Monday, February 29, 2016

LM Montgomery, Author of Anne of Green Gables

LM Montgomery, Author of Anne of Green Gables

Lately I have been re-reading the journals of Lucy Maud Montgomery. She is the author of Anne of Green Gables and many other books. 

LM was a Canadian and born on Prince Edward Island. She kept a journal of the happenings in her life since she was very young. Through her earlier years of life she talks about her life while on the island and the beauty of PEI.  

Lucy Maud Montgomery's mother died when she was young so she was raised by her paternal grandparents. Her father lived out west so she did move there to be with her father who had remarried. But she didn’t get along with his new wife and L.M. ultimately moved back to PEI.

She later became a teacher, then she worked as a newspaper woman, became an author and became a caregiver to her ailing grandmother. After her grandmother died she married a preacher and had three sons. The middle son died shortly after birth.

Lucy Maud Montgomery

In her later years she became quite famous as an author and she was forced to use her writing to support her family as her husband was not well with his mental health. She also wasn't well with her own health. It appeared in her journals that she suffered from SAD...Seasonal Affective Disorder (lack of sunshine) because every year through the winter she just seemed to sink into the blues and depressions.

Death of An Author

There are rumours circulating about L.M.'s death. Officially it is said she had heart failure but I heard on the news awhile back that some say she might have actually killed herself. 

More info on LM Montgomery.

Her last entry in her journal boasts to the idea of suicide. On March 23, 1942, Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote:

"Since then my life has been hell, hell, hell. My mind is gone - everything in the world I lived for has gone - the world has gone mad. I shall be driven to end my life. Oh God forgive me. Nobody dreams what my awful position is."

She died a month later...

Back in the 1990’s I had the pleasure of visiting Prince Edward Island and fell in love with the red sandy beaches, the quaint little shops, the fog shrouded hamlets filled with lobster cages and fishing boats. PEI also boasts red and white lighthouses and a lush countryside filled with chubby black and white cows and crops of the famous PEI potatoes.

If you ever get a chance to visit the Island, grab that chance and take the ferry to the island or now you can drive over a long bridge. PEI will forever be near and dear to my heart, just as it was dear to LM Montgomery.


P.S. For readers of Cowboys for Christmas - May 15, 2016 is the release date for Cowboys In Her Pocket - the sequel to Cowboys for Christmas. Check my Coming Soon page for links.

After spending ten years in a maximum-security prison Jennifer Jane (JJ) Watson got early parole and a job on a remote Canadian cattle ranch playing housekeeper to three of the sexiest cowboys she’s ever met… 
Spring has finally arrived at Moose Ranch and a single woman fresh out of prison shouldn’t be experiencing scorching ménages with her three sexy-as-sin cowboys. But JJ’s love for her men continues to grow as she gives into the fevered heat and scorching passions she feels for each of them. 
Life is perfect. 

Until her new life is tested when mysterious happenings occur on the ranch. 
Food goes missing. A fleeting figure. An intruder during a violent thunderstorm. One of her cowboys is viciously attacked and injured. Will JJ’s newfound freedom and happiness be ripped away? 

Rafe, Brady and Dan never expected to get an attractive and very appealing female to help them out at their secluded ranch. But in the wilds of Northern Ontario, female companionship is rare. It's a good thing the three men like to share... 
Brady, Dan and Rafe have never been happier. Their cattle ranch is flourishing and their continued desire to share the sexy woman who cares for them makes their life complete. Until danger threatens to rip everything apart… 

Sequel to Cowboys for Christmas

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tick Tock

This isn't a particularly Canadian blog post, except that many of us will share similar histories. Most of us have come to Canada from somewhere else in the world, some recently and some a long time ago. Mr. Math's family arrived after WWII, and like many new arrivals, brought very little. They still have family in Europe, though, and occasionally, stuff follows them to Canada. This is about some of that stuff - an old clock.

The clock came to us when a relative of Mr. Math's passed away in Europe. The gentleman's wife had passed away before him and so their residence had to be cleared out. Mr. Math went with his parents to the funeral and to do the big sort-and-clean. Among the items in the apartment was an old clock that no one wanted. The clock didn't work, but Mr. Math knew a clock repair guy who specialized in old clocks, and figured we could get it fixed. Mr. Math thought I would like it (I do) so said he would take it. It was tucked into the shipment that came to his parents.

