Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Candy Hearts and Contests

My mate Tawny Taylor is making this Valentine's Day even sweeter for one lucky person with a contest on her website. The prize: A dreamy bag of books sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Want it to be you? Check this out.

The rules: On FEBRUARY 1, Tawny will post the picture of the
candy hearts above on a page of her web site
( Simply locate the picture and email
Tawny with the page's full url ( Hint: it's not

Note: entries MUST include contact information to be valid--this includes first and last names and MAILING address.

The winner will be randomly selected from all valid entries on February 28, and the winner will be announced on Tawny's site and blog ( on March 1.


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Babe King Cup

A friend sent me this little story which I thought I'd share with you today.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It
seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

(Sound familiar?)

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

(Personally I find this part hard to believe. No mother would waste that sort of time when she sat with her daughter or any other conscious and talk-enabled female.)

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see."

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the
hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What does
it mean, mother?"

(See again, all daughters presume they know more than their mothers so this bit is a tad implausible.)

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the
boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?"

So which are you? Are you the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity wilts and becomes soft and loses strength?

Are you the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did you have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have you become hardened and stiff? Does your shell look the same, but on the inside are you bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or are you like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it
releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

(So there you have it. Personally, I'd listen to this mum's advice just to get the free lunch -yum! Wonder if she served toast soldiers with that?)

Babe (deep as a carpark puddle today)

Monday, January 29, 2007


Eva tagged me with this:
1. Grab the book closest to you.
2. Open to page 123, look down to the 5th sentence.
3. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog.
4. Include the title and the author’s name.
5. Tag 3 people

So --

"They were just as unpleasing as he had seen that they would be. He had once read a novel by Rosie M. Banks, the gifted authoress who had married his fellow member of the Drones Bingo Little, and it still lingered in his memory. The title, 'By Honour Bound', had put him off a bit because his tastes lay more in the direction of tales with plenty of blood and lots of gangsters in them, but Bingo had practically forced the thing on him, and to his surprise it had impressed him profoundly." --"Pearls, Girls, and Monty Bodkin" by P.G. Wodehouse

You know, I never realized how much passive language and introspection the guy uses. Hah! Fancy that!

Tagging - Michelle

Friday, January 26, 2007

Turning Up the Heat Again

Oi! Well, it is Summer afterall.

One of my CPs, Sela Carsen, and a group of her friends are putting out an anthology for Valentine's Day. Having critiqued "The Virgin Countess" I can tell you it's a very cheeky little romp, and I'm assured the others are hot, hot, hot! So if heat is your thing, why not check it out?

Available Monday, January 29th from Forbidden Publications

Sela Carsen: The Virgin Courtesan (historical; sensual)
Stacy Dawn: Apple of His Eye (contemporary; mainstream (aka nonerotic)
Elisabeth Drake: Wasting the Dawn (dark paranormal; carnal)
CJ England: Angel Eyes and Demon Lies (paranormal; carnal)
Dayna Hart: Wings of Love (fantasy; mainstream)
Loribelle Hunt: Be Mine (contemporary; sensual)
Crystal Jordan: Twice in a Blue Moon (paranormal; carnal)
Jennifer Leeland: Naughty Notions (contemporary; carnal)
JT Schultz: Cupid's Target (paranormal; sensual)
Shelli Stevens: Cabin Fever (contemporary; carnal)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Football, Meat Pies, Kangaroos and Holden Cars

Happy Australia Day Y'All
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It's Australia Day and the boys went to a ferret show which left the kitchen free for me to cook up several buckets of fruit -- pies, iceblocks, stewed fruit, you name it. The fruit leathers are the best. They send a warm peach smell right through the house- lovely. But it seems I may have too much of a good thing. My smallest son balked at peach smoothies this morning. "Ya know, I'm getting mighty sick of peaches," he told me. I think serving them 3 times a day is considered child abuse in some countries. But hey, I'm a mean mum. I understand his point though. I'm starting to look like a peach. Must be time to shave. Hah!

Monday, January 22, 2007

In the Dog Bowl

Last week I promised to show you what was there. I knew you wouldn't believe me if I told you. :-)

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Friday, January 19, 2007


No, I'm not talking folk violinists like my son, more's the pity. (And yes, one day I will slay that evil You Tube and make it bow to my wishes so you can see him play- but not today.)

