Jun 30, 2010

Catwalk Wednesday

Name: Strawberry & Daiquiri

Abode: A peaceful, rural hamlet of Coffs Harbour where they oversee Wagtail Cottage - a B&B exclusively for pets and people

Sitting at the human's feet while she writes; sleeping on bed; eating (anything - rather partial to possum poop - hence ongoing and expensive-to-treat inflammatory bowel condition); sleeping on lounge; playing with Mousey (the soft toy that drives a frustrated writer crazy with it's squeak); sleeping in sun; chasing anything that moves; sleeping on clean washing; walkies (9am and 3pm and don't dare delay); sleeping on human's lap...get the picture?

Dogs - because they think they are human

To see a dedication in my human's first novel (as the little inspirational (and sleeping) heartbeats at her feet).


WANTED: Your Pet!!
Lovecats wants YOUR pet to feature on its Catwalk Wednesday.
Interested? Email Mel at

Jun 28, 2010

Merry Mid-Winter!

Reading: The Curse of Chalion, by Lois McMaster Bujold

Listening to:

Watching: Dr Who

Making me smile: Gingerbread and mulled wine!

Well, it's midwinter, folks! (Or midsummer, if you're in
the northern hemisphere.) Down here in New Zealand, it's cold, dark, grey, wet, and I can see some snow on the mountains (when the clouds lift). For me, though, midwinter will always mean snow piled thickly on the ground and candles shining in windows and thin, crisp gingerbread and fragrant, spicy mulled wine.

You see, when I was seventeen I had the great good fortune to live in Sweden for a year. Best year of my life! I love Sweden, and I love the change of seasons there. Winter is winter in a way it isn't in New Zealand. The days are short and freezing. There's snow falling from the sky, snow piled up on the ground. Candles shine in people's windows. And best of all, there's plenty of homemade gingerbread cookies and mulled wine, or in Swedish: pepparkakor and gl

So, to celebrate Midwinter, this year I made some mulled wine. Fortunately, there's a Swedish bakery in town, so I didn't have to root my Swedish cookbooks out of storage -- I could just buy a bag of heart-shaped gingerbread cookies! For those of you who'd like to join me in celebrating mid-winter, below is the mulled wine recipe I used. (And, not to blow my own trumpet, but this glögg is amazing!)

1 bottle red table wine (I used a merlot)
100ml vodka
20 cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
4 sticks cinnamon
3 pieces crystallised ginger
zest of a lemon
1/2 cup sugar

1. Crush the cinnamon sticks. Pu
t all spices plus the lemon zest in a glass jar with the vodka. Leave overnight. (On the left is what my vodka looked like. It smelled fantastic!)

2. Strain the vodka, discard the spices.

3. Mix the spiced vodka with the wine and sugar.

4. Heat all the ingredients in a large saucepan until steaming hot. DO NOT boil! Stir and taste.

5. If not sweet enough, add more sugar. If too sweet, add more wine.

6. Serve with gingerbread cookies.

7. Enjoy!

So, how are you marking mid-winter? I know what I'm doing -- having some more glögg!


Jun 27, 2010

Winner of the Welcome Party Prize Pack

Thanks to everyone who joined our welcome to Michelle Douglas - we couldn't be more thrilled with our new Cat!

The prize for one commenter was a pack of books:

The Cattleman, The Baby and Me
, by Michelle Douglas
Bachelor Dad on Her Doorstep, by Michelle Douglas
The Arist
ocrat and the Single Mum, by Michelle Douglas
The Sheriff And the Baby, by CC Coburn
Claiming His Bought Bride, by Rachel Bailey
The Blackmailed Bride's Secret Child by Rachel Bailey.

And the winner is:

Jenn J Mcleod for her humorous comment about 'new joins' and 'hoorays' without the 'hips'. Congrats, Jenn! Email me your snail mail address and we'll get the books in the post for you.

Jun 25, 2010

Breaking News: A New Cat on the Blog!

Welcome Michelle Douglas!

Today we’re thrilled to announce that we’re being joined by a new lovecat – Michelle Douglas, who writes fantabulous romances for Mills and Boon Sweet / Romance. Yay!

She has very good lovecat credibility, since she recently wrote a series with our other Sweet Lovecat, Nikki Logan (and the lovely Melissa James) and she has a Siamese Fighting Fish called Fernando (looking forward to meeting him on the catwalk, Michelle!).

To celebrate our new Lovecat, we’re giving away a pack of books, including Michelle’s latest three books:

The Cattleman, The Baby and Me,

Bachelor Dad on Her Doorstep, and

The Aristocrat and the Single Mum.

Plus the redraw of CC Coburn’s latest American Romance, The Sheriff And the Baby,

And both of my Desire books, Claiming His Bought Bride, and The Blackmailed Bride's Secret Child.

All you need to do is help Michelle feel at home by telling us about a time when you joined something new – a new family you married into, a new office you worked for, a new sporting team, etc.

Welcome, Michelle!

Jun 23, 2010

The Muse: Unveiled

Listening to: Rockstar by N.E.R.D

Reading: Powerful Italian, Penniless Housekeeper by India Grey

Watching: FIFA world cup and Wimbledon

Making me smile: Husband's oddball personality

After having a rather ho-hum couple of months writing-wise, I had one of those glorious writer moments the other day where a story idea took hold and wouldn’t let go. In fact, I couldn’t keep up to the light bulbs going off in my head one after the other, which is pretty overwhelming for me considering I’ve never once known the ending to a story. (Endings aren’t my thing).

I’m a self-confessed pantser, but I expect knowing the major plot points of this story-in-the-making is going to see me type a whole lot quicker—I hope—while still leaving room to stretch my wings! Seems my recalcitrant muse has simply been lurking, ready to unveil its brilliance... okay, won't get too carried away, but I really was on a high all day =)

My question is, as a reader is it obvious to you whether or not a writer is a plotter or a pantser? Can you see if the story is well thought out or perhaps too predictable, if the story veers erratically or perhaps seamlessly falls into place even as it surprises/shocks in a good way?