A saggy and flat feeling Hot Chocoalate

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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