Facebook Pixel
Adventure into Romance with Shelley Munro
News About Shelley Blog Books Extras Contact Small Font Large Font

Archive for the 'News' Category

Upside Down Tomato

Today I have a gardening post about how to plant an upside down tomato, courtesy of Mr. Munro.

UPSIDE-DOWN PLANTER by Mr. Munro

What to do with that old paint pot or unwanted container.

It may seem strange to plant a tomato in an UPSIDE-DOWN container, but there are benefits. Very little soil related disease as the plant and its leaves have minimal contact with the soil. Roots easily absorb the nutrients as gravity provides a constant flow. Regular watering is crucial as gravity not only feeds but drains – there are larger than normal holes at the bottom of the container.

Photobucket

To make an UPSIDE-DOWN PLANTER procure a suitable vessel. A 10 liter (2.5 gallon) pail is ideal. Whether it is a new or old paint container, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that it has a lid and a handle. The lid can be adapted from anything but it must be able to retain the soil / potting mix once the container has been inverted. You are now wondering why we are turning the container upside-down. Think about it, it is an UPSIDE-DOWN PLANTER!

Photobucket

We are getting ahead of ourselves. Before inverting the container we have to fill it with suitable material, potting mix would be preferable with a slow release fertilizer. Put the lid on and turn the container upside-down. Cut 3 x 30mm (1&1/4inch) holes in the bottom, which is now the top!! A 10 liter container should be able to cope with 3 plants, smaller containers perhaps only one plant. Now plant your seedlings in the small holes.

Photobucket

After a week or two the plants should be established and able to cope with the next procedure. This entails the container to be raised up, turned over and held by the handle, discard the lid and hang by the handle. The plants are now hanging from the bottom of the container but will soon head outward and upward.

Photobucket

DON’T FORGET TO FEED & WATER!!!!!

Enjoy your UPSIDE-DOWN PLANTER suitable for any sized garden or apartment.

I know some of you are gardeners. Do you grow your own vegetables? Do you prefer to grow flowers? What do you enjoy most about gardening?

Character or Plot Driven?

I’ve been in the writing cave again today and doing some heavy-duty thinking about the story I’m plotting. I took a bit of a break to write a post for Selena Illyria for her menage a trois week. While I was writing my post, I started to think about character driven stories and plot driven stories.

A character driven story is where the characters drive the story. Whatever decisions they make direct the course of the story, and at the end of the story the characters should have changed and grown in some way.

A plot driven story is where the events unfolding in the story direct the characters’ actions. At the end of the story, the characters are not necessarily changed or different.

Romances, by their very nature, tend to focus on the characters and their journey.

When I first started writing, I tended to write a plot driven story. I like action and lots of things happening, and this showed up in my writing. Over time I’ve noticed this has changed with my latest release, Leticia’s Lovers being more character driven.

The Nocturnes I’ve been reading recently are very much plot driven, although there’s a character driven element to the stories as well. If you enjoy paranormal stories and haven’t tried the Nocturne line yet, there are some great reads waiting for you. I highly recommend Patrice Michelle’s Scions series (for a different take on vampires and werewolves) and Rhyannon Byrd’s Blood Runner series.

Do you prefer character driven stories, plot driven stories or a combination of the two?

Themed Read: Lifelines by CJ Lyons

I read another of my chosen themed reads this week. LIFELINES by CJ Lyons is a medical thriller and it fits my theme because of the doctors and nurses with their uniforms.

Lifelines is a story about four medical staff, although the main story is about new ER attending physician, Lydia Fiore. She’s moved from Los Angeles to Pittsburgh, it’s the first of July, which is also transition day, and the most dangerous day of the year because of all the new medical students starting their internships. On Lydia’s first night, a patient comes in to the ER. They’re mystified as to what’s wrong with him and despite every effort, the patient dies. After the death, Lydia learns the man who has died is the son of Dr. Elliot Weiss, the chief of surgery. He blames Lydia for his son’s death and he’s after her blood. She’s put on probation, pending an enquiry and that’s when the fun starts for Lydia. Something isn’t adding up about the death. At the autopsy, Lydia starts to think cyanide poisoning, but others don’t agree, especially Dr. Weiss. When more cyanide poisonings occur some people start to wonder if Lydia is trying to cover her mistake.

Things I liked about this book:

1. It’s fast paced. The entire story takes place over four days from 1st July to 4th July.
2. The setting of the busy ER is excellent and CJ Lyons’ medical background really shows.
3. I enjoyed the characters, both the main and secondary ones.
4. The thriller/mystery component was compelling and hooked me. I read quickly. I was also tired the next day!

Things I didn’t like about this book:

1. The romance element wasn’t the main part of the story. I thought it was a romance. I don’t know why I thought this considering the spine of the book says fiction. Having said that, I’m really glad I read this book.
2. At times the medical jargon made me blink. It wasn’t overdone but in a couple of places I had to reread. Also, if someone could tell me what a wifebeater is? I’m thinking it’s a kind of shirt?

As I mentioned above, I’m glad I read this book. It was a great read, and I enjoyed it so much, I’ve purchased CJ Lyons follow up book, WARNING SIGNS, which follows the same main four characters but focuses on one of the others. Fans of ER or Grey’s Anatomy would enjoy this book. If you enjoy mysteries with a slight romance thread and a medical flavor, this is definitely the book for you.

Themed Reading: Rare Breed by Connie Hall

This is the first book I’ve read in my themed reading challenge. It’s taken me a while to get started because I judged two published author contests. I’m all done now and ready to face my challenges.

