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Huge 12 Days of Down Under Christmas Giveaway!

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12 Days of Down Under Christmas 2017

Welcome to the 12 Days of Down Under Christmas super giveaway.

I’m thrilled to be a part of this event. What authors! What prizes! What fun you’re going to have!

The promotion runs from Saturday December 2nd (December 1st for US folk) until Tuesday 13th December, and hops from author to author. Each day a new post will go live, featuring something fun and Christmassy, and an individual giveaway.

Feel free to go your hardest and enter all the giveaways for more chances to win great prizes.

But wait, there’s more!

On top of the individual blog prizes, you’ll have the chance, via Rafflecopter, to enter the overall prize which is for a $50 Amazon gift card. How cool is that?

We’re at Day 7 already, but that doesn’t mean you’ve missed out on the previous posts and giveaways. They’re still open and will remain open for entries until December 13th.

You’ll find the list of participating authors and links, and the major Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of this post. Have fun reading and entering!

But first…

My 12 Days of Down Under Christmas Fun

I’ve decided on two special things for you, both with a suitably seasonal theme.

Santa and the Saddler by Cathryn HeinThe first is a beautiful recipe that will have friends and family oohing and ahhing over your cleverness. The second is a giveaway which, given it’s the season to be jolly, can only be for a paperback copy of my Christmas themed, Romantic Book of the Year finalist, Santa and the Saddler.

Those of you who have followed this blog for a long time might recognise this recipe from a 2011 episode of Friday Feast. I’ve decided to share it again because it’s truly delicious, one of my all-time favourite do-ahead desserts, not difficult, and looks stunning.

The kind of indulgent dessert that everyone should have on their Christmas party table.

WHITE CHOCOLATE DECADENCE

Begin this recipe one day ahead. The undecorated cake will keep for three or four days in the fridge (probably more if you can resist eating it for that long), which means you can make it well in advance. I don’t recommend freezing. I tried it once and it seemed to abnormally affect the texture.

Use full fat everything. This creamy cake is meant to be decadent!

White Chocolate Decadence

Ingredients

450g cream cheese, at room temperature

¼ cup (60 ml) caster sugar

3 teaspoons (15 ml) cornflour

3 eggs

1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla bean paste

3 teaspoons (15 ml) finely grated lemon zest

2 cups (500 ml) sour cream

1 cup (250 ml) thickened cream

240g block of good quality white chocolate, melted then cooled to lukewarm. I use Lindt.

Fresh seasonal fruit and fruit puree to serve.

Method

Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease a 20cm springform cake pan and line base and sides with baking paper. Wrap the outside of the tin tightly in a few layers of foil. It is important that the tin is made waterproof or water will leak into the tin during cooking and spoil the cake.

Or you can use a well-lined, plain round cake tin and pray like crazy that the cake doesn’t crack when you invert it at the end!

Whiz cheese and sugar in a food processor or mixer until smooth. With the motor running, add cornflour, then eggs one at a time, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides. Add vanilla, zest and creams, and ¼ teaspoon salt, and process until just combined, scraping down sides.

Add chocolate and pulse until smooth. Pour the mixture into the lined tin then set on a folded tea-towel in a large roasting dish (the tea-towel prevents the tin slipping around). Pour hot water into the dish until it comes halfway up the sides of the cake tin.

Bake for 45 minutes, then leave the cake in switched off oven with the door closed for one hour. Remove tin from roasting dish, remove exterior foil and cool cake completely on a rack, leaving it in its tin. Cover and chill overnight.

Turn out onto a plate or cake stand. Remove baking paper, top with fruit then drizzle with fruit puree. Slice using a hot, dry knife.

Go on, make it. I dare you.

GIVEAWAY!

What’s your favourite Christmas dessert? Do you have something special that you make, like a pudding using an old family recipe, or perhaps you prefer to whip up a simple but colourful fruit platter (much easier and more refreshing when faced with a stinking Aussie summer’s day)?

Share your favourite Christmas dessert for parties or the traditional lunch and I’ll pop you into the draw to win a copy of my gorgeous Christmas themed Australian rural romance, Santa and the Saddler!

Open worldwide.

Giveaway closes midnight Australian time, Wednesday December 13th 2017.

As promised, here are the links to all the other giveaways and the major Rafflecopter draw to win a $50 Amazon gift card.

Good luck!

12 Days of Down Under Christmas participants

(remember, these giveaways will remain open until the end of the promotion, so make sure enter them all for even more chances to win)

Day 1 – Kris Pearson

Day 2 – Joanne Dannon

Day 3 – Cassandra O’Leary 

Day 4 – Annie Seaton

Day 5 – Monique McDonell

Day 6 – Kate O’Keeffe

Day 7 – Cathryn Hein

Day 8 – Tracey Alvarez (live from  December 9th Australian time)

Day 9 – Leeanna Morgan (live from December 10th Australian time)

Day 10 – Wendy Vella (live from December 11th Australian time)

Day 11 – Charmaine Ross (live from December 12th Australian time)

Day 12 – Aislinn Kearns (live from December 13th Australian time)

Major $50 Amazon Gift Card Prize

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser Tuesday 2017 logoWelcome to Teaser Tuesday, the blog series where I share snippets from new and past releases, and works-in-progress, and occasionally tempt author friends into doing the same.

Oh, it’s so good to have historical romance author Anna Campbell on the blog again. She is SUCH a delight and we all love her here.

I’ve been very jealous of Anna lately. She’s had the most wonderful time gallivanting around Scotland and other far-flung places (they’re far-flung if you live in Australia), gaining inspiration from all the beautiful sites and history, not to mention all that lovely Scottish burr-ing. Check out Anna’s Facebook page for all the piccies but beware, they’ll make you want to book a holiday.

