You've found the home on the net for romance writer, LaVerne Clark. Thanks for visiting! :)

I write suspense and light fantasy/paranormal set in the beautiful country of New Zealand. A land of myths and magic, Aotearoa (Maori for Long White Cloud) has always been a storytelling nation and it is my pleasure to share mine with you.

Make yourself your drink of choice, stay a while and feel free to leave comments. I love to meet new friends.

Heartpounding suspense and fantasy Downunder

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Love Comes in Unexpected Places

As the Nelson Area Coordinator of Greyhounds As Pets and a Romance Writer, I thought what could be more fitting than to post this gorgeous advertisement.

Thank you Saatchi and Saatchi for making such a beautiful ad for these amazing dogs. Lets hope it helps find more wonderful homes for these couch potatoes.

This post also gives me a good excuse to show off my own beautiful retired greyhound, Jazzy : )

Love really does come from unexpected places. I'd never have imagined just how much I would fall in love with my girl. She adds so much to our life as a family, we wouldn't be the same without her.

To find out more about these amazing animals, check out GAP's website, full of great information - but beware - they also have photos of dogs awaiting adoption - you just might fall in love! : )

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Frugal Fortnight

This post has absolutely NOTHING to do with writing, but rather, to do with a fantastic book I've discovered and a website community I belong to called Simple Savings. In these hard economic times, a website like this is invaluable and I wanted to share my recent story when I applied the basic principals of "the rules" in The $21 Challenge book. Although I spent more than $21, it was still a significant savings for us.

My hubby and I had been shocked at how quickly our Visa bill had sky-rocketed, and with him being the sole bread-winner with me at home with the children, we needed to find some money from somewhere, or rein some back in somehow.

I've always shopped on a tight budget for groceries, it's what you do on a single income, but then I wondered if with the help of the book, I might be able to do better. So I set about a quick stock-take of the freezer, pantry and garden and planned a fortnight of meals from there. I was shocked at how easy it was, even without a freezer bursting with meat. We've eaten well, (if a little unconventional at times!) and best of all, I managed to save us $130 for the fortnight!

Here is the list of our meals for your interest.

Breakfast - Toast and cereal
                           Lunch - Meat and coleslaw sandwiches
                           Dinner - Baked Potatoes with Bacon/Cheese sauce and a side of coleslaw
Breakfast - Toast and cereal
Lunch - Leftover dinner from Wednesday
Sandwiches for the children
Dinner - Pancakes
Breakfast - Toast and cereal
Lunch - Baked beans and egg on toast
Dinner - Pumpkin soup and homemade Pizza bread
Breakfast - Toast and cereal
Lunch - Pumpkin soup and cheese toasties
Dinner - Chicken wraps and oven fries (both homemade)
Breakfast - Bacon and Eggs
Lunch - scrambled eggs
Dinner - Thai chicken soup and homemade pizzas
Breakfast - Toast and cereal
Lunch - Soup and toasted Sandwiches
Dinner - Smoked chicken pasta
Breakfast - Toast and cereal
Lunch - Left over pasta
Dinner - Spaghetti Bolognase

SNACKS (home baking): Popcorn, orange loaf, biscuits, cheese crunchies, fruit, chocolate slice

2ND WEEK - much the same with the exceptions below
  Dinner - Shepherds Pie (left-over Bolognese)
Dinner - Fried rice with Chicken
Dinner - Pancakes
Omelets and homemade chips
Sausages, Mashed potato and vegetables

SNACKS - As the week previous

So, there we go. Most of the meat we had in the freezer and the meat which was there, I stretched for two days worth of meals - either for lunch or dinner - and everything else, I made with my baking supplies. The only things I needed to buy was milk, bread, fruit and vegetables.

We ate well, had extra money to pay bills and I loved knowing what I was to cook for dinner that night. It also had the added benefit of reducing the"what am I going to do for dinner?" stress, making for a much more harmonious home! Think we'll be doing this every couple of months!


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Bernice Taylor - A True Wonderwoman

Everyone thinks their mum is the best, but I really DO have the very best one there is - and I'll tell you why.

For starters - just look at her. She is beautiful isn't she? : ) But her beauty is not just on the outside. Mum is the kind of person others are drawn to instantly. As my brothers and I were growing up, our house was the communal meeting house for all the kids. With four children plus their friends, you can imagine the noise - and mess that goes hand-in-hand with
that many bodies lounging around.

But mess has never bothered my Mum. She'd much rather have a messy home filled with laughter, than a quiet house with the occupants too afraid to move anything out of place, or, God forbid, leave crumbs behind on pristine surfaces! Being only 17 years older than my oldest brother and his friends, it wasn't unusual to find her lending an ear to teenage angst from both the guys and girls. I'm sure she has saved many from going down that dark path of no return, just by being there and listening in that non-judgemental way she has.

My parents also have one of the strongest marriages I know of and is one us kids aspire to for our own. I credit each of our relationship's surviving the tough times by my parent's example of how married life should be. Married for 37 years now, they've been together since their teens and have weathered the storm of life, even with huge odds thrown at them from time to time. Although not always a bed of roses, they'v
e shown us that love really does conquer all and as long as you stay best friends and hold on to each other when things are hard, you will come through it intact and stronger than ever.

Speaking of best friends, my Mum is mine and I'm so proud and lucky to call her that. She has been there to mop up my tears when I was bullied at school, cuddled me and listened during a painful breakup with the boy I loved (who later became my husband after seeing the error of his ways!) and most recently, flew down to be with me while I was so sick and
having to make the most awful decision of my life because of it. Although I had my husband there
also, there is nothing like having your Mum to hold and comfort you when things are bad. She cried with me and held my hand throughout and I am forever grateful to have had her by my side. Not once did she waver from being the rock I needed. She has all the time in the world for me and my family, even while running a very successful, award-winning Motel which is a 24 hour operation.

So - that is my Mum in a nut-shell. But of course, she is so much more than that, but mere words can't describe what an amazing person she is. When I grow up, I want to be just like my Mum and I hope I can be the Mum to my own children that mine is to me. That is quite something to live up to!

Thank you for everything and Happy Mother's day!
Love you Mum, xxxx

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Radio Debut - yikes!!

At this moment in time, I'm thinking - Why? You crazy woman, you!

I'm guesting on Edin Road Radio, reading an excerpt from my book Guardian of the Jewel, then chatting with the wonderful host, Jesse.

Should be fun right? Yep - but unfortunately, I'm blessed (being sarcastic here) with a high voice, and when I get nervous, it tends to get even higher! Oh well, who knows, someone at Disney may hear me and decide to offer me a job as Minnie Mouse in future movies! : )

I'm sure, come tomorrow 11.30am (American time Wednesday 5th, 6.30pm) I'll be on a high and thrilled about it all, but at the moment I'm feeling a little sick. If you do listen, I'd love to know what you thought. I think it's a great initiative for writers and Edin Road radio deserve all the support we can give them.