Saturday, September 23, 2017

The stakes are about to go up. Vice by @LeoRosanna.

As some of you may know, I had the pleasure of releasing a new book this week. Vice, Vegas Sins 1, is new to Crave Publishing, the hot new division of Limitless Publishing. I'm so proud of this book, as the story was based on experiences and feelings I had as the daughter of a compulsive gambler. 

So many people in this position don't enjoy happy endings to their stories so it was really important for me to give my characters a "happily ever after." Vice may be a tale of addiction and compulsion in many ways, but it's ultimately about hope and forgiveness. 

I hope you'll enjoy it!


Title: VICE
Series: Vegas Sins #1
Author: Rosanna Leo
Genre: Hot Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Crave Publishing
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Casinos, gambling, money, and women, these are all the things Las Vegas has to offer. For a handsome business entrepreneur it’s paradise.
Wearing success like a well-tailored suit, Liam Doyle knows exactly how to lure customers into his grand casino hotels. Every night it’s business as usual while he runs his multi-million dollar empire…until a pesky protester catches his attention.
Staging a one-woman protest, Kate Callender has the potential to be a huge pain in his ass. If he doesn’t take care of her soon, there will be bad publicity slapped all over Vice, the newest addition to his chain of casinos.
But there’s just one tiny little problem Liam didn’t count on—the feisty red-head isn’t about to go down easily. She’s fighting him every step of the way…and he’s starting to like it.

