Showing posts from 2013


Here we are folks, the last Round Robin post of 2013!  (#rndrob1213). Grab a cup of tea and a cookie, I know you still  have some in the house, and settle back to join in the fun!  This month's topic is: What have you learned from writing? And what are your goals for 2014 and further into the future? When I started to write many, many years ago I was proud of my ability and loved to tell a good story. Over the years, I've had many fans and even more critics. Still, I persevered. My happiest day was finding out I had won the Murder in Ink contest put on through Wynterblue Publishing. Not only had I won a contest, but with my first murder mystery that is now an e-book and a novella! Then I got my agent (Dawn Dowdle, Blue Ridge Literary Agency!) and sold my first novel. The fact  The Bookstore Lady is published as an e-book and not actually "in print" was a bit of a letdown at first, but it is published and I am getting my name out there while I work on my n

Another Step Down the Happiness Project Path

Today I attended the last formal meeting of the Headwaters Writers' Guild for 2013. Rather than writing from prompts as we usually do, today's leader Nancy, passed around sheets of paper with each member's names written at the top. The idea was to write positive things about each member. (check out Nancy's post at  ) I looked forward to seeing what everyone would write about me, especially since my kids had done the same project in school and came home with some wonderful comments about them. So, what did I come home with? I've posted the comments below: Open hearted and generous. Easy to like. Attention to detail and a genuine love of writing are but two of your gifts. Beneath those golden locks lurks a keen mind!! Diane's motives are a mystery. Intelligence, level-headed and kind. A great friend - loyal, patient. Prolific writer - great story teller - awesome characters - good friend. I love the wa

November Round Robin Blog

It's time for another episode of the Round Robin Blog! November's Round Robin topic: Mass emotion -- tell about one incident you've experience where a large crowd of people shared the same strong emotion. Whoever said laughter is the best medicine wasn't far from wrong. It has a long shelf-life and is even more contagious than a foul mood, especially when shared with others. How many times have you seen or heard something funny that hasn't affected your mood for the rest of the day? Recently one of my lovely friends celebrated her birthday by inviting a few other couples to a local comedy night. Six of us sat around the table in a sea of nearly 500 other people. As show time came and went, anxiety was palpable, but most people simply went and got another drink. Once the show began and the laughter started, there was no turning back. Funny lines or not, one audience member after another got swept up in the swell of giggles and chuckles that broke into crests

Another step in the Happiness Project - Hitting the Highway

Okay, decluttering has gone by the wayside. Christmas is upon us and I always find it even more difficult to keep the clutter down at this time of the year. Decorations, a six foot tree and gifts filling all the spaces I'm trying to empty out, do little to help. Step back and take a deep breath. What can I focus on instead? Join me while I take a wild leap... I got my driver's license when I was 16. Across the aisle from me in the classroom was my 64 year old grandma. I kid you not. Holy inspiration! If my grandma could go back to school at 64 and learn to drive, what was there to stop me? Over the years, I drove less as I went through University and when I married and we were down to 1 vehicle. Then it became a necessity for me to drive 3 kids to school, doctor appointments and play dates. Even so, I was afraid to drive. Afraid of the big city. (We lived in Edmonton at the time, which is nothing compared to Toronto!) Afraid of getting lost. Afraid one of the kids woul

Thank you for being a friend....

Over the end of the week and the weekend, I'd planned to continue decluttering and making our space work better for our family. I was derailed from my cleaning mission by several visits with friends. Lunch on Thursday, breakfast Friday, lunch Friday, Christmas shopping with the kids Saturday morning, a comedy show Saturday night and Sunday my middle son "had" to take me out shopping. Busy for sure, but happy busy. While the kids and I didn't buy a lot, we walked and talked. Catching up with friends I haven't had the opportunity to spend time with in months was well worth putting aside projects. The comedy show Saturday night was hilarious. The comedians on stage were pretty good and the ones at the table made me laugh just as hard. It's great when you can sit with friends who love to laugh, love to dance and love to just have fun and be silly. There were about 500 people at the event and my friends and I only knew a handful of them. It was like being at t

Christmas Wish List Promotes Decluttering

Just when I'm getting discouraged with a lot of things, I found this in my inbox!    If you watch the whole thing, you'll see cover for The Bookstore Lady ! What a fun idea. I have worked on a trailer for The Bookstore Lady , but haven't put it to music yet so it's stuck in my "To Do" pile. Why haven't I finished it? Time. Fear. Anxiety. Whatever. Truth is, I have a whole pile of things left undone that haunt my computer and my closet. In keeping with my Happiness Project, my theme this month is clearing out clutter and building energy. I've been going for daily walks and suddenly have more opportunities to meet with friends. Great energy builders. I've also been making healthier meals. (mostly for myself because the boys just won't eat chicken in spinach sauce for no amount of money!) I have cleaned out my novels-in-waiting and have a stack of paper to shred. Not projects I'm giving up on,

