Friday, June 30, 2006

End of an Era

Last day of Kindy today and it is so sad because DD has the BEST teacher ever!


Having moved around so much, we have done many last days. Last day Australian kindy, last day Play Group Scotland, last day nursery Scotland, last day of Pre-K Canada. I am not sure my daughter worries about it much anymore.

But there will be tears tomorrow :( Wish me luck!!!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Blade Hunter Progress:
16,702/80,000 words
82/320 pages
Happy Birthday Loreth!!!!!!!!

May life bring you more laughter and joy and happiness.


I didn't have time or energy to write anything new with the kids around and the gargantuan piles of laundry swallowing up the insides of my house, but I did edit hardcopy and actually added 5 pages with only 800 words? Hmmm. LOL. A magically expanding book. I do however feel much happier with the flow of the story and the details.

I am building up for the first turning point, butI keep coming up with interesting things to add. So tonight, having watered my plants (we are having a massive dry spell in the prairies) I'm putting my feet up in front of the telly and thinking about my plot. I'm an organic plotter :)

Blade Hunter Progress:
15,227/80,000 words
75/320 pages

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Somme

The Somme--my dad talks about it all the time, the history, the bravery, the stupidity/futility of that great battle in the 'war to end all wars'.

Britain lost 19,000 men on the first day. Over 420,000 British & Commonwealth casualties by the time the campaign ended in Nov the same year. The numbers are incomprehensible.

Was it worth it?

That is a difficult question to answer, but I have to assume it was worth it, for the sake of those men who died. I certainly appreciate growing up and living in a place where I can speak my mind. Freedom of speech is something I place huge value on. Something we should guard with our lives. Doesn't mean we should be rude or argumentative (honest :), but it does mean everyone has the right to an opinion, and the right to voice that opinion. From our spouses, to our kids, to bloggers, to parents, readers, writers, even politicians (darn it).

Here's to my heritage and the men, and women, who sacrificed themselves to make it as proud as it is.

Britain's oldest veteran recalls WWI (from the BBC)

Henry Allingham
Henry Allingham is one of the last living links to World War I

It is 90 years since the battle of the Somme, the bloodiest in a world war that has all but passed out of living memory.

The oldest surviving British soldier from the period is Henry Allingham, aged 110 - one of the lucky ones.

When war broke out in August 1914, some one million men joined up in the first year of the conflict, as Britain strove to bolster its standing army.

The teenage Mr Allingham, however, did not rush to enlist.

"On 4 August I wasn't too troubled," he said. "I didn't realise what it really meant."

It was only later, when he realised how severe the situation was, that the young man who grew up in Clapton, east London, decided he wanted to join the fighting which, like many others, he regarded as "an adventure".

After joining up, Mr Allingham trained as a mechanic and served with the Royal Air Service, flying patrols of the North Sea as a navigator and repairing aircraft and engines at the battles of Ypres, and at the Somme itself.

"It was the first time I went near a plane," he said, pointing out that the world's first powered flight had only taken place a few years earlier.

His first experiences of flying were disarming.

"They didn't have much speed with them. Sometimes they'd be coming along and the force of the wind would have you standing still. Sometimes you'd be flying backwards," he said.

Stroke of luck

As well as the Somme, Mr Allingham also served as an airborne spotter at the Battle of Jutland in 1916, in which the British Grand Fleet established dominance of the North Sea, despite losing a number of ships.

He said his own ship, the Kingfisher, faced disaster when a German shell ricocheted and was heading directly at the ship.

However, a stroke of luck saved the crew when the shell "bounced over the top of the ship".

"Where it went I don't know but it was a saviour for us. If it hadn't [bounced], who knows, the whole ship would have been gone."

Henry Allingham in his Royal Naval Air Service uniform
I've always said the men in the trenches were what won the war for us
Henry Allingham, World War I veteran

While Mr Allingham faced obvious dangers, he thinks he had an easy time compared to those who served in the infantry.

"On the western front, men in the trenches stood in water up to their knees. They had to eat and sleep in that water. How did they manage?" he said.

He was full of admiration for those men who, he said, regularly had to march for miles at a time, only to stop and dig trenches before marching on again.

"They were like hermit crabs. But I've always said the men in the trenches were what won the war for us."

Following his service at Ypres and the Somme, he was awarded France's highest military honour, the Legion d'Honneur in 2003.

And after losing two of his World War I medals - the British War Medal and the Victory Medal - in the Blitz, Mr Allingham was presented with them again at a special ceremony at Eastbourne in East Sussex, where he now lives, in February 2005.

I don't know if there is a secret [to long life] but keeping within your capacity is vital
Henry Allingham

Mr Allingham's military service did not end with the Great War and during World War II he worked on magnetic mine counter measures.

He retired to Eastbourne 40 years ago, where he has outlived both his wife and his two daughters, who both died in their 80s.

In August 2004, Mr Allingham led the congregation in a reading of the Lord's Prayer at the Cenotaph in London in an event to mark the start of World War I and on Armistice Day in November 2004 he laid a wreath at the Cenotaph.

Asked to sum up the secret of his long life, he said: "I don't know if there is a secret, but keeping within your capacity is vital."

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Don't Look Down

I finally got to read Don't Look Down this week. I have to say I was slightly trepidatious--I'd heard such conflicting opinions about how it wasn't a typical Crusie etc.

Well, I loved it!

It still had the layering and symbols that I associate with Crusie--like Wonder woman and the rope of truth, but it also had real bullets. I confess to being a women who loves her heroes to have guns, or at least know how to use them. Even though in actuality I'm against the general public having handguns outside gunclubs (shock horror I know the NRA will be devastated by my lack of support LOL).

Anyway, my dad knows a ton about guns and was a champion shot in his day, so that is probably why I do like them in the right hands.

Back to the book--I'm not going to give a detailed critique, but having followed their journey, in Reno last year and on their blog He wrote: She wrote (Bob & Jen on the sidebar) I appreciate the nuances of the storytelling process (for these very different writers), and could pick out the differing POV, though the story flowed effortlessly between the POV characters and laughed when I got to the YEC (yucky emotional crap) in Bob's scenes.

Anyway--everyone is still sick around here, so I'll quit while I'm ahead and get some writing done LOL.

Help--I am surrounded by the smell of vomit.

And a quick link someone sent me yesterday when they reviewed my blog? Reviewed my blog??? Good job I'd kept my mouth shut over the weekend :)

Monday, June 26, 2006


Well the weekend was pretty much a writing bust. DS had stomach flu Friday night and Saturday. Hubby stayed up all night with him and then drove our visitors to the airport at 6 a.m. DH was wrecked for the day, as was DS, but not our daughter who had swimming and birthday parties and *stuff* to do!!!

So I had to step into DH's shoes instead of doing my usual Saturday morning writing and take DD around even though I could barely keep my eyes open--hence no blogging--plus I really enjoyed Dan Carter's muscles even though I like to see the All Blacks thrashed on the pitch!!!

Our son is much better, but not 100% yet and DD did complain a little of feeling sick before she went to bed, so if you don't see me for a couple of days...

England won!! Wooohooo!! Through to the next round thanks to the talented Bend it like Beckham :) I won't post a picture of David because I think he's a poser :D

Instead a flower from my garden :)

Friday, June 23, 2006


I blogged about weddings on the Triskelion author blog today :) That has nothing to do with Dan Carter at all.

Have a lovely weekend all :)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Blade Hunter Progress:
70/320 pages

Whoohoo!! had a good writing day today!!

Wimblebum :)

Next week Wimbledon starts.
26th June-9th July.
So much sport even for me :)

This photo is the Centre court at Wimbledon. Wow, can you imagine playing on that stage?

This photographer has beautiful photos on his site, London and other places in the UK.

I would love Henman or Andy Murray to win--especially Murray. He was a a young boy at Dunblane primary school the day the massacre happened. For me he represents all that is good about a child overcoming adversity. Their chances are low--but I'm supporting them anyway :)

Visitors with 16 month old baby are here and my son has an ear and eye infection, so not much writing done today. Wish me luck tomorrow :)

Blade Hunter Progress: Pathetic!
12,515/80,000 words
60/320 pages

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

NYC and Inspiration

I'm researching New York right now--for my wip. My story starts in the Village--and it turns out the street where I gave my heroine a home address in year dot is the same street where they took the outside apartment shot for Friends... grhhh.

Next scenes are in SOHO and Washington Square. Anyone else know what SOHO stands for?? Pop quiz :) SoHo is famous for cast-iron architecture which explains all those beautiful loft apartments with those high ceilings and wonderful light.

Next I was cruising art sites because the Marshall Hayes is in charge of the 'Forgeries and Fine Art' division of the FBI. I made up this department, again before the FBI implemented its own Art Theft Program in 2004 and I'm sticking with it because although it may lack authenicity in some ways, it is mine to shape and do with as I want. Fiction can be a lot more fun than straight procedural sometimes :)

OK--but check out the painting... see how vibrant and compelling it is? Gorgeous--beautiful wonderful. I love it!

That is what I'm missing from my first draft so far. People comment on the imagery in my writing--and at the moment it isn't there. It pains me because I am beginning to think imagery feeds my creative soul, imagery makes my story come alive.

I know it'll come, second draft, third draft, I'll have gained the words I need to create the set and mood for the story I'm writing. And being impatient won't help. But if anyone wants to send me a little inspiration feel free--I need all the help I can get :)

Blade Hunter Progress:
58/320 pages
12,054/80,000 words

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Update on missing girl.

Writing Day?

A fellow Triskelion author Judith Rochelle has a contest to win $25 of Triskelion books.

Check out her contest page :)

It's a writing day today, but DH is away so I have no vehicle, we have visitors tomorrow, DS went to daycare with a nasty dry cough so he might be back anytime, DD is on my shoulder waiting for us to write a childrens story and... it's a writing day today???????

Monday, June 19, 2006

Congratulations Carolina Hurricanes!!! Commiserations the boys from Edmonton.

And don't even ask me about that stupid a$$ decision to take off the goalie with a minute and a half to go!!!


Father's Day yesterday. The kids made DH wonderful presents. A pottery fish by DD--to match the 3 million other fish we have in our house :D and DS made a fridge magnet.

What talent.

also bought him a T-shirt and shirt, because he was running low!!! DH got up at 7 a.m. and went to watch a friend running a marathon that passed the end of the street and then he cooked pancakes for us all--bless him :)

I spoke to my dad (see photo) and left two messages for Pop who was out gallavatin' ;-) For once I organized gifts, but needless to say Amazon has yet to deliver. My dad is a military history buff so I sent him a book on the Spanish civil war and Pop... well that's a surprise :D

Hope you had a lovely weekend.

Blade Hunter Progress:
54/320 pages
11,224/80,000 Words

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Sunday Sport

The story so far. Basically England have won both games so far and now have to play Sweden. Regardless of that result England are through to the next stage. The big upset was the Swedes drew with Trinidad and Tobago, very unexpected.

FIFA World Cup : Group B Table

1 England 2 2 0 0 3 0 3 6
2 Sweden 2 1 1 0 1 0 1 4
3 Trinidad and Tobago 2 0 1 1 0 2 -2 1
4 Paraguay 2 0 0 2 0 2 -2 0

The most interesting group is Group F and Australia play Brazil today. I have to support Australia though I LOVE Brazil too.

FIFA World Cup : Group F Table

1 Australia 1 1 0 0 3 1 2 3
2 Brazil 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 3
3 Croatia 2 0 1 1 0 1 -1 1
4 Japan 2 0 1 1 1 3 -2 1

And the USA aren't out yet. This group is totally up for grabs if the US beat Ghana they could still go through.

FIFA World Cup : Group E Table

1 Italy 2 1 1 0 3 1 2 4
2 Czech Republic 2 1 0 1 3 2 1 3
3 Ghana 2 1 0 1 2 2 0 3
4 USA 2 0 1 1 1 4 -3 1

PLUS BIG BIG Oiler news.

They won the sixth game in fantastic fashion!!! What a game :) beating the Hurricanes 4:0

This is Meretta's team that I'm supporting and they are doing GREAT. I think they are going to build on this and Monday night will be a fight to the finish. My money is on the the boys from Edmonton!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Blade Hunter progress:

10,780/80,000 words
52/320 pages

Romance Junkies review

OK, please don't think I am me me me, but I am soooo excited!! I got another wonderful review and wanted to post it. Maybe I should explain why these are such a big deal to me.

I only look for reviews about once a week--and how sad to be googling yourself at 38 years of age, huh? But being a new author it takes a while for someone to actually want to review your book, you know? Like going to the bookstore and thinking shall I buy the new Suzanne Brockmann as I adore the very ground she walks on, or shall I take a risk and buy this debut novel by a total unknown who might be crap? Well nine times out of ten people go for a known author right and that guaranteed blast of feel good factor?

When I see a new review a tiny portion of me shrivels inside. And I do what I used to do before I threw myself over the side of a dive boat (because I was terrified)--I close off my mind. Go on total automatic and don't let myself absorb anything until I skim it and see if they liked it or not. Then I have a heart attack either way.

So I am very grateful for everyone who takes a chance on me, from Pop, to my buddy Dave in Nfld, Meretta, Susan, Dee, Judith, Lisa, Eve... and all those other people I know who've bought it. I really appreciate it.

Thank YOU!!!

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.5

FBI agent Elizabeth “Eliza” Ward thrived in her work for the Fine Art and Forgeries Division. She jumps at the chance when asked to be part of the Organized Crime Unit. Her assignment of going undercover and being introduced to the world surrounding mob boss Andrew DeLattio turns her life upside down. Eliza thought she was safe from his clutches when she is reassigned to another case. Her drink is spiked at a local Christmas party. She awakens and finds herself tied to her bed, where Andrew proceeds to brutally beat and rape her – leaving her for dead.

Andrew has turned states evidence and may be free soon. Burned out and exhausted, Eliza packs her Glock and heads for the peace and tranquility of Montana.

Eliza isn’t prepared for the shockwave of heat that radiates through her inner being as she shakes hands with cowboy, Nat Sullivan. His file stated that he gave up a promising career as a wildlife photographer for National Geographic. When his father died, he was forced to return home to help with the ranch.

The “working” vacation at the Triple H Ranch proves to be exactly what Eliza needs. For the first time in a very long time, she finds herself letting her guard down. That is, until she sees the fire burning in Nat’s seductive eyes. Is Nat the one who can break through the barrier that controls Eliza’s insecurities and fear? Will she be strong enough to leave him when the time comes?

Toni Anderson takes her readers on the treacherous journey of ranch life in the hills of deepest Montana. Eliza found HER SANCTUARY in many ways as she learned to trust and love through Nat’s tender encouragement. I can’t help but love a man that is not afraid to fight for what is rightfully his and cry when the tears of grief are needed. Ms. Anderson presents us with one fantastic story that has me wanting more.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Briana Burress

Click here to Buy this Book Now!

