Posted in Happiness, Publishing, Year of Gratitude

Christmas Eve is the 358th day of the year

With Christmas Eve being the 358th day of the year I have 58 days of gratitude to make up for in my 365 days of gratitude. That’s lots of gratitude in a two month period.

Firstly, today I completed my last draft of Kendwa’s Secret and the cover (though there’s always time for a few more tweaks). My sister will be my first reader. I can’t wait for her response. So (drum roll) ta da!

Cover reveal:

Kendwas Secret cover lion front

I hope you like the cover as much as I do (some touch ups and etching to be completed).

Here’s the blurb:

Crocodile wrangler and wildlife ranger Kendwa Ely’s troubles didn’t begin when he buried his parent; they started long before that.

In Africa he is seven-years old when the unthinkable happens and he must stay silent. The years don’t dim the secret. In a constant effort to forget it, he travels the world, wrangling crocodiles in Australia’s Northern Territory, roping live alligators out of rich people’s pools in Florida, fighting for eco-tourism and bedding a constant stream of women.

That is until he meets Sharli Ahu.

Exquisite as a Hindu princess, Sharli has values, humility and beliefs. A strong, resourceful woman, she doesn’t need a man like Kendwa. She’d rather be caring for Borneo’s orangutans.

But Kendwa gets under Sharli’s skin. Even when he stuffs up there’s something sincere, strong and kind about him. Though, she has more important things in life than lusting after a wild guy like Kendwa.

In the jungles of Borneo, a venomous snake strikes and Sharli may be the only one who can save him.

Can their love grow, or will the shadow of his secret always be looming? Is it the catalyst for his biggest betrayal yet, or can he save the people he loves most?

Can true love survive the secrets people keep?

If production goes to plan Kendwa’s Secret will be out by June. Date to be announced. If you’re interested in a copy on release please email me through my Contact page. It is the prequel to The Zanzibar Moon. Make sure you get a copy of both.

58 Days of Gratitude

I ticked off two moments of gratitude with the manuscript and cover for Kendwa’s Secret, completed, but what about the other 57 Days?

Here goes. I’m grateful for:

  1. Being healthy
  2. Happiness
  3. Love and support from my husband
  4. My family
  5. My dog panting beside me (she’s terrified of the whipper snipper)
  6. Sunshine and summer showers
  7. Butterflies in my garden
  8. Bird sounds
  9. Wonderful clients
  10. Interesting stories
  11. Backstories
  12. Collaboration
  13. A writing mentor
  14. A new computer
  15. Purchasing Adobe Creative Cloud (so many wonderful artistic programs)
  16. Books, books and books
  17. Writing time
  18. Clean sheets
  19. Wet grass
  20. Housework done
  21. Soft rock music, like Matchbox Twenty or One Republic
  22. Full moons
  23. My grandson’s first birthday
  24. My granddaughter’s special hugs
  25. My children accomplishing their goals (or planning to)
  26. My boss selling her business while the planets aligned (everything worked out perfectly for both of us)
  27. Being offered more work
  28. Working from home as a writer
  29. Reading my stories in other books
  30. Living inside my head (there’s a lot going on there)
  31. Creating a new exciting fictional world
  32. Falling in love with my characters
  33. Meeting new people who will change me
  34. Finding inner joy
  35. Appreciating my Mum
  36. Walking barefoot in the sand
  37. Feeling seawater on my skin
  38. Christmas parties
  39. Catch-ups with other writers
  40. Buying Christmas gifts
  41. Avoiding shopping centres
  42. Receiving lovely gifts
  43. Cold beer
  44. Seafood
  45. Summer
  46. Rainforests
  47. Bush noises
  48. Sunrises
  49. Sunsets
  50. Friends
  51. Shared smiles
  52. Warm hugs
  53. Writing journals
  54. My office
  55. A reliable car
  56. A neck massage
  57. Love

With so few days left in the year I know I’ll still find more gratitude. Leave a comment and tell me the one thing that made you feel grateful today? Perhaps it’s was as simple as finding a car park in the crazy Christmas shopping frenzy.

Pair of flip flop sandals, sunglasses, Santa hat and camera.

And of course have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy and Prosperous New Year.




Posted in Happiness, The Zanzibar Moon, Writers, Writing tips, Year of Gratitude

Write down goals and gratitude

Write down your goals and gratitude and you’ll be surprised by what can happen

While cleaning my office (and it was about time too) I found an old journal. I have lots (they are tucked in all sorts of obscure places). Anyhow, I flipped through it and was delighted by what I had written six years ago. If you regularly read this blog, you’ll know that gratitude is conveyed in a lot of what I write. Without appreciation there is no true happiness.

Writing journal
Keep a journal of your goals and gratitude.

I gave myself a goal of 365 Days of Gratitude this year

Yep, I’ve missed some days (as far as writing them here) but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t appreciative. All those days are with more thankfulness than I could imagine. Days 249 through 310 were sixty-one days of extraordinary events that, particularly as a writer, have left me wondering if my dreams are coming true.

Back to the journal

In that tiny pink journal, I’d written a writing business plan. Six years ago, I was working fulltime (not writing) and any writing was accomplished in the early morning hours, lunch-time or after work. It didn’t matter. I put the effort in and tried to write every day, even if it was just in this blog. It’s not a chore to find those hours because it’s my passion.
I had written fifteen goals. Seven of those have been reached. Keep in mind, I had no idea how I would reach these goals, but I wrote them down and believed in them.

Here’s some I have ticked off:

  • I will be running a successful freelance business (I have three jobs lined up. One is a huge opportunity)
  • I will be in demand (after proving I can do the job, I am in demand)
  • I will publish my novel ‘Finding My Tarzan’ (The manuscript became ‘The Zanzibar Moon’ and was self-published in June)
  • On average I will work 3 days per week
  • I will write every day
  • I will regularly have my hair done (I’ve got to look like a published author, don’t I?)
  • I will see my friends more often
  • I will teach my kids good business and money principles, with love.

Here’s some I’m still working on:

  • I will earn $150,000 per annum (one day, ha, ha!)
  • Finding My Tarzan (The Zanzibar Moon) will become a bestseller (working on it)
  • I will have a column in a national magazine (that would be fun and challenging)
  • I will own a beautiful house with an awesome office overlooking the water
  • I will have spare abundance to share with my family

Things I didn’t write down that have happened:

I couldn’t have imagined some of what I had written would come to fruition. I didn’t put a date on my goals or make them too specific. That allowed for anything to enter my life. I’m writing genres that I never expected. That’s because I left the windows open to any opportunity that might fly my way (like a hawk). I’m a published author of contemporary women’s fiction and articles. Now I’m also skilled in biographies, short stories and sci-fi fantasy fiction. The diversity a fun challenge. It’s more than I could have imagined. That’s lots of gratitude in sixty-one days.

If you write down your goals (and what you are grateful for as well) I hope you’re as pleasantly surprised by the results as I have been. Look back on them in a few years, readjust the goals if you must. Keep looking forward to what you can achieve.

What are your goals? Write your dreams down. Imagine they are here. One day they will be.