Tag Archives: Cathryn Hein

This Writing Life: Christmas-New Year Australian Adventures 2017

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There’s nothing like a mammoth road trip to wear you out, and we did a beauty over the Christmas-New Year break. Well over 4,000 kilometres (2485+ miles) in total by the time we made it back home.

Not that this is unusual for us. With my family in south-east South Australia and Jim’s in north Queensland, long journeys are unavoidable. Anyway, it’s fun to cruise this vast country of ours. There’s always something wonderful to see or experience, from our natural beauty and fascinating history to our famously dangerous wildlife, and much more in between.

And when you spend so much time in front of a computer like me, sometimes it’s just a blast to tool around in the Aussie outdoors.

Here’s a selection of photos from our time away. Enjoy!

 

We called in to Moree on the trip up and had a lovely dinner with author Nicole Alexander. Unfortunately, neither of us thought to take a pic for you. We were too busy talking!

From Moree it was a cruisy drive to Rockhampton, a place I’ve had a soft spot for from first visit. And here’s a useless fact for you: Central Queensland University, which has its main campus here, is where I gained my post-graduate in business management.

As always, when in Rocky, we wandered down to the Criterion Hotel’s Bush Inn steakhouse for a big meaty feed. Isn’t the hotel beautiful? It was built in 1889 and is ‘cousin’ to Brisbane’s famous Breakfast Creek Hotel, although the Criterion has an extra floor. It also has a ghost, believed to be a chambermaid who died in the late 1800s, although no one seems to be sure.

Criterion Hotel, Rockhampton

Criterion Hotel, Rockhampton

Read more about the history of the hotel on its website.

Ah, I do so love a good equestrian statue! This – so the plaque informed me – is of Charles Archer and his horse Sleipner, who, on 1st September 1855, made rendezvous with his brother Colin Archer in the ketch Elida on the banks of the Fitzroy River, and thus the site of Rockhampton was determined.

Charles Archer statue, Rockhampton

Christmas was spent in Collinsville, which now advertises itself as the Pit Pony Capital of Australia, thanks to the historic use of ponies in the coal mine. Although they weren’t ponies, they were Clydesdales. Collinsville was the last mine in Australia to use pit ponies, with Wharrier and Mr Ed only being retired in 1990, which is kind of gobsmacking.

Timing meant I didn’t get to visit The Pit Pony Experience this trip but I will next time I’m up so I can learn more about the ponies and community.

A handsome statue has been installed in town to honour the lives of these animals. Naturally, being a horsey sculpture, I took lots of snaps. He was decorated for Christmas and looking very jaunty.

Pit pony statue, Collinsville

My father-in-law has the best big boy’s toys. This is just a small example. Next trip I’m going to have a go at the loader myself. And the digger. Wouldn’t mind a play with a big truck either but knowing me I’d probably break it. After all, I managed to mangle a header at agricultural college during harvest which did NOT go down well. Oops.

Big boys toys

The barbeque had a hanger on. These hornet nests are quite extraordinary, heavy and densely structured, but look how delicate the entrance funnel is. It’s almost a work of art in itself.

Hornets nest

We snuck into Bowen on Christmas Eve to raid the fish co-op and enjoy a tasty lunch at the yacht club. Did you know Bowen was where they filmed the Darwin scenes for the movie Australia, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman? The town is very proud of the fact and even has BOWENWOOD painted in big letters on the water tower. Such an Australian thing to do. I really wanted to get a snap of that but the best vantage point was the highway and I didn’t think getting skittled on Christmas Eve was a good idea.

One of the signs near the tourist office celebrating Bowen's role in the making of the movie Australia.

One of the signs near the tourist office celebrating Bowen’s role in the making of the movie Australia.

The original big mango (which once made headlines for being “kidnapped” overnight) is on the Bruce Highway but there’s a smaller one, known as mini-mango, in town. I thought I’d show it Wayward Heart. Perfectly normal thing to do.

Tooling around in Bowen.

Tooling around in Bowen.

