Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, where I share snippets of new and past releases and works-in-progress, and occasionally twist the arms of author buddies to do that same.
Ah, we do love a guest on Teaser Tuesday and I’m delighted to welcome back Mel A Rowe to the blog. Mel will not only give you an insight into Christmas in the Northern Territory, she’ll also share a terrific excerpt from Xmas Dust.
Xmas Dust is the newest instalment in Mel’s hugely popular Elsie Creek series, which already includes The Art of Dust, Diamond in the Dust and Caked in Dust. Don’t worry, all books in the series can be read as stand-alones so you can read Xmas Dust before the others without a problem. Or you can binge read. After all, too much outback dust is never enough.
Now please give a big cheery welcome to Mel A Rowe!
Christmas in the Northern Territory is hot is an understatement, when it’s part of the sweltering build up. It’s too hot to cook the traditional turkey feast that advertisers try to tempt us with. We get cyclonic storm fronts that rip off our outdoor decorations in seconds, so staple guns come in handy for outdoor lighting that stays up all year round. Not to mention what overhead ceiling fans do to tinsel and ornaments on a Christmas tree.
But it’s also cyclone season.
And that makes it perfect for one of the most fun books I’ve ever written, XMAS DUST. It’s about one of the Elsie Creek Series popular characters, the sassy bush pilot, Monet. Paired with cranky cattle station owner, Tim, this pair of sugarplums share some sizzling sass between them as they try to avoid Christmas and each other! It’s a Farmer wants a wife with a cyclonic twist I’m sure you’ll enjoy.
Here’s a teaser…
Wheels down, the plane skidded on the slushy gravel, but Monet was ready for it. She knew how to slide her way out of any runway party, flying to outback locations long before she was old enough to get a car licence. It was like skiing down a snow-covered hill, with mud and clay flicking under the wheels, sticking to the plane’s body that made her bones rattle and arms ache as she fought the yoke to keep control. It was all part of the job.
At the runway’s end, she turned the red Cessna back towards the small tin shelter that was the gateway to Rigby Down’s station.
Normally there would be some sort of a welcoming party.
But there was no sturdy work-ute filled with yapping cattle dogs to meet her. No hearty wave from suntanned kids wearing big smiles. No nod from the cattleman’s Akubra, or hugs from the wife and station cooks.
There was no one.
The humidity hit her like steam churning from a bucket of cold water added to a sauna, causing her pores to open and the sweat to start. Cicadas screeched as the hot breeze shifted the leaves of the smooth-barked salmon gums. Heat waves shimmered over the runway and along the red dirt track leading to the farmhouse.
The late afternoon sun pierced through the cloud cover to bite at her skin as she grabbed her water bottle, searching for any sign of life.
‘Welcome to Rigby Downs.’
She grabbed her backpack and Akubra, and with her aviator sunglasses shading her eyes, she headed down the dirt track.
Nope, this wasn’t some episode of Farmer Wants A Wife where the willing women were made to walk to the homestead, when Monet knew the farmer was away. Maybe she could start her own YouTube channel on the many ways to keep entertained while housesitting a station?
The sheds were closed, the cattle yards were barren, and the stables were empty shadows. She heard chooks, a few wild birds, and that was it.
And there was the grand house that stood on a small crest, with its deep shady verandas and rows of solar panels glinting in the sunlight.
It used to be a place of sumptuous patio furniture and pots of lush ferns that would hang among the collection of wind chimes, tinkling with the breeze. It was the perfect place for Monet to read during her summer stays.
But all of the patio furniture was gone. There were no wind chimes. Only a few pots remained, containing nothing but dirt the colour of ash. Dust lay so thick over the concrete her boots left tracks.
The front door was held open by beer boxes filled with empty cans, dumped in a haphazard pile.
She wasn’t expecting the place to be open.
She was meant to be home alone.
Stepping inside, Monet paused at the sound of someone snoring.
Removing her sunglasses, her eyes adjusted to the dim light in the living room. Over half of the furniture was gone, exposing dusty wooden floor panelling and more beer boxes and empty cans. Taking up the wall, was a wide-screen TV playing test cricket.
On the couch, snoring his head off, was the sexy owner wearing only a pair of jeans. Timothy Kirby.
And her heart just froze.
Oh hell, no!
Woohoo, it sounds like we’re in for some fun here! Grab a handful of hope and fly away home into this friends-to-lovers romantic adventure, available now from these bookstores:.