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 am sometime lucky enough to have author buddies do the same.

Life is getting back to normal after the whirlwind that was Fictionally Yours, Melbourne. I can’t tell you what fun I had at that event. It was brilliant! I shared a bunch of photos in a This Writing Life post last Friday. Check it out here, if you missed it.

As I mentioned in our previous Teaser Tuesday, I’ve started work on a new book and it’s going marvellously. I’d love to tell you more but, sorry, you’ll just have to wait. I don’t want to jinx this goodness.

In other suuuuuper important news, Eddie and the Show Queen is one step closer with proof copies finally in production. As soon as they’re checked over and approved it’ll be all systems go. This one’s been a long time coming, but the warm glow of release is now truly in sight. Rah!

Enough of that. We’re hear for a Teaser and today we have an absolute cracker thanks to regular (and special!) guest Fiona McArthur.

You’ll of course remember Fiona from her involvement in the Outback Brides continuity which I was also part of with Elsa’s Stand. But Fiona is also a beloved medical rural romance author, with best-selling titles like Mother’s Day (ebook currently on sale for only $4-99), Red Sand Sunrise, The Homestead Girls, Heart of the Sky and The Baby Doctor. Her latest release – out today, in fact – is The Desert Midwife, and it sounds and looks gorgeous.

Here’s Fiona to tell you more and share a snippet. Make sure you read until the end because there could be a GIVEAWAY!

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Fiona McArthur authorThanks so much for having me, Cathryn, and your readers, because I do love sharing my new books on Tuesday Teaser page with you all.

The Desert Midwife has been such a joy. The story is told in one of my favourite parts of the world, the magical landscape of Central Australia and Uluru and I do have fun sharing with you all my love of the setting.

View of Uluru from Yalara Resort

A view of Uluru from Yalara Resort

Author Fiona McArthur at KataTjuta

Fiona at KataTjuta in central Australia.

And it’s been fun, too, as an amnesia story, I mean – what IF your new lover, almost fiancée, love of your life, man you were besotted with but wondered it was all too good to be true – totally forgot who you were after an accident when you were driving? How would you feel? How would you get him back? And all of this in the middle of Australia in a place he was a stranger to?  It’s a dilemma Ava has to work through while doing the job she loves, caring for the family she knows she’s lucky to have, and all the while she can see Zac wonders if he knew her well – while her heart is breaking.

I do hope you love their journey as much as I do. I’d love to share an excerpt –

Ava. After she’d met Zac on the flight home to Alice Springs…

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…The sunrise tinted a pink swathe across the wall of the room, blushed across the white duvet, and dusted the beginnings of Central Australian heat across Ava’s cheek, warming her skin. Hazily, as she shifted her head, she squinted at the unfamiliar rose-coloured room and frowned.

She could see the flecks of floating dust motes crystallise but, unfortunately, that wasn’t all that formed as clarity returned. Her cheeks burned as the fractured pieces of last night re-emerged and she stifled the urge to groan. Good ghastly grief.

She’d had a one-night stand.

Cover of The Desert Midwife by Fiona McArthurYou’re a grown woman. Her inner voice shut down the embarrassment.

That may be, but oh my. Though, she had to admit, she would hate to have grown much older without experiencing last night. Talk about lust at first sight. It had been complete enchantment and they’d been soulmates for at least the length of the spell.

She was no blushing virgin – though her virginity could quite possibly have grown back because it had been more than five years since she’d last been with anyone – for good reason – but darn, this morning felt uncomfortable. Especially when she was a novice at waking up next to a stranger from the night before, with the heat from his body still warming her hip.

She knew the outback rule: never leave your car if you break down. Were there rules for one-night stands?

Her stomach growled and she lifted her hand carefully to cover her eyes. Did this get any more awkward? Maybe she could slip sideways out of the bed. She wasn’t game to turn her head in case he woke up.

‘Would you like coffee?’ Deep, rumbling masculine tones with just a hint of amusement sounded, and she shifted her head to meet his eyes. Yep, those unfairly chocolate eyes were twinkling and not at all abashed.

She sighed and tried not to breathe her dragon breath on him. Another new skill she needed to learn.

Her hand dropped from her face. Right. Toughen up, Ava. ‘Weak black tea would be wonderful. Earl Grey, if you have it. Thank you.’ She wriggled up the pillows, strategically holding the sheet. ‘Then I have to go.’

‘Of course. Would you like a shower while I’m making it? There are extra towels in the bathroom and a bathrobe on the back of the door.’

