Tag Archives: novels

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

 

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.

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. 🙂

 

AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR & IMPOSTER SYNDROME

Award-winning author. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that. I certainly don’t feel like an award-winning author, but then how are you supposed to feel? Yet, here’s the proof — the silver badge.

award-winning author

In the beginning, the cover didn’t fit the genre, so I tarted it up on the ebook version because it was the easiest. The plan was to wait until closer to the next print run before putting the full cover wrap on it (which has been done with the award gracing the front – same as the ebook).

award-winning author

And further proof that I’m an award-winning author. Bang, right there on the cover. So why don’t I feel comfortable shouting it out to the world that I’m an award-winning author? Why do I feel like a fraud?

Ah, that’s the dreaded imposter syndrome.

I was so excited when the announcement I was a recipient of a silver badge. I shouted out the fact my book was a silver medalist – not me. But, if I didn’t write the book, it wouldn’t have received the award.

It’s a bit of a Catch-22 situation, don’t you think?

Maybe, I’m merely feeling sorry for myself because my book sales have been flat thus far in 2020. Flat to the point of being non-existent. More fuel to the imposter syndrome feelings.

Have you ever experienced imposter syndrome? If so, how did you overcome it?

 

 

Silver Badge “Recommended Read”

Wow! I’m so excited. YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS won a Silver Badge “Recommended Read” in the Author Shout Reader Ready Awards!

silver badge

Isn’t it gorgeous? It looks even better on the cover, don’t you think?

silver badge

I must admit, I didn’t think I won anything because the email didn’t come in early this morning, like the announcement that I moved on to Phase 2 did.

You can imagine my surprise when I checked the mail on my iPhone, and there was the news. Well, let me tell you, you could have knocked me over with a feather.

The next stage begins on January 15th, 2020.

That is the date Author Shout begins the following benefits of my silver badge.

Promotion – YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS will receive six months of promotion in which it will be featured as a Silver Badge “Recommended Read Reader Ready” book in its category on their website, shared across all of their social media platforms and featured spots in the newsletter.

Graphics Pack – YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS will receive a “Silver Badge Recommended Graphics Pack” consisting of a 3D book cover mockup, teaser banners, animated teaser banners, and a book teaser video all with my Silver Badge on my book cover.

Author Teach Access – I will receive six months of free access to Author Teach (http://authorteach.com/). Author Teach is a members-only community of authors teaching authors with a focus on sharing tips, tools, techniques, resources, and networking opportunities.  My six months of access to Author Teach will include a featured author interview, my very own landing page inside the community, access to a private Facebook group, and more.

Blurb and buy links

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?

It contains adult content, violence, and strong language. 18+ recommended.

kindle

Kobo

B&N nook

iBooks

And the winner is … #giveaway #sweetromance

As part of my launch for Book 2 in the It Happened series – It Happened in Gastown – I ran a giveaway for the book that started it all – It Happened on Dufferin Terrace. Only five people left comments, two of which didn’t want to be entered in the giveaway. That left three. So, I’ve decided there won’t be just one winner, there will be three!

And the winners are …

Yvonne – who commented at Beverly Stowe McClure’s blog

Carolyn Howard-Johnston – who commented at Joan Y. Edwards’ blog

and

Nancy Jardine – who commented at Chris Longmuir’s blog.

Congratulations to each winner! I’ll be in touch through your blog host to find out in which format you’d like your copy of It Happened on Dufferin Terrace – mobi for kindle, epub for other readers or pdf.

If you didn’t win, you can buy It Happened on Dufferin Terrace for only $0.99/£0.99.

She’s married to her job… He’s a widowed father…
winner

Miracle 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?

BUY LINKS

amazon

kobo

 

 

YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS reaches Phase 2 of the Author Shout Reader Ready awards

Phase 1 of the Author Shout Reader Ready awards closed to entries at the end of October. November 15th, the announcement of the books that made it through that phase came through.

author shout reader ready

My, romantic suspense/psychological thriller, YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS, made it through to Phase 2. *queue fist pumps*

Judging in the first phase was based on the following criteria:

Section 1: Book Cover

Below is a list of the criteria we are considering in this section

FRONT COVER (eBook and Print)

I scored well in this category.

My cover is visually compelling, very well colour coordinated with good use of font, and the use of the tag line is great!

