Guest Posts

Wednesday Welcomes: Zanna Mackenzie!

Please welcome a lovely author from across the pond, Zanna Mackenzie! Her new book, The Love Programme is set in Scotland, the idyllic land of my ancestors. I would love go back there one day! It was gorgeous and inspiring, and I can’t wait to read Zanna’s book so that I can relive it in my imagination. 😀

****

The Love Programme

A contemporary romance set in the wilds of Scotland

 

What do you do when your childhood sweetheart and now ex-boyfriend won’t accept it’s over?

Lucy’s life is a mess. With her ex pursuing her across the country, she flees to Scotland and finds herself part of a reality TV show about love… will she find some answers or end up even more confused in matters of the heart?

***

Marcus won’t give up on trying to rekindle his relationship with Lucy, not even on the day he should be marrying somebody else!

Lucy decides she needs a place to escape to for a while and fate seems to agree when she’s given the chance to star in a reality TV show called The Love Programme whilst enjoying two weeks of luxury living on a grand country estate in Scotland.

When Lucy meets Paul, the owner of the estate, she thinks he might be The One but who is the mysterious Hannah and what part does she play in his life?

With Marcus planning to win her back Lucy has some serious soul searching to do.

It seems The Love Programme has its work cut out if it’s going to help Lucy sort out her life…

 

Amazon USA ebook link:

http://www.amazon.com/Love-Programme-Zanna-MacKenzie-ebook/dp/B00BCL6C8U/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1397140934&sr=1-4&keywords=zanna+mackenzie

 

 

There’s a sneak peak at the book below and The Love Programme can be downloaded now on Amazon

 

Extract From The Love Programme

“Just sit on this suitcase, will you, Fi? I can’t get the stupid thing shut!”

Fiona, obligingly perching her bottom on the bulging case so Lucy could tug the zipper to close it up, said, “I can’t believe you’ve agreed to do this. You’re going to be on a TV show about love! Won’t you be embarrassed having everyone know all your business?”

Her face red from doing battle with the suitcase and, thankfully, managing to win, Lucy shook her head. “No. Where else could I get a few extra weeks off work and live the life of luxury whilst a man tries to impress me with extravagant dates? Plus, I’ll be getting relationship coaching from a top expert.”

Lucy checked around the room to make sure she hadn’t forgotten anything. “Do you think I’ve packed the right clothes?”

Fiona lay back on the bed, stretching and spreading her arms out around her as though she was making the duvet version of a snow angel. “How should I know?”

“Mel said the programme is being recorded at the home of some Scottish laird. It’s a real mansion with a spa and acres and acres of land.”

Fiona pushed herself into an upright position, suddenly all attentive. “A laird, eh? Sounds interesting. What else do you know about him?”

“He’s not going to be one of the dates so don’t get all excited. He’s just rented his home out to the TV production company. Apparently he’ll be away on business most of the time we’re there, so we probably won’t even get to meet him.”

Fiona shook her head. “Shame, how exciting would it have been? Meeting a real life laird would be amazing.”

“He’s probably about sixty, balding, as round as he is tall and arrogant to boot.”

Fiona slapped Lucy on the arm. “Don’t spoil it for me. I was just picturing him as about our age, the classic tall, dark and handsome type. Big brown eyes…” She sighed happily. “Is it just me or do you find all those green wellies and Barbour jackets the country gents wear incredibly sexy?”

“No, it’s definitely just you!” Lucy shook her head despairingly.

As Fiona stared into space, no doubt continuing her little country gent fantasy, Lucy flopped down onto the bed. “Do you think I’m doing the right thing?”

“Of course you are. This could be a life-changing opportunity.”

“I’d like to be able to go on dates without feeling guilty about Marcus all the time.” Sighing, Lucy added, “I want to be free to have relationships like everyone else does.”

“I know you do. So, how can you doubt if you’re doing the right thing? You have to go to Scotland. You know you do.”

“I suppose so but will you be okay? I hate leaving you with your wedding just weeks away. There’s still some preparations to do and I am chief bridesmaid. Maybe I shouldn’t go. This is all crazy, I won’t go. I must be mad even contemplating it.”

