Monday, 26 June 2017

Tales From The Past Part Three: Sleeping Beauty

with Sharon Bryant

Why Use a Sleeping Beauty theme?

The Sleeping Beauty story is less utilised than Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast, however elements of this story appear in many romance novels. Think of stories involving amnesia, coma or time travel.

In essence, Sleeping Beauty is about impossible love, and the ability of true love to triumph over evil. Such timeless themes, together with the suspense created by the enduring presence of a wicked fairy whose viewpoint could be understood, made the movie Maleficent a huge box office success in 2014.

Sleeping Beauty in Historical Romance

Flowers from the Storm, a historical romance by Laura Kinsale published in 2003, remains one of my favourite Sleeping Beauty romances. The hero, Christian, is a womanising rake. He leads a dissolute lifestyle resulting in a stroke. Doctors do not know what has happened, and incarcerate him in a mental institution. Enter Maddy Timms, a nurturing, chaste Quaker who needs to marry someone of her own faith. She recognises the intelligence trapped within Christian and wants to help him. He would love to seduce her, if only he were free to do so.

Another fabulous Sleeping Beauty story is The Accidental Wedding, a regency romance by Anne Gracie. Nash Renfrew, a diplomat, wakes with amnesia in the bed of Maddy Woodford, a poor country girl who has responsibility for five younger siblings. As their mutual attraction grows, Nash pretends that his memory is not returning so he doesn't have to leave her. The book is well crafted with ever-fabulous Anne Gracie characterisation, and a hero and heroine I loved.

Sleeping Beauty in Contemporary Romance

Waking Rose by Regina Doman tells the story of Rose Brier who has loved Ben Denniston, known as Fish, ever since he rescued her from a perilous situation. Sadly her love is not returned. Ben struggles with issues of his own and there is no way he wants a relationship with someone whose passion and honesty can get past his defences. If he ever marries he will choose a practical wife. Then tragedy occurs and Ben …I won't spoil it for you by saying what happens next.

What is your favourite Sleeping Beauty story? Why do you think the Sleeping Beauty tale is so enduring?

I love to love: My eldest daughter and her fiance visited Sydney last weekend. It was great to catch up with them.

I love to laugh: Conversation around a table with family and friends is the best.

I love to learn: I went to the Sydney Writer's Festival with my sister last month. So many fascinating sessions to attend. So many ideas to discuss and reflect upon.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Author Spotlight: Annie West

Here at Breathless in the Bush, we love cheering on our Aussie authors. Special guest this month for our Author Spotlight is the gorgeous Annie West. Welcome, Annie!

What is the one 'must have' when you are writing?

Something to drink--tea, coffee or preferably water--I like being able to sip as I think.

What are you reading at the moment?

A Harlequin Sexy book by Michelle Smart and a book of essays by Jennifer Weiner.

Name one thing you're scared of.

Image courtesy of:

Horror films.

Like to share something that recently made you happy?

A keepsake necklace was broken so I took it to a jeweller. In the process of fixing it they accidentally broke it even more and had to replace a couple of the green peridots, which meant a long wait. When I collected it, not only did the jeweller refuse payment, but she had also made matching earrings as an apology for the delay. That was a terrific surprise. 😊

Like to share an embarrassing moment?

Sharing dinner with strangers, we got talking about fresh produce. I mentioned my dislike of chokos, saying I couldn't understand why they were sold in supermarkets. It turned out my neighbour at the table was Australia's biggest choko producer. Fortunately he had a sense of humour.

What is the premise of your latest book?

Bound to the Italian Boss is an office romance about an executive PA who's spent the last year hiding her beauty after being sexually harassed in a previous job. In the meantime she's fallen for her boss, Luca, who's not only sexy and charismatic but treats her as an equal. Luca finds himself drawn to the prim, no-nonsense woman who's become his right hand. When they meet away from the office, when all their barriers are stripped away, life becomes very interesting.

What unique challenges did the book pose?

This is only my third novella and while I love the shorter format (this one is half the length of the Harlequin stories) it's a challenge packing a strong, emotional story into a shorter word count.

What are you working on at the moment?

A sheikh story about a man who inherits a kingdom and a woman who changes his life. I've also started another 'Hot Italian Nights' novella.

What is your writing schedule? Morning, afternoon or night?

Day time, as early as possible, except that I tend to go for a long walk before breakfast. By night I'm ready to relax.

Are you a plotter, pantser or somewhere in between?

