Category Archives: Teaser Tuesday

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 thrilled to say that today is one of those days, and even more thrilled to announce that our guest is Helene Young!

Romantic suspense fans will be very familiar with Helene’s work. She’s a multiple award winner, including winning the Romance Writers of Australia prestigious Romantic Book of the Year award (the Ruby) not once but twice, and winning the Australian Romance Readers Association Favourite Romantic Suspense award multiple times.

Photography and sailing fans will know Helene from her adventures aboard her catamaran the Roo Bin Esque. If that isn’t enough, Helene has also had a long career as a pilot.

I know, I know, TOTAL overachiever, but we love her anyway cos she’s awesome.

Best of all Helene has a new book coming out. Return to Roseglen releases 2nd July, 2018 and it looks brilliant. One read of this excerpt and you’ll be click-swipe-tapping your fingers like crazy pre-ordering a copy.

Because we’re the blog with the most-est, there may also be a chance to win a Return to Roseglen paperback. So give a big welcome to Helene, and read on.

 

Helene Young - AuthorCathryn, it’s lovely to be visiting your blog again and thanks for the opportunity to share a sneak peek inside the covers of Return to Roseglen. It’s a story that’s been 3 years in the writing and I think the issues of elder abuse and the ‘sandwich’ generation of women who juggle careers, children, parents, menopause and mid-life melt downs have never been more important!

This excerpt is the opening chapter where we meet fiercely independent Ivy Dunmore, who at 93, is battling to remain at home on her sprawling cattle property in North Queensland. Growing old is the least of her problems as she realises jealousy and greed are tearing her family apart.  She’s always known that the truth would come out in the end, but that doesn’t make it any easier to tell.

 

Ivy’s hand trembled as she drew the brush over her lips, in dan­ger of smudging the bright colour. Who would have thought at ninety-three she’d feel the need for war paint to stare down her son? Her Aunt Leonie always maintained that the devil caught most souls in a golden net. After last night’s conversation with Ken she finally understood what her aunt meant.

‘They’re going to foreclose on me,’ her son had said. ‘There’s only one option, one way to save both properties. You’ll need to sign them. No one needs to know.’

Her whole body had gone rigid. How could this be? But, in her heart, she’d seen it coming.

Return to Roseglen by Helene YoungShe pressed her lips together, smoothing the lipstick, then tilted her head to find a clear reflection in the mirror. The silver back­ing had starting to fall away around the edges. Another repair that would never be done now.

She peered at the face in the mirror. ‘Hello, Ivy Dunmore,’ she murmured, feeling like she was meeting an old friend for the first time in years. Wispy white hair was brushed back from a high forehead, the pale skin surprisingly unlined despite the years in the sun. Those summer blue eyes had paled to a frosty winter hue, framed by gold-rimmed glasses. There were creases in the cheeks, lines carved around the eyes – from laughter, she told herself – eyelashes that clump together, short and sparse. No point in batting them at a good-looking young digger anymore.

She tried a smile and examined her teeth. At least they were all her own, even if they wouldn’t be advertising toothpaste any time soon. She caught a glimpse of a feisty girl with her skirts flying as she whirled around the old Methodist Hall, bright eyes sliding towards the tall rangy cattleman who, dressed in his army uniform, lounged against the doorframe.

Wex and Lady interrupted the memory, their barks as creaky as her joints. The kelpies were the only survivors of the pack that helped Charlie rule sprawling Roseglen with benevolent care.

At the sound of a car speeding up the dusty track to the homestead Ivy sat taller on her wheeled walker. She looked to the faded photo of her husband beside their bed. Charlie’s battered felt hat was tilted back, his laughing eyes framed by a deep web of lines. There was strength in the chords of his neck and muscles of his shoulders. Behind him was Roseglen’s whitewashed chapel with the family graveyard and beyond that the ridgeline with the silhouette of towering gums. He was seventy that year, a man still vigorous and alive. That was the way he’d always be in her memory.

