Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Vacation is Trickling Away - Now What?

Sometimes in life and in writing you just need a little vacation.  So a trip to Arizona had me thinking that I'd get plenty of writing done by the pool.  Note to self - the pool is not for writing, it's for relaxing, play and yes - even exercise.  It's not for work.  Besides, I heard that laptops and water don't mix.  No - that's just a theory, not a proven experiment.

But speaking of motivation, the trip home is very motivating.  It has me longing for the warm little cocoon of my basement office where temperatures are steady.  And outside they are steady too - below zero and freezing yes but not like the roads on the way home, before we reach the winter hardened ranges and prairie of the last leg of this trek where the snow has more than likely settled for the winter - and that has its own set of issues.  But here, as we head out of Arizona and into, and through, New Mexico, temperatures are hovering at a little above zero with rain and then a slide below that zero mark creating in places, treacherous mountain roads.  Yes, don't like the drive home much for the fear of what weather might be lurking around the corner.  I'm hoping for the upside as that finicky weather man or woman has promised, that the weather for the remainder of the trip might be fine.

Or - like today, it might go from sun and flip flops to mountain roads lined with snow laden trees in less than two hours.  Yes, that picture was today's view as we left the sun behind.  In an odd way, it all reminds me of a romantic suspense.  A couple falling in love and then everything turns upside down - sun to snow, for the characters, they are rough, potentially dangerous patches that they must negotiate in order to have their happy ever after.

Winter travel and characters aside, I'm enjoying my last days of vacation with a few more adventures.  Tonight it was a taste of alligator in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

As vacation days slide away and real life beckons, I'll be celebrating the release of my latest romantic suspense, Legacy of Fear, as 2014 winds down and 2015 begins.  Check out my website, I'll be updating it soon with details.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Dishtowel Will Travel

It's hard to write on vacation or maybe that's just an excuse.  Maybe I've been plodding with my word count because all of a sudden writing hasn't been much fun.  Now don't get me wrong, I still want to write - need to write even.  But I expect the words will just miraculously, effortlessly plop out, pouring across the page in a vast first rough draft that only needs some sprucing, tuning and sprucing

again.  But that's not quite how it's working.

All of a sudden there's expectations.

Up until now I wrote, submitted and wrote again.  I was master of my own game.  Now, while I still am master I've heard rumblings that people may expect things, novels done maybe so that there's something to submit, proposals offered, so there's something to write and maybe - eureka - publish.

Expectations - one more step on the ladder, one step closer and I didn't expect to freeze.

Freeze - There's not a snowflake on the ground, nor will there be here in sunny Arizona so there's no reason to freeze.

I gave myself a stern talking to - it was the twentieth or so in the series.  This one finally stuck.  I don't know if it was the dishtowel in my hand or the latest review of my last book.  But it all got me thinking and all of a sudden it was there, it was back.  One thousand words later and a blog post - I've got it back - not my inspiration but my discipline, and the inspiration, well I suspect it's following right along behind.  It's not going to have much choice - it's that or be dragged.

Who knew that a little discipline came in the form of a dish towel?  What keeps you going?


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Remembrance Day - Lest we Forget

It's a rather sobering Remembrance Day.  Not that they all aren't a reminder of the sacrifice so many made and continue to make.  But today is the 100th Anniversary of World War I.  Combine that with
the shock of having two soldiers killed on Canadian soil within the last three weeks and it's drawn a large crowd to Parliament Hill and the national memorial service.

(Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)
I wasn't able to watch the ceremony this year which I do every year on TV or at the local cenotaph.  But I'm not in the country and it's not on TV, at least not on my cable subscription, but I still get CBC, the national radio station, so I've been listening, had my moment of silence and silently thanked all that fought for our freedom and still do.

I just heard these quotes and while I can't give credit to who spoke them, here they are:
"Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it."
"War has unified us and it has divided us."

Powerful words to go forward with today and every day as we remember.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Choices and Illusions - you may have remembered the its release but it was so good -  it's out again - in paperback and about time!  Just in time to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of Eldon Taylor's Progressive Awareness Research and just in time for Christmas, or just in time for a life changing read.  It's a fantastic book that will power-stoke your life by giving you the tools you need to succeed.

Choices and Illusions is available at all online and retail bookstores.  To participate in the celebratory event Eldon has put together including a chance to win a $500 InnerTalk Library, visit

What Eldon Taylor says about "Choices and Illusions":

Within every human being exists a propensity for greatness.  The gifts may vary, and the greatness
may live out in a in a vast array of alternatives - say from carpentry to rocket science - but the gift that gives one true self-respect, lifts the spirit from "same old, same old", resides within each one of us-- but if so, then why is it so often denied?

