Sunday, 28 December 2014

Zoo and Guests ....

Spent the day at Taronga Park Zoo with my children and grand children, lots of fun. The kids had a great time.  The weather was perfect - warm but not as hot as it could be for this time of the year.

The Zoo had an exhibit - Dinosaurs in the Wild - with animatronic dinosaurs through the park.

The kids loved it, especially the Dilophoraurus which spat water at them all, the Styracosaurus which had a nest of eight babies and the T-Rex mother with her big baby.

It was lovely to see the gorillas - mum was relaxing with her baby.  If you look carefully at the pic you'll see her holding it's tiny hand.

It's an amazing setting, right on Sydney harbour with spectacular views of the harbour and the city.  The giraffe's had a first row seat watching the world go by.

The spider monkeys were chilling out and the littlies thought they were funny.

The grandkids were amazed watching the pelicans eat, they couldn't believe how big their beaks were and how much food they managed to get into them.

Cleaning up the accumulated junk that you seem to collect over the years.  My side deck had become a haven for it.  Finally managed to get most of it in a rubbish skip. Just going to spend the morning cleaning the last of it away so all that will be left out there is the BBQ and the big table and chairs.

I'm minding my younger son's two dogs while they are away for 2 weeks.  The dogs are going to be spending their time on the side deck.

Fozz is not impressed at having other dogs visit so younger son had to build a temporary wall/fence to separate the rest of the yard from the side.

Not sure what Spotty will make of the guests - he likes dogs but these are small - a pug and a tiny shihpoo.  He prefers to play with big dogs like Fozz and a couple that live a few doors down.

Hope everyone has a great new year's eve - I intend to relax with a book - and I hope 2015 brings you all you could wish for. I hope it is filled with love and happiness for you all.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Thunderstorms, Xmas, Fozz ....

If you live in the Sydney metro area -  how have you been handling this crazy weather!

Terrible thunderstorms every afternoon, lost power on Tuesday from around 3 in the afternoon till after midnight. Then on Thursday it was gone from 4 till 10.30pm.

Yesterday (Sunday) afternoon we had 6 severe thunderstorm warnings!

Can't remembering having six thunderstorms roll in over such a short period of time and ones strong enough to have a Severe Thunderstorm Warning issued by the BOM (Bureau of Met).

It's sunny at the moment - 10am on Monday but ... thunderstorms are again predicted for this afternoon!
Think I have finally finished my Xmas shopping and it's now all wrapped and packed into boxes to take to the recipients.  We're having lunch at a restaurant on Xmas day with my family then back to younger son's house for presents.

I'm a bit of a scrooge as far as Xmas goes.  I don't like it. Lost my mother 18 yrs ago at Christmas and it took the fun out of it.  Haven't even bothered with decorations for ages.

But this year my kids are coming down from Queensland so I've told my grandsons they can put up the tree when they get here - just hope it's survived being in the garage roof for years. Otherwise I might have to do a quick dash to Kmart to buy one.

Fozzie's been feeling the heat the last few months so we got him shaved down for summer.  He was so excited when the groomer finished. He was running all over the place, jumping up and down with this big grin on his face.

How about his cute beaded collar?

The groomer gave it to him - now he's Mr. Metrosexual .... lol.

I've noticed he is sleeping better and not as distressed so he might look strange but he is much happier.  Won't take that long to start growing back, knowing how long and thick his fur is.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

A Five Star Review!

Just had to share this with my friends .... My latest book has been out for two days and it's already made the top 30 Best Seller List - sitting at number #5!

On top of that, I just got an amazing 5 Star review on Goodreads from SiK Reviews!

Here's what it said -

's review 

5 of 5 stars
Read in November, 2014
Ok, let me say this book had me crying at different places for different reasons. Happiness.....fear.....sadness...... Just an emotional roller coaster for me. Harry has gone through a lot in her life. She decided to close herself off from any relationships except her two best friends, who happen to be a gay couple. When Harry decides to do a remodel of her home/studio, she hires Bryan and Marco's company. After a comical first meeting, there was an equally comical and scary second meeting.

To watch Harry push past her fear, and let not just one but two men love her is just phenomenal. I love "watching" people fall in love. When her past comes in and threatens to tear the triad apart, it is Bryan and Marco that save her. Add in a miracle and really awsome Italian parents, and this story is the best book by Suzy I have read yet. And, the other are really great too! Keep it up Suz!!!!

It's always nerve wracking when you bring out a new book - will people like it? Will they think its crap?  When you see it burst onto the best seller list, you get a warm fuzzy feeling of excitment.  Then when someone posts a review - a 5 star one - you know you've done something right.

When you write a book, you bond with the characters. Their emotions become yours. So when you read that someone 'cried, laughed, felt happy, felt sad, felt fear' you know that somehow it just worked. 

Those emotions your characters had translated onto the page for your readers to feel.

Well, I am one very happy author who had a big grin on her face!

For your chance to win an ecopy of Build a Love just follow the prompts below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 24 November 2014

Hot, Hot, HOT!

Spent Sunday hiding inside.

It was HOT!

No that isn't the right word - it was almost Boiling!

The Sydney basin knew there was hot weather coming, the interior of Australia had been sweltering with temps over 45c (113f) so we knew what to expect. Even so it exceeded expectations.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) predicted 43c for my area but by 2pm we  reached over 44c (112f).

If this was a taste of what we can expect from now on with climate change I don't like it!  I'd much rather a nice pleasant autumn or a cool winter than this.

It seems so strange, plastered all over the Internet are pictures of the US buried under metres of snow while we swelter.

It's hard to comprehend when you're melting into a blob of sweat that there are people on the other side of the world frozen solid.

The average temperature for this time of year for my area is 27c.

Fortunately we got a lovely cool southerly change in the evening, it kept the night time temps hovering around 22 or 23 which was still hot for sleeping but a bloody sight better than trying to sleep with temps in the 40s!

Today is a very muggy 32 with thunderstorms predicted for late today then another southerly. Wednesday through to Sunday are all predicted to be around 30 but the night temps are expected to be between 12 and 15 - much better for sleeping.

On top of it all - there is rain predicted. Have my finger's crossed for that. I've given up water the plants. Figure if they can survive this, they'll survive anything.

All my trees look happy, the frangipannis are all budding up. My giant strelitzia had gone crazy- it was about a metre tall when my son planted it out for me a year and half ago. Now its around 4 metres!

Guess it loves the heat and dry weather!  Now all I want is for it to flower!

Sunday, 16 November 2014

A Little Self Promotion ...

Your chance to win an ecopy of Build A Love - my new MMF menage erotic romance.

Erotic Romance, Contemporary, Menage a Trois/Quatre
Word Count: 54,859
Heat Level: SEXTREME

 AVAILABLE: Tuesday, November 25th
This title is offered at a 10% discount. Offer ends midnight CST, December 2nd

[Ménage and More: Erotic Ménage a Trois Romance, M/M/F, HEA]

Harriet Kempton has spent the last twelve years of her life being an Ice Queen to protect her heart. Stabbed, raped, and left for dead, she can no longer trust any man. She is shocked when she meets two handsome builders, Bryan Garrett and Marco Campione. Harry feels an instant attraction to them both and wonders if it’s time to take a chance on love again. But can she get over her past and move on? Even more important—can she accept a relationship with not one but two men? Two men who have a loving sexual relationship with each other but want Harry to complete them. Harry has a demon to fight if she has any chance of future happiness. Will these men stand alongside her and help her or will her past be too much for them to handle?

Note: This book is written in first-person point of view.

A Siren Erotic Romance

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Kurrajong Photos ...

The other day, the local female members of the worldwide photography group I belong to arranged a meet-up.

We went to Kurragong, one of the member's father owns property there so we all rocked up for a photography session and a BBQ lunch.

It was a perfect day.

The house was amazing and I know we all wished we owned it. It is fifty years old and inside full of room and lots of charm.

The dining room fitted us all with ease. We all wandered all over the acreage, taking lots of photos.

I did a little sketching.  Believe it or not, if you squint that's me right in the background, sketching

I managed to get a number of photos that would be perfect from some of the themes of this month.

It was also a pleasant drive. Took me about 40 minutes. 

Passed some cows on the way and stopped to take their photos - one was very nicely standing and facing me the whole time.
Went passed the new Sydney Business Park. Won't be long till some of the places open. Bunnings is almost finished.  Looks like they are working on the inside fit-out. Ikea has the actual building finished. It's due to open next year.  

Will be great to be able to drive ten minutes and get to these places instead of having to travel to Rhodes for Ikea.

All in all it was a lovely day.

Still reading the Henning Mankell book's. I am really enjoying them. Only have a couple left, time to start looking for another author to read.

Think I might have to take another trip out to Parklea Markets and see what they have on offer in the second hand bookshop.  Either that or go to the Sallies shop at Minchinbury. They have a large second hand book second.

Then again, maybe I should just go to both

Thursday I am determined to get the last of my Christmas shopping done. Most of it I have done online but there are a few things that I need to look at in person before I buy.

I hate shopping at the best of times and keep putting it off but I am determined to do it this time. Then comes the fun job of wrapping everything up -NOT!

Oh yes - and I have to get my Christmas cards written out and ready to post .... Yep I guess you've gathered - I'm not a Christmas person .... lol

Christmas - bah humbug!!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Tattoos, ITINs, Taxes ....

Still trying to find a new tattoo artist - the last one I used was great but the tat parlour was fire-bombed (rotfl) during some sort of turf war and closed. The artist moved to Victoria.

Yesterday I heard about another so I am thinking of seeing what they're like today.

Have to go to the fruit market so I will take a detour and check them out.

Finally got all my paperwork together to send to the US, a least its organised just waiting for one more document to arrive - I can't believe how much trouble I've had to get things.

I needed a certified copy of my license and do you think it was an easy thing to get? No chance!

I sent off the application for a certified copy as I was told to by the RMS (Roads & Maritimes Services) rep.  Waited and waited for a reply. Weeks went by and still no word.  Finally rang to ask what was happening. Was told they had a backlog.

Then waited another week still nothing so I rang again, only to be told they don't do it! The very nice woman I spoke to asked me to re-fax everything and she would see what she could find out. Another week of nothing so I rang again.For some reason they were under the impression I was living in the US despite me having a residential address and phone number in

After faxes, countless emails and lots of phone calls, I finally got through to someone who would listen to me yesterday on the phone. Went through my story and he said he 'get back to me' - yeah, heard that countless times in the past 6 weeks.

But guess what?

He did.  Got an email from him within 30 minutes. .  Still he did say the RMS don't issue certified copies of licenses but he would see what he could come up with.

 Then late in the day I got another email with a copy of what he had arranged.  The original should be here by the end of the week then I can send everything off.

I have to tell you if you need to get an ITIN from the IRS in America don't expect it to be easy.  I've been told by their agent out here that even when I send everything over they still might reject my documents and ask for more.

She said even she doesn't understand why some applications get knocked back and others get accepted. There's no rhyme nor reason to it.


Still it means I will only have to pay 5% tax to the US instead of the usual rate, so I will be keeping everything crossed that they accept my stuff and give me my ITIN first time.

At least once I have my number, I don't actually need to fill out an annual return - my publisher will automatically send the IRS my 5%. Of course if I earn huge amounts then I will need to submit one but I don't think I have to worry on that score.

My earnings are enough to keep me happy without going sky high and into the big tax brackets.

Mind you - I certainly wouldn't knock it back if I earned six figured amounts each year .... lol

UPDATE - I saw the tattoo artist, went through his portfolio and his line work was very good so I got him to do the Sanskrit tat on my wrist that I've wanted for ages. I wasn't as impressed with his colour work.

I have to admit  the line work is fantastic, extremely crisp and clear, especially considering all the fine lines and little circles.. He did a very good job and I love it!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Books, books and more books ....

I've got hooked on a new BBC series - Wallander, staring Kenneth Branagh.  I'm not a great one for television but when I find a gem like this I can't get enough.

On the weekend I decided I needed to read the books.  Years ago I read The Fifth Woman and enjoyed it.  Anyway, I took myself to Parklea Markets on Sunday - needed more white tea leaves anyway.

Parklea Books
While I was there I called into the second hand bookshop - discovered 8 Henning Mankell Wallander books so I got the lot.  There were also a few Dorothy Sayers that I have been looking for so I got those as well. Ended up buying 17 books in total.

Now I am half way through 'Faceless Killers' - and loving it!

My bookcases
Got home and put the new /old books into one of my bookcases - it's getting rather full.  I've only got one full shelf left on the 2mtr one and a few spaces on one of the smaller one. I'm going to have to start looking around the house and see where I can stash another.

I did have an idea of getting a bookcase built along the front of the kitchen bench.  My bench is over 3 metres long and there is enough room to built one the length.

Spoke to my builder son and he said it would be fine to build it there. Of course - telling me is one thing, getting him to build it is another .... lol.

