Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I'm signed up for BOOK BLOGGER APPRECIATION WEEK from September 15-18/08. You can click through the block on the right to find out more about it. I'm asking for your nominations for my Blog for this event - shamelessly! Clicking on the block for BOOK BLOGGER APPRECIATION WEEK will tell you where to go to nominate my Blog. :)
Nominations are accepted at: until August 31st.

Here are the various categories: (and you can nominate *any* blog you desire by participating!)

Best General Blog

Best Thriller/Mystery/Suspense Blog

Best Published Author Blog

Best Romance Blog

Best Literary Blog

Best Book Club Blog

Best Christian/Inspirational Blog

Best KidLit Blog

Best Non-Fiction Blog

Best YA Literary Blog

Best Book/Publishing Industry Blog

Best Challenge Host

Best Community Builder

Best Cookbook Blog

Best History/Historical Fiction Blog

Best Design

Most Chatty

Most Concise

Most Eclectic Taste

Best Name for a Blog

Best Book Published in 2008

Best Meme/Carnival/Event

Most Extravagent Giveaways

Best Book Community Site

Most Altruistic Blog

Funniest/Most Humourous Blog

Best Sci-fi/Fantasy/'Horror/Spec-fic Blog

Best Commenter/Commentator Blog

Invite all your favourite bloggers to participate, and nominate as many Blogs in as many categories as you like. If you decide to participate and want to donate a "giveaway" contact and let her know the particulars.
This is a great way to expand your friendships, knowledge of the blogosphere, and meet other like-minded bloggers.

I can think of a couple of Categories my Blog could be nominated in - how many can you think of? :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008


For those of you who love speculative fiction, and have languished in the Christian wasteland of prairie romances, women's issues, and stultifying family stories, take heart! There's a new guy in town by the name of JEFF GERKE, and his new publishing company named MARCHER LORD PRESS is launching October 1/08 with three fabulous titles - two from previously published authors, and one a debut author.

Here is a paraphrased description of what MARCHER LORD PRESS is looking for in submissions:

"We specialize in Christian fantasy, science fiction, time travel, supernatural thrillers, spiritual warfare, near-future techno-thrillers, alternate history, chillers, and superhero fiction."

JEFF GERKE has spent twelve years working in Christian publishing, as an acquisitions editor at Multnomah, NavPress, and Strang/Realms. He's also the author of six near-future techno-thrillers himself, and you can check them out at, his author site.

The difference between MARCHER LORD PRESS and the "big" Christian publishers, is that a) you don't need an agent, b) all distribution and promotion will be through the Internet, and c) your royalties will be quadruple what you'd receive from an established print Christian publisher. There are a few caveats, however, but check them out on the site. I will note that while MLP is a print on demand publisher, it is NOT a vanity press or self-publishing entity, and you will never pay for any part of your book's publishing, cover art work, or set up fees.

MLP is having a GRAND PRIZE drawing on October 1st, along with dozens of other select prizes you won't want to miss. The GRAND PRIZE is a trip for two to the 2009 ComicsCON in San Diego. Talk about getting a leg up on your contacts, inspiration, and just plain enjoyment.

I was thrilled to find MLP's sister site: The resources on this site (also run by Jeff Gerke) are amazing and I bookmarked many of them for my current WIP. Those of you who write in this field, even without a Christian worldview, will find these resources invaluable. Where else can you find Author Interviews, Booklists, Tools for Writers, Fantastic Visions, Special Features, Forums, a Store, and a monthly newsletter, just for writers of speculative fiction?

I am not an employee, freelance editor, or contracted author of MARCHER LORD PRESS. I'm just hyped about the new opportunity this publisher represents to those of us who love books by Randy Alcorn, Ted Dekker, Sharon Hinck, and many, many others who give us quality fiction in a new way.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


I've just been tagged by my newest blogger friend, Mommy C, over at The Barn's On Fire, The Horses Are Out, and Someone Has a Stinky Bum. She's a children's/YA author with a very, very, interesting life, so run over and check out her blog.

Meantime, here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. List 6 unspectacular quirks you have.
4. Tag 6 bloggers by linking them.
5. Leave a comment on each person's blog to let them know they've been tagged.

