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.