Melancholia

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There is a unique blend of happy and sad that accompanies the end of the annual Romance Writers of Australia conference. For a brief few days, every year, our tribe of Romance Writers gathers in a city hotel, and so commences an intense time of learning, networking, and arguably most-essentially, socialising with our favourite, like-minded writers. Be they aspiring, emerging or established, RWA is a place to simple *be*, in a state of open-minded brain-expansion, assimilating new ways of thinking, working, and managing our writing careers.

From informal dinners on Wednesday night to publisher commitments on Thursday, to the amazing, in-depth all-day workshops on Friday (Rachel Bailey should be required attendance at any and all conferences – she is a font of creative wisdom and has an almost-freakish ability to break things down and explain them in a way that leads to many, many lightbulb moments). Then, there’s the Harlequin cocktail party, always a fun time to let our hair down and mingle, before the core conference kicks off in earnest. The dinner on Saturday is a combination of fine dining, fun, great wine (Moet this year, thank you very much) and it is a time to raise a glass to the award nominees and recipients, and honour their achievements. Not to mention Keri Arthur’s spine-tingling STAND UP, which is a reminder that we all form a valuable thread of this evolving community.

And we are a community – a thriving, growing, ever-changing community filled with brilliance and generosity of spirit and so, so much love. Which is why I’m feeling a hint of melancholy as I sit here, in the airport, waiting for my flight to board. As a die-hard homebody and committed introvert, I am desperate to get home to my normal routines and rhythms, and to see my lovely little family.  I’m also inspired and reinvigorated, champing at the bit to hit my keyboard and write all the stories and ideas that have flooded me over the last few days. But there is also sadness here, at leaving behind this crew for another year. Our days together are too short, and very special, and I’m already counting down to 2019.

 

Advertisements

Younger Season 5 Episode 9 Recap

Younger Season 5 Episode 9 Recap

Younger

Younger Season 5 Episode 9 Honk if you’re Horny

KC: Charles cooks, too?

CC: Charles is cooking! And half-beard is the perfect compromise.

IMG_6217

KC: *swoon* Divorce talk is soooo sexy.

CC: Talking about real-world stuff – divorce, children, and she’s working in his house…

KC: Oooh! A story of addiction set in the world of publishing? I’d actually read that.

IMG_6219

CC: Liza is so comfortable being herself now and Charles adores her. This is pretty sweet.

KC: Charles totally makes passes at girls who wear glasses.

IMG_6225

CC: Lauren! Lauren and Josh! And Kelsey. This is all too good.

KC: Lauren’s skirt is so cute.

IMG_6238

CC: Yes. And her hair is still so on point. Oh, Malkie and Maggie and Liza is MIA! Aw. Her loss.

IMG_6232

KC: WHAT!!!?

CC: OH MY GOD

KC: ALISON JANNEY

CC: ALISON JANNEY

img_6356-2.jpg

KC: SHE BETTER BE HERE

CC: I’M IN OVERDRIVE

KC: I WILL DIE

CC: MELTDOWN

KC: I WILL ACTUALLY DIE

CC: ALL MY FAVOURITE WORLDS ARE COLLIDING

KC: I CAN’T BREATHE

CC: Lauren to Kelsey: “I’ll be even happier when you put me on retainer. That’s a conversation for later.”

KC: Enzo and Diana in bed.

IMG_6244

CC: I’m not sure she’s vibed. God… Enzo’s… honk.

KC: And Enzo honks!? I mean, does his mom listen to that?

CC: Honk if you’re horny?

KC: And the episode title suddenly makes so much sense.

CC: And a scene at the Empirical offices to remind us all that these people ostensibly work

KC: Kelsey is feeling her press. So much attitude.

CC: Oooh, and our favourite (slash, apparently the only) New York agent is back. I actually love a world where Lauren is Kelsey’s publicist.

IMG_6248

KC: Diana to Kelsey: “You certainly have the hair for it.” Oooh Glamour-cover-model blow-out burn 🤨

CC: Oh, Diana. So Cold! Diana’s outfit is so perfect. Those earrings.

KC: Oh, Diana. “I do have a personal life.” With someone who honks.

CC: Charles’s breast pocket!!

KC: Charles’s splendor extends to the sartorial.

