General

Win an iPad Mini!!!

GOOD NEWS!!!

Love in Disguise, the 7-author, 7-book/novella boxed set that I’m a part of (THIEF OF HEARTS), has broken the top 100 in AMAZON, is an aRE #1 Bestseller and is rated #31 on Barnes and Noble!!!

(Here are the links)

Amazon, Nook, Apple, Kobo

But what you don’t know is that we’re having an awesome CONTEST to help other readers find the $.99 deal and to give it the attention it deserves.

Here’s the deal: When Love in Disguise hits the TOP 50 on Amazon Kindle books and the TOP 10 on Barnes & Noble Nook books, we’re unlocking an amazing prize:

AN iPAD MINI!!!!
Entering the contest is FREE — just tweet, share on Facebook and “Like” us so you know when we have future new releases. That is IT! Enter now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Categories: Boxed Set, Contests, Fantasy, General, New Release, Thief of Hearts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Easy Summer Solstice Meal

I love Summer Solstice. I love the longs hours of sunlight, the fresh scent of new leaves and mown grass after a spring rain. I also love dressing up. So, I look forward to this time of year because some neighbourhood friends host an annual medieval feast on Summer Solstice. We dress up, drink out of pewter goblets, eat with our hands and try to cook as authentically as we can. I’ve used this awesome site, A Boke of Gode Cookery, as my source. It’s put together by James Matterer which he has translated and adapted for the modern cook. According to his website, “James has been preparing medieval food since 1979 and has been working from period sources and creating his own contemporary redactions since 1989. Each recipe here is derived from his own personal experience in the recreation of that dish.”

Tonight, in honour of the approaching solstice, I’m making Mushroom Pasty (very tasty and very easy!) with venison stew (my own recipe). Here’s the original recipe for Mushroom Pasty from A Boke of Gode Cookery:

Mushrooms of one night be the best and they be little and red within and closed at the top; and they must be peeled and then washed in hot water and parboiled and if you wish to put them in a pasty add oil, cheese and spice powder.

– Power, Eileen. The Goodman of Paris (Le Ménagier de Paris). A Treatise on Moral and Domestic Economy by A Citizen of Paris (c. 1395). New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1928.

In the past I’ve also made Bryndons, small cakes simmered in a wine sauce with fruit and nuts (yum, yum!). Here’s the original recipe from A Boke of Gode Cookery:

.xlix. Bryndons. Take Wyn, & putte in a potte, an clarifyd hony, an Saunderys, pepir, Safroun, Clowes, Maces, & Quybibys, & mynced Datys, Pynys and Roysonys of Corauns, & a lytil Vynegre, & sethe it on þe fyre; an sethe fygys in Wyne, & grynde hem, & draw hem þorw a straynoure, & caste þer-to, an lete hem boyle alle to-gederys; þan take fayre flowre, Safroun, Sugre, & Fayre Water, and make þer-of cakys, and let hem be þinne Inow; þan kyte hem y lyke lechyngys, an caste hem in fayre Oyle, and fry hem a lytil whyle; þanne take hem owt of þe panne, an caste in-to a vesselle with þe Syrippe, & so serue hem forth, þe bryndonys an þe Sirippe, in a dysshe; & let þe Sirippe be rennyng, & not to styf.

– Austin, Thomas. Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books. Harleian MS. 279 & Harl. MS. 4016, with extracts from Ashmole MS. 1429, Laud MS. 553, & Douce MS 55. London: for The Early English Text Society by N. Trübner & Co., 1888.

Here are some pics from our solstice parties!

The Whole Clan

The Whole Clan

A Medieval Brawl

A Medieval Brawl

Categories: Fantasy, General, Medieval Fun | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shout Out to Some of My Writing Pals

It’s been quite a weekend for a number of my writing pals and I’d like to take a moment to congratulate a few of them.

1. Steena Holmes – author, cover artist and indie proponent.

Her latest book, Finding Emma came out this weekend.

A child torn from the arms of loving parents, a relationship torn apart from loss…
Megan sees her daughter Emma everywhere. She’s the little girl standing in the supermarket, the child waiting for the swings at the playground, the girl with ice cream dripping down her face. But it’s never Emma.

Because Emma’s been missing for two years.

