Gratefulness. There’s never a bad time to reflect on everything we have to be thankful for in our lives. This week on the Blog Hop, Andie Fenichel asks:
It’s Thanksgiving week in the US. What are you most thankful for this year? I know it’s been a tough one for many people, but there’s always something to feel blessed about.
Sometimes feeling thankful is all in the perspective. While I would never consider a pandemic a good thing, and know that many families have been hit by tragedy during these months, it has taught me to appreciate the little things. Big family meals, playing cards and games, dropping in unannounced for a drink…all of sudden, those events became precious. Now we are able to do all that again, I do not take it for granted.
Family has always been important, of course. But now that it includes two beautiful new grandbabies, it has become even more blessed. While there have been some health issues with our loved ones over the year, those grandbabies still have all their great-grandparents, and all four generations are able to visit each other as often as we like.
While it’s going to be some time before I’m comfortable enough to get on a plane and travel internationally, we live in a beautiful province and country and have the freedom to explore it. I am so grateful we had the chance to visit many wonderful places before, and look forward to more adventures in the future.
On a writing note, I am grateful for the readers that took a chance on my books this year, and especially to those who took the time to leave a review. I appreciate that more than I can say!
What about you? What are you thankful for? Then hop over to Jenna Da Sie to discover what she's thankful for.
As I write this, I’m looking at the first snowfall of the season blanketing our lawn and trees. That certainly isn’t a surprise, since it is mid-November, but Clair Brett’s question on the Blog Hop got me thinking…
Have you ever had one of your own characters surprise you as you were writing your book? How and did it change the story?
My characters are constantly growing and changing as we work our way together through their story. I don’t know if I’ve ever been shocked by something they did, but I am constantly discovering new things about them. I think that’s a good thing. If I’m learning new things about my characters, then the reader must be, too. So it becomes an interactive, spontaneous experience for both of us.
I think the biggest surprise a character ever gave me, though, was Red Cat from an upcoming release. He is a stray that pops unexpectedly into a scene. I thought he was just going to be a bit player, but he insisted on reappearing. Turns out, my heroine needed a cat in her life, and Red Cat decided he was it. By the end of the book he’s a sleek, satisfied house pet. I guess he’d just had enough of living on the streets!
As a reader, do you like it when a character surprises you? Let me know in the comments, the hop over to A. S. Fenichel to see what her characters are up to.
I’ve been MIA for a couple of weeks, frantically getting ready for the launch of my Christmas novella, The Promise of Frost. But I am back this week with a topic that I will never get tired of talking about. A.S. Fenichel asks:
I love romance books, movies, and fairy tales. If I can have an HEA I’m happy. Is romance your number one read, why and what else do you read?
I’ll read the back of the cereal box if there’s nothing else available. That would never happen, of course, because I have shelves of books (I only buy print copies of those I will reread over and over) and a KOBO full of others. I love a great private eye story – Nero and Archie, Spenser – and police procedurals like Ian Rankin’s Rebus or Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse. Then there’s the action thrillers by Dick Francis, one of my all time favourite authors.
Romance is always my go to read, though, and there’s an easy explanation for it. I can trust there will be a happily ever after. That holds true for all the books and authors I mention above, too. Even though they’re not romances, they promise that, at the end, good will prevail. At least for now.
I know there are people who want a good cry when they read a romance. They want to feel the angst and anxiety while knowing it’s all going to end well. I’d rather read a comedy, where the main characters work their way to love while laughing at each other’s foibles and learning to work with each other’s faults.
When I read, I need as story I can connect to, and I want the characters I grow to love as I read have enjoyable, satisfying lives. I tend to avoid books that are labelled “thought-provoking” and “a must read for those who want to see the world as it truly is.” I get enough of that by watching the news. I read to escape, and I want that escape to be uplifting and life-affirming.
How about you? What is your go to read and why?
This is a great time of year if you’re a sports fan. Pretty much every major league is playing. So this week on the Romance Writers Weekly Blog Hop, this is our topic:
NHL, NBA, NFL, WNBA, FIFA - Do these acronyms mean anything to you? Are you a sports fan, and if so, of what team/sport?
