Thursday, October 9, 2008

Spring Iz Sprung...

by Anna Campbell

Well, at least it has in Australia! It's been lovely and warm and I've had a couple of swims in the pool. Bliss!

But before I extol the beauties of the change of season in South East Queensland, let me get to the important part of today's blog. I got the advance reader copies of TEMPT THE DEVIL a little while ago and I'd love one to go to a good home - and as you know, a good home means a BANDITA BUDDY! So someone who leaves a comment here today is in the draw for a sneak peek at my January 09 release.

The birds have been enormously noisy and, sure sign of warmer weather, the bearded dragons have started to come out. Here's a couple of pictures I took of one in the bushes outside my office. They're amazing-looking beasts, aren't they? Like miniature dinosaurs. I love them. They're this wonderfully benign presence around the place.

The grevilleas have started flowering like crazy. Which means the parrots make so much noise trying to get at the nectar, sometimes it's hard to hear myself think.

As a lot of you know, I only recently finished a book which is always a very strange moment in my life. I should be dancing and shouting and carrying on. But it's actually a little like mourning.

It takes me a year to write a book and time before that when the characters and the story are taking shape in my mind. So it's hard to say goodbye to those people with whom I've lived on such intimate terms for so long. New people are moving in as I wave bye-bye and they'll end up being as dear and as compelling as the characters who lived in my head for the last twelve months. But right now, I don't feel like it.

So it's lovely to have all this natural beauty around me while I go through my withdrawal! And I've really enjoyed the quiet contemplative times swimming in the pool, feeling the sun on my back and listening to the birds squabble. Well, sort of quiet!

This is a photo I took last year of the flowering gum tree in my garden. Isn't it gorgeous? The color is even more vibrant in real life - it really burns your retinas. Those naughty parrots love the flowers and the blossoms never last very long, sadly. So I'm very proud of this shot which I managed to catch before the blooms were torn-up history all over the grass underneath the tree.

And speaking of the lorikeets, here's a picture of the noisy, troublesome little beggars. Aren't they amazing-looking too? More colors that burn your retinas! We have a couple of varieties of parrot that hang around the house but these guys are the naughty teenagers of the neighborhood! There's a park up the road where thousands of them congregate and I swear it's louder than a 747 taking off! I love them - they're full of personality and they don't take nonsense from anyone.

Anyway, enough of the nature watch! You've got a book to win! The prize will be randomly drawn from today's comments.

What are the signs of the changing seasons where you live? I'm sure my Northern Hemisphere friends are green with envy at the thought of swimming in the sun right now! Do you have any native birds or animals around your house that seem like the soul of the place? I'd love to hear about the locals at your place!


Oh, and if you'd like another chance to win an ARC of TEMPT THE DEVIL, don't forget I'm also giving one away in my website contest this month. All you need to do is read the excerpt and answer a simple question. GOOD LUCK!

124 comments:

Amy Andrews said...

Bok bok?

Amy Andrews said...

Bwah ha ha ha ha.
Here chooky chooky...
It's been so long since me and the rooster had a night together. Oh my fine feathered friend, what a treat I have in store for you
(okay, now feel like I'm channelling Pepe LePEW!!!)

Lovely pics Anna. Is the water warm/ And is there room for another swimmer? I can pack my togs and be there in an hour :-)

flchen1 said...

Wooooo! Anna, those are gorgeous pictures! We don't get a whole lot of changing seasons here (at least not very dramatically--we get more rain in winter and more sun in the summer, but no snow or unbearable humidity). Congrats on finishing--it makes sense that it'd be a little bittersweet too, like the day after your birthday or Christmas. Are you looking ahead to the next story yet? Or are you taking a little time to relax and unwind?

And congrats on the GR, Amy!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Amy, honey, you know you're welcome any time! Actually seriously we must arrange a get-together. The water's fresh when you get in and then it's lovely. Congratulations on the chook. Perhaps he'd like to come up for a bit of a dip too?

Fedora, we don't get vast changes between the seasons here because it's subtropical. When I lived in England, one of the things I loved was that incredible contrast between the seasons and the way spring just bursts out like a promise of life from the gray of winter. It's more subtle here but there's definitely a difference in the seasons.

Dana said...

Anna,
As I sit here watching the sun set in the southern Sydney suburbs, a warm breeze is wafting through my balcony. On it are the sounds of the Royal National Park...the rosella's, the kookaburras (pronuounced cook-a-bur-uz --sorry, I'm a USA expat), and the cockies. Tonight, after the birdies have gone to bed, the possums will take over and although they aren't as vocal as they are when they're mating, they make quite the racket prancing about on my rooftop...which then prompts my beautiful Rosebud Poppimonster (my Rhodesian Ridgeback cross) to snap to protection mode...so, be assured that tonight-like you, I'll be being lulled to sleep by the sounds of spring. They're just slightly different sounds on the east coast...beautiful birds, prancing possums and growling dogs...LOL Dana Scully

Anna Campbell said...

Dana, I'm about 500 miles direct north of you so believe me, I know the sounds of which you speak. Well, maybe not that particular dog! LOL! Where I grew up, about 25 miles south of Brisbane, we had lots and lots of kookaburras. They're fantastic birds, aren't they? But here, on the Sunshine Coast, for some reason, they just don't seem to be that common. Oh, the possums! I used to live in an old Queenslander in Brisbane and the possums used to have a disco party every night. You couldn't sleep through all the jumping and pounding and bouncing. They're very cute but they're a menace when they take up residence in your ceiling! Sounds like you're in a really pretty part of the world! Thanks for popping by!

Annie West said...

Yay, the chook is down under! Good on you Amy!

Anna, you must be channelling Annie West. Honestly. I've got a post on the Tote Bags blog right now about the change of season and how inspiring I find it, plus I'm giving away a copy of my current UK release. Goodness, I knew we were compatible in many ways but I didn't think the similarities went this far!

Know what you mean about the strange anticlimax of finishing a book. It's odd isn't it when you'd expect to be jumping out of your skin with joy? Ah well, I'm sure you'll get there eventually.

Me, I'm definitely chirpy as I just found out this morning that I sold my Savakis Mistress to Harlequin Presents. So I'm sending you some celebratory vibes, Anna.

Now, I wonder what my chances are of winning an ARC of your wonderful 'Tempt the Devil'. Just because I've read the draft, I still want it. Pleeeease?

Annie

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Amy.

The weather here is getting cooler. I like cool comfortable weather, but I also miss the warm temps. The leaves are just starting to change. They're still mostly green with a little touch of yellow. Soon the leaves will turn into beautiful shades of red, gold and orange. I love autumn. This is the season for pumpkins and Halloween candy.

Sandie Hudson said...

Hi Anna,

I left a message over at Annie's post so thought I'd better drop by here as well. LOL. Spring fever sure has hit Australia. Love it. Great pic's, love the cover, so very yummy.

Sandie

Christine Wells said...

Hi Anna, lovely post! I can probably say ditto but also I love it when the Jacaranda trees and Ponsianas bloom. We also have a family of kookaburras that laugh at me when I get up in the morning.

And hey, I've read TEMPT THE DEVIL and I might just say that it's my favourite Anna Campbell yet. I love the wit and sophistication of this book and of course there's the trademark dark, brooding angst that Anna does so well.

Congrats on the GR, Amy!

Tawny said...

Wow, Foanna. Not only is your cover gorgeous, so is the flora and fauna outside your window. That bush is stunning, I'm totally in love :-D And the birds *sigh* Wow.

The weather is still pretty warm where I'm at, although we did close up the pool last weekend -which is our way of saying goodbye to summer. I'm definitely ready to welcome in the cool fall air, but tonight I'm sitting here in shorts and a teeshirt, so its going to be awhile LOL.

