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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

FUN: The Cat's Tale

If you've been to my website PHOTO's section, you know I have three cats living with me. Well, tonight I have A CAT'S TALE to share - (Sorry, but I'm typing this while laughing hysterically and crying - and yes, the photo is of wussy-cat himself, Furball).

Furball (one of my cats) was out in my office/library and he climbed into a paper gift-bag that was on one of my bookshelves. It had a gift in it for someone. I knew as soon as I heard him what would happen - I was too late to stop him...

He fell off the shelf while climbing into the bag. Bag went with him because the raffia handle was around his body. I'd only just got off the lounge when I heard him coming towards the kitchen at a great rate of knots. Because I have the door partially shut to keep the heat in, can you see him and a shopping bag sized paper bag fit through a 10cm space?

Well, because of the weight of what was inside, he rattled and clattered through the door. The bag hit the door step then the refrigerator on the way through, so extra noise and damage value in one!

I caught my first sight of him as he tore across the kitchen lino, bag around his rear end like the hounds of hell were on his tail (and as far as he was concerned they were!!!!!!!!! Wish I'd had my camera!).

He disappeared behind the two single seater lounges, banging and crashing. I called but he of course ignored me, and barrelled behind the three seater lounge. More banging and crashing, noise amplified because of the enclosed space (which would have really made woosy-cats day! NOT).


Now, as most of you know there ain't much room behind it or the other end where they normally exit but somehow he made it through (adrenaline was probably the impetous he needed). Next thing I saw was him pop out between the lounge and the wall and bounce back like he was attached to a bungee cord. The bag had finally got stuck/anchored.

I was in an hysterical heap on the floor at the sight, not helping the situation any by the guffaws coming from my mouth.

At this point Furball started attacking the lounge while heaving and twisting. I thought I should probably give him a hand and, still laughing, headed over. I resigned myself to losing some skin in the attempt but before I could do more than put my hand down the side to feel the bag, Furball wrenched free, tore the handle off the bag and took off back out the way he'd come!!! (again like the hounds of hell were chasing him and again, because in his mind, they were!).

I promptly collapsed on the lounge to laugh hysterically for the next ten minutes before I went out to see if he was OK. He was, just all fuzzed up and spooked at every sound. He's still out there, sulking at being bested by a paper bag.

So, an adventurous end to the night (for him), a funny one (for me), and a fatal end for the gift in the bag (as it was smashed after being towed behind a freaked out cat who fell off a shelf, then bashed it into a refrigerator and forced it to endure the lounge room gauntlet).

Here ends THE CAT'S TALE.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Australia Day!

It's Australia Day!

For those unfamiliar with this special day, it's the official national day of Australia where we commemorate the establishment of first settlement in Sydney.


On this day, in 1788, 11 convict ships arrived from Great Britain and Captain Arthur Phillip raised the Union Jack, declaring Australia as a British Colony (if you'd like to read a more comprehensive history of this day, use this link).

Over time though, it's evolved into celebrating what's great about Australia and being Australian. All our states and territories now have an official public holiday where we reflect on our achievements, big and small, and usually mark it with some sort of official local community ceremony where the contributions of individuals and community organisation are recognised.

And, of course, most Aussies can't let Australia Day slip by with some sort of water sports, a barbie and a beer or two.

My childhood (and not so childhood memories) fondly include the following activities to celebrate Australia Day... :-)

A backyard barbie - steak, snags and maybe a prawn or three...
A game of backyard cricket with the neighbourhood kids or cousins...

An esky of the beverage of your choice, I remember it being beer or shandies for my family.








Again, being Summer, the obligatory packet of melted Tim Tams were a must!
The good old Slip n'Slide!

If you didn't have a pool or couldn't get to the beach, the sprinkler was just as good!










Being summer time, thongs were the footwear of choice!
And finding out who won Aussie of the Year - 2013 it's Ita Buttrose

This year I'm celebrating quietly, no family get-together, but I think I might duck up to the pub for a shandy with the locals.
A shandy
(Shandies are a combination of beer and lemonade, although I do like mine heavy on the lemonade. Quiet refreshing on a hot Summer day.)


