Choose the Right Mindset

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.

A long-time fan of bestselling authors and coaches Marc and Angel Chernoff, I look forward to reading their emails and blog. Here’s an excerpt from a recent email:

Sometimes changing your situation isn’t possible—or simply not possible soon enough. You can’t get a new job in an instant. You can’t make someone else change his or her will. And you certainly can’t erase the past. But…

You CAN always choose a mindset that moves you forward. And doing so will help you change things from the inside out, and ultimately allow you to grow beyond the struggles you can’t control at this moment.

Here’s a powerful question that will support you with a positive attitude adjustment when need it most:

Who would you be, and what else would you see, if you removed the thought that’s worrying you?

Think about it…

Identify a specific thought that’s been troubling your worried mind lately, and then visualize how your life would be different if you removed this thought.

How would it change your outlook on your present life situation?

What other possibilities and opportunities would you see?

What else would you be able to accomplish with this shift in your focus?

Note: I highly recommend subscribing to Marc & Angel’s website.

Virtual Book Tour: horse/man

I’m happy to welcome equestrian and author Julia Merritt. Today, Julia shares equine tips and her debut novel, horse/man.

1. Horses are wonderful creatures with far more intelligence and ability than they have been given credit for. There’s new research coming out every day that illuminates difference facets of their capabilities, and a growing number of equestrians who want to honour and work with horses as partners using their language and perspective.

2. Horses are a mirror of ourselves, and they will teach the humans that interact with them – whether the humans want to learn or not! If you become involved in horses, make sure you invest in some serious self-reflection. The journey is very rewarding.

3. There’s a discipline for everyone! Whether you prefer the adrenaline rush of galloping over fences cross-country, or having a quiet walk together, there are a multitude of option. You don’t even have to ride to be involved and find great joy in them.

4. There are many ways to participate as an athlete, and you don’t have to own a horse to do it. You can take lessons and book extra practice rides, lease a horse owned by someone else, or even find an arrangement to trade stable work for riding time.

5. Horses may seem like a thing of the past, but there are millions in North America, and there’s undoubtedly a community of horse people near you. If it’s not the discipline you like, they can probably refer you to the right people in the area.

6. The financial costs of being involved in horses are scalable to many levels of income. The glittery photos from the top levels of the sport may look intimidating, but there are many ways to contain the costs – and having to count our pennies is more common than you may think.

7. Horse people can be a little eccentric, often preferring animals to humans. If you find someone who’s unfriendly or bad at business, don’t let it spoil your whole experience of the sport. There are many people who are trying to make the sport more welcoming, so pay the crusty ones no mind and find someone who cares about new riders.

8. Equestrian sport is something that a person of any age or ability can do. Riders can be eighty years old, have a physical disability, be two years old, or anywhere in-between. Not every horse or stable can help every rider, but once you find the right match, it is a wonder. The horse equalizes and unites us.

9. Horses are livestock, not house pets. They have physical and mental needs that are very different from dogs and cats, and these must be respected. When people ignore those needs, the animals struggle.

10. Horses will captivate you. You can spend a lifetime learning about them. They will delight you and break your heart, but the effort is worth it.

Blurb

What happens when your entire identity revolves around a way of life that is becoming obsolete?

In the 1920s, as Canada progresses through the Industrial Revolution, horses are still the rural engines of survival. As a child Adam lives this reality on his family’s farm in the Ottawa Valley, planning to take over one day and have a family of his own. When his parents die during the Great Depression, nineteen-year-old Adam is disinherited in favour of his brother and is forced to move to the city to find work. Without a formal education his choices are few, yet he finds a place to use his horsemanship skills in the dwindling forces of the Canadian cavalry based near Montreal. There he finds pride in being a mounted soldier, and friendship with his fellow dragoons. But the cavalry units are mechanized by the beginning of World War Two, and when Adam is sent to Europe, he must abandon his equine partners for trucks and tanks. In the catastrophic experience of war, he will lose everything once again.

Broken in body and spirit, he returns to Canada where he must confront the question of survival in a world that doesn’t seem to have a place for an injured soldier. Full of poetic reflections on what it means to work with horses, horse/man is a powerful story about a man searching for dignity and connection in the face of a rapidly shifting world.

