Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Annual Recap (2014)

Chloe's Matchmaking Terrier
Every New Year's Eve, I look back at what has happened over the last year and think about what I'd like to see happen in the new year.

This year is no different.

I'm laughing now because I've just glanced at what I wrote in 2012 and 2013. In those posts, I talk about learning and trying new things... and that is very similar to what I've been thinking about this year too. Too funny. But, perhaps it just goes to show me that those are my ever-present themes in my writing career.

But, as much as some things stay the same, it is interesting to see how much has changed in my life in the last few years too.

Reading

This year I discovered novellas and shorter works of fiction in a way I hadn't before. Before my getting my e-readers, I would go to the bookstore and pick out the fattest books on the shelf. I wanted to sink into a good story that would keep me entertained for a long time (at least a full day--lol). But my life has changed. Now, perhaps because buying books from my couch is so easy and I find I don't get absorbed in e-books the same way I do with print books, I have been reading a lot of shorter stories. And I like them! Based on that discovery, I decided to experiment with writing some too. And, so, Chloe's Matchmaking Terrier was born. (It is free just now, by the way.)

Blogging

My blogging, despite a few rallying points through the year, wasn't very consistent. I plan to do better this coming year! I have a few topics that I've been mulling over and I think it is time to get them out of my head.

Critique Group and Writing Friends

The Morning Lake Collection 1
Books 1-3 Bundle
Things got more complicated with everyone's lives again this year. So, we didn't meet as much as we have in previous years. I love my crit partners to pieces! But, as things get increasingly hectic, I think I will have to step away from my group for a while. It makes me sad to think about not meeting with them as regularly, but I don't think I have been offering them the value and attention that I feel they deserve.

In 2014, I attended When Words Collide, a local writing conference, again! It was a fun weekend full of writing talk! I sat on a few panels and met some great people!

This past year I also started working with a writing friend, who received the rights back to most of her back-list. I am excited to help her re-release these in 2015. I expect I'll be talking more about this in 2015.

Learning

In 2014, I dipped my toes in the publishing waters again. I recognize that I made a few mistakes along the way when I first set out, but now I feel like I have a better handle on the basics and am ready to learn the next steps in this ever-changing world of book publishing. I still read my various industry loops and forums religiously, and love it when I find something new to think about and try. Some of what I learned this year really jump started things for me! And I can't wait to find out what I discover next.

Publishing

Back in 2012, I hadn't published yet. In 2013, I published 2 books. In 2014, I published 1 novelette (Chloe's Matchmaking Terrier) and 1 bundle in my Morning Lake series. I also started to experiment with a pen name (which is still a secret). My pen name now has 6 stories and 2 bundles. I wouldn't normally talk about my pen name on this blog, except that for me it was really about experimenting and taking a chance on something new, which has been a very eye opening and exciting experience for me.

The Morning Lake Collection 1
Books 1-3 Bundle
In 2015, I plan to publish more in the Morning Lake series (Rita's story is still itching to be told), create more stories for my pen name, and also introduce the world to my paranormal romances, which I have been working on forever. Since my contemporary romances have a sense of "realism" (or so say the reviews), I have decided to publish the paranormals under "Raine Paton," but they will still ultimately be under the same umbrella and show up on this blog and my regular Facebook page. (At least that is the plan today!)

Oh - and I now have all three Morning Lake books available in print! Yay! They should all be available at the major online retailers by the end of January!

Writing

I've just received Dragon Naturally Speaking software, which is a dictation program, for Christmas! Yay! So I hope that will help me get all of the stories out of my head and into a file on my computer. I started "training" it this week, and have been pleased with my preliminary results. I have grand plans for what I'd like to write this coming year, and *fingers crossed* I'll have the time to do it all!

I'm excited for 2015! 2014 was a fabulous year for me and I can't wait to build on all that I've learned! 

How was your 2014?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Morning Lake Bundle is now available!


Morning Lake Collection 1: Books 1 - 3 Bundle

Now Available!! 

