April 2024: Round Up

My Favourite Trope Series: Reunited or Second Chance at Love

I want to share a bit more about one of my favourites: Reunited or Second Chance at Love

What he’s sworn to protect, she’s willing to sacrifice to save those she loves…

March 2024: Round Up

Goodbye, March! Hello middle of April. You were full of busy days, both warm and cool, just like you’d expect from March. A gradual warming cooled by a big bout of snow. That’s okay, we’ve had a couple of very dry years and this winter didn’t change that. We need the moisture. That said, I’m sure glad it won’t be sticking around. But enough about the weather…

I’ve been keeping my New Year’s goal of always having flowers in the house. And of course we dyed eggs for Easter. Like I mentioned, we had a big dump of snow. I got a new baby. Another snake plant. I also repotted some plants. And March as been full of cozy lounge wear, including this sweatpant and sweatshirt combo from Hernest, a Canadian ethical and sustainable clothing company.

A good friend put together a delicious Anne of Green Gables themed lunch. It was a delectable mix of different dishes and, of course, there was raspberry cordial. My friend found recipes from Lucy Maud Montgomery online. Apparently Lucy Maud loved cooking and was very talented in the kitchen, much like my friend.

Until next time…

What is everyone most looking forward to in April?

March 2024 Book Recommendation: Murder on the Red River by Marcie R. Rendon

Murder on the Red River, A Cash Blackbear Mystery by Marcie R. Rendon


1970s, Red River Valley between North Dakota and Minnesota: Renee “Cash” Blackbear is 19 years old and tough as nails. She lives in Fargo, North Dakota, where she drives truck for local farmers, drinks beer, plays pool, and helps solve criminal investigations through the power of her visions. She has one friend, Sheriff Wheaton, her guardian, who helped her out of the broken foster care system.

One Saturday morning, Sheriff Wheaton is called to investigate a pile of rags in a field and finds the body of an Indian man. When Cash dreams about the dead man’s weathered house on the Red Lake Reservation, she knows that’s the place to start looking for answers. Together, Cash and Wheaton work to solve a murder that stretches across cultures in a rural community traumatized by racism, genocide, and oppression.


February 2024 – Round Up

February is over. Hello, March. I have to say, I’m not sorry we are looking at January and February in the rearview mirror. It feels like a milestone and I have no idea how to explain the relief of welcoming longer days and shorter nights.

February was a mix of trying to get out, celebrating Valentine’s Day, and doing a little crafting. We have watched a lot of cooking shows. We’re new fans of Chopped, which we’ve never watched before now. I’m definitely in a reading slump, but I think that has to do with my ability to focus. As a library user, luckily I can just return books if they don’t immediately draw me in.

I did manage to read Murder on the Red River by Marcie R. Rendon which I’ll review next week.

I started listening to Mistletoe Murders, Book 1 by Ken Cuperus and Narrated by Cobie Smulders and others on Audible. It’s excellent but I have had zero time to put headphones in and listen to anything.

My goal for 2024 was to always have flowers in the house and so far I’ve managed to keep it. So, win.

I haven’t done much fiction writing. I’ve been busy applying for funding to help support our daughter. But I cleaned up my office. For some reasons book titles have been running through my head this last month. I had thought the working title work my book was Just About Perfect but 8 Jasper Street has taken over. I love the simplicity of it.

Here’s to March days which sometimes cling to winter while others melt like spring.

Until next time…

January 2024: Searching for the Light

Life has a way of turning on a dime. That was certainly case in December. For those that aren’t aware, we have a daughter with an intellectual disability who faces other challenges as well. She lives with us, and my husband and I are her caregivers. Last month saw her wrestling with some intense mental health challenges. She spent time in the hospital receiving care for which we are incredibly grateful. We still have major challenges to overcome but we are seeing gradual improvement each week. However, it was very hard witnessing her struggling within a severely underfunded healthcare system that is not designed to be inclusive. During the longest night of this winter season I’ve searched for the light.

Who remembers the TV show Northern Exposure? I loved that show! John Corbett played the role of Chris Stevens, a radio host who quoted Walt Whitman, Jung and Dostoevsky and provided an offbeat philosophy and commentary on the goings-on in Cicely, Alaska. One of his memorable rambles was about finding the light.

During this process of breakdown and recovery, I haven’t written anything. I’ve managed some reading. I’ve done some neurographic art doodles. We’ve gone to therapy. We’ve made our way to the other side. It’s time to start a new normal, which means a new routine. Part of that for me means figuring out how to get some writing done. Writing creates a light in me.

So, I started with a blog post.

Until next time…

My Favourite Trope Series: Starting Over in a Small Town

Most of us have certain stories we gravitate towards, like romance novels or stories with a happily ever after. Bu it’s a huge category and there are so many great romance books we readers tend to gravitate to certain themes. Or tropes as they are known. Romance novel tropes refer to a broad theme that speaks to the overall arc of the story. Like my favourite starting over in a small town. Or enemies to lovers, another favourite of mine. Reunited lovers. Friends to lovers. Or the grumpy sunshine trope which is very popular right now.

I wanted to share one of my favourite tropes: Starting Over in a Small Town:

A couple of my favourite books with Starting Over in a Small Town as a trope:

Sea Swept by Nora Roberts

Georgie, All Along by Kate Clayborn

Of course, there is my own book, Exposed, Book 2 in my Aspen Lake Series.

Until next time…

What are your favourite tropes whether it’s fiction or television?

November 2023 Book Recommendation: Time to Shine by Rachel Reid

It just so happens that Wednesday was #IReadCanadianDay. So, I’m extra happy to talk about Rachel Reid’s Time to Shine. Rachel Reid is one of my favourite authors and she hails from the lovely province of Nova Scotia.

Published: Carina Press, September 26, 2023

Categories: Contemporary Romance / Christmas Romance / Bisexual Romance / Canadian Setting /


For Landon Stackhouse, being called up from the Calgary farm team is exciting and terrifying, even if, as the backup goalie, he rarely leaves the bench. A quiet loner by nature, Landon knows he gives off strong “don’t talk to me” vibes. The only player who doesn’t seem to notice is Calgary’s superstar young winger, Casey Hicks.

Casey treats Landon like an old friend, even though they’ve only interacted briefly in the past. He’s endlessly charming and completely laid-back in a way that Landon absolutely can’t relate to. They couldn’t have less in common, but Landon needs a place to live that’s not a hotel room and Casey has just bought a massive house—and hates being alone.

As roommates, Casey refuses to be defeated by Landon’s one-word answers. As friends, Landon comes to notice a few things about Casey, like his wide, easy smile and sparkling green-blue eyes. Spending the holidays together only intensifies their bromance-turned-romance. But as the new year approaches, the countdown to the end of Landon’s time in Calgary is on.


I love Rachel Reid’s Game Changers m/m hockey romance series! Even though I’m not much into the sports. Her two books featuring Shane and Ilya will find a place on my favourite couples’ list for the rest of time. But the rest of the books in the series are excellent, too.

Time to Shine is not part of the Game Changers series but does feature hockey players. It also takes place over Christmas and there are some Christmas vibes but it’s not the main focus of the story. It’s also sweeter than her Game Changer Books which are spicy. So, so spicy!

Landon and Casey are perfect for each other in an opposites attract kind of way. Casey is laidback goof with no filter and Landon is quiet and intense. Casey is a forward for the Calgary Outlaws (a fictional NHL type team). Landon plays goalie for the Outlaw’s farm team. Landon gets called up to play for the Outlaws when the backup goalie gets hurt. They become roommates.

But playing professional hockey isn’t the only thing these two are managing. Landon is still grieving the loss of a close family member, as well as battling anxiety. Casey is terrified of the dark and being alone in his giant house. They become friends. Each helping the other navigate family and their mental health challenges. Then they become more as they figure out how to be apart when the backup goalie returns and Landon goes back to Saskatoon.

It’s got such sweet vibe. It’s about finding your place and finding your people and being accepted for who you are, quirks and all. Definitely recommend.

Until next time…

Let me know some of your favourite Canadian authors!

October 2023: Round Up

October was one fun month with Thanksgiving, our grandson’s first birthday, and plenty of fresh air and outdoor work. And, of course, Halloween, where our grandchildren were dressed as the cutest little Jack Skellington and the most adorable dinosaur around.

Now we’re into November and, even though I’m resisting the coming of the winter months, there’s something about November that signals a slowing down. It’s time for comfy clothes, puzzles and cross stitch. But one of the things I’m most excited about is the start of Globe Theatre season.

Highlight of the Month:

Blind Date at Globe Theatre



A Spontaneous Theatre Creation by Rebecca Northan

The award-winning hit show, Blind Date, comes to Regina’s Globe Theatre after playing off-Broadway, in London’s West End, and all across Canada & the US!

When Mimi’s date for the evening fails to show up, she turns to the audience for someone willing to answer love’s call. What happens next is anybody’s guess, and different each night. This is theatre at its most thrilling, and you will want to see it again and again. Featuring international powerhouse actor and home-grown Saskatchewan talent – Tess Degenstein. Mimi is open to dates of any gender, on any night.

We had a lovely time at this show and I highly recommend it to anyone thinking about going. Tess Degenstein does an excellent job and I was in awe at the command she had of the show. She never knows she’s going to be going on a date with for the show. Her confidence, her timing and her ability to keep things moving while giving the audience plenty of laughs is commendable. In fact, I’m going again on Sunday because each show is different. It was modern and fresh and a joy to watch. Highly recommend.

Until next time…

Have a wonderful weekend! What are you looking forward to doing in November?

October 2023 Book Recommendation: Knockout by Sarah MacLean

I don’t know about the rest of you, but it’s been hard to focus this week. Some many awful things happening in the world. So much suffering. But making a donation to the Red Cross made me feel proactive, like I was able to help in some small way. There are many trusted charities and aid organizations doing the hard work in places torn apart by war or natural disasters. If you are able, any amount helps.

Let’s take a bit of a breather and talk about books. Or one book, in particular. Sarah MacLean’s Knockout, Book 3 in her Hell’s Belles series. If I wasn’t a huge Sarah MacLean fan, I’d have picked this book up for the cover. Isn’t it gorgeous?

Published: HarperCollins, August 22, 2023

Categories: Historial Romance / Romance / Regency Romance /


With her headful of wild curls and wilder ideas and an unabashed love of experiments and explosives, society has labeled Lady Imogen Loveless peculiar…and doesn’t know she’s one of the Hell’s Belles—a group of vigilantes operating outside the notice of most of London.

Thomas Peck is not most of London. The brilliant detective fought his way off the streets and into a promising career through sheer force of will and a keen ability to see things others miss, like the fact that Imogen isn’t peculiar…she’s pandemonium. If you ask him, she requires a keeper. When her powerful family discovers her late-night activities, they couldn’t agree more…and they know just the man for the task.

Thomas wants nothing to do with guarding Imogen. He is a grown man with a proper job and no time for the lady’s incendiary chaos, no matter how lushly it is packaged. But some assignments are too explosive to pass up, and the gruff detective is soon caught up in Imogen’s world, full of her bold smiles and burning secrets…and a fiery passion that threatens to consume them both.


I have been waiting for Imogen and Tommy’s book and it did not disappoint. I loved it, as I’ve loved every book in Sarah MacLean’s Hell’s Belle series. An immersive story in a skilled writer’s hand is a grand thing and MacLean has plenty of skill in both storytelling and the writing craft. Imogen likes to blow things up. It’s Tommy’s job to maintain law and order. Too bad the Hell’s Belles are bent on making his life difficult, especially Imogen. Chaos ensues.

The book is a roller coaster. Part of the reason I love MacLean’s books is they read like a historical romantic suspense. And you all know, I love a good romantic suspense. Imogen and her gang are intent on helping women who have nowhere to turn in times of trouble and to keep one step ahead of those trying to stop them. MacLean’s ability to bring a modern perspective to the Regency era is a huge draw. She also brings big action, huge emotion and exquisite detail to this story. Definitely recommend.

Until next time…

Are you finding it hard to focus these days? What are you doing to stay focused? Or escape from it all?