Sep 20, 2017

Dora's Happily Ever After

I love a Happily Ever After. Love them in books, love them in movies, and love them in real life. And not just for people. Everyone deserves a HEA, even little girls like Dora.

Where Dora came from...
Dora, Reuben (middle) and Dougal (at back)

Dora is an eight-year-old greyhound who was rescued from appalling conditions along with five other greys. She was so thin her little hip bones stuck out, and she was scared and confused. All the rescue groups were full (one has a waiting list of 90 greyhounds), but somehow Dora and her group were still saved.

The first job was veterinary assessment, where she was desexed, had her teeth cleaned (and a couple of teeth beyond saving were removed), and some lumps removed. Then she came to me. We had first fostered an 11year-old girl, Cindy, from the same group, but she had died during her vet work as a result of her past treatment (her heart was damaged, most likely from drugs), and we were devastated. The next day, we picked up Dora. 

Despite being a senior girl, Dora had never lived in a house before, so she wasn't house trained, but she was also confused by things like the TV, and the reflective surface of the oven door, and sounds like the vacuum. However, for Dora, these were trifles. The big news was that she had soft beds, and discovered the joys of couches. Plus, food! All that food. To start with, we fed her three times a day to get her weight up. She was pretty thrilled with that.

Another favourite new thing was walks. She didn't know how to walk on a lead and would pull and jerk to try to get to all the exciting smells, but it didn't take her long to realise we'd meander over to where she wanted to go if she was patient, and she became a joy to walk.

Dora loves a fluffy toy to snuggle.
But her favourite new thing of all was love and affection. At first, she was wary even as she was desperate for pats. She soon learned we could be trusted and lapped up as many kisses and tummy rubs as we were willing to give her.

Dora and Reuben
Her profile was added to the adoption page of the group that had rescued her, Friends of the Hound, and she had her own adoption video, but sometimes the senior dogs take a bit longer than the young ones. After just over four months with us, her perfect home came calling. They had a seven-year-old male greyhound already, and were after a girl about Dora's age. And they'd fallen in love with her over the interwebs.

A meet and greet was arranged and we drove all day, from Queensland to NSW, so Dora could meet the humans and hound. It went even better than we'd hoped, and Dora is now officially on her two week trial period with them. Assuming all goes well, they'll adopt her at the end of the trial. 

On our road trip to her forever home!

Her new home has soft dog beds and couches and treats and yummy food and a huuuuuge yard to explore at pats and kisses and LOVE. I couldn't have dreamed up a better, more perfect home for her. There have been tears as I've had to leave her behind, along with a piece of my heart, but I know for sure that this is Dora's Happily Ever After. And I couldn't be more thrilled.

Dora with her new brother Cairo

Sep 18, 2017

In Praise of Coming Home...

I’ve been travelling a lot the last few months, and as much as I’ve had an incredible time seeing new places and meeting up with writer friends, I always love coming home. I guess that’s a good thing – I’m always excited to leave for a holiday and always excited to come home.

So I thought I would share with you my favourite things about coming home after a trip away:

1. Sleeping in my own bed – this is almost the biggest one. My bed was a bit of an investment, but it’s the comfiest bed going around and I love sleeping in it.

2. Not living out of a suitcase – it’s nice to be able to walk into my closet and pick out my outfit for the day without everything being rumples (I pack neatly at the start of the trip – but by the end all bets are off!)

3. Eating well – I tend to indulge on holiday with food and drink, so by the time I get home I just want a huge veggie soup!

Home Sweet Home
4. Getting back to work – I love my job, so I actually miss it when I travel! Inevitably, I will come up with a new story idea during my travels and so when I get home I take all the notes out of my phone and put them into my computer so they don’t get forgotten.

5. Seeing friends – of course!

6. Getting back in my routine – I definitely thrive from having a routine. I sleep better and wake up easier. Boring, I know! But I’m a creature of habit.

7. Not risking spoilers for Game of Thrones – when we were in Australia, I could barely use the internet for fear of spoiling myself. The night after we got back, we went to a friend’s place and had dinner while catching up. And then the internet was safe again.

What are your favourite things about returning home after a trip?

Sep 17, 2017

Sunday Smooch with Helen Lacey......

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from Helen Lacey ,but first 

... the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is Helen Sibbrit

Can you please contact Louisa George on louisageorgeauthor (at) gmail (dot) com to receive your copy of The Other Life of Charlotte Evans.........

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from The Secret's Of The A-List, by Helen Lacey........

