I’ve received another Liebster Blog Award!


Woo hoo! I’ve been nominated for yet another Liebster Blog Award. This time fellow YA and Famous Five Plus author, Suzy Turner, bestowed the honour upon me.

The idea behind the Liebster Blog Award is to recognize blogs with fewer than 200 followers that deserve a little extra attention. In keeping with the tradition of the award, I have to:

List 11 random facts about me
Answer the 11 questions Suzy has set me
Come up with 11 questions to ask other authors
And perhaps the most difficult, tag 11 authors who deserve to bask in the Liebster glow.

Here goes:

11 random facts about me:

1. I’m allergic to cat hair but not dog hair.

2. In my pre-school years, I grew up in a winterized cottage along the shore of the St. Lawrence River, about 6-7 miles east of where I currently live.

3. I’ve schmoozed with Royalty. I met Princess Anne in Scotland in 1999.

4. After a concert here in town, my cousin, her friend and I sneaked backstage and met the members of the band (we were about 14).

5. I don’t eat a lot of desserts but love cherry cheesecake.

6. I learned to play the guitar when I was 14.

7. I don’t play, but I love to watch curling on the telly.

8. I learned highland dancing when I was young and won a silver medal in the sword dance at the 1000 Islands Highland Games in 1969.

9. When I first met my husband, I didn’t like him. Hmmm… something changed, we’ll be celebrating our 38th wedding anniversary this year.

10. I love to wander through cemeteries – the older the better.

11. I’ve been to Paris.

Phew! That was tough. My poor wee brain hurts.

Now to answer Suzy’s questions:

Suzy: I always wished I had a middle name but I’m just plain old Suzanne (Suzy) Turner. Do you have a middle name? If so, what is it?

I have two middle names – Heather Ann.

Suzy: When I write my books, I usually have a rough idea of the general plot but I usually go off on a tangent and change it dramatically halfway through. What about you? Are you a plotter or a pantster?

I like to think of myself as a plantster. Some is plotted some is as it comes to me. As long as I know the ending, I can make the rest of it work.

Suzy: I was always a ‘pink’ girl until I had all my hair chopped off and then for some reason, I changed my favourite colour to blue. What’s your favourite colour and why?

I used to be ‘pink’, too, when I was younger then I moved on to blue. I’m not sure why I gravitated to blue, maybe because it looked better on me – and anything to get the boys to take notice, right? I love royal blue but any shade will do.

Suzy: I always loved the name Sheharazade. If you were to re-name yourself what would it be? (he he he… no I probably wouldn’t be brave enough to go for the aforementioned name!)

Rename myself… hmm… you’ve got me stumped. Maybe something that combines my middle name with where I live? Something like Heather Brock? Heather Park? Heather Scotland? No I don’t live there but read further down and you’ll see where this might come into being. The aforementioned names would make fab pseudonyms, too.

Suzy: I used to have the most amazing dreams where I was flying. Is there a recurring dream you remember having as a child?

It was more of a nightmare, actually. We’d be driving out in the country and when we got to his one place, the road disappeared… vanished behind a hill and around a bend. Not sure at the time why it terrified me so much, but it did. This disappearing road actually does exist (maybe as a child the family had driven down it – I don’t remember) and I’ve since been on it many times and it’s not as frightening as it was in my childhood dreams.

Suzy: My favourite TV shows at the moment are Castle, Scandal, Bones, Lost Girl, Haven, Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones. What are some of yours?

Like you, I love Bones and Downton Abbey. In addition to those I love Criminal Minds and CSI (never thought Ted Danson could pull that role off but he’s doing a fine job of it).

Suzy: If my life was ever made into a movie, I’d want Sandra Bullock to play me. Who would play you?

I think Diane Keaton could do an excellent job. Somehow, though, I don’t expect to get that famous that my life would be made into a movie.

Suzy: In an ideal world, I’d have enough money and resources to spend half the year in England and the rest in Canada or the US. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose?

This is a no-brainer. I’d be on the first plane to Scotland.

Suzy: I’d change my feet if I could. If you could change anything about your appearance, what would it be?

Feet? I don’t like mine either but that’s what shoes are for – keep them covered. I’d get rid of the middle-age spread… the belly and the butt (keep the boobs – took me too long to get them) and go back to being slim and fit looking.

Suzy: The Time Spirit series by Melissa Pearl, The Marchwood Vampire series by Shalini Boland, Scarlet Vamporium by Poppet are just a few of my fave indie books. Name two or three of your all time favourite indie books.

