Sunday, June 26, 2016

What a difference a cover makes!

You might remember my last book - Destined for The Desert King. I loved the UK and USA cover of that . it was very suitable for the book, gorgeous colours  and had so many touches of luxury and  portrayed the characters so well.

But then yesterday I got a package of new foreign translations, and there was a Dutch translation of Destined for the Desert King  - same book, same characters - but - what a different mood, style and image for the cover.  Same characters but at a different point in the story  and . . . well, see for yourself. . .

They're both fine for the story, and my hero and heroine. The hero has lost his beard in the Dutch one - but then he does shave that off in the middle of the story.  It's such a different mood though  - but it's the same book.

Personally I'm all for  different types  of images on the covers . I don't mind a sexy passionate bedroom scene, or a more subtle, perhaps more tender scene. I think that the Harlequin  Presents  line indicates a mixture of both.  And, let's face it, 8 books with 8 covers of 8 heroes and 8 heroines in bed together - er - 4 couples separately, not all 8 in one bed!!) will inevitably  look rather 'samey' and uninteresting. And while that image might be suitable for one scene in a book - or perhaps a lot of another! - it doesn't actually represent the whole development of the story.  But then what cover can.

Which one do you like best?   What sort of cover art would make you want to pick up  a romance novel?

Monday, June 20, 2016

Father's Day Weekend

Lovely Lola
This  Sunday being Father's Day, we  enjoyed the company of The Offspring and his Lovely Fiancée.

And the beautiful  grand-dog, Lola  the golden retriever.   Lola was a very cute puppy,  and she has grown into a very beautiful  nine month old dog.   She is one of those very pale golden dogs - more a blonde, and at times almost white.  (Though not when she has been to the beach or the woods because then she is really mainly mud!)

Thanks to the Lovely Fiancée, she is also a very well-behaved creature, so she's a delight to have around.

And what about our cats? How did they cope? Well, Lola lives with six cats so she is used to felines, and she is very sensible and well-behaved around them. She's also (even more sensibly) very respectful to Charlie, recognising that he is the Alpha Cat in the household. This was her third visit to stay overnight and it seems that Charlie has just about come to accept her. No great friendship there, but he'll tolerate her.
Almost there!

So long as everyone accepts that he is the most beautiful creature in the house.  Which of course he is.

And Ruby? She's taking a bit longer to come round - but then she's only half the size of Charlie, so Lola must seem very imposing to her.  It'll take another couple of visits I think - but she'll get there.

Lola likes cats so much, she'll wait.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Tote Bags Day

Today's the 12 June which makes it my day for blogging over at Tote Bags 'N' Blogs. ( A little late as the heavy thundery weather left me with a migraine - but I made it in the end!)

As  here in the UK there have been major celebrations for the Queen's 90th birthday, I thought I'd take the opportunity to look back at the past 90 years of romance novels and some of their amazing covers.    So if you want to see some of 'The Art of Romance'  -  take a look over there.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

The trouble with Maine Coons

As you will have noticed, Charlie is a Maine Coon - which means that he is  very much a long-haired cat.  A beautiful long-haired cat, as many people have been kind enough to say about him.  (I'm keeping that bit quiet as the admiration he's already had has gone to his head far enough already.

  Long-haired cats obviously need a lot of grooming - regular grooming - or they don't  stay beautiful for very long.  Charlie is not a fan of being groomed. Particularly not when he has a just-healed sore spot on his neck, and lower down from a just-healed nasty abscess.  So I have had a struggle to do any serious grooming this past week if I wanted to keep my hands. And as they are rather useful to me, I have had to do a basic minimum of the grooming thing or I would  have been able to write this post.

The other thing about Maine Coons is that when they shed their winter coat (which is a long, heavy coat)  they don't just shed like ordinary cats ie a few threads of fur here and there - that can be hoovered up quite easily.  Maine  Coon's winter fur gathers together into a clump and that clump is what sheds.   This is what I try to groom off him.

But with the sore neck etc problem I haven't been able to do a full thorough  grooming session. As a result, we knew that there was a large clump of fur that had gathered together and we were waiting - trying a bit more each day - to get it away from his neck and lower down his back so we could  remove it  - at least trimming off most of it.  But yesterday he went out - messy clump attached  - and came back without messy clump.

Fine, it had fallen off on its own. But  this morning the lovely lady who lives along the road and her handsome Border Collie Dylan   (who is way bigger than but frightened of Charlie!) knocked on our door in some concern.  (Well the lady did - I know Border Collies are bright, but not that bright!)

'Is your cat all right ?' she asked, worried  has he been in a fight or something . . ' She was afraid he might have met the local fox or perhaps a car.  She held out the clump of fur that Dylan had
found by the roadside.   A very large clump of fur.   As you'll see from the picture.

Luckily I was able to reassure here that this was simply Charlie shedding - but  even I have to admit that if I'd spotted that lying in the middle of the road, I might well have feared that a small kitten had had a terrible accident - or that a cat had had a large chunk torn out of him.   Either way, I really appreciated her taking the time and trouble to come and check that the big ginger guy was all right.  Thank you so much kind neighbour - and Dylan.

It just shows what a couple of days missing grooming can do!

And, on a serious point, if  you have a long-haired cat and don't groom it in the spring shedding season particularly - that lump of fur is what can end up  being tongue-groomed - and swallowed and can end up blocking the cat's stomach.   As you can see, Charlie has a lot more where that came from!

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Welcome return visitor

They haven't been seen for a while, and  to tell the truth we were getting a little worried that perhaps the residents of Hedgehog Towers (aka the Hecks) had packed up and moved on - or worse. Particularly when a poor ex-hedgehog was squashed on the road last week.

But  the food we had put out for them was being eaten by someone -  though that could be the stray cats/squirrels/magpies or even the rook that comes down to the bird table. (He takes a whole suet ball for himself and retires to the garage roof to eat in peace!)

But last week the neighbours said that they'd seen Ruby the black and white cat  playing jump over the hedgehog in their garden so we hoped we could relax- and last night the warm weather and light evening meant that at least we could get our first clear view of a foraging hedgehog snuffling about the lawn.

We're glad to see him/her back again - hopefully it's not the only one.

Friday, June 03, 2016

Pink Hearts Day

For anyone who wants an update on Charlie - he is so much better he's eating like a pig, and now has gone out to chase magpies off his lawn!

Today is the 3rd of the month which means that it's my day to blog at the Pink Hearts Society - where I'm looking forward to the events coming up - RNA - Writers Holiday - Relax and Write and all the fun I'll have there.

Have a great weekend. I know Charlie will!

New cover reveal.

    So after 48 hours of antibiotics, regular bathing of his neck good food, and a l-o-n-g sleep Charlie Rumpusscat (his full name!) is feeling so much better. He's celebrated getting rid of the cone of shame by running out of the house and up a crab apple tree. singing a song of joy as he goes. :-)

    Or perhaps he's celebrating the fact that I've just been sent the image of the cover of my new book - Indebted to Moreno - which is coming at the end of September. Would you like to see it? It seems to have pleased Charlie.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

A Day in The Life of . . .2

Charlie the Maine Coon would like to thank everyone who paid him compliments and said he was beautiful - which he is - but he would also like everyone to know that his life is not always  one long round of snoozes and snacks.

It is sometimes, but there are other days on which that enjoyable and comfortable life  is disrupted by things of a disastrous type - ie  visits to the vet disasters.

He has had one of those days today,  after appearing at the door with a rather nasty mess on his neck which turned out to be the result of an abscess under his fur which had burst. After a trip to the vert for a clean up - plus some eye wateringly expensive antibiotics and painkillers, he is now back home safe and almost sound. But he is not happy as you can see.
The dreaded cone is round his neck to stop him from scratching at the wound  and he is to stay inside  for a while - which he is not best pleased about.

His song of protest is loud and from the heart, specially as  - if you look  at this picture - you will see a pair of black and white legs that belong to his sister Ruby who is allowed out into the garden, much to his disgust.

However, if the thunder and rain forecast for the evening appear, perhaps that will make him feel better about staying inside. It's already cold enough to  mean that if he did go outside, then he'd soon be back in again.

But at the moment he is singing a song of heartfelt protest in a fine, high tenor voice!

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