Ann hails from a particularly lovely part of the country - the Hunter Valley and her country background and environment makes her perfectly placed to write western/rural romances and romantic suspense. She tells me she is nurturing a desire to write about a man in a kilt... hmm, not a big call for kilts in rural romance!
To find out more about Ann, visit her WEBSITE
Ann's latest book CHANCE FOR LOVE, is set a long way from the Hunter Valley - in the beautiful idyll of Colorado. Mountains and horses... and horses is what Ann will talk to us about today.
THE WILFUL COLT
Growing up as a country girl, I had come into contact with a wide variety of animals and had more than my share of orphans to look after but my world changed when our first foal was born.
He was a stunning chestnut Arab with a crooked white blaze on his nose and we called him Shilo. Our daughter lay claim to him from the beginning and she adored him.
Our old neighbour whom we’d dubbed, Uncle Tom gave us all the advice we could wish for. I mean to say, we were used to sheep and cattle, not long legged graceful if not wilful colts.
Shilo soon got too big for his boots and when I walked into the paddock he would charge me, kicking up his feet and quite rightly putting the wind up me and his young owner.
Back then, almost twenty years ago, we weren’t so lucky as to have the internet so back to Uncle Tom we went.
It was time to break in Shilo. We herded him into a yard with his dam and called in the local farrier who as the local horse breaker, educated us too.
“Never let him boss you around.” All well and good for a strapping 6’ man like him. I was 5’ nothing! “Show him who’s boss.”
We did. Solitary confinement seemed to work for him and we had no trouble breaking him in after that.
When I wrote the following scene in Chance for Love I remembered those words. “Never let him boss you around.” Callie, my Aussie heroine takes on a rodeo bull in order to save her husband from serious harm by herding said bull into a yard. I wish I’d had her nerves when we had our fiery colt to deal with.
Excerpt from CHANCE FOR LOVE
She looked on in horror as her husband threw himself on the ground only to be picked up and thrown through the air. He landed, hitting the ground hard. Callie waited for him to attempt to get up and escape the bull but he didn’t move. Terror pawed at the ground and ducked his head down, ready to attack again.
Callie turned the horse, rode to the gate, and slipped the latch, pushing her way through. She kicked Sultan’s ribs and headed straight for the bull, waving her hat and screaming at the top of her lungs. She rode between bull and man, pushing the bull further away from the prone body lying still in the grass.'
“Move you big bastard. Move I say.”
She herded Terror away from Chance toward the holding yard, not stopping until he was forced inside and the gate was shut behind him. She hurried back to Chance and jumped from the horse before it stilled. Callie crouched beside him. “Chance, please, please be alright.”
More about CHANCE FOR LOVE
Callie can't resist the advert for a ranch manager in Colorado. Only thing is, it also stipulates marriage. Down on her luck with more debt than she can manage after the death of her parents in a vehicle accident, she takes the plunge and commits.
Chance is sick of the high life he's led for years as a top rodeo rider. The glitz and glamour aren't what he wants. After an accident leaves him unable to return to the circuit, he decides now is the time to do what his heart has been yearning for - marry a down to earth country girl and raise bulls on his ranch, with the hope of bringing his brothers back together. Little did he know that an advert would bring him a sassy talking Australian bride to turn his world up side down.