Post-Christmas we headed north to Townsville. The Strand was looking gorgeous, with plenty of people making use of the water park and patrolled beaches. I adore the fig trees; some of them are fantastical in shape and look more suited to a Lord of the Rings type movie set than a tropical promenade.

Strand water park

Strand beach

Fig tree

Townsville has some wonderful architecture, including the former Queens Hotel and Customs House.

The former Queens Hotel

The former Queens Hotel

Customs house

Customs house

The Strand is also home to several sculptures. This one is new since our last visit. It’s called Bazza and Shazza and was created by James Cook University alumni Jan Hynes. Isn’t it cool?

Bazza and Shazza Sculpture, The Strand, Townsville

Bazza and Shazza with Magnetic Island in the background.

At the top end of The Strand lies Jezzine Barracks. This redeveloped 15-hectare site celebrates the aboriginal and military history of the Kissing Point headland. The original fort was established in 1870, and the site was in continuous military use from 1885 until 2006. The views over the rockpool and bay are lovely and worth the climb, even in the heat.

View from Jezzine Barracks

View from Jezzine Barracks

This might be hard to read but this is a section of plaque in one of the barracks’ memorials that tells of the bravery of Private Jim Gordon VC. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for conspicuous gallantry while saving his unit by capturing a pill box near Jezzine, northern Syria. As if that wasn’t enough, he was offered a SECOND Victoria Cross for his actions on the Kokoda Track, but turned it down unless the rest of his section were also similarly recognised. What an incredible man.

Private Jim Gordon VC

Private Jim Gordon VC

Here are some of the other memorials in the barracks.

A Jezzine Barracks memorial

A Jezzine Barracks memorial

Naturally, we played golf. Usually we’d play all three local courses but a 3.5 metre saltwater crocodile had moved into The Willows and I was buggered if I was going to play there. With everything else biting me I was bound to be snapped at.

Apparently they’ve since managed to capture one croc but it was only 2.3 metres long which means the 3.5 metre could be still out there… waiting.

Newspaper article about the Willows crocodile

Speaking of bities, here’s a green ant nest I spotted at Rowes Bay Golf Club.

green ant nest

Not something I’d like to bump into.

Castle Hill viewed from Rowes Bay Golf Club

Castle Hill viewed from Rowes Bay Golf Club

And another bitey, although in this case it’s a fake one draping the street in front of the Museum of Tropical Queensland. I bet that’s given more than a few intoxicated revellers leaving the Flinders Street nightclub strip a fright or ten.

Flinders Street spider

We called back into Collinsville on the way back because the local cattle needed to be shown Wayward Heart too. And don’t they look fascinated.

Wayward Heart with cows

Which reminds me, we struck a nasty storm near Guthalungra. Horrible to drive through but dramatic to look at.

Storm - near Guthalungra

It can be ridiculously expensive to buy healthy food when you’re travelling so we pack picnics and make use of roadside stops. It’s great. Mostly. At one stop on the upward journey we set up at a table only to discover halfway through eating our sandwiches that there was a paper wasp nest beneath. Poor Jim copped a few stings, which made for a deal of unhappiness.

Ever wondered why Banana in central Queensland (and not a banana tree in sight) was called Banana? I have, plenty of times, and now, thanks to this sign, I know the answer and so do you.

Why Banana is called Banana

In case you can’t read it, the piece about Banana on the sign’s left reads:

In bygone days of bullock drays Banana led the team, an enormous yellow bullock who died beside a stream. The years have passed “Banana’s creek” tells of the bullock’s fame, for a town grew up beside it and BANANA is its name.

There’s even a statue and memorial to good ol’ Banana. What fun!

Banana the bullock

I’ve forgotten how many times we’ve passed through Condamine, on the western Darling Downs, over the years and wished we could stop at its wonderful old pub, but we could never seem to fit it in our schedule. This trip we did, and so, after a long day on our bums, we enjoyed a refreshing leg-stretching walk around town followed by a cold beer and great counter meal. Bewdiful.

Condamine Bell Hotel

Condamine Bell Hotel

Enjoying a beer at Condamine pub

Flood marker - Condamine

The flood marker at Condamine. Look how high the 2011 flood is!

Condamine is tiny, with a population of 400 or so. What it’s most famous for is the Condamine Bell, invented by blacksmith Samuel Williams Jones. He was the first to manufacture stock bells out of sheet metal from crosscut saws.

I remember memorising a wonderfully romantic-sounding poem about this in year 10 in school, which I then had to recite to the class. It was called Condamine Bells by Jack Sorensen and I’m still able to recite lines by heart. You can read the poem in full here. As you can imagine, I was rather chuffed to visit the memorial bell.

The Condamine Bell

The Condamine Bell

A few days after returning home we zoomed off to Canberra to visit the excellent A History of the World in 100 Objects exhibition at the National Museum and take a bazillion more photos. I’d include those but I think this post is long enough as it is. If you’re interested, highlights can be found on my Instagram and Facebook pages.

I hope you had fun with this peek at our latest Australian adventures. We certainly had fun living it!

Did you have any adventures over the break?

Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser Tuesday 2017 logoWelcome to the 2017 season of Teaser Tuesday, the blog series where I share snippets from my novels, old, new and in progress, and occasionally let author buddies take over.

Did you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year? We did, albeit stinking hot and that’s continuing with the temperature outside as I write this (Friday 13th – very appropriate) a nasty 44° C, or around 111° F for those who use that measure. Hopefully by the time this blog goes live it’ll have cooled down, at least a little. 44 is ridiculous.

This morning I went book stalking and had a lovely time stroking copies of Wayward Heart and talking shelfies, but the pleasure of that has been nothing compared to the joy of your reader emails and messages saying how much you’ve enjoyed the book. Thank you! Each and every message warms my heart hugely, and leaves me eager to write more.

Newsletter subscribers already know that I’m on a creative binge and have story ideas up the wazoo (i.e. lots), and as we go through the year I’ll be sharing snippets from them, but today is Wayward Heart’s day.

So kick back and enjoy this sample from Digby and Jasmine’s emotional journey, and if you’ve yet to grab a copy, why not treat yourself to an uplifting romance? Go on, you deserve it!

 

He parted his hands. ‘It doesn’t matter now. It’s over.’

‘Yeah, except it’s not. It’s still here.’ She rubbed her knuckles against her chest. ‘That love. Like Frankenstein’s monster.’

Wayward Heart by Cathryn HeinHe understood. Even though Felicity was gone, his love remained strong. The only difference was that he knew how pointless it was. Jas probably knew too, but where life existed, so did hope.

‘It’ll take time, believe me.’ He made a self-deprecating noise, like a half laugh. ‘I’m an expert.’

‘You still love her?’

‘Yeah.’

Jas reached to take his hand. ‘I’m sorry.’

Shaking his head, he looked away at the fire. His throat felt thick, his heart bruised. He wanted to tell Jas what it was like, the endless longing, the grief of a million should-have-beens. How one half of him prayed that one day it might end, while the other half clung to her, refusing to let go.

But tonight wasn’t about his lost path to healing. It was about Jasmine’s.

 

Wayward Heart is available for purchase right now from your local bookshop, discount department store and these excellent stores:

Booktopia | Angus & Robertson Bookworld | Fishpond.com.au

Amazon.com | Amazon.au | Amazon.uk

Kobo | iBooks |Google Play |Barnes & Noble Nook

For Australian readers, check out Harlequin’s fabulous Great Beach Reads promotion. You could win $500 worth of Gabee bags. Now that’d make your summer! To enter click here or on the image below.

 

Interested in how I came to write Wayward Heart? Read all about it in Of Beaches And Brothers, And Friends to Lovers, the story behind Wayward Heart.

 

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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:

Booktopia

Angus & Robertson Bookworld

Fishpond.com.au

Amazon.com | Amazon.au | Amazon.uk

Kobo

iBooks

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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Wayward Heart’s Cover Model Reveals All!