Harry Leslie Smith’s memoirs – 1923: A Memoir, Hamburg 1947. When I’m looking for something fun, I love Juliette Sobanet’s Paris books – Sleeping with Paris, Kissed in Paris and she has more coming out – yay!

Suzy: I can speak Portuguese but it’s getting a bit rusty. Can you speak any other languages?

French but not well. Took it in school but haven’t used it a lot in years so it’s beyond “a bit” rusty. I can also rattle off a few words/phrases in German.

Now for the 11 questions for my victims… oops, nominees:

1. When you’re not writing/blogging, what do you like to do?

2. What’s the furthest you’ve travelled on a vacation?

3. What’s your favourite beverage (can be alcoholic or non – up to you)?

4. Did you have pets as a child and do you have pets now? If so, what type?

5. Do you have a favourite food?

6. As you saw in my random facts, I like to wander through cemeteries. Do you have a favourite place you like to walk?

7. Do you have a favourite author?

8. Salty or sweet? And what’s your favourite food in that category?

9. If money were no object, what would be your ultimate travel destination?

10. Can you share your most embarrassing moment? Or at least a moment that left you red in the face, at a loss for words.

11. If you were to win the big prize in the lottery, what would you do with your winnings?

And now to nominate 11 bloggers:

1. Pauline Barclay
2. Maggie Jagger
3. Dorothy Bush
4. Vivian Zabel
5. Joe Mossman
6. Christopher D. Hanna
7. Patricia Capitain
8. Rosemary Gemmell
9. Maureen Fisher
10. Nikki Bywater
11. Jontybabe JB Johnston

On Tour with Sophie & Dan – Sophie’s Run blog tour!

Come on Tour with Sophie and Dan… Visit where the story began: Edinburgh – Sophie’s Run Blogtour 2013

Sophies_Run.inddSophie’s Run

Her famous star remains her rock while life takes her on a little detour…

Who says that the road towards true love is straight and even?  Sophie is certainly discovering that it is anything but.

So she has finally found the man of her dreams! Well… she knows who he is, even though she hasn’t actually quite met him yet.  But she misses her opportunity, and then her life goes crazy.  Rock star and ex-fiancé, Dan, keeps getting in the way of her new romance—even if he is just trying to be helpful.  A fire, an impromptu mini-trip with Dan, and a dreaded wedding later, Sophie is still struggling to meet the love of her life. Then, just as she is getting it together with her perfect man, best friend Rachel commits an act of unspeakable betrayal.

Sophie has had enough. Confused and distraught, she decides that it is time for radical change.  Surprising herself and shocking her friends, she embarks on a secret journey and eventually gets her life back on track.


Hi, Melanie! *waves* Whoop, the day is finally here. I know you were super excited about hosting this feature today, given your own love for all things Scottish. *happy dance*

But I’m getting carried away already. Sorry, you must forgive me. I’m just so over the moon to be here; thank you for having me! Perhaps, though, I should introduce myself properly to your readers. *clears throat*

Hello, you! My name is Sophie Penhalligan and I am the heroine in the Rock Star Romance Trilogy by Nicky Wells. I’ve been on this blog before and you might have stumbled across me then but in case we’re new acquaintances: it’s very nice to meet you! *waves again*

Today, Melanie is helping us celebrate the launch of Book 2, Sophie’s Run. ‘Her famous star remains her rock while life takes her on a little detour…’ Detour, indeed. My goodness, it’s been a rollercoaster ride and I can’t wait to share it all with you. In the meantime, however, I’d like to take you on tour. More specifically, I’d like to take you to the place where the story began, many years ago.

The train pulled into Edinburgh Waverley station and I panicked. What on earth was I doing? I lowered the window, awkwardly fumbling outside to reach the door handle, and let myself off the train. I was traveling light. My tiny rucksack carried only my purse and the barest of overnight essentials. I wasn’t planning to stay the night, really. But what was I planning? What had I been thinking when I got on that train, going after four blokes ten years older than my humble nineteen years? Well, in truth, I was only interested in one of them, but even that was a completely one-sided matter at this time.

It was five o’clock in the afternoon, and I had about two hours or so to get to wherever I needed to go. But, of course, I still needed to find out where they were playing tonight… (Excerpt from Sophie’s Turn)

If you’ve read the first book, you’ll know that I did meet my favorite rock band, Tuscq, that night and that I nearly got very up-close-and-personal with Dan Hunter, the lead singer. Nearly! Later on in the story, Dan and I go back to Edinburgh and it’s very romantic. Somehow, fate seems to draw me back to this amazing city, and I get to visit again in Sophie’s Run, if only in passing this time:

The train journey to Edinburgh was relatively uneventful. However, halfway across the country, the sunshine vanished and grey skies loomed.

