Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the blog series where I share snippets from upcoming and past releases, and works-in-progress and occasionally invite writing buddies along to play.
Wayward Heart is now officially one day old. Yesterday was release day and what fun was had with its Six Secret Things blog and sharing of quote memes on social media. As well as the usual celebratory fizz.
I also bought myself a gorgeous bunch of pink roses and ate more than my usual quota of cherries. Because RELEASE DAY!
In the past my books have come out on a Tuesday or Wednesday but Wayward Heart bucked the trend by hitting shelves on a Monday, which has freed today up for another delicious instalment of Teaser Tuesday, and another delectable taste of Jas and Digby.
Sigh. I love this book. The friends-to-lovers trope is a favourite and these two make it even more gorgeous and sexy.
She stilled, her eyes dropping to the floor, her tone barely more than a whisper. ‘Don’t, Digby. Just leave it. Please. It’s not—’ She breathed in hard and lifted her pleading gaze to his. ‘I can handle it.’
But she shook her head again.
Fear made him harsh. ‘Handle what, Jas?’
‘It’s nothing, honestly. I made a mistake and it’s taking a bit of sorting out, that’s all. It’ll be fine. I’ll be fine.’
She returned to pouring the wine. Digby rubbed the back of his neck and studied her. Whatever Jas claimed, she clearly wasn’t fine. Her eyes were hollow and worry kept her normally full mouth small. Protectiveness simmered inside him. He’d always been a bit weak, a bit soft. Privilege and wealth had made life too easy, but loving and losing Felicity had changed him. Digby knew what anger was now, what unfairness was. Courage that had once been unreachable for him had been found thanks to Felicity, and it still burned. He wasn’t afraid to use it either. What was there to fear for himself? He’d already lost everything that mattered.
Wayward Heart is available right now from these excellent stores:
Greetings, lovelies, and welcome to another tantalising instalment of Teaser Tuesday, the blog series where I share snippets from upcoming and past releases, and works-in-progress, and also let author buddies play.
Can you believe it’s only THIRTEEN sleeps until Wayward Heart releases?
I’m still impatiently waiting on my author copies to arrive so I can gaze dopily at them, give the cover a caress or twenty, and sigh heavily at the pure romance of it while imagining myself in that clinch. I was asked on Twitter the other day what Digby looked like in my head and I had to reply that I couldn’t remember because when I think of Digby now all I picture is that cover model. Total babe. I may have to kiss him. A lot.
Which is not weird. Nope. Not at all. Not really.
Okay, maybe a little bit but authors are meant to be a bit eccentric, aren’t they?
Anyway, moving on…
Wayward Heart releases December 12th. Pre-order the ebook today from Amazon, Kobo, iBooks and Google Play, or the paperback from Booktopia, Angus and Robertson Bookworld, or your favourite retailer. Go on, it’ll make you feel good and you’ll get to stroke the Sexy Snog Man. You’ll even be able to kiss him in the privacy of your own home if you want. Surely worth it for that opportunity alone?
Now for a taste of Wayward Heart and its hero Digby Wallace-Jones, a man who outwardly has everything but who inside is broken with grief over the death of his fiancé Felicity. The poor darling. I may have to give him an extra kiss to help him feel better.
Digby flicked off the car radio. The last thing he wanted tonight was an announcer’s cheer. What he did want Digby had no idea, but it wasn’t that upbeat inflection or yet another bloody love song. He hated love. He hated everything.
Levenham’s fringes gave way to highway. The speed limit increased to 110 kilometres an hour. He eased his foot down. The lights of his Mercedes scorched the darkness with blazing tunnels of white. He liked the car’s power, the panther speed of its response. Perhaps if he’d bought a Merc instead of that useless Jeep he’d have made it to Rocking Horse Hill in time to prevent Felicity’s panicked flight to the quarry. Seconds had mattered that night. And he’d been late.
He sped westward, aware he’d have to turn south soon to avoid any glimpse of the district’s other ancient volcanic cone. There were so many of the things, scattered like acne across the plains of western Victoria and into this lower corner of South Australia. Since the accident Digby couldn’t stand the sight of them. Once harmless hills were now symbols of the earth’s treachery and triggers of pain. He knew his feelings were irrational. The hills weren’t alive. They possessed no conscience. They just were. Still he charged them with blame.
