Teaser Tuesday!

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

Those of you who subscribe to my newsletter (gorgeous people that you are) will have already seen the new cover for The Falls. I’m thrilled to bits with it. It’s bright and passionate, and Merlin the nutty ram even gets a look in.

Another change for The Falls is that it’s now available worldwide in ebook, with the print version coming available over the next few months. So now everyone can enjoy the fun, no matter where they are. Rah! But even better, along with expanded availability comes a significant drop in the ebook price. Double Rah!

With the exception of April’s Rainbow, my stories are usually told only from the heroine’s and hero’s points of view, but The Falls also includes that of Teagan’s Aunt Vanessa. I couldn’t help myself. She was a too interesting and lively character to let her voice go unheard. What that means for readers it that The Falls gives you two romances in one – Teagan’s and Lucas’s and Vanessa’s and Dom’s – and at around 400 pages, a lovely fat read.

Anyway, if you haven’t seen The Falls gorgeous new cover, here it is, along with a snippet from when Teagan first meets a very naughty Merlin.

 

‘Merlin? His name is Merlin?’

‘Merlin the Magic Ram.’ Ness placed a hand on the sheep’s head and gave him an affectionate rub. ‘So named by the family who bottle-raised him after he was abandoned by his mother. They thought him cute until he started bowling over the children. Then it was The Falls by Cathryn Heineither the chop or here, and I couldn’t stand by and let the poor thing be slaughtered for doing what comes naturally. It’s hardly fair. He has his moments, I admit, but I’ve grown quite fond of him.’

The ram sniffed Vanessa’s knee, lifting the skirt of her dress slightly to expose more smooth white leg. His nose wrinkling, Merlin raised his head and curled his top lip before releasing another throaty bleat.

‘Oh, be quiet, you stinky old goat. Here,’ Vanessa said, grabbing a horn, ‘let me sort him out. You look like you could do with a wash and a drink. There’s a fresh jug of margarita in the fridge. Help yourself.’

Leaving her bemused niece, she marched the ram towards the yard Teagan had spied earlier, Merlin bunting and bellyaching the entire way.

 

Oh, Merlin, I had such fun with him. He was so cunning!

Purchase your copy of The Falls today from these ebook retailers.

Amazon.com | Amazon.au | Amazon.co.uk

iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Nook

Print coming soon.

And don’t forget to let me know what you think of the new cover.

 

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My Favourite Reads of April 2018

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Welcome to another edition of My Favourite Reads. There are few positives to being sick, but one of them is reading time. Thanks to me catching a horrid lurgy that required lots of miserable fevery hours in bed or on the couch with my blanky, April was a great reading month.

I enjoyed some excellent books too, which made it very hard to choose a favourite, but my favourite is a story that continues to resonate in my mind, and that story is …

The Juliet Code by Christine Wells

The Juliet Code by Christine WellsI’ve adored all Christine’s books so far. The Wife’s Tale and The Traitor’s Girl were wonderful reads, so I was super keen to get into the The Juliet Code. Obviously, it didn’t disappoint!

This book had everything I adore – intrigue, romance, atmosphere, fantastic characters and a plot loaded with delicious twisty-turns. There’s love and betrayal, heroics and evil. And, if that wasn’t enough, The Juliet Code is also beautiful to look at. That cover just demands to be stroked lovingly.

Snap up a copy for yourself today. You won’t regret it.

 

The Family Next Door by Sally HepworthThe Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth

Fans of domestic thrillers will love this one set in a “nice” suburban street where everyone looks successful and normal. Except hiding behind their veils of normal are families thick with secrets, and they’re about to be exposed.

The Family Next Door was a compelling read with a cool plot twist.

The Ruin by Dervla McTiernanThe Ruin by Dervla McTiernan

A terrific crime novel set in Ireland and introducing Cormac Reilly, an interesting new detective who I’ve read we’ll also see in a second book, and more after that I’m sure.

The Ruin was a nicely atmospheric, gritty and solidly plotted murder-mystery. Also topical.

Enchant by Demelza CarltonEnchant by Demelza Carlton

I read this one when I was under the weather and it was the perfect pick-me-up. Enchant is the first in Demelza’s Romance a Medieval Fairytale series, this one based around Beauty and the Beast. It’s fast-paced, with a cool female lead and fun plot. Perfect for an afternoon blanky snuggling with a book.

You can pick Enchant up for free on Amazon.

Redemption Point by Candice FoxRedemption Point by Candice Fox

Ooh, I enjoyed this one, probably even more than the first, Crimson Lake. It was so good to catch up with Ted and Amanda again, and to see how their lives were progressing. Pretty rockily, but that’s exactly what makes this series so page-turnery. That and the great writing.

Candice Fox’s stand-alone novels remain an auto-buy for me. Can’t wait for the next.

The Tipping Point by Malcolm GladwellThe Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

Apart from writing craft books, of which I own a ridiculous amount, and books bought specifically for story research, I’m not a big reader of non-fiction. Most of the time I either don’t finish the books or skim-read until I get to a good bit, but I read The Tipping Point the entire way through.

Gladwell’s argument for why some things reach a tipping point and take off was compelling. I also liked his entertaining style. There were some eye-widening examples given too.

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth HoganThe Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

This was a lovely book, filled with warmth and gentle English humour. It’s more like two stories, really, related but not parallel, and each as charming as the other. I loved Bomber and Eunice. They were fun (although I found their story bittersweet). Anthony’s, Laura’s, Freddy’s and Sunshine’s tale is a bit more complex, but no less entertaining.

I enjoyed the ‘lost things’ stories, too. They were clever and some had real bite.

Hero at the Fall by Alwyn HamiltonHero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton

The final book in the Rebel of the Sands trilogy. I’m sad to leave this world! It was such a richly built one, loaded with magic and mayhem, heroes and baddies, and others that could slide either way, depending on circumstances. Amani was a terrific heroine, and the other characters wonderfully realised. Shazad was brilliant. Loved her.

Overall, a satisfying way to end the series.

 

What reads have you enjoyed lately?

 

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Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser Tuesday MemeWelcome to Teaser Tuesday, the series where I share snippets of new and past releases, and works-in-progress.

The last two weeks on Teaser Tuesday have been very exciting, with guests Christine Wells and Victoria Purman showing off their new releases, and hosting giveaways. Thanks to everyone who shared their stories of multiculturalism and spy names. It was great fun.

By now you should have heard the news about Elsa’s Stand, the book I’ve been keeping a secret for quite a while now. If you haven’t, then you need to join my newsletter, because those clever subscribers heard days ago, and many – beautiful lovelies that they are – already have their orders in.

Elsa’s Stand releases July 9th and is part of a new rural romance series called Outback Brides. So far there are four books in the series, each by a different Australian author. You might recognise their names – Fiona McArthur, Victoria Purman and Kelly Hunter. A highly talented bunch indeed. Expect to see excerpts from their books around release time.

Today’s snippet is from – you guessed it – Elsa’s StandI adore this book and yes, I know I sound like a cracked record when I say that, but it’s true. I love this book to bits. I loved writing it, I love the characters, I love the cover, I love the blurb. Everything. Sitting on news about its release has been more than a bit torturous, let me tell you.

But now we can talk about Elsa’s Stand and its upcoming release all we like, and share snippets. Rah!

Here’s Elsa thinking about Jack, as any red-blooded girl would. He’s certainly occupied a good deal of my brain space!

 

It was those eyes. ‘Paul Newman eyes’ her mum, who was a huge fan of the actor, would call them. With their pale hue they should have been cold, instead the surrounding fringe of thick dark lashes Elsa's Stand by Cathryn Heinmade them more intense than icy. When they’d settled on Elsa, it was like being lasered.

Jack’s size only added to his appeal. Elsa hadn’t been joking about describing him as a giant. The man was huge, close to six-feet-six, but that wasn’t what made him seem so enormous. It was the breadth of him, combined with a bearing she couldn’t explain, except it reminded her a bit of American actor John Wayne. Thanks to her classic movie buff mum, Elsa had seen every one of the actor’s westerns, and while this hadn’t endeared Wayne to her—nor her mum for making her suffer through such boredom—she couldn’t help but acknowledge Wayne’s screen presence.

And she bet John Wayne never filled out a pair of suit pants and T-shirt the way Jack Hargreaves did.

 

Ah Jack… so silent, so sighworthy! And he could be yours with just a tap, swipe or click. Well, yours on July 9th at least. Until then, he’s mine, I tell you. ALL MINE!

Eh hem.

Pre-order your copy of Elsa’s Stand from:

amazon.com | amazon.com.au | amazon.co.uk
iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Barnes and Noble

Go on. You are going to love this one. I promise.

 

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Say hello to Elsa’s Stand!

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I’ve been keeping a secret from you …

I have a new release coming out this July!

Elsa's Stand by Cathryn Hein

When the sudden death of his mother forces outback opal miner Jack Hargreaves home to Wirralong, his plan is simple: mourn his mother, sort out the family farm, and get the hell out of the town that has always hated him. But Elsa O’Donoghue, the beautiful hairdresser with a big heart and even brighter smile, has other plans.

From the moment Jack strides into her salon and helps himself to her clippers, Elsa is in lust. He might be a poster boy for the strong silent type, but she senses there’s a good man behind that stoic facade. With her business taking off, Elsa is finally ready for a relationship and Jack is just her kind of man. Not to mention, she’s never said no to a challenge.

Worried their association will harm Elsa’s business, Jack tries to avoid her, but Elsa is irresistible. Soon, she has him believing and hoping for a future with her in Wirralong, but another family tragedy shatters Jack’s fragile dream. Jack knows he must leave Elsa to protect her, no matter the cost to himself.

 

ELSA’S STAND releases July 9th, 2018
Secure your ebook today with a pre-order from:

amazon.com | amazon.com.au | amazon.co.uk
iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Barnes and Noble

 

Elsa’s Stand is part of Outback Brides, a wonderful new rural romance series set in the historic gold rush town of Wirralong, in the shadow of Victoria’s stunning Grampian Ranges.

