Tag Archives: Australian rural romance

Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser Tuesday 2017 logoWelcome to Teaser Tuesday, the tantalising blog series where I share snippets from works-in-progress, up-coming releases and published novels. Except for when I let lovely writing buddies take over.

My guest today is Sarah Barrie whose Hunters Ridge romantic suspense series has been a ginormous success and raved about by readers. If you love small towns with secrets and a rocking romance, Sarah’s books are for you.

This is Sarah’s first appearance on Teaser Tuesday so please give her a huge welcome as she shares a little about her latest hit Promise of Hunter’s Ridge. Make sure you read until the end, because we just might have a juicy GIVEAWAY!

 

Author Sarah BarrieThe third book in the Hunters Ridge series, Promise of Hunters Ridge is the story of Mia Morgan, a heroine that, over the course of the series has become a firm favourite with readers.

After freeing herself from an obsessive boss and saving loved ones from a serial killer, Mia relocates herself and her business to the pretty little country town of Hunter Ridge. But now her own life is in danger, and though used to fighting her battles alone, Mia realises she needs the help of her friends and family – and police detective, Ben Bowden, to get her through it. Of course, Mia and Ben have had more than a few issues getting along, and the sparks that fly whenever they’re together only complicate things further. If Mia can let go of the past and work with Ben, not only might she save her life, she could end up with her own happily ever after.

But nothing’s guaranteed when you’re a serial killer’s fantasy.

 

Mia took Chloe out to the veranda to wave them off, then went inside. It was quiet, already quite dark outside. Maybe she should have brought her gun. But she’d left it at home because Ben was going to be here. ‘I’m just being silly,’ she told Chloe. And went to the kitchen to make herself a cup of tea.

She played with Chloe and bathed her, watched her eyes close as she drank from her bottle. By the time Mia laid her gently in her cot, the baby was sleeping. ‘Goodnight, precious girl,’ she mur­mured. ‘You’re safe.’

She snuck downstairs. The dogs needed to be fed so she did that, then locked up. It was nearly eight, but she still had a bit of time before Ben was due. She stared at the lounge. Was she really going to sit there and watch movies with him? Just the two of them? She pressed a hand to her stomach. ‘Idiot.’ But she did need to get around to analysing her feelings for him before they tied her up in too many more knots. It was getting out of control.

She dug into her bag when her phone beeped with a message. She grinned. It would be Ally checking up.

Did you wear that for me?

Promise of Hunters Ridge by Sarah BarrieWhat? She read the message again. Looked down at her modest shirt and jeans, then up at the windows. There was no light but a crescent moon. Her heart went into a fast rhythm. It must be a wrong number.

Maybe she’d just close the curtains. Wouldn’t hurt. She went around pulling them across the windows, then turned off all the unnecessary lights. After staring at the phone a few more seconds, she sat and turned on the television.

When the phone buzzed again she leapt form the lounge and opened the message.

I can still see you.

‘Shit.’ She spun around in a circle. There was no one in the house—the place was locked up, the alarm system on. Should she call the police? She tried Ben’s number. It was out of range. ‘He must be on his way,’ she told herself. The thought was a reassuring one. Maybe she’d let the dogs into the house. But they’d probably make a racket and wake Chloe. So what?

She was on her way to let the dogs in when her phone buzzed again. A picture message. Breathlessly, she opened it and a video started running. The camera was entering Chloe’s room, looking down at the sleeping baby.

Rob was here. He’d come for Chloe. She didn’t have her gun.

‘Oh God!’ She grabbed a knife from the kitchen bench and flew up the stairs.

Mia threw open the nursery door, knife raised. Chloe was in her cot. She stirred at the noise of the door banging. Mia’s gaze darted around as she flicked on the light, her whole being primed for fight. Where was he?

Backing into the corner of the room, she grabbed the baby sling and dropped it over her head. As quickly and gently as she could, she slipped Chloe inside. The baby settled back into sleep with a little sigh.

How could she use a knife with the baby around her middle? She needed a better weapon. She called Cam, but it went to voicemail. ‘Damn it!’ The movie hadn’t started yet—where were they? She was typing the second zero to call the police when her phone rang. She almost screamed.

‘Mia, it’s Cam, you rang?’

‘Where’s your gun?’ she whispered.

‘What? Why? Mia what’s wrong?’

‘Where?’ she breathed desperately.

