Today I’m having tea with Téa Cooper. She wanted crumpets as well, so we’re having a great time 🙂 She’s going to tell us more about her July release Lily’s leap as well as her previous one Mathilda’s freedom. We’ll end her visit with a lovely excerpt from Lily’s leap.
First of all, to get to know Téa, I have a few questions:
- Tea or wine? Depends on the time of day!
- Read or run? Read – never run when you can walk, never walk when you can ride!
- Cats or dogs? Dogs
- Heels or flats? See answer to #1
- Boxers or briefs? Briefs
B. Five likes and five dislikes
- Good friends
- Good company
- Spending time in other countries (not “travelling” I’d rather spend a few weeks living like a local).
- Tunnels (Especially Sydney Harbour Tunnel)
- Having my photo taken
C. What triggered this specific story?
Yellow Billy’s Cave! Yellow Billy was a bushranger who hung around Wollombi. He was forever getting caught and escaping. He’d go to ground … in a cave. That started my search for local bushrangers – there were quite a few. It was so easy to imagine. Every time I drove or walked anywhere I had scenes playing out in front of my eyes … and so Lily’s Leap was born.
Lily’s Leap by Téa Cooper
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
Harlequin Escape http://www.escapepublishing.com.au/author/téa-cooper
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 Téa – we wish you all the best with your Lily – she sounds like someone we’d like to know better.