Sunday, December 30, 2012

Fifteen Minutes for the New Year

Soon it will be a new year. And as usual, I will take a few minutes to think about what I want to accomplish in this new year. Some years I set out elaborate goals, but this year, I'm going to try to keep it simple.

Recently I read an article that said the reason most New Year's resolutions are not kept is because they're too big. For instance, maybe I want to lose fifty pounds. If I make losing fifty pounds my goal, it's very overwhelming, and so big that it's feels impossible to accomplish, or to even begin. But if I break it down, if I say my goal is to lose five pounds at a time, that's a much more doable goal. Instead of looking ahead a whole year, maybe we should only look ahead to the next fifteen minutes. We can only really control our actions for the next fifteen minutes. After that it's a crap shoot. So I'm going to try to break up my goals into smaller, more managable pieces, goals I can keep fifteen minutes at a time.

So when I'm tempted to eat something I shouldn't, I'll try to wait fifteen minutes. Perhaps the temptation will pass.

And as far as my writing goes, I have many projects I want to complete, but the writing of a book, or a series of books, is a huge undertaking. So my goal is to think only about what I can accomplish in the next fifteen minutes, and then the next fifteen minutes, and so on.

Do you have any resolutions for 2013? Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Chocolate Thief

Merry Christmas to all! We've been celebrating the holidays the last few days with plenty of food (the diet starts next week!) and just being together. It's been wonderful to have both of my daughters home this year.

Last night we decided to go out to see "Les Miserables" which opened yesterday in movie theatres. Great show! Loved the acting and the singing. I remembered the songs from seeing the theatre production many years ago. "Les Miserables" remains one of my top favorite musicals of all time.

Returning home after three hours (yes, the show is that long), we were greeted by a scene of devastation in our living room. Ripped wrapping paper and torn boxes once containing chocolates were strewn over the floor. The culprit - our dog Lou, a notorious chocoholic. In our rush to get to the movie, we'd neglected to put the opened chocolate up high where she couldn't get at it, and left it instead on the coffee table. She cleaned out two chocolate boxes that were almost empty, one box we'd just opened, and an unopened 'chocolate orange' (a solid ball of orange flavored milk chocolate the size of an orange). All that was left were the empty boxes and a dog with a guilty expression.

We really should have known better. The same thing occurred a few Christmases back when the dog ate an entire box of expensive Belgian chocolates given to us by a friend. Back then I'd phoned our veterinary clinic and was advised that chocolate could be toxic to dogs. I was told to give Lou a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide to make her throw up.

So guess what I was doing last night? Cleaning up after the dog. Merry Christmas to me.

On the bright side, this morning I found the chocolate orange that we thought she'd eaten yesterday. She'd taken it out of the box and then carried it into my office where she'd hidden it behind a box, presumably to finish later. Aside from a couple of teeth marks on the foil wrapper, it was totally intact.

Lou, the notorious chocolate thief
Note to self: next Christmas hide all the chocolate. Otherwise, make sure to have plenty of hydrogen peroxide on hand.

Monday, December 17, 2012

LASR Stuff Your Stocking with Books Blogfest!

Long and Short Reviews is once again sponsoring the Stuff Your Stocking with Books Blogfest from December 17 to 21, 2012. My post, a Christmas short story called "The Christmas Wish", will go live at 2:00 pm on December 17. Here's the link:

One random commentor on the post will win a PDF copy of my contemporary romantic comedy "Rescue Me". I'd love to see you there so comment away!

Please remember the post won't go live until 2 in the afternoon. I hope you enjoy my story!

Secret Santa Blog Hop!

My Dog Loves Winter!

My dog is a winter dog. Lou is a Pug/Terrier cross, and like other Pugs (or part Pugs), she tends to overheat. In the summer, we have to make sure to take her out for her walks early in the morning before it gets too hot, or late at night after it cools down. If she gets too hot, she'll pant, stop numerous times in the shade, roll around in the cool grass. Eventually, she'll just stop walking, too hot to move another inch. I've found myself carrying her home before I figured out that she didn't do well in the heat. Trust me, twenty-five pounds of overheated dog is really heavy when you have carry her home several blocks!

So Lou loves cold weather, probably much more than I do. Luckily for her we live in Winnipeg, Canada and have many days of cold weather and plenty of snow. It's funny to watch her jump through the snow with her short little legs. She's so short, and sometimes the snow in our back yard is so deep, that we have to break trail for her so she can do her business, either by walking through the snow ourselves, or by blowing a path with the snowblower.

