Aug 7, 2011

Sunday Smooch!

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from The Cattleman, The Baby and Me by Michelle Douglas, but first ...

the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is --
Ju Dimello!

Congratulations, Ju! Can you please contact Nikki Logan at

Nikki (at) highway1 (dot) com (dot) au and she'll send you a copy of A Kiss to Seal the Deal.

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from The Cattleman, the Baby, and Me by Michelle Doulgas ...

Dear Diary I came to the Outback to fulfil my sister’s wishes and find my little nephew’s father. But poor Harry no longer has a daddy, and I’m staying with his uncle. Liam’s an Outback cattleman through and through, and doesn’t seem happy about us landing on his doorstep. But, oh, my, he’s indescribably gorgeous! I’ve seen his tough edges soften when he’s seen adorable Harry smile…maybe I can make his heart melt too? Sapphie x

[Set up: Sapphie and Liam have fallen into the habit of sharing caramel milkshakes in the afternoon when Harry goes down for a nap. They have spent much of the day together, including an invigorating horse ride. Both have been doing their best to ignore the attraction building between them. For the last six years, Sapphie has buried her sexuality, but it's refusing to remain buried any longer.]

Sapphie paused in her bedroom doorway, straightened her shirt and mentally girded her loins. 'Caramel milkshakes,' she murmured. 'Easy-peasy.'

She'd keep it light and fun. No heat.

She blew out a breath. No sweat.

She strode along the corridor—chin up, shoulders back. She closed her eyes and dragged in a breath. She opened them and—

Oh! She skidded to a halt, coming within millimetres of slamming smack-bang into Liam's near-naked body as he emerged from the bathroom. And she had no hope of fighting back the heat that spiralled through her. No hope at all.

He wore a towel—nothing else. It covered the essentials, but only just, because it rode so low on his hips that, with an oath, he had to grab at it and haul it up.

Fresh from the shower, his hair gleamed darker, curling at his neck and behind his ears. She watched a stray droplet of water trickle down the strong column of his throat to his
collarbone and her mouth went dry.

Dark hair curled across his chest and her fingers itched to reach out and touch. That sculpted chest, the muscles in those shoulders and arms, were the result of hard physical labour. That deep golden tan told her that some mornings Liam did that hard physical labour minus his shirt.

Her limbs went languid. Her eyes followed the spattering of hair trailing down his stomach to disappear beneath the line of the towel—a flat stomach, lean hips…powerful thighs. She couldn't have summoned up a more outstanding example of masculine perfection if she'd tried. She had to grip her hands in front of her to stop from reaching out and touching. She knew what he'd feel like—firm and silken. And hot.


'Hmm…?' She couldn't drag her gaze away.


The sharp tone made her blink, forced her to drag her gaze up to his face. That wasn't any hardship. His face was as beautiful as the rest of him. Lean and hard, but beautiful.

He swept his hand over his hair. 'If you don't stop looking at me like that—'

She stared at his fingers, imagined them trailing a path over her body—discovering, teasing…pleasing. Her breath caught. It would be magic to—


She forced herself to focus on his face again. She stared at him dumbly.

Yikes! What she was doing! She stepped back so fast she whacked the back of her head on the wall behind. She didn't even wince. She turned and fled to the kitchen.

Oh! She pressed her hands to her cheeks. She pulled them away to wring them. She turned in a circle. Caramel milkshakes—that was what she should be doing, making. She stared about the kitchen, but she couldn't seem to fix her eyes on a single item. She gave up and sped out through the living room's French doors to collapse on the bench outside. She drew her knees up to her chest and rested her forehead on them, concentrated on slowing her breathing.

You want to talk about that?'

Sapphie practically jumped out of her skin. Her feet hit the boards with a thud as she spun on the bench.

Liam stood in the doorway.

The Cattleman, The Baby and Me is nominated for a R*BY, Australia's Romantic Book of the Year. It's one of the most exciting things ever to happen to me in my writing career! To be in the draw to win a copy, tell me have you ever won or been nominated for an award? Or if not an award, have you ever won a raffle, a lucky door prize or the lottery (now wouldn't that be nice)?

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced -- and a smooch from The Army Ranger's Return by Soraya Lane will be posted!


  1. Nothing like muscles from hard work not a gym! Love the sound of Liam, Michelle. I haven't won any awards or contests (yet!) but I did win a Coles $200 gift card last year that I used to buy groceries on our Summer holiday. Nice to be able to afford all the little treats I usually say no to.

  2. Natalie, wouldn't you just love to sit in the shade with a cold drink and watch Liam working sans shirt? Oh, I would. :-)

    Oh, and yay you for winning the gift card! Love that you bought the treats you'd normally say no to!

  3. Michelle

    I soo loved this story such a fantastic read and congrats on the nomination I have my fingers crossed wish I could be there this year but I will be thinking of your all.

    I did win Tafe student of the year 9 years ago after doing my diploma in frontline management and that was a lot of hard work but a great bonus at the end.

    Have Fun

  4. Thanks for your kind words, Helen. I'm so glad you enjoyed The Cattleman, The Baby and Me. :-)

    Wow -- TAFE student of the year is some achievement! Well done you! It must've been so satisfying to have all your hard work pay off.

  5. Mmmm, muscles. Love them muscles. I'd yank that towel right off. This little excerpt was delicious.

    I just won a Lieber Award for my blog, which was a huge surprise to me. It was pretty cool fun to nominate others for it as well.

