Monday, February 26, 2007

I hate frontpage....

I use it, but I hate it.

As you can probably gather, Frontpage turned out to be a major source of the problems I had once I loaded up the new site on Sunday. After a very restless night of sleeping (ie hardly any sleep because my mind refused to forget about it, and I was laying there half the night wondering what in the hell had gone wrong), I got up this morning, opened up the webpage, and looked at the source files. The coding was all over the place-- font tags were breeding like rabbits through the entire html, I had these weird ////file////whatever/ tags that were almost as popular, and all the links were pointing to a file in e-drive rather than being actual links to other pages or to the image folder.


Ask the wonderful designers of Frontpage, because I sure as heck don't know. I certainly didn't put it all there. I ended up just bringing up the html and fixing all the code by hand. Luckily for me, I did teach myself html--in fact, my first ever webpage was coded entirely through notepad. It was basic, but it worked.

Of course, I'm now trying to teach myself CSS, and the new site is designed using one of the many free CSS base templates out there (code-sucks is a good site for these--the link is in my links page). One of the more minor problems I had was getting the header pic on the site using css (I tried doing it via html on the page itself, and it went everywhere but where I wanted it. And the CSS styling was half hidden underneath it). Of course,I had no idea how to do this via CSS. Once I googled the answer, I could have hit myself, because it was so damn obvious. Still, that's how I tend to learn--being dumb, then uncovering obvious answers.

So, the upshot is, the new look website is mostly loaded. I haven't checked all the links, but most of the main pages and links are all working. To all those folks who hated the links on the last design, hope this one is easier to read!

Sunday, February 25, 2007


yep, I'm screaming here.

Screaming in frustration. I just spent the whole damn weekend designing a new website, based around the header currently sitting in blogger. It's also sitting on the index page of my old site though heaven only knows why. It shouldn't be.

Anyway, it's nearly eleven at night, I'm loading up the pages, and everything seems to be going all right. So I click over to my page to check the result.

Not what I expected. It's scattered. Far and wide. Bits and pieces all over the page, and I have no damn idea why. It all works in my computer just fine, on both IE and Firefox, but I load it up and it just goes everywhere.

I going to bed now, before I'm tempted to throw the computer out the window in frustration.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

finally, a little bit of progress...

after mucking about all day yesterday designing a new look for my website (which I hope to unveil next week sometime), I finally decided at about 9 o'clock last night that I had better get my rear end into gear and do some writing. Which I did. I don't think it's the greatest prose I've ever written, but at least it's words on page. If I decide it's total crap later on, I can fix it in edits. Right now, I'm just happy to be going forward, rather than staring at a blank page.

But, as usual, things aren't going to plan. This almost always happens when I have a rough plot outline--the story just doesn't go where I've planned it to go. I know a lot of people can't understand the concept of a story controlling events, but that's just the way it works for me as a pantzer. I can plot all I want, but it's the way words come out, what is said between the characters, that actually control where a story actually goes. I could be aiming for a plot point, but something one of the characters says or does has ideas leaping to the fore, and that's what I follow, rather than the predestined plot point. So when I say the story and the characters control events, what I'm actually meaning is the words I'm putting down is what is controlling direction. Not the actual characters. I'm not crazy. Really. :P

In other news, Tempting Evil has received several more good reviews. There's too many to blurb, so I'll just give the links:

All About Romance
Coffee Time's review
Fresh Fictions Review

And here's some new reviews for Full Moon Rising and Kissing Sin:
Vampire Romance Books
Coffee Time's review of Kissing Sin
Romance Reviews Today review of Kissing Sin

Thursday, February 22, 2007


I'm back in Melbourne. Sydney might be a great place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. It's far too muggy for me to handle. I hate walking out of a building, and instantly feeling hot and sticky. Melbourne may get hot--often hotter than Sydney--but we don't often get the high humidity. It's more a dry heat in good old Melbourne town, which I can cope with better. But the food was good, the company even better, and we even had time leftover from committee duties to do some sightseeing :)

Writing wise, not much has been done. Not for lack of trying, mind. I've sat at the computer every day since returning home, and I just haven't been able to type more than a few words. The story wasn't working for me, and I had no idea why. Up until late last night, that is. It was then I realised that it wasn't working because what I'd written just wasn't logical given what had happened over the last two books. In many ways, Riley's not the same person--she's been hurt, emotionally as much as physically, and her carefree attitudes to many things would have at least taken a bit of a dive. She'd still be hurting, and that would change how she interacted with many people.

Once I figured that all out, it was a matter of changing the two offending scenes. Which I've now done, so hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to do a decent amount of writing.

Friday, February 16, 2007

I'm off...

for the next few days to Sydney. The Romance Writers of Australia have their face to face meeting this weekend (the only time of the year the committee actually meets--besides conference time) and as webmistress and general committee dogsbody, I get to be there and join in the, hard work ;)

writing wise, nothing much has been happening. I've been readying the new website designs for the committee meeting, and testing out a new password system, and discovered in the process that I can be very, very dumb sometimes. But it all worked out in the end, so I've stopped swearing at my computer, whose fault it never was anyway :)

Kissing Sin is still sitting on the New York Times extended list, this time at number 32. And it's 51 on the USA Today list, which is all pretty cool. And Tempting Evil got it's first review the other day. Susan, from CoffeeTime Romance said, "Tempting Evil is an amazingly awesome book that completely blew me away. Ms. Arthur's world building skills are absolutely second to none. Her take on the legends of vampires and werewolves is utterly unique and mind bending. Riley and the men who inhabit her world fascinate me totally. I did not want this stupendously superb story to end and I cannot wait to see what happens to Riley Jenson next. I simply must have more please, as soon as humanly possible."

have a good weekend, everyone, and chat to you all next week!

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day...

to everyone over my side of the world. Hope the day is filled with good times and loved ones :) I'm not a big believer in the whole roses and prezzies part of Valentine's Day myself--I think all that is just a commercial beat-up. So how am I spending Valentine's day? I'm taking the leaping lab to the specialists. As I've mentioned in previous posts, Ella's been limping for a while now, and we've all presumed (us and the vets) that it was arthritis. But treating her with anti-inflams did nothing, so they decided to take x-rays. Which showed up the stunning fact that there was hardly any arthritis in her front legs at all--a little in her toes and a little in her elbows, but certainly not enough to be making her walk like an old woman. There was a bit of odd blurring along several disks along her neck they weren't sure about, so they sent the x-rays to Werribee (the major vet facility here in Victoria). They came back saying there was nothing there to worry about. Great, except that she's still hardly able to walk. So, we got referred to the specialists at Werribee. Here's hoping they can find out what the heck is wrong and make her the leaping lab again.

In other news, Karenne--webmistress extraordinaire for the Coffee Time Romance website--has set up a Coffee Time forum for all things Riley. So, if you feel like a chat about the series and the character, head on over there. I'll be popping in regularly to answer any questions that might arise, and there's also a Riley news section with all the latest goss about the series.

Monday, February 12, 2007

it's back to the business...

of writing, now that all the good news is a few days old. Not that the silly grinning has stopped yet--I mean, it's not everyday an aussie gal gets to hit the New York Times extended (except if your name is Stephanie Laurens. And if I ever get to be half as successful as Stephanie, I'll be one happy lady.) Anyway, I managed to finish the first chapter of The Taste of Death on Saturday (which sounds better than it was--I only had to write one page to finish it ;) ) and I did my required five pages yesterday. So,TToD now totals a whole 31 pages, and I'm slowly getting into the main story. I have to say, this one is starting out a whole lot more light-hearted than the others, which is somewhat surprising considering the way book five finished (and yep, that's a tease, and no, I can't say anything more). But I don't think the book will remain that way--the focus is off Riley's lovelife a little in this one, and is shining Rhoan's way--and the result is not going to be nice. Well, that's the plan at this stage, anyway. Given the book is only 31 pages in, anything could yet happen.

And here's another pic for you. This one is of the lulus out celebrating my good news on Saturday night. We're minus one in this--Chris had a wedding to attend. Missed you, Chris! On the left, there's me and Carolyn. On the right, there's Mel, another of Miriam's (aka the super agent) clients, with Freya next, and Robyn at the back. As you can tell by our faces, a good time was had by all :D

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

some pics...

of the birds that surround our house :)

First off, a rosella (on the right) and a king parrot (on the left). They're a bit hard to spot, but if I'd gotten any closer, they would have flown off
Next, a cockatoo. We actually ended up having to shift this bird feeder, because the tree it was hanging in is a very soft-wooded tree, and the cockys were stripping it bare--which is why the farmers hate them. They do the same to crops.

Next, a magpie. We have a family of five maggies that I feed in the morning and at night. The maggies have the most beautiful song, but they can get noisy if you miss a feeding! This maggie is the one I can handfeed.finally, another cocky :)

Friday, February 09, 2007

bestseller lists...

my editor (the lovely Anne) emailed me today with some exciting news. Kissing Sin has debuted at number 29 on the USA Today bestseller list...and at number 18 on the extended New York Times bestseller list! As the youngest caped cruisader might have said, holly freaking hell, batman! I think my cheeks are beginning to ache with all the silly grinning I've been doing this morning. Of course, I've downloaded the USA Today list to print and frame (just to prove that, see, I was there), but the New York Times list apparently isn't released to the public until the 18th. So, I'll have to wait another week for my printable evidence . But a huge THANK YOU to everyone who went out and bought Kissing Sin. You really have made my day :)

In writing news, the muse has decided to play games. After me saying in the last post that Destiny's Thief was rolling along so well, it all came to a grinding halt yesterday. Every word felt like teeth being pulled. After I spent an entire morning writing three pages, I switched to The Taste of Death in the afternoon, and the muse decided, yep, this was the one she was going to play with today. So the writing roared along, and I ended up doing ten pages. Of course, it did help that I was writing a Kade scene. He's always fun to play with ;) It'll be interesting to see what happens today--although, with all the good news, it'll be a miracle if the muse will actually settle down and write today :)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

the journey begins...

again. Yep, I've finally finished everything that was due--novels, essays and edits--and have started writing new things. Two new things, actually. The sixth Riley--the title of which is currently The Taste of Death--and the second Destiny, which I've called Destiny's Thief. Even though I've written more pages on The Taste of Death, I actually feel like the second Destiny is flowing better. Not sure why, when I actually have a fairly good idea where the 6th Riley is going to go. Maybe that's half the problem--the muse simply wants to play around for a while without restrictions of any kind. Anyway, I got progress meters up for both of them, so you can see at first glance just how well (or not) both stories are going.

New Review! Tempting Evil received a four star review from RT this month--woohoo! Jill M. Smith, the reviewer, says, "Book two in Arthur's gritty, dark and scorchingly sexy paranormal trilogy reveals some more of Riley's burgeoning psychic skills. Riley is a fascinating female character who's completely at home with her highly sexed werewolf nature. For those who love erotic paranomral action and adventure, it doesn't come any better than this!"

Of course, it's actually book three in the series, but otherwise, that's a damn good review!

Free stuff--Don't forget to enter the sweepstakes over on the scifi site if you'd like to win a copy of Kissing Sin and a Riley T-shirt. And Mania books is also giving away a copy of Kissing Sin. And I have a Bad Taste Vampire Bear and some Aussie goodies as the giveaway over on my website, so check that out too.

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Sunday, February 04, 2007


so, blogger is forcing everyone over to the new system. Me, I was quite happy to continue playing with the old style blogger, but that is not to be. Still, it means when I change my website look -- which will happen when I actually finish Destiny and have time to play again--I'll be able to match the look of the blog a whole lot easier. So they tell me, anyway. Guess I won't know for sure until I actually try.

In general writing news, I just have to sending a huge CONGRATS to my friend, writing bud and fellow lulu, Mel. She picked herself a fantabulous agent last week (can't say who because Mel doesn't want to announce that much until she signs the contract. She's a bit like I was when it first happened--worried it's all a dream that she's going to wake up from at any moment). We kept telling you the wolf was brill--maybe now you'll believe us!

In personal writing news, well, there's not a whole lot happening. I didn't actually do anything yesterday--I headed on over to Iris's place for a good, old fashioned natter--which took the whole day, because we're both good at yakking--and last night was watering night. (for those who don't know, Victoria--my home state--is in serious drought conditions, and right now in Melbourne, we're on stage three restrictions. Which means we can only water twice a week and at set times. No one has lawns unless they have tanks installed or are using grey water, and most of us are battling to keep gardens alive.) Anyway, I'm continuing to edit Destiny, and getting lots of good ideas for the second book, which I'm faithly jotting down for later. I'd actually like to be writing the second book right now, except that I need to get the sixth Riley done. If Bantam do want more books, that's probably going to be the one they want next. Still, given I'll have breathing room after the Destiny edits, maybe I'll be able to do both. I used to write two books at a time all the time--it amused the muse, who was easily bored. Of course, with the sheer amount of edits that came in last year, concentrating on two books at the same time was just impossible. Actually, concentrating on one was hard enough--as the number of edits I've already done for Embraced proves!

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Friday, February 02, 2007

I'm totally chuffed...

because I found out last night that Full Moon Rising was nominated for a PEARL Award in the Shapeshifter section. For those who don't know it, the PEARL (Paranormal Excellence Award for Romantic Literature) is a reader's choice award for the Paranormal Romance list--a list that is nearly 3000 strong. With all the great paranormal and urban fantasy books that came out last year, I really didn't think FMR would make it, as it was only out in hardcover--and that's an expensive choice for many. So, for FMR to actually be nominated--that's totally amazing. And a huge THANK YOU to everyone who voted. Very much appreciated, guys :)

In other news--as I mentioned over on my website, Bantam's podcast are now up and running, so if you want to hear me yarn on about Full Moon Rising and all things Riley, check that out

In writing news--well, I sort of hit a major snag with my Destiny edits. When I first wrote it, I'd blythely written that our hero, Trae, was originally from Washington. As in, Washington DC, not the State. Of course, I wrote that before I'd finished the novel--I could write anything I liked up to that point, and it didn't really matter. Except that it did matter for the sequel. You see, it just made no sense that a whole clan of shapeshifting dragons could be living in Washington DC and nobody be aware of them. Hell, security alone would mean there'd be several fighter planes in the air at the merest hint of something large and unknown flying about in the skies. So, I had to find somewhere else. Somewhere a large amount of dragons could fly unnoticed. Close to the sea was an obvious option, so I began searching the net for real estate places with large ranches available. Do you know how many ranches are for sale in the States? And some of them were just absolutely beautiful. Anyway, after about a day and a half of searching, I finally hit the perfect place. A nearly thousand acre ranch 200 miles out of San Francisco, in this little place called Stewart's Point. From what I can see, there's actually not much more there than an old general store that's been in the same family for generations. The ranch itself has a good mix of treed and pastured land, and, best of all, it has absolute beach frontage. It was perfect. So, the ranch has gained a new name, and is now the basis for the home of my California dragons. And now, I can finally get back to editing properly :)