Monday, October 31, 2011

Temporarily... Angelic teens...

Here's my musical daughter Emma conducting some of her boys. Count me as one proud mum.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

India all lit up...

Saw this on Facebook....
It's an aerial photo of India taken during the Festival of Lights. Isn't it stunning? I've never been to India, but I think it's a fascinating country. I need to read more books set there. Any recommendations?

The questions of covers...

Once again, two very different covers for the same story.

I wonder if you can guess which one is closest to my vision of Bella and Damon.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A favourite recipe

I've been handing out this recipe all over the place lately. Nearly everyone who tries it, wants the recipe and it's so easy. I decided it's about time I shared it with you.

Greek Lemon Cake

125 g butter
1 cup caster sugar (I use raw caster sugar)
4 eggs
1 cup coconut
1 cup SR flour

1 lemon (juice and grated rind)
1 cup sugar (again, I like raw)
½ cup water

Preheat oven 160 º-180º C. Greaseproof a round 20 cm cake time. Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time with a wooden spoon. Stir in coconut and flour. Bake in oven 45 mins to 1 hour.

Make the syrup after the cake is cooked. Combine the sugar, water, lemon juice and rind on stovetop and bring to boil. Let cake stand for 15 mins and then gently spoon syrup over cake while syrup is still hot. Spoon syrup little by little to prevent cake from collapsing.

You might think you have too much syrup, but keep going. The cake can take it and will be all the better. Serve with cream, or icecream, or both. And enjoy!!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

New Voices... second stage...

OK! The race is on to find our top 4 finalists in this year's New Voices competition. The readers who drop by this blog are very savvy in my humble opinion :) so YOU are needed  to vote for your favourite entry and become the 4th Judge. The POWER is in your hands!

Why not make a cup of tea, and have a read of the top 21 and cast your vote!

Voting ends 26th October 5pm GMT.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Do you like classical music?
My WIP is a single title novel I'm writing for Penguin Australia and one of my three main female characters plays the cello. There's a scene that involves this piece, which my musician daughter Emma told me about and which I now totally love...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

An entrepreneur in the family...

Do you know any little people who need sun savvy clothing?

My daughter-in-law Lauren has just launched SML clothing.
Fair skinned, blue eyed, Lauren has lived in the tropics all her life and now has three little fair skinned, blue eyed daughters.
Lauren knows how careful they need to be, living in our savage sunshine... and because they love to live an active lifestyle, she began searching for sunsafe clothing that was cool and comfortable and affordable.
This was so very difficult to find that she's started her own clothing company. SML (Small, medium, large. Something Mothers Love.:)

There are tops, dresses, swim shirts, hoodies and full length swimsuits... hats and more to come soon...

Check out her website.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Things that go bump in the night...

I forgot to shut the French doors in our bedroom last night (curtains were drawn across and didn't notice). Woke to thump in middle of night -- E couldn't find anything. I went to bathroom, am sitting on loo and see a snake on bathroom floor. Called quite calmly to E.
'It's a tree snake,' he calls calmly back.
Snake is blocking my exit. I stand on loo seat while he throws a quilt over it, then I dash past it to safety and we bravely close bathroom door.

Have cups of tea and eventually get back to sleep. This morning snake is gone (through bathroom window), but I found photos in my office (next to bedroom) knocked off the top of the filing cabinet.

The amazing thing is I'm not spooked. But I will definitely check windows and doors in future -- and think about flyscreens for our bedroom. :)

This photo is of a similar snake that turned up in a Cairns airconditioner recently.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Diane Cilento...

I'm very sorry to hear that the actress Diane Cilento has died. For Queenslanders in the 50s and 60s, the Cilento family were a very big deal. Diane's parents were Sir Raphael and Lady Cilento, both very famous doctors, and Lady Cilento wrote a column called Medical Mother in the Courier Mail, which my mother read religiously. I remember, she examined me when I was in teacher's college, to make sure I was fit to be a teacher. :) She told me to have my ear syringed.

Diane's most famous role was as Molly in Tom Jones, for which she received an Oscar nomination. The scene where she and Tom seduce each other at the dinner table is unforgettable.

 Diane also married Sean Connery (and thus earned the envy of about ninety percent of women in the western world:)

Later, she returned to Australia and opened the Karnak Playhouse at Mossman, here in FNQ. It's a big regret of mine that I still haven't been there to see a performance.

However I did hear Diane read a winning short story at a Tableland Writer's dinner in the Malanda hotel a few years ago. Her voice was amazing, deep, lush, earthy, sensitive. It was a memorable night that proved to me that people become famous because of enormous talent.

Vale Diane Cilento... 1933 -2011

Thursday, October 06, 2011

This spring in my country garden...

My favourite spring flowers in my garden this year are these gorgeous deep red hippeastrums.  They just look so vibrant and eye-catching against the green.
The ones in the vase below, were too heavy for their stem and broke off, so they've been cheering us up in the dining room.
Life's always better with flowers.

And books... :)

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Cover chats...

Over at RT Booklovers, they're talking about the new trends in Harlequin's titles, including Bridesmaid Says: 'I do!' You might like to check it out.

In other news, some of my writing mates are currently at the Women's Fiction Festival in Matera, Italy. I was lucky enough to attend the first of these fabulous events in 2004, and I'm thrilled my friends are there now. They kindly sent me a pic of one of my books, translated into Italian and currently on sale.

The beautiful model holding the book (in a plastic wrap) is medical author, Alison Roberts. Can't you just feel that Italian sunshine?