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Last Chance

It’s almost your last chance to grab an e-book of The Perfect Waltz at $1.99. 

The special price stops on 16th February.

The special price is available on all e-book sites, and as well as North America it’s also available in the UK and Europe and Australia/NZ. The price is slightly different in each country, but it’s still at least half (or more) of the normal price, so grab it while you can.

It’s one of my “Merridew Sisters” books, and if you check, you might find that The Perfect Rake (Book #1) is also at a reduced price.

Society rogue Sebastian Reyne’s search for a practical wife comes to a crashing halt when he dances with the effervescent Hope Merridew–and is seduced into a delicious intrigue of sensuality and desire.

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001LRLJTM/ or find your preferred e-book store here – https://books2read.com/u/mZa11E .

A Valentine's Grinch

I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day; in fact there are times when I veer towards Valentine’s grinch status. When I was growing up it wasn’t a “thing” in Australia. We didn’t make or receive cards, and I was completely unaware of it. (Thank goodness — it seems so competitive, and must be agony for teens.)

These days it’s so commercialized, and often the expectations are huge. Thou must take thy beloved out for a “romantic” (and expensive) dinner, there must be red roses, and chocolate etc. I have no objection to chocolate of course (though it should come at all times of the year) but those red Valentine’s roses are exquisitely formed but scentless, and for me, a scentless rose is a rose without soul. Those roses are, for me, symbolic of what’s wrong with Valentine’s Day — so much of it is for show. I’d much rather a bunch of imperfect roses that smell glorious. Like these.

Now I’m all for celebrating love — love in all its forms, not just romantic love — and I’m not saying all Valentine’s celebrations are for show — some good friends of mine got married on Valentine’s Day and I know others who proposed on Valentine’s Day — it’s just that the commercial aspects seem to dominate, and commercial interests are dictating how love should be celebrated. And it’s both expensive and narrow. 

Declarations of love should not be by the calendar. People have their own personal calendars that they should celebrate their love by — first date, first kiss or first time of making love, even a quarrel and make-up could be celebrated, as well as weddings, birthdays—the list is endless. 

My parents were romantic souls and Mum and Dad demonstrated their love all the time in various ways. I remember some of my teenage friends being embarrassed when they walked into the kitchen and found my parents kissing, or dancing to the radio. They were in their late 50’s so to my friends they were old. But even in their 80’s they still kissed and cuddled and danced together.

We kids all grew up in that environment and those expectations stayed with us. So for me, a perfect scentless red rose in a cellophane tube just doesn’t cut it. As for those marriage proposals made in public before an audience, I hate them. Talk about pressure to say yes! So unfair and not at all romantic, in my view.

But the other thing Valentine’s Day does is to exclude people who are not part of a couple, and what sort of a celebration of love does that?  That’s why I call myself a “Love Actually” kind of writer, because in my books I don’t just write about romantic love between the main couple but also about other kinds of love — a parent’s love of a child or children, the love of family, of siblings, of friends and comrades, love of country, even love of animals. 

So that’s why I’m a Valentine’s grinch. But feel free to convince me otherwise. And if you do celebrate Valentine’s Day, let us know how.

Pot Plants

No, not that kind of pot plant. *g* I’m talking about regular indoor plants. I had a big clear out of the living room last week — see my last post re decluttering — and the room looked a bit empty.

So I went out and bought some plants. I know, I know, I’m supposed to be decluttering. Shhhh.

On the way to my usual nursery I came across a pop-up plant sale and got a couple of plants for a decent price. One was a “magic bean”plant, which looked really interesting, with the leafy stems growing out of  fat, round beans sitting on the top of the soil. I looked them up when I got home and it turns out that they’re seedlings of a really big tropical tree that’s native to Northern Australia. And the “beans” will go brown and shrivel up. Still the leaves are glossy and green and I really like the look of them. So we’ll see how they go. I don’t think I’ll be planting them out in the garden any time soon.

Then today I dug out some pretty ceramic pots to sit my plastic potted plants in. They’re all old ones I’ve had around the house and in the garden. Just needed a scrub and a plastic bag as a temporary lining, et voila!

They have holes in the base, which I’ll block permanently — they’re going to be containers, not actual pots for growing — but I’m pretty pleased I still had them. (So much for decluttering!)

It’s years since I kept indoor plants. I used to have lots, but then I got tired of the difficulty of getting them looked after when I went away, and slowly I either planted them out or, I dunno — gave them away or let them die probably. Anyway it’s nice to have some plants in the house again.

When I told a friend I’d bought some plants she told me I needed to put my magic bean plant and some others in my Feng Shui corner — and she explained what that was. So here are most of my plants in their pretty containers on an old table in my Feng Shui corner. Nice, eh?

Do you have indoor plants? What are your favorites?