The night was clear and a three-quarter moon cast the rural terrain in an eerie, spectral glow. The kilometres ate away, gobbled by his leaden foot and the car’s supremacy over the land. To the left on a rise, a crop of silvery wind turbines stood in formation like alien creatures about to attack. Digby slowed as his turnoff appeared.
The road was narrow and isolated, but fully sealed and in reasonable condition. Familiar with the route and confident it was unlikely to be patrolled, Digby lowered every window then pressed his foot down dangerously hard. His grip tightened as the car surged. Fence lines and the occasional shed flew past. Wind blasted across him, buffeting the car’s interior. The land blurred as he lost himself in the sensation of speed and noise and his imaginary race towards her.
It wasn’t enough. It was never enough to drown the echoes in his head.
Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the tantalising blog series where I share snippets from my works-in-progress, up-coming releases and published novels, and occasionally let good writing buddies take the reins. But not today. Today is me and it’s going to be fun!
Santa and the Saddler has now been out three weeks and I’m thrilled to bits with the feedback and reviews it’s received. Seems as though everyone has fallen in love with Danny as much as I did. Very cool.
I’ve had such a ball with this book that I’ve decided a sequel is a must. So here is a public announcement that next year I’ll be releasing another Christmas story. Its working title will be Chrissy and the Burroughs Boy and the hero will be Danny’s brother Nick (aka Numbnuts).
Now all I have to do is squeeze it into my writing schedule. Somewhere. Oh, and a plot would help, but that’s a minor issue (not). Then there’s editing and a cover and formatting and…
They watched Beth chat animatedly with Ebs and Sienna, Danny feeling like he could burst with pride as well as humility. Nick was right. How the hell a gorgeous, clever girl like Beth could be with a simple country bloke like himself was a mystery. Whatever the reason, he was grateful. Grateful, humble, happy, and crazy in love. Forgetting he was standing next to his brother, Danny gave in to an indulgent sigh.
Nick took a suck of beer. ‘So when’s the wedding?’
‘Not that funny. Pretty obvious you’re nuts about each other.’
The comment made Danny wish he had his own beer to suck on. Yeah, they were nuts about each other, but it wasn’t going to be that easy.
Drape that tinsel and pour yourself a giant glass of mulled wine because today we celebrate the release of my first Christmas-themed story, Santa and the Saddler. Rah!
I’ve been wanting to write a Christmas tale for ages and this year I finally had the time, and I’m so damn proud of it I’m strutting around like a puffed-up turkey. This novella is cute, sweet and guaranteed to make you feel gooey.
And it’s not just me saying this. Here’s some of what Talking Books Blog had to say:
I’m a complete fan of the heartfelt small town rural romance reads, and Santa And The Saddler didn’t disappoint. From start to finish, the story held its own. An exceptional, feel good, warm-hearted read not to be missed. 5 Stars
Pretty chuffed about that, let me tell you.
For those of you who pre-ordered ebook copies of Danny and Beth’s lovely romance, thank you, thank you, thank you. Your ebooks should be loading onto your e-readers and apps now (unless you’re outside of our Aussie time-zone, in which case they should load after midnight your time).
I hope you enjoy this lovely tale of a man in a Santa suit and the saddler he falls madly for, and feel the same Christmas magic that they do.
Now, as has become tradition on release day on this blog, here are some secret things about Santa and the Saddler. Have fun!
7 SECRET THINGS ABOUT SANTA AND THE SADDLER
1/.Santa and the Saddler had a few theme songs. Being a Christmas story there had to be seasonal songs involved, and not just carols. These are young modern people, after all. With Beth being mostly brought up in England her tastes lean to British bands, where the Christmas #1 hit is a longstanding tradition (think the movie Love, Actually and you’ll see what I mean). So the first theme song is Slade’s brilliant Merry Christmas Everybody, which is still enormously popular and sells a motza each year, while the second is totally out-there band The Darkness and Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End).
But the main theme song comes courtesy of Australian band Thirsty Merc and their hit Someday, Someday, about a bloke trying to keep his long distance relationship alive. Love this song. LOVE IT!
