More and more authors are putting out novellas that are digital only to keep readers happy in between their longer stories. Some books will only ever be published digitally.

As I have a digital novella – TEASE ME, COWBOY – releasing next week, I thought it a fitting time to talk about HOW you can read an ebook if you don’t have a dedicated reading device.

Tease Me Cowboy Cover

I must confess I still read mostly print books. I love the feel and smell of a brand new book and I love having all my faves lined up in the bookshelf. I DON’T like the dust they gather because I think we’ve established before, I’m not a housekeeper. But I do also read books on my Kindle and now my iPad, even occasionally on my phone. But let’s forget about the Kindle e-reader for a moment and talk about HOW I could read if I only had a phone, tablet or even PC.

Most e-bookstores now also have apps you can download to your phone, tablet or computer to enable you to buy books from them and read them on whatever device you feel like doing so on.

If you don’t have a tablet and want to read on your computer, I suggest downloading the Kindle App for PC from Amazon. Click here for information on how to download this free app. You can then set up an Amazon account and purchase your digital book through Amazon and they will be magically delivered to the Kindle App on your computer.

If you have a tablet (e.g. iPad, Samsung Galaxy, etc) or a smart phone, you can download an app so you can buy from Amazon, iBooks, KoboBooktopiaGoogle Play and many many more. Simply search in your devices app store. On my iPad I have the iBooks app, the Amazon app and the Google Play app, which means I can shop around and find the best priced book before buying.

I hope this has been helpful and that you’ll find away to access ebooks, even if it is only for novellas, which aren’t usually available in print!

We can’t have you missing out on booky goodness!!!


Hiya folks

Sorry – I missed one week of PATTERSON’S CURSE updates because I had almost a whole week away at the Romance Writers of Australia conference and then was too shattered last week to update. Besides I wrote about one page in that week, so there wasn’t really much to tell. Aside from that I had a fabulous time hanging out with my good writing buddies, meeting new friends and being inspired by AWESOME speakers. The highlight of the conference had to be listening to Cherry Adair – both in her plenary speeches and her workshops. What a fabulous person and amazing writer.

photo 2-16


Me with the inspirational Cherry Adair!

Malle Vallik form Harlequin gave a fabulous workshop on the writer’s brand, particularly what a good website should entail. Mine does okay according to her checklist but she had some fab ideas I’d love to enact so watch out for a new website for me soon :)

The Harlequin dinner and other social events were also big highlights. I posted some photos to my FB page but below are a couple of others from these nights:

photo 1-15

The gorgeous Flo Niccol from M&B UK, me, shirtless waiter and
fab rural romance author Tricia Stringer.

photo 2-15

Good friends and awesome authors: Maisey Yates, Dani Collins
and Beck Nicholas

photo 4-6

Me hanging out at the Destiny welcome cocktail party with some
of the fab team from Harlequin Australia

photo 3-10

After the Awards Dinner, Escape Publishing through a fab after party 
and hired a fun photo booth for the evening!

Now… for my PATTERSON’S CURSE update. Last week involved a lot of second guessing myself and deleting words, putting them back in, deleting them again and then putting them back in. I actually cried, which I haven’t done over a book for quite some time. I whinged to my husband and my good writing friends and they all offered advice and pep talks. Somehow I got over myself and decided that I WILL CONQUER THIS BOOK whatever it takes.

Some books are easy to write, some are hard. This one has been a bit of a challenge so far but I hope that means it’ll be AMAZING by the time you guys read it next year!

Progress thus far:

  • two chaps, which means I’m now into chapter eight
  • 28,579 words so far (another week where I didn’t meet my word count goal but I’m hoping to make it up in the next couple of weeks)

Here’s an extract for you from this week’s words:

‘What happened to the woman who gave the curse?’ Abigail asked as Madeleine turned the car into the main street of Meadow Brook.

‘Oh, she stayed in town,’ Mags said, seemingly happy to tell all now she’d started. ‘Drove Laura wild, following her, shaking her head and fingers and uttering mumbo jumbo whenever she could. In fact, her daughter still lives in town. You might know her as Wacky Wanda.’

Madeleine almost swerved off the road and into the local Australia Post Box at this news. She recovered, brought the car back into the middle of the lane and then looked in the rear view mirror. Abigail looked deathly pale.

