haven’t read Hein’s other Levenham-set romances, this is the perfect welcome. And if you have, welcome back.”

Summer and the Groomsman features Eddie’s older (and slightly taller – a fact the irks Eddie no end) brother Harry. Unlike Eddie, who could charm the socks off anyone, Harry is desperately shy when it comes to women. How he finds happiness with Summer is a hoot.

If you don’t already have Summer and the Groomsman, why not grab a freebie while you can? Be quick though. Offer ends September 7th.

Back to Eddie

With next Tuesday being release day for Eddie and the Show Queen, there will be no Teaser Tuesday for that day. Instead, as has become tradition with my releases, you’ll get a Secret Things post, revealing lots of little titbits about the writing of the book, including its fabulous (and very apt) theme song.

Now for our juicy snippet. In this scene, Eddie is quizzed by the Wine Show Crown committee about his latest fundraising dare.

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‘Eddie,’ said Tiffany, stepping forward with her tablet. ‘We just need to check your next dare. You’ve called it …’ Colour flooded Eddie & the Show Queen coverher cheeks as she paused to read the screen. ‘Wax Me Happy?’

‘Yeah. Although I’m not sure about the happy bit. More like miserable after a full body wax.’

Mrs Wallace, who until then had been looking bored, perked up.

‘Full?’ asked Sarah in a high-toned voice.

‘Uh-huh. I was hoping I could get away with just my chest, but the boys insisted on full and the money on offer was too good to knock back.’

Stunned silence fell.

Eddie’s grin faded as he registered everyone’s faces. ‘What?’

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He he. I love this scene and I think you will too. Find out what happens next by ordering your own copy of Eddie and the Show Queen. Out September 10th and available in paperback and ebook from these stores:

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

Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | Barnes & Noble

Booktopia | Angus & Robertson | Bookdepository

If you’d like to learn more about Eddie and the Show Queen and how I came to write this story, check out Country Shows and Title Woes, The Story Behind Eddie and the Show Queen. For another snippet, check out its book page here.

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