A snippet from It Happened at Percé Rock

a snippet from

A snippet from Book 3 in my It Happened series. I recently posted about hearing voices and that after a long silence my main character started talking to me. And in the wee hours of the morning, no less. Well, she had quite the story to tell.

Here’s what may or may not be in the book, but it sheds some light on why she escaped to the village Percé where the famous rock is located.

Snippet…

Melissa Scott raced along Water Street carrying the bed-in-a-bag she’d purchased from jonathans. The cranberry and navy tartan quilt, bed skirt, and pillow shams were perfect for the bed that, after her wedding, would grace the one she and Iain would share.

The package wasn’t heavy, but the narrow cords on the large paper shopping bag cut into her fingers, forcing her to switch it from one hand to the other as she walked.

A large ship was docked at the Marco Polo Cruise Terminal near the Saint John Port Authority, almost directly across the street from her future home. Once she moved in with Iain after they were married, this would be an everyday commonplace view. Diamond Jubilee also had a terminal on this side of the Saint John River, but it was closer to the Bay of Fundy.

Her fiancé worked as a guard at the Saint John Regional Correctional Centre on Old Black River Road and scheduled to be on duty. She planned to drop the purchase on her lunch break so that after work, she could go straight home and take her black and tan dachshund, Buddy, for a walk. The condominium would be empty, so there was no need to stick around. Drop the package inside the door and leave.

Outside the front door, Melissa pulled the key from her purse, unlocked the deadbolt and walked in. Everything seemed fine until she turned to leave. Articles of clothing littered the stairs to the upper level, most noticeably Iain’s uniform shirt. If he was at work, why was it there? Any other time she’d dropped packages off, their future home was immaculate. Things didn’t add up. Tiptoeing up the wrought iron-railed oak staircase, she pushed a white T-shirt, another piece of his clothing, aside with her foot.

When she reached the landing, grunts and moans emanated from the master bedroom. Melissa crept to the door, and reached for the knob, but pulled her hand back. Did she want to discover the cause of the noises? She sucked in a deep breath and swallowed, then turned the knob and flung the door open.

Iain’s naked back and broad shoulders filled the gap, and a pair of slender feminine legs encircled his waist. He was in their future marital bed with someone else.

“I-I-I,” she stammered, unable to form the words. A strangled moan formed within her and intensified in volume.

He immediately froze then leapt out of bed, pulling his uniform trousers on as he went. The woman he’d been making love with, grabbed the sheet and pulled it up to her chin to cover her nakedness.

Melissa turned and ran down the stairs.

a snippet from

I’m surprised she didn’t kill him on the spot, but this is a sweet romance, not a murder mystery. If I revealed she committed the crime in the first scene, the premise of the book is gone.  😉

Anyway here’s where the series started – on Dufferin Terrace in Quebec City.

a snippet fromMiracle on 34th Street meets Sleepless in Seattle

Toronto business consultant, Serenity Layne, knew the only person she could depend on was herself. Busy with her career, she has no time for other pursuits and life’s intangibles

Widowed for three years, Roger Scott, a data security specialist in Quebec City, is a single parent to his ten-year-old son, Adam.

On a day out on the Plains of Abraham with their black Labrador Retriever, Roger’s cell phone rings incessantly. Adam has played matchmaker and put his father’s profile on a number of online dating sites.

The week before Christmas, Serenity is heading up a series of meetings after a six-month study of the Canadian retail chain, jonathans. After an unpleasant encounter with one of the store managers, she escapes from the boardroom of the Château Frontenac Hotel, only to be bowled over by Roger and Adam’s dog.

Guilty over the accident, Roger invites Serenity out for a drink by way of apology. Over the course of the week, and spending time together, feelings long dormant for Roger are re-awakened. At the same time, emotions foreign to Serenity fill her with contentment and happiness.

Will the couple get their happily ever after?

Kindle
Kobo

And book 2 in the series, set in the Gastown neighbourhood of Vancouver.

a snippet fromTrainspotting meets Hot Pursuit

Hilary Dunbar is a uniformed constable with the Vancouver Police with an agenda to rid the streets of drugs, especially the bad ones the notorious dealer, Carlos Navarra, is trafficking.

Heroin addict, Erik Layne, has lived on the streets of Gastown for as long as he can remember, having left home and Toronto as a rebellious teenage addict. His and Hilary’s paths cross when she finds him unconscious in an alley after injecting a batch of the contaminated drug.

He must fight for his life to keep from dying, not only from the tainted smack but also from the man who provided it.

