Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Rearview Mirror

The rear view mirror reflects home but an adventure lays ahead.  Day two has us travelling from Bozeman, Montana to Springville, Utah.   But first we head up into ski country.  It's hard to get a good picture out of a moving vehicle but in mountain country it's still an awesome shot.

Breakfast is on the road and a stop at the Blue Moon Bakery where there were fantastic scones and funky ambiance.  Nestled in the mountains this was a sleepy little town poised to come to life with the upcoming ski season.  Sadly the ambiance was quickly left behind as the road and more gorgeous scenery called.  

A small glitch where the GPS was just not cooperating and the falling apart paper map had to be consulted.

What are the odds?

Arrived in Salt Lake City and on a spur of the moment decision decided to risk driving in the dark and see the Tabernacle.  Everything was crazy busy and not a parking spot in sight.  Although in the second lap around the area there was enough time to appreciate the gorgeous historic houses that line one street.  The busyness?  Turns out they were having one of their yearly conventions.  What are the odds?

So it was off to Springville, Utah where an old bank building with marble columns and soaring ceiling now houses a restaurant.  The smile of the day was with the waiter who offered lemonade or soda as a beverage.  Expecting this, it's Utah after all, my husband asked hopefully if there was any beer.  The young man who was our waiter lit up like we'd given him a present.  "Lots of good beer," he raved.  "I know beer."  He smiled and I noticed the hole under his lip where the earring had been removed and the tattoo peaking from beneath his shirt sleeve.  Not everything is as it seems.

And the road rolls on.

In the meantime, if you haven't read about it yet, I'm hanging with some fabulous authors.  This is a fantastic chance to have some fun, find some great reads and enter for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate.  Need more books?  Want some fun picking covers and blurbs?  Check it out here:  

Safe Travels!


Monday, October 3, 2016

Meet Your Next Fave Book! And Win...Win!

I'm on the road and enjoying the sights and there'll be more of that in the next few posts.  But while I'm tripping along and looking forward to standing on the corner of Winslow, Arizona, here's what else is going on...

 It's a romantic intrigue extravaganza!

A chance to discover some great stories while entering for a chance to win a fabulous prize!

Not only that but I'm participating in this amazing contest.  Quick, pinch me!  Or better yet, just go to the site, have some fun checking out and voting for best cover and blurb, and enter to win a prize to make any book lover drool. 

Seriously, you won't want to miss this!  The prizes and the fun are completely worth checking this out.  Really!

It's all here at: 

Here's the thing, not only is this a great chance to have some fun by voting for covers and blurbs, it's also an opportunity to enter a fantastic contest that could see you winning a $100 gift certificate from Amazon or Barnes & Noble (your choice).   I don't know about you, but I love simple and this is a super easy one-click entry, no Rafflecopter or anything complicated. Winner will be announced on Oct. 18th.


Saturday, October 1, 2016

Place Is A State Of Mind

Today is the beginning of journey south.  It's a vacation to get away from it all although I'm still taking work with me.  What I bring with though, isn't really work, at least it doesn't feel like that.  When you love what you do, it doesn't feel like work.   This vacation is mostly about getting away from the usual, the mundane- the common place and the obligations for a time.  But all that is a post for another time.

In the meantime, let's state the obvious.  I love fiction and I especially love unique settings, places where I learn about people foreign to me and as I learn about them, they give me inspiration to give breath to their fictional lives.

So let's get to some places...

First stop - US customs that was slightly longer than anticipated.  Five minutes turned into fifteen, but finally we were on our way.

A few hours later, the outskirts of Sidney, Montana came into view.  Sidney is a welcoming little town, one that if we were further into our journey, would be a great place to stay but today is about making miles.  So after a slice of pizza and a coffee my husband and I head off.  Pizza and coffee, a strange combination but it worked!

Now it's off down the road and the deeper we get, unlike our shared border which is really a mirage that has you wondering if you left the country, it is so much the same.  Here though, the differences between Canada and our neighbour become clearer.  It is evident in the housing styles, in the crops and in so many other ways.  But that's travel and that's what makes it fun and enjoyable - the differences.

The differences run as shallow as they are deep.  Hours from the Canadian/American border,  we stop for gas and see - what would be a 911 call in Canada -  the armed man with the gun on his belt heading into the gas/convenience store.  Here, I take a step back and let him enter the story well ahead of me.

Inside the store, I find myself behind what I would call a cowboy, typical maybe to one born a hundred years ago but still, one born and bred to the land.  His cowboy hat is so stiff with dirt and shiny with grease that it makes me think that he was either born with it in his hand and he's worn it all his life or he inherited it.  His dirt encrusted boots indicate a life on the land and far form soap or maybe an equipment breakdown and a panicked trip to town.   Ether way, he's a character and it makes it all so deliciously foreign.

It's all intriguing and different from home, even here, these few miles over the border.   But it's all good because you know,  this is someone else's life and someone else's culture and as a writer, I greedily make a note of it all.

Seeing new sights, talking to new people, it all makes for another character, another situation and hopefully, another story.

And this is only the beginning...

