Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Two dollars well spent

Last night I made a trip to the Dollarama for bristolboard - my eldest has a project on the go. I can't go into the dollar store and just get one item, so I came out with a few more. But hello, the best $2 of the lot? MY HANDWARMERS.

They are like mittens, only with the finger tips and thumb sticking out. My hands are cold from now until at least April. I can wear these and type with them and not be quite so chilly. I also wear either slippers or wool socks when I work too. Because I'm too cheap to turn the heat way up, and I keep it at 20.

Yesterday I was at RomConInc talking about Christmas Weddings as I kick off the release week of A CADENCE CREEK CHRISTMAS. There's a copy up for grabs, so head on over and leave a comment to enter.

What else is ongoing? I'm currently doing NaNo - but in a weird, roundabout way. The first portion of the month will be spent finishing my WIP - I need to update my word counter on the sidebar since I'm past the 30k mark now. And I'm finishing up copy edits for The House On Blackberry Hill today, so I can send them back to St. Martins. Rumour has it that line edits for The Texan's Baby are arriving this week too. :)  No rest for the wicked!

Have a good one - my break is just about over and I'm heading back to Jewell Cove, giving these words one last pass.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

BEFORE - By Nicola Marsh

Good girls finish last? Screw that.

Being a small town girl isn’t so bad. Unless Mom’s the town joke and I’ve spent my entire life shying away from her flamboyance. College in Las Vegas should be so much cooler. But it’s not. Bad things happen there. Real bad.

So when my big brother Reid offers me an all-expenses paid vacation to Australia for a month, I am so there. Discounting the deadly snakes on the outback cattle station, I should be safe. Until I meet Jack.

Jack defines bad boy and then some. And the guy can cook. He’s big, buffed, bronzed, and hotter than any guy I’ve ever met. And his sexy Aussie accent makes me melt.

But he’s my brother’s new bestie and he lives on the other side of the world. There’s no future for us.
Is there?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cowboys, Billionaires, Smart and Funny guys - it's all about the men.

Yesterday Barb Wallace and I had a rematch of our Cowboys Vs. Billionaires battle on Facebook. Neither of us tallied up likes or comments in the end, because I think we just had so much fun and appreciated the eye candy. Sometimes it really is just about the process. LOL  If you want to have a good gander at the pics, check out my Facebook Page and Barb's too.

I was also at The Pink Heart Society yesterday for Male on Monday and it was all about the smart and funny guy. I don't know about you, but smart and funny is pretty sexy so head on over and have a peek if you're so inclined.

What's new at the Alward zoo? My car is being undercoated today to avoid the rust monsters. In Alberta this wasn't much of an issue. But here in the Maritimes, vehicle rust is a way of life and since I just got my baby a year ago, I'm trying to keep her in good shape. :) And then there's the usual stuff - sports games and practices, drama, and kids who have a MUCH better social life than I do. Basically if you HAVE a social life, it's better than mine. That being said I really am a homebody, so last weekend when both girls were babysitting at the same time, it was a treat to just chill with the husband and catch up on watching Copper and sipping a few vodka and lemonades. :)

Meanwhile I need to get offline and get to work on my WIP! I was hoping to NaNo this year, but with the status of my current WIPS, I don't think the timing is going to work out very well. :( But that's okay. I'm having fun writing this new trilogy!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Cover Reveal - Sara Hubbard's BY FORCE

Getting kidnapped would set her free…

Isame doesn’t want to marry the man her parents chose for her. She wants more: the freedom to travel, the freedom to explore, but most of all, the freedom to choose the life she wants instead of the one her parents expect. When Isame leaves her home to accept a man's proposal, she encounters five fierce, handsome warriors. She wonders why they’ve travelled so far from home. She never imagines their purpose might have something to do with her, not even after they’ve kidnapped her.

Remmie is a fiercely loyal man who is true to his word. When his king commands him to find a young woman on the island of Copaxa, he doesn’t expect the puny woman to hold his attention or to make him consider turning his back on his brothers in arms and his king. But Isame is special and he can see it from the start. Soon he must decide if she is worth losing all he knows and loves for the girl that's worked her way under his skin and into his heart.


