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Showing posts from 2014

Taking Time for Mom

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As I sit and stare at the remains of Christmas, I can't help but wonder what 2015 will hold in store. This past year has been very busy! I've had three books released - The Mystery Lady (March), The Bakery Lady (Sept) and Death of a Jaded Samurai (November). I've done a few author events, taken on a second part-time job, and been overwhelmed with many things in both my personal and professional life that have made me seriously consider major life changes. 
Yet, here I sit.

Over the next year:

I have a deadline looming for Murder of a Fallen Fighter (Book 2 in my Yin-Yang Series).I need to finish The Painted Lady (Book 4 in my Wild Blue Mysteries Series).I want to grade for my Brown Belt in karate.I want to integrate both Yoga and Meditation into my life to help keep my sanity. Eventually becoming a Yoga Teacher one day.I'd love to keep in touch and spend more time with my friends and family (even though they're 2,000 miles away!) Going to Las Vegas this fall with my…

December Round Robin Blog Fest

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Our Merry Christmas Blog Fest!
Welcome back! 'Tis the season for fun, food and visiting with friends. Today's topic is about hope, love, forgiveness, Christmas, or a special gift. I've chosen to use an excerpt from one of my new books The Bakery Lady. Christina Davidson is struggling with keeping the Christmas spirit after losing her mother and feels the sting of not being able to fill her mother's shoes.  I do hope you enjoy not only my excerpt, but the recipe for Gingerbread Cookies that I've included!

...an excerpt from The Bakery Lady (Books We Love Ltd.)
     Christina squeezed a solid line of icing down the edge of the wall. Her focus never wavered. She set the wall on the foil-wrapped cardboard and held it in place with one hand while she added the second wall. One by one, she assembled all four walls and held them in place with bowls. Only then did her gaze stray to the ornate tree in the corner.      Her mom had loved Christmas Eve. The lights, the music, the …

Virtual Cookie Blog Hop!

You know those cookie exchanges that are so popular during the holiday season? The ones where you bake  dozens of the same kind of cookies to take to a party where you give them away by the dozen to other participants in exchange for a dozen of theirs?
Well, it turns out you can't really do one of those on the internet, but you can host a Virtual Cookie Exchange, and that's exactly what I'm a part of this month. A Cooke Blog Hop courtesy of my lovely friend and author at Gemma Halliday Publishing, Ellie Ashe! This is my Peppermint Cookie recipe...my Gingerbread Recipe will appear on my blog Dec 20 so be sure to come back for that one as well! Peppermint Christmas Cookies

Sift together in bowl and reserve:          2 3/4 cups flour          1 tsp baking powder          1/2 tsp salt
Put:  3/4 cup soft margarine in large bowl
Add:  1 cup sugar          2 eggs          1 tsp peppermint (or any other flavor extract) Beat with mixer or wooden spoon  until mixture is light and fluffy.
Beat i…
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NOW AVAILABLE Dec 1 2014 until January 31, 2015



19 holiday short stories by 19 New York Times, USA Today and award winning authors! Enjoy these tales of mystery, romance, and laughter
amid the backdrop of pine trees, gingerbread men, and Santas galore!
The perfect short bites for cozying up by the fire with a cup of  cocoa...or waiting in line at gift wrapping!

Stories include:

Rosolio Red (Franki Amato Mysteries) by Traci Andrighetti
Chasing Tinsel (Miranda Vaughn Mysteries ) by Ellie Ashe
Death of a Christmas Witch (A Crewel to be Kind Mini Mystery) by Diane Bator
Queenie Baby: Pass the Eggnog (Queenie Baby Mysteries) by Christina A. Burke
The Holiday Inside Job by Mary Jo Burke
Hard to Catch a Christmas Thief (Hard Targets) by Wendy Byrne

"Knot in My Backyard" by Mary Marks

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I was lucky enough to receive and advance copy of "Knot in My Backyard" from Kensington Books in exchange for an honest review BUT I was already a big fan after Mary's wonderful first book "Forget Me Knot." So what's Mary Marks' new book about?