CC: Oh, my, God. That scene! The looks! The secret texting! So flirty and hot! They do good text!

IMG_6253

KC: What wine would go with PB&J? It would depend on the jam, right? Like red for strawberry and white for apricot? It’s red for red and white for white. That’s the way it works. Meanwhile, Diana and Lauren are also flirting.

IMG_6263

CC: Where does Lauren know Enzo from? Oh, it’s okay. She’s on the case.

KC: I did not know that I needed Diana and Lauren together in one scene. But I so did.

CC: Maybe they’ve made him honk because he’s about to become a bad guy?

KC:  Hello, Redmond!

IMG_6276

CC: REDMOND. The only agent in NYC happens to be in the same neighbourhood Liza and Charles have sneaked off to for a secret dinner.

KC: And the Crigger manuscript is back.

CC: Redmond about Kelsey: “Our mean little friend.”

KC: Oops. This is awkward. Also, Liza is going to call him ‘sir’ again very soon. Probably naked. Do you think Charles will take the Crigger?

CC: That would be bad if he did. Poor Liza. I think she’s probably really sick of lying. About everything.

KC: Redmond is actually a pretty good agent. He’s doing good agenting here. I mean, until he insults Empirical to the boss. That’s not great agenting.

CC: I don’t think Redmond is doing himself any favours there. Oh, NO!

KC: OH MY GOD, ENZO IS IN PORN.

IMG_6283

CC: But… that hairstyle. It looks like a long time ago. OH! The honk!

KC: vintageporn.us I’m so googling that later. THE HONK.

CC: Josh is so hot. I need him to find out about Liza and Charles now.

IMG_6279

KC: “I thought all men came like geese.”

CC: So Lauren. Oh, Liza’s dress! I love it. I’m so glad Diana is off her cleanse.

KC: Diana is buying a table at the Glamour awards? Yes, Diva.

CC: Kelsey: “But let’s do it now, before you change your mind.” I’m so glad to see Kelsey’s pants are better this week. Uh oh. Charles going over Kelsey’s head is not good.

KC: I mean, he is her boss.

CC: But still. Millenial is her baby. Oh, poor Liza.

KC: This is something that would totally happen.

CC: WAIT UP. HOLD UP. Liza was a little too obvious there? Oh, a half-truth. Okay… I mean, I’m glad she’s telling Kelsey the truth but Kelsey not being okay with Chiza is HYPOCRITICAL. As you have pointed out a billion times, she has literally no line between work and play.

IMG_6295

KC: Also, she’s being a diva here. And so hypocritical. And BTW, I’m not on board with ‘Chiza’. We are going to discuss that later.

CC: Agreed. In a pitch meeting and Kelsey needs to calm the eff down.

IMG_6299

KC: Seriously. Kelsey.

CC: So unprofessional. It’s a business pitch. I really don’t think Liza deserves to be frozen out like this. I’m not happy with Kelsey. Do you think it’s a coincidence that Liza’s dress is very school girl? And this is so school yard? Is Kelsey going to blackmail her boss? OH MY GOD. :O

KC: SHE TOTALLY IS. THIS IS SO NOT ON.

IMG_6305

CC: NO. What’s happened to Kelsey!?

KC: KELSEY, LIKE WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?

CC: First season, first ep, Kelsey, “I’ve got you, girl.” Where’d she go!? Charles tells Liza, “We need to talk.” What about!? OH MY GOD, Lauren’s dress! “Kelsey Peters, Maverick.”

IMG_6313

KC: Diana and Lauren watching porn at the Glamour party is my new aesthetic.

CC: I want to be at that table. “Thank you, Diva.” I’m in love with this.

KC: Anytime, Diva.

CC: Their new friendship could be world-ending.

KC: Diana and Lauren need to open their own marketing firm. And then film it. And have a Younger spin off.

CC: Okay, Charles is going to bite back….Kelsey is his protégé! She can’t blackmail him.

KC: And Charles is totally giving into the blackmail.

CC: “What I do in this company, and in my life, is my business. Because it is my business.”

IMG_6328

KC: Yes, Charles! Tell her!

CC: YES

KC: She was WAY out of line.

CC: Wait. Why has he shaved off his half-beard?

