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Archive for November, 2008

Broken.

Due to a fault at an Auckland substation thousands of Aucklanders were without Internet access last night and today. I was one of the thousands and have suffered through the 24 hour downtime with great impatience. I dislike my ISP. I’d change if it wasn’t such a huge hassle.

Hubby and I went to do our shopping today. Hubby made me wear my sunglasses and suggested that I wear jeans. I wore shorts and took off my glasses in the glasses place so they could fix a bit that had fallen off. No one said a word, although they kept taking furtive looks at my very colorful eye. If anything my black eye looks worse than it did when I first fell off my bike and cut it – sort of purple, red and now a bit of yellow creeping in. As I said – colorful.

I’m blogging at the Samhain blog on Saturday morning. My post is about Women Taking a Stand. All will become obvious when you read my post. Here’s the link.

A Contemporary Read

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Contemporary Romances I’ve Read Recently

I’m going through a contemporary blitz at the moment and thought I’d share what I’ve been reading. I enjoyed all the following books but have noted my extra favorites. I’m also after some sympathy. I did a header over the handle bars of my bike yesterday and collected almost enough ouchies to do a separate TT. I even have a very impressive black eye and a dashing cut above my eye. I need virtual hugs!

1. Sexiest man Alive by Diana Holquist.

2. Catch of the Day by Kristin Higgins. This was written in first person and hooked me in from the start. I thought the heroine made a few stupid decisions but it was still a good read.

3. Virgin River series by Robyn Carr. I love this series and can’t wait for the three back-to-back releases coming out early next year. I loved the characters and really invested in them. I feel like they’re family.

4. Irresistable by Susan Mallery. This is also part of a good series. I have two more books waiting on my to-read pile.

5. The Laws of Attraction by Sherryl Woods. This was a category. I’m going to pick up some of her single titles when I get a chance.

6. Sweet Surrender by Maya Banks. I really enjoy Maya’s writing and can’t wait to pick up some of her others.

7. Rough, Raw and Ready by Lorelei James. I mentioned this book in my menage a trois TT. Lorelei did an awesome job with this book and it’s one of my favorites of her series.

8. Seduction of Shamus O’Rourke by NJ Walters. This has just come out in print. I fell in love with Shamus. He’s such a great hero!

9. Flashpoint by Jill Shalvis.

10. The Darker Side of Pleasure by Eden Bradley. I love Eden’s writing. I’m a huge fan.

11. Asking for Trouble by Leslie Kelly.

12. Sarah’s Seduction by Lora Leigh. I read the first in this series, Marly’s Choice a while ago. It’s not an easy series to read because it deals with abuse, but Lora does a great job making the reader care for the characters.

13. The Stranger by Portia Da Costa. This is what I’m reading at the moment. I’ve read a couple of Portia’s books and always enjoy them.

As you can see, I read a real mixture. Some hot and some not. Some are category while others are single title. Do you like contemporary romance? If so, have you read any good ones recently?

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!
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Naming Names.

I saw this ad on TV the other day. It’s from my favorite New Zealand store, Whitcoulls, and it made me laugh because this name problem has been me for the last three weeks. Today, I sat down and toughed it out, choosing names in much the way this couple did. In fact, I used the very same baby naming book to work out character names for my new work in progress.

How do you choose names for your characters? How did you name your kids?

Kiwis Flee The Nest

Last month, a record number of New Zealanders left the country to move to Australia in the hope of finding a new and better life. On average around 700 people leave New Zealand each week.

We had elections this month. My husband and I haven’t been happy with the way our government was running things, and thankfully, many NZers agreed. A new prime minister was signed in at the end of last week, and he’s currently at the APEC meeting in Peru.

I love my home country. We have a lot going for us. Of course, things are tough at the moment, as they are in other parts of the world. If the government hadn’t changed hubby and I would have looked at our options very carefully.

So, my question to you is: If you had the option and didn’t have ties, would you consider moving to another country? And if you would move, which country would you choose?

Keep It Movin’

A recent survey done by SPARC (Sport & Recreation New Zealand) has found that around half of New Zealand adults exercise for at least half an hour a day five times a week. Their survey shows the level of exercise among adults is about the same as in 2001.

SPARC spends around 70 million dollars a year on their campaign to encourage New Zealanders to Push Play and exercise. They’re calling the survey results encouraging, yet surely that means fifty per cent of NZ adults aren’t exercising?

I heard on the radio this morning that the NZ result is better than in many overseas countries but I couldn’t find an online source to quote.

I’m in the positive fifty per cent who exercise. I find exercise a great stress reliever and feel more alert afterwards. I also use the time while I’m exercising to think about my writing and often work out plot problems. I feel horrid if I don’t exercise. I cycle, walk and run a bit. Oh, and dance when I can get away with it. As I mentioned a few days ago, the dog takes exception to my dancing! Exercise isn’t always fun. Some days I don’t feel like moving from my chair, but I do it anyway. I’m a firm believer in the use it or lose it school of thought, believing keeping mobile helps you later when you’re older. I have to think about these things you know because I don’t have any children to look after me in my old age.