Speaking of Scottish things, I watched Sunshine on Leith a few weeks ago, a musical made entirely of songs by Scottish band The Proclaimers, and it was BRILLIANT. I was so excited I emailed Anna halfway through and told her she had to watch it too. It was great fun and I got to do movie karaoke. Rah!

Enough of me and my movie watching and burr-ing jealousy, Anna is here to tell you about her gorgeous new romance Catching Captain Nash. Anna’s books are terrific reads but take a look at that sumptuous cover. Honestly, you’d buy this book for that alone.

Anyway, please give a warm welcome to Anna, and make sure you read to the end because there could be a GIVEAWAY!

 

Historical romance author Anna CampbellHi Cathryn!

I’m so excited to visit you today to give you a sneak peek of my latest release, Catching Captain Nash. CCN is the last in my Dashing Widows series – well, for the moment, anyway. I’m seriously thinking of coming back and giving the younger generation, including Brandon, Carey, and Meg, their happy endings, but I won’t be writing those books for a while yet.

Catching Captain Nash has a strong Australian connection. My hero disappears, presumed dead for five years, and I needed somewhere for him to be. So I took inspiration from the life of Matthew Flinders (1774-1814), a famous explorer from very early days of Australian history.

Matthew Flinders was a dashing and heroic character – he proved Australia was a continent by circumnavigating it; he and George Bass explored large areas of the NSW coast near Sydney in a rowboat; Matthew and George also proved Tasmania was an island by circumnavigating it; he was a brilliant cartographer like my hero Robert; and he was the first to suggest calling my native land Australia. He joined the navy as a 15-year-old boy, much against his family and friends’ wishes, because he was mad about Robinson Crusoe. Definitely hero material!

In 1803, on a voyage back to England, he called in at Mauritius for supplies. This was in the middle of the Napoleonic wars, so the powers that be imprisoned him for six years as a spy, an experience that broke his health. Voilà, a backstory for my hero.

Matthew Flinders collage

One of the reasons Aussies remember Mr. Flinders so fondly is that a black and white cat named Trim accompanied him on many of his adventures: “The best and most illustrious of his race, the most affectionate of friends, faithful of servants, and best of creatures. He made the tour of the globe, and a voyage to Australia, which he circumnavigated, and was ever the delight and pleasure of his fellow voyagers.” Trim is honored with several statues, including one at the State Library of New South Wales in Sydney, where he receives considerably more visitors than his master does several feet away. The vagaries of fame!

As a romance writer, my heart warmed to the fact that Matthew Flinders jeopardised his career by trying to smuggle his new bride on board his ship when he left London to go back to Australia. Sadly, it didn’t work out. Even more sadly, this was the voyage where he ended up imprisoned. Poor Ann didn’t see her husband for another nine years.

Even more interesting, I discovered that Matthew Flinders’ grandson is the famous Egyptologist Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie who was the model for Emmerson in the fantastic Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters. Goodness, you couldn’t make this stuff up, could you? Cathryn, I thought you, with your interest in archeology, would find this connection fascinating.

Trim gets his own Wikipedia entry.

If you’re interested in knowing about the real life inspiration behind dashing and damaged Captain Robert Nash, here’s the link to Matthew Flinders’ Wikipedia entry.

Now for an intro to the Teaser this Tuesday. This scene takes place the first night Robert returns from the dead to find himself gate-crashing his wife’s engagement party to another man. Oops! Awkward! The newly reunited couple have retired to her bedroom…

 

Nash House, Berkeley Square, London October 1829

 

Robert sank into another of those ridiculously feminine chairs and bent to take off his boots. The intimacy of the mundane act knocked the breath from Morwenna, although of course the moment he’d said he was coming upstairs, she’d understood that they’d share a bed. After all, there was only one bed in the room.

With unsteady fingers, she started to braid her hair.

He looked up from unlacing his boots and shot her a sharp glance. “No.”

Her fingers stilled, as her eyes met his in her dressing table mirror. Was the monosyllabic man who’d come into the ballroom back again? “No?”

One of his scarred hands gestured in her direction. “Your hair. Don’t…”

“Plait it?”

“Please.”

Catching Captain Nash by Anna CampbellOh, dear. That was a statement of intent, if she’d ever heard one.

Ridiculous to feel nervous, but trepidation settled like a boulder in her stomach. She’d desperately missed the Robert she’d married, wanted him back in her bed. But this man, despite occasional glimmers of familiarity, remained very much an unknown quantity.

His touch had always set her alight. She’d starved for it since he’d gone away. But so much remained unresolved. While she owed him her duty as his wife, was it too much to ask him to wait?

She gulped in a mouthful of air and made herself nod. “Very well.”

“Thank you.” He rose on bare feet and prowled up behind her.

Without turning, she watched his approach in the mirror. Her stomach seethed with nerves. The skin prickled across her shoulders as she braced for contact.

He stared down at her as he loomed up, so she couldn’t see his eyes. He paused, and her skin tightened in anticipation that she couldn’t describe as wholly fearful or wholly eager.

Did he mean to kiss her? Sweep her up into his arms and into the bed? Then prove himself her husband in the most basic way?

But he merely lifted a tress of black hair and let it drift down through his fingers.

Now she could read the expression on his face.

More hunger.

He mightn’t like her anymore. But after this, she couldn’t doubt that he wanted her.

She gave a visible shiver and placed a hand over her churning stomach.

 

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

Catching Captain Nash is only 99 cents on Amazon.com! Buy now from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and iBooks.

Anna Campbell Dashing Widows Series

GIVEAWAY!

So I’ve talked today about someone from history I admire very much. I’m curious to hear if you have any historical characters you find attractive or admirable or just plain interesting.

I’ve got a Kindle download of Catching Captain Nash for someone who comments today. No geographical restrictions.

Good luck in the draw!

 

Thanks so much, Anna, especially for the insight into Matthew Flinders. It’s so cool that you’ve taken inspiration from him. I’ll make sure to give Trim an extra pat for you next time I’m at the State Library too.

How to choose a historical character I admire out of the hundreds on my list (and yes, Anna, Flinders Petrie is one of them)?

As much as I love a man in a kilt I’m also partial to a man in a toga, so I’ll pick either Julius Caesar or Augustus. They must have been incredible generals, politicians and statesmen. And if Colleen McCullough is to be believed in her Masters of Rome series, Julius was a hell of a pantsman!

So my lovelies, which historical character do you find attractive, interesting or admire? Share away and we’ll pop you in the draw to win a Kindle copy of Anna’s gorgeous new release Catching Captain Nash.

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight AEDT, 7th July 2017. Open internationally.

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

 

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Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser 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 writing buddies take over, like today.

I’m so thrilled to host Christine Wells on the blog again because it allows me to gush about her new book which released last week. Regular readers will know Christine as the author of The Wife’s Tale, one of my favourite reads of last year (and which I spoke about here on her previous Teaser Tuesday visit, and here in My Favourite Reads).

Well, having read The Traitor’s Girl last month I can tell you this story is even more intriguing. If you love female characters with courage and strength, you are going to adore this one. I did! And if you’re looking for the perfect Mother’s Day present, this should be on your list. Not only is The Traitor’s Girl beautiful to look at, it’s a cracking story that will have mum – and you – hooked.

Anyway, enough of me. Please give a big TT welcome cheer to Christine. And make sure you read until the end because there could be a very juicy GIVEAWAY.

 

Author Christine WellsHello Cathryn, thank you so much for having me on Teaser Tuesday. I’m thrilled to share my new release with you all today. THE TRAITOR’S GIRL is about an Australian teacher, Annabel Logan, who receives an alarming phone call from her long-lost grandmother, Carrie. Contrary to Annabel’s belief that her maternal grandmother died before she was born, Carrie is very much alive and she’s in trouble. Annabel rushes to Beechwood Hall, Carrie’s house in the English Cotswolds, only to find that her grandmother has disappeared. As Annabel searches for her relative she learns about Carrie’s daring and desperate work during World War II. With the help of a dashing journalist who claims to be writing Carrie’s biography, Annabel unearths the truth behind the mysterious happenings at Beechwood Hall.

THE TRAITOR’S GIRL flashes back and forth between Carrie’s adventures during the Second World War and Annabel’s quest to find her. Here is an excerpt from the evening in Paris when Carrie realises the man she is falling in love with is a double agent and a traitor:

 

My hands were shaking. I needed a drink to calm me down. The man I had been falling in love with was not only a spy who might know something about my mother’s death, but a traitor who might well have killed her.

I nearly crumbled at the thought; the hairbrush clattered into the sink. Gripping the edge of the marble vanity, I squeezed my eyes shut and took several deep breaths. I had not been falling in love with Peter Durant. It had all been an act.

Sylvia. I needed to be strong for my mother or her life would have been sacrificed for nothing. I opened my eyes. The Hollywood lights that studded the edge of the bathroom mirror illuminated my face to an unearthly degree. Wonder of wonders, no trace of my emotions showed in my expression.

I could do it. I must do it. If Sylvia’s suspicions proved correct, there was much more at stake now than any personal vendetta.

I stared into my eyes. They were blank and unrecognising, like a stranger’s. ‘You don’t matter,’ I told myself. ‘You don’t matter at all.’

The Traitor's Girl by Christine WellsSnatching up my hairbrush, I pulled my hair back tightly into a knot at the nape of my neck, securing it with a diamante buckle I fished out from the vanity drawer. It would have to do.

Suddenly, I noticed Peter leaning against the door frame, suave in his immaculate Savile Row tailoring.

He’d never come to my room before and I cursed that he’d chosen tonight of all nights to do so. Did he sense my turmoil? Had he somehow guessed its cause?

If my pulse raced before, now it was about to break the land speed record. Randomly choosing among the cosmetics ranged over the vanity, I picked up my powder puff and dusted it over my nose.

Some force beyond my control dragged my gaze to meet Peter’s in the mirror. Those hazel eyes betrayed no hint of anything amiss. I hoped mine were equally tranquil. I was a rank amateur at a game he had mastered long ago.

A crease appeared between his eyebrows. ‘I like your hair better down.’

I flushed. ‘I’m afraid this will have to do. I…’ I couldn’t admit missing a hair appointment. He’d wonder why. ‘I don’t have time to change it.’

This was the first occasion he’d expressed any opinion or preference about my appearance. Could it be coincidence that his manner toward me had altered, grown more intimate, today of all days?

I picked up the pot of rouge, touched a fingertip to the peachy-pink cream and dabbed a little along each cheekbone, working lightly to blend it into my skin. ‘Be a darling and get me a drink, won’t you? Before I put my lipstick on?’ Anything to put distance between us.

But instead of doing my bidding, he moved until he was standing close behind me. I felt crowded by him, aware of the heat of his body, the faint brush of his jacket rasping my bare shoulderblade.

