Monday, 31 December 2007

What lies ahead…

Today’s quote –
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing
To keep our faces towards change and believe like free
spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
-- Helen Keller

My wish for you in 2008….

-The love of your life if you think that will make you happy
-The courage to be alone and not worry what people think
-To be whatever you want and need to be regardless of what the norm is
-To know you are unique and beautiful no matter what your perceived imperfections to others may be.

-To be able to find your keys the first place you look.
-An unexpected phone call from an old friend you have been longing to hear from.
-All your favourite songs on the radio just when you are ready to sing out loud
-The nerve to go against the tide when you know what you are doing is right for you
-That you’ll take a chance and risk what you have for something infinitely better
-If you fall on your arse, you’ll get straight back up and have another go at whatever knocked you down
-To let go of past mistakes and accept you’re going to make a lot more because you’re human
-That you always retain the ability to look past the superficial and into the substance
-That your favourite treat is on sale just when you want to treat yourself
-To look at yourself and be proud of who you are despite what any other bugger says.
-To laugh when crap things happen because life’s just like that. Laugh and move on.


What a year - 2 jobs, 11 book releases, a zillion mistakes made, a dozen stands taken, many tantrums thrown, a plethora of evil thoughts had, many fantastic friendships made, many people pissed off at me, lots of sad stuff, lots of laughter, thousands of moments when I thought ‘why did I do that?’ and yet I am still standing and I am still me and I have the absolute belief that I will do it all again in 2008 and enjoy every second of it. What will 2008 bring? Who the hell knows but whatever it is I am ready for it. Bring it on.

My resolution…

I resolve to make none as I won’t follow them. I’ll not big on following rules so I’m hardly going to follow something I know I will break. But I understand why people make them. It’s all about goals. My own personal goals continually change as the goal posts keep moving just when I think I know where they are. So, if anything, I will resolve to remain fast on my feet and jump onto whatever opportunities present themselves.

Resolutions from some of the smart authors who have been on the Amarinda blog this year.

I don't do resolutions. But I have a goal for next year--and my goal is to try to stick to my writing schedule better. Second goal is to walk everyday.

1- Exercise one hour, five times a week
2- Make more time for DH, Mom, and the grandkids
3-Pay more attention to my health.
4-Stop munching when nervous. Walk instead -

Hone my writing skills -

To learn to trust again. -

Yep. I resolve not to make a new year's resolution as I will only break it anyway. Why create added stress? -

See? As people we’re not that different are we?

I am sure Anny and Kelly will be fonts of wisdom today so go check ‘em out. Also check out Molly on to realize we are human beings and we should treat each other accordingly even if we piss each other off occasionally.

I hope 2008 is the year you get what you need and don’t let anyone stop you from getting it.

Best Wishes

Marlow’s Curse – release March 08…a sneak peak…

The Blurb…

Legend has it that if a St Michael witch is not willing no man can take her without suffering the consequences. Sybylla is the last St Michael witch. She knows that when a St Michael witch falls in love her lover becomes her weakness and the witch becomes his downfall. Sybylla will not allow her fate to destroy a man. But some men are hard to resist.

Marlow is not just any man. He is a vampire, cursed centuries ago to wander aimlessly through life believing he does not deserve more. When he meets Sybylla one moonlit night two lonely worlds collide. Marlow is aware of the legend but that doesn’t mean he is going to let a myth get in the way of deep enduring passion.

But Marlow is not the only one who wants Sybylla. A demon pursues her wanting vengeance and Scar will stop at nothing to make her pay. Will Sybylla sacrifice her own future happiness to vanquish the demon and save Marlow? Can a willing witch and a cursed vampire beat the odds?

The Excerpt...

“I’m busy. Move on vampire.” She had to fight this, even though in her heart she knew it was a fight she was destined to lose. But sometimes they were the best and most important battles.
Marlow threw back his head and laughed in great amusement, his razor-sharp fangs glinting in the moonlight.
“You’re a tough one.”
“You have no idea.” Sybylla was no stranger to supernatural beings. After all she was a witch and she cared for them as part of her work. She healed those who society feared or looked down on. Sybylla gave aid willingly and unstintingly. However she did not play games. “If you are looking for a victim you have come to the wrong place.” She had to admit that she was surprised to see a vampire so far from the bright city lights. Sybylla knew of only one other vampire who steered clear of the city and that was Asher Marriott, the vampire she was helping to change his life. “My blood is my own and not freely given.”
“You fascinate me.” Marlow looked her up and down as if trying to assess the true measure of who he was dealing with. “You are fire and ice, beauty and spirit.”
Sybylla snorted in derision.
“Do most women usually fall for such crap?” They probably fell big time when he smiled that sexy smile. I will not fall. I will not stumble. Sybylla knew if she kept chanting that in her mind she would feel better when she took the inevitable fall.
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Sunday, 30 December 2007

The Sunday groan…

Quote for today – It is better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all your life --Sister Elizabeth Kenny

I am in pain. It’s my own stupid fault of course. I have the inability to ask for help when I may possibly need it. I can do everything myself. I am one of those people who are adamant in their actions – “no, don’t help me – I have it under control.” I am woman….in pain…but still woman. I am walking around like one of the puppet characters from The Thunderbirds.

Yesterday, I had a search and destroy mission in the garden. Once a year I have a massive prune of the large trees in my yard. I have many, many trees (melaleuca and grevillea) –probably too many but I am doing my bit for the environment. The ozone is still intact over Chez Amarinda. Anyway, I have one of those extension saws that you use to cut large branches that are way up high in the air. It requires much practice and balance and the ability to run when a humongous branch comes crashing down towards you. I did that all day. Yes, I could have asked for help but I have the innate belief that I can do everything myself – hence why I am in pain.

I am a great believer in the equality of the sexes. Women do some things better than men and men have a physical strength most women will never have. It’s a fact. I could have used one of those men yesterday but for the asking for help thing. I expect one day I will ask and those who know me will be gobsmacked and unsure how to answer. I’ll admit I kind of like it when men get that ‘what does she mean by that’ look on their face. So there it is I am annoying and independent and yet I love me. Most importantly the trees are pruned. Which is good because there are some really high winds blowing in the Sunshine State (Queensland) at the moment. It’s a low or a front or something. You know, one of those squiggly lines on the television weather map thingy. If I paid more attention in Science at high school I could tell you. But alas I didn’t. I spent most of high school waiting for the bell to ring or avoiding sport.

Note for Scorpios…the Sunday newspaper says “The new year ahead will be a happy one.” That’s good enough for me. I will believe that. Not like they’d lie…

Why this picture? There is something about dark, brooding men that fascinates me. This is actor Richard Armitage. He plays Sir Guy of Gisborne on the BBC series of Robin Hood. Why do I have him on the blog? I just wanted to. He’s just so very yummy and that’s reason enough.

