Dec 30, 2011
First up, we have our own LoveCat, Nikki Logan's clever trailer...
Here's one done by a friend of the LoveCats, Vanessa Barneveld, for another friend of the Cats, Annie West.
And since it's the time of year for resolutions, here's a few made by cats that might interest you...
Next... a book trailer for a story with a difference!
A bit of classical music is always lovely...
And don't forget, laughter really is the best medicine...
We look forward to cyber-chatting with you all in 2012!
The Lovecats DownUnder
Happy New Year, everyone!!
Dec 28, 2011
The tradition in my family is to start the festivities with a glass of champagne with (lots of) mango pieces in the glass. In fact, there are always lots of mangoes at Christmas, including on top of the pavlova.
The dogs had fun with their presents from Santa -- a crunchy bone thingie each and dog chocolates. (Though Oliver was pretty certain he should also be getting some cream from the pavlova. Unfortunately for him, he lost on that one.)
We had crackers / bon-bons and mine had a lame joke (naturally), a paper hat and a pink bobble hairband. Fun!
I especially love the opening of presents time at Christmas, and it's not just about what I receive - it's more fun than my birthday, when all the presents are for me because at Christmas, everyone is joining in with the fun. It's a communal activity, where everyone gets something and everyone is smiling.
So, how was your Christmas? Did you get a present you loved? What was your Christmas tree like? Did you eat pavlova?
Dec 26, 2011
2012... the 'future'.
|RoboVac cleaning my office for me|
|The first public flight of|
the Martin Jetpack
(Airventure 2008, Oshkosh)
Dec 24, 2011
Everyone here at the LoveCats would like to wish you the merriest of festive seasons as well as a safe and prosperous 2012!
Thank you so much for keeping us company.
We'll be introducing two new fabulous Cats on the block.
As well as lavishing you with lots more sizzling smooches...
and posts by Very Special Guests.
Michelle, Rachel, Nikki, Sharon, Natalie, Emily, Sue, Soraya, Leah, Anna, Zana, Helen, and Robbie.
Dec 23, 2011
A prince on a quest to find the perfect wife doesn't have time to trifle with a commoner. But Adam Marconi's longtime friend and sometime driver, Danielle St. Claire, has him contemplating a change in plans. Why can't the royal have a little fun before finally settling down? Then their supposedly quick affair suddenly turns serious.And Prince Adam finds himself in a quandary. Say goodbye to the one woman who sets his heart and body on fire, or defy all the rules and cause the scandal of the century.
Sandra wrote romance because it reflected who she was as a person. Someone who had the courage to be an idealist in a cynical world. Someone who believed in the power of love to overcome any tragedy or obstacle. Someone who believed in heroes and had one at home to prove it.
Dec 21, 2011
by Sharon Archer
One of my favourite jobs approaching Christmas is decorating the tree. We have an eclectic collection of ornaments and because they lurk out of sight for eleven months of the year, opening the box means a trip down memory lane.
There’s the little fold-out apple I bought as a souvenir while on holiday with a friend and my sister. We spent a week travelling around Tasmania - the Apple Isle. The delicate red-paper lattice is a concertina that folds into a flat pack for storage. That holiday was more than twenty years ago, but I only have to get out the apple to remember the adventure we had.
Then there are the clothes-peg ornaments which came from a clearing sale. I bid on a box of bric a brac and these two were hiding right at the bottom.
I can’t help wondering what their story is... the beef-eater is so perfect while the reindeer is much more basic. Were they painstakingly crafted by a couple of children working together on a newspaper-covered kitchen table? Or perhaps they were made, years apart, by the same child.
This little wooden boy, toting his tiny Christmas tree, was given to me by a friend for my first Christmas in Australia. We worked together in a research laboratory and she invited me to spend Christmas with her family. I see this figure, all rugged up in red and green, and it brings back wonderful memories of their warm hospitality.
These musical instruments were used to decorate the wrapping on a present from another Christmas. Such a simple but clever idea - and a lovely addition to our ornaments.
The beaded Santa face came from a holiday with friends in the Victorian High Country. It was just before Christmas and we went to the local market. It was packed with glorious treasures. We all went home laden with homemade goodies for the table and the tree and for gifts.
So what's stashed in your box of Christmassy goodies? I'd love to hear about your special ornaments and the memories attached!
Dec 19, 2011
|A Hagglund (All Terrain Vehicle |
used in Antarctica)
parked across the road from
the US program HQ.