“You,” she said on a breath. “Me.” His enticing blue eyes traveled up and down the length of her, one eyebrow raised in frank admiration. “You obviously didn’t do your homework.” Outrage surged through her system. “Why didn’t you tell me who you were yesterday? Why did you let me embarrass myself like that?” The smirk disappeared, to be replaced by a mild expression of boredom. “There’s no need to be embarrassed. I always try to size up the competition.” Doyle walked toward her, his large hand extended. The light in his eyes now hinted not so much at merriment as it did danger. She caught a whiff of her favorite men’s cologne by Michael Kors. She’d bought it for an old boyfriend once, but it smelled way better on Liam, as if it were an extension of his persona. His entire ensemble, designer suit, pressed pants, and navy blue paisley tie, reeked of power and privilege that drew her like a moth to a flame. Damn, she’d always been a sucker for a man in a good suit. Get a hold of yourself, Kate. He’s hot, but so is the Devil. He kept his hand out. “Please allow me to introduce myself properly. I’m Liam Doyle.” His gaze drifted toward her neckline and back up again. “I think you’ve heard of me.” Wishing she didn’t have to, she took his hand. Electricity shot through her and that damned perspiration appeared on her upper lip again. His grip was that of a man who took what he wanted, when he wanted. She held her head high. “Kate Callender.” He held her hand for a moment, his gaze locked on hers. He then gestured toward the counter, where a teak tray was laden with biscuits and what smelled like expensive coffee. No Folgers crystals for this guy. “Coffee?” “No, thank you.” “Tea?” “No.” “So we’re done with the niceties, then?” “I didn’t come here for niceties.” “Then you’ve come to the right place.” Liam sat on one of the couches, motioning for her to do the same. She continued to stand. Something in his wolf-like gaze hardened even further. “Ms. Callender, why are you picketing my casino?” His direct question set her even more on edge. She cleared her throat. “I have a right to protest what I see as wrong.” His grim smile might have made a grown man sweat, but she didn’t look away. “Let me put this another way. Las Vegas is home to numerous casinos. Why mine?” “If I’m trying to make a point, it only stands to reason I’d pick the most popular casino. I suppose I should congratulate you. Only open for two days, and Vice is already a hit. You must be so proud.” “Yes. Despite having my grand opening spoiled.” “Oh.” She inclined her head in mock sympathy. “I’m so not sorry.” He peered at her, narrowing his eyes. “Are you a Bible-thumper?” “No.” “Campaigning politician? Despite her unease, she laughed. “Do I look like Hilary Clinton?” He looked her up and down, as if her vocation were scrawled somewhere on her and he simply needed to find it. “Aspiring actress? This is probably a publicity stunt to get you viral on YouTube? Trying to get an audition here as a showgirl? Sorry, I don’t use them. The whole concept is dated and demeaning to my female clientele.” Okay, he got some points for that statement. “I’m not a dancer. I’m a singer.” It was his turn to laugh. Despite the bitter tone, his deep timber called to her. “Same difference.” He stood. “I’m not auditioning you, Ms. Callender, as fun as it would be to get you on the casting couch.” And there he lost those points again. “Have a nice day.” “Wait! I’m not trying to get an audition. You need to listen to me.” In a nervous reaction, she fingered the pearl choker at her neck, the one thing she had left of her mother. The one thing her father hadn’t pawned. Doyle turned back to her, one brow raised. “No, I don’t.” He eyed how she gripped her choker. “So you can take your fake pearl necklace and your sneakers and your attitude and go home.” Her attitude? “No. You let me up here. I’m not leaving until you hear me out.” She let go of the choker and let her hands fall to her sides. “And my pearls aren’t fake.” “Why are you here, Ms. Callender? Did you lose money at one of my casinos on your last night out with the girls?” She didn’t want to dignify that with a response, but a smug statement like that couldn’t go unchallenged. “I’m not a gambler.” He leaned against the armrest of the cushy couch and surveyed her through hooded eyes. “Ah, and now we come to the crux of the matter. So, you’re a do-gooder. Let me guess. Gam-Anon?” “New Horizons.” “Never heard of them.” “That doesn’t mean we don’t exist. And unfortunately, there are lots of us. Far too many. What does that tell you, Mr. Doyle?” Liam’s lips twitched into a smile that appeared slightly more friendly than his poker face, as if he enjoyed their banter. He loosened his tie, but his focused gaze continued to grate on her nerves. She stared at the strip of indigo silk at his throat, and was struck by a bizarre and unbidden image. Her, on his bed. Her hands bound with his expensive tie. The strange pounding in her head must have been her racing heart. Where did that come from? Focus, Kate, focus. “I’m not just here because it’s something I believe in. I’m here because my group gets bigger every goddamn week,” she said, concentrating on the task at hand, rather than Liam Doyle’s bed. Lisa’s sad face appeared in her mind, as well as those of her children, the ones who’d spent the last two nights crying for their daddy. Kate blinked away the tears which threatened and aimed her burning gaze at Doyle. “I don’t respect your work, Mr. Doyle. And I don’t respect you.” From the furrow of his brow, Kate thought she’d struck a nerve. His tanned skin seemed paler. After a moment, he said, “So you’re trying to take down my casino with a one-woman picket line? No offense, but I’ve seen better protests at a garage sale.” “I’m trying to create awareness.” Kate stood, having already had enough of their uncomfortable conversation. “I’m not a fool. My intention is not to shut down Las Vegas, or your casino. That’ll never happen. But if I can make a small dent in the wallet of the Strip’s wealthiest hustler during his opening week, then maybe people will take notice. Have you never thought about the addictions riding your customers? Have you ever spent time chatting with the compulsive gamblers downstairs? Because I bet you’d hear a lot of stories. And believe me, the worst ones are the ones they don’t tell.” She paused for breath. “My friend’s husband is probably down there right now, feeding your slot machines instead of his kids.” “Hold on. Don’t pin that on me.” “Oh? Who do I pin it on?” “Look, if you want a donation, I already make plenty. Believe me, I make regular donations to people like Gam-Anon. You know, legitimate charities.” “I’m not here for money, but clearly you are.” The words spilled out of her, kick-started by adrenaline. “You’re a wealthy man. Did you have to open casinos? Were they such a passion for you? Couldn’t you have opened, I don’t know, a supermarket chain instead? Or was that not sexy enough for the great Liam Doyle?” His lips compressed. Had her comment hit home? Good. “You have no right…” “I have every right.” Her face was burning now. “If I can save even a few lost souls from places like this, then I’ll sleep a whole lot easier.” She had to get out before she started crying. She wanted to leave with her head held high. Leave him thinking. She turned and headed for the elevator, but he grabbed her hand before she could get away. “Wait.” Kate yanked her hand out of his grip. “How do you even sleep, Mr. Doyle?” His eyes bored into her. “Like a rock. But that crown of thorns must keep you up at night.” She tried to appear like she was still in control, but that had hurt. “You just keep telling yourself that.” Kate marched to the elevator and punched the button. As the door opened, she threw a look back at him. “By the way, I will be back. I’ll show you how many lives have been devastated by your casinos.” She walked into the lift, even though she felt like running. She didn’t look back. Liam called out to her. “Watch your step, Ms. Callender. I don’t forgive and forget.” She channeled her last ounce of bravado before the doors shut. “You really should see someone for that. I hear being an asshole can be terminal.” Once the elevator began its descent, Kate leaned against the back of the small space and closed her eyes, winded by her hostile exchange with Doyle. She didn’t open them again until the door opened.
Rosanna Leo is a multi-published romance author. Winner of the Reader’s Choice 2015 in Paranormal Romance at The Romance Reviews, Rosanna draws on her love of mythology for her books on Greek gods, selkies and shape shifters.
From Toronto, Canada, Rosanna occupies a house in the suburbs with her long-suffering husband, their two hungry sons and a tabby cat named Sweetie. When not writing, she can be found haunting dusty library stacks or planning her next star-crossed love affair.
A library employee by day, she is honored to be a member of the league of naughty librarians who also happen to write romance.