“You’re going! End of story! The wedding is being perfectly managed by my mum and by Luke’s mum, so no worries there.” Fiona hauled Lucy to her feet. “What time’s your train?”

“I’m getting the overnight sleeper up to Inverness and then Craig, the TV guy, is going to meet me at the station and drive me to the country estate.”

“I’m so envious.” Fiona sulked, folding and unfolding the corner of the duvet around her fingers.

“I thought you were happy with your Mr-Not-So-Perfect?”

“I am.” Fiona sighed. “But a girl can dream, can’t she?”

 

****

Author bio:

Zanna Mackenzie lives in the UK with her husband, 4 dogs, a vegetable patch that’s home to far too many weeds and an ever expanding library of books waiting to be read.

Being a freelance writer and editor of business publications is her ‘day job’ but, at every opportunity, she can be found scribbling down notes on scenes for whatever novel she’s working on. She loves it when the characters in her novels take on minds of their own and start deviating from the original plot!

Formerly a travel agent and therapist (she has qualifications in clinical aromatherapy, crystal healing, naturopathic nutrition and herbalism) she loves walking the dogs and gardening – that’s when she’s not writing or reading!

Zanna has written three novels, The Love Programme, How Do You Spell Love? and If You Only Knew.

Find out more about Zanna at:

www.zannamackenzie.blogspot.co.uk

Twitter: @ZannaMacKenzie

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/zanna.mackenzie

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/10703273-zanna-mackenzie

Advertisements
Books I Love · Writing

How Not To Be Below Average

Don’t get stomped on by making yourself less than average. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Do you remember the Monty Python sketch, “How Not To Be Seen?” I recently received a request on my blog that made me think of this. Here is the request that I didn’t actually approve because I don’t want to embarrass the person who made this comment on my Beowulf/Bilbo post and instead allow them to stay anonymous:

“What does Beowulf and Bilbo have in common in both stories? I need help for my English response… Can someone help me pleaaseee ?”

*sigh*

I have had to rewrite and edit today’s post more than usual to keep it from sounding condescending and mean-spirited. It was a challenge because the request posed was kind of over-the-top. A bit like Monty Python. 😉

I wrote a post last year about my thoughts on the Hobbit versus Beowulf and while I’m happy that it tends to be my most viewed post, I’ve often been worried that lazy students might use my words for their assignments. Indeed, all this anonymous person had to do was to actually read my post, and they would have found what they needed. But now I figure, that if they plagiarise me and don’t get caught, then their teacher needs to do a bit more legwork. I did when I taught.

The sad thing is, that those students who don’t get caught, begin to think that they will never get caught. And when their chance to learn, grow, and be great passes, they become just like Mrs B.J. Smegma of 13, The Crescent, Belmont who didn’t have the sense to learn from the mistakes of the guy ahead of her.

Kaplooey.

Okay, so maybe they won’t get blown up or shot, but eventually they will get caught. If not for plagiarism, then for some other shady deal they’ve gotten themselves into. Plagiarism IS stealing.

Notice how I’ve titled today’s post. I didn’t say, “How not to be average.” Average is fine. Average can be hard work that you can be proud of because you did it yourself. But keeping yourself below average, when you are fully capable of doing the work… well, you’ve just set yourself up for failure in life.

Those who don’t learn to become independent will forever continue trying to live off others. This doesn’t fly in the real world. No one is going to earn your living for you, no matter how nice your pleaaseee is. Oh, you may get away with it a few times, but eventually, your luck will run out.

So instead, to this person, I’ll give you a gift. Pride. The feeling you get when you work really hard on something and get a good score and the score  belongs to YOU. It’s YOURS. Not the person who secretly did the work for you. If you have enough gumption to have something to actually turn in to your teacher then you can push yourself to do your own work. Just imagine Jillian Michaels hovering over you – “Come on! You CAN do it!” – as you plow through the material. 😀

I’m allowing this person to remain in anonymity in hopes that they’ll read this post instead and understand why I did not respond with “write this verbatim for your assignment…” Though somehow, I doubt that will happen :/ but at least I’ve had my say.

I won’t do your work for you. It’s YOUR responsibility. OWN it. Or you will never own anything.

Have you ever been mooched from? How did you handle it? Did you try to teach a life skill instead?

