Friday, May 30, 2008

Blogging at Tote Bags

Today I'm blogging over at Tote Bags 'n' Blogs about being on the road again with this move. Aren't I sneaky? I've preloaded everything. LOL

You can pop over and see all the sneaky tricks to spending a week in a truck with children. *shudders*

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Reader Expectations

A while back there was a post on the Pink Heart Society about branding, and boy was there a great discussion about it. Some people think branding is a waste of time, others are really into it, and there are some who acknowledge it but don't give it that much power. I tend to be in that camp. I KNOW there is a marketing element, and I do promote, etc. but my job is to write books.

The thing about branding in my opinion is that it's all about reader expectation. If you look at branding in general, it's about providing a certain type of product to a certain kind of consumer. I write books. When a reader picks up one of my books, he or she automatically has an expectation of what that book will be like. When they see my branding, they will have an idea of what they are getting. So someone looking for the kind of book I write will perhaps buy one of my books because of the type of read, and not because I'm the author. Once I lure that reader in, hopefully the writing will please them enough that they come back for more.

Some of that "branding" is done for me. I write for Harlequin, so you know you're getting a short romance. I write for the Romance line, so you also know you're getting an emotional, non-explicit read. I do not like to call them sweet reads. I have had readers describe my books as having tenderness and sweetness in them, but they've also called them gritty and gutsy. They are however always with an emotional core and always on the lighter side of sexual explicitness. My readers know that even if my characters do have sex, it will not be described in detail. And I think we'll leave that topic for another post, because I have some thoughts on that as well.

So what happens if suddenly I didn't write for Romance anymore? What would change? Would my branding stay the same?

And this is the interesting part, for me. I think branding should be tied less to CONTENT and more to VOICE and STYLE. If I write short contemporary romance, or if I moved to writing historical romance, or I decided to write single title women's fiction, my writing would still be MINE. There would be things about it that would never be changed. There would be parts of my writing VOICE that would, one would hope, keep my readers with me even if I crossed subgenres.

I know that no matter WHAT I write, I will always have emotional romances that make you feel good at the end. And so that has become MY branding...on my website, and my siglines, on my promo items. Emotional, Feel-Good Romance. It might not be a marketing breakthrough, but it is ME. That is what my readers will expect and it is, I hope, what I deliver. I know I strive to at any rate.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Head down...

Bear with me over the next several weeks. I'm desperately trying to finish this first draft before we start moving to the new house. I have about 10k left to go. And a week to do it in. Holy crap.

Until everything is settled, hooked up and plugged in, my internet usage is going to be sporadic. The blog will be quieter than usual but not silent, I actually have a few things lined up as well as the fact that I will have wireless during the transition so you never know when I'll pop in with something to say.

For right now though, I'm racing towards the end. IN the last few days I've written about 8,000 words. Not a pace I can maintain, but I strike while the iron is hot. This book is, I think, the most dramatic I've written to date. It is proving to be a bit draining, but I'm liking it a lot. And if I can get this first draft wrapped up, then I can edit it after we're settled, and let those few weeks provide some much-needed distance and objectivity.

Right then. Time to switch the laundry and open up a new document for chapter 10.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Book Blog 22 - Mistress in Private

I picked up this book thinking to read a chapter or two, and couldn't put it down.

Julie is a friend of mine and as a bit of a gag, I entered the contest to win one of 20 copies on I Heart Presents. I won one! it's been sitting in my bag of books for travel but I dug it out the other night (as my bookcases are now all packed).

It's a page turner. I loved Jane. I loved Jonny. There was one point where I was ready for the identity confusion to be over, but once it was, it was cracking. There conflict of the characters was really tight and layered in perfectly. And the hot stuff....was good and hot. :-)

Great job I think there's only one of your Modern Extras I haven't read. I'm definitely going to have to remedy that.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Book Blog 21 - Brothers In Battle, Best of Friends

This book came in my amazon order last week and I devoured it ahead of my tbr.

If you are familiar with either the book or hbo series BAND OF BROTHERS, this is the story of 2 of those men - "Wild Bill" Guarnere and Edward "Babe" Heffron. I haven't read the book by Ambrose but I did get the series on DVD and it changed me. So I was really looking forward to hearing more from a few of my favourite "characters".

The foreword is by Tom Hanks and is truly lovely, and the epilogue is by Robin Laing and Frank John Hughes - the actors that played Babe and Bill in the series. Again, wonderfully done. The book is then "written" by Robyn Post.

I was wondering how this was going to be done, as Robyn is a reporter. I liked the format a lot. It really felt like Robyn was just the conduit through which the men spoke. It was all in the first person, and divided into sections mostly - Bill or Babe. Since Babe wasn't at Camp Toccoa or D-Day, those parts were Bill. And since Bill left in Bastogne, the parts about Germany, Landsberg and the Eagle's Nest were all Babe. But we started in Philly pre-war and ended in Philly post-war and it all felt like sitting in a living room with the men and just listening to their stories. It was a format I thought really worked. As I read the stories, I could visualize the same occurences during the show. As well there are pictures in the middle of the book. You really get to respect the casting job done for the series when you see them. There is one pic in particular that has Dick Winters in the background, looking at the men. It is like looking at Damian Lewis who portrayed him. The posture, everything. The actors really did work hard to do the men justice. It's phenomenal.

The men are adamant that they are not heroes. That the boys that didn't come home, the mothers and fathers that watched them go and the medics and chaplains are the heroes. But anyone who has watched BoB or reads this account will disagree.

I will never forget the bonus feature of the premiere in Normandy when Tom Hanks says, "In the words of Don Malarkey, 'so brave, so brave as unbelievable'. "

That really holds true here.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Book Blogs and Reel Reviews

I'm going to do my next book blog - I think it's 20 now - but it's going to be short. Not because I didn't like it, I did. But I'm not quite sure how to review it.

But the kids and I finished The Horse And His Boy (Narnia) by C.S. Lewis this weekend. It is not my favourite of the Narnia books, but we did enjoy it. And we liked the last chapter best. We are starting Prince Caspian tonight, and we are hopefully going to go to the movie at some point.

But the Reel Review is the thing today.

Last night i finished watching CRANFORD on PBS's Masterpiece. If I had to describe it in three words they would be:

Delightful, brilliant, perfection.

Michelle Styles had said, it is not a love story, but more a slice of life. But I'm not sure of that. It is definitely slice of life....and I don't think I've ever watched a series that made me care about the characters quite so much. I cried so often in this mini that it was stupid. Judi Dench was fantastic as Miss Mattie.

But there were several love stories at that way I suppose it wasn't ONE love story at the core of it, like North and South was. But there was Miss Mattie's romance, and Jesse's, and Martha and Jem, and of course the Dr. Harrison and all the woman that swooned over the new doc. And there were opportunities Mr. Carter (who really really grew on me as a hero, dear me). The cast was stellar. I just really really cared. And the little boy...Harry...just broke my heart close to the end.

In the end, despite irreversible things that happened that made me sad, the beauty was that everything ended as it should have. The love story worked out for Dr. Harrison, other pairings were made, and people were with the right people. Miss Mattie's muslin was made up into the Mrs. Harrison's wedding gown. And Cranford was, in the end, still Cranford.

I'm sure the dvd will sneak its way on to an amazon order one of these days.

Friday, May 16, 2008

TGIF - The Glamorous and the Downright Ugly

This week had a little bit of everything thrown in.

I made some headway on the wip, go me! Currently I'm trying to decide whether to work more on it tonight, or put in North and South and ogle Richard Armitage for inspiration. It's a close run thing. I AM really enjoying this book though. It's very dramatic.

Tuesday started out kind of cool. I did an interview by e-mail for my university alumni magazine which is doing a feature on grads who have gone on to write as their career. I'm still having a hard time considering this a career, by the way. It feels kind of presumptuous. Though I suppose I'm not bringing in any income doing anything else, so it fits the definition, lol. My interviewer is none other than the wife of my old Jr. High Band teacher. LOL We had a laugh about that.

But then my daughter called from school saying she felt ill and so I was off, and making a visit to the walk-in clinic. Came out feeling ok...but she was misdiagnosed which I'll get to in a moment....

Wednesday I worked in the morning and then spent the afternoon singing my guts out. Our choir is doing a cd and I went in to put down the alto tracks. Since I'm moving they bumped things up so I could get in first, so there were no other vocals but me coming through the headset. It was a really odd but fun experience, and I wanted to do it because I've never done anything like that before.

Wednesday everything went to hell. Crisis at dh's work meant he was getting geared up for an unplanned trip. This also meant we had to cancel our plans for the long weekend. We were tired and I was in bed a short while when my youngest was crying. Gave her some advil for the ache that was misdiagnosed as a "muscle cramp". It was a muscle cramp all right - of the gastric variety. A half hour later started the "long night". I caught snippets of half hour rests between bucket-holding. Dh got up and headed for the airport, with no help from me whatsoever.