A domestic disturbance call goes wrong, and Hilary suffers life-changing injuries as a result. As luck would have it, she and Erik are hospitalized in the same ward at Vancouver General Hospital.

When she sinks into a deep depression, it’s he who pulls her out of her doldrums.

But will Hilary’s obsession with bringing down Navarra and others like him destroy their relationship and, more importantly, jeopardize their lives?

Kindle
Kobo

I’ve learned from various writers’ conferences and workshops, that knowing where the story begins is important. Cut the first two chapters and start with the third, etc. Time will tell if I do that and reveal her fiancé’s infidelity through backstory, which also causes problems, like info-dumps. An author must skillfully weave backstory into the plot in little snippets.

Love is in the air… #romance #love

Happy Valentine’s Day!

love is in the airlove is in the airToday is Valentine’s Day, and love is in the air – and what better way to celebrate than with Tom Jones’s version of Love is in the Air.


Is Valentine’s Day a special occasion for you and your sweetheart? If so, will you be doing on Valentine’s Day? If not, what will you be doing?

love is in the airlove is in the air
Since Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year, going out for a meal is a possibility. Although Friday nights after work usually means a trip to the supermarket. Not very romantic, but a necessary evil since we both love to eat. Not the most romantic way to spend an hour or so, but at least we spend the time together.

Will something send you flowers to your home or place of work?

Or are you the type of person who loves to devour romance novels? Do you like sweet romances? If so, check out my It Happened series. So far, there are only two books written, It Happened on Dufferin Terrace, and It Happened in GastownWhen complete, there will be six books in the series, all set in picturesque locations across Canada.

If time-travel romance set in Scotland tickles your fancy, I have those as well. A Shadow in the Past and Shadows From Her Past, set in Aberdeenshire where my father was born.

However you celebrate the day, I hope you enjoy it and Happy Valentine’s Day!

If it’s February 9th, it’s Read in the Bathtub Day!

Happy Read in the Bathtub Day!

Read in the Bathtub Day!

There’s nothing like a long, leisurely soak in a hot bath. Add bubbles, a book and something to drink, perhaps a glass of wine, or maybe a cup of cocoa, and it becomes heavenly. Read in the Bathtub Day is the perfect occasion to take part in this relaxing past time. So what if you spend so much time in the tub, your toes end up shrivelled like prunes? It’s the reading in the bath that counts.

Reading in the bathtub works much better if you have more than one bathroom. I mean, you don’t want people pounding on the door to get in. You want to be able to relax and spend as much time as you wish, soaking up the hot water and bubbles, and the prose you’ve chosen as your reading material.

To properly enjoy Read in the Bathtub Day, you should have a caddy for your tub. After all, you don’t want to drop your tablet, or heaven forbid, a physical book in the water.

Read in the Bathtub Day!

These caddies come in all shapes and sizes – in bamboo, teak, stainless steel and more. Some are fancier than others like the one above, which also has a place for a wine glass.

So why not buy yourself a book (preferably one of mine), run a bubble bath and pour yourself a glass of wine (or your tipple of choice) and escape for some self-indulgence.

Not sure which of my titles you fancy? Click on any of the images in the sidebar and you’ll be taken to your amazon store where you can read the decription and, if you so choose, purchase the book.

Sorry for the shameless self-promotion. It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it. 🙂

 

It’s Groundhog Day!

Happy Groundhog Day!

it's Groundhog Day

If it’s February 2, it must be Groundhog Day. So will he or won’t he see his shadow?

The popular belief is if he sees his shadow, there are six more weeks of winter. If not, spring is around the corner. But, if you stop and think about it, spring doesn’t arrive until March 19 in 2020.

Isn’t that six weeks away?

Take a look at the calendar.

It's Groundhog Day

When you see it this way, it’s clear no matter how you cut it, whether “Woody” sees his shadow or not, there is a six-week span between February 2nd and the first day of spring.

Some areas celebrate with great pomp and circumstance with men in top hats and tails extracting the wee rodent from his cage.

it's Groundhog Day

Groundhog day dates back to 1887. You can read the origins here.

In addition, February 2nd is also Candlemas, a Christian holiday.

I’m not quite sure how the two came to be linked since they really don’t have anything in common except for the date.

Whether you celebrate the day with “Woody” and the anticipation of him seeing his shadow, or take part in a religious ceremony, enjoy your day.

