Guest author: Iris Blobel

Peeps, today we have Iris Blobel on the blog, chatting about her brand new release. Please make her feel welcome!

New Beginnings by Iris Blobel

Thanks, Cassandra, for having me on your blog today, and thanks for the opportunity to talk a bit about my latest release NEW BEGINNINGS, the first in the trilogy of the “Beginnings-series”.

New Beginnings is set in Hobart. I think it was a bit over fifteen years ago when I set foot on Tasmanian soil for the first time. I was about to endeavour on a Contiki Tour for about ten days. It was January and freezing cold – that’s about all I can remember. AND the ghost tour. Dang, I was scared! I promised myself to never come back again. But places like Strahan, Cradle Mountain, Launceston and Freycinet made me fall in love with the island. And yes, I did return a couple of times – I was even blessed with warm weather!

I usually try to include Tasmania in my books. JOURNEY TO HER DREAMS is set in Launceston and Ireland, INNOCENT TEARS has a small bit in Tasmania, and my latest release NEW BEGINNINGS is completely set in Hobart. Where better to set a story than in a city fully of mystery and intrigue?

Thank you all for visiting today. I hope you’ll enjoy the small excerpt below.

New Beginnings by Iris Blobel
To believe in new beginnings is to trust in tomorrow

Twenty-two-year-old Sophie Levesque has been guardian to eight-year-old sister Mia since their mother’s death a few years ago. Luck comes their way when they inherit a small house in Hobart. Problem is, though, they don’t know or have even heard of Clara Bellinger, the testator, and Sophie is afraid it’s all been a mistake.

As Mia settles well into her new school and life in general, Sophie is not only occupied by her search of what connected her to Clara, but also her new studies and the two men, who suddenly have become part of her daily life – Mark O’Connor, the lawyer representing Clara’s estate, and Zach, the hunk from across the road.


~ Excerpt ~

Chapter One
Sophie stared at the attorney, waiting for some answers. She and her sister, Mia, had been quietly sitting in Mr. O’Connor’s office for more than half an hour, and had learnt about the details of their inheritance.


“Clara Catherine Bellinger.”

“Who is she?” Mia asked.

Startled by the subtle sound of the clock chiming across the road, Sophie’s gaze turned to the window, where she saw the post office building across the road. It looked impressive and old. Surely, an old place like this would have its own ghosts — after all, Hobart was renowned for its lively spirits.

Her younger sister’s gentle touch on her arm reminded her she hadn’t answered the question, yet. “I wouldn’t have a clue.” Sophie shrugged and focused her attention back on Mr. O’Connor. Although hearing his words, she still found it hard to comprehend. Here she was in this old office, furnished with heavy antique oak furniture, the curtains in a pretty shade of aubergine, and the carpet beneath her shoes thick and warm in a matching shade.

“I believe she was a distant relative of yours. I’m afraid I don’t have any further details,” he replied.

Sophie arched an eyebrow in disbelief. Was he serious? What kind of lawyer was he? Sure, Tasmania was at the very end of Australia, but wouldn’t they have the same education? With a slight shrug of her shoulder, she asked, “Why not?”

He stared at her. “Pardon me?”

Sitting up straight, she repeated, “Why not? Why aren’t there any further details?”

He looked uneasy, but she didn’t care. She needed to know. Sophie had received a call from the lawyer a week earlier, and he’d told her about an

inheritance. He’d given her details on where to pick up tickets to Hobart. Some legality, he had said. She needed to come in and sign documents for the transfer of ownership.

“Ms. Bellinger was one of the partner’s clients. I was only given the details shortly after the client’s death.”

Sophie drew in her lips. Her eyes darted over to the window as she took a few deep breaths, inwardly calming herself. Nothing had ever been easy in her life. “Why isn’t the partner here?”

He took a deep breath. “Retired.”

As she pondered on that for a moment, she began to think about what life could be like with this inheritance. Different. Better. Another sigh escaped as she returned her gaze to the man behind the desk. “You can’t just leave your assets to just anybody, can you?”

“Miss Lever—”

“Levesque,” she helped him.

Their eyes met.

“Are you refusing the bequest?” he asked hesitantly, and she clearly noticed how one of his eyebrows arched upward.

Staring blankly with her mouth open, she could feel the panic running through her veins with every thump of her erratic heartbeat. An uncomfortable silence fell over them for a moment. Then she quickly said, “No. No, of course not. We’re accepting.” She turned to look at her younger sister. “We’re actually looking forward to seeing it.”

And with one swift movement, he stood and went to a little cupboard near the window and retrieved a bunch of keys. “Would you like me to take you there?”

Still feeling that rush within her, Sophie took Mia’s hand and inclined her head in answer. “Is it far?” Her voice sounded tired. Even to herself. It had been a long day already. She stood and thinking how tired she was, Sophie placed her arm around Mia, who was probably exhausted.

“No, not at all. Five to ten minute drive, I’d say.”

“I still don’t understand. Why us?” Sophie asked quietly, meeting his gaze and, for the first time, actually taking in his icy-blue eyes. He was very attractive. Too attractive for a boring lawyer. His face was tanned by wind and sun, and there always seemed to be a hint of a smile on his face. His blond curling hair was cut short. Her gaze fixed back on his mouth. Blushing, she quickly looked away.

The attorney turned to them. He scratched the back of his head. “Ma’am, what I know is that both of you are in the will. What I know is that I was supposed to fly you down here to officially read you the will. What I know is that I’m supposed to hand over the keys to you, and to let you know that your expenses are covered for the next twenty-four months. I did not know Ms. Bellinger, as one of the retired partners wrote up the will. I do not know who she was or in which way she was connected to you. I assumed she was a distant relative.”

Sophie took her sister’s hand as she thought about his last comment. Distant relative? Her mother would have at least mentioned her once. She sighed and tried to understand, not the circumstances that had brought her there, but the fact that the attorney just didn’t know. “Oh well, let’s go then.”

He pinched his nose with his thumb and index finger and took a deep breath. “Okay. Look, Miss Lever—”

“Levesque,” Sophie helped him again. This time somewhat more firmly.

Running his thumb over his eyebrow, he stepped closer, but not so close as to be intimidating. “I’m sorry. It’s been one extraordinary week,” he said with his voice just above a whisper. “Once I get back I’ll check with the partners here to see whether anybody knows more about it.”

One extraordinary week? His remark irked her. In fact it was downright annoying. Holding Mia even closer to her side, she lifted her finger and pointed at him. “No offence, Mr. O’Connor, but it has been quite a week for us as well, and I was prepared to answer all your questions. I have one simple question, and you don’t know. Wouldn’t there be something in the file?” Sophie was a kind person.

Kindness was her middle name, but she wouldn’t have got that far in life if she hadn’t watched some of those nasty actresses on television and copied them. And the stare. Sophie met his surprised frown dead-on.

He frowned and seemed taken aback by her words. “No offence taken.” And then he let out a deep breath. “You’re right. I apologise. As I said, I’ll find out details and let you know.”

“Thank you, Mr. O’Connor,” she replied as she blew out a breath.

“What about our stuff?” Mia whispered to Sophie.

Sophie moved her head to look down at her sister, but before she had a chance to say anything, he beat her to it. “What stuff?” he asked as he opened the door.

“Considering what we inherited here, we brought all our things,” Sophie explained without looking at him.

The attorney stopped in his tracks. “All, as in all your clothes?”

Sophie’s eyes met his. She emitted a small sigh, but tried to keep her composure. It was something she had learnt over the last few years. Standing straight, she corrected him. “All, as in all our belongings.”

They stepped outside the building and followed Mr. O’Connor with their suitcases. Two teenage boys walked past them, eager to get the attention of some girls across the road. Aware of the attention, the girls covered their mouths with their hands and broke into giggles. Sophie’s stomach churned. So many things she had missed out on in life. But it was going to be better from now on, she reminded herself, and straightened up as she followed Mr. O’Connor.

Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she actually had met her future husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only recently emerged, but now her laptop is a constant companion. Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her beautiful two daughters as well as her two dogs. Next to her job at a private school she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.


Have you been watching…A Place To Call Home

Have you been watching...Cassandra Dean shares her love of TV

My love of TV + my blog = Awesome fun sharing times.
Enjoy the shows I think are The Shizz


A Place to Call Home is a new show on the Seven network here in Oz. Initially, I dismissed it as a Downton Abbey rip-off – big country house, check. Rich, privileged family, check. Upstairs, downstairs shenanigans, check. Finally, seven or eight weeks into its run, I finally checked it out.
A Place To Call Home

Peeps. I’m shocked. It’s actually good.

A Place to Call Home follows the adventures of Sarah Adams, a nurse returned from Europe to Australia’s shores. Set in the 1950s, Sarah works as a nurse on the ship transporting her from London to Sydney where she met the wealthy Blyth family. While employing her trade with the matriarch of the family, she intrigued the matriarch’s son, as well as his adult children. Quickly, she is extended an invitation of employment in the hospital of the Blyth family’s home town, and after quick scene or two where the show pretends she’s not going to accept, she rocks up in Wandin Valley Inverness. Shenanigans ensue, as they so often do.

What’s noteworthy about this show is how strong the female characters are. Sarah is a marvel, a self-possessed woman who takes crap from no one. The bitchy matriarch, Elizabeth, is bitchy, but you can clearly see what she does, she does for love of her family. The daughter, Anna, is less awesome, but she’s still far from the cliche most shows would portray her as. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the male characters, however half a cast of three-dimensional, well-rounded characters is a HUGE step up for Australian drama, so I’m happy.

There is a distinct Australian-ness to the show which I love. I don’t watch many shows set in Australia and so it’s refreshing to be able to identify so clearly with the characters. They speak how I speak, drink beer from longnecks, listen to the cricket, and just generally be Australian. This is, as they say, bonza.

You can check out A Place to Call Home at:
the Website ~ JB Hi-Fi ~ IMDb


Have you been watching…Rake

Have you been watching...Cassandra Dean shares her love of TV

My love of TV + my blog = Awesome fun sharing times.
Enjoy the shows I think are The Shizz


Rake is an Australian TV show that aired on our national broadcaster, the ABC. Starring Richard Roxburgh as Cleaver Greene, a brilliant but self-destructive barrister, the show follows the misadventures of Cleaver as he stumbles through life, lurching from one disaster to another. 250px-Rake_titleLoosely based upon real-life barrister Charles Waterstreet and the cases he tried, the show takes really, really unusual cases and depicts them with a decidedly blackish shade of humour. Add in the ongoing political sagas and Cleaver’s attempts to destroy himself and every relationship he has and you have yourself one humdinger of a show!

Roxburgh is truly outstanding as Cleaver, and I spent many a show in awe of his talents. Ably supported by an outstanding cast, as well as the creme of Australian acting talent as guest stars, this show is a delight to watch actors doing what they do best.

This coming US TV season will see an American version hit the screens. I’m really curious to see how the tale has been adapted – the whole barrister/solicitor dynamic is so integral to how Cleaver and
Barney interact I’ll be interested to see how this is changed for the American market. Not to mention the intrinsic Sydney-ness of it all. Seriously, if the show was set in any other state in Australia, it would be completely different. NSW is believed to be a bit of a ‘police corruption’ state, so the deviousness and depravity of Rake is tied to its setting. How will it go transplanted to America, I’ve no clue…Let’s check it out and see, shall we? 🙂

As you can probably tell, I ADORE this show. I’ve also JUST discovered there will be a third series and I’m ecstatic! Can’t wait to see the shenanigans Cleaver and company get up to.


You can check out Rake at:
the Website ~ ~ IMDb

Trailer for original Rake

Trailer for US Rake