‘Laundry, top shelf. Bullets are in the back of my top bedside drawer. What’s going on?’

She could hear Ally’s worried voice in the background. ‘Call the police for me. I have to go. I have to listen.’ She ended the call before he could object and turned the phone to silent. Cam and Ally’s room was right next door so she went there first. The small amount of noise she made shuffling around for ammunition seemed ridiculously magnified.

She slipped the phone in with Chloe and held onto the bul­lets and knife. He was in here somewhere. He would not get the baby.

Almost too scared to breathe, she crept back downstairs. Getting to the laundry involved walking to the far end of the darkest part of the house, but she didn’t want to turn a light on. If, by some miracle, he didn’t know where she was, she didn’t want to broad­cast it. When she reached the small room it was too dark to see anything. Should she slip in and hope he wasn’t there, or turn on the light, risk it drawing him to them and hope she could load the rifle fast enough?

She turned on the light, found the rifle. Loaded it with shaking fingers. There was a loud crash and Chloe fussed, beginning to cry, then scream. Mia walked cautiously back down the hallway, rifle pointed straight ahead. A dark figure appeared. Her finger convulsed.

 

Oh WOW! How cool was that? Makes you want to grab a copy straight away, doesn’t it? You can, and easily. Simply visit Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play, Booktopia, or your favourite retailer and Promise of Hunters Ridge will be yours.

Now, as I mentioned in the intro, we have a…

GIVEAWAY!

Here’s Sarah to give you the details.

Secrets of Whitewater Creek by Sarah BarrieI love combining romance with the thrill of suspense, using a backdrop of the beautiful Australian countryside to portray the strength and determination of our Aussie heroes and heroines. So, for a chance to win a signed copy of my first bestseller Secrets of Whitewater Creek, let me know about your favourite character or couple from any Australian rural romance or romantic suspense and why you loved them.

Ooh, what a fantastic question, Sarah! My favourite couple are Kate and John from North Star by Karly Lane. There’s a scene in that book that cracks me up completely. Highly recommended, but I recommend all of Karly’s books. She’s fab.

So, my lovelies, who is your favourite character or couple from an Aussie rural romance or romantic suspense? With so many to choose from it’ll be tricky but we’re sure you’ll be able to do it.

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Friday AEST, 7th April 2017. Open internationally. Whoop!

If you’d like to learn more about Sarah and her best-selling novels, please visit her website. You can also connect on Facebook.

 

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Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser Tuesday 2017 logoIt’s Teaser Tuesday time again, the blog series where I share tantalising snippets from works-in-progress, up-coming releases and published novels. Except when I let good buddies take over, like today!

I’m delighted to host fellow rural romance author Cheryl Adnams on this week’s Teaser Tuesday. Not only does Cheryl write fab books, she’s from my home state of South Australia. And if that wasn’t enough, Cheryl’s Muller’s of McLaren Vale series is set in one of Australia’s best wine growing regions. I think every second red on our wine rack is from McLaren Vale because they’re so rich and juicy. Like Cheryl’s books!

But enough from me. Time to raise your glasses and give a hearty welcome to Cheryl and her latest release Handpicked.

 

Author Cheryl AdnamsWhen I began writing “Bet On It”, the first in the Muller’s of McLaren Vale series, I didn’t write it consciously thinking there would be any follow-ups, but those Muller brothers and the characters around them became family to me and I wasn’t ready to let them go. Brian came next with “Chasing the Flames”, which I actually wrote even before “Bet On It” had been picked up and published by Random House Australia. And from there it was a natural progression to continue with the last Muller brother, Andrew.

Handpicked” is the final story and it has taken me a long time to finish it. Throughout the previous stories I depicted Andrew as somewhat of an immature playboy. It was a challenge to figure out how I was going to make him grow up and become a decent man. He meets his match in childhood friend, Taryn McArthur when she returns to Muller’s Field to help with handpicking the grapes for the harvest. She has the upper hand for a good portion of their courtship. But just when he finally begins to think he has her all figured out, she reveals a secret that throws him into one hell of a spin. I can’t give too much away but I love the tease in the final tagline I used; ‘The smallest things in life can often make the biggest difference.’

It’s been a three year love affair with the Muller boys and in this final story there are a few shocks, especially for those who have followed the Muller’s all the way through and think of them as family, as I do.

