Release Blitz Information For It’s Complicated – Request For Participants

The December 4th release date for It’s Complicated is drawing near, and Roane Publishing has a Release Blitz planned for December 4th to the 8th. If any of my blogger friends would like to join in the fun and help spread the word for me, you can sign up for the blitz using THIS FORM.

There’s also a place on the form for you to request an arc copy of It’s Complicated if you’re interested in reviewing it.

It’s Complicated is a sequel to Show No Weakness, and it’s Maggie Lapage’s story. As evident in Show No Weakness, Maggie can get herself in a trouble at times. She calls it helping people. Others might call it meddling. Tom O’Shay is one of those other people. Problem is he needs her help, whether he wants it or not. And he definitely does not. Just one of the reasons why It’s Complicated.

She’s a children’s counselor devoted to helping others; he’s a stubborn client reluctant to accept her assistance. He wants a warm and loving relationship; she prefers to keep things physical. Professional boundaries dictate neither of them can have what they want.

Having grown up with no one but herself to count on, Maggie Lapage carefully guards her feelings. Professionally, she goes above and beyond to give others the support she wishes she’d had as a child. When she develops a forbidden attraction to a client’s father, she does what she thinks is necessary, to save his family, and to protect her own heart.

Tom O’Shay finds his life caught in a nightmare when he risks losing custody of his daughter. It goes against his character to seek help, but he doesn’t have a choice. That doesn’t mean he has to like it. Everything changes when he falls hard for his daughter’s counselor, and he suddenly has two fights on his hands. One for his daughter, and another for the woman he loves.

It’s complicated, but is it impossible?

Thanks so much for your support. It’s greatly appreciated.

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Cover Reveal – It’s Complicated

I’m so excited to announce that It’s Complicated will be republished with Roane Publishing on December 4th, 2017. And today I finally get to share its beautiful new cover.

It’s Complicated is a sequel to Show No Weakness, and it’s Maggie Lapage’s story. As evident in Show No Weakness, Maggie can get herself in a little trouble at times. She calls it helping people. Others might call it meddling. Tom O’Shay is one of those other people. Problem is he needs her help, whether he wants it or not. And he definitely does not. Just one of the reasons why It’s Complicated.

She’s a children’s counselor devoted to helping others; he’s a stubborn client reluctant to accept her assistance. He wants a warm and loving relationship; she prefers to keep things physical. Professional boundaries dictate neither of them can have what they want.

Having grown up with no one but herself to count on, Maggie Lapage carefully guards her feelings. Professionally, she goes above and beyond to give others the support she wishes she’d had as a child. When she develops a forbidden attraction to a client’s father, she does what she thinks is necessary, to save his family, and to protect her own heart.

Tom O’Shay finds his life caught in a nightmare when he risks losing custody of his daughter. It goes against his character to seek help, but he doesn’t have a choice. That doesn’t mean he has to like it. Everything changes when he falls hard for his daughter’s counselor, and he suddenly has two fights on his hands. One for his daughter, and another for the woman he loves.

It’s complicated, but is it impossible?

We Did It!

I’m excited to announce that the results of the voting round for the RONE Awards are in – and It’s Complicated received enough votes to move onto the judging round for Sweet Contemporary. Winners will be announced at the InD’Scribe conference in September. Thank you, so very much, to everyone who took the time and made the effort to vote for me. I appreciate it beyond words.

Back in 2013, Show No Weakness took 1st place in RONE’s Cowboys, Cops and Jocks category.

1308-6 RONE AwardI was surprised and honoured by the win, and doubt if I can do a repeat, but thrilled, nonetheless, for the opportunity to try. And I now have a lovely Finalist badge to go with my 1st Place badge.

2015_05_Contemporary_Sweet_FIN_S

On other writing news, my fourth book is currently with my publisher and I hope to hear about a contract soon, with a likely release date of early next year.

