Monday, December 28, 2009

Between the Pages

 “I enjoyed the story dear but….”

“I know Mom, the sex.  Please eliminate it from the next story.”  My mother asks me this every time she reads one of my books but I sense she is beginning to lose hope.

“Great story but could you open the bedroom door a little wider?”  This from another writer after critiquing one of my middle books – obviously a more liberal reader than my mother.

“Yikes!”  What is a writer to do?

Well, for this writer the only thing to do is to listen to the characters.  It’s their life after all.  It’s they who will determine if the passion is going to sizzle off the page and they’ll share that with the reader or not.  Their personalities and life histories will dictate what happens - whether the bedroom door will be sealed tighter than Fort Knox or whether their love will be there for the world to see.  And hey, depending on what’s going on – dodging bullets might take precedence over sex.  Yes, Mom I can see your smile from here at reading that glimmer of hope.

That being said, there is a romance in every story  – and how that passion manifests itself differs from story to story.  I’ve had characters that would go at it lost in the middle of the rain forest and those that the hint of what is to come is enough to make them blush.  It’s all in the personality.

So that’s it, sex as I see it – at least between the pages of a book.

Sex, it’s all about the character or is it?


Into a chance to win something in the lull between 
one celebration and the next?  
Check out Michelle Moran's Website - a copy of her book, Cleopatra's Daughter and a piece of Roman history are up for grabs.  If you love history, Michelle's where it's at.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

It's almost here!   Remember that feeling of anticipation as a kid?

I remember looking again and again at the presents under the tree.  The rush of cold air as the door opened and closed, and outside snow drifted to the ground and covered the snow fort you'd made only yesterday.  That safe snuggly feeling of being warm and cozy while the wind picked up outside.  The treats that Mom made only once a year tempting you as they unthawed on the counter.  That good natured rap on the knuckles when you reached for one and were told to wait.  Because nothing started until Christmas Eve and then it was all official.  In our house that's when gifts were opened, when Santa arrived (usually about 8:00 p.m. or so).  And our Santa made a lot of noise.  He clanged bells (we later learned they were spoons) and roared loudly while we kids hid downstairs under the couch.  For in our house, Santa might bring gifts but we always thought he was a little scary.  And while we appreciated his gifts, we certainly didn't want to encounter him - who knew what might become of a little kid!

So with Christmas Eve just around the corner, the festivities begin.  We're heading out to the Qu'Appelle Valley, to supper with family on the edge of a wintery snow-swept lake.  Can't think of a better way to spend the early hours of Christmas Eve.  And then later tonight, back in the city, we'll open gifts while "It's a Wonderful Life" plays in the background.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Ring of Desire 2009
From the Dust 2007

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Who Said Windshield Wipers Weren't Romantic?

"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas" takes on a different meaning when you're wrestling snow iced streets packed with last minute shoppers.  That's what I did today and that's what brings up the subject of this post - windshield wipers.  Yes, you read right - windshield wipers!

They're not made for climates that see sub-zero temperatures and snow.  Most wipers are ineffective at taking snow and ice off the windshield and today, the wipers completely froze up and refused to work - not great with temperatures diving, snow pelting the windshield and grey skies threatening more to come.  What about a winter setting for windshield wipers - where their resting place is a few inches higher, high enough to reach the warmed windshield and prevent freezing?  What about a car that was actually made for winter?  What about...  Okay, sorry I was on a roll.  But a little planning sure doesn't hurt and there's a lot of us winter folk out here that would truly appreciate a real made for winter vehicle.  Did I mention planning?

In writing planning can prevent a lot of grief like having to untangle the thread of a subplot that isn't quite as logical as you first thought.  Or planning for the Christmas rush so that you can find time to write even during the craziness leading up to the holidays.

This year I forgot to plan and so the book waited until my characters began screaming at me.   But now with the book signing nicely completed, Christmas presents bought and wrapped, it's almost time to get back at it.  Almost? - maybe past time.

But my fave time of the season is just around the corner.  Christmas Day when everything settles down, the stores close and we can just sit back and enjoy.  Maybe even time to write should I awaken early enough.  In the meantime, there's just one more present to wrap - maybe while dreams of functional windshield wipers dance through my head.

And your dreams?  Do you plan for them to be slightly more romantic?

Ring of Desire 2009
From the Dust 2007

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Pre Christmas Jumble

Yesterday it seemed that every store was out of everything.  Did they all collaborate and decide shortages caused demand?  So with everything in tight supply including time I was looking forward to barbecued steak - heck we were even going to shovel off the deck for the occasion.

So the groceries are unloaded and the steak is no where to be found.  It made it to the check out - I set it on the counter myself but it didn't make it to the bill.  Once you have braved the throngs of shoppers you're not ready to run it again - steak or no steak.  So steak was off the menu.  It was just one of those days in the pre Christmas jumble.

And today it's off to Ring of Desire's official book launch.  If you happen to be kicking around Regina stop by the Book & Brier this afternoon.

Til next time.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Time Slipped By

It's that time of year where there's just too much going on and not enough time in the day.  I can hardly wait for next week when things begin to slow down and it's time to actually enjoy the season.  I'm teasing myself with the thought of a fire dancing merrily away and a book in hand.  Maybe, just maybe things will slow down enough for that to happen.