  6. Hi Marlena. Ooh, the look on Liam's face would've been priceless if Sapphie had yanked the towel away. :-)

    Congratulations on winning a Lieber Award for your blog! That must've been a real buzz!

  7. Michelle,

    I love that scene! Such heat and anticipation. You make me want to see Liam in the flesh for myself. Poor Sapphie - how's a girl supposed to resist?

    As for winning - very occasionally. The one that makes me smile was years ago when I won a fruit basket in a social club raffle at work. Sounds boring, eh? This basket weighed at least 5 kilos and included all sorts of exotic fruit I'd never seen. I had to ask a friend who'd lived in SE Asia about some of them. We had such fun savouring all the new tastes.

  8. Hi Annie,

    It has to be said that I had a lot of fun picturing Liam in that scene. :-)

    Ooh, love the sound of your fruit basket! It must've been fun to try such a range of exotic delicacies. I look at the different fruits at the supermarket sometimes and wonder about them. You've inspired me to give them a go.

  9. Michelle ~ I had to drop in and tell you how much I enjoyed Outback Baby Tales. Melissa James, Nikki Logan and you gave me three books that really kept me smiling. I love when authors get together to do a mini-series. All the books can be read as stand alone ones but read the three of them together for triple the pleasure.

    Congratulations on your RUBY nomination.

  10. That's a fab excerpt, Michelle, just scrumptious.
    What have I won... quite a few things over the years but the BEST thing ever was the entire collection of books in the Dymocks Christmas catalog here in NZ about ten years ago - to win you had to say in 50 words or less why we wanted to win the books (several hundred books valued at over $10,000!!) and I wrote a poem and it won!!
    When those cartons of books arrived... oh my gosh. it was like a million Christmasses in one. Coffee table books, paperbacks, hardcovers, gardening, art, music, sports, bios, novels, kids books... the works.

  11. Michelle, I'm one of many who would love to rip that towel right off him!!!

    I once was drawny first in a huge raffle (I was probably 13 or so) and went up and chose an old daggy saucepan for mum thinking she'd love it - to the laughs of many people. There were beautiful cakes and fantastic prizes... LOL!!! The things we do for love!

  12. Oh, Kaelee, thanks for dropping by and saying such nice things. I know Melissa and Nikki would be just as thrilled as I am that you enjoyed the Outback Baby Tales trilogy.

  13. Glad you liked the excerpt, Joanne. :-)

    Oh! am gasping in admiration that you wrote a poem and won all those books. I bet it was thrilling! Several hundred books all arriving on your doorstep -- I think I'd have wept with pleasure. :-)

  14. LOL, Mel -- I'm now thinking of another hero we all love -- Hugh in a towel. :-)

    Oh, no! You chose a saucepan? That's too funny...and so sweet. But if you'd chosen one of the fantastic prizes you wouldn't have such a great story to tell. And I bet your mum still thinks of it fondly. :-)

  15. Gorgeous scene, Michelle! Sapphie is in big trouble with the lovely Liam!

    Congratulations on finalling in the R*BY with this wonderful book! I've got my fingers crossed for you for the Awards Night!


  16. Michelle, I've read this book, and I LOVED it. Liam is a hero to melt for and Sapphie was just so much fun to be around.

    Things I've won... I won some writing contests in my unpublished days, but nothing as fabulous as being nominated for a R*BY.

    I'll have everything crossed for you on the night, and our other R*BY finalling Cats - Emily May and Natalie Anderson. What a fabulous trio!

  17. Oh Michelle, that is an amazing scene!! You've inspired me to rip out my WIP. Your hero sounds gorgeous!

  18. Hi Michelle,

    Lovely excerpt and congratulations on your nomination. Wishing you all the best for it.

    Well an award that i won was in high school. I was the Highest scorer in accounting and computer studies within the school.

  19. Aww, Rach, so glad you liked the story.

    I remember you won a LOT of unpubbed writing comps! And, of course, you deserved to. :-)

    Thanks for the crossed fingers.

  20. Thanks, Robbie! And glad you like my hero :-) (though am grimacing at the ripping of your wip).

  21. Hi Sonali, and thanks for the good wishes.

    Oh, wow, highest scorer in accounting and computer studies is an achievement to be proud about!

    Thanks for dropping by!

  22. Hi Michelle! That was one smokin' hot scene :) I loved the way the towel rode low on his hips :p

    And yeah, I've won a couple of books this year, in fact, as recent as today, here at lovecats ;) LOL! It does feel great to win :) Like a mini christmas gift during the other months!

    Congrats on the R*BY nomination! Hope you win it :)

  23. Hi Ju!

    Congratulations on winning a copy of Nikki's book -- you'll love it!

    Glad you liked my towel-ridin' low scene. :-) And thanks for the congrats.

  24. Oooh, Sapphie's in trouble I think. Gorgeous scene, Michelle. Will be keeping everything crossed for you at awards night!

    My husband won a laptop from the back of a cornflakes packet. Poor man, I immediately claimed it as my own :)

  25. Thanks, Anita!

    LOL on the laptop. I'm thinking that if you bought the cornflakes then you deserved the computer. :-)

  26. I have never won anything big, a few books but that's about all. Still hope to win something big one day. I love the excerpt, I think I would really love this book, sounds like my kind of read.


  27. Glad you liked the excerpt, Virginia. And I'll keep my fingers crossed that you win something BIG some day soon! :-)