Teaser Tuesday!

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

Read on

It’s been hot!

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

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

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

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

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

Please give Rachael a warm Teaser Tuesday welcome!

 

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

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

Happy reading! X Rach

 

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

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

And there it was.

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

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

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

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

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

Bugger. Why did everything have to be so hard?

 

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

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

Booktopia | Dymocks

Amazon.com | Amazon.au

iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

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

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

Read a longer excerpt of Lost Without You here.

Newsletter subscription banner

 

My Favourite Reads of October 2018

4 Replies

My Favourite Reads image

Welcome to my favourite reads for October.

An eclectic list of reads this month, ranging from horror to murder-mystery, time-travel and historical fiction.

Once again I found myself stumped over my favourite book for the month. Usually I do my best to choose but today I’m going to sit on the fence. They were all enjoyable reads. Whether they’ll be as enjoyable for you remains to be seen!

Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi TaylorJust One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

What a blast of a book! Number 1 in The Chronicles of St. Mary’s series and totally bonkers but oh so much fun.

While not quite the same, Just One Damned Thing After Another reminded me a lot of The Extracted Trilogy by RR Haywood, which I also adored (and wrote about here). It has that same wonderfully madcap feel.

Expect adventure, history, infighting, outfighting, a touch of romance, eccentric characters, double-crossing, nutty situations and huge doses of humour.

Book 1 in The Chronicles of St. Mary’s series and if you love this one, there are plenty more to keep you going.

Darkbound by Michaelbrent CollingsDarkbound by Michaelbrent Collings

Darkbound is horror with a capital H. Six people get on a New York subway train but it soon becomes clear this isn’t any normal train and these sure aren’t normal people.

I really enjoyed Collings book The Deep (which I talked about here). It was fast-paced and fun, a fab combination of horror and humour, and excellent characterisation. Darkbound had its darkly humorous moments and great characters but focused more on the violence and gore. Not scary as such but definitely not for the faint-hearted.

The Word is Murder by Anthony HorowitzThe Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

Gah! I’m still on the fence with this one, which surprises me because I’ve loved Horowitz’s previous novels, especially his Sherlock Holmes books House of Silk and Moriarty.

Horowitz writes intriguing murders, as you’d expect from someone who created Foyle’s War and has written for Midsummer Murders, and he’s created another beauty here with the She planned her own funeral, but did she arrange her murder? premise. But The Word is Murder was strange in that Horowitz inserts himself as the main character and narrator. I found that aspect both fascinating and frustrating. Fascinating because I was intrigued by the idea and process from an author-y point of view, and frustrating because I didn’t like either the Horowitz character or Hawthorne, the detective he was following. Not liking the detective was fine but to not like Horowitz felt completely wrong!

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate MortonThe Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

Morton has been an auto-buy author for me since her debut title The Shifting Fog (aka The House at Riverton). Naturally I snapped up The Clockmaker’s Daughter on release.

It’s another lovely fat book full of history, romance, intrigue and gorgeous writing. Morton is a master at creating atmosphere, especially the slightly creepy gothic feel I adore. There’s a lot going on in The Clockmaker’s Daughter, with multiple points of view told across multiple time settings, and several times I was left wondering how she would pull all the threads together. I knew she would, though. She’s Kate Morton!

Fab read but The Shifting Fog and The Distant Hours remain my favourites.

Greenlight by Benjamin StevensonGreenlight by Benjamin Stevenson

Regular My Favourite Reads readers know I’m partial to an Aussie crime novel or two. Even better, Greenlight is set in Hunter Valley wine country. How could a girl possibly resist? News has it that Greenlight has also sold into the US and UK, and is attracting a lot of attention from film and producers. I can understand why. This has hookiness written into its DNA and would make a cracking film or TV series.

Think thriller/crime with lots of plot twists and featuring a flawed hero who has an interesting personal story of his own. With its true-crime podcast/tv show hook, Greenlight’s premise is smack in the moment.

