Friday, August 29, 2008

Give me five - the Military Families Fund

I finished the rough draft of the novella yesterday, sent the last chapter to my cp, got it back, made changes, and saved it, yahoo! I am glad it is done. This afternoon I am working on copy edits of Hired: The Italian's Bride. I hope to get it done today so then I can have it done before the weekend.

My last advance has gone into my account, more good news, and so it's that time again - for Give Me Five - the 5% of my earnings that I give to charity. This time I've picked the Military Families Fund. From the website:

"When our families call out for help, we must be able to answer that call immediately and substantially.

Our families have been here for us through our enrolment, our training, our deployments, and our homecomings. The military life places significant demands on our loved ones. They did not volunteer for service – but serve they do, and with great distinction. It is our turn to be there for our families.”

General Rick Hillier Former Chief of the Defence Staff

The Military Families Fund was created in April 2007 by General Rick Hillier, the Former Chief of Defence Staff to assist military families faced with unforeseen and often immediate needs that have resulted due to conditions of service. The fund continues to grow through the generous contributions of Canadians, corporations and other organizations, adding a new vehicle to support Canadian Forces members and their families.

Harlequin is also offering discounted shipping until September 1...just go HERE to see...and don't forget this is free book Friday! Buy 2 books and get the selection of the week for free.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Blogging

Today I'm at the PHS blogging about linked books. Come visit!


Now it's back to finishing that last chapter....

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A drive-by reminder

I almost forgot - so I'm sticking my head out of the cave long enough to remind you that this is the last week to enter a couple of contests!

First of all, there's a chance to win a copy of FALLING FOR MR. DARK AND DANGEROUS over at the Harlequin Romance Author Blog. Just scroll down a couple of entries to the Spotlight in Six with yours truly, for instructions on how to enter. (It's easy)

Then on my website and blog, I'm giving away an even bigger prize in the form of the THREE "Windover" books. You'll get signed copies of HIRED BY THE COWBOY (May 07), MARRIAGE AT CIRCLE M (Sept 07), and FALLING FOR MR. DARK AND DANGEROUS (out NOW) as well as a few goodies thrown in for good measure. Just send an e-mail to donna@donnaalward.com with the names of the heroes from all three books (answers found on my website, naturally!).
Both prizes will be drawn on the long weekend!

Good luck!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Weekend off

I took the entire weekend off. Maybe i shouldn't have but jobs were piling up, the weather is GORGEOUS and I know rain is forecast for this week. Summer is waning and I want to enjoy it while I can.

Yesterday I was super-productive. It started with making blackberry jam from the berries the girls picked on our land. It's also early apple season, so I made some fresh applesauce...it's already gone. We gave the dog a bath, and I did the filing. There was a lot of it. Then I cleaned the house. By the time I was done, we got in the pool (about 4 p.m.). The husband arrived home while we were in the pool, and we barbequed for dinner - new potatoes, pork chops (to go with the applesauce), and salad.

After dinner we went to our neighbours for a few drinks and star gazing. The days are getting shorter so between 9 and 10 new stars popped out every time you looked up. We saw four falling stars...one so bright and seemingly close we all oooohed and aaaahed. My youngest fell asleep briefly on my lap - a sign we needed to head home. But it was a lovely evening.

Today we ended up at the grocery store after breakfast, as I discovered we were out of milk. We got home and took the dog for a walk, barbequed some hotdogs and ate on the deck. Did I mention yet how much I love my deck? The fact that we can eat lunch out there is so great. The house is big and harder to clean but it's a small price to pay, really.

The girls and I are going to do a job that's been left for a long time, then probably have a swim. After that we're picking the last of the blackberries, and I'm making bumbleberry pie. :-)

Tomorrow I'll leave the idyllic summer-ness behind and get back to work on the WIP.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Our afternoon


I got some GREAT pictures this afternoon. I quit working around 11:30 am and the kids and I jumped in the truck and drove to Grand Pre. It's a national historic site dedicated to the expulsion of the Acadians in 1755, and themed around Longfellow's epic "Evangeline" which I read many years ago and which i'm hoping my eldest will be interested in soon. They certainly enjoyed the day anyway.

