Posted in Special days

Monday Musings: Return to Gilligan’s Island

Mitch and IvanGood morning. Well, summer is definitely here and this weekend we had the pleasure of spending time with my sister and brother-in-law at their riverside home.  Thanks to the glorious weather, we went out on their pontoon boat and enjoyed the cool breezes off the St. Lawrence River.  Food and company were awesome.

On Saturday night, we joined them at a neighborhood themed costume party. Mitch and I spent the morning scouring dollar stores and Value village for the right accoutrements to match our costumes.

Gilligan's Island originalWho remembers Gilligan’s Island? The show ran in the early sixties, but was popular in syndication for years afterwards.  The characters included the skipper, Gilligan, his first mate,  the millionaire and his wife, Thurston Howell III and Lovey, a movie star, Ginger, a farm girl  Maryann, and the high school teacher known as the professor. Each week, the cast dealt with issues, many of which involved other people washing up on their island or crash landing there. Funny thing was, at the end of the episodes, the newest castaways always managed to escape the island leaving our bumbling group behind. The professor could create all manner of living conveniences from bamboo, but couldn’t build a decent raft.

The theme of the party was Gilligan’s island. People were encouraged to come costumed and bring a “drinking vessel.” Our little group of six decided to go as the skipper, Gilligan, the Howells, Maryann, and a “handsome stranger” washed up on the beach. We had a great time. In the foreground, you can see my wooden bowl and pitcher,and the top of my can of coconut milk–Maryann did look after the food preparation. Gilligan's island party.

Best of thanks to those who hosted the party and to my sister for housing and feeding us all weekend. Another great summer memory.

Do you enjoy role play parties? What’s the most unusual role you’ve ever taken on?

Looking for something to read this summer? Check out my books.



Posted in Special days

Happy Birthday, Canada. For 151, you look good.

purple red white and orange fireworks display
Photo by Public Domain Pictures on

Happy Canada Day to all of my friends and readers who have the honour and privilege of calling this great nation home. We may not be perfect, but we put 100% into everything we do. We open our hearts to those in need, and we care about peace, the environment, equal rights for all regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation.

Be proud to be Canadian. I am.

Posted in Special days

Saturday Surprise: Why Authors Need Reviews

deerWelcome to the last day of June, 2018. Summer has finally arrived bathing my part of Canada in sweltering heat. Am I complaining? No way. Winter lasts long enough in this part of the world that summer days are welcomed, but it is a mite warm today!

Usually at this time of year, we go camping. Alas, my camping days are behind me as the reality of a body full of arthritis makes sleeping outdoors an unpleasant chore, far outweighing the pleasures of the great outdoors. Instead, I’ll sit and relax in my own backyard and enjoy a campfire–yes, we have a permit–and then sleep in my own bed. No fuss, no muss, but I will miss seeing the deer.

I’ve decided to cut back on my writing over the summer and catch up on my reading and reviewing, as well as do some editing for another author, and take some ‘me’ time.

Yesterday, I released the last book in my Vengeance Is Mine Series.  It felt good to accomplish that task, even better when I saw that there were sales made, even if it did take me a couple of weeks longer to do it than I intended.

Just because I’m cutting back on the writing doesn’t mean I’m stopping. I’ll be taking a couple of weeks off to attend a family wedding out west, and then I’ll be back at work on The Price of Courage, posting in Tuesday Tales each week. I also have another book to release this summer. If you follow Tuesday Tales, you may recall Same Time Next Year, the book within a book, reminiscent of The Notebook that I started last year. I’m hoping to release it on August 1, 2018, and pray it’ll get the reviews it needs.

Books need reviews? They do. They need them as much as books need sales and pages read. Why? Because Amazon promotes books based on reviews as well as sales. You might choose a book without reading its reviews, but a lot of people use the reviews to help them select what to read. Good covers are essential, as are good blurbs and category choices, but more than anything, a book needs reviews. Unfortunately, getting them is as hard as herding cats.

As much as it tears an author’s heart open to read bad reviews, in a lot of case, those sell books, too, since people like to decide for themselves about things. More importantly, all reviews go toward the magic number needed to be able to advertise your books on the best platforms for maximum visibility.

Seriously? Advertisers don’t just grab your money and run? Not the best ones. Those have standards and people who pick and choose the books they want to promote. A spot with them can make or break an author, especially a new one like me.

So, the next time you finish a book, either a paperback or a kindle, consider leaving a review on Amazon–yes, they are a biggest e-book retailers with the most clout, and while they haven’t monopolized the industry yet, they’re damn close!

Reviews don’t have to be long. Amazon even offers guiding questions. You don’t have to summarize the plot, just focus on what you liked, or didn’t like about the book. You don’t even have to leave your name!

Don’t want to leave a review on a public platform? How about using a private one. My website has a space for reviews just waiting to be filled.  Check it out! Maybe you’ll find a book there to interest you.

Have a great weekend. Stay safe and hydrated, and remember, if you’ve read it, please take a minute to leave a review!

Posted in Special days

Thursday Treat: Small Town Book Fair

Over the last couple of months, it’s been my honor and privilege to be part of international books fairs and this month that continues with the Small Town Book Fair.

Banner Small Town Book Fair

Romance novels to fall in love with!

There’s nothing like escaping to a story set in a small town – somewhere in this beautiful world. Today we have a collection of Small Town Romances written by very talented authors.

We have stories from across the world, from New Zealand and Australia, to the States and Canada – I’m sure you’ll find some European stories in there as well. Books are free or priced between $0.99-$2.99 for the duration of the promotion.

All of the books available can be found here.

On His WatchI’m very pleased to offer my romantic thriller, On His Watch, Book One of the Vengeance Is Mine Series  for this book fair.  I have no doubt you’ll find excellent stories ideal for summer reading. So jump on board and pick up a book or two. The prices are perfect!

Blurb from On His Watch

You can’t outrun the past.
On leave from the FBI, Special Agent Jason Spark is enjoying some welcome peace and quiet when he’s called on to help the local sheriff’s department check out a 911 call. Expecting a prank or misdial, he unwittingly steps into a horrifying bloodbath straight out of a Hollywood slasher movie, complete with clues scrawled on the wall.
Nikki Hart’s husband and son are killed, but she survives, badly beaten and barely clinging to life in a coma. When she awakens, she doesn’t know her name, recognize her face, or remember anything about herself and her past. Terrified, and unsure of whom to trust, she clings to the memory of the angel who comforted her in her darkest moments.
The investigation turns up a prime suspect: The Butcher, an elusive hired assassin for the Sicilian mob. As the news of Nikki’s recovery spreads, putting her in this ruthless killer’s sights again, Jason will do whatever it takes to protect the woman he’s learning to love.
Nikki’s beginning to believe Jason might be the angel who protected her in her dreams. But when she learns about the secret role he played in the worst day of her life, can she ever forgive him?