Saturday, December 29, 2007

Rounding Up 2007

Amanda is having a terrific end to 2007 - the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice has nominated her debut book You Had Me at Halo as Best Contemporary Paranormal Romance for 2007. Congratulations Amanda!!

And Sara's debut YA, The Second Virginity of Suzy Green, is one of Chicklish top reads of 2007 - huge congrats, Sara!!

The weather is hotter than ever here - on Boxing Day it hit 110F and even with the air con going full blast it was an effort to do much more than collapse on the sofa. But at least it feels like Australia now - up until recently it was very much like England in October!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

...and the Turkey's Thawing Out...

Just because we live in Sunny Oz where Christmas Day temps can hit 100 degrees, doesn't mean we'd do anything so sensible as have a seafood barbie on the big day. Oh-my-goddess-no. It's hot turkey with stuffing and all the trimmings, and mini plum puds for afters (even though none of us are lovers of plum pudding my dear husband insists, so he has the puds and the rest of us gorge ourselves on chocolate for the rest of the day!)

A few years ago I was very adventrous and ordered a turkey stuffed with a chicken which in turn was supposed to be stuffed with some other type of poultry from the local butcher. It looked like a huge disgusting maggot and although it tasted very yummy I've never quite got over the trauma of that sight.

So now I get a frozen turkey from Woolworths, one that doesn't have legs but has lots of breasty bits (because none of us ever eat the legs but we all love the breast) and it's currently defrosting in the bottom of the fridge. Only three sleeps to go!!

And I just want to say what a lucky girl I am, because I won a prize the other day over at the fantastico Shelley's party bash! It's From the Deep anthology and I can't wait to dive in *ha ha!*

Myspace Layouts

Myspace Graphics

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas is Coming

I think I've finally done all my Christmas shopping (apart from the last minute veggies - including the obligatory half dozen sprouts my husband insists on having on his plate Christmas Day. No idea why, nasty disgusting little things!!)

I hit the local mall at 8 am this morning but unfortunately it seemed half the town had the same idea. I hate crowds. Anyway I got the ham and pickles and then went looking for Harry Potter goodies for my two little nieces, who are Totally Into Harry Potter!!

Annoyingly, there doesn't seem to be much HP merchandise about. I did find a great online store last night with lots of HP pressies, but it's based in Melbourne which isn't much good for me and I'm not trusting the post to deliver any parcels in time for Christmas.

Since Santa is bringing them the DVDs, I ended up with a trolley load of stationery items. Luckily they both love reading, and I've yet to find any book lover who doesn't also adore stationery items!!

And in other news, the talented Amanda Ashby has just won the Chicklit Club's Pink Thong Award for Best New Character (Australian) for You Had Me at Halo! Woo-hoo Amanda!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Win Brilliantly Cool Books for Christmas!!!

Amanda Ashby and Sara Hantz, two of my CPs and fellow Witches, are holding a joint Christmas competition on their blogs and MySpace pages for a lucky reader to win copies of their debut books, Amanda's You Had Me at Halo, and Sara's The Second Virginity of Suzy Green.

All you need to do is hop on over and leave a comment. Easy-peasy! Good luck!!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Becaue it's all about MeME

Shelley tagged me so here we go - and don't forget to pop over to Shelley's blog and join in her fabulous birthday bash all this month, with lots of brilliant author guests and prizes up for grabs!

Two Men I’d Love to Date if I Were Single (and they were single):

1. Clive Owen (I mean duh. This is a no brainer, right?!?!)
2. David Tennant (Tardis optional)

I Am Wearing Right Now…

1. Long Black Pants
2. Long sleeved scarlet top (it's cold and rainy today - I can't believe it!!)

Two Things I Would Want in a Relationship:

1. laughter
2. hot sex okay these are totally pinched from Shelley's meme, but on the other hand what's not to love about these things???

Two of My Favorite Things to do:

1. reading & writing
2. eating & drinking (and quite often I indulge in at least three of these activies simultaneously!)

Two Things I Want Very Badly At the Moment:

1. A fabulous agent
2. A fantastic book contract!!!

Two things I did recently:

1. wrapped up loads of Christmas pressies
2. did this meme!!!

Two things I ate today:

1. Pat's delicious boozy Christmas cake!!!
2. A takeaway Dome latte. It's a wonder I don't look like one with the amount I consume in any given week... oh wait on second thoughts I do kind of resemble a squat little polystyrene cup...

Two people I most recently talked to:

1. Daughters (both - while doing Christmas shopping)
2. Son (to wish him luck with his exam today - last day of school today, what are they THINKING???)

Two things I’m doing tomorrow:

1. MORE Christmas shopping *sigh*
2. Cleaning the house from top to toe... ha ha! Gotcha. As if!!

2 longest car rides:

1. from SE London the the Isle of Angelsey.
2. from Perth to Margaret River WA

Two Favorite Holidays:
1. Love the Christmas holidays
2. And Easter - since my dh generally gets some time off work then too

Two Favorite Beverages:

1. Coffee (but ONLY from ... well yes you guessed it!!!)
2. Wine (sans the pineapple juice I mean how could ANYone drink wine with pineapple juice, I ask you??)

Two Things about me, things you may not have known:

1. I have a worrying latte addiction, and the fact it does my health no good whatsoever isn't much of a deterrent!
2. I also have a weakness for Lindt white chocolate balls. Mmmmm!

Two places I have lived:

1. UK
2. Australia

Two of my Favorite Foods:

1. pizza (I'm a cheap date)
2. roast beef and Yorkshire pudding

Two Places I’d rather be right now:

1. Somewhere warm and romantic with my husband!
2. Catching up on all the gossip over Earl Grey and cream cakes with my lovely sis-in-law.

4 people I think will respond:

1. Sara Hantz
2. Amanda Ashby
3. Monica Cole
4. Philllipa Ashley

Dare ya!Now, here’s what you’re supposed to do…copy this and put your own answers in place of mine and post it to your blog!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Time for a Drool

A couple of weeks ago I watched Children of Men and it hit me. Clive Owen is hot. I don't know why I haven't noticed before, but I'm obviously a slow learner where these things are concerned!!! (yeah right...)

So as it's been a while since I posted pics, I thought I'd indulge myself. Yumm. Unfortunately I couldn't find any nekkid ones, but these ones are pretty good. Especially the last one (which I posted first but blogger being blogger put at the bottom!!)

So enamoured am I of the divine Clive that I've even nominated him over at the Trashinista site, for something very exciting concerning Phillipa Ashley!!

OMG. How gorgeous is this one... sigh...!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Quickies Writ in Blood

Hooray! Today I finished my Quickie and sent it off to the witches for their verdict. I'm not sure I've ever sweated so much blood over my writing in proportion to the final wordcount!

I'm especially happy since I'd given myself a deadline of Friday to have this one finished. But somehow once I got started today the words flowed, and that was another happy bunny moment since it's the first time that's happened with this ms.

Oh, and if you haven't been reading it already, hop on over to the eHarlequin site, where the lovely Robbie Grady has her Silhouette Desire online read up. Unfortunately it's a weekly, not a daily, which is soooo annoying when I wanna know what happens next!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Moving Tales

Mid week, my eldest daughter decided she was returning home after 7 months away. Hooray! The only down side is it means hubby and I lose our office. Sniffle.

So it's been a mad shuffle to clear out the office/bedroom and relocate all our officy-things back into the family room. It should be pretty straightforward I suppose, but nothing is straightforward in this house! It's like the furniture multiples and nothing fits, and turns into a massive manouvre of jiggling everything around. Like a huge jigsaw with far too many pieces.

I thought I'd take the opporutnity to sort through my paperwork. Well. Gulp. I admit I'm a bit of a hoarder but I discovered RWAus magazines dating back to October 2003!! And even though there are heaps of great articles in all the issues, (a) I would never remember off hand what they were to look for them, and (b) if I did try and look for them, I'd spend forever locating which issue said article was in... so. Out they went. I felt quite dizzy after that endeavour!

Oh yeah - then right in the middle of shifting stuff, my hubby announces he is going to redecorate the front room. Nooooooooo... but yes and not only that he also decided to get new internal doors while he was at it.

I haven't done any writing for the last two days. Sigh.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Tagged continued (see below!!!)

Okay, because whenever I post pics my blogger goes all wonky and I never know where my actual writing bits will end up, I'm editing my previous post here!

So, all I want to say is, here is my Meme that Shelley tagged me with last week! And I've sort of cheated, as all the places of interest aren't in my home town, but they are in my state so I hope that counts!!


Best Place to Eat

Well okay I admit it. We don't eat out much, so i really have no idea what the local eateries are like!! My fave place for breakfast (and takeaway latte at ANY time of day) is Dome by the foreshore, but for our daughter's 21st we went to the Hog's Breath Cafe and the food was yummy. Since we're home alone tonight we're going out for dinner there! No cooking! Hooray!!

Best Shopping Mall

Fremantle is one of the best preserved 19th century port cities in the world, with narrow side roads and cobbled pavements, town square and markets. There are continental delicatessens, bakeries, butchers, bookshops and boutiques, plus all the large department stores and pubs! So, not a mall, but I do love visiitng Freo because it reminds me of shopping in England!!

Famous Landmark The Swan Bell Tower

The Swan Bell Tower was built between 1999 and 2001, to celebrate the Millennium. I think it looks kind of odd myself, but I guess that's because I prefer more traditional looking bell towers!! However, the bells do have a very romantic history.

Found Only In...

One of the few places in the world where thrombolites (living rocks) can be found is at Lake Clifton in Western Australia's Yalgorup National Park. The thrombolites, which are built by micro-organisms, reach heights of up to 1.3m. they are among the only known form of life on Earth some 350 to 650 million years ago, and it's believed they were responsible for oxygen production which allowed life to exist on the planet. Pretty fascinating really! More info can be found here

Popular Outdoor Activity

Australia is renowned for its outdoor lifestyle, and is a very sports orienated nation. Unfortunately, I'm not at all sporty minded!!! However, we live just three minutes walk from a truly gorgeous beach and I'm quite happy to watch more adventrous souls enjoying the many varied water sports on offer, while I get very daring and paddle my toes in the shallows!

Best Tourist Attraction

Wave Rock, in Hyden WA, is an amazing 14m high and 110m long and is believed to have formed over 2700 million years ago through a gradual process of erosion of the softer rock beneath the upper edge. The colours of the Wave are caused by the rain washing chemical deposits down the face. I also think this is a breathtaking view!!!

Place for Kids

Got to be Perth Zoo. We took our kids there lots of time when they were little and it's a great day out.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Blogger Hates Me

For some reason blogger didn't let me comment on anyone's blogs yesterday. Instead it keep giving me a code to send to blogger to let them know what the problem was.

Um, yeah. That's a great idea in theory, but only when you can actually find their addy. Every time I waded through the Help section and thought I'd finally got somewhere, it would redirect me to yet another Q&A. Frustrating? Yes I think so. And annoying, because why give me a code if I can't even use it?!

Monday, November 12, 2007

What Type of Writer Are You?

I found this quiz on Shelley's blog, and as I'm always up for a bit of procrastination, I gave it a whirl. Yay! I love the answer I got!

This minor procrastination aside, I have been very good today on the writing front (despite the temperature hitting 32, with threats of rising to 39 degrees tomorrow...feels like the inside of an oven). But, back to the writing - I'm trying something new for me. Something I always said I would never do (which means of course it was only a matter of time before I succumbed!!) I'm not sure whether or not I can pull it off, but I'll see how I go this week. It's a story that haunted me for something like five years - but it was never novel length, just this one very vivid, starkly beautiful scene. I ended up writing it about three years ago and there it's been on my hard drive ever since.

So, I'm giving it a revamp. So to speak!

You Should Be a Film Writer

You don't just create compelling stories, you see them as clearly as a movie in your mind.
You have a knack for details and dialogue. You can really make a character come to life.
Chances are, you enjoy creating all types of stories. The joy is in the storytelling.
And nothing would please you more than millions of people seeing your story on the big screen!

Friday, November 09, 2007

The Waiting Game

I don't know what's going on, but my internet's been down again. Talk about feeling isolated! Things got so bad this afternoon I actually tidied up my office, just so I could keep one eye on the computer on the off chance it went back online. So, after two and a half months, I finally picked up my huge pile of conference books from the floor next to my desk and found room for them on the bookcase!

That's not all I managed either. My wonderful cps have been telling me for ages to get my butt in gear and submit to Nocturne. For one reason or another I've never quite got around to it, but having nothing better to do yesterday afternoon (ie. blog hopping and surfing...) I decided to give the partial one last polish.

So now I've printed out my para partial and synopsis and that'll be on it's way to New York some time next week. I'd forgotten how much I love that story!

In other news or rather non-news from Harlequin, it's now been over three months that another partial's been with Superromance.

Don'tcha just love this waiting game?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Spring is Sprung

We've now had about four days of sunny weather! Hooray! It looks like spring's arrived at last. And about time too because I really don't like winter. The rain and grey skies are sooo depressing. Of course when we first moved to Australia everyone thought it hilarious I felt the cold so acutely. After all, I came from England, I should be used to freezing my bits off!

Although I still find it very odd to celebrate Christmas in the middle of summer. In my mind, the summer months are July/August (ok, so July and August in the UK can quite often be absolutely dire but that's not my point!!) Right now the cherries are out (yummm) the birds are nesting - and the Christmas decs are up in the shops. ARGH!!

Friday, November 02, 2007


Whoops! I can't believe it's been over a week since I last blogged. I could've sworn I did that dancing girlie just a couple of days ago.

Anyway, yesterday was a non-starter as my internet went down and don't you just HATE that when you can't send or receive emails and every page you try is unobtainable. Drives me nuts. As for the rest of the week, my youngest's been sick with his third bout of tonsilitis in three months (the doctor is making noises about whipping his tonsils out - ugh).

It's also occurred to me I've spent more time in the car than anywhere else over the last few weeks running about after my girls, and to be honest my brain is starting to fry. Consequently, the writing has completely gone down the gurgler but once I've posted off the Christmas pressies to the rellies in the UK (YES! I have bought them, and wrapped them, and written the cards... does that make me anal) I'm going to whip this bloody story into shape if it kills me!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Right Brain, Left Brain... or no Brain?

This link was posted on the ROMAUS loop, so of course I had to have a nose. It shows a dancer in silhouette and depending on which direction you see her dancing, can tell whether you use more of your left or right side of your brain.

I saw her dancing clockwise, which means I use the right side of my brain more (apparently!). Then she suddenly turned and started dancing anti clockwise. What fun!! I called my husband over to have a look, and just as he said, yeah she's dancing clockwise - she suddenly faced me and started swinging her leg back and forth.

And he couldn't see it!!!

I yelled for my son to come and take a look (never mind that I'd just put him to bed, this was important!) and he confirmed she was dancing clockwise.

All this time, the dancer was just standing there, swinging her leg from side to side, and the thing is - there is no explanation on the website! So I'm thinking I managed to splinter my brain or something!

Can anyone else see her doing that???

Oops nearly forgot to post the link! Here!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Monday, October 22, 2007

Free Rice

If you feel the urge to indulge in a spot of procrastination, here's an addictive site to try out - FreeRice. It's a word multiple choice quiz, and every time you answer correctly the site donates rice. I admit to not knowing all the words I was given (in fact I couldn't even pronouce some of them!!) but it's great fun guessing their meaning (espeically when I guessed right!)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Blood from a Stone and other Unlikely Places

Some scenes almost seem to write themselves. I sit down, and the words flow from brain to fingertips (at least I tell myself the words come from my brain, although oftentimes when I read my stuff back I think, did I really and truly write that???)

Other scenes are like pulling teeth with pliers. Such as my current one. It's not that I'm not enjoying this story. It's not even that I don't have a pretty good idea where it's all going. It's just... argh! Basically it all comes back to this bloody dead body I was careless enough to leave lying around in chapter one!! Talk about coming back to bite you on the bum.

I keep telling myself not to panic, that the girls in the basement/the muse/the little demon that resides in a crevice of my deluded mind will manage to sort something out when the time is right. But the thing is, I'm not used to writing into the mist like that. I generally have things planned out in advance, so while I might not know every twist and turn, I do know all the major roadworks along the way.

On the other hand, it is kind of exciting in a scary way NOT knowing how this is all going to resolve. At least I think it is. Then again, I might just be totally losing the plot...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Christina and the Chocolate Factory

It's a little known fact *cough* but I do love chocolate, so on Friday decided to take the two youngest offspring to the Fremantle Chocolate Factory. I had visions of something like Willy Wonka, but alas all we got to see was the back of someone flourishing a funnel filled with chocolate through a small glass window.

Never mind. There was a delicious chocolatey aroma in the shop, and I grabbed a basket and set to work finding Christmas pressies for the rellies back in the UK. When I discovered they sold no less than thirty-two varieties of fudge, I was in sweetie heaven because if there's one thing I love more than chocolate, it's fudge. *happy sigh*

My son lost no time at all in finding the freebies, and every time I looked round for him I caught his jaws chomping. I'm sure I don't know where he gets it from...

On the writing front I'm currently in a state of nervous excitement concerning an agent's response to a recent sub, so am keeping my fingers crossed there.

And now it's almost five which means it's tea and chocolate time...

Monday, October 08, 2007

Writing update

I just realised it's been a while since I mentioned my writing (well okay so it's been ages since I mentioned my writing...!) and this may have something to do with the fact that I haven't been doing a great deal of it just lately. Oops.

Partly it's because I'm waiting to hear back from various agents, and party it's because my motivation has kind of hit the skids lately. But that aside, I'm still very much in love with my wip and am determined to get it finished before Christmas.

I know where it's going (mostly) although I do have problems with the dead body. I always knew I should've steered well clear of that aspect, but what can you do? I'm just the writer. It's not like I can control these things (I can hear you howling with laughter there, Sara!!)

And speaking of control. What's with this blinking dead body suddenly phoning my heroine?? It would make sense if I was writing a paranormal but alas, there's not a vampire in sight!!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Bone Garden

I recently finished Tess Gerritsen's The Bone Garden (actually I saw my youngest daughter reading it, and pinched it off her. We subsequently fought over it heh, but I won). I think it's my fave of hers so far (including The Mephisto Club which I finished reading a couple of days ago).

But OMG. This doesn't give any of the plot away but OMG!!! The hygiene. Gross. Even a week later I still can't get over how completely terrifying it must have been for women giving birth just 150 years ago. For sure I knew all about child bed fever - it's a favourite way of bumping off women in historical novels (so long as she doesn't happen to be the heroine) but honestly, I'd never stopped to wonder just WHAT the hell child bed fever was.

Well I know now, and so does my daughter, in graphic gut wrenching detail. Can we just say thank god we don't live in those times?? I think it's going to take ages before I get particular scenes out of my head.

But I also loved the romance between the two main characters, it was kind of hauntingly beautiful and I for one didn't mind in the least that Jane Rizzoli didn't make an appearance and Maura Isles only had a fleeting cameo. In fact I'd love more of the same, please!!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Nekkid Nathan

Shelley mentioned Firefly in the comments of the last post, which reminded me of Nathan Fillion (as it does). Although I've not managed to catch any episodes of Firefly I've watched Serenity about six times (my husband is now a rabid fan and watches it twice as many times as I do!) So I thought I'd go in search of a little hero inspiration and came up with... some interesting shots...

It also reminded me that a certain Ms Amanda Ashby promised (well okay she sort of promised) to find some nekkid pickies of Mr Fillion. Now, it's not that I'm an impatient kind of girl or anything... oh well okay, so I am!! And guess what I found. A nekkid picky!

Mind you the face is a bit fuzzy so I'm not 100% sure this is the divine Mr Fillion in the flesh so to speak... so the big question here is - IS it or ISN'T it???

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Dr Who is Hot....

I grew up watching Dr Who, a lot of the time from behind the safety of the sofa or over the top of a cushion, as the Daleks and Cybermen invaded our front room (although those mega sized maggots will take some beating on the fright scale!) Wobbly sets didn't bother me at all, because Saturday night was the time the whole family got together and I only have to hear the spine tingling electronic woo-woo-WOOOOOO of the theme tune and whoosh! I'm back in time!

So when They-With-the-Power resurrected the Doctor I was stoked, and faithfully watched the first series with Christopher Eccleston.

As series three progressed, something extraordinary began to happen. It was so shocking it took me another several weeks before I quite realised what was happening. I fancied Dr Who!!!

Once this hit me I realised that David Tennant is, in fact, excessively hot and couldn't believe how I hadn't noticed before. I think it's all to do with the Doctors from the past because while he's always had hot assistants, I can't think of any Doctor in the past that ever did it for me... humm!
Final episode tonight and then I'll be going into withdrawal... although there's always the boxed set of DVDs which, now I think about it, can be classified as perfect hero research material...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I So Do NOT Have A Dirty Mind!!!

Your Mind is PG-13 Rated
Your mind is definitely a little dirty. You're naughty, but not trashy.You don't shy away from a dirty joke, and you're clearly not a prude.

