Toot! Toot! My novel is a nominee in the thriller category!
Yes, you read that correctly. YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS is a nominee in the thriller category of the 2019 Reader’s Choice awards.
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?
Contains adult content, violence, and strong language. 18+ recommended.
What better place to celebrate the life of Scottish Bard, Robbie Burns, than in a tartan chair in front of a crackling, wood fire.
I’m remiss this year in getting an online Burns Day celebration together. Shame on me. But, I have a valid excuse. 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.
January 25, 1759 – July 21, 1796
It’s Robbie Burns Day. Will you celebrate the bard today with haggis, champit tatties and bashed neeps?
Here at The House of King, we celebrated last Saturday (Jan 19th). My idea of a small haggis (about 1 pound), went straight out the window when the smallest one I could get this year weighed in at almost 3 pounds!
So tonight, I’ll have some leftover haggis, sans tatties and neeps as there aren’t any leftover, with whatever else I make for supper. With Burns Day falling on a Friday, it also means it’s grocery night for this gal. A hearty Scotch broth? Fish and chips? Maybe shortbread or sticky toffee pudding for dessert? Decisions, decisions.
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,
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,
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!
It’s been a long time since I’ve taken the plunge and created a book trailer. In fact, Windows Movie Maker was still available. I read where you could make them using the Windows Photos App. A little search for ‘how to’ instructions and a lot of tweaking, and here’s the result.
1st December 2010
The ScotRail service to Aberdeen pulled away from the platform at Stonehaven. The next stop would be his destination. As the train accelerated, the carriage swayed from side to side. The action reminded him of his mum rocking him after a bad dream. He drifted into a light slumber. When the compartment he was in crossed through a switch, it lurched waking him.
Less than thirty minutes to go. He settled back but was too excited to relax. When the Girdle Ness Lighthouse came into view, he knew he was almost back to the place he was born.
New, to him, construction dotted the landscape. Fresh graffiti adorned the stone parapets of the bridge over the River Dee. The Mitchell Tower at Marischal College, the clock tower of the Aberdeen Town House and the Salvation Army Citadel, vied for attention over the tops of the cluster of newer buildings.
He fooled the medical staff at the secure forensic unit in the south of England. After feigning rehabilitation, they released him into the community but he didn’t stay there long. He did a runner. He had unfinished business in the north east of Scotland.
Adrenalin coursed through him. Giddy with excitement, it was hard for him to remain calm. He shook his hands to try to stem some of the fidgetiness. Now, he was back in Aberdeen where it all began. How much of the city would he recognize? What changed since his departure?
Were the authorities looking for him yet? He would have to act normal so as not to attract attention. Stepping off, he adjusted his Fedora and strode across the concourse to the exit. Diesel fumes hung in the air and caught in the back of his throat. He coughed.
With the exception of the Union Square shopping complex adjacent to the railway station, Guild Street stayed more or less unchanged. Some of the storefronts in the granite buildings transformed, but overall, not a huge difference since he left.
The pavement ended at Market Street forcing him to cross over the road. He continued eastward. The location he sought should be nearby. He stopped for a breather – pressed his back against the building. The ships that supplied and supported the offshore oil industry occupied the available berths on this side of the harbour. Through a gap, the ferry to Lerwick and the terminal were visible on the far side.
The familiar Maritime Museum dominated the head of Shore Brae. Beyond that, the artery curved and became Shiprow. The cobbled road surface and pavement were difficult to traverse. Even the larger stones nearer the buildings were uneven. When he rounded the corner at Provost Ross’s House, another well-known building peeked out. He had come so far now, he couldn’t go back. He strode with purpose up the hill.
The Aberdeen Town House clock tower stretched above the roofline but that was the place he sought. Nestled between Henry’s Bar and the pedestrianized portion of Shiprow stood the As the Pages Turnbookshop.
When a customer exited holding a carrier bag emblazoned with the same signage as over the door, his heart skipped a beat. He hoped the establishment’s ownership hadn’t changed. That would defeat the purpose of his returning to Aberdeen.
The voices in his head only told him to come back. He had unfinished business with the woman with ginger hair – the one with no soul – who ran the retail outlet in front of him.
Now, to find a suitable place to wait and watch and bide his time until the moment was right.
Depending on where you are in the world, New Year’s celebrations are long since finished. Here, in my part of the world, they’ve just begun to welcome 2019.
