Showing posts with label Awesome Things. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Awesome Things. Show all posts

13 August 2013

The Bad Girls' Club Chocolate Giveaway!

I'm hosting my first ever giveaway. When planning this, I wondered what would make a good prize. Then I remembered there is a scene in The Bad Girls' Club where Imogen pigs out on chocolate. When I wrote it, I wasn't sure if overseas readers would know what I was talking about. Cherry Ripes? Caramello Koalas? Pollywaffles*?

So, to bring you up to speed, I'm having a chocolate giveaway!

I don't have a photo of the prize and there is a good reason for this - if I bought it now, I'd eat it myself then I'd have to rebuy it. It would be an endless cycle! However, you will get four high quality, Australian only chocolate bars + some other treats. Who doesn't love new and foreign chocolate? Fools, that's who. And maybe the lactose intolerant.

Of course, if you are Australian, you are probably like 'meh, that's ordinary' but you can still win a copy of The Bad Girls' Club ebook.

Enter, you know you want to!

Already own a copy of The Bad Girls' Club? Well take a photo of yourself reading it on your kindle (or the print version) and sent me a copy or add a link in the comments and you get 10 entries! Let me know if it's okay to feature the photo on here or if you want it kept private.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

10 August 2013

My week

I got my hair cut for the first time in about 8 months!

I went to work in a freaken typhoon (I don't even know if we have typhoons in Australia but if we do, it was one).

I booked a side trip to Seoul as part of my Japan holiday.  Many cosmetics will be bought!

I went shoe shopping but didn't buy anything.

How was your week?

01 August 2013

The Bad Girls' Club -- in dead tree form!

You can scribble in the margins, highlight the good bits and bend the spine back.  You can read it at the beach and put it over your face to prevent sunburn if you want to take a little nap.  You can sit on the train reading it proudly, not just huddled anonymously over your kindle.

Get it now at Amazon, and soon at other distributors.

I'm thinking of having a special celebratory giveaway soon for the print version.  I just need to finish organising my holiday and napping first.

22 July 2013

Holiday in Japan

I've been doing careful planning for my holiday in Japan, mostly shopping planning. That's the best bit of holiday planning, right! Even though I'm going for a month, I want to pack light so I'm basing most of my wardrobe around cute dresses and comfortable shoes. No room in my bag for shoes that aren't comfortable yet stylish - but boy, are they hard to find!

The first trip I took to Japan, while waiting to check in, we noticed a guy with a small sports bag as his only luggage. We had too much luggage and it seemed an impossiblity to travel with such a small bag. Now I think I can do it. I've cut my needs down to bare minimum.

The secret is to cut out all those things that you might need if the situation arises. Cut anything that doesn't go with anything else. Dresses help with that, saves you having that top that only goes with one bottom situation. I know the packing experts say to take a bunch of separates that all go together but does that happen in real life? I don't have clothes like that. I have tops that look good with some things but are too long/short/tight/loose to wear with others.

Note - the shoes pictured are NOT the ones I have but are the nearest thing could find. I think my new shoes are so awesome they deserve a whole post of their own.

20 July 2013

Don't rain on my parade

Photo: Flickr, LicenseAttribution Some rights reserved by mikebai
I've been reading a lot lately about people who get discouraged from writing by those around them - friends, family, random strangers.  People who tell them they are wasting their time or that they will never get anywhere.

I can't imagine why anyone would tell someone they can't write or that they shouldn't be wasting their time.  Sure it's tough to make a success of it but, even if you don't and enjoy writing, what's it to anyone else? 
No one tells you that you are not going to be the next *insert name of famous person* if you piss fart around watching reality TV or getting pissed at the pub.

No one tells you aren't going to be the next Maradona if you join the local soccer team.  It's enough just to participate.  No one tells you aren't going to be the next Jamie Oliver if you take up cooking.

Why does writing make people so antagonistic?  It doesn't even cost much to do or hurt anyone.  Maybe it's because you go into a little world of your own and shut them out?  Some people can't handle that, just like they can't handle silence.

I'm lucky.  I can't remember a single time anyone has ever told me I shouldn't or couldn't write.  Maybe because I come across as the kind of person would tell them to mind their own business and go on doing things my way.  Or maybe I come across as the kind of person who would punch them.

That doesn't mean I've had support and encouragement from everyone around me.  In some cases, I do, and that's fantastic but in other cases I've had complete indifference.  And that's okay too.  Not everybody has to be your cheerleader.  They just have to STFU and let you get on with it.