I couldn't resist trying out this quiz, (thank you Tempest!!) and was so totally not surprised to discover my mind is almost as pure as the driven snow! **cough cough** And the most amazing thing is, I didn't even cheat!!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Grabbing the Reader

Following on from my previous post, Tempest Knight left a comment which reminded me that Liz Fielding, M&B Romance author, has a great article on her site about grabbing the reader on the first page. Highly recommended and here's the link!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

First Page Neurosis

I have trouble with my first pages. Not that I realise I do at the time, as I try to start as late as possible into the action and leap forward from there. It's only afterwards, when the book is finished, I read it through and think... meh, too soon!!!

The book now out with agents is a prime example. From first to second draft, I cut the first thirty pages. THIRTY. And yet when I originally wrote it, every one of those thirty pages was absolutely crucial to showing the heroine's relationship with various members of her family and friends. Do I hear the words SET UP??

From second to third draft I cut another dozen pages, so the first page showed the arrival of the hero into the heroine's world. And just recently, before submitting, I ruthlessly chopped the vast majority of the first two pages. And the scary thing is all those pages I deleted - just Are Not Missed!!

So I was intrigued to discover Julie Cohen, ModX and Little Black Dress author, is doing a Q&A on eHarlequin this week, entitled Tightening the First Page. It's illuminating and well worth checking out, even if you're not targeting series romance.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

More Conference Photos

For some more pics of the recent RWNZ conference, head over to Nalini's blog where she's just posted a whole bunch. There's one of Amanda and me wearing our halos... only this time they are all aglow with angelic light!!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Debuts & Comp

Fellow Aussie author Christine Wells debut novel SCANDAL'S DAUGHTER is also released this week - and to help celebrate, Christine invited her agent Jessica Faust and editor Leis Pederson to guest blog and answer questions. A fascinating insight into an agent's and editor's mind! Read their posts here

Also in celebratory mood, the lovely Annie West is holding a fantabulous competition over on her website, in honour of three Aussie debut novels hitting the shelves this month from Christine Wells, Robyn Grady and Paula Roe! And as if that's not enough, Annie is also offering her own September release as a prize!

And Sara's party is still in full swing with lots of prizes still up for grabs!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Guest Blogging Today!

Today I'm guest blogging over at the lovely Sara Hantz's blog as part of her celebrations for the release of her debut novel. I'll love you forever if you pop over and leave a comment!! The post should be up late afternoon/early evening Oz/NZ time (I think I got that right. All these time lines are very confuzzling).

I recently finished reading Karina Bliss's SuperRomance, MR IRRESISTIBLE. And all I can say is.... wow, the hero sure is irresistible... ha ha sorry about that! Couldn't resist (oops... I get worse). I first thought Karina's book would be up my alley when I read the excerpt on her website and the hero, Jordan, was overheard on the phone saying... well I'm not going to tell you what the heroine, Kate, overheard him saying! Check out Karina's website to see what I mean!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Writing, Dentists & Doctors

I just realised I haven't mentioned my writing for a while, so in case anyone thinks I'm slacking in that department (as if... ha ha) I'm up to Chapter Five on the wip. I'm loving it, but loving it mostly when I can just sit here and read it back to myself. This polishy draft is proving quite challening.

Today I took my son to have his first filling. He hadn't been looking forward to it, and was convinced he'd end up drooling so badly he'd need the day off school. I explained it was just a filling, not an extraction and he would be FINE!

Um, yeah. In the chair, after two injections, his adrenalin spiked and he went into shock. Let's not mention the shock his mother went into at this point. But we got through it and thankfully his threatened vomiting didn't occur - god I had nightmare visions of his projectiling it all over his uniform and all over me. SHUDDER.

So I took him into school...and of course three hours later they called me to take him home. I expect they were thinking along the lines of 'evil mother, fancy making him go to school when he can't even feel his tongue...'

In the meantime I took in a letter of referral from my GP to the hospital. I have no idea what the doctor was on when she did my letter. Of the six points she noted of my medical history, I had to cross four out and rewrite them, and apparently last year I suffered from first degree burns. Without being aware of them. Who knew? I'm just thankful I opened the bloody thing and read it first before taking it into the consultant!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Happy Release Day, Sara Hantz!

Hooray! It's finally here. the release day for Sara Hantz's debut YA novel, The Second Virginity of Suzy Green, from Flux.

Sara and I first met just over three years ago, en route to the RNA conference in Leicester, UK. Within a few weeks of returning home we became online buddies, and then cps - aka The Witches - along with Amanda Ashby and Pat Posner.

So it's a huge thrill to see Sara's book now out in the world - and she is hosting the most fabulous blog party here to celebrate! Do hop over and say hello!

MySpace Glitters

Friday, August 31, 2007

Blast from the Past

Hubby was channel hopping last night, and came across *drumroll* Xanadu! Does anyone remember this 1980 movie?? The last time I watched it must have been soon after its release, because apart from remembering that it wasn't exactly something I wanted to sit through again, the only thing I recalled was the fact Cliff Richard had done a duet with Olivia Newton John!

Well. I nearly died when the Electric Light Orchestra started playing! OMG I used to LOVE ELO. How did I forget about them?

So. We sat through it, and cast each other scandalised glances at regular intervals (did everyone really zoom about on roller skates in the 80s?!) but we continued to watch because of the music. I'm sure, in some lost black hole, I still have some of those records (yes, records, those circular vinyl things).

It was a nostaglic dip into our shadowy past and while the movie is a disappointment (and that's a shame because the premise is so promising - a muse falling in love with a mortal - I could work with that one!!) I still love the music. It really takes me back to my teenage years! Sniff!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Second Virginity of Suzy Green Blog Party!

Sara Hantz's debut novel, The Second Virginity of Suzy Green, is about to be released! And to celebrate, Sara's having a fabulous party at her blog over the next week. Lots of writers will be dropping by to join in the fun, including yours truly, with lots of lovely prizes up for grabs!
To whet your appetite, here is the blurb for Suzy:
Suzy Green used to be one of the coolest nonconformist “almost-Goth” party girls in Australia. That was before her older sister Rosie died and her family moved to a new town. Not even her best friend would recognize her now. Gone are the Doc Martens and the attitude. All she wants is to be like Rosie—perfect. The new Suzy Green makes straight As, hangs with the in-crowd at her new school, and dates the hottest guy around. And since all her new friends belong to a virginity club, she joins, too. So what if she’s not technically qualified? Nobody in town knows . . . until Ryan, Suzy’s ex, turns up.

As the past and present collide, Suzy struggles to find her own place in a world without her sister.

MySpace Glitters

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Look Who I spied...

Sorry Charli, but I just had to post this pic of you!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Caressed by Ice

I thought I'd be able to pick up Nalini's latest Psy book, Caressed by Ice, at the New Zealand conference - and of course get it signed by her!! - but unfortunately it hadn't yet hit the bookshops there. Boo! However, it's about to be released on 4th September and Nalini has a comp going on at her blog - a quiz to see which Psy/Changeling hero you're most like.

Here's my result - and I'm stoked because I just love the sound of this ice man Judd!!!

