Summer Fire Publication Day!

oday is publication day!

The Dirty Bits from Carina Press "give you what you want, when you want it. Designed to be read in an hour or two," these "microromances are guaranteed to pack a punch and deliver a happily-ever-after."
Summer Fire, on sale now! "'You know how it is with Canadians. We come alive in the summer.'

Ayse had resigned herself to an interesting—but in the end unromantic—trip visiting family in Istanbul. Great-aunts, touristy sites and endless meals…until she meets fellow doctor Hakan.
All tanned skin and defined muscle under his polo shirt, his kisses cut off her breath, making her dizzy. His every touch is a thrill.
Ayse wants all of Hakan at once. His sweet mouth, the heat of his body against hers, their heartbeats slowing together.
A holiday romance might give her some blazing memories come the lonely winter, but maybe, just maybe, the fire between them doesn’t have to be as fleeting as the summer.

For those times when size does mat…

End of NaNoWriMo! and a Story Snip

nother NaNoWriMo under my belt!

I didn't get quite as many words as I'd like -- was hoping to have the final action scene written already, since I find those difficult. Then I can reward myself with the fun of writing the Happily Ever After epilogue!

But hey, at least I don't have to type it all up! I've been getting better at drafting straight into the notes app on my phone. It's more intuitive than drafting on the computer (which has way too many distractions) and comes closest to the feeling of falling into the story that writing on paper gives. Paper actually has other limitations for me -- I'm more inclined to slack off and write silly things, especially in dialogue, and to start writing in note form rather than complete sentences, to the detriment of the story.

I've just spent a few minutes hunting for a snip to share. They all seem confusing or sappy or too mysterious when out of context, but I think the moment when Rory's ex-wife reveals her fea…

Photos from a Trip to Thun, and NaNoWriMo


I'm all out of brain power -- and so far behind in visiting other blogs! -- in the last two weeks of school.

Not to mention that NaNo is going strong. I'm juggling the pacing of the end of the story at the moment, trying to save myself a lot of rewriting later. Although I've left a trail of too many "insert this scene" and "figure out this murder plot" notes behind me. No one ever said that planning a murder investigation was easy!

Hope you enjoy these photos of a recent weekend visit to Thun, a town near Interlaken in Switzerland:

 Thun marketplace

 Signposts! Showing the distances to Rome, London, and many other places
 Interesting mural on the steps up to the castle
 View from the hotel room!

 Paintings inside the church on castle hill

 Church and castle

ROW80 Update and Farewell to the Forum: Final Houseparty

ound of Words in 80 Days update!

We have 35 days to go in this round.

These were my initial ROW80 goals (shared the same day as my cover reveal!):

Learning: Keep up with graduate school work!
Performance: catch up on the September X on the Forum and finish entering all edits for The Charm of Time

Learning: Keep up with graduate school work!
Performance: send The Charm of Time to betas, work on two short stories with a view to submitting them places, (re)learn how to crochet!

Learning: Essays for school
Performance: NaNo! Time to work on the sequel to The Charm of Time, which I've been calling A Handful of Time (which is the title of one of my favourite YA books, by Kit Pearson)

Learning: Keep up with graduate school work!
Performance: Take a break! Time for a reading holiday. Probably with some crocheting, too. I'll also be busy compiling my year-end books read posts and statistics.

As is the nature of ROW80, these have gotten tweaked. I accomplishe…

Story Playlist!


It occurs to me that I haven't shared a story playlist in a while.

Usually, my playlists are directly related to songs that my characters are listening to or love.

This collection, for The Charm of Time and A Handful of Time, is a bit different, as it's mainly songs that remind me of what's going on in the story, and some of the emotional arcs that need to be resolved. Although the second song is one of Christianne's favourites, and Rory is a grunge rock fan...

Hope you like them!

The Smiths, Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want

Roxette, The Heart-Shaped Sea

Neil Finn, Second Nature (the song from his new album, Out of Silence, that most reminds me of Rory and Christianne is Love Is Emotional, but that one's not available on YouTube)

Whisky Trench Riders, Some Memories Don't Fade

Alice in Chains, Would?

Alice in Chains, Jar of Flies (album)

The Carter Family, The Storms on the Ocean

Runrig, Faileas Air An Airigh

Yes, this means that NaNoWriMo is in f…

NaNoWriMo and Mini Book Reviews: Kait Nolan and Montreal Noir

ini book reviews are back!

Kait Nolan has a new book out this week!

