Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Alberta: My Mayday Trees are blooming!

Flowering Mayday Tree
Over the last few months I've been featuring posts on Alberta, the province where I set most of my stories. If you want to check out earlier posts, click here.

Today, I'm talking about trees.
The selection of plant materials that will actually live and thrive in Alberta is tiny, especially when compared to Ontario, British Columbia, or other more moderate climes.  Our climate is tricky - not only can we have temperatures from minus to plus 30 degrees Celsius over the course of the year, but we also have the Chinook winds I mentioned in a previous post.  It is actually the Chinooks that pose the biggest challenge for plant materials, because the ground can thaw and then freeze several times over the winter.  It takes a special plant to survive that cycle.  Even Edmonton, which is further north but doesn't have the Chinook winds like southern Alberta, has more variety in plant materials.

Out of all the trees we can successfully grow in southern Alberta, the Mayday Tree (Prunus padus commutata) is my favorite!  In the spring, the Mayday Tree's leaves are almost the first to appear, and then about a week later the tree erupts with clusters of creamy white flowers.  They are the first showy trees of the year, and their flowers smell absolutely wonderful! 

My yard has two Maydays!  And they've just started to flower. I love the scent - I think I could live under their branches for the next week while the flowers are blooming. 


Do you have a favorite tree or first sign of spring?

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Sunshine Award!

My lovely friend, Mae Clair, nominated me for the Sunshine Award!  This is a fun award that bloggers give to other bloggers "who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere."  So, thank you, Mae, for including me!  What an honour!

Mae Clair wrote a great time travel werewolf romance called Weathering Rock.  Now, I'm eagerly awaiting the release of her next book, Twelfth Sun, which is coming out in August. She has also has a regular blog post "Mythical Monday," where I always learn something new!

The rules of the Sunshine Award are as follows:
  1. Thank the person who gave you the award in your blog post - Thank you, Mae!
  2. Answer the questions below
  3. Pass the award to a bunch of deserving and inspiring bloggers, inform them and link to their blogs (The rules actually say 10-12 people, but I chose 6)
So, here are the questions:

Favorite Color: I like primary colors... so I guess I'll choose three!  Blue and red for clothing and yellow for my walls! 

Favorite Animal: Cats.  I live with two.  That said, I would also like a dog, but so far that idea keeps getting nixed by my "other half."

Favorite Number: 4

Favorite Non-Alcoholic Drink: Club Soda with Lime.

Facebook or Twitter: Facebook for mostly close friends and family interactions, and Twitter for fun and learning.

Your Passion: Writing! 

Giving or Getting Presents: Giving!  Absolutely.  I love trying to find something the person will enjoy.  And, I hate surprises, which might explain why I also like to read the ends of books before I finish them.  That is the only thing that bugs me about eReaders - how difficult it is to read the end before you get to it.

Favorite Flower: The flowers on the Mayday tree, which is a type of cherry tree.  It is the first happy sign of spring for me. 

And now, I'd like to pass this award on to:

Thank you for the sunshine on your blogs!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

A book cover!! I have a book cover!! Yay!!

My debut book, Devin's Second Chance, will be published in June - YAY! - and, today I'm sharing my very first book cover! 



Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 84,000 words
Publication Date: June 2013 (Coming soon!)
Series: A Morning Lake Novel: Book 1


Cowboy Devin Trent’s life has been stuck for years, unchanged since his faithless wife died, and he is determined to keep it that way - an ever-present reminder of why he doesn’t deserve a second chance at love. Claire Best, by contrast, is in turmoil – she is renting her house to summer folk, she is planning a big fundraiser, and her doctor has discovered something that needs to be investigated.

Pulled together by the fundraiser, Claire’s teenage renter, and Devin’s matchmaking mom, their immediate attraction quickly escalates to more, but Claire fears her own health worries will only resurrect Devin’s pain and grief over his wife’s final days and she is willing to sacrifice her own happiness to protect him.

Can they overcome their pasts and listen to their hearts before their happily-ever-after slips away?
You can sign up for my newsletter (top right side of this page) to get an email notification of Devin's Second Chance's release and other goodies! 
This was a long time coming!  And, I can't fully explain how excited I am to share this news with you!  Have you ever felt that way? 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Alberta - Did you know Alberta has ferries?!

Over the last few months I've been featuring posts on Alberta, the province where I set most of my stories. If you want to check out earlier posts, click here.

Today, I'm talking about ferries.

Now, if you are the least bit familiar with Alberta, you'll think you misread today's topic.  Ferries?  Alberta is landlocked, how can it have ferries?  Even as a native Albertan, the idea of ferries seems odd. 

Alberta actually has seven ferries, which run from spring to fall, and I've been on one, The Bleriot Ferry.  This ferry crosses the Red Deer River, which is about 105 metres (345 feet) at this location.

I thoroughly enjoyed the trip across the river.  It felt leisurely... seemingly emphasizing the fact that we were on holiday when we used it. 
The Bleriot Ferry (Lorraine's Photo)

View from the ferry. (Lorraine's Photo)
In some ways I wish I had to use a ferry like this every day... just to know for those few minutes everything is going to slow and all you have to do is just enjoy the ride.
When was the last time you took a ferry?