KC: Because all beards have faecal matter in them.

CC: Even in 2mm?

KC: WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH KELSEY?

IMG_6334 2

CC: She’s all over the place, I know. I have goosebumps though. That was a beautiful scene.

KC: Also, Liza is making Kelsey feel all the bad feelings she should have been feeling in the first place.

CC: I mean it’s also a catch 22, because any friend that would make you choose between them and a man you love isn’t a friend worth having.

KC: No! No! NO ALLISON JANNEY!

CC: And WHAT? NO ALLISON JANNEY? I’m feeling very anxious about this. Is Kelsey (new, kind of crazy Kelsey) going to spill some kind of danger beans?

IMG_6341 2

KC: Agreed. Kelsey better be making one hell of a public apology right now.

CC: “A partnership like ours is rare, and sometimes challenging.”

KC: Keep going, Kelsey.

CC: Yes, okay. That was better. This makes me happy. But woah, she was cray cray for a while there.

KC: As apologies go, I’m going to grudgingly accept on Liza’s behalf. But I’m going to be watching her. 👀

CC: Ooooh, Enzo explaining the porn. It just makes him hotter.

KC: Enzo- I come with baggage. Diana – I know how you come.

CC: “And it’s not like anyone else.”

KC: Diana! SAUCY.

CC: Oh, this is adorable. This episode has all the feels. Oh, God. Is Charles going to put the brakes on things!? Again!?

IMG_6346 2

KC: This episode is all chicks before dicks.

CC: Oh, no, phew. Just reinstating secrecy.

KC: Ovaries before brovaries. “Nothing worth having comes easy.”

CC: I’m love that.

KC: New status quo obtained. And still Diana is in the dark.

CC: Okay, that was good. But yet again, Younger play it a bit fast and loose with their characterisations!? Kelsey doesn’t really have that reaction in her. I mean, yes, be disgruntled, but to take it out in a business meeting? And not to show any concern or want to talk to Liza about this development?  But there’s a new secret – because the age secret had kind of lost its juice.

KC: New secret trumps old secret.

CC: Totally.

KC: That could be the big reveal though. Diana? I’m sleeping with Charles. Also, I’m forty, but Charles and I are together. It’s like a shit secret sandwich.

CC: t’s totally a shit-secret-sandwich.

KC: I wonder if Diana and Enzo are going to watch the video together.

CC: Same! I also wonder about their long term. Could Diana be heading for marriage!?

KC: I mean, if she can find the honking appealing, that’s long-term potential for sure.

CC: That honk is like a barge pulling in.

KC: It takes all kinds, my friend. It takes all kinds.

Younger

 

It’s a new-book kinda day! 🎉

Ever thine. Ever mine. Evermore.

The third book in my five-book The Evermore Series hits e-shelves today and I am so excited.

I had the idea for this series a while ago, and this couple in particular and their conundrum really lodged in my mind. The series itself is about love and romance, but also: destiny and fate, and the wheels that are always turning to pull us closer together. These are love stories that are bigger than time and space – they are forged in the stars. My couples in this series have so much thrown at them, from other people and life circumstance, but also from their own emotional vulnerabilities and character traits, that it’s almost impossible to see how they’ll find their own HEA. 💔

Fortunately for us, they do, and I so love their journeys!

Untitled design-13Xavier and Ellie’s book is out today (CLAIMING HIS SECRET BABY), and later in the year, we’ll get Arabella’s story (you’ll meet her in this book) and her sister Sophia’s story. And they’re Christmas books (my very favourite!). If you haven’t read any of the books in The Evermore Series, I’d recommend starting with THE SHEIKH’S BABY BARGAIN, followed by THE GREEK’S VIRGIN CAPTIVE. While each book is a stand-alone romance with its own very satisfying resolution, you meet the characters for the following book in the preceding book and they’re written to be enjoyed chronologically.

For now though, I’m going to bask 😊 in the delight of knowing that the thousands of you who preordered CLAIMING HIS SECRET BABY will have it live on your kindle within the next twenty four hours. If you haven’t already pre-ordered, the price will only be 99c until the book is live in all territories, then it will skip up to my usual $2.99.

One thing that would be so very helpful, if you’ve read this, or any of my books, is to leave a little review (or even a ⭐️ star rating). It makes the book much easier for lovers of love and readers of romance to find when it’s getting lots of reviews.

I’m off to celebrate 🥂 having a new book out in the ether, and one I love so very much, and I hope you have a lovely day (full of good fun, and great books!).

Love, and happy reading, CC. x

Younger Season 5 Episode 8 Recap

Younger

Younger Season 5 Episode 8 Recap : The Bubble

KC: Oooh, that’s a grown up looking restaurant.

CC: Liza and Charles on a date opens the scene – wow. This is amazing! They’re nervous!

IMG_5921

KC: Oh, Charles. He’s flirting with his open-neck shirt again. WHAT!

CC: It’s a super sensual vibe. Music, lighting, so beautiful. The slow undressing. Oh, Charles’s zipper. This is hot!

KC: Forget the collar! Those ABS! I’m so in love with Charles right now.

img_5932.jpg

CC: Yes! So much better than super-sternal notch.

KC: And it’s not just his abs.

CC: This is a really beautiful scene. Intimate and funny. It feels very right.

img_5938-2.jpg

KC: ‘Never the same’ is right. I’m so stressed about Diana finding out about this. She’s going to be devastated. Now that Liza finally has The Man. She needs to figure out how to keep her mentor.

CC: Saying ‘goodbye’ outside Liza’s apartment, the juxtaposition of his limo with her graffiti-covered building – is all so symbolic of the differences between them. Annnnd… ten days later.

img_5946.jpg

KC: Liza is definitely starting to dress older. She’s her normal cheery self. I love it.

CC: Charles is back… with a beard?

img_5957.jpg

KC: OH MY GOD. THE BEARD! WHAT IS WITH THE BEARD? MAKE IT STOP! NO BEARD.

CC: Diana, Kelsey and Liza don’t know how to react to that. This is awkward! Charles is speaking personally to each of them but not Liza. Nothing for Liza. Diana is so us in this moment – that beard!

KC: Ugh crumbs. Diana is definitely me.

img_5965.jpg

CC: Aw. Him texting Liza ‘hi’ is EVERYTHING. Start of a secret relationship is the best.

KC: Why is Kelsey in jeans!?

img_5967.jpg

CC: It’s so not Kelsey!

KC: Yes, that text message is just…so sweet and so shy and so everything.

CC: Zane is back to being bastardy. OH BOY. The beard. Just when you think you’ve forgotten, it’s back.

KC: BUT I’M STILL STRESSED ABOUT THE HR IMPLICATIONS. I AM BREAKING OUT IN HIVES. And sleeveless in January in New York is… It’s unlikely. I am so looking forward to Sophia Bell. The new Dr Ruth.

CC: The conversations between Liza and Charles – They are doing SO WELL with this (and this is coming from someone who is squarely TEAM JOSH).

KC: Clare, I feel like there is subtext in this scene.

CC: It’s a lesson on communication in romance. ‘Mystery is where the erotic thrives’ — timed with Charles touching Liza’s leg beneath the table.

img_5970.jpg

KC: Like, maybe I’m wrong. It’s pretty subtle.

CC: STOP LOOKING AT CHARLES, LIZA!

img_5971.jpg

KC: Busy having sex. THAT BEARD IS SO TERRIBLE.

CC: With him grabbing her at every opportunity and her staring at him. And cut to Josh! Josh, josh, josh. Stop being so damned hot. Now that is a man who can pull off a beard.

KC: Maggie is dressed super subtly. I don’t like it. Don’t tone down my Mags.

CC: I’m loving Lauren. Maggie. Josh. Three of my faves.

img_5980.jpg

KC: ‘We shouldn’t, until you shave.’ I hear you, Liza. No kissing with the soup strainer.

CC: Oh, God, No. Liza putting the brakes on everything and Charles just wants to stay in the ‘bubble’ for another night.

KC: I love when Charles has ideas. He always has great ideas.

CC: I can’t handle the beard. He’s reminding me of someone.

KC: Ready to take a ride!? I mean, HELL YEAH, Charles. Oh, not that kind of ride.

CC: Look, I know you are all about Charles, but can I just say, I’m not sure about this. She’s already done fun and hip. That’s Josh.

