Saturday, June 30, 2007

Been to visit Joshua

Have been adventuring to parts south of here to visit new addition to the family. Have to say he is rather cute. Am rather smitten.

Not smitten enough to have another one of my own though.


Have been ummming and aaahing about adding further to the Nicholas menagerie, but having seen a newbie and remembered about the whole birth/breast-feeding/responsibility for something so incredibly tiny, have decided that one husband, two kids, two cats and one dog are enough for me.

Hubby is breathing a deep sigh of relief, and not for the reasons you'd imagine!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Joshua William

I became an Aunty yesterday!

Joshua William arrived, eight days late, but then in a hurry, with only a three hour labour. Congratulations to my warrior woman sister and her husband. We are so proud of you both.

Love you all!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Best Intention - 23 September 2008

A release date for Best Intention - 23 September 2008!

Yes it's miles and miles away, and the print version probably won't be in shops until after Christmas 2008.

But for me it isn't actually that long. I'm going to have three books finished in that time, and will be grappling with all of the Best Intention edits as well. Plus job, plus children. Oh, there is going to be so much stressed out, moaning blogging!

That is a photo of Zani Best on the left. She's my Best Intention heroine and she is one amazing chick. Give her a Force ten gale and a boat in trouble, and she's your woman. Give her a Russian Mafia boss in hot pursuit of her lothario brother, and she'll figure out what to do!

Love this book. Can't wait for it to be out there - roll on September 08!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Nicholas Household prepares for a Calamity!

Well it didn't arrive. Our much anticipated, much media hyped storm of yesterday, met with some chilly air out near Katoomba and thoughtfully took itself off to rain on those pesky New Zealanders across the pond.

The whole situation has, however, highlighted a few things that are lacking in the Nicholas household.

You see late last night, when it was pouring with rain and howling with wind, Hubby and I thought that perhaps, as storm of the century was predicted we should, you know, get a bit of a survival kit together.

Just in case.

Hubby and I, it turns out, are not survival kit sort of people.
  1. Water - well its bucketing out of the sky, so that shouldn't be a problem, staying dry might though, as we only have two tiny pairs of boots and one tiny raincoat - that's it!

  2. Food - what the Pizza place is going to be shut then?

  3. Battery-powered radio and extra batteries -we actually had this!

  4. Flashlight and extra batteries - erm, one torch emitting a thin, wavering yellow light.

  5. First aid kit - check, have first aid box, unfortunatly it doesn't automatically refill, but would be fine for burns dressings in a fire

  6. Whistle to signal for help - check, got two in a goody bag at kids birthday party last weekend

  7. Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place - duct tape? oh they mean DUCK tape. No.

  8. Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation - OH MY GOD

  9. Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities - ah yes, the happy discovery we don't own a wrench, good thing utilites can be turned off by flicking a switch.

  10. Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food) - check, am never without a can opener

  11. Local maps - check

See, in an emergency the Nicholas' are the survival experts.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Another Storm?!!

Kerist-almighty, the third severe storm in a fortnight and its going to be the worst of all. We've already battened down the hatches, so there isn't much else we can do except sit and wait to see what happens, its due to hit here around 6am tomorrow morning.

Once again all eyes are on the Pasha Bulker, the tanker run aground at Nobbys Beach in Newcastle. Sydney Morning Herald have thoughtfully set up a webcam, so you can watch to see if it breaks up when the storm hits Newcastle. Web cam here. Assuming a tree hasn't fallen on the house, the kids and I will be glued to the laptop, in anticipation. Watching an environmental disaster LIVE will be almost as good as Big Brother's Friday Night Games (people falling over, he, he, he!).

I came across a hysterical book cover today. Don't click on the link if you are easily offended!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Obsessing - again.

Yes, alright, I'm obsessing. There was nothing wrong with the dialogue I posted yesterday. I'm over thinking it all. But I'm at that stage where I'm getting towards the end of the book, its all a done deal and simply has to be written. Its the bit I hate the most. I've decided on my cunning last minute twists, there's nothing else to be imagined and frankly I'm just over the whole thing.

Considering I started on 20 May, and its now 16 June, and I've only got 15,000 or so words to go, I'm actually feeling quite pleased with it (yes, it won't last, I shall be angsting by tomorrow).


I came across a rather cool blog the other day, called This isn't Sydney - Spike's Woy Woy walkies with swearing and pictures. Its a hoot. Now I live in this neck of the woods, and that's one of Spikes, photos above. Beyootiful.

Though, its not looking like this right now, firstly because its dark, and secondly because it is still bucketing down rain. Last month we had 9.8mm rain, this month we've had 325mm, and we're only half way there! Weather. Love it!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Andrew, Andrew, Andrew...

Andrew McCubbin, my Diplomat's Bidding hero, has turned into a weirdo/stalker. sigh.

I mean, he was doing perfectly nicely, mooning about the place being heartbroken (but in a very stoic, manly way). Then, having heard that the woman of his dreams is about to be whisked off, never to be seen again, he rushes to find her. The meet in a park: birds singing, breeze dancing through leaves etc. But from that point I'm stuck. Every word he utters makes him sound creepy.

“Lily Weggle, singing karaoke! Penny mentioned nothing about this,” said Andrew in mock horror.
“I know. Sometimes I think I went a bit to far with the ‘I’m not going to sit around watching life pass me by,’ am I still invited to dinner then?”
“Yes, I can hook the stereo up to the TV, we could have our own karaoke concert, sing duets. It’ll be fun!”
Lily coughed. “I’ve lost my voice,” she croaked.
“That’s a pity. We’ll have to think of something else to do.”
Lily gave him a sharp look but he smiled innocently.

See, he's just gone a bit off. A bit yucks. Well, that bit is hitting the trash, not even pausing in the 'bits I can't bear to delete file.' Am going to have to rethink the whole chapter. Grrr. And my word count was going so well. sigh.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I'm up on Amazon

Running Scared has gone up on Amazon, in the UK and US, and Barnes and Noble, and is popping up all over the internet! So far my ranking on Amazon is 1,897,959th, so clearly my promotional efforts need more attention! Also it seems that someone called Caillin or Cailyn wrote my book with me, my hitherto unknown identical twin perhaps? Anyway, I'm working to have this imposter erased, a flurry of emails should do it.


Friday, June 08, 2007

A Mother of a Storm

Right now, its lunchtime. 1.16pm to be exact. Outside it's pitch dark, and the torrential rain and howling winds are sending everyone scuttling for shelter. We've got a mother of a storm. The wind is so bad that it blew the top off my hot chocolate! Yes, I know. Lost my froth. I did manage to get through the rest of the morning - but only just!

Anyway, what has really blown me away (hahahaha, sigh) is that there are three massive tankers going ashore in the Port of Newcastle. Three fully loaded tankers, drifiting less than a mile offshore, in ridiculous seas with 100kmph winds, and the Port Authority is understandably worried about the tanker crews. They've despatched the rescue helicopters and are winching the men to safety. In this weather!!

How amazing are those rescue people? I'm moaning about my froth being blown away and they're dangling around on a bit of wire below a helicopter. And they'll be in the news tonight saying things like "all part of the job."

'mazing, just 'mazing.

Samhain Publishing (my publisher) and Kensingston Books Announcement

Samhain Publishing, Ltd. recently announced a new partnership with Kensington Books that will increase exposure for Samhain, and move Kensington into the steamier side of romance. Kensington and Samhain are jointly creating a Samhain imprint, publishing one or two books per month in both trade paperback and mass market. Samhain will be responsible for acquisition and editing, and Kensington will print, market and distribute the books.

"We're all thrilled to be given this opportunity to work with a publishing giant such as Kensington," says Christina Brashear, owner and CEO of Samhain Publishing. "It's really quite a compliment that Kensington recognizes all the hard work and long hours put in by our authors, editors and staff."

This partnership marks the first time that an epublisher will make inroads onto the mass-market bookshelves like those of big-box department stores and grocery stores. The Samhain books will have traditional print runs and will be marketed to buyers alongside other Kensington imprints such as Zebra, Brava and Strapless.

Brashear will be working closely with Kensington Senior Editor Kate Duffy to work out print release dates.

"This exciting new venture will bring together the best of traditional NY publishing and the innovative nature of small press," says Brashear. "We are looking forward to challenges this brings."

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Guest Blogging with Mandy M Roth

As part of Mandy M Roth's spotlight on Samhain Authors I've been invited to be a guest blogger on her blog. My post will go up on Friday (US time).

Go - read my insightful opinions (and those of the other authors) - leave a comment - you might even win a prize!

Link to the blog is here.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Diplomat's Bidding - The Hero

Andrew McCubbin is my Diplomat's bidding hero. Born and bred in a diplomatic family, he's had a stellar career furthering the interests of Australia across the world.

Allergic to committment, he ends relationship after relationship, then watches in bewilderment as his ex-girlfriends move swiftly on, settle down and have the family that he refuses to see as part of his future.

Until he meets Lily Weggle.

The down to earth Aussie girl from the suburbs of Sydney is unlike any of his poised and sophisticated exs. Her refreshing, honest approach intrigues him, and makes him realise how cynical and jaded he has become.

But they are from different worlds, Lily cannot understand the double talk and high stakes dishonesty of the world of diplomacy, and Andrew has never lived anything else.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Diplomat's Bidding - The Heroine

I've found my heroine for Diplomat's Bidding. Her name is Lily and here are a couple of photos.

She's an ordinary Aussie girl, but life is boring, she feels stale and stuck in a rut. So she heads off to Hong Kong to find... well she isn't sure what she'll find, but anything is better than what's at home.

Then she meets her new boss, the Australian Counsel-General, and she is plunged into more excitement and adventure than a girl could possibly be expected to handle.

Friday, June 01, 2007

How did I make it to work this morning?

The day started badly, still dark, children didn't want to get out of bed, everybody shouting, all too much effort - I'd have happily handed in my resignation, if I could just figure out who to give it to.

Things had not improved by the time we made it into the car. Beanie-baby cracked it, for reasons that are still a mystery, and to drown out her yelling I put the radio up. It's tuned to Classic FM in some vain attempt at soothing the beasts, and of course they're playing Elgar's Cello Concerto which is guaranteed to make me cry every time I hear it.

So by now kids are screaming, I'm sobbing, music is on full volume and I'm attempting to get onto the Freeway, behind a driver travelling at 40kmph. The peak hour traffic, cars and massive B-Double trucks, are hurtling past at around 120kmph. If I could have turned around I would've.

But we did it. Of course we did. But I'm still not sure how, a sudden sweet spot in the traffic and a 2.5L engine helped a great deal, though.

By the end of the Freeway peace had been restored. Everyone was happily truck spotting and the music had been turned to low!

I've aged though. Quite a lot.