FIVE of my books are currently just $3.99 at your favourite ebookstores... This is a rare chance to buy full length novels - multi-generational with dual timelines - at such a low price. I've added a few buy links to help you find your next read...
‘It’s a pleasure to follow an author who gets better with every book’ Apple iBooks, ‘Best Books of the Month’
‘In beautiful, fluid prose, Hannay once again puts together all the ingredients for a real page-turner’ The Chronicle
I'm excited about this giveaway ahead of the release of Meet Me in Venice on August 6th 2019.
One lucky reader can win a bracelet made by super talented Tablelands glass artist Christina Bahrdt. This bracelet is made in the Venetian style and is just like one I describe in the novel that Daisy Benetto buys for herself on the Island of Murano. The method is known as lampwork and each bead is uniquely beautiful and handmade.
And with a clever extension, the bracelet can also be worn as a necklace.
I am thrilled to be offering this giveaway to readers who have pre-ordered a copy of Meet Me in Venice (e book or paperback). To go in the draw, you can send me a screen shot or pic, or any other pre-order verification to Barbara.Hannay@yahoo.com. Also, my wonderful author friend Anne Gracie has made these lovely bracelets and earrings for extra prizes, so more reasons to enter.
So why not pre-ordera copy of Meet Me in Venice now from your favourite book store? (Might I add that amazon has the paperback copypriced at just $16?) And do you know that pre-orders are one of the best things you can do to help an author as it boosts retailer confidence and helps gather momentum? So here are a few links to help you - amazon Booktopia Kobo iTunes And good luck!!
I'm really excited to be sharing the beautiful front cover and the back cover blurb, plus an excerpt from my new book Meet Me in Venice (to be released on August 6th and currently available for pre-order)
How could you live such an ordinary, respectable life
leave me with such a mystery?
year after her husband Leo’s death, widow Daisy invites her three
adult children to join her for a holiday in beautiful Venice. It will
be wonderful, her chicks under one roof again in their father’s
birthplace. But is it possible to recapture the past?
marriage is in jeopardy, but for his mother’s sake, he convinces
his wife to keep up appearances. Anna’s trying to hide the truth
about the dismal state of her London acting career; and Ellie,
enjoying a gap year and uncertain about her future choices, wants to
avoid family pressure to conform.
the magic of Venice, family ties are tested to the limit, especially
when a shocking secret from Leo’s past is revealed. Now everything
they value about love, family, commitment and trust must be
can one family holiday require so much courage? Will Daisy’s
sentimental journey make or break them?
multi-award-winning author Barbara Hannay comes a moving and
heartfelt family drama about difficult choices and finding happiness
in the most unexpected places.
Check out the excerpt...
Daisy Benetto blurted out her big idea before it was quite ready.
For days, the plan had circled harmlessly in the privacy of her
own thoughts, safe yet cheering, a useful distraction as she’d bravely,
finally, begun to sort through Leo’s things. Such a difficult process
that had been, deciding what should go to Vinnies, or into a box in
the garage, and what needed to be binned.
Each sweater, shirt or jacket had been laden with memories.
Daisy could picture Leo at a party, sending her a covert smile, his
eyes bright with secret amusement over some crass remark a slightly
sozzled friend had made. She saw him dressing for a night at the
theatre, lifting his jaw, just so, as he adjusted the knot on his tie. Leo,
coming through the front door, sunburnt but satisfied after coaching
their son’s soccer team.
The images of her husband, so alive and well, had been too
painful, and Daisy had been forced to drag her thoughts elsewhere.
Anywhere. Cautiously, she’d toyed with her bright, shiny idea,
allowing herself to imagine how each of her children would react.
The proposal was still in its infancy, of course. Daisy hadn’t made
any proper plans.
She was confident, though, that Marc in America, in Silicon
Valley, would welcome the chance to visit his father’s birthplace.
Marc’s only problem might be taking time off from his very important
IT work. His wife, Bronte, wasn’t too enamoured of life in
Palo Alto, though, so she would no doubt embrace a European
Daisy’s middle child, Anna, was bound to love the idea too,
but she would also have to juggle time off between her acting gigs
At least, taking time off shouldn’t be a problem for Ellie. Daisy’s
youngest was pretty much at a loose end, enjoying a gap year
before starting uni, working in cafés at night and surfing or sleeping
As for Daisy herself, after long months of feeling as if she’d
fallen through the cracks in life with no one to catch her, this lovely
new scheme helped her to feel ever so slightly more normal. In time
she hoped to be one of those very capable widows she admired in
books. Perhaps planning this holiday could be the first step. And it
would bring her family together again.
For a few precious weeks, the Benetto kids would be under one
roof, laughing, joking, teasing . . . like the old days.
Just the same, Daisy had no intention of mentioning this plan
when she went to lunch with her two best friends. She had tried to
argue that turning fifty-seven wasn’t a milestone worthy of fuss, but
they wouldn’t listen to her protests.
Just a small lunch, Daisy. Just the three of us. You know we
never miss each other’s birthdays.
This was true. Daisy, Freya and Jo had been celebrating each
other’s birthdays now for more than twenty years, ever since they’d
first met in a beachside yoga class and, of course, Daisy appreciated
that her friends truly cared about her happiness. In the end, the day
turned out to be spectacularly beautiful.
The trio dined on a sunny terrace overlooking the Noosa River
where, after a long, hot and gruelling summer, the first hint of
autumn had arrived overnight, creeping into Queensland from the
south. Despite the pleasantly warm sunshine, Daisy could sense
the nip of a cool change in the crisp, dry air. And when she looked
out at the blue and cloudless sky, at the familiar, sleepy river, dotted
with small boats and lined with stately, white-trunked gumtrees, she
felt her shoulders relax.
She took a sip of sparkling wine and, without warning, the
words she hadn’t planned to utter just tumbled out. ‘I’m thinking
about shouting my kids a trip to Italy.’
Freya and Jo stared at her, clearly too surprised, or possibly even
too stunned, to speak.
Panic flared in Daisy’s chest. Why on earth had she spluttered
her crazy scheme out loud? She looked at her friends. Both, like her,
in their late fifties, middle-class, stylishly dressed – Freya in dark
green with a multi-coloured scarf thrown just so, and Jo in smart,
smoky grey, with a touch of gold at her ears and throat.
These well-meaning, sensible women would almost certainly try
to talk her out of her plan, telling her it was too expensive, or too
soon, or even too dangerous to try to hang on to her adult children
after they’d flown the nest.
The problem was that even Daisy’s closest friends could not
really understand how lonely and scared she’d been these past
months. They couldn’t imagine the terror of having the future
she and Leo had so carefully planned – or rather, the future that
Leo had planned and Daisy had happily agreed to – suddenly
Neither Freya nor Jo could be expected to know what it was like
to wake in the middle of the night and to reach out, expecting to
touch a warm shoulder, or to rub your foot against your husband’s
ankle, and to find a cold, empty space beside you. They couldn't
imagine the sickening slam of anguish that came every time you
remembered that space would always be empty.
Daisy had lost her husband and her dreams. She couldn’t bear to
lose her children as well.
Marc and Anna had come home for the funeral, of course,
but they’d been as dazed and shocked as Daisy was. And in no time
they’d left again, flying back to their important jobs, to their new
and exciting lives on the other side of the world. Meanwhile Ellie, to
Daisy’s huge surprise, had hunkered down to study especially hard
for her final Year 12 exams.
The intense loneliness that followed had nearly consumed Daisy.
On a scale of one to ten, she would have put her happiness quotient
at sub-zero. But just lately, this new holiday plan had given her such
a lift, a glimmer of hope.
That was hardly an excuse for giving voice to her half-baked
idea now, though, on her birthday, before it was anywhere near
properly planned. If she’d learned anything from her dear Leo, it
was the importance of looking at a decision from every angle and
carefully calculating the pros and cons before taking any kind of
first step. Leo had always been so clever and steady and reliable.
