Friday, September 30, 2011


Holly seems to be trying to hatch her newest toy??? It's not gonna work :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Interviewed by a Reader.

Being interviewed on Doris's blog today. Come say 'Hi' and check out her amazing photography.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

New Sport: Extreme Gardening

Taking 4 potentially dangerous trees down this weekend. Very sad. Very naked back yard. Better go help chomp (and yes, I mean chomp :)). 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Last Crop?

Glad I didn't misspell the title of this post :) I pulled these babies off the vine this morning, despite a frost last night. I have lots of green tomatoes left on the vine and I think we're going to make chutney again. I also have lots of leeks in the ground. Anyone know when I should pull these? They've been in since the ground defrosted and are still teeny weenie.  Leek experts needed!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fall=Busy Life=Good

In some ways I hate this time of year. It's so busy, there is so much to do after the unstructured (although equally productive) summer. Now we have soccer, indoor soccer, piano, swimming, school events, school, and occasionally an adult social life (not that kind of adult social life), and things just get crazy. 
Then there's the weather, the inching toward winter thing (which is slightly doom inspiring, but never as bad as I fear). And at least this year it is a slow inching, as opposed to waking up one morning with naked trees, then waking up the next with a layer of snow on the ground and a city-full of people thinking 'how do I drive on this stuff again?'
And writing-wise? I am waiting on two full manuscript submissions and I'm working on my Snow Leopard manuscript which doesn't even have a proper name. I'd initially called it GHOST OF THE MOUNTAIN but then saw that because this is a term used for snow leopards there are several famous books already called GOTM and as the leopards aren't the true focus of the story, family betrayal is, I don't think it'll fly.
I have great plans to pull out and dust off another 3 older manuscripts and polish some more partials aimed toward Harlequin Intrigue all before Christmas. That seems reasonable, right? Big grin.
Then there's a lot of up coming promo to sort out for my new release in November. EDGE OF SURVIVAL (and I have a cover but not permission to share it yet :).
Also--this is one of those BIG alsos--I'm compiling a photobook of our sabbatical in France/UK/Canada. I've done France, England, About 2/3 of Scotland and we're up to about 130 pages worth. This thing is morphing into one of those projects that never ends. It's going to be beautiful but Gah! My aim is to get it done for Christmas. This is the last picture I uploaded--Dumgoyne.
Wish me luck. And send cookies...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Not the best weekend...

Most of you have seen this on FB. Needless to say, it didn't make for a great end to 'date night'.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

King Creosote.

Oh my gawd. Do you want to see where STORM WARNING is set? Check out the video for 'Coast on By' by King Creosote. How had I never heard of these guys before? Awesome.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Guest Author: Sandra Orchard

Today I want to welcome a lovely lady I met at the Writers' Police Academy this time last year...Sandra writes inspirational romantic suspense stories and her first book has just been released...

Who are you and what do you write? My name is Sandra Orchard and I write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line.

What’s your favourite place in the world to visit? At the moment, my new grandbaby’s home.  

Where do you write? I have an office devoted to writing filled with my favourite novels and writing craft book and lots of table space for spreading out notes. 

How long have you been published or is this your first sale? This is my first sale!

How long have you been writing? I started writing my first novel in the Fall of 2004.

What comes first—characters or the plot? Usually plot, but the second and third books in my Undercover Cops series star characters from the first so it’s a little of both. 

Who’s your favourite hero? I know you mean from a book or movie, but I’ve got to say that it’s my husband. The first time I rode my daughter’s new horse was bareback, and the horse was not impressed. She bucked once and again, and on the third buck, my feet cleared her withers and I was sailing through the air. My sweet hubby caught me before I hit the ground like the cowboy heroes romance readers swoon over. No kidding. 

What’s your biggest dream? Well, it was to be traditionally published. I guess now it’s time to dream even bigger.

If you were a millionaire would you still write? Yeah, I think I would. I enjoy the creative process, especially brainstorming ideas with my writers’ group. And it’s such an amazingly sweet feeling when the pieces of the story suddenly start fitting into place as the story unfolds. 

Cat or dog person? Definitely a dog person. Never mind that she ate the remote control as a pup, we still adore our sweet husky.
Excerpt: from the middle of the first scene when the hero sees the heroine for the first time: 

Rick kneaded the muscles in the back of his neck. Here to nail Laud for the arson murder of two—maybe more—people, Rick couldn’t afford to have an innocent get in his way. And that’s exactly what would happen if this new PR person acted on Laud’s suggestion. She’d become the face and voice of this project, and far too enticing a target for their saboteur.
A beat-up green Impala crested the hill beyond the site.
“Here she comes now,” Laud said, motioning toward the car.
Rick’s heart slammed into his aching ribs. He’d know that car—and its driver—anywhere. Ginny Bryson. The one person who could blow his cover wide open.
She may not know what he really was, but she knew he was no construction foreman. Rick braced his hand on the nearest stud and razored a breath into his lungs. His ex-girlfriend couldn’t have picked a worse time to careen back into his life. How was he supposed to keep her safe, this time?
            She parked next to Laud’s BMW, and the instant her sleek legs dropped into view below the driver’s door, Rick’s mouth went dry. The sight of her roused memories he’d been trying to forget for fifteen long months.
The wind tousled her hair and reflexively, his fingers curled. He could almost feel the silky caress of her blond tresses. In those moments when he let her take over his thoughts, he could still breathe in her lavender scent and hear the sweet ring of her laughter.
Laud tiptoed through the mud to greet his niece, and then led her across strips of plywood toward the building.
Instinctively, Rick limped into the shadows, because the second Ginny looked past his new mustache and bristly hair, and recognized him, she’d rat him out to her Uncle Emile. The uncle she’d claimed to never see.
Rick glanced skyward and prayed for a miracle.
A lone backhoe loomed on the horizon, silhouetted against the steel gray sky, its tires caked in mud. Too bad the machine wasn’t big enough to dig him out of this mess.
The last thing he wanted to do was lie to Ginny. Again
Learn more about Sandra and her books at...

Monday, September 12, 2011

My last two weeks in movies

I have been so busy writing blogs for November's upcoming release (and still have so many to write) that I have neglected my own blog. So apart from getting the kids back to school, doing soccer play-offs, and sorting out the after school stuff for the next 6 months I've been watching some movies. All in the name of research...
 Gripping docudrama from a tiny corner of the war in Afghanistan. Such bravery is humbling.
I had to watch this adaptation twice. DD declared Darcy wasn't as good as 'our' Mr Darcy (that would be Colin Firth :)) but on second time through, the movie really grew on me. Trying to squeeze that much story into a movie was a difficult task and the scenery and costumes were gorgeous. I loved the chemistry between Darcy and Elizabeth. Very intense but understated.  And talking about squeezing a big story into movie sized bites we rewatched the LOTRs trilogy at DS's insistence.
 For my son's birthday we had to rewatch The Goonies (also my hubby's favourite movie).
And, finally, I watched this documentary for research purposes. It's an interesting account of the political situation that created the Taliban, rather than any real information on what life was like under Taliban rule. 

Now we have hours and hours of Rugby World Cup 2011 to look forward to. We can legitimately support England, Scotland, Ireland and Canada. Plus, my maiden name is apparently derived from Welsh princes. This house must have a shot at winning, huh? Who's your team?

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Guest Author: Anne Marie Becker

I'm so happy to welcome a wonderful debut author here today...


I’ve always enjoyed reading books that are created as part of a series.  If I’m going to immerse myself in a character’s world, I like to hang out there a while and get to know everyone.  And then, of course, I want all those characters I’ve gotten to know to have their happy endings.  So when I started putting my own words to paper, I naturally leaned toward writing overarching plots and subplots that would support a series. 

On September 5th, my debut novel, ONLY FEAR, was released unto the world.  In this story, an organization that, until now, existed only in my mind comes to life for the first time.  SSAM, an acronym that stands for The Society for the Study of the Aberrant Mind, is a group of professionals with various specialties.  Its employees have career experience in everything from computer technology to personal security to profiling serial killers.  That’s the beauty of a made-up private organization.  I can hire anyone I want.  And Damian Manchester, the group’s founder, hires only the best.  He’s dedicated to removing monsters from society.  After all, one of those monsters took his daughter from him years ago.  He’s still hunting her killer, and he’ll eventually catch the monster responsible.  He’s that dedicated.  And I’m that dedicated to the series.  I’m looking forward to helping him find justice over the course of the series.
My editor at Carina Press and I have decided to call this series “the Mindhunters.”  That my publisher is as interested and invested in my characters’ futures as I am is a wonderful feeling.  In ONLY FEAR, Ethan and Maggie find their happy ending.  My second book of the series is almost done, and I can’t wait to start on the next one!

Toni, thank you for having me here today.  I’m thrilled to be your Carina sister! (You're welcome! Lovely to host you :)

Happy reading & writing, everyone,

Anne Marie
Anne Marie has always been fascinated by people—inside and out—which led to degrees in Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, and Counseling.  As a games hostess at Sea World, tutor, waitress, personal and family counselor, and high school counselor, she has indulged her curiosity through sanctioned professions.  Now, as a stay-at-home mom of three young children, her passion for understanding the human race is satisfied by her roles as mother, wife, daughter, sister, and writer.  She writes to reclaim her sanity.

Anne Marie’s manuscripts have won several awards, including the 2009 Golden Heart® for Best Romantic Suspense.  Her first novel, OnlyFear, is due out September 5, 2011 from Carina Press.

You can connect with her at:

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Not Your Usual Suspects

NYUS is having an excerpt party this week, and at around 10 AM today there's a world exclusive :) An excerpt from EDGE OF SURVIVAL (coming November 21st from Carina Press). Comment for the chance to win a stack of ebooks.
Also, this is Romantic Suspense week at Carina Press and 20% off all RS titles including SEA OF SUSPICION and STORM WARNING.
Also also, they're offering a free novella by Marie Force. Awesome.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Assiniboine Park Zoo--Winnipeg

Yesterday, I took the kids to the local zoo. (Pictures below)
Assiniboine Park Zoo is going through major renovations right now and a whole bunch of exhibits are closed. They're building a new polar bear conservation centre (which is appropriate given we're in Manitoba). But they've already accomplished lots of excellent new things. They have new bird of prey displays and a butterfly exhibit (seasonal :)).
We saw the tiger being fed. The pictures aren't too graphic but he is eating a dead bunny. I was surrounded by all these little kids and I kept waiting for the screams when the guts were ripped out. DD couldn't watch after he popped off the bunny's head, so we moved on. I didn't hear any screams later though. Kids are so bloodthirsty :)
The zoo now has a buggy that runs around the place and gives old and young legs the occasional rest.
Usually when I go to the zoo I visit all the animals in my books. But the wolverine (EDGE OF SURVIVAL) was missing and although there was a lonely snow leopard, the Markhor weren't there. And no bears either. Weird. Here is a selection of what we did see...

 juvenile bald eagle
Great horned owl
Butterfly garden
The snow leopard was asleep
Look at this guy...
Stellar's sea eagle.
I couldn't resist :)
sleepy red panda
Winnipeg's relationship to Winnie-the-Pooh