Making changes . . .

Well, I finally did it! After years of wondering if I should, discussing the merits – or drawbacks – if I did, I finally plucked up the courage and moved house. And do you know what? It was the best thing I could have done. Phew!

You see I had lived in my old house for forty plus years. Bill and I started our married life there and we raised our children there too, so it was a huge decision and I have to confess that I was worried in case I was doing the wrong thing. However, happily, I love where I live now.

OK, so I had to get rid of a huge amount of furniture. I mean moving from a large 4-bedroomed house to a 2-bed apartment always meant there was going to be a space issue. My lovely Spanish-style dining-room suite had to go, so did the conservatory and garden furniture, the media centre . . . you get the picture?

I downsized in a big way but, amazingly, I haven’t missed any of the things I gave away. I love the openness of my new apartment with its huge living, dining kitchen area and the fact that I don’t have half as much cleaning to do. I have a lot more “me” time now and I’m making the most of it, believe me.

I take long walks along the canal towpaths with my dog each morning and don’t feel guilty about not getting down to the vacuuming or window cleaning. I go out with friends and don’t need to worry that the garden needs sorting out. The move has given me the freedom to do what I want, when I want.

Here’s a photo of where I am living. It’s a beautiful spot no matter the time of day and I’m very happy here. But have you made any major changes to your life? And have they turned out how you hoped they would? I would love to hear all about them.

Love,

Jennifer.

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Book Club Bonanza!

IMG_1828 Hello all! Well. I had an absolute hoot of a night the other day. I went to my very first book club (up in dazzling London Town) at the invitation of a friend who asked me to be the Guest Author for her group. It was her turn to host and the lure of three types of quiche, petit chablis and a three-layered carrot cake was too much to turn down. I am brand spankin’ new to the magical world of Mills & Boon and have to admit – got myself into a bit of a state. I had a tantrum in front of my husband, cried, almost was sick and couldn’t eat. Let me explain. My pal is EXTREMELY brainy (she’s a magistrate, a journalist – how we met – and on the board of a couple of companies. A synaptic gap leaper. Brainiac. You get the drift). I was anticipating a group of similar Power Women, hot off the boardroom table (oooo – now there’s a sizzling idea) all devastated because they were reading The Surgeon’s Christmas Wish rather than their usual goulash of Proust, Kingsolver, Tartt, Dostoyevsky etc. Turns out I was as wrong as a raven in a  palm tree. For one of the first times – they had ALL read the book (apparently they normally can’t even decide on ONE book to read – and split the group in two and then rarely get about finishing the books). They enjoyed it, wanted to know if I had the film rights because they could all see it (read: themselves) on the ski slopes of Colorado falling in love with a sapphire-eyed hero (they quoted me to me – it was awesome and hilarious!). I printed out one of the editor’s list of things that are NOT sexy (tongues in ears was collectively agreed upon). We talked about the different genres, the level of boom boom in each book (do they MAKE you????) etc etc. It was a ball. If you’re a newbie, haven’t been a guest author – or had an author to come along to your group – I would highly recommend it. It was a huge confidence booster. IMG_1821Most (ALL) of them came with pre-conceived notions of Mills & Boon, the authors, the heroes, the heroines and I would say they all left a bit more illuminated. And at the end – we all ate cake. Yum yum. IMG_1999

What are you thankful for?

thanksgiving2by Susan Carlisle

It is Thanksgiving time in my part of the world. It’s a time of leaves turning and falling, there’s a fire in the fireplace, and most people are thinking about what to serve on Thanksgiving Day. For us it is an important day because we celebrate the survival of the first settlement in the new land that would become the USA. These brave forefathers are called pilgrims. Over 200 years ago these people had a lot to be thankful for and so do I.

Things I’m thankful for:

My family, mother, husband, children, grandchildren, and extended family

The country I live in

The fact I have a roof over my head and food on the tablethanksgiving

My health

My friends

The fact I can choose what I do

My heritage

That I can write stories

That I don’t have to walk to the store which is three miles away

These are just a few things I’m thankful for. What are you thankfully for?

Sue Mackay asks -What happened to typewriters and telephones???

I’m surprised I have any hair left today because these past eight days have been STRESSFUL.

In this world of cell phones that can do anything except hang out the washing, and computers that tell me what to do, it’s hard for other people to believe that we don’t have Broadband, that we’re only one step on from dial up. Our internet is via satellite, which is fine, though a little slow. There are times when it is not fine – like when the wind is blowing like stink, which it does most days of spring: like when there’s low cloud cover or fog, which happens periodically in winter.

