If the polar bear in this video doesn’t make you go ‘awwww’, I don’t know what will
You many need to keep the tissues handy!
If the polar bear in this video doesn’t make you go ‘awwww’, I don’t know what will
You many need to keep the tissues handy!
Today’s special guest, Eva Scott, has a passion that will be hard to top!
Eva Scott writes contemporary romance set in her homeland of Australia and historical fiction set in the Ancient World. Her books offer passion and adventure in some of the most beautiful and intriguing places in the world. Her heroes and heroines are strong, sassy and ready to rise to their challenges, and learn a little bit about themselves along the way.
Having lived overseas for several years, Eva returned to study Anthropology before heading off to live in Papua New Guinea for a year. There she met the love of her life, author G.W. Gibson, who was stationed there with the Australian Defence Force. The rest is history, romantic history.
She now lives on the Redcliffe peninsula with her husband, small son and an assortment of animals. When Eva is not writing she enjoys mentoring first-time authors, cooking up a story, practising yoga and getting out on the bay on her stand-up paddle board.
Eva is a member of Romance Writers of Australia; North Lakes Writers Group; Queensland Writers Centre and Australian Romance Readers Association. She is published by Musa Publishing and Harlequin Escape.
Welcome to my blog Eva and we’re waiting with bated breath – would you please tell us all about your passion?!
I really love hiking volcanoes – they can be living, dormant or extinct. Don’t really care. For some reason I just love ‘em.
I told you it would be hard to top! How long have you been a volcano hiker? Is there a group you can join of other volcano hikers?
Gosh! Let’s see… I think this obsession dates back probably 25 years? Give or take. There’s a lack of dormant or live volcanoes in my neck of the woods – although I’ve got a few extinct ones – so travel plays a major part in this hobby. Takes a long time to get around to them all.
As someone who has never hiked a volcano, what is it about it that brings a sparkle to your eye?
The climb can be intense so there’s the sense of achievement, especially when you hit altitude and the oxygen disappears. Its like someone throws a switch and its gone. It happens that fast. Then there is the sheer beauty of a volcano. My absolute favourite is Kilauea. I’ve hiked her many times while she’s been erupting. Nothing like a live lava field under a full moon. Just glorious.
Wow, I can’t even imagine! Do you have a funny story about something that’s happened to you while hiking a volcano?
I was on the Big Island of Hawaii preparing for a hike out on Kilauea for an article I was writing for Great Walks Magazine. I always stay at Arnott’s Lodge which is a youth hostel run by a member of the Arnott’s Biscuit family – yep, another volcano obsessed Aussie! I was chatting over breakfast with some kids who were backpacking around the islands and as I took my coffee and walked away I heard one say to the other: “She’s so cool!” I have never ever been cool in my life, especially when my hair looks like a bird’s nest, I”m in my jammies and haven’t had my coffee yet. One of the highlights of my life.
Now I’m curious – Can you share a photo of you indulging in your passion?
I don’t have any photos handy – half were destroyed in the flood of 2011 here in Queensland and I’m at a loss as to where the rest are. Somewhere in storage I hope! Instead I’m sharing with you a photo of Kilauea by Toshi Sasaki.
How devastating about losing your photos, Eva
Thanks so much for being my guest today. You really are cool
If Eva’s stories have sparked your interest, why not check out her books. I’m not sure if any involve volcanos though!
‘Reluctant Wedding Planner’ by Eva Scott (Musa Publishing)
‘T’was the Night Before Christmas’ by Eva Scott (Musa Publishing)
‘The Marriage Makeover’ by Eva Scott (Musa Publishing)
‘The Last Gladiatrix’ by Eva Scott (Harlequin Escape)
‘Barbarian Bride’ by Eva Scott (Harlequin Escape)
‘Red Dust Dreaming’ – out April 2015 (Harlequin Escape)
You can contact Eva Scott at the following places:
We’re in for a fun post today. I’m delighted to welcome a “Naughty Ninja” to my blog, author Lily Malone, talking about her passion.
Before I had children, and before writing became my hobby, I was passionate about gardening. I used to spend every hour of most weekends head down, bum up, in the garden at our place in Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills. My particular joy was to visit what I call the TLC (requires Tender Love & Care) shelf at most of the nurseries near me. I became the nursery shopper equivalent of an ‘op shopper’ or secondhand store bargain hunter. I have been known to visit some nursery ‘TLC’ shelves 2 or 3 times in one day, just in case something rare and brilliant and half-dead that I could rescue, might have landed in the hour since I last checked. At the time, we had a half-acre garden to fill (the backyard was pretty much just weeds and old fruit trees) and we didn’t have a lot of money…
Anyway, then I had kids, and my time for gardening (including cheap-gardening and visiting nurseries) went out the window.