Trying to lighten the atmosphere, I declared loudly and brightly, “Never fear, the weather is meant to be really changeable in these parts, I’m sure it’ll be fine and sunny tomorrow.”

“Och, it’s a wee bit o’ Scotch mist, lassie,” a passing passenger chipped in. “It winna fash ye. The thing to watch oot for is the midges, they’re fair ferocious this time o’ year.”

I didn’t have a clue what he had said, but I was too embarrassed to show myself up as a total Sassenach so I smiled apologetically and shrugged.(Excerpt from Sophie’s Run)

Uh-huh, another train journey to Edinburgh. I believe this is quite a deliberate echo of the first book, but you’ll have to read for yourself to find out who I’m going with this time and why. ☺ For now, I’d like to show you some of my favorite vistas and hang outs. You ready?

First of all, Princes Street. I’ll never forget walking down there on the way to that fateful gig… I’m standing on the corner looking down into Lothian Road (see photo), absorbing the atmosphere and barely containing my excitement at seeing Tuscq very soon.

By Lee Kindness [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

And here’s the Castle at Night! I’m still on Princes Street on the corner with Hanover Street, just looking in a different direction. Isn’t it amazing?

By Ad Meskens (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Of course, I did see some of Edinburgh by day, too. Not on my first visit, but the second time round. I checked out the Tollcross…

By Kyzer (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
 …and the old town! Take a look at Goose Pie House in Ramsay Gardens…

By Kyzer (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
One final, panoramic look at the Castle and Waverley Station…

By Kim Traynor (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
*sighs* Ah, so many memories. What a fabulous city. Have you ever been? Well, if you do go, or if you’re just dreaming about it, don’t forget to take me with you, and Sophie’s Run! Thank you for joining me on my trip today and… rock on!

Wait, wait, wait, there’s more: Introducing the Sophie’s Run Give Away!

Sophie’s Run GIVEAWAYS

1) Standard Giveaway

Nicky Wells is giving away one delicious chocolate gift to a lucky winner in the UK or North America!

belgian chocolate

The small print: This Gift prize is a product of Unique Chocolate. The Gift prize is subject to availability in your country. If the Gift prize is not available in your country, Nicky Wells reserves the right to offer a substitute gift prize of a similar nature at her discretion. Nicky Wells will require the winner’s postal address for shipping purposes.

Rafflecopter Links:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2. Bonus Giveaway

Nicky Wells offers a giveaway of one Amazon gift voucher worth $20/£15 for one lucky winner. To enter, simply share your thoughts on Sophie’s Run with Nicky. Email your comment to nickywells@sapphirestarpublishing.com and your name will be entered into the draw. Competition closes 1 May 2013.

About Nicky Wells: Romance that Rocks Your World!

Nicky_NEWAuthorPic_April12_useforwebsiteRock On! Nicky Wells writes fun and glamorous contemporary romance featuring a rock star and the girl next door.  A signed author with U.S. publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing, Nicky is in the throes of publishing her Rock Star Romance Trilogy. Nicky loves rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters.  When she’s not writing, Nicky is a wife, mother, and occasional teaching assistant.

Originally born in Germany, Nicky moved to the United Kingdom in 1993, and currently lives in Lincoln with her husband and their two boys. In a previous professional life, Nicky worked as a researcher and project manager for an international Human Resources research firm based in London and Washington, D.C.

Visit Nicky on her blog where you can find articles, interviews, radio interviews and, of course, an ongoing update on her work in progress. You can also follow Nicky on Twitter and find her on Facebook. Nicky is a featured author on the innovative reader/author project, loveahappyending.com and has joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Nicky also has author pages at Sapphire Star Publishing, Amazon and, of course, Goodreads.

Sales links for Sophie’s Run:

Sophie’s Run is now available in Kindle edition from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, and in Paperback edition from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. You can also get the paperback at Barnes & Noble, or download Sophie’s Run onto your Nook (coming soon).

COVER REVEAL – The Red Effect by Harvey Black

“Today, West German imperialism is United States’ chief ally in Europe in aggravating world tension. West Germany is increasingly becoming the seat of the war danger, where revenge-seeking passions are running high… The policy pursued by the Federal Republic of Germany is being increasingly determined by the same monopolies that brought Hitler to power.
The Rhineland politicians fancy that once they get the atomic bomb, frontier posts will topple and they will be able to achieve their cherished desire of carving up the map of Europe again and taking revenge for defeat in the second world war.
One of the most ominous factors endangering peace is the bilateral military alliance that is taking shape between the ruling circles of the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany. This factor remains an objective of unflagging attention.”

