Monday, December 18, 2006


At the end of last week I finally typed The End on Crazy. What a relief that was. I had nightmares of the final chapter hanging on until Christmas which would've made me right cranky. The lovely witches read through the whole thing over the weekend and can I just say a huge thank you girls! Especially re suggestions to bring the internal conflict forward. So that's something for me to tackle once the turkey's been scoffed.

Other news - I sent off my fee to join the RWNZ today, which is the first step towards me attending the New Zealand conference next year. I'm so excited!

Also thinking of resurrecting my shelved YA. The one that started off as a YA idea, but by the time fingers touched keyboard morphed into a paranormal romance. But I think it might work better overall as a YA romance. Hmm. We'll see!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Top Five Christmas Songs

I've been tagged by the fragrant Sara so here we go

Top five Christmas songs

Last Christmas by George Michael or was it Wham. I have a feeling it was Wham. Wow, does that one take me back. I loved the snowy video to this song as well.

Merry Christmas Everybody by Slade. Well just because it's sooo loud and happy!

Do They Know It's Christmas. Because it made me think.

Hark the Herald Angels Sing. I adore this carol. I can't sing to save my life, and my rendition of this sends brave men into hiding, but I don't care. It's just a gorgeous song.

Happy New Year by Abba. Okay no comments because I chose an Abba song!! And it might not strictly qualify as a Christmas song but New Year is close enough. And the words always send shivers along my arms. I can NOT believe this was in the charts way back in 79. It's totally not possible.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Prescription for Happiness

Received a couple of early Chrissy pressies today, when fellow witch Pat's most delicious Christmas cake arrived. Hooray! I brought it into the house, and my son sort of leapt on it. I kid you not. He said, 'Is this the cake we had last year?' and without waiting for a reply began to rip it open. 'I can smell it already!' he yelled (the alcohol, he meant... not that I'm raising a lush or anything...) and mmmm my stomach is rumbling as I type since I'm dying to dig in with a good dollop of cream!

Enclosed in the parcel was a copy of the People's Friend Story Collection, Prescription for Happiness by Patricia Posner, aka Our Pat! I'm hopping mad my digital camera isn't working, since I want to take a pic of the gorgeous cover and upload it here. But it's lovely, with the most adorable little girl on the front which is a good thing, since I'd always imagined little Pippa to be that cute!

So... Huge Congrats to Pat!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Hot or Not

I stumbled across the Cover Cafe Contest earlier, and spent way too long looking through all the categories. There are some truly gorgeous covers about, and then there are - um - well, to put it kindly, not so hot ones. Here's the link if you fancy a bit of a procrastination!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Halo Cover Analysis

The lovely Kate Allan has a very informative blog, Marketing for Authors. She's currently analysing the marketability, aka the BUY ME! factor of book covers, and yesterday cast her eye over Amanda's You Had Me at Halo. It's a fascinating read, and impressive just how accurately Kate assessed Amanda's book from the cover (which, let's face it, totally rocks!)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Proud Mama Moment

It was my son's Year 7 Graduation Ceremony this morning, so the girls and I got there nice and early so we could get a good seat in the front row. I told them I might shed a tear or two, which didn't go down too well but hey this is my baby we're talking about. It doesn't seem possible he's been at this school for eight years, and on Friday will be leaving for good. Where's that adorable little four year old with the cherubic face and golden curls?

So then onto the prize giving, and to my delight he won a Citizenship Award and the Guiness Book of World Records. Darling daughter #2 whooped - which was a bit embarrassing since nobody else whooped at any time during the ceremony! - but annoyingly the digital camera chose that very moment to expire. Grrr!!!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

20 Christmas Things You Never Wanted to Know

Sara tagged me, so here goes!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Never tried egg nog, sounds foul!
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? OMG definitely wrapped. With shiny ribbons and curly bows...
3. Coloured lights on tree/house or white? Used to be coloured, but a few years ago I tried to get co-ordinated, so now they are white candles
4. Do you hang mistletoe? No
5. When do you put your decorations up? First weekend in December. ARGH. That means this weekend...!
6. What is your favourite holiday dish? Roast turkey. Roast potatoes. Cranberry sauce. Try cooking that lot in 40 degree heat
7. Favourite holiday memory as a child? My brother and I opening our Christmas pressies early in the morning sitting on our parents bed (they were still half asleep at the time...)
8. When did you learn the truth about Santa? I'm still looking - cause the truth is out there...
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? No
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? The kids do it now
11. Snow! Love it or dread it? Love it when I'm inside looking through a window. Dread driving in it. okay so I just totally pinched Sara's line for this!!!
12. Can you ice skate? No
13. Do you remember your favourite gift? Hard to choose just one. So I'm not going to. Ha!
14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you? Family getting together
15. What is your favourite holiday dessert? Pat's Christmas cake... with cream! Chocolate liqurers, dainty little shortbreadish biscuits with cream...I like cream...
16. What is your favourite holiday tradition? Um, stuffing ourselves with Christmas turkey?
17. What tops your tree? Angel.
18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Giving.
19. What is your favourite Christmas song? Last Christmas
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? Nah, they make my teeth scream

Monday, November 27, 2006

Gift of the Goddess

Phew, feast your eyes on this pretty boy, girls!

Being what you might call a bit of a virgin when it comes to erotica, I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I bought Denise Rossetti's Gift of the Goddess (well okay, I'd read plenty of excerpts on Ellora's Cave, but I'd never read an entire novel before!)

Oh. My. Goddess. This book is hot hot hot! Once I started reading I couldn't put it down or - since I have it as an e-book - couldn't tear my eyes from the screen. It wasn't just that the sex was scorching (it was!) or that I learnt a couple of things along the way (umm... I did...!!) there was also a cracking plot, fabulous fantasy world and wonderful love story. My personal fave hero (there are two and I'm going to leave that to your imagination...) was Mr Gorgeous, pic above, and I'm not surprised Denise loves her cover because it totally rocks!

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Nothing much to report in my writing life, since I seem to have spent the last couple of weeks racing around like a headless chicken doing all sorts of non-writerly related stuff. At least I've managed to post off a couple of Christmas parcels to the rellies in the UK which is majorly amazing as usually I'm still panicking about doing that come15th December.

as for my ModX. Amanda once said her wip is the story that wouldn't die. Well all I can say about my wip is it's the story That Will Not End. After chopping out 21k, the word count is slowly creeping up again, and I'm currently at almost 62k with still three chapters to go (or thereabouts). On the plus side I still love this story which is surprising considering it's the third total rewrite I've given it!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Oops I did it again

Haven't blogged for ages again, I mean, so thought I'd better check in just to prove I'm still alive. heh.

Sooo what's been happening... lots of family stuff and children's birthdays, not so great news from rellies in the UK which is upsetting, and trying to get organised so Christmas doesn't rush up on me when I'm all unprepared, which is my normal MO!

Writing wise I am still wading through the last 40 odd pages of my Mod X. On the good side though I did manage to cut 21,000 words from the original - so now I'm 2k under the line's word count.

Two more fabulous agents requested partials of Kill Lil last week so I'm in a constant state of nervous excitement. More nerves than excitement if I'm honest but who wants tmi?!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Tagged & Tickled

Thank you Amanda for tagging me! And here we go...

To help other writers by providing access to a repository of information, all drawn from personal experience, I am to list five things not commonly known about me. If my personal experiences prove interesting to writers out there, published or unpublished, they are free to contact me to draw from my vast wisdom.

1. I was 8 months pregnant and at the christening of my dh's neice. I consumed 5 helpings of trifle (what can I say, it was delicious?) Towards the end of the afternoon I started to feel a bit... full. The indigestion got worse, we went home. Did I need to go to the hospital, concerned dh wanted to know. Nah, I assured him, I was fine and besides it was World Cup year and he wanted to watch the match. Went to bed. Settled down. I decided I needed to go to the hospital. hehe. Ended up losing all that lovely trifle (over the doctor. he was not impressed) and having an emergency C section. Aah sweet memories!

2. I've had 23 inches of intestine removed which is why I have to graze constantly on such goodness as chocolate, latte and pastries (er, well because stuff goes through me more quickly, see, and leaves me all empty and hungry?)

3. When I woke up after having my gall bladder removed, my dh was at my bedside. He gazed lovingly into my eyes and said, 'Guess what?' I began to sniffle with emotion, sure he was about to tell me how dearly he adored me. He raised his hand and showed me a plastic tube. 'The surgeon gave me your gall stones to take home!'

4. When I was a child I went to watch Crackerjack and got to go up on stage at the end of the show and meet the stars. All I remember is being told 'DON'T CROWD MICHAEL ASPEL!' I was so traumatised I completely ignored him after that!

5. It doesn't matter how many times I watch it, every time I see that clip of the baby elephant peeing and poo-ing all over the Blue Peter studio, I end up weeping with laughter. In fact I'm sniggering now as I type!

A note from Sharon, the creator of People Collection posts: "PLEASE LEAVE THE FOLLOWING IN ALL ‘PEOPLE COLLECTION’ POSTS:Remember that it isn’t always the sensational stuff that writers are looking for, it can just as easily be something that you take for granted like having raised twins or knowing how to grow beetroot. Mind you, if you know how to fly a helicopter or have worked as a film extra, do feel free to let the rest of us know about it :-)"

I tag Monica and Nell!

Sara has also tagged me, so will be back soon with more marvellous... er.... moments!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Two Weeks Notice

MySpace admin sent me a warning the other day which totally cracked me up. They'd discovered I hadn't put my right age on the profile (so who's to say I'm not really 100 years old then?!)

Anyway, I got slapped wrists for pretending to be older than I am and got two weeks to put it right. yeah okay! I got the impression they thought I was under 18 ( and I understand the reasoning, protecting under age users etc...) however how on earth can they really police it?

But it reminded me of the time when I was 16 and pretended to be two years older in order to get into see an X-rated movie. Ha. Catch me doing that now! That led on to me remembering the numerous Friday lunchtimes when my friend and I used to get happily plastered in local wine bars (I think I might have just given away how ancient I am!) before staggering back to work. And we were NEVER asked to show any ID before being served. At least, not until we went out celebrating my friend's 18th birthday when, for the first time ever, we were actually legal - and had to prove it. My friend was livid!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Things to Do

Omg. how totally cute is this cover? Look at that adorable little face!

I've been looking forward to reading the lovely Nell Dixon's Things to Do for ages. There's romance, suspense and laugh out loud moments as the heroine, Emma, gets herself deeper into trouble at every turn. I'm loving it!

As an aside, when Miss Snark ran her Crapometer for synopses a while back, this is one of the few that cracked her up!!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Off the Planet

As if I didn't already know, I've now been stripped of any delusion that I harbour a shred of techno-savvy. For the last few days (feels likes months!) I've been building a website on FrontPage. Hmm. After about an hour of trying to open FrontPage, I emailed Amanda to ask her how.

She told me.

Yay! I opened the page and subsequently had to email the poor girl every half hour to ask her what to do next! A.R.G.H. During the last week Amanda's held my cyber hand and poured gin laden tea down my throat to calm my frazzled nerves. I bet she wished she'd never encouraged me to do the bloody thing now!

Because I have no wish to embarrass myself further, I'm going to cut a Very Long Story Short (will just add that building the site on FrontPage faded into rose tinted nostalgia when I tried to figure out the mysteries of Freeparking, Godaddy and transferring my pages into the folder! NIGHMARE CITY is all I can say!) and am desperately relieved to announce my new webpage is now up and working!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Claiming the Courtesan

Wow. I just had to share Anna Campbell's cover for her debut novel coming from Avon in April 07, Claiming the Courtesan. Is this dark and sexy or what? I think the Cover Goddess is excelling herself just lately!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


A couple of days ago I thought it would be a good idea to convert my blog over to the beta version. Umm, hello! Good idea not!

Okay I exaggerate. But my blog was in transit for two whole days! Two days when I couldn't log on and seriously thought it had got lost in the mysteries of cyberspace.

Thankfully, it finally arrived. And I have to say the people at Blogger are very nice and helpful, and whether it was coincidence or not within a few minutes of my third email to them this morning (Oz time) they had replied, said they'd looked into my account and the confirmation email was on it's way. In fact it arrived at exactly the same time.

So, I had a little play with the new features but haven't really worked them all out yet as I haven't a clue why some of the links and headings are odd colours. But to be honest I'm just so relieved I have my little blog back I'm not too worried about all the details!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

OMG Halo Has a Cover!

Look at this fabulous cover! OMG it's absolutely perfect! I was so excited by Amanda's news I dragged my youngest daughter over to upload the pic for me!

Can't wait for August 2007 when You Had Me At Halo finally hits the shelves! Hooray!

Monday, September 18, 2006


The lovely witches are reading through Kill Lil again which is no small thing considering it's a hefty 402 pages in TNR. Eek! I've been through the whole ms once over the weekend, tweaking as per suggestions from Sara and I'm hoping to have this baby out the door on Wednesday.

Fingers crossed!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Good News Friday

Hooray. I'm so excited. A top NY agent just emailed and asked to see the full of Kill Lil. That's after having read the partial, so I'm stoked to know she likes my voice so far! And I only posted it off to her a month ago.

So now I'm off to read it (again...) and see if there's any more polishing/editing/tweaking that needs to be done. Hopefully there won't be too much, since I've gone through this ms sooo many times during the pre-submission process.

In other good news - I got my acknowledgement letter from Mills & Boon today for the Modern Xtra I sent them a couple of weeks ago. I was getting a bit paranoid, thinking my sub had got lost in the post but thankfully not. The editor ref is Sha, and being nosy I went and had a poke through the archives on eharlequin to discover who she is!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Pink Heart Society

There are some weird people out there. People who bash Romance because it has a Happy Ending. Well duh. What's so bad about that? I like reading books with happy endings. In fact I try to avoid books that I know are gonna make me cry since I hate feeling depressed - but that doesn't mean I bash books where everyone dies at the end. Or in the middle. Or even at the start (unless it's a romance. Then I'd get cranky).

It's the same with chick lit. I think that gets as much negative press as romances and why? Because they are hugely popular and masses of people (okay, probably masses of women) read and enjoy them. But is that any reason to look down noses?

Well. So I'm gonna say it here and now. I love reading romance. All types of romance. Historical, contemporary, hot and steamy (can't wait for Anna's book to hit the shelves!!) or tender and sweet and every flavour inbetween, including paranomal and time travel. I also happen to love Stephen King (he hooked me on my honeymoon. No, I am NOT going to say anymore about that... heh) where characters frequently die horrible deaths, and Tess Gerritsen (ditto), so it's not that I'm averse to bumping off fictional characters. Just depends on my mood at the time.

So, in honour of all books category, the Pink Heart Society was formed, and if I wasn't such a techno-dunce I'd put the little dancing pink heart up here on my blog. Unfortuately whenever I tried copying the code all it did was make the font go wonky. Sigh. As soon as I either work it out, or bribe my daughter to lend me her brain, I'll put it up.

Update Hooray! the lovely Ally Blake pointed me in the right direction and now I have my very own dancing heart on my blog!

Monday, August 28, 2006

The Boss's Convenient Bride

The Boss's Convenient Bride

I had a lovely surprise in the mail the other day, a signed copy of Jennie Adams debut Silhouette Romance book, The Boss's Convenient Bride, which I won at the Clayton's Conference a couple of weeks ago.

This is such a lovely, feel-good romance, and left me all warm and tingly as Nicholas gradually realised he felt a whole lot more for Claire than simple old lust. heheh. Don't you love to see a hot guy suffer? Claire is more than a match for her boss, although she does have to contend with a right pain of a sister who manages to screw up all her plans. Well, almost! And the epilogue had me sighing with a big happy smile on my face.

