Here's how the hop works! Each author invites other authors to answer five questions about their current summer release or WIP and a tasty recipe that ties into it! Fellow Astraea Press author, the wonderful Kristin Vayden, invited me to join in and share my news. In return, I invited Jillian Chantal and Lily Malone to tell us about her latest project. Be sure to hop over to her Tasty Summer Reads blog.
Here's the original link for those of you interested: Avon Hop
My next project "New Beginnings", published by Astraea Press, is due for release in late August. It's the first book in the Trilogy of "Beginnings". I'm very excited about this series, as it's set in Hobart, Tasmania, one of my favourite places here in Australia.
Twenty-two-year-old Sophie Levesque has been guardian to eight-year-old sister Mia since their mother’s death a few years ago. Luck comes their way when they inherit a small house in Hobart. Problem is, though, they don’t know or have even heard of Clara Bellinger, the testator, and Sophie is afraid it’s all been a mistake.
As Mia settles well into her new school and life in general, Sophie is not only occupied by her search of what connected her to Clara, but also her new studies and the two men, who suddenly have become part of her daily life - Mark O’Connor, the lawyer representing Clara’s estate, and Zach, the hunk from across the road.
Sophie stared at the attorney, waiting for some answers. She and her sister, Mia, had been quietly sitting in Mr. O’Connor’s office for more than half an hour, and had learnt about the details of their inheritance.
“Clara Catherine Bellinger.”
“Who is she?” Mia asked.
Startled by the subtle sound of the clock chiming across the road, Sophie’s gaze turned to the window, where she saw the post office building across the road. It looked impressive and old. Surely, an old place like this would have its own ghosts — after all, Hobart was renowned for its lively spirits.
Her younger sister’s gentle touch on her arm reminded her she hadn’t answered the question, yet. “I wouldn’t have a clue.” Sophie shrugged and focused her attention back on Mr. O’Connor. Although hearing his words, she still found it hard to comprehend. Here she was in this old office, furnished with heavy antique oak furniture, the curtains in a pretty shade of aubergine, and the carpet beneath her shoes thick and warm in a matching shade.
“I believe she was a distant relative of yours. I’m afraid I don’t have any further details,” he replied.
Sophie arched an eyebrow in disbelief. Was he serious? What kind of lawyer was he? Sure, Tasmania was at the very end of Australia, but wouldn’t they have the same education? With a slight shrug of her shoulder, she asked, “Why not?”
He stared at her. “Pardon me?”
Sitting up straight, she repeated, “Why not? Why aren’t there any further details?”
He looked uneasy, but she didn’t care. She needed to know. Sophie had received a call from the lawyer a week earlier, and he’d told her about an inheritance. He’d given her details on where to pick up tickets to Hobart. Some legality, he had said. She needed to come in and sign documents for the transfer of ownership.
“Ms. Bellinger was one of the partner’s clients. I was only given the details shortly after the client’s death.”
Sophie drew in her lips. Her eyes darted over to the window as she took a few deep breaths, inwardly calming herself. Nothing had ever been easy in her life. “Why isn’t the partner here?”
He took a deep breath. “Retired.”
As she pondered on that for a moment, she began to think about what life could be like with this inheritance. Different. Better. Another sigh escaped as she returned her gaze to the man behind the desk. “You can’t just leave your assets to just anybody, can you?”
“Levesque,” she helped him.
Their eyes met.
“Are you refusing the bequest?” he asked hesitantly, and she clearly noticed how one of his eyebrows arched upward.
Staring blankly with her mouth open, she could feel the panic running through her veins with every thump of her erratic heartbeat. An uncomfortable silence fell over them for a moment. Then she quickly said, “No. No, of course not. We’re accepting.” She turned to look at her younger sister. “We’re actually looking forward to seeing it.”
And with one swift movement, he stood and went to a little cupboard near the window and retrieved a bunch of keys. “Would you like me to take you there?”
Still feeling that rush within her, Sophie took Mia’s hand and inclined her head in answer. “Is it far?” Her voice sounded tired. Even to herself. It had been a long day already. She stood and thinking how tired she was, Sophie placed her arm around Mia, who was probably exhausted.
“No, not at all. Five to ten minute drive, I’d say.”
“I still don’t understand. Why us?” Sophie asked quietly, meeting his gaze and, for the first time, actually taking in his icy-blue eyes. He was very attractive. Too attractive for a boring lawyer. His face was tanned by wind and sun, and there always seemed to be a hint of a smile on his face. His blond curling <!--[if !supportAnnotations]--> hair was cut short. Her gaze fixed back on his mouth. Blushing, she quickly looked away.
The attorney turned to them. He scratched the back of his head. “Ma’am, what I know is that both of you are in the will. What I know is that I was supposed to fly you down here to officially read you the will. What I know is that I’m supposed to hand over the keys to you, and to let you know that your expenses are covered for the next twenty-four months. I did not know Ms. Bellinger, as one of the retired partners wrote up the will. I do not know who she was or in which way she was connected to you. I assumed she was a distant relative.”
Please keep an eye on the release in late August. Until then .... also set in Australia .... you can enjoy "Innocent Tears" or "Journey to Her Dreams". Both wonderful reads!
Now for the blog hop questions:
1)When writing are you a snacker? If so, sweet or salty?
I don’t snack. However, I do consume an unhealthy amount of tea or drink too many glasses of coke.
2) Are you an outliner or someone who flies by the seat of her pants?
Flies by the seat of her pants? LOL. If that means, do I just let my fingers type away without knowing where they take me ... well, that's what I do. :-)
3) When cooking or baking, do you follow the recipe exactly or wing it?
I ~NEED~ to follow a recipe. When I'm in the kitchen, either baking or cooking, it's like two worlds collide, so I have to be on my best behaviour and do as I'm told.
4) What is next for you after this book? I'm in the final stages of finishing "More Beginnings", the sequel to "New Beginnings". But I'm also working on a "Football Player" story (romance), which I hope to finalise to a "submit'able" version.
5) Last Question...on a level of one being slightly naughty to ten being whoo whoo steamy, where does your book land?
I'd humbly say "New Beginnings" would be "four-five'ish".
The Tasty Summer Treat:
Considering that it is Winter in Australia, I thought I share my daughters yummy "Lemonade Muffins" recipe. Quick and easy, AND DELICIOUS !
1 packet of chocolate cake mix
1 packet of chocolate instant pudding mix
1/3 cup of oil
1 cup of lemonade
Gently beat the eggs in a bowl
Place chocolate mix and instant pudding mix in the mixing bowl
Add the eggs and the lemonade then add the oil
Mix with a spoon until thick and smooth
Pour into a lightly greased microwave container
Place into the microwave and cook for 8-9 minutes on high
Leave in the container for a few minutes before turning it out
Gently place cake onto a plate and let it cool
Cut into pieces and enjoy
Thanks to everyone for giving me the opportunity to be part of this blog hop AND thanks to you, the reader, for stopping by today!