Friday, July 17, 2015

B is for Branded

Margaret tells us about another of her novels.

Branded is another single word title book of mine (published in 1984) - set in Australia – a place I love, having spent a few holidays there.

My hero, Latham Elliot, is a man who has suffered at the hands of my heroine’s brother and is therefore a very bitter man. When Susi Kingswood turns up looking for her brother, not realising that he had been kicked out of the farmstead where he had been working, she is less than welcome. But as she had arrived by taxi, and as it was virtually in the middle of nowhere, she had no choice but to stay. Her unwelcoming host, when he realised he could not kick her out unless he provided transport, insisted she work as his housekeeper instead.

You can imagine the sparks that fly.

The following extract is when they first meet:-

The man at the desk made no attempt to stand as she entered. Indeed he did not even look at her. Susi immediately decided he was the rudest man she had ever met.

His legs were stretched out beneath the desk, his boot-clad feet protruding on the other side. A grey tee-shirt stretched tautly across a muscular chest, long arms looked strong and sinewy, covered with a thin layer of dark hair. He twirled a pencil between hard bony fingers, seemed more intent on that than on his unexpected visitor.

Black hair curled about a noble head. In profile his nose was straight and strong, his brow high and proud, jutting cheekbones giving an angular appearance to his face. His jaw was square and determined, thrust aggressively forward.

Eventually he glanced obliquely across. “Miss Kingswood?”

Susi inclined her head, a pin falling from her hair as she did so, spilling some of its long auburn length about her face. She had purposely pinned it up so that the breeze would cool her nape, now she pushed it back with an impatient hand, returning Latham Elliot’s gaze with as much dignity as she could muster.

He was not pleased to see her, that was for sure, suggesting there was no love lost between himself and her brother. But it was not Latham Elliot she had come to see. She could ignore his hostility for as long as it took her to find out where Carl was.

Forestalling her question, he said, “If it’s your brother you’re after you can turn right round and go. Kingswood no longer works here.” The loathing in his voice, the condescending arrogance, was unmistakable, and the way he looked at her, as though he hated her as much as he did her brother made her flinch.

She felt it as much as she would a knife slicing through her flesh. It was with difficulty that she controlled a natural urge to back away. This man was vitriolic. “Perhaps you could tell me where he is?”

P.S Margaret is away on holiday this week but should be back on Friday evening to respond to any comments!


  1. Oh, you create wonderful Alpha heroes!

    1. Thank you, Jennifer. It's important to me to create men with a strong character. I've never met one in real life but I love meeting them through my writing.

  2. I concur with Jen...very alpha!

    I've always wanted to visit Australia...maybe someday. Until then, I can live vicariously through books. :)

    1. Australia certainly is a wonderful country, Debra. I'm lucky that I have family over there. I almost emigrated there once - until I discovered I was pregnant and that put paid to it. I often wonder what my life would have been like if I had emigrated. Quite possibly I would never have become a writer - and that to me sounds sad because I love what I do.

  3. I envy you your visits to Australia. I have a cousin there, but don't think I'll ever manage to go and visit her now!

    1. That's a pity, Paula, its such an interesting country..

  4. It's interesting how fate intervenes in our lives. Like Susi meeting Latham when looking for her brother.
    I met my hubby when I had to stay in California. (It's a long story.) But the problems that forced me to stay were destiny's way of getting us together.