I have been reading a few blogs about e-books and romance writing in general. I love that fact that people have opinions and are not scared to nail their colours to the masthead and give ‘em. My own opinion on e-books? Well I write them. I like them. I believe there are good ones and crap ones – as there are good and bad paperbacks out there. I always judge stuff on its merits. I would never dismiss anything out of hand because that’s the popular thing to do. As for writing and reading romance. It’s an escape. People can zone out for a couple of hours and not think about all the crap going on in their lives. Don’t we love and deserve that? Sure, you know 99.9% of the time there is going to be a happy ending. And no, the hero generally does not kill the heroine nor does he leaves her heartbroken at the end. And yes, the bad guy will most likely get his comeuppance. That’s what romance is. It’s happily ever after stuff. Read it or not. Write it or not. Have an opinion on it or not. That’s what makes writing and books interesting. Love it, hate it, give an opinion – whatever – its ambivalence that makes us boring.

On that note…here’s an excerpt from both an e-book and a romance…gasp! What the hell – let’s live dangerously and controversially I say.

The Goddess Within – Book 1 of the Goddess Grind series

The present

Mardi Keller screamed as the orgasm drove her face forward onto the floor.
“Oh God,” she panted out loud as Stryker continued to thrust hard and deep into her from behind. She clutched at the short pile of the carpet and thanked God that fate had brought this delicious man her way. Mardi pushed up and back against him feeling the heat of his balls as they slapped against her arse. Her knees were wobbly and her heart was pounding but she wanted all this man had to give. At the last hard thrust of his cock, Mardi shrieked in pleasure and fell to the floor gasping for breath. “Bloody hell you are good.”
Stryker laughed and dropped down on the ground beside Mardi, pulling her into his arms.

“You are beautiful,” he murmured against her lips as he kissed her softly.
“I have my moments.” And this was definitely one of them. Mardi looked into his eyes and for a split second saw her future.
“Marry me Miss Mardi.”
Mardi’s eyes snapped open with amazement. Of all the things she expected to hear this was not one of them. She pushed away from him in shock.
“What? Are you nuts?”

Hmm…is he nuts? Maybe, maybe not…

Anny is back at her home in downtown USA and Kelly is somewhere is Minnesota or a maybe having a soda, I’m not sure which. Check ‘em out on and And, as always I will be back tomorrow to pontificate on nothing in particular because that’s what I do.
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Saturday stuff...

You can be a better you for 2008…

This is some of my Amarinda junk email. If you believe it my life will be fantastic in 2008 if I just invest in snake oil….

Why don’t you buy drugs to be healthy?
Interesting - this is an email from someone who appears to be somewhere in South America. The drugs that they mention can do wondrous things. Funnily enough most of them are not approved by most governments – apparently that’s due to the fact they are so ‘unique.’ Hard to believe miraculous stuff this does not instantly get approved in order to save mankind.

Partner available now! – Yes, apparently I can get me a man right now and all they ask is you supply them your credit card details and the man of your dreams/nightmares will appear. Gee, that is awfully tempting isn’t it – not.

Make sure your man can satisfy you in 2008. My there are a lot of gadgets out there that supposedly increase penis size to alarming proportions. But here’s the thing, we all know the only thing that’s going to get better is the coffers for this company. I say give them a big swerve and avoid wasting your money. The only thing a man needs to do to satisfy me is provide an endless supply of Tim Tams and disappear when I give him the ‘get thee gone look’. I am a simple soul.

A real woman has real breasts…okay, are real breasts different to normal breasts? So if you have normal boobs does this mean you are not a real women or less of a woman? Do you really give a rat’s arse? Apparently, reading their advert, bigger is better because you will attract more men that way. It’s not like they would lie is it? Though how big would you want to be? It sounds like it would require another new bra with extra heavy duty hydraulic lift system. I’ll think I’ll stay as I am thanks all the same.

Out of a 100 men you will meet –

65 will be married
20 will be gay
5 won’t be interested in you
5 you won’t be interested in due to their haircut
5 could be the man of your dreams

Increase your chances now….
Okay – married and gay I get. I also understand the some people are never going to be attracted to other people – however – do these nitwit advertisers truly believe love is based on a haircut? “Oh no, I couldn’t love him – he has a crew-cut.” Pluh-lease… So that apparently leaves 5 men that you could possible have. Is that at the same time? How would that work? On a rotational system? How exhausting would that be? Or do you get to chose out of the possible 5? What if you make the wrong choice? Is it a do-over? Sounds all too hard for me. And how exactly does this company

“Increase your chances?” Magic wand or a wad of money?

Lose weight so he will love you more – what? WHAT? ‘Not even going to respond to this as it is stupid beyond belief and if by some chance you are with such a shallow-arsed man – leave him – you’re too good for him.

Don’t you just hate it…

…. when you get bitten on the arse? Most annoying especially when you are outside gardening and it means you have to dash quickly to a enclosed area and rip off your shorts and shake ‘em out to dislodge said biter. Green ants – I hate ‘em. Little bastards

Lust in Time…. What does it have in common with being bitten on the arse…nothing…but everything doesn’t have to have a meaning.

“What are you afraid of, Arabella?”
“Not you, that’s for damn sure.” Any other man would have backed off by now. Arabella was very good at repelling unwanted advances. But of course Garrett was not just any man.
“I have been told I am quite a pleasant and handsome companion.”
“And of course you believe this,” murmured Arabella back, looking into the flinty grey eyes that held a teasing gleam to them. Oh yes, this man was an accomplished flirt. However she was not in 1888 to fall for any honeyed lines delivered by charming men, regardless of how attractive they were. Arabella sighed softly in frustration. Garrett was the persistent type and she was the stubborn type. It was a case of an irresistible force meeting an immovable object. One of them had to give and it wasn’t going to be her. “Let’s cut to the chase. We had sex. I enjoyed it. You have an awe-inspiring cock. But I am not here to pick up a husband or to be with you. I am sure there are dozens of local girls who would love to drop their bloomers if you smiled your charming smile at them but for me it’s not going to happen again.” I am immune to you. If she said it enough times she would believe it.
“’Awe inspiring cock’?” Garrett repeated her words back to her. “I did not realise just how much you enjoyed it.”
Arabella mentally built another wall around herself. Ignore the smile. Ignore the eyes. Ignore your rapid pulse and get a grip, she told herself. This man was not for her.
“Listen clearly. I am not interested. Sex with you was a one-off.” What would the church members think if they heard this conversation? Not that Arabella particularly cared. She was not sticking around long enough to be part of the congregation.
“Actually we had sex three times,” Garrett corrected her helpfully.
“Whatever!” Arabella snapped out softly between her teeth. “But I do not belong here or to you.”
“So you are going to fight this all the way?”
“I’m not fighting anything.” Okay she was but that was for her to deal with. Arabella did not need Garrett knowing any more than he had to.
“What I don’t understand is why you are fighting this attraction between us. You have told me you have no other lover in your life. You and I fit together so well it’s only natural I want you with me.” Garrett’s voice was earnest and sincere. “I love you and I want to marry you, honey.”
Arabella slapped him on the arm in frustration.
“What the hell is wrong with you? You don’t marry someone just because you have sex!” She was trying very hard to keep her voice low but Garrett was not making it easy for her to retain any sort of ladylike calm.
“Why don’t you want to get married?”
“Because I don’t have to.” Was the man thick or just pushy? “I am a liberated woman who can do what she wants.”

