Eva Scott Uncovered

Eva Scott (1)Tell me a bit about Red Dust Runaway. How did it come into being? What was your Eureka! moment?

It all started with the Queen’s annual variety show on the telly. One Direction, the opening act, had appeared exhausted and strung out. Poor lads looked as if someone had propped them up with sticks and told them to sing. They took a well-deserved hiatus after that. It got me thinking about the music industry and how it can suck the very marrow from your bones if you let it. I’d started life as a sound engineer. The music industry is harsh and you have to have skin like old leather to survive. Couple that with my husband planning a trip across the Nullarbor starting at his home town of Kalgoorlie… One thing led to another and Red Dust Runaway was born.

Can you give us a little tease of the relationship between Iris and Kit? How did that come about in your head and subsequently the book?

Do you remember the last time you met someone and sparks flew, light arced between you and you just KNEW they were the one for you? That’s the moment I wanted to create. Of course, life is never that easy and inevitably there are obstacles to overcome in situations like that. I wanted to take the reader on that journey, make them feel all those delicious emotions and set it against the vast, stunning backdrop that is the Australian Outback.

What came first: the plot or the characters? What was it like writing a road trip story?

I had Kit first. My poor mother had cancer which had reduced her to being able to do not much more than watch television. She’d lost interest in everything. Then one morning she called me up to tell me to check out the Trivago Man. He was so super hot he’d managed to catch her interest. The rest is history. Mum didn’t live to see this story written but I’m sure she would have approved of my choice of hero! See what you think:

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgdLG5uihww

What draws you to Iris’s qualities as a heroine?

I have met so many versions of Iris. I think we all have a little Iris inside us. She’s trying to figure out if she’s on the right path, testing her dreams and assumptions. She wants to live, have one big adventure under her belt, before she knuckles down to the business of life. Her tenacity and resilience build as the story progresses. She doesn’t start out as strong as she ends up, learning some valuable lessons along the way about herself and the people around her. What I like best is she’s not afraid to have a go, to put herself out there even if everyone else thinks it’s a bad idea. Sometimes the best adventures are had that way.

And Kit’s as a hero?

He’s coming from the opposite end of the spectrum to Iris. He’s had an exciting life and a big career. What he wants now is something different, he just hasn’t figured out what that is yet. He wants to reinvent himself, change his life direction, swap out high-level success for high-level satisfaction. I think we can all relate to that at some stage in our lives. What I like best about him is his vulnerability. He makes mistakes by the bucket load and grows through the process of sorting out the mess he’s made.

What began your romance writing career?

Pregnancy. Seriously. I was on maternity leave from a high-pressure job and looking for ways to keep my mind occupied. I’d worked writing freelance and as a technical writer, but never tried writing a novel. I figured if not now, when? I submitted The Reluctant Wedding Planner to RWA’s Emerald Award and I’ve never looked back.

Your other Red Dust novels explore the vast setting of outback Australia, what draws you to the setting? And rural romance as a genre?

Both sides of my family come from the country – Victoria and Queensland respectively. My cousins own a couple of cattle stations in the north. I am the exception to the rule, having been born and bred in Melbourne. The thing about the country is it strips away any pretensions you might have and helps to reveal who you are. That’s very attractive to me and my characters are often going through personal transformations where the country is an active participant in that process. And as for rural romance as a genre – who doesn’t love a country boy, right?

What are your favourite books/authors to read? Romance or otherwise? What draws you to those books?

I am a complete magpie when it comes to books. I’ll read almost any genre (except horror). Anything that’s well written will have my undivided attention. I don’t have favourite authors as such, but I do have authors whose books I’ll buy in a heartbeat. Just tell me they’ve got a new book out and I’ll be at Dymocks, waving my wallet. I picked up Laini Taylor’s new book, Strange the Dreamer, and I cannot wait until my exams are over and I can lie about in the garden reading it. Kathy Lette is in town tonight and you can’t go past her for a rollicking read. But if you talk to me next week I’ll have a different list to share.

Where do you like to write? How do you write?

I have an old pine desk jammed in the corner of the living room (where I can keep an eye on kids). I grab writing time where I can find it. When I’m “in session” I’ll write a minimum of 2,000 words 5 days a week. I would like to think I can write every day but the truth is the house is full of people at the weekend making it impossible. As if I’d give up a chance to socialise! I like to map out each chapter by hand in a notebook. I bullet point the action and then use it as a guide. Sometimes things go in an entirely different direction to the one I planned, but you get that.

Can you give any advice to aspiring authors out there?

Read, read, read, read. And not just authors representing the genre you’re interested in. Read literature to see how people use language or pop culture novels to capture the zeitgeist of the moment. Reread the classics – they remain popular and relevant because the plot and characterisation is so damn good. Stay open to good writing – that includes TV and film. Pay attention to how tension is escalated, how plots are unwound and characters revealed. There is always something to learn.

What do you do when you’re not writing? Any quirky hobbies?

When I’m not writing, I’m jamming the day full of other projects. I’m studying my Graduate Diploma in Education to be a history high school teacher, so there’s assignments, lectures and exams to keep me busy. I’m loving being at university. I’ve met so many intriguing people. Plenty of fodder for new novels!

I’m also a meditation teacher and I work with my husband who teaches Persian Yoga. Together we run Blue Sky Yoga and Meditation. We’re currently putting together a workshop so that keeps the dinner table conversation lively. Drives our 6-year-old nuts. He’d rather talk about how to make his own Jedi Kitten You Tube videos starring out long suffering cat, Maui. Making tiny light sabres that a cat can “hold” is harder than you’d think.

Eva Scott (2)

I volunteer at the local primary school teaching creative writing. Those kids have imaginations and creative skills that just blow me away. My job is to open them up to all the creative possibilities, wind them up and then let them go. We’re working on putting together an anthology of their work at the end of the year. I can’t wait for the community to see what these kids are capable of.

I live in a lovely, friendly seaside town so if there’s any time left over I love to head out into the community and, well, chat. A lot. I adore the fact I can wander about town and inevitably run into someone I know, or catch up with a local business owner, or even make an entirely new friend. And it makes a great diversion from writing. Or should that be procrastination….?

I hear you have some adorable dogs in your life. Do they help or hinder the writing process?

I adore dogs. I live in a town that adores dogs. A dachshund moved in next door recently. Her name is Sausage. Heaven! There’s another one nearby named Snickers – she looks like a caramel chocolate bar too. I have an elderly cocker spaniel named Taj. He’s almost entirely blind and as deaf as a post but still full of joy and playfulness. We just have to make sure the house is well lit so he doesn’t walk into things. He’s lying next to my chair as a I write this, snoring his head off. In a moment, he’ll leap up and start barking at nothing at all. Sausage will join in and I’ll spend the next five minutes trying to get them to stop. If nothing else, it ensures I don’t sit at the computer for long stretches of time.

Eva Scott (3)


31475One jaded rock star. One sheltered classical musician. One hell of a red dust road trip…

Sheltered, coddled, gifted, Iris longs for something more than practice and performing. She wants to rebel, break the rules, have a hot affair, fall in love — to really live before happily committing to her classical music bubble. But her strict parents and her stricter schedule keep her confined to her gilded cage, even as she yearns desperately to be free.

Super star, successful, and sick of all of it, Kit just wants to stop. Stop the touring and the recording and the media and the bickering with his band mates. After two years on the road, he’s coming apart at the seams. He has to slow down, calm down, clear his head — to really think before recommitting to his rock star lifestyle. But his manager and the tour schedule keep him locked to his super star lifestyle, even as he rages against the confinement.

A chance encounter in a car park leads to a snap decision and an enormous risk: suddenly Kit and Iris are on an extraordinary road trip together across Australia, making their own choices, breaking all the rules. But reality is chasing them more quickly than they can know, and soon Kit and Iris will have to decide whether they are just running away — or running away together.

Available now!

 

 

Excerpt – Red Dust Runaway

The third book in Eva Scott’s bestselling Red Dust series features a classical musician, a bad boy rock star, and one hell of a road trip

Iris jumped in fright when she looked up from Google Maps to see a dishevelled man standing by her car. She glanced around quickly to see if there was anyone else about but the place was deserted. Too early. She checked behind her to see the comforting lights of the office behind her with the bleary-eyed receptionist clearly visible. That was something at least.

Can I help you?’ she asked, glad the car was between them. She calculated she could make a run for reception before he could get to her.

Um, I was wondering if you could give me a lift.’ The guy shuffled from one foot to the other, looking as sheepish as hell, and cute too now she got a good look at him. She wasn’t one for long hair on a man although she’d make an exception in his case.

Right,’ She considered his request. He looked clean, maybe a little nervous. How can you tell if someone was an axe murderer or not? ‘Where are you going?’

I have no idea.’ He hit her with a grin, lighting up his face and sending her insides flip-flopping. His eyes – were they grey or blue? – sparkling in the pale morning light.

You don’t know where you’re going?’ She couldn’t help but grin back. ‘Do you know where you are?’

Kalgoorlie, right? I need to get out of here. I’m backpacking with the bus tour and, well, it’s a bit stifling. Thought it’d be for me and I was wrong.’ His smile turned rueful.

