Not much of a Blogger

I’ve come to admit that I’m just not much of a blogger. I thought that might be a good topic to blog about.

I originally started this blog for another reason and I just never had much to say and ended up relocating it after one of my publishers strongly  suggested that authors should have a blog with their name in the title and keep it updated with writing news, so I had to shanghai this back from the original topic.

I’ve written a few posts but its really not my thing.

I also write a blog about the town I grew up in, but mostly its ended up being updates at what’s playing at our local theatre. I don’t even update that any more, especially since another company has purchased the building and movies are coming to an end – soon! I’ve always gone in spurts in that blog. I might go months without writing. Kind of like this blog here!

I think the problem for me is that I’m a paid writer. Writing something and not getting paid for it seems counterproductive to me. I’m a busy person. If I’m going to write something I want to be paid for my time. Occasionally I guest blog but when I do I’m promoting one of my books and hope to make sales. That’s a little different.

I have a couple of blogger friends who have small groups of people writing on topics that I keep updated with. They’ve all asked me to write posts for their blogs but its just not my thing, especially since its an unpaid writing gig. Though I do struggle with the whole “giving back” thing. One blog I did write a post a couple of years back but it meant writing under the blog’s name not my own name which meant I wasn’t getting any publicity for my own promotion, but it was a response to something that I felt strongly enough at the time to whip out a few paragraphs. This blog is a good cause. Good enough that I assist in other ways. I manage the blog, manage the gadgets, keep it organized, and upload posts 2 or 3 times a week. I used to help out more with moderating comments but it took too much of my time and I ended up taking a break from them for a few months awhile ago before coming back, but I no longer moderate comments because that was too time consuming and distracting for me. What I do now doesn’t take a lot of my time and I feel good that I’m able to contribute in a small way. Same with another blog that I keep on top of. Although I don’t choose to help contribute with writing, I have offered up suggestions and assistance and occasionally help out with their blog management too.

What’s 20 minutes of my time each week? And maybe not even that much between the 2.

I do enjoy reading what others have to say.

I like reading. I read at least one book a week. And that’s with my busy life and everything else I have going on.

I might not be much of a blogger but I am a reader.

Stay tuned. Maybe I’ll pop out another post before the end of 2014.

Maybe not.

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer and finds some good beach reads!

 

 

Buy Ringer and get Free Copy of Un-Neigh-Borly Behavior until Halloween!

Halloween is my favourite holiday and I’ve decided to give away a free ebook copy of my novel Un-Neigh-Borly Behavior to everyone who buys Ringer before the end of October 2013.

ringer-300dpi

Buy a copy of my romantic mystery Ringer and receive a free ebook copy of Un-Neigh-Borly Behavior. Ringer is available from Musa Publishing, Amazon, iTunes, and just about every online bookseller. Look at the back of Ringer for my email address, send me a copy of your receipt, and I’ll send you a copy of Un-Neigh-Borly Behavior.

Offer good until Halloween 2013!

Blurb:

A horse who is a dead ringer for a missing racehorse. A missing cousin whose body was never found. An attempted murder. Is anything what it seems? Holly Thompson is drawn into the middle of this puzzle when she rescues sexy horse trainer Matt Winter and flees with him and the look-a-like horse.

Holly and Matt follow clues from British Columbia to Matt’s home in Oregon to a horserace in California, trying to find who is behind the horse-swapping scheme. Matt didn’t count on losing his heart to a feisty woman who can saddle her own horse and hotwire a truck. And Holly has done the unthinkable: fallen in love with a horseman, something she vowed she’d never do. Is Matt a wealthy racehorse owner or just another backstretch con artist, cheating on horses and women? And will he ride to her rescue when they unravel the mystery of the ringer?

 

And just so you know what you’re getting with Un-Neigh-Borly Behavior – – -

Cover Un-Neigh-Borly Behavior trail photo

Blurb:

Racing Standardbred horses is usually all the excitement DeeDee Logan needs in her life, until suddenly she’s dealing with an amorous polo player, jealous twin sisters, a lovelorn horse groom, and a racetrack derelict intent on medicating her horse.

Trying to get away from the recent craziness in her life, DeeDee saddles up her horse for a relaxing ride through the woods, but murder gallops after her when the horse leads her to the polo player, Miguel, dead on the trail.