Writing

How to Deal with a Bully – A Lesson From Uncle Henry

All bullies truly have green skin. But it only shows when they’re in Oz. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Charlie has recently become enamored with The Wizard of Oz. It had been a while since I’d sat down and actually watched it, but I still felt familiar with it mostly because of all the different comparisons people draw from it. The one I usually read about, being a writer, is why a reader doesn’t always need to see the man behind the curtain. In other words, don’t explain everything in your story. Keep the magic.

But then I saw again this funny little scene (I couldn’t find the scene I wanted by itself, so you get the “twista” one too):

In spite of the fact that none of this happened in the book, I just love it! I love the fact that Uncle Henry is face to face with this horrible woman and finds a way to make her look completely silly without even directly insulting her. Letting the gate smack her on the rear just puts the period on the whole thing.

Maybe this scene is not so much about writing, but it ties in with my personal theme as a writer; less irrational hatred and more acceptance.

In a world where people are more likely to shoot you because you were texting during movie previews, I think it would be nice for us all to be reminded to chill out and find a less aggressive way of addressing our beef with others.

Although, I seriously wouldn’t recommend making fun of your bully out-loud. 😉 But thinking of the way that they make themselves ridiculous (because most bullies are in some way), can help to keep you from lashing back until the situation can be diffused properly.

Uncle Henry heard his niece’s earlier complaints even though he was busy counting chicks. He knew exactly why Miss Gulch was there. I’m inclined to think that most people today would start yelling and even pull out a gun to chase her off their property. Even Dorothy tells Miss Gulch to go away or she would bite her herself.

I get it. We all get mad at people for one thing or another. But rather go on a tirade, we (emphasis on we here 😉 ) should try to find some other way to deal with the problem. Some things you just aren’t going to solve no matter how angry you get. Miss Gulch got Toto anyway despite Dorothy’s threat because she had “the law” on her side. But Uncle Henry had the benefit of displaying Miss Gulch’s ridiculous bulling by making her look like the fool she truly was.

I liked Uncle Henry’s style better than Dorothy’s and I hope I can find a way to be more like him. 😀

Would you respond to Miss Gulch the way Uncle Henry did? Or would you be more like Dorothy? Which one do you prefer?

Writing

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

I have been gone, I know. Typical. I’ve been dealing with other family issues that are terribly distracting and trying (and failing miserably) to keep up with my edits. I finally finished this round of edits (waaaay past the deadline, I might add), and the family issues are getting a little better for the moment.

Of course I would be remiss if I didn’t pop on here to say Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone, given my love for all things Irish. 🙂 Sorry I didn’t get the chance to plan out a nice, elaborate post on it. Complete with shamrocks, fairies, and claddagh symbols.

But Cead Mile Failte! And I hope to be back to my regular beat here very soon! 😀

Blogging Contest · Books I Love · NaNoWriMo

#21 Number of Books on Your Bookshelf

Image attributed to Elliott Brown from Birmingham, United Kingdom via Wikimedia Commons.

Hee hee. This topic is how I got my first e-reader. Before I was married, I use to haunt used bookstores for hardbound versions of classic books that I hadn’t read yet. I think I still have a copy of The Mill on the Floss that I was afraid to read because the pages seemed so brittle. But it looked so awesome on my shelf!

My favorite bookstore used to be Trans Allegheny Books in Parkersburg, West Virginia. The building was built in 1905 as a Carnegie Library. Yes, that Carnegie. It had stained glass, a wrought iron spiral staircase, and the floors creaked just the way I like. 😀 I would have loved to wear one of my period dresses, which I had from playing harp, and wandered around the shelves, pretending I lived in a time before I was born.

I don’t think I ever really grew out of the dress-up phase.

Anyway, I was drawn to used book stores like a moth to flame, and at one point I counted over 300 books. I would categorize them by author. When I lived with my parents, my bedroom was a converted attic with sloped ceilings, so I used wooden crates stacked on their sides for my bookshelves. When I got married, we got a traditional bookshelf. And no matter how many times I organized and re-organized my books alphabetically by author, hubby always went through them at some point, and messed it all up somehow.

I never understood why, because he doesn’t read fiction.