Six Unspectacular Quirks About Me:

1. I can eat nearly 1/8th of a slab birthday cake - icky icing on the corners and all - all by myself if left to my own devices. :)

2. I wear outrageous nailpolish colours, eg. teal green, midnight plum, lagoon blue, even though I'm, ahem, in the middle of my life. (according to the calendar, anyway, not in my head!)

3. I figured when my dh had a mid-life crisis and decided to overhaul his life and join the Canadian Air Force, it was better for him to fall in love with planes, than another woman, so I came along for the ride.

4. I've been on a Caribbean cruise before the age of 40, and I've visited Costa Rica, Las Vegas, Edinburgh Scotland, Orlando, Florida, and all but two of our Maritime Provinces on trips.

5. I'm the only person I know who's dh didn't ask them to marry them - he merely had the maitre'd hand me a silver dessert dish with the ring on top. :)

6. I can drink a pot of coffee by myself when my crit partner and I get together to work - she only drinks decaf!

Okay, I don't know six people who'd give up their inner/outer quirks easily but let's hear from TONI ANDERSON, CJ LYONS, KELLIE FINLEY, KERRY BLAISDELL, and LINDA WINFREE.

All of these women are talented writers and have great blogs, give wonderful online courses, and have all helped me out with writing at various times. And don't forget to go back and check out MOMMY C, who started all this in the first place!

Friday, August 22, 2008


I'm afraid I'm suffering from Olympic "hangover". I can't stay away from watching it till late at night, and catching up on the medals and spectacular moments. As with every Olympics there's been stories that will stick with it's history: the spectacular Michael Phelps, the controversy over the Chinese "womens" gymnastic team (don't even get me started on that topic!), Canada pulling off medals *finally* in the second week, and only a couple of disqualifications for doping.

And, we lost another three soldiers this week to IED's. France lost ten soldiers. It's obvious to anyone with grey brain cells that NATO needs to get tough with "participating" countries and get those boots on the ground and out there - not hiding behind their personal camps and doing the easy work. The Taliban can be defeated, just as Hitler was, with the free world coming together to beat it back in to oblivion. It's going to take commitment, money, talent, and willpower.

I still can't type well enough or long enough to do any serious writing. I've been busy beta reading for a friend, and am getting ready to judge another contest in September. In the first week of September, I'll also be hosting another blog tour for co-authors Dillon Burroughs and Marla Alupoaicei on their new release GENERATION HEX - Understanding the Subtle Dangers of Wicca.

In the meantime, keep writing!

Friday, August 15, 2008


In the last two weeks, while we've all been enjoying our summer sunshine and activities, Canada's lost our 89th and 90th soldiers to the war in Afghanistan. In their honour, I've reprinted below a January 2007 article that ran in the London UK Sunday Telegraph. Canadians must be proud of their contributions to the security of the world, our service to peace-keeping and peace-making, and our willingness to team up with our allies and join whatever fray threatens the rest of the world. Although this article was written for the four Canadian soldiers who died in "friendly fire" from an American fighter jet while on exercise in Afghanistan, I believe the article should be thought-provoking to all Canadians about what our national heritage is in terms of the loss of our precious soldiers, airmen, and sailors. (and I include our female counterparts in those titles).

