Guest blogger: Annie Seaton
What makes you sigh? What makes you shiver?
We are all different and we seek our pleasure in different ways. However if you are reading this blog, it is certain that one of the ways you seek entertainment and spend your leisure time is by immersing yourself in a good book.
What do you love best about reading? Some of us like our romance served with action and adventure, some with paranormal elements, and some of us prefer less action and lots of emotion, but the common denominator is … we all love romance!
So what makes a book a special read for you?
Is it losing yourself in different lives, and in different worlds? Do you like becoming emotionally connected with the characters? Enjoying their happiness, and grieving with them in the sad times. Laughing with them or being scared when they are scared? A good book is one that makes the reader feel and takes them on a compelling journey.
It is all of the above for me, and as an author, I love to tap into reader’s emotions. One thing I love to read is a scary scene that makes me shiver. My editor tells me that when he gets to my scary scenes, he barely has to change a word! It seems I am good at writing scary scenes!
In Kakadu Sunset, I really enjoyed writing the scenes with the crocodiles. Ramping up the tension, and describing the setting so that the reader could experience the fear along with Ellie. After all, it’s the wilds of Kakadu and of course there are going to be crocodiles there. I am absolutely terrified of them and when I was researching this book we walked along the waterways in the national park. I kept a respectful distance from the water’s edge wherever we went but my husband was much braver and stayed to close to the water and that added to my fear. It let me experience firsthand that feeling of the unknown, the uncertainty of a crocodile lurking just beyond the water’s edge. The power of their jaws is phenomenal and I heard and read so many horror stories as we travelled from billabong to billabong, and river to river.
So a little taster for you …
Ellie grinned at him with a flash of white teeth. It was the biggest smile he’d had from her yet. A lazy swirl of desire ran through him and he kept his eyes on her face. Her lips parted softly as she held his gaze for a second before she looked away and across to the water. A faint hint of colour touched her cheeks.
‘That’s to keep the tourists away from the water. There are crocodiles here.’
‘Are they really so dangerous?’ It was hard to believe there was danger in such a beautiful place.
‘Close your eyes.’ Ellie’s voice was soft. ‘What do you hear?’
Kane glanced down at her before doing as she said. ‘Nothing.’
He tilted his head to the side and really listened. ‘I can hear the wind.’
The soft cadence of her voice led him as she continued. ‘Imagine being here at night. The moon is full and shining on the water, and everything is quiet, apart from that soft wind.’
‘Very pleasant,’ Kane said.
‘Ten years ago a young German girl and her friends were camping here. They fell in love with the natural beauty of this place, and one hot night they went for a midnight swim. Right here. Right where we’re standing. She was found the next morning in the jaws of a crocodile, one hundred metres along the shore.’ Ellie’s voice hardened and Kane opened his eyes as her warm fingers touched his forearm. She lifted her other hand and pointed to a sign at the water’s edge.
The word was printed in huge red letters above three graphics: a crocodile, a person swimming with a red line through the figure, and a crocodile snatching a person from the water’s edge.
She shivered and pointed past the sign to the grass on the other side of the flimsy wire. ‘See that flattened grass?’
Kane stood close behind her and followed the direction of her finger.
A huge reptile was lying in the shallow water at the edge of the billabong about fifty metres away. Its nose and eyes were above the waterline, but the rest was a deep shadow beneath the surface. ‘Holy shit. Look at the size of it. It must be at least four metres long.’
Ellie squealed and grabbed at his arm as if to pull him back. ‘You’ve got a good eye. I didn’t even see that one.’ Kane steadied her against him, and was pleased when she didn’t move away from his hands resting on her shoulders.
He watched the creature for a few moments, intrigued to see such a massive creature in the wild, in its natural habitat. He went to step forward but Ellie lifted her hand to stop him and shook her head.
‘Please don’t go any closer. ‘Do you know how fast they can move?’
The fragrance of her skin wafted around him as she stood close. The same fragrance he’d noticed up in the air yesterday.
‘How fast? They’re such ungainly looking creatures.’
‘Faster than you’d imagine. Remember what I told you. No matter how beautiful and enticing Kakadu appears, remember the danger lurking behind the beauty.’
Her eyes were wide, and Kane thought of another sort of danger, another sort of beauty, and her cheeks flared with colour again as he looked down at her.
The confident, sassy demeanour she’d put up yesterday had gone. Hell, if he didn’t know better, he’d have said she was terrified. A protective instinct surged through him, the intensity hitting him unexpectedly. Kane dropped his hands from Ellie’s shoulders and took a step back, unsettled by his response. ‘I’ll be careful.’
In the ancient lands of Kakadu, it’s not just the crocodiles you should be afraid of …
By Annie Seaton … voted Australian Author of the Year in the 2014 AusRomToday Awards, and Best Established Author 2015
Helicopter pilot Ellie Porter loves her job. Soaring above the glorious Kakadu National Park, she feels freed from the heavy losses of her beloved family farm and the questions around her father’s suicide. But when a search-and-rescue mission on the boundary of the older property reveals unusual excavation works, Ellie vows to investigate.
The last thing she needs is her bad-tempered co-pilot, Kane McLaren, interfering. The son of the current owners of the farm, her attraction to him is a distraction she can’t afford, especially when someone threatens to put a stop to her inquiries—by any means necessary.
Ellie will have to trust Kane if she is to have any hope of uncovering the truth of what is really going on. Between Ellie’s damage and Kane’s secrets, can they find a way to open up to each other before the shadowy forces shut her up … for good?
Kakadu Sunset is available at book stores and online at all e-tailers. You can find the links here.