Tag Archives: Australian Authors

Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser Tuesday 2017 logoWelcome to Teaser Tuesday, the blog series where I share snippets from new and past releases, and works-in-progress, except on the days when writing buddies come along to play.

Today I’m delighted to welcome Vanessa Carnevale to the blog. Late last year I had the great pleasure of being interviewed on Vanessa’s podcast and had a wonderful chat about writing and publishing. If you have any interest in either of those subjects, or just enjoy hearing authors talk about their craft and business, then I can highly recommend Vanessa’s Your Creative Life podcast and it’s 60 episodes. That’ll keep you going!

But we’re not here to talk about podcasts. We’re here to talk BOOKS! And Vanessa has just released her debut novel – applause all round, please – and it’s gorgeous. The Florentine Bridge is a luminous story of love, travel, and making the most of life’s second chances.

This one’s on my to-be-read pile. It should be on yours too.

Please welcome Vanessa to tell you a little about The Florentine Bridge and share a teaser from it.


Author Vanessa CarnevaleThanks for having me Cathryn! I’m so pleased to be here sharing a snippet of my debut novel, THE FLORENTINE BRIDGE! The story follows the journey of a young Australian woman and aspiring artist by the name of Mia, who has been cancer free for nine months. Even though she’s been given the all clear, her perspective on life has changed and she’s lost the motivation to paint. So when the opportunity to travel to Tuscany presents itself, she takes it in the hope that her travels might help her find a way to overcome some of the challenges she’s been facing. I never intended to write a love story–that was a total accident! Mia meets a handsome Italian mechanic by the name of Luca, that sweeps her off her feet and shows her what it means to trust in life again.

The excerpt I’m sharing here is when Mia meets Luca for the first time.


I’m sure he’s been watching me. He’s wearing a pair of denim jeans and a light-blue polo with the collar popped, not perfectly straight but with one side slightly higher than the other. His messy dark-brown hair could do with a trim. He’s wearing a pair of loafers without socks and I can’t tell what colour his eyes are because he’s wearing a pair of dark sunglasses. He’s probably in his early twenties. My eyes trace the form of his clean-shaven face and my heart skips a beat when I reach the The Florentine Bridge by Vanessa Carnevaledefinition of his jawline. This guy is beautiful. My eyes travel down to his perfectly formed biceps, and I have to look away. I glance down at my old pair of jeans and ballet flats and wish I’d taken the time to at least iron my shirt and make a half-decent effort. I look so … Australian.

I stand up and try to smooth out the creases in my shirt. I may have just showered, but my hair is in a messy ponytail and my face is bare of makeup. He lifts up his sunglasses, and now he’s squinting to get a better look at the girl who has come to stay here—the girl from Australia, with no fashion sense whatsoever.

Buongiorno, signorina!’ he calls.

I manage a small wave in response, and by the time I reach him, I seem to have lost my voice. I don’t know whether to speak in English or to try out my limited Italian. ‘Hi there! Ciao!’ I blurt.

Oh my God, he’s so incredibly handsome.

Ciao, sono Luca, Luca Bonnici.’

‘Nice to meet you, I’m Mia.’

He steps towards me, towering over me slightly, and I can smell his aftershave. It’s subtle, but I recognise it from my brief stint at Myer’s cosmetic counter; I know I’ll never forget the scent of Gucci by Gucci Pour Homme again. 


Tuscany, a handsome Italian mechanic, love… totally sighworthy. Which means you’ll want to grab a copy right now. Try Booktopia, Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Fishpond.com.au, Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play or your favourite book retailer. Go on, everyone deserves a vicariously lived Tuscan holiday!

To learn more about Vanessa, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using @v_carnevale.


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Merry Christmas!

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Greetings from north Queensland! After a 2000 km drive we’ve made it to sunny Collinsville where we’ll spend a joyous Christmas with family being thoroughly spoiled and overfed. Perfect.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your wonderful support throughout the year and to wish you a gorgeous Christmas filled with much love and laughter. Along with a Christmas stocking filled with romance novels, of course.

May 2017 be as sparkly and brilliant as my mother-in-law’s Christmas tree!

Christmas tree gif

Apologies for the wonkiness. Creating gifs isn’t my forte but like all Christmas gifts, it’s the thought that counts!


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Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser TuesdayWelcome to Teaser Tuesday, the blog series where I share snippets from upcoming and past releases, and works-in-progress and occasionally invite writing buddies to join in the fun.

