Please join me in welcoming Kate Murphy to my blog. Kate was one of the first writer friends I made, and I love her madly. Yes, she’s been rather quiet since Triskelion closed their doors, so it’s awesome to see one of her stories available again. Havoc Retreat is available in the Boys Down Under Anthology. Oh, and just in case you’ve forgotten what the cover looks like, I’ve attached it for you at the bottom of the post. 🙂
Well I wanted Havoc Retreat to be a comedy of errors – everything that can go wrong – does. Anything planned is thrown out the window.
Havoc Retreat is set in current times and based in the Barrington Tops in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, Australia. The Barrington Tops is Heritage listed and if you have a look at the pictures, you can see why. I tell you, it’s like walking into another world at the Barrington Tops. The air is so crisp and clean – I actually felt light headed for a short time. And the flora and fauna is just breathtaking – how could I not write a love story with this setting!
The characters, Katie and Matthew, are in their late 20s, and Matthew is looking for the perfect place to propose to Katie – but a rascal of a possum has other ideas! I do enjoy writing a romance with just that little bit of spice!
I had such a great time working with my fellow authors and have developed some great relationships.
Hope you enjoy the anthology just as much as we had working on it!
Havoc Retreat: An Excerpt
“Don’t walk too quickly for me, I’m not used to walking in this sort of stuff,” she called as Matthew walked ahead and out of her line of sight. The foliage seemed to shift back into place as Matthew passed, giving him the cloak of coverage.
“I’m just here,” he said in a frustrated tone.
Katie quickened her pace to reduce the gap between them. The tall trees prevented her from seeing anything other than foliage. Stray branches and shrubs with spiky prickles scraped and snagged against her pants.
“Slow down Matthew,” she snipped as she struggled to keep her balance on the narrow path. The added weight on her back didn’t assist with a smooth jog.
She rushed through the thick forest into a clearing but didn’t anticipate the path taking a steep decline. The toe of her boot caught under a stray root and the next thing she saw was the sky followed quickly by the dirt track.
Sky, trees, dirt. Sky, trees, dirt. Sky, trees, dirt.
She was sure a scream made its way from the pit of her stomach before the backpack and the force of landing knocked the breath from her lungs. She heard Matthew calling her name as the sky flashed by one more time before she landed on her side in thick shrub that cushioned her final stagger. She rolled across the bush onto her back as she caught her breath. She was taking a moment to register for any pain that panged through her body. She closed her eyes and forced her lungs to take in air.
Katie remained spread eagle as the sound of Matthew’s shoes crunching on the ground got louder.
“Katie! Are you okay? Talk to me.”
She slowly opened her eyes and wriggled to get off the shrub.
“I’m okay,” she said breathlessly. “Oh my God! I didn’t expect the ground to be so steep.”
She was on her feet when Matthew jogged to her side.
“And if you waited for me I wouldn’t have had to run, and I probably wouldn’t have fallen.”
Matthew flinched from the back of her hand hitting his upper arm before it returned to her stomach. A short pain pulsed through her shoulder, wrist, knees and left ankle.
“I was right there,” he said reaching his arms out to her as she started to rub and pull the clothing to reveal injured parts of her body.
“Bloody hell.” She stretched out her back and hobbled near her landing spot. “This back pack feels like its broken my back.”
“The pack must have been ripped open.”
Katie didn’t need for him to answer; she could see the majority of the contents of her backpack were strewn down the hillside. Her pajama pants hung over a low shrub while the frying pan was further up the track.
“Oh fuck it all,” Katie sighed with a shake of her head. “Perfect. Just perfect.”