Greetings from Teaser Tuesday, the blog series where I share snippets from past and upcoming releases, and works-in-progress, and occasionally rope author buddies into sharing pieces from theirs.
Today is such a day and I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to host Australian author Anna Romer on the blog because I am a TOTAL fangirl. Anna’s first two books Thornwood House and Lyrebird Hill were amaaaaazing reads, full of beautifully lyrical writing, mystery and suspense, and descriptions that immerse you totally in the characters’ world.
Anna has just released Beyond the Orchard and I’m impatiently awaiting delivery of my copy because this story sounds even more amazing than the previous ones. You should all go out and buy this book for yourself today because it’ll be brilliant. But if you keep reading this blog, you might just find a giveaway on offer.
But enough from me. Please give a big fangirl cheer and welcome to Anna!
The idea for Beyond the Orchard came to me during a long-distance phone conversation with a friend. We were reminiscing about a spooky old hotel we used to stay in along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. When we hung up, I was tingling with the story bug. I kept seeing a derelict old guesthouse (of course!) and someone guarding the terrible secret that lay buried inside it. There were many twists and turns along the way, as there is with any writing journey, but that first kernel of story remained.
The excerpt shows my main character Lucy struggling with her feelings for her teenage crush Morgan – a family friend who once rejected a much younger Lucy’s clumsy advances. He’s just arrived back at the guesthouse with a parcel of old photos…
I hope you enjoy!
Standing at the back door, I watched Morgan thump along the verandah towards me, oblivious. His head was down, as if he was battling a windstorm; he seemed deep in his thoughts. Tucked under his arm was a parcel.
He almost reached the door before he saw me.
The frown turned into a smile. His gaze flew over my arms, my shoulders, and then finally met my eyes. The jolt I’d felt upstairs hit me again, but it had morphed into something more reckless than simply pleasure; a flush of warmth sped through my veins, and a giddy yearning overtook me. The fading sunlight dulled, the afternoon sky receded, and the trees became a blur. Only Morgan seemed alive. I had the urge to reach out and touch him, pull him into my arms and savour the warm weight of him, just as I had the night of my party when I’d wound myself around him and pressed my lips to his—
I snapped back to reality. ‘What?’
‘Great, I’m starved.’
I glanced down at the dress. It seemed far skimpier than it had upstairs among the chaste shadows of my grandfather’s dusty room. ‘It’s Edwin’s,’ I blurted.
Morgan’s brow went up. ‘Not sure I wanted to know that.’
I scowled, but then remembered the parcel he carried. ‘That’s them?’
Smiling mysteriously, he brushed past me into the kitchen.
I stared after him, gathering my wits. I felt naked in the dress. The fabric was too thin, too shimmery. My skin was too hot. My pulse tapped irregular beats all over my body. The slipstream of Morgan’s warmth, the scent of him, his big bear-like presence seemed to wash around me, creating a whirlpool of what felt disturbingly like desire.
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
I shut my eyes, trying to conjure Adam’s face. I returned in my mind to the photo I kept in my wallet: Adam in one of his less formal outfits, pants and a blue cotton shirt, leaning in the doorway of our favourite pub in Camden Town, smiling sexily.
The photo of Adam dissolved.
In its place appeared an old Polaroid from the seventies I had glimpsed once. A young man leaning rakishly against a battered vintage Harley, helmet under his arm, bike jacket straining across his chest, snug Levi’s marked with motor oil and frayed at the knees. He glared unsmiling at the camera, and his face – not the craggy, lived-in face I knew now, but rather the face of a fierce, angry young man – seemed to mock me from the past. We can’t do this . . . not now, not ever.
I had made a mistake, I realised. I should never have come back. I should have burned Edwin’s cryptic letter, put it from my mind, stayed in London and tried to be happy—
I trailed him into the kitchen, grabbing my old cardigan I’d left on the servery. Slipping it over the dress, hugging it around me, I joined Morgan at the table.
Enjoy I most certainly did enjoy, Anna. Thanks so much for visiting and sharing. God, I hope my copy of Beyond the Orchard turns up this week. I want it more than ever now and I bet all you readers do too. In which case, get buying! And what better than instant gratification from purchasing your copy of Beyond the Orchard from Booktopia, Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Amazon, Kobo, iBooks or Google Play.
Oh, and Booktopia currently has a free shipping offer – promo code SMART (ends Nov 14th). No excuse not to stock up!
Now, lovely people, as hinted at the beginning of this post, Anna has kindly offered a…
For your chance to win a paperback copy of Beyond the Orchard, complete with gorgeous bookmark, reveal one of the silly, embarrassing or fun things you did to get the attention of a teenage (or any age) crush.
This ought to be fun!
Okay, at the risk of looking like a total twit, I’ll reveal that I once bought a ticket to see a concert for a band I loathed, just so I might stand near my crush, hear the music he loved, breathe the same air etc etc – God, crushes are PAINFUL. Anyway, I ended up selling the ticket (and kicking myself for my stupidity) when I learned he was taking his glamorous model friend to the concert.
What about you? Don’t be shy. There’s a brilliant book up for grabs!
Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Friday AEST 11th November, 2016. Australian postal addresses only.