Time for a new series, and what an exciting one it is - New Authors!
All the featured authors are from the Romance Writers of Australia
or Romance Writers of New Zealand, and have just been or are newly published with the digital imprints
of Australian publishing houses like - Random House, Harlequin, Penguin
and Pan Macmillan.
This week, please welcome Alissa Callen.
When Alissa Callen isn’t writing she plays traffic controller to four
children, three dogs, two horses and one renegade cow who really does
believe the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.
teacher and a counsellor, she remains interested in the life journeys
that people take. She also is partial to historic homesteads and country
gardens and has been known to drive hours to see an open garden.
currently lives on a small slice of rural Australia in central western
New South Wales.
Title – BENEATH OUTBACK SKIES
Release Date – 1/2/13
Publisher – Random House Australia
Call Story - For a long time I wrote as an isolated writer before discovering Romance Writers of Australia. Via such a fabulous organization I’ve made lifelong friends as well as honed my craft.
At the 2012 Gold Coast Conference Harlequin announced Escape Publishing and Random House their digital-first romance list. So post-conference I sent out stories like they were Christmas cards and since then have been lucky enough for all my submission-stars to align.
WHAT LOVE SOUNDS LIKE came out with Escape Publishing (Harlequin) 10th January, 2013; and BENEATH OUTBACK SKIES as a launch title for the Random Romance (Random House) list soon after.
About your book:
Hero - Tait Cavanaugh
Heroine - Paige Quinn
Setting - Outback, NSW, Australia
BENEATH OUTBACK SKIES excerpt
‘Unless this city-boy is on a first-name basis with the rain gods, I’m not showing him around Banora Downs.’
Paige Quinn’s quiet, measured words fell like much needed rain into the silence of her father’s study.
‘I know how hard you work, how busy you are, but I’ve given my word this man can stay.’ Lines of tension mapped Connor Quinn’s creased features. His strong shoulders were braced beneath the red-checked cotton of his best shirt. ‘Possum ... I’m sorry.’
Her Akubra crumpled beneath her tight grip. She’d been out droving hungry cattle in the long paddock for a fortnight. In such a time it looked as though her father had aged a decade.
‘It’s okay, Dad. You can’t control fate. Can’t make life fair.’
Her gentle tone failed to return colour to her father’s hollowed cheeks. They both knew she wasn’t talking about the endless blistering Australian summer.
‘We can do this. We can survive.’ Conviction echoed in her words like her footsteps upon the floorboards as she approached her father’s desk. ‘Just as we’ve always done. Just the two of us.’ She placed her hat upon the time-worn mahogany. ‘We don’t need some paying guest’s cash.’
She may as well have been talking to one of the garden statues that now presided over old tools in the shed instead of lush lawns and fragrant flower beds. The only movement in her father’s expression was his eyes as they glanced from her face to her hat. She shifted on her feet. The sun-bleached felt would look pristine compared to her own torn-around-the-edges appearance. Her faded emerald-green shirt was caked in ochre dust, her jeans so stiff they could walk by themselves to the laundry.
Her father lowered his hands and the sinews of his forearms flexed as he manoeuvred his wheelchair out from behind the desk. He rolled to a stop before her.
‘Yes, we do. We haven’t had a wheat crop for five years. We’ve few cattle left to sell.’ She steeled herself so the reality of how much they did have left wouldn’t show on her face. ‘This drought has hit us hard. We need money to eat ... to live.’
She swallowed down her hunger. The meagre slice of toast she’d eaten around her dawn campfire was little more than a memory.
‘We’ll make do. You know what happened with the last city-slicker. He had three showers a day and drained the tank. Not to mention our phone bill because his mobile didn’t have reception. Then as for the time he went for a walk and we had to organize a bloody search party…’ She knelt to grasp her father’s hands. ‘This man will be just the same. He’ll be nothing but trouble. We don’t have the diesel to drive him to town. We don’t have the cash for his lobster and caviar.’
‘If it helps,’ a deep-timbered voice sounded from the doorway behind her, ‘I’m allergic to seafood.’
Any upcoming releases? I'm currently working on a small town series based around a country town that holds an annual Elvis festival. Fingers crossed the first book in this series will hit cyber-shelves before the end of 2013. I also am working on another full length rural novel.
Thank you, Kylie, so much for having me.
It's been a pleasure, Alissa!
You can find out more about Alissa on her website, or follow her on Facebook.