Dec 9, 2015

2015 Favourites with Michelle Douglas

Seriously, can you believe we’re in December already? I mean, really? It only seems a few weeks ago that we were packing away the Christmas decorations and cheering in the New Year. I know you’re all nodding your heads in agreement, and I could continue along in this vein for paragraphs…but I shan’t sport with your intelligence by reiterating what we all already know (bonus points if you know what that line is from :-) ).

Because the year is drawing to a close, I thought I’d look back on some of my favourite things from 2015. And there are a lot of them. :)

First on the list, of course, are books:

Favourite Category Romance: this is a hotly contested category, but Vettori’s Damsel In Distress by Liz Fielding wins it by a whisker. This story perfectly captures what falling in love feels like. The hero is drool-worthy the heroine is plucky, the setting is romantic, plus there’s a kitten. What more could you want?

Favourite Single Title Romance: A Single Kiss by Grace Burrowes. A single mom and a single dad, two determined little girls, and a whole lot of secrets. Gorgeous stuff.

Favourite non-romance: Jessica Anderson’s Tirra Lirra By The River—an Australian classic. The back blurb doesn’t sound interesting: an old lady returns from London to her hometown of Brisbane. The book, however, is wonderful.

Favourite non-fiction read: I could say Modern Genre Theory, but I’d be lying. While I’ve read some fab non-fiction (Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert being one of them) the winner is Village Vets by Anthony Bennett and James Carroll. Man, I love these guys and I just hoovered back their vet exploits.

Favourite song: This is an oldie that I rediscovered just a couple of months ago—Nobody Does it Better by Carly Simon. It became the theme song for Christmas Wishes, New Year Kisses (my novella that’s in the Hot Christmas Nights box set). It’s been played a lot at my house recently.

Favourite Movie: I only made it to the movies once this year, but The Dressmaker was definitely worth the trip. Besides the fact that Liam Hemsworth is rather, um…lovely, and that are were stellar performances from Kate Winslet, Judy Davis and Hugo Weaving, the story itself is compelling. The main character’s arc is very satisfying. Also, the frocks!

Favourite TV Series: Again, this is a few years old now but I only discovered it this year—The Bridge. The Scandinavian version. Moody, edge of your seat stuff with some seriously interesting characterisations.

Favourite piece of materialistic nonsense: My handbag!

Other highlights:
* Six glorious nights at the beach in February. Oh, happy sighs.
* The ARRA conference in March. I took part in a fabulous panel with Rachel Bailey, Melanie Milburne and Kandy Shepherd.
* The RWA conference in August. It was extra special as I was sitting with Annie West when she won her muchly deserved RUBY! Yay!
* Branching out into the exhilarating self-publishing waters with six of the other LoveCats here to create our own box set of novellas.
* 20th anniversary of the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice. I never tire of watching this!
* Two new Harlequin releases. The Millionaire and the Maid in April, and Reunited By a Baby Secret in September.
* And, of course, getting to spend time with my gorgeous family and friends (including my on-line friends).

What about you? What have been your favourite things from 2015? Is there a book I should add to my to-be-read list, a must-see movie, or a song I should trial for my latest playlist? There's always room for more favourites. :-)

Hot Christmas Nights is available now. Only $0.99 at Amazon.


  1. Hi Michelle

    What a great list and I have to agree this year has just gone way too quickly I am guessing for me it is because I actually don't work anymore LOL and have been having way too much fun.

    I don't think I can pick a favourite book I have read a lot this year and really loved them all but one of the most moving was Barbara Hannay's The Secret Years it's fabulous I too enjoyed the ARRA Convention in Canberra what a blast that one was I haven't been to the movies and I am not a TV watcher so books are my enjoyment :)

    Have Fun

    1. I think years flying by because you're having too much fun is excellent, Helen! Though, I'm not sure there such a thing as "too much fun". ;-)

      Oh,and you just solved my current dilemma -- what to buy my mother for her birthday -- The Secret Years! I've bought her the other Barb Hannay books and she loved them. I've heard such good things about it. :-)

  2. Love that handbag, Michelle.
    My favourite moment of 2015 was my first cuddle of our new granddaughter. Sigh.

    1. Aw, Sue, that's an awesome favourite moment. I think it'd be hard to top that. :-)

  3. I can't believe you've only been to the movies once this year, Michelle! Too hard to say my fav books but I loved The Jock and the Fat Chick (YA - sooo not my genre usually) and loved Madeline Ash's The Playboy. Am currently reading Rachael's The Finn Factor and absoutely loving it too!

    I dont really read non-fiction much but do love a good biography. Read Love Lines by Rob Lowe and it was fabulous.