2/. Danny makes agricultural windmills for a living. I’ve wanted to write a character like this ever since I read an article in The Weekend Australian about the dearth of windmill engineers in the country and the many advantages of windmills over other pumping systems. It’s a sexy job I reckon, but I am a bit weird like that.
3/. O’Brien’s Saddlery, where much of the action takes place, is a very (VERY!) loose amalgam of the two saddleries I used to haunt as a horse-mad girl growing up in Mount Gambier. Unlike in Santa and the Saddler, I’m sure nothing untoward ever happened in their rear workshops, and if it did, I don’t want to know about it. My memories of these places are innocent and I’d like them to stay that way!
4/. Although the book is set during an Australian Christmas, which means summer as well as cricket season, there’s mention that Danny plays Australian rules football for Mount Pitt. For those of you who’ve read Rocking Horse Hill, you’ll recognise Mount Pitt as arch rivals of the Gerrinton Giants, who Josh from Rocking Horse Hill plays for, as does Harry from Summer and the Groomsman.
5/. The whole idea for the story came from the title. I was desperate to write a Christmas themed tale but had no clue where to start, so I began brainstorming titles to see if that helped. As I wanted to keep the same title rhythm as others I’d come up with (Summer and the Groomsman – out now, Eddie and the Show Queen – coming sometime in the future), and I needed something country as well as Christmassy, Santa and the Saddler worked perfectly. Once I had that, the rest was easy.
6/.Santa and the Saddler is one of the quickest stories I’ve written, probably because it’s one of the most joyous. I just loved writing about Beth and Danny falling in love. It was so damn sweet and cute!
7/. Danny has an older brother with whom he indulges in endless games of one-upmanship. I wouldn’t be surprised if Nick, who’s single, ends up with his own story one day (with Chrissy and the Burroughs Boy for a title?). Maybe if I get organised enough he could be the star of next year’s Christmas novella? Stay tuned!
I hope you enjoyed these seven secret things and wish you even more fun with Danny and Beth and all the other characters in Santa and the Saddler. If you’d like to read an excerpt, check out the book page on this website or download a sample from your favourite ebook retailer.
Or you can simply go ahead and purchase the ebook of Santa and the Saddler right now from:
Paperback copies of Santa and the Saddler will be available in coming weeks. As I’ve done previously, I’ll be offering readers the chance to purchase personally signed copies direct from me. Details will be in my next newsletter. Subscribe here to keep up to date with this and other news.
Right. I’m off to double check my bottle of celebratory fizz is in the fridge and cold for later, eat indulgent things and generally flop around feeling wonderful that this story has finally hit shelves.
PS: There is no Teaser Tuesday today due to Santa and the Saddler’s release but it’ll be back with bells on next week.
Paperback editions will be available in a few weeks, with newsletter subscribers getting first dibs on personally signed print copies. Don’t want to miss out? Subscribe today!
He’s found the girl of his dreams, but she’s just passing through. Can he turn fleeting Christmas magic into forever?
Windmill fabricator Danny Burroughs doesn’t have time to wait in line at the local saddler—no matter how pretty the girl behind the counter—he’s juggling two jobs as it is. But his little sister has her heart set on a unique piece of saddlery for Christmas and he can’t let her down.
Expert saddler Beth Wells has no idea that when she comes to small town Levenham to look after her grandfather’s shop she’ll be swamped with customers. Overrun by day, Beth is forced to work late into the night on Christmas orders. The last thing she needs is another.
When super-cute Danny arrives at the saddlery after midnight wearing a Santa suit, a broad grin and pleading she make his sister’s present, Beth makes a deal—she will take the order in exchange for Danny’s help. Except this flirty Santa’s idea of helping involves more than stacking shelves, and in the confines of the saddlery their smouldering attraction soon becomes a blaze. But no matter how hopelessly drawn she is, Beth has a job interstate and a mum who needs her. Anything more than friendship is pointless.
Will these two chance-met strangers find the courage to gamble on their love? Or will the girl Danny’s been looking for all his life leave nothing behind but a sweet Christmas memory?
Yes, my lovelies, the teasing wait is over. SANTA AND THE SADDLER, my Christmas themed novella, is happening!
Next month, in fact. Details on the exact release date, blurb and more will be available shortly but in the meantime here’s SANTA AND THE SADDLER’s gorgeous cover for you to drool over. Isn’t it lovely?
This story is so sweet and cute and was an absolute joy to write. It’s set in Levenham, the same as Summer and the Groomsman, Rocking Horse Hill and my upcoming December release Wayward Heart, so you might spot a couple of old friends and maybe a new hero or two for me to write about in the future.
Release dates and much, much more will be going out first to newsletter subscribers very soon, so if you don’t want to miss out, sign up today.
Many thanks to Kellie Dennis at Book Cover by Design for another beautiful cover.
It’s time for another tantalising treat thanks to Teaser Tuesday, the series where I share snippets from my novels, old, new and in progress, and occasionally let author buddies take over.
I am so, so tempted to share a few more paragraphs from Santa and the Saddler, the novella I’m currently writing, because I’m hopelessly in love with the story and the characters and want to share them with the world. But I’d better not. If I do manage to get this book out in time for Christmas, I’ll be exposing it that much you’ll be sick of me. Same goes for Wayward Heart. I’m reading page proofs at the moment and I’m so excited about its release it’s giving me tingles. Can’t wait!
So this week we’ll revisit an old release. Heartland is a really fun book with a super sexy ex-solider hero and a sassy blonde heroine with an intriguing tattoo. And a mad goose. We mustn’t forget Honk. That bird is such a mischief maker.
Here’s a bit of early attraction between Callie and Matt. Matt has been watching Callie with a litter of puppies…
‘You can have one if you like,’ he said, moving out of the shadows and walking toward Callie. ‘Wal’s giving them away to good homes.’
She didn’t start, making him wonder if she knew he’d been watching. Giving an ecstatic cock-eared puppy a last tickle, she rose and faced him, smiling.
‘I doubt I’d make a good home.’
‘You sure? They’re pretty cute.’
‘Ahh, but cuteness isn’t everything.’
He rubbed at his jaw, glad that he hadn’t bothered to shave; the bristles helped make his scar less confronting. ‘Probably just as well, otherwise I’d be stuffed.’
She studied him a moment, gaze lingering on his scar before sliding away. ‘I’m sure you do all right.’
It’s Teaser Tuesday time again, the blog series where I tantalise you with snippets from works-in-progress, past and upcoming releases, and occasionally let writing buddies play around too.
I am so deep into writing Santa and the Saddler at the moment. Oh, how I adore this book! The hero and heroine are so lovely and I just know they need to be together even though right now it seems as if that’s not going to happen. It will, of course. It’s a romance and in a romance a happy-ever-after is mandatory. That doesn’t mean there won’t be tears along the way though.
I don’t want to make promises, but I’m pretty confident I’ll have this novella finished for you in time for a Christmas release. There are still quite a few chapters to go but I’m starting to glimpse the end and I always write faster when I can see that, and this book is such fun. All I want to do is write it!
Can you tell I’m excited about this story? I am. Really excited, which is why I’m going to share another little snippet today. Obviously the novella is in draft form and this is an unedited piece, so it might be totally different in the finished book or be cut all together.
Late in his shift, when he had a spare moment, Danny picked a couple of packets of nuts from the rack and paid for them along with two bottles of pilsner. He didn’t know if Beth drank beer but she looked like that kind of girl. What she looked like was his kind of girl, and Danny had every plan of making her that. Tonight would be good but he’d take tomorrow. She was tired and distracted and a bloke couldn’t rush these things.
He wanted to though. Badly.
As soon as knock-off came, Danny was out of the Arms and shooting for O’Brien’s.
‘Santa to the rescue,’ he announced when Beth unlocked the door. He held up the beers and nuts. ‘Sustenance.’
She leaned against the jamb with her arms folded. ‘What are you doing here?’
Danny studied Beth’s face, trying to figure out her mood, whether she was pleased or the defensive folded arm act was just that—an act. ‘I’ve come to help?’
He cringed at how the rising inflection made him sound like a girl.
‘Danny, you played cricket today, and you’ve obviously done a shift at the pub.’ She indicated his Santa suit. ‘I’m fine, go home. There’s no point in both of us ending up exhausted. I was planning to finish up soon anyway.’
