Apr 23, 2014

Six of My Favourite Things

It's my turn to post about some of my favourite things (not including family and friends because they are a given), so here goes...

1)      My tea set. I have a very old willow pattern tea set, so delicate that it’s almost transparent. I’ve owned it for 40 years and it’s precious to me. I even transported it across the world without a mishap. 

2)      Our swimming pool. As a child growing up in the UK I dreamed of having my very own pool and when we built one in our Australian backyard, it was truly a dream come true.

3)      My garden. It’s not all perfect all year round, but there’s always something of beauty to draw me outside. Currently, it’s the autumn-flowering roses.

4)      Birds. Especially the colourful natives like rainbow lorikeets and crimson rosellas, but I also love kookaburras, fairy wrens, honeyeaters, and the list goes on.

5)     The beach. I’m not an ocean swimmer, I don’t surf and I don’t sail, but I love to visit the beach, walk on the sand, watch the waves and listen to the sounds of the sea. For me, there’s nothing more relaxing, and this beach is close to home.

6)   Books. This one almost goes without saying, doesn’t it? But which books? My chick lit collection or the multitude of books in my Kindle library? I love print and ebooks alike, because it’s the stories that I value most. But this blog post is about my favourite things so I have to choose my complete set of Georgette Heyer romances with their beautiful covers. 

So, that's my six. Does reading these posts about our favourite things make you sing like Julie Andrews? (Or is that just me?)

Apr 21, 2014

Funday Monday - Easter Monday

Some Easter fun!

Click to Mix and Solve

Let us know how you go with time on the puzzle!

Easter egg hunt with some very large moggies!

And an extra treat - a Budweiser commercial with some serious awwwwww factor!

Hope you're having a safe and happy weekend with the ones you love.


Apr 20, 2014

Sunday Smooch with Jacqui Jacoby....

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from Jacqui Jacoby ---- but first 

... the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is Zana.....

Can you please contact melaniemilburn (at) gmail  (dot) com to receive your copy of Flirting With The Socliate Doc  .........

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from With A Vengeance by Jacqui Jacoby........

The more she wanted out, the more they dragged her back in!

Daughter to murdered CIA officers, niece to a deputy director, Jaime Walsh has never known life outside the world of espionage. Until a high-action case in Buenos Aires leaves her gutted. Physically, emotionally…and professionally.

She’d planned for her long-overdue vacation to be a time to rest and reassess. With her longtime partner Stephen not far behind, it’s a tropical paradise away from work. A paradise where boundaries will be tested.

From their training days, Stephen Reid has watched Jaime kick ass while performing what has become his second job—watching her back. But now his feelings have grown.

As best friends look at each other in a new light, they like what they see. And Jaime dreams of a new life outside “the company”.

Except someone from their past won’t be satisfied until Jaime and the man she loves are hunted to the brink of death. Now Jaime must find the strength to trust her heart and let go of her fear. Before she loses everything…

Scene set-up [On a beach in Hawaii when it was only them in the dark with the surf, he knew it was time to pay up.]

"I want to break the boundaries.  I want to see what that territory is like,” he said, “I know it won’t be meaningless," he said, so quietly she barely heard him.
            She looked up to stare him in the eye.  She licked her suddenly dry lips.  "I know," she whispered.
            His first kiss was tentative, almost shy.  She could feel him holding himself back, afraid to touch her.  He kissed her top lip.  Then her bottom.  She brought her hands to his shoulders, her fingers softly hanging on for dear life.  He pulled back, pausing a half second, his breath warm, mingling with hers as she felt her knees giving way.
            Then he covered her mouth with his, moaning as he took it deeper, his lips teasing and opening.  He moved a little closer until their whole bodies touched.  His hand left her face, wrapping around to the back of her neck, his fingers fisting in her hair.  The other left her waist, moving to the small of her back, pulling her even closer still.
            He was the one who finally pulled back, leaning his forehead against hers, watching her eyes.  "Let’s go back to your place."
            A gun?  No problem.  A little hand to hand, and Jaime could hold her own. Stephen staring at her like this and she was in over her head.   She wanted to look away.  Shyness dictated she should look away.  She forced herself to keep her gaze on his and swallowed hard.
            "Okay.”  All the bravado in the world couldn't hide the nervousness in her laugh.
     He kissed her again, breaking off to whisper softly in her ear.  "I want to take you back to your room and find out everything there is to know about this beautiful body."
            Her head fell back and she laughed outright.  "What about my mind?"
            He moved down her exposed throat with hot, wet kisses, nipping and biting just a little along the way.  "Already been there.  Will visit again soon."

            She took his hand.  Without a word, she turned and headed back to her room. 

Connect with Jacqui at www.jacquijacoby.com 

Do go into the draw to win a copy of With A Vengeance, leave a comment to this question....

Have you ever felt something more all of a sudden for a person whom you’ve known for a long time? 

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced and a smooch from The Surgeon's Meant-To-Be Bride by Amy Andrews will be posted!

Smooch Graphic by WebWeaver

Apr 18, 2014

Happy Easter......

                    Wishing all of out LoveCats DownUnder visitors 
                       a wonderful and safe Easter. 


May you spend time with family and friends, eat wonderful food, dream lovely dreams and read a good book or two over the Easter break. 

Apr 16, 2014

At Last - The Power of the Cover! Annie West

Being an author is in some ways like entering a lucky dip contest. I'm talking covers of course. Those wonderful glossy images that attract readers to our stories and, hopefully, persuade them to pick up the paperback or click on the link to buy.
Many readers don't know that authors don't usually design their covers. Finding a new cover for an upcoming book on a bookstore site, or being sent it by a helpful member of editorial staff is the point where I hold my breath, cross my fingers and toes and hope for great things. I have to say I've been extremely lucky. Some of my covers are stunning. Some fit the story perfectly. Others make me wonder. Occasionally a reader will comment on hair colour or looks of a character on the cover as opposed to what they read in the book. But you can't have everything.
For quite a few books I had no input to the cover at all. More recently I've been asked to provide some suggested scenes which might be used on a cover. Occasionally I get something that matches the scene. Other times not. Here are a selection.
The exotic and mysterious. With a location shot as well!
The very, very basic. Argh!
The downright confusing.
On the bed.
In the sunken bath.
In/on the swimming pool.
The location shot.
The hero shot. And no, I don't know why he has worry beads when he's an English businessman. 
The baby bulge.
The embrace.
The sweet baby.

After years waiting to see what the cover gods had in store for me, it was an exciting and slightly anxious time when I finally got to choose my own cover. I'm publishing a novella next month (BACK IN THE ITALIAN'S BED is out on Friday 2nd May if you're interested) and this time I worked with a designer to choose what I wanted, from the picture to the wording and layout. Should I go for a clinch cover, something very sexy, or something tantalising? Should I have bold colours and a location shot? It was potentially daunting till a friend on Facebook found the perfect photo (at least I think it is).

I admit the power to decide my own cover was fantastic! On the negative side, I could see myself spending ages browsing for photos and ruminating on script and design if I had to do it too often. But the cover suits the story and it makes me smile, so hopefully that's a plus with readers too.

So, if you had the power to create your ultimate book cover, what would it feature? Brooding landscape with a gothic theme? Bare abs? A tantalising close up? A bedroom scene? Something restrained? Something dynamic and bold?

I'd love to hear your thoughts. They may help me next time I wield the power over my own cover!