Tag Archives: Hot Chocolate

This Writing Life: Hot Chocolate Rides Again. Well, almost.

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It’s Friiiiiidaaaay, and that means I’m in Melbourne for the 2017 Australian Romance Readers Convention. Rah!

Registrations for the convention have closed but you can still come to the book signing at Bobby McGees at Rydges Melbourne on Saturday afternoon, between 4 and 6 pm where you can chat with all your favourite authors, get your books signed, buy latest releases or just mingle and enjoy the buzz.

Breaking News

And in breaking news, if you drop by my table you’ll be able to meet the new, improved, all singing, all-dancing cousin to the late and sadly missed, blow-up wonder horse Hot Chocolate!

Eh hem.

Perhaps I should clarify.

In March 2015, I travelled to Canberra for the Australian Romance Readers Convention, arriving a day early because I wanted to take in the Spirited: Australia’s Horse Story exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia.

The exhibition was in its final days and the gift shop was offering great discounts on their stock items. One of these happened to be an inflatable horse. I was on my way back to my room via the bar when I was waylaid by some author friends (eyeballing you, Anne Gracie and Kelly Hunter) and on discovering I’d bought a blow-up horse, they insisted it be inflated (see piccies here and here). Kylie Scott then christened the horse Hot Chocolate.

Since then, Hot Chocolate has followed me to every book signing event, packed flat in my suitcase and then inflated back to gorgeousness when needed. It wasn’t long before a book signing didn’t feel like a proper book signing without Hot Choc perched on my table.

Cathryn Hein and her blow-up horse at the ARRC 2015 booksigning

Me and Hot Chocolate the blow-up wonderhorse.

Alas, Hot Chocolate wasn’t a hardy soul. Besides some serious conformation issues, he was rather thin skinned, and at the ARR Awards in Sydney in 2016 he sprang a major leak.

Naturally I pulled out all stops in my efforts to save him – as was outlined in this blog post: The Great Hot Chocolate Emergency – but on arrival at the ARRA booksigning in Adelaide August last year, it was obvious that Hot Chocolate’s injuries were catastrophic. Sadly, the decision was made to humanely dispatch him to that great horsey heaven in the sky.

Since then, I’ve been scouring the world for a replacement and discovered some mighty beasts (did you know you can get life-sized inflatable horses? I want one soooooo badly!) but none captured my heart until I discovered this little fellow.

He may be small, but what he lacks in height he sure makes up for in entertainment value.

Take a look!

Isn’t he the coolest?

So, if you’re in Melbourne this Saturday and can make it to the ARRC booksigning, please drop by my table and say hello. We’d love to see you!


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THIS WRITING LIFE: The Great Hot Chocolate Emergency

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Some of you may know that since the Australian Romance Readers Convention in Canberra in March 2015 I’ve been carting around an inflatable horse to events. His name is Hot Chocolate and I bought him on sale from the gift shop at the Spirited: Australia’s Horse Story exhibition at National Museum for the princely sum of $5.

Here he is at his naming ceremony, with me and historical romance author Anne Gracie in the bar (naturally) at the QT Hotel in Canberra.

Anne Gracie with Cathryn Hein admiring Hot Chocolate the blow-up horse in the QT bar at ARRC 2015

I think it’s fair to say that Hot Chocolate is not a quality steed. His conformation is appalling and he squeaks like a mouse when you squeeze his off-hind leg, but he’s fun and I like carting him around.

Here he is at his first book signing.

Cathryn Hein and her blow-up horse at the ARRC 2015 booksigning

So it was with huge disappointment to discover on the morning of this year’s Australian Romance Reader’s Awards in March that Hot Chocolate had sprung a leak. There was no keeping air in him and it left both of us feeling very flat.

A saggy and flat feeling Hot Chocoalate

I took him home afterward with the great intention of finding his hole and patching him up. Alas, I forgot all about it until I suddenly realised I have the ARRA booksigning in Adelaide this Saturday and risked attending with NO HOT CHOCOLATE. We couldn’t have that. It’d put a jinx on everything.

Bathtub to the rescue!

Hot Chocolate being tested in the bathtub

Oh, did that horsey bubble. He had a giant hole in his chest seam and I thought it was curtains for poor old Hot Choc but a band-aid and a bit of sticky tape later and he’s all good. Not pretty, mind, but Hot Choc will at least be going to the party.

The hole in Hot Chocolate's chest

Emergency veterinary treatment for Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate rides again!

If you’re in Adelaide this Saturday, 20th August, come and see me and over 60 other romance authors at the Stamford Grand in Glenelg. The event runs from 5pm for an hour and we’d love you to come along for a natter and get your books signed. You can also purchase books at the event. For full details visit the Australian Romance Readers Association website.

You’ll even be able to pat Hot Chocolate!


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