Archive for the 'for fun' Category


My Favorite Gadget

walk1I remember the first gadget that started my infatuation with technology: a cool silver and blue clip-on Sony Walkman.  Now, things have come a long way since the mid-80s and their massive packaging, with gadgets getting smaller and cleverer (remember those Nokia mobile phones the size of house bricks?).  I’ve moved on to CD Walkmans, then a generic MP3 player, to a you-beaut Toshiba Gigabeat.  I’ve upgraded my massive SLR camera to a digital (although the photo quality is just not quite the same as a traditional camera).   For Christmas I got an e-book reader, the BeBook, and I’m thrilled to have a gadget that stores hundreds of books and weighs less than a paperback, saving masses of shelf space.

I haven’t succumb to the phone upgrade yet – I’m quite happy with my LG hot-pink flip phone because I don’t NEED to take photos, read email and surf the ‘net with it – I have said digital camera and computer for that 🙂  I also love those little USB flash drives that can hold everything from documents, photos, music and downloads… I have several 😀

mac1But all that pales by comparision to my iMac Book.  I’ve only had it for a week but I’ve in loooove with its sleek white design, speed, wireless capability and simple ease of finding what you need quickly.  Even the most simple things like the magnetic closure and power cable attachment is exciting!  Yes, I still have my big desktop PC (the very clever but slow, sensitive, unreliable long-time partner) but my little white Mac is just so fast and RELIABLE.  It’s like having an exciting, cute new love interest who actually listens to you 🙂

What’s your favorite gadget?  Is it something that’s made your life easier?  More fun?  More interesting?


On the 7th day of Christmas – Sandra Hyatt

swansMy true love gave to me seven swans a swimming.

Apparently the ‘seven swans’ refers to the seven gifts of the holy spirit. And whatever your religious persuasion it never hurts to stop and count your blessings and the gifts in your life. 

I admit that I tend to get a little (actually a lot) frazzled around Christmas time ie I haven’t done any, yes any, Christmas shopping yet, Christmas lunch for ten is at my house and I don’t know what we’re having, and there seem to be one hundred and one things going on in my and my children’s life – none of which I’m quite prepared for. So it’s that time of year when I have to remind myself to take a step back, let go of my hair and count my blessings, look back at the gifts I’ve received throughout the year.

Oviously the stand out one was getting The Call from an editor at Desire – Christmas on August 1st!

But there are the other subtler ones, the biggest of which is that my family are happy and healthy and will be celebrating Christmas together. I have two close friends who’ve lost loved ones this year and I just can’t imagine not having in the world any of those people: children, siblings, parents, friends whose presence feels essential to my happiness and the rightness of the world.

What blessings are you counting the Christmas time?



On the 3rd day of Christmas…

The Perfect Gift, by Bronwyn Jameson

Almost as much as choosing the perfect gift, I love the wrapping. I save up the gifts for an intensive day of wrapping, with all my carefully chosen papers and ribbons and bows laid out before me, all so prettily tempting. I’m not a fan of the monotone gift wrap, not at Christmas. I adore the colours of the season, the combination of red and green and gold, the tinsel and sparkles and patterns. I love the picture they make piled beneath the decorated tree, and the anticipation of waiting for the great unwrapping.

But the perfect gift doesn’t always come prettily wrapped under the tree. It’s often not store bought but homemade, thoughtfully chosen as perfect for that one person and created with wholehearted love. Home baking,  a memory book or collection of photos, a hand stitched blanket or craft keepsake, a voucher to babysit or cook a special meal or take on another task in a busy person’s life.

What is your perfect gift, to give or receive?

Share your thoughts and go in the draw to win a signed copy of my Bestseller Collection, In Bed With the Boss’s Daughter and Addicted to Nick, plus a pretty phone jewel.


Most Desirable Movies

As the holidays head our way with a slew of new releases, it’s time to start talking movies.  For us Desirabelles, movies rate a close second to books when it comes to stuff we love.  It’s the ultimate visual way to submerse yourself in a story, to swoon over the guys and cheer on the girls, get lost in the action, the plot and the sheer wonder of storytelling. Here are our top movie picks:


anofficeragentlemanBron says:
One favourite movie? Impossible. This is why I like lists. But for the sake of this exercise I am going with An Officer and a Gentleman because I love the layers of conflict, the flawed but redeemable characters, the vignettes from the past that show why Zack is who he is, the emotional highs and lows, the smokin’ chemistry between Richard Gere and Debra Winger, and last but not least,reddress the most fabulously romantic final scene in movieland. Yes, Pretty Woman and Notting Hill come close, but the “Way to go, Paula, way to go!” final line is a classic. Oh, and the theme song, “Love lifts you up where you belong”, is also the movie’s tagline. Perfect.