It’s Christmas holiday time, which means this will be the last Teaser Tuesday of the year but never fear, we’ll be back again in 2017 with more booky goodness for you to savour.

Well, WAYWARD HEART has been on the shelves for a week now. Thanks to everyone who has snapped up a copy and a huge thank you for all your gorgeous feedback. I’m so thrilled you’ve enjoyed Digby and Jasmine’s story!

Being Christmas, I was tempted to share another snippet of SANTA AND THE SADDLER but I decided to stick with WAYWARD HEART because that’s the book on shelves everywhere and I’d love you all to find a copy under the tree or in your stocking this Christmas.

I think I’ve mentioned before that one of my all-time favourite characters is Granny B, who we first met in ROCKING HORSE HILL and has also appeared in SUMMER AND THE GROOMSMAN. She so adores a good meddle and she’s in fine form in WAYWARD HEART.

I’ve been contemplating a short story or novella about Granny B for quite a while now but I had no useable plot ideas. But this morning, when I was lying in bed, one came to me and now all I want to do is write it. It’ll have to wait though. I have Chrissy and the Burroughs Boy to finish first and a Christmas break to enjoy. So, I’ll so what I always do with these things and jot the idea down and file it away until the time’s right.

In the meantime, we can still savour the delight that is Granny B in WAYWARD HEART. Here’s a little taste of her in action.


Dinner in Camrick’s kitchen proved, as Josh had warned, a torment of sly looks and Wayward Heart by Cathryn Heinsneaky questions. The entire household appeared to know he hadn’t slept in his own bed since Saturday night. Digby tried to concentrate on his meal—fried zucchini flowers followed by baked whole rainbow trout from a local fish farm—and hoped his refusal to play along would be indication enough that he had no intention of satisfying their curiosity. For the most part, it worked on his sister and mother. His grandmother, however, was made of sterner stuff.

Granny B dabbed carefully at the edges of her mouth and laid down her napkin. ‘I trust you and Jasmine have been comparing notes, Digby.’

The mention of Jasmine’s name lifted the hairs on the back of Digby’s neck. He blinked and quickly took a mouthful of wine. Jas had cautioned that his grandmother suspected something. He hadn’t expected her to come right out with it.


Wayward Heart is available right now from these excellent stores:


Angus & Robertson Bookworld


Amazon.com | Amazon.au | Amazon.uk



Google Play

Or, if you feel up to braving the Australian shopping crowds, try BigW, Kmart, Target or your favourite book store.


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Teaser Tuesday!


Teaser TuesdayWelcome to Teaser Tuesday, the blog series where I share snippets from upcoming and past releases, and works-in-progress and occasionally invite writing buddies along to play.

Wayward Heart is now officially one day old. Yesterday was release day and what fun was had with its Six Secret Things blog and sharing of quote memes on social media. As well as the usual celebratory fizz.

I also bought myself a gorgeous bunch of pink roses and ate more than my usual quota of cherries. Because RELEASE DAY!

In the past my books have come out on a Tuesday or Wednesday but Wayward Heart bucked the trend by hitting shelves on a Monday, which has freed today up for another delicious instalment of Teaser Tuesday, and another delectable taste of Jas and Digby.

Sigh. I love this book. The friends-to-lovers trope is a favourite and these two make it even more gorgeous and sexy.



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

‘Handle what?’Wayward Heart by Cathryn Hein

But she shook her head again.

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

‘It’s nothing, honestly. I made a mistake and it’s taking a bit of sorting out, that’s all. It’ll be fine. I’ll be fine.’

She returned to pouring the wine. Digby rubbed the back of his neck and studied her. Whatever Jas claimed, she clearly wasn’t fine. Her eyes were hollow and worry kept her normally full mouth small. Protectiveness simmered inside him. He’d always been a bit weak, a bit soft. Privilege and wealth had made life too easy, but loving and losing Felicity had changed him. Digby knew what anger was now, what unfairness was. Courage that had once been unreachable for him had been found thanks to Felicity, and it still burned. He wasn’t afraid to use it either. What was there to fear for himself? He’d already lost everything that mattered.


Wayward Heart is available right now from these excellent stores:


Angus & Robertson Bookworld


Amazon.com | Amazon.au | Amazon.uk



Google Play

Go on. You know you want to and it’ll make you (and me) feel all lovely!


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Teaser Tuesday!

Teaser TuesdayGreetings, lovelies, and welcome to another tantalising instalment of Teaser Tuesday, the blog series where I share snippets from upcoming and past releases, and works-in-progress, and also let author buddies play.