The grounds were gorgeous and the small church quite beautiful. You can visit the site here if you want more info, but I'll just post the pictures.

Statue of Evangeline


The chapel


Inside the chapel


The pond and willows

Water lilies

I know Jim will be very disappointed that I didn't manage to get pics of the whooping crane OR the very large Swainson's Hawk. :-(

Book Blog 36


A happy yard sale accident meant that I came upon 2 of Liz's single titles for Scarlet. Wild Lady is the second in a trilogy (I haven't read the first one yet but it's in my tbr) and the story of Gabriel and Claudia.

Claudia's an actress who has grown up in her mother's shadow and it hasn't all been rosy. Now someone is bent on terrifying and threatening her and Gabriel, a war vet turned security expert, just happens to be there when her brakes fail.

Gabriel's easy to love and Claudia is strong to the point of sometimes being foolish, but Gabriel realizes this too. It's a wonderful love story about trust and persistence and with a healthy dash of intrigue thrown in. I finished it this morning and as I was getting closer to the end I still had burning questions to be answered....and they were.

I'm looking forward to reading Wild Justice, but am a little disappointed I don't have the third book!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Birth of a Pantser


This has got to be the strangest book I have ever written. Strange in the writing, not the content, I mean.

However, I am learning things as I go through. Things about me as a writer. Things about how I construct stories, what works for me and what doesn't. And this is where it gets weird. Because when I was writing even as recently as just before I sold to Harlequin, I was a plotter to a great extent. I had the story mapped in my mind pretty much, it was just a matter of connecting the dots. I did a synopsis. Sometimes a chapter breakdown, and character sheets. Now, with the exception of the character work, that doesn't work anymore.

One of the things I adore about the two editors I've worked with (Mills and Boon) is that they don't force me to write long synopses about prospective stories. My first editor there asked at one point for a cowboy story. I had an idea....and I sent her an e-mail that said simply..."an accident of birth made her a princess, but it took a cowboy to steal her heart." She wrote back and said write it. I did. It became The Rancher's Runaway Princess. All I handed in was that one line and then a finished manuscript.

See now this works for me. And here's where I get into trouble with synopses for proposals. What looks like it will work on paper most often doesn't for me. What I think will happen at the beginning inevitably changes. I think I write organically now. It's not until I get into it that I can see what conflicts don't work, what scenes will or won't happen most often because they don't propel the story or they just need cutting for pace. What I consider the core conflict isn't really because as I carry on, I dig deeper and know more.

Now for this book, I had to write a synopsis, and because it's a collaboration type project, I can't just disappear into my own little fictional world. This world is partly someone else's too, so I can't just up and make changes. I have to work within parameters, and I'm not used to that. It's DIFFERENT. (Now I'm starting to sound like some athlete that doesn't change his socks all season because it's routine, or some silly thing.) Oh yes, and I'm SPOILED. My parameters are usually....what will and won't work for the Romance line, and my basic hook. I get a lot of freedom (and don't think I don't know it). Added into that my idea of pacing is skewed as I'm writing 25-30k, not 50-55. I think the whole thing has thrown me off balance. And I think I'm focusing really hard on making this a great read for the reader, so much of the time it feels like porridge. It's a term my cp and I are using quite often these days.

Today I got to a point where I realized my heroine is really starting to trust the hero. And I have had at least three smack my head moments in rapid succession - I hope it doesn't leave a mark. Number one...she needs to tell him a truth. This is the right time. Number two...this needs to develop into something where the stakes are raised. A lot. And number three...the lead up to the black moment was kind of nebulous until I just now realized what the hero is hiding. I didn't know ANY of these things when I wrote the synopsis. The interesting thing? I planted the seed for it unwittingly in the first few chapters.
So tonight I'll open the document again and keep things moving. And I will probably be able to come in tomorrow and tell you how all this has changed again as the characters dictate to me what will happen next and it might not be at all what I planned!

