Everlasting Week

LOL No, this is not a week that goes on forever.

???????????????????????????????

Everlastings are Australian wildflowers that spring up in their thousands (millions?) and carpet the outback in blazes of pink, white and yellow. Their sheer number makes for a breath-taking display.

Their petals are also rustly like paper. Very tactile and tough little plants.

The point is they make an impact through being one of many.

Generally the message of our culture is that we’re special because we’re unique. But sometimes our power is by being one of many — and by knowing where we belong.

In an Everlasting Week you’ll encounter a couple of invitations (at a minimum) to join your community. This may be a physical community, the people where you live, or a virtual one, an online interaction with people who share some of your interests. The invitation may look a lot like a demand for help — but that demand may be made by you!

Asking for help is something we’re often scared to do. “Won’t others find me annoying? Everyone’s so busy.” Nope. Asking people for their advice flatters them because it says you value their knowledge and experience. And asking for help with small things (like reaching jars on high shelves in supermarkets — I’m so short) gives them a golden glow of being a good neighbour without asking for a huge effort.

Asking for help and giving help builds the bonds of community. Reciprocity isn’t just a hard to pronounce word ;) It’s the Golden Rule of do unto others… It’s about building trust — trusting others with our needs and with the knowledge that we’re not self-sufficient, independent, god-like beings.

So in an Everlasting Week, join your community and enjoy being part of something beautiful.

 

Emotional Resilience & Romance Reading

reading, emotional resilience,

It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the strongest women I know are romance readers.

First, a quick personal confession: I’ve never ridden a rollercoaster. The thrill that make other people scream and ride an adrenaline rush, just freezes my feet. Absolutely glues them to the lovely, safe, secure, unmoving ground.

Romance novels are the literary equivalent of an emotional rollercoaster — and some people can’t handle that!

Laughter, tears, dread, anticipation, happiness, grief, anger, despair, hope, fear, love, every feeling, all tangled up, all written to rev your emotions to the max. Yeah, I can see how some people would fear romance novels.

But romance readers are resilient. We get in there and share the characters’ emotional journeys, seeing and knowing, experiencing the different paths to happiness. In fact, I suspect that by sharing these journeys, we build our emotional resilience because romance novels share one all-important element: the happy ending is guaranteed. And hope, a belief that things will come right, is a defining feature of emotionally resilient people.

So if someone scorns your romance reading enjoyment, just quietly consider whether they’re scared. Emotional resilience takes courage and effort to build and sustain. It’s not an easy thing, even if you take it for granted.

Maybe we need to lend the scorners some of our favourite novels :)

A Beautiful Bell Flower Week

bellflower

A Bell Flower Week rings in the changes. Most of all your plans will change, so build in some flexibility. This is seven days of ups and downs, and the impossible coming true. So good and bad, be ready to roll with it.

Looking at these beautiful flowers I’m reminded how resilience is incredibly attractive. It’s deeper than surface loveliness. Resilience is having more than one way to achieve your goals and the toughness to slog it out, take the hard path if needed, and get done what must be done. That doesn’t sound that attractive, but it is. People respect — and respond — to resilience. You’re one of the people who they can rely on, a person who keeps their commitments.

The week isn’t only going to hold unexpected surprises. No, I’m not muddled. There’s going to be a surprise which is something you expected long ago but gave up hoping for.

Never give up hope!

In a beautiful Bell Flower Week, everything’s liable to change, except your commitment to your goals. Do what you have to do! Your goals are important.

 

 

 

Kiss It Better – Release Day!

fbad9

If you hurry — and given Australia is ahead of the rest of the world — you may still be able to pick up “Kiss It Better” on a pre-order less than $1 steal-deal.

As always, Escape Publishing has come through with a sexy cover, great editing (thanks Kate Cuthbert and Lauren McKellar) and fabulous support. My critique partner Eliza Redgold earned her halo helping make “Kiss It Better” real. A quarter life crisis is like any sudden and forced change in our lives: painful to work through. I hope you enjoy Cassie’s story and the love she fights for.

Revisit gorgeous Jardin Bay with Jenny Schwartz’s fabulous new novel. The town may look like paradise, but for one nurse it represents only broken dreams.

All Cassie Freedom wants to do is save the world, and she could, if only she were able to. But her dream of nursing in Africa is shattered, and she returns home to Jardin Bay, where familiarity, security, and a sense of her own failure threaten to drown her.

Dr. Theo Morrigan knows a thing or two about responsibility, leaving his own medical practice to take over a family business. He knows his mind, his future, and how he wants to live his life – until an old secret resurfaces and rocks his whole world.