Monday, September 18, 2017

The Spice by @elle_rush

Until a few years ago, anyone talking about "the spice" would have been discussing Frank Herbert's "Dune."

Then came Starbucks. And "the spice" became Pumpkin Spice and the entire world - nay, the multiverse - changed with the very first latte.

I had my first PSL (pumpkin spice latte) last year, just so I could say I had one. It was very ... orange. I don't drink coffee to start with, so I won't be having another, but I'm glad I tried it. If you wait with eager anticipation for this season, you should go out and enjoy one. If others can rave about bacon 365 days a year, you can bloody well enjoy your PSL for the two months you can have it.



That latte confirmed something I already knew: I do enjoy pumpkin spice. In other forms. Particularly  baked forms. Pumpkin pie? Yes, please. Pumpkin cookies? Don't mind if I do. Pumpkin loaf? I'd love to try a slice. (There is also a pumpkin pie soft ice cream that is to die for, but it's so rich I can only handle one or two a year. So keep your eyes open for that.)

Canadian Thanksgiving is less than a month away. While I'll be buying a pie, I'd like to expand my pumpkin recipe repertoire. This year, I'm going to be trying a pumpkin loaf and a batch of pumpkin cookies.

CONTEST - LINK A RECIPE, WIN A BOOK!

If you have any pumpkin baking recipes, please share links in the comments, or send them to me on social media. You can find me on Twitter and FaceBook. I will try at least one, and the first person who gave me the link for that recipe will get a free book!

Happy September!

Elle

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Summer's end. @tdanielsauthor



Hola from Mexico! Those of you who read my last post know that Mr. D and I just recently purchased our dream home out in the country. Then the day after we moved in I was on a plane out of the country to work on a business project. Leaving damn near killed me. Almost 18 years it took me to find this incredible man and Sunday August 27th was supposed to be the first day of my Happily-ever-after. 
Instead I was on my way to Tijuana alone for the next four weeks.  Being alone is nothing new to me. Like I said, I was single for eighteen years.  I didn't take in account that for the past two years Mr. D. has become a cherished companion.  I love his company, I enjoy having someone to share my life with. Last year, I spent a little over two weeks in Ireland without him, so I know that being away shouldn't be a problem. Well I didn't think so. Seems over the past year I've grown even more accustomed to having him around.

Everyone assumed that this trip would be somewhat of a pleasant vacation, but they were wrong. I expected to be busy here but we're in the office at 7am and return to the hotel in the evening to plug back in and continue working from our rooms. Three weeks in and we've yet to see any part of Mexico that wasn't on the 30 minute drive from the Hotel to the Office. You'd think that I wouldn't have time to miss him. I was unprepared for how much I do. I miss his smile and the way that his blue eyes sparkle when he looks at me. I miss how he fusses over me and how attentive he is. I really miss the bedtime ritual of him climbing into bed, and snuggling behind me, giving my boobs a gentle squeeze, letting out a deep sigh, followed by snoring.

Being alone now just feels... odd. I'm nearing the end of the project and counting the days until I can come home. I do my best to hold my shit together when I talk to him everyday. It isn't easy, and I'm not going to lie and say that I haven't shared a few tears. I do know that once I get home to him I won't take his kisses for granted. But enough of that mushy stuff for now.

Something really exciting has happened while I'm away. Daylight is getting shorter, the evenings are starting to cool down as the season start to change. My story "Refusing To Expire" was voted second best Romance Novel of the Summer in a poll by Metamorph Publishing. To say that I'm excited is a huge understatement.

The other fantastic news is that I'll be wrapping up this business project and heading home on the 24th of September which means I will indeed be home in time to sign at the Ignite Your Soul Author Event in London, Ontario on September 30th. Mr. D. has taken the weekend off work and plans to travel with me as my PA for that weekend. He mumbled something about not letting me out of his sight for a very long time.  :)

Come and see Mr. D and I, and buy your signed paperback!  Until next time... Tricia Daniels out !







Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Warm Days and Cool Nights. Is it Fall already?


Can you believe it's September already? Now that my kids are back in school, I'm trying hard to get back into my work routine. But that isn't the only change happening around me. 

The nights here have been much cooler, going below 10 degrees Celsius. When I take my dog out for a pee early in the morning, my breath condensates in the air. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a frost before the end of the month. We've brought out the heavier blankets, but aren't quite ready to turn the heat on yet.

The trees in the neighbourhood have started loosing their leaves, and some of them started changing colour at the end of August. The plants in our vegetable garden have stopped producing new vegetables, with the last of them almost ready to pick. And my dog is shedding like crazy. Though with all the hair she has, she enjoys the cooler weather much better.

What seasonal changes have you noticed where you live?

With this cooler weather, it's the perfect time to curl up with a great book. Back in July, I released by New Adult Romance anthology, LOVE IN A NEW WORLD

And on October 10, the Sci-Fi Romance anthology, EMBRACE THE ROMANCE: Pets in Space 2 releases, which contains a NEW Galactic Defenders story. 

If you'd like to read a FREE sampler from EMBRACE THE ROMANCE, containing the first chapters of each story included in the anthology, you can download a copy here: https://www.instafreebie.com/free/EZz5p And if you like to colour, you can get a FREE colouring book here: http://www.petsinspaceantho.com/embrace-romance-coloring-book/.

HAPPY READING!

Jessica E. Subject is the author of science fiction romance, mostly alien romances, ranging from sweet to super hot. Sometimes she dabbles in paranormal and contemporary as well, bringing to life a wide variety of characters. In her stories, you can not only meet a sexy alien or two, but also clones and androids. You may be transported to a dystopian world where rebels are fighting to live and love, or to another planet for a romantic rendezvous.

When Jessica is not reading, writing, or doing dreaded housework, she likes to go to fitness class and walk her Great Pyrenees/Retriever her family adopted from the local animal shelter.

Jessica lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and two energetic children. And she loves to hear from her readers.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Getting my geek on - Why I write Sci-fi @SusanHayes





Hello. My name is Susan Hayes and I’m a geek.

I grew up watching Star Trek and devouring books by authors like Andre Norton, Piers Anthony, and Anne McCafferty. I dressed up as Princess Leah the year that Star Wars hit the theatres, and I’ve been playing Dungeons and Dragons since my university days. And if you’re wondering, the answer is yes, I got beaten up at school a lot, and no, I didn’t date much. Geek cred: I have it in spades.

It’s hardly surprising that given my love for sci-fi/fantasy and all things paranormal, I have written more than twenty-six books in those genres. While I treasure my contemporary stories, I’ve discovered that my muse and I prefer to write in worlds I built myself. From futuristic dystopias to worlds where magical beings like vampires and shapeshifters living among us; these are the stories I love best.

There’s something compelling about being able to create your own world and using it as a mirror to reflect the world we live in. From the darkest traits to the greatest triumphs, I can choose what elements to include and what to leave out of my worlds, and mold the lives and backgrounds of the characters that reside within those realms.


***Having re-read that statement, I’ve realized that at least part of my love of world building apparently comes from some innate desire to be an all-powerful goddess.  Good to know.***

Currently, most of my stories seem to be science-fiction romances. I have my Drift series, populated by alien races as well as human created cyborgs.  My characters are trying to survive in a future that’s less like the ever hopeful and optimistic Star Trek and more like the grim, cyberpunk worlds of Blade Runner and Fifth Element. My heroines are strong because they have to be, and my heroes might be white knights, but their armor is often dented and in need of repair.

September 22nd, I’ll be releasing the first of a series of novellas that are a different flavour of sci-fi. Instead of gritty cyberpunk, my Star-Crossed Alien Mail Order Bride series is full of light hearted moments inspired by the classic “Mars needs Women” movies, along with a sprinkling of Earth Girls are Easy. I’m having a blast writing these stories and creating the world that my three heroes inhabit. Joran, Vadir, and Kash might all be from the same planet, but the only things they have in common are their good looks and a their absolute certainty that they’re not destined to fall in love.





And if you can't wait until September 22nd to dive into some out of this world romance...check out the Loving the Alien collection: available for 99 cents for a limited time.








Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Where No One Really Goes...

Hey Everyone!

I survived! I made it! Two days after Romancing the Capital (which was crazy epic and I'll do a post about that next month), I packed up my family (3 kids and 1 husband) and we flew to Calgary to start the first leg of our epic journey toward the 60th parallel and which ended up being even further than that.

So we landed in Calgary 9 a.m. their time, but for us it was lunch time. A funny story, as soon as I land I realize I have to conduct some urgent business. So while we were in Drumheller my husband set up a hot spot. The kids were busy digging for fossils at Fossil World and under the shade of a dinosaur, I did work.

That dino's trying to steal my hot spot password!!!
After that was concluded we spent a couple of days exploring West Edmonton Mall. Yep, it's gigantic.

We all had a blast, but on Friday we had to head north. The north was calling me.

I love the north. My father is from Northwestern Ontario and most of my Dad's family still lives north.

I've been obsessed with the north since I was a little girl and would stare at this plate my uncle Charlie sent from Frobisher Bay (Now Iqaluit).

The furthest north I had ever been before is Edmonton five years ago, which is a lot farther north than some places in Ontario.

I wanted to go north of 60 and with family now up in Fort Smith, NWT I had my chance! *fist pump*


Driving from Edmonton to Fort Smith Northwest Territories is a 17 hr day because you have to go up and around Wood Buffalo National Park. Wood Buffalo is Canada's oldest and largest National Park. It's bigger than Switzerland. The only time you can cut travel time off to visit Fort Smith is when the ice road north of Fort McMurray is open and it wasn't. And we weren't going to make a 17 hr day with 3 kids in tow. So we decided to stop for the night.

Our first stop was High Level, Alberta which is about 120 kms south of the Northwest Territory border. It's the last stop. Seriously. Gas up here. Since we were going in August, the midnight sun was no longer an issue. The sun was setting at a reasonable time again. I was very hopeful to see the Aurora again and I did!


In High Level you still look north for them. I'll explain in a moment. This picture was taken about 1 a.m, and there was light pollution, but still, pretty dang amazing. I hadn't seen them in 25 years. It was my hubby first time too. He actually didn't know what they were and woke me up to ask. Which I'm glad he did. Honestly, the first time I saw them I didn't know what they were either. You hear about them, but...I can't explain seeing them really. They're truly amazing.