Friday, June 16, 2006

A Cunning Plan

Just posting between thunder storms.
Yesterday wasn't very productive. I'm pretty sure I'm not allowed to bind and gag my daughter so I'm thinking up a project. First idea I had was trying to get her started on a kids book. I have always wanted to write one (and I wrote 2 dumb stories a couple of years ago). I even did a whole bunch of fish illustrations. The main problem with kids stories is theme I believe. :) And content-wise serial killers and mobsters are probably a no-no.

So I'm thinking of writing a couple of pages and getting her to draw pictures on those mornings I've dedicated to writing LOL. Use low brain power concepts which are right up my alley.

My second plan is to write 2 new BH pages everday--one of my biggest flaws is perfectionism and reworking things to death. My cunning plan should at least keep the writing moving even on those days that aren't 'writing' days.

What are your writing goals???

Blade Hunter 46/320 pages (9,589/80,000 words)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I got a contract from Triskelion for The Blade Hunter.

So now I have some work to do... :) :) :)

Missing Girl

Just in case you can help...this is a plea from a fellow romance writer. Directed at you guys in the US. This isn't a hoax.

If you see this girl,
please call the police.
Name: Staci Jones
Age: 17
Aliases: Mia, Nicole, Stacia
Missing: June 14, 2006 between 10 p.m. last night and 7 a.m. this morning.
Missing From: Price, Utah
Height : 5-1, Weight : 115-120 lbs.
Hair: Black (dyed - she may try to lighten it)
Eyes: Blue
She has a small surgical scar on her right collarbone and often dresses as
depicted in this photograph.

Possibly traveling with:

Juan "Nick" Perez, aged 23-25 years.
Tattoos: APRIL on one arm. NICK, unknown location (possibly)

Staci may have left willingly with this person, however, it is believed that he
has a violent temper and may have 'sweet-talked' her into going with him.
Due to their prior relationship. we have reason to believe she is in danger
from him.

Because she may have left willingly, we can't put out an Amber Alert.

Please help us find Staci. She may be on her way to Texas from Utah.

Vehicle description: Unknown.

If you have any information, please contact Marjorie
Jones at 435-630-6054 or via email at or call your local law
enforcement agency (or 911) as her information has
been distributed nationally via NCIC.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


I had a good writing day yesterday--despite DD hanging on my shoulder for the whole morning just because I'd banned TV.

There's nothing to doooo mommy....

But I realized something--completely unrelated to whining children. In my head I was writing a 100K word book, and this is going to be a 80K book.

Who cares I hear you cry--just write the d@mn book.

Well I care--because I need to set up my turning points (TP) for around the 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 parts way through the book. Here's me aiming for the first TP being at around 100 pages and really it needs to be at (rats, where is the calculator... ) page 80!

I'm on page 41, and so now that fits perfectly with what I've written so far. There's been a lot of plot early on--lots of character introduction and clashes between the hero and heroine, but no real emotional interaction. They need to spend a few pages in close proximity to build on their previous bond (if you can call what happened between them in Her Sanctuary a bond, LOL).

Marsh isn't going anywhere while The Blade Hunter is around, but Josie's not happy about it.

Other news--check this out... for all those pesky long urls
Plus--the Oilers lost game 4. Rats. Meretta hasn't mentioned it but I know she is devastated.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The man in Black-- a thinking post about agents...

Dream Vacations

Ok--recently I've been remembering a fantastic vacation we took when I was 6 months pregnant and DD was 2 years old. Like all mentally unstable people, we went to a remote island off the east coast of Australia.

Fraser Island.

A 4+ hour drive north of Brisbane, we spent a night in Noosa on the way and the way back (Noosa is divine BTW, just look at DH in the surf with DD).

On the drive up we left very early in the morning to catch the ferry from Hervey Bay and saw kangaroos hopping into the misty dawn--the only time I saw them in the wild.

Fraser Island is a World Heritage site and is the largest sand island in the world.

The only problem with that is there are no real roads. So travel is by 4X4 going through massive rutts and over steep hills and along a 75-mile beach--called 75 mile beach (just to make it easy). Needless to say DH and his brother had a great time, like a couple of kids, seeing who could stall the least amount of times. Rather than upsetting our sweet little girl, the bumpy road trips were the only time she slept :)

It has the most incredible rainforests and the lakes are just gorgeous. There is this creek, called Eli creek. It is incredibly cold and the current quite strong and tugs you gently along towards the sea. Gorgeous on a hot day!

Lake MacKenzie is just amazing...with goannas running all over the place. I'm running out of superlatives :)

The animals...

Well the dingoes are the purest remaining strain left in the world--all the dingoes on the mainland having interbred with domestic and wild dogs (dogs are banned from the island). Unfortunately, dingoes killed a 9 year old boy about five years ago--underlining the fact that wild animals should be treated as such--and there seems to be an ongoing battle about the needs of the wild dingoes versus the needs of people.

One of the problems is dingoes are naturally thin. People feel sorry for them and feed them scraps--the dingoes get bolder and then attacks start. As a biologist I understand this. As a parent I guarded my daughter very carefully.