Coming winter 2013!

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18306385-by-force


About Sara Hubbard: 

Sara Hubbard is the author of young adult books. Her debut novel BLOOD, SHE READ released fall 2012 and was a NEORWA Cleveland Rocks winner and a RCRW Duel on the Delta finalist.

Sara lives in Nova Scotia, Canada with her two children (four if you count her husband and her needy labradoodle) and works as a registered nurse with the military.


 Find more about Sara and her books here:


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Cover Reveal! Her Rancher Rescuer

Hey all - the blog's been a tad bit quiet the last week or so. It's been a bit crazy here. Between school work, extra-curricular activities, babysitting, a wedding out of town last weekend, and the revisions I'm working on.... well let's just say the To-Do list and my calendar are my closest friends. :) 

So in the interest of doing a quick catch-up, I'm reading "Make My Wish Come True" by Fiona Harper and LOVING it... there is so much that's relatable in this story, particularly if you have either sisters or children or BOTH.

I'm working on revisions to Treasure on Lilac Lane - my editor is particularly invaluable in this process and I know the story is going to be so much better for it. I'm also about 1/3 of the way through A Cowboy For Christmas, which is going to be the start of a new trilogy for Harlequin American. :) Both projects are pretty fun!

I caught a wee bit of flack last weekend too. You see, we went to my nephew's wedding, which was just about half-way between my place and my mom's (and where the rest of my family lives). Since my sister was going to be at the wedding, I made sure I had all the Christmas gifts bought and wrapped for that side of the family so that I don't have to mail them all next month (and considering the size and weight of my niece's present, that's a very good thing!). But yeah - getting ready for Christmas in October is bound to get you some comments. I can live with it. :)

Right - now on to the main point of my post (besides having a good catch-up!): a new cover! Drum roll please.....


Here it is, the cover for HER RANCHER RESCUER, (Feb 14) my first Harlequin American book and the last book in the Cadence Creek Cowboys series!

Friday, October 11, 2013


Today I'm reminded that my words on my blog are just babblings. They're not profound or very important at all, so today I'm going to let someone else do the talking. Here's a wonderful example of everything that is good in the world - from someone who would have every right to be angry and vengeful.

And PS... how much do I love Jon Stewart?

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Okay, break's over!

The last few weeks I've been taking it easy. That's not to say I haven't been working, because I have. I've been working away on my newest book and I've been doing some admin and promo stuff. But I also haven't been really pushing myself. I've taken a few afternoons off. Had a nap a time or two. I simply haven't stressed about work because I needed the break. It's been really nice.

I can't do that forever though - not with my upcoming deadlines. Though the lower pressure work schedule *is* nice, I admit, and one day I'd like to be able to make that the norm. That's not this year, though, so now that I've had time to catch my breath, I need to regain a stricter focus. It makes me think of something Michelle Styles always says - talking to editors tends to concentrate minds, and yesterday I heard from my editor and off I go. :)

One of the things I found out was the release schedule for my upcoming trilogy of American. Since I'm about 14,000 words into the first one, it means I have to do some revision to those chapters before moving on because book 1 will be a Christmas book. At first I was like, "Oh man, really?" and then not long after I got excited because I LOVE writing Christmas stories and I could see some really great opportunities. I also came up with a new title just this morning. Forget "Cowboy In Charge". I think I'm going to tentatively title this one "A Cowboy For Christmas". What do you think?

Anyway, it's time to get serious now and so I'm starting with some #1k1hr sessions to keep me on task and also organized - the 15 min break between sessions is perfect for changing laundry around or doing other household jobs. :)

And I'll get on that. As soon as I finish my Pumpkin Spice Cappucino. :)

Monday, October 07, 2013

What's Cookin' with Snowbound with the Soldier?

Jennifer Faye is popping by today with a delicious post that is making me SUPER hungry, and a bit about her new release! Yum yum!