When fingers start pointing to DeeDee as a suspect, she and her husband Grant discover some of those accusers had motives for eliminating Miguel. To avoid becoming next on the hit list, Grant and DeeDee must use good old horse sense to find out what happened to Miguel and race to stop a killer.

* * * * 

Some buy links for Ringer:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

All Romance eBooks

 

 

 

Welcome to The Romance Reviews Year End Splash Party Players!

TRR 2013 year end splash party

Hello to all the readers playing today’s questions at the Romance Reviews Year End Splash Party!

Yes, you are in the right place to answer this burning question:

 

In Ringer, what is the name of the racehorse Holly is leading out of the barn?

a. Mark Missile

b. Fan Tan Alley

c. Meadow Prancer

d. Et Vous Pret

 

I will tell you the answer right here in this post you’re reading. Yay! You’ve landed in the right place! But first I thought you’d enjoy reading my little rant. If you don’t want to keep reading, the excerpt to Ringer holding the answer can be found at this link.

Have you been playing along for a few years with The Romance Reviews parties? I have and I want to rant about what sometimes happens to me when I click on the “hint” link where the author claims the answer can be found. There will probably be at least 2 or 3 questions and some days there’ll be more bogus questions. I’m sure many of you will sympathize.

Don’t you just hate it when you click on that link for the hint and you go to a dead URL?

How about when you click on that link and there is nothing on the page that answers the question? It might be a landing page or it might be something else, maybe even an excerpt to the book, but the answer is nowhere to be found. Why did the author give us the wrong link?

How about when you click on that link and there are three chapters to read? Come on people. An excerpt to your novel shouldn’t be more than 500 words.

What about when you land at a page and the answer is nowhere to be found but you don’t give up easy and start clicking all the links on the author’s webpage only to come up empty? What a waste of time.

What about the author that poses a question like who is Heather’s ex-boyfriend. You go to the link to read the hint and it turns out Heather dated the entire football team and every one of them is mentioned in the excerpt, plus these names all show up in the multiple choice.

How about when the author says which of these authors did not collaborate on the novel? Then each possible answer has 5 or 6 author names, switched around slightly on each possible answer.

What about when the question says “Which activities did Luke play when he was younger?” a. Soccer  b. Football  c. Tennis  d. all of the above. In the excerpt we read that Luke played football and tennis but there’s no mention of soccer so we can’t choose “all of the above”. That leaves 2 possible correct answers and whichever one the player chooses is probably going to be wrong because ultimately its going to end up being “all of the above”.

Who just gets ticked off when they can’t find the answer on the page where the hint should be and chooses “c” for their answer? The most common choice is “c” on multiple choice questions. We all learned that in school.

And this is one of my personal favorites so I took a screen shot of it:

Romance Reviews wrong answer

Does everyone see what is going on with the above? Name Janet’s ex-boyfriend and the author very kindly gives a hint that his name starts with “A”. Thanks. Don’t even have to click a link and read anything, just scroll through the 4 names to see who starts with A. That would be Alex. So I choose d – Alex. Wrong? What! How can that be? The Romance Reviews informs me the correct answer is a: James. Really? That name starts with a J. I read the hint again. “His name starts with an A!” How could I possibly get that answer wrong. The other 3 names start with the letters J, M, and P.

The instructions the author receives from The Romance Reviews is to provide a link where the answer can be found. The author is also instructed that the choices should have one correct answer and the other 3 should be very obviously wrong. To me that means don’t confuse the player by throwing in a bunch of names that are in the excerpt as part of the answers.

Who’s had it with trick questions? What’s going on here? Does the author get brownie points when they fool a reader into choosing the incorrect answer? A special prize from The Romance Reviews for tricking Splash Party players?

No. I can tell you that The Romance Reviews does not supply authors with a list of how many players answered the question correctly or the breakdown of how many players chose a,b,c, or d. Nor any way-to-go prize for tricking players into choosing the wrong answer.

The Splash Party is supposed to be fun. Make it easy on the players. What happens when the author tricks a player or makes them jump through hoops or make an incorrect guess. Does the author think that’s going to make the reader love them? Win over a new fan? Nope. When the author tricks the player or provides a bogus link so the player makes an incorrect guess and doesn’t earn any game points, that only alienates potential readers and the author loses a sale. I know who I’m not going to buy a book from. Why go out of your way to piss off a potential reader and buyer of your books?

If you liked reading this and have been tricked by those bogus links, how about taking a few minutes to check out my author page on Amazon. I have three romance novels and two novels in a cozy mystery series that have some romance. You can read the first chapters of all my books on Amazon’s preview. I hope you’ll like one of them enough to give it a try!

I’ll give a quick plug to my latest novel, The Movie Star’s Son, available on Kindle for .99¢. It’s a sweet romance, 55,000 words, about a runaway girlfriend.

Back to the Year End Splash Party. In my novel Ringer the horse that Holly is leading out of the barn is named Meadow Prancer.

The 3 other horses taking part in the multiple choice question are real life Standardbred racehorses I’ve owned over the years.

Thanks for playing The Romance Reviews Year End Splash Party and good luck!

 

The Romance Reviews Year End Splash Party 2013

TRR 2013 year end splash party

The Romance Reviews is holding their year end Splash Party from November 1 to 30, 2013. It’s free to sign up and play http://www.theromancereviews.com/event.php

There are hundreds of romance books available to be won – winners every week! Plus there will be a grand prize and several runner up prizes that are usually Amazon gift cards or gift cards to book publishers. Answer different daily questions based on the author’s novel and hints will be given for chances to win. My novel Ringer will be one of the giveaways.

Good luck!

The Movie Star’s Son – now available!

Cover The Movie Star's Son

 

Now available as a Kindle ebook on Amazon for .99¢ – my latest romance novel The Movie Star’s Son!

The Movie Star’s Son was the first romance novel I wrote and originally titled Lifeguard Affair. If you like Seattle, the beaches in Los Angeles and Del Mar, and visiting Hearst Castle, then reading Chris and Dave’s love story is a must on your to-be-read list.

Girls dream of growing up and marrying a movie star, but how many have their sights set on his son?

When Chris Stewart rescues actor Ben Jenkins from the ocean, she doesn’t know his son Dave is the nasty lifeguard who busted in her truck window. When they meet up again, Dave knows he’s found the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with and convinces Chris to leave Seattle and join him in Los Angeles.

Dave is everything Chris has been looking for in a man, and the Los Angeles life is perfect – beaches, surfing, movie stars, sunshine, palm trees, and falling in love. When their pasts catch up to tear them apart and cut their story tale romance short, Chris decides to start a new life on California’s central coast. She didn’t count on Dave’s determination to keep searching for her and bring her home.

A lost dog and a surfing accident bring Chris and Dave back together, but can they put the past behind them for a Hollywood happy ending?

 

Excerpt:

Squinting her eyes against the glare of the strong Southern California sun reflecting off the ocean, Chris saw an older man flailing his arms, bobbing helplessly as two to three foot waves washed over him, sucking him under and then spitting him back to the surface. Tossing her shoes onto the sand, Chris yelled at her dog to stay, and ran into the surf. Seeing as how she used to be a lifeguard for the City of Seattle, her old instincts kicked in and she knew she had to do everything in her power to get this man to safety. Breakers crashed over her and she lost sight of the man. Just when she was beginning to question her sanity and wondering if he had made it safely back to shore, Chris rode the crest of a wave, and spotted him struggling in the water.

“Hold on! I’m coming!” She hoped he heard her over the thundering surf.

He turned to her and their eyes locked, his full of fear and hers bulging wide with adrenaline.

“Help!” he cried.

Within moments Chris reached him. “Are you hurt?”

“No.” He gasped for breath. “I’m tired. The ocean’s stronger than usual and I can’t get back to shore.”

“Is anyone else with you?” Chris fervently hoped she wouldn’t have to do a double rescue.

“No.”

“Okay, roll on your back and I’ll tow you in to shore.” There was something familiar about this man. She wrapped her right arm across his chest and kicked for shore. “My name’s Chris. What’s yours?”

“Ben.”

She stared more closely at him. Ben? Not the TV and movie star Ben Jenkins! She’d been watching him in movies and on television since she was a little kid. Wow! Who would ever believe this? To keep him distracted while swimming back to shore, Chris asked him questions about his family. In-between uneven gasps of air he told her about his wife, his son who co-starred with him on a popular TV drama, another son, one daughter, and several grandchildren.

The current was strong. The waves tried to suck them back out to sea. Chris became tired and disillusionment washed over her. It seemed she was not making any progress and after a couple of moments of silence Ben spoke.

“This is useless. I’m in your way. Let go of me and save yourself. Swim back to shore.”

Right, Chris said to herself. I really want to be known as the person who let Ben Jenkins drown. Even though she was tiring, there was no doubt in her mind that she would get both of them safely back to shore.

“Nope, we’re going to do this together. You help me by kicking.”

The little extra help on Ben’s part or perhaps a sudden lull in the waves did the trick. The ocean momentarily seized its grip on them, and encouraged that the safety of the beach was close, they found a renewed energy. It was a short-lived reprieve. One strong wave reared and pounded them into the unforgiving Pacific. They were sucked underwater, caught in a tumbling spiral. Chris held on tight to Ben, and just when it seemed she couldn’t hold her breath much longer, the ocean spat them out.

* * * *

Read a free sneak preview on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/The-Movie-Stars-Son-ebook/dp/B00EYME894/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1379018004&sr=1-5

 

Recipes My Mother Forgot – now released as eBook!

Recipes My mother Forgot

Recipes My Mother Forgot … family style cooking and a caregiver’s guide to Alzheimer’s Disease was originally published in 2000.

It is now available as an ebook at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EMKF7XO

My mother was a great cook and she travelled all over the world recreating the recipes she tried abroad. She wrote her recipes in a cookbook and eventually transcribed them all over to a word processor. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in the 1990’s and didn’t cook any more. And a good thing too because we never knew what might end up in the food. One day she was getting ready to cook and had a bottle of kitchen cleanser on the counter with her. I’m not sure if that was intended to be a garnish!

After my mother went into extended care I took her recipes and compiled them into a cookbook, complete with a layman’s guide to Alzheimer’s, tips for caregivers, and some of the things my mother did as Alzheimer’s disease took over her life such as how to test croissants for freshness. Yes – in a major grocery store my 75 year old mother was poking her finger into the croissants in the bakery section!

A sneak peek to Recipes My Mother Forgot can be read at Amazon.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

Isobel Rhodes enjoyed entertaining, hosting fancy dinner parties, and cooking until she faced an adversary known as Alzheimer’s disease. No longer able to cook, her recipes have been compiled by her daughter in an extraordinary journal sharing scrumptious meal ideas and an insider’s look into the challenges of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease.

Featuring 108 recipes such as Party Soup, Creole Style Fish, Chopstick Tuna Casserole, Snow Crab Casserole, Vegetarian Lasagna, Nanaimo Bars, and Broken Glass Cake, you can put together a meal while reading about Isobel’s passion for cooking and her struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Tubbed to Death now available!

Tubbed to Death cover

 

My latest novel, Tubbed to Death, the 2nd in the Horse Sense Mysteries is now available as an ebook on Amazon!

Here’s an excerpt:

“Hey, let’s find out if your swipe card really works everywhere in the hotel. We can go in the spa and have a private hot tub.” I stopped in front of Grant, wrapped my arms around his waist, and gave him a kiss. I guess those two Irish creams were making me more lovey dovey than usual. “There’s no one around to disturb us. We can finish what we started earlier.”

Grant grinned at me. I could see he was considering it. I stood on tip toe and gave him another kiss. “Come on, it’ll be fun.”

“Okay, let’s do it. Oh, what about the dog? We’ll have to take her upstairs.”

“No, just bring her in the room with us. We’ll tell her not to watch.”

He laughed and took my hand. We walked past the deserted outdoor pools. What’s with the hotel guests? No one wants a midnight dip. What a bunch of old fuddy duddies. We walked to the spa entrance and Grant held his swipe card against the reader. It beeped and turned green.

“So far, so good,” he said, and opened the door and pulled me and Judy inside. There were a couple of dim lights illuminating the interior of the spa, enough to show us the way to get around the corner and out of sight of anyone who might be walking past the door. No point in advertising that a break in was in progress. Though, was it really breaking in when you’re one of the hotel owners and have an access card reader in your possession? We giggled quietly at the silliness of the situation and at Judy’s toenails clicking against the tiled floors.

Grant opened the door to the first massage room and flicked on the light. “No good,” he said. “There’s no hot tub in here.”

Same story with the next two rooms.

“Maybe the only private hot tub is in the couple’s room,” I said.

“Yeah, let’s give that a try,” said Grant, and bypassed the next couple of rooms to open the door of the room where we’d had our massage. He flicked on the light, walked into the room, and then suddenly stopped. I bumped into him.

“Ouch,” I protested.

“Oh my God,” he whispered. He held up his arms to prevent me from coming further into the room. I saw around him anyway.

There was a man floating face down in the hot tub.