I’m smiling and drinking pink bubbly tonight because I just finished the final read through of my October release OUTBACK DREAMS. The final read through actually included a LOT of tweaks – that’s just the way I roll – and it’s good to have finally pushed send. OUTBACK DREAMS is the first in at least three books about the people of Bunyip Bay (a fictional town in Western Australia). It is Faith Forrester and Daniel (Monty) Montgomery’s story and they’ve been best friends in like forever.
I’m really looking forward to seeing what the talented peeps at Harlequin Australia do for this cover but in the meantime, I thought I’d share a small extract with you. There’ll be more tasters nearer the release date I promise.
From chapter six OUTBACK DREAMS:
He sat at the bar, tapping his boots along to the country music belting out from the stereo and chatting to Liam the publican when he wasn’t serving his few customers. Currently the only people in the pub were a local family with three young kids having an early counter meal and two old men who spent more time here than they did at home.
A shadow fell behind him and then a hand clapped firmly against his back. ‘What are you having, mate?’ came Adam’s jovial voice. ‘The drinks are on me tonight, well at least the first few anyway.’
‘I thought farmers were supposed to be hard-up,’ Liam said, as he pulled a couple of pint glasses down from a shelf.
Adam laughed. ‘We are. But we know how to prioritise, right Monty?’
Monty managed to open his mouth but his throat was so clogged up with emotion, he almost couldn’t speak. He took a moment, and then let out a short, ‘yeah.’
A farmer. After all these years.
When their beers landed on the bar, Adam raised his for a toast. ‘Welcome to my world – dumb sheep, no rain and long hours on a tractor.’
As they drank to this the pub door swung open. Monty turned, hoping to see Ruby. He’d asked her to join them when he’d popped into The Ag Store for some supplies on Wednesday, but she hadn’t given him a definite answer. Nevertheless, her response, ‘I’ll try,’ had kept him on a high since. His shoulders slumped as a horde of guys he’d worked with on the crayfish boats spilled into the pub. He was happy to see them, and would probably miss them when they weren’t colleagues anymore, but they weren’t Ruby.
There was just something about Robert and Lyn Jones’ daughter that had captured his attention – okay, and the attentions of the other single blokes in Bunyip – the moment she’d moved to town. Although she had the looks of a supermodel, she kept pretty much to herself. He’d asked her out a few times before and she’d politely declined, but Monty wasn’t one to give up when he wanted something.
‘Monty, my main man!’ A lanky bloke who didn’t look like he could lift one crayfish – never mind a whole crate of them – slapped Monty on the back.
‘Hey Curtis,’ he said with a grin.
The other blokes offered their congratulations and voiced their disappointment that Monty wouldn’t be working with them anymore. Then Kyle, coming back from his first trip to the men’s room, froze. Staring ogle-eyed at the pub entrance he finally let out a wolf-whistle. Everyone swung round to see what, or rather who, had got Kyle’s balls in a twist. Monty’s mouth was the first to drop open.
Her smile filled her whole face as his gaze met hers. His mouth went dry. Ryan came in behind her and they started towards the bar. She strode liked she’d been walking in knee-high eff-me boots her whole damn life. A titillating pink dress fell way above her knees, showcasing legs that usually only wore jeans or denim shorts. And her hair. What had she done with her hair?
It swished around her shoulders as she sashayed toward them. It looked so soft, silky, and golden blonde, a few shades lighter than her usual chocolate. His fingers twitched around his beer glass as the craziest thought of sliding them through Faith’s hair hit him like a sucker punch to the gut.
Before he could digest this thought and work out what the hell to do with it, Ryan and Faith were amongst them.
Adam lifted a hand in greeting and Faith grinned at her audience of open-mouthed men. ‘Evening boys.’
The look on his mates’ faces reminded Monty his own jaw was still scraping the ugly carpeted floor and he picked it up quick fast. While the guys fell all over each other trying to win the honour of buying Faith’s first drink, Monty sidled up beside her.
‘Do I know you?’
Typical Faith style, she socked him in the arm.
He rubbed at the spot, pretending she’d bruised him. ‘Hey, just saying. You look different tonight.’
‘Different, huh? You sure know how to compliment a girl.’
Shaking the shocking thoughts that were really circling his head, he raised his eyebrows. ‘All right. You look amazing. Is that better? When did you get your hair done?’
‘This morning.’ Lifting fingers, which were covered in pink nail polish he’d previously thought alien to Faith, she ran them through the ends of her hair. ‘You like?’
‘Yes.’ He grinned, then leaned in close. ‘I think every bloke in the pub likes.’
‘Good. Then my mission is half-accomplished.’
‘What’s the rest of the mission?’
She wriggled her eyebrows at him and hissed in his ear, ‘To get one of them to ask me back to his place.’
A muscle at the side of his neck twinged as he thought about the prospect of one of the guys taking Faith home. Yes, they were all mates but were any of them good enough for her? Would they respect her, treat her right? Or would they simply take advantage of her current mental state?
‘You don’t know what to say, do you?’ Faith was clearly amused.
That wasn’t strictly true. He wanted to tell her to be careful. That the way she looked now made her a danger to herself in a room full of red-blooded males. ‘Sure I do. I was just thinking about which of these blokes could actually handle you.’
‘Don’t you worry your pretty little head.’ She waved her index finger in front of his nose. ‘I’ll be the judge of that.’
With that promise, she turned on her impressive heels and entered the circle of men waiting with drinks. Within seconds, someone had given her a glass of wine but it looked out of place in her grasp, considering her usual drink of choice was beer.
More closer to October 🙂