Can you believe it’s only THIRTEEN sleeps until Wayward Heart releases?

So close!

I’m still impatiently waiting on my author copies to arrive so I can gaze dopily at them, give the cover a caress or twenty, and sigh heavily at the pure romance of it while imagining myself in that clinch. I was asked on Twitter the other day what Digby looked like in my head and I had to reply that I couldn’t remember because when I think of Digby now all I picture is that cover model. Total babe. I may have to kiss him. A lot.

Which is not weird. Nope. Not at all. Not really.

Okay, maybe a little bit but authors are meant to be a bit eccentric, aren’t they?

Anyway, moving on…

Wayward Heart releases December 12th. Pre-order the ebook today from Amazon, Kobo, iBooks and Google Play, or the paperback from Booktopia, Angus and Robertson Bookworld, or your favourite retailer. Go on, it’ll make you feel good and you’ll get to stroke the Sexy Snog Man. You’ll even be able to kiss him in the privacy of your own home if you want. Surely worth it for that opportunity alone?

Now for a taste of Wayward Heart and its hero Digby Wallace-Jones, a man who outwardly has everything but who inside is broken with grief over the death of his fiancé Felicity. The poor darling. I may have to give him an extra kiss to help him feel better.


Digby flicked off the car radio. The last thing he wanted tonight was an announcer’s cheer. What he did want Digby had no idea, but it wasn’t that upbeat inflection or yet another bloody love song. He hated love. He hated everything.

Levenham’s fringes gave way to highway. The speed limit increased to 110 kilometres an hour. He eased his foot down. The lights of his Mercedes scorched the darkness with blazing tunnels of white. He liked the car’s power, the panther speed of its response. Perhaps if he’d bought a Merc instead of that useless Jeep he’d have made it to Rocking Horse Hill in time to prevent Felicity’s panicked flight to the quarry. Seconds had mattered that night. And he’d been late.

Wayward Heart by Cathryn HeinHe sped westward, aware he’d have to turn south soon to avoid any glimpse of the district’s other ancient volcanic cone. There were so many of the things, scattered like acne across the plains of western Victoria and into this lower corner of South Australia. Since the accident Digby couldn’t stand the sight of them. Once harmless hills were now symbols of the earth’s treachery and triggers of pain. He knew his feelings were irrational. The hills weren’t alive. They possessed no conscience. They just were. Still he charged them with blame.

The night was clear and a three-quarter moon cast the rural terrain in an eerie, spectral glow. The kilometres ate away, gobbled by his leaden foot and the car’s supremacy over the land. To the left on a rise, a crop of silvery wind turbines stood in formation like alien creatures about to attack. Digby slowed as his turnoff appeared.

The road was narrow and isolated, but fully sealed and in reasonable condition. Familiar with the route and confident it was unlikely to be patrolled, Digby lowered every window then pressed his foot down dangerously hard. His grip tightened as the car surged. Fence lines and the occasional shed flew past. Wind blasted across him, buffeting the car’s interior. The land blurred as he lost himself in the sensation of speed and noise and his imaginary race towards her.

It wasn’t enough. It was never enough to drown the echoes in his head.



Find out more about Wayward Heart and how I came to write it in Of Beaches And Brothers, And Friends To Lovers, the story behind Wayward Heart For another excerpt and more, check out the Wayward Heart book page.


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5 Reasons Why Four-Legged Friends Are The Best People

Cathryn as a little girl with Mysty

Me with my beloved first horse Mysty

Anthropomorphise: 1. to ascribe human form or attributes to. 2. to ascribe human form or attributes to an animal, a god, etc. Macquarie Dictionary, 6th ed.

Okay, who’s guilty of doing this with their pet? Lots of you I bet. It seems that when it comes to our beloved animals we can’t help ourselves. They’re so integral to our lives we want to think of them as human. And I say rightly so. You know why? Because without a doubt our four-legged friends are the best of people.

Here’s why.

1/. They’re Joy On Legs

Is there anything as gorgeous as being greeted by an over-excited, thrilled-to-bits pet who misses us desperately even though we’ve only been gone for ten minutes? Sure, children can give this joy, but unless they’re sick, a pet will do it every time. No pouty bottom lips because we failed to bring that new toy or lolly home. No teenage half eye-meets from under long fringes followed by a grunt. But pure, unadulterated Hello-hello, Darling Owner! happiness that gives your heart an instant lift.

