Monday, March 29, 2010

March Sunrise

I haven't been posting because I'm in my cave working on deadlines for 2 contests. I had them ready a month ago but my wonderful critique partners picked them apart so a major overhaul was in order.

In the meantime, I thought I'd show you what I've been waking to every morning. The sun rises around 7 am these days and shines in my eyes while I'm drinking my morning coffee.

But what a glorious sight! And no, this pic is not photoshopped. It's the color God painted it.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Let Me Introduce Diane Burke

I'd like to introduce Diane Burke to you. I've known her a couple years now and we've seen each other's writing before it was ready for anyone else to see - at least mine was in that category. Diane on the other hand won the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense under the working title Whispers in the Dark. And now with a name change, Diane's first book - Midnight Caller - has been released as a Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense.

Please join me in congratulating Diane on her achievement. I have an interview with Diane over at Prairie Chicks Write Romance. If you go over and leave a comment before 6 pm Sunday night, you might win a signed copy of Midnight Caller.

Midnight Caller:
Three deaths, one connection—the anonymous calls all three women reported in the weeks before they died. Detective Tony Marino wants to close this case before another woman disappears. Especially when he meets a fatherless little boy whose mother is being stalked. Single mom Erin O'Malley tells Tony about her anonymous caller's heavy breathing and unnerving silences. And the feeling of being watched—constantly. Now, after years of thinking he had nothing to offer a wife and child, Tony will do anything to protect the family that feels like his own. Because Erin is next on the killer's list.

Read an excerpt

So head over to Prairie Chicks and see if you can win a copy of Diane's debut book.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Another Adventure on the Prairie

There I was writing up a storm when Nelson asked if I'd drive Nick to Youth group tonight. I didn't really want to but Nelson is on call and has to get up early tomorrow so I said okay. What was I thinking!

First we had to drive about 35km/22mls northwest to pick up one strapping lad who didn't have a ride. Then we drove about 40 km/25mls east and south to pick up a young lass. The problem was, the lass lived way out in the boonies and we had to go a further 10km/6mls out of our way to get her. So I asked Nick to phone her and check if the summer road was open. With all the melting going on, it seemed a possibility. Nick talked to the lass's dad who said it was open.

BTW - the sunset pics were taken enroute to pick up the lad.

It wasn't. It was now dark and the road in question looked okay when I first turned onto it. About 500metres/a third of a mile in, fingers of snow about 3-4" deep crossed in front of me. I told the boys in the van that the road wasn't open but if that's all there was we would be okay. Not a minute later, I crested a hill and started down. The snow looked much worse and just as I decided to stop and retreat, I plowed into the snow. Yup, I was hung up on a hard drift. Nick called the lass's dad who said he'd come pull us out.

Roughly an hour later we were on our way again. Since the dad brought the lass out to us we didn't have to go pick her up. Even so, we didn't get to the youth leader's house until 9:30 - 2 hrs late.

We left at midnight. This time we drove the long way around to drop off the lass. Instead of taking the young lad all the way back home, he was coming with us for a sleepover.

By the time I arrived home at 0100, I'd put 190 km/118 miles on the van.

Since the lass said her dad chuckled all the way to pull us out, I can imagine what the men will say to me at church on Sunday. But first I'll have to face Nelson in the morning. That's it, I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Book Trailer Contest Round 2

It's Round 2 of the Book Trailer contest.

Head on over to Misty Taggart's site to vote for your favorite book trailer. Each voter gets an entry for the grand prize giveaway- A KINDLE! As well as a $25 Amazon gift card.

Hurry - midnight (PST) March 23, 2010 deadline.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Daylight Savings Time - NOT!

It's Monday and apparently Daylight Savings Time kicked in over the weekend. But those of us who live in Saskatchewan, Canada, don't change. This means instead of being in Central Standard Time (CST), I'm now on Mountain Standard Time (MST).

It also means there'll be a 2 hr time difference between me and my friend Gwen in Michigan and my other friend Deb in New York instead of only one. :(

I have to remember to log on an hour earlier to the Steeple Hill and Wild Rose Press chats or they'll be half over before I have a chance to say hello.

And it means I'll have to re-aquaint myself with the TV scheduling for those shows coming from the east or I'll miss those, too.

Such is the life of a person living in the middle of nowhere who is thankful her government doesn't bow to public pressure. I may have to readjust to some timings, but at least I'm not trying to reset my inner clock and fool my mind, body and senses into thinking there's an extra hour of daylight in the evening when there's not.