Excerpt

Adam got onto his knees for a better view, holding on to the side of the wagon.

The car revealed itself to be a shiny Model T. Perhaps the driver, like the horses, could not resist the lure of moving in the sunshine. Adam watched the car bump slowly over the ruts, advancing towards them. Grey smoke wisped behind it.

Ciaran slowed the team to a walk, and they could hear the engine, a hum that grew to a rumble. Pete and Jack jerked their heads as it got close, banging into each other.

“Go on, get up,” Ciaran growled. The horses’ ears twisted sideways and forwards, trying to decide between the driver or the instinct to flee. The wagon’s tongue rattled as their legs jostled.

The car driver slowed and lifted his hand as he passed the wagon. Ciaran raised his hand in response, the other clenched on the lines attached to Jack and Pete’s gaping mouths. When the car had gone safely by, he reached over, picked the buggy whip out of its holder, and smacked each rump with the corded lash.

“Go on, trot!” he commanded, loosening the lines. The team straightened out and carried on with their jobs. Adam stared at the receding vehicle, wrinkling his nose at the stench of the fumes.

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Indigo | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Smashwords

Author Bio and Links

Julia Merritt has been captivated by horses ever since she could see out of the car window. Then she grew up and became a public library CEO and certified animal bodyworker. She lives in Ontario, Canada, with her thoroughbred horses and smooth collie dogs. This is her first novel.

Connect with Julia Merritt:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok | Goodreads

We’re giving away 100 e-copies of horse/man, the new historical fiction novel by Julia Merritt. Don’t miss your chance to win! Click to enter here.

Giveaway

Julia Merritt will be awarding a $15 Amazon/Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.

Spotlight on Win Place Show

I’m happy to welcome Wild Rose Press author Liz Crowe. Today, Liz shares her new release, Win Place Show.

Tag Line

Win Place Show: All bets are on!

Blurb

Start with a perfect spring weekend full of pretty dresses, high heels, fancy hats, horse races, and bourbon.

Combine with a friends-from-childhood couple whose ongoing misunderstandings have led Lucy Granger to swear she’ll never move back home.

Mix in a splash of combined family pressure for Lucy and Nate Hawthorne to be The Golden Couple.

Pour over crushed ice and garnish with plenty of hot, secret hookups.

Win. Place. Show.

A funny sort of romance chock full of dressing up, mint juleps, an axe-throwing bar, and a huge winning bet at the big race.

Excerpt

Lucy dropped the phone to her side, wishing she could sleep another three hours to skip the whole still-a-tad-drunk part of the hangover. She had, indeed, made some poor choices the night before. Beginning with thinking she could slide back into easy, sexy time with Nate. She’d already more or less decided against it before he’d gotten there. But, of course, he’d shown up looking so flipping edible in a pair of dark jeans and a form-fitting purple polo with the Trifecta logo stitched where the little polo guy usually sat. Damn the man. He had no right to go around being so…hot.

He’d always been vain about his hair, something he’d discovered was a featured benefit about the same time he decided she no longer deserved his friendship. It was a wavy strawberry blond, cut just short enough so he didn’t have to use any products while it was full and tempting to female fingers. His eyes were so green, people accused him of wearing contacts to make them that way. Someone had obviously told him the trick about green eyes, that wearing purple made them even more striking.

“Some woman, I’m sure,” she said, lying flat on her back a few more seconds before hauling herself up and limping toward the shower.

Maintaining her anger at Nate was easy. She’d been ready to outright reject him. But when he’d shown up looking like some kind of a male model, turning every damn female head in the place, she’d stumbled. He was such a good dancer, not to mention a top notch kisser. So she’d gone with it, fueled by too much booze, ready to leap back into bed with him as if no time had passed since they last hooked up.

Thankfully, he’d given her an out by going all talkative. That was the last thing she wanted from him. So she’d walked away. And subsequently had a lot more to drink, hence her current condition, ergo she planned to lay blame for her pounding head and queasy stomach at his feet, too.

So there, Mr. Perfect.

The shower transformed her from being a woman with a hangover into a clean woman with a hangover and many regrets. She glared at her bloodshot eyes in the foggy mirror, hating herself for being here, in her stupid bathroom where she’d spent so many hours as a little girl and later a teenager, second guessing herself and her relationship with Nate.

She slapped on some rudimentary makeup, dried and styled her hair enough to pass her mother’s scrutiny, then stood in front of the dresses hanging in her closet. A line of matching shoes were on the floor beneath them. Several hatboxes stacked on the shelves to one side. The floral-patterned one made her headache worse, so she chose a light blue option, with a halter neckline, tight-fitting bodice and skirt. It was a beautiful choice, as they all were. One thing she could never accuse her mother of was shopping poorly.

She slid her feet into a pair of cream-colored high heels, then pondered the hats with a sigh. When they were little, she and Mimi loved this weekend more than any other. The opportunity to put on a pretty new dress, hat, and shoes had been the highlight of their year. The hours spent at the track over the course of Derby weekends were some of her best memories.

Buy/Read Links

Amazon | Universal Buy Link | Goodreads | ARC Sign Up

Author Bio and Links

Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville living in South Carolina. She’s spent her time as a three-continent expat trailing spouse, mom of three, real estate agent, brewery owner and bar manager, and is currently a digital marketing and fundraising consultant, in addition to being an award-winning author. With stories set in breweries, on the soccer pitch, inside fictional television stations and successful real estate offices, and even in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are compelling and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.

Twitter | Facebook | Facebook Chat Room | Instagram | TikTok | BookBub | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads| Website | Newsletter & Free Book

When the Writing Well Runs Dry

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.

In a recent blog post, bestselling author Sarah McCoy shared the following suggestions for filling our writing wells:

Books. It is our marrow. I’ll be honest, I read very little fiction during my dry phase. I was drawn instead to nonfiction: famous persons autobiographies, biographies, science-based books even. I read new releases and books published sixty years ago. I gobbled celebrity tell-alls, chef memoirs, and everything related to British aristocracy. I highly recommend going old-school: head to your local library and bring home a haul of books. The beauty with libraries is that you don’t have to empty your wallet and you don’t have to read them all. If one topic doesn’t stir the well waters, close it, and move on to the next. The possibilities are endless.

Docufilms. One of my hidden passions. I watch at least one documentary a week. They are the precursor to today’s reality TV craze and vastly better produced, in my humble opinion. I’m a proud donor of PBS and a faithful subscriber to the TCM channel. These are my top two screen resources for historical films. I don’t adhere to a particular genre. I watch a forensic docuseries with as much gobsmacked interest as a docufilm about Oklahoman cattle farmers. Rags-to-riches stories pertaining to all fields are a particular penchant of mine.

Travel. Now that quarantine sanctions have lifted and we’re all safely vaccinating, the world feels shiny new and welcoming again. Simply getting outside of my comfort zones does massive good for the imagination! It allows me to be an anonymous observer—a third-person narrator of a new cultural experience. After all, isn’t writing simply a means of transporting readers to places, times, ideas, and people we want them to understand alongside us?

People. Be a listener. We’ve come through years of masking, self-isolating, and maintaining a six-foot distance. It feels wonderful to be close to people again. I have renewed giddiness standing in line at the coffee shop listening to the conversation behind me. So perk up those ears. Be curious. Ask questions. If you know someone who is an expert on a topic, get in touch! Be willing to talk on the phone, schedule a video call, or walk over to meet them. More often than not, an idea will come through a voice, a character, or a person sharing his/her untold story… because it needs telling.

Read the rest of the post here.

Interview with Winona Kent

I’m happy to welcome back multi-published author Winona Kent. Today, Winona shares her creative journey and new release, Ticket to Ride.

Here’s Winona!

Q. What was your inspiration for this novel?

A. The idea actually came from Lost Time, the novel I wrote just before Ticket to Ride. Normally, my main character, Jason Davey, can be found at the Blue Devil Club in London’s Soho, where he has a permanent gig with his jazz combo. But in Lost Time, Jason has taken a leave of absence from his Blue Devil residency, and is rehearsing for a tour of England with his mum’s old folky-pop band, Figgis Green, while he solves the mystery of a young woman who went missing in the 1970s.