Playing By Her Rules by Amy AndrewsPlaying By Her Rules by Amy Andrews

Like every other Amy Andrews book I’ve read, this was a blast. Playing By Her Rules is a lovers reunited story featuring two very sexy, sassy and smart lead characters who spark off each other from the get-go. And the hero is a professional rugby player with a body that the heroine wants to lick harder than the world’s best icecream. We’re talking swoonland, my darlings. Swoonland.

The dialogue is fabulous, the sizzling slow-burn of Tanner and Matilda’s relationship delicious. Romance, fun and with plenty of awesomely written action and it’s not all on field. Oh, and the opening scene with the panties is brilliant.

The first in the six-book Sydney Smoke Rugby series. You’ll want them all.

What reads did you enjoy in October?

 

Newsletter subscription banner

Teaser Tuesday!

45 Replies

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

Have Christmas decorations popped up where you are? They’re certainly starting to colonise Newcastle. There are lights galore and the shops are a-glitter with tinsel, reindeer, snow and bearded Santas in heavy costumes. Poor things. Even in the air-con they must be sweating.

You know what else Christmas means?

Another gorgeous story from historical romance author Anna Campbell!

I so look forward to Anna’s Christmas tales. They’re heart-warming and lovely and her latest – The Laird’s Christmas Kiss which landed on my Kindle last week thanks to a nifty pre-order – sounds absolutely gorgeous. Just the thing to get into the Christmas spirit.

Here’s Anna to tell you more about The Laird’s Christmas Kiss. Make sure you read to the end because there could be a GIVEAWAY!

 

Anna Campbell author - thumbnailHi Cathryn and all the Teaser Tuesday aficionados!

Thank you for having me back again as a guest. Today I’m going to talk about The Laird’s Christmas Kiss, which is book 2 in my The Lairds Most Likely series.

Did you have a teenage crush? Shy, bookish Elspeth Douglas, my heroine in The Laird’s Christmas Kiss, has been mad about dashing Brody Girvan, Laird of Invermackie, since she was 15. Now she’s 20 and smart enough to know that Brody is never going to notice her, so she makes a solemn vow that she’s not going to love him anymore.

The irony is that her decision makes her much more outspoken and inclined to step out of the shadows, and Brody, who is tired of being the life of the party, realizes that his friend Hamish’s sister is pretty and funny and sweet. Everything gets even more complicated when the rake develops honorable intentions and the innocent miss decides that a brief no-strings flirtation at a house party will be fun. There’s a makeover, plenty of Christmas cheer, interfering relatives, a scandal, and a crate of imported mistletoe to launch the high jinks in fine style. I hope you enjoy this Christmas comedy of crossed wires and sigh with satisfaction when Brody and Elspeth finally discover that they’re talking the same language – and it’s the language of love!

So here’s my teaser. The Douglas and Mackinnon families and their various connections have gathered at Fergus’s castle in the Western Highlands to celebrate Christmas. This scene takes place early in the story when Elspeth and Brody waltz together for the first time.

 

Achnasheen, Scottish Highlands, December 1818

Elspeth sent him a repressive glance. “Brody, don’t waste your time flirting with me. I’m frightfully dull.”

He laughed, and she saw Diarmid shoot them a disapproving look. Then she caught Marina’s eye. Marina didn’t look disapproving at all.

The Laird's Christmas Kiss by Anna CampbellBrody’s sensual lips lifted in a sardonic curl. “I’m not wasting my time, you strange and enchanting lassie.”

For a moment, the room vanished, and all she saw was that dark, striking face with its brilliant green eyes and commanding blade of a nose. Then she remembered that she’d vowed to be sensible when it came to this man. “You’re trying to turn my head.”

He arched one black eyebrow. “Am I succeeding?”

“No,” she said, although even now, she wasn’t sure about that. “There must be better targets for all this charm.”

He was still smiling down at her as if he really was enchanted. “You think I’m charming?”

This onslaught of masculine interest was all too heady for her. And unfair. Not to mention a little cruel. Because while Elspeth might have banished her ludicrous adolescent tendre for him, she wasn’t immune to his appeal. And every minute proved that she’d aimed way above her touch when she’d set her sights on him.

Resentment sneaked out to color her response. “Does it matter what I think, when you’re so convinced yourself?”

