November Blahs and a Giveaway!

 

November is not my favourite time of year. I find it’s generally a transition month. That nowhere month when it’s technically still fall, but it sure doesn’t feel like it. There is snow on the ground, a decided chill in the air and it feels like winter. That time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, at least here in the middle of the Canadian prairies, where you’re busy digging out the winter coats, boats and snow shovels, and trying to acclimatize.

So, let’s brighten things up a bit! Where do you like to go for a quick getaway? Someplace far or near, you retreat to when you need a change of scenery? Staycation or vacation, tell us your spot to unwind and be entered in a chance to win a $25.00 Amazon gift card!

 Also, starting Tuesdays at the end of November I’ll be giving away a prize pack each week for four weeks to celebrate the holidays! Likewise, good things coming to Newsletter subscribers in December, so sign up and join in the fun!

Until then…

Be sure to enter to win!

 

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NaNoWriMo Book Recommendations!

Not only is November Peanut Butter Lovers month, it’s also National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Where writers far and wide pledge to write 50,000 words in November. My romantic suspense, EXPOSED, got its start during NaNoWriMo.

Exposed, Book 2 Aspen Lake Series

Having done it once, I might try it again some far off November with a well-planned out idea, but I’m not sure that kind of intense push to create only new material without going back and making sure I’m on the right track (in other words, edit as I go) works for me. Not that I don’t do that when I’m in the zone, but that window of time doesn’t generally last for thirty days in a row. Kudos to those for whom the process works, as other writers have been very successful with their efforts and many novels have been birthed in November.

Three Books I’ve Read (And One I Want To Read) That Were NaNoWriMo Success Stories!

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Book Club Read

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen

Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

My Quote Of The Month. I’m channelling it as I write a proposal for a new book.

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Until next time…

By the way the one book I mentioned that I haven’t read is Fangirl, but I’ve read Eleanor and Park and loved it. Anyone else read any of the books I mentioned?

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Hello November!

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***Congratulations to Jeanne – Winner of my October Blog Contest!***

***Congratulations to Erika – Winner of my October Newsletter Contest!***

I’m busy researching heritage homes and looking for inspiration for a fictional bed and breakfast for a story proposal I’m developing. My fictitious B&B is set in a small town in the Cypress Hills of my home province of Saskatchewan. I’ve found some stunning examples! Like the ones on this list. Or the best inns that Alberta has to offer. And some places in Saskatchewan.Then there’s Nora Roberts’ Inn Boons Boro on the Square and since she’s a favourite author of mine I’d love to go and stay a night or two in the Elizabeth and Darcy room! There are some absolutely amazing homes out there and I have to admit I fell down a bit of a research rabbit hole, but I’ve settled on a Queen Anne two-a-half storey brick mansion, called Darcy House.

Once upon a time we treated ourselves to was a couple of nights at the Trout Point Lodge in Nova Scotia. It was so unique and you felt like you’d entered another time and place as it’s in the interior of Nova Scotia in a very secluded and wooded area, away from the coastline. It was delightfully rustic and completely modern, as well as being a foodie’s dream.

An architectural masterpiece made from giant Eastern Spruce logs featuring full scribe notch and dovetail joinery, chiseled granite and sandstone, Trout Point’s main lodge celebrates the Great Camps erected along the U.S. & Canadian Eastern Seaboard in the early 20th century. This three-story structure houses guest facilities, the Great Room, mezzanine library, dining rooms, kitchen, two bars, and recreational facilities on the banks of two wilderness rivers. Replete with mica and Tiffany lamps, oriental rugs, handmade log & twig furniture, and extensive indoor and outdoor public areas, Trout Point is the ideal nature retreat.

www.karyngood.com

Until next time…

Have you ever stayed in a cute little bed and breakfast or a lovely boutique hotel? What was your favourite thing about it? Inquiring minds want to know…

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Taking The Time To Relax and Rejuvenate

Relax * Restore * Refresh * Rejuvenate * Revive

www.karyngood.com I’m not sure why it can be such a challenge to take time for myself but, as the quote suggests, it’s necessary. I read an article recently that contained a bevy of suggestions like making sure to take 2 to 3 days off each week. It also suggested eating lunch out with a friend each week, as well as a weekly spa treatment. You were also encouraged to leave work early sometimes, arrive late once in a while, and a host of other impractical suggestions. I don’t know about you, but those aren’t options for me, for a variety of reasons. I need solutions that are practical.

Real estate agents suggest baking cookies or bread (for those more talented then me, obviously) before house showings. That’s because our sense of smell is linked to memory and those lucky enough to have a grandma, parent, or a knew a loved one that baked can relate to the comfy memories it encourages. Smell can also trigger emotion: attraction, danger, relaxation, comfort. When my husband wears aftershave I’m a goner. And it comes as no surprise that certain smells make us happy. I ‘m willing to bet most of us love a soothing scented bath. When we get a sniff of a scent that has a positive effect on our minds, it lifts our mood. So, bring on the candles, potpourri, and oil diffusers.

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I’m one of those people that love perfume, but so many places are fragrance free I don’t wear it often. So at home, I’ve become an essential oil junkie! Rollers, creams, aroma blends and, of course, individual oils. A favourite for my office is a blend of grapefruit and bergamot called Rejuvenating. Another is a combination of grapefruit and rosemary called Focus. There’s something about the scent of grapefruit that’s fresh and tangy and it makes me think of mornings and getting ready to be productive. I have a Night Time blend that combines lavender and chamomile, perfect for bedtime and for reducing anxiety and stress.

I’ve also started creating my own blends. One of which is 5 or 6 drops of peppermint and a couple drops each of tea tree and eucalyptus for a crisp, outdoor scent. As we head into winter, I’m looking to create something that reminds me of the beach, the waves, and the ocean. If you don’t have a diffuser close at hand, why not try some making something on your stove top. The following chilly weather recipe might just do the trick and offer some comfort on a blustery day or evening.

Stove Top Potpourri

  • 3 apple peels
  • 2 orange peels
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/8 tsp cloves

Until next time…

Are you a scent person? Pumpkin Pie, fresh cut grass, ocean breezes? What does it for you?

“We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise, we harden.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Remakes and Reboots!

It’s Happening…

Going to see A Star Is Born tonight! Can’t wait to see this one.

I was a huge fan of the last version!

I think the last remake I saw was True Grit, which I enjoyed. I’m a big fan of the Lethal Weapon reboot, but with all the cast changes who knows what will happen to it. I’m still out as to whether I’ll continue to watch Magnum PI. I’m really curious about Jack Ryan but alas we don’t have Amazon Prime. There’s a Broadway adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird in the works with Jeff Daniels as Atticus Finch. Sounds promising as the script is written by Aaron Sorkin.

Contest announcement HERE!

Until next time…

Is there a reboot or remake you’ve enjoyed watching or are waiting to see?

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Karyn’s September Contest

****Contest Winner is Jeanne!*****

If you’re like me, you’re lamenting the end of summer while embracing all things fall: warm knits, comfy socks, and steaming cups of tea.

September Contest Announcement

It’s been unseasonably chilly in my neck of the woods and the moody, damp weather has me glad it’s time to announce my September contest.

If you haven’t already, all you need to do is sign up for my newsletter to be entered to win a Wanderlust prize pack whose contents you’ll discover when they arrive in your mailbox.

My newsletter will go out monthly and include my take on books I’ve read, recipes, cover reveals, deals, and contests – to give you a hint of what you might find in it. Sign up by October 15 to be entered to win! Winner announced on October 16!

If you’ve already signed up, you’ll know there’s a September contest for subscribers – so check your inbox!

Until next time…

What’s your favourite fall activity? Mine would be making soup! And the return to all those yummy chilly night comfort foods.

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I Went To See Some Movies This Summer

I went to see three movies this summer. At actual theatres. That’s a record for me. And I plan to keep going to the movies on a regular basis. It was a lot of fun!

The other week I went to see Crazy Rich Asians. It was so good. Beautiful people, lavish locations, and some seriously delicious looking food. It’s based on the book of the same name by Kevin Kwan who’s intention was to “introduce a contemporary Asia to North American audience.” Mission accomplished. It was a delight.

I also took my mother and mother-n-law to see the Book Club. Four friends of a certain age decide to read Fifty Shades of Grey. It was cute and we had a couple of good laughs. But I have to say, Candice Bergen stole the show. She was had the funniest and most interesting character. But it was refreshing to see a movie centered around the sexual escapades of older women. Because, heck yeah!!!

I also went to see Adrift, which was terrifying as I’m not a fan of sail boats, deep water, or  hurricanes. It is loosely based on the true story of a couple of experienced sailors agree to sail a boat from Tahiti to San Diego. They encounter one of the worst recorded hurricanes in recent history and are set adrift. The story is absolutely amazing!

Until next time…

What movies did you see this summer? What movies are you looking forward to?

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Quick Five

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Time is flying right now! I’ve gotten the edits back on GONE, Book 3 in my Aspen Lake Series. And on another writing front, research is occupying my time. I’ve found a setting I’m excited about and am having loads of fun taking notes and such. Might even go for a Sunday drive this weekend and do a little location scouting in the Bid Muddy Valley area.

But a person needs downtime! And since, by design, I lead a fairly simple life that often involves books, television, crafts, and snacks.

My Monthly Quick Five:

Reading: Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier, author of psychological thrillers Omgosh, it’s soooo good! I’m whipping through this one. Definitely recommend.

Listening: Right now, it’s an audiobook – David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and The Art Of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell. Just getting into this one. Gladwell is doing a great job of narrating and I’m enjoying listening to a non-fiction book.

Watching: Who else is addicted to all the cozy mystery movies? They’re like chips! Bet you can’t just watch one. Right now my fav is the Garage Sale Mystery movie series. Love it!

Snacking: Almond Butter Energy Bites from the cookbook Yum and Yummier, another book I highly recommend. Useful, practical, and healthy recipes.

Crafting: Currently I’m all about the bullet journaling and I’m using it to get back into some semblance of routine. Also, i’m addicted. Also not sure this really counts as crafting…

Until next time…

How is everyone spending their chilly it-feels-like autumn evenings?

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It’s a Sizzling Summer Party!

Sizzling Summer Party (The Romance Reviews)

If you’re here looking for the answer to my multiple choice Q&A (June 8th) for The Romance Reviews Sizzling Summer Reads Party contest you are in the right place. I’m sure you know the drill, but here goes – The Romance Review will random choose the winner for my offered $10.00 Amazon Gift Card and they will notify me after which I will contact you. Please know that you need to register and be logged into TRR before you can play the game. Registration is free and easy and there is a variety of prizes to be won!

Exposed, Book 2 Aspen Lake Series

EXPOSED, Book 2 in my Aspen Lake Series

Amazon US * Amazon CA * Amazon UK * Kobo * Barnes and Noble * The Wild Rose Press

 

New News!

I have news! If you love audiobooks, you can now listen to EXPOSED in audio! Audible US * Audible CA * The Wild Rose Press

The narrator is Stacey Melotte and you can listen to a sample at any of the above links!

BACKLASH will be available at Audible by the end of the summer!

The blurb for EXPOSED and the answer to the Q&A!

Romantic Suspense

If you’re interested, please sign up for my newsletter. Each month for July, August, and September, I’ll be giving away $25 worth of summer themed goodies to randomly drawn winners!

What are you currently reading? We like to know these things!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Everyone Needs A Little Time Away

Or, so the lyrics go. Not that the band Chicago had a family vacation in mind when they wrote Hard To Say I’m Sorry. But it’s true, everyone needs a break and some time away. It doesn’t have to be far, as in our case. Just far enough to feel like your in a different place.

“Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain

California or Bust


Packed for California Road Trip

We left behind the snow and cold for the sun, water, and scenery of Encinitas, California. You can read more about the lovely coastal town and surfing mecca of Encinitas HERE. If I won the lottery I’d by a house on a cliff overlooking the ocean. That’s my fantasy. A place by the ocean. I can’t imagine the novelty of walking out my door and along the beach every single day of my life. Darn it, I’ll just have to settle for living in a province of a 100,000 lakes with beautiful sunrises and sunsets and plenty of golf courses. Poor me.

ocean, sunset, California

Palm Frond

ocean, waves, sunset

We didn’t rush about and fit in as much sightseeing and touristy things as we usually do. We settled into our VRBO and relaxed. We did visit the San Diego Botanic Garden which is an absolute treasure and it was lovely to see all the plants and flowers after a VERY long winter. We watched surfers, dolphins and pelicans from the hot tub on our deck. I drank my fair share of margaritas.

Oh, and I read the best book. Two, actually.

The Woman In The Window by A.J. Finn

Thriller, A.J. Finn

It isn’t paranoia if it’s really happening . . .

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, mother, their teenaged son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

I couldn’t put it down. It’s twisty and turny and you’re never sure who you can trust. It managed to take me by surprise and I loved all the old movie references.

The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel

Middle Grade Book, Kenneth Oppel, Canadiana

Will Everett has always wished for an adventure.

Little does he know his started the moment he boarded The Boundless. The longest, most glamorous locomotive in the world, it stretches more than eleven kilometres long and pulls an astounding 987 cars: passenger cars, shooting galleries, gardens, an onboard swimming pool, cinema and much more. But its maiden voyage won’t be a smooth ride for Will. After witnessing a murder during a station stop, he barely makes it back onto the train (with a running leap!), then must work his way from the caboose forward to his father in first class – with the murderer and his cronies on his tail. Luckily, a clever and nimble friend is perfecting her act in The Boundless’s circus car, and there the real thrill ride begins. Sasquatches, bog-dwelling hags and illusions abound in this outsized adventure aboard the Titanic of trains!

This is a middle grade book that we read it to our daughter on this trip. It’s so good! Very Canadian, which I adore. A cast of colourful characters are in for the ride of their life as the Boundless traverses the Canadian Pacific railway not long after the last spike is nailed into place. Also, and people probably don’t know this about me, I’m a Sasquatch (Bigfoot) enthusiast. And guess what? There are Sasquatch in this book!

Until next time…

Where is your fantasy home located? Or share the name of a book you’ve enjoyed lately!

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