Monday Author Meetup: Susan Horsnell – Australian Christmas Traditions & Her New Book


Susan Horsnell

About the author:

Susan grew up on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, in the 50’s and 60’s. A daughter of English immigrants, she is the eldest of five children. She and her husband Robert have two grown sons, “gorgeous daughters-in-law and five incredible grandchildren,” for whom she feels very blessed.

A nurse for more than 35 years, Susan specialized in caring for people with Alzheimer’s type Dementia. She says, “My dear father-in-law is unfortunately afflicted with this disease and now resides in a Nursing Home. In the not too distant future I am hoping to pen a novel incorporating some of the stories I have heard from these amazing people.” Susan also worked with the blind and cared for severely disabled children.

When she retired four years ago, Susan began writing stories based partially upon her experiences and upon her love of the American Old West. She hopes readers will enjoy her books and she’d love them to leave reviews.

Christmas in Australia

by Susan Horsnell

The heat of early summer in Australia has an impact on the way that Australians celebrate Christmas.

Many Australians spend Christmas out of doors, going to the beach for the day, or heading to camping grounds for a longer break over the Christmas holiday period. It has become traditional for international visitors who are in Sydney at Christmas time to go to Bondi Beach where up to 40,000 people visit on Christmas Day.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas houses are decorated; greetings cards sent out; carols sung; Christmas trees installed in homes, schools and public places; and children delight in anticipating a visit from Santa Claus. On Christmas Day family and friends gather to exchange gifts and enjoy special Christmas food which is usually seafood, salads and meat cooked on the barbie.

We usually hire a holiday home on the coast where we can take our 2 Jack Russell dogs (Cosmo and Kelly) and our 3 birds (Cockatiel – Rocky, Canary – Rorge and Zebra Finch – Beeper). We drive down on Christmas Day and back on New Years Day. This year we are going to Lakes Entrance in Victoria, one of our favourite places. There is a myriad of lakes, as the name suggests, and the beautiful 90mile beach (Yes, it is 90 miles long).

Our family is scattered all over Australia now and, as we cannot be in multiple places at once, we catch up with family from November onwards but spend Christmas day itself as our own little family. Financially, it makes it difficult for all of us to meet in one place. It is very expensive to travel in this country and our 2 sons, nieces and nephews all have young families. We won’t favour one over the other and, if we did one family per year, it would take us a lifetime to get around to them all. We tend to make our own Christmas Day when we do see each of them. I believe, although Christmas Day itself is important, it’s the being together that makes any day special for us. It doesn’t happen very often and we certainly make the most of it when it does. Needless to say, we spend a lot of November, December and January travelling.

Blind Achievement

That sounds tiring but fun, Susan! Living in the southern hemisphere sure does make a difference with Christmas traditions. Okay, now let’s hear about your new book.

Lyn, my new book is Blind Achievement.

Book blurb:

Phillip Johnson has been blind since the age of six after sustaining a head injury in a wagon accident. Growing up on a ranch outside of Austin hasn’t been easy for the young man but he has thrived with the loving help of his Step-Mother, Rachel, and the faithful support of his father, Luke. At 18 years old, he has made the decision to head to Macarthur to attend the Wyoming College for the Blind. He plans to study Civil Government Law and Political Economics.

It is here that he meets Belinda and he falls deeply in love with her. Belinda hides a dark and dangerous secret.  A ruthless man is obsessed with owning her. This threat has the power to ruin their relationship and put their lives in jeopardy. Can they overcome such obstacles and find happiness together?

Book excerpt:

It had been a long day and he tapped his way back to his room. He was startled from his thoughts by an ear piercing scream. Coming to an abrupt stop he listened. Sounds of a scuffle and banging came from what he knew was a classroom ahead. He approached and threw open the door without hesitation.

“What the hell? Get out!” a gruff voice bellowed.

“Please help me.” A girl’s agonized plea tore at his heart.

“What’s going on?” Phillip demanded to know.

“None of your damned business, half-wit. Get out.” Phillip could not place the voice.

“Let me go,” she screamed again.

“Let the young lady go.” Phillip said angrily. “Come here to me Miss.”

He could hear her struggling to get free.

“I have asked you to let her go. I will not ask again.” Phillip loaded his voice with menace.

The man guffawed. “Do you really think a blindy like you can stop me?”

Phillip used the man’s voice to help him move closer.

The girl took advantage of her captor being distracted and bit down hard on his arm. He yelped with pain, and she wrenched free of his grip and launched herself into Phillip’s arms.

The air rushed from his lungs as she collided with his chest. He wrapped his arm protectively around her trembling body as she sobbed into his shirt.

Phillip lifted his cane as a warning for the man not to approach. “I am taking her to speak with Mr Carver. I expect he will also want to speak with you.”

The girl in his arms continued to tremble and sob.

Blind Achievement is available here: http://amzn.com/B00GW5NCMK

Find Susan Horsnell, Western Romance Writer, on these sites:
http://susanhorsnell.com
Twitter: @susanhorsnell

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11 thoughts on “Monday Author Meetup: Susan Horsnell – Australian Christmas Traditions & Her New Book

  1. I’m learning more and more about Christmas Downunder. I’m trying to decide if I’d be willing to give up turkey for a snow-free holiday. Hmmm.

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  2. Hi Sue,
    Nice blog, yes it is so hard to divide oneself at Christmas. Lakes Entrance sounds wonderful. It is on my to visit list.

    Regards

    Margaret

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    • Susan, I’m happy to have you visit. Thank you for telling us about Christmas in your country. It sounds so different from ours in the States, at least where I live.

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