titanic-3Paula says:
I’m with Gemini Bron – can’t chose one and totally need a list.  It also depends on what mood I’m in: I adore Star Wars (Episodes IV-VI) for its storytelling complexity, battle of good over evil, the plot twists, Leia’s gorgeous flowing robes, the gold bikini and the wonderful chemistry between her and Han Solo (yum… Harrison Ford!)  I love Titanic (despite the tragic ending) because I cry like a baby, it has Leonardo anddirty-dancing-movie-01 of course, Rose’s amazing wardrobe.  I think, though, Dirty Dancing hits a particular spot in my heart.  It was the movie of my generation, it spoke to everyone including the romantics, the guys and girls, the wallflowers and the beautiful people.   A story about a teenager coming of age, a dancing contest and a romantic love story, it was a phenomenon.  It started a dancing craze, had a kick-ass soundtrack (or two),  spawned a 60s revival, a stage show and launched Patrick Swayze’s stellar career as a hunky romantic lead AND a singer.  It also had the best line ever: “nobody puts Baby in a corner.”  And who doesn’t get goosebumps at the end when Johnny lipsincs “I’ve had the time of my life” to Baby?  ::::sigh::::


princess-bride21Nalini says:
My favorite movie changes with my mood, but one movie I can watch over and over, and OVER again is The Princess Bride.  It’s funny, it’s snarky, but at theprincess-bride core of it all, it’s romantic.  My heart melts every time Westley says “As you wish.” And that scene where he’s telling Buttercup how he survived the Dread Pirate Roberts…sigh. There’s a sweetness to the story (including that of the secondary characters) that just makes cynicism impossible – it’s a movie to watch with your heart wide open.



Yvonne says:
To be honest, I’m totally stuck choosing just one ‘best’ movie. Whenever people ask me what’s my favourite film my first answer is always Ghost – it has a love story, action, humour, good vs. evil, makes me cry every time I watch it, but it doesn’t have the totalghost package in the happy ending department. Again, with another much loved movie, Hanover Street, starring Harrison Ford and Lesley-Anne Down – it has romance, action, drama, adventure, but again the happy ending is blurred (which you kind of get when adultery is involved.) So, all in all, the movie that delivers everything for me, and which I love to watch over and over, is still An Officer and a Gentleman. We have romance, action, drama, humour, makes me cry (happy tears) and delivers on that amazing sweep-you-off-your-feet happy ending every darn time.


while-you-were-sleepingSandra says:
Today I’m choosing While You Were Sleeping (tomorrow it’d probably be something different), but this movie with Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman always leaves me with that ‘aahhh’ moment. I like how she thinks she’s looking for one thing (love and a different life with the handsome, suave brother) and falls in love with the other brother instead. It’s the ‘falling’ of falling in love that I enjoy most in movies and in books. That I can have a good laugh along the way helps, too. Might just have to get this one out again and watch it.


pandpkissRachel says:
I have heaps of favourite movies and it was really hard to decide on just one. ibm_colinfirthSo I’ve chosen the first movie I ever owned: Pride and Prejudice – the 1940 MGM version with Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier.   It was the 80’s, I was a teenager in love with Jane Austen books, and didn’t have a lot of cash, so the fact I splurged on a video when it wasn’t popular to buy them shows the depth of my love.   The plot is at best a loose adaptation, the costumes are from the wrong period and the acting is OTT but I still love it. I can recite much of the dialogue by heart. I now also own the Colin Firth miniseries, the recent Matthew MacFadyen movie and the Bollywood verrsion, but, like a first love, the 1940 P&P has a special place in my heart.


casino_royale_iris-o1danielcraigRobyn says:
 I’ve never been a James Bond fan. Oh, Pierce Brosnan is delectable and Sean Connery is the epitome of black-tie masculine charm. But the boy-toys never did it for me, and while the women were gorgeous, the films were more a lust than a love story…until the latest, Casino Royale.

Daniel Craig shoots 007 well into the 21st century with fabulous action scenes, exceptional dialogue and, I need to mention, a bod that looks fan-damn-tastic in swimmers. 😀 I even came to like Daniel’s pout! But it’s the deep love, which develops between James and this particular Bond Girl, Vesper (actress Eva Green), that seals this film as one of my faves of all time.   Favourite scene…Bond wants to tell Vesper that he’s giving up his Superjames-bond-and-vesper Spy life for love of her. Lying together on a warm sandy beach, Vesper laments, “You’re not going to let me in there, are you? You’ve got your armour back on. That’s that.” James studies her with those startling blue eyes and says, “I have no armour left. You’ve stripped it from me. Whatever is left of me – whatever is left of me – whatever I am – I’m yours.”   Can’t wait to see Quantum of Solace next week! 🙂

martini-shaken-not-stirredWhile I wait impatiently for Toy Story 3 and Madagascar 2, let’s talk about your favorite movies.  Post a comment and you could win a copy of Dancing Backwards In High Heels by fabulous new Aussie author Christine Darcas!


