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.

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.


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.


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.

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.


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.

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: 
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!


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:


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.



"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."



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:


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?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

5 Fun Facts about Author Jessica L. Jackson

Today I'm excited to welcome Jessica L. Jackson 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 intriguing excerpt of her brand new book, Julian's Chance.

Book Cover

FUN FACT #1: About Jessica
I spent three years in Iran when I was a teenager. We moved there in 1975 when I was 12.

FUN FACT #2: About Julian's Chance 
My heroine is an angel--however, not your usual type. She's been reborn as a human and only recalls that she is an angel when it is time for her mission to start.

FUN FACT #4: About Jessica's Writing Process 
I prefer to write without an outline. I have a rough idea of where I am going with it but after that, I let the characters take over. In my last book, for example, I have some trolls (it's a magical book) and instead of being nasty, obnoxious things, they are very polite, kind of like the gophers in the old Warner Bros. cartoons. They're funny. I didn't start out thinking they were going to be funny, but they are.

FUN FACT #5: About Jessica's next book 
My next book is the third in my Look Behind You series--a paranormal contemporary. The heroine goes by only single name. Delphinia. No last name. She's a retired model and her "family" talent has developed a new angle. No spoilers.



“I’m telling you straight out now, honey, that I’m the most selfish bastard you will ever know.”

Gabriella is returning to Earth with a new assignment. She’s to help Julian Gath learn how to love. She’ll be reborn as a mortal and only come into the knowledge of who she is—an angel—on her twenty-fifth birthday. When she completes her mission, she will return to Heaven. That is the way of things for angels for she proved her worthiness many lifetimes before. This is Julian’s chance to prove his.

But, the moment her eyes are open, she knows that this mission is different for her. The love she feels for this powerful, compelling man goes far beyond the charitable love she usually has for her charges. He makes her yearn for life…

Julian Gath wants Gabriella. To him, she radiates something pure and good. He has to have her—to feel as if all that goodness is working in his favor. Something in his life has to be right and good. No matter what it takes, he will win her for his own. He will not love her, however, because love is a weak, useless emotion that does not last. She will be the one bright star shining in his shadowy world… 


Most have just one opportunity to don mortal bodies, to determine what this strange new life could teach them. Some noble and valiant spirits return again and again, living only until some important point has adjusted in the favor of the Father, stealing away an advantage from the lost spirits whose sole goal is to destroy every mortal’s chance at eternal joy.

A soft cough sounded and Gabriella looked up from her studies of the intricate DNA combinations necessary to create an earthworm. Her supervisor smiled and bustled into her chamber.

“How are the studies going, hmm?”

Gabriella leaned back to allow Marta to look at her work. A soft sigh escaped her lips before she could contain it. With Marta here, clearly another assignment awaited. Not that she minded, precisely, but she felt herself to be at the brink of a true understanding of DNA. The knowledge hovered just out of her reach, teasing her. Perhaps, after this assignment, she would be able to easily take hold of the figurative brass ring, for with each rebirth, life, and death, came greater clarity of understanding.

“Almost there, almost there.” Marta patted Gabriella’s slender arm and settled her plump self into a nearby chair. Her brown eyes, usually so merry, contained the serious light that confirmed Gabriella’s suspicions. “His name is Julian Gath and he will need to learn how to love. On the dawn of your twenty-fifth birthday, you will come to a remembrance of your mission…”



A few years ago...
Here is Jessica! She is the little girl
in the pink shorts staring at the camera, right
in the middle of the bottom of the photo.
Jessica L. Jackson lives with her English husband, two cats and a dog in Southern Alberta, Canada. She has three children. She’s been a member of the Alberta Romance Writers’ Association for three years and is currently standing for President. When not writing, she works as an Architectural Drafting Technician. Her favourite seasons are spring and fall. Jessica likes to camp, garden, cook, and listen to audiobooks while driving, working, doing the dishes, gardening, taking exercise and while waiting in the car for her family to come out of a store or their work.

Find out more about Jessica and her books:

Wow! Iran? That's cool. The most exotic place I've ever lived is Guelph, Ontario... (so, umm, not so exotic). How about you?