Friday, March 30, 2007

The 'Crap Happens' Barometer

My life is total crap right now. How often have you heard someone say this? I know lately what with being ill and having boy problems and the roof blowing off my barn I've thought it, but you know, such globalizing of misery doesn't help. And it isn't true. The fact is, life is not TOTAL crap. Only 99%. :-)

All right, even less than that.

I think I cause a lot of my grief by internalizing every little thing like I'm somehow to blame, then inferring from that that I'm less of a person for letting bad things happen. Why didn't I take better care of my health? Continue homeschooling my boys? Deal better with their teachers? Nail down the barn roof or better yet, buy a better house? Must be because I'm a loser, stupid, pathetic, a soft touch or in some other way deficient etc etc. Gee, who needs a mean kid to beat me up? I do such a great job on myself.

I've been reading a book about performance anxiety. Why? Because I get myself so tied in knots I can't move forward. Like now-- with some money coming in from Cup of Comfort,I decided to get a professional website done. Not that I don't like Kristen's - I think she did a great job, but because those in the know can tell the difference and I wanted to give myself the best chance of putting a professional foot forward.

Sooooo, I asked Jodici who everyone raves about, and tentatively priced one. Started a quote at $75US and quickly blew out to around $160 US. Yikes. I CAN do it since my Cup of Comfort story won (though I did want to put some aside in case my CP needs it to get to Nationals.)

So-- what image to portray on my site? I'm over cherries coz I see them everywhere these days. And I'm such a mixed bag to represent, but I really want my website to look professional as well as looking like me (Hah! There in lies the problem! Anyway, I found a cute image which says Babe/humor/quirk, but teaming it with suspense and professionalism and romance- oi! or should that be Oink?

Now I'm worried sick that I'll make bad choices, it will look just as confusing as my first site (because I STILL don't know how to project myself), and I'll spend a HUGE chunk of dough and be no further ahead. Is that a nice wallop of negative self-talk or what? It's got me so flustered I can't make a decision between the two mock ups Jodici sent me. I'm terrified to make a mistake. Why? Will I die if I get it wrong? No! Chances are most people waste more on shoes. Why do I feel so bad making a choice? And why do I expect things to always go right if I can just put in the effort/pay my dues/hold my mouth right? Fact is -- its a risk, pure and simple, one I hope will pay off.

While I was freaking out over the website last night, I read this. "If you think you are anxious, miserable or angry because your life's circumstances are not as you want them to be, and you think that you have too many hassles and difficulties, ask yourself how many problems and discomforts you are supposed to have." Drs. R & E Farnbach


Maybe it is okay to be the klutz I am, to get it wrong, to upset people without trying, because I do a lot of good stuff too. And I am out there giving it a shot. (or is that trying not to get shot?) Anyone who thinks I'm somehow less for being the goofball/eccentric/extroverted hermit that I am is likely floating on their own arrogant cloud of BS anyway.

As the Tibetan proverb goes: "Man who does not suffer fools gladly deserves yak dung pie in face."

So I'm off to make my decisions, and try not to beat myself up, or to moan too loudly about the crap filtering into my life like a deluge at the moment. Truth is, so far, the crap probably isn't past my ankles. And besides, everyone knows it's good for your complexion.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Nothing to Giggle About

Wow, I can't believe how the argument with Mrs. Giggles blew up over the past few days. I mean, on the plus side, it probably drove a heap of extra traffic to both her site and to RD, but wow!

I surely hope she didn't think I hated her review. I fully admit I sent her Brides Maid in Heaven, and yeah, I expected her to tear me a new one, but I considered it a rite of passage--so to speak. I mean, so many people tell you how good you are, but they love you. Mrs. Giggles is a snarky reviewer who owes you nothing and remains annonymous, and that means she will tell you what she really thinks, uncut. There's value in that.

Also, she'll take on newbies and seasoned alike, and basically gives you free promo. Gotta love that. I HATE that this rift has occured. It makes me feel really uncomfortable about sending her more stuff, and I'd sorely miss her. I actually enjoy the snark, in fact, I've been known to snark myself on occasion. I sure hope I haven't contributed in any way --paranoia setting in. I may giggle over the results I got back, but I sure do appreciate them. And her. Let's hope it's a storm in a teacup, quickly over.

Monday, March 26, 2007


Divas have been busy, especially Jax (the girl who started my very first website) AKA Cassidy Kent. (Well, I know she's taken time out to pierce various body parts, but still...) If you like books hot and spicy, why not check these out?

Dear John
by Cassidy Kent
Publisher: Amber Heat
ISBN-13: 978-1-59279-670-0 (Electronic)

Dane Harley grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, a foster kid with no true home and no direction. In her last year of high school, she met John Stratton, a Pittsburgh rich kid with a penchant for trouble. When they both ended up in jail for petty theft, Dane realized she'd been dragging John down. She left town in hopes that he'd have a better life without her.