Feeling down? Never fear! Simply search ferrets on YouTube and wait for the laughs to start.

2/. They Don’t Talk Back or Tell Secrets

We can tell our pets anything. Anything. And be content that it’ll go no further. No double-crossing or back-stabbing in action here. Whether our pet’s a budgie or a pot-bellied pig it’ll be the perfect listener. Pour your heart out, your secrets are safe.

3/. Companionship

We’re never lonely when with a pet. Admittedly, it’s a bit hard to cuddle up with a goldfish, and I probably wouldn’t be keen on tickling a snake’s belly to see if I can make it wriggle, but they’re

Me and Ram Lamb as a youngster enjoying a rest.

Me and Ram Lamb as a youngster enjoying a rest.

still breathing creatures sharing life with us. That beats the rainbow sparkles off a plastic My Little Pony every time.

Pets are also great protectors against isolation. How easy it is to communicate with a fellow pet lover? Many a friendship or romance has been forged between dog owners out walking their charges, and I certainly have experience of equine-assisted romances. They’re an immediate shared interest and we have the bonus of knowing that if someone cares deeply for a pet, they’re less likely to be a serial killer.

Oh, and if there does happens to be danger, our pets might even be life savers. Google animal heroes and you’ll discover a thousand stories of animals coming to the rescue. Darling things.

4/. Pets Give Good Health

The RCPCA lists a number of health advantages experienced by pet owners, both physiologically and psychologically. Owners are more active and have lower blood pressure and cholesterol. The RSPCA also says that growing up with animals may strengthen our immune systems and that children who have pets are less likely to have days off school from illness. They’re also more empathetic, thanks to the care they must give another living creature who is solely reliant on them for food, shelter and often companionship.

Think also of the specialist animals out there; guide dogs (and horses, yes horses!), seizure-alert dogs, cancer sniffing pets, and animals taken around nursing homes to cheer up residents. Seriously, if all the health advantages of pets could be concentrated and bottled, they’d be marketed as the elixir of life!

5/. Unconditional Love

There’s no love like a pet’s love. It’s non-judgemental and constant. Our pets don’t care about the zits on our chins, our morning dragon’s breath, whether we vote one way or another or are jealous of our over-achieving siblings, or sometimes say bitchy things about the lady down the road. We don’t have to be perfect with our pets. Not even close. They’ll love us regardless.

Okay, so maybe it isn’t love. Maybe we’re being fooled and that adoring look is just so we’ll hand over that juicy scrap of beef or that sweet carrot. Whatever it is, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel good and right and real. Compared to the way people sometimes love, pets do a better job.


I think the above is why I adore including animals in my books as well as humans. Not only are they a wonderful foil for the occasional drama and conflict people subject themselves to, they can even play a role in resolving it. Combine animal characters with a deliciously heroic hero and a sympathetic heroine, and you have a romance guaranteed to give you that all important sniffle, sigh and smile. But in double dose.

In real life or literature, they’re the ultimate feel-good creatures. The best of people.

How do you feel about pets? Do they give good health and love to you too?


The Falls by Cathryn HeinNB. This post was first published on the blog Two Little Humans and Me as part of the promotional program for my rural romance THE FALLS. A book that features its fair share of naughty pets too, including a horny (in both ways) ram called Merlin, a bad breathed sphinx cat named Blanche and a stinky labradoodle called Saffron.


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Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser TuesdayWelcome to Teaser Tuesday, the tantalising blog series where I share snippets from works-in-progress, up-coming releases and published novels. Unless I’m feeling lazy and invite good writing buddies to fill in for me, like today!

It’s my great pleasure to welcome back multi award-winning historical romance author Anna Campbell to the blog. Regular readers will know Anna pops by quite often, is always hugely entertaining and usually offers a wonderful giveaway.

Today is no different, so read on, my lovelies!


Historical romance author Anna CampbellHi Cathryn! Lovely to be back on your blog again. Thank you so much for asking me to do another Tuesday Teaser!

I can hardly believe it’s time to talk about Christmas romances again! This year has just flown. I’ve got two Christmas stories out in 2016, a stand-alone called A Match Made in Mistletoe, and “Mistletoe and the Major,” part of the multi-author, multi-genre anthology Under the Kissing Bough.

Today, I’m going to tease you with “Mistletoe and the Major.” My last couple of Christmas novellas have been comedic romps. But with this one, I set out to write a touching, heartfelt story about a brave man returning from eight brutal years of war to establish a life with the wife he loves, but who he’s not sure loves him.

The excerpt takes place on Christmas Eve, Lord Canforth’s first night back on his country estate after leaving the army. He’s come home to face the fallout from a fraught fortnight’s honeymoon just before he shipped out with his regiment. To his surprise, the innocent and unsure girl he left behind has become a lovely, confident woman in his absence. And at last, they start to talk to each other and heal the wounds left from their past mistakes.


Otway Hall, Shropshire, December 1815

Flick’s lips turned down in a self-derisive smile. “I owe you an apology. That was a poor welcome I gave you. An empty house, and a wife stinking of the stables.”

Actually when Canforth had first touched her, he’d caught the scent of crushed flowers and something that was Flick alone. He’d remembered that fragrance immediately—it would always be the aroma of heaven. There might have been a hint of horse and hay, too, but he hadn’t cared. He’d been too busy fighting the urge to bury his face in her hair and tell her how much he’d missed her. Which would have ruined things between them forever. If he leaped on her like a starving wolf the minute he came home, she’d run for the hills.

Mistletoe and the Major by Anna Campbell“It’s still my home, empty or not, and I gave you no warning I was coming. But you haven’t told me why you’re spending Christmas alone.”

She took another sip of wine. “I didn’t feel like going through all the hullabaloo this year. It…it seemed easier to miss you here at Otway than in a noisy, happy crowd of people, however much I love them.”

Shock made him sit up straight and stare at her. “You missed me?”

The question surprised her. “Of course.”

“But I’ve been away for ages.”

She gave a grim laugh. “I know.”

By Jove, that was dashed nice to hear. Dashed nice. To think, she’d missed him. Perhaps his case wasn’t quite as hopeless as he thought. He leaned back and stretched his legs toward the fire. “Well.”

A smile lit her eyes to burned caramel. “Well, indeed.”

She set aside her wine and picked up her sewing, as if she hadn’t changed his world in the space of a second. “It means a plain Christmas dinner, I’m afraid. A returning hero deserves to have all the stops pulled out.”

Another silence fell, this one more comfortable than the last. Canforth finished his wine and let its warmth fortify the warmth seeping into his blood with every moment in his wife’s presence. For years, he’d been cold and lonely. Was his exile finally at an end?


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

Under the Kissing Bough, with 15 brand-new Christmas stories, including “Mistletoe and the Major,” is only 99 cents for a limited time.

Under the Kissing Bough boxed set

Buy now from: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and iBooks.

It’s actually pretty funny that I’ve got two stories featuring mistletoe this Holiday season because “mistletoe” is one of those words I consistently type wrongly. It’s either “misletoe” or “miseltoe” or “mistetoe,” or some variation thereof!

Do you have any bugbear words? Words you consistently misspell or mistype? Homophones that trip you up? “Bare” and “bear” nearly always catch me out, although I’m perfectly well aware of the difference between them. How can a bare bear bear it?


So let’s confess our keyboard sins. I’ve got a Kindle download of Under the Kissing Bough to go to someone who comments today. No geographical restrictions on the giveaway. Good luck!

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Friday AEST, 25th November 2016. Open internationally.

Ah, those pesky misspelled words. I feel your pain, Anna. I have one I do ALL the time too and that’s mischief. Even though I know how to spell it, for some stupid reason my fingers always mix up the I and E. So frustrating!

What about you, lovely readers? Share your keyboard sins and you’ll go into the draw. I bet there are some auto correct doozies out there too.

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


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Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser TuesdayWelcome to Teaser Tuesday, the tantalising blog series where I share snippets from my works-in-progress, up-coming releases and published novels, and occasionally let good writing buddies take the reins. But not today. Today is me and it’s going to be fun!

I hope.

Eh hem.

Santa and the Saddler has now been out three weeks and I’m thrilled to bits with the feedback and reviews it’s received. Seems as though everyone has fallen in love with Danny as much as I did. Very cool.

I’ve had such a ball with this book that I’ve decided a sequel is a must. So here is a public announcement that next year I’ll be releasing another Christmas story. Its working title will be Chrissy and the Burroughs Boy and the hero will be Danny’s brother Nick (aka Numbnuts).

Now all I have to do is squeeze it into my writing schedule. Somewhere. Oh, and a plot would help, but that’s a minor issue (not). Then there’s editing and a cover and formatting and…

*pants and looks around wildly for escape*

Nah, it can be done. I think. Maybe.