“Maybe in 2008 you can but this is 1888. You have no money of your own and you are a spinster,” Garrett said pointing out the grim realities that faced women in the 1800’s. “What woman would not want to marry in those circumstances?”
How was it that this man knew instinctively every button to push to get a reaction from her?
“You think you are going to somehow save me from social ruin?”
“Can you afford to knock back suitors at your age?”
“Oh! I am not old!” Arabella spat back, rounding on Garrett. What a nerve he had! Age was never an issue to her yet it annoyed her that this man seemed to say it in such a way to annoy her. “And I am not on some quaint little shelf where spinsters are euphemistically shoved. How old are you?”
“Arabella!” Amy Louisa gasped in shock, breaking out of her reverie with Adam Wade. She looked stunned. “I have never heard a woman discuss anything so personal like that with a man.”
Arabella knew Amy Louisa would be shocked at just how personal she was with her brother.
Garrett smiled fondly at his sister’s shocked face.
“I am thirty-five years of age, Arabella,” he replied urbanely.
“Well, Mr. Robillard, you are on that shelf then,” replied Arabella, ignoring the pale face of Amy Louisa beside her. Yes, she knew it was 1888 and she had had every intention of acting accordingly but damn it this man brought out every 2008 instinct within her.
“Age is different for a man.”
Arabella gave an unladylike snort of derision.
“And that hasn’t changed much at all in one hundred and twenty years.”

Anny – and Kelly are still on the road somewhere in the USA but take a squiz at their blogs and the ones to the left and see what fascinating tidbits they have to offer you. And if you want drama and pathos go to Musings of a Cover Artist. It’s not for the faint hearted.
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Friday, 28 December 2007

OMG! We have no condom!

I had just finished writing the best romantic sex scene I had ever written and it suddenly occurred to me – the hero did not have on a condom. Bugger. I had to then go back and re-read what I had just written and work out where I could slide a condom into the action. Most annoying yet it is necessary when it comes to writing first time sex for characters. It’s hard enough trying to work out where hands and legs should be let alone getting a piece of rubber into the action. No, I’m not going to get all preachy about safe sex, suffice to say, you’re risking much not using a condom with a new lover. But that’s your choice.

There is always great debate in the romance writing world about the need to write condoms into the action. I don’t have a problem with it as realistically condoms, penises and sex just are what they are. Until the characters are in a committed relationship – sex is not on until it’s on. I think Julia Roberts'

character in Pretty Woman summed it up when she said. “I’m a safety girl.” But various authors have various ways of getting out of using them on their characters. Some set their stories in futuristic worlds whilst others have their characters live in the realms of fantasy where disease and unwanted pregnancies are not an issue. One author I know sets her books in the 1980’s where the pill was apparently enough to stop anything major happening to her characters. While I respect her writing, I can’t agree with that. I travelled a lot overseas in the 80’s and AIDS was a huge concern then as it is now.

I did once unintentionally embarrass a man dreadfully when I was working in London in Superdrug (Supermarket chain). I was called to give a price check but I could not see what the other staff member was holding up at the other end of the store so I yelled out –

A - “What is it?”
She yelled back “Durex”. The man went red.
A- I yelled back “Oh condoms, what size?” The man scarpered from the store. Oh dear. No sex that night for him I suspect.

Anyway, to each their own. Put it on, don’t put it on. Write it in or not. I totally understand why Publishers want to see it written in. They, along with the author, have a responsibility to present a book that reflects issues that affect society even if it is a fictitious romance. I also understand the argument that fiction is just that. It’s an escape and the rules of the normal world do not necessarily apply. I’m not sure what a reader thinks but I would like to know.

So, I wrote the condom in. I like to try and make it a team event with the hero and heroine getting that pesky bit of latex on and whatever interesting things develop from all that touching, tugging and rolling. It’s better to write it in now than have my diligent editor say “Where’s the condom, Amarinda?” I am a trial to the woman I know. If it’s not condoms and Aussie slang then its head banging – no, that has nothing to do with condoms per se.

Speaking of condoms…Thief of Mine excerpt – **Be warned – sexual content may offend.

Stella smiled wickedly at both men. It was kind of funny that they wanted her all hot, naked and depraved as long as she was comfortable.
“Condom.” Stella held her hand out to Kit. She wanted to be fucked now.
Kit felt around in his pocket and swore.
“Frig! I don’t have one.”
“I do man!” The cleaner reaching into his bulging pants and pulled out a small foil packet and handed to Stella.
Stella leaned in and kissed the man’s cheek. The man groaned at such a simple action. He grabbed his crotch in response. Stella smiled at his reaction. He may be making the rules but he was just a man who could easily be brought to his knees by the thought of sex. She opened the packet and removed the condom.
“It’s black.” And wickedly ribbed, not that Kit needed any extra help but those ribs looked awfully thick and stimulating. She turned to the man “You’re not black.” What was the point of a black condom if you were white? She looked down at Kit’s tumescent cock. It would be interesting it seeing it all black though. Maybe there was a point after all. And those ribs…

“The ladies like ’em black.”
Stella didn’t want to imagine him and the “ladies”. She just wanted Kit inside her, black, white or brindle. She grabbed his cock and rolled on the ribbed condom. Oh my. There was something to be said about black and it wasn’t always slimming.
Today's quote - Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere
--Helen Gurley Brown

On that naughty note, please check out the pure of heart Anny and Kelly on and
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Thursday, 27 December 2007

The Thursday ramble on...

What the?

I was exercising – puke, spew – this morning and there was this American early breakfast show on. They were talking about the best way to return unwanted Christmas presents and get the money. Apparently, the minute you are handed a present and you see that you hate it, you have to refrain for opening it in any way so you can be assured of getting all the money for it as there is a ‘re-packaging fee’ if you open it. What the? I know I am a compete heathen but my understanding of Christmas is giving and not expecting to cash in on unwanted presents. Is this correct? Seems all very tacky to me…this leads me to…

Pet peeves...

- Child proof lids – I think you should be asked do you have a child? If not then you get the product without the impossibly hard lid to remove.

- People who have the inability to say thank you and please – what do good manners cost you?

- Pushing ahead of someone else to get served – don’t do it around me. Save yourself the embarrassment of being called on it

- Hearing someone describe someone else as “she’d be attractive if she’d lose weight.” Again, avoid humiliation to yourself and don’t say it

- Cigarette butts – smoke if you want to. That’s up to you but throw the butts in the bin. Why the hell do we need to walk around in your garbage?

Amarinda highlights today …

- bought champagne and a 3 kilo bag of carrots
- Interviewed a potential employer. Not sure how I feel about them. I was fantastic as always.
- Fell over a pile of shoes in my bedroom, split my lip and bruised my chin. It was a pretty good stack (fall) and I would give it a 7 out of 10. No, I wasn’t drunk and eating carrots.
- Broke my Rocky Horror Picture Show cassette tape that I have had for yonks (years). Quel tragedy! How am I supposed to listen to Dammit Janet now?
- Cheered when the Postie zoomed past on his motorbike as that meant no mail and that equalled no bills. Woo hoo!
-Listened to an acquaintance who rang to tell me how bored she was. After five minutes I told her to get a grip and that no one was guaranteed excitement in life. She hung up in a huff. Problem solved. She is boring.

- Exercised for another 30 minutes and watched some cute American sitcom while I did. I have resolved never to be
- Ate 6 carrots. Tonight I will wander out in the backyard and check my night vision. I should have x-ray vision by now.
- Was gob smacked that Patch is back on Days of Our Lives. Didn’t he die 15 years ago?
- Did absolutely nothing meaningful - that I recognized it wasn’t meaningful is probably something meaningful in itself if you get what I mean.
-Wrote lots, procrastinated much and wandered aimlessly around the house while I tried to think up words. Managed to get pukeable, bunny boiler and penially challenged into the book. Quite pleased with that. My Editor is on hols so it’s a surprise for when she gets back
- Thought about cleaning – but the feeling passed thankfully.

Justin and Miranda in Because I Can…

“Hello Ellen,” Miranda said as she stepped out of the lift on the eighth floor. Ellen looked mighty pissed off at her. It appeared she had not gotten over the naked Justin Hale thing. Miranda had barely gotten over it herself.
“You can go in,” the woman snapped.
Okay then, no Christmas card from Ellen this year. Always good to know where you stood with people.
“Anyone else in there? Have you got a spare whip and chair?”
Ellen ignored her.
Miranda straightened her shoulders and knocked extremely softly on the door. No answer. Excellent. Time to scurry home.
“I’ll come back later. Ellen, please pencil me in for six months from now.” Miranda turned to flee, in the most dignified and ladylike way possible that did not include flinging her shoes off and running for her life. The office door flung open.
Justin Hale smiled at Miranda Marshall. Oh, the plans he had.
“Hello Miranda.” He courteously, yet firmly placed his hand on her arm. “So nice of you to return to see me.”
“Like I had a choice,” she almost said. The dangerous gleam in his eye would have sent a saint into a panic. Miranda was no saint.
“I can’t stay long as I’m now on overtime and I don’t want to eat into Promptel’s profits.” Even primly said, the words did not sound the slightest bit sincere.
Justin knew Miranda did not give a rat’s ass about company profits.
“I don’t mind paying overtime for you, Miranda.” He turned to look at his personal assistant. “Ellen, I won’t need you for the rest of the day.” He pulled Miranda inside the office.
Ellen directed a nasty little look at Miranda. Clearly the woman had no sense of humor.
“Won’t you need Ellen to take notes or something?” Miranda asked as the door slammed shut behind them and it was only her and Justin.
“You are a bitch,” Justin said succinctly.
“And your point is?” And why was he running his finger back and forth across her arm with that wicked look in his eyes? It was awfully distracting behavior for a business meeting.
“You upset Ellen.”
“If she saw you naked then you upset her, not me.” Miranda turned to pull away from him. He was too close, too hot and too damn male. “I gotta go home I need to watch the evening news.” An awful war or ghastly disaster would take her mind off Justin Hale.
Justin pushed her back up against her the door and slid his body tight up against hers. He smiled as she gasped at the close, intimate contact.
“You’re not going anywhere.”
Miranda felt his hot, solid body up against hers pinning her to the door. That he wanted her was only too evident. This was definitely a déjà vu moment. She cleared her throat nervously and attempted to calmly look him in the eye.
“So I take it I’m here to discuss the staff complaints?”
“No Miranda, you are here to have sex until you can’t stand.”

Could she stand afterwards? Hmmm….

What are Anny and Kelly up to? Saving the world, feeding the hungry or stemming the tide of man’s inhumanity to man? Maybe…who knows? Check ‘em out on and
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

So what’s it all about?

Today’s quote –

You cannot be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you--Mary Tyler Moore

Definition of insanity – Boxing Day post- Christmas sales. Does anyone seriously believe they get a bargain? And yet people push and shove each other in the belief that they will get the ‘bargain’ before anyone else does. Anyone who has worked in retail knows stuff is ‘bought in’ for these sales. But whatever…

I love this picture. It’s called Miranda and the Tempest and it’s by John Waterhouse. To me it’s about accepting that there are some things you can never fix and that sometimes you just have to stand on the shore and, metaphorically, (big word for the day) watch a ship in trouble and know there is nothing you can do about it. It’s a picture I have at home and one I have at my desk in whatever job I do. Nah, I don’t see it as depressing. It’s all about facing up to stuff you cannot change and moving on. Yes, how philosophical am I being today?
Change of tack….I have been writing most of the day. It’s been quiet and peaceful with no interruptions. I have been thinking lately about a couple of letters readers sent to me. They were all about what they considered ‘romantic’ in my books. I appreciate these letters as it helps me to know if I am hitting the mark when it comes to reader expectations. One reader liked that my hero took the time to kiss and hold the heroine's hand and say sweet things to her. The fact that he did not go straight for sex appealed to her. Another liked the fact that the heroine was real – bumps, lumps, cellulite - and that the hero saw beyond that and wanted the woman for who she was.

So what is romance? Stuffed if I can give you a definitive answer. The Internet has a few.
- A love affair.
- Ardent emotional attachment or involvement between people; love:
- A mysterious or fascinating quality or appeal, as of something adventurous, heroic, or strangely beautiful:
- the art of Chivalry

And there are romantic quotes like…

- When you love someone, all your saved-up wishes start coming out. ~ by Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973) ~
- As I continue my talks with her, I become aware that, in my heart, a window is opening. — Akhito, Crown Prince of Japan
-Never go to bed mad -- stay up and fight." - Phyllis Diller
-To be in love is merely to be in a state of perceptual anesthesia." - H.L. Mencken
-In the words of David Cassidy, while he was still with The Partridge Family, I believe.....I think I love you." Four Weddings and a Funeral

Okay, I threw the last 3 in because they amused me. So romance can mean almost anything to anyone. Some things just are and have no definition. Maybe it’s simple stuff like

- Hand holding
-Opening a door
- Really listening to someone
- A smile
- A knowing look
- A soft kiss of reassurance
- Flowers for no reason

So just what is romantic to you? Do authors get it right?
Speaking of those critters called authors, today is Wednesday and yes, you’re right, there is no Wednesday interview. It will be back on January 9th. Among some of hard hitting questions I will ask are ...

