Category Archives: Notes

e-book launch party + giveaway for A SHADOW IN THE PAST

Welcome to the e-book Launch Party for A SHADOW IN THE PAST + GIVEAWAY

blog party button

The big day is finally here! I’m so excited. Today, I’m hosting the e-book launch party for my debut novel, A Shadow in the Past. I know I’ve been urging you not to download my novel and there’s been a really good reason behind this. If everyone waits until launch day – today – then my book will soar up the ratings at amazon, especially if everyone buys the kindle version… hint, hint… The Classic Wink Smiley



ebook cover on readerWhen a contemporary teen is transported back through time to the Victorian era, she becomes A Shadow in the Past…

Nineteen-year-old Sarah Shand finds herself thrust back into the past. There she struggles to keep her real identity from a society that finds her comments and ideas strange and her speech and actions forward, unlike Victorian women. When Sarah verbally confronts confining social practices, including arranged marriages; powerful enemies commit her to a lunatic asylum. After falling in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, Robert Robertson, she must decide whether to find her way back to her own time or to remain in the past with him.

confetti burstNow that you know what the book is about – let’s PARTY!

Since A Shadow in the Past takes place in Scotland, I thought we’d start out with some Scottish music to get things started.

How about a little Old Blind Dogs to start things off with their song Bennachie.

The hill of Bennachie is in Aberdeenshire and not all that far from the fictitional village of Kendonald where A Shadow of the Past takes place.

I suppose you’re starting to get hungry. I know it’s not Scottish fayre, but let’s order in pizza. I know not everyone likes the same toppings, so you can all choose your own by clicking on this link.

While we’re waiting for our pizzas to arrive, I’ll put on some more music. Runrig is another one of my favourite Scottish bands, and when I’m listening to CDs when I’m driving, I love to crank the volume up for this song – Alba.

Pizza’s here! Too bad real delivery wasn’t this fast. I’ll just fetch us some bubbly that I’ve had chilling to celebrate with.


champagne flutes

While we’re recharging our batteries with a bite to eat and a glass or two of bubbly, I’ll pop on 500 Miles by the Proclaimers. Every time I hear this song, I think of the movie Benny and Joon.

Anyone for dessert? It’s a hot day so I thought ice cream would be fitting. I’ve got it and frozen yogurt in case you prefer that along with waffle and sugar cones, dishes, and loads of toppings. I’ll set everything out on the kitchen island and we can make our own – sundaes or cones!

As my e-book launch party winds down, I must give you the most important links of all – the where to buy links! logo logo


You could win one of two A Shadow in the Past swag packs.

a shadow in the past postcard fronta shadow in the past postcard backa shadow in the past ebook postcard fronta shadow in the past postcard backa shadow in the past bookmarkor

 A Shadow in the Past 2014 wall calendar with photographs taken by me depicting the area(s) where the book was set.

a shadow in the past 2014 calendarTo enter the draw, leave your answer to this question “If you could go back in time, what era would you like visit?” in the comments. A winner will be chosen randomly.

Good luck!

I hoped you enjoyed my launch party today but even more importantly, I hope you enjoy reading A Shadow in the Past as much as I enjoyed writing it.

It’s NaNoWriMo Time!

Yup, it’s that time of year again. And this year, I’m taking part in NaNoWriMo. But if you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I already decided to join in with a couple of gals (my writing buddies) from my local writers’ group.

Preparation such as it was is done. I’m as motivated as I’ll ever be. And 1667 words a day? Piece of cake right? Well, if I didn’t have a full-time job, plus there’s the usual and customary domestic duties. Still, get a few words down over my lunch hours, yup, I might make the daily target. Get some more down while supper is cooking. Then after supper let my fingers fly over the keys. It could be done.

Weekends could be my saving grace. I could manage to make up any targeted daily word count deficits up then. But wait! There’s shopping and laundry, and I belong to two writers’ groups and their meetings are on the weekends.

Add to that, I have the work Christmas party, I’m taking part in Ladies’ Night on November 16 from 6:00-10:00 where I’ll be selling my book (might manage to scribble some notes that will have to be put in the computer later), November 18 where I’ll be at the Mallorytown Legion from 8:00-3:00 again selling my book, and finally on November 29, I’m taking part in the Christmas Open House where I’ll be at Leeds County Books from 6:00-10:00.

If it sounds like I’m making excuses, I’m not – really. I’m merely stating the reasons why during my first year of taking part in NaNoWriMo, I might not make it to the finish line.


What a difference a couple of days make…

After the storms of last week, yesterday and today have both been bright and sunny. The trouble is, that in winter these gorgeous days mean low temperatures. This morning, it was a chilly -27 Celsius in my little corner of the world.

I finished my entry for the local short story contest this morning and got it ready to drop off at my local independent bookstore. They open from noon to 4:00 on Sundays and since I have warm clothes and the exercise is good for me, and it looked so beautiful out, I decided to make the trek on foot. The temperature when I left home was a brisk -23 Celsius so it had warmed up some.

