An Outback Direction

A beautiful, scorched outback (c) totajla/dollarphotoclub
A beautiful, scorched outback
(c) totajla/dollarphotoclub

I’m working on something new at the moment, and I’m incredibly excited about it. You know, writing allows me to slip into different places, dipping my toes in the water of new locales with every strike of the keyboard. I’ve travelled to faraway desert kingdoms and holidayed on billionaire-owned-Greek Islands, spent snowy Christmases in the middle of the Scottish highlands, and Summered in Maine. The outback is a completely unique, and extremely challenging, natural environment. Red and gold earth as far as the eye can see, broken up with only occasional patches of sunburned grass, and the most brilliant blue sky you can imagine. Communities are tight because they have to be. Farmers are the lifeblood of countries like this. Bringing one of their stories to life is a task I’m relishing. I’ve got a small town in the Pilbara, not much more than the main drag, a pub, a general store that doubles as a hardware and petrol station, and a land that is shaped by the changing seasons: only two. The Wet and The Dry. At the heart of my book is a powerful romance – and a family rivalry that spans generations, threatening to keep my two characters apart, despite the love they share. I can’t wait to share it with you.

CC.

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All-star-asaurus

Shhhh... I'm reading. (c) djoronimo/dollarphotoclub
Shhhh… I’m reading. (c) djoronimo/dollarphotoclub

Amazon does this nifty little thing. They award all-star badging to their ‘most read’ exclusive authors. And even though I’ve been in alternately the US and UK top-one-hundred charts since they introduced the scheme, I still pinch myself every time I get the news. Amazon is this insanely enormous goliath. Their consumer base is phenomenal. To think that my books are putting me in the charts just makes my mind spin.

I come from a family of readers and writers. Some of my earliest memories involve regular trips to the library, which was this incredible wonderland. Perusing the shelves, finding what I liked, realising how many different books were at my disposal, was my first awakening into the seductive world of the written word. I have two older sisters, both perspicacious and precocious. When I was young, maybe three or four years old, I remember them setting up a makeshift classroom and showing me my letters, so that I would have the gift of reading as soon as possible.

My mum, who I adore and admire in equal parts, is a voracious reader. I mean, she cannot walk past a sign without reading it beginning to end. She always has a book on the go, and lifts it up at every opportunity to flick through another few pages.

As a young girl, I used to disappear up trees for hours at a time, for the pleasure of reading in peace. I needn’t have bothered. In my family, if you had a book in your hands, you might as well have been flashing a ‘Do Not Disturb’ beacon. Book time was, and is, sacrosanct. The best Christmas gifts are ALWAYS, and I mean ALWAYS, books.

To be able to contribute words to the book world is an honour that I just absolutely cherish. Not for one second do I take this for granted. I write because it’s a compulsion and need. And because I’ve discovered that the only thing better than burying my head in a book someone else has written is having the power to write my own – characters I’ve dreamed up and stories I’ve invented. But I never, ever, in a million, billion years dared to hope that I would find a group of dedicated readers who would put me into best seller lists. I’m just so thrilled, and so grateful. xx

Hometown Hero Series

About a year ago, I got it into my head to start writing a series of books set in the American heartland. Books that throb with atmosphere and tension, set against the dramatic backdrop of that great, vast land. Anytime I’ve travelled in the states, I’ve been in awe of the vibrancy and patchwork culture – border to border, town to town, it’s like a whole different world at times.

The first book in this series I wrote is actually the third I’ve published (how’s that for confusing?). As they’re not connected, it doesn’t especially matter which order you read them in. And I have to say, each has a very special place in my heart.

The first I published in April 2015, and is called A Second Chance at Love.

Eight years after walking away from their engagement, the serene Madeline May Howard is back in the small coastal town of Whitegate, Maine. Her father is dying, but that isn’t the only tragedy she has to face. Her ex-fiance is the local cop, and it’s going to take all her strength to pretend she’s over him. For beneath the cool exterior that Madeline exudes is a heart that’s still broken by the circumstances that forced her to leave him.

Harrison had never forgotten Madeline. Nor had he forgiven her. He’d loved her once, with all his heart, and she’d walked way from him without so much as a backwards glance. So when Madeline returns to Maine, Harrison is reminded of all the reasons he should steer clear of her. Only Madeline has always drawn him like flames draw moths, and that strange power she has over him begins to weave its sensual spell all over again.

Their past is paved with resentment and pain, betrayal and mistrust. They’d be fools to think their future could be any different, wouldn’t they?

The second Hometown hero series novel I released is Tempted by the Billionaire.

Willow St Clare is often mistaken for being cold and untouchable. She’s made an art form out of keeping people at a distance, and with good reason. She’s been hurt by love in the past, and she has no interest in ever feeling that way again. Her life is quiet, lonely and ordered, but that suits her just fine.

Until the impossibly drool-worthy Mattias McCain strides into town. Nursing his own troubled past, he’s not looking for love. He wants space to clear his head and set the course for his future, and spending some time with his best friends in sleepy Haymarket Bay is supposed to be an uncomplicated break from the pressures of his usual life.

So why does he find himself obsessing over the gorgeous brunette next door? Mysterious and enchanting, Willow St Clare is the kind of woman he knows he could fall in love with. But Matt isn’t free to get involved with anyone – especially not with the woman his friends treat almost as a sister. His future is on the other side of the country; his past is pockmarked by war, a messy marriage and grief over the loss of his father. But his present is centred on one wish and one woman, and for the first time in his life, Matt’s heart is paying no attention to what his head wants. His heart is calling the shots, and he’s happy to let it.

Finally, the newest baby to join the fold is one I am just so proud of. I have sat on it for almost a year, tweaking it and perfecting it, because I just so wanted to be sure I told Annabeth and Kirk’s story properly. It’s just gone live, for pre-order, to release officially at the end of the month. It’s called (drumroll please) Raising the Soldier’s Son.

When a young Kirk Robinson leaves Clearview, Alabama, he’s a celebrated high school quarter back with a future so bright it outshines even the stars in heaven. He has the world at his feet, including a promising military career and a woman he loves more than life itself.

Five years later, he returns to Clearview, wondering if it’s possible to pick up the pieces of a life long forgotten.

Annabeth Sparks is left heartbroken and pregnant when Kirk sends her a cold ‘Dear Jane’ letter from the Gulf. He promised he’d come back to her; that he’d stay safe for her, but after that one letter, she never hears from him again. She raises their son Wade, not even knowing if Kirk is alive or dead.

So when their paths cross once more, Annabeth has no idea what to do. They brought a child into the world together, but that doesn’t mean she can forgive Kirk. The past is a barbed wire fence that stretches between them, threatening to ruin any chance they have at the happily ever after they once believed in with all their hearts. Annabeth doesn’t know if she’ll ever understand what happened between them, but she knows she’s in just as much danger of falling head over heels in love with Kirk… if she isn’t careful.

So there you have it, the first three in my Hometown Hero Series, with a new novel in the pipeline to join the fold in the next couple of months. Until then, happy reading. CC. x