Tag Archives: Heart of the Valley

Teaser Tuesday!

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

I spent the weekend in gorgeous Newcastle, a city that will always hold a special place in my heart, not least because of the wonderful friends I’ve made there.

It’s also a place we’re likely to move back to, and sooner rather than later. That means I’ll be once again close to one of my favourite regions – the Hunter Valley.

If you’ve never been to the Hunter, I highly recommend it as a place to visit. The landscape is glorious, ranging from lush river flats to rugged ranges, and while mines also scar the area, they’re tempered with magnificent thoroughbred studs, dairy and beef farms and, of course, vineyards.

Oh, and it’s also home to some excellent golf courses. Very important.

I love the place so much I wrote a kind of extended love letter to it with my second release, Heart of the Valley. I’d always planned to set more books in the Valley but with Rocking Horse Hill and the advent of the Levenham Love Stories, I haven’t had the chance.

Somehow, when we move back, I suspect I’ll remedy that. No guarantees, but I can already feel myself mulling over ideas. Perhaps a Heart of the Valley sequel? With Brooke’s amiable older brother Angus as the hero? Never say never!

Now, while I’m on the subject of the Hunter, I’m delighted to announce that I’ll be appearing at the Scone Writers Festival – “The small rural writers festival with big names and big ideas” – on Sunday November 12th, on a panel called This Rural Life: Rural and regional stories from around Australia.

The festival runs over the whole weekend, from Friday 10th November until Sunday 12th. For the full program and tickets visit the Scone Writers Festival website.

Hope to see you there!

I’ve also just had new supplies of Heart of the Valley arrive, and they look super pretty. If you’d like to order a personally signed print copy of this book for yourself or as a gift, simply email me at cathryn@cathrynhein.com or contact me via the Contact page of this website and we’ll work out the details.

And that all leads, in a roundabout way, to this week’s Teaser Tuesday snippet which is, of course, from Heart of the Valley.

This book… oh this book!

There I was happily flicking through it looking for a suitable passage and next minute I’m reading and getting all emotional about Lachie and Brooke and all the things that happen, and all I want to do plunge back into their world and stay there. Which makes it very hard to choose a passage because I love them all.

But after much mulling (and drooling over Lachie) I’ve selected this one. Enjoy!

 

With the horse saddled, bridled and booted, Brooke led her toward the ménage, mind drifting to Lachlan, her skin prickling with heat as she recalled how close she’d come to exposing herself. The Heart of the Valley by Cathryn Heinmoment when she’d almost kissed him.

One more breath and she would have reached up on tiptoe, slid her arms around his neck, pressed her body against his and tilted her mouth for a kiss like a drunk, desperate spinster. What a fine reward that would have been for him after all he’d done. Lachlan had shown her nothing but kindness, and all she seemed capable of was embarrassing him and humiliating herself.

Except . . .

Brooke halted and touched her lips, remembering the way he’d cupped her face and run his thumbs gently under her eyes, across her mouth. The swirls of green-gold in his beautiful hazel eyes as they’d gazed at her. For a heartbeat she thought . . .

 

If you want to know what Brooke thought you’ll have to read the book!

Purchase your ebook or paperback copy now from:

Amazon.com | Amazon.au | Amazon.uk

iBooks

Kobo

Google Play

Nook

Bookdepository

Booktopia

As mentioned above, personally signed print copies are also available for purchase direct from me. Email me at cathryn@cathrynhein.com or via the contact form on this website for details.

Learn the story behind how I came to write Heart of the Valley in A Story from the Heart, or read another excerpt on its book page.

 

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Teaser Tuesday!

Teaser TuesdayWelcome to Teaser Tuesday, the tantalising blog series where I share snippets from my works-in-progress, up-coming releases and published novels, and occasionally let good writing buddies take the reins.

Greetings from South Australia! I’m visiting my home state for the annual Romance Writers of Australia conference. The conference is being held in Adelaide but I’ve flown to Mount Gambier to see my family beforehand and will head north later in the week. The RWA conference is the best fun, with lots of learning, networking and catching up with new and old buddies. Usually I can barely speak at the end my voice is so worn out. Worth it though.