For the Aussies among us, what are your Australia Day memories?

For the non-Aussies, what day do you consider your official national day, and what do you do to commemorate it?

Saturday Seven! (The Lone Warrior)

A new feature on my blog for this year - Saturday Seven!

This is where I'll be pulling seven paragraphs from some of my favorite books - an excellent chance to showcase some awesome scenes. I hope you like them as much as I do! :-)

Today I've taken a scene from THE LONE WARRIOR by Denise Rossetti. Walker and Mehcredi are on a sailing ship hunting for a wizard who killed Walker's people. They're in disguise, posing as master and slave, when another man asks Walker to send Mehcredi to his cabin for the night.
"I have not yet had my fill," the swordsmaster said calmly.
Vezil set his cup down with a clink. "I don't understand." A frown creased his brow. "You're a one-name. What's the problem?"
"This," gritted Walker, "is the problem."
In a single, smooth movement, he rose, grasped Mehcredi around the waist and swung her into his body, her back to the Trinitarian. The other hand flipped up her veil. Before she could blink, the swordsmaster's hard mouth descended on hers.
"Mmpf," she said as their teeth clinked. Her fingers clutched spasmodically at his shoulders. She couldn't breathe. This was kiss, this...this invasion? Godsdammit, she was going to pass out for lack of air. She stiffened, pulling back.
Walker's fingers flexed against her cheek in an unmistakable signal, the pressure of his lips eased and she could breathe again, more or less. Sweet Sister, this was what he meant, a public exhibition. Deliberately, she relaxed, grounding and centering the way he'd taught her in a fighting salle, and he gathered her close again, one palm stroking up and down her spine, the way you'd soothe a nervous cat. She'd promised not to feed him his own balls, except that standing in the circle of his arms on the sunlit deck, she had not the slightest urge to do him harm. His body was so hard, her breasts were mashed against a wall of unyielding muscle, and gods, he was hot, his spicy smell filling her head and making it swim. Every nerve in her body quivering, she pressed closer, tilting her head to offer a better angle. The hilt of his sword pushed into her belly.
Beyond that, she didn't know what to do, so she softened her mouth and let him take the lead. He'd taught her everything, she thought muzzily, had given her the discipline and peace of the nea-kata. Walker had reshaped her life, he could teach her this too. Her fell back against his arm.
THE LONE WARRIOR
Sworn to vengeance. Blinded by love. 
Only one thing can bend a body of steel and melt a heart of ice. 
Walker, an earth shaman, has dedicated his life to the annihilation of the demon warriors who destroyed his desert tribe. As the lone survivor of the massacre, he atones by wreaking vengeance as a lethal mercenary. But his latest captive is a daring and new kind of challenge.
She is the assassin Mehcredi, forced to work alongside Walker as penance for her crimes. Abandoned as a child, Mehcredi has no concept of human relationships, no reserve, no fears, and she boldly walks through Walker’s barriers as if they were mist.
Embarking on a journey of naked revenge—and pure ecstasy—they will discover pleasures once alien to them both. But in their shadow is the most powerful and reviled demon warrior of them all—the Necromancer. He’s vowed to destroy Walker and Mehcredi once and forever, even if he must hold the entire world ransom to do it...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Review for ALLIANCE FORGED!

A lovely review for ALLIANCE FORGED from Minding Spot! Thank you!

Snippet:
The perfect mix between conflict and suspence and sexy, sweet romance. Alliance Forged has that special spark that keeps the pages briskly turning from beginning to end. This book has amazing depth and completely transports you with Griffin's amazing world building abilities. It is very well written with characters that are complex yet likable. It picked up right where Vengeance Born left off and sweeps you right back into their world. I anxiously await the release of book three " Allegiance Sworn ".  Great urban fantasy series that I would highly recommend.
Full review here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

INDUSTRY: Interview with...Sassy Book Lovers

I thought it might be of interest to showcase some of the great book bloggers and bookstores that specialise and help promote the romance genre.