I prefer 'organic writer'. 😊 I used to plot, until I found I'd plotted so much I hadn't left my characters room to become real, passionate people. Now I start with my characters and their backstories plus a strong conflict and then disappear into the mist, finding out what happens along the way. So invigorating and exciting!

Do you listen to music as you write?

Sadly no. I find myself being distracted by the lyrics and even instrumentals seem to break my concentration, dragging me out of the world of the story. I really do feel like I'm in that other world as I write.

What do you love to love?

My family. And cute furry animals.

What do you love to laugh at?

Image courtesy of Pinterest.

Events rather than people.

Anything absurd, and, I hate to admit--really bad puns!

What do you love to learn about?

I love hearing how writers came to write a particular story or how they became writers. I love history and hearing quirky details in the background behind historical events and people is fascinating. Just today I learned how Tim Tams got their name. Of course I was fascinated--historical trivia and chocolate!

About Annie

Annie is a USA Today Bestselling author who loves writing passionate, intense love stories. She's currently writing her 33rd 'Sexy' series book for Harlequin Mills and Boon. She's won the Australian Romantic Book of the Year and the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award. Annie has devoted her life to an in-depth study of tall, dark, charismatic heroes who cause the best kind of trouble in the lives of their heroines. Creating heroines who are a perfect match for those strong, stubborn men is one of her favourite things. As a sideline she's also researched dreamy locations for romance, from vibrant cities to desert encampments and fairytale castles. She lives north of Sydney, between glorious beaches, a pretty lake and fine vineyards. Her favourite things are books, good company, good food and travel.

You can find out more about Annie's books at her website.

You can also keep up to date with her news via her Facebook page

or by signing up for her email newsletter 

Monday, 12 June 2017

What is Love? Part Two

By Cassandra Samuels

Welcome to part two of my exploration of What is Love? In my last blog I talked about the science of attraction but in this blog I want to explore physical attraction.

What makes one of us attracted to another? It's that first spark that can cause a sizzle or an inferno in a relationship. We all want an all-consuming love that lasts the rest of our lives, but it has to start somewhere. That somewhere is attraction.

We've all heard of natural selection: that we choose a mate by determining who is going to produce the best and healthiest offspring. This is often called the Good Gene Hypothesis.

But what I want to look at today is the research done on the symmetrical attractiveness of the face.
According to scientists, a symmetrical face is a sign of healthiness, whereas an asymmetrical face is a sign of deformity or unhealthiness.

This is where I say that nobody has a perfectly symmetrical face, but those who are widely considered to be attractive often have a more symmetrical face. For example, I took a picture of Brad Pitt.

As you can see he has a pretty symmetrical face. The tip of his nose lines up with the tips of his ears, his nose and chin line up and his eyes are evenly spaced and in line. But what happens if I take half of his face and use that same side to make up the other side of his face?

This is two of his right side which shows how very symmetrical his face is.

Let's look at two sides of his left side, below.

This is what I imagine his sporty brother might look like 😉. Which side of Brad do you prefer? Now you know why some people take photos better from one particular side.

Let's have a look at some others.

Facial symetry has an effect on whether someone finds another attractive in both males and females. Symmetry is a sign of superior genetic quality and developmental stability. Males with more symmetric faces as they age are said to have higher intelligence and to be more efficient at information processing than men with less symmetric faces. This could be due to better genes leading to more resistance against illness and stressors in life, which is then reflected in less accumulated fluctuating asymmetry.

Of course, being attracted to someone is not simply about symmetry. There are many other factors that make us attracted to someone: voice, eye colour, sense of humour, height and smell.

What is it that makes someone attractive to you?

Love to love - celebrating my daughter's baby shower.

Love to laugh - at my grandson's awesome dance moves (he's 20mths old).
Love to learn - Podcasts about Women in History by the History Chicks

Monday, 5 June 2017

What I Loved About 'RWA 50K in May'

by Marilyn Forsyth

Image courtesy of Giphy
I have just enjoyed the most inspirational month of writing, joining more than 80 other romance writers in the ‘RWA 50K in May’ group. I’d often thought of doing NaNoWriMo, but November is way too busy a time for me. MayNoWriMo, though, I reckoned could do!

Image courtesy of Giphy

Being a pragmatist, I knew I would never reach the dizzying heights of writing 50K over four weeks, so I set 20K as my goal. I'm more than happy to report that in May I more than doubled my usual monthly output.