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Oh, my lovelies, I am so thrilled, for today we have a very special event: an interview with Wayward Heart’s cover model.

How cool is that?

If you’ve been following me around the internet, you’ll know how obsessed I am with this cover. I just adore it. The colours are beautiful, the romantic feel spot on, and the image that Harlequin’s clever designers have used is perfect. I’ve fallen so in love with it that I can’t remember how I initially imagined Jas and Digby. When I think of them now all I picture is the book, that’s how perfectly they’ve been shown.

Anyway, enough of me gushing and let’s say a big sunny cheerio to Kate Swan, who’s probably freezing her toes off in the UK right now.

 

Actress and model Kate Swan

Actress and model Kate Swan

Hi Kate and welcome!

Thanks so much for taking the time to join us. It’s very exciting and the first time we’ve had a cover model on the blog. I can’t wait to discover more about how this job came about and that clinch with Mr Sexy Snog Man (as I lovingly call him in my head), but we’ll get to that.

In the meantime, perhaps you can tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m an actress represented by The Markham Agency, London. And also run my own company ‘Forever Fairy Tales Ltd’ supplying bespoke entertainment for children’s parties specialising in Princess and Superhero characters!

I mostly work in theatre although am looking to move in to period drama and film.

Since a young age, I was interested in fashion, models and glamorous movie stars. I started building a portfolio with local photographers, and occasionally get bookings via Instagram. I follow photographers that interest me and that’s how I found Rehka Garton. She’s been doing book covers since a young age.

 

Wow. Rehka’s website looks amazing. Definitely worth checking out, and what fun your children’s parties must be. There’s nothing like being a princess!  And I see from your Spotlight profile that you’ve done a lot of Royal Shakespeare Company training. That’s really impressive and makes me even prouder to have you on my cover.

So, is Wayward Heart your first book cover? How did you get the gig?

Rehka decided to cast me for her next book cover shoot, but needed a male model also. And after a Facebook suggestion, that’s how I met the stunning Jack. He’d never modelled before, but looked perfect! We met the day of the shoot, and instantly struck a great working relationship and ‘on screen’ partnership. Half our shoots are spent laughing along with the photographer! We now offer ourselves as a professional pairing for couple shoots and advertisement.

 

That’s such a great story and how cool that this has led you and Jack into doing more work together. You could become romance cover royalty!

Speaking of which, how does it feel to be on a romance novel cover? What do your friends and family think?

I think my mum was most excited! She works managing libraries across Hertfordshire, and can’t wait to see the books on the shelf. As I have four out now for various authors. Wayward Heart will always be special as it was my first booking and chosen cover!

 

Aww, that’s so nice. I’m chuffed to be your first.

Now, can you share what a typical shoot is like? Have you experienced any funny moments in your career?

Oh plenty! It’s my favourite thing to be on set, in any form, whether its theatre or camera. I always feel in my element and most alive when I’m acting. Normally it’s an early start, costume fitting, then hair and makeup. Unless scripted or directed, I tend to input ideas and move in the moment, playing as I go until the feeling becomes fluid and natural. Being an actress, my modelling is highly influenced by a character and ‘telling the story’ through a staged scene (pose). Perhaps its why book covers are my niche!

Actress and model Kate Swan

Actress and model Kate Swan

I have had advert auditions, usually odd: perhaps being asked to look into the camera and cry on cue (with no reasoning!) Or scrub a pretend bath whilst miming ‘Flash’ by Queen! But you’re usually in the room for no more than a couple of minutes. I hope to land one soon.

The funniest moment of my professional career, was playing ‘Elizabetta’ in Dracula, a scare show performed in Stratford-Upon-Avon. In the opening scene after black out I had misread my spacing in the dark, and knocked into a table, smashing two prop glasses all over the stage floor! So when the lights came back up it was up to sexy vampire ‘Elizabetta’ to glide on stage with dustpan and brush and clean the mess in character (staring out an audience member) so the two actors playing Dracula and Johnathan Harker could carry on the scene.

There’s nothing like life theatre but I literally wanted to die inside. But as we came off finally the laughter commenced!

 

Funny, especially having a sexy vampire do something so domestic! I can understand the wanting to die feeling. I’d feel the same but I guess this is where your professionalism and training kick in and you simply act your way through it.

And now, my favourite bit, that clinch…

Wayward Heart’s cover image is so breath-taking and romantic. Did it feel like that at the time or is the truth that it was awkward and you nearly fell on your bum? It’s okay, you can tell us.

Wayward Heart by Cathryn Hein

Me and Jack have a great chemistry and seem to ‘look’ right as a romantic pairing. Since, we’ve done wedding shots and a period book cover photoshoot. From the moment go we clicked and nothing was awkward. He’s a great kisser, I can’t really say it’s a ‘job’. The shoots are really relaxed and creative. We’ve become a great team.

It’s like working with my best mates, we have a good laugh, but I always know we’ll produce something exciting.

 

I have a terrible crush on Mr Sexy Snog Man Jack. Even worse now you’ve told me he’s a great kisser (I knew he would be, deep sigh).

Is he truly that gorgeous in real life? Do you think he’d mind a middle-aged Australian romance author as a stalker-friend? I promise not to be too creepy.

Mr Sexy, invites your musing with open arms! We are both so grateful for you choosing our shot from R.G Photography.

And yes, he’s a stunner, as well as a great guy!

 

A stunner, great guy AND a fantastic kisser? I’m definitely going to stalk Jack now.

Thanks so much, Kate, for giving us such a great insight into how Wayward Heart’s cover image came about and a sneak peek at your life. It was fascinating and fun. We all appreciate you taking the time to share and wish you the very best in your career.

So, lovely readers, if you’d like to discover more about Kate, you can follow her on Twitter using @kateswanact or connect via Facebook. You’ll also find Kate’s acting profile on Spotlight.

We mustn’t forget Jack either (as if!). Follow him on Twitter using @J_Niko_CP

Don’t forget to check out ‘Rekha Garton’ Photography!

 

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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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How to Make Your Booklover Smile This Christmas

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Over the course of the year, I’ve been keeping tabs on some of the cool booky things I’ve discovered around the internet. Now, with the the season to be jolly upon us, it’s time to share with this booklover’s gift guide.

So, if you’re looking for Christmas present ideas for readers, writers or those who simply appreciate a bit of booklovin’ fun – and that includes yourself – read on.

I had planned to get this up earlier but between Santa and the Saddler’s release in October and Wayward Heart hitting stores and digital shelves this coming Monday, as well as new projects to manage, it didn’t happen. Sorry! I appreciate it might be a bit too late to order some of the items, especially for we antipodeans, but you can always do an IOU, or keep note for next year, order early and impress everyone with your super efficiency.

Anyway, let’s get started on the pressies.

Stroke Me, Stroke Me

I love Paperblanks. They produce the most beautiful, beautiful notebooks. Not only to look at but to write in too. With their wonderfully textured covers and high quality paper, they’re even satisfying to stroke!

My Paperblanks notebooks

These are the two I purchased from stationery lover’s paradise Pulp Addiction in the Hunter Valley, NSW. Paperblanks are also available from the National Library of Australia bookshop or find your nearest stockist at Paperblanks.com.

Come Read My Lovely Legs

How cool are these tights from the Tights Shop on Etsy? They come in a range of colours and quotes, from Jane Austen to Edgar Allen Poe, to Harry Potter and other favourites.

Literary tights

Great fun and very cute, and for the singles among us, what a pick-up aid! Just stretch out your legs and let the bookloving conversation begin.

You can even get them customised with your own text. Anyone for a pair of Wayward Heart or Santa and the Saddler tights?

Cos A Girl Can Never Have Enough

More notebooks, this time from Moleskine. I bought myself this “All You Need Is Love” one from the limited edition Beatles collection because it reminded me of a scene in Santa and the Saddler where the hero Danny sings along in his ute, smug with joy and love, to another Beatles song “She Loves You”. Fishpond has free delivery but the collection is also available from Amazon and Notemaker also has some.