The worst part of the walk was the condition the sidewalks are in. Under all that snow is glare ice. When the sidewalk plow operators did their thing, they took too much snow off in places leaving skating rinks exposed. Even the sand they spread as they went along missed many of these treacherous places.

Bethune Street - one block west of my house

I took advantage of the beauty of the snow and ice on the trees, reflecting in the sunlight and took a couple of pictures with my phone on my way home.

The church at the top of the hill is at the corner of Pine and Park (my street)

The last time I checked the temperature, it had climbed to -16. According to the weather forecast, it’s supposed to get up to a balmy -13 this afternoon.

Since returning, I’ve made the changes my editor sent back to me and while I’m writing this post, I’m formulating my next assignment from my editor.


The Revision Process

We all have different methods and preferences when it comes to how we handle the revision process. Depending on the size of the document and how much revising I’m doing, I’ll do it on the screen. This usually only happens when I’m writing short stories or only looking at a single chapter of a manuscript.

One of the pages from my WIP.

However, when I’m into a huge revision, I prefer to print the document and haul out the red pens. Before you get up in arms about my killing trees needlessly, after I’m done and my revisions are entered in my document, I shred the paper and it goes for recycling.

This is probably one of the more severely marked up pages in my manuscript.

I’d hit the dreaded sagging middle. I didn’t like the way things were coming together. I had a pile of “crap” that did nothing to further the plot. All it did was take up space.

I’m currently working on page 314 of 355 and I’m thinking there will be a few more pages hit “the cutting room floor” (actually a separate document in case I need snippets from them later on) before I’m done.

I think my biggest challenge is going to be reading my handwriting when it comes time to actually enter my revisions in my manuscript.

But I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. For now, carry on with the red pen and when I hit the last page, I’ll let it sit for a bit so I can digest what I’ve changed and maybe go off and read a couple of books before sitting down with my chicken-scratched pages and the computer.



Return of the Missing Muse

It’s still a bit too early to tell but I think my muse (aka George) has come home. I was working on a short story last night and I felt like I was being watched. The hubby was the only other person in the house at the time and he was working on genealogy on the other computer. The dog was asleep on his bed. Well, I’m assuming the dog was sleeping because he was doing a fine job of snoring. Besides, the feeling I had was more like someone was peering over my shoulder more or less reading what I was writing.

I firmly believe my house is haunted. It’s well over one hundred years old so surely at least one person died there. I’ve had a few encounters in the middle of the night with apparitions, spirits if you will – and not the kind that come in a bottle – those kind are a totally different story.

So, back to the feeling of someone peering over my left shoulder. Where I felt it from, the only thing behind me there is my laser printer and a case of paper. So I think it was George just checking to make sure I was actually writing something and not just goofing off.

I have forewarned my hubby that if he hears me talking to myself and the name George is mentioned, it’s only me arguing with my muse and he’s not to worry unless we get extremely loud and start throwing things! I doubt it will come to that but you never know.


Has Anyone Seen My Muse?

My muse is missing in action. I thought at first it was off sulking because I wanted to go in one direction with my writing and it wanted to go the opposite way. We’ve hit impasses before but they’ve never lasted this long. Previously, one of us (mostly me) has come slinking back all apologetic.

However, this time it’s different. I’ve offended my poor muse – big time! I hoped my recent weekend away would give us some time apart and it would be waiting impatiently for my return, ready to smack me into writing submission. It wasn’t.

I’ve looked in the closets, under the beds, in the garage, the garden shed and it’s not in any of those places.

I’ll bring flowers, a nice bottle of wine and maybe even some chocolate to our reconciliation meeting if it means us getting back into a working relationship.

So if you should happen to see my muse wandering about aimlessly, looking lost, dejected and rejected and will you please send it home?

You can tell it, too, that if it comes home, I will love it and hug it and squeeze it and call it George.





Additional Voices for ReadPlease

In addition to the voices that come standard in Readplease, you can download more. With these voices, you only get one male and one female but that’s okay. What languages can you get these voices in you ask? British English, German, French, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.

I downloaded the British English voices and can’t wait to listen to my manuscript being read back to me in that accent!

The nice thing is after you download and click install, you’re finished. The software automatically adds your new voices into the program.

Writing Date

This afternoon I’ll be heading out to meet my usual partner-in-crime for our monthly writing date. We’ll be welcoming a new member into our afternoon of “creative genius”, although I use that term lightly.

I’ve not written anything for a while so am hoping that this will get me back on track. These “dates” have helped in the past and I’ve been rather prolific in my word count on occasion.


Secrets of a Page-Turner Workshop

Yesterday’s Brian Henry workshop was fantastic! As with all the other workshops I’ve attended, this one sent me away energized and ready to write. The amount of information given never leave you feeling overloaded or overwhelmed. Brian has a way of entertaining while teaching.

I’m looking forward to his next workshop that I’m registered for on April 10th.

Woo Hoo!!!