Participating in the group was, for me, a great exercise in discipline. Every day, even when I was pressed for time or lacking in focus, I had to get some words down because I needed to report my word count each night.

A number of participants came up with some great tips to keep track of progress:

*Anne Gracie suggested rounding down the word count to the nearest hundred, checking how close to the next hundred you are and pushing yourself past it. I used a version of this by rounding down and using anything over that hundred as an automatic head start for the following day.

Link to Kendall's page

*Kendall Talbot posted a chart to achieve 30K in 30 days (above) which was adapted by Suzy Jay. I used a combination of both (below).

My version of the Word Count Chart at the beginning of the month.

*The spreadsheet created by Sarah Brabazon was a great motivator! I had to try to get that red line to meet the green line. (Didn't manage until right at the end, as you can see!)

*Quite a few members joined in sprints, which I wasn’t able to because I leave nights free for family time, but it obviously worked well for them.

At the outset, I did tend to compare my own word count to that of others, but there really is no point to that. With something like this you have to run your own race. I salute writers who can produce several thousand words a day but I have to accept that it’s not what I do.

The thing about joining a group like this is that everyone supports each other, urging one another on to meet our goals. The camaraderie was sensational. As writers, we lead an isolated existence, and it’s great to know that there are others out there experiencing the same things we go through.

Image courtesy of

It was also great to have commiserations when the frustrations of life got in the way, when things didn’t go to plan, or when disaster struck. I had a ‘hot wax’ experience (not as kinky as it possibly sounds😉) where I spilled my ‘ritual’ scented candle over the keyboard, traumatizing my laptop into shutdown mode. It was a very anxious overnight wait to see if I’d lost all the words I’d written, but I was still able to access the group via my ipad, and having people out there who understood the way I was feeling really helped. (The laptop had recovered by the next morning and the words weren’t lost. Yay!)

At the end of the month I had written 20 000 words. Yep, I reached my goal!

Image courtesy of Giphy

And altogether our group wrote over 1 million words!

A huge shout out to Delwyn Jenkins for coordinating the group, and to all my fellow participants. I really enjoyed your company and hope to meet in person those of you going to the conference in BrisVegas, in August.

The idea now is to ‘maintain the rage’, so to speak, and keep that doubled-up weekly word count happening.

Wish me luck!

Have you ever dedicated a month to writing with a group? How did you go?

Love to Love the fact that I’m now close to halfway to finishing my current wip.

Love to Laugh at Juanita Kee’s take on participating in RWA 50K in May. Here’s the link: Procrastination and a Mutinous Muse

Love to Learn different ways to increase my word count!

Monday, 29 May 2017

Miranda's May Musings

How Do You Choose What To Read Next?

Part Two!

Miranda is currently overseas. She hopes to reply to any comments but may not be able to (internet access being difficult at times). Meanwhile, she sends all her lovely regular readers her very best regards, and hopes you enjoy these suggestions for some great Book Review Blogs. 

Darlings, if browsing bookstores or having romance author friends isn't doing it for you with reading recommendations, where next to turn?

Dear reader friends, look at book blogs! I do recognise the irony of writing this on a blog - but hey, it works for me. I get heaps of book blogs handily funnelled into my email. Sometimes, particularly on the first couple of days of the month, I get severe reader envy... You've read all that? In ONE month? You know about all these others? But I am (usually) fairly adult about this reading jealous-ness and move on to peruse the book lists. Which is how I discovered Sally Thorne's The Hating Game after about five billion people recommended it - and having read it, decided it was going to be 'my' pick on The Breathless List which you can see again here:

Picture Credit:

Which book blogs, you ask? If I wrote them all down you'd be still reading this next week, so let me give you a few examples and you can surf in and check them out. First, I have to give a big shout out to the Australian Romance Readers blog here. You are one click away from romance book paradise. So many authors, so little time! If you are also a writer, look no further than the Romance Writers of Australia blog. A lot of Aussie romance authors also contribute to blogs with colleagues overseas, and the links are on their websites. Let your fingers do the walking.

Romance blogs that feature highly on my read list:

All About Romance. I think I've been reading this since - er, maybe (whispers) the 90's.
RT (Romantic Times) Book Reviews. I also subscribe to their online magazine, and have since (whispers) the 90's. All the hot goss, all the reviews, every month, and the blog more often. I usually want to read everything they top star, so have to whittle it down to a few hundred or so (heh)...
Booktopia's romance blog. Love the Nine Naughty Questions they ask authors, and love the info and new romance releases they feature.
Amazon romance editors get to pick the Best of the Month, and this link also takes you to romance best sellers for the month. Once you get started you'll discover a very pleasant hour - or two or three - has passed.

Picture Credit: Picjumbo

Last but certainly not least, and these are a blast, I *must* mention the entertaining:

Heroes and Heartbreakers, and
Smart Bitches Trashy Books, which I love and adore and giggle over.

Both lead to endless - I repeat, ENDLESS covetous book thoughts from me, plus much amusement at their fun reviews and hilarious comments. It's so easy to get their newsletters and blogs straight into your inbox, or streamed. I highly recommend them both.

Phew! Enough information for now. Now go, get started.

And do share, what reading blogs are in your Top 5?

Love from Miranda xxx

Love to love:     reading romance book blogs. No brainer, really.

Love to laugh:  at some of the snarky comment on the above, especially when I agree.

Love to learn:   about more book blogs. Share your faves with me. Please?

Monday, 22 May 2017

How to Write a Bestseller (Part One) - Advice from 4 Well-Known Romance Authors

by Enisa Haines

What is it about some books that they hurtle onto bestseller lists? Four popular romance authors share

their tips on the writing of a bestseller.

Anna Campbell, Award-winning Regency Historical Romance author:

Hi Breathless gals! Thanks for much for asking me to contribute to this blog about what makes a

bestseller - to which my immediate answer was "I wish I knew". But then I thought a bit harder about

books of mine that have done particularly well and it all came down to hooks that draw in the reader.

So for example, my very popular novella Stranded with the Scottish Earl is pretty much what it says

it is - cabin romance with a handsome Scotsman. Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed is my bestselling

full-length book, and it has a lot of hooks - sexual premise, Beauty and the Beast story, tortured hero,

brave virginal heroine, gothic setting. There's a couple of tried and true hooks that never lose their

appeal. Examples include Cinderella, fish out of water, marriage of convenience, friends to lovers,

enemies to lovers. Even better, if you take one of those beloved tropes and manage to twist it in a

new and exciting way, you're well on your way to a bestseller.

Anne Gracie, Award-winning Regency Historical Romance Author:

How to write a bestseller? Of course a good story is crucial (actually better to have a blow-your-

mind-knockout premise), memorable characters and good writing. But there's also a lot of luck

involved - who first reads it, being 'discovered' and how they spread the word, and whether you're

being built through intense publisher promo, or slower word of mouth. And being prolific certainly

helps, especially in indie publishing. If you're not an instant smash hit, then you need to build a body

of work - when a new reader enjoys a new book, they look for your backlist. That's why all my books

for Berkley are still in print - people keep buying my backlist. But I can never tell which of my books

is going to do well, and often it surprises me. I was worried that my book Autumn Bride would be a

flop, because the romance really begins in the second half of the book. Instead, readers bonded with

the female characters, and the book sold really well.

Kelly Hunter, USA Today Bestselling Author:

Thanks for the opportunity, Enisa! Oh, if only I had the recipe for perpetual bestseller creation.

Because my personal favourites (namely my quieter stories that have often been my award winners)

have never been my USA Today bestsellers. I've analysed the why of it and come to the vague

conclusion that my volume bestsellers all have brand recognition and a strong and unique story

premise. If you can distill that premise down to a you-beaut log line, do it. For example, a pretend

wife inadvertently orders a hit on her new 'husband' while holidaying in Hong Kong. A memorable

title helps (Wife for a Week). So, too, does publisher promo support. Simple! (Not simple.)

Rachael Johns, International Bestselling Author:

I'm a totally organic writer so my tip is to write from your heart, to write something you'd love to


For years I tried to write literary romance because that's what they wanted me to write at university

and after that I tried to write sexy romance for Mills & Boon because I thought surely that had to be

easier than literary fiction. Bahaha! Both are equally as hard in different ways - all writing is hard,

but I strongly believe it should also be fun. And for me writing stopped being fun and I was ready to

give up, so I decided to forget about literary fiction or category romance and just write a book I

would love to read. I decided to try and forget about being published and just find the love again. The

book was Jilted (my first print-published book) - I forgot everything I'd been taught so far and just let

the words pour out of me as they would if I'd spoken them.

Even when I later changed genres and tried my hand at women's fiction (with The Patterson Girls), it

wasn't a conscious decision to write in another genre - the story came to me first and I fell in love

with the premise before I started writing.