You are going to adore Elsa. She’s smart, sassy, gorgeous and a force to be reckoned with. It’s no wonder our hero Jack can’t resist her, though he tries. Oh how he tries!

There are four books to the Outback Brides series (so far). Mine is Elsa’s Stand but you can also expect stories from Fiona McArthur, Victoria Purman, and Kelly Hunter. How’s that for a bunch of Aussie talent?

I can’t wait to share more about Elsa’s Stand and the Outback Brides series with you. This book was amazing fun to write, and I think you’re going to have even more fun reading it because Elsa and Jack are gorgeous together.

Elsa’s Stand releases July 9th. Pre-order your copy today.

 

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Teaser Tuesday!

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

I’m thrilled to say that we’re hosting another guest this week. Rah! And this one is very special.

Regular readers will know that I’m a huge fan of Christine Wells’s books, including The Wife’s Tale and The Traitor’s Girl. HUGE! These stories are loaded with intrigue, mystery and romance, and feature fabulous female leads.

I also love the atmosphere of Christine’s stories. She takes you right into the era so you feel you’re breathing the same air of the characters, feeling the brush of their dresses, the scents of their worlds. It’s a wonderful reading experience, and her latest release The Juliet Code is no exception.

I finished The Juliet Code last Friday and can honestly say it’s fantastic and will keep you hooked until the very last page. The Juliet Code is also beautifully covered, making it a great Mother’s Day gift or a gift to yourself. We all know you deserve it.

Now, please give a hearty Teaser Tuesday welcome to Christine. Then read on for some background to The Juliet Code along with a delicious excerpt. Make sure you read to the very end because there could be a signed paperback giveaway.

 

Author Christine WellsHi Cathryn! Thank you very much for having me on your blog today. Hello everyone. I’m so thrilled to be with you today to share a little taste of my new release, THE JULIET CODE.

A little bit of background: SAS Captain Steve McIntyre (Mac) has asked Juliet Barnard’s help to track down his sister, Denise, who went missing in France during World War II. Juliet and Denise trained as British agents together and were dropped by parachute into occupied France to join in resistance activities, but they were caught by the Gestapo. To trace what happened to Denise, Juliet and Mac must first find the Nazi who held the women captive. Juliet reluctantly agrees to help Mac but she has a dreadful secret, one she is terrified will come out if they achieve their goal. This scene takes place in Paris the evening before they visit the house where Juliet and Denise were kept prisoner.

 

When he’d gone, Juliet stood with her back flat to the door, her throat choked with sobs. For the first time in years, her body craved a man’s touch. But Felix wanted so much more from her than she could give. She would be cruel to encourage him to hope.

Juliet looked around at the luxurious room and spotted the drinks tray. It would have to be liquid comfort tonight.

She had managed to comfort herself to a pleasant state of muzziness when there was a soft knock on the door.

For a few moments she wasn’t sure she’d heard correctly, but then the knock came again and she mumbled, ‘Coming,’ and rose unsteadily to her feet. ‘Gosh!’ Holding her fingers to one temple and a glass of brandy in the other hand, she tottered and weaved to the door.

The Juliet Code by Christine WellsFor safety’s sake she peered through the spy-hole and copped an eyeful of Mac’s broad chest.

‘Oh,’ she said, and opened the door. ‘Are you still up?

‘Mind if I come in?’ Mac seemed particularly humourless tonight. Which was saying something if you were at all acquainted with the captain.

‘Barnard?’ When she didn’t move aside but rather propped herself up against the wall, Mac seemed to comprehend her condition and muttered, ‘For God’s sake.’ He moved her bodily out of the way, stepped into the room and closed the door behind him.

‘Come on. We have to talk.

‘But you look so serious,’ she said pouting. ‘Why are you always so serious, Mac?

He eyed her without answering, then rang down for coffee.

‘Would you like a drink?’ she asked.

He shook his head. ‘Sit down. I want to ask you something and it can’t wait until morning.

‘Well, I’m all ears,’ she said, flicking her earring as if to demonstrate. ‘Go ahead.

‘I think I’ll wait for the coffee.

‘Then tell me what you’ve been doing tonight,’ she said, sinking onto the couch, which was suddenly far lower than it had been before. ‘Did you find a nice girl to pass the time with? French women are so . . .’ She waved an expressive hand.

There was no need to say what French women were. Mac, being a man, must surely have noticed. And why she should even mention it, she had no idea. The thought of him with another woman made her a little envious and a little sad, if she were being honest with herself. Not jealous. Just envious and sad. If only she hadn’t been so damned noble, she could have been in bed with Felix that very movement. Instead she was drunkenly conversing with this stone wall of a man and he was making her feel utterly stupid.

Silence fell between them and she had no interest in breaking it. She swivelled her feet onto the couch and twirled a strand of hair around her finger, a habit she’d had since she was a child. Stubbornly, she decided not to say one more word until he did.

She suspected that sleeping with Mac would be a largely silent affair. Uncomplicated and animal. Simple, in the best sense. But she was sober enough to realise that she was more than a little tipsy and the captain was the kind of man who would not take advantage. She wasn’t sure whether to be glad or sorry.

She was slowly reaching mental clarity all on her own when the coffee arrived. Mac played mother and replaced her brandy glass with a steaming demitasse of the purest, darkest coffee.

The very first sip knocked her to full alertness. She wouldn’t sleep a wink but it was worth it. ‘Ohhh, this is good.

The captain had poured some for himself, and the delicate cup looked like a child’s toy in his big hand. Even he couldn’t help but give a sigh of satisfaction. ‘Real coffee. There’s nothing like it in all of the British Isles.

They sat savouring it for a few minutes in mutual enjoyment and Juliet’s resentment toward him mellowed. ‘What did you want to speak to me about?’ She managed that entire sentence without a slurred word.

From his pocket, Mac fished out a photograph and handed it to her. ‘Do you recognise this man?

A jolt of revulsion shook her. She recognised him instantly, though the picture must have been taken at least ten years earlier. The brandy roiled unpleasantly in her stomach.

She nodded, pressing a hand to her lips, willing herself not to be sick. When she’d pushed down the nausea, she managed to say, ‘He was French but he worked with the Nazis. He was at that other place. Is he still alive? Have they caught him?

‘He’s alive as far as I can discover,’ said Mac. ‘And no, they haven’t caught him. Yet. But as you can imagine, he’s wanted in several quarters. Name of Pierre Garrond.

The flashes began behind her eyes. The filthy jeering face. The whip. The spattered walls. She forced down the panic. She was safe now. She’d sleep with the lights on tonight.

 

 

Oooh, I remember this scene. Wonderful stuff! As is the rest of the book. If you love a twisty tale, a gutsy heroine, brave heroes, a wonderful atmosphere, spies, love and betrayal, you should buy The Juliet Code right now.

Try these print and ebook stores:

 

Booktopia | Angus and Robertson Bookworld | Bookdepository
Amazon | Amazon.com.au | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

 

And now, because Christine is lovely and generous, we have a…

GIVEAWAY!

For your chance to win a signed paperback copy of The Juliet Code, answer this simple question: If you were a spy, what would you choose for your code name?

Okay, I’ll go for The Golden Fox, although, technically, I suppose it should be vixen, but perhaps more spylike to keep my gender ambiguous. Hmm… The Golden Fox. Sounds a bit like a rural British pub, doesn’t it?

Be as funny or as serious as you like, we don’t mind. Just make sure to share your choice in the comment section of this blog and we’ll pop you into the giveaway for a signed copy of The Juliet Code.

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Friday, Australian Eastern Time, 4th May 2018. Australian postal addresses only.

If you’d like to learn more about Christine and her wonderful books, please visit her website. You can also connect on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter via @ChristineWells0.

 

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Teaser Tuesday!

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

Ooh, I love having guests on Teaser Tuesday. It’s a nice break from featuring my own work and guests always share really cool excerpts.

Today is no exception on the cool excerpt front, or the cool author for that matter because, my lovelies, we’re hosting Victoria Purman. Rah!

Now Victoria has been a guest previously on Teaser Tuesday, promoting her sexy firefighter novella Flame, from the Firefighters of Montana Series. Of course, you’d be more familiar with Victoria from her coastal romances such as Nobody Like Him, Someone Like You, Our Kind of Love, and the family saga The Three Miss Allens.

Clever Victoria has taken another creative turn with her latest release, and you are going to be as fascinated as I am by this one. Here’s Victoria to tell you the story behind The Last of the Bonegilla Girls and share an excerpt.

Make sure you read to the end because there could be a GIVEAWAY!

 

Victoria Purman authorIn 1954, my grandparents Stefan and Maria Scheirich arrived in Australia with five children, two suitcases, a wooden trunk, and memories of their birthplace devastated by the war.

Inside that trunk were some photos and papers, their best clothes, a new set of saucepans that my Oma had bought in Germany and hadn’t wanted to leave behind, and some new Christmas candles. When they put them up on their first Australian Christmas tree, the candles wilted in the 40 degree heat and the whole family cried with homesickness.

They’d lived in Germany as refugees since the end of the war – they were Hungarian-born but of German heritage – and had decided to cross the seas to create new lives for themselves and their children.

They disembarked the Fairsea on June 12, stepped on to a train and then got off at Bonegilla, near Albury Wodonga on the New South Wales Victoria border. It was June and freezing cold and they lived there with thousands of other “new Australians” while waiting to be assigned work anywhere in this wide brown land.

My Oma and Opa and their children were among the three hundred thousands people who passed through the Bonegilla Migrant Reception Centre while it was operating between 1947 and 1971.

More than one in twenty Australians have a link to someone who passed through Bonegilla. As I’ve grown older, I’ve asked myself how much I really know about my parents’ and our grandparents’ stories. And that question was the inspiration behind “The Last of the Bonegilla Girls”.

 

Sixteen year old Elizabeta Schmidt blinked open her sleepy eyes. The camp. The word had been whispered from one family to another on the rust red train, in whatever common language people had. Like a Chinese whisper, the words spread from carriage to carriage, seat after seat, over hats and scarved heads and little children’s curls. In hushed and tired voices, like a wave, it meant that there journey was almost over.

It had been six weeks since the Schmidt family had left Bremerhaven to begin their journey on the Fairsea through the North Sea, around Europe to Malta, then Port Said in Egypt, and to Melbourne via Perth. After a rough voyage over the Great Australian Bight, during which her mother was sick every day, they’d berthed at Port Melbourne and then crossed a wharf and climbed aboard the train with many carriages. It was almost midnight and Elizabeta was tired and scared. The leather seats were a small comfort. She and her family had been forced on to all kinds of trains before with nothing so luxurious; they had had no windows and only wooden planks to sit on. Elizabeta didn’t mind this Australian train at all.

The Last of the Bonegilla Girls by Victoria PurmanShe pulled her brand new woollen winter coat tighter around her and lifted the collar to cover her ears. Not everyone seemed so happy to be going to the place called Bonegilla. The sobbing from behind her had begun an hour before and the woman hadn’t stopped. Elizabeta didn’t recognise the words, but thought it might be Russian perhaps, or Ukrainian. Elizabeta had been surrounded by languages her whole life. She spoke Hungarian and German, and had picked up some English in the classes provided on the Fairsea on the voyage over and from lessons from her father. She recognised the harshness of Polish with all its zeds and jheds. The passionate roar of Italian and the sounds of Greek, in which everything seemed to end in ki. People had picked up languages like scraps of food, anything to help survive the war. In her world for the past ten years, everyone had been seeking refuge from somewhere.

The train slowed and lurched and then pulled up with a brake squeal of fingernails on a blackboard and the woman behind Elizabeta began howling even louder.

Someone whispered in German, ‘Sie war in den Lagern. Sie mag es nicht, Züge. Sie verstehen.

She was in the camps. She doesn’t like trains. You understand.

There were murmurs and nods of agreement all around.

The rattle of the train stilled and Elizabeta stared out the window into the black nothingness. There wasn’t a star in the sky. Dim lights brightened a platform, but there were no buildings to be seen. There was a strange whistling in the dark, a rustle of leaves perhaps in the distance. The sobbing woman howled again, which set off a couple of tired children who began to squawk. Slowly, everyone around her stood, collected their belongings and bags, reached for the hands of children, and moved down the carriage towards the open doors. Elizabeta stayed close to her parents, Jozef and Berta, and when her mother asked her to make sure she held her little sister’s hand, Elizabeta clasped Luisa’s fingers in hers. Her nine year old sister looked up at her with tired eyes.

Wir sind hier, Luisa,’ she said.

 

How wonderful does this sound? Brilliant, I reckon and perfect for Mother’s Day. If you’re hungry for more, which I bet you are, you can read an even meatier, 5 chapter excerpt here.

Better still, purchase The Last of the Bonegilla Girls in paperback or ebook today from your favourite book retailer or try these online stores:

Booktopia | Angus and Robertson Bookworld | Dymocks
Amazon.com | Amazon.com.au | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

Now, as mentioned in the intro, Victoria has generously offered you lucky lovelies a …

GIVEAWAY!

The Last of the Bonegilla Girls is described as a post-Second World War story of strong female ties and family, secrets and lies, set in the multicultural Australia of the fifties.

So let’s talk multi-culturalism. What’s your favourite aspect of Australia’s multicultural society?

I want to say something noble about people and culture but I’m going to be selfish and nominate the food instead. I adore how we can eat the world in Australia, without stepping a toe out of the country.

Share your thoughts and you’ll be entered into the draw to win a signed paperback of The Last of the Bonegilla Girls.

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Friday, Australian Eastern Time, 27th April 2018. Australian postal addresses only.

If you’d like to learn more about Victoria and her wonderful books, please visit her website. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter via @VictoriaPurman.

 

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Teaser Tuesday!

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

Ooh, you’re in for a treat today. Oh, yes you are!

I don’t often share snippets from works-in-progress, but today I can’t help myself because I’ve seen a cover concept for this book and it’s left me veeeeery excited.

Regular readers will know that I’m working on another Levenaham-set story called Eddie and the Show Queen, featuring Alice Lindner, who you met in Chrissy and the Burroughs Boy, and Eddie Argyle, who is mentioned in a few books, and is brother to Harry from Summer and the Groomsman.

I can’t share the cover yet because it still needs tweaking and I don’t want to put it up until I have pre-order links, but I can whet your appetite with a snippet.

This is unedited, which means it could change a lot between now and publication, or might not make it into the final book at all. So please forgive awkward bits and typos.

I hope you enjoy this teaser from Eddie and the Show Queen!

Alice is having a post-netball training drink with the girls when she bumps into Eddie …

 

Ignoring Eddie wasn’t easy when he was so big and so close. His beer was on the bar and from the corner of her eye she could see his long fingers circling the glass. Worse, she could feel his gaze. Alice wished he’d go away. His presence was spoiling her excitement over Nick and Chrissy.

