How I missed my own party

What a surprise to travel from Los Angeles to Sydney recently, only to end up in idyllic Pago Pago with 287 or so other passengers!

Engine troubles forced our plane to land at sunrise on this emerald green jewel of a tropical island paradise at sunrise, as there were no lights to guide us in during darkness.

Kind locals treated us to island tours, fruit smoothies and seafood treats while the airline worked out what to do with us.

Among the unexpected joys were opportunities to chat with other travellers and relax into island time among the coconut palms, hot sun, humid sea breeze and warm sea.

In Sydney, my heroic husband hosted our New Year’s Eve party without me, while, due to a kink in the international date line, our stranded band of passengers not only missed the famous Sydney fireworks displays many had set out to see, but also completely skipped New Year’s Eve itself! Stranger than fiction!

Still in American Samoa at 2am on 30 January, in the airport terminal, after 19 hours lost in the Pacific, we decided to count down the final seconds of Sydney’s 31 January anyway, to wish each other well.

We celebrated the quiet competence of the captain and crew, and the generosity of local people.

What a memorable way to see in a new year!

Happy (and creative) New Year!

What is it about a new year that so prompts optimism? Any moment in time could be the same as the next, yet the cyclical movement of the earth around the sun tells us in our bones that we are about to launch into a fresh set of seasons.

For those in the northern hemisphere, it’s a reminder that the frost will thaw as surely as your sunshine begins to return.

Here in the Antipodes, we bask in the sun’s full strength as we savour abundant berries and juicy mangos and relish fragrant frangipanis with gratitude for another year of life. 

For me, each new year becomes sweeter. In this time of hope, may you reach out in wonder at your own new year, in health and joy, and may the sun shine on all your dreams.


I was so thrilled to hear that a friend wrote a fugue on the back of a paper bag on the way back from the launch of my House of Jewels series! 

My thanks to composer Geo Jenner and performer Daniel Nistico for permission to share Melancholy Fugue with you.

Yes, it’s sad. It’s also intricately exquisite, and did not exist until Geo captured and shared it. Congratulations, Geo.

What might you create and share this year? I hope to make some cakes.

I’m also beavering away on Summer Beach, the first book in my Escape to the Coast series, which features Jake, a guitar player who hides away from life in his beach house. Wait till dynamo Samantha turns up to sell the house next door!

Thank you for your beautiful reviews!

I’m always grateful for the recommendations and reviews that help others find my books, and was thrilled to discover that this reviewer, Trudi Lo Preto, found House of Hearts to be “even better” than House of Diamonds!

I could not be more excited she’s put me “at the top” of her “favorite author list”! Thank you, Trudi!  

Trudi wrote:

House of Hearts is the second in the series and even better than the first. Dr. Lisa Baker is a therapist is living in Las Vegas and part of a practice helping people to overcome their addictions. Will Huntley’s family are the owners of a very famous jewelry store. Will is the playboy of the family, never staying in one place too long, always having a pretty girl on his arm, loves to gamble but has checked in to the Peters Clinic and his family hopes he will lose his bad habits and come out a new and reformed man. Lisa meets him at the door and the long three-week program begins.

An immediate attraction is felt by both but it is forbidden for Lisa to have a personal relationship with a patient. Lisa and Will get into some compromising situations and fight temptation but it gets harder and harder. Lisa must wait two years before she can socialize with a patient and to her surprise, Will claims he is willing to wait for His Queen of Hearts.

They each continue on their own path and you will have to read this sweet romantic story to get the answer to their future. Can Will be reformed? Can Lisa step out of her therapist role? You will be reading late into the night to discover all of the answers. House of Hearts along with House of Diamonds would make a perfect TV movie or show that I would love to watch. I am anxiously awaiting book three as Amber Jakeman has moved to the top of my favorite author list.

Sweet deals

I’m delighted to join up with sweet romance authors from around the world to present our books to each other’s readers. We’ve each spent countless hours creating our stories of hope and healing, and we just want you to enjoy them!

Many of these books are for free, while others cost less than a cup of coffee.  

Please take a look at all the free good books in this Sweet Start to the Year mix. 

Enjoy browsing this Keep Me Warm promo which includes my House of Diamonds.

House of Spades and House of Clubs are included in this Sweet and Clean Romance Novellas and Novels promotion

You can find my House of Diamonds for free in this Romance for the Soul giveaway and also in this Sweet Romance Reads giveaway and this Soooooooo Romantic giveaway.

You can still find House of Diamonds for free on my website, where you can also find links to all my books. Please feel free to share these links with any friends and family who might enjoy a dose of feel-good fiction!

Come and meet me! 

A reminder that I look forward to meeting fellow authors and readers and signing my paperbacks at the Australian Romance Readers Association Romantic Rendezvous in Sydney on Sunday 12 February 2023 from 10am to 4pm at Sydney Boulevard, 90 William Street.

The event will be repeated in Melbourne on Saturday 18 February 2023 from 10am to 4pm, at the Novotel on Collins, 270 Collins Street. View details and book tickets.  

Road tours may also be on the cards. Please email me if you or your local bookshop would be interested in hosting an author Q & A and signing session with me.

I wish each of you a very happy (and creative) new year!


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