Monday, December 31, 2012

What a difference four years makes...

From this...

to this...
Their 4th birthday was a lovely finish to 2012.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Photographic evidence -- our heroes

Picked E up from Cairns airport today and on the way home we had lunch at Mareeba. It's hot and dry at that end of the Tablelands right now -- lots of fires. At lunch there were three firemen at the table next to us. Suddenly they got a message on their radio, and houses were mentioned. Next minute they were gone... and these coffees and cookies were left behind. Got to love those guys.

Monday, November 26, 2012

And what are you doing for Advent?

I'm sure you can tell by my silence that I'm on another deadline. This has been a really huge writing year for me, trying to balance my commitments to two publishers. I'm hoping to get the balance a little saner next year.
Right now, I'm busy getting two projects finished before I head south for Christmas. I have no idea when I'll get to Christmas cards and shopping.
However, I haven't forgotten Advent and how it is still an important part of the growing excitement in the lead up to Christmas. So far, my favourite Advent calendar  is Jacquie Lawson's and for several years now I've bought copies for the little people in my life as well as some of the not so little. Even though it's an online, fully animated, singing and dancing calendar, it's very traditional, and we all love it. Each day, with a click of the mouse, we discover a delightful surprise. And the calendar can even tell whether it's day or night where you live and the images change to fit the time of day. So clever and charming. I'd urge you to check it out.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Thursday, November 01, 2012

My secret singing life...

One of the fun things I've enjoyed this year on the Tablelands is singing. I joined a local a capella group that meets fortnightly on Saturday mornings in Yungaburra. No, I don't have a great voice, but I can (mostly) sing in tune and I used to love singing in choirs when I was young. It's one of the things that's disappeared from my adult life and, prompted by a friend's Christmas card last year, I was reminded that it was something I'd really like to try.
There's something very uplifting about singing with others, and it's an activity totally different from writing, with a new circle of people to meet.

Last weekend, our Allspice singers had a public performance at the Yungaburra Folk Festival. We're a fairly  casual group with sporadic attendances at rehearsals, so we were a bit nervous about whether we'd pull a performance out of the hat. Here are a couple of pre-show shots of Allpice members (above and below) and then our gang in full voice.

Luckily it went rather well -- and as you can see, we enjoyed ourselves.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Morning smile

I've been away at James Cook Uni, teaching a five day Intensive on Romance Writing. Must say it's lovely to be back in our cool green hills and to find garden and animals coping without us (thanks to attentions of kind neighbours).

Might take me a day or two to recover, but I know that at least one visitor to this blog will enjoy this obituary written by EB White (author of Charlotte's Web) for his dog Daisy in 1931. It was sent to me by another wonderful dog loving writer, Marion Lennox.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Small excitement...

We can get excited over the smallest things, can't we? I think I've mentioned before that I love living on the Tablelands, because it means I can live in the Tropics with the beautiful rainforests and native animals and nearby reefs, but for a large part of the year I get to enjoy a temperate climate -- and to grow temperate plants. I mean... I've lived in the tropics for forty years, and now for the first time, I'm growing liliums...

My only complaint is that the colours come out at different times. It's watermelon pink this week. :)

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Piglet antics

These aren't our piglets, but they so easily could be. Their beahviour is EXACTLY the same.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

What's next?

After a fabulous family visit on the long weekend...
I'm allowing myself one last day to add final touches to the first draft of the Zoe's Muster sequel, before I  dive in to my next M&B, a collaborative trilogy with Michelle Douglas and Soraya Lane.
Meanwhile, to show you I care... I'm bringing you something almost as good as a Liam Neeson movie -- Liam Neeson the Musical. Enjoy!

Monday, September 24, 2012


I finally got my blogger settings back and working and it feels like I'm out of gaol. Holding my breath now, and hoping it will last. Lots has happened while I've been away, so I'll merely skim the surface.

Our chooks are now free-ranging -- minor  prob is that they want to join us on the verandah and leave their droppings.

We now have new baby piglets. So cute. I've told E we are not eating these, and he agrees. We're raising them for friends to eat which is almost, but not quite as bad. They have very happy lives at our place, I promise you.

Also, today is my lovely daughter Emma's wedding anniversary. Congratualtions to Emma and Carson. You have a wonderful marriage and I hope you celebrate in fine style!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Last week in Sydney...

Last week Elliot and I travelled to Sydney for my aunt and Godmother's 90th birthday. Nieces travelled from Perth, Tassie and Queensland and her one nephew from Sydney was there (telling stories about how he believed her when he was little and she called him her "favourite nephew".)
My mum, her one surviving sister was there, too, of course.
Unfortunately, Auntie Dorothy has macular degeneration and couldn't see us all, but we were thrilled that she was well enough to enjoy the day.
 (That's a card blocking the view of the cake by the way) It was a lovely gathering!!!

