Top Ten Tuesday – All About Me!


Top Ten Tuesday – 10 Things About ME!

It’s been a while since I’ve participated in Top Ten Tuesday. It’s a cool meme but since I’ve been trying shift my blog’s focus from books to me-as-a-writer-of-books, I stopped posting my lists. But since this week theme is all about me, I thought it might be fun to do. Everyone likes to talk about themselves, don’t they? 😉

10 Fun Facts about Me

  1. I’m an author of four chick lit novels, 1 middle grade book and soon-to-be 19 adult romance novels. I write under a pen name that I won’t mention here since my kids are at an age where they or their friends might discover it and I’m not ready to discuss details of those books with them!
  2. The three writers which I would love to meet are Joss Whedon, Stephen King and Hugh Howey. Also, JJ Abrams, even though he’s more of a director/producer these days, and Simon Pegg, depending on how much I enjoy the new Star Trek
  3. I am a huge Star Wars fan.
  4. I coach baseball/softball
  5. meI have a tattoo. My sister, who went with me to get thr tattoo, was very upset because it didn’t really hurt when I got it done. I’m thinking about getting another one but not sure what to get
  6. I grew up on a farm. I can ride horses, stack hay bales and if I’m driving by another farm, I can pretty much tell what kind of animals by the smell of the manure.
  7. Things I could spend hours discussing – Star Wars, Harry Potter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Lost. Can we say geek? 🙂
  8. I  created my own imprint to publish my books – Three Birds Press 
  9. Dragon_printSo technically I am also a publisher, as well as an author. I published my husbands’ book – Barrier Free Real Estate – Achieving Freedom at Home. Someday, I’d like to add Editor to the list of things I do
  10. I’m writing another kids’ book for my children. But now my daughter is a teen, she wants something YA. I told her I’d see what I can do!


What about you? Give me some Fun Facts about You!


What is Top Ten Tuesday?

“Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post and, if you want to, add your name to the Linky widget on that day’s posts (typically put up midnight EST on Tuesday) so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It’s a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.”

Happiness Tag

imagesI want to post something but I don’t know what to post…so let’s see what kind of tags are out there.

I found this…

The Happiness Tag


Happiness-Facebook-Cover-45 – oops 8 -Things that make me Happy (in no particular order)

  1. Clean sheets. So cool and soft when you slide between them…add in an early bedtime and a good book and you’ve made my night. (That’s kind of sad, isn’t it?!)
  2. Laughing. Whether I’m laughing at my kids, a movie, a book or even myself, laughter always makes me happy
  3. Connecting with someone who has read one of my books. Reading their review, getting an email, a comment or face-to-face; the tangible proof that someone read my words is an amazing feeling
  4. A day to spend by myself. Doesn’t happen a lot. Always makes me happy
  5. Being reminded that there are lots of people out there who care about me
  6. Being barefoot
  7. And wine. Some days a glass of wine can make me very happy! 
  8. My friends and family. Somedays

5 – make that 10 – Songs that make me Happy

quotes-happiness7This was fun, and I stopped myself at 10. These songs remind me of people, or places, or the person I used to be and listening to all of them never fail to make me happy.

  1. Small Things (Blink-182) and Bad Touch (Bloodhound Gang) May 2000, on Bus 20138, travelling through Europe, with hubby and bunch of awesome Australians and a couple of cool Canucks. I made friends on that trip that I will have for a lifetime
  2. Home for a Rest (Spirit of the West) So many memories of this song, and all involve dancing. Apparently dancing makes me happy too!
  3. To Be with You (Mr. Big)An 80s song we loved in the 90s. Mike, Cheryl, Jeff and I in Huntsville at Mike’s cottage, listening to the radio – the Moose: Large and in Charge!
  4. Learning to Fly (Pink Floyd) When I was 15, dancing with a boy that was not my boyfriend and never forgetting him
  5. Shut Up and Dance (Walk the Moon) Driving with a friend, the first time I sang along to the radio with anyone but my family
  6. Really Don’t Care (Demi Lovato) Perfect when I want a reminder that someone/something doesn’t matter
  7. Long Shot (Kelly Clarkson) always makes me feel like I can conquer the world
  8. C’mon (Kesha) Singing the line ‘Fun like a lollipop’ with my daughter and cracking up every time
  9. Calling You (Blue October)
  10. Little Bird (Annie Lennox) Just because they’re my favourite songs

7-Steps-To-Happiness5 Bloggers that make me Happy

I follow a lot of writing blogs, and while they are informative and interesting, they don’t always make me happy, so I’m not including any of them.