Happy Energy

Still keeping in with my Happiness Project, I started looking for things that make me happy and give me energy. This brought me to a realization. I am an empath . There I said it. An Empath  is a person who can psychically tune in to the emotional experience of a person, place or animal. Being so strongly affected by the emotions of others, crowds overwhelm me, the negative moods of others send me into a funk and I can tell when something is wrong with certain people in my life. Not only do these things affect me mentally, but it can become a physical reaction as well. Racing heart, anxiety, the works. Sometimes I know where the feelings are coming from, sometimes I don't. What does being an empath have to do with being happy? I thought at first it was just the reactions to others that exaggerated my moods. After some trial and error, I've discovered the foods I eat play just as big a role. This spring I started a cleanse with the help of my naturopath. No caffeine. No alc

The Happiness Project

A couple weeks ago my mother-in-law passed away. Helen was a lovely woman who made a real mark on her community and her family and friends. Her boxes of pajamas for the kids every Christmas as well as her bright smile and love of dessert before (a tradition we already carry on some weekends) will be sorely missed. In the midst of our mourning, the kids and I walked into an Indigo store and browsed. It was here I came across The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin . In need of some happiness, I bought it. I have to say I'm only three chapters in, but find it an interesting read. Chapter One talks about clearing clutter from our lives. Okay, I've tried this before. It reproduces. As fast as I clear a table or a counter, the next generation of debris settles in. Ugh! But I've managed to clear a desk top and the coffee table (already reproduced!) and a dresser (now covered in cards and mail.) No problem. Not giving up. The clutter is only

Round Robin October 2013

We are back with another adventure with the monthly Round Robin! Check out what I wrote then follow the links around the world to see what other writers think! Paranormal themes run rampant through fiction across many genres. Are you a believer in the paranormal or a skeptic? Have you ever experienced (or known someone who had) a paranormal experience? I know many people who are firm believers in paranormal and have had experiences they can't explain. One of my favourites actually happened to my oldest son in October 2012. We had our black and white cat Oscar from the time he was 6 weeks old until he passed away in September 2012, a month shy of 19 years of age. Our kids grew up with him always around, sleeping on their beds and following everyone through the house. He was never a real cuddly cat though, not until his 18th year. Stricken with arthritis and other health issues, he suddenly wanted to spend time with each of us and eat anything that smelled good and try anythi

Stop by and visit me on tour!

I will be part of Patricia Gligor's "Getting to know you" post that goes live Sunday morning Oct 13 and will run through the following Saturday. Here's the link: Hope to see you there!

Pondering among the leaves...

  Such a lovely morning this morning, I decided to take a walk in the leaves. Granted, my pace has been slower than normal lately due to a cold, but sometimes slowing down is what helps us see the trees rather than the forest.   I love autumn. As a kid, I had a long driveway to walk down to get to the bus stop. Shuffling through the leaves and warming the frost on my nose, was actually one of my favourite parts of the day. Still is! I have a natural affinity for both paper and the trees it comes from. The one in the picture resides across the street from me. Our tree is smaller and more spindly, not a climber and covered in kids all summer long!    Yes, I do still shuffle through leaves. Living in the Eastern part of Canada, we have such a wide variety of them. Maples, oaks, chestnut...the colours are breathtaking and the photos we get while hiking are amazing.   One of my favourite memories of fall in Ontario is when my brother and his wife first came to visit us for Thank

A Few Lines from...The Bookstore Lady

Looking for a fun read? Check out A Few Lines from The Bookstore Lady...     When the hunched over, balding pharmacist next door called out, “Good morning, Katie,” her hand flinched and her heart raced. It took her nearly a full minute to remember she’d been Katie Mullins for two months and she’d better answer before he got offended. “Hi.” She nodded. The drugstore opened at eight every morning and it was now quarter to ten. Must have been a slow morning if he had time to stand in the doorway with a large cup of coffee rather than hanging out behind the back counter. “You’d best convince Ray to get some air-conditioning for that store before your new books curl up and warp. It’s beyond me how he’s never lost half his books every summer.” “Dust absorbs the humidity.” She smiled wryly. “I don’t think we can afford air-conditioning this year.” “I know a guy who’ll give you a quote. He’s not bad looking once you get past the bug eyes and scars. I can call him, if you’d like.”