Hurried footsteps sounded up the stairs and across the verandah. She heard the front door swing open.

‘Mum? Mum? Where are you?’ Ken called.

No rush. I’m still alive, dear. She bit back the retort. Even at sixty-three he could be so needy.

‘I’m here, son. I’ll be out in a moment.’

‘Right.’ Ken stopped outside the door. ‘I’ve got the papers.’

Well, of course you’ve got the papers. Why else would you be here? She swallowed a laugh and hiccupped. ‘Put the kettle on, there’s a dear,’ she said, hoping her voice sounded bright.

‘I’m on a tight schedule, Mum.’

‘Yes, I know, but there’s time for a cuppa. I’ll just be a moment.’

His heels thudded on the hall runner as he strode back across to the kitchen. Why could he not remember to take his boots off outside? The drought had sucked the moisture from the dirt in the front yard and he’d be leaving a trail of dust behind him on the old Persian carpet.

She sighed and glanced around the room, taking comfort from the pressed metal ceilings, the painting of the homestead surrounded by lush pastures and sleek cattle, and the solid oak furniture, gleaming with beeswax.

It had been her home for sixty years, ever since they moved from the tiny manager’s cottage to care for Old Mrs Dunmore. She loved every plank, every French door, every polished floorboard. The memories were as thick and rich as the chocolate topping she used to make for Charlie’s favourite pudding. She fingered a linen and lace doily on the dressing table. One wet season, when Lissie was just a toddler and the road was cut by floodwaters for a month, she’d grown bored with baking. That had resulted in a collection of doilies and tablecloths. Not too shabby an effort if she said so herself.

Sinbad, her Siamese, lounged on the handmade patchwork quilt, his gaze unwavering.

‘Yes, lovely boy. You stay here.’ The tip of his tail flicked. Ken had no love for cats.

In the kitchen the kettle screamed. Ivy could picture Ken on his phone, trying to ignore it. If he wasn’t poking at the screen, then he was talking, like a disembodied head holding a conversation with a ghost. Bluetooth, he’d told her one day when she’d chipped him about it. Sounds like a reason to visit the dentist, she’d retorted.

The whistle shut off abruptly.

‘Mum!’ He was imperious this time.

All right, all right. I’m not one of the dogs rounding up cattle. She’d a mind to make him wait, but instead she stood and turned, straightened the skirt of her favourite blue dress, the fabric rippling over her legs, then gripped the handles of her walker and released the brakes. Let’s get this over and done with, Ivy Dunmore.

Doesn’t that sound fab? I adore this line: “Bluetooth, he’d told her one day when she’d chipped him about it. Sounds like a reason to visit the dentist, she’d retorted.” Made me laugh out loud and I suspect Ivy will give us plenty more of those in Return to Roseglen.

Return to Roseglen releases 2nd July 2018. Order your copy today from:

Booktopia | Angus & Robertson |Bookdepository | Dymocks
Amazon.com | Amazon.com.au | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

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

GIVEAWAY!

Ivy Dunmore is a demon Scrabble player who at 93 still likes to reign supreme. ‘No such thing as a free ride in this family,’ she tells her children. What board games do you and your family play? Do you have a favourite? One you played growing up perhaps?

Return to Roseglen by Helene YoungShare in the comments and you’ll go into a draw to win a paperback copy of Return to Roseglen.

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Friday, Australian Eastern Time, 22nd June 2018. Australian postal addresses only.

Ooooh, so many board games to choose from. We played a lot of cards too (I was a crafty canasta player and there was another we called ‘spit’ which was sort of like snap but more violent), however I used to love Chinese Checkers when I was little – it was the coloured marbles I think – then when I was older we had some epic Monopoly battles. That game is the best.

What’s your favourite family board game? Or, if you didn’t play board games, what other game kept you amused? Reveal all and we’ll pop you into the draw for a copy of Return to Roseglen.

