November - a month in review

Wow - November flew by in a flash. Already December is knocking on the door, good thing I am starting to prepare for it. Are you? Our tree is up, the cards are signed (and mostly mailed) and the little people (nieces, nephews, kids) are all purchased and wrapped. Just a few adult gifts to purchase remain. Hopefully, I'll have time to do some Christmas baking, and if not, that's what the bakery is for, am I right?
What are you plans for Christmas? Do you have any traditions?

So what have I been up to professionally?
In October I wrote a short 45K novel, featuring Jasper and Jade (they've had a couple of name changes but these names are much more fitting to the characters) a Bohemian and a straight laced lady. This is the first book of a brand new series, affectionately titled the Westside Series, about a group of servers searching for love.

For the month of November, I set daily word goals as part of NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month) and wrote the second book in the series. It's not finished yet, as I still need to wrap up the ending. But it's an amazing love story, and won't be quite what you think. ;) You'll see. The story revolves around one of Jade's co-workers named Evanora, and her journey to love and acceptance. My plan is to finish it up before Christmas so it can hit beta readers and my critique partner in the new year. If all goes well, I want to release the entire series before the end of 2018. Wish me luck.  

Interested in being one of the first to see sneak peeks, promos, blurbs and more? Join my special group where all the news about this series will release FIRST. :)  You won't want to miss it. 

And personally, in the month of November, I got some great news as far as my youngest son's health, after a nightmare-ish health scare. Had to deal with a bully who attacked my oldest son at school, and ended the month with bad news about another family member. That's my three, right?  My anxiety has reached epic levels and I'm not sleeping much. Really, some good news would be most welcome and that's my Christmas wish - health and happiness for everyone. 

Thanks for reading and see you in the brand new year! :)

Check it Out - #NewRelease from Emma Tharp

Keeping It Casual by Emma Tharp

Now available for free! 

Amazon UK: Amazon AU: Amazon US:

It started with a proposition: one night.

But Reid Livingston’s steel eyes, hot as hell body, and alpha male attitude tempt Mia to accept his second proposition. A no-strings attached relationship while he’s in town.

Mia thinks she can do it. She’s in no position to start a new relationship anyway. But when she starts seeing his sweet, thoughtful side, the one that takes care of her and starts healing her, she knows she’s falling for him. Who’s going to be there to pick her up when he leaves town - and her - behind?

Mia thought she was strong, thought she could keep it casual.
 Turns out she was wrong.

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The Aurora Trilogy is complete

It started with a standalone (Duly Noted), a story about a girl-Aurora, her prescription drug addiction, and her fear of cars that gave her vehicular PTSD. I thought was over when I got to the final page. Turns out I was wrong. 
Something inside my brain was tickling that I hadn't told the whole story. In a whirlwind, That Summer fell out of me. It explained so much more, and delved even deeper into Aurora's PTSD but the end result was that it also made her question so much more. Hmm... what to do? 
It took a while longer, but finally the rest of the story came to light. And it made so much more sense. It explored her addictions, and her need for something stronger. Her new drug became something else she hadn't expected, but it turned her life around and gave her hope. The final pages of If You Say Yes showcase her true happiness, something she never expected to find. 
It took three stories spanning seven months to show her complete growth, from sassy and closed off to a woman who's ready to explore and finally live her life. 

Duly Noted (book 1)- on sale until Dec 1 for $0.99 US 

The blurb and the cast of characters await you here
You can also read the first chapter here

That Summer (book 2) - on sale until Dec 1 for $0.99 US

If You Say Yes (book 3) - on sale until Dec 1 for $2.99 US 

Want to be the first to know about new stories, cover releases, teasers and more? 

Join my StarGazing Romantics Group on FB for exclusive content. 

If You Say Yes - Playlist

Seems to be a trend, where curious readers want to know what you were listening to when you wrote your book, maybe to get a general feel for the mood and tone.

For my latest book--If You Say Yes--there were plenty of romantic moments, and accordingly, a lot of music played into that.

Here's a brief list of some songs that captured certain scenes.
  1. James Arthur - Say You Won't Let Go
  2. Shawn Mendes - Mercy
  3. Taylor Swift - Love Song
  4. Christina Perri - Human
  5. Rachel Platten - Fight Song
  6. Ellie Goulding - Love Me Like You Do
  7. Ed Sheeran - Thinking Out Loud 
  8. Taylor Swift - Stay Stay Stay
  9. Evanescene - My Immortal 
  10. Shawn Mendes - Treat You Better
  11. Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars
  12. Pink - Just Give Me  A Reason 
  13. Christina Perri - Arms
  14. Taylor Swift - All Too Well 
Any favourites in the list? 

October -- A Month in Review

It's November 1st, which for many authors (myself included) is the start to NaNoWriMo--National November Writing Month. The goal is to get 50,000 words down in one month. It's fun, exhausting but completely amazing. But that's for next month's blog post. ;)

October was a whirlwind month, mostly as a month spent behind the scenes.
Promo spots are booked for the upcoming release If You Say Yes, coming out Nov 17th. A few wonderful authors (Magali A. Frechette, Emma Tharp, Em Shotwell <- give them some love!) are going to help me out too. How great is this community of writers?

It took a bit of back and forth, but I got a cover designed nineteen days before release. So much for a slow cover release, eh? Oh well, lesson learned for the next one. But she did a great job, wouldn't you agree?

