A MelanieM Review: Cutting Out by Meredith Shayne

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Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

Cutting Out coverTransplanted Aussie Shane Cooper loves his job as a shearer and the home he’s made for himself in New Zealand.  For over 20 years Shane has climbed to the top to be recognized as one of New Zealand’s premier shearers in the Senior Division where the most experienced of them all compete.  Now 39, Shane has a house, good friends, and a life he loves.  He’s only missing out on having someone to share his passion for shearing and his life.

Lachlan “Lachie” Moore is an up and coming shearer.  Not yet good enough to compete in the Senior Division, he still loves to watch them shear, hoping to pick up on pointers to help him do a better job.  At 24, young, reckless and gay, Lachie spots the hot, older shearer immediately, and its not just for his skills at shearing sheep that catches Lachie’s gaze.  But Shane appears more than content to just look then act on the attraction each feels for the other.

Then the horrific Christchurch earthquake hits, and tragedy strikes Lachie’s family. Lachie deals with his traumatized family and takes up new responsibilities, ones that makes it impossible for Lachie to continue on with his dream of shearing as a profession.  A year later, a new opportunity arises for Lachie to pick up shearing once more if only he can find the confidence in himself that now he has lost.

The new job reunites Shane with Lachie, only now he finds the lad changed and uncertain.  Shane decides to help the struggling Lachie regain his skills and direction and the time together reignites old feelings between them.  But Lachie has secrets he is afraid to share with Shane and Shane’s seems to want more than Lachie can give.  What will it take to break up this barrier Lachie has created so both men can have what they so desperately desire?

I throughly enjoyed Cutting Out by Meredith Shayne.  I seem to be reading quite a few books lately from New Zealand and Australian authors and all of them make me want to get on a plane and go “walk about” down under.  Meredith Shayne’s story deals with professional shearers in New Zealand, a job that requires remarkable precision and care as well as speed if you are to make it to the top.  Handling large squirming animals and a pair of shears at the same time takes a passion and coordination that not every person has and Meredith Shayne takes us into the heart of these men and women and the almost vagabond life they lead going from farm to farm to shear large numbers of sheep at a time.

I particularly enjoyed the insight Shayne gives us into the different levels of shearers, from the junior divisions of shearers just learning their  profession (junior and senior refer not to the shearer’s age but experience) to the top Senior level and the sought after shearers that are asked to shear the top quality and much larger breed Merino sheep.  The author easily slides her information about the profession, from the “shearing teams” that tend to work together over and over again as well as the loosely aggregated bunch assembled at the last minute, into her story making it all feel as natural as their surroundings.  The camaraderie and the close community is strengthened by the bond of the Maori society that hovers like a benign parent over its members and families.

As the characters move from farm to farm and home locations, the reader is brought keenly home into the various cities and places of New Zealand, from Christchurch to Gisbourne, from the Queenstown Hill Time Walk to the Basket of Dreams statue.  I felt she made me really  see these place while also sending me to look up areas and places of interest in each town and park.  And again all this is neatly folded into the narrative in such a way that it enhances rather than impedes the flow of the plot and the character growth.

But those characters!  That’s the heart and joy of this story.  I loved the reticent, introspective Shane, older, more experienced at life and love at 39 he knows what he wants but isn’t sure about where he stands with others.  Shane has many facets to his personality and not all are compatible with the much younger Lachie’s 24 year old outlook that begins at cocky, free wheeling and exuberant.  Something that the devastating impact of the earthquake in Christchurch changes forever.  The author takes her time and theirs for the relationship to begin as a friendship and slowly turn into something deeper.  For some readers, this timeline will feel far too slow and unhurried, but I found it to be in keeping with the characters personalities and background the author has created for them.  And its makes the ending all that  much sweeter.

What did I wish had been enlarged?  Perhaps the Epilogue or the chapter preceding it.  I would have loved a little more of their life at the end and how it all came about.  But perhaps we can have that in another story, one that includes these characters and enlarges on others we meet inside this story.  I loved it enough that I hated to have it all end.  I think you will feel the same.  Looking for a new romance to read?  One with a spectacular setting and hot men to boot? Pick up Cutting Off and enter Meredith Shayne’s world of sheep shearers and their HEAs!  I absolutely recommend this to one and all!

Cover artist is from Mumson Designs.  They did a great job.  I love that cover and it works perfectly for one of the characters.

Note:  Use of Aussie/NZ English used.  There is also a wonderful vocabulary to refer to at the beginning!

Sales Links:  All Romance eBooks (ARe)  amazon    Cutting Out

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published October 11th 2014 by Bottom Drawer Publications
http://www.bottomdrawerpublications.net

ISBN139780994157232
edition languageEnglish

Head to New Zealand with Meredith Shayne’s Cutting Out! (book tour and contest)

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Cutting Out Tour Badge1

 

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Love Hot Men, Heartache, and HEA? Cutting Out by Meredith Shayne has it all and then some.  One of Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Must Reads, this book has heart, substance, and a captivating setting as well.  But a country like New Zealand is not without its dangers, so Meredith Shayne is here today on tour to talk about “Living with Earthquakes”, a major component in Cutting Out.  We have an excerpt, and a contest you won’t want to miss out on!

