Friday, July 31, 2020

Say hey to Charlotte O'Shay, author of wartime romance "Always, Almond Fudge"

Say hello to my guest this week: Charlotte O'Shay, author of the soon-to-be-released "Always, Almond Fudge", a sweet summertime romance set in the World War II era, published by Wild Rose Press.


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Daydreaming of tropical islands

After my last trip to Bali a couple years ago, I got a little homesick despite only staying a short while. I didn't think I'd want to go back again, but lately, I've been daydreaming of tropical islands and the flavours I grew up with.

A rattan chair beside a splash pool in a Bali resort

Monday, July 27, 2020

Truly, Madly, Deeply — Savage Garden

There's one Savage Garden song in particular that puts me on the verge of tears. It's not this one, but for a very long time, "Truly, Madly, Deeply" was my go-to song for lush romantic feels. I hope you enjoy this blast from the past... I can't believe this song is old enough to be that kind of blast nowadays.

Happy listening!


Friday, July 24, 2020

Have your tastes changed over the years?

My tastes for certain foods have changed over the years. Chocolate in particular has been a journey. When I was little, my favourite was white chocolate. In a supermarket sea of milk chocolate, white chocolate stood out as a novelty, which, when combined with the oh-so-sugary-ness of it, formed a winning combination for a sweet-toothed child.

But was short-lived. I soon drifted back to milk chocolate, choosing sweeter brands over creamy ones, and even dipping into caramel chocolate for a while. And as the years rolled on, my preferences skewed from sweet to creamy, and then developed a taste for the bitterness of dark chocolate.

There's something very clean, both in flavour and mouthfeel, of very dark chocolate. If you can get past the initial sharpness, a different kind of sweetness emerges. It's almost fruity in quality, which makes it such a great pairing for actual pieces of fruit, biscuit, and earthy delicious matcha.

What's your favourite type of chocolate? Is your preference the same as when you were a kid?

Tell me in the comments. Or if you've written about it on your own blog, drop a link to your post so I can check it out.



Wednesday, July 22, 2020

What 3 things do you find most attractive in a person?

I stumbled upon this question weeks ago and have been pondering it since:

What 3 things do you find most attractive in a person?

Assuming the context is romantic partners, my immediate reaction is to call out striking eyes, great hair and a resonant voice. But to be honest, if a guy was an utter jerk and had all of those things, I probably wouldn't even notice.

The physical attraction stereotype notwithstanding, attraction for me often comes down to a person's behaviour and manner, how they approach life, and how safe and comfortable I feel around them. My top 3 things go a little something like this:

Thoughtfulness

It definitely catches my eye when someone's thoughtful and considerate. They notice when something's amiss, and they make a proactive effort to contribute positively to a situation. There's no grand gesture needed to prove this. Sometimes it's as simple as acknowledging you with a hello, picking up after themselves, or listening instead of interrupting.

Self-care

I've known people who let themselves go only to have their loved ones pick up the burden of looking after them. Of course you want to take care of the people you love when they can't do it themselves, but that's very different to when a person can look after themselves but chooses not to, because they've decided it should be someone else's job. When I see someone minding their diet, fitness, mental health and personal hygiene, they always seem extra sparkly to me.

Integrity

This one's probably the most important. It's a dealbreaker if a partner doesn't strive for integrity. Even if they mess up along the way, a sincere commitment to persevering makes all the difference in the world. Love is a journey, after all, and integrity ensures you're both headed in a direction that will sustain the relationship over the long-term.

I guess these are the kinds of things I keep in mind when writing love interest characters too. After all, if the heroine is going to invest her energy in someone, they better be worth it!

Now, what about you? What are the 3 things you find most attractive in a person? Leave your thoughts in the comments. Or if you write about it on your own blog, drop me a link to your post so I can visit.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely — Backstreet Boys

Am I too old to still like the Backstreet Boys? I don't have a teenage crush on them anymore, I promise. But their songs still take me back to a simpler and more energetic time. This song is one of my favourites from them. Hope you like it too. Happy listening!


Friday, July 17, 2020

Interview with D.V. Stone, author of "Rainbow Sprinkles"

This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing D.V. Stone about her writing, the most interesting thing she's researched for her work, and her favourite meme.