  1. Art and Soul These days Clare is my go-to for books and baking
  2. Mylittlebookblog Lizzie gave me awesome reviews on my books and I love her
  3. Hugh Howey Because he’s the king of indie writers and the pics of him in his bathing suit remind me that writers can be hot as well as amazing. Plus I have a little crush on him 🙂
  4. Parenting blogs that make me think I’m not screwing up my kids after all
  5. The Phantom Writer TPW and Ken Gusler More because they send me tweets every Friday! So nice to hear from them

images (4)I tag EVERYONE to take a moment and think about what makes you happy! And then tell me!


WWW Wednesday – What I’m Reading…

WWW WednesdayWWW Wednesday…

This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions about what you’re reading in a post and then put a link to that post in the Comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

The questions are:




What I’m Reading…

Queen by rightBlurb – History remembers Cecily of York standing on the steps of the Market Cross at Ludlow, facing an attacking army while holding the hands of her two young sons. Queen by Right reveals how she came to step into her destiny, beginning with her marriage to Richard, duke of York, whom she meets when she is nine and he is thirteen. Raised together in her father’s household, they become a true love match and together face personal tragedies, pivotal events of history, and deadly political intrigue. All of England knows that Richard has a clear claim to the throne, and when King Henry VI becomes unfit to rule, Cecily must put aside her hopes and fears and help her husband decide what is right for their family and their country. Queen by Right marks Anne Easter Smith’s greatest achievement, a book that every fan of sweeping, exquisitely detailed historical fiction will devour.

After reading YA, I find I need to get back into an ‘adult’ novel and historical fiction in one of my favourites. I’ve never read Anne Easter Smith, although I have 2 of her books on my shelf! Seemed a good time to give it a try and I’m glad I did. I’m already entralled by the character of little Cecily.

What I Finished Reading…

independent study graduation dayBlurb – In a scarred and brutal future, The United Commonwealth teeters on the brink of all-out civil war. The rebel resistance plots against a government that rules with cruelty and cunning. Gifted student and Testing survivor Cia Vale vows to fight. But she can’t do it alone. This is the chance to lead that Cia has trained for – but who will follow? Plunging through layers of danger and deception, Cia must risk the lives of those she loves – and gamble on the loyalty of her lethal classmates.

Mmmm…amazing premise. There were a lot of similarities to Hunger Games. But mmm…

Didn’t do it for me. The first book in the trilogy was the best and by the end of the third I found myself skimming too much text to be enjoyable. The characters were two-dimensional, the writing was passive and all tell, no show. Lots of potential, but not for me. Too bad. 🙁

What I’ll Read Next…

IMG_4395Good question. I started a summer reading list so lots of choices. I’ve added the new Emily Giffin book to it already!! Any suggestions from my list or one of your own?






What I’ve Been Watching…

Finding-Dory-Disney-pixar-2016We went to see Finding Dory with the kids a couple of weeks ago. It was as good as I hoped. My eldest daughter has been in love with Dory since Finding Nemo and even though she didn’t want to bring all of her seventeen stuffed Dory’s to the theatre (she’s 14 now, so what do you expect?) she loved it.

GOT_Hall_of_Faces_S6_Poster_02I’m a little slow, but I’ve finally finished Season Six of Game of Thrones. The only reason I mention this here is because I was so impressed by the transformation of the female characters on the show. Finally, the women are taking control and I love it! Especially Sansa, changing from one of the weakest and most annoying characters on the show to one of the most powerful, finally taking control of her own destiny. I can’t wait until Season Seven!

Summer Reading List

What I’m Reading this Summer…

I love reading in the summer. It’s my favourite time to stretch out with a book, probably because I spent more time able to stretch out with a book than any other time of the year.

