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Archive for July, 2010

A Load of Hot Air

Thursday Thirteen

The subject of farts came up in our house this week. If you have children, especially boys, they probably think this topic is hysterical. Grown up boys are just as bad, and they put the blame on everyone else in the room. Not even the dog is safe. I thought – why not? So here you have a TT about farts.

Thirteen Things About Farts

1. According to the dictionary a fart is an expulsion of intestinal gas.

2. When we eat we swallow air. Some drinks are fizzy. Gas is created when food is digested. All this air and gas has to escape our body and it leaves as a fart.

3. Everyone farts. No one is immune from farting. The foster dog also farts. Picture me holding my nose this week.

4. Farts smell mainly because of the hydrogen sulfide gas. There are also other elements in foods, which make bad smells. Sulfur rich foods create smelly farts.

5. The average person creates around half a litre of gas each day – that’s around 14 farts per day.

6. Men do not fart more than women. It just seems that way!

7. Farts are actually flammable.

8. Beans do make you fart more.

9. Holding back a fart won’t do any damage.

10. A fart has a temperature of 98.6 degrees when it emerges.

11. Excessive gas is actually called flatulence.

12. The farts of dogs and cats smell so bad because of their protein rich diet.

13. The fart sound effect is produced by the vibration of the anal opening. The loudness of the fart also depends on the velocity of the gas exiting the body.

Discuss :mrgreen:


Foster Puppy: Patch Adams Update

I can’t believe we’ve had Patch for four weeks. On Thursday or Friday I need to ring the SPCA and book him in for a vet appointment. All incoming and outgoing dogs have a vet check to keep any possible diseases under control. As I’ve said, he’s a wonderful dog with a very good nature. He has continued to grow in confidence, although the odd thing throws him. On Saturday Mr. Munro got out the leaf blower and attempted to start it. Patch didn’t like it one bit and took off to hide behind the garden shed. If he’s frightened outside of the section he sits down and refuses to move.

After the leaf blower scare, we finally extracted him from behind the shed and took him to the Botanic Gardens. It was a beautiful winter’s day and hubby, Patch and I had a fine time walking and exploring the gardens.


Touch wood, he hasn’t chewed anything for a while. The bones seem to keep him happy. His latest trick is pulling all his blankets out of his kennel and tearing around the lawn with them. I’ll be writing and look out the window to see that the lawn has suddenly sprouted blankets everywhere.


A bird’s nest attracted my attention.


We explored the herb garden.


This is the bed of poppies near the cafe. We had a coffee and sat at one of the outside tables. Patch sat and watched everyone. I was so proud of him.

On Sunday we took him to the Farmers’s market. Patch wasn’t as confident with all the people around but he did pretty well and only did his stubborn sitting thing once by the mushroom stall. He travels well in the car.

Patch has even started barking a little. He has a rough, deep bark that’s quite pleasant to listen to. If you’ve lived with a shrill bark before you’ll understand this comment totally! He’s grown like a weed and will grow bigger yet.

He’ll make someone a wonderful pet.

A Chat With Leah Braemel

My special guest today is Leah Braemel, a friend and fellow author at Carina Press and Samhain Publishing. Leah has a new release out called Texas Tangle. It’s currently locked and loaded on my reader, and I can’t wait to find time to read it. Meantime, I asked Leah a few probing questions about herself and her writing. I think she deserves a medal – any woman who lives in a household of males is definitely braver than me!

Tell us a little about yourself and how you started writing.

That’s good that you asked for me to tell a little, because there’s not much to tell. I’m the only Canadian-born member of my family – my mother, father and sister are all English. I’ve been married for 32 years and hope to last another 64 (only half-kidding on that one) and have two sons who have just finished school (one high school, one college) but still live at home. Oh, and I have a cat, Spike, who is very disgusted that my lap is often taken by my laptop instead of him. (If you noticed, they’re all males, even the cat. So no frilly stuff in this household. They won’t even allow flowers on the wallpaper, the upholstery or the curtains. Plain colors only please. Talk about testosterone poisoning.)