All you need is love notebook

By the way, if you haven’t tried Notemaker, it’s a marvellous shop. Like Pulp Addiction you can spend aaaaaages there, wallowing in stationery bliss.

A Bum For Your Book

I ordered this handy Book Seat from the manufacturer on Wednesday and it was dispatched within a few hours. Great service! Wonderful to know they’re Australian but the product itself is available worldwide. It’ll balance books, tablets and e-readers in comfort, saving your neck and back, and leaving your hands free to do other things.

I loved the cartoon pattern on this one but The Book Seat has plenty of other patterns and colours available.

Retro comiic Bookseat

And just think how terrific it’d look with a shiny new copy of Wayward Heart perched on it!

Write Your Way To Luuurve

How’s this for the perfect kit for writing stunning love letters, and normal letters, of course. But love letters are far more sexy and, unlike a that raunchy video of you dancing to The Divinyls “I Touch Myself” while wearing nothing but a peek-a-boo bra and ugg boots, less likely to end up on the internet.

Belle Calligraphy Kit

Available from Booktopia, Bookdepository and pretty much everywhere else, and conveniently wrapped in a pretty box, ready for gifting.

Impress Your Friends With Your Unhandyman-ness

I know they’re fake but these book mural removable wall stickers from Readers’ Niche look goooood. And no drill or hammer skills required.

Book mural removable wall stickers

I reckon they’d look great in the loo, but that’s me. They’d sure beat looking at the golf magazines that usually end up in there.

Oh, hang on, I rather like golf mags.

Everyone Loves A Librarian

And you can be one with this personal library kit from Knock Knock.

Personal library kit

Not only will you be able to stamp with abandon, you’ll be able to chase up those non-returning friends and work out in a jiffy who left the red wine stain on page 153 of your favourite romance.

Probably me. I’m a shocker with books. And red wine, but that’s another story.

Sweet Nothings

Leave cute messages to your beloved on your fridge using this magnetic poetry kit set from Pulp Addiction. They’re like sweet nothings in your kitchen and far, far more romantic than a text message. Or that dangerous video I mentioned above.

Magnetic Poetry Kit

You can even buy a cowboy version. Yee-haa!

Warm Your Wayward Heart

What? Surely you didn’t expect me to not put my own book forward as a gift idea? A girl has turkey ‘n fizz to buy!

Wayward Heart by Cathryn Hein

Wayward Heart releases Monday and it’s a gorgeous friends-to-lovers story that will warm your heart and leave you sighing in happiness. Plus its cover is stunning and very, very strokeable. Yes, I’m biased, but I swear on my favourite golf club that these claims are true!

It’s also a breeze to wrap and you can even gift the ebook on Amazon. No hassle, no waiting, too easy. The perfect gift, wouldn’t you say? Grab a copy from these stores.

Booktopia | Angus & Robertson Bookworld

Amazon.com | Amazon.au | Amazon.uk

Kobo | iBooks | Google Play

You should buy it and tell all your family and work colleagues and buddies and the postman and the lady at the shop and, well, everyone in sight to buy it too. Or you could just purchase a bazillion copies yourself and gift them. I’m not fussy. Honest.

 

I hope you enjoyed these suggestions and if you have any of your own, please share. As I’m sure you’re well aware, one can never have enough booky goodness.

In the meantime, happy shopping!

 

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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 invite writing buddies along to play.

Some people just aren’t content with writing one Christmas themed novella. Oh no. Some people have to show off and write and release two in the one year. I tell you, if historical romance author Anna Campbell wasn’t such a lovely friend I’d have to get snitty with her for being such an over-achiever and making the rest of us look bad.

As it stands, not only is Anna a good friend and regular here on Teaser Tuesday, I’m a total fangirl and the more books the merrier I say!

So here’s Anna to tell you about her second gorgeous 2016 Christmas themed novella, but make sure you read to the end. You know what a generous soul Anna is and there could be a giveaway.

