Launch day for Holiday Magic The Gift Of Love by loveahappyending author Lavada Dee

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Holiday Magic The Gift Of Love by Lavada Dee

Priceless Love by Lavada Dee & Laurie Ryan

(a two story anthology)

“For Richer, For Poorer”

Taylor Hamilton, dissatisfied with a life designed by her parents, attends a friend’s fall wedding and finds small town life agrees with her. The problem is, her wealth doesn’t agree with the man she falls for. Is their love strong enough to find a bridge of trust where money isn’t an issue?

Healing Love by Laurie Ryan

In Sickness and in Health”

Nicole Milbourne’s single-minded focus on a medical research career is thrown for a loop when charismatic Dr. Damien Reed shows her there’s more to life than studying diseases. Will an unexpected Christmas fill Nicole’s lonely heart and show her the healing power of love?

Length:  123 pages
Language: English
eBook: ISBN 978-1-4658-4203-9
Amazon (US) Kindle and Print (buy) :

Barnes & Noble (buy):


Book Trailers

They look and sound fantastic when well done. Not so much when they’re not. Who would have thought they would be so difficult to do and do well? Certainly not this girl.

Yeah, yeah, I bragged that I’d worked on my trailer for A Shadow in the Past and would be passing on the link when the time to reveal it rolled around. Read on and you’ll see why the big reveal is currently on hold.

Shortly after I launched my website, a few years ago, I put together really primitive book trailers for the two complete manuscripts I had at the time – Sarah’s Gift and The Anniversary. When I say primitive, I mean there was no sound track (music or narration) and it wasn’t even made with Windows Movie Maker (XP version). I converted the photos to .gif format and used Animation Shop that came with the version of Paint Shop Pro I was using at the time. You could still have transitions and some good ones at that. My biggest problem then was my 640×480 pictures were too big and part way through making one of the trailers, I would run out of memory… the computer, too… (grin) In the end, I had to resize my photos down to 320×240 in order to be able to get a single animated .gif saved so I could upload it to my website.

Fast forward back to the near distant past. When I accepted the contract from 4RV Publishing, I took down my novels page. Sarah’s Gift wasn’t Sarah’s Gift anymore. Not anywhere close to that first story I’d put together and had received more reject letters/e-mails than I care to remember. So why leave something that outdated and irrelevant up there? My other manuscript, I withdrew from the publisher since they’d had it for over two years and hadn’t done anything with it. Now, with the new first novel, this second manuscript in its current form doesn’t fit with my current direction. But I digress.

Back to book trailers. I experimented with the old Movie Maker (Windows XP version) and the new Windows Live Movie Maker for Windows 7.0. I decided that it was easier to start from scratch so I got my photos imported, my transitions and effects chosen, titles at the beginning and credits at the end. So far so good, you say. Not quite.

It was after I had the video set up the way I wanted that I decided to record the audio track. I knew what I wanted for it but it was almost half an hour long! I mean I wasn’t making a television show. So I found a good place to end the audio track. I’m still at about the eight minute mark but far better than what I had before.

So, plug my USB MP3 recorder into my laptop and download the file, open it in Audacity and I’m off to the races. Took a long time to cut the excess time at the end but I got there in the end. Then I thought some of my pauses were a bit too long so shortened them. I’d flubbed in a few places so was able to cut them out entirely (yay!) as I didn’t relish the idea of recording it over again. Import the audio track into my movie and save it.

I watched and listened and was feeling pleased with myself so took the plunge and uploaded it to You Tube. I sent the link to two people who have made book trailers and made excellent ones. People whose input I value. They both pointed out the same thing. I’m talking about one thing but the photo on the screen didn’t match. That was something that never occurred to me.

Back to the drawing board… I went back to my script that I read from and have marked what pictures need to be put where so now it’s a matter of getting the correct duration for them and their transitions to properly align themselves with my audio track. Oh, and those gaps I shortened before? I’m stretching some of them out again.

I read that the best size of photo to use for a book trailer was 640×480. I’ve been able to find “most” of the original book trailer photos in that size or larger so have scaled them to that size. Now I’m good to go. I think there were only two that I would have to hunt down and re-scan and they weren’t overly relevant to the scene(s) I narrated so I’m not overly fussed.

Irritating, aggravating and addiciting! Even though things aren’t going as well as I would have liked, I’m learning as I go and having a blast doing it!


Santa Claus Came to Town

This afternoon was the annual Santa Claus parade here in Brockville. Today was mild enough we could enjoy watching it go past our front door outdoors, although the air was damp with rain. Thankfully, the precipitation held off until the parade was over and has still held off.

In previous years, the night before a parade, the city goes along the route leaving temporary NO Parking signs then on parade morning come back and turn them to face the streets. They didn’t do that this year so there were a number of cars parked along the route making it difficult for the entrants to navigate… especially the huge tractor trailers (or lorries as my UK friends refer to them).

The Brockville re-enactors start every parade and are sent well out ahead of the rest of the parade because they’re marching and take time to fire their guns at regular intervals throughout the route.

The Brockville Re-enactors

This year’s event had almost seventy entries! So it was a long time before it ended. In typical Brockville parade fashion, it was well strung out and this year that problem was compounded when floats couldn’t get around corners and had to back up and go ahead many times to succeed without hitting vehicles.

The Grinch

No Brockville parade, no matter the season, wouldn’t be complete without at least one pipe band. Usually, the local band and/or Spencerville are in attendance among the others but this year neither one were in attendance. We did, however, have the Rob Roy Pipe Band from Kingston.

The Rob Roy Pipe Band
The smallest member of the band struggling to keep up

Among the cartoon characters putting in an appearance today, were those modern stone-age families… The Flinstones and The Rubbles.

Bedrock meets Brockville

The following picture is mostly for the benefit of my UK friends. Much different from the snub-nosed (or as we call them here cab-over) they’re used to seeing on the roads. The company both my husband and I work for pull 53′ trailers and during certain times of year pull two of them that length in a train! Good thing the latter are only allowed on the motorways between Toronto and Montreal. And if there’s an accident which causes a road closure, they can’t be detoured. They’re parked until the road is re-opened.

One of our huge North American lorries

And what’s a parade without horses and other animals. A horsebreeder from Mallorytown entered with three of their steeds and the Ontario SPCA (our local branch) brought a few dogs out for a walk. Any that were wearing Blue coats are up for adoption.

The Gypsy Vanner Horses from Mallorytown
The OSPCA and their dogs

Somehow, I don’t think my dog (aka alarm dog) would be best pleased if we were to bring another one into the house. And I can’t say as I blame him. He’s ruled the roost for quite some time now… beginning when he lived with my daughter next door and came here to play in the backyard. My friend, Chris, and her family will remember him from the day they visited us when she came to Canada.

Sadly not up for adoption but still beautiful

Santa’s float was one of the ones that had a difficult time navigating around the corner enroute to our location – all because of a parked car. When the float passed us, my husband noticed that the lights on the right side of the trailer had been pulled off all because someone needed to get the “perfect” place to watch the parade from.

The jolly old elf, himself, and Mrs Claus
The jolly old elf, himself, and Mrs Claus

We’ve been back in the house for about an hour now and the dampness is finally leaving my bones. Now that Santa has come and gone, has it put me in the Christmas spirit? Not yet, but closer. Colder temperatures and snow would help. And now that I have the winter tires on my car, I say “bring it on!”

Black Friday Special – Not 1 but 2 books from loveahappyending author Harry Leslie Smith! Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip and The Barley Hole Chronicles

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Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year on the US calendar. In keeping with that fine tradition, loveahappyending is proud to support featured author Harry Leslie Smith‘s launch of not one, but two of his Books of Memoirs.

Hamburg 1947: A Place for the Heart to Kip

Twenty-two years old and ready for peace, Harry Leslie Smith has survived the Great Depression and endured the Second World War. Now, in 1945 in Hamburg, Germany, he must come to terms with a nation physically and emotionally devastated. In this memoir, he narrates a story of people searching to belong and survive in a world that was almost destroyed.

Hamburg 1947 recounts Smith’s youthful RAF days as part of the occupational forces in post-war Germany. A wireless operator during the war, he doesn’t want to return to Britain and join a queue of unemployed former servicemen; he reenlists for long term duty in occupied Germany. From his billet in Hamburg, a city razed to the ground by remorseless aerial bombardment, he witnesses a people and era on the brink of annihilation. This narrative presents a street-level view of a city reduced to rubble populated with refugees, black marketers, and cynical soldiers.

At times grim and other times amusing, Smith writes a memoir relaying the social history about this time and place, providing a unique look at post-WWII Germany. Hamburg 1947 is both a love story for a city and a passionate retailing of a love affair with a young German woman.

Hamburg 1947 can be bought in paperback format from for £11.95 or Hardcover for £18.95

The Barley Hole Chronicles

If you didn’t purchase Harry’s first book of memoirs, 1923: A Memoir, this is your chance to get it and Hamburg 1947 under one cover in The Barley Hole Chronicles – From Hell to Hamburg 23/47.

Barley Hole was for my great grandfather Canaan, the land of milk and honey. For my father, it was paradise lost and for my mother, Barley Hole was a curse. It was a place that haunted her spirit and her soul throughout her life. To me, Barley Hole is a name forever etched on the map of my family’s heart; it is where betrayal and injustice nearly thrust us into oblivion.

The Barley Hole Chronicles are an odyssey of the human spirit that stretch across time and geography to incorporate, diverse personalities, personal hardships, World Wars and the struggle for peace and love, in a society fallen from grace. These Chronicles document one Yorkshire family’s descent into the wilderness of poverty and hunger. It is a personal record of one young man’s struggle to survive the great depression, the Second World War and the hazards and wonders of life in post war Germany. The Barley Hole Chronicles are a summation of two memoirs by Harry Leslie Smith 1923 and Hamburg 1947. The Barley Hole Chronicles are a true account of a time and place when life, full of raw emotion, was never so real. It is also a social history of the 20th century at its bloodiest and deadliest time.

The Barley Hole Chronicles are available for the Kindle from for £1.14 or from for $1.50 US.

Hamburg 1947 is available in Paperback for $17.95 US and Hardcover for $27.95 US from and will be available for the Kindle for $1.99 US.

And for Black Friday, Harry is reducing the price of The Barley Hole Chronicles to $0.99 US and his first book, 1923: A Memoir will be reduced to $0.75 US.

Re-launch of Satchfield Hall by Pauline Barclay

Author, Pauline Barclay has been busy behind the scenes working on re-editing and polishing her novel, Satchfield Hall, for a re-launch today. Along with the work between the covers, Pauline has a brand new cover designed by Cathy Helms of Avalon Graphics in the US!

When the news reached Henry Bryant-Smythe about his daughter’s indiscretion, he not only dealt with it, but stamped on it with such a resounding thud, that the consequences ricocheted through the years and well into the future. Henry Bryant-Smythe cared nothing for the consequences of his actions and even less for the feelings of those involved, with the exception of his own, and these he cosseted.

Celia Bryant-Smythe’s disgrace set in motion events that would affect the lives of many people, taking decades to unravel. Lives would be lost and destroyed and it would take until the death of the one man who had callously started it all, Henry Bryant-Smythe, until it was finally over.

Satchfield Hall is not about gentleness, tranquillity and privilege; it is about, power, love, lies and in the end revenge.

Satchfield Hall is available for the Kindle at for £2.32 and at for $3.25. In addition, a paperback version will be released in the coming weeks.

About the Author

Years ago Pauline gained a BA (Hons) degree from the Open University, today she spends her time writing fiction and has three books published: Sometimes It Happens, Magnolia House and Satchfield Hall.

She’s a Yorkshire lass, from the UK but has lived in several different locations including, Suffolk, UK, Surrey, UK and the beautiful country of Holland. Today, Pauline lives on the beautiful volcanic island of Lanzarote in the Canary Isles with her husband and her two gorgeous rescue doggies.

Launch Day for The One Who Got Away by loveahappyending author Jessica Strassner

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The One Who Got Away by Jessica Strassner

Everyone has that person in his or her life….. The One Who Got Away.

For Lucy, that person is Jackson.  Reunited after many years and many changes, Lucy and Jackson find themselves caught in a dilemma.  Both of them are struggling with the fact that their old feelings for each other have been reawakened…

And now both of them are involved with other people.

Should Lucy stay in a comfortable, routine relationship with her boyfriend, Matt, even though he doesn’t make her feel the way Jackson does?  Should Jackson keep going with the flow in his marriage to Sloane, his overbearing wife who is pressuring him to start a family?

What begins as a friendship rekindled, leads to a romance caught on fire as Lucy and Jackson question the decisions they made in their younger years and wonder if they are truly meant to be together.