11 May 2013

Writing News

Firstly, I've got a short story coming out in Alison Tyler's new anthology, Shhh! Don't Tell Anyone... Erotic Fantasies about Sexy Occupations I really had heaps of fun writing this story and imagining a scenario a bit different from the usually sexy jobs.

More details to come.

Secondly, a review of my short story collection, DESIRE, on Erotica for the Big Brain.

The first impression one gets on entry into the erotic word-scape of Kathryn O’Halloran’s Desire, is of the sheer rhythmic vibrancy of her prose, the frenetic onomatopoeic energy informing structure even as it drives language.

And lastly, Novel Escapes gives The Bad Girls' Club a whooping great 5 star review!

The Bad Girls' Club by Kathryn O'Halloran is exactly the type of chick lit book I adore when I want a fun and uncomplicated fully enjoyable read. From the first page, I found myself devouring the book though it did get a bit racy at times. But let's be honest, most of us have thought about this stuff if not having done it.

12 April 2013

The Bad Girls' Club: new cover and promo offer!

My heart is bursting with joy at my brand, spanking new cover for The Bad Girls' Club (as designed by the super talented Scarlett).  I love it to bits and think it really highlights the essence of the book, which is about chicks having fun and getting up to no good.

To celebrate the new cover, for this week only (until April 20th), you can get a copy for the next-to-nothing price of $0.99.  That's so cheap, you might even want to think of gifting it to all the bad girls' in your club.

The Bad Girls' Club: it's about sex, it's about dares but most of all, it's about friendship.

"While making you laugh out loud, this book really makes you stop and think about your life. It makes you contemplate stepping out of your comfort zone and finding the real you. It also makes you realize how important good friends and a good book are."

"Kathryn O'Halloran did an excellent job in creating characters that are realistic. We all know a Juliette -- an extra sweet quiet girl. Beth -- seems stuck up but sweet and never seems to get a break. Imogen -- seems tough but she is really a sweetheart. This is a charming story, that is funny at times, Sexy at others, and an all around joy to read."

"Oh my gosh. What I book. I must say, it evoked serious emotions in me. I empathised, I cheered, I wanted to binge on chocolate, and I was over the moon at the end."

So, what are you waiting for?

Buy now on Amazon (USA), Amazon (UK), Amazon (Japan)or Amazon (Canada)
Or Kobo in any country you like.

Note - Amazon seem to be a bit slow in updating the cover so it might still be showing the old version.  It's live!

Note 2- while the picture above might suggest there is a paper version available, it is NOT YET available but will be coming soon.

Currently at #34 for humour on Amazon!  Woohoo!

21 February 2013

I Heart Books

Check out I Heart Books for an interview with me and a review of The Bad Girls' Club.

'The Bad Girls Club’ is a fabulous debut that allows you to journey with Beth, Imogen and Juliette as they embark on a journey of self discovery, intent on ditching their good girl image and delving into a few fantasies along the way.

Although at times the story is racy, its mainly about the friendship the three girls share and what they learn about themselves as the story develops.

07 February 2013

Photo Thursday: Crazy Festival Guy

festival guy
Festival guy
I followed this guy around the festival to get a photo.  He seemed happy to pose.  Yes, he wore that octopus on his head all day.

01 February 2013

International Hotties and Notties: The Scottish

I see a lot of romance novels around with Scottish heroes.  I blame Sean Connery for that because on the ranking of International Hotties, how can the Scottish rank so high?

The main issue/s as I see them are this - you can't understand their accents (I can understand Chinese more easily than I can understand Scottish) and they drink too much.  The real problem starts when you put those two things together.

I went out with a Scottish guy and I could barely understand a word he said.  As he drank, it got worse.  Then he'd get pissed off and say he didn't have an accent and everyone acted like they couldn't understand to piss him off.



What attracts women?  Is it their kilt?  Their sporran?  The firey red hair?  The aloof and wild head of a clan in a remote place just waiting to be tamed by a woman's touch?  

Am I missing something important about Scottish men?
What do you think?  Scottish men - hot or not?

31 January 2013

Photo Thursday: Coffee

Coffee shop window with sakura in the background
Coffee shop window with sakura in the background

Drinking over-priced coffee in Japan while watching the cherry blossoms outside.  I love the old cafes with all the coffee-making paraphernalia, usually aged copper pots and glass things to rival a science lab, but the prices can be really steep.

29 January 2013

Truth, Dare and ... Philippa Moore

This week's Truth, Dare and... brings you Philippa Moore.  Phil is a girl with skills to burn.  Writer, blogger, marathoner and all round awesome chick, I know she's not one to back down from a challenge!

