Tuesday, December 29, 2015


It's SWAY's release day!!!

I can't believe it's here. It's surreal, that's for sure. I actually have a book out in the world, like, available to buy and stuff.

So, what are you waiting for? GO BUY IT! Just kidding. But not really.

Seriously. How do you sell yourself? It's super awkward. I'm sure I'll figure out all this marketing stuff as I go along, but right now it's all very new and very weird and somewhat uncomfortable. For now, I'm doing the best I can.

And in case you want to know what my book is about (not that I haven't been posting about it AH-LOT lately), here's the deets. It's a modern-day retelling of PERSUASION by Jane Austen, set in LA. I'm giving away a signed paperback on Goodreads and another during the blog tour starting TODAY! (See the post below to check out the stops.) You can find both giveaways on the sidebar.
Also, LINKS! : Goodreads Amazon Barnes and Noble

She’d be happy to forget…if the past would just stop hitting “replay”.
Ava Elliot never thought she’d become a couch surfer. But with a freshly minted—and worthless—degree from Julliard, and her dad squandering the family fortune, what choice does she have?
Living with her old high school friends, though, has its own drawbacks. Especially when her ex-fiancĂ© Eric Wentworth drops back into her life. Eight years ago, she was too young, too scared of being poor, and too scared of her dad’s disapproval. Dumping him was a big mistake.
In the most ironic of role reversals, Eric is rolling in musical success, and Ava’s starting at the bottom to build her career. Worse, every song Eric sings is an arrow aimed straight for her regrets.
One encounter, one song too many, and Ava can’t go on like this. It’s time to tell Eric the truth, and make a choice. Finally let go of the past, or risk her heart for a second chance with her first love. If he can forgive her…and she can forgive herself. 
Product Warnings
Contains an actor whose kisses taste like chocolate, a pianist with scores of regret, and a sexy crooner who just wants his ex to cry him a river.

Monday, December 28, 2015


Tomorrow is the day that SWAY comes out into the world at last. !!! It's also the start of SWAY's blog tour. I'd like to give an advanced THANK YOU to everyone who has agreed to take part in the tour. The writing/blogging/reviewing community is truly amazing and I feel so lucky to be part of it. Stop by any of these blogs if you get the chance!

Here's a rundown of the sites taking part:

Spotlight at New LDS Fiction: December 29th
Excerpt at YA-NA Sisterhood: December 29th
Spotlight at Vanessa K. Eccles: December 29th
Guest Post at My Jane Austen Book Club: December 29th
Excerpt at So Little Time...: December 31st
Guest Post at Kristin Van Risseghem: January 3rd
Spotlight at The Nook: beginning of January
Guest Post at Laura Brown: January 4th
Guest Post at Monsters and Angels: January 4th
Spotlight at "Writing" Mom: beginning of January
Author Interview at Romance Done Write: January 7th
Guest Post at Perfecting the Craft: January 11th
Review and Guest Post at Delighted Reader: January 12th
Review at Half Agony, Half Hope
Review at Margie's Must Reads

There's a Rafflecopter giveaway happening- you can enter on the right of my blog, or at any of these stops as well. I'll be giving away one signed paperback of SWAY. Open internationally! Check out the tour if you get the chance and make sure to enter the giveaway!

She’d be happy to forget…if the past would just stop hitting “replay”.
Ava Elliot never thought she’d become a couch surfer. But with a freshly minted—and worthless—degree from Julliard, and her dad squandering the family fortune, what choice does she have?
Living with her old high school friends, though, has its own drawbacks. Especially when her ex-fiancĂ© Eric Wentworth drops back into her life. Eight years ago, she was too young, too scared of being poor, and too scared of her dad’s disapproval. Dumping him was a big mistake.
In the most ironic of role reversals, Eric is rolling in musical success, and Ava’s starting at the bottom to build her career. Worse, every song Eric sings is an arrow aimed straight for her regrets.
One encounter, one song too many, and Ava can’t go on like this. It’s time to tell Eric the truth, and make a choice. Finally let go of the past, or risk her heart for a second chance with her first love. If he can forgive her…and she can forgive herself. 
Product Warnings
Contains an actor whose kisses taste like chocolate, a pianist with scores of regret, and a sexy crooner who just wants his ex to cry him a river.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

I'm taking a week off from the blog/website to spend time with my family and enjoy the Christmas holidays. Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday, and I'll be back next week for the release of SWAY!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday Loves: Jane Austen

It's gotta be no secret that I'm a Jane Austen fan. My first published book is a retelling of one of her novels.

My love affair with her work started off in high school, when my sister got me into the BBC version of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. I read that book first, and then it took me a few years to read through the rest of her work. I've also read a few biographies, and lots and lots of retellings of her work and novelizations of her life. I've watched every version of every movie ever made based on her books (except maybe some black and white ones) and own most of them. I even own a dress that looks very regency, despite the fact that it's black and I bought it at Ross. I'm not quite as superfangirl as Jane in Austenland (love that book/movie) but I would never deny my love.

Jane's bedroom in Austenland

I'm talking about Jane Austen today not only because SWAY is less than two weeks from debut (eek!) but because Jane Austen's birthday was December 16th (the same day as my oldest daughter's). It seems only fitting that I pay my respects to one of my favorite authors.

I could wax eloquent about her work, the impact it has had and still has on society, I could talk about what I admire in Jane herself... If I was more scholarly, this would be an essay complete with footnotes and famous quotes. But I'm not scholarly. I love Jane Austen's novels because I just do. The best way to show my love is to post this video, which I didn't even make, but I think is a beautiful tribute to the author and her work.

Monday, December 14, 2015


Well, I did it. I finally finished my reread of Harry Potter. It's a bittersweet ending. I read and read and read those books, knowing what happens but still feverishly tearing through the chapters, wanting to devour it all. Then I reach then end but I no longer want it to be over. :(

DEATHLY HALLOWS is still amazing. I still love every chapter. I loved the first DH movie and can't wait to watch the second part if we ever get a chance (it's been so busy around here lately). I'm sad to be leaving the world again but I know one day I'll go back to it because they're the kind of books I could never leave behind.

Do you have any book series that are like that for you?

Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday Loves: Fashion and Full Skirts

I am definitely no fashionista, but I appreciate fashion. I follow it. One of my favorite magazines to read is People StyleWatch because it's user friendly. It's not a highbrow mag for sure, but I love the way it's laid out and a lot of what it features is affordable to the regular gal like me. 
When I say I'm not a fashionista, it's because I'm not a trendsetter. I've always worn what I feel good and comfortable in, and sometimes that's jeans and a tee, and sometimes it's a dress with heels. The reason I read magazines like Stylewatch is that I need the ideas. I need to see how outfits are put together- I usually can't visualize that kind of stuff on my own. Fashion is like cooking for me- I need the recipe to make it turn out right. Sometimes I can wing it, but usually I stick to what's proven.
Lately I've started feeling more comfortable going a little outside the box, or my box maybe. I've gotten a little more daring about trying different things. (I remember the days when skinny jeans were tapered 80s jeans and no one in their right mind would wear them, including me. I've definitely changed my tune on that.)  I like to try different things and I care way less what people think of me, these days. I've read time and time again that great style is having confidence in what you're wearing, and I definitely buy into that.
One of the "looks" I'm really into right now is the 50s full skirt. I think they are so classy and beautiful that I'm wearing one to my husband's Christmas party tonight like I did last year. (This might be a faux pas but I don't care. Besides, it's a completely different outfit.) This is the look I'm going for:
This is sort of the look I'm going for, just darker, less pastel. Pic taken from the Lace and Locks blog.
Are you into fashion? What looks are you really loving these days?

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wednesday Writes: A Flat Stanley Road Trip

I haven't done one word of writing so far in December. Yikes. I need to get outlining my new WIP, but I haven't done that either. Double yikes.

It's been a busy December so far, though. I've been rereading Harry Potter, organizing a blog tour and other stuff for SWAY's release at the end of the month, and taking part in marketing for the short story anthology THEN COMES WINTER.

Speaking of that, the authors and editor in the anthology are doing a sort of Flat Stanley like thing with the book. It started with the editor in Washington State, went to an author in Vancouver, and then on to me. We each sign the book, take pictures with the book somewhere interesting, put a little gift in the package, and then mail it on. I received it last Friday and took the book downtown Calgary on Saturday for some pictures. It was a chilly day, and my poor 8-year-old who wanted to come with me wasn't wearing a proper coat (she'd decided to dress up like a cowgirl that day so only had on a jean jacket). We both shivered and took some pics as fast as we could so we wouldn't freeze. Another bummer was that even though it was cold, there was barely any snow on the ground, which made Calgary look a bit brown and drab. Boo. It would've been fun if it was snowing to take a picture with the book while doing a snow angel or something. Very THEN COMES WINTER-ish. But no dice. The third bummer was that I wanted to take some pics inside the Stampede grounds, but it cost $15 just to drive in there and park and that wasn't happening. (FYI- the Calgary Stampede is a very famous rodeo that happens every summer.) So instead we took a quick snap outside the grounds in front of a decorative chuckwagon.

I sent the book- with a real Canadian toque and one of my SWAY cards- on to the next author in Ontario. If you want to check out the road trip so far, go to the Meryton Press website, or see my pics below.
Downtown Calgary skyline, the Saddledome where the Calgary Flames play hockey is on the left

Me, the book, and a chuckwagon advertising next year's Stampede

I don't know why this pic isn't facing the right way, but it's my signature over my story, a toque, and a SWAY card

Monday, December 7, 2015

Monday Reads: More Harry Potter!

So I took an unplanned hiatus from my blog last week. I didn't really mean to, I just couldn't get my act in gear for some reason. Also, I didn't feel like I had much to say. Ever have one of those weeks? I've had many. Or, at least I might have something to say, but I don't find it all that interesting.

Anyway, in the past couple of weeks I've almost finished the Harry Potter series. I read HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, and HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE.

There isn't much for me to say about these books. I've already gushed about how awesome they are, which everyone already knows (and if you don't know that, GO READ THEM NOW. Seriously. It still surprises me that there are people in this world who haven't read them). ORDER OF THE PHOENIX is a bit long, and I feel a little less tension filled, but I enjoyed every second of it. And I LOVE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE. I read a review somewhere after I'd finished it this time how someone didn't like all the teenage angst and hormones, but I think it made it real. The book isn't just about Voldemort, or the Horcruxes, or the wizard war. We're still dealing with sixteen-year-olds here, so of course there's going to be relationship drama. I love it. And I especially love the moment in the movie when Harry has taken Felix Felicis. One of my favorite parts, for sure.

I'm currently about halfway through DEATHLY HALLOWS and, again, loving it just as much as I did the first time. We watched Part 1 the movie last night and I love the part where Harry and Hermione dance. It's so lovely (and not in a Rita Skeeter sounding way). Frankly, I'm going to be sad when I'm done this reread because that means another few years until I enter the Harry Potter world again.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Friday Loves: HARRY POTTER

Well, it's obvious this was coming. I'm rereading the Harry Potter series, rewatching the movies... so OF COURSE I have to use it for a Friday Loves post. And instead of gushing on and on about it, because everyone already knows it's awesome, I'm going to show my love with GIFS!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wednesday Writes: The Start of Book 3

Well, I still haven't done any writing. But I don't feel like a slacker, not at all. Last week, I took part in a week-long Facebook event for the launch of THEN COMES WINTER (an Austenesque holiday anthology in which I have a short story). I only hosted for an hour but I tried to take part as much as I could during the week. It was the first time I've done anything like that and I had a lot of fun, so I'm so glad I got to be a part of it all.

Facebook Party Time

I've also decided on ROMANCE BOOK #3. Book #1 is of course, SWAY, which comes out in just over a month! Book #2 is COLLIDE, which is currently with my CPs. I'd like to make it a round three books, but I had no clue what classic I wanted to retell this time. But I found it!

I'm going to keep it on the DL for now because I feel like if I blab, I'll jinx something. But for now, I'm planning on just how to write it, how I'm going to tie-in both SWAY and COLLIDE, the format of the book (because I want to do something a little different than the last two), and then I'm going to get outlining. I'm super excited about this... I think it's gonna be good!

Monday, November 23, 2015


Another great reading week, but I'm reading HARRY POTTER so what do you expect?

I loved GOBLET OF FIRE, of course. It's where the books start to get a little more grown-up. As always, JK Rowling does a fantabulous twist, and even though I knew what it was, it's still exciting to read to that big reveal!

After I finished GOBLET, my daughter was still on ORDER OF THE PHOENIX and I had a reserve come in at the library, so I took a brief break from HP to read DUMPLIN' by Julie Murphy.

