26 February 2007

Academic research and romance

There's been a small but significant increase in academic interest in the romance genre and thankfully not from the perspective of contempt. Teach Me Tonight is always interesting, and has a link to Bronwyn Clarke's Phd research into the romance community. I've just been over to do her survey so I think you should too.

24 February 2007

Fixed up now....

...I think. It's a slow process restoring your old links. And of course it's a great procrastination tool.

23 February 2007


Boy! Did I stuff that up! My blog design gone! Back to the drawing board!

22 February 2007

Not living in Sydney

There are days when I'm very happy not to live in Sydney. You wouldn't think so looking at this wonderful picture of the harbor with the Queen Mary 2 steaming in, would you?

We're in election mode here in NSW and the two hot issues are water and transport - or the lack thereof in both cases.

When the QM2 came into the harbor it did so at the same time as the Queen Elizabeth 2. It's not often that two ginormous cruise ships are in harbor at the same time and apparently most of Sydney turned out to see them. Major infrastructure disaster. Traffic jams all over the place because people take their cars instead of use public transport. The city was gridlocked for hours. Red faces all around and worries about today, when a whole lot of city streets are being closed because of the US Vice President Dick Cheney's arrival.

It's terrible being in Sydney when it doesn't work. It's probably terrible being in any big city when it grinds to a halt, but Sydney in February, when it's hot and humid, is a shocker. I'm so glad I don't have to negotiate that anymore!

21 February 2007

Autumn is coming

For most of my adult life I've been a gardener. I think it was my creative outlet in the years when I kept telling myself I wasn't a writer. The last year or two I've been concentrating on my writing so much, I've neglected my garden. It's as if I couldn't do both at the same time. Now that's changing. I can feel the pull of digging in the earth surge through my blood.

Autumn is a good time for gardening. Even though it's still February which is traditionally the hottest month in Australia, where I live an autumn coolness starts to flow through the morning air. It makes my hands itchy. I want to get out there and pull weeds and plant bulbs. It's still too early for that - I generally don't get my bulbs in until early April. Anzac Day on the 25 April is the very last day I plant bulbs.

Even though I've neglected my garden and we're in the worst drought in recorded history, it still produces wonders.

Like these crab apples that are so big and luscious. I missed getting a lot of them off the tree in time so the birds have had a feast, but the sight of a crimson Rosella, all blue and scarlet perched on a branch feeding is a joy to behold.

I wish I had a picture of that. But I don't so this one will suffice.

20 February 2007

Tailspin is out!

Did I mention Tailspin is out? I didn't? Slaps forehead! Get over there and buy it!


Denise Rossetti

Tailspin By Denise Rossetti
Book 2 in the Phoenix Rising series.

From his magnificent tawny wings to his wicked feathery tail, Miriliel the Burnished is masculine perfection.

One glance and Fledge knows she's outclassed. After all, she's a small, ordinary circus girl with no education, no looks and no prospects. Mirry's not only a warrior of the Aetherii but also a scholar of renown. Mesmerized by the power of his personality and her desire to be mastered, Fledge gives herself up for lost. But she can't help thinking if only she had wings, she'd soar with Mirry in a Mating Flight for the ages. If only…

Mirry has lots of things on his oh-so-clever mind. An ageless demon captured his friend, Janarnavriel the Noir, and it's using the dark warrior's beautiful body for a perverted playground. All Mirry has to do is rescue his friend, finish his encyclopedia and educate Fledge. By the time he's finished, she'll know how to read, write and submit for her pleasure — and his. In between, he needs to kill a deathless demon, sort out his complicated feelings for Jan and show Fledge the secret of an Aetherii orgasm.

Not to worry. He's made a list…

It's morning now

Could you tell in that last post I was a little overdone? It's another day thankfully and I slept well. It's a lesson to never write a blog post when I'm tired.

One of the thoughts swirling around in my head over the past few weeks is how lucky I am. I have good friends, a busy but stimulating life and apart from the normal stresses and strains of the cycle of life where parents are coming to the end of their time on the planet, mostly everything is going OK. I just want a full day locked in my house away from every one so I can get back into the rhythm of my story and characters. It is so true that if you don't write every day, you lose track with the sense of where you're going and it takes some time to get back into the flow. Maybe Saturday will be a good day for doing that.

19 February 2007


There are some days where you get to a point of tiredness that all you can think of is rolling on the floor in a tantrum. But that would take up too much energy that I don't have. The weekend was spent in Sydney with the hard working Romance Writers of Australia Executive, having our annual face to face get together and looking at the hotel the August national conference will be held at. And that sentence ends in a preposition and I don't care.

It's gorgeous, we worked hard, talked hard and now I need another weekend to recover. I'm co-ordinating two romance writing competitions, committed myself to judging some more, have a sick mother and a slightly tense workplace (office politics - they'll get you every time). Somewhere in all that I'd like to do some writing.

