Feb 28, 2014

Just my luck…?

I'm sorry. Truly, I am. To whoever I upset or crossed…please take pity on me now!  I don't remember breaking a mirror or walking under a ladder but recently I've been having some…challenges

-Monday- at the gym, I was sitting on one of those large swiss balls doing posture strengthening exercises with a trainer, when suddenly the ball rolled out from under me, bouncing me backside first to the floor causing a 5kg dumbbell to smash against my calf, ripping a huge dent in my pride (of course there were lots of people in the usually very quiet gym) and causing a very large swollen bruise

-Tuesday -I popped in to the local Indian restaurant and had a brief chat to the owner. I discovered they were closing down in two days so I mentioned I was coming in with a group of friends the next day. When we arrived the restaurant was in darkness- they'd decided that no one had actually booked a table (and for them, chances were we wouldn't turn up) so they'd closed down a day early! So we were stuck there hungry and thirsty after a bracing walk, no other restaurant for a couple of miles, with no transport to get anywhere else, and no food! And because I hadn't 'booked' per se I felt hugely responsible.

Is the universe telling me something?
-Wednesday - and I can barely even bring myself to tell you this…  I sat on my ensuite toilet and the damn thing Fell. Off. The. Wall.  Yet another bounce to my poor backside which, like my back and legs, was pretty soggy from the toilet basin water (thankfully I'd just cleaned the damn thing!) Red-faced and bruised I had to phone a plumber who thought the whole thing was hysterical! Of course, that type of toilet isn't stocked any more, so they can't get more bracings for the wall, and therefore we have to buy a whole new toilet!

Trouble comes in threes, they say. So I won't include the spilt cup of coffee all over my iPad/keyboard this morning or the blown-up swimming pool pump on Tuesday in case I might be asking the universe for one more thing to make a double-run this week. I'm hoping I've had my run of bad luck for a while, but I'm going out to buy a rabbit's foot to carry around with me just in case (not a real one, obviously!). I've never been superstitious before but I'm thinking I might just give it a try. I have a friend who always gets a car parking space right outside wherever she's going (be it restaurant, shop etc) and never has to drive round the block searching, she also often wins raffles and competitions for big ticket items, and sees herself as just 'lucky.' Me? Not so much.

My husband reckons I'm just focusing on the negatives and grouping random events to make it seem like I'm unlucky. Is he right? Is it really just observation bias? Do you believe in luck or superstition? Do you consider yourself lucky or unlucky? Anyone out there know what I should do to make sure my luck gets better?     

Feb 26, 2014

Waiting Is The Best Part

'Anticipation' is the word Pooh was looking for, and it’s been on my mind recently. Something as simple as a cup of coffee — ah, the bliss of inhaling the aroma of freshly ground coffee. Yet, when the coffee is made and I take my first sip...well, I do enjoy a cup of coffee, but drinking it is never, ever as good as the anticipation.

Much, much more thrilling is the anticipation of reading a book that I’ve been looking forward to for some time. I love the joyful tingles of anticipation when I know that I’m about to open a book by a favourite author. Every year my son buys me a novel by the same author for my birthday. He knows that I’ll never complain because I love her books. I know the book’s coming and I start to anticipate reading the story well in advance. My birthday is two months away and already I’m looking forward to the book with excitement. Reading the book is great, but the anticipation is even better.
"Never forget that anticipation is an important part of life. Work's important, family's important, but without excitement, you have nothing. You're cheating yourself if you refuse to enjoy what's coming." - Nicholas Sparks, Three Weeks With My Brother
I believe that having something to look forward to is a great way to give yourself an instant boost of happiness, whether it’s as large as an overseas trip or as small as a mid-afternoon latte. Sometimes it’s good to slow down and allow yourself to wait for things, to daydream about them, plan for them and let yourself get excited about them, because the anticipation can make you happier than the event itself.

Do you agree? Do you make the most of situations that allow you to indulge in anticipation? Do you think that waiting is the best part?

Feb 24, 2014

Cover Love

A lot of you would know a few years back I wrote a book with my sister, Ros Baxter, called Sister Pact. It was a great experience for both of us and we loved it so much we’ve written a second and are on to our third.

The book sold out its print run which is good but over several months, not in one or two weeks which makes you a superstar. It’s now OOP – out of print :-(  BUT thanks to the digital platform you can still get it as an e-book.

And from today you can also get it as an e-book with the original cover.

The original cover was the one both Ros and I loved.  Harper Collins truly outdid themselves with nailing exactly what the book was about in one piece of art and we were ecstatic – absolutely over the moon.

Look at it – isn’t it gorgeous?? (if you click on it, you'll get a lovely big, readable version!)

But then the marketers and the books buyers got involved and were not very nice about our cover. They didn’t like it, they wouldn’t buy many copies. It was too chick-litty and didn’t we all know that was “publishing death”?? It seemed it was too reminiscent of those covers that defined chick-lit for many years – cartoon martini glasses and red stilettos . 

So our beautiful cover was ditched and we got a more generic women’s fiction cover which everyone who knew stuff about stuff agreed would sell better.

Now there’s nothing wrong with this cover – it’s perfectly fine. Except it has nothing to do with the book whatsoever...

The first cover tells the story in one glance. The second cover tells you nothing. In fact, it looks like the women in the story are the best of friends and they’re going to ride off into the sunset together (or possibly star in a Libra Fleur commercial) which is so not what happens, so not what the book is about.

So you can imagine how ecstatic we both are that the lovely peeps at Harper Collins have decided to out the old cover back on the e-book AND have reduced the price from $12 down to $4.48 in the US, 2.99 pounds in the UK and $4.99 here in Oz!

We finally feel like we have our book back!

And because I’m so damn excited I’m going to give away a digital copy with the new cover to someone who stops by and leaves a comment. Tell me, which cover do you prefer? If they were side by side in a bookshop which one would you pick up? Do you buy on cover alone? Do cartoon covers turn you off? Does it annoy you when the cover doesn’t match the content? 

Feb 23, 2014

Sunday Smooch with Michelle Douglas

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from  Michelle Douglas but first 

... the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is Helen S!

Can you please contact traceylivesay (at) me (dot) com to receive your copy of The Tycoon's Socialite Bride.

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Michelle Douglas.

The beginning of a very long journey…together?

Quinn Laverty and her young sons are planning to start a new life on the other side of the country! With her family abandoning her, and her ex choosing wealth and privilege over fatherhood, her boys are all she's got.

But when an airline strike interferes with her plans, Quinn finds herself taking the car and up-and-coming politician Aidan Fairhall to Sydney. And trapped together on a weeklong road trip, opposites Quinn and Aidan begin the most unexpected and life-changing journey of their lives.

Scene set-up: Quinn and Aidan are at a remote campsite in the middle of nowhere and the boys are safely in bed. They've all been planning what they'll do when they finally cross the Nullabor Plain and hit the big city. However, Quinn and Aidan's playful flirting takes a serious turn...

  One side of his mouth hooked up in a slow, wicked smile. He still held her hand. ‘I’m looking forward to hitting the town with you.’

  She should pull her hand free. ‘Why?’

  He tugged her a little closer. ‘Do you dance?’

  Her breath caught in her chest, making her heart thud. ‘Like you wouldn’t believe.’

  ‘I’m better,’ he promised.

  ‘We’ll see about that.’

  ‘What’s your favourite cocktail?’

  ‘A Margarita. Yours?’

  ‘A whiskey sour.’

  His thumb caressed the soft skin at her wrist. ‘Can you play blackjack?’

  ‘With the best of them.’ The nearest she’d come to gambling was the odd flutter on the Melbourne Cup. ‘Although I prefer roulette.’

  ‘I’m going to take you out dancing and gambling and drinking.’

  He was?

  ‘And I’m going to kiss you.’

  And then his mouth came down on hers in the dark of the night, hot and demanding, and it stole her breath. His kiss wasn’t polite or quiet. It was dark and thrilling and she threw all sense of caution to the wind, winding her arms about his neck and kissing him back.

  He pulled her in closer, trapping her between lean, powerful thighs, and deepened the kiss. She didn’t resist. His hands curved about her hips and explored them completely, boldly and oh-so-impolitely. She moved against him restlessly as the thrill became a dark throb in her blood. Thrusting her hands into his hair, she held him still to thoroughly explore a mouth that set her on fire, inciting him to further bold explorations of her body with hands that seemed to know exactly what she craved.

  Aidan’s kiss made her feel impulsive and young.

  It made her feel beautiful.

  It made her feel all woman.

