Sunday, December 4, 2016

Winslow, Arizona

I'm still playing catchup and moving backward to the last night on the road.

Waiting area for the train.
We spent that night in Winslow, Arizona in an old railway hotel that was turn of the century cool.  Not being a fan of the Eagles' song that has seemed to make Winslow famous, I was definitely a fan of that hotel.  And update, I came away a fan of the song too - somehow knowing something about the origins of a song makes you appreciate it that much more.  But back to the hotel, again wasn't sure what to expect.  A single room in an old hotel with no elevator is not something that comes with high expectations.  I envisioned lugging my suitcase up stairs - I was right there, in a dark and dingy - wrong on that one.

Very wrong...

The room was a comfortable size and old world elegance with furnishings that were both funky and old.  Full bookcases in the room and out.  A writer's dream!  Outside the room, the common areas were spacious and decorated with everything from art displays and reading nooks - even a memorial table for what I assume were once the resident dogs.  The hotel was an amazing place.  It's still is a drop off and pick up place for the railroad and there's a waiting area outside where you can sit comfortably waiting for the next train.  There was part of two floors that held entertainment for the guests From the funky grand piano to the paintings depicting stories behind each of the women who have been the United State's first ladies.  That was fascinating

stuff in the odd facts that were revealed and how the artist made the emotion real on the canvas.  And my favourite part - each room was dedicated to a famous person and a one page write up of their life was on the door - from the Doublemint twins to Betty Grable, if someone had opened their door they would have caught me lurking outside as I moved from door to door reading each of the write ups.  Fascinating stuff - too many to read them all though and I was feeling just a little creepy standing outside someone's door like that - even though it was really an innocent activity, really.

Then there was the reason for being here - we'd just missed the Take it Easy convention.  Yes, there is such a thing.  So the crowds have moved on but I still needed the picture.  The one beside the truck and of course then there were the requisite souvenirs.  Did I mention I'm not much into the song?  But once you're here you just fall into the mood of it all with Take it Easy and everything Eagles belting out from every store bracketing the area, the mood has been laid.

Well, I’m a standing on a corner 
in Winslow, Arizona, 
and such a fine sight to see. 
It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Fordslowin’ down to take a look at me. 
Come on, baby, don’t say maybe. 
I gotta know if your sweet love is 
gonna save me. 
We may lose and we may winthough we will never be here again. 
So open up, I’m climbin’ in, 
so take it easy.

Excerpt from the Washington Post

And in other news!

There's a sale on!  If you haven't read my first two books, From the Dust and Ring of Desire, head on over to your fave online bookstore where they're on sale for 99 cents!  

Stay on top of what's going on in my writing world by signing up for my newsletter, The Walkabout.  Just click here.


Friday, November 25, 2016

Going Backwards - The Grand Canyon

It's Black Friday and other than shopping, although I did a bit of that too - how could I not, it's time to relax after a busy week.  Giving thanks is tiring work!  Now, it's time to catch up on my trip from the Canadian prairies to Arizona.  On the road there was less time than I thought and once we arrived I was hit with a run of edits on the upcoming series.  Desert Justice - next spring... so excited!

But all that aside, I still want to finish up the highlights of the trip that finally brought me here to Arizona and a little haven from the cold winds of fall in the Saskatchewan run up to winter.

I last left you on the trip at Page, Arizona where we went through the amazing Antelope Canyon that is part of the Navajo Nation.

I was rather looking forward to seeing the Grand Canyon because I'd been there once before and had seen a whole lot of nothing.  Don't get me wrong.  It wasn't that I was unimpressed, it was that I could see literally nothing.  The year I graduated high school was the first and last time I saw the Grand Canyon until last month. Actually, that long ago trip couldn't really be classified as seeing much of anything except a foggy drizzle that settled over the canyon and allowed little to be seen.

I wrote my first travel journal all those years ago.  And it looked something like this - never mind, it looked exactly like this.  In fact, this is it - yes, I kept it.