Possibly, the only careless, unplanned act the poor man had ever
committed was to drop dead of a heart attack six weeks before
he was due to retire.
Daisy stamped down on that gut-wrenching reminder before it
set her crying again. The last thing she needed today was another
bout of tears. She’d wept so much in the past twelve months she’d
probably caused permanent damage to her tear ducts.
Now, here she was instead, all smiles and drinking champagne.
And spilling the beans on this crazy scheme, when she hadn’t even
spoken to her accountant to make sure she could cash in those spare
shares of Leo’s.
‘It’s just a crazy, silly thought,’ she hastily amended, absorbing
her friends’ surprised expressions and charging straight into damage
control. ‘I seem to be having all sorts of weird ideas lately.’
Freya, however, was shaking her head, making her hairdresser enhanced
auburn curls bounce. ‘No, Daisy, I think it’s a fabulous
idea.’ After a beat, Freya added, ‘If you can afford to be so generous.’
But then, almost immediately, she gave a cheeky grin. ‘Actually,
no, I take that back. It’s still a fabulous idea even if you can’t
‘And it’s probably just what you need,’ added Jo, although she
spoke more carefully. Then again, Jo was always careful, just as Leo
Daisy looked from one friend to the other. ‘I was sure you’d both
tell me I was being ridiculous.’
‘Oh, darling,’ laughed Freya. ‘Even if your scheme was totally
harebrained, it’s put a sparkle back in your lovely blue eyes and that
has to be a good thing.’
‘Oh.’ Daisy couldn’t help smiling at Freya’s warmth and
enthusiasm, even though harebrained wasn’t exactly reassuring.
I have quite a bit of news to share, but first let me show you the lovely new cover from Penguin for Meet Me in Venice. Isn't it fab? I had a wonderful time telling the story of the Benetto family and taking them into the magical setting of Venice.
Their tale is already available for pre order from all the usual outlets and I'm confident this is one story of mine you won't want to miss. I'll be adding the blurb and an excerpt to my website very soon.I also have exciting giveaways lined up for the lead in to this book's release in August, including a beautiful handmade bracelet of Murano glass, so don't forget to read my future emails to find out how you can win!
But before Meet Me in Venice hits the book stores, I have a new rural romance about to be released. This is Jenna's story, part of the Outback Brides of Wirralong.
This was another cover that made me smile as soon as I saw it. That sassy grin is perfect for Jenna, my smart city lawyer who gets more than she bargained for when she meets sheep farmer, Sam Twist.
This story is published by Tule, a digital first company, and it will be released as an ebook on May 8th and available from all the usual outlets. Of course, you can order it now. (In fact,all these covers will take you to amazon if you click on them.) I'll also be selling signed print copies of Jenna, so if you'd like to order one, would you let me know? I'll be getting in a supply to post to you, my most important readers.
Here's the blurb for Jenna's story.
Can she keep a safe distance?Jenna Matthews is a city girl, no question. Despite a childhood spent in the Outback, she's committed to her fast-paced life and the competitive world of corporate law. When her best friend asks her to be bridesmaid, Jenna finds herself in Wirralong and wildly attracted to the best man. A fling? Why not?
Dangerously sexy Sam Twist runs his vast family sheep property and is as keen as Jenna to keep their relationship at fling status. Then the authorities turn up on his door step and Jenna jumps in to help despite Sam’s protests.
She soon learns that after years of drought, there are others in the district who need her skills. Her dilemma? Spending too much time around Sam is perilous. He could rob a girl of her heart.
Jenna's story is Book 3 in this wonderful series. You'll probably want to collect them all.
But as they say in those dreadful TV ads, wait, there's more...
Tomorrow, April 16th, The Country Wedding will be back in book stores with a lovely new cover and in a slightly smaller format. So, if you missed this story in 2017, this is your chance to catch up. It's a standalone novel, but it follows The Grazier's Wife and revisits some of those characters, like Seth Drummond and Alice.