This is a collection of three heart-warming and sexy romances set in the small town of Morning Lake, where local matchmaker Helen Trent has decided to help everyone find love.
  
This box set includes all the Morning Lake books plus a bonus short story, 
which was previously only available to subscribers to Lorraine's newsletter!


*These contemporary romances contain adult language and sexual situations.*

You can find this book at: 
Smashwords | GooglePlay | Barnes & Noble



(iTunes and Barnes & Noble are coming soon!
I'll update the links when they are available.)

Depending on which retailer you use, 
the cover will either look like 
the image above... 
or the image below... 



Thursday, August 28, 2014

5 Fun Facts about Author Marlow Kelly

Today I'm thrilled to welcome Marlow Kelly to my blog! I am so excited to highlight her debut (and brand new) book and writing with you! She's here to share Five Fun Facts about herself, her book and her writing!


And, please, scroll down to her excerpt for her brand new book, 
A Woman of Honour!
I promise, it`ll make you smile!


Book cover for A Woman of Honour



FUN FACT #1: About Marlow
I am qualified to hold passports to three different countries; England, Ireland and Canada. However, since both England and Ireland now belong to the European Community I can use my British passport to live in any EEC country.



Fun Fact #2: About A Woman of Honour
FUN FACT #3: About one of the characters from A Woman of Honour
Isabel Douglas is thin and stands over six feet tall. Studies of medieval graves tell us that the average woman was 5ft 2in and the average man stood 5ft 7in. 

Today a tall thin woman would be considered a fitting candidate for a model, but in the medieval world men favoured a more curvaceous figure and a tall thin woman would have been considered ugly.

FUN FACT #4: About Marlow's Writing Process
I always write my first draft with the spelling and grammar function turned off. In my first draft I just want the ideas onto the page and as I can’t spell, and at this stage don’t care about punctuation, (I’m useless when it comes to punctuation, anyway) these functions turn my writing into a distracting mess of red and green.

FUN FACT #5: About Marlow's next book
My next book “A Woman of Love” is set in Berkshire, England. The county of Berkshire is also home to Ascot and Windsor, including the castle. It is an area I’m very familiar with as I used to live in Ascot.

~~~

ABOUT A WOMAN OF HONOUR


Duncan Campbell wakes to discover he is imprisoned with a woman in his enemy's dungeon in the Highlands of Scotland. The disenchanted warrior hopes his last few moments on earth will be spent in the arms of the sweet-voiced Isabel. If only she will cooperate. 

Isabel Douglas has no intention of obliging the crude captive. The penniless noblewoman considers herself too tall and thin to be desirable. She intends to become a nun. But first, disguised as a boy, she must deliver an important letter to Scotland's hero in hiding, King Robert the Bruce. 

Together, the pair make a daring escape that plunges them into the bleak countryside in the middle of winter. In the struggle to survive, they learn the true strength of their feelings for each other. But when Duncan's animosity towards the king becomes evident, Isabel must decide between her heart and her country


BUY A WOMAN OF HONOUR AT: 

Worldwide release date: 27th August 2014
Buy it at Wild Rose Press
or 
get it directly from  AmazonKoboBarnes and NobleARe

EXCERPT FROM A WOMAN OF HONOUR

“And even though we’re going to die, you still can’t find it in your heart to forgive me?”


“Maybe if you were very nice to me and warmed me with your sweet, little body, I could see my way to absolving you.”

She gasped and he couldn’t help but smile at her outraged reaction. He had no idea why he enjoyed baiting her, but he couldn’t seem to stop.

“You’re the most sinful man I’ve ever met. I take it back. I don’t want your absolution. How can you think about your carnal needs at a time like this?” The ire in her voice made him want to continue their argument, but his headache was worsening by the minute.