Every individual has essentially has a self-representation that is rehearsed and eventually actualized.  The process begins by fantasizing at a very early age.  We fantasize a script, perhaps one of those from some Hollywood production.  We begin rehearsing it, and we either abandon it to take up a new one or practice it until we role-play the script as who we are.  Practicing the script sooner or later automates the behaviour.  Our imprinting environment plays a significant role in the alternative scripts available to us.  If the parents are uncaring and abusive, so are the children, and so forth.  If warmth and friendliness lead to embarrassment, then cool and aloof compensate.  If honest gets us into trouble, then deception becomes a defence strategy, and so forth.

It is much more complicated than expressed here, but simply, it is also just this way.  In fact, every one of us divides ourselves among four essential views of ourselves.  These four faces include the following:
Our actual self.
Our ideal self.
Our ought-to-be-self
Our desired self.

My review for Eldon Taylor's Choices and Illusions:

The human mind is extremely complex as Eldon Taylor again demonstrates in his latest book "Choices and Illusions".  Richly written, Eldon takes us on a journey into the power of the mind.  While no book on the mind can be anything but complex, Eldon softens the depth of the information with strategically placed tales and stories that entertain as well as teach.

"Do minds communicate with each other - is the base of creativity more a group activity than an individual one?"   R. D. Laing.  Quotes like this along with Eldon Taylor's thought provoking research and easy prose make "Choices and Illusions" a provocative read.

"Choices and Illusions" provides an excellent base to begin the exploration of self, and of the unseen and compelling forces of society that have the ability to shape the basis of our beliefs and ultimately our personalities.  It provides the tools necessary to begin harnessing the powers of our mind instead of leaving it run unfettered and potentially controlled by the power of hidden beliefs foisted on us by other.  And more importantly, it provides telling evidence that the mind is the one thing that can change your life.

Although I found the last chapters weighted down with mentions of prior books and prose that was not as smooth as earlier chapters, I still found "Choices and Illusions" an intriguing read.  With plenty of references to other books on the subject, "Choices and Illusions" is an excellent jumping off point for anyone interested in enriching their lives by becoming aware of their most powerful tool, their mind. 

Eldon's bio:
Eldon has made a lifelong study of the human mind and has earned doctoral degrees in psychology and metaphysics.  He is president of Progressive Awareness Research, an organization dedicated to researching techniques for accessing the immense powers of the mind.  For more than 20 years, he has approached personal empowerment from the cornerstone perspective of forgiveness, gratitude, service and respect for all life.

Eldon can be reached at:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New Release - Legacy of Fear

Imagine a language - lost.
Imagine, a unique language that is written, not spoken.
Imagine, a language written by and for women.
Imagine - the possibilities of such a language.

My latest romantic suspense is out!
Just released...

Legacy of Fear

Andra Vandersan is an expert code breaker, as fiercely independent and beautiful as she is brilliant.
Working at the highest levels of deciphering, she's always remained at a safe distance from the seamy underworld of Hong Kong's criminal elite--but that's about to change.  When her next-door neighbour is brutally murdered in a way that suggests the work of the Chinese triads, two things become clear:  Andra was the intended target of the hit, and the assassin is going to return.

Max True is a world-class linguist, a colleague of Andra's who once helped her break a code that would destroy a terrorist cell.  When he shows up at Andra's door with a mysterious message, they realize that they may have stumbled on a long-lost women's language that holds the secret to incredible power--and one that the most vicious men in Hong Kong will stop at nothing to get their hands on.

As Andra and Max work to solve the puzzle of the language, they find themselves in a desperate race against time to escape the mysterious forces who all want the secret of the message--even as they surrender to the forces of an undeniable passion that brings them inexorably and irrevocably together.

Check it out at online bookstores.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Among The Giants

Featuring my review of the motivational book:  

Among the Giants, by Jesse LeBeau

I read Among the Giants and finished the last page feeling Motivated!!!  That's the best compliment I can give a motivational book.  Now the author Jesse LeBeau is on tour with his book and as part of the tour he's giving away a Deuce Brand watch - check out the rafflecopter entry at the bottom of the post along with the list of other blogs on the tour.

First, let me introduce the author, Jesse LeBeau:

Over the course of the last couple of years, Jesse has propelled himself from a small, Alaskan fishing town to the Hollywood big screen, being seen by millions all over the world.  By leveraging his love of the game of basketball and making the most of every opportunity, he has successfully created a life all his own.  At 5'8" he may not be an NBA player, but by tweaking his dream, he has been able to use his passion (basketball) to star in national commercials and novels, work with pro athletes and celebrities, and even give back on a regular basis as a motivational speaker for youth.  His underdog story, outlined in his book, Among the Giants, serves as an inspiration to anyone who has ever been told they can't make their dream a reality.