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

EVENTS!

Join in the conversation as Jaye Ford interviews three of Australia’s favourite authors of stories for women

When:  Saturday, 14 July, 1.30pm

Where: Cardiff Library, Cardiff Marketplace, Cnr Main and Macquarie Road, Cardiff NSW 2285

Cost: Free

Be enthralled by Helene Young, Christine Wells and Cathryn Hein, as they discuss their writing careers, writing stories that resonate with their female audience and the inspiration behind their latest books; Return to Roseglen, The Juliet Code, and The Country Girl.

Books will be available for purchase and signing. Bookings are essential. To find out more call Cardiff Library on 4921 0775 or book online here.

Writing Popular Fiction That Sells Workshop

With over thirty published novels in romance, historical fiction, mystery, suspense and women’s fiction, Helene, Christine and Cathryn know what it takes to write a cracking yarn that publishers will buy and readers will love.

When:  Saturday, 14 July, 9.00 am – 12.00 pm

Where: Toronto Library, Brighton Ave & Pemell Street, Toronto, NSW 2283

In this workshop, you will learn how to get ideas and turn them into a working premise for a novel, how to write characters who leap off the page, and how to sell or self-publish your story once it’s finished.

Perfect for beginners and experienced writers alike, this fun, interactive workshop will both inform and inspire.

Bookings essential. For further information contract Toronto Library on 49210641 or secure your spot today here.

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Teaser Tuesday!

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

After a couple of weeks in the tropics I’m home, where it is lovely but, sadly, not tropical. This is not necessarily a bad thing, mind. If I had weather like that all the time I’d never get any writing done.

A couple of housekeeping items. If you’re in Western Australia or are planning a trip over there later in the year, make sure you mark your diaries for the West Coast Fiction Festival on November 3rd, 2018 at the Rendezvous Hotel, Scarborough. This is going to be a terrific event, chockers with fab authors from Australia and overseas. The full list of attending authors and anything else you’d like to know is available on the West Coast Fiction Festival website. Tickets go on sale now and selling fast, with all ticket profits going to Share the Dignity.

I will have a limited number of my books for sale but you can guarantee your copies with a pre-order. Simply read the instructions and fill out the form here and you’ll be set.

The second housekeeping item is this website’s new privacy policy. Maintaining your trust is important to me, so please take a moment to read it.

Right. Back to booky goodness!

There is now less than a month until Elsa’s Stand releases. Rah! I am so excited about this book. It’s one of my favourites and I love the characters to bits, and I can’t wait for you to read it.

Newsflash! YES, there will be print copies. They’re currently available for pre-order on Amazon.com, Amazon.com.au, Amazon.co.uk and Booktopia, and I should have signed copies available for direct purchase from me. As soon as I have an idea of prices, I’ll let you know. Please note that newsletter subscribers will get first dibs on these. Sign up here if you don’t want to miss out.

Here’s a little teaser to show what you’re in for with Elsa and Jack. You will love them, oh yes you will!!

 

‘Excellent. I’ll give you a call. See if we can’t arrange it for next week.’ Suddenly Angus’s attention was taken by something behind Jack. A smile broke across his face. Elsa's Stand by Cathryn Hein‘Here’s trouble.’

Jack checked over his shoulder. Elsa was in the middle of the road, hopping foot to foot as she waited for a couple of cars to pass. Being the country, they were slow, the driver in front waving to someone on the cake stall as they crawled past. Elsa had pulled up her hair into a sort-of bun with wispy dangly bits loose around the sides of her face. Her thigh-high, off-the-shoulder dress was white and frilly, and paired with matching heeled sandals. Against the dark bitumen, she glowed.

Jack breathed in and slowly out. Skin. Pale skin, freckly skin. Lots of skin. And a smile that lit the entire street. Elsa was gorgeous normally but this … this was going to take serious control.

