Monday, April 22, 2019

A Different Take on the Easter Bunny

Today's blog is a little different. I wrote a poem. I haven't written a poem in a long time. But with Easter weekend combining with getting my MIL out for a walk and that all intersecting with a line-up of children waiting for a giant Easter Bunny.  Ma D was enthralled. And, I was inspired.

                                           Mortal Ties
 The heart of Christianity
Married up to an Easter bunny
Blue jeans, a man’s shoulders and a fuzzy rabbit-like mask
A string of excited children 
The Easter Bunny 
  Stomps through fake spring flowers
    taking his oversized place 
            seated for the camera
    A string of excited children
   She smiles as she watches
Her skin crepe-like
  She shifts for a better view
     Her knees aching
As she watches
Loving the children
And knowing that 
    Time waits for no mortal
      And still 
            she watches


                                                        ...a world you never imagined!

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Sunday, March 24, 2019

What was I thinking?

I discovered the picture as I culled that ever-growing black hole of pictures that are just eating up space on my computer. It's thee picture, you know the one...that OMG moment it gives you as you stare in horror.

What was I thinking? 

I had the option of quietly walking away from the reminder. Sometimes what we do in the name of promotion should be forgotten and sometimes it needs to be remembered so that we never - ever do it again.

The timeframe: shortly after my second book was published.

The plan: To sell books at a rummage sale dressed as the  characters in From the Dust.

Some background - From the Dust is a prairie romance set in the depression era. So, sticking to the era - we attempted to recreate the characters.


Bad idea.

How bad? 

Well, first off, if my hero had really looked like my sister-in-law dressed to look like her idea of him, he might have been cast in a comedy and not in a romance. And Eva - well, I think she might not have been taken quite as seriously had she really worn that hat - and that dress and....  There's more I can point out but let's just say that live and learn takes on a whole new angle when one sees this picture.

For me, this Sunday -  it was good for a laugh.  And for all you fledgling authors out there, take note. There's promotion and then there's...moments when you can't take any of it too seriously. And as the saying goes - what doesn't kill us, makes us stronger.

Coming this fall from Harlequin Intrigue:  American Armour Miniseries


...a world she never imagined!

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Sunday, March 17, 2019

Goat Yoga With a Twist

Feeding Furbabes  was the event going on in a local hotel. And while I still have my dog food cookbook on the back burner of things I mean to do, what had my interest was a demo of Goat Yoga. Who could dodge an invite like that? Apparently a few people I discover after sending out some texts. No one but me seemed interested in checking this event out.

So, who cares about the naysayers, there are eleven strangers who were on the same wavelength - goats rock.

This is a pet event so you can bring your pet! Great. I don't have a pet right now but I love animals so I was looking forward to some pet interaction. When the first one I see is a crazy happy puppy jumping up as far as his leash lets him, I reach down to pet him at which point he decided to wrestle my hand with his needle sharp puppy teeth. One bleeding thumb wrapped in a tissue- later, I'm signing in.

"I'm sorry there are no goats today."

Now that news just bites - harder than the puppy. And, as if anticipating this, there is a trio lined up to deliver the news. One of the goats is sick and from what I understand it is only precautionary, nothing life threatening. So, that's a relief. And the yoga is going on as planned...

But no goats. I mean, goat yoga isn't exactly anything but yoga without a goat. Not exactly true.

"It's still on but now it's puppy yoga," says the tall man at the end with a hopeful tone as if puppies fix everything.

Puppy yoga, hmmm.

"We can refund your money."

Nope. I'm in.

So puppy yoga it is. And with eight adorable puppies, a group of puppy wranglers and twelve yoga participants, it was an interesting event. Try to do downward dog with a real dog licking your toes. So after an hour of puppy cuddles and kisses, and some attempts at yoga - puppy yoga ends. Apparently animals in yoga is a bit of a thing. The instructor has a studio where she has cat yoga.

