May 30, 2012
May 28, 2012
Being a writer can be at once mind-expanding and mind-limiting. Our imaginations get to run totally rampant (no idea too crazy!), but our real worlds can easily shrink if we don’t take care. They shrink to about the size of our writing spaces. Or maybe the path between our writing space, the kettle and the bathroom J
CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY - greeks, romans, Trojans, Spartans, gods, goddesses, mythical archetypes, how the myths were woven into contemporary societies…. Awesome! Looking forward to this one so much.
Every course at GreatCourses goes on significant sale at some point each year so don't gasp at the regular prices. Just wait...it will come round on sale soon. I don't think I paid more than $60 for any one of the above. That makes my my year's worth of learning excellent value as well as easily managable.
The knowledge has already come in handy in two of my books, for background or interesting historical aspects to settings or character enriching.
And I'm loving expanding my mind externally as well as internally. When I'm done there'll be nothing I don't know. Nothing! Bwahaahahaaa *maniacal laugh*
Go ahead...ask me anything :)
May 27, 2012
Today we have a smooch from Destiny Of The Light by Louise Cusack, but first ...
the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is -- Sara!
Congratulations, Sara! Can you please contact Annie West at
Annie (at) Annie-West (dot) com
and she'll send you a copy of Undone By His Touch.
And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Destiny Of The Light by Louise Cusack ...
Khatrene must fulfil her destiny as The Light, the woman whose child will unite the four elemental worlds. At each turn are real and imagined enemies who will do everything in their power to prevent her from fulfilling the prophecy, including the ethereal and erotic shadow woman, the enigmatic tattooed man, even her beloved brother Mihale. Talis, her appointed Guardian, must help her through the dangerous terrain of Ennae, sacrificing everything to ensure her safety in a land where magic prevails and nothing is as it seems.
[Set-up - Talis has been in love with Khatrene since the moment she reappeared on Ennae, but she has been busy discovering she is The Light that legend foretold, reuniting with her brother, and falling pregnant to The Dark who tricked her into marrying him. It is only when Talis realises he must rescue her from her own husband’s cruelty that he admits his love, and Khatrene doesn’t have time to react beyond saying that she’d never thought of him that way. They are now reunited for the first time since she fled her husband, and as Talis lies beside her in a rough Plainsman shelter they awkwardly discuss his revelation of love]
Talis shook his head. ‘I am not concerned about your health,’ he said, wondering if she doubted his power to minister to her. ‘I am a full Guardian and able to monitor the growth of the child –’
‘No. That’s not –’ She stopped, as though collecting her thoughts. ‘Another man’s baby is growing inside me. Does that affect. . . us?’
Talis simply stared, her question lost in the back of his mind. Us. She had spoken of them as part of a whole. Such an upwelling of love came to him then that he found it hard to breathe.
‘You’re looking at me strangely again.’
‘It is love.’
‘So you’ve said.’ Her gaze moved over his face, settling finally on his lips. ‘Then I guess that answers my question.’ Talis watched her head drift nearer. ‘You know, there’s a step you take . . .’ she said faintly, as though her thoughts were elsewhere. ‘ . . . between friendship, and –’
‘Love.’ How plump with promise the word now tasted on his lips.
Talis could not help smiling. Joy lit a bonfire in his heart.
To be in the draw to win an eBook copy of Destiny Of The Light leave a comment - Do you think a first kiss is the most memorable?
Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced -- and a smooch from Secrets And Speed Dating by Leah Ashton will be posted!
May 25, 2012
Last weekend I went to my favourite 'retreat' - Hanmer Springs. It is about a ninety minute drive from my town - it is inland and north. Hanmer is a little alpine style village that's frosty and pretty and nestled next to a beautiful river and mountains. But the absolute draw card?!
I've been going to Hanmer since I was a kid (it was and still is a destination for school camps!), and my best friend's parents have a holiday home up there that they so generously let us use :)
I've been there in the hottest days of summer (when we all just about got sunstroke waiting in the line to go down the SuperBowl) and have stood in the hottest of the pools while snow flurries swirled down and collected in our hair and eyelashes.
|The Aquaplay land that the kids |
and I spend hours on.