Back to Santa and the Saddler… Last week I gave the go-ahead for print distribution but it usually takes a little while for the books to flow to the online retailers. I will, however, have a limited quantity of personally signed print copies available for purchase direct from me. Newsletter subscribers get first dibs on these, so if you’re not signed up you’d better get onto it!

Or for instant gratification, download the ebook from Amazon, Kobo, iBooks or Nook and start feeling the Danny-luuuuuurve today.

In the meantime, please enjoy this little taste of the Burroughs brothers.


Nick wandered to Danny’s side, beer in his hand. He eyed Beth and shook his head. ‘How the hell you got a girl like that will be forever one of life’s mysteries.’

‘No mystery. Smarter, better looking, usual shit.’

Cover of Santa and the Saddler by Cathryn Hein‘Yeah, right.’

They watched Beth chat animatedly with Ebs and Sienna, Danny feeling like he could burst with pride as well as humility. Nick was right. How the hell a gorgeous, clever girl like Beth could be with a simple country bloke like himself was a mystery. Whatever the reason, he was grateful. Grateful, humble, happy, and crazy in love. Forgetting he was standing next to his brother, Danny gave in to an indulgent sigh.

Nick took a suck of beer. ‘So when’s the wedding?’

‘Very funny.’

‘Not that funny. Pretty obvious you’re nuts about each other.’

The comment made Danny wish he had his own beer to suck on. Yeah, they were nuts about each other, but it wasn’t going to be that easy.


I’ll be sending a newsletter out this week (Wednesday 16th, ie tomorrow Aust time) with details on how to order personally signed copies of Santa and the Saddler, so if you don’t want to miss out, sign up NOW. I’ll also be including the entire opening chapter of Wayward Heart, which releases next month, and other fun stuff. Click here or below to join the cool people.


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Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser TuesdayGreetings from Teaser Tuesday, the blog series where I share snippets from past and upcoming releases, and works-in-progress, and occasionally rope author buddies into sharing pieces from theirs.

Today is such a day and I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to host Australian author Anna Romer on the blog because I am a TOTAL fangirl. Anna’s first two books Thornwood House and Lyrebird Hill were amaaaaazing reads, full of beautifully lyrical writing, mystery and suspense, and descriptions that immerse you totally in the characters’ world.

Anna has just released Beyond the Orchard and I’m impatiently awaiting delivery of my copy because this story sounds even more amazing than the previous ones. You should all go out and buy this book for yourself today because it’ll be brilliant. But if you keep reading this blog, you might just find  a giveaway on offer.

But enough from me. Please give a big fangirl cheer and welcome to Anna!


Author Anna RomerHi Cathryn, thanks for having me on your wonderful blog!

The idea for Beyond the Orchard came to me during a long-distance phone conversation with a friend. We were reminiscing about a spooky old hotel we used to stay in along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. When we hung up, I was tingling with the story bug. I kept seeing a derelict old guesthouse (of course!) and someone guarding the terrible secret that lay buried inside it. There were many twists and turns along the way, as there is with any writing journey, but that first kernel of story remained.

The excerpt shows my main character Lucy struggling with her feelings for her teenage crush Morgan – a family friend who once rejected a much younger Lucy’s clumsy advances. He’s just arrived back at the guesthouse with a parcel of old photos…

I hope you enjoy!


Standing at the back door, I watched Morgan thump along the verandah towards me, oblivious. His head was down, as if he was battling a windstorm; he seemed deep in his thoughts. Tucked under his arm was a parcel.

He almost reached the door before he saw me.

The frown turned into a smile. His gaze flew over my arms, my shoulders, and then finally met my eyes. The jolt I’d felt upstairs hit me again, but it had morphed into something more reckless than simply pleasure; a flush of warmth sped through my veins, and a giddy yearning overtook me. The fading sunlight dulled, the afternoon sky receded, and the trees became a blur. Only Morgan seemed alive. I had the urge to reach out and touch him, pull him into my arms and savour the warm weight of him, just as I had the night of my party when I’d wound myself around him and pressed my lips to his—

Beyond the Orchard by Anna RomerMorgan grinned. ‘Going out for dinner, are we?’

I snapped back to reality. ‘What?’

‘Great, I’m starved.’

I glanced down at the dress. It seemed far skimpier than it had upstairs among the chaste shadows of my grandfather’s dusty room. ‘It’s Edwin’s,’ I blurted.

Morgan’s brow went up. ‘Not sure I wanted to know that.’

I scowled, but then remembered the parcel he carried. ‘That’s them?’