She thought about a shower, feeling refreshed, more relaxed and restored to her normal unshakable composure, or, alternatively, the messy, crumpled walk of shame without one.

‘That would be great,’ she said. ‘Thanks. I won’t use the robe, though, I’ll just get dressed.’ She could do this. Calm and composure were her middle names; nothing fazed her. Everybody in Alice Springs knew that.

‘Umm . . .’ More amusement sounded in the dulcet tones of his voice, and she turned her head back his way. ‘I think we may have popped a few buttons on both our shirts.’

Her hand came back up and slapped her forehead palm up as the full glory of their lustful exuberance returned.

‘A night to remember,’ she managed in an even tone.

‘I’d like to think so,’ he said. ‘Your Central Australian charisma does fascinate me.’ Then with less amusement he said, ‘I’ll put the kettle on.’

Zac Logan – at least she recalled his name – tossed back the sheet, swung his long, muscled, naked body to the edge of the bed and stood. All six foot plus of solid, sexy, sinfully seductive stud. And he didn’t pause to put on any clothes. He just strode to the bench with the kitchen appliances and reached for the switch.

Ava blinked, dragged her eyes from his tantalising backside and scrambled to get to the bathroom before he turned around and gave her a front view…

Ooh-la-la, so sexy! And with The Desert Midwife hitting stores today you won’t have to wait. Trot on down to your favourite book or department store and pick yourself up a copy, or get instant gratification with an ebook (or print) from these online platforms:

Amazon.com | Amazon.au

iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

Booktopia | Angus & Robertson | Bookdepository

Now, as mentioned in the introduction, we have a …

GIVEAWAY!

Yes, my lovelies, Fiona has very generously offered a print copy of The Desert Midwife to giveaway to one lucky reader.

Here’s Fiona to tell you what to do.

I have a book prize of a free copy of The Desert Midwife to send to one reader – if you will share your favourite place in Australia to visit and why.

Got that? Easy-peasy!

Hmm, what’s my favourite place … There are so many wonderful places in this gorgeous country of ours, but I’m going to choose my hometown of Mount Gambier, in the south-east of South Australia. Why? Because it’s where my family lives, it’s loaded with wonderful memories, it’s truly beautiful, and with so many of my rural romances being set in the area visiting fills my creative well.

What about you? Simply share your favourite place in Australia to visit and why and we’ll pop you into the draw to win a copy of The Desert Midwife.

Please Note: Giveaway closes midnight Sunday 21st July 2019, Australian Eastern Time. Australian postal addresses only.

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

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My Favourite Reads of June 2019

My Favourite Reads image

Welcome to my favourite reads for June 2019. The past month turned out to a month for series reads. There was only one stand-alone book, and that stand-alone book turned out to be my favourite, although it was a close-run thing.

 

Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver

Wakenhyrst by Michelle PaverMy favourite of the month.

I’ve been a Michelle Paver fan for a very long time now. Her novel A Place in the Hills is a cherished (albeit rather tattered) book that will never leave my keeper shelf. I’m also pretty sure Paver is the author who introduced me to romance. Until her, I’d only really read chick-lit, then I read A Place in the Hills followed by Without Charity and loved them, but it was the historical “Daughters of Eden” trilogy that truly opened my eyes. Or maybe I should say opened my heart because it had all the feels. Whatever the case, it made me want more.

Paver’s more recent books make me feel too, but in a different way. These stories are Gothic and ghostly and creepy. And if you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know how much I adore a good creeping out.

In true Gothic style, Wakenhyrst features a crumbling manor house. Wake’s End is in Devon, near the village of Wakenhyrst and surrounded by the Fens, which add to the atmosphere of isolation and seclusion. There are legends, secrets and madness, Superstition clashes with religion, as does ancient healing with new medicine. Then there’s Maud, a great lead character who’s clever and strong, yet also lonely and secretive, and around whom the story winds.

Wonderful storytelling, vivid characters and spine-tingles galore. Loved.

 

Defy the Fates by Claudia GrayDefy the Fates by Claudia Gray

This is the final instalment in the Constellation trilogy and a very close second favourite read for the month. I’ve adored this series (my comments on book one, Defy the Stars here and book two, Defy the Worlds here) and never thought I could come to care so much about an android, or “mech” as they’re called in the books. Aiden, though, is very easy to fall in love with. Deep sigh.

Defy the Fates was loaded with surprise twists and many times I worried that Noemi and Aiden were never going to make it. The way their romance was resolved was very satisfying and I feel like I should have seen that coming from the start, but I didn’t.

