02 May 2007

Migrating over to Wordpress...

...that's if I can get it going. Having some troubles but still blogging over there.

Come on over.

25 April 2007

Anzac Day and true romance

Today is Anzac Day in Australia which commemorates the landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp at Gallipoli in WW1. We have a public holiday and there are lots of commemorations across the country. It's become a big holiday of national identity, not without some controversy over the years. During the Vietnam war years and into the 80s and 90s, many people felt Anzac Day celebrated a type of hyper masculine glorification of war.

I think this resulted in a lot of reflection of the meaning of Anzac Day, so while it can still be a day of hard drinking and hard playing by a lot of blokes who've been in war, there is a bigger emphasis on mourning the dead and the cost of war. In some ways it's more of a day where we are reminded of how terrible war is. Our political masters don't ever seem to get the message.

There is a wonderful statue of a digger (a colloquial name for an Australian soldier) at the western end of Anzac Bridge in Sydney. I like it because it's sad and reflective not triumphal.

Last night on The 7.30 Report, there was a great story about Australian War Brides going to live in America after WW2. They're going to be honored with a reception at the Australian Embassy in Washington today. If you click on the link you can watch the interview with two of the brides who are now approaching ninety.

And here is a recipe for Anzac Biscuits (cookies for you in the US).

Traditional Anzac biscuits were baked by anxious wives and mothers during World War I, packed in food parcels, and sent to the Australian soldiers in the trenches. They don't have any eggs in them so they kept well. I love them. I think it's the golden syrup (or treacle).

1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup plain flour
1 cup sugar
125g (4oz) butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup (or treacle)
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 300F (150C)

Mix oats, flour, sugar and coconut together.
Melt syrup and butter together.
Mix soda with boiling water and add to melted butter and syrup.
Add to dry ingredients.
Place 1 tablespoonfuls of mixture on greased tray (allow room for spreading).
Bake for 20 minutes.
Loosen while warm, cool on trays.
(makes about 35)

Hope you enjoy them!

23 April 2007

Irritated (maybe not totally)

Going through a slow period with my writing. Everything seems a struggle. At these times I have to tell myself that 100 words a day is better than nothing. And I've been reflecting on self sabotaging behaviour and delayed gratification. As a writer you need less of the former and more of the latter.

Earlier this year I didn't put in an entry to the Stroke of Midnight competition, which is the erotic romance competition run by Passionate Ink, the erotic romance chapter of Romance Writers' of America. At the time I was full of self doubt and knew the work I had needed a lot of revision. So I let it go. Now, I've done the revisions, am reasonably happy with the end result so entered another comp. Today I find out they didn't get enough entries so it's been cancelled. Very annoying.

But on a high note, Desire's Dream got 4 stars from Just Erotic Romance Reviews, so that's great.

"Ms. Hill is going to make your heart sing with the amount of passion and heat she has infused into the storyline. The sexual tension will not let you sit still."

So, swings and roundabouts. Back to my couple who are just about to get to their black moment!

20 April 2007

ERWA blog

The Erotica Readers and Writers Association has a new blog here.

13 April 2007

Forgot the heroines!

But Bron Jameson has posted her favorite heroes on her blog. If you google Thursday Thirteen you should also get a good selection of lists to cruise. What am I doing? Writing a 20k novella that I've got about 4k to go on, gearing up for revisions on my vicar and sex shop owner story, still working on the vampire menage and have about 4k written of a fantasy erotica. God knows where that came from.

Reading The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt. What are you reading?

10 April 2007

Claiming the Courtesan

I had a pretty good day today. I had an extended Easter break, wrote 1,300 words, had a massage and sat in the sun to read Claiming the Courtesan. Anna Campbell is a fellow Romance Writers' of Australia member and this is her first published book.

CtC has had a controversial release in Romancelanida with the claim that Avon has returned to the bad old days of forced seduction and bodice rippers. There's no doubt that a book where a hero rapes the heroine is bound to be controversial, particularly when this poses no irretrievable barrier for the heroine to realize her love for the hero.

You can read a run down of the plot here. I'm no reviewer so I'm only going to say I enjoyed CtC, and thought the plot and the dynamics held together well. There is a moral context to Kylemore's behavior which makes it clear he is wrong. Devastatingly wrong. And Soraya/Verity's grief about her loss of independence pulls no punches. She might love him, but she wants to be free. Kylemore's eventual redemption was plausible to me, and I loved the dramatic ending. There's a wonderful lushness to the writing as well.

All in all a most satisfying day. Pity it's work again tomorrow.

08 April 2007

Who were those heroes?

Some of you were a bit stumped so here's where they come from

1. Roarke - in my book the ultimate alpha from J D Robb's In Death series.
2. Rupert Carsington - hero as dolt. From Loretta Chase's Mr Impossible
3. Davy Dempsey - laid back sexiness from Jenny Crusie's Faking It.
4. Nathaniel Bonner - wild backswoods man from Sara Donati's Into the Wilderness series
5. Christian Jervaulx - tortured and damaged from Laura Kinsale's Flowers from the Storm
6. Mac Nighthorse - alpha as submissive. Every woman's dream. Well, mine anyhow. From Joey W Hill's Natural Law.
7. Jamie Fraser - red head and implacable from Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series.
8. Cameron Quinn - the first of the Chesapeake Blue heroes from Nora Roberts
9. Wulfric Bedwyn - the chilly brother who finally melts from Mary Balogh's Slightly Dangerous
10. Christian Montcalm - gorgeous rake from Anne Stuart's The Devil's Waltz
11. Lord Peter Wimsey - 1920's and 30's style from Dorothy L Sayers timeless crime novels
12. Guido Brunetti - Donna Leon's quizzical, philosophic Inspector from her crime novels set in Venice. His wife Paola is pretty good too.
13. Dragonstar Sunsoar - reviled outcast made good. From Sara Douglass' Wayfarer Redemption series.

There you have it. I think I'll do heroines next Thursday.