Unable to handle the constant heartache of all the false sightings, Megan’s husband threatens to walk away unless Megan can agree to accept Emma is gone. Megan’s life and marriage is crumbling all around her and she realizes she may have to do the thing she dreads most: move on.

When Megan takes a photo of a little girl with an elderly couple at the town fair, she believes it to be her missing daughter. Unable to let go, she sets in motion a sequence of events that could destroy both families lives.

Ms. Holmes has partnered with The Missing Children’s Society of Canada and is donating a portion of all proceeds to the charity. Congratulations on this release!

2. Victoria Chatham – historical author and overall lovely lady!

Ms. Chatham’s first book, Always a Lady, was released March 15th as part of the Bandit Creek Book Series.

Lady Serena Buxton follows her husband from England to Bandit Creek, Montana. Randolph is a partner in the Ellis gold mine, but when she arrives, she is horrified to find that Randolph is missing.

Sheriff Wilson seems to be keeping a watchful eye on her. Why? Douglas King, the mine manager, treats her as if she is already a widow. What does he know? The bank manager refuses her request for access to Randolph’s account. With no husband and no money, what is a girl to do?

Serena has an unsuspected and quite shocking talent. With the help of two enterprising local ladies, Serena prepares for a public performance. But when the news leaks out, she finds the only venue she can secure is in the Men’s Club owned by King. Like it or not, she has no option but to ask him regardless of what terms he may insist on. Billed as Ayesha, Oriental Dancer Extraordinaire, she prepares for her show which she hopes will make enough money for her to stay in Bandit Creek until Randolph is found.

The whole town, as well as a train full of people from nearby Missoula, turns out for her performance. The Club is packed. But who is in the crowd, watching? Will King insist on exacting his fees? And will Serena be reunited with the husband she loves?

Congratulations, Victoria on your debut release! I’m so happy for you!

3. Louise Behiel – author, psychologist and overall wise woman.

Louise not only writes compelling blog posts, she writes a compelling story and I am so pleased to announce her debut novel, Family Ties.

Loner, Grayson Mills realized long ago that he’s unable to establish and sustain meaningful relationships – especially with women. He’s constructed a lifestyle based on being alone and his sexy new neighbor isn’t going to change his decision.
Child psychologist Andie Bowen has four foster children, all with special emotional needs. Andie’s committed to the children and she’s not going to upset them by getting involved with a man who could never accept her family.

When six year old Chloe breaks into Gray’s home, Andie is appalled until she realizes that Jamie, her clinging youngest child, left her side for the first time in months – to look at one of Gray’s treasures.

When an unknown assailant starts tormenting Andie’s family, Gray has no choice but to step in and help protect his neighbor and her family. To protect Andie and her children, Gray will have to acknowledge his nightmares and their meaning in his life.

Together they will face his past, forcing Gray to confront his emotional needs while struggling to keep Andie and her children safe.

Congratulations on your debut release, Louise! I’m looking forward to more of your work in the near future.

4. Michelle Beattie – From pirates to cowboys, Michelle weaves tales about strong women and proud men and the adventures that bring them together.

Michelle is a DOUBLE winner of the 2012 Silken Sands Star Contest. Her winning entries include, Another Chance and Love by Accident.

 Being a veterinarian in the late 1800’s is difficult enough, but for Jillian Matthews it’s impossible. Not allowed in the vet schools, she trained at her father’s side until she had the skills needed to move west. Jillian accepts an advertisement for a position in Montana, using only her initials which happen to be same as her father’s. Convinced that in the untamed west, her skills will be valued and appreciated, regardless of her gender, she’s quickly proved wrong.

Wade Parker is sure the pretty redhead claiming to be the vet he sent for is one of his ranch hands’ practical jokes but the fiery woman very quickly puts him in his place and proves him wrong. His impression, however, turns south when the animal she operated on later dies. With a ranch on the verge of bankruptcy, losing an animal was the last thing he could afford and he can’t help thinking the old vet, the male doctor, wouldn’t have let his animal die.

With Wade’s initial reaction guiding them, the town is quick to want Jillian out. But the more Wade gets to know Jillian, the more he sees her grit and compassion, the harder he falls for her. When Wade realizes he was too hasty in his judgment and urges the town to give Jillian another chance, he makes more than few enemies. Enemies that would do almost anything to get her out, and to make sure Wade doesn’t take her side again.

