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Archive for 'Ellora’s Cave'

A Stroll Through the Past

I’ve had a bit of a rough week and took myself off to the doctor today. Since I’m not feeling too clever, I thought it was the perfect time to revisit some of my favorite posts from the past.

1. Classic Romance Plots – The secret of writing a great romance is to take a classic plot and twist it to make the story unique…

2. Penises in Paranormals – the curious case of interesting bits…

3. Gifts for writers – is there a special person in your life who writes?

4. Collaborative Writing Partnerships – the wonderful Josh Lanyon and Laura Baumbach share their experiences…

5. Marcia James shares her views and ideas about promo for writers…

6. Do you like paranormal romances featuring feline shapeshifters? I discuss some of my favorites…

I leave you with a puzzle of sorts. Male writers are from _______, Female writers are from _______.

What would you put in the blank spaces?

The Miracle Can

Thursday Thirteen

The Rocket Chemical company scientists invented WD-40 to help prevent rusting and corrosion in the aerospace industry. NASA used it for their rockets. According to the WD-40 website, the original formula was so good that it’s still in use today. These days the product is used both commercially and around the home. On the TV ad I saw last night, the manufacturers stated it has thousands of uses, which made me decide to use it as this week’s TT topic.

Thirteen Uses for WD-40

1. Cleans piano keys.
2. Helps clean rust from wire shelves.
3. Removes silly putty from furniture.
4. Cleans lime scale from toilet bowls.
5. Removes crayon from wallpaper.
6. Frees stuck Lego blocks.
7. Lubricates and protects air conditioner blades.
8. Stops squeaky doors.
9. Cleans rusty bolts.
10. Lubricates baby buggy wheels.
11. Cleans gunk from pistons.
12. Cleans cell phones.
13. Removes oil and tar from hands.

Extras: Two fun facts from the WD-40 site

A bus driver in Asia used WD-40 to remove a python, which had coiled itself around the undercarriage of his bus.

Police officers used WD-40 to remove a naked burglar trapped in an air conditioning vent.

You can print out a handy PDF document listing some of the thousand ways to use WD-40 at the website.

I think I might include a can of WD-40 in the follow-up book to House of the Cat. It sounds like something Jannike might be able to use to get out of the jams I have in mind for her.

Have you used WD-40 before? What is your favorite use?

Travel Ready Packing

Travel-Ready Packing: Pack Light, Dress Right—Anytime, Anywhere
by Julie Ann Martin
Publisher: Argo & Cole Publishers
ISBN: 978-0-9791186-1-6
Publication Date: 1 Jan, 2010
Website: www.travelreadypacking.com
Amazon link: Travel-Ready Packing: Pack Light, Dress Right – Anytime, Anywhere

Any of my friends or family or people who visit my website knows how much I enjoy traveling and exploring different parts of the world. Since my marriage, my husband and I have spent months in Africa, America, Europe, Central America, India, Asia and Australia. Sometimes we traveled with our backpacks, and at other times, we went more up market. You’d think with all my experience in traveling that packing would be a breeze. Not so. It’s one thing that remains a bit of a trial for me, so when I saw that Ms. Martin’s publisher was offering Travel-Ready Packing for review, I grabbed the chance to learn from an expert.

Travel-Ready Packing has an intro which discusses things such as culture in different countries, fabric types and types of climate. The next part of the book is split into sections for each country or region of the world. Each of these sections gives the temperatures for different months of the year, a list of recommended clothing for both males and females, the risk of danger at the destination, recommended colors to wear and how casual or formal the dress-code is in the country being visited. There are also sections for business travelers and those who travel to adventure destinations, multi-climate packing and also a list for expatriate packing. At the rear of the book there’s a world map, which makes it a simple matter to find the country you’re visiting and look up the corresponding page reference. In fact the book covers everything I could think of from clothes to bags to accessories.

When I decided to “test” the book and relive my trip to Africa, the packing list was spot-on—exactly what I should have taken for my trip. It was also very accurate for my recent trips to Samoa and Phuket, Thailand. The only gap I could see was for a cruising holiday, but I think the lists for the South Pacific, which is where my cruise holiday is taking place, will do the trick nicely. I found the book easy to use, very readable, and as I mentioned very accurate with the suggested packing lists. No more back-breaking suitcases for me!

