For years and years I used to write the news… today I find myself in it!
I’m a bit of a hermit crab during winter – I do like to stay at home and be warm and snug in my shell. For me, July has been very social. Last Saturday I went to Bogan Bingo with girlfriends, last night I went to the Bunbury Entertainment Centre with my sister for a Michael Jackson tribute show, and next Friday I have our annual work party end-of-financial year awards night in Busselton. All three events will involve fun music and dancing and reminiscing.
Last night’s Michael Jackson show in particular has me feeling very nostalgic this morning. I had a chance to see Michael Jackson on the History Tour when he visited Perth in December 1996. I didn’t go. It felt like too much money or too much trouble, and so I never saw Michael Jackson live.
It struck me as funny and a bit sad last night in a tribute show that was good fun, but was always going to be a bit kitsch and cheesy – that I’d paid $79 to see a ‘fake’ Michael Jackson, yet I’d baulked in years before about paying to see the real deal.
I think the lesson in this is, if you can afford it, and if one of your favourite performers comes to a venue near you – do whatever you can to get tickets because these performers won’t be there, or won’t be at their peak forever. I’m thinking too of Prince, who toured Perth just a few months before his death earlier this year.
Hubby and I went with friends to see Bruce Springsteen in Perth in February 2014 – and it goes down as one of the best things I’ve ever done; a lifelong memory.
There, a non-writing post – but sharing what’s on my mind this Saturday morning.
Hope your weekend is shaping up to be fun.
It’s a name change. It’s a cover change. It’s huge news for Seth and Remy from So Far Into You, because (drum roll please) their book is going into print!
I’ve been sitting on this news for months while I worked with my publisher, Harlequin MIRA, through a new round of edits, and a new cover design for the print version of Seth and Remy’s story of big dreams and second chances.
So here it is. A world exclusive for followers of my blog because you are ultra SPECIAL!
In September, The Vineyard In The Hills will be on an Aussie bookshelf shop near you!
It’s wet wet wet at my place today. This is the view outside my writing room window.
I do love this weather. There’s no wind (I hate wind) and the rain is steady and gentle and very very persistent! Great for the garden.
I’m working on my Butterfly House book, trying to incorporate my Escape Publishing editor’s feedback. I have too many point of views (story of my life!) As usual, that objective editorial eye helps bring out the best in my writing and I know this new version, and the further stories I plan for Butterfly House, will be better for it.
In a break I’ve also been gardening, throwing fertiliser around. My hubby is convinced the best fertiliser for natives is blood and bone. (He read it in a book somewhere). I’ve been very careful with fertiliser on our natives because even though I followed the instructions, I know I overdid it last year. Nothing here has been fertilised since September… so if everything curls up and carks it… you know who will be in the firing line for these blood & bone suggestions!
Whatever you’re up to this weekend, I hope you’re enjoying the day.
It’s the Queen’s Birthday long weekend this weekend on the East Coast of Australia, which is an extra special time of year for my re-published novella, The Goodbye Ride. Not that I’m an avid royalist or anything, it’s just that I chose to set the book on the Queen’s Birthday holiday, in gorgeous Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills, and write about a boy, a girl, and a Ducati bike. If you fancy taking a fun sweet ride on the back of a classic old bike, this may be the perfect escape read for you
Here’s how the story starts:
Olivia Murphy had brass in pocket. One thousand dollars’ worth of brass to be exact—all hers and all hard-earned. Technically, the money was in her handbag not her pocket, but Liv wasn’t about to split hairs. The sun—for the moment at least—was shining, she’d given herself the day off tomorrow, and her parents were in Melbourne. She had the house to herself for four whole days.
The Langs’ place wasn’t far—just another few hundred metres’ walk out of town along the Hahndorf main street. She couldn’t see the glint of red, not yet. There were too many hedges in the way, too many neat brush fences, and her prize was set back from the road. Luke’s bike. Her brother’s Ducati Pantah 650. The bike she was about to pay Dean Lang ten thousand dollars to buy back.
If there’s one oak leaf stain on that paintwork, Mr Lang, you better get ready to knock another few hundred off your asking price.
Liv checked over her shoulder, just as she had every thirty seconds since she’d left the bank carrying ten hundred-dollar notes crisply folded in a plastic bag. The odds of getting mugged in Hahndorf weren’t high, unless by a Japanese tourist who wanted his photo taken. But why tempt fate?
She quickened her pace.
Her handbag bumped her hip. Liv clutched it close with her elbow and concentrated on where she put her feet. Rotting autumn leaves made slimy passage underfoot and the pavement was a twisted roller-coaster of treacherous roots.
On the opposite side of the road, ahead near the sixty sign, a bright red utility pulled to a stop. The driver braked hard enough to grind shining Mag wheels through the roadside slush.
It was one of those big, bristling testosterone-fuelled boy toys—one with more aerials than a radio station, mudflaps the size of a swamp, spotlights everywhere. A bull bar covered in RM Williams stickers snarled across the front.
Liv figured the driver must be heading up to camp in the backwaters of the Murray River for the Queen’s Birthday long weekend—some choice spot where he could shoot pigs and suck beers. He’d probably stopped to change CDs, throw One Hundred Best Beer Songs of All Time into the stacker.
‘Neanderthal,’ she muttered under her breath. He looked like the exact kind of arsehole who’d made her brother’s life hell.
The driver-side door opened and two feet eased out. Two feet clad in thongs. Thongs! Liv pulled her jacket tighter across her chest. Didn’t Mr Muscle Car know it was June and freezing?
No sense. No feeling.
Those feet were attached to a muscular pair of legs in black cargo shorts, and from there to a sculpted torso in a T-shirt that looked a half-size too tight.
The driver shoved his sunglasses to the top of his head, checked left and right, and his weight edged forward.
Fear iced Liv’s spine.
The brute had parked opposite Dean Lang’s house—directly opposite her bike—and now he zeroed in on the Ducati like a heat-seeking missile.
Guys like that don’t want 650 Pantahs. Guys like that drive utes! Utes with a cabin for bonking their bimbo girlfriends. Utes with a tray in the back so they can throw in a swag at the end of a big night.
Where was a Greyhound bus when a girl needed one? Not to hit him, mind. Just to slow him down a little. Okay, maybe wing him.
How far will Liv go to make the motorbike hers? Can a viticulturalist fall for a man who prefers beer? And will a romp on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend among the grapevines be long enough for Owen to convince Liv he’s interested in more than just a holiday fling?
The Goodbye Ride is a fresh, funny and poignant novella set in the beautiful Adelaide Hills. Enjoy it this Queen’s Birthday weekend, perhaps with a glass of your favourite wine.
Or visit Escape Publishing for more options
It’s been a long time since I could say with any honesty that I’m making progress with some writing, but finally I’ve been getting some words down this week. Once again, I have my writing group, The Naughty Ninjas to thank for my word count. They helped me kick off the writer’s block blues with my contribution to our story about synchronised swimmer Stephen, and his experiences in his one-sided thong at the after-olympics party… If you want to read about Stephen you have to sign up to the ninja’s newsletter. You can do that here.
I’m working on something called Butterfly House Book 1. I’ve had feedback from my editor at Escape Publishing and she’s told me to kill a darling, and develop a bit more of the ‘romance’… so I’m working on that. On the whole, she likes the idea of the Butterfly House book(s) and that’s something. Because this story is a bit odd-ball
So that’s the good news.
Something else that works for me when I’m a bit blocked, is to read, and I’ve been doing a fair bit of that.
I read across a lot of genres and this week I think I’ve covered a fairly good gamut. First up, I finished the third book in Jenn J McLeod’s ‘Season’s’ trilogy, Season of Shadow and Light. I enjoyed this a whole heap. I’ve had it on Kindle for quite some time and Jenn’s new book, The Other Side Of The Season is out now so I felt a pressure to get book 3 read before I ordered book 4.
Tick to me!
Here’s my review of Season Of Shadow and Light.
After that, I got sidetracked thanks to one of my Naughty Ninja buddies, Roz Groves. I fell into the rabbit hole that is Sacrificed To The Dragon. Well, beam me up Scotty – this is paranormal erotic fantasy set in the modern-day UK, in a period when dragon-shifters are recognised by the UK Government and have their own clans and territories – although not everyone is happy to have dragon-shifters in Old Blighty.
I liked this a lot. A lot. Ok. I liked this more than is probably good for me.
Which leads me to my literary quota for the week. I made myself a new years’ resolution to get more ‘literary’ this year and I’ve been making good use of Amazon deals when something I’ve dubbed suitably ‘literary’ has cropped up.
The Eye Of The Sheep by Sofie Laguna is one of these. I started the first three pages before work this morning and oh my holy heck, I am going to have to concentrate to get a good sense of what is going on. This book won the Miles Franklin award for 2015.
So this weekend it should be edits, edits, and some new words on Butterfly… and we’ll see how we go from there.
Are you reading anything interesting?
Great to see this little book back in circulation. I wrote The Goodbye Ride in 2013, not long after we moved from Hahndorf (where the book is set) to Margaret River. I wrote most of it while the kids and I were guests at my sister’s place, before we found our own house to rent.
It’s set on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend holiday, which on the East Coast happens in early June, so it’s a nice little short story to sit down with for an evening or a weekend, if you feel like some romance and escapism to finish your day.
Special mention to one of my good writing friends, Kerrie Paterson, for her debut title with Escape Publishing – Return to Jacaranda Avenue. Love that cover, Kerrie, and it’s nice to share a book birthday with you!
The Goodbye Ride is out on May 5 and is available for pre-order at all ebook sites now.
More options at Escape Publishing.