Thursday, March 20, 2014

Springtime in the Country Blog Hop

Thank you, Sara Walter Ellwood, for organizing this blog hop! 
The Grand Prize is a $100 Gift Card to either Amazon or Barns and Noble (winner's choice)
 TO ENTER USE THE RAFFLECOPTER ON THIS BLOG 
AND THE OTHER PARTICIPATING BLOGS!  

And I'm also holding a smaller giveaway, too! 
So, there are 2 Rafflecopters here!  Scroll down!

Welcome! How exciting that we get to talk about cowboys and springtime today!  

One of my favorite things about spring in the country is that hope and joy are everywhere!

Special things happen in the spring. Babies are born, prairie crocuses litter the native grasslands, and we all rejoice that another winter is over. Yay!

Since it is Thursday, I decided to share a "throwback" image from when I was a little blonde girl. 
I admit that my memory of the events leading to this photo is from the perspective of a child, but as I recall the story: We had an unexpectedly harsh cold spell hit right when a calf was born. Alberta weather in any season, but particularly in spring, can be a little undependable. (As if to prove the point, it is snowing today!) To save the calf, it was brought into the house to stay warm. A temporary pen was jury-rigged in the basement -- and it was quite a novelty! 

Here I am posing with the calf in the basement!
Don't you love my great 70's style? I'm rockin' it. ;)


On the other hand, my sexy former bull-rider from Devin's Second Chance, doesn't need to come into the house to heat things up. Here is an excerpt with Devin and Claire in the barn ...

Devin's Second Chance is available at:
Amazon.com | Smashwords |All Romance eBooks | Kobo | CreateSpace
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Be sure to check out the other bloggers participating in the Springtime in the Country Blog Hop for more chances to win! Click here to explore more blogs! 


LinkyTools list of other participating bloggers:




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I am also holding another Rafflecopter giveaway! 

Lorraine's Rafflecopter giveaway


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What do you love about spring in the country? 

Spring Fling Blog Hop

Spring Fling Blog Hop!
Thank you, Jane Wakely, for organizing
this blog hop!
Great opportunities to win!  

See the Grand Prize list and the TWO Rafflecopters below!


Let’s celebrate LOVE and SPRING!!

What type of bouquet would you like to receive from your love in the spring?  Me? I'd love a tiny nosegay of prairie crocuses (or maybe just a photo of them since they are so precious).  These small flowers are elusive.  Finding them in the native grasslands is always a joy and a surprise. They aren't the bold purples of crocuses you see in stores. No, these are dainty, quiet, understated and all the more beautiful because of their modesty. 


Prairie Crocuses
Lorraine's Photo

And, regardless of the snow falling this morning, I can't overstate what a relief it is that spring is here! Aren't we all so excited to shed the layers of sweaters and thermal boots? (I know I am.) After all, now when you get pulled into a kiss at the rodeo, you can feel your cowboy's body heat and muscles instead of a fluffy feather-lined parka.


Devin's Second Chance is available at:
Amazon.com | Smashwords |All Romance eBooks | Kobo | CreateSpace
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Check out the other participating blogs for more great chances to win prizes! 

To enter the Grand Prize Giveaway, readers only need to fill out the Rafflecopter box and press enter! (One entry per person!) The Grand Prize winners will be chosen on Monday, March 24 using Random.org! 

The Grand Prizes will be:
One Kindle Fire--Donated by Blushing Books!
One $75 Gift Card to Amazon (or Barnes and Noble)--Donated by Jane Wakely!
One $25 Starbucks Gift Card--Donated by Sue Lyndon!
One $25 Gift Card to Blushing Books--Donated by Patty Devlin!
One $25 Gift Card to Loose Id--Donated by Cara Bristol!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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And I'm holding another giveaway too!   

Lorraine's Rafflecopter giveaway

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What excites you most about spring? Or what type of bouquet would you like to receive this spring?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Writing Process Blog Hop

Donna Cummings, the lovely writer of humorously-ever-after romances, invited me to participate in a writing process blog hop! How much fun is that!  Thanks, Donna!  So, the way this works is that I answer four questions, then I ask a few more writers to tell me about their writing process.  

(Oh, and don't forget to enter the giveaway I'm having to celebrate spring! The entry form is at the bottom of the page!)