Oblivious, Mags continued. ‘Her real name is Gretna, she was the same age as my father but never attended school. She and her mum kept to herself until her mum died and Gretna still keeps to herself. I feel sorry for the old girl. She’s in her eighties and I’m not sure she’s ever left Meadow Creek in her life. Some say she’s not right in the head.’

Madeleine met Abigail’s gaze in the rear view mirror and saw her look of utter horror. ‘Sounds like the whole family weren’t right in the head,’ she said, rolling her eyes.

Mags laughed. ‘Crazy as cut snakes I’d say.’

‘But what if…’ Abigail’s question died on her tongue as Madeleine turned the van into the motel car park and saw an ambulance parked out the front.

‘What’s going on?’ asked Mags, leaning forward as if doing so would give her a better view.

At that moment the front door of the reception opened and Madeleine saw Charlie holding it open, a stricken expression on her face as two men in ambulance uniforms wheeled out a stretcher, Lucinda bringing up the rear.

‘Dad!’ gasped Abigail.

Madeleine flung open the door and almost tripped in her efforts to get to him. ‘What’s going on?’ she demanded to no one in particular as she stopped alongside the stretcher, glancing at the oxygen mask and defibrillator attached to her dad.

‘He had some kind of turn. They think it’s his heart,’ replied Lucinda, her voice shaky. ‘They’re taking him to Port Augusta.’

Madeleine looked from her dad’s ashen face to the serious expressions of the volunteer ambulance officers. ‘Mitch,’ she said, recognising one of them. ‘Have you given him Aspirin or a GTN spray?’

‘Yes. We’ll look after him, Mads.’ He offered her what she guessed was meant to be a reassuring smile.

She puffed out a breath. ‘I’m coming with you.’ Mitch might be very good at driving trucks and fixing things but what did he know about fixing people? And as for the other volunteer, he didn’t look old enough to buy his own underwear.

PATTERSON’S CURSE week three! And an excerpt!

Hi folks

I must admit this week has been a bit of a struggle for words! Possibly because I took a couple of days break to finish the final read through of THE ROAD TO HOPE and therefore didn’t start writing PATTERSON’S CURSE again until Tuesday. But I think it’s more to do with a horrible, crippling thing called SELF-DOUBT. 

I think because this is a slightly different kind of book to my rural romances, I’m stressing that it’s not working. In a romance I almost always introduce the hero and heroine in the first chapter and get straight to the action – their ‘backstories’ come out as they face their issues and learn more about each other. However with this book – my first attempt at women’s fiction with only a splash of romance – I’m setting up four sisters and the premise. I think because I had to introduce ALL the sisters and set the scene of them being back in the small town of Meadow Creek at their family’s motel, before I got to introduce the CURSE, I worried that it was slow. I worried that readers might not stick with me to get to the good bits. I worried that these first few chaps weren’t good enough. Basically, I’ve realised where my writing is concerned I’m a worrier.

My heart and gut tell me the book is okay – that meeting these very different sisters and throwing them back home together is interesting and will keep people reading but my brain or the little crow of doubt on my shoulder keeps shouting otherwise. 

I think it also had a bit to do with chronology. I had a few things I knew MUST happen and I got them mixed up. Until I worked out the problem, I couldn’t go forward and I doubted everything. I know some writers skip back and forth, writing scenes all over the shop and then stitching them all together but that’s never worked for me. Although this time I might be tempted to try – if one sister is giving me grief, I’ll try switching to another. 

Anyway the good news is that despite this being a slower week than I’d hoped, I’ve made progress and I’m finally happy with what I’ve got. I also reformatted the chapters and made them a little smaller, so now I have MORE, which looks like I made more progress than I did. Yay! 

Progress thus far:

  • three chaps, which means I’m now into chapter six
  • 21,400 words so far

Now… just cos I love you all, thought I’d share a little of my work-in-progress (see below). 

Happy reading



‘Okay, I’ll admit,’ Madeleine said after taking her first sip, ‘now I’m curious.’

Abigail smiled. ‘So what are we going to do about it?’

‘Maybe we should just leave it,’ Lucinda suggested, twisting the stem of her wine glass between her thumb and forefinger. ‘Mum and Dad obviously don’t want us knowing. I trust their judgment and shouldn’t we respect their opinion?’

Charlie nodded. ‘I agree. If we didn’t stumble on the cards we’d be none the wiser.’

‘But we did,’ Abigail pleaded.

‘And I for one have better things to do than spend all eternity wondering if some curse is going to strike me down dead when I least expect it,’ Madeleine announced. Abigail couldn’t tell if she was taking the piss or not, but at least she now wanted to know.

