Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Meet Téa Cooper and Lily!

 I was really pleased when I found out I was going to be sharing a release date with Téa, I've know her for a while now and there's no-one else I'd prefer to be popping a celebratory bottle of champagne with! 
I'm over at her place to talk about my new Lyrical Press release later in the week, but today she's here sharing a bit about herself and 'Lily's Leap'. And she'll be back on Thursday with news of another release - a busy girl!
Hi Tea, thank you so much for dropping by.

Okay, starting off with the book and some quick fire questions…
  1. If you had to sum up Lily’s Leap in 30 words or less what would you say?
It’s a romantic romp through nineteenth century Wollombi…bushrangers, horses, dashing heroes and heroines, wonderful fun! Is that less than 30 words? Wollombi is in Australia, just north of Sydney – can I add that?

  1. Lilibeth sounds intriguing (and determined!) – what do you most like about her?
Lilibeth Dungarven is very much her own woman but she’s had a heap of set backs - married, widowed, back under her father’s rule, all before her twenty-first birthday. But she has a dream: she is determined to breed the perfect racehorse and restore the Dungarven horse stud to its former glory.

  1. Is there anything about her that frustrates you?
There is actually – she is totally incapable of giving in even when the cards are stacked against her.
  1. Can you tell us a bit about Tom?
Tom is not what he seems to be – there is more to him than the devil-may-care image he portrays.
  1. And is he the type of guy you could fall for, or would you steer clear?
No way would I steer clear of him and I really can’t understand why Lily keeps trying to.

  1. What/who inspired you to write the story?
I work down at the local museum once a month – and I hate opening up. It used to be the old court house and goal. You can’t put the lights on until you’ve turned the alarms off and I swear ‘they’ are all telling their stories and I disturb them. There’s a clip on Youtube if you would like to ‘walk in my shoes’!!

  1. And what about the characters - are they a little bit you, people you know, or did they just leap out and grab you (metaphorically speaking of course!)?
They are not so much a little bit me as a little bit ‘them’. (see comment above!)

And we, sorry I, being naturally nosy would love to know a bit about you…
  1. Favourite genre(s) to read and to write?
Historical first, but not usually Regency. 

  1. What part of writing do you enjoy most, coming up with the idea, planning, research, writing it or typing The End?!
Love the planning and the research and the ideas coming together. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle but I always feel a bit bereft when I type The End. It’s like saying goodbye to old friends.

  1. Sum up in 30 words or less what you want to be doing in 5 years time.
Pretty much what I am doing now I hope!

  1. Favourite thing to do when you’re not writing?
My backyard is one hundred acres of virgin bush – I love to wander around there. There’s something rather special about thinking you might be standing on a spot no other human has ever walked on. Then there’s Wollombi – it’s a great village full of interesting people (besides those in the museum!), restaurants and wineries. I’ve really got it all on my backdoor step.

  1. Who/what inspired you to keep on writing until you got published?
I had procrastinated for so long – I gave up work in 2011 determined to crack it. It was something I had wanted to do since forever.

Book blurb:
Born into privileged society, Lilibeth Dungarven finds herself married, widowed, and much to her distress, back under her father’s rule, all before her twenty-first birthday. But this spirited and independent young woman has a dream: she is determined to breed the perfect racehorse and restore Dungarven horse stud to its former glory.
When the devastatingly attractive Captain Tom and his mismatched band of bushrangers stumble across a mob of the best horses they’ve ever seen, and the daughter of the famed Dungarven stud, they know their fortunes have changed. Their catch is worth a king’s ransom. Surely it can’t be too difficult to contain this beautiful young woman with violet eyes and skin-tight riding breeches for seven days?

And before you run off, can you share a little excerpt?
Copyright 2013, Tea Cooper
All rights reserved, Lyrical Press, Inc.
Lily could see the pale ribbon of road below cutting through the trees and the bright blue expanse of sky wide-open in front of her.
“Nero. You can do it,” she whispered into his sleek, shiny neck and he snorted in response. Her thigh muscles burned as she tightened her grasp on his flanks. His muscles tensed in response, attuned to her body. She gritted her teeth and willed her shaking hands to steady. “We can do this, Nero. We have to.” Her heart hammered so hard in her chest she thought it might leap right over the culvert and down the hill ahead of them.
With barely a moment’s hesitation she dug her heels into the stallion’s flanks and urged him down the hill. The last trees cleared and the sudden heat of the sun stung her face, then she crouched low over Nero’s neck. The clatter of his hooves on the sandstone surface told her they had reached the road. The blood raced through her veins, pulsing in her ears, a violent and excruciating pounding raged through her body.
“Stop!” Tom’s command echoed around her as the blocks of the convict hewn, sandstone walls reared ahead of her. Surely it wasn’t such a huge jump for a horse like Nero?
She leaned forward in the saddle and her cheek brushed the dampness of his neck. Time slowed. With her eyes squeezed tightly shut she sucked in a great gulp of air and clenched her teeth tightly together. Nero lifted into the air. His muscles bunched beneath her and he flew over the chiseled blocks and down the slope. Her knees gripped the saddle and she dragged the reins almost vertical as they plunged down. Tufts of wiry grass and small rocks littered the route. She flinched as Nero’s hooves crashed across them. Gasping in a quick breath, she prayed for the terrain to level off.
Her lungs contracted like bellows and what little air remained, whistled out through her pursed lips. Nero tensed and she shuddered as he stumbled and then regained his balance. Her heart leapt to her throat and her wrists twisted as she wrenched on the reins to slow him. He quivered to a halt. Silver spots danced in front of her eyes and she gulped in a breath to feed her starving lungs. Nero’s muscled body trembled and quaked beneath her and white froth flecked his muzzle.
“We did it, darling Nero. We did it.” The salty tang of his body filled her nostrils as she leaned over his neck murmuring endearments. She swayed with exertion and forced her rubbery muscles to respond as she squinted into the sunlight. Figures on horseback towered above her, stalled on the road. She had an overwhelming urge to wave her hand and shriek in triumph.
But she resisted; this was her opportunity and she had no time to waste. She cut away to the right praying her memory of the maps was correct as she searched for the track leading her to Laguna.
“Lil-eee. Lil-eee.” Tom’s call bounced off the sandstone walls. Shading her eyes with her hand she stared back toward the culvert wall. It was empty.
“Lil-eee. Lil-eee.” The sorrowful echo reached her, resounding somewhere deep in her gut. Her sweat-soaked curls clung to her face as she shook her head, raging at her ridiculous foolishness. After such an exhilarating and successful leap for freedom why did she suddenly feel so melancholy? Her heels bruised Nero’s flanks and she urged him away in a fast canter.

Buy links: Lyrical Press: http://lyricalpress.com/lilys-leap/
                 iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/lilys-leap/id607994639?mt=11
                 Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lilys-Leap-ebook/dp/B00CJTQ2A2/
Where can your readers find you?

Téa writes historical romance featuring strong-minded women and irresistible Australian men. Love and life in nineteenth century Australia wasn't always easy. Her heroes and heroines have to fight long and hard for what they believe in before they reach their happy ever after.
Lily's Leap is Téa's first historical romance and Harlequin Escape will release her second Matilda's Freedom on 1st July 2013.
She has also written three contemporary Australia romances—Tree Change, The Protea Boys and Passionfruit & Poetry. She is currently working on her third historical romance set on a schooner somewhere between Sydney and Van Diemen's Land.
To keep up with all of Téa's news visit her website www.teacooperauthor.com where you will find links to her blog and social media pages.

Thanks for sharing Téa and good luck with Lily’s Leap – see you back here on Thursday!


  1. Your book looks intriguing, Tea. I would love to read a historical set in Australia. I loved the movie Australia with Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman.

    1. Thanks Kiru I hope you read Lily and enjoy it. I think I had Nicole and Hugh in mind when I was writing it just a little bit.