We saw wild dingoes on the way to the beach and at night at our resort (Kingfisher Resort), where we ate crocodile and kangaroo--how can you not try it when it is right there??

Humpback whales travel between the island and the mainland on their annual migration and the birds are lovely. Fishing is supposed to be incredible, but as we were on holiday we didn't try it out :)

On the extra-plus side... (from memory) there are no poisonous snakes or spiders there, nor any marsupials?? No crocs either ;-)

I'd go back in the blink of an eye.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Dark dark dark

OK--just about to delve into my serial killer's mind. And after reading Mary's blog about Nora's book, 'Bluesmoke' the other day, I'm wondering--how dark do you like to go?

I'm a big fan of Tami Hoag, Tess Gerritsen and Lisa Gardner and other darker books. I like knowing why bad guys do these things, I like to be in their heads, I don't like just being presented with gore.

I know some parts of Her Sanctuary are a little dark--but not in a serial killer fashion, in that the characters aren't all sweetness and light. I have a hunch I could really get into the dark-side, but I'm also very conscious of wanting to keep the story a romance. I know we all have our favourite type of story to read, but I'm curious about peoples' opinions?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Name change

Not in love with myself--I just changed my blog name from Romance Writing Mom to *Me* because I am working on my public image/branding LOL.

I just can't reconcile 'Toni Anderson--Dangerously Romantic' on the same page as the word 'mom'. Goes against every instinct I have as a mother.

Address is the same so i don't think anyone needs to change anything :) Thanks for bearing with me!!

Oh--England won against Paraguay and Sweden drew against Trinidad and Tobago!!! Good news guys!!!

Toni Chestnut :)

Unbelievably accurate for me :) Thanks Julie !!!

Find your birthday and then find your tree. This is really cool and somewhat accurate. Find your tree below and see what you are like...

Jan 01 to Jan 11 - Fir Tree
Jan 12 to Jan 24 - Elm Tree
Jan 25 to Feb 03 - CypressTree
Feb 04 to Feb 08 - Poplar Tree

Feb 09 to Feb 18 - Cedar Tree
Feb 19 to Feb 28 - Pine Tree
Mar 01 to Mar 10 - Weeping WillowTree
Mar 11 to Mar 20 - Lime Tree
Mar 21 (only) - Oak Tree

Mar 22 to Mar 31 - Hazelnut Tree
Apr 01 to Apr 10 - Rowan Tree
Apr 11 to Apr 20 - Maple Tree
Apr 21 to Apr 30 - Walnut Tree
May 01 to May 14 - Poplar Tree
May 15 to May 24 - Chestnut Tree
May 25 to Jun 03 - Ash Tree
Jun 04 to Jun 13 - Hornbeam Tree
Jun 14 to Jun 23 - Fig Tree
Jun 24 (only) - Birch Tree

Jun 25 to Jul 04 - Apple Tree
Jul 05 to Jul 14 - Fir Tree
Jul 15 to Jul 25 - Elm Tree
Jul 26 to Aug 04 - CypressTree
Aug 05 to Aug 13 - Poplar Tree
Aug 14 to Aug 23 - Cedar Tree
Aug 24 to Sep 02 - Pine Tree
Sep 03 to Sep 12 - Weeping WillowTree
Sep 13 to Sep 22 - Lime Tree
Sep 23 (only) - Olive Tree
Sep 24 to Oct 03 - Hazelnut Tree

Oct 04 to Oct 13 - Rowan Tree
Oct 14 to Oct 23 - Maple Tree
Oct 24 to Nov 11 - Walnut Tree
Nov 12 to Nov 21 - Chestnut Tree
Nov 22 to Dec 01 - Ash Tree
Dec 02 to Dec 11 - Hornbeam Tree

Dec 12 to Dec 21 - Fig Tree
Dec 22 (only) - Beech Tree
Dec 23 to Jan 01 - AppleTree

TREES (in alphabetical order)

Apple Tree (Love) -- quiet and shy at times, lots of charm, appeal, and

attraction, pleasant attitude, flirtatious smile, adventurous,
sensitive, loyal in love, wants to love and be loved, faithful and
tender partner, very generous, many talents, loves children, needs
affectionate partner.

Ash Tree (Ambition) -- extremely attractive, vivacious, impulsive,

demanding, does not care for criticism, ambitious, intelligent,
talented, likes to play with fate, can be very egotistic,reliable,
restless lover, sometimes money rules over the heart, demands
attention, needs love and much emotional support.

Beech Tree (Creative) -- has good taste, concerned about its looks,
materialistic, good organization of life and career, economical, good
leader, takes no unnecessary risks, reasonable, splendid lifetime
companion, keen on keeping fit (diets, sports, etc.).

Birch Tree (Inspiration) -- vivacious, attractive, elegant,friendly,
unpretentious, modest, does not like anything in excess, abhors the
vulgar, loves life in nature and in calm, not very passionate, full of
imagination, little ambition, creates a calm and content atmosphere.

Cedar Tree (Confidence) -- of rare strength, knows how to adapt, like
unexpected presents, of good health, not in the least shy, tends to
look down on others, self-confident, a great speaker, determined, often
impatient, likes to impress others, has many talents, industrious,
healthy optimism, waits for the one true love, able to make quick

Chestnut Tree(Honesty) -- of unusual stature, impressive,well-developed sense of justice, fun to be around, a planner, born diplomat, can be irritated easily, sensitive of others feelings, hard worker, sometimes acts superior, feels not understood at times, fiercely family oriented, very loyal in love, physically fit.

Cypress Tree (Faithfulness) -- strong, muscular, adaptable, takes what
life has to give but doesn't necessarily like it, strives to be
content, optimistic, wants to be financially independent, wants love
and affection, hates loneliness, passionate lover which cannotbe
satisfied, faithful, quick-tempered at times, can be unruly and
careless, loves togain knowledge, needs to be needed.

Elm Tree (Noble-mindedness) -- pleasant shape, tasteful clothes,
demands, tends not to forgive mistakes, cheerful, likes to lead but not
to obey, honest and faithful partner, likes making decisions for
others, noble-minded, generous, good sense of humor, practical.

Fig Tree (Sensibility) -- very strong minded, a bit self-willed,
honest,loyal, independent, hates contradiction or arguments, hard
worker whenwants to be, loves life and friends, enjoys children and
animals, sexually oriented, great sense of humor, has artistic talent
and great intelligence.

Fir tree (Mysterious) -- extraordinary taste, handles stress well,
loves anything beautiful, stubborn, tends to care for those close to
them, hard to trust others, yet a social butterfly, likes idleness and
laziness after long demanding hours at work, rather modest, talented,
unselfish, many friends, very reliable.

Hazelnut Tree (Extraordinary) -- charming, sense of humor, very
demanding but can also be very understanding, knows how to make a
lasting impression, active fighter for social causes and politics,
popular, quite moody, sexually oriented, honest, a perfectionist, has a
precise sense of judgment and expects complete fairness.

Hornbeam Tree (Good Taste) -- of cool beauty, cares for its looks and
condition, good taste, is not egoistic, makes life as comfortable as
possible, leads a reasonable and disciplined life, looks for kindness
and acknowledgment in an emotional partner, dreams of unusual lovers,
is seldom happy with its feelings, mistrusts most people, is never sure
of its decisions, very conscientious.

Lime Tree (Doubt) - intelligent, hard working, accepts what life dishes
out, but not before trying to change bad circumstances into good ones,
hates fighting and stress, enjoys getaway vacations, may appear tough,
but is actually soft and relenting, always willing to make sacrifices
for family and friends, has many talents but not always enough time to
use them, great leadership qualities, is jealous at times but extremely

Maple Tree (Independence of Mind) -- no ordinary person, full of
imagination and originality, shy and reserved, ambitious, proud,
self-confident, hungers for new experiences, sometimes nervous, has
many complexities, good memory, learns easily, complicated love life,
wants to impress.

Oak Tree (Brave) -- robust nature, courageous, strong, unrelenting,
independent, sensible, does not like change, keeps its feet on the
ground, person of action.

Olive Tree (Wisdom) -- loves sun, warmth and kind feelings, reasonable,
balanced, avoids aggression and violence, tolerant, cheerful,calm,
well-developed sense of justice, sensitive, empathetic, free of
jealousy, loves to read and the company of sophisticated people.

Pine Tree (Peacemaker) -- loves agreeable company, craves peace
andharmony, loves to help others, active imagination, likes to write
poetry,not fashion conscious, great compassion, friendly to all, falls
strongly in love but will leave if betrayed or lied to, emotionally
soft, low self
esteem, needs affection and reassurance.

Poplar Tree (Uncertainty) -- looks very decorative, talented, not very
self-confident, extremely courageous if necessary, needs goodwill and
pleasant surroundings, very choosy, often lonely, great animosity, great
artistic nature, good organizer, tends to lean toward philosophy,
reliable in any situation, takes partnership seriously.

Rowan Tree (Sensitivity) -- full of charm, cheerful, gifted without
egoism, likes to draw attention, loves life, motion, unrest, and
evencomplications, is both dependent and independent, good taste,
artistic, passionate, emotional, good company, does not forgive.

Walnut Tree (Passion) -- unrelenting, strange and full of contrasts,
often egotistic, aggressive, noble, broad horizon, unexpected reactions,
spontaneous, unlimited ambition, no flexibility, difficult and uncommon
partner, not always liked but often admired, ingenious strategist, very
jealous and passionate, no compromise.

Weeping Willow (Melancholy) - likes to be stress free, loves family
life, full of hopes and dreams, attractive, very empathetic, loves
anything beautiful, musically inclined, loves to travel to exotic
places, restless, capricious, honest, can be influenced but is not easy
to live with when pressured, sometimes demanding, good intuition,
suffersin love until they find that one loyal, steadfast partner; loves
to make others laugh.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


This week my son learned to pee standing up and his sister learned to ride her bike without stabilizers.


DS also started not wearing a nappy at night and experienced his first pony ride last week.

My babies are growing up.

Have a lovely weekend :)

Off to watch the England match.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Richard Sharpe

Blogger is being bad so apologies for no comments on people's blogs for the last 2 days.

I just heard back from BBC Canada and they have no plans to buy the Sharpe series over here--boohoohoo.

I have seen most of them--maybe missed the last two and I can borrow them from the library, but it just isn't the same. I started watching the series at home in Shropshire in 1993.

You know I'm a big fan of Sean Bean, and this is my favourite role of his. Not only is he great, but so are the stories (based on Bernard Cornwell's books) and the rest of the cast are just brilliant. The music, setting, character arcs, intrigue, tight breeches, all add to the production of a wonderful show.

If you like drama or history this series is for you :)

OK--well, that's me. Living with the disappointment and figuring I'll just have to suffer.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

World Cup Fever

FIFA World Cup starts tomorrow!!! And Wayne Rooney is cleared to play!!! Yeay!!

I am a life long Liverpool fan and many of the England team started in the ranks of Liverpool FC.

Go England Go!!!

Here's to a GREAT tournament and I hope the thugs can behave themselves this year.

And here's to the Oilers!! Come on Edmonton!!!!!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Wow--well I sent off a proposal, 3 chapters and a synopsis to Triskelion today. Fingers crossed. Never done it this way before--always written the book first in the past and tried to sell that. Scary feeling because I am such a slow writer--working to a deadline might destroy my creativity, but this is how the industry works and I must work with it. Wish me luck :)

And wish me luck weeding today. I have a mission to pull dandelions and plant other wildflowers instead--much to my DD's disappointment.

Oh to be so easily pleased :)

PS--Clean air day today. See if you can leave the car at home. And not mow the lawn. And definitely don't fly anywhere!!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Fun Contest going on at Karin Tabke's blog.


Me and hubby watched Brokeback Mountain the other week. I have to say it was a very well acted and well directed movie. The scenery isn’t as fabulous as I expected—I think they could have used it more, without being boring, but then I’m very into setting.

Couple of things I noticed. Firstly, Heath adopted a very Billy Bob Thornton way of speaking in this movie. His acting and role were first class, but that voice actually took away something for me.

I thought Jake Googlywhatsit acted his part quite brilliantly.

And the loves scenes I thought were very well done. I loved the wrestling, the roughness of the way they were together (I'm just talking about the hugging and stuff). Men can't be like that with women. If my hubby threw me around like that I'd have to go to a battered wives shelter. But guys 'rough-housing' (is that the American expression?) is really atrractive to watch, like young male animals sparring, or like watching fit guys play sport. So maybe it is a guilty pleasure, but I liked that.

I did find it amusing that being with other women was allowed, but being with another guy caused a jealous rage.

I wonder about Annie Proulx's childhood. It seems to me she must have had a pretty sad upbringing to view love the way she does--I know it is fiction but as a reader I am allowed to wonder out loud :) As a fellow writer I have to mind my own business ;-) So I admired the movie, but I didn't love it, because rather than rising up to the challenges that faced them, the hero, Heath, ran away from the one thing that meant most to him in the whole world.

And I'm ecstatic and amused that Heath found and married his beautiful wife, Michelle Williams while making that movie. A tiny portion of me wonders if he was subconciously reacting to the possible condemnation and negative affect of playing a gay man and dropped lucky in finding the woman of his dreams, literally in his bed.

Monday, June 05, 2006

I Write Romance

Some people would probably prefer to write the word romance like this '*%$#@*)' and then nobody would know what they really write. Or maybe in Japanese or Korean? That might make it easier to admit?

What is so wrong with writing
romance? Seriously, I don't get it.

I recently went to a book signing by a Historical Romance author and as I queued up to get my copy signed, I overheard this conversation.

Fan: What do you like to read Mrs Author?
Mrs Author: I like Sara Paretsky, Michael Connelly. I read mystery. I don't read romance. My novels aren't romance, they're full of other stuff, like murders and mysteries.

Sheesh--I wish me and Nora Roberts had thought of that.

She seemed genuinely ashamed to be a romance writer. I bought her book anyway, even though it galled me to do so. Why did I bother? Because
I believe in supporting my fellow romance writers. I believe in their story-telling skills, their writing skills and I believe in their stories.

I've read a lot of other stuff, and apart from the occasional biography, crime, mystery, thriller, Sci-fi, fantasy, I only read romance ;-) I read the other stuff because there are great stories out there and we can all learn from our fellow authors. I rarely read 'literature' anymore. Generally, it bores me. Take me out and shoot me now--I've admitted it.

Now it is one thing for me to say literature bores me, having read masses of literature, and quite another for someone who has never picked up a romance novel to say
romances are crap. We are all entitled to our opinions, but they should be based on fact, not inaccurate perception.

There is a good article on writing Scottish romances by Maggie Craig. The only thing I might add is that this isn't a Scottish phenomena. In the western world,
romances are treated with that slight nose curl of distain.