Your Psy/Changeling Hero: Judd

Quiet, lethally contained and almost impossible to know, Judd Lauren is a Psy with incredible power. It will take one determined woman to melt this man of ice...but the rewards will be well worth the effort. Are you up to the challenge?

Caressed By Ice

As an Arrow, an elite soldier in the Psy Council ranks, Judd Lauren was forced to do terrible things in the name of his people. Now a defector, his dark abilities have made him the most deadly of assassins—cold, pitiless, unfeeling. Until he meets Brenna…

Brenna Shane Kincaid was an innocent before she was abducted—and had her mind violated—by a serial killer. Her sense of evil runs so deep, she fears she could become a killer herself. Then the first dead body is found, victim of a familiar madness. Judd is her only hope, yet her sensual changeling side rebels against the inhuman chill of his personality, even as desire explodes between them. Shocking and raw, their passion is a danger that threatens not only their hearts, but their very lives…

Find out more about Judd and the series at

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Tag Time

This tag comes via Shelley Munro...

1. You have to post these rules before you give the facts.

2. Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of their middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.

3. When you are tagged you need to write your own blog post containing your own middle name game facts.

4. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Well now, Christina is actually my real second name, but no way can my poor brain come up with nine different facts about me, so I'm cheating and just using the first five letters.

C - I get really cranky when I don't write. and the rest of the time I'm just plain crazy. Chocolate helps calm my nerves but hates my butt. Heh!

H - Hoping to hook a hot-shot agent **Hummmmm** I also love hot fudge (well ok cold really but that doesn't begin with H)

R - Rest, relaxation and reading are my fave hobbies. Hence the big butt...

I - I love ice cream but it hates me. Last time I over-indulged my gall bladder popped. Icky!

S - I can sleep anywhere. And frequently do!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Thief With No Shadow

What a fabulous, haunting cover Emily Gee's debut novel, Thief With No Shadow has! It just screams out pick me up! And wow, I am so glad I did. A couple of days ago I thought I'd read the first chapter while I was having my lunch. I had a pile of stuff to do that day, but the problem was - once I'd started reading I could not put the book down!

And so that night, instead of giving my long suffering family roast potatoes and yorkshire pudding, they made do with mash and baked beans because that's so much less hassle to throw together while reading at the same time. Not that I let on because for some strange reason they don't have quite the same priorities as me - can't think why...

Anyway here is the blurb:

Melke is a wraith, able to walk unseen. Feared by all, hunted and hated, she has lost everything--except her younger brother. Now she is forced to do the unthinkable: in exchange for her brother's freedom, she must use her magical gift to steal.

Melke's thieving has devastating consequences. The stolen necklace was strung with tears, and without it Bastian sal Vere can't break the curse that is destroying his family--a curse that will reach its brutal climax at the next full moon. He strikes a desperate bargain with Melke: a healer to save her brother's life, in return for the necklace.

But undoing her crime may cost Melke her own life. The necklace is deep within a salamander's den, a place of flame and pain that no thief has ever returned from. And time is running short. The moon grows full, and someone must face the creature that laid the curse and suffer its terrible vengeance.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Almost Famous

I've become a bit of a lurker on Jenny Crusie's blog since the weekend. It's huge fun, and she has a post up of random Down Under bits which is hilarious. However, the REALLY fun part is - I'm in a photo on her blog! Oh yeah! How about that then?!

Thankfully I'm unrecognisable to anyone but myself, since I resemble a hunched up old crone in fetching black, but that aside I'm quite chuffed. It's a group pic of us all in the conference room, and I'm on the far side next to the way too elegant Amanda Ashby!

See my brush with fame here

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Just Step This Way, Madam...

Of course, it wouldn't have been right without having a minor drama at the airport. Last Wednesday night as I made my way through Customs I thought, oh yeah this is all right, hey! I'm on my way!

My hand luggage didn't set of any alarms this time, and as I was wearing plain boots there was no chance of any dangly bits on my footwear setting off the flashing lights.

Heh. As I wandered away from the x-ray machine thinking so where the hell do I go now? this other custom official beckoned me over. With her long evil looking wand thingy. Yikes. You've been randomly chosen... she said but really, randomly? Was it because I had a look of bunny in the headlamps terror in my eyes or do I just give off an air of arch criminality?

Anyway it wasn't so bad. She skimmed me for explosives and then prodded in my bag. And then wanted to know, in a rather suspicious manner I thought, what I was going to be doing in New Zealand.

So I told her I was on my way to a writer's conference, and she actually smiled and thawed out by several degrees. Ah, the magic of romance writers! Still, being selected as a dodgy looking individual gave me a giggle, in fact as soon as she waved me over I had the worrying urge to giggle and had to keep chewing the inside of my lip so I wouldn't start grinning like a demented troll.

But I have another pic from the conference, which the lovely Emily Gee sent through. I do have to thank Emily for sorting me out at the Thai restaurant we went to last Thursday night. I'd never eaten Thai before, and didn't want to risk upsetting my delicate stomach *snort* with something over-spicy. Anyway she helped me select something which was very tasty, although I wasn't at all sure about the large sluggy looking things I discovered lurking in the rice.

Emily, Sara, Kate, Me, Amanda & Ellie

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Conference Cocktail Party

This was huge fun being in a room full of women (and some men I hasten to add!) who all loved writing and romance. It was a bit like being a kid in a sweet shop - no matter who you spoke to, they all wanted to talk books! I kept expecting to wake up hahahaa!

Giovanna,Natalie, Barbara, Amanda & Cassandra

As you can see from the pics, Amanda brought her halos along, and Sara brought some gorgeous cherry jewellery, and by the end of the evening half the conference delegates were wearing Suzy's cherries and Holly's halos!

Later that night, as we were getting ready for bed, room service knocked on the door. Sara peered through the peep hole and said, we didn't order room service (well you can't be too careful and I had just watched that last episode of Medium...)

Turns out my lovely hubby had ordered pink bubbly to be delivered in celebration of my birthday the following day! Awwwwww!!!! He's such a romantic on the quiet!!

Me with the Ice Bucket

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Conference 2007

Oh WOW! Back from the conference, fired up, motivated and

raring to go!

Amanda, Me & Sara

First off, it was absolutely wonderful to meet up with Sara and Amanda again. I'd been kind of worried in case there were awkward pauses but no chance! It was just as if we'd last seen each other a few weeks ago - they both looked exactly the same as they did in Leicester three years ago!

And what can I say about Jenny Crusie that hasn't already been said... OMG that woman is amazing. Even suffering from the flu she was motivational, witty and passionate and her workshop with Anne Stuart was hysterical!

Of course we had the double celebrations of both Amanda and Sara's debut novels hitting the shelves and it was just fantastic to be there in New Zealand and share in all the excitement.

More coming up tomorrow!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Two Days and Counting

Only two days until I'm on my way to the New Zealand conference! And, as is only right and proper, I came down with a stinking cold and sore throat over the weekend. Then today my youngest daughter came home looking somewhat zombified and is currently flat out on the sofa. Being the kind motherly person that I am, I'm trying to look after her without actually breathing her air space.

Sooo.... I've started to pack, have checked my passport a dozen times, read the airline's website once or twice and have also managed to avoid watching any of the disaster plane docus that are constantly on the telly (not easy since my husband has a sick addiction to programmes like that!)

It will be great to get together with Sara and Amanda again - I can't believe it's been three years since we last saw each other! - but I'm sure we'll make up for the lost time not spent at local bars. ha ha ha (!)

On the books front, I've just finished Phillipa Ashley's Decent Exposure. This is the first Little Black Dress book I've read and can I just say... wow!! I really enjoyed it, and intend to pick up a lot more LBDs in the near future.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Happy Release Day Amanda!

Hooray! It's finally here. The release day for You Had Me at Halo!

Huge congrats Amanda!

Holly Evans has just seen her body laid to rest. Now she would like to move onto the afterlife. But apparently she has some mortal baggage to unload first, starting with the matter of how she died. Her heavenly shrink isn't buying that she didn't kill herself and says she must return to earth to straighten things out. The thing is, she needs to borrow the body of computer geek Vince Murphy to do it. Oh, and although Vince was supposed to have vacated the premise, he apparently never got the memo.

Now, Holly has forty-eight hours to resolve her issues while sharing arms, legs, and...other things...with a guy she barely noticed while she was alive. But the real surprise is what life has to offer when you have only two days to live it.

"It's The Lovely Bones meets Bridget Jones in this fluffy take on what happens after's a fun, witty traipse through the afterlife."

-Publisher's Weekly

"This book has a delightfully quirky concept that develops into a fun and interesting story. Peopled with a fascinating variety of characters, it also has an intriguing mystery and a charmingly different type of interaction between the hero and heroine. Expect a delightful tale with a wonderfully distinctive ending."

-Romantic Times 4 1/2 star

Monday, August 06, 2007

Countdown to Conference

Only nine more days and I'll be on my way to New Zealand! Omg it doesn't seem possible. It feels like only last week I was thinking about booking the flight, and now it's almost here!

I think I'm organised. Today I exchanged my Aussie dollars for NZ dollars and - gasp - have finally sorted out international dialling for my mobile. I'm about to dust off my youngest daughter's hot pink luggage (which I am borrowing...) and double check nothing I intend to wear on the flight will set off the alarms. (this happened to me the last time I travelled to the UK. On the stopover at Singapore, no less, I not only set off the alarms with my SHOES for god's sake!! but also had to open up my hand luggage as my make up brushes showed up on their x-ray screens as potentially lethal weapons. Like, yeah I am a dead ringer for Buffy!)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


I've done it again. Forgot all about my blog. But what with various nasty viruses doing the rounds, school holidays and major dramas concerning my two little princesses *inserts cough here* (no really they are little princesses, even if they do both tower over me now... sigh...) blogging got left by the wayside.

Not that I haven't been writing. Glances over shoulder to make sure nobody is checking up. I've been writing up a storm. Sort of. Apparently I have only two weeks left of this lazy life, as at conference my CPs are going to have Serious Words. eek!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Zombies Rule - Too Cool for School!

Fellow witch Amanda is having a cracker of a week - after a truly fabulous four and a half stars review for You Had me at Halo from no less than the Romantic Times, her agent has just sold Amanda's brilliant zombie YA novel in a two book deal to Puffin!

Go, Amanda!

Zombie Queen of Newbury High!!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Halo Honey

Check out Amanda's blog for the cutest promo idea ever!! I love it and I want one. Like, Right Now!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Second Virginity Cover!!

Fellow witch Sara Hantz finally has the cover for her debut YA novel - and it's absolutely perfect! I still can't upload pics but you can see it here. Aren't those cherries just too cool?? So exciting!
PS - I can now upload pics! Hooray!

Not a lot been happening on the writing front just lately, but I've been messing about with my Bebo account, and let me tell you, as a tool of procrastination there's not much that beats it!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Kanga Oooh!

I was driving my son to school this morning, and as we turned off the horrifically busy dual carriageway into the main road of a new estate that's being built, a HUGE kangaroo suddenly bounded across the road. The car in front of me slammed on the brakes, I slammed on the brakes, and all but climbed out of the window in excitement.

OMG! A kangaroo! He leapt across the road and into the scrubby bush beyond the school. But god knows where the poor bugger thought he was going, as within two minutes he'd hit another housing estate.

We've lived in Australia for over eight and a half years, and that's the first time anything like that's happened to me. There are wild kangaroos who frequent various golf ranges (not that I play golf but the one time I accompanied my brother it's kind of intimidating having those enormous bucks staring you down), and for sure you see them more frequently once you get more into the country (again - not that I ever have, discounting the distressingly high level of road kill) Just don't expect anything like that to happen when you're mere feet from roads which are close cousins to motorways.

It's an awful shame so much of their habitat is being eroded. I keep hoping this kangaroo had the sense to turn round and go back the way he came, because he was heading directly into the city. But having said that, I must admit seeing him quite made my day!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Agent Idol

So, I was chatting to Sara earlier today about the RWNZ conference in August, and getting very excited about it all, when somehow - and I'm not at all sure how - I found myself persuaded to enter the Agent two page critique workshop being held early on the Saturday morning.

This is a kind of Agent Idol, where the agent cold reads two pages of your manuscript and then proceeds to tell (everyone) whether or not it grabs her attention. An amazing opportunity to witness the workings of a top agent's mind to be sure, but is this something I'm quite up for?!

In fact the only reason I'm going along with it is because Kristin Nelson seems such a lovely person that I'm quite positive she won't morph into a scarified version of Simon Cowell once she starts reading the pages. And - I think - the pages are submitted anonymously so if i just sit there with a paper bag over my head no one will be any the wiser should she get to mine. Mind you the title of the workshop is a little eye popping - Cereal Killers - just hope that refers to the ungodly hour rather than anything else...

Monday, June 04, 2007

Waiting Game

With two requested fulls and a couple of requested partials out with agents, I'm in a permanent state of excited anticpation mixed with terror. Every time I turn on the computer my stomach churns in case I have an email from an agent. Then when I do have an email from an agent, I have to Gird My Loins before I open it. But I'm determined that this time around I am NOT giving up after hitting double figures. I really have to give Neo the best chance possible and getting fed up with the whole submission process within a month or so isn't exactly the way to go about things, especially since this ms is getting quite a bit of interest and positive comments.

In other news, my printer finally gave me the finger last night and gave up its coil. Gah. Will have to postpone any snail subs I had in mind for the time being. I also took some pics of the new office but unfortunately mislaid the digital camera immediately afterwards so have yet to upload! It's nice to be so organised!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Room with a View (of the side fence...)

When my two girlies left home three weeks ago, I was far from celebrating *sniffle*. Another milestone and not one I espeically wanted to cross thank you very much. But there you go. On the upside, they moved in together with another friend, their house is only five minutes away by car, and so far I've seen almost as much of them as I ever did when they lived at home.

Their moving out left us with a couple of spare rooms. OMG. So much spare space, my poor brain couldn't quite cope. After moving darling son into the larger room, my husband and I decided we would finally Have Our Very Own Office. Hooray! Up until now we've both had our desks and computers at the back of the family room which makes it very, umm, cosy but horribly messy.

