Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday Story - newspaper facts

Last Sunday in the newspaper, Mr E read an article that said people trying to lose weight, lost more when they ate prunes than when they didn't, and in the research trial, men are 19 prunes/day and women ate 16 prunes/day. He brings this to my attention.

I don't do diets. I try not to eat too much, primarily because I loathe shopping, so I have to keep fitting in the same clothes!! Mr E does diets ... but he's not very strict about them - well, he is strict and regimented and then he has this humongous blow out and it's all over red rover. So, in general, we don't diet.

On Monday arvo, he comes home from work laden with 4 x 1 kg bags of prunes! And then divides them up so I have 16 prunes to eat, and he has 19, for Tuesday. OMG! I have a little snack container of prunes! I'm not really sure what to say.

So, Tuesday, I dutifully open my container...but 16 prunes! I manage 7 in the whole day. Wednesday, I eat 8. Thursday I manage 10. Friday 12. I won't tell you the effect of these things but don't stand downwind of me!!

Prunes take up a lot of room in your stomach. They must swell once swallowed to about three times normal size because I can't eat much else other than these damn prunes.

I'm not so sure how much weight I'll lose, but atmospheric methane is steadily increasing on the east coast of Australia this week!

I'm not sure how to stop the next crazy idea he has either. Hopefully there won't be one until we eat the next 3 kg of prunes! Wish me luck :)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Phallic Friday - sex machines

I thought I'd do a bit of a search to find some fun sex toy to talk about... and I found a whole wild site. But this page in particular caught my eye - fucking machines. You can find it here if you want to look (not suitable for kids or work - but then neither is here on Friday!).

There's a vibrating mini sex ball to get started. It's a round ball (maybe soccer ball size) with a vibrator attached to you can enjoy the ride!

The Plow Fucking Machine comes in at $600 (that's cheap for this type of thing) and has 5 star rating, so this must be good! Although, looking at it, it can only be created by a man, and an engineer at that. It's an unattractive steel frame, with a quiet motor and a steel ball bearing arm (! - see, described by an engineer too!). You can set it for all sorts of angles, stroke speed and stroke lengths. And you can attach your own dildos, if they're suited to this gizmo.

There are pogo sticks, gliding machines, extreme plows, and for the specific cowboy lovers, a rodeo ejaculating sex machine. There's something called the joy ride, which looks like a kid's tricycle. There's the inflatable fuck lounger, for two.

Sex toys come in all shapes and sizes, and all price ranges.

I'm such a cheapskate - fruit and vegies are about my budget limit for sex toys!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wildlife Wednesday - frog

Sorry I'm late with this post. We had a blackout yesterday for hours and I'm all out of schedule now. It's really windy here, so must have been caused by the wind somehow - all the recorded message said was that they did not know the cause!

I took a photo of this frog at the zoo...because it was such a cool way of looking at a frog!

I'm pretty sure this was a tree frog, but I can't really remember, but check out the size of the 'toes' - surely it's a tree frog!

If you're into frogs, there's a good frog website

And some great books, like Harold Cogger's Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. see it here. Although, you do need a bit of money for Cogger's book. When I was at uni it was on my "to buy when I'm rich" list. When I started working, my boss also had it on his wish list! That didn't make me feel like I'd be getting it any time soon!

I did a post about frogs earlier on. You can find it here.

Sorry I'm late. I need better organisation and time management skills!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday Story - extraordinary

This is an advertisement tells a story...truly it does. Would I just put it here to drool over the guy? Seriously?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Phallic Friday - BDSM stories

I'm not an expert on BDSM. I don't live in the lifestyle. But I have read a lot on the subject, and dabbled in it. Lately I've been reading some BDSM stories that really rub me the wrong way because I consider the information contained in them to be incorrect... but annoyingly, this doesn't stop them being 'best sellers' and therefore quoted as the texts on BDSM.

In some ways, I'm old fashioned. My first taste of BDSM came from the Marquis deSade's writings. I still think of these as the definitive texts of BDSM.

Somehow in popular literature today, BDSM has lost it's edge and is portrayed 'softly'. The other day I read a story where the Dominant was termed a 'sadist' - yet I found him neither dominant nor sadistic. And that concerns me. Not only are people throwing around terms without understanding them, or depicting them correctly through their character's actions, they're 'educating' their readers incorrectly.

BDSM clubs aren't places for kicks - or maybe they are now, it's been a long time since I've been in one. If you're living the BDSM lifestyle, I would expect that you don't want people coming in with unbelievable, incorrect expectations.

If I turned up and asked for a Dominant and a sadist, I would be wanting a man who expected my complete submission, and if I didn't give it, he would demand it. And his demands would make me experience pain to a level that was uncomfortable. The pain inflicted on me, would get me off (because I'd be a pain slut if I was asking for a sadist) and this is turn would get him off (he would react to the pain he's inflicting, and the pleasure it's giving me).

For me, a sadist gets off on the pain - watching me hurt. A Dominant gets off on giving the demands I need to meet, watching the struggle I have to submit to his requests, and the freeing of myself to my pleasure after submitting.

So if I read a BDSM story, I want a sadistic Dominant to get off on the pain he causes, but also the pleasure he gives. I want him to be a hard, tough guy who demands the sub's respect and obedience. If he's a guy who lets a challenge go, accepts back chat, shrugs when the sub doesn't do what he asked, doesn't give any punishment for disobedience... then I've lost respect for the guy, the story, and the author.

Maybe I'm too old fashioned and BDSM has become so mainstream it's tame. But these tame books are stopping my reading pleasure, and stopping me buying BDSM stories and trying new-to-me authors. Thank goodness for my deSade collection! I might need to re-read them.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wildlife Wednesday - Butcherbirds

These two Grey Butcherbirds visit my dad's place to have a bit of a drink and a bath in his fountain.

Butcherbirds belong to the same family as Magpies and Currawongs, but are smaller in size.

They're named Butcherbirds because of their usual method if dealing with prey - items too large to swallow are dismembered after being wedged in a tree fork, fence wires, clothes line or similar. They have also been seen to cache food like beetles and lizard remains in tree cavities.

They aren't gregarious, forming only family parties, they're territorial and can be aggressive around their nests. (information from Pizzey's bird book)

Birds in Backyards have some information here.


Grey Butcherbirds are aggressive predators. They prey on small animals, including birds, lizards and insects, as well as some fruits and seeds. Uneaten food may be stored in the fork or a branch or impaled. Grey Butcherbirds sit on an open perch searching for prey which, once sighted, they pounce on. Most mobile prey is caught on the ground, though small birds and insects may be caught in flight. Feeding normally takes place alone, in pairs or in small family groups.


The Grey Butcherbird's nest is bowl-shaped, and is made of sticks and twigs, lined with grasses and other soft fibres. It is normally located within 10 m of the ground. The eggs are incubated by the female and the young birds are fed by both parents. The young birds will remain in the breeding territory for about a year, and help the parents raise the young of the following season.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunday Story - The Last Hour of Gann

Ainslie Paton told me about this book.I'm not sure if I should love her or hate her for the recommendation.

It's HUGE! I have no idea how many words, but it's taken me days to read it. I'm a fast reader and I usually knock things over quickly but this nearly killed me - I didn't want to stop reading it, and when I did my dreams were filled with this world.

The start was not my favourite part. I was getting really annoyed because Nikki seemed to cry all the time and I wanted to slap her. Amber seemed to pat Nikki's hand, or take her hand and squeeze it, and I was getting pretty sick of that over and over again. I was wondering why Ainslie had recommended it!

Then we met Meoraq and he seemed to 'frill up' all the flipping time. And I was still getting annoyed, wishing someone had edited this so we had different things happening so I didn't get annoyed. And you know, if Ainslie hadn't have told me how good this was, I would have given up. I've got that damn fussy. Repetition is my thing. I've spent so long trying to wipe it out of my own work, it stands out like the proverbial when I'm reading and really really really irks me (you know, in case you haven't got that yet!! :) )

And then... the story swept me away. So much happened. There was a lot of tension - suspense and sexual. A lot of shitty people stuff that you find in groups - idiots, people blindly following and not thinking, few helping, survival instincts of zero, and a lot of whinging and whining. There was also deep stuff to sift through - about prejudices, assumptions, judging people by their looks, cultural differences.

Ainslie told me that Lizardman was hot - and indeed he is. I'd like to meet an alien like him!! LOL.

If you want a mega-huge read, and don't have my extreme fussiness, then pick it up. Lizardman is worth it!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Deep Diving - cover reveal

The Escape Publishing cover goddesses have been at work and this is the cover for my next book, Deep Diving, which is out on 1 August.

The story is a fun sex romp, set on Lord Howe Island, with two sporty people. This wasn't anything like the cover I had in mind (I don't know why I imagine one anyway!) but general consensus is that it's hot.

It's an effective and evocative cover. I love the yellow and the font. They look like sporty people (except for the makeup!). I'm very happy to say it's mine :)

What do you think?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Phallic Friday - new condoms

This story was in our local paper - complete with image containing a vibrator! I couldn't quite believe it.

But it's a great story. These two researchers are trying to develop a new material that could be used instead of latex to enhance condom use. They're working with hydrogels and hope to find a material more comfortable, offering the sensitivity that latex doesn't.

And these guys are pretty switched on researchers - they want to know what the community wants by working with people in many different countries and communities. They question whether the same material will suit people the world over.

I think it's brilliant that people are looking into this. I assumed latex was it and unless a material was developed for something else and brought across to condoms, things would never change. But to actually be developing the material specifically for condoms, is awesome. And I guess the market is huge - especially if they find something comfortable that allows for feeling and sensitivity!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wildlife Wednesday - New Holland Honeyeater

These guys live in the dunes right next to the beach. They flit and flutter around with willy wagtails and other birds but they have never posed before. Then this guy sat up very nicely and held a lovely pose for me, two days in a row - which allowed me to come home and suss out exactly what sort of Honeyeater he was, and find the best photo!

Here's a website and some information about them:

New Holland Honeyeaters are active feeders. They mostly eat the nectar of flowers, and busily dart from flower to flower in search of this high-energy food. Other food items include fruit, insects and spiders. Birds may feed alone, but normally gather in quite large groups. Most feeding takes place in lower areas of bushes and thickets.

With long, slender beaks and a tongue which can protrude well beyond the end of their beaks, New Holland Honeyeaters are able to probe for nectar in the deep flowers of Banksias and Grevilleas.

The New Holland Honeyeater's cup-shaped nest is made of bark and grasses, bound together with spider web. It is lined with soft material and is placed in a bush or tree, anywhere from ground level up to 6 m. Both sexes feed the chicks. A pair of adults may raise two or three broods in a year.

They mainly breed in summer and winter, but can be any time of the year. They have 2 to 3 eggs that incubate for 18 days, with chicks in the next for a further 16 days. (That's my kind of rearing - super quick!)

The Australian Museum site has a gorgeous photo of the bird on a nest. You can see it here.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sunday Story - A Hawk Enslaved

A Hawk Enslaved has been sitting in my To Be Read pile for quite a while. I kept looking at it because I'd heard good things, yet I didn't open it. I'm not entirely sure why not. I think it may be because one of my favourite films is LadyHawke and I was worried it would ruin my memories - which is insane, because it wasn't LadyHawke at all.

This is a story of Vikings, raiders, slaves, political intrigue and a man and woman in love and trying to make it work against all odds.

It's beautifully written, with some gorgeous descriptions and phrasing.

The sexual tension drips from the page, as well as suspense tension.

And the hawking is an important but minor part of the story - no women are turned into hawks in this story.

I thoroughly enjoyed Venetia Green's A Hawk Enslaved.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Phallic Friday - raincoat-free bonking

Okay, another interesting story online yesterday. You can find it here.

An Aussie guy's over in Bali and says he's shagged over 100 women in the 4 months he's been there, all condom-free. For a TV show, he goes to get tested for everything - and finds he's STD-free. Pretty lucky huh? Or just a good story?

But the question I have is, are we going overboard with the sex protection stuff?

I know Lily and I have discussed, over and over again, the use of protection in books. And the last time I brought the topic up, I was having a dilemma about oral sex and STD transfer and if we (as responsible authors reflecting society, or whatever) needed to show our characters using protection during oral sex. The answer, from colleagues, interestingly enough was 'no'. Maybe this was because my scene bringing up the discussion of protection during oral sex was so bad! LOL.

I've been looking as I read. I haven't seen too many condoms/dental dams used during oral sex at all, in books.

Which leads me back to my question... are we going overboard with protection?

Sometimes, to make change happen, you need to shock people and push things to the limit. Is this what we've done with protection?

I think in erotic romance we probably have, or I have in my over-thinking. I think it's a tool to be used. Some couples/people may demand protection, others may not. And that's how I'm going to go about protection in my novels from now on.

In real life, I've no idea. This guy's results are quite surprising to me. Maybe he got lucky! Although, maybe STDs aren't as rampant as they were due to so much safe sex. Or maybe this is all TV spin.

I guess some people take out insurance, while others don't. It's about how much risk you're willing to take. I think my characters will be a little more risky. As for me, I'd take out insurance!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Wildlife Wednesday - Sand Crab

Can you see the sand crab in the photo?

They have incredible camouflage, don't they? I only see them when they scurry, and this one stood up so his shadow helped highlight him.

Oh, poop! I looked up sand crab and generally, the crabs called sand crabs have two distinct dots on the back of their shell. Poop! So I've always called these guys sand crabs...and they're not :( Why does Wildlife Wednesday do this to me!?!?!?!

So, it's a crab, of some sort! Okay, Google is my friend.

Maybe it's a Ghost Crab. The description sounds right and the eyes are on stalks, it's the right tiny size, the camouflage is right. But the Australian Museum site has no picture. And the pictures I've seen don't really convince me either way. But none of the crabs on here look right either (this is a NSW Dept. guide).

Oh, but one of the sites references Dakin's Australian Seashores book (another of my favourite books that was left at my parents' when I moved inland but I claimed it later, phew! What would I do without my library?), which is in my bookcase...and now I'm happy! It has a photo of my crab on page 226 and it says it's "one of the ghost crabs, so named because of their translucent cryptic colouring".

This is what Dakin says:
  • They have holes in dry sand well above the high tide mark
  • They burrow up to 1m deep (that's not bad for a crab that's about 3 cm in size!)
  • They're swift footed and very difficult to catch
  • Night time is their favourite hunting period
  • they can make noise :) but very few people have ever heard it (oh, only one species, and not the one I photographed). The one that makes noise prefers warmer climes, north of Sydney.

Happy now. Thank you Wildlife Wednesday, now I'll call it a Ghost Crab and be correct!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sunday Story - age

I'm not sure where these musings should go, so here they are.

In Australia we have a show on at the moment called, When Love Comes To Town. It's a busload of 12 women travelling to various places in rural Australia to find their perfect man (who is based in the town, not necessarily a farmer). I'd seen the ads and it intrigued me as to how it worked but the first two shows i only caught a glimpse of. Then last night, I got to watch the whole show. I'm not going to talk about the show, but something else I noticed while watching.

There was a girl aged 22, a whole bunch who are 26-30 and one aged 35. I think that's roughly the breakdown, I wasn't paying strict attention! Anyway, Miss 22 asked to go home last night because it was all too much for her - not just the competing for a man, but the competing with other women, and also being away from her family.

It was a stark reminder that at 22, you can still be really young, self-conscious, and not know who you are yet. At one stage the guy asked her if she could cook. Her answer - Mum does it all, I live at home. You know, that shocked me at first, but then I watched her, watched her mannerisms, checked out her clothes and makeup. I don't think she was lying.

She was young and not confident. She had excessively bright lipstick (as do many of the others) but she didn't wear it like she was comfortable. Her clothes were more comfortable than flirtatious (and there are some girls there with clothes that show a lot of flesh!). She didn't fit the mould of the others on the show.

The other girls are power-women. They know what they want. They know who they are. And they're competitive. I feel sorry for the guys because they probably don't know what's hit them!

It makes me so glad I moved to the country and spent my 20s and 30s out of the power-games girls play. I was the naive 22 year old and gosh, I felt sorry for her last night - but there was no way in hell I would have even applied to be on the show!

So, age matters. As a generalisation, heroines with a few more years know so much more about themselves, are confident in their own skin, and go after what they want. Young heroines are still finding their feet.