This is a September release in North America, with Jennie's Her Millionaire Boss hitting the shelves the following month. Unfortunately us Down Under have to wait until November for that one!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Bye Bye Pluto, Bye Bye

So, just like that, poor old Pluto is no longer classified as a planet. Instead of seven planets in the solar system we now have eight, and a new category of 'dwarf planets'.

Well, duh. If scientists can do that, I don't feel at all bad making up my own fantastical universes where the sun and moon inhabit the sky at the same time whenever the fancy takes me. Actually, I never have felt bad about doing that, but I have to say I do feel a bit weird about having the planet Pluto demoted like that.

But times change. When I was at school I was taught dinosaurs became extinct because they were too big, slow and stupid to survive (umm wake up call... they survived for how many millions of years on earth before they were wiped out? And humans have been around exactly how long by comparison...?)

This of course has nothing to do with writing, and the title has nothing to do with Pluto and everything to do with me playing Bye Bye Baby by the Bay City Rollers this morning. I guess I am feeling kinda nostalgic. By the way, anyone remember the BCRs?!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Slave to Sensation - Nalini Singh

This is a brilliantly cool idea for online book promotion - see below!

I am participating in a blogging experiment hosted at To enter the contest, put up this blurb, image, and trackback and you are entered to win the following prize package.

$200 Amazon gift certificate
Signed copy of Slave to Sensation
New Zealand goodies chosen by Singh
ARC of Christine Feehan's October 31 release: Conspiracy Game

You can read about the experiment here and you can download the code that you need to participate here.

SLAVE TO SENSATION Nalini Singh Berkley / September 2006

Welcome to a future where emotion is a crime and powers of the mind clash brutally against those of the heart. Sascha Duncan is one of the Psy, a psychic race that has cut off its emotions in an effort to prevent murderous insanity. Those who feel are punished by having their brains wiped clean, their personalities and memories destroyed.

Lucas Hunter is a Changeling, a shapeshifter who craves sensation, lives for touch. When their separate worlds collide in the serial murders of Changeling women, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities…or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Featured Attraction

Well, yum. The hero of Julie's debut M&B Modern Extra, Featured Attraction, is hot, funny and totally irrisistable. And did I mention hot...?

Besides having a little accident while *ahem* cooking dinner (for some weird reason my family thinks it's slightly warped to read in the kitchen - who knew) I had to escape to the bathroom to finish reading about Jack and Kitty. Hey, no way was I going to leave myself hanging after they managed to lock themselves in a deserted movie theatre with only popcorn, chocolate covered raisins and multi-flavoured condoms for company (and I wasn't disappointed there...waggles eyebrows)

I loved the way Jack dug himself into a bigger and bigger hole (at times literally!) and oh yeah what's with this John Cussuck thing going on?!

Can't wait to read more of Julie's work, and hopefully not so belatedly next time!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Gladiator's Honour

I've just finished reading Michelle Styles's The Gladiator's Honour, her debut Mills and Boon Historical Romance, and wow. What a fantastic book. I absolutely loved the tortured Valens, cruelly sold into slavery and gladitorial combat, and really felt for him as he battled to win back his honour and family name. Julia Antonia, his Roman noblewoman heroine, is torn between loyalty to her father, and love for Valens. In ancient Rome a match between a patrician and slave is forbidden, and towards the end of this story I was completely choked up.

The Gladiator's Honour has received rave reviews, and yesterday won the Cataromance Historical Romance award - congratulations, Michelle! And who better to present the award than the divine Orlando Bloom?!

Michelle's next historical is A Noble Captive, and I'm really looking forward to reading it.

Next on my tbr pile is Julie Cohen's debut M&B Modern Romance Extra - Featured Attraction - which also won the Cataromance award yesterday. I'm hoping to hide from the family tomorrow so I can finish it in one sitting!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Clayton's Conference

And what is the Clayton's conference I hear you ask.. well I will tell you. The Aussie RWA conference was held at the Gold Coast last weekend, but for those of us unable to attend there was... ta da... The Clayton's!

Julie Anne did a magnificent job of organising our online conference, with a Q&A session with Mary Hawkins on Friday and a workshop with Desire author Bronwyn Jameson on Saturday. Then on Sunday we had an online brainstorming session where we also fantasised about which author we were going to be when we grew up (Susan Elizabeth Phillips & Carly Phillips were mentioned - I'm sort of half way there with the surname, right?)

We had a short story competition which had to include the code word 'Amethyst', which I'm ashamed to say I didn't enter (must try harder). All the entries were amazing, the judging was a close call and we ended up with a three way tie!

Over the weekend we submitted chapters to be critted, and some of the girls have formed a new crit group. We drank heaps of cyber bubbly, scoffed a mountain of cyber (and in my case not so cyber oops) chocolate, and stayed up late chatting on messenger (good job my dh was away that weekend!)

Romance writers really are lovely. Several authors generously donated their books and critiques as prizes for our conference, and I won Jennie Adams debut novel for M&B Harlequin Romance, The Boss's Convenient Bride, and also Bron's 2006 RITA finalist, The Rich Stranger.

As a PS... I had no idea why it was called Clayton's and not wishing to appear a complete ignoramus at the conference I asked Amanda. Here's what she told me...

Claytons is/was a non-alocholic drink and the tagline
was 'the drink you
when you're not having a
drink' so anything that is claytons is
like a
thing, hence clayton conference. See, learn knew

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Mr Gorgeous

I had a yummy surprise in my mailbox yesterday afternoon, in the form of Mr Gorgeous.

Okay, so it wasn't actually Mr Gorgeous in person, but his pic sizzles and looks very inspirational up on my wall next to the computer.

If you want a peek at this hot bod, check out Denise Rossetti's website (warning! hot stuff! Over 18 only!) He's the delicious hero from her upcoming Ellora's Cave debut, Gift of the Goddess. If he's the gift I'm next in line, hehehe. Ahem. Great review of him on Cover Snark, too!

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Synopsis Has Landed

Why is writing a synopsis such a pain in the butt?

Over the years I've tried so many different ways of doing the thing, but none of them quite made sense to me. A couple of years ago Sara nudged me in the direction of Kathy Carmichael, and I have to admit after reading her brilliant workshop notes, a few tiny lightbulbs flickered in my brain. Yeah, only a few and they only flickered, but trust me, that's a huge improvement.

Sooo... last week it was time to tackle Lil. Urgh. I spent hours and managed one whole page. Yay me! I knew I should've struggled onward but since I felt like I'd just done ten rounds with a couple of Sumo wrestlers (not in a good way) I thought, 'Tomorrow!' (stop singing. You know who you are...)

I just find it really hard to know how much detail to put in. Too much emphasis on the relationship and it sounds like there's no plot. Too much plot and the relationship is buried. Double argh. I dtiched the sub-plots, excised all names but five (but they are Really Important Names...) and it came in at three pages exactly.

My lovely fellow witches gave it the once over and came up with ways to tighten and focus, which I duly undertook today, and I think it's okay. Sort of.

Here's hoping!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Acting Your Age... or not...!

When my sister-in-law and I were sixteen, we'd look at Old People messing about and say, why don't they just act their age? Everyone knew you were totally past it by the time you hit thirty, so why were they pretending to be teenagers?

Ha ha. Guess what. I hit thirty and didn't feel Past It at all. In fact I didn't feel that much different inside from when I had at sixteen.

The other day it occurred to me that my eldest daughter is the same age I was when I became engaged to her father. I had a bit of a wibbly moment because how on earth did that happen? Has there been a rip in the space time continuum, flash forwarding me into the future? I mean, come on. No way can my own daughter be that old already!

See, I don't feel old inside (I'm ignoring the dodgy bits of me that wake up each morning feeling about hundred). My daughters have long given up being scandalised by my behaviour on msn (my god, you act sooooo juvenile! is one of the more polite phrases aimed my way) although my son cringes big time when I inadvertently use the word 'cool' in his presence. hehehe. Like I would do that on purpose?? After all, parents don't even know that word, so how can they use it?

No matter whether I'm writing a contemporary romance or one set in the far distant past, my protags emotions are still the driving force of the story. Will my gorgeous, sexy hero and kick ass heroine grow boring and staid in their older years? I don't think so. Age is definitely just a state of mind, and a lot of things don't change nearly so much as we think they will when we're in the middle of the angsty teenage years.

So how old are you inside, where it really matters?!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Contest Promo

From Lauren Barnholdt's Blog Introducing....THE REALITY CHICK BUZZ THE BOOK contest!

The PRIZES:(1) Your choice of either an iPod Shuffle, OR a fifty dollar gift certificate
(2) An autographed copy of REALITY CHICK by Lauren Barnholdt
(3) A copy of the August issue of Teen People, which lists REALITY CHICK as a Can't-Miss Pick for August
(4) Free tuition to a session of Lauren's YA writing class


STEP ONE: Simply copy and paste this whole message (including the info about the contest) into any blog, message board, email list, myspace bulletin, or anywhere a lot of people will see it!

REALITY CHICK by Lauren Barnholdt is NOW IN STORES!

Going away to college means total independence and freedom. Unless of course your freshman year is taped and televised for all the world to watch. On uncensored cable.

Sweet and normal Ally Cavanaugh is one of five fresh people shacking upon In the House, a reality show filmed on her college campus. (As if school isn't panic-inducing enough!) The cameras stalk her like paparazzi, but they also capture the fun that is new friends, old crushes, and learning to live on your own.

Sure, the camera adds ten pounds, but with the freshman fifteen a given anyway, who cares? Ally's got bigger issues -- like how her long-distance bf can watch her loopy late-night "episode" with a certain housemate...

Freshman year on film.
It's outrageous.
It's juicy.
And like all good reality TV, it's impossible to turn off.

IN STORES NOW!Check out Lauren on the web at or on her myspace at

STEP TWO --Email Lauren at lauren (at) and let her know you've posted about the contest and the book, and you'll be entered to win the prize pack! The winner will be picked at random on September 1st. The more places you post, the more entries you get. Have fun and good luck!!!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Slash & Burn

Apart from playing about on MySpace - oops did I say playing I meant networking! - I've also been polishing Lil to get her nice and sparkly in readiness of submitting to agents.

As I send the witches each chapter (or three or four) as I finish them, I edit along the way taking into consideration their suggestions, and the theory here is at the end - there shouldn't be too much left to tighten, polish and tweak.


Okay well it is a good theory but doesn't quite work in practice. Especially when the end product comes in several thousand above and beyond what I originally anticipated.

Sooo... I've been cutting. I slashed over half a chapter from the first 40 pages (suggested by brilliant cps) although I did have severe palpitations at the thought (as Amanda and Pat probably remember from that msn chat!) but the beginning is a lot tighter now. While I would have tidied it up during edits, left to my own devices there's no way I would have seen there was so much... how can I put this... waffle?!

Last night I lost a further 8 pages. Great news! By the time I got to THE END today, I'd added another three. Argh! While I was cutting, I was also adding! Bad move. Except the adds were essential! (Honest!)

Monday, July 24, 2006

MySpace Junkie

I get very fidgety when I've no book to work on. I know I have 400 pages of Lil to edit but I just can't face it at the moment - and besides, everyone says it's a Good Thing to leave the ms for a few days at least before going back to it. Sooo... sounds good to me!

The problem is, I can't physically stay away from the computer for any length of time. So instead of resting my poor eyes what have I been doing?

Well aside from revamping my blog and tidying up my webpage (and chatting to witches via msn which I don't think counts unless we call it... oh yes I've got it - brainstorming!) I've only gone and got a MySpace page. And this was after saying, as late as Saturday morning, that I didn't think it was worth me doing one until I actually had, well you know - a book to promote or something?!

But as the witches will attest, no sooner do I say that I could never do this, or can't ever see myself doing that... off I go and do it. Three years ago I knew I could never write a novel that was longer than 50k - six months later I wrote one that came in at 80k. Two years ago I baulked at the thought of writing in first person - a year later I'd written three in first person present tense. Though I suppose that does mean I'm open to trying new things!

But - back to the MySpace page. OMG. I love it. My youngest daughter, who is a total computer whiz, fixed it up for me last night. Oh, my slide show. I keep having to hop on just to gaze in total rapt delight at the hunks. Especially the divine Hugh Jackman (who my daughter accidently named Huge Jackman at first hahahah I nearly didn't get her to change that!)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Tarting up the Blog

After Sara and Amanda revamped their blogs, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and tart up my own one, which had been very pink and girly for waaaay too long. I rather love the black ones, because they are dark, sexy and mysterious but unfortunately I have trouble reading them, so in the end I picked a nice yellow.

Ha! Not really.

Ahem. Okay Lil update. Spent several hours yesterday hopping backwards and forwards between the first three and last three chapters making sure everything tallied. When I could no longer focus on the computer screen due to splitting headache and throbbing eyeballs, I shot the whole thing off to the witches.

HUGE sighs of relief my end this morning. So far, no gaping plot holes have been discovered, and all comments/suggestions/crits are easily fixable.

I'm taking the weekend off though, and will get back into the edits next week when my brain is less fried.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


After what feels like forever but, after checking my diary (yes I'm that anal, I actually wrote in my diary when I started this one!) is in fact 19 weeks and four days - not sure how many hours - Kill Lil is finished!

Typed THE END this afternoon and goggled at the page for about 20 seconds trying to pluck up the nerve to hit word count. I had visions of it being in the region of 110k which would NOT be a good thing, but thankfully it came in at just a shade over 102k. Totally relieved I immediately closed the doc and collapsed under the desk in a freaked out heap.

There's a lot of editing and polishing ahead but hey - it's done! I'm soooo happy - there were moments when I seriously doubted I'd ever manage to tie up all those pesky loose ends I'd created. As soon as I've given it the final run through, it's off to the witches for their invaluable comments, crit and suggestions.

Oh yeah. And I'm completely knackered.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Happy Birthday Sara!

Enjoy your champagne and takeaway!

It's one of those very strange quirks that all the witches, no matter which birthday we celebrate, remain eternally twenty-nine!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Scorching Regency

A couple of years ago, while at the RNA conference in the UK, I met up with a fellow member of the RWAustralia, Anna Campbell, who was touring Europe at the time.

We kept in touch and I was thrilled to bits when her novel was recently picked up by Avon (after a bidding war!) Because Anna always referred to this novel with a cute acronym, I sort of assumed it was a light hearted Regency romance - perhaps a comedy of manners.

Man, was I ever wrong! Anna's website is now live and she has an excerpt posted. It's dark, incredibly sexy and has a baaaad hero! All I can say is go and read it. Now. And swooooon.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Honing the Historical

One of the many reasons I wanted to attend the RNA conference this year was to catch Michelle Styles, Harlequin Mills and Boon historical author, workshop on Making Your Historical World Come Alive. Now, strictly speaking I'm not writing an historical since my setting is mythological and the time period is so-called prehistory, but since it's definitely not contemporary I really wanted to soak up her advice.

So I was really happy when she offered to send anyone who was interested the notes from her workshop. And they are proving to be very helpful.

I especially liked the section on imagining your novel is a movie and then justifying each scene in terms of the budget available, as to whether or not that scene is working hard enough. Since I always imagine my novels are movies unfolding in my head (I've never pretended I'm not deluded!), I can really relate to this, and it makes a lot of sense to me.

Once I finish with Lil and start on the editing (oh joy... yeah right...!) I'll be using Michelle's notes to help tighten and polish. Considering I've just hit 91k and STILL have a fair amount of loose ends to tie up, I definitely need all the help I can get!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Ideas from Space

Amanda's been talking about where writers ideas come from on her blog today, and it got me thinking to my own early efforts. And it was a bit of a shock to realise that, from an early teenager, I've always managed to somehow incorporate aliens, space or time travel.

It's a shock because when I first started to write seriously seven years ago, I focused firmly on straight contemporary romance (apart from my first M&B effort, which included a fallen angel but let's not go there). But thinking back, all my early stories were not only a bit on the weird side, but they rarely had happy endings. For instance, one of my space epics ended up with the crew missing the re-entry window and bouncing off Earth's atmosphere into goodness knows where.

In fact I used to bump off my characters on a scarily frequent basis!

So although my wip is entirely different from anything I've ever written before, in actual fact all I've really done is get right back to my very early writing roots.

So, Sara, are you sure you no longer want that motel in space idea, because I have to say the premise is becoming more appealing by the second!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Sara Hantz Sells!

Hooray! Such exciting news. One of the witches, Sara Hantz, has just sold her debut novel, titled The Second Virginity of Suzy Green, to Flux publishing!

It's been murder keeping my mouth shut about this, but now it's all official, because it's in Publisher's Marketplace.

Sara Hantz's debut THE SECOND VIRGINITY OF SUZY GREEN, about a girl who
joins a virginity club in her new town to try to make a new start, to Andrew
Karre at Flux, by Sara Crowe at Harvey Klinger

Sara's chronicled her brilliant sale story on her blog - I love sale stories and this one is a cracker! I got all emotional just reading about it again!

Huge congratulations, Sara. This is wonderful news, and we're all so proud of you and can't wait to see our Suzy on the shelves!

And - yes! Due to living down under I just so happened to be happily snoring away at every critical step. It's just got so way beyond a joke now, I mean what is the mystical link between the witches receiving fantastic news from NA and my nasal passageways?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

You Had Me At Halo

Crawling from my sick bed to post this fantabulous news from PM...

Fiction: Women's/Romance Amanda Ashby's YOU HAD ME AT HALO, in the vein of All of Me, about a woman who dies with unresolved issues and comes back in the body of her geeky co-worker in order to sort them out, to Anne Bohner at NAL, in a nice deal, by Jenny Bent at Trident Media Group (NA).

Yay Amanda! Won't be long before our Holly hits the shelves now!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Gabby Moo

The love scene is in the bag and it only took me four days!

I decided to check my word count. 70k by the computer, and I still have heaps of plot left to unravel and subsequently tie up. My original thought was this novel would be about 85k - hmm bit offside there! (hey look did you notice I threw in a footy term there?!)

There's a definite pattern to how I write. When I start, I have this deep rooted fear there's no way I'll ever manage to find enough words to carry me through to a decent length book (say, 80k). Half way through I have a major panic attack that the whole thing stinks and I have no idea where the damn thing is meant to be going.

Then, I hit my stride as everything starts coming together and the words pour out faster onto the computer screen. Suddenly it's no longer a question of will I have enough words - but rather, omigod I am going to have way too many!

But for some reason that happens every single time, and now I'm just not going to worry about it. I know my earlier chapters need a good pruning which will lose me a few pages, and so long as I don't hit the wrong side of 100k I think I should be good to go.

And I think I need some kind of deadline to finish Lil. Maybe second week in July!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Lil Update

My wip is renamed - for the third time! I think it had something to do with all of us calling it Kill Lil, it was inevitable eventually I'd end up sliding Lily in the official title.

And it's weird. My last ms was written entirely from the heroine's pov, but all the witches immediately dubbed it Neo, after the hero. But the current one, despite starting off in the hero's pov and also having the villian's pov, is definitely Lily's story.

I'm now just over two thirds of the way through and am approaching the Sex Scene or, as one certain witch likes to refer to such things, the Smut Scene (not that I write smut, perish the thought, I'm sure I don't know what she means?)

So for the next few days I'm going to have endless headaches, chewed fingernails and doodles on my notepad as I attempt to get the love scene just right. It's not that I don't enjoy writing them, I just find them totally exhausting and a real challenge to make them steamy and believable (no third hand suddenly popping up from nowhere!)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Bodily Fluids

It's trickled through to me that it's World Cup time and football dominates the telly. I'm not a great sports fan but I am not averse to leering at fit guys running around a pitch chasing a ball. What's not to love there?

Well, I'll tell you. Whenever I get sucked into it and am avidly drooling at the screen, we zoom into a close up. Nothing wrong in that except I can guarantee the buff bloke will then immediately spit.

Argh. Even writing that word makes me squirm. I Can. Not. Bear. Spit. Argh.

It's totally gross and nasty not to mention unhygenic. What's the matter with these guys, can't they swallow??

I always have to then convince myself they're just spitting out chewing gum and nothing more - er - personal. Double ugg.

Australia is playing Brazil tonight and I wouldn't mind watching it, but the thought of seeing mouth fountains really turns me off!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A Rose by any other name...

The only problem with having cps scattered across the globe (apart from the obvious one which is we can't all get together on a regular basis for a bloody good booze up - umm I mean a deep and meaningful discussion on all things literary)is the different time zones we inhabit.

Whenever one of the witches gets good news from agents, editors or whatever - I am ALWAYS asleep. Without fail. It's just not cricket.

It's bad enough being out of the loop when all these various excitements take place, but there's more! Just to add insult to injury I now appear to have earned a rather unfortunate nickname.

From the creative brain that thought of dubbing my wip Kill Lil comes this gem. I am now offically known as The Snoring Witch.

The Snoring Witch!! How elegant is that?!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A Toothy Tale

My poor hubby. A few months ago one of his teeth dropped out at the dinner table (it's not funny... really, it's not... and is no reflection whatsoever on the state of my cooking) and every time he smiled he looked like a gangster. It was sort of scary. Anyway he finally gets around to going to the dentist where they took x-rays, moulds and measured him up for a new tooth.

For the last 4 weeks he's been putting off going back to get the thing fitted, but finally, when the dentist called him again on Friday, he arranged to go in this afternoon. Phew. At last!

Yeah, right. He turns up at the dentist only to find a man with a van there, lugging out all the furniture. Apparently the dentist is 'relocating' and this bloke is carting all their stuff to the new premises. Where's that? enquires my dh. Suddenly shifty, the bloke says he doesn't know.

Doesn't know? Doesn't know? This bloody dentist has my husband's new tooth! What the hell use is a single tooth to them? Couldn't they have passed his notes (not to mention tooth) onto another dentist before deciding to do a mid-afternoon flit?

And since when do dentists do a runner in any case?? Too weird!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Critique Musings

There's (another) great post on Miss Snark today regarding the joys and tribulations of asking your other half to read your masterpiece. Basically, it's probably not such a hot idea unless you have the hide of a rhino.

My dear hubby is very supportive of my writing habits, but he really doesn't get what I write at all. Considering he reads boring HowTo books and I write paranormal romance I should know better than to ask for his opinion but hey. I want him to love my work! So every now and then I give in to a masochistic urge and wheedle him to read my latest effort.

Um, yeah. As the witches know, the first para I wrote was a short aimed for Arabella magazine. I'd never written (a) a short before or (b) a spicy paranormal and I was sooo excited when I finally finished it. I cornered hubby, refused to acknowledge the look of glazed terror that crawled across his face, and urged him to read my gem which was all about Death and Eternal Love set on a beach at midnight, with vampires and witches thrown in for good measure.

He read it in silence, a frown of bemusement clouding his face. Not such a great sign really.

'So, did you like it?' I couldn't help asking when he finally finished all (12!!) pages and put them to one side.

Silence. Then - 'What was it about?'

Me, slightly taken aback. 'What do you think it was about?'

Him - 'Well, she was in hospital, wasn't she?'

Me, totally shocked. 'What?'

Him - 'She was delusional, wasn't she?'

Me - 'Er, no. She was on a beach at midnight.'

Him - 'Yeah, but not really. I mean really she was in hospital because she was sick wasn't she?'

To put it mildly, I was quite upset he completely missed the point of my story. Luckily the wonderful witches understood this was a paranormal, which meant it didn't have to follow the rules of our boring old everyday world.

And that's the magic of finding crit partners who really get what you're trying to do. Not because they think everything you write is great (how helpful would that be?!) but because they understand where you're trying to go and, because they're on a similar journey, have the necessary tools to assist (yes, I LURVE Stephen King!!)

