Category Archives: Awards

Another successful Valentine’s Brunch

The brunch today at the Loch March Golf Course in Kanata was a huge success. The venue was absolutely gorgeous. A wood fire crackled in the large stone fireplace. Large windows let in lots of natural light making the room bright and cheery.

The food was excellent. The menu included Summer Mix Salad, Pickle and Olive Tray, Garden Vegetables and Dip, Vegetarian Lasagna, Chicken Breast in White Wine Mushroom Sauce, Seasoned Rice, Rolls and Butter, Assorted Desserts (cheesecake, apple pie and chocolate mousse cake) and Fresh Fruit. Coffee and tea were set up and available throughout the afternoon. And for those feeling so inclined – a cash bar. The food was amazing. I was particularly fond of the chicken although enjoyed everything.

It being a Valentine’s Brunch, I had to come up something to wear. I had decided on my black leggings and had a few red tops in mind but when they weren’t available, I decided on a red leather jacket. That created another problem. I needed shoes. So after a lot of traipsing around and not finding the right shoes, the right colour to match the jacket, or worse still, not finding any in my size, yesterday my husband and I made a trip to Kingston. We were going to Costco on our bulk grocery run so decided to go to The Shoe Company. I found the perfect shoes! Right colour, my size and comfortable! Anne, my friend and co-worker who recently lost her valiant fight against cancer, would definitely approve of them.

We had three members, including me, who were up for the Jo Beverley first book award. Aislinn MacNamara, Coreene Smith, Kathryn Donaldson and myself. That’s the order in which the presentations were made. We were told ahead of time to be prepared to say a few words about how our first book came to be. In my speech, I mentioned Anne and the reason behind needing the perfect shoes to go with the ensemble.

This isn’t the best picture with the award because of the glare on the glass coming in from those amazing windows and then the flash on the camera going off. But still, I look happy in it so I had to post it.

Teresa Wilde did an excellent job with each of these Jo Beverley awards. Each one was designed to fit with the genre and time period each book is set in. Mine definitely has a Victorian flavour. I absolutely love it! My original plan was to hang mine centered over the awards I received two years ago at the brunch (mentioned in my earlier post) but it’s too big to fit there. So… I think I’m going to hang it where my first cover article hangs and maybe put it in the place I’d reserved.

Right now, that’s neither here nor there because it will be taken to work and shown off, to my various family members and local writers group and likely many other places before it resides permanently in its place of honour.

Here’s a close up of my wonderful award. I can’t begin to say how much it means to me.

Ottawa Romance Writers’ Association
Jo Beverley First Book Award

Presented to Melanie Robertson-King

For the sale of
A Shadow in the Past
To 4RV Publishing




Ottawa Romance Writers’ Association Annual Valentine’s Brunch

Today is the day that ORWA hosts its annual Valentine’s Brunch. I attended my first one two years ago. For that event, I’d put my name forward to qualify for two awards. Although they weren’t a first book award, they were validation that I was writing and submitting despite being rejected. The Genesis was for a rejected partial manuscript, and The Phoenix for a rejected full one.

This year is different. Later today, I’ll be receiving the Jo Beverley First Book Award for my debut novel, A Shadow in the Past. I love how that rolls off my tongue or my fingers when I’m typing… my debut novel.

Isn’t this a gorgeous cover? If the Joe Beverley First Book Award is the same as prior years it’s been presented, then my cover and a certificate will be side by side, matted in a frame. I think the colours of the frame and matte are matched with the colours in the image, as is the certificate.

Time will tell. The brunch, this year held at the Loch March Golf Course in Kanata, begins at 11:00  a.m. The menu sounds fantastic. And best of all – this year my husband is coming with me so that he can see me get recognized by my peers for my accomplishments.

And then there are the shoes. But they’re another story altogether.

I’ll post photos later this afternoon/evening.


2012 – an exciting year unfolds

2012 has begun with a bang for me! Actually, the bang started back in October 2011 when I was offered and accepted contract with 4RV Publishing for my novel, A Shadow in the Past.

