New Sneak Peek

If you’ve read my latest “Ice” story publication, “A Crack in the Ice”, you might be familiar with the characters featured in my next story. I’m hoping to have this completed and ready for publication this spring or summer, but as always, I don’t make any promises!
Anyway, pop onto my Sneak Peeks page for a taste of what’s to come. The title is “Sugar and Ice.”

I hope everyone is enjoying what’s left of the weekend. As always, take care and happy reading.:)

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Publication News!

Hello and Happy Holidays!

I have exciting news to share. I’ve been working on something for AGES it seems, and it’s finally ready. Now available on Amazon Kindle, the fourth in my adventure/spy series, affectionately known as TAITS, Duty and Deception. It’s been extensively reworked and revamped and edited to within an inch of its life, and now it’s available to read once again. Read on for the book description or click this link to go right to the Amazon Kindle page to purchase.

DandD cover 2nd draft

“In the fourth book of the TAITS series, Cricket finally gets to show her teammates what she can do.

The smart, easy-going computer genius has always loved her place on the team, but lately, she feels like something’s missing. She convinces Rhodes to let her go on an undercover mission to bring in the guy who tried to kill her teammates in Montreal: Ivan Laratta. Cricket trains, studies his weaknesses and she knows she’s ready for anything. Anything but the way he makes her feel when they come face-to-face. Too bad he only knows her as Tabitha Cutter, mercenary-for-hire.

Ivan doesn’t know what to make of the mousy brunette when she shows up wanting to join his crew. All he knows is she’s smart and tough and he can’t stop thinking about her. There’s just something about her attitude and the way she’s always messing with her glasses. Everything about her gets under his skin and he finds himself letting her in, to his tough-as-nails crew and into his heart.

A big job takes them halfway around the world and it doesn’t take long for the dangers to pile up, or for the wicked chemistry between Cricket and Ivan to become more than a hot distraction. Before they know it, they’re running for their lives, pursued by numerous enemies, and Cricket is faced with a devastating choice: complete her mission, and do her duty by arresting Ivan, or turn her back on everything and everyone she cares for to be with the man she’s fallen for.”

In other news, the holidays are always a busy time of year. This year is no exception. I’ll be off and travelling again soon, not that that will change how often I post here.:) I will have my computer with me at all times though, so rest assured, I will always be hard at work on something. Next up, hopefully another ice story, maybe even something popping up for free on Lit. No pun intended.😀

As always, take care and happy reading, and a very Merry Christmas to everyone!

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Farewell to Summer

As the seasons change, and the nights grow longer, I can feel the change in the air. It’s getting cooler, it feels sharper when I step outside. I won’t be able to get away with my light jacket for much longer. We’ve been very lucky since September to have very little bad weather. Sure, the nights are cold and the temperatures just don’t get as high, but it’s been a really beautiful autumn. And now, with winter and snow on its way, I’d like to take a moment to share some of my warm summer and fall days with you.

I mentioned before how I worked part time this summer again, at the golf course I’ve worked at previously. It’s a beautiful course, with incredible views and this season was unbelieveable as far as the weather went. I think it only rained twice out of all the weekends I worked, and it wasn’t until September that we had some crazy inclement days. Forgive the quality of the photos. I took them on my cell phone and they don’t always come out as well as I hope.

Here’s the view from a tee from some time in August, I believe.

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Another from sometime in July or August.

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Here’s a couple from a rather misty morning. I think it was either early in the season (May) or possibly late in August.:)

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Deer!

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And these are my favourites, from my last weekend working. It was beautiful, sunny, and the changing colours are apparent. (No, we don’t get the beautiful maple reds and deep maroons. Mostly it’s yellow and some orange, but still pretty, IMO.)

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Of course, I did mention there was some crazy weather early in September. In fact, the next one was from the Labour Day weekend. Yep. It’s snow! LOL, rest assured, it’s no longer there and we’re back to waiting for the real snow to arrive.

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Anyway, I hope you like these. I enjoyed my time there, even though it was hard work. Now, I can move on and look forward to the coming winter, with all the soft blankets, wam tea and cozy afternoons of reading and writing.

Take care, and happy reading.

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Deadlines

Hello! You look fantastic.:)

It’s been ages since I’ve written and posted and I am sorry for that. It’s been a crazy year. I was working two jobs again and just got through my first week of work after a two week holiday. So I’m finally recovered enough to write! And just in time for NaNoWriMo, too.😉 (That’s National Novel Writing Month, for those who don’t know, and happens every November.)

I have been playing with the idea of writing something for NaNo, but I just don’t think I can give it the commitment required. It got me thinking about working for a deadline. I’m not good with that. Although, to be fair, I’ve never had to really work for a deadline. I write for myself, not a publisher and so I only set my own deadlines. As in, none.:) I wonder if I would accomplish more if I did have dates to meet and obligations. On the other hand, I wonder if I’d end up angry and frustrated, and unable to write, over having to meet a deadline. I have a hard enough time focusing without the added stress of a deadline. I know lots of people out there work for deadlines all the time, not just writers. They manage just fine. Or they might not, I don’t know either way.

In any case, I’m not writing about this now because I’m setting a deadline for myself. Or rather, not a firm one. I am going to make it my goal to work only on revising and editing the fourth in my TAITS series, “Duty and Deception” for the next few months. I want to try and do a couple pages every day and I’m hoping I’ll get it done and out there by Christmas. But that’s not a deadline!! I can’t make any promises.:) I’m too undisciplined for that.

Seeing as how I am done with my part time work at the golf course for the summer, I do hope to post more frequently on here and to maybe publish one or two stories aside from D&D. Again, no promises. As a lame excuse, today I’m tired because I was up super late last night playing Scrabble with my SO. I knew I had to stop and go to sleep when the letters all started to look the same. That, and when I started trying to use words like gbrzoo, and hugal.:)

And on that note, I’m going to get a fresh coffee, and try to get some work done. I hope everyone is enjoying some fine fall weather and looking forward to next weekend!

Take care and happy reading.

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It’s Not Much, But…

You may or may not have noticed by lengthy absence from here over the past several months. I didn’t set out to ignore my blog for so long, but time got away from me. I said in my last post – or the one before it, I don’t remember! – that I’d only write again when I had something exciting to share. I’ve also been trying to focus all me energy on just plain writing, which for the past several months, id what I’ve done. I’m still eons away from publishing anything – stupid editing! – but it hasn’t left me much time to post on here. Until today!

Well, not that I have anything original to share today. Or exciting. Rather, I’m lamenting my lack of originality. I’ve attempted to write many posts over the last few months only to get halfway through and realize I’d already written about that before. I’ve written about editing, about books I love, and movies. I’ve discussed where ideas come from, how they grow, and how I write them down. All that and more. Now what? I can’t rehash old ideas because many of my opinions and processes haven’t changed. Maybe that makes me boring. So be it.

But here I am anyway, sharing once again.

During my absence, I’ve been mainly working on one big story. I mean big, as in long. I think it capped out around 140,000 words. I’m not bragging. It just took me that long to get from point A to B. It happens that way sometimes and I often don’t know how long a piece will be until it’s done. I wrote about that once. Why do I write short stories or long? It’s a whole new genre and subject matter for me, too. Also wrote about that on here once too. I also haven’t decided if I’m going to publish it to Kindle or simply post it on a website somewhere. Or here. Maybe I’ll share a tidbit today… Check out the “sneak peeks” section for that.

I asked my SO not long ago what I should write. He suggested I write about the movies I’d seen lately – not much – or how exciting all my favorite TV shows are these days. Speaking of which, who watches Game of Thrones? How heart-wrenching is this season? And who read or is watching Outlander? Amazing adaptation, right??? There. I discussed that too.😉

I told you this wasn’t going to be an original post or an exciting one. The truth is, I’m torn in so many different directions, personally, professionally and creatively, that focusing enough of my brain on a blog post has been next to impossible lately. Oh, and I’m working part-time at a golf course again this season. So there’s that too.

In any case, I didn’t want to stay absent any longer. I’ve received a few emails and comments (from here and Lit) from people wondering if I was still writing, and when I would have something new. Well, I am still writing, and that’s about it. I’m not quick enough to have something substantial to share, not yet, and apparently I’m not creative enough to come up with an original post here every week. So this is what you get. My bland update. I would finish by saying Go Flames, Go! but they didn’t make it all the way. Still love them!

