All posts by Melanie

Irish traditions ~ St Patrick’s Day!

Irish traditions

 

Aye, Irish traditions, folklore and myths. Who else could spin a yarn about finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Let’s not forget those mischevious leprechauns, too.

And the movie Waking Ned Devine takes place in Ireland. Only in the movies could that convoluted a plan to claim the lottery winnings happen. My favourite part of the movie (apart from watching Jackie and Michael tearing around the countryside on a motorcycle in their birthday suits) was the beautiful scenery of the country.

The Quiet Man starring Maureen O’Hara and John Wayne also takes place in Ireland. This is one of the few John Wayne movies I like.

I’ve schmoozed with Royalty having met Princess Anne but we never had the opportunity to chat about our favourite tipple – mostly our families and my connection to the place where we met. However, I do have one thing in common with former President Obama and his First Lady – Guinness! Although, I find it doesn’t taste as good here as there. Maybe because it’s too chilled in my part of the world? Dunno.

Irish
By Pete Souza (Executive Office of the President of the United States) (White House Flickr) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
There is an art to pulling the perfect pint and it looks like the First Lady has mastered it, even under extremely close scrutiny…

More modern Irish traditions include drinking green beer on March 17th. I’ve seen pictures of it and while it looks good, it’s not my choice of colour for beer. I’ll stick with Guinness or an Irish amber – Kilkenny Cream Ale.

No wonder people look ‘green’ the day after St Patrick’s Day after consuming copious amounts of green beer. And we’ve not even touched on the whiskies.

Irish traditions
Cafeirlandais at en.wikipedia / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)

How about a tune suitable to the occasion when many of your have partaken in copious amounts of green beer and/or Irish Whisky.

Enjoy your St Patrick’s Day no matter how you celebrate (or if you celebrate).

I’ll close this post with the Irish proverb…

May your glass be ever full.
May the roof over your head be always strong.
And may you be in heaven
half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead.

The Pi Game! Let’s play! 3.14159

The Pi Game!

Not this Pi,

nor this pie.

Rhododendrites [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]
No, the Pi Game has nothing to do with our little friend, Pi, nor the kind of pie you eat.

This is a fun game for the authors out there, and it somewhat relates to Pi in that it’s going to involve the third chapter and the fourteenth line of text on the page.

Here’s a sampling of line 14 in Chapter 3 of my books.

First up, from the second edition of A Shadow in the Past

and filthy. Her knees stung like someone scraped sandpaper over them.

From the sequel, Shadows From Her Past

Jenny. “And I missed you, too, sweetie.”

My supernatural with ‘spicy’ romance, The Secret of Hillcrest House

room. I just made a fresh pot of coffee. Can you stay for a cup,

Romantic suspense/psychological thriller, YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS…

shelter of the doorway to meet him. “Hope you’ve not been out

Sweet Christmas Romance, It Happened on Dufferin Terrace…

on her MacBook Air and searched jonathans.

Sweet Romance with suspense, It Happened in Gastown…

end, or at least until she had information to take to them to

You get the idea.

And here’s our little buddy, Pi, who inspired me to come up with the “Pi Game.”

Pi Day

So enjoy the day and when you think of it, remember our little friend 3.14159.

Before I leave, here’s the link to the Pi Day post I shared last year.

I’ve shared some of my line fourteens from chapter three in my books. Leave a comment with yours. I’d love to see them. Just remember, keep the posts clean – at least PG13. 🙂

2020 Reader’s Choice Awards

A different book – a different contest. This time it’s the 2020 Reader’s Choice Awards by TCK Publishing.

And what is the title of my entry? Drum roll, please … It Happened in Gastown!

2020 Reader's Choice Awards

Blurb

Trainspotting 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?

Buy Links

Kindle

Kobo

I hope you’ll show my sweet romance some love and vote for it at https://www.tckpublishing.com/2020-readers-choice-voting-page/. Please note the “How to Vote” section above the titles.

You’ll find my entry in the 2020 Reader’s Choice Awards on Page 7.

 

AllAuthor Cover of the Month contest!

They say not to judge a book by its cover but I need you to do just that. If you liked the cover of my book, YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS, please vote for it for the Cover of the Month contest on AllAuthor.com!

I’m getting closer to clinch the “Cover of the Month” contest on AllAuthor! I’d need as much support from you guys. Please take a short moment to vote for my book cover here:
Click to VoteAllAuthor cover of the month

in the AllAuthor Cover of the Month contest!

Doesn’t this cover make you want to open the book and start reading?

Blurb

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?

Whet your imagination?

You can buy YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS from Amazon and Kobo for $2.99.

kindle

Kobo

 

5 ebook copies of YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS up for grabs

5 ebook copies

5 ebook copies up for grabs!

I’m a guest on Marie Lavender‘s blog today, and I’m giving away 5 ebook copies of my romantic suspense/psychological thriller.

YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS recently won a silver badge in the Author Shout Reader Ready Awards.

This is what the book is about…

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?

 

Excerpt

~ 1 ~

31st December, 2010

He stepped out from the entrance of the Vue Cinemas. One day she would be his. But not today. Now was not the right time. He was not ready. No instructions came from within his brain. The voices hadn’t spoken to him yet. Only when they did, would the time be right.

In the month since his arrival, he spent hours at the Central Library searching through the city directories to confirm ownership of As the Pages Turn. The business had not changed hands. In addition to those, he perused back issues of The Press and Journal on microfilm for more information about the shop and its owners.

The streets were busy tonight. A group of giggling young women, their skirts too short, and their heels too high, wearing far too much makeup, walked past his hiding place forcing him to retreat further into the shadows. Any one of these girls could be his, but his heart was set on the one with the fiery red tresses. The owner of the bookstore.

Captivated by her beauty, he emerged from the darkness and started across the street, careful not to be seen by the CCTV camera. He crept to the corner of the casino building giving the video surveillance a wide berth.

Back garden fireworks popped and banged. The occasional starbursts of red, green, blue and white rose above the buildings. One, louder than the others made him jump – so nearby it could have been set off beside him. Aberdeen’s official display wouldn’t start until midnight. The clock, barely visible over the rooftops read fifteen minutes to six.

His threadbare overcoat was useless in this cold, damp night air. He rubbed his hands up and down his upper arms in an attempt to warm himself but the action only provided temporary relief.

He pressed himself against the back wall under the shelter of the roof. He could see her clearer. No one could notice his interest in her.

Oblivious to his presence, she carried on as usual. Just the way he wanted. She couldn’t be aware of him. Not now. Not yet. He was the invisible man, skulking in the gloom a short distance from her store. Just beyond her vision. He didn’t exist to her, as it had to be for now. But the day would come and she would be the first to know when he was ready to reveal himself.

This book contains adult content, violence, and strong language. 18+ recommended, so bear this in mind when entering the giveaway. If that’s not your cup of tea, you likely won’t enjoy the book.

You can enter the Rafflecopter giveaway on Marie’s blog or here for your chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you aren’t lucky enough to win a copy in the giveaway, here are the buy links for kindle and kobo.

kindle

Kobo

 

 

Sunshine Blogger Award Nominee

sunshine blogger award

Sunshine Blogger Award

I’m thrilled to be selected for a Sunshine Blogger award by fellow author, Jo Lambert.

This Award allows bloggers to celebrate other bloggers who are creative and bring positivity to the blogging community.

Part One of the challenge is to answer the questions Jo has sent me.

Part Two is to nominate a further 11  bloggers and send them my own set of 11 questions. My questions for them are at the end of this post.

Jo’s questions for me

What makes me happy?

I love curling up with a blanket and a book on a cold day. Add a mug of hot chocolate, and it’s absolute heaven.

What is my favourite holiday destination, and why?

Scotland hands down, but with my many trips to Vieux Québec, it’s running a close second.

If I could ask one question of a historical figure, who would I choose, and what would that question be?

Bram Stoker. Finally, put it to rest was it Cruden Bay or Whitby that inspired him to write Dracula. Both places claim it was them. I prefer to think it’s Cruden Bay and the ruins of Slains Castle on the north-east coast of Scotland.

Sweet or savoury – what’s my favourite dish?

Savoury, definitely. I don’t eat a lot of sweets. Anything Indian as long as it’s not too spicy, or a Sunday roast with all the trimmings works for me.

If I could live anywhere in the world, where would that be and why?

Somewhere in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, close to where my father was born. I was twelve when he died and, at that age, not interested in my roots. When I got old enough to embrace my heritage, I regretted not doing it sooner.

What is my favourite colour?

Blue, although if you looked at the history of the colour of cars I’ve owned over the years, you would think red. Blue in all of its shades is my favourite of all. It reminds me of clear skies, the rivers and oceans and being outdoors.

What is my all-time favourite movie, and why?

The Guns of Navarone. Yup, a war movie. I think it’s because my Dad served in WWII, and I love to read books set in that era.

How would I prefer to spend your weekend? Trekking in the Brecon Beacons or a relaxing spa break?

Trekking. If I’m wandering about in the Brecon Beacons, I’m not far from Scotland, where I can do more hillwalking.

If I could go back in time, would I have chosen a different career, and if so, what would that be?

I think it would still be something in the financial field, although after having done payroll for over thirty years, I’m not sure what area. Maybe something completely different so I wouldn’t have “auditors” periodically. 😉

Are you happy with the name your parents gave you? If not, what would you have chosen?

I got my name from my mother’s favourite character in the movie Gone with the Wind. Back when I was born, there weren’t many girls around with that name. I think that’s cool. My father wanted to name me Heather, but I’ve never seen myself as a Heather. So at the end of the day, I’m Melanie Heather Ann Robertson (happily married to a King) and love it.

Who is my favourite actor/actress, and why?

I love Maureen O’Hara. I should say loved since she passed away in 2015. The characters she played were larger than life, spunky, yet could be tender and loving. My two favourite movies she starred in are The Quiet Man and McLintock!

There are my eleven questions answered, now to move on to the next part.

The eleven bloggers I nominate are:

  1. Joan Y Edwards
  2. Chris Longmuir
  3. Beverly Stowe McClure
  4. Maggie Wheeler
  5. Rosemary Gemmell
  6. Ali Bacon
  7. Sandra J Jackson
  8. Jennifer C Wilson
  9. Suzy Turner
  10. Dr. Bob Rich
  11. Lizzie Lamb

My eleven questions:

  1. If you won the lottery, how would you spend your winnings?
  2. Are you a night owl or a morning person?
  3. PC or Mac. Which camp are you in?
  4. Which is your favourite blogging platform? WordPress, Blogspot, etc.
  5. What is your favourite summer past-time and why?
  6. Do you prefer print or ebook and why?
  7. What is your favourite food and why?
  8. Are you a fitness freak, couch potato or somewhere in between?
  9. Share a single photograph that depicts who you are (adventurous, laid back, etc.)
  10. You have the chance to take a once in a lifetime train trip. Which one would you choose and why?
  11. When you’re watching TV, do you prefer sitcoms or dramas and why?

 

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. 🙂