SNOWBOUND WITH THE SOLDIER is my second release and I’m already starting to notice a trend. In each book I write, something keeps making an appearance—food. I’ll admit it…I love food! Probably too much. LOL. But a lot of life takes place over a yummy meal. It can be as simple as catching up on each other’s day or as serious as deciding if a couple wants to take their relationship beyond a casual meal.

In Snowbound, my heroine loves to cook. It’s the hero she’s not so sure she loves, but he’s certainly starting to get past her defenses. ;-) And when he stops by her house one evening to drop off something, Kara finds herself inviting him in for dinner. It’s amazing what can be accomplished over a good meal.

“Come on.”

The kitchen was small, but warm and inviting. He took a moment to absorb his surroundings, noticing how Kara had painted the room a sunny yellow, giving it a pleasant, uplifting feel. Sunflowers adorned the curtains, baskets lined the tops of the light oak cabinets and a small arrangement of silk sunflowers filled a blue milk pitcher in the center of the table. Kara certainly had a flair for decorating.

“Are you sure this isn’t an imposition?” he asked.

“There’s plenty of spaghetti and meatballs. Besides, you do need to eat a real meal if you keep pushing yourself so hard to make this reopening a success.” Kara drained the noodles. “Have a seat.”

He pulled out a chair at the table and sat down. He looked up as Kara bent over to rummage through a drawer, and he noticed an electric candle burning in the window above the sink. It was like a beacon, calling him home.


I don’t know about you but I love pasta dishes. *licks lips* So I thought I’d share Kara’s recipe from the scene above. Hope you like it as much as my family does.

Homemade Meatballs & Spaghetti



·         1 medium onion, finely chopped
·         4 tsp minced garlic
·         2 Tbsp olive oil
·         1 - 28oz can crushed tomatoes
·         2 - 28oz can tomato sauce
·         1 – 6oz can tomato paste
·         2 tsp Chicken bullion (unsalted)
·         1 Tbsp Basil
·         1 tsp Onion Powder
·         1 tsp Italian Seasoning
·         ½ tsp sugar
·         Black pepper, to individual taste

      ·         1 pound lean ground beef
·         1 pound ground hot sausage
·         2 Tbsp onion, finely chopped
·         2 tsp garlic, minced
·         2 eggs
·         1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
·         ½ cup milk
·         1 Tbsp dried parsley
·         ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
·         ¼ tsp black pepper
·         1 tsp garlic powder
·         1 tsp onion powder
·         1/2 tsp season salt (Nature’s Seasons)


In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until translucent.

Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and seasonings.

Reduce to simmer and cover. Stirring occasionally.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In the meantime, in a small bowl combine bread crumbs and milk, set aside to let the liquid be absorbed.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs. Add beef and sausage, soaked bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, and seasonings.

Pan spray the bottom of a large baking dish.

Form into 24 meatballs (half-dollar size / 30mm or so), place in baking dish and place in oven uncovered for 20 minutes.

Place meatballs in sauce plus the tomato paste and let simmer 90 minutes.

At this time, start the water for your pasta.

Once the pasta is cooked to your liking and the sauce is done, it’s time to enjoy your creation.

Buon appetite! And feel free to pop by and participate in a Rafflecopter giveaway !

Maybe this Christmas…?  

It has been seven long years since Kara Jameson last saw Jason Greene. Returning home as a wounded war hero, Jason looks a shell of the man she once knew. Yet her heart still skips a beat as if it was yesterday…. 

Stepping back into civilian life, Jason looks to Kara for help. But there's too much water under the bridge—not to mention too much lingering attraction. 

But it seems that the mountain weather has other ideas, and when Kara and Jason end up snowbound together they are forced to confront the ghosts of Christmas past.