Slowly, he pulled the scarf from around my neck. It hushed as it slid across my clavicles, leaving bright tingles in its wake. He wound the long length of gauze around his fist as if he’d tie me up with it, as if he’d strangle me in a lightning burst of violence.

My eyes went wide. Our gazes locked in the mirror. I put my hand up to my throat.

The scarf fluttered to the floor. His hands slid down my bare arms to cuff my wrists. He bent to press a hot, lingering kiss on my nape.

I watched us, brightly illuminated in the looking glass. His dark head made a bold contrast against the ivory and gold of my body as his mouth trailed heat over my skin. I watched my lips part in a gasp as my head tilted back, saw my flesh-and-blood self yield to him in a surrendering swoon, as if to say, ‘At last. At last’.

 

Wasn’t that brilliant? I loved that scene, it was sexy and dangerous and… well, I’d better not say any more. But if you’d like to savour another bite of this compelling story, skip on over to Christine’s website for another delicious excerpt.

The Traitor’s Girl is in stores now but you can also order your print or ebook copy online in an instant by visiting these retailers: Booktopia, Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Fishpond, DymocksAmazon, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play or your favourite store.

Now, as many of you know, Teaser Tuesday guests are not only great writers, they’re exceedingly generous, and Christine is no exception. Yes, my lovelies, we have a…

GIVEAWAY!

Here’s Christine to tell you about it.

Today I’m giving away a signed trade paperback copy of THE TRAITOR’S GIRL to a reader who can tell me about their favourite heroine from history. (Australia only)

Oooh, now that’s a tricky one. How to choose a favourite when there are so many? Hmm. Okay, in keeping with the war theme, I choose Nancy Wake, the French Resistance operative known as The White Mouse. Her bravery is incredible.

What about you? Who’s your favourite heroine? Comment below and you’ll go into the draw to win a signed copy of The Traitor’s Girl.

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Friday AEST, 5th May 2017. Australian postal addresses only.

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

Books by Christine Wells

 

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Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser Tuesday 2017 logoWelcome to another tasty edition of Teaser Tuesday, the series where I share snippets from novels, past, present and in progress, and let writing buddies play along too.

This week I’m thrilled to introduce debut author Amanda Knight to you. I met Amanda several years ago at a Romance Writers of Australia conference and have had my fingers crossed tightly ever since that she’d score a publishing contract. And now she has and I couldn’t be more excited for her.

Situation Critical is a romantic suspense with a military/small town theme and hit bookshelves last week. It sounds an absolute beauty, but I’m a sucker for a military man, probably because I’ve been with one for over 25 years. Even better, Situation Critical features a dog hero and being a dedicated dog person this makes me VERY happy!

But enough from me, here’s Amanda to tell you more. But make sure you read all the way through cos you never know, there could be a sneaky GIVEAWAY in there somewhere.

 

Amanda Knight authorThe seed for the idea of Situation Critical came when I stumbled across an article about Sarbi, an Australian special forces explosives detection dog that spent almost 14 months missing in action in Afghanistan – she is my inspiration for Finnegan, Situation Critical’s canine hero!

My research for this book showed me a kaleidoscope of experiences borne by our service men and women, both by those at the frontline and those in support roles. The stories were often heart-breaking, but at the same time, showed how our capacity for hope, and the offer of even the smallest acts of kindness, generosity and compassion, can lighten even the darkest moments… all of which I hope you feel when you’re absorbed within the pages of Situation Critical! As Nate and Beth search for Finnegan, and their relationship develops, against all odds, so does the threat to their lives…  I do hope you love their story as much as I enjoyed crafting it!

 

She assessed the flinch site again, pressing gently around the area she’d scratched. Her fingers felt like warm rays of sun sliding over his skin, her breath on his neck soft, sexy. Christ. He somehow stayed mute and resisted shoving her hand off his arm.

Situation Critical by Amanda KnightAfter what seemed like two lifetimes, she looked convinced his arm wasn’t about to drop off, and stood, faced him. ‘Okay. Well, let me know if it gets worse, or the sensitivity flares again,’ she said, searching his face, rolling down his sleeve.

‘Thanks, but you’re done here.’ He snatched his arm from her hand and shoved the remaining shirt fabric down to his wrist. ‘I mean, I’m done. Listen, Doc, I like my space, and you’re in it. Can you just move over there a bit?’ He pointed to the furthest corner from him.

He’d just been a total arse, but it had to be done, for both their sakes. Truth of the matter was, when any part of her came into contact with any part of him, he felt like he’d been hammered with an electric rod. And if the heat in her face while she inspected his arm was anything to go by, she felt it too. Not good. Not good at all.

Her expression changed from concern to caustic in a heartbeat.

She stayed exactly where she was and sucked in a chest full of breath. The intensity in her glare enough to shatter a frigging missile.

‘Unfortunately for you, Sergeant, your space is what I’m responsible for, so no, I can’t move. You’ll have to get used to me being here.’ She waved her arms around them in a circle. ‘Just think of me as your new damn shadow.’ She snapped the lid back on the syringe before taking a step closer to him. ‘Is that going to be a problem for you?’

Well shit, she was definitely more hard-arse than honey. He could tick that question off the list.

 

Oooh, sexy! And just the thing to curl up with this coming weekend, or tonight, or any time, really!

You can purchase Situation Critical right now from Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play, Nook or your favourite ebook retailer.

Now, as we hinted at in the introduction, there’s a…

GIVEAWAY!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to share with us your favourite solider, whether that be real life, in a book, movie whatever. We want to know your military man (or woman or even canine!) loves.

Soldier On awareness packAll comments will go into a draw to win a Soldier On awareness gift pack.

Naturally I’m going to choose my Jim! But Amanda and I would love to hear yours.

