She left home to find herself…and found love along the way.
Maggie isn’t looking for love on her backpacking trip through Australia. She’s got enough man troubles back in Ireland. Australia is her escape, a place of adventure where she can create memories to last a lifetime.
But some memories won’t be left behind.
Gray is ready to quit hiring backpackers to help with the work on his remote Queensland cattle station when Maggie turns up. She’s just passing through, but the connection they forge during the long nights herding cattle won’t be so easily cast aside.
WARNING: A strong-willed Irish heroine, a stubborn Australian hero, and oceans of difference to bridge for love.
A Lyrical Press Contemporary Romance
Today I get to welcome Cd Brennan. Her debut Contemporary Romance WATERSHED releases today! Such an exciting day!
First, a huge thank you to Renita for hosting me today. It is the actual Release Day for WATERSHED, so a special day for me. It’s my debut novel so a day that will remain with me forever. So thanks, Renita, for being a part of it!
Thanks Corinne! I’m excited to be a part of your big day! Congratulations on your release! So can you tell us a little about your current release.
Irish Maggie is backpacking through outback Queensland when she heads out to a cattle station to experience adventure in the “real” Australia, something special, a memory of a lifetime. At the Gemfields, Gray sets out to make a point to Maggie that she isn’t welcome. They have work to do, and she will only get in the way. It’s hard enough keeping the property going without wasting time on adventure-seekers in Australia.
Both evolve as the story goes. Quiet, responsible Maggie raises to the challenge, works hard to prove herself on the station. As every day passes, she comes more out of her shell. A fish-out-of-water, her new and very different environment challenges her and makes her stronger and more confident, until she develops into who she really is meant to be. Her inner strength and passion was always there, she just needed the right time and place for it to unfold. Gray is bold and arrogant and doesn’t have time for anything or anyone that doesn’t fit into his plans. But then Maggie arrives; someone he never expected to cross his path. She is beyond his understanding – this beautiful, magical Irish lass whose accent alone melts hearts around her. Even though so different from himself and what he has known, he realizes that she not only “fits” at the station, his home and life, but in his heart.
Love is a chance. It’s hard enough to find the “right one” these days to not take an opportunity when it crosses your path, even if it’s not what you expected, even if it doesn’t fit into your plans, even if it is with someone from another hemisphere! Both Gray and Maggie realize this through events that happen in the harsh outback of Australia.
What was your inspiration behind this book?
While backpacking through Australia in 1995, a woman sat next to me on a Greyhound bus journey from Rockhampton to Townsville, about an 8 hour drive normally, then add another four hours for the bus experience. As most travelers would understand, a spare seat next to you on these trips is a God-send, more space to stretch out and put your things. But, as fate would have it, another writer Margery Smith sat next to me and we chatted for almost the entire trip.
I had been in Australia for a month, working my way up the East coast, and even though it was a beautiful coastline and plenty to do (The Australian hostels were like motels with pools and BBQ facilities), I felt it wasn’t the Australia that I had hoped for. I wanted the true and gritty experience, not one polished and packaged for tourists. I mentioned my disappointment, and within moments my traveling companion offered that her daughter lived on a cattle station just west of Rocky (Rockhampton), and would I be interested in working as a jillaroo? Would I ever!
After my sailing trip through the Whitsunday Islands to see the Reef, I backtracked down to Rockhampton and then west, where another bus journey plopped me down at some dusty turnoff in the middle of nowhere. Thus, the opening scene of Watershed. Even though there was no romance for me personally at the Bloomfield Station (just a few hours east of Alpha, Queensland), I fell in love with the lifestyle and landscape, the people and animals, the fresh air and hard work. Ironically enough, I ended up marrying my own Australian country boy I met 10 years later when we were both living in Ireland.
What do you find is your biggest writing struggle?
Time. Or the lack of time, I should say. I also work as a Content Editor and Business Writer, but my main job being the care of my two young sons, a four-year old and a 16-month old. They are active sprites, I can tell you! I adore them, but writing and editing is my escape at the moment. It’s something for me – I just wish I had more time for it. Right now, it’s taking me about a year to write a book, and when you are writing a series, this isn’t a great turnover. Boo.
