Hiya folks

Sorry – I missed one week of PATTERSON’S CURSE updates because I had almost a whole week away at the Romance Writers of Australia conference and then was too shattered last week to update. Besides I wrote about one page in that week, so there wasn’t really much to tell. Aside from that I had a fabulous time hanging out with my good writing buddies, meeting new friends and being inspired by AWESOME speakers. The highlight of the conference had to be listening to Cherry Adair – both in her plenary speeches and her workshops. What a fabulous person and amazing writer.

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Me with the inspirational Cherry Adair!

Malle Vallik form Harlequin gave a fabulous workshop on the writer’s brand, particularly what a good website should entail. Mine does okay according to her checklist but she had some fab ideas I’d love to enact so watch out for a new website for me soon 🙂

The Harlequin dinner and other social events were also big highlights. I posted some photos to my FB page but below are a couple of others from these nights:

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The gorgeous Flo Niccol from M&B UK, me, shirtless waiter and
fab rural romance author Tricia Stringer.

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Good friends and awesome authors: Maisey Yates, Dani Collins
and Beck Nicholas

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Me hanging out at the Destiny welcome cocktail party with some
of the fab team from Harlequin Australia

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After the Awards Dinner, Escape Publishing through a fab after party 
and hired a fun photo booth for the evening!

Now… for my PATTERSON’S CURSE update. Last week involved a lot of second guessing myself and deleting words, putting them back in, deleting them again and then putting them back in. I actually cried, which I haven’t done over a book for quite some time. I whinged to my husband and my good writing friends and they all offered advice and pep talks. Somehow I got over myself and decided that I WILL CONQUER THIS BOOK whatever it takes.

Some books are easy to write, some are hard. This one has been a bit of a challenge so far but I hope that means it’ll be AMAZING by the time you guys read it next year!

Progress thus far:

  • two chaps, which means I’m now into chapter eight
  • 28,579 words so far (another week where I didn’t meet my word count goal but I’m hoping to make it up in the next couple of weeks)

Here’s an extract for you from this week’s words:

‘What happened to the woman who gave the curse?’ Abigail asked as Madeleine turned the car into the main street of Meadow Brook.

‘Oh, she stayed in town,’ Mags said, seemingly happy to tell all now she’d started. ‘Drove Laura wild, following her, shaking her head and fingers and uttering mumbo jumbo whenever she could. In fact, her daughter still lives in town. You might know her as Wacky Wanda.’

Madeleine almost swerved off the road and into the local Australia Post Box at this news. She recovered, brought the car back into the middle of the lane and then looked in the rear view mirror. Abigail looked deathly pale.

Oblivious, Mags continued. ‘Her real name is Gretna, she was the same age as my father but never attended school. She and her mum kept to herself until her mum died and Gretna still keeps to herself. I feel sorry for the old girl. She’s in her eighties and I’m not sure she’s ever left Meadow Creek in her life. Some say she’s not right in the head.’

Madeleine met Abigail’s gaze in the rear view mirror and saw her look of utter horror. ‘Sounds like the whole family weren’t right in the head,’ she said, rolling her eyes.

Mags laughed. ‘Crazy as cut snakes I’d say.’

‘But what if…’ Abigail’s question died on her tongue as Madeleine turned the van into the motel car park and saw an ambulance parked out the front.

‘What’s going on?’ asked Mags, leaning forward as if doing so would give her a better view.

At that moment the front door of the reception opened and Madeleine saw Charlie holding it open, a stricken expression on her face as two men in ambulance uniforms wheeled out a stretcher, Lucinda bringing up the rear.

‘Dad!’ gasped Abigail.

Madeleine flung open the door and almost tripped in her efforts to get to him. ‘What’s going on?’ she demanded to no one in particular as she stopped alongside the stretcher, glancing at the oxygen mask and defibrillator attached to her dad.

‘He had some kind of turn. They think it’s his heart,’ replied Lucinda, her voice shaky. ‘They’re taking him to Port Augusta.’

Madeleine looked from her dad’s ashen face to the serious expressions of the volunteer ambulance officers. ‘Mitch,’ she said, recognising one of them. ‘Have you given him Aspirin or a GTN spray?’

‘Yes. We’ll look after him, Mads.’ He offered her what she guessed was meant to be a reassuring smile.

She puffed out a breath. ‘I’m coming with you.’ Mitch might be very good at driving trucks and fixing things but what did he know about fixing people? And as for the other volunteer, he didn’t look old enough to buy his own underwear.