I love to watch sports while I’m doing something else. Does that mean I’m a fan or just using it for white noise? LOL! When it comes to teams, I like to keep in touch with the Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Blue Jays. (Don’t get me started on why a country as big as Canada can’t have more than one MLB or NBA team. As a westerner, it can be hard to cheer for a team from Toronto!). My husband is a big Seattle Seahawks fan (he’s greatly disappointed in them this season) and so I usually have an idea what’s going on in the NFL, too.
Canada has some great young tennis players, and it was so much fun watching Layla Fernandez at the US Open. And I love watching the big golf tournaments, too. Of course, then there’s the Olympics. I prefer the Winter to the Summer, so am looking forward to 2022!
Want to know a secret - the hero in my current work in progress is a coach for a junior hockey team, so I'll be living and breathing hockey while I write it to get the correct feel.
How about you? Do you follow sports? Are you an avid fan or just recreational, like me? Let me know in the comments below! Then hop over to A. S. Fenichel
We’re having fun and learning new things about each other this week on the Romance Writers Weekly Blog!
Have you played “Never Have I Ever?” Someone says “Never have I ever” and then mentions something they’d never done. If anyone in the group has done it, they had to confess. (Note – I’m pretty sure this started as a drinking game, LOL!)
Here’s "Never Have I Ever - Book Edition." Feel free to play along in the comments. As an added incentive, one random commenter will receive an Advanced Copy of my next release, The Promise of Frost.
My score is: 5
I have never:
2. Missed a meal to finish reading (it is, after all, completely possible to read and eat at the same time!)
7. Dreamed of a book boyfriend
13. Met a book model
15. Gone to a book signing (other than my own, of course!)
16. Joined a book club
What about you? What on this list have you never done? Remember, comment below for a chance to win an Advanced Copy of The Promise of Frost. Or, if you'd just like to pre order it now, click here!
Then, head over to Leslie Hachtel to see what score she got!
No matter where you live, there is a rhythm to the seasons. Some places the change is more dramatic than others, of course! This week on the Blog Hop, A.S. Fenichel says:
Fall is here in the US and Canada! It’s my favorite season. What do you love about the autumn or do you have another favorite season?
There is something special about fall. For one, it’s the only season to have two names! Autumn is more poetic, don’t you think?
Here in Northern BC we don’t have quite the colourful glory of the forests in eastern Canada, but that doesn’t mean it is drab and gray. This year has been perfect for the leaves – just cold enough to turn, but not so cold they freeze. Even my ivy, which I showed a few weeks ago, is still going strong and is now a beautiful red.
You might think living in a colder climate would mean spring is my favourite season, but it isn’t. “The melt” as I non-affectionately call it, can be very grim and dirty. By the middle of May things are looking up, but March and April are months simply to be endured. On the other side of summer, autumn often brings bright blue skies and crisp temperatures that lure me outside. Just this past weekend we spent several hours sitting around a backyard campfire with family and it was wonderful. Maybe it is the knowledge that winter is coming that makes me appreciate the days even more.
All careers and jobs have good and bad points. The trick is finding one where the highs outweight the lows. This week on the Romance Writers Weekly Blog Hop, A.S. Fenichel asks:
What’s your favorite thing about being a writer and why?
If you joined me from Leslie Hachtel, welcome.
There are a lot of things I like about being a writer.
I like the flexibility. While I try and get my writing done every morning, if I don’t, I can fit it in later in the day. And though most of the time I sit at my desk, I also love to write in my lounger in the front room, in the back yard, in our boat, and while fishing on the river’s edge.
I like the creativity. I truly enjoy weaving a story, getting to know my characters and seeing how things will turn out. While the happy ending is always going to be there, it’s the journey that fascinates me.
I love having written. Even better than writing itself, I love looking back at what I’ve done, even when I know it still needs work. Seeing the word count add up each day is terrifically satisfying.
But if I had to pick one thing as my favourite, it has to be hearing what readers think of my work. And I don’t necessarily mean only the good opinions. Words on the page are just random, scribbled marks unless someone reads them and absorbs them and considers them. So-called “bad” reviews are often the most insightful, and mean the reader really thought about the story. “Good” reviews make my heart sing and can have me smiling all day, of course. Because who doesn’t want to learn that someone enjoyed the story I spent months writing?
Travel forward on the blog hop with Jenna Da Sie, next on the roll!
I have a lot of writing news to share this week
Here in Northern BC, September is a beautiful month. While the mornings can hover around freezing, the afternoons can match hot summer temperatures, with clear blue skies and gorgeous sunsets. But there is no escaping the fact autumn is here, as the leaves change colours and the scent of dying vegetation lingers in the garden. Which led me to suggest this week's topic on the RWW Blog Hop:
Do you read differently in different seasons? Need lighter reads for summer sunshine and save the deep thoughts for dark winter nights?
To be honest, until I thought up this question, I had never really considered I might choose my reading by what time of year it is. But as I pondered, I realized I do have certain trends.
In the summer, when we spend a lot of time outdoors, I read shorter, fun fiction the most. It’s easier to fit into busy days, and who wants to read deep, depressing tomes when the sun is shining?
Not that I read too many of those kinds of books, anyway. But I’m pretty sure that as the days get shorter and the dark comes sooner, I’m more willing to settle in with a story that challenges me to think deep thoughts. I also find I tend to read longer books in the colder season – ones that will keep me in the author’s world and out of the doldrums of winter.
What about you? Do you have seasonal reading habits? What about non-fiction – do you read that all year long or only certain times of the year? I’d love to hear more!
Then, hop over to Caro Kinkead and see what she reads when!
This week’s topic was just too easy. Jenna Da Sie asks:
Do you like to go camping, if so where is your favourite place? Do you camp in a tent or camper?
Do I like to go camping – pshaw! Of course I do. I’ve shared photos before on this blog showing our wonderful trips.
First off, let me say that for me, camping is best with a travel trailer that had a working toilet and hard sides to keep out the larger Northern British Columbia critters. I have tented, but it is so much work to bring everything you need. With our travel trailer, we load up food and firewood and off we go. We rarely camp where there are services such as electricity and water, so we are very self-sufficient.
When I was 12 my parents bought a travel trailer to replace our tent trailer. I remember being there when my dad made the purchase. 17 years later, my husband and I bought that trailer from my parents and spent about 15 years camping with our kids. We have since upgraded to something newer, but it was a wrench to sell that trailer with so many happy memories.
Our favourite place to go is a lake about 45 minutes east of our town called Purden Lake. It is a provincial park and has large, private sites surrounded by lush forest. The lake is clear and clean, the amber colour of many northern lakes, and while the fishing isn’t the best, it is still fun to drop a line in the water.
I am blessed to live in an area with an abundance of beautiful places to camp. This summer we have spent close to 4 weeks camping on a number of trips, and it has been wonderful.
Enjoy these photos celebrating some of our camping memories, then be sure to hop over to Clair Brett and get her take on the great outdoors!
Guess what? I have a cover for my Christmas novella, coming this fall!
An adventurous kitten, a curious dog, and a matchmaking eight-year-old guarantee this will be a holiday to remember.
Luca Tannon’s new neighbour is a sexy but surly single dad. Which is all for the best since she’s focussed on reclaiming her life after a toxic long-term relationship.
Caleb Frost won’t let anything distract him from ensuring his son’s first Christmas as the child of divorced parents is perfect. And that includes the irritatingly intriguing woman living next door.
Everything is going as planned…until it’s not.
The Romance Writers Weekly Blog Hop is back! We took some time off to enjoy summer, but we are all set to head into fall full of energy and vigour.
This week, A.S. Fenichel http://asfenichel.com/blog/ asks:
We’re getting into the dog days now. What do you do to relax? Is it a hobby, laying about in the sun or something else? How do you unwind and how does it feed your soul?
Summer in Northern British Columbia has been…odd, to say the least. We started July with record heat. I’m not sure what the official high temperature was, but it was near enough to 40C (104F) not to matter. That is INSANELY hot for where I live.
Since then, we’ve bounced from cool, rainy weather back to unusually hot days and back again. It’s like we’ve been having mini-summers LOL!
That being said, my all-time favourite thing to do when the heat is here is to head out in our small boat. My area is blessed with dozens of beautiful, clear lakes. Sometimes we fish, but all the time I have a book with me. I love to swim right from the boat (thereby avoiding weeds and yucky bottoms) and then laze in the prow soaking up the sun.
What do you like to do on the hot days of summer? Be sure to drop me a comment and let me know. Then continue your hop with Clair Brett.