Christmas is just around the corner and that is unbelievable. Saturday is the official book launch for "Ring of Desire" and that too seems unbelievable.  Where has the time gone?

So with me debating lost time - here is another date to remember:

Tomorrow, December 18 I'll be visting Marcia Colette's blog.  Not only does she embrace the creepier side of writing but she's willing to share her space with me for a day.  Stop on by and leave a comment and you may win a copy of my new book "Ring of Desire."


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Rewind to The Great Escape

Join the festivities at  the Romance Studio where I'm blogging at their holiday blog. 

Yes the holidays are upon us and everything is in fast motion.  I for one can't believe it's December and Christmas is just around the corner.  I must be in a time warp.  But for now let's forget the rush and the craziness and take a day to just sit back and enjoy, or alternatively - there's "The Great Escape."  Read all about my Great Escape at the Romance Studio.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

What Was I Thinking?

The box of author books has arrived and I'm thrilled except for one thing...  Something to remember for future.  When picking that promo picture - going for that natural rather than poised and stuffy picture - fine.  But note to self - look at it in black and white before making your choice.


Apparently there is a difference!  So should you read my new book and take a look at the promo picture just turn that page and chalk it up to a lesson learned.  Squinting into the sun while on vacation does not transpose well in certain kinds of medium.  And please be gentle and leave it up to me to say, "What was I thinking?"
                                                                          A Lake in Thailand
It's been a week of lessons learned from organizing a book launch that for a time hitched and hiccoughed and seemed like it would never get off the ground to e-mails that went unanswered.  Then I read that readers were tired of being inundated with promotional material, that contests didn't get their attention, that give aways meant nothing.  After reading that I debated dropping the promo monster, leaving him snorting and gasping in the hallway and just getting on the cheapest flight to anywhere with a stack of good books and a well earned break.

I get not wanting to follow an author who just trumpets "buy my book."  But the rest - what is an author to do?  Because you dreamt it does not mean they will come!

On the shores of Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia

So I've determined that there's nothing to do but to carry on - keep pounding the pavement and when I get completely frustrated just work on writing the best book I can.  And that's what I'm doing this morning - doing what I love best - writing!

And this afternoon, while thinking of foreign shores, I'm going out to support an author and buy a book - someone I've never read before!

And you - what is your day looking like?


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Durian - Love it or Hate it

There are signs posted in some Malaysian Hotels - No Durian on the Premises

They're serious about this.  I wouldn't be surprised if suspected guests were frisked to ensure the premises were not contaminated.

So what or who is a  Durian?  It's no rock star or even a person.  Durian is a fruit and a popular fruit at that.  In Malaysia it is carted into cities by the truck load.  I've watched men in bare feet leap atop lorries with machetes swinging as dusk gathers lopping right and left to break the shell of this popular fruit.  In open air restaurants, diners crowd plastic tables and devour stacks of Durian. 

So with all this attention on one fruit - there is no choice but to try it.  So I did.  However, it wasn't much of a bite.  The smell got to me first.  Still I braved putting the thing in my mouth despite the smell.  That one wee bite stunk of garlic that had been tinged with a good splash of sewer water - and that was more than enough!

I may adapt easily to other places and cultures but some things I just can't understand and the Durian is one.   So I'm with the hotels that want the Durian well away from them. 

There are thousands of people that will disagree and tell you that the Durian is indeed the King of Fruit.  And who knows, maybe they're right.

Totally off topic or maybe not so much -  my latest hero has taken a shine to Led Zepplin.  This from my completely classical guy - any surprises in your travels?


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Author Tours

What can I say about a virtual author tour?  This is my first and it's definitely an experience.  It's a whirlwind of activities and without my calendar I'd be sunk.  But despite that I'm having fun.  Did I mention all the incredible people I've met these last few weeks?  Authors, bloggers, readers sometimes one person is both or even all three.  But anyway you slice it they're great people to hang out with.

So, with the tour continuing here's where I and my current sidekick "Ring of Desire" are appearing next:

Love Romance Passion are gracious enough to host me tomorrow November 25. I'll be talking about why I wrote a paranormal set in medieval times as opposed to contemporary. Come on over, chime in, say hello and enter for a chance to win a copy of Ring of Desire.

I'll be over at Ellz Readz today - stop by - and enter to win an ecopy of Ring of Desire.

Thought for the day:

"Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain.".
- author unknown


Monday, November 23, 2009

Football and a Good Book

Yesterday, for an afternoon, I was turned into a football fan! Me, who at most is happy watching only one half (preferably the back half) of any football game.

So let me back up here - yesterday was the Canadian Football League's Western Final. It was a home game that the home team won! Although I was there for a fund raiser and only saw bits until the last quarter, the noise and energy in the stands sucked me in. Awash in the home team's colours, the stadium vibrated as people hammered the upper decks and cheered their team nonstop for the entire game. How could you not be pumped?

And with a story - same thing, you want to be cheering all the way through - totally drawn into that world playing in front of you. It might not be your kind of game - maybe a historic instead of the contemporary you normally read. But it reaches out and sucks you in anyway.