Excerpt (disclaimer:  I even then fancied myself a writer, but I still had a long ways to go):

"The Grand Canyon really wasn't that great.  Zion was miles and miles better.  I think Grand Canyon would have been just as nice if we'd had time to take the mule trip, but as it was there was only one lookout view and you could walk to the edge of the trees and see it.  There was only one souvenir shop, food place and groups of cabins.  Couldn't see much of the canyon."

And while that was what my seventeen year old self thought of the Grand Canyon on that long ago family trip, times have changed.  I remember it was a rainy, foggy day.  The tail end of the day and dad had driven for hours.  He wasn't in the best of moods and I'm betting that he only wanted to get to the hotel and call it a day.  But you can hardly just skip past the Grand Canyon.

But that day, maybe we could have.  I remember that we couldn't see even halfway into the canyon because of the fog.
And after a rather disappointing stop we climbed back into the station wagon and headed off with a sigh of relief I'm betting on my father's part and one of disappointment on my mother's.  I remember writing about what I saw in the backseat while worrying about the pimple that had unexpectedly appeared the day before.

So this time around I was really looking forward to actually seeing the Grand Canyon.  And I was really impressed with the fact that yes, there is now more than one lookout.  Although, I'm sure then, there was as well.  What I do know, is that there was a lot more to see this time.  The weather cooperated and it was a glorious day.  The chances to get close to all that beauty were everywhere.  I loved the history of the canyon and those incredibly brave people that actually attempted to first scale it.  Then there was the heart wrenching story of the plane crash knitted amongst all the natural beauty.  It was an awe inspiring place.  I'm glad I finally made it back.

So now the Grand Canyon is behind me and so is thanksgiving.  But I can still give a bit of thanks.  So here goes.  I'm thankful for so many things.  But this time, I'm going to pick one little thing - that journal.  I'm thankful that on that long ago trip, I kept my first travel journal that has reminded me in the years that followed to hang on to the dream.  That journal reminded me to keep believing that one day I would be a writer.  I suppose what I didn't know back then was that I was aways a writer, it would just take me awhile to grow into being an author.

What did your teenage self have to say?  What would they tell you now?

Want to keep up with the latest news?  Check out the latest contests?  The last issue had three separate contests for a variety of prizes.  Sign up for my newsletter The Walkabout:  Click here.  

Thursday, November 17, 2016

A Deal On Black Friday? - You Bet!

Seriously, I know there's a lot of deals out there but this Black Friday event is fantastic because there's more than one.  Good enough reason?  I think so.  So here are two deals and a contest that has a lot of deals...  Beginning with the deals that end soon.

Today only, Legacy of Fear is on sale for 99 cents.

A lost woman’s language, a deadly secret and passion neither can escape. In the heart of China, linguists, Max and Andra are on borrowed time as they race death to save lives and a treasure that is impossibly rare.

Hurry before the sale ends.

Click at any of the online stores below to  check out the sale at online bookstores including:

Amazon             Barnes &Noble           Kobo                 


For just a few more days, my romantic suspense, Fatal Intent is on sale for only 99 cents.

When a scientific expedition into the Borneo jungle goes horribly wrong, Garrett turns to the one man who may help them.  Instead, she finds unexpected solace in his arms.  But faced with death and betrayal, in a battle of wits that puts lives on the edge, can anyone be trusted?

Hurry before the sale ends.

Click at any of the online stores below to  check out the sale at online bookstores including:

Amazon             Barnes &Noble           Kobo                 


The Kindle Book Review presents the Amazon $400 Shopping Spree.  Sponsored by authors featuring their bargain great reads including Fatal Intent.

Enter to win an Amazon Shopping Spree worth $400.

Contest ends November 23, 2016.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Desert Justice is available for pre-order!

Four powerful young Sheiks...
Four compelling stories

The Al-Nassar brothers have it all - power and wealth and a successful security agency that mitigates danger by providing investigative and protective services to its clients.  Follow the daring brothers across the globe from Morocco to Wyoming as in case after case these young men take it to the edge and back.

