Thursday, March 29, 2007

just a quick one...

the lovely ladies over at The Midnight Hour invited me to be a guest blogger this morning, so feel free to pop in and ask a few questions. I'm giving away a signed copy of Dangerous Games, too :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

it's out....!

Dangerous Games is officially released today, so for those who have been hanging out to see what happens, now is your chance :)

Piatkus have lined up Full Moon Rising, Kissing Sin and Tempting Evil for an April release, and in Australia, Full Moon Rising will finally hit the shelves! I can't wait to actually be able to walk into a store and see my book sitting on a shelf. Expect pictures, lots of pictures :D

In writing news, The Taste of Death (Riley 6) is rolling along nicely. Slowly, but nicely. I'm a little bit worried by the fact that there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of murder and mayhem in this one as yet, but I'm not going to rewrite anything until I finish the book and see what the whole thing reads like. It's not like there's nothing happening, after all. And maybe Riley deserves a slower paced investigation after all the hassles I've put her through over the last few books...nah. It's more fun throwing crap her way. lol.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

a HUGE congrats...

to my friend (and fellow lulu), Melanie Scott for being a finalist not once, but twice, in RWAmerica's Golden Heart award! Her werewolf story finalled in the paranormal category, and one of her category novels finalled in the short contemporary category. That's totally amazing, and so totally well deserved! Fingers crossed for a win, mate!

In other news, Dangerous Games is out tomorrow! It'll be interesting to see how this one goes, as it is the first book that doesn't involve the main clone/DNA splicing storyline of the first three books. Of course, it does have one main plot thread that carries over--in the form of Gautier. And he's at his evil best in this one :D

Writing wise, the sixth Riley book continues to trundle along. I've finished writing the female vamp scene, but I'm not sure if it hits the mark or not, so I'm going to take it along to our lulu crit session this Sat, and see what the girls think.

In doggie news, Ella went back to the vet yesterday, because we discovered she's got a rash around the top of her tail. Turns out the rash caused by her constantly licking the site due to the fact her renal glands were swollen. So, the vet unblocked them. (and just a note here--if you can avoid being in the room when renal glands are being cleaned, do so. The smell is DiSGUSTING. And it stays with you all damn day, no matter how many times you wash!) So the upshot is, Ella now has a shaved butt (to match her shaved shoulders, a left over from all the scans and x-rays she had for her leg), and she now has to have tablets and creams for the next seven days or so. And she's not talking to me because I took her to those people again.

Friday, March 23, 2007


as the title says, we were invaded. By ants. The little buggers were everywhere. Our white kitchen benches were black, there were little black lines spreading out over the floor (much to the delight of the rather large huntsman spider that was running around these lines excitedly), and there were black line going up the wall to our pantry. And in the pantry. Thankfully, their little foray into the foodstuff had only just started, because they hadn't even gotten into the sugar yet.

So, a rather large amount of spraying followed (the spider we caught in a jar and threw outside. I generally don't kill huntsman unless they try to get into bed with me). But it makes me wonder why they decided to invade today. It used to be that ants invading were a sign that rain was coming, so lets hope that old saying holds true. Of course, it could be that the little buggers were just hungry.

Writing? Well, that's plodding along slowly at the moment. I'm still writing the scene with the female vamp boss, and that woman is trying to seduce Riley. Not what I'd intended at all, but characters do have a habit of throwing up unexpected ideas when you're writing them. Of course, Riley is not at all impressed with said atttempts, so it's all quite interesting. But it's slow going, because I don't want the scene to be too...tacky.

oh, and here's a pic of a huntsman for those who have never seen one;

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007


yesterday I had a long whine about the lack of rain, and what happens today? It rains! Maybe I should whine a bit more often :)

Of course, as lovely as this rain is (and it's been raining steadily for three hours now), it's not drought breaking. No where near it. We'd probably need months of rain like this to ease the situation--and just watch, if that happened we'd all be whining again :). But at least it's enough to give the trees a bit of a drink, and maybe help them survive.

