Tuesday, May 04, 2010

What's out in May?

This month Executive: Expecting Tiny Twins goes on sale. Aren't those babies gorgeous? You could be forgiven for thinking that I was a little twin obsessed, but as I explain here, this story wasn't exactly my idea.

This is Book #2 in the Brides of Bella Rosa continuity, following Raye Morgan’s wonderful launch book Beauty and the Reclusive Prince. The Bella Rosa stories follow on from the previous series The Brides of Bella Lucia.

It’s the first time I’ve taken part in a continuity series and it’s quite a different writing experience. To begin with, the story lines and character details are all decided by a team of editors. Each contributing author is sent a “bible” with the whole set up explained as well as a family tree of all the characters and synopses for all six books plus pictures of the setting and main characters that appear in every book. While writing, the authors keep in touch each other to make sure the setting and story details remain accurate and in the right sequence.

For me, I found that writing a story that was given to me felt quite different from writing one that has emerged slowly out of the depths of my own consciousness. But I think it’s important to take on new challenges, and I’ve already had some positive feedback from a generous fellow author. I hope you enjoy Jack and Lizzie's story and I hope you like the whole series. I think it's interesting to see that the editors are really pushing boundaries in contemporary romance.

Here’s a sneak peek at the opening. It is, of course, a very familiar setting, similar to many of my books, because while pushing those boundaries, each author was still asked to write to her strengths.

Chapter One

She was wearing white, for crying out loud.

Jack Lewis grimaced as the elegant figure descended from the tiny plane while clouds of red dust slowly settled on the airstrip. The same red dust covered his ute, his riding boots, and practically everything else in the Outback, and yet Senator Elizabeth Green had chosen to arrive on Savannah cattle station dressed from head to toe in blinding, laundry commercial white.

Her elegant sandals were white, her crisply ironed trousers, her matching linen top and even her floppy brimmed hat. The only non-white items were her accessories – swanky dark glasses and a pale green leather shoulder bag that clearly held a laptop.

Where did she think she’d flown to? The flaming Italian Riviera?

Jack muttered a soft oath, audible only to Cobber, the cattle dog at his heels. ‘I suppose we’d better go and say g’day.’

Shrugging off an uncomfortable sense of martyrdom, Jack set out across the stretch of dirt, moving with a deliberately easy amble, his faithful dog close behind him.

He was mad with himself for allowing his boss, an eighty year old widow, to bully him into hosting this visitor. Kate Burton regularly tested Jack’s patience by directing her business via long distance phone calls from her top-price-tag retirement home in Melbourne.

‘I owe Lizzie a favour,’ Kate had told him breezily. ‘She won’t be any trouble, Jack. She just wants to rest up and take in the country air, and she needs to retreat from the public eye for a spell. You understand, don’t you?’

You can read more on my website.


2paw said...

I loved the Bella Luca series and I am very excited about this too. I love the premise of your story and it sounds very different (and I want to say interesting and unusual now too!!)and intriguing. Cobber is a word that is almost peculiarly Tasmanian now.... men call each other 'cobber' as an everyday term. We have quite a few old slang words that are still alive and well!!
I have ordered your book as part of a double from the Book Depository!!!

Barbara Hannay said...

Bless you, 2paw. I know you read widely and so your enthusiasm for our books is even more appreciated.
It's true that Cobber has fallen out of general use in my neck of the woods. Interesting that it's still popular in Tassie.