Robin's Round Robin Blog Sept 21, 2013

Welcome to another episode of Robin's Round Robin Blog our topic for today is: As odd as it seems September, because of first day of school, university, etc. so the topic this month is beginnings, which can be exciting, terrifying and all together nerve wracking all at the same time. Some beginnings expand beyond your wildest imagination, others are disappointing, and some are downright disastrous .     I have always loved September. Back to school, believe it or not, was my favourite time of year. New clothes, new school supplies, the smell of leaves turning gold and red, a slight chill in the air...those are still the things I love about it the most. September was also the start of my independence as a young adult moving 7 hours away from home to attend University. In fact, every September is when I make my "New Year's Resolutions" for the following year. This year, September marks my oldest son's journey to his own independence. He has moved 4 h

Blog Tour

Since the release of The Bookstore Lady back in July, I've had to be creative about promoting my book. One of the fun ways to do this is through a blog tour. My upcoming appearances:   September 16 : I visit Lorrie Striuff  at:   September 21 : I am part of the Round Robin Blog here at my own site with links to many others! This is a blog tour hosted by Robin Courtright:   September 27 : Read A Few Lines From... at Books We Love:   October 13 :   I'll visit Pat Gligor at Keep an eye on my fanpage on Facebook for upcoming news!        

Book Review: Rachel Brimble's A Man Like Him

                I will be the first to admit I don't normally read romance novels, but I had two reasons for reading Rachel Brimble's A Man Like Him . Number one, I've heard about her and her writing through the grapevine. Number two, while she lives "across the pond", her book kept appearing on bookshelves everywhere I turned since we both have the same agent! And, I have to admit, I was also a bit curious about the cover blurb about having flash flood in a park and the need for a hero. Rachel did not disappoint! From page one I was caught up in both Chris and Angela's lives--as well as his sister Cat's!--and followed them through twists and turns to a climax that kept me turning page after page late at night until done! She has a wonderful way of setting a scene and her writing is so full of vivid descriptions that keep the story moving well.   A Man Like Him is a great read for the adventure, the romance and for the suspense

Expect the UnExpected Connie Vines

Been a busy few weeks getting Thing 1 off to University and dealing with a few other issues! Not quite back on top of things, but I'm getting there! In the meantime, I'm welcoming the lovely Connie Vines to my blog today to promote her new novel Brede . Here's A Few Lines from Connie Vines: Brede swallowed, trying to ignore the thick, tight feeling wedged in his throat.  He didn't welcome the onslaught of emotion that filled his chest and caused him to stroke her jaw with an unsteady finger tip.  He reminded himself that he didn't need to be involved in her problems; he had enough of his own.  As soon as the roads were passable, he'd get her to a doctor and the police could take care of the rest.      Still, no matter how hard he tried to remove himself from the situation, he kept remembering how fragile she'd seemed in his arms.  he felt as if he'd carried a sparrow, all feathers and tiny bones, out of the gully. Connie Vines Expect the
  It's been a bit of a crazy weekend. We took Thing 1, aka our oldest son, off to University.   Up until Friday, I was scurrying around getting things packed, making sure he has what he needed, working, and writing. Then came the trip home yesterday. Long and quiet. Exhaustion had taken over. In need of a distraction, I read all the way home, Rachel Brimble's A Man Like Him. (Review to come soon!)   Today I'm cleaning and getting the other kids ready for school. Trying to not be a smothering mom to my 18 year old who just wants to be left alone to check out his new world. At least he has a roommate who is also athletic and has a great sense of humour. They should get along well! Like every mom, I just want to know he's eating well and happy.   Thing 2 brought along the manuscript of Four Possessions to read on the road trip. According to him, it's one of the best he's ever read and I'd better get it edited and printed soon. Love having such

Robin's Round Robin Blog August 2013

OH NO!! Thanks to the wonders of technology, this post was supposed to air yesterday! Apparently, it didn't work and I'll never try that again! So sorry to those people who were depending on me to be part of the link!! Through my new friend Ginger Simpson, a fellow writer with Books We Love, I was introduced to this fun, monthly event called Robin's Round Robin Blog hosted by Robin Courtright. Basically, several various writers answer one question on their blog and provide a link to the next writer's blog so readers can follow along. Kind of like a writer's version of tag without having to get out of our creaky chairs! This month's topic is: Have you ever met a real-life character? Someone who was very different from your preconceptions, or someone who was just bigger than life, or whose lifestyle was so very different? A very eccentric someone? Tell about them (without giving real identities) in any manner you like. Did they change your viewpoint? Did yo

Summer's End

There have been a few ends occurring this summer. Firstly, my oldest leaves for University next weekend. While we'll definitely miss him, we will have many opportunities to see him between now and Christmas with all of our karate activities. It's going to be strange packing him up to move into his dorm for the next 8 months! Secondly, my mom lost a good friend of hers this past weekend. Marjorie was 92 years old, nearly 30 years my mom's senior. The two met while Marjorie's husband and my grandma were in the nursing home. Both mom and Marjorie were there every day to help with meals and struck up a wonderful friendship that saw them both through their losses over the past twenty-three years. I will always be grateful for Marjorie being there to help my mom deal with her grief and wish with all my heart I could be there now to help Mom through the loss of such a dear friend. They kept each other young and active! Thirdly, the loss of a lady I knew briefly but who

Just a Few Lines from Shattered Dreams by Janet Lane Walters

Okay, I'm a little slow on catching on, but here we go! My publisher, Books We Love, does a segment called "Just A Few Lines" where my fellow authors send each other blurbs from their novels and they, in turn, post it to their own blogs to help promote each other. Here, for your reading pleasure, are a few lines from Janet Lane Walters novel Shattered Dreams .....     Without a glance at the waiting patient, she strode to the counter. The aroma strengthened. Hadn’t been her imagination. She turned her head and stared at the man wearing the green cotton examining gown. She gripped the edge of the counter. Blood rushed from her head. “You’re dead.” The words slashed the silence. This couldn’t be happening. “Hardly.” The voice sounded like the one from her dreams. She opened her mouth to ask where he’d been and what he’d been doing for the past twelve years. She sucked in a shallow breath. Asking that question would only stir the emotions she had froze

A Surprise E-mail

While checking emails yesterday, I noticed one from Amazon to recommending books for me to read. When I opened it, I nearly fell out of my chair! Advertising for MY NOVELLA! I have no idea how many people this actually went out to, but what a great surprise. Of course, I had to share this with everyone I know. The neglect of my blog lately has been for a good reason, honest. I'm trying to get a blog tour underway for The Bookstore Lady. What is a blog tour? In the old days, publishers used to send writers on the road to promote their novels and gain fans. Today, with so many books published as e-books (mine is through Books We Love) and in print, actual book tours still happen but a lot of writers also go to other writers, reviewers and sites to put up blurbs about themselves and their work. While it is a lot cheaper, you also have one or two days to attract people to yourself and to the other person's blog. I am finalizing a list this week and will post next week where an

Five Minutes Peace

I had wonderful delusions of keeping up to date on this blog at least once a week. In reality.... Still doing promotions for The Bookstore Lady . I'll be doing a blog tour once I find some more wonderful writers who will host me and plan to have some special guests of my own. I'll let you all know where & when! Have Four Possessions with Beta readers before I send it off to my agent in September and have some paperwork to clean up for Dawn as well. Book Two of the Wild Blue Mysteries , tentatively titled The Mystery Lady , is written and undergoing edits. Aside from that it's been a very busy summer between work and training to grade for my Green belt in karate in September. I'm also juggling writing time between spending time with my oldest son before he goes off to University. There will be big changes in store this fall! On the plus side, I'll have more writing time once the kids go back to school. Read a wonderful book the other day. Anne Van has

The E-Book Process

When Books We Love offered to publish my novel The Bookstore Lady , I didn't expect it to be available until later this summer. Wrong! We designed the cover last week, did the edits Thursday/Friday and added my dedications then Saturday morning, the novel went up on the internet.  The Bookstore Lady  is now live at Smashwords and All Romance e-Books. It will be live at Amazon, B&N and Kobo and will filter over to Sony and the iBookstore from there! WOW! Now I am scrambling to get links everywhere I can on Facebook, my blog, my website, my writing group site, everywhere! Then I can take a breath. So what's next? Into the editing cave I go! Edits for Four Possessions , my second book which I'll place into my agent's hands this fall. After that, I'll work on The Mystery Lady , book #2 in the Wild Blue Mysteries series. Looking forward to reuniting with Danny Walker and Leo Blue, my favourite detectives! I am so grateful

A Lazy July Sunday

Now that all my paperwork is done for The Bookstore Lady and I need a day to shift gears to edit Four Possessions, I wanted to do something a little different. Yesterday, the kids and I celebrated our town's 150th birthday by wandering through the festivities downtown. Parading dragons, acrobats, artists, dancers and singers abounded. So did the heat! Today, with the rain, we wanted to do something a little bit different. Having obtained my Reiki III not so long ago, I've been itching to teach some of what I've learned. My kids, likewise, have been asking me to teach them. With the rain coming down in buckets this morning and hubby away, my kids became very willing students. We only did a half lesson, giving them time to absorb the things we discussed, but wow the things that came out of that session were amazing! First off, who knew three teenaged boys could sit still so long without a computer or a video game? Secondly, meditation means different things to differen

Contracts signed, scanned and delivered!

Just a brief update to say I have signed and sent out two contracts this week! 1) to my agent allowing her to represent Four Possessions . 2) to the publisher Books We Love to agree they can publish The Bookstore Lady . Time to celebrate then set my focus on editing! Woohoo!

A pause while I catch my breath!

What a wild week at my house! First off, the older kids finished school Monday. My oldest is now officially a high school graduate AND enrolled in University AND got his first real job for the summer and has to get up at 4:30am every day! My middle son is taking advantage of having the house to himself to squeeze in video games, friends hanging out and walking with me. My youngest finishes school today and HAD to go because he and a buddy are going out for lunch. Hard to believe how mature they can all be in the real world. Certainly a different story at home! As for me, I got a great email from my agent on Wednesday to say that she wanted to represent Four Possessions and work on getting it published. Woohoo! Great way to start the day, which led to a good karate class that I sweated like crazy in. It was when I came home for lunch afterward that I nearly fell off my chair... My wonderful agent Dawn phoned me to say we had an offer to publish The Bookstore Lady !! I won't

Silver Linings

Things have been a little hectic in my life over the past couple of months. I've been sidelined by some crazy allergies to things I never thought I was allergic to, I've gone on a doctor supervised elimination diet to try to weed them all out. The list seems to grow daily as I add things back into my diet. Things like green tea, honey and dairy products and that's just the first of many I'm sure. Yikes. Certainly a life changer. Another life changer was my oldest son turning 18 this year. Wow. I'm so excited for him. Such a realm of possibilities are opening up for him! University. A job. Travel. My biggest wish for him is to live the life he loves. To find joy in every day life. Joy can elude us so easily, can slip from our fingers and be replaced by darkness, frustration and despair. I have tried to raise all my kids to find a silver lining. To look for the positives even in the negatives. A Pollyanna view? Perhaps, but good is always there lurking. My writ
Exactly one month since my last post. At least I'm consistent! Very busy gearing up for a big karate event at work so I've let a few things slip like checking emails and updating my blog. On the writing scene, I'm still waiting for the last of the first seven publishers to give either thumbs up or thumbs down on The Bookstore Lady. What's a writer to do while they wait? Karate, of course. Kidding! A draft of my latest manuscript Four Possessions is now finished and off to one reader. I will seek others next week. Just when I think I'd take a week off and focus on other things, I decided to help my oldest son job hunt. While he went and handed out resumes, I ended up writing. Book 2 in what has suddenly become a series. I had a title picked out but then this character came along and has changed everything. Now I'm a bit adrift and he's taken over and the body's been found... So much for my hiatus. It's funny how characters have a way of taking

Dragging My Feet into Spring

Wow, a whole month without a post? How did that happen? Oh, yeah. Vacation. Work. Editing until my eyes resemble red computer monitors... Lately, however, it seems the muses are not only tapping my shoulder for a little attention, they're smacking me right over the head! Last night I attended a workshop put on by our local library which was led by Richard Scarsbrook, former high school teacher and current teacher at Humber College. Part 2 of a 5 part series. Very inspiring. So much so I itched to get home and at my computer so I could Facebook my friends about it. Kidding. Last week, I attended a talk at the library by one of my writing friends Jayne E. Self. Jayne has two wonderful murder mysteries called "Murder in Hum Harbour" and "Death of a Highland Heavyweight." The room was packed, Jayne was nervous but did a wonderful job teaching us all how to pick a murder victim. What do the muses forsee in the future? Harry Posner's release of "A Softn
While at a writing meeting today, I learned one of the other members, Mary Patricia Bird, wrote a review of Murder on Manitou. What a nice surprise! I was very flattered and included the link here for anyone else to read:   My writing career has been moving along lately. Final edits have been done to The Bookstore Lady and my agent has all the query information she needs. Our next step is submitting to publishers and being patient for one of them to snap it up. More babysteps. It's not an easy process, but it will be worth the wait.   When I started writing, I thought everything I wrote was brilliant and showed it to my mom. I'm sure she got sick and tired of reading all my drivel after a while. Even when I moved away, I sent her copies of manuscripts, one of which I know she still has tucked in a closet somewhere in typical mom fashion.   As I've grown and honed my skills