News

There is no such thing as too much romance at ChristmasNov 2, 2020

I love Christmas romances. I love watching them (I ought to buy stock in the Hallmark channel) and I love reading them.

They aren't hard to find at this time of year, but I'm part of three groups that might make it easier for you.

Check out these groups and click on the covers to learn more about any of the books. You can generally tell from the cover if a book is going to be sweet or sexy, but there is no commitment to check them all out.

SWEET CHRISTMAS ROMANCES

MOSTLY SWEET AND A COUPLE SPICY HOLIDAY ROMANCES

SWEET, SPICY, AND SUSPENSEFUL HOLIDAY ROMANCES

 

How would you describe North Pole Unlimited?Oct 22, 2020

I work hard on my book summaries - my "blurbs" - but sometimes they are too long.

Then I have the fun of trying to condense my masterpieces down to a single line or two - the funnier the better.

Here are some of my favourite one-liners from North Pole Unlimited.

If you have any ideas, please hit me up on Twitter or Facebook so I can see them!




I'm having a really difficult time picking only one for my latest Christmas romance, so here are two for BEN AND JILLY.

Which do you like better?

BEN AND JILLY is live!Oct 20, 2020

After much laughter while writing it, today I'm releasing BEN AND JILLY upon the world. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.

When North Pole Unlimited’s #1 elf turns Scrooge, a new flame and his furry sidekick need to jumpstart her Christmas spirit before it’s too late.

Executive assistant Jilly Lewis has never resented the holidays before, but this year the company’s resident matchmaker and holiday-disaster fixer has learned her family is going to be elsewhere during the most wonderful time of the year. 

Ebenezer “Ben” Fredericks is giving up the road for a desk job at North Pole Unlimited. He has lots of things to do as he reorganizes his life in December, but number one on his list is getting Jilly back into the Christmas spirit. 

He’ll need to enlist help to put the jingle back in Jilly’s step, but his co-workers at North Pole Unlimited and new neighbours in December are ready to pay back Jilly for her years of spreading Christmas joy everywhere she goes. 

Can Ben put the ho-ho-ho back in Jilly’s holidays, or will she find coal in her stocking on Christmas morning? Only Santa knows. 

* * * 

All this can be yours for only $2.99 on Amazon -- Kobo -- Apple Books -- Barnes & Noble -- Google Play 

or ask your library to order it on Overdrive or Hoopla!

Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!Oct 12, 2020

Whether you have your turkey with gravy or cranberry sauce (or, like me, both at the same time) I wish you a wonderful thanksgiving. We are especially grateful for a terrific garden harvest this year.

MAINS AND SIDES is outSep 10, 2020

I'm not kidding about these being some of my favourite recipes. I guarantee you that at least one of these appears on my table every week!

Over two dozen of your favorite supper recipes.

What’s for supper? It’s the most feared question you can hear in the kitchen. Mains and Sides offers simple, tasty meals to feed your family. From cold salads to hot casseroles, you’ll want to add these quick and easy recipes to your regular supper repertoires, including some vegetarian and vegan options.With cold and hot side dishes and a variety of hot entrees, Mains and Sides will satisfy everybody at the table.

It's out today, and only 99¢.

Get it at any of your favourite e-book retailers, or ask your library to get it from Overdrive or Hoopla.

KINDLEKINDLE CANADAAPPLE BOOKSNOOKKOBOGOOGLE PLAY

BEN & JILLY is available for preorder!Aug 25, 2020

December's most notorious matchmaker is about to become half of the town's next Christmas romance.

Preorder it now so you can read it on October 20th!

When North Pole Unlimited’s #1 elf turns Scrooge, a new flame and his furry sidekick need to jumpstart her Christmas spirit before it’s too late.

Executive assistant Jilly Lewis has never resented the holidays before, but this year the company’s resident matchmaker and holiday-disaster fixer has learned her family is going to be elsewhere during the most wonderful time of the year.

Ebenezer “Ben” Fredericks is giving up the road for a desk job at North Pole Unlimited. He has lots of things to do as he reorganizes his life in December, but number one on his list is getting Jilly back into the Christmas spirit.

He’ll need to enlist help to put the jingle back in Jilly’s step, but his co-workers at North Pole Unlimited and new neighbours in December are ready to pay back Jilly for her years of spreading Christmas joy everywhere she goes.

Can Ben put the ho-ho-ho back in Jilly’s holidays, or will she find coal in her stocking on Christmas morning? Only Santa knows.

* * *

Only $2.99 on Amazon -- Kobo -- Apple Books -- Barnes & Noble -- Google Play

or ask your library to order it on Overdrive or Hoopla!

