May I introduce: Aussie Author Rachael Johns "Outback Dreams"

I am so pleased to have another Australian Author as a guest on my blog. Rachael Johns lives in rural Western Australia, is an English teacher by trade,  a mum 24/7 and  a supermarket owner by day.
And may I add, a very talented writer ;-)
I come from an overcrowded country and during my first visit to the outback I wondered for days how someone could live out there. So, that was an obvious question for me and I'm glad, Rachael took the time to satisfy my curiosity!
PS - And do take some time to drool over that cover!

1. Tell us what makes the Australian Outback special to you? 

I'm what I call a converted country girl. I grew up in the city and moved as a newly married woman and new mum to a small country town nine years ago. At first it was terrifying. Everyone knew everyone and I knew no one but when we left that town six years later I had more affinity with it than any place I'd ever lived before. Country towns seep into your bones and become part of you. The community spirit in these places are what I love the most - the committees with dedicated people that work hard to achieve local goals, the social events (Bingo, fundraising balls, kids concerts and of course the Christmas parties), the sporting teams and the fact that everyone looks out for each other. If there is a tragedy the whole town mourns, if there is joy everyone celebrates. I also adore living in open spaces where you can step out of your front door and get up close and personal with nature. 

2. People have the impression, the Outback is a harsh country, with spiders, snakes, draught etc.  Is that a tricky or difficult setting for Romance Novels?
Rural Australia can be harsh - I have to watch out for snakes when I go running in the summer and many of my friends' livelihoods are depending on Mother Nature providing enough rain. But I think these things actually can help a writer - there is always plenty of external conflict you can throw at characters and putting them in difficult situations shows their true nature and forces them to grow and change. So, I think we're lucky in that regard. 

3. Celebrity crush is Grant Denyer (Really?). Tell us how that happened ? ;-)

LOL - are any crushes completely explainable? I first ''met'' Grant on Sunrise weather when I was at home with my first baby. At that time he was taking the weather show right around Australia in a camper-bus and I loved his enthusiasm for all the small towns he visited. He's also an action man, who likes extreme sports and although that's the last thing you'll catch ME doing, I kinda like a guy like that! And I think he's cute… so THERE! 
(IB - now you can even watch him on two more programs ;-))

Faith and Monty are both looking for love...but they're looking in the wrong direction.

Faith Forrester is at a crossroads. Single, thirty and living on a farm in a small Western Australian town, she's sick of being treated like a kitchen slave by her brother and father. Ten years ago, her mother died of breast cancer, and Faith has been treading water ever since. She wants to get her hands dirty on the family farm. She wants to prove to herself that she's done something worthwhile with her life. And she wants to find a man...??

For as long as he can remember, Daniel 'Monty' Montgomery has been Faith's best friend. When he was ten, his parents sold the family property and moved to Perth, and ever since, Monty's dreamed of having his own farm. So for the last ten years, he's been back on the land, working odd jobs and saving every dollar to put toward his dream. Now he finally has the deposit. But there's still something missing...??
So when Faith embarks on a mission to raise money for a charity close to her heart, and Monty's dream property comes on the market, things seem like they are falling into place for them both. Until a drunken night out ends with them sleeping together. Suddenly, the best friends are faced with a new load of challenges...

Monty and Faith are both ready to find a life partner and settle down, but have they both been looking in all the wrong places?
 Sods Law had it that theyd barely stepped onto the dance floor when the hip-hop music turned slow. Romantic. Panic flashed across Faiths face, but she allowed him to draw her close. He slipped his arms around her waist and her fingers brushed the skin at the back of his neck as she wrapped her arms around him. He felt her body tense as they swayed in time with the other people around them. Out of the corner of his eye he registered Ruby dancing with Adam, Simone with Ryan and Kat pressed indecently against the new cop, but they all faded quickly into the background.
He was holding Faith again.
Theyd only spent one night apart but that one night had felt like an eternity in hell. Hed missed her more than hed miss a limb. Was he insane letting his hang-ups about Will and parenthood come between them? He found himself staring at her lips. The thought of never kissing them again hurt worse than someone telling him he only had a few days to live.
Monty, dont. Her voice was low and threatening. She seemed to be holding her breath.
He couldnt help himself. He dropped his head and pressed his lips against hers, taking what he wanted. Not thinking about the consequences.
She tasted so damn delicious and for a few moments she seemed to acquiesce, letting him show her exactly what she meant to him, exactly what she did to him. But those seconds didnt last long enough. Instead of kissing him back, he felt her hands palming his chest as she pushed hard. His lips falling from hers, he stumbled backwards, not expecting such force. When he caught his balance and looked up, she was wiping her mouth, tears filling her eyes, and then she turned and he copped a lovely view of her pert behind as she charged through the crowd.
About to go after her, he felt an arm on his shoulder. Whats wrong with Faith? Ryan asked.
Along with half the town, he, Adam, Ruby and Simone had witnessed the whole fiasco. Their faces wore identical expressions of confusion and concern. None of them had a clue.
A pain screwing into his forehead, Monty caught his head in his hands. Its all such a fucked up mess. I better go after her.
Let me, Ruby said. From my vantage point, it didnt look like shed want you following.
He watched Ruby go torn between following them and staying the hell away. Hed already made such a mess of his friendship with Faith. He didnt want to ruin her night any more.


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