In which case I'll look like THIS:



Jim's pic of a black bear, Lake Louise

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wednesday's Scavenger Hunt.

I bet y'all think this is one of those...go looking and find something and win a prize posts. Sorry to disappoint. The scavenger hunt is today, in my own house, finding something the dh has misplaced. It's driving us both crazy. I don't know who is going to find it, but the prize is going to be returned sanity.


The schedule is all screwy today as well...so I haven't written anything new and I'm blogging while eating my lunch. I have managed my portion of the above scavenger hunt, a phone call to the tax man (yuck), filling out yet another insurance form (double yuck), organizing the filing and cleaning out my purse. My purse is a repository for every single receipt from every purchase big or small. Every once in a while it needs a mucking out.


I still have some paperwork to do, and a bag of fresh apples are on my kitchen island waiting to be made into sauce. At some point the kids and I have to run into Sackville to pick up a part for my truck and since we will be close, a trip to the shoe store for outdoor shoes for the kidlets. I swear...their feet grew 2 sizes since we left Calgary.


I'm figuring the schedule will be quiet tonight...bedtime for the junior contingent, followed by a glass of wine and the latest episode of Battlestar Galactica (I'm catching up on the epis I missed during the move), and then finally, during some peace and quiet and without interruption, I'm going to work on the WIP.


For now I'll leave you with another of Jim's Pics... Since I'm planning on burning a little midnight oil, this is a Northern Pygmy Owl. FWIW they are tiny...can fit in the palm of your hand!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Behind the Book - FALLING FOR MR. DARK AND DANGEROUS


I thought I'd bring you a bit of the story behind the story of Falling For Mr. Dark and Dangerous today.

When I wrote Hired By The Cowboy, I knew right away I wanted to write Mike and Grace's story. Which I did in Marriage at Circle M. But then I started wondering about Maggie - even though she never appeared on-screen. Who was Mike's cousin, that became his foster parent at such a young age? Where was she now?

I knew Maggie was a widow, and she had a daughter. Beyond that...well, I had to get to know her a lot better. And once I did, I had the job of matching her with a hero. She definitely needed someone she would consider all wrong for her.

At the same time, my husband was chatting a lot to some friends in Florida that he games with online. A couple of them were US Marshals, and I thought that was really neat. I love a man in uniform. Soldiers, firemen, cops. I asked him if he thought they would give me a hand with information. Sure enough...Mark Graham stepped up and said fire away.

Would Maggie want a cop? No way. She doesn't want anyone, but a cop in particular would be a no go. So I knew that the fit would work. Maggie's also forty-two with a teenage daughter. Nate is in his early thirties...oh no! Older woman, younger man! I was liking it already. He also lived very far away...definitely out of her comfort zone. Yep, all wrong!

So why would she fall in love with him?

Why, for all those exact reasons, of course! He's hot. He's young. He's principled. He's caring, and steady, and strong. And he's into her too. Makes it kind of hard to resist.


I sent lots of e-mails to Mark asking information about how and why a Marshal would end up in Alberta. I visited the Bergen General Store. I had casting pictures. I sent more questions to Mark. At this point I'm sure he was sick and tired of me.

And then I wrote it, sent it to my editor, did some revisions and boom! It was on the schedule.


I sent a copy to Mark when the author copies arrived on my doorstep, and honestly it was nerve wracking to think of him reading it. Would he think it too sappy? Would my "case" ring true? Mark is the first to say he's not a hero. He claims his wife would agree. I don't. Over the course of chatting I know some of the jobs he's been on. He was a marine before joining the Marshals, and when my book arrived he was just back from five months in Iraq. He'd sent pictures of Baghdad and I know my husband repeated "Keep your helmet on" a lot. I don't care who you are, when your job is to rid the world of dirtbags one at a time, that's pretty damned heroic to me.