Jesse was born and raised on Pennock Island, Alaska, where his mother worked as a school teacher and his father was involved in the logging industry.  Jesse played basketball growing up, but no one wanted to take him seriously, and coaches told him he was too small and would never make it.  Despite his critics, he believed not only in himself but also in the plan God had for him. Jesse has experienced big wins and frustrating losses, but both triumph and defeat helped him grow as a leader and a person, and helped deepen his faith.

Today he uses his message to motivate and inspire young people around the world as a speaker and author combining his love of basketball, speaking and entertaining, Jesse founded the fab4 Takeover, which brings celebrities into schools to teach and impact students.  He also released an instructional dribbling DVD titled "Dribble Like a Star".  For a free download from the DVD, visit or text the word DVD to the number 58885.

My Review
Among the Giants
Four Stars

Stay hungry.  Better yourself every day.  Separate yourself from the competition and gain the edge that will make all the difference.  Fulfill your dreams!

This book's primary message is that you can succeed but not without effort.  Your attitude is everything.  Dig for success, it's in you to have, is the pervasive theme in this book.  And with real life examples of how from the time he was a child he fought  to be a professional  basketball player despite size and geographic odds, he shows again and again how he acquired his dream.  And while it wasn't his specific dream, it was a dream that gave him success with a basketball in his hand.

Over and over this book reminds us what hard work and dedication can achieve.  But there's a caveat, hard work must be combined with a belief in yourself and your dream.  The author tells us to visualize success, write down goals and stay the course.  It is a motivational book like many out there but unlike many out there his motivation is firmly rooted in the story of his life from an isolated childhood fighting for his dream, to a grown young man, who didn't grow enough to make the NBA.

A quick and easy read that while, slightly repetitive, will light a fire in you.  You can't help but be anxious to get at it, put in that extra hour or extra mile and succeed at whatever it is you dream of.


Enter for a chance to win a Deuce Brand Watch:">Enter to win a signed Deuce Brand watch - a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can find more information, read news in the press, watch highlight video footage and follow Jesse on a more personal level at the following websites:

To purchase "Among the Giants" on Amazon visit
To get a free download from his DVD visit:
To get a free download from his ebook "What Allen Iverson Taught Me About Life" visit:

Follow the rest of the tour:
October 13: Writers and Authors
October 17: Deal Sharing Aunt
October 17: Writer Wonderland

Friday, August 15, 2014

Anger - By Tiffany Brown

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Dr. Brown will be awarding an ebook copy of Anger: How to Control It So It Won't Control You to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Everyone has experienced it at least once in their life. Some have experienced it at least every day.

I have traveled all over the world and have seen it in every place. I have struggled with it as well. It’s a family problem for generations. It can be your greatest motivator or worst enemy.

Anger. Anger is defined by the Webster Dictionary as a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong; wrath; ire.

I will show you not only how to control your anger from a Christian perspective but also have manage it until it motivates you; not hinders you. Get Ready. Anger is nothing more than manifestation of fear. Once you eliminate fear, the anger will be gone. Become Fearless.

Read an excerpt:

Section 2 - What is Fear and its connection to anger?

Fear is defined as a perceived threat of some type. It can be emotional or physical. When you
feel that you’re in some form of danger. This activates your fight or flight response. Most animals respond to threat by either fighting or fleeing. However, we don't always have the option to fight what threatens us. Instead, we have anger. Words are the civilized way that we get to fight threat.


Some of my biggest blowups often involved a fear of being alone. When I have depended on
people to reciprocate support for me on various levels, (new venue, in a relationship, or just life) they have disappointed me. I have never felt more rage in my life. It wasn't the disappointment that I was feeling or the feeling of being used. It was the thought that all my hard work wasn't good enough. I was unworthy, not loved, and alone.

Anger is just a manifestation of fear. For some people, when you are fearful of something, the first response that comes up is usually anger. Anger is a mask of fear.

I have learned that despite it all, I must be able to rely on myself and God. People, situations, and organization will fail you time and time again. When God is with you, nothing is against you.

You can do all in Christ that strengthens us (which is my current Church's motto).

Through my personal evolution of how to handle my anger, I have become fearless. I think before I move, I think instead of becoming angry. I am also slow to anger. I have now begun to think about the motivations behind people's actions. Sometimes, the only answer is indifference. Never fight anger with anger. It causes long reaching effects in ways you cannot even possibly imagine.

Fear is nothing more than an illusion of a possible threat. If you can control your response to your fears, then the anger will melt away.

