Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Sneak Peak...

For those of you interested....here is an excerpt from "Magical Creations" the editing process for the October release is yet to begin, so this excerpt is seriously subject to change!

"Magical Creations" is a romance between Antigone (pronounced An-tig-uh-nee) and the troubled Omar who is Imran's brother from "Magical Gains". In Magical Creations, you get to see how both Imran and Omar became Genies, and get to meet some pretty cool mythological beings in the process. It was fun to write and I hope just as fun to read.


Omar turned to face her, his dark, impassive eyes absorbed every inch of her now rumpled jacket, moisture stained trousers and broken heel. His eyes narrowed and he walked towards her and loomed in front of her, larger than life. Involuntarily Antigone stumbled back and collided with the shop window behind her. Omar was an inch or so taller and his face was a masterpiece of masculine perfection. Antigone felt her cheeks redden at the sudden, unbidden thought. She realised dimly that instead of feeling shocked and horrified, Omar’s close proximity was turning her feelings to something much more pleasant. How is that possible? But the thought was cut short as he leaned forward. The pressure of him pushed a confused gasp from her lips, and her eyes widened.
“You look dishevelled,” he commented, his breath blowing gently against her hair. “Allow me to rectify the situation.”
Before Antigone had time to process his meaning, smooth, shimmering arms of red smoke wove themselves around her. They smelled warm, spicy and intoxicating. She closed her eyes for a brief moment and when she opened them again, Omar had moved away and she was standing alone leaning back on the shop window feeling a little dreamy. An annoyed flush of embarrassment threatened to bloom on her cheeks, but with substantial will power, she forced it down.
“What did you do?” she snapped, and stepped away from the window. Omar’s black eyes flashed as he observed her with interest. On the first foot step, Antigone realised that the heel on her sweet Jimmy Choo was mended, so she took a cursory glance at her jacket and trousers. She was as neat as a pin once again.
“How did you do that?” she asked incredulously.

Omar shrugged, “It’s a talent,” he smiled teasingly...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Strange Candy Review

Strange Candy Reviews has just reviewed "Magical Gains"

I am always a little nervous about getting reviews... after all, what if they hate it?! Thankfully, the review from "Strange Candy Reviews" is a good one!

Check it out;

I stumbled over Nicola E. Sheridan's debut Magical Gain's, and hit her up for a review copy. I was happy to see she was a fellow West Australian, too.

It was a little strange reading about parts of my own city, but man did she do it justice! The alternate universe she has created is similar yet different. Magical Gains Tax is applied to anything magical, and when Primrose becomes the unwilling owner of a genie lamp and it's sexy occupant, she is perturbed to say the least.

Primrose is a little shy and unassuming. She has some serious self confidence issue thanks to her overbearing ex. I did find her character a little weak, but I was always rooting for her. She had this naivety about her, and she somehow keeps it through the whole story even though she grows and gets a little tougher by the end. She also seemed very real. There are a few moments in the book that had me cringing, and thinking that it was something I'd do, or thats what would have happened to me.

Imran is way yummy, and tries so hard to help Primrose. In the beginning he is out for himself, but then he sees how her fiancée treated her, and realises that he can help her. I loved Imran from the get go. I definitely wouldn't mind finding him in a bottle. He always made such an effort to help bring Primrose out of her shell and help her realise what a beautiful person she was. Inside and out.
Magical Gains is a different paranormal romance, a nice change from the usual. I really enjoyed the story, and thought the idea of a tax on magical creatures and the like a great idea. It make's you think how would all us normal people react the having the extraordinary 'come out', so to speak. Magical Gains get really interesting when they end up in a Free Zone, where magic isn't policed. Primrose finds herself in a spot of bother with some Satyrs. Then we meet Imran's brother and find out about their dark past.

If you're looking for something inventive and new in the PNR genre then give Magical Gains a go. It's a fresh, funny, fantastic read with a healthy dose of sexy thrown in. I can't wait for the second book in the series, Magical Creations.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Metior Magazine

So the latest copy of the Metior Magazine is available now throughout Perth. My column this time is entitled From Battleaxes to Bodice rippers... and is about what I think goes into creating the perfect heroine. It also discusses the notion of an author (particularly a female author) basing her character on herself.  For those of you who aren't lucky enought to get yourself a copy of this cool magazine I'll post up the new link as soon as it's available.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Malaysian Mythological Beasties

[photo courtesy; Flickr Creative Commons; joost]

So, as anyone who has ever strolled by my blog will know, I love mythological creatures and use them in abundance in my writing. My latest crush is with Malaysian Mythological beasts, commonly known as 'ghosts' in Malaysia.

Why Malaysia you say? Well, I go their fairly regularly to visit family, and two of my books are based at least partly there. Magical Gains, is partially based in Kuching, which is in Malaysian Borneo, and my current work in progress (Magical Redemption)  is based significantly in Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia is a fascinating country, where amongst the highrises and designer stores, belief in witchery and the arcane still exists, and superstition is strong.

