AUSSIE MONTH with Cathryn Hein
Describe yourself in one word:
I asked my other half what word he would use. He replied ‘special’ (good man!), so I’m going with that.
What is your background with regard to writing?
Like many authors, I have no formal training but I’ve always been a big reader and been writing since I was a teenager. It took me quite a number of years to finish my first book though, but once I did that was the end of me. Totally hooked and knew I couldn’t ever let this dream go.
Tell us about The French Prize:
The French Prize is a romantic adventure set in Provence, featuring a sexy French soldier, a clever Australian scholar, and a dangerous enemy all seeking an ancient sword called Durendal. It’s a bit of a departure from my usual Australian rural-set romances, but The French Prize is a rollicking read, with plenty of drama, legend and, of course, romance.
What inspired this novel?
I’ve always loved history, and adore documentaries and books on ancient times. We were lucky enough to live in France for three years and while there I discovered a whole new world of fascinating fact and lore. One of these was the story of Roland and his legendary sword Durendal. I fell in love with the tale and it stuck with me. Eventually, well after we’d returned to Australia, I decided to write about it. As a big fan of the Indiana Jones and Mummy film franchises, and we mustn’t forget Romancing the Stone, The French Prize is exactly the sort of story I love.
What are you reading right now?
Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch. This series is such a blast.
Number one thing to do on your bucket list?
I really hanker to visit Greece but visiting Machu Picchu is right up the top too.
Best thing about being an Aussie?
Claiming the best place on earth as home.
What you want readers to know about the romance genre?
Read it. It will make you feel wonderful!
What have you got in store for your readers in 2015?
A lot! My next rural romance, The Falls, releases April 22nd and I have another romantic adventure – working title The Carlyle Code – coming out later in the year. There might be a novella in the mix too…
What were your big achievements of 2014?
Writing two full length novels. I’m quite a slow writer so this was a big deal for me.
The French Prize
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.