Pandemic GardeningJul 19, 2020

I've had a garden for years, and we always like trying something new. This year, as Covid-19 made itself known at the beginning of the year and as we started our social distancing and shut-downs in March, there were several articles about potential food shortages and all kinds of predictions of what was to come. We had the time and we had the supplies, so we decided to increase out planting space from our usual 8'x10' garden plot, and our u-box, by constructing five 2'x3' raised garden boxes. We put these four in the front yard. 

We have our favourites but because we had the space, we decided to try a few new things this year, for a total of 22 types of fruits and vegetables.  It's been two months since we planted; here's how things have progressed. * means it was our first time.

1. Watermelon*.  We planted the seeds. They sprouted and shot up two inches with their bright green leaves. They're still alive and two inches tall. RESULT: utter and complete failure.

2. Pumpkin*.  We planted 12 seeds not expecting them all to sprout. Surprise! 4 went into a box and the remaining 8 lined our backyard fence.  We have 9 remaining plants, averaging 1 viable pumpkin per vine. We say viable because while there are many buds, not all the wee baby pumpkins get fertilized.

3. Spaghetti Squash*. We planted 12 seeds and again they all sprouted. We gave away 7 and planted the remaining 5. We currently have 3 viable squashes.

4. Purple beans. These took up a lot of space in the garden last year so we moved them to a pair of garden boxes. They loved it and climbed the frame. Now we're waiting for them to start producing fruit.


4. Potatoes. We planted two. The first shot up right away. The second had a two to three week delay, but they are growing like mad now. We are using a new potato box this year, and ensured it had very good drainage after our disastrous summer last year. We're leaving these for a while longer, hoping to get a good haul come fall.

5-9. My herb box. Parsley, oregano, basil, rosemary and thyme. My basil and parsley have gone wild and I love it. My oregano is a little slow, and the rosemary and thyme are fine.

10. Corn*.  We had 12 stalks come up. They are starting to flower, or whatever the term is for corn, and so far only three stalks are showing signs of producing cobs, but we still have time.



11-14.  Zucchini, onions, carrots, beets (and corn.) This is our main garden. The zucchinis are across the short (far) end. We've had four zucchinis so far this year. The first was about 500gr (1 lb) and the largest was over 1000gr (over 2 lbs.) We thinned the beets for the first time ever this year, and wow, did they take advantage of the space. They're huge! As a bonus, we were able to sauté the beet tops, so that was another meal. The carrots are well on their way. The onions are all tops and no bottoms at the moment, so we wait. 

15. Cucumbers. Some neighbours gave us an open packet of seed, so we started these from scratch. They are good slicer cukes, but did not grow up the ladder like ones we've planted in previous years. We will have to buy cucumbers for pickling, but we did get some fresh ones to eat.

16. Peppers. The selection was limited when we got to the nursery, so we only got three (2 Cajun Reds, and 1 Hungarian Wax). All are hotter than jalapeños. Unfortunately, the thieving squirrels around here ran off with two of them! One was so hot, they took one bite left it in the garden. We'll have a few Cajun ones left for salsa, but they aren't as good as the Mucho Nacho peppers we had last year. No photos because we've had to put covers on them to protect the remaining peppers from the furry thieves. 


17. Tomatoes.  We tried a type of cherry tomato from seed and they look like they are going to produce exceptionally well! They're green right now, but soon! We also bought two large, beefsteak-style tomatoes. They are also looking good. We won't get enough to supply what we need for our canning needs, but we'll definitely be able to contribute some homegrown tomatoes to the sauces.

18. Green onions. We have limited success when we plant these in our main garden. And NO success when we plant them in the tomato box. RESULT: complete and utter failure. Nothing even sprouted.

19-22. Strawberries, Raspberries, Saskatoon berries, and Rhubarb. Our u-box garden has three parts. One has strawberries. We finally had a good year, and got enough for a couple bowls of ice cream. Now that we know how much water they need, we anticipate good things next year.  Our raspberries grow quickly and get quite bushy, but we never get any berries. RESULT: utter and complete failure. It's been 4 years, so we are pulling the plants. Our rhubarb did well; we've pulled a few stalks already and used about 12 cups in baking and jamming.  We have a saskatoon bush at another property, and it does well every other year. This is an other year. We got an ice cream bucket of berries (about 2.2 kg/5lbs) so far - enough for jam, muffins, and pie. 

We're very fortunate to have the space to do this, and to have had it as a hobby for several years so we weren't starting from scratch this summer.  I hope you new gardening are enjoying digging in the dirt, and are getting some tasty veggies to reward your hard work. And to my fellow long-term gardeners, happy hoeing!