 

Andrew could feel the warmth from Taryn’s body even without touching her. His senses were in overdrive and he kept his gaze out across the vines so as not to do something stupid like try and kiss her again. She wasn’t like anyone he’d ever met before and he was unsure how to tread. He wanted her. He knew that. She was gorgeous and vivacious, and that independent streak kept him on his toes just enough to make things interesting.

Taryn had kissed him in the pool after wine tasting and again last night in her drunken state. He’d kissed her early that morning after their argument. Not that he was keeping score. He’d just feel better when he had a bit more control over what was happening between them.

‘I should go,’ she said suddenly.

He sat up quickly. ‘Why?’

‘I . . . it’s late,’ she said. ‘I need a shower. God, I must stink after working all day in the fields.’

‘You smell great to me,’ he said grinning.

But the grin disappeared when she moved in and attached her lips to his. She kissed him slowly, lightly, nothing like the rough kiss he’d laid on her that morning. Her fingers feathered along his jaw, sending wonderful tingles of electricity across his skin.

Handpicked by Cheryl AdnamsA little sigh escaped her mouth as she changed the angle of the kiss. And he was lost.

‘Taryn,’ he murmured against her mouth.

‘Mmm?’

‘You make my head spin.’

She opened her eyes and sat back, her chest rising and falling beneath the thin white tank top she’d worn picking all day, as she tried to catch her breath.

‘I mean literally spin,’ he added. ‘I can’t work you out.’

‘Andrew, I’m going to be honest with you,’ she started seriously. ‘I’m attracted to you.’

He smiled.

She didn’t. ‘And that confuses me a little since you’re the boy who dared me to eat caterpillars and pulled my pigtails on a daily basis.’

‘Don’t you know?’ he asked, his deep voice quiet.

‘Know what?’

‘That’s how boys show girls that we like them.’ He reached out and tugged lightly at a strand of her hair, before curling it around his finger.

Her lips twitched a little and he watched as she looked down at his big hand playing with her hair. ‘I’m attracted to you,’ she said again. ‘But I’m here for a good time, not a long time. Do you understand me?’

He didn’t answer, just kept staring into her eyes.

‘I’m here for the harvest and then I’ll be gone, back to Queensland, and I have no choice in that.’

‘You always have a choice.’

‘In this, I don’t.’

She looked away for a moment out towards the setting sun. He wondered briefly what was so important back in Queensland. Not a man. They’d already established that. But his thoughts were interrupted when she spoke again.

‘I’m attracted to you and I think you’re attracted to me,’ she said turning her face back to his again. ‘But this can’t be anything more than a fling.’

Again he said nothing, just stared into those green sparkling eyes. He was enjoying her candour. It took guts for a woman to put her wants out there and he admired her for it. He knew a lot of men wouldn’t be so open-minded.

She stood up. ‘This was fun. I’d better go.’

He could have insisted she stay longer, but he knew he’d lost her. For now.

‘See you tomorrow then.’

She nodded and turned to walk away. She was about to step over the low wall when he called out.

‘Taryn!’

She turned back expectantly.

‘You’re here for the harvest,’ he said. ‘Two months at best.’

She nodded.

‘I dare you not to fall in love with me.’

She just shook her head and laughed. ‘You’d have more chance of getting me to eat caterpillars.’

He just chuckled, unperturbed.

‘Bye,’ she said. ‘And thanks for dinner. I enjoyed being here.’

He waved and watched her until she was out of view before he fell onto his back on the rug. He groaned, staring up as the stars began to blink into existence. They winked at him like they knew something he didn’t. Well, they probably did. Maybe they knew what made Taryn McArthur tick, because buggered if he knew.

 

Wasn’t that fun? You want to read more now, don’t you? Well, you can, with just a few clicks. Purchase your copy of Handpicked right now from Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, and Barnes and Noble.

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

 

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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.

Enjoy!

 

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:

Booktopia

Angus & Robertson Bookworld

Fishpond.com.au

Amazon.com | Amazon.au | Amazon.uk

Kobo

iBooks

Google Play

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

 

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It’s Wayward Heart Release Day!

Wayward Heart quote meme - Not be her rebound

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

Yes, my lovelies, it’s Wayward Heart’s release day. A time when you have the joy of learning secret things about this gorgeous book, and its characters and setting, and where much fizz is drunk and naughty things eaten in the Hein house.