Amazon   |   Amazon - UK   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Harlequin  |  iTunes  |  Waterstones

Author Bio

Jennifer Faye is a two-time RT Book Reviews TOP PICK author. Maybe that’s partly due to the fact that she has spent most of her life with her nose in one book or another. It was only natural that she dreamed of becoming a romance writer and spinning the tales of the imaginary people running around in her mind. But first life took her on a couple of detours. Refusing to give up on her dreams, she finally succeeded in getting her name on a book cover. She currently resides in Pennsylvania with her very, very patient husband, one amazing daughter (the other remarkable daughter has flown the coop to chase her own dreams) and two spoiled rotten cats. When she’s not glued to her laptop writing another contemporary romance (which isn’t often) or enjoying some family time, she loves to get lost in a good book, cross-stitch, embroider, quilt, knit, watch hockey (go Pittsburgh Penguins!), and garden. Jennifer loves to hear from readers--you can contact her via her website.
Author Links


Monday, September 30, 2013

The Little Things

Little things have kept me rather busy lately! Last week I worked away on doing some revisions on TREASURE ON LILAC LANE, as well as some tweaks to my next book for HQ American. Then I took a few days off - not that I relaxed much. But I did laundry and cleaned my house and wrote a bit on my next book for Harlequin and ran some errands and just generally did odd jobs and de-stressed. This week I am working away on the book, and getting my hair done, and gearing up for a busy weekend as both my kids are in tournaments on the weekend. Still, it was good to take time to enjoy some of the little things, and I wrote a post about that over at The Chocolate Box today. :) Happy Monday.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Goodreads Giveaway for A CADENCE CREEK CHRISTMAS!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Cadence Creek Christmas by Donna Alward

A Cadence Creek Christmas

by Donna Alward

Giveaway ends October 31, 2013.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Please welcome a debut author - Sophie Pembroke!

Thanks, Donna, for having me here today!

I don’t know about the world where you are, but here in England summer is officially over. In the space of about a week, we’ve gone from glorious sunshine and sundresses to biting winds and winter boots. (How very British of me. Donna invites me over, and all I talk about is the weather…)

Actually, I’m not complaining too much. I’m nice and cosy in my study, wearing my favourite jumper. In fact, I’m working on a Christmas story right now, so the change in the weather is rather appropriate. Usually I’m writing about sizzling heat waves in January, and snowstorms in July. Still, I’ve been listening to festive tunes while I write for three weeks now, and I’m about ready to give them a rest until December.

But this season of mists and mellow fruitfulness (or, here, rain and soggy leaves) does mean that we’re heading steadily towards winter. And, more importantly, the best time of the year for romances! What can beat a snowbound story, or a new family around the Christmas tree, or a race to be with a loved one for the holidays? They’re my absolute favourite kind of story, so I always get excited when they start to hit the shelves. (I’m waiting very impatiently for Donna’s A Cadence Creek Christmas!)

This year, I’m more excited than most. My own debut novel for Harlequin Romance, Stranded with the Tycoon, has just been released this month - a little early for the Christmas market, perhaps! But it does begin just a few days before Christmas and it features a snowed in cottage in the depths of Wales, sticky toffee pudding and the very attractive Ben Hampton.

Here’s a little more about it to whet your appetite:

The man who sees her beauty…            

Ben Hampton is the last man in England that workaholic historian Luce would ever choose to be stranded with. Tall, dark and infuriatingly arrogant, he’s also a reminder of her not-so-glorious romantic history—something she’s spent the past few years burying herself in work to forget.

Hotel tycoon Ben knows there’s fire behind Luce’s buttoned-up exterior, and fanning its flames is an irresistible temptation. Luckily, getting snowbound in the countryside gives him the perfect opportunity to tempt out the real Lucinda Myles!

Stranded with the Tycoon is a Romantic Times Top Pick. It’s out now in North America and Australia, and will be released in the UK in November – just in time for Christmas!


Buy Links:

North America:

Amazon US
Amazon Canada


Boomerang Books


The Book Depository

Me Links:

Website & Blog: www.SophiePembroke.com
Twitter: @Sophie_Pembroke
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SophiePembrokeAuthor

Monday, September 16, 2013

Woop woop!

Congrats goes out to Cate Sparks, who won a copy of THE SWEETHEART BARGAIN by Shirley Jump by entering one of my newsletter contests this week.

I'm over at The Chocolate Box today blogging about titles, and a weird connection between a reprint I have out now and a couple of books that were out in 2012. That reissued book is also #13 on the NYT list for Sept 22nd, so I'm pleased as punch.