Hubby is a very practical minimalist. My books were sitting on my shelf doing nothing “useful.” So I did a purge of many of the paperbacks that I’d already read. I got an e-reader by convincing him that I would purge more of them (which I did). Fortunately, most of the digital copies of my favorite classics are free, so I didn’t pay to have the books again. Now, I’ve added about 90 Astraea Press books to my Kindle and them some. So I’d say I have upwards of about 400 books. 😀

[This post was written as a part of the NaNoWriMo Pre-game Kick Off over at Jessica Schmeidler’s blog.]

NaNo word count: 19,425. I miss the Y. I haven’t been able to go as much as I thought I would. 😦

Blogging Contest · Harp · NaNoWriMo

#19 Your Greatest Fan

Ick, sometimes I feel as if I’m my own greatest fan. Which is about as sad and silly as I’m My Own Grandpa.

I’d love it if my hubby were my greatest fan, but when he reads, it’s always non-fiction. I don’t think that harps and romance or faeries and druids will appeal to him. 😉 So, unless I sell a million copies of my books, my writing will look like just a hobby to him.

Having a hobby doesn’t really draw fans.

I suppose my greatest fan depends on which book you’re talking about. So far. For either one, my fans are my mom and step-mom (whom I also call Mom, just to add lovely confusion 😉 ).

My birth-mom has the same taste in reading as I do. She and I enjoy discussing the finer points of The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter series. She liked Harp Lessons, but has been really enjoying being my beta reader for The Stone of Kings. When I wasn’t quite sure where I wanted to go with TSOK, we had wonderful brainstorming sessions. That always got the story moving again.

My step-mom is more of a visual artist, but has provided most of the inspiration for both my finished books. She has encouraged my writing throughout my childhood, got me started playing harp, and took me on my first trip to New York City, where she grew up. She and her mom, my Grandma Caroline, told me endless stories of Ireland and what it was like to live there. If you’ve read Harp Lessons, do these things sound familiar? Naturally, Mom has been tickled pink that I’m now a published author.

I know there are those outside of my family who have loved Harp Lessons. But I can’t imagine having many “fans” since I’ve only got one book out there so far. I’m quite happy to have my mothers as my greatest fans. But it’ll be nice to start getting multiple five-star reviews that my fellow author friends (who have great backlists) have.

[This post was written as a part of the NaNoWriMo Pre-game Kick Off over at Jessica Schmeidler’s blog.]

NaNo word count: 17,462

Blogging Contest · NaNoWriMo

#15 Dialogue Challenge: Talk to Your Pet or Favorite Animal

Image attributed to Gourami Watcher via Wikimedia Commons.

I don’t have a pet right now, but am thinking about getting a guinea pig since I miss having a fuzzy animal curled in my lap when I read or write (hubby’s allergic to cats 😦 ). The following is what I imagine what GP and I will talk about:

I walk over to GP’s cage and undo the latch. “Wanna cuddle on my lap for a while?”

GP stays put in the far corner and says, “Nah, I was thinking about taking a nap.”

I give her an incredulous stare. “Seriously? You just woke up.”

“I wasn’t sleeping. I read somewhere that some insomnia is caused by the eyelids’ inability to close. I was just testing mine.”

“You made that up.”

GP looks at a random point past my shoulder. “No, I didn’t.”

“C’mon, there’s shredded carrot in it for ya.”

GP scoots her wiggly butt over to the door and allows me to carry her to the desk. I pass her some carrot and she asks, “So, since I’m going to stay awake anyway, whacha writing?”

“A blog post.”

“You’re not much on elaboration, are you? Are you sure anyone is going to read this post of yours?”

“Maybe. It doesn’t matter yet.”

GP coughs on her carrot. “Doesn’t matter? Honey, I don’t do anything unless there is an incentive. If it doesn’t matter, then why do it?”

“Well, it doesn’t matter that hundreds of people read it. What matters is that it’s going to help me become a better writer.”

“What kind of writer do you want to be?”

“I want to change the way society thinks for the better. Kind of like Harriet Beecher Stowe or Charles Dickens. It’s part of the meaning of life for me.”

“I thought the meaning of life was forty-two.”

“Go to sleep GP.”