My work-in-progress has become a work-delayed. About three scenes in, I realized I was headed in the wrong direction and needed to go back to the beginning to tweak a few things. Before that happened, real life intruded. I’m juggling several things right now and all of them need my time and attention, so I’ve made the decision to put the writing on hold for the summer. If I can find a few spare moments here and there to write, I’ll gladly grab them, but if I can’t, I won’t worry about it. The story isn’t going anywhere.

I’ve decided, as well, on a hiatus from this weekly blog. Just to take some pressure off until I get more pressing matters taken care of. So from now until the end of August, I won’t be posting to my blog unless I have something terribly interesting or exciting to announce.

Have a great summer.

It’s Complicated Needs Your Vote!

I’m so excited to announce that It’s Complicated received a 5 Star rating in the review round of InD’Tale Magazine’s 2015 RONE Awards and has now moved on to the voting round. Voting starts today, April 20th, and runs for one full week.

In this round of the contest the books are voted on by the public, so I really need everyone’s help to get It’s Complicated to the third round where it can stand on its own merits in front of real judges. I’m asking (begging, lol) all my family and friends to support my book by voting for it. It’s Complicated is listed in the Sweet Contemporary category.

This is the link to vote: http://indtale.com/2015-rone-awards-week-two Then click on Contemporary: Sweet and scroll down near the bottom to my name.

It doesn’t matter how good my story may or may not be, without the votes it won’t get in front of the judges. Because I don’t have a huge following on either Facebook or Twitter, I have to throw myself on the mercy of the people I know, which I’ll gladly do, because I’m blessed to have the most supportive family and friends. We did it in 2013 with Show No Weakness, where my book not only received the most votes in its category, it went on to win 1st Place in the final round. I’d be honoured and thrilled to give It’s Complicated an opportunity with the judges to see how well it does.

Last time, some people had problems logging onto the InD’tale website to vote. If you haven’t already, you must register with them before you can vote. (If you voted before, you only need to log in with your password.) After you register, you’ll receive a confirmation email. If it doesn’t show up in your inbox, please check your junk mail folder for it. This email only confirms your registration, but doesn’t have a link to the contest. You must go back into the site (using my link) to log in and vote AFTER you’ve confirmed your registration in the email. It might sound tricky, but it really isn’t, and I do appreciate you for making the effort. Of course, for all of you who voted last time, you’re already registered, and it’s a breeze to simply log in and vote.

Thanks so much, everyone, for your support! And if you’re so inclined, I’d love for you to share this info. Every vote counts!

Five Stars for It’s Complicated

Today I happened across this incredible five-star review for It’s Complicated. I’d submitted the book for review many months ago and had finally forgotten about it, figuring it probably wasn’t going to happen. So imagine my surprise when I opened my copy of InD’tale Magazine today and saw the review. I was shocked, thrilled and extremely touched. Okay, I admit, I may have cried. The review’s that good. You can read it for yourself right here: Review

This is the same magazine I submitted Show No Weakness to back in 2013 and ended up winning one of their RONE Awards. The contest involves a voting process, so I’ll probably at some future date be shamelessly begging all my friends and family to once again vote for me and It’s Complicated.

I won’t even look ahead to that contest though. Right now I’m content to feel blessed that someone “got” my story and my characters and then shared their enthusiasm and kind words with others. Thank you so much, Mary-Nancy Smith and InD’Tale Magazine!

The Year of Positive Changes

2014 was a busy year, full of happys and sads, and thankfully only a few bads.

The year started out with a major sad. A talented motocross rider, and close friend of our son, broke his back while attempting a double front flip on his bike. He’s paralyzed from the waist down, but his spirit is incredible and he continues to live life to the fullest. We wish him all the best.

Roxy had her 11th birthday in January. She’s starting to go blind and it’s rather heartbreaking to watch as she becomes timid and unsure.

We vacationed in Ixtapa, Mexico mid January. Despite all sorts of setbacks, we had an amazing time, and I hope one day to make it back there.

Beautiful sunsets awed us every evening.