I took the photo last week from my bedroom window.

So what do you think of Daylight Savings Time? Like it? Lump it?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Victoria Bylin Book Giveaway

Victoria Bylin is visiting Prairie Chicks Write Romance and will give away a copy of Kansas Courtship to one person who comments before midnight CST today.

Kansas Courtship is Book 3 in the Love Inspired Historical Series, After the Storm: The Founding Years. To see what this book is about, scroll down for my take on it.

Now head over to Prairie Chicks and get your comment in for the draw.

Series Review: After the Storm The Founding Years

After the Storm: The Founding Years (Love Inspired Historical)

Book 1 – Jan 10 – High Plains Bride by Valerie Hansen

Book 2 – Feb 10 – Heartland Wedding by Renee Ryan

Book 3 – Mar 10 – Kansas Courtship by Victoria Bylin

This series is about a new town in High Plains, Kansas Territory which suffers a tornado strike. Each book has different characters and yet they’re interwoven into the High Plains community. Each book is a stand-alone (except for the missing children thread) and yet together they tell a beautiful story of the integrity and stamina of early Americans faced with destruction and having to rely on their own resources.

Book 1 - High Plains Bride by Valerie Hansen: Valerie Hansen pulled me into the story by her poignant portrayal of a young woman who feels the need to stay and protect her family rather than go find one of her own. And she’s written a hero whose generosity overwhelms everyone, including himself but that’s because he puts the needs of others ahead of his own.

Emmeline Carter is in a wagon west of the town when the tornado strikes. They were supposed to be part of a wagon train but when the rest of the wagons stopped to circle due to the approaching storm, Emmeline’s mean-spirited father pushed his family onward, alone. Caught on the open prairie without adequate shelter, the family suffers devastation and loss of life. With an ailing mother and sister, missing children and a deceased father, Emmeline needs to take charge and figure out what to do. Fast.

When the storm passes, town founder Will Logan walks among the destruction offering comfort to the shocked citizens. Knowing the tornado headed  west, his thoughts are on the pretty woman he met earlier in the mercantile before the wagons left. When he’s certain everything’s being done that needs it, he decides to put his mind at rest. The wagon train wreckage only heightens his worry, especially when he hears she’s not among them. Another problem crops up once he finds her trying to flip the wagon right-side-up… now that he’s found her, what’s he going to do with her?

Valerie brings these two strong characters together and challenges them emotionally and spiritually as they try to figure out why God would allow this to happen.

Book 2 – Heartland Wedding by Renee Ryan: I really liked it when this second book in the series also started on the day of the storm. Renee takes two different characters who live in the town and throws them together alone for the duration. Vivid attention to detail raised the hairs on my arms as I listened to the howling winds, urging it to pass.

Risking her own life, Rebecca Gunderson runs outside when the tornado hits with one thing on her mind—to find her brother, the only family she has left. Instead, she runs into the town blacksmith, Pete Benjamin who won’t let her go for fear she’ll blow away. They innocently ride out the storm alone in a cellar with nothing more than a comfort hug occurring between them. But when the town gossip hears about it, Rebecca’s reputation is in question and Pete feels compelled to offer the protection of marriage. She knows he’s still suffering the loss of his first wife and child, how can she live with him knowing he was forced to marry her?

Renee’s characters are fresh and familiar. I cried along with Rebecca as she tried to understand and obey God’s will. And a few times I wanted to smack the back of Pete’s head for being obtuse and not accepting the gift God had blessed him with. It was suspenseful right to the end.

Book 3 – Kansas Courtship by Victoria Bylin: This book was adorable. Victoria stayed true to form by writing a fallen hero struggling to stay strong, but the story had a light feeling attributed to a few scenes which had my family asking why I was chuckling as I read.

After the storm, people had died from lack of a skilled doctor yet no one suitable had applied. Zeb Garrison, who helped found the town, is certain the only thing that could be worse than the other applicants was if a woman applied—and no way was he letting one try. Let’s just say he’s a mite angry when the new applicant, who signed as Dr. N. Mitchell, turns out to be a Nora. Sparks flare and voices raise as propriety battles necessity. Throw in an instant attraction for each other and you have story that’s delightfully entertaining, profoundly emotional and satisfying in its conclusion.

