Tag Archives: Chrissy and the Burroughs Boy

Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser Tuesday 2017 logoWelcome to Teaser Tuesday, the blog series where I share juicy snippets from upcoming and past releases, and works-in-progress.

Those of you who are regular readers of the blog will know that Jim and I recently had some fun tooling around the outback (you can find more info and lots of photos on the blog post This Writing Life: An Outback Queensland Adventure).

One of the things I noticed about Queensland’s western downs was how many windmills there were, and how important they still are in maintaining water supplies to stock and rural properties. There are reasons for that – they’re reliable, efficient, relatively cheap and low maintenance. The big 35-foot Comet windmill at Hughenden, which is now a tourist attraction but was originally at Wirilla Station, could pump a million litres of water a day and supplied water for stock via bore drains that stretched up to 45 kilometres long. They’re pretty impressive figures.

Every windmill reminded me of Danny from Santa and the Saddler, and how much he’d love seeing them, especially the monster sized ones. For those of you who haven’t read this story, Danny is a metal fabricator and windmill engineer, and he’s passionate and proud of what he produces. And it’s kinda sexy. Well, I think it is. But it’s nice when you come across someone who’s enthusiastic about what they do and believe in it.

Anyway, here’s a little taste of Danny and Beth from Santa and the Saddler. Make sure you read to the end because there could be a GIVEAWAY!


‘So this is your grandfather’s saddlery,’ he said.

‘Yes. And Grandma’s. They own it jointly.’

‘But you’re English?’

‘Actually, I was born in Australia. In Adelaide, but my dad’s a Brit so I’m both.’

Danny blinked. ‘Your accent’s from your dad?’

She looked up, laughing softly. ‘No. We moved to England when I was five. I did all my schooling there, and my apprenticeship. I only moved back to Australia sixteen months ago, when Mum decided to come back. What about you? I’m betting a born and bred Levenham local. In fact, I bet you can trace your ancestors back to settlement. Am I right?’

Cover of Santa and the Saddler by Cathryn Hein‘Not quite settlement but the Burroughs have been here a while. I went to St Joseph’s Primary and then on to Levenham High, same as Mum and Dad and my grandparents.’

‘After that?’

‘Like you I got an apprenticeship. Metal fabrication.’ He shrugged. ‘Been in the same job since. The boss is decent bloke, the money isn’t too bad, and I like what I do.’

‘And what’s that? What you do, I mean.’

‘I build windmills. You know, that pump water. Other stuff too, but mainly that.’

She set down her awl and flexed her hands as she regarded him with interest. ‘Do farmers still use those?’

The question didn’t surprise Danny. A lot of people were sceptical when they heard about Levenham Windmills.

‘Yep, and with good reason. Windmills are cheap and last forever — well, not forever, but a long time. Plus they pump day and night whenever there’s wind, and with a well-engineered mill it doesn’t take much of that for it to work. There are no power bills, bugger-all maintenance — with ours at least, can’t speak for our dodgy opposition — and you can install them most places. Hard for stock to damage them too.’

‘You sound proud.’

He liked the smile in her voice, the approval, and his chest swelled with it. ‘I suppose I am.’


Sigh. I so love Danny as a hero. I’m currently writing the next Levenham Love Story which features Danny’s brother Nick and having a brilliant time. When a Burroughs boy falls in love, he goes all in and will do anything to take care of his girl, even if he ends up looking like a twit to do so.

But enough of that. I’ll be sharing more about that next story – Chrissy and the Burroughs Boy – when it’s done, which will hopefully be soon.

In the meantime, you can buy Santa and the Saddler from your favourite ebook or print retailer. Try Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play, Nook, Bookdepository, Booktopia or Angus & Robertson Bookworld.

Now, as mentioned in the intro, we have a…


This one’s easy-peasy too. Simply share your dream job and you’ll go into a random draw to win a print copy of Santa and the Saddler.

I’m opening this internationally too. So wherever you are in the world, you could win.

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Friday AEST, 28th April 2017. Open internationally. Rah!

If you’d like to learn more about Santa and the Saddler, including the story behind the book, reviews and more, please visit its book page on this website.


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Teaser Tuesday!

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Teaser Tuesday 2017 logoWelcome to Teaser Tuesday, the blog series where I share snippets from my novels, old, new and in progress, and occasionally let author buddies take over.

After a couple of weeks of terrific guest authors (thank you Fiona McArthur and Vanessa Carnevale), it’s now my turn to share a juicy snippet from one of my books. I was going to share a few lines from Wayward Heart but after a bit of contemplation I decided to try something different.

I’m currently working on Chrissy and the Burroughs Boy, a cute follow-on to Santa and the Saddler, featuring Danny’s brother Nick, aka Numbnuts. I’m loving it but I have to admit the execution has given me a bit of grief.

From the moment the story sprang into my mind I knew how it would start. I could picture the scene vividly, so when it came time to write it down, the words flowed out easily. All good, or so you’d think. Somehow, as I started on the second chapter, the idea that I’d started the story in the wrong place started to nag. A feeling that grew and grew until I was convinced I’d gone about it all wrong.

So I wasted spent another week perfecting a new opening chapter. When I was confident I had it right, I placed it in the book’s master document file.

Only to then pull the rotten thing out again because I decided it was wrong, wrong, wrong and the original start was better.

Yeah, I know. I could clip myself around the ears too.

So, for your reading pleasure, and to remind me what a twit I’ve been, here are the opening paragraphs from that now-deleted chapter one of Chrissy and the Burroughs Boy.


The red-back spider was half-way down the Australian Arms Hotel’s grand interior staircase when Chrissy James spotted it. She paused with her hand on the bannister, studying it for a moment, then grinned and bounded up. Recognising her, the spider scampered down with equal delight, fat felt legs bouncing jauntily with each step.

They met on the central landing and fell into a fierce hug.

‘Chrissy!’ said the spider, holding her at arm’s length to look her over. ‘You look great.’

‘Thanks. And you look…’ How to describe him? Shiny black Lycra sheathed Terry’s arms and legs. A satin-covered carapace rounded his chest, belly and groin. Crowning his head was a bulbous black headpiece, its scarlet stripe glowing with danger, but that was nothing compared to the two plastic fangs curving the side of his face from hairline to chin. She twanged the point of one. ‘… like an arachnophobe’s nightmare.’

He laughed and rotated to show the back of the costume and its wide red stripe. ‘Like it?’

‘Very spidery. Just don’t go hanging around any loos,’ she quipped, referring to a much-loved Australian song about a red-back on a toilet seat. ‘You might get squashed. Anyway, aren’t you a bit hairy-faced for a red-back?’

Terry stroked his beard. ‘I’m a unique breed.’

‘Indeed you are.’ Chrissy lifted a stuffed leg, inspected it and let it drop. The whole ensemble was quite well done for a homemade effort, but Terry Henderson’s mum had always been handy with a sewing machine. ‘You do realise that only female red-backs have the stripe?’

‘Like I said, unique.’


All going well, Chrissy and the Burroughs Boy will release later this year but you can catch up with the first Burroughs boy, Danny, and the girl of his dreams, Beth in Santa and the Saddler. Available in print from Booktopia, Bookdepository or direct from me (simply email for details) and ebook from Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Nook and Google Play.


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