Good old, reliable Pru. Of the four Reynolds sisters, Pru is the natural choice to take on custody of the girl their late mother had planned to adopt. At thirty, suddenly becoming the mom of a teenager means big changes, but Pru's ready to do whatever it takes to adopt Ari. Before she settles down, though, she wants one thing for herself.

Enter Flynn Bohannon, the sinfully sexy Irish musician in town for her sister's wedding. He's led the kind of free, vagabond life Pru can hardly imagine. Definitely not the kind of guy she should be dating, but he's the perfect guy for a crazy fun fling before her life changes.

When Pru proposes a brief, no strings affair, Flynn's not about to say no. But when unexpected complications endanger the adoption, the two find themselves in a phony engagement.

Now they have to convince a sharp-eyed, skeptical social worker, a teen who's too smart for her own good, thr…

Canadiana Part III: John Dunsworth and Gord Downie, and Hugh MacLennan


I've had many previous posts on Canada and Canada-themed books and music and travels, including the time I interviewed Vince Ditrich of Spirit of the West on his favourite children's books!

I've also featured Canadiana parts I and II on my knitting blog, including Talli Roland/Leah Mercer's books.

Today's Canadiana features two sad items, the passing of actor John Dunsworth, who most recently played the character of Jim Lahey on Trailer Park Boys, and of Gord Downie, the lead singer of The Tragically Hip.

Here's a playlist featuring some of the funny bits from the first season of Trailer Park Boys:
(I didn't create this playlist; I hope it's a good one!)
Here's a playlist I created a while ago featuring a few songs by The Tragically Hip, in no particular order (subconsciously they may reflect the first recording I owned by them, which wasn't an official album but a mix on tape (yes, on cassette!) made for me by a friend):

Listening to t…

Jaunt Round the Blogosphere II!

one fishing...

Or, more accurately, I'm wading in school work and a bit of my own writing (how's that for a mini-ROW80 update?).

This week, then, I leave you with links!

I've done this a few times before: my most recent jaunt round the blogosphere was in July, and my post for the letter G during the A to Z Blogging Challenge collated all the previous jaunts!

Lots of intriguing blog posts by fellow bloggers, a few of which I list here:

Tammy, on a struggle that's all too familiar: querying
Adam has a new job!
Carol has a new book!
Inky Fool also has a new book, on the history of drunkenness. My wishlist knows no bounds...

Other bloggers to visit: Zan Marie, In the Shade of the Cherry Tree
DL Hammons
Tara (and don't forget to vote in the sex scene championships!)
Neurotic Workaholic

Two Jos:
Jo Murphey
Jo Bourne, and the Word Wenches

And don't miss author Margaret Buffie's wonderful lakeside photos!
Here's a screenshot to entice you:


Mini Book Reviews, a Blanket, and ROW80


In between readings for school, here's what I've been reading:

Summer Fire by Sally Wentworth, because it has the same name as my novel, coming out in December!

This book was published in 1980. Let's just say that tastes and conventions in romance have changed quite a bit since then...

Reach for the Sky by Paul Brickhill (who became a prisoner of war and was sent to Stalag Luft III, where he assisted in a mass breakout in March 1944, which became the basis of his book The Great Escape).

This book is about Douglas Bader:
"Aged 21, Bader was a rising star in the RAF: an exceptional pilot with a natural flair for stunt flying and an outstanding sportsman, tipped to play rugby for England. Then disaster struck. Carrying out a banned “slow roll” at low altitude, Bader crashed so badly that he had to have both legs amputated.
Drawing on his own experiences as a fighter pilot and prisoner-of-war, Paul Brickhill takes us through the exhilarating highs and devastating lows o…

IWSG Day, and RIP Tom Petty

oday is Insecure Writer's Support Group Day!

Today is also show your insecurity day!
Love seeing mini-Alex wearing that scarf!
I forgot to bring my IWSG shirt with me, and the weather is not cooperating, so instead of the Alps, here I am working on a blog post with a sequoia outside my window:

I'm also interviewed at Carole Anne Carr's blog today!

OPTIONAL IWSG Day Question: Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?

Short answer: don't we all?

Long answer: I've always loved Tolkien's line from the foreword to The Lord of the Rings: "An author cannot of course remain wholly unaffected by his experience, but the ways in which a story-germ uses the soil of experience are extremely complex, and attempts to define the process are at best guesses from evidence that is inadequate and ambiguous."

One thing that readers may not realise is that different bits of real life -- from a specific fri…