Today I’m delighted to welcome Australian historical author and fellow Hunter Romance Writer, Téa Cooper.
Téa Cooper lives in a stone cottage on one hundred acres of bushland, just outside the nineteenth century village of Wollombi, NSW Australia. When she isn’t writing, Téa can be found haunting the local museum or chatting to the locals, who offer a never-ending source of inspiration. Both Lily’s Leap and Matilda’s Freedom are set in and around Wollombi.
In October, Jazz Baby, a 1920s rags to riches story set in Sydney will be released and in February, Forgotten Fragrance, Book I of a family saga entitled From the Ocean to the Outback. At the moment she is working on a parallel time-line series called The Adventures of Miss Abigail Wynter. She has also written three contemporary romances.
Hi Téa, Welcome to my blog. Your latest release, Lily’s Leap, is out today. Congratulations!
Please tell us, do you have a passion other than writing?
I do … it’s a little bit random, but probably understandable – anything old, but most especially anything old and unloved. I don’t collect anything specific – furniture, old books, random bits of jewelry, anything I think I can restore and use, not necessarily for what it was intended. I may well have been a bowerbird in a previous life!
It does sound like fun! What is it about it that brings a sparkle to your eye?
My latest acquisition is this old cupboard. I use it as a bedside table. The top is fantastic – it has the remains of an old newspaper stuck to it. I’ve left it and covered it with lacquer. And the lamp? Well that was a by-the-side-of-the-road job – it needed a bit of cleaning up and some very basic electrical work.
The newspaper on top is fascinating! How long have you been a bowerbird?
On and off forever, really. I’ve still got the old wooden chest I used to ship all my belongings out to Australia a million years ago and I have my “lucky penny” that I found on the beach in Cornwall the summer I discovered boys – that was a long, long time ago!
I’ll refrain from asking the question about how “lucky” you got with the help of the penny
You have a new release out today – Lily’s Leap. Could you tell us about it?
From Escape’s Queen of Australian historical romance comes a story about a privileged member of Australian’s squattocracy, a bushranger, and a very special horse.
Born into the rough, but privileged society of the Australian colonial landowners, Lilibeth Dungarven finds herself married, widowed, and, much to her distress, back under her father’s thumb, all before her twenty-first birthday. Determined not to forgo her dream of breeding the perfect racehorse, Lilibeth ignores propriety and sets out to restore the family’s flagging fortunes.
When Captain Tom and his mismatched band of bushrangers stumble across a mob of the best horses they’ve ever seen, and the daughter of the famed Dungarven horse stud, they know their fortunes have changed. Their catch is worth a king’s ransom. All they have to do is hold her for seven days. How hard can it be to control the pampered daughter of a colonial upstart?
ISBN: 9780857991713 Publication Date: July 1, 2014
You can buy Lily’s Leap at:
Amazon and Goodreads Reviews:
“Forget work, forget all your responsibilities and slide into this delicious story … a well-written book by a talented writer … since I doubt I’ll be visiting Australia, it was a treat to feel like I was there, herding horses to market across the Australian Outback. The landscape assumes the position of a character in this exciting romance; playing a pivotal role in Lily’s adventure. A fabulous read by a very talented Aussie author … I have no hesitation in HIGHLY recommending Lily’s Leap.”
Hunter Valley, Australia 1848
Lilibeth Dungarven’s cry of pure pleasure soared skywards as the massive black stallion rose to clear the fallen tree, sending the horrors of the last four years scuttling into the dirt of the ancient land.
Clenching her knees against Nero’s heaving flanks she bent low, ducking the overhanging branches framing the bush track, her cheek pressed to the warmth of his muscular neck. When the erratic pounding in her chest settled she drew Nero to a shuddering halt and pushed the damp curls back from her forehead.
A pair of black cockatoos, disturbed by her madcap gallop, shrieked their annoyance and resettled in the whispering casuarina trees. The crack of their beaks as they threw the mangled nuts to the ground filled the silence. Below her the ribbon of sandstone road weaved its way towards Payne’s Crossing and she shielded her eyes from the sun, searching for her mob of horses.
A glint of reflected sunlight drew her eye to a mounted figure in the middle of the road. Despite the hat pulled low shadowing his face, the stockwhip crack of his words registered deep in her belly.
‘Bail up! Guns down and off the horses.’
‘What do you think you…?’ Constricted by the tension in her throat her words petered out. No one would dare steal such a valuable mob of horses. They were branded. Everyone in the colony knew the Dungarven brand. To lose them was unthinkable. Years of breeding — the first pure Dungarven bloodlines. Months proving herself capable of managing the sale and the trip to Sydney. And now a hold up! It would not happen. Not if Lilibeth Dungarven had any say in the matter.
Thanks for being on my blog! Good luck with Lily’s Leap, Téa – it’s a wonderful story and Captain Tom is a real honey
You can find Téa at the following places: