Food, Family and Holidays

One of my favorite things about holidays is all the good eats. I enjoy food. A little too much, but whatever. This past week in hot and sunny Arizona was no different. We partook in our share of wonderful meals while we were gone, home cooked and restaurant style.

It was so nice to sit on the patio at my in-laws winter home after a record-breaking cold winter back in Canada. They went all out for us, as usual. We ate lots of wonderful meals outside, during the day with the hummingbirds, or in the warm evening air. We were thoroughly spoiled. I didn’t lift a finger. I almost feel guilty about that…

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I was lucky enough to tag along with my mother-in-law on her community group’s spring fling lunch at the Arizona Culinary Institute. (See, totally spoiled.) The company was delightful and the food was delicious. Lovely setting and the food was almost too pretty to eat. Almost. From the Sweet Chili Shrimp appetizer to the sea bass main course to the out-of-this-world chocolate cake.

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Grandpa and Grandma spent an evening with their granddaughter dining on her favorite food of cheeseburgers and hotdogs and Jack and I treated ourselves to an evening out at SOL Mexican Cocina restaurant. A little bit of Baja California served in the desert. Oh sweet mercy, it was delicious. Bonus, I enjoyed with the best margarita EVER. If you love tequila this is the place for you! 60 artisan tequilas. No wonderful my margarita was extra yummy. Definitely recommend this one!

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We also ate at a place called Wally’s American Pub and Grill which was served great food. Also, recommend. And a fabulous pizza place that I can’t remember the name of for the life of me. But when I get it I’ll add it in!

Food and family make for a wonderful combination. Especially when someone else is doing the cooking. Now it’s time to detox. Have a favorite meal you’ve eaten lately? Any restaurant recommends?

Baton Blog Hop

I’ve been invited to the Baton Blog Hop by JB Lynn, who writes laugh-out-loud suspense and mysteries, along with goosebump-raising thrillers. Sounds good, eh?  The extra great news is she usually has a contest running and now is no different so check out her Contest Page and enter to win!

Time to answer a few questions!

1) What am I working on?

I’m working on my second Aspen Lake novel. Life is small town Aspen Lake is heating up again, on the streets and between the sheets. Kate Logan, boutique owner, is fighting to get her life back on track. Seth Stone, starving artist and carpenter, is leaving reality behind to start again. But when a extremist religious group move to Aspen Lake and make it their mission to shut down the annual Gothic Revival Festival Kate is organizing, trouble brings them together.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I guess it differs because it’s my voice telling the story. Hopefully, what you’ll find is everyday men and women who don’t have all the answers and are looking to find their place in the world. Along the way they find their happily-ever-after. Also, Aspen Lake is a small town in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada. Not many of those around, LOL.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I write romantic suspense because that’s what I love to read. I love torturing my characters. I love strong male leads, and smart female heroines. But I also love a good villain. I not sure what that says about me…

4) How does your writing process work?

Gosh, it’s all over the place. I fit it in when I can, but I try to write everyday. Therefore, I write in chunks. My writing groups holds three or four writing challenges a year. I love those and writing long side and being inspired by writers I admire.

Passing the baton.

Meet Elizabeth Lang, who I have privilege of knowing! Elizabeth is a science fiction and fantasy writer and author of The Empire series. Lucky you, you can check out some free stories and other things here.

Happy Reading Everyone!

 

Jana Richards’ Burning Love and A Chance To Win

If you like giveaways this is for you! My publisher, The Wild Rose Press is giving away $10 gift certificates. We want you to read our books. For a chance to win all you have to do is enter the rafflecopter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Need a recommendation? How about Jana Richards’ Burning Love.

A lovely novella found in The Wild Rose Press’s Faery Rose line.

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After causing three cooking fires in her apartment, Iris Jensen finds herself evicted. She lands on Riley Benson’s doorstep, looking to rent a room in the beautiful old home he’s restoring. It’s only for six weeks until Iris leaves Portland, Oregon for her new job on a cruise ship. Firefighter Riley knows firsthand what a bad tenant she can be. But he needs money to finish the work on the house he loves. And something about Iris pulls at his heart…

Meanwhile, in Heaven, two angels watch over the young lovers. Angelica and Hildegard work in Heaven’s Relationship Division, where angels match mortals with their soul mates. The angels believe so strongly in Iris and Riley’s love that they break Heaven’s rules to help them. Can the angels convince them they belong together forever before time runs out?

Buy Link: Burning Love by Jana Richards

The Wild Rose Press.

Good luck!

Inspired.

Love this quote on Tumblr. Loved it immediately.

There’s too much “I need him, he completes me” and not enough “I complete me yet I want them along for this journey”

 

Also this!

soulIt’s March and here’s a lovely quote by Charles Dickens. Even though plump white snowflakes are falling as I type and there’s not a ray of sun to be found.

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Channeling all these thoughts and using them to inspire in me as I revise away. We all know certain lines, often the cheesiest one in the bunch, get all the glory. But it’s what surrounds them and holds them up to the light that make the story. The quote by C.S. Lewis makes me question the lines I’ve written, encouraging me to see if there is truth in them or I’m merely making assumptions. Finally, my stories would no doubt ripen and flourish with a touch more imagery. The Charles Dickens quote inspires me to color my words.

Those were some of my thoughts this week. What inspired you?

What Doesn’t Kill You…

If there is one quote that seems to be a favorite of many which I can’t relate to, its: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

I don’t know why this quote rubs me the wrong way because there’s some truth to it. I think it’s the fact that it’s voiced by people who are searching to give comfort when there simply isn’t any you can give. They fall back on the old tried and true. It’s become trite and over used.

I prefer this instead.

strengthI saw this on Pinterest and thought I’d share. Have I mentioned I’m addicted to Pinterest. Today for instance, I spent many happy minutes (way to many) gazing at North West Coast Native Indian art in the name of research. Somehow that led to pinning ideas for great office spaces which lead to reading quotes.

So, yeah…that’s how my Friday is going. How’s your day going? What is your least favorite quote?

Latvia? Where it that again?

I love the Olympics! Even though I’m not a huge sports fan, there’s just something about these games. It’s…well, the Olympics. Anything is possible. There are plenty of magical moments.

There is inspiration to be found in the determination, dedication, and spirit of each competitor, whether they make it to the podium or not.

Here in Canada, we take our hockey seriously. VERY seriously. To lose out in the semis would be devastating. Kind of like it was for Russia yesterday, only that was worse…because hometown losses suck worse than others obviously. Like we almost did to Latvia. Because where is that again? Oh yeah, at the corner of Russia and Lithuania.

Yesterday their twenty-one year old back-up goalie, Kristers Gudlevskis, proved he could take on a team of NHL veterans and almost, but not quite thank you, God, shut them down. Although, the rest of his team did have something to do with it. He stopped 55 out of 57 shots. That’s, like, incredible. He’s Tampa Bay Lightening draft and plays on their farm team. Um…I think that’s about to change. He’s probably already filming a Visa commercial.

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He left it all out there as the cliche goes. Every drop of everything he had. This kid deserves Latvia’s version of a medal of honour. He certainly deserves our respect.

Greatness. It’s all around us. In every nook and cranny. Waiting to inspire us.

A Valentine’s Day Gift Hop

Displaying ValentinesDayGiftHop.jpg Valentine’s Day approaches! Welcome to the Valentine’s Day Gift Hop celebrating all things romance, and that includes books and chances to win. Yes, there are prizes to be won, new authors and review sites to discover. So, come on and join in some sexy fun!

I don’t know about you but sometimes I forget to put in the time and give a little care and attention to the man in my life who deserves it most. Life is full of things tempting our attention away from each other. We take each other for granted. More and more often we forget to say thank you. Nothing wrong with a day that reminds us to be loving, or romantic, or grateful.

romance1So, I guess this Valentine’s Day I’m gonna flirt a little over dinner.

Comment below to be entered to win a digital copy of my romantic suspense, Backlash and a $5 Amazon gift card! Have fun hopping around and visiting and entering to win all kinds of prizes including two grand prizes.

 

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I also have a new romantic suspense coming out on November 7, 2014.

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A committed doctor to Vancouver’s inner city, nothing fazes Sophie Monroe—until a pregnant teenager shows up at her clinic on Christmas Eve requesting sanctuary and claiming the baby’s father is one of the city’s most influential businessmen. Sophie is in over her head and thankful when aid shows up in the form of an attorney who’s a little too confident and a lot too sexy.

Family Law expert Caleb Quinn just wants a date, a chance to prove he isn’t the elitist jerk Sophie assumes. Helping deliver a baby is not what he has in mind. But before long protecting a traumatized teenager and her son become his first priority. Even if saving them pits him against the baby’s father, a childhood friend. A man who will do anything to keep his dark side private.

But justice never comes cheap. Will doing the right thing cost Sophie and Caleb their reputations? Or their lives?

Excerpt:

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“What about you? What matters to you?” Her gaze settled on him and didn’t waiver.

She was countering with a move of her own, looking ahead to putting him into check because she didn’t think much did. He wondered what she’d do if he mentioned her. Suggested she mattered more than was comfortable. More than was reasonable. How fast would he find himself out in the snow?

“Justice. Fairness. Liberty.” Chess was his game and he still had a few moves left. “We’re not so different you and I.”

 

 

Now back to the Valentine’s Day Gift Hop!

A Freebie!

We all love a freebie, especially with the weekend coming on. But only until tomorrow! So head on over and get your copy.

Purgatory by Denise Moncrief

Book Two of the Colorado Series (The follow up to An Impostor in Town)

Free on Kindle from Feb 4th through Feb 8th

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Five years ago, a tragic accident robbed Chris Smith of a normal life. Left with only a jagged scar, a set of wedding rings, and bits of memory—smells, sounds, and fleeting feelings—she copes with the loss of her identity. Amnesia has made her life a living purgatory…until she meets Steve West.

Steve’s construction company is remodeling the ski lifts in Purgatory, Colorado. However looking at Chris is seeing the face of his deceased wife. Now the truths he’d been forced to believe have him searching for answers.

Murder, deception, and missing ransom money. Can Steve protect Chris…and prove she’s the wife he never believed dead before the killer tries again?

Excerpt:

A swoosh of wind burst through the front door as a man entered the building. Dragging her attention away from the magazine, she turned to greet him. He hesitated for a fraction of a second as if to get his bearings before trudging through the lobby toward her. As soon as their eyes met, her words of welcome froze on her tongue and the pain began—flashes of light across her vision—tightness in her throat—intense, piercing sensations in her head. Panic and the desire to run soon followed.

She massaged her forehead, trying to rub away the stabbing pain that throbbed between her eyes, and then returned her attention to the man in front of her, pulling the computer keyboard toward her, determined to do her job despite the sudden fear gripping her insides.

She attempted her most professional tone. “Good morning. Welcome to the Inn at Purgatory. How can I help you?”

No response.

She glanced up at him. To her dismay, he presented all the indications of a panic attack. She recognized the signs well. His forehead glistened with tiny beads of sweat. The vein in his neck pulsed. Anxiety flashed in his eyes as he struggled with each new breath he took.

“Mister, are you all right?”

He braced against the counter and rubbed a hand over his face. “Yeah. It’s just…you look like someone I used to know.”

Chills ran down her spine. He wasn’t creepy, not in the least. On the contrary, she sensed an unmistakable connection to this stranger. She recoiled from the feeling, but nothing could have pried her eyes from his for a few brief, intense moments.

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Denise Moncrief is a Southern girl, who’s lived in Louisiana all her life. And yes, she has a drawl. She’s been writing off and on since she was seventeen. She has a wonderful husband and two incredible children. They not only endure her writing moods, but also encourage her to indulge her passion.

Her first “novel” was se
venteen handwritten pages on school-ruled paper and an obvious rip-off of the last romance novel she read. The urge to write wouldn’t let go of her. In her twenties, she started another novel, only to abandon it after Chapter Four or Five. She started writing seriously about eight years ago and has already published several stories.