Kind of like the football game yesterday. I ended up arriving home with a thunder stick in hand and the green and white colours slashed across my cheeks. Did I mention that I was supposed to be working not viewing - I couldn't help myself!

What draws you into a story?


Why is this post in green? The Riders of course - go Riders!
Next week is the Grey Cup!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ring of Desire - An Excerpt

I'm just taking a breath after yesterday. For those of you who missed it - take a look at the discussion that went on all day yesterday. Wow - great job Romance Studio! Thanks to everyone that showed up! My blog may never be the same again LOL!

Today I realized as I updated my website that there is currently no excerpt available online for my new release "Ring of Desire". Not one I could find anyway. I know it will be available eventually but while I wait for that to happen I thought I'd speed up the process - here's a sneek peak at "Ring of Desire".

Chapter One
Southern England 1072

I will not die.

Vala turned her head blindly toward the shore. She spat a stream of water and choked as the chair lurched and her neck snapped forward. Her head spun as she twisted in circles over the water. Her wrists ached and burned as the wet rope cut into them.

“Again!” the priest commanded.

The rope played through the smith’s reluctant hands. The chair began to lower.

“Nay,” she whispered and grimaced at the pain in her throat that was raw from swallowing water and the silent screams of those she defended. Her bare toes touched the unusual chill that sheeted the river. Water closed over her head. The water wrapped around her like a cold, silken blanket. Her nostrils quivered and her throat ached from holding her breath.

How much longer?

Vala wrapped her fingers around the rough rope. The elements she could touch—rope, water, chair—were fast becoming her only reality, her only link to the physical world. When she thought she could take no more, the chair began to move upward. Her lungs ached and rivets of pain clawed her chest. She thought she would die if she did not get air. She gasped as her head broke the surface.

“Ye will obey.” The priest’s words were spewed in sharp hate edged

“Let her go.” A woman’s voice broke the silence.

“Aye,” another agreed.

“She’s had enough.” This time the women seemed to speak as one.

Vala’s teeth chattered as the chill spring wind wrapped around her wet body. She thought of Rosaline, with her stillborn son at her side, alone and dying because of a Norman. She sucked in a breath as heat flooded her body. With a gasp she twisted the chair so she faced the shore.

You are the chosen. It is not time. The voices of the Ancients rippled deep within her soul. Everything is, as it was foretold.

“Cease!” a man roared.

“Tis I who give orders!” Alfred, who had presented himself as a priest not so many months ago, puffed his flabby chest, adjusted the rope around his waist and glared out at Vala.

“I will not,” she persisted through the chafe and rawness of her throat. “It will kill her.”

“Stubborn wretch. Again!” the priest demanded.

The priest swung a hand in the direction of the smith whose expression was agonized as he clutched the rope that controlled the chair.

“It will be done.” Alfred motioned again for the rope to be lowered.

Vala pulled in a deep mouthful of air. She waited. Nothing.

Cynn, the blacksmith, hadn’t moved. He clutched the rope that still held the chair clear of the water.

“Nay.” The sound broke almost before it escaped Vala’s lips.

“Nay? How dare you, witch. Ye will not refuse me. Ye will admit your wrong and right it.”

“No wrong.” Vala could barely get the words out and against everything that Magna had taught her she threw her aura in the priest’s path. To the Ancients, an aura was a powerful thing. It could take down a man. But it was a weak effort and only the gold cross on his thick chest glinted sparks in the dull mist.

Destiny, girl, you do not have the power to change.

Hope swelled through her at the sound of Magna’s voice. Magna, she had always been here a part of Hafne even in the time before Vala could remember.

You can give it to me, she threw the thought out.

But Magna was silent and in the silence Vala knew. There would be no magic that would rescue her this day.


Friday, November 20, 2009

The Romance Studio - Who's My Favorite Author?

Subject: Oh, I’m sorry. What did you say? Who’s my favorite author?

Oh, you thought I was going to name a favorite author, didn’t you? That will never happen. LOL My reading tastes are just as eclectic as my musical tastes. I like everything from young adult to Stephen King at his goriest so to name a single favorite author is not possible. And I imagine most of you would agree to that. Unless you’re a fan of Stephenie Meyer, in which case you’re not reading this blog. You’re in line to see New Moon, again, somewhere right now. LOL

I digress.

While I do have a lot of favorite authors, what grabs MY attention? Author sites.

If the site loads fast, the author’s latest book is out there on the front page for me to drool over, navigation is easy enough for me to understand at 1 AM when I actually have time to surf the net and am half asleep. If I find a book I like and the site has it going on, and I’m hooked. I’m clicking through to buy that book. Why? Because aside from getting a good story, I know I can count on that author to make it super easy for me to buy it. The less I have to click, the better I like it.

Want to bet on how many readers out there are just like me?

A good site grabs my attention more than 200 Yahoo promo posts, the author’s rant about toothpaste on Twitter, or that invitation to Farmville on Facebook (and you WON’T get me to play that, sorry! LOL) I don’t have time to do the contest thing, the chat thing, or to follow blogs. A good site is there, up-to-date, and constant. Ready whenever I am. Now we’re talking. =)

What will turn me away at an author site? 1) not being able to find what I want in 5 seconds (television and the internet have given us all ADD, let’s be honest), 2) not being able to get in the site because the flash promo is stuck or didn’t load properly, or 3) finding the site hasn’t been updated since April.