‘I entered,’ he said.

Her head whipped around so hard it shot a pain through her neck. ‘You what?’

‘The Show Queen thing. I entered.’

Alice could only stare. Eddie entered? Oh, no, no, no. That was not meant to happen. The thing with the form was just to rile him. He wasn’t actually meant to go through with it.

 

Poor Eddie. All he wants to do is impress Alice and has no idea that he’s going about it all wrong. The harder he tries, the more of a mess he makes. Expect plenty of smiles with this one, and maybe a tear or two.

Remember, newsletter subscribers will be first with the cover reveal, first chapter preview and pre-order links, so join the cool people today!

 

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My Favourite Reads of March 2018

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My Favourite Reads image

Welcome to My Favourite Reads, a tad late this month because I’m still trying to recover from the rotten lurgy I caught over Easter and which hammered me flat for over a week. I’m like a koala at the moment and can’t stop sleeping. All very nice – I do enjoy a good nap – but it’s not doing my writing production any good at all.

But on to lovelier things, like books!

Without further ado, my favourite read for March was…

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay KristoffOh, what a brilliant ending to a brilliant series!

I thought Illuminae would be hard to beat – it was so clever and exciting and fresh – then came along Gemina and it was fantastic too. Which meant Obsidio had a whole lot to live up to. As expected from these two expert authors, it did just fine. More than fine. I gobbled this down and then was left bereft when it was over.

Every book in the The Illuminae Files was a joy. The female characters were the best – strong, sassy and super smart. It was no wonder the heroes loved them so much. In fact, all the characters were fantastically drawn, even Aiden, the bonkers artificial intelligence.

Honestly, even is sci-fi isn’t your thing, give this series a go because it’s really, really cool.

Magpie Murders by Anthony HorowitzMagpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

Horowitz has quickly become one of my favourite authors. His Sherlock Holmes books, The House of Silk and Moriarty, were excellent. As soon as I saw Magpie Murders I put it on my to-be-read list.

This was so cleverly done. A book within a book, with murder and mystery and red-herrings galore. I’ll admit that I spent quite a few pages wondering where Horowitz was heading with the Atticus Pund story, but my trust in him kept me reading, and the book turned out huge fun. I do love a good twist and Horowitz does them very well.

His new release, The Word is Murder, recently hit shelves and I snapped it up straight away.

Hot Italian Nights by Annie WestBound to the Italian’s Boss by Annie West, The Italian’s Bold Reckoning by Annie West, At the Italian’s Bidding by Annie West, Falling for the Brooding Italian by Annie West

As I mentioned in last month’s Favourite Reads, I’ve been having a wonderful time devouring Annie’s Hot Italian Nights series. They were perfect during the tumult of house moving, but even when things settled down I couldn’t stop reading them. They’re so deliciously addictive!

I’d caught up with the series – which you can buy as a boxed set – about midway through the month, but I read in Annie’s newsletter this week that book 7, The Italian’s Marriage Bargain, has just hit shelves. Rah!

If you love sexy, glamorous romances that tug at your heartstrings (and make you long for travel), grab this series.

 

What reads have you enjoyed lately?

 

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Teaser Tuesday!

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

My apologies for missing last week’s edition. Easter was all going nicely until Sunday night when I was smacked flat by a nasty lurgy that left me barely able to get out of bed let alone capable of doing up a blog post. A week later and I’m still a tad wobbly, so please excuse any errors.

But enough of horrible illnesses. We’re here for some teasing and today I have a beeeooooty for you.

Fiona McArthur is a much-loved Australian author of over 30 Mills and Boon medical romances, along with rural romance, contemporary women’s fiction and non-fiction. You probably know Fiona from recent releases like The Homestead Girls, Red Sand Sunrise, Heart of the Sky and The Baby Doctor.

Last week, a new story hit shelves – Mother’s Day. Here’s Fiona to tell you about it and share an extra juicy excerpt.

Make sure you read right to the end, because there could be a GIVEAWAY!

 

Fiona McArthur authorHello there Cathryn and thanks so much for having me on Tuesday Teaser.

I’m pretty darn excited about this book, aptly called Mother’s Day, and the book holds so many of the things I love – like babies, pregnancy, feisty small town midwife and a hunky city doctor who had no idea he had a teenage daughter or what she was capable of. And there’s some sparks left right and centre with her midwife too. There was a lot of fun to be had in this book, mostly because Jacinta’s dad was about to be surrounded by women, not just his new daughter, and he was outgunned.

I hope readers love MOTHER’S DAY as much as I do.

This excerpt comes after Jacinta meets her father for the first time and he offers her a safer place than the dodgy drug-traffickers apartment in Kings Cross to wait for her baby to be born.

 

…Thirty minutes later Jacinta stood in the centre of a formal lounge room overlooking Sydney Harbour, while her brain scrambled for a frame of reference.

She had a father.

Unable to stand still, she walked with agitation across to the huge windows to grip the windowsill.