He shrugged. ‘So I’ll hang around and take you home.’
Beth pinched the bridge of her nose and shook her head. ‘You do realise Santa is meant to come only once a year and not every night?’
‘Ah, but Beth, you should know by now that this Santa never plays by the rules.’
Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the tantalising blog series where I share snippets from my works-in-progress, up-coming releases and published novels, and occasionally let good writing buddies take the reins.
Greetings from South Australia! I’m visiting my home state for the annual Romance Writers of Australia conference. The conference is being held in Adelaide but I’ve flown to Mount Gambier to see my family beforehand and will head north later in the week. The RWA conference is the best fun, with lots of learning, networking and catching up with new and old buddies. Usually I can barely speak at the end my voice is so worn out. Worth it though.
I’ll try to do up a blog post with lots of piccies when I get back, so keep your eye out for that. In the meantime, you can enjoy this little snippet from Heart of the Valley, and its totally sighworthy hero Lachie. Oh, how I love that man!
Brooke woke on Thursday morning at first relieved to find the last of the aches and fever gone, only to discover a few seconds later they’d been replaced with a cough so deep each convulsion felt like fish hooks jerking inside her lungs.
The humiliation seemed endless. She hung over the side of the bed, hacking and moaning, aware Lachlan would be in to check on her any second, but unable to stop. Cough or no cough, she had plans for today. Plans that required his cooperation, and she wouldn’t earn it by sounding like an emphysemic hag.
Bare footsteps padded across the polished floorboards. ‘Here,’ said Lachlan, handing her a glass of water.
She clutched it in her shaky grip and drank between half coughs and ragged, heaved breaths. The fit over, she sank back onto the mattress with her palm on her aching chest. Lachlan stood at the edge of the bed in a pair of faded jeans, the zip done up but the top button still loose, and a dark blue twill shirt hanging open over his chest. A fine line of inky hair ran up from his waistband and curled around his neat belly button before trailing toward his chest. The pale bronze skin of his torso stretched smooth over taut, well-developed muscles of the type seen more often in elite-sports change rooms than farm cottages.
Brooke blinked, wondering if this was a cough-induced hallucination. Two-metre-tall rugby-playing rural types didn’t stand by her bed looking sleep-ruffled and concerned and unbelievably sexy every day. Yet there Lachlan stood, evaporating every drop of water from her mouth and turning her insides fluttery and hot.
Yes, my lovelies, we can finally reveal all the juicy details about my next release WAYWARD HEART, including its stunner of a cover, blurb and pre-order links.
Releasing January 1st 2017
The sequel to Rocking Horse Hill, Wayward Heart is a compelling rural romance, with a healthy sprinkling of suspense and family drama.
Jasmine Thomas should feel safe in her cosy cottage at Admella Beach after finally putting an end to an ill-advised romance. But her perfect sanctuary is shattered with the arrival of hand-delivered threatening notes. Someone has discovered her secret.
When the notes escalate to vandalism, Jasmine’s anxiety rises. But in such a small town, telling the police would mean the whole town finding out.
Digby Wallace-Jones is stumbling through the motions of life, wrapped in a fog of grief since his fiancée Felicity died. Withdrawn from his family, Digby doesn’t care about anything beyond his loss. But in a chance meeting with Jasmine, his sister’s best friend who he’s known forever, even he can see the tension she carries. Worried and feeling protective, he continues to drop by, but it’s more than that. Jasmine soothes him; and, unlike the rest of his family, he can talk to her about his pain without fear of judgement. But as much as he likes Jasmine, Digby’s enduring love for Felicity means he has nothing left to give and he pushes Jasmine away.
Jasmine knew they were supposed to stay friends ‘with excellent benefits’ but she can’t help her wayward heart from falling for this tortured, kind and sexy man. How can she ever loosen the grip Felicity’s memory has on Digby’s soul and remind him he still has a life ahead of him?
As the cover and blurb suggests, Digby and Jasmine’s story is a deeply passionate one. There’s something quite wonderful about a friends to lovers story and I had a joyous time writing this one. I hope you’ll have just as much fun reading it.