Ever feel like that?

So, fellow readers, I pose this question: What can an author do to grab YOUR attention? Do you read the promo posts on the Yahoo and MSN loops? Do you like contests? Do you love the blog circuit? Getting email announcements from authors?

What do you like?

I’ve got print books to give away readers. =) I’ll do some author prizes too. But talk to me.

Thanks to Ryshia for letting me play on her blog.


The Romance Studio ~ the romance genre today.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Simplistic - Think Again!

Malfunctioning programs and oversized files have made what should be a simple mailout problematic. With a list of things to get done in the next few hours I find that I spent most of them reducing files. Something I should have done right off the hop - I know. Something I forgot.

It's days like this when the list I began early on doesn't look much shorter, that I wish that life were as simple as it seems for this Burmese fisherman. Just the water, his boat and the day's quota. A day on a quiet lake with not an electronic gadget in sight sounds wonderful.

I know, be careful what you wish for. Simplistic might actually mean rough hewn living quarters and a lack of the amenities I enjoy every day. And, a long day on the water would, in my case, mean a bout of mal de mer and more than likely a bad case of sunburn. But the dream doesn't go away quite that easily. Not when the e-mail is dinging with yet another problem.

Ever had one of those days?

Whispers of an Ancient magic
draw them together...
...An unspeakable evil
fights to keep them apart.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Rules of the Road

In my travels I noticed that the rules of the road differ from country to country. Here's a sample of what I've experienced:

  • Don't assume that the cab driver with perfect English that you hired to pick you up the next day is the cab driver you're going to get to take you cross country.
  • Speed and the ability to understand English sometimes has an inverse reaction. The more you tell the driver to slow down, the faster he may drive.
  • Your driver's continual horn honking does not actually ensure your safety nor get other vehicles out of your way.
  • The cab driver you hire is the one you'll get.
  • Radar is common and painfully slow drivers plentiful - another inverse correlation.
  • Horn honking is rare but glaring and speeding up to cut you off when you signal to change lanes - common

  • The left hand side of the road - the left, the left...

Tomorrow, November 16 I start a book blog tour.

First stop I'll be visiting over at Books, Gardens & Dogs. Pop on over- I have to say the interview was interesting! And there's a chance to win a copy of Ring of Desire a medieval paranormal with enough magic to keep things on the edge.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What's in a Name

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet." William Shakespeare

Shakespeare said it all those many years ago but is it true? Now I'm not one to argue with Shakespeare, at least not usually. But I have to take issue with the name. Names are important. At least I find that so with fictional characters. A name encompasses a personality. It is sometimes your first idea of what that character is all about.

A hero called Jamie or one called Rhett - is there a difference? What's your first perception? Yes, I know many of us have gone through life with names that might not be quite to our liking. Did it change us? Maybe, maybe not.
I've been dabbling in numerology lately - and if the numbers are any indication, names matter. Not that I'm saying I take numbers seriously but I'm not discounting them either.

What I do know for sure is that if I name my hero or heroine wrong they will walk around in one-dimensional cardboard until I get it right. In fact the latest hero did just that!

Do names matter?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What Sells a Book?

With "Ring of Desire" about to release an author's proverbial question arises - "What Sells a Book?" And then there's the reader's proverbial question - "Why buy the book?"

Those two questions look simple enough but the scope turns into that multi-layered problem I've touched on in other posts - promotion. Truly, between you and me, I'd rather just write the book. I love words, stories and sharing them with others.

Okay, now that I have that secret out in the open, the reality is that to sell a book, you must write a good book and people must know it exists. But the marketplace is a busy place these days with more books being published than any of us have time to read. So what is an author to do? This week my writing has suffered on the quest of the conundrum - How to get the message out in a crowded marketplace?

Don't get me wrong - there are things I love about promotion. I love the creativity in coming up with that just-so bookmark or creating contests that readers will love. Or the idea that, while tried before, I've put my own unique spin on. Yes promo, that horned beastie that has mutated into marketing and promotion, is roaming free but I promise I'll try to keep it contained for now.

I must run - it is less than an hour away from the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th hour. One of the most historic moments of the last century. It is that special time when we honour all those that fought and still fight worldwide for the freedoms we enjoy today.

Lest we forget.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Promotion - A Different Journey

It's rather like the launch of a space shuttle - in of course a much smaller way. But in the scope of my life the launch of a new book is a big deal and I have the proof - sore fingers.

Sore fingers you ask? What does that have in common with the space shuttle? Nothing!

Nope - that's right nothing. Except to accentuate how much hard work goes into launching a book. Ring of Desire will be released on November 15. But now the other work has begun - promotion. So I've opened the closet door on the monster I call promotion and I'm wrestling him into submission. Yet promotion has tentacles that seem to spread into corners previously unknown - review sites and ad copies, author spotlights and bookseller orders and launch dates, and... And if my sore fingers are any indication I'm not sure which one of us is winning but I'm putting up a pretty good fight. One thing I've learned about promotion is that it's all about a combination of hard work, tenacity and creativity, a proverbial smattering of luck and, of course, the most important - a great story.