As for my writing…I wrote my first story when I was around seven. My sister and I were addicted to a brand new science fiction show called Star Trek. (Yes, this is during its first run, before it was known as “The Original Series.” My sister was so enamored of it that she started writing her own scripts. That was the first time I twigged to the fact that people wrote books, that I could write down the stories that I’d tell myself when I went to bed each night. I wrote down one of my ideas and showed it to my sister who was my very first critic. She was also my last critic because after that horrific review (which was probably dead on the mark) I vowed to never show anyone my writing Ever. Again. And I didn’t. For close to 40 years. Oh, I wrote lots of non-fiction manuals for my job, and I wrote newsletters and articles and such, but my fiction I kept hidden and didn’t dare show anyone until the mid 90s. I can’t remember why I trusted that particular friend with my writing but she told me I should try to get published. But I blew her off. “Everyone’s trying to get a book published, I wouldn’t stand a chance” I told her. And I kept that stance until about 2004 when I met a lady on line who was trying to get published. I showed her a bit of my writing and she also encouraged me to get published. She became my critique partner, but after opening her first critique I wondered how the heck she thought I could get published, there were comments made on every line. Of course, she was right on the money and soon I’d learned about showing versus telling, and passive verbs versus active verbs. Then she did the unthinkable. Because I’d been waffling about actually submitting any of my work to an editor or agent, she issued a dare. Next thing I knew I was registered for the 2007 RWA conference and had an appointment with an editor who asked to see a partial of my story.

Texas TangleYour new book, Texas Tangle, is a ménage a trois. What attracted you to write a ménage a trois?

Hmm, that’s a good question. Texas Tangle wasn’t supposed to be a menage until Brett walked in as a secondary character. Then one thing led to another, LOL, and the story demanded it. Menages are always a challenge to me because although I do know a few couples (triples?) who have had them in real life, they’re not generally socially acceptable. After Private Property came out, I had a reader mention that she’d loves to read about menages that end up turning long term, so I played around a bit with Texas Tangle to see if I could find a situation where I could see it being an obvious solution that all parties could live with.

Where did the idea for Texas Tangle come from?

Partly from a trip to Texas I took a few years back, and partly because I love the rural way of life (I was raised on a farm.) As for Nikki’s being robbed, that’s drawn straight from real life — being robbed, excuse me, burgled, steals more than your belongings, they steal your peace of mind. I’ve known quite a few women very similar to Nikki and a couple like both Brett and Dillon, so when I started writing the story, they just seemed naturals for that setting.

What do you tell people when they ask you about writing love scenes or ask the inevitable question of your husband – do you do all that stuff?

It sometimes depends on how I’m feeling or how they ask. Most times I laugh it off and say I have an active imagination and my husband grins and says he loves being my research assistant. There have occasionally been people who are a little more judgmental in their questioning so I have to bite my tongue and not ask them if they would ask Jeffrey Deaver or Harlan Coben how many people they’ve killed in real life researching their stories. (Not that I’m comparing myself to Mr. Deaver or Mr. Coben, of course.)

What is your favorite thing to do on a lazy Sunday?

Depends upon the season — throughout the winter, sitting inside by the fireplace, curled up beside my hubby watching a movie. In the summer? If it’s too hot, then I’m sitting inside curled up beside my hubby writing while he watches golf.

What tip would you give to an aspiring writer who is just starting their writing journey?

Write! Seriously. You can’t find your voice until you’ve written for a while. And if you do plan on getting published at some point you have to have something finished to submit to an editor. That can only be accomplished by writing until you can type those two lovely words “The End.” (Then the editing begins, but that’s another story.)

If you want to know more about Leah, her website is at http://LeahBraemel.com and her blog is at http://leahbraemel.blogspot.com. They can also follow her on Facebook or on Twitter.

And here’s an excerpt from Texas Tangle

Brett reached for Dillon’s front door then stopped. Why couldn’t Dillon have been home? At least that way he knew he could control himself. Even though he’d stayed away a full month, he still hadn’t gotten her out from under his skin.

Get it over with. Give her the news, then stay far away.