Lest We Forget

This came from a British newspaper
Sunday Telegraph Article
From today's UK wires: Salute to a brave and modest nation
Kevin Myers, The Sunday Telegraph
LONDON - Until the deaths last week of four Canadian
soldiers accidentally killed by a U.S. warplane in Afghanistan,
probably almost no one outside their home country had been aware that
Canadian troops were deployed in the region. And as always, Canada
will now bury its dead, just as the rest of the world as always will
forget its sacrifice, just as it always forgets nearly everything
Canada ever does.
It seems that Canada 's historic mission is to come to
the selfless aid both of its friends and of complete strangers, and then,
once the crisis is over, to be well and truly ignored. Canada is the
perpetual wallflower that stands on the edge of the hall, waiting for
someone to come and ask her for a dance. A fire breaks out, she risks
life and limb to rescue her fellow dance-goers, and suffers serious
injuries. But when the hall is repaired and the dancing resumes,
there is Canada, the wallflower still, while those she once helped
glamorously cavort across the floor, blithely neglecting her yet
That is the price Canada pays for sharing the North
American continent with the United States , and for being a selfless
friend of Britain in two global conflicts. For much of the 20th
century, Canada was torn in two different directions: It seemed to be
a part of the old world, yet had an address in the new one, and that
divided identity ensured that it never fully got the gratitude it
deserved. Yet its purely voluntary contribution to the cause of
freedom in two world wars was perhaps the greatest of any democracy.
Alost 10% of Canada 's entire population of seven million people
served in the armed forces during the First World War, and nearly
60,000 died. The great Allied victories of 1918 were spearheaded by
Canadian troops, perhaps the most capable soldiers in the entire
British order of battle.
Canada was repaid for its enormous sacrifice by downright
neglect, its unique contribution to victory being absorbed into the
popular Memory as somehow or other the work of the "British." The
Second World War provided a re-run. The Canadian navy began the war
with a half dozen vessels, and ended up policing nearly half of the
Atlantic against U-boat attack. More than 120 Canadian warships
participated in the Normandy landings, during which 15,000 Canadian
soldiers went ashore on D-Day alone.
Canada finished the war with the third-largest navy and the
fourth-largest air force in the world.
The world thanked Canada with the same sublime
indifference as it had the previous time. Canadian participation in
the war was acknowledged in film only if it was necessary to give an
American actor a part in a campaign in which the United States had
clearly not participated, a touching scrupulousness which, of course, Hollywood has since
abandoned, as it hasn't any notion of a separate Canadian identity.
So it is a general rule that actors and filmmakers arriving in Hollywood keep
their nationality - unless, that is, they are Canadian. Thus Mary Pickford,
Walter Huston, Donald Sutherland, Michael J. Fox, William Shatner, Norman Jewison,
David Cronenberg, Alex Trebek, Art Linkletter and Dan Aykroyd have in the popular perception
become American, and Christopher Plummer, British. It is as if, in the
very act of becoming famous, a Canadian ceases to be Canadian, unless
she is Margaret Atwood, who is as unshakably Canadian as a moose, or
Celine Dion, for whom Canada has proved quite unable to find any
Moreover, Canada is every bit as querulously alert to the
achievements of its sons and daughters as the rest of the world is
completely unaware of them. The Canadians proudly say of themselves -
and are unheard by anyone else - that 1% of the world's population has
provided 10% of the world's peacekeeping forces. Canadian soldiers in
the past half century have been the greatest peacekeepers on Earth -
in 39 missions on UN mandates, and six on non-UN peacekeeping duties,
from Vietnam to East Timor, from Sinai to Bosnia.
Yet the only foreign engagement that has entered the
popular on-Canadian imagination was the sorry affair in Somalia , in
which out-of-control paratroopers murdered two Somali infiltrators.
Their regiment was then disbanded in disgrace - a uniquely Canadian
act of self-abasement for which, naturally, the Canadians received no
international credit.
So who today in the United States knows about the stoic and selfless friendship
its northern neighbour has given it in Afghanistan ?
Rather like Cyrano de Bergerac , Canada repeatedly does honourable
things for honourable motives, but instead of being thanked for it, it
remains something of a figure of fun.
It is the Canadian way, for which Canadians should be
proud, yet such honour comes at a high cost. This week, four more
grieving Canadian families knew that cost all too tragically well.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I'm thrilled to be part of TRISH PERRY'S Blog Tour for her latest release, THE BEACH HOUSE. Below she answers some questions on how she came to write this book, which is Inspirational chick-lit, and a nice summer read. I hope you enjoy her interview, and please click on DOWNLOAD A SAMPLE, so you can check out an excerpt of this light, and lively book!

Download a sample.


Where did you get the idea for the book?

I wanted very much to write a book about Jeremy and Tiffany, who were secondary characters in my first two books (The Guy I’m Not Dating and Too Good to Be True). I started to write the third book with the same setting as my first two, but then Harvest House asked if I would move the setting to fit The Beach House Series, the first two books of which were written by Sally John. So I started over and made my east coast protagonists travel across country to sunny San Diego. It was fun to create that facet of their story—it added quite a few layers to the plot. In fact, the circumstances of their getting together was completely different than what I originally planned.

What are the major themes of the book?

The importance of seeking God’s guidance constantly surfaces in my stories—the different circumstances that drive my themes usually fit under that umbrella.
Situations aren’t always as they appear, for example, and we can be fooled or we can misjudge others if we don’t constantly seek God’s wisdom and guidance. And sometimes we can miss out on His blessings if we fail to see situations as He means us to.
Another theme that emerged was how difficult it can be when a believer is drawn romantically to a nonbeliever. I’ve touched on the subject before, but in Beach Dreams, the nonbeliever is someone who feels almost real to me (and many readers) at this point. I feel a renewed empathy for Christians in these circumstances. Again, God’s guidance and strength are so important.