Still the good thing about living alone is I can do what I like when I like and if that means having piles of books stashed everywhere then so be it.

On the subject of books - I'm rather chuffed. Of the 9 books I've had published every single one of them has made my publishers Best Sellers list.  Their top 30 Best Sellers list is updated hourly and I managed to get them all on it with 2 hitting the #1 spot, 2 hitting the #2 spot and 2 more on #3! My latest book that came out last Friday is sitting on the #13 spot.

One even stayed on the #1 spot for 14 days!!

I'm so excited to think that a new author could be so popular.  It may not be the New York Times best sellers list or even Amazon's but it's still a Best Sellers list and I've cracked every single time!

I'm looking forward to the new year when the paperback editions of some of the books start trickling onto the market.  Then I get to put them on my own bookshelves!

Got some great comments about my hair recently. I'm due back to the hairdressers this week - last month I went bright red and I loved it.  Another great thing about living alone - I can have crazy hair colours.  Yes it would be nice to have a male friend but I would have to find one who was modern and forward thinking - not a stick-in-the-mud old grouch, one who thought they were more important or one who didn't treat me nicely .... lol

Anyway, think I will be keeping my hair crazy red for a while, what do you think?

Friday, 17 October 2014

Crazy Weather ....

Crazy weather!

After a warm start to Spring, the weather decided to go slightly crazy.  On Monday and Tuesday afternoons/evenings we had enormous thunderstorms.

From my back door
The one on Monday was the daddy of all storms - at one point it ranged over 700kms long and 50 wide. Watching it get closer and closer was scary, wondering what on earth it was going to do.

Then on Tuesday another storm rolled in, it was no where near the size of Mondays but it was actually worse. The Bureau of Meteorology called it 'a storm of the century' and said that it could be classed as a cat 2 cyclone.

I kept my fingers crossed that I wouldn't get hit like I did in December 2007 when $60,000 of damage was done to my house.

Fortunately my house survived this time unscathed.  Still there was flooding everywhere in Sydney. Even railway stations! The airport was closed.

Raging winds, torrential rain, hail - thunder that rocked the house.  There was even lots of snow on the Blue Mountains as close as Blackheath, just 80kms away, up to 20cm!

What was really weird is that just 12 months ago almost to the day there were tragic bush fires in the Blue Mountains that caused 2 fatalities, burnt 248 houses and had a damage bill of $100 million!

Welcome to Australia - land of weather extremes!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Win an ebook ...

For your chance to win either a copy of A Hunter's Choice or book one - A Hunter's Heart - just leave a comment on my FB page and tell me what is your favourite paranormal creature.

Visit to read about A Hunter's Choice.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Vets and Taxes ...

Took my handsome doggie to the vets for his yearly check-up this morning.  He passed but has some slight 'crackling' behind his eyes which may be a sign of cataracts.  I'll have to keep my fingers crossed that it isn't. He also has a tiny lump on his tummy but the Vet said to just keep an eye on it.

Because he was so good at the Vets - well he shivered and shook but sat - I took him down to the local dog park.

He ran around like crazy and was soon exhausted. I was going to take him for a wander along the trails but there were signs up everywhere warning that there had been a lot of snakes recently seen.

As I was walking back to the car, a nice guy stopped me and told me to steer clear of the trails as he had personally seen two snakes in the past week.  I thank him and was glad I had decided not to walk them.

As I was heading back to the car, he asked if I would stay a little longer and talk. Told me he like mature women .... lol.

I declined - a) Fozz was exhausted and b) he looked like he was about 35.  Still it was very flattering, not to mention he was tall and very cute.

Came home to find the final edits for my latest book in my inbox so looks like work for a few days.

On top of that I am trying, with little success, to get what is known as an ITIN - Individual Taxpayer Identification Number - from the US.  I wrote back in May and never heard back so started again.  Found one of their agents in Victoria and she has been advising me on the requirements.

Unfortunately the US IRS won;t accept documents signed by a JP instead they must have either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency.  She warned me that they reject documents left right and centre.

Because Australia has a tax treaty with the US - I am entitled to claim an exception on royalties.  Instead of paying 30% tax I will only have to pay between 3-5%. That is if I can get this bloody number sorted.

I don't have a passport so need other forms of identity. It must have a picture so I am now in the process of getting a certified copy of my driver's licence complete with mug shot, plus my birth certificate!

Then I have to hope that the IRS accept it - if they don't I'm up the creek without the proverbial paddle!