What's the craziest dare you've done - raunchy or otherwise?
It wasn't a dare as such but the closest thing I've had to it was getting a navel piercing after drunkenly declaring it to be a secret desire to a bunch of people one New Years Eve, and then finding myself in the position to get one barely three weeks later on a weekend in Sydney. Even my mum gave me encouragement! So I did it :)

Who dared you? Your friends? Yourself? Someone else?
It was mostly myself, because I'd always wanted one but my ex hated them.  Now he was out of the picture there was no reason not to get one! My friend Mary was very encouraging, and even captured the whole event on camera!  I think I deliberated over signing the release form in the piercing parlour for about half an hour, I was so scared! But there was nothing to be scared of, as it turned out.

What was the outcome? Good? Bad? Totally embarrassing?
It was awesome.  I'd never done anything like that in my life and was amazed at how sexy it looked! I spent the rest of the day, a steamy summer's day in Sydney, hanging out with my friends and feeling high as a kite, utterly delirious on life.  I still have it now, six years later, and every time I look at it I'm reminded of that 25 year old girl on the cusp of some really big adventures.  It's a time in my life I'm happy to remember and be reminded of.  And it helps keep me motivated to keep my stomach looking worthy of display ;)

Philippa Moore is an Australian writer currently living in the UK. She is best known for her blog Skinny Latte Strikes Back which won Best Health, Diet and Fitness Blog at the 2011 Cosmopolitan Blog Awards. Her writing has appeared in various publications, including Running Fitness, Women's Running and Cosmopolitan. Philippa has also completed her first novel and launched a series of interviews with leading authors, Book Ends: the podcast for writers and book lovers. She loves Indian cuisine, op-shopping and yoga and very rarely sits still. She hopes that 2013 might be the year she learns to meditate.

27 January 2013

What Are You Looking At? Weekly Link Roundup!

How's your week been?  I've had a crazy one with not enough sleep.  The world conspired against me with spiders in my bed (how can you sleep after that?) and the dog deciding to escape into the neighbours' yard at 11pm with wacky hijinx!  On the plus side, I've had two stories accepted into anthologies this week so yays, go me.

In web surfing news, this is what I've been looking at.

I'm planning a trip back to Tokyo in September with my sister and a friend.  It's still a long way off by it's fun to look at all the options on AirBnB.  It works out much cheaper to rent an apartment than trying to get a configuration of hotel rooms that doesn't drive us crazy plus we get a lot more space to play in.  I'm really swayed by some of the places around Naka-Meguro.  It's a great part of the city but always been a bit annoying to get to from where I've lived before.  Plus it's a great way to have a sticky beak at other people's apartments.

Because I can't wear my red polka dot dress everywhere, this week I ordered this skirt. Yes, it's exactly the same but in skirt form.  Polka dots rule my life.

From Etsy, lingerie that gets straight to the point.  Hey, a girl's got to ask for what she wants!

The Japanese Slipper was invented in Australia.  Who knew?

I've spent far too long this week watching videos of people do Arashi covers on youtube. This one is exceptionally cute.  I feel a bit weird about linking up other people's kids but its on youtube so they have already put it out there.

24 January 2013

Photo Thursday: Young Love

Young love at a festival.  The rake in his hand is to rake in cash for the coming year but I don't think his focus is on money.

17 January 2013

Photo Thursday: Pigment


Art stores in Tokyo kick arse.  Floors and floors of art materials make me drool and only the lack of space and money prevent me from buying everything.

15 January 2013

Truth, Dare and... Hildred Billings!

Since I've just released The Bad Girls' Club, a story all about fun and exciting dares, I wanted to find out the truth about dares.  Over the next few weeks, find out about some awesome women and their dares - the funny, the sexy, the downright embarassing.

First up is Hildred with a story I can well imagine, knowing Japan and the way Japanese people can be. 

Don't know if this really counts since I wasn't technically the person dared to do something, but here goes!

About a year ago I was spending the evening in Japanese lesbian bar with a good (Japanese) friend of mine. It was the second bar of the night for us, and at that point we were pretty damn tired since we were waiting for 4am to come so the trains would start running again.

Well, we were in this bar, not having the best time ever since it was loud and we didn't know anyone (aside for the super friendly drunk girl who kept telling us what a good lay she was - not with curry breath you aren't, sorry.) Friend started nodding off at the bar and I was about to suggest we go somewhere else when three young women come stumbling in already drunk off their asses. They were rowdy as hell but at least presented some form of entertainment in their shenanigans. Their favorite thing to do was tequila shots and dare each other to do things. (It seemed that whoever was last putting their glass down after a shot was the "loser.")