With which character do you identify the most and why?

Certainly Tiff. I’ve never deliberately been mean, as Tiff was in my first two books, but I identified with her in Beach Dreams. She struggles continually to shrug off her less-than-Christian thoughts and desires, and that’s a constant in my life. Christ gave us a beautiful, one-line prayer in Gethsemane: “Yet not as I will but as You will.” Wow, that’s my daily battle—trying to surrender to His will. And I saw that in Tiffany.

What kind of research did you have to do for the book?

I relied on Sally’s first two books for the specific setting (since all of The Beach House Series books are set at the same beach house, with different characters). And, since I’ve never been to San Diego, I spent a great deal of time researching the various places available to tourists and residents of the area.
I also researched Bristol, England and Kings College, London, because both sites figure in Jeremy’s background, and his father visits from Bristol.
Certainly the research tasks were simple compared to those required for historical writing, and for that I’m grateful!

Was it difficult to write a book in a series, following someone else?

It was a new challenge, but Harvest House was clear with me that I had significant leeway in my approach. We didn’t want the book to disappoint Sally John’s readers by being wildly different from her style, but we also wanted to maintain a style my readers had come to expect. I think we accomplished a happy medium.
Why did you decide to bring back characters from your previous books?
There was such an unfinished feel for me with regard to Jeremy by the time I finished my first draft of Too Good to Be True. He had become so lovable, but he was still alone and spiritually lost. Both my editor and I hoped there would be an opportunity to do a third novel, with Jeremy and someone falling in love and Jeremy getting a clue about Christ. Because Tiffany had been such a pain in The Guy I’m Not Dating and for much of Too Good to Be True, it was fun showing how God could reach even her. So her development became intriguing to me, too. Surprisingly, I received requests from many readers to throw these two characters together. I’m not such a unique thinker after all!

What is a mistake - big or small - that you’ve made that you could later see God used for a specific purpose and how did he use it?

I was deeply into adulthood when I went back to school to earn a degree. Rather than fretting over having waited so long, I focused on the fact that now I knew what I really wanted to be. A psychological therapist. You couldn’t have found a more attentive, diligent student, and I did well. So, when I neared graduation and realized I had developed an overwhelming desire to write fiction, I freaked out just a little. How could I switch gears yet again? Had I just wasted years earning a degree I wasn’t going to actually use? That felt like a huge mistake.
But God knew what He was doing. If you want to do an in-depth study of character goals, motivation, and conflict, you go on out there and earn a degree in Psychology. I may not be too quick in the plotting and scene-setting departments, but my psychological training comes in handy when creating characters and walking with them through life. I think that’s why God led me to get that degree, and now I know I didn’t waste a moment learning what I did.

Saturday, August 09, 2008


Joshua won the title America's Favourite Dancer, and he certainly deserved it! I don't feel sorry for Twitch, Katee, or Courtney, because as the show put on cameos of other finalists and winners, their careers are going nowhere but UP.

Now for September's SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE - CANADA. :)

Spending a nice quiet weekend world-building a new idea for a novel, and filling in charts. It's about all I can do with an infection now settled in my shoulder. However, something done for writing is better than nothing.

Next week, I'll be hosting author Trish Perry who's just released a funny and topical book called THE BEACH HOUSE. It's the third book in a continuity series that takes place in this Beach House on the coast of San Diego. I'll have a review and interview with Trish up next week, so stop by and check it out. It's not too late to buy another book for your TBR pile, or to take to the cottage for a last minute holiday.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


Okay, I'm obviously biased and love Joshua. I'm sure he's going to win as "America's Favourite Dancer". However, I think Courtney might be a "sleeper" the way Sabra was last year. Sabra didn't expect to win, and had in fact, stepped back from the other dancer and Cat Deeley.

My personal peeve - NIGEL LITHGOE!!! Could anyone BE more obnoxious on a season finale??? He made it SO obvious that he favours Katee and Twitch, I was nearly ready to throw something at the TV. Except that my dh waited a LOOONNNG time to get that 50" HD TV, so I knew I had to restrain myself.

