Sunday, December 31, 2006

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Champagne will be drunk, chinese eaten, and loads of laughs I hope....but details later...

Just wanted to wish everyone a happy new year and wonderful start to 2007!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Mistletoe Memoirs - The Conclusion is up!

Chapter Four of The Mistletoe Memoirs is up on my website!

Drop by to find out how it all ends, and for a very special recipe at the end! Thanks to Kris Starr for providing the recipe for Glogg, or Mulled Wine, and also for putting up with me and providing critique duties as well.

If I'm not on again, the very best of New Year's too you all. I'll be back in 2007 to post my hopes for the next year!

Cheers!

A correction and progress

In an earlier post, when I was accounting my TBR pile, I listed Her Mother's Shadow as being written by Diane Craver.

As it turns out, Diane Chamberlain wrote that book. And it's still on my TBR pile.

But thanks to Diane Craver for visiting my blog and finding the error! LOL

I am making progress on the WIP. I am in the hardest section. Usually it is chapter four, but this book it has taken it's time appearing and has waited until chapter six. I'll likely have another block/difficult chapter around 8 or 9...and then things seem to come together for the end. Middles are hard. So much balancing...your conflicts are established, but now you have to keep conflict going while developing the romance...resolve things and all the ooomph goes out of your book...too much conflict and it's hard to root for the characters....urgh! Picture me pulling my hair out.

But I know my cp will point me in the right direction and I can fix what I need. It'll all come together in the end. And after some layering, I know that truly, I'm almost half way there. I usually end up somewhere between 12 or 13 chapters.

Meanwhile, come back on Friday...which is really only a few hours from now. I'll be posting the FINAL CHAPTER of THE MISTLETOE MEMOIRS on my website.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Reading: Crazy About the Boss

In the interests of catching up on TBR piles, I also inhaled Theresa Southwick's Bella Lucia contribution, Crazy About the Boss.

This is such a great series. I haven't read all of the books, but I love how they stand alone yet you also get a real sense of who the Valentine Family is.

What I really liked about this book were the characters. I liked the feisty heroine, although at times I did wish she'd just give the hero a kick in the ass. That's probably due to my own impatience. But what I really liked about Maddie was that it wasn't perfect Jack she fell for, but the imperfect, wounded side that she'd never seen. Yay! Isn't it great when I woman loves a man FOR his flaws, not despite them? (and makes it believable!). After just having read Fiona's book, I sort of got the idea that grand gestures are not to be underestimated...but that's all I'm saying...you'll have to read the book to find out more.

I am sick with a cold now, darnit, but I can't afford to take the time to be lazy. I got back chapter five from my CP and added a few words to it, lol. And my final proofs for my January Samhain release, Almost a Family, just came through so I'll be giving them a look-see. And then on to chapter six tomorrow. Touch wood, but I don't think I'll have to worry about length on this one. I'm almost 1/3 there and there is SO much story left to tell!

Next up on the reading docket - my copy of Sold and Seduced by my CP Michelle. I started it last night and am already seeing where edits and revisions have tightened up this book, which is very cool. It is neat seeing the rough incarnation and then the finished polished product!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Reading: Blind Date Marriage

I vowed that over the holidays I'd catch up on some reading, so yesterday I read Blind Date Marriage from Romance Newbie Fiona Harper.

I was really looking forward to it. I'd heard great things. Fiona and I are both new to the line and I like her :-) so after a week of staring at it, yesterday I excitedly jumped in.

Fiona, you rock.

I really really enjoyed this book. I saw so many things that she did right. I loved her pacing, her blending of a personal quirkiness with emotion...kid, you did good. :-)

I've said before that I truly believe that one really needs to know their characters, and then that the conflict has to come from WITHIN the characters and Fiona did this like a champ.

Congratulations Fiona on a great debut book. I'm so proud of you! I can't wait to read more.

Donna

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Mistletoe Memoirs...Chapter Three!

