Because we all need a hug sometimes




Five Awards


It seems lately everyone has been getting nominated for awards.  Oh, let’s just point to the elephant in the room and call it an elephant: all the divas with the notable exception of one (cough, splutter) have been nominated for something. Ah yeah, I AM that notable exception. Oh right well I haven’t actually published anything this past year, that does make it a little difficult to be considered for competitions and such. And my diva counterparts are pretty awesome so what are ya gonna do, huh?

Congratulate them, that’s what. And drink a glass of wine for each nomination (hic). Congrats to Lexxie, Rhian and Jess for being nominated (multiple times) in the Australian Romance Readers Awards. Woohoo! Have fun at the awards dinner later this month… I won’t be there, sniff. No need for sympathy though, I’ll be fine. Where is that wine now?

In honor of my friends’ success, I thought I’d give out a few awards myself. A few people in the news deserve them I think.

  • Charlie Sheen gets the Biting the Hand that Feeds him award for issuing a bizarre public tirade against his hit show’s creator, during wish he wished him ‘nothing but pain’ and theorised that he could destroy the man with his ‘fire breathing fists’. O-kay. Charlie also gets the Pot Calling the Kettle Black award for advising Lindsey Lohan just a couple of weeks ago to  work on her impulse control. Hey kids, just say no to drugs, okay?
  • The Oh Not Another Misogynist Being Rewarded for his Inbred Hatred award goes to Eminem. Hey mate, we get it. You hate hos and bitches, they’re all out ta getcha and should go straight to hell should they, say, NOT LIKE YOU or perhaps ask you to stop taking drugs and hitting them.  Please stop singing songs about burning women in houses, it’s creepy.
  • Steve Martin deserves the Great Unchangeable Face award. I watched Planes Trains and Automobiles the other week and It’s Complicated this week. He looked almost exactly the same in each film. The benefit of going grey young?
  • The award for Internet Ingenuity goes to Samhain Publishing. Their new website’s banner changes every week, not just the book covers, but the whole design. It’s wicked.
  • Sucking up to the Favorite Publisher award? Ah, that would be me. Look at that, I got something after all!


Vote For Your Favorite Samhain Cover!


Well this is all very exciting. The list of monthly Samhain cover art winners for the year have been posted, and now it’s time to vote for your all-round favorite.

The cool thing is you get to cast two votes:

The first for your fave ebook cover


The second for your fave print book cover.

The winners of these will win the SAMMIE for either Best Ebook Cover or Best Print Cover!

How does it work?
You have until March 15 to vote, and here’s where you can cast those votes:

Ebook Poll

Print Poll

Here is the list of nominees (and just to make your choices a little easier, I’ve highlighted a couple of suggestions for you.)


Wicked Sexy by Alexander, R. G.
Little Red and the Wolf by Paige, Alison
Wolf Games by Arend, Vivian
Pas de Deux by Jayde, Fiona
Dragonborne by Ryan, Chandra
I Married a Dragon by Rae, Beverly
Sanctuary Unbound by Rogers, Moira
Bear Necessities by Bell, Dana Marie
What She Wants by Rainey, Anne
Savage Transformation by Couper, Lexxie
Wolf Tracks by Arend, Vivian
Cowgirls Don’t Cry by James, Lorelei
Raising the Stakes by Dee, Jess

Crux Rogers, Moira
Howling for My Baby by Beverly Rae
Brotherhood of Blood by Bianca D’Arc
Dream Machine by Jayne Rylon
Sanctuary by Moira Rogers
Lycan Tides by Wildes, Renee
Mating Games By: Dana Marie Bell
Myla by Moonlight by Inez Kelley
Virtually Hers by Gennita Low
Night is Darkest by Rylon, Jayne
The Sun Sword by Couper, Lexxie
Crossroads by Rogers, Moira
Turn It On by Arend, Vivian

Happy voting


The Big Finale


Sometimes writing a book is a real struggle. Scrap that—at all times, writing a book is a real struggle. Some days it’s a struggle


 authors enjoy in a perverse kind of way. Other days it’s sheer hell. We all at one time or another (and another and another) wonder why in God’s name we continue doing it.

Then we have a day when we actually finish a story, something we’re actually happy with (well, as happy as a writer can ever be with their own work :)). Ah, we think. That’s why we do it.

On Thursday night I finally typed THE END on my current WIP, the culmination of almost two years of writing struggles. There were times I wondered if I’d ever finish anything again, so this completion is particularly special for me. And I’m celebrating it.

Premature, perhaps, because it hasn’t yet been critiqued, let alone submitted or accepted. But I’ve decided to pat myself on the back sooner rather than later. After all, it’s the hard work of writing the damn book that is the real achievement, not publication or rave reviews. Not that we don’t like those things. It’s just that I’ve grown to believe we really ought to congratulate ourselves on doing the work for the work’s sake, and treat everything else as gravy. Otherwise our pride in our writing achievements is dependant on the reaction of others, something we can’t control. Who wants to rely on someone else for their own self-worth?

So what am I going to do? Watch A Single Man, because I’ve wanted to for ages and I haven’t gotten around to it yet, make a dent in my ever-growing TBR pile and buy myself a new ipod. Yes, I’m nerdy even in celebration mode :). Oh okay, I might have a few glasses of wine over the weekend too.

So what do you do when you want to treat yourself?


Sometimes we just need a smile (or two)


It’s been one of those yucky days. You know them. You just feel down for no reason. And whatever happens just makes you feel worse?

Well, I figured, instead of boring you with my woes, I’d find some things to make us all smile.


Has there ever been a funnier cartoon strip than Calvin and Hobbes?

Okay, so Gary Larson comes a close second:

Hope I’ve given you at least one smile today.



The Day To Declare Undying Love…


…so it’s Valentine’s Day. You know, the day all those with love in their heart let it pour out in a blazing show of romance. Unless you’re me of course. I spent the day writing sex, or more to the point, horrotica sex. Which isn’t that romantic when it comes down to it. So I’m a bit glum, a bit blue and a tiny bit hoping and praying my husband’s going to ignore our mutual agreement to NOT do anything for Valentine’s Day and suprise me with a massive bunch of roses. What are the odds of that happening? Unfortunately, bugger all, I suspect.

So, what better way to perk myself (and all you other’s with the Valentine’s Day blues) than to take a look at Valentine’s Day through the infinitely powerful medium of….YouTube.

So, my first exploration is the First Kiss. That very first moment when your lips touch those of the one you love.

And then there’s the kiss you’ve been aching for for so long it seems it’s never going to happen…and then it does!

Then of course, there’s the moments of awkward clumsiness…

Followed by moments of stunned shock…

And then comes the declaration. Those three little words that change everything.

And before you know it, the question is popped…

…and things get all…wet…

Okay, those last two were just an excuse to watch Colin Firth clips, but you get the idea.

Love is, indeed a wonderful thing.

Happy Valentine’s Day, World. May you find your heart warm with love and your arms warm with the one you love.


UPDATE – My husband came home from work with a single long stem red rose for me *sigh* Guess who is getting all romantic tonight? 🙂

The Politics of Prophylactics


I was reading a novel a little while back and was totally jarred out of the story when in the third chapter the couple had unprotected sex. This after they’d met only 24 hours before. The conversational exchange went something like this:

Him: I don’t have protection

Her: It doesn’t matter. I’m safe.

Him: I’m safe too… are you sure?

Her: I have to have you in me—now!

Er, WTF??? You know someone less than a day and a mumbled ‘no I don’t have any of those STD things baby’ is going to pass for protection? Not in my universe.

This whole thing got me thinking about how we handle the issue of contraception/protection in romance novels. I’ve been reading contemporaries for a long time (think back to those harlequin temptations with the yellow back covers and the swooning women in tafetta on the front) and I think the progression has gone something like this:

  1. Not mentioned at all for fear of ruining the fantasy element of the love scene. Protagonists didn’t make love until they’d already established they were in love, anyway.
  2. Protection sometimes mentioned, only ever by the hero. Heroine was too much of a ‘good girl’ to even know what those things were for, let alone to know where to buy them.
  3. A mutual discussion might have taken place, with the hero being ultimately responsible for providing the necessary equipment.
  4. Heroines knew what they were, how to use them and where to buy them. This is probably about the time condom companies started bringing them out in all those pretty colours. 
  5. Present day – unprotected sex is rarely seen in a smart, contemporary romance novel (except when an unplanned for pregnancy is needed as a plot device. Not my favourite plot turn, BTW, but good on you if it’s your thing). Responsibility can be taken by either or both parties.

I’m glad that we’ve reached number five. It always bugged me when I was reading my romances back in the day and the couple got ‘swept away’, particularly if the hero was a bit of a playboy. I thought the heroine was mad to trust him, but that could be me. I’m a ‘go get a blood test and give me the paperwork’ kind of girl.

A few years ago I attended a day long workshop conducted by Jennifer Crusie for hundreds of rapt RWA members. During the course of discussions she mentioned she thought it was a bit skeevy for a guy to carry a condom in his wallet. I had a mini-debate with her about it at the time (I so should not be allowed in the front row of anything). The way I see it, if we’re at point five in the politics of prophylactics, someone has to handle protection. If it’s sleazy for the man to have them on his person, what about if a woman carries them in her purse? Is this totally unacceptable? And if no-one carries them, there’s less of a chance they’ll be used, isn’t there? Isn’t making sure they’re used more important than what someone will think of you being in possession of them?

The things that occupy my thoughts. Anyone else want to weigh in on this vital issue?



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