So! That’s not what I’m passionate about now, Kerrie!
My new passion, is cooking. (Now how is that for a lot of stuff that would get cut out, if this was a book?)
Hehe, it depends if that backstory is relevant How long have you been involved in your passion for cooking?
It had a hiatus. (Did I mention children and writing?) But since we moved into our new house and I have a lovely new kitchen to cook in, I’ve had a resurgence. That’s about 3 months now.
What is it about it that brings a sparkle to your eye?
I love food. I love wine. I really enjoy hosting people – I always have. Not just in my new kitchen. I feel like when I was a kid, being invited to people’s places for dinner happened all the time, but now it seems to be somewhat of an old-fashioned past-time. Now people seem more inclined to go to a restaurant for a shared meal. I love the whole preparation of doing a ‘dinner party’. I like thinking about what to eat and going through my recipe books. I like shopping for, and buying the stuff. I like to see how much I can get together from my own garden (the gardener is still alive and kicking inside me) and thinking about how much I can get done in advance so that on the evening in question, I get to enjoy myself with a glass of wine and relax almost as much as the next person. I even like thinking about what music we might listen to, while I cook, and while we all eat. When I think back (as your interview is making me do) hosting dinner parties is something I’ve enjoyed for a very long time… see the next question!
You sound like a wonderful host! Do you have a funny story about something that’s happened to you while involved in your passion for cooking and dinner party hosting?
Why yes, Kerrie, I do! Many moons ago, in fact, possibly the first dinner party I officially tried to host at the tender age of perhaps, say, 24. I decided I’d cook whole trout. Yes. Never cooked trout before and I was really a very fledgling dinner party host at this point. It wasn’t even in my own house. I had to borrow a girlfriend’s house to host my party. Invited were myself, a friend Deb (owner of the house), her partner Preston, and my partner, Mark. We were all having a wonderful time, and then I decided to cook these trout. Well, all their heads fell off. I had to dish everyone headless whole trout, with green beans.
And more recently – have you heard the story of the White Chocolate Tart, delicious (if misshapen dessert) of #WeekendAtLilys
Ha, yes, I have heard that story – it looked delicious though! Can you share a photo of you indulging in your passion?
Err… that would be a no. Unless you can rustle something up from your mate and mine, Juanita Kees. Juanita and Jennie Jones were my last dinner party guests, during our wonderful #WeekendAtLilys
Oh, well, shucks. I think most people who might visit your blog will know a little bit about me. I have a novel with Escape Publishing called His Brand Of Beautiful; and I have two self-published stories, Fairway To Heaven (the most recent) about dodgy fannies and golf; and The Goodbye Ride, a novella about Ducatti motorbikes and vineyards.
I’m a member of the wonderful www.naughtyninjas.net.au – where I’m Lily ‘Beanie Queen’ Malone; and I’m also part of HeartsnWined, our Western Australian-based writing and reading group for people who love West Australian authors and their stories.
Thanks so much for having me come and share my passions (old and new) with you!
Thanks for being my guest today, Lily!
You can find more of Lily at http://lilymalone.wordpress.com/ (and read all about #WeekendatLilys). You can also find her hanging around on Goodreads, and on Facebook, and on Twitter: @lily_lilymalone
It’s been a while since I did an update of where my writing is up to. Back in June, I posted that I had finished writing a novella. Well, I gave it a lick and a promise, and impatiently sent it off to an ePublisher before conference, despite suggestions from my CPs that it could be further expanded.
But no, filled with the love of my novella, I sent it off and waited for the magic words of acceptance.
It was rejected…
I’m sure all other writers know the drill. Heartbreak, stomp around the house, muttering things about not appreciating my talent
And it was rejected because it was too short, too condensed for the story. The types of things my CPs had tried to tell me. So…valuable lesson there. Listen to your CPs! Sorry, ladies!!!
I couldn’t bear to look at it until after conference and was drifting in a sea of ‘it’s all too hard’ when my local CP sat me down, gave me a virtual kick up the bum and got me back on track with a plan.
So that’s what I’ve been doing lately. Revising my novella – it’s on track to expand from about 26K to closer to 40K. I’ve increased the suspense element to it and am digging deeper into the emotions.
When my CPs think its ready, I’ll send it off to the ePubs again, and get started on the next book.
And I’ll leave you with an ear-worm…
This is a tear-jerker of a video where people off the street were asked to write a letter to someone who helped them achieve their success. They were then asked to call the person and read the letter out to them.