I had so many notes left over, and so much wonderful research that I hadn’t used, that I thought it would be a great idea to write a book about the actual tour. So in Ticket to Ride, Jason and the Figs are on the road. While they travel around England, Jason tries to get to the bottom of who his maternal grandfather really is—and at the same time deals with a series of seemingly-unrelated mishaps that eventually lead to a deadly encounter at a concert in Tunbridge Wells.

Q.Are any of your characters inspired by real people?

A. I actually originally created the character of Jason Davey about ten years ago in a standalone novel called Cold Play. Jason was working an entertainer on board a cruise ship in Alaska. My husband and I had taken a Holland America cruise that followed the same itinerary as the one in the novel, and we spent a lot of time in the lounge at the top of the ship. There was a guy performing there every night with his guitar—his name was David Alan Oates. My husband got into some great conversations with him. I decided to use David as the basic inspiration for Jason. A couple of years ago, my sister and I went on a short Princess Cruises repositioning cruise from Seattle to Vancouver. While we were sitting in the atrium on the ship, we were entertained by a very good guitar player. I did a double-take – it was David! I ran up to him and introduced myself and told him about how he’d been the inspiration for Jason—and, amazingly, he remembered my husband—without me even mentioning him.

I can also tell you that Figgis Green, Jason’s mother’s band in both Lost Time and Ticket to Ride, was inspired by a couple of real-life bands, the Seekers (from Australia), and Steeleye Span (from England).

Q. What’s the best part of being an author? The worst?

A. Honestly, being a writer has given me the opportunity to play at being someone who has far more courage and confidence than I do. I do have some things in common with Jason, but I could never do what he does to investigate the mysteries he’s presented with. I’m actually quite a timid person, and while I’m ok pursuing stuff by email or text, if I have to ask questions in person or on the phone, I tend to run away and hide. In fact, I almost have a phobia about talking on the phone. I’m not sure how it happened, but I suspect it has to do with my years working as a travel agent. Jason has no qualms about using whatever means he has at hand to contact people to get to the bottom of things—phone, public postings on social media, private messages, texting, and of course, straight face to face conversations. And I love exploring all those platforms. In Ticket to Ride, I brought back a character who I’d first created in Cold Play—Jilly, who is Jason’s self-appointed “guardian angel”. In Cold Play, she communicated with him via private messages on Twitter. In Ticket to Ride, she reappears on Instagram—much to Jason’s complete surprise.

The worst thing about being an author…to be honest, I don’t feel anything negative. I guess it’s because for most of my career, I’ve had to write in my spare time, in order to accommodate my full-time job. I retired in 2019 and finally became a full-time author, and I’m enjoying it so much, I wish I’d been able to do it earlier. But my financial situation would never allow it. If there’s anything negative about being an author, it’s probably the effect it has on my family. I tend to spend long hours immersed in research and correspondence and actual writing, and while it suits me perfectly, my husband and my sister sometimes find it annoying and frustrating that I’m so distracted.

Q. Describe your writing space.

A. It’s a little IKEA desk, just large enough for a laptop and a coffee cup. It sits next to my balcony window, which opens onto a wonderful little potted garden, complete with lavender, solar tiki lights, a hummingbird feeder (and hummingbirds), miniature gnomes, fairy lights, and little lighthouses which have lights which, at night, rotate just like real lighthouses. The balcony is seven storeys up in the air, and has an unimpeded vista view of the Fraser River, which is busy with marine traffic 24 hours a day. I should also add that I have a little glazed clay pot out there which contains some of my mother’s ashes. She died last May—and very soon afterwards, I started to be visited by those hummingbirds. It’s the most perfect writing space—and so inspiring.

Q. Besides writing and reading, what are some of your hobbies?

A. I have a few interesting hobbies. One of them is family tree research. I have a very mysterious great-grandfather whose birth record I can’t find and whose parentage is quite murky. I’ve done the DNA test and plunged into genealogy head-first. My Ticket to Ride hero, Jason Davey, shares that interest with me—and it actually figures quite importantly in the storyline. My other passionate interest is the London Underground–and more specifically, abandoned Underground stations. A few of my novels and short stories have included current and abandoned stations in their plots. And, finally, I knit. I’m almost ashamed to admit it. When I’m trying to work up my next storyline, or I’m stuck on a particularly tricky plot development, I resort to knitting tams and berets. I have quite a collection now, as you can imagine!

