This weekend we headed south and flew to Tasmania to visit The Lad who is studying at UTas. We are also on the ‘tour of universities’ for Boy Wonder who only has 18 months left of high school. Hobart pulled out all the stops with glorious, clear-blue skies. We caught up with some writing friends, did some of the tourist things, met some of The Lad’s friends and generally enjoyed ourselves. Here’s a pictorial diary of our three days “down south.”
It’s May and the mornings are crisp and the days glorious! May has five weekends and we are having one of those months where there is something on every single weekend, ranging from parent teacher interviews to live theatre to a trip to Hobart to visit The Lad. We are also preparing for the arrival in June of our French exchange student :-)
Writing news…I’m doing edits on my 21st medical romance for Mills & Boon. I was a bit worried about this book as it is quite different from my usual medical romances but my editor loved it so PHEW!
I’ve also had some fun writing a hot and sexy short story, which will be part of an anthology later in the year. I’ll keep you posted when I know the titles and release dates of both these stories. Right now I am surrounded by sheaves of papers and am creating a mind map as I try to nail down some ideas for my next novel. Right now it’s all gauzy ideas floating past so I hope to wrestle them into a book.
I have TWO books up for pre-order, both releasing in early July!
Truly Madly Montana, book 2 in my Medicine River series is up for pre-order everywhere and the buy links are here. It’s release date is July 7th 2015. I had a lot of fun writing this book. Millie and Will bounced onto the page and despite their own personal demons, were determined to have a great time. Montana Actually ended with Millie heading off to medical school and now she’s home for the summer to work. The last person she expected to meet was Will, the Australian flying doctor, the guy she had a ridiculous crush on the year before. A guy who never noticed her other than as ‘one of the guys.’ Thankfully, she’s totally over him now. Well, almost totally ;-)
As with all my single title contemporary romances, you get two romances in the one book. The secodary romance features Ethan, my hipster librarian-IT guru and Tara, Bear Paw’s new deputy sheriff. If you gave these two people animal spirits, Ethan’s would be a Golden Retriever–enthusiastic and postive– and Tara, a cool, detached cat, who never shows any emotion. Getting them together was like pulling teeth.To read the first chapter of Truly Madly Montana, click here.
I also have Unlocking His Surgeon’s Heart, which is part of the Harlequin Mills & Boon Midwives on Call series. It releases on July 1st! Lilia is a dedicated midwife in a small coastal town. She loves her work but to a certain extent she’s hiding behind it. Her world is small and safe, which is how she wants and needs it to be. The arrival of an arrogant and grumpy city surgeon is something to be endured for four, short weeks and she’s endured worse so how hard could it possibly be? For more information, buy links, and photos click here for my website page.
Whether you’re in the northern hemisphere and enjoying spring or in the southern hemisphere feeling the nips of a looming winter, I hope you have plenty of time for reading!
It’s April 25th today and in Australia and New Zealand that means Anzac Day. For those of you reading this who are not from either of these countries, it is a day when we remember the men and women who have served in the defence of our countries. A bit like Memorial Day in the US, although Anzac Day came into being because of a specific battle in Turkey on April 25th 1915. That is 100 years ago today.
It was the day Australia lost it’s innocence and came of age. 8,700 Australians and 2,700New Zealanders died during the Gallipoli campaign along with many British, French and Indian and Turkish soldiers. With a small population, the deaths of young man during WW1 changed the lives of an entire generation.
Of course in later years Australian troops fought in WW2, the Korean War and Vietnam. During the Vietnam war years, Anzac Day became a focus for anti- war sentiment. Then during the 70s and 80s it became for many a public holiday and the chance for a sleep in and a picnic.
Life changes and in the last two decades there has been a definite shift. Perhaps having forces serving in Afghanistan and Iraq effected us. Perhaps it is to do with more Australian history taught in schools or the fact that more Australians travel and are visiting the Turkish peninsula, but Anzac Day is once again a day where many people take time to reflect and give thanks. There are no longer any Gallipoli veterans alive to march on Anzac day but their descendents proudly march along with soldiers who served in other wars and in peace-keeping missions.
Lest We Forget.
Recipe for ANZAC Biscuits…these are ‘cookies’ that were sent to the soldiers. They had no eggs so could keep for a long time and they are YUMMY! We make them a lot and they’re an Australian cultural icon.
- 1 1/4 cups plain flour, sifted
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 3/4 cup desiccated coconut
- 2 tablespoons golden syrup or treacle
- 150g unsalted butter, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
“I Want to Marry a Lighthouse Keeper and Keep him Company,” goes the song (part of the sound track for A Clockwork Orange and Frank). Well, I am not sure about that life but I did have fun visiting a lighthouse this weekend. I live less than an hour from two lighthouses and if I drive another two hours I can count a third. They were built in the late 1800s along the Shipwreck coast.