For those who don’t know, Soldier On is an Australian charity that supports Australia’s veterans and families by providing vital support services to help them overcome any impacts from their service. It’s an important charity that does excellent work in a much-needed area. To find out more, please check out the Soldier On website or visit their Facebook page.

Amanda will also be donating to Soldier On as part of her Situation Critical release promotions. Check out her Facebook page for details and see how you can help spread the word and raise money for this important charity.

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Friday AEST, 21st April 2017. Australian postal addresses only.

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

 

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Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser Tuesday 2017 logoWelcome to the tempting goodness that is Teaser Tuesday, the blog series where I share snippets from my novels, past, present and in progress, and occasionally con author buddies into taking over.

In breaking news…

I’ve just finished the first (and usually hardest) round of edits on my next full length release. RAH!!

And guess what? We finally have a title. It’s going to be called:

The Country Girl title announcement

The Country Girl is scheduled as a January release but you should be able to find it in stores in late December. I’ll confirm that nearer to the date.

I am so excited about this book, and I know I say that with all my releases but this one is special. The feedback from my agent and editors has been fantastic, and I just adore this story and its characters and can’t wait for you to learn about their lives. Tash and Patrick are gorgeous, if I do say so myself!

It seems only fitting to celebrate the end of first edits by sharing a snippet of The Country Girl. Make sure you read to the end though, because there could be a GIVEAWAY!

 

The Country Girl’s heroine is Tash Ranger, a star food blogger who’s just landed a major cookbook deal. For research and inspiration, she’s moved back to her parents’ property in the far western districts of Victoria. In this scene, her city friends Thom and Ceci have trekked to the country for a visit. Ceci is riding Khan, a horse Tash has acquired, without a helmet when Tash’s neighbour Patrick, with whom Tash has been clashing, rocks up. Sparks fly!

 

Tash was so lost in her thoughts she failed to notice that a vehicle had pulled into the farm until it was too late. Her heart bounced high into her throat. She snatched at Ceci’s leg as Patrick’s ute veered away from the flat and speared straight for Khan’s paddock. ‘Quick. Get down.’

‘What for? We haven’t finished filming.’

‘Please, Ceci.’

Ceci narrowed her eyes at the rapidly approaching vehicle. ‘Who’s that?’

Tash tugged even harder on her leg. ‘Someone who’s going to kill me if you don’t get down.’

‘Why?’

Too late. Patrick was already through the fence and striding towards them. Thom had the camera up, filming everything.

In seconds Patrick’s face was in hers. ‘Are you crazy?’

‘Oh, wow,’ said Ceci, openly ogling Patrick who was, Tash had to admit, looking stupidly sexy in jeans and a white polo shirt that hugged his chest and showed off his broad shoulders and muscular arms. Whatever. He was in his butthead mood and while Ceci clearly found it attractive, Tash didn’t.

 

As you can probably guess, the hero of The Country Girl is Patrick and he’s a bit of a babe, even if he does drive Tash crazy – in more ways than one. Over coming months I’ll be sharing more about him and all The Country Girl gang so watch out for that.

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

GIVEAWAY!

It feels like ages since I’ve done a giveaway so time to remedy that. For your chance to win a signed print copy of my latest release WAYWARD HEART, simply share your favourite way to spend Easter.

Wayward Heart by Cathryn HeinDo you love to spend the weekend curled up with a good book and scoffing chocolate or are you one of those who loves nothing more than to pack up a tent and trek off into the wilderness?

Growing up, we spent most Easter weekends at our beach shack on the lower south-eastern coast of South Australia. The weather was almost always foul but I adored it. There were some pretty dramatic storms and I loved watching the ocean churn and break over the reefs, and we had a pot-bellied stove that we’d load up so full its belly would glow red. I wouldn’t mind doing that again. It’d be perfect for writing.

What about you? Reveal your favourite Easter fun and I’ll pop you into the giveaway draw.

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Friday AEST, 14th April 2017. Australian postal addresses only.

To make sure you get all the inside info about The Country Girl, or any of my releases, please sign up to my newsletter. Besides being the first to receive updates, you’ll receive a couple of short stories to enjoy over a cuppa and access to other funstuff. Oh, and I’ll love you. A lot.

 

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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 logoGreetings from the fertile ground that is Teaser Tuesday, the blog series where I share snippets from new and past releases, and works-in-progress, and occasionally invite writing friends to join in the fun.

This week I’m delighted to host rural romance author Alissa Callen, who, you may recall, was a guest on the blog previously when Friday Feast was running. If you’re feeling hungry, I suggest you check out her recipes for Chocolate Chip Cookies and Banana and Chocolate Chip Muffins, and Lamingtons and Peanut Butter and Choc Chip cookies. They’re delish!

Alissa has a gorgeous new release called The Long Paddock – love that title, LOVE IT! – and she’s here to today to tell you a little about the story, and give you a peek at some of the action.

But wait, there’s more!

Perhaps if you read to the end you might find something special, like a giveaway. So don’t hang about, read on.

 

Alissa Callen authorIn my new Born in Boots series, Woodlea, the town of windmills is fictitious. However the landscape surrounding the small rural town and the experiences of the local community are very much grounded in reality.

The first book, The Long Paddock, is a story woven from the scents, sights and sounds of my everyday central western world. Real life has a way of wriggling into my words much like how our Jack Russell sneaks through the kitchen door of our farm house. From a cow who loves eating carrots, to a mini-tornado, to a country street transformed by yarn-bombing, threads of my fiction are true-to-life.