Often writers get asked 'where do you get your ideas from?' Well, I've been driving past this idea for years now, until it bugged me so much the story just had to be written.
I live in Christchurch which is sometimes referred to as 'The Gateway to Antarctica'. From here scientists, students, media, awesomely lucky writers and artists board big gray planes and head on down to that last untamed spot on earth - Antarctica. The New Zealand Antarctic program leaves from here and the US has a program based here as well.
Many go down for the 3/4 summer months, some for only a week or two and some for the full 6/7 month 'wintering over' experience.
|Wrapped pallets of 'stuff' waiting|
to be taken down to the ice.
(Yes, you read that right about the condoms!) All the gear is loaded up through the summer months as the planes go down regularly. They have to have everything they need down there - for the busy 'visitor heavy' summer months and the long, long dark winter when no planes can get down (and apparently they 'need' all those condoms).
Well who doesn't imagine what it must be like down there? Who wouldn't love to go see the penguins and other wildlife? To get a sense of that vast environment?
I've always wanted to go, I've stared at all that cargo so many times, I've read all the articles that crop up in our local paper, I've talked to people who have been down there, I've been to the local Antarctic Centre that's across the road from the airport and been in the snow storm simulator room... and I've imagined, dreamed and of course, come up with a story :)
Why would someone be going down there? What would it be like? And what would they do for fun in that freezing place??? (Yes, Those condoms keep springing to mind don't they?!)
|All this machinery and these containers go!|
When two frozen hearts collide…
Emma Reed closed her heart to love years ago after a lifetime spent getting kicked around foster homes and bad relationships. Now she's on a mission to prove she deserves her recent award to paint a mural for a research base in Antarctica. Nothing and no one is going to get in her way.
After months working in recovery zones around the world, Hunter Wilson planned to escape everything this holiday season by rebuilding a lab at the Kiwi Research Base. Alone. No to family, no to fun. It’s isolation not intimacy he’s aching for. But when he sees the determined artist, that ache becomes an urge – after all, shouldn’t someone show her what two people can do with twenty-four hours of brilliant sunlight?
In the coldest place on earth, even the most frozen hearts can melt.
MELT is out later TODAY from Entangled Publishing (and will be up on Amazon) - and yes, I did another drive-by yesterday to snap these pictures just for you!!!
So tell me, is 'going to Antarctica' on your bucket list like it is mine???
Dec 18, 2011
Today we have a smooch from Their Miracle Twins by Nikki Logan, but first ...
the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is -- Claire Scott!
Congratulations, Claire! Please contact Sue MacKay at slmackay @ ts . co . nz (minus the spaces) and she'll send you a copy of Surgeon in a Wedding Dress.
And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Their Miracle Twins by Nikki Logan ...
Work has always been a refuge for Dr Sarah Livingstone - no more so than now! As a bride on the run from her hastily cancelled wedding, a new challenge as temporary surgeon in the coastal town of Port Weston should be the perfect cure for heartache... Except the hunky town doctor, brooding Daniel Riley, wants to get up close and personal! But living with Dan and his adorable four-year-old daughter has workaholic Sarah dreaming dreams that, for her, are impossible fantasies…
This baby offers Flynn his only hope of redemption, and he'll do anything towin custody…even propose marriage! It's an extreme solution, and yet Belinda must admit her convenienthusband-to-be is inconveniently gorgeous. But then comes not one but…two babies in the baby carriage!
[Setup: Rochester and Flynn Bradley are on opposite sides of a ground-breaking court-case in London regarding the custody of the babies she is carrying. But half-a-world away in the Australian highlands, and after spending weeks with Flynn and his family, it’s easy to forget exactly why she’s standing in a spectacular cave putting his ring on her finger. And why she cannot let herself fall for younger brother of the man whose babies she’s carrying…]
And so, in the presence of your family and of each other, it is done. You are husband and wife.
For a moment, the celebrant looked at a loss. Denise and Alice burst into excited applause and, under the screen of their excitement, he quietly hinted to them, ‘You may kiss.’
Kiss? Bel flicked her focus urgently between the celebrant and Flynn. ‘Uh... Is it still...’ She whispered. ‘Can it be legal without...?’
A deep frown cut the celebrant-guide’s moderate face. ‘It’s legal, yes...but—’
‘She’s kidding,’ Flynn cut in, glaring at her meaningfully the moment the celebrant looked down at his folder. ‘And shy.’