 Tensions are running high in the Marshall clan—but temptations are
running higher. Escaping to
Paris for some pre-wedding shopping, Elana and Rafe come face-to-face with a mysterious stranger—one with an explosive secret link to their family. And speaking of connections—those are some white-hot sparks flying between Mariella and Joe. But who spies their tryst with her little eye?

Super Rich. Super Sexy. Super Addictive.

The rich and powerful Marshalls are in crisis - and Mariella needs a shoulder to lean on. And along comes Joe friend and confidante. they are by the poolside of the Marshall mansion, until they both realize there is more going on than simple friendship....with her husband in a coma, her son's brawling, and The Fixer calling the shots, she turns to the only person she can trust.

“What’s wrong, Joe?” she demanded. “Why do you look so…so…odd?”

He swallowed hard, and Mariella watched, mesmerized as his strong throat moved. His eyes were burning into hers, his expression suddenly unreadable. Something was going on. Something big.

“Joe,” she said again. “What is it? What are you thinking?” It occurred to her that he might know more than he was letting on. “Do you know who tried to kill my husband?”

He shook his head and stepped closer. “No.”

“Then what is it?”

His attention was unwavering. Had a man ever looked at her with such scorching intensity before? He was close, barely a foot away from her. The air between them was burning up.

“Don’t you know, Mariella?”

She didn’t know what to think, what to feel. What to say.

Mariella took another tiny stride backward and found herself backed up against a pillar. Her wrap flapped open, and she watched as Joe’s gaze flittered over her, suddenly lingering on her breasts as her chest rose up and down. She noticed his cheeks were slashed with color and his hands were balled into fists. And he was breathing hard. Harder than she’d ever noticed before. And he looked as though simply staring at her caused him a kind of gut-wrenching agony. He’d seen her in a swimsuit countless times. But this was different. This felt different. Her skin prickled instinctively, and she shuddered, not from fear, but something else.




Realization coursed through her blood, heated her skin and forced her to admit something that had been simmering beneath the surface for a long time.

She was attracted to Joe.

And it was mutual.

Without thinking, she reached up and laid her hand on his arm. He was burning, on fire. Even through the fabric of his shirt, she could feel the heat generated from his skin. Mariella met his gaze instantly. And saw longing.

He groaned, as though the sound was pulled from somewhere deep within his chest, and Mariella was lost. And then, suddenly, she was against him, breast to chest, hip to hip. His arms came around her, and within seconds he found her mouth. He kissed her, hard, as though he was trying to exorcise her from his thoughts…his very soul. And Mariella kissed him back. She’d forgotten this kind of kissing. It had been so long since any man had captured her lips in such an urgent, possessive way. He thrust his tongue into her mouth, and she accepted it greedily. Mariella clutched his shoulders in a frantic effort to get closer to him. He touched her breast, rubbing his thumb across her nipple, and the sensitive bud tightened instantly, sending a quick and hot message to her brain and then swiftly to the place between her thighs. His tongue felt so good against her own, moving around her mouth with a kind of erotic expertise that quickly drugged her senseless. All coherent thoughts were forgotten. Nothing mattered. Just Joe. Just his tongue in her mouth and his hand on her breast, his thumb doing insane things to her nipple. Every part of her was on fire, lit from within, suddenly more alive than she could ever remember being. She’d forgotten this feeling. She’d pushed it deep into a part of herself where passion and desire didn’t exist. She was a mother and a wife. But in that moment, she felt like a lover. He was rock hard against her, pressing his arousal into her belly, making her mindless with need.

“I want you,” he muttered against her lips as the kissing went on and on. “I want you so much,” he said, dragging air into his lungs as he kissed her jaw and her neck and the insanely sensitive spot below her ear. He sucked on her lobe, whispering, grinding closer, and Mariella wrapped her arms around his waist. She threw her head back, and he moved lower, pushing aside her bikini top, and then his mouth closed over one straining, aching nipple. Sensation arrowed directly between her thighs as he suckled the tender flesh. She’d forgotten that heat, that need, that feeling that told her there was more to be had. Much more. All she could want. He moved back up, kissing, nipping, licking her skin.

“I’m crazy for you,” he admitted. “I want you so much.”

Mariella groaned as his tongue thrust between her teeth, pressing closer, feeling him grow harder, wanting him with an intensity that was suddenly terrifying. “I want you, too.”

And then, as though her capitulation had somehow switched on a light inside him, Joe heaved his mouth from hers and staggered back, dragging deep breaths into his lungs.