 

Author Anna CampbellHello again, Cathryn! I feel like I was only here a couple of weeks ago. Oh, that’s right. I was! Thanks for asking me back to talk about my second Christmas novella for 2016, A Match Made in Mistletoe.

One of the things I find endlessly fascinating about human nature is that often we’re completely wrong about what we think will be best for us—and sometimes fate has to nudge us pretty hard (and occasionally tip us over a cliff) to point us in the right direction. In A Match Made in Mistletoe, my heroine Serena Talbot profoundly misunderstands her heart and what it wants—and mistletoe mayhem results.

This excerpt comes from early in the story when the guests turn up for the annual Talbot Christmas house party, including the man Serena’s had a lifelong crush on, Paul Garside, and his brooding, sardonic friend Giles Farraday, Marquess of Hallam. Serena is determined that this Christmas, Paul is going to propose, so she turns to an old superstition that if you put a sprig of mistletoe under your pillow, you’ll dream of the man you’re going to marry. Unfortunately, the person who turns up in her dream isn’t lovely, easygoing Paul but annoying Giles!

 

Torver House, Dorset, December 1820

Paul bent to kiss Serena’s cheek. She awaited the usual thrill at the touch of his lips. But the fleeting contact left her unmoved. Dear Lord, what was wrong with her?

As she drew away, she caught Giles’s interested gaze and stupidly, she blushed. The memory of that horrible dream constricted her breathing, so she sounded cursed fluttery as she greeted Paul’s friend. “And, Giles, welcome back to Torver. Did you have a good trip up from London?”

“Serena, how cruel.” Ironic humor lengthened Giles’s lips. “You’ve known me nearly as long as you’ve known this vagabond, yet I don’t merit the same rights?”

“Same…” Puzzled, she stared up at him. He towered over her, taller than Paul. How had she never noticed that before?

A Match Made in Mistletoe by Anna CampbellA purr of laughter escaped him as he leaned in. “Who needs mistletoe?”

He’d kissed her before in silly Christmas games. Since his first term at Eton, Frederick had invited Paul and Giles to spend school holidays at Torver House. While Giles’s visits in recent years had become rarer, he’d never missed a Christmas. He was part of the fabric of her life.

So why did his casual kiss stop the world? At the cool brush of his lips, shivery heat rippled through her. She closed her eyes, fighting for balance.

“Serena?” Giles’s soft, deep voice—why had she never before noted its beauty?—seemed to come from far away.

She blinked and with surprising reluctance, stepped apart from him. Another horrid blush stained her cheeks, and she only just stopped herself from raising a hand to touch where he’d kissed her. Her skin burned where his lips had touched.

Drat that dream. It had turned her batty.

Reluctantly, she met Giles’s eyes. Dark and somber, they settled on her face. She’d learned through the years that little escaped his penetrating intelligence. Right now, the idea of him seeing her confusion made her cringe.

“Welcome home,” she stammered, only realizing what she said after the words emerged.

For once, Giles’s smile lacked an edge. “Well, that’s a nice reception.”

She blinked again to bring the bustling room into focus and realized that the whole interaction had lasted mere seconds. Mary and Paul weren’t even looking at them, but talked about some mutual acquaintance.

Still those enigmatic eyes examined her face. She shifted awkwardly from one foot to the other. “I…I meant…”

To her surprise, he touched her cheek with one elegant hand. Mostly Giles kept his distance from her. Gestures of affection were unheard of. “Don’t spoil it.”

 

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

A Match Made in Mistletoe: A Regency Novella is only 99 cents on Kindle. Buy now from: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and iBooks.

A Match Made in Mistletoe only 99 cents on Amazon

I think, like most people, I am slightly superstitious. Not about things like black cats or ladders, but I tend to notice omens, random coincidences that seem to bring me a message from the realms beyond. What about you? Are you superstitious? Any particular rituals you use to bring you luck or save you from disaster or confirm you’re on the right path?

GIVEAWAY!

I’ve got a Kindle download of A Match Made in Mistletoe (no geographical restrictions) to go to someone who leaves a comment today. Good luck!