~~~


ABOUT MARLOW KELLY



After being thrown out of England for refusing to drink tea, Marlow Kelly made her way to Canada where she found love, a home and a pug named Max. She also discovered her love of storytelling. Encouraged by her husband, children and let’s not forget Max, she started putting her ideas to paper. Her need to write about strong women in crisis drives her stories and her curiosity regarding the lives and loves of historical figures are the inspiration for her characters. You can visit Marlow at www.marlowkelly.com, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Pinterest.

~~~

I love medieval Scotland!! The first two novels I wrote, which are hiding in the recesses of my computer, are set there! I LOVED the research! 

What about you? Which historical era do you enjoy reading about the most?

Friday, August 8, 2014

When Words Collide! Here I come!

This weekend is the When Words Collide: A Festival for Readers and Writers in Calgary! It is a weekend packed full of authors, readers and fun! I've attended every year except one (I was moving) since it started!

If you are in Calgary, stop by and say hi!

Some events are only available to conference attendees, but others are open to the public.

Here is my schedule:

Friday, August 8, 2014

Blogmance Panel
2 PM – Yorkshire 2
Victoria Smith, Sarah Kades, Maureen Pyne, Lorraine Paton, Mahrie G Reid (M)
So you’re a romance writer. What the heck do you put in your blog? One hundred and one best sex tips? This vs. that toy? Maybe. Maybe not. Romance authors talk about their blogs, what has made them successful and how they chose their sometimes-salacious topics. Blog readers explain what they like to read and how to catch and keep their attention.

Book Signing at ARWA's Table **OPEN TO THE PUBLIC**
From 4 to 5 PM - Merchant's Corner

ARWA Book Social **OPEN TO THE PUBLIC**

Friday 8 PM – Yorkshire 1
Join ARWA (Alberta Romance Writers Association) in celebrating this year’s new publications by local authors. During the first hour, authors will be reading short excerpts from their new books!  I will be reading from Chloe's Matchmaking Terrier!  (Yikes! That's tonight! I better get practicing!)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Book Signing at ARWA's Table **OPEN TO THE PUBLIC**
From 3 to 4 PM - Merchant's Corner

WWC Mass Autograph Session **OPEN TO THE PUBLIC**
From 8 to 9 PM - Clarence / Phaeton / Surrey


Sunday, August 10, 2014

For Love of the Craft
10 AM – Yorkshire 2
Mahrie G. Reid, Lorraine Paton, Roxy Boroughs, Jessica L. Jackson (M)
The craft of writing is an anchor for some and a compass for others. What is the craft of writing? How has it changed? Where is it going? Where do writers learn their craft? Listen as writers share their relationship with the craft.

Beta Readers, Critique Partners and More
11 AM – Phaeton
Lorraine Paton, Kate Larking, Elisa O’Day, Roxy Boroughs
One of the most important things a writer can do is get feedback on their work, but how do you do that? Writers share their experiences about working with beta readers, critique partners and more. What are some tips and tricks? Who should you ask? How do you deal with positive and negative comments? What should you expect from readers? Is there an ideal number of readers?

Romance Writing, Unplugged
1 PM – Phaeton
Lorraine Paton, Roxy Boroughs, Sarah Kades, Jean Maxwell, Jessica L. Jackson (M)
Ever wish you would have known then, what you know now about the romance industry? What would you tell a beginning romance writer? Why do we choose to write romance? Where is the romance industry now, and where is it heading? An open Q&A about the romance writing world.

~~~

Have a great weekend!  I know I will! 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

5 Fun Facts about Author Elle Rush

Today I'm thrilled to welcome Elle Rush to my blog! I met Elle through a mutual friend and I'm so excited to highlight her book and writing with you! She's here to share Five Fun Facts about herself, her book and her writing!

And, please, scroll down to her excerpt for her brand new book, Drama Queen!
I promise, it`ll make you smile!


Book Cover for Drama Queen

FUN FACT #1: About Elle
I have two imaginary big brothers. My family moved a lot and I attended seven schools before I hit high school. I invented twin big brothers who were away at private school and would beat up anybody who was mean to me. It worked. Nobody gave me a hard time until one of my schoolmate’s mother stopped my mom in the grocery store to ask how her boys were. I had some explaining to do when I got home that day. Mitch and Barry, I miss you!