Can't wait to read Tempt The Devil!!

Eric said...

Hi Anna, Your spring sounds delightful, an experience that should be available to all. Here’s the photo you left out --- http://wattle.au6.com/images/lizy.html , - I’m sure the Bearded Dragon out side our office is similar to yours. There’s a hair lives under the rock (Don’t laugh); he doesn’t enjoy being photographed. Spring is a wonderful time; ‘she’ isn’t as cranky; not true, ‘she’ is distracted. We have several families of birds who visit us in spring. The Kookaburras are practical. The same extended family of butcherbirds has come for five generations. They’re wild, but they seek us out in spring to supplement feeding the new arrivals. When it’s time to offload the teenagers. They bring them to our back door transferring duties to ‘her.’ She gets to ween them. It’s great; I’m out of focus while they get told what’s what. ---- Twelve months for a book? I imagined it took 24 hours, and rest was lounging around slopping grapes. ---- Eric

Monique Wood said...

Hi Anna,

I love that it's Spring now. It's one of the best times of year here in Oz.

The hunk on the cover of TEMPT THE DEVIL is just lush. He looks most devilish, and most tempting!

Congrats on the new release, and please enter me into your comp!

:-) Monique Wood

Helen said...

Well done Amy

Anna I love the pictures I have a flowing red gum in my backyard that attracts the lorikeets as well and yes they are noisy but I do love them my dark pink crepe myrtle is getting lots of buds on it but hasn't flowered yet and I have a climbing pink rose bush that has heaps of buds on it as well.
A neighbour has lots of gum trees in his yard and there are a family of magpies living two doors up so they visit our yard a lot as well gotta love them as long as they don't swoop for you.

You know Anna when I have finished reading a great book the characters live with me for a while and I often am so anxious to finish a book but then I don't like saying goodbye to the characters as well I imagine it would be harder on authors because you have (as you have said) lived with them for so long. But as a reader I love the idea of you finishing another book because I love your books they are so real to me that I have to get to the end but I really just kinda want it to keep going because I feel as if I have made friends with all of the characters.

You should definitly be patting yourself on the back and relaxing while the new characters for your next book let you know about their story.

Enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery.

Have Fun
Helen

Authorness said...

By, gum, that's a lovely flowering gum, Anna! Your corner of the world is gorgeous this time of year.

Vanessa

Alli said...

Hi Anna,
Gorgeous pictures. The view from your office looks stunning.
We have maggies, kookaburras, grass parrots, rosellas and a very talented blackbird that sings the start of 'I'm a barbie girl' first thing every morning and again around dusk. Hmm! Might need to teach it a new song LOL.
Huge congrats for finishing another book, and I hope you aren't too sad for too long. Your characters will always be with you, and thank you for sharing their stories with us all:)

Best wishes
Alli

Rachel said...

Love your spring pictures! I've got some similar views outside my window - heaps of birds of all different colours and gum trees, but not so much with the lizards. They're there but they hide from me coz I usually have 4 dogs with me, lol. The upside of that is that the snakes hide too.

Christina Phillips said...

Even after almost 10 years living in Oz, it still feels a little weird to me that October is spring! But I'm not complaining, I love spring and the birds out here are fabulous. We have parrots visit and a pair of adorable doves who sit and coo at me as I type. How cute is that?!

Still in lust with that cover, Anna. Phew!!!

Anne Gracie said...

Gorgeous pics, Anna -- love those rainbow lorikeets and the flowering gum.
I love it, too when the maggies (magpies) bring their scruffy offspring to scrounge some food. They're so awkward and funny and cute.

Congratulations on getting the book in. #4 -- woo hoo!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Anna Campbell said...What are the signs of the changing seasons where you live? I'm sure my Northern Hemisphere friends are green with envy at the thought of swimming in the sun right now! Do you have any native birds or animals around your house that seem like the soul of the place? I'd love to hear about the locals at your place!
We have fall coming on in West Virginia. A beautiful time of the year to be sure. The air is cooler at night, still warming up to about 70 degrees Farenheit during the day. The leaves are starting to turn. Red, gold, russet, it makes the mountains look like a huge patchwork quilt.
White tails and squirrels and turkeys can't hide as well now, it isn't that they are coming out, you can just see them now without all the cover.
Congrats on the GR Amy!

Marisa O'Neill said...

Hi Anna - congratulations on finishing your new book and the upcoming release of Tempt the Devil!!(BEAUTIFUL cover) I'm really looking forward to reading this one! Got my ARC and Maria and I are flipping a coin to see who reads it first.

How hard is it getting ready for an upcoming release, finishing your next book and getting ready for the new book? Do you find yourself living in three different worlds?

The pictures are amazing and I'm oh so jealous. Here in NY/NJ I'm sitting around in about 5 layers of clothes and wearing socks for the first time in months waiting for the heat to turn on in my building. There is a bite in the air and the ducks are flying south,the leaves are changing and the sun is setting far to early for my taste. The nights beg for a fire to be lit and the mornings are made for lying about under the covers. I'm always ambivalent about this time of year - I hate to say goodbye to the summer. And it kind of freaks me out a bit that as I say goodbye to one of my favorite seasons you are just saying hello.

Caren Crane said...

Amy, super congrats on running off with the chook! I know he has pined for you. *g*

Anna, congrats on finishing the blasted book. I know it's a bit of a downer, but you'll be hard at it with a new set of stubborn characters who won't behave at all very soon. At least, MY characters always have minds of their own and misbehave horribly! Is that just me?

Your pictures are GAWGEOUS and almost enough to make me long for spring - but not quite. Autumn is my favorite season, hands-down, and we are in the thick of it in North Carolina (USA). The leaves are beginning to turn five shades of gold, ten of red and twenty of brown. *g* I love all of them! They are my colors and it's my season.

I love cool weather, probably because I have always lived in the South and suffered such nasty summers. I like lingering indoors near a fire, a cup of coffee or tea to warm me, dressed in layers and curled up with a good book. Autumn is also perfect for long hikes through the woods, as well, with chili and corn bread at the end. Mm.

I am taking my Girl Scouts (all 9th and 10th graders) on a weekend camping trip next weekend. The weather should be great and I will get my favorite treat - huddling in a warm sleeping bag while it's cold in the tent! I know, I'm a sick person.

Enjoy your spring!

PJ said...

Congratulations on finishing the book, Anna! You already know how excited I am to read this one...after I drool over Nathan on the cover for awhile, that is. :)

Those photos are breathtakingly beautiful! What gorgeous, vibrant colors!

Here in the upstate of South Carolina the changes that come with fall are bursting forth and I love them. The air is cool, crisp and clear with none of the summer haze that obstructs our view of the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains, which really are BLUE. The leaves are turning to shades of red, gold, orange and brown that set the hillsides afire in a riotous display of color. The native animals around here that come out to play this time of the year are known as football fans and the roar of their combined voices sounds remarkably similar to a rocket launch! (And yes, I am one of the roaring crowd!) While I love spring and summer I have to say that fall in the Carolinas is definitely my favorite time of year.

PJ said...

Congrats on the catch, Amy!

HistoricalGoddess said...

Hi Anna. The changing of season here is the leaves, they are changing into brilliant colors of reds, yellows and oranges..Its gotten alot cooler here too. I wish I were visiting with you, but I do like the change of seasons but not the weather. Your pics are wonderful and so vibrant with color. You can also tell the change of season by the smell in the air, if you dont live in an overpopulated area with stuff in the air. Anyway, I cannot wait to read your new book when it comes out. Im sure its very sad to end a story, its the same for me but on the other end of that spectrum, when Im reading a great story I never want it to end and tear up when it does.

Gillian Layne said...

