Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Year!!

 It's been a really crazy 2018 for me. As well as working full time at the theatre:
  • I've met a wonderful man who has taken me on some fun adventures, including a couple trips to Niagara Falls.
  • I've been able to meet my son's girlfriend and shared Christmas with all of my kids.
  • December 23, I had an MRI on my knee to see what sort of damage was inside.
  • December 27, my doctor called to say she is referring me to an orthopedic surgeon due to the amount of damaged cartilage.
  • December 31, enjoying the last day of the year with my kids, cats and my honey.
What's coming in 2019?
  • I'll be submitting the first book for a whole new series in February to Books We Love. Sandstone Cove Mysteries features a former model, her hippie sister, and an English Sheepdog puppy with a taste for socks.
  • My agent Dawn Dowdle will be shopping around a new series for me starting in January called A.J. Cadell Mysteries. No hints for this one just yet!!
  • My next work in progress will be the FINAL book in my Gilda Wright series:  Dead Without Shame. Gilda will test for her black belt in karate and possibly choose between Mick and Kane...
  • After that, the sky is the limit!
Happy New Year!! May 2019 bring love and happiness to you all!


Saturday, December 15, 2018

Round Robin Blog Fest December 2018

Welcome to our Christmas edition of the Round Robin Blog Fest featuring Christmas Stories from all of our great writers!

