May 26, 2010

Lyrics and Emotions


And the winner of Ice-Cold Lover is... Cathleen Ross!
Cathleen, please email me at melteshco@yahoo.com.au and I'll send you the copy. Happy reading! =)





Reading:
Claiming his Bought Bride, Rachel Bailey
Watching: Masterchef
Listening to: Guns N' Roses
Making me smile: Release of Ice-Cold Lover today!!




Take me down to the Paradise City
Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty....



I was driving in the car the other day on my own - my own!!! A rare occasion for me, and even better I was heading to my mum's to do some serious writing so the vibe was high. With the volume even higher I was listening to a favourite CD I hadn't played for a while, Guns N' Roses, and immediately their songs took me down memory lane, evoked emotions from the past in just the same way a much loved story does.
Lets face it, the lyrics to a song is a story too, one that induces emotions and makes us feel good, teary, happy, sad, high, low. Just like a good story should.
Singing at the top of my lungs, a smile on my face, the wind in my hair, geez, it was the best feeling. I had planned to think about my plot, where my characters were heading and how I was going to tie up my loose ends in a most satisfactory (read: splendid) way. Instead I thought of nothing but the music and the road ahead, losing myself in the moment (okay, now I'm getting Bold & Beautiful-ish). But seriously, I do believe that one moment of non-creative thinking actually topped up my creative well.
What about you guys? You understand what I'm talking about, right? =)
In celebration of my just released Ellora's cave novella, Ice-Cold Lover, I'm giving away an e-copy to someone who can tell me their favourtie song and/or favourite story and how it evokes an emotion.
BTW Sweet Child Of Mine is still one of my all-time favourite songs...

She's got a smile that it seems to me
Reminds
me of childhood memories...

May 25, 2010

Catwalk Wednesday

Name : Bailey - like the irish cream

Abode : mainly outdoors even though I did promise to be an indoor cat

Human Slave : Everyone and anyone who thinks my flat nose is cute

Likes: correct proportions of roo mince, seafood platter and crunchy biscuits mixed together...but not too much!! Oh and I'd do anything for some fatty roast pork.

Dislikes: Getting my feet wet - seriously I'd rather pee inside when it's raining or cold...but I'm in therapy for that phobia

Sociable or Aloof: I choose to keep a small circle of those who I allow to touch me...or see me

Night Owl or Early Bird: Night owl and beauty sleep all day, even with a brick for a pillow

Favourite Pastime: Being licked by my Golden Lab dog companion...who's just eaten roast pork and gravy, kinda like a mud pack.

Favourite Toy: anything that tweets or squeaks

Best Friend: Chad, my Lab companion... who sadly passed away, I do miss him. We have a new Choccy Lab, but he's just to young and idiotic for me to allow into 'my space' just yet I'm afraid. He'll have to earn the gravy licking privilege. He's showing promise.

What do you like to sharpen your claws on: my property ie, my owners and their leather lounge

Most embarrassing moment: Dealing with the consequences enforced by my therapist for not wanting to get my feet wet when I pee inside.

I really enjoy adventuring amongst cobler's pegs and burs, but don't so much enjoy the # 1 clippers!!!


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WANTED: Your Pet!!
Lovecats wants YOUR pet to feature on its Catwalk Wednesday.

Interested? Email Mel at
Melteshco@yahoo.com.au






And the winner is...

Congratulations, Kelly Proellocks! You've won a signed copy of Anna Campbell's new release, MY RECKLESS SURRENDER!


Kelly, can yo
u please email Anna with your snail mail address? Her addy is anna@annacampbell.info.

Thanks everyone for visiting us yesterday, and a big thanks to Anna for being our guest! Enjoy the book, Kelly!

May 24, 2010

Q&A with Anna Campbell


I'm delighted to welcome author Anna Campbell to the LoveCats blog today! Thanks for joining us, Anna. I'm thrilled you can join us!

Hi Emily and LoveCats buddies! I wish I had a cat -- the closest I come to pets are the wild bearded dragons in my garden and they're not exactly cuddly! Thanks for having me here today! As you know, I'm a dedicated reader of the blog!


Anna, you have a book out shortly. What's the title and when can we find it on the shelves?


