Sunday 26 November 2017

Heart Note by Cassandra O'Leary @cass_oleary @rararesources #HeartNote

Love is like a fine perfume.  
The top note draws you in, an instant attraction, but the Heart Note is the true essence. Like true love – a great perfume should be a woman’s perfect match. At least, that’s what perfume counter manager, Lily Lucas, tells her customers in one of Australia’s largest department stores. It’s almost Christmas, the store is bedecked with baubles and Lily has about eleventy billion gifts to wrap and sell. She and her team of spritzer chicks are glamorous, professional and hoping they don’t have to wear the hideous red onesies and reindeer antlers the store manager has in mind. The high point of Lily’s work life is Christos Cyriakos, ex-cop, security guard, possible Greek god. He's a mystery box she’d love to unwrap. But can she trust him? All Lily wants for Christmas is to kiss Christos (and more), catch a band of thieves running amok in the store, and live happily ever after. Is that too much to wish for?

Heart Note by Cassandra O'Leary was published on 6 November 2017, I'm happy to welcome Cassandra to Random Things today. She's talking about the books that are important to her and have inspired her, in My Life In Books

My Life In Books - Cassandra O'Leary

Looking back on some of my favourite books from childhood and even later in life, a few stand out even though I haven’t re-read them for years. Some of them were simply fun, and some probably started to form my taste in books that I love even today.

I have eclectic tastes! From children’s books, science fiction, fantasy, chick lit and romance, I have favourites in so many genres. Even now when people suggest I should write the kind of books I like to read, I sigh because means I have to write everything…

The Little Engine That Could, Little Golden Books
I had a big collection of Little Golden Books as a small child and even some that you listened to on vinyl records (yes, I’m that old). Tinkerbell waved her little wand in an illustration and a tinkling bell sound signalled it was time to turn the page. I followed along with these books and I think they helped me learn to read.
The Little Engine That Could stands out as a book I wanted read to me over and over again. I loved the message about trying your best, working hard and eventually succeeding. I like to think it’s stuck with me.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Douglas Adams
I first read this book at about age 10 and I absolutely loved it. Laugh out loud funny language, silly sci fi jokes (for a kid who was already a Star Trek fan, this was gold) and exciting adventures through space. I particularly loved Arthur Dent, the Englishman searching the universe for tea, Marvin the depressed robot and Trillian, a brilliant astro-physicist. I’ve re-read this book every few years and it’s still one of my all-time favourites.

Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery
Probably the first romance I ever read, aged about 12. The small town perfection, the feisty redhead, Anne, the imaginative girl who loved books and acting, who went off on flights of fancy when people kept telling her to be sensible. How could I not love it? And Gilbert…sigh. I had such a crush on him.

Dune, Frank Herbert
Simply an amazing work of fiction. My uncle recommended this book to me when I was a teenager, maybe seventeen. I read it and was completely immersed in the otherworldly politics, magic, superstition and royal history of a planet that doesn’t even exist. I should have been studying for exams, but no. I had to keep reading.

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
I found Jane Austen when I was at university and supposedly studying statistics and accounting subjects (are you sensing a theme here?) but I got swept away in the Regency era and was surprised at how funny the writing was. I have a Jane Austen collection that I’ve read over and over, and I’ve kept it for over 20 years.

Watermelon, Marian Keyes
I love Marian Keyes’ humour, Irish outlook on life and stories about a group of sisters in a large, complex and slightly dysfunctional family. Watermelon was the first ‘chick lit’ novel I read and it certainly wasn’t the last! I glommed all of Marian’s books and found many others I enjoyed such as Sophie Kinsella, Maggie Alderson and many more.

Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding
The big chick lit book, and one I devoured in a day. And the others in the series. I adore Bridget’s voice in this book and the stream of consciousness style of writing. This book, more than any other, is the reason I wanted to write fun books. I have no problem with people reading purely for entertainment and relaxation. In fact, that’s what I want my readers to feel.

Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling
I came to Harry Potter as an adult and I was intrigued because a few of my work colleagues at the time raved about the books. Well, I bought one when I was on holidays and read it in a couple of days, and was itching to read the whole series from the start. These books capture a sense of wonder that I adore in books, especially children’s books. I’m now reading the series to my two little boys (I do all the voices!) and they love them too.

Play, Kylie Scott
One of the first super-sexy romcoms I read, by an Australian author. This is one of the Stage Dive series of books about the members of a fictional rock band, but the lead character in this
book, Mal, is my absolute favourite. His one liners are probably too dirty to quote here, but they are hilarious. This character just jumps off the page and it’s one of the most memorable romance books I’ve read in the last few years.

**Winner of the We Heart New Talent contest, HarperCollins UK. Nominated for BEST NEW AUTHOR in the 2016 AusRom Today Reader's Choice Awards for excellence in Australian romance fiction.** 

Cassandra O’Leary is a romance and women’s fiction author, communications specialist, avid reader, film and TV fangirl and admirer of pretty, shiny things. 
In 2015, Cassandra won the We Heart New Talent contest run by Avon Books/HarperCollins UK. Her debut romantic comedy novel, Girl on a Plane, was published in July 2016. 
Cassandra was also a 2015 finalist in the Lone Star writing contest, Northwest Houston Romance Writers of America, and a 2014 finalist in the First Kiss contest, Romance Writers of Australia. 

Cassandra is a mother of two gorgeous, high-energy mini ninjas and wife to a spunky superhero. Living in Melbourne, Australia, she’s also travelled the world. 
If you want to send her to Italy or Spain on any food or wine tasting ‘research’ trips, that would be splendiferous. You’ll find Cassandra online, drinking coffee and possibly buying shoes. Oh, yes. And writing.

Social Media Links Facebook – 
Twitter – @cass_oleary 
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Cassandra_O_Leary Website –

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