A stand alone e-book novella, first printed in the Paw Prints of Love Anthology.
This story first saw the light of day in the Romance Writers of Australia annual short story contest in 2007 - my first year as a member. It missed the cut for the anthology, and I always knew I'd go back to it. When the call went out for Anthology participants for the Gumnut Press Pawprints of Love Anthology, I thought "why not?" There's so much to love about Stonecrest Bay, the fictional town in Western Australia but how could I move a story set in Brisbane to WA.
I started to revise this story sitting in a pub in my mum's hometown of Emmaville NSW. We'd been down for a funeral, and it was early the next morning, and I was sitting in the beer garden with a coffee and my writing notebook. The night before we'd talked and laughed and reminisced and I'd spent looking at the photos on the walls. One in particular, of motorbikes lining the road outside the pub caught my eye. And so the story began to take shape.
What if you met a man who was only in town for one night?
What if you shared a magical night, away from the doldrums of your normal life in the small town you were stuck in?
What if, years later, you decided to cross the continent to look him up?
Rescued Hearts was born, and I got to tell Nick and Beth's story. As with all my stories, there are bits and pieces that friends and family will recognise - the pub in Emmaville, a love of macrame, markets and homemade lemonade. There's an exploration of the "Sons of Anarchy" love of a bad boy on a motorbike. And most importantly rescue - I've met so many people involved in volunteering for animal rescue - our local vet who does cat desexing in their own time, the receptionist at the vet specialist who rehouse greyhounds, and writer friends who rescue, rehome and adopt. Together they are a community, and that's the community I wanted Beth to encounter.
Available from March 31st at e-book retailers , Booktopia and direct from Gumnut Press .