Thursday 30 June 2016

The TMI Blog hop. This is me, from A to Z. Even Donald Trump gets a mention...

Just for fun and because Yolanda Renee is a good blogger friend, as are bloggers Debbie and Guilie, I'm participating in the TMI Blog hop. 
I'm always up for a challenge. How about you? Take the dare and join us!
You have until July 13th!

This is me, from A to Z

A: Age
Age is redundant in this world at this time. I feel blessed that I live in a clean, healthy environment and feel as energetic as a twenty year old, even though I'm a few decades older. Still, growing old is better than the alternative--dying young--and that happens all too often.

Image result for old woman running

B: Biggest fear
That I'll be pushing up daisies before all my ideas/books/travel articles, are published. I've devoted most of my life to others, now I feel time slipping through my fingers, gathering momentum, slip sliding away...

C: Current time
12.23 pm, Pacific Time (Brisbane). CNN blaring about the trials and tribulations of Britain's Brexit vote. For a political junkie, heaven to watch and hell to think about the repercussions around the world.

D: Drink you last had
Black tea with milk.

E: Every day starts with
A groan or a high five, depending on what I've got planned, followed by a drink of distilled water, followed by the first of many cups of tea. Then I make a thermos of beautiful Chinese Emperor Green Tea I bought in China to sip all day like the Chinese do. (I'm a heavy drinker!) And then there's my first cafe coffee of the day, so I'd better get dressed...

F: Favorite Song
That's too hard, but I always say 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For' by U2, my favourite band.

G: Ghosts, are they real?
Yes, I know they are, because I was visited by one once, and I've heard a few 'true' ghost stories that can't be discounted. I believe they're out there! 

H: Hometown
Kenilworth, a tiny country one-horse town in the Sunshine Coast hinterland where they make boutique cheeses. It's about 40 kilometres from our beach house at Peregian Beach.

Image result for image of kenilworth queensland

I: In love with
Reading. I'm obsessed. Keep those books coming! If I read half as much, I'd write twice as much, but (((shrugs))) what can I say?

J: Jealous of?
People who actually love the gym!

K: Killed someone?
I can't comment as it's before the courts as we speak. Apparently someone heard me bad mouthing Donald Trump and, well, you just can't do that in this politically correct climate. So, I'm a person of interest should anything happen to the Donald.

Image result for image of donald trump being attacked

L: Last time you cried?
Hmm. I'm not a big crier, but when I cry, I really get into it. Watching those poor refugees living in those camps and trudging across deserts does it for me.

M: Middle name
Claire. Only found out recently that my father wrote 'Clare' on my birth certificate but I've gone with the 'i' all my life.

N: Number of siblings
Too  many to count. My parents took us as we came. So I 'fess I have six bros and 3 sistas. I'm piggy in the middle.

O: One wish
I can't have world peace or the cure for every terminal illness on the planet, so I'll say I wish that people could stop hating each other and inciting others to hate what you hate. And did I do that when I mentioned Donald Trump? I don't hate him, just think it's a strange system that allows someone of his ilk to run for President in what is currently the most powerful country in the world. That could well change with him at the helm. So I wish...

P: Person you last called?
Siam Spicy Thai restaurant to make a reservation for my weekly dose of Thai Red Chicken Curry. Yum!

Q: Question you're always asked
When are you going to stop teaching and write full time? Good question. I take it under advisement.

R: Reason to smile
I've got so much to be thankful for, and so many  have so little.

S: Sounds that annoy you
I can't stand music in the car for some reason. Weird. So when I'm not with him, my husband plays his Johnny Cash full bore. I can hear him coming up the street!

T: Time you woke up
7.45 am. I'm currently on 'holidays' up at the beach so am enjoying the odd sleep in. But as we're doing renos, today there was the carpet man and the pay-tv man is about to arrive to fix our box.

U: Underwear color
Who wants to know? Scary question! Anyway, my underwear is always some shade of pink.

V: Vacation destination
Travelling is an obsession. Next destination--either Cuba, the French canals driving our own hire boat, or back to Paris.

Image result for image french waterways images

W: Worst habit
Procrastinating about everything! 

X: X-Rays you've had
Most recent was on my foot from too much running! All fixed now. Still running.

Y: Your favorite food
Cheesecake! Favourite cheesecake? Toblerone. I've shared the recipe on my blog several times.

Z: Zodiac sign
Libra. That's why I'm a procrastinating nice balanced person. One of the most famous Librans is Vladimir Putin. I rest my case. 

Zodiac Symbols for Libra

Please join us!
The blog-fest is on through July 13th. 
Just add your name and post your answers.

The TMI: 26 Things About Me #Blogfest is all about getting to know you better. 
To participate, please write a comment and add your link to the list.
1. Debbie @The Doglady's Den  8. Robyn @ Just Bits And Pieces  
2. DiscConnected  9. Shady Dell Music & Memories  
3. Tilting at Windmills  10. Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life  
4. Cathy Graham  11. Yolanda Renee  
5. Shilpa Garg  12. C. Lee McKenzie  
6. Chicky  13. DeeDee  
7. Guilie @ Quiet Laughter  14. Denise Covey  

(Submissions close in 15d 3h 42m)

Friday 24 June 2016

Do you have goals bloghop. Novels, novellas, short stories, travel has June been for you?

