A new release from Nicole Hurley-Moore
White Gum Creek
Read a few words from Nicole
Read an excerpt
(GIVEAWAY NOW ENDED)
Nick Langtree has lived reclusively on his farm, Winters Hill, ever since the tragic death of his wife. On the occasional trip into nearby White Gum Creek he keeps to himself and that’s the way he likes it. And though over the last six years the townsfolk have tried to reach out to Nick, he’s pushed them all away.
Whenever Nick comes into the Gumnut Bakery, Natasha Duroz tries to engage him in conversation when she serves him. There’s something about him that intrigues Tash, but she’s not sure if it’s because she feels sorry for him or there’s something more.
At last encouraged by the warmth of a few old and new friends, Nick gradually begins to re-engage with the outside world. Then, suddenly some minor vandalism on his farm escalates and odd things begin to happen on Winters Hill. Is someone out to hurt Nick or have his years of solitude been playing tricks on his mind?
A few words from Nicole
I just dropped by to say a few words about my latest novel, White Gum Creek. This is a stand-alone story, however some of the characters that were featured in Country Roads turn up in White Gum Creek as well. I’m not exactly sure where Nick Langtree sprung from. But as soon as he appeared I knew that Nick just had to have his own story. Shattered by his wife’s death, Nick becomes a recluse and spends his days on his farm, Winters Hill. He’s a broken man but after years of keeping to his own company he begins to venture out and tries to connect with the outside world once again. He wants a second chance but guilt and the past hold him back.
I wanted to explore how grief can affect us. It can almost break us but it can also bring people together and sometimes it can twist us into people we never thought we’d become.
Anyway, I hope that you’ll come and visit White Gum Creek and help me rescue our favourite recluse from a lifetime of isolation.
Excerpt from White Gum Creek by Nicole Hurley-Moore
Totally sodden, Nick stared in dismay at the large, bright-red spray-paint angled across the tin wall of his hayshed. The bloody local kids had been at it again. It was the usual stuff, and Nick figured he should be used to it by now, but if he was honest, the taunting words still stung.
Monster, Murderer, Freak.
Maybe what they said was true, maybe he was all of those things and deserved to be tormented. Not that he needed the words to remind him. He managed to do that all by himself – every day.
Get Out. You Don’t Belong Here – Leave Winnterr’s Hill.
‘Damn it – if you’re going to spray all over a man’s shed you could at least get the bloody name right,’ he muttered.
Maybe it was the only way to stop the guilt, but for a second he took pleasure on what he’d do to the little shits. Yeah, an all day grammar lesson – that should kill the kid’s enthusiasm for graffiti.
They must have enjoyed messing with him. They never took it too far – well, at least they never harmed the live stock or gutted the caravan – but every couple of months they decided that at least one of his sheds needed redecorating.
Nick wasn’t that surprised. He lived a near hermit-like existence, and Winters Hill was just far enough from White Gum Creek to appear isolated but still near enough to reach on a bike. There had been a lot of talk over the years about him and what had happened. Some of it was true, some embellished and some was a heap of complete rubbish. He guessed that it was only natural that some people would think that his place was inhabited by some deranged monster, but why the hell did they have to go and write all over everything?
Nick glanced down at his bandaged hand. At least he didn’t need two hands to paint the wall. He did, however, need to run into town and grab some paint. He glanced at the sky. It looked like the rain had set in. Maybe he should just leave it; if he didn’t paint the over the words perhaps the culprits would think he didn’t care and lose interest?
He headed back to his caravan. As the rain grew heavier, little rivulets ran down his dark hair, and Nick shivered as they trickled down the collar of his plaid shirt. He glanced over his shoulder at the accusing words. The kicker was that some of them were actually true.
White Gum Creek
(available in paperback and eBook)
(Giveaway now ended)
Leave a comment for Nicole and you’re in the draw to win a paperback copy of White Gum Creek
This giveaway is open to Australian postal addressees only
Giveaway ends midnight Sunday 28 January 2018 AEST
(And you can still enter the giveaway from Alissa Callen too!)