There was lots that got this book going, but the true "Behind the Book" force was Mark himself. I really really hope that when we're in Florida next year, we have a chance to meet up for a two-family barbeque. We have girls and he has boys. I'm not sure if I should be worried about that or not. :-)



He did read it, by the way, and asked if there would be a sequel.


I don't know...what do you think of this????



Monday, August 18, 2008

Manic Monday

I'm over at Tote Bags today blogging about secondary characters, so come on over and have a read!
It is truly a manic Monday. I have a couple of blog posts that need going up, a chapter to finish, dental appointments shortly after noon, no groceries in the house, and four loads of laundry. The grass is long now the rain has stopped and the sun is out...I might have to try to get to that tonight. We brought home veggies from the inlaw's garden, which all need stemming/shelling/cleaning. ACK!

But we did have a great weekend. The canasta score sits at 2 games to 2, so the next time we're together we'll play the rubber match and god willing the girls will prevail. My sister and the dh's brother (who are married) arrived with their family too and we had a big barbeque for lunch before driving back home.

I managed to take a few pictures over the weekend, so I'll leave you with those and go back to my to-do list...




Saturday, August 16, 2008

Book Blogs 33- 35

33 - Perilous Passions by Teri Thackston. Not a bad book, definitely not bad writing. I just couldn't get into it because I was never quite sure what it was...a romance, a romantic suspense...a bit of comedy...I think it was one of those books that falls between subgenres which is fine...but it wasn't seamless, so I got drawn out of the story quite often.

I think it is one of those things where once the authors voice really gels, it'll all come together. But that's just me, and I'm only one person.

34- Surrender to a Scoundrel by Julianne MacLean. One of my absolute favourite books of the year. I discovered that she is an atlantic canada author and I really thought the maritime humour was reflected in her voice...even in a historical! Her heroine had me in stitches with her wit, and the hero was delectable. The plot was wonderful, the setting exciting and romantic. What more could you ask for? Oh yes...a couple of hot scenes and they were there too.

I loved it...loved just about everything about it. I have 3 more of her books waiting in my TBR!

35- The Duke's Secret Wife (Kate Walker) Secret Wedding (Liz Fielding) and Midsummer Masque (Deborah Hale). I'm putting all three together into one review to count for the challenge. Kate's "The Duke's Secret Wife" was actually a print copy and a story I really enjoyed.

Liz's "Secret Wedding" and Deb's "Midsummer Masque" were harlequin Minis and I liked them both...it is amazing what one can fit into 8 short chapters!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Prizes up for grabs this month

I have NO idea where the week has gone, but it's Friday and the weekend is here once more.

Just a reminder of the prizes up for grabs this month, in case you haven't entered.

My personal contest as highlighted here on ye olde blog, my website and newsletter:

For a chance to win all THREE Windover books - HIRED BY THE COWBOY, MARRIAGE AT CIRCLE M, and FALLING FOR MR. DARK AND DANGEROUS, send me an e-mail at donna@donnaalward.com with the names of the heroes of all three books. You can find the answers on my website. I'll be drawing at the end of the month.

And over at the Harlequin Romance Author Blog, there is a Spotlight In Six featuring yours truly. And a copy of FALLING FOR MR. DARK AND DANGEROUS to win.

Last night the dh and I went out for drinks and nachos and then a quick browse down the adjoining mall. First of all, we don't go out much and that's fine...we're homebodies anyway. But it did feel very nice to sit at the bar and chat and listen to music and munch. After we were full of nachos, I grabbed a few things at Pete's Frootique (mostly imported stuff) and we stopped at the Indigo/Chapters store. I had introduced myself to one of the staff back in April when we were browsing through. Wouldn't you know she remembered me when I asked if I could sign their stock. Cool thing though is that even though the book has only been out a few days, half the copies were already gone!

