Action Hero Pre-order

I’m very excited to announce that ACTION HERO is available on Amazon for pre-order for its June release. It’s lots of fun, and hotter than a veterinarian and his bodyguard running from bad guys in a jungle!

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Nobody in Hollywood takes cable television star Glinda Crawford seriously, and that’s not going to change with her next movie. What started off as a serious drama has descended into a cheesy flick about rabid, cyborg, panda assassins, and she can’t escape the insanity.

Mike Mosley has it all worked out. He’s leveraged his teen-age TV heartthrob days into a successful adult acting career. But the first week on the set of his new movie with his Olympus co-star Glinda has him second-guessing everything: the plan, his single status, and just how dangerous robot pandas can be.

When script shenanigans spill into the real world, the attraction Glinda and Mike have been faking turns into a hot, real-life adventure. If they can survive this movie, they can survive anything together. However, the shocking finale surprises them both.

Pre-orders available at Amazon

Getting Dirty

I’m not going to lie. Starting a date with a bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates, moving on to a fancy dinner with wine and a decadent dessert, and ending the night with rose-petal strewn sheets is romantic as hell.

Other things rating highly on the romance scale? A significant other who throws in a load or three of laundry without being asked, or does the dishes if you cook, or thinks it’s sexy to get dirty–outside.

It’s spring, when a young man’s fancy gently turns to thoughts of love…of tomatoes and green beans. Technically we have another month to go before we plant, but the snow is gone so it’s time to prep the garden beds. I need to  pull the weeds that have sprung up since the spring melt, loosen the snow-packed dirt, and dig out all the little critters who made their winter burrows in my topsoil. Then I can get to the gardening portion of gardening.

Shovelling wheelbarrows of topsoil and weeding isn’t innately romantic, but spending time with the object of your affections is, no matter what you’re doing. Fortunately for me, we both enjoy gardening. (I almost said being outside, but that might lead to camping, and I’m too old for a no-electricity, no-running-water, mosquito-filled campsite.) A yard – even a small one – is a big job, and it’s much easier to keep it in line with two people. When it comes to gardens, one person can keep them running, but two is more efficient. Plus, puttering around in silence has its own charms.

Even better, puttering in a vegetable garden leads to vegetables in the second half of summer. Also romantic? Cuddling on the sofa planning out where to put a new garden and what to plant in it. Cooking said vegetables together is another great couples activity (unless your kitchen is the size of a postage stamp and you are constantly in each other’s way.)

I’m going to get lots of gardening in this summer. I’m redoing my front flower beds; the perennials currently there are out of control, so I’m pulling them all. I’m also putting in a new vegetable garden in the back yard. My list includes: tomatoes, raspberries, zucchini, carrots, green onions, green and yellow beans, and peas. And maybe something green and leafy.  Oh, yeah, my garden brings all the rabbits to the yard 🙂

So, gardening. All kinds of romantic. Sadly, it’s not a common setting for books. Ranchers, yes. Farmers, less so. I don’t write either. I do have a florist and a landscaper coming up (in separate books), but that’s as close as I’ve come in Romancelandia.  If you have any that you’d recommend, please let me know in the comments.

(This post originally appeared on the Romance Eh? Canadian Style blog. Over a dozen Canadian romance writers post about love and life every month, so feel free to check it out.)

Leading Man is back in action

After a brief disappearance, Nick Thurston has been seen back around town in the presence of Ashleigh Jessup. That’s right – the digital version of LEADING MAN is back up for sale. (Kobo is not cooperating at the moment , but the rest of the vendors are good.)

Find LEADING MAN at Amazon US, Amazon Canada, iTunes US, iTunes Canada, Kobo US, Kobo Canada, and Barnes and Noble. (Available on all international platforms.)

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If you are new to Olympus – don’t forget SCREEN IDOL is free right now.

Find the e-book at Amazon US, Amazon Canada, Kobo US, Kobo Canada, iTunes US, iTunes Canada, Nook. (Available on all international platforms.)

