On this day six months ago, at 5:57pm, this extraordinary email popped up in my inbox and changed everything. (Sue Brockhoff is Harlequin’s Publishing Director.)
Even though the email’s subject was “Offer”, I still braced myself for the worst. Instead, I discovered that my dream publisher had just made me an offer to buy my book, countering one made from another publisher.
Initial suggestions that The Landowner’s Secret (Or Secret Land as it was called then) would be published early next year were soon scrapped, and instead my book is now out tomorrow – the 12th of September.
And here’s what it’s about:
New South Wales, 1885
When Alice Ryan wakes to find thugs surrounding her cottage, on the hunt for her no-good brother, she escapes into the surrounding bush.
It is wealthy landowner Robert Farrer who finds her the next morning, dishevelled, injured, and utterly unwilling to share what she knows. With criminals on the loose and rumours that reckless bushrangers have returned to the area, Robert is determined to keep Alice out of danger, and insists on taking her into his home-despite the scandal it may cause. Convincing her to stay on with him for her own safety, however, is going to take some work.
What Robert doesn’t expect is his growing attraction to the forthright, unruly woman staying in his home. Before either of them can settle into their odd new situation, their home and wellbeing come under threat and they will need to trust each other to survive. But they are both keeping secrets, secrets that have the potential to ruin their burgeoning love, their livelihood … and their lives.