Charlie shot Madeleine a disbelieving glare. ‘I didn’t think you’d place any importance on things like curses? Aren’t they along the same lines as palm reading, horoscopes and all the other things you take great joy teasing me about.’

‘Maybe.’ Madeleine shrugged. ‘But none of those things affect me personally. This one is a “Patterson” curse. I think we have a right to know.’

Silence followed and Abigail guessed her sisters were all pondering the same thing as her. Did they have a right to know? And did she really want to know? What if the curse was something about death or bad luck or disease? She shuddered. Dad’s brother, Uncle William had died long before his time when he was caught in a rip on a family holiday to Goolwa Beach. And as Madeleine had just informed them, Dad’s aunts had died in a horrific car accident. One of William’s sons – their cousin Tim – had died at only three years old of a brain tumour. Sheesh! Maybe there really was some ghastly Patterson’s Curse.

‘So how do you plan on finding out?’ Lucinda asked. ‘I don’t think it’s a good idea to keep pestering Dad in his current state.’

‘Yes, Lucinda, thank you for that blindingly obvious piece of information.’ Madeleine tapped her fingernails on the bar. ‘We could make general enquires to locals who’ve been living in Meadow Brook forever and might know something.’

Lucinda shook her head. ‘You’ve been in big cities too long. Word would get back to Dad and he’d be upset we’d gone behind his back. Look I think we should just forget about it and concentrate on the important things, like sorting through Mum’s stuff and helping with the motel.’

‘What do you think, Charlie?’ Madeleine asked.

‘I think sometimes knowledge is dangerous,’ which Abigail guessed was Charlie’s way of saying maybe they should let this go.

‘But knowledge surely beats ignorance? Forearmed is forewarned and all.’

Dreams of Argentina with Alli Sinclair

Today I have yet another friend (aren’t I blessed) and fabulous author on my blog –   a warm welcome to Alli Sinclair. I first met Alli a few years ago at the Romance Writers of Australia conference and instantly fell in love with her, so I’m so pleased she landed a three book deal with my wonderful publisher HARLEQUIN BOOKS! Alli’s book sounds amazing and I loved the sample I read, so I can’t wait to pick my own copy up next week when I go to Perth… but until then, it’s over to Alli to talk about her love of Argentina and how it inspired LUNA TANGO.


The first time I arrived in Argentina, I had dreams of scaling Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Americas. Before commencing the expedition I had a five day layover in Buenos Aires and what started out as a simple exploration of the Paris of the Americas led to a never-ending love affair with Argentina.

The natural beauty, divine architecture, rich cultural heritage, friendly people (and mouthwatering ice-cream!) captivated me in a way no other country has done since. The hauntingly beautiful tango music captured my soul as I learnt to dance in traditional tango halls, the experience changing my life forevermore.



One of my most prized possessions are these tango paintings I bought from an artist in San Telmo, a district in Buenos Aires crowded with cobblestoned streets that snake between baroque buildings housing antique shops and 1940s style restaurants. As the tango musicians played and dancers created magic with their graceful moves, the artist handed me the paintings and said, ‘I hope you have a nice place to hang my art in your home.’ Not long after I realized the paintings, and my heart, had found a new home—in Argentina.

high res


Tango, like love, is complicated

Desperate to understand the reason her mother abandoned her twenty years ago to become a world-class tango dancer, journalist Dani McKenna delves into the world of tango in the hope of exposing decades of lies and deception that have threatened three generations of her family.

When Dani meets the enigmatic Carlos Escudero—a revered tango dancer and man of intense passion—they work together to understand why her grandmother lives in fear of all things tango, and how the brutal murder of a tango music legend in 1950s Buenos Aires now affects her family.

Despite her lack of rhythm, Dani and Carlos create their own dance of the souls, until the differences in their cultures causes a deep rift. As she seeks to reconnect with Carlos and rebuild her family, Dani finds tango—the dance of passion—becomes a complicated dance of betrayal.

Check out Alli’s fabulous book trailer here.

And you can find Alli online at her website, on Facebook and Twitter.

And Alli is launching a super special competition on the official release day this Friday – the  winner will receive a one-off prize that has been created especially for this competition. Click below for more information:

For those in Melbourne and surrounds, you are invited to the Luna Tango book launch and tango event held on 21 August at Readings Hawthorn. Tickets are $10 and will include a tango show and lesson, wine and food. Proceeds of tickets will go to Parkinson’s Victoria, an organisation very dear to Alli’s family.
Please note: due to limited space ticket bookings prior to event is essential.


Hi folks

Week two is just kicking off here in PATTERSON’S CURSE land so as promised here’s my update.

Progress thus far:

  • two chapters
  • 10,348 words

This is not quite as far along as I was hoping to be by now as I’m aiming for 15k per week. However this week I had an evening event in a town two hours away and also the final read through edit of THE ROAD TO HOPE (out March 2015) to do. So I’m trying not to berate myself too much.

In addition to these chaps I made a lot more notes this week about what will happen in certain scenes and tried to jot down some sort of time line for necessary events. Much of my “plotting” happened when I’m out on my daily walk with Rose my dog and if I feel the need, I use the voice recorder on my phone to make I don’t forget.

I’m working my way into this novel, which is a little different (as I said to my others).

I have four sisters – Madeleine, Lucinda, Charlie and Abigail – and the challenge for me is telling their stories equally, knowing when to change from one point-of-view to another. I think this will be easier as I progress into the story but in these early chaps when I’m trying to set the scene, it’s a bit like a jigsaw puzzle.

In my romances I try to get to the action of the story fairy quickly – I guess I mean showing the conflict and attraction between the hero and heroine at at least the first couple of chapters, but I have noticed in women’s fiction authors often take more chapters to set up the premise.  That is certainly my experience so far with PATTERSON’S CURSE. I’m trying not to stress too much about this and just follow my gut and I’m praying like crazy it’s working.

Hope to have more of an update on how the story is progressing next week.

Until then.



A Fish Called Lisa – guest post! AND GIVEAWAY

Today I have a very special person on my blog. Not only have I just read her debut book BREAKING THE DROUGHT, which I loved but I have met Lisa Ireland and am lucky enough to call her my friend. Lisa’s new book is a rural romance published by Escape Publishing and tells the story of a city girl gone bush – one of my favourite rural romance tropes. I’ll stop babbling over and hand over to Lisa to tell you all about her inspiration for this great book, but don’t forget to comment at the end of the blog to win a copy of BREAKING THE DROUGHT!

Welcome Lisa…


A Fish Called Lisa

In my recent release, Breaking the Drought, city girl Jenna is a fish out of water, struggling to survive a week in a tiny country town.

Poor Jenna, I really put her through the wringer in my story. She has to face some hard realities of country life (and she gets to reap some of the rewards too, of course!) After all I put her through Jenna might be comforted to know that once upon a time I was the new girl in a country town.

As a graduate teacher I was posted to a small school in rural Victoria. I was delighted with my appointment and was sure I would take to country life like a duck to water. After all, I came from farming stock. My dad grew up on a dairy farm not far from my new home. And I’d been holidaying in the country all my life. How hard could the transition be?

Hmm … Apparently weekends being spoilt by my aunt at her country home didn’t adequately prepare me for life away from the big smoke. I had more than one embarrassing moment.

Take for instance the time I ran screaming from the equipment shed because I spied a snake settled amongst the cricket stumps and volley balls. One of the grade six boys comforted me by explaining gently that it was “only a snake” and “he’s probably more afraid of you, Miss, than you are of him.” Yeah right!

Then there was the mousetrap incident. Not long after I moved to Longford there was a mouse plague. I was woefully unprepared for this event. In addition to being afraid of all rodents I’m also terrified of dead things. I tried to deal with the never-ending stream of mice in my house by using those plastic mousetraps that are completely covered so you can’t see what’s inside. But I was too much of a wuss to empty them so I would just put the whole thing in the bin. I was spending an absolute fortune on mousetraps!

When my colleagues discovered this fact I was the butt of staff room jokes for about a month. However, I’m happy to say my co-workers took pity on me and spent some time helping me to “mouse-proof” my house. And they took turns to come by and empty the traps for me too. How’s that for neighbourly love? Eventually my problem was solved for good when I acquired a cat.

I was also teased by my colleagues about a number of other “city girl” quirks, including my penchant for inappropriate footwear and my tendency to run out of petrol on a regular basis. I lived about 20 kilometres from the nearest petrol station. Having come from the city where there’s one on every corner I wasn’t used to planning ahead! Luckily one of the perks of living in a small town is that when you’re in trouble (conked out on the side of the road!) it’s never long before someone you know stops to give you a hand.

