Saturday, December 7, 2019

In Canada We Skate!

I was walking through a sporting goods store yesterday when hidden behind the skating and hockey equipment section came a woman's voice. That voice had an accent that I first thought was German but then devolved to what might be eastern European. I say this because of what she said next... like skating was something new that must be experienced.

I'm fairly sure it wasn't figure skates this woman was after.
"In Canada we skate. Pick out some skates." 

The woman's voice was firm, no-nonsense, no argument in its tone. And, it got my attention, both the words and the inflection. Especially when followed by the childish voice hidden between racks of hockey equipment and skates. 


The no's of the child, the demands of the woman, went back and forth as I walked by; and as I tried not to look like I was eavesdropping when I obviously was. But it was a conversation like no other and one that made me smile. The woman was insistent that skates would be purchased and that the child would skate. Because - that's what you did here in Canada. She said that more than once. 


I didn't know that Canada was defined as a land full of skaters. But maybe from a different point of view, it was. After all, most communities in the city have at least one skating rink. There's stories of NHL stars of years gone by who skated on frozen dugouts. And, even I still have a pair of skates in the basement, gathering dust - just in case I get the urge to skate. I'm vowing this year. Of course, I also vowed last year.

My thoughts are broken by another even more empathetic no from the hidden child who is still clearly determined to dodge the skating issue.

"We skate," the woman said firmly as she emerged from between the aisles. She looked at me calmly and then disappeared again, I assume to coral the child and have him try on a pair of skates. 

If it's outdoor skating she's insisting on - she's going to be disappointed. It's so far been  rather snowless and too warm for good ice, at least outdoors. Right now, we should be in winter boots but the streets and sidewalks are still relatively clear of snow and ice. I don't know if that's good or bad for the invisible child. From his answers I'm guessing good unless the woman I'm guessing is his mother has plans of hauling him to an indoor rink.

"No. I don't want to," says the childish voice again - and now with even more determination.

Skating might or might not be as Canadian as toques but he's made it clear - that doesn't mean that he needs to be a stereotype.

The conversation wasn't over... yes - no - maybe....  I took the high road - the exit door and headed to my car, finally - minding my own business.

Winter - the good, the bad and the funny!

If you haven't ordered your copy of The Tears We Never Cried - it might be perfect for curling up after a long day or for a gift for that illusive someone.

 Current contests:
Enter this contest and give me and other authors a follow on social media and be entered to win a gift card. Fessing up - there's a number of social medial links you can follow us on - I'd prefer Bookbub, just saying. But in the end - fingers crossed that you enter and win! 


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Thursday, December 5, 2019

A New Release - The Christmas Countdown - It's Crazy!

The days are ticking away and Christmas is fast approaching...and I haven't done any Christmas shopping. In my defence, I have a book coming out on December 10 which has pretty much taken my attention. But we'll get back to that later. For now it's my abysmal lack of Christmas preparation that has me a bit frazzled. I admit I did have the "how are we doing Christmas supper" talk with my brother. This year is going to be a bit different as we've decided to split the cooking and meet in the middle - mom's. My mother has always hosted Christmas which sounds like an imposition on her. In reality, it's what she's always wanted. And we do the cleaning up - now we're doing the prepping up too. This year she's supplying the place and us the food. Although I did hear she's cooking turnips.


Don't know about you but I've never liked turnips. There's something about that root vegetable that just - well it's one of those things you eat so you don't starve.

Anyway, today I'm pushing that toe deeper into the waters of Christmas preparation and hauling out the Christmas decorations...  this evening. We'll see how that goes. But for now, with no ornaments out and about - I'll share a pic of my recent visitor looking suitably Canadian/Winter/Christmas with her touque.

Yes, another five second photo shoot - she was not much enamoured of the touque. And, I know, I'm pushing things here but my next post, I promise, will be festive.

In the meantime, we're counting down not just to Christmas but on December 10 The Tears We Never Cried is releasing. Have you pre-ordered your copy?

Here's an excerpt from The Tears We Never Cried:

From the diary of Jessica Jane McDowall
I’d always thought that death should come quickly. There’s nothing humane about lingering. But nature is cruel and there’s no finer example than what happened to Mama.
Mama’s illness was the worst of a string of bad luck that only brightened once with the birth of my daughter, Cassandra Lynn. But life is a fickle thing. You give life and then you have life taken away.
Mama and Dad have been gone for almost a year, my husband, Tom for quite some months. It’s only me and Cassie now and that part feels right. What feels wrong is the fact that my parents are gone. I know I’m too old to feel like this. After all, I’m the mother of a nine- year-old, but I feel like an orphan. I have nothing left of Mama but the pearls she so loved.
I plan never to tell Cassandra what happened to Mama. I know it’s about as useful as collecting good luck charms. I feel if I don’t talk about it, then it has become rather like Pandora’s box, safe as long as it remains tucked away ... unseen ... unknown ...