FUN FACT #2: About Elle's Book, Drama Queen

FUN FACT #3: About one of the characters from Drama Queen
Layla’s charity of choice is a drama group for under-privileged youth. She and I share the conviction that it is vital to get kids involved in the arts while they are young so the passion for it continues through to adulthood.

FUN FACT #4: About Elle's Writing Process
I can’t write in silence. I have to have music playing in the background. I don’t create a playlist for my books either; I listen to random CDs and the radio.  For “Drama Queen”, I played the “Sons of Anarchy Soundtrack (Seasons 1-4)” and The Black Keys about 90% of the time which is weird because neither Russ nor Layla would listen to that style of music.

FUN FACT #5: About Elle's next book
My next book is a short romantic comedy called “Cuban Moon” and it’s coming out this month. It’s book 2 in my Resort Romances series. I’ve actually visited Cuba twice and taken a tour of Havana, like my characters. I’m not a strong or confident swimmer but I went out several times with a buddy because Cuba had the best snorkelling of any Caribbean destination I’ve been to.

~~~

ABOUT DRAMA QUEEN

Layla Andrews isn’t really a bitch – she just plays one on television. For the last eighteen months, she’s acted like one in real life too while she was forced to serve probation for something she didn’t do. Now the Queen of Olympus has done her time and she’s ready to start living again … but she’s forgotten how.

Russ Vukovick, the show’s fight coordinator, had been attracted to Layla since the first time he saw her. Recently he’s caught glimpses of a new side of her – one that makes her irresistible. But as he gets closer to her, he also sees more of what she hides beneath the mask she wears.


As Layla and Russ try to navigate their new relationship, families, danger and secrets work against them at every turn. Can they find a true happily-ever-after when they are surrounded by lies?


BUY DRAMA QUEEN AT: 

Buy it from my publisher Liquid Silver Books  
(MOBI version for Kindle, EPUB for Kobo and iTunes), 
or 
get it directly from  Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, Barnes and Noble/Nook, ARe

EXCERPT FROM DRAMA QUEEN

There had to be a way to recall a text message. Layla knew it could be done with emails so there had to be something she could do besides pray that somewhere out there in the night a woman accidentally dropped her smart phone into a toilet. She checked her Sent file again. Yep, it was still there. MEN ARE IDITOS! Sent to an unsuspecting Erin Thorne at merlot-thirty-seven. The typo wasn’t the most annoying thing, although it didn’t help. It was that suddenly she felt the need to share.
Her phone binged. YES THEY ARE. U OK?
Layla eyed the empty wineglass on the coffee table. Then the slightly-more-than-half-full bottle on the counter. FINE, SORRY TO BOTHER YOU.
NO BOTHER. DATELESS. WHICH IDIOT?
She knew that Erin didn’t gossip. Actually, that wasn’t true. Layla knew that the stylist didn’t gossip about the other actors in the cast around her. She had no idea if Erin’s discretion ran both ways. DOESN’T MATTER. WINE TALKING. GOOD NIGHT.
I LIKE WINE. ANY LEFT?
Layla was twenty-nine years old and didn’t have a single close friend to show for it. She was tired of being alone. Since she literally couldn’t end up more alone, she made her decision. 2/3 BOTTLE OF MERLOT. WANT A GLASS?
SURE. WHERE ARE U?
Layla took a breath and texted her address.
30 MINUTES. SAVE SOME WINE 4 ME.
For company, she’d open a whole new bottle.