Except by the fans who know what's inside. Who know they're going to get a feel good ending and a damn good story.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Happy Sunday

I'm not blogging today--much :)

This is fun. Mob name generator

And if you want to be a painter

regards--THE MANGLER

Saturday, June 03, 2006


Check out the Great Escape Artists Newsletter. We've been quiet on the group because one of our members had a life threatening illness but she's doing much better now (thank goodness).

I'm the featured Agent in the first newsletter and there's a Q & A session if you scroll down. It includes a recipe for ice cream if you're interested :)

Nuts again

Loreth is having a contest to win a free book. June 1st. Please don't go, because I want to win :)

I feel like I'm going barmy. I need dried leaves for my composter? and a slave for the housework. Anyone interested???

Friday, June 02, 2006

Cha ching

I had a bit of a cha-ching moment yesterday. I was reading my Romance Writers Report the RWA's monthly mag (which is always unwrapped and makes me wonder if someone in the post office is an aspiring author) and I read an article called, "Taking the Mystery out of writing the modern mystery," by Lori and Tony Karayianni (Tori Carrington).

It is a really good article, but this statement totally resonated with me.

A Raymond Chandler quote.
"Everything a writer learns about the art or craft of fiction takes just a little away from his need or desire to write at all. In the end, he knows all the tricks and has nothing to say."

Tori goes on to say, "If something we've said resonates with you, trust that it will remain, becoming the kind, encouraging voice in the back of your head. But if our opinions should morph to form Poe's raven perched on your shoulder squawking "nevermore," well, you've missed the point and we recommend you turn to osmosis and your natural instincts as a way of learning how to write in a genre you wish to target."

Duh!! Lightbulb moment. The slight block I've been feeling isn't because I've plotted everything out and don't want to write, it's because I'm trying to remember too many rules. As soon as I read this, I relaxed and the problem with the scene I was writing vanished. Duh!

Sometimes I am so thick!!!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Wonderful Review

From Romance Reviews Today

HER SANCTUARY - Toni Anderson
Triskelion Publishing -
ISBN: 1-933874-21-X
April 2006
Romantic Suspense

New York and Montana, April 3 to 17

With a mob contract on her and hung out to dry by the head of the Organized Crime Unit, Special Agent Elizabeth Ward leaves the FBI, hoping to live long enough to extract revenge against Andrew DeLattio. She thought her undercover work would put the monster in prison, but the Assistant DA allowed DeLattio to turn state's evidence. That means the crime boss who drugged, beat, and raped Elizabeth is going to be set free. Fearing for her life, Elizabeth flees. She finally stops in Montana at the Triple H Ranch in the middle of the night.

Nat Sullivan has already beaten up a couple repo men trying to claim his prize Arabian stock. His mother's heart attack halted the repossession orders. Still, the ranch that has been in his family for generations faces bankruptcy, and his greedy Texas-transplant neighbor and his bed-hopping wife have made Nat's life miserable. To solve his cash flow problem, he's even advertised for tourists offering a working vacation on a real ranch, stress on the work aspect. He didn't expect his first guest to arrive a week early and in the middle of the night. He opens the Jeep Cherokee's door, rifle ready to confront what he expects is another repo man. Instead he meets beautiful Eliza Reed (Elizabeth Ward). Despite his attraction, he knows Eliza is hiding something. He wants to know what, maybe even help her, but his own problems press on him, and that includes not only the ranch and his ill mother, but also the welfare of his niece, his brother who is drinking and skirt chasing too much, his sister, one ex-con ranch hand and another too old to find another job.

Marsh Hayes, FBI Special Agent in charge of the Forgery and Fine Arts Division, also looks for Elizabeth. He convinced Elizabeth to become an agent. Appalled the head of the Organized Crime Unit lured her into such a dangerous investigation and then left her dangling, Marsh feels obligated to help his former agent, especially knowing DeLattio is tracking her.

This is the explosive set-up for HER SANCTUARY, and author Toni Anderson doesn't disappoint in either suspense or romance. DeLattio is a truly evil character, but believable. The story is both interesting and tense. With deft skill, Ms. Anderson lets you understand each character's motivation, their vulnerabilities and their strengths. She develops settings that immerse you in the under belly of New York, spring in Montana, and life on a cattle ranch. For a fast paced, enjoyable read filled with secrets and surprises, HER SANCTUARY will fill all your expectations.

Robin Lee

Love, actually

Just watched Love Actually again. Oh I love that movie. It makes me laugh so much. And it is so clever. And the soundtrack is fab.

I love the fact that Natalie (Martine/Tiffany to Eastender fans) says fuck.
I love the fact the Prime Minister (Hugh Grant to all) sticks one to the US President (Billy Bob Thornton)
I love the fact that Jamie (Colin Firth) gets wet again.
I love the fact that the body doubles are politely shy even when they are naked.
I love the fact that Colin (red headed guy out of My Family?) gets laid in America because of his British accent.
I love the fact Liam Neeson finds another woman of his dreams.
I hate the fact poor Emma Thompson gets made to feel bad, frumpy and boring and Laura Linney has such a heartbreaking family tie.

I could go on and on. But I actually really love this movie :)