My review of Anger:  How to Control It So It Won't Control You
Four Stars

Anger, as its title suggest, is a book that identifies an emotion that is common in out society.  It concisely , almost too simplistically, addresses the causes of anger and explores the connection that fear has to anger - that anger is a manifestation of fear.  In making this connection the author validates both fear and anger as acceptable emotions as shown in the bible.  Anger is explored from a uniquely Christian perspective as an emotion that has a place in our lives but one that also must be controlled.  This book provides easy to follow ways to manage anger with prayer, diet and exercise while providing some good takeaways for anyone wanting to get a handle on their anger.

About the Author:
Dr. Tiffany Brown is a native of Atlanta has taken great pride in her education and strives to continue broadening her knowledge. Graduating with a degree in Political Science from the prestigious Spelman College in 2001, a Master's degree in Public Administration from Clark Atlanta in 2004 and also a Doctorate in Public Policy from Walden University in 2009, she earned these achievements through determination and the desire to achieve her goals. She has held positions with the United States Government Accountability Office, Fulton County District Attorney's Office, Georgia Law Center for the Homeless, Georgia Conservation Voters, Supreme Court of Georgia, Equifax, Coca-Cola Enterprises, and Atlanta Bar Association. Upon Graduation from Walden University, she has truly impacted change as an academic and practitioner. She is former 2009 Write-in Atlanta Mayoral Candidate and owner of 3 companies: Tribute Contracting LLC, a minority owned government consulting firm TB LLC; Tiffany Brown Design House; Tiffany Brown Holdings Inc. - Consulting firm that has five divisions: entertainment, vending, radio, food, nonprofit management and book publishing.  She is an author of several books: Daily Reflections of Life: A Book of Affirmations for the Ambitious and Prayers of a Faithful Woman. In 2010, She is honored as a Influencer by BOSS Network. The BOSS Network is a women's empowerment alliance dedicated to highlighting women and creating opportunities for growth through networking beyond events. BOSS was named among the top 100 websites and one of the top 10 career sites for women in 2010 by

Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Monday, July 14, 2014

International Authors' Day Bloghop

July 18 is the first official International Author's Day.  It was a day began by blogger, reviewer and fellow book addict, Debdatta at Bookish Indulgences.   International Author's Day will start out with a blog hop that runs through the week - July 14 through 18.  Check out the links at the bottom of this post and stop by the blogs participating, there'll be plenty of prizes as well as a crew of good books just waiting to be discovered as readers and writers prepare to enjoy the week.

International Authors' Day - it's that word author that makes me pause.  It has a strange ring to it.  As a kid all I wanted to be was a writer.  The word author never entered my mind.  I didn't realize that yes, I had authored those competed works, raw as they were.  And yes, I was a writer as I wrote scribbles here and there, poems, short stories, startlingly bad fiction about lost hamsters and stilted poetry about trees outside my window.  I devoured books and I wrote.  One day in the waning hours of grade school, a teacher saw promise.  And she encouraged me, marvelling (or so I thought at the time) at my opening line where the barber neatly slits his customer's throat.

Yes, even then I leaned to the dark side but then there was no romance to lighten the mood.

So as is a common story among so many writers, the writing got put aside for a time.  It wasn't a valid way to make a living.  Or so the voices of those I considered wiser, echoed around me and maybe there was some truth there.  Until you figure out what it is you want to write, articles, short stories, novels - in what genre, you can be writing pretty much over the map.  And even if you figure it out, on average it takes an inordinate amount of work to make a living at it.  I don't think then, that I was prepared for the hard-scrabble of the long haul.

So back to genre -  I cut my teeth on horror as a teenager but it wasn't what I wanted to write.  I was slow to discover romance but I should have found it earlier.   As a kid I sucked up Jane of Lantern Hill and the romance of that estranged couples reconnecting, cried over the maudlin East Lynne and while they weren't classic romance, love was there.  Once I'd found my genre, there was no turning back.  And so here I am four published books and a box set later, with a fifth book poised to publish and I wander am I no longer a writer?  Is it an author I've become?

But the face in the mirror tells me otherwise.  I'm a writer and every once in a while, the great moments - a book is published, a good review emerges, a reader leaves a comment - in those moments I feel every bit the author.  And those moments feel great!

So to celebrate International Authors Day and all those authors out there whose books have entertained me throughout my life and continue to do so - I'm giving away a copy of my latest romantic suspense.

Intent to Kill is set in Cambodia and was inspired by
a trip to Cambodia's killing fields.  Yes, you heard right, the killing fields inspired the story.  Standing in the midst of the grave pocked field, it was hard to fathom but the signs were everywhere death and more death and yet the long-ago horror was juxtaposed against real life as I watched a group of children with a raw-hipped cow standing in a river, washing the cow and singing and chattering as children do, as if the mass graves and the free-for-all murders had never occurred.  That incident sparked the idea for what became Intent to Kill.