I am so thrilled to have this book out. It was always my goal to tell the individual stories of the three female friends from Rocking Horse Hill. Emily Wallace-Jones had hers told in that book, while Teagan Bliss’s was revealed in The Falls. Now it’s Jasmine Thomas’s turn and while all three books are special, I think this one has nailed it.

Wayward Heart is a friends-to-lovers story and I don’t know about you, but I reckon that trope is one of the most delicious there is in the romance world, probably because it’s so believable. Jas and Digby have never considered each other to be more than mates, but when circumstances bring them close, they discover unexpected strengths and wonders in each another. What happens next is totally sighworthy, if I do say so myself!

Anyway, as has become tradition on release day, here are some secret things about Wayward Heart. Enjoy!

6 SECRET THINGS ABOUT WAYWARD HEART

1/. Wayward Heart contains the most sex I’ve written in a book since Callie and Matt wouldn’t stop going at it like rabbits in Heartland.

2/. Usually (but not always) I have a theme song for my books. In the case of Wayward Heart, I had a whole theme playlist. On it were songs like Hurt by Johnny Cash, Chances by Athlete (made famous in Doctor Who’s Vincent and the Doctor episode) and Run by Snow Patrol.

But the song I played the most and put me very much in Digby’s head is a weird one. I’m not sure that you know but I’ve been a Eurovision Song Contest tragic for well over 25 years. I just adore it. Anyway, the Norwegian entry from the 2015 contest in Vienna was a song called A Monster Like Me by Mørland & Debrah Scarlett, and it fitted Digby perfectly.

At least I thought it did until I saw the film clip and realised it wasn’t about a man giving up the girl he loves, but was instead about a couple of freaky serial killer types…

Ah well.

3/. Wayward Heart was always going to be called Admella Beach after the beach behind Jasmine’s house but for marketing reasons the decision was made to change it. After MUCH brainstorming, we settled on Wayward Heart.

4/. Admella Beach is fictional but it derives its name from the steamship Admella, which was wrecked off the coast of Carpenter Rocks on August 6th 1859. The maritime disaster claimed eighty-nine lives, including 14 children, and has gone down in history as one of Australia’s worst. Only 24 people survived and the story of how they clung to the wreckage for over a week is incredible.

You can find more about the SS Admella at admella.org.au or, if you’re ever visiting South Australia’s Limestone Coast, why not take a trip to Port MacDonnell and visit the Port MacDonnell and District Maritime Museum. Well worth the trip. The Portland Maritime Discovery Centre across the border in Victoria also has a permanent Admella display, including the lifeboat used in the rescue.

A view of the coastline looking west from Port MacDonnell, South Australia.

A view of the coastline looking west from Port MacDonnell, South Australia, not far from where the SS Admella was tragically wrecked.

5/. The 2 opening paragraphs of Wayward Heart came to me in August 2014. I wrote them down and simply carried on with the other books I was working on, and didn’t pick up the story again until May 2015. This happens a lot, but as a career author with contracts to fulfil and readers to satisfy you can’t let yourself get distracted by the bright new shiny things or you’ll never finish anything.

Wayward Heart by Cathryn Hein6/. I think Wayward Heart’s cover is the best I’ve had yet. It’s so sexy and romantic I wish I could dive into it and join them. Actually I’d probably elbow Jas out the way and demand Digby hold me all sexily like that.

Yeah, yeah, so that’s weird, but a girl’s allowed her little fantasies!

Watch out for a really cool Q&A on the blog this coming Friday with cover model Kate Swan, who reveals how the shoot came about, our hero and the details of that clinch.

 

So there you have it, six secret things about Wayward Heart. I hope you enjoyed this bit of  behind the scenes fun.

Wayward Heart is available from today in paperback and ebook from good book retailers and chain stores.

Or you can purchase copies with just a clickety-click right now from:

Booktopia

Angus & Robertson Bookworld

Fishpond.com.au

Amazon.com | Amazon.au | Amazon.uk

iBooks

Kobo

Google Play

For an excerpt and more, including the The Story Behind Wayward Heart, please visit its book page. You can also download samples from your favourite ebook retailer.

As usual, I’ll be celebrating release day with champagne and good things. It might not seem it, but writing a book is bloody hard work. But it’s not just the writing. There’s a whole process to be gone through before a book reaches a reader’s hands and each step involves not just my input but a lot of expert help, from editors to cover designers, marketers and digital people, and others in between. They all deserve a toast for their hard work. So later today I’ll be doing just that, and enjoying it hugely!

