Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The sting in the tail - or in this case, the toe!

Last night I finished another novella about an older woman and a younger man with lashings of romance, culminating in the usual twist in the tale or (more in this instance, sting in the tail).

Talking of stings in the tail, this morning, I had a rude welcome to the day with a real sting in the toe when I put on my shoe in the kitchen and, shrieking with pain, withdrew my foot to find a spider clamped to the end of my toe. Its fangs were so embedded I couldn't get the spider off for some seconds. I then flung it to the ground, covered it with a glass, then flicked it into a clear ziplock plastic sandwich bag and pierced it with a pin so I could identify it.

Fortunately it wasn't the horrible White-tail I'd feared, so at least my toe isn't going to necrotise or have to be amputated. But it was painful!

Is there a moral to that story? Well, nothing cleverer than check your shoes before you put your feet into them.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

An Old Story Ends & A New One Begins
Well, I've typed THE END to my latest story. I've never tackled an older woman, younger man romance and I'll certainly rest this one for a while before I hand it over to my brilliant critique partners. It's the first book in a series so the ending was challenging. How do I satisfactorily wrap up the story with respect to my two central characters when the action is just about to shift to the daughter? Well, I've done it so that's a rhetorical question. Now I need a bit of distance - and some honest feedback from my good old Ozcritters - before I'm in a better position to know if I have or not.

Friday, February 24, 2012

A wonderful review from JERR
When one gets a bad review one has to just take it on the chin and move on. On the other hand, a good review can make your heart sing and just push the passion through that pen! I got such a review for my recently released Rake's Honour. 5 stars from Just Erotic Romance Reviews. Here it is....

Title: Rake’s Honour

Author: Beverly G Oakley
Reviewer: Barbara McCormick
Rating: 5 Stars
Level: O
Fanny Brightwell must find a husband or be married off to the odious Lord Slyther. Her first attempt at doing so leads her into a compromising position, from which she is rescued by the dangerous rogue Viscount Fenton. Fenton discovers that the memory of Fanny’s kisses haunt him. The two meet at a ball and have an unexpectedly passionate encounter. Afterward, Fenton offers to set her up as his mistress. Since her family’s fortunes rest on her ability to marry well, Fanny must take control of the situation.
The characters in Rake’s Honour, a Regency romance, leap off the page and into the reader’s heart. Fanny is well aware of her obligations to her family, yet yearns to find a husband she can love. Fenton has outgrown his childish excesses and is ready to settle down with a wife. The heat between these two practically sets fire to the pages, a mean trick for an e-book! Ms. Oakley brings the setting and time period to life without lengthy descriptions of society’s strict rules. The sex, oh my goodness, the sex is hot and in unusual settings as Fenton and Fanny must hide what they are up to from the eyes of judgmental society. Supporting characters like Fanny’s younger sister and her friend and confidante, Lord Quamby, bring added life to a lush story. The pacing is just perfect, keeping you in your chair reading right through to the end. The “mamas” are ever present, placing demands on their children to marry well for family’s sake. In the end, Rake’s Honour is about satisfying society’s demands while still finding ways to remain true to oneself and one’s heart. For these reasons, Rake’s Honour earns an honored spot on my re-read stack.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Website Update - New look coming soon.

I've been trying to get an RSS feed onto my website for absolutely ages - and now I've done it, thanks to incredibly knowledgeable and helpful fellow romance writer, Maree Anderson-

Maree is a fellow Romance Writers of Australia member and clearly far more knowledgeable than I am about this sort of thing. Our organisation is a marvellous resource for information. I've posted my RSS-related queries onto so many technical forums and got nowhere. The advice never worked for me. Last night, however, I posted my question onto the RWA author loop, got my answer by morning and in a couple of clicks had achieved what I've spent hours and days trying to achieve through various other channels. So thank you, Maree!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Beautiful Clare Valley

I love visiting dad and Wuthering Heights, the fabulous 80-acre property that's been in the family for 30 years. We built the mud brick Bronte Manor and now there are three cottages nestled amongst 25,000 trees.

Last night I returned to Clare to do an author talk at the Town Hall. It was a really lovely night, supported by many lovely Clare people and followed by a delicious supper put on Friends of the Library. Thank you to all of them!

My journey from Gisborne to Clare, however, felt like one of those epic road trips. I was booked on staff travel on the 10.10am, but was bumped because an earlier cancelled flight meant every last seat on this flight was booked. We couldn't help but look daggers at the stragglers onto the plane, which scotched our chances of getting on. (Yes, I know, they were paying passengers.)

We then had two hours to wait for the next plane but were told there were no seats available, however if there were no-shows (i.e. people on flex-fares who didn't show up) we'd have a chance.

Fortunately, there were and the three of us got on. A lovely gentleman called Trevor (and fellow standby passenger who was chewing his fingernails like me) was trying to get to a funeral in Adelaide. He was hiring a car so he drove me from the airport to the railway station and then I caught the train to Mawson Interchange and a bus to Gawler where dad picked me up to drive the last hour to Clare. I made it just in time to have a glass of white wine with my sister before getting into my glad rags for the talk.

A nice evening, as I said!

And now it's morning, the birds are singing and it's time to help dad reorganise the layout of his memoirs before I make my epic way home.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday morning dramas

Yesterday my Sunday morning slumber was rudely disturbed by my 7-year-old nephew and 6-year-old daughter bursting in on me in great consternation as the rain thundered down on the tin roof.

"Mummy! Auntie Bevie! You've got to climb onto the roof. Quickly! We left Auntie Penny's birthday presents there in a box last night."

I'd stayed overnight at my sister's house to look after her two little boys so she and her husband could go to a party in Echuca, 2 hours away, leaving my husband to enjoy the solitude of our own house so he could study in peace.

Now, here I was in my green and pink polka dot pyjamas climbing a 15ft ladder in the pouring rain at the crack of dawn, wondering whether I should tell Penny that under my watch the kids had actually done this, or just get the presents - and me - safely out of the rain and just leave it.

The joys of children! And I thought it was going to be the two-year-old who'd be the problem!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Win an e-copy of Rake's Honour

Today I'm blogging with the lovely Maria-Claire Payne, a fellow Total-e-Bound writer at: 

Maria-Claire is one energetic gal - as you can see from her blog! I've included an excerpt of Rake's Honour and a bit about me.

Meanwhile, this is no ordinary Sunday as I've stayed over to look after my two nephews, together with my two girls, so my sister could go away for a party overnight with her husband, and mine could.... study at our home! (That's what happens when you're married to a pilot. Sleep and study and time away from home flying mean that I look after the kids a fair bit.) However, dh took our six-year-old on a special daddy/daughter trip to buy her the roller skates she's been saving up for. 

Last night was a very broken up night with my two-year-old nephew looking for his mummy but now the kids are eating breakfast and I've snatched a quiet couple of minutes.

Anyway, tell me what you like about the cover art and you're in the pool to win a copy of Rake's Honour.
New Contract

It's always exciting to receive a new contract. This evening I signed my third contract with Total-e-Bound for a novella to be included in their Bodices and Boudoirs anthology. It's called The Cavalier and is set during the English Civil war and under my Beverley Oakley name. It'll come out on July 16, exactly two weeks after my second release on July 2, entitled Lady Lovett's Little Dilemma.

The cover art for LLLD should be coming soon. That's always exciting, too. It'll be very different from my Hale book covers but then the covers reflect the type of story and my Hale books are traditional Regencies and my TEB books are more sensual. Essentially, the stories are still the same stories, though.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The building of our new pergola in the back garden has taken out of me far more than I thought. Including writing time! I've spent literally dozens of hours painting and with Eivind studying for his command on the 737 there's been no one to help. He did hold the 10ft ladder, though, when I had to paint the highest reaches. The girls would hold it for about ten seconds and when I peered down into the misty gloom all those seemingly half a dozen metres below there'd be no one there!

Still, it's better than Eivind being up a ladder since falling off one six years ago was how he broke his back. It's only recently that he has more pain-free days than the other way round. Losing 23kg helped. My hubby look pretty tremendous these days!

Friday, February 10, 2012


I've just signed up for the above which runs from 1 January 2012 -  31 December 2012.

The Goal (as stated on their home page at is to:

  • Read and review books written by Australian women writers throughout 2012, the National Year of Reading – hard copies, ebooks and audiobooks, new, borrowed or stumbled upon bybook-crossing. 
Now, as I'm a romance writer, I aim to read in at least two other genres and to post my reviews here and link back.

The idea is to:
  • "help counteract the gender bias in reviewing and social media newsfeeds that has continued throughout 2011 by actively promoting the reading and reviewing of a wide range of contemporary Australian women’s writing."
I'm in!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Love Thy Neighbour

Well, no more teaching English as a Second Language - for the short term, at least, since the hours of my college were changed and didn't fit in with after-school care.

I loved the diversity of my classes. The cameraderie of students from Kuwait, Libya, China, South Korea, Italy and Greece was proof that people get along if they can get to know one another as people rather than nationalities.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Hanging Rock Races

Went to the Hanging Rock Races last week. This was where the famous 1975 film Picnic at Hanging Rock was shot. Unfortunately the races last year were cancelled due to kangaroos on the track and this year moved to Kyneton because of a divet.

Anway, just uploaded this picture of me and the family (including beautiful Homer) from last year to show how lovely the scenery is.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I'd forgotten painting was so boring. Or so time-consuming. It's a good thing I have a couple of stories in my head to pot-boil or I'd go insane.

I also have my best friend, my big, loyal Rhodesian Ridgeback Homer, who is never more than two metres away, to keep me company. Every time I go inside to make a cup of tea or find some other excuse to leave the job at hand, he gets up with a groan and lopes after me.

If only my children were so dedicated - or could wield a paintbrush with any expertise or enthusiasm for more than two minutes. Mind you, I won't be on at them to keep up the hard work. I've spent too much time already fixing up the spills and drips.

Soon it'll all be worthwhile. A beautiful 6m x 6m pergola in blue and white will grace the back garden next to the swimming pool and I'll be enjoying entertaining my friends too much to remember how much I detested all the painting.