Until next time, hopefully not so long next time, take care, and happy reading.

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New Feature – Sneak Peeks

Hello all.😀

I’m going to try to make an effort to write more regularly on here. Not often, mind you, but in some sort of steady fashion. I make no promises! LOL. I am writing more than I was at this time last year, which is good, and I’ve been working on a few different things. When I say a few different things, I mean many.

I’m trying to edit and revise the fourth book in my TAITS series, I’ve been writing and restarting (many times) a sequel to Breaking Through the Ice, and I’m writing two or three other new stories, in new genres. It’s a bit crazy, trying to focus on one thing long enough to be productive but I enjoy it and I’m sure most writers would tell you that they have one or two things – at least! – on the go at any given time.

Also, as you may or may not know, I don’t really have a beta reader for a lot of things. I’m not complaining, it’s just the way it is. I can send things to a few different friends, but they have lives of their own and I don’t always get the immediate feedback I crave. And of course, it’s all about me! LOL.

In that spirit, I’ve decided to start a new feature on here. It’s a new tab (see above) called “Sneak Peeks”. From time-to-time, I will post small or large chunks of stories I’m working on. Some will be published, some might never be. Some might feature familiar names or places, and others will be entirely new. I hope you’ll take the time to read them over and tell me what you think.

Speaking of sharing thoughts… I want to take a moment to ask anybody out there who has read my published works to consider leaving a comment or rating on them. I’m an indie writer and I have no budget for advertising beyond what I do here or on Facebook. I can’t force anyone to leave comments or ratings and it’s the ONLY way to get the word out about my work. So please, if you’ve purchased something of mine from Amazon Kindle, Smashwords, the iTunes bookstore, Kobo Books or the Nook Book store, please go onto the website and leave a rating, and a comment. It doesn’t have to be a glowing review (though I would prefer not to be completely torn to shreds!😉 ) but an honest review would be very much appreciated.

On that note, I’ll leave you now to enjoy the first sampling over under my “Sneak Peeks” tab. I hope everyone has recovered nicely from the holiday season and is sticking to their resolutions.

Take care, and happy reading.

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Top 10 Lists – Sports Movies

Well, it’s a new year, new days stretching out before us all and new challenges to be faced. For my part, I could do with fewer challenges but then, we don’t get to choose the times when our patience and peace of mind are tested. I woke up yesterday, just like any other day, and so I suppose that is a good start.:)

I watched a movie yesterday, as there’s really not much else to do on New Year’s Day. It was called “When the Game Stands Tall,” about a high school football team who shattered all records, across all sports, for games won. Their winning streak went to 151-games before they were defeated and the movie follows the path of that loss, and what comes after for the team. I liked it very much, but then, I’ve always been a big fan of sports movies. So often, they’re about overcoming odds, facing personal demons and becoming better men and women because of it.

This movie was much the same. A lot of critics called the movie contrived, dull and not true to the facts they were LOOSELY based on. What those people all failed to see, and probably fail to see in other sports themed movies, is that the movies aren’t about sports. They’re not about the games they play or the wins or losses. Like I said, they’re all about overcoming challenges, external and internal. They’re about facing the truth, in all its forms and deciding whether or not to live up to your own expectations of yourself. “When the Game Stands Tall” did this, just as so many other movies have.

So in that spirit, in the spirit of facing a new year, new struggles and deciding what kind of person we’re all going to be by the end of this year, I give you my own favourite list of sports themed movies. They’re only my own top ten, not an opinion on which are the greatest sports movies, as it would be difficult to narrow it down. There are so many!

Anyway, here they are:😀

10. Rocky – What’s impressive about Rocky is that it’s a story about an ordinary man, just trying to find his place in the world. A bit like the man who wrote and starred in it. I’ve always loved the whole Rocky series, but the first stands out, of course, because it was the beginning. Throughout the movie Rocky goes from being fine with who he is, to wondering if he can do better, to doing better, to wanting only to be near the woman he loves. What’s not to like about that?