I'll admit not every book is a joy and ideas don't always come when I need them to, but the ones that I

have a strong idea about, the ones I'm excited about, do flow easier and I believe that comes across on

the page.

My second piece of advice would be to stress less about the so-called rules of writing - following

these rules to the letter can make you sound like every other writer out there. Your voice is your point

of difference, don't let trying to do everything 'right' strip you of your essence!

There you have it, writing a bestseller isn't as simple as it sounds. Watch out for Part Two where four

more beloved romance authors offer their hints for bestseller success.

What, to you, makes a bestseller?

Love to love: romance novels you just can't put down (and I'm so thankful there are many of them!)

Love to laugh: at the crazy antics of animals on YouTube.

Love to learn: about Medieval history. A brutal and yet fascinating time in our past.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Small Towns as Setting

Kerrie Paterson Guest Post

Kerrie Paterson writes contemporary women's fiction and small town romance—stories about women in their 40s and above who have reached a crossroads in their life. She loves to write about women’s relationships with their friends and family, as well as their romances.

When she’s not writing, she’s a Scout leader, crew for a local drama theatre, taxi driver for her teenage son and keeper of the family knowledge (aka ‘Mum, have you seen my camera / phone / cable etc?’). In her spare time (ha!), she's a yoga student, keen photographer and avid reader.

Kerrie lives in the Hunter Valley, Australia.

A Reader's Query

I'd love to read a topic centred around writing romance with a small town setting. I'm curious about how you create your settings and how you make what happens there so believable.

Why Do I Write About Small Towns?

I’m not sure where my love of the small town setting comes from, but possibly it’s due to the fact that the first ten years of my life were spent growing up in a small town outside Cessnock, NSW. I’m not sure of exact figures but I’m guessing it had a population of around 300 at that time. We had the local servo/corner store, one primary school with only a couple of teachers, the pub and not much more! (And we had an outdoor toilet!) Even Cessnock itself was basically a small town in the 70s and 80s. I remember when the first set of traffic lights were installed and the first takeaway chain arrived in the town!

I also spent a fair bit of time on my aunt and uncle’s property growing up, so while I’m a townie, I’ve got some idea of what it’s like to live out of town.

I’m personally drawn to reading books set in small towns, so I guess it seemed natural to me to write books with that setting. I like to make the town and its people as much a part of the story as the hero and heroine.

Hope Creek and Jacaranda Avenue

The towns of Hope Creek and Jacaranda Avenue in Langbrooke in my books are physically both based on small towns near where I live, with some changes to suit my story. If I don’t use buildings that are already in the actual town, I google images until I find something that suits what I have in mind and pin in to my pinterest boards. I also draw a map (very badly!) based on the existing town and add landmarks, streets etc so I don’t forget where I’ve placed something!

I love to laugh at funny animal videos on YouTube.
I love to learn about history, especially how people lived and worked.
I love to love time spent in nature, particularly near water.

So I’d love to know – are you a small town fan or do you prefer the big city? What aspect of the setting appeals to you the most?

To find out more about Kerrie and her writing see
Pinterest -

Website -

Facebook - and

Monday, 8 May 2017

Writing is My Therapy

By Karen M. Davis

Some people like to run, walk, meditate, have a massage, talk with friends over a glass of wine, or do countless other things  to clear their heads. These are all a form of therapy, coping with the stresses and worries of everyday life. My way of dealing with stress, anxiety, pressure or whatever you like to call it, is to write.

Writing therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses the act of writing and processing the written word as therapy. Writing therapy posits that writing one's feelings gradually eases feelings of emotional trauma. (Wikipedia.)
I know many writers who have loved to write for as long as they can remember. I am not one of them. I only discovered my passion for writing by circumstance, really.

After twenty years in the New South Wales police force, I was diagnosed with chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - something I still have to manage as best I can - and I was forced to leave the career that I loved for my own health. It was not a good time to say the least. A psychologist suggested - as did my mother - that I write about the traumas I had witnessed and experienced as therapy. I couldn't see the point in this at first but it was pointed out to me that it was a recognised  "form of therapy," so I decided to give it a go. What did I have to lose?

