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The Love of Reading

Pelican, Sydney

This photo was taken during our river cruise from Central Sydney to Parramatta. We don’t have pelicans in New Zealand, so we always snap a photo when we see one. They’re such curious looking birds.

Today I’m visiting NJ Walters, and I’m getting back to basics. I became a writer because of my love of books and reading, so today I’m talking about reading and what books I’m reading at present.

Thirteen Things About Grapefruit

Thursday Thirteen

Firstly, I’m visiting NJ Walters’ blog today, where I talk about love and friendship. There’s also a giveaway.

My topic today was inspired by my new body butter, which smells like pink grapefruit.

Thirteen Things About Grapefruit

1. The grapefruit is a cross between the pummelo and a sweet orange.

2. They’re thought to originate in South Asia.

3. They are part of the citrus family.

4. It’s also thought to be a hybrid that has occurred naturally rather than one that is “designed” by man.

5. Their name comes from the fact that they grow in clusters on the tree, a bit like large grapes.

6. Grapefruit come in several colors – pink, red, golden and white.

7. 75% of the grapefruit is juice.

8. A half of a grapefruit contains around 41 calories.

9. They are a high source of vitamins A and C plus fiber.

10. Most people eat grapefruit for breakfast.

11. The trees can reach up to thirty feet in height and a single tree can produce more than 1500 pounds of fruit.

12. Grapefruit reacts with cholesterol medication and my husband can’t eat them.

13. This is a poem I learned at school and have never forgotten.

I wish I was a grapefruit,

And here’s the reason why,

When you came to eat me,

I’d squirt you in the eye!

Do you like grapefruit? Or is there another type of citrus fruit that you prefer?

Writer Tip: NJ Walters

“Revision is your friend. Nobody writes a perfect first draft. It’s in the rewrites where you turn an ordinary story into something special. Don’t be so in love with your words that you’re afraid to cut them. If they don’t serve the story, they have to go. It doesn’t matter how beautiful they are or how hard you worked to make them perfect. An author has to be fearless, unafraid to slash their work with a red pen. It’s part of the process. Personally, I enjoy the rewriting stage. The story is written, but it’s at this point where you get to refine your ideas, catch your mistakes and polish your manuscript.”

Visit NJ Walter’s website.
Purchase NJ Walter’s latest release, Embroidered Fantasies

Best Romances of 2009

It’s the time of the year where everywhere looks back and thinks of their favorite and sometimes least favorite things for the year. I thought I’d list my top romance reads for both print and e-books. NOTE: Most of the above books came out in 2009, but a few of these are 2008 releases. I read them this year and therefore they’ve made my list.

Favorite Romance reads in no particular order.

1. Wicked Burn by Beth Kery (erotic contemporary)
2. Pleasure Unbound (Demonica, Book 1) by Larissa Ione (paranormal)
3. Able-Bodied (Harlequin Blaze) by Karen Foley (Blaze)
4. Amorous Liaisons (Harlequin Blaze) by Sarah Mayberry (Blaze)
5. Bound to Shadows (Riley Jensen, Guardian, Book 8) by Keri Arthur (paranormal)
6. On the Prowl (Tales of an Urban Werewolf, Book 2) by Karen MacInerney (paranormal)
7. She’s Got It Bad (Harlequin Blaze) by Sarah Mayberry (Blaze)
8. The Education of Madeline by Beth Williamson (historical)
9. Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, Book 3) by Ilona Andrews (urban fantasy)
10. Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas (contemporary)
11. Bound to Please by Lilli Feisty (erotic contemporary)
12. Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate) by Gail Carrigan (historical paranormal)

Favorite Romance e-books in no particular order.

1. Hard Fall by James Buchanan (m/m)
2. Branded as Trouble by Lorelei James (erotic contemporary)
3. High Line by TA Chase (m/m)
4. The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks by Josh Lanyon (m/m)
5. Rough Stock by Cat Johnson (erotic contemporary)
6. Happy Ending by LB Gregg (m/m)
7. Hara’s Legacy by Bianca D’Arc (futuristic)
8. Gray’s Awakening by Cameron Dane (m/m)

The interesting thing is that while I’ve read plenty of e-books this year, many of them have been by NY published authors. I’ve purchased far more books in e-format than print this year. There are some books in my to-read pile that I suspect would have made this list, if I’d had time to read them such as Tere Michaels’ Love & Loyalty and NJ Walters’ Alexandra’s Legacy. I’ve been drowning in edits for the last two months, which cuts into my reading time!

Which books made your “best of list” for 2009?

A Contemporary Read

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Contemporary Romances I’ve Read Recently

I’m going through a contemporary blitz at the moment and thought I’d share what I’ve been reading. I enjoyed all the following books but have noted my extra favorites. I’m also after some sympathy. I did a header over the handle bars of my bike yesterday and collected almost enough ouchies to do a separate TT. I even have a very impressive black eye and a dashing cut above my eye. I need virtual hugs!

1. Sexiest man Alive by Diana Holquist.

2. Catch of the Day by Kristin Higgins. This was written in first person and hooked me in from the start. I thought the heroine made a few stupid decisions but it was still a good read.

3. Virgin River series by Robyn Carr. I love this series and can’t wait for the three back-to-back releases coming out early next year. I loved the characters and really invested in them. I feel like they’re family.

4. Irresistable by Susan Mallery. This is also part of a good series. I have two more books waiting on my to-read pile.

5. The Laws of Attraction by Sherryl Woods. This was a category. I’m going to pick up some of her single titles when I get a chance.

6. Sweet Surrender by Maya Banks. I really enjoy Maya’s writing and can’t wait to pick up some of her others.

7. Rough, Raw and Ready by Lorelei James. I mentioned this book in my menage a trois TT. Lorelei did an awesome job with this book and it’s one of my favorites of her series.

8. Seduction of Shamus O’Rourke by NJ Walters. This has just come out in print. I fell in love with Shamus. He’s such a great hero!

9. Flashpoint by Jill Shalvis.

10. The Darker Side of Pleasure by Eden Bradley. I love Eden’s writing. I’m a huge fan.

11. Asking for Trouble by Leslie Kelly.

12. Sarah’s Seduction by Lora Leigh. I read the first in this series, Marly’s Choice a while ago. It’s not an easy series to read because it deals with abuse, but Lora does a great job making the reader care for the characters.

13. The Stranger by Portia Da Costa. This is what I’m reading at the moment. I’ve read a couple of Portia’s books and always enjoy them.

As you can see, I read a real mixture. Some hot and some not. Some are category while others are single title. Do you like contemporary romance? If so, have you read any good ones recently?

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