My latest release is MY RECKLESS SURRENDER and it's out in North America TOMORROW! Wow! It's also being simultaneously released in Australia as a trade paperback with a gorgeous gothic cover. The official release date here is 1st June, but I wouldn't be surprised if a few are out there already. In Australia and New Zealand, the book will be available at Target, Big W, Kmart and all good bookshops. You can read an excerpt and the blurb on:
http://www.annacampbell.info/recklesssurrender.html.


Please tell us a little bit about the book, Anna.

I describe this story as a dangerous seduction in Regency London. Actually, I'm giggling here -- I originally typed that as 'sexuction' which isn't a bad description. This is my hottest story yet! Diana Carrick has been offered the chance to make all her dreams come true, but first she has to seduce the rakish Tarquin Vale, Earl of Ashcroft. Of course, nothing goes to plan and she's head over heels in love -- and trouble -- before she knows it!

You've spent a lot of time with your characters. Can you give us the skinny on the hero and heroine? What are their most appealing (or irritating) character traits?

It's a good think I like my characters because I DO spend a lot of time with them. Here's the lowdown!

Diana is strong and determined and willing to think outside the box. She's also a woman of talent and ambition in a society that doesn't recognise those qualities in a female. Her faults include her willingness to risk everything to get what she wants, without taking all the facts into consideration. She's also inclined to believe she can handle anything that comes her way -- which can lead her astray!

Tarquin! Oh, Tarquin, sigh! I have a bit of a crush on Tarquin. He's my first non-tortured hero, at least until he meets Diana! He's a man with his own code of honour, including his determination to defend those weaker than himself. He also knows himself inside out and he's willing to accept the consequences of what he does. On the minus side, he's inclined to act the master of the universe (goes with the territory when you're a Regency rake), although he gets his way through charm rather than arrogance, and he has an overdeveloped sense of responsibility.

How long did it take you to write this book? Did the words flow, or was it like pulling teeth?

First drafts are always hard for me! This one was no different. I basically do a book a year.

How do you plan on celebrating the release?

Ha ha! I have a VERRRRY nice bottle of red that might see the light of day! Drop in if you're passing. I know you like a nice drop, Emily!

Anna, thanks so much for joining us today! It's been a pleasure having you on LoveCats.


Who's not dying to get their hands on a copy of MY RECKLESS SURRENDER now? Fortunately for someone, Anna has generously offered a signed copy to one of today's commenters! To start the ball rolling, she has posed the following question:

Do you have a favourite character in romance? What are their good and bad qualities?

May 20, 2010

Newborn Gifts

by Nikki Logan
Happy Birthday
to my mum and my sister--both May 20 girls.

I often reflect on what a crappy way it must have been to spend your twenty-fifth birthday, legs hoisted up in  stirrups, enduring agonising pre-epidural pain, being scolded by nuns for not being more stoic (family legend suggests Mum actually snagged a particularly unsympathetic one around the habit and hissed ‘what would you know, you cheesy virgin?' Yup, pretty much hoping that one was my father's blarney)), and knowing that it is the last time you will ever have your birthday be about…you know…you.

But…I guess that the arrival of a bonny, bouncing newborn was gift enough. After all, how many people can say they got a baby for their birthday--one that legally belonged to them, anyway?

I, on the other hand, had the good graces to come along a respectable number of months after Mum’s birthday and a nice distance before Christmas. I’ve always been accommodating like that. Smaller, too (you’re welcome); looking more like my father (lucky, given I was a surprise baby); and a dark, elvin yang to my sister’s blonde, strapping yin.

Yes, she’ll thump me for that.


Anyhoo, all this talk of newborns and gifts brings me nicely to the blatant self-promotional part of the blog which is to say that my next book Their Newborn Gift hits shelves (North America & UK) in two weeks.

It’s the story of Lea, a woman who grew up a bit of a misfit in the already isolated remote Kimberley region of Western Australia, fell pregnant via an ill advised fling with a scorchingly hot rodeo rider and then raised the baby defiantly alone. Until their child falls sick, that is, and she has to hunt down Reilly ‘suicide-ride’ Martin to get his help saving their daughter.

He’s never forgotten her, she’s kept a huge secret from him, and between them is this pixie of a child who needs a little bit of each of them to save her life. But unfortunately, Reilly’s been keeping a secret of his own…

Their Newborn Gift is the final book in the three-part Outback Baby Tales series and it winds up the Curran sisters' legacy. The other books in the series are One Small Miracle (Melissa James) and The Cattleman, The Baby and Me (Michelle Douglas). If you’ve missed them in print you can get them and Their Newborn Gift  in e-book form right now over at e-harlequin (shortlink:  http://tinyurl.com/outbackbabytales).