We came home after that and had cake with our friends, and I was SO stuffed. My husband got me something I have ALWAYS wanted...a gift card with a spa package on it. So sometime in the next month, I'm off for a massage, a facial, manicure and pedicure. Over four hours of absolute BLISS.

But in the real world, today, I have piles of laundry waiting. On Monday I'll be back with a highlight on how Dark and Dangerous evolved into a complete story.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A year older...

Today I'm a year older...yep, officially on the downhill slide to 40. When I think of where I was last year - longing to get away from our neighbourhood, living in the city, with my second book still waiting to be released by Romance...well, a lot has happened. Three books have released since last August. We've moved across the country, my mum has been married....wow. So considering the great things that have happened, I can't complain about that number creeping upwards by a tick.

Work continues on the novella...I might actually be out of the "this is porridge" stage and moved on to just thick stew. Who knows. I do know that I think I've at least hit the right tack finally and I feel like I'm moving forward rather than spinning my wheels.

I also, while looking for something else entirely, discovered that Marriage at Circle M - Cuentame tu secretos - came out in Mexico in May and Argentina in June. What started in Spain and then the US is making the rounds of Spanish-speaking countries. :-)

Now I need to get to work as I'm knocking off early today...the dh and I are going out for a few hours of R&R. The cake will happen this weekend with his mum, since our birthdays are a week apart and this weekend straddles the two. I expect there will be card playing in addition to cake eating!

And today I'm putting in my OWN pictures...just because we were at Oakfield Park and I took the camera along and took a few shots.

From my camera - ducks, and one of the fields we walk through to get to the water.



Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Maggie Taylor's Steak and Guinness Pie


When Bonsal (a member at eharlequin) reviewed Falling for Mr. Dark and Dangerous, she mentioned how the book made her hungry. You know, my editor on this book, Maddie Rowe, said the same thing! LOL. The heroine, Maggie Taylor owns a bed and breakfast and she finds some real joy in cooking. So during the writing I had her make some of my absolute favourite comfort foods...

Here's a recipe from the book. Maggie makes it for Nate, needing something to keep her hands busy. And while it's cooking they go for a bit of a walk in a chinook...and things change between them....

Maggie Taylor's Steak and Guiness Pie

6 tbsp vegetable oil

2 onions, sliced

½ lb mushrooms, cut into quarters

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 kg (2 lbs) steak, cut into 1 inch chunks

2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks

5 tbsp flour seasoned with salt and pepper

500 ml (2 cups) Guinness beer

2 bay leaves

2 sprigs fresh thyme

500 g (1lb) of puff pastry, or enough homemade pie crust to roll out and cover casserole

Heat 2 tbsp of the oil and cook onion, garlic and mushrooms over medium heat until soft but not brown. Remove from pan and place in a large bowl.

Dredge beef in flour mixture and brown in oil in batches, removing cooked meat to bowl with vegetables while you fry the rest…use more oil if needed.

Put all ingredients in a large stock pot and pour over the Guinness. Add the potatoes, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then simmer over low heat for 1 ½ hours, until sauce thickens.

Pour into a large rectangular casserole, and let cool slightly. Roll out pastry and lay over the top. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes, or until pastry is nicely browned.

Perfect comfort food for a rainy day! Maggie would say to serve it with a nice salad and a full-bodied red wine.



My bird pic will definitely fit in today. Of course Maggie and Nate would see birds on their walks, and Jim takes photos in southern Alberta, where the book takes place. So today's spectacular photo is:

Mountain Chickadee

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

FALLING FOR MR. DARK AND DANGEROUS Releases - in time for a SALE!


FALLING FOR MR. DARK AND DANGEROUS hits shelves TODAY. It is always strange when books hit the shelves as it is nearly a year after it is handed in and there are several books in between. Since handing it in, I've written The Rancher's Runaway Princess, Hired: The Italian's Bride, A Bride at Willow Bend (working title) and have started a Christmas novella.