So Ring of Desire is waiting in the wings. And there's some goodies in the wind - a book signing - a prize or two - maybe an appearance or two. As I develop the plan, I'll roll out the details.

In the meantime, I'm going out to enjoy the day. It may be only 2 celsius or 36 Fahrenheit but there is not even a flake of snow on the ground and I know later today about 5:00 the geese will shadow the sky in their perfect v formation as they head to feed in fields outside the city. All of it a gift in November in Saskatchewan.

Where did your travels take you today?


Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween for Adults

It's a day before Halloween and my final post over at The Long and the Short of it. And of course, it's about Halloween. How can it not be with that fantastic event just hours away. Check it out my last essay over at The Long and the Short of It - last chance to maybe win an advance copy of Ring of Desire and a signed copy of From the Dust! Just part of my yard decor.

Halloween tops Christmas for me but if you've been reading my blog, you know that. I love adding to the ambiance of a night filled with ghouls. The kids have come to expect that there won't be a normally dressed adult standing at my door but it might be a corpse or half-rotted creature of the night or... But what the kids seem to like best are the things that move and shriek and light up in the dark decorating the shadows in a rather macabre and definitely interesting way. One of my fave decorations - my rabid rat hardly gets any attention at all. Sigh.

I've considered handing out candy dressed as a regular adult - what a novel concept! But somehow that idea just seems wrong.

What do you love about Halloween?


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Story that Haunts

How Could I Not?

I wrote my first story set in the Great Depression and loved every minute of the research. The depression era was a time whose shadow flitted over the prairies long after those years were gone. One story in particular haunted me.

Read more over at The Long and Short of It and enter to win a copy of not just From the Dust but Ring of Desire.

Have you ever been haunted?


Monday, October 26, 2009

An Aggravating Adventure

How Not to Deep Sea Fish

A story of a surly guide and a misguided group of adventurers.

...It is not the big fishing trip we expected but it will be fun, a delightful morning of fishing on the high seas. Although it is clear we won’t be going far… there are no life jackets.

Many miles later…

Read the rest of this mini travel adventure Tuesday over at The Long and the Short of It. There's a contest going on too where you can win a copy of both my books - "From the Dust" and the about to be released "Ring of Desire."

There are aggravating people everywhere - anyone aggravate you today?


Sunday, October 25, 2009

I'm Travelling and Giving Away

A Travel Journal Gone Askew

In the inevitable search for love there are many land mines but dodging them is half the fun and that’s the secret of my stories. In my travels there’s been many unexpected and amazing things and the memories of those are only the beginning of the fictional adventure. From earthquakes in Hawaii to being chased by enraged water carriers in Morocco to a deep-sea fishing trip gone slightly askew in Venezuela.

Want to read more? That's just Monday's essay at the Long and Short of it. Check it out over at The Long and Short of It. I'll be there all week with a different post every day and hanging around to answer your comments. And there's a chance to enter to win a signed copy of "From the Dust" or a special advance e-copy of the about to be released "Ring of Desire."

Hope to see you there!


Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Face on that Book

The last few days has been spent criticizing and adoring the new cover of my book.

A book somehow doesn't seem real until the cover art appears. Now "Ring of Desire" has a face. I waited with baited breath for that cover to arrive. While I can't quite visualize what will work, I know what I don't want. And while the publisher will accommodate to a point, in the end the cover might not be your choice.

So I've heard.

Fortunately, both times this hasn't been my experience. And it isn't this time. My publisher is more than accommodating. The first version of the cover is dark and mysterious with a touch of romance in a color. It's perfect. And I can say that with true objectivity as the cover art is something I had no hand in creating. I could only suggest what I would like to see; dark mystery, an ancient keep in the background. Of course being perfect didn't mean I didn't pick at details that I'm sure that no one but me might ever see. Really, when as a reader did you ever look really closely at the cover of a book? I mean down to the lettering closely. I have to say never, unless I wrote the book. Then, of course, it is a different matter.

When was the last time you cared a little too much? And is that a bad thing?


Coming to bookstores soon - Ring of Desire, 2009

A medieval fantasy steeped in history. A heroine faced with the
ultimate choice, immortality or mortal love.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Overcomers Inc. Book Tour

Today, I'm pleased to feature a new book by a group of authors. Overcomers Inc. on their blog tour. Take a peek below:

Overcomers, Inc: True stories of hope, courage, and inspiration will give readers the knowledge and emotional resilience to face the most difficult times of life by sharing inspiring stories of triumph.

You will find this a book of diversity. There are many authors, from many walks of life. However, they all share a common bond. They triumphed over tragedy and gleaned wisdom in this process.

Excerpt from Overcomers Inc.:
Growing Up After Fifty: It’s Never Too Late to Bloom
Tomar Levine

Delayed Adulthood
Several factors contributed to my delayed adulthood. Being an artist, single and childless, I bypassed the rites of passage and responsibilities of most adults. My Depression-era parents’ version of responsibility made adulthood look unappealing anyway. Looking young, acting young, thinking and feeling young helped create the illusion that time was barely passing, and aging did not apply to me. Finally, having a small amount of family money – enough to barely get by on – was a double-edged sword. On the one hand it allowed me to paint, write, read, and pursue the spiritual studies I was drawn to. On the other, not having to earn much income allowed me to act out my insecurities by rejecting ambition, not taking risks, and living a far smaller, more protected life than another part of me longed for.