I’ll try to do up a blog post with lots of piccies when I get back, so keep your eye out for that. In the meantime, you can enjoy this little snippet from Heart of the Valley, and its totally sighworthy hero Lachie. Oh, how I love that man!

 

Brooke woke on Thursday morning at first relieved to find the last of the aches and fever gone, only to discover a few seconds later they’d been replaced with a cough so deep each convulsion felt like fish hooks jerking inside her lungs.

The humiliation seemed endless. She hung over the side of the bed, hacking and moaning, aware Lachlan would be in to check on her any second, but unable to stop. Cough or no cough, Heart of the Valley by Cathryn Heinshe had plans for today. Plans that required his cooperation, and she wouldn’t earn it by sounding like an emphysemic hag.

Bare footsteps padded across the polished floorboards. ‘Here,’ said Lachlan, handing her a glass of water.

She clutched it in her shaky grip and drank between half coughs and ragged, heaved breaths. The fit over, she sank back onto the mattress with her palm on her aching chest. Lachlan stood at the edge of the bed in a pair of faded jeans, the zip done up but the top button still loose, and a dark blue twill shirt hanging open over his chest. A fine line of inky hair ran up from his waistband and curled around his neat belly button before trailing toward his chest. The pale bronze skin of his torso stretched smooth over taut, well-developed muscles of the type seen more often in elite-sports change rooms than farm cottages.

Brooke blinked, wondering if this was a cough-induced hallucination. Two-metre-tall rugby-playing rural types didn’t stand by her bed looking sleep-ruffled and concerned and unbelievably sexy every day. Yet there Lachlan stood, evaporating every drop of water from her mouth and turning her insides fluttery and hot.

©Cathryn Hein

Heart of the Valley can be yours right now from Amazon, iBooks, Kobo or Google Play. For print copies, visit Booktopia or your favourite book store.

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

 

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Teaser Tuesday!

Teaser TuesdayWelcome to another Teaser Tuesday, the blog series where I tantalise you with snippets from works-in-progress, past and upcoming releases, and occasionally let writing buddies play around too.

This week we’re going back in time to Heart of the Valley.

Some of you may be aware of the terrible crush I developed on Lachie, the hero of this book. Sigh. WHAT a man. Honestly, it’s a toss-up between Lachie from Heart of the Valley and Tristan from April’s Rainbow who I’d marry, should either be real and I wasn’t, you know, attached and very much in love with my Jim.

But what some of you may not know is that I once bumped into a real life Lachie in a pub in Newcastle. We’d ventured down for lunch and there, at the bar, was this enormous, fit-looking bloke with long legs and broad shoulders and brown hair. Immediately my brain went ‘OhmyGodit’sLachie!’ which was impossible because my Lachie isn’t real and this bloke clearly was. Very, very nicely real. Of course, this meant some subtle stalking investigation was in order. Yup, there in the pub was Lachie in the flesh and he didn’t even know it.

No, I did not go up to Lachielookalike and tell him he was a fantasy man from one of my rural romances. That would have been just a touch too weird.

But I wanted to.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s a little teaser from one of my favourite books, Heart of the Valley.

 

Heart of the Valley by Cathryn Hein‘Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine. I’ve lost jobs before. There are others around.’ He smiled and leaned in close. ‘The most important thing is you.’

She stared at him. He wore that expression again, the one that made her wonder, made her heart do that excited dance and set her tongue sticking in her mouth. For a few seconds he held her stare before breaking away to shove his hands in his pockets and look back at the paddock, leaving Brooke overwhelmed and electrified by that intangible something she thought had passed between them.

©Cathryn Hein

 

Heart of the Valley is a book that will make you barrack madly for the hero and heroine, reach for the tissues in parts, and sigh and smile with satisfaction at the end, and it can be yours right now from Amazon, iBooks, Kobo or Google Play. For print copies, visit Booktopia or Bookdepository.com.

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

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Teaser Tuesday!

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It’s Teaser Tuesday again, the series where I share snippets from my novels, upcoming releases and works-in-progress.

