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

Feed Your Reader: Opal Miner v Paleontologist

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A charming adventurer. A pragmatic paleontologist. A hundred-million-year-old treasure buried in the Australian outback.

The last person Gemma Stephens expects to meet in the tiny, remote, opal-mining town of Rainbow Cliffs is Jamie Coltrane, her university boyfriend who chose his past over their potential future. Now, seven years later, he is the only obstacle between her and the goal she has been pursuing tirelessly since he left. The goal that means everything for her future and that of her six-year-old son.

Jamie has long outgrown the wanderlust that caused him to leave Gemma, and he and his father have settled into Rainbow Cliffs, making a living out of opal mining and running the only accommodation in town. But now a big find — a once-in-a-lifetime find — has opened up opportunities that Jamie never thought possible. Opportunities that mean everything for his father and himself.

Fate may have thrown them back together, but this is no happy reunion. There is only one fossil, and there can be only one winner in this battle between preservation and prosperity. Gemma and Jamie may have the chance to find true love — or be torn apart, this time forever.

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Marilyn Forsyth Uncovered

Tell me a bit about Falling in Love Again. How did it come into being? What was your Eureka! moment?

I read an article about Eric, an opalized pliosaur on exhibition at the Australian Museum, and went to check him out in person. (Although not near as large nor as spectacular as Gracie, the plesiosaur in my story, he is quite beautiful.) It broke my heart to learn that finds like this are not uncommon in opal fields, but that the skeletons are usually broken up to sell off as individual opals because they are worth more than the fossil as a whole. That idea as a source of conflict between two characters really appealed to me, and from this small beginning Falling in Love Again came into being.

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Give us a little tease of the relationship between Gemma and Jamie. How did that come about in your head and subsequently the book?

My favourite romance trope is Lovers Reunited and Gemma and Jamie were the perfect pair for this story. They fell madly in love at university and had a wonderful six months together; Gemma presumed their love would lead to marriage, but Jamie had an obligation to fulfil to his widowed father before he could even contemplate a permanent relationship. Hence the breakup. Seven years later, when they meet up unexpectedly, all the old feelings come rushing back for the both of them. Now, though, they have other major problems to contend with, not the least being Gemma’s abusive ex-husband who is also after the fossil.

What came first: the plot or the characters? What did you find more difficult to write?

Once I began researching, the plot almost wrote itself for this story (that doesn’t happen nearly enough! 😊). What I loved about writing Falling in Love Again was fleshing out all the characters—not just Gemma and Jamie, but Jamie’s caring dad and his dad’s lovely lady friend, as well as the narcissistic ex-husband. Once I knew where they were all coming from I had a lot of fun with all of them.

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

Gemma has suffered a lot of tragedy in her life. Her abusive relationship with her ex was her lowest point, but from it she eventually emerges as a strong woman who knows exactly what she wants. I’m grateful I’ve never had to cope with any of her particular trials, but I do know women who have. I have so much admiration for them; they need to be lauded as life’s survivors.

And Jamie’s as a hero?

Ahhh, Jamie (sigh). Okay, I’ll admit it: I kind of got jealous of just how much Jamie loved Gemma (not that I should, with a lovely husband like mine 😊). But I love the way Jamie is so protective of Gemma and the very real angst he suffers over not being able to make her dream come true (by giving her Gracie).

What began your romance writing career? What drew you to outback romance in particular? Is it the genre you most enjoy reading in?

My enjoyment in writing short stories and having them published had run its course and I was looking to challenge myself further by writing a full-length novel. I joined RWAus and was put in touch with the Breathless in the Bush writing group. Among that group of wonderfully supportive ladies I met my two fabulous critique partners, Cassandra Samuels (Regency author) and Enisa Haines (Paranormal author) who continue to inspire and assist me in writing great stories.

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I was drawn to outback romance after reading some of our terrific Aussie Rural romance authors. Barbara Hannay and Rachael Johns are among my favourites, but there are SO many more (and way too many to name)! I love the Aussie flavour of RuRo and if we Aussie authors don’t celebrate our own uniqueness, who will??

I love to read outback and rural romance, but not exclusively. I read literally anything—from English classics to historicals, from fantasy to thrillers—as long as they have at least a little romance in them.

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

I have a gorgeous writing room—it’s painted peacock blue and filled with books. My mornings are usually spent dealing with emails, Facebook and other things that life throws at me, and I probably spend five afternoons a week writing. I am, however, an incredibly s-l-o-w writer so my weekly word count is not as high as I’d like. (My desk faces into a corner so that I won’t get distracted by any ‘goings-on’ outside.)

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Lighting a citrus candle is a ritual I always carry out before beginning to write and I like to listen to music with headphones on.

What are your favourite books? Romance or otherwise?

Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series is probably my all-time favourite read. I also love George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series. Both of these are so epic in scope, and have such a fantastic range of interesting characters and amazing plot-lines. I can only be in awe of the authors who create such masterpieces.

Can you give any advice to aspiring authors out there?

The best advice I can offer any aspiring author is the same advice that got me to where I am today. Don’t give up. There’ll be times when you will feel like doing just that, but PERSEVERE. The road to publication is littered (figuratively speaking) with the bodies of writers who gave up too soon. Don’t be one of those bodies.

I hear you are a bit of an adventurer yourself? What kind of travelling adventures do you go on? Are there any real-life places that serve as your inspiration for your novels?

Family and writing aside, my greatest pleasure in life is travelling. There’s a big wonderful world out there and I want to see as much of it as I can. I’ve been overseas often (I even worked in Harrods in London for a time), but Australia, too, has much to offer in terms of spectacular scenery and unique features.

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For my book The Farmer’s Perfect Match I spent some time in Broome and the Kimberley region, and for Falling in Love Again I visited Lightning Ridge and White Cliffs, a couple of opal mining towns. Google maps is fantastic for research but nothing beats actually travelling to a location to get a real ‘feel’ for it.

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A charming adventurer. A pragmatic paleontologist. A hundred-million-year-old treasure buried in the Australian outback.

The last person Gemma Stephens expects to meet in the tiny, remote, opal-mining town of Rainbow Cliffs is Jamie Coltrane, her university boyfriend who chose his past over their potential future. Now, seven years later, he is the only obstacle between her and the goal she has been pursuing tirelessly since he left. The goal that means everything for her future and that of her six-year-old son.

Jamie has long outgrown the wanderlust that caused him to leave Gemma, and he and his father have settled into Rainbow Cliffs, making a living out of opal mining and running the only accommodation in town. But now a big find — a once-in-a-lifetime find — has opened up opportunities that Jamie never thought possible. Opportunities that mean everything for his father and himself.

Fate may have thrown them back together, but this is no happy reunion. There is only one fossil, and there can be only one winner in this battle between preservation and prosperity. Gemma and Jamie may have the chance to find true love — or be torn apart, this time forever.

Horse of a Different Colour

It’s Melbourne Cup day, but not everyone gets in on the Spring Carnival.

If you’d like to celebrate horses, may we humbly suggest taking your day off and enjoying a good rural story?

Here are some of our favourites with equine secondary characters.

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From Escape Publishing’s Queen of historical Australian romance comes a new story about a privileged member of Australian’s colonial squattocracy, a bushranger, and a very special horse.


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For readers of Jenny Downham, John Greene and Maureen McCarthy, a poignant young adult romance about following your dreams and realising what really matters.


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A book about the first Melbourne Cup race! Can she save her family’s horse stud and reputation?


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Shirley Wine takes us back to Darkhaven, where secrets and scandals can’t stay hidden for long…

Hallowe’en Series: A Family Ghost

by Louise Forster

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A true story.

Cross my heart … and stuff.

Our robust, Mediterranean brother in-law, Jon, died of pancreatic cancer. A long and excruciatingly painful death.

A loveable man with a huge heart and short fuse. He used to fire up when his immediate family did hot-headed stupid things. He had a strong sense of right and wrong and his siblings, aunts and uncles, even his mother would cop it at times. He protected his wife, my sister in-law, from a lot of the squabbling and no one dared say a word against her. He was always gentle and loveable towards us, his in-laws. He’d greet our girls, arms out wide ready to give them a tight hug with, “G’day Tiger. Who luvs ya baby.” They will always remember him with a soft smile and a warm heart.

After the funeral, we spent few days taking a relaxing drive through country Australia from Melbourne to Northern NSW. We stopped at Dubbo Zoo and other interesting places to give my sister-in-law a well-earned break. Early one morning after our first night home, something roused me; to this day I haven’t a clue how or why it happened. I raised myself up off the pillow, and eyes open, I looked at what I can only describe as a bunch of broken white lines in the form of a person gliding past my side of the bed. There was no soft ghostly-wispy look about this vision. As for me, I wasn’t in the least bit troubled seeing this. I thought, Oh, okay that’s interesting, and then I lay my head down and went back to sleep. I have since wondered whether Jon had the power to simply ease my concern and send me back to sleep. I can’t help it, I have a strong suspicion that he did this to me – or rather for me.