I realized something about myself when I went out to pick a fresh bunch of flowers. I fiddle. A lot. I went out to cut some gladioli I saw lying down thinking they'd look good in the vase in my writing area to replace now wilting, drooping overblown pink roses. So, scissors in hand, out I went. Got to the door. Picked up water bottles the kids had left just outside and brought them in for washing and refilling. Out the door again. My climbing creeper has put on a growth spurt and has tendrils hanging like a badly trimmed moustache. So I tucked in all the tendrils and then adjusted the hanging wire because it was drooping under the weight. Now, gladiolis. Nope. Some of the standard roses have clusters of dead heads on them and I have scissors in my hand. Might as well cut them off, right? And since I then have a bucket to put the trimmings in, I'll just fill it with the weeds that are coming up near the azaleas ... oh, and pinch out the azaleas's new growth to bring on more flowers for next year. STILL not near the gladioli.

Okay, gardens do that to people. There's always something more you need to do. Finally, several jobs later, I'm back to write, my gladdies looking very glad they finally got picked. I plan to write a new section of my MS today but ... oh no, on the way I get sidetracked by a kiss scene and I have this great idea about lip textures I want to put in. Then I seek and destroy a few was, change a verb here and there, twist a line of dialogue to make it snappier. Before I know, I've spent the whole day fiddling. Yes, stuff got done, but rarely what I planned.

Any of you fiddlers too? Maybe we could start our own band. "The Wastrels" or something.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

My Musical Son

I've bragged about my son no. 1 enough to make you all reach for the bucket, right?, did I mention he won best Tasmania folk tune at the Cygnet folk festival in 2002, was Tasmania's Under 19 Composer of the Year in 2005, and that there is video footage of him playing in concert with the greats of Tas folk in the Australian music archives? Only a million times? Is that all? :-)

I might add, since then I can't get him to enter the competitions here. It's like conquered teritory and he's not interested. Boys! Anyway, it's a short taste because I'm not great with techo things, but at least you'll get to see why I'm proud. I hope.

Friday, January 12, 2007

My New Charges

Or should that be chargers? :-) Meet Rose and Tex, the two polo ponies I'm babysitting until April. Aren't they beee-autiful? And the horse poo isn't such a bad thing for my compost heap either.

Well done Kristen and Yammy for guessing my new girls were horses. Good try on the alpaca, Heather. I am still looking into that. But tell me, clever girls, what do you think got into the dog bowl? Answer next week --shoot, I'll put the photo up because you'd never believe me. :-)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Some Like It Hot!

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My good mate, Maggie, and some of her friends have put together an anthology of hot, Aussie men. So if you like the bronzed Oz ideal and feel like sweating in the middle of your American/Canadian winter, why not check it out.

BOYS DOWN UNDER anthology : A collaboration featuring Karen Mandeville, Maggie Nash, Sarah Dickson, Angela Verdenius and Jessica Dee!

Shapeshifters, Seduction, Corporate intrigue and the military all have one thing in common: Heat and lot's of it. When you throw these fab Aussies authors together you're going to have a sinfully good time when you meet some of the Boys Down Under.

See what happens when the heat is turned up

Available now from Triskelion Publishing

Monday, January 08, 2007

CONNsiderably Surprised

Today I was reading my emails and dropped in on Contest Alert to see if anyone I knew finalled in the CONNections writing competition. I entered it, but given that finalists were contacted back in November for final fixing (hah!) of their MS before it went on to the editor judges which were still TBA, I figured that ship had sailed for me. Then I read my name, right there in the finalling section of the single titles. Um... yikes!

I madly checked my emails, even my bulk mail. Nada. I sent off an email to the chapter. So far nothing has come back. So I'm not sure whether to celebrate or sit down and weep. Did I final and then miss the chance to fix my entry? Was it a mistake? I dunno. The only thing saving the day is the bowl of fresh raspberries I picked from my patch today. Raspberries- yummy. Definitely the taste of Summer, and nothing beats picking your own. My peaches are just on their final swell too and my mouth is watering thinking about it. If the whole CONNtest final is in CONNtention, I may have to CONNtent myself with a glut of fruit. There are worse things in life. :-)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

You Are Special

But it never hurts to hear it, right? So I'd like to share this message from Pastor Ron with you.