She turned to look at the nondescript bus parked behind them. The motel owner had told her a tour had booked out most of the place, probably backpackers going by this guy’s British accent. So, he wanted off the tour and to travel solo? Seemed reasonable enough. And he was cute, better than cute. Still, there was no universal law that said a serial killer couldn’t be cute.

Where are you going?’ He seemed to sense her wavering.

Melbourne,’ she replied before realising telling him where she was going might not be the smartest move.

His face lit up. ‘I’m going there too. How about we split the costs and the driving?’

She frowned and bit her lip. ‘I thought you said you didn’t know where you were going?’

Next. I don’t know where I’m going next but I want to be in Melbourne in two weeks wherever I end up in between.’ He gave her a dazzling smile and something leapt and spun inside her.

Tempting, very tempting. This trip was all about adventure and maybe a hot affair. Maybe this guy was both. Lord knows, the loneliness of the road ate away at her and she was only two days into her trip. At least at home she’d had her music buddies and her parents.

Her father’s face flashed across her mind. He’d totally disapprove of her picking up an English backpacker. He’d be livid when he realised she’d runaway, without his knowledge, without his permission. She’d played by the rulebook for twenty years, maybe it was time to throw it away and see what happened.

Come on,’ he cajoled, leaning on the car and piercing her with the most compelling eyes – yes, definitely more blue than grey up close – she had ever seen. ‘I swear I’m not a serial killer.’

Iris blushed. He’d read her mind. ‘What if I am?’ she countered, knowing any minute now she’d agree to take him. Like it was already a done deal from the moment she set eyes on him.

I think I’ll take my chances.’ There was that killer smile again. Iris’ body responded like an iron filing to a magnet. ‘What do you say?’

What could she say? There was no other response: ‘Okay, but I’m driving.’


31475One jaded rock star. One sheltered classical musician. One hell of a red dust road trip…

Sheltered, coddled, gifted, Iris longs for something more than practice and performing. She wants to rebel, break the rules, have a hot affair, fall in love — to really live before happily committing to her classical music bubble. But her strict parents and her stricter schedule keep her confined to her gilded cage, even as she yearns desperately to be free.

Super star, successful, and sick of all of it, Kit just wants to stop. Stop the touring and the recording and the media and the bickering with his band mates. After two years on the road, he’s coming apart at the seams. He has to slow down, calm down, clear his head — to really think before recommitting to his rock star lifestyle. But his manager and the tour schedule keep him locked to his super star lifestyle, even as he rages against the confinement.

A chance encounter in a car park leads to a snap decision and an enormous risk: suddenly Kit and Iris are on an extraordinary road trip together across Australia, making their own choices, breaking all the rules. But reality is chasing them more quickly than they can know, and soon Kit and Iris will have to decide whether they are just running away — or running away together.

Coming 25 June.

Preorder now: Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon AU, Apple, Kobo, Google, Booktopia

Hallowe’en Series: Ghosts Among Us

This Hallowe’en, we asked our authors – have you ever had an encounter with ‘the other side’?  Their stories will thrill and chill you!

by Eva Scott

The Ghost of Eldritch Farm

Many summers ago I got a job renovating an Elizabethan era farmhouse in the Sussex countryside. The house had been added to over the centuries but the main part retained the distinctive uneven Tudor beams of its heritage. My job was to paint the small bedrooms on the upper floor and cut in the beams. While I painted shades of lilac and primrose on the walls I’d stop once in a while to take in the bucolic view out of the tiny window.

The fields were full of horses, which the farm specialized in breeding, and a vast quantity of rabbits. The eccentric brother and sister who owned the farm, Walter and Meredith, refused to allow the rabbits to be poisoned or shot so crossing the field to bring the horses in became a dangerous occupation in avoiding a broken ankle.

Being a working farm there were several dogs running around, the cutest being a Red Setter puppy. He’d visit me regularly tracking muddy paw prints up and down the stairs and leaving stray hair in the wet paint. Occasionally he’d go crazy, barking and leaping about. My family had bred setters, so being familiar with their temperament I put it down to the dog being basically bonkers.

One morning the puppy started barking and bounding about playing some imaginary game in the room where I worked. I turned around to shush him and there standing before me was a little girl of roughly ten years old. She regarded me solemnly, dressed in an old fashioned pleated smock, the kind you see in historic paintings of the English countryside. Surprise and confusion made me freeze for a heartbeat. There were no children on the farm so where had she come from? Then I yelled with realization, the hairs on the back of my neck literally standing on end, and she disappeared.