But I love getting author copies, and love seeing the books on the shelves...it's like visiting an old friend you haven't seen in a very long time and reacquainting.


Of course this release is timely as eHarlequin is holding a HUGE 3 day sale - a Buy One Get One sale. Yep - BUY ONE GET ONE FREE! So this is a chance to get new releases and maybe some backlist that you missed. Or pop some of September's releases in your cart, since you can get them early. And of course you could pick up Dark and Dangerous, if you were so inclined.

I snagged some pics of a downy woodpecker at my suet basket last night. But they are no where near the quality of Jim's pics. Here's another of a wood duck. I love the colour, the reflection, and most of all, I love the water at the top of the picture. It looks so soft, and almost like it was painted.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Spotlight and my friend Jim

It felt weird, but this month's spotlight on the Harlequin Romance Author Blog is on me. Since I do the posting, Jackie Braun stepped up and said, "Hey, why not you? You have a release!" So she sent me the questions, I answered, and put them up. LOL.

Pop over and have a read, because there's a copy of FALLING FOR MR. DARK AND DANGEROUS up for grabs.

I'm back to slogging through the novella. If difficulty is directly proportional to learning, I should learn a lot from this experience.



I got another e-mail from my friend Jim today. Jim takes pictures. BEAUTIFUL pictures. He got my girls (and their parents by association) interested in birds...though our knowledge is very limited compared to his. Hey, we're new, we have some learning to do. ANYWAY I am not sure why Jim isn't making money hand over fist with his pics. He has a few on an educational site, but he does e-mail us regularly with some of his latest pictures. I have saved most of them and I thought I would share some of them with you.


So today's pic of the day is: Snowy Owl


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Pineapple

Pineapple. Ugh. And that's all I'm saying.

Book Blogs - 30-32


Am adding to my book blog total today. First up #30 - Stage By Stage by Jan Jones (Transita)

What a great book. I really really enjoyed it...loved the characters, the dynamics, the quirkiness of it. Loved the growth arcs, though I would have loved it if Beth had really told Alan where to stick it. The children - especially Nats - were wonderful. Owen was a delight.

My only problem was that not being from a theatre background, I got confused occasionally with the cast and some of the terminology. Not greatly, just enough that I'd have to go back and read passages again to make sure it was all clear before I moved on. But all in all a truly delightful read and one I wished I had grabbed out of my TBR sooner.




Number 31 - Petticoat Ranch, Mary Conneally (Barbour)

There were parts of this story I loved and parts I didn't. Mostly I enjoyed it. A spunky woman and spunky girls. However this fluctuated with girls that fought and cried over thing when the hero was around and it didn't seem to fit who they really were. And how a woman who had held her family together with nothing but grit and will suddenly seemed to lose her guts (I would have LOVED it if she'd truly gone toe to toe with the hero) I don't know.

But when push came to shove, the girls were all smart and capable and easy to love, and it was one of the best inspys I've read in a while.


Number 32 - My Lady's Treasure, Catherine Kean (Medallion)

The Crusade, lost treasure, intrigue, and romance. What more could you ask for? A really enjoyable historical with just enough questions to keep you guessing. My first by this author and perhaps even by Medallion. I'd definitely pick up this author again.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Aspiring to be better

Sometimes as we're reading or listening to someone, we get little gems of something that make us wish we were smarter, more articulate, better writers. A description, an insight, and we think WOW. I wish I could come up with something that brilliant. When you love words, it is a natural thing - to aspire to express yourself in new and wonderful ways that touch people.

This happened to me yesterday, but the surprise is the verbal gem I'm referring to came from my eight year old.

We were out walking the dog (who incidentally, has become very fond of sofa throw pillows and remotes, sigh) and along the pathway there were several grasshoppers. When the grasshoppers take flight, they click, making this syncopated ticking as they get out of the way. We commented on it. And my youngest says:

Mummy, it's the metronome of nature.