The Write Cast – season 2 episode 4

© Angellodeco | Dreamstime.com – Microphone on live

Congratulations on writing “The End.” You have finished writing a book.

Welcome to part two – making the book. From formatting to cover art, there is more to deal with, whether you are an indie writer putting it all together on your own, or if you are dealing with a publisher. J.H. Moncrieff, Drew Kozub and I share our experiences to let you know what might be coming on this month’s free Soundcloud podcast.

Get swept up in spring flings and these free books

It’s time for spring cleaning. You know what that means. It’s time to clean up your Kindle (or iPhone or Kobo or Nook) and make room for MORE FREE ROMANCES.    Over 100 romance writers are inviting you to Spring Into Love with 100 free titles, so please check them out, and stock up for March Break. Or whatever other excuses you come up with.

You don’t even need an excuse. CLICK IT!

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patricks Day doilies on green background.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.  With any luck (and today would be the day to get it), Ireland is on my 2018 agenda.  Have a great day. I’ll wear green, but I’ll be staying far away from the green beer.

Shop smarter, not harder

plane at sunset

You may not know this about me, but I am a hard-core points collector. Not all the points—nobody’s got time for that ( I’m looking at you Shoppers Drug Mart.)  I pick my battles and then I fight to win.

My primary points system is AirMiles. I’ve made a dozen trips on my AirMiles points over the last five years. They’ve all been within North America, and most during non-peak times, but that’s six round-trip tickets I didn’t pay for. Considering how much I enjoy travelling, that’s a significant savings.

How did I do it?

I worked the system.

The first thing you need to do is get a list of sponsors and see which ones will work for you. I like Safeway and Sobey’s. Some people consider those grocery stores overpriced, which is fair. However, even if you do your primary grocery shopping elsewhere, by keeping an eye on their flyers and shopping the AirMiles sales and specials, you can still get them to add up. I also use Shell as one of my primary gas stations*. In Manitoba, LiquorMart is your only option, so if you drink at all, put it on the list. I’m a writer, so I hit Staples a few times a year for ink and paper and sundry items (like Post-its. I adore Post-its.) I’ll also check out Rexall once or twice a year and flash my card there. I used to have an AirMiles American Express card (which counted as my fifth sponsor), but it had an annual fee, so I cancelled it. Now there are fee-free Bank of Montreal AirMiles MasterCards out there. If you charge your purchases, you double up on miles.

That’s five different sponsors. Five is a significant number – visiting five sponsors and getting 1000 points in one year gets you Gold status. Gold gets you even more benefits, like free stuff, chances to earn more points, and discounts on flights.

“But I’ll never get to 1000 points!” you cry.

Here’s where working the system comes in. It takes planning, but it’s doable.

I want to fly from Winnipeg to Ottawa to attend Romancing the Capital this August. I have 1777 AirMiles. Because it’s peak season, I’ll need 2000 for the ticket. At the moment, this leaves me 223 miles short. So I got to work.

AirMiles coupons come out about four times I year. I went through my recent batch, and found some for Safeway, LiquorMart, and Staples, so I pulled them. I also had some others, but as my dad taught me, it’s not a sale unless you were going to buy it anyway.

I don’t drink much. I received 3 bottles of wine in December for hosting Christmas dinner. Before that, it had been several months before I’d purchased a bottle. However, the one wine I like is Moscato, and there was a Moscato coupon. So, since it never hurts to have a bottle of wine in the cupboard, I hit the LiquorMart and got the bottle and my 16 AirMiles.

Then I took my “Spend $100 get 50 AirMiles” and “Buy 3 2L Coke products get 10 AirMiles” coupons to Safeway. I shopped from my list, and kept an eye open for sales. I didn’t need two bottles of Centrum, but one bottle was on my list. Since vitamins keep, and since they were twenty per cent off, and since they were “Buy 2 get 20 AirMiles”, I now have one bottle in reserve. The Cokes were also on sale and on my list. By the time I was done shopping, I used both my coupons, found an in-store special on something that was already on my list, and received my base miles. 85 points to me.