It's been fun and entertaining and I actually got some exercise. Plus, I reconnected with someone who I'd gone to obedience training with my puppy ages ago and yet it seems like yesterday. Now both dogs are gone. Time moves on and sometimes we say goodbye what seems like too many times. But now isn't time for sad thoughts. Instead we laugh at the memories of those puppies of long ago, as a real-time puppy has crashed in my lap.

So, yes - no goats but puppy yoga was a hit.

Goat yoga - next year, count me in! And I might be hoping that it again morphs to puppy yoga. Either way, it should be fun.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Coming this fall from Harlequin Intrigue:  American Armour Miniseries
Wanted by the Marshal
Marshal on a Mission

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Sunday, March 3, 2019

Writing Between the Lines!

So this week there's been a few breaks in my writing. I've been working on a new proposal, a series and I've just received edits back on the first book in a Harlequin Intrigue mini-series that will be out this fall. I'm pretty excited about it and there'll be more in future blogs. But, right now, all of it, including American Armor, took a bit of a back seat to my MIL or Ma D (If you're new to my blog - Ma D is my mother-in-law or MIL, sometimes affectionately known as Ma D.)

Ma D has had a big week. There's been appointments, a birthday (which involved piano playing, of course! And,  at which she's a whiz) - all sorts of events packed into one week. The piano playing was fun but before we got to that, we had the appointment. Appointments are always a bit of a challenge. Especially because Ma D is used to being in charge. It frustrates her not to remember when and why she is going somewhere and that makes most appointments, especially medical, a bit of a challenge. To keep the frustration level down on both sides, after this recurring appointment is over, it's tradition to get her settled in the truck before returning to make the next appointment and settle the account. When I get back, she's not paying much attention to me but fixated on the street ahead of us. I shut the door and she looks over with a serious expression:

"Seventy-Five vehicles drove down this road and they're predominantly white." 

Nowadays, Ma D focuses on the little details; the child tagging behind his mother, the pink leash on the dog and vehicles - one of her faves. She's big on the colour of vehicles. I think she's always on the lookout for her fave type and colour - a yellow jeep. She doesn't mention it very much anymore but I can still hear her voice from years ago, excitedly pointing one out. Now, I can picture her in it with the wind lifting the sprouts of short white-tinged, grey hair in the wind. I can see the smile on her face. I imagine she might even speed, just a bit. Unfortunately, the driving days are long behind her.

But this isn't time for regrets - we're heading for coffee. It's an event that Ma D loves. So we head out, I don't check the seatbelt situation as, even now, Ma D is always good about buckling in but apparently the counting of cars took precedence. For the seatbelt reminder is dinging like crazy.

I look over and say, "Mum, you don't have your seatbelt on."

She gives me a puzzled look as she grabs the strap over her shoulder. 

"Yes, I do," she replies.

"I don't know. The seatbelt dinger is still going off." I can't really give my best attention to the situation without pulling over, something I'm now considering. I can see out of the corner of my eye that she's fumbling around trying to figure the seatbelt situation out. 

More fumbling.

"Oh my. I guess I don't have it on. I put the purse around my neck instead."

Every hour we spend together, every outing, Ma D teaches me that there's more than one way to live a life. And dementia sucks but it's not big enough to suck the fun out of a day. She plows through with her usual steely determination. With that in mind, there's no way I can ever complain about having a bad day. For she reminded me once again that dementia doesn't rule. While, she might be relegated to the passenger seat, she's not taking a backseat - not yet.


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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Top 5 Bookworm Hacks You Need To Know

This post is courtesy of Chelsea Parker from Pillow Talk Books. While I've never "drowned" a book in the tub, there is so much I can relate to especially with Number 2 - Finding Books Cheap. As a writer I'd like to say I've bought all my books full price. But as a reader I must say that I've bought books full price, half price, borrowed from friend or library and even bought them worn and well-loved at garage sales.  So here goes - enjoy...


The Top 5 Bookworm Hacks You need To Know:

1. Keeping Books Dry

We've all been at the end of a long, stressful day, when all you want to do is kick back with your favorite book and a hot bath. Only, you don't really feel like fiddling with your one-size-fits-none book tray, and you're not in the mood for blow drying your paperback after the inevitable surprise dipping in the tub. If you attach your book to something retractable, like a leash, you'll never have to worry about wet books again.