I was tidying up the basement last week, which is where my bookshelves are. When I was stacking some new purchases and putting away some recently read, I decided to make a pile of TBR books to make it easy for me to choose when I’m in need of a book for cottage or vacation or just hiding from the kids.

And then I took it one step further and vowed that I would not purchase a book until this pile is completed. But then I saw a few new releases that are coming out in July (new Liane Moriarty and Alice Clayton, as well as Phillippa Gregory in August. I really liked Eleanor Brown’s Weird Sisters, so I should check out her next…)

Anyway, so maybe I can’t keep that vow, but I’m attempting to finish this pile this summer.

Wish me luck!!!

Also – HAPPY CANADA DAY to all you fellow Canucks and those who want to be!!

Since I’m a proud patriot, I’ve put two of my books one sale, just so you can have new books to read for your long weekend!!

Absinthe Doesn't Make the Heart Grow Fonder UnexpectingAbsinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder and Unexpecting – both FREE until July 4th





The Secret Life of Charlotte DoddThe Secret of Charlotte Dodd – 99 cents








The Dragon Under the MountainThe Dragon Under the Mountain – 99 cents

Happy Reading!!

WWW Wednesday – What I’m Reading…

WWW WednesdayWWW Wednesday…

This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions about what you’re reading in a post and then put a link to that post in the Comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

The questions are:




What I’m Reading…

independent studyBlurb – In the series debut The Testing, sixteen-year-old Cia Vale was chosen by the United Commonwealth government as one of the best and brightest graduates of all the colonies . . . a promising leader in the effort to revitalize postwar civilization. InIndependent Study, Cia is a freshman at the University in Tosu City with her hometown sweetheart, Tomas—and though the government has tried to erase her memory of the brutal horrors of The Testing, Cia remembers. Her attempts to expose the ugly truth behind the government’s murderous programs put her—and her loved ones—in a world of danger. But the future of the Commonwealth depends on her.

I’m not sure what to say about this series. On one hand, I don’t think this is the best YA dystopian series out there. Hunger Games and even Divergent was so much better. The Testing series has wooden writing, two-dimensional characters and a lack-luster romance going for it. But…

It’s one of the most ADDICTING books I’ve ever read!!! I seriously can’t put it down and I don’t know why!! I’ll be finished the series by the weekend

What I Finished Reading…

the testingBlurb – Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one and the same?

The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career.

Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies–trust no one.

But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every grueling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust.

I don’t even know if I like Cia! She’s smart and feisty but kind of monotone for a character. Give me some emotions! Maybe that’s what I’m waiting for. I could not stop reading it!

Court of mist and FuryOr maybe I don’t think the Testing was very good because this was awesome!  I don’t give many 5 star reviews on Goodreads, but this was one of them.

I didn’t love A Court of Thorn and Roses and because of that I almost didn’t pick up the second book in the series, but I’m so glad I did. ACOMAF is so much better than the first book, mainly because Feyre develops the personality that was sorely lacking for most of the first book. And there was a lot less of Tamlin, who I compare to Edward from Twilight. If you like the romantic, possessive brooding types, he’s your guy. If you’re like me, Rhys is the better bet for Feyre. And for me – I think I’ll make him one of my new favourite book boyfriends!!

Finishing it was bittersweet because now I have to wait so long for the next one. Write faster, please, Sarah J.!

What I’ll Read Next…

graduation day Has to be done. I have to finish the series. I’ve put together my summer reading list so check back on Friday for that.


What about you? What are you reading? And what are your reading plans for the summer?

If you’re looking for new beach reads, check out my Canada Day sale! Two of my books are free on ebook until July 4th and 2 are only 99 cents!!!


WWW Wednesday – What I’m Reading…

WWW WednesdayWWW Wednesday…

This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions about what you’re reading in a post and then put a link to that post in the Comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

The questions are:




What I’m Reading…

Court of mist and Fury Ok…I have to admit I didn’t love the first book in this series, A Court of Thorns and Roses. Feyre didn’t do anything for me and Tamlin…eh. The book got better Under the Mountain (love how she capitalizes that!) and because of that, and how amazing Sarah Maas’ Throne of Glass series is, I gave this one a try.