First Snow

Jackson stuck out his tongue and let ice cold sprinkles cover it before he swallowed them. The first snow of winter was his third favorite day of the year behind Christmas and his birthday. He forgot how much fun it was to catch the flakes in his mouth then make snow angels. Then again, he was only seven and had a hard time remembering to wash his hands when his mom asked.
“Come on, Jack.” His sister Ruby, two years older, wore a blue sparkly dress over her snow suit along with a tiara that had flashing lights. She claimed to be a snow queen. “Let’s go to a few more houses before it’s time to go home.”
“I don’t have enough candy yet.” He blinked the snowflakes off his eyelashes then pulled his Spiderman toque over his forehead.
They’d been out caroling for half an hour. Everyone gave them Christmas candy or oranges, so Jackson’s arms ached from carrying the pillowcase covered with snowmen. He’d wanted to carry the little pumpkin bucket his granny gave him which would be full by now. At least they could be home eating candy instead of freezing.
“Come on, Jack.” His mother put her hand on his back to steer him toward his best friend Connor’s house. Maybe they could get some hot chocolate and play.
At the door Ruby belted out Silent Night so loud that Jackson took a step back and gawked.
Mrs. Garcia opened the door as she hugged her thick sweater. “What are you guys up to?”
“We’re singing carols.” Ruby asked. “Do you like my dress? I even got jeweled shoes. Mom says I can wear them for Christmas since there’s so much snow tonight.”
“I’ll bet they’re very pretty,” she said. “Your mom makes a pretty nice princess too.”
“Thank you.” Jackson’s mom curtsied and straightened her flashing tiara.
“You should head home,” Mrs. Garcia said. “I saw on T.V. this storm’s coming in fast. We could get up to twenty centimeters tonight.”
Jackson’s mom nodded. “I heard that too. We’d better make our way home before we have to flag down a dog sled.”
Ruby huffed. “Mom.”
The wind picked up and swirled tiny snowflakes around them. Thanks to the rattling of plastic Santas and flickering Christmas lights, Jackson was convinced they were in a giant snow globe. Dry leaves got caught up in the excitement and flew in circles while he bowed his heads against the wind.
Jackson grimaced. “Don’t look now but I think it’s getting bad.”
His mother led them down the Garcia’s front steps past the burlap-covered cedars. “I think it’s time to go home, guys.”
“No way,” Ruby said. “We still haven’t gone to Emily’s house or Miranda’s house.”
“And I want more candy,” Jackson added.
“The weather is getting worse and we can barely see across the street.” Mom sighed. “Let’s go home and I’ll make you hot chocolate.”
Snow Queen Ruby stomped her feet, threw down her magic snowflake wand and became a royal pain. “I don’t want to go home yet!”
Jackson rolled his eyes, groaned, and watched their mother try to reason with his sister. He was distracted by a noise coming from the garage next door. It sounded like a witch cackling.
Inside the garage doorway, sat a woman with long stringy hair and a black satin dress. There was a round wooden table with a huge crystal ball on it in front of her. She looked up with dark eyes and a smile. “Would you like me to tell your fortune?”
“It’s Christmas, not Halloween. Is this a trick or a treat?” He stepped inside.
Her wild laugh made him jump back. “It’s whatever you make of it, my dear. Would you like me to see into your future?”
“Depends.” Jackson stepped out of the wind into the warmth of the garage. “Am I gonna have a Lamborghini?”
She waved her hand over the crystal ball and gazed into it for several seconds. A breeze of heat from the nearby heater swept her hair across her face, but she didn’t even flinch. “I see you walking with a man dressed in red. You’re lost, yet you know where you are. You just can’t find your way home.”
Jackson backed out onto the driveway. Snowflakes pelted him as they formed a white curtain between him and the fortune teller. “That’s weird. You’re not very good at this whole fortune telling thing. No one can be lost and know where they are.”
When he turned back to the street, his mom and Ruby were gone. They must have headed for home. He paused to look in both directions. When he left Connor’s house, he and Mom always turned right. He held up his fingers with his pointer fingers up and the thumbs sticking out. Right was the one that didn’t make an L.
A lot more snow covered the ground than when they started caroling. He kicked at it, just like he’d shuffled through the leaves earlier that day. A shiver shook him. Mom was right, it was getting cold out.
Where was she? His mom wouldn’t have left without him. Good thing he knew exactly where he was going. Dad was at home with the baby, so he’d be able to get inside the house.
Jackson stopped at the corner and looked both ways. Lots of dim Christmas lights and snow flakes, but no cars. He stuck out his arm just like his teachers taught and walked across the road.
“Hello, young man.” A tall man wrapped in a thick red coat knelt in front of him. “I didn’t realize you were old enough to be out here alone. Did your mom get lost?”
“Yes.” Jackson’s eyes grew wide. He knew not to talk to strangers, but this was Santa after all. “I think she forgot which way home is.”
Santa looked puzzled. “Oh, that’s not good. Don’t you think you should look for her?”
“Nah, she knows where we live,” he said. “Even if she is lost, Ruby knows the way. She knows everything. My dad calls her a know-it-all.”
Santa stood to look around them. “This storm is getting bad. I think you should tell me where you live so I can take you home. If I see your mom, then I can at least tell her where you are.”
Jackson frowned. Everyone warned him about good and bad strangers. “If you’re really Santa, you should know where I live.”
“You’re right to be concerned.” Santa laughed as Jackson adjusted his toque. “Jackson! I know you. You live a couple houses up from me. Come on, I’ll take you home then find your mom. She must be really worried about you.”
“Mr. Donovan? Is that you?” Jackson’s gasped. “Why are you dressed like Santa Clause?”
Mr. Donovan slid down the thick white beard. “Even grown-ups like to pretend sometimes. I dress like Santa every year to bring gifts to the kids at the hospital. What’s in the bag?”
Jackson raised the bag and grinned. “Candy from caroling. Did you know people give way better candy at Christmas than at Halloween?” He hesitated. “Do the kids at the hospital ever get to go caroling?”
“No, they don’t,” Mr. Donovan said. “They don’t get a lot of candy either.”
They walked toward Jackson’s house decorated with the large colorful ornaments he and Ruby spent the afternoon hanging in the tree out front. He tilted back his head again and stuck out his tongue.
“I was thinking.” Jackson handed the bag of candy to Mr. Donovan. “Maybe you should take this to the hospital tomorrow. I think those kids need it more than we do.”
“Jackson!” Footsteps ran up behind him and two hands turned him around as his mom pulled him into a warm hug. “Where have you been? I looked everywhere for you. Thank you for finding him, Santa. Where was he?”
“Wandering the streets and enjoying the snow,” Mr. Donovan said. “I hear you were lost so I planned to take him home and find you next.”
Jackson grinned. “When we were at Connor’s house, I heard a noise and saw a fortune teller. She said I’d walk around with someone dressed in red and be lost, but I’d know where I was. When I turned around, you and Ruby were gone then Mr. Donovan found me. Isn’t that weird that he’s dressed like Santa and wearing red?”
“Yes, it is. If we stay out here any longer, we’ll all be wearing snow white. We’ll just need coal eyes and corn cob pipes.” His mom frowned. “I thought you went inside to play with Conner so we went to look for you.”
“I thought you guys got lost,” Jackson said.
“Figures,” Ruby said. “I wanted to go caroling then you go and ruin the whole night. I’m glad you’re back. Where did you see the fortune teller? Did she give you any candy?”
“Nope. No candy.” He smiled up at Mr. Donovan. “Can we go home now? I’m tired.”
His mom nodded. “Let’s go have some hot chocolate and marshmallows and watch the snow fall from inside. Tomorrow, we can come out to play.”
“Okay,” Jackson said. “But this time I’m staying away from any fortune tellers.”

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Skye Taylor
Helena Fairfax
Beverley Bateman
Anne Stenhouse
A.J. Maguire
Fiona McGier
Connie Vines
Diane Bator
Dr. Bob Rich
Victoria Chatham
Rhobin L Courtright

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Round Robin Blog Fest November 17 2018

Back again this month for the Round Robin Blog Fest!!
November's question is:  How has writing rewarded you? What has it cost you?

Writing has given me an outlet for when life gets rough. When my parents would argue when I was a kid, while going through physical pain then a marital separation as an adult, writing helped keep me sane. It also brought me a connection to my kids when I wrote them stories to read at bedtime.

I'm grateful to have many people in my writing group as well as at events. I've even had the thrill of appearing at a coffee shop event then having someone (not a friend) recognize me as a writer days later! That completely made my day.

Our local library does an event every fall called WOW - Words the Orangeville Way. This fall was our third annual event and I'm grateful to be a part of it each time and have the library staff excited to see my new books come out. They're always first in line to purchase them for their own collections as well as for the library.

While I'm not widely recognized in the community, it's fun to see familiar faces in the audience and meet other writers.

What has writing cost me?

Off the cuff, I'd say my marriage, but my writing was merely a small part of the issues there.

What it has cost me at times is my sanity, especially when closing in on deadlines and trying to market my work. This year, I've not only written one new novel, but edited three others for republication in 2018.

I've been fortunate to finally find a partner who supports and understands my need to create. He gets when I need to have some quiet time to work on novels. He's even driven me to events and carried my books in from the parking lot and celebrates all my accomplishments with me and pats me on the back when I need it the most.

At the end of the day, I'd say writing gives me far more rewards than anything. I love how my youngest son used my book in a shoe box project he did once the demonstrate the things that he loved. When I asked him why he put a copy of my very first novella in his box, he said that if I could follow my dream and get a book published then he could do anything. Yes, that made me cry!

Follow your dreams just as my fellow writers have done. Please check out what their rewards and costs have been and leave comments for us all:

Skye Taylor 
Judith Copek 
Beverley Bateman 
A.J. Maguire  
Fiona McGier 
Dr. Bob Rich 
Connie Vines 
Diane Bator 
Victoria Chatham 
Rhobin L Courtright 

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Round Robin Blog Fest October 2018

It's been a while since I was part of the Round Robin Blog Fest. Over the past six months I've been editing my 3 Gilda Wright Mysteries to republish them with a new publisher. Two have already been re-released as Dead Without Honor and Dead Without Glory.
On top of everything else, I've added one more novel to my Wild Blue Mystery series. I've completed book number four. The Painted Lady will be released very soon as well. 
As if that isn't enough, I will be releasing a whole new series in 2019! Stay tuned!

How do you develop the tension every story needs to keep the reader involved?
I love when a novel (or even a short story) tells a great story, keeps me entertained and intrigued, and isn’t totally predictable. I’m a sucker for a solid character who is far from perfect.
To keep readers engaged, I use a number of techniques:
·       A character discovering something they shouldn’t know
·       A plot twist – throwing a monkey wrench into the protagonist’s journey
·       Romantic interactions that hint at more to come
·       The protagonist learning something vital to his/her investigation
·       Engaging readers’ emotions
·       Clear and concise writing
All of these are great little hooks to keep readers hanging on to see what happens next, especially with little cliff hangers at the end of chapters.

Just for fun, here’s a little piece from my soon to be released novel Dead Without Pride:

Kane drew in a deep breath. “Okay, love, I didn’t want to have to do this.”
“Do what?”
He lunged around the coffee table to sit on the couch next to her then looked her in the eyes. “Gilda, my darling, you are the only person I trust to help me get this train wreck back on track. My ex-girlfriend left me with a disaster, and I could really use your…um…” His gaze darted down her tank top. “…expertise to help me build the kind of place I want to run.”
Damn those gorgeous eyes and phony Australian accent. Kane knew he had her intrigued the second he set foot through the door. No way would she make this easy.
“No.” Her voice wavered, like her entire body. She closed her eyes and used thoughts of Mick as a shield between them. “I have enough on my plate trying to keep an eye on things at the school while Mick’s out of town.”
“When does he come back?” he asked, his breath sweet with peppermint like he’d planned to get close.
If she told him Friday, she’d set herself up for problems. Today was only Tuesday, and Kane would salivate at the thought of planning out her entire week, both at work and outside of the martial arts school. “Tomorrow.”
“I see. So what time do you have to be at work today?” His gaze never left hers.
Her palms grew moist. “Noon.”
“Then we’ve got lots of time.” Kane stroked her jaw with one finger. “And I have you all to myself for at least the next three hours, love.”
Gilda backed away as far as she could. “Whoa. I don’t think this is such a good idea.”
“Come on, love, it’s a great idea. What are we waiting for?” He grabbed her hand and yanked her off the couch toward the front door. They were halfway to the door before her feet hit the ground.