Rare Breed is about Wynne Sperling who is a park ranger in Zambia, Africa. There’s a poaching operation in her park and Wynne is determined to catch the poachers and toss them in jail. She’s not sure of the poaching leader’s identity, but suspects it’s Englishman Noah Hellstrom who owns a safari tour operation. Then there’s Texan Jack MacKay who is loaded with charm but raises Wynne’s suspicions. There are also rumors of a feline, said to be an ancient breed, and if the stories are true, Noah Hellstrom is determined to profit from them.

I chose this book from my to-read pile because it’s been there a long time and it fit my theme of heroes and heroines who wear uniforms. It was part of the now defunct Harlequin Bombshell line, which will give you an idea of how long it’s been sitting in my pile.

What I liked:

1. The unusual setting of Zambia and a game park. (I’ve visited Zambia and it was lovely revisiting the country)
2. The heroine’s occupation –a woman park ranger in Africa.
3. Wynne’s weapon of choice is a slingshot, and she’s very proficient with it.
4. The distinct African flavor of the story. I could see the setting so clearly, feel the heat and the sounds of the animals.
5. Snow, the leopard raised by Wynne, and the fact Wynne allowed Snow to return to the wild.

What I didn’t like:

1. This wasn’t really a romance.
2. Although we were left hanging about the identity of the poachers, it was pretty easy to guess the identity of the poacher and the good guy undercover.

Would I read another book by Connie Hall? Yes, definitely. I had no problem with the writing style.

Baby Bear…

Photobucket

Love Scenes: Risque Business!

I’ve just finished reading a book by a fairly well-known author. The writing was solid. The characterization good. The dialogue made me chuckle in a few places, and then I reached the love scenes…

Most of the love scenes took place on horseback. Now I’ve ridden a horse before. I know anything is possible, but honestly, when the hero and heroine started having anal sex on horseback (the heroine was a virgin and they were in the middle of nowhere with the baddies after them) I was ready to throw the book at the wall. The love scenes were also really long. The characters chit-chatted for so long while doing the deed I became bored and lost track of who was doing what. Pages and pages of chit-chat during a love scene does not work. I fast forwarded to find more of the same. After that I became cranky and started to notice the plot holes in the story.

My love scenes range from a paragraph to half a page to several pages. It depends on the characters, the story and what stage the relationship is at. I like to change it up when it comes to length. When it comes to location: bedroom, kitchen, hallway, outside, spa pool, a tent, a vehicle, mountains, sea, space ship… A horse or other similar moving object such as camel or elephant–no, because it doesn’t strike me as safe or sane even though it might be possible. Animals are unpredictable creatures and I keep thinking about the injuries…

So, my question for you is: how long do you like the love scenes to be in a romance? What is the strangest location you’ve read/written in a romance? Are there locations that make you go ewww!?

Try a Free Read Today

Recently I’ve added some free reads to my website in the hope of attracting new readers. I’ve been surprised by how many extra visitors these free stories have brought to my site already because I haven’t advertised them yet.

My free reads are available here: Interplanetary Love and Live the Moment

I thought I’d do a little promotion on behalf of my fellow writers at Romance Divas since many of them also have free stories available on their websites. The genres and sensuality levels differ so check these first before you download the stories.

Here are some free reads from Romance Diva authors, in no particular order:

James Buchanan
Debbie Mumford
Diana Castilleja
Jennifer Colgan
L.K. Campbell
Midnight Moon Cafe – on the righthand sidebar.
Kelly Jamieson – has an ongoing serial on her blog.
Sela Carsen
Leah Braemel – on the sidebar.
Jennifer McKenzie
The Samhellion – free reads from some of Samhain Publishing authors.

Enjoy!

Forgot to Mention…

I’m the guest blogger over at Erotic Muses today. I’m talking about cat burglars and mentioned my upcoming release, Cat Burglar in passing…

Here’s the link: Erotic Muses

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

National Parks in America

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen National Parks I Visited Recently

1. Yosemite, California – just beautiful. I’d visited before but it was much quieter this time due to both the petrol prices and a recent fire that had scared visitors away. We had a perfect day with excellent visibility.

2. Grand Canyon, Arizona. This canyon is awe-inspiring.

3. Petrified Forest, Arizona. My husband and I both enjoyed our first visit to this park. The petrified forests were fascinating.

4. Mesa Verde, Colorado. Hot and dry. Busy but well worth a visit for the peek into the cliff dwellings of the Puebloans.

Photobucket

5. Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado. I didn’t know anything about this park until I visited but I loved the black rock and the deep canyons. It was stark and beautiful.

6. Rocky Mountains, Colorado. We didn’t have the best weather here. At the top of the pass it was freezing and sleeting. Ranger Michelle answered some of my many questions while I was here and we saw lots of animals at the lower levels before it started raining. A lot of trees are dying here after being attacked by the pine beetle.

7. Devil’s Tower, Wyoming. We walked around the base and saw our first snake here.

Photobucket

8. Little Bighorn Battlefield, Montana. An interesting place to visit although, man was it hot on the day we visited!

9. Yellowstone, Wyoming. This is a huge park and you need to spend a few days to explore it fully.

10. Olympic, Washington. This park covers both forest, lakes and mountains as well as part of the coast. Crescent Lake was gorgeous and we also enjoyed exploring the coast.

11. Mt. Rainier, Washington. I loved my visit here. The spring flowers were in full bloom and it was really pretty.

Photobucket

12. Lewis & Clark, Oregon. We didn’t know much about Lewis and Clark and after visiting Fort Clatsop we came away much wiser. This pair of explorers had great people skills and seemed well liked by everyone.

13. Crater Lake, Oregon. One of my favorites. It’s so pretty here. I could look at the lake for hours.

Photobucket

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