So much as I love my hubby and would be thrilled if he enjoyed my writing, I know better than to ask him to crit my work. I have three brilliant CPs for that who have no hesitation in telling me if something doesn't make sense, needs tightening up or rethinking.

Not all writers need or want a crit group, but for those who do want critical feedback our significant other isn't always the best choice!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Bad Kitty Fun

As if I don't have enough to do, what with avoiding my wip and all, today Sara gave me the link to the Bad Kitty website of YA author Michele Jaffe.

Michele's website absolutely rocks, and I have to say I spent many happy minutes bedazzling boots. Such fun! And since I know you can't wait to try this out, here's the direct link.

When I grow up I want a fun website like that. Except with all dark and paranormally gizmos and sparkly bits and possibly a couple of tastefully naked guys as well feeding me grapes... mmm.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Witchy Thoughts

There is a great post on Amanda's blog today, about how the witches got together. And it reminded me of the first time Sara and I ever spoke.

A few weeks before the RNA conference in 2004, we discovered - quite by chance via the eharlequin boards - that we'd be on the same plane from Singapore to Heathrow. Wow! What an opportunity to get together before the conference!

So we exchanged a couple of formal emails introducing ourselves to each other (hehe, yes remember those polite emails, Sara?!) and then towards the end of the flight Sara came down looking for me (how brave is that?)

I think she must have batted her eyelashes at the flight attendent as he let me ascend to the splendour of business class, where Sara and I then proceded to be Painfully Polite with each other.

ahahaha. I am giggling now as I think of it. The roar of the engines prevented anything but genteel yelling (and I of course never yell) and then we hit some turbulance. After some toilet talk (ie aircraft loos are ridiculously tiny - what did you think I was talking about?!) I had to stagger back to my seat to prepare for landing.

The funny thing is we didn't become friends until after I returned to Australia and Sara returned to New Zealand a few weeks after the conference. We sometimes laugh about that time on the plane, and think how different it would be if we met up now that we know each other so well.

Oh yeah. Next time we'll be prepared, cause we'll take along our laptops so we can msn each other - even if we are sitting on the same aisle (those engines can be pretty noisy, y'know!)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Happy Birthday Amanda!

Luckily you can't hear me singing here, as it would make you weep... hehe.

But here's a big Happy Birthday dear Amanda! And now you're twenty-nine that means - gasp - you're the same age as me!!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Seven Year Itch

Writing itch, that is. Yes, it was seven years ago this Easter I decided to try and put my dreams of publication into practice, by actually sitting down and doing some writing.

My very first effort was a category length romance with weirdy paranormal overtones. The first publisher I sent it to was very enthusiastic and gave me a couple of rounds of revisions. Ah, I thought. Excitedly. At this rate I'll be pubbed by Christmas! And had great fun mentally spending all the dosh I was bound to make (yes. I was either incredibly naive or laughably stupid!!)

Unfortunately, between being offered a contract and said contract arriving, the publisher went into liquidation and although I tried other publishers it seemed weirdy paranormal cats weren't flavour of the month. Year. Decade...

Then I tried targetting Harlequin Mills and Boon and learned weirdy paranormal elements weren't encouraged so I turned to straight contemps. And over the next four years I wrote (and revised) at least a dozen mss, got to grips with Emotional Punch, sucked up a huge amount of invaluable information from the Harlequin website, but, most importantly, met lots of like minded people (ie writers! and romance writers at that!) including the three fabulous witches.

A couple of years ago I decided to try my hand at writing single titles (still straight contemporaries, although I did dabble with first person present - OMG! That was fun) but at the same time could no longer put off a story that had been driving me demented for at least four years. A dark paranormal short, that I sent off to a romance magazine which promptly folded. Sigh.

I wrote another two straight romances, while paranormal got hot. And hotter. And finally it dawned on me... I could go back to my first love of mixing romance with weirdy stuff.

So, it's been seven years and I'm once again writing about reincarnation, witches, psychics and strange magic. I know everything happens for a reason and the universe works in mysterious ways, but I sure hope this time the planets align long enough to snag me a fantabulous contract!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Ball Gowns

It's that time of year again. Youngest daughter's Year 12 ball. So, always the great organiser (hmm wonder where she gets that from?) she leaves it till the last possible moment before realising she needs A Frock.

When I say last moment, I mean it. Like, this weekend and the ball is tomorrow. Cue hysterical laughter.

So darling husband said we will go into the city and find A Frock. Son kicked up a stink as (a) he hates shopping, and (b) he really hates girlie shopping. Whatever. We didn't exactly give him a choice here.

After we spent at least an hour wandering around seriously lost and seriously pissed off at not finding any posh frocks, darling husband decides to cut to the chase, and Asks at the information kiosk. Wow. How cool to have a man with a plan!

We find the chic boutiques and flutter over the fairy frocks. And then we see the prices and have heart attacks instead. Finally, darling daughter tries on yet another gown. It's slinky, shimmery and reminds me of a mermaid princess (I then had to reassure her I was paying her a compliment and not being snarky!)

By the time we got home daughter was beaming, son was scowling, our feet were throbbing and our credit card was red hot. Oops.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

In the Bag

Hooray. Finally after way too long I've finished chapter 4! What a relief. The big problem now of course is what the hell happens in chapter 5?

That's the trouble with pansting (is that spelt right?) In the past I've always had at least some kind of outline, or failing that stepping stones that highlighted all the important scenes I had to cover. This time around I have zilch, just notes scribbled down on characters' motivation and such like. It's all new territory for me and I'm not convinced my muse approves.

But I do love the story and can't wait to see how all the various threads are going to untangle themselves before the end.

What do you mean, that's something I have to work out for myself?! You're joking, right?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Deal - Day Two

Not so good today. I managed just under 3 pages so still haven't quite finished chapter 4. However, guv, it's not my fault!!! My eldest daughter arrived home from uni earlier than I expected so of course had to spend time with her. ahem. Well okay so I didn't really but she decided to put on this terrible film that we'd tried to watch last night but gave up because it was so awful.

You know the type of movie where it's so bad you can't drag your eyes away? On the off chance that something amazing will happen or there'll be this brilliant, imaginative twist at the end that makes the rest of the drivel worthwhile?

Er, yeah. Well 90 odd minutes later we were still waiting for the something wonderful to happen. And then it did. It ended.


I really should've just kept on plugging away at Lil and got that chapter finished!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Deal - Day One

Okay here's the thing. For the last 12 days I've managed absolute zilch on Kil Lil. And the longer it went on, the harder it was to even think about opening the document, never mind actually write anything.

Not that I've been lazing off completely. I have been busy querying agents, and I find that all quite stressful! (yes so I am making excuses... shoot me...!)

Anyway, apart from the fact I hate it when I'm not writing I was also feeling incredibly guilty because Amanda's been eye deep in revisions and doing an absolute fantastic job. So yesterday Sara and I had a Discussion and decided on a deal to get us both back into the loop.

We decided that today we both had to write one paragraph on our wips.

Not much you might think, but I reckon a lot of it is all psycological. If I could just manage to open that doc and write one paragraph, I'd be back in the swing of it again.

So this morning I dived back into Lil and argh. Double argh. Three hours later I'd managed the grand total of 3 pages, and can I just say it was like trying to pass gall stones (been there, done that...!)

Tomorrow our deal is to finish one whole page, so with a bit of luck I might finally wrap up chapter 4, which has been hanging around for the last three weeks bugging the life out of me.

And as a side note, do you notice I am putting links? Yay me!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Penile Brains

What is it with these emails ads? I've been plagued by that doctor one for ages offering all sorts of sexual edifications but the latest blast reads like some dusty penny dreadful before descending (or maybe ascending is a better word) into complete gobbledegook.

Like, what?

I block and bounce until I feel like I'm playing ping pong with my mouse. What I really want to do is hit reply and tell them to FOAD (see Miss Snark for clarification on that one!) Recently I read the best thing to do is just delete as if you bounce they KNOW YOU ARE REALLY THERE.

Well, oopsy, too late for that one!