Just like Jenna, I was a fish-out-of-water when I first moved to the country from the city, but it wasn’t long before long rural life got under my skin.

I don’t live in Longford anymore, but I’m still a country girl at heart.

Thanks so much for sharing your hilarious stories Lisa. I know there are lots of country-girls-at-heart reading this blog and I hope they’ll read your story and enjoy it as much as I did. Read the blurb below and feel free to share your embarrassing or scary country stories in the comments section. 

High Res Cover BTD


When a smooth-talking, sophisticated city girl comes striding into town on her stiletto heels, he’s the last person who wants to notice…

When Jenna McLean gets roped into attending a matchmaking ball in a small country town, she holds no illusions of meeting the man of her dreams.  A no-nonsense magazine editor, Jenna doesn’t believe in leaving love to chance, which is why she’s developed Marriage Material – a fool-proof framework for husband hunting. Shearers and farmhands need not apply.

Sheep grazier Luke Tanner has met women like Jenna before, and knows not to waste his time. With the drought dragging on and bushfire season around the corner, the last thing he needs is a spoiled city girl like Jenna adding to his problems. He’ll help out with the ball because it’s good for the community, but he won’t dance, he won’t flirt, and he definitely won’t be matched.

It’s been a long dry season, but everyone knows when it rains, it pours.  

You can buy BREAKING THE DROUGHT From Amazon, Kobo and all good e-book retailers.

And you can find Lisa online on Facebook, Twitter and her blog.

Lisa is kindly giving away an e-copy of BREAKING THE DROUGHT to one lucky commenter. Leave your comment before midnight Aussie EST on Monday 28th of July to win!


Hi folks

I’ve been quiet on the blog for a while recently but I thought it might be fun to blog the journey of writing my next book. I’ll try to blog every Monday morning, updating you all on what’s happening in the book and how I’m tracking.

Today is the first day back at school for my boys for Term 3 and I’m kickstarting the new book. Details below:

Title: PATTERSON’S CURSE (this is a working title and may still change)

Word count: aiming for 100k but feel like I might go anywhere up to 120k

Deadline: Dec 1st for my publisher but Nov 1st for me. I like a few weeks to read through and edit.

I will aim to write every weekday and get about 2000 words. I’ll sometimes write on the weekends. I will likely take the October school holidays off to read and hang with the kids. I also have a week away for the Romance Writers of Australia conference in August and a tour with Fiona Palmer in September/October. This means I have about eleven weeks of writing time. At 2k a day I SHOULD achieve my goal. Of course, there’ll be kids sick days, school carnivals, edits and other things crop up in there but I will do my best.

And please feel free to ask any questions you have about my writing process or the book in the blog comments section :)

First things first… A clean and tidy desk.

photo 1-14

I’ll take another photo when I’ve finished the book!

I’ve also started a Pinterest page for PATTERSON’S CURSE. To check it out click here! There are four sisters in this story and it’s my first attempt at a more Women’s Fiction than Romance story. And as the title says it’s about a curse. The curse of the Patterson family, not the weed that plagues farmers!

In addition to Pinterest preparation, I’ve started a brand new notebook to record my thoughts, ideas and future directions of the story. I guarantee by the end it will be a total and utter mess.

photo 2-14Now I’m cheating a little bit because I proposed this book to my publisher a while back and wrote the first few pages back then. So I think it’s only fair that I share the first few paragraphs with you to start this blog series. While you read, I’ll get writing!!


Chapter One – South Australia

‘Dad.’ The word slipped from Lucinda Patterson’s lips on a whisper as she walked through gate 29 Adelaide Airport and spied her father. The last time she’d seen him was almost six months ago and she wasn’t sure if he looked better or worse. He’d lost weight and appeared to have grown a few more greys in his thick mop of black hair. He stood tall, his glasses perched on his nose as they always were and his arms folded across his chest as he waited in a sea of people desperate to claim their loved ones so the holiday season could kick off.

Thrusting her shoulders back and pushing her chin high to give an air of confidence she didn’t feel, Lucinda side-stepped a couple so lost in a passionate reunion that they either didn’t care or hadn’t noticed that they were holding up the traffic. Once upon a time she and Joe had been like that whenever he came home from his two weeks up north, but lately, not so much. Pushing that thought away, she stepped around them and her dad rushed forward, his arms wide open for her. Her handbag slapped against her back as she flung herself into his arms and dropped her head against his strong, broad shoulders.