Q. What are you working on next?

A. I’m just starting to research and outline my next Jason Davey mystery, Bad Boy. It has a rather startling opening, involving The Shard in London. In fact, I’ve just got back from England. The original purpose of the trip was to scatter my mum’s ashes in her birthplace (she died in May 2021) but while I was there, I took the opportunity to conduct a lot of first-hand research—which included going up The Shard and taking part in a 4 ½ hour walking tour of Soho’s Musical Venues—Soho being where Jason works, in the Blue Devil jazz club. I also plan on taking Jason to Derbyshire, which is where some of my cousins live, in a lovely little village called Winster. I got some amazing ideas for the book on this trip, which will feature the return of one of my favourite all-time baddies, Arthur Braskey (from Notes on a Missing G-String).

Blurb

In Lost Time, professional musician / amateur sleuth Jason Davey was rehearsing for Figgis Green’s 50th Anniversary Tour of England. Now they’re on the road.

But when a fortune-teller in Sheffield warns them of impending danger, the band is suddenly plagued by a series of seemingly-unrelated mishaps.

After Jason is attacked and nearly killed in Cambridge, and a fire alarm results in a very personal theft from Mandy’s hotel room, it becomes clear they’re being targeted by someone with a serious grudge.

And when Figgis Green plays a gig at a private estate in Tunbridge Wells, that person finally makes their deadly intentions known.

Jason must rely on his instincts, his Instagram “guardian angel,” and a wartime ghost who might possibly share his DNA, in order to survive.

Ticket to Ride is the fourth book in Winona Kent’s mystery series featuring jazz musician-turned-amateur sleuth Jason Davey.

Buy Links

Amazon CA | Amazon US |
Amazon UK
| Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Kobo

Social Media Links

Website | Figgis Green Tour Website | Blue Devil Books | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Spotlight on Lost Among the Stars by Vicky Burkholder

I’m happy to welcome Wild Rose Press author Vicky Burkholder. Today, Vicky shares her creative journey and new release, Lost Among the Stars.

Interview

What inspired the story?

That’s probably the hardest question to answer. I was just “what iffing” and went through the “what if you were really rich (I wish!) and everyone thinks you have everything going for you. What if you don’t? What if there’s a madman who wants what you have and will do anything—including killing—to get it? What if this all happens on a spaceship so there’s no escape? What if…? Like that. I do a lot of that kind of thinking when I’m working on a book.

In writing Lost Among the Stars, what was the most fun?

I’ll admit it, I’m a nerd. So the research on what makes a planet livable for humans was the most fun for me. I have a master’s degree in library science and absolutely love doing research. So much so that I often get lost in the world building. But… how far does it have to be from a sun? What are the climates like? The land forms? The animals? And so on. I love that stuff.

Are you working on other books in this series?

Yes, definitely. I have two more books to come in this series: “Searching Among the Stars” and “Found Among the Stars”

Did you ever have a character surprise you?

Yes. All the time. I think they’re going to do one thing and…there they go, off on some tangent I never had in mind. And it usually works out better.

Who is your favorite character and why?

It depends on the story I’m writing. In one of my books, “Revenge Among the Stars”, SAMI, the AI, was actually my favorite character because he’s so…human. He’s a computer with attitude. In another (a fantasy with dragons), Crumb is my favorite. In another book, it will be someone else. Each book has someone I love. Someone who will stick in my mind.

What was your funniest moment as an author?

Weird as it may sound, a vacation I took with my family to the ocean. I was in the middle of creating the world for another book and just couldn’t figure out the landscape, so, my kids and I sat on the beach and built a world out of sand, kind of like the guy in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. We built mountains and rivers, towns, everything. People looked at us kind of funny, but it all worked out. The kids and I had a ball and I got my world built. I took pictures of it all to take home before the tide washed it away.

What do you find more challenging about writing than you expected?