“Ah! Now that’s something I can understand.” GP promptly closes her eyes and begins to purr as I stroke her ginger fur.

[This post was written as a part of the NaNoWriMo Pre-game Kick Off over at Jessica Schmeidler’s blog.]

NaNo word count: 13, 691.

Blogging Contest · NaNoWriMo

#13 Thoughts on Shakespeare?

Image attributed to Tracy, from North Brookfield, Massachusetts, USA via Wikimedia Commons.
Image attributed to Tracy, from North Brookfield, Massachusetts, USA via Wikimedia Commons.

Ha! I even already had an image from a long ago post on the subject. Well, feels like long ago, anyway.

I loved studying Shakespeare in college. I know I took at least three classes which focused on him and his plays. My favorite class was online at USF and studied how different scenes had been produced on-screen in different ways. We usually had to explain why we agreed or disagreed with the interpretation and cite our answers with evidence from the text.

Talk about an in-depth approach!

As a kid, my parents used to take my sister and I to Shakespeare in the Park. I remember being mesmerized by scenes, but of course, I had no idea what was going on. After all, the actors spoke (what I thought at the time to be) Old English. But the construct and flow of words still pulled me in and I was hooked on that wonderful iambic pentameter.

I have an easier time understanding the plays these days, though I still pull out my trusty Bevington if I want  to make certain that I’ve got a firm grasp of a scene. Some of the more archaic terminology continues to elude me unless I look up the definition.

But my, aren’t some of these words fun?

Robustious periwig-pated, bare bodkin, orisons, argosies, beshrew, peck of provender, scambling…

Why did they ever fall into obscurity?

My favorite play is Hamlet and my favorite production is the beautiful Kenneth Branagh version, though I enjoyed the 1980 BBC version as well. I loathe the Mel Gibson version. I felt Gibson put too much of his own spin on the character and lost all the charm that Shakespeare put into him. I’d go into more detail, but it’s been too long since I’ve seen that one, and I have no desire to subject myself to it again.

As a final note, yes, we named our first son William because of Shakespeare. Though hubby will tell you that he’s named for William Wallace. 😉

[This post was written as a part of the NaNoWriMo Pre-game Kick Off over at Jessica Schmeidler’s blog.]

NaNo word count: 10,744

Blogging Contest · NaNoWriMo

#3 A Day In The Life of Your Favorite Author (Real Or Imagined)

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Okay, this topic threw me a bit. It’s hard to pick a favorite author. I was tempted to pick Shakespeare, but there’s a topic post on that later this month, so… I’ll go with my favorite author connected with 19th century America. After all, my NaNo book deals heavily on slavery and the Civil War…

Samuel Clemens stood in the engine room and sipped his coffee pensively. He studied the stationary mechanics of the riverboat that he was learning to co-pilot, and marveled about how travel over water had changed in the last hundred years or so. But even modern marvels could not make a boat float when the water was too low. He had little doubt that he would soon see steam powered carriages one day.

He heard a call from outside, “Mark twain!”

The mechanics sprung to life. As much as he would have liked to study them while they worked, he must return to his duties now that the river was at mark twain. No matter. He was just as fascinated by the bridge and eager to learn what he could there. The cry of mark twain always meant that he could continue to persue his dream of piloting a riverboat.

On his way to the bridge, he spied a drifting rowboat. When it got close enough, he saw that there was a little boy inside, laying down with his eyes closed.

“Ahoy there,” Samuel called softly. The boy’s right eye flew open and a vivid look of terror filled his features. His left eye was swollen shut.

Samuel was taken aback by the boy’s horrified expression. He dropped his voice even lower. “Are you alright?”

The boy shut his dark eye tight as if frustrated with himself. Then he opened it and connected his stare with Samuel’s. Finally, without getting up, he looked in the direction of the riverbank.

Samuel scanned the bank trying to understand what the boy silently communicated. At last, he heard shouts, “Jim! Where you at, boy!” This was not the sound of a concerned parent and his helpful neighbors. Well, perhaps the neighbors were helpful of a sort, but they were obviously not concerned for the boy’s safety.

Samuel found the posse of about fifteen men armed with shotguns and axes as if the slave boy in the rowboat were as dangerous as Frankenstien’s monster. He looked at Jim, who again stared at him, this time pleading with his good eye which had filled with tears.