In my latest novel I've decided to use two myths, that of the Bomoh (witch-doctor's who still exist and practice today) and the pelesit. The pelesit in particular fascinates me because it is essentially an evil grasshopper, who does the bidding of the Bomoh and must be fed blood. Gross huh? If not fed it may reek havoc on society... I'm not sure what havoc a pointy-headed grasshopper filled with an evil spirit could yield but, I don't really want to find out either.

Two other interesting mythological beasties of Malaysia are; the polong and the toyol. The polong often works in league with the pelesit, but of them all, I find the the Toyol the most disturbing. Click on the links and you'll see why! I haven't used either  of them in my writing because I don't have the space nor time to introduce any more paranormal creatures into the book and they're just getting too creepy for me to use!

Bomoh's aren't always bad either. They are often aiding families through to catching 'Djinn' (a race of spirit-beings who sometimes cause trouble in peoples households). The Djinn are caught and placed in bottles... sounds familiar doesn't it? :)

If you want to read something bizarre, read this recent news report on some Bomoh's catching Djinn here.

I find it uttering intriguing that in our science-explaining world, myths and their outrageous creatures haven't completely died out. Amazing huh? ;P

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Lebanese nose

 [photo courtesy: Flickr Creative Commons: ssh]

The heroine in the final book of the "Magical" series Magical Redemption is Lebanese and this time, she is the Genie. I decided to choose Lebanese because my previous two Genies were Turkish, and wanted something different. I also really wanted a typical Lebanese nose for her. I wanted my female Genie to be distinct, striking, and unconventionally beautiful  - and a big beautiful Lebanese nose fit the picture nicely. I did not want her to be a carbon copy of Jeanie from I dream of Genie,  nor did I want her to be like Cyrine Abdel Nour (though she is absolutely gorgeous and I love her music). So I went searching for a lovely large Lebanese nose.
On thing I love doing when writing a book is googling things, and I have been absolutely floored by the amount of information available on the internet about Lebanese noses. Allow me enlighten you!

"The noses of the Lebanese, convex in profile in 53 per cent of the group, have usually a slight to medium nasion depression, a high, medium to broad root, and a high, broad bridge; the tip is of moderate thickness in most cases, and usually elevated; the wings are seldom compressed. Their foreheads usually have little slope, their browridges are of moderate development;" http://www.theapricity.com/snpa/chapter-XII18.htm

It seems that the Lebanese nose is also under threat, a significant proportion of young Lebanese women are going under the knife to make their noses smaller.

In 1965, the Lebanese Society of Plastic,Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery had six surgeons. Today it has 40 ­ the number of specialists in the field has risen in direct proportion to demand. All agree that Lebanon is a nation preoccupied with the pursuit of the perfect nose.

Not everyone views the nose job quite so lightly. For nose-conscious Cherine Fahd, an Australian artist of Lebanese origin who is heading the fight to preserve the Lebanese nose in all its original glory, the nose job is a fashion statement with more sinister implications.

In Beirut for the Sydney-Beirut/Beirut-Sydney contemporary art exhibition, she makes plaster molds of Lebanese noses that will be displayed in an exhibition to be held in Sydney later this year. She’s cast about 100 noses so far and hopes to preserve another 100 before the exhibition ends.

The nose project started out as a way of examining identity, “I was shocked by the number of people who have had nose jobs here,” says the fresh faced 25-year-old artist, who is proud to point out that her nose has never been touched by surgical hands. “I think it’s a shame because it’s a denial of who you are.”

But Fahd says that her artistic project has taken on another dimension. Finding an original Lebanese nose is difficult and her exhibition aims to redress the balance. Instead of deriding that much maligned feature, she is determined to celebrate it.

“This is an important project for me,” she says flicking through a local magazine filled with society pictures of people Fahd is convinced have had nose jobs. Just about every woman in every photo has had a white nose drawn over her own to indicate that what you see is not what that person was born with.

Fahd shrugs her shoulders and says that whilst she understands the desire to have a small nose, she doesn’t agree with it. The Lebanese nose is a distinctive feature that should be shown off rather than shorn off the face. “The ideal nose for me is large. In fact, the bigger the nose, the better,” she says defiantly. Fahd adds that this is not just the case with the Lebanese in Lebanon. “I see it with the Lebanese population all over the world: In Sydney or the States too. You have to ask yourself: Why?”

If you want to read the whole article: you can check it out here:  http://almashriq.hiof.no/lebanon/600/610/617/lebanese_nose.html

Large noses are iconic, just look at Barbara Streisand, Maria Callas, Sarah Jessica Parker even Anne Hathaway and Sofia Coppola.

There is a french proverb that says "a big nose never spoiled a pretty face" and I think it's true. However, in researching this blog, I failed to come up with a really nice image of woman with a Lebanese nose (that didn't look like it had been worked on, or had been taken in someones bedroom :S)

Anyway, here's to Lebanese noses, may they stay strong just as nature intended :)