Welcome to another super-special edition of Teaser Tuesday, the series where I share snippets from new and past releases and works-in-progress, and invite author buddies to do the same.
Ooh, it’s been an exciting week in the Hein house!
Book one in the stunning Outback Brides series, Maggie’s Run by Kelly Hunter, has hit retailers and is FLYING along. With good reason too. I finished Maggie’s Run last Friday and it was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. You are going to love this one. There is so much emotion and romance and OMG Max! Max of that body. Max of that hair. Max of that voice. Me waaaaaaant.
It’s also very exciting to be hosting Kelly on the blog today. It’s her first visit and she’s clearly determined to arrive with a bang. Not only do we have a wonderful snippet from Maggie’s Run, Kelly is offering a super-generous giveaway that you will NOT want to miss.
For those of you who don’t know Kelly, she’s a USA Today bestselling author, a three-time Romance Writers of America RITA finalist, Romance Writers of Australia Romantic Book of the Year (Ruby) winner, and multi Australian Romance Reader Award winner. She’s also author of the Jackson Family series, which you should all read after Outback Brides because it’s brilliant.
Enough of me fangirling. We’re here to talk brides. Outback Brides, the best kind.
This is a biggie, my lovelies, so buckle up and read on!
I vividly remember reading Cathryn’s wonderful opening scene to Elsa’s Stand for the first time and thinking, ‘Aw, hell. That’s so good! I’ve gotta lift my game.’. These stories are part of the Outback Brides series set in small-town Wirralong, and I for one had performance anxiety. On the upside, there was this world we were building and I loved it and the flavours we were bringing to the project. I need Elsa’s Hair Affair hairdressing salon in my life. I needed a heritage grazing property in my life for a while too, and Maggie’s Wirra Station was born. I spent a small imaginary fortune setting it to rights after decades of neglect. Very cathartic! Surprisingly economical.
Cathryn’s Teaser Tuesday requires story words, and, this being Cathryn’s blog, I’ve chosen a snippet with my heroine, Maggie, and Cathryn’s heroine, Elsa, in it. They’re in Elsa’s salon and Elsa is with customer Max, who she’s known since childhood. Maggie and Max have history. It’s from Max’s point of view.
“I need a haircut,” said Max.
“You certainly do.” Elsa O’Donoghue ran a practised hand through his mop and studied him in the salon mirror. For kicks, she attempted to twist it into a bun and thankfully failed. It wasn’t that bad. Yet. “How short?” she asked.
“Okay, let’s aim for bedhead. You can pull that off. Do you have time for a wash?”
“Washed it this morning.”
“One of these days you’re going to let me wash it,” she told him. “And you’re going to enjoy it.”
But not today. She sprayed his head with a water squirter, attacked it with a comb and then picked up her scissors. Like him, Elsa was Wirralong born and bred and felt no inclination whatsoever to apologise for it. He knew her family and she knew his. Give him a minute and he could probably remember her middle name, date of birth and the name of the first boy she’d ever kissed. It wasn’t him.
“I hear you and Maggie are working miracles out at Wirra Station,” Elsa said and started cutting. “Stay still.”
A snort and a flash of pink alerted him to the presence of someone else in the salon. He turned his head a fraction and got Elsa grabbing both sides of his skull and setting him straight again.
“I have toddlers in this chair who can stay stiller than you.”
“Did you give him the booster seat?”
The voice clued him in. “Hey, Maggie. Elsa was just trying to gossip about you. I gave her nothing.”
“Sweet pea, I already know all about the kiss,” said Elsa smugly. “I made her run through the lead-up three times. In vivid detail.”
“Maggie, did you kiss and tell?” he rumbled, unapologetically delighted.
“O’Connor, if you don’t keep your head straight so I can cut properly, I’m going to get the clippers out and run stripes through your hair for the hell of it,” chided Elsa.
“What else did she say about my kisses?” Max asked, sitting very, very still. “Have they ruined her for all other men? Because that was the underlying intention.”
“She’s right there. Ask her yourself.”
“I’m not answering that,” said Maggie and came into view in the mirror. She wore sand-coloured trousers and a pink top with a picture of a cartoon grasshopper on it. Her hair was tied back in a messy bun and her oversized sunglasses perched on her head. She wore no make-up, as far as he could tell, and she still managed to look more appealing than any woman he’d ever met. “Elsa, I need your signature on a release form for the photos we took the other day. These are the ones I want to use.”
Elsa stopped snipping as Maggie held up two pics. All Max saw was the back of them in the mirror, and he was determined not to be curious, but then Maggie showed them to him next. “You can look too seeing as I’m interrupting your hair cut,” she said.
“Pretty.” Elsa was a beauty and Maggie had been the client in the chair and whether they’d been posing for the pic or not, the warmth between the women showed through. “Where’s it going?”
“On the Wirralong Homestead website under ‘Services’.”
“That’s me. At your service,” said Elsa cheerfully.
“You could be at my service a little more solidly,” offered Max, and wore their looks of disbelief and amusement with equanimity. Elsa might have been holding a really sharp pair of scissors but she wasn’t a mean one … was she?
“Don’t you know to be nice to your hairdresser?” Maggie said.
Was that a thing? God help him.
Ha! I remember that scene from reading Maggie’s Run, and it was one that gave me lots of smiles. But this is a book full of smiles, which means you need a copy, oh yes you do!
Purchase Maggie’s Run today from these retailers.
Kobo | iBooks | Google Play | Barnes&Noble
All set? Excellent. Now here’s Kelly with more goodness.
I love the names of all our Outback Brides. They felt right to me from the beginning. I could see them, work with them, and the covers brought them to life in the best way possible. For a chance to win all four ebooks in the series, tell us what name you would have chosen for your Outback Bride.
Great question, Kelly! Obviously, the answer for me is Elsa but what about you? Perhaps an Annie would be your girl, or maybe a Nicola or Zoe. Comment below and you’ll go into the draw to win ALL FOUR Outback Brides ebooks, in your preferred format (for Kindle, Kobo etc). That’s Maggie’s Run, Belle’s Secret, Elsa’s Stand and Holly’s Heart. What a prize!
Please note: Giveaway closes midnight, Friday 29th June 2018, Australian Eastern Standard Time. Open internationally!