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Beyond The Page: “Man Drought” by Rachael Johns

Jan 1
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Man Drought picToday is the start of a new year, 2013, and to celebrate, I have the lovely Australian author Rachael Johns here to chat about her latest release from Harlequin Australia – “Man Drought“.

Today’s Giveaway is extra special because “Man Drought” is currently only available from Harlequin Australia in Australia and New Zealand. Click here to enter >> a Rafflecopter giveaway

CABR: Was “Man Drought” inspired by your own experience of living in rural Australia?

(Click on red words for links to more information and to buy the book)

RJ: In a way yes. I’ve lived in rural Australia (two different country towns) for the past eight years and travelled through a number of other towns during this time.

One thing ALL these towns have is at least one or two pubs. Once upon a time these pubs were the thriving social centres of town but a lot of them are now in disrepair. They are often gorgeous old historical buildings but
would take a lot to fix up.

pubI guess there are a number of reasons (shrinking population, smoking outside laws, drink driving laws, etc, etc, etc) why many of the pubs are now looking worse for wear, but whenever I drive past one I can’t help imagining what it would be like if someone had the funds, wherewithal and desire to bring it back to its former glory!! As I don’t have the funds or wherewithal, I decided it would be fun to do this in a book.

CABR: Neat idea. Now readers like myself can enjoy these pubs remotely. 🙂 Which character in “Man Drought” came to you first? Imogen Bates or Gibson Black?

RJ: Definitely Imogen. I knew I wanted someone to buy and renovate
a country pub and I tried to imagine what drastic life events might
have led someone to decide to do this. I made Imogen a widow,
grieving the man she thought was The One and desperate to
escape the city and her memories. I also made sure her hubby had
great life insurance, which made buying the pub possible.

CABR: What were the hardest and most fun scenes to write in “Man Drought“?

Rachel Johns picRJ: The hardest were probably the farm scenes. I live in rural Australia but am not a farmer, so I always worry that these aren’t authentic
enough. The most fun were definitely the scenes with what I have
coined the Random Vibrator. It appeared totally of it’s own accord early in the book and ended up playing a huge part. My fave scene is when Gibson finds Imogen’s vibrator (given to her by a friend).

CABR: LOL. Congrats on your two-book deal with Harlequin Australia!
Tell us more about this. I know “Man Drought” is book one.

I’m stoked to be published with Harlequin Australia and the publicity they gave my first book “Jilted” was amazing. “Man Drought” is the first in a two book contract. I subbed the second book (OUTBACK DREAMS or PLAYING WITH FIRE – not sure which yet) at the beginning of December and it will hopefully be out later this year. This is a friends to lovers story, also set in rural Australia and I plan it to be the first of three linked books with a small mystery developing to be the main focus of book three.

hotelCABR: Great news for those of us who love series. 🙂


CABR: Which character from fiction, yours or another author’s,
would you like to spend time with and why?

RJ: It’d have to be a hero – I’d love to spend time with any of mine,
but Jane Austen’s Mr Darcy (from “Pride and Prejudice” which is free on Amazon via this link) would also do it for me every time. I like hero’s that are noble and gorgeous underneath but have a grumpy exterior. Gibson in “Man Drought” is very much this hero.

CABR: I totally agree with you on Mr Darcy! If you could be someone for a day, who would you be?

RJ: A member of the Royal Family!! I’d really love to see what it’s like
to really live in a palace.

Man Drought picCABR: Me too. 🙂 Coffee or Tea?

RJ: Neither – eugh! I LOVE the smell of coffee but can’t stand the
taste. Tea, just can’t stand the whole shebang – smell and taste. I
prefer Diet Coke, Milo or water.

CABR: Dogs or Cats?

RJ: Definitely cats. I DO have a gorgeous dog but I’m a cat person
through and through.

CABR: Dream vacation – adventure or relaxation?

RJ: Relaxation all the way. This might change later but right now I long for a two-week holiday where I can laze around all day catching up on my massive TBR pile 😀

CABR: So true on the to-be-read side of things.

Man Drought” is currently only available from Harlequin Australia in Australia and New Zealand. So click here to enter >> a Rafflecopter giveaway << for your chance to WIN.

To find out more about Rachael and her upcoming books:

Blog www.rachaeljohns.wordpress.com




Purchase links: (Click on red text for link to sites) Amazon and Harlequin Australia

Synopsis of “Man Drought“:

Imogen Bates moved to the small rural town of Gibson’s Find to start a new life for herself after the death of her husband. Tired of being haunted by the painful memories of her old life, Imogen set her last remaining hopes on the little town and, in particular, pouring her heart and savings into restoring The Majestic Hotel to its former glory. But while the female-starved town might be glad to see a young woman move in, not everyone is happy about Imogen’s arrival.

Sheep and crop farmer Gibson Black once dreamed of having the kind of family his grandfather reminisces about, but he’s learnt not to dream anymore. Living in the mostly male town suits Gibson down to the ground…and he won’t have anyone — least of all a hot redhead from the city — change a thing.

Imogen has never been one to back down from a challenge, especially when it concerns her last chance at happiness. She’s determined to rebuild the pub and create a future for the little town. But can she create a future for Gibson and herself, too?

Purchase links: (Click on red text for link to sites) Amazon and Harlequin Australia

Man Drought” is currently only available from Harlequin Australia in Australia and New Zealand. So click here to enter >> a Rafflecopter giveaway << for your chance to WIN.


  • Maria says:

    I love Rachael’s work. It’s very insightful….

  • I have Mandrought on my TBR. I bought it and put it in the ‘give to mum for Xmas pile’. It’s funny I’ve never met too many people like myself who don’t drink tea or coffee.

  • Erin K. says:

    I really want to read Man Drought! I only get to read Rachael’s US releases with Carina so I am VERY excited about this giveaway. What appeals to me about the blurb from Man Drought is the idea of Imogen determinedly restoring the hotel to its former glory and getting a fresh start after her husband’s death. It sounds like a hopeful story, which is one of my favorite themes in romance. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Cat V says:

    Great interview! I like the idea of the Heroine restoring an beautiful old hotel as a source for healing and moving forward. I’m interested to find out how she and Gibson eventually come together.
    Thanks for the giveaway 🙂

  • Letitia says:

    Great interview Sasha! 🙂 And I love hero’s that take a little convincing, so Gibson sounds right up my alley!

  • Chanpreet says:

    Thank you Lord and twitter for leading me here! I’d never know this giveaway was available if I didn’t decide to login and search my twit feed. :p

    Dramatic I know, but I’ve also found another blog to follow, so it’s all roses for me!

    • Chanpreet says:

      And the idea of a stubborn man falling for a woman he wants to resist, but can’t is always a wonderful thing! It just goes to show how making assumptions can always backfire! 🙂


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