Again, because of Christmas craziness (this time volunteering at the school and a 1/2 day for kids tomorrow) I am posting my latest chapter of THe Mistletoe Memoirs a day early.

Pop by the site and have a read! Then come back next Friday for the conclusion!

For the next few days I may not have the chance to blog, so I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and my hopes for a wonderful 2007. Many thanks for stopping in and sharing with me through 2006! I'm already so excited to see what 2007 is going to bring!

Happy Holidays,

Donna

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Girl Most Likely Print release!!!!!!!!!

Apparently whatever issues there were, got fixed. Because The Girl Most Likely released today, in PRINT!



It's not up on Amazon yet, although that link will hopefully be up and going soon...but for right now it's available on Samhain's My Bookstore and More.

I can't wait for the author copies to arrive so I can hold it in my hands!

Getting There

I'm getting there, guys.

My edits for Almost a Family are sent, so the next time I see AAF it should be my final proofs before the e-release on January 9!

I also put the finishing touches on chapter 3 of my online read, so make sure you pop by the site on Friday, as it will be up to read and with a fantastic recipe supplied by brand new Harlequin Romance author Fiona Harper!

I have to finish up the final chapter that goes up on the 29th, and then I should have clear sailing for working on the WIP.

I just remembered that I made up a list of what had to be done this week, so I should go check some things off. I have a few extra tasks every day, and admittedly I'm getting tired. I was in bed and asleep by 10:30 last night and other than nightmare issues (both me and my youngest)slept until almost 7 a.m. I made shortbread last night and every evening after the kids go to bed I continue working on one of their presents...although at this pace I should finish perhaps on Saturday night. LOL. Just in time.

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Week Before Christmas

Well, holiday stress has greatly dissipated after last week. Concerts are done. We had our "wing nite" finally with our friends on Saturday, the gifts are bought and I just have the tiniest bit of wrapping left to do, which I will do this afternoon.

All in all it's a good thing, because on the work front I'm busier than a one-armed paper hanger.

My copy edits for Marriage at Circle M arrived on Friday, and less than 24 hours later, so did the ones for Almost A Family. While contractually I have more time, practically, because of the holidays, both sets have to be back in this week. Not to mention whatever else I had on my list to finish book-wise this week.

I did sneak some time here and there and spent time with MCM and my red pen, so this morning everything got finished up and sent back. I also heard back on the partial for Home Fires and I'm good to go - now to just finish it! I'm on to the second set of edits now, as long as my eyes don't permanently cross. LOL.

The good news is, thanks to the husband's help, the house is considerably clean and we did up all the laundry yesterday. We should be good for the week, and then we can do our Christmas clean on Saturday. :-) I also have to make christmas dinner dessert.

Pop by and leave a comment as to what you're doing this week and what traditions are in store for Christmas Eve and the big day!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Tagged!

Four jobs I've had:
1.Retail Supervisor
2. Receiver of Revenue for Government
3. Apple orchard worker
4 Elementary School Assistant

Four places I've lived:
1 Keswick Ridge, New Brunswick
2 Fredericton, New Brunswick
3 Calgary, Alberta
4 Only three! LOL

Four favorite foods:
1 chocolate
2 pizza
3.beef
4. French fries

Four movies I could watch over and over:
1. An Affair to Remember
2. Love Actually
3. White Christmas
4 The Sound of Music

Four TV shows I enjoy:
1. Battlestar Galactica
2. The Unit
3. NCIS
4.Grey's Anatomy

Four places I've traveled:
1. Florida
2. British Columbia
3 Newfoundland
4. Various other Canadian locations

Four places I'd like to visit:
1. The UK
2. Europe. Seriously, pretty much the whole continent
3. South Africa
4 Hawaii

Four websites I go to daily:
1. e-harlequin
2 The Pink Heart Society
3. Jamie Bamber, this is your website
4. various friends' blogs

Four people tagged:
Kris Starr
Trish Wylie
Fiona Harper
Julie Cohen so she is distracted from impending labour.

Don't forget to pop by the online read!!!!!!!!!!

Chapter Two - The Mistletoe Memoirs

Due to general Christmas Craziness and the fact that tomorrow I'll be running around frantically, I've posted Chapter Two of The Mistletoe Memoirs a day early. Pop on by to see what happens this time with CC and Jake, and don't forget to grab the recipe at the bottom! This time it was graciously provided by Modern Extra's Jenna Bayley Burke!

As a side note to kid cute-ness, my eldest is still writing to Santa. She's 8. I read her letter before she sealed the envelope (parent's perogative). She asked for homes, food and money for homeless. That's ALL she asked for. Not one thing for herself.

Sometimes she just simply amazes me.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Where to find me today...

Today is Harlequin's Open House, so I'll be in and out of the Romance line post party all day...as well as probably poking my head 'round the corner at the Modern Extra thread and Historicals to visit some friends.

Everyone is welcome to come in and say hi. You'll find many of your favorite authors there...too many to list. It's all great fun so come on over!

THe link is HERE.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Disappointment

I received news today that due to some technical issues, The Girl Most Likely print version will not be available until the January print release date.

I'm understandably disappointed...it seems like I've been waiting FOREVER to hold a copy in my hands. And I was particularly excited about it coming out before Christmas. But there's nothing I can do.

For those of you who won print copies in my launch contest, as soon as I have them, I promise they shall be in the mail.

Once I have a solid date for the release next month, I'll post it.

Donna

Monday, December 11, 2006

Why I had kids

Being a parent is hard. You want to do right by your kids. You want to give them things, teach them things. You constantly second-guess your decisions and wonder if you're giving them the foundation they need to make it in this big, scary world. And you're constantly battling the issue of protecting them vs. letting them make their own decisions and consequences.

But sometimes, and it doesn't happen often, you're given a glimpse of your your child's true nature that makes you feel you've done ok so far.

This is Christmas concert week, and I've delivered several edicts to "Wash your hands". The reason being, is that 3 of the 4 of us have had or are on antibiotics. And there's a stomach bug going around at the school, and I really really don't want either of the girls to be sick this week. Talking to the Asst. Principal this morning, I was reminded of last year when my eldest, then in grade 2, missed her concert. She'd been sick, had gone to dress rehearsal but had arrived a little late and someone else filled in for her. She was tearful, but then later that afternoon threw up again. Only the once. I told her if she wanted we could go to the performance and come right home. And instead, she said that the boy that had filled in for her didn't have a speaking part, and that since he had practiced that morning, he should have an opportunity to do it. SHe said this in the midst of her disappointment while having a warm bath. I remember leaving the bathroom and having a little cry at her generosity. She could have insisted on going. But she didn't. And the next morning she said she was happy that this little boy had had a chance to take part.

Note: my youngest DID make her performance. 10 min later she threw up in her classroom. See? WASH YOUR HANDS.

This weekend my youngest, who is now in grade 1, was getting pretty excited for Christmas and was talking about Christmas Eve. She recently lost both her front teeth so has a very cute lisp and a decided twinkle in her eye. We were in the kitchen and she was talking about the 24th. She touched her belly and said, "Mom, it's like there's this big bag of joy right in here." Then she grinned and said..."And then...it just explodes everywhere."

Have you ever heard a better definition of Christmas?

It's moments like these that make me happy I had kids and let me know I'm doing an ok job after all.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Bah, Humbug!

This is why I normally do all my shopping in October.

I went shopping this morning. Things were picked over. What wasn't picked over was in complete disarray. Drivers were stupid. The clerk at the Chapters where I went was stunned. Several of the things I wanted were not findable.

I got home feeling ever so stressed.

Now today was just the "whatever I haven't got yet, I'll finish up" day. And it was a prime example of why one should shop early, and on a Tuesday. ACK!

It is saying something when the Dollar Store 2 km from your home is your BEST event.

The good news is that I got home and my husband and kids had cleaned the house top to bottom and had done laundry. And there is a ham with scalloped potatoes in the oven.

THanks, guys. :-)

Friday, December 08, 2006

My Christmas Present to You!



Starting today, I'm posting an online read on my website. It's called The Mistletoe Memoirs and is the story of CC and how all she really wants is to get Jake under the mistletoe!

Chapter One is up today, with the next three chapters coming each Friday until the final chapter on Dec. 29th. Also, at the end you'll find a recipe for a drink featured within that chapter. All the recipes have been provided by other authors! Today's feature is Eggnog by Michelle Styles and it sure looks yummy!

You can get to the read by my home page.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Almost a Family contest!

It's that time again - time for another contest! Those of you who are on my newsletter list already know the skinny...but here are the details!

Almost a Family e-releases on January 9th. To win a copy of the e-release, answer the following question:

What is Jason's old nickname for Molly?



The answer can be found within the excerpt on my webpage at www.donnaalward.com. Then send an e-mail with the subject line CONTEST to donna@donnaalward.com with your answer. I'll be drawing the winner on release day, January 9th!

And make sure you come back tomorrow for some fun, exciting news!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Hired By The Cowboy Cover!

It's a good day.

I got my edits for AAF so am working on those, the antibiotics have kicked in and I'm feeling a bit better, still coughing but less dragged down than yesterday.

And to top it off, my editor sent me the cover for Hired By The Cowboy!

I'm in love. So excited, and so happy with how the Romance covers are looking these days. I've been absolutely antsy waiting to see what they'd done...and they sure didn't disappoint. What do you think?







Copyright 2007 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
R and TM are trademarks of the publisher

Monday, December 04, 2006

Pity Party

Ok, so the on-again off-again bug that hit late last week has dug in for the duration. I woke up yesterday feeling, as my husband puts it, like five pounds of $hit in a three pound bag. I coughed so much in the morning I threw up. I went to the walk in clinic and an hour and a half later returned home with antibiotics and a cough elixir that has enough codeine in it to put a horse in a coma.

But today I still feel like utter crap. The husband is mended and had to go back to work today, so I had to walk the kids to school and I made a detour to the office to leave messages cancelling my day tomorrow. I was going to volunteer in 2 classes and work the lunch room in between. And the party is tonight, which I backed out of as well. The cough is still so bad that this morning my throat was actually bleeding. I came back from dropping the kids off and took a 1/2 dose of the elixir and made tea. Hopefully I won't pass out while writing this post. :-)

Anyway, I've enough to do this week that between that and the bronchitis, I'm going into the cave. If the antibiotics work wonders I shall pop in to post but if I don't I'm either working or sleeping. THe good thing about doing what I do is that I can work for an hour, sleep for an hour. And no one is annoyed by my barking and whinging.

For those of you on my newsletter list, don't fret, it's coming this week with some fun things in store for December! How glad am I that I drafted it earlier and now only have to tweak it a bit? :-)

Also pop over to my CP's blog for her great news of today. She's much more interesting than I have been lately.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Sickies

I think I'm on the other side of the sickies. I haven't had a tylenol since first thing this morning, and I still feel ok. But I do have this persistent cough that is annoying. At 3:30 a.m. I woke up and took more medicine, but was awake at 5:30 still coughing. At that point I decided the recliner in the living room would disturb everyone the least. I slept there until 7.

My house is a mess so I need to tidy up, and the kids and I are doing some baking today. Things that I only make at Christmas time. Chocolate squares, gum drop cake, war cake, gingerbread...I think I shall leave the shortbread for another day as I'm still pretty tired. I used to also make chocolate peanut butter balls, top hat balls, and Hello Dolly squares but honestly I'd rather not have too much baking in the house so I keep it to a minimum.

I'll have to do another batch of cooking mid-month for the school craft and bake sale. That will consist of shortbread and gingerbread decorated and probably caramel corn. Yummy!

OK now I'm getting tired just thinking about it. I'd better go do more dishes. :-)