Mariella sagged against the pillar, staring at him, wild-eyed and confused. Her lips throbbed, her breasts were hard, her nipples peaked and aching for his touch, and there was a heat between her thighs that she hadn’t felt since forever. But he took another step back. And then another. And another. And then he turned, moving toward the edge of the pool, his broad shoulders moving up and down jerkily. She quickly pulled the bikini top back into place and grabbed the edges of her wrap, covering herself. Her entire body was on fire, and her knees felt so weak she could barely stand. All she wanted was to go to him, to help alleviate the ethical crisis he was clearly experiencing.

But she didn’t. She stayed where she was and waited for Joe to speak. But a moment later, Vanessa returned to the patio carrying a pitcher of sangria. Were her housekeeper’s hands shaking? Mariella couldn’t be sure. Had she seen them? Mariella hoped not. Vanessa had always proven to be discreet, but the last thing she wanted was anyone witnessing what she and Joe had just been doing in broad daylight. Once the other woman hurriedly disappeared, Mariella found the strength in her legs to walk toward the pool. Joe turned before she reached him. He was pale, stricken.

“God forgive me,” he said raggedly.

Mariella reached out and put a finger to his lips. “Don’t,” she whispered. “Don’t be sorry.”

He grabbed her hand and held it against his chest, and she felt him trembling. “I’m gonna go straight to hell for this.”

“Maybe,” she said and moved closer. “But I’ll go with you.”

And then she was in his arms again and his lips were on hers and his tongue was thrusting into her mouth and his hips were grinding into hers. And, suddenly, nothing else mattered.

The Secret's Of The A-List is a twelve part serial written by a group of Harlequin authors. It's Revenge meets Dynasty meets The Bold & The Beautiful.

Love them or hate them, the rich & famous can have a polarizing affect on people....which camp do you belong to?

Leave a comment to go into the draw to win an eCopy of Episode 5 of Secrets Of The A-List (Or I can change that for a paperback copy of my August book from Harlequin Special Edition)

Come back next week when the winner will be announced and a smoking hot smooch from Amy Andrews will be posted!

Sep 15, 2017

Happiness Is..........

With there seeming to be so much uncertainty in the world, with bad news spreading the airwaves and social media, I wanted to think about the things that make me happy...and maybe share some things that make you happy too!

This makes me happy.....

Traveling for over one thousand kilometers this weekend with my husband, and heading to Toranafest (yes, there is a such a thing) Where four hundred plus Holden Torana enthusiasts get together to celebrate all things Torana. It's my first time to this event and I'm looking forward to posting some pictures on Facebook over the weekend. This is hubby's blue baby....

And this makes me happy.....
The upcoming release of my episode of Secret Of the A-List - I was fortunate enough to be asked to write one episode of this sexy new serial for Harlequin. It's a twelve part serial and I have written Epsiode 5, due out in October. The series is a cross between Revenge/Dynasty/Bold & The Beautiful and I was delighted to have the opportunity to be a part of it.
And this makes me happy.... beautiful boy who I have had in my life for ten years. The laziest horse on the planet, but also the kindest and most trustworthy friend. He's retired now, but still loves time and attention.
And this makes me happy....
Flowers....all kinds. Getting them and giving them.
And this guy.....
My gorgeous Boss....walking him along the esplanade where I live. Quiet walks on the beach that make me appreciate the beauty of where I live and the joy in simple things. 


So, what makes you happy?

Sep 13, 2017

10 Fun Facts about Sarah and the Secret Sheikh

Release month is always exciting…and look at my covers! Aren’t they delicious (perhaps especially the UK hardcover—yum! :))? So I thought I’d share 10 fun facts about Sarah and the Secret Sheikh.

1. My working title for this book was Pregnant to the Secret Sheikh. This is the closest I’ve ever come to keeping a title I’ve suggested. :-) Mind you, I love the alliteration of Sarah and Secret.

2. Mr Douglas named the hero of this book. He's taught a number of Saudi Arabian students, and when I was searching for a name he suggested Majed. I thought it perfect.

3. When I was a child, Sarah was my favourite name in the whole world. This is solely down to the fact that the name of Dr Who’s sidekick at the time was also Sarah (full name of Sarah Jane Smith). I thought her gorgeous and sassy and strong. And my Sarah also has moments of sass and strength so the name fitted her perfectly.

4. This is my Pandora charm for the book. My Facebook friends will already have seen this, but it’s so pretty it’s worth seeing again. :-)

5. Lots of readers have loved to hate Sarah’s mother…but I love her. Yeah, she’s critical and strident, but there’s little doubt that she loves her daughter and would help her out of any catastrophe. But, yes, she’d be seriously hard work at a dinner party. ;-)

6. Is it possible to have a feminist, beta Sheikh? I would argue that Majed is most definitely a feminist—he never puts his desire for fatherhood above Sarah’s desires. He has no intention of forcing her to remain in his kingdom of Keddah Jaleel and marrying him if she doesn’t want to. He sees her as an equal. Actually, he considers that she has more rights than he does because it’s her body that is carrying their child, not his. He made me swoon (can you tell?). I call him a beta for this very reason, but he shows some definite alpha tendencies.

7. The theme song for this book is Sophie B Hawkins Damn I wish I was Your Lover. I love this song. Whenever I hear it I immediately think of Sarah and Majed.

8. I worry that I should’ve written an epilogue. What do you think—yes or no? I could create one and offer it as an extra to all of my newsletter subscribers.

In fact this played on my mind so much I did write an epilogue for my upcoming March 2018 release.

9. The story starts in Majed’s bar in Melbourne (it’s not actually his bar, but he’s running it for a mutual of his and Sarah’s). In my mind I wanted that bar to be a meeting place like the bar in the sitcom Cheers, or the coffee shop in Friends. I mean there’s no room for an ensemble cast in a category romance…but in my mind, that bar is the place to be. :-) I even toyed with names for it: The Shooting Star, The Merry Magpie, Five Bells...The Thirsty Cricket.

10. One of my absolute favourite fantasy elements of the fictional location of Keddah Jaleel (besides the fact it has a coastline which means amazing beaches) is its river and the fact Majed takes Sarah out on the royal barge. Here’s a short excerpt:

‘I need to pinch myself.’ Sarah kept her voice low, not wanting to disturb the twilight hush of the river. To the west the sky was a burst of orange, slowly shading to breath-taking pinks and paler mauves. All the colours were reflected in a river that was millpond-smooth. Something about it eased the burning in Sarah’s soul.
  ‘You like it?’
  Majed’s caramel voice bathed her skin in a warmth that lifted all the fine hairs on her arms. ‘Like it?’ She started to laugh. What wasn’t there to like? They were drifting down the river on a slow-moving barge reclining on a bed of silken cushions beneath a canopy of blue-and-silver satin. The luxury was unimaginable and the scenery stunning. ‘Like is far too weak a word. I…’ She swallowed. ‘I can’t believe how beautiful it is.’
  Date palms, tall, majestic and seemingly ancient, lined the riverbanks. Beyond them stretched a fertile flood plain green with crops.
  ‘It is beautiful.’ Majed turned to her, surveyed her from beneath lazy brows. ‘You’re beautiful too, habibi. I’m honoured to share this with you.’
  He wore traditional robes and a headdress, and her heart had nearly stopped when she’d first clapped eyes on him. He looked like a stranger—a beautiful, exotic stranger. His robes highlighted the masculine breadth of his shoulders and the lean, hawk-like angles of his face.
  A pulse started up in her abdomen. With a deliberate finger, he reached out and traced a path from her knee to her mid-thigh. She sucked in a breath. ‘What are you doing?’
  The smile he sent her could only be described as wolfish. ‘I like to touch you…and the clothes you wear invite me to touch them. Was that not your intention?’
  ‘Of course not.’ Her pulse hammered. Liar.
  ‘That’s a shame.’
  He held out a dish of delicacies to her—locally made Turkish delight that melted on the tongue, dates that were fatter and more luscious than any she’d ever had and a pastry, whose name she couldn’t pronounce, which was filled with nuts and honey and tasted of the gods. Normally she’d have eaten her fill, but not this evening. Majed unsettled her too much. ‘No, thank you.’
  He selected a pastry and bit into it slowly, his tongue snaking out to collect a stray flake from his lips, his gaze on hers the entire time. He made a murmur of appreciation that was so lover-like, heat flooded her cheeks. She swallowed convulsively. ‘What are you doing?’ she whispered. She wanted to look away, but she couldn’t.
  He finished the pastry slowly, deliberately…and with obvious relish. ‘I promised myself that I wouldn’t pressure you one way or the other into marriage with me, Sarah, but I think that was a mistake.’
  ‘Oh, I don’t! I think—’
  His finger against her lips halted her words. ‘I think you ought to know how invested I am in you marrying me. I think you ought to know how much I want you in my bed.’
  She jerked away from him, her heart thumping hard. ‘Stop it.’
  ‘Why? Because when I talk to you like this you find it hard to hold onto your own restraint? Find it impossible to ignore your body’s demands?’ He smiled, as if he’d read the affirmative answer in her face. ‘Good. I burn for you, habibi, and I want you burning for me too.’

Sarah and the Secret Sheikh is on shelves now. :-) You can grab it at all of the usual places.

Barnes & Noble