~~~

ABOUT ELLE RUSH


Elle Rush is a Canadian romance author from Winnipeg, Manitoba. When she’s not travelling, she’s hard at work writing her contemporary romance eBooks which are set all over the world. Elle earned a degree in Spanish and French, barely passed German, and is starting to learn Italian and Filipino. She has flunked poetry in every language she’s ever taken. She also has mild addictions to tea, cookbooks and the sci-fi channel.  The easiest way to keep up with her it to sign up for her free newsletter but you can also find her at her website, on Twitter, Goodreads and Pinterest.

~~~

One of my books was inspired by a song, but don`t usually write to music. I used to write university papers to Mozart`s Requiem (LOL) and it really helped. Hmm ... I might have to try that again! 

What about you? Do you like to work to music?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Today I'm on Marlow Kelly's blog!

Today I'm excited to be on Marlow Kelly's blog! 

Yay!

Stop by Marlow's for a visit by clicking here!


Today I'm taking a holiday from my blog
to visit new and exotic locales!
Come visit me at Marlow Kelly's blog!
(I took this photo in Roatan a few years ago.)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Chloe's Matchmaking Terrier - Now Available!

Today I'm thrilled to announce the release of my latest contemporary romance book Chloe's Matchmaking Terrier! This book is a prequel novella to Devin's Second Chance, which was originally released in 2013.

So, help yourself to a virtual champagne 
and scroll down to learn more about 
Luke and Chloe's story!



Chloe's Matchmaking Terrier
(A Morning Lake Novella, Book 1)

Blurb:
She is ready to leave her past behind.

Chloe Wagner, after leaving an unhealthy relationship, moves back to Morning Lake feeling lonely, fifty pounds overweight, and ready for a fresh start. So when a friend asks her to foster an Airedale Terrier named Ginger, she seizes the opportunity!

She hadn't realized her dog walk route would take her right by Luke Larsen's acreage.

He's never forgotten her.

Luke figures he's been in love with Chloe for most of his life. Even though she is only in town for the summer, he can't resist this opportunity to get to know her all over again. Is one summer enough to appease his heart? Or can he show her she's perfect ... and they're perfect for one another through every season?

~~~
This 18,000 word contemporary romance novella contains sexual content and adult language. Each Morning Lake book can be read as a stand-alone story.
~~~

Excerpt:

"Thank you for staying with me. It would have been a long night otherwise." She didn't know why, but her voice was soft. Like a whisper. But why would she be whispering to Luke?
"You're welcome." Then his gaze drifted lower, over her face, until it landed on her mouth.
The impulse to kiss him kicked into gear again.
She opened her mouth. And he tightened his arms around her, pulling her closer to him. Body against body.
His lips brushed with tantalizing delicacy against hers. His hands spread over her back. When his fingers found a sliver of exposed skin at the hem of her shirt, he didn't stop. He drew enticing, teasing circles on that little bit of flesh.
Her hands gripped his strong back, fisting into the worn fabric of his shirt. Someone—it could have been her—moaned.
His tongue traced her lips and she opened wider for him. Man alive, he knew how to make a girl want more. The firm pressure of his hard chest against her breasts was so enticing. She wanted to escalate their embrace, by at least another bazillion notches.


