Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, where I share snippets from new and past releases and works-in-progress, and occasionally twist the arms of author buddies to do the same.
Haven’t the last few weeks been fun with guests Nicki Edwards and Fiona McArthur? It’s great to see everyone’s enthusiasm for rural romance hasn’t waned in these difficult times. In fact, I’d be tempted to say that maybe we’re craving the comfort of these stories even more.
Spring has well and truly arrived at the Hein house. We’ve had some glorious days, making it hard to stay inside in front of the computer. I’ve been wondering if I shouldn’t decamp to the back patio with the laptop or even writing longhand and try and capture some of that sunshine in words. Hmm, maybe something worth considering.
I’ve been also thinking recently about the books that came easiest for me. The books that were sheer pleasures to write and had me racing with excitement and joy to the computer each morning. After sixteen published books (plus a lot of unpublished ones) I’ve learned that they each have their own way of coming into the world. Some were so easy they practically fell out of me and onto the page. Some were so difficult their creation was almost painful.
The easiest book I’ve written so far is April’s Rainbow, but that had the advantage of having been in my head for 20+ years. Wayward Heart was another joy, as was The Country Girl and The French Prize.
But one of my absolute favourites was Heart of the Valley. The hero of this book, Lachie Cambridge, still holds the record of being my biggest hero crush. I loved that man so much and he took forever to get over. Then there was Brooke and her darling horses, and the Hunter Valley setting. It was just one of those books where everything was a pleasure.
If only they could all be like that!
So today I thought I’d pay tribute to this gorgeous book by sharing a snippet from Heart of the Valley. In this scene, Brooke finds herself attracted Lachie, even though she resents his presence on her beloved Kingston Downs hugely…
She had to twist her neck right back to see his face. God, the man was tall. Today, instead of his usual jeans, he wore twill navy work pants with a matching shirt tucked in at the waist. Though not tight, the material showed off the contours of his thighs and the leanness of his hips. He wore his shirtsleeves loosely rolled, exposing muscled forearms with gold-tipped dark hairs. His chin was clean-shaven, his short hair slightly damp. As she breathed in she caught an enticing waft of citrus and scrubbed healthy male.
She looked back at Billy, now flopped on his back with his legs wide apart, expecting another belly scratch. Yes, she did know Kingston Downs backwards. Yes, she had offered her assistance. But why should she help him? Surely it was in her best interests to see him fail as a manager.
She focused on Billy, for some reason unable to look at Lachlan. Last night, after the pub, she’d promised herself she’d treat him with courtesy. As Angus said, it wasn’t Lachlan’s fault that he was at Kingston Downs. He’d been employed to do a job and if he was anything like the man she suspected him to be, he wanted to do it well. But helping him felt like giving in.
He crouched down next to her. ‘I know you resent me being here, and I don’t blame you, but it won’t be forever. It’s obvious you’ve worked hard on this place and when the time comes for me to move on, I’d like to hand it back knowing I haven’t undone everything you’ve achieved.’
She continued to stare at Billy, embarrassed by the flare of heat in her cheeks and acutely aware of Lachlan’s proximity, his size, his smell, and, most of all, his understanding. ‘You’re making it very hard for me to hate you. You know that, don’t you?’
He ducked his head and smiled. ‘Maybe that’s my cunning plan.’
Heart of the Valley is available now in ebook and paperback from these excellent stores.
Amazon US | Amazon AU | Amazon UK | Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | Barnes & Noble | Booktopia | Angus & Robertson | Bookdepository
Or purchase a personally signed copy from my online store (Australian postal addresses only).