I loved this book, like so much. The only thing that disappointed me was the end. I wanted more. It ended way too abruptly, IMO. Otherwise, EXCELLENT book, and one I want all my daughters to read when they get older. The things Willowdean thinks about her body are so spot on- there were times when I was like, YES. SHE GETS IT. I think all women, no matter their size, would be able to relate. A definite must read.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Loves: The Hunger Games

Since the last Mockingjay movie is coming out, I kinda wanted to reread the series, but decided to pass, mainly because I'm doing a Harry Potter reread right now and have no time. But I decided to do a rewatch of the movies in prep for when I see Mockingjay Part 2 this weekend.

I gotta say, as far as books-to-movies go, the Hunger Games movies are some of the best. In fact, I almost prefer the movies to the books (don't tell anyone I said that), although there are some really great lines in the books, mostly said by Peeta.

The actors are all phenomenal, and I can't wait to see the series wrap up on the big screen.

Are you looking forward to Mockingjay Part 2?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wednesday Writes: Er, Not Really

I finished up revisions on COLLIDE and sent it off to my wonderful CPs. Now I'm thinking of book 3 and what I will possible write about. Even though SWAY and COLLIDE aren't an actual series, they are both retellings of classics, and a couple of characters from SWAY make a brief appearance in COLLIDE. I want to continue with that theme for book 3 (three books total sounds right), but at this point I have no idea what classic I want to retell.

I did PERSUASION in the first place because I love that book, LOVED the movie version, and felt like it would make a great modern day story. NORTH & SOUTH is also a favorite, and even though it was a lot harder to put that story in a modern setting, I loved writing every minute of it. But what to do next?

I don't want to pick just any random classic. The story has to be one that I really FEEL, even if I don't love it. And it has to translate to modern times. I thought at first about doing a Dickens, so I watched GREAT EXPECTATIONS and then NICHOLAS NICKLEBY, both faves of mine. The problem with Dickens, or maybe the great thing about Dickens, is that his stories are so much more than love stories, and to cut out those other elements would seem untrue. (I already feel like I did this a bit with COLLIDE/NORTH&SOUTH.)

So I put it to Facebook, asking for people's fave classic love stories. GONE WITH THE WIND was the top, but to be honest, I don't even want to touch that. Also, that book isn't really a romance to me, probably because of the end, which I've never liked anyway. (Sorry, GWTW fans.)

I don't want to do something obvious and overdone, like PRIDE & PREJUDICE, ROMEO & JULIET, or JANE EYRE. As much as I love Jane Austen, I don't want to do another of hers either.

So where does that leave me??? Well, I have a few ideas, nothing concrete yet. My writing time right now is being taken up by watching movie adaptations of classic romances to find the one that really sings. Hopefully this won't take longer than this week so I can start writing next week, or at the latest, the beginning of December.

Any classic romance recommendations for me?

Monday, November 16, 2015


I'm still reading my way through Harry Potter. I read PRISONER OF AZKABAN this week, and I loved it as much as I did the first time. PoA is one of my favorites, though I'm not sure why. One of the reasons could be it was the book that really hooked me. While I liked the first two a lot, I think PoA really swept me up into the world and the fandom. Also, as a kid I wanted to write a story about wizards who can change into animals and this book does that but in a really fun yet unexpected way. Plus I LOVE the Marauder's Map. It still disappoints me when I watch the movie that Lupin never explains to Harry who Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs are.

Anyway, I'm on GOBLET OF FIRE right now, and my oldest daughter is also rereading her way through- she's on book 5. We're also watching the movies as we go. I'm fast getting sucked into the Harry Potter world. I was thinking about why I love the books so much and there are probably a lot of reasons, but world building is a huge one. JK Rowling does such a great job building a world that is magical yet feels so real, feels like it could actually exist out there somewhere. Makes me feel like I might still get my letter for Hogwarts one day... One can always dream, right?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


In lieu of a writing post today, I want to briefly express my gratitude for those who have fought for my wonderful country, and those who have fought for freedom all around the world. In my opinion, no one says it better than John McRae:

I know I post this song every year, but I love it so much. I don't just listen to it on Remembrance Day, it's in my regular playlist and it brings tears to my eyes every time.

Please take two minutes at 11am today to remember the sacrifices of so many.

Monday, November 9, 2015


It was a great reading week! (Which I LOVE.)