Q. Do you subtly write friends and family’s characteristics into a book?

Amarinda – Maybe I do, maybe I don’t.

Q What do your friends think of your writing?

A – They laugh hysterically and say “What next, Amarinda? Lion taming?”

Q. If you weren’t writing books what would you be doing?

A – The housework hence the writing

Q. Is what you look for in a man what you write in the hero?

A – But of course.

Q On your wedding day the man you have secretly lusted after turns up as one of the guests and declares he loves you. What do you do?

A – Wake up and realize it was all a dream – whew!

Q. If your book was made into a movie who would play the hero and heroine?

A – A no brainer for an Aussie – Hugh Jackman and Cate Blanchett

See? Hard hitting fact finding information that people need to know…okay, maybe not need
to know but that’s what I’m giving to you

A Swift of Heart moment…

He knew how to play this hand to win. Stephanie Hart hated being challenged at anything. She would go with him to Melotia out of pure perverseness.
“I’m not scared!” Stephanie hated it when he looked at her in the superior manner. “I just don’t think I’m ready for Melonworld. I have no clothes or stuff…”
“We have stuff in Melotia.”
“Whatever. I’m not going.”
Mac shook his head in mock disappointment.
“I didn’t think you would scare this easily Stephanie Hart.” He knew his words were pissing her off. “You’re not worried that you are falling for me again?”
“As if!” Stephanie would have loved to smack that smug grin off his face. He was waiting for her response, the definitive reason she could not go. And she wished she had one that either made sense or was not the truth. She wasn’t one hundred percent ready to accept the truth herself, let alone want Mac thinking she had forgiven him everything so easily.
“It’s just…well…it’s just weird.”
Mac leaned over the table and smiled into her eyes.
“Weird can be interesting. Take a chance.”
“On weird or on you…or is that the same thing?” Stephanie smiled mockingly at him.
“So funny,” Mac responded as he reached for her hand again. “Take my hand and let’s be gone.” He set the coordinates for Melotia on his watch.
Stephanie looked at him incredulously.
“We can’t just up and disappear from a McDonalds! What will these people think?”
She looked at the people around her. One obese man dedicated to his three Big Macs, another who was staring at the smiling Ronald McDonald face with the glazed attention of a junkie and two young lovers clearly out on a date and paying no attention to anyone but themselves.
“I don’t believe either the drunk in the corner or the half-asleep crew member will care or notice.” Mac stood to his feet pulling her up with him.
Stephanie swallowed hard and made her mind up. She was no timid scaredy cat. She could do this. How hard could it be? She slapped her hand in his.
“Okay, fine, let’s do it. Ready or not Melotia here I come.”

I have no idea what Anny and Kelly are up to but I recommend scarpering over to and who knows what they may say. And, it goes without saying – so why am I saying it - because I can – the blogs to the left are fascinating slices of life. Would I lie to you?
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

So that was Christmas....

Christmas in Australia is over for another year but it's still Christmas somewhere in the world. To those still celebrating - enjoy. To those whose spiritual beliefs are not about Christmas - may this be a peaceful time for you. For people who don't follow the hoop-la of Christmas or march to the beat of a different drum - individuals rock. I raise my glass to you.

To those who have loved ones serving overseas in the defence forces - no matter from what country or where - I wish them safety and a speedy homecoming.

Okay, so if you have been reading my blog for the last week you will know I did some in-depth interviews with the mob (Aussie for group) in the North Pole. So what do you reckon Santa, the Missus, the Elves, Rudolph and the Ghosts of Christmas past/future do for the rest of the year? Does Santa claim unemployment benefits? Does Mrs Claus go back to pole dancing? I suspect the Elf revolution is forever an ongoing event. Anyone who has ever worked in a call centre knows that plotting, planning and scheming for an overthrow never ends. As

for Rudolph…I suspect he does the rounds of B grade celebrity game shows. He may even decide to have his own perfume label. Beckham does so why a reindeer? And what of the Ghosts of Christmas past and future? My personal belief is they write greeting cards for the rest of the year.

I drove back home on the arvo (afternoon for non Aussies) of Christmas day. I figured it would be quiet as not many people on the highway as they would all be doing the after Christmas lunch thing. Anyway, it was quiet but for the Indy 500 speed car racers of the highway. I’ll admit, please don’t be shocked, that I do not follow a lot of rules. Yes, it is hard to believe. But I do believe in the road rules. If it says 100 clicks an hours (kilometres) I will sit on that. Why? The main reason is I would be excessively pissed off at myself if I had to pay for a speeding ticket. It fascinates me that no matter how much the government warns people to be careful on the roads the message is just not sinking in. I am sure a lot of people get behind the wheel and think they are invincible. The thing is they’re not. If you’re speeding – pull you head in. I suspect someone may love you. Don’t be a dipstick. Slow down.

Sneak Peak of Shades of Gray - by moi- released 6th February 2008

What was supposed to be a power walk through a cemetery turns out to be the best sex of Temperance Larkin’s life. Maybe having sex in a cemetery with a stranger is a naughty thing to do but then it’s a night for being naughty, for being accosted by sexy vampires and for finding out the guy who was all tight and hot inside you is a cop. Holy crap! What next?

Asher Marriott is a cop haunted by who he is. A horrible twist of fate condemned him to live his life as a vampire. When Temperance walks into his lonely life he begins to hope that all his efforts to change his fate have not been in vain. Temperance is the sanctuary he craves. He now must make her believe it.

But an old enemy threatens any peace or happiness Asher and Temperance hope to find. It is going to take the combined power of vampires, a witch and one mortal woman with attitude to kick Madigan Ap Lyr’s ass back to hell where he belongs.

The Excerpt...

“Temperance verses the vampires—Temperance wins. Who needed Buffy to kick ass?” She murmured to herself and sighed. “I have not had sex in so long I wouldn’t even know what to do with a man anyway.”
“I bet you would.”
Temperance screamed and swung around. What now?
“Who the hell are you?” she demanded as she stared at yet another guy dressed in black lounging against the tombstone she had been previously reading. Her heart beat erratically as she looked the man up and down. Hot. His shoulder length white hair was slicked back into a ponytail and even in the fading light she could see he had the kind of face a Greek God would be jealous of. High cheekbones, a determined chin, smoldering eyes and sensuously carved lips. Hotter. He was tall and lean and the other guys were nothing compared to this man. They were just excellent wannabe studs in waiting. This was the master. Temperance’s thighs sweated just looking at him. She could felt the sensual heat rising from his body. Hottest.
“Did I scare you?” The man moved with a slow predatory ease toward her.
Whoa. What a voice. It was deep and sensual and like hot chocolate fudge over ice-cream. She felt the muscles between her legs tighten in response and it had nothing to do with empty calories.
“Well duh…” Temperance stood her ground and stared at the man in fascination. His hair was white yet his face was that of a man in his mid thirties. And those eyes. They were green and piercing and bright with interest. Those eyes looked at her with a recognition that made her tremble. Who was he and why did she have the feeling she should know him? Or was she still hung over from the pheromones of the guy before?
“I’m sorry if I scared you.” He stood before her and looked down at her, his eyes soft and lingering. “You’re very beautiful.” He pushed a stray piece of hair behind her ear.
Temperance now understood how a deer could be stunned by the headlights of a car. She was stunned by those deep green eyes and she wanted to believe she was beautiful for him.
“I am hot and sweaty.” Was the cemetery the new in place to pick up hot men? Temperance would be hanging out here more often if that was the case.
“But you are beautiful and I want you.”
Good grief. Everyone wanted her tonight. Where were these men last week when she had been so desperate she had used her fingers to seek release? And how crazy was it that these complete—albeit drop-dead-gorgeous—strangers were coming on to her? Men like that did not look at average-looking non-svelte-like women like her. They went for whippet thin scrawny assed models. Temperance just knew there had to be a catch.
“Are you nuts?” It would be a damn shame if he was as she was seriously attracted to this man. The previous man was interesting but this one was something else. There was something sexually compelling about him. Something that instantly called to her to be wild and crazy but only with him. Was celibacy making her believe and feel nonsensical things?
“Are you?” the man asked in amusement.
The smile he gave her would make angels run wild and Temperance Larkin was no angel.
“More than likely.” Temperance was hot after the last guy but this one had her wet between the legs with a look. This was lust at first sight.
“Have you never had a man who was so instantly attracted to you that you wanted him to fuck you until you screamed out loud?” His words were husky and low and full of promise.
No—but lord knows that sounded good and sex burned off a lot of calories.
“Not that that I believed wasn’t very drunk—no. Do you often proposition women in graveyards?”
“There is a wild sexual essence emanating from you that I find irresistible.” His hands slid down to her waist and pulled her close to his body.
What a great pick up line.
“That would be the sweat I mentioned earlier.” Temperance gasped as her body came in contact with hard, male flesh. Yum. Back away. Be good and…er…what else? She could not think straight with him touching her.
“You smell divine,” he murmured softly as his hands went down to cup her ass.
Temperance loved the feel of his hands on her ass. It was not a small one by any means but his hands caressed her ass like he wanted to savor every curve. She pressed against him eagerly. She was hoping like hell that it was no gun pressing into her stomach but instead a huge hard cock in his trousers.
“What am I doing?” Temperance pushed her hands against his chest. Oh yeah, very nice firm muscles there. “I don’t know you.” Yet here she was hungrily pushing up against him while he copped a feel. What was that about? She had heard a lack of sex could make you go mad or was that the other way round? Whatever it was it had to be wrong to feel this on fire for this stranger.
“You know me,” the man leaned down and whispered the words against her mouth.
The warm breath on her face made her insides start to unravel. Temperance wanted to know the feel of him inside her very badly. It was wanton and sluttish but bring it on.
“I shouldn’t…” she murmured looking into his beautiful green eyes as if looking for reason she felt the way she did.
“I know you want me.” The man placed his lips on hers and kissed her hungrily.
“Oh my…” Temperance moaned softly as his tongue slid into her mouth. She fought for one mad minute against his tongue and hungry lips. This was wrong. She should stop but he tasted so good. Wrong verses good? Logically, going with what felt good seemed the way to head. It had been so long since she had felt anything but empty and frustrated. Besides if it all turned out to be wrong then she could always chalk it up to yet another life experience. As the kiss deepened, Temperance made her mind up. She gave up all pretence of resistance and kissed him back with a passion that surprised her. No man had ever demanded and got such an instant response from her. Maybe she could have stopped the lips that ravaged hers or the hands that slid feverishly under her t-shirt and started undoing her bra. Maybe—if she had really wanted to, if this man did not feel so good against her or if his kisses were not drugging her senses—maybe she could have. But she wasn’t that insane.

So, does she just break off the kiss, slap his face for his impertinence and march off offended? Or, does she see what the hot guy can do...after one's watching...or are they?
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Sticky Sunday…

Frosty Boy

A – Thanks for coming to Brisbane, Frosty.
F – Frig its hot here!
A – I won’t keep you long
F – Damn right you won’t. This humidity is just wrong
A – What’s the best thing about Christmas?
F – The cold weather and that fact I’m a star at Christmas. People love me.
A- So once a year, after Santa Claus, being the 2nd centre of attention is important to you?
F – Bloody Santa. That’s all padding you know. He’s not all that cute and cuddly. This is real, buff ice here. Wanna’feel?
A – I’ll take you word for it. What’s the worst thing about Christmas?
F – When people stick a carrot in my nose. What’s that about?

A – I guess that’s what they think of as a being a good nose.
F – My nose ain’t that big…other parts of me are though. Wanna’ see?
A - No show and tell thanks. We only see you once a year. What do you do for the rest of the year?
F – I hang out at the North Pole and shoot the breeze with the elves. They’re plotting to overthrow Santa you know.
A – You seem happy about that
F – They’ve promised me I will be the leader
A – And you trust them?
F – Elves wouldn’t lie
A- Okay then (eye roll) ….what do you wish the world for this holiday season?
F - Chill out and we’ll have peace
A – Nobel sentiments, Frosty
F – This is why I’ll be the leader. I’m so cool.
A – Uh huh…

Sunday highlights…or not….

- bloody humid in Bris but I would not trade it for snow…hell no.
- Ventured to the shops to buy salads, prawns(shrimp) and pick up my new ruby red framed glasses. Surprisingly, I was not trampled to death in the Christmas OMG-we’re buying-for-siege-frenzy – but then I’m pretty hard to knock down.
- Decided to dye my hair chocolate brown. Why? Just felt like it
- Discussed the meaning of life with Ethel…okay, we gossiped but it was meaningful-ish.
- Exercised – puke, spew - to burn off some of the Tim Tam bloat
- wrote lots
- It rained for five minutes then stopped. It was an exciting 5 minutes
- Someone in the neighbourhood played Hark the bloody Herald Angels Sing 57 frigging times today. Oh the inhumanity of it…

Last Man Standing – what’s the story?

