Thursday, October 25, 2012

Then Came Love

  One of my favourite things about writing is that I get to design my own covers. I try to wait until I'm about two thirds of the way through before I search for the right image. It's my treat to myself, but sometimes I can't wait.
  I don't always get it right. This is the third cover for Then Came Love, but this time, to quote Henry Higgins, "I think she's got it!"
  I hope you agree.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Winter Has Arrived

I woke up yesterday morning to a fine dusting of snow creeping down the hills across the lake. Does this mean no more shorts? Jack would be bereft; he hated to put his shorts away for the season.
   For some reason, when winter comes adults tend to talk about times gone by. I'm no different. At the sight of the snow, I started thinking about winter on the small acreage in Ontario where our family lived until I was twelve.
   In those days farmers didn't mind if you went across their fields to get to the tobogganing hill. We had a long toboggan; eight feet if I recall correctly. It was Dad's job to pull it up the hill, and then sit in the front to steer, but his real role was snowcatcher. By the time we came to rest at the bottom of the hill, his face would be covered with snow.  Always goodnatured, he'd shake it off and trudge up again.
  Some years the creek would flood just before the temperature dipped. Those were great times for skating. The ice would freeze, and then the water level would go down a bit, creating shallow dishes of ice suspended from clumps of grasses. It was like skating in a fun-house where everything is distorted. The grasses gave us something to skate around.
  We lived in an old two-story farmhouse that Dad worked hard to modernize. A bathing tub upstairs! What luxury!
  As dinner hour approached, our mother would call us. Normally we could hear her clearly, but some days when we were having a particularly good time her voice didn't carry. She solved that by hanging a rug over the railing on the top floor, but sometimes we simply didn't see it.
  I suppose we got scolded for those times we were mysteriously struck deaf and blind. If so, it was worth it. Those winter days are some of my most treasured memories.

I still miss hockey

Having said that, I hear there are rumblings that something might be happening to get hockey back on before the season passes us by completely.

Blogging From The Heart is free October 24, 25, 26. it's a light romance that combines the issue of violence in hockey with blogging.

It's a short read, so if you if you like a gentle romance, try this one. The price is right for three days... FREE!  Only at


Sunday, October 7, 2012

It's Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada

  I went for a drive this morning. I often grab a breakfast item from McDonald’s and go down to one of the many provincial parks along the shore of Okanagan Lake.
  It was still this morning. No breeze at all. Temperature in the low 20s. (That’s low 70s for my American friends). The only disturbance on the water was the occasional duck, or seagull. As I sat there enjoying my coffee and reading my Kindle a few more people came to sit down. A family settled nearby and I couldn’t help but wonder if they were celebrating Thanksgiving by having the last picnic of the season.
  On the way back home I noticed several men in their gardens, cleaning up the last of this year’s growth. They weren’t working hard. After all, it’s Sunday, but in spite of the balmy weather we all know there could be a cold snap any day now, and that it will stay cold. My neighbour is getting his snow tires put on this week.
  Seeing those men in the gardens reminded me of the gardens that occupied the space around our family home in Ontario. Dad laughingly referred to the property out back as “the back forty”. Later on I learned that this expression wasn’t unique to him, but it always delighted me when he said it.
  We had an amazing variety of food, but my memories are mainly of:
Raspberries:   We had red raspberries and black raspberries. I liked the black ones best. They were hard to find until my father showed me how they hid under the leaves.
Strawberries:   I remember these well. My sister and I were required to weed the rows, but we were also allowed to pick and sell strawberries to earn money for camp.
Potatoes:    Dad made a game out of digging potatoes. “How many in this shovelful?” he’d ask and we’d all guess. I don’t remember if we picked them out of the soil, but if we didn’t, he missed out on six eager hands. The potatoes would go down in the basement on a raised platform. It was dark down there in the corner, and by the time spring came around the roots on the potatoes were longer than what was left of them.
Cantaloupe:    Muskmelon, actually. We always had far too many. Like today’s zucchinis, they were hard to give away; everyone grew their own.
Corn:   Fresh and sweet. One year my sister had a corn roast. That must have been shortly before we came out to British Columbia, because in my memory it was an adult occasion. I still love corn.
Asparagus:   I’m not sure if Mom sold it on the side of the road or not. There was so much.
And lastly: Wild strawberries. Somewhere out in the ‘back forty’ was my secret patch of wild strawberries. The rest of the family pretended that they didn’t know where it was...or maybe they didn’t, but I always felt special when I brought a handful to my mother, who made a fuss over them. Even now, the taste lingers in my mouth.

We didn’t have the latest Nikes, cell phones, or computer games back then, but we had lots to eat; we had family. Life was good...and it still is. Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thank You, FKBT

One thing that has surprised me since publishing my books with Amazon is the number of people willing to help each other with information and support. Free Kindle Books and Tips is one of these and this weekend they have assisted me by featuring Full Circle on their site, and posting it to over 375,000 active readers of their blog.
   They offer an ongoing selection of free books. Check them out at

Thanks again!

Laura MacLeod doesn’t need an intervention to know she’s in trouble. A paediatric nurse on an oncology ward, she has seen her share of suffering. But when tragedy touches her personally, she falls apart and accepts help in the form of pain killers. She becomes rapidly addicted, and her downward spiral is humiliating as well as life-changing. Fresh from rehab, she travels to the Okanagan Valley, where she has agreed to perform menial work at a winery for several months. F-18 fighter pilot Bradley Jamieson has witnessed the horrors of war in Afghanistan, resulting in the loss of his ability to speak. Weary from the aftermath of war, he accepts his friend’s invitation to visit his winery. Unable to understand how a beautiful woman like Laura could throw away her life by taking drugs, he is determined to avoid her. But the more he sees of this gentle woman, the more he’s attracted to her. The summer sun isn’t the only thing generating heat in the valley. Laura and Bradley battle their their growing attraction for one another while fighting their inner demons. Can these two troubled souls find the peace they desire, or will reality bring them crashing back down to earth?