Thursday, August 30, 2007

Like Arabs in the night, we folded our tents and took offf...

I'm pleased to report that Elliot's health is much improved, I've handed in my revised book and we've snuck away to Tarzali for a few days.
Had almost forgotten how much we love it here. It so quiet and peaceful and just beautiful. It's cool and there's misty rain. Everything we've planted has been growing while we were away.
Most exciting is that our extensions have begun at last. We have two big green water tanks now and a slab of concrete out the front which will be our new veranda as well as a smaller one which will be our laundry.
Real progress should be made in the next few weeks. And then all the windows and doors Elliot has so lovingly restored will find a home.
I have blogs to write for other sites which I will tell you about soon and I'm currently researching personality types for my next book. Lots of fun.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Secrets We Keep...

A big reminder that the trilogy Secrets We Keep goes on sale in Australia this week on September 1st. Actually, it's already on sale at

Secrets We Keep starts with the amazing Liz Fielding (winner of 2 RITA awards and the UK's Romantic Novelist's annual award.)

Liz's book, Reunited: Marriage in a Million has been nominated by Romantic Times as one of the author's best and awarded 4 and a half stars! And Liz reports that she's had more reader feedback about this book than about any she's ever written.

I have to say that I was wowed by the depth of characterization Liz achieved and her very deft handling of quite a large cast, as well as the wonderful originality of the story line, the emotion... the writing... yeah, you get the picture.

So... how great a start for the series can you ask for?


To the outside world, Belle Davenport has everything. A fabulous career. The heart of a nation. A millionaire husband who adores her.

But her career no longer fulfils her, her marriage is a hollow sham and she has a dark secret; a past she's kept hidden, even from the man she loves.

Then, on a charity bike ride in the Himalayas, she meets Claire and Simone and, for the three of them, nothing will ever be the same again.

If ever there was a brilliant example of "show don't tell", check out Liz's hero Ivo's reaction when his wife tells him she's leaving him.

And just a reminder that coming in the months to follow will be --

My book Needed: Her Mr. Right in October (available in the UK, North America and at in September)

and Found: Her Long Lost Husband by Jackie Braun in November (October, everywhere else)

Also, while I'm here... This series was inspired by (real) sister Liz's charity bike ride through the Himalayas. You can check out photos of this amazing trip here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Second rounditis...

I’ve been quiet because our household is dealing with double takes.

E’s much worse off than I am. He’s dealing with a second round of pleurisy, as an aftermath of the dreaded flu.

I have a second round of revisions for my too complicated, too intense, too everything story.

Guess who’s writing something light and fun, next time?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Another handy snippet from the conference…

I've just realised I've been blogging for a year! Happy Birthday, blog!!!

Now for my handy snippet from the conference....

Did you know that reading is a valid form of exercise?

I have it on good authority from Michelle LaForest, manager of Harlequin Mills & Boon in Sydney. Reading an exciting book stimulates adrenalin which becomes energy, which in turn eats up calories.

So several hours curled in your favourite armchair with a great book is GOOD for more than stimulating your mind and emotions! Your body gets a workout, too!

And my mother always thought I was lazy when I lay around reading…

Quote for the day...

"I like the word indolence. It makes my laziness seem classy. " -- Bern Williams

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A writing tip for free...

I was planning to transcribe all my notes from the conference, but if I do that it will take time that I don’t have right now, so I thought I’d add the occasional titbit of advice that I gleaned – those writing tips that made the penny drop for me.

One from Jenny Crusie was this:-

Consider starting your scenes a beat later and finishing them a beat earlier.

Now, I thought I already knew about jump cutting from one scene to the next without too much musing or introspection or dillydallying, but this morning I was reading through the beginning of the book I started yesterday and thought nah, don't like this. Then I realised that Jenny’s advice would improve it enormously.

I’d started a beat too soon.

I’m not going to expand on this now.

But believe me, it’s good advice.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Home from Sydney

Okay, I'm back and no apologies, the first thing I'm going to show off are the RITA pics (courtesy of dear freind Trish Morey).

Here I am, looking just a tad excited as I wait to accept it from Marion Lennox.

