Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My First Public Reading

The Saskatchewan Romance Writers were invited to read from their published works or works in progress at the Regina Public Library (RPL) on Tuesday night. Four of us took up the challenge. It was my first time attending a reading never mind reading at one.

We invited family and friends and were very surprised when the RPL promotion posters did their job and a couple dozen people showed up to listen. JJ, my eleven year old, was the official photographer for the night.

The reading, formally entitled Romancing the Word: An Evening with Saskatchewan Romance Writers was held in the RPL theatre. The staff had coffee and juice waiting for everyone and our own Annette brought heart-shaped sugar cookies to set the mood. Karyn contributed white coverings for the two tables we sat at when we weren't actively reading. Karyn also provided a gorgeous bowl of roses to enhance the ambience. We started about 7:05 pm and were allotted 15 mins each to read.

First up was Susan Eason who read one of her published short stories. She writes contemporary romance.

Next, Karyn Good read the beginning of her Romantic Suspense, Common Ground.

I read the beginning of my Historical Inspirational Romance, Emma's Outlaw.


And Annette Bower read 2 of her Women's Fiction short stories.


We checked the time when Annette finished and it was 8 pm. Perfect timing. Annette opened the floor to questions while we sat at the front, a microphone on each table. I felt like I was at an official press conference. The many questions about our writing, the genres, writing groups, etc, kept us busy for the final half hour.

All of the above photo credits go to JJ Draper.

Not sure who took this last photo but thank you. You did a fine job.

Monday, February 22, 2010

At the Inkwell: Mumma and My Favorite Hymn

Today, I'm blogging at Inkwell Inspirations about my Finnish grandmother and why Mansion Over the Hilltop is my favorite hymn.

I've posted an old photograph of my grandparents taken in 1930 in Kitee, Finland as well as one taken in 1987 at their Ryland, Ontario farm.

I've included the lyrics to Mansion Over the Hilltop and added a YouTube Video of someone signing the words. (Yes, that's signing as in American Sign Language.)

So if you have a couple minutes to spare while you sip a coffee, head over to the Inkwell and read about me and Mumma.

This is the final week the Inkies will be talking about their favourite songs.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Adventure on the Prairie

Yesterday, we were on our way to church when we heard a loud bang. As hubby groaned and steered us to a stop, I knew we'd blown the rear tire we'd had to pump up before leaving home.

We were approx 20 km/12 miles from home and about the same from church. Hubby and the boys got out to take a look. Sure enough the sidewall had blown out of the tire. 

I had been reading The Raven Saint by ML Tyndall while we were travelling so while hubby began the task of changing the tire in -21C/-6F weather - not including the horrific wind chill - I settled in the warm van and continued reading about romance on the high seas.

As I read, the van wobbled and moved as Nelson got on with the job. After a while, though, I was aware of a tapping sound coming from the open back so I got out to take a look. 

He'd been able to drop the spare tire down but it was filled with ice and gravel which had hardened like cement and he was chipping away at it with a small hammer.  He couldn't unhook the spare until he chipped it all out. After 15 mins or so of chipping, Nelson came in the van to warm up and the boys took over tapping away at the hard-packed donut.

When Nelson went back out, I thought the boys would come in to warm up. Nope, they decided to go walking out on the snow. Like they don't have enough back at our own 160 acres. Sheesh. 

By the time the spare was installed, over an hour had passed. Since church would be out soon, we turned around and went back home.

And how did you spend Valentine's Day?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

MaryLu Tyndall Visits Prairie Chicks Write Romance

I'm hosting MaryLu Tyndall over at Prairie Chicks Write Romance today.

MaryLu is one of the new edgy Christian authors who are pushing the limits. Back in 2006 when I first saw the cover for MaryLu's pirate book The Redemption, I thought there was no way I would be entertained by an inspirational swashbuckler book. I mean a pirate hero isn’t your average Christian literature. Wow! Was I wrong. When I'm reading her books, I keep flipping to the spine to check the publisher's insignia. Even if you've never wanted to read an inspirational book, if you like excitement, passion and history, you'll be fully entertained with MaryLu's books. You can read my book review of MaryLu's Legacy of the King's Pirates series here.