Later that morning as we sat around the table having breakfast with DH’s sister-in-law, I noticed he had a faraway, pensive look, and had become more emotional again. Jon’s cancer and death had hit him hard … he questioned why this loveable bloke whose heart was huge and nothing was ever too much trouble had to suffer such an agonizing death. A man who gave his girls amazing confidence in their abilities; a man who sized up their boyfriends with a ‘do not hurt my nieces’ look. Hoping it would help, I mentioned what had happened to me that morning, and how my scepticism, which bordered on ‘what a load of nonsense ghosts are not real’, was given a good rattling. That what I’d seen that morning was not a figment of my imagination, also that I wasn’t the least bit worried about the whole episode. DH is a disbeliever, the after-life, ghosts, angels, heaven and hell do not exist for him. After he’s listened to my story, his face had a weird ‘I don’t believe this stuff’ quirky grin he gets sometimes. But eyes wavering between scepticism and doubt, he told me that he’d dreamed Jon came to his side of the bed and that he got out of bed to hug him goodbye. DH said he felt him, felt Jon’s arms around him as he felt Jon’s shoulders against his, saying, ‘Goodbye mate.’ And then he woke up.

And now we wonder.

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28381In the sequel to Home Truths, Louise Forster returns to the sleepy country town of Tumble Creek with the story of a cop, a teacher and a mystery that will bring them together—or tear them apart.

Art teacher and occasional life model Sofie Dove wants to know what’s up with Brock Stewart. Everything about the ex SAS soldier turned police officer seems to scream passion—and it’s all for her—but he just won’t express it. All she knows is that he has a past that still keeps him up some nights.

After a semi-trailer crashes through Sofie’s house and the driver disappears into thin air, Brock insists he’s the only one who can keep her safe—but can he, when they can’t seem to trust each other?

While Sofie works on figuring out why this man keeps giving her mixed messages, Brock is determined to find out who’s out to get her—as they both find out why falling in love is a bit like being hit by a truck.

 

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?

Gateway to Romance: Melanie Coles

by Melanie Coles

I have a somewhat hazy memory when it comes to my foray into the world of romance novels, but as a girl-child of the eighties, here are the ones I do remember reading that influenced my love for them:

  1. Sweet Valley

My earliest memory of romance novels, Francine Pascal’s engaging series about twins Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield had me hooked for years. Though they weren’t strictly romance, it was certainly enough to whet a young girl’s appetite for the genre.

2. Anne of Green Gables

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I saw the telemovie before I discovered the books, swooning over Jonathan Crombie’s Gilbert Blythe along with millions of other girls, but once I found them I couldn’t put them down. He was the first fictional hero I ever fell in love with, and to this day the love story of Anne and Gilbert remains one of literature’s most endearing.

3. Forever

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File this one under “sex-ed for tweens”. Judy Blume’s coming-of-age story was the first book I read that dealt with issues of teenage sex and intimacy. The book was so popular that I spent a month on a wait-list at the local library for my turn to read it.

4. Pride and Prejudice

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Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy.

Enough said.


Melanie Cole brings her love of Pride and Prejudice to rural Australia in her re-imagining of the classic, Evan and Darcy.

 

Where Love and Reality TV Collide

by Jacquie Underdown

Nothing can divide a room more than reality television.

You either love it, or you pretend not to.

For a people watcher (aka author) like myself, I’m firmly in the love camp. Give me The Block, MasterChef, Famer Wants a Wife or The Bachelor, and I’ll gladly have my eyes glued to the television every night of the week.

A nod, wink, and finger-gun salute at my reality-television-loving tribe.

As for the pretenders, I hear you loud and clear. Why the f***?

Yes, reality shows’ sets are staged, some of the storylines are scripted, but the one thing that remains constant is that the contestants are real. The emotional reactions are real.

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Image Source: Davey Lloyd/Instagram

Don’t scoff. I know some contestants might look like Prince Charming with a side order of yes please, or the latest swimsuit model for Sports Illustrated (The Bachelor, I’m looking at you.) But mostly, a closer-to-real-life diversity among contestants on reality television is not found anywhere else.

Only on MasterChef will you see a woman wearing a hijab. Only on Farmer Wants a Wife will you find a sixty-year-old Central Queensland farmer pursuing realistically shaped women his own age. And I’m not even starting on The Great Australian Bake Off or My Kitchen Rules.

Watching real people, who are placed under extreme pressure in a confined competitive environment, reacting in ways we ourselves might, holds a tremendous amount of appeal.

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Image source: Network Ten

Witnessing Richie’s face on the new season of The Bachelor, with all his adorable awkwardness, when Lady Eliza serenades him seconds after their first introduction is priceless viewing. An actor could not portray or improvise that raw, tender human expression and emotion, nor evoke in the viewer a sinking twisted feeling of embarrassment for having watched the interaction it in all its uncomfortable glory.

And no script-writer is going to come up with the line, ‘Wow! Olena is a total babe’ like Richie delivered making us marvel at his me-good-at-words skills.

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Image source: Network Ten

Okay, okay, that’s all ‘cool bananas’, but what’s this got to do with romance—specifically, a romance novel?

I’m glad you asked.