...a world you never imagined

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Without A Backwards Glance...

It's that time of year on the prairies.  Fall hit hard this year and summer went away without even a backwards glance.  But autumn has its moments.  I remember as a kid the dread of the end of summer followed by the excitement of getting new school supplies.   The autumn really is a time of endings and beginning.

On the writing front, a lot of things have been happening.  I'm gearing up for the release of my series.  Beginning in April 2017 when the first of my Sheik series is released followed by three more.  Four hot brothers, all Sheiks and each with their own story.  Journey with me into the heart of Marrakech in the first of the series as Emir Al-Nassar meets his match and then some.

In the meantime, there's Suspect Witness, released this year and the happy dance goes on.  I've got a giveaway going on Goodreads - at least it will be going beginning September 11 and ending on the 19th.  Be sure to check it out.
I'm giving away a signed hard cover version of Suspect Witness that you won't easily find.

Check out the contest here:

 New issues of my newsletter, The Walkabout will soon be out to subscribers - don't miss out on news and giveaways.  There's some announcements pending.  Click The Walkabout above to receive my newsletter.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Revving Up The Creativity

I used to cook quite a bit but that cooking was a little different.  Our dog ate home not commercial - well balanced, scrutinized by a vet, but home cooked just the same.  Since Rourke passed after a happy fifteen years, I haven't cooked much of anything, my husband is a great cook so I eat well.  But even though I don't cook, or didn't - we're not sure how this is going to go, don't get me wrong, I do other things, like - clean the house - yuck.  Ok and a bunch of other stuff I won't bore anyone with.  But none of it including and especially, the cleaning, take any creativity and sometimes you need something creative that isn't writing fiction just to get back to the writing with fresh enthusiasm.

So today I had the urge to cook.  It was time to get down to basics and I'm not being literal here.  I hauled out my well-worn copy of a Betty Crocker recipe book that a friend gave me for my nineteenth birthday - and no, I'm not going to say how long ago that was.  But I will say it's holding together nicely all things considered.  So with book on the counter, I turned to a blast from the past, a one skillet recipe - a past favourite - not favourite to eat, although it will suffice, favourite to cook - translation, relatively easy.

Then, I ran into a problem, the bluetooth wasn't working.  I had to listen to my music through the speakers of my phone.  I know, I could have fiddled and fixed it but my tomato sauce was already in one hand and the music is important.  When I cook, I listen to music and yes, I'll admit it, I dance.  To be fair, I'm alone in the kitchen, there's no one to be traumatized by me waving a wooden spoon in the air or even me dancing out of synch although I swear I'm completely in step.  Yes, stay clear of the kitchen when I'm cooking, you might be whacked with a wooden spoon while I'm doing a spin - accidentally, of course.

Back to the cooking, when the majority of your creativity is pored into writing the latest story, the fourth and last in my Al-Nassar brothers' series,  it's refreshing to do something else that doesn't involve writing to rejuvenate and breathe new fire into your story.  Now after making a batch of skillet spaghetti - one of my specialties and no, in case you were wondering - restaurants will not be knocking on my door to get that well and time-worn recipe.  But they won't go away hungry and they will appreciate the glass of wine
that came with that dish.  That is provided they agreed to stay and give an extra hand with the mess that followed.

Cooking, knitting, painting - what sparks your creativity?


Monday, July 11, 2016

They're In The Mail

A reprieve in the postal situation in Canada that was threatening a mail shutdown, gave me enough wiggle room to get the signed books off to Goodreads winners this morning.  I believe the man having trouble with the photocopier was decidedly frustrated with the amount of time the transaction was taking.  But he'd already taken a fair amount of the clerk's time before my arrival and she seemed prepared to ignore him.  Meanwhile, he kept shooting frustrated looks our way, getting closer, scowling borrowing and not returning the stapler - which took more time as the clerk hunted for it.  Scowling some more, moving back and forth.  All, it seemed in a bid to get some help.  But it appeared the clerk was determined to remain focused on my mailout.  So there wasn't much I could do.  And with ten
packages all heading off to different corners of the world, it was taking a bit of time but I'd done everything I could to speed things up, the labels were written up and the packages organized as much as I could, by region.   But it all ended well, another clerk stepped in to give more assistance to the inexperienced photocopier and twenty minutes later - I can safely say the books are in the mail!

Later in the day, an afternoon jaunt headed straight into a prairie storm on a drive into the country just outside the city.  It's  the kind I remember as a child always capped off a series of hot summer days.  Recently, our summers have been up and down, hot one day, warmish the next.  But this storm came on like we'd had 30 C for a week, thunder that made me jump, and blinding rain and hail.

The storm started without much warning and ended in true prairie fashion, the air cool with the remains of the hail and everything
looking fresh and shiny.

Meantime, it's mailing list Monday over on Facebook's Harlequin Intrigue site.  My newsletter, The Walkabout is featured.  If you want to be the first to hear my book news or have access to my contests that might not be featured elsewhere, sign up now.  I'm thinking of another contest - specifically for the newsletter crowd.  Vintage anyone?  Don't miss out - The direct link is:  The Walkabout.