I don't care about the odd ones that slip through but when I open up my emails and have 8 of them it really pisses me off. Which I suppose is the point but honestly - what is the point? Am I missing it?

Monday, March 13, 2006

Above and Beyond

My son went off to camp this morning and I'm missing him already (yes how sad. haha). I think the dog missed him in advance, as 11 pm last night my son wanders in to inform us she had crapped in the middle of his bedroom and the stink had woken him up. Argh. I was so not a happy bunny.

Anyway. So I checked his case about 20 times over the weekend to make sure I hadn't forgotten anything and 8 am this morning off we set for the school. I have to say, the teachers are fabulous to do this camp thing every year. It's not something I'd like to do - be in charge of a hundred eleven and twelve year olds for a week. Talk about going above and beyond. It kills me hosting a sleep over for three of them!

So big thank you to the brilliant teachers for giving up their time and I just hope it wasn't a taste of Things To Come that one of my son's friends was ordered off the coach prior to departure for misbehaving. Oops.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Name of the Game

I have a perfectly reasonable working title for WIP. It's not like totally knock your socks off fabulous or anything like that, but it kinda sums up the tone I need ( and I need a title that 'works' for me before I can get stuck into writing!)

Okay so here's the thing. The other day one of my wonderful CPs dubbed it Kill Lil. Hehe. Very funny. The trouble is, now whenever I think about this story, I call it Kill Lil in my head. It's very distracting because my heroine is neither a killer nor gets killed (although the hero thinks she is dead but that's not the point... or is it? Hmm, candle flicker moment!)

All right. Kill Lil it is!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Back in the Saddle

I was so fed up with not writing that I thought bugger it, never mind if I don't have my middle plotted out, just start the story already!

So that's what I did yesterday, when my dh took our son out fishing for lures (I passed on the offer to join them because come on. Just how riveting is it shopping for lures??)

I had about 90 minutes spare and I'd already checked out my loops and Miss Snark, brainstormed work related issues with Sara (aka gossiping... ) and it was just getting beyond ridiculous. I HATE not writing! I get so crabby it's not funny.

I came off line (I always have to come off line before I write. It's just another of those weird rituals I must perform) opened up a new doc, typed in my New Title and voila I was off!

Only three pages, but wow. I feel soooo much better. It's like therapy!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Real Life... what's that...?

Real life's been a bit of a bugger at the moment and is playing havoc with my writing.

Er, okay. So that's just a big fat excuse as to why I've managed sweet zero on the writing front over the last couple of weeks. Three weeks? OMG. Is it really coming up to four weeks?

So here's some less buggerish stuff going on in my life at the moment:

Eldest daughter recently started her nursing course and is really enjoying it. (This is the child who faints at the sight of a needle. I'm agog as to how she's going to handle that side of things and let's just not mention bed baths. Like, please.)

Youngest daughter is doing work experience at a child care centre and is being given a lot of dirty bottoms to clean. Heh heh. Not that I find that funny. Not at all. At least she's given disposal gloves. Heh heh.

My baby (aka only son) is going on his school camp in just over a week and is very excited. I'm not sure how we're going to get through four nights without his noisy presence in the house. Might need to stock up on lots of chocolate.

Oh yes. And driving home from college the other day the tyre on my car exploded. I was just a little bit traumatised.

Wish my muse would buck up and drop a fully formed plot in my lap. I mean come on. Is that really so much to ask?!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


The jitters through not writing have now got sooo bad I'm doing crazy unpredictable things. Things like ironing (don't faint). I even washed the kitchen floor for the second time in a fortnight (unheard of). If I don't pull myself together soon and get my nose back to the computer screen who knows where this might end? Cleaning out the wardrobes? Tidying up my desk?

I'm so totally not a panster by choice. I like to have my skeleton in place so I have the general roadmap of where we're going (even if my characters do constantly nip off into the bushes once we start for, um, inspiration). But so far all I have is the beginning, a bit sort of in the middle and a rough idea of the ending.

Which, as one of the witches has been telling me, is more than enough to get started with. Er, excuse me? Are you sure? Isn't that, like, scary?

So why am I getting all excited at the thought?!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Limbo Land

I'm between books. It's a place I don't like to be because it gives me a severe case of the twitchies.

The day after I finished Neo my brain felt like it'd been scrubbed out with a wire brush and was scarily empty of clamouring voices. I think it's a form of shock, as in OMG I finally finished the book. How did I manage to do that? Where did all the words come from and will I ever be able to write another one again?

So the day after that I tricked myself into polishing and editing the ms, agent searching and query letter drafting. Yes, very good! I was Keeping Busy.

But it's not the same as writing! I hate not having something on the go. I feel all disconnected and it's like having a wobbly tooth hanging by a thread. I keep having to prod it with my tongue (I'm not being absolutely literal here...this is just the warped way my brain works when it isn't plotting dreadful dilemmas for my characters).

After a couple of days stumbling around in the abyss, inspiration struck for my next effort. Can I just say Thank Goodness for That?! Of course it involves a bit of research (all hail the mighty internet!) but at least it's a glimmer of something I can sink my fangs into!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Next Up

So now I'm agent hunting. A brilliant place to start is here I use it all the time, lots of great info on that site.

Half of me can't wait to query, the other half is sick with nerves. I always think I'm going to make some huge pathetic blunder on my letter, such as forgetting to actually type a vital word (I've done that before - AND I read the flipping thing at least twenty times before printing and sending it off. Can I just say.... ARGH)

And let's not go to my weird aversion to the copy and paste function. I tried to copy some pages of my ms today and every time I hit paste what did I get? The blurb! Cue me having a hot flush and heart palpitations thinking I'd somehow buggered up my ms. I mean, the blurb? I couldn't get rid of it. It's still there, lurking in my paste function waiting to leap out at me when I least expect it. What I'd like to know is - where have my copied pages got to??

Friday, February 03, 2006

Ta Da

Yesterday I typed THE END on my very first full length paranormal romance!

Yay! I am sooo excited.

I spent today reading it from start to finish, editing and polishing, tweaking and twiddling. My head is throbbing and my eyes are fit to pop out of my sockets but hey, it's done!

Guess what happens now?!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


It's a good job there are 32 days in January. Otherwise I might have gone over my deadline to finish WIP before the beginning of February.


Monday, January 30, 2006


Don't you just hate it when email plays up? As in, for whatever reason, just not arriving at their destination?

The Mail Administrator is currently my New Best Friend (ha! It's totally one sided, I might add. And not on my side). My emails to one of my brilliant CPs bounces back faster than a speeding donut (in other words, within 5 days. I mean, come on. How are we supposed to have a clue what emails we sent FIVE DAYS AGO???)

It's not that I'm an especially paranoid person (sorry? what was that comment from the back...?) but I do get twitchy when stuff goes missing. I mean, WHERE do missing emails end up? Do they plop into some stranger's inbox? Disappear into some crazy alternate reality? Or just float around out there for eternity?

Sunday, January 29, 2006


I've started researching my next novel.

This isn't a bad thing as I have a Real Horror of one day waking up and not having a clue what I might write next. The trouble is I am sooo near the end with Neo, and I really have to get a move on to finish by Wednesday, but...

My new characters are calling me. And they rock.

It was okay as they chatted away while I was cleaning my teeth, and having my breakfast and nodding intelligently as various kidlets demanded my attention (luckily they didn't also require me to make conversation beyond the occasional aha, oh yeah, right then), no that's fine. The problem is I spent hours on the net yesterday researching - when I should have been finishing wip.

I have this theory. Deep in my subconscious I don't think I quite want to finish with Neo and so I'm putting it off. I always seem to get this problem when the end's in sight... sigh.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Hopping Off

Going away for a couple of days with dh and the kidlets to meet up with my little bro and his family. So what does the weather do? It pours. And not only does it pour but we get a storm warning as well. In fact there's thunder and lightning as I type. Isn't that typical?

On the writing front I've just left my hero unconscious at my heroine's feet, and not in a good way. Unfortunately he's going to have to stay like that for the next 3 days until I return home. Argh. I am soooo near the end on this one! And how many days left in January... I can't remember... are there enough for me to reach The End??

