Preview: Lighthouse

Jase and Devlin and the entire gang are back!

If you’ve read my debut novel The Heart Wants What It Wants and you are eagerly waiting for what happens next in the saga, then I have a treat for you! The sequel of the contemporary romance novel is set to release later this year and is entitled Lighthouse, and I’ve decided to share a portion of the first chapter for free! Just like the title of the first book made sense a bit into the story, Lighthouse will become clear as you read the sequel.

Now I should mention that if you choose to read further, there are OBVIOUS SPOILERS REGARDING THE FIRST BOOK of the series, so if you haven’t read The Heart Wants What It Wants and wish to, I highly suggest you don’t read any further. If you wish to purchase The Heart Wants What It Wants, follow this link for several e-book options.

The sequel to my debut novel will be released soon! Watch this space!

 

At the end of The Heart Wants What It Wants, Jase Morgan got his happy ending with Jordan McMahon, and Devlin Blackthorn wandered the world trying to find himself after suffering the heartbreak of his unrequited love. The friendship between the two main characters had been salvaged, but Devlin felt incomplete. After a drunken night in Las Vegas and one bad decision, Devlin found himself married to the arrogant and charming Atticus Brady. And this is where Lighthouse begins.

Similar to the format of The Heart Wants What It WantsLighthouse goes into a first person perspective of both of the main characters – Devlin Blackthorn and Atticus Brady. For the Jase fans, don’t worry; Prince Charming makes his presence well known in this sequel.

Without further ado, here is a sneak preview of Chapter One of Lighthouse! Enjoy!

Chapter 1

Devlin Blackthorn

Early-mid 2015…

 

I couldn’t imagine alcohol would be the cause of anything worse than last year – oh God, last year – but here I was, sitting in my apartment, staring at the impressive rock on my ring finger, wondering what the hell happened that fateful night in Las Vegas.

A handsome stranger – whom I admittedly despised from the get go – bought me a couple of drinks and after some very fuzzy details, I woke up next to him in bed legally married to him. Just another tragic wedding story to be added to Las Vegas’ archive.

If I needed a bigger slap in the face to stop drinking alcohol than almost losing my best friend, it was marrying someone I had only known for a few hours. Even though I was wrapped up on my warm bed in my sheets, I shivered. Married. I still didn’t know how to comprehend the fact that I was married.

Despite absolutely hating the idea of being married to someone I didn’t know – and I wasn’t exactly sure of his current whereabouts after leaving him in Vegas – I did quite like the ring he had chosen out for me. Sitting next to the more conservative platinum wedding band was a small yellow diamond surrounded by tiny, encrusted silver gems that complimented the modest, silver design; if it told me anything about my mysterious husband, it said that he had nice taste in jewellery, and a lot of money to irrationally spend on it.

I could barely make out the face of the man who had been lawfully wed to me in front of an Elvis impersonator and, God, I don’t even know who else. He was tall and handsome, with a lean, muscular build, and was arrogant as all hell. That’s all I could remember about Atticus.

Atticus…

Something told me I had to get used to that name for the foreseeable future. Well, of course I had to – he was my husband, after all.

I groaned out loud and sunk my head back into the soft cushioning of the pillow. I hadn’t told anyone of my Vegas wedding; not Jase, not Jordan, not my brother Garrett, not even my loyal confidante Monique. I could just imagine Jase’s reaction in my head, and it was enough to make me cringe.

“You what?!” he would shout at me. “Why on earth would you do something as careless and irresponsible as that? As a matter of fact, why were you drinking in the first place? You need to get your life together, Dev.”

I would be lying if I said a small part of me wasn’t still madly in love with Jase. In fact, I’d also be lying if I said a small part of me wasn’t about to use this surprise marriage as a way to show him that I was going to move on from him, as difficult as it was. The year 2014 had been hell for us, and I was glad that somehow, someway, we had come out of the other end of the tunnel barely functioning. I was going to let Jase live his life and hope that I would be in it as much as I was before.

Dwelling on my infatuation for Jase only briefly distracted me from my current situation. What on earth was I going to do?

I was sitting on my bed in Sydney, the evening before I was scheduled to move back to Velvet Springs, and this platinum circle was burning into my ring finger, reminding me of how awful my getaway escape had been. I couldn’t wait to get home and be in a familiar setting, even if it meant revealing to Jase what I had done in Vegas.

After having months off work, I couldn’t wait to get back into my writing at the Velvet Chronicle. Although the sport reporter position had been filled after my quick departure, Harvey, my editor and friend, had found a spot for me on the features team for the newspaper after my moderate amount of success in the same role at Isla Bordeaux magazine. I was fortunate enough to have this opportunity handed to me, but it certainly wasn’t the first thing on my mind right now.

There was a feint knock on my door and, sighing with relief, I got up to answer it. I had ordered a box of greasy cheese pizza to be delivered after I had finished packing; I wanted to spend my last night in the state’s capital with no regrets.