“I don’t want to talk to you, Alex. I believe we have said all that we need to.” And Amy sure as hell didn’t want to spend any longer with him than she had to because her feelings were mighty treacherous at the moment when mixed with the additional surge of hormones pulsating through her body. She had to be tough and not let whatever she may have felt for him get to her. “You have said you aren’t the father. So be it.” She had changed into a simple white cotton night shirt for comfort but now she felt anything but comfortable with Alex Navarro watching her. He just had a way of making her hot with one glance. And she needed to feel cool and collected. Amy looked around her quickly. Was there a damn fan in this room? And where was her strawberry bubble gum when she needed it?
“I may have said that but I know I am the father.”
Amy’s eyebrows arched in surprise and maybe, just maybe in the tiniest bit of relief. It was a feeling that she instantly quashed.
“No you’re not. It was someone else.”
“I know you Red, there is no one else for you.” They both knew that was true, but only one of them would admit it out loud.
“Yes, well, that would have been the correct answer a couple of hours ago or maybe even six months ago when you left me but it’s now all too late.” Amy looked up at the tall, blond man before her. She hated that he had put her in this position of having to defend herself against her feelings. She did not want to be having this, or any other conversation with Alex. Just being near him again after so long was already crumbling her carefully built defenses. How was it possible that someone she barely knew and had been with for such a short time could affect her so?
“And you don’t know me at all. If you did you would never have…” She stopped herself before she said “hurt me so much when you left me”. He did not need to know how much his words had hurt her. Alex had not wanted her then, there was no way he was going to have any part of her now.
“Those words about not wanting you…” Even now they were so wrong. How could he ever explain his fears to Amy?
Amy blew out a dismissive breath at his words.
“Whatever, I got over them and you.” She crossed her arms over her chest and tried to look as casual as any woman could when faced by the man she had fallen in love with but refused to allow herself to want again.

12 Days of Romance Comp

The winners are –

1st - Kimberly Lane
2nd- Tina Brunelle
3rd - Jennifer Lindsey

Thanks to everyone who entered. We appreciated your time and effort. Watch out for another competition coming to you soon.

Tomorrow, Christmas eve, I am going up country to where the natives are friendly if not odd so there will be no blog for a couple of days as the Internet is a foreign animal to them. But I am sure Anny and Kelly will entertain as well as the fine blogs to the left. Whatever you are doing this holiday season I wish you peace and safety.

Best Wishes
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Saturday Christmas ramblings…


G –I am the ghost of Christmas future, Amarinda Jones.
A – Uh huh…
G – You aren’t alarmed by my presence?
A – Its 4am in the frigging morning. Maybe after I have three cups of coffee I’ll have a go at being shocked, okay?
G – I have come to show you the future, Amarinda.
A – You know, all things considered I would rather just wing the future. Whatever happens, happens.
G – But aren’t you interested to know how your present affects your future?
A – Only so far in knowing if Ethel, Katie and I win the lotto super draw next Saturday
G – What about the past?
A – Ach! Too many mistakes - but they’re over and done with and I have moved on
G - Well, I gotta tell you this is disappointing.
A – Are you sure you have the right house? Maybe you were supposed to lob into a house with someone who worries about that kind of stuff
G – No, your name is on the list under ‘incorrigible - must mend her ways’. So, the whole Christmas-another-year-is-nearly-over-what-have-I-done-with-my-life-thing doesn’t bother you?
A – Nah, can’t sweat over the stuff I have done or what I will do in the future
G – This is embarrassing. I am supposed to scare the crap out of you and make you a better human being. How am I going to explain this at head office?
A- Hey, you can’t be scary all the time. It’s too much pressure on you. Let it go. I’ll tell you what ghost boy, if anyone asks I’ll say you were ultra scary and I’m mending my ways. Want a Tim Tam?

Ghosts…demons… past mistakes, current mistakes…move on…don’t let ‘em scare you

It makes you think….

As many people do, I sponsor a child overseas. M is now 14 and lives in Bangladesh. We write letters back and forward. Every time I sit down to write a letter I stop and think – what to write? This is a young woman who lives a completely different life to what I do. She does not have the advantages I have. She is just happy to go to school, have access to books and be with her family. It makes me stop and think every time. As much as I love mod cons and all the amenities and possibilities I have access to, M makes me think about how lucky I am. I think we need constant reality checks like this to realize our lives are pretty good and the petty trivialities we whine over are nothing. So what does a western, erotic romance writer write to a young woman in the third world? Simple things – stuff that is just about life and living in Australia. It’s simple and nice and I like to take the time to be just plain old Amarinda stripped of gloss and down to the bare bones of being a person. Thanks M.

Christmas in Australia…’s bloody hot mate. Despite the heat, some people still follow the traditional Christmas dinner of roasted turkey or pork and plum puddings. Not this little red duck. The Jones family will barbeque on the patio in the shade with a glass or seven of something cold and fermented. We will throw prawns(shrimp) on the barbie and basically relax. We’re not fancy people. We are as you find us. We do not eat ourselves into a food coma as that is just sad and wasteful. Other Aussies will head to the beach or the bush. It’s a time for sunscreen, sundresses and shorts. Lifeguards will warn people to swim between the flags on the beaches as they watch for sharks in the sea. The police will be on the roads catching those people stupid enough to drive drunk or drugged. Kids will play cricket in the park or ride brand new bikes around the neighbourhood. Christmas in Oz is simple and casual. Australia – I love it.

Themes at Christmas…

I went shopping for sundry bathroom items this morning – toothpaste, dental floss, toilet paper and hair conditioner. I got to the check out and the check out chick said “It’s great they make it to fit the Christmas theme.” I looked at her blankly as I had no idea what she meant. She continued, “I like to match my toilet paper to fit the occasion.” I looked down at the pack I had grabbed off the shelf without thinking. I guess it looked Christmassy but to tell you the truth I don’t agonize of what pattern is on my dunny paper. But it was important to this woman. Fair enough. If it makes her happy – what the hell.

The comp…

The competition is closed. The winners will be announced soon. It has been a very interesting and enjoyable experience thanks to all those people who entered. We greatly enjoyed and appreciated your comments. We look forward to bringing another similar competition in 2008.

A Rose Perfect moment…
Rosanna Harlow was drunk. Not falling down, gut spewing drunk though. More like happy, glowing, in love with the world tipsy. The sort of tipsy that made her cheeks glow red and her green eyes dance with happy enthusiasm. Tomorrow, of course, her face would be pale and her eyes red but that was okay. It was New Years Eve 2005. Rosanna had a lot to celebrate. She had no job and no man in her life. Add to that a broken big toe, from her latest renovating disaster and the fact that she was in debt up to her eyeballs and she was doing just swell, thank you very much. Rosanna Harlow’s life was just one big celebration of madness. She was glad to farewell 2005. As far as Rosanna was concerned, 2005 had been crap. She could not wait to see the back end of the year. Queen Elizabeth, the second, had had her annas horribilus. Rosanna Harlow, the first, was happy to drown 2005 in alcohol.
“Woo hoo!” Rosanna howled at the moon as she staggered around the backyard pool with a glass of champagne in one hand and a ridiculous shiny green party hat perched jauntily on her head. No one at the crowded party noticed her specifically. Everyone else was in varying shades of alcoholic happiness and having just as good a time at the party. It was the second one she and her best friend Prue had attended that night. They would go home soon and collapse. But for the moment Rosanna felt invincible, broken toe and all. She laughed out loud as Prue echoed her call.
Rosanna heard beeping and reached into her jeans pocket and pulled out her mobile phone. She squinted down at the display. “I have a message.” She announced out loud just because she could. Prue cheered drunkenly. Rosanna smiled as she accessed her message with uncoordinated fingers. “Archer? Who the hell is Archer?”
“William Tell was an archer.” Prue informed her in a drunken slur as she barely missed stumbling into the pool she was drunkenly trying to navigate her way around.
“William Tell left me a message?”
“Actually, I think he’s dead.”
Rosanna looked at Prue. “Why would a dead man send me a message?”
“Maybe he’s lonely.” Prue laughed out loud at her own inane comment.
“You’re drunk.”
“As a skunk.” Prue slumped down on a nearby deck chair.
Rosanna giggled and shook her head. She squinted down at the display again. “I’ll meet you 1st January 2006—caller Archer time 11:58pm date 31/12/2048” 31/12/2048? What? Someone was calling her from the year 2048? Ah huh. Either her mobile was on the fritz or she needed to stop drinking now. Preferring to think her mobile was the problem she slipped it back into her the pocket of her jeans and staggered over to follow Prue. The effects of the alcohol and the pain of her toe were finally starting to register. Okay, maybe there was something to be said for not mixing pain medication with alcohol. She slumped beside her friend on a neighboring chair.

Hmmm…what happens next?

Anny – and Kelly – are on the road traveling to loved ones at the moment. So keep checking their blogs as I am sure they will have some riveting insights about Christmas. As always the blogs to the left provide a great look at real people and the stuff that happens to them.

May your toilet paper always match your mood
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?

Friday, 21 December 2007

Santa uncovered…

A – From my investigation Santa, you have elves on the verge of revolution, Mrs Claus is a shrewish ex-pole dancer and a playboy moose is pretending to be a reindeer. The North Pole does not seem to be the happy place that it’s portrayed to be by the media. What do you have to say about this?
S – No family is without problems
A- Are you just putting on a brave face to stop people panicking over what happening at the Pole?

S - Ho, ho, ho - of course not Amarinda. Have you been a good girl this year?
A. I've been bad to the bone and loved every second of it.
S - Dear me, how disappointing. You look like such a sweet lady.
A- Cut the crap Santa. People need to know the truth about what is going on at Santa’s workshop.
S – You’re right. I can’t take it anymore. I am on the verge of cracking up I tell you. Rudolph is bleeding me dry with his demands and the elves are revolting.

A – Sure, they’re annoying but I wouldn’t say they're revolting.
S – They plan to overthrow me.
A – Really? How do you know this?
S - I hear them whispering and when I pass by they quickly shut up and give me the death stare.
A – Hmmm…sounds like call centre staff. That could be dangerous. What do you plan to do?
S – Hide
A – Don’t you think it would be better to talk to them about their issues?
S- Why?
A- Because pissed off workers are unhappy workers
S – So if they were happy they would work faster?
A – Maybe…
S- I could make more money, get a new sleigh, go to the Gold Coast on holidays…
A – Hey, what exactly does Christmas mean to you? Is it a grab for profit or a time to celebrate life?
S – If I said profit that would be a bad thing?
A – (Eyeroll) Good luck with the revolution. You’re going to need it.

On Kelly left us with….

"You almost had me there Chi-Psin!! I should have known you'd try sentiment where brute force has failed."

"Drat! You foiled me again, Emmeline."

"Did you really think I'd believe Zoltan had come back to life? You fool! You did this to obtain the Obelisk of Ostentatious Obliteration! I should have known."

"Where is it? This maybe a mirage room, but I can make the images very real. Real enough to kill even you!"

Bloody hell…that girl tries the patience of a plaster saint. I’m going with….

“Emmeline, this was supposed to be an essay on what Christmas means to you!”

Emmeline opened her eyes wide at the sharp sounding voice. She looked around her. She was standing in front of her 7th grade class in old her school uniform, now restrictingly tight on her fully grown body. She had aged but her classmates hadn’t. Miss Snyder, her old teacher, was as cranky looking as ever. She looked down at the essay in hers hands. “How did I get here?”

“Don’t try any of your tricks on me, Emmeline. I’m a wake up to you.”

Emmeline now knew why Miss Synder was so horrible, she needed a damn good shagging. The warrior woman looked around the room slowly trying to calm herself down. There was a reason she had been dumped back in her past. Think. What does not fit in this room? Desk, chairs, bored kids, an obelisk, school bags, books…an obelisk? She looked at Miss Snyder. “Nice try The Mary. I knew all along you were behind this.”

The Mary laughed and transformed back into her normal persona. “You’re such a smart arse.”

“I know.” Emmeline watched as her old classmates disappeared. “So what’s this all about?”

“I think you know.”

“He will never love you.” There was only one woman he loved and that could never be.

“He will if I have the obelisk.”

A sudden green flash lit up the room and he appeared. “Neither of you shall have the obelisk.”

Emmeline gasped in shock. “What the bloody hell are you doing here?”

Hmm…who is he? Only Anny knows. Check out for this year’s last thrilling episode of the blog serial. Due to popular demand its back again in January 2008.

If you are about to go on the road this holiday season, take it steady and remember it’s better to get there thirty minutes late than not at all. And, as we say in Australia, if you drink and drive you’re a bloody idiot. Be safe and be careful and come back again to the Amarinda blog.

Til' the witching hour....

Remember you have until midnight on the 21st December to get your answers in for the 12 Days of Romance comp. We have had a huge response so far. Thanks to everyone who entered. But if you plan to enter or you think what the hell is Amarinda talking about then check out below.

Do you want to win some fantastic holiday reading? If so come celebrate the Twelve days of Romance with 12 authors from Ellora's Cave, Wild Rose Press, Total-E-Bound and Cerridwen Press. Each day beginning December 8th and running through December 19th one of the twelve authors will tell what their "True love gave to them" on either their blog or website.

Collect all twelve answers and e-mail them to with 12 days of Romance in the subject line to win some great books. There will be three lucky winners. The prizes –1st prize--6 book, 2nd prize--4 books, 3rd prize--2 books. Entries must be in by December 21st at midnight EST. All books and prize winners will be drawn randomly.

Anny Cook Winter Hearts
Sandra Cox Boji Stones
Bronwyn Green Ronan's Grail
Heather Hiestand Cards Never Lie
Barbara Huffert Deal of a Lifetime
Amarinda Jones Mad About Mirabelle
Kelly Kirch Time for Love
Cindy Spencer Pape Cowboy's Christmas Bride
Brynn Paulin Fallen
Jacquéline Roth Access Denied
KZ Snow Mrs. Claws
Lacey Thorn Earth Moves

I will tell you my clue is Twelve Tantalizing Tim Tams.” Okay – now go and click on the names above and seek out the rest of the true love clues. Good luck!
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?