Saturday, April 25, 2009

Inaugural post...

This might be a big mistake, but I've just bitten the blogger bullet and this is my first blog on my own account. Inspired partly by Sherrie Holmes enticing me onto Twitter and my friend Carol Marinelli embracing the net and blogosphere in one hit!

Who am I? I'm Anne Gracie and I write historical romances set in the regency era for Berkley. For more about my books go here.

I already blog twice a month with the word wenches, but this is a less organized, more frivolous and more personal blog.

I have a dog, an Australian Kelpie (cattle dog) called Chloe, and if you think it's cruel that I make her wear a red feather boa, well, here's some other pics from the photo shoot, showing just how miserable she wasn't. If ever there's a dog that likes dressing up, it's her.

I used to try and put cats in dolls' clothes when I was a little kid. I wasn't much interested in dolls, mind — just animals, but people kept giving me dolls and clothes (hoping ladylikeness would take) and I did like the clothes. We had dogs, a horse, cows and goats and everyone was cooperative about wearing old pullovers, scarves and hats and garlands (the goats used to eat the garlands, which was a little disheartening), but the real doll's clothes were all perfectly cat sized, but would the cats cooperate? No way. I still bear the scars. It was most annoying when they were the only doll-sized animals I had. But then cats always are perverse and independent creatures -- that's a huge part of their appeal. You feel so flattered when they deign to sit on you.

After I grew up I never used to be in favor of dressing up animals but a few years ago we had a Christmas party at "dog park" the park area that runs along the creek down the back of my place. It's an off-lead dog walking area and over the years the regulars have become friends. Chloe's affair with accessories started there, at that Christmas party.

One woman, Jane, owner of Chockie and Oscar, dogs who always wore stylish bandanas, turned up with 50 Christmas dog bandanas that she'd sewn herself. So I broke my rule and tied one onto Chloe — and to my amazement, she loved it. Next day she saw it in the car and got all excited and nudged it with her nose and as soon as I put it on her she sat up, proud as punch.

So then the next Valentine's day I took a photo of her with a red feather boa for my website. Most dogs would rip the boa to bits, but not this one. Nope — as you can see, she posed. 

That was several years ago and the boa is still in one piece. And why do I have a red feather boa? I have several — are they not required wearing for a writer of romance, after all? LOL.
 This particular one was a gift from Harlequin, when we had an author dinner at a romance writers conference in Melbourne, and every author was given a red feather boa. So it's truly a Romance Boa.
And if you want to read another boa story, from that same conference, go here.


  1. ooooh I'm first to comment on your first!!!
    Lovely to see you here and to see Chloe smiling! Especially the third photo down!
    I'm not live yet - still working it all out but this has inspired me to get moving with it.
    Are you twittering too!!

  2. Oh sure, blame me! At least Carol gets half the blame!

    Chloe is such a pretty pup! She's very photogenic, and obviously likes to dress up for the camera. I just love the picture of her lying on her side with an open-mouthed grin. That's one contented dog.

    I used to show Dobermans, so they got bathed frequently for dog shows. I modified a bunch of old sweatshirts into doggy shirts and they wore them happily after baths to stay warm. Dobermans just don't have enough hair or body fat to keep them warm during cold weather. Nova has her "blankies" and at bedtime she pulls her blankie over herself to stay warm at night.

    My cats have never liked to play dress-up. As I write this, my cat is on my lap mooching popcorn from me. He's in my black books because he just spit a piece of popcorn at me, and it landed right on my lip! He's also good at sneering. He is probably related to Elvis Presley. He's got the Presley sneer down pat!

  3. Carol, I'm twittering, and since I assume people will get bored of the same old site link, I bit the blogging bullet.

    And Sherrie, yes, you did start this! And yes, Chloe is a born model.
    Love your cat tale -- all cats learn to sneer somewhere in between being a dear-little-kitten and an I-own-you cat!

  4. Gorgeous pictures of Chloe, Anne! She is a born model. Monty, my black lab, is a bit of a poseur. If the camera comes out he assumes it's for him. Naturally he won't get out of bed for less than a three biscuit sum! I haven't tried dressing him up though - I have the feeling it might be a bit of a struggle!

  5. Hi Anne
    Chloe IS a born model. She's obviously flirting with the camera and enjoying every minute of being tarted up with the boa!
    I use to dress our long-suffering cats up in dolls clothes too - and push them around in the pram... for as long as they'd put up with it! And then they'd be off, shedding frilly clothes in a trail behind!
    Congratulations on your first personal blog - you're off to a great start!

  6. Let's try again. And again. And again.

  7. Wow, look! I can actually comment. So I will just say how glad I am you are here. And yea for Chloe being such a great reason for writing every day. Welcome to blogworld, Anne.

  8. Sharon, she is a flirt, isn't she? You should see her down at Dog Park when she sidles up to the various men there, sits on their feet, just so they'll notice her, then coyly present her ball to them.
    And your cats were a lot more cooperative than mine were.

    Anne McA, I'm so glad you were finally able to get through and comment. The power of persistence.

  9. There are definitely show-off dogs. In another life I worked on a tiny coral cay on the Great Barrier Reef and we had some accidental pups - old labrador thought too old to breed and sexy young cocker spaniel. Anyone one of the pups, Lady, was white with orange spots and she stayed on the island and rode the truck down to meet tourists coming off the boat. It was the days of magic silver white and from time to time we'd rinse her with it, turning her into a beautiful lavender dog. She adored it -would preen and prance and sit for pictures then go moochy and sad as the colour wore off.Meredith Webber

  10. Welcme to blogland Anne- great to see you here! And to see Chloe too (but don't tell my felines that I said that!)

    Another blog for me to bookmark and read when avoiding revisons . . .

  11. Congrats on your blog Anne - Chloe looks like she's having fun indeed :)

  12. Thanks Meredith, loved the story. Is there any possibility that Lady could feature in one of your books? It would be a lovely memorial to what sounds like a gorgeous, character-filled dog.

    Hi Kate, thanks for dropping in. Yes, blogs can eat up time when you're avoiding wips and things. LOL

    Hi Eleni -- Chloe enjoys most things -- except being told to go outside. Then she does it in slow motion, tail between legs, eyes big and reproachful, and demonstrating "Dog on Way to Execution."
    Actually she hates baths, too -- then it's "Dog Being Needlessly Tortured." She has quite a range in reproach.

  13. LOL - I know those dog looks. And I love the 'What?" look. Always one to give me a giggle.

  14. Hey Miss Gracie. You have a darling blog over here!!! recently read my first book by you (To Catch A Bride) and already have 'His Captive Lady' on deck in my reading queue. You provide great materiel for me to get lost in and then review/blog about.. can I just say thank you as a lover of reading?? lol

  15. Thanks for dropping in, Historical Romance Junkie. My poor blog is a bit neglected of late, but I'll try and be more regular in future. I'm so pleased you enjoyed to Catch a Bride. Let's hope you enjoy Captive Lady as much.