Who has helped you get where you are today? Have you told them lately how much their support has meant to you?
Today I’m delighted to welcome the lovely Alli Sinclair to my blog.
Alli Sinclair is Australian born and spent her early adult years travelling the world: scaling mountains in Nepal, Argentina, and Peru, rafting the Ganges, and riding a camel in the Sahara. She lived in Argentina and Peru and it was there her love of dance bloomed. When she wasn’t working as a tour guide, Alli could be found in the dance halls learning tango, salsa, merengue, and samba. All of these adventures made for fun storytelling and this is when she discovered her love of writing. Alli’s stories combine her passion for exotic destinations, the quirks of human nature, and the belief that everyone can dance, even if it’s to their own beat.
Welcome Alli – you’re such a fascinating person so I know we’re in for a treat! Do you have a passion other than writing?
I also adore musicals from the 1930s-50s and will find any excuse to watch one (I make no apologies if I sing along and it’s out of tune!)
How long have you been a fan of musicals?
Since I was a kid! My Nan was always singing songs from musicals and I have wonderful memories of being a kid and watching the greats like Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. I so wanted to dance like Gene Kelly but alas, my feet were never coordinated or fast enough.
I’ll bet they bring back great memories! What is it about old musicals that brings a sparkle to your eye?
What I love about musicals from that era is their innocence. Sure, there was a whole lot of behind the scenes angst back then with fear of Communism and McCarthyism (of which I will be exploring in a news series!) but the onscreen vitality of the actors and the sweet stories and the belief that all would be right with the world if you broke into song and dance (oh, if only that could really happen!).
Do you have a funny story about something that’s happened to you while involved in your pursuit of musical nirvana?
My Nan and I were super excited to see the stage version of Singing in the Rain (one of our favourites) and we had seats in the second row, in the middle. What we didn’t realise is when the actor sang the main song, water would pour down and onto the stage and the actor would kick the puddles, saturating everyone in the first few rows. I don’t think my Nan and I have ever laughed so hard in our lives.
I’ll bet that was a shock!! Can you share a photo of you indulging in your musical passion?
Uh … you really want a photo of me watching a musical? I certainly hope you don’t want a recording of me singing! But here’s a clip of Gene Kelly from Singing in the Rain – enjoy!
I’d forgotten how much fun that clip was!
Could you tell us about your latest release, Luna Tango? Which, it has to be said, is a ripper of a read
Tango, like love, is complicated
Desperate to understand the reason her mother abandoned her twenty years ago to become a world-class tango dancer, journalist Dani McKenna delves into the world of tango in the hope of exposing decades of lies and deception that have threatened three generations of her family.
When Dani meets the enigmatic Carlos Escudero—a revered tango dancer and man of intense passion—they work together to understand why her grandmother lives in fear of all things tango, and how the brutal murder of a tango music legend in 1950s Buenos Aires now affects her family.
Despite her lack of rhythm, Dani and Carlos create their own dance of the souls, until the differences in their cultures causes a deep rift. As she seeks to reconnect with Carlos and rebuild her family, Dani finds tango—the dance of passion—becomes a complicated dance of betrayal.
And to really get you in the mood, check out the trailer!
Available now in print and eBook – Harlequin MIRA (Australia)
You can follow Alli here:
Thanks so much for being my guest today, Alli, and all the best with Luna Tango!
This is a very heartwarming TED talk by children’s author, Mac Barnett.
“Childhood is surreal. Why shouldn’t children’s books be? In this whimsical talk, award-winning author Mac Barnett speaks about writing that escapes the page, art as a doorway to wonder — and what real kids say to a fictional whale.”
This writing game requires patience, at all stages along the way, and it’s something I’m struggling with at the moment.
I want a contraption I can connect to my brain and have the stories magically appear on the computer. I made up a spreadsheet the other night with a schedule for all the books currently in my head, and at the very slow rate I write, I’m busy until 2017. Which means I have to a) write faster or b) learn patience.
I’m going through the submission process with Elsie’s Place – which means sending it out into the ether and waiting. *sigh* And if I’m lucky enough to get signed up, it will mean more waiting – especially as I’m currently targeting traditional publishers and the time between acceptance to holding my book can be many months.
Add to that there are a couple of unresolved things in my personal life that are leaving me on tenterhooks. I don’t like uncertainty – I like life to be planned and orderly.
It ain’t happening!
So all I can do is wait… And keep writing…
Anyway got a patience pill?!
Today I’m delighted to welcome Australian historical author, Heather Garside, to my blog.
Welcome Heather. Do you have a passion other than writing?
This is a difficult question as once I used to be passionate about many things, and now I don’t seem to feel the same degree of enthusiasm for anything. For many years I was a passionate sewer – I made clothes for my daughter and myself and dabbled in a bit of patchwork. Then I got back into writing and it was my driving passion. Another obsession that stayed with me throughout was for music, and there was a particular rock singer/guitarist/songwriter of whom I was an avid fan. I still love his music but in a much more low-key way. I also still do a bit of patchwork and crocheting and attend a craft group when I can fit it in. Another thing I really enjoy is doing crosswords, but that doesn’t strike me as a scintillating topic for a blog.
Aside from writing and our farm, the thing that interests me most is travelling, especially doing road trips within Australia. This suits hubby and me as he loves driving and I’m happy to be a passenger!
I love to travel too! How long have you been involved in your passion?
Off and on since our marriage, but mainly in the last ten years, since our daughter moved to South Australia. We’ve had many roads trips from Central Queensland to the Adelaide Hills and have taken a few different routes. The most memorable was when we drove the long way through central NSW and Victoria, via the Great Ocean Road. Another very enjoyable trip was when we took our camper trailer to Lawn Hill Gorge and camped there for a few days with my sister and her husband. We also drove around Tasmania a few years ago and loved it. Last year we explored the south-west of WA.
Very soon we are setting off to Adelaide again, and after spending time with our daughter, are driving to Uluru and Alice Springs and from there taking the Ghan to Darwin.
I’d love to do the Ghan trip one day! What is it about travel that brings a sparkle to your eye?
I love seeing new places and especially exploring pristine places such as national parks.
Do you have a funny story about something that’s happened to you while travelling?
It was when we canoed up Lawn Hill Gorge. My sister and her hubby put their canoe in first and paddled off while we were still launching ours. My husband is a big man and my brother-in-law average-sized, while my sister is tiny, so as you can imagine our canoe was sitting very low in the water while theirs seemed to be skimming over the surface. By the time we had managed to catch them, with our canoe dragging in the water, we quite puffed. They thought it was most amusing to see the water almost lapping over the back of our canoe! But we made it the entire way up the gorge, and the trip was well worth the effort.
Ha! I can just picture that Glad you made it anyway!
Can you share a photo of you indulging in your passion?
This is me hiking at Cradle Mountain in Tasmania.
Finally, please tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up on a cattle property in Central Queensland and now live with my husband on a beef and grain farm in the same area. We have two adult children.
I have previously published three historical romances and have helped to write and produce several compilations of short stories and local histories. The Cornstalk was a finalist in the 2008 Booksellers’ Best Award, Long Historical category, for romance books published in the USA. Breakaway Creek was a finalist in the QWC/Hachette Manuscript Development Program and was released by Clan Destine Press in 2013. It is a rural romance with a dual timeline. My recent release is Tracks of the Heart, a collection of three short stories.
I work part time at the local library, at home on the farm and help produce a local monthly newsletter, amongst other voluntary activities.
Would you like to tell us about your latest release?
Three short stories will take you on journeys of terror, heartbreak and a woman’s tentative struggles to reclaim her identity.
Playing with Fire: Lisa is forced to revisit a tortured love affair when she recognises her companions on an outback train journey – an ill-fated family from her past.
Bushwhacked: Brittany’s quest for adventure on an isolated cattle station goes horribly wrong when she and Scott, the head stockman, are abducted on a lonely county road.
Coming Home: Kirsty leaves a destructive marriage to return to her parent’s cattle station, but has to contend with her father’s new manager – the boyfriend she deserted years before in favour of the city.
Those stories sound great!
Thanks for being my guest today, Heather and good luck with Tracks of the Heart!
Did you know, in the years 1899 and 1900, there was a publication called “The Children’s Newspaper” produced in Sydney? http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/title/121
I love this extract from the 1st edition on Friday, Jan 30, 1899.
“As the first Children’s newspaper in Australia, we make our bow today. It is, indeed, a very wonderful adventure, and it shows how the world is widening for young people. A newspaper for “grown-ups” is a very modern invention, but one for children is absolutely new. Our first issue must not be taken as a fair sample of what we intend to do, because we have to make a start without the assistance of our readers. When the boys and girls of Australia see what we are aiming at they will help us. Here is our first number! We hope to improve on it month by month.”
At the price of 1 penny, it included sections about “Great People”, “Science”, “Facts worth Knowing”, serialised stories and “News of the World.”
It was issued under the authority of the NSW Department of Education. However, it only lasted for 12 issues before closing down – “The CN is only a comparatively small production, but small as it is, the tax on uour editor’s time has been too great and even editors get wearied when they have too much work to do.”