At first, just thinking about the horrific things I'd seen was bad enough. Writing about them was even harder. But what I found by putting pen to paper - or fingers to keyboard - was that telling my stories and expressing my emotions in words was in fact a form of release. As they say I was literally getting things that were weighing me down off my chest, dark memories out of my head and onto the computer screen. This allowed me to see things from another perspective. It also distanced me from the situations I had encountered. I can't explain it exactly but I certainly know it helped. It also reminded me of the positives of my job; the good things, the funny times.

Eventually my real life stories grew into a book of memoirs which I entitled "Cop This." By this time I had developed a love of writing, which gave me a new purpose, a different direction and a fresh and exciting passion. 

Turning  my experiences into fiction enables me to tell my stories from afar, so to speak, from the safety of my study. When writing I'm completely in the moment. I'm back in the police world I know so well, with my old workmates ( my characters) in the parts of Sydney I love and have worked (my settings.) The plots are inspired by my memories as my fictional world consumes me and comes together like just another day at the office. Well most of the time...


What is your form of therapy?

I love to love listening to audio books - these are my new discovery as it allows me to do two things at once.
I love to laugh at funny baby videos.
Image courtesy of jpeg
I would love to learn a different language.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Tales From The Past Part Two: Cinderella

with Sharon Burke

Disney's 2015 live action remake of Cinderella grossed over $500 million worldwide. Cinderella tales arise in many parts of the world including China, Greece, India, Malaysia and the Middle East. Many popular historical romances published today use a Cinderella theme. Even the capable romantic heroine who knows her own mind has elements of a Cinderella-type romance in her contemporary love story.

Why is this the case? What is it about the Cinderella tale that makes it so popular and enduring? How has this story survived, and remained a popular theme of so many romance novels, in this age of feminism?

Why do we love or hate the Cinderella story?

Much of the contemporary dislike for the Cinderella story, arises because it is perceived as being about the rescue of Cinderella – the prince rescues Cinderella from her stepmother and a life of deprivation. The modern success of the Cinderella story is attributed to a different mindset. People who love the story frequently view it as not being so much about rescue as about change and hope – there is a “happy ever after” in which we can all believe.

My favourite contemporary Cinderella story is Girl on a Plane by Cassandra O'Leary. This fast-paced romance between assertive Sinead and overloaded, time-poor Gabriel gives us a hero and heroine who both need to change and overcome personal difficulties. With brilliant comedy and unexpected plot twists both protagonists grow and achieve their happy ever after.

What is your favourite Cinderella romance?

Are you a fan of the classic tale or does it annoy you?

Do you think the story is about change and hope?

I love to love: I am going to the ballet with my Dad tonight.

I love to laugh: I was so sorry to hear John Clarke died. I have been a fan of “Clarke and Dawe” for several years.

I love to learn: We just returned from a trip to Tasmania during which we took many walks and learnt about the history behind the places we visited.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Miranda's April Musings

How Do You Choose What To Read Next?

Part One!

It's a problem, isn't it? You read a super good book, sigh, cry, hug it to your heart, kiss the cover (er, not that I'm admitting to that...), etc. etc., and put it on the keeper shelf. (Maybe stuff it somewhere on the keeper shelf might be a better description. Or make space where there is none and ruthlessly shove it in, aha...) Oh, the desolation at having finished! Will there ever be another book so wonderful, so moving, so thrilling, so romantic?

My gorgeous new mug, ooh ooh.

The answer is, and I'm not making this up, of course there will. Take heart, mes amies, there is always a teetering tottering tower of romance to choose from. Thank you, romance writers, I love you all!

The very second, and even before (don't you love that pre-ordering function from Amazon?) one of the marvellous ladies from this blog - Marilyn Forsyth, Cassandra Samuels, Karen Davis I'm looking at you - publishes a newie, it's pre-ordered in a flash. Happy day when it arrives on my Kindle as Marilyn's book recently did; and I'm anticipating Karen's book eagerly. Sharon Burke and Enisa Haines, it won't be long now... 💕💕

Photo credit:
Photo Credit:

And when I simply and utterly love a book to bits, I also love the function on Amazon that says: Customers who bought this item also bought - and there's your reading list for the next two months. Or two years. Scroll down and see it here, for Marilyn's first book. There's also the Top 100 Bestselling Romance feature on Amazon, which is fun to browse through. Total clickbait for me.

In my neck of the woods, Sydney, Australia, we have some fabulous bookstores which draw me in as shiny diamonds attract others. I'm talking Dymocks, Abbey's, Berkelouw Books, and Harry Hartog. If you're drawing a blank about what to read next, pay your fave local bookshop a visit, stay a while, drool a little, and you will come out with treasures.