Sssssssmokin’! Blokes who cut their hair and brought sexy back

A few years ago, I worked with a guy who was your typical surfer type – bronzed, blue-eyed, tall and lean,  with tied-up blond locks that accompanied his business suit every day. A nice guy, but no-one you’d think was stunning. Then, one day, he did a Bon Jovi and cut that hair.  Phhhwoooor!  Instant stud muffin, as voted by all the girls in the office.   

So that got me thinking – we all love a good celebrity overhaul and women always make the front pages. What about the guys? It can be as simple as cutting your hair.

Jon Bon Jovi
It sent shockwaves around the world in the early 90s.  I can remember a friend actually crying about the loss of those long, permed locks (go figure).  But in going the chop, the lead singer of 80s hair band Bon Jovi not only brought his music into the 21at century, but started a trend by “doing a Bon Jovi” and becoming seriously sexy.


Russell Crowe
This choice was a bit of a stretch because really, Russ looks gorgeous with any length of hair, as long as he’s got a three-day growth happening (clean shaven and he looks waaaay too 80s).  But if I really had to choose between long-hair or short-hair Russ (hmm… sounds like a dream I had once) I’d take him a little rough around the edges. As long as he doesn’t start throwing any objects except himself in my direction.


Jamie Durie
Yeah, he started off as a dancer in Australia’s early 90s all-male strip show Man Power, and I admit I saw him perform once (or was that twice?)  Boy, did he have the muscles to back up those sexy locks!  But then he disappeared from public view, obviously to discourage all those panty-throwing, wildly-groping hysterical women, cuts the hair, gets his own gardening show and is now not only seriously talented but oh so nice to look at, too.   And all packed into a pair of worn blue denims… yum!


Ian “Dicko” Dickson
Lordy, the man looked like something out of a cheap sleazy nightclub.  Australian Idol’s answer to Simon Cowell seriously needed a modern day overhaul, especially in an industry that embraces change, fashion and cutting edge.  What is it about aging Aussie blokes and their mullets?  Are they all members of the “Blokes Over 35 That Hold Onto Their Mullet Waaaay Too Long” Club?  I can’t count how many times I’ve screamed at my TV “cut your bloody HAIR!”   And finally my prayers were answered.  Now, he may still be a little paunchy and definitely not under 35, but I have a soft spot for a guy who is man enough to admit the mullet isn’t working.

Jason Wiles
You may recognize Third Watch’s Detective Boscorelli from Bon Jovi’s film clip, “Always” (it also featured Keri “Felicity” Russell, too).  Thank the lord someone gave that guy a haircut and a role on Beverly Hills 90210!  And while Jason and Keri both may be pretty with long hair, Jason is definitely hotter going short. 

Ahhh, Mister Romance himself.  Mister Stud Muffin, Beefcake, Hunk of Medieval Warrior…oops, sorry, got carried away.  There’s no denying the he-man looks, the built bod… but the hair just has to go.  And it did for a while.  I can’t recall if he’s grown it back or not (if there is a god, no!) but don’t you think he looks smoulderingly ssseexy without it, as witnessed in this GQ ad?


Billy Ray Cyrus
I can hear it now:
(Disney execs) – “we’re looking at Billy Ray Cyrus for the part of Hannah Montana’s dad.”
“What, Mister Achy Breaky Heart?”
“You’re fired.”
“We’ll give him a haircut. Trust me, he’ll look hip and cool.”
“So help me, if this show flops you’ll never work in this town again!”
And so the King of the Mullet is no more. Thank god.  Now I’m just waiting for him to remove that annoying little flava sava from his lip because he sooo looks like Keith Urban and we all know there can only be one Mister Nicole Kidman.

Who’s your favorite celeb, singer, actor who’s gone the chop and looks better for it? And because we’re an equal-opportunity blog, you can go to town on the women too!


Cover Fun

As we’re giving away a copy of a French translation this week, I thought it might be fun to share covers of some of our recent and current translations. As you can see, they’re popping up all over Europe and in many languages.

Lovely, aren’t they?


Contest & RWNZ Conference

Most of the other Desirabelles are off to the Romance Writers of Australia conference this week, so we’ll be getting some reports from them when they return. Until then, I thought I’d swing by and let you all know I’m giving away a copy of Susan Napier’s Accidental Mistress on my blog. Drop your name into the hat by Sunday to go into the draw.

And here’s a photo of me with Susan herself at the recent Romance Writers of New Zealand conference (yep, it’s conference season).

Thanks to Christina Phillips for the photo (Christina just got her first ever cover, so drop by and congratulate her) 🙂

Hope you’re all having a great week!