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Hello everyone

Hope you are all surviving these crazy times - I know we are all acting a little out of character. Sally has taken up baking bread, Rachael has started knitting and Lisa... well, Lisa is putting us all to shame with her manic cleaning! 

We are all also panic buying a million things online: Rachael's panic buys include knitting supplies, boxing bag, table tennis table, Lego, books and an Epilady; Sally's panic buying includes an extra trampoline, arts and crafts, sneakers, hair products, skincare and jeans, and Lisa's panic buyng include cleaning products, lounge pants, a rug and lots of wine.

Anyway, in addition to all of the above, we are also still tapping away at our keyboards writing and editing our next books.
 
Rachael is taking a brief hiatus this week to spread the word about her new book - SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT, which launches into the world TODAY!! 

We hope that once you read the blurb and the fun extract below you'll be desperate to read the rest and if so, please consider supporting your local bookshop by buying a copy from them. Like many industries, bookshops are doing it tough at the moment and we really want them to survive and emerge strong out the other side of the horror that is Covid-19, so please support them if you possibly can! Many independent bookstores are currently even offering extra delivery services, so check in with your local to see what they are doing. 

We'll be back soon with more questions and answers about our writing lives - feel free to email us with a question you'd like answered - but until then, stay safe and happy reading! 

Lisa, Sally and Rachael xxx

PS. If you scroll right to the bottom, you'll also find a fun contest! 

It’s the opposite of love at first sight…or is it?

Dairy farmer Tabitha Cooper-Jones has a heart of gold, yet she’s the eternal bridesmaid. Everyone’s best mate. Despite facing some serious challenges over the years, she’s built a successful ice-cream business and cafe, she’s adored by her family and is an integral part of her hometown – there’s just one thing missing from her life. But the last thing Tab wants is a man – or worse, love – to stop her achieving her dream.

In town for a temporary teaching contract, Fergus McWilliams thinks the small community of Walsh will be the perfect place to stay under the radar but he couldn’t be more wrong. Suddenly, the kids’ cricket team coached by Ferg is inundated with female supporters – single female supporters – and that’s only the beginning.

The only woman who doesn’t seem to have her sights set on Ferg is Tabitha. Despite a disastrous first meeting and a visit from a past love, circumstances keep throwing them together. Neither can deny the sparks between them, but can friendship even be possible for these two strong-willed people?

A moving story of overcoming obstacles and learning to love, from ABIA award-winning author Rachael Johns.

 

‘Oh, hi Tab,’ said a few women, looking up briefly as she joined the circle and took the vacant seat next to Meg. Her plastic chair scraped against the wooden floor. 
‘Hey.’ She smiled back warily, sat down, then dug her knitting out of her mum’s faithful old craft bag and whispered to Meg, ‘What’s going on?’
‘Kathy’s been telling us about the new teacher in town.’ 
‘Ah, I see.’ Tabitha began to knit – wedging one needle under her arm pit and the other in her hand to stitch . No wonder the women were so animated – there was nothing these old dears liked better than matchmaking; no new teacher or nurse was safe!. Those reality TV dating shows had nothing on these country matriarchs. The number of newcomers people had tried to set Lawson up with before he’d met Meg was uncanny. 
‘Is he married?’ asked Eileen Bennett. She had three unmarried daughters in their early twenties. All still lived in Walsh – two of them working with their father on the farm and one the local hairdresser – and the fact they were all single caused their mother much distress. Every time Tab heard her speak a vision of the other Mrs Bennett from Pride and Prejudice landed in her head. 
Hang on? She blinked – her thoughts catching up with the conversation – and looked up from her knitting. The new teacher was male? This really was a turn-up for the books. 
‘Joanne doesn’t think so,’ Kathy, who was Joanne’s mother-in-law, replied. ‘There was no mention of a partner in their early communications, he hasn’t brought anyone with him…’
‘Except for a cat,’ interrupted Eileen; she’d obviously done her research. 
‘And,’ Kathy continued, ‘Joanne said he wasn’t wearing a ring.’
Tab was about to say that this didn’t necessarily mean he didn’t have a partner – he could be in a long-term relationship, hell, maybe he was gay – but it was impossible to get a word in over the excitement. No wonder the news had trumped the scandal of her getting pregnant to a turkey baster; she couldn’t remember the last time there’d been a man teaching at Walsh Primary School. 
‘I saw him yesterday morning when I drove past the school on the way to my doctor’s appointment,’ said Beth in her very posh voice. She’d come out from England seventy years ago to marry a farmer she’d met through a pen-pal scheme and had never lost her accent. At almost ninety, she was the oldest member of knitting circle and also one of Tab’s favourites. ‘He was carrying a box from his car.’
‘Ooh, what does he look like?’ Adeline asked. Tab was surprised she hadn’t already engineered a meeting herself. 
‘Well, if my eyes weren’t deceiving me, he’s very tall and has muscles in all the right places. His sleeves were pushed up and I couldn’t help notice he had very tanned skin too. He was wearing a cap but I think I saw dark hair curling at his neckline.’
Tab was impressed by her description – if anyone ever needed a witness to a crime, Beth would be perfect.
The elderly woman visibly blushed. ‘Let’s just say if I was sixty years younger…’
‘If you were sixty years younger,’ interrupted Doris Weatherby, ‘I’d be sixty years younger too and you’d have competition.’
Everyone laughed, but Tab saw Adeline’s eyes sparkle like a tiger who’d just spotted a gazelle grazing not too far away. There was new blood in town; of course she’d be on the scent.
SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT is available from all good bookshops and online from the below retailers:

PRINT DIGITAL

CONTEST

As many of you know, I ALWAYS run a #shelfie contest when I release a new book. Sadly this time that feels a bit problematic as many people are choosing to buy online as they do their bit to stop the spread! So my publisher had a fun idea of running a 'RECREATE THE COVER' contest instead!

I've provided a SHOCKING example above, but if you take up the challenge to recreate the cover of SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT then post it to Facebook or Instagram (be sure to tag me), you'll go in the draw to win a Rachael Johns' tote bag, a SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT mug, bookmark and a $100 Booktopia voucher. 

Be creative - feel free to use different hats, boots, whatever!!

The winner will be drawn on May 15th and announced on my Facebook and Instagram pages! https://www.facebook.com/RachaelJohnsRomance/
WHAT THE EARLY READERS ARE SAYING:

"Johns writes small towns with heart and humour, exploring all kinds of people and never shying away from a tortured past," Michelle from Mic Loves Books!

"This story will pull at your heart strings and you will feel every single emotion with the characters. You really will feel like you are right there in the town living with them. Rachael has done an amazing job of making her characters so relatable and writing the scenery to perfection," Jo from Book in one hand, coffee in the other! 

"Rachael has absolutely nailed this story with just the right balance of story, description, plot, character and romance. She is definitely a wizard when it comes to this genre and is my favourite rural romance author by far. 5 big stars for this book!" Janine from Goodreads
Copyright © 2020 Sally Hepworth, All rights reserved.