I'm working on a vampire menage. Ho hum, you say. So is everyone else. Yeah, yeah, but when the characters grab you, you've just got to go. I want them to be together at the end so that means working hard to get a functioning emotional triad together.

But now I just need to finish this post so I can say I did some writing, if only to whine and go to bed. I leave you with a picture of something beautiful.

16 February 2007

New Releases from Cobblestone Press

Race over to Cobblestone Press and check out their new releases. You're in for some fun!

Big Girls Don't Die

Crystal Jordan
He demanded forever and she's running out of reasons to say no.

Six months ago, Andre St. James turned Cynthiana's life upside down by turning her into a vampire. He insists they're meant to be together forever--literally--but Cyn has her doubts.

His take-no-prisoners approach to life isn't what she calls a great foundation for a healthy relationship. When she ends up stranded on the side of the road on her way to Las Vegas for Valentine's Day, will Andre be able to come to the rescue--and convince her they can live happily forever and ever and ever after?

Love for Sale
Shelli Stevens
Going up for auction couldn’t be that bad, could it?

After her oversexed grandma talks her into signing up for the ‘Buy a Dame’ fundraiser, Jessica Davis gets a makeover and goes on the auction block. She never expected the roughly sexy man who’d buy her, or the plans he had in store.

Josh Thomas came to Leaf Island after his grandpa died to do some hard core thinking. He hadn’t planned on buying a woman for the weekend and then falling hard for her. She seems equally enamored, but will she still want him when she finds out the one thing he’s been hiding?

Jennifer McKenzie
Singled out
When love goes wrong, divine intervention may bring it right again.
When Michaela gives up on finding a soul mate, her guardian angel works overtime to bring her together with the man of her dreams.

Tim Lassiter has been wanting to get closer to Michaela, his co-worker, but she's uninteresting in fishing in the company pool. How is he going to change her mind when she views him as the jerk she works with?

With a little divine intervention, Tim and Michaela may find true love after all.

15 February 2007

Splash out!

I went to the bookshop yesterday and spent $140 on four books. Two were by Emily Maguire an Australian writer I've wanted to read for ages - Taming the Beast and The Gospel According to Luke; one was A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka and the last, the tome, the book that grabbed me by the throat and said "Taking me home, darling!" in an upper class English accent with slight American tones was Decca - The Letters of Jessica Mitford edited by Peter Y Sussman.

I love the Mitfords. I'll read anything about them. My mother steered me in the direction of Nancy Mitford's novels when I was a gel, so Love in a Cold Climate and Highland Fling were among my favorites. When I read the first volume of Jessica Mitford's autobiography Hons and Rebels I was hooked even more.

Somehow the idea of a family of landed gentry that produced a noted wit, a Nazi, a fascist, a communist and a Duchess is something I just can't get enough of. There are biographies of all the Mitford sisters except maybe Pam who sounds like she was the stay at home one.

Jessica, of course, was my favorite. Setting up a running away from home account at a bank and actually doing it at eighteen to go fight in the Spanish Civil War, then marry her love and emigrate to America where she became a communist and a muckraking journalist sounds like quite a life.

So the tome is settled on my bedside table to dip into at night before sleep. I have so much to read at the moment but a dip into the real words of a lost era is an absolute treat.

06 February 2007


I had this great insight into my writing woes today that was a wonderful example of why belonging to a writers group is a good idea.

I have trouble writing long. I get to about 15 or 20K and it all starts to fall apart. I have always thought it a planning problem, that I need to get organised, get a proper plotting process going (I still think that would help). But the wonderful Anna Campbell suggested it might be a commitment and /or fear problem.

How surprising! Me? Fear? Me? Lack of commitment?

Talk about hitting the nail on the head.

Then on the list was a discussion on the need to work through those times when you lose faith with what you're doing and the temptation to start a new exciting story rears it's ugly head. Several people talked of all those unfinished 15k stories under their beds.

I know, I know, it's been said thousands of times before, but this is where writing reams of crap is essential. Where giving yourself permission to write with nowhere in mind is important. Just keep plugging away. How many times do I have to read that until I believe it at a cellular level?

Many more I'm sure.

But at least I'll have my writing mates to remind me.

04 February 2007

Chipping the story from a rock

I'm writing something at the moment that starts out in a way that everyone says is instant boredom. Introspection, back story, no dialogue and no action. I keep going over and over the first four pages to try and inject some vim and verve, but no go. That woman wants to lie in bed, masturbating and thinking of of her past sexual exploits. They are pretty wild sexual exploits involving public sex, but it somehow it needs more excitement. Grumble, grumble, grumble.

03 February 2007

New Stores at ERWA

I have a new story at ERWA called Dutch Masters. Strawberry Flavoured Joy has been added to the Treasure Chest and so has The Second Coming.

Hope you enjoy!

01 February 2007

Fiddling again

I mucked up the template of my last blog, so I've gone back to another template. I like the green swirl though so I'll still try and work out how to put my own banner on the top. I could ask someone to do it for me, but like the lawnmower, I just have to do it myself.