He lifted his hand and after a moment’s hesitation, knocked on the door. Maybe he’d get lucky, and she wouldn’t be here. Maybe she’d gone into town with Dillon.

The door creaked open, and there she was, wearing one of the white shirts he’d left behind, a pair of cut-offs beneath. She’d left the top three buttons undone, giving him a tantalizing view of her cleavage. His cock punched against his zipper at the thought of unbuttoning the rest of the buttons, of spreading the fabric wide and tasting her nipples.

Why didn’t he just cut off his balls and hand them to Dillon on a plate?

“Brett?” She looked startled to see him. “Come on in.”

He followed her into the kitchen, watched her fiddle with the coffee maker. Nikki never fiddled and, more importantly, she wasn’t looking at him. He made her nervous. Did she worry he might try something on her again?

His fists clenched at the thought that he might have scared her, made her think he might take what she wasn’t willing to give.

“I didn’t mean to drive you away.” She made a gesture of impatience. “I’m sorry, I’m being selfish. I just…I’ve missed you.”

The heated blood racing through his veins headed south when she smoothed her hands down her front, tightening the fabric over her breasts, accentuating that she wasn’t wearing a bra.

Did she realize how beautiful she was with the color high in her cheeks when she blushed? Longing spun his senses until he felt like he’d been caught in a twister, especially when she turned those soulful eyes on him. The lost tone in her voice cut right through him, pierced defenses he didn’t know he’d erected.

Purchase Texas Tangle from Carina Press

Leah is giving away a download of her ebook Private Property to one lucky commenter. All you need to do to enter the draw is either ask Leah a question or tell us what you say to people who give you a hard time about reading romance. The winner will be announced on Wednesday 14th of July.

Sea Plus Horse Equals Seahorse

Camera Critters

My photo this week was taken at the Kona Seahorse Farm in Hawaii. Those elegant fingers are mine. :grin: I love seahorses and think they’re the coolest creature. They fascinate me. Besides, any species where the male has the babies is doing the right thing.


To see more animal photos visit Camera Critters.

Taming Toddlers During Road Trips with Kathleen Dienne

Thursday Thirteen

This week, I have a special guest–Kathleen Dienne, one of my fellow Carina Press authors. When I asked her to do a guest post, she volunteered to do a Thursday Thirteen. I think road trips with children sound quite interesting… :grin: Don’t forget to check out Kathleen’s new release Her Heart’s Divide!

Thirteen Things I Didn’t Know About Road Trips With Small Children

by Kathleen Dienne

Hello, Shelley readers! Your hostess, whose mountain of marvelous books is impressing the socks off this beginning author, was corresponding with me over author resources. She kindly invited me to contribute to this community.

To be honest, I’m kind of awkward in new communities. I didn’t used to be this way, but I decided to go pro with my writing (http://kathleendienne.com) at the exact same time that my sweet and tractable baby decided to become a toddler. As all you working moms (and if we’re moms, we’re working!) can attest, your world can get a little narrow when you’re trying to keep up with everything. I sure appreciate Shelley bringing me out of my cave to meet you :)

After my first book launched last month (Her Heart’s Divide), my husband and I decided to go on a family vacation. We hadn’t taken one since our son was born. We love road trips and living history, so the inaugural family trip was an eight hour drive to Dearborn, Michigan, and the Henry Ford museum and village.

All of you experienced parents are already laughing.

For those of you with no kids, read on.

1. Raisins seem like a wonderful car food, but they are not.

2. Anything that becomes sticky when you grind it into upholstery is a bad car food.

3. Especially bananas.

4. One should not feed a diaper-wearing toddler nothing but fruit for two hours.

5. If a small toy is dropped, you can find it by identifying the one spot no one in the car can reach without pulling over.

6. Every rest stop in Ohio looks identical. This will comfort your toddler and cause him to associate the graceful little dome with “getting out of the car.”

7. A child who sees the little dome as it passes by his window can be astonishingly loud.

8. There are a lot of eighteen-wheelers on our nation’s highways, and a toddler can say “Bye bye big truck!” to every… single… one of them.