Don't forget to leave a comment and you'll be entered for a chance to win a copy of Intent to Kill.  Then follow the links and check out the other bloggers.

Ryshia On Facebook
Ryshia At Goodreads

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fatal Obsession - One Novel, Two Novels, Three Novels - More

Fatal Obsession
Five novels - one boxed set!

Fatal Obsession is a boxed set of five romantic suspense novels just released this week.  These stories are dangerous and they're hot.   And that's not all that's good about them, they're on sale, the whole set for 99 cents at all online bookstores.  How hot is that?

So, yeah I have an inside scoop on it all, a reason to be excited.  My novel, Fatal Intent is included as part of the set.

So here's what's inside Fatal Obsession:

Deadly Shadows by USA Today Bestseller Jaycee Clark
The first book in the gripping and sexy world of the Kincaid Brothers.

Haunted by the past, writer Jesslyn Black never again wants to experience the soul-shredding pain of losing someone she loves--but a murder in the small Colorado town she's been hiding in forces her to come out of her shell and face her greatest fear.  Running from his own loss, Aidan Kinncaid has travelled to the town strictly on business but soon finds himself embroiled in the hunt for a killer--before he can track down the one woman who might be able to mend his heart.  Together Aidan and Jesslyn must fight for second chances at love before a killer destroys both their lives.

Trace Elements by Kate Donovan
Special Agent Annika Trace is the hottest thing in law enforcement - at least on TV.  But things change for Annika-a.k.a. actress Nikki Gower--when she is called on by the real FBI to help gain the trust of one of her fans: a four-year-old kidnapping victim.  Special agent  Josh Saxon, however, isn't happy:  he doesn't need some Hollywood star interfering in his case.  Yet as Josh and Nikki spar over the best way to get the job done, Josh discovers firsthand just how Nikki makes the airwaves sizzle.

Lethal Obsession by Kate Douglas
As an undercover agent, Kat Malone has always had enemies.  Now one of them is back and viciously stalking her, and Kat--alone, and pregnant, and in over her head--is in desperate need of help.  After a lifetime of cleaning up his brother Riley's messes, Seamus O'Rourke is left with one last mess:  protecting Kat, his brother's former lover.  Tensions mount and passions flare as Kat struggles to save her child, and Seamus must find the strength and determination to protect the woman he's grown to love.

Point of No Return by Rita Henuber
While investigating a string of recent kidnappings, no-nonsense Marine Major Honey Thornton's first suspect is none other than her sometime lover, former CIA agent Jack O'Brien.  But Jack has his own problems:  after his brother and sister-in-law are mysteriously killed and their daughter becomes a kidnapping target, he finds himself unwilling to trust anyone--even Honey.   With suspicions flaring on all sides, political turmoil stirring, and desire burning between them, Jack and Honey must decide whether they can truly trust each other as they fight to bring down the madmen responsible.

Fatal Intent by Ryshia Kennie
An expedition into the Borneo rain forest is a dream trek for entomologist Garrett Cole, until a brutal murder turns the trip into a nightmare.  Lost and panicked, Garrett has no choice but to put her trust and the fate of her team in the hands of the mysterious and rugged Aidan to guide them to safety.  With a killer still on the loose and undeniable passion flaring, can she trust the one man who claims to be their rescuer?  Or are Aidan's good intentions just another of the jungle's illusions?

Check it out at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and other online stores.  You can't be entertained much more economically than that!

And coming up - International Author Day!  Yes, you heard right.  It's official, there'll be giveaways - and it's coming up in the next week, check back for links to the blog hop to celebrate it all.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Author Blog Hop - Meet The Authors

Lisa McManus Lange invited me to participate in a blog hop.  Today it's a different kind of blog hop.  Not a reader hop, nor a book hop, nor even a review hop.  Today it's an author hop.  How did this happen?  Or more aptly, what is this?

Well it's a hop that passes the torch from one author to another.

But first, a little more about how I got here.  As I said, Lisa McManus Lange invited me.  I met Lisa ages ago when I stumbled on her blog and was intrigued by a fellow Canadian author and by what she had to say.  So I'd leave a comment from time to time and one thing led to another and soon I found us in the "ultimate" of friendship moments "facebook friends".  Seriously, Lisa is one of those go-to girls you can always count on to cheer you on or help you out.  Not only that, but she just published her young-adult book Newbie Nick, the release date coming up soon!

The purpose of all this is so that you can find out a little more about the authors participating in this hop, starting out with me and moving on to the two authors I've tagged - and of course going backwards and checking out what Lisa had to say in her post.  So without further ado - here are the four questions that tell you a little more about me.

1.  What am I working on?
I am in that lull between projects.  The latest romantic suspense was just completed and I've agreed to do a romantic suspense series.  And the lull?  I'm not sure if you can call "thinking about the next stories" a lull.  But the action is all going on in my head right now and not on the computer.  Sorry, to scare some of you folks but yes, that's the way it is - there are voices in my head.  In my world, we writers call them characters.

2.  How does my work differ from others in my genre?
My work differs from others in my genre I think in one word, as with other authors, voice.  Each of us views the world in a different way and that transposes to our writing.  For me, I love exotic locations but I've also learned that one doesn't have to travel too far from home to discover  something that is strange and different and right in your corner of the world.  I like to find the differences and show how very much the same we all are - even in the face of difference.

3.  Why do I write what I do?

-->I write romantic suspense and women's fiction.  The latter is because I love to delve into the human condition, explore how life impacts women and give each story hope too, with a thread of romance weaving through whatever issue they are dealing with. And suspense?  I suppose writing romantic suspense was inevitable.  I grew up a cop's daughter and while other children were told not to talk to strangers, I was told to get a good description of the suspect and report home.   Now, that exchange in an airport or at a temple or the library or...  I think what if that's not just an innocent discussion, what if that's not just a pen, what if it's something more sinister? 

4.  How does my writing process work?
I usually think of an idea - sparked by something I see, hear - might be just a line someone says.  After that I need a setting, once I have that I begin to think of scenarios and then characters - what do they do, who are they?  This is where a lot of the research occurs, making sure I have the facts to make the setting and the characters' motivations real.  Once I have that I begin to write a synopsis and from there I write as close to three final chapters as I can get.  Once I've done that, I start writing.  That's when the organization stops, I write freestyle from there to the end, stopping only for the occasional fact finding mission or sometimes I just mark the trouble spot and worry about all of the remaining "reality" checks when I finish the first draft.

And the authors I've tagged? - Laura Whiskens and Annette Bower.

Danny BoyLaura Whiskens is a writer I met online in a writers' group.  She's one of a number of writers from "across the pond" whose work I've had the pleasure of reading lately.  I stumbled on her when I read her short story Danny Boy and knew I wanted to read more.  If you haven't read this story, I'd highly recommend it. 

Laura J. Whiskens is a British writer who published her first short story in July 2013.  Since Danny Boy was released she has written a further 3 short stories and published a paperback collection of her work, Telling Tales.  She has received 5 * reviews worldwide and is currently working on a new novel, two childrens' books and a further short story in The Hunter collection.
You can view her online blog here:

Woman of SubstanceLike me, Annette Bower is a Saskatchewan romance writer.  I don't remember the exact time and place that we met but Saskatchewan romance writers are relatively rare, so it was inevitable that we would bump into each other.   Annette's recent Woman of Substance is a thought provoking story that takes us to the heart of what it might be like to live as a morbidly obese woman. 

Annette Bower writes 100 word stories, and short stories that are published in anthologies and magazines.
Annette Bower writes novels, Woman of Substance, and soon to be      re-released, Moving On.
Annette Bower writes with a view of her city 
She loves company.

Mark your calendars and on June 16, hop on over to Laura's blog and on June 23 hop to Annette's and see how they both answered these same four questions and what authors they've tagged to do the same.  I'm betting that you'll stumble on a few books to add to that "To Be Read" pile.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

An Absent Mind

An Absent Mind is a riveting new novel from Eric Rill, author of Pinnacle of Deceit and The Innocent Traitor, is about a race against time.    The ticking time bomb is Saul Reimer's sanity.  His Alheimer's is going to be the catalyst that will either bring his family together or tear it apart.

My review of An Absent Mind:

Alzheimer's is a difficult journey for any individual or family to take and there is no opt out.  In An Absent Mind, Eric Rill takes on a family's journey as their patriarch is diagnosed with Alzheimer's.  The story is told in a unique fashion, first person that swings from one family member to another, including occasionally, Saul's doctor.  I liked the easy back and forth of switching from one person's story to another.

As Saul's Alzheimer's progresses, his point of views becomes shorter and shorter until they are only one garbled sentence.  And as the story evolves, we see the effect Saul's condition has on each member of the family, how they cope and grow or how they don't cope.  Nothing is a given, nothing is for sure, as this family struggles to survive.

Rill tells a story that captures you and keeps you turning pages to the end--it is a journey through Alzheimer's and while it can't be called everyone's journey, it opens the door on the effect, both good and bad, that  the disease can have on a family and on the patient.  And despite all the pain and the inevitable end, this story has heart and gets to the pulse of what family is all about.

I gave it five stars.

An excerpt from An Absent Mind:


It's all unraveling.

Last night, I found myself somewhere on Monkland Avenue.  I had no idea how I got there.  I looked in a store window and saw my reflection.  It took me a bit to figure it all out --like that the person in the window was a man, and that the man was me.

I didn't know what to do.  I glanced down at the bracelet on my wrist and everything--well, not everything, but the gist of it all came back to me.  I am Saul Reimer, formerly a healthy, intelligent man, married to the same woman for many years, and the father of two children he loves more than anything in the world.

The key word is formerly, as I am sure you have already figured out.  Because today--and I have no idea what day it is, other than it is really cold and I wish I had a jacket on--I am nothing, not a real man, that's for sure.  I mean, how can you be a real man when you don't even know where you are half the time, and when you do know, more often than not, you can't grasp the concept of your surroundings?

I felt in my pocket for my wallet, but it wasn't there.  All I had was my bank card.  I spotted an ATM machine at the corner.  But when I got there, I couldn't figure out how to work it.  A woman walked up from behind.  I gestured for her to go in front of me.  She smiled and said that she was in no rush.  I looked at the machine with all the words flashing across the screen.  My hands were getting slimy, and beads of that wet stuff covered my forehead.  Why couldn't she just go first?  Then suddenly, it all made sense.  I followed the directions, but it took a few tries to get the card into the machine with the strip the right way.  I looked behind me again.  The woman was fidgeting with her purse strap.  Then the machine asked me for a personal identification number.  The bad news is, I had no idea what it was.  My brain is like a short-wave radio, mostly static that occasionally finds the station, but even then the sound isn't always clear.

In a way, it will be a blessing, when my mind is totally gone, when I am a vegetable, slouched in a wheelchair.  Like many Alzheimer's patients on Montreal's West Side, I'll probably make a pit stop at Manoir Laurier.  Then when Manoir Laurier can't cope with me, or we can't afford it anymore, they'll ship me off to Belfrage Hospital, my final stop on this beloved earth.  I'll be there incontinent, drooling, and incoherent--that is, if I can even manage to get a word through my blistered lips.  And when it's all over--when my heart finally gives out, or I contract pneumonia and my family says, "Let Saul go; he deserves some peace"--when that happens, they'll take me down to the autopsy room, cut my skull open and find the tangles and plaques on my brain.  Then they will be able to say with 100 percent certainty that Saul Reimer had Alzheimer's.

Eric Rill was born in Montreal and graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Arts and from UCLA with an MBA.  He held several executive positions in the hospitality industry, including president of a global hotel group.  His hobbies include trekking, scuba diving, and coll  Recting antique carpets.   Eric has two sons and divides his time between his residence in Panama and international travel.  You can reach him at his website:

Absent Mind can be purchased at:

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Monday, May 5, 2014

Cinco de Mayo

Today there's not only Cinco de Mayo but all kinds of things to celebrate.  One, I've crawled out of the writing cave and submitted two projects aka stories.  I kind of miss them now, no more mornings running from deranged killers or crawling through bat caves and no more Josh - sigh and Max - add a second sigh there. 
 So they're off into the world and I wait and worry that they made it safely.

Meantime, last week I was blogging the alphabet with a great group of bloggers but things kind of fell apart near the end - for me, not for them.  So while I never got to x, y or z, I had fun all the same.  It was too bad as I had a favourite name for z.  i saw it on a clerk's badge one day while I was shopping.  Zed.  How great is that?  A name that appears, if phonetically pronounced, to be exactly how z is pronounced in Canada.

So back to Cinco de Mayo.  While I have no ties to that holiday and I'm not even in the right country, it's still a great excuse to haul out the lawn chairs, open a bottle of tequila and have a fish taco or two.  Because you know, there's been almost a full week without even a trace of snow!  Now if that isn't worth celebrating...

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

VW and the land of the Volkswagon

I saved V for today specifically to have the VW post.  I know that sounds right and it sounds plausible but it was also convenient.  As the story I am just finishing lurches to the finish line it is gobbling more of my time and it seems like it will never be done.  But the end of a story always feels like that, like the edits will never end.

And I'm happy to declare as I return to writing a blog post I started this morning, that the finish line has been reached, for now.  The story is out to my reader who fortunately, is much faster reading than I am at writing.

The punch to the finish line of a book reminds me of one of my first vehicles.  Back when in those free and easy days when all you have to think about is yourself and your possible career plan or lack there of, I was in love with the Volkswagon Beetle, and one of my first cars was a bug.  That was before its rebirth, we're talking the vintage model.

And as I thought about that old bug I remembered a trip that I took with a friend from the prairies to Victoria, British Columbia.  Now the VW could do sixty miles an hour top speed and that was with a
wind in your favour and a flat road.  So the mountains presented a bit of a challenge.  My trusty old VW crawled up those mountain roads chugging and panting to make it only to race down the other side. 