Ten years later, Dane is a social worker devoted to placing foster kids in stable, nurturing homes. She returns to Pittsburgh two weeks before her ten-year reunion to reconnect with her childhood friend, Roxy Jordan. While reminiscing about their high school days as goth-girls, Roxy reminds Dane of her turbulent relationship with John and their messy break-up. Dane decides to get in touch with her first love again, with disastrous results.

When a pretty young woman answers at his door, Dane knows he's moved on. Perhaps John hasn't exactly been holding his breath for her return, but he can't resist the allure of Dane and their subsequent affair speaks of the torrent of passion and love that still ties them together. Will they be able to reconcile their past and have a future? Or will she accept the inevitable and settle for a life without him...

Or this one ...

by Cassidy Kent

March, 2006
ISBN 1-59426-524-0

After a quick and painless divorce, fashionista Diana Radford (formerly Simmons) is ready to start over. With a settlement of three million and a resort island off the coast of Grenada, she decides to realize her culinary dreams by taking over the island's restaurant, naming it "Dolce" after her mother. Although not classically educated in the culinary arts, Diana possesses a rare natural ability and puts it to work creating brilliant Italian/Caribbean fusion dishes.

Chance Kohler is a culinary celebrity like no other, with an arrogance to rival his talent. After helming several 5-star restaurants in the States, Chance jumped at the opportunity to host "Fighting Chance", his own reality cooking series. For the past two seasons, he's faced off against the best and the brightest of the cooking world. When Diana is selected as his next opponent, Chance balks at his producer's choice. The former waitress doesn't even have a degree and has only had her restaurant for six months, even if she is some kind of prodigy!

From the moment Chance sees Diana dicing mangoes in designer couture, she whets his appetite and leaves him craving for second helpings. Diana can't stand his antagonistic edge, but there's no denying the delectable sensuality in his every movement. After all, even if she loses to him, it means press for her resort. But if she wins, Diana will be the series' new host and Chance will suffer the humiliation of losing. Either way, the competition will be fierce but tasty, and the whole world will be watching.

and finally one from Toni Sue

Released 3-20-2007 from Freya's Bower!
One Wild Weekend,
by T. Sue VerSteeg
Short Story/$3.25

Melissa Tanner has spent her adult life in search of Mr. Right. After committing herself to a weekend of banking seminars, with her biggest concern being how to stay awake through them, she literally runs into her next prospect at the airport. Can the boring weekend be saved and turned into a wild ride with Mr. Right? Or will he just end up being another Mr. Right-Now? to order your copy!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Golden Hearts and Ritas

Well, out of my 5 CPs, two have finalled in the Golden Heart, one took out double finals in the Ritas, another, who only writes short has come third in the RIO, and the 5th is doing well as a university lecturer. I'm soooo proud of them.

Friday, March 23, 2007

It's a Dog's Life!

Veinglory is having a blog comp where our pets do the promo of our upcoming books. Cute idea I think. Anyway, Frinkle wanted to get in on the act, especially since Bloodlines and Heartstrings is actually her story. So here for your pleasure, is Frinkle's first ever public review.

Bloodlines and Heart Strings, coming this August in "A Cup of Comfort for Dog Lovers," is a love-overcomes-all-odds story. A young boy's love helps an unwanted pound puppy from the ruff side of the tracks overcome physical handicaps to take out the pet show's first prize. Watch this strong heroine blow those pedigreed bitches into the weeds. Gotta love a pooch like that. You go girl! Wait a minute, they're talking about me!!!!

I'll take my applause in dog biscuits, thank you.

Frinkle King – slim, oh all right, roundish brunette with feet roughly the size of aircraft carriers. Rottweiler plus. (owner of Babe and sons)

To see the other pet meme promos go to

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


No, I'm not keeping it short, silly, I'm playing with blog things. What sort of kisser are you?

***You're a Playful Kisser***

Kissing is a huge game for you, a way to flirt and play
You're the first one to suggest playing spin the bottle at a party
Or you'll go for the wild kiss during a game of truth or dare
And you're up for kissing any sexy stranger if the mood is right!

What Kind of Kisser Are You?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


And not in a wicked, groovy, awesome Austin Powers type of way. The lurgy has me by the throat, which is my excuse for being such a bad blogger lately. Sorry.

Not all my news is bad though. One Doctor: Well Heeled finalled in the Romance Diva's WAW query contest. Yay! Since the new and improved version of my query (as opposed to the old and inferior version) has to be in this Thursday, I hope I can make a decent fist of it with my head full of marshmallows. (Actually my head is full of much more disgusting stuff, but let's stick with marshmallows for now, okay?)