This is the clock. (Hung on the horrible striped wall, with the crooked stripes, which I still have to repaint.) Sure enough, it didn't run when it got here either, so off it went to the clock repair guy. He and Mr. Math had a good discussion about the clock, which is a Viennese regulator, and has the clock maker's mark and date it was made inscribed inside. My picture is a bit dark, but the wood is lovely. It's not perfect, as it's been through a few wars and is a bit bashed up. It's probably not worth that much - especially when it's not working.

The clock was in the shop for a good six months, while the clock guy took it apart and cleaned it, and replaced a few worn parts. He likes to let the clocks run after they're reassembled, to make sure they're fixed, and this one was running well. (It was losing a minute every couple of days, as I recall, which irked the clock guy.) So, back it came to the house. Mr. Math and the clock guy hung it in the foyer, leveled it, started it up and watched with satisfaction as it ran. The clock guy gave precise instructions on how to wind it and when, and Mr. Math did as instructed. The clock chimes the hour and the half, and the sound of it echoes through the house in a lovely way. Tick tock.

The clock ran for about two years, then it stopped. Mr. Math consulted with the clock guy and they tinkered with it, but it wouldn't run for more than a day. Back it went to the repair shop. Mr. Math said "this is why no one wanted it." The clock had a longer visit with the clock repair guy on this occasion. He took it apart and cleaned it and couldn't find a reason why it wouldn't work. He pondered the problem. Mr. Math stopped in and they discussed it. (It struck me as a transaction from another era.) Finally, the clock guy replaced a few parts that had very minor wear, and let it run again. It did run, and so the clock came home again. It ran beautifully, filling the house with its lovely chimes, and all was good. Tick tock.

Then several years ago, it stopped again. This time, it had run for five or six years, and Mr. Math was far less amused that it needed to be fixed again. He refused to take it back for another repair. It was completely clear to him why no one wanted this clock! I really like the clock, and think it is beautiful even if it doesn't work, but Mr. Math is very practical. William Morris suggested having nothing in one's house that was not beautiful or useful - Mr. Math is of the view that things should be both. He talked about getting rid of the clock. I wouldn't let him give it away, so it hung there, silent.

About two weeks ago, I heard him fiddling with the clock. Apparently the clock was having its last chance - and maybe it knew it, because this time, when he started it up, it ran. It's still running. I'm so glad! I wake up in the night and hear it chiming the hour and I smile.

Tick tock. Listen to the clock. :-)

And now it's time (ha) to tell you about my current book sales. I have two new samplers that are free for download. One, Knight & Rogues of Medieval Romance, includes the first three chapters from five different medieval romances of mine, each of which is first in a series. You can download it free at all major online portals. The other, The 2016 Sampler, contains excerpts from my five 2016 releases - knights, a hero and a dragon shifter. You can download this one for free as well, but only from my online store.

My contemporary romance, Double Trouble, is free at most online portals this week, (for a limited time!) so if you haven't read my Coxwell Series of contemporary romances and romantic comedies, here's a good opportunity to give them a try!

The Coxwell Series Boxed Set, which includes all four books in the series, is half price at my online store. (You can read the series at one time!) This boxed set is only available in my store, and from iBooks or KOBO. If you want it for your Kindle, you need to get it from me, and what better time to do so as when it's half price! Here's the MOBI and here's the EPUB.

Kinfairlie Knights is also discounted in my online store for a limited time: it includes three medieval Scottish romances, each one of which is first in a series, and is discounted to $1 US through the end of the month. Here's the MOBI and here's the EPUB.

I also have a new release - my medieval romance, The Crusader's Kiss, which is book #3 in my Champions of Saint Euphemia series, was published at the end of January. This is a story inspired by Robin Hood, in which Bartholomew returns to his family's holding to right the wrongs of the past. (More about time, you see!) Also, The Crusader's Handfast: Part Three goes on sale later this week. You can read an excerpt from both stories in the 2016 Sampler, read them on my website or download the book samples individually from my store.