Soon threats turn to violence and both Wade and Jillian must make a stand. The problem is, at what cost?

Love by Accident

Lauren McKinnon’s life changed four years ago when the car she was driving spun off the road killing her lover, Gil and leaving their best friend, Matt paralyzed. Overwhelmed by guilt, Lauren flees town and lives a life as a shadow of the woman she used to be.

Matt Skarpinksy overcame all odds and learned to walk again. Now, after tracking Lauren down, he moves to Jasper to confront the woman he’s always loved. Why did she leave him when he most needed her? What isn’t she telling him about the accident he doesn’t remember? And, just as their friendship turns to love, will Gil always stand between them?

Well, Matt’s about to find out as Gil, in the form of a ghost, guides Matt toward what really happened four years ago. But will the truth set Matt and Lauren free, or tear them apart once and for all?

Congratulations on this stellar double win!

 

 

 

Categories: Bandit Creek Books, Contests, General, Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

It’s All About The Heart

It’s February and you know what that means…Valentine’s Day!

Did you know that it is also Heart Health Month?

On Valentine’s Day, I’m releasing the first book of my THIEF OF HEARTS trilogy THIEF OF HEARTS: WANTED.

In honor of Heart Health Month, I’m donating $1 from each book sold between February 14 and March 14 to The Heart and Stroke Foundation.

One of the reasons I’ve decided to do this is to try to promote heart health and awareness particularly to women. I’ve always considered myself healthy and active and figured I’d live as long as my grandparents (nearly all of whom lived well into their 90s). However, I conveniently looked to my adoptive family for heart health. It wasn’t until I met my birthmother that I became aware of the fact that heart disease may run in my family. Both my maternal grandparents died fairly young (59 and 66) from heart attacks.

That knowledge has made me view my own ‘heart health’ in a completely different light. I’d never really considered the possibility of a heart attack before. Now I realize that heart disease is the #1 killer of women. Death Loves Women (check out this 30 second commercial)

There was an email that came through my inbox a few weeks ago that I want to share. I do not know who the author of this email is and if you are the author and wish for this to be removed from my website, please contact me. However, the instructions on the email were clear that this information should be passed on. It is one woman’s experience with a heart attack and her atypical symptoms.

Please take a moment to read and pass this on!

NURSE’S HEART ATTACK EXPERIENCE

Continue reading

Categories: All About the Heart, General | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Self-Publishing for Me?

There is a craze taking hold of the publishing industry; the self-publishing craze. If you aren’t aware of it, then you’re an even bigger hermit than I am (but if that describes you, you probably aren’t reading this…you’re probably sitting and writing and not perusing blogs!) It was only a year or two ago that, as a fiction writer, self-publishing was a dirty word.

Now it’s a buzz word.

The question is, is self-publishing for you?

I am not an expert. I have a novella published with a reputable e-book first publisher (Samhain Publishing) and another novella coming out with a different e-publisher (Carina Press). I have self-published one title (Siren’s Song) and am about to release a trilogy called Thief of Hearts, a fantastical retelling of Robin Hood, where Little John is a woman in disguise.

But, like I said, I am far from being an expert. However, I do want to share my philosophy and thoughts on self-publishing.

First of all, I can honestly say that self-publishing a novella with plans of publishing more has completely altered my way of thinking about writing and given me the motivation to press on in a difficult-to-break-into industry during a difficult economic climate. I have never written more and never had more ideas. This sort of enthusiasm is manna to a writer and is the sort of excitement that is extremely hard to maintain while waiting months and often years to hear back from editors and agents.

As a writer, I consider myself to be an artist. Yet, in what other medium do we expect people to create art and then hide it away until someone recognizes them? Painters, sculptors and photographers have webpages, put on art shows and sell their work while waiting for big galleries to pick them up. Musicians produce CDs and accept money for gigs–some play on street corners, some in clubs, some at weddings and functions–while waiting to make it to the ‘big time’. Why is it any different for writers?

In my opinion, it shouldn’t be.

Which brings me to my next point. Because I’ve embraced self-publishing as an option, does that mean I have given up on traditional publishing avenues?

NO!