I am a morning person, but so are my boys (sometimes a 5am start), so I can’t write then, which leaves me naps and at night after they have gone to bed. But, like I said, I am a morning person, and the most productive and creative and motivated then. Sometimes, I am so buggered I fall asleep when the boys do!
I hear about all these other wonderful authors out there that are mums, too. I admire this greatly, women can produce a beautifully written novel and at the same time juggle nappies (diapers) and tantrums. To me, this is not only dedication but the perfect example of multi-tasking. The separation yet inclusion of two totally different things. I want to send a shout-out to all the mum-writers out there. Atta girl!
Any tips for new writers?
What are you passionate about? Write what you enjoy (in reading, in life, in sport, even about children!), and I believe that this will shine through into your story. For example, if you want to write romance but love downhill skiing, set your characters on the slopes. The more belief and passion there, the more is transferred to your audience, and they will love it.
As a Content Editor, I am always looking for those little details or mannerisms in the characters or setting that sets the book apart. To be able to do that with depth and believability, the design needs to be something you are familiar with. You can rely on your imagination to an extent, but don’t skimp on the research. I can tell immediately when an author doesn’t really know what they are writing about.
Any other books in the works?
There are four planned books in the Love Where You Roam series. The series follows women as they travel, backpack and work in faraway places, and in those adventures the woman finds love where she roams. Like in many journeys, the heroine’s path is not only physical but spiritual as they grow and change in their new environment. Ultimately, they find a place where they belong.
The series is tied by characters and concept. The heroine that stars in the following book of the series will make an appearance in the previous book. In Book 1, WATERSHED with Maggie and Gray, we also meet Lizzy, a jillaroo and friend to the Stewart’s that own The Gemfields. In the next book, A STONE’S THROW, Lizzy travels to Scotland where she meets the debonair but elusive, Hamish Skene.
Lizzy lives and works in a Hotel Pub in the small town of Bridge of Allan, Scotland. One of her coworkers is Sophie, a university student studying to be a linguistics teacher. She travels to Alaska in the next book, currently titled DUSTING OF LIGHT, where she meets a rugged native Alaskan. An Aleutian mother and Russian father, he is striking in appearance and mannerisms. I say “he” because I don’t have a character name yet. I might do a contest on my FB or my website for fans to choose a name. I have already started writing the book, and it’s a bit annoying to always use “Alaska” in place of his name. LOL.
How/where can readers find you?
Since WATERSHED is my debut novel, I don’t have a huge fan following yet, but would love to hear from readers.
Excerpt:“In Ireland we have the Banshee.” Maggie broke Gray’s daydreaming with a start. “She is the omen of death and the messenger from the Otherworld.”
She continued in a whisper. “Often she appears an old hag. Folklore says she may also appear as a stunningly beautiful woman.” Maggie raised her brow at him, her eyes twinkling with fun.
Gray threw his head back and laughed, and she joined him. There was no shaking her. He decided he wasn’t going to best Maggie, and for the first time in a long time he was content with that.
He shifted so she had to settle against him. He heard her sigh as he wrapped his arm around her. They sat watching the fire, listening to the sounds of the bush settle for the night. It was peaceful and, Gray had to admit, romantic. He smiled, fulfilled after a long day’s hard work, some good bush tucker and a beautiful woman by his side. He had almost worked up enough courage to kiss her when she shivered, wrapping her arms around herself.
“I’m going to sleep.” Pulling off her trainers, she climbed into her swag. “Goodnight.”
Having traveled and lived all over the world, Cd Brennan now talks with a strange accent, a mix of distant terminology, a blend of culturally cute but confusing euphemisms that leaves everyone looking at her with a blank stare. Luckily, her Australian husband (who she met in Ireland) and her two Aussie/Yankee sons have no problem understanding her – well, except for the word “NO”.
Now settled back “home” in Michigan, she enjoys reliving her glory days by writing about them. She considers the last fifteen years abroad the perfect research for her Love Where You Roam series; matchmaking women and men from different cultures, even different hemispheres, helping them find their true one across oceans of difference.
As destiny plays a hand in all the stories, Cd Brennan truly believes that what is for you, won’t pass you by. She hopes to inspire others to get out there: “Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” [Mark Twain] And of course, fall in love.
Get in touch with her at www.cdbrennan.com