Question 1. What am I working on?
I am working on two stories right now. I am in the midst of a BIG edit for my historical paranormal
Devin's Second Chance
Morning Lake #1 

Amazon.com | Smashwords
All Romance eBooks | Kobo 
Barnes & Noble |  CreateSpace
romance, Awakening a Witch. This book has been on my hard drive for a long time, and I still love it. What's not to love about an enchanted Scottish castle and a witch who doesn't know she is a witch? *tee hee* I'm also finishing the first draft of a novella, Chloe's Matchmaking Terrier, which is the next story in my Morning Lake series. Chloe is returning to her hometown, and reconnects with the guy she wished she'd dated in high school. Of course, they have a few things to resolve ... Anyway, I had hoped to be finished this little novella at Christmas, but alas sometimes life intervenes and you just need to roll with it. I can't wait to reveal the cover for Chloe's book! (I still haven't found the right look for Awakening a Witch ... Hmm. I may have to garner feedback on a couple of options.)  On, and then there is my as-yet-unnamed contemporary paranormal romance, which I'm working through with my critique group. 

Question 2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I find it difficult to assess my own writing.  The first time someone said Devin's Second Chance made them laughed out loud, I was surprised, though delighted. Then, the first time someone else said they cried while reading Annie's Christmas Plan, I was blown away. For my Morning Lake series, which is contemporary romance, I would say the defining characteristic is that they are stories that have both feet in reality. These are people you might know or meet, who are in situations you might have experienced, but there is always a touch of humor and there is always going to be a happily-ever-after.

Question 3. Why do I write what I do?
Annie's Christmas Plan: 
All Romance eBooks | Smashwords 

Kobo | Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble CreateSpace

I write romance because that is what I love to read. I have read and enjoyed mysteries, literary fiction, fantasy and the classics--but the genre I always return to is romance. I love the optimism, the hope, the knowledge that no matter what life throws at these people that they will find their happily-ever-after. That faith in the rightness of love and relationships is continually renewed. Real life can be challenging and heart-wrenching, but romances--at least for me, and hopefully for other readers--reassure us that there will always be a light at the end of even the darkest tunnel.

Question 4. How does your writing process work?
My writing process is a constant work in progress.  When I wrote my first novel-length story, it was built around one scene.  The scene had come to me in full detail, and then I set out about finding out who these people were and why they'd ended up in this situation. That scene became the climax of the plot line. I wrote--and still write--some stories this way. But, now that I'm working on the Morning Lake series, I find that things are a little different for this set of stories. This small Alberta town is full of characters determined to have their happily-ever-after, so I have the characters and then I have to get to know them and see how their wants / needs will come together. Starting with the characters is new for me, so it's been a fun experiment to develop this approach.  Once I have the idea, whether it is the scene or the character, I think about it a lot. I go to bed with the characters nattering at me, I drive to work with them living out their lives in my mind's eye ... I do this until I can see the basics of the full story. Then I write. I usually start with the opening scenes and then a rough outline from beginning to end. I do this because I don't usually have the opportunity to write the full story immediately upon the idea's arrival. I have tried to plot with a great deal of detail, outlining each scene, but then I found that the spontaneity and fun of writing faded. So, when I outline now, I do so with the knowledge that I will not know everything there is to know about the story and the characters until I'm typing words on to the page. It makes writing a living entity for me, and, like all living things, sometimes it can be unpredictable (and I like it that way).
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And now, I'm asking the following writers to tell us about their writing process (check their blogs next week for their answers!):

Mahrie G. Reid

Available now Amazon!

An avid reader and Nancy Drew fan, Mahrie wrote her first mystery book at age eight and the handwritten copy of Mystery on Tancook Island still exists. Education, a husband and kids plus a busy career overtook her writing for many years. Over the years she read copiously, studied writing craft and shared her learning in workshops, conferences and courses and always kept writing, publishing non-fiction, short stories and poetry as Mahrie Glab. She has now come full circle, returning to writing mystery novels, this time with a touch of romance. The first in the Caleb Cove Mysteries series, Sheldon Harris Came Home Dead was published in February, 2014. Book 2 is scheduled for release later in 2014. Mahrie is a member of Alberta Romance Writers Association, Crime Writers of Canada and a graduate of Calgary's Citizen's Police Academy and Private Investigation 101.


You can visit Mahrie at: www.facebook.com/mahriegried or www.mahriegreid.com

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Coming soon!
From Wild Rose Press!

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. Marlow has published several short stories some of which can be found in the short story section of this site. 

You can connect with Marlow on her blog at www.marlowkelly.com and on Twitter.

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Victoria Smith dreams of traveling the world. She's giving it a good try, having visited some 32 countries to date, and will be adding a further five to that list at the end of 2014. When she can't actually be in another country, she likes to write about them. Her "Girl Tries" series is set on a remote Scottish island, and she is plotting out her Southeast Asia backpacking novel - convenient, as that's where she and her husband are traveling to. By day she works in Social Investment, by night she makes a really good cat lady.

You can connect with Victoria on her blog at girltrieslife.wordpress.com  at and on Twitter.
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Do you enjoy romance novels?  If yes, why?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Edinburgh, Scotland - Sunday Inspiration

Since I'm still working through edits on my Scottish historical paranormal romance, Awakening a Witch, I thought I'd post another photo from my last trip to Scotland.