I adore this season, it's my favorite time of year--Fall in the midwest :) But your pictures are gorgeous, and that cover is delicious! I think it's very considerate of you to release your books when I can snuggle before a cozy fire and read them with a glass of merlot. ;)

The rich smell of walnuts when we gather them off the ground, and the earthy smells of the wet leaves is my favorite sign of autumn. Not to mention to earthy smell of wet, happy hunting dogs!:)

Maria Lokken said...

Anna - Congratulations on finishing your book - I can't wait to read it!

There's color over here where I live too - the color is GREEN - as in envy that you have Spring and Summer around the corner, while we're over here shoveling snow and huddled around the fire.

Christie Kelley said...

Anna, I love the pictures, especially of the lorikeets. I love them! Congrats on finishing the book. I'm about ready to dive into my next book.

Around Maryland it's acorn time. They're pinging off the cars and sidewalks all the time. The squirrels are going crazy trying to horde away as many as they can.

The best sound of fall? The Canadian geese start arriving on the river. I love walking down to the river and hearing the honking of the geese.

The leaves are barely turning colors yet. I've seen a few trees with a little orange and red but we're still a good week or more before things really change.

Kirsten said...

Hi Anna! While your pictures are divine, add me to the pile of those from the Northern Hemi who don't envy your spring at all! :-) I love fall as well. We had our first truly crisp fall day yesterday, with a foggy misty morning, sun in the afternoon, and kids complaining that they couldn't get out of bed because they were too cold.

Okay, that part's a little annoying. ;-)

Anyway, I love the colors of fall, the sweaters, the bundling up around the fire, and the cups of coffee in the afternoon. And, let me just say for the record -- I really love the rain. In March, I get a little sick of it, but right now, it's like an old friend coming back in town after an extended absence.

BTW, any chance I can get that Devil to come by and Tempt ME? :-)

Louisa Cornell said...

I wonder if the GR saw those pictures and decided Oz was looking too good to pass up! Congrats on luring him back downunder, Amy!

La Campbell, those photos are DIVINE! I have SERIOUS Oz envy! You have all those lovely pets, no food bills and you didn't pay an outrageous sum of money to acquire them!

My nephew has a bearded dragon whom he adores. (My SIL lays his love of reptiles at my door!) And our favorite part of the Birmingham Zoo (US) is the lorikeet exhibit. It is a HUGE outdoor aviary with a flock of lorikeets that you can feed at scheduled times each day. I have some lovely photos of my niece and nephews doing just that.

And the flowers are GORGEOUS!! The only thing more gorgeous is that cover! YUMMY!!

Around here summer is trying its very best not to let go. We have had some cooler nights, which is lovely, but the days are still in the 80's. However, the cool nights have definitely plumped up my cedar and cypress trees, while the other hardwoods are gradually losing their leaves.

I am waiting for my fall blooming azaleas and rhododendron to come out and cheer up what will be a bare hillside once Fall/Winter settles in for real.

What I do love are the Fall blooming mums! The colors are so unique and very different from the Spring blooms. Red, rust, orange, marigold, bright yellow and white tinged with all sorts of lovely colors as well.

Now as to wildlife - the bums are starting to arrive. As the weather gets cooler, the migrating birds show up for their annual stay and bum all the birdseed and suet I can provide. The possums waddle in at night in search of the odd piece of dog food. The squirrels and raccoons have their own feeder which I fill with corn and nuts. (Sounds like a really bad television show - corn and nuts!)

The loveliest birds are the whippoorwills. The are seldom seen, but their voices start at dusk and go well into the night. It is a lovely welcome home when I get home from work these days. I have an owl pair that live on the property and if I am outside at night I get lucky enough from time to time to have them brush by overheard. And even the bats that come out at night are lovely as they eat mosquitoes!

KatBirdz said...

Hi Anna, I'm so looking forward to your book. Here in the heartland the smell of burning leaves and rain linger in the crisp mornings. We are in full swing of two hour school delays due to fog. Our horses have started to grow their wooly mammoth winter coats and instead of the racket of lorikeets we are deafened by the drone of hundreds of migrating Canada geese. Speaking of the lorikeets, our zoo opened a down under area with a kangaroo walk about, kiwis, and a feed the lorikeets aviary. After several experiences with a small cup of nectar, sassy birds, and a toddler we now avoid the lorikeets like the plague. To my six year olds bitterest disappointment we have no platypus at our zoo. In fact we have found that there are no platypuses in the US at any zoo. She is platypus obsessed and will be trick-or-treating as a platypus. Did you know that they don't make platypus costumes (at least not in the US)? That was a fun trip to the fabric store!

Joan said...

{Maybe if I wear a mask, Anna won't know I'm a Bandita and I can win the Devil?}

Nah, won't work. She's too crafty.

I cannot imagine how cool it is to have wild parrots and lorakeets flitting around your house! I have a lot of doves so their cooing is soothing. And possums? No thanks. I can't imagine their "scampering" being relaxing.

Here in KY we can't quite decide if it is Fall or still Summer. The leaves have "just" begun to show a hint of color though I don't think they will be as brilliant as PJ or Caren's....we've not had enough rain.

But in the morning there is a crispness in the air and I can't wait to be able to snuggle in my favorite sweaters.

terrio said...

Fall is just getting underway here, but the leaves haven't really started turning yet. The nights have gotten cooler but the days are in the upper 70s and beautiful.

The only birds we have around here are the seagulls and the geese. I love to watch the geese, but the seagulls are more of a nuisance.

Growing up in Ohio, I used to spend a great deal of time with the elderly couple who lived across the street. They always had bird feeders right outside their kitchen window and you could watch them all come and feed all day.

I look forward to someday having my own place where I can hang my bird feeders and plant some flowers and sit on my own front porch enjoying all of it.

Oh, and I hope I win the book! LOL! Congrats on the wooster, Amy.

Nancy said...

Amy, congratulations! What are you treating the chook to--or do I really want to know? *g*

Anna, it's a dreary, rainy day here, and I'm giving a quiz. Your beautiful, spring-y photos and blog come as a welcome break as we head into fall and winter.

Nancy said...

BTW, Anna, congrats on finishing your ms. I know what you mean about not wanting to leave these people you've spent so much time manip--er, visiting. :-)I'm looking forward to reading their adventure, though, and if you never let them go, the rest of us wouldn't get that pleasure.

Nancy said...

Dana and Annie and Christine--more descriptions of spring I can envy! You sound as if you're really enjoying it.

Annie, congratulations on your sale! No wonder you're "chirpy."

Jane, I like the temperate weather, too. We've had some muggy days lately, but they seem to be waning at last. As is the mosquito population. Finally!

jo robertson said...

OMG, Anna, what brilliantly colored photos! Who knew you were a grand photographer as well as a writer. Such vivid colors!

Hehehehe, Amy, have a little fun with the chook, but not TOO much, if you know what I mean.

I simply CANNOT wait until TTD is released, Anna. January seems too far away.

Northern California doesn't have the dramatic season changes many areas have, but we do have the turning of leaves in fall and the popping out of blossoms in the spring. I think I like the fall best. I'm always amazed at the myriad colors of that season; the autumnal colors seem so lovely to me in their muted beauty.

M. said...

You don't know what a relief to my poor little aspiring writer's heart it is to hear a pubbed person say it takes them a year to write a book. I was starting to feel massively overwhelmed by authors who churn out completed volumes every three months, seems like.

I'm in Canada, where Indian summer looks to be planning a wonderful warm Thanksgiving weekend for us (i.e. enjoying fabulous fall color while wearing t-shirts, due to warm days and cold nights). But I love those bearded dragons, and the lorikeets!

Donna MacMeans said...

THose photos are Gawgeous, Anna. So much striking color.

In Ohio we're starting to enter into our period of striking color with the tree leaves turning red and yellow.

Congrats on finishing the book. I understand about the needing to mourn before moving on. Enjoy this opportunity to refill the well as I'm expecting yet another fantastic book to emerge.

Gotta say - again - that I LOVE that cover!

Rebekah E. said...

Thanks for the beautiful pictures. The big sign that tell me the season is changing are the geese. We live right under there fly area. So twice a year their honking is all you hear. It took me the first year of living here to get use to it. I had alot of sleepless nights, but now if I don't hear it I always wonder where they are.

Joan said...

I'm in Canada, where Indian summer looks to be planning a wonderful warm Thanksgiving weekend for us

It's Thanksgiving weekend in Canada? Really? Is there turkey? Stuffing? Desserts?

Is there room at the table?

:-)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Wow, Anna! Gorgeous pix! I love the red gum tree photo. Not so keen on the lizards, but I'm fighting the "Mom I want a snake" battle right now and I'm not looking kindly on any reptiles. Grrrr.

Much as I want to visit Oz, I am happy to be here right now. Near DC (USA) we're beginning to have some crisp days and cooler nights. Had to turn the heat on one night this weekend! Wheee!

My DH is mourning the loss of summer and baseball, I'm cheering the cool crisp days and frost and sweater weather. :> Pumpkins and Halloween! My FAVORITE!!!

Like Christie said, the acorns are in full drop - ping-ping-crunch-crunch - and the trees are painting the view with color. The squirrels, which run in large packs in my neighborhood, are very busy. Ha! The deer are eating my hostas, which they've left alone all summer. And I saw the vixen that dens nearby come through the yard and she's turning red. Beautiful! Like Louisa, I have an owl pair nearby and they call back and forth. It's easier to hear it on the cool, clear nights when the air is dry. The jays and woodpeckers and red tail hawks seem more prevalent, I'm missing my yellow finches at the feeders already and I haven't seen my hummingbird for several days.

I'll miss the flashy birds for now, but I'm looking forward to the cardinals showing red against the snow and the wrens and titmice at the feeder in winter.

Oh, and I'm SO looking forward to no mosquitos. Yehah!

Amy, congrats on the chook. I suspect he wanted a rest in the warm sunshine. Or he's up to something. Could go eiather way with him, you know.

Anna, congrats and condolences on finishing the book. :>

Elyssa Papa said...

I wish it were summer 24/7 around here. I am not looking forward to winter. Boo! The only thing that makes me look forward to winter is a thought of an ARC of TTD. Hmmm... if only it came true. LOL.

Gorgeous pictures, too!

Virginia said...

Love the pics beautiful. We don't have a lot of changing around here. I enjoy the cooler temps. I have been taking walks every day. I get a big kick out of watching the hummingbirds going to my feeders, but we don't have as many now I guess they are flying south. The leaves are changing colors right now,but it has been dry all year so a lot are more brown then anything, so if anyone has extra rain, send it to KY.

Nancy said...

Helen, we love birds but had to stop using our feeders. We live in the city, and the seed falling to the ground attracked rats. Ugh. In warm weather, the birdbath becomes a mosquito breeder, but that won't be as much of an issue once we have a good frost.

Dianna, my parents loved to go to the mountains in the fall. We'd drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway and look at that patchwork quilt effect. It's always so pretty!

Gillian and Christie--we have pecans in our yard. For some reason, someone planted a lot of pecan trees in our neighborhood, probably when it was laid out. Every year isn't a good year, though. It's something like every other year or every third year. We pick up pecans and send them to our relatives who bake.

We used to have a golden retriever who loved pecans. She'd pick one off the ground, crack it open with her teeth, and spit out the hulls. It was too funny to watch!

Lily said...

Now leaves are changing colours and most of them are ending on the streets.

For birds, we can see that a lot of them are leaving us for a hotter place.

Nathalie said...

It is autumn here and leaves are so colourful, however it is getting a bit chilly as well.

Congrats on Tempt the Devil and I so wish it was spring here as well!

Christie Kelley said...

terrio, don't get me started on the seagulls. My husband and I walked down to the river two days ago and I made a comment about the fact that his blue boat cover was a lovely shade of whitish-gray. The seagulls seem to love his boat. I won't repeat the words he said :O

The seagulls come up from the bay in August when some small fish they like is out. We couldn't even sit on the bench on the pier because of all the mess. I much prefer the geese.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy, I love that story about the golden retreiver! Hey, if you've got pecans going begging, I'll take them. I adore pecans. :> I bake with them a lot too.

Eva S said...

Hi Anna,
greetings from a beautiful Finland! Our autumn is very red, orange and yellow/gold right now, and the sky is so blue. But the days are rather cold already and when I think of what's ahead....Brrrr! And yes, I'm green with envy, I'd love to have spring too!!

Wonderful pictures, I wonder what my cats would think of the parrots...No big birds here, and the small ones sometimes are brought home by my cats... To my good home... (a good Bandita Buddy home, LOL!)

Congrats on your book with that gorgeous cover! Can't wait to read it. I agree with Helen, relax and enjoy, you're worth it!

Anna Campbell said...

Annie, yours is a great post! For anyone interested in winning Annie's fantastic new book THE DESERT KING'S PREGNANT BRIDE, just pop by Tote Bags'N'Blogs and leave a comment:
http://authorsoundrelations.blogspot.com/

Good luck!

And congratulations, Annie, on the news about THE SAVAKIS MISTRESS! Sounds like spring iz sprung with a vengeance chez West!

Anna Campbell said...

Jane, that change to autumn colors is magical, isn't it? I remember being in Scotland one year just as the leaves changed. Only lasted a day of beautiful color because there was then a horrible storm and all the leaves were stripped from the trees! Scottish weather can be pretty vile! Thanks for popping by! And snuggle up with a good book!

Hey, Sandie, is this your first visit to the Banditas! You'll have to come back and see us again - we make great margaritas! Well, the cabana boys do, anyway. Yeah, it's hilarious about Annie and I completely independently coming up with such similar posts. Guess that's why we're crit partners!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Miss Christine, thanks so much for those lovely words about TTD! And I love the jacarandas too although they're not really that common up here either. I remember what a display they put on in Brisbane. They always had slightly sinister associations when I was at school and uni - the jacarandas coming out meant exams were just around the corner!

Tawny, there's lots of nooky in TTD. Um, I don't know what I'm implying when I use that to recommend it to you, LOL! Actually I'd love to have the Banditas to stay. I can see us sitting by the pool and drinking cocktails and having a wonderful time. Actually, I'm like you - the pool seems to measure out my seasons. I know it's nearly summer when I have my first swim (which is always an Ahhhh moment) and I know winter's on its way when I stop swimming, usually around about Easter.

Anna Campbell said...

Ah, Eric, if only my life was just slopping grapes. It would be a blissful existence! Your place sounds like it has a similar assortment of wildlife to mine. The butcher birds have moved in in the last two years or so - I love their song. Love the extra lizard photo!

Hey, Monique, great to see you! Isn't that a hunkalicious cover? He has such a glint in his eyes! You KNOW what he's thinking about ;-) Thanks for coming over to the Banditas!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

WOW! GREAT pics FO!

I had to look twice to even FIND the dragon in the first piccie. On my first (thus far) visit to Oz, I was lucky enough to go in Spring (Nov.). The flowers and birds were amazing! I LURVED the jacarandas! They were masses of purple flowers when we were there. And the Rainbow Lorikeets were fantastic! We have nothing even close to them here in California. Well, sometimes the Jays are quite noisy, esp. if they have a nest and they think you are venturing too close. But you are right Fo, the NOISE from a flock of lorikeets is second only to revving jet engines!

As Jo and Tawny mentioned, we don't get such dramatic season changes here in Nor Cal, but we do get more than So Cal! I LURVE the leaves changing around here...one of the main reasons I moved here, even if they do stop up all the gutters and create a mess.

