New Release! High Country Hero by Holly Ford

When high-flying veterinary specialist Magdalena O’Donnell’s car breaks down on a remote road outside her old home town, she has no idea how the stranger who comes to her rescue in a country pub is about to change her life.

Having brokered a fragile peace with his demons at last, ex-Afghan War pilot Mitch Stuart isn’t in the market for redemption. But when he steps outside his comfort zone to help a stranger in a country pub, he inadvertently opens the door to the ghosts of a woman and a white dog he thought he’d left behind him long ago.

Veterinary specialist Lennie O’Donnell and her beloved dog, Pesh, are taking a break from big-city life to help Lennie’s grandfather sell his old-fashioned rural clinic. Lennie has dedicated her career to healing those unable to tell her what’s wrong, but Mitch is a puzzle even she struggles to solve – or completely let go.

Meanwhile, back in Lennie’s old home town, another man of mixed messages, her high school crush Benji Cooper, is all grown up and looking at Lennie the way she always dreamed he would.

Can Mitch find the courage to let Lennie into his life? And with gorgeous, sunny, funny Benji waiting in the wings, is it a threshold Lennie wants to cross?

There’s also the matter of her grandparents’ unexpectedly fractured marriage to mend, and Lennie’s growing suspicion there might be more to the sale of her grandfather’s clinic than meets the eye.

High Country Hero by Holly Ford is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.

Purchase Links

Allen & Unwin  *  Booktopia  *  iBooks  *  Google Play  *  Amazon Australia

 

 

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More books by author Holly Ford

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Q&A With Author Julian Leatherdale!

Today’s Q&A post features Julian Leatherdale, author of the newly released The Opal Dragonfly, published by Allen & Unwin Australia, RRP $29.99.

 

In your words can you tell us a bit about your new book.

It is the story of the rise and fall of an ambitious family living in the finest house in 1850s colonial Sydney told from the point of view of the youngest daughter Isobel. From her mother, Isobel inherits a beautiful opal dragonfly brooch which brings her frightening visions in dreams. Plunged into social disgrace, Isobel seeks freedom in her forbidden love for an artist and hopes to find her true self.

Which character was the most challenging to write about?

Young women in 19thC Australia, especially those from middle class families, were expected to be pious, modest, cultured and educated (but never clever or high-achieving), obedient and subordinate (to their father and future husband). So it was challenging to write a main character who was credible as a 19thC dutiful daughter and charitable doer of good works but also someone modern readers could identify (or at least sympathise) with. Isobel is, in fact, talented, clever and strong-willed and does risk breaking social conventions. It was also important that in the face of many trials and tragedies, Isobel’s spirit not be crushed; as readers, we must be convinced by her strength of character and her self-transformation as she is exiled from her childhood world of privilege and her hero-worship of her father.

What are you favourite stand out reads and why?

This is such a hard question to answer because I like to read widely and am always being surprised and delighted by new authors and books. Recently, I was deeply impressed by Eleanor Dark’s The Timeless Land for the boldness and breadth of its vision, the rigour of its research, the beauty of its writing and the inner lives of its characters. For dark, witty humour and clever dialogue-driven story-telling, I loved Madeleine St John’s The Essence of The Thing; if you liked her Women in Black, this is worth a look. Among current day historical fiction writers, I loved Tom Keneally’s Shame and the Captives (a compelling narrative of the Cowra breakout told from both sides) and have thoroughly enjoyed two Kim Kelly novels ‘The Blue Mile’ and her latest ‘Lady & the Fox’, both so well researched with such vivid characters and authentic voices. For the sheer mastery of words and story, it is of course hard to go past Thomas Hardy (Woodlanders is a personal favourite) and Jane Austen (Mansfield Park), both of whom I re-read to ‘warm up’ for writing my own two novels.

What inspired you to become an author?

I have written in some form or another ever since I was a teenager – plays, musicals, poetry, song lyrics, film and TV scripts and several novels in the bottom drawer – and enjoyed all those experiences, collaborating with others as well as working alone. My wife, Claire Corbett, is a novelist and – not that I needed convincing – reminded me of the great pleasure she took in creating worlds. I cannot imagine my life without books and reading: in that sense I have been inspired by writers all my life. But taking the big step to becoming a published author took the inspired support of my wonderful agent and my brilliant publisher at A&U.

What projects are you currently working on?

I have gone back to writing for theatre over the last year. My two-act black comedy The Man Who Became Santa was selected for a play competition by Weatherboard Theatre Inc and is being developed for a performed reading by professional actors in May. I have also started research for my third novel set in King’s Cross in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

 


 

About The Opal Dragonfly by Julian Leatherdale

Miss Isobel Clara Macleod, youngest of the seven children of Major Sir Angus Hutton Macleod, Surveyor-General of the colony of New South Wales, had the singular misfortune to know that at seven o’clock that morning her father was going to die.