I think the jokes on Nigel tonight....hello, Joshua! And if it isn't Joshua, it should've been, but then, I'm very, very, biased. :)

An aside: go check out THE KILL ZONE, which is a new blog just up today with Michelle Gagnon leading six fabulous authors in the thriller genre. Yep, go to my links and click away. I love new, informative blogs which keep you posted on new books and new authors.

I'm sure I'll have plenty to say tomorrow about what happens tonight on SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE....for good or bad. Have a fun night watching the countdown, and at least TIVO it if you can't watch it live. Cheers!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


I know I raved about this show at the beginning of the season, and it's hard to believe Aug.6th is the big finale. As I predicted to my dear, dear, dh - Twitch and Joshua are in the finals, and do they ever deserve to be there! This is the first season they've had more than one African-American dancer - this year there were five, and two of the three most gorgeous male hunks in dancedom are going to be wowing us tomorrow night. I can't wait!

Did any of you see Joshua and Katee do their Pas e doble (sp?) last week? I've rewatched it at least a dozen times with my dd. Those two are magic up on that stage.

And remember Robert - the weird "popper" from the auditions who quit because he couldn't do any of the other dance styles? We just saw him tonight on an IKEA commercial! Proof that shows like SYTYCD, American Idol, and Canadian Idol (although you'd never know it by this season's Canadian Idols, but never mind...) can really get you places with their exposure.

I hope you tune in tomorrow p.m. AUGUST 6TH at 8 p.m. to see the dance show of the year. I'm rooting for Joshua to win. What a talented, well-mannered, and gorgeous guy. :)

Friday, August 01, 2008


Romance Writers of America's annual Convention being held in San Francisco this July, hits the Today Show. Enjoy!


Tim McLean, age 22, was brutally attacked and murdered on a Greyhound bus traveling from Edmonton to Winnipeg. I'm not attaching any news video clips - you can see plenty of them on CTV or CNN news sites. What I want to say is, first:

How grieved I am for Tim's family and friends at this time. Words cannot express enough sympathy for the unbelieveable circumstances of this violent death. This young man was truly, in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I'd also like to express my disgust with international bloggers who've been calling the bus passengers "wussies" (among other things I wouldn't publish on my own blog), for not rushing the assailant and "disarming him". How easy to be arm-chair quarterbacks! Someone wrote that yesterday in Pennsylvania an armed gunman tried to shoot up a store, and 27 people rushed him before he got a shot off. Well, good for those people in Pennsylvania. Too bad some airplane passengers hadn't rushed the two box-cutter wielding terrorists before they managed to fly the planes into the World Trade Center. It's easy in the aftermath of terror to decide who should've been heroes.

In the split second of an attack such as was perpetrated on Mr. McLean, human nature takes over and survival is the natural instinct. There were children on that bus - one mother near the back of the bus reportedly "threw" her toddler forward over the seats to get her child out of the way of the knife-wielding assailant. It's only police officers, firemen, and soldiers who run *towards* danger and the possibility of their own deaths. None of those on the bus qualify as being in any of those jobs.

Congratulations go to the bus driver, truck driver, and Mr. Caton, who armed themselves outside the bus, got back ON the bus to face the attacker, and were driven back by the sight of what he'd done to Mr. McLean. I can't even type the words. The bus driver had the forethought to disable the bus to contain Mr. Li. The three men pushed the passengers back off the shoulder of the road - who knew if this man also had guns? A guy packing a huge survivalist knife might easily have had extra knives or guns hidden on him. Those three men who contained the situation till the RCMP and our ETF force got there, deserve heroism medals, and no doubt they'll receive them in due time.

But to call them all "wussies"? Such idiots have obviously never encountered a full-throttle, violent, attack from an armed assailant. It's a horrific, and terrifying experience. I once had an Inspector from my police force demand to know why I hadn't "shot through the door", at a violent scene. *He* was arm-chair quarterbacking the morning after the event. Well, duh, I would've ended up shooting the nine year old boy who I could clearly see who was sitting in my line of fire.

I'm not a cop anymore. I hate armchair quarterbacks with a passion. I'd rather have a nine year old boy alive, than be a cop, and that's what happened to my career.

And I'm glad those passengers got those children and themselves off the bus and did what they had to do. None of us were there to know just how horrific it was on that bus.

Again, to Mr. McLean's family and friends, I offer my sincere condolences to you for the loss of your son, brother, friend, and companion. May he rest in peace.