Chapter One December 6
I remember the moment it happened. I had barely pulled away from the curb, done a quick shoulder check, and that’s when life broadsided me.
I was thirty-nine, coincidentally exactly forty weeks from my fortieth birthday. I’ve lived forever since that moment, or so it seemed. Even though it was really only a year and change out of my life, that day that began it all. It was a day like any other except ... I swear the ring on my phone was louder than normal. And Mother’s voice was strident and demanding.
“Cassie, you best get over here now. I’ve lost my best pen and they’ve taken my Christmas cards away.”
I had no idea what she was talking about, but the panic in her voice was real and like nothing I had heard before.
“Cassandra McDowall?” The disembodied voice was no longer my mother’s, but instead one that was male and full of authority.
“Yes.” Somehow my fingers were already knotting in trepidation of what he might want.
“This is Tod Rushinski, staff sergeant with the Regina City Police.”
My palms began to sweat.
“Your mother is Jessica Jane McDowell?”
“Yes.” Fortunately it was the only word required for it was 
the only word I could choke out. The police never phoned for a good reason.
“We have your mother here at the station.”
“My mother? Is she all right?” Images of my tiny mother, cuffed and chained, surrounded by burly police officers poised to pounce at her slightest move sent shock waves through me. I imagined the terror on her face, her usually neatly coiffed hair askew. Horror reels played through my mind. Mother hurt, injured, attacked by unknown thugs.
Elder abuse, rape, mugging.
Mother, her coral pink lipstick smeared across one crinkled cheek, swinging her purse and being taken down and left bruised and alone by a dumpster.
Who could have done this to her? What had happened? I couldn’t choke out the question. Instead I had a chokehold on the steering wheel....

So sit down with a glass of your favourite beverage and relax, enjoy the season and watch one of those Christmas movies or read your copy of The Tears We Never Cried a book that explores love in ways that go beyond romantic love - perfect for the season. Or, at least I hope... Get your copy and see for yourself.

If you're on bookbub - check out the contest that's running there. Give me and other authors a follow and be entered to win a gift card. Fessing up - there's a number of social medial links you can follow us on - I'd prefer Bookbub, just saying. But in the end - fingers crossed that you enter and win! 


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Monday, November 25, 2019

Skye Warren - Audition

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Skye Warren will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Blood and sweat. Bethany Lewis danced her way out of poverty. She’s a world class athlete… with a debt to pay.

Joshua North always gets what he wants. And the mercenary wants Bethany in his bed. He wants her beautiful little body bent to his will.

She doesn’t surrender to his kiss.
He doesn’t back down from a challenge.
It’s going to be a sensual fight… to the death.

Read an Excerpt:

Blinding lights. Aching lungs. Thunderous applause. The final show concludes the same way we rehearsed for months, the same way we performed for weeks. My muscles know the movements better than they understand rest. The prospect of after, of what comes next, makes my breath catch. Even as the primas take their bows, relief echoes around the stage. Vacations are planned. Relief for strained muscles. Everyone needs a break, even professional athletes. I’m the only one onstage dreading it.

We bow and curtesy with practiced grace. The curtain descends to the floor. Almost to the second we break formation—a flock of crows startled from the woods. The more exuberant among us, the young ones, the new ones, the ones using steroids, prance and jete toward the dressing rooms. Most of us limp our way out. One hundred percent of NFL players are injured every season. Professional dancing is the same. We hurl our bodies through the air, forcing massive impact through tired joints night after night. I catch my friend Marlena in my arms. Her face is white with pain.

“Ice,” she says. “Or better yet—tequila.”

I push my shoulder under hers as we exit the stage. “Don’t sell yourself short. You can have both.”

A delicate snort. “Not likely. We have to smile and flirt with the old men with big, fat wallets. And for what? I won’t be here next season. You won’t be, either.”

The reminder clangs inside me like a copper bell. I won’t be coming to the New York City Ballet after the break. We fall into our creaky chairs in the dressing room. “Are you going to miss it?”

“Miss it? Of course I’ll miss it.” Marlena turned twenty-eight last month. It’s comfortably retirement age for a dancer. “When the little children do their terrible pirouettes, when they sneeze and throw up and cry all over my leotard, I’ll think fondly of the beautiful art I left behind. Then I’ll be able to walk home. That won’t happen if I try to dance another season.”

“You’ll make a wonderful teacher. You know you were mine.” She didn’t teach me to dance. It was my first love, before I learned to flip and contort myself. Before I ever leapt from a trapeze bar.

Marlena taught me the ropes of the ballet company when I joined two years ago. Most of them thought I wouldn’t last a week. Some of them didn’t want me to. It’s a rigid world, the hierarchy stacked with graduates of Juilliard or the John Cranko school.

I don’t have a pedigree.

All I have is a body that does what it must, no matter how much it hurts.

Which means changing out of my sweaty leotard into a fresh one. We’re contractually obligated to attend the ball. Like Marlena said, we should smile and flirt with the high society people who attend. Both the male and female dancers have to do it. It’s what convinces the sponsors to write checks that will fund the next season. By the time they’re rehearsing The Nutcracker I’ll be in New Orleans, the place I swore I’d never return.

About the Author: 

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance. 
Her books have sold over one million copies. She makes her home in Texas with 
her loving family, sweet dogs, and evil cat.

Check out more about Skye Warren or her new book - Audition:

               Get your copy of Audition today!                     

