La Vie en Rosé

I was all ready to put up a post, but then I got news that this wonderful thing was up and I can’t possibly compete. A frock: A work of art: inspired by my work? I can die happy now, thank you Resa!

Art Gowns

Were you ever inspired to embellish an Art Gown with 300  wine corks?

Tip #1 – Do not attempt to drink 300 bottles of wine all in one night. Spread them out over a few days.


Tip #2 – Share them with friends.


Tip #3 – Read a romance novel byImelda Evans while you sip luxuriously

La Vie en Rosé is inspired by and dedicated to Imelda and her latest novel “Playing By The Rules”


Imelda2- k

OF course I would have to attach all the corks somehow so I bought 110 meters of old gold soutache. It was easy getting else wise creative with that soutache.

Imelda2- fImelda2- gI wanted more creative fuel for  so I asked Imelda,

“If you could put 1 color to Kate & 1 color to Josh what are those 2 colors? Not that I will use them, but what would they be?”


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Combatting Writer’s Bottom with Jane Wenham-Jones

100 Ways to Fight the Flab by Jane Wenham-Jones

If you’re reading this, chances are you are something of a ‘sitter’.  Either because you are a writer, or a reader, or both.

Now, while it’s completely possible to be a writer a reader and a triathlete, I suspect that most of us who are the first two are not the last.  So to at least some extent we are all at risk of ‘writer’s bottom’.

I love this term and would like to introduce you to the writer who coined it, Jane Wenham-Jones.  (Take note, she wants credit, against the day that ‘Writer’s Bottom’ becomes a recognised condition. 😉 )

I discovered Jane and her book on the blog of the lovely and helpful Catherine, Caffeinated (otherwise known as Catherine Ryan Howard and whom ).

I was immediately interested and hied me over to Amazon and got a copy and was delighted to find it was very good. Continue reading

Guest YA Review: Trapped by Chris Jordan

Today I welcome my special guest YA reviewer the SSH (Secret Squirrels Helper).  She’s an avid reader who, unlike me, actually enjoys writing book reviews and she has agreed to help me out with some.  I provide the books, she provides the reviews – it works for both of us!

Today she’s covering something a little more hard-core than the ones she’s done before.  I’ll let you read it…

Trapped Chris Jordan


Chris Jordan

“Mum, I need your help. Please call –”

That’s it. the call cuts off in mid-sentence. No static. Nothing

Mr Jordan opens when Jane Garner the wedding dress lady, driving home from a dress checking, sees her daughter on a motorbike. Really, that was the most terrifying thing she could see. The daughter who barely survived childhood leukemia, risking her life on the roads. Unfortunately for her, that is only the beginning of the nightmare. When her daughter disappears, it’s a race against the clock to find her.

This book had me on such tight tenterhooks I still have the wedgie and it’s almost as gripping as quicksand. After losing his casino, his chiefdom, his kids and his country, Ricky Lang was determined to get revenge. Edwin Manning lost his son, Jane Garner lost her daughter, the last family member left to her, and the police don’t even seem to care, and certainly don’t look like they are going to do anything.

This was the first full-on thriller I have ever read, and I’ve got to say, it freaked me out. Just a little. Okay, by the end I was hiding under a quilt, but still. It really is quite scary, especially since the villain is completely and utterly insane, and therefore totally pitiless. I spent most of the book wondering whether Kelly was still alive, and if so, for how long.

I loved it, but I also recognise that this is a niche market, and could be unpalatable for people. It is terrifying, and leaves you looking over your shoulder. If you like thrillers, then this book is for you. if you have never read one before, I don’t think this is the place to start, unless you wan’t a baptism of fire.

Trapped was published by Mira in 2007. For Amazon link, click the cover above.

If you liked this review and would like more, please let the SSH know in the comments!

The unexpected joys of being a writer – other writers!

One of the great joys of becoming a fiction writer has been meeting other writers.  I am a proud member of the Romance Writers of Australia and Sisters in Crime and through them, I have met many wonderful women who make the sometimes lonely business of writing a joy.


Knowing other writers brings with it an unexpected anxiety.  These days I often buy books written by people who I know and while I celebrate their releases with genuine excitement and buy their work with anticipation, in the back of my mind, there is a lurking menace.

It’s the fear – never spoken – that I won’t like their book. 

The fear is not so much that I will think the writing bad.  My writing friends work very hard on their craft.  But previously, I have always chosen books based on subject or style (or whim, it must be said).  When you choose a book because you like the person who wrote it, you are likely to go to fictional places that are new and unexpected and possibly well out of your comfort zone and… who knows if it will be fun?

Recently I had one of those experiences.  The book is set in a post-apocalyptic Queensland, there are zombies involved (well, virus-infested ex-people out for your blood) and erotic romance involving not one hot guy but two (and one girl).  All of these things are uncommon on my bookshelf.  And I dearly love the writer. So I was all of a jitter.

Fortunately, I LOVED IT.

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A few of my favourite things…

Hello my lovelies!

I am sitting at the computer this morning drinking hot, hot tea and eating crunchy toast topped with very ripe camembert.  I don’t know about you, but for me, breakfast doesn’t get much better than this.

Camembert is definitely one of my favourite things.  The fact that my local supermarket discounts it when it gets near its use-by date is another.  I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this, but camembert and brie ripen with time and in fact they are about perfect to eat just on their supermarket use-by date. Full of flavour, soft and creamy and… ahem.  moving on.  The point is that when the supermarket has a extra wedge and it goes in the deli discount basket, it’s a hot time for breakfast at my place.

I should point out that the picture above is of brie that is NOT ripe.  This is the firmness at which is it often sold and you can eat it this way (it’s much easier to cut, as demonstrated but the fact it is being cut with what looks like a pate knife) and it still tastes good.  (As is demonstrated by the fact that the photographer’s family clearly got to it before he got the tripod set up.) But it’s better when it is ripe.

But that’s actually not what I wanted to talk about today.  I really wanted to talk about the lovely Marian Keyes and her new novel, The Mystery of Mercy Close.

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Wednesday Writer Rave: Alliance Forged

I have a bone to pick with Kylie Griffin.

I am writing like a mad thing at the moment, in the lead up to the Romance Writer’s of Australia Conference in August.  Much as I hate to limit myself in this way, I don’t have time just now to get sucked into the TBR pile.

Then Alliance Forged dropped into my lap, courtesy of a pre-order with the Book Depository.

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Books for little kids: Catch ’em early and hook ’em for life!

Recently, Chuck Wendig*, writer and blogger about writing, asked for suggestions for books for his little one, who has recently had his first birthday.

I responded over at his blog, but since then, my brain has teemed with further suggestions and I thought it might make a good topic for a post.

(Especially since I have already told him that I have had a dream about reading books to his baby and if I keep going back and adding comments he may start thinking about the logistics of international restraining orders. ;))

I imagine that the readers of this blog are already fully aware of the benefits of reading to young children, but in case there are any who aren’t, let me just say that they are almost impossible to overstate.

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