Adventure into Romance with Shelley Munro
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Archive for January, 2009

Looking to the Past

I heard on the news this morning that the 1911 census of England and Wales has been released to the public and is available online. Evidently enterprising people have already checked out David Beckham and Amy Winehouse’s ancestors.

Pre-writing days I was very interested in genealogy and have done quite a bit of research on my family. My father’s family came from Cheshire in England. There’s also a bit of Irish ancestory there as well as Welsh. My father’s family were farmers and until my generation that trend continued. My brother is an engineer while I went into accountancy before I started writing full time. My sister lives on the farm and is closest to being a farmer, but she works full-time as a banker as well.

My mother’s family came from England – Warwickshire to be exact – and were farmers. My mother’s side of the family includes ancestors who were shipped to Australia as convicts. John Fawkner was a convicted felon, transported for receiving stolen goods. He took his family with him to Australia on board the HMS Calcutta. John’s son, John Pascoe Fawkner was one of the founders of Melbourne. I have in my bookcase a very interesting biography written by CP Billot about his life. He was a bit of a skelliwag and got into trouble as well.

Here’s the link to the 1911 census.

And to finish off – here’s an ad from New Zealand that proves it’s not always a good idea to look to the past!

Are you interested in genealogy? Have you researched your family history?

5 Heart Sweetheart Award

I was very excited to learn TEA FOR TWO won the 5 Heart Sweetheart award from The Romance Studio this week.

Tea for Two This week’s 5 Heart Sweetheart…

“Ms. Shelley Munro is quickly becoming a must read author. I enjoy her style and her approach to her varied plots. These two main characters were certainly no exception. The storyline was full of secrets (from both Hayley and Sam). The more time the couple spent together, the less likely it became that Sam would buy into his family’s theory that Norville’s fell in love at first sight. Ms. Munro has such an appealing way of revealing her story that it is impossible to put down the book.” – Brenda Talley.

Thanks so much to The Romance Studio and all the readers who voted for Tea For Two!

The Curious Series of Events

This is a bit of a story, so grab a coffee and get comfortable.

Mr. Munro went to pick up Scotty from the kennels on Sunday. The kennel assistant came out with Scotty and a basket that didn’t belong to her. Hubby said, “That’s not Scotty’s basket.” But evidently Scotty had slept in that basket the entire time we were away. (Let’s call this event one)

The kennel people ran around looking for Scotty’s tatty basket and couldn’t find it. It is tatty with the stuffing showing through the fabric but she doesn’t like the new ones we purchased for her. She likes the old one. They looked high and low and finally said hubby could take the basket Scotty had been sleeping in. Subsequent investigations i.e. looking at the label says this basket belongs to a dog called Dexter. (Let’s call this event two)

Hubby and Scotty went off to collect a chainsaw from a friend so he could cut down a tree. When he went to load the chainsaw into the car he discovered the wee dog had had an accident of the smelly kind. Hubby assures me he didn’t shout at her, but I don’t really believe him. Scotty is very good but sometimes she can’t move fast enough to reach the great outdoors. In this case she was trapped inside the car. (Let’s call this event three)

Hubby and Scotty arrived at home. Scotty went straight into the tub for a wash and shampoo while I put her new basket (the one that used to belong to Dexter) into the washing machine and cleaned out the car. (Let’s call this event four)

Scotty went outside to dry while hubby prepared for his tree chopping adventure. I went inside to check my email and think about writing, housework and the like. I heard sudden shouting and swearing in the garage and went racing out to investigate. While hubby was washing Scotty in the tub, she knocked the washing machine outlet pipe and it dropped to the ground, unnoticed by hubby. When the washing machine emptied, it emptied out into the garage and we ended up with a flood. (Let’s call this event five)

Hubby and I frantically mopped and wiped up water, shifting stuff in the garage and panicking in case the water seeped through the wall into the house and wet the carpet. (Let’s call this event six)

Now: I’m going to leave you on a traditional hook – Will the Munros save their carpet from becoming wet and moldy? And will Dexter turn up to reclaim his basket?

It struck me while I was mopping frantically and running the weird series of events through my head that this was typical plotting. It’s what writers try to do while plotting a book. They try to make each crisis bigger and more alarming to test the characters. Yep, I’d experienced a lesson in plotting all in the space of an hour. It actually served as a reminder. I need to be a little meaner to my characters in my current Middlemarch book. They needed to suffer just as Mr Munro and I suffered.

Do you think some authors overdo the series of events and torture their characters too much? Do you think that characters aren’t tested enough and we authors let them off too easily? What are your thoughts about plotting?

Why Didn’t Someone Warn Me….

…that a person uses different muscles climbing up and down mountains to when they cycle, walk and run?