May spring be just around the corner. 🙂

 

 

 

2020 ~ the Melanie Robertson-King newsletter

The Melanie Robertson-King newsletter

Melanie Robertson-King newsletter

Coming to a computer near you in 2020. Look at all those smiling faces. And why are they smiling? They’ve received their first Melanie Robertson-King newsletter. I’ve taken the plunge and started building my mailing list.

I know pop-ups are aggravating, but you have to admit they get your attention. That being said, should you wish to subscribe to my quarterly (maybe not even that frequently – perhaps a tad more) newsletter, all you have to do is fill out the form and click subscribe.

Rest assured all data collected complies with FTC and GDPR regulations. I requested your name, only because when the email goes out, yours will be personalized to you. It’s all done in the background by MailChimp, who I decided to use for this.

Melanie Robertson-King newsletter

I can’t even guarantee if I go to MailChimp, I can even see who has subscribed. It’s all a mystery to me. I’m sure when I get more acquainted with the application, I’ll discover more things I can do to make your reading pleasurable.

When will the first newsletter come out? I’ve not decided that yet. To accommodate a quarterly communiqué, I’ll have to get busy with the first issue. I’ll definitely have one in early December for winter and the festive season. Maybe add one in March for spring, June for summer and September for autumn.

That sounds like a reasonable schedule to me. What do you think? Too many? Not enough? As it is, I’ll probably find it difficult to come up with enough fodder for one newsletter a year, let alone four! 😉

 

The Selkirk Grace … Some hae meat … #BurnsSupper

All Burns Suppers begin with the Selkirk Grace:

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit

What better place to celebrate the life of Scottish Bard, Robbie Burns, than in a tartan chair in front of a crackling, wood fire.

tartan chair by fire

Once again, I’ve had my head down working on my next novella. If you go by word length, it does qualify as a full-fledged novel, but that’s neither here nor there.

Here’s a portrait of the bard … a handsome fellow, don’t you think?

Selkirk Grace
January 25, 1759 – July 21, 1796

I’ll summon my manservant, Donald (the Red), to bring us some refreshments.

Selkirk Grace

 

whisky
By Chris huh (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Some of the selection of whiskies on hand to toast the bard. I also have a special edition Cardhu, 18-year-old Cardhu (not available in Canada), and Oban on hand should these not whet your tastebuds.

We can have cheese and oakcakes with our drams. That way we’re not too tipsy before the feast. Will you celebrate the bard today with haggis, champit tatties and bashed neeps?

(swish of swinging door as the manservant returns with a tray carrying a decanter of whisky – 18-year-old Cardhu no less, two glasses and water). “Your whisky, my lady,” he says as he places it on the table.

“Thank you.”

As the manservant straightens to leave, I cry out… “Donald, where’s your trousers?” because so unlike him, he’s wearing a kilt!

Overcome by the shock of seeing him dressed in that fashion, it takes me a moment to regain my composure. (fans self with a copy of Leopard Magazine) which is very fitting as it’s published in Aberdeenshire where my father was born.

After the Selkirk Grace is recited, the moment everyone (well maybe  NOT everyone) has been waiting for arrives – the piping in of the haggis.

Selkirk Grace

Address To A Haggis

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the puddin-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o’ a grace
As lang’s my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o’ need,
While thro’ your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An’ cut you up wi’ ready sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn,
they stretch an’ strive:
Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve,
Are bent lyke drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
“Bethankit!” ‘hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi’ perfect sconner,
Looks down wi’ sneering, scornfu’ view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him ower his trash,
As feckless as a wither’d rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro’ bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He’ll mak it whissle;
An’ legs an’ arms, an’ heads will sned,
Like taps o’ thrissle.

Ye Pow’rs wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o’ fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu’ prayer,
Gie her a haggis!

Now, the haggis is cut open with great pomp and circumstance, although one has to be careful they don’t get a splattering of boiling hot haggis on them when the casing is cut.

Kim Traynor [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]
Haggis looks like ground beef (especially in this picture). It’s rather spicy but served with turnips and mashed potatoes, the spiciness can be toned down somewhat.

After our main course, we have Cranachan for dessert.

Saskia van de Nieuwenhof from Edinburgh, United Kingdom [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]
Here’s the link to a recipe for if you want to try it yourself. It’s very good, in my opinion.
Back in the day, when Burns Suppers were held at the Manitonna Hotel in Brockville, Creme de menthe parfait was the dessert. Not very Scottish, but good. I was a member of the Wee McGregors Highland Dancing group and it was at this time, we performed for the guests. Highland Fling, Sword Dance, Shepherd’s Crook and more.