I fished the twenty-dollar note out of my back pocket and opened the door.

“Devlin?”

Oh. No. It couldn’t be… no. There was no way.

I panicked and bounced off the spot, throwing my fist out in an uncharacteristic knee-jerk reaction. The shot caught him on his eye and he let out a quick yelp of pain, but remained rooted to the ground.

I just Superman punched my husband.

“Atticus? What the f-”

“You seem surprised to see me,” he said, his brows furrowing in anger.

Watch this space. As soon as Lighthouse is released on various e-book platforms, Widow’s Lure will be the first to let you know!

– by Noah La’ulu

2014-15 Cricket Guide for Dummies

With a rather successful 2013-14 season of cricket for the Aussies the popularity and the attention on cricket in our nation has increased quite dramatically. With the BBL|03 having crazy ratings and all 5 Ashes Test Matches getting very high ratings as well the odds that many people don’t know whats going on has also increased. So for those Dummies out there here is just one of the things to expect next season!

-ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 –

Currently poised on top of the ICC ODI Team Rankings is Australia. Just behind in second place is India and in third place is England.

28 May 2014
Team Matches Points Rating
Australia 35 4020 115
India 53 5923 112
England 39 4329 111
Sri Lanka 57 6292 110
South Africa 32 3486 109
Pakistan 47 4716 100
New Zealand 31 3031 98
West Indies 40 3744 94
Bangladesh 23 1683 73
Zimbabwe 20 1228 61
Afghanistan 9 304 34
Ireland 9 297 33

Although Australia is clear ahead in terms of rating points, places second to 5th are each merely separated by 1 point. So anything could happen throughout the tournament. Rankings aside here are the players set to take the tournament by storm. Well actually since this is a Dummies Guide I will tone down my cricket terminology and rather make an Solstice Satisfaction’s ICC World Cup XI with explanations as to why I think they’re going to fire this time round in the World Cup.

Solstice Satisfaction’s ICC World Cup XI


1. Hashim Amla (South Africa)

-Solid Performer in all 3 formats. His timing and placement could pay dividends on quick Australian and New Zealand outfields. All you could ask from an opener.

2. Shikhar Dhawan (India)

-Had a fantastic 2013-14 Season. Top Run Scorer in the ICC Champions Trophy last year. Be ready for some

fireworks in the World Cup.

3. Virat Kohli (India)

-Like most players in this list, had a fantastic 2013-14 season. Against Australia in the 7 match ODI Series he performed at his best helping his side chase down massive totals of 350-60 with ease.

4. George Bailey (Australia) VICE CAPTAIN

-Last season he showed why Australia selectors had faith in him and anointed him with the T20I Captaincy and the ODI Vice Captaincy. In the ODI series against India he led by example and although they lost that series since then under Australia have won all ODI Series.

5. A.B De Villiers (South Africa)

-In the form of his life, both in the Test, ODI, and T20 arena. A solid performer for South Africa over the past few years and his experience and leadership qualities alongside his batting make him one of the most in-demand cricketer in the world.

6. Glenn Maxwell (Australia)

-In recent months he has shown why he is called the Big Show. His extravagant stroke-play and absolute dominance over any bowling unit once he has his eye in makes him one of the most deadly players currently playing international cricket. To add to his superb batting he is also a handy off spinner with the ability to get wickets in crucial times.

7. +MS Dhoni (India) CAPTAIN

-He’s done practically all you can achieve as captain. He’s won all the big tournaments and his keeping skills are as sharp as ever. In addition to his captaincy and keeping he is a deadly lower order finisher and a batsman you always want to get out early.

8. Chris Jordan (England)

-Most people wouldn’t know Chris Jordan but he his one of the few shining stars in the England Cricket Team at the moment. His deceptively quick bowling and his lower order striking are qualities you want in a limited overs player.

9. Mitchell Johnson (Australia) 

-Quick, aggressive and accurate. The three qualities you want in your repertoire of bowling options as captain. Not only is Mitchell Johnson’s bowling outstanding but he has the capability to clear the rope when required and his fielding is exceptional.

10. Dale Steyn (South Africa)

-One of the best fast bowlers in modern times and he has been dominating the player rankings for quite some time. He has the ability to swing the ball yet bowl at quite some pace. Like Johnson he has the ability to clear the boundary and is always one not worth taking lightly as an opposition.

11. Sunil Narine (West Indies)

-Along with his unusual action Sunil Narine has been deceiving many batsman at the crease with his off spin. Having a fantastic season both with the West Indies and KKR he has made himself renown around the world as a premier spin bowler that you want to have in any modern day bowling attack. Economical and deceptive he will be one of the lead player in the West Indies team.

12th Man. Eoin Morgan (England)

-His form in Australia in the ODI’s and T20I’s was quite phenomenal and his century at the GABBA personified how dangerous of a batsman he can be once he gets going. His past record in Australia and New Zealand make him a formidable batsman.