The only downside is, I still have the original cover on the print version which could be confusing to readers. At the time I changed the ebook cover, I still had a number of print copies in my inventory and wanted to wait until stocks with that cover got lower before updating the whole cover wrap.

Section 2: Book Description

Again, I scored well.

My description is clear, concise and hooked the judge right in. As well, it didn’t leave it up to the imagination what the book was about but left enough intrigue to want to read more.

It was recommended that I put my opening statement/tag line in bold. I don’t have much luck with getting html to work at amazon – hence no bold.

Section 3: Look Inside Sample

The fact I didn’t bother with a table of contents scored well. I jumped straight into the book.

The ‘look inside’ sample is free of grammatical and spelling errors, and has a nice flow/pace, making it a good read to continue.

It was suggested I have a link to my website and my other books in this area, but that could backfire and lead readers away from purchasing the book. I include my other books and a link to my website at the end of the book which isn’t available to look at in the ‘look inside’ sample.

Section 4: Overall Feedback

YESTERDAY TODAY ALWAYS is highly competitive in the criteria considered during this phase of the judging.

*****

So, now it’s on to Phase 2 of the Author Shout Reader Ready Awards. I’ve already sent off the kindle version of the novel for appraisal.

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?

Contains adult content, violence, and strong language. 18+ recommended.

kindle

Kobo

B&N nook

iBooks

It Happened in Gastown (It Happened Book 2)

The moment you’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived! At least I hope you’ve all been waiting for it. 😉 Drum roll, please … Here for the first time is the beautiful cover of  Book 2 in my It Happened series – It Happened in Gastown – a sweet romance with suspense.

Here we go, without any further ado, I give you

It Happened in Gastown

 

it happened in gastown

Isn’t it beautiful?

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?

Excerpt

Chapter 1

Out on routine patrol, Constables Hilary Dunbar and her partner Lukas Stephanopoulos drove north on Cambie Street towards the Gastown Steam Clock. As they passed the end of Blood Alley, she shouted, “Back up. Something’s down there.”

“Your imagination getting the better of you again?” He teased, but pulled over to the curb and slowly reversed until they blocked the mouth of the narrow passage.

Originally they called the lane Trounce Alley. Some maps still referred to the laneway as that. Others labelled the back street Blood Alley. Given the appearance, Hilary thought the latter more appropriate.

Window down, she trained the beam from the powerful spotlight mounted on the cruiser’s mirror into the alleyway. “See, beyond those dumpsters.”

“Likely just garbage.”

“Wait here; I’m going to take a closer look.”

Before exiting the car, she plucked a pair of nitrile gloves and the naloxone kit from the glove compartment. Once out, she shoved them in the pockets of her trousers. With the fingertips of her right hand brushing her gun holster and gripping the barrel of the torch in her left, she sidled towards the object.

Graffiti tags covered the walls of the buildings as well as the wooden hydro poles. The farther into the confined space she crept, the hairs on the nape of her neck bristled beneath the bun in which she styled her black hair. Whatever was down there wasn’t rubbish, as Luke said. The pong of stale urine made her eyes water.

Past the second dumpster, the body of a young man leaned against the wall. Dishevelled and filthy, his body odour was strong enough to make the foulest of skunk spray seem mild. At first glance, he appeared dead. His skin had a bluish tinge, and weeping sores dotted his face. Dark circles surrounded his eyes. Inching forward, Hilary squatted beside him.

A blood-filled syringe protruded from his left arm. Flashlight held under her chin; she donned the synthetic rubber gloves she brought with her and felt his neck for a pulse. The rhythmic throbbing beneath her fingertips, barely discernible.

The naloxone. The kit had been made available to officers who wanted the medication. Luke was against carrying the opioid blocker in the cruiser, but Hilary persuaded him. Now was the time to use it. She took the package out of her other trouser pocket, peeled the wrapper open and placed the nozzle in the victim’s left nostril and pressed the plunger.

She keyed the mic on her handset and started to speak. “Constable Dunbar.” As though on cue, the nearby Steam Clock began whistling — no sense in trying to outperform the contraption. Wait for the completion of its proclamation of the top of the hour — Westminster chimes followed by singular whistle blasts counting out the time. Soon relative quiet returned and Hilary tried again. “Constable Dunbar. Badge 8652. I need an ambulance at Blood Alley and Cambie Street. Suspected drug overdose. Have administered four milligrams of Narcan nasal spray. No response as of yet.”

By now, Luke had the cruiser’s roof lights on. Blue, red and white alternating then running from the driver’s side to the passenger’s side of the vehicle.