September, 1851. Sydney, city of secrets and gossip. Seventeen-year-old Isobel Macleod is determined to save her father because she loves him. But when she dares to trespass in a forbidden male world, she will be plunged into social disgrace. A wave of ill fortune threatens to swallow up her family and their stately home, Rosemount Hall, ‘the finest house in the colony’ on the foreshores of Sydney Harbour.

Is Isobel to blame for her family’s fate or does the cause lie further in the past? When Isobel was four, Major Macleod returned from an expedition with two ‘souvenirs’: an Aboriginal girl who became her friend and two opals fashioned into a dragonfly brooch for her mother.

When Isobel inherits this ‘unlucky’ heirloom, she wonders if the terrible dreams it summons are a curse or a gift. Now Isobel’s hopes for her future depend on a charming bohemian who encourages her hidden passion to become an artist. Will she now be permanently exiled from her family home? Or will she be transformed into a new self, like a magnificent dragonfly emerging into the sunlight?

A daughter sacrifices her reputation, two men bid for the love of a woman, freedom is found in the heart of a dust storm, a father’s legacy reveals past crimes.

Inspired by Elizabeth Bay House and the other grand villas of Sydney’s Woolloomooloo Hill, The Opal Dragonfly tells the bittersweet story of an ambitious family’s fall from grace and a brave young woman’s struggle to find her true self.

Purchase Links

Allen & Unwin  *  Amazon Australia  *  Google Play

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New Release! Ivan by Kit Rocha (Gideon’s Riders #3)

As the sheltered princess of Sector One, Maricela’s life is defined by duty: to her people and to her family. Her wealth and influence have allowed her to build a better world, but they come with a price—the responsibility to secure political stability with a practical marriage. Maricela cherishes the idea of marrying for love, but there’s not much romance in the endless line of suitors interested only in prestige and power.

And her handsome, brooding new bodyguard isn’t helping the situation.

Ivan is the perfect, deadly warrior, a man trained from childhood to be the ultimate protector to the Rios family. His focus on keeping her safe is intense–and a little intoxicating. When the threat of danger cracks his icy control, Maricela realizes she’s not the only one fighting against temptation.

Ivan knows that the blood on his hands makes him unworthy of the pure-hearted princess. But from the first kiss, their forbidden affair feels inevitable. He can give her a glimpse of life outside her gilded cage and a lover who wants the woman instead of the crown. The only thing he can never do is promise her forever.

Because spurning her noble suitors to marry her bodyguard wouldn’t just be a scandal. It could set off a political firestorm that would tear Sector One apart.

Purchase Links

Amazon US * iBooks * Amazon Australia * Google Play

 

 

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Gideon’s Riders Series

    

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New Release! My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie

A novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton

A general’s daughter…

Coming of age on the perilous frontier of revolutionary New York, Elizabeth Schuyler champions the fight for independence. And when she meets Alexander Hamilton, Washington’s penniless but passionate aide-de-camp, she’s captivated by the young officer’s charisma and brilliance. They fall in love, despite Hamilton’s bastard birth and the uncertainties of war.

A founding father’s wife…

But the union they create – in their marriage and the new nation – is far from perfect. From glittering inaugural balls to bloody street riots, the Hamiltons are at the center of it all – including the political treachery of America’s first sex scandal, which forces Eliza to struggle through heartbreak and betrayal to find forgiveness.

The last surviving light of the Revolution…

When a duel destroys Eliza’s hard-won peace, the grieving widow fights her husband’s enemies to preserve Alexander’s legacy. But long-buried secrets threaten everything Eliza believes about her marriage and her own legacy. Questioning her tireless devotion to the man and country that have broken her heart, she’s left with one last battle – to understand the flawed man she married and imperfect union he could never have created without her…

Purchase Links

Amazon Australia  *  iBooks US  *  Booktopia

 

 

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New Release! The Undercover Billionaire by Jackie Ashenden

The Tate Brothers were raised to protect what is theirs…

Navy SEAL Wolf Tate is on a mission of vengeance. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to infiltrate the lair of his arms-dealing enemy—and rescue the mother he never knew. To do this, he’ll need more than his father’s fortunes or his brothers-in-arms.He must find a way to kidnap his enemy’s daughter for leverage. There’s just one problem: She is also one of Wolf’s closest friends—and the only woman he’s ever loved…

For years, Olivia de Santis has been waiting for Wolf to take her in his arms and make her dreams come true. But she never imagined that he’d sneak into her bedroom one night…and take her as his hostage. Olivia knows she should resist him—and stay loyal to her own family. But how can she deny the burning justice of Wolf’s mission, and the blazing desire in his eyes—even if giving into the heat of the moment can put her in grave danger?

Purchase Links

Amazon Australia * iBooks * Google Play

 

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Goodreads

 

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