‘Dad,’ she said again as tears welled in her eyes.

‘Lucinda,’ he whispered back. ‘My Lucinda.’ His voice held raw emotion, making her feel safe and loved and needed all at once. Still holding her, he shuffled them slightly to the left and out of the throng of people rushing to leave the plane. There wasn’t room for her and her dad and the tongue-locked lovers.

‘How are you, sweetheart?’

His heart-felt question almost unraveled her. It was she that should be asking him that. He’d been the one that had been six months without his soul mate. Although she too had been six months without her mother, living away she’d sometimes forgotten that her mum wasn’t still in their home town of Meadow Brook, making beds, cooking meals and greeting guests at the Meadow Brooke Motel. Living away she could sometimes still pretend that her mum was alive, but being back home for Christmas would put an end to that illusion pretty damn quick.


Exciting West Aussie tour with the gorgeous Fiona Palmer

I’m very excited to announce the dates for mine and Fiona Palmer’s RuRo tour in WA this coming September/October – see below for details.

Both myself and Fee will be touring for a week (plus an extra day or so on either side) and we will have both our new books, The Sunnyvale Girls and Outback Ghost with us. (They are released in October – and my cover is almost ready to be unveiled but in the meantime, check out Fee’s gorgeous new book down below). I’ve been lucky enough to read an advance copy so I could quote for the front cover and I promise, you are ALL in for a treat!


We start off in Albany on Thursday the 18th September

Kojonup Monday 22nd night event

Capel Tuesday 23rd night event

Bunbury Wednesday 24th 10am event

Kalamunda Wednesday 24th night event

Dongara Thursday 25th 5.30 – 7pm event

Kalannie Friday 26th lunch event

Toodyay Friday 26th night event

Gosnells Saturday 27th 10.30am event

Then we head to the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre October 22nd Wednesday night event

Merredin Thursday 23rd October

Fee and I are both excited and exhausted at the prospect of all that travel! And we’re great friends and so promise you’ll enjoy us chatting together about our books, writing and love of reading. As more details and RSVP details come to hand I’ll post them on the Events page of my website. Until then, save the dates!


OUTBACK BLAZE is lift off!!

It’s May 1st, which means OUTBACK BLAZE should officially be EVERYWHERE!! I’ve already had reports of people seeing copies out and about in the wilds and hopefully today it’ll be downloading to lots of e-readers all over the place as well.

Release days are always happy experiences for us authors. I’d say they’re even better than a birthday or Christmas! It’s like the culmination of all our hard work is finally paying off. We can breathe a sigh of relief – our book baby is out in the wilds and there’s not much more we can do about it. Some people will love it (and post on FB or send gorgeous emails), some will not, but we’ve done all we can do.

I’m pleased to report that I’m already getting some gorgeous ratings and reviews for OUTBACK BLAZE.

The lovely Bree from 1Girl2ManyBooks posted one this morning that made my heart full. She said “Rachael Johns is fast becoming one of Australia’s most popular authors and with each release she justifies why – realistic, relatable characters, small towns with a great feel and storylines that keep the reader hooked and always wanting her next book. Waiting sucks!” The waiting she refers to is for OUTBACK GHOST the next Bunyip Bay book, which is out in October. To read her full review click here.

And don’t forget I have a fabulous contest running for anyone who takes a #shelfie (photo) of OUTBACK BLAZE in the shops. Post it on my Facebook page throughout May to go into the draw to win a Kobo Touch e-reader!!

Here’s a #shelfie I took of OUTBACK BLAZE in our shop!!


OH and because I’m feeling so damn chuffed today, I’m giving away one print copy of OUTBACK BLAZE (Aus/NZ entries only please) – comment on this blog post to win!

Happy reading folks. Thanks SO much for your support!

What EVERY author needs!

Today I’m massively excited to have one of my best writing buddies visiting my blog and she’s written such a feel good and funny post that I hope you’ll all enjoy as much as I did. 

Cathryn Hein Author Photo

Welcome Cathryn Hein! Cathryn’s next release the fabulous ROCKING HORSE HILL (don’t you just LOVE that title?) releases tomorrow and if you know what’s good for you, you’ll grab a copy ASAP! There might just be a giveaway on this post if you read to the end :)

Take it away, Cathryn…

Every Author Needs…

It’s often said that a writer’s life is a solitary one. We spend a lot of time with our computers or notebooks, having conversations in our heads with people that don’t exist. I have days, sometimes even a week – usually during structural edits with a deadline looming – where I don’t leave the house.