And it is lovely to sit here in my office, and listen to the sound of the rain on our tin roof. There's nothing like writing to the music of rain :)

Speaking of writing--I finally hit the 100 page mark yesterday, so I am officially a quarter of the way through the sixth Riley (which has the working title of The Taste of Death). The novel continues to curve away from what I'd originally planned, but it's all good. For example, the scene I wrote yesterday. Originally, I was intending to have a secondary plot line about a rogue vampire revenge-killing gay men. It's now morphed into a rogue vampire going after men who seem to have no common link except one--they all know the same man. But is he the reason they're being killed? You know things are never that simple :) I'm now in the middle of a scene where Riley is meeting her first female vampire boss. I think it's going to be an interesting meeting!


Monday, March 19, 2007

where is the rain...?

they keep predicting it, and it keeps not coming. At least not in my part of Melbourne, anyway. They did finally get some falls over the major dams over the weekend, which is good, but while that might help stave off level 4 restrictions for a day or so, it doesn't help those of us who are battling to keep gardens and trees alive. And if we do hit stage 4, all our efforts will be for nothing, because with stage 4, there's no watering outside at all. Of course, the water predicament wouldn't be quite so dire if the damn government had listened to the right people ten years ago and built another dam to cover Melbourne's growing population. But no, they listened to the greenies, who told them they couldn't destroy the forests and that we didn't need another dam because we had five already and why wouldn't they cope with any drought? And hey, the fish needed the water more than we humans did...(as an interesting side point, the government has only just stopped flushing millions of gallons of fresh water from the dams to keep the rivers 'healthy' for the fish. I think the fact that we have little more than a year of water left to supply for the entire population of Melbourne has finally sunk in.) I'm all for green living, but I'm also for a little common sense. Yeah, okay, trees would have been destroyed in building the new dam. But trees all over the state are now stressed and dying, not just gums but other imported trees that have been here as long as the white population (Melbourne has some of the oldest elms surviving in Australia). If we'd had an extra dam, maybe we'd have a little more water to use to help some of the old trees survive. (not to mention saving the backs of countless grannies out there who now cart buckets of waste water from sinks and showers in an effort to save their own gardens).

And why am I suddenly going off on a bit of a rant? Because I'm sitting here listening to the song of a chainsaw. The beautiful old tree that lost its limb several weeks ago is being heavily trimmed today in an effort to save it. The tree is close to a hundred years old, and if we don't take the weight off it, the entire tree could come crashing down. I just hope it'll be enough to save it. We've already got two dead trees on our property--I'd hate to see another one go.

Anyway, enough of that--onto some writing news. The edits for Embraced by Darkness weren't as bad as I thought they might be, so I was able to get them done in record time. But I think all that fast thinking blew a fuse somewhere, because I basically fluffed around most of the weekend, doing anything I could to avoid the subject of writing. The muse just wasn't in the mood. It still wasn't in the mood yesterday afternoon when I decided enough was enough, and I really had to get something done. I sat down and wrote 5 pages, but the story just felt flat and uninteresting. So, I went for a walk and climbed some hills. I think it cleared the cobwebs, because after tea, I sat down and wrote another 10 pages. And they're good! (actually, the five pages I wrote in the afternoon weren't that bad, either. They just felt that way.) So, in the end, I'm only a few pages off my stated goal of 100 pages, and considering I had the edits to do, I'm pretty please with that. I'm even more pleased with the fact that the story line is rolling along nicely. While it has deviated a little from my original ideas, it's still following along roughly the same path--and I think this one is a little more interesting. Which is why I'll never be a plotter--my muse just can't come up with good ideas until I really get into the story.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

well, it seems...