MaryLu's new release is The Raven Saint. It's the third book in her current CharlesTowne Belles series. I'm reading this one now and it's every bit as entertaining as her other books.

M.L. Tyndall, a Christy Award Finalist, and best-selling author of the Legacy of the King’s Pirates series is known for her adventurous historical romances filled with deep spiritual themes. She holds a degree in Math and worked as a software engineer for fifteen years before testing the waters as a writer. MaryLu currently writes full time and makes her home on the California coast with her husband, six kids, and four cats. Her passion is to write page-turning, romantic adventures that not only entertain but expose Christians to their full potential in Christ.

For more information on MaryLu and her upcoming releases, please visit her website at
or her blog at

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lisa Wingate Visits the Chicks

I'm hosting inspirational author Lisa Wingate over at the Prairie Chicks today.

If you want a chance at winning a basket of Texas goodies which include books, snacks and a throw with a total value of $150, head on over to Prairie Chicks Write Romance and leave a comment with your email address anytime until midnight on Feb 18th on Lisa's post.

I'll draw one name from all the comments on Lisa's post and that one name will be sent in for the grand prize basket. You must leave your email address to have your name in the draw.

Well, what are you waiting for... go...


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Puzzle Fun for You

I saw my first ever double ringed Sun Dog yesterday on the way back from church.

I don't know what it is with Sun Dogs this year, but we saw another awesome display yesterday on the way to church and then more spectacular on the way back after. I'll show you the photos here but I'm also trying something new.

I've turned these 3 photos into jigsaw puzzles compliments of so if you want to relax for a few minutes, vist my Sun Dogs Jigsaw Puzzle Gallery -

I took the first one around
9 am yesterday. The temp was only
-15 but the wind chill was ridiculous. I stepped out of the car to snap this photo and my hands were chaffed and stinging by the time I got back into the van. And I was only outside the vehicle 20 seconds tops.

We go to church in Glenavon, SK and they have one of the few remaining grain elevators still in operation. It was about 9:30 am at this time.

We left church at 12 noon and headed west on Hwy 48 toward Montmartre. I didn't realize anything spectacular was going on until I looked out my window and saw this bright light on the southern horizon. Say what? Then I realized it was the bottom of a Sun Dog. It took me a few more miles to realize it was a double ringed Sun Dog - my first ever. (This photo is not a puzzle.)

Actually, this next photo is too washed out to see the glory it showed live but die-hard puzzle fans might like the challenge.

It's the best photo of the double ringed Sun Dogs  because it was so big and wouldn't all fit on my little camera screen at the same time. The right rings were rainbow colored but in the photo, the bright sun has washed it all out.

So, did you go over and make a puzzle?

And no, I'm not wasting my time making puzzles instead of writing... our church has over a dozen beautiful 4-8 foot fabric banners and I'm turning them into puzzles for the church website. This is just my testing ground.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Is it Me?

I'm blogging over at Prairie Chicks Write Romance today about phrases I've misunderstood and said wrong or get perturbed when others say it wrong.

I'm using these phrases as examples:

- uh huh, uh uh, huh uh, nuh uh

- 'shaking your head, yes'

- ‘If that’s what you think, then you have another thing coming.’

- card shark

- spitting image

What about you? See anything you'd like to discuss on this list? Then head over to the Prairie Chicks and join our discussion. I'd love to read your take on it.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sun Dog Book Winner

Well, that was a fun contest! I ended up with 28 entries. Some people only entered once, others had several entries as they made the rounds of my blog posts. I assigned each entry a number. And then I gave the numbers to the Random Number Generator.

And the winning number belongs to...



Thank you to everyone who entered the contest. I had so much fun I'm going to hold another one soon. Hubby just pulled a new book out of my latest eHarlequin shipment and said, "I read this one!" OOps. So it looks like the next prize is a spankin' brand new Love Inspired Suspense book. I just have to think up a contest now....

Meanwhile you're probably tired of looking at these, but I wanted to get the photos you liked best all together
for an encore.

This first photo was from the first blog (not on eHarl) and had 7 votes.

This is #6 from my 2nd blog. It garnered 6 votes.

Here's # 5 from by second blog. It came in with 5 votes.

Thanks again.