 

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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 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.

Hmm.

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 the funhouse that is Teaser Tuesday, the blog series where I share snippets from current and past releases and works-in-progress. Except for the weeks when I con a writing buddy into revealing some of their work. Which is exactly what’s happening today.

It’s my great pleasure to welcome Susanne Bellamy to the blog. If you’re a follower of Teaser Tuesday you know I’ve been hosting authors from the Bindarra Creek Romance series. Well, Susanne is another of these ladies and she’s here to tell you more about the series and share a gorgeous snippet from her release Second Chance Love.

There might also be a giveaway, so read on!

 

Susanne Bellamy AuthorGood morning, Cathryn.

Thank you for hosting me on your site today for this week’s Tuesday Teasers and for this wonderful opportunity to talk about the group writing venture, A Bindarra Creek Romance series. This venture has thirteen members, all of whom have now released their books with the last one out in July 2016. Together we built a solid community with endearing characters and stories that can be read as stand-alones but are delightful as a series. The small rural town of Bindarra Creek feels so real that I know – somewhere – it truly exists!

I’m sharing a teaser from my book, Second Chance Love, where Angus and Claire and Ollie, Angus’s eleven year old son, share a meal at the Cyprus Café, home of the best coffee and home made baklava this side of Athens!

 

Angus watched Claire’s soft pink lips close around the two wide straws in her milkshake and his groin tightened. The last milkshake they’d shared, she had one straw, and he had the other. Holding hands across the table, their foreheads had touched as they bent over the anodised pastel-pink beaker.

In those days, one touch of Claire and his body had fired up with desire. Rampant teenage hormones sent them off to the creek where they shared lime-flavoured kisses. And more.

Some things hadn’t changed. He leaned forward, hoping his jacket covered his reaction to her. “Are they as good as you remember?”

Second Chance Love by Susanne BellamyClaire held up one finger and closed her eyes as she drank. In repose, her face had a classical, serene beauty that his fingers longed to trace—the line of her jaw, the arch of her eyebrows, the fullness of her lips.

Beside him, Ollie sat on the edge of his seat and watched her intently, his own drink forgotten as he waited for her reply.

She sat back and met Ollie’s gaze. “Heavenly. Your dad was right. Lime is definitely the best—still.” She licked her bottom lip, finishing in the corner.

Angus bit back a groan and dipped his head to his straw. Short of diving into his milkshake, he wasn’t going to be able to quench his definite interest in Claire anytime soon.

“See, Dad, I told you Miss Swenson would love lime, same as you and me.” Apparently satisfied with his success, Ollie tucked into his drink followed by the house special, a giant hamburger with chips and sweet chilli sauce on the side.

But just because Claire still preferred lime milkshakes didn’t mean Angus knew the grown up woman. Was she still into Powderfinger and Midnight Oil? Did she still adore ‘Die Hard’ movies? And right then, he knew he would be renewing his relationship with Claire.

 

Wasn’t that great? You can find out more about Second Chance Love and Susanne’s other releases via her website susannebellamy.com. But to satisfy that book craving I know is gnawing away at you, why not buy a copy of Second Chance Love from Amazon right now. You know you want to!

Now, here’s Susanne to tell you all about today’s…

GIVEAWAY!

I have a random giveaway of a paperback copy of Second Chance Love (if domestic winner) or if international winner, an e-copy of my book to be gifted from Amazon.

In Second Chance Love, Angus invites Claire home for a crayfish dinner cooked to a secret family recipe. In honour of that, share your answer to the following question and you’ll go into the draw to win a copy of my book:

 

What’s the best meal you’ve ever eaten, and what made it special/great?

 

Ooh, where to start! I’ve had many memorable meals, mostly made that way because of the company I was in or the location. Great friends and/or a wonderful setting always makes food taste better in my opinion. Years ago, I attended a cooking school in Provence with a couple of friends and had the best time, but one of the meals we prepared still sticks in my mind. It was a simple Provençale dish of stuffed vegetables served with fresh tomato sauce that we ate on a terrace bathed in afternoon sunshine, and washed down with delicious local wine. It was amaaaazing.

What about you? What’s your best meal and why was it so special? Share, and you’ll go into the draw to win a copy of Second Chance Love.

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Friday AEST, 28th October 2016. Open internationally. If the winner has an Australian postal address, they’ll receive a paperback copy of Second Chance Love. A winner without an Australia postal address will receive a gifted ebook from Amazon.

