Tuesday, June 25th, 2013
This photo was taken in Mt Maunganui, New Zealand at the Sport Fishing Club. They were holding a fishing contest and we watched the entrants bring in their catches for weighing. This is a marlin. Personally, I don’t enjoy fishing and think it’s a cruel sport, but hubby is a keen fisherman and he enjoyed watching the weigh in. I think he had fish envy when he saw this one!
I’m visiting Sharon Buchbinder today and talking about motorcycles in movies and books. I hope to see you there.
Do you enjoy fishing?
Monday, June 24th, 2013
Hubby and I went away for the weekend to Matakana, north of Auckland. Unfortunately, we forgot to take a camera. Mr. Munro took several photos with his phone, but for some unknown reason his phone is holding them to ransom. Hopefully, we’ll break them out of captivity soon!
Instead of showing you the gorgeous beach we walked along, I’m posting a photo of Mt. Ngauruhoe, which is one of the trio of volcanoes situated in the middle of the North Island. This photo was taken during the summer. At present the entire Tongariro National Park is covered with snow and is a very cold place indeed!
Today it’s my turn to blog at Not Your Usual suspects. My post is a writerly one about getting words on the page.
Did you do anything special during the weekend?
Saturday, June 22nd, 2013
Do you enjoy a little sport in your romance?
My sneak peek today comes from Issy’s Infatuation – a romance featuring rugby.
Tyler Jameson waited for the all clear before entering the changing shed. “Everyone ready for training?” His gaze scanned over the women in the changing room. Hell. There was always one. He ignored the blatant show of curved assets and counted the number of women present. Great. Everyone was here.
“Warm up first. Stretches then two laps of the field.” The collective groan made him grin. But despite the rain, which had eased slightly, and the brisk wind outside, the women filed outside, eager to start training. Allen, his mentor, had said they were keen and he’d boasted that several of his players were good prospects for the Black Ferns. Tyler was looking forward to coaching them. He scanned the faces of the remaining team members and did a double take.
“Issy? Is that you?” Issy Deans halted in front of him, a deer-caught-in-the-headlights expression on her face. His friend’s sister wasn’t all skin and bones with gangly legs anymore. He grabbed her in a quick hug, hormones zapping to stunned life and heading south. Well, hell, she didn’t feel gangly either. “Great to see you. Allen told me you’re one of his stars.”
“Tha-thanks,” she muttered.
Tyler hid a grin at the cute stutter. She’d always stuttered a little. “Better get out there before the rest of the team think I’m playing favorites.”
Issy cast him an uncertain look before inching past. Did she think he was going to bite? Once clear of the changing rooms, she broke into a trot, the smooth motion beautiful to watch and the flex of her ass a wonderful thing. The woman had grown into her gangly legs. He grinned openly. Hell yeeeah. He’d like a bite of that. Maybe he’d ask her out. There was only a month left of the season. Under normal circumstances, he’d keep well away from romantic entanglements, keep things professional, but since the season was almost done and he was moving on to take the Auckland assistant coach position, he thought he could justify personal involvement. As long as her brothers didn’t appear home on leave from the army to act the heavy chaperones. Damn, maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all.
Purchase Issy’s Infatuation
So, do you think Issy is going to get over her infatuation with Tyler?
Friday, June 21st, 2013
We’ve visited Wellington several times and Zealandia before.(formerly known as the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary) Last time our visit was during the winter and since we both really wanted to see a tuatara, we decided to try our luck again.
Zealandia is an inland island – sanctuary for some of our rarest native birds. The entire place is surrounded by a tall, pest-proof fence that keeps out wild cats, stoats, weasels, possums, rats and other introduced pests that decimate our native bird population.
The site was previously a water reservoir for the city, but since Wellington has grown it became unviable. There was also the problem of an earthquake hitting. The area was replanted with native trees and turned into a sanctuary.
This is the old reservoir.
Native New Zealand duck – the scaup. It’s the smallest of our native ducks. The scaup is a diving duck and disappears for long moments under the water.
This is a takahe, one of our flightless birds. It was thought to be extinct after 1898 but was rediscovered in 1948. There are two takahe at Zealandia – a pair – although they are infertile so are not adding to the low population. They eat tussocks, grass, shoots and insects.
This is the kakariki parakeet, one of NZ’s natives. They have become endangered due to loss of their natural habitat.
The day of our visit was warm and sunny – the perfect weather to tempt the tuataras out of their burrows. Tuatara are rare reptiles that are found only in New Zealand. I’d never seen one before since they mostly live on off shore islands and at a few sanctuaries.
We saw their burrows and finally, much to our excitement we spotted a tuatara!
I still get excited whenever I think about seeing them. We watched them for ages, not that they do much except sit there soaking in the heat from the sun. It was a real privilege to see such a rare creature.
Is there any animal or bird that you would like to see in person?
Thursday, June 20th, 2013
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?
Wednesday, June 19th, 2013
We took the above photo while driving between Havelock and Picton at the top of the South Island. Havelock is known for its green-lipped mussels, and hubby sampled some for lunch. The Marlborough area is a famous wine-growing region, and I happily sampled some of the wines.
Today I’m visiting Writing Secrets of 7 Scribes. I’m talking about cupcakes and doing a giveaway.
I’m also visiting Samhain Publishing where I’m discussing my adventures in the supermarket. They really are frustrating places!
And finally, I’m joining CJ Ellison’s Facebook party to help celebrate her new release. There are twelve other authors joining in the fun and there will be prizes.
Monday, June 17th, 2013
This week I thought I’d take you on a whistle-stop tour of New Zealand. We’ll start our visit at Mt. Maunganui, a beautiful beach area on the east coast of the North Island. The area is named after the extinct volcano, which dominates the vicinity.