 

He he. Poor Jack. Elsa is awesome at scrambling his brain. Such fun!

Make sure you don’t miss out on this gorgeous tale by pre-ordering today from:

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

Newsletter subscribers will have first dibs on personally signed print copies, so please make sure you’re signed up. Not only will you get all the news first, you’ll also receive access to a couple of bonus short stories to read over a cuppa.

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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.

Greetings from tropical north Queensland! I’m in Townsville right now, where the winter weather is gorgeous and the streets are busy with backpackers and southerners escaping the cold. I was up here this time last year for the Bowen River Campdraft and Rodeo (photos and more from that here) but I won’t be attending this year. I will, however, be visiting my favourite rural clothing outfitters Donohues. Love that place. They have the best jeans. And boots. And belts. And tops. And hats. And…

Eh hem.

Enough of my shopping obsessions. We’re here to talk books!

Can you believe it’s only five weeks until Elsa’s Stand releases? And even less until the first of the Outback Brides books – Maggie’s Run by Kelly Hunter – hits e-readers around the world. But what about print versions, you ask? I’ll have news on that soon and I think it’ll make you veeeery happy.

Also something to make you happy, a taste of sexy, silent Jack, the hero of Elsa’s Stand. Sigh. Love this man. LOVE HIM.

 

Jack was so furious and flat out getting organised that it was hours into his journey before reality sank in. A wave of grief slammed into his chest so hard he had to pull over and breathe through it while the semi-trailers and caravans he’d overtaken earlier whooshed past, their slipstreams rocking his car and camping trailer.

Elsa's Stand by Cathryn HeinHis mum, gone.

It didn’t seem real. It couldn’t be real.

Yet it was.

Jack rubbed his face and stared at his palms. They were rough, covered in nicks and abrasions and calluses from years of digging for opal. Hands that had been forged by his mother’s side, as she took him fossicking and regaled him with stories about miraculous finds. About gold fever and opal curses, and sapphires that lay buried somewhere in the overburden and beds of Strathroy’s ancient creeks.

 

Be ready to comfort Jack on his July 9th release day with a pre-order of Elsa’s Stand from these stores:

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

For another excerpt visit the book page for Elsa’s Stand. You can also read the first chapter on the Tule Publishing website. While you’re there, check out all the books in the Outback Brides series and get your pre-orders in.

 

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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 pester writer buddies to do the same. Like this week!

This week I’m delighted to welcome back well-travelled Australian author Alli Sinclair to the blog. You may remember Alli from her previous visit where we showcased her beautiful story Beneath the Parisian Skies. She’s gone in a slightly different direction with her new release. Back in time, in fact.

The book is called Burning Fields and you are going to love it, oh yes you are! Think Romeo and Juliet set in Queensland’s sugar cane fields in 1948. Throw in women’s roles in post-war society, family upheaval and loss, the struggles of immigrants in a new country, and a long-held secret, and you have cracking big story.

Here’s Alli to tell you more about Burning Fields and share a lovely excerpt.

 

Alli Sinclair authorA little bit of background:

Rosie has recently returned to the family farm in Piri River and is struggling with her father’s traditional ways and his dislike for Italians after she’s experienced independence and a more open-minded community in Brisbane. Tomas has recently arrived from Italy and finds his adjustment to the Australian way of life difficult Italy. They’re neighbours and often seek each other out for a “walk and talk” of an evening. They find solace in each other because of their inability to fit in, but what they don’t realise is they are starting to fall for each other. This scene opens with Rosie on the roadside having just replaced the spare tire on the farm ute and Tomas has encountered her. Rosie, as usual, is more than capable of looking after herself but is slowly realising she doesn’t need Tomas’s company, but she certainly wants it.

 

Rosie rested her gaze on the shadow of eucalypts and wattle behind him. ‘So you like the landscape here?