The talented Zana Bell did me the honour of being an early reader for this book and she's going to post a review in early June, so make sure you pop back for that!

Until next time... Hope every day is as good as your b'day.

May 18, 2010

Catwalk Wednesday

Name: Luna. I'm a Devon Rex.

Abode: Perth. But I lived in Sydney until I was two. I'm really good at travelling, I've flown across Australia three times!

Human Slave: Leah. (blog) She's pretty cool, she lets me sleep on her lap when she writes, and appreciates it when I help her edit (see how helpful I am in that photo?). Her partner likes to pretend he doesn't like me, but he loves me almost as much as my mum does.

Likes: Playing fetch, look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJ77O0Zp-6M. I also like pushing stuff off shelves, scraping the pages of a book with my claws while standing on the cover (makes THE best noise) and opening and closing cupboard doors (with a bang!) if mum isn't paying attention to me.

Dislikes: Any delay in receiving my breakfast or dinner. I like to drag the biscuit bag out of the cupboard to remind mum that it's late. I'm also not keen on people who don't appreciate white cat fur on their clothes. It isn't my fault I'm possibly the furriest Devon Rex in Australia.

Sociable or aloof: Sociable! I love people. I particularly love people who don't like me. I jump on their laps as soon as they arrive in my house to show them how wonderful I am.











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Wanted: your pet!


Lovecats wants YOUR pet to feature on its Catwalk Wednesday.
Interested? Email Mel at
Melteshco@yahoo.com.au

May 17, 2010

The 2nd Annual Australian Romance Readers Association awards

I attended the ARRA 2nd annual awards dinner. My alter ego, Tracey O’Hara, was nominated for one of the awards.
But that’s not why I went.

Last year I attended the first ARRA convention. I had such a great time. I met many readers and being a reader myself, we spoke the same language. I also feel that it is very important to attend these events where you get to meet and talk to people who buy and read my books as well.

Nalini Singh signing my copy with Kate Cuthbert looking on expectantly
So now to the big day. It all actually started a few days before when I started challenging some of the ARRA girls to a “bling off”. I was wearing a very shiny dress and had some blingy jewellery as well. I was all set to be unofficial winner of the most blingy. And that’s when it all went so wrong.

First of all we started off to Sydney at 5am. Around 2 hours into the drive, I realised that I had left my beautiful shiny dress, hanging wrinkle free, in the closet.

DANG!!! DOUBLE DANG!!!

Not to worry – Rosie from Fangtastic Fiction came to the rescue and brought in some stuff for me to try on. Between her black sequin top and my stuff – I still managed to get rather blingy. But poor Rosie was rushing so much to get me something to wear, she locked herself out of her house. Boy do I feel bad.

Kandy Shepherd and her Contempory award
The positives, though, far out way the negatives. I had lunch with fabulous double award winning, Nalini Singh, and the rest of the girls from the ARRA committee. Then my roomie, Erica Hayes, arrived and we got all fancy and made our way down to dinner. On our table, we had fellow Harlequin Spice Brief author Cathleen Ross; contemporary author Kandy Shepherd; Urban fantasy writers Keri Arthur and Erica Hayes; and finally the fabulous HarperCollins Australia reps Melanie and Rachel.

The award winners are announced on the ARRA blog. And a fabulous time was had by all. And there was an amazing chocolate mousse for dessert.

I will definitely be going again next year. It is such a good time and such a pleasure.

May 13, 2010

Rachel Needs Book Advice!

Reading: Zane, The Wild One, Bronwyn Jameson
Watching:
Castle
Listen
ing to: The Swingle Sisters
Makin
g me smile: my fireplace

I’ve been reading historicals as my main genre of pleasure for a couple of years now. Thing was, I’d been resisting reading them because I was such a huge Jane Austen fan, and… well, I don’t know what I thought, but once I found them I was hooked and I realized I'd wasted heaps of years in not reading them!

Obviously I’ve been reading other genres in there as well, but more than 50% would have been historicals. I found some fabulous, fabulous authors who are now autobuys.

But I’m starting to get itchy feet.