I've been lucky enough to be interviewed, hosted or promoted at many of these places and found it intriguing to interview them about their passion and love of books and authors.

Please welcome Stacey as she sits in the hot-seat and answers my questions!

Sassy Book Lovers

We (Stacey & Renee) are two girls who became friends through the love of Twilight and books. So come and join us. Check out what to read and what not to read. Enter a few competitions and maybe meet some new friends!

Book Blog: Sassy Book Lovers 
Web address: http://sassybooklovers.blogspot.com/ 
Review preferences: We like to keep our options open when it comes to preferences.
Highlights of your blog: At the moment we have an Indie Author Appreciation week happening.

 
What inspired you to begin your blog?
My friend Renee and I both love reading. We got talking one day and thought it would be a great idea to start a blog, a place where we can post our thoughts of the books we've loved and also somewhere to discuss books and meet other book lovers.

A week later we had our blog up, a Facebook page, Twitter and already receiving requests from Indie authors for reviews. It was most definitely a 'wow' moment. 

Do you have a favorite part of the job?
My favourite part would have to be meeting new authors. We'll be celebrating 2yrs in March and over those 2yrs we've meet some amazing authors, their talent is just phenomenal! But nothing bets the feeling of another book lover finding a new read through your review.

What hazards come with the territory?
One major hazard is other reviewers stealing your review or apart of it. Horrible right? Sure is!

I had someone contact me last year saying they noticed someone had used a part of my review in a comment on their blog. I was completely shocked!

That lady was nice enough to delete it for me but I still worry that it will happen again. To all my fellow book bloggers, be careful! 

Top 10 books:

Here's my top 10 from 2012 favourite reads...
10.  The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa
9. Dreamless by Josephine Angelini
8. Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter
7. Foretold by Jana Oliver
6. Everneath by Brodi Ashton
5. Blood Bond by Heather Hildenbrand
4. Devotion by Kristie Cook
3. Relic by Deena Remiel
2. The Selection by Keira Cass
1. Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry
 
Auto-buy authors:
I have so many LOL! Mmm my favourite's that I buy no matter what .. Deena Remiel, Kristie Cook, Aimee Carter, I have so many more but just can't think of names right now. Sorry to all my fav authors I haven't forgotten you intentionally, lol. 
 

Things that make you go "Ahhh" in a book? 
When everything in the story finally clicks in my head or something major happens. I'm usually giggling, swooning, crying, yelling or all together, lol!

When a book can make you do all those things you know it's a keeper! 

Most memorable author interview?
I don't think I have one in particular, every author I've interviewed has been memorable I've taken a little something special from each one. :)

You can follow Sassy Book Lovers on their blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

INDUSTRY: Interview with...My Book Chatter

I thought it might be of interest to showcase some of the great book bloggers and bookstores that specialise and help promote the romance genre.

I've been lucky enough to be interviewed, hosted or promoted at many of these places and found it intriguing to interview them about their passion and love of books and authors.

Please welcome my next guest - Cath from My Book Chatter...

Book Blog: My Book Chatter



Blogger Bio: 
*snort* I hate describing myself but here goes…


I’ve been reading since the age of four, and think people that don’t enjoy the art of escapism are missing out and I will try to convert them!


I’m happily married to an awesome non-reader truck driver who works too many hours and has so far evaded my conversion techniques (I will never give up, never surrender!)
.

I have three gorgeous and crazy daughters, who often drive me bonkers with their daily trials and tribulations, but I wouldn’t change them for anything – they are my world.


I LOVE books, food, and coffee – all in excess, and I’m probably a couple cans short of a six-pack! (Translation: I have a few loose screws/the lights are on but nobody’s home/I’m away with the fairies/loopy/weird…you get the idea!!)
.

I would love to one day write my own book, but lack the skill and patience to put in the hard yards, so I’ll continue to read other peoples stories. 
I’m honest, tend to swear like a trooper, and I love hard and forever.



Web address: http://mybookchatterchat.blogspot.com
.au

Review preferences: I will read just about anything but prefer:
  • Paranormal Romance
  • Urban Fantasy
  • Young Adult/Teen Fiction
  • Historical
  • Contemporary Romance 
(or any mixture of the above!)


