10 Things I’m Looking Forward to in Nova Scotia

I’m happy to welcome author Luanna Stewart. Today, Luanna shares her favorite memories of Nova Scotia and her new release, If Wishes Were Earls.

Here’s Luanna!

In no particular order…

1. Except for this one. The number one thing I’m looking forward to with our move to Nova Scotia is returning home. I was born and raised in Halifax, the capital city, and have lived elsewhere more than half my life. It’s time to go home.

2. The Atlantic Ocean. Even though I’m currently living on the coast of Maine, and the same ocean is just a fifteen-minute drive away, it’s not quite the same.

3. The air. Laugh if you will, but the air is different in NS. Probably from a combination of the ocean and the large expanses of evergreen forests. That balsam fir smell, especially after a rain, smells like NS to me.

4. The air. Not a typo. My mum has a summer house on an island off the coast and the briny fresh smell of the air is so luscious you just want to take a bite. On many occasions I’ve stood in her back garden, closed my eyes, and just breathed.

5. Small towns. I like the intimacy. From our new hometown of Lunenburg, to Wolfville where Son1 attended college, to Malagash where my dad was born and where we vacationed when I was a kid, they all have a distinct character. I love exploring the local history, and there is always at least one good restaurant serving a local brew and fish & chips.

6. Camping. There are pictures in the old family album of me camping whilst still in diapers. (They were cloth diapers back in those days – my mum was a saint!) So it’s no wonder camping is in my blood. Hubby and I went camping on our honeymoon, backcountry, the site accessible only by canoe. Our favourite park is Kejimkujik National Park, known as Keji (pronounced KEH-gee). It’s in the middle of the province, full of lakes, rivers and streams, and once you paddle for a few hours to your campsite all you can hear are the loons announcing sunrise and the beavers chewing on lily pads. The night sky is overwhelming in its brilliance.

7. Hiking. Nova Scotia is riddled with hiking trails over all sorts of terrain. Along the coast, deep into old-growth forest, around bogs and marshes, the trails allow for all levels of difficulty.

8. Kayaking. Our new home is right on the ocean so we can push our kayaks into the water from our beach and paddle away, exploring the bays and inlets nearby. If we’re particularly adventurous we can paddle into town!

9. Music. Ah, the fiddle and the bagpipe. On street corners, in pubs, at music festivals, toe-tapping folk music is alive and well. The three biggest influences on the local folk music are Scottish, Irish, and Acadian. Any and all will make you dance in your chair.

10. Cycling. Along with the hiking trails there is a vast network of former railway lines that have been converted into hiking/cycling trails. A wonderful and safe way to explore the area. You can peddle for miles, and because the trails used to be rail lines into the various towns, you can travel into town and pop into a pub for lunch! The best part? No hills.

What are some things you particularly like about where you live? If you had to move away, what would you miss the most?

One commenter will receive a hand-knitted (by me) washcloth and a bar of handcrafted soap. (USA and Canada only.)

Tagline

A mysterious letter and an enchanted keepsake promise to lead Miranda to her heart’s desire. Or does her heart secretly yearn for more than a sexy earl?

Blurb

When a mysterious note directs Miss Miranda Large to a tiny village in Cornwall to find her heart’s desire, she has no choice but to go. An enchanted keepsake heightens her curiosity. A snowstorm forces her to accept the hospitality of a sullen, albeit sexy and handsome, earl and Miranda’s wish doesn’t seem so out of reach.

Edward Penhallion, the 12th Earl of Claverlock, is not in the mood to start his search for a new wife. He wants to be left alone with his books and his dreams of revenge. But the arrival of a headstrong, sharp-tongued spinster forces him to play the charming host. Not a difficult task, given her intelligence and beauty. Suddenly, he’s not terribly eager for her to leave.

But as the snow falls and the winds blow, Edward discovers there’s more to Miranda than a lively wit and a lovely face. And Miranda wonders if the trappings of wealth are enough for true happiness.

Buy Links

Amazon | Nook | Kobo | iBooks | All Other Retailers

Bio

Luanna Stewart has been creating adventures for her imaginary friends since childhood. As soon as she discovered her grandmother’s stash of romance novels, all plots had to lead to a happily-ever-after.

Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Luanna now lives in Maine with her dear husband, two college boys, and two cats. When she’s not torturing her heroes and heroines, she’s in her kitchen baking something delicious.

Writing under the pen name Grace Hood, she has two novellas published with The Wild Rose Press.

Where to find Luanna…

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page


Spotlight on Between Venus and Mars

I’m happy to feature S.C. Mitchell’s new release.

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Tag Line

An intergalactic adventure filled with laughs, love, and adventure.

Blurb

An ancient legend spanning eras, continents, and worlds. To some, it’s nothing more than a dream. To others, a pretty fairy tale handed down through the generations.

For those in critical need of their own happy ending, a gift.

Once Upon a Galaxy . . .

Zana Starchild is on a mission to restore her tribe’s livestock and save herself from one more meal of kelp. Sure, it’s technically illegal to visit Old Earth, but to a rim rat like Zana, galactic laws are really just guidelines. Her wrecked starship just means she’ll need to use her backup plan to get off the abandoned world, an old Earth legend her uncle passed down to her.

Pulled from a relaxing shower, across the galaxy to Old Earth, Galactic Marshall Kyle Kepler finds himself naked and marooned with a quirky rim rat. Zana’s broken more laws than Kyle can count, and he plans to arrest her, just as soon as he can find transport off the planet and a pair of pants.

A junk heap of a starship, a magical tree, and a roving gang of mutant kangaroos are just the beginning of rollicking intergalactic journey filled with laughs, love, and adventure.

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Bio

scmitchellS.C.Mitchell grew up an avid reader of comic books, science fiction and fantasy literature. He’s been writing stories for over thirty years. In 2010 he left his job as a computer desktop support specialist to pursue his passion for writing full time. He is a member of the Romance Writers of America as well as the Wisconsin chapter.

As a writer of paranormal and sci-fi romance, fantasy, and science fiction, Steve crafts unique and wondrous worlds where his characters explore, romp, and fall in love. Whether traveling through dark, demon filled dimensions, the edge of wild space, or ancient mythological heavens, his heroes and heroines, guided by their adventurous hearts, discover hidden strengths on their pathway to enduring love.

Where to find S.C. Mitchell…

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author Page


Email Power!

Can you compose efficient and effective emails?

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When I heard this question, my first impulse was to say, “Yes, of course.” But glancing through my in-box, I realized I wasn’t that efficient or effective. While I don’t ramble or use ambiguous language, I could improve the tone of my emails.

In her book, Playing Big, Tara Mohr devotes an entire chapter to “Communicating with Power.” She stresses the importance of identifying those “little things” that “walk the fine line of saying something without coming on too strong, but in fact they convey tentativeness, self-doubt, or worse, self-deprecation.”

Continue reading on the Sisterhood of Suspense blog.


Spotlight on D.R. Grady

I’m happy to welcome multi-published author D.R. Grady. Today, she shares her writing journey and books.

Here’s D.R. Grady!

d-r-grady-photo-2I knew I wanted to be a writer from the moment we learned about words and placing them together to form a sentence. Those sentences then became a paragraph, and multiple paragraphs formed a story. The magic of writing dawned on me then, and the glow hasn’t left since.
Writing for me is more about me being nosy than anything. I want to know what happens to the characters, so I sit down and start typing. Eventually, I end up with a story.

The only downside to this is that writing is a solitary process. And what did I do with these finished books? I came into possession of a writing manual that listed an organization called Romance Writers of America.

What? Had I fallen into some wonderfully mystical world?

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Central Pennsylvania Romance Writers is based in Harrisburg, PA, close to me. I was certain this chapter sported lots of senator’s wives who oozed sophistication and elegance. So it took me over a year before I worked up the courage to attend my first meeting. I entered that room, and found, not one senator’s wife, but a group of women (and a few men) who were just like me.

These amazing people helped me to become a better writer, and figure out what to do with those stories. They have also become friends and a wonderful source of support. Here I am, years later, still pursuing a career in the most amazing of professions.

I’ve since self-published a couple of series and have published with Soul Mate Publishing, where I’ve met additional friends and supporters.

I love being a writer!

If you enjoy nerds (The Morrison Family Series), suspense (The Me Series), or dragons (The Dragon Chronicles), you might be interested in pursuing a relationship with my books.

Find out more here.

Blurb – The Trouble with Nerds – Coming Late March 2017

Odd things keep happening to Dr. Sara Newton. She’s a soon-to-be-unemployed pediatrician with an alleged stalker, a hot cop on her heels breathing dire warnings, and way too much student debt.

It doesn’t help that the hot cop is Clay Morrison, her best friend’s older brother. The man has made her heart pound and her palms sweaty since puberty. The trouble is, he only interacts with her when he’s expounding on new security measures. He sees threats everywhere.

Clay Morrison is frustrated. He hates his new job, misses his Army Ranger days, loves his well-meaning, pushy family—and when did sweet Sara Newton grow up? She won’t admit she has a stalker, and she won’t keep out of his thoughts. He can only protect someone in denial for so long. No matter how attractive she is…

Clay and Sara are circling each other, trying to meet in the middle. Then a brand new threat sends them in a completely different direction.

Bio and Links

D.R. Grady lives with her husband near Hershey, PA. She adores chocolate, laughing, collecting bags, books, and shoes, and writing stories that resonate with others.

Website | Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Facebook Page | Google+


Open Windows

I’m happy to welcome author Liese Sherwood-Fabre. Today, Liese shares her writing adventures and books.

Here’s Liese!

liesesherwood-1600-2My excursion into fiction writing began a little more than twenty years ago. While living in Mexico and after reading several issues of Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine, I thought, “I can do that,” and labored for several weeks to produce a 20-page short story quickly rejected by the publication. Regardless, I learned two things from that experience: it was possible for me to complete a story, and that I needed to learn more about how to write if I were to ever be published (not so easy when living abroad and before the Internet came into its current form).

Shortly after the rejection letter came, my husband was transferred to Moscow, Russia. Once the dust settled in our new location, the children were in school, and I took a job at the embassy, I tackled my next project, using my experience in a bi-cultural marriage as the backdrop for the story. It, too, never garnered much attention, and I started another book—this time set in Russia and inspired by a New Yorker article by Richard Preston: “Annals of Warfare: The Bioweaponeers.” He described the plight of Russian scientists following the fall of the Soviet Union and the Iranians’ efforts to recruit them for their own laboratories and weapons programs. What, I wondered, would push a scientist to agree to develop biological agents for a foreign, radical government? I gave my main character no job, a sick child, and friends with underworld connections—and Saving Hope was born.

Musa Publishing published the novel in 2012, hitting the market the same day as my oldest grandchild was born. Less than three years later, the organization folded and returned the book’s rights to me. I am finally at a stage where it will soon be in print (and digits) once again.

Any writer will tell you, as soon as you finish one book, start on the next. Shortly after Saving Hope came out, I moved on to another project: a novel involving Sherlock Holmes at age 13. This book landed me an agent. I recently completed its sequel, but so far, I haven’t found a publisher for these stories. But I have connected with a very organized Sherlock Holmes fan-base and have been sharing essays on Victorian England for publication in their newsletters. Through one contact, I heard of a call for alternate universe Sherlock Holmes stories, and submitted a story about a world inhabited by vampires, and Holmes must discover who is murdering them.

So far, 2017 has been an exceptional year for me with the release of one new book (a collection of the first two years’ of Victorian England essays), the imminent release of a second (Saving Hope) and a story appearing in the anthology Curious Incidents: More Improbable Adventures. And I just learned of plans by our local Sherlock Holmes society to publish their own anthology (sign up for my newsletter if you want to learn more about that as events develop!)

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If I were to identify one key word of advice for any writer, it would be perseverance. My mother always said, “When a door closes, a window opens.” When you get that rejection or learn that your publisher is no more, seek out the window. I’ve crawled through quite a few on my journey and know they always lead to new opportunities.

What about you? Have you face some difficulty, only to find opportunities opening as a result?

Where to find Liese…

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon


A Second Act? At least.

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have Soul Mate author Caroline Warfield chatting about her multi-act life and her latest release, The Renegade Wife.

Here’s Caroline!

Carol Roddy - Author

By my reckoning, I am well into my fourth act, but I suspect a better analogy, is perhaps the bard’s Seven Ages of Man (As You Like It, Act II Scene 7) They prove to be as true for women as they are for men and as true now as they were in the sixteenth century.

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As Infant, I was an adored only child. As Schoolgirl, I was moved from place to place, doing what in an earlier age would have been called following the drum. I was an army brat, perpetually the new kid on the block. I found my refuge in books and in the tree shaded paths of my mind, seeking adventure and romance. You could call those two the first act.

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The third age is Lover, and I flung myself into that glorious stage of life with a vengeance, falling in love first with God—yes then and always. When He made it clear my path lay far from the cloister, he gave me Beloved, the other half of my soul. Children came into our life, some children of our body, some from afar, all beloved. This age of life is so all absorbing that those in it can think of little else, even story telling. However, like all life, it passes. Love remains.

Shakespeare called the fourth age of man, the Soldier, and it is an apt description. Career can feel like war, driving the Soldier out, sword in hand, to fight through the thickets of technology, office politics, and success criteria. In my case passionate involvement in libraries and information technology kept me at the top of my game, but left little room for those tree shaded paths. I began to write fiction fairly but, time was short and success limited. Failure and the wisdom of friends taught me hard earned skills anyway.

This fourth act seems to coincide with both the fourth and fifth ages of (wo)man. Old Will talks of Justice, all formal and “Full of wise saws…” and the slips into the foolish slippered Pantaloon “with spectacles on nose…turning toward childish treble pipes and whistles in his sound.”

When the warfare of the Soldier faded away, with some hard earned wisdom on my hide, the stories surfaced again. I had 4-5 books in various stages and condition on my laptop when Soul Mate Publishing accepted Dangerous Works for publication. Then I began to write in earnest—often in those slippers Will mentioned. In three years I have four published novels, one published novella, a fifth novel scheduled for April release, a novella for May, a novella and short story for the holidays and a sixth novel for October release! I fill them with love and family and I hope they teem with life and joy, tragedy and comedy. When Dangerous Secrets won the RONÉ award for “Best Post-Medieval Historical Novel” last year, I took it as a tribute to late-bloomers everywhere.

Who, knows I may have a Shakespearean fifth act in me in me, but whether the whole will resemble on of his tragedies or comedies remains to be seen. I can guarantee you when I slip into his final age “mere oblivion…sans everything” I will have left it all on the floor with no regrets.

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Blurb

Desperate and afraid, Meggy Blair will do whatever it takes to protect her children. She’d hoped to find sanctuary from her abusive husband with her Ojibwa grandmother, but can’t locate her. When her children fall ill, she seeks shelter in an isolated cabin in Upper Canada. But when the owner unexpectedly returns, he’s furious to find squatters disrupting his self-imposed solitude.

Reclusive businessman Rand Wheatly had good reason to put an ocean between himself and the family that deceived him. He just wants the intrusive woman gone, but it isn’t long before Meggy and the start breaking down the defensive walls he’s built. But their fragile interlude is shattered when Meggy’s husband appears to claim his children, threatening to have Rand jailed.

The only way for Meggy to protect Rand is to leave him. But when her husband takes her and the children to England, Meggy discovers he’s far more than an abuser; what he’s involved in endangers all their lives. To rescue the woman who has stolen his heart, Rand must follow her and do what he swore he’d never do: reconcile with his aristocratic family and finally uncover the truth behind all the lies. But time is running out for them all.

A Quick Excerpt

She pushed away from the door. “If you’re finished, I’ll clear up your dishes.

“Damn it woman, I fend for myself here.” He looked her up and down. He noticed her deep blue eyes, midnight black hair, and dusky skin. “What are you? Gypsy? Is that where you learned how to diddle a man out of his belongings?”

She drew her back up straight and squared her shoulders. The gesture pulled her dress tight across obviously ample breasts.

There’s a practiced enticement. She’s in for a surprise if she thinks that trick will work on me.

Chin high, she met his eyes without flinching. “My grandmother is Ojibwa, my father was French, and my husband was a Scot. You can despise whichever one of those your English heart chooses, or all of them, but I am not a thief.”

She grabbed her skirt and took a step toward the door. “Do fend for yourself. We’ll leave as soon as we can.”

“I’ll decide when you’re a thief,” he snarled, bringing her to a halt. “It’s my house.”

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Bio

Caroline Warfield writes in an office in the urban wilds of eastern Pennsylvania surrounded by windows while 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. Her most recent novel is The Renegade Wife.

Where to find Caroline…

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

Joanne here!

Caroline, Thanks for the entertaining and inspiring post! Best of luck with all your literary endeavors.