And that's all the news from me, this time. (Ha!)

So, tell me, do you have any old things that came to you or that proved to be mixed blessings?

Friday, February 19, 2016

Cozy Up With A Good Book Event In Burlington

February 12, 2016 - I made a special appearance in Burlington, Ontario!

       On:   FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12 
6:30 – 8:00 PM

Interested readers signed up in advance for a print copy of "As Angels Weep" for a tasting and book discussion experience that blew my mind!

This event was arranged in the winter schedule for LCBO Greater Toronto guide. I had two lovely hostesses in the kitchen of the Burlington LCBO, (Corinne & Julia) for what turned out to be the most unique and intriguing author-reader interaction I've attended yet. 

12 readers registered, and arrived, despite trying weather conditions. Our hostesses paired 3 different beverages with the theme of the book, and served up a delightful array of goodies as we mixed and mingled for two hours. 

We learned about champagne, sparkling wine, specific wine regions, different taste aspects, and to top it off, tried an incredible Tequila-coffee liqueur. To better understand the association of these flavours with As Angels Weep, you really should read the book, but I'll give you a hint: our anti-hero in the beginning of the book has a love of the finer things in life, and Mexico played a pivotal role in the story. That's all I'm going to say, except, the evening was complete perfection!

The readers were able to sample and learn about the products and ask me any questions they wanted about my books and my writing career. They had so many questions, I swooned at their interest. There were many new-to-me readers and an already dedicated fan. A second fan wanted to attend, but had to work. We agreed we would make up the missed chance this coming May at Romancing the Capital in Ottawa. Even LCBO staff members wandered in from time to time, curious about my banners, books and topics! The store is massive and beautifully run, the staff all sublime and the kitchen is exquisite. I could totally envision serving up many of my own creations in there!

People always ask if I'm nervous in front of readers, and the truth is, I'm really not. Serving in the child welfare sector for over 27 years, and being a trainer, I developed a comfort in groups. That's not to say I don't stammer from time to time, but I love the interaction and the chance to meet my readers in person. It's highly rewarding to hear their take on my stories and I love feedback. (It would seem a growing population of "As Angels Weep" fans would like a second story! I can't make any promises, but I won't rule it out, either.)

I came to learn, there are only 6 LCBO's in Ontario with kitchens, none of which are close to my Eastern Ontario home, sadly. These locations provide cooking classes, wine tastings and other events to provide the public with more product knowledge and learning to improve the taste and enhance the quality of their entertainment options. Because they are so few and far between, I had not ever been aware of them until this fantastic opportunity was presented to me. 

If there is one business proposition I could offer as a Canadian connoisseur, it would be to invest in more locations like this. They bring in top chefs across the region, provide a high caliber of cooking instruction and educate patrons on flavours that enhance meals, snacks, parties and more!

It's not just good Canadian business, it's great Canadian living!

Stay tuned for more public appearances, the Canadian authors are on the rise!

Until then, please leave a comment and happy reading!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Mid February Blues by Kacey Hammell #WinterBlues #CanadaBlues #Hedgehogs #Animals

Good morning all. Just when I thought my world was warming up a bit last weekend (weekend of Feb 6 & 7th) -- see no snow around Peaches...
Was gorgeous weather!!

Then, a cold snap came through that had me wishing I was a bear with the ability to hibernate!! Even driving Son #1 to work those cold mornings and afternoons was exhausting and bitter. I hate snow!! I was born on a night --- mmm blah blah years ago --- in the midst of a cold and frigid snow storm, and I really dislike winter! So why do I live in Canada, right? There's no place like home where my family is!

But I digress, with the cold snap came a lot of writing, which I've started to doubt will remain in my current WIP. The 3,600 words may not pass muster, there's just something "wrong" about some of them and it's quite disappointing when that happens. A lot of energy and time go into writing a first draft -- blood, sweat and tears -- and I dislike deleting chunks like this. I think my heart and mind just weren't in it. All this cold weather, family drama around me has turned me even more introverted than I already was.