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight AEST, 9th December 2016. Open internationally.

 

Ooh, being a mad (and sadly untalented) golfer, rituals and superstitions are definitely something I can comment on! I have this thing where my buggy must be to the right of the ball when I’m hitting. If it’s not, it does my head in because no matter how far away I leave it I’m convinced I’ll hit it in my backswing. I have lots of other little “issues” too but I’ll keep them private. I don’t want you all thinking I’m completely kooky!

What about you? Do you have any rituals or superstitions? Let us know and we’ll put you in the draw to win a Kindle download of Anna’s gorgeous novella, A Match Made in Mistletoe. Just the thing to put you in the Christmas mood.

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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Favourite Reads of November

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My Favourite Reads image

Another fantastic reading month with the highlights being a rather jaw-dropping but enjoyable young adult series, and an outstanding Australian novel from a new-to-me author.

So, by a fraction of a whisker, my favourite read of the month was…

The Royals Series by Erin Watt

Paper Princess, book one of The Royals Series by Erin WattWhich includes the books Paper Princess, Broken Prince and Twisted Palace.

This series was completely over the top bonkers and I loved every word.

Take one teenage stripper determined to drag herself out of the gutter, have her kidnapped/rescued by a man she’s never met yet who says he’s now her guardian, and plonked in a mansion with the dysfunctional, all-male family that is the uber wealthy Royals, and let the fun begin.

And brilliant fun it is too, with insanely spoiled (and twisted) rich kids, bitchiness, sex, murder, shenanigans, seriously hot bods and lashings of teenage angst. I read one book after the other in a matter of days.

An indulgence. But oh, so good.

Christmas Wishes, New Year Kisses by Michelle DouglasChristmas Wishes, New Year Kisses by Michelle Douglas

A lovely seasonal read, featuring two Australian veterinarian best friends who’ve known each other forever, and you know what that means? Sweet, funny animals. And an even sweeter friends-to-lovers romance. Oh, and there’s a beautiful tropical beach setting thrown in to add to the gorgeousness.

This one made me smile and sigh a lot, just as a good romance should.

Broken Homes by Ben AaronovitchBroken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch

Book four in this hugely popular supernatural series and another great romp with PC Peter Grant through Aaronovitch’s strangely inhabited London. I really enjoyed this but the ending? WOAH! It left me so startled and intrigued I nearly went on to read book five straight after, but in the end decided to ration myself.

The wit in this series is a hoot. As are the characters.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow RowellEleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Rowell’s Attachments moved me so much that it immediately became one of my all-time favourites reads, and while Eleanor and Park didn’t quite hit the same note – probably because it featured teenagers rather than adults, and the hero of Attachments was totally swoon-worthy – it was still a truly wonderful read. Two star-crossed outsider 16 year-olds fall in love despite all the odds against them, and the knowledge it probably won’t last. Wonderful.

I don’t know any other author who describes falling in love with the same exquisite detail and empathy as Rowell. Need more.

Fall by Candice FoxFall by Candice Fox

This crime series is so dark it borders on horror at times, which means I love it. I’m so disappointed that Fox says she has no more plans for Eden and Frank. They were fascinating characters and the plots of Eden, Hades and Fall all took turns that kept me guessing until the end. I really like the way this ended too. Twisted!

The Rules of Backyard Cricket by Jock SerongThe Rules of Backyard Cricket by Jock Serong

If it weren’t for the sheer jaw-dropping over-the-top fun of The Royals series this would have easily been my favourite read. Suspense? Crime? I’m not really sure, but what I do know is that the writing was incredible, as was the gripping plot. So clever!

The Rules of Backyard Cricket starts with our antagonist Darren Keefe having been shot in the knee, bound and dumped in the back of a car, presumably on his way to his execution. As he struggles with his predicament, Keefe takes us back through his notorious life and that of his even more famous cricketing star brother, Wally.

Amazing. Couldn’t put it down. Highly recommended, even if you’re not a cricket fan.

 

What were your favourite reads?

 

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