  She broke off to gulp air into starved lungs. His lips found her throat—no butterfly whispers here, just hot, wet grazes and suckles that built the inferno growing inside her. His hands were beneath her dress, cupping her buttocks, kneading and pleasing and building that inferno. Her hands went to the waistband of his shorts—


  No, no, she didn’t want to wait. She wanted to lose herself in sheer sensation. She wanted to forget her troubles and soar away in mindless and delirious pleasure. Oh, please let her…

  Ask the question.

  She froze. Aidan’s clever, heat-inducing, pleasure-seeking fingers started to move and she knew that in a moment she would be lost. Totally and completely.

  With a groan of pure frustration, she slapped her hands over the top of his, the fabric of her dress between them. ‘I have to ask a question.’

Would you like to go on a road trip or is it your idea of a nightmare. and if so where would you choose to go?

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced and a smooch from Ros Baxter's Lingerie for Felons will be posted!

Smooch Graphic by WebWeaver

Feb 19, 2014

Kitchen Kitsch - Annie West

I was recently regaling some writer friends, including LoveCat, Michelle Douglas, with details of a terrific Christmas gift I received from an old friend in the UK. For years we've been swapping gifts, usually including something useful for the kitchen but with a definitely odd twist. Don't ask me how it started, but over the years we've got into the habit of searching for the silliest, most eye-catching kitchen implements we can find. And you know what? It turns out that some of these are absolute gems. So at Michelle's urging I thought I'd share just a couple of my favourites.
The Ice Queen Scoop
OK, so the Ice Queen ice cream scoop I got in the mail a couple of years ago is just plastic. But it's outlasted not one but two heavy duty metal ice cream scoops and still it works. Perhaps it's got some sort of royal blessing?
The same year I received the scoop I also scored the most amazing whisk I've ever seen. Every time I open the kitchen drawer and see it I giggle. Here's why.
Yes, that's right. Not only does it have a metal whisk it has the added bonus of a flock of little yellow rubber ducks! I've never seen anything like it. I long for the day when some Aussie kitchen store keeps these in stock. Till then I have to live with the suspicion that the English have a better sense of humour than we do. And what's even more amazing is that it's a brilliant whisk! It does the job far faster than my normal metal whisk.
Another favourite? How about my egg timer. Not the boring turn-the-hourglass timer or even a clicking alarm. Mine is an egg shaped one that you put in the boiling water with the eggs. It tells you when your egg is soft boiled by beeping out the tune 'Killing Me Softly'. Personally, I prefer to wait for hard boiled so I can hear it play 'Carmina Burana'. I'm sure my egg consumption has gone up since I received it!
So, what did I receive from my friend this Christmas? A snail made of silicone. Cute, eh?
Here's the side view.
But wait, there's more. Pull on the back and hey presto, suddenly you have a funnel.
Cute and useful too. I can't wait to use this. In the meantime, if ever you happen to visit me and find me chortling as I cook, you'll understand why. Maybe if there was more sending of kitsch gifts across borders there might be a little more international harmony. It couldn't hurt.
How about you? Do you have friends who send you silly or even embarrassing gifts? Do you have any favourite kitchen gadgets? Something you wouldn't be without in the kitchen? Or do you prefer to leave the cooking to someone else? 

Feb 16, 2014

Sunday Smooch - Tracey Livesay

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from The Tycoon's Socialite Bride by Tracey Livesay, but first ...... the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is Nas Dean!

Nas, can you please contact amy(at)amyandrews(dot) com to receive your copy of Forbidden Affair

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from ........


To avenge his mother’s mistreatment at the hands of her upper-crust employer, self-made real estate tycoon Marcus Pearson needs entree into their exclusive world. When D.C. socialite Pamela Harrington comes to him for help, Marcus realizes the golden admission ticket he’s been seeking has suddenly fallen into his lap.

Pamela will do anything to save her favorite cause, even agree to a marriage of convenience. The altruistic “it-girl” isn’t worried about the pretend passion with Marcus turning real; she’s sworn off powerful, driven men who use her for her family’s connections.
So she’ll deny the way her pulse races with one look from his crystalline blue eyes. And he’ll ignore the way his body throbs with each kiss from her full lips. Because there’s no way he’ll lose his blue-collar heart to the blue-blooded beauty.


Marcus and Pamela have been making the rounds of the social circuit, lending their engagement an air of authenticity. They are at one such event when this kiss takes place.

After dessert, they joined like-minded individuals searching for fresh air out on the adjoining terrace. White lights were strung through the lush foliage, and the bubbling water fountain enhanced the tranquil surroundings.
“That was impressive back there.”

She smiled. “I’ve grown up at dinners like these.”

“When talk turned to business, you made some really interesting points. You have a law degree but don’t practice?”
“Being a Harrington is a full-time job.”

“Then why invest three years in law school?”

“My family believes women should attend college to find a husband from a prominent family. I wanted something more.”
“It’s the twenty-first century,” he protested.

“You met my father. You try arguing with him about tradition. When I graduated with no promising proposals, I told the Senator law school would be fertile ground for an eligible husband.”
“And he bought it?”

“I got the degree, didn’t I?”

Standing there, her lips curved in amused satisfaction, he responded the only way he could.
He kissed her.
This wasn’t part of their agreement, but he didn’t care. She leaned into him, pressing her lips against his. He nudged them apart, slid his tongue in, and savored her.
She shivered and he wrapped his arms around her, pulling her tightly against his chest. God, she tasted so good, an intoxicating mixture of crisp champagne and...her. And he couldn’t get enough. He thrust his fingers through her hair, cupping her head and bringing her closer. She moaned and he felt himself harden. He slid his hands down her back and grasped her hips, moving against her, wanting her to feel the physical proof of his arousal.
She brought her hands up between them. “We can’t do this.”
His heart raced at the speed of light and his pulse thundered in his ears. He took a step back. He’d been on the verge of scooping her up and walking out of there without a second thought.
She stared at him, then reached up and ran her thumb over his bottom lip.
“Lipstick.” Her voice was husky, low.

And so damned sexy.

He grabbed her wrist, and never breaking eye contact, touched his tongue to the pad of her thumb.

Her eyes widened for a split second before she pulled away, her chest rising and falling, her breasts straining against her dress.
“I—I need a moment.” She hurried away from him.
He cursed. What was he doing? He was so close to getting everything he wanted. He couldn’t let this attraction, no matter how powerful, get in the way.


Tracey Livesay wrote her first romance novel at the age of eleven, called “The Healing Power of Love.” With a detour through college and law school--where she met her husband on the very first day--she’s finally achieved her dream of being a published author. She lives in Virginia with said husband and three kids. For info on her upcoming releases or to chat about TV, movies and/or purses you can check out her website or find her on Facebook and Twitter 

I have an ecopy of "The Tycoon's Socialite Bride" . Tell me, can you teach someone to kiss or is it all about chemistry? 

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced and a smooch from Michelle Douglas will be posted!

Smooch Graphic by WebWeaver

Feb 14, 2014

Of Writers and Friends

Seems to be the thing at the moment. Writers spending time with their writer friends. And I'm not missing out. Today I'm heading into Blenheim to what we call The Cottage to spend the weekend with my writing group, my writing friends. The people I can spill my guts about editors, agents and the market in general.

Two other Lovecats will also be there - Louisa George, who's flying in from Auckland, and Barbara DeLeo. As I'm writing this I'm thinking hairdryer, towel, chocolate, (oops - cancel that one) makeup, shoes and looking at the empty bag on the end of the bed. It's quite small so maybe I'll leave out the walking gear.

These weekends are for some intense writing sessions and brainstorming and general chat about what's going on in the writing world and who's doing what.

                                                                 We work very hard.

We keep our fluid levels up.

We maintain our energy levels.

We don't watch DVD's, read magazines or wear sloppy clothes.

Okay, so that bag is looking smaller by the minute. I'll ditch the slippers to make room for the chocolate. Damn, that word just keeps popping up. I meant to say sunscreen and hat for when we go on a walk - except I'm leaving the walking shoes behind. Maybe I'll get another bag down and take everything. Jeepers, anyone would think I didn't get out very often.
The fact is I love going away, whether for a weekend or a month, and I especially enjoy spending time with my writing friends. I always come home invigorated and ready for another battle with my current story.
Do you have a particular group of people you love to spend time with away from home?

Feb 12, 2014

Fly on the wall...

Have you ever wondered what writers talk about when they get together?

Last week I caught up with my writing buddies Annie West and Anna Campbell for G & Ts by Annie’s pool. Good friend and fellow writer Judy joined us a bit later when we broke out the bubbly. So…the burning question—what did we chat about?

Judy, Anna Campbell, Michelle Douglas

* Fruit and carbohydrates. I brought along a really pretty bowl of fruit. Anna and Annie are great fruit devotees. Me? I demolished the olives and dip instead. We tried to find the secret for why we’re so attracted to carbohydrates. The answer we came up with—because they’re yummy.