Bright and early the next day we drove north and finally hit the 60th parallel. OMG. What an awesome moment. Definitely something off my bucket list. The lady at the visitor centre even signed certificates for my kids stating they had cross the 60th. Not many people do.

  

The road was suddenly very void of cars, gas stations and fast food. I didn't see fast food until Yellowknife days later and it was a McDonalds. That was all I saw.

Pack food and gas up when you can, because from the 60th it's 543 km to Yellowknife, but we were head to Fort Smith. We fuelled our car in Hay River, which is the south shore of Great Slave Lake. Beautiful sandy beaches, clear water and NO ONE WAS THERE!! They were even having a heat wave so it was blistering hot. NO ONE WAS THERE!!! A beach like this in Ontario on a Great Lake would be packed.

*crickets* We had this amazing beach to ourselves.


At my brother's we got to explore the amazing Wood Buffalo National Park. Just the northern part, because it's huge. Sink holes, waterfalls, salt plains, wild life ...just amazing peace and quiet intermixed with stunning subarctic scenery. Camping is free and it's not just for Canada 150, campsite s that would rival any provincial park in Ontario were free! FREE! And no one was there, except for Pine Lake, which is three sinkholes that merged and formed this glorious sandy, shallow haven for swimming. There were four campers there.

At night, about 11:30 p.m. my brother and his fiancee drove us down this twisty, windy road to the boat launch of the Great Slave River and instead of looking north, I looked up and saw this:


They do hum. They were dancing and moving for us. Just stunning and to stand under the Aurora oval is just magical. Awe inspiring.

After a couple days in Fort Smith, we were about 743 km from Yellowknife, but the main junction that joins the few highways in the Northwest Territories is Enterprise. From Enterprise (a hub of 190 people) it's 4 hrs over the mighty McKenzie River at Fort Providence.

We had to do it. So we did. It's about 8 hrs from Fort Smith to Yellowknife, the last 100 km is driving over permafrost that is like crazy bumpy. If you didn't slow down, you'd get air, plus you have to slow down for what's walking out in front of you!

These guys:


Buffalo! And yes, we saw three bears and a wolf too.

Standing at the north shore of Great Slave Lake was amazing. That lake is huge and Yellowknife used to be land locked part of the time. Before the construction of the impressive Deh Cho bridge which opened in 2012 you either crossed the McKenzie by ferry or ice road in the winter, but when the melt was happening and the ferry couldn't cross because of ice floes and obviously the ice road was closed Yellowknife was land locked.

We saw signs to winter access roads, because Yellowknife is about as far north as the road goes. We watched the float planes loading up groceries and gear to go even further, to places like Norman Wells, Paulatuk, Deline on Great Bear Lake.

The might McKenzie. Fast flowing, wide and headed north to dump in the arctic ocean.



This is Canada's frontier. It was also a very spiritual experience for me being Metis. Because of where that part of me comes from, Northwestern Ontario was a part of Rupert's Land or the Northwest Territories during the fur trade age.

I learned so much about my heritage in the Northwest Territories and in Alberta (that's a whole other post).

If you get the chance to EVER go to the Northwest Territories, please, please, please do. It's not full of tourist traps. It's hiking and connecting with the land and bugs ...I won't lie there's bugs.

It's very laid back up there and it can be scary when you have no cell service and your 300 km from the next gas station and there's just bush around you.

Still, I'm super glad I went. I want to go back. I want to see more tiny communities. I want to spend more time in Wood Buffalo and connect more.

My mind totally cleared and I felt rested. I felt regenerated.

After our trip, I knew that once was never enough. I want to go back to where no one really goes, but where everyone should. 

You can find out more about Amy here.





Sunday, September 3, 2017

Happy Anniversary, @MrPolyonymous and @NathanBurgoine

So, eleven years ago (tomorrow), we packed up our tuxes and our friend showed up to drive us down to Merrickville. We got married at Sam Jakes Inn, in a little room with a lovely officiant and a ceremony that didn't have much in the way of traditions. In fact, the whole planning of the event was made up of a bunch of "Wait, there's two grooms, how will the first dance work?" and "Wait, there's two grooms, does anyone march down an aisle?" and... well, you get the idea. For the record, most of the traditions in a North American wedding are all about the bride and her father. It's a little creepy.

