Thursday, September 19, 2019

Writer Writer - Did you do your job?

Today I received a phone call from a friend. First off I had to race through the house searching for my phone with wet hair and expecting a telemarketer at most, a charitable request at least.

Instead it was a friend. She was in tears.

I was immediately concerned until I heard the reason why. No family members in jeopardy, no catastrophe of any kind. No - she'd read my poem.

..."It's beautiful. I can't stop crying. I'll be reading it again. And I'll probably cry again."...

These comments from a woman who I have never heard cry were some of the best words of praise I'd ever received. I couldn't stop smiling and all because I had her in tears. That wasn't right. The tears should have had me upset. But, the fact that my words touched someone that deeply was say the least - amazing.

Amazing. It's a dull little word. The only thing going for it is three syllables. I know I should have better words for what just happened. Richer words, deeper even. Words that reach into the gut. Wait, I already did that with the poem.

About the poem - it was inspired by my experience with my MIL who has dementia. I submitted it some months ago to the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) yearly poetry contest. My fingers are crossed but I know the odds are high. For it's up against talent from across Canada. So whether my poem makes it past the first hurdle and places at all or whether it doesn't - to touch someone like that is what it means to be a writer.

Today, for me, that reaction - was amazing. It reminded me of the reasons I write.  Every poem, book or short story is different but in some way you hope it reaches someone - makes them smile, laugh or even cry. Because if I've engaged someone in some way, then I've done my job.


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The Dead Sea, a tourist and a whole other  story!
On Twitter:  @ryshiakennie

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

An Official Take on an Unofficial Holiday

After a relatively bad August, at least as far as  weather was concerned, yesterday was glorious.  30 Celsius or 92 Fahrenheit, either way summer is back - a little window before fall drops the curtain. Today the weather dropped a degree or two but it's still nice and warm.

Beginning yesterday at our house we celebrated the last two days of foreseeable summer - at least as far as weather is concerned.  It’s an in-house holiday that the authorities have never heard of. In fact, I thought it up right after checking my phone late last week and seeing the weather forecast.

Here is day one of the unofficial last days of summer. 

No deadlines, no promotional quirks and no computer file organization - two hours writing related at daybreak doesn't count as a cheat - not quite.  Still I remember when summer meant freedom - hot sun, maybe a dip in the pool and basically a whole lot of fun. It seemed to go on forever when I was a kid.  And, while there's no dip in the pool, there's the promise of margaritas this evening and, before that, maybe a bike ride this afternoon. We'll see, nothing scheduled, just a day of warm sun and fun leisure.
And if a story idea comes out of all of this - bonus. 


Cheers to the last hot day of summer! At least here in the frozen north!


                                                        ...a world you never imagined!

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The Dead Sea, a tourist and a whole other  story!
On Twitter:  @ryshiakennie

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Life and Words Go On

Ma D enjoying a walk with the cart.
I never thought the day would come when my MIL aka Ma D would need a walker. She didn't believe it either - so we call it a cart. Somehow the word cart goes over much better than calling it a walker. She can still walk on her own but some days she's a little shaky and her legs give out. I never thought a cart/walker would open doors though. While I knew it was all about keeping her safe, instead I found that the world expanded. Now, we can go for much longer walks together, because first there's the stability and second, but possibly most importantly, there's a seat that she can rest on. Suddenly taking a walk takes on a whole new meaning. Just today, we explored another section of her neighbourhood that she hadn't seen before.

And, we talked books - the three that are due out this fall. First up is the American Armor series, a two-book Harlequin Intrigue series.

     American Armor - Wanted by the Marshal
                                    Marshal on a Mission

Can he keep the key witness from harm…                                               She witnessed a robbery.            
before it’s too late?                                                                                   Now she’s a killer’s target.

And, my first women's fiction is only a few months from publication. I'm so excited!
Here's a short blurb of the book that I really think of as Cassie's story. 

         Forty is just around the corner and she's going no where fast. She never got that degree she wanted and her career just hit a wall. Life couldn’t get any worse for Cassandra McDowall. At least so she thought until she had to retrieve her confused and frightened mother from the local police station. She’d known that her mother was forgetful – now she knows that it’s so much worse than that, and there’s no going back. Her mother has rapid-onset Alzheimer’s and she needs her. But, putting her going no-where life on hold to move in with her mother doesn’t turn out quite the way she expected.  
It’s a dance of wills to keep one step ahead of mother who loves to dance, to laugh and to try new things. And soon, while Cassie finds herself extricating her mother from one potentially life-threatening situation or another, she also finds herself sharing the joy of an amazing foreign sunset or taking an impromptu skate with her around the local rink. 
 It’s a year where Cassie discovers a man she thought she could never love; and, a year where mother reveals a secret that threatens everything Cassie believes herself to be.

I'll have updates about "Cassie's story" as it nears publication.


                                                        ...a world you never imagined!

