A new release from Alissa Callen
The Red Dirt Road
Read a few words from Alissa
Read an excerpt
(GIVEAWAY NOW ENDED)
Dr Fliss Knight returns to small town Woodlea after losing a patient. Her confidence and city career in tatters, she buys a rundown farm. She intends to live a solitary life and hopes that the slow country pace will help her heal.
Pick-up rider Hewitt Sinclair is no stranger to when things can get hairy in a rodeo arena. But when it is the life of his twin brother he can’t save, he hangs up his spurs. Determined to provide for his brother’s widow and young family, he gives himself no time to grieve. But when a motor bike accident proves he needs to also look out for himself, he accepts an old friend’s invitation to stay at an isolated property while his body heals.
When Fliss meets the cowboy living in the bluestone stables across the garden, all her hopes for a quiet and peaceful life fade. Despite his reserve, Hewitt is impossible to ignore. As they work together to care for an abandoned dog and her puppies and to raise money for the local hospital by attending a mountain trail ride and charity ball, they also find themselves drawn to each other.
But as a family secret threatens every truth Fliss has ever believed, and the heavy spring rain continues to fall, both Fliss and Hewitt must face their deepest fears.
Will love be enough to guarantee happiness or will the past refuse to relinquish its dark hold?
A few words from Alissa
I’ve loved revisiting the small town community of The Long Paddock and A Very Country Christmas in my new release. I’m also thrilled that Cressy’s sister, Dr Fliss, will have her own story. Hewitt, the strong and silent pickup rider proves the perfect match for no-nonsense Fliss. Edna, the town gossip, as well as Reggie, the misunderstood bull, again make an appearance along with a cast of new characters and animals. I’m busy at work writing Tanner’s story, The Round Yard, which will be out February 2019. Happy reading and all the very best in the giveaway.
Excerpt from The Red Dirt Road by Alissa Callen
Fliss sighed. She had as much of a chance of convincing Cressy that Hewitt didn’t need to stay at Bundara as she did of driving her impractical two-wheel-drive car along the muddy back roads.
‘Nothing will go wrong, but okay, I’ll be on my best behaviour.’
‘Thank you. I just hope our definitions of best behaviour are the same. Need I remind you that you hold the record for the shortest date ever?’
‘It would have been one minute, not five, if my so-called date had stopped to draw breath while listing the ways I reminded him of his ex-girlfriend. But for all of those five minutes I really did behave.’
Cressy’s lips twitched as she placed the remaining grocery items from the bag beside her onto the table. ‘I’m sure you did for two seconds.’ She headed for the door. ‘All we’ve left to unload are the plants Sue’s potted up for you. The pink geraniums are the ones Mum gave her cuttings of years ago. Then we’d better put the kettle on. The boys shouldn’t be far away.’
Mouth dry, Fliss followed. Her sanctuary was about to be breached and her fragile peace compromised. The deep croak of frogs erupted from the corrugated-iron water tank around the side of the homestead. More rain was coming. The rumble of an engine cut through the happy frog chorus, causing her stomach to lurch. She eased out a tight breath. Whoever this Hewitt was, at least if he was prepared to stay this far out of town, he wouldn’t be wanting her company.
An unfamiliar black ute negotiated the dip in the road, a quad bike strapped on the back. Denham sat in the passenger seat and he lifted a hand in greeting as Fliss and Cressy walked through the garden gate. Fliss returned his gesture, her attention focusing on the man beside him. Through the windscreen she glimpsed masculine features guaranteed to make any single woman take a second look.
The ute navigated the soft corner with ease before rolling to a stop next to the white Land Cruiser. Denham left his seat while Hewitt strode around the front of the ute. Her first impression hadn’t been wrong. Tall, broad-shouldered and lean-hipped, by anyone’s definition her guest would be considered gorgeous. Dressed in a blue shirt, jeans and boots, and with his dark head bare, he’d send the Woodlea grapevine into a frenzy. She studied the tanned angles and planes of his set features. Despite the ease with which he approached, he seemed guarded. Relief slid through her, reducing the tremors in her nerves to a tremble. He’d want as little to do with her as she would with him. Nothing would change just because she had a cowboy living across the garden.
Then Hewitt smiled. Even though his focus was on Cressy, Fliss felt the effect of his slow grin as though he was looking right at her. The rigid landscape of his face relaxed and softened, revealing the humanity beneath. Unable to look away, she fought a frown. Since when did the warmth of a man’s smile flow through her like a sugar rush after night duty? Normally she was a slow-burn girl. The only sparks she believed in were the ones she could see.
Another city habit she couldn’t let go of was reading people. Once a patient had been triaged by the emergency department nurse, Fliss would remain alert for signs of what the patient mightn’t have revealed. Was their pain real? Were they coping? What would their pain threshold be? And just like then, when Hewitt’s grey eyes met hers, she really looked at the man before her. He might stand still and straight, his arms loose by his side, but in the bleak darkness of his gaze she recognised untold emotional suffering. The slight hunch of his left shoulder and the grooves beside his mouth confirmed he was also in physical pain, and not just a small amount. A lesser man would have his shoulders bowed.
Something within Fliss tightened. Cressy had reassured her Hewitt wouldn’t be trouble and she’d hardly know he was there. Nothing could be further from the truth. He already was trouble and she already knew she wouldn’t forget he was around. For this strong and stoic cowboy, whose eyes crinkled at the corners when he smiled, was unlike any man she’d ever met.
The Red Dirt Road
(available in paperback and eBook from your preferred retailer or e-retailer)
(Giveaway now ended)
Leave a comment for Alissa and you’re in the draw to win a signed, smaller version paperback copy of The Long Paddock
plus a mini floral pansies tapestry kit
This giveaway is open to Australian postal addressees only
Giveaway ends midnight Sunday 28 January 2018 AEST
(And you can now also enter the giveaway from Nicole Hurley-Moore!)