For reference, this is what we looked like back then:

Huh. My beard used to be red.
On our first anniversary, we went back to Sam Jakes Inn, and had dinner there. We learned they had a tradition: you got a discount equal to the number of years you'd been married if you went there for your anniversary dinner. So, that year, a whopping 1% discount! Woo-hoo! Still, it was a lovely idea, and a lovely way to celebrate, and the food was fantastic, so we looked at each other, a little happy to be free and clear of having to plan things in the future, and agreed: this was our thing.

The Inn closed before we could get our 4% discount. And thus began a fun—and funny—tradition of us having no luck whatsoever with anniversary planning.

To be fair? Neither of us really enjoy being out to dinner in a romantic setting, because being a queer couple means you're never quite sure what gesture might upset someone. We've had whole tables of very large men glare at us for the duration of a meal (not good for digestion) when one of us said the word 'husband' to the other (I think it was me, I have a habit of calling him 'husband.')

Originally, I decided to do the actual, traditional, anniversary gift thing and it was smooth sailing until I got to "Fruit." For paper, I came up with tickets; for cloth, some lovely handkerchiefs, and so on, but... Fruit? Tin? Salt?

"Here you go, my love."

"Is this salt?"

"Yep! Happy eighth anniversary!"

So I chucked that tradition out the window. We mostly just give each other cards now. Which is also hysterical, because have you read anniversary cards?

"To my loving husband, who makes me feel like such a lucky woman—BZZT."

"My husband, my rock, my love, you complete me. I hope I do the same as your wife—BZZT."

And so on. Thank the gods for blank cards, and niche LGBT designs at the local Village shops.

Last year? It was the tenth anniversary, so we decided we should try actively planning something. And make it somewhere we could give in to the moment and actually say "happy anniversary" and not worry about gawkers. So, we decided we'd have an anniversary brunch at the local queer restaurant in the village, then walk around downtown Ottawa and Parliament (we feel pretty safe holding hands on Parliament Hill, what with all the RCMP and crowds), and then head to the National Art Gallery, where I had a pass since I'd become a Canadian citizen.

Except, of course, it turned out the pass wasn't valid, and we needed to go somewhere else to get it validated, but we'd walked so by the time we'd gotten that done we'd lost almost two hours and... We shrugged, laughed that at least the brunch was one of our more successful attempts, and went home to walk the dog.

So today? On the eve of our eleventh anniversary? Our plan was to go have high tea at the Chateau Laurier, and then have a nice walk around.

It's raining, and the restaurant is under construction.

One of us has more grey. I think it's the dog.

I promise I'm saying all this with a laugh. We've been making it all up as we go along from step one. Heck, I proposed the day the laws changed, and some of the forms still said "groom" and "bride" or "man" and "woman" as we were filling them in. Who needs tradition?

Except, of course, it occurs to me now that every plan we make going south? Making up new plans on the fly? Laughing in the face of yet another "that isn't going to work"?

Maybe that's our tradition.

It'll do. There's no one else I'd rather have beside me, making it up as we go along.

How about we go have desserts for lunch instead at Oh So Good, husband?

Oh, and happy anniversary.

*


It's a romance, so you know you get a happy ending, right?


Speaking of things not going as planned, I have a wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey gay romance novella, In Memoriam, that follows a couple over the course of nearly twenty years who didn't quite make it, and one of the men, James, has just found out he's dying of brain cancer. As an editor, he knows tragedy, and faces things down with what I'd consider a pretty solid calm, and only has one regret: that guy who got away.

But the tumours? They're in the parts of his brain where he keeps a grip on time and memory, and it turns out that while he's losing his grip on his memories and his understanding of time, time is losing it's grip on him, too. So he gets another shot at making things right, which he hopes he can do before it's too late.

Changing his life from nothing but memories? It's one heck of a re-write. But hey, that's what editors do.