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Audio News

A friend just told me that she’d noticed that the audio book version of my first Berkley book, The Perfect Rake, is now available. I knew the rights had been sold to an audio company, and they’d sent me an image of the cover — isn’t it pretty?—but nobody told me when it was coming out. (The author is often the last to know.)

Just in time for Christmas!
You can buy it here, or on amazon, or try this Universal link which should take you to the on-line store of your preference.

The Perfect Rake was my first book for Berkley and launched  the popular Merridew Sisters series (which all had “Perfect” in the title). It stars Prudence and Gideon, who is still many readers’ favorite hero.

The whole Merridew sisters series will be coming out as audio books, and The Perfect Waltz  (Hope’s story) will be next.

So many people have asked for this series to be put into audio, so I’m delighted it’s happening at last.  I would love all my books to be available in audio but the decision to go into audio is not mine to make— it’s all arranged by my publisher and the audio company.

By the way, The Perfect Rake e-book is still on sale at a reduced price.


My Ideal Thanksgiving

We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in Australia, but I wish we did. A day of reflecting on the things we’re grateful for would be good for us all. (The photo was taken by my friend Barbara Hannay, and is used with permission.)

My ideal Thanksgiving would be non-religious and would be celebrated by people from all cultures and religions, and it would centre around a friends-and-family feast — with no particular style of food.  Of course Americans have their traditional food and their Thanksgiving has a particular history, but in my ideal Thanksgiving people would bring dishes to share, so each feast would be different. And no one person would get stressed about having to cook.  (Though of course if cooking is your thing, go for it. Here’s a thanksgiving feast from an Aussie cook.)

I have no family within a thousand kilometres of me, so my Thanksgiving would be made up of friends, and possibly some strangers. When I was a kid, my older brother (who was an adult) often brought friends without family to our family Christmas. Some were new to this country — I remember a pair of American teachers who came for several Christmases —and a few times he brought a couple of backpackers. It always added to the fun and interest of Christmas, and was very much in the spirit of things. I’d make that part of my ideal Thanksgiving.

Above all, there would be some time in the celebration where we’d each reflect on things we are grateful for. I think that’s such an important thing to do.  I try to do that on a regular basis, and it can make such a difference to how you feel about your day, or about your life. It’s a kind of rebalancing procedure — we might be feeling frustrated and grumpy because of things (and people) encountered that day (or week), but sitting down with a journal (as I do) and listing five things I’m grateful for changes my mood completely. It doesn’t have to be hard — just scrolling through my photos trying to find a few pics to go with this post made me smile so much, so find five things that make you smile and you’re done and feeling happier already.

So that’s my ideal Thanksgiving. What’s yours?
I hope all of you celebrating Thanksgiving (including Canadians who’ve already had theirs) have a happy day.

Rooms with a View

I’ve always loved windows, especially those that frame a view. When I’ve traveled, I’ve often been lucky enough to score a room with a view, and so my photo collection has a lot of photos taken through windows, using the windows as a frame.     I even wrote a blog about my love of windows on the Word Wenches once. It’s here if you’d like to read it.

But today I discovered what might well become a new addiction for me — it’s a site called Window Swap, and it’s simply a live feed from windows around the world. You click on the link and it takes you to a window somewhere in the world — Scotland, Poland, India, The USA, Slovenia, France, Hong Kong, Russia, Holland, Brazil, Turkey, Australia, and many more.

So you watch rain falling through a screen and plants in Mumbai (that’s the photo above), then a view of trees and a busy road in Canberra, hens scratching around a quiet backyard in the US, a courtyard in Brazil, a tranquil scene in Ireland, a cat washing itself in Holland, a park in Poland, sunrise in Istanbul, an apartment view in Mexico, a view over Sydney Harbour, and so on.

Some showed an outlook over city construction sites and high-rise apartments, but the variety was wonderful. And it’s live, so you see places at different times of day. You see things move, and hear the rain on the roof, the wind in the trees, the birds calling, the trafffic . . . 


I found it fascinating. The photos really challenge your perception of how people in different countries live — you get an impression of places, gleaned from TV etc, but honestly, for so many of these, if it didn’t have a label telling you where it was, you couldn’t always guess. 

As well, it was a really peaceful and pleasant way to spend five or ten minutes. I’ve bookmarked the site because I know I’m going to pop back there again. You can also see more of these, though not live on their instagram page. And all of these images are screenshots I took.

Above: Sunrise over Istanbul.

Below: boats in Sweden.

Below: Tucson, reminding me of my friend Vicki’s garden there.

Below: Beautiful bougainvillea in South America (I think Brazil, but I forgot to note down all the places.)

The website again? Window Swap.  Or for a swift impression, without movement or change, or sound, instagram.