© James F. Perry; crop Fui in terra aliena (talk) 05:20, 9 October 2009 (UTC) [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]
That’s a real sword and it’s sharp. You just have to ask my cousin who cut the end of her toe on the tip of the blade. I won a silver medal performing this dance at the 1000 Islands Highland Games in 1969 – and no blood was shed.

Before we get started with the Ceilidh, a recitation of Burns’ poetry starting with Ae Fond Kiss by Outlander heartthrob, Sam Heughan.

Followed by Red Red Rose.

I think you’ll like what I have in store for you at the ceilidh tonight. I tried to get the Old Blind Dogs but they weren’t available. That’s okay as I do have a vast collection of Scottish music on CDs – Old Blind Dogs, The Corries, Runrig and the list goes on.

One of my favourite Runrig songs is Alba. Have a watch/listen and see what you think.

We’ve all heard of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, but how many of you have heard of the Red Hot Chilli Pipers? Yup, they’re real and they play rock music on bagpipes.

How about this piece? Don’t Stop Believing by Journey played by the Pipers?

One of my favourites performed by the Old Blind Dogs is The Cruel Sister. Listen closely to the lyrics. Cruel is putting it mildly.

And another favourite by The Old Blind Dogs …

There’s a clock tower in MacDuff that has faces on three of the four sides. The side facing Banff has no face. If the good people of Banff didn’t know what time it was, they didn’t know what time MacPherson was being executed.

As we bring the evening to a close, here’s a wee bit of light reading for ‘after the feastie’.

 Enjoy your Robbie Burns celebrations no matter how/where you celebrate.

AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR & IMPOSTER SYNDROME

Award-winning author. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that. I certainly don’t feel like an award-winning author, but then how are you supposed to feel? Yet, here’s the proof — the silver badge.

award-winning author

In the beginning, the cover didn’t fit the genre, so I tarted it up on the ebook version because it was the easiest. The plan was to wait until closer to the next print run before putting the full cover wrap on it (which has been done with the award gracing the front – same as the ebook).

award-winning author

And further proof that I’m an award-winning author. Bang, right there on the cover. So why don’t I feel comfortable shouting it out to the world that I’m an award-winning author? Why do I feel like a fraud?

Ah, that’s the dreaded imposter syndrome.

I was so excited when the announcement I was a recipient of a silver badge. I shouted out the fact my book was a silver medalist – not me. But, if I didn’t write the book, it wouldn’t have received the award.

It’s a bit of a Catch-22 situation, don’t you think?

Maybe, I’m merely feeling sorry for myself because my book sales have been flat thus far in 2020. Flat to the point of being non-existent. More fuel to the imposter syndrome feelings.

Have you ever experienced imposter syndrome? If so, how did you overcome it?

 

 

I Hear Voices … and I’m not crazy (jury’s still out on that)

I Hear Voices …

After a lengthy silence, Melissa, the main character in the third “It Happened” book decided she would speak to me again. She never said why, but I assume it’s because her book got shuffled from number 2 in the series to number 3. I started to hear voices about 3:00 a.m. on New Year’s Day. She shared a lot of interesting stuff, some of which was quite heartbreaking. But, I can’t tell you any more than that because that would create a spoiler, and we don’t want that now do we?

What I can tell you is Melissa is Roger Scott’s youngest sibling. Remember Roger from It Happened on Dufferin Terrace? Well, this is his baby sister’s book.

I can also tell you the location I’m using. This “It Happened” book will be set in the village of Percé, on the Gaspé Peninsula of the province of Québec.

Just off the shore is the famous Percé Rock which is where the “it happened” moment will take place.

I hear voices

At low tide, you can walk out to the rock, but you have to pay attention or you could find yourself trapped by the incoming tide.

But that’s enough about this book. I hope I’ve tempted you with these snippets of information.

Want to start at the beginning of the series? Here’s what the first book is about.

Miracle on 34th Street meets Sleepless in Seattle…I hear voices

Toronto business consultant, Serenity Layne, knew the only person she could depend on was herself. Busy with her career, she has no time for other pursuits and life’s intangibles

Widowed for three years, Roger Scott, a data security specialist in Quebec City, is a single parent to his ten-year-old son, Adam.

On a day out on the Plains of Abraham with their black Labrador Retriever, Roger’s cell phone rings incessantly. Adam has played matchmaker and put his father’s profile on a number of online dating sites.