Smiling mysteriously, he brushed past me into the kitchen.

I stared after him, gathering my wits. I felt naked in the dress. The fabric was too thin, too shimmery. My skin was too hot. My pulse tapped irregular beats all over my body. The slipstream of Morgan’s warmth, the scent of him, his big bear-like presence seemed to wash around me, creating a whirlpool of what felt disturbingly like desire.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I shut my eyes, trying to conjure Adam’s face. I returned in my mind to the photo I kept in my wallet: Adam in one of his less formal outfits, pants and a blue cotton shirt, leaning in the doorway of our favourite pub in Camden Town, smiling sexily.

The photo of Adam dissolved.

In its place appeared an old Polaroid from the seventies I had glimpsed once. A young man leaning rakishly against a battered vintage Harley, helmet under his arm, bike jacket straining across his chest, snug Levi’s marked with motor oil and frayed at the knees. He glared unsmiling at the camera, and his face – not the craggy, lived-in face I knew now, but rather the face of a fierce, angry young man – seemed to mock me from the past. We can’t do this . . . not now, not ever.

I had made a mistake, I realised. I should never have come back. I should have burned Edwin’s cryptic letter, put it from my mind, stayed in London and tried to be happy—


I trailed him into the kitchen, grabbing my old cardigan I’d left on the servery. Slipping it over the dress, hugging it around me, I joined Morgan at the table.


Enjoy I most certainly did enjoy, Anna. Thanks so much for visiting and sharing. God, I hope my copy of Beyond the Orchard turns up this week. I want it more than ever now and I bet all you readers do too. In which case, get buying! And what better than instant gratification from purchasing your copy of Beyond the Orchard from Booktopia, Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Amazon, Kobo, iBooks or Google Play.

Oh, and Booktopia currently has a free shipping offer – promo code SMART (ends Nov 14th). No excuse not to stock up!

Now, lovely people, as hinted at the beginning of this post, Anna has kindly offered a…


For your chance to win a paperback copy of Beyond the Orchard, complete with gorgeous bookmark, reveal one of the silly, embarrassing or fun things you did to get the attention of a teenage (or any age) crush.

This ought to be fun!

Okay, at the risk of looking like a total twit, I’ll reveal that I once bought a ticket to see a concert for a band I loathed, just so I might stand near my crush, hear the music he loved, breathe the same air etc etc – God, crushes are PAINFUL. Anyway, I ended up selling the ticket (and kicking myself for my stupidity) when I learned he was taking his glamorous model friend to the concert.

What about you? Don’t be shy. There’s a brilliant book up for grabs!

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Friday AEST 11th November, 2016. Australian postal addresses only.

If you’d liked to learn more about Anna, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook.


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Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser TuesdayWelcome to Teaser Tuesday, the most excellent blog series where I share snippets from works-in-progress, up-coming releases and published novels. Except for days like today, when I show off teasers from good writing buddies.

I’m thrilled to welcome romantic suspense author DB Tait to Teaser Tuesday again. I loved the first two books in her Dark Mountain series – Cold Deception and Desperate Deception – and was very excited to discover she’d be adding a Christmas novella in the series. Festive Deception hit virtual shelves last week and I can tell you this is a cracking story, chockers with fascinating characters, a gorgeous setting and red-herrings galore. You’ll have a ball with this one, I promise.

Here’s DB to tell you a bit more about it and share a snippet. And make sure you stay to the end because there just might be a giveaway!


Author DB TaitHi there Cathryn! I love Teaser Tuesday. It’s great to read all the snippets of some tantalising work from lots of talented authors.

My Christmas novella, Festive Deception is a bit of teaser too. It continues on the story of Julia and Dylan from Cold Deception and Desperate Deception, but has a bit more of a light-hearted feel as befits a Christmas story.

One of the challenges of writing a series is developing the main characters. In Festive Deception, Julia and Dylan are at a good place in their relationship, getting to know each other in more depth and revealing more about their vulnerabilities. Doubts and insecurities remain, especially for Julia who struggles with the realities of intimacy. But murder and mayhem are about to intrude into their lives again, distracting them for the time being about decisions regarding the future. That’s for the next book!


Dylan was her lover and her friend. If she was a little frightened about how important he had become in her life, she would deal with it and not run. Sometimes she wanted to run, not wanting the responsibility of love, but this morning was not one of those days. She had other things on her mind.

“I can hear you thinking. Did you know you were such a loud thinker?” Dylan murmured, his eyes still closed.