9. You don’t think you can sing Old MacDonald’s Farm more than twenty times in a row until you’ve done it.

10. A child who wakes up if an ant sneezes can sleep through a storm beating down so hard that every vehicle on the road is forced to pull over and stop on the shoulder.

11. The hotel’s minifridge is just as fascinating as a costumed interpreter running a loom.

12. It is good to make time for a toddler to just run across a big lawn and shriek with glee.

13. If you’re genuinely trying to keep your kid happy and behaving well, pretty much everyone in the world wants to help you… so let them.

What are your favorite tips for toddler travel? Got any good disasters to share?

Her Heart’s Divide

Lila was a faithful, loyal wife.

Ryan was her sexy, loving husband.

And so was Jack…?

Jack, however, was her boss, not her husband—why was he claiming her as
his own? Lila had been passionately happy with Ryan for more than
seven years. Yes, there’d been a moment when she’d first been attracted to
Jack, but then she’d met his best friend, Ryan. They’d fallen in love and married.
Jack claimed that in his world, their attraction had led to the altar.

And now she was caught between two men—two husbands—in the wildest situation Lila could ever have imagined. But what she wasn’t imagining were the two men touching her, pleasing her, caressing her…

Purchase from Carina Press

Really Easy Quiche

This recipe is taken from one of Jo Seagar’s cookbooks called Jo Seagar Cooks and as the title states, the quiche is very easy to make. It’s the perfect thing for a summer picnic, unexpected guests or a quick weekend dinner.


4 eggs
1 1/2 cups grated tasty cheese
1 small onion peeled and chopped
6 rashers of rindless bacon chopped
1/2 cup self-raising flour
1 1/2 cups of milk
1/4 cup of chopped parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups of your choice of vegetables (chopped mushrooms, peppers, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, corn, peas, beans, grated pumpkin etc) – your imagination is the limit when it comes to vegetables.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Spray a medium – to large size lasagne dish with no stick baking spray. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Pour into the prepared dish and bake for 40 – 45 minutes until set and golden brown. If your oven is a fan one reduce the cooking time accordingly. It takes around 30 -35 minutes in a fan oven. Serves 6 people.

Note – if you prefer a vegetarian option just leave out the bacon. That’s what I do.

What is your favorite food to take on a picnic?

Lost in Austen.

I’ve been watching a UK drama called Lost in Austen recently and I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s based on Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice. Here’s the blurb from the TV New Zealand site: Bored bank worker Amanda Price (Jemima Rooper – The Black Dahlia; As If; Hex) literally becomes lost in her favourite Austen book, after she finds a strange portal in her bathroom and swaps places with its heroine Elizabeth Bennet. As she gets to know the Bennet family and encounters the famous Mr Darcy (Elliot Cowan – The Golden Compass), how can she keep this celebrated romance on track?

In the last episode, Amanda and Darcy had a moment and Darcy told her he loved her. Of course, Amanda is worried because he’s meant to marry Elizabeth Bennet, but she does get him to go into the pond and get his shirt wet. It was a very special moment for both Amanda and me!

Here’s the trailer to watch if you’re interested:

Purchase link for DVD: Lost in Austen

I’d like to step into Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series or Eloisa James’s Desperate Duchesses series or Scarlet Woman from my Middlemarch Mates world.

If you could choose a book, a movie or a tv program to step into, which one would it be?

Author Photos

During our recent cruise I took the opportunity to get some nice portrait shots to use as author photos. I was really pleased with the final result. To see all four portraits go to my About Shelley page and scroll down. Feel free to let me know what you think and which is your favorite.

Shelley Munro

Photo credit: Princess Cruises.

Do you like to see an author photo at the back of a book?

This Little Piggy Went to Market

Camera Critters

I took this photo at the Royal Sydney Easter show. He looked so clean and pink in his pen. :grin:


To see more animal photos visit Camera Critters.

Contest Winner

Congratulations to Stacey S who wins a $25 Amazon voucher in my quarterly contest. I’ve emailed you privately.

To go into the draw for my next contest to win a $25 Amazon voucher, all you need to do is visit and comment on one or more posts here at Taste of Kiwi.