Happy Book Birthday to Gracie and Owen – Teach Your Heart’s release day is today! Woot!
I’m so excited about this book and I hope you are too – it’s been a long time coming. Owen, Dr. O-for-Awesome, has a lot to learn from Gracie Cooper and his two nieces and nephew. I have to admit I enjoyed torturing the poor man and watching him drag his heels not only falling in love with Gracie, but also the family he’d distanced himself from to protect his own heart. Below are a couple of my personal photos from the Far North. I’ll be taking a short vacation up there after to Christmas to see family and friends (after not visiting the area for nearly two years) and I can’t wait.
If you’ve enjoyed these photos, why not follow me on Instagram? I’ll be posting a lot of gorgeous ‘Bounty Bay’ photos over the holidays – plus my usual assortment of fun stuff.
You can buy Teach Your Heart from these retailers (special price of $2.99 until December 8th)
Gracie and Owen’s Jam
I fell in love with this song when I was writing Teach Your Heart because it reminded me of the way Owen looked at Gracie… and it just makes my heart smile and want to dance too! 🙂
“Morning,” he said. “Another early bird.”
“I saw the lights go on in here. I’ve been awake for hours. Touch of jet lag still.”
“Takes some adjustment.” Owen gave Gracie a wide berth and entered the walk-in pantry. “As does acclimatizing to the Far North summer,” he said over his shoulder. “Are you cold?”
Her laugh was a smoky chuckle. Fortunately, neither she nor Charlie could witness him closing his eyes for an instant to enjoy it.
“No, just lacking in some warmer-weather clothes,” Gracie said. “I like to travel light, so I gave away a lot of my summer things when the UK winter closed in.”
“I was hot last night.” His nephew’s sleepy voice drifted into the pantry. “And what’s for breakfast?”
“Uncle Owen’s making pancakes, and I was hot, too. In the bus I sleep in my knickers,” Charlie said and then giggled. “Will, tell Gracie the story about Uncle Owen and Uncle Danny in the bunny-hole.”
“What’s a bunny-hole?” Gracie asked.
Owen snatched the baking powder from the shelf and ducked back into the kitchen. “It’s a space under the main floor of my parents’ bus down the back. Big enough to fit a small set of bunks. Daniel and I used to share it.”
“You lived in the house bus, too?”
Gracie sat bolt upright on the barstool, but before Owen could answer, Charlie tugged on her elbow.
“Hey! It’s Will’s story!”
“Sorry.” Gracie stroked Charlie’s hair, which stuck out in wild corkscrew curls. “Tell me about the bunny-hole, Will.”
Owen moved to the fridge and opened it. He’d need the cool air if the story he suspected was the one his mum had passed on to the kids.
“Weeelll,” said Will, relishing the role of storyteller. “The bunny-hole bunks are up against the window, so you gotta remember to close the curtains if you’re on the top one. One day, when Uncle Owen was little, he forgot to close the curtains and he woke up to see people laughing at him as they walked past. Because he only had his undies on and nothing else.”
Charlie clapped a palm over her mouth but it didn’t muffle her high-pitched giggles.
“Oh dear.” Laughter rippled beneath the surface of Gracie’s voice. “I hope they were clean undies, Owen.”
Bunny-hole, rabbit hole. He’d fallen down one of them into a nutty world where discussing underwear choices with a woman he’d just met was appropriate breakfast conversation. “Clean Spiderman ones, yeah.”
Owen pulled out the tray of eggs and placed them on the counter, turning to find Gracie’s gaze once again on him—at ass height. This was a whole new sublevel of the rabbit hole. Did she wonder if he still wore Spiderman underwear? Or maybe she was checking out his attributes for some other reason.
He grabbed a whisk from the utensil jar and pointed it. “Twenty-five years ago, I thought Spiderman was the ultimate in cool. Now I’ve moved past the tighty-whities stage—so can we please stop laughing at my underwear choices and change the subject?”
Charlie climbed onto the lower rung of Gracie’s barstool and whispered into her ear. This time, his niece managed a whisper he couldn’t overhear and two spots of rosy pink appeared on Gracie’s cheekbones.
Owen cracked an egg into the mixing bowl one-handed. “Want to share with the class?”
“Girls don’t share secrets,” said Charlie. “Eh, Gracie?”
Since the spots had grown larger on Gracie’s cheeks, curiosity burned in his gut. There was another darting glance to the fly level of his shorts. Interesting.
Copyright © Tracey Alvarez 2016
1st Prize (over $50 value) includes:
~ Know Your Heart (Far North Book #2) signed paperback
~ Beautiful NZ themed scarf
~ New Zealand Wild Ferns Lanolin Pure & Delicate soap
~ New Zealand Wild Ferns Lanolin lip balm with Shea Butter
~ Pascall Jet Planes lollies – for those of us with a sweet tooth and who like to fly away to exotic places like Gracie. Classic NZ candy.
~ Cute New Zealand bird (Fantail) hanging decoration (Christmas tree?)
~ New Zealand made Whittaker’s dark chocolate bar Kaitaia Fire Chili Pepper Spice – Kaitaia Fire hot-sauce was created in the Far North, where Teach Your Heart is set.
~ Author magnet (not pictured)
~ Author bookmark (not pictured)
Runner up prize:
2 runner up winners will get a New Zealand fire fighters 2017 calendar as pictured.
To Enter: Just click on the below Rafflecopter giveaway links below.
To qualify for the bonus 5 entries, you’ll need to purchase Teach Your Heart and answer this question in the space provided in the rafflecopter. The question is: What is the first 5-word sentence at the beginning of Chapter 17?
* Prizes are not exchangeable for cash or anything else.
* All due care will be made in ensuring the prize arrives at the winner’s address, but I am unable to refund prize value in any way should it not arrive due to postal disaster.
* Entries close on December 7th and winner will receive a direct e-mail from me shortly after – so please ensure my e-mail address is added to your safe/contacts list. If I haven’t had a reply from the winner in 48 hours, I will redraw a new winner.
I’m giving away 2 extra copies of New Zealand fire fighters 2017 calendar. Free to enter, no purchase required. All you have to do is visit my Facebook page here.
~ SHARE the post about Teach Your Heart’s release which is pinned to the top of page before December 5th.
~ LIKE the post.
~ COMMENT on the post – anything you like – hi, done, happy release day, just something. 😉
I’ll draw 2 winners from everyone who enters correctly on December 6th. I will PM the winners, but please check your ‘Message Request’ tab in your FB messages because if we’re not *friends* you won’t see it in your normal messages. I’ll also name the two winners in my next newsletter due out on the 6th (with some awesome new giveaways!) so make sure you keep an eye out for it – check your spam mail and if your find one of my newsletters there, add firstname.lastname@example.org to your list of safe senders. As soon as I hear from the 2 winners I will send the calendar, but there’s no guarantee that’ll reach them before Christmas due to postal times.
*This Competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.*