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!