 Amazon  Apple Books  Barnes & Noble

Enter to win 
a $15 Amazon/BN GC - a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to follow the tour - and up your chances of winning!  Goddess Fish Promotions

Til next time! I'm off to check out Audition!


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Friday, November 15, 2019

Marketing - Pass or Fail

So for all you readers who love to see the inside of the writing machine, and all you writers out there, today is a test. Today The Tears We Never Cried is up for pre-order. With this book fresh out of the gates, there's not been much push from me as far as advertising as I was missing key elements, a cover - a blurb etc. But in the last few days all that has come together so I've blogged and put up a facebook post - that's not a lot. So with everything at the starting gate, I ran a facebook ad this morning on my cover reveal with a link to

I must admit that I didn't spend a whole lot - $15. But, it will have a reach of 900 to 1200 a day. So a small reach but I'm baby-stepping on this first day but this is a marathon not a sprint. And, as far as the ad, I think that I can safely assume that most sales in the next few days will be a result of this ad.

Will I get clear results? I don't know - I'm just marking dates and hoping there'll be something to compare to on release day - December 10.

In the meantime, feel free to skew the results by pre-ordering your copy of The Tears We Never Cried:

Til next time!


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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Cover Reveal - The Tears We Never Cried

The Tears We Never Cried, my first women's fiction novel is poised for publication in December of this year.

Insert a little happy dance here.

Here is the cover - it's amazing as all my publisher's covers are.

The Tears We never Cried was truly the book of my heart. It's a story about a woman placed in an unimaginable situation - caring for a mother just diagnosed with Alzheimer's. But the idea to write such a story was influenced by my father and his over twenty-year journey with the disease. The idea came to me to write the book as I watched my mother become my father's primary support and I wondered what would happen if she weren't there. What if it was not a father but a mother. What if she had only one child.

And while, The Tears We Never Cried, is purely fiction, there are incidents within the book that I must admit were inspired by real life. But from there it veered, as such stories always do, into the heart of my imagination. It is more a story of a mother and daughter finding each other in the midst of a tragedy and of secrets that threaten to destroy what they've built or alternatively, bring them that much closer together.

The Tears We Never Cried is really two love stories; the love of a mother and daughter and then - the romantic love between Russ and Cassie.  While romance is not the headliner of this story nor even the theme, it does make an appearance. Russ and Cassie's growing attraction thread through the book.

Here's the official blurb:

A mother's tragic diagnosis.
A daughter's life on hold.
An ending and a new beginning...

Cassandra McDowall's mother has been forgetful for a while, but she never anticipated rapid-onset Alzheimer's to come out of nowhere and shake their world to its very core.

As Cassie puts her already-lacklustre life on hold, her mom's indomitable will and spirit of adventure prove to be a handful.

And as her mother fades, the two embark on one last adventure - a journey that reveals secrets on the brink of being lost, the joy of foreign sunsets, and a love where she hadn't thought it possible.

Til next time!


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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Colder Than Sin by Toni Anderson

With winter fast approaching, it's time to gather books and hunker down. And on that note - today I'm sharing another romantic suspense 
October release,
 Toni Anderson and her Cold Justice Series.

The next book in the series, Colder Than Sin, is available for pre-order!

Hostage Negotiators can talk themselves out of anything—except falling in love.

Colder Than Sin by Toni Anderson
Release date: October 22, 2019

Toni Anderson has mixed up the perfect cocktail of international intrigue, non-stop action, and chemistry that sizzles off the page.” - Adriana Anders, author of WHITEOUT

Top FBI negotiator Quentin Savage is hurled into his worst nightmare when a terrorist attack on a luxury hotel propels him from esteemed keynote speaker to powerless captive.

Haley Cramer is co-owner of a private security firm and prides herself on her independence, but she is shaken to the core when gunmen attack a conference she is attending. She survives, but only because Quentin Savage pretends she’s his wife.

Together Savage and Haley plot their escape from a ragtag army of brutal but efficient thugs while struggling to figure out exactly who the enemy is. Why was the conference attacked, and why was Quentin a specific target? 

Toni Anderson writes award-winning, bestselling, FBI Romantic Thrillers. She is a New York Times 
and USA Today bestselling author, RITA® finalist, science nerd, professional tourist, dog lover, 
gardener, mom. Anderson's books have won the Readers' Choice Award, Aspen Gold, 
National Excellence in Romance Fiction, Book Buyers’  Best.  

Originally from a small town in Shropshire, Toni studied Marine Biology at 

University of Liverpool (BSc) and University of St. Andrews (Ph.D.) with the intention she’d never 
be far from the ocean. Well, that plan backfired and she ended up in the Canadian prairies with her biology professor husband, two kids, a rescue dog, and a laid-back leopard gecko. 

Colder than Sin is available at:  

Print (a sample)

Find out more about Toni Anderson and her books at her website:
Toni Anderson  (
or on Goodreads

 Colder than Sin - Content Advisory: this book contains graphic violence (sexual assault, murder). For more information 

More October releases - click the cover to check them out and/or get your copy!


                                                        ...a world you never imagined!

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