The first and second in the series - Sheik's Rule and Sheik's Rescue are available for pre-order at online bookstores including:

Sheik's Rule:
Amazon       Barnes & Noble     Kobo      

Sheik's Rescue:
Amazon      Barnes & Noble      Kobo      


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Journey Continues - The Road Goes Backwards

I'm still on the road heading south.  At least that's how it is on the blog.  I didn't finish writing about the trip even though I did arrive at my destination.  So, bear with me, I have to go backwards because my on the road diary snagged on that thing called "life."  I thought I'd catch up on all the sights of my journey when I got to my destination and instead I no sooner pulled my suitcase through the door before deadlines began.  Apparently, writing a series means that there's not just one book that needs a bit of love and attention, but three others.  I'm learning, I really am.  And the series - more on that later...  Or if you'd like a play by play on what's happening, where it's all at and yes, contests and giveaways, sign up for my newsletter, The Walkabout.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes
There's some irony in travelling backwards with my blog post because part of this trip was revisiting the past.  Soon, you'll see, the route will take us to a place I haven't been since I was a teenager.  I'm rather looking forward to seeing the Grand Canyon as that trip was where I wrote my first travel journal  But that's another post - we're not there yet.  Now, the
road stretches ahead of us.  On this leg of the journey, Utah is behind us and we're headed to Page, Arizona.  There, the Grand Canyon isn't a thought as there's canyons galore and lots of height related, stomach churning sights to keep anyone with a fear of heights in a continual state of fright.  But it's beautiful too. And, along the route we stumble on a sign for the Coral Pink Sand Dunes.  Almost drove by, and I'm so glad we didn't.  

The days end, is Page, Arizona.  The next day it's on to the Antelope Canyon.  The Canyon is on land that belongs to the Navajo Nation.  So the tour is run by the Navajo and our guide is a young Navajo man who is anxious to head to England to study music and is also an avid traveller.  There's a young couple from Slovenia and another couple from Belgium, someone from China and another couple from Japan.  I might be a foreigner too but in this group, Canada is looking pretty ordinary.  Meantime, our guide continued on about travel and his love of it and fills in all that with bits about the canyon which is looking not at all inspiring.   At this point I'm not sure why we need a guide except to tell us about the fascinating Navajo aspect and maybe a bit about the fauna.  But then it gets interesting.  We're going down - way down!

Our guide looks back at us, reaches over to help one woman who just fell down a stretch of sloping, foot polished rock and leads the way to narrow metal stairs that disappear into the earth.  ""If you're scared of heights just go up."  Up?  I look down, way down.  It's a metal narrow ladder with a bevy of people in front and now behind as we begin the journey.  There's no way anyone is going back up.  Instead we're heading down and the irony is that this canyon stretches deep into the earth, deep enough that if any of us slip on this treacherous ladder someone or many someones could die.  Yes, such thoughts run through my head.
More height - we visited a dam

Did I mention I hate heights?

And I really didn't need the story of the tourist who didn't follow instructions not to take pictures while on the stairs and fell who knows how many feet to his, I assume death.  That part of the story gets glossed over.  Maybe our guide realized that the graphic story might have been a bit too much.

All of that aside, it was worth it.  The canyon is awe inspiring.  If you're ever in Page, it's a must see.

Tomorrow, yes tomorrow.  I'm not done yet.  There's more, much more!  I'm still going backwards on the road - the road that's coming forward, to here, the now.  So more travel stories.

In the heart Borneo death & passion collide

But speaking of more - My romantic suspense set in the heart of the Borneo jungle, Fatal Intent, is on sale for 99 cents!  Check it out here on Amazon or any of your fave online bookstores!

That's not all - Fatal Intent will be part of a sponsorship for an incredible $400 Amazon Shopping Spree prize on the Black Friday Giveaway.  The chance for $400 Amazon shopping spree is  happening tomorrow.  So check back here, the prizes, the trip, it all continues - or in the case of the Black Friday giveaway, it begins.


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.