“I have a lot on my mind. In particular how to ravish you and still make my nine o’clock appointment.”

He opened his eyes, his wonderful grey eyes, raised his arms above his head and stretched like a sinuous cat. He gazed at her with a smile, letting their bedclothes fall away from his naked body. “Ravish away.”

She laughed as she straddled him, then laughed some more as he tickled her under her ribs. “That’s not fair!”

Festive Deception by DB Tait“You know the saying, all’s fair, etc,” he said, rolling her under him. He kissed her, she kissed him some more and after some very satisfactory mutual ravishment, he glanced at the bedside clock.

“No, no, no,” he said and leapt out of bed. “You are a wicked temptress. I’m going to be late and it’s all your fault.”

She saw the time and fell into her own panic. “Damn it. I’m going to be late too. It’s your fault for not being strong enough to resist seduction. I thought cops are supposed to be tough and controlled.”

He laughed and grabbed her for a last kiss. “Yeah, but we’re not stupid.”

Later, over hasty tea and toast, while compiling their various notes and folders for the day, Dylan sighed and looked at her with resignation. “I’m going to be late tonight. There’s an operation on out at Hartley that might be a bit complicated. I’ll call you.”

“No worries. I’ll make something that can be easily heated up.”

The lines around his eyes crinkled as he watched her. “How domestic we’ve become.”

“Does that worry you?” she asked, warily.

He shook his head. “I love it. Do you?”

“Yes. But …”

“You think it’s too good to be true and will end badly.”

He hit the nail on the head, which after six months, happened more often than she thought possible. Maybe that’s what love is.

“Do you still want to run?”

She took in a deep breath. “Not as often, but sometimes, yeah.”

He nodded. “Well, I have the whole weekend off and Monday as well. I thought we could get the spare room sorted out and set it up as your space. I know you do all your design work over at Eleanor and Dee’s place but it can’t be good not having your own space here.”

She stared into his eyes and fell for him all over again. Running would tear her apart. “That would be great.”

“I’m going to get a Christmas tree too.”


“Sure. I don’t have any Christmas decorations, so I thought I’d leave that for you to organize.”

Delight flooded through her. Her own Christmas tree with her own decorations. Putting up the tree had been a ritual in her mother’s house. Now she could make her own ritual.

“I get a staff discount,” she said. “I’ll can buy some of the glass ornaments.”

He grunted and collected all his work stuff. Satchel, phone, keys. “Hey. Good luck with Vincent Perrin. He’d be mad not to take you on.”

She rolled her eyes at him. “You could be a little biased.”

She scrambled to collect her own bits and pieces and followed him out the front door.  The day was already hot and still and smelled of eucalyptus. Her tiny hatch, old but serviceable, was parked in front of his public sector sedan. She threw her own satchel in the back seat of the car where the cushion Perrin had like so much sat and turned to Dylan.

They stood staring at each other.

“I love you, you know,” she said. “I don’t think I’m very good and letting you know.”

He smiled widely at her and folded her into his arms. “You’re better than you think you are, you time-wasting temptress.” He kissed her and held her face in his hands. “I love you too.”

Warmth and the dawning of belief that maybe they would make it, settled inside her.

“See you tonight.”

He nodded, climbed into his car and drove off.

She looked at her watch. Time to grow up and enter the real world.


See? Didn’t I tell you it was a fab read? And there is a whole novella more of that to sink your eyeballs into so why not satisfy your need for a great read by purchasing Festive Deception right now from Amazon, Kobo, iBooks and Nook.

Now, as sometimes happens on Teaser Tuesday, we have a…


Have you ever experienced Christmas out of your usual hemisphere? What was it like for you? Was it bizarre to be expiring with heat exhaustion on Christmas Day? Or magical to have a White Christmas and see snow for the first time?

For those who haven’t had the chance to spend Christmas elsewhere, what’s been your oddest or most fun Christmas or New Year experience?

Share your tale and you’ll go into the draw to win an ebook copy of Festive Deception.

I was fortunate enough to have three Christmases in Europe and it was amaaaazing! I didn’t miss the Australian heat at all. I was too busy stuffing my face with seriously delicious and naughty food and slurping mulled wine!

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Friday 4th November 2016, AEST. Open internationally. Prize is an ebook copy – either mobi (for Kindle) or epub file – of Festive Deception.

Don’t have an e-reader? Not a problem. You can download reading apps for free to your smartphone, tablet or computer and read Festive Deception on there. Too easy!


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