1401-1 Sunset from our room

Isla Ixtapa from our room

379 Isla Ixtapa

The crocodile habitat gave us many hours of fascinating entertainment

1401-3 Crocodile Habitat

Playa Cuachalate, Isla Ixtapa

1401-4 Playa Cuachalate, Isla Ixtapa

Playa Linda

1401-6 Playa Linda

We spent one lovely day wandering around Zihuatanejo. This is Playa Municipal.

1401-5 Playa Municipal, Zihuatanejo

As usual, I did several posts about the trip with tons of photos. You can click Here for the first one, then use the ‘next’ button on the top right-hand side to scroll through to find the rest.

When we returned home, Hubby bought a recumbent bike and started pedalling every morning. Still off work and waiting for an MRI, the bike offers a good workout without his knee pain flaring up.

More upheaval at my work in January resulted in a promotion to acting administrator. I wasn’t keen to take on the job and talk about stress…

Our youngest son (S#3) attended the Sundance Film Festival in January.

1401-18 Sundance

February was an excellent month and a torturous month.

My sequel to Show No Weakness, It’s Complicated, was contracted with Sweet Cravings Publishing. I immediately became immersed in edits, blurbs, and all those (not so) fun things.

Poor little Roxy developed some weird affliction on her nose that had us worried. It eventually healed up and is shiny black now.

1402 Roxy's poor nose owie

But it was nothing compared to the worry when our DIL in NL was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Thankfully, after having part of her thyroid removed, she needed no further treatment. What a scare.

Around the same time as her cancer ordeal, our bright little lawyer moved from private practice to the prosecution’s office. Look out bad guys!

We got a new roof on our house in March. We also did bathroom renos. It looks so much better, although the tub reglazing fumes were deadly and nearly did me in.

I flew to Alberta in March to visit my oldest son (S#1) and his family. My grandson’s skating lesson brought back memories of all the rink time with my own three boys.

1403- Skating lesson

The unseasonably nice weather enabled us to visit the Calgary Zoo.

1403-1 Calgary Zoo

1403-2 Calgary Zoo

1403-5 Calgary Zoo

There’s more zoo photos HERE

Hubby finally had his MRI in April. His meniscus is basically pounded flat and surgery won’t correct it. So, he embarked on a strenuous exercise and rehab program and has become much fitter, currently having lost about 45 pounds. I strongly admire his drive and dedication.

As part of the whole healthy and fit philosophy, we sold our powerboat and bought a kayak last spring. Although neither of us had ever used a tandem sit-on kayak, we anxiously awaited the warmer weather to try it out.

1405-1 Roxy with new kayak

Every month my yard offered a new delight, starting with the NanKing Cherry.

1404-11 Nanking Cherry

A post with many more blooms from my yard can be found HERE.

We made a quick trip to Vancouver at the beginning of May. We managed one long, lovely walk between rain showers.

4

1405-2 Vancouver

Notice little Roxy sitting at the base of this Granville Island totem pole.

1405-3 Vancouver

Naturally, I have more photos HERE

Not to be outdone, my own little rhododendron put on a spectacular show.

1405-7

Buying the kayak created a snowball effect. We sold the truck and bought a Nissan Rogue, then outfitted the SUV with roof racks and a bike carrier.

1407-1 Kayaking

Hubby filled the void for my missing boys on Mother’s Day by fixing Mom and me a lovely brunch, then we spent the afternoon at Knox Mountain and the waterfront.

7 Knox Mtn

14 Waterfront Park

I blogged about it HERE

My grandsons were thrilled with a visit from Thomas the Train.

1405-6 Thomas the Train

My middle son (S#2) and DIL went to Florida in May, wisely not telling Mama about their skydiving plans until afterwards.

1405-8 Florida

1405-9 Florida

They also had some fun at Disneyworld. (Look at that smile. Once a boy, always a boy)

1405-10 Florida

They capped off a great trip with scuba diving and swimming with the manatees.