The wail of the siren grew louder. In minutes, paramedics jumped out and trundled a stretcher and medical equipment to the stricken person.

Hilary stood back, letting them do their jobs. “I gave him Narcan,” she said, handing the spent plastic bottle to one of them.

“He’s alive … just. You found him in time. We’ve bagged the needle so they can run tests on the contents at the hospital. Figure out what he shot into his veins.”

Buy Links

It Happened in Gastown releases on December 1st, but you can pre-order your copy now for the low price of $2.99/£2.99.

Kindle

Kobo

Book 1 in the series – It Happened on Dufferin Terrace is on sale for $0.99/£0.99 or you can enter my giveaway to win a kindle or kobo copy.

To enter, leave me a comment. Your name will be entered in a draw on December 1st (launch day for It Happened in Gastown).

The Shadow Prince ~ a Mortal Enchantment Novella

shadow prince

 

shadow prince

Blurb

THE SHADOW PRINCE is a prequel novella to the award-winning YA fantasy series Mortal Enchantment. Discover a world of elemental powers, courage, duty, sacrifice, forbidden romance, and a war for the very elements of life.

Sixteen-year-old Rowan is an elemental prince. Banished to the mortal world, he doubts he will ever return to Avalon and claim the fire court throne. Until he receives a challenge from his estranged mother. If he slays Kalin, the half-human, half-elemental princess and heir to the court of air, she will abdicate her throne. Is he capable of completing such a heinous task? And what price he will pay if he refuses?

Perfect for fans of Holly Black and Sarah J. Maas.

My Review

I have to admit I was out of my element here with a fantasy novel. I’m more apt to settle in with a police procedural, cozy mystery or a romance. But I’m keen to discover new authors.
The Shadow Prince didn’t disappoint. It was fast-paced and kept me turning the pages. Stacey O’Neale did a fantastic job of creating the setting for the elementals’ world. With a well-placed portal, these elementals can pass through to the land of mortals. Interesting concept.
As I said in the beginning, I was a bit out of my element, but having read this book, I’m anxious to read the entire series.

About Stacey O’Neale

shadow princeAward-winning author, Stacey O’Neale, lives in Annapolis, Maryland. When she’s not writing, she spends her time fangirling over books, blogging, watching fantasy television shows, cheering for the Baltimore Ravens, and hanging out with her husband and daughter.

Her career in publishing started as a blogger-turned-publicist for two successful small publishers. Stacey writes young adult fantasy and adult science fiction romance. Her books always include swoon-worthy heroes, snarky heroines, and lots of kissing.

Stacey loves hearing from readers. Follow her on Twitter @StaceyONeale, look for her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr. You can also visit her blog at staceyoneale.com/.

 

GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

SHADOW PRINCE

Progress Report ~ It Happened in Gastown #sweetromance

progress report

Progress Report

I’ve been conspicuously absent from my blog, so I thought it was about time I got my skates on and wrote a post. This one is a progress report on my work-in-progress – It Happened in Gastown.

The book is written. Yay! There could be an epilogue but that can be written and edited separately.

Currently, this episode of the “It Happened” series is longer than the first (It Happened on Dufferin Terrace), but that’s okay. Many series have different length books in them. Harry Potter comes to mind.

It Happened in Gastown has been through Grammarly – copied and pasted from Scrivener one scene at at a time – and corrections made in both applications.

Next, I compiled the entire document to word format (.docx) using Scrivener and imported it to Autocrit. That process wasn’t without its challenges. It seems the version of Safari I’m running on my MacBook Air and Autocrit didn’t like each other. Only a portion of my document loaded. Nothing past chapter 15 and there are 21 chapters in total.

Thanks to Kevin at Autocrit, that problem is sorted and I’m happily editing away using Chrome. Again, I’m making the changes in both applications so if something goes pear-shaped (as things sometimes do), I’ll have an up-to-date copy.

The Office 365 version of Word has the ability to read your manuscript back to you, but since I don’t have that version, I depend on either Scrivener or Natural Reader to do this step for me. The beauty of doing it in Scrivener is the corrections only need to be made once.

Finally, it’s off to my readers who will undoubtedly pick out errors that slipped through the cracks.

My plan is to post a cover reveal at some point during this process with pre-order links for kindle and kobo.

If you would be interested in hosting a cover reveal for It Happened in Gastown, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you with the details.