AusRomToday Cathryn Hein


WIP Me Inspired
Cathryn Hein


Ancient tomes! Riddles! Danger! Romance!

This is what I’m knee-deep in right now, and what fun it is too.

My Work-In-Progress (WIP) will be my second romantic adventure release; the first, The French Prize, released on Monday 1st September to much excitement.

As a massive Indiana Jones and Mummy film franchise fan – and who could forget Romancing the Stone and Jewel of the Nile – these action romance stories are like happy pills to me, and pure joy to write.

The heroine of my WIP, Kelly Carlyle, is a mild bookshop owner living quietly in a small Cornish fishing village. Except in her cellar lies a secret, a dangerous and legendary book hidden there by her adventurer father who was killed before he could return the stolen artefact to its rightful home. But someone has learned of the book and covets its power. Soon, Kelly is on the run, chased not only by the man who wants her treasure but by another – a handsome Australian teacher who swears his only goal is to help her.

To make matters worse, Kelly has discovered her father swapped the book for a series of clues. Now Kelly must follow the trail. But is the man who claims to be her friend really to be trusted, and will she be able to return the book to its rightful home before she’s caught?


Here’s a little taste:

She could just make out the far end of the pier through a gap between the houses. Around its tip, fishing boats chugged toward safety. Already the sea had that murky look of menace the locals knew and respected so well. Her gaze lowered to the whitewashed buildings and street. And locked with another’s.

Kelly stepped back, breathing hard. Teacher-man.

Anxiety gripped her. She was alone, vulnerable. She glanced at the book. Under the bed wouldn’t do any longer, but where to hide a three kilogram dictionary?

And this wasn’t her home. Her home had burnt down.

Her hands fisted as anxiety suddenly gave way to rage. Preliminary findings pointed to an electrical fault causing the fire but that was rubbish. An electrical fault couldn’t turn an alarm system off, not one backed-up the way hers was. Nor could it turn off battery operated smoke detectors. She thrust out her jaw. A human caused that fire. And that human was likely standing in the shadows of the street opposite.

As you can guess, this is huge fun to plot out. I get to make up riddles, devise cunning twists, armchair travel all over Europe, and research all sorts of weird and wonderful things. Everything from train timetables to the Medici family, Parisian occultist shops, and the scents and sounds of Sicily’s north coast. All fascinating, and a wonderful way to learn.

Which is how I came to think of the story, by learning. I was watching a documentary on SBS and a premise went BANG in my head. Immediately, I scribbled it down and then, when it came time to begin, I took those bones and fleshed them out. I’ve discovered documentaries are a great source of inspiration for all sorts of things. It’s the new information that does it.

The adventure novels are a bit of a change from Rocking Horse Hill, Heartland and my other rural romance stories, but they’re still contemporary romances at heart and that’s what I enjoy most. There is nothing quite like the journey of a love story. My adventure romances just happen to be a little more action packed!


The French Prize
Cathryn Hein

An ancient riddle, a broken vow – a modern-day quest for a medieval treasure.

Australian-born Dr. Olivia Walker is an Oxford academic with a reputation as one of the world’s leading Crusade historians and she’s risked everything on finding one of the most famous swords in history – Durendal. Shrouded in myth and mystery, the sword is fabled to have belonged to the warrior Roland, a champion of Charlemagne’s court, and Olivia is determined to prove to her detractors that the legend is real. Her dream is almost within reach when she discovers the long-lost key to its location in Provence, but her benefactor – Raimund Blancard – has other ideas.

For more than a millennium, the Blancard family have protected the sword. When his brother is tortured and killed by a man who believes he is Roland’s rightful heir, Raimund vows to end the bloodshed forever. He will find Durendal and destroy it, but to do that he needs Olivia’s help.

Now Olivia is torn between finding the treasure for which she has hunted all her life and helping the man she has fallen in love with destroy her dream. And all the while, Raimund’s murderous nemesis is on their trail, and he will stop at nothing to claim his birthright.

Booktopia  |  Bookworld  |  Amazon  |  Kobo  |  Google Play  |  iBooks  |  JB Hi-Fi  |  QBD The Bookshop  |  Collins Booksellers  |  Angus & Robertson



About the Author:
Cathryn Hein was born in South Australia’s rural south-east. With three generations of jockeys in the family it was little wonder she grew up horse mad, finally obtaining her first horse at age 10. So began years of pony club, eventing, dressage and showjumping until university beckoned.

Armed with a shiny Bachelor of Applied Science (Agriculture) from Roseworthy College she moved to Melbourne and later Newcastle, working in the agricultural and turf seeds industry. Her partner’s posting to France took Cathryn overseas for three years in Provence where she finally gave in to her life-long desire to write. Her short fiction has been recognised in numerous contests, and published in Woman’s Day.

Cathryn’s first three novels, Promises, Heart of the Valley and Heartland were finalists in the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Australian Romance Readers Awards. Rocking Horse Hill is her fourth rural romance novel. September 2014 saw the release of The French Prize, her first romantic adventure story.

Cathryn currently lives at the base of the Blue Mountains in Sydney’s far west with her partner of many years, Jim. When she’s not writing, she plays golf (ineptly), cooks (well), and in football season barracks (rowdily) for her beloved Sydney Swans AFL team.



Find Cathryn online:



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