Cutting Out by Meredith Shayne

 

Christchurch NZ – Living with Earthquakes

There have been several major earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand in the last 4 years, but the first two, a magnitude 7.1 quake that hit at 4.35am on Saturday, September 4th 2010, and a magnitude 6.3 quake that hit at 12.51pm on February 22nd 2011, were the most shocking. The first one because it was the first, and the second one because it was absolutely devastating to the city and its people.Blog Stop - Scattered Thoughts - Image 1

When you know that Christchurch was built on reclaimed swamp lands, you realise that no earthquake in the area is going to be a good thing, but I don’t think anyone thought that the impact would be quite so big. We don’t dwell on those kinds of things, do we? If we did, we’d never leave the house. On that day in February 2011, a lot of people who left their houses that morning never came home; 185 people were killed, and a lot of the city centre was destroyed, including the iconic Christchurch Cathedral. Here is a video of the immediate aftermath, and some visuals of what parts of the city are still like today (warning: video contains some disturbing images):

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alC7JpUuDMI

For those of us who lived in other NZ cities, it was a stressful time, texting loved ones and waiting, waiting, waiting to hear from them via a phone network that was groaning under the weight of everyone trying to use it. That was nothing to what people in Christchurch were going through, of course; in the news over the following couple of days were a pair of siblings, a brother and sister, who sat vigil outside one of the collapsed buildings in the CBD, the building where their mother worked, waiting for news of her. They sat there for days, but it wasn’t good news. Their mum hadn’t survived.

But there were other stories on the news too. The university students, nicknamed the “student army”, who went round to people’s houses with shovels and wheelbarrows to dig the mud and muck that was sometimes feet deep out of people’s yards, the people who went from door to door checking that people who lived alone were all right, the millions of dollars that got donated. The Kiwi sense of humour that never goes away for long started to emerge, with competitions to see who could build the best backyard toilet (the “long drop”, essentially a hole in the ground with a seat over it):

Website Link:  http://www.showusyourlongdrop.co.nz/

Blog Stop - Scattered Thoughts - Image 2It’s been almost 4 years, and the city still has a long way to go. But there’s resilience too; I was there in April of this year, and I was struck by the effort that had gone in to making things more cheerful: the barriers keeping people away from derelict buildings decorated with mosaic flowers, the bright patterns on the walls surrounding the mangled cathedral, and the new shopping mall made entirely of brightly coloured shipping containers that’ll stand up to any quake. The city is not there yet, but it’ll get there.

 

 

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Bottom Drawer Publications is proud to present Cutting Out by Meredith Shayne, a contemporary mm romance based in New Zealand.

Book Details: NovelCutting Out cover
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance
Release Date: October 11, 2014

Cutting Out Blurb

A twenty-year veteran of the shearing shed, Aussie Shane Cooper loves his job, and the home he’s made for himself in New Zealand. If he’s a little lonely, he’s got good mates to keep his spirits up. When a hot, cocky young shearer named Lachlan Moore catches his eye at a competition, he’s content to look but not touch, knowing the young man is out of his league.
Lachie wouldn’t mind a piece of Shane, but the gorgeous gun shearer from Australia is soon forgotten when the Christchurch earthquake hits, and tragedy strikes Lachie’s family. Lachie deals with it the best he can, cutting himself off from all he knows. A year later and he’s back in the shearing shed, out of practice and lacking confidence. That Shane’s there to watch him flounder doesn’t help his nerves.

As Lachlan struggles to re-acclimatise, Shane can’t resist giving him a hand to get back on his feet. As they move from friends to something more, Shane finds himself wanting to know everything he can about Lachie. But Lachie’s got secrets he desperately wants to keep, and when things come to a head, those secrets might just mean the end of them before they’ve truly begun.

Buy Links:  Bottom Drawer Publications  amazon    iTunes    All Romance (ARe)

Barnes & Noble    Book Stand    Kobo        Smashwords

The e-book is available for sale for $5.99 via the BDP Digital Shop
and other online booksellers.

Release & Blog Tour Giveaway:  Paperback copy of Cutting Out, $10 BDP voucher and 3 x Cutting Out e-books!  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Use the link provided for the entry form and for additional contest details.
a Rafflecopter giveaway    or enter at    FB Giveaway   (same contest multiple ways to win)

Cutting Out coverFind Cutting Out on:  Goodreads,  on Bookalikes, and at  it’s Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words review, where it is a highly recommended read!

For more information:

  • Visit Bottom Drawer Publications ( www.bottomdrawerpublications.net) or contact them at:
  • Email:  mailto:bottomdrawerpub@gmail.com or  info@bottomdrawerpublications.net

 

About the Author  Meredith Shayne

A scientist in a past life, these days Meredith Shayne mainly uses her scientific training to poke holes in television pseudoscience. Originally from Australia, she moved to New Zealand to start a new life a few years ago and hasn’t regretted it for one minute, even if she frequently wishes that the New Zealand weather was a little better; if she’s forced, she’ll admit that the refreshing lack of animals that can kill you in New Zealand makes up for a little rain.

Meredith travels a lot, so much so that she has developed a shameful love of airplane food and knows her passport number by heart. When she is at home, she enjoys baking, horrible music from the 1980s, reality television, and gloating any time Australia thrashes the living daylights out of New Zealand on the sporting field.

  • Find Meredith at her website:  ../../../../Marketing-Promotion/Books/I’m Your Man/www.meredithshayne.com”

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