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A sojourn to the springs

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 I had a brief few days away in the South Island with fam, and thought about how many cool places there would be to live and write. Which is kind of daft, because it doesn't matter where you write, really, home is pretty good if you've got a quiet space. Or do you even need a quiet space if you put on headphones and listen to some non-distracting music? I'm pretty sure I don't. Anyhoo, one place I did visit on the sojourn South was Hamner Springs, which is a town in North Canterbury in the South Island.  It's around a two hour drive north of Christchurch, and is a touristy-town set in hills, with views to snow-covered mountains, and it has... Hot pools!! It is famous for the hot pools. In fact, at one point the natural hot pools were used for therapeutic reasons, and while there may be some therapeutic claims, I can't say as I felt any different leaving the pools except still a bit damp, very happy I'd finally been, and thinking I would definitely go back ag

Working in hospo

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If you've read Falling for Jack , you might remember that Robyn worked at a stadium in the hospitality industry.  The inspiration for that actually came from when, many a few years ago, I worked in hospo at events centres. The kind that held Rugby World Cup finals, and All Black rugby tests and classy fundraisers. To be honest, I was long gone by the time the World Cup final was held there but I sure worked a few big games and, man, were they exciting. All the hype and the tangible buzz, not to mention we got the fabulous dinners after the punters had been fed.  There were one-day cricket matches, and I even worked at a five-day cricket test between New Zealand and Australia, and got assigned to the Lounge where all the players hung out during the match. That was fascinating on so many levels. Some of the most famous Aussie players in the cricket world were on the team at the time and I remember the Aussie players were friendlier than the Kiwis. Probably because the Aussies were s

Note to self: Interruptions are like Christmas

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One thing I have noticed with interruptions to writing is they can go on and on and on. It's a bit like feasting at Christmas. In theory its only one day, but it darn well isn't. Christmas (only 7 or so months to go, yay!!) lasts for weeks, and interruptions are like that. You don't do anything with your manuscript for a few days and the days can become a week, can become a habit, and the last thing you want to do is go back to the wretched book. Yet when you do, you breathe a sigh of relief because you're back in that world, and that world is pretty good because you invented it. It also reminds me of a saying I heard on a romance writing talk years ago. It was Stephanie Bond and she said something like, "Writing begets writing." The more you write, the more you write. I agree 100% with that. The more I write, the more I want to write, but a few days off is breaking the streak and that's bad.  Of course, of course everyone is different with their creative

New reading discovery Agatha Raisin

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I've been reading outside of the beloved romance genre lately, and combining it with audio books, downloaded through my library. My latest find are the Agatha Raisin mysteries, by MC Beaton , light mysteries that are solved by former PR superstar, Agatha, and set in a village in the Cotswolds in England. What I really love about the audio versions in particular are that they are actually plays that were made for radio in the UK, so it isn't a story being narrated, but acted. Like back in the olden days when they used to have serials on the radio.  With the Agatha Raisins, I downloaded them, free of charge, via Overdrive from the library, so I can listen to them offline, while walking or riding on the bus.  I can't recommend it enough. Even more, the fabulous Penelope Keith plays Agatha Raisin and is just divine in that role. What a cantankerous character she is.  Even better, there are dozens of Agatha mysteries to get through. What a treat! 

Favourite author Friday

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 If you're going to write about a favourite author, then why not start with the best.  And that would be Nora Roberts . I first discovered the novels of Nora Roberts back in the day at a second-hand bookshop, the ones that I don't think exist any more. You know the shops, where you'd take in a stack of  paperbacks, you'd sell them for a dollar or two, and then get the money credit against your purchases. Man, I loved that. There has always been debate about them, because the authors get no royalties on a book once its sold second hand, but I may not have discovered one of my most favourite set of stories ever if not for those crowded and musty little bookshops, where I could browse the books and buy them cheap. And those stories were Nora Roberts Donovan series. At the time, there was Captivated, Entranced and Charmed. I fell in love with those books and not long after, when I heard that Nora herself was going to be at the Australian romance writers conference, I was in

These are not Hot Cross Buns

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  Happy Easter! This year we I decided to forego chocolate for Easter. The first time in living history but honestly, it feels like the excess of Christmas was just last week, so Easter Eggs were off the shopping list. However, we did not, I repeat, did NOT, forego the tradition of the Hot Cross Bun. So on Good Friday I found a recipe and made them. Now, we do have a breadmaker, kindly bequeathed to me some years ago by a friend who was giving up bread. We have enjoyed some marvels from that breadmaker. Fruit loaves, plain loaves, foccaccia bread, and last year, some rather nice Hot Cross Buns. But a few months back, we discovered the wee paddle in the machine had disappeared, the bit that does the churning, and despite much searching and re-searching, and doing it again for good measure, because how on earth could this paddle just vanish, like socks in a washing machine, this wee paddle had in fact gone AWOL. Now, I am paranoid about losing such things and take great care, and put it

New title for The Daniel Deal

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 I have a new title for the first book I published, now known as... The Daniel Deal . It was originally called Daniel's Bride , then I changed it to Marrying Melinda , but for reasons (my next release is called Marrying Michelle and no other title will do!) I had to come up with a new title, and it is now The Daniel Deal . It's a marriage of convenience story set in Sydney, with a gorgeous, alpha hero, Daniel, who comes from old money and is running the family empire while his brothers have absconded overseas, the selfish brats! One of my readers told me she loved the story but wanted to give Daniel a kick up the butt! I kind of see what she meant. The heroine is Melinda, who's just been jilted, is out of a job, is worried about her invalid mother who must live in a home, and so she takes up Daniel on an offer to be his wife, an offer she can't refuse.  There is also a wee Jack Russell called Barnaby in there. Here's the blurb from my Amazon page: A sweet, modern r