Diversification is the key. The principal of diversification is not exclusive to writing. As any financial planner will tell you, an investor should have a diversified portfolio. If one area of their  investment takes a nose dive, they’ve got other investments to keep their portfolio healthy. For years, coaches and personal trainers have preached the importance of cross-training in order to keep the body  balanced and free from repetitive strain injuries. There are countless sayings that speak to this issue; don’t put all your eggs in one basket, variety is the spice of life…

Okay. You get the picture.

Therefore, it is my belief that a balanced approach to self-publishing is the way to go. I am going to continue submitting to agents and editors, both at larger houses and small presses. In the meantime, I’m going to build my name with some self-published titles. I have a plan and that is the important point. There are parts of my plan that I have control over, there are parts where I have no control. But I have a plan. If you decide to take this approach, don’t do it willy nilly. In fact, that’s the joy of self-publishing; as an author, you now have the opportunity to create a business plan and follow through on that plan without completely being at the mercy of the market, a publisher, an editor, an agent and so on.

Keep in mind, however, that what is equally important, of course, is quality. Don’t be fooled, self-publishing is hard work. Yes, you are in control, but you are also responsible for everything, that includes the quality of your work–is it good enough? Is it marketable? Is it professional? The quality of your cover. The quality of your formatting and promotions. It’s all up to you. If your book succeeds it is all due to your hard work. If it doesn’t succeed to the degree you’d hoped, well…

Categories: Fantasy, General, Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

30 Days of Secrets Over at Bandit Creek Books

Ooo!! I just love secrets, don’t you? And you can find out 30 different secrets about 30 different authors in Bandit Creek’s 30 Days of Secrets Promotion. The first author to ‘reveal all’ is Roxy Boroughs…check it out!

Categories: Bandit Creek Books, General, Siren's Song | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

BANDIT CREEK Series Launch September 15, 2011

I’m excited to announce the Bandit Creek Book Series.  33 stores over the next 16 months to titillate and tantalize, whatever your taste, you’ll find it here, at Bandit Creek!

The first book in the series is LOST (Mystery) by author Vivi Anna and it will be released September 15.

Kirsten Morgan can hear the dead. And now they are calling to her, to come home to Bandit Creek.

 

A girl has gone missing, and the law don’t have any leads. But the last thing Sheriff Samuel Morgan wants to see is his famous psychic daughter in his office telling him how to do his job. At odds for years, Kirsten doesn’t know how to talk to her father but she knows she has to push him to a place he doesn’t want to go. Because the dead are talking, and she has to answer, or lose her mind forever.

 

 

 

My Book SIREN’S SONG will be released October 1st.  Love the twists, turns and paradoxes involved in a good time travel?  Then I think you’ll like SIREN’S SONG

Siren’s Song (Romance) – October 1, 2011

After giving up fame, Joss Jones just wants a normal life.  Maybe she’ll find it in Bandit Creek.  Or…maybe not.  From the moment she moves into the old mansion she inherited, she’s stalked by a ghost who enjoys tormenting her before dragging her back in time to Bandit Creek, 1899.  Has she gone crazy or is this old mining town, full of saloons, gambling, whoring and fortune seekers her new reality?  It feels real enough as does the ghost who brought her here.  His name is Morgan Hawes and he’s a living breathing human being who is very much alive.  Is Morgan the key to Joss finding her way home or is Joss stuck for the rest of her life as the Siren of Bandit Creek?

 

Categories: Fantasy, General | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

TO BE, OR NOT TO BE…A WRITER

A wise friend once told me, if you want to be a writer, you need to be a writer.  Do all the things that writers do.  Surround yourself with writers, talk about yourself as if you are a writer, network with writers and above all else, write.  What she failed to mention is that this ‘being a writer’ thing requires incredible stamina.  It is definitely not a sprint.  It isn’t even a slow and steady jog.  It’s a marathon, a test of endurance, strength and discipline. 