Find out more at:  

BWL Publishing:

On Facebook:

Visit my fellow authors at:

Monday, October 8, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

I've popped out from beneath mounds of editing long enough to with everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and let you all know I'll be at the Brampton Artist's Festival this coming Saturday, October 13 from 10am - 4pm with my books. The festival takes place at Bramalea Retirement Residence at 30 Peel Centre Drive, Brampton.

Another piece of good news is that I've finished The Painted Lady and sent the manuscript off to my wonderful publisher Books We Love. If you've lost count, that's book Number 7!
The one last book slated for 2018 is Dead Without Pride which I plan to submit on time Oct 15 for republishing.

I had an amazing local photographer take some incredible headshots for my upcoming new books, public events, and websites. I'll be uploading those as soon as all these edits are done. In the meantime, here is a look at the postcards I'll be handing out this weekend....

I'll also be attending WOW at the Orangeville Public Library this coming November.
Watch for details!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Upcoming Events!!

Looks like this fall will be a busy one! I'm starting to do a few more public events and getting both The Painted Lady and Dead Without Pride ready for my publisher before October 15. 
After that, I'll be working on Book Five for my Wild Blue Mystery series and Book Four for my Gilda Wright Mysteries! 
Once those are done.... much, much more to come, my friends!

Coffee, Conversations & Books Author Event – Diane Bator

September 19, 2018, 7pm-8pm   Jelly Café, Shelburne 

Local self-published author Diane Bator rekindled her passion for writing in 2007 when she joined Dufferin County’s foremost writing group, the Headwaters Writers’ Guild. She has written assorted short stories, murder mysteries, and YA novellas. Her first murder mystery, Murder on Manitou, was published after winning a writing contest in 2010. In 2016, Diane was nominated to be an Established Artist of the Year at Orangeville’s Celebration of the Arts. 

To register for Coffee, Conversation and Books email Jade Noble: This month's venue is the Jelly Craft Bakery in Shelburne. Refreshments provided.

Brampton Artists Festival

Saturday, October 13, from 10am - 4pm
30 Peel Centre Drive (Next to Bramalea City Centre, Bramalea Retirement Residence)

Join us for The ARTISTS Festival - a cultural intersection where the residents and the general public can meet artists from the local and GTA arts and culture scene.  Celebrate the creative arts, enjoy performances, and discover artistic treasures in over 30 displays; a select marketplace showcased within an elegant atrium venue. ​Stay for the day, enjoy performances and displays, book a tour of the Bramalea Retirement Residence at the festival for five free raffle tickets towards the Prize Packages.   

 Looking for a good read?  Check out my books!


Saturday, June 23, 2018

June 23 Round Robin Blog

Life keeps intruding into my writing  and blogging time, but here I am back with another Round Robin Blog!

This month's question:  Why do you write or feel compelled to write even through the difficult parts?

I have no problem starting a story, usually by the end, there are parts where I stumble and even avoid until I have the time and the energy to tackle them. I feel compelled to write through the difficult parts in order to grow both as a person and as a writer. The difficult parts of my stories are usually things that are hard on an emotional or personal level. Or complicated. Once I’ve written them, I feel much lighter.
Much of my journey as a writer seems to involve parts of my own life. Sometimes I will write pieces as therapy, but not all of these bits make it into a book. If they do, they’re lighter and funnier, or resolved differently.
I’m proud to announce the re-release of my Gilda Wright Mysteries. My former publisher released me from my contract and my wonderful Canadian publisher Books We Love, Ltd. Has offered to republish them with cleaner edits and fresh new covers.
Introducing the release of:

Dead Without Honor (formerly Can’t Keep a Brunette Down)
The other two books - Dead Without Glory and Dead With Pride out will be released later this year along with a fourth book in my Wild Blue Mystery Series.

 I hope you'll visit the other participants in this month's blog fest!