I’m lucky to live in an area with a lot of walking and cycling paths. I was excited this week to see the council is extending the paved area again. The concrete should be dry and the new paths open in a few days so I can explore it to see where they go.

How are you at the exercise thing? Does your country have a similar organization to encourage people to exercise?

Hot Stuff with Shelley Munro

Fringe Benefits

I’m guest blogging at Jennifer’s Randon Musing today and talking about hot stuff. I’m also giving away a download of my recent release, Fringe Benefits. All you need to do is post a comment.

Here’s the link.

Shelley

Friends and Friendship

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Sayings about FRIENDS AND FRIENDSHIP

The theme of my current WIP is friends and friendship. I thought I’d give you friend sayings today. I also have a research-type question for you at the end and would really like your input.

1. A good friend can tell you what is the matter with you in a minute. He may not seem such a good friend after telling. ~Arthur Brisbane, “The Book of Today”

2. Being friendless taught me how to be a friend. Funny how that works. ~Colleen Wainwright, Communicatrix.

3. Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation. ~ George Washington (1732 – 1799)

4. When the character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends. ~ Japanese Proverb

5. If you make it plain you like people, it’s hard for them to resist liking you back. ~ Lois McMaster Bujold, Diplomatic Immunity, 2002.

6. It’s the friends you can call up at four a.m. that matter. ~ Marlene Dietrich (1901 – 1992)

7. Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love. ~ Jane Austen (1775 – 1817), Northanger Abbey.

8. You don’t get to pick your own nickname. They’ve gotta give you one. It’s like we’re all tryin’ to make pets out of each other and we’re not comfortable unless we get to name ‘em. ~ Laura Moncur, Merriton.

9. It’s a lot like nature. You only have as many animals as the ecosystem can support and you only have as many friends as you can tolerate the bitching of. ~ Randy K. Milholland, Something Positive Comic, 08-16-05

10. There was a definite process by which one made people into friends, and it involved talking to them and listening to them for hours at a time. ~ Rebecca West (1892 – 1983)

11. If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself alone. A man should keep his friendships in constant repair. ~ Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784)

12. I’ve learned that all a person has in life is family and friends. If you lose those, you have nothing, so friends are to be treasured more than anything else in the world. ~ Trey Parker and Matt Stone, South Park, Prehistoric Ice Man, 1999.

13. The friendship that can cease has never been real. ~ Saint Jerome (374 AD – 419 AD), Letter.

QUESTION: What qualities do you look for in a friend? What heinous crime does a friend have to commit to get booted off your friend list?

I look for a sense of humor, trust and the ability to listen when I really need them to listen. I value give and take, honesty. Anyone who is dishonest won’t find themselves with my friendship for long. I need to be able to trust a friend with my secrets and rely on them to follow through on any promises they make.

What about you?

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!
View More Thursday Thirteen Participants

Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow…

I’ve been working hard with my writing, starting quite early in the day. I can only sit for an hour or so and try to walk around a little in between. I’ll go and get a cup of tea and do a few stretches. I’m still going through my Country music phase and had the Country station playing. A lively song came on so I started dancing instead of stretching. After a while I sensed someone staring. I turned around and our little dog had woken up from her snooze. She was out of her basket, standing beside it, and staring at me in total disapproval. We stared at each other for a long moment, silently communicating.

“You look stupid,” her look said.
My look said, “Too bad. I’m having fun.”

And I ignored her and carried on. She kept staring until I stopped and went back to writing. I could practically see her thoughts as she settled back down in her basket. I’m so embarrassed. Of all the owners in the world, why did I have to get this one!

On the web, I came across this post by agent, Holly Root. It’s about the Seven Deadly Sins of Publishing. I thought it was rather good, especially the part about each writer’s career being different and you shouldn’t compare your path to another writers.

I also found this post about Kitchen Myths and Pretensions very interesting. There were a few things I knew and I learned some new things, too.

King’s Love Letters

I read in the New Zealand Herald today that some of King Henry VIII’s love letters, along with thousands of other Tudor and Elizabethan documents, go online this month for public viewing.

The love letters were written by the king in 1527 to the woman who became his second wife. He was still married to Catherine of Aragon at the time. He writes to Anne: “I beg to know expressly your intention touching the love between us. Necessity compels me to obtain this answer, having been more than a year wounded by the dart of love, and not yet sure whether I shall fail or find a place in your affection.”

Here’s the link. It wasn’t live when I went to look, but they say it will go live very soon.

Birds and Bees

I’ve been going to post this for ages. It’s an ad shot in Auckland (you’ll see quick glimpses of Sky Tower and the waterfront from Mission Bay) and it’s very cute. It never fails to make me laugh.

There’s a new version of the ad playing at the moment with the daughter asking her mother where she came from. The above version flashes through the mother’s head, then she turns to her daughter and says, “Ask your father.” That makes me laugh, too. I looked for it on Youtube but it’s a bit too new at the moment.

Well, it’s back to the writing cave for me. Things are going well. If you feel inclined, tell me who told you about the birds and bees…



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