Sarah Bernhardt as Hamlet with Yorick's skull

Sarah Bernhardt as Hamlet

 So how does one, be a writer before they are published?  There are many things you can do.  But first and foremost:

  1. Write.  Too often we get caught up in all the other things going on in our lives.  However, if you want to write, if you truly want to be a writer, you have to make time for it.
  2. Join a writing community.  If you are reading this article, chances are you belong to a writing group.  But ask yourself what you are getting out of this group.  Are you learning anything?  Is the group helping your writing career or is it just one more thing that is taking up time in your life and keeping you from writing?  There are many, many forums for writers out there.  Choose your community carefully.
  3. Present yourself as a writer.  When people ask you what you do, tell them you are a writer and say it with conviction.  If you don’t believe it, no one else will.  This was a transition I personally had to make slowly (otherwise I felt like a fraud).  I began with, “I’m a teacher, but I’m not teaching right now, I’m writing in my spare time.”  Then I started saying, “I used to be a teacher but now I write.”  Now I say, “I’m a writer.”  And you know what?  I feel like a writer.
  4. Be professional.  If you want to write as a career, treat it as such.  Your query letter is your cover letter, your partial is your resume.  Make sure you are sending out your very best work and if your project is passed on, make sure you send a gracious thank-you as you never know when your paths will cross again.  Conferences and workshops are like job fairs, an opportunity to see what’s out there and to network.  Create a professional persona with the name you plan to use, business cards and websites.  There are many ways to do this without spending a lot of money.  Ask the members of your writing group if you need help, that’s what they’re there for.
  5. Network.  Like any other business, networking is imperative.  Take a step out of your comfort zone and attend conferences to meet people in the industry and to feel a part of that industry.  Don’t just focus on industry professionals, meet other authors and readers, you never know who anyone is or who they will become.  Again, be professional and gracious.  Yes, attending conferences can be costly but think of it as an investment. If money is an issue, plan for it.  Do things like collect air miles to help pay for flights.  Share a room with others – it’s a great way to meet people and to cut costs.  If a conference is really unattainable, there are many ways to network free of charge.  Twitter and Facebook are easy ways to make contacts without spending a dime.  If blogging isn’t for you, take some time to simply follow and comment on other peoples’ blogs.
  6. Volunteer.  I have been so amazed and delighted by the support in this industry and have directly benefited by the guidance of others who have been involved longer than I have.  I know I’m not alone.  Pay it forward.  Volunteer in your writing group, it’s another great way to meet industry professionals, one-on-one.  Help those who are newer to this than you, you never know – they may someday become your biggest fan.  Volunteer at conferences to moderate a panel – you could end up meeting one of your favorite authors.  Teach writing classes, find an aspect of the craft that you excel at and share your techniques with others.
  7. Write.  Just in case you’d forgotten.  It’s a marathon, remember?  And, as Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence is not an act, but a habit.”

    Plato and Aristotle

    Aristotle and Plato

Categories: General, Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Coming Down From RT Booklovers Convention 2011

Wow!  What a wild ride.  My first ever Romantic Times Booklovers Convention.  I’d heard so much about it and let me tell you the experience did not disappoint.  My pictures, however, did!  I’m terrible at taking pictures.  I bring my camera to everything and then promptly forget all about using it.  Oh well, here’s a link to a great new agent’s blog – Adventures in Agentland – by Natalie Fischer, who has been with Bradford Literary Agency for a number of months now.  I had the pleasure of meeting her at the convention.  She did a wonderful picture montage of some of the key elements of the convention – and if you watch carefully, you might actually catch a glimpse of my alter ego.

Highlights of the convention include (but are not limited to): A workshop with Dean Koontz – he’s awesome! A fabulous workshop with Michael Hauge on plot structure, great panels with authors; Vivi Anna, Lauren Dane, Megan HartKimberly Kaye Terry, Brenda Jackson, and many more.  Just hanging with some of my other fave authors, including Ann Aguirre, Beth Williamson, HelenKay Dimon and Vivian Arend.  Meeting my oh- so- lovely cover artist Kanaxa at the Samhain Publishing In-N-Out Burger party!  And gosh, what else?  Oh too many parties, functions and mixers to mention! 

I would like to say a special thanks to my CaRWA peeps, Vivi Anna, Kymber Morgan and Susan Retzlaff for twisting my arm (didn’t take much) and for making this so much fun!

The Girls from Calgary and Beth

My CaRWA Peeps and Awesome Roommate Beth Williamson

Categories: General, Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Romance Studio Reviews SLAYER

“This was a wonderful break to my every day life and if you enjoy adult fairy tales this is one you will enjoy.” – Theresa Joseph.

Thanks to Theresa Joseph from The Romance Studio for her review of SLAYER.  To read Theresa’s review, click here.

Categories: Fantasy, General, Slayer | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.