To say I was rattled was an understatement. The dog had clearly been playing with the little girl all along. I didn’t see her again and I would have doubted I’d seen her at all had Meredith not backed me up, having encountered her once in her own bedroom. She had tried to find out who the little girl might have been but the records for the house were patchy at best. Perhaps we had disturbed her with the renovations or maybe she just liked the company of the puppy. A great many other odd things happened on that farm but that, as they say, is another story….


29352Everyone deserves a second chance—and another dance.

Tamsin Cooper’s career as a Parisian showgirl is coming to an end. Nearly thirty, with no boyfriend and no prospects of a family of her own, she decides to take up her inheritance—her Uncle Ted’s cattle farm in Queensland.

Farm life seems to be suiting her until Tamsin discovers that Uncle Ted had a secret—and her sexy neighbour Angus Walker helped him keep it.

Faced with losing her farm and her heart, Tamsin returns to what she knows best, dancing, and starts teaching the residents of Elliott’s Crossing how to get in touch with their inner showgirl.

She may have the dance moves, but can she shimmy past a forty-year-old lie and a betrayal of lost love to find her place—and rediscover love—in this country town?

December Recipes – Tiramisu Deluxe

by Eva Scott

While my family hail from Italy we are not in the least traditional. One thing we do stick to every year is Tiramisu. This is made for special occasions only. We make it with Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur) but you can make it with your favourite tipple.

Beware! It’s addictive.

FRANGELICO TIRAMISU

I like to make this dish in a foil tray (roughly 24cm square-ish). Foil bbq trays are exactly the right depth and there’s no washing up later! Alternatively any dish the same size will do fine.

Ingredients

  • 250ml espresso coffee. If you don’t have the real deal you can dissolve 15g of espresso powder into 250ml of boiling water and it will do the trick.
  • 250ml of Frangelico. I always find the savoiardi biscuits soak up the liqueur quickly so keep the bottle on hand for top ups.
  • 30 savoiardi biscuits. There are two sizes so you may need less if you purchase the large biscuits.

For the filling:

  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 75g castor sugar
  • 60ml Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
  • 500g mascarpone
  • 100g chopped roasted hazelnuts
  • 3 teaspoons of good quality cocoa powder.

Method

  1. Combine the cooled coffee and 250ml of Frangelico in a jug
  2. Beat the egg whites until frothy. Place the yokes in a separate bowl and beat with the castor sugar and 60ml of Frangelico.
  3. Add the mascarpone to the yolk mix, combine well.
  4. Carefully fold the frothy egg whites into the mascarpone mix and combine well.
  5. Pour half the coffee and Frangelico mix into a wide shallow bowl (or similar dish). Dip the biscuits into the mix ensuring both sides are coated. Do this quickly to ensure the biscuits are damp but not soaking. They do soak up liquid very quickly so don’t leave them sitting in the bowl or you’ll run out of coffee/Frangelico very quickly. Prepare enough biscuits to form one layer and place them in the dish.
  6. Place half the mascarpone mix on top of the soaked biscuits, spreading it out for even coverage.
  7. Repeat step 5 using the remaining coffee/Frangelico liquid and leftover biscuits.
  8. Repeat step 6.
  9. Cover the dish with cling film and refrigerate overnight – or for at least 6 hours.
  10. Before serving the tiramisu combine the chopped hazelnuts and cocoa. Sprinkle this mixture over the top layer of mascarpone.

**Please note this dish contains raw eggs so may not be suitable for people with compromised or weak immune systems such as small children, the elderly or pregnant women.


23722In the battle of duty versus desire, only one can survive the hot Australian sunshine.

Four Things I Learned Writing a Rural Setting

By Eva Scott

Here are the four things that I learned while writing my new rural romance, Red Dust Dreaming

1. The importance of a subject-matter expert

It’s not enough to research the hell out of a subject/place, you also need to have a subject matter expert who can check over your work for any slips or mistakes you might inadvertently make. During the writing of Red Dust Dreaming I had a wonderful expert in the form of Dr Sally who is not only an expert on Aboriginal art, but visits Yuendumu regularly. She was invaluable in guiding me through the intricacies of interracial and intercultural exchanges. She saved me from making an innocent blunder and gave the story authenticity.

2. Google Earth rocks!

If you can’t physically get there, then Google Earth is your best friend. It can take you right down to street level and give you a sense of the place you’re writing about. It’s invaluable for checking the look and feel of a place. Combine this with your subject matter expert and you’re well on your way to writing something believable without leaving your desk.