Thankfully by 8 a.m. she was better and spent yesterday recuperating on the couch while I got back to my glamorous life. Now bear in mind the night I had and imagine WHAT I LOOKED LIKE. Let's just say it's a good thing it was not for television. LOL. I did my very first radio interview. It wasn't live so it will be edited, etc. Thank God. Suddenly you realize how many times you say UM, or pause, or talk at faster-than-light speed. (Hah. I got in Faster Than Light. FTL. Reminds me, Battlestar is on tonight.)

Last night I was bagged. Today was a little more singing to finish things up and running around. Like for laundry detergent. Seeing as we ran out Wednesday night.

And did I mention we're still making arrangements for the big move?

The week was busy, it wasn't pretty, but I sure am glad it's over.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Brothers in Battle

I wasn't going to blog today. I'm dead tired, since my youngest is home after being very sick all night. It was hairy, people. And I thought I would take it easy and do a little laundry and just make sure the clan stays upright, yanno?

But then the mail came, and my latest amazon order, and in it, BROTHERS IN BATTLE - BEST OF FRIENDS.

I have never read Stephen Ambrose's BAND OF BROTHERS, but I have watched the series - brought to HBO by Tom Hanks and the ever-wonderful Spielberg. I've watched it many times. It changed my perspective of the world, and that's not exaggeration.

So when I spied this book I knew it was one I had to have. It's the story of 2 of Easy Company's most dynamic members - Babe Heffron and Bill Guarnere. Who can forget them sitting in a pub in Holland, just before Operation Market Garden, and Bill telling the replacements the story about the "Dear Babe" letter and the airplane named Doris???? What a character.

I'm in the middle of another book, but I had to read the foreword which is by Tom Hanks. Even those few pages brought back so many of the feelings from watching the series that I had to wipe my eyes.

Ordinary men, who by their deeds became extraordinary. I am really looking forward to digging into it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wips and Excerpts

The WIP is really steaming along...that word count meter keeps going upwards and despite general craziness in life, I might actually finish this first draft before the end of the month.

I am on my way out the door presently but I have posted new excerpts on my website. You can find one for FALLING FOR MR DARK AND DANGEROUS at

and you can find a new one for my January book, THE RANCHER'S RUNAWAY PRINCESS at

Catch you on the flip side...


Tuesday, May 13, 2008


This is entirely Michelle Styles's fault.

You are Macbeth! A supposed retelling of the true story of King Macbeth of Scotland, Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's bloodiest plays. Macbeth, after hearing the prophesy of three witches, believes he will be named king of Scotland. However, this line of thinking eventually leads Macbeth down a horrible road of blood and death as he fights first to gain, and then to keep hold of the crown. Believing the play to be cursed, many actors will not even say the name of the play inside of a theater unless it is being performed and refer to it simply as "The Scottish Play". But you probably don't care about some stupid old curse. As Macbeth you most likely don't take warnings too well and you are so headstrong that you can't take good advice when it comes your way, even if it is for your own good. But being Macbeth isn't all bad. You are most likely a man (or woman) of action. People probably like you because you are good at thinking on your feet and making quick decisions. But be careful, as your rash behavior may also get you in to trouble along the way.

Your Score: Macbeth

You scored 39% = Tragic, 28% = Comic, 38% = Romantic, 51% = Historic

Now...I have to blog my 19th Book Blog. I just have to...just like I had to turn off the television and read until I finished it last night.


Every now and then you read a book that succeeds in making you feel completely and utterly inadequate as a writer. This is one of those books. I adored it. I adored just about everything about it. I had so many "I wish I could write like this" moments I lost count.

It takes the shop-worn hook of a royal marriage of convenience and just completely turns it upside down. The pacing and action are fast, the characters have lots of depth and are wonderful, and the dialogue is sharp and laugh out loud funny. And yet...there is a tenderness about it that had me blinking my eyes in several spots as we got towards the end.

At one point there is an attempt on their lives and the heroine, a spunky Yorkshire vet. Rose is such a strong, practical woman. She says...."Someone tried to shoot me, so I'm supposed to take a sleeping tablet and go calmly to sleep without getting it sorted? You must be out of your collective minds."