Two things: the actual writing and the promotions. I have a ton of stories in my head, but actually sitting down and putting them on paper is often a challenge. There are some days when the words just won’t come. When you stare at the blank screen and wonder what the heck you’re going to write that’s new and different and exciting. If you’re not careful, you can become jaded after a while. And then there’s promoting your books and yourself. For a strong introvert like me who doesn’t travel, this can be the hardest thing in the world to do. But it’s necessary.

Are you a pantser or a plotter?

A little of both. I don’t plot the entire story out, but I know where I’m starting and where it’s going and a little of what happens in the middle. It’s a very loose sort of plotting.

What time of day do you feel most creative?

Very early in the morning. I’m definitely a morning person—I’m usually up around five or five-thirty (with no alarm clock) and use that time before my husband is up to write and work. The dark hours before dawn are the best time of day for me. But don’t ask me to do anything after 9:30 p.m. Not going to happen. 😊

When you’re having a problem with a book, what do you do to solve it?

I have an amazing group of writing friends. We call ourselves the Boot Squad because we kick each other’s butts if we’re not getting the work done. Of the five of us, two are my best friends and I can turn to either one of them for brainstorming. They are my worst critics and my best supporters. I’d never be able do what I do without them.

Tagline

How do you escape death when you are lost in space and a killer is aboard your ship?

Blurb

Amanda Ki’s humanitarian trip to Xy-Three is fraught with assassins and saboteurs who are popping up faster than she can deal with them. Caught up in a web of intrigue, kidnapping, and terror, Mandy joins forces with the captain of the Phoenix, Declan Chalmers. Declan is tall, dark, handsome, and probably the most arrogant, dictatorial man she has ever met. He’s also one of the few people she can trust. Declan doesn’t know what to expect from the VIP who heads up a million-dollar enterprise, when she boards his ship. The tiny, exotic, and packed full of grit woman is not only drop dead gorgeous and smart, she’s also deadly when it comes to martial arts. A skill he wants on his side when the space craft is sabotaged. Thrown together, the two form a tight bond, but if they aren’t careful, they could end up dead.

Excerpt

Declan took in the woman sitting in front of him, from the long, coal-black hair held back with a tie, to the expensive, but practical jumpsuit. She was everything Declan disliked—a bureaucrat of the worst type—stubborn, fiery, and determined. Revising his earlier thoughts, she was neither old, nor wrinkled, but Dec wasn’t sure about the coddling yet. “There’s no need to thank me. You handled the situation exceedingly well. However,” his voice changed from silky smooth to one of warning, “in the future, please don’t give my crew any orders without checking with me first.”

Miss Ki stared at him. He could see the muscles in her jaw working. Fine, so she was angry. Dec wasn’t exactly happy with the way this trip was starting out either.

“I wasn’t aware I needed your permission to do my job. These people are my responsibility.”

“And this ship and her crew are mine. While you’re on my ship, you will follow my orders. Is that clear, Ms. Ki?”

Mandy stood, bracing her hands on the desk. “Like hell I will. You may be in charge of this ship, but I am in charge of this mission. Is that clear, Captain?” Without waiting for an answer, she stalked from the room.

Buy Links

The Wild Rose Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Books

Author Bio and Links

As her alter-ego, Vicky has multiple homes all over the universe. She looks human – for the most part – but when she starts writing about characters being able to move things or flicking fire from their fingertips, or changing the course of rivers, people tend to get a little freaked out. She found the one guy out there in the universe who loves her for who she is and they’ve been together forever and raised four wonderful (now) adults. Her career includes work as a technical writer/editor, a stringer for the local newspaper, and an editor and copy editor for various publishers. At various times in her life, she has been a teacher, a secretary, a short-order cook, a computer specialist, a DJ, and a librarian. When not editing or writing, she can be found in the kitchen creating gluten free goodies for her family.

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

Shortlisted for Guelph’s Official Bird

A Brief Recap

In February, the City of Guelph began the application process for the Bird Friendly City designation. To date, only four cities in Canada—Vancouver, London, Toronto, Calgary—have been designated a Bird Friendly City by Nature Canada.

