For those of us who love an outback romance I've got a special treat today! My guest is Alissa Callen and I have an excerpt from her new book Down Outback Roads .
Welcome Alissa! I loved Beneath Outback Skies and I can't wait to find out what happens next in Glenalla. Apparently the drought has broken but there are still more challenges around the corner!
Sometimes you need to give yourself permission to fall in love.
Kree Garrett's younger brother Seth is all the family she has left, so when he goes missing in the Australian outback, she doesn't think twice about leaving her American home to find him. When Seth is rescued Kree vows to find a way to thank the small town of Glenalla. It isn't long before she falls in love with the tight-knit rural community. But is it really the town she's falling for?
Ewan Mackenzie has given up everything for his brother's family, but he can never give enough to assuage his guilt at what happened one dark night, years ago . . . Ewan knows he doesn't deserve a second chance at happiness, but when beautiful, open-hearted Kree stays to fight to save his home town, he finds it hard to keep his distance.
Can Kree and Ewan leave their pasts behind for long enough to find a future together?
It might have taken five years for the big-dry to break, but Mother Nature had since gifted the Glenalla district with good follow-up rains. It’d been so long since Ewan had seen grass, he’d forgotten green came in any other shade than the muted olive hues of drought-hardy trees. Winter crops would soon unfurl into lush life and contented, sleek-coated stock would again graze.
‘This will all be nothing but a bad memory soon,’ Ewan said quietly as Kree continued to stare at the bush-carpeted hills.
A heavy silence answered him.
‘Kree?’ He half-raised a hand towards her.
She turned to him, eyes over-bright. ‘Sorry, what did you say?’
‘It won’t be long before this will all just be a bad memory.’
Ewan reached for his duffle bag before he did something stupid, like reach for her. The sadness that tugged at her full mouth called to him, even as his conscience anchored his boots to the tyre-marked ground. He’d long ago lost the right to be drawn to someone. The sooner Kree Garrett left the district, the sooner he could return to his penance of solitude.
‘Maybe,’ Kree said. To Whiskey’s delight she once again ruffled his black kelpie coat. ‘But I’d always planned on visiting Australia while Seth was here. Spring might technically have arrived in the Rocky Mountains but it’s still freezing back home, so I’m hoping to stay and enjoy the sunshine a little longer.’
For the second time that morning, Ewan’s fingers stilled on the zip of his duffle bag. He didn’t look up as he spoke. ‘You’re . . . staying?’
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When Alissa Callen isn't writing she plays traffic controller to four children, three dogs, two horses and one renegade cow who really does believe the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. After a childhood spent chasing sheep on the family farm, Alissa has always been drawn to remote areas and small towns, even when residing overseas. Once a teacher and a counsellor, she remains interested in the life journeys that people take and her books are characteristically heart-warming, emotional and character driven. She currently lives on a small slice of rural Australia in central western New South Wales.
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