Thankfully I have Lily, Peaches, as well as new babies -- Sam and Dean (my hedgehogs) to keep me positive and smiling. I also have my Daughter's hedgie here for a few days (Jax), while she's not in school this week.  
Lily's just been "fixed", which is nice now -- no more in heat cries of torture for her. LOL
Peaches is as cute and cuddly as always. And the hedgies are about a week away from their mom and doing great.

Sam in his sock

Sam, Dean & Jax eating

But I have the mid February -- mid winter -- blues that I'm struggling to kick. Hubs and I should take a long Caribbean vacation until the weather turns. Though I'm not sure I'd be able to find enough sunscreen to keep me from turning into a lobster...another blog post entirely!!! LOL

What do you do during the winter that keeps you from going crazy with the ups and downs of the weather??

Until next time, stay warm!!!

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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Happy Valentines Day!  
I hope you are all stay safe and warm! It's -35c here in Dufferin County today! 
I hope you all have plans to make this day special! If you find yourself with a little time on your hands check out my new release. A Bound4Ireland shorty story

Four kids, Two careers and a forgotten Valentines Day! There is romance after children! It's just a little... different.
 ONLY $1.00 us ON

#Free! Reviewers are calling this an emotionally charges series that you don't want to miss! Tricia Daniels gets a standing ovation for the smoking hot sex scenes!

To celebrate the final book in the series Book #1 Intractable Souls is free for a limited time! My compelling and heart-pounding debut novel boasts nearly 100 5-star reviews and is the winner of the 2014 LoveStruck award for most magical moment. Are you looking for something different? A change from bikers or rock stars? Then the Bound4Ireland series is what you're looking for. Spend Valentines day with Ethan O'Connell, a hot Irish Alpha who will make you want to kiss him or kill him.This series has a little something for everybody. Hot Irish Alpha, mystery, humor, smoking hot sex scenes and a modern day story with a few romantic looks into the past life of these soul mates.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Snow ~ A four-letter word #CanadaEh #OhCanada

Snow is a four-letter word. Yes, one of those words you shouldn't say, especially when you have plans. On Wednesday, I had tickets to see two Canadian artists in concert (Raine Maida and Chantal Kreviazuk). But, the entire day it snowed, and sometimes it was so blustery, I didn't think I'd make it to the out-of-town event. Luckily, the snow died down shortly before we left, and the concert was MAGICAL, but snow doesn't only cause problems for me, it also causes many problems for the characters of my stories...

From Accidental Romance:

Racing toward the barn, she slipped on a patch of ice. Her feet flew up in the air, and she landed hard on her ass, slamming her elbows into the ground. Sharp pain traveled through her body, and she whimpered. With a groan, she rolled to her side and shuffled to get up, pressing her nub and hand to the ground. What a way to start her day.

And there are particular things characters who live in snowy areas do that those who don't get snow don't always do...

From Sudden Breakaway:

The boy skidded straight across the slippery linoleum, his body slamming into Jared’s knees.

Jared stumbled back, trying to regain his balance, and grasped the doorknob. The latch clicked open. Losing his footing again, he stumbled to the floor, his nephew landing on top of him. Groaning, he glanced up at the woman standing above him; his former commander’s wife. “Can I help you, Mrs. Collins?

She lifted Dylan and balanced him on her hip. “From the look of things, I think I can help you.” Slipping off her shoes, she lined them on the mat beside the rest of the footwear and continued into the house. “I’m giving you the day off.”

I'm not sure if you caught that, but we take our boots and shoes off at the door. Tracking snow through the house leads to slippery floors. And a mess.

From Hey, Santa:

Her Santa had arrived. But instead of the white-haired, bearded man with the fuzzy red suit, she stared at a Greek god. Broad shoulders. Muscles constricted by the sleeves of his dress shirt. His wavy brown hair looked wet, as if he’d recently stepped out of the shower. Or maybe snow had started to fall since she’d arrived. 

Yes, hair styles often don't last with wind and snow whipping at you. The alternative is to wear a had which flattens everything.

In the winter, there can also be frozen doors, slippery roads and sidewalks, snow falling down the back of your neck, freezing cold temperatures that numb your face, and so much more.

So, what do you think of snow? Do you enjoy it, or does it cause you more problems?