I read MORE THAN MAGIC, a fellow Samhain book by Donna June Cooper. Here's the premise:

DEA agent Nick McKennitt is sure magic exists—a dangerous drug called Smoky Mountain Magic that’s wreaking havoc on the streets of Atlanta. He’s also sure that locating and eliminating the source could mean his death.

When he arrives undercover on Woodruff Mountain, the beautiful owner’s anxious attempts to scare him off tell him something’s afoot, and it’s not her secret patch of a rare, ancient species of ginseng.

As her dream of seeking medicinal plants in the Amazon fades into the distance, Grace Woodruff struggles to come to terms with an inherited magical gift she didn’t want, and searches desperately for the meaning behind her late grandfather’s final, cryptic message. 

The last thing she needs underfoot is a handsome, enigmatic writer recovering from a recent illness. Until an accidental touch unleashes a stunning mystical force and Grace senses the wrath of a malicious blight at the heart of the mountain. Now she must choose between her need to hide her gift from the world…and her desire to save Nick’s life.

This book was excellent. There were secrets from the start that I wanted the answers to. The world-building was excellent- grounded in our world with just a hint of magic and some science mixed in. I loved the love story between Grace and Nick- even though the book only took place over a few days, the love story had a slow build which I loved. I read the book in two nights because it was a definite page-turner.

I'm also doing a Harry Potter reread. Last week I read THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE and THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS. I LOVE LOVE LOVE being back in the world of Harry Potter. It feels like being back with an old friend again, and I'm quickly slipping into fangirldom. That's what Harry Potter does to me. 

Friday, November 6, 2015


This past spring I wrote a short story called BECOMING FANNY and entered it into a Jane Austen-themed holiday romance anthology contest. I ended up being chosen as First Runner-Up, which means BECOMING FANNY will be featured in the anthology coming out before Christmas!

This past Tuesday was the cover reveal for THEN COMES WINTER, the title of the anthology, and I think it's really adorable. The cover kinda fits with my personal story, and I love how there's Jane Austen writing below the picture (taken from EMMA).

The authors and editor of the anthology will be hosting a weeklong Facebook party from November 16th-20th to celebrate the launch, with tons of giveaways and swag, including an advanced e-copy of my book SWAY! Come check us out if you get the chance.

BECOMING FANNY is MANSFIELD PARK meets HOLIDAY INN. Blair McTavish loves quizzes. But when she does “Which Jane Austen Heroine Are You?” and gets Fanny Price, she’s disappointed. Blair wants to be Elizabeth Bennet, not Fanny. After all, Fanny wouldn’t leave her dysfunctional family over Christmas to perform in a musical with complete strangers.

But every time Blair tries to be more like Elizabeth, things go horribly wrong. If Blair doesn’t figure out who she really is, this Christmas will be rotten, just like all the rest. Or maybe, if she can learn to be happy with herself, it may just be the best Christmas ever.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Wednesday Writes: Some Editor Love

Last January, I had a HUGE decision to make: which publishing contract out of three should I accept?

I took this decision very seriously, and it was super hard to make. Like most decisions, I had no idea what the final outcome would be so I had to do a lot of research, and then go with my gut.

One of the things that made this decision slightly easier, was that my editor from Samhain contacted me directly. He was the one to offer. He told me up front what his editing style is like, and we had very brief email chitchats back and forth before I made my decision. From that little intro alone, I knew this was someone I could work with, and that was one of the reasons I went with Samhain Publishing.

Not that I wasn't super super nervous to get that first editing letter. I'd heard of twenty-page long epistles detailing everything wrong about an author's manuscript, and I was dying worrying I'd get one of these. Not that I wasn't ready to roll up my sleeves, but still... nerves. My edits weren't quite so long *phew*, and they were spot on. I think I agreed with almost everything my editor said, and not because I was trying to be easygoing. He was just right. It was so easy to work with him and I count myself lucky that I had such a talented editor look over my work and make it better. The best thing about him though, was that he really brought the funny to this manuscript. Out of six unpublished works, this was by far my most serious, and my most quiet. I did have a few lighter moments, but I'm not gonna lie, it's a kinda angsty book, in an adult way. So I love that my editor helped me create some laugh out loud moments.

To Noah Chinn, I'm grateful to have you as my editor, and I hope I don't drive you too crazy. ;)