Hiding my light under a bushel was never my plan. I wanted to be a recognized artist. Hiding one’s light is simply what happens when fear is stronger than the desire to have one’s light seen and to add value to the world. I exhibited my art for years, maintaining a miniscule career that reflected my comfort zone. But when I discovered a spiritual calling, the heat was turned up on my inner conflict and my suffering intensified!

Now it was not just for my own glory, but for something greater that I wanted my light to shine. I knew I had something to share that filled me and could inspire others – if only I could find the form. I searched for my true work the way others seek true love. Many times I thought I’d found it, yet I continued to fear risk and rejection even more than I yearned to be of service. I remained a perpetual student long after I should have been teaching, as I waited to be invited to take my place onstage. Like a corked volcano, I was full of blocked energy. I tried to convince myself that being invisible was more spiritual than releasing my life force, but secretly I felt shame. I feared I would waste my life and the gifts I had been given.

To get your own copy and bonus gifts go to:


Coming to bookstores soon - Ring of Desire, 2009

A medieval fantasy steeped in history. A heroine faced with the
ultimate choice, immortality or mortal love.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

No Brakes!

Just a couple of travel tips this morning.

First up - Scuba Diving - Twenty minutes in a pool does not prepare one for open ocean. On the upside, just because you think you're going to drown, doesn't mean you will.

Horses - taking pictures on a moving horse - also - not recommended! There's something about balance, stirrups, height and creature with a will of its own that doesn't really transpose well for a city bred person.
Motorbike Rental - when the statement "No brakes" receives the answer from the rental manager, "That's okay." Maybe its not! It's really not that hard to take out the side of a third world house. Or for that matter, come close!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in Canada. A strange word when you look at it closely all run together like that but I digress. Happy Thanksgiving for those of you celebrating today and tomorrow to all the rest! I don't know about you but I've much to be grateful for!


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Don't Panic - It's Only the Beginning

I found this mural on the side of a building on an Edmonton street. The scene here is colorful and detailed but distant. That's exactly what my new story feels like, except that this time unlike the mural, it's not a historic. After that, just like the mural - there's a scene, a road, characters even and they're interacting, as are mine. But there's a distant feel to it. None of the characters have stepped forward and introduced themselves. Well, one of them did but that chap with the machine gun seemed to get in the way. Romance - did I say? Yes, well, it is but things have to happen... and the characters haven't met each other... and apparently I haven't truly met the characters.

But from past experience I know it's only a matter of time before they introduce themselves and once they do the story will take off as the characters take over the dance.

Beginnings! They keep popping up over and over.

Oh and just a tip - and totally off topic, should you decide to snorkel in open ocean - take a life jacket. Let me tell you that panic does not mix up real well with salt water, especially when inhaling!


Coming to bookstores soon - Ring of Desire, 2009

A medieval fantasy steeped in history. A heroine faced with the
ultimate choice, immortality or mortal love.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Good Luck Charms

When I was a child I remember stepping over sidewalk cracks or there would be bad luck. But I don't remember having good luck charms. As an adult I have a few. There's the jade bamboo that jingles with the Burmese bells on my phone. There of course - for luck. The pendant that dangles over my office doorway, bought on New Years in Beijing with symbols reflecting - good luck of course. I have a small but growing collection that seem to be one part good luck charm and one part momentos of past trips.

There's the laughing Buddha - no not the funky Buddha, and while not exactly lucky he just brings back happy memories of a moment in Bangkok. Of course, I'm not 100% sure that he's not lucky...

Do you have lucky charms or do you prefer to make your own luck?


Coming to bookstores soon - Ring of Desire, 2009

A medieval fantasy steeped in history. A heroine faced with the
ultimate choice, immortality or mortal love.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Delete - If You Dare!

You’ve spent hours writing, revising and revising again. You’ve looked at your story until the words blurred into oblivion. As an author a book is rather like a child you have prepared to send out into the world alone.

Rather like a child - but not. Words that didn’t exist before are unique, special even - but it’s not your baby. Be prepared to kill words and even scenes, for it doesn't end with your revisions. When the book hits the publisher’s hands there will be interpretations of scenes you didn’t anticipate and suggestions that are amazingly sound. Listen. They know what they’re talking about. And sometimes you have to stand up for your story – and always on both ends there’s give and take.

So on the eve of another dance on that dance card, my finger hovers over that button – delete.

Press it if you dare. You’ll be surprised what happens next…


Coming to bookstores soon - Ring of Desire, 2009

A medieval fantasy steeped in history. A heroine faced with the
ultimate choice, immortality or mortal love.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dreams Are Made of Edits

It's been quiet out here on the prairie - even the gophers are no longer chirping their alerts. The only thing not hunkered down for the approach of cold weather are the darn house flies - yuck - yuck and double yuck. And my fly swatter works overtime.