Which is why writing buddies are so important. They keep you sane when you’re too busy or too much of a stressed-out freak to get out in real life. They listen when you rant and rage, cheer when something brilliant happens, give sage advice or a calming word when needed, and share all the ups and downs of this strange but fascinating business. With a single email, text or phone call they can make the bad seem good and the good seem brilliant. They are, in other words, a must.

I met Rach at the 2007 Romance Writers of Australia conference in Sydney. Fate had us sitting together in one of Valerie Parv’s sessions, a hands-on tutorial where we were asked to collaborate on creating a story premise with conflict. We came up with a completely over-the-top Cinderella type story set in a funeral parlour. It was great fun and we clicked in that indefinable way that people sometimes do, and been good friends ever since.

But Rach lives in WA and I live… well, we move around quite a lot but generally along Australia’s east coast. That means most of the time we only see each other at conferences. So we make up for it with phone calls, texts and emails. LOTS of emails.

At the risk of revealing how paranoid and self-doubting authors are, and exposing the embarrassing number of shouty capitals and exclamation marks we use in our correspondence, here are a couple of samples of the sort of chat that goes on…

From an exchange titled:


RACH: I need to write but can’t settle with Lach at home. Am letting him play on the iPad and telling myself it’s okay cos he’s sick but still hard to concentrate with him at home. But am out at talk all day tomorrow, so NEED words. Although my house also needs desperate attention and I feel like making a cake. Maybe I’ll aim for 1k and if I do that can make a cake!

CATHRYN: Make the cake and write while it’s baking. Have a sprint to see how many words you can get in that time. I’m writing but it’s awful, horrible crap and setting my teeth on edge.

RACH: Can’t be any more horrible and awful than mine! Seriously!

CATHRYN: Wanna bet???

From an exchange titled:

Send in the white jacket people

CATHRYN: It has taken me almost ALL MORNING to tweak one bloody chapter!!! The book is going to send me INSANE! It’s all so wrong. Wrong, wrong, WRONG! ARGH!

RACH: LOL! Just got home from school drop off to your message!! I bet it sells its bloody socks off!! I cannot imagine ANYTHING you write being poo. I consider you a MUCH better writer than me, so I take on your paranoia too and think it must mean GHOST is shite!!

CATHRYN: You, my dear, haven’t a thing to worry about. Ghost will sell its bum off like all your others!!! 

Ahem. Okay, so I admit we sound like a couple of teenagers, with the same level of self-absorption, but that’s not the point. The point is that we rally one another and joke around even when we might feel we’re the worst writers in the universe or about to melt from worry.

Terrible articulation or not, I wouldn’t miss these for the world.

Oh, and if you’re wondering what we’re like when we actually meet? Just add hugs and squeals!

Yup, we’re as noisy in person as in our emails. Which just might be another reason why writers tend not to get out much…

Aw Cathryn, I wouldn’t have our friendship any other way either. Now happy blog readers, check out the blurb of ROCKING HORSE HILL below and enter the contest!

RHH cover - resized


Ever since she was a little girl, Emily Wallace-Jones has loved Rocking Horse Hill. The beautiful family property is steeped in history. Everything important in Em’s life has happened there. And even though Em’s brother Digby has inherited the property, he has promised Em it will be her home for as long as she wishes.

When Digby falls in love with sweet Felicity Townsend, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, Em worries about the future. But she is determined not to treat Felicity with the same teenage snobbery that tore apart her relationship with her first love, Josh Sinclair. A man who has now sauntered sexily back into Em’s life and given her a chance for redemption.

But as Felicity settles in, the once tightly knitted Wallace-Jones family begins to fray. Suspicions are raised, Josh voices his distrust, and even Em’s closest friends question where Felicity’s motives lie. Conflicted but determined to make up for the damage caused by her past prejudices, Em sides with her brother and his fiancée until a near tragedy sets in motion a chain of events that will change the family forever.

Rocking Horse Hill is a moving family drama and passionate love story from the author of Heartland.

Tell us your friendship stories. The quirky things, the way you celebrate them, even how you met. Share and you’ll be in with a chance to win a signed copy of Cathryn’s brand new rural romance Rocking Horse Hill.

Giveaway closes Wednesday 30th April. Australian postal addresses only.

If you’d like to learn more about Cathryn and her books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook, Twitter as @CathrynHein and Google+