KC: I feel like this is a New York attraction that paid a lot of money to be in that spot.

img_5994.jpg

CC: Yes. It definitely has that irrelevant kind of feeling.

KC: Wow. Jake is going to places that Kelsey is not.

CC: Why is Kelsey freaking out about the idea of Jack/Jake/John moving to New York?

KC: ‘I’ve been here before.’ Yes you have, Kelsey. YES. YOU. HAVE.

CC: “I’ve made the mistake of getting involved with people I work with.” YES YOU HAVE. HA! SNAP! Kelsey wants to pull back, and be there for Josh professionally, when he’s just practically asked her to move in with him. OUCHIE.

KC: I really don’t think that you’re going to be able to manage this, Kelsey.

CC: I mean, Jake, FFS.

KC: Kelsey has so very little self-control. Or impulse control.

CC: I think she’s right to be cautious and honest and look after her brand. BUT I think this horse has bolted. And it was always going to be difficult to manage, so why even go there!?

KC: I love that we’re seeing Lauren develop into an actual secondary character this season, with her own (shallow) plot lines. WAIT

img_5981-2.jpg

CC: Maggie and blondie will hook up. NO have hooked up.

KC: We know her!

CC: :O

KC: Oh Malkie. This is not going to be a good date for Lauren.

CC: Poor Lauren.

KC: Why is Malkie laying all her stuff on the table?

CC: I LOVE Josh. Right here, this is why he’s the best. Look at how he cares for Maggie.

img_5988.jpg

KC: She’s embarrassed!? Yes, she should be! Like, geez.

CC: “Shall we do more wine? Smoke a joint?” He is the best.

KC: Josh is very caring. Never disputed that.

CC: Poor Maggie. Asking Liza if she has issues. “We all have issues.” Never truer than in Younger. Kelsey is having another pant fail? This feels unlikely? Could Hillary Duff maybe be pregnant?

KC: She’s definitely changed her style this season? I don’t know? Maybe?

CC: Diana in coffee withdrawals, smelling the coffee – God, I love her. This is me with wine right now.

KC: Even Diana’s jewellery seems to be on a cleanse.

CC: Ah! The stairwell kiss is perfect — two people who can’t bear to be away from one another.

KC: MAKING OUT AT WORK STRESSES ME OUT. THEY ARE GOING TO BE CAUGHT. HR NIGHTMARE!!!!! Lauren’s hair is so cute. I wonder if she follows the Curly Girl method.

CC: I see you are following the curly girl method! Love it. Lauren is actually amazing.

KC: Ummmm…. Malkie and Maggie couldn’t even sit together and chat politely, but now they’re playing flirty face?

CC: And I’m not really sure about the recycled flowers. Maggie bought those for Lauren.

KC: Malkie is all composed and fine now?

CC: Maggie’s lashes! I’m lash obsessed when I watch this show. I feel like they could release a line of false lashes.

KC: I call BS on the consistency of this characterisation.

CC: Yeah, it’s weird. I didn’t feel she would turn Maggie down… is this just Maggie filler?

KC: She’s only there to make Maggie have some sort of revelation.

CC: Jake is talking to Charles and this is making me very, very nervous.

KC: Ohhh, Jake.

CC: Jake’s a bastard. How can their relationship go forward for his asking for his book to me taken from Millenial!?

KC: More proof he is not the nice guy that Zane told Kelsey he is.

CC: Damn it, who is that beard making me think of?

KC: And HERE is how they get Liza and Pauline in the same space! DRAMA.

img_6011.jpg

CC: And Diana is fasting! She’s going to be sooooo hangry! This scene feels very dangerous.

KC: ???? WHAT!!! Oh, poor Diana! She’s still got her thing for Charles.

CC: I’m not happy about this. I don’t want Pauline to be like this, all threatening.

KC: No! Pauline!

CC: On, no! Liza! Don’t go there!
KC: Oh, Liza. No. No.

CC: Oh, dear! I’m not coping with my mommies fighting like this.

KC: This is not a good conversation. Kate is going to tell Empirical. I mean, Pauline. I don’t remember when Pauline found out?

CC: About age? She doesn’t know? Does she? But about Charles and Liza, she definitely suspects.

