by Rachael Johns
She'd left him at the altar, but her heart was always his……
After more than ten years away, Australian soap opera star Ellie Hughes returns to the small town of Hope Junction, determined to fly under the radar while caring for her injured godmother, Matilda.
But word spreads fast in the tight-knit community. It isn't long before the people of Hope Junction are gossiping about the real reason for Ellie's visit and why she broke the heart of golden boy Flynn Quartermaine all those years ago.
Soon Ellie and Flynn are thrown back together, forced to deal with the unresolved emotions between them. Because Ellie is not the only one with secrets. Flynn has his own demons to battle, and Matilda is hiding something from her much-loved goddaughter.
When all is uncovered, can the ill-fated lovers overcome the wounds of their past? Or is Flynn destined to be jilted again?
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Let's ask Rachael Johns some questions:
What is your writing environment?
Once upon a time I had a lovely room all to myself with my desk and my books and a beautiful pink wall painted by my hubby. And then we moved. Now I write in a corner in our rather small house (see attached photo) and sadly my desk often becomes a dumping ground for everyone else’s stuff. I usually don’t sit down to write here unless the house is silent and the kids occupied. I write with a Diet Coke to hand but no music or anything.
Who is your perfect hero/heroine? Why?
My perfect hero would own a chocolate factory, although I guess my hubby is the next best thing. He owns a supermarket and therefore gets my chocolate fixes at cost price. Nah, seriously, my perfect hero is someone I can laugh and cry with, someone who is hard working and has a shared outlook on life. Of COURSE, it also helps if he’s good-looking and has sexy arms. In terms of fantasy hero, I think there are too many to list. But if you’re forcing me, it’d be Mark Darcy from Bridget Jones Diary (a favourite novel of mine).
Which authors have caught your interest lately? Why?
I read WALLBANGER by Alice Clayton at the beginning of the year and simply fell in love with it. I’ve since bought all her other books. Another fave of mine is Liane Moriarty; her book THE HUSBAND’S SECRET is fab and was a recent global bestseller.
What type of book have you always wanted to write?
Although I’ve tried many different types of books (within the romance genre), I never felt truly at home until I sat down to write a small town romance. I love reading about small rural communities – the good and the bad – and so it’s fitting that I also like writing them. In addition to writing the hero and heroine, I enjoy writing a whole cast of quirky community characters. For years I tried chick-lit and then Mills & Boon but I didn’t have much luck with either.
Top 3 things on your bucket list
· A road trip across the United States – I visited briefly earlier this year, only stopping in LA and New Orleans and I would LOVE to see more.
· Learn to patchwork! I love patchwork quilts and hope one day to learn and make one.
· Be the voice talent for the recording of one of my books on audio.
How did you get the idea for this particular novel?
The town I was living in at the time I wrote JILTED decided to revive their theatrical society. My university minor is in drama and I would have loved to have been involved, unfortunately I had a newborn baby and it just wasn’t practical to dedicate all that time to rehearsals etc, so I decided to write about the revival in a book instead. In JILTED, Ellie (a soap opera actress) comes back to the small town she grew up in and is lured in to helping out with the town’s theatre production. This is only a small part of the book but it gave me the frame to hang my reunited lovers story on.
What is your favorite scene in your newest release?
Possibly a scene near the beginning of the book where the heroine (Ellie) has braved the local pub with the actors from the theatrical society and the hero (Flynn) happens to be there collecting his younger sister. Ellie and Flynn have barely spoken before now, bar one time when he said he could never forgive and forget what she did but when the barmaid is publically cruel to Ellie and she leaves, he can’t help going after her. They walk the quiet country streets at night and I love the way the attraction and connection is clear between them even while they are both trying their best to resist it.
What is the last movie you watched and loved?
With three young kids, I sadly don’t get to watch many adult movies but one I watched on a recent flight and loved so much I bought the DVD was ABOUT TIME. It’s such a sweet story about two people who are destined for each other. And I love that both these people aren’t typical romance heroes and heroines. I love their quirkiness and the way they just match so perfectly. A non-romance movie that I recently laughed-out-loud at with my husband was HORRIBLE BOSSES. It was just too funny.
What would you consider a “perfect date”?
These days – with three kids and a business that gives us very little ‘us time’ – I’m quite easy to please. A night out just about anywhere with my husband where we can enjoy a nice meal, a couple of drinks and actually talk about stuff non-work related would be perfect. But this happens once in a blue moon, so my second best perfect date is sitting on the couch watching a movie on a Friday night and stuffing my face with popcorn!
What are you currently working on?
I’ve just finished editing a follow-up book to JILTED, which is called THE ROAD TO HOPE. It’ll be out in March in Australia and I’m hoping, if JILTED does well in the US, it’ll also be out there soon. I’m about to start a book that is more women’s fiction, than romance. About four sisters who discover a family curse, when packing up their deceased mother’s belongings. I’m hoping it’s going to be lots of fun!
Rachael Johns is an English teacher by trade, a mum 24/7, a supermarket owner, a chronic arachnophobic, and a writer the rest of the time. She rarely sleeps and never irons. She writes contemporary romance for HQN and Carina Press and lives in rural Western Australia with her hyperactive husband and three mostly-gorgeous heroes-in-training. Rachael loves to hear from readers and can be contacted through her website at www.rachaeljohns.com.