Monday, October 29, 2007

Psychic


Good morning!

I'm trying to get my head into my old characters. It is funny how they come back to you in a rush. My hero is hydrophobic and a bit of a tortured soul. My heroine is psychic, and I have tried to make her authentically psychic if that makes any sense. She'd been removed from her family and has no real clue what is happening to her, she just thinks she's going insane. Here's hoping I can keep all the people in my head separate :)

Friday, October 26, 2007

From 'Out of Tears' to 'Storm Warning'



When I called my last post HIDE I didn't intend for that to be me!! I've had parent/teacher stuff, Halloween stuff, choir, Brownies, the usual things we all face. I've also had to buy and wrap the Christmas presents for home (Shropshire) and write the Christmas cards as the postal deadline is today. Seems weird writing Happy Christmas before Halloween!!

On the writing front I finished Out of Tears enough to send it to my agent (who has a new website BTW) and got back edits for Storm Warning.

So down come all the pictures of Sean and Laura and up go my pictures of Eric and Caroline. I[m not sure if I'm going to make NaNo now :( Lots to do.




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Now playing: You're Beautiful - James Blunt
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hide

It has seemed lately that most of the books that have appealed to me have been those with a twist of fantasy. It is good to know that those thriller and crime writers at the top of their game (add PJ Tracy to list) can still pull off a wonderful read with both feet planted firmly in reality (if you can call fiction reality?).

This is one of my favorite Lisa Gardner reads because I get my dose of romance and because who wouldn't love Bobby Dodge?

Great stuff.


My son has an oozing ear infection--nice imagery huh?




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Now playing: Shattered - Remy Zero
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, October 21, 2007

South Africa win rugby world cup

South Africa beat England, 16:5.

Considering the English lost 36:0 in the opening match against South Africa I think it is fair to say no one expected England to progress to the final and at least they played with a lot of heart and have nothing to be ashamed of.

And because I always show pictures of the English players, to balance things out, here are some of the SA team

This guy is 20 years old Francois Steyn




Here's man of the match Victor Matfield


John Smit, the captain and

Bryan Habana--who at least didn't get to score a try in this match.

and finally Os du Randt, a veteran. My nephew plays in this position and is HUGE!!! He also has no neck, but I love him.



The English are prettier, but the South Africans had a great tournament--Congratulations!! Would have been great to beat them though :)

Friday, October 19, 2007

World Cup Final


If it isn't one thing it is another. My poor baby is sick with a nasty fever and the dog isn't looking so good either.

England defend their trophy on Saturday in the final of the rugby world cup 2007 against the Republic of South Africa. It is one of the few occasions I want Nelson Mandela to be a disappointed man :)

Paris would be nice wouldn't it?

DH and I are really behind the team, absolute underdogs, but not a team you'd ever right off. Good luck England!!

If you want a rundown on the line up check out Sky Sports link here. If you want to understand some of the basics check out 'all you need to know about rugby' from the BBC.

If you want to see the French team almost naked... link here.



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Now playing: Let It Bleed - The Rolling Stones
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bloodfever


I'm in love. Okay I know I'm not supposed to obsess and I'm already stalking both Suzanne Brockmann and Elizabeth Vaughan as their number one fans, but Karen Marie Moning has outdone herself with her newest series. I used to think KMM's books were light entertainment, but not anymore. I'm consumed and just wish she'd write faster!! Of course then I feel guilty because the poor woman has been suffering from Lyme's disease.

Anyway, treat yourself to this series--I think it is paranormal urban fantasy. And I am not a paranormal fan. Nor do I like first person, but this is just fabulous.

Here's the synopsis from her website

Mackayla Lane's ordinary life underwent a complete makeover when she landed on Ireland's shores and was plunged into a dark, deadly realm unlike any she ever imagined. In her fight to stay alive, Mac must find the Sinsar Dubh—a million-year old book of the blackest magic imaginable that holds the key to power over both the worlds of Fae and Man. Pursued by Fae assassins, surrounded by mysterious figures she knows she cannot trust, Mac finds herself torn between two deadly and irresistible men: V'lane, the insatiable Fae, who can turn sensual arousal into an obsession for any woman; and the ever-inscrutable Jericho Barrons, a man as alluring as he is mysterious.

For centuries, the shadowy realm of the Fae has coexisted with that of humans. Now the walls between the two are coming down, and Mac is the only thing that stands between them...



Now I'm off to write my own :) Synopsis that is...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day

Today is Blog Action Day and the topic is the Environment. Unfortunately I'm a little unwell. Not really sick but a little unbalanced (inner ear problem, not mental state LOL) so I'm just doing a broad sweep of what I think you might be able to do to help the environment.

Did you see that both Al Gore and the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) received a joint Nobel Peace Prize? link here How cool is that? The really great thing was Gore said the prize must spur action.

So what action should we all be taking?

Well in my humble opinion we need to exercise consumer power and buy products that are environmentally sound. Organic cotton, hemp. Fuel efficient cars. Energy efficient appliances. Pencils and wood products from sustainable sources. Locally grown food. Half the time you can't find anything that isn't made in China, but it doesn't mean you should stop looking. Use the internet, check labels, ASK shop keepers. The big corporations listen to one god and one god only. Money. They only care if you care, so pay attention.

If you are putting in a new heating/cooling system get a quote for geothermal systems. There are all sorts of financing options (Manitoba Hydro give you a loan at low interest which is affordable because your bills should reduce by approximately 70%, possibly more as fuel prices increase). Geothermal systems can heat and cool your house and are very low environmental impact. It is my dream to have this in my house.

Use Norwex (or other microfiber) cleaning products instead of chemicals. I started using the products 3 years ago and although initial outlay is bigger, over time the expense evens out. The main spur for me using these cloths over chemicals was the fact that cancers in women who stayed home was actually higher than those who went out to work. How can our own homes be more toxic than a workplace, unless you live over a radon leak or some sort of chemical dump?

Dry your washing outside. (even if some people think it looks trailer trash)

Walk/cycle when you can. Especially the school run. We teach our kids by example and environmental impact paired with childhood obesity rates suggests this is a good thing if you can do it.

Don't waste water. That's the most important resource on this earth and we might only realise it when it is too late.

Recycle. Compost. Reuse bags and boxes.

Another option is carbon offsetting schemes. Here's one for your computer. It isn't perfect, but every little helps.





I think the main thing we can do is think more about the choices we make. We can't afford to do everything all at once but maybe we can force our governments and corporations to provide us with more environmentally friendly options.

Good luck :)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

England through to Final

OMG!! England beat France and are in the final of the rugby world cup (BBC link). They are the holders but have played so badly recently they were ruled out at the start of the competition. All I can say is this is a prime example of peaking exactly when you need to. And Jonny Wilkinson doesn't hurt either! They either meet South Africa or Argentina in the final :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

OUT OF TEARS by Toni Anderson.



I'm a bad blogger!!! In an attempt to make up for it (and with trepidation) here's an excerpt from my work-in-progress. I hope you like it. I'll be visiting soon :)

OUT OF TEARS by Toni Anderson.

Unedited excerpt. **Contains explicit language**

Nick Archer watched the door. Any minute now his nemesis was going to walk in the door, just like he did every Friday night...

Made my bed and I sleep like a baby... the Chicks crooned and in walked Professor Jake Sizemore, the sly murdering fucker, followed by the woman Nick had caught checking him out that morning. Lily’s Ph.D. supervisor, a newly arrived yank with long blonde hair and enough wariness in her expression to catch his interest. Nick allowed a smile to curl around the edge of his lips as he watched her head to the bar, closely followed by a horde of alcohol-deprived biologists from the Gatty. All these years and they still followed the same ritual, at the same watering hole.

‘I’m not ready to make nice, I’m not ready to back down...’ His jaw ached from gritting his teeth.

“What?” Brian glanced over his shoulder, gave a gusty sigh as he saw Jake Sizemore and turned back to take a big slug of beer. “He’s going to sue you for harassment one of these days.”

“Me? I’ve never said a word to the bastard.” Nick grinned into his beer, but didn’t feel the emotion. He hadn’t said a word since he’d beaten the man to a pulp after Christina’s funeral twelve years ago. Of course, Nick hadn’t been an officer of the law back then.

‘They say time heals everything, but I’m still waiting...’

Twelve years. He stared into his beer as a drop of sweat beaded on his temple and rolled down his cheek. His eyes pulled back to Dr. Susie Cooper. Tall, slim, self-contained in an aloof way that usually turned him off.

Lily was taken with her new boss and the kid wasn’t easy to impress. Neither was he.

Susie Q picked up a half-pint of lager and took a swallow, the long line of her throat rippling delicately. She wasn’t just pretty. She had that moneyed, sophisticated, star quality. The Grace Kelly of marine biologists, compared to Jake Sizemore’s Hannibal Lecter. Her slender shoulders were held rigid as if cold. The arm not holding her beer was pressed stiffly against her side, hugging her hips with tightly curled fingers. And she wasn’t even aware half the men in the bar were staring at her, in her fitted white blouse that you could just see the outline of lacy underwear beneath, and clingy black trousers that hugged a first class ass.

They were looking all right.

Post-grads milled around, tired-looking for the most part, dressed in worn out jeans and ugly sweaters, ubiquitous in their affection for cheap beer and the social buzz of a Friday night. A decade ago Christina walked in that same door having put in an eighty-hour week for less than you made on the dole.

Nick stripped off the top layer of his beer mat, eyeing tonight’s crowd. Everyone mixed together. Lecturers, techs, post-grad students, secretaries. Hierarchies disappeared in the pub, leaving friendly chat and banter. A round of drinks, sloughing off the woes of work and moving onto better things. Some dark-haired, smooth-faced Latino brushed Dr. Susie Cooper’s shoulder and she adjusted her position away from him with a swift-on-the-eye-contact pinch-lipped smile. Then she jerked slightly, her eyes flashing wide as if she’d received a small shock. Or as if the fucker had just pinched her ass.

Nick looked at the guy, noted the tall lanky build and the boyish head of curls. Figured he must be the student Lily had told him about, the wanker who’d been strutting around the Gatty trying to pull anything with a pulse. It looked like Dr. Cooper wasn’t handling him very well, though maybe she liked getting it on with younger men. Wouldn’t be the first time a lecturer had done a little extra curricular activity.

He narrowed his gaze thoughtfully at the kid until The Rolling Stones’ signature guitar beat came on the jukebox. A nasty kind of happiness crept into his lungs and he expelled it in a smile.

Cautiously, like a snake scenting danger, Jake Sizemore turned his head to flick a look around the bar. Did Sizemore remember that today was the anniversary of Chrissie’s death? Nick tipped his beer glass when he caught the man’s eye, but Jake had already spun his gaze away.

Let the bastard sweat. He’d nail him one day.

“You’re Playing with fire, pardner.” Brian quirked a lip, talking in Stones’ song titles. Small things for small minds.

I can’t help it.” Nick grinned, but his heart wasn’t in it because he was too interested in thoughts of revenge and Susie Cooper.

Curious, Brian glanced around and Nick noticed his partner’s gaze slide down Susie’s figure and curl around her ass like a whip. Not that he could blame the man. Brian hadn’t had sex in four years and wasn’t likely to get any this year or next. Solitaire didn’t count—which meant Nick was going through a particular dry spell of his own.

Nick watched Jake put his hand on Susie’s arm and everything inside him focused as if willpower alone could burn those fingers away. Susie retreated an inch, breaking the contact and though she smiled at the murdering fucker, she didn’t look happy about the invasion of her personal space—not that she had much choice this time of night on a Friday in the Turret.

Grace Kelly wasn’t anything like Christina. He took a big swallow of beer and forced the ale down as the tension in his throat increased. Christina had been vivacious and lively until her Ph.D. supervisor had gotten his claws into her. Then Nick and Chrissie’s marriage had turned gray and ugly, floundering as she’d withdrawn and dedicated herself to her studies with that cocksucker.

Twelve years ago today she’d been hauled up by a fishing boat. An accident, the South African authorities had declared. How else could you classify being killed by sharks?

Twelve years of hatred made each chamber of his heart pound harder building in intensity. Christina’s short life wasted—all that was infinitely precious, infinitely fragile, gone in the amount of time it took to shove someone into shark infested waters. Nick held his hand steady, forced himself to pick up the pint glass without his fingers shaking when all he really wanted was toss it through the nearest window, or better yet, into Jake Sizemore’s face. But that wasn’t him, he reminded himself as the ale raced slickly down his throat and sweat heated his back. That scared, violent little boy had vanished years ago. He was a police officer now. Believed in justice. Believed in the law.

Believed in the fucking tooth fairy too.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Crocodile Research


My dearest friend Craig Franklin from the University of Queensland was interviewed on CBC's Quirks and Quarks all about crocodile research. It is fascinating stuff.

I won't mention that Craig is a kiwi. Or that both the All Blacks and Australia got knocked out by France and England in the quarter finals of the Rugby World Cup. cough. Did I say I wouldn't mention it?




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Now playing: I Can Do Better - Avril Lavigne
via FoxyTunes

Friday, October 05, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving


Another year has gone by and another winter approaches. There is both a sense of dread and a sense of comfort as each season rolls by. I'm getting older, but I'm not dead. I still don't own a Porsche or a beach house in Ireland. There are no college funds for the kids and if the car breaks down we're walking whatever the weather. But I'm the same dress size as I was twenty years ago. My kids are growing up bilingual, enjoying school and live in a nice centrally heated home. There is food in their bellies and leftovers for the dogs and almost guaranteed Christmas presents under the tree come December.

It is easy to take it all for granted. Easy to look sometimes at all the things other people have and weigh it against your own life. There's a danger there. Always the danger that we forget to really appreciate each day. The health we have at this moment. The love we share. The friends we have made over the years.

I have friends all over the world. It is something I dwell on with both joy and sadness. We don't realize when we're younger that friendships are transient. Life moves us on whether we want it to or not and people branch apart, travel on their own journeys, get on with their own lives. The people I hold as friends are as precious and dear to me as those dreams of hitting the NYT bestseller list. Each time I leave some behind I somehow magically find new ones--special people. Wonderful people. All over the world. All shapes and sizes, genders, sexualities, politics, religions and races.

There is no better gift than friendship.

I lay in bed last night and grinned at DH. I get to spend my life with Gary Anderson. Anyone who knows him knows how blessed I am. He's my anchor in a world of change. The hand to hold. Shoulder to cry on. Man to yell at.

Looking at everything as a whole, life is pretty bloody brilliant :)

Happy Thanksgiving. It is a joy to share my life with such wonderful friends (& family).

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Now playing: Sunshine - Keane
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A Sense of Excitement

I got 50 pages edited yesterday, so I'm pretty pleased with myself.

I've been having great horoscopes lately, from FreeWill.

This week he tells me:

'You're overdue for a purge of bad habits and a surge of fresh approaches, but that won't happen unless you can conjure up a relaxed acceptance towards those bad habits -- as well as a big dose of self-forgiveness.'

So--my bad habits. Reading my email too often. Not reading peoples' blogs everyday. Not calling my friends as frequently as I should, not volunteering as often as I should for the kids' activities. Shouting at the kids, not loving DH as patiently as he loves me. So, I'm about to try the relaxed acceptance in the hopes I can improve some areas of my life.

And maybe he's talking about my writing, always room for improvement there so I'll have to think about it.

Other good news this week is I got my fees paid by KOD, not only for the chapter, but also for RWA. I feel like I won the lottery. Thank you SO much Kiss of Death! The best chapter in the RWA.

And two old friends of mine got in touch this week. From secondary school. Unexpected, but nice :)


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Now playing: I Might Be Wrong - Radiohead
via FoxyTunes




Tuesday, October 02, 2007

RIP Ireland's Hopes





The Irish didn't do very well in this world cup--in fact they did lousy. Poor DH. Poor Andersons, poor Mary! England are through to the quarter finals (knock out stage), as are the Scots, French, Argentinians, Fijians, South Africans, Aussies & Kiwis. The All Blacks are favourites...

I'm not sure who I'm supporting really. I mean England for sure, Scots too. The French are always flamboyant to watch when they're playing well, the Tri-nations give lessons on how to play when they're on form, but I kind of like the look of the underdogs. Fiji and Argentina.

Gonna be interesting.

85 pages edited so far this week. PDG. Even if I do say so myself :)

And for those of you not interested in rugby, here's superstar Dan Carter, the NZ fly half (I think)




Now there is a rugby player with balls...

Monday, October 01, 2007

sad




Things are a little emotional around here just now as my in laws just left and we're not sure when we'll see any of our family again. Always a sad time. We had great fun together though, so I suppose now we just have to get back into our routine.

Next week I want to move mountains in terms of getting my editing done. Serious goals of 50 pages a day. Eek. And I'm wondering about my heroine's hair color. I seem to have a lot of blondes with long straight hair. Should I make her a brunette? Would she catch my hero's attention as a brunette? Is she vulnerable enough as a blonde? Interesting in how we see the people we create. (I see her as a blonde BTW, but worried all my heroines are going to look like this :)