Isn't Marion's trouser suit gorgeous? I must tell you my sartorial disaster. I'd bought a special jacket to wear to this ceremony. And would you believe, another conference delegate wore it to the conference all day? An evening jacket. I ask you, what was a girl to do?
Turn to her friends, of course.
I confided my dilemma to Fiona McArthur, who insisted I must wear something else -- but I had already worn my other glad rags to the authors' dinner and the cocktail party.
"Let's go shopping!" she said. "I'll take you to Paddy's market."
I'd been thinking of dashing up town to the Queen Victoria building or Town Hall square, but as I'd never been to Paddy's market in Chinatown, I happily went. And this was the result -- a jacket that was really fun to wear. Plus new jewellery. Thanks, Fiona!

Tomorrow I'll tell you more about conference sessions. Right now, I have to get started on another book.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

The annual staffroom gathering

People often ask me if I miss teaching and you know, the terrible thing is, I mostly only miss it when they ask me and I stop to think. The rest of the time, I'm so busy enjoying writing that my teaching days hardly figure in my thoughts.

Times I do miss teaching are when I see high school kids in the mall, especially from the school where I used to work, or when I'm invited to go and speak at a school, or when I get together with my teacher friends and hear them talking about work.

That last is something I do miss -- chatting with other teachers. The daily staffroom sharing of ideas, the give and take of advice, the jokes, the gossip. As a writer It's just me and my computer. Oh, there's email for communicating with fellow writers -- and the telephone, and the wonderful retreat I had with writer mates earlier this year, but the other big time for a major get-together of the staff (so to speak) is the annual conference of Romance Writers of Australia.

This is primarily organised for aspiring writers, but I never got to one until I'd already sold my first couple of books and I'll never forget my first conference in Brisbane and Helen Bianchin's wonderful, open-arms welcome. 'You're one of us now.'

The (rather dark) photo of us on the right is from last year's conference, when we were dressed in fancy dress for the cocktail party. This year we'll be more sedate as the theme is Venetian Carnivale and we'll be wearing glamorous masks ( a bit of a problem for those who wear glasses.)

That first conference was an indication of how it's been ever since. The writing sisterhood ( with the occasional brother) is incredibly special. Only fellow writers can understand the emotional attachment we have to our work, the vulnerability and self doubt.
Apart from that we have FUN! Dinners, cocktails parties, and lots of fabulous workshops. The level of professional expertise that's shared at these workshops would make a lot of other writing organisations goggle with surprise.
This year, I'm especially looking forward to Jennifer Crusie's full day workshop. She'll also be offering a tutorial just for published authors on theme and motif. But I'm also looking forward to hearing Bronwyn Jameson and Anne Stuart and a host of other wonderful speakers as well.

This year's conference is in Sydney, which means I'll also be able to catch up with a very special aunt. This dear lady is responsible for my lifelong love of books, because it was she who bought me 'Seven Little Australians' by Ethel Turner when I was seven. And then in subsequent years for birthdays and Christmas, she sent my sisters and me the rest of E T's books, plus the Anne books and Louisa May Alcott's books and the Pollyanna and Katy (What Katy Did) books. Sad thing is, that now Auntie D has macular degeneration and is legally blind, but I'm very grateful to the Hear A Book Service in Tasmania, which has put almost all my books onto tape for her and for anyone else who is visually impaired. They're available through libraries.

So if I'm quiet for the next week, you know where I am. I promise to come back with pics and gossip.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Forgot to tell you...

I've had a rotten cold this week, have been snuffling and coughing my way through my revisions, which is my excuse for forgetting to tell you about the R*BY blog.
At eHarlequin, all the finalists for this year's Romantic Book of the Year Award are blogging about their finalling books.

Being a finalist is so exciting and this year there are veteran R*BY finalists like Marion Lennox and Carol Marinelli, as well as brand new Down-under authors like Yvonne Lindsay ( from New Zealand) and Anne Oh.
As a winner of the R*BY in 2005, I was asked to add a blog as well.

There's nothing quite like getting a pat on the back from the readers of your homeland!

Good luck to all this year's finalists and head over to eHarlequin to read all about them!!!