Friday, April 28, 2017

The joy of braces... and bath bombs

This Easter since my nieces all had brand new mouth jewelry and couldn't enjoy sweets or chocolate, oh horrific I know, I decided to make them all bath bombs in easter egg molds.

They are so easy to make:

1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup citric acid
1/2 cup Epsom salts (I used with and without fragance)
1 tsp. water
2 tsp. essential oil (my oil of choice for the kids lime and grapefruit)
3 tsp. oil (olive oil)
food coloring (any color you want)
bath bomb mold

These little babies were so popular that last weekend I had to make more for my nephew the only one not sporting new braces!

I hope all of you as much fun making these as I did! And yeah these puppies can make great give aways at your signature table.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Romance Observations from the Librarian's Desk. @LeoRosanna

Hi everyone! I recently submitted an article to my local RWA chapter, the Toronto Romance Writers, and thought it might be fun to share here. As some of you may know, not only am I an author, I also work at my local public library and in seven years there, I've collected a lot of "unofficial data" about reader preferences. Of course, when I see romance readers, I love chatting with them and seeing what they're borrowing. I compiled some of these observations in my article and hope you find it interesting.


As a romance author, I often find opportunity to talk about books with others. As an employee at my local library, I also have the opportunity to see what others borrow on a regular basis. I thought it might be fun to share some of my observations.
I work at a busy branch in southern Ontario, just west of Toronto. Our library community is vibrant, passionate about reading and vocal in their preferences. They love to talk to us about books and many of them attend library events. 
We cater to many romance lovers. Their appetites are hearty and in many cases, they won’t simply check out one or two books. They will borrow up to twenty books at a time. In many cases, they are repeat customers who come back the next week for another twenty books. I know several who leave the library, their arms full of books. I’ve known many to share them with family members or friends and several host book clubs.
Our customers do not simply read print books. Although a majority of our older customers still like a nice paperback, many romance readers are savvy and computer literate. They are known to use our electronic databases and more and more of them are becoming comfortable with downloading ebooks from Overdrive.
The majority of our romance-reading customers are women but it’s not unusual to find men checking out these hot reads. In fact, at a recent romance themed event at our branch, men were in attendance and showed great interest in the material and in connecting with the writers.
As far as our senior customers, many of them still prefer historicals, faith-based romances and sweet contemporaries over paranormal or steamy romances. However, I have had some pleasant conversations with ladies over sixty who are ravenous for hot romance. Our younger clientele tends to be more varied in their tastes and are more likely to seek out werewolves and vampires for their book boyfriends.
I think what strikes me most when I go to work and see what people are reading is the very fact they are reading so much and so often. Our library is well used and for many reasons. Customers check out displays and take suggestions. Most are proud to show off those racy covers but some are still shy. It doesn’t matter. They are reading and they are reading our books in droves. It puts a smile on my face every time I walk inside the library.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Busy, busy...

Happy Spring!

The Canadian weather has finally taken a turn for the better! I love the blue skies, warm air, birds singing, and flowers growing. I've packed away the winter coats and boots and don't want to see them for a long time. We'll be doing a spring cleaning this weekend inside and outside. 

Although winters can be tough, I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. I think the winters are necessary to really appreciate the three other seasons—all wonderful, in my opinion. Winter is part of what keeps Canadians strong and unique, and I like to think the cold air keeps us young ;)

On the writing front, I'm getting my feet back into the water. I haven't written in years and I've missed it so much. I used to write 2-3 books a months, so this has been unnatural for me. To kick it off, I have a 15K alpha shifter story called Finders Keepers in the Owned by the Alpha anthology releasing April 25th. It's on pre-order now, and I can't wait for everyone to read my story and the eleven others in this amazing line-up of authors. 

Special Pre-Order Only Price of $2.99
NEW Dark Paranormal Romance Stories by Bestselling Evernight Authors!
The Alpha lives for the hunt...
Driven by instinct, an Alpha shifter recognizes his fated mate from one scent, one touch. He'll pursue his woman, regardless of the cost, and anyone else would be smart to get out of his way. He won't stop until he takes possession of his prize.
Although the hunter doesn't need convincing, his mate certainly does. The Alpha will have to prove himself as a lover and convince his woman that he plays for keeps.
160,000 words

Scent of Destiny by Rose Wulf
Taken Mate by Sam Crescent
Finders Keepers by Stacey Espino
The Hunt by Doris O’Connor
Alpha at Altitude by Lily Harlem
Fated to the Razorback Demon by Maia Dylan
Running Home by Michelle Graham
Alpha’s Sunshine by Elyzabeth M. VaLey
Checkmate by Wren Michaels
Frozen Heart by Beth D. Carter
Wolf Hunter by Elena Kincaid
Returning to the Coyote by Roberta Winchester

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

World Book Day Is Coming April 23, 2017!

Hey there, Romance Lovers!

It's Kali Willows, that crazy Canadian author with a little spring fever and a lot to do these days. So what is world book day? Great Question!

World Book Day is a celebration! It’s a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.

Currently, I'm in the middle of a fantastic internship as I complete the final requirements for my Post-Grad Public Relations Course. I was fortunate enough to land a position with a Toronto-based company: MMK Marketing. This fresh, brainy boutique agency of retail and digital marketing specialists have got it all, and they're showing me the way in a heavy duty learning opportunity of a lifetime.

How could this experience be related to this author? Because today, I received an assignment that was like the Mother Ship calling me home!

I was assigned to collect answers from my teammates about favourite books and authors and created an MMK Marketing Pinterest account and board to showcase their choices.