It's ironic that in summer she meanders along, stopping to sniff everything, and taking her sweet time getting anywhere, while in the winter she pulls me down the icy streets at breakneck speed. I'm barely able to keep upright. But Lou is always up for a walk, so I've learned to put cleats on my winter boots and keep on going.

If it gets too cold, like minus 15 Celius or colder, Lou has trouble walking. Hey, if you had to walk around barefoot in the snow at that temperature you'd have trouble too! So we put on her boots and her coat. She's not crazy about getting dressed up, but once she gets outside, she happily frolics in the snow wearing her ensemble!

This winter promises to be a cold one, but Lou and I will dress up warm and brave the weather together. And together this Christmas we'll greet our guests and enjoy a wonderful Christmas dinner. Lou especially likes the turkey innerds (gizzards, hearts, livers), which I am more than happy to part with!

I haven't decided what to put in Lou's Christmas stocking this year. Maybe it will be a chew toy or maybe she'll get dog treats. She doesn't really care as long as her people are around her giving her lots of love. Which is exactly the way it should be.

All the best this Christmas from Jana and Lou. Stay warm and enjoy the snow!

Here's my question about my post:  What's Lou's favorite Christmas treat?
To be eligible to win my prize, a PDF copy of my latest release, "Home Fires", please comment  on this post. Winner of prize will be chosen at random from all comments received.

And don't forget about at the grand prize being awarded at the Secret Santa Blog Hop - a Kindle Fire HD to be given away December 20! Remember, you've got three ways to get entries to win the Kindle Fire; answer my question, follow my blog, or comment on my post. You don't have to do all of these things, but each one gets you an entry. Make sure you let Carey know what you've done in order to win. Contact Carey at
Here's a blurb from my prize, "Home Fires":

Anne Wakefield travels halfway around the world for love. But when she arrives in Canada from England at the end of World War Two, she discovers the handsome Canadian pilot she’d fallen in love with has married someone else. Heartbroken, she prepares to return to London, though she has nothing left there to return to. Her former fiancé’s mother makes a suggestion: marriage to her other son.
Badly wounded and scarred during the war, Erik Gustafson thinks he’s a poor substitute for his brother. Although he loves Anne almost from the first time he sees her, he cannot believe she would ever be able to love him as he is – especially as he might be after another operation on his bad leg.  Anne sees the beauty of his heart. The cold prairie winter may test her courage, but can she prove to Erik that her love for him is real?
To read an excerpt from "Home Fires", please go to my website. "Home Fires" can be purchased from my publisher, The Wild Rose Press.

So tell Carey whether you've commented, followed my blog or answered my question at To do some more blog hopping, hop on back to Tabby's Nocternal Nights. Happy Hopping!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hot Autumn Nights Blog Hop!

I live in Canada where autumn nights can be very chilly. But keeping warm on a cold night can be fun, especially if you've got someone to keep warm with! There's nothing I like better than to cuddle with my husband under a blanket while we watch TV and enjoy a hot drink. Here's a couple of my favorite hot drinks for a cold night.

Hot Chocolate & the Adult Hot Chocolate

Who doesn't like hot chocolate? I have to admit that most of my hot chocolate drinks come from a mix. But if you want to upgrade your hot chocolate, add 2 oz. of Peppermint Schnapps. It adds a depth of flavour and a touch of sweetness that will warm you from the inside out. If you like, hang a mini candy cane on the side of your mug for an even mintier taste.

Hot Buttered Rum (my favorite!)

1 small slice butter
1 tsp. brown sugar
Optional spices: ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, allspice
Vanilla extract
2 oz. dark rum
Hot water

1. Place butter, sugar and spices at the bottom of an Irish Coffee glass or mug
2. Mix well.
3. Pour in rum and hot water. Stir and enjoy.
    Yields one drink

Do you have a favorite cold weather drink? I'd love you to share! All comments are eligible for the Grand Prize - a $140 Barnes and Noble Gift Certificate. I'm also offering as a prize a PDF copy of my contemporary romantic comedy "Rescue Me". To be eligible you must comment on this post. Winner will be chosen at random from all comments received. So comment away!