‘Of course,’ the man said. ‘How about I just prepare the certificate...’
And then he was off, leaving just the two of them perched high in the opening of the earth, with his family and all her lies on one side and a two hundred foot drop to an ancient, frigid crater on the other. And a belly-ful of babies which meant there was really only one way she could go.
‘It’s just a kiss, Bel.’
Panic surged through her on painful pulses. ‘I don’t... We don’t... Your family’s watching...’
‘Exactly. How will that look? We’re supposed to have made children together and you won’t even kiss me?’
I don’t care how it will look. Icare about how it will feel. How I will feel... Her heart hammered furiously. ‘You said you don’t kiss in public.’
‘This is going to have to be an exception.’ He slipped his hands from hers and slid them up to frame her face. ‘They’re all waiting.’
Flynn inched closer, towering over her and the excited chatter from his family warped into a high pitched drone in her ears. She could feel his pulse beating as powerfully as hers into her lower lip as he dragged his thumb gently over it, learning its shape.
The tingles she usually felt on contact with him had dressed up for the occasion, too. They zinged, live and sharp as electric current down into her body and caused what little air remained in her lungs to escape on a shocked breath.
His eyes flicked down briefly as her mouth fell open, but then here turned them to hers, studying her for the slightest reaction, his own lips parting as he lowered his head. And then their lips touched: his, warm and soft and encouraging; hers cool and startled and non-participatory.
She physically jerked at the first touch, but the fingers curled aroundthe base of her skull meant she couldn’t go far. He lingered for a heartbeat before shuffling half a step closer and tilting her face for a better angle.They pressed more firmly against her and his breath warmed the deathly cool of her flesh while her head swam with the earthy scent of him. It felt like he was stealing her soul through her frigid lips and he slid one hand down around her middle to keep her upright. That brought her hard up against his torso and triggered an uprising in her already struggling heartbeat. It surged so forcefully through her veins...he’d have to feel it pulsing in her lips.
She broke the contact long enough to suck in a breath and that would have been the time to step back, to end the kiss and this farce of a wedding. But those full, sweet lips were only millimetres from hers and still so warm and inviting, and the body held against hers was so intriguingly masculine, and all the rogue thoughts from Alice’s bedroom came flooding back. Wondering what it would be like to touch Flynn for real, imagining him pressed down on top ofher, buried in her kiss, buried in her...
Even though that was a bad, bad, bad idea.
Her fingers closed around his jacket. Escape was just a gentle push away.
But escape was in the other direction, and Bel’s body stretched back up to close the distance between them. Flynn’s eyes flared briefly as she pressed her mouth back against his but the shock didn’t slow him for long. He forked his free hand around beneath the complicated twists of braids in her hair and realigned his mouth to fully seal them together.
A proper kiss. A killer kiss.
His lips nudged hers into movement, opening them wider and dragging back and forth across them. And then his tongue joined the party and Bel was lost in the hot, wet, hormonal haze. Her chest squeezed for lack of air and when she finally breathed in it was mostly Flynn’s exhaled breath.
He pulled her up harder against him. Hips to hips. Hard to soft. She clung to him, hopelessly, as the bowels of the earth spun madly around them.
Behind them, someone cleared their throat tactfully and Bel came screaming back to reality. She tore her lips from Flynn’s and fought to focus her cloudy gaze on the politely averted eyes of his family.
Drew’s family. He should have been here, too.
Flynn stiffened up immediately.
He didn’t release her far, but he tucked his lips down to her ear and whispered thickly, darkly. ‘Wrong brother, Princess.’
Their Miracle Twins is out in January in the UK, February in the US and March in Australia/NewZealand.
To win yourself an advance copy, just leave a comment about Bel and Flynn’s sizzling, subterranean smooch!
For more information on Nikki Logan and her books, visit here!
Come back next Sunday for a special LoveCats Christmas message.
Dec 16, 2011
Reading: Wish by Kelly Hunter
Watching: Big Bang Theory
Listening to: Adele
Then there’s the bride who hasn’t a clue – the girl who’s indecisive and swaps bridesmaids and venues and tries on countless dresses – from a fluffy meringue to the slinky satin number and can’t decide which look she likes more. This girl will take advice – although she usually brings a tribe of supporters with her – which only adds to her confusion and indecision. Eventually this bride decides on a style, and then changes her mind at the eleventh hour, hovering between fluffy and slinky, until one wins out.