Suddenly, the man who needed no one needs a broken-hearted nurse, and a nurse who thinks she’s too weak will find her own strength.

Buylinks:  AmazonUS    Amazon Australia     iTunes Australia

Excerpt

When Cassie Meets Theo

Rage at her own uselessness propelled her off the bench. She needed to move, to do something that gave her an illusion of living.

She hitched at the waistband of her old trackies. She’d lost weight and now they dragged at her hips.

‘Nice day.’

‘What?’ It was less a question than a snarled warning to back off. The last thing she needed was to be polite to a stranger, a tourist. She let her messy brown hair fall over her eyes and glowered at her toes. Okay, so maybe part of the reason she felt cold was that although she’d grabbed her dad’s coat before leaving the house, she hadn’t thought of shoes.

‘Or maybe it’s not a nice day?’

Damn him. The stranger sounded amused.

She lifted her head to give him the benefit of her best scowl.

Holy hell.

Cue the rock music and the low, deep-throated roar of a motorbike. Black leather jeans hugged muscled thighs, leading down to killer boots and up to a white T-shirt beneath an open black leather jacket over wide, wide shoulders. Up higher was a strong, tanned throat, a rugged chin, a mouth made to sin , and dark brown eyes faintly crinkled at the corners with amusement. He looked to be early thirties, and making every year count.

The man was a sex god. He didn’t even have helmet hair, despite the motorbike helmet held in one large hand. His hair was jet black and just long enough to hint at curls. Hair that begged a woman to lose control and — wow!

He put the helmet down on the bench and stretched.

Cassie moaned, then slapped a hand over her mouth, horrified that such a sound had escaped her.

Not that he’d noticed. He was luxuriating in working his muscles. It was like watching a big cat wake up: all power and effortless control. Soon he’d be looking for lunch.

Knees that had staunchly held her up through gun-pointing, life-threatening incidents, wobbled.

But she wasn’t impressed. She definitely wasn’t ogling. It was just that he stood between her and the view. You know, if she angled her body sideways. She reminded herself that she was a woman notoriously indifferent to sex appeal. Give her a good book and a…Heaven have mercy. He was taking off his jacket.

Tight, white T-shirts ought to be illegal. Or maybe it was bodies like his that ought to be outlawed. She sat down on the bench to think about it.

He sat down beside her, far enough away not to be creepy, but still way too close for her body to resume normal functions. Beneath the sheepskin coat and flannel shirt, her skin flushed. She eased the collar away from her throat, hoping the flush wouldn’t crawl up her throat and betray her the way her knees had. Treacherous bastards.

He stretched out his legs. ‘It’s a long ride from the city.’

She looked away from where the black leather lovingly contoured his muscles and deep breathed. She had friends who were vegans. They wouldn’t approve of all that leather at all. Unfortunately, in trying to summon some disapproval, she imagined him without the leather.

Kangaroo Paw Week

blackkpaw

Black kangaroo paws are spectacular and unlikely wildflowers from Western Australia. They feel like velvet — which is something you probably can’t guess from the photo.

A Kangaroo Paw Week is equally idiosyncratic. It has a distinctive feel, a kind of itch to be out and about, attacking life. You’re unashamedly “you” this week, totally tired of trying to be all things to all people.

It’s a week of tiny conflicts because some folks fear/resent/envy efforts to be true to yourself. Don’t escalate the conflicts (I’m such a wuss!), but don’t cave in and smooth over the jagged edges that are you being you, being real.

Honestly, if you can’t be you in a Kangaroo Paw Week, when will you be? Take a chance and shine.

Pink Flowering Gum Week

pink flowering gum

The pink flowering gum is a stunning burst of colour, but that’s not all that bursts this week.

Do you remember blowing bubbles as a kid? Not the magical soap bubbles that floated iridescent on the wind, but the kind that you chewed and chewed gum, blew and then, pop! Sweet, noisy and faintly disgusting. Gosh, it was great to be a kid :)

Pink Flowering Gum Week is a time to chew over a problem, take action, and if it all goes pop! guess what? Chew the problem over some more and try again.

There’s a laidback vibe to this week which makes it the perfect time to tackle a problem — not a big one, remember this is a low stress week — that’s been nagging at you. It’s also a week where your resilience is higher, so if you’re going to take a risk, you’ll have the strength to deal with the consequences — good and bad.

And you’re probably wondering, does chewing gum make you smarter? Sadly, no.

Finally — and because my dog Toby gets the paper each morning — a bubblegum adventure to enjoy courtesy of Pluto and Mickey.

Contemporary Romance

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: