At Fair November

On Friday, I reached the 30K milestone on my NaNoWriMo journey. To reward myself, I visited the 44th Annual Fair November Craft Show at the University of Guelph on Saturday.

Each year, over eighty artisans share the best of traditional and modern Canadian handmade crafts in their temporary home—two floors of the University Centre—over a four-day period in the middle of November. A special treat for Guelphites and all friends of Guelphites, there is no admission fee. And parking is free on the weekend. Find out more here.

Every craft imaginable can be found, among them jewelry, metalwork, pottery, beeswax candles, Alpaca knits, gnomes, pottery, kiln fired glass, leather, and gourmet food products. This year, I was delighted to discover Celtic Stonework, Souper Heroes, Moore Design BirdFeeders, and the Grey Matter Collection.


10 Things That Inspire Me to Write

I’m happy to welcome back Soul Mate author Carol Warfield to the Power of 10 series. Today, Carol shares ten sources of writing inspiration and her latest release, The Unexpected Wife.

Here’s Carol!

1. True love! I’ve been married for almost fifty years and the healing magic of being with another never fails to inspire me. Human beings are born to join with the Other, and the myriad ways we do that never fail to attract me.

2. Families—What is a story without drama, pain, conflict, and ultimate growth and success. Nothing creates more drama than the things families do to and with one another. Nothing cuts deeper into our emotions.

3. Good books—when I become completely absorbed in an author’s world and the real world fades away it is a joy. When I put the book down, I’m challenged to up my game as a storyteller.

4. So-So books—on the other hand, writing has made me more critical. Sometimes I pick up a book and by page two I’m mentally rewriting it. I put that one down and think, “I can do better.”

5. Castles and mansions—I love touring grand houses. When I do, I’m often populating them with characters for books.

6. Bus and train rides—seriously! When I’m stuck on a crowded train, or in a lobby, or anywhere in a crowd I find myself casting the strangers I see. I play “If this were a Regency novel, which of these people would be the hero/heroine? The villain? The domineering father? The eccentric aunt?”

7. Travel—settings inspire me of course. When I’m someplace fabulous (Rome, Venice, Singapore, or just plain Philadelphia near home) I often think “I could put a story here…” And I do.

8. History—my favorite escape and fantasy world has always been inside a history book. Tudor England? I spent much of my teens there. Regency? It got me through raising children. Ancient Rome? I’ve walked with Cicero. Of course I want to write historical fiction!

9. Other authors—relationships with other authors have enriched my life beyond measure. We push, prod, and inspire each other.

10. Inner voices—somewhere deep inside there’s a well of stories that just demand to be told. They come to me unexpectedly and they talk in my ear. When I get an idea and I want to write some grand prose, however, they sometimes go into hiding.


The Duke of Murnane expects work to heal him. He doesn’t expect to face his past and find his future in China.

Charles Wheatly doesn’t expect to find his great love when he accepts an unofficial fact-finding mission to Canton on behalf of the queen. He certainly doesn’t expect to confront his wreck of a marriage in such an exotic locale. Zambak Hayden follows her brother to China to escape pressure to make a suitable marriage. She finds the brother drawn into the world of greed, smuggling, drugs, and corruption and resolves to both sort out the truth and protect her brother from becoming prey to all of it—if only she could stop yearning for the one man she can’t have.


Book Trailer

Other Books in the Children of Empire Series

The Renegade Wife

A desperate woman on the run with her children finds shelter with a reclusive businessman in the Canadian wilderness. Rand may be a recluse, but his heart isn’t as hard as he thinks. Can he save them all?

The Reluctant Wife

A disgraced Bengal army officer finds himself responsible for two unexpected daughters and a headstrong widow. When he’s forced to choose between honor and career, and people depend on him, failure is not an option.

Book Trailer


Award winning author Caroline Warfield has been many things: traveler, librarian, poet, raiser of children, bird watcher, Internet and Web services manager, conference speaker, indexer, tech writer, genealogist—even a nun. She reckons she is on at least her third act, happily working in an office surrounded by windows where she lets her characters lead her to adventures in England and the far-flung corners of the British Empire. She nudges them to explore the riskiest territory of all, the human heart.

Where to find Carol…

Website | Amazon | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter | BookBub | Email

In Praise of Consistency

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

I’ve just completed the second week of this year’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) journey. While I’ve been tempted to write well beyond the suggested 1,667-word daily count, I’m determined to pace myself. Rereading the following real-life account helps keep me on track.

In 1911, two explorers, Amundsen and Scott, embarked on a race against each other to become the first known human being to set foot upon the southernmost point of Earth. It was the age of Antarctic exploration, as the South Pole represented one of the last uncharted areas in the world. Amundsen wished to plant the Norwegian flag there on behalf of his country, while Scott hoped to stake his claim for England.

The journey there and back from their base camps was about 1,400 miles, which is roughly equivalent to a round-trip hike from New York City to Chicago. Both men would be traveling the same exact distance on foot through extremely cold and harsh weather conditions. And both men were equally equipped with experience, supplies, and a supporting team of fellow explorers. But what wasn’t certain is how each of them would approach the inevitable challenges they faced on the road ahead.

As it turned out, Amundsen and Scott took entirely different approaches to the very same challenges.

Scott directed his team to hike as far as possible on the good weather days and then rest on bad weather days to conserve energy. Conversely, Amundsen directed his team to follow a strict regimen of consistent daily progress by hiking exactly 20 miles every day, regardless of weather conditions. Even on the warmest, clear-sky days, when Amundsen’s team was capable of hiking much farther, Amundsen was absolutely adamant that they travel no more than 20 miles to conserve their energy for the following day’s hike.

Which team succeeded in the end?

The team that took consistent daily action.


Because what we do EVERY day defines us!

Source: Marc & Angel Hack Life

Happy World Kindness Day!

First launched in 1998, World Kindness Day is honored in 28 nations worldwide. The mission of the day is to create a kinder world by celebrating and promoting good deeds. Individuals, schools, businesses, and non-profit organizations are encouraged to pledge acts of kindness.

Here are ten quotes to inspire you…

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” Aesop

“When words are both true and kind, they can change the world.” Buddha

“Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.” Confucius

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” Dalai Lama

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” Lao Tzu

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless.” Mother Teresa

Let us learn to live with kindness, to love everyone, even when they do not love us.” Pope Francis

“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” Princess Diana

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” William Shakespeare

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
Mark Twain

If you need a few practical suggestions, watch the following short film produced by Orly Wahba and her organization: Life Vest Inside.

10 Fun Facts About New Hampshire

I’m happy to welcome back award-winning Wild Rose Press author Peggy Jaeger to the Power of 10 series. Today, Peggy shares fun facts about her state and her new release, Dearly Beloved.

Here’s Peggy!

Joanne – I love visiting you and your readers! Thanks for this opportunity to tell you a little about my adopted state, New Hampshire.

All of my books are centered on the East Coast of the US. Hey, I’m an East Coast girl – so take that Katy Perry! Hee Hee.

My newest romance series, A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN, is set in the fictional New Hampshire town of Heaven, a charming quaint New England town filled with history and a bunch of quirky residents.

I simply love New Hampshire – especially in the Autumn. I’ve lived in NH for over 25 years, my daughter was raised there, and I can’t see myself moving any place else, any time soon. I’d like to tell you a few fun facts about my state so you can get a better feel for why I’m so happy to live there.

#10. Every autumn, millions of travelers drive up the Eastern Coast of the USA to view the fall foliage. In New Hampshire, we call these tourists Peepers and autumn we refer to as Leaf Peeping Season.

#9. Maple syrup is a NH commodity and it takes approximately 40 gallons of sap to make I gallon of maple syrup. And in my opinion, NH maple syrup is the best in the nation!

#8. New Hampshire science teacher Christa McAuliffe, was the first non-professional astronaut ( civilian) to go up in space. The Christa McAuliffe Planetarium is located in Concord, NH and is a state-of-the art science museum dedicated to this brave woman who perished in the Challenger Space Shuttle explosion.

#7. The beautiful town of Dover, NH was settled in 1623, making it the oldest permanent settlement in the state.

#6. The state bird is the purple finch.

#5. The state flower is the purple Lilac ( New Hampshirites, apparently, lovelovelove the color purple!).

#4. The first potato planted in the USA was at Londonderry Common Field in the year 1719.

#3. NH adopted the first legal lottery in the 20th century in 1963.

#2. Of the 13 original New England colonies, NH was the first to declare its independence from England 6 months before the Declaration of Independence was signed. Even back then NH was a trailblazer!

#1. (and my favorite fact of all!) in 1833, the very first free public library in the US was established in Peterborough, NH, a town just over beautiful Mount Monadnock and 15 minutes from where I live!

If you ever get the chance to drive up through New England during autumn, make sure you stop along the way through New Hampshire and take pictures. Lots of them! The colors are phenomenal.


Colleen O’Dowd manages a thriving bridal business with her sisters in Heaven, New Hampshire. After fleeing Manhattan and her cheating ex-fiancé, Colleen still believes in happily ever afters. But with a demanding business to run, her sisters to look after, and their 93-year-old grandmother to keep out of trouble, she’s worried she’ll never find Mr. Right.

Playboy Slade Harrington doesn’t believe in marriage. His father’s six weddings have taught him life is better as an unencumbered single guy. But Slade loves his little sister. He’ll do anything for her, including footing the bill for her dream wedding. He doesn’t plan on losing his heart to a smart-mouthed, gorgeous wedding planner, though.

When her ex-fiancé comes back into the picture, Colleen must choose between Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now.


I stared at him for a moment, mulling over how I wanted to ask him what I’d been dying to ask since we’d been in my office.
Finally, because there was no other way to get around it but bluntly, I said, “I feel like we need to discuss your father. Come to a decision about where he fits in the wedding.”

When the warmth in his expression shifted to ice, a weaker-willed person might have stopped there. Since I’m not weak and my parents have always told me I have a real problem with knowing when to quit, I pushed on. “It seems to me as if Isabella wants him to be included. Whether in a father-of-the-bride role, or simply as a guest, I really do think she’d like him to attend, but, for whatever reason, she’s reluctant to press you on it.”

Did I say ice? What’s colder than ice? Because whatever it is, that was the expression floating in Slade’s eyes right then as he glared at me.
Warning bells blared in my head, but that thing about me not knowing when to quit? Yeah, it’s real.

“I think Isabella’s afraid of upsetting you if she tells you how she feels or asks your permission. She loves you so much and respects your opinion.”

“You don’t know anything about my sister. Or me.” He lowered his hands from his hips, kept them fisted at his sides. “Or our relationship with our father.”

“True, but I get the sense—”

He barreled over me as if I hadn’t said a word.

“You’ve been hired to do a job, Miss O’Dowd. I suggest you do it and keep your thoughts about my family to yourself. You’re a wedding planner, not a family counselor.” His voice dropped a level, deepening as it became softer. The cadence became clipped, the tone more…lethal.

If this was the way he acted in business, it was a wonder he hadn’t been convicted of corporate homicide yet.

“Look, I’m not asking simply to be nosy,” I said, my voice rising in opposition to his. “I really do have to plan all this out. There’s still the rehearsal and the dinner after it left to deal with. Then there’s the reception seating. Plus, if he is included, I’ll need to make sure he has a room, a tuxedo, and find out if he’s bringing a guest.”

“What aren’t you understanding about this, Miss O’Dowd?” Slade asked, taking a step toward me. If he’d thought to intimidate me with his height, he’d miscalculated. Retreat wasn’t a word in my lexicon. I simply lifted my chin and stared right back at him.

“I understand a lot more than you think, Mr. Harrington. About all sorts of things. Arrogant and pigheaded men included.”

When he continued to stand like a plank of wood in front of me, his mouth turning down and creasing the sides of his jaw, I knew—knew—I should stop.


Buy Links

Amazon | Wild Rose Press | Barnes & Noble


Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

Tying into her love of families, her children’s book, THE KINDNESS TALES, was illustrated by her artist mother-in-law.

Peggy holds a master’s degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer’s Disease during her time running an Alzheimer’s in-patient care unit during the 1990s.

In 2013, she placed first in two categories in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest: Single Title Contemporary Romance and Short/Long Contemporary Romance.

In 2017 she came in 3rd in the New England Reader’s Choice contest for A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS and was a finalist in the 2017 STILETTO contest for the same title.

In 2018, Peggy was a finalist in the HOLT MEDALLION Award and once again in the 2018 Stiletto Contest.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

Where to find Peggy…

Website/Blog | Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | Instagram | BookBub | Book Gorilla | YouTube

Happy Release Day!

Visiting the Cozy Up with Kathy Blog

interviewpixToday, I’m chatting on the Cozy Up with Kathy blog about my writing process and latest release, A Different Kind of Reunion.

Drop by the blog. Remember to scroll down and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway. You could win a $10 Amazon gift card.