To win a copy of my first rural, Beneath Outback Skies, I’d love to hear about an animal, event or a person in your life that could also easily slip into the pages of a book.

 

It felt like a lifetime since Denham Rigby had smelled eucalyptus.

He closed his eyes and drew in a slow and deep lungful of air. Beside him the leaves of a gum tree rustled as a spring breeze eddied around him and tugged at his hat brim. He caught the faint and acrid scent of cabbage. Near the historic Woodlea cemetery a pungent canola crop had to be in flower. He opened his eyes. Sure enough, beyond the hill on which he stood stretched an undulating landscape of canola-yellow.

The Long Paddock by Alissa CallenHe looked west to where his family farm, Claremont, lay. Phil, the farm manager, had taken advantage of the early rain and the paddocks were an ordered patchwork of colour. Denham’s attention shifted a little to the left. Here no winter crops rippled in the breeze. Instead, caught in a pocket drought, the land was bleached and colourless. It was as though Mother Nature had simply run out of inspiration. His jaw tightened. Cressy would have to watch her water. Their properties might be side-by-side but Claremont was the only farm to now enjoy any river frontage.

He rubbed the back of his neck beneath the collar of the blue western shirt he’d bought in some small Wyoming town he couldn’t remember the name of. All thoughts of Cressy and any concerns he might have about her unreliable water supply were off limits. Three years ago he’d lost the right to look out for her. All he could do now was not complicate the new life she’d made without him. Bitterness coursed through him. A life he had had to set her free to live.

He swung away from the graves of his father and brother. He’d come to the cemetery to make peace with the past, not to obsess about the things he couldn’t change. All he could do was keep on taking one day at a time. He might have made it as a world champion bull rider but that didn’t spare him from being gossiped about or from being compared to his father. His hands fisted and he carefully relaxed them. He was nothing like the unemotional man who’d raised him.

He rolled his shoulders to force the tension locking his muscles to release. His emotions were as volatile as an electric storm and he needed to get them under control. Tomorrow all eyes would be on him and all tongues quick to comment. He strode towards his ute, and heard tyres crunch on gravel. He glanced at the cemetery entrance … and froze.

Mouth dry, he stared at the battered ute that rattled across the cattle grid flanked by two white picket fences. He knew every dent and every panel scratch. Just like he knew every micro expression of the driver whose attention remained focused on the dirt road.

Cressy.

*

I told you The Long Paddock was gorgeous and naturally you want a copy, oh yes you do. You can purchase it right now from:

Booktopia | Angus & Robertson Bookworld | Fishpond.com.au
Amazon.comKobo | iBooks |Google Play |Barnes & Noble Nook

The Long Paddock by Alissa Callen meme

Now, as we hinted at in the introduction, there’s a…

GIVEAWAY!

Simply tell us about an animal, event or a person in your life that could also easily slip into the pages of a book and you’ll go into the draw to win a signed paperback copy of Alissa’s debut rural romance Beneath Outback Skies.

Beneath Outback Skies by Alissa CallenAs many of you will know from reading my The Story Behind book pages and Secret Things blog posts, I’ve included lots of animals from my life in my books, from dogs to horses and a menagerie in-between. But one of these days I’m going to have a character just like my grandmother. She cracked me up with some of the things she used to come out with and I’m sure readers would love her.

What about you? What people, animals, events or places from your life would make great reading? Share and you could win.

Please note: giveaway closes midnight Friday AEDT, 10th March 2017. Open internationally, rah!

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

 

Click here to join my newsletter today

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. Unless I’m feeling lazy and invite good writing buddies to fill in for me, like today!

Regular readers will know how much we adore having multi-award winning, best-selling historical romance author Anna Campbell on the blog. Why? Because she’s FUN, with juicy snippets, sumptuous covers and very often a giveaway.

So read on, my lovelies, and make sure you read to the end for your chance to win!

 

Historical romance author Anna CampbellHi Cathryn!

It’s me again! Thank you so much for letting me swing around to your blog so often to talk about my new releases. It’s starting to feel like a home away from home!

I’m very excited on this Pancake Day to talk to you about a book that I’ve always thought of as a delicious confection. I hope readers agree!

Even the cover is delicious! Don’t you love that purple dress?

Charming Sir Charles which was out yesterday is the fifth book in my bestselling Dashing Widows series. Sally Cowan, Lady Norwood, my heroine, is all sparkle on the outside, but on the inside, she hides deep wounds from her unhappy past (in this case her first marriage).

She’s convinced that love has passed her by. She’s so convinced, in fact, that she hasn’t picked up that the dashing baronet she’s earmarked as her niece’s future husband is actually madly in love with her!

As you can imagine, that’s a recipe for mayhem!

Pursuing Lord Pascal by Anna CampbellThis excerpt takes place early in the story at Amy and Pascal’s wedding reception (see Pursuing Lord Pascal, Dashing Widows 4) when Sally finds herself unexpectedly wistful as she sees her fellow Dashing Widows, Amy and Morwenna, finding love while she’s left on the shelf.

The problem is that the shelf is safe and comfortable, and she’s not sure she wants to jump off it any time soon!

 

Half Moon Street, Mayfair, April 1829

Sir Charles smiled. “So now Garson is pursuing Morwenna, I’d say the days of the Dashing Widows are definitely numbered.”

Sally tried her champagne, enjoying the crisp flavor with its hint of dryness. A little like Sir Charles’s conversation, in fact.

From the first, she’d enjoyed talking to him. He was a sensible, intelligent man, qualities Meg mightn’t appreciate fully at this stage. But Sally, having lived with a man neither sensible nor clever, knew that in the long term, her niece would come to value Sir Charles’s good sense. “I’ll have to gather some more Dashing Widows together, so I can keep the tradition going.”

Charming Sir Charles by Anna Campbell“Why on earth should you?” He settled that dark toffee gaze on her, and his tone was thoughtful. “After all, you’ll be married again yourself.”

Sally jerked, and spilled a few drops of her champagne, luckily on the floor, not on her lovely bronze silk dress. She struggled to keep her voice from betraying how his words had sent a cold chill down her spine. “Oh, I’m well past marrying age.”

“Utter nonsense,” he said, with more emphasis than she thought her statement deserved.

Sally shook her head and smiled. “Oh, perhaps some old codger might take me on, to make his life comfortable and run his house. But where would be the fun in that?”

“There wouldn’t be any.” Sir Charles frowned at her. “You speak as if you’re pushing fifty. When anyone with eyes can see you’re an attractive woman in the prime of life.”

“Why, thank you, sir,” she said with an exaggerated flutter of her eyelashes. “You flatter me.”

He didn’t smile back. Which was odd. His sense of humor was another of the many things she admired about him. “Sally, I’m serious.”

Startled, she stared at him, while disquiet stirred in her stomach.

Sally? Surely they weren’t on terms where he should use her Christian name. She bit back a protest. If he was to marry Meg, she supposed she couldn’t insist on the letter of propriety.

Had he been standing quite so close before? She’d never been so conscious of his height and power. The urge to deliver another frivolous answer withered under the unusually somber expression in his dark eyes.

“I’m too old for romance, Sir Charles.” She placed a slight weight on his title. “And I have no other reason to marry. I’m well provided for. I have a lovely home. I have wonderful friends.”

“What about companionship?” Her assertions left him visibly unimpressed. “Specifically of the masculine variety.”

Her lips tightened. “A lover, you mean?”

 

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

Charming Sir Charles is only 99 cents on Amazon.com!  Buy now from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and iBooks.

The Dashing Widows series by Anna Campbell

GIVEAWAY!

I’ve got a Kindle download of Charming Sir Charles for someone who comments today. No geographical restrictions.

Just tell me your favourite way to have pancakes! Me? I like bananas, maple syrup and ice cream, or the classic crepes suzette with lemon juice and sugar. Yum! Betcha you like crepes suzette too, Cathryn, with your love for all things French.

Good luck in the draw!

You are quite right, Anna, I do love crepes suzette but when I make pancakes at home, which happen regularly on weekends, I have mine with butter and honey. So, so bad but oh so delicious!

What about you, readers? How do you love your pancakes? Share away and we’ll pop you in the draw to win a copy of Anna’s gorgeous new release Charming Sir Charles.

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight AEDT, 3rd March 2017. Open internationally.

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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It’s Valentine’s Day and the presents are for you!

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We interrupt our regular Teaser Tuesday schedule for this most excellent Valentine’s Down Under announcement.

Love a good Aussie or New Zealand-set romance? Then you will LOVE this giveaway. It’s huuuuuge!

From February 14th to 21st (13th to 20th in the US), you have the opportunity to download 25+ Australian and New Zealand-set romances, including my very own Summer and the Groomsman, for free.

Yes, FREE!

Whatever your romance reading preference, from sweet to scorching hot, there’s a book to tickle your fancy. All you need to do is click on the Valentine’s Down Under graphic below or this link, and you’ll be immediately transported to a world of happy-ever-afters.

Valentine's Down Under promotion

Choose one book or all of them, it’s up to you. And feel free to share the Valentine’s Down Under promo link with all your romance-lovin’ buddies. We don’t mind a bit. In fact, the more the merrier.

Sure beats a box of chocolates, don’t you think?

Don’t miss out. Grab your books today!

 

Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser Tuesday 2017 logoHello lovely readers, and welcome to another scintillating edition of Teaser Tuesday, the series where I share snippets from upcoming and past releases, and works-in-progress, and occasionally invite writing buddies to join in the fun.

Today I’m delighted to welcome Fiona McArthur to the blog. Fiona was a regular on tasty series Friday Feast (check out her outback cheese scone recipe here) but this is her first visit to Teaser Tuesday, and she’s debuting in style!

For those who don’t know Fiona, she’s the author of 34 Harlequin Mills and Boon medical romances, and has sold over 2 million copies in 12 languages. These days she’s a much-loved contemporary women’s author, with hit releases like The Homestead Girls and Red Sand Sunrise.

Now she has another hit on her hands with her latest book Heart of the Sky.

Here’s Fiona to tell you about it and share juicy snippet. Make sure you read to the bottom of the page because there could be an international giveaway, and we wouldn’t want you to miss that now, would we?

 

Fiona McArthur AuthorThanks for having me, Cathryn, and wishing everyone a fabulous 2017. It seems so long since THE HOMESTEAD GIRLS spotlighted here and I’ll say, those women all noisily jostled for a voice in this new book. I had to be firm, ‘No! Just one of you, maybe two’, and of course Soretta won on determination – but HEART OF THE SKY is Tess’s book. It’s Tess’s journey from being a young city widow to finding a new life – and being inspired by those amazing women of the outback.

Breast Cancer has always been on my radar, especially after my mum’s many triumphs over it, and Tess, as the new fish-out-of-water Breast Care Nurse in Mica Ridge, has a story to tell. I hope you find as much inspiration and optimism reading her story as I had writing it. There’s a copy to give away as well. But Cathryn will sort that.

Warmest wishes  xxFi

 

The red and white Mica Ridge Flying Doctor Service aircraft taxied past the window of her new office and Tess Daley recognised with gratitude the tiny wobble of excitement in her chest.

Ushered further into the room by the brisk young office clerk, Tess could see past the aircraft, over the shimmering tarmac to rugged red hills that rose craggily in the distance.

Across the road, the morning sun burnished the saltbush and rocky ground the colour of copper behind the nodding galahs on the wire fence. So different to the lushness of home.

The colour of the sky in far western NSW – goodness! She couldn’t believe the primary blue, like a child’s painting dabbed with undiluted colour. She could lose herself in it. That was the plan. She’d driven most of the daylight hours on the actual anniversary of Vic’s death, and now that she’d arrived, the twelve months worth of tension that sat in her shoulders didn’t miraculously leave, but it lightened. Even her heart lifted the way the pink galahs suddenly did as she watched through the window, because another red and white aircraft had taxied in.

Heart of the Sky by Fiona McArthurMaybe everything could begin anew. After all, she’d driven the long way from Sydney via Adelaide to Mica Ridge, all on her own. Vic had always driven in the past while she’d usually slept. She pushed that thought away.

It had been worth the effort to touch base at the hospitals her patients would rely on for treatment. Any crannies left in her packed-to-the-roof-with-belongings car had been filled with the country music she’d decided to immerse herself in – skipping the sad songs. One needed to prepare when you moved to the outback.

She spared a thought for the new owners in their beautiful beach-suburb home. Wished them well as they soaked in the waves but she’d been glad to leave for the next twelve months.

She would be here in far western NSW and slowly build a new life like a broody chook. But with less brooding, hopefully. Work helped. Work and other people she could lose herself in. She glanced again at the sparse landscape. Not a tree change – more like an ochre sunrise on twelve months of adjustment.

Bringing herself back to the present her eyes skipped with interest she hadn’t felt for too long over the new desk, lilac chairs and empty bookshelves.

She caught the receptionist’s shrug. ‘Hope you don’t mind that I left the boxes unpacked. I thought you might want to arrange the shelves yourself.’

‘No. That’s great. Thanks. Perfect.’ She shut her mouth. Told herself, your gabbling, Tess.

Industry. Purpose. Vocation. She couldn’t wait. Pale cardboard boxes with pamphlets, office supplies, and reference material for women and the occasional man, were stacked neatly beside the window. On the other side of the room another window looked internally into the hanger, where industrious engineers maintained the FDS aircraft.

The young woman, Tess searched her memory and came up with Soretta – said, ‘The window pane is one way so while you can watch the activity in the maintenance workshop on your down time, your patients will still have privacy from the engineers.’ Soretta raised her thick brows. ‘There’s a couple of good-looking ones but I’ve only just started work here two days a week so I’m not sure who’s who.’

This girl obviously didn’t realise that Tess was a widow. Or that Tess’s interest lay more in the planes than the men who serviced them. She’d be flying over isolated homesteads and red creek beds in aircraft like that. Scenery that had tempted her by being the polar opposite to where she’d come from.

‘I won’t have time for men.’ Not for a long while anyway. The idea seemed inconceivable that she would replace Vic – ever.

Soretta didn’t seem to think that unusual. Which was good in itself. Tess had reached saturation point from being pitied and nudged and skirted around as if grief and loss were contagious.

‘I keep meaning to make time for a boyfriend but never seem to get around to it.’ Soretta pointed to the jug. ‘There’s a new electric kettle and some plain white mugs. Daphne said you’d need those for the hundreds of cups of calming tea you’d be making in the coming months.’

Tess thought of the obviously pregnant flight nurse upstairs in the control room. ‘I’ll be doing it all year.’ Tess said, looking around. Yes, a year away from all that reminded her of him. Then she would go home and try to start again.

This room could be made more welcoming. Her fingers itched to rearrange chairs and give homely touches – to ramp up the nurture factor. Dormant memories from those house and garden magazines she used to adore and hadn’t touched since…

Tess decided a pretty tea set and tablecloth were in order to celebrate. It had been a mammoth effort to leave the past and take on this contract. The fact that this was a one-year trial for the area hung over her, there was more at stake than Tess herself. Service for isolated families was being fought for and she vowed she’d give her best to see outreach breast care established permanently. Of course a successor would have to carry it on.

Up in the control room above her head, Daphne, the nurse, had raved about the farm stay homestead she’d been boarding in before her marriage.

‘Do you know the place Daphne was living in before her marriage?’

Soretta’s eyes sparkled and Tess decided the men around here must be a bit slow on the uptake if they weren’t chasing this young lady.

‘Know it very well.’ Her voice resonated with dry amusement. ‘It’s my grandfather’s station. Why? Thinking of living out of town.’

 

 

Told you Fiona was debuting in style. How about that for a delicious sneak peek at Heart of the Sky? I bet you’re itching to snap up a copy right now. Well, you can with just a clickety-click! Try Booktopia, Angus and Robertson Bookworld, Fishpond.com.au, Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play or skip on down to your local bookstore or favourite chain and raid the shelves.

And now for more excitement. Yes, my lovelies, we have a…

GIVEAWAY!

Fiona has generously offered a paperback copy of Heart of the Sky as a giveaway. But you’ll have to earn it!

As Fiona mentioned in her introduction, Tess is inspired by the amazing outback women she encounters. So, to go into the draw, tell us the woman or women you most admire. It could be anyone from Michelle Obama to Mother Theresa, a wonderful friend or maybe it’s your own mum. Share and we’ll pop you into to the giveaway.

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Friday AEDT, 3rd February 2017. Open internationally. Rah!

If you’d like to learn more about Fiona and her (many!) books, please visit her website.

 

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