The City of Guelph staff teamed up with experts from two local groups— Bird Safe Guelph and Nature Guelph Bird Wing—to produce a list of eight birds that represent Guelph. The first round of voting ended Friday, April 1st.

The following birds have been shortlisted for the title of Guelph’s official bird:

Chimney Swift | Black-Capped Chickadee | Green Heron



It is now time to vote for the final candidate and help Guelph achieve the coveted Bird Friendly City designation.

Vote here before Friday, April 22.

Blurb Blitz: Late for the Wedding

I’m happy to welcome back husband-and-wife team, M.K. Scott. Today, they share their new release, Late for the Wedding.

Blurb

The Senior Sleuths don’t mind a little peace now and then, but after a long bout of nothing out of the ordinary, they’re eager for some excitement.

No one could’ve imagined it would arrive with such a bang.

A mysterious explosion has rocked the assisted living community, disrupting life for everyone.

Despite the stern warnings from authorities, one of the Senior Sleuths can’t help but get involved. This is their home, after all.

Herman, always eager to root out the truth, ignores the warnings and hunts for answers. He’s convinced the explosion was a rouse to cover up something far more sinister. But the other seniors aren’t as eager to get involved. They’re focused on Marcy and Lance’s upcoming wedding.

Without his usual sidekicks, can Herman track down the bomber and a missing veteran who no one else remembers?

Excerpt

A loud boom erupted behind Herman, resulting in him jumping to his feet, placing a hand on his

“Keep going.” A sizable woman employee, garbed in a cartoon smock that hinted at a playful personality on better days, shouted as she pointed at a thin line of ornamental trees that served as a barrier between the center and the nearby neighborhood. “Head toward the Bradford Pear trees!”

The majority of residents complied without a peep, moving as fast as they could go. As children, they must have listened to their teachers and made their parents proud. Not all of the residents qualified as rule followers, however.

One slender woman with a still firm chin turned to address the shouting aide.

“Is this a drill?” Eunice’s shrill voice carried over the hubbub. “I hate these stupid fire drills.”

A continual beep, beep, beep of an alarm carried across the parking lot as doors opened on different wings emitting a steady parade of confused residents and agitated employees. A ladder fire truck’s brakes squealed as it made a hard right into the parking lot attracting attention. The exasperated aide in the cartoon smock, probably never guessing she’d be shepherding reluctant residents to safety when she woke this morning, pointed to the fire truck. Her harsh tone conveyed her tension. “Does this look like a drill?”

Eunice swung her attention from the woman to the dire track and back to the woman again. “It could be a trick question. A while back firefighters showed up for a grease fire. Another time, when a dryer caught on fire because the lint collector was full, they came, too.”

“Go on!” the woman shouted. “My job is to make sure you don’t burn up. It’s not going to happen if you keep asking questions.”

“Geesh!” Eunice huffed, then moved to where many other residents waited. The assisted living center’s residents, some in wheelchairs and a few taking a break on their walker seats waited along the edge of the property along with the uniformed staff. A few even broke into applause as the firefighters arrived, confident that whatever happened would be put right due to the efforts of the courageous first responders.

Author Bio

M. K. Scott is the husband and wife writing team behind the cozy mystery series, The Painted Lady Inn Mysteries, The Talking Dog Detective Agency, The Way Over the Hill Gang, and Cupid’s Catering Company.

Morgan K Wyatt is the general wordsmith, while her husband, Scott, is the grammar hammer and physics specialist. He uses his engineering skills to explain how fast a body falls when pushed over a cliff and various other felonious activities.

The Internet and experts in the field provide forensic information, while the recipes and B and B details require a more hands on approach. Morgan’s daughter, who manages a hotel, provides guest horror stories to fuel the plot lines. The couple’s dog, Jane, is the inspiration behind Jasper, Donna’s dog.

All the series are full of quirky characters, humorous shenanigans, along with the occasional murder.

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***The book will be on sale for $0.99 on the day of the tour.***

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Late-Wedding-Over-Hill-Gang-ebook/dp/B09LTCHFY3/

Giveaway

MK Scott will be awarding a $40 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.

Follow MK Scott on the rest of their Goddess Fish tour here.