He looked startled and for a moment, she caught a hint of what might be injured feelings. Then his eyes sharpened in a way that sent a chill of disquiet rushing down her spine. “There’s more to you than meets the eye, isn’t there, Elspeth?”

“I hope so,” she retorted.

 

You can read a longer excerpt and the blurb on my website.

Purchase your copy today of The Laird’s Christmas Kiss from these stores:

Amazon.com | Amazon.au | Amazon.uk

Kobo | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

The Lairds Most Likely series banner - Nov 2018

GIVEAWAY!

David Bowie Heroes album coverSo did you have a teenage crush? I had a million – mainly movie and TV stars and singers – although there was also a bit of a crush on my godmother’s grandson Geoff and the boy next door (neither of whom knew I was alive – so I know just how Elspeth feels in my new story!). There was Fonzie and David Bowie and Neil Diamond and Freddie Mercury and Anthony Andrews and Timothy Dalton and… Happy Days television show third season DVD coverBut I won’t go on. I want YOU to go on. Tell me about your teenage crush!

I’ve got a Kindle download of The Laird’s Christmas Kiss: The Likely Lairds Book 2 for someone who comments. No geographical restrictions.

Good luck in the draw!

Thanks, Anna. You are so generous with your giveaways.

As for crushes

Like us all, I had lots but the one that sticks in my mind is the one I had on Pakistani cricket captain Imran Khan. I thought him ridiculously handsome, and he was captain and don’t get me started on that accent. Swoon. I was sure he would hear my mental plea and gallop into Mount Gambier on a white Arab horse, sweep me out of my primary school and whisk me, his new princess, off to his desert kingdom for a happily-ever-after of dreamy eyes and LOTS of horses. Yes, yes, I know. I may have had my countries a tad confused and erroneously equated cricket captaincy with kingship, but it was the fantasy that counted. And daydreaming that one in class was a bucketload more fun than maths.

What about your first crush? Anna and I would love to hear. Share and you could win!

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Friday 9th November 2018, Australian Eastern Daylight Time. Open internationally. Prize is a Kindle copy of The Laird’s Christmas Kiss.

If you’d like to learn more about Anna and her books – and she has plenty available for your reading pleasure – please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook and Twitter using @AnnaCampbelloz.

 

Newsletter subscription banner

Teaser Tuesday!

Teaser Tuesday MemeWelcome to Teaser Tuesday, the blog series where I share snippets from new and past releases and works-in-progress, and occasionally invite author buddies to do the same. And today is such a day!

I’m absolutely delighted to introduce you to fellow Hunter Valley writer Ann B Harrison. I’m sure many of you are already family with Ann and her books. She writes fabulous Australian rural romances and Montana, USA-set cowboy romances and loves writing about about the ups and downs of small communities. If strong, sassy heroines, hot sexy heroes and plenty of passion are your thing – and of course they are – then Ann has books for you. Lots of books!

This is Ann’s first visit to Teaser Tuesday and I’m sure it won’t be the last. So buckle up for a delicious taste of Christmas Glitter, currently free on Amazon and other major ebook platforms. Yes FREE! Download today and you’ll not only stoke that Christmas spirit (oh shush, it’s never too early for some Christmas spirit, especially when it has cowboys) but score a great story for nicks, which means lots of lovely spare change to spend on fruit mince tarts.

Please give Ann a big welcome!

 

Ann B Harrison authorAfter a rough year involving a serious car accident, painful recovery and broken engagement, Dakota Moore moves to Cherry Lake to rebuild her life. To embrace her new community, she volunteers to coordinate the annual Christmas tree gala.

Adam Clements has come home to help his mother run the family business while his father recovers from a heart attack. For the last decade, he’s been a high-flying soccer player, enjoying the life that comes with his popularity. But something is missing and he can’t put his finger on it… until he returns to Cherry Lake and remembers the feeling of home.

Adam tries to keep his distance because he knows he’ll be leaving, but he can’t deny his attraction to Dakota. With the countdown to Christmas on, can Dakota convince Adam that his home is right there in Cherry Lake, with her?

 

Dakota stood in the middle of the great room and turned full circle. The heels of her boots clicked on the dusty wooden floor boards, echoing in the otherwise silent space. The emotions rolling over her face warmed Adam. Wonder mixed with a growing sense of excitement shimmered from her very expressive blue eyes. Ms. Moore would not be the person to hide something from you. She would never be able to pull the shutters down on her thoughts. He sneezed as years of decay and neglect teased his nose.

“Oh bless you. I can’t believe this place, it’s so beautiful. Or at least it will be once it gets a makeover.” She lifted her head and her gaze locked onto the chandeliers. One hung precariously lop sided, one of the support chains broken. The dusty cobweb covered crystals failed to give off the stunning rainbows even with the sun drifting in through the tall windows. Strands of spider web hung like strings of pearls from crystal to crystal, coating the chandeliers with a fine net of dust.

Christmas Glitter by Ann B Harrison“That’s the hope, anyway. My father remembers coming to dances here when he was at school. I don’t know why everyone stopped using it and let it fall into disrepair but there’s still plenty of life in the old building. Dances became passé or something, from what my mother said. The drive in movie theatre seemed to be more popular and sadly this is the result. Be a shame to see if go completely to ruin.”

She tossed her wayward curls over her shoulder and grinned at him, the faint waft of strawberry shampoo fighting with the smell of dust. “I can imagine all sorts of activities being held here. It has such a nice welcoming vibe to it.”

Adam roared with laughter. “A welcoming vibe. I guess that kind of sums it up.” She was such a breath of fresh air. Why hadn’t he met anyone like her in the city before? He might have settled down by now if he had.

Dakota grabbed his hand and pulled him into a faint beam of sunlight forcing its way through a dirty windowpane. “Close your eyes and let your imagination take over.”

He did as she asked, happy to be spending time doing something so calming after the stress of the last few weeks. It felt right to be with her, letting his imagination drift away from the stress of the last couple of weeks. Funny how much he’d looked forward to spending time with alone with her.

Her voice filled his head. “Listen to the hushed chatter of the dancers as they wait for the orchestra to take their positions on stage. The red velvet curtains flutter and the patter of footsteps build the anticipation of a fabulous night. Your mother and father stand with their friends, excited to be allowed to attend this year’s Christmas Ball.” Her breath wafted over his neck as she spun the story.

“Even the watchful eye of their parents from the side cannot take away the new found thrill they’ve found being together. The curtain opens, a tap of baton against wood signals the start of the music. Your father grips your mother’s hand, slides another behind her back, gives her a gentle smile and is poised ready to take her away in the opening waltz.”

Dakota moved to the front of him and leant into his body, the touch of her sending his pulse racing. “The music starts, soft melodic strains reach into his soul and they begin to move together, all too soon oblivious of those around them. They become their own island, their own world where no one can interrupt or steal away the joy they feel being here together.”

She’d slipped her hand into his, began to move and together they danced to the music in their heads. His hands felt right as they held her close. It was as though she belonged there. Adam opened his eyes and looked into the smiling face turned up to him. “How do you do it, Dakota? You had me there with them. Kind of creepy to be in my parent’s heads but also very cool. Your imagination is awesome.” He continued to lead her around the dusty floor, loath to let her go. It would seem that coming home had become more important than he’d first thought. Now he had more to think about than playing another season. His parents had started their future in this town. Could he find something to keep him here too besides the house he owned? It was beginning to seem like anything was possible.

“Joys of being a crafty person, I guess. I can imagine almost anything if I put my mind to it. Probably the reason why my jewelry sells so well. My customers can feel what I can when I’m designing it.”

Your jewelry?”

“That’s right. Glimmerz is my business.” She gave him a saucy wink. “But you knew that, right?”

 

You want this, oh yes you do! Download your free copy of Christmas Glitter today from these ebook stores. This offer won’t last so don’t file it away for later. Do it now!

Amazon.com | Amazon.au | Amazon.uk

iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Barnes&Noble

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

 

Newsletter subscription banner

Teaser Tuesday!

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

Have you heard of Bookbub? I’m sure you have, super-savvy booklovers that you are. It’s a free service that pops hand-picked ebook deals and updates from your favourite authors straight into your inbox. You can score some serious bargains with it. Books that are heavily discounted and free. You can also get alerts on new releases and recommend reads and authors you’ve loved. It’s brilliant.

I would LOVE if you could follow me on there. Simply visit my Bookbub page and join in the fun and bargains.

By the way, did any of you try the Portugese Custard Tart recipe I shared on last week’s Teaser Tuesday? Seriously, you need to make it. It’s super easy and very, very moreish.

Right. Snippet time!

Ah, Heart of the Valley… I do adore this book so. I think Lachie is still my biggest and longest lasting hero-crush, although Tristan from April’s Rainbow is right up there, as is Jack from Elsa’s Stand.

Hero-crushes are one of things that no one warns you about romance writing but it can be an issue. Honest! It’s not the crush itself that’s the problem. It’s the moving on. How are we meant to fall in love with and write a new hero if we’re still in love with the old one? See? Issue!

Lachie did me in for aaaaages.

Here’s a sample to demonstrate why. Such compassion. Sigh. And then there’s that giant rugby player’s body and hazel eyes and muscles and delicious mouth and and and…

*pats fluttering heart*

 

He held her as she let loose her despair. Finally, the tightness in her chest eased and her breath slowed to shuddery heaves. She raised her head from his chest and stared at the gold lettering on his jumper. His hold on her relaxed and she sat back on her heels, wiping at her wet cheeks. Lachlan remained on his knees, watching her closely.

Heart of the Valley by Cathryn Hein‘Better?’

She nodded, cheeks blooming with heat. She couldn’t remember ever experiencing a more embarrassing day.

He smiled. ‘I thought you said you looked really unattractive when you cried.’

‘I do.’

‘A bit tear-stained maybe, but I don’t think you could ever look unattractive.’

She stared at him. ‘Why are you being so nice?’

He shrugged. ‘Perhaps I just want to keep my job. It’s never smart to get on the wrong side of the boss’s sister.’

But Brooke didn’t believe him. This wasn’t about currying favour. Lachlan had gone out of his way and, she suspected, against his better judgement to help her. Strange behaviour for a man whose best interests lay in not helping.

 

Heart of the Valley is available in ebook and paperback from these retailers. Get your own Lachie today!

Amazon.com | Amazon.au | Amazon.uk

iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Nook

Bookdepository | Booktopia

If you’d like to discover more about Heart of the Valley, including the background to the story, please visit its book page on this website.

And remember to follow me on Bookbub!

Newsletter subscription banner

Teaser Tuesday!

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

It’s been a bit quiet in the Hein house this past week. Lots of rain will do that but the dullness made it great reading and baking weather. I made muffins and scones for the freezer, and also tried out this Portuguese custard tart recipe from the AWW Food magazine. It was delicious! Dead easy too, which is always a bonus, so no excuses not to give it a go.

I wish writing was as easy. It’s funny how some books just pour out onto the page while others require painful extraction. Eddie and the Show Queen is one of the latter, bless its wordy socks. I adore this story and the characters but right now the buggers aren’t co-operating. Not to worry. We’re getting there. I know I’ve been saying this for a while, but I really do hope to have news on a release date soon, and I cannot wait to share the cover. It’s a beauty!

Which leads me to this week’s teaser. Time for a few lines from The Horseman’s Promise (first published under the title Promises). Gird yourselves. Aaron and Sophie are about to get sexy.

 

he Horsemans Promise by Cathryn HeinShe pressed her mouth against his ear and he felt her smile against his cheek. Electricity jolted down his spine.

‘Kiss me.’ Her voice sounded husky, full of need, like him.

She pressed against him, and he groaned at the pressure on his erection. He cupped her face, studying those wonderful grey eyes, searching for reservations. There were none. Only pure desire for him.

‘Sophie.’ It was all he could say. Just her name. Just her beautiful, perfect name.

 

He he. I bet that made you sit up!

Purchase your copy of The Horseman’s Promise in ebook and print from these stores today.

Amazon.com | Amazon.au | Amazon.uk

Kobo | iBooks  | Google PlayNook

Bookdepository

Booktopia | Angus & Robertson Bookworld

Print copies of the original Promises are available for purchase direct from me for $AUD15, including postage. Email me via the Contact form on this website for details. Australian postal addresses only.

If you’d like to learn more about the book, sample a longer excerpt or read how I came to write the story, please visit its book page.

 

Newsletter subscription banner

My Favourite Reads of September 2018

7 Replies

My Favourite Reads image

Welcome to My Favourite Reads of September 2018.

A pretty cool month’s reading for September, with a mix of old and new-to-me authors and reads from a couple of adored series. As always, it was hard to choose a favourite and I was very tempted to fence sit and choose none. But choose I will, and it’s…

Silk and Shadows by Mary Jo Putney

Silk and Shadows by Mary Jo PutneyI’ve wanted to read a Mary Jo Putney for a long time. She’s been recommended to me multiple times by author buddies and is a giant in the historical romance genre.

Oh, boy was this book a beauty. Not only was Silk and Shadows wonderfully written, the story had MEAT. I was amazed by the places it went. Pretty dark places too, and yet the central romance remained uplifting and hopeful.

Basically it’s a revenge novel. Our mysterious but charismatic hero Peregrine has one goal only, or he does until he meets clever Sara. Their relationship buzzes from the start, surprising them both and changing their life plans in huge ways.

Great characters and nicely twisty storyline that surprised and sometimes discomforted. Very enjoyable.

 

Scrublands by Chris HammerScrublands by Chris Hammer

Woah, did this have atmosphere, with the heat and hopelessness of the setting wrapping its cloying arms around me as I read.

Set in around a dying, drought-ravaged western Victorian town, Scrublands is more a why-dunnit than a who-dunnit. We know from the dramatic opening who the killer is, but it’s the why that makes this a compelling read. That and the characters. I thought they were really well done.

Journalist Martin Scarsden thinks he’s on an easy assignment, writing about how Riversend is coping a year on from the original shooting, but he soon discovers the town is full of secrets and more danger than he ever imagined.

We’re spoiled for choice with solid Aussie crime at the moment.

 

Fly by Demelza CarltonFly: Goose Girl Retold by Demelza Carlton

This is the second that I’ve read in Demelza Carlton’s retold fairy-tale series (my thoughts on Enchant here) and like the first it proved an entertaining read.

I don’t know why, but I expected an alpha hero in Fly and was delighted to find that Prince Yun was far from that. I don’t mind those kinds of heroes when they’re not being alpha-holes (as they’re sometimes nicknamed in Romanceland) but my heart will always tick faster for a beta. They’re just nicer! Yun was plenty brave though and a good match for our equally courageous heroine Ava.

Short, with plenty of action and a touch of violence, Fly gave a very pleasant afternoon’s reading.

 

The Ink Master’s Silence by CJ ArcherThe Ink Master’s Silence by CJ Archer

My second favourite read of the month, which is no surprise. Regular followers of My Favourite Reads already know I’m a huge CJ Archer fan and snatch up every new story on release. The storylines are full of intrigue and action, the characters wonderful, and I’m drawn into every story from the first page.

After the dramatic events of The Convent’s Secret I’ve been wondering where this series would head but if The Ink Master’s Silence is anything to go by it looks like there’s plenty of more drama for the Glass and Steele gang to be had.

The Palace of Lost Memories, the first book in CJ Archer’s new After the Rift series releases this week and it looks brilliant. Can’t wait!

 

The Italian’s Marriage Bargain by Annie WestThe Italian’s Marriage Bargain by Annie West

This series is such a godsend. Whenever I’m in one of those “I don’t know what to read” moods I know I can pick up one of Annie’s Hot Italian Nights novellas and be left very, very happy. For short reads they punch well above their weight in the emotion stakes.

The Italian’s Marriage Bargain is a lover’s reunited story, a trope I’m a bit of a sucker for. I like that Massima and Gina are married, although long separated. It’s harder to put a marriage back together I think – the stakes feel higher – and this gave the story extra intensity.

Look out for Book 8, Burning for the Italian. This one sounds HOT!

 

Picture Me and You by Susan SeyPicture Me and You: A Devil’s Kettle Romance by Susan Sey

I picked this up after a bunch of readers on the Australian Romance Readers Association loop raved about Susan Sey’s books.