Me? I just have to scroll through my Kindle (overstuffed, ridiculously so) or my shelves (ditto), and I'm spoilt for choice. I never seem to have a problem about what book to read next.

Funny thing, that.

What about you?

Love from Miranda xxx

Love to love: Easter eggs. I think I've just consumed my body weight in them plus hot cross buns. Love this time of year!

Love to laugh: At my TBR list. Psst, confession: I think even if I live to be 1,000 years old I'll never read all the books waiting for me. But I'll give it a jolly good shot.

Love to love: Knowing all those excellent reads will happen. I am ever the optimist.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Author Spotlight: Cathryn Hein

Here at Breathless in the Bush, we love to celebrate our Aussie Authors. Our special guest for this month's Author Spotlight is the lovely Cathryn Hein. Welcome Cathryn!
What is one ‘must have’ when you are writing?

A glass of water. Writing can be thirsty work!

What are you reading at the moment?

The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley. Finishing will mean I’ve read every one of her releases. Kearsley’s stories and writing are mesmerising.

Name one thing you’re scared of.

The stuff of nightmares! Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Crocodiles. I refused to play golf at a course in Townsville over Christmas because a 3.5 metre saltwater croc had taken up residence in one of the dams. No one else seemed to be too worried but I KNOW that thing would have sought me out.

Like to share something that recently made you happy?
Wayward Heart being winning favourite cover at the recent Australian Romance Reader Awards. That was so cool!

What is the last photo you took with your phone?

A photo of the dinner I was making – pot-roasted chicken with chorizo, leeks and cider from Rick Stein’s Spain cookbook. I love to cook and take a LOT of photos of food.

What is the premise of your latest book?

Wayward Heart is a friends-to-lovers romance about two broken people who discover unexpected strengths in each other, but one is hiding a damaging secret and someone wants it exposed.

What unique challenges did the book pose?

Keeping Digby and Jasmine sympathetic for the reader given their difficult backgrounds and life choices. Although it can be read as a stand-alone, Wayward Heart is also a follow-on story to Rocking Horse Hill, which meant I needed to bring readers up to speed about events in that book without info-dumping or boring those who already know the facts. It’s a tricky thing to manage.

What are you working on at the moment?

Edits for my next release. We’re still nutting out a title but I’m RIDICULOUSLY excited about this book. I think it’s my best yet.

What is your writing schedule? Morning, afternoon or night?

Definitely mornings. I’m usually at work around 7am. I take a long break around 11 or 11.30, when I exercise and have lunch and sometimes read for a while, after which I return to work, finishing up around 5 or 5.30pm.

Are you a plotter, pantser or somewhere in between?

Somewhere in between. I was a pantser and I still think it’s my preferred way to write but I’ve learned that I make more efficient progress if I plot.

Do you listen to music as you write?

Sometimes. Every book is different. For example, I wrote April’s Rainbow with INXS’s “Afterglow” playing on a loop, while other books, like Wayward Heart, have had entire playlists. Almost every book I’ve written has had at least one theme song. The only exception to that so far is Summer and the Groomsman. I have no idea why. It just kind of worked out that way.

What do you love to love?

My Jim. Love him to bits.

What do you love to laugh at?

Pretty much everything, but lately I’ve been getting great joy from the Twitter feeds of 100% Goats and We Rate Dogs. They’re a hoot!

What do you love to learn about?

Food! I adore cooking and will happily spend hours in the kitchen, whipping up recipes. I also love eating out and trying new things.

Short Bio
Cathryn Hein is the best-selling author of ten rural romance and romantic adventure author novels, and regular Australian Romance Reader Awards finalist. A South Australian country girl by birth, she loves nothing more than a rugged rural hero who’s as good with his heart as he is with his hands, which is probably why she writes them! Her romances are warm and emotional, and feature themes that don’t flinch from the tougher side of life but are often happily tempered by the antics of naughty animals. Her aim is to make you smile, sigh, and perhaps sniffle a little, but most of all feel wonderful.
Cathryn currently lives at the base of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales with her partner of many years, Jim. When she’s not writing, she plays golf (ineptly), cooks (well), and in football season barracks (rowdily) for her beloved Sydney Swans AFL team.
Cathryn’s latest release is WAYWARD HEART, available in all good bookstores and online now.
Discover more about Cathryn and her stories at
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