While we were in Sydney, we did a little sightseeing and I've gotta say that on a beautiful day, Sydney Harbour is a world beater.
We visited Vaucluse House...
The Heads at the opening to Sydney Harbour... and I couldn't help thinking about our ancestors who sailed through here in the 1850s... and Aunty D, too, who sailed through here on an overseas adventure a century later in the 1950s...
Standing at this same point (The Gap) we could look back the other way to this view...
Elliot and I also enjoyed visiting The Rocks (the oldest part of Sydney Harbour) where we had lunch with a view of both the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House... sigh... every Aussie should be lucky enough to do this at least once a decade or so...

From The Rocks, I looked back at the city and was fascinated to see this old clock tower huddled amidst all the skyscrapers. Can you see it there??
Oh, and we found Zoe in Dymocks...
Finally, E and I went to the opening night of a new play put on by the Sydney Theatre Company. It's called Australia Day and it's a brilliant production -- satire at its comical, tragic best. LOVED it!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Happy First day of Spring...

This is how it looks at my place...

Friday, August 24, 2012

R*BY finalists collection...

First... aaarghh!!.. I have problems with blogger and need to use my husband's computer if I want to show photos. I think my aging laptop was too senile to cope with some fancy new technology I was coerced into trying at the conference -- or possibly I picked up a virus on Facebook.

Anyhoo... enough of the complaining... HM&B have released a lovely collection of R*BY finalists, including Molly Cooper's Dream Date. I was lucky enough to get a free copy at the conference and I'm so looking forward to reading the great stories inside this gorgeous cover.

The other stories included are:
How To Save A Marriage in a Million by Leonie Knight
The Fearless Maverick by Robyn Grady
Her Not-So-Secret Diary by Anne Oliver
The Best Laid Plans by Sarah Mayberry

So reward yourself with some top Aussie reading!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Go North Queensland!

Such a thrill that fellow North Queenslander, Helene Young won a Romantic Book of the Year Award for Shattered Sky (Novel with Romantic Elements) and I won one for Molly Cooper's Dream Date. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

What's that white stuff?

I woke up this morning and thought I was in Scotland. Frost in FNQ!

Someone we know...

Is now playing soccer...

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Zoe's Muster launch...

A great night at Mary Who? bookshop for family and friends, old and new.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Guest blogging...

To coincide with the release of a certain rural romance book last week, I've been invited to fill guest spots on some lovely blogs. So my scant presence here may continue for a bit.

However, I thought I'd list those guest appearances here, for your interest.

July 25th Bernadette Rowley's Blog

July 27th Blog Bites with Romance Writer's of Australia

July 30th Fiona Palmer's blog

August 3rd Cathryn Hein's Friday Feast

TBC Fleur McDonald Voice of the Outback

Booktopia's Ten Terrifying Questions

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Zoe gets around...

Here's another Penguin author's pic of Zoe. Rural romance author Fiona Palmer (The Family Farm, Heart of Gold, The Road Home)  took this shot at her favourite reading spot in Western Australia. How cool is that backdrop?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

At last!

Release date for Zoe's Muster  is finally here... 
 Happy travels, Zoe!!!
And you can check a nice review here!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Favourite flashmob...

I think this is my favourite flashmob so far -- a musical treat from Barcelona.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A handsome couple...

Lovely Helene Young posted this gorgeous photo on my Facebook wall. As a Penguin insider, Helene has an early copy, and I think her Zeus and my Zoe make a gorgeous couple, don't you?

Speaking of Helene and Penguin and gorgeous photos... check out this amzing promotion for Helene's latest release Burning Lies...

That's Helene next to the poster and they're in airports all over the country. Way to go, girfriend, and so well deserved!
Unfortunately I'm head down, madly trying to finish a sequel to Zoe's story, so I haven't read Burning Lies yet, but I'm hearing all sorts of good things. I'm sure we have a star in our midst.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Countdown to Zoe's release...

Excitement is rising at our house as it's only eight days now till Zoe's Muster hits the shelves, although apparently, the book's already on library shelves. One of my friends (a man, no less)  borrowed it yesterday and has read it and given his thumbs up!!

I'll be having a launch for Zoe at Mary Who? Bookshop in Townsville on August 3rd, so if you live in the area and you'd like to join in the celebrations, please let me know via here or my website and I'll send you an invitation with times etc.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

An extract from Zoe's Muster...

You can take a sneak peek at an extract (Ch 4) from Zoe's Muster here...

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Fond memories...

It's my first baby's birthday today. She was born on a Sunday on a lovely tropical winter's afternoon... Now she's all grown up with children of her own, but boy, she was a cutie.
Happy Birthday, Em Bem. xx

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Look what arrived at out house...

Two new arrivals this week.
First... this lovely new chicken coop made locally in Malanda...

Isn't it ingenious? So easy to move around. And of course some chickens to go in it... four little future layers.

Yes, I know what they say about not counting your eggs before they're laid, but I'm dreaming of our own free range omelettes. I've been buying free range eggs for decades, but it will be lovely to have our own. Not sure why we didn't get round to this earlier.
An then, at the box of Zoe's books. We were too excited to worry about makeup or tidying the kitchen.