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Archive for December, 2015

Cycling in Zimbabwe

Biking in Zimbabwe

It’s the younger me again, and this time, I’m biking in Zimbabwe, not far from Victoria Falls. Hubby and I had been to visit a crocodile farm. The T-shirt I’m wearing was purchased in Victoria Falls, and it lasted for about 20 years. I was very sad when I had to throw it into the rag bag. As you can see, there isn’t much traffic. I have fond memories of Victoria Falls and would love to visit again one day.

Fishing in Haines, Alaska

During our recent trip to Alaska, one thing Mr Munro wanted to see was a bear catching a salmon. This was one of his bucket list items, and he’d talked about it for months.

I’m pleased to report that we saw several bears fishing. This particular excursion was to Haines in Alaska and we caught the ferry from Skagway. It’s a beautiful spot with forest and rivers and is also on the coast.

Haines Shelley

Me, during a forest walk.

Haines Alaska

One of the many dead salmon on the river after the spawning.

Haine Bear

A bear coming down to fish at the river.

Haine Bear Fishing

And a fishing bear. We watched her fish for ages. She’d catch a salmon and take it into the bushes to eat in peace then repeat the process while we tourists went oh and ah and took photos.

Mr Munro was able to check this off his bucket list.

13 Quotes About Success

Thursday Thirteen

Most people would like to enjoy success. Here are some inspiring quotes to set you on your way…

Thirteen Quotes About Success

1. There is no point at which you can say, “Well, I’m successful now. I might as well take a nap.” ~ Carrie Fisher

2. Anybody who’s really successful has doubts. ~ Jerry Bruckheimer

3. Do or do not. There is no try. ~ Yoda

4. Don’t just stand there; make something happen. ~ Lee Iacocca

5. To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone. ~ Reba McEntire

6. Celebrate what you’ve accomplished, but raise the bar a little higher each time you succeed. ~ Mia Hamm

7. Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces people into thinking they can’t lose. ~ Bill Gates

8. Inside of a ring or out, ain’t nothing wrong with going down. It’s staying down that’s wrong. ~ Muhammad Ali

9. Success is more permanent when you achieve it without destroying your principles. ~ Walter Cronkite

10. Success is falling nine times and getting up ten. ~ Jon Bon Jovi

11. The key to success? Work hard, stay focused and marry a Kennedy. ~ Arnold Schwarzenegger

12. You only have to do a very few things right in your life—so long as you don’t do too many things wrong. ~ Warren Buffett

13. The person who knows “how” will always have a job. The person who knows “why” will always be his boss. ~ Diane Ravitch

Which quote speaks to you most?

Source: Reader’s Digest Quotable Quotes

Tales of the New Zealand Eagle

During our recent visit to Alaska we saw quite a few eagles and I saw their nests. The Bald Eagle is an impressive bird with a huge wingspan.

Eagle

What most people don’t realize is that New Zealand was home to the world’s largest eagle for thousands of years. The Haast eagle had a wing span of 2.9 meters and weighed as much as 13 kilograms. It looked like a golden eagle and stood almost a meter tall and had bright eyes and a black hooked beak. Its massive yellow legs were said to be as thick as a child’s wrist. Its wings were a darker brown and had a lighter underside.

The Haast eagle used to perch at a high vantage point and would dive-bomb its prey with deadly force.

According to sources, these birds would have a chick every second year, and they would have a life expectancy of twenty to thirty years. They used to feed on moa, a large flightless bird, which was hunted to extinction. It was also said the eagle would capture young children with ease.

I enjoy taking parts of New Zealand history, the flora and fauna and using them in my books. The Haast eagle had a starring role in book one of my Middlemarch Capture series, Snared by Saber.

What do you think? Can you imagine an eagle that big?

Two New House of the Cat releases!

I have two new releases in my House of the Cat series – a celebration for my birthday. Party smile

Hunted & Seduced is out on 8 December and Festive & Seduced is out on 9 December.

ShelleyMunro_HuntedandSeduced_200px     ShelleyMunro_FestiveAndSeduced_200

Note – Festive & Seduced is also available in the Naughty, Nice & Paranormal box set.

Happy birthday to me Winking smile

A Visit to Taronga Zoo, Sydney

A visit to Taronga zoo is a real adventure. You catch the ferry across the harbor and ride a cable car to the top. The animals have some of the best views in the city.

View from Zoo

The view from the zoo with the Opera House and the harbor bridge.

Giraffe

The giraffe enclosure.

Koala

A Koala.

Kookobura

Kookaburra.

Meerkat 2  Meerkat

Meerkat.

Mountain Sheep

Mountain sheep.

snow leopard

Snow leopard.

A visit to Taronga zoo is a pleasant way to while away an afternoon.

Do you have a favorite zoo?

Cruising the Nile

The Nile, Egypt

This photo doesn’t look real, but I can tell you for a fact that it is. This is the view from our ship as we cruised down the Nile River. There is a thin band of green on either side of the river with pasture for grazing and crops. Beyond this band of green is desert and this makes for a dramatic landscape. It almost looks like a painting.

13 Random Travel/History Facts from Britain

Thursday Thirteen

Recently, I’ve been reading editions of Britain, one of my favorite travel magazines. It’s full of articles about different places in Britain and covers heritage, culture and various happenings in the UK. It’s a great magazine to read when planning a visit, which is why I’m busy reading back issues at present.

Here are thirteen random things that grabbed my interest:

1. In the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang the car flew for the first time when it fell of Beachy Head.

2. The 3rd Earl of Egremont had 42 illegitimate children and the “Wyndham nose” can still be spotted in the streets of Petworth.