Then I took my 7-cents-off-per-litre coupon from Safeway and went to Shell and filled up. More points for me at sponsor #3.

I have no need to go to Staples at the moment, but I’ll keep the coupon in my wallet until it expires in case I find myself there. It doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

That’s over 100 points in a single trip. If I had an AirMiles credit card, I would have charged them to that and hit four sponsors in an hour.

Granted, I could do this because I had an extra $35 to spend this week ($23 on the wine and $12 for the extra bottle of vitamins.) If I didn’t, I would have waited till the next week and hit Safeway on Tuesday because they have “20X the AirMiles” events on the first Tuesday of every month, with a minimum purchase amount of $50. That works out to one AirMile per dollar spent. The wine was a nice bonus, but it was definitely a bonus. I generally only get LiquorMart points a couple times a year anyway. I likely won’t be back before summer.

But here is where I like to think I excel. As I mentioned, my previous AirMiles American Express card had an annual fee, so I cancelled it. Now I have a TD Platinum Travel Visa Card. Note – it has a $99 annual fee (which is waived with my bank plan. And my bank plan fees are waived if I maintain the minimum required balance in my chequing account. If I didn’t get this card for free, I’d definitely consider the fee-free AirMiles MasterCard.) I charge all my AirMiles shopping because I get points on all purchases. Unlike AirMiles or Aeroplan cards, these points can be used for any travel expenses. When I book a flight on AirMiles, I charge the taxes and fees to my Platinum Travel Visa Card, then I cash in my credit card points and apply the credit to the taxes and fees and I truly fly for free.

“But I don’t travel” you may say. You can still make this work for you. And you can do it without the Travel Visa. In fact, a fee-free MasterCard will work even better for you. AirMiles can be converted to Cash miles. For the cost of my ticket (2000 AirMiles) you could have $200 worth of free gas, groceries or other goods, and still have a few AirMiles left over.

Free is good. If you are willing to invest your time, you can make free pay off.

Good luck, and may the coupons be ever in your favour.

*My other preferred gas station is Red River Co-op. Membership is free, and I got a cheque this month for more than $30 as my annual member rebate. They also have Co-op grocery stores. What to guess where I go if I’m not shopping at Safeway? Of course, I use my points credit card there too. There’s always a new way to make it work for you.

Want more free? Click here for a free downloadable romance!

Screen Idol is free!

Chris and Sydney are coming your way for free!

Have you downloaded the first book in my Hollywood to Olympus series? If not, now it is the time. SCREEN IDOL is free on all e-vendors!

AmazonKOBOiBooksB&N

Sydney Richardson should have trusted her instincts and locked the door when a Greek god appeared on her doorstep at sunrise. After months of work, she needs every second of the day to wrap up a two-part fundraiser for burn victims like herself and she can’t afford to waste time with a TV hunk, no matter how good he looks in a toga.

Chris Peck, worshipped by millions as Zeus on the hit drama Olympus, desperately wants to prove to the producers of a soon-to-be-cast romantic comedy that he doesn’t need fight scenes or special effects to make the jump to the big screen. Acting as the slave-for-a-day in the show’s fan appreciation contest was supposed to cement his everyman credibility but the winner wants nothing to do with him.

Chris is captivated by the woman who refuses to fawn over his looks and fame, and he promises to put her fundraising efforts over the top if she’ll spend the day with him. However, just when he convinces Sydney they could have a chance together, the movie’s producers offer him an audition that would mean breaking his promise and leaving Sydney in the lurch. The king of the gods has until sunset to prove to his new off-screen love interest that Hollywood magic and reality can co-exist.

Happy Pi(e) Day

The mathematical number for Pi is (rounded) 3.14.

The numerical date for March fourteenth is 3.14.

Coincidence, or a scientific sign that you need to have a crusted dessert tonight?

I think you know which I believe.

Happy Pi(e) Day, my friends!