What's up today? Starting a brand new book! I'm doing a trilogy for Harlequin American, and my editor needs to see a first chapter and a synopsis very soon-like. :) Otherwise it's the usual - laundry. It's the chore that never ends.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Being lazy

This week has been an odd week. After the euphoria of finishing and delivering my book last week, I marked this week for admin. However, on the personal front it turned out to be quite stressful. STUFF happened. It was mostly overcast and bleary. I think I have PMS. Let's just say...it hasn't quite been The Brady Bunch around here.

By the end of yesterday we sort of turned a corner. Then this morning I finished the admin on my list with the exception of writing blog posts for promotion I've set up for my next release. The admin included the task of loading QuickBooks, entering all my info for the year-to-date, and then adding in the receipts etc. for the last two months. It was worth it when I got to see the pretty Profit and Loss Statement. It also included doing an Art Fact Sheet, filing, paying my quarterly taxes and organising all my author copies out of boxes and onto the new shelving units we bought and my husband put together. My basement looks much better!

So that brings me to this afternoon. It's FRIDAY. We're feeling the effects of Tropical Storm Gabrielle (which, if I'm understanding things correctly, is now post-tropical but still dumping a LOT of rain and making it very dark in my house). I tried to come up with interesting topics for my blog posts and my mind was blank.

I gave myself a break.

Instead I finished reading WHITNEY, MY LOVE and reviewed it on Goodreads. After that I decided a nap was in order, and I took one - nearly an hour. I basically had 2 hours of selfish indulgence and I don't feel the least bit sorry (in fact I think I'm a bit proud). The kids are home from school, and the big decision was whether to make Monster Cookies today or wait until tomorrow. Tonight we are planning on watching a movie and snacking on some potato crisp something-or-others and my beverage of choice will be wine. Maybe I'll give myself a facial. :) Maybe we'll ALL do facials (well, maybe not my husband, who will probably be killing zombies or something).

Sometimes you just need a lazy afternoon. :)

Monday, September 09, 2013

Organizing (and a lot of zucchini!)

Since I handed my book in on Friday, I've been a busy girl. When I get to be close to the end of a project, other stuff falls to the wayside. I usually end up with piles of stuff on my desk and a list of admin items which require my attention.

Add into that it's FALL. In the fall I always do a nesting thing. Things need to be organized, decluttered, prepared. This was the perfect weekend for that!

I bought my niece's Christmas present which was on sale this week. I also made a lasagna to have later this week when the schedule's a bit busier - me working, one kid has team tryouts every night except Friday. I cleaned out the fridge freezer, found NINE bananas and the girls made a triple batch of banana muffins, which I mostly froze in packs of six to have for lunches. I cleaned out the freezer yesterday and took inventory of what's in there, and we also made zucchini chocolate muffins, regular zucchini muffins (we had a lot of zucchini!) and an apple tart from my last bag of frozen apples and my last square of puff pastry. It was delicious. I can't claim the dinner last night, though - I had my RWA chapter meeting and came home to a lovely meal of Orange Ginger Chicken made by my youngest.

Today I'm making homemade salsa, and as more tomatoes ripen, I'll be canning more tomatoes. I picked a full half-bushel off our plants on Friday. I also picked 13 peppers, 12 of which I diced and froze. There are more to be picked.

And I'm working off my admin list including updating my site later this morning, sending out a newsletter, writing letters and more.

And I'm ridiculously happy about it.

Do you ever go through a period of needing to "organize"?

Friday, September 06, 2013

Did you miss me?

I can't believe how long it's been since I blogged! I have a really great excuse though - I have been head down trying to make a deadline and I'm relieved to say the book is done and today all I have left to do is write the synopsis before I send it. The ending wrote up quickly in typical fashion - much to my relief because sometimes certain books don't follow the usual pattern. As I went through and did some editing and tweaking, I realized that while it was a difficult book to write, I actually LIKE it a lot. Fingers crossed my editor does too - this is my second book for Harlequin American and part of a special project going on with them. I've been working with other authors and they've all been so lovely. It's been a great way to get to know other authors in the line since I'm so new there.

The other thing that made the deadline difficult was the fact that I wrote most of this in the month of August, when everyone was home and the weather was nice! I tried to make sure I took time to pop into the pool and enjoy the sunshine too, which meant I put things like blogging on the back burner. :) We spent a few days with my mother-in-law at her new place, and then my sister and brother-in-law were here the weekend after that. It is always a blast when they visit. I got up on the Sunday morning wondering why my ribs hurt and remembered I'd laughed so hard the night before I'd hurt myself. Then, on the Labour Day weekend, I took the kids and drove up to my mom's for a few days since I haven't seen her in a long time and my step-dad's been ill. We spent a quiet few days just catching up - and I took the kids to the farmer's market which is always a good time and tough on the waistline. :)

And now everyone is back to school. I can't say I'm sad about that. I have a regular work day back. And September is probably my favourite month of the year. We're getting back to a normal schedule (as normal as it can be with extra curricular activities). I've got this book finished and am ready to move on to the next project - as soon as I catch up on my admin list of things I've let go  (in addition to this blog, lol!).

So what's new? Well, FALLING FOR MR. DARK AND DANGEROUS has been reissued as a bonus book in Diana Palmer's DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH  through the Harlequin Bestselling Author Collection. It made this week's USA Today Bestseller list and looks like it'll be on next week's New York Times list, which is very cool. If you didn't grab it first time around, you can now. :)

And now I'm off! Synopsis writing awaits so I can hit that lovely SEND button!

Friday, August 09, 2013

Romance Tropes and why we all love them - Nina Harrington

Nina Harrington is taking over the blog today, to talk about her new Carina UK release, RECIPE FOR DISASTER!
We may as well admit it. When it comes to romance we all have our favourite themes and tropes.

One look at a book cover and a quick glance at a tag line and we are there!

Some readers cannot resist a tortured sexually experienced billionaire and the innocent ingénue who falls for him. And what about the enduring power of Friends to lovers – one of the most enduring themes which can work so brilliantly, especially when they are the sister or brother of a friend; Beauty and the Beast stories where one of the lovers is physically impaired; Business competitors where the high stakes force the lovers together and keep them apart; Marriage of convenience hooks can still work even in contemporary romance and of course; The secret baby idea can combine with social differences and lovers re-united.

For me? My guilty pleasure is when the hero and heroine are forced to work together – especially when the hero is a reformed bad boy and the heroine is right up there to challenge him every step of the way.

So when the story idea and characters for a mystery set in an Italian deli came into my head and refused to leave, I knew that I had to tell Bunty and Fabio’s story. And have some fun along the way.


Bunty might seem like a Cinderella character, with a lot of family issues to deal with but her Prince is certainly worth fighting for. Add in elements of opposites attract, being forced to work together and of course, lots of delicious foodie romance.


If you enjoy reading Jennifer Crusie, Janet Evanovich and Susan Elizabeth Phillips this book might be just what you are looking for.

Bunty Brannigan makes the best cannoli in London!


London chef Bunty Caruso Brannigan has no time to celebrate her 30th birthday. She is working every hour to create a menu for an award ceremony, and to keep customers coming through the door of the Italian deli she has inherited from her parents.

Bunty’s life was complicated enough when all she had to deal with were her best friends from convent school, and the students in her baking classes, but then reformed bad boy, lawyer and Italian stud Fabio Rossi gives her a birthday present with a difference and things begin to really spin out of control.

What will happen when all of the Caruso family secrets are out in the open?

Will her Italian godmother sort things out from beyond the grave in her special way?

Will Fabio make Bunty change her mind about dating Italians?

Will the convent girls be forced to go back and tell Sister Teresa the truth about the visiting choirboys and the missing communion wine?

And how much chocolate do you choose to create a life size man part?
Let the mayhem begin. And don’t forget the cannoli!

To discover even more about Nina Harrington, and to keep up with her latest projects and shenanigans, you can visit her at: