Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Lunch Date

It felt like the first day of Spring, warm and sunny after a frost. A glorious day to play hooky.  So between getting a windscreen chip fixed on 'Blue Thunder' (Mazda 2 - LoL) and doing the weekly grocery shop, DB and I decided to drive out to Waitomo for lunch at Huhu Restaurant. It's named for the huhu grub, a Maori delicacy not actually available on the menu. Apparently, roasted they taste like peanut butter. Here are photos of a grub and a beetle I borrowed from the Internet.

DB has an issue with taking photos of food but he managed to smile (weakly) while I photographed what I did order from the menu - Beetroot & Orange Cured Ora King Salmon, Celeriac & Sour Cream Salad, Beetroot Relish. 
An excellent choice.
We dined out on the deck where we could soak up the sunshine and the view of the Waitomo Valley with the iconic Caves Hotel on the far ridge. One of NZ's major tourist attractions, the Valley was still delightfully peaceful - and rural.

The grocery shopping was so much less mundane thereafter!

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Is Pop-Fiction Serious Literature?

I met a woman recently who is writing a Psychological Self-help book. For a while I allowed myself to be blinded by the worthiness of such an intellectual endeavour. I write Sexy Romance set in the Regency era and it seemed frivolous by comparison.
I have just returned from Romance Writers of NZ Conference 2017 where the keynote speaker, Christie Craig (aka C.C.Hunter) reminded us that no matter who you are, rich or poor, lord or peasant, man or woman, president or criminal, when you are on your deathbed the only thing that will matter is love; those you love and who love you.
Romance novels are an endless source of love and relationship Self-help. Men can learn how women think and what they want. Women can learn the same of men. You can study the interaction of different personalities; how to compromise, and what love really means.
Romance novels are also a source of hope and inspiration. Stressed? Read a good romance and see if you don't feel better and more empowered when it comes to that satisfactory conclusion.
Sexy romance novels are an entertaining and natural way to learn about sexual technique - within a loving relationship.
My characters often seem to have sexual issues to overcome and since a romance novel must come to a happy and satisfactory conclusion, these issues must be resolved by the end of the book. Therefore, reading the books may help people with similar issues in their own lives; give them hope.
I do believe I write 'Psychological Self-help books.'
In an entertaining way!

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

The Writing Process.

'The Virgin Widow', Bk.3. in the 'Lords of the Matrix Club' series is available for pre-order now.
It will download to your Kindle in a couple of days!!!
Here is the link:
If you read Bk.2. 'The Perfect Duchess' and fell in love with that scoundrel, the Great Bax, 'The Virgin Widow' is his story.
Bk.1. 'The Earl of Windermere Takes a Wife', has turned out to be mildly controversial, with it's damaged hero and determined heroine.

Bk.4. is under way. The working title is 'The Dark Lord', but this may change during the writing.
'The Perfect Duchess' started out as 'Marked for the Duke', but the true title became obvious by about the 4th time Lady Sherida's 'perfect duchess' potential was mentioned.
Bk.4. is Knight's story, Lord Ajax Beresford, Earl of Knightsborough.

By Bk.3. of this series, and with several others also published, I thought I'd finally worked out how I write. I wrote the first chapter, then plotted the rest of the book, scene by scene in note form. Then I just set to and wrote the book, scene by scene. So easy and even fun.

Bk.4. is proving to be quite different. I'm seeing the scenes, one at a time (usually while I'm in the shower! Wish we had solar hot water!) and I find myself writing them in full before I can move onto the next. Why aren't the scenes just as obvious as they were in Bk.3?

Then I realised that perhaps the characters themselves have something to do with that. The Virgin Widow, Lady Jane Rotherby, is a delightful 'Lady of the Manor' style character with an embarrassing secret. It's the only subterfuge about her. As for the Great Bax, it was no secret what he wanted - from the moment he set eyes on 'Angular Jane' again for the first time in 15 years. They were open, fun-loving characters who both desperately wanted to get hot and steamy with each other.
They were uncomplicated.  Jane's virginity was the main sticking point, though Bax had some life-changing family secrets to discover.

Lord Knightsborough, on the other hand, is a deep, dark character who is all about keeping control of his emotions and not letting any woman emotionally close, while Lady Penelope Grantwood is a feisty, fiercely independent woman, determined that no man shall control her ever again! Knight, in particular, gives little away. He likes his women submissive and willing to be bound so they cannot touch him or compromise his control in any way.

But she stirs him as no woman has in a long time, maybe ever. There is not a submissive bone in Lady Penny's body - and she's very handy with a gun!
These two are revealing their story in a very different way to previous ones, and I'm finding it intriguing. Hopefully, readers will find it so,  as well.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Up-Date on 'The Virgin Widow' (see 'Secrets' 14.6.2017)

'The Virgin Widow', Bk.3. in the 'Lords of the Matrix Club' series is available for pre-order now.
It will download to your Kindle on 12th August - giving me time to check those last edits.
Here is the link:
If you read Bk.2. 'The Perfect Duchess' and fell in love with that scoundrel, the Great Bax, 'The Virgin Widow' is his story.

Of Writing - And Reviews

I'm not a prolific blogger, probably because I'd much rather be writing about the fictitious characters in my head who become so real their stories just have to be told.
Like 'The Earl of Windermere Takes a Wife.'
Book.1. in the 'Lords of the Matrix Club, series. 
(It's FREE at the moment. Last day today so if you hurry you could still get lucky!)
I became very involved with the main characters in this story and put a lot of thought into solving their dilemma. It has become one of those stories readers either love or hate as can be seen from the reviews - and I totally understand both points of view. After all the H hated himself for most of the story! 
Of course, the reviews close to my heart are those who understand the era and its limitations, (no psychotherapists etc!) who also believe in the power of love and understand the strength required not to give in at the first hurdle.

This latest review is one of those and I felt the desire to share. Because I'm grateful someone else understood my characters like I did - and cared enough to share their thoughts.

Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint of heartJuly 16, 2017
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Earl of Windermere Takes a Wife (Lords of the Matrix Club Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Good Lord, I read a lot of books, but never have I read one like this. I see a lot of poor reviews but I think that’s because this book is so well written and compelling you can’t help but hate the H at times. I became immersed in the characters and wondered how it could possibly be resolved in an age of so little knowledge of mental health issues. If you like your historical romances sweet, clean, and tidy, this read isn’t for you. If you like your romances with twists and turns and don't mind shocking and at times upsetting novels with a fierce love between characters and well edited, then try this one out. No cliffhanger. Now I’m off to purchase the Duke’s story, “The Perfect Duchess”. Loved his character!

Wednesday, 14 June 2017


I love my writer's life, but SOMETIMES I wish I'd make it easier on myself. I write long books, finished length 100,000 words, so they take a while. And then a bit longer because I always over-write and then have to edit, which I consider a good thing as it tightens the writing.
This is the stage I'm at with Bk.3. in 'Lords of the Matrix Club' series. I wrote 'The End' for 'The Virgin Widow' at almost 118,000 words. Only 18,000 to trim!
This morning I've got it down to under 5000 and starting to really have to work at it, but still know I will do it.
Was thinking about it in the shower, getting a little bit excited for 'The End' is truly in sight, when a sneaky little voice in the back of my mind started questioning the motivation for a major plot point.
In zero seconds flat the whole scenario was crystal clear - and I have some re-writing to do...
Have you noticed what an inspirational place the shower is?
It is coming, peeps! I promise those of you hanging out for the Great Bax's story, it is nearly there.
The lovely scoundrel discovers he's lived his whole life a victim of secrets. Several!
Guess he just turned the tables on me. So glad this particular secret was revealed - to me - before I published it!
Here's a sneak-peek at the cover.

Monday, 10 April 2017

'Fred Dagg', a NZ icon has died. His humour was Kiwi through and through and he has left us with some colloquialisms all our own! 'the Trevs' meaning the guys/blokes/fellows etc - many of whom are called Trev, I guess!
And he made gumboots a national icon, for sure. In UK they're called wellingtons/wellies, I think. In NZ they're called gumboots because they were essential wear in the gumfields of Northland in the 1800's when the gumdiggers hunted for kauri gum in the swamps where the ancient trees had fallen.
Gumboots are also a fact of farming life and NZ is all about farming so you will find a line of gumboots at most people's backdoors!
Fred Dagg (true name John Clarke) recorded the Gumboot Song, which I think became much better known even than the National Anthem. Link below.
Here is what Wikipedia has to say about Fred Dagg:-Fred Dagg is a fictional character from New Zealand created and acted on stage, film and television by satirist John Clarke. Clarke graced New Zealand TV screens as Dagg during the mid to late 1970s, "taking the piss" out of the post-pioneering Kiwi bloke and "blokesses". The Fred Dagg character is a stereotypical farmer and New Zealand bloke: Clad in a black singlet and gumboots, hailing from the isolated rural town of Taihape, and attended by numerous associates (or sons) all named "Trev". One memorable expression was uttered whenever there was a knock at the door: "That'll be the door."When Clarke first unveiled the character of Fred Dagg in recordings and on New Zealand TV in 1975, he became a national star. Clarke also recorded a series of records and cassettes as Dagg, as well as publishing several books.
In 1979, Clarke moved from New Zealand to Australia, where he went on to establish himself as a top script writer and personality. He appeared regularly on Australian television delivering political satire sketches with actor comedian Bryan Dawe until his death in April 2017.[1]
Image result for taihape gumboot sculpture
Corrugated iron gumboot sculpture in Taihape.