Thursday, January 30, 2020

Mini Golf Och Aye

Summer holidays means... mini golf!  Actually, any holiday means Mini Golf, if its not too ridiculously expensive. Not that I play it a lot, and I didn't really play it regularly, eg on holidays, until some years ago when we went along to a cute mini golf course in Feilding, in the Manawatu, and it became a regular thing we did when we were in that great part of the country.
I was in the South Island recently and happened along to the Riccarton Park Golf Complex in Christchurch. It has big golf too, if that be your thing, but it is not my thing, at this stage in life. 
So MacDuffs is an 18 Hole Mini Golf that has a really cute Scottish theme, including a castle, a Loch Ness Monster, and the sound of bagpipes along the way. I liked it a lot and next time I'm down that way, will pay another visit and try and beat my appalling score.
 Plus we got a free Chuppachup at the end. Can't think what it was for, now, but... yay!


Sunday, January 26, 2020

Happy Anniversary Day Auckland

Today is Auckland Anniversary Day.
On to that in a minute....
I still hope to have Bringing Back Emily up by the end of January. That is ... in a few days time.
I have gone back over Jack and Sage to fix up a few issues with those stories and to double check consistencies.

Also I am removing my books from wide distribution (ie Apple, Kobo etc) to focus on Amazon and having them enrolled in the reading programme.
It has been a bit of a decision to make but I will trial it again and see what happens.
If it doesn't prove a good decision, I will go back to wide again. That is the joy of indie publishing; nothing is set in concrete and you can play around and find your market.
So FINALLY I will have my first trio of books in the same series, the City of Sails series.
Interestingly, (I think that's a word), today is the anniversary day for Auckland, aka the City of Sails. 180 years old apparently.
The weather is hot and fine, and last night there were spectacular fireworks in the city.
Not that I went, being a non-fan of such events which involve crowds of people and jostling and crowds of people and parking/traffic dramas, and crowds of people (did I mention crowds of people?) and  all that stuff that one, ie me, tends to avoid.
No. I stayed home with the fam which was nice. I watched some telly, read a bit, washed a dish or two, and I made some mega-fattening, uber-wonderful afghan biscuits which have all gone.
A pretty good evening.

Friday, January 24, 2020

New Years reading

One of my first reads for the new year was A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh. I bought the trade paperback version, cover below.
It was gripping right from the get-go, set in a coastal tone in New Zealand where the South Island setting is perhaps
the star of the story. It is of course a murder mystery;  a beautiful young local woman is murdered while out on a run. There is wild sea and dense bush, and danger in the elements. Beautiful, dangerous New Zealand.
I'm always a bit reticent about saying I like a book that deals with awful topics. I went through a Jack Reacher phase a year back, and did my dash there. And much as I'd give A Madness of Sunshine a high rating, which I do, I think I'll stick to light reading. This book is proof, though, (if we needed it)  that our Nalini is one heck of an amazing writer and story teller.

In other reading, I've been taking part in a summer reading challenge for the fun of it.
Besides a graphic novel about a zombie cat (kind of gross), and watching a movie based on a book (Sense and Sensibility with beloved Alan Rickman),  the classic I chose to read was Requiem for a Wren by Nevil Shute. Not 'light' reading in that it deals with WW2, though and how war keeps killing. A lot of WW2 detail as our heroine, Janet, is indeed a Wren. The story begins with Alan coming back to his parents Australian farm to find their maid has killed herself and he explores her personal papers and his own memories of her to uncover why she ended her life.  So not happy.
Clearly, something funny and... cheerful,  is needed right about now!

Monday, January 20, 2020

A Zoo Visit

We paid a visit to the zoo over the holidays. We got there first thing in the morning, before opening, as we needed to borrow a wheel chair for our family member, and there was already a queue waiting to get in. It had been  a while since my last zoo visit and below are some of the photos. I didn't get a terribly good pic of the Capybaras as it was feeding time when we arrived and there was a huge gathering watching them. The kereru was hilarious; he perched on his own sign. It was a good day though, and great to see so many people there. I will add I burnt a zillion calories pushing the wheel chair around, up hill and over dale (so to speak). But it was worth it.



The Capybaras

A Kereru, wood pigeon

Galapagos Tortoise


Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Cover Reveal

It's been a long time, but here it is.
The cover for Bringing Back Emily.

Most of my covers I make myself using Gimp software and You Tube tutorials. The hardest part is finding an image and I had planned to use this one for another book.
But thinking about, it's perfect. It suits the character of Emily so well.  Emily  has fair hair, she lives in the country, and she wears boho style dresses, so what could be more perfect?

I may tweak it a bit more, and try some different colours for the wording... perhaps... but I get the feeling I won't stray too far from this.


Thursday, January 9, 2020

Remembering winter

I took this photo a few months back in winter, but since its winter in other parts of the world, and since I'd forgotten I even took it, and found it when I was deleting all the rubbishy pics on my phone, I thought I'd post it. It's the Makatote Viaduct, north of Waiorou in the North Island. It has a heritage listing as an important heritage structure around rail in New Zealand, and it was built between 1905-1908.


I was driving up the north island, and it was a beautifully freezing day. Snow wasn't falling but it was lying everywhere. The roads had been cleared, but it was just lovely and picturesque. The viaduct was repainted a few years ago, and I usually see it with all the green around, but with the red paint, against the backdrop of the snow and ice, it was quite something. I stopped and took these pictures.


I don't know how many times I've driven under the viaduct and admired it and it's surround nature, but in the snow it was quite wonderful to look at it.




Monday, January 6, 2020

Empty buses

It’s holiday season here, and for a few weeks, while so many people leave town for beaches and camping holidays, I like to keep working, because it’s so quiet.
When anyone asks if I’m taking a break over Christmas and New Year, it’s “Heck, no!” Why leave town when it’s the best time to be here?
There’s hardly any traffic on the roads, the motorways run smoothly, you get a good seat on the bus... 
I especially love that the other night when I got on the bus, a double-decker, I went up to the top deck, and I was the only one there.




Saturday, January 4, 2020

Welcome 2020

Two thousand and twenty.... how amazing. 
How amazing the millennium was 20 years ago. 
I'm looking forward to this new year, just like I do every year. I've got a plan. I have a nice new orange bullet journal and I will use it!
And yes, I hope to get fitter this year. Older middle age demands it, actually. In fact, I went through a bunch of aerobics DVDs I'd picked up for next to nothing in a clearance sale (I really do like owning actual DVDs), and to complement the walking, that could be the go. 
I'm not at all sure the fam will appreciate the jumping and subsequent earthquake-like effects, however,  but now is not the age time to be complacent about health and fitness.

Writing wise, I'm a whisker away from releasing "Bringing Back Emily," the follow up to Falling for Jack.  I'm tidying up the next Frazier Bay book, "The Heart of Matthew McLeod", and will finish book three in the Clearlake series, "Belinda's Valentine". To finish all that by this time next year would be great, but I am hopeful, terribly hopeful, there will be much more than that published.
So.... Happy 2020. Onward and upward, all!!


Two Free Books

I have a couple of books that are going for free on Amazon over the next few days, until the end of March, I think. The link is HERE . ...