To find other stops on the Blog Hop, go here:

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Romance Reviews Year End Splash Party

Today is my Q & A day at the TRR Year End Splash Party. Answer my question for your chance to win a copy of my contemporary romantic comedy "Rescue Me". There are prizes to be won at every author's blog, plus a chance at the grand prize - a $100 gift card. The party runs from now until December 15, so come to the TRR blog and play the game to win!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Baking for Remembrance Day

For this Remembrance Day, I will pay my respects by baking a treat called Anzac Biscuits. These biscuits (don’t ever call them cookies) trace their origins back to World War One when women from Australia and New Zealand wanted to send a treat to husbands and sons serving on the front lines in Europe. They needed a biscuit that could survive the long trip and these little cookies, I mean biscuits, did the job. Here’s the recipe:

Anzac Biscuits

250 ml (1 cup) all purpose flour
250 ml (1 cup) large flake oats
250 ml (1 cup) desiccated coconut
250 ml (1 cup) brown sugar, packed
125 ml (1/2 cup) butter
45 ml (3 tbsp.) Lyle’s Golden Syrup
30 ml (2 tbsp) water

Preheat oven to 175 C (350 F). Line rimless baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, coconut, and sugar. Set aside. In small saucepan, stir butter, syrup and water over medium-low heat until butter melts. Stir into dry ingredients. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheet, spacing 5 cm (2 inches) apart. Bake in centre of oven until light golden on bottom., about 15 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer biscuits to wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 2 dozen. Can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container between layers of wax paper.

I got this recipe from the Winnipeg Free Press, where it was adapted from Canadian Living. Writer Allison Gillmor says it’s important to use the Golden Syrup (either Lyle’s or Roger’s), also known as light treacle. In a pinch, she says you can use corn syrup, but you won’t get the "subtle, slightly toasty flavor". She also recommends using parchment paper to keep the cookies from sticking.

You’ll notice that these biscuits use no eggs and no leavening. That’s because recipes such as this were developed during wartime when shortages forced home cooks to develop recipes that didn’t use some basic supplies. Their creativity lives on in these biscuits.

I want to remember those who fought on the front lines and those who served by fighting on the home front.

Lest we forget.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Do you believe in ghosts?

My post goes live today at 11 am at the LASR blog! In keeping with the Halloween theme, I'm blogging about the Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The century old hotel has long been reputed to be haunted - especially room 202 - and has made believers of even the most skeptical.  I will award one random commenter on my post an e-copy of my latest novella, "Home Fires". I'd love to hear if you believe in ghosts, so comment - if you dare!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Long & Short Reviews Halloween Blogfest!

The Long & Short Reviews Halloween Blogfest - October 29 to November 2, 2012. Win prizes at the blogfest by commenting on one of the many blogs posted between October 29 and November 2, 2012 on the LASR Blog. All the blogs have a Halloween theme. I'm blogging about a century old hotel in my city reported to be haunted. To win my prize, an e-copy of my novella "Home Fires", all you have to do is comment on my post, which will go live at 11 am on November 1.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Carnivalesque: The Traveling Blog Show is Back!

After a summer break in which many of us took the opportunity to read "Jane Eyre", the ladies of Carnivalesque: The Traveling Blog Show are back. Next weekend, some members of our writing group, The Saskatchewan Romance Writers, will be attending an event in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan called Word on the Street, a book and magazine festival celebrating reading and advocating for literacy. And of course, when thinking about attending an event, a writer's thoughts turn to what to wear. For our first week back, Joanne Brothwell posed this question:

With Word On The Street (a book and magazine festival) this weekend, I've been thinking about what to wear. Do you think it's important as an author attending public events to dress in a way that reflects their platform? If yes, what does that mean for you?
We'd love you to weigh in on this question. Please join us at Joanne Brothwell's blog and don't forget to wear your Sunday best!

Your hosts:
Joanne Brothwell
Karyn Good
Hayley E. Lavik
Jana Richards
and Janet Corcoran, who is away on holidays in Scotland, the lucky dog!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Myth of Multi-Tasking

Tell me if this sounds familiar; you’re trying to write a blog post while at the same checking emails as they come in and posting to Facebook. In the background the TV is playing. The buzzer on the dryer goes off and while you’re in the basement folding laundry, you have a great idea for your blog post. You finish putting away clothes, feed the dog, check some more emails, and send a link to Twitter. Unfortunately, by the time you sit down to write your post, your great idea has evaporated.

If you find yourself trying to do a hundred and one things at once, you’re a multi-tasker. You might think this is the best way to get a handle on your to-do list, but is it? According to
numerous studies, the human brain is not designed to multi-task. It’s designed to concentrate on one thing at a time, until that job is done, and then move on. When you multi-task, you lose the ability to deeply concentrate. If you flit back and forth between two or more projects, it will actually take you longer to complete your tasks, and they may not be done as well. For creative types, like writers, lack of concentration on a project can mean not only decreased productivity, but decreased quality. How can I be a good writer if I don’t totally immerse myself in the world of my story?
"Without great solitude, no serious work is possible." Picasso.

Writers who have abandoned multi-tasking report the following benefits: - Stress levels decreased. In her blog post"My Anti-Multitasking Experiment", Kario says she felt calmer because she didn’t have the pressure of a hundred things to do nagging at her constantly.
- Focus increased. Because he limited his projects from 15 to 2, James Mathewson says he was able to concentrate more fully.

- Writing projects were completed more quickly.

- The work became more enjoyable.

- Productivity went up.

- Creativity increased.

- In "10 Reason you need to Stop Multi-tasking" Ali reports that she made fewer mistakes when she stopped multi-tasking. She also reports that as freelance writer, clients appreciate having her full attention. So with all these benefits in mind, I am vowing from this day forth to concentrate on one writing project at a time. Here’s my plan to avoid multi-tasking and scattering my concentration:
- Make a list everyday of the three most important writing tasks I need to accomplish. And then do them. These tasks should relate to my overall goals. For instance, two of my goals this year are to finish writing projects that have lingered for years, and to increase my social media presence. My daily tasks should bring me closer to those goals.

- While I am writing, turn off email, IMs, Facebook etc. Also, don’t try to throw in another load of laundry or any other household task during my dedicated writing time. Writing time is for writing. Period.
For other great suggestions to increase concentration, check out these posts – "
10 Ways to Stop Multi-Tasking and Be More Effective" and "Stop multi-tasking and your writing will improve".
Do you believe you get more done when you multi-task, or do you find you get more done when you concentrate on one thing at a time?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

What I Learned from Jane Eyre

As a summer project, a group of us are reading "Jane Eyre" and sharing our thoughts about it as we progress. For most of us, including me, it is our first reading of the book. It’s one of those books I’ve always meant to read but never got around to. I wasn’t sure if I was really going to enjoy Ms. Bronte’s fiction, or if like cod liver oil, I needed to ingest it because reading a classic was ‘good for me’. Luckily, I found that reading the book was both enjoyable and educational.

Charlotte Bronte had a few things to teach me this summer. Here’s my take on lessons learned from "Jane Eyre":

1. Don’t forget the importance of setting. The novel abounds with detailed descriptions of each of its settings. The austerity described at Lowood School for girls lets us feel the continual cold and the pervasive hunger. Moor House is as warm and homey as Gateshead is cold and prisonlike. And of course Thornfield, Mr. Rochester’s mansion, is described in such a way that it feels impressive and lonely at the same time:

"...advancing onto the lawn, I looked up and surveyed the front of the mansion. It was three stories high, of proportions not vast, though considerable: a gentleman’s manorhouse, not a nobleman’s seat: battlements round the top gave it a picturesque look. Its grey front stood out well from the background of a rookery, whose cawing tenants were now on the wing:…Farther off were hills: not so lofty as those round Lowood, nor so craggy, nor so like barriers of separation from the living world; but yet quiet and lonely hills enough, and seeming to embrace Thornfield with a seclusion I had not expected to find."

I could see, feel, taste and experience each one of Ms. Bronte’s settings. I have to remember to put my readers in my books by using details as well as the five senses.

2. Don’t forget to flesh out characters with vivid description.
Jane Eyre has the uncanny knack of being able to describe people. Here she describes Adele on first meeting her:

"...a little girl, followed by her attendant, came running up the lawn. I looked at my pupil, who did not at first appear to notice me: she was quite a child, perhaps seven or eight years old, slightly built, with a pale, small-featured face, and a redundancy of hair falling in curls to her waist."

3. Don’t forget to make secondary characters come to life. Ms. Bronte has a gift for bringing secondary characters to life. All her characters are interesting, and all are individuals. Every character has a distinct personality. For instance, Adele is shown as being, of course, very child-like, but with a very big personality:

"Descending from her chair, she came and placed herself on my knee; then, folding her little hands demurely before her, shaking back her curls and lifting her eyes to the ceiling, she commenced singing a song from some opera."