Good luck!

 

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Teaser Tuesday!

Teaser TuesdayIt’s time for another tantalising treat thanks to Teaser Tuesday, the series where I share snippets from my novels, old, new and in progress, and occasionally let author buddies take over.

I am so, so tempted to share a few more paragraphs from Santa and the Saddler, the novella I’m currently writing, because I’m hopelessly in love with the story and the characters and want to share them with the world. But I’d better not. If I do manage to get this book out in time for Christmas, I’ll be exposing it that much you’ll be sick of me. Same goes for Wayward Heart. I’m reading page proofs at the moment and I’m so excited about its release it’s giving me tingles. Can’t wait!

So this week we’ll revisit an old release. Heartland is a really fun book with a super sexy ex-solider hero and a sassy blonde heroine with an intriguing tattoo. And a mad goose. We mustn’t forget Honk. That bird is such a mischief maker.

Here’s a bit of early attraction between Callie and Matt. Matt has been watching Callie with a litter of puppies…

 

‘You can have one if you like,’ he said, moving out of the shadows and walking toward Callie. ‘Wal’s giving them away to good homes.’

Heartland by Cathryn HeinShe didn’t start, making him wonder if she knew he’d been watching. Giving an ecstatic cock-eared puppy a last tickle, she rose and faced him, smiling.

‘I doubt I’d make a good home.’

‘You sure? They’re pretty cute.’

‘Ahh, but cuteness isn’t everything.’

He rubbed at his jaw, glad that he hadn’t bothered to shave; the bristles helped make his scar less confronting. ‘Probably just as well, otherwise I’d be stuffed.’

She studied him a moment, gaze lingering on his scar before sliding away. ‘I’m sure you do all right.’

©Cathryn Hein

Heartland can be yours right now from Amazon, iBooks, Kobo or Google Play. For print copies, visit Booktopia, Bookdepository or your favourite book store.

Want to learn more about Heartland? You’ll find story behind the book, reviews, and more excerpts on its book page on this website.

 

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Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser TuesdayIt’s Teaser Tuesday time again, the blog series where I tantalise you with snippets from works-in-progress, past and upcoming releases, and occasionally let writing buddies play around too.

I am so deep into writing Santa and the Saddler at the moment. Oh, how I adore this book! The hero and heroine are so lovely and I just know they need to be together even though right now it seems as if that’s not going to happen. It will, of course. It’s a romance and in a romance a happy-ever-after is mandatory. That doesn’t mean there won’t be tears along the way though.

I don’t want to make promises, but I’m pretty confident I’ll have this novella finished for you in time for a Christmas release. There are still quite a few chapters to go but I’m starting to glimpse the end and I always write faster when I can see that, and this book is such fun. All I want to do is write it!

Can you tell I’m excited about this story? I am. Really excited, which is why I’m going to share another little snippet today. Obviously the novella is in draft form and this is an unedited piece, so it might be totally different in the finished book or be cut all together.

Enjoy!

 

Late in his shift, when he had a spare moment, Danny picked a couple of packets of nuts from the rack and paid for them along with two bottles of pilsner. He didn’t know if Beth drank beer but she looked like that kind of girl. What she looked like was his kind of girl, and Danny had every plan of making her that. Tonight would be good but he’d take tomorrow. She was tired and distracted and a bloke couldn’t rush these things.

He wanted to though. Badly.

As soon as knock-off came, Danny was out of the Arms and shooting for O’Brien’s.

‘Santa to the rescue,’ he announced when Beth unlocked the door. He held up the beers and nuts. ‘Sustenance.’

She leaned against the jamb with her arms folded. ‘What are you doing here?’

Danny studied Beth’s face, trying to figure out her mood, whether she was pleased or the defensive folded arm act was just that—an act. ‘I’ve come to help?’

He cringed at how the rising inflection made him sound like a girl.

‘Danny, you played cricket today, and you’ve obviously done a shift at the pub.’ She indicated his Santa suit. ‘I’m fine, go home. There’s no point in both of us ending up exhausted. I was planning to finish up soon anyway.’

He shrugged. ‘So I’ll hang around and take you home.’

Beth pinched the bridge of her nose and shook her head. ‘You do realise Santa is meant to come only once a year and not every night?’

‘Ah, but Beth, you should know by now that this Santa never plays by the rules.’

©Cathryn Hein

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