On The Shelf . . .

A couple of days ago I had one of those unforgettable experiences – I got to see my book on the shelves for the first time. Made For Marriage is a June Harlequin Blush release in Australia, after hitting the shelves in the US in January and the UK in March. It was quite a wait since its initial release and when I was out shopping with my sister on Saturday morning we headed for one of the big local chain stores and spotted it. We squeed, hugged and then took a photograph.

Actually, seeing the book on the shelf was all kinds of awesome and I’m so glad my sister was with me to share the moment because she was always one of my strongest supporters during those years when I was writing and submitting and trying to get published.

Of course I’m hoping to have many more books on the shelves . . . but like most ‘firsts’ in life, this one feels extra special.

 

 

Australian cover for Made For Marriage . . .

I’m very excited to see the Australian cover for my book Made For Marriage.

And equally excited to be sharing the duo with the awesome Karen Templeton, who has been one of my favorite Special Edition authors for the past decade.

I am so looking forward to seeing the book on the shelves. That’s one photo opportunity I’m not going to miss 🙂

Made For Marriage is released in Australia in June.

Book 3 release date and title . . .

I have a release date and a new title for book 3 in my Crystal Point series.

It’s called His-And-Hers Family and will be released by Harlequin Special Edition in the US in January 2013.

This is Fiona’s story, so to all the lovely readers who emailed me and asked what was happening to the cheerful redhead and when would I be writing her story, look out for her book early next year! I’ll have a cover up on my books page when it’s available.

Horse Tails . . . Red

A few years ago my husband was on a job and noticed a a photograph on the wall in this particular clients home. It was of a horse, full stride, chasing the finish line in a race. My husband got talking with the owner and was told the picture was of the horse he was currently training. The owner said he’d be looking for a a good home for the horse once his racing career was over and my husband said to keep us in mind (Not that we needed another horse, but this animal was special, as we discovered)

A year later the phone rang and it was the owner, telling us the horse was available. I was away at the time, on the Gold Coast at my writers meeting, and I got the call from my husband saying he was on his way to pick up our newest aquisition. Red Enzo. Who was once, we were told, the second fastest two year old in the country. Twelve hours and one round trip later, Red became part of our growing brood. He is, without a doubt, a stunning looking animal. A 17.3 hand chestnut gelding with a full white blaze. As soon as I saw his photo I knew I’d found my new dressage horse.

But he also suffers from navicular disease and his front hooves are mishapen like a ducks bill. He spent much of his racing career medicated with painkillers and injected with meds directly into the hoof prior to a race. He had numerous wins, came second as a two year old at Flemington (you know, where the Melbourne Cup is raced) and could have been a champion if not for his poor, hopeless feet. He had the heart for winning, just not the hooves.

So my plans for him to have a dressage career faded fast. He was to become a trail horse and used on short, gentle rides. I started riding him and he is a quiet, gentle giant. And he has a unique and quirky personality. He waits patiently for his feed every afternoon – and doesn’t get caught up in the running around, shouldering in for a spot near the fence when the feed buckets come out. He loves a scratch under the neck and adores a hose down on a hot day. He’s been a great honarary big brother to our yearling quarterthorse Calvin, and looks after the youngster in the paddock.

I often use my dogs and horses in my books, like in Made For Marriage, the heroine’s horse was actually based on a beautiful horse I owed in my teens, called Indiana. And I’ve already promised my readers that Red will find a home in one of my books very soon. So, stay tuned.

Next month I’m featuring another of my horses in Horse Tails . . . Jack! My husband’s twenty two year old quarterhorse who inadvertantly found his way on to uTube once.

Release date for book two . . .

I have a release date and title for my second Special Edition. Marriage Under The Mistletoe will be released in US in November 2012.

I’m very excited about this book as it is about one of my favourite characters from Made For Marriage, Evie Dunn. Evie is a widow and single mother who runs a Bed & Breakfast. She’s a sensible, reliable, thirty six year old woman who has no time for love or lust. Until a certain twenty seven year old firefighter enters her life and has her thinking about very little else!

As you can tell from the title, the book is set around Christmas time. I’ve always loved reading Christmas themed books and it was even more fun to write one. Like Made For Marriage, this book is also set in Crystal Point – a small town at the southern most point of the Great Barrier Reef. And it’s summer time in Australia at Christmas. There’s no snow, very little eggnog, and dinner usually consists of prawns (shrimp), cold ham and salads. But we do have Christmas trees and presents and play carols. As for the mistletoe? Well, Evie Dunn has the plastic variety  . . . but it still does the trick!

I hope you enjoy Marriage Under The Mistletoe and I’ll post the cover photo as soon as it arrives!

Grand Prize Blog Tour Winners . . . .

Well, my blog tour to celebrate the release of Made For Marriage is at an end and the Grand Prize Winners have been announced.

Check out the Winners at Romance Book Paradise

They are . . . .

Of the $50.00 Amazon Book voucher – the winner is Chey!

Of the silver Pandora Bracelet – the winner is Shelley B!

Congratulations ladies – please get in touch via the contacts page.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and commented. It has been fun.

I’ll be touring again for the release of book 2 in November.

UK cover for Made For Marriage

This is the sparkly new cover for Made For Marriage for it’s UK release next month.

The book is released as a duo for the Cherish line and
it’s very exciting to see it with a new look.

At this stage it’s set for release in Australia/NZ in about April/May
for the Blush imprint and I’m so looking forward to seeing on the
shelves downunder. I can’t wait to sneak a snapshot of it on the
shelf 🙂

Horse Tails . . . . Zeb

When I was twelve I got my first horse. I’d been pony mad since I was five years old and at twelve, finally, my parents relented and said I could have my very own horse. I had to learn to ride before I could take charge of one though, and quickly got into the saddle for a few much needed riding lessons. My first horse arrived a couple of months later, a huge Standardbred called Oakey who I owned for fourteen years. We had a special relationship, and one I thought I would never have again. Until Zeb.

So, fast forward fifteen years since I had to say goodbye to Oakey. My husband and I had two horses, and my main saddle horse was my mare, Sharnah. But she was aged and small and I wanted a bigger mount. I wasn’t looking seriously and then one day my husband came home and said he’d seen a horse that I would just ‘love’. He’d spotted the big black gelding on the way home, in a paddock about twenty kilometers from where we lived. I laughed, because this was just some random horse he’d spotted – we didn’t know who owned him or if he was for sale. But my husband insisted we take a drive past, and did so that weekend. Of course, I fell in love with the horse immediately. He was huge, close to 18hh (which is BIG) He was fully rugged, hood and all, so I couldn’t get much of a look at him, but he came up to the fence and I had a pat. After that I would visit him every week for a couple of minutes, hoping to catch a glimpse of his owners, but it never happened. I’d take him a bit of hay and he’d always come to greet me. One day, about four months later, my husband came home and told me the horse was gone. Silly, but I was sad for weeks. it seemed I had to forget all about the big black and look elsewhere.

We did get another horse a couple of months later – a Standardbred mare that we adopted from a fate where so many ex racehorses go. But she was not for me – too spirited, too intense. She quickly became my husband’s horse. And the search for my new mount started again. About a year later we answered an advertisment and went to have a look at an ex-racehorse, who happened to be agisted in the same pasture where the big black once was. As we arrived a car pulled up and a woman and teenage girl got out. My husband explained we were there to look at the horse that was for sale – they seemed to know the owner and chatted about the horse for a few minutes. The horse for sale was not for me, I discovered, as it hadn’t been ridden in over two years. When I said I was looking for a big, quiet horse I could trust, the woman look at me, smiled, and said – “Oh, you want something like Zeb.” She pointed to a cluster of trees and I turned around to look. And there he was – my big black. He was back. He’d been away at a riding school, she explained, and was ‘sort of’ for sale. Inside I was jumping up and down, and I couldn’t help thinking how I once again felt like that twelve year old girl who’d wanted a pony so badly.

They didn’t really want to sell him, as the teenage girl had become attached. However, I knew I had to have this horse. We actually had to go to their house for an interview, which was funny, and I talked all about my first horse and how much I now wanted Zeb. That was four years ago. Zeb is now a permanent part of my life. My trusted mate who makes me remember what it is about horses that I love. It was fate, I guess. If I hadn’t gone to that paddock to see the other horse I would never had met Zeb’s then owner. Timing, in so many ways in our lives, can be everything.