~~~
(Note: This short novella is a prequel to Devin's Second Chance and was originally planned to be released as "Book 0.5". However, due to labeling challenges with some retailers, this book has been labeled as "Book 1" and Devin's Second Chance was shuffled up to "Book 2" and Annie's Christmas Plan to "Book 3" - Sorry for any confusion!)
~~~
Currently available in digital format at:

 (As more retailers carry Chloe's Matchmaking Terrier, this list will be updated.)

Add it to your Goodreads wishlist.
~~~
Thank you for visiting!
I'm always here waiting to pour you another virtual champagne!
Cheers!
*Clink*
~~~

I hope you enjoy Luke and Chloe's story!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

5 Fun Facts about Author Sarah Kades

Today I'm excited to welcome Sarah Kades to my blog! She's here to share Five Fun Facts about herself, her book and her writing! And, if you scroll down, you can read a fun excerpt from her new book, Kiss Me in the Rain! Sarah is one of my fabulous critique group peeps and I'm so excited about her new release (and the upcoming books in her series)!! :)


Book Cover for Kiss Me in the Rain

FUN FACT #1: About Sarah
My first trip up to Fort McMurray (Northern-eastern Alberta oil sands) I got a hug from the WestJet check-in counter woman. True story. Long story. Thanks nice WestJet lady!! 

FUN FACT #2: About Sarah's Book
This book was five years in the making. I took breaks to work on other projects, but this baby is a favorite. The characters have definitely become old friends.

FUN FACT #3: About one of the characters from Kiss Me in the Rain
Gabe is an ex-CSIS agent, who went back to his archaeology roots. I actually knew an archaeologist who became a CSIS agent. At least we think he did. He had an interview and then just stopped coming to work. Maybe he was just sick of screening fields of dirt.


FUN FACT #4: About Sarah's Writing Process

FUN FACT #5: About Sarah's next book
I'm working on The Sane One is a Bull Rider, book two in the Tanner Family series. Years ago a friend of mine in Saskatchewan used to rodeo, team penning mind you, not bull riding. When I asked about the other events, including bull riding, he laughed and said something like bull riders are a breed all their own. The moment stuck in my head. Now I have a character who is a bull rider. So. Darn. Fun. To. Write.

~~~
ABOUT KISS ME IN THE RAIN
Glaciologist Savannah MacIntyre was happy with her life far away from her family. But sometimes life has a way of bringing you back home when you least expect it and most need it. When the opportunity to reconnect with her estranged dad comes up, she takes it. Then finds herself distracted from her turmoil by ex-CSIS agent turned archaeologist Gabe Tanner, who would rather get another bullet to the head than reconcile with his own father. Family betrayal has taught both Savannah and Gabe not to trust, or love, which makes navigating their mutual attraction on a remote archaeological survey beyond frustrating. But somewhere between roaring fathers and dense spruce forests, they let go of the past and learn that love doesn’t care who the extended family is.

BUY KISS ME IN THE RAIN AT: AMAZON and CREATESPACE

EXCERPT FROM KISS ME IN THE RAIN:
His eyes heated so fast she had the crazy thought that he was going to pick her up right there and carry her off to his room. She held out a staying hand. “Do not pick me up.”

“A woman who can read my mind, excellent. I’m told I suck at communicating.” Gabe ducked a shoulder to her middle, wrapped his arms around her legs and hoisted her over his shoulder.

Laughing until she was gasping for air, she alternated between tickling and pounding on his back to get him to put her down. Finally, unable to take it another second of laughing so hard, she gasped, “If you don’t put me down I’m going to pee my pants.”


That got a reaction.

~~~
ABOUT SARAH KADES

Sarah Kades is an American-Canadian author of romantic fiction where nature, humor and love meet. Her first publication was the novella Claiming Love, followed by the short story Duke Out at the Diner. Kiss Me in the Rain is her first full-length novel. It is Book One of The Tanner Family Series, a five book series set in western Canada. When she is not writing, she is playing, usually outside, with her family or planning their next adventure. 

Find Sarah at: 



~~~

I enjoyed reading Sarah's book in our critique group! And I'm excited it has now been released! :) I'm looking forward to her next books in this series!

Friday, July 25, 2014

5 Fun Facts about Author Dee Van Dyk

Today I'm excited to welcome Dee Van Dyk to my blog! She's here to share Five Fun Facts about herself, her book and her writing! And, if you scroll down, you can read an captivating excerpt from her new book, Sin Eater! (And, Dee recently highlighted my book, Devin's Second Chance, on her Dinner and a Good Book! You should check it out!)
Book Cover for SIN EATER
FUN FACT #1: About Dee
I grew up in a small Mennonite community. Although my writing wasn’t actively encouraged (it’s a bit fluffy in a pragmatic culture), I was always scribbling stories. My hope chest (yes, I have a cedar hope chest!) is filled with stories I wrote as a child.