Kudos to Valerie, Renee and Victoria for accepting the challenge and writing a heart-warming series which reminds us of God’s love in the face of destruction.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Book Trailer Contest to Win a Kindle

Wow, win a Kindle! Now that's a terrific prize. I received an email from Kathy Carlton Willis Communications the other day about a neat book trailer contest and the prize is a Kindle.

Here's what's it's all about... Trailers to the Stars! is promoting their new book cover trailer package by having a trailer contest. They have 15 book trailers (YouTube) for you to watch and then you pick the one you like the best. The email states:

The deadline for voting on your top pick is March 14, midnight central standard time. In appreciation for your time and vote, you'll be entered in a giveaway contest for a KINDLE and an AMAZON gift card. In the next few weeks you'll also have the opportunity to choose the top pick for best TTTS trailer and another entry in the giveaway.

Are you ready to play? Here is the email with all the book trailers listed. Good luck.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Can't Wait for Christmas

Yes, you read that right! I can't wait for Christmas because a fellow writer - someone I've actually corresponded with - has a Christmas movie coming out this Dec based on a book she's written. Woohoo!

I'm hosting Robin Jansen Shope, author of the book, The Christmas Edition over at the Inkwell today. Robin talks about her writing journey, her books and her movie, Journey to Paradise.

I've even included the Journey to Paradise trailer by Salty Earth Pictures and all the links you'll ever need to find out everything about this project.

Questions we're discussing today at the Inkwell are: Do you like reading books and watching movies which revolve around a holiday? Do you like to read the book, see the movie or do both?

Hope to see you there.


Monday, March 8, 2010

Horizontal Frost Photos

Not sure if any of you realized, but due to a problem with Telus in BC, I've been denied access to all Blogger sites and Google Earth since last Thurs. At least 250 others have been affected as well. And yes, because we're using a satellite internet provider, our signal goes through BC.

So now that I'm back - I hope to stay - I'm going to show you some pics of what you missed.

We've been having foggy, frosted days. One day in particular, showed frost patterns I've never seen before. Here's how my van looked when I first went outside that day.

As you can see, about the only thing that's frosted is the antenna. I've never seen anything like it before. Here's a closeup of the horizontal frost crystals on the antenna.

The wind must've blown the frost in from the south because this is what some of the trees looked like from that direction.

And yet when we go a few steps further to the north and turn around this is was I saw.

The frost was so selective that it only became attached to the metal road in this pump and the weed growing in front of it.

I happened to look down and saw a cat's paw print and another mark, both of which had attracted the frost in different ways.

Now this is probably a loaded question, but has there been any weird weather down your way?


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Book Review: The Raven Saint

The Raven Saint (CharlesTowne Belles Book 3) by ML Tyndall (Barbour House 2009)

MaryLu Tyndall delivers a riveting romance on the high seas in a book that steams up the pages as much as the tropics it sails through. A master at creating conflict, she’s written a story about a hero who needs to sell the do-gooder heroine so he can raise money to do good.

Sure, Capt Rafe Dubois has his morals a tad confused but the sale of Grace Westcott is for a really good cause – the money is going to build a hospital for orphans. And she’s not just some random woman he picked off the street – her father was the British admiral who was responsible for his mother’s death. I felt the tension of Rafe's turmoil  when he looks upon the beautiful Grace. He loved his mother and wants revenge, yet he starts to feel things which have no place in his chosen life. He's made a promise to deliver Grace to the don and what is a man if he doesn’t stand behind his word?

A devout Christian, Grace Westcott isn’t afraid to speak her mind and advise someone when they aren’t on their way to heaven, like she did to her own sister. Grace believes God has placed her on the heathen ship to spread the gospel. She’s very good at picking out the sinners and she’s not afraid to tell them to kneel before the cross. And yet we see Grace desperately searching to find God’s calling for her life. She can’t see how perfectly pious she is until she accepts her own small existence in God’s vast universe and realizes God listens to the prayers of the lost as well as the faithful.

Part of the enjoyment in MaryLu's books is her accuracy for detail whether the reader is climbing the rigging of a tall ship, running through an 18th century immoral town or engaging in a swordfight. Swashbuckling action worthy of a major motion picture.

I received this book for free from the publisher. This review is similar to reviews of 3 other books from the same author which I paid for all on my own. I will buy anything this author writes but if they want to send me free copies – meh – I’ll take ‘em.

Heat Level: Sensual (nothing a teen couldn’t read)

Spiritual message: Strong

My Rating: Excellent - 5 stars (one to re-read; definitely a keeper)