But hey, I chose to live out here in this idyllic setting miles away from towns and people and cars – and broadband. So, most days I suck it up and life’s good. We’re aren’t the only ones dealing with this. Remote areas around the world have the same or similar issues.

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As the photo says, life’s pretty darned amazing.

But then there is the ME factor. Ten days ago I went to the desktop and there was a download going on. It looked okay to me so I clicked yes on the continue button and did as I was told – went away for forty minutes. Well, twenty four hours later 90% of our months usage had been gobbled up, access to my other email site, my blog sites, etc, had become beyond difficult, and I was in the dog box with my DB. (Not so dear for a few days.) I never click on downloads so what I was thinking – probably wasn’t – I have no idea.

Thank goodness for men who eat, sleep and breath computer technology. A few days later we were almost back to normal. See, nothing happens quickly when you live in Paradise. Tradesmen and computer men naturally take the jobs closer to home first.

So if you’re reading this it means all is well in my corner again. If you’re not then I’m bald and you haven’t got a clue what’s going on.

Does anyone else out there have these problems?

Love 60 Years On

IMG_0591My parents are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary this week! Yes, I know, I can’t wrap my head around that figure either!  They’ve lived around the state, overseas, have two daughters, three grandchildren and have had a gazillion arguments. BUT  they always kiss each other good bye and hello and goodnight and good morning! And my father gives my mother breakfast in bed so maybe that is the key ;-)  I must mention that to my husband!

Ten years ago we gathered together to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary; we all Scan0054stayed overnight at the open range zoo! It was awesome fun. It was like being on the African savannah…hence the pith helmet..and there is Boy Wonder at 6 photo bombing! We played African drums, ate amazing food, slept in a tent under 1000 thread count sheets…pure glamping and a great celebration.

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Ten years on, we’re heading back to the coastal town of Apollo Bay where they had their honeymoon. Aww :-) We are staying the weekend and going out to dinner at a restuarant that has spectacular views across the southern ocean. Of course, the guesthouse where they had their honeymoon is long gone but I’m sure they are going to enjoy their four days in the coastal town…they just have to kick the nasty virus they have both come down with!

So happy 60th wedding anniversary Pat and IMG_3760Bill! (Here they are at Hall’s Creek WA earlier in the year). They are never home….

A marathon marriage like this begs the question, what are the keys to a happy marriage? My parents said a lot of arguing but never letting the sun go down on a disagreement. I still think breakfast in bed helps ;-)

Do you have any tips on a long and relatively happy marriage? Tell me your thoughts :-)

Book News!

9781488756559_1114_RunawayGroom_CVRRunaway Groom, the final in my Wedding Fever trilogy is available this month in print on bookshelves around Australia. Of course the ENTIRE trilogy is availabe as eBook all the time. Buy links for all eBookstores are here

Amy Sagar’s life is in ruins. Fired from her fast-track job and dumped by her double-crossing boyfriend, she retreats to Whitetail, Wisconsin, to lick her wounds and regroup. Meeting an impossible, sexy Australian isn’t part of her strategy for getting back on track.

Ben Armytage is running away. After being left at the altar and publicly humiliated, he’s taking his vintage motorcycle on an extended road trip from Argentina to Alaska. Having his journey interrupted by a breakdown and sharing a house with a curvy, redheaded lawyer in a town obsessed with weddings was never on his itinerary.Faned covers

Though being stuck in a luxury log cabin isn’t really a hardship, living together with their broken hearts isn’t easy. When the attraction between Amy and Ben proves unstoppable, they’ll both begin rethinking their plans…

Read an excerpt, here!

Reviews have been enthusiastic!

“If you’re a fan of well-written contemporary romance, I would suggest Runaway Groom. You get THREE HEA’s in one novel!!” Harlequin Junkies.

“Fiona Lowe always has a way of mixing comedy with a sweet, hot, romance, Runaway Groom was no exception. There was a wonderful balance between the romance building between Amy and Ben and their own personal battles. It was a wonderful addition to the series.” Kristen Johnson Goodreads Reviewer

Runaway Groom is available on shelf for the next four weeks at Kmart, Big W, and Target. If you can’t get to the shops, you can order it from Booktopia.

Hello from India

Built to house the statue of Queen Victoria!

Built to house the statue of Queen Victoria!

HI All,

I know I haven’t posted here for ages and that’s not because I’ve moved permanently to India (although I am lucky enough to be here on holiday -more of which later) but because I’ve taken time out to write two historical fiction novels for a different publisher and as Emma rather than Anne Fraser.

The first, When the Dawn Breaks, is18108523 set during WW1 was published last year (and short listed for the RNAs Epic Romantic Novel of the year) and the second, We Shall Remember, set during WW2 was published last week.

My fellow medical authors kindly agreed to let me use this blog to let you know about them – not least because both books have a medical back ground as well as a love story at their centres. Also, anyone who has read my medical romances will know I love to write books set in different countries- Falling for Dr Dimitriou my latest M&B is set in Greece and my historicals were set in Serbia and Poland respectively (as well as Scotland).

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Train station in India..waiting for the Darjeeling mail to arrive.

And now I’m in India where my next historical will be set. Out of all the countries I’ve lived in or visited, India has to be the most different. We only arrived on Monday yet already we’ve seen so many sides to India. From Kolkata with its teeming population, buzzing atmosphere vast numbers of people, tooting cars, stalls selling everything you can imagine to the odd (cemeteries in jungle settings ) and to the breath taking (the Himalayas at sunrise and my first and probably last sighting of Mount Everest.) And yet we’ve only been here four days. So much more to see and experience.

I’ll be tweeting and posting on EmmaFraserAuthor Facebook page and my EmmaFraserbooks twitter account

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Sunrise over Everest

if anyone would like to follow my journey. In the meantime, I’d love to hear about the most interesting place you have ever visited.

Love Anne Fraser x

Don’t Mess Around With Me!

Confession time: I have too much stuff and too little space! When we emigrated 12 years ago I filled 2 skips with rubbish and now, after all those years I bet I could fill twice as many skips and more! Stuff seems to accumulate! We have a garage that will never fit any cars in- too much stuff, stuff we are going to sell on ebay, stuff we might use when (Ha!) we buy that holiday cottage…or that the kids might use when they leave home… (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a hoarder…I think!)

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My desk…all that stuff is very important and I know exactly where it is when I need it!

I was reminded of just how much stuff we have when I had recent bathroom ensuite renovations. After the toilet-falling-off-the-wall-with-me-on-it incident that we don’t talk about we had to get new plumbing which led to a new wall, which led to a new bathroom. When the designer lady came to inspect the room she walked in, frowned and said, ‘Oh my, don’t worry we’re going to hide all of that stuff you have behind mirrored cupboards.’ (I didn’t realise people actually put that stuff out of view!) And she duly provided a lovely cabinet with about enough shelf space for a mouse with no belongings.

So we decided to deal with the stuff and had a grand old throwing out session which was well over due- and went to a plastic box shop and spent rather more than we ever thought possible on plastic boxes to organise ourselves. It’s very therapeutic and I’m determined to do it in every room in the house …that is, once I’ve won the lottery! And when I have time…and…yes! I WILL BE ORGANISED!

My new sparkly (tidy) ensuite!

My new sparkly (tidy) ensuite!

Often I visit people and they seem so spick and span and tidy, even when I’ve been there for a few days, everything has a place and everything’s in it’s place. I wish I was like that. I really do! So- are you an organiser? A neat freak or do you have out of control stuff too? Any hints on managing it all?

Oh, and the main reason why I haven’t time to manage my stuff is because I spend a lot of time at my (messy) desk. The result of which is these two darlings…one out in all stores now, the other out exclusively at M&B this month!

Enemies With Benefits Enemies UK cover

Blurb: The last man on earth she should hook up with! Poppy Spencer has discovered that there’s one thing worse than spending Christmas alone in her flat, and that’s spending it with Isaac Blair- her sworn-enemy-turned-reluctant flatmate! And that’s not just because he knows all her secrets…but because his sexy-as-sin smile and taut physique are making her all hot and flustered- desire the icy cold outside!

Unless a casual hook-up is just the thing she needs…? It’ll certainly break the simmering tension between them. The trouble is, with their history, this is going to be anything but casual…!

Available from all good bookstores/outlets… and Mills and Boon

A Baby On Her Christmas List

Blurb: Nurse Georgie Taylor has just one thing on her Christmas list- a baby! But she never expected her best friend, Dr Liam MacAllister to offer to be the father. Liam keeps his heart strictly off limits, but seeing Georgie pregnant ignites feelings he just can’t ignore…feelings that could destroy a beautiful friendship…or result in so much more!

Available exclusively in November from Mills and Boon!

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