1405-11 Swim with Manatees Florida

I set a goal to trek the entire length of the Mission Creek Greenway this summer. It’s 33 kms of there-and-back hiking on varied terrain. We did about 7 kms in mid May.

1405-12 Mission Creek

1405-14 Mission Creek

I submitted a manuscript to Wild Rose Press in April, and in May they asked for revisions and to resubmit. Luckily, my changes were accepted, and in June the story was contracted under the title Dare To Risk All.

Hubby’s father visited at the end of May. Despite drizzly weather, we managed to take in some fresh air. We even visited the Kettle Valley Trestles.

1405-6 Kettle Valley trestles

At the start of June, we hiked Knox Mountain’s lower Apex Trail and then over to Paul’s Tomb. 5.5 kms total distance and vertical climb of 190 metres.

1406-1 Knox

1406-3 Knox Mtn

1406-4 Knox Mtn.

We did lots of walking and biking in our neighbourhood throughout the spring and summer. Nerve pain in my neck and shoulders occasionally prevented me from carrying Roxy in her sling, and I became one of those people. She loved it.

1406-7 Roxy

All eight siblings celebrated Mom’s birthday in June.

1406-8 Mom's birthday

Just because I made Roxy sit beside her cousin Ace, didn’t mean she had to look at her.

1406-7 Roxy & Ace

The tiger lilies were exquisite this year.

1406-9

Later in June, we hiked Knox Mountain’s upper Apex trail. It was longer and more strenuous than the lower trail: 2.5 kms compared to only 1.8 kms for the lower trail, with a vertical change of 170 metres compared to 90 metres.

1406-10 Knox Mtn

1406-11 Knox Mtn

The end of June, we took a 600 kms road trip to Alberta. We hadn’t driven that route for years and were pleased with the road improvements. The Rocky Mountains were still as picturesque as I remembered.

1406-13 Rogers Pass

Kicking Horse River near Field, BC. Love the colour of the water.

1406-14 Rogers Pass near Field

I posted many more mountain shots HERE

While in Alberta, we went to the Science Centre with the kids.

1406-15 Science Centre

And took many spins around the neighbourhood while Grandson #1 learned to ride his new birthday scooter.

1406-16

Roxy didn’t like her cousin Sukie any better than her cousin Ace, but that didn’t stop her from being bossy.

1406-17 Sukie & Roxy

As usual, we spent Canada Day taking in the sights and sounds on the waterfront.

1407-2 Canada Day waterfront

1407-3 Canada Day

At the beginning of July, I made the tough decision to quit my job. It had become too stressful and the negative impact on my health was no longer worth it. Coincidently, the week after I finished work, Hubby happily returned to his job after having over a year off with his injury.

Look at the brave little cowboy riding the mechanical bull at the Calgary Stampede.

1407-5 Stampede

And this little cowboy is totally adorable roping cows.

1407-6 roping

Finally, in July, the lake was warm enough to venture out in our new kayak. We picked Sutherland Bay for its quiet surroundings and ease of launching, and had a remarkably good time.

1407-8 Sutherland Bay

1407-9 Sutherland Bay

1407-11 Sutherland Bay

Good view of Knox Mtn from the water.

1407-12 Knox Mtn from Sutherland Bay

The third week of July we tackled another part of the Mission Creek Greenway. 13 kms of mostly flat trail.

1407-13 Mission Creek

1407-14 Mission Creek

We kayaked the south end of the lake, the end of July. While we enjoyed it, too much boat traffic made us nervous and the resulting waves made for hard paddling.

1407-15

1407-16 Okanagan Lake

The most anticipated visit of the summer happened when S#1’s family came home in August. I had a full week of Grammy heaven.

Littlest grandson wasn’t too sure about his new birthday scooter.

1408-1 birthday gift

The bunkbeds finally got some use.

1408-2

We took many trips around the block.

1408-3

A day at Rotary Marshes and Waterfront Park

1408-4 Rotary marshes

1408-7 Okanagan lake

The boys got reacquainted with their cousins. What’s more fun than a bunch of little boys and some bubbles?