We had our first rain of the season last week, and the absolute best thing about it was the smell! Everything smelled fresh and clean, as opposed to hot and sweaty all summer. HA!

And yes, Joanie, Canadian T.giving is the first or second(?) Monday in Oct. and they have a full on turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce feast! I know this because one year, the DH and I went to Niagara Falls at the beginning of Oct. and stayed on the Canadian side. It happened to be Thanksgiving and we had the HUGE turkey dinner in the restaurant overlooking the falls. GREAT EXPERIENCE! Then we came home and had another HUGE turkey dinner four weeks later. :-P

AC

Tiffany Kenzie said...

you are just tossing those arc's out... can I have one th is way, please?????

I always forget your seasons are opposite mine. My fave change is May (our spring) when the apple blossoms outside my dinning room window are in full bloom, it's the most beautiful welcoming sight in the morning.

If it weren't for the nasty spider's y'all have down there... I'm dreadfully terrified of the wee buggers... I'd love to visit Aussieland

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Helen! I know exactly what you mean about finishing a good book and then being sorry. I often go back and re-read my favorite bits then just because I can't bear to let the world go. I think that's one of the things that makes series books so popular. You don't have to leave the world. It was lovely in Tempt the Devil, getting the chance to revisit Verity and Kylemore. They were such vivid characters to me and I wanted to find out what happened to them. Hey, thanks so much for the lovely compliments. And guess what? Not long till we see you at Guildford Library! Yay!

Hiya Vanessa! As an ex-Queenslander, you'd know. Actually spring isn't all beer and skittles. It's bone dry - the bushfire season has already started up here - and we often get days of really strong winds. But it's lovely to see all the new life coming out.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Alli, great to see you here! Nice to have some new faces in the lair! Thanks, guys, for popping over.

Laughed at the Barbie Girl blackbird. I think I'd be looking for my air rifle after a few days of that. And once that song gets into your head, it never goes away. In fact, it's there now... AAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!

Anna Campbell said...

Hello, Super Miss Rachel! Actually I don't see the lizards that often either. They're very shy. I've also a huge bluetongue in the garden who occasionally gives me a fright. He wraps himself around the trunk of the philodendrons and he looks like a snake. I'd love a pet - I know you can't live without yours. But I keep thinking of what a cat, which would be most practical, would do to my wonderful wildlife. Seems a bit unfair to move an interloper into the kingdom and then wait for the devastation!

Hi Christina! I don't blame you for missing the European seasons. They really are spectacular, the way they're so different from each other. I love Perth - I was there in spring a few years ago and the wildflowers were absolutely gorgeous! Thanks for popping by!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Anne, thanks for dropping by! And congratulations on all the fantastic buzz for HIS CAPTIVE LADY! As you know, it's next on the TBR pile! I love magpies - they've got so much personality too. And the most beautiful song. Actually one of my favorite birds here is the willy wagtail. He always makes me smile when he turns up!

Dianna, West Virginia sounds just gorgeous! Hmm, having a John Denver moment here. Which I'm sure gives you all an idea how old I am! I'd love to visit the States one day and actually do some touring - at the moment, I get to see where the RWA conference is on and that's about it. Although I'm not complaining!

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Marisa! Thanks for popping by. I hope you and Maria don't come to blows over that ARC ;-) Actually it's a strange life, being a writer. Especially a slow one like me who only does a book a year. There's definitely a major shift of mindset to get into thinking about the book that's coming out when your mind has been so occupied with the book you're actually writing. I loved the characters in TTD, though, so I'm looking forward to talking about them with everyone! Hey, and sounds like you've got great weather for snuggling up with a good book!

Caren, actually, apart from the swimming, I like cool weather too. I think it's all those northern European forebears! And you're not alone on characters who won't behave. It's interesting - I spend a long time thinking about the story before I write it and then it NEVER turns out like I expect. Those dratted characters have their own ideas about what happens and when I try and bully them into following my instructions, all they do is sulk! Honestly, it's worse than dealing with teenagers sometimes. And with your Girl Scouts, you'd know what that's like!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, PJ, between you and Caren, you're making the Carolinas sound mighty gawgeous! Almost as gawgeous as Nathan on TTD's cover! Laughed at the football thing. We've just had all our grand finals for the various codes. For the National Rugby League final, seriously you could fire a gun down the main street and not hit anyone. It's such an institution! Everybody's at home watching TV!

Hi Michele! Thanks for popping over from the Avon board to say hello! Sounds like you can join Helen and me in mourning when you finish a great book. Actually I really find it hard to settle to another book after that because it's not THAT book that I just enjoyed so much. I've learnt that's a good time to read an old favorite to get me back into the swing of things. Autumn sounds lovely around you! There's definitely a spring smell here too. The native trees are laden with nectar so there's this sugary smell in the air.

Hmm, Gillian, wet dog? Not sure if that's my favorite ;-) Love the idea of all those woodsy scents in the air, though. Hey, and you know I organize my publishing schedule just to fit in with you, don't you, my dear? And isn't that cover spectacular? Yum, yum! Thanks for coming by, my friend!

limecello said...

Gorgeous! I'm so so jealous, cold and sitting here in multiple layers of fleece. I love spring - right now some of the leaves on the trees are changing, so that's nice. The cold weather however is the biggest indicator - I had to put my flip flops away a week or two ago.

Anna Campbell said...

Maria, lovely to see you! Thanks for popping over. Ooh, I do so love some green in spring ;-)

Christie, good luck with the new book! I used to look at the Canadian geese in the London parks. They make a great noise, don't they? Actually I loved the migratory birds in the UK. As you say, they really herald the change in season, don't they?

Shannyn said...

Hi - Amy congrats on the GR.

Beautiful pics Anna. As someone facing fall (which is beautiful), I am jealous as the thought of swimming and springtime. The leaves are changing here and the weather fluctuates constantly. You know what they say about weather in Chicago - if you don't like it, give it 5 minutes, it'll change. I have a long, cold winter to look forward to, so your spring photos come at a good time.

I totally get you when you talk of saying good-bye to your characters. I finished my WIP and set it aside to work on something new. I just met my new characters and haven't decided how much I like them yet. But it's time to start my revisions on my completed work. I'm not ready to say good-bye to those characters. I really love them.

Gannon Carr said...

Anna, your pictures are gorgeous! Lorakeets are noisy little buggers. We've been to a lorakeet exhibit in Florida. The kids were holding this nectar(in a cup) to feed the lorakeets. Unfortunately, some of those birds would rather have a finger. ;)

We are enjoying a spectacular fall here in the mountains of North Carolina. Everyday it seems the changing leaves have doubled. From my front windows I see the opposite ridge, filled with brilliant colors ranging from burnished gold to candy apple red. It is, without a doubt, my favorite season.

PJ said...

Nancy, do those baking relatives return the favor and send you goodies they make with the pecans? Because I would! Just sayin...

Joan said...

Quick, Nancy!

Send PJ the pecans!!!

Pecans + PJ = Chocolate Turtles!!!

Iona said...

Congratulations on finishing the new book, Anna. I can't wait to read Tempt the Devil.

Further down under here in the South Island of New Zealand, spring has sprung but it is keeping its jacket on. It has been very cold here, despite the new lambs dotting the hillsides and the blossoms bursting forth from all the trees. Actually, here in wine country you can tell it's spring by the sound of the helicopters at night - providing frost protection for the vineyards. Needless to say, I have not been brave enough to try out the pool just yet!

PJ said...

Quick, Nancy!

Send PJ the pecans!!!

Pecans + PJ = Chocolate Turtles!!!


LMAO! Joanie, I'm guessing you liked the turtles? :)

Anna Campbell said...

