Saturday, July 27, 2013

Excerpt from Miracle at Bellaroo Creek...

I’ve always had a fondness for ‘The Wrong Brother’ stories. They can be so rich with emotion and Miracle at Bellaroo Creek is the second book in a collaborative trilogy with Michelle Douglas (TheCattleman’s Ready-Made Family), Soraya Lane (PatchworkFamily in the Outback).
regret and all round awkwardness (aka conflict). I’ve written a few of these, including my next Harlequin Romance which will be released this week.
Our stories all revolve around the dying country town of Bellaroo Creek that desperately needs saving. In my book, Milla Brady runs from a series of disasters to her home town, where she hopes that reviving her family’s bakery business will also help her to regain her sense of dignity and self-worth. Of course she should have known she couldn’t hide forever, but the man who turns up on her doorstep is the last person she expected…

No one came and Ed was about to knock again when Milla appeared at the back of the shop, wiping her hands her jeans. She looked pale and tired, but her delicate features and candle flame hair were as lovely as ever. And, as always, the sight of her sent a painful dart spearing through Ed.
Her face turned white when she saw him.
‘You?’ she said softly and her sea-green eyes looked stricken. Her lips trembled, parted and then shut again as if she couldn’t think of anything else to say.
Ed swallowed to ease the sharpness in his throat and Milla came forward carefully, almost fearfully.
            ‘Hello, Milla.’
‘What are you doing here?’
‘I –’ He was halted by her fragile air, suddenly afraid that his news would flatten her completely. ‘There’ve been… developments.’ Damn, how clumsy was that? ‘We need to talk.’
‘No thanks.’ Green fire flared in Milla’s eyes. ‘I’m finished with you lot.’ She shot him a tight, haughty glare. ‘I have nothing to discuss with you or with your brother.’
Turning away, she tossed her next words over her shoulder. ‘I know why you’re here, Ed. Harry sent you, because he didn’t have the guts to come and try to con me himself. But I don’t care if he wants me back. I’m done with him. It’s over.’
‘Harry didn’t ask me to come.’
Milla stiffened, half-turned towards him again. Her eyes were sharp, her arms crossed defensively over her chest. ‘How did you find me?’ Before Ed could answer, a knowing light crept into her eyes. ‘It was that weasel faced guy in the pub, wasn’t it? He’s watching me. He’s a private investigator.’
Ed shrugged.
‘Cavanaugh money,’ she scoffed bitterly. ‘It’ll buy anything.’
‘Milla, I’ve come a long way and we need to –’ 
            ‘You shouldn’t have bothered, Ed. I know your role in the family. Mr Fixit. The others are always getting you to clean up after them and to sort everyone’s problems.’
At least her voice wasn’t quite as harsh as she said this.
And Ed found himself fumbling to explain. ‘Well… listen… I had to find you. I knew you couldn’t know what’s happened.’
She frowned. ‘What do you mean?’
‘Milla, it’s bad news about Harry.’
‘Harry’s always bad news.’ Now she gave a theatrical eye-roll, as if she hadn’t heard the seriousness in his voice. ‘It took me four years to discover what you and your family probably knew all along.’
‘Milla, Harry’s dead.’
To Ed’s dismay Milla’s face turned whiter than ever. She clamped a hand to her mouth and she seemed to crumple and sway.
Instinctively, he stepped forward. The reaction was timely as Milla sagged against him as if her knees had given way.
Horrified, Ed remembered too late that she was pregnant. He should have delivered the news more gently, instead of oafishly blurting it out.
Scooping her into his arms, he scanned the empty shop, but there wasn’t so much as a chair. He
carried her, trying, unsuccessfully, to ignore her soft curves and the flowery fragrance of her hair. Through the doorway, and at the back of the shop he found a huge cleaned space with, among other things, a scrubbed table and chairs. But already, Milla was stirring.

And here are the three different covers. Only one (UK) shows Milla looking close to how I pictured her. Which cover do you prefer?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July already??

It's hard to believe we're already into the second half of 2013. I have this terrible feeling that I should be taking more notice of every day and not letting each one slide quite so easily into the next.
Now it's only a week away from the release of  Home Before Sundown. I'm getting emails from the Penguin Publicity team and from my editor, who will tell me soon how the B format sales of Zoe's Muster are going. I can't just be a locked-away writer. I have to deal with the realities of sending a book out into the world.

Meanwhile it's almost time for the release of my next M&B Miracle in Bellaroo Creek. I wanted to call it The Tycoon and the Hometown Girl, so the combined titles may give you a slightly more accurate idea of what it's about. -:) I'm not too fond of the American or Australian covers, but I received my hardbacks yesterday and the UK cover is much closer to how I pictured Milla and Ed.

Now, I'm working on my third Penguin book, which wraps up my stories about the Fairburn family. This is Luke's story and I'm combining it with his grandmother's story, so I'm taking tiny steps, bridging rural romance with a historical romance. Wish me luck!
On top of all this, I've been away on a little holiday, staying first in Brisbane for our eldest daughter's birthday (a significant one with a zero). She decided on a Game of thrones theme and lots of people actually dressed up.
Daughter Vicki even made a dragon egg which was hatched on the fire later in the night.

 If you haven't watched G of T you won't know what that's about and it will just seem like an awful waste of Vicki's handiwork. :) But it was fun!

This was followed by a week at Noosa, which is always lovely, and where I wrote precisely 500 words, so now I have my head down again, back on track.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Support Australian Romance Writers

This month (July) Booktopia is showcasing Australian authors, and there's a chance for both readers and writers to win.
Vote by buying our books through Booktopia for July and in doing so you go in the draw for a chance to win a book pack. (They are all discounted too!) Find out all about it here.