Loved this book and the series. I can’t wait for more from Gray.

 

Blackstone and the Burning Secret by Sally SpencerBlackstone and the Burning Secret by Sally Spencer

This is the fourth book in Spencer’s Inspector Blackstone series and it certainly won’t be the last for me. As I’ve mentioned before (my comments on the first three books here), I really enjoy the late Victorian setting. It was period of great change and Blackstone’s investigations tend to have their genesis in the social, political and industrial upheavals of the time.

The books aren’t terribly long but they’re compelling and interesting, and I find them excellent for ‘snacking on’ between fatter books. Next up, Blackstone and the Stage of Death. Rah!

 

The Cheater's Game by CJ ArcherThe Cheater’s Game by CJ Archer

I can’t believe I’m up to book seven of the Glass and Steele series, but I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve been hooked on Archer’s stories since reading The Last Necromancer (book one in the Ministry of Curiosities series and currently free across ebook platforms), and her new After the Rift series has me totally intrigued.

But back to India Steele and Matt Glass and The Cheater’s Game! Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show has arrived in London and Willie, my favourite character in Matt’s crew, can’t stop from hanging with the performers. Naturally, trouble follows. With plenty of danger, mystery, and a secret that could harm Matt and India’s relationship, this was a lot of fun.

 

Chocolate and Old Lace by Kaz DelaneyChocolate and Old Lace by Kaz Delaney

Kaz Delaney, also known as Kerri Lane, is a prolific writer of children’s and young adult books. She is also a delightful person who’s appeared on this blog’s (now archived) Friday Feast. Kaz has turned to adult fiction and was kind enough to give me a copy of her new cozy mystery series. I’m so glad she did. It was lovely fun!

Chocolate and Old Lace introduces us to the Rosie Hart series – tag line: Murder has never been so delicious. Don’t you just love that? So cool. Anyway, Rosie loves to cook and her skills in the kitchen endear her to the small Texan town she’s moved to, and one sexy cowboy in particular. Oh, and me. Got to love a heroine who cooks.

Quirky characters, lovely baking, murder and mayhem, and there are even recipes at the back of the book. Hugely enjoyable. Next in the series is Preserving the Evidence. loving these titles.

By the way, if you sign up for Kaz’s mailing list you score the Rosie Hart novella, The Funeral Crasher, for free. Enjoy!

 

What have you been reading lately?

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This Writing Life: Fictionally Yours, Melbourne 2019

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Fictionally Yours Melbourne attending author graphicWowsers, what a show Fictionally Yours, Melbourne turned out to be!

This was my first Fictionally Yours event and I had an absolute ball. It was huge in so many ways. The venue at Crown Exhibition Hall couldn’t have been better, the attendees were just gorgeous – so much enthusiasm for reading! – and the organisation was super smooth. Enormous thanks and kudos to Tina and Penny and all the Fictionally Yours volunteers. You were brilliant. And I mustn’t forget my excellent assistant, fellow author DB Tait.

It was so busy that I could only take photos during the quiet times, before the doors opened or at the end of the day when the crowds were thinner and I could leave my table for a speedy nose about, so none of the photos I’m about to share do justice to how full-on the event was. There were fans wheeling suitcases and trolleys filled with books, readers who’d made their own souvenirs and autograph books for authors to sign, wonderful swag to pick up and play with, and happy, excited people everywhere.

And to top it all off, the weather was kind, I discovered a whole bunch of fab new authors and got to spend time with old buddies.

The. Best. Fun.

Here are a few snaps from my travels. Enjoy!

Me, ready to go at Fictionally Yours, Melbourne

Me, all ready to go at Fictionally Yours on Sunday.

Author Alli Sinclair at Fictionally Yours, Melbourne.

Author Alli Sinclair (left).

Fiona Archer at Fictionally Yours, Melbourne

Fiona Archer busily signing.

Fiona McArthur at Fictionally Yours, Melbourne 2019

Fiona McArthur. Watch out for her Teaser Tuesday visit next week, where she’ll be showing off her new release The Desert Midwife. There might be a giveaway!

JA Collard ar Fictionally Yours, Melbourne 2019

JA Collard.

Jennifer Ryder at Fictionally Yours, Melbourne 2019

Jennifer Ryder and her assistant. Jennifer’s table was opposite mine and it was lovely to meet her. She has a gorgeous looking rural romance out called Sing It, Sam. Check it out at her website jenniferryder.com

KE Osborn at Fictionally Yours, Melbourne 2019

A smiley KE Osborn (right).

A reader's amazing book lamp at Fictionally Yours, Melbourne 2019

A reader was carrying around this amazing book lamp and getting authors to sign the pages. So cool!

Keri Arthur at Fictionally Yours, Melbourne 2019

Urban fantasy author and Romance Writers of Australia Ruby finalist Keri Arthur (left). Luuurve her banner.

The raffle draw at Fictionally Yours, Melbourne 2019

With lots of great prizes, the raffle draw was understandably popular.

Kristin Mayer at Fictionally Yours, Melbourne 2019

Kristin Mayer

RC Boldt at Fictionally Yours, Melbourne 2019

US author RC Boldt.

Tamara McWilliam at Fictionally Yours, Melbourne 2019

Tamara McWilliam. Lovely lady!

Me and gorgeous Tess Woods at Fictionally Yours, Melbourne 2019

Me and gorgeous Tess Woods. Tess’s new release Love and Other Battles is on my want-to-read list. You should put it on yours too!

And now for a few miscellaneous piccies

Collage of photos from Star Hotel, Rutherglen

Collage of images from Star Hotel, Rutherglen, Victoria, where we stayed on the way down to Melbourne.

The Yarra River, Melbourne at night.

The Yarra River at night. Melbourne couldn’t have been more wonderful weather wise. So lucky!

Ballerina sculpture outside the Arts Centre, Melbourne.

Ballerina sculpture outside the Arts Centre. Isn’t it beautiful?

Lifts inside the stunning art deco Manchester Unity building.

Now these are what I call lifts. Inside the stunning art deco Manchester Unity building.

Melbourne coffee humour.

Melbourne coffee humour.

I hope you enjoyed this trip to Fictionally Yours, Melbourne. Make sure you stay tuned for next week’s Teaser Tuesday where there’ll be a fab guest and maybe even a giveaway!

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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.

It’s a big week in the Hein house. I’m on the road for Fictionally Yours, Melbourne, a ginormous book signing event being held at Crown Casino this coming weekend. I can’t wait! It’s always such a thrill to meet and chat with readers, especially at these kinds of events. Everyone is so happy and excited, and who doesn’t love talking about books?

VIP tickets for both Saturday and Sunday have sold out, as has the After Party, but you can still score weekend passes. Grab them here before they run out too: https://www.eventbee.com/v/fym2019#/tickets

Signings are split across the two days of the event. I’m signing on Sunday 7th. Hope to see you there!

Righty-o, I have lots of preparation still to do so today’s Teaser Tuesday is going to be short and sweet.

This snippet is from The Horseman’s Promise (first published as Promises). It’s part of a scene where our racehorse trainer hero Aaron again shows his innate kindness, something that only helps to makes Sophie’s growing crush on him worsen but is also the last thing he wants. They might be neighbours but their fraught family histories have made them off-limits to each other. Can’t stop love though!

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‘You can take that brown filly in the second yard, Casalinga. She’ll give you a nice ride. She’s one of Tony Johnstone’s,’ he said, he Horsemans Promise by Cathryn Heinreferring to his main owner, ‘and she’s a little cracker, too. That’s who Costa Motza will be up against if you decide to run him over two thousand metres.’

Sophie looked at the filly. She was gorgeous, but still under developed. ‘You’re having me on. That weedy little thing doesn’t stand a chance against my boy.’ She turned back to Aaron. ‘Who are you taking?’

‘Psycho.’

‘But I can ride Psycho.’

Aaron shook his head. ‘Nah, you look knackered enough. And you’ve another one-day event on Sunday.’

Under Sophie’s thick jumper, goosebumps crept up her back in delicious tingles. ‘You remembered.’

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The Horseman’s Promise is available now in print and ebook from these retailers.

Amazon.com | Amazon.au | Amazon.uk

Kobo | iBooks  | Google PlayNook

BookdepositoryBooktopia | Angus & Robertson

Please note: There’ll be no Teaser Tuesday next week due to Fictionally Yours. If you can’t make the event, I’ll do my best to post pictures on Facebook and/or Instagram.

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Teaser Tuesday!

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

News from the Hein house is rather exciting this week. No, it’s not about Eddie and the Show Queen. I’ve started a new book. Hurrah!

It’s only early days so I don’t have a lot to reveal, only that it has a meet-cute that was an absolute hoot to write. I love it when a heroine leaves a hero completely discombobulated. It’s adorable.

Now to our teaser. The other day I noticed that Dan Brown’s Inferno was on sale in the Kobo store and asked Jim if he wanted it. Having enjoyed The Da Vinci Code book and the other Robert Langdon films, and being on the hunt for a new read, he said yes. Then he spotted the Robert Langdon series bundle of Angels and Demons, The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol and Inferno and decided to grab that instead. Now he’s gobbling them all down and having a blast, and making me hanker to read them as well (like half the planet, I read The Da Vinci Code when it came out and really liked it).

Which got me thinking about my own mystery-thriller-romance, The French Prize. I love this book. Writing it was the best fun. Setting it in and around Aix-en-Provence allowed me to wallow in memory of our time living there, while developing Raimund and Olivia’s characters gave me great pleasure. I love strong, silent heroes who look all calm on the outside but are tied in knots on the inside as they grapple with their attraction to an equally strong and clever heroine.

But the bit that gave me the most fun was the mystery of La Tasse, the simple (and fictional) cup at the heart of The French Prize that holds the secret to the location of the legendary sword Durandal. There’s something appealing about the idea that something as simple as a pottery cup could lead to an extraordinary artefact. I mean, anyone might stumble across it.

There’s no stumbling with Olivia though. She’s dreamed of La Tasse since childhood and is determined not only to find it but to uncover its secrets.

Here’s a snippet from the opening chapter where Olivia realises she might not get her way.

‘I need to get this back to the university so I can start the restoration,’ she said, shutting the case lid, snapping the clips and securing the box with a chain of cable ties.

The French Prize by Cathryn HeinRaimund’s eyes flicked over hers and then away towards the tree line. He raised his hand and dug his fingertips into a point above his left eye. A curious gesture he made often, as if he suffered from a persistent and localised headache. ‘No. I have already made arrangements for the restoration.’

A hornet’s nest of alarm buzzed Olivia’s insides. They’d already discussed the restoration, speculated on the equipment required, the experts they’d need to consult, and not once had he disputed that the task would be hers. And she’d worked too damned hard and dreamed too long to have La Tasse taken away now.

She narrowed her eyes, her tone icy as she articulated every word, determined to show she wouldn’t be denied her goal, that she could be as obstinate as him. ‘I’m the best person for the job. As you well know.’

Ah, stubbornness meets stubbornness. That’s always fun. Find out whether Olivia wins her battle with Raimund by grabbing your copy of The French Prize today.

Amazon.com | Amazon.au

iBooksKoboGoogle Play

Angus and RobertsonBooktopia

Want to be among the first to hear about new releases and offers? Join my newsletter! You’ll not only keep up with all the news, sneak peeks and other fun-stuff, you’ll receive a couple of free short stories to enjoy over a cuppa. Join here or click the image below.

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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 into doing the same.

What’s been happening in the Hein house? Eddie has been happening! Yes, my lovelies, Eddie and the Show Queen is veeeery close to the pre-order stage now. I’m just waiting on the final print cover and then it’ll be go-go-go. Can’t wait!

An Eddie and the Show Queen pre-order newsletter with all the good bits, including the cover, blurb and pre-order links, is coming soon. If you’re not a member already, make sure you’re signed up to the newsletter team so you don’t miss out. Besides being among the first to score all the cool news, you’ll receive a couple of free short stories to enjoy over a cuppa.

Okey-dokey, time for our teaser. I’m tempted to whet your Eddie appetite with a snippet from Eddie and the Show Queen, but there’ll be LOTS of that around release time, and as gorgeous as Eddie and Alice are, I wouldn’t want to wear you out. So lets have a lovely snippet from Elsa’s Stand instead. Because JACK! Sigh. I love that man. He’s so big and silent and sexy, and Elsa runs rings around him which leads to a lot of fun.

Elsa’s Stand is part of the Outback Brides continuity which includes Kelly Hunter’s Maggie’s Run, Victoria Purman’s Belle’s Secret and Fiona McArthur’s Holly’s Heart, but can easily be read as a stand-alone novel.

Here’s a teaser from the scene where Jack returns to Elsa’s hairdressing salon for the second time.

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The months had eroded her memory of how achingly attractive he was. Not just his size, but the sheer ruggedness of his looks. Her Elsa's Stand by Cathryn Heinbody hadn’t forgotten though. Elsa had been buzzing from the moment she’d spotted him at the door.

‘Don’t worry, I haven’t been spying. I remember you from school. You were a couple of years above me.’

‘Right.’

Elsa decided to get the tricky conversation out of the way early. Not that conversation was going to come easily. So far, the longest sentence Jack had managed was ‘You, if you’re free.’ Which shouldn’t come as a shock. He’d barely spoken on his previous visit and, from what she could recall, Jack had been quiet at school too.

No, not quiet. Remote. Which had only added to his aura of untouchability and cool danger.

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Elsa’s Stand is available in print and ebook from these retailers. Grab your copy today!

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

iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Barnes & Noble

Booktopia | Angus&Robertson | Bookdepository

For those who have been wondering, yes I do have plans to write Jesse and Serenity’s story. Not sure when, but it’s definitely on my to-write list..

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My Favourite Reads of May 2019

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My Favourite Reads image

Welcome to My Favourite Reads for May 2019. May proved to be a good reading month, with seven books read and plenty of enjoyment had.

Here they are.

I Ate the Sheriff by James Scott BellI Ate the Sheriff by James Scott Bell

This series was a hoot. Not to everyone’s taste I admit, but I thought it was cool. I Ate the Sheriff follows on from Pay Me in Flesh (which I talk about here) and The Year of Eating Dangerously (I talk about this one here), and concludes Mallory Caine, Zombie At Law’s story. It went out with suitable apocalyptic mayhem.

If you like fast-paced, action-packed wittily written stories with funny dialogue, and don’t mind a bit of ickiness, then this series might float your boat. It did mine!

Fair Game by Amy AndrewsFair Game by Amy Andrews

This is book 3 in the Women of W.A.R. series, a continuity that features an Australian Women’s Australian Rules Football team. Such an excellent idea.

And this is a fab book, but that’s no surprise. Amy Andrews writes fantastic romances. Fair Game is a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Rita awards with good reason. It has lovely characters (the hero is a total babe), a great friends-to-lovers premise, and is a joy to read.

Grab a copy.

The Hunting Party by Lucy FoleyThe Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

Even though I pegged the killer early on, I enjoyed The Hunting Party a lot. Loved the isolated Highlands setting, which added much to the atmosphere and tension, and I loved all the characters. I especially liked how we got to live in each of their heads and experience their inner selves, which was often veeeeery different to their outer selves.

Good fun. Well, for me. Not so much for the characters!

The Crucifix Killer by Chris CarterThe Crucifix Killer by Chris Carter

I’ve been meaning to read this a few years now. I read a brief review in a newspaper aaaaages ago and it sounded up my alley. I bought it and then promptly forgot I had (a sign that maybe I buy too many books? … Nah!). Then last month I noticed The Crucifix Killer heavily discounted in one of the ebook stores and I thought, oooh, I’ll have that, only to discover it was already in my library.

Anyway, The Crucifix Killer is book one in Carter’s Robert Hunter crime/thriller series. Expect lots of plot, plenty of action and some clever, if rather horrible, deviousness by the murderer.

They Call Me the Cat Lady by Amy MillerThey Call Me the Cat Lady by Amy Miller

We are NOT cat people in the Hein house. So why did I pick up They Call Me the Cat Lady, clearly a book involving cats? Because the premise sounded intriguing, sort of along the lines of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and a few others where the hero/heroine is an outcast, and because the reviews were so good.

Nancy Jones is indeed a cat lady. She’s also lonely, secretive, reclusive and big-hearted once you know her. She’d love to keep the secretive and reclusive part of her life but when a person from her past enters it, she’s forced to change. A sweet book about second chances.

Girl in the Bedouin Tent by Annie WestGirl in the Bedouin Tent by Annie West

Annie sure knows how to write a sheikh romance! Girl in the Bedouin Tent is one of her older books (from 2011, I think) but it’s a beauty. I read it because it’s a forced proximity romance and I have plans to write one of those myself, and it’s always handy to study what an expert author can do with a trope.

Prince Amir was gorgeous, super masculine and kind, Cassie was feisty, clever and fun, and the sexual attraction sizzling. A wonderful, passionate read.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa AlbertThe Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

I’ve had my eye on The Hazel Wood since its release and when it went on sale I snapped it up. The premise is very intriguing. Alice’s grandmother is the famous, reclusive author of a book of (nasty) fairy tales, all set in the fantasy world of Hinterland. When Alice’s mother is stolen away by someone from the Hinterland, Alice must enter that world to save her.

Yep, The Hazel Wood is a retelling of Alice in Wonderland, complete with bonkers creatures and dark happenings. Definitely not for kids!

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What have you read lately that you’ve loved?

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Teaser Tuesday!

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

I’m very excited about today’s Teaser Tuesday because we have a special guest whose book you’re going to love. But before I introduce her, here’s some news from the Hein house.

Eddie and the Show Queen is now at the formatting stage. Rah! What does that mean for you? Well, it means that it’s suuuuuper close to being put up for pre-order. It also means that I’ll be doing a cover and blurb reveal very soon. As always, newsletter subscribers will get all this juicy news first, plus other goodies like a preview of the opening chapter and first dibs on personally signed print copies. So if you want this and more, sign up with the team here.

Right. Back to our Teaser Tuesday guest.

I’m thrilled to introduce you to Maya Linnell today. Maya’s debut novel Wildflower Ridge hit bookstores last week and is already garnering fantastic reviews. If you love rural romance – and who doesn’t! – Wildflower Ridge needs to be on your to-read pile.

Maya also comes from a special part of the world – far western Victoria, not far from my hometown of Mount Gambier and also where I’ve set a lot of my own books. If you follow her on Instagram you’ll see how truly gorgeous the area is. Maya’s also a champion baker, so be prepared to have your tastebuds teased too.

Which brings me back nicely to today’s teaser. Here’s Maya to tell you a little about Wildflower Ridge and tempt you with an excerpt.

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Maya Linnell AuthorHi Cathryn,

Thanks so much for having me on Teaser Tuesday, and letting me pick a scene from my debut rural romance WILDFLOWER RIDGE. This story is set in the Western Districts of Victoria, a place that’s close to my heart, with the backdrop of the beautiful Grampians mountain range.

I’ve had a great time writing Penny’s story, and making her choose between the city life she loves and the farming dream she buried long ago. It’s all about farming families, country living and following your heart, with a dash of romance, a hefty baking sub-plot thrown in for good measure and topical social issues.

Today I’ve chosen one of my favourite scenes from WILDFLOWER RIDGE. Penny’s sisters Diana and Angie have sneakily whipped up a baking therapy class with Penny and her ex-boyfriend Tim Patterson at the helm. The mischievous pair add a dozen children and disabled people into the mix, set the temperature to high, and watch the recipe rise. Penny is unimpressed with her sisters’ hare-brained scheme, having traded her apron and wooden spoon for fitness and 80-hour working weeks when she migrated to the city, but she never backs away from a challenge. Romance begins to simmer, and they soon discover it’s easier to ignore one another on a 3000-acre farm than in a tiny country kitchen.

Penny folded her arms across her aproned chest, enjoying the newfound camaraderie between her and Tim. It was an improvement on the strained awkwardness that had marked the earlier eight weeks. A screech from the blender and a shriek made them turn in unison.

‘Erghhh,’ cried Evie. The young girl’s eyes were wide, and her hands clamped over her mouth as the blender sprayed its sticky contents everywhere. With the mixture dripping down her brow, Penny blindly searched on the benchtop for the absent lid. Tim’s arms reached around her to flick the machine off at the power point.

Wildflower Ridge by Maya LinnellThe younger children gasped, the older students giggled, and Penny felt her lips twitch as she took in Tim’s face. Chunks of cream cheese hung from his beard. Beads of condensed milk oozed off the tip of his nose. He pursed his lips, nostrils flaring with amusement as his eyes scanned her face. She smelt the lemon, felt the thick droplets rolling down her cheek, and a roar of laughter pealed from her lips.

From the sight of Tim’s broad grin, Penny knew she was as much of a spectacle as him. His laughter also echoed around the room, sending the junior chefs into stitches.

Emboldened by the eager audience and suddenly playful, Penny kept her gaze locked on Tim’s eyes, and she reached for the blender.

‘You missed a spot, Evie.’ She scooped out a handful of the mixture and rubbed it into Tim’s hair.

The children went wild as Tim maintained a deadpan expression, lifting an eyebrow and looking back at her quizzically. He leaned in closer, smelling like sweet citrus.

Penny bit her lip with a combination of mischief and anticipation. She felt the heat of his body next to hers, and the room faded away as his face took up her entire field of vision. She caught her breath as he ran his finger gently along her cheekbone. She wrenched her eyes away from Tim’s to watch his fingertip travelling to his mouth.

‘Mmmm, tastes good to me . . . still, reckon it needs more lemon juice though.’ His voice was low and husky as he stepped away with a smile, still sucking on his finger. Hoots of laughter brought a flush to her face.

Penny flicked on the tap, allowing the cold water to bring her back to her senses. What the hell was that? And in a room full of children, to boot.

