Research Fun! (xposted)

Frog and Peach

The inspiratio for the Frog & Peach pub

Next year, there’s a new medical romance series coming out set in London. I have a book in it and I’ve had so much fun researching and drawing on my memories of London. The first film I can recall seeing was Mary Poppins and years later, I was very fond of watching Upstairs, Downstairs. When I finally got to London, I remember thinking I was on the set! Google Maps is my research friend along with Google in general.

I had the BEST FUN reading up on the Savoy Hotel. savoyOh, if those walls could talk! Fortunately, enough of the wild and wonderful stories and antics of the patrons were written down. Fred Astaire danced on the roof. It was a fave hotel of Marilyn Monroe’s and way back in the day, the rich and famous threw extravagant parties. Think Mr. Selfridge!

As you may or may not know, I have written a women’s fiction novel,  Daughter of Mine. It will be out March 2017 and closer to the date I will fill you in more on that. Right now, I have to start the second WF book and I’ve been researching. This took me to an artisan sourdough bread bakery.

BaDSCF5502ck in 2000, the Calverts started Irrewarra Sourdough, baking bread in historic stables on their western district property. From their first order of 100 loaves it has grown to baking 22,000 loaves a week as well as extending into other products. It was fabulous seeing all this glorous bread being made by hand. The boys and I were lucky enough to be sent home with some bread:-)

The research part of writing a book is always fun. It’s such a shame I now have to knuckle down and write the sucker 😉

Are you currently researching something? Perhaps it’s a h0liday/vacation? A new career? New Job? House? Or a new mattress…that’s my next job! Fill me in, I’d love to hear 🙂

Book News!

This year’s releases are A Daddy for Baby Zoe? and Down & Dusty Secret Confessions- Kelly. My most recent single title novels are the Medicine River Series (Montana Actually, Truly, Madly Montana) set in gloroious Montana. For all my book news, photos and details on each of my 30 novels,  head to my website or follow me on Facebook or Twitter.



March 2016

It’s officially autDSCF3716umn ‘downunder’ and Pekoe-the-cat’s coat is thickening up.  There’s  a hint of crisp mornings and some autumnal colours peeking into the leaves. I love March and it’s stable time of year.

I’m glad February is over as it was rather frantic.

I had one of those months where domestic life and work life clashed big time. I had a book due by Feb 29th. It’s a women’s fiction novel, a big sucker, and it features 4 generations of women.  I had timelines, charts, 5 storylines and personally,  thought it was enough just to try and keep track of all that but life had other plans.

I am the president of the school sailing club and we do a presentation dinner every year. I was on committee last year but I was CLUELESS as to the work involved as president. Even delegating the raffle, the table decorations and prizes, I have chased guest speakers, wrestled with AV people, torn my hair out at the logistics and now I find myself doing table seatings for 90! I tell you, it’s like a wedding!  So I was writing a book and trying to be creative and organising the dinner.

I was also battling with Air B&B about a booking in New York City in November. It should have been simple but nothing is ever simple when there is a 17 hour time difference,  two different currencies and possibly a language barrier. Somehow, with goodwill on both sides and some help from Air B&B we managed to sort it out but it took 9 days and when there is money at stake, it’s a little stressful.  And I was writing a book, trying to be creative and wondering if I had just lost $1500.Article Lead - narrow62348471114bxfimage.related.articleLeadNarrow.353x0.114cdz.png1413503922411.jpg-300x0

Oh, and I was judging nine books for a competition. Every evening was “gotta read, gotta read, gotta read.” Ain’t that relaxing 😱

And then there is just the regular stuff of being a mum, a daughter, a sister …. Seriously, I was lucky to know my own name.

I found myself dreaming of a garrett.  Of people being in awe of ‘the writer’ and backing away to give me creative space.  Yeah, I know.  You’re cluctching your belly and laughing so hard. But you know what? I reckon, if I was a bloke, I would have been afforded some creative space to finish the damn book! I got it done, but my body is rigid and I’m living on Tums. And how would I have got that book  finished the book with my sanity in tact? I would have HAD A WIFE.

I recommend this book, The Wife Drought. It doesn’t say anything that I haven’t muttered over the years but it DOES give the stats and the studies to validate that my gut feeling is the reality.

So how do you manage any deadline dilemmas in your life? Do you let everything fall over and go hang in the cave or do you try and juggle the balls?  Or?

Fun Times at a Music Festival

IMG_0658Yesterday, I spent the day in the seaside town of Queenscliff at the annual music festival. Last year we did 14 hours on the Saturday. This year we just spent Sunday from 11am-5pm. The weather was perfect!

Hats were everywhere protecting skin from the sun and I was thrilled to see a teens applying sunscreen. YAY. The foodstalls were amazing…calamari, rotis, Vietnamese, Bento boxes, Turkish gozleme, Timboon icecream…  the list went on!

We chose Sunday because a fave band of ours, The Waifs, were performing. For those of you who know the background to how I came to write my Rita-award-winning novel, Boomerang Bride, The Waifs’ song Bridal Train was very influential. I was so excited when they performed it and I sang long and loud!


I also had fun watching the crowd! Teens, oldies, young families, surfie dudes, out and IMG_0662proud Lesbians, people with a disability, EVERYONE was there and I was seen scribbling notes on the eclectic mob cos it’s all great book fodder. As a mother of sons, who knew that hot pants and flowers in the hair are popular with teen girls!  My only complaint was that the loud music precluded me from hearing many conversations 😉

I love this photo on the right…a dad protecting his toddlers ears and enjoying the day!

I am not the biggest music person in the world…my husband and children are far more into music than I am but I always enjoy a festival. Have you ever been to a music festival? I’d love to hear your story 🙂