3. Every coronation since 1066 has been held in Westminster Abbey. William the Conqueror was crowned King of England on Christmas day, 1066.

4. The Scottish people celebrate Burns Night on 25 January to commemorate the life of poet Robert Burns who was born on this day in 1759. Lots of traditional foods such as haggis, neeps (turnips), tatties (potatoes), whisky and shortbread are served during the celebration.

5. Mary, Queen of Scots, was fond of a crisp, buttery shortbread made with caraway seeds.

6. In Norman times the word “forest” referred to a legal system in place to protect the venison.

7. While in prison in England, Mary, Queen of Scots, became adept at secret handwriting to communicate with the outside world. She used alum dissolved in water as invisible ink and wrote messages on bills. Recipients dropped the paper in water and the writing appeared.

8. There is no single copy of the original Magna Carta document. Multiple copies of the charter were distributed throughout medieval English towns.

9. The Magna Carta documents were written in Latin on parchment made from dried sheepskin.

10. A first edition of the novel Emma by Jane Austen was dedicated to the Prince Regent.

11. The term “livery” has come to denote the uniforms of certain servants, but in medieval times it meant a living allowance that included food, money and other rewards.

12. A tax on male servants started in 1777, raised to help fund British fighting against North American colonists after their declaration of independence, lasted until the 1930s.

13. John Russell, a servant to the Duke of Gloucester, wrote advice for servants in the book “The Book of Nurture.” Would-be servants were given the following advice – Do not pick your nose or let it drop clear pears, or sniff, or blow it too loud, lest her lord hear. Do not retch, nor spit too far.

I don’t think a servant’s life would have worked for me, but I’d love to attend Burns Night, and I’ve never met a piece of shortbread, I didn’t like. Caraway seeds would totally work for me. What say you?

Christmas in New Zealand

Christmas falls during summer where I live in New Zealand. While I was growing up I always heard about New Zealanders who spend Christmas day at the beach. Not true in our family!

Christmas to me means:

1. Warm days, sometimes with rain since we live in a subtropical zone.

2. The pohutukawa trees come out in bloom with their bright scarlet pom-pom flowers.

3. Our daylight saving is in full swing so the days are long to make the most of the good weather.

4. All our local towns and suburbs hold their Christmas parades.

5. Christmas carols start playing in the shops and malls.

6. The towns and malls bring out their Christmas decorations.

7. We have a family discussion about who will host lunch on Christmas day.

8. The kids all break up for Christmas holiday – about 6 weeks off school.

9. Office parties!

10. Shopping for presents.

11. Filling up the pantry and freezer with Christmas treats.

12. Fresh strawberries and asparagus. Pavlova!

13. Family.

14. Excited and tired children.

15. Christmas trees and the decorations we add to every year.

16. Christmas stockings.

17. Shortbread.

18. A glass of Pimms with fruit and mint garnish.

19. Smoked salmon sandwiches.

20. Homemade truffles.

21. An advent calendar.

22. My husband and his brother go to purchase fresh oysters.

23. Barbecues!

24. Staying up late to walk around our neighborhood to view the Christmas lights.

25. Watching our neighbor take two weeks to put up his Christmas lights.

26. Reading Christmas romances. I have some to suggest – Merry & Seduced, Festive & Seduced or Christmas is Coming, all by me. Open-mouthed smile

What does Christmas mean to you? Do you enjoy reading Christmas romances?

I Like Leopards, I Cannot Lie

I love feline shifters.

There’s just something graceful and powerful about big cats that makes them excellent heroes and heroines. Leopards are my favorites when it comes to big cats, and I’ve written over a dozen romances featuring them, although occasionally I’ve written tiger and lion shifters too.

Black Leopard

Here are a few leopard facts:

· Leopards are the most widespread of big cats. There’s a reason I’ve written so many books featuring leopard shifters.

· They are also the most secretive. Mine live amongst humans, keeping their shifter traits hidden.

· They live in different habitats ranging from rocky country to savannah lands and forests. My shifters live in the South Island of New Zealand.

· Leopards are nocturnal and hunt at night. My leopard heroes hunt during the day too. No female is safe from their charm.

· They usually sleep all day in a tree. Not my guys. They prefer a big comfortable bed.

· Their spotted coat is excellent camouflage in the patchwork of light and shade in the forest. Most of my shifters are black leopards, but they blend well once they’re in feline form.

· A leopard’s spots are actually small rosettes.

· Leopards are loners and only come together to mate. My guys are a little more civilized than this, for which the heroines are very thankful!

· The mother brings up the cubs until they can fend for themselves. My leopard heroes make great fathers, and they’re big on family and community.

· They are built for bursts of speed and for climbing trees. Hmm, I haven’t given my heroes much in the way of tree climbing scenes. Maybe something for the future.

· They have strong jaws, chests and front legs and can move an animal as big as themselves. Agreed! My shifters are certainly not pansies!

· Leopards like to ambush their prey, waiting in a tree for an animal to walk underneath. My shifters like to confront their problems/enemies face to face.

· Leopards drag their meals up into trees to keep it safe. My shifters like to eat their meals at a table. They prefer to eat meat, but their mates entice them to eat their vegetables.

· Black leopards are often called panthers. They are the same species, but their spots are hidden. They are more common in Asia. My shifters are mostly black leopards, and they live in New Zealand.

· Their tongues are raspy. Yes, this is true, which makes for interesting love scenes. Just ask my heroines. Winking smile

I’ve noticed authors are venturing into quite different shifters such as deer, gorillas and elephants. Have you read any books featuring these shifters? What do you think?



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