Monday, January 23, 2006

Steamy Paranormals

Seeing as my wip is a little different from my previous novels (what with the curse, enchanted mirror and totally Alpha male who, amazingly, I do not wish to kill with an eyelash curler) I thought it was about time I updated my website to reflect this.

My website was very pink and girly, and was perfectly suited to my contemp romances but now...? Hmm.

Before my wonderful cps think all this was merely a Ruse to procrastinate away from wip, I just want to assure them - they are absolutely right. I mean wrong. Perish the thought (snort!)

Here's the link if anyone wants to have a quick peek. It's more or less done. I kept having to nip out and check on the dinner... you know how it is...

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Sex on the Brain

Or in other words writing a love scene. In my head I had it happening in about three days time, but my hero had other ideas (seeing as he's gone without for four thousand years I suppose I can't blame the poor guy). Still, he did sort of spring it on me and I wasn't quite Mentally Prepared as he morphed into Sex Slave mode. Despite my gentle coaxing he wasn't having any more procrastination and I spent the next five hours massaging the scene into shape. Talk about exhausting. I think I ended up more shattered than my heroine but while she could take it easy in the Jacuzzi I had to edit. No rest for the wicked.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Hooray for Sara Hantz!!!

I am soooo thrilled because yesterday my great friend and brilliant CP Sara signed with her agent!

However, because I live In Oz I did, of course, miss out on all the excitement as I was zzzing at the time. So annoying! I logged on this morning to about a trillion emails from our crit group, and I'm like, 'but hey I wasn't there to join in all the fun!'

But seriously Sara, I am so happy for you and may this be the start of a long, successful and prosperous career!

Monday, January 16, 2006


Thank you Amanda, for tagging me. Here's my list.

7 Things to do before I die

Umm, I want to do a lot of things before I die so I'm not going to make a list!

7 Things that Attracted me to my DH

His blue eyes
His motorbike
His leathers (should I mention I was only 15 at the time and these things are IMPORTANT when a girl is 15??)
His evil sense of humour
His patience
His sense of adventure
He never panics (unlike me - panic central)

7 Books I Love Most

Defy the Eagle by Lynn Bartlett
Early Stephen King novels
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Harry Potter (especially Prisoner of Azkaban) by J.K. Rowling
Am loving Gena Showalter novels
The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M Auel

(did I cheat on that one?)

7 Films I Love Most

Love, Actually
Notting Hill
While you were Sleeping
The Sixth Sense
When Harry met Sally
12 Monkeys

7 Things I Can't Do

what only 7... haha, if I started making a list of all the things I can't do I'd never stop!

7 Words or Phrases I Say Most Often

Get off the computer (to my son)
Get off chat (to my youngest daughter)
Argh. What shall I do for dinner tonight
Argh. Dinner's burning (usually squealed to CPs while on Instant Messenger)
I must exercise more
I must stop drinking so many takeaway lattes
I must finish this chapter today!

Sunday, January 15, 2006


Call me mad (I'm a writer, so I've been called worse... snigger) but if I go for several days without writing I get the twitchies. Generally I don't write at weekends what with dear hubby and kidlets kicking about and whatnot, and only over the last year have I started to write productively during school holidays (I lock said kidlets in garden shed... what, that's frowned on? Oh, okay...)

However, when my current idea demanded to be written instantly, like right now, no now, not next month (and of course my adorable CPs also kicked my butt) it just so happened to be slap bang when the school summer holidays started. One week before Christmas. Right, very convenient!

Anyway, for some reason I thought okay, I'll give myself a 10 page a day personal deadline with the objective of having it finished by the end of January. So apart from Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, that's what I've managed (yes I even sneaked away on New Year's Day, I'm THAT dedicated!!)

However, today I didn't manage my 10 pages. And I've got the twitches. After one day. Unbelievable.

There's only thing to do in this type of situation. Eat chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

And drink takeaway latte. Mmmmmmmm!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Blurbing Well

I have huge problems hammering out blurbs. I don't know why because logically how hard can it be? I have the story in my head, I know all the major turning points and important scenes, so really it should be a doddle, yes?

Umm, no.

Yesterday I got into such a state while attempting to blurbify (is that a word? if not it should be) my wip I ended up giving myself an eyebrow pluck. With finger and thumb (not recommended, btw). Unfortunately it didn't help on the lightbulb front, although I do now possess a very trendy eyebrow.

Luckily for me I have a critique partner who is not only awesome at creating blurbs but, I have the sneaking suspicion, actually enjoys writing them! So I want to say a huge Thank You to her for the totally fabulous blurb she did. I love it!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Friday the 13th

Not that I realised it was Friday 13th until half way through the day, as I was (and still am) convinced it's the 12th today. So moving swiftly on...

After a marathon writing session yesterday where I managed 18 pages but didn't see more than a glimpse of my kidlets or hubby, today I decided to take my son to the beach as that is a Good Motherly Thing to Do. So I got up early, wrote 6 pages, then off we set.

The weather's a bit dodgy at the moment, due to the cyclone up north, so it was a bit breezy on the beach and while my son collected those tiny shell fishy things (I'll edit that when the right name comes to me!) I ogled the half naked talent jogging on the sand in the name of research. Well, I feel morally obliged to squeeze in research whenever possible and at least this way I can say I was mixing business with pleasure. Ahem.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Parrot Love

Even after seven years of living in Oz, I haven't got over my fascination with the wild parrots. Whenever they sweep overhead I have to stop whatever I'm doing and stand and gawp at them. They're just... so adorably cheeky and I love them.

I even loved them when they ruined our sunflowers the other year because I enjoyed watching them eat the middles. A few weeks ago, while hard at it on my computer (typing... in case you were wondering) a couple of parrots flew into the courtyard and started pecking at my husband's pride and joy (his baby grapes... ) Oddly, I didn't find this disturbing and instead stopped working to gaze out of the window at them, thinking, awwww! Aren't they just sooooo cute?

I 'forgot' to mention this to dear husband, sub consciously realising he wouldn't find it nearly so entertaining as I did. hehe.

But whoops. Yesterday, he caught them at it. He went wild. His baby grapes, which in previous years have never matured beyond the size of shrunken sultanas, do actually now resemble plump juicy grapes and he wants to keep them that way. He chased off the parrots then yelled at me to hold the fort while he went to find some netting.

So I stood on the steps scanning the skies. The parrots were nowhere to be seen. I went up another couple of steps and there they were hiding behind the garden shed, waiting for their moment. Awwww, bless!

The grapes are now safe and the parrots are off sulking. Just like kids, really.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Hot & Steamy

It's been brought to my attention I haven't been updating as promised. However, I do have (another) brilliant excuse. It's been H-O-T.

Oh what, you thought the title referred to my wip? Sorry! That's still powering ahead and I've just hit the half way mark, so am still on target to reach my personal deadline of finishing by the end of January.

But nah. It's been really hot and sticky here over the last few days. My fingers swell up into little sausages and my knees stick to the sides of the desk. Not a pretty sight, and not for the weak of stomach to witness. Turn off the A/C and within seconds it's like trying to breathe inside an oven.

Not that I'm complaining cause I love the summer but it would be handy to have a temp control for when I step outside into the furnace.

Hot and steamy signing off.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Good Start

Well oops. So much for my New Year's resolution of blogging on a daily basis. But it's the thought that counts, and I have been thinking of doing it...

Okay, I've just come up with the perfect excuse. My current hero! Yes, that'll do. And it's not even a lie, because this Alpha is one major time consuming guy. Talk about demanding. I'm seriously knackered!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year

My New Year's Resolution is... to try and keep this blog updated. heh heh. I can but try.

My other resolution is to finish my WIP before the end of January. I'm sooo excited by my current hero, and the paranormal premise is a bit of a departure from my usual style. But I'm having so much fun with him I'm already a third of the way through the book and I only started it two weeks ago.

Here's hoping I don't flag at the half way mark!