When I published my first book – Hurricane Katrina – I gave copies to family and friends. My dear aunt and uncle read their copy, passed it along to others, then ultimately returned it to me. We’re that practical.

Fun Fact #2: About Dee's book, SIN EATER

FUN FACT #3: About one of the characters from SIN EATER
Sin Eater was originally planned as an Adult Fantasy and my heroine, Sara Shaughnessy, was a professional food stylist. After a fabulous workshop with Michael Hauge, I realized that my story worked better as a Young Adult and Sara became a teenaged social outcast.

FUN FACT #4: About Dee's Writing Process
I start with a kernel of an idea and write from that kernel. No synopsis or outline. I let the story take me wherever it goes. I know, I know. That’s so not-practical. My Inner Mennonite cringes.

FUN FACT #5: About Dee's next book, Banshee
Banshee is the second in the Sin Eating franchise and follows Sara’s battle with the Red Woman.

~~~
ABOUT SIN EATER
Nearly a decade has passed since Sara Shaughnessy’s brother was carted off to prison as a convicted serial killer. Ten long, isolated years made worse by a local crime reporter who rehashes her family shame in print every year on her brother’s sentencing date.

This year there’s a tragic twist in the family drama when Sara’s father is killed and she’s forced to live with her grandmother in a remote town tucked into the mountains. The one pinprick of hope is the possibility of a fresh start for Sara, away from the local gossips and busybodies of her hometown.
But any hope of a happily-ever-after ending is destroyed as the reporter tracks her to her new home, where nothing is what it seems. Sara discovers the people in her life have been keeping things from her: who they are, who she is, and what they want from her.

The price tag for not adjusting to her new reality quickly is death, not only for Sara and everyone she loves, but for much of mankind.

BUY SIN EATER AT: AMAZON

EXCERPT FROM SIN EATER
Every day, on my way to and from school, I pass a pair of size seven sneakers, looped around and dangling from the traffic light, fifteen feet above the intersection. I keep my eyes fixed on them, as I wait for the shrill cheep, cheep, cheep of the walk light telling me it’s safe to cross.

If I’m lucky, I’m waiting alone. If I’m less than lucky, the kids gathering around me to wait for the light are smaller and weaker than me and we all wait silently. Dad always says you make your own luck and today he’s right. If I’d left ten minutes later – my usual time – the trip from school would have been an uneventful one. Today, I’m screwed.

This afternoon, Mason Clester sidles up to me, bumping me forward slightly with his elbow. His breath is warm on the side of my face, stinking of cabbage and garlic.

“Sorry,” he says, and I can hear the smirk in his voice.  “My dad says to tell you to say hi to your dad from him.”  A fine spray of spit hits my cheek every time he utters an s. I fight back the urge to wipe my coat sleeve across my face and focus on ignoring him. Completely.

I shift my gaze back to the sneakers on the light pole, a pair of blue and green Supernovas, now rocking slightly at a sudden wind gust. They are my sneakers and they have been hanging up there since the beginning of the school year.

~~~
ABOUT DEE VAN DYK
Dee Van Dyk

I’m a dabbler, a sampler of life. Yeah, I’m a writer, but I’m also a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, friend. Like most people who’ve lived awhile, I’ve done a few things. Some exciting stuff, some not so exciting. I’ve worked as a dietary technologist, secretary, cucumber picker, partnered with my husband to run a business, worked a stint as a travel writer. It’s all grist for the writer’s mill.