Teaser TuesdayThis week we’re venturing back in time to my second novel, Heart of the Valley. This book is a favourite of many, including me. The crush I had on the hero, Lachie, was agonising and lasted for months. He was so tender and understanding of the heroine, Brooke. Complete sighworthiness, but as I’ve said before when discussing my heroes, I’m shockingly biased!

Heart of the Valley is available now in paperback and ebook from Booktopia, Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play or your favourite retailer. You can also discover more about the story and how I came to write it on my ‘The Story Behind’ page.

Now for a little taste of Lachie’s niceness. Enjoy!

 

Brooke is at the family property, Kingston Downs, attempting, yet again, to cure herself of the phobia she developed after a terrible accident…

Her stomach clenched as Venus’s annoyed whinny sounded through the car’s open window. Despite the cold, Brooke’s hands were sticky with sweat. No sound came from the Land Cruiser’s engine and unless she took hold of herself and turned the ignition key, none ever would.

Gritting her teeth, she closed her eyes and rested her forehead against the steering wheel, trying to channel the resolve that had seemed so intense on leaving Willowgrove. Andrew and Chloe had faith; why couldn’t she?

Heart of the Valley by Cathryn Hein‘You okay?’

She looked up to find Lachlan standing near the door, eyeing her with a worried expression, and quickly looked away again. ‘I’m fine.’

‘If you don’t mind me saying so, you don’t look it.’

‘I said I’m fine.’ She closed her eyes. ‘Oh God, I’m sorry. I’m just . . .’ She threw up her hands, hating her rudeness, this awkward, horrible situation.

‘Grieving,’ he said, tossing the word she’d used before back at her.

He took a step closer and curled his hand over the door. She stared at him. His eyes were doing that tortoiseshell thing, and his mouth held a gentle curve. Standing there, he seemed big and safe and strong and kind. Like Angus, except musclier and with much, much longer eyelashes.

‘It’s not grief,’ she said suddenly. ‘I’m scared, like you said. It’s Oddy’s screams. I can’t make him stop. He just gets louder and louder and then I can’t breathe . . .’ She slapped the wheel in frustration. ‘I need to beat this but he just won’t stop.’

‘Maybe I can help.’

‘How?’

He shrugged. ‘I don’t know. I don’t know anything about psychology but I can offer big shoulders to cry on. I could even be your punching bag if you’d think it’d help.’ He bent and picked up Billy, who greeted her with an excited doggy grin. ‘Or you can just borrow my dog. He doesn’t mind being cried on.’

‘How do you know?’

A shadow stole the brightness from his eyes. He glanced away. ‘Long story.’

©Cathryn Hein

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FRIDAY FEAST with Cathryn Hein

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Greetings from the Romance Writers of Australia annual conference in vibrant, footy-mad Melbourne! The conference kicked off last night with publisher drinkies and everyone had a ball. But enough of that. I’ll be telling you aaaaall about the conference later, when I’m home and recovered. Today it’s Friday Feast time, once again with yours truly, and a Country Women’s Association morning tea favourite.

First, news from Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf. Did I tell you about my new putter grip? The super fat one that is supposed to do wonders for your putting? The one that didn’t fit in my old golf bag so I had to buy an expensive new one just to accommodate it? Yeah, that putter grip. Romance author Cathryn HeinWell… it doesn’t work. Either that or it has an allergy to one-putting and can only two, three and *sobs hysterically* four putt. If it can’t find some immunity soon, it may not be long for this world.

We had my latest release, The Falls, as feature book last week, so to keep things interesting, let’s go back in time to my second novel, Heart of the Valley. I love this book. Luuuuuurve it. I love the gutsy heroine Brooke, the truly babelicious hero Lachie, the horses, the heroine’s friends, even Billy the dog.  The crush I had on Lachie took about a year to get over and even now I still sigh when I think about him. If you haven’t read this book, please do. It’s lovely, I promise!

Take a look.

HEART OF THE VALLEY

Heart of the Valley  by Cathryn HeinA vivid, moving and passionate story of love and redemption.