And speaking of next one, a short story turned novella turned short novel fell out of me in October. It's sitting around 50K (before any editing), and features a female lead more in line with me than any character I've written before. She's definitely no Aurora and light years away from Charlotte. The male lead? Totally different than Jack or Andrew, or Nate or Lucas, but just as lovable. I'm debating how to release this one, and when. I could post a chapter a week on my blog like the uber-talented Anya Rousselle, or release it around Valentine's Day as a quick read. Thoughts? Ideas?

Well, off to write the next story for NaNo. I'm going to try something new. Rather than a set or a trilogy, I'm writing a series. Each novel about a set of characters, with their own plot line(s), but each as a standalone. Should be fun. I hope. We'll see.

Thanks for reading.

10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Me...

I hate and fear thunderstorms. I have cleared a queen size bed when an unexpected bolt lit up the bedroom window and scared the tears right out of me. They cause me massive anxiety, especially the nighttime ones. Bad things happen in the dark and combined with thunder and lightning, it’s just plain nasty. I’m a total wreck when one wakes me up in the middle of the night.

I love my McD’s coffee. Probably makes me less of a Canadian to not covet the iconic Tim Horton’s – but seriously, I find their coffee disgusting. To each their own, right? If I meet someone there (at Timmy’s) I’ll have an ice cap or a French vanilla, or a tea, but never the coffee.  

I always wanted three children. Growing up, I had fantasies of three kids, a boy and then two girls—because a girl needs a sister, and the sisters need a big brother. Yep, too many teenage novels influenced that thought I’m sure. Although I never had my three kids, and I never had a daughter, I could never imagine my life without my two sons. Now I get to be Queen of the household and I don’t have to share the spotlight.

I hate the spotlight. Ironic, given my last statement. But I really do. I don’t share my birthday at work (and am grateful when they respect that!) and I don’t post about it on social media. I don’t like talking about myself in general as I find I’m not that exciting. But I have zero issue chatting you up about your life, and taking in all the juicy details. Where do you think I get my story ideas from? Just kidding. Or am I? LOL.

I read a lot of kids books. I have to in my job. Kids want recommendations, and although word of mouth works wonders, so does actually having read the book because then I can pick their brains and ask what they liked or didn’t like about a character or about a character’s decision. I love getting kids to talk about books. And I love getting them excited to want to read a book. Kids who read lots tend to be less troublesome. 😉  

I’m not a morning person. Like at all. I need to mentally prepare myself for waking up. My alarm goes off every nine minutes a few times each morning in hopes of rousing me to full awake. The weekend? Better be a damn good reason to wake me up, otherwise I’ll be sleeping in until about 8:30 or 9.

My favourite colours are blue and yellow. The blue I adore borders on the edges between blue and purple, a royal kind of colour. Majestic and loyal. The yellow that interests me is a bright and bold ray of sunshine. It’s happy and vivid, much like me when the sun’s out. 

I’m a sucker for a feel good romantic comedy. Something like The Princess Bride or While You Were Sleeping and I’m all in. If it makes me cry the ugly cry (thank you very much August and Hazel), then it’s a definite favourite. The Empire Strikes Back may not be considered a romance film, but there are a lot of romantic elements at play and the witty banter between Han and Leia – classic. 😊 

In my before children life, I was a nanny. Over the course of a few years, I nannied for three separate families, and one family captured my heart completely. Those three children are now grown up, but I think of them and refer to them as my ‘first kids’. We keep in touch (and I just recently went to the oldest’s wedding), meet for lunches and they come for visits. Who knew when I landed that job, that they’d have such a wonderful impact on my life. Recently, I took a photo my first kids and my biological kids all posing together. It’s priceless to me.

Star Wars is better than Star Trek. There I said it and now I will run. LOL. Don’t get me wrong, ST:TNG was the best, and Captain Picard can kick Captain Kirk’s ass any day of the week, but Han Solo is wayyy better, IMHO.

Did you learn anything new about me?

Half My Life Ago

Today -- October 5, 2017 -- marks a halfway point in my life - a line divided into the Before Hubs, and After Hubs. It's a tipping point for one day only.

As of today, I have been with my husband for half my life.


Who knew when I asked that cowboy, after a night of dancing at Esmeralda's to come to my birthday party at my parents, that it would turn into something more? If he never came to the bar that night, would the future have turned out the way it did? Would we ever have gotten together? It's fun to think about, although I'm glad it worked out the way it did.

Half my life ago, I was someone completely different. I was single, and working at the Science Centre, where my hourly earnings were $8 ish per hour (and I thought that was HUGE money). I lived on my own in a basement suite where rent was $300 a month. What?? I know right??

A few things have changed since that point.
I've had many jobs in many different fields (Customer Service Rep, nanny, teacher, doula, librarian, author)
I've lived in seven different residences, all within Edmonton.
I've had five different vehicles.
I've put on some weight (lol! we'll go with 'some')
We became parents six years after our wedding, and added to that 33 months later.
We've travelled to Mexico, Cuba, Vegas and Toronto, along with many trips to BC and within AB.

Looking back, we had a few tough spots. Job loss can test the strongest marriage, and infertility can strain it even more. But we survived. For now. ;) We have an almost teenage son and one waiting in the wings. Some say that's the truest test of a marriage, but we'll see.

I'm very interested in the next doubling of my life, when I'm a frail old grandma. It's interesting to me to think about how much my life will change in those years. I can't even imagine, just like when I was twenty-one. Who knew what that doubling of my life would bring.

Happy dating anniversay, Hubs!