3. Write about something that interests you

I was lucky enough to get a private tour of an Aboriginal art exhibition at the Queensland Art Gallery which set fire to my imagination. This new-found fascination took me on a wonderful journey of discovery and introduced me to some amazing people. When those dog-days hit, the ones where the words just won’t come, the subject matter always managed to re-inspire me and get me back in the game.

4. Be careful of secondary characters!

They have a habit of rising up and taking over the lime light. In Red Dust Dreaming the offending character is Thelma, the housekeeper. She’s strong, sassy and sharp. Reviewers picked up on her straight away and she threatened to steal the show. Back into your box,Thelma!


23722In the battle of duty versus desire, only one can survive the hot Australian sunshine.

Elizabeth Langtree’s has her life in order – safe, organised, planned. Sure, she has her troubles, but they are nothing she can’t handle. Then everything is turned upside down when her family send her to Australia to collect her orphaned nephew.

It all seemed so simple in New York, but Australia is nothing like she expected, and she soon falls under the spell of the Outback – the station, the lifestyle, and the seriously sexy owner who has been caring for Luke since the death of his mother.

Elizabeth soon discovers that what seemed simple a world away is anything but, and her duty is at odds with the dictates of her heart. She must choose, knowing that a mistake will not only cost her everything, but destroy the future of a devastated little boy.

Fish Out of Water Stories – Four Reasons to Sink or Swim

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by Eva Scott

Fish-out-of-water (FOOW) stories are a main staple of romance novels. I love writing FOOW stories, probably a reflection of how I’ve lived my life. In Red Dust Dreaming, our heroine, Elizabeth Langtree, hails from New York City so when she finds herself in the middle of the Australian desert on a cattle station with a super-hot man and an orphaned little boy she is well and truly a FOOW.  Nothing is like home at all: the food, the people, the environment, the romance – everything is different and challenging.

While being a fish-out-of-water is uncomfortable, confronting, and exhausting, it is also the time when magic can happen. When you crack open the boundaries of your life and let new experiences, places, and people enter, anything can happen.

Here’s 4 ways you can get a little change happening in your own life:

  1. Travel – I was bored with my job/life/romance to the point I didn’t think I could stand it one more day so I took off on a do-it-yourself tour of Papua New Guinea. Everyone told me terrible things would happen to me travelling there by myself, but the truth is I met the love of my life while visiting the Royal Papua Yacht Club. Now I have the relationship I always dreamed of.  You don’t have to go somewhere quite so remote. A good adventure to somewhere you’ve never been or to do something you’ve never done before might just yield you a fabulous connection you might not have found at home.
  2. A New Job – I’ve had lots of jobs completely unrelated to one another. Who needs a career path, right? Egg Candler, roof tiler, fruit picker, project manager, business analyst, training manager, superannuation advisor, nanny, bakers assistant, dishwasher at a curry house – writer. So many of our friendships occur through work. Change your job and widen the circle of your acquaintances. You never know who you might meet.
  3. Move to the country/small community  – The really great thing about moving to the country is the novelty you present to a new town. You’re new blood and everyone will be interested in who you are and how you’re going to fit in. The disadvantages are small towns are pretty insular and before long the novelty will wear off and everyone will know your business. But by then you’ll be having so much fun you won’t care.
  4. Be true to yourself – You remember that old dream you had? The one you nursed through your younger years before career/family/obligations took over and it became a distant memory? The one everybody said was a pipe dream? Yeah, that one. Time to reignite it and connect with that part of yourself that got trampled in the rush of Life. You never know where it will take you.

23722In the battle of duty versus desire, only one can survive the hot Australian sunshine.

Elizabeth Langtree’s has her life in order – safe, organised, planned. Sure, she has her troubles, but they are nothing she can’t handle. Then everything is turned upside down when her family send her to Australia to collect her orphaned nephew.

It all seemed so simple in New York, but Australia is nothing like she expected, and she soon falls under the spell of the Outback – the station, the lifestyle, and the seriously sexy owner who has been caring for Luke since the death of his mother.

Elizabeth soon discovers that what seemed simple a world away is anything but, and her duty is at odds with the dictates of her heart. She must choose, knowing that a mistake will not only cost her everything, but destroy the future of a devastated little boy.

April Showers New Reads!

Available today!

23722Eva Scott debuts a new rural romance: in the battle of duty versus desire, only one can survive the hot Australian sunshine.


23726New in the fresh, sexy world of The Seek: he can’t trust anyone, so why should he trust his heart?


23729It’s going to take more than summer loving to heal old wounds, but a remote beach, old friendships and a bit of sunshine might just spark a second chance at love.


23730Coastal romance short read at its best: She went to Sydney to hide, instead she was found by love.