Find Dee at: 
Website: deevandyk.com
Twitter: deevandyk2014

~~~
I have Sin Eater teetering on the top of my TBR pile! I love Dee's excerpt ... and who isn't intrigued by the whole idea of sin eating? Fascinating ... 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

5 Fun Facts about Author Makenzi Fisk

Today I'm excited to welcome Makenzi Fisk to my blog! She's here to share Five Fun Facts about herself, her book and her writing! And, if you scroll down, you can read a bewitching excerpt from her new book, Just Intuition!


Book Cover for JUST INTUITION

FUN FACT #1: About Makenzi
I come from a long line of storytellers so it comes naturally to me. Since childhood, I entertained my younger brothers and sisters with made-up adventures to get them to go to sleep. Someday I will write a children’s book based on the bedtime stories I make up for my foster kids now. The most popular one revolves around two young girls who, along with their invisible guardian angel dog, accidentally mix up a special potion that turns them blue. Another favourite is when the dog takes the kids through a portal to Mexico where they get to dance with Donna the Iguana and meet her family. We even made up a song for that one. The kids love it when I use their names for the characters.

FUN FACT #2: About Just Intuition
I designed my own book cover but, when it came down to making a choice, I couldn’t decide between my two favourites. The bare bones of a second story formed in my brain and I was inspired to write a sequel. A trilogy sounded even better and I easily found an image for book three! Sometimes I think better with the help of pictures.

FUN FACT #3: About one of the characters from Just Intuition
Gina the convenience store manager was originally intended to be one-scene character in Just Intuition but she insisted on being interesting. A Minnesota native, she’s proud of her family’s history of running moonshine during the Prohibition days. She keeps popping up throughout the story because I really liked her.

FUN FACT #4: About Makenzi's Writing Process
There always seem to be one pet or the other on my lap and I have to spend time deleting my kitty's contributions when she insists on walking directly across my keyboard. I think she wants me to include more feline adventures about Wrong-Way Rachel, the mischievous three-legged Persian. When I write, I make sure I have computer wallpaper that stimulates my imagination. For Just Intuition, I used lots of images of the outdoors in Minnesota and Northwestern Ontario. Then I created a composite of what my characters might look like and used that while I wrote them. I tweet some of those images now to promote the book’s release and you can see them here: https://twitter.com/makenzifisk/media


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ABOUT JUST INTUITION:
A woman disappears when a shadowy figure turns to murder in a northern Minnesota town. Years later, the murderer strikes again, and an elderly woman burns to death in a fiery blast.

Small town cop Erin Ericsson doesn’t believe it was an accident. With the help of a quirky fellow officer, she defies the investigating detective to pursue the case on her own.

Her girlfriend Allie begins to suffer terrifying visions with a connection to the malevolent presence. Enlisting her reluctant cooperation, Erin struggles to interpret the meaning of the cryptic dreams.

Her police work and Allie’s uncanny insight lead them through unforgiving back woods and face to face with evil. Together they use their skill, and a bit of intuition, to unmask the culprit behind an escalating series of deadly crimes.

BUY JUST INTUITION AT: 


EXCERPT FROM JUST INTUITION

"I'm not saying you're some kind of witch or anything." Erin hesitated. "But you react to things before they even happen, you dream about things you can't possibly know, and you freaked out—"

 "You watch too much reality TV. This is not rational."

Erin took a deep breath and began again. "I just mean that it's interesting when you move things right before I drop something on the exact spot. You brake before the car in front of you swerves into your lane. You open the door for the dog two seconds before she gets there. You know what's happening before it does. You do it all the time."

 "I'm a good guesser," Allie scoffed. "Everyone does that."

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ABOUT MAKENZI FISK

Makenzi Fisk grew up in a small town in Northwestern Ontario. She spent much of her youth outdoors, surrounded by the rugged landscape of the Canadian Shield.

Moving west, she became a police officer with experience in patrols, covert operations, plainclothes investigation, communications and forensic identification. Within the policing environment, she transitioned to internet and graphic design. She now works for herself.

In her novels, Makenzi draws on her knowledge of the outdoors, policing and technology to create vivid worlds where crime, untamed wilderness and intuition blend.  Her novels’ characters are competent women who solve crime using skill and a little intuition.

Currently Makenzi resides in Calgary with her partner, their daughter, and assorted furry companions.

Find out more about Makenzi and her books:


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I love Makenzi's excerpt! There have been times when I knew the phone would ring before it actually rang, but I think Allie might have me beat. ;) How about you? Do you know things before you should?