D.V. is the author of this year's "Rock House Grill" and the recently released "Rainbow Sprinkles", a second chance romance with light paranormal themes. You can find out more about "Rainbow Sprinkles" in the interview and at the end of this post.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Collections from days gone by

Here are just some of the many things I used to collect when I was younger:
  1. Stamps
  2. Coins
  3. Bottle caps
  4. My Little Pony
  5. Barbie clothes (not the dolls, just the clothes)
  6. Embroidery thread
  7. Notebooks
  8. Cute erasers
  9. Stickers
  10. Teapots
  11. Family photos
  12. JPGs of my favourite celebrities
  13. Animated GIFs
  14. Funny email forwards
  15. Odd socks
  16. Porcelain figures
  17. Baby-Sitters Club books
  18. Soft toys
  19. Sticks (yup!)
  20. Slap bands
Over the years, I realised most of these objects were only valuable to me as seeds for my imagination or emotions. Those stamps inspired me to imagine faraway lands. The celebrity JPGs made me come up with daydream stories and possible (though improbable) futures. And the likes of BSC books transported me to other worlds where you always had good friends, new experiences, and happy endings.

So these days, I collect experiences, memories and little reminders—usually in the form of journal ephemera and photos. The one thing hoarding tendency I've not been able to shake is for notebooks. But given my choice of career, I guess that's no surprise 😄



Monday, July 13, 2020

Pretty Boy — M2M (Mandarin version)

I adored this song when I first heard it many, many years ago. It's the Mandarin version of M2M's "Pretty Boy", sung by M2M themselves at one (or more?) of their performances in Asia. It might have been Singapore, I think, but I don't remember now. Anyway, hope you like it. Happy listening!


Friday, July 10, 2020

What's your name, cat?

I had the urge to join the Feline Friday blog hop this week, and thought I'd share with you one of my favourite Sarah C. Andersen comics. I don't think I've ever had a cat with just one name. Have you? 😆




Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Goals for July 2020

If the last week is anything to go by, the rest of July is going to be a cracker! So I've set easy, achievable goals this month:
  1. Send my July newsletter on time (10th)
  2. Draft 2 chapters for The Guy From The Internet
  3. Draft 1 chapter for The Guy From The Library
  4. Maintain a schedule of 3 blog posts per week
What does your July look like?

Monday, July 6, 2020

Fuzzy feelings


I'm feeling the vibe of this picture today. Photo by Vita Vilcina on Unsplash, found via the One Nice Thing newsletter.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Interview with Caroline Clemmons, author of "An Agent For Judith", a sweet Western historical romance

Visiting this blog today is Caroline Clemmons, author of "An Agent For Judith", a sweet Western historical romance in the multi-author Pinkerton Matchmaker series.

You can learn more about her book at the end of this post. But first, here's the interview...

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Travel around Western Australia

Today's WWBC blog prompt asks about the last place I travelled to and why. But I don't want to talk about that today. The last place I travelled to was a pre-lockdown destination (outside of Australia), and while WA's borders are still closed indefinitely, I feel a lot better thinking about places within my state. Places I could realistically consider visiting again in the near future.

So here are three local places that I've travelled to in my time. Some recently, some not-so-recently, for anyone who'd like to learn a little more about Australia's west side.


Rottnest

I was thirteen when I first visited Rottnest Island, just a mile offshore from Perth's port city of Fremantle. Travelling with my entire year group from school, I swam, walked around the beaches, took photos of the native quokka, and lounged around like most young day-trippers did under the WA summer sun.

As an adult, I've come to learn that "Rotto", along with many other places of note around the country, hides a very disturbing history (the contents of that link are not for the faint of heart) not unlike the stories you may have already heard about the injustices committed during European colonisation.

The island served as a quarantine station for cruise ship passengers throughout WA's lockdown period, and now with low case numbers and transmission rates in our state, it's now open once again to tourists, visitors and overnight guests.


Dunsborough

Of all the holiday destinations in my home state, Dunsborough is easily my favourite. It's a peaceful coastal town a couple hours' drive from the city, great for a beachy weekender in summer, with lovely rainy moods in winter.

According to Wiki, the entire region surrounding this town is recognised as "being one of the oldest continually occupied human habitats anywhere on Earth, with archaeology dating back approximately 40,000 years." The Dunsborough area is traditional Wardandi Noongar country.

I'm very much looking forward to visiting this place again, maybe after the wet season, and go on a Cape Cultural Tour.


Albany

As much as I like Albany, I'm not the biggest fan of going there. The drive down and back can be an odyssey depending on weather and traffic conditions. Though, it's beautiful, five hours is a long time to be sitting in a moving vehicle. Still, I'm thankful for there being such a peaceful town that's, realistically, pretty darn accessible for weekenders like myself.

The town itself is situated between the Wagyl Kaip and Southern Noongar regions of WA. Just an hour or so northeast is the start of the Bluff Knoll hiking trail that goes all the way up to the highest peak in the South West region. I must admit, I found it a psychologically rough hike at first, while you're surrounded by bushland. But once you clear the treetops, the view is stunning, even when the landscape is yellow and brown over summer.

Once I've gotten over the journey, I've always had a lovely time in Albany. It's a great destination for rural, outdoorsy and hiking types.

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