Welcome to 2007! You are a very special person, so be good to yourself. We go through life instructed in humility by our peers. We are no great personage, we count for little in the scheme of things, so we are led to believe. But God thinks otherwise. Aiden Tozer wrote: "If a poll should be taken to name the six greatest people in the world and our names would not be included, we would still have the same privileges in God's world that they would have! We can breathe God's beautiful air, look at his blue sky, gaze into a never-ending array of stars in the night sky. We can stand upon the hard earth and stamp our little feet - and our big feet, too -and know that it will sustain us. We are as much a part of this human race as the greatest men and women."

So be good to yourself in this year of grace 2007. Make your own kind of music. Come alive to all the positive things in your life. Do something for yourself every day, something you really enjoy. Say what you think, people like you made in the image of God should be seen and heard too...often! You are as your Creator made you, and since He is satisfied, then so should you be. Think of yourself as an act of God, your mind a thought of God, your life a breath of God. The worth of an individual is not ascribed by law . . . it's endowed by the Creator.

Don't keep your worries to yourself in 2007 - share them with your friends. Paul said, "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2). Also, share them with God. Jesus said: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
(Matthew 11:28). There are those who depend on us, watch us, learn from us, take from us. And we never know. Don't sell yourself short. You may never have proof of your importance, but you are more important than you think.

Spread joy wherever you can in 2007, but be sure to keep some for yourself. The joy that you give to others is the joy that comes back to you. Peter Pan author James Barrie once said: "Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves." Share the joy that God has given you: "He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy." (Acts 14:17). Let the sunshine in each day and the starlight in each night.

In this New Year of 2007 always remember that you are a very special person. A healthy self-image is seeing yourself as God sees you - no more and no less. Irwin Lutzer closes this message thus: "The most obscure believer, even the least successful among us, can hold his head high, look tomorrow square in the eye and exclaim, "I am special to the God of the universe!" You might not want to honk your horn if you love Jesus, but you could at least put a smile on your face.

Have a good week and a positive, joyful 2007 - for you are indeed a very special person.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Up in Flames

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My mate, Sienna, has a new book out at Cobblestone, Up in Flames..

Kat Ashbrook has two things on her mind --catching a murderer and sexy new boss, Connor Mercer. She never expected his come-hither looks, but she's betting she can resist if she keeps her mind on the job. Too bad a prank leads to her surrender and
possibly their deaths.

So check it out --

Up In Flames by Ember Sinclair
Available January 12, 2007
from CobbleStone Press

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

All the World's a Stage

Or it is for these great Aussie performers, based in Melbourne, but touring the US at the mo. If you get the chance to see them, take it. Are you worried about circuses being unfair to animals? Well, the only animals in Circus Oz are of the 2 legged variety, but these guys are awesome. Here's their site.

While you're there, waste a bit of time playing Bounce the Clown. You've got to be better at it tham I am. :-)

Monday, January 01, 2007

Packing Up Last Year

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This is all the baggage I am NOT taking with me into 2007 -- all the disappointments and angers, the mistakes and failures. Nope. Gone. Nothing like a mental clean-out to start the year right.

Next, resolutions. I resolve not to make any, that way I have none to break. :-)
But I did drink about 5 glasses of water so far today, and push myself to endorphin level on the beast. (that's my slidy-walker machine for those who don't know.) I intend to try to spend at least 30 minutes slaying that beast every day from now on. (No, of course that's not a resolution. Otherwise I'd break it.)

Oh, and I finally wrote the charity piece I promised. I'll blog soon about the charity. It's one I really believe in, saving child prostitutes in Thailand. Having been in the clinics on the Mekong where the working girls are 50% AIDS positive, believe me, this is a worthy charity. By the time these girls escape the brothels not only have their childhoods been stolen, but the rest of their lives are ruined, and that just burns me up. Sex- used unwisely, is a very, very cruel thing.

What non-resolutions have your made to greet the new year?