9. We Are Marshall – This movie tracks the year following the tragic plane crash that took almost an entire football team. It’s about the school’s struggle to put together a new team and to convince the college sports rule makers to allow freshmen to play football. Meanwhile, the town and community deal with the loss of brothers, sons and friends and it’s a heart wrenching movie, but ultimately, heartwarming as the game helps to heal.

8. The Sandlot – I watched this movie as a kid and loved it for the youthful hi-jinx. I still love it for the same reason but now with a nostalgic twist. It’s a wonderful movie about a young boy moving to a new town, a new school and meeting a ragtag group of kids who play baseball every day in the neighborhood sandlot. Only, he doesn’t know a thing about baseball, or the fact that Babe Ruth is a man. This movie will probably make me laugh for-ev-ER.

7. Gridiron Gang – A fairly recent movie, this one follows the football program at a youth detention center in Los Angeles. The coach refuses to let these kids leave Camp Kilpatrick without even a narrow shot at a better life. Not all the kids who play on the team go on to make something of themselves but some do and those few who face the challenge the coach lays out for them, are better for it.

6. The Longest Yard – You can pick either the old or the new one, though I enjoyed the newer one quite a lot. Yes, it was funny and silly and crude in a lot of moments, but there were moments that made you stand up and cheer for the Mean Machine. Also, who doesn’t love a movie that sees the underdog totally screw over the big man. I admit this movie is less uplifting than it is plain old entertaining.

5. Wimbledon – Now this is definitely a sports movie that is less about sports and more of a rom-com. However, it does focus on the famous tournament of Wimbledon and with that backdrop, it counts as a sports movie. It’s about a man and a woman figuring out what means more to them. The title or the chance at a meaningful relationship. Also, special shout-out to a now wildly famous Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. He was delightful in this movie as the best buddy. And who didn’t love James McAvoy’s character betting against his own brother round-after-round?

4. A League of Their Own – This movie was an instant baseball classic. I loved seeing this in the theaters years ago and still love watching it whenever I catch it on TV. These ladies are all so unique and so far ahead of their time. It’s amazing when you think of how this movie is inspired by actual events.

3. Bend it Like Beckham – A surprise hit from a few years ago, this movie helped launch the careers of Keira Knightley and Parminder Nagra. I love the way this movie explores the family dynamic and the two wholly different sisters. I also love how in the end, the parents are traditional, staid and so loving, that they only want to make their daughters happy. It’s a warm, touching movie with some exceptionally funny moments – my fav is when all the older ladies whip out their cell phones at the engagement towards the beginning.

2. Coach Carter – What I like most about this movie is that I recall the way the school made headlines even up here in Canada with the decision to forfeit games until the players got their grades up. I don’t know how accurate the facts of the movie are, but I still love it. It’s a great movie about watching boys start to grow into men and face challenges the likes of which, most of us have never or never will face.

1. Remember the Titans – I had this movie listed as one of my all-time favs for movies, period but it remains my favorite for sports movies. It’s a great movie and if you’ve seen it, you’ll know what I mean. Yes, I’ve heard that it doesn’t follow the facts exactly – what movie “inspired by actual events” does? – but the spirit of the movie, and the message is the same. The game just is, and sport, any sport, doesn’t care what you look like.

Honorable Mentions include (but are not restricted to!): Draft Day, Field of Dreams, The Cutting Edge, Happy Gilmore (Come on!! Who didn’t love seeing Bob Barker kick some ass!), The Replacements, Bad News Bears, Caddyshack, Jerry Maguire, Hoosiers, Moneyball, 42 (another fairly recent one based on the first year Jackie Robinson played in the major league), Leatherheads and The Last Boy Scout. (OK, maybe The Last Boy Scout doesn’t quite count but Damon Wayans plays a former football star so that counts in my mind.)

So there you have it. Once again, these are just my favorites. There are too many to include every single sports movie, and I know I’ve left out many classics, merely because I haven’t seen them all. Perhaps you can share your own favs?

OT: Just for the heck of it, I’m re-watching a Doctor Who episode, called “Journey’s End.” Even though I’ve seen it a dozen times before, and even though I know what’s coming, I always hope against hope that it could be different. In the end, I have my heart ripped out every time when I have to say good-bye to the best companion of all. “But… I was going to be with you forever…” *sigh*😉

As always, take care and happy reading.

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