The week before Christmas, Serenity is heading up a series of meetings after a six-month study of the Canadian retail chain, jonathans. After an unpleasant encounter with one of the store managers, she escapes from the boardroom of the Château Frontenac Hotel, only to be bowled over by Roger and Adam’s dog.

Guilty over the accident, Roger invites Serenity out for a drink by way of apology. Over the course of the week, and spending time together, feelings long dormant for Roger are re-awakened. At the same time, emotions foreign to Serenity fill her with contentment and happiness.

Will the couple get their happily ever after?

BUY LINKS

amazon

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A warm welcome to 2020! What will you do in the new year?

welcome 2020

A warm welcome to 2020!

By the time this post goes live, I’ll be long since asleep. Thank goodness for the ability to schedule, so before I fall asleep, I wish a warm welcome to 2020!.

I’m not much of a night owl anymore. I prefer early to bed and early to rise. Those few hours when the house is quiet allow me to formulate ideas for my books, which is best done while working something ‘mindless’ like jigsaw puzzles online. I love doing them, and usually, during the process, I come up with some crackers!

My 2019 achievements

2019 was a great year for me. I crossed an item off my bucket list – train trip to and from Vancouver on The Canadian.

On our return trip, the idea for a children’s book came to me and All Aboard the Canadian with Buddy and his Four Fantastic Furry Friends! came to be. Currently, it’s only available in paperback from me, but in the new year, I plan on getting it formatted for kindle and kobo.

Something that is unheard of for me is I released two books in 2019. The above-mentioned children’s book and the second in my It Happened Series – It Happened in Gastown.

My crowning achievement, YESTERDAY TODAY AWAYS, received a silver Recommended Read Badge in the mystery/thriller category!

a warm welcome to 2020

So now that I’ve given you the highlights of 2019, let’s give a warm welcome to 2020!

I’m hoping to cross another item off my bucket list – The Ocean from Montreal to Halifax. That way I can say I’ve travelled across Canada from coast to coast by train.

Book three in the It Happened Series (It Happened at Percé Rock) takes place in the Canadian province of Québec on the Gaspé peninsula in the quaint village of Percé. A time-honoured tradition is to walk to the rock and back from the mainland at low tide. Needless to say, that event features heavily in the story.

Unfortunately, my characters aren’t cooperating at the moment and not talking to me. I have the plot outlined (sort of). Actually, I think they’re miffed at me because this was supposed to be book two in the series, but got shuffled back.

The idea for a third time-travel book featuring Sarah Shand, so perhaps it will be my 2020 release.

What are your plans/goals for 2020?

 

 

Silver Badge “Recommended Read”

Wow! I’m so excited. YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS won a Silver Badge “Recommended Read” in the Author Shout Reader Ready Awards!

silver badge

Isn’t it gorgeous? It looks even better on the cover, don’t you think?

silver badge

I must admit, I didn’t think I won anything because the email didn’t come in early this morning, like the announcement that I moved on to Phase 2 did.

You can imagine my surprise when I checked the mail on my iPhone, and there was the news. Well, let me tell you, you could have knocked me over with a feather.

The next stage begins on January 15th, 2020.

That is the date Author Shout begins the following benefits of my silver badge.

Promotion – YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS will receive six months of promotion in which it will be featured as a Silver Badge “Recommended Read Reader Ready” book in its category on their website, shared across all of their social media platforms and featured spots in the newsletter.

Graphics Pack – YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS will receive a “Silver Badge Recommended Graphics Pack” consisting of a 3D book cover mockup, teaser banners, animated teaser banners, and a book teaser video all with my Silver Badge on my book cover.

Author Teach Access – I will receive six months of free access to Author Teach (http://authorteach.com/). Author Teach is a members-only community of authors teaching authors with a focus on sharing tips, tools, techniques, resources, and networking opportunities.  My six months of access to Author Teach will include a featured author interview, my very own landing page inside the community, access to a private Facebook group, and more.

Blurb and buy links

Who is stalking Katherine and why?

Still reeling from the death of her husband in the London Bombings, Katherine builds a wall around her heart to prevent further hurt.

In a serendipitous moment her first love, Jared Martin walks back into her life. Old feelings are rekindled but as their second-chance-relationship develops, another cruel twist of fate strikes. The helicopter Jared is a passenger on ditches in the North Sea.

Who, if anyone, will survive the ordeal? Is fate still not done its dirty deeds?

Will a reckless moment from her past come back to haunt her?

It contains adult content, violence, and strong language. 18+ recommended.

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Kobo

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My Scottish roots and writing by Melanie Robertson-King