And then the worst happened.  The car wouldn't start.

Remember the days of youthful flying by the seat of your pants, when worries were as few as the dollars in your pocket?  A car that was a little finicky was not going to stop us from reaching Victoria not when just cooling the engine off got that car going again.  I shudder to think of driving that balky little vehicle onto the ferry for the last round of the trip.  But she started right up to drive off with no problems and we were problem free again until we hit the mainland.  From there we jump started the car a couple of times before we finally arrived home.

Why didn't we check in at a service station?  I wonder that now.  But if we had, I suppose now, I wouldn't have a story.  And the story was, that Volkswagon made it despite weary parts, all the way to the end.  Kind of like a story, one day at a time, one word at a time and eventually you'll finish that last word and voila - a story!

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Letter V Song

This morning there's not just one word beginning with V but a whole lot of V words.  Why weren't there learning videos like this when I was learning my alphabet?  Although, I don't know about you, but when I was singing A B C D - no one was mentioning consonants.  However, consonants are something every fledging writer should know.

For all you adults just enjoy this light video with your coffee, and maybe it will begin your day with a smile!

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Time for U

T is for time
U is for underestimate

Never underestimate time for it is probably out and about over-estimating you.  Like today when I am blogging T and U because I had so much time yesterday...not!  I thought I did.  I thought I had time to do it all, to catch up on my edits, to get a brochure for the upcoming craft sale ready, to walk the dog, pay the bills, answer e-mails, clean the house and the list rolled on. 

We all know the list.  The tasks that scroll threw our mind when the alarm rings in the morning.  And then like water dripping out of a tap, that distinct blip, blip, blip... and the day is gone. 
Yesterday I threw a few extra things into the rotation, a book finished and reviewed, a coffee with a friend I'd neglected, and the list goes on.  But there was even more I didn't get done.  Like that book, excuse me books, two of them - still working on it.  The book prizes that need to go out have moved to today - tomorrow at the outside and there again is a list, of what still needs to be done.

Time just got away!

So when I had the opportunity to review a new book about just that - maybe being happy with where you are and not rushing to be somewhere else or even be something else - I thought, yes I'm interested.    Now, I'm not sure if this is exactly what the author is going to tackle but it appeared to be on those lines and caught my interest.  Yes, it's more on my to do list but sometimes it's nice to do something a little different and give back.  Plus, as I said, the book might be helpful.  I'll update all of that on Goodreads.

Meantime I will continue to time wrangle and today in honour of saving time, I am blogging T and U. 

Til tomorrow.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Moving on the the letter S

I could say S is for snoring.  For that is what Rourke is doing as he lays on his bed, to my right this time.  He lays to my left when he curls up on the rug.  Don't ask, it's a dog behavior that he has developed on his own and one he refuses to explain.

S by contrast is also for silence or quiet that I blogged about only two days ago.  The silence that I often need when I write and somehow get by blocking the canine snoring.  To be fair, he doesn't always snore - but sometimes...  Maybe there lies my answer to how people work in coffee shops, they block out the noise.  Thank you letter S.

S is also for summer, a season we're looking forward to on the prairie where snow is still being punched and pushed and reconfigured to encourage those last few piles to melt.  I suppose we could mention that other S - snow but we don't like to encourage that party animal who needs no invitation to show up unannounced.

And one other thing, S is for soda.  Hey, I needed that word for the picture.  I was getting a little tired of posting the party animal's pic - you know the one, read up a line or two, it begins with S too.  Shhh!

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What Are You Reading?

I'm one day behind on blogging the alphabet.  Does being one day ahead in the earlier letters give me any banked credit?  I thought not.  I also see that my reading might be a little behind too.  Possibly it's having five books on the go that's the problem.  Possibly it's those two book I'm trying to do edits on.

But all that aside here's some of what I'm reading.

Luckbane (Otherworld #1)Luckbane by Tony Breeden
In a dystopian future, online gaming is the ultimate escape… until one corporation gives a few lucky players the chance to play their favorite sword and sorcery game live and in person on a distant planet. In the inaugural Ƙtherworld campaign, the winners will face monsters, magic, warriors, dragons, and betrayal as they quest to find a weapon capable of stopping the dreaded Firelord and his armies.

Against Her WillAgainst Her Will by Peter Martin
Rape is every woman’s worst nightmare, an act so vile, so devastating, it robs the victim of any sort of dignity, leaving scars that can last a. lifetime. Having family and friends rally round can make all the difference in the world. But without this support the victim may never fully recover.
Donna is such a victim. 

Against Her Will is a dark story that draws you in right away and interestingly enough, written by a man.  Luckbane is a rollicking, fast paced story that took me into the amazing world of gamers.  So far, I'd recommend both.

What are you reading?

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