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Southern Star : Sometimes coming home is not what you expect... - J.C. Grey

Southern Star

Sometimes coming home is not what you expect...

By: J.C. Grey

Paperback

Published: 20th November 2013
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Published: 14th November 2013
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Will running from fame only lead her into danger?

Her reputation and career in tatters, Hollywood siren Blaze Gillespie escapes the scandal by fleeing to the Queensland property she still calls home.

Sweet Springs has been deserted for years and Blaze focuses all her energy on restoring the run-down homestead. Faced with hostile locals who have never forgiven her for flitting off to Hollywood, Blaze turns to her neighbour, handsome cattle farmer, Macauley Black, for help.

As Sweet Springs returns to its former glory, Blaze and Mac can't resist their growing attraction. But when Blaze becomes the target of some serious threats, it looks like trouble has followed her home to Sweet Springs.

About the Author

J.C. Grey has been hooked on romantic fiction since reading The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss as a teenager, and started writing when the stories and characters swirling around in her head demanded to be let loose on the page. Born in Britain and now based in Australia, J.C.'s day jobs have included journalism, editing and copywriting, but she most enjoys the time she spends immersed in the dangerous lives and loves of her heroes and heroines, whose stories often unfold in ways she could never have imagined. Since she started writing romance seriously about a decade ago, J.C. has published a paranormal romance trilogy-comprising Dance with the Devil, Something Wicked This Way Comes and The Witching Hour.

Prologue

Hey, Blaze! Smile, honey,' a photographer called out.

For the fraction of a second that it took for the flash bulb to do its thing, everything froze – the jostling crowds, the thick-set security staff, her anxiously hovering PR. And Blaze Gillespie imagined that she could leave them frozen in place, turn and run back along the red carpet, past the waiting line of limousines and across the square into the park, where she'd kick off her thousand-dollar, crystal-encrusted heels and disappear into the trees.

By the time the spell was broken and they'd realised she'd bolted, she'd be long gone.

'Hey, Blaze. The paps wouldn't mind getting a bit of the action you showed the Bad & Co. crew.' The photographer whose flash had just blinded her leered, while the others laughed and raised their cameras ready to catch her response to his crude insult. 'How 'bout it, babe?'

'Watch it, Sweeney. Dicking around with Blaze Gillespie gets people dead,' another photographer responded with twisted humour.

And, just like that, Blaze crash-landed back into her nightmare reality.

A month ago, the media had been fawning, adoring. But a month ago she hadn't been celluloid's 'slut of the century,' as one newspaper had tagged her. A month ago, Mitch hadn't been found slashed open from throat to groin in his hotel room, the knife lying next to his wrecked body bearing Blaze's fingerprints. A month ago, life was as normal as it ever got for movie goddess Blaze Gillespie.

But today was today – her reputation was trashed, her career in free fall. Very soon her liberty might be forfeit, too. Blaze wanted nothing more than to hide in shame, but damned if they'd take her pride along with everything else; not while she still had breath in her body.

Lifting her chin, she flicked her mane of fiery hair over her shoulder and let her gaze wander coolly past the braying pack of paps. Her PR, Monica, tapped her watch anxiously. It was time to head into the theatre. But Blaze wasn't quite done with the red carpet yet. Spying a group of fans, flushed and eager, calling her name and holding out books and postcards and photos for her signature, she walked regally over, smiled, and gave them the autographs they wanted.

'Ms Gillespie, I just wanted you to know I thought you were awesome in The Quiet One,' whispered one teenage earnest girl. 'I don't care what everyone else says. I hope you get more great roles like that.'



Blaze stopped, surprised. Few people mentioned her brief appearance as a pastor's repressed wife in a period piece released last year. And if they did it was usually to mock her attempt at serious drama. She took the movie festival program the girl held out to her.

'Thanks. I hope so, too. What's your name?'

'Bethany,' came the shy reply.

Blaze scribbled a personal message for the girl on the paper. As she reached out to hand it back, something hissed close to her head and she jerked away. Someone screamed, and Blaze turned back to face Bethany, but the pretty round face was now a grotesque death mask, her right eye socket a black and bloody mess.

As Blaze tried to process that this was no nightmare or special effect, a tidal wave of alarm swept through the crowd. Screams of shock turned to panic as fans tried to flee. Hemmed in by the people behind them, those near the red carpet had nowhere else to go but on to it. Surging forward, they surrounded Blaze, buffeting her. Across the crowd, she glimpsed the face of the nearest security guard, yelling and trying desperately to reach her, but he was too far away. And as her feet were swept from under her, she caught a glancing blow on the temple and everything faded to black.

ISBN: 9780143570974
ISBN-10: 0143570978
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: 20th November 2013
Dimensions (cm): 19.9 x 13.0  x 2.2
Weight (kg): 19.9