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Thanks to author Cynthia Terelst for being with us today, with her new release, LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE.
First, would you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi Everyone, Here are some random facts about myself:
I live in Queensland, Australia with my two cats, Kimmy and Possum. Kimmy was adopted from a local refuge and Possum was a foster fail through a rescue. I foster kittens for a local rescue. When I don’t have any in my home, I have withdrawal symptoms.
My mum lives a few streets away and visits every week. My daughter lives over 100km away. We talk every day, multiple times.
A lot of my friends love coffee and cannot function without one. I am not one of those people. I drank coffee once, when I was a teenager, and have never gone back. Every now and then I will have a hot chocolate. I usually drink water or sugar free cordial. I like to go all out and have a glass of soft drink with dinner.
I do not have any formal training in writing, in fact my degree is in commerce, which is funny really when you think that numbers and words are opposites. I don’t think you need an education in writing to be a good writer. Although, having an understanding of structure, flow and grammar helps. I try to attend inline classes run through my state’s writing centre when something of interest comes along. But I think the most I learn is by listening to others, especially a close writing friend I work with.
Tell us about your most recent publication?
My second novel, Let Sleeping Dogs Lie was published on 30 June. It is a second chance romance that revolves around a scavenger hunt. A completely made-up scavenger hunt.
What inspired you to write this story?
Last year my daughter moved to a new town for work. I put up a post about the two pubs in town and a friend commented saying it sounded like it was a puzzle. Then I thought, that sounds like a fun idea for a novel, I’m going to write about a scavenger hunt.
What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today? Any special memories you have in the creation of it?
You would think coming up with places to hide a treasure and thinking up clues would be easy. But it was quite a challenge. You need enough details so that the participants can get to the right answer, but then be vague enough that they can’t get the answer easily. I learnt quite a bit about Sydney and its history.
How would you best describe your books?
My motto for my writing is – I like to share a little bit of history, some Australian scenery and a whole lotta love. One reader said my stories are not lovey dovey and that would be right. Even though they are romance they are not sickly sweet. I like to throw some real-life issues in there because I feel like they should be spoken about, even if it is in some small way. Some issues I have dealt with in my writing is loss, domestic violence and addiction.
What is your favorite genre to write? To read?
I write romance but read just about anything – romance, thrillers, YA fantasy, dystopian. If it’s good, I’ll read it. I have even tried space opera.
What do you most like about writing? Least like? When did you first know you wanted to be an author?
I like creating characters who are believable and who readers can root for. I enjoy adding Australian slang into my writing. Australia is such a unique country and I like sharing some of our culture with the world.
I wrote my first full length novel when I was sixteen. Life interrupted and I put writing aside for over twenty years. Now I am back at it and I feel like I am doing what I am supposed to do.
Do you belong to any writing groups? Are there any writing websites you find particularly useful?
I belong to Queensland Writers Centre and sometimes I join their online courses. I am a subscriber to many writing newsletters but find I don’t have enough time to read through them all. One of my favourite writing craft books is, The Emotional Craft of Fiction.
Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing? How does it inspire you?
Sometimes, I listen to music, sometimes I don’t. When there was a clue in Let Sleeping Dogs Lie, that remotely related to Elton John, I listened to his music for fun.
Tell us a little about your path to publication.
This is the second novel I have published. It sure has been a big learning curve. There is so much involved in getting a book published – writing, self editing, beta readers, professional editing, proofreading, formatting. Indie authors cover all of these costs. Leading up to publication there is a whole big launch plan to follow and then marketing.
What are you writing now? What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you?
Next, I am writing a royal romance. The ideas haven’t been fully fleshed out yet. I am hoping a library talk I was invited to attend will be rescheduled soon.
What would you like to tell readers?
I would like to encourage readers to leave reviews for books they read. This is especially important for indie authors who don’t have big publishing houses behind them. Even a two sentence review is helpful. Reviews help new readers find our books.
Will one of the treasures they find be each other’s heart?
It’s been five years since Tara walked out of Shepherd’s life without a word. Since then he’s spiralled through drugs, alcohol and empty relationships, with Tara on his mind the whole time. Now he wants to win her back, and what better way to do it than by creating a fake scavenger hunt? He knows she won’t be able to resist.
Tara’s lost enough loved ones and she didn’t want to see Shepherd added to that count. So, when she saw him high at graduation, she did the only thing she could – she walked away. When she’s teamed up with him for a million dollar scavenger hunt, the feelings reignite. For a second chance at love to work, she needs to be brave enough to open up to him, to tell him everything she withheld the first time around.
Shepherd didn’t realise how much winning would mean to Tara. He now needs to come up with $3 million for her foundation before the hunt is over. If he can’t he will need to tell her its all fake, and he doesn’t know if he can risk that.
Will secrets destroy them a second time around?
Shepherd and I sat on the couch side by side and watched The Martian while we ate dinner. The warmth from where our arms touched seeped through me. I should have moved away, but I didn’t want to. The spices from the tacos radiated off him. What would they taste like when mixed with the sweetness of him? My eyes were drawn to his lips, the curve of them. I could practically feel their softness.
Shepherd turned his face to mine. My eyes lingered for a moment as I imagined his soft breath brushing my face as he bent his head toward me. My breathing shallowed to the point that it was nearly non-existent, as if I were a starfish. I turned my face away and resumed watching the movie, making sure my hands kept to themselves and my thoughts remained on the man saving his own life on the screen. Matt Damon may have been the most attractive astronaut I’d ever seen, but he was nothing compared to Shepherd.
The movie ended and I sat there while the credits rolled. Our closeness suddenly made me feel like we were in a flux capacitor. Time—five years of it—had been starved, and now it was swallowing me whole. Everything about Shepherd felt like home. Everything. And if I allowed it to, this feeling wouldn’t just swallow me, it would become me.
I jerked away from him, my heart racing, my skin cold, while I broke into a sweat. I couldn’t allow this to happen. Shepherd was no longer my solace. He never truly was because he never knew my grief. My grief over my brother. The feelings of loss at my parent’s death.
No, Shepherd was not my solace. Not then. Not now.
Cynthia Terelst is a project officer by day and a writer by night. She is a contemporary romance writer who likes to share a little bit of history, some Australian scenery and a whole lotta love. Cynthia does not shy away from difficult topics, as she feels that they should not be ignored.
She lives in Queensland, Australia, where the sun shines at least 283 days a year.
Social Media Links
Facebook For the Love of Words FB Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/572605370313807/
Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-Terelst/e/B07ZCTX8SB/
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/cynthiaterelst
Linktree – https://linktr.ee/cynthiaterelst