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Ooh, I bet you’re hankering for a copy of Wildflower Ridge now. Satisfy that hanker in an instant with a click on any of these buy buttons!

Booktopia | Angus & Robertson | Bookdepository

Amazon.com | Amazon.au | Amazon.uk

iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Barnes and Noble

If you’d like to learn more about Maya and her writing, please visit her website. You can also connect on Instagram and Facebook.

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This Writing Life: Vivid Sydney 2019

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Vivid is an annual light, music and ideas festival that brightens Sydney for around three weeks each winter. Jim and I first went in 2017 and though we didn’t get to see all of it, what we did see was spectacular and left us vowing to return for the full experience. So last weekend we hopped on the Newcastle-Sydney train and did just that.

Here are some photos from the evening we spent wandering the displays. They don’t do Vivid justice, but they’ll give you an idea of how lovely these light shows can be. A lot were interactive this year, which makes things fun. Watching families dance so they can make a sculpture move or flash light was a hoot, and you only had to look at the little ones’ faces when they played with a sculpture to see how wondrous they found it.

I won’t name all the photos and sculptures because that would take forever, and I know you’d much prefer if I was working on Eddie and the Show Queen!

Vivid runs until June 15th so if you can, get to Sydney and be awed.

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The 6 metre high Marri Dyin puppet at Barangaroo.
The 6 metre high Marri Dyin puppet at Barangaroo. It was followed around by a shoal of puppet fish. Wonderfully done.
Vivid Sydney 2019
Museum of Contemporary Art.
Museum of Contemporary Art. The ‘Let Me Down’ light show was absolutely gorgeous.
Turtles promoting Vivid at Taronga Zoo.
These turtles were amazing. We’ll have to go to Vivid at Taronga Zoo next time.
Customs House.
The Customs House ‘Under the Harbour’ light film (not sure what else to call it) was wonderful.
Customs House
More Customs House
Circular Quay
Circular Quay
Circular Quay artwork
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Opera House
Opera House forecourt artwork
Botanic Garden artwork
Botanic Garden artwork
This was the sculpture that made party lights when you danced in front of it.
Botanic Garden artwork
Loved this one. It was kind of spooky.
Botanic Garden artwork
And this.
Ferry ride on the harbour
Catching a ferry is a cheap and fun way to take in more of the displays.
Vivid 2019 - Barangaroo
Barangaroo looked so pretty. There were fish hidden in the trees.
Robot SPACELand music and light show
Robot SPACELand music and light show at Darling Harbour was a blast.
 More Robot SPACELand
More Robot SPACELand
Bright mushrooms at Cockle Bay.
This Darling Harbour display was wonderfully bright and happy-looking.

Hope you enjoyed this peek at Vivid!

See you for Teaser Tuesday next week, when we’ll have an extra special debut guest sharing a snippet from her debut rural romance. Mark your diary because it’s going to be fab!

 

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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 an exciting week it was in the Hein household.

First up, I FINISHED MY EDDIE AND THE SHOW QUEEN EDITS!

Sorry for the shouting, but this is a big deal. With all my health dramas it’s been a serious effort to get this book done, and now it nearly is!

This also means I’ll be showing off its awesome cover, releasing its blurb and putting it up for pre-order very soon. If you want to be among the first to know when this happens, make sure you’re part of my newsletter team. Join here.

The other exciting event was that we trekked down to Sydney for Vivid, the annual light, music and ideas festival, and it was spectacular. If I get the chance I’ll do up a This Writing Life blog post with photos (hopefully better ones than my 2017 Vivid efforts). They won’t do it justice. Like Sculpture by the Sea, Vivid is something that needs to be experienced. The festival runs until June 15th so if you can, get to Sydney and take in this wonder.

Now, on to our Teaser Tuesday snippet and I bet you can guess which book it’s going to be from.

Yep, Eddie and the Show Queen.

Here’s a teeny taste of Eddie’s first encounter with Alice, along with a little hint of its gorgeous cover.

Eddie and the Show Queen partial cover revealHe wandered over to the counter. Alice glanced up, pursed her pretty lips and went back to whatever she was doing.

Another tug hurt his heart. With everyone else, Alice was a cute-as-a-button girl whose sweet bubbliness was so infectious people couldn’t help but smile in her presence. With him she was stiff and cold, and nothing like the Alice he once had loved.

Still loved.

Eddie and the Show Queen is coming soon in print and ebook. Make sure you’ve joined my newsletter to ensure you’re first to get all the delicious details.

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