Also, in May, The Cattleman's Journey will be selling in Post offices for a special low price. This is a collection of three of my old favourites - The Cattleman's Special Delivery, Princess in the Outback and The Parisian Proposition.
So, I've bombarded you somewhat, but I had to share the news of so many book events. I'll be heading off on holidays soon (ish) and plan to come back re-charged and ready to dive into my next writing adventure.
So until you hear from me again...
Sometimes, when I'm finding my way into a new novel, I take a turn down a path that I later abandon. In The Summer of Secrets, I knew I had a heroine (Chloe Brown) with a loudly ticking biological clock and when her boyfriend tells her emphatically that he never wants children, she's left very much on her own.
Originally, I thought Chloe would then embark on an IVF program as a single mother and arrive in Burralea pregnant but determined. If you read the book, you will know this isn't quite the way things work out. But I thought you might still be interested in this scene telling how things might have been. I Loved this scene when I first wrote it...
So here's what I deleted...
Chloe woke, she was in a smooth white bed with a sheet tucked tightly
over her. She'd been moved to a different room in the clinic and the
handsome Indian Dr Singh had vanished. Now, a lone nurse sat at a
stainless steel bench in the corner of the room, conscientiously
reading some kind of manual.
drew a deep breath. She'd been on an emotional roller-coaster over
the past six months since she and Jason had gone their separate ways,
and her highs and lows had escalated since she'd embarked on a
mission to achieve single motherhood.
worried about having enough money for IVF, of course, but she'd
squirreled away a tidy little sum while she was living with Jason, in
the hope of one day buying their own home. And she had a good steady
job at as a journalist at Girl Talk magazine, with proviso for
maternity leave. So she'd decided that if she lived modestly, she and
her baby should be fine.
IVF process had begun with a series of interviews and assessments and
then Chloe had been sent home with a cooler bag of medication and
instructions to inject herself daily – to stimulate her egg
production. Which had posed a major challenge as Chloe was dead
scared of needles and no longer had a partner to help her.
This had also been her reality check, an important test of her motivation.
In the months since she and Jason had split – a very tidy process
on the surface with a great deal of stormy pain underneath –
Chloe's need for a baby of her own had become her entire focus. And
if she wanted a baby, she had no choice but to get used to doing all
manner of things without help.
she'd practised by sticking needles into oranges and then, well,
she'd just got on with it.
– egg retrieval day – was the vital next step.
so slightly phobic about medical procedures, especially those that
involved an entire theatre of medical staff staring at her lady
parts, Chloe had been inordinately grateful for general anaesthetic
while her ovaries were probed. As she'd gone under, her last thought
had been one of hope.
it was over. Her precious eggs had been harvested and she was
supposed to check the back of her hand.
lovely Dr Singh, a surprisingly young man with kindly, liquid dark
Indian eyes, had understood the huge importance of this moment and
he'd promised to write down the number of eggs on the back of Chloe's
would have thought that checking her hand could be as nerve-wracking
as looking up final exam results? Chloe closed her eyes and made a
quick wish for plenty of eggs. So much was riding on this.
chill flashed over her skin as she slid her hand from beneath the
firmly tucked bed sheet. Just as Dr Singh had promised, the number
was written in blue biro.
blinked. Only four?
exploded hotly in her chest. In her face. The girls on the internet
IVF chat forum had talked of much higher numbers. Fourteen or even
twenty eggs. Certainly more than ten. Chloe couldn't remember anyone
who'd had a number as low as four.
throat tightened and burned. Tears threatened. Last night she'd joked
about this moment with her friend Josie. 'Just my luck they'll
harvest thirteen eggs from me.'
that Chloe was actually superstitious about the number thirteen, but
last night that trivial possibility had seemed the worst that might
happen. It had never occurred to her to worry about a number as low
as four. She was fit and healthy and the women in her family all
seemed to fall pregnant with ridiculous ease.
they'd been much younger than thirty-seven when they'd started their
families, she reminded herself now.