1408-8 bubbles

True to their personalities, our oldest grandson had a blast in the pool, while the younger one was more cautious.

1408-9 Pool fun

1408-10

After numerous problems with both my ancient laptop and the little travel netbook, I bought a new laptop. It’s an HP Pavilion convertible and only 13.6 inches, so good for travelling. Surprisingly, I’m not having much difficulty with Windows 8.1 or the new Word program.

1408-13 New laptop

I finally started my brain retraining in August using the Gupta Program. I noticed almost immediate improvements in some areas, but have since slid back a bit and need to renew my efforts in the New Year. I blogged about my experience with the program HERE.

We did lots of biking in the summer, the bike carrier allowing us to explore other parts of town. We biked the Abbott Street corridor and on to Knox Mountain and back. Great fun. My first off-road adventure was at Mission Creek. I was a little nervous in places.

1408-15 Mission Creek to Scenic Canyon

1408-16 Mission Creek

We also did the Rails to Trails. An easy trail where I felt secure.

1408-26 Rails to Trails Line

1408-12 Rails to Trails Line

Our third and last kayak of the season took place in August. Again, boat traffic took the edge off our enjoyment. I look forward exploring smaller lakes next summer.

1408-11 Okanagan Lake

1408-12 Okanagan Lake

S#3 took a trip of a lifetime to South Africa in August, spending six weeks in Johannesburg directing his own full-length movie. He capped off the trip with a visit to St Lucia, on the coast. What an incredible experience.

1408-17 Lord Jones is Dead

1408-18 Lord Jones is Dead

1408-20 Lord Jones is Dead

1408-21 S Africa

1408-22 S Africa

1408-23 S Africa

1408-24 S Africa

As always, the petunias put on a cheery late summer display of colour.

1408-25 Petunias in August

Lucky S#2 and DIL went to Italy at the beginning of September. Two beautiful people in beautiful settings—what could be better?

Sorrento

1408-29 Sorrento

Florence

1409-1 Leaning tower of Pisa

Venice

1409-2 Venice

Rome

1409-3 Rome

1409-4 Rome

We did more biking along the Mission Creek Greenway in September.

1409-2 Mission Creek Greenway

On our various strolls along the waterfront, Roxy and I got up close and personal with the infamous Ogopogo.

1409 Roxy & Oggie

1407-4 Canada Day

We hiked part of the Scenic Canyon section of Mission Creek Greenway in September. I’d been looking forward to this one for quite a while. Only about 6 kms, but far more vertical than other parts of the greenway.

1409-8 Scenic Canyon

1409-9 Rock Ovens Scenic Canyon

1409-12 Layercake mtn Scenic Canyon

An unexpected dump of snow gave my little grandsons a few days of outdoor fun in mid September.

1409-14 snow in Sept

Directly after returning from his trip to S Africa, S#3 stayed with us to work on the third of the Nightmare movies, A Wife’s Nightmare, being shot locally.

We wrapped up the final section of Scenic Canyon at the end of September, completing the entire 33 km length of Mission Creek Greenway. This was by far the most arduous hike, about 6 kms, with plenty of steep vertical challenges.

1409-16 Scenic Canyon

1409-20 Scenic Canyon

1409-21 Scenic Canyon

1409-22 Scenic Canyon

I received my cover for Dare To Risk All in September. I absolutely love it, but am waiting for a release date before I do a cover reveal.

After sulking all summer, the alyssum showed their gorgeous colour as the weather cooled.

1409-23

On a balmy, sunny day in October, we returned to a section of Mission Creek to explore it further. Bonus for me was spotting this little snake. It disappeared quickly into the grass, so I had to haul the little guy back onto the trail to take its picture.

1410-2 Mission Creek

1410-1 Mission Creek

1410-3 Mission Creek

I posted many photos of our summer adventures HERE, if you care to see more.

Edits on Dare To Risk All were completed in October and I’m now just waiting on a release date. Hopefully it’ll be soon in 2015.

We took what I hope will become an annual road trip to Alberta to celebrate Thanksgiving with S#1 and his family. Once again, I was thoroughly in awe of the spectacular scenery.

1410-6 Field, BC

1410-7 Rogers Pass

1410-21 Rogers Pass home

Kicking Horse River

1410-23 Kicking Horse River

Our grandson has progressed from skating lessons to hockey practice.

1410-8 hockey

We spent a day at Heritage Park. We hadn’t been there for years and I found it quite nostalgic.

1410-10 Glenmore Reservoir from Prospect Ridge

1410-11 Heritage Park

More on that visit can be found HERE

Without delving into the whole sport hunting controversy (which I abhor), I quite enjoyed Bass Pro and all their amazingly realistic displays.

1410-12 Bass Pro

1410-13 Bass Pro

1410-14 Bass Pro

Such fun to watch my favourite CFL team practice at McMahon Stadium. I spent many teenage years watching the Stampeders play there.

1410-15 McMahon Stadium

We celebrated S#1 and DIL’s birthday’s at the Calgary Tower Restaurant. Hubby and I had gone there on our honeymoon, so it was special to go with the little ones.

1410-16 Calgary Tower

1410-17 Calgary Tower

1410-18 Calgary Tower

1410-19 Calgary Tower

1410-20 Calgary Tower

Our Christmas cactus is actually a Halloween cactus and this year it outdid itself.

1410-25

So proud of my tiny little niece for all her hard work and dedication. She took 1st place in a body building competition. Meet Miss Fit.

1411-1 1st place, Miss Fit

We had a cold snap in November with a big snowfall, but it soon melted and we ended up with a green Christmas.

1411-2 First snowfall

My adorable little 6 yr old grandson lost a bunch of teeth all at once.

1411-3

I’m having to adjust to my Christmas traditions evolving a little bit every year. This year, S#3 and Mom joined us for turkey dinner on Christmas Eve. Christmas morning was quiet as Hubby, S#3 and I opened our few gifts while pigging out on tasty cinnamon buns. We spent the afternoon at my sister’s, so I could get my little children fix, then home for leftovers, which tasted just as good the second day.

Two of my best gifts.

1412

As the year closes, I’ve finished another book, and I now need to decide where to send it off.

I wish everyone a healthy, loving and fun 2015!

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BICHOK

BICHOK: butt in chair, hands on keyboard. It’s a writer’s phrase. Commonly used when we’re encouraging ourselves or others to get writing. It also describes my appearance since receiving my first round of edits on It’s Complicated last Thursday.
Technically I have a week to turn them around. But I’m leaving in a few days to visit my son and his family (hurray!!) and I want to spend my time with them, not glued to my computer. So basically I have until tomorrow evening to finish them all. Which is why I’ve had my butt in my chair and my hands on my keyboard nonstop for the past three days.
I’ve also occasionally had my hands tangled in my hair and my fingers tapping impatiently against my desktop.
It took about two hours to breeze through the entire manuscript, nodding my head and accepting the editor’s changes—all the no-brainer ones anyway. Unless you’re a writer, you probably can’t appreciate the absolute thrill of finding a solution for an awkward sentence. I have the ability to recognize an awkward sentence, both my own and those of others. I don’t, however, always have the ability to fix the problem. So I eagerly and thankfully grab the solution when it’s presented, either from my own efforts or by suggestions from someone else. Those are some of the easier edits.
But sometimes the suggestions aren’t offered or the ones that are, don’t necessarily work for the story. Those are the challenging edits. And I agonize over them. And sometimes I have to walk away for a while. I’ve been very fortunate not to have too many tough edits, and after three straight days of BICHOK, I only have a few left to sort out. Each time I go over them with fresh eyes and a clear(ish) mind, I find another answer or two. It’s a relief to know I’ll finish them all by my shortened deadline.
Then I wait for round two.