Burning Fields by Alli Sinclair‘Of course! How could I not? It is beautiful, no? Look at this,’ he walked over with the torch to the silver wattle and reached out and gently touched the yellow flowers. ‘Mother of Nature is an artist. Here,’ he broke off a flower and handed it to her. ‘Two years ago in Italy the women started to receive this flower from men they know as part of La Festa della Donna, International Women’s Day. We do this to celebrate women and to show we value what you do. We also do this to let women know you are not alone in the struggle to be considered equal.’ 

‘Wow.’ She held the flower like it was her most treasured possession. ‘I didn’t even know there were wattles in Italy. I thought they were only in Australia.

‘I believe we imported them a long time ago. We call them Mimosa.

‘Hmmm …’ Rosie inhaled the flower’s scent. It seemed sweeter than normal. ‘So this plant is significant for both of our countries.

‘Yes, it is.

‘Do you miss Italy?

Tomas drew his brows together. ‘Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I miss my people, the culture, history, the language. It’s a part of who I am and always will be.

 

Find out what happens to Rosie and Tomas with your own copy of Burning Fields. If you grab the ebook, you could be reading in minutes. Too easy!

Amazon.com | Amazon.au | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

Booktopia | Angus & Robertson Bookworld | Dymocks

Want to read the first three chapters of Burning Fields? You’ll find them here.

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

 

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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 writer buddies to do the same.

I haven’t been doing a lot of cooking lately. I’ve tried out a few new recipes but none were exciting and none went on the keeper pile. Actually I lie. This recipe for Balinese Beef Curry was lovely. And this one for Banana Caramel Oat Slice from online magazine Beauty and Lace was pretty tasty too.

I’m not sure why I’m not cooking much. I suspect it’s because my head is too full of Eddie and the Show Queen (this book is taking forever to write, gah!) but also because we’ve been doing stuff on Fridays, which is my usual day for hitting the kitchen for a good cooking sesh.

So what’s this got to do with Teaser Tuesday? Well, the other day when I was tooling around in my files I found the raw footage for a Cooking The Country Girl video I’d planned to share with you (watch the first one here). That never eventuated because of house moving hell followed by internet connection dramas that still haven’t been resolved. Anyway, seeing those video files reminded me of how much I adore that book and that we haven’t featured it on Teaser Tuesday on it for a while. Since early February, in fact.

It also made me think that now my new herb garden is kicking along I should make a big serve of Tash’s tortelli di zucca. It’s perfect for the cold weather and because it contains pumpkin, I can claim it as healthy (we won’t mention the butter and sage sauce). It’ll also give me a chance to get out the pasta machine. I love that gadget. It’s so shiny and cool looking, and fresh pasta is awesome.

Which leads me back to The Country Girl and Tash’s gorgeous, gardening guru grandfather. Here he is with Tash.

 

Thursday morning brought Pa and a pumpkin the size, weight and colour of a small boulder.

The Country Girl by Cathryn Hein‘Did you put it on steroids or something?’ Tash asked as he hoisted the monster onto the bench.

‘No, Flossie. That’s just good old-fashioned poo.’

‘Nice. I’ll be sure to tell my fans that.’

She eyed it dubiously. A pumpkin of that size was bound to be woody. Maybe she could save it for October and do something Halloween-y with it.

‘Don’t look at my baby like that.’ Pa patted it as though it were a dog. ‘That’s prime Queensland Blue.’

‘A Queensland Blue I’ll need a chainsaw to cut into,’ said Tash, turning on the espresso machine. ‘Or maybe an axe.’

 

Ah, Pa. He was such a great character to write. Enjoy more of him, and Tash and Patrick, with your own copy of The Country Girl. Available now from these stores:

amazon.com | amazon.com.au | amazon.co.uk
iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Nook
Booktopia | Dymocks
Angus & Robertson Bookworld

Read another excerpt, watch an embarrassing cooking video or learn how I came to write The Country Girl on its book page.

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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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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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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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