As Boy Wonder needs hours behind the wheel in his quest for driving experience, we packed a picnic and headed not so far down the road. The sun was shining from time to time and we joined the throng of international tourists who flcok to my backyard in droves. Today I heard Spanish, French, Finnish, Swedish, Ceylonese, Italian, German, Japanese, Mandarin…the list goes on :-)
We climbed the glorious spiral staircase; a little longer and prettier than the one I climb to my office and the view from the top into Bass Strait was spectacular. As I gazed down on the lighthouse keepers’ cottages, I pictured the isolation of the life of a lighthouse keeper and their family. Being a kid though, wouldl have been awesome! All that glorious beach to explore, playing in the dunes, watching the ships come past, fishing, beach combing, sigh, I want to do it!
For those of you with kids, the TV show, ‘Around the Twist’ was filmed at this lighthouse. Paul Jennings, who wrote the books, lives further along the coast.
Between Boy Wonder and DH, we have a lot of photos so I’ll let them do the talking. This is the Split Point Lighthouse and I can recoomend an overnight stay at Cape Otway Lighthouse just out of Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road. We did that with the kids years ago and it was fabulous.
Easter is a four-day holiday where I live and for us this year it meant four days of great food, family gatherings, lots of car journeys, a partial lunar eclipse and doing the final page pass for Truly Madly Montana; this meant reading word-by-word a 110,000 word novel! Have I ever mentioned that I DETEST proof reading? It’s a certain kind of torture.
Easter started a little earlier than usual as The Lad flew back from college for the week, (YAY) arriving on Wednesday night. I spent a week going from bakery to bakery until I found THE perfect hot cross bun for Good Friday morning. I live for the annual shot of fruit and spices in a warm, light bun dripping with butter!
We live a long away from our extended family on both sides and it was our turn to journey. Good Friday, my sister-in-law cooked fish and on Easter Sunday my sister cooked a BBQ. I thought it was all wonderful as all I had to do was whip up a salad and a dessert. Boy Wonder and I poured over the cookbooks and as I have a bumper autumn lemon crop, the choice was obvious. How cute are these mini lemon meringue pies I made?
Boy Wonder (16) did a lot of driving as he is gathering hours. He has to have 120 hours driving experience before he can sit his driver’s test. My husband was on supervising duty and I sat in the back proof reading Truly Madly Montana and studying the style manual. I do LOVE the cover of this book. The canoes are from a photo of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park where much of the book is set. :-) Truly Madly Montana is book 2 in the Medicine River series and is up for preorder everywhere. Amazon currently has it on sale at $5.99 along with Montana Actually, which is book one.
Of course, the Easter bunny came on Easter morning so now we are swimming in chocolate, which I will be forced to eat. I guess that means today I head back to the gym and life returns to normal.
What did you do over your Easter weekend?
For Fiona’s complete list of novels click here.
So I’ve fallen down on blogging here once a week. Part of the reason is that I’ve been writing a book and when I’m busy working I don’t do very many exciting things to blog about. Life as a writer is like any job….lots of long, boring bits with occassional moments of excitement.
I was excited last night as I hit send and emailed my 21st Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical romance off to my editor. If you want to see photos that inspired the book I have called Her Italian Protector, cIick here at Pinterest.) So last night I opened champagne, sat back and contemplated a few days off over Easter before starting my next project and BAM! My email pinged with copyedits for a different book due in a week.
I guess I know what I will be doing on the many car journeys we are taking over Easter! Reading the final pass of Truly Madly Montana and trying to stay alert for typos and punctuation mistakes. I find proof reading one of the hardest parts of being an author.
It’s autumn down here now: cool mornings, cool evenings and glorious days. It’s also school holidays so Boy Wonder is home and we’re trying to do a few fun things amidst the routine stuff. We’ve been bike riding and he’s having mates around to visit and we have some movies planned. The Lad flies in tonight for a week’s break from uni so it will be great having all four of us together again for a short time. We’ve got some shows to see at the Melbourne Comedy Festival.
All my medical romances are availabe as eBooks now so if you’ve missed any you can catch up with them. I have a handy-dandy list of all titles here, in print format :-)
If you celebrate Passover or Easter, I wish you a happy, joyous time over the coming week.
(This blog also appears today over at the Love Is The Best Medicine because it was my turn to blog there too!)
This weekend was the Australian Romance Readers Convention in the national capital, Canberra! Canberra was warm and sunny…not that I left the hotel but you know, it was nice to know the weather was glorious ;-)
Although, teeny-tiny compared with Amercia’s RT convention, ARRA is a lovely warm and intimate gathering. It was a terrific weekend and a good opportunity to mix and meet with romance readers! Most of them were women but there were a few blokes about and the one thing they all have in common is a voracious appetite for reading romance. The weekened kicked off on Friday night with drinks, a full conference day on Saturday including a fabulous books signing and a splendid awards dinner that had a 1920’s theme followed by another day of sessions on the Sunday. Books were launched (Rachael Johns’ Road To Hope and the ARRA book Tribal Law, sensational food was eaten and the quirky QT Hotel in Canberra was awash with the love of romance fiction :-)
I took part in a panel and the book signing. The rest of the time I popped to some sessions and caught up with some fellow authors I only get to see once a year or two including medical romance authors Avril Tremayne, Fiona McArthur and Amy Andrews. The best way to describe the fun is a photo stream so here goes!
So now I am home, the high heels are back in the cupboard and real life is calling. How was your weekend and have you ever attended a romance readers event?