When a tragic horse float accident leaves young showjumper Brooke Kingston unable to properly manage her family’s Hunter Valley property, she believes nothing worse can happen. Until she discovers her well-intentioned family have employed a new farm manager for her beloved Kingston Downs. But stubbornness runs in the family, and Brooke isn’t about to leave her home or abandon her darling horse Poddy. Working on the principle possession is nine-tenths of the law, she digs in her spurs and stays put.

Lachie Cambridge is unimpressed to arrive at his new job and find the boss’s sister still in residence. Lachie immediately classifies Brooke as yet another spoilt brat, but to his surprise Brooke proves nothing of the sort. She’s clever, talented and capable, but it’s her vulnerability he can’t resist and after a shaky start they develop a friendship. A friendship that soon evolves into something more.

As his feelings for Brooke deepen, and the Valley and its people wriggle further into his affections, Lachie starts to question what he really wants. He’s always believed that home is where your heart is, and his lies in the soil of his family property Delamere. Torn by his love for Brooke, Lachie must make a decision – to chase his dream or follow his heart.

But Fate has other plans, and Brooke and Lachie are left reeling when the very things that brought them together now threaten to tear them apart.

Sigh. Did I mention how much I love that book? Heart of the Valley is available right now from Booktopia, Bookworld, Angus & Robertson, Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play, JB Hi-Fi or your favourite book store or e-tailer.

All set? Excellent. Now grab a cuppa and settled down for some old-fashioned goodness.

Fluffy Fun!

My mother-in-law is a pretty handy baker. She makes beautiful cakes of all sizes and flavours, her peanut biscuits are seriously moreish, and there’s an ongoing argument over who makes the better ANZAC biscuits in the family – Alice or Essie. As you can imagine, I’ve snaffled a few recipes from her over the years.

Those of you who receive my newsletter and read the Christmas edition will know that my in-laws run a livestock transport company, carting cattle (and other things) all over from their north Queensland small country town base. Here’s me with one of their giant trucks, of which they have a lot. The one below is only a B-double but they run up to triples as well, which are seriously long.

Romance author Cathryn Hein with one of her in-laws' trucks

Anyway, back to foodie goodness and country kitchens. Morning smoko is a bit of a ritual around the yard, with everyone stopping for a cuppa and whatever sweet goodies happen to be on hand. Alice makes it all – cakes, biscuits, slices – and there are usually at least a couple of things to choose from.

Now, my mum and grandmothers used to home bake everything too, and occasionally we’d have pikelets. As country people know, buttered pikelets are standard CWA fare. They’re delicious and dead easy to make, and rarely do you find any left over after an event.

But did you know all pikelets aren’t created equal?

Seriously, they’re not. And I never knew until I discovered my mother-in-law’s Fluffy Pikelets. They’re the same as the ones I ate as a kid, only lighter and better and oh so scrumptious.

In fact, you could whip up a batch now. Go on, I dare you…

Fluffy Pikelets

Fluffy pikelets on Friday Feast

1 cup self-raising flour

Pinch salt

¼ teaspoon bi-carb soda

2 tablespoons sugar

1 egg

½ cup milk

1 dessertspoon melted butter

Sift dry ingredients into a bowl. Add egg and milk and whisk well. Fold in melted butter.

Heat a flying pan over a medium heat. Add a little butter to coat the base of the pan, pouring off any excess then drop in tablespoon amounts of the batter. Turn pikelets over when bubbles appear on the surface and cook until lightly golden.

Makes approximately 12

*

Okay Feasties, what’s your favourite morning tea snack?

Are you a gingernut and a cup of tea person or perhaps a healthy piece of fruit muncher? Maybe you… *gasp* skip morning tea. Me, I have a coffee and a wholemeal Salada, and kid myself it’s healthy. Otherwise there are always home-made goodies in the freezer, like banana and oat cake, muffins and the like, that I make for Jim. But I try to be good and avoid those. Writing is an unhealthy enough occupation as it is without adding that naughtiness too it.

If you’d like to learn more about me and my books, please feel free to explore my website. There are plenty of cool things to discover, especially on the blog, my about page and each book’s “the story behind” page. You can also connect via Facebook, Twitter using @CathrynHein, Google+, Goodreads and Pinterest.

For all the latest news and new releases, plus free short stories and other goodies, please sign up to my newsletter.