    Fav TV series - probably a bit like choosing my fav book... I love Good Wife and Homeland. Loved the ch 7 series Love Child. SBS had a great 4 part series called THE Principal which was brilliant. Was sad to see the last of Justified and Call The Midwife. Loved a brit cop show called Happy Valley - gritty with a super tough female lead. Got into Shameless thanks to Netflix and its brilliant. Waiting to binge watch The Walking Dead when it goes on hiatus. Love Gruen Factor and The Last Leg. Still loving Grey's Anatomy after all these years as well. There are my telly (in case you couldn't tell already) Really must check out Outlander too...

    Fav song - am still loving All About the Bass by Meghan Trainor.

    Fav movie - I know I've been to a few more than you :-) but I hardly ever remember them after I leave except I'll never forget The Dressmaker for how much it made me feel! Although, funnily enough I actually really loved Mad Max too because, despite the very few words of dialogue and NO kissing!!, the grand epic scale of it was awesome.

    Highlights? New York - definitely. And winning my Ruby :-)

    1. Oh, your highlights are beauties, Amy! :-)

      I loved Madeline Ash's The Playboy . Maybe I should've had a favourite novella category too. Rachel's Finn Factor is ready to go on my Kindle (roll around please, the holidays). I LOVED her Cover Story earlier in the year. So many good books.

      As for my lack of movie going...there's a cinema that's opening at my local shopping centre. I think I can guarantee more movie watching will feature in my future. And thanks for all of the TV recs -- off to check them out (while listening to All About the Bass)

  4. The year has zoomed by. I'm just hoping I survive this week. It's been nuts leading up to Christmas and I'm more than ready for a break.

    Favorite book would be hard to pick, but favorite series include Nightwing series by Juliette Cross, Red Team series by Elaine Levine and Biological Response Team series by Julie Rowe.

    I'm sure Nalini Singh will feature as a favorite somewhere but I haven't read any of her new books yet. I am saving them for the break. :-)

    1. The year has flown, Deanna! And I'm with you -- my schedule is off the charts at the moment!

      I haven't read any of the series you've mentioned. I must go check them out. Oh, and yes to Nalini. :-)

      Hope you have a lovely Christmas!

  5. Hi Michelle. So many nice things for you this year! It was a real treat sitting with you at the Awards night for the RBY - definitely a red letter moment.

    My fave thing this year has to be having my daughter home after 14 months overseas!

    1. What a treat to have your daughter home, Annie. I bet you've both been enjoying it. :-)

      Ah, that RUBY awards night -- so much fun. :-)

  6. I love your bag, Michelle! And I have the Hot Christmas Nights boxset on my Kindle and can't wait to get into that. Have a great Christmas everyone, and a very happy and productive New Year. :)

    1. Liz, the bag is gorgeous! It still makes me smile whenever I look at it.

      Also, you've made our day here at the LoveCats -- we hope you enjoy Hot Christmas Nights! Merry Christmas. :-)

  7. I so love the BBC Pride and Prejudice series. Have watched it so many times. I still haven't seen the Dressmaker. I won't be seeing too many movies in the next few years here in Byron as they are knocking down our cinema!!!

    As for your playlist, you must have 'September' by Earth, Wind and Fire. I always play it when I need a lift!

    1. Jen, I can watch the BBC P&P over and over. I never tire of it. As for your cinema being knocked down -- go and see as many movies as you can NOW (I can see Amy going pale at the thought of her local cinema being knocked down)!

      Laughing at September. I have it playing in the background as we speak. Man, those costumes! ;-)

  8. This is a fab post, Michelle, thank you! I've just sent a swag of free samples to my Kindle, thanks to the rec's by you and others in the comments. After a perusal of my Kindle folders, I have come up with:
    Karina Bliss's RISE as my favourite read this year
    I also finally caught up with THE ROSIE PROJECT and loved it.
    THE DRESSMAKER is probably my favourite movie of the year as well, because it was so unexpected and stimulating, visually and emotionally, and I am still thinking about it weeks and weeks later.
    TV: I'm a slow up-taker so thank heavens for boxed sets and Foxtel running old series for catch-ups. This year's favourite was A PLACE TO CALL HOME despite the dark themes. I do love me some grand soap opera storylines!

    1. Oh, Bron, those free samples are just too tempting to resist, aren't they? I'll add Rise to mine (I've heard good things about it from several quarters now). Agree that The Rosie Project was fun.

      It looks like The Dressmaker is featuring on lots of people's Fave Lists. It's one of those movies that stays with you isn't it?

      Ooh, A Place To Call Home! My sister was telling me how much she loved it. I'm slow on the uptake with TV series too, so I have a not-so-secret love of boxed sets as well. Will keep my eye out for it. Great suggestion.