So over the last week we've been shifting stuff, he's been decorating like a thing possessed and at the weekend we moved into the back bedroom. It's fantastic. At last I've got walls where I can display all my incredibly important bits and pieces (aka pics of my babies when they really WERE babies) plus spread out my books! Oh yay.

Now all I need to do is buckle down and write something but alas I think my muse has buggered off.

le sigh.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Slave to Sensation

I've just finished reading Nalini Singh's Slave to Sensation and all I can say is Oh My God. What a fabulous start to a new series. Lucas is one totally hot hero, Alpha to the core but sooo adorably protective of Sascha I completely melted. I'm already chomping at the bit to pay another online visit to Rendevous so I can snap up book 2, Visions of Heat, which looks just as riveting. And can I just say I hope Hawke is going to have his story told... hmmm??

Here's the blurb:

In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of “rehabilitation”— the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was….

Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a Changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy co-existence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several Changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion—and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities—or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation…

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Claiming the Courtesan

Hooray! At last I've read Anna Campbell's debut, Claiming the Courtesan (an Avon Romantic Treasure), and oh wow. It was well worth the wait. If you love hot romance, dark, tortured heroes and heroines who are anything but meek and accommodating, I thoroughly recommend this fabulous book.

Here's the enticing blurb... have been trying to upload the book cover but for some reason blogger is hating me today. Ho hum!

He would marry her, and possess her in every way possible.

The Duke of Kylemore knows her as Soraya, London’s most celebrated courtesan. Men fight duels to spend an hour in her company. And only he comes close to taming her. Flying in the face of society, he decides to make her his bride; then, she vanishes, seemingly into thin air.

Dire circumstances have forced Verity Ashton to barter her innocence and change her name for the sake of her family. But Kylemore destroys her plans for a respectable life when he discovers her safe haven. He kidnaps her, sweeping her away to his isolated hunting lodge in Scotland, where he vows to bend her to his will.

There he seduces her anew. Verity spends night after night in his bed… and though she still plans her escape, she knows she can never flee the unexpected, unwelcome love for the proud, powerful lover who claims her both body and soul.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

And for my Next Trick...

I was thrilled to get a request for the full the other day, and dutifully checked both paper and ink levels. yep okay there. Bought a huge envelope. Started to read through the manuscript (yet again. I just can't seem NOT to read through it every time it's requested which means of course I'm sick to death of the thing).

So today I start printing and what happens when I get to page 20? Well, the printer decides to go on strike. bloody hell. I can't believe it. I've tried being nice to it, shouting obscenities at it, and giving its lid a few well placed bashes, but all to no avail. It's so annoying and frustrating because I can't see what the problem is (apart, of course, that it's NOT PRINTING). The green light is flashing away, mocking me which means it's plugged in (first question my other half will ask... ha!)

So I'm pretty pissed off at the moment as I'd planned to have this in the post this afternoon. Now I have to wait until my techno genius gets home to figure it out (and I bet it will be something really simple which will just make me madder than ever!)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

I Married A Genius

No I haven't quite died a cyber death, but man it's been close. Good thing I happened to marry not only a Sheer Genius but someone with so much patience he obviously got my share as well. Said Sheer Genius spent so many hours sorting out the computer and my website (which for some mysterious and very annoying reason keeps deciding to vanish everytime I upload something to it. Hence, I haven't tried to fiddle with it for the last three weeks!) it was giving me a headache. But unlike me, he doesn't scream at the computer screen, froth at the mouth or tear his hair at technical glitches. He just sits there and does all kinds of incomprehensible things until it's sorted. Like I said, I married a Genius. Heh heh!

On the writing front, I finished the YA romance within three weeks and then spent at least that length again honing the blurb. And as for the title, well let's just Not Go There. I've never had so much trouble over a title, and titles are always something I struggle with but this one - unbelievable. My daughter even ended up asking her boyfriend for ideas!

So now it's onto the agent search and wait. So far I've had a very nice request rate so perhaps my blurb was worth all the blood sweat and tears after all!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Gremlins in the Works

Okay not quite gremlins. More like spiders. In my computer tower. Like, eew!!!

No wonder I was having so many computer woes!!

As my sister in law said it puts a whole new spin on the term web site!

Hopefully I'll soon be sorted again, as currently I'm working on two different computers, backing up all over the place (which is not a bad thing, but with my memory is very stressful as I try to remember where my most recent version now is!) and my emails are landing everywhere.

On the writing front, I've been very bad and put Angel to one side to work on my YA. Hopefully I'll have that one finished within the next couple of weeks and then it will be back to Angel. At least that's the plan, and a girl has to have a plan doesn't she?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


It's not that I'm stuck on my wip, since I'm still loving it, even though I did just realise I'm not sure how it's going to end (details!!) but I must admit I've been spending several hours revamping my website when I should have been tackling the next chapter.

I loved the black background of my old site, but decided it didn't quite gell with the tone of my writing. So I thought I'd give it a face lift and brighten it up.

For a techno-twit like me, that's a lot easier said than done. At least it didn't need prints to identify me (ha de ha) but apart from that it's like trying to wade through superglue.

Anyway, I finally uploaded it last night if anyone would like to take a quick squizz and discover how the witches came to be.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

XX and Proud of It!

Not that I'm paranoid or anything, but I'm starting to think there's some kind of conspiracy going on with the computers at home. Now the laptop's finally accepted that yes, I am human (well most of the time) and lets me on to play, guess what? My pc decides to have a sulk.

For the last couple of days my monitor's been very iffy. When I say iffy, I mean not booting up. It just sits there completely blank. SO frustrating. Last night, when dh got home from work he gave the cables a tug, jiggled the monitor a bit and presto. On it went.

So this morning, when it refused to co-operate, I jiggled the cables, wobbled the monitor and switched it on and off a few times. Nothing.


This afternoon, when dh arrives home from work, he just gives it a quick tug and would you believe it. On the bloody monitor goes without so much as a squeak.

I'd say how annoying, but I'm not going to because at least it's running. But honestly, how bloody annoying!!!! What is it with computers and their relationship with the Y chromosone? Are they chauvinistic, or just plain slutty?

Friday, March 16, 2007

I am an Alien

My darling husband has desperately wanted a new laptop for over a year now (ever since one of our equally darling daughters managed to make our old one explode... hmmm) unfortunately there's always been slightly more pressing things we needed to do with the credit cards such as paying the gas bill (borrrring...)

Anyway, I have a writer's retreat coming up and have to confess I wasn't looking forward to using pen and paper to do my writerly writings. I mentioned, in passing, what a shame it was we didn't have a spare laptop floating around, and had all but decided that I'd use the upcoming weekend as a chance to re-read some of my craft books.

OMG. The other afternoon darling husband comes home with a brand new shiny notebook. Much excitement ensued, especially when I discovered it was one of those posh ones where you have to use a finger print for security.

What fun! He embeds his prints no problem then I do mine. Correction, I attempt to do mine.

The computer rejected my first few tries with a very unfriendly big red cross. How rude.

But then things got nasty. When I attempted again, it told me NO JOINT DETECTED.

Umm, excuse me???

I tried again. The computer kindly explained the problem. NO PRINT DETECTED.