Isn't that the most glorious bowl of fruit you've ever seen? (yes I was proud of it)

* Anna kinda sorta interviewed me about my writing process for an upcoming workshop she’s running. It’s going to be a great workshop.

* My current Buffy the Vampire Slayer craze and what I’m trying to learn from it as a writer.

* I quizzed Annie and Anna about what I should do for a 10-minute launch of my March book Road Trip With the Eligible Bachelor, (which is happening at Singleton Library tomorrow evening so if you’re in town come along!) and they gave me great advice. Thanks, ladies!

Anna Campbell and Annie West with G & Ts

* We briefly chatted about one of Annie’s upcoming projects and the brainstorming she and Anna had been doing.

* Book titles: our faves and not-so-faves of our own and each others.

* Our parents

* Our pineapple books—you know, the ones we never want to experience again, and why they were pineapples. The reasons varied. My pineapple book was Christmas at Candlebark Farm. When I received the 3rd set of revisions from my editor I realised the book needed to be completely rewritten. Sigh. I learned so much from that book, but I never want to go through that process again.

* Our ages and when our birthdays fell on the calendar year. Shall I confess it had never occurred to me that as an August baby that meant my parents had had a rather pleasant summer holiday. :)

Anna Campbell, me and G & Ts

* Critiquing—pros and cons and wonderings if we were nurturing rather than critical.

* Holidays and cruises

* French champagne

* What we had planned for the weekend

So, as you can see, we’re like any other bunch of people who are both colleagues and friends, we talked shop, we enquired after each other’s families and sprinkled amongst that was talk about other things that interest us. It was brilliant.

What about you? Have you been having any fun chats with colleagues and friends lately?

Feb 10, 2014

Celebrate Cupid's Day

freedigitalphotos.net, sippokron

Can you feel it? The love floating in the air? The romance wafting about the place?

Yes, it’s that time of year. Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us. And I love it.

So many people are critical of the commercial nature of Valentine’s Day but I think there is nothing wrong with shining a romantic spotlight on your relationship. With all the pressures of raising a family, building a career, staying fit and healthy and performing all the mundane tasks required to maintain a functioning household, romance can often slide away in the face all of those demands. 

And, there’s no need to be pushed into something clichéd, costly or kitsch to make the day special. Moonlit walks on the beach, free. Handmade card, free. A playlist of my favourite songs, free. Voucher for cooking dinner every night, free (I’ve been making a lot of hints about that one!!)

freedigitalphotos.net, markuso
My husband and I usually go out for a candlelit dinner (well they are a cliché for a reason – I love candlelit dinners). We always talk about how we met. How we looked across a crowded room (yes, our relationship is cliché central) and knew in that instant something special had happened. How we lived on different sides of the world (me, London; him, Brisbane) or different cities (me, Melbourne and Durham, USA, him, Brisbane) due to career commitments for the next two years before we could finally live together. How we got to know each other through letters (no email or cheap phones/skype calls back in the IT dark ages) and what a lovely way it was to learn about each other. I read those letters often for inspiration for my stories and for how men express themselves when they are first falling in love.

Yes, I’m a die hard romantic. Lucky, considering the career I’ve chosen. So, this Valentine’s Day I’ll have dinner with my partner of the last 20 years and think, isn’t it lovely that we’ve taken time out of our crazy lives to gaze into each others eyes and reminisce about how lucky we were to see each other across that crowded room.

Jennifer’s latest novel, The Billionaire’s Pursuit of Love is out now available from AmazoniTunesGooglePenguin and Destiny Romance.

Feb 7, 2014

Tēnā koutou katoa! - Celebrating who we are.

Yesterday was our national day in New Zealand. Waitangi Day celebrates the signing of the treaty of Waitangi between indigenous Maori tribes and the English Crown in 1840, and it's a day for us to reflect on what makes us New Zealanders. But we're a funny lot us kiwis, we're often a little shy about showing our national colours and we don't go in for a lot of pomp and ceremony. What we tend to do instead is have the day in the sun with friends and whānau (family) getting back to nature.

Yesterday my friend Heather and I continued our little tradition of trying to pack the day full with as many things as possible that define us as New Zealanders.

First, we took our kids to a gorgeous part of the country, the Marlborough Sounds. Here there are endless waterways, peaceful New Zealand bush and people having fun in and on the water. Here is our little picnic site all set up. 

Next, the challenge was to eat as many New Zealand's favourite foods as possible. Of course we started off with snacks - that's my Jay introducing you to Lemon and Paeroa (L and P) a yummy lemony fizzy drink, Kiwi Dip made with dried onion soup and reduced cream (tastes MUCH better than it sounds!), pumpkin and kumara (sweet potato) dip  and Bluebird chips.

The rule for the day was that we could only eat New Zealand food and listen to New Zealand music. Here are two or our favourites - the fabulous Lorde, and one by my gorgeous friend (and godfather to my youngest) Tama Waipara. I love the way Tama includes so much New Zealand imagery in his music.


After a swim (and doing "bombs" off the jetty) it was time for lunch— first there was bacon and egg pie, sausage rolls and Watties tomato sauce....

and finally a whole lot of kiwi goodness....pavlova with kiwifruit, mallow puffs, jaffas, jet planes and pineapple lumps.

The day came to a close with a drive home on our notoriously windy roads, with everyone already planning on more kiwi delights for next year.

How do you celebrate your national day?

Feb 5, 2014

Wanted: Family Stories of World War 2

Deb Dufel during her Top End travels in Australia
I’m so pleased to have my globe-trotting friend, Deb Dufel, visiting the blog today.  We were chatting on-line one day (me, sweltering in 40°C heat in Southern Australia and Deb, shivering in -15°C in the North American cold snap!).  

Anyway, she mentioned she was coming back to Australia to visit the War Memorial in Canberra again to do some more research for a story set in Australia during World War 2.

I was intrigued so we talked some more and I asked if she’d like to visit us on the LoveCats and tell us about her project!

Over to you, Deb!

Canberra War Memorial, K. Campisano

Thanks, Sharon!  I was really excited when you invited me to visit. 

Three years ago, I had no clue that Australia was literally the front line of the war. As I settled into my Australian life and we travelled across the top end of Australia we found various war memorials and we learned. Our friends shared a bit more history.

Then, one day, a friend pushed a USB drive across the table, and said, “These are copies of my grandfather’s letters during WW2 and while in Changi-Changi prison.”  
Outback Australia

Though he had survived the camp where only 1 in 1000 had, he never quite made it back. In the fifties, men were told to “just pull yourself together, mate.” 

Unfortunately, my friend and I shared an experience – her grandfather and my father suffered from what we now call PTS. Neither man spoke of their experiences.  And neither was able to live life to its fullest in the aftermath.  

An idea for a book set in WW2 Australia blossomed. In the beginning, I thought I’d follow the soldier line, and then more and more people shared their stories, including 90-plus-year old sisters, Edna and Greta, who had lived on an outback station. These women, who are cultured, beautiful and side-splittingly funny, shared their deepest fears, and we held hands and spilled tears for the men and women who never returned. 

Prison Boab
One day, Edna invited me to teach her how to use her new IPad. Her sister was visiting from the homestead and so for two hilarious hours they taught me!  Edna had set morning tea on verandah where we adjourned after the computer lesson. I was invited to “play mother” and later they admitted they wanted to see if I could pour properly. 

Greta, the younger sister by 10 months, asked what I did. Edna stepped in and said, “She’s discovering what us old bats did during the war.” 
Outback Australia

They started to laugh, and then took turns telling me one of their favourite stories - how they made bullets and shot them!  Apparently, Edna made the best bullets since she measured the black powder. 

“Greta just dumped it the casing,” Edna said.  “It was a waste - plus the kick knocked me on my bum.” She grinned. “But it was fun watching all the boys run when you came out with Da’s gun,” she said to her sister, before turning to me to say, “Gret is still a crack shot.”  

They lifted their delicate tea cups in salute to each other, their eyes twinkling with mischief.

Then they sobered. “Remember when the wireless man came with the telegram?” one of them asked.  Seventy years had passed since the arrival of a telegram announcing the death of their “baby” brother on some far shore, but the pain hadn’t eased for these two sisters.  
Wall of Poppies, Karen Campisano
A visit to the War Memorial in Canberra tore my heart. So many Australians gave their lives to the rest of the world. And yet, little is known of the women and men of the Land. The focus of my research subtly shifted again, to these unsung heroes. 

As a writer, I want to build as complete a picture of those turbulent times for the story I want to write. So, I wonder… does your family have a story that you’d like to share?  

If you wish please, contact me, Deb Dufel, at WMB_1941@yahoo.com