In Scotland, the celebration is known as Hogmanay, and in the city of Edinburgh, the festivities are three days long! Now that’s a party.
My plans for seeing out 2018 and bringing in 2019 changed rather abruptly on Christmas eve, and I had to cancel them. Two broken ribs and a cracked one (not mine, my husband’s) have that effect on things.
Vieux-Québec will have to wait another year. I wanted to be there to see in the new year so badly because I wrote about it in It Happened on Dufferin Terrace. Seeing the Ferris wheel and all the restaurants and bistros along the Grande-Allée with their outdoor patios open and the street turned into a giant dance floor. The night culminating with the fireworks display from the Plains of Abraham.
How did I see 2019 in since our plans changed? The same as every other year – in bed and sound asleep before midnight.
There’s still time to enter the December Curl up with a Book Giveaway! No better time to fill up that kindle you got for Christmas.
Having a hard time choosing what to read this month? While there’s so many wonderful authors and books available, it’s imperative to have a dependable and responsible place that can help you choose what to read. It’s even better when you get a chance to win free books! Every month, you can win free books from multiple authors hosted by N. N. Light’s Book Heaven. Numerous authors are offering their books in this collaborative group entitled Literary Giveaway Portal.
Once again, I’m taking part in N. N. Light’s Book Heaven book giveaway!
Want to find a new writer, learn what novels some of your favorite authors are reading, or find new book reviewer and blogger recommendations? Visit https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/literary-giveaway-portal to enter this new multi-author giveaway. All genres are included whether it’s novels from debuting authors to award-winning/bestselling authors with multiple books and/or series. The best part — it’s all free for readers to enter, as authors are generously donating copies of their books as well as other prizes each month to help find new fans and build up their reading communities. I’m excited to participate in this month’s giveaway and can’t wait to share with you all that will be offered this month and moving forward. You never know which surprising authors might just show up on the list this year!
Here is a list of the books on offer this month:
e-copy of Tied Up With Strings by Madeline McEwan
e-copy of Three Lessons in Seduction by Sofie Darling
e-copy of Too Good to be True by Livia Quinn
e-copy of Debriefing the Dead (Book 1 of The Dead Series) by Kerry Blaisdell
e-copy of The Cauldron Stirred (Guardians of Erin Book 1) by Judith Sterling
e-copy of Arresting Mason by Amber Daulton
e-copy of The Queen of Paradise Valley by Cat Dubie
e-copy of The Mystery of Flight 2222 by Thomas Neviaser
e-copy of Once Broken by D. M. Hamblin
e-copy of A Debt to the Devil by D. M. Hamblin
e-copy of The Kitchen Imps by A. L. Butcher (Smashwords voucher)
e-copy of The Colony and The Last City by RM Gilmour
5 e-copy of Angelica by Clabe Polk
2 autographed print copy of Erin’s Gift plus swag generously donated by Nancy Fraser (US/Canada only)
e-copy of Life Sucks After You Die by Crystal-Rain Love
e-copy of Dickensen Academy by Christine Grabowski
audiobook copy of Rescue Love by Melissa Keir (US/Canada only)
e-copy of To Save a Lady by Patricia Preston (US only)
2 e-copy of Cinderella Busted by Petie McCarty
print copy of Sweet Seduction by Janet Lane Walters (US/Canada only)
autographed print copy of Seventeen Days by Linda Griffin
e-copy of It Happened on Dufferin Terrace by Melanie Robertson-King
e-copy of Dreamtime Sensuality by David Russell
e-copy of Romeo Vs. Juliet (Descendants of Time Book 1) by Laura Hogg (US only)
Enter the rafflecopter giveaway below for your chance to win!
Receiving the award is the protagonist, Serenity Layne.
Thank you. I’m speechless. I’ve accepted many awards on behalf of Thacker, Price & Associates, but none have thrilled me more than the Chill with a Book Readers’ Award. *nervous laugh*
Not so long ago, this would have been routine. Not to belittle the firm, but it was me. Me, before I met Roger Scott, his delightful son, Adam, and their goofy dog, Tori.
These incredible people opened my eyes to life, love and taking chances.
Our initial meeting was unconventional. I mean, how many couples end up together because of one party getting knocked down by a dog? Roger was so remorseful, so gracious, how could a girl not be attracted to him? Did I mention he’s also attractive?
I know. I’m babbling. It’s the excitement of the moment.
Doesn’t the cover look wonderful with the award on it?
Here’s what my story is about.
She’s married to her job… He’s a widowed father…
Miracle 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?
It Happened on Dufferin Terrace is available at these retailers.
Where will we find her this time? You want to make sure you behave in here. There are at least four elves in the shelter. Two on the throne and two in the back corners.
Serenity and Roger visited this park area in It Happened on DufferinTerrace. When they did, the throne was outdoors totally, not sheltered by three walls and a roof.
Serenity may not have visited here, but we frequently do for a bowl of their French Onion Soup. It’s to die for! If you look out the window, you see the Christmas market across the street in the square and the Simons department store in the background.
If you were to turn 90 degrees to the right from where this picture was taken, you would see the Château Frontenac Hotel.
The street at the top of the staircase is Avenue St Denis. This is a place Serenity visits in It Happened on Dufferin Terrace.
It’s quite the trek up all these stairs, especially in winter conditions. Obviously, it was something important that brought here here and up the wooden flight of steps.
So there you have it. A few more spottings of Serenity around Vieux-Québec.
Do you think you know these locations or why she’s in them?
As winter approaches in the Northern Hemisphere, my inner bookaholic rejoices because that means there’s more time to read. There’s nothing better than curling up with a good book. N. N. Light has gathered both new releases and backlist in this giveaway that’s sure to please any booklover. Free e-copy, print and audio books are just waiting for readers to indulge in. You can even enter one of mine. Enter below and good luck!
After breakfast at Cosmos and gathering our various accoutrements, we started towards the wall and the old part of the city. On a good day, it would take five minutes tops. It was still snowing, and the sidewalks hadn’t been cleared yet. But, we’re on vacation so have no deadlines. We get there when we get there.
Despite the snow, the sun tried to shine. You can see it peeking through the cloud cover over the drill hall. In 2008, this grand building caught fire. You can read about it here. I’m really pleased they restored the building. Being a UNESCO world heritage site, it was a no-brainer, although if it were in the city I live in, it would be pulled down before there was a chance to even think of saving it.
When we arrived inside the walls of the old city, we walked through the Christmas Market, which wouldn’t open until the following day.
Because of the snow covering the roofs of the buildings, it didn’t look like the section behind City Hall was filled.
It was nice to be able to wander through and not be jostled by people. A few vendors were getting their huts ready, but other than that and the occasional pedestrian like us, the place was deserted.
The building in the background with the green trim at the top and around the windows is Simons. I love that store! No trip to the old city is complete without a stop there. Today was no different.
Back in the summer, I bought some slate coasters and a funky stainless steel spoon rest. Well, I wanted at least one more of the latter so when one was in the dishwasher, I had another. They only had one left, so I snagged it. I also bought a battery operated set of LED lights inside a bottle.
There was one thing lacking on this trip to the store, and it wasn’t until a bit later, it hit me. They still didn’t have their large, green wreath hung on the exterior of the building. The window displays were all done up, but not the outside. Somehow, it didn’t feel like Christmas without it there.
From there it was over to Dufferin Terrace. Between the falling snow and the overcast conditions, you could barely see across the river.
After some time spent here, we gingerly (I gingerly) worked my way down the steps behind the post office to the street below and eventually onto Rue du Petit Champlain.
It probably would have been easier to come down via the Funiculaire, but the downhill bit isn’t as difficult as the trip back up the slope. The steps from one street to the other are the killers – especially on my knees.
The arbour here in Parc Félix-Leclerc was festively decorated. This year, instead of the huge ‘Santa’ chair being out in the open, it was sheltered under a hut (see the left of the picture). On the right was a small building. I’m not sure if you could enter it or not. In front of it were the Muskoka chairs arranged in a circle around a fire.
The arrangement this year was a bit different from when Serenity and Roger passed by in It Happened on Dufferin Terrace.
Construction made it difficult to get decent photos when we were in Place Royale. To the right of the Christmas tree above were lengths of fence and an enormous hole in the ground in front of Geomania.
By now the snow had stopped. The ambient light was at the perfect level for the Christmas lights to show.
Tomorrow the Christmas market opens! I’m looking forward to that and spending more time here in lower town.
My Scottish roots and writing by Melanie Robertson-King