Well duh. Things are only funny for so long. By this time my son was almost hysterical with laughter, and my husband grabbed my finger and jammed it on the display panel. Several times. With no effect. (and as an aside, my fingers hurt for AGES afterwards!!)

He told me I wasn't covering the entire panel. Well, how was I supposed to make my finger wider??

I even tried washing my hands but to no avail. The Computer Did. Not. Like. Me.

Ah. The wonders of technology. What's so bad about a good old fashioned password, that's what I'd like to know???

Monday, February 26, 2007

Barefoot Bride

Had some nice news this morning. I received an email from the lovely Jessica Hart saying I'd won her Harlequin Mills & Boon March release Barefoot Bride. Yay me! I love winning books! Jessica's website has recently been updated, so if you haven't visited for a while, pop over and have a look.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

WA Writers Retreat

Angel is moving along and I'm up to just over 20k. My only worry here is I'm going to run out of words at the 50k mark. Then again, I thought that with Kill Lill and ended up having to cull several thousand just to get it under 100k. Hmm. Definite pattern there.

Nothing much else to report on the writing front, except to give a big shout out to Julie Anne from the Clayton's Conference fame. She's doing a great job of getting together romance writers living in WA, and is organising a writers retreat in a few weeks time, right on the ocean's edge. Talk about inspiration! Not only that, but she's also set up a brilliant website WA RWA. Pop along and have a look (and drool over the gorgeous setting of the retreat!)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

But they ARE Real People!

Anna's comment the other day on how our characters are so real to us, got me thinking. Because it's true. My characters are real to me, not just figments of my imagination, but living breathing people, with hopes, fears and expectations of their own. I know every other writer will completely understand that, just as many non-writers will think I'm totally barking!

And they don't just take over and become real people when I sit down to channel their thoughts. They're in my head all the time, whether I'm ironing (tho I must be honest here - I so rarely use the iron it has cobwebs... ), burning dinner or being the on call taxi service to my darling off-spring. Occasionally other thoughts might intrude, such as - bloody hell, I've forgotten to buy the groceries again - but they are fleeting since let's face it, grocery shopping is borrrrrring! And listening to our characters is way more fun.

I have this huge fear that one day I'll wake up and there won't be anyone chattering away inside my head. Not only would I go insane if deprived of my writing outlet, but how in the world would I occupy my mind??? All that grey matter jiggling about with nothing to focus on. Nightmare!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Angel (no, not THAT Angel... hahahaa)

Last weekend a new idea hit me. Instead of the straight contemp romance I'd been planning (and which I have about a million scribbled notes about), this streetwise angel set up residence in my head and wouldn't budge.

Now, the germ of this idea first sprang into life about eight years ago but I hadn't thought about seriously revisiting it. Not too sure why, because it has all the slightly odd elements I enjoy writing about. I think it was psychological - a truly lovely editor spent a long time with me on that original manuscript and it was accepted for publication, only for the publishing company to go into liquidation.

Anyway, for some reason last Saturday it was all I could think about, and what's more this time around the angel wasn't taking any back seat in the story or being an ambiguous 'is he or isn't he really there' kind of character. Oh no. This time he has Issues, he has Attitude - and he also has a couple of secrets he's conveniently 'forgotten' to tell my heroine.

So this is good news for me, apart from the small fact that I'm flying into the mist with it - a truly terrifying prospect for someone who usually plans and outlines to within an inch of her life! The slightly not so good news is I've stopped querying agents on my last one. oops. This is getting to be a very bad habit. On the plus side, I still have requested partials out there on two separate novels, so I'm just going to see how it goes.

One last thing - the lovely Anna has mentioned my blog in her Favourite Things! Go check out her website and if you haven't yet, don't forget to read the excerpt of her upcoming Avon release, Claiming the Courtesan.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Name Tags

Sara tossed out a fun tag, so here's my effort:

1. YOUR REAL NAME: Christina

2. YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (first three letters of your name, plus izzle) Chrizzle. I could live with this one

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three of your last) Cphi. I look like an element

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (fav color and fav animal) Lavender Kitty

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, Street you live on): Chrizzle Breaker. Convoy, anyone??

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name, first 3 letters of mom’s maiden name) Phichher try saying this without spraying everywhere

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (favorite color, favorite drink) Lavender Bacardi or whisky

8. YOUR STRIPPER NAME: (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/body spray)Beautiful/Intuition/White Linen... just call me Estee

9. YOUR WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother & father’s middle name)Herbi Wood I'd be a nymph what else!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Jenny Crusie is a Goddess

Last night I read through the online writing workshop Jenny Crusie and Bob Mayer are doing on their blog - He Said, She Said. OMG. If you haven't dipped your toe over there yet go at once! It is amazing. I became really sucked into the protag/antag lesson and then followed the discussion over to Jenny's Cherryforums. It's absolutely NOT procrastination, I promise.

So I'm reading through and then I got one of those total BAM moments. Literally. It was just one little sentence but it really jiggled my brain. Jenny was talking about the antagonist, and this is the line I had to read three times... and then copy down. '... the antagonist is NOT the bad guy, he's a character who has his own goals and motivations.'

Bing! I know it's obvious to everyone else but in my head (which as the witches are well aware is a very scary place to be) the antagonist = villain. NO!! Oh wow. This is a personal revelation. I always have characters doing their best to screw things up for my heroine and hero, but I just hadn't realised that was my antag. Duh. It's amazing how one little sentence can clear the fog from the brain.

Friday, January 26, 2007

On the Hunt

Phew. It's hot. Knocking 40 degrees for the last couple of days and more of the same for the next week. Even when I sit right next to the air con, it's like I'm in an oven. Not very conducive to writing! haha. Oh well that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it (literally... eww ok too much info there)

Well it's That Time again. When I start looking for agents. I recently realised that when it comes to agent hunting, I am a bit of a wimp. I have a list of about 15-20 and that's about it - I then move on to my next project. I just heard of someone landing their agent after querying over 150 agents. Eek! After I picked my eyeballs up off the desk and adjusted my specs (and rearranged my brain which was having a fun time squelching inside my head) I decided this time I really have to be rather more proactive. So we'll see how I get on with that!

It's Australia Day today so it's barbeques all round. I'm off to light up the barbie and slap on the steak. Yum!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Happy New Year Again!

Another year over. Welcome to 2007 and hope everyone has a happy, peaceful and successful year. Hmm yes I know it's a week late but you know what they say...

So what have I been doing? Quite a lot, but unfortunately not a lot on the writing front which is why I've been a bit quiet on the blog.

Hubby's neice had her baby last week which was lovely news. Of course officially that makes me a great aunt, but since when can a twenty nine year old be a great aunt... so we'll just forget about the generational thing I think! The baby looks adorable and it's times like these that we really miss not being closer to family.

I joined the RWNZ just before Christmas, but am just waiting for confirmation. Hope it didn't get lost in the post since this is the first step for me making it to the conference in August. It's going to be very special, not only will we be able to celebrate Amanda and Sara's debut books hitting the shelves but my birthday falls right in the middle of the conference weekend (oh and did I mention my dh is also accompanying me?!)

By the way what's with the new blogger thing? I thought I was on the new blogger but now apparently we are out of beta...