So look out Paula Eykelhof, exec ed at Harlequin, here I come. Gee I hope she likes Australian stuff better than Tara at HQN. Otherwise I might have to cry and go kick a kangaroo or two.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Top of the Mornin' to Ya!

May ya all go green on this proud Irish day. God bless all your potato-pickin' little hearts and a very Happy St. Pat's Day to ya.



Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Have You Ever Noticed

... if you take the n out of friend you get fried? So don't take anything away from your friends, okay?

You can now return to your regular scheduled program. :-)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Babe Waxes Philosophical

Our habits become our character and our character determines our destiny. Make sure the habits you are forming and practicing this day aim for the destiny you ultimately want.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Books! :-)

Love them or hate them, the numbers of e-publishers seem to be increasing. Judging by the RWA's reaction- recognising Ellora's Cave, Loose ID and Trisk, e-pubs are no longer a poor second to print, either. One author even told me she makes more from her e-books than her print ones. Fancy that. Some e-pubs are paying their authors advances. Small, to be sure. Nothing that a celebratory dinner won't completely use up, but hey, it's a step in the right direction. And the publishers seem more approachable, easier to work with, more flexible, not to mention faster. I mean, I like the feel of a print book in my hand, I gotta admit, but I'm not fool enough to turn away from a good thing just coz it's different, either.

A recent article in Publishers' Weekly's on-line bookseller newsletter announced that, "Hoping to break new ground in electronic publishing, Stephen King has teamed up with Simon & Schuster to publish his newest work, Riding the Bullet, in ebook format only." PW Daily, March 8, 2000
That book sold over 400,000 copies in its first day of sales! Now that's what I call velocity!

On the other hand Charlene Teglia, erotic romance author for Ellora's Cave, Samhain, and St. Martin's Press said, “...if an author does not write quickly, is not prepared to self-promote and market extensively, and does not write to the top-selling market segment in epublishing, erotic romance, the disadvantages of epublishing may outweigh the advantages.” Hmmm.

I have a novella out with By Grace Publishing (an e-pub) and another novella coming out with them in June, though I must admit my reason for going the e-pub route with those stories wasn't massive coverage/sales/profits, nice though those things may be. :-) What I liked was the publisher's willingness to step out of the norm. I did NOT have to set my inspy in America for starters, which I must if I want to target Steeple Hill. I could have a little innocent sexual tension going on without people fainting over it. Plus these girls were so friendly and nice to work with, I wasn't freaked out by the publishing process which, let's face it, can be a bit scary the first time.

So what do you think? E-pub : trend of the future? Or not?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Babe Slinks Off disgust!

Okay, I got the results of the CONNections competition and I ended up with an honorable mention. Not too shabby, huh? Well, maybe ....

Except according to my American CP who sent and received the contest entry and results, I got the highest scores from the first round judges. Then the final round judge loved my story, characters and voice. So what went wrong? I'm Australian. Yup- nice healthy dose of insular bigotry. Really, in this day and age of supposed equality, what am I suposed to do with that?

There was a time, back in the 80's I think, when Oz was flavor of the month, especially after Paul Hogan's Croc Dundee characatures gained popularity. (You'll notice he turned American though- married an American, moved to America, lost the Australian heart and soul that made him special and is now a pathetic has-been- not exactly a great role model) But those days of Australia being a selling card are gone. Now if we write what we know it goes against us. I think that's sad. It's also very frustrating.

I put the change down to terrorists. No, not the agents and editors that terrorize us on a daily basis (however unwittingly), but the real villains who stir up the public consciousness and wrap us all in fear. I think Americans (and to a lesser extent the rest of the world) are responding to that ambient threat, that unknown factor of unwarranted/unprovoked attack since 911. I think it makes them turn away from anything "not us" in suspicion, and consolodate anything "us" for comfort and reassurance. I also think this explains the swing away from straight romance in favor of rom sus. They want a kick-butt heroine who saves the world. They want to be that strong, overcoming person coz it makes them feel secure and safe.

So I guess I'm saying that I'm like the towers-- blown out of there by fear, hate and prejudice. And you know, in all its forms, that evil presence stinks!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Babe Gets Slinky

An apple slinky that is. Normally I scorn gismos and gadgets as drawer filling clutter, but I have to tell you, this apple slinky definitely has appeal, or in that no peel? All I know is my poor aching hands are thankful that the six maxicropping apple trees don't have to be done with a knife. The uniformity of the slice means the fruit dries well in the dehydrator, looks great on the top of a teacake, and as a bonus, since I've upped the play factor, the kids eat more raw fruit. Yay!
So if you've got kids, dinner parties or fruit trees, consider this one. I give it a thumbs up!

Saturday, March 03, 2007