OR:

…to take better care of my big toe – the same toe that I injured while ice skating when I was in my teens, the same toe the Goal Attack or Goal Shoot managed to jump on every netball season after that. I’ve given up counting the number of times that toe nail has bruised and dropped off. Another one coming up to add to the number.

I Hurt. :cry:

You’re so Vain!

I’m sure I’ve written about vanity plates on cars before. A lot of people have them in New Zealand. Today when I was driving home from my writing session at the coffee shop, I passed a car with the number plate BIG RAJ.

Now I don’t know if it’s me and my erotic romance writing but my mind immediately dropped into the gutter and I thought about the male anatomy. No way would I drive around in a car with that number plate. It’s just wrong. Heck, it smacks of vanity.

I’ve seen some good ones, and I think they can be a good business tool. Others make me cringe. I think if I had one, I’d go for something plain like SHELL. Yep, boring but not cringe worthy!

Question: What do you think of vanity plates? Do you have one? If you could have any vanity plate you wanted what would you have? What’s the worst one you’ve seen?

Are They Old Enough?

I’m off on my mini-vacation today, but I’ve scheduled some posts, and I’m posing some questions for you all while I’m away. And don’t forget that Emily Bryan is here on the 9th giving away her upcoming release. You don’t want to miss that!

A few years ago, I read an interview with Linda Howard. She was talking about her MacKenzie series. (The first book in this series is called MacKenzie’s Mountain and it’s just awesome. I remember the characters clearly, even though it’s years since I read the book. The first line is “He needed a woman. Bad” and Linda Howard hooked me right there.)

Readers, including me, were clamoring for books about the MacKenzie children. I remember Linda Howard saying that she couldn’t write the story because the characters were children in her mind. She needed to give it time, at least a few years, before she could think of them as adults. Huh! I thought. How silly. This is a fictional world.

Fast forward to a few years ago. I’d written several stories in my Middlemarch Mates series, but the story for the two youngest Mitchell siblings, Joe and Sly, just wouldn’t gel for me. In my mind I thought of them as unruly teens and way too young for the naughty goings on that I wanted to write for them. My solution was to write other stories while they grew up. I packed them off to University while I waited for them to mature. They make a brief appearance in Leticia’s Lovers (coming in Feb) and to my surprise they have grown up. Oh, they still like to tease their oldest brother, Saber, and in Leticia’s Lovers they were plotting and trying to think of a suitable sex toy gift to embarrass their sister-in-law Emily and by extension, Saber.

I’m thinking that 2009 is the year for Joe and Sly to meet their match. They won’t be laughing quite as much by the time the heroine and I have finished with them.

I started thinking about this subject again because I’m reading a book written by Pam Crooks. In the first book the mother is the heroine and in the second book, the child is the heroine. I haven’t finished them yet but it will be interesting to see how I feel when I’ve read them both. (note: there was a publishing gap with the books coming out in different years)

Question: Do you agree with Linda Howard? Do you find it difficult to write/read about characters who were children in a previous book?

Interview with my character, Jonno Campbell

Would you like to meet Jonno Campbell from Cat Burglar? He’s visiting…maybe I should say flirting with Alyssa Brooks today.

Here are the links: MySpace and at Alyssa’s website.

Winners for Deliciously Decadent December

Congratulations to all the winners in our contest!!

Amy Ruttan: Rain God – Lexee
Angelia Sparrow: Eight Days Ablaze – Amy (Sam’s Kiss & Tell blog @ December 27, 2008 2:10 AM)
Aubrey Ross: Crimson Prey – Fedora
Cheryl Dragon: Quintupled – Cathy M
Emma Petersen: Seducing St. Nic – Lindseye
Kathy Kulig: Desert of the Damned – Tarah Scott
L.A. Day: Greek Temptation – Karin
Samantha Kane: Retreat From Love (Brothers In Arms) – Deidre
Shelley Munro: Cat Burglar – Dayanna

Can You Swim?

When I was a kid, the school I attended had a swimming pool and each summer we had swimming lessons as part of our school day. I can swim. It’s not my favorite thing to do, but if I fell into water, I’d have a good chance of saving myself because of those lessons. These days, the education dollar doesn’t stretch as far, and schools have closed their swimming pools, doing away with swimming lessons. Each year the number of children who drown seems to be higher. Officials seem to think there’s a direct connection between the two, and many parents don’t or can’t afford to teach their children to swim.

I’m curious about how things happen in other countries. Can you swim? How did you learn? Can your children swim? If so, how did they learn?

Guest Blogging at Jennifer’s Random Musings

I’m over at Jennifer’s Random Musings today. I’m talking about keeping tabs on the books I read during the year. I’m also giving away a download of either Scarlet Woman or Cat Burglar to one lucky commenter.

Here’s the link for Jennifer’s Random Musings.