Check out my latest contest at Goodreads - June 20 - July 4. You could win one of ten signed Suspect Witness with matching bookmark - plus a special little gift tucked in with each book. Check it out here:
& Exercise Motivation” begins with a bang as it opens on a classic
demotivating day - cold, grey and rainy.It’s the type of day that is so dreary that it can easily make you want
to stay, if not in bed, at least indoors.But that isn’t where the book takes you, instead it shows you what you
can and will do if you want to succeed at getting fit.
on fitness from fitness guru James Atkinson, is a surprise in that it’s not so
much about how to become fit as it is about how to acquire the motivation
needed to become fit. He doesn’t pull any punches as, with touches of humor, he
leads us along the path of mental training, the key to success.
fitness coach, trainer and bodybuilder, the author knows what he’s talking
about when he discusses the trials of establishing a fitness program. With
powerful examples taken from his own experiences in the military and body
building, he gives vivid examples of how mindset can make or break fitness
a read to get motivated or just keep on hand to reread at the end of a week
long training session to keep yourself motivated for the next.
Note to all you readers: If you like to review the occasional book yourself, check out this week's Choosy Choosy Bookworm link and then scroll down to my books, Suspect Witness and Legacy of Fear. Both books are available for a short time in exchange for an honest review.
Today, I went for a bike ride along the bike path that winds through city following the path of Wascana Creek. It's rather like being in the country when you're still in the city. The bullrushes crowd along the shore of the creek and birds perch on stalks of plants I can't identify. The sky is that crystal clear blue that prairie skies are known for. I pass a couple of women chatting as they walk their dogs, both of them wearing matching pink harnesses - the dogs that is.
The path winds along, I pass another biker and two joggers before I hit the hill that leads to the overpass, taking me over the road that rings around the city. A semi passes and reminds me that all that nature I just left was still part of the city.
The path leads on and just across the road is the cemetery. It's a place where my dad, grandparents and a few aunts and uncles now rest. It's also a place that holds so many stories. There are sad stories here, heartbreakers like the cluster of baby graves. But there's also lives well worn, savoured and enjoyed before a day was called. There's the couple that were 102 and 101 when they called it a day. There's the husband who died in 1965 and the wife who waited fifty years after that to join him. There's the grown daughter who's name is inscribed between that of her parents' and beneath her name is something else, an image of a dog. I'm not sure if the dog was quietly buried there as well, I like to imagine he might have been. A lovely tribute even if a major infraction of cemetery rules.
I walk between a row of headstones, pushing my bike along, making sure that I'm the required distance from the headstones so, as my mother used to say, I don't step on anyone's feet.
In an older section, there's headstones that have been there so long that age and time has begun to dull the inscriptions. And then there there's the imaginative inscriptions:
"He hit a home run."
"Somewhere my love."
There are secrets hidden here, some of them buried forever and maybe too dark to ever be told. And others are just waiting to tell their story. The stories are told in the cryptic words on a headstone, some say not a whole lot and others describe a life.
The graves are a reminder that every life has it's own unique story and oddly, there's inspiration in that.
So for the first time I've been faced with a deadline that, well arrived sooner than I expected. Who am I kidding? Deadlines always arrive sooner than you expect. So this time, while managing the deadline, I also met a new man. Yes, that's right, a new man with a sultry voice. Okay, not quite. Alex claims to be a man but he's not, not really, not like he claims. In fact, he's not a man that DH need give a second thought to. He's not fictional but he is kind of real. He reads to me in the quiet of my office and somehow that seems so wrong.
But let me explain. There's nothing wrong with just me and him alone in my office, his silken tones seductive and... Alright, so his tones are not so silken and aside from a slight hint of an accent, his voice is slightly robotic. Although he does have his times, little nuances here and there. A mispronunciation, oops he slipped on one of my misspellings. Alex is not quite the man of anyone's dreams but he's definitely the man I've been spending some times with lately.
Who is Alex? Well, it's hard to describe him for he lives somewhere in the bowels of my computer.
My MacBookAir has a choice of speakers, sexes and I believe even accents. So I chose Alex. Now, he's the voice that will read my story to me, should I wish. And after reading a chapter or two one too many times, fresh eyes, no matter how mechanical, are welcome. So Alex reads and I'm proud to say that he even has the occasional attempt at inflection.
When something just isn't quite working or you've looked at a chapter, paragraph, whatever... once too many times, Alex is my first go-to guy. And he's done a pretty good job. Reading to me as I drink my coffee and follow along, as the sun dashes away what is left of the night. It's just me and Alex, my feet tucked up on my chair. Me and Alex. I have to admit, after a chapter or two, I'm ready to turn Alex off but he's got me out of my head and on the right path, and I suppose that was the purpose in the first place.
A good pair of human eyes beats hands down, sorry Alex.
So another deadline is met and book two of the Sheik series for Harlequin Intrigue is off to my editor. I'm pretty excited about Zafir's and Jade's story. They've had a wild time in Wyoming and Morocco, and I suspect those wild times have only just begun. Now it's on to book three. Four books, that will be out in 2017. Emir, Zafir, Talib and Faisal - I can hardly wait to hold each of their stories, finished in my hand.
In the meantime, my neighbourhood Robin is celebrating the completion of book two, with his usual daily bath. Which, by the way, has the squirrels and other birds squawking, chirping and flailing their tails in their annoyance that the local watering hole has been emptied.
I'm off, water bottle in hand to refill and get "everyone" settled down.
It's been quiet on the blog, or at least quieter than usual. That's mostly because, since Suspect Witness was accepted and then published by Harlequin Intrigue, I've been on a learning curve that's only just beginning to level off. Of course, now I'm busy on the book that is to follow but that turns out not to be one book but four, a series:
Four powerful Sheiks, four compelling stories.
The Al-Nassar brothers have it all – power, wealth and a wildly successful security agency that provides investigative and protective services. Follow these daring brothers across the globe from Morocco to Wyoming as in case after case
these young men take danger to the edge and back before love has them
finally meet their "match".
Last newsletter giveaway
To celebrate all of this I'm running a contest or two on my newsletter over the course of the year. The first contests will be giveaways of vintage Harlequins. I thought, considering the publisher, that that might be appropriate. But aside from that, there's always something new from news to giveaways. If you're interested in checking out my newsletter, yes it even has a name, check it out here: The Walkabout.
So where was I? Right, I was coming up with excuses for my absence, and I have many - but I promise I'm changing that. Here's, another excuse though because I am on a roll. It's Income Tax time in Canada - Whoo Hoo! Okay, let's go with the reverse of that. Math is not one of my favourite subjects and I only took accounting because it was a core part of my administration certification in university and I must say that it was not my favourite course. So why am I the one in charge of completing income tax not only for me but DH and my mother too. My mom did tell me that there's
really not much to it. And I suppose, for her, there's not. She hands it to me with a "thank you, dear" on giving it up and again on me returning the results to her. Pretty slick. I really want her system.
Less than two weeks ago.
So that's why things have languished here on the site which was my first home on the internet. I'm going to amend that because there's been things going on and often this blog was also my place to go back and remind myself of all that's happened in this wonderful writing journey. Kind of my online journal, okay sanitized journal. I kept all the nasty stuff to myself. Got your attention?
So why is it that when you're deep in a story and in no need of more imaginary people speaking to you, you run into more characters?
The other day I was convinced to hit a few church bazars even though my goal is to do the reverse, gather up surplus stuff and donate to one of those same bazars. Instead, I found books. What can I say - yes I really did need the vintage hard cover of Anne of Green Gables and yes, Christmas is not my favourite holiday but I really did need that group of free tree ornaments. While church hopping we stopped for lunch in a basement lunchroom, another experience as two men were sitting at one table and had that distinctive look about them of men who live on the fringes of society. Their clothes were rather ill fitting and they were unshaven and had walking sticks, not the kind that you use to get more exercise but the kind that are used to shove garbage aside in bins looking for recyclables. And sure enough they were talking about the methods to best utilize recycling depots. They were deep in their conversation and it would have been rude to interrupt. But darn if there's not a story everywhere. In the end they left after they'd finished their coffee, with smiles, and I'm sure, full of more stories.
There's a world of stories out there and sometimes this blog is the only place I get to write them down. Till next time...
It's hard to believe how long this blog has been running but it's been here since the beginning, since the book that started it all, From the Dust in the waning months of 2007.
This morning I took a bit of a break and stumbled on this long ago post and thought it was worth a share...
The streets are still dark and early morning frost clings to the sidewalks and streets. At this hour of the morning I imagine many to-work-drives are silent. Or maybe the conversation revolves around social activities, kids, the day's schedule. I imagine most conversations don't go something like this:
"So," I begin addressing hubbie who is a bit of a political junkie. "What do you think would happen if an ambassador was shot and killed by one of the military in a military dictatorship?" I'm referring to a "small" plot complication in my current WIP (work in progress).
The street lights are pooling glints of light onto the cold chipped pavement. With snow pushing impatiently on the horizon, we're on a rapid slide to winter snow and thousands of miles away from the balmy warmth of Asia where current WIP is set.
"If it was the British Embassy how would Britain react?" I ask because the country in question was once a British Colony and is now a military dictatorship.
"You can't do that," says my previously silent spouse. Probably fearing my next move will be to phone an Embassy. And he's not far off, although I thought I'd e-mail.
"Aren't you going a little big?" he asks but it's really more of a statement.
And there's some truth in that.
In life and in fiction - How big is too big? And when is it just too much?