She stared blindly out at the Harbour Bridge from a vantage point so close it felt like she could reach out and touch the metal of the structure. But what she wanted to touch was the folded letter in her pocket.

Her eyes blurred until the green Sydney ferries and even the tall ship with waves creaming off its sides passed unnoticed.

The letter. She could recite what her mother had written, the words burned into her brain.

Jacinta is your child. For the last sixteen years, I’ve managed without you – but it’s different now. I’m not well and I’m worried about her care if anything happens to me.

Mothers Day by Fiona McArthurHer mother had suspected she’d die. And she hadn’t told Jacinta.

Jacinta turned back to Iain McCloud. He’d been watching her, but when she returned the scrutiny he shifted his gaze to the envelope that had carried the missive. It lay on the coffee table between them crossed with address changes.

It wasn’t his fault that he hadn’t received it right away. It was nobody’s fault. Except now, he knew about her and he’d come. Too late to save her mum.

‘I wish your mother had told me. I would have been there for you both,’ he said, his voice a quieter version now.

She didn’t trust him. She didn’t trust anybody.

Jacinta scoffed. ‘Sure you would. You probably don’t even remember her.’ She watched him wince with some satisfaction.

‘I remember Adele,’ he said almost fiercely.

With no small degree of shock, Jacinta realised that her voice changed like that when she felt strongly about something. It was weird to hear it come from someone else.

‘I remember the summer it must have happened,’ he went on.

Then he looked at her and again she could see how much he wanted her to believe him. Maybe deep down she did, but she wasn’t telling him that. No way.

‘Adele was older than me,’ he said. ‘I thought she was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen.’

Jacinta flinched, but he didn’t see it. She suspected he didn’t see anything in this room as he lost himself in the past.

          ‘Not at the end she wasn’t,’ Jacinta muttered. Her mother’s years of hard work and illness had been etched on her face.

His gaze shifted to hers. ‘And I want to know that, too. But we have a little time.’

She saw him look at the swell of her belly.

He didn’t say, ‘before the baby’, but she knew he was thinking it. The pregnancy had been a shock for him when the door had opened.

It had been a shock for Jacinta when she’d first found out, too.

Nick the Nasty had pushed her backwards by her little bulge when he’d realised it was there. ‘You’re pregnant!’

As if she’d done it all by herself to spite him. And she’d looked down and realised it was true.

Then he’d said scornfully, ‘Get yourself fixed before it gets any bigger. Or get out.’ And she’d cupped her stomach and run away.

She pulled herself back to the present. Back to the posh room with its expensive harbour view and the man who was supposed to be dead. She watched him run his hand through his tousled hair. Not so immaculate now, are you, buddy?

He was watching her again. ‘Let me support you, at least until your baby’s born. I’m offering a safe place for both of you at a time when you’re vulnerable. Your baby is vulnerable.’

And that was the heart of it.

She couldn’t afford to turn him down. Pedro had been skirting the back door of a paddy wagon for a while now and he could go any time. Then she definitely wouldn’t be safe. Not with his friends. Not with the other drug dealers.

Her baby wouldn’t be safe.

‘You look like her,’ he said softly as his eyes stared through her again.

Jacinta turned her head and dispassionately studied her face in the big gold-framed mirror hanging over the marble fireplace. She looked crumpled, her hair dull and her cheeks prominent in her thin face. Maybe she had her mother’s nose. What she couldn’t dispute was she had this guy’s eyes and eyebrows.

Her hair was light brown, almost blonde like her mother’s, but her eyebrows were two dark slashes across her forehead. She’d always wondered where her dark brows had come from. She guessed she should be glad he didn’t have a monobrow.

This was all too much to take in.

Then he said something that made her stare. ‘What’s ironic is that I was the same age as you are now. But I lied to her and told her I was twenty.’   

He laughed bitterly. ‘I would have told her anything to make her see me as a man and not a boy. I was so infatuated with her.’

He went on and she turned back to look at this man who evidently did know her mother. Someone who had memories of her when she was young – times Jacinta knew nothing about.

‘Until the day she changed.’ His voice altered. Flattened. ‘When she sent me away.’ He looked at her. ‘Apparently to hide you.’

Jacinta shrugged. ‘Why would she do that? Unless she was scared of you?’ Maybe he was meaner than he looked.

He laughed, but it was an odd, humourless noise. ‘I was the puppy and she was the mistress. I would have done anything for her. But she always said she was too old for me, that I had my life ahead of me. And she chose to exclude me from your life. I wish I knew why.’

He didn’t look like a puppy now. More like a big, square- shouldered guard dog, staring her down. Pretty sure of himself, all decked out in his silk tie. It did put her at a disadvantage to be smelling like Kings Cross and dressed in a grubby man’s shirt, with a pair of old bike pants stretched over her belly.

Survival kicked in. If he was her dad, he owed her – and she’d make him pay. ‘You got a shirt I can wear? I need a shower.’

‘A shirt, please.’ He raised one of those dark brows.

She raised her left brow to mimic him. ‘Spare me,’ she said. She didn’t do submissive.

To her surprise he laughed. Like Pedro had.

 

Doesn’t that sound brilliant? As Fiona said in her intro, lots of sparks.

You can purchase Mother’s Day right now from you favourite book retailer, or online in ebook and print from:

Booktopia | Dymocks | Bookdepository

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

iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

And now, as hinted, here’s a lovely…

GIVEAWAY!

To be in the draw to win a copy of Mother’s Day, share a special mothering figure in your life.

Mothers Day by Fiona McArthurI’m going to nominate my late grandmother, who very patiently taught me to cook and sew, and told me a few facts of womanly life when I asked (poor Mum was very upset that I’d asked Nanny and not her, but it was just a timing thing). I’ll never forget those afternoons. They were lovely.

So who is your special mothering figure? Share and you could win a paperback copy of Fiona’s beautiful new release, Mother’s Day.

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Saturday. 14th April 2018. Open internationally. Rah!

If you’d like to learn more about Fiona and her stories, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook.

 

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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 love to con author buddies into doing the same. Which is the case again this week!

But first, news from the slowly settling chaos that is the new Hein house. I’ve been running our oven through its paces and, much to my surprise, it’s been behaving rather well. It looks like the people who did the renovation installed the most basic model they could find, which means it has only two functions – fan bake and grill.

I narrowed my eyes when I first saw it, picturing dried out cakes and other travesties, but it’s proved me wrong. So far we’ve enjoyed hot-crossed buns, mascarpone lemon tart, and salt and vinegar roast potatoes, and all were tasty and not remotely dried out. Excellent!

Speaking of excellent, my guest today is small town and rural romance author Jennie Jones. Jennie is the loveliest person, and great fun to catch up with. She also writes hugely popular books.

I have no doubt many of you are very familiar with Jennie’s books, especially her Swallow’s Fall series. Regular readers will also be aware of Jennie’s new Rangelands series, described as “Rural Romance meets Blue Heelers” (for international folk, Blue Heelers was a much-loved and long-running police drama set in the Australian countryside), and which began with A Place to Stay.

The latest instalment is A Place with Heart and it sounds fabulous. Think mystery, sizzling sexual tension, the Australian outback, and Jennie’s trademark sparkling characters.

Here’s Jennie to tell you more about it and share a juicy sample. Enjoy!

 

Author Jennie JonesThanks for having me back on Teaser Tuesday, Cathryn.

In my new release A Place with Heart my heroine, Jaxine, is facing the unexpected: the arrival of her child, Frances, whom she was forced to give up to its father when she was only seventeen. She has a lot to think about, reflect on, regret, and get over so she can make the world a better place for her put-upon 13-year-old daughter who has been turfed out of her home in the most heartbreaking circumstances.

As if that’s not enough, there’s a crime spree happening in town, and Jax and Frances are caught up in it. Good job Detective Senior Sergeant Jack Maxwell is on hand – although his week isn’t going according to plan either! But one thing Jack knows almost from the start of the story is what he wants – Jaxine. This teaser is taken from after Jack discovers exactly what happened to Jax and to Frances, and why the woman he’s in love with is so reluctant to let him into her life.

 

Jack pulled his mobile out of his shirt pocket and rang her.

‘You okay, sweetheart?’ he said as soon as she answered and before she had time to speak.

There was a pause. ‘Jack, you’ve got to stop—’

‘Will you come out with me?’

A longer pause.

A Place with Heart by Jennie Jones‘I want to take you out,’ he said, turning his back to the street and stepping into the alley between the café and the newsagent’s. ‘I want to walk up Sunset Mountain with you and hold your hand when we get to the steep bits.’

‘Jack …’

‘I want to drive out to Maria Downs with you,’ he said softly, ‘and pick you a big bunch of wildflowers.’

‘That’s illegal.’

‘I’ll risk it.’

He stepped further away from the rumble of traffic on High Street. The smell of fried food and coffee lingered in the evening air but all Jack inhaled was the sweet scent of Jax’s perfume. Just the way he remembered it. ‘I want to see you smile at me again. Our smile, Jax. You know the one I mean.’ Goosebumps rose on his skin. ‘That smile we share when we look at each other and the world around us disappears. Don’t tell me you don’t know which smile I mean. It’s still there.’

He heard her swallow, as though she had a lump of emotion in her throat.

‘Come out with me. Be with me.’ Let me in.

He waited for her response, his breath coming deeply.

‘Jack—’

‘I’m just telling you what I want.’

He hung up before she had a chance to give him a negative.

He headed for the cop shop. First, he was going to run a check on Frances’s father, then he was going to call a close friend who worked alongside child protection.

 

 

Ooh, how sweet. And also how intriguing. Like me, you want more, more, more of A Place with Heart, don’t you? Oh yes you do!

Satisfy that want immediately with a click, tap or swipe over to …

Booktopia | Angus and Robertson Bookworld
Amazon.com | Amazon.com.au | Amazon.co.uk
iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Nook

Too easy. And don’t you feel better now?

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

 

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