I’m thinking the next genre I want to fall into will be romantic fantasy. Maybe with some romantic science fiction thrown in. I read a fair bit of fantasy and science fiction when I was a late-teen early-20’s gal—things like, Mists of Avalon (boy did I love that book at the time); Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (laugh? I *still* laugh at lines I read then); Unto Zeor Forever (the first book I remember being obsessed about, and then trying to glom the author, Jacqueline Lichtenberg); Dune (the whole series); plus a heap of Arthur C Clarke and other sci fi big names.

This was before I found romance. And looking back, the only one on the list that’s really a romance (and probably the only one of all the books I read at the time) is Unto Zeor Forever. Interesting that it was the romance that I obsessed abut the most, yes?

Anyway, onto more recent history. A gorgeous friend of mine recently gave me a copy of Finnikin of the Rock. I devoured it - fabulous. And about a year ago I read Thief With No Shadow which blew me away (no surprise that it had 2 Rita nominations, then).

So on the basis of two recent fantasy books that I loved, I think fantasy is my next reading genre. And what I need now are some recommendations!

It’s been so long since I was in this genre that I’m totally out of date. What I’m looking for: a book you loved (I’m looking for the best, people!), one where the romance is front and centre (or at least a big part) and a snappy pace (I’m not as patient as I used to be, and not sure I could handle the chapter’s-worth of explanations of the history / politics of the world).

Know any books that fit this description? *Please* share!!

May 11, 2010

Catwalk Wednesday

Name - Biggles

Abode - My human slaves have listened to my demands and I have a nice soft bed in most rooms.

Likes - Attention from my human slaves; swimming; walks and shadowing my slaves.

Dislikes - Bath time - and yes, it IS different to swimming!

Sociable or Aloof - I am a most sociable dog, happy to sniff your crotch at any time.

Night Owl or Early Bird - The little humans make sleeping in difficult, but I'm really a night owl, sitting up with my human while she taps at that strange and pointless machine. It doesn't give pats, play or smell good. I find her interest in it very strange. But I'm a good boy so I pretend excitement when she talks about it to me.

Favourite Pastime - Squeaking my throw toy at my human slave when she tries to peg out their fur things. A cold, wet nose to her leg also helps. Then she throws it. Ruff. I run really fast and bring it straight back. And she throws it again, and again, and again. Awoooh, the pleasure.

Favourite Toy - My soft, fluffy and squeaky toys for throwing. None of this plain tennis ball business for me, thank you very much.




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Wanted: your pet!

Lovecats wants YOUR pet to feature on its Catwalk Wednesday.
Interested? Email Mel at

Melteshco@yahoo.com.au

May 10, 2010

The Worst Idea in the World

Reading: Start Me Up by Victoria Dahl
Watching: X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Listening to: Jurassic Park Soundtrack
Making me smile: My picnic lunch at the beach yesterday


I love to write. I enjoy losing myself in a world I've created and spending time with characters I wish I knew in real life. I became a writer because I love to read (some of you saw my book binge list last month!)

I’ll often be late, running behind, in a state of panic or guilty because I was reading a book instead of doing something else I was supposed to be doing, like cleaning, ironing, sleeping, getting ready to go out, writing…the list goes on.

Whenever my husband hears the phrase “I’ll just get to the end of this chapter” I now get a massive eye roll because, well, hours later I’m still reading. Okay, so I have a teeny, tiny addiction, but in my opinion a good one (-:

A little while ago, in an effort to be more disciplined and productive with my writing, I decided to make a list of all the books I was dying to read and use them as reward books. I couldn’t read until a book until I’d finished writing five chapters etc. Brilliant idea – stops me reading when I should be writing and provides an excellent carrot.

Image: Nikita Rogul | Dreamstime.com

It was incredibly painful at first, but I forced myself to stick to it. About three days into it, I decided only full books were on the list, short stories didn’t count. So of course, I started reading a lot more shorts!

Did I miraculously start flying through writing my chapters? Were the words pouring out of me so I could get my reward? NO. After a few weeks, all my inspiration for the story I was writing was gone. Sucked away. I was bone dry.

I remember reading an article called A week without books. In it, Bibi van der Zee details her experiment of going cold turkey on books and not reading for a week. She was worried that since she’s so addicted to books, her quality of life was suffering. In fact, she discovers the opposite.