The One Who Got Away is available for the Kindle at for $2.99 US and at for £2.14.

A Shadow in the Past book trailer

Well, it’s almost ready to reveal. I’ve spent a lot of time today with my face in the computer working on it. And starting from scratch with the Windows 7.0 version of Movie Maker, it’s not so difficult to work with at all. So selecting my photos, transitions, effects and what not took a lot of time, albeit enjoyable. Then I spent a period of time where I was sequestered off in the bedroom recording the audio track of the first two chapters using my Sony MP3 recorder. It didn’t seem like it at the time but when I opened the file in Audacity, it was the better part of half an hour!

Another bonus to Audacity, is I was able to edit out any flubs I made since I don’t read out loud well (and believe me, I flubbed in a few places) and shorten some long pauses when I wasn’t able to move to the next screen on the iPad in a timely manner. My first recording might have lasted 30 seconds and I shut it down on my own. Second time around things went swimmingly but still a few moments but I perservered and finished the recording.

Back in touch with humans, I self-taught myself in the workings of Audacity. It’s a really cool program and am looking forward to doing more things with it than I did today. Anyway, I worked away at editing the audio track… reducing the length of gaps, removing moments of tongue-tideness and cut it down to about 8:00 minutes.

I’ll reveal the finished product here soon so stand by for the official announcement of its unveiling.


The Day After the Brian Henry Workshop

On Saturday, November 19th, my husband and I both Brian Henry’s inspirational and motivational writing workshop “Writing your life & other true stories” in Kingston.

I always learn something at Brian’s workshops, and yesterday was no exception. My husband and I share an interest in genealogy and we thought that being able to tell the story in an interesting way would be far better appreciated by the family whose stories we’d be writing.
The genealogy software we use does create “book” format but it contains just raw genealogical data and while that’s good, there’s no personal reflections, memories, observations in it. Mind you, if you’re writing about someone/something from the 1800s or earlier, you’re not going to have much to go on other than a general social history of the time (since you weren’t alive then) and assume that your ancestors were in the same predicament as everyone else. If you’re lucky, you had an ancestor who could read and write and kept journals.
Whether either one of us tackles a segment in time of one of our ancestor’s lives and writes about it remains to be seen, although I have written articles on Home Children, including one on my father. Still not quite the same as a novel-length memoir.
Now that I have the knowledge of how to write it and the tricks of using novel writing techniques to get it “on paper”, I’ll be much better equipped for when the times comes.
I’m looking forward to my next workshop with Brian.

I’ve received the Liebster Blog Award

My blogger friend, Janice Horton, has bestowed this award on me because my blog is  fun, creative and friendly. Thank you, Janice.

Rules for accepting the Liebster Blog Award are as follows:

The recipient agrees to:

– Thank the person who gave them the award and link back to that person’s blog
– Copy and paste the award to their blog
– Reveal the 5 blogs they have chosen to award, commenting on their blog to break the news!
– Hope those people in turn pay it forward by accepting and awarding “The Liebster Blog Award” to bloggers they would like to honour.

To be in the running for this award, you must have fewer than 200 followers. 🙂

So, the 5 blogs I’ve chosen to award are… drum roll please…

Scribbles – Pauline Barclay
Romancing History – Rosemary Gemmell
Chris Longmuir, Crime Writer
Chocolate for Writers – Juliette Sobanet
and finally
Twisting in the Wind – Dorothy Bush

Another Brian Henry Workshop coming up

On Saturday, November 19th, I’ll be attending another of Brian Henry’s inspirational and motivational writing workshops in Kingston.

“Writing your life & other true stories” workshop, Sat, Nov 19, in Kingston

Writing your life & other true stories
Saturday, November 19, 2011
1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Lions Club, 935 Sydenham Road, Kingston. (Map here.)

Have you ever considered writing your memoirs or family history? This workshop will introduce you to the tricks and conventions of telling true stories and will show you how to use the techniques of the novel to recount actual events. Whether you want to write for your family or for a wider public, don’t miss this workshop.

Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing instructor for more than 25 years. He teaches at Ryerson University and has led workshops everywhere from Boston to Buffalo and from Sarnia to Moncton. But his proudest boast is that he has helped many of his students get published.

Fee: $32.74 + 13% hst = $37 paid in advance
or $35.40 + 13% hst = $40 if you wait to pay at the door.

To reserve your spot, email