Highlights of your blog: 
I think my honesty is my blog’s highlight. I review for a number of Indie author’s and while I would never be disrespectful towards an author or their book, I will point out things I didn’t enjoy or things that don’t make sense to me, and for the most part it’s taken well.



What inspired you to begin your blog? 
To be honest I was feeling disillusioned and a little cheated by some of the books I was reading.

They had all these really great and often gushing reviews and 5 star ratings, and I found them to be full of over clich├ęd characters and unimaginative plots. I was often left confused and perplexed – was I the only one that didn’t get it, that didn’t enjoy the book?


I guess I just wanted to add my voice to the mix, for someone to hear my opinion.



Do you have a favorite part of the job?
 When someone contacts me to let me know that they have loved a book that they otherwise wouldn’t have read if not for my review, that just blows my mind!



What hazards come with the territory?
 My reviews have been known to offend people to the point that they feel the need to send me hate mail!
It sounds strange I know, but there have been a couple of books that I didn’t particularly enjoy, and upon reading my review, hardcore fans felt the need to email me nasty messages that included lots of swearing and threats of bodily harm.

I usually just ignore them, or email them back thanking them for their comments - LOL!



Top 10 books:
 Are you crazy?! That’s a super hard question to answer! 


Oh gosh, MY top 10 books of all time would be…
  • 
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by CS Lewis

  • Charlotte's Web by EB White

  • Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
  • The Never-Ending Story by Michael Ende
  • IT by Stephen King
  • The Sevenwaters series by Juliet Marillier

  • Poems by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

  • Lightning by Dean Koontz
  • The BDB series by JR Ward (probably just the first 6 though)

  • The Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh (I can’t choose just one!)
I know I kind of cheated, but it’s hard too hard to choose.




Auto-buy authors:
 There used to be so many more but I’ve gotten picky lately: Nalini Singh, Melissa Pearl, T.G.Ayer, Jeaniene Frost, Anna Campbell, Merrie Destefano, Pamela Palmer, and *grins like a loon* Kylie Griffin.



Things that make you go "Ahhh" in a book?
 I’m a sucker for unrequited love, especially when a girl is completely oblivious to her best friend being in total never-hurt-her-in-a-million-years, I-want-to-treasure-you-forever kind of love.


And it sounds simple but I love an honest emotional connection; when my heart beats a crazy tattoo in my chest, or I’m crying uncontrollable rivers of tears… whether it’s between me and a character, or between the 2 MC’s of the story - but it has to feel real and unadulterated. It can turn an “Ahhh” moment in to an “Ahhh” book.



Most memorable author interview?
 I haven’t done many interviews on my blog, but I recently had author Toni Kenyon visit with a guest post and she did an excellent job.

There was lots of funny banter between us and people leaving comments and it was like having an awesome day out with a close friend, I had a lot of fun.




You can follow My Book Chatter on her blog, Facebook, Goodreads or Twitter.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Saturday Seven! (Kiss of Steel)

A new feature on my blog for this year - Saturday Seven!

This is where I'll be pulling seven paragraphs from some of my favorite books - an excellent chance to showcase some awesome scenes. I hope you like them as much as I do! :-)

This scene comes from KISS OF STEEL by Bec McMaster. Hiding in Whitechapel - Blade's territory - Honoria has negotiated a bargain with him - elocution lessons in trade for his protection from the Blue Bloods and other nasties lurking in the streets.
"I've an idea," he murmured innocently.
With his fingertip he traced the first slashing line of the "A" across her smooth skin. The touch was deliberately light. Her lips parted and she have a helpless little shiver.
"Stop."
"'A.' For arm." He returned to the start and began the soft, lush curves of the next letter. "'B.'" His gaze traveled down her throat to her bosom, and he leaned closer, his voice lowering hypnotically. "For...brow." A devilish little smile.
Honoria's eyes went out of focus as she stared at his mouth. Her breath came a little heavier and she wet her lips. "That's quite enough." But the words lacked force.
"'C.'" Another suggestive curve. "For cheek." His breath brushed against her neck as he slowly leaned closer.
Honoria trembled, like a rabbit trapped in the hunter's hand, knowing that the soothing strokes of his touch were dangerous and yet not understanding how. He sensed the struggle within her; by rights she should pull away and slap him. With the melting softness in her body, she wanted to wait and see what else he could do. Curiousity would be her downfall. There was a passionate woman beneath the starch and tightly laced stays. But she could not be won by force, only by the sweet lure of desire.