The hill is Mt. Maunganui, and this beach is the perfect one for families since it’s very safe.
This is a view from the path that travels around the base of the mountain. It’s a busy walkway, especially during the weekend when we visited. You can also climb to the top of the mountain, which takes about an hour. A little more if you stop to take in the vista on a regular basis. We’ve done both walks. The views are great, no matter which option you choose.
The Mount (as it is known locally) was inhabited by the local Maori tribe before the Europeans arrived because it was an excellent vantage point and they received early warnings of possible attacks from other tribes. During a walk around the base you’ll see evidence of early habitation. This is a midden (a dump for waste), which is full of empty pippi shells (clam-like shellfish). Just as an aside, my father has several of these middens on his farm, and over the years we’ve found Maori stone adzes.
Mt. Mauganui is known for its surf beach, and this is a view of the beach, looking back to the mountain. During the Christmas/New Year holidays the population swells since it’s a popular holiday location.
Are you a beach fan?
Thursday, June 13th, 2013
NOTE – click on the badge above to move through the hop
I’m thrilled to take part in the Colors of the Rainbow Blog Hop, which is sponsored by Marketing For Romance Writers.
Quite a few years ago, I started to hear about a particular book doing well and getting rave review. The buzz raised my curiosity. The book in question was A Bit of Rough by Laura Baumbach, the story about two men who have their first meeting (and sex) in a pub alley. The m/m genre wasn’t one I’d ever thought about reading, but since I kept bumping into raves about A Bit of Rough, I purchased it and started reading. Laura hooked me right in and I became a fan of the genre, eagerly searching out more books and authors.
Here are some of my other all-time favorites:
Fatal Shadows by Josh Lanyon – Actually, I love the entire Adrien English series, but this is the first one.
Cut and Run by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux – another great series with awesome characters.
The Englor Affair by JL Langley – I’ve enjoyed most of JL’s books, but this one is a particular favorite.
Faith & Fidelity by Tere Michaels
Out of Bounds by TA Chase – book one in another series
Grey’s Awakening by Cameron Dane
Of course, these are older books, and I have a stack of current releases on my e-reader, just waiting for me to read them.
My love of the genre led me to writing a few of my own:
Fallen Idol, Eye on the Ball, Wanna Do Bad Things to You, Stray Cat Strut, Catnap, Best Man, Last Wish, Lone Wolf and Seeking Kokopelli. You should check them out.
CONTEST: Go into a draw to win a m/m download from my backlist (3 winners). Complete the rafflecopter below and answer this question. What are some of your favorite GLBT reads? Or, what GLBT books have you read lately?
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Free to everyone — No entry needed.
Download your favorite version of the exclusive Marketing for Romance Writers Rainbow Excerpts Book, with 60 pages of excerpts and samples from our authors. This version features gay romance.
Nook / ePub
Thursday, June 13th, 2013
Our neighbors are currently on a plane and heading to the US for a holiday. Mrs. Neighbor is desperately terrified of flying and intended to go straight to the bar. Mrs. Neighbor isn’t alone in her fear of flying, and I thought flying would make a great topic for my TT
Thirteen Things About Fear of Flying
1. Fear of flying is quite common. A variety of factors play into the fear. Fear of heights, small spaces, traveling over water, vomiting, hijacking, and turbulence all contribute.
2. The chances of a plane crashing are very low. It’s much easier to get run over by a motor vehicle.
3. Some airlines run courses to help people cope with their fears.
4. Some people take sleeping pills and zonk out.
5. Some people have several drinks to help themselves cope.
6. Avoiding flying isn’t the best way to approach the problem.
7. Focus on the positive parts of the journey.
8. An easy way to make sure a strange noise isn’t a problem is to see if the cabin staff have suspended cabin service.
9. Experts say it’s best to keep hydrated and eat little and often to maintain energy. Evidently alcohol isn’t a good idea!
10. Out yourself and tell the cabin staff you’re a bit nervous. Get support. This is way better than suffering in silence.
11. Don’t let negative thoughts take over. If you’re not asleep keep yourself busy. Watch a movie. Listen to music. Chat with your fellow passengers.
12. Familiarize yourself with the process and noises of flying.
13. Give yourself a little treat. Buy your favorite magazine or treat yourself to that book, audio book or e-book you’ve been wanting to read but haven’t had time for yet. Buy a box of your favorite chocolates at the duty-free shop.
The more I fly, the less I like it. I need to take some of the above advice, I think, because I have no intention of staying ground-side in New Zealand. I adore traveling and exploring the world, but I’m always happiest when I arrive at my destination.
Are you a good flyer?
Wednesday, June 12th, 2013
Today I’m visiting Gerri Bowen and talking about one of my favorite topics—travel. I’m spotlighting one of my favorite destinations, which is India.
Here are a few photos to get you in the mood.
This colorful character with the big knife is in Mysore, India.
This is one of the temples at Khajuraho. It’s fascinating to wander around and study the reliefs at close quarters. The temples are known for their erotica—many of the figures are in erotic positions worthy of the kama sutra. Sex education? No one is really sure of their purpose, but they’re certainly interesting.
This is the Golden Temple at Amritsar, the holiest shrine for Sikhs. I found our visit here very interesting and the temple was beautiful.
This is me and hubby at a Pushkar cafe. You can see the lake in the background and the pigeons and monkeys on the temple. I’m looking pretty skinny here. I’d had stomach problems for a couple of weeks and had malaria, although I didn’t know it at the time.
Despite this, I have a heap of great memories of India. We’ve visited twice – the second time for three months where I remained healthy the entire time.
I hope you’ll pop over to Gerri’s blog and say hello.