Today I’m delighted to feature an interview with my friend and fellow Melbourne Romance Writer’s Guild (MRWG) member, Cassandra O’Leary, author of debut novel from Avon Maze, Girl on a Plane.
Welcome Cassandra! Tell us what you’ve written.
So far, I’ve written two complete novels and several partials (in the ‘ideas file’) and a few short stories. My first published work was a 9,000 word short story/novelette, Chocolate Truffle Kiss, in a romance anthology published by my awesome writing group, the Melbourne Romance Writers Guild. The anthology is titled Sweet and Spicy – a celebration of romance. It’s now available to purchase from Amazon as an e-book and in exciting news, it will soon be available as a print edition!
My debut novel has just taken off on 18 July! Girl on a Plane is a contemporary romance/romantic comedy that’s steamy, sexy and sassy, about an Irish flight attendant named Sinead, who meets a gruff and gorgeous Aussie CEO, Gabriel, in first class. Their Melbourne to London flight is diverted when a storm hits in mid-air, and they find themselves thrown together in a hotel in Singapore. What follows could be a one-night stand, or maybe something else entirely.
I received a publishing contract for Girl on a Plane after winning the global We Heart New Talent contest run by HarperCollins UK in 2015. That was a thrill! I’m hoping that HarperCollins UK will also be interested in my next novel, Dating Little Miss Perfect. That’s close to completion, so wish me luck…
Over the past couple of years, I’ve also been a finalist in the 2014 First Kiss contest run by Romance Writers of Australia and the 2015 Lone Star contest run by the Northwest Houston Romance Writers of America.
Where do your ideas come from?
When I started writing Girl on a Plane, I found inspiration in the places I’d travelled to personally, some of which are featured in the book: Melbourne (my home city), Singapore, London, Paris and Thailand. I also have a family member who is an ex flight attendant, and some of her stories stuck in my mind. I was interested in the idea of writing about someone whose home was the entire world, but nowhere, at the same time. If you are always in transit, it can be hard to form friendships and relationships.
I also love romantic comedy movies, and once I started writing, those influences flooded into my work. In Girl on a Plane, you might spot references to Love Actually, When Harry Met Sally and maybe more.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does she do that is so special?
My main character in Girl on a Plane, is Irish flight attendant, Sinead. She’s 26 years old and has been working for the (fictional) Mermaid Airlines for five years. At the start of the book, we meet Sinead on board a flight to London, going through the motions of a silly dance to the airline’s theme song. She’s getting tired of the routine and the constant travel, even though she plasters on a pretty smile.
I suppose what’s special about Sinead is that she’s quirky and funny, resilient and much tougher than her glamorous exterior might suggest. Without giving away any spoilers, she’s had family issues and an ex-boyfriend stalking her, and some of these issues come back to cause trouble during the course of the book. More of her background and the reasons for her hesitant reaction to the hero become evident, as the story progresses.
At first glance, if you met Sinead dressed in her flight attendant uniform with immaculate hair and makeup, you might assume she’s a light-weight, but she’s not. She’s got big plans for her life, and she’s able to handle herself, and the grumpy hero, Gabriel, too!
Steamy excerpt from Girl on a Plane:
She was so sexy. So confident and beautiful. Powerful.
Gabriel usually took charge with women, but letting Sinead call the shots had been mind-blowing so far. What they’d got up to in the early hours of the morning had been a gourmet appetizer, but it was time for the main course. Hopefully one of many dishes. A ten-course degustation menu to be tasted and savoured. Hours and hours of feasting.
She pulled him into the bathroom and flicked on the jets in the enormous shower.
“Wait a sec.” She slipped her hand out of his hold and rushed off towards the basin.
The way her butt and hips swayed from side to side was a thing of beauty. If she didn’t act soon, he wouldn’t be able to control himself. She rustled around in her cosmetic bag and retrieved a foil packet, then waved it in the air in victory.
“Come here, you big dirty man.”
His lips stretched upwards. “You think I’m big and dirty?”
Her eyes were wide and innocent as she nodded. “Oh yes, very big. Very filthy.”
Gabriel swallowed when she bit her lip, her gaze roaming down his body. Shit. At this rate, the show would be over soon. He was so hard already it verged on painful. His groin tightened further and he clenched his hands into fists by his sides. He tried to control the tension inside him.
She swayed over to him. He had to touch her, if only her shoulder. Stroking her silky skin made his breath catch in his throat. Her little gasp was music.
She ripped open the little packet, reached out and slowly sheathed him. Now he groaned so loud, she laughed, light and tinkling.
His hand hovered over hers, then he grasped her fingers and stopped the stroking movement she’d begun. So close. He’d lose it if she kept it up. Without another word, he took hold of her hips and lifted her so those long, slim legs wrapped around his back.
“I want you inside me, Gabriel,” she whispered.
The blood pounded through his veins and his heartbeat resonated in his ears. He wanted her so much. But he teased her, kissing her mouth, stroking against her until she shivered. Then he pressed inside her. No more waiting. His breath leaked out, it felt so good. He almost gave in to the impulse to drive her hard and fast.
No, she’d have her pleasure. He wanted her to come apart in his arms.
A sexy, sassy, summer read. CLIMB ON BOARD . . .
When feisty Irish flight attendant Sinead Kennealy locks eyes with sexy Australian CEO Gabriel Anderson in First Class, sparks fly. But as they jet across the globe from Melbourne to London, it’s clear that they’re in for a turbulent journey . . .
Stressed-out Gabriel doesn’t do relationships. And Sinead isn’t about to be fooled by another bad boy after escaping her stalker ex. Then a storm hits, causing the plane to land unexpectedly, and Sinead and Gabriel are thrown together in Singapore.
The pressure rises as Sinead’s unhappy past threatens to catch up with her. But might Gabriel be the one to heal her heartbreak? If he could open up about his troubling secrets, maybe a relationship could actually get off the ground. Fasten your seatbelts – this WON’T be a smooth ride . . .
Read more on Cassandra’s website or connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.
Buy Girl on a Plane here:
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