When plants communicate with each other …

Young corn communicate through clicking noises (https://www.news.uwa.edu.au/201204034491/research/talking-plants)

I’m writing and researching my new romance based around perfumes and perfumery. I’m discovering lots of information I was previously unaware of – like the processes for developing absolutes, concrete, enfleurage pomades and so on.

It is true that every profession controls access to the knowledge within it by applying its own language and attribution of specialised meanings to particular words (eg concrete). While I’m not seeking to invade the profession of the perfumer, I do want to know enough that my characters can navigate that domain without too much embarrassment.

So I search and I study and I find myself wandering off into unknown worlds, some of which can be confronting, but each provides an education of a sort.

This morning I went down a rabbit-hole exploring the plants that provide us with their very essence in order that we may wear it as perfume or diffuse it as fragrance or employ it medicinally or in some other fashion.

By whatever means, a click here a side-bar there, my internet perambulations brought me to a couple of sites discussing how plants communicate with each other, how they ‘learn’, and defences they might deploy for their own protection or for other plants around them.

Who’d have thought? Obviously, lots of scientists. Check out this National Geographic documentary.

An NPR article on “Are plants talking to each other?” and an Australian Geographic article, “Plants talk to each other” refer to collaborative experiments across the University of Western Australia, the University of Bristol and the University of Florence in which it was discovered that corn seedlings communicate with each other using clicking noises. Fascinating!

I can’t be sure yet how much, if any, of this information will find its way into my story. Let the characters decide.

The Beaulieu Birthright is the second story in my Priceless Heritage series.

The first book was “The Salignac Legacy” released by Champagne Book Group on November 16, 2020.

Blogging with purpose

I’ve just read an interesting article about blogging for fiction writers by Icy Sedgwick.

My takeway from it was that I can use the research I’m doing for my books to keep my readers abreast of what I’m writing.

For me that can serve two purposes: the first is that I double-dip on the research for my works in progress – use it for the story and give my readers hints about where the story is heading; the second is that I can expand my brains trust beyond google and beyond my long-suffering but well-informed family – hubby, son, daughter, grandson, sisters, nephews (great for dancing, cars and snakes :) ) and nieces (Japan, drugs, autism spectrum etc) – and into a much more widely informed base of reader-brains-trust.

If you know something more about my topic as I present it, feel free to add your voice.



Passion in Print

The first two Rosettis books have found a home…

Three weeks ago I entered a SavvyAuthors pitch session and got requests from Passion in Print for the first three chapters, final chapter and synopsis for both of the books I pitched.  Then there was the follow up request for the full manuscripts.

I did a check of the usual sites that warn writers about potentially difficult publishers and was pleasantly surprised to find no adverse comments about PinP. Such sites have made me wary, previously, about even following up on some pitch requests. I checked out the PinP web site and found that many of their publications were somewhat racier than what I write and their main brand ManLoveRomance was established to meet the need for a gay romance market – another genre I haven’t even tried to write.

My books are fairly tame by comparison – only a couple of sex scenes and then only within an established relationship. I write strong, independent women who don’t stand for nonsense. Their men have made their own mark in the world and have usually had to overcome some physical or emotional adversity along the way. So a bit different from the PinP catalogue, I thought.

But someone at PinP had read my stories. The quick turnaround times for requests, follow up requests and contract offers made me feel that they truly wanted my books.There was no havering. There was no “let ’em sweat” arrogance.

Two weeks ago, I signed the contracts. In the first week I was given approximate publication dates for August and September, and this week, I find I am already trying to decide which of the wonderful cover selections to choose for ‘Happy with the Millionaire’.

The people at PinP are wonderful to work with and highly efficient. I’ll be running to keep up!

I don’t want to put the mockers on it (Australian expression meaning to jinx) but I can’t wait for the next part of the journey. And I’m looking forward to alerting you to the publication of “Loving the Celebrity Chef” and “Happy with the Millionaire” later in the year.

And then there are the others….

Other works I have in progress at the moment are:

“On Board with the Billionaire” is a contemporary romance set mostly on board a boutique cruise ship in the Aegean Sea. Tristan, a Melbourne-based finance broker takes on the undercover role as temporary Crew Purser to find out who is undermining and threatening her friend. Marco is heir to the cruise line empire and is also undercover as the Finance Officer trying to find out how the signature ship for the line is suddenly losing  money. He has Tristan’s friend dead in his sights. They both know they have only a week to solve the problem as they see it. Can they withstand their attraction to each other and maintain their assumed roles so they can each achieve what they are on board to do?