Then, of course, there’s the bride who simply doesn’t want to be there. She walks into the store with her head down, mumbles something about seeing bridesmaid’s dresses and getting her to talk is like extracting teeth. She’s often shy, or a tomboy who never wears a dress. She could be extra tall, extra short, full figured or a waif. This is my favourite bride because she is always amazed at how beautiful she looks once the dress and veil have been donned and she is staring at herself in the mirror. It’s especially touching when her mother or sister or BFF is on hand to shower her with compliments. The girl who never thought she was pretty is suddenly transformed into a princess.
Dec 14, 2011
Dec 13, 2011
Please contact Kelly at kelly (at) kellyhunter (dot) net and she will organise a copy to be sent out!
Dec 12, 2011
Watching: Treasure Quest
Listening to: Beyonce
Making me smile: Our Christmas tree
Christmas is rapidly approaching—the tree is up (and already overflowing with presents!), the lights are up and (most) of the Christmas shopping is done. Since we have someone in the house celebrating his very first Christmas this year, it has been a little more hectic than usual.
When I’m not wondering where the year went and how it could possibly be Christmas already, I’m very much looking forward to Christmas morning and watching my little man show much more interest in the wrapping paper than all his gifts (-:
Image: Wikimedia Commons: KamrynsMom
I’ve also spent a little time thinking about what I would like for Christmas this year:
1) A teapot – I have a bit of a teapot fetish. I love my tea and so I also love my teapots
2) Ebooks, ebooks, ebooks – there are always too many good books to read (have you checked out the sidebar here at LoveCats! Still so many on my TBR)
3) Time to take a bubble bath – a bath is now a rare treat with a baby in the house
4) Some extra time to write – with the grandparents coming for Christmas, I think I’ll have some eager babysitters!
5) Dinner out with my hubby – again with the babysitters here, I think we can manage a night out for the first time in…well, a very long time.
So, what will you be hoping for this Christmas?
Dec 11, 2011
Today we have a smooch from Surgeon in a Wedding Dress by Sue MacKay, but first ...
the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is -- Tracey!
Congratulations, Tracey! Please contact Soraya Lane at sorayanicholas @ yahoo (dot) com (minus the spaces) and she'll send you a copy of Rodeo Daddy.
And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Surgeon in a Wedding Dress by Sue MacKay ...
Work has always been a refuge for Dr Sarah Livingstone – no more so than now! As a bride on the run from her hastily cancelled wedding, a new challenge as temporary surgeon in the coastal town of Port Weston should be the perfect cure for heartache…
Except the hunky town doctor, brooding Daniel Riley, wants to get up close and personal! But living with Dan and his adorable four-year-old daughter has workaholic Sarah dreaming dreams that, for her, are impossible fantasies…
[Set up: Sarah has just come in from work and joined Dan in the spa for a wind down and a glass of wine. They've been dancing around each other for days now.]
Movement in the water and Sarah leaned closer to lay her hand on his arm. She didn’t say anything, just touched him.
He took her hand in his and sat there looking at the woman who was changing so much for him. Her determination to carry on even when her foot hurt, her cheerful manner, her sweet smile, the way she was always ready to listen, even her occasional crankiness – all these things and more were helping him get back a life he’d forgotten existed. A life that looked pretty darned good from where he sat. As did his companion. Her cheeks had coloured to a soft pink, and the tiredness staining her face had vanished.
When Sarah turned to place her glass on the table her gaze clashed with his. Without thought he caught her arms and tugged her gently towards him just as she leaned forward. They slid off their seats. Dan instinctively wrapped his arms around her, holding her to his chest, as they bobbed in the bubbling water.
Sarah slid her arms around his waist. Her hands spread out over his back. He could feel each fingertip where they pressed lightly on his skin. The swirling water and her touch were a sensual mix of satin and silk, of soft and firm. He’d arrived in heaven.
His lungs suspended all breathing while his mind assimilated the feel of Sarah’s slick, warm skin under his palms. He moved closer, placed his lips on her throat. Her pulse thumped under his mouth, and he could feel her throbbing response in the fingers that were now pushing through his hair, beating a feverish massage on his scalp. Heard it in the hiss of her indrawn breath.
His tongue traced a line under her chin and up to the corner of her mouth, where he teased her lips gently with his teeth, warming the cooler flesh. He lost all sense of time, place, everything, - except Sarah, and he couldn’t get enough of her. Her mouth, when he tasted it, was sweet with wine. An outpouring of exquisite sensations overtook him.