– by Hiro Couper

Happy Straya Day mate!

I know our beloved country day is wrapping up but I still thought I’d get in and wish everyone on behalf of Solstice Satisfaction a solid Australia Day, even if you live in another country.

As SolSat is based in Australia and the team are located in different cities, I can happily say that we are the fortunate ones who get to live in this wonderful country where you can say what you want, believe what you want and so on and so forth. Unless you’re calling a cop “a pig”. That is an arrestable offence.

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I sincerely hope you all had a beer or two, put on your best green and gold outfits – or red, white and blue outfits, as it were – and spent the day with loved ones. Just as a quick reminder to some who may have forgotten, here are some of the best things about being Australian:

What are some of the best things about being Australian…

[x] We are generally stereotyped as one of the most calm, collected and laidback cultures in the world. Why? Because we’re awesome, obviously.
[x] We have our own cool way of speaking English, called speaking “Strayan”. If you need a refresher on how to speak Strayan, we’ve got you covered.
[x] In Australia, we call mates “c-word that rhymes with punt” and we call c-word that rhymes with punts “mate”. Who else is cool enough to do that?
[x] Sprinting in thongs. If you can’t do it, you’re not Australian.
[x] We know that you do not actually cook shrimp on the barbie.
[x] Going to the shops in a daggy tank top, footy shorts and thongs, and it is completely socially acceptable.

Now to end this quick post, here are some of the few awesome Australia Day pictures I found on my Facebook timeline.

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Happy Straya Day!

– by Noah La’ulu

Etiquette at a Rugby League Game

It’s the NRL Grand Final. Your team is up by 14 points. There’s only 10 minutes to go. Just as your team spirit is running high, someone behind you spills their beer on your hair and attempts to start a fight with you.

Game over. Your high is ruined.

Don't be like this fat moron, please.

Don’t be like this fat moron, please.

For any sports fanatic, the atmosphere of a big league game mainly depends on your experience as a crowd spectator. If everyone is cheering and generally having a good time, there is a positive vibe floating around the audience setting a good mood amongst those in attendance.

There are times, however, when a select few people have too much fun, get a bit rowdy and ruin the atmosphere by causing disturbances and alcohol-fuelled brawls. The issues that affected the etiquette at league games range from people unlawfully accessing the field of play to throwing projectiles at the field and fighting amongst themselves.

South Sydney Rabbitohs fan and league enthusiast, 21-year-old Lara McKenzie, recalls an instance of aggression at a league game that extended to her 1-year-old son.

“Two drunken fans of the opposing team were cursing and such,” she said, “(they) were calling me a bad mother for dressing my son in Rabbitoh’s colours.”

Although incidents such as the streaker at the State of Origin 2013 decider do happen, which involved a naked man accessing the field in the last minutes of the game which halted a try and greatly interrupted play, the Security Manager for the Sydney Cricket Ground and Sports Ground Trust John O’grady said the crowd behaviour at Allianz Stadium has been good as of late.

“Our eviction rates for any particular offenders have been pretty low… might average 2 per match.

“We have zero tolerance for any offences committed in the venues.”

O’grady continued to say that most of these offences are generally alcohol related, whether that be from high intoxication or from unlawfully bringing alcohol in to the premises.

Compared to the crowd’s behaviour around 5 years ago, however, the etiquette at Allianz Stadium has improved according to O’grady and his staff.

“The evidence that I get from my (junior) supervisors (suggests) the crowd behaviour has essentially gotten much better,” he said.

If there were a scuffle between two or three people, it would be quite easy to ignore it and continue watching the game. However, if the scuffle involved a majority of the section, the same could not be said. These all-out melees are rare with the stricter enforcement placed in today’s society and at Allianz Stadium, O’grady says that he hasn’t encountered a situation that was out of control.

“You may have a brawl that involves 3 or 4 people but not something that occupies a whole bay. Any issue that escalates that’s probably a little bit beyond security level… police take over.

“In general terms, major incidents that cause any levels of consternation is pretty low.”

Here are a few tips on how to properly behave at an NRL game – or any sports match for that matter:
[x] You have the right to cheer as loud as you want for your team just as much as everyone else does. Starting a fight with someone just because they support the other team is petty and stupid.
[x] It’s Australian to sling back a beer or two at a footy game with a pie and chips. Just don’t drink too much that you have to be wheeled out by security.
[x] Don’t throw crap onto the field or insult/yell at the players. It’s really disrespectful to the game that you should love if you’re in attendance.
[x] Don’t streak, for god’s sake. My poor Matty Scott deserved that try.
[x] Lastly, do not wear cocktail dresses and hooker heels to footy games. You will look stupid.

It’s always important not to forget that there are people in the audience that want to watch a good game of rugby league being played. So remember: drink responsibly and keep any unnecessary comments to yourself that might incite hatred or violence.

Stay safe and go the Brisbane Broncos for 2014!

– by Noah La’ulu