Sunday excerpt "Falling for Jack"

It’s Sunday here in NZ and what a good day for an excerpt.
From “Falling for Jack.” You can get it on Amazon here.
I have already started “thinking about” Emily’s story, and that should be a lot of fun, revisiting Robyn, Sage and the guys… 
The minute she stepped inside, Sage ordered, “So what’s been going on with you and Fletcher?” She sat cross-legged on the couch.
“Ha,” Sage said disbelievingly.
Robyn sighed. “Jack’s from my old home town, Kopane, up north. We weren’t friends, we just knew of each other.” She stopped. It still blew her away he’d known who mousey, studious Robyn Taylor had been when he’d had plenty of girls throwing themselves at him. “He was a few years ahead of me at school though.” Best to leave the details of his past out. “And last night I bumped in to him when I was working at the charity dinner and we got talking; he loaned me his car to drive home and he just came back to pick it up.”
They both went through to the kitchen, and Sage said, “I guess as your friend I have to believe you. But as for the rest. Let’s recap. Jack’s been going out for a while now with Charlotte Bodie, which we all knew. But what we — and one assumes Jack — didn’t know is that she’d been playing around with Brad Randell on the side and now, Charlotte has left Jack for him.”
What?” Harriet suddenly screeched from the couch. “Charlotte has left Jack Fletcher for Brad Randell?”
Robyn and Sage exchanged glances and Sage said, “Did you hear nothing that went on here the last quarter of an hour? I thought you were just pretending to be asleep.”
Harriet struggled up. “Why? What happened?”
“He was here. Jack Fletcher.” Sage nodded at Harriet’s shock. “Robyn knows him. Personally.”
Harriet’s hand splayed across her chest. Her voice was faint. “You know him? He was here? Mother, why didn’t you wake me? I totally love reading the gossip.”
“That,” Sage pointed at her, “is why I didn’t wake you. You should be focusing on your studies and not reading trashy gossip websites.”
Harriet staggered to her feet, draped her duvet around herself, and hopped over to the table. “Why was he here?”
“To drive his car home,” Sage said. “Apparently.” She took the newspaper from her bag and turned back to the entertainment pages.
Harriet’s eyes widened. “He stayed the night?”
She,” Sage threw a disbelieving look at Robyn, “claims he did not.”
“Of course he didn’t stay the night.” Why on earth would a man like Jack take an interest in her? Exasperated, she peered closer at the photographs again. One showed Jack and Charlotte a month back at a Business Association function, another pictured Brad and his wife, Emily. Emily, according to the caption, was indeed pregnant.
“Isn’t Emily Randell a doctor?”
Harriet rolled her eyes. “Duh. She’s the one that treated Brad’s leg after the injury that blew his All Black career to smithereens. Now he’s got a sports management business.”
Sage hissed, “I’ve never liked him. That poor, poor woman.” She tut-tutted with all the experience of a woman who knew far too well what she was talking about. She jabbed the picture of Brad. “All money and no brain, all they care about are their looks and I bet he’s had surgery, look at that jaw. I don’t trust anyone who has a gym membership.”
Harriet opened her phone and checked. “Well, its front page on the news websites and social media is already going nuts. They’re all trending on Twitter.”
Robyn bit her thumb and thought back to Jack’s house, that beautiful but empty house. Who did he have in his life to turn to in moments like this? It had been Jack and Charlotte the past six months and of course, his small circle of friends. Brad, she knew, because he was the high profile one, the former sporting hero, but there’d been another one as well. Ethan someone-or-other.
“Mum, we’re still hungry,” James reminded her, and Robyn snapped out of it.

No doubt he had a network of friends and she had no idea what she was talking about. But even so. Remembering that remoteness in his expression troubled her when it shouldn’t have. She didn’t know Jack Fletcher. Making assumptions was wasting time she didn’t have to spare.

iBooks banner-love

iBooks rock! Here is a screenshot of the most gorgeous banner on the iBooks Store here downunder promoting the exclusive pre order for Return to Frazier Bay.  It’s just lovely, don’t you think? and, just quietly, it’s not too shabby sitting next to La Nora either! The release date for Frazier Bay is May 3rd. All you have to do is click on the pic to take you to the iBooks Store for more info and ordering details.

Return to Frazier Bay by Joanne Hill

Casino Royale this August

Romance Writers of New Zealand have announced the schedule for the upcoming August conference August 14-17th, and there is a stellar group of authors taking part. I’m keen to hear indie superstar Marie Force especially and she’s offering some great seminars during the weekend on topics such as author branding. Karina Bliss will be talking emotion, and James Scott Bell (I am reading “Plot and Structure” right now) will present the Friday workshop. Go to their website for more info.

Loving the iceberg

The iceberg lettuce that is. The lettuce that is so trashed these days. The lettuce that remains my fav, in spite of me growing attempting to grow other lettuces, red and green lettuces, in spite of buying bags of lettuces that someone else has grown and washed and packaged. I adore the iceberg.Back in the day a lettuce salad used to be a big bowl of chopped lettuce and tomato, grated carrot and cheese, maybe some chopped hardboiled egg mixed in there, some cucumber perhaps, in fact whatever you liked, with mayonnaise on the top. That is what my grandmother used to make. Then somehow, a lettuce salad became a pile of weeds. Some of them okay. Some actually quite vile. Now, I am not against the weeds. I quite like rocket, it’s quite tasty, and I have actually been known to grow it. I think some of the types of lettuce you grow are quite good, especially those ones where you can go out and just pick a few leaves without having to dig up the whole thing. BUT. I really like iceberg lettuce the most. It is just the best. It is crunchy and juicy, it has a nice mild flavour. Or maybe it doesn’t have a flavour, but I don’t mind. They say it doesn’t have the nutritional value of other lettuces. Take this information from for example on how pathetic iceberg (supposedly) is. Vitamin A per cup – romaine provides more than 10 times the vitamin A of an iceberg lettuce. Vit K – The darker-colored romaine lettuce contains 48 micrograms of vitamin K, while iceberg lettuce contains 17 micrograms. Well, I don’t even know what vitamin K is. In fact, I don’t really care about that, micrograms, schmicograms. Tonight I will make a lettuce salad of iceberg, all chopped up, and slices of tomato, with grated carrot and a basic edam or cheddar cheese, and maybe even a diced hard boiled egg, and lots of yummy mayonnaise. A huge massive bowl of it. In fact, I might even have it for lunch instead, it sounds so delish. As an aside, just so you don’t think I’m completely unsophisticated (although I actually am), I was out with my friends, the Cocktail Girls, last weekend and we were down at the Viaduct at the waterfront, a gorgeous Auckland afternoon and my meal had a “salad” of mint and parsley to accompany it. It was actually rather nice and tasty, as you would expect mint to be, but just quietly, and I didn’t dare voice this in the public domain and certainly not to the restaurant people, I thought that a token leaf of iceberg, nicely diced in with the herbs, would have made it just a little bit better.