I'm a total hydroslide junkie.
Hanmer has a spa facility of course and over the last twenty years or so has gotten a number more cafes and restaurants (there only used to be the 'Hastie Tastie') - but it still only has a permanent population of around 800. And yes, I've used it in a book - in UNBUTTONED BY HER MAVERICK BOSS (or REBEL WITH A CAUSE in the US) Lorenzo takes Sophy there to escape so she can FOCUS ON HER WORK (art imitating life there) -- and they may or may not have had an intimate moment in one of those private pools...
Anyway this weekend, much to my children's HORROR, I went without them and took two writing buddies instead. Sweet author Soraya Lane and Desire author Tessa Radley. We plotted, wrote and ate (not necessarily in that order). I think the people near us in the pool must have wondered about our lives when Tessa and I talked devious twists in our prospective stories... It was just brilliant - we hunched over our laptops during the day, in three armchairs pulled up to the logburner, pausing for plotting breaks, sugar breaks, caffeine breaks... and of course pool breaks.
We're going again in a few months and I can't wait. (Though the kids, hubby and I are heading back there in the next school holidays too! I'd get ousted from the nest if I went without them again in the near future!!!).
So have you got a favourite place that you like to retreat to!?!? Or a dream one?! What about thermal pools - do they float your boat like they do mine?! I've love to know!
May 23, 2012
I recently bought a book absolutely wholly and solely because of the cover. In my defence, it was very pretty. I went to an online cover competition to vote for a friend's book and saw it there. The cover just called to me, and a minute later I was looking it up online. All I found out was that it was a paranormal YA romance -- not at all my usual thing -- and before I knew it, I placed an order with Book Depository.
I wanted to own it, just based on the cover. I've received it and read it now, and I'm pleased to say that the words inside actually did live up to the cover! It was a great story and I'm glad I'd bought it.
It doesn't take much to make me buy a book (as my credit card statements will attest!) but it's not usual for me to buy something just based on the cover. In fact I buy a lot of e-books, and books that I've read reviews for, or just heard about by word of mouth on Facebook or similar, and for many of them I don't think I've even looked at the cover! So what was it about this one that intrigued me?
It's a few things. Paris, for one. One of my favourite cities. I have a little Eiffel Tower sitting next to me on my desk right now, and a calendar of vintage French travel posters on the wall. Set something in Paris, and you've already half-won me over.
The red dress, for another. I love the idea of a glamorous red dress like that. One day I will have to attend the Oscars so I can wear one! It speaks of power and fun and adventure and fairy tales. (As a side note, have you heard about "The Travelling Red Dress" project by The Bloggess? It's amazing. And it's all about not waiting for an invitation to the Oscars in order to wear a dress like that.)
And the black squiggly things. I don't know why I like them but I do. I don't think I'd ever be brave enough to get a tattoo in real life, but I'm always intrigued by other people's, especially when they're beautifully drawn black lines. And if I ever did, then it would be something like those pretty swirls and winding vines and leaves. In fact, when I draw doodles in the margins of notebooks, they tend to look something like that (although not nearly as pretty).
So for me, the reasons I like that cover are all incredibly personal. There will be plenty of people out there who don't like it, who have an objection to red dresses for some reason, who encountered a rude Frenchman on their trip to Paris and have less than fond memories of the city. For those people, this book won't be appealing on any of the same grounds as it was for me.
Covers are so subjective. Like any kind of art, I suppose -- beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. And in these days of ebooks, I wonder if covers are as important as they used to be? We've heard about the demise of album art in music now -- I wonder if book covers will go a similar way?
|Pre-order at Amazon|
I feel I have been blessed by the cover fairies (or just the Art Department at Harlequin -- thanks guys!). My cover for Cassie's Grand Plan was beautiful, and when I got to see it on the shelves in the US, the bright ocean and blue, blue sky made it stand out and it really drew the eye. (It wasn't just me -- other people said the same thing!) In His Eyes is set in a fictional winery area outside of Melbourne and my hero and heroine have competing vineyards and a complicated history. I just love the dark tones and sense of drama in this cover -- it's totally appropriate to the story. I hope you'll agree when you get a chance to read it. :)
Do you think book covers are less important these days? Have you ever bought a book just because of its cover?
May 21, 2012
|Waipu Cove Beach|
|Paul Sculfor- source BangShowbiz|
|some of my current faves|
May 20, 2012
Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!
Today we have a smooch from Undone By His Touch by Annie West, but first ...
the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is -- Kaelee!
Congratulations, Kaelee! Can you please contact Michelle Douglas at
michelle (at) michelle-douglas (dot) com
and she'll send you a copy of The Man Who Saw Her beauty.
And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Undone By His Touch by Annie West ...
[Set-up - Declan, blinded in a recent accident, asks Chloe, his housekeeper to help him shave. has been building between them for weeks. He's sitting on a stool in the bathroom while she stands before him. She's just told him his scars aren't as awful as he thinks and, seeing his furious reaction, dropped the razor in the sink.]
To be in the draw to win a signed copy of Undone By His Touch leave a comment to this question - Do you think a non-kiss can be as intense and an actual smooch in a romance? Can you think of any examples from books you enjoy?
Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced -- and a smooch from Destiny Of The Light by Louise Cusack will be posted!
May 19, 2012
Secrets and Speed Dating, Leah Ashton
Secrets and Speed Dating, Leah Ashton
May 18, 2012
It meant one thing to me. A dog. I could finally have a dog. And we did. Not the cute puppy I’d imagined though . . . a nine month old black Great Dane called Bruno who grew into an 85kg giant. And he was the start of my animal collection. I had always been pony mad, so a horse came next. And another dog. And another horse. And yet more dogs as some passed away and new ones came into my life. There was a duck called Doc and a cockatoo called Sam. Then came Nanoo – a goat. Which quickly turned into three goats when she unexpectedly had twins. It wasn't long before three turned into twelve (Goats don’t understand birth control, I discovered).
Fast forward many years and I married a man who has indulged my love for anything with four legs and a tail. Eight horses, three dogs, three birds and a house cow named Ginger would, you might think, be enough for even the most ardent animal enthusiast. Now, I have been parading as a LoveCat for a while . . . but the truth is we were a feline free family. I snuck under the radar here as someone without a cat. When other LoveCats would blog about their kitty’s I would shrink down the keyboard and hope it wasn't noticed that I was here under false pretences. But then along came Oscar.
Do you think that some pets touch our heart more than others? Have you ever owned a pet you never imagined would fit in with your family, but somehow has? Or what about owning an unusual pet? And snake or alpaca lovers out there?
So, now there’s no more slinking down the keyboard. I . . . a horsey girl through and through . . . have a cat, and he already a legend.
May 15, 2012
Secrets and Speed Dating, Leah Ashton
Secrets and Speed Dating, Leah Ashton
May 14, 2012
May 13, 2012
Today we have a smooch from The Man Who Saw Her Beauty by Michelle Douglas, but first ...
the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is – Ella A!
Congratulations, Ella! Can you please contact Natalie at natalie (at) natalie-anderson (dot) com and she'll send you a copy of First Time Lucky.
And now for today's Sunday Smooch from The Man Who Saw Her Beauty by Michelle Douglas ...
She glanced up...and drowned in the sight and scent of her picnic companion, at the expression in the warm brown depths of his eyes—sympathy, understanding, hunger. The pulse at the base of his jaw pounded. She watched that pulse, counted the beats, felt her own body quicken in answer and fall into tempo with it.
To be in the draw to win a signed copy of The Man Who Saw Her Beauty, have you ever had a memorable picnic experience, or do you prefer 5 star dining?
Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced -- and a smooch from Undone By His Touch by Annie West will be posted!