Title: From The Outback
Author: Ann B. Harrison
Publisher: Self Published
Formats Available In: Digital
Blurb: Although desperate to get out of her dead end job, Sami is cynical when she hears of an inheritance from the grandfather she never knew. But once she and her young brother arrive in the beautiful valley, she discovers they are not wanted...especially by the sexy vineyard owner next door.
Will she persevere and make a home for them, or give in and take the easy money when the going gets tough?
A thump sounded on the bedroom door, jarring her from a deep sleep.
"Go away." Samantha Grace Rose Darling groaned into her pillow.
"Tell them to fuck off and let me sleep." She threw a pillow at the door seconds before it eased open and her brother poked his head in the room. "Garth, I'm warning you, go away."
He sighed and she waited for the usual whine to follow. "There's an old guy on the phone. Said he wants to speak to you."
"Tell him I'm not here." She rolled over, brushed the hair from her face and then glared at him through half-closed eyes.
"I did but he insists on speaking to you. Said he wasn't going to go away until he does."
She groaned, pushed her blanket off with her hand and slowly slid out of bed. With languid grace Sami advanced on her brother intent on doing bodily harm to whoever it was who had the audacity to disturb her sleep. Holding out the phone, Garth waited for her to take it before he backed out of the room and quietly shut the door, leaving her alone.
"This better be bloody good. I pulled a double shift last night and I'm freaking tired."
Walking over to the window, she pushed aside the faded curtain and flinched when the bright Alice Springs sunlight filled her room, scorching her tired eyes. She promptly dropped the curtain into place wishing she'd left it alone. Sami rubbed her eyes and waited.
"Am I talking to Miss Samantha Grace Rose Darling?"
"Yeah." She dropped down to the edge of her bed, her fingers tracing a bruise on her leg from when she had bumped into a tray of glasses last night. I am such a klutz.
"Miss Darling, my name is Rupert Newland. I'm a solicitor with Newland, Newland and Cooper in Singleton, New South Wales."
She spat out a laugh before covering her mouth with the heel of her hand.
"I'm glad I amuse you. Now if you would be so kind as to contain yourself, I have news for you."
The voice on the other end of the phone was clipped and precise.
"I am acting on behalf of your grandfather's estate with regard to his final will and testament."
"I don't know who you're talking about. I don't have any family." Names ran through her mind but grandparents didn't come into the picture she had tucked away in her memory. "Nope. No grandparents I can lay claim to, sorry mate. You obviously have the wrong girl."
"Miss Darling, I have checked the facts and you are indeed the granddaughter of my late client. I need you to could come into the office for the reading of the will."
"Where did you say you were again?" Sami kicked through the pile of clothes on the bedroom floor and picked up the crumpled jeans from yesterday. She tucked the phone between her ear and shoulder to hold it firmly while she pulled her jeans on. One foot after the other she slid each leg into the jeans and yanked them up, wiggling her butt to pull them over her hips. Sami popped the button and did up the zip before she took the phone in her hand again.
"New South Wales, Hunter Valley. Singleton to be exact," he said.
"Mate, I don't know if you looked at the post code before you called me but I live in Alice Springs. In the middle of the frigging desert in the Northern Territory. I can't pop down the road and see you, understand?" She blew a stray curl from her face.
With one hand she opened her bedroom door and walked out to the lounge room. Garth tidied up his breakfast dishes and she smiled in his direction. He pointed to the coffee machine and Sami blew him a kiss.
"It will be worth your while to drive or fly down Miss Darling."
"I can't afford it, okay? It's not like I do double shifts at the pub because I enjoy the work. I need the money and there isn't enough at the end of the week for a happy little visit to your office. Tell me what you want to say and let me get on with my day now you've dragged me from my bed." She lifted a hand and rubbed at her eyes.
"Very well. You have inherited Buttercup Farm and it's contents. There is also a bank account with a small balance which I will disclose once you have formally proven your identity."
"Are you serious?"
Garth looked over at her, his shoulders raised in question. She shook her head and turned away.
"I did send you paperwork last week but I didn't receive a reply, hence the follow up phone call today." The solicitor’s bristling attitude irritated her.
A pile of unopened mail sat on the cluttered kitchen counter and Sami screwed up her face. Out of habit she threw the next day's mail on top of the pile, dreading the bills inside the envelopes. The longer she ignored it, the larger the pile grew.
"Sorry. I've um... been a bit busy and haven't got around to opening the mail for a few days."
"Well I suggest you do that. I need signatures to transfer the bank account into your name. It would be significantly easier if you were here in town. Since you are not, I would appreciate it if you could go to the nearest courthouse and have a Justice of the Peace witness your identity and your signature where I have indicated. It might be best if you Express Post the papers back to me today. You have to decide what to do with the farm and the stock." There was silence for a few seconds. "If I might make a suggestion? There are interested parties if you should decide to sell the property. Would you like me to have it valued for you? I can arrange everything from this end if you would prefer."
"No, no. I need to think about this for a bit. I'll ring you back after I read your letter. Thanks for calling." Sami hung up and threw the phone onto the couch and dropped her head into her hands.
"What is it? Was the landlord after his rent again? Sami, tell me."
"No, Garth. It was a solicitor." A wobbly laugh rose in her throat. "It seems as though we had family after all, even though he's dead."
1. Please tell us a little about yourself. - I live in the beautiful Hunter Valley wine region in Australia.
2. How did you come up with the idea for your book? - Actually when we moved down here from the desert. I knew I had to come uo with something when I saw the rolling green hills and manicured vineyards - so different from where we had spent the last eight years in the middle of the red desert.
3. When did the characters first pop into your head? - It didn't take long for Sami to make herself known to me. Mason took a little longer because I really wanted a different character for her to fall in love with. She is a fiery girl from the outback and he was a more cultered city guy. He needed to be just right and totally opposit to her.
4. Without giving away any spoilers, was the story always straight forward for you to write, or did it pop up any surprises along the way? - My characters always surprise me and these two gave me a couple of big surprises along the way.
5. Where do you like to write? - I have a beautiful old desk a friend gave me which is cluttered with my laptop, mail, research books and most importantly - my teapot and cup. I put my headphones on so I don't annoy anyone with my constant P!nk tunes and lose myself.
6. Do you read a lot? - Heaps but not as much as I would like.
7. Who are some of your favourite authors?- Nora Roberts, Deborah Harkness, Abbi Glines
8. And last but not least, have you any words of wisdom for aspiring writers out there? - If this is something you really want - don't give up. So many people do because it all seems too hard. I have this thing that annoys me and a lot of people may disagree. Writers block. I don't believe in it. Your brain works 24/7. The ideas coming to you may not be what you want or or like but getting down words, one sentance at a time is what writers do regardless of how hard it is. I always come back to this saying from the very determined Nora Roberts. "You can't fix a blank page."
About Ann B. Harrison:
Ann swears she was born with a book in her hands and has never put it down. A lifelong love of reader has finally culminated in achieving her dream of writing...and publication.
She lives in the beautiful Hunter Valley with her own handsome hero of many years. Ann has always loved the ups and downs of life in small communities and she shares this with readers in her rural romances.
Strong sexy heroines with a good dash of sass thrown in feature in her stories. Of course these women need an equally strong hero. Bring on the outback hero and watch the passion ignite.
When not writing Ann enjoys reading, gardening, walking her very large dog Hugo and fighting with her computer.
Ann’s Social Media Links: