Rock Stars and Talking Cats

Our new edition is only fifteen weeks old and constantly stalking the guitars. Here he is sneaking up to his  current favourite . . .

Stalking guitars

Ah ha – caught you red-pawed, Loki, you sweet little devil!

Stalking caught red pawed
Loki the lilac point Siamese. He talks too – which would tickle Bran’s funny bone no end.





Hate to Love You Romance Books

Lately, I’ve been thinking about romance tropes, in particular the hate to love you or refuse to let myself love you ones, pondering why I like them so much.

In fact, I wrote Siren’s Wave to satisfy my, possibly, not quite sane need to read about a guy who would rather break than accept his feelings.

Which is funny, because let’s face facts, in real life who would want to be the heroine in such a tale?  Imagine the pain of pining for a cold-hearted, confused boy who’s stumbling around saying and doing stupid things, fighting how he feels tooth and nail. I don’t imagine it would be much fun to be the girl who tames him. At least not until the happy-ever-after part happens.

I grew up in a rough area of Melbourne, surrounded by bad-boy alpha types who were often just a night’s revelry away from their next stint in jail. And then there were the rockers I worked with in the music industry–super confident, entitled, and always looking for their next conquests. It was such a joy to see these hard hearts melt in the hands of the right girl. Wait a second … I think it is pretty clear how my tastes in romance tropes were formed.

So, although the reality of loving an unwilling doofus is unappealing, I think I get so much pleasure in enemies-to-lovers reads because nothing beats love triumphing over the cynical hearts of these boys who are all–feelings? what the hell are they? It’s so good!

I need to feed my addiction folks, so if you have any recommendations, please send them my way–comments–my email–or you could even try to telepathically communicate them if you’re shy … who knows, I might just receive your signal!

I’ll post a list of my favourite books starring such troubled and feckless lads down the track, but in the meantime, here’s a few tales that I’ve recently enjoyed. They don’t necessarily fit into the hate-to-love trope … they’re just great reads.


Just One Day by Gayle Forman is an absolute treat for those who have a penchant for Shakespeare or who just love engaging, clever story telling and characters that you’ll root for all the way. The other books in the series are total delights, too. My fave is the second book. Which is yours? Click on the cover to read the blurb. They’re a bit on the expensive side e-book wise, but the paperbacks should be available at your library.

The Cruel Prince Holly Black

Holly Black’s The Cruel Prince is a gorgeous read and, although it’s more a fantasy than a romance, Prince Cardan (yes please!) and Jude certainly look like they could be shaping up to be a perfect example of the hate-to-love-you relationship that I enjoy so much. Yippee! This book is beautifully written, and every scene featuring the above-mentioned duo sparkles with a thrillingly perfect tension. It’s for young adults and up. I can’t wait for book two. Click on the cover to read more. Does it sound like your kind of thing?

A duke in shining armor Loretta Chase

So in Loretta Chase’s A Duke in Shining Armor it is rollicking fun to see the protagonists, forced into close and often hilarious proximity, grow to like each other. Ripley and Olympia are wonderful examples of people who are confused by and fighting their feelings. Hence why I’ve had extreme trouble putting this book down.

I’m three quarters of the way through it and have spent most of the time brimming with the warm fuzzies that I’ve come to associate with a top-notch ‘Loretta Chase ride’.  It’s like the Magnum ice cream of books. So much yumminess–the humour, the dialogue, and the requisite rakehell falling for a smart girl in spectacles. I’ll be praying that book two in the series is about Ashmont. He’s a guy I’d love to see fall at the feet of a girl. Painfully. His story could be awesome.

Now, where was I? Oh yes … frustrated Ripley is clodding about in a wheelchair, Olympia thinks all chance of happiness has passed her by, and Ashmont is being a wonderfully clueless dis-Grace.

Until next time X

A boy and his babe…again…

Sorry, I just can’t help myself – too cute alert #2!

Christopher Mason Daughter

I think that’s Christopher Mason and his lovely babe, looking like they belong in rock star romance book SILVA, the Siren’s Wave sequel.

Silva – Book 2

Check out SILVA’s cover … it’s available now! More details on the SILVA page …

Being a rock star isn’t easy. Being in love with one is downright harrowing. Especially when you’re hiding an unwelcome ‘little’ surprise from him…

Silva - Siren's Wave book 2
Silva – End of a Rock and Roll Love Story. Siren’s Wave Book 2

Stalking Rock Stars …

… changing tenses when writing and my Aubrey Beardsley Art Nouveau lock screen just for the hell of it.

The four queens you see in my lock screen there look pretty pleased to have happened upon the lovely Lancelot. He’s just hanging out sleeping innocently in the garden. And what are they doing? Stalking him much? I think so, after all he was the gorgeous rock star of the Arthurian court.

Queenly stalkers aside, right now, in the romance genre first person point of view and, increasingly, present tense are popular ways for authors to write. Just to be different, both my rock romance books are written in third person past tense. Undeniably, there’s something satisfying in the immediacy and the flow of first person present that makes it incredibly fun to dabble in.

In Siren’s Wave I used it for the more poetic mystery-dreamer sequences. I enjoyed writing them so much that in book two I’m using a similar device—present tense third person—for Bran’s mystery stalker’s chapters. Here’s an example  … warning Australian spelling coming right up. This one’s called WATCHER.

EYES FIXED ON the movement of his shoulder blades, the girl stands hypnotised. Frozen, watching every ripple of muscle, angle and glide of bone. The perfect curve of his butt in faded jeans. The golden hair falling in messy waves around that face. Those sinful lips.

All of it hers.

All of him, hers. Well not hers quite yet, but very soon.

Not that cow’s that he pampers like she’s some lust-worthy queen to be obeyed and bowed down to. Ava. What a pathetic cobwebbed-spinster-Aunt’s name.

He reaches the front of stage, eyes scanning the swarming crowd, and the drone rises, rushing at her ears.

It hurts.

To distract herself from the wildness, the zapping inside her head, she concentrates on his fingers turning guitar pegs, adjusting and feeling into the sound, like he always does.

Watch him.

Watch him and don’t think of anything else. Especially not her.

“Hey!” he shouts into the mic, long and deep. “Y’all hot enough?” The crowd reaches fever pitch and he turns to grin back at Nate. Bran’s laugh stabs at her chest. An attack she has no desire to protect herself from.

The endless sea of fools all wanting a piece of him, scream. And scream. They lurch and push forward, fingers reaching and mouths gaping like black holes. Wanting to swallow him up.

She knows the feeling.

She stands motionless but for the head she nods in sync with the drum beat.

Up and down.

Down and up.

In a steady pattern, so she won’t look out of place.

And she watches.

Excerpt from Siren’s Wave Book Two.


Bad Bran, Angry Ava …

. . . VS Brave Bran, Amiable Ava.

Gorgeous shot of Hanna Sorheim and Ton Heukels by Matteo Montanari for Cargo Collective.

“Well, that’s confirmed it. I reckon you’re about seven parts optimist and three parts moron. That’s a dangerous combo, Ava.” – Bad Bran, Thin Ice.

Christopher Mason
Christopher Mason looking very Bran-like

“Finally,” she said. “You’re a bit slow, aren’t you?” His scowl grew. Don’t believe me. I’m lying, she thought. The words tried to break through her lips, but she wouldn’t say them. He needed to move on already, bother a different girl. – Angry Ava, The Kitchen.

retro girl fighting

partner_in_crime_Nima Benati crop
Ton Heukels – Partners in Crime shoot crop for Patrizia Pepe by the very talented Nima Benati

Gripping the table with both hands, his eyes gleamed a translucent blue-green like chunks of raw beryl. “I . . . well . . .” He closed his eyes, rubbed his forehead and took a breath. “How can I say it, Ave? You’re the water. The wave. The ride. The whole lot.” – Brave Bran, This is What You Want.

“Okay then. I know you’ve never said it in the whole of your life. It’s hard. I understand that and I’ve been patient, but it’s only three words. And if you mean them, it should be okay, right? So I’ll be the brave one and say it first.” She took a big breath. “I love you.” Ava grimaced at her food. “Wow, it does make you feel vulnerable. But does that help?”  – Amiable Ava, This is What You Want.