Holy doodle. I know my jaw dropped. What an image it invokes, and sound! And I felt woefully inadequate as a wordsmith.

However if you are interested in my paltry literary offerings, there is a new review up at Once Upon a Romance for FALLING FOR MR. DARK AND DANGEROUS.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Mini Interview

Romance author Nicola Marsh did a mini interview with me over at the Pink Heart Society - about winning the Bookseller's Best Award for Traditional Romance with HIRED BY THE COWBOY. I think I even managed to work Trish into it as well as some uncooperative cows.

Today is another day...an appointment with the truck, and trying to make some headway with the novella. It does look like the sun might actually appear for more than five minutes, which is great. We've had SO much rain.

Dreamer, the new dog, is settling in fine. She is sweet and loves playing outside, and is getting over her timidity. Much I think is because she hasn't been a house dog before. She grew up at a breeder's so was always with her friends in the kennel. She therefore isn't used to fridge doors, garbage cans, or dishwashers. :-) But she's started coming out of her shell and it's so cute to see her bum wiggling when she sees us in the morning.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A Sale and A Birthday

Falling for Mr. Dark and Dangerous is on sale in eharlequin's ebook store at this link. Just scroll down the "Man Wanted" page until you get to Bad Boys. :-)

I'm attempting to do up my newsletter etc. this morning, so that should arrive in subscriber's inboxes soon.

And I'm sending out a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Trish Wylie, who turns 29 today. Happy Birthday hon wherever you are in your travels!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Celebrating Fifty Books with Jessica Hart and July's winner


I'm over at Jessica Hart's blog today, helping her celebrate fifty books! Come on over for a chance to win a copy of my August Romance release.

I've done the draw for my July contest, and the winner is.....

MINDY!

I've sent Mindy an e-mail so I can get her address.
August's contest is a very special one...and a little more difficult. Up for grabs are three books - the WINDOVER books - which includes my award-winning debut HIRED BY THE COWBOY, the second book MARRIAGE AT CIRCLE M, and my current release, FALLING FOR MR. DARK AND DANGEROUS. To enter, please send an e-mail to donna@donnaalward.com with the names of the heroes in each of these books...and I'll make it a little easier...you can find their names in the excerpts from those books on my website - http://www.donnaalward.com/. Your first click will be on the "my books" page and go from there....

We survived the first night with our new baby. My sister the vet gave us some tips for making the transition easier, and so after a little bit of fuss last night we got her settled and slept. We were sure to take her out first thing this morning though so for now we are accident free....
She's a pretty girl and I can tell she wants to go for a walk...we'll indulge her a bit later.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Knock me over....

Stick a fork in me...you name it. What a weekend and what a return!

FIrst of all my mum's wedding celebrations were exhausting and hectic and wonderful...so much catching up and celebrating going on. I saw lots of people I haven't seen in a very long time and hung out with my sisters and brother and watched my mum and her new husband cut wedding cake. On the way home we picked up the latest addition to our family - a 5 yr old Nova Scotia Duck Toller and getting her settled is going to take some time. But she is beautiful and we hope it is not going to be too stressful for any of us.

Then I finally opened up e-mail to several letters of congratulations. Because apparently at RWA Nationals in San Francisco, HIRED BY THE COWBOY won the Bookseller's Best Award - Traditional.

I never once seriously thought it would win, so I'm thrilled and stunned and trying to absorb it. HIRED was my debut Romance. There are pictures over at the Pink Heart Society of my editor, Sally Williamson with the pin and a pic of the poster with the book cover on it.

Holy cow.

I was over at Petticoats and Pistols on the weekend talking about the Calgary Stampede a bit.

And there is a new review for FALLING FOR MR. DARK AND DANGEROUS - Cataromance gave it 4.5 stars and said "Talented Donna Alward weaves a gorgeous secluded setting, intense suspenseful plot and well developed characters into a most rewarding read..." The whole review is HERE.

I have to go to bed. Whether or not I sleep is another question, but I need to head there regardless!