So - I've just emerged from Medieval England in a place called Hafne. I'm doing revisions on "Ring of Desire" a paranormal rooted in history. Giles and Vala are one of my favourite couples. Their love is magical in more ways than one. I have to say that when all is done, I'll miss their supporting cast too. Magna, of course, is my favourite and I hate to mention her name for even hearing that Ancient name makes my heroine want to cry. Shhh! I've said too much.

Where was I going with this post you ask? Don't worry, I too was asking. Revisions. "Ring of Desire" is moving closer to a publication date and that process means revisions. It's almost inevitable.

Once the idea has evolved into a story it must be fine tuned, spun and trimmed, punched and kneaded until it is sent off to the publishing world - the people who will make the dream of this story happen.

But dreams are made of edits and the publishing word wants some kneading of their own. This time the publisher's request for edits came as my head was well into another story following a twisted path of love and intrigue in Beijing. So for a minute everything stopped as I scrambled to get on the first plane out of Beijing and morph back into the Middles Ages. For a brief second it all appeared insurmountable. But a walk cured that and soon I'd left Beijing and flown back to Medieval England to reacquaint myself with Giles and Vala who I find are just as delightful as ever. And good thing because the holder of the dance card for this round of edits wanted more than one dance.

Every time I dive into a story it's a magical adventure. Of course, "Ring of Desire" is a little more than magical. The people who inhabit the story and the fictional village of Hafne consider seeing auras and beings that appear out of no where to be every day events. That's all but my poor hero. Giles had a tough time right from the beginning and there was so much riding on his ability to settle in. But all that's behind him now.

Despite blurry eyed hours at a computer screen at odd hours of the day and night, it's worth it to see that first pre-publication draft and the potential for the book this story will soon become. That's where "Ring of Desire" is right now.

Yes, it's called edits - and sometimes it's stressful and sometimes - well, it's just a blast from the past - literally!

So that's how I spent my weekend - how was yours?

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Coming to bookstores soon - Ring of Desire, 2009
A medieval fantasy steeped in history. A heroine faced with the ultimate choice, immortality or mortal love.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mae Sai by Dirt Bike

It was the last bike on the lot. A dirt bike that was questionable from the start especially with plans to hit a Thai freeway from Chiang Rai, Thailand to the northern border town of Mae Sai, Thailand. Apparently there was a reason that it was the only bike left on the lot:

...It spit oil - everywhere!
...The speedometer didn't work!
...Its burning hot exhaust pipe stretched out where
the passenger's legs went!
...The bike wasn't the only thing that had only one left - a helmet
in my size was the second!
...And the seat wasn't meant to double - apparently
neither was the fender!

So, in one of the most uncomfortable rides of my life we headed doubling down the Thai highway. A relatively busy foreign freeway is not one where you want a breakdown. So we valiantly kept up with the flow of traffic as oil peppered the driver's legs. But the faster our speed went the more the wind resistance seemed to send me sliding down that shaky seat - the fender. And when I wasn't repositioning, I was using my free hand to push the helmet up that had fallen over my eyes.

Next time you hear that there's only one rental left - walk fast - very fast - in the other direction. And don't go driving down Thai freeways on a worn out dirt bike. I know for sure you won't see me out there - at least not on a dirt bike!

Til next time.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Winner of Marcia Colette's - Stripped

When Marcia Colette graciously agreed to appear on my blog this Monday, she also offered a free copy of her new release to one of my blog's lucky readers.

Insert a drum roll now...

The winner of a copy of Marcia Colette's new novel "Stripped" is....
Harry Markov

Congrats Harry!! - If you haven't already, you'll be contacted shortly about collecting your prize. Happy reading!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Win a Copy of - Stripped - Comments - Comments

Check out the interview below and enter a comment for Marcia Colette author of the newly released "Stripped" and you will be entered to win a copy of "Stripped" the urban fantasy debut of the year!


Sunday, September 6, 2009

An Interview with Author Marcia Colette

From author Marcia Colette, her exciting new release "Stripped".

Someone wants their perfect weapon back, only she’s not coming quietly.

Alexa Wells wants her life back. She’s just not sure what that life was. The memories inside her head—a stripper’s—aren’t hers, and before she humiliates herself onstage one more time, she sets out to collect the scattered pieces of her mind. The trail leads to Boston, charges of identity theft and murder, and the real bombshell: a forgotten werewolf lover who insists she’s a werewolf hybrid.

Matt York doesn’t care that she looks at him like he’s been smoking crack between court cases. Now that he has her back he’s not about to let her go it alone, even if she can easily kick ass and take names all by herself. Amnesia only scratches the surface of her problems, and like it or not, she’s stuck with him.

She’s also stuck with Robert Gamboldt, a venture capitalist who’s not above murdering his way to the top. He’s not about to lose his prize possession without playing dirty. It’s a simple enough offer. Be his personal assassin, or go to jail.

With options like that, it’s enough to make a hybrid go full-blood.

Marcia Colette has stopped by to tell us about herself and about her new release, "Stripped, an urban fantasy unlike any you may have read before. So, of course, first off I had a few questions for Marcia:

1. Do you find it difficult to combine a love of horror with the happy ending required of romance?
Not really. As long as the hero and the heroine end up together, I think anything is possible regardless of how brutal or gory. I guess that's why I take no prisoners when it comes to my paranormal romances.

2. You refer to your work as the creepier side of writing – why?
No matter how hard I've tried, my writing has always been on the dark side of things. I wanted make sure there was no mistake about where I was coming from and where my writing was going. If readers can hang for the ride, then they're more than welcomed to join me. But if they don't like me torturing my characters, then my stories won't work for them. It's better people know that off the bat, rather than to be shocked about me tearing off a limb.

3. What inspired Stripped?
I had fallen in love my characters from Half Breed. I wanted to know how Alexa and Matt met. What would put them through the ultimate test? Well, I couldn't kill either one off because that would mean no Half Breed. But I could snatch one from the other and make them work double time to get back together. Next thing I knew, Stripped was born.

4. When can we expect your next book and will it be tied to Stripped or Half Breed?
My next book will be tied to Stripped. In fact, it'll take place a few months after Matt and Alexa have been married and I'll still be turning my happy couple's lives upside down. My goal is to have it finished before the end of the year, but depending upon how the whole pregnancy thing goes, it might throw my plans into a curve. Fingers crossed, it won't. If all goes well, there will be a fourth book, which will take place after Half Breed.

5. Do you write full time?
No such luck. The day job supports my my reading habit, so I can't give it up just yet. But if I were ever in the position to change that, I'd happy jump at the chance.

6. If you had six months left to live – would you finish the book?
Heck yeah! Which one, I have no idea. Probably the sequel to Stripped, along with the paranormal YA that I'm currently working on.

And Marcia Colette - Just the Facts:

Paranormal author Marcia Colette was born and raised in a single-parent household in upstate New York. She graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a bachelors degree in biomedical engineering and a masters degree in information technology from American Intercontinental University. After a couple of moves from north to south to north, she is now living in the south again in the lovely state of North Carolina.

Unlike many authors, Marcia hadn’t discovered her love for reading until her late twenties. As it turned out, her tastes were very selective and different than most of the stuff her English teachers tried to shove down her throat. She has been a lover of the paranormal from her first horror movie and has never looked back.

Marcia is a member of the Horror Writers Association, Paranormal Mystery Writers, and Romance Writers of America.

The best place to find her is on her blog where she loves connecting with readers and other writers. Conferences/conventions where sci-fi, fantasy, and horror reign supreme are a good bet, too, along with the occasional romance conference.

For more information check out Marcia's website at or her blog at

If you have a comment or question for Marcia drop them in the comments. She's always glad to meet her readers.

I don't know about you but Marcia's story has me intrigued. Thanks for being here Marcia.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Bangkok - Fined

Just prior to a visit to the Royal Palace in Bangkok a local warned us about littering. I suppose he'd seen foreigners littering and knew of the repercussions. However, having grown up in Canada and lived through anti-littering campaigns it was the last thing on my mind. However, cigarette butts weren't. Not that I'm a smoker but at the time one person in our group was and what better place to dispose of a butt but a sidewalk grate?


Ten minutes later what looked like a bus shelter that contained a desk on the edge of a busy pedestrian sidewalk took on a whole new meaning as we stood dutifully before the Thai policeman. When asked our country of origin I noted that his smile slipped when we said Canada and his finger trailed down the list. It appeared, and this is only a guess, that the fines were country of origin specific. We walked away $60 lighter and a new addition to our list of rules on what littering really means.

Oh, did I mention that on that day too, the King's limo stopped suddenly barely missing running over someone in our small group. It was a day made for entries in the book "What Not to do When Overseas."

Live and learn.

Ryshia (and the ticket - that has become a travel souvenir or should we say badge of honor?)
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Monday, September 7 - Marcia Colette will be featured on my blog in an interview about her life as an author and about her new release - an urban fantasy "Stripped." Come on by and leave a comment or question for Marcia.
Someone wants their perfect weapon back, only she’s not coming quietly.

Monday, August 24, 2009

No One Living or Dead

I don’t know how many people have alluded to the fact that it is brave to write fiction and without quite saying it, implied that I might be taking hunks of my personal life and selling them for the enjoyment of others.

I laugh – my life should be so interesting!

My characters are strangers to me in the beginning and at the end they are familiar friends who resemble no one I know living or dead. Their beliefs and experiences are their own and a result of a combination of my imagination a

nd what my experience and observation has taught me. After all – this is fiction. These characters never existed before and barring a sequel, will never exist again.

It is true that events in my life might be a catalyst for a scene or a story – that scene will be so far from the real life event as to be unrecognizable. And while a character might have Aunt Ivy’s bad hair or the sexy walk of a stranger I glimpsed just the other day, the rest is imagination.

But for me, one thing is very real – the setting. That is as real as it can be and drawn from experiences, memories or, in the case of history, research. It becomes a backdrop for the story. A movie set only built with words. Sometimes I think of the background as just another character.

And the characters, well if they're good, they live on. Rather like the undead.

So there you have it – with travel journal in hand, the journey continues.

Ryshia Kennie

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Coming to bookstores soon - Ring of Desire, 2009
A medieval fantasy steeped in history. A heroine faced with the ultimate choice, immortality or mortal love.

You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.

Friedrich Nietzsche