KC: No, about her and Charles. …

CC: Well, at Pauline’s book launch, Charles got angry with Liza in front of Pauline and the penny dropped for Pauline and she got cross with Liza, remember? Second episode, I think.

KC: Wait. Zane is being complimentary about Kelsey to Charles? I mean, he’s still a dick and definitely doesn’t respect the women he dates. But in this scene, he was okay.

img_6014.jpg

CC: Zane is definitely being an okay guy here, yeah. Charles gives Liza the lowdown on Pauline’s offer. She’ll keep quiet about them but she wants the option to her sequel back. She can get double at Random House. :O

KC: Penguin Random House. I mean. If you want to get technical.

CC: “I just want to stay in our bubble.”

KC: “As long as we can.”

CC: Bubbles always, without fail, burst, friends.

KC: And Liza FINALLY gives us what we all want right here:

CC: Yes, LIZA! CAN THE BEARD!

KC: YES. SHAVE. GO GET RAZORS RIGHT NOW.

CC: No, you can’t work with it! Because I can’t work with it. Charles is not Josh.

KC: Oh my God, this reminds me of an article I read earlier this week about how all beards, even those washed daily, still have faecal matter in them.

CC: WHAT?!

KC: Yeah. NO BEARDS.

CC: NO BEARDS. Are they painting the wall outside Malkie’s? This is ADORABLE – especially the Josh helping Maggie bit.

img_6020.jpg

KC: THAT, my friend, is a big gesture.

CC: Talk about grand gestures! Diana in that collar, earrings and a red jacket, asking for three almonds and hot water with lemon?! #SoDiana

KC: Diana’s necklace is getting bigger. She might be feeling cleaner.

img_6033.jpg

CC: OH MAN! THAT BEARD IS GONE!

img_6037.jpg

KC: YES!

CC: I am so glad he’s no longer a faecal face.

KC: NO MORE BEARD!

CC: OKAY, Wow. So, in summation, that was an amazing set up for the tension that’s there for them. The danger in their relationship. Plus, we get to see them happy together before they (undoubtedly) experience bubble burst.

KC: Liza’s face in this last scene is my new ‘smug’ gif. But I’m sad that this means we’re probably done with Pauline for good now?

img_6043.jpg

CC: Oh, no way! I don’t get that feeling. I suspect she still wants another kind of revenge. I think she’ll be a thorn in their side. Make life difficult.

KC: I dunno. I feel like getting her to a new publisher is firmly removing her from the picture.

CC: I don’t think Kelsey is going to be happy about another HUGE secret being kept from her. Especially if it has ramifications for her imprint.

KC: I mean, the number of workplace inappropriate people Kelsey hasrelationships with probably doesn’t give her too high a horse.

CC: That’s a very good point. But Liza’s secrecy is another issue.

KC: That’s true. Kelsey has the worst taste in men. Like, seriously, has she dated anyone who wasn’t a self-serving skeeze?

CC: Remember Kelsey’s fiancé?

KC: A very not nice guy. I do feel like Liza and Kelsey’s friendship has taken a backseat anyway. Kelsey is juggling so many men and Liza seems to have re-established her friendship with Maggie. Natural attrition?

CC: Or a side effect of Liza’s original deception.

KC: I mean, I’m not suggesting that Liza’s secret won’t cause issues. It totally will, not least of which because Charles holds all the power and also he can’t control himself at work. OH MY GOD. THE WORKPLACE ISSUES. I REALLY CAN’T, CLARE! I AM A BALL OF ANXIETY AND NERVES.

CC: Yep. The workplace issues are problematic. But I’m less tied up in knots about the HR ramifications and more worried about how their colleagues will feel. People fall in love at work – the power imbalance is dangerous, but ultimately, it’s an eyes wide open situation. HOWEVER, he should at least be trying to toe the line at work. Diana is going to feel so betrayed, and for MANY reasons.

KC: I know! It’s going to tear Diana’s fragile, insecure, tender beating heart wide open.

CC: And also because she likes Liza. And this is a betrayal.

KC: I’m really happy for Charles and Liza and also Charles abs, but Liza has two big secrets from Diana now. I’m pretty sure they both won’t last the season…

CC: Until next week!

Younger