If you click on the above Pinterest link, you'll see all the amazing books they listed and perhaps even discover a few new-to-you books and authors. There are three boards: favourite children's books, favourite business, and the one that sang to my heart today, favourite Canadian authors/books!

Here are just a few samples of these selections! See any favourite Canadians here? *cough*

So now I'm back to the grind, work, work, work, but this Canadian has a shared anthology out right now, and it's my pleasure to share this contribution with you in time for World Book Day!

What are some of your favourite books / authors?

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Getting Dirty with @elle_rush

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 your 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.

When she's not writing, you can find Elle and her garden on Twitter, Facebook, and on her website.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Swans and Sunshine #HappyEaster #Spring (@KaceyHammell)

Good morning. And Happy Easter! All of us here wish you and your families all the very best for a safe and fun-filled holiday.

It's been a crazy busy month for me. I've finished one story and started another, while doing self-edits to polish up the first story. It has to be near perfect in order to be sent off to a publisher. This is a second in a series so will be sent to Evernight Publishing, I believe this week (if I can stop tweaking it), so keep your fingers crossed for me!

I've loved watching the weather change and the skies open up with the sun. Hasn't been wonderful for my sinuses and allergies but with the good we have to deal with the not-so-good as well. But seeing the sunshine, being able to ditch the heavy coats and jeans has been awesome. The birds have woken me a few times early in the mornings as well. Love that sound, and thank goodness for the ability to catch up on sleep with a wee nap in the afternoon here and there. Love the birds but I can't sacrifice my sleep.

With the lovely weather comes yard work. The clean up of all the nastiness that gets blown around or discarded by evil people and freezes to the ground. And because of a couple brutal ice/windy storms during the winter, there have been many trees to lose branches and hundreds of twigs end up on the ground. On Good Friday, hubs, kid, Peaches and I ventured over to hubby's Grandfather's to clean up his yard. What a beautiful day. Grandpa lives on the shoreline of the Bay of Quinte. The kids have loved kayaking from Grandpa's dock and wading through the water a bit here. It's very rocky beneath the water but once out a bit further it's lovely. On the shoreline he has two once-gorgeous willow trees that have been fading fast, but too dangerous to cut down because of hydro lines and the one dwelling over the water. Every year there are many branches and limbs to clean up, but it makes for a great family day, we throw on a few burgers on the BBQ and make a day of it.There were people out in boats and the breeze off the water was glorious. And two friends came up to the shore and visited a while. No doubt, these two beauties have been fed along the way by some people since they were so friendly, but I sat for a long while watching them float around near Grandpa's and they came and went a few times. I love birds a lot, wish I knew how to identify more on sight, but I have picked up a couple books to assist me in this. I want to learn something new. We're never too old to learn.
Here are a few pics of our swan beauties who came to visit us.

Tomorrow we are off with our oldest son to look at a house he and his girlfriend and friends may be renting for when they start college in September. He wants Mom & Dad's stamp of approval. I want to run the other way and forget this whole thing! I love how he is shaping his future and knows what he wants, I just don't want him leaving home to do it! But I must. He has a great head on his shoulders and knows how to take care of himself. I'm not ready to give the job up yet. LOL

I hope your Easter holiday is full of love, family and laughter. Don't eat too much chocolate! Oh who are we kidding? I already had two chocolate eggs this morning. LOL

Be well, be safe. xo

Friday, April 14, 2017

Happy Canadian Easter! @tdanielsauthor

Happy Easter! 

Well, I'm a lot later posting today than usual. Normally I would have pre-prepared an indepth and awe-inspiring blog and been up at the crack of dawn to share it with you. However today I'm going to keep it short and sweet. Between the sunshine and the deadlines, I ran out of time.

This is our second Easter as a blended family in the Daniels household. When Mr. D gets out of the shower I'm going to send him down to the crawl space to get the Easter decorations. I won't tell him that they are behind fifteen containers of Christmas decorations. In there I'll find the Easter wreath that I've had as long as I can remember, my childhood Easter baskets full of plastic eggs and the Scholastic Easter books that I read every year to my kids when they were young.

When I was a kid I remember waking up Easter morning and running around the house looking for eggs and putting them in my basket.  Of course I'm four years older than my brother, so my basket always seemed to fill faster. My mother tried to even the playing field by making a rule that I could only collect the eggs that were hidden up high. When we got older we could turn searching for Chocolate Easter eggs a full contact sport. lol Eventually the rule became that we each got a basket to look for eggs but when we were done, we dumped our baskets out on the table and she would divide them up equally. Our wee granddaughter is just over  a year old, so she's still too young yet, but I'm going to hide a few eggs anyways. That's if there's any chocolate left by then. I've had to hide the remaining Easter candy until Sunday.

Everyone will come home for dinner and we'll cook a turkey and a ham. It will be the first time that we'll get to pump the kids full of sugar and send them home. lol Problem is that there are just too many cool treats to make. Mr. D. shakes his head as I scroll through pages of brightly colored ideas! However, as we've discussed previously, domestic goddess is not one of my skills. Things never seem to turn out looking like they should. Plus, I find myself short of time. Soooooo  I think this years dessert is going to be store bought apple pie and rice krispie treats made with peeps.

I have to get back at it now, if I'm going to get the house cleaned and a book written. I hope that you're able to be with your family, and friends this Easter, celebrating with your usual traditions or starting new ones.

Coming soon! Follow me on facebook for updated release information.

Hope to see you soon at one of my confirmed signings.