I need help choosing my name. I want to thank everyone who offered suggestions either here, via email, or on social media.
You might think I misbehaved with my doleful expression and am in trouble for it, but I assure you that’s not the case. I’m just sad because I don’t yet have my name.
Here is the complete list that Melanie’s fans and readers have come up with:
Jerry (named for a man who had PTSD)
Luke (associated with the saint of healing)
Percival (Percy for short)
Rufus the Red
There are three that I’m rather partial to and a couple that won’t work. One is because I’m a boy, and it’s a girl’s name (Sadie). I’m an emotional support dog. I don’t want to need one of my own.
The other that won’t is Buddy. He’s already a doggo in the book. His breeder name is Frankfurt’s Champion Beauregard, and he’s a wee black and tan Dachshund who looks much like this chap below.
You can’t have two characters with the same name in one book. It just doesn’t work.
So which ones are my favourites?
Percival (or Percy for short)
Which of these three names do you think suits me best? Do I look like a Jerry, a Luke or a Percy?
I’ve decided I’m a Percy. Actually, it was Gareth who eventually came up with my name. It seems fitting since he and Melissa met in the town of Percé. You might think it’s strange using a name so close to the setting where “It Happened,” but you pronounce them differently.
This previous post includes the doggos in the series (although not all with photos).
It’s publication day for Harper’s Highland Fling, the latest offering from friend and author, Lizzie Lamb.
After a gruelling academic year head teacher Harper MacDonald is looking forward to a summer holiday trekking in Nepal. Her plans are scuppered when her wayward niece, Ariel, leaves a note announcing she’s running away with a boy called Pen. The only clue to their whereabouts is a scribbled footnote: I’ll Be in Scotland.
Cue a case of mistaken identity when Harper confronts the boy ‘s father – Rocco Penhaligon – accusing him of cradle snatching her niece and ruining her bright future. At loggerheads, Harper and Rocco set off in hot pursuit of the teenagers, but the canny youngsters are always one step ahead. And, in a neat twist, it is the adults who end up in trouble, not the savvy teenagers.
Can cupid convince Harper and Rocco that they have found their soul mates?
Faster your seatbelt for the road trip of your lifetime –
Hi, I’m Lizzie and I like writing about ‘that moment’ when the hero and the heroine fall in love. That, and trying to track down that all elusive hero-in-a-kilt, is what gets me in front of the computer every morning. In 2012, I published Tall, Dark and Kilted quickly followed by Boot Camp Bride, Scotch on the Rocks, Girl in the Castle and Take Me, I’m Yours. My sixth novel – Harper’s Highland Fling is now available on Amazon to download as an ebook or to order as a paperback. I hope to start work on number seven – Dark Highland Skies very soon. I belong to the Society of Authors and co-organise the Leicester Chapter of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. I present workshops on indie publishing, and deliver an annual ‘state of publishing’ lecture to Creative Writing students at De Montfort University, Leicester. Luckily the skills I learned over thirty-four as a teacher haven’t deserted me.
My feel good/uplit novels would be very happy to sit on the bookcase alongside Jilly Cooper, Jenny Colgan, Jill Mansell and Carole Matthews. And, as for writing for Scottish themed romance, it’s given me the chance to celebrate everything I love about my homeland and the opportunity to share those feelings with you.
The Little Shop of Borrows is the first full-length novel in the Winterbourne witches series.
After spending a year perfecting his knitting skills in the Peruvian mountains, Taren Winn-Jones returns to England to transform his late Nanna’s house into a yarn shop. But when he discovers it has quite literally vanished, he doesn’t know what to do. Luckily for him, he has just befriended a strange young woman heading to the mysterious hamlet of Willow Tree Farm…
Sadie Thornton is following her father’s instructions. “If I disappear, you must find your way to the Winterbournes of Willow Tree Farm.” Well, her father has gone, so she’s had no choice but to leave the Tibetan monks behind and fly halfway across the world to start afresh with a family harbouring a badly kept secret—that they are, in fact, witches.
When it becomes apparent that a murder has been committed, a house has been stolen, and ghosts are hanging around, three generations of the Winterbournes will do everything in their power to protect their new friends and if that means waging a war against Cinnamon Grove’s obnoxious Mayor, then so be it.
Little Shop of Borrows is the first full-length novel in The Winterbourne Witches series. If you like quirky characters, magical mysteries and moments that will have you laughing out loud, then you’ll love Suzy Turner’s Little Shop of Borrows.
A house that’s larger on the inside than it appears. A quirky family. Meet the Winterbournes of Willow Tree Farm! Should I mention they’re witches? Not wart-covered and casting evil spells requiring ‘eye of newt’ and other ghastly ingredients. These are good witches who use their powers to help people.
I loved this book! The characters were well-developed and likeable. Even the obnoxious Mayor has some redeeming qualities and is the perfect candidate for the Winterbournes to use their powers.
And then there’s the Power of Three, but I won’t say any more than that. If you want to find out, you’ll have to read Little Shop of Borrows.
Suzy Turner wrote her first chick lit novel in her early twenties, but it wasn’t until much later that she decided to focus on writing full time. It was during a visit to Canada in 2009 when the ravens within the dark eerie forests of British Columbia called to her. The story of Lilly Taylor was born soon after and the first novel in The Raven Witch Saga was created. Suzy has since published several more urban fantasy books and contemporary women’s novels.
Having lived in Portugal since childhood, Suzy, who is originally from Yorkshire in England, loves to travel. She finds inspiration wherever she goes. Old decrepit buildings, graveyards, cathedrals and castles are just a few of the things that can be found within the worlds of her urban fantasy books, and her contemporary women’s fiction novels are filled with fun friendships, ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances and quirky characters you’d want as friends.
Suzy lives in the Algarve with her husband, three cats and a dog, where she does yoga every morning and bookish stuff for pretty much the rest of the day!
I can’t go through life as the dog with no name. Once upon a time, there was a horse with no name, but that was a song.
But first, let me tell you a bit about myself. I’m a male and about a year old. I’m about to become an Emotional Support Dog for Gareth Young, a former soldier who has PTSD, in Melanie’s current novel. It Happened at Percé Rock.
Here’s some of Gareth’s story and the root of his PTSD. He and his best friend since like forever, Normand Levesque, enlisted in the Canadian military and assigned to the Vandoos. They were deployed to Afghanistan, where Normand was killed when a roadside bomb exploded and destroyed their armoured vehicle. Gareth took quite a bit of shrapnel in his right arm from the shoulder to his hand, so he has the physical and the emotional scars. Normand didn’t have a mark on him.
Lately, things have been getting much worse for Gareth. Medication, counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy aren’t working. That’s when he psychiatrist suggested an Emotional Support Dog. It took some persuading on the doctor’s part, but eventually, Gareth went along with the idea, and I’m thrilled he chose me. I’ve been working with Gareth for a while now, getting to know him, his needs and his triggers.
So you see, I’ve got my work cut out for me.
Anyway, if you think you’ve got the perfect name for me, please leave it in the comments. I’d love to hear your suggestions. I can’t be forever known as Dog.
Hooray for Teddy Bear Day! Do you have a favourite stuffed animal, whether it be a bear, a dog, a moose, a beaver, or a raven?
I happen to have all of the above along with a beaver, two foxes, a couple of tigers, polar bears, a seal, and the list goes on. I even have a hippopotamus.
This cute guy is actually an eyeglass holder. You put your glasses in his mouth to store them. It’s all nice and soft in there like the cloths you clean your glasses with so no scratches.
The largest of my stuffed friends stands about 6′ tall. Definitely taller than I am, but that would be hard because I’m short. Now that’s what I call a teddy bear.
Teddy Bears Around the World
In this year of coronavirus, teddy bears have been getting up to all sorts. The Coronabears in Largs, Scotland have their own Facebook page. My big guy is about the same size as Hope and Sunshine but he’s dark brown.
Holly Saunders, also from Scotland, had her teddy bears doing all kinds of fun things, too. Their most recent appearance on Facebook was to remind everyone to wear their masks when inside stores and other confined public places.
The Scots have quite the imaginations when it comes to their teddy bears and bringing smiles to people’s faces during these uncertain times. Another woman, Elaine, has a Facebook page called It’s A Bear’s Life.
And this family of bears is my favourite of all (after my personal collection, of course). These guys hang out in La Fudgerie’s Boutique on 16 rue du Cul-de-Sac in the Petit Champlain District of Old Quebec City. The biggest is almost twice the size of my huge bear.
The one wearing the apron and the sign telling you not to touch the bears, would be about the same size as mine, mabye a bit smaller.
So no matter how you celebrate Teddy Bear Day, just remember our stuffed friends. If you don’t have any now that you’re grown up think back to when you were small and what your favourite stuffed animal was.
Hooray for Read a Book day! Here in North America, it’s our Labour Day weekend, so we can extend our “bookish” holiday into another full day of reading enjoyment.
What’s your preferred medium for reading? Are you a fan of ebooks or do you prefer print, either paperback or hardcover?
And then there are genres? Which do you like to read? Crime? Thrillers? Horror? Romance? Historical? Or a blend of all of the above.
I’m lucky in that being an author, I’ve met authors from other countries around the world – England, Scotland, Australia, France, the US, and back here at home in Canada.
I write in a number of genres, but my favourite is romance. You can see my books here. To find out more about any particular title, click on the cover and you’ll be taken to the book’s page where you’ll be provided with the description and buy links should you be so inclined to purchase.
My brand “where fact and fiction meet” stems from the fact I take real events and spin fictional stories around them, changing place and characters’ names to protect the ‘guilty.’ 😉
Now before you think this blog post is all about me, I’m going to introduce you to two authors you might not have heard of before.
I’ll start with Chris Longmuir. Chris and I first met virtually in early 2001 when she contacted me asking permission to use a photograph. We met in person later that same year and see each other as often as possible.
Another is Wendy H. Jones. I’ve not known Wendy as long, but she Chris and I make up the Princesses of Pandemonium. While their books are crime – gritty, humourous or historical – we have a great time when we get together.
Here we are outside the Old Town Jail in Stirling, Scotland.
And inside one of the cells.
I hope you enjoy Read a Book day, and maybe even discover some new-to-you authors.
Think this girl will get through that stack of books today?
How will you and your canine companion celebrate National Dog Day? Did you even know there was such an occasion?
Over the years, we’ve had many dogs. And every single one who crossed over the rainbow bridge broke my heart more than the one before.
These are the last two dogs who shared their lives with us.
This fine looking dog was Jingles. He was a cross between a Corgi and a German Shepherd. And like Tigger from Winnie the Pooh, he had bounce. He could jump straight up from all fours and still propel himself forward. And in the photo above, is the way he liked to sit in my lap.
And in the photo below, this handsome boy was Jake. Both dogs lived with us at the same time. Ear infections plagued this poor boy from the time he was a small puppy. He broke the blood vessels in the flap of his ears on more than one occasion, too—a costly trip to the vet.
Jingles and Jake both loved lettuce. If I was preparing a salad, I had both dogs, one on either side of me waiting their turn. So it was a leaf for one, a leaf for the other and finally a leaf for the salad.
The year we planted lettuce, Jake stomped into the garden and ate it. A fence blocked off the entire garden, but he found a way through and munched more.
Jingles disappeared one night and never returned. To this day, we have no idea where he went. Off to die? Perhaps.
Jake, we ended up having to put him down. He was old and had difficulty walking. He fell frequently, and when he did, he lost control of his bowels. It was no life for him, so we made the decision.
Did you know that in each book in my It Happened series, a dog plays a role? A matchmaker, if you will.
Xena, the German Shepherd, didn’t have the right stuff to become a police dog with the Vancouver Police Department in It Happened in Gastown.
Frankfurt’s Champion Beauregard, aka Buddy, the Dachshund, stars in the third book, which I’m currently writing, It Happened at Percé Rock.
The plan is to have six books in the series, featuring the Scott and Layne families. For everyone to tell their how they met – how “It Happened”, I need that many books.
Wolfgang, the Great Dane, will star in It Happened at Lake Louise. I’m thinking of the Fort Mac wildfires as the backstory and how pets were rescued from people’s homes and taken out of the danger zone and reunited with their humans later.
I’m torn between having a Corgi or a Whippet in It Happened at Niagara Falls. Thankfully, this book is further down the pipeline, so I’ll have plenty of time to make my final decision.
A stuffed Scottie dog will star in the last book of the series, It Happened ?? I’ve not decided on a location for it yet.
This wee guy will be sitting on the empty seat beside Amy Scott either on the train or bus or some method of public transit. A young man will ask if he can sit there, and she agrees, not paying much attention to him. He picks up the stuffed toy and reads the tag and pronounces the name on it as Sea-u-mus. She looks at him and rolls her eyes and tells him it’s pronounced Shaymus.
I hope you’ll take a look at my books starring dogs. Roxanne St. Claire also has a couple of dog series in the works – The Dogfather series and The Dogmothers. Check them out, too.
Creating an enticing back cover blurb is difficult enough, but when you’re trying to come up with a box set blurb for the first time, it’s even harder.
With Amazon, you want to be able to pack as much of a punch in as possible before the reader has to click on the “read more” link.
I’ve wanted to sell A Shadow in the Past and Shadows From Her Past together as a box set in ebook format for quite some time. Anyone who has seen me at various events knows I sell the paperbacks together at a reduced price. When you’re talking face to face with folks, it’s easier to convey the subject matter without going into a lot of detail and postcards and other promotional material on hand also helps.
But in the big, bad online world, you don’t have that personal touch. You’ve got to get your blurb, single title or box set right or people aren’t going to see your product … and then there are the dreaded keywords. That could be another post on its own.
This is what I’ve come up with so far for my box set blurb.
Past and present collide in the Sarah Shand time travel romance series – a dual-timeline romance set in contemporary and Victorian-era Scotland.
Book 1:When Sarah Shand plunges back in time to the Victorian era, she becomes A Shadow in the Past.
When she realizes she has fallen in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, she faces an agonizing decision. Does she try to find her way back to 2010 or remain in the past with the man she loves?
Book 2: When Sarah Shand finds herself back in the 21st century, the people and the life she knew in the Victorian era are Shadows From Her Past.
This year, the winter solstice and lunar eclipse occur on the same day. Will a trip to one of Aberdeenshire’s stone circles, located on the family farm, during this combination of events create the magic Sarah needs to return to 1886 and her family there? Or, will she remain in the present and make a life with David, himself a descendant of the man she fell in love with in the past?
A Shadow in the Past brought a unique new voice to time travel.
A charming time-slip love story with vivid description and authenticity throughout!
Shadows From Her Pastis a wonderful story of love and life, both modern and in the past.
Melanie Robertson-King has a special touch when creating her characters. The author weaves a mystery, a romance, and a family that you hope will find happiness in their lives.
I’m not completely happy with what I’ve written thus far, so I’d appreciate any suggestions you might have. Please leave your ideas in the comments.
My Scottish roots and writing by Melanie Robertson-King