Thief of Hearts: Wanted is Free for a Limited Time at Amazon

If you enjoyed SLAYER – An Enchanted Story, check out Thief of Hearts: Wanted at Amazon.com. It will be free for a limited time.

Thief of Hearts: WantedTo all those who purchased the book between February 14th and March 14th, 2012, I thank you. I will be donating $1 from each book sold to The Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Cheers!

DL

Categories: Fantasy, Thief of Hearts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

THIEF OF HEARTS: UNMASKED Available Today!!

I must apologize…

THIEF OF HEARTS: UNMASKED should have been available March 14th, 2012. A last minute cover change meant that it did not go up for sale until today. Although I am thrilled with the new cover, I’m sorry for the delay.

The saga begins with THIEF OF HEARTS: WANTED…

THIEF OF HEARTS: UNMASKED description:

How could Zaina have made such a horrible mistake?

Lord Hood, her good and noble master, hovers between life and death because of Zaina’s betrayal. In order to save him, she must make a deal with a scale-covered-dragon-wielding witch–a potion to heal Hood in exchange for a vow to assassinate a king.

However Zaina may never get the chance to fulfill her mercenary task, for once Hood awakes–healed by black magic–darkness festers inside his soul and Zaina finds herself on the wrong end of the sharp tip of his sword. Not only is she fighting for her life, she must continue to keep her true identity a secret, no matter what her feelings are for Hood. If anyone should find out who she truly is, all those she loves will find themselves at the mercy of a horde of merciless dragons.

Hope you enjoy!

Categories: Fantasy, Thief of Hearts | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Leap Into Better Health This Year

Happy Leap Day everyone! Wow, we get an extra day this year, what are you going to do with it? I know what I’d like to do. I’d like to sit here in my housecoat, sip on my latte and work on my current novel in progress. But I’m not. Today I’m going to exercise and believe me, I need it.

As a writer, I spend an awful lot of time sitting at my computer. Sitting and sitting and sitting. Occasionally, I get up for a snack and then I sit some more. I am not alone in this sedentary lifestyle. According to both the Canadian Medical Association and the U.S. Department of health, 2/3 of Canadians and Americans lead a physically inactive lifestyle. We are perched in front of our computers and/or television sets for a total of approximately 56 hours a week (according to a poll by the Institute for Medicine and Public Health).

Yikes!

We all know our bodies have not evolved to be sedentary. Our bodies were created to move and the more we sit, the more our bodies stop functioning properly resulting in such wide ranging problems as chronic back pain, obesity, diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and stroke. This issue is becoming increasingly more problematic for women who tend to be less active than men. If you’re interested in checking your risk assessment click here and Desjardin Financial Security will donate $1 to The Heart and Stroke Foundation.

So what’s the solution? A regular exercise routine? Yes, that is beneficial, but guess what? Studies are showing that even if you exercise during the day, but still maintain long periods of inactivity, you aren’t actually avoiding some of the above health risks. In fact, it is becoming more and more apparent that we need to incorporate regular movement into our daily routine. The question is, when you have a job that requires you to sit for long periods of time, how do you do that?

It’s not as difficult as it sounds. Simple things like standing instead of sitting while talking on the phone can make a difference. There’s a great article from Rodale.com called, Get Out of Your Chair if You Want to Live that shows us ‘sitters’ a couple of ways to incorporate movement into our sedentary days. Here’s a quick video from Rodale.com too. How not to sit so much

So I hope you’ll join me this Leap Day and take a moment to stand up and then sit down and then stand up and sit down again. Do this eight times three times a day. It could save your life!

Categories: All About the Heart | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Living After Heart Disease

It was Mother’s Day, 2006—a beautiful spring day in the Okanagan. The air was heavy with the warm scent of blossoms, the buzz of bees and the graceful flutter of butterflies in and amongst the flowerbeds. Ron, Linda and their young son, Kristian, spent the day in their huge yard: cutting the lawn, pruning trees, weeding and playfully arguing over where to plant flowers. They had just bought a used play structure and Kristian—in his ‘big-boy-four-year-old’ way—helped Ron lay it out on the patio, even picking the color of the stain. They had planned to start painting that day; however, Ron was also preparing a wonderful home-cooked meal for Linda and ran out of time. He was confident he would get to it soon.  

After dinner, Ron finished up some work on the computer and went to bed around 11pm, complaining of feeling tired. Linda followed and while Ron fell asleep right away, Linda laid in bed, day-dreaming about all of their exciting reno projects. A short time later, Ron cried out in his sleep and sat up. At first, Linda thought he was having a nightmare, something that had been happening quite a bit, of late. What quickly became apparent was that this was not a nightmare.

This was something much worse.

Flipping on the light, Linda stood helplessly as her husband experienced a massive heart attack. The way she describes it, it was like he was wrestling an elephant off of his chest. His mouth was foaming and his eyes rolled back in his head. After a panicked call to 911, she did her best to calm him while waiting for the paramedics to arrive.

The first responder was the fire department. Unfortunately they did not have a defibrillator with them and were unable to do anything, except move him to the living room. By this time, Ron was unconscious. Linda has a vague memory of this time, of making phone calls, of neighbors and friends arriving and of talking to her unconscious husband, waiting precious minutes (that seemed like hours) for the paramedics.

As soon as the paramedics arrived, they rushed Ron to the hospital, but despite their efforts, it was too late. Ron could not be revived.

“I felt so helpless,” Linda says. “I felt like I should have tried something to save him. But I couldn’t…” she chokes up as she recalls that night. Even six years later, the experience haunts her. “It was so much more violent than I’d ever imagined. I’ve heard all these stories of people simply going to sleep and never waking up. It wasn’t like that for Ron. It seems so unfair.”

Ron was only 55 when he passed away so suddenly in the night. He was a victim of heart disease, a genetic condition that took the life of his grandfather, father and older brother. His father was only 42, his brother 38 when they passed away. Ron was with his grandfather, working out on the farm, when he died. Ron tried to resuscitate him; he was only 16 at the time.

“We knew he had this condition,” Linda tells me. “But we just lived our lives, I mean you can’t carry on your life waiting for death.” In fact, if you had met Ron, you would never have guessed he had a heart condition. He was vibrant and fit, looking much younger than his years. Linda, a massage therapist, was a conscientious cook, making sure to keep their meals healthy and heart-smart.

But at the end of the day, there was nothing they could do.

Six years later, Linda has courageously carried on, changing careers and raising Kristian on her own. She misses Ron every single day and grieves, not only for the loss of her husband, but for the loss of her son’s father. “Kristian was only four when Ron died. There were so many things Ron wanted to do with him, share with him.” 

Linda is one of the bravest women I know and she is also one of my dearest friends. I will never be able to understand how helpless she felt that night. To a much lesser degree, I’ve often felt helpless wishing I could do more for her as she has struggled to come to terms with ‘life after heart disease’.

So, in my own small way, I have dedicated, Thief of Hearts: Wanted to the memory of her husband, Ron. It’s a fantastical retelling of the story of Robin Hood – which is fitting because Ron was the kind of guy who would give his last dollar to someone living on the streets. In the same spirit, I will be donating $1 from every book sold between February 14th 2012, and March 14, 2012 to The Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Categories: All About the Heart, Thief of Hearts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Reading Romance is Good For the Heart

Happy Valentine’s Day!  On a day filled with heart-shaped cards, chocolates, cookies and balloons, is it any surprise to find that LOVE is GOOD for the HEART?

The World Heart Federation, a non-governmental Geneva-based organization said that “findings show that being in love and being loved helps to keep us healthy and is particularly good for our hearts…love also reduces stress, depression and anxiety, three major risk factors for heart disease.” To read an excerpt from, Love Is Good For The Health, by Richard Woodman, Reuters Health (London) Click here.

Not only is being in love good for the heart, READING about love is good for the heart. Even more than watching movies, a reader is enmeshed in the story, feeling the emotions and the events that unfold as if they are right there. USA Today has a wonderful article out today called, Why Do We Need Romance Novels by Joyce Lamb where she has collected anecdotes from authors about how their work has touched people’s lives.

The key to romance? The happily ever after. In a world rife with conflict, economic hardship and uncertainty, people want a little certainty. Reading about love releases endorphins that mimic the feeling of being in love. This is why the genre is so popular! And guys out there, word to the wise, if you want your lady to be in the mood, buy her a romance novel. Or, better yet, read one together!

Thief of Hearts: WantedThief of Hearts: Wanted is out today! $1 from every sale between February 14th, 2012 and March 14, 2012 will be donated to The Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Here are a couple more books I recommend for Valentine’s Day.

Vive La Valentine: An All-For-Indies Anthology

A Stranger’s Kiss by Roxy Boroughs.

Categories: All About the Heart | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 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

Unlocking the Story of a Secret

 This blog post first appeared January 22, 2012 in Bandit Creek Books. It is a tale about the circle of life and the strange and wonderful lessons we are here to learn. If you are interested in adoption, this post might interest you.

Bandit Creek Books

UNLOCKING THE STORY OF A SECRET

Ahh, secrets. We all have them, don’t we? They are those little (and sometimes not-so-little) tarnished nuggets we keep close to our chest. Sometimes we hold onto them to protect others from pain. Much of the time, however, secrets are leaden weights, a burden heaped with shame, guilt and remorse. Secrets can be lonely and, if kept too long, have a habit of becoming corrosive and gaining a certain power over the psyche.

In my story, Siren’s Song, the heroine Joss Jones, has a secret. She believes she is responsible for her mother’s tragic death. Her burden is so great, she gives up fame and deprives herself of the one thing she loves most–performing. It is necessity (and a trip back in time to Bandit Creek, 1899) that forces her to confront her secret and to let go of the guilt, allowing her to…

View original post 1,238 more words

Categories: Bandit Creek Books, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Slayer Reviewed by Manic Readers – 4.5/5 Stars

Thanks to Sabine from Manic Readers for her wonderful review of SLAYER. To check out the full review, click here.

Here’s an excerpt of the review. “This was a great story with a sense of humor and though it didn’t have the numerous love scenes you normally associate with Samhain books, that wasn’t what it was all about. When Brea and Cahill finally did make love it was a very powerful scene, which was made even more poignant by the fact that Brea gave herself to Cahill in body, but she still couldn’t/wouldn’t be his wife. A fairy tale of sorts that is definitely worth the read, even if you just want to find out what happens to the remaining dragon and the evil step-mother—they always get their comeuppance and let’s just say that this one got a whole lot more than she bargained for! Loved it!”

Categories: Fantasy, Reviews, Slayer | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.