Yet I LOVED how just pages later we see her feminine side...and how it knocks the hero, Nick, for a loop:

"You realise discipline in this castle is shot to pieces?"

"Yes," said Rose, chuckling more than the girl had chuckled, and hugging Hoppy as she rolled back out from behind the settee. "I believe they're my knickers you're standing on, sir."

He bent and picked them up. They were pink and white and lacy, with butterflies embroidered on them.

"My God," he said with reverence. "And I stood on them. Why didn't I notice these last night? Were these special for your wedding?"

"Of course," she said, and then she giggled again. "Nope. I tell a lie. I wear knickers like this all the time."

"You're kidding me." He held them to the light as one might hold up a piece of priceless art. "You wear these? As a country vet?"

"I wear brown, grungy overalls and mud, and I smell like cattle," she said. "I have to be a girl sometime."

"It's a tragedy," he said, awed.

Marion, thank you for the best book I've read this spring.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Noms, Movies and Books

The big news from this weekend has already been revealed in the comments from Saturday's post....HIRED BY THE COWBOY has finalled in the Bookseller's Best Awards, sponsored by the Greater Detroit RWA.

This contest is judged solely by booksellers and librarians...the people responsible for ultimately making our books available to the public...and I'm especially thrilled that my very first Harlequin Romance has made the final cut.

My mates in the Traditional category are Ally Blake, Michelle Douglas, Lucy Gordon, and Claire Baxter! Lovely.

And also congrats to fellow Pink Heart editor Trish Wylie for finalling in the Short Contemporary category.

Reel Review: I also watched another movie on the weekend. Now Natasha mentioned in the comments that she thought Music and Lyrics was a terrible movie. I'll concede it wasn't one of those movies that blew me away, but I did enjoy it. At least there were little bits of dialogue in there that resonated with me as a when Hugh Grant accuses her of her worst fear. Which is more than I can say for the other flick I watched on Saturday: Catch and Release.

It was boring, except for the times it was annoying.

Just when you thought you were going to get a moment of truth, it would dart away to something else. It seemed to be an arty experiment on subtlety, only in this case it failed miserably in my opinion. And Kevin what's his name ( I could IMDB it but I couldn't be bothered) was a pig. Or rather his character was, which at least I suppose provided a distraction from the utter boredom.

It's not often that I truly don't enjoy a movie in any way. But this is one of those rare occasions. Timothy Olyphant's dimples were the best thing in it.

On to something far more lovely....

Book Blog 18! This time it's for Kate Walker's Spanish Billionaire, Innocent Wife.

Two years ago she left Raul without one word of regret. Now chance has thrown them together once more, and the proud Spanish aristocrat will see that Alannah pays for her mistake!

He wanted Alannah Redfern the first moment he saw her. Her unique combination of purity and passion intrigued, then intoxicated him. And Raul Esteban was a man used to getting everything he wanted.

Now Raul knows that beautiful Alannah is no longer a naive girl. Until their one night of passion proves that Alannah is still an innocent! Raul will do whatever it takes to keep her at his mercy...

Kate has succeeded yet again in writing a great alpha hero. He's tough. He's really tough. BUT he also has this vulnerable side. And I think this is part of what makes her such a success. Her heroes still have all the trademarks of the romance novel "Alpha" and yet there is something that we empathize with. The characters remain relatable. I love that. I still might be a Guido woman, but her Raul is a very close second. :-)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Reel Review - Music and Lyrics

Last night I watched Music and Lyrics as it was on the movie channel. I have come to the conclusion that Hugh Grant is at his most adorable best when he's being cheese or sleaze. Even his portrayal of the PM in Love Actually was a bit cheesy and he played it well. And we all know the sleaze that was Daniel in Bridget Jones.

In this movie he plays a has-been 80's pop icon who has 36 hours to make his come back by writing a song for a young pop-lette. In comes the "plant lady" (Drew Barrymore) who has a gift for putting lyrics together. Quirky and cute - which just about summarizes the whole movie. Lots of little laugh out loud bits too.

Definitely worth a watch on a Saturday when you just want to kick back and relax.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Playlists and Progress

Well gang I'm feeling a bit upbeat today. The WIP is chugging along....I'm firmly in the middle now and I know things will shift and be tweaked, but I do think it's coming along. I'm now at 45% done....and if I get a chance to work at all this weekend that will be much closer to 50. I have 2 chapters back from my CP that need tweaking, and a scene to write to finish this chapter and voila. That will just about do it.