KISS OF STEEL
He craves her like no other…
Honoria Todd has no choice. Only in the dreaded Whitechapel district can she escape the long reach of the Duke of Vickers. But seeking refuge there will put her straight into the hands of Blade, legendary master of the rookeries. No one would dare cross him, but what price would he demand to keep her safe?
Ever since Vickers infected him with the craving, Blade has been quicker, stronger, almost immortal—and terrified of losing control of the monster within. Honoria could be his perfect revenge against the duke…or the salvation he never dared to dream of.

Friday, January 11, 2013

ALLIANCE FORGED an ARRA finalist!

A lovely email arrived in my inbox this morning from the Australian Romance Readers Association announcing the finalists for their book awards for 2012.

ALLIANCE FORGED is a finalist in Favourite Sci Fi, Fantasy or Futuristic Romance section! I'm thrilled to pieces and proud to be among such talented company.

Thank you to the readers who nominated this book - I really appreciate it! And a special thank you to the ARRA Inc. volunteers who've given of their time to organise and hold this event!


A special congrats and shout out to my writing buddy Bec McMaster for her incredible 5 nominations for KISS OF STEEL!!!

If you'd like to see the complete lists for all the categories, click here.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

INDUSTRY: Interview with...Riverina Romantics

I thought it might be of interest to showcase some of the great book bloggers and bookstores that specialise and help promote the romance genre.

I've been lucky enough to be interviewed, hosted or promoted at many of these places and found it intriguing to interview them about their passion and love of books and authors.

Please welcome my first guest - Jodie from Riverina Romantics...


Book Blog: Riverina Romantics - A blog dedicated to lovers of sexy and seductive romances. We read. We review. We have a good laugh.

Web address: www.riverinaromantics.blogspot.com 

Review preferences: We are different from other review sites. We don't take a lot of review requests. We read the stories we want and review them if we love them. I started the site to help promote authors in a positive light and won't publish reviews less than three stars.

What inspired you to begin your blog? I started reading when my first son was born. Since then my addiction to romance grew. I began writing reviews on Goodreads and I still remember the sensation I got when someone 'liked' my review, (Yeah, I need to get a life). The next step was to start a blog. I love interacting with readers and authors and discussing the books I love.

Do you have a favorite part of the job? The freebies are nice. The blog actually costs us money to run. Sometimes we pay for the giveaways, then there's the swag and postage. So getting to read free review copies is a great bonus.

What hazards come with the territory? Because we don't post low scored reviews we don't really have a lot of hazards, although the blog does take up a LOT of time.

Replying to emails, scheduling posts, organising reviews, chatting with publishers and authors - it's all a great big time suck. But well worth it. I've made some great connections and met a lot of really inspirational people (online, of course).

Top 10 books:
These are in no particular order:
  1. Anything by Cindy Gerard
  2. Hot Head by Damon Suede
  3. Defiant by Pamela Clare
  4. Dreams of a Dark Warrior by Pamela Clare
  5. The Darkest Pleasure by Gena Showalter
  6. Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
  7. Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward
  8. A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole
  9. Practice Makes Perfect by Julie James
  10. Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning
Auto-buy authors: Cindy Gerard, Kresley Cole, Gena Showalter - although I'm a little behind at the moment.

Things that make you go "Ahhh" in a book? When the emotional connection between two characters is so palpable that you get shivers.

Most memorable author interview? I love interviewing Cindy Gerard - for the simple reason that she is my favorite author. She is such a sweet person and a great inspiration. Interviewing her was the highlight to my blogger life.

You can also follow Riverina Romantics on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter!