Téa is back here again today to tell us more about her latest release - The Protea Boys.
Hi Tea, great to have you back here.Great to be here! I like these quick trips back to the UK.
I’ve noticed that you seem to like heroines who are strong and up for a challenge! I wonder if you could tell us a bit more about what makes the perfect heroine for you - and what type of girl we’d never see in one of your books!
I like my heroines to have their own agenda and to live their lives despite their heroes, not because of them! Conventional heroines don’t interest me nor do heroines who see themselves as damsels in distress, waiting for their hero to come along and complete their life. That’s part of Georgie’s problem with Tom, her number one Protea Boy, he’s exactly what she is not interested in - a control freak who thinks he can do her job better than she can!
None of that makes my heroines immune to romance but their heroes have to measure up and be prepared to accept them for the person they are. It makes for lots of fireworks and heroes who have to prove themselves.
The challenge as a writer is to keep your heroine realistic and feminine without resorting to a stereotypically shortcut. I like heroines who think for themselves and challenge authority. Heroes are often lauded for doing those things so why not heroines?
So you are not going to see me writing Regency, or anything involving princesses waiting for their knight in shining armour. That’s one of the reasons I enjoy writing Australian heroines because historically they were less constrained by society’s expectations.
There are some great women in Australian history. Ellenor Frazer was the first woman to receive a land grant in 1794, and there was Mary Ann Bugg who taught Captain Thunderbolt a lesson or two and my favourite Tilly Devine, she was a prominent Sydney crime syndicate gang member, involved in a wide range of activities, including sly-grog and razor gangs and as a madam but that’s another story….
Georgie can run but she can't hide from the man who stalks her dreams and throws her ordered life into a tailspin.
Emotional entanglement is not on Georgie Martin's to do list. She has turned her back on her sophisticated Sydney lifestyle, determined to renovate her parents old flower farm and her shattered ego. However the challenges prove more than she bargained for until a madcap scheme comes to fruition and The Protea Boys are born. The team of efficient, well-tapered six-packs solve her farming problems, but their leader presents a different kind of challenge—their first spark of attraction ignites a passion she cannot ignore.
Tom Morgan likes his women “pretty and entertaining,” not “efficient and driven," but the threat of being co-opted as a wine waiter or worse, chef in his brother’s restaurant encourages him to take up what he sees as the highly amusing challenge of managing The Protea Boys. It is the perfect distraction while he waits for a new assignment—or so he thinks until he realizes he has found the one woman he cannot run away from.
Can you share a little excerpt?
Copyright 2013, Téa Cooper
All rights reserved, Breathless Press.
A nonchalant silhouette leaning against the side of the black four-wheel drive came into view. Tall and lean, with an Akubra pulled down shadowing his eyes and arms folded across his chest. As Georgie slammed to a halt, he pushed his hat back and winked at her.
"What are you doing here?" she snapped.
Shit, not a very polite way to greet someone.
It was a trick. Hillary had played a huge trick on her.
"Good morning, Georgina." His laconic drawl made the hairs on her arms prickle, and his gaze ran up and down the length of her body; she stopped herself from rubbing her arms just in time. At least six feet four inches of pure muscle and screaming masculinity. The mere sight of him made her hackles rise. This was not one of her ridiculous dreams. She groped around, trying to find something to say, but he offered no help, just kept looking her up and down, waiting patiently.
"I didn't know it was you," she managed to splutter.
"You didn't know what was me?" he said, green eyes sparkling at her. She wanted to slap the ridiculous, audacious grin off his face. He was enjoying every moment of her discomfort.
"Hillary didn't say it was you." She ground the words out between her gritted teeth.
"Hillary didn't exactly say it was you either—but I guessed."
The whole conversation, if you could call it that, got more idiotic by the moment.
Take control. I have to take control.
Blood pounded somewhere inside her head. "So you're here to work, not just making a social call?" She narrowed her eyes, unable to be civil.
"I'm under the impression I'm starting work today. Hillary said you were expecting me, and I should turn up at seven o'clock this morning." He stared pointedly at his watch, accentuating his deliciously muscled forearm. " It's five to, by my reckoning."
"I didn't know it was you." Georgie's brain had stuck, like an old, scratched CD, the phrase stuttered in her head, and she couldn't stop it falling out of her mouth. "I didn't know it was you. Hillary said your name was Morgan."
"It is. Morgan, Tom Morgan." He enunciated the words as though she had a limited command of English.
In an attempt to restrain the recurring urge to hit him, Georgie clenched her fists.
"Remember? I introduced myself after our little adventure with the wombat last week."
How could she forget? She involuntarily moved her finger to her lips, unsure for a moment if her memory of his kiss was real or not, but the glimmer in his eye assured her it was, and she pulled her hand from her face and stuffed it into her pocket.
"Then we spoke on the phone."
"Yes. I remember. It's just I didn't know it was you Hillary had interviewed."
You're burbling, talking nonsense.
Hillary had said his name was Morgan, and she hadn't put two and two together. She dreamed—not dreamed, no, he didn't need to know about her dreams—of him as Tom.
Tom of the predatory green eyes with tawny flecks.
Mr. Leopard Eyes who was watching her with a deal more than a glint of amusement. She sucked in a deep breath and exhaled, enjoying the exasperated puffing sound escaping her lips. Her flesh shivered despite the warmth in her face.
"I can go if you like. It's not a problem. I was looking forward to the job. Thought it would be a challenge working for two lovely ladies."
That's it. That's done it. The patronizing sexist.
She clenched her teeth to prevent the words escaping. Sometime in the not-too-distant future she would explain to this man that she was running the business and she employed him—not the other way around. She'd played this game before, and she had no intention of falling into the trap again.
Where can your readers find you?
Téa writes contemporary and historical romantic fiction featuring strong-minded women and sexy Australian men. Love and life Down Under isn'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.
The Protea Boys is Téa's second Australian contemporary romance and her third Passionfruit & Poetry will be published in mid 2013. She is currently working on a series of nineteenth century historical romances set in Sydney and the Hunter Valley. The first two, Lily's Leap and Matilda's Freedom, will be released in May and July 2013.
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.