Friday Feast recipe index link.

Rural Romance Book Heaven Could Be Yours!

How would you like the chance to win a Valentine’s bouquet that lasts forever? Well, perhaps not forever, but a bloody long time.

Then you need the…

AustralianRuralRomance.com

Valentine’s Day Giveaway!

There are 6 book bouquets – yes, SIX! – up for grabs, with each bunch containing 5 of the best from our Australian rural romance stars. We’re talking the likes of Rachael Johns, Fiona Palmer, Loretta Hill, Helene Young, Tricia Stringer, Barbara Hannay, Fleur McDonald, Fiona McArthur, Jenn J McLeod, Mandy Magro, Margareta Osborn, Bronwyn Parry, Jennifer Scoullar and many more. And all you have to do to be in the draw is sign up to the australianruralromance.com blog. Easy-peasy.

Lucky me is in two book bouquets, one featuring a signed copy of Promises, the other a copy of Heart of the Valley. Check out the amazing company I’m in…

Australian rural romance book bouquet with Promises

 

Australian rural romance book bouquet with Heart of the Valley

And there are another four fabulous book bouquets up for grabs. Wow!

So either click on one of the images above or hit australianruralromance.com to lodge your entry.

This is a fantastic opportunity to score books from some of Australia’s most popular writers, for yourself or to share. Don’t miss out!

Winners will be drawn on February 14th. Australian postal addresses only.

 

This Writing Life: Doing the Kermit Flail

kermitflail

Yes, this is me right now.

Why? Because today I heard that Rocking Horse Hill has gone to reprint again. That’s a whole lot of lovely horsies galloping about.

To say I’m thrilled to bits would be an understatement. I can’t thank everyone who has supported this book and spread the word enough. In the iconic words of Jeff Fenech, I love youse all!

Rocking Horse Hill is currently featured in the latest BigW and K-Mart catalogues, available in all the ebook stores like Amazon, iBooks, Google Play, Kobo and JB HiFi, and from online retailers like Booktopia and Bookworld. Your local bookstore would also love to help you out with a copy.

Speaking of ebooks, my previous releases are all currently discounted so if you haven’t read Promises, Heart of the Valley or Heartland yet, now is your chance to grab an ebook bargain. Hurry though, these special prices are for a limited time only.

Last weekend I ventured up to Katoomba in the Blue Mountains for a booksigning at the new BigW store there. What a wonderful display the staff made, and everyone was really warm and welcoming. It’s such fun to get out and meet old and new readers.

BigW RHH 2.0

Speaking of meeting people, if you’re in western Sydney don’t miss A Romantic Morning with myself and Rachael Johns at Penrith Library, 10am Friday 9th May. We’ll be chatting about our inspirations and writing, and signing books. Tickets are free from the Penrith Library service desk.

I’ve also just confirmed a date for an event at Hawkesbury Library. Join me for morning tea and a chat, 10-30am for an 11am start , Thursday 12th June at the Deerubbin Centre, Windsor.

Keep your eye out for more events, including talks in western Victoria and the official book launch at Mount Gambier Library.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a bottle of fizz to crack…

Mark your diaries!

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I’m really looking forward to this evening. Expect a lot of insight and many laughs. Kylie Griffin (author of the amazing Light Blade fantasy romance series) and Karly Lane (Bridies Choice, Morgan’s Law, Burnt and other awesome Australian-set stories) are lovely people as well as being fantastic authors, and I think we’ll have a fine time. So will you!

In other news…

I’m Cooking the Books with Australian romance author Louise Reynolds. Come on over for a slice of delicious date and walnut loaf, a snippet from Heartland and more!

Heartland has scored another wonderful review, this time from Lauren Murphy at The Australian Bookshelf.

Heartland is the kind of book that draws you in and makes you not want to put it down and if you do, then the characters will haunt you until you pick it up again. Hein knows how to create characters with depth in communities that come alive on the page. This one’s definitely a keep among my rural lit shelves.”

 

Tomorrow I’ll be here again with Friday Feast, revealing some secrets from my week with Hugh (ahh, I see your mind boggling already).  I’ll also be over on Alissa Callen’s blog answering 10 Teaser Questions.

And in case you missed my non-stop squeaking elsewhere, yesterday I discovered that my rural romance Heart of the Valley hit number one on Google Play’s paid ebook store. And it’s still there this morning. Good thing no one was here to video me doing the muppet-flail when I saw that. Could’ve have been rather embarrassing!

 

HEARTLAND RELEASE DAY!

It’s here! And I came very, very close to popping the champagne before 8am this morning. Why? Because Heartland received the most gobsmacking review from Bree, at 1 Girl, 2 Many Books.

This is just a little of what she had to say…

“It’s easy to overhype books in your mind sometimes, which can lead to them not living up to expectation. That was definitely not the case with this one – it was everything I thought it would be and more. It’s a beautiful story of finding courage to be happy and letting go of the past but without forgetting it. Callie had such a touching vulnerability and Matt such a gentle strength but that didn’t stop it from being plenty saucy either! Another fabulous rural romance release that just proves why this genre continues to grow in popularity.”

9/10

Isn’t that the loveliest thing? Read Bree’s full review of Heartland here.

But wait, there’s more! Bree also has an in-depth Q&A with me, covering everything from how I choose my settings, to my love for the Sydney Swans, to what was the most difficult part of Heartland to write. Plus a teensy bit about my next book. Check it out!

Also around the net, I’m on the Australian Romance Readers Association’s blog, talking about what made Heartland special to write. All ARRA members who comment will go into the draw to win a copy.

Tomorrow, ANZAC Day, I’m at Book Muster Down Under with an author Q&A (including some seriously tricky questions) and with THREE copies of Heartland up for grabs courtesy of my publisher, Penguin Australia.

Friday will see me flopping about with exhaustion… or perhaps not. No rest for the bookish! I’m hosting myself here on Friday Feast and revealing some of the onerous research I had to undertake for Heartland. I’m talking winery visiting onerous. Terrible, but we authors are selfless creatures and don’t mind suffering for our craft. Oh, and there’ll be a Heartland giveaway too. But you’ll have to work for it with a wine-y story!

Also on Friday, I’ll be at Jenn J McLeod’s Author Harvest, discussing garden gnomes, what my protagonists think about me, and the current lust of my life, Inspector Davide Rivera from Rex in Rome…among other equally serious and important things!

Then on Sunday, 28th April, it’s back to ARRA for a guest post titled The Heart of Rural Romance. Find out what makes this genre so great.

Oh, and before I go, three things.

1/. Heartland is in this week’s BigW catalogue. Wheeeeee!

2/. The ebook price promo will run out soon. Get in quick if you want to score Heartland at a discount. Try Amazon (Kindle), Kobo, Google Play or iTunes. There’s also special pricing for Heart of the Valley and Promises.

3/. My Goodreads giveaway closes May 1st. Simply visit Heartland’s page and clickety-click the Enter to Win button.

To finish off , thank you to everyone for your amazing support. I’ve been overwhelmed with congratulations this morning and made to feel really special. I can’t express how much that means to me.

Nearly forgot! I have another Heartland quote for you.

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Mustn’t let all my photo fiddling go to waste!

 

HEARTLAND COVER REVEAL!

It’s been a while coming but here, at last, is Heartland’s gorgeous new cover and blurb. Isn’t it beautiful? From the perfect heroine image, to the soaring blue skies, black cockatoos and summer-parched landscape, I love it!

 

Coming 24th April 2013

Heartland_cvr_640x480

A powerful, passionate and moving rural love story from Cathryn Hein, author of Promises and Heart of the Valley.

When Callie Reynolds arrives at Glenmore, the property she’s recently inherited, the last thing she wants is to be saddled with a warty horse, an injured neighbour and a mad goose. Haunted by her sister’s death and her fractured family, all she wants is freedom.

But Callie hasn’t counted on falling for Matt Hawkins, an ex-soldier determined to fulfil his own dream of land and family. Nor could she predict the way the land, animals and people of Glenmore will capture her heart.

Callie is faced with impossible choices. But she must find the courage to decide where her future lies, even if it costs her everything she holds dear.