Kirsten, laughed at the kids being such drama queens! Sounds like I could coax them down here for a visit right now, even if you wouldn't come ;-) And yes, he is a tempting devil, isn't he? They really did me proud of the cover!

Louisa, your place sounds just heavenly! Whippoorwills make me think of My Blue Heaven. I've never heard one! And I hadn't thought of these guys as pets but I suppose in a way they are - CHEAP ONES! Actually something I love at this time of year is that the swallows come by. I love to watch them fly.

Hey, I'm intrigued by your nephew having a bearded dragon. Do they sell them as pets in the U.S.?

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Katbirdz! Laughed at you with the lorikeet feeding! Another hazard is that what goes in must come out and generally at an inopportune moment, at least for the person getting landed on! The colors of the lorikeets are fantastic, though, aren't they? Almost surreally bright. An English friend of mine calls them flying stained glass windows! Platypuses are amazingly cool. On my brother's farm, wild ones live in the dam. You hardly ever see them - they're VERY shy. But just knowing they're there is amazing. If you ever come to Australia, Taronga Park Zoo in Sydney has a great platypus display where you can watch them swimming in specially lit tanks. They're quite surreal creatures too. I remember learning at school that the scientists in London thought they were the victim of a hoax when the first platypuses came back. I think it's so cute your daughter loves them! How strange there aren't any in a zoo over there! Actually introduce her to a koala. They're amazingly cute too!

Anna Campbell said...

JT, that cute little smile ALWAYS gives you away! Of course I know who you are! Nice try, though, my masked friend! Actually I'm like you - I like my winter clothes. Although I'm sick of them by the time summer comes every year. Our possums are actually different to yours. VERY pretty, fluffy little critters with big eyes. Here's a picture of one with some bubs:

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_wKfDd6KD_6I/RoESz3d1hXI/AAAAAAAAAJ4/dnkEbrx4ymg/Ring+Tailedl+Possum+1.jpg

In the Brisbane house, we used to have a mum with a bub who would climb down the verandah posts to eat apple from our hands. VERY cute! Or at least until the smell of possum pee in the ceiling got unbearable! They really are a menace, but a pretty one!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Terri! What a heartfelt appeal to win the book! You never know - compassion may strike ;-) I hope you get your house one day and have a lovely time on the porch watching the wildlife. In fact, I think I'll pop over for a cup of tea and join you! The birdlife up here has been such a treat.

Nancy, delighted the pictures of spring in Oz gave you a lift. And thanks for the congrats - I'm looking forward to starting the next book. That's about the stage I start getting over my pining for the oldies!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oooh, chocolate turtles. Yum.

Gannon, you're making me homesick for the NC mountains.

Anna Campbell said...

Jo, I would have loved the chance to go further up the coast when I visited San Francisco this year. We did a trip south to Monterey and Carmel and that was spectacular. Oh, well, one day! Glad you liked the photos! I love that one of the gum tree flowers!

Hey, M., so glad you liked the pictures too. Thought they might give you Northern Hemisphere types a kick! Actually one of the benefits of being unpublished so long was that I knew my processes pretty well when I sold and I made sure I insisted on enough time between books. I sit there in open-mouthed admiration for people who can do a book in a couple of months. Wish I was like them, but I know myself well enough to know I'm not!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Donna, thanks for the kind words. Yeah, the cover is even prettier than the lorikeets ;-) Hope fall's not too cold for you!!!

Rebekah, the thing that struck me about the geese in London was how NOISY they are! You can hear them from miles away. The lorikeets have a really high-pitched shriek. It's not the prettiest sound in the world!

Anna Campbell said...

Jeanne, what a wonderful description of autumn at your place! It made me want t get in a plane and come and visit. Hey, had you thought of becoming a writer? LOL! I love the idea of having wild deer around the place. We don't have any large mammals although there's an airfield down the road where the kangaroos come out at dawn and dusk to feed. I see them when I'm on the airport shuttle going down to get an early flight. Laughed at your son wanting a snake! Who do you think will win that battle?

Ely, you're ALMOST as skilled at pleading as the nefarious Terrio! Nice try! Hey, what you need to do is become as famous as Nora and then you can have summer in the north and then summer in the south! I think we could have a good time watching the birds and drinking champagne on a hot summer evening!

Anna Campbell said...

Virginia, I've never seen a hummingbird in real life. I'd love to! And here's hoping you get some rain. We had a wet winter and then a really dry spring which is why the fires have started early. Lots of undergrowth for them to burn!

Nancy, laughed at your dog and the pecans. We had a sheltie (they're Scotch collies over here, but basically Lassie dogs) who LOVED avocado. He was so cute. He used to bump his big fluffy rear against the low hanging fruit until it fell off and then look around as if to say, "How on earth did that happen?" Then he'd wait for the fruit to ripen (he was extremely clever) and come back and eat it incredibly delicately. All that would be left would be this perfectly clean avocado seed!

Lily, sounds like your wildlife is leaving you! I'm sure they'll come back, though!

Maureen said...

Hi Anna,
I am jealous of you having a beautiful spring but autumn here today is wonderful too. The leaves are just beginning to change right now and soon it will be time to rake.

Anna Campbell said...

Nathalie, thanks for the congrats. The book I finished is actually the book after TTD. Nothing happens quickly in publishing and TTD went in over a year ago, would you believe? Stay warm!

Eva, does the long, dark winter ever get you down or are you used to it? I remember the one full winter I spent in the UK (I came home just before Christmas the second year), I got to the stage where I absolutely had to see the sun and I had a short holiday in the Canary Islands. But then I'm an Aussie. We grow up in the sun!

When we were on the farm, we had a cat to keep the vermin down in the sheds and things (although everybody loved her so in the end, she ended up part of the family!). Rover which I always think is a cute name for a cat. The parrots and magpies were a bit big for her to tackle but she was ruthless on the little birds. As I said, I'd love a cat but I couldn't forgive myself for the ensuing carnage!

Minna said...

Well, here we are still enjoying ruska (all those nice colors in trees and bushes), birds are mostly gone, including our unlucky swans, it's hunting season -my brother and cousin decided to go to Lapland to hunt for a change, bats have been flying around the house, but I think it's too cold for them now. And my sister brought me this cold the last time she visited here =P.

Anna Campbell said...

Cindy, you've been EVERYWHERE! I'm green with envy! I'd love to see Niagara. Don't the lorikeets make an unbelievable amount of noise? What's funny is that they get drunk on the fermented palm tree nectar and then they're like a mob of drunken Irishmen lurching around the place thinking they're singing in tune. When they're NOT! The jacarandas are spectacular, aren't they? They're actually not natives. I think they come from Brazil originally. But the climate here suits them down to the ground. No pun intended.

Tiffany, people have this strange idea that Australia is full of deadly critters. Although an old guy fishing was taken by a croc up north last week and all that was left was his watch and his shoes. Makes you wonder if the croc spat them out. eeeek! There's spiders and snakes and sharks but honestly, it's not like they're knocking on the door asking to attack you! Well, not often, anyway!

The blossom trees are my favorite. We do get them here but I was in England for spring in 2004 and the feeling of the world bursting into life was just unbelievable. It made me want to cry. Spring here isn't nearly as spectacular as that!

Anna Campbell said...

Limecello, sounds like you need to snuggle up under a rug with a good book! And some chocolate. Chocolate is always great in cold weather!

Shannyn, it's funny how those characters are so real and such an essential part of our lives, isn't it? And you never REALLY let go of them. Or at least I don't. Congratulations on finishing your latest wip! Chicago sounds a bit like Melbourne. It's famous for four seasons in one day!

Anna Campbell said...

Gannon, another Carolina gal! Oh, and I loved those pictures PJ put up of you from Moonlight and Magnolias! Wish I could have come. It looked like such fun. Actually the lorikeets have serious beaks, don't they? They can give you quite a nasty bite. I think it's fantastic that so many of you guys have had a chance to see the lorikeets in the flesh. And HEAR them! So at least you know I'm not exaggerating about the noise they make!

Iona, lucky you, living in the gorgeous South Island of New Zealand! That's definitely on my list of places to visit before I die. A friend of mine was there last year and brought back the most spectacular photos of the fjords and the coastline. Hmm, and you live near wine country? Clearly I should butter you up!!! Thanks for coming by!

Anna Campbell said...

Maureen, I love a good rake ;-) Oh, not that type of rake? Sorry, my mistake!

Oh, Minna, ack to the cold! And those poor swans! I was a ballet mad kid so all I can think of is poor Princess Odette getting the kybosh! We occasionally get black swans on the lake at the bottom of the garden. I love to see them although they are the crankiest birds in the universe. So elegant, though! Stay warm!!!

Anna Campbell said...

Phew! Caught up! Hey, thanks, everyone, for coming by! This is turning into a real party. I think, though, rather than cocktails, we ought to give some of you mulled wine. (Snaps fingers) Cabana boys! Sven!

Helen said...

I have loved all the descriptions of autumn and spring from different parts of the world it is lovely that we can all get together this way I really want to visit everyone.

PJ these turtles sound very nice

Nancy we don't put a feeder out the birds just go wild with the flowers on the gum trees we get a lot of bats at night time that like to eat them as well

Anna I am so looking forward to seeing you again and meeting Annie I have taken the day off work so as I won't be getting there late this time can't wait.

Have Fun
Helen

Minna said...

Ok, reading my text now I realise someone might get the impression that someone hunted them. I say poor swans, because after all the work they had done for their eggs at spring, a raccoon dog came and ate them all. The poor things cried for hours.

Iona said...

If you come over to Wellington for the New Zealand conference next year, Anna, you can always pop across the ditch to Blenheim - us Blenheim girls (and there are a few of us now) would love to entertain you. My husband is a winemaker, so I'm sure we could find you an ... orange juice or two!

Pat Cochran said...

As we speak, the Houston temperature
is 80 degrees, a bright sunshiny day, the crepe myrtles are still blooming. We are in a tropically -inclined area which does not experience major weather changes. It usually does not begin to cool off until around Halloween. By cool, I mean getting down into the 70s during the day! We have a variety of birds from mourning
doves to hummingbirds in this area.
Late September/early October usually sees the pecans ripening
on the trees. Sadly, this year
there will be fewer pecans due to
"Ike." My poor pecan tree's limbs
were spinning like a child's
pinwheel during the fiercest winds
of the storm!

Pat Cochran

Minna said...

I wouldn't mind if someone would hunt those raccoon dogs. They shouldn't be part of Finnish flora and fauna any more than other foreign species like minks, rabbits or Canadian beaver.

Anna Campbell said...

Helen, hasn't it been fun to hear about everybody else's surroundings? I've really enjoyed it. Grevilleas grow like mad around here - I think they like the sandy soil. And the birds just adore them. It's fascinating watching them climbing around the branches finding every last drop of nectar.

Oh, Minna, that's awful! We've got a host of very sneaky crows who live here and eat the little birds and their young. My willy wagtails lost their whole brood last year which was so sad. Poor swan! We have a lot of introduced pests too but sadly, I think the crows are native. They shouldn't be permanent coastal dwellers, though, but life is easy with so many people around leaving rubbish everywhere so they never head away. And the poor little birds pay the penalty.

Anna Campbell said...

Iona, you know I've printed this out as proof of the offer, don't you? ;-) I love NZ wine and I've always wanted to visit, as you can gather. I was hoping to make the NZ conference this year but I had a book due 1st October and with San Francisco and our Aussie conference, it all just got too much in too little time. Thanks for the invite! I hope one day soon I take you up on it! Um, did you mean it about the orange juice???!!!

Pat, you and your neighbors really have had a rotten time with weather this year, haven't you? I'd say a 'nutty' time but that might rub it in about the pecans! We're subtropical too so the temps don't vary terrifically much although we do get a few really cold days in winter and a few really hot days in summer but mostly it's just pretty nice. I think it's living near the coast.

Anna Campbell said...

Minna, are racoon dogs the same as racoons? We have an awful time in Australia with feral foxes and cats. And there were feral wild pigs up in the bush behind our farm when we were growing up that were absolute killing machines. They used to disembowel horses - no kidding. Pretty scary stuff! I think the feral animal I hate most is the cane toad. They're just repulsive and they seem to be absolutely indestructible and unstoppable.

Minna said...

No, it's not the same thing. They are just called raccoon dogs in English because their face looks a bit like the face of a raccoon.

http://images.google.fi/images?hl=fi&q=raccoon+dog&btnG=Etsi+kuvia&gbv=2

Anna Campbell said...

Goodness, I've never heard of them before. And they do look like a racoon!

Minna said...

I think they originally come from Asia. In this case, it's all Russians fault we have them now here, too.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Is this an Australian Possum?

http://encarta.msn.com/media_461532275/Phalanger.html

This is what ours look like - but somehow not as cuddly looking as this nice clean one in this picture! They stink. Bleh.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opossum

BTW, Anna, I am going to win the snake battle. Trust me. He cannot out-stubborn me on this one.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Minna, those raccoon dogs are strange looking critters. They are so like -and yet unlike - our American 'Coons. They look more like minks or badgers, but the Wiki entry says they're actually canids (dogs!) Weeeeiiiirrrd!

The things I learn on the blog. Amazing!

Anna Campbell said...

Actually they look like some of the Asian dog breeds, don't they?

Jeanne, that is indeed an Aussie possum. I put an even cuter picture up a few comments earlier if you want to click. It has bubs! Our possums are much prettier than yours!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

I couldn't get that link to work, Anna. I think it has something missing on the end. :>

They are MUCH cuter, BTW. :>

Annie West said...

Anna, I go to bed after reading your post about Spring (it was the end of the day, NOT because the comments are boring) and find you talking about feral animals and cute ones. Never a dull moment!

Don't forget, I want 'Tempt the Devil', The ms version I read didn't have HIM on the cover. He'd tempt me to buy the book, believe me, even if I didn't know what a terrific story was inside.

And yes, spring has definitely sprung in the West household. So nice to have another sale. And, dare I say it? We might be on our almost to last day of builders in our bathroom! Now that IS a sign of change. Can't wait.

Annie

Tiffany Kenzie said...

LOL

BUT...You have that wee funnel spider. I'm a wuss! I don't mind snakes at all... just spiders. I nearly jumped out of a moving car once because I had one taunting me in the passenger seat. Yes I'm that scared. Add possibly poisonous to the equation, and I'd probably have taken my chances as roadkill!

ArkieRN said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ArkieRN said...

Sorry, I accidentally clicked through halfway into a sentence.

Anyway, what I was saying is the pics are just gorgeous! Right now the trees are changing color here and the nights are getting cool. And everybodies favorite season (football)has begun.

Anna Campbell said...

Annie, oh, dear on the renovations! Especially as you work at home for at least part of the week. Must have been tough. Thanks for the kind words about TTD - I think that cover's going to make me some new friends, don't you?

You know, I've never seen a funnelweb. You'll just have to hang out with me if you visit ;-) I have however seen numerous redbacks - they love to set up home on the clothes line or in the garage, evil little critters!

Hi Arkiern! What a cute avatar. I think it sounds like good reading weather coming down your way!

H Maree Davis said...

Just this morning I noticed the cardinals nicking the last of the grape tomatoes from the plant. The leaves are starting to turn and the weather is beginning to cool down.

Last week we had a couple of very cool mornings, it's warmed up a little again now and reminds me of that coldest week of winter we used to get in Perth before it warms up again. Unfortunately I'm pretty sure there will be a little more cold to come.

Luckily I like the lovely autumn leaves and the snow. Things which are in short supply home in Aus.

Sometimes when I'm at the pet shop I look at the cockatiels and am very tempted by them. If it wasn't for the prospect of eventually explaining to AQIS why I'm trying to import one into Australia, I probably would have bought one last time I got homesick. Strangely the bearded dragons (which you can indeed get in the pet shops here in the US) are not nearly as tempting.

H! :)

Joan said...

The only wildlife I'd care to have hanging around my house are PJ's turtles!!!

(The white chocolate are to die for!)

Anna Campbell said...

Hi H! Not a bearded dragon lover? My friend and fellow bandita Christine Wells always acts like I'm really strange when I say how much I like them too. I can understand the draw of a cockatiel but as you said, getting him back into the country might be a problem. Sounds like a nice time of year where you are, with the crisp air!

PJ, you and your turtles are welcome any time over here!

Keira Soleore said...

Amy Andrews, w00t, bok bok at ya.

Fo, at any time of the year I'd be jealous os bobbing in an open air swimming pool in the sun. Seattle's always cccccolllldddd. Brrrrr.

A flowering gum tree? Gorgeous flowers, dear Fo. Is this edible gum?

My daughter is thrilled with a look at your lorikeets. She goes to a school that's part of the zoo. And so they're constantly bombarded all day with whistling, talking macaws, squabbling lemurs, greedy llamas, and ocassional roars of the two tigers and lonely cougar facing off on opposite sides of a fence. She's managed to teach of the macaws her name, and every time they see her, every macaw is busy showing off, and the cacophony is deafening.

My favorite flower is the yellow daffodil that bravely lifts its head up in chilly February whether or not there's snow on the ground, a windstorm's blowing, or temps are sub-zero.

Keira Soleore said...

Talking about zoos... We feel we live in one, as in, we're the ones inside and the animals visit us in our backyard to have a look see. We're regularly visited by: black bears, bobcats, coyotes, deer of various kinds, foxes, raccoons, moles, and assorted smaller critters.

Keira Soleore said...

Annie and Christine: You're not playing fair at all. Not a whit!!

Louisa Cornell said...

La Campbell, I will try to make a recording of my whippoorwill chorus one evening for you. It really is lovely with a little frog and cricket backup.

Yes, bearded dragons are sold here as pets. My nephew lives in the same town as the largest lizard breeding facility in the world - Agama International. They have a website. The owner is Dutch, but speaks German, thank God, so I have been by several times and had a lovely chat. Hard to believe a facility like that exists in a place like Montevallo, Alabama!

I am thrilled that you have finished your latest. I know what you mean about waving goodbye and waiting for the next tenants to move into your head! Its when they refuse to move in and out in an orderly fashion that it gets crazy!

Annie West, I am SO excited to hear about a new Annie West novel! Writing the title down for Mom who is a huge fan!

Caren Crane said...

Jeanne, I hadn't thought to mention the deer. It's officially deer-in-the-road season in NC. I live in a very populated suburb of Raleigh and we have deer in the road EVERY NIGHT in my neighborhood. We are just outside the city limits, so the lots are all at least 1 acre and there are some woods, a pond and a stream. The poor deer have so few wooded areas left that they pretty much live in our neighborhood in the swampy areas. You have to drive slo-o-owly after dark down the winding roads and watch for eyes.

We also have a bard owl or two. I've seen them both at night and early morning swooping down to scoop up squirrels and rabbits. We also have a few large hawks in our neighborhood (also fond of squirrels and rabbits).

Y'all crack me up talking about the cute possums. Ours are butt ugly and the meanest things ever. Horrid buggers!

Joan said...

Y'all crack me up talking about the cute possums. Ours are butt ugly and the meanest things ever. Horrid buggers!

You're not kidding Caren!

I once turned into the road to my subdivision and watched a opossum the size of a VOLKSWAGON BUG walking across the road...toward my house!

I went to bed that night with a bat in my hands.

catslady said...

We had horrible weather last week, rainy, windy and colder but we're getting a bit of Indian summer and it's gorgeous during the day with cooler nights and the leaves are just turning all their wonderful colors. The birds are beginning to go south for the winter but we still get a lot that stick around. Oh I live in Western Pa.

Helen said...

I am so glad our possums are cute. They really are nice to feed but agree that they make a lot of noise in the roofs of houses not that I get them here at home but we have when we have been on holidays down the south coast the kids loved feeding them every night when they would come on the balcony although their teeth are a bit sharp when they miss the fruit in you hand.

Have Fun
Helen

catslady said...

Oh I forgot to say that since I care for feral cats I aways end up feeding possums, raccoons with the occasional skunk lol. I get to see them very close up at my back door and I've given up trying to scare them away (they eat soooo much and are huge but kind of cute since I'm behind glass doors lol).

Carol said...

Well done Amy, the GR must have known you had something planned at your house.
Congrats Anna, another book notch on your belt! Woo Hoo for us readers!(you too of course!)

I was amazed to see that Water Dragon up the tree! catching insects of course, I've only ever seen one on the ground! What a trick... and your brilliant flowering gum photo - so beautiful!

Since I'm only a short drive down the highway from you...our local flora and fauna are very similar, but the Kurrawongs (a large black bird with a white flash on the wing + mean+ seasonal too!)are the worst here in attacking the smaller birds and eating the babies!
The local crows have been very clever and have learned to eat the poisoness cane toads...from the inside out, there are descicated toad skins below the lamp poles where the sleek,healthy, huge crows have their breakfast!
Maybe they don't eat as many baby birds now!
I have two families of little native doves living in my yard, they are sweet and gentle birds.

Cheers Carol

Anna Campbell said...

Well, Miss Keira, you know you can visit any time! In fact, I suspect even in winter, my pool is warmer than anything you'd find in Seattle in the summer!

We call eucalypts gum trees. I think because if you pull the leaves to pieces, the sap is a gummy texture. And how lucky is your daughter to have that menagerie to play with?

I love daffodils too. They always make me think of England. I was in Wales right at the start of spring in 2004 and I went to a stately home that had fields and fields of daffodils. It was just like the Wordsworth poem!

Anna Campbell said...

Louisa, the new Annie West is fantastic. Your mum will be in nirvana! I'm astonished at the lizard breeding story! Whooda thunk it?

Hey, Caren, your deer on the road thing made me think of driving out west and watching out for kangaroos. I big red can do HUGE harm to a car! And did you mean BARD owls? Do they quote Shakespeare?

Anna Campbell said...

Goodness, Joan! Killer possums! What is the world coming to?

Catslady, it sounds lovely where you are at the moment. After me touting the joys of spring here, it's pouring with rain and freezing cold here today!

Helen, I can speak from experience - they have claws like razors too! You can see why they can climb up those trees!

Carol, the bearded dragon in the bush was pretty cute. He obviously decided if he was vewy, vewy still, I wouldn't see him. He was there for ages and I got quite a lot of pictures. We've got a stack around the place, ranging from big old granddaddy down to real bubs who are cute. They're not all gnarled and rough like the old ones and their skin is actually really pretty, a bit like a gray tabby cat!

We had currawongs in Sydney. Nasty birds. They'll kill anything that moves. Actually the crows are really smart - they have this technique of working in pairs where one attacks the nest and gets the smaller birds to chase it off and then the second one dives in absolutely silently and takes the baby birds. It's horrible but it's kind of fascinating at the same time. And if they're eating cane toads, I'll ALMOST forgive them!

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks, everyone, for a fabulous day in the lair! Don't forget to check back in a day or so to see who won the ARC of TEMPT THE DEVIL!!!!