Let’s focus on reality dating shows, shall we? You know the ones—The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, Farmer Wants a Wife and Married at First Sight. If you look closely, each of these shows possess all the components you love in a romance novel:

  • a heroine we can love and sympathise with
  • a sexy hero who may not be perfect but he sure as hell is mouth-wateringly close
  • exotic settings
  • loads and loads of conflict.

Bless reality television for showing us so many tears, tantrums and tender moments. *sigh*

But don’t you ever want to know what happens behind the scenes?

Did last season’s Bachelor, Sam, really fall hopelessly in love with Snezana like we all hoped?

Did they sneak a moment to secretly get hot and heavy with each other between filming?

How did Snezana react when she saw the footage of Sam kissing the other beautiful contestants and whispering his sweet-nothings in their ear?

And when all the girls were getting sloshed on champagne, did any take it too far and have to secretly rush to the toilet to vomit?

Okay, maybe scratch that last one.

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The point is, I want to see what’s left on the cutting room floor. Or what didn’t even make it on to film in the first place. I want to know the motivations, secrets, regrets, excuses, and behind-the-scene squabbles. But mostly, I want all the romance and love found in a reality dating show dished up with a big bowl of happily-ever-after, wouldn’t you?

Of course you would. And your wish is my command.

*waves magic wand*

Enter the romance author. (That’s me!)

I’ve taken all of the best parts of reality television and a romance novel and mixed them up together. The result is Catch Me a Cowboy: a big, delightful mishmash of catty contestants who risk their hearts to win the love of a hunky man-mountain cowboy.

The best part is, nothing is left out. All the goodies are on show.

Eveeerrrrything! 😉

And that is how reality television and romance collide!


Crash into Jacquie’s new novel, Catch Me A Cowboy

29172The biggest risks yield the greatest gains—especially in the game of love.

Emily Wolfe, real estate agent to the elite, is tired of being alone. So when she gets a chance to compete on a reality dating show she decides to risk it all for love in the biggest game of her life.

The city girl is surprised how much she enjoys switching her high heels for cowboy boots and pedicures for mud treatments—and not the kind you find at a day spa. And she’s falling hard for Wil Parker, the sexy, rugged farmer at the centre of the show.

Amidst the chaos, tantrums and editing tape, the heat and passion between Emily and Wil reaches boiling point. But can they survive the imminent explosion, let alone the fallout?

Gateway to Romance: Louise Forster

by Louise Forster

We lived in The Netherlands for a couple of years, and soon discovered that Dutch spoken at home was quite different to trying keep up with relatives talking through and over each other. Never mind TV announcers who seemed to speak Dutch, plum-in-mouth, which was equally daunting. Television was appalling and the winter nights were long. I needed something to occupy my mind so I ventured into the attic of the house we were renting. I soon discovered said places are always dimly lit, and creepy to explore; a bit like tingles along your spine all the way up to the back of your neck, making your scalp prickle. Nevertheless, creeped out, but determined, I hesitantly poked around and discovered books with English titles. Eureka! Neatly stored in a bookcase, were John Steinbeck, Somerset Maugham, and oh my god, Henry Miller; he blew the cobwebs right out of my prissy upbringing.

Then Jennifer Crusie stole my romantic reading heart.

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Her books were and still are a delight. There are two that stand out for me: Agnes and the Hit Man and Fast Women. If I had to choose it would be have to be Fast Women. I loved crazy Nell and grumpy Gabe.

The opening para is absolutely brilliant:

The man behind the cluttered desk looked like the devil, and Nell Dysart figured that was par for the course since she’d been going to hell for a year and a half anyway. Meeting Gabriel McKenna just meant she’d arrived.’

Who’s Nell? why was her life hell? Who is Gabriel and what made Nell think he looked like the devil? Fantastic, I was hooked. Surely this would have any non-romance reader intrigued as well.

Jennifer Crusie’s dialogue is always brilliant. Her characters draw the reader in, and make you want the whole business of an unlikely romance work out. Gabe is a private detective and his office is exactly how he likes it … a bit of a shrine to his late father who passed away twenty years ago. Livewire, Nell, hired to type and file, thinks the whole place needs updating. Mindful of grump Gabe, she starts carefully with a good clean out and uncovers a mystery involving Gabe’s dad and her ex’s family. There’s plenty of humour, and the intricate plot would keep anyone turning the page.

Just to add more reading fun the whimsical china called Walking Ware features in this book.


Louise Forster grew up in country Victoria, but has seen quite a bit of the world. Experiencing different cultures, she learned that one of the enjoyable things to do was step back and watch as events played out. It fascinated her how European and Australian men romanced women, which differed for every country, yet, happily, the outcome was the same … usually. 😉 Her latest book pits a small town teacher against the wounded soldier who just wants to keep her safe.