I was just a little hasty with my aim of hitting 90 pages yesterday. I'd kinda forgotten I was sitting at 75 pages, not 85. So I wrote 6 pages, which isn't bad overall, but no where near the 15 needed to hit 90. Ah well. The scene I was writing yesterday was pretty cool, though--and not what I'd originally intended to write at all. In this scene, Riley's been called in to rescue the friend of a new character (you meet him briefly in Embraced by Darkness). I'd originally intended it to be a short, sharp fight scene that ends when the vampire runs, but instead it has become somewhat more complicated. It turned out the friend lives not in an ordinary apartment block, but rather a 'vampire commune'. Now, it's been a stated rule in my books that vampires don't live together, but rules are made to be broken, and this is one of those times. It's been fun to write this scene, and hopefully it'll end up being rather creepy. And of course, having all those vampires around gives Riley a good reason not to chase down our would-be killer and knock his pointy little teeth out. :)

I won't be writing much for the next couple of days, though. The line edits for Embraced by Darkness came in yesterday, and the due date to get them back to Bantam was actually yesterday. I'm like, well, I work fast, but not that fast. Anyway, it'll be bum glued to seat for the next couple of days in an effort to get these edits done.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

writing once again...

Last weekend was a long weekend for those of us here in Victoria--not that it actually bothers me much any more, as I work from home, so every weekend is a long weekend for me. :) But there's something about long weekends that seems to bring out the crazy in people. Especially people in cars. Maybe they're just being more aggressive because they want to get to their holiday spot ASAP so they can then sit down and relax...

Anyway, I didn't do all that much myself. I avoided the crazy people by just not going out on the roads. We had family over on Saturday and Monday, and inbetween I did the galley edits on Eryn (man, it's amazing the simple goofs you pick up even at this stage, after then novel being read I don't know how many times) and finished the ARC of Jenna Black's The Devil Inside. The end of the book lived up to the promise of the start, and I've already asked (begged) my editor to send me the ARC of the next one when she gets it. I need to know what happens! The book comes out in December, and I'd definitely recommend everyone who loves their heroines kick-ass and sassy to get it.

So, today I'm back to writing the sixth Riley again. I'm hoping to creep over ninety pages today, and to hit 100 by the weekend. I like hitting milestones, and being a quarter of the way through the book at this early stage would be good one. As ever, I'll let you know how I go :)

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

snoopy dancing once again...

my editor (the marvelous Anne) gave me a call today. Unfortunately, I was at the hairdressers, so Pete took the call, then phoned me. The news? Tempting Evil has debuted at no 14 on the New York Times bestseller list.


(which is basically what I said at the hairdressers, only a whole lot louder. I don't think those ladies knew what hit them :D )

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to every one who bought the book and made the dream possible. I'm amazed, I'm stunned, and so, so grateful.

now I just have to bug Anne or Miriam, and see if they can send me a copy of the Times when the list is officially printed. I'm going to frame it, just to prove it really did happen.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

happy birthday to me...

happy birthday to me, happy birthday to get the picture :)

yes, I turn another day older today (and celebrated by putting on several kilos, according to those wretched scales. They lie, I tell you. LIE!!)

Anyway, because I fully believe no one should have to work on their birthday (and yeah, blogging isn't really work, but same principal), here's some pics instead.

Large gum trees have a habit of dropping branches--so if you ever hear a gum creaking, get the heck away from it. It's about to drop something on your head. This one fell on a perfectly fine day--no wind at all. Mind you, most of the old trees in Melbourne are severely stressed right now because of the drought. And thanks to water restrictions, there's not a whole lot anyone can do to save them. Except hope for the rain they keep saying is eventually coming.

another angle of the branch :)

the view out the window from my office chair. You can't see it in this pic, but I actually have a little bird bath near the lavender, and I can sit here and watch all the birds come in for a swim. On a hot day (which we've had plenty of) it can get rather crowded.

This was taken at the Crown Casino during Chinese New Years. I just loved the colors in it :)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

just a few quick comments...

for those who happened to wander over to DN Simmon's chat on Thursday (Friday here) and couldn't get in--turns out there was a huge server problems that ended up crashing the whole system, so DN is going to redo the chat either Monday or Wednesday next week. Hopefully, Kelley Armstrong will also be able to come along again. I'll post the chat details here as soon as I know them.

Also, Vampire Romance has my interview up online, so head on over there if you want to check that out. They've also a review for Tempting Evil out, so you can read that too.

I've also been sent an ARC for Jenna Black's The Devil Inside--a book that's coming out with Bantam Dell in December this year--and though I'm just a 100 pages in, I'm loving it. I think this is going to be a keeper for me. I'll report more when I finish reading it, but if the book keeps going the way its going, it's definitely one you should all be getting.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

another good day...

at the office. I've not only rolled over 50 pages, but I'm now over sixty. The next milestone moment I'm aiming for is 100 pages--one quarter of the book. I'd actually be happy if I could get close to half the book done by the time I head off to RT in April, but whenever I say something like that, crap happens. And of course, I won't be doing much writing this weekend--I'm off to Iris's for lunch today (and that always ends up being a late afternoon chatterfest) and the Lulu crit session is tomorrow.

And speaking of Lulus, a huge congrats to Mz. Chris, who made it into the final three of RWNZ's Second Chance contest. As the title suggests, this comp gives a second chance to all those who finalled in any RWNZ and RWAust comp, so the competition and the standard is high. All three finalists now have their work being winged over to judge Paula Eykelhof, so my fingers and toes are crossed for you, Chris!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

back to a regular writing program...

finally. I didn't actually do any book writing on Tuesday, but I did do a lot of writing. I had a couple of email interview requests from vampire romance and dearauthor that had to be answered, so I spent all morning doing those. And in the afternoon, the revisions for Eryn--my erotic paranormal novella that's coming out with ImaJinn late March--came in, so those had to be done straight away.

Even Wednesday morning didn't see a whole lot of book writing done. I had to write a backcover blurb for Eryn, which oftens feels harder to do than actual book writing. Here's what I came up with (remember, this is in 'as is' form. My editor will probably tweak it to smoothe out the rough edges):

Eryn James was a medical secretary, not a police officer, but when the police came calling for her assistance in tracking down a killer, she jumped at the chance. Not because she had any real desire to hunt down a killer, but because the task involved playing bait in Lifemate Connections--one of the most exclusive and expensive bars in town.

In a world where men outnumbered women ten to one, and long-term relationships were frowned upon, bars like Lifemate provided a safe environment for women and men to meet and ‘test drive’ possible suitors without the initial risk of taking them home. Only five patrons of the bar had recently been murdered, and as a shifter with a keen sense of smell, it was now Eryn’s task to track the killer down.

But no matter how much she trusted her nose to get her out of trouble, she wasn’t about to go in there alone. The club was full of security, and there were cops sitting in a van outside the club, listening to her every word and move.

How dangerous could playing bait actually be?

Then she met Grey Stockard…a man who oozed sex appeal and danger with every movement.

A man she wanted with every ounce of her being.

A man she just might end up dying for.

See, there's not a whole lot of words involved in that blurb, but it still took me an indecent amount of time to do. But finally, in the afternoon, I was free to work on Riley 6. The plot is still shifting away from my original ideas--though it is currently following a similar plot line. It's just the settings and the characters that are changing. I'd originally planned to set some of it in a brothel, but the brothel as now become a group on rich, bored women known as the Toorak Trollops. They're much more fun to write about that ladies of the night, I can tell you :) Anyway, I ended up writing 8 pages, which wasn't a bad effort. I'm closing in fast on 50 pages done, which is always a good milestone to reach--the books starts feeling real by about page 50 :)

oh, and while I remember, I'm taking part in a chat today over on D.M. Simmons site, along with Kelley Armstrong, DM Simmons (of course), Skylar Sinclair and Dana Littlejohn. So if you're got nothing to do around 7pm, U.S. Central time (midday Aussie time), then pop in for a chat :)