4. Make each character unique. In the descriptions of ladies in the party scene, I was able to see each of the eight ladies as separate and unique. I could also form opinions on each of the eight ladies. Which brings me to my next point…

5. In a romance, always show how the heroine is different from any other woman the hero has ever known.
(The same is true about heroes being different from any other man the heroine has ever known.) I think Ms. Bronte introduces Blanche to show the contrast between her and Jane. Blanche is loud where Jane is quiet, beautiful where Jane is plain, oblivious where Jane is observant, mean where Jane is kind, and dim where Jane is smart. Jane observes all the differences between them that would make Blanche, in theory, a better wife for Rochester, including the fact that she is rich and of the same social standing as he. But Rochester would rather have an interesting, unique and piquant (stimulating) companion.
6. Show the characters’ passion. Though Jane rarely shows it, she has a passionate nature that makes her an interesting person to spend over 400 pages with. One of my favorite passages occurs when Jane is separated from Rochester and working as a school mistress:

"…dreams where, amidst unusual scenes, charged with adventure, with agitating risk and romantic chance, I still again and again met Mr. Rochester, always at some exciting crisis: and then the sense of being in his arms, hearing his voice, meeting his eye, touching his hand and cheek, loving him, being loved by him—the hope of passing a lifetime at his side, would be renewed, with all its first force and fire. Then I awoke. Then I recalled where I was, and how situated. Then I rose up on my curtainless bed, trembling and quivering; and then the still, dark night witnessed the convulsion of despair, and heard the burst of passion."

 But Jane controls her passions well. "By nine o’clock the next morning. I was punctually opening the school; tranquil, settled, prepared for the steady duties of the day."

7. Every heroine doesn’t have to be a beauty queen. Charlotte Bronte takes great pains to stress that Jane is plain:

"I sometimes regretted that I was not handsomer; I sometimes wished to have rosy cheeks, a straight nose, and small cherry mouth; I desired to be tall, stately, and finely developed in figure; I felt it a misfortune that I was so little, so pale, and had features so irregular and so marked."

A heroine who is truly original can be much more interesting than one who is merely beautiful. In fact, in the Afterward of the version of "Jane Eyre" that I read, Marcelle Clements quotes the biography of Charlotte Bronte written by Elizabeth Gaskill:

"She [Charlotte Bronte] once told her sisters that they were wrong—even morally wrong—in making their heroines beautiful as a matter of course. They replied that it was impossible to make a heroine interesting on any other terms. Her answer was, "I will prove to you that you are wrong; I will show you a heroine as plain and as small as myself, who shall be as interesting as any of yours."

I must remember that interesting and unique trumps beautiful any day. Jane Eyre proves it.

8. The hero and heroine must suffer before they get to their happy ending.
In modern stories, there must be a compelling reason why the two lovers can’t be together. There must be conflict. Bronte gives Jane and Rochester ample conflict to keep them apart; Rochester is already married. I honestly didn’t know if this story would end happily. When his marriage comes to light and before they get together again, both suffer tremendously. Jane nearly starves. Rochester is disfigured. Perhaps that’s a little drastic, but the point is that the stakes for the lovers must be high.

Though it took me a while to get through it, I’m glad I read "Jane Eyre". There’s always something to be learned from great writers.

Have you read "Jane Eyre"? If not, what lessons in writing have you learned from a favorite writer or book?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Hot Summer Heroes Blog Hop!

I'm participating in the Hot Summer Heroes Blog Hop! One of the requirements for participating in this blog hop was to talk about what constitutes a hot hero to me. As I write this, the Olympics are on TV. There's no shortage of buff men with impressive biceps and even more impressive abs - can you say six-pack, anyone?

But what makes a lot of these men heroes in my book is their committment to their dreams, their sense of fair play, and good sportmanship. It was heartwarming to see the genuine congratulations given to Oscar Pistorius from other runners in his 400 meter heat. Although Pistorius, the South Africian double amputee who runs on carbon fiber blades, didn't win his heat, his historic run was a triumph of the human spirit. There's a hot hero for you!

Closer to home, my idea of a hero is a man with integrity, tolerance, and intelligence. Having great abs (have I mentioned that I'm a sucker for great abs?) is just a bonus. A guy can be built like Adonis and have a face like Brad Pitt, but it means nothing without qualities like kindess and a sense of humor.

So, getting back to the Hot Summer Heroes Blog Hop. What is it? It's your chance to win lots of prizes. About 82 authors are participating, so you can hop from one blog to another and enter to win a prize at each one. A grand prize of a $100 Barnes and Noble Gift Certificate will be awarded at the end of the Hop.

My prize is a PDF copy of my most recent novella "Home Fires". All you have to do to enter my contest is to email me at  and tell me what your idea of a hot hero is. Or simply tell me the name of one of your favorite fictional heroes, from books, TV or movies. I'll be picking the winner of my contest at random from all entries received on August 19, 2012. Chances of winning depends on the number of entries. To read an excerpt from "Home Fires" please go to

After you've entered my contest, hop on over to Hot Summer Heroes Headquarters for a listing of all the participating bloggers. .


Click here to take you to a page with the names and addresses of all the participating authors.

Have fun on the Hop and best of luck!

Friday, July 20, 2012

"Home Fires" to be given away at TRR!

A PDF copy of "Home Fires" will be given away at The Romance Reviews today in their Sizzling Summer Reads Party. All you have to do is register and log on to the TRR site to play the game and win my book. For more information, please go to

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Winners on my Blog Tour!

The winner of the $25 Amazon gift certificate that I offered as a prize on my virtual book tour is...


Congratulations! I hope you enjoy all the new books you're going to purchase, and I hope at least one of them is mine! Happy reading.

I also gave away CD copies of some of my books to three readers who followed me all over the Internet. I wanted to show my appreciation for supporting me.

Catherine - wins a copy of "Till September"
Gladys - wins a copy of "Till September"
MomJane - wins a copy of "A Long Way from Eden"
Anonymous - wins a copy of "A Long Way from Eden"

I hope you enjoy the books, ladies. Congratulations to all, and thank you for making my blog tour so much fun.

And don't forget that even if you didn't get a prize on my book tour you can still be a winner. Purchase any of my books and receive a PDF copy of "Rescue Me", my contemporary romantic comedy. All you have to do is to let me know you purchased one of my books by emailing me at and I'll email "Rescue Me" to you. To read an excerpt from "Rescue Me" please click here. To see a list of all my titles please click here. Hurry! Offer ends July 18, 2012, midnight CST. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Last Day of the Tour!

Only two stops left on my tour! I'm at It's Raining Books to share five things about me that might surprise readers.

"Home Fires" is being reviewed today at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. I really hope she likes the book!

I'll be picking the winner of the $25 Amazon gift certificate by noon CST July 15. The winner will be chosen at random and odds of winning depend on the number of entries received. For information on receiving bonus entries in the draw please go to my website. I will announce the winner here on my blog and on my website. Best of luck to everyone!

Only five more days to get your free PDF copy of my romantic copy "Rescue Me". For details, and to read an excerpt, please click here.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Only Two Days Left on my Virtual Book Tour

Today I'm at Novel Moments for an indepth interview. Please stop by and leave a comment for your chance to win a $25 Amazon gift certificate. To earn extra chances to win the gift certificate, please check out the information on my website. Best of luck!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Today's stop is at Once Upon a Time. The blog owner asked me to tell you about a trip I made that changed me, as in "I haven't been the same since..." It was a tough assignment. I hope you enjoy my answer.

Don't miss your chance to get a free PDF copy of my romantic comedy "Rescue Me" as a bonus gift for purchasing "Home Fires" or any of my other titles. For details please go to my website.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Two Blogs are Better Than One!

I'm making two stops today. My Goddess Fish tour continues with a stop at Reader Girls where I was asked why I used World War Two as the backdrop for my newest release "Home Fires". As always, please make a comment on my post for a chance to win a $25 Gift Certificate from Amazon. Click here to learn how to earn extra bonus entries in the draw. I've got an Excel spreadsheet ready and I can't wait to enter your name!

I am also at the blog of my friend Joanne Brothwell for an interview. She asks some really interesting questions! Because Joanne's blog is not part of the Goddess Fish Tour, comments made here are not eligible for the $25 Amazon grand prize, but they are eligible for a PDF copy of "Home Fires". I'll be choosing one commenter at random for the prize, so please comment away!

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Virtual Blog Tour Continues!

I'm over at Queen of All She Reads blog for a fun interview. I hope you can join me!

To be eligible to win my grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift certificate, just make a comment on any of my Goddess Fish Tour stops. For a complete list of all the stops on my tour, please click here. To learn how you can earn extra bonus entries for the grand prize, please go to my website. You'll also find information there on how to get your free PDF copy of my romantic comedy "Rescue Me".