2. Finding Books Cheap

Balancing your book addiction and your budget gets a lot easier with bookworm hacks headed towards trimming costs down. Start off by changing your shopping habits! Wait for sales at stores, or hit up the sale events that libraries use to weed their collections. you can also find amazing books on daily deal sites like mine.

3. Moving Your Personal Library

Big moves require big planning, and trying to transfer a large number of books from point A to point B can be hard on your collection and your back. Instead of giving in to the temptation to load up as many boxes as you can, ration your books out. If you pack a box half full, then add softer things, like linens and towels on top, you'll cut down on the weight and provide built in cushioning for your book stash.

4. Bookworms and Book Bags

No bookworm hacks list is complete without book bags. They're one of the best ways to keep your books in order, cut down on buying habits, or make transportation that much easier. Bringing a book bag wherever you go is both environmentally friendly and safer than risking a plastic bag rip. Dedicated book bags can also be turned into handy reminders, if you have an overdue book problem. Hang the bag, or bags, on an easily visible hook, slap on a chalk or whiteboard patch and write down the due date.

5. Keeping your "To Read" List Trim

Having trouble keeping track of "what's next" on your reading list? Do you end up skipping over long-awaited titles to new books you maybe shouldn't have bought? Try leaving your planned next book out on a table, in the bathroom, or somewhere else you're likely to stumble over it. This also works for a book you've been having trouble keeping up with!

Being a bookworm isn't a job for the faint of heart, but anyone can use these 
tips to enjoy a good book, or two--or even two hundred.

Chelsea Parker is the scheduling editor at Pillow Talk Books.  Pillow Talk Books sends out daily emails filled with romance books from all genres. Stop by and sign up to start receiving great romance reads daily.  

Saturday, January 5, 2019

And the World Spins Into Another Year!

2018 was a tough year, there's no other way to put it.  I've seen enough emergency rooms, hospitals and doctors' offices to last me through 2019. Each time it wasn't for me but for other family members. Fortunately, everyone made it through and fingers crossed - it's all behind us.

But on to the rest of my year - getting my MIL settled in a care home. Turned out to be a lot more involved than any of us planned, and a lot more challenging. But now, she's there, and I think, for the most part, she's happy. Sometimes you can only do what you can do.

If you've kept up with my blog, I'm a dog lover without a dog - or is that pet lover without a pet, as I have had other types of pets? Anyway, these days I'm satisfying my love of creatures by enjoying the dogs of others, even those that unexpectedly arrive on my doorstep.

So, other news of the year included finding one lost dog on icy streets. A performance to get a frightened dog into the truck in freezing cold weather while keeping your balance on an icy street. It all turned out well. With fliers everywhere and the help of facebook - she did find home. But not before spending a comfortable afternoon in my living room mooching whatever treats she could and keeping out of the cold. In other news, the year has seen a small string of doggy houseguests - no not lost and found, there was only one of those - well, okay there was one other - also home safely.

Unfortunately there were a few furry friends in my circle that I said goodbye to in 2018. Jas and Gemma - you will be missed.

And on a happier note - a shoutout to two of my favourite Sunday morning coffee guys (yes they are both dogs): Dexter and Toby.

And on to book news:

My new two-book mini series, American Armor, will be
published by Harlequin Intrigue, September 2019 and October 2019.  I'm excited to see Wanted by the Marshal and Marshal on a Mission in print. More online and, of course, you can sign up for my newsletter to be at the front-end of the news. Linkups for that are also on my website. There'll be lots coming soon - so check it out!

From the Dust and Ring of Desire, will be released in audio book sometime in 2019. They are my first two books - and prove that yes I can write something besides love and death or, oops, I mean romantic suspense.

This year I actually made a New Year's resolution - truthfully a few resolutions. One that I know I'll keep is the books I'll be writing this year. So there's more romantic suspense coming at you - more on that  later in the year.

Cheers to 2019 may it be better than 2018 or at least equal to that and all the years that came before!


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