“Ahoy, you,” shouted one of the men in the posse. Samuel looked to the bank and realized that one of the posse addressed him. “You can see in that boat. Is there a runaway in there?”

Samuel looked at the men, some of whom had actually aimed their guns at him, and made his decision. “No, sir. It’s empty.”

“You ain’t seen a runaway floating down a boat at all?”

“No, sir. I’ve been in the engine room for the last few hours. Why would a slave float south anyway? He probably got out somewhere and started heading north. I’d search in that direction if I were you.”

The men muttered to themselves, and without so much as a thank you, they retraced their steps and dissappeared into the nearby wood.

Samuel looked back at Jim, dug around in his pocket and pulled out a few coins. He tossed them into the little boat before it drifted away. The boy’s good eye again filled with tears, but the look in it this time was of gratitude.

[This post was written as a part of the NaNoWriMo Pre-game Kick Off over at Jessica Schmeidler’s blog.]

NaNo word count: 2, 145 (came down with a fever, ugh!)

Guest Posts

Wednesday Welcomes – Iris Blobel!

Today I have the pleasure of  introducing a wonderful author who I would love to sit down with and have a chat over a nice pot of tea. Unfortunately, she lives a half a world away. But I’m sure hubby would be happy to vacation in Australia sometime. 😉 She is here to talk about my favorite place of dreams and to tell you all about her latest release, New Beginnings (which I can’t wait to read). Take it away, irresistible Iris! 😉

The land of dreamers …

It’s an absolute delight to be Shea’s guest today.

Shea and I share the same love for that special emerald country in Europe – Ireland!

My first two books were set in Ireland. The main character in “Sweet Dreams, Miss England” was Daniel from Dublin. Nicky (the female protagonist) and Daniel spend quite a bit of time in Ireland and it was a pleasure to write a couple of chapters about them travelling to Limerick and then to the south coast.

When I started my second book “Journey to Her Dreams” I had a vague idea about the plot, a vague idea about how important the dreams were supposed to be, but needed a place to set the story. The story’s main plot was based on dreams – and where better to set a “dream story” than in Ireland, the land of magic, fairies, leprechauns and rainbows. Perfect!

I visited Dublin three years ago and it was wonderful to add my experiences into the story and see it come alive. I was very lucky and fortunate that Astraea Press took the risk to publish it. The feedback has been very rewarding.

There are many other things I like about Ireland – of course the beautiful and unique countryside, the Irish accent, their humour, their music and bands (especially Westlife), their pride and so many other things. I’m sure if you’re a lover (even just a small one) of Ireland you know what I’m talking about.

Anyhow … Yes, I am here to talk a bit about my latest release New Beginnings. My latest book’s set in Tasmania, which is not Ireland, and I wouldn’t necessarily compare the two islands, but it has the same mystique and charm to it. The perfect setting for my story which includes a wee bit of a mystery in it.

New Beginnings is the first in the “Beginnings” trilogy, as we follow the lives of Sophie and Mia Levesque as they start over in Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, Mark O’Connor, Zach and Jared. I hope you will have a chance to get to know them all!

New Beginnings:

Tagline:

To believe in new beginnings is to trust in tomorrow

Blurb:

Twenty-two-year-old Sophie Levesque has been guardian to eight-year-old sister Mia since their mother’s death a few years ago. Luck comes their way when they inherit a small house in Hobart. Problem is, though, they don’t know or have even heard of Clara Bellinger, the testator, and Sophie is afraid it’s all been a mistake.
As Mia settles well into her new school and life in general, Sophie is not only occupied by her search of what connected her to Clara, but also her new studies and the two men, who suddenly have become part of her daily life – Mark O’Connor, the lawyer representing Clara’s estate, and Zach, the hunk from across the road.

Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/New-Beginings-ebook/dp/B00ENU02BU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1377251351&sr=1-1

Astraea Press: http://astraeapress.com/#!/~/product/category=662245&id=27261175

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/349320

Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/new-beginnings-6

Bio:

Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she actually had met her future husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only recently emerged, but now her laptop is a constant companion. Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her beautiful two daughters as well as her two dogs. Next to her job at a private school she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.