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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Wanted by the Marshal -

Wanted by the Marshal is out in paperback today!  It's the first in the American Armor series.

can he keep the key witness from harm... before it's too late?

After escaping a terrifying encounter with a serial killer, RN Kiera Connell lands in the protection of US Marshal Travis Johnson. In order to make sure she stays alive to testify, Travis has to thwart whatever danger comes her way. Normally, for a pro like Travis, that's not an issue. But focusing on the mission becomes his greatest challenge as Kiera's exposure threatens to unravel all his best-laid plans.

An RN in a care home, Kiera is a caregiver on and off the job, and it is her caring nature that finds her in a nightmare that threatens her very life. Set in Wyoming, where prairie meets mountains and the landscapes stretch forever, with a cat named Lucy (just along for the ride) - Kiera proves that she might have a soft side as she cares for the vulnerable in society but she's got a spine of steel. With, don't mess with me, Travis by her side - they face a nightmare that never seems to end.

The paperback is available today at bookstores everywhere, including:,, Barnes and NobleKobo


I'm participating with a group of authors at who is offering a chance to win an Amazon Gift Card. Following me on Bookbub gives you one chance to win. With each author you follow, you get anther chance to win. 
If you want to follow me on Bookbub and get a chance at the prize - I'm listed in section three - last name on the list. Just keep scrolling down the page.

Good Luck!!


                                                        ...a world you never imagined!

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The Dead Sea, a tourist and a whole other  story!
On Twitter:  @ryshiakennie

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

New York - On the Street

RWA 2019 has come to an end and I can't believe it's over. Time to test out the subway system which, after a confusing first go - a local is quick to point out what train is ours and after that, it's a breeze - almost. First up is the Brooklyn Bridge with beautiful views of the city skyline.

Then there was the trip to Greenwich Village.  Almost peaceful in comparison to the constant motion  of Times Square. It's pretty with lots of green space and dog walkers almost everywhere.
First up is a craft sale where the dresses and uniquely embroidered jean jackets at Inca Heritage caught my eye.  A jean jacket with gorgeous embroidery of hummingbirds and flowers originating in Peru is destined to return to Canada -  my first souvenir of New York. One I can see wearing years from now. Plus, good luck - I'm her first customer!

Then it's off to find the ten foot wide house that was once the residence of Pulitzer Prize winning author, Edna St. Vincent Millay and then anthropologist, Margaret Meade, as well as a few big names from movies; Cary Grant and John Barrymore. And, as far as being ten feet wide, not quite. The actual width is nine feet, six inches wide or 2.9 metres and that's just the outside width - the inside gets just a tad smaller!

Then it's off to Chelsea and Chelsea Market where a lunch stop is a necessity and a taco is in order. And then back to Manhattan, where a street market is an unexpected find. It runs once a year, for one day only with the proceeds going to charity. What are the odds that that day is today? It's a wonderful collage of street entertainment, all sorts of crafts and goods and unique places to stop for a bite.

All in all - a lovely self-guided tour of New York.

Tomorrow, a flight heading home.  One week flew by much to quickly.


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Sunday, July 28, 2019

New York - Landed and then some!

It took three days but I’m finally in New York!

Day 1
The hotel is so huge as to be overwhelming - at least on day one.  Registered in two places - hotel and

conference. Then, with signed author copies of my upcoming book in hand, I headed to the goodie room to display my books. The goodie room is where promo items are free and there’s everything from books to bottle openers. Two were gone before I left the room, the remaining twenty by the time I returned for a quick check less than two hours later. Meantime, the hotel is packed with authors and buzzing with book related talk.  I heard the making of a three author proposal on one elevator ride.  I had to quell the urge not to jump in and help out.

Day 2
More sessions to attend and even being here, there’s some I must miss and will purchase the recordings for later. One of the high points was finally meeting my editor. Met with her and another  harlequin intrigue author at a little Italian restaurant where we had good food and conversation. And a few hours later I meet the senior editor who has final say on all our books.  In a business that’s mostly run long distance , it’s great to finally meet up. conference time, a chance to connect.

Speaking of meeting, tonight is the Harlequin Milestone Party. Harlequin too has hit a birthday milestone and we’re asked to dress vintage.  So in vintage hat and gloves, I meet up with some other harlequin intrigue writers, as well as a medical author I met while heading for the lobby. We all walk over to the ballroom across the street to where we are met with champagne and dance socks. The socks turn out to be necessary as the dancing doesn’t stop.

Day 3
The high point today was meeting up with a group of authors, one from the same province as me, and two with the same agent. Got to talk books and just enjoy a bit of downtime.

Day 4
As I cruise the goody room one last time, I know I’ll be back.  All the stressing over what to bring proved unnecessary. As unnecessary as the jacket for cool hotel rooms.  I get cold easy but with all the running around, wasn’t cold at all.  That said, I’ll follow the Girl Guide motto - be prepared. And bring a jacket, just in case.


                                                        ...a world you never imagined!

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