Friday, July 6, 2012

What's on your bucket list?

On today's stop on my Goddess Fish Tour, Isabel Roman asks me to name the top three things on my bucket list. I'd love to hear about your bucket lists as well, so please comment!

As a special bonus gift, I'm giving away a PDF copy of my romantic comedy "Rescue Me" to anyone who purchases "Home Fires" or any of my other titles until July 18. Click here to read an excerpt from "Rescue Me". For more details, please go to my website.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

VBT Stop Today: Megan Johns Invites

I'm being interviewed today at Megan Johns Invites. Come on over and say hello!

Remember that all comments made at Goddess Fish Tour stops make you eligible to win a $25 Amazon gift certificate. And for additional ways to enter your name in the draw, check out my website.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Release Day!

"Home Fires" is releasing today! Whoo-hoo! To read a blurb and an excerpt, please go to my website.

Today's stop on my Goddess Fish Tour is at Ramblings from a Coffee Addicted Writer, where I'll be talking about some of the historical information that went into the writing of "Home Fires".

I'm also at the blog of my friend Janet Corcoran today, and I'm sharing some of the stories told by war brides that especially touched my heart. Janet's blog isn't part of the Goddess Fish Tour, so comments made aren't eligible for the $25 Amazon gift certificate, but I am giving away a PDF copy of "Home Fires" to one lucky commenter. Come on down!

To learn about additional ways you can enter to win the $25 gift certificate, please go to my website.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

VBT Stop Today: Ramblings from this Chick

I'm at the Ramblings from this Chick blog today on the second day of my virtual book tour. I've done some research on love at first sight, and I'm here to share my findings with you. Does love at first sight really exist? I'd love to hear your opinions on this one!

Your comments will enter you in the draw for a $25 Amazon gift certificate. And please, check out my website for more offers and bonuses.

Monday, July 2, 2012

My Virtual BookTour Begins Today!

Only two more days until "Home Fires" is released by The Wild Rose Press! So excited! And I'm also excited to begin my new virtual book tour today with Goddess Fish Promotions. I'm making two stops today: My first stop on the tour is at A Bookish Affair where I'll be talking about problems war brides faced when arriving in their new country, and why World War Two stories are still so popular today.

I'll also be at the Writers and Authors blog, talking about making a living selling ebooks. I welcome comments from authors who want to share their best advice on this subject.

All comments made on my Goddess Fish Tour are eligible to win a $25 Gift Certificate from Amazon. I've got my Excel sheet all ready to record your name, so comment away!

And don't forget about my special bonus offers. For more information please go to my website.

See you on the tour!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Romance Reviews Sizzling Summer Reads Party!

TRR's Sizzling Summer Reads Party begins today! Over 400 authors and publishers are participating in the event, which means there are over 400 prizes up for grabs during the month of July. Also, someone will win the grand prize, a $100 Gift Certificate!

Go to The Romance Reviews website for more information. To play the game and win prizes, you must be registered and logged on, but don't worry; registering is easy and free.

A copy of my latest release, "Home Fires". will be given away on July 20. Make sure to drop by TRR that day for your chance to win! 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Carnivalesque: The Travelling Blog Show - Favourite Places

What is your favourite place on earth? The one spot you most love to be, or want to be, where you're at your happiest?

According to Hayley, who designed this week's question, this could be as broad as a country or city, or as specific as a restaurant, a tree, a comfy chair.

So weigh in with us at Hayley Lavik's blog today. What's your favourite place?

Your hosts,
Hayley E. Lavik
Joanne Brothwell
Janet Corcoran
and me, Jana Richards

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Carnivalesque: The Travelling Blog Show - Would you write erotica?

Joanne Brothwell is today's host on Carnivalesque, and the topic she's chosen is: Considering the success of the Fifty Shades of Grey series, would you consider writing erotica? If yes, just how hot (or kinky) would you go? Should be an interesting topic!

As always, your hosts are:
Joanne Brothwell
Janet Corcoran
Karyn Good
Hayley E. Lavik
and yours truly, Jana Richards

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Carnivalesque: The Travelling Blog Show - Saying Yes to the Dress

Wedding dresses: Or Saying Yes to the Dress. If you had to do it again what type of dress would you pick?

Jana: My husband and I didn’t have a lot of money when we got engaged. We’d both just finished university and were starting our first full-time jobs. Our parents were helping us with the costs of the wedding, but we were paying for a lot of things ourselves. Money was definitely on my mind when I was thinking of my wedding dress.

So I decided that rather than buy a dress that was going to cost a lot of money for just one day, I would ask my aunt, an accomplished seamstress, to sew my dress. To save money, I made my own veil, borrowing the headdress from my sister-in-law. I didn’t even try on any ready-made wedding dresses, probably because I was afraid I’d fall in love with something I couldn’t afford and just feel bad.

My dress was very flowing, in a jersey-like material (it was probably polyester) with a fitted bodice and big sleeves. Very seventies. Looking at it now, it was too much dress for someone as short as me; it kind of looks like a nightgown here. But at the time I was okay with my choice. That is, until I was walking down the street one day and happened to pass by a bridal shop. In the window I saw a fitted, A-line dress with a little jacket. I can’t remember details about the dress; all I remember is that it was very classy and elegant looking, and I knew instinctively that it was the dress I should have been wearing to my wedding.

My aunt did a beautiful job on my dress, fitting it perfectly and embellishing it with tiny seed pearls that she sewed on the bodice. I don’t exactly regret my wedding dress. But I’ll always think about that dress in the bridal shop window, and what might have been.

If I could go back and talk to my twenty-one year old self I’d tell her that she’d only be getting married once, and that even if she didn’t buy one of the dresses in a bridal shop, she should at least give herself the fun and special experience of trying some on. I should have had a more classic, more fitted dress, like Kate Middleton's, perhaps minus the train. Now, if only I looked like her:

What was your experience with your wedding dress? Did you love your dress or like me, did you pine for the one that got away? What kind of dress do you wish you'd worn? If you've never been married, or didn't wear a wedding dress at your wedding, how do you imagine your fantasy dress?

Joanne Brothwell, Janet Corcoran, Hayley E. Lavik and Karyn Good are here to tell us their wedding dress stories:

Joanne: If I could do it all over, I would definitely change my wedding dress. At the time, I was going through a phase where I believed it was virtuous to be minimal. Don't be house proud. Don't dress too flamboyant. Be natural. I was also influenced by a prominent celebrity wedding dress earlier that year:

Alas, my dress was dreadfully plain, completely unlike the princess-y dresses I'd always imagined as a child, sitting on my pink satin bedspread below my four-poster lace canopy bed.

If I could choose my dress today, it would be over-the-top princess. It's only once in your life that you can really justify looking like a pimped-out Disney character, so why not?

This is what my new dress would look like:

Karyn: I’d still say yes to my dress! To the long train with the large fabric flowers trailing down the back, the lace, and the enormous puffed sleeves. Especially, the puffed sleeves! Very Anne Shirley! But only if I could time travel back to 1990. If I was getting married today I’d have Bella’s wedding dress from the Twilight Breaking Dawn movie. And Edward. Just kidding. Maybe. I’d also have to lose, like, half my body weight. So probably a different style would suit better!

But my all time favorite wedding dress is still Princess Di’s! I loved that dress, although I would never have picked it for myself. Isn’t that strange? I thought it was the perfect dress for a princess. I guess when push comes to shove I’ll always be a product of the ‘80’s. I still miss big hair. But I hear puffed sleeves are back in.

Hayley:  You know, I really don't think I've ever thought about this. Before I was faced with actually choosing a wedding dress, I hadn't ever thought about it either, and then suddenly there's a rack full of monstrous white billows and I have to choose something. I owe my surviving sanity after that day to my dear best friend, who allowed several racks of white monsters to consume her on my behalf.

I came out with my favourite, and told them to change all the embroidery from blue to awesome red, and I still love the dress for that. For that wedding, it was perfect, and thank god I will never have to do something like that again!

BUT...if I did something completely different in an alternate universe, I would totally do something involving vaguely period costume and ruffles.

Or an Princess Zelda dress complete with sword: 

Ooh, or maybe this swoon-worthy Wonder Woman gown because where else would I get to wear that!?

Wow, what a collection of dresses! I'd love to here about your wedding dress. Comment away! 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Carnivalesque: The Travelling Blog Show - Who was your first fictional crush?

We're talking today about fictional crushes. Which TV/movie character, novel character or even cartoon character first set your heart a-flutter as a youngster? Share all the details with us at Hayley E. Lavik's blog today.

Your hosts, as always,
Hayley E. Lavik
Karyn Good
Janet Corcoran
Joanne Brothwell
and me, Jana Richards