Something I did this morning was finally set up a playlist for this book. Sometimes I write to complete silence, other times I like background music and sometimes I have THEME for THE RANCHER'S RUNAWAY PRINCESS I had Let Me Call You Sweetheart, The Tennessee Waltz and My Wish (by Rascal Flatts).

This time though It's mostly mood music. I have a couple of italians at a winery in British'd think a fish out of water, wouldn't you? But not so much. So I have a mix of Josh Groban, Andrea Bocelli, RyanDan, Il Divo and one song by Damien Rice.

It's working for me, and that's what matters.

I do think I'll spend the afternoon cleaning the house...the kids are home on Friday afternoons. That way we won't have to do it tomorrow, and I might be able to pull out the laptop.

Sunday is Mother's Day here. I don't think there is anything planned, beyond a cruise in the new car and maybe an ice cream. :-)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Happy Birthday, Covers and Translations

Happy Birthday to Kate Walker!

I got Michelle Styles's newsletter today. She usually includes a recipe. This time it was for Eccles Cakes. They sound so delish that when I heard it was Kate's birthday I immediately wished I could be with her so we could have some with tea.

Kate is one of those people that I met and instantly felt, as Anne Shirley would say, was a kindred spirit. She gives the best hugs in the world. She's brilliantly fun, unabashedly emotional (I can relate) and I have felt since that our time together was far too short. In other words, this is one very special lady that I always respected but grew to love in the space of a moment - right about the time I heard "This must be Donna" behind me at the AMBA lunch.

So happiest of birthdays darling, and I hope you have a wonderful day.

Yesterday I also happened across this:

Which I like ever so much more than the UK version. It's the same artwork, but I think the lighter background of the NA version keeps it from being too dark. Normally I love the rich feel of the pink top and bottom of the UK covers, but I think with the colours this time the NA one gets my vote.

And on amazon there is another translation listed in Spanish. I am not sure which book it is for. I haven't heard anything about THE SOLDIER'S HOMECOMING being translated, and the new one is due out in NA October 14. Which is the right timing for FALLING FOR MR DARK AND DANGEROUS which is an August book. I don't have any details yet to find out which it is. The title could work for either one. But it IS another translation so that makes me happy.

Off to do the school run and then get to work!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Interviews, Cars and Chocolate

Yesterday quite by surprise I ended up being interviewed for television at the school. I didn't realize media was a part of our Music Monday celebrations, and afterwards I had several moments of panic about how I looked and how I sounded. My daughter was also interviewed and she did a great job. We pvr'd both news broadcasts last night and were on both. It wasn't anywhere near as bad as I expected. LOL. My husband later told me that our daughter's eyes were HUGE. LOL. For more information about what Music Monday is all about, go to

We taped the news because last night we were car shopping. We are trading in our minivan - we've wanted to do this for a while - and getting a smaller car. My dh had his heart set on a sports car. We took out a Subaru WRX STi and he loved it. For the family...meh. But this car is basically for HIM so I was on board. That being said...we didn't get it. His love for it only went so deep. The deal wasn't one we could live with so we scooted out for some fast food on the way to the Auto Mall.

We went to another dealership as our second choice was there and we asked for a salesman, browsed, waited, and drove one seemed to want our money last night.

Then we drove into one more dealership, as I remembered that they had ONE of the car we were looking for. We ooohed. We aaaahed. (I might have done the majority of oohing and aahing until the kids settled into the leather interior of the back seat, and then they were in the royal carriage.) We took it for a test drive. We got a better trade in for our van. The customer service there was really good. Our salesman had candy for the kids. Bottled water. They had a look at our van...and ran it through their car wash for pete's sake! We bought it. We should be able to pick it up later this week.

I couldn't get the pic from the dealer site as it's flash player, but I google imaged it and this is very close to what it looks like....we don't get a spoiler but we do have a sunroof.

It's an Infiniti G35x. I'm happy as it has all wheel drive. And leather interior. And gadgets. I think the dh really enjoyed the drive too. I know I'm looking forward to it and I'll have a better time driving it than I would trying to get used to a performance car.

So in other news today, Natasha Oakley is the new SPOTLIGHT IN SIX on the Harlequin Romance Author Blog...I'm going over there to post it right now.

She's also issued a chocolate challenge over at the Pink Heart Society.