Well, since I was the only foreigner in the whole bar, they decided "LOSER HAS TO MAKE OUT WITH THE FOREIGNER." (No, they didn't ask me. Not that they had to. I was pretty damn lonely.) My friend was beside herself in scandal and the drunk woman who was The Best At Sex You Guys Seriously was jealous as hell, but I was too tired to care and just said "SURE. WHATEVER."

So these women do their shots and the one nearest me loses. She's half mortified, half intrigued, and I tell her in my best sleepy/half tipsy Japanese that she doesn't have to do anything she doesn't want to. But she says "NO. I WILL. I WILL DO IT. I WILL MAKE OUT WITH YOU IN FRONT OF EVERYBODY." So while my friend whips out her phone to take a picture (thanks, Marina, wherever you are) I'm about two seconds way from finally getting to lock in lips in Japan.

And then she changes her mind and goes to make out with her friend instead. Needless to say, I was a tad crestfallen.

Okay, I was really sad.

Two days later I flew home to America and that is still one of the first memories I get of Japan. Right up there with having three heat strokes and buying like 500 CDs from Bookoff. Good times in Ni-chome A+ would recommend to lesbians everywhere.

Hildred Billings is a Japanese and Religious Studies scholar who has spent her entire life knowing she would write for a living someday. She has lived in Japan a total of three times in three different locations, from the heights of the Japanese alps to the hectic Tokyo suburbs, with a life in Shikoku somewhere in there too. When she's not writing, however, she spends most of her time talking about Asian pop music, cats, and bad 80's fantasy movies with anyone who will listen...or not.

Her writing centers around themes of redemption, sexuality, and death, sometimes all at once. Although she enjoys writing in the genre of fantasy the most, she strives to show as much reality as possible through her characters and situations, since she's a furious realist herself.

Currently, Hildred lives in Oregon with her cat, with dreams of maybe having another human around someday. 

Want to get Hildred's writing on your kindle, here's a good place to start:

"Daisuki." (Lesbian Erotic Romance) (Ren'Ai Rensai #1)

Aiko and Reina have been together for almost 20 years, yet one thing remains unsaid between them: "Daisuki," or, "I love you." As they approach their anniversary, their relationship comes to an impasse as Aiko the Japanese housewife begins demanding "I love you" with a side of marriage and romance.

But Reina doesn't understand complex concepts like "love" or other heavy emotions. She's spent years supporting her girlfriend via a soul-sucking salary job and tending to their mutual needs in the bedroom. Isn't that sufficient? In a culture demanding Reina choose between the "feminine" and the "masculine" worlds, it's bad enough she's trying to find her role without Aiko adding extra pressure.

Some words need not saying, but "I love you" is about to destroy a relationship already surviving strange side-lovers and even stranger exploits.

10 January 2013

Photo Thursday: Osaka

Showa era Osaka

I love Osaka.  While the rest of Japan worries about being too hade (gaudy), Osaka embraces it.

06 January 2013

What Are You Looking At? Weekly Link Roundup!

It's been so hot here in Melbourne this week, I've tried to avoid that horrible place known as Outside.  No avoiding this week though as I start my new job.  I'll have to get back into the habit of getting dressed, leaving the house and talking to people.

Here are some of the places I've been checking out online this week:

  • Mucky Melbourne explores the steamy underbelly of Melbourne history.  I love reading about the history of porn cinemas and strippers in this town and hopefully there will many more stories to come.
  • Since I've been working on a raunchy story set in an ice cream van this week (summer does that to you), I needed to research - the van bit if not the raunch.  These vintage ice cream vans are as cute as can be.  I want one.
  • Neon signs of New York are awesome.  I love signs.  I love the lit up city at night in Tokyo.  I especially love Art Deco signs though. I must go to New York one day.
  • I really wanted to not like the movie, Sakuran, when my friend recommended it to me but it's such a beautiful movie.  And it stars Anna Tsuchiya who is totally hot.
  • For those new year's resolutions, how to lose weight the sparkly way is worth a read.  Who doesn't want to incorporate sparkly shoes, champagne and dirty dancing into their weight loss routine?

02 January 2013

Photo Thursday: A-Z Cafe, Omotesando

Installation at A to Z Cafe, Omotesando - Yoshimoto Nara
Installation at A to Z Cafe, Omotesando

My favourite cafe in Tokyo is A to Z Cafe in Omotesando.  I'm not a person who raves about a cafe based on their decor.  To me, the main criteria for a good cafe is good coffee.  That's what they are about, after all.