Leonid Brezhnev
23rd Party Congress
March 1966

Cover Reveal 079

The Cold War and Nitroglycerin had one thing in common, both were stable when circumstances allowed. But, when something rocks the boat, or events are overtaken by Incidents that get out of control, the status quo is lost. The consequence is an eruption that is both violent and lethal.

Cold War 5 030

The Cold War trilogy will trace the Cold War as it simmers, overheats and eventually turns East against West. The outcome? Start with ‘The Red Effect’ out in April, followed by ‘The Black Effect’ and ‘The Blue Effect’.


The Red Effect

1983: The Cold War has been in existence since the end of World War Two. Although tensions have always been fraught between the Western nations and the members of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact, common sense prevailed.

Until, as a consequence of the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, the shooting down of a Korean passenger aircraft in 1983, and the relentless build up of Soviet military strength, everything is about to change.

In a panoramic novel, readers travel from centres of power to the front lines – a war is brewing and events are happening at every angle. Is the Cold War about to turn hot? Can NATO forces endure a mass strike by thousands of Soviet tanks? Can the West survive?

Cold-War-9-Harvey-Black-039.jpgFollow the series of gripping events that culminated in ‘The Red Effect’, in the first installment of Harvey Black’s Cold War trilogy.





Happy St Patrick’s Day!


Aye, the luck o’ the Irish… who else could find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Certainly not this girl. But shamrocks and leprechauns are part of the Irish folklore and tradition.

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.

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 President Obama and the 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.

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…

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

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.

Beware the Ides of March…

By Georges Jansoone (JoJan) (Own work (own photo)) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Julius Caesar should have paid attention to those fateful words. Had he, he wouldn’t have been stabbed to death at a meeting of the senate on 15th March, 44 BC.

Did you know that March was the first month in the Roman calendar? The Romans didn’t number the days sequentially from the beginning of the month either. They went by the beginning, the middle and the beginning of the next month instead. The term “Ides” merely referred to the middle of the month and supposedly determined by the full moon.

The Ides of March was also a rock group in the 1960s-1970s and possibly best known for their song I’m Your Vehicle Baby. I remember having that single on a 45 rpm record! I know, I know, I just dated myself.

So kick back and enjoy this video clip and enjoy a Canadian invention – a Bloody Caesar Cocktail


How to make a Bloody Caesar

Rim a glass with celery salt
Add a wedge of lime
6 oz. Clamato Juice
1-1 1/2 oz Vodka
2 Dashes Tobasco or other hot sauce
4 Dashes Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground pepper
Pour over ice, stir and add a stalk of celery

Doesn’t that look yummy?


Goodreads Giveaway for A Shadow in the Past has ended

Being new to creating a giveaway on Goodreads (have entered many), I wasn’t sure what to expect. Originally, I thought of just making it available to Canada but quickly changed my mind and expanded it to the UK and the US.

I’m please with the results. 1165 people entered. I’m even more pleased that it was Goodreads who chose the two winners of signed copies. That number of entries would have required more than just names/numbers in a hat and hubby drawing them out.

The signed copies of A Shadow in the Past will be mailed out to the two lucky winners this week.

Thanks to everyone who entered and congratulations to the winners.


Until my Goodreads giveaway for 2 signed copies of A Shadow in the Past ends!

a shadow in the past cover 500x773Nineteen-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.

If you don’t win, you can always purchase a copy from my publisher 4RV Publishing, amazon.com, .ca, and .co.uk, Barnes & Noble, Chapters/Coles and some bricks and mortar stores, too.

Good luck to everyone who entered!

It’s Read an E-Book Week!

I have to admit being late to the “party”. I didn’t even know it was Read an E-book week! And to be honest – I didn’t even know such a week existed, but I am glad it does.

Coincidentally (or not) since I’m a book lover, I started reading the ebook Voodoo Wedding by Scottish author (and my friend), Janice Horton.

With the number of devices available, we’re spoiled for choice. Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony, and iPad, e-book retailers, amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, the Sony Store, Diesel, iBooks, and more, not to mention direct from the publishers’ websites in many cases.

But what titles to put on your device? Why not check out the authors over at Loveahappyending Lifestyle, traditionally published, self-published in e-book and print. The group Famous Five Plus are primarily indie authors, although they did invite me to join them. Both of these groups cover a wide range of genres including Young Adult, Chick-lit, Mystery, Romance, Paranormal, Memoirs, Crime.

What are you reading?
What device do you have? If more than one, which one do you prefer?
And finally, print or e-book – what’s your preference?