Earlier this year I joined this regular monthly Friday bloghop hosted by Misha Gericke and Beth Fred. It's a steadily growing list as writers realise it's a good motivation.

The reason I joined this hop was to keep myself honest, and honestly, reflecting on my goals for the month is a good motivation to push myself. So here it's the last Friday of June, ridiculous, so it's time again...

You're more than welcome to join this bloghop. All you need to do is read and follow the guidelines then SIGN UP HERE...

Your goal is the link title. Not your name or your blog's. This is so we can keep track of who's doing what. 

I signed up as Number 13,  'publish a novel and submit short stories' this year. 


I am into the sequel to the second story in my  series Under the Tuscan Moon. Sorry for taking so long for those of you who have asked where is the second novella, but the research is taking longer than I'd planned. I hate reading sequels that are rubbish, written under duress, so bear with me.

In the sequel, my two 'loveable', ahem, vamps, Vipunin and Cuchulcain, have returned to Vipunin's castello where he lived before he was turned. Here Vipunin intends to be a very disruptive influence at harvest time. Ciassia and Sibon  are unaware they harbour a monster in their midst, a monster who will do anything to get what he wants...and he wants Ciassia. 

Last time I gave an update on one of my Paris short stories, Carpe Diem, it was at 25,000 words. This story is lighting up my life and sending electricity through my fingertips as I type, so it is now at 30K+. So I figure my protagonists, Saskia and her lover Raphael, are demanding nothing less than novel length. When you meet these two, you'll know what I mean...
A quick mock up to give you the idea

Currently I'm sorting the chapters as there's a PAST and PRESENT element. I have a further motivation to get the structure right (even as I continue to write up their marriage in country France). I'm lucky to be attending a Margie Lawson immersion class in Brisbane in early August. I've worked through some of her online tutorials and this woman knows a thing or two about writing/editing.  As Margie says on her web page: "EXPECT to work for three full days (plus the afternoon and evening you arrive) dissecting, analyzing, and deep editing." I feel very blessed to have strong-armed my way into her seminar. I'm going to use Carpe Diem as my piece to work on with Margie.

As regular visitors and blogger friends know, I wear a travel writer's hat. Well, I've been travelling tropical North Queensland, so haven't achieved more than taking photos and making notes. No time to work on my travel articles, but it won't take long to rectify this now that I'm back home. 

This is still waiting for November's NaNoWriMo. 

JOIN US FOR THE AUGUST CHALLENGE!Have done some guest posts, at Chrys Fey's in particular, in which I mention WEP's August challenge, GARDENS. I spent some time meandering around the Remembrance Gardens in Townsville. I felt a story coming on...Please join us in August if you love gardens--flash fiction, non-fiction, poetry, photographs, artwork...

So overall, June has been very low key as far as writing goes, but you've got to live your life. Major renovations at our beach house (next year our principal residence) are slowing me down writing-wise. I'm helping with the painting now. It'll be worth it when I can lock myself away in Den's Den which is about to be painted. Filling the bookshelves will be delightful.

I READ A LOT but haven't reviewed much this month. I'm concentrating on bloggers' books on my kindle. Just finished The House by the Lake by Ella Carey, an Aussie writer. Delightful! Already topped some of Amazon's best-seller lists. Set in Berlin and the US and follows her Paris Time Capsule based on the true story of an abandoned apartment in Paris. 

Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer.– Ray Bradbury

How are you going with your 2016 goals? I'd love to hear from you. Please share in comments or join the hop.

Friday 10 June 2016

I'm over at Write With Fey being interviewed by Chrys Fey on scintillating subjects like Paris, WEP, blogging and more...

Thanks for coming by!

For the next few days I'll be over at Chrys Fey's being interviewed on topics of her choice. Luckily she was interested in my Paris obsession and my love of WEP

Please note Yolanda Renee's and my next WEP challenge...GARDENS. Surely all of you in the Northern Hemisphere are so excited to have winter behind you and the gardens blooming. Been seeing some of your great flower shots on Instagram just as we go into winter Down Under (but nothing like YOUR winter! Bliss!) 

Here's our blurb at Write...Edit...Publish for the GARDENS challenge:

This challenge will be a great opportunity for the photographers, but also for writers attempting to describe the most beautiful gardens ever seen. For example, nonfiction on 'The Best Gardens in the World', or historical--'The Hanging Gardens of Babylon', travel- 'The Lingering Garden at Suzhou' or something similar for travelers. Also, as always our fictional pieces with a romantic/unromantic garden scene, or photographs of mind-blowing gardens to motivate people...

Sign up...August 1st for posting between August 17 - 19. 

So..,if you can afford the time, please click HERE and pop on over to Write With Fey. Both Chrys and I would love to see you!

My sister is about to hit Paris for the first time! Pity about the garbage littering the streets...remember seeing and smelling that in Naples (Napoli) in Italy's south where it is a way of life thanks to Mafia control. But the French always fight back when the government tries to change the status quo...rightly or wrongly.

Wednesday 1 June 2016

#IWSG post--Chrys Fey gjves us 5 steps to defeat insecurities and also launches her latest release with The Wild Rose Press, Seismic Crimes--and a GIVEAWAY!

Time for us to throw our insecurity hats into the ring for the month of June, or to tell us how to overcome our insecurities.

First Wed of Every Month
Many thanks to Alex J Cavanaugh and his awesome co-hosts for the June 1 posting of the IWSG will be Murees Dupe, Alexia Chamberlynn, Chemist Ken, and Heather Gardner! 

Over to my special guest, Chrys Fey...

Tips to Defeat the Insecurity Monster

Writers are no strangers to insecurity. That’s why Alex created this nifty group, right? That’s also why there’s so many of us.

During the course of writing and publishing a book, we can encounter many insecurities. We question our writing skills, agonize over our lack of writing time and even our writing speed. Then we stress over revisions, critiques, and edits. Querying and submitting brings an all new insecurity to the table with the threat of rejections and the torturous waiting game. Once we move on to the publishing gig, new insecurities dawn: release day, marketing, finding readers, getting reviews, and stressing over sales and bad reviews. It is a lot to deal with, especially back-after-back, but the good news is that none of these are insurmountable.

Every write experiences these same insecurities and struggles. While knowing that doesn’t help us in the moment or show us how to deal with them, it should relieve us in knowing that we’re not alone. And because we’re not the first (and won’t be the last) to face these insecurities, there are countless writers/authors out there who can offer us guidance, advice, and help when we need it. One good place to look for that is within our group.

When I was insecure about the release of Seismic Crimes, many IWSGers signed up for my release day promo, blog tour and supported my Thunderclap campaign. In the past, IWSGers rooted me on when I was going through personal problems, offered to beta read for me when I had no one and gave me courage.

I wish there was a sure-fire way to beat insecurities as they come, but there isn’t. There are, however, some techniques you can do to help you move past them.

1. Take a deep breath.

You’re stronger than any insecurity you will ever encounter.

2. Give yourself a break.

We’re not perfect. We make mistakes, and we have to learn.

3. Take a step back.

Put your book away for a few days so you can return to it with fresh eyes. Also try to look at it as an outsider (a reader, not the writer).

4. Make a plan.

When you’re facing an obstacle that seems bigger than you, break it down into smaller (manageable) steps. Then tackle each one at a time.

5. Ask for help.

After you’ve done all you could with editing, promoting and marketing, it’s time to seek help. There’s no shame in doing this. It’ll take a lot of stress off you, and you’ll be surprised at how many people want to support you.

While writing and preparing for the release of Seismic Crimes, I did each of these techniques for every insecurity I encountered. And guess what? I’m secure now! There are some things in the future that may bring new insecurities (book signings/events, etc.), but I’ll do these steps and I’ll defeat it!

Title: Seismic Crimes
Author: Chrys Fey
Series: Disaster Crimes Series (Book Two)
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Format: Digital and Print
Page Count: 282




An Internal Affairs Investigator was murdered and his brother, Donovan Goldwyn, was framed. Now Donovan is desperate to prove his innocence. And the one person who can do that is the woman who saved him from a deadly hurricane—Beth Kennedy. From the moment their fates intertwined, passion consumed him. He wants her in his arms. More, he wants her by his side in his darkest moments.

Beth Kennedy may not know everything about Donovan, but she can’t deny what she feels for him. It’s her love for him that pushes her to do whatever she has to do to help him get justice, including putting herself in a criminal’s crosshairs.

When a tip reveals the killer's location, they travel to California, but then an earthquake of catastrophic proportions separates them. As aftershocks roll the land, Beth and Donovan have to endure dangerous conditions while trying to find their way back to one another. Will they reunite and find the killer, or will they lose everything?

My PhotoChrys Fey is the author of Hurricane Crimes, Book One in the Disaster Crimes series, as well as these releases from The Wild Rose Press: 30 Seconds, Ghost of Death, and Witch of Death. She is an administrator for the Insecure Writer's Support Group and has participated in the Blogging from April A to Z Challenge. 
When Fey was six years old, she realized she wanted to be a writer by watching her mother pursue publication. At the age of twelve, she started writing her first novel, which flourished into a series she later rewrote at seventeen. 
Fey lives in Florida and is always on the lookout for hurricanes. She has four adopted cats who keep her entertained with their antics, and three nephews who keep her entertained with their antics. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and through her blog, Write with Fey. She loves to get to know her readers! 



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Thanks for talking to us about insecurities, Chrys. Here's my best wishes to you for an avalanche of sales for Seismic Crimes! 

  • Please leave a comment and wish Chrys well!