I recommend this book for anyone who intends to travel for work or pleasure. And romance writers, if you’re heading to a conference and you’re not sure what to pack, this is the book for you.

Shelley Munro

You can see from above that I’m all sorted with my packing now since I have this book to refer to. How do you approach packing for a trip or a holiday? Are you a good packer or do you forget half the things you need?

I’m doing a guest spot at The Rainbow Studio (part of the Romance Studio) and talking about reality shows and Fallen Idol. Here’s the link to my post at The Rainbow Studio.

The Pubs With Expensive Beer

Some of you might have heard the song about the pub with no beer. A pub is a sad place if it runs out of beer, that’s for sure. Last night on the news there was a story about a shortage of hops, which is forcing beer prices to skyrocket. A few years ago there was a glut of hops on the market. This meant many growers ripped out their crops, swinging the pendulum in the other direction. A shortage of hops meant an increase in prices and some brewers stopped making varieties of beer that used lots of hops.

Hops are a little like grapes. The crops from different regions taste different and bring different properties to the beer. They contribute to the aroma, flavor and bitterness of the beer.

I know one person, namely Mr. Munro, who will complain if beer prices rise too much. I like to drink beer when it’s a hot, sunny day. There’s nothing more refreshing during the heat of the summer. I’m not a fan of English ale, the beer served at room temperature in British pubs, but I do enjoy lager. After several years of working in English pubs, I’m a dab hand at pouring a beer.

And speaking of crops, I’m doing my monthly blog at The Raven Happy Hour today and talking about crop circles, UFOs and my book Romantic Interlude.

Do you like beer? If so, what sort do you prefer? Will a price rise worry you?

Laughing Hyena

Camera Critters

This week’s critter is a hyena and pup. This photo was taken in Kenya, and we stopped to watch the mother and three pups. Her burrow was right near the road. They’re not the prettiest creatures, but they are interesting to watch.

Photobucket

Hyenas aren’t exactly common in romantic fiction. As it happens I’ve recently read Ilona Andrews’ novella Magic Mourns (part of the Must Love Hellhounds anthology) and the hero and heroine in her story are hyena shifters.

I’ve also used hyenas as part of the plot of Romantic Interlude, the third story in my Talking Dogs series. If you’d like an armchair journey to both New Zealand and Africa then this is the story for you.

This is the link to visit other Camera Critters.

Reviews & Sale (of sorts)

I really admire the people who review books–it’s a job I couldn’t do. I have to admit that before I wrote, I never read them. These days I read my own, of course, but I’ll usually flick through the other reviews that come through at the same time. A review doesn’t usually sway my purchases, but if I see lots of good reviews, sometimes I do get tempted to buy. I never search for reviews before I buy a book. Do you check out reviews before you purchase a book?

I’ve received reviews recently for House of the Cat and Make That Man Mine.

House of the Cat Make That Man Mine

Megan at Veiled Secret Reviews says, “With an abundance of lovable characters playing against a backdrop of stars and alien worlds House of the Cat is a rollicking thrill ride that will keep you turning page after page…With so many secondary characters steeling your heart and the mystery of Ry’s origins to unravel I can only hope that Ms. Munro plans another visit to the exciting world of House of the Cat.” 4 Dragons. Read the full review here.

Hockeyvamp at Bitten by Books says, “I was totally enthralled with this short novella from start to finish. The erotic play between the two main characters was both flirtatious and arousing. The perceptions of themselves as less than desirable because of the flaws they saw within themselves could be both accepted and desired by the other. I only wish that this had been a full length novel as the sexy and fun banter between the main characters was very entertaining.” 4 1/2 Tombstones. Read the full review here.

In sale news, my story Wild Child has been chosen as one of the stories in All Romance ebooks’s 28 Days of Heart charity campaign to benefit the American Heart Association. The stories will be released in February 2010 and Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse series is doing the forward. Very exciting!

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.

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



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