Baseball may be America's official pastime, but for Martha Rose and her friends, quilting is far more fun...and a lot less dangerous.
A diamond brocade pattern is more quilter Martha Rose's style than a baseball diamond--especially when it comes to the new eyesore of a stadium ruining her lovely San Fernando Valley neighborhood. Martha doesn't know a bunt from a bundt cake, but when she stumbles upon the battered body of baseball coach Dax Martin, she doesn't need a scorecard to know it's foul play. LAPD homicide detective Arlo Beavers is convinced one of her neighbors is responsible. But Martha and her fellow quilters Lucy and Birdie soon discover a whole field of suspects who might have wante…

November 2014 Round Robin Blog Fest

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Welcome back to another episode of the Round Robin Blog Fest!! This month's topic is:
What is your favorite food or meal? Hmmm....this wasn't an easy one. I love all kinds of food, except cabbage rolls, I don't like cabbage rolls. (Sorry, Mom.) When I think about foods that mean a lot to me, the two tops are my favorite Christmas treats: Gingerbread and Baked Caramel Corn. YUM! There is a good reason why I only make them to enjoy at Christmas and give most of it away. I've discovered it's the one treat a lot of my friends won't make since it is a finicky recipe, but they all love receiving along with both gingerbread and peppermint cookies. Yes, my house smells amazing around this time of year! My late mother-in-law came across this recipe long before my kids were born and it quickly became a family favorite. Sweet and crunchy--especially when you add nuts!--as the cookbook says "WARNING - it's addictive!" Many a waistband has exploded after cons…

Death of a Jaded Samurai Available Nov 3 2014

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I am so excited to announce the release of my new novel DEATH OF A JADED SAMURAI
November 3!

Gilda Wright thinks she's landed a dream job managing a karate school. Sure, her boss, Sensei Mick Williams, is almost as demanding as he is sexy, but Gilda is inspired by the strength of people around her and hopes to absorb some of that into her own life. But when Gilda finds the body of one of the instructors laying in the dojo with a sword though his chest, suddenly she must find her own inner strength and fast! The police see everyone as a suspect, including her boss, and it's up to Gilda to find out what really happened. She follows the clues of the missing scroll of the Four Possessions of the Samurai down a deadly path filled with lies, deceit, and poisoned ninja stars! If she doesn't watch her step, she just may become the killer's next sparring partner.

To order your copy today, go to: http://www.gemmahalliday.com/Halliday_Publishing/ourauthors/Diane_Bator/


October Round Robin Blog Fest

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Welcome back to another spooky episode of the Round Robin Blog Fest!
This month's topic is:
What's the scariest thing that has happened to you? I had to think about this one. There are many scary things that have happened to me, but I decided to write about a lighthearted spook I met.

I was about 12 years old at the time and babysitting a herd of kids who had long gone to bed. I was at the age horror movies were beginning to fascinate me and staying up late while babysitting was the only opportunity I had to watch one.

The hour was late on the farm in the middle of nowhere and the only light in the yard came from a bright yard light in front of the house. Since the parents weren't due home for another hour or two, I had a movie on television. I'd taken the opportunity at commercial break to find a snack to enjoy the rest of the movie with. On my way back to the livingroom, I was careful to turn out every light in order to savor the movie in darkness.

As I came around t…

September slipping away...

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Wow has September slipped away! Between training a new employee, learning a new job, having company from the US & Alberta, and getting three kids off to school, writing time has been at a premium. That doesn't mean the ideas aren't churning.

This fall I was blessed to be part of a team who ran 100km as part of the Sears Great Canadian Run to raise money for kids cancer. None of us are real runners (well, there was that one guy...), but we all came together to run, raise money, and have a great time. What an amazing experience. From cheering on people who ran the whole 100km and anyone else who ran the course, to high fives and hugs at the finish line, we became not only this great martial arts family, but a team to the core. No one was left out or left behind. No one was chastised for being too slow or having to just walk a majority of their leg (that would be me!). We were all amazed when our ragtag team came in 4th out of 50 teams running. I still get goosebumps.

I have…

Back to School!!

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Two of my kids started back to school today. For the first time, I was "banned" from the First Day of School by my 13 year old who chose to walk with his buddy to school. I have to admit, I wasn't totally upset. I saw it coming. He's humored me in the past couple of years since his older brother started high school. I walked with him more to get out of the house than in fear of him being snatched or anything. I loved the one-on-one time. The fact that I wasn't allowed to hug him within 500 feet of the school has been agreed upon since Kindergarten when he first told me "Not in front of the guys!"
My high school kid, ran out of the house so fast this morning you would have thought rabid dogs were after him. I guess he was afraid I'd catch up! Just kidding. He was in a huge hurry to get to school and change a couple courses, as well as seeing the buddies he hasn't seen all summer. I can't blame him.
The oldest moved out for his second year of…

The Bookaholics Blog Tour

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As part of The Bookaholic's Book Tour, I am tooting my own horn today and chatting about my novels!

My series, Wild Blue Mysteries, is set in the fictional town of Packham, based on my current home town, and set in New York State. Why New York when I live in Canada? Advice from a writing friend. On his advice, I change settings and never looked back. Interestingly enough, my second series will be set in an actual town in New York State that I have fictionalized to the point it only resembles half the original town.

Wild Blue Mysteries is a five book series which tells the story of a group of three detectives who work for the Wild Blue Detective Agency. When Danny Walker starts up the agency, he is a cop and the agency is a cover for him to get involved with some local crime bosses who are looking for a mole in their organization. Thus begins the series.

Book 1: The Bookstore Lady             Danny Walker is tracking Paulina Chourney who fell deep into the dark side of life and is lu…

Round Robin Blog Fest Aug 23 2014

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Welcome back to another edition of Round Robin Blog Fest!Pour a cup of coffee and pull up a chair while we discuss this month's topic:


"Have you ever read or written a story that had a secondary character take over?"
For those of you who don't know, I have written a series called Wild Blue Mysteries published by Books We Love. The name comes from the detective agency my main character Danny Walker has opened as part of an undercover operation while he is a police officer on the Newville Police force. When I first started writing The Bookstore Lady, one of the secondary characters seemed to struggle with playing second fiddle. Danny, my leading man, suddenly had to compete with his sidekick Leo Blue for the limelight. From Danny's point of view: "Leo, severely wounded while stationed in Afghanistan, was both a former professional boxer and third degree karate black belt. He was the one person Danny wanted to have watch his back..."
Leo Blue remained a seco…

Exciting Week!

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I've had a bit of a struggle lately to get things done and organized. Suddenly within a couple days, I have even more things on my plate! Far from feeling overwhelmed, I'm energized. Why?

1) I received a 2 book contract offer from Gemma Halliday Publishing for Death of a Jaded Samurai and a second book. Woohoo!! I love this series and have been waiting patiently for a publisher to pick it up.

2) I submitted the third book in my Wild Blue Mysteries series, The Bakery Lady, and got the cover art back. The Bakery Lady will be released in time for Christmas! I have arranged with BWL to release two more books in this series before we end it. That means 2 more books to write!

3) On a whim, I applied for a job at BTS emagazine and GOT IT! Starting in September, I will be the new Author Liaison for BTS. Not a huge job, but it should be fun and a great experience.
4) While talking to someone the other day, they told me how much I inspire them, which was really great to hear! I know my…

Special Guest Appearance!

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I will be appearing on Southern Writers Magazine Blog "Suite T" on Aug 4, 2014 to chat about the excuses we make as writers. Be sure to stop by and say hello. 
I also appear tomorrow (Aug 3) on my publisher's blog: Inside Books We Love.
What else have I been up to since I haven't updated my own blog in a while? A lovely vacation with the kids to the beach. We had a great time playing miniature golf, checking out a lighthouse, swimming in Lake Huron, riding a Yak Board, eating spider dogs and hanging out with some fabulous friends! 
A walk upon the beach every day is great for the soul! All the little things were washed away we were left with laughs and a tan.

Blog Hop - What I Write and Don't Write

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Paul Carr invited me to join in a blog hop with authors talking about what they write and what they don't write. Today, this is about all I'll get to write as I'm preparing for a company picnic tomorrow! So how did I get involved in this? It all started with Paul who writes:

Dr. Joan Curtis recently tagged me for this blog hop to post my version of "What 3 Things Do You Write? What 3 Things Don't You Write?" Dr. Curtis is an award winning writer who has published 5 books and numerous stories. Her newest mystery/suspense novel, The Clock Strikes Midnight will be released this fall. 

So what do I write? The 3 things I prefer to write are:

Cozy Mystery: I am currently editing my newest novel, a cozy set in a small Great Lakes town. It's the first book I've written that is only on one point-of-view and has a little more romance than any of the others I've written.
Young Adult: I have written many stories and novellas over the years, most of which reside…

A Summer in the Life of...

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I'm a bit laid up this summer. I've pushed so hard to do a 5km run and my Blue belt grading in karate, that I've injured my knee. A minor thing that a bit of rest will help, if I can sit still. In the meantime, I'm embarking on a new venture! Not only am I actually updating my own blog for the first time in...I've offered to do blogs for my publisher Books We Love on their blog page http://bwlauthors.blogspot.com/ starting this week on July 3.





What else is in store this summer? A few trips to the beach, a lot of walking, and an awesome retreat weekend with girlfriends!
With The Bookstore Lady and The Mystery Lady published and for sale, it's been nice to take a few days to sit back and enjoy Canada Day and my family. It's easier to take a break when Book #3, The Bakery Lady, is DONE and off to my beta readers! After a few days of forced rest, my brain is churning with ideas for Books #4 and 5.

As for Death of a Jaded Samurai, my agent Dawn is still seeking…