Then she touched his face, held his head closer, and kissed him back with all the fierceness of a starved woman. He didn’t, couldn’t, stop to question what was behind her actions. Her need fired his own to an even deeper level and he leaned further into her, his bones melting.
To learn more about Sue and her books, visit her website here!
Come back next Sunday to enjoy a smooch from Their Miracle Twins by Nikki Logan!
Dec 9, 2011
Not people. Places. Have you ever walked into and old country pub or cafe and fallen in love with the bones of the place, but been dismayed by how musty, dusty and faded it was? I have.
Not that I have the deep pockets or the necessary experience to actually buy one of these places and restore it to glory, mind, but by the time I’ve had my counter-lunch I’ve given it quite the imaginary makeover.
Come time to write, it’s very tempting to then use that setting that captured the imagination and dwell on it in loving detail.
In my self-pubbed Christmas novella, Wish, heroine Billie Temple heads to a small Aussie country town to run the local pub.
‘What for?’ said Roly and the wonder of it all was that he was serious.
‘This verandah needs scrubbing, for starters. Not to mention the chairs, the tables, and the sidewalk.’
‘It’s cleaner inside.’
One hoped. ‘You’re not going to argue with me about cleaning this place, are you? You said you wanted more customers.’
‘You also said you’d give me free rein to run things my way.’
‘You said that?’ Arthur’s tone was incredulous.
‘Yeah,’ said Roly glumly. ‘Don’t know what I was thinking.’
In Red-Hot Renegade (Her Singapore Fling in NA), martial arts hero Jake Bennett owns a dojo in Singapore. It gets torched eventually, but dojo ownership was fun for a while.
‘I’m quite liking dojo living,’ she (Jianne) said. ‘It’s very streamlined. What is that smell?’
‘Sweat,’ said Jake.
Speaking of Brothers Bennett, the last two stories in that series are being packaged together and re-released in the UK in January with the title
Single Girl Abroad.
I think it’s quite the makeover.
Author copies are still a few weeks away, but if you’re happy to wait, there’s a copy of Single Girl Abroad up for grabs – just leave a comment. The question: Do you have a favourite old house/haunt/building that you would love to get your hands on and re-do?
ps. No bathroom renovations allowed ;)
And thank you LoveCats for being such lovely hosts.
Here's a link to Kelly's website -www.kellyhunter.net
Dec 8, 2011
:: Drumroll, please ::
Congratulations, Sherri! Could you please contact Fiona on
Thank you to everyone for participating in Pekoe's contest! It's been the greatest fun to read your clever contributions!
Dec 7, 2011
Fiona Lowe's Pekoe!
with Sharon Archer
|CAPTION ME TO WIN!|
Pekoe because I am a ginger cat and white cat. I heard the family throwing around a variety of names from Cumquat and Marmalade to Shandy but then the Big Dad said, what about Orange Pekoe. They dropped the orange and I get Peeks for short or the Peekganter for long or often I get called ‘NO!’ and sprayed with water.
I have heard my cat tree called ‘The Hilton’
All four Lowes and any visiting persons
chasing super light balls and toilet rolls
One litter tray. I require two. One for each business, I mean, really who would mix it.
To advance beyond a series of closed doors.
Sociable or Aloof
I greet everyone each morning with lots of hellos and I spend the day with Big Mum if she is in the office. At night I am often busy chasing things but when I am weary I like to sit under a chair or sit on a lap. Right now I am sleeping behind Big Mum on the chair.
Night Owl or Early Bird
I wake up when the house wakes up and I go to bed when the house goes to bed….at least that’s what the Lowe’s think when they close the doors at night.
What do you like to sharpen your claws on?
I have a cat tree. If I try other things I get called ‘NO’ and sprayed with water
Most embarrassing moment
Getting locked in the pantry.
So get busy with those captions for Pekoe's first photograph to be in the running to win Fiona's gorgeous Christmas book!
The Most Magical Gift Of All
by Fiona Lowe
Dr. Sophie Norman is Jack's temporary replacement, but this single gal didn't expect her new duties to involve being a stand-in mom! Jack needs all the help that Sophie can give him. While doing their best to ensure this little girl has a magical Christmas, they find the most magical gift of all -- a family.
Thanks for letting your delicious Pekoe visit, Fiona!