Image: Melinda Nagy | Dreamstime.com

I finally worked out that reading helps my writing. It inspires me, educates me, motivates me and fires my urge to create amazing characters and stories.

While using books as rewards might work for others, for me it was the worst idea in the world. Now I’ve committed to writing AND reading every day. Do I sometimes read when I should write…sure. But at least when I am writing those words are flowing and I love every minute of it!

How about you? Can you restrict your reading? Can you go a week (or write five chapters!) without books?

May 7, 2010

Caturday Jigsaw

After Sharon's post on jigsaws yesterday, the Caturday fun definitely had to be a jigsaw. And since Mel Teshco has a brand new cover - and it's gorgeous! - the image to use was obvious.

Enjoy! (Unless you're one of the jigsaw haters who outed yourselves yesterday, in which case, you might prefer to buy the ebook when it comes out.)

May 6, 2010

Puzzled!

by Sharon Archer




No, it's not Caturday Fun day, but I couldn't resist bringing you a puzzle! Just to look at!

I enjoy jigsaws. The mindboggling number of tiny irregular pieces and the challenge of putting them together to look - hopefully - just like the stunning picture on the top of the box. I'm a sorter (it's that inner duck-liner-upper approach!). I sort into piles - one pile of edges and one pile of "other bits" - which naturally gets broken down into sub-piles of green bits or blue bits or brown bits or white bits. I like to start by putting the edges together first so then there's a frame to help find where the other pieces go.

This works well because jigsaws are square and therefore they always have four corners! Right?

Wrong!

These days, there are shaped puzzles. A friend showed me this clever cat-shaped puzzle that she'd put together with friends. She loved it so much she's had it framed.




Titled Curious Kittens, there are cats within cats, cats in the clouds, a cat face in the branches of the tree...







In this picture, you can see that some of the interlocking pieces even fit together to make mini puzzle-cats within the larger picture.





It's fabulous and the longer I looked, the more cats I could see.

It's been years since I've done a jigsaw but this clever design had me seriously itching to have a go.

Are you jigsaw person? Have you tried one of these shaped puzzles? Do you break them up after you've done them? Or try to keep them for a while so you enjoy the fruits of your labour? Do you find them relaxing or stressful? From my research on the Internet, I believe there are even 3-D puzzles now! Have you tried one of those?

P.S. For those who can't resist the temptation, I did Google to see if I could find a link for this company, but no luck - hopefully this means they're designing more of their delightful puzzles! If it helps the puzzle is made by THE CANADIAN GROUP, Toronto.

PPS I meant to say that I'll giveaway a copy of my latest release, Bachelor Dad, Girl Next Door, to one of my commenters! Looking forward to it!

May 4, 2010

Catwalk Wednesday



Name: Tink. Also called: Tinkerbelle, T, TB, TBone, Princess

Abode: I’ve retired to the coast, although I spent most of my life on farms. I think the farms were better (more freedom) but I don’t mind a run along the river and it’s cooler on the coast.

Likes: Playing with running water especially the hose, food, running (sometimes away!), long sleeps, attention.

Dislikes: I have epilepsy and I hate having fits. I’m not fond of the beach, those waves just do my head in and they’re so noisy.

Best Friend: Cath and Pete, because they feed me. Ellie, although sometimes she eats my dinner. I had this great horse friend, Laurie, but he didn’t come when we moved.

Most embarrassing moment: I was chasing a rabbit, belting down this paddock, totally focused on the thing when a fence attacked me. How that rabbit got through when I bounced off I’ll never know. I had to jump over the wretched thing, which put me way behind, but I did catch that rascally
rabbit. This is closely followed by the moment I met Laurie. I’m not too fussed on horses, they’re just too big, but this guy seemed okay. I walked away from him after making the obligatory sniff, when I heard water pouring. Oh yeah, my favourite thing. I spun around and leaped to snap at the water when Cath yelled and it all came to me in a flash – Laurie was pee-ing and I’d nearlly bitten his hose. Gee, that wouldn’t have gone down well.



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Wanted: your pet!

Lovecats wants YOUR pet to feature on its Catwalk Wednesday.
Interested? Email Mel at
Melteshco@yahoo.com.au

May 1, 2010

Caturday Jigsaw

I thought the gorgeous Yeti was so cute when he was on the catwalk a couple of weeks ago, that he'd be the perfect choice for a jigsaw!