Donna Gallagher has graciously stopped by to share with us a character interview with her, Gareth and Dylan.
Donna: Hi Jennifer and thanks for inviting me to visit. I decided to bring a couple of the boys from my League of Love series with me this time. Let me introduce you to Gareth Andrews, my Cowboy turned footy player from Emily’s Cowboy and his brother-in-law Dylan Mackenzie, from Sarah’s Soldier. Say hi to Jen boys.
Dylan: Hi Jennifer.
Gareth: Hi Jen, nice to meet you. Emily wanted me to thank you for your Wake Up Wednesday blog posts. My wife is very taken with them. I think it’s a shame you’ve not paid tribute to us sexy rugby league players though. We’d put those other blokes to shame ;)
Dylan: For heaven’s sake mate get over the sexy footy player rubbish. I can’t believe you got into the finals for sexiest hero, what were those ARRA voters thinking? Everyone knows a man in uniform is always ladies choice.
Gareth: You’re not in uniform any more buddy, so what does it matter? Let’s just go with the proof at hand. I made the final and you didn’t so I’m sexier. Just ask Emily she certainly never hesitates to rub her hands all over my sexy bod…
Dylan: Do you mind that is my sister you’re taking about – a brother can only stand so much. I’ve always assumed she must have hit her head on something when she was younger – why else would she have hooked up with a boofhead footy player like you?
Donna: Come on boys play nice…Jen is trying to get a blog together here. I doubt her readers want to hear you two squabbling. Why don’t you both tell Jen a little about yourselves.
Gareth: He started it…
Dylan: Ignore him Jen, he’s always been a pain in the arse, especially mine. Growing up on the family farm in Gunnedah, I spent my childhood getting Emily and Gareth out of trouble. Gareth’s family were our closest neighbours. Our parents good friends – which meant I was always the chump that had to “look after the young ones”. As you know my family had a few difficult times, ones I struggled to cope with, so I joined the Army to get away. Tell you what if I had of known this one was gonna go sniffing around my little sister in that way maybe I would have stayed.
Gareth: Yeah, yeah, yeah…whatever Dyl. Of course my side of the story is more accurate, Jen. Dylan made Emily and my lives hell back in those earlier years. Always playing practical jokes on us, he was a bit of a bully I reckon. Lazy too, used to get us to do all his chores or he’d threaten to make up some story to get us into grief with the parentals. I didn’t go sniffing around your sister buddy, Emily and I were always meant to be together. Every significant memory of my childhood includes her. It was the second worst day of my life when I had to walk away from her and head to Sydney to play for the Jets.
Donna: What was the worst moment Gareth?
Gareth: Watching that bushfire roar over the hill and knowing Emily was right in its path. Fuck me that was a nightmare. No-one could find her and I just knew she’d be out trying to save those damn horses – without a thought for her own safety. When I saw her lying under that fallen tree branch I just…
Dylan: Thank God you found her so quickly mate. The burning branch did some damage but if the fire had of caught up to her it would’ve been another Mackenzie tragedy. I hate to think about it.
Donna: We are all glad you found her, Gareth. It was a rough road for the two of you but you’re together now.
Gareth: Bloody oath and I’m the happiest bloke around.
Dylan: I hate to disagree with you again…
Gareth: Like that’s anything new…
Dylan: I can’t help it if you’re always wrong. But I think my Sarah has made me the happiest man alive. She’s a bloody beaut. Changed my life the day she walked into it…I’m not sure what would have happened to me otherwise. I was seriously screwed up and not just with all the war crap, other stuff too. Sarah helped me sort myself out and I couldn’t be happier.
Donna: How is Sarah coping with life in the country?
Dylan: She’s doing bloody brilliant. Her graphic design business has taken off like a shot and everyone around town loves her. She brings some colour to the place.
Donna: So what are you plans for the future?
Dylan: Well I guess that’s up to you Donna? I notice we didn’t get much of a mention in Cassie and Riley’s book.
Gareth: Yeah, I’m feeling bad I didn’t know they were struggling…guess I was too busy being pissed with you Dylan and the way you treated Sarah. Lucky Brodes was around to help, and Pippa.
Dylan: I’m more surprised that JT didn’t get more of a starring role – we all know he is Donna’s favourite.
Donna: Don’t be like that! You know I love you all.
Gareth: Yeah but JT just a bit more…I would like to point out that its Emily’s Cowboy and Sarah’s Soldier that are in the ARRA finals for best erotic romance, not Mandy’s He-man.
Dylan: Dare you to point that out to JT, mate…
Donna: Jen, I think on that note I better take these boys back home. Thanks again for having us over. I’ve left an excerpt from Emily’s Cowboy for your readers…
Dylan: Hey! Why that book? Why not leave one from Sarah’s Soldier?
Gareth: Like you need to ask…obviously my story is better…
Donna: Gareth, Dylan enough! Say goodbye.
Gareth: Bye Jen. Don’t forget to do a Wednesday dedicated to footy players ;)
Dylan: Or soldiers…Bye Jennifer.
Jen: Bye guys, it was great to have you stop by – y’all crack me up! :) And you too, Donna! *hugs*
It’s such a cliché — country boy moves to the big city to follow his dreams, leaving his girl and everything he loves behind – but that’s exactly what Gareth Andrews has done. Playing rugby league is Gareth’s dream and he’s signed with one of the best teams in the competition – The Sydney Jets. Of course that has meant a move to the big city and leaving Emily Mackenzie and everything he loves behind. Not that Gareth hasn’t begged her to join him in the city he has, on bended knee — but Emily needs to stay in Gunnedah and help her father on the family farm until her brother’s stint in the armed forces is over. But Gareth knows it’s more than that. Emily is hiding away, embarrassed by the scars that mar her body in a constant reminder of the bushfire that nearly took her life.
Can love give Emily the courage to face strangers again when her father is badly injured and Gareth shows up at the hospital to support her? Or will she let her fear and shame get the better of her and break her one true love’s heart for a second time?
Excerpt: Emily’s Cowboy
“Are you still dreaming of the fire, Em?” Gareth said in tender tones as he drew her into his arms.
“Not so much these days, but I guess the stress has fired them up again.” She squirmed at her terrible choice of words, a pun that held no amusement.
“Oh, Emily, I don’t know what to say. But, baby, you need to let go of it, let go of that awful time. The fire is still burning inside you, still causing you pain. Let me help you extinguish the fire, help you put it behind you.”
“How can you expect me to put it behind me when I live with it every day? Just brushing my teeth or hair in front of a mirror brings it all rushing back. Look at my face, Gareth… Look at me.”
Emily was screaming at him as she dragged his face closer, refusing to let him pull away from the sight of her. She needed to remind him of what she was. Remind him why they had no future. How could she expect him to live with looking at her every day? She couldn’t stand it.
“Do you know what I see when I look at you? I see the face of the woman I love. The woman I have loved all my life. My best friend. My childhood accomplice. My lover. The woman who turns me on with just a glimpse of her or a thought of her. The burns can’t change that for me. I honestly don’t even notice them when I look at you. They are irrelevant. My love for you is not conditional on how you look. My love is comprehensive—it’s for Emily the person, and I will love you the same way when I am wrinkly and old, probably a cripple from footy injuries. Are you saying that if it had been me in that fire, you would not love me anymore? Is that what you’re saying, Em? Because that is what you are deciding for me. Is that how shallow you think my love for you is?”
Favourite Erotic Romance – proudly sponsored by eXtasy Books
- Betrayed by Christina Phillips
- Emily’s Cowboy by Donna Gallagher
- Her Savage Scot by Christina Phillips
- Rhythm of My Heart by Jess Dee
- Sarah’s Soldier by Donna Gallagher
- Skin by Kylie Scott
- Tainted by Christina Phillips
- The Secret Diary of Lady Catherine Bexley by Viveka Portman
- The Yearning by Kate Belle
- Uncommon Passion by Anne Calhoun
Favourite Continuing Romance Series – proudly sponsored by Harlequin Australia
- Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones
- Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh
- Half-Light City series by MJ Scott
- Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews
- League of Love series by Donna Gallagher
- London Steampunk series by Bec McMaster
- Mercy’s Angels series by Kirsty Dallas
- Psy/Changeling series by Nalini Singh
- Sons of Sin series by Anna Campbell
- The Westruthers series by Christina Brooke
Favourite Australian Romance Author 2013 – proudly sponsored by Booktopia (woohoo Donna!)
- Amy Andrews
- Anna Campbell
- Anne Gracie
- Cathryn Hein
- Christina Brooke
- Donna Gallagher
- Helene Young
- Kelly Hunter
- Kylie Scott
- Rachael Johns
The Sexiest Hero from a romance published in 2013
- Adrian ‘Trig’ Sinclair from What the Bride Didn’t Know by Kelly Hunter
- Alex Kristidis from Mistaken Identity by Alyssa J Montgomery
- Curran from Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews
- Daniel ‘Monty’ Montgomery from Outback Dreams by Rachael Johns
- Gareth Andrews from Emily’s Cowboy by Donna Gallagher
- Jake Prince from Holding Out for a Hero by Amy Andrews
- Logan Black from The One that Got Away by Kelly Hunter
- Reyes Farrow from Fifth Grave Past the Light by Darynda Jones
- Sir Richard Harmsworth from A Rake’s Midnight Kiss by Anna Campbell
- Tait Cavanaugh from Beneath Outback Skies by Alissa Callen
- Will Carver from Heart of Iron by Bec McMaster