Have I mentioned I love cemeteries?  So, how could I resist this cemetery nestled against the hill where the castle can watch over it?  Inspired by this, there is a small cemetery set at the base of my hero's keep too.

Edinburgh, Scotland
(Lorraine's Photo)
Hey! Since you are here, you should enter my giveaway!  :)

Lorraine's Rafflecopter giveaway

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What are you doing today? 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Spring Giveaway!

Spring arrives this week and that is cause to celebrate!
So, I'm holding a giveaway! 
(You can enter from now until March 26th at 12am. Rafflecopter form is below.)

AND, I'm sharing an excerpt from Devin's Second Chance!
Just because it makes me smile!

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EXCERPT:

Devin's Second Chance is available here:
But he only gave the grounds a passing glance. Claire was so much more stunning. Even in the cool morning, she was already wearing little jean shorts and a baggy T-shirt. She’d always worn pants and conservative shirts when he’d seen her before. Seeing her in the comfort of her home, dressed in what his mother would call “I’m-not-leaving-the-house clothes” was something new. She looked a hell of a lot more natural. And look at her legs. A man could spend a lot of time learning the sweet spots on just that stretch of skin alone. That baggy T-shirt was equally enticing. His fingers curled just imagining what it’d be like to draw it up…
Devin swallowed. He had to stop that.
She still hadn’t noticed him. He called out to her, not wanting to surprise her as he had yesterday. He wasn’t sure he’d be able to keep from kissing her if he saw her pink tongue slip between her moist lips again.
Claire was sitting on a stool, bent over, examining a pile of wood. She glanced up when she heard him.
He expected that dimple. He didn’t get it.
She crossed her arms over her chest. “Devin, what are you doing here? This…this isn’t a good time.” She didn’t stand.
“I’m sorry I didn’t call, but—”
“I set a bad precedent, didn’t I? I showed up at your place without calling. Sorry about that.”
Devin stopped. What else had he expected? That she’d open her arms to him? That she’d want to kiss him as much as he wanted to kiss her?
“Did I catch you at a bad time?”
She swallowed, then stared at the pile of painted wood. Perhaps they’d formed some kind of furniture in the recent past. Whatever it had been, it was painted to match the stool she was sitting on.
“What’s this?”
“I…I can’t…” Tears pooled in her beautiful eyes. Well, damn, now what?
“What’s happened? You’re upset.”
“It’s stupid. You’ll think I’m stupid for—” She pulled her glasses off and wiped the tears with the heel of her hand. After she’d replaced her glasses and straightened her shoulders, she considered him again. “Why are you here, Devin?”
He waited a moment, hoping she’d tell him why she was so upset, but she needed to calm down first. “Mom found your camera thing.” He held it out to her.
She rose and took it from him. Her fingers licked over his palm. Her touch was the strangest thing—like fire and feathers. It was hot, soft and sent tingling ripples up his arm. He swallowed.
“You didn’t have to bring it in.”
“No, I guess I didn’t have to. I wanted to.” Shit. As soon as the words were out, he knew it was true. He liked her laughter in his home, her humming, and especially the soft way she touched his arm when she got excited talking about her progress and her ideas. He’d been restless from the moment he woke that morning—knowing she’d finished her work and wouldn’t be back at the farm. He’d wanted to see her, but it was obvious she was less than thrilled to see him.
Claire’s gaze met his. She was surprised by his admission. Hell, he was surprised. Her mouth appeared so soft and it was almost as if she was leaning toward him. Damn it, he wanted to kiss her.
Devin fisted his hand before he reached for her. “Now tell me what’s happened.”

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Lorraine's Rafflecopter giveaway
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Are you celebrating the coming of spring in a special way?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Today I'm on Victoria Smith's Blog!

Today I'm being interviewed by Victoria Smith on her blog! 

Woo hoot!

Stop by for a visit by clicking here!


Today I'm taking a little holiday from my blog
to sail away to new and exotic locales!
Come visit me at Victoria Smith's blog!
(I took this photo along the Belize River. 
Man alive, was it ever hot that day!)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Crocuses - Sunday Inspiration

The weather is absolutely stunning here today, and it has me dreaming of what flowers I'll have in my garden this year.  In the fall, I planted a LOT of spring bulbs... and I can't wait until they start to grow and delight!

Crocuses from my 2011 garden.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Rosslyn Chapel, Scotland - Sunday Inspiration

Rosslyn Chapel - Lorraine's Photo

Since I am in the midst of editing Awakening A Witch, my paranormal, historical romance set in Scotland, I thought it'd be appropriate to post a photo from the land of kilts and bagpipes today. When we were in Scotland a few years ago, we visited Rosslyn Chapel (yes, the Rosslyn Chapel that Dan Brown wrote about) - it was absolutely amazing!