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Barbara Hannay is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than forty novels published in twenty-six languages worldwide. She lives in tropical North Queensland with her husband.
“I have always loved writing. Even before I could read or write, I produced ‘movies’ to entertain my younger sisters. I would draw pictures on large sheets of paper and pass them through the slats of orange boxes. Later, I used to sprawl on the floor of our lounge room writing and illustrating my own magazine stories on the backs of my father’s discarded blueprints. These were often ‘rags to riches’ or ‘ugly duckling’ stories.”
Barbara Hannay. Romance, rural romance and women’s fiction. Every generation has its secrets.
From the internationally acclaimed and award-winning romance writer Barbara Hannay comes this breathtaking novel about finding love against all the odds. It will have you captivated from beginning to end.
In 1942, as the Japanese sweep towards northern Australia and allied troops swarm into Townsville, Kitty Martin is sent inland to the safety of Moonlight Plains. But when two American airmen crash on the isolated property, she is forced to grow up fast, coming face to face with tragedy, with love . . . and with heartbreak.
Years on, and Sally Piper, a young journalist, is sent to Moonlight Plains to cover the story of a cattleman turned builder who is restoring his grandmother’s forgotten homestead. Sparks fly between them, but Sally is struggling to let go of the past, and Luke has his eyes fixed firmly on the future.
What they uncover together is a shocking secret that has been kept safe for more than seventy years. Now the entire family’s happiness is at stake – or does the truth about the past hold a valuable lesson for the future?
Excerpt from Moonlight Plains by Barbara Hannay
The sodden, knee-high grass dragged at Kitty’s trousers as she followed a barbwire fence till she came to the gate leading to the next paddock.
Heart thumping, she stopped, and with the shotgun under her arm, fumbled with the gate’s wire fastening. A shout sounded close by and her heart leapt so high she almost dropped the gun.
Should she answer?
Or should she hide?
There was no time to waste and she tried to think calmly. Would a stalking enemy call out?
Surely not. Gripping the shotgun more resolutely, she pushed the gate open. The hinges creaked alarmingly and her heart threatened to burst clear through her ribcage.
Carefully, fearfully, she crept forward. It was almost dark now, but ahead loomed the unmistakable shape of a silver-grey plane at an awkward angle. It didn’t look too badly damaged, but its nose had ploughed into the earth and its tail was in the air.
Was it a Jap plane? She’d seen photos of their fighters in the newspapers and she knew they had the red circle of the rising sun on their sides. This plane had a clear white star.
Thank you, God.
Almost giddy with relief, Kitty hurried forward. ‘Hello?’ she called. ‘Is anyone there?’
A dark figure emerged from the grove of trees behind the plane, and a deep voice answered in an accent Kitty recognised from countless movies.
‘Quick, over here. I need some help, buddy.’
Oh, my goodness.
She lifted her lantern higher. The man was tall and dressed in a dark leather flying jacket. A flying helmet and goggles dangled from his left hand and he was loosening the knot of a white silk scarf at his neck.
Kitty had never met an American before and she could feel her mouth gaping.
She caught the keen glance in his dark eyes and the silky gleam of his jet-black hair, not yet flattened by the drizzling rain. He didn’t merely sound like a hero in an American movie, he had the handsome looks of a film star too. He was, as her girlfriends would say, a real dish.
But this was no time for girlish flutters. It wasn’t even a time for introductions.
‘I’m glad you’ve brought a lantern,’ he said in a brisk, no-nonsense voice. ‘I’ve been trying to find my buddy. He ditched close by here.’
‘I heard a crash.’
‘Yeah. He could be injured.’
Without another word, the American dived back into the trees and Kitty plunged after him, doing her best to dodge saplings while she held the lantern high.
‘He’s over this way somewhere,’ the American said. ‘He didn’t make it to the open field, and I think his wing might have clipped a tree. We were losing daylight fast. Lift that light a little higher, will you?’
This man was clearly used to giving orders and being instantly obeyed. Lifting the lantern as instructed, Kitty pushed the potato sack back from her face so she could see better.
The airman stopped in his tracks, staring at her, his gaze taking in her trousers, her gun, and his dark eyes widened with surprise and then dismay.
‘What’s the matter?’ Kitty snapped.
‘You’re a girl?’
He seemed so stunned she almost giggled. ‘Yes, I’m afraid I am.’
To his credit, he recovered quickly. ‘Forgive me, madam. I thought you were a boy. No offence.’
He slanted an approving smile her way and as his gaze rested on her for a moment longer, she had the distinct impression that under other circumstances he might have said something charming, even flirtatious.
Moonlight Plains is available in eBook and paperback from all good retailers.
Please note: Moonlight Plains has a brand new cover as of June 2016 (as shown above).
Read more about Barbara and her books on Meet Barbara Hannay here on ARR
Barbara has written many more romance books. Discover them on her webpage BarbaraHannay.com
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