She gave a shudder of deep despair and felt terribly alone. Even the
nurse had disappeared.
wished she'd accepted Josie's offer to come with her to the clinic,
but she'd been naively optimistic and confident. This was only the
start of her IVF adventure and everything would be fine.
though, the journey ahead felt so much more precarious. Her four
little eggs had yet to be assessed for quality and then placed under
a high powered microscope for fertilisation with donor sperm. Chloe
had chosen to use de-identified sperm. She'd wasted seven plus years
with a man she'd deemed perfect, and now her baby's father would be
happily anonymous. No pressure. No disappointments.
the embryos were fertilised, however, they would have to be tested
yet again – fingers crossed that at least one or two would be
viable – and finally, if she was lucky, perhaps very lucky,
a little miracle would be transferred back into her womb.
for the first time, Chloe wondered if she shouldn't have been a
little more adventurous with unprotected sex.
she stared at the blue number on her hand, she considered texting
Josie, the only person she'd been prepared to confide in about this
venture. She felt a bit guilty about her secrecy. She would have
liked to have told her family, but her mum was still mad at her for
breaking up with Jason.
heaven's sake, Chloe, how can you break up with him after all this
time? You've left it too late to be choosy about men. Any half decent
fellow will be taken by now.'
As for Chloe's older sisters, she could never seem to find the right
moment to talk. Rachel and Lisa were always so incredibly busy
running their clever little children to an endless round of
one at Girl Talk magazine knew about this either. Chloe hadn't
wanted to risk breathing a word about it in the office and she'd had
to fudge the truth just to wangle today's leave.
her editor caught a whiff of a single mum IVF pregnancy, she would
have hassled Chloe to record the whole experience in a serialised
diary format for the magazine. Last year she'd bullied another
journalist, poor Jane Starling, into reporting her stomach stapling
ordeal, for heaven's sake.
might have given in to tears of self pity, but the nurse reappeared,
bustling through the doorway with a cup of tea in one hand and a
plate of sandwiches in the other. She had a round, freckled face and
short, flame coloured hair and her name badge said Hazel Bird.
there. I'm Hazel,' she announced with a mega-bright smile. 'How are
bit disappointed actually.' Chloe supposed Hazel already knew about
her dismal egg count, but she held up her hand anyway, twisting it to
show the number. 'That's not enough, is it?'
frowned. 'How old are you?'
Chloe was super-sensitive, but the question felt brutally
brought a non-committal shrug. 'In our program, women under
thirty-eight can have acceptable live birth rates with only three to
So there was still a statistical chance.
six is better of course, but it's important to stay positive.'
words were meant to be hopeful, but Chloe was sure she heard doubt in
her voice. 'Right,' she said. 'Thanks.'
enjoy this cuppa and the sandwiches.' Hazel was brisk again, like a
nanny jollying a sulky child. 'And then you should be right to go
days Chloe's home was a one bedroom flat in Glebe with a small study
nook that she planned to turn into a miniature nursery. Not that she
would dream of buying any nursery furniture until she knew there was
an actual baby on the way. She didn't want to tempt fate.
was happy enough in this new place. It was only a five minute bus
ride from the Girl Talk office and on Saturday mornings she
could go to the flea markets and stroll past the vintage clothing
stalls, while fantasising about the interesting maternity outfits she
might buy in the months ahead. Some weekends she had coffee at the
café in Blackwattle Bay Park with its views to Anzac Bridge and she
allowed herself to dream fanciful thoughts about bringing her baby
here to this park in a pram, or later, when her little one was older,
going for walks down to the water's edge. Perhaps there'd be ducks to
asked abruptly, 'Is someone coming to drive you home?'
Over the next few weeks, before the release of my new novelThe Summer of Secrets, you'll find some great reductions on books from my backlist. It often bothers me that our ebooks are quite expensive, so I'm rather thrilled about this. Why not take advantage? To make things easier for you, here are the ebooks currently reduced to $3.99 and the links.