Thank God I did!

So good! It’s sucked me right in, so much that I brought it to my son’s baseball game last night and was reading it between innings! (Trust me, I don’t read at games – I’m one of those moms jumping up and down, cheering them on) Normally, I don’t have much success with second books in a series, but for me, this one is better than the first. And that’s because of Rhysand! Tamlin is too Edward-ish for me (as in Edward Cullen, Twilight series) so Feyre is so much more likable with Rhys and his court. I hope she stays. I hope the book stays this good, or gets even better.

I have to go read another chapter now

What I’ve Read…

tangledBlurb – Drew Evans is a winner. Handsome and arrogant, he makes multimillion dollar business deals and seduces New York’s most beautiful women with just a smile. He has loyal friends and an indulgent family. So why has he been shuttered in his apartment for seven days, miserable and depressed?

He’ll tell you he has the flu.

But we all know that’s not really true.

Katherine Brooks is brilliant, beautiful and ambitious. She refuses to let anything – or anyone – derail her path to success. When Kate is hired as the new associate at Drew’s father’s investment banking firm, every aspect of the dashing playboy’s life is thrown into a tailspin. The professional competition she brings is unnerving, his attraction to her is distracting, his failure to entice her into his bed is exasperating.

Then, just when Drew is on the cusp of having everything he wants, his overblown confidence threatens to ruin it all. Will he be able untangle his feelings of lust and tenderness, frustration and fulfillment? Will he rise to the most important challenge of his life?

Can Drew Evans win at love?

Tangled is not your mother’s romance novel. It is an outrageous, passionate, witty narrative about a man who knows a lot about women…just not as much as he thinks he knows. As he tells his story, Drew learns the one thing he never wanted in life, is the only thing he can’t live without.

This was an adorable read. The story is from Drew’s POV and really, he’s a bit of an arrogant ass, but so lovable. And even with his somewhat sexist comments and idiot decisions, you really want him to work things out with Kate. I heard good things about Emma Chase and I enjoyed Tangled so much, I’ll try her other books.

wolf by wolfBlurb – The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule. To commemorate their Great Victory, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s Ball in Tokyo.

Yael, a former death camp prisoner, has witnessed too much suffering, and the five wolves tattooed on her arm are a constant reminder of the loved ones she lost. The resistance has given Yael one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s only female racer, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin’s brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move.

But as Yael grows closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?

This was really good. There could be more to Yael to make her more likable but the plot, the setting, the alternate history was great. I’d say more about it but really want to go and read more of Court of Mist and Fury!

What I’ll Read Next…

No idea. ACoMF is huge! But I’ll be spending lots of time at baseball diamond this weekend so hopefully I’ll get lots of reading done between games!

What about you? What’s keeping you up at night?



WWW Wednesday…What I’m Reading…

What I’m Reading…

It’s been a very busy month so I haven’t posted as often as I would have liked to. Also, I haven’t read as many books as I wanted to! But here’s my list for this week. It includes Star Wars, Boy Bands, Paris Bookshops and Percy Jackson.

Happy Reading!

WWW WednesdayWWW Wednesday…

This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions about what you’re reading in a post and then put a link to that post in the Comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

The questions are:




What I’m Reading…


I went to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s presentation of the music of John Williams last week which included music from the Star Wars movies. This prompted me to pick this up. I’ve read tons of the Star Wars novels but not any in the last few years. I got this in the hopes it gives some clues to who Rey’s family is! I’ll let you know if I figure it out!





What I Read…

kill bandBlurb – Just know from the start that it wasn’t supposed to go like this. All we wanted was to get near them. That’s why we got a room in the hotel where they were staying.

We were not planning to kidnap one of them. Especially not the most useless one. But we had him—his room key, his cell phone, and his secrets.

We were not planning on what happened next.

We swear.

From thrilling new talent Goldy Moldavsky comes a pitch-black, hilarious take on fandom and the badass girls who have the power to make—or break—the people we call “celebrities.”

There is a lot of love for this book…and a lot of dislike, just like boy bands. I enjoyed it, even though I couldn’t relate as well as fangirls of boy bands might. I’ve had my loves and obsessions but never, ever have I dreamed of going as far as these girls did! This book had the potential to go over the top, but the author reined things in nicely.Each situation was more implausible than the last one, but seemed totally possible. The characters were interesting and diverse, with the layers unfolding with perfect timing. And I loved the 80s movies references!

paris bookshopBlurb – “There are books that are suitable for a million people, others for only a hundred. There are even remedies—I mean books—that were written for one person only…A book is both medic and medicine at once. It makes a diagnosis as well as offering therapy. Putting the right novels to the appropriate ailments: that’s how I sell books.”

Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can’t seem to heal through literature is himself; he’s still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.

After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.

Internationally bestselling and filled with warmth and adventure, The Little Paris Bookshop is a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people’s lives.

This was a perfectly enjoyable book that made me want to travel the rivers of France! The characters were lovely, settings were incredible and the book references were fun and interesting. The only problem I have was that it took Perdu over 20 years to get over a lost love. It’s too bad he wasted all that time but he was a much more interesting character once he began to find himself. It’s a sweet book.

Rick-Riordan-The-Hidden-Oracle1Blurb – How do you punish an immortal? By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus’s favour.

But Apollo has many enemies – gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go . . . an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

I loved reading the Percy Jackson series with my kids. But I need to read the Heroes of Olympus series to better understand who’s who in this book. Lots of new characters! Mortal Apollo starts off as irritating but soon begins to grow on me.

What I’ll Read Next…

wolf by wolf appassionata-jilly-cooper-book-cover-art








What about you? What’s in your list this week?

Movies to music to books

I went to hear the Toronto Symphony Orchestra this week.

I’ve always loved music. While I tend to stick to the tried and true styles like pop, alternative, punk-pop and 80s classics, there is a fair amount of classical on my iTunes playlist. So it’s not unheard of my to attend a concert. My father-in-law had an extra ticket and I was happy to accompany him.

And then I found out the symphony was featuring the music of John Williams. John Williams, who scored the music for the Star Wars movies, and all but two of Steven Spielberg films.

Interest turned to excitement.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a HUGE Star Wars fan.

What I found interesting and enjoyable is that as I listened to the music, it wasn’t the movies I was thinking about. I kept going back to books.

appassionata-jilly-cooper-book-cover-artWatching the musicians reminded me of a Jilly Cooper book Appassionata. I’m a huge fan of Jilly Cooper and most of my collection of her novels are pretty beat up due to countless re-reading. Appassionata is about a orchestra in Rutminister, England and the shenanigans of the musicians. Gazing up at the rows of violins and cellos, I couldn’t help wondering if the behaviour of the Toronto Symphony was as scandalous as their counterparts in the Jilly Cooper’s world!

On closer observation, I doubt it. But I did come up with some interesting character sketches.

My mind tends to wander at events like this (happens all the time in church) and as I listened to the music, I found myself plotting two short stories I’ve been thinking of writing. And then the music from the Star Wars movies started and that was it – I was transported into the world of George Lucas.

What is it about those movies that draw me in? The writing isn’t that terrific, although the world building is incredible. The characters…I think it’s the characters that I connect with, but it’s not just because of the movies. When I was a teen and early twenties I started reading the Star Wars books. I found out about Leia and Han’s relationship, how Luke Skywalker fell in love (twice), everyone’s children, minor characters given a life…Reading those books really gave more meaning to the movies for me.swbooks

Unfortunately, all of the books I read are no longer ‘canon’ which means any future films won’t follow the timeline of the books. So just because Leia and Han had twins (boy and a girl) doesn’t mean that Rey and Kylo Ren are those kids. Maybe. I won’t know until the next movie.

I’m not sure what the premise of this post is – just to share the wanderings of my mind? To show how music can lead me to reminiscence about books?  To make me want to reread books? To show how everything can be interconnected back to books for me? Maybe just to tell you a little about my life.

In any event, thanks for listening and May the Force Be With You!!