Without further choccie recipe for FANTASTIC FUDGE BROWNIES

1 Cup Butter

2 cups sugar

4 heaping tbsp cocoa

4 eggs, beaten

1 cup flour

1 tsp vanilla

Cream butter, sugar and cocoa. Add beaten eggs and vanilla. Add flour. Add nuts at this point if you want nuts...(pecans are my favourite...between 1/2 and 1 cup depending on how nutty you are).

Bake in a 9x13 greased pan at 350 until done. I know this sounds nebulous but my guess is it's about 45 minutes. Then you have to do not want your tester to come out dry, but not with gooey batter either...there should be fudgey bits on it, or it comes out clean but with a coating of moisture.

Frost right away (because then it melts to a glaze) with: 2 cups icing sugar, 2 tbsp cocoa, 2 tbsp butter, 2 tbsp boiling water and 2 tsp vanilla.


Monday, May 05, 2008

Manic Monday

A quick fly-by posting. Details run amuck - that's my life right now. But hopefully later today my website will be updated marginally and those of you who subscribe to my newsletter will get one in your well as my next contest announcement.

Which reminds me....if you haven't signed up for my newsletter, why not? This month the contest will be for newsletter subscribers, so this is your chance. Just add your name and e-mail to the little box to the right here and it's all done.

For now...I'm thinking I should have a hands free set for my phone with all the calls to make this morning.


The site is updated and my newsletter is queued for delivery. My contest this month is for newsletter subscribers. There is a signed advance copy of FALLING FOR MR DARK AND DANGEROUS up for grabs, as well as bookmarks the the Mills and Boon postcard. Instructions for entering are within my latest newsletter. If you are a new subscriber, you will automatically be entered.

Friday, May 02, 2008

General Craziness

Things have exploded again.

My first to-do list is for moving details, mostly phone calls about connecting and disconnecting and address notifications. There are 27 items on it. Only 6 are crossed off.

Two loads of laundry are on the bed, waiting to be folded.

The dishwasher has clean dishes that need to go away so I can put the counter full of dirty dishes in it.

I need a few groceries. Milk and bread and chicken and coffee filters, to name a few.

I have a dresser piled with things that must be ironed. Sigh. Oh and mending. I refuse to wear clothes with the seams popping.

I can no longer put anything in the "to be filed" holder as it is filing on the list.

AND....most importantly, the new book is burning a hole in my brain. I got the first three chapters back from my CP and I really want to dig in and get those "right", then I need to insert a scene for BEFORE the scene I wrote yesterday. I am really loving it and I think the lightbulb I had a few weeks ago made all the difference in the conflict. I now wish I could lock myself away for a few days and ride the wave. As it is I might end up getting out the laptop and working some tonight or tomorrow night, even if I can get 1k a day it will be forward motion. That was the goal yesterday and I wrote nearly 1400. Not huge volume but with everything going on, it just feels good to finally be making PROGRESS.

Oh yes and Monday is Music Monday across Canada so I am playing piano for the school concert, and Tuesday is another dental appointment. Good thing I'm not busy or anything.

Catch you on Monday...hopefully with a report on how much got accomplished on the weekend.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Book Blog 17 - Viking Warrior, Unwilling Wife

Today Viking Warrior, Unwilling Wife is available at the Mills and Boon site. I always get an advance copy because Michelle is my CP, and we have a tradition of sending each other a hardback of our books as they arrive. It took me a while to get to it but I finished it last night.

This is Michelle's second Viking book....Taken By The Viking is out now in the US. This book features Vikar and Sela, with references to Haakon, Annis and the Lindisfarne raid from Taken By The Viking. It is a lovely story about finding love and taking risk even when people - and circumstance - work against it. There is one part when Vikar goes to see his son that is pure brilliance:

"Vikar cast his eyes up to the skies blinking rapidly, but a single tear escaped and trickled down his cheek. With impatient fingers he pushed it away."

Big warriors don't cry...except when it comes to children. And she had me with his impatient fingers. It just said so much. Vikar is a GREAT hero. There is a misunderstanding between him and Sela, and we know he is far more innocent than she thinks, and yet we are sympathetic to her because she really believed what happened was true and it hurt her deeply.

Viking Warrior, Unwilling Wife is a June release in the UK and hopefully will make its way on to the NA schedule.
In other news, I have drawn my April contest winner for the Goody Bag. Congratulations to Nancy Holroyd. Within the next few days, my webpage will be updated and my newsletter will go out, and I'll announce my May contest.