If you like quirky, this one’s for you. But Picture Me and You is more than a quirky romance set in an insular, strangely named town. Like Silk and Shadows, Picture Me and You wanders into some deep territory. There’s grief, belonging, some serious family conflict and plenty more layering the story.

Picture Me and You is book one in the Devil’s Kettle series and currently available for free on Amazon. As is A Taste for Trouble, the first in the Blake Brothers Trilogy and which comes even more highly recommended. Guess I’ll have to try that one too!

 

What reads have you enjoyed lately?

 

Newsletter subscription banner

Teaser Tuesday!

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

First up, some disappointing news. I am no longer able to attend the West Coast Fiction Festival on November 3rd in Scarborough, Western Australia. I can’t tell you how sad I am about this. I was really looking forward to this event. There’s nothing quite so wonderful as meeting readers in person. Jim and I even had an epic road trip planned for the journey over. Have you heard about the Nullarbor Links? It’s the world’s longest golf course. How can a golf-mad girl resist that?

Ah well, we’ll just have to organise another trip over to WA. I’ll be keeping my beady eye out for opportunities I promise.

If you’re in the west or heading that way in early November, then this event is going to be brilliant, with 60+ authors coming from all over Australia and overseas, and every one of them eager to meet you and sign books. You can still secure tickets via the West Coast Fiction Festival website. Get in quick though. The VIP tickets are already sold out and day passes are going fast.

Righty-o, let’s get on to today’s teaser.

This one’s from Wayward Heart, a story of love, loss and new beginnings. Digby has arrived at Jasmine’s house only to find strange goings-on…

 

He frowned as he noticed her phone. ‘No wonder you didn’t hear the phone. The power cord’s slipped out.’ He reached to plug it back in.

‘Don’t!’ Jasmine grabbed his wrist, shaking her head with shallow jerky movements. ‘Please don’t.’

Wayward Heart by Cathryn HeinDigby eased away, alarm and anger churning. The grip on his arm was like a claw. Someone was hurting her. He felt icy with the need to hurt whoever it was back. ‘What’s going on, Jas?’

As if suddenly aware of how much she was revealing, Jas released him and waved airily, the action as fake as her smile. ‘Oh, it’s just a few crank calls. Kids probably. I figured it was easier to unplug it. They’ll get sick of the game eventually.’

‘Crank calls and a lock on your gate. Doesn’t sound like a game to me.’

She stilled, her eyes dropping to the floor, her tone barely more than a whisper. ‘Don’t, Digby. Just leave it. Please. It’s not—’ She breathed in hard and lifted her pleading gaze to his. ‘I can handle it.’

‘Handle what?’

But she shook her head again.

Fear made him harsh. ‘Handle what, Jas?’

 

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, make sure to join my newsletter. You’ll score a couple of free short stories to enjoy over a cuppa and be the first to hear about upcoming releases and more. A must!

 

Newsletter subscription banner

Teaser Tuesday!

2 Replies

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.

The stunning spring weather continues here in Newcastle, begging me outside. It’s tempting, so tempting, but a girl has books to write. This is no time for slacking off, gorgeous weather or not. I’ve been sitting on Eddie and the Show Queen’s amazing cover for months now, but I don’t want to reveal it until we have a set release date and its pre-order links are in place. And that won’t happen until I have the first draft done.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t tease you with a snippet!

Here’s Eddie arriving for his first Show Queen entrant meeting. Please note that this is a draft version and unedited.

 

‘I had hoped to introduce our new entrant,’ said Sarah, ‘but it appears he’s been waylaid.

‘Nah, I’m here,’ said Eddie, tipping his wide-brimmed hat as he strode in. His colossal size made the high-ceilinged Institute feel small. ‘G’day,’ he drawled, sounding like an Aussie tourism advert.

One of the younger girls tittered. Alice felt an overwhelming urge to shoot daggers at her.

Even she had to admit that, with his broad smile and undeniable rugged handsomeness, Eddie was country boy babelicious. That he’d clearly come straight from farm work only added to his appeal. He wore jeans tucked into a pair of calf-high heavy-duty leather boots, a checked flannelette shirt with the cuffs folded up one turn, and a sheepskin-lined oilskin vest with a thread of blue baler twine dangling from one of its pockets. Eddie looked capable, trustworthy, fit and more than a bit sexy.

‘Eddie Argyle. Sorry I’m late. We’re still calving at home and the buggers have no respect for meetings. Or dinnertime.’ His gaze connected with Alice’s. He waved his hat her way. ‘You can blame Alice here for me joining in the fun.’

 

If you’d like to be among the first to hear when Eddie and the Show Queen goes up for pre-order, and more, please join my newsletter.

Back to writing for me!

 

Newsletter subscription banner

Teaser Tuesday!

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

Spring has sprung gorgeously here in Newcastle. Last Saturday the temperature was over 30°C (86F) and that was at the beach, where it’s normally cooler. Back to normal now in the low 20s, but if that’s a sign of things to come I’d better dig out some shorts and gird myself for the usual startled glances from passers-by as they spot my deathly white legs.

That’s the trouble with being fair-skinned, there’s never much tanning. Just lots of freckles and sunburn. Although these days I’m so smothered in sunscreen that I’m lucky to develop a light fawn sheen by summer’s end.

Hmm. I seem to have gotten off track here.

Right. Something important.

West Coast Fiction Festival

Are you going to the West Coast Fiction Festival at the Rendezvous Hotel, Scarborough, WA on November 3rd? Did you know you can pre-order my books so that you don’t miss out on a signed copy? Time is running out to do so. Deadline for final orders is September 30th but you can secure your copies via this Google form https://goo.gl/forms/FN2fM2bN0kLHGkRy2

More information about the WCFF can be found on its website.

Now to what we’re here for: a bit of booky goodness.

This week I thought I’d share a few paragraphs from The Country Girl. This one features Pa, who everyone loves for his down-to-earth nature and rural charm. Here he’s being filmed giving garden and other advice for Tash’s online fans.

 

Pa tapped his nose and resumed writing labels for the crops they were about to plant. Old egg cartons filled with seedlings were spread in organised rows at his feet. Pa had used his own growing mix formula and the plants were vibrant with health. All they had to do was tear off each egg cup and bury it straight into the well-composted soil. An old ice-cream tub held packets of seeds they were direct sowing.

Been a few nasty comments,’ he said. ‘You right with that?’

The Country Girl by Cathryn Hein‘I wouldn’t say I like it but I’m used to it. It’s an emotive topic. People are going to argue.’

Still. Sylvia said one of them called you a murderer.

‘Probably a troll. The internet’s full of them.’ Tash was thankful Pa didn’t get on the sites himself; there had been a lot worse name-calling than murderer. She’d removed the more offensive comments but a few always slipped through. ‘Some people get a kick out of inflaming others and starting fights. Makes them feel big.’

‘Hmph. Idiots.’

She thought he’d let it slide but it was obviously still on Pa’s mind when they began to film.

‘Carrots,’ he said, ‘can be tricky to grow if you don’t have the right soil.’ He tilted his head to the side and gazed at the camera in his familiar direct manner. ‘It’s a bit like friendship in a way. You can’t grow carrots on stony ground and you sure can’t grow a relationship. All you’ll end up with is something warped. What you need is soil that yields a bit. Not too soft, but not too firm either.’ He used a trowel to form another narrow channel and sprinkled in the seeds. ‘It’s all right to stand up to your beliefs, but let others have theirs too. Unless they’re one of those stupid terrorist sorts. Those fools need their arses kicked.’ He looked up and grinned. ‘Pardon me. Probably shouldn’t say arse on telly.’

 

You can purchase The Country Girl online in paperback and ebook from these stores.

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

iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Nook

Booktopia | Dymocks | Angus & Robertson

If you’re quick, Angus & Robertson currently has a free shipping deal. Use promo code SPRINGTIME18 and shop your book-lovin’ self silly!

Angus and Robertson free shipping meme

For more about The Country Girl, including another excerpt and a fun video of me attempting one of Tash’s recipes, please visit its book page. Discover how I came to write the story in The Magic Bullet.

 

Newsletter subscription banner