However, A to Z Cafe has a freaking amazing decor.  Featuring the work of Japanese artist, Yoshimoto Nara, A to Z makes you happy just being there. Not only are his drawings displayed around the cafe but there is a reconstruction of an artist's workshop in the middle of the cafe.  I love the way you feel like you are getting a sneak peek into Nara-san's life with details down to the coffee cup on the desk and the half-finished drawings.

But say you hate art, that's okay too because the views of the city are also magical.

Now, the most important thing - the coffee.  It's good.  Not cheap but you get a proper coffee and a proper coffee in Toyko is a joy to find.

I've only been there for lunch.  The dinner menu seems to feature mainly Western or Westernised food but the lunch set menu is a Japanese meal.  They have two choices - fish or meat and it comes with all the extras including sashimi and the best rice I've ever tasted.

If you are ever in Tokyo, definitely give it a try.

Lunch at A to Z Cafe
Lunch at A to Z Cafe

Edit: I just realised.  It's only Wednesday today.  Oops.

28 December 2012

Love Manifesto

I wrote this a few years ago but, since it's that time for making New Year's Resolutions and thinking about what we want out of life, I figured it's a good time to repost it.

This isn't love advice.  Me giving love advice would be like having a blind man teaching you to carve a turkey.  This is more about the things I've learnt about myself when it comes to love and romance and all things messy and squishy.

  1. If a guy makes you feel like shit then you aren't aiming high enough. Sure life will never be one long string of snapshot moments but the good should outweigh the bad.  Aiming high isn't about income or looks; it's about being treated well.

  2. No guy improves as the relationship progresses.  If he's an arsehole now, you can't change that.  You can only get out before you invest too much time in de-arseholing.

  3. Sex is good.  Sometimes having a no-strings-attached fling is fine.  The danger is when you get into that murky grey area.  If it's just sex, it's just sex.  Don't start with the daydreams of roses and chocolates and weekends at a cottage near the beach.  Don't ever, even for one teeny moment when you are bored shitless running off 500 copies of a report on the photocopier at work think about white dresses and wedding bouquets.

  4. Related to this - if he just wants sex, don't give him anything else.  Don't listen to his issues with his workmates or the stories about how his mother forgot to pick him up from football training and he had to wait 5 hours in the rain when he was 8 years old.  People say women like to share their feelings but seriously, men are the worst at this.  They will load all their problems onto you so that you feel like you have take care of them.  And why?  It's not building closeness, it's just giving him someone to whinge at.  If it's only meant to be a casual shag, don't put up with the jibber-jabber  Tell him to shut up, get his pants off and get on the bed!

  5. In fact, don't give a man any creative, moral, business or emotional support that you aren't getting yourself.  Otherwise you'll spend an excessive amount of your life telling him his love sonnets are Great Art and totally unappreciated; meanwhile he's leaving your haiku notebooks to gather dust because he doesn't have time to read them.  That's complete bollocks.  Men will take all your support and ego stroking and eat it up like a pacman eats up those dots things.  Then he'll expect you to feel honored because he tells you your shit is "OK."

  6. "If I didn't like you, I wouldn't have sex with you."  Need I explain the levels of wrongness here?

  7. If you have the choice between two guys, always go for the good looking one.  Women think they have to compensate for being less good looking by having a great personality, being fun and being supportive and tend to believe the same about men.  This is a trap.  The ugly one is not going to be more fun or even grateful that you picked him.  He's going to be a mean, arrogant shithead.  Trust me, every girl I know who has picked the ugly one has said this.  Your pity gets you nowhere.

  8. No one is ever too busy to send a text message.  Ever.  They aren't Jack Bauer.  They don't have thousands of lives at stake.  If they have time to put their football tips in, they have time to text you.  If they have time to eat, they have time to text you.  If they have time to take a dump, they have time to text you.  The reason they haven't called is because you are lower on their list of priorities than footy tipping, eating and shitting.

  9. If a guy doesn't want to see you again because you slept with him on the first date, he's got issues.  In one night, you got sex and got rid of a man with issues.  That is why sex on the first date is a good idea.  If he's a dud root then you also saved yourself time finding that out.

  10. If you walk away from something shitty, you'll be alone but you were alone anyway - that's why it's shitty.

  11. Never, ever leave a guy alone with your handbag.
And the most important tip, if a date ever feels wrong or icky or threatening, get out of there.  Don't worry about offending the guy.  Don't worry about looking like an idiot.  Make up some excuse, spend your last dollars on a cab if you have to, but get the hell out.

I don't know if it's true that there is someone for everyone.  Maybe my someone was really spaced out and got mowed down by a truck while he was crossing the road?  I guess the only thing to do is keep searching.  And wearing low cut tops.