The rural romances below will be written under the nom de plume of Maree Kerridge to differentiate them from the non-rural romance stories.


“The Major’s Secret Baby” – a contemporary rural romance, planned to be part of a locational trilogy.

Nash and Jo spent a lot of their growing up time together which culminated in an afternoon of passion before Nash left the small country town to go to Army Officer Training at Duntroon. When Jo finds that she is pregnant and tries to call him, Nash’s phone is answered by someone who tells her that Nash has moved on, says he wants nothing further to do with Jo and she should let him go. Nash returns to town to visit his grandmother, nearly seven years later, to find that he has a son and condemns Jo for not letting him know. Can they ever learn to trust each other again for the sake of their son and is there any possibility for them to make a future together.


“Tassie Tigress” is a contemporary  romance, predominantly rural.

Maggie thinks she has met the man of her dreams when the gorgeous wannabe artist grabs her attention on her favourite Tasmanian beach. A man who enjoys the simple pleasures or watching a summer sunrise has to be a compatible companion. That illusion is shattered a week later when she learns that Conrad is a New Zealand forestry mogul visiting Maggie’s pristine wilderness with logging on his mind. Conrad is stunned to find his beautiful beach nymph is really a rabid environmentalist. There is just no place for common ground here, is there?


“The MacEoin Legacy”  is a contemporary romance that is  a city-rural crossover between Melbourne and rural Scotland.

Dougall travels to Melbourne at the behest of his elderly aunts who believe that the product that Rhiannon is making and selling is the exact recipe that has been the closely guarded secret of the MacEoins for generations – a recipe that has somehow been lost to this generation. Can Dougall persuade the Australian to travel back to Scotland with him to help reinstate the family fortunes and then can he persuade her to stay with him forever?


And then there’s this:

“My Brother Under Glass”. This one is a figment of my imagination, probably, but it won’t let go.  When I think of this story, I think in sepia. It’s a story about the battles between brothers, those that protect the other from outside influences and those of filial disappointment, grief and resistance.  This one is definitely not in the romance genre, so it may have to wait awhile, though every so often new words are added to the script.

Beauty and the Cop

A friend asked me yesterday what I was writing at the moment.  My response to her was that I write the way I read – four books at a time – and work on the one that comes to hand at any given point. Not the classic writer’s style, I’ll admit, but it keeps me interested and writing. But it does pose the problem of which book is ready to go out into the world at any point in time. So today’s series of posts serves as a reminder to me, and a sneak peek for you, of where I am in my writing schedule.

“Beauty and the Cop” is the third in the loosely connected Rosetti’s trilogy. The trilogy is contemporary romance mostly city-based. This third book has not been submitted for publication yet, but will be high on my pitching list over the next short while.

The ‘beauty’ of the piece is Ngaire who owns and runs a very successful beauty spa business near the Overseas Terminal in Sydney. She meets hardened Kings Cross cop, Mark, at a wedding. They enjoy a one-night stand that they both expect to develop into something more but Mark dismisses the business card with Ngaire’s contacts that she leaves for him, believing that it was part of the hotel’s folio of business contacts. When they do meet again accidentally, sexual tension returns full force, but Ngaire’s life was blighted once by the dreaded knock on the door that signalled the death of a loved one and Mark is hesitant to be the one to put her in that position again. Can they both move past their fears to find a haven of peace and love together?


Happy with the Millionaire

Happy with the Millionaire is the second in the the Rosetti’s trilogy and is under contract with Passion in Print Press and is slated for publication in September 2017

Hermione owns an events business in Sydney and is just starting to move into corporate events when she meets self-made IT millionaire, Zach Yarborough. Can they each move past their past experiences and the meddling of one of Zach’s poisonous employees to find happiness together?


Heat in the Kitchen

Heat in the Kitchen, now with a new title, “Loving the Celebrity Chef” is the first in a trilogy of stories loosely linked around the fictional Rosetti’s Restaurant near the Opera House in Sydney.  This story is now under contract to Passion in Print Press and is slated for publication in August 2017.

Vincent is Sydney’s top celebrity TV chef, used to popularity with women, but when Angelique arrives in his kitchen, he’s thrown by her keep-your-distance attitude.

Angelique is living in a backpacker hostel when she is robbed of her money, passport and most of her belongings. Things are dire by the time she finds a job at Rosetti’s Restaurant. The attraction between her and Vince is instant but Angelique’s goal is firmly on becoming a sous-chef in Lyon in Edouard Phillippe’s Michelin-starred restaurant both to repay her mentor’s faith and to build her own culinary reputation. She wants to have her own Michelin star.