Each year the Ottawa Romance Writers’ Association, of which I’m a member, awards members for their writing accomplishments. Two years ago, I won their Genesis and Phoenix awards that recognized the fact that I submitted a partial (Genesis) and a complete manuscript (Phoenix) but was rejected. But since there are many who never even get that far, I think I did all right. This year, I’m eligible for the Jo Beverly First Book Award because I was offered and accepted a contract in 2011. My award will be presented at our Valentines Brunch next month.

This past Saturday morning, along with another member of my local writing group, Writers’ Ink, I recorded a show for our local cable TV company’s Readers’ Corner program which will be aired in the near future. It was primarily on our group, but I was able to talk about my novel, although not in as much detail as I would have liked.

The work on my novel’s cover is underway. My cover artist is the talented Aidana WillowRaven. After visiting her website and seeing her brilliant work, I can’t wait to see what she has up her sleeve for my novel.

This morning, I woke to find out I’d been assigned my lead editor, Carla Ralston! According to my publisher, Carla is excellent. I’m looking forward to working with her.

Since January 1st, things have moved at an unbelievably fast pace and will continue to do so until my book is out. Oh what excitement lies ahead!

I’ve got loads of things planned for the big event. A launch here in town at The Wedgewood Retirement Resort, a blog tour, readings and signings at assorted venues throughout Eastern Ontario, along with another interview for Readers’ Corner and possibly (fingers crossed) for another program called The Authors.

I’ll be posting more here as my adventure unfolds as well as putting updates on my website so keep checking in. Feel free to leave comments here and/or sign my website’s guestbook. I’d love to hear from you!

Celebrity Chefs – culinary pirates and adventurers of the chrome surfaces…!

Bestselling Scottish author Janice Horton launches her latest book ‘Reaching for the Stars’ to Amazon Kindle this week in the wake of her ‘Wish I Was Here’ themed online launch party, when many Bloggers and Tweeters posted a photo or picture of their own perfect escape, in keeping with the theme of Janice’s novel about a celebrity chef who disappears to avoid media frenzy.

Reaching for the Stars is published in e-format to Amazon for Kindle.

Janice, tell us what inspired Reaching for the Stars and what the novel is about?

Hi Melanie – thank you for having me here today – ‘Reaching for the Stars’ was inspired by my own fascination for celebrity chefs. I find the passion displayed by the rock stars of the culinary world to be very appealing indeed and with their sharp knives and skilled moves, I see them as culinary pirates, adventurers of the chrome surfaces, who battle through flames and the intense heat of the kitchen. That kind of dedication to duty is very powerful and so I wanted to create a hero-chef for my novel who was an amalgamation of all the chefs I find attractive. In the writing however, and as the story develops, it becomes apparent that great success can only ultimately bring about the realisation these gastronomic gods are, after all, also just human beings.

Reaching for the Stars is a romantic novel about a disillusioned Scottish celebrity chef called Finn McDuff, whose third wife leaves him just as he wins his third star. The irony of this is lost on no one, except one particular newspaper journalist called Raine Sanderson, who falls in love with the chef’s worn out gorgeousness when she interviews him at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh.

But soon after she writes up her story in The Thistle to expose the man, the myth and the legend behind the chef’s star-studded façade, he decides he’s had enough of all the food campaigns, the TV cookery shows, the constant frenzy surrounding his private life and gives back his accolades, closes his restaurant, and disappears.

With the enfant-terrible of the kitchen missing, two rival newspapers, The Thistle and The City News, having lost their media meal ticket, compete against each other to whip up further public curiosity in the missing chef.

What follows is a media manhunt, a press feeding frenzy, a phone hacking scandal followed by speculation and supposition. Love him or hate him, everyone is out looking for Chef McDuff. Who will find him first? Will it be Raine, or her nemesis at The City News, Ross Campbell?

Buy ‘Reaching for the Stars’ now at the special launch price of just 95p from and for $1.30 US from

Janice Blogs at:
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About the author:
Janice lives in Scotland and writes romantic novels with humour which are, for the most part, inspired by the beauty of the heather-filled glens around her country cottage. When Janice is not writing novels, she write lifestyle articles and has had work published in national and international magazines and regional newspapers. She is the bestselling author of humorous romance ‘Bagpipes & Bullshot’.

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