Thursday, January 26, 2017

How many days till summer?

I detest winter... cold, short days, more cold, snow. Blech. Man, do I hate being cold.

But, there are times with the sun comes out, reflects off the pristine layer of fluffy snow and the world glistens.
It can be beautiful,
                looking out from inside,
                          when it's a snow day and I don't have to go to work
                                      and I can stay in leggings and a t-shirt all day and write.

But, this year has been much warmer than normal...meaning no snow and lots of rain. The short days feel even shorter because I swear we have been under a thick layer of clouds for weeks now. Everything is grey. and I can feel my body and mind getting more and more sluggish.

That's when know I have to fight back. My brain is not a happy place right now, which means a trip to the Fake'n'Bake  (tanning bed). Laying there nice and toasty warm with bright lights all around me while I imagine I'm laying on a beach somewhere really helps my mood.

I also bake because try to stay in a bad mood when you munching on a warm brownie fresh from the oven. You can't do it. :)

One of my favourite recipes is my Banga's Lemon Bars.  If you ever wondered what sunshine tastes like, here's your chance.  I've made these so many times and they're perfect for this time of year.

My recipe card is starting to show it's age. LoL I wrote this out in my late teens.
Yes, I called my grandmother Banga. It's not a cultural thing, it's a name I made up while I was learning how to talk. She loved it, so it stuck. LoL Eccentricity is  genetic ;)

If you have a favourite recipie and are willing to share, please put it in the comments. I'd love to try it :)

Banga's Lemon Bars

2cups All Purpose Flour
1 cup soft margerine (or butter)
1/2 cup fine white sugar

Combine ingredients and press into the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan.
Bake for 20 min at 350deg

4 eggs
1 1/2 cups fine white sugar
dash of salt
5 Tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon  juice and zest from two lemons

Wisk together eggs, sugar, salt, lemon juice and zest

Combine 1/4 cup of flour and 1 teaspoon of baking powder.

Fold dry ingredients into egg mixture.

Pour combined mixture over the warm base

Return to the oven for 25 minutes

Allow to cool, cut into squares and dust with icing sugar


Monday, January 23, 2017

Hello from Rosanna Leo! @LeoRosanna

Happy New Year and hello!
I'm so thrilled to be one of the new members of Romance Eh? Canadian Style. Thanks to Kacey Hammell for bringing me on board. I am honoured to be in this company.

Who am I?
For those who don't know me, I am a Canadian romance author. Born and raised in Toronto, I try to inject a bit of Canada into my books whenever I can. When not writing, I work in a public library. Either way, I'm surrounded by books so I'm as happy as a clam.

Some of you may know me from my Gemini Island Shifters series (which takes place in Northern Ontario). Others may know me from my Orkney Selkies series (which takes place in Orkney, Scotland). Others may know me from my Greek God series (which is set in Toronto and the Mayan Riviera...hey, a girl needs some beach time too!)

What you may not know about me is this: I have a love/hate relationship with organizing my house.
But it's January...the season of organization and resolutions, right?

Some time ago, I read Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
This tiny blockbuster of a book inspired many to take charge of their house organization.

Me? Not so much.

Many have gravitated to Ms. Kondo's whimsical approach to tidying up. She advocates many practices such as folding one's socks and underwear and expressing gratitude to one's clothes (that's right, I said to one's clothes, not for one's clothes.) She calls it the "Japanese art of decluttering and organizing." While I appreciated this spiritual approach to cleaning, the book made me feel inferior with regards to my housekeeping. No matter how hard I try, I will never stack up to this standard and quite frankly I don't have time to engage in conversations with my sweaters. Don't get me wrong. I don't live in a pigsty. I like cleanliness but there is a significant part of me that rebels at the thought of thanking the items in my panty drawer. Personally, I think my husband ought to be giving thanks for those.

In this month of change and resolution, I have decided to adopt a different approach. I shall be grateful in general. I shall tidy things up as they get messy (or get my kids to do their parts.)
And if things sit in their piles for a while, I'm not going to sweat it.
Because life is busy enough.

Oh, and there's always another book to write. ;)

My latest paranormal romance Selkie's Lure by Rosanna Leo released January 16. Reviews have been awesome. I hope you'll check it out.

Please note: no socks were thanked in this book.


Amy Woods, one of TV’s famed Beast Seekers, has come to Orkney, Scotland, to hunt sirens. One of them killed her sister and she has sworn revenge. Most people think she’s crazy for believing in monsters. She knows the truth. But while patrolling one of Orkney’s cold beaches, she runs into a naked selkie man rather than a siren, and he proves to be an alluring distraction.

Edan Kirk is a selkie, one of an ancient race of seal shape shifters. When he hears of Amy’s intention to hunt sirens, tragic memories overwhelm him. He knows he must get rid of the pesky human. As much as he tries to convince her she’s on a fool’s errand, he can’t resist trying to protect her. After all, he has heard the enticing song of the sirens and he knows its deadly power.

As Amy and Edan engage in a battle of wits and wills, other emotions rush to the fore. Their connection is intense, the sort to come along only once in a lifetime. Edan recognizes her as his mate. However, another woman has set her sights on him as well, one whose powers of seduction are legendary. One whose voice has driven men to madness and devastation.

Can Amy accept Edan as her mate, making her home in the world of the supernatural? And can they save each other from a beast that cannot be destroyed?

Kobo   Google Play    iTunes    B&N    Amazon 

For more details, connect with Rosanna at the following social media platforms:

Saturday, January 21, 2017

A New Texan is Born...

I’m currently on the road, so my post this month will be brief. We travelled by RV from Ontario, Canada to San Antonio, Texas for the birth of our first grandchild. I was fortunate enough that my daughter-in-law invited me to witness the birth. It was one of the most powerful, emotional, and memorable events of my life. I also have an adorable little grandson…well not so little. He was 8 pounds, 10 ounces, and 22 inches long. Since his mom is teeny-tiny it was a shock for everyone.

So Grayson is the newest Texan and Espino. I’m already missing him. 

The weather has been great during our travels, minus the tornado when we passed through Dallas on our way down. We’ve seen a lot of states and had a fun, crazy adventure. Now I’ve got to get home and play catch-up for a few days, then I’ll be able to get back to my writing.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Stacey Espino

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Keeping Warm in Canadian Winter...How Hot Do You Like It?

How Hot Do You Like It?

There are mixed opinions about winter in Canada. There are those who love it, and those who hate it. 
I'm somewhere in the middle. How can that be, you ask? There are many variables to take into consideration. So here's my list:

    • Extra reasons to cuddle
    • The crackle of the warm fire on a cold winter's night
    • The smell of wood burning in the fireplace
    • Hot Cocoa or a great cup of tea
    • More time indoors attached to my laptop
    • Snow days where Mother Nature determines if I leave home
    • Watching my minions building snow men
    • Sledding
    • Cozy Sweaters
    • Leggings and long pants
    • Scarves made with love
    • Curl up with a glass of wine and snuggle under a blanket

    • Salt-stained boots
    • The crowded and cluttered mud room
    • Schizphrenic weather
    • Ice storms
    • Muddy cars
    • Dangerous commutes
    • Not being able to BBQ as often
    • Limited bond fires outside 
    • Yellow snow
    • Bitter cold (below -20 c)
    • Unburying your car, your porch, your driveway...
    • Any kind of shoveling in general!

Most of all, I love steamy Canadian Romances that chase the chills away. 
I love reading them, I love writing them. Without spending a fortune to travel to romantic getaways with balmy weather and smexy men in next-to-nothing, romance stories can sweep you off your feet.
There is nothing better than to be curled up with your favourite bevvy, a fantastic book and a cozy blanket with the crackling fire just feet away from you. 

This winter and early spring, I'm so excited to be bringinng not one, but two fiery releases with dragons to warm your hearts!

Coming in February, 2017:
Mythic Iron 
A Wiccan Haus-Dragon Menage 
(Official cover still to come)

Coming in March, 2017:
Stoking the Flames 
A 13 Story Anthology with 13 Fantastic authors!
My story in this anthology is another smokin' hot dragon menage called
Curse of the Dragon's Eye

So tell us, what is your favourite way to keep warm in the winter?

Happy reading, 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

#Beachreads with @elle_rush

Hello there! It’s nice to meet you. My name is Elle Rush and I’m a romance writer from Winterpeg, Manitoba. Yes, I know it should be Winnipeg, but since Christmas we have had 24” (60 cm) of snow to shovel and a truly horrific cold snap, so the nickname suits. And as bad as all that shovelling is, it does have one excellent benefit. We will never suffer a winter zombie apocalypse; the undead will all freeze solid well before they get here.

I realize that I’m stretching to find a bright side to the situation, but I do love where I live. I’m just in a period where it’s hard to remember why. I think the weather is part of the reason where there seems to be a disproportionate number of Canadian romance writers. We have to feel the heat on these cold January nights! I can't think of better way than burning it up in the sheets.

I’ve been lucky enough to go on a handful of tropical winter vacations. Not this year, mind you, but I’ve done it. Sun, fun and rum -- all you need for a good time while your neighbour grudgingly clears your driveway.

Canadian winters are a rite of passage. If you can survive one, you can survive anywhere on the planet. But after you survive one, you need a break the next year. I have a list of places I’d like to escape to:  Hawaii, Jamaica, Bermuda, St. Thomas, Costa Rica, Fiji. I’m actually trying to win a trip to Jamaica from a local radio station. I’m that desperate for some beach time. Let’s be honest, the sand can get into some inconvenient places, but it can’t give you frostbite.

I’ve found there are three kinds of sun-destination travellers: those who sit by the pool for a week and don’t move, those who do a different excursion every day, and hybrids like me. I’ve discovered I’m willing to leave the resort once or twice week, but the rest of the time I’m sitting in the pool with a romance novel in one hand and a daiquiri I.V. in the other.

It’s not just escaping the cold that makes these vacations so wonderful. I’ve seen the historic city of Havana, and the ancient Mayan ruins of Tulum (abandoned centuries before Canada even became a country. How cool is that?). I’ve learned how to snorkel (while wearing a life jacket – this prairie girl isn’t used to the ocean and its currents) and have had several salsa lessons. I’m a traveller who thinks that if you go to a new place, you should try to make an effort to experience it.

How about you? Have you gone south for a tropical getaway? Do you need to see and do it all? Are you a beach bunny or pool person? Or a shade-of-a-palm-tree and 100SPF lounger because you burn even thinking about sunshine, but you want to be outside in shorts in January simply because you can?

The next time the weather gets you down, pull out your summer vacation photos, snuggle under a blanket, and relive warmer times.  If you haven’t made a holiday to the sunny south, grab your blender and get some margaritas flowing, crank up the heat for a couple hours, see if you can find that old copy of “Pirates of the Caribbean” and your imagination can take it from there.

To keep myself in a Caribbean frame of mind, I’ve written a trio of short resort romances. The third #ebook (Dominican Stars) is coming out next month, but here is the first in the series – CUBAN MOON

Lisa Kleyson, representing the bride, didn’t intend to hook up with anybody while on her first Caribbean vacation, but when she lays eyes on the groom’s brother, her best laid plans go out the window. She doesn’t consider herself to be doctor’s wife material … but he’s not on duty.

Dr. Hank Anderson, representing the groom, will do his duty to his brother, but he’d much rather be spending time with the music teacher who’s caught his eye. It’s nice to be the one doing the chasing instead of fending off women who want to take advantage of his position.

Hank’s pursuit is booby-trapped with a stalking maid-of-honor, a Gilligan-worthy boat tour and bad crab cakes, but he is determined to catch Lisa and convince her to start a romance under the Cuban moon.


Wishing you a roaring fire and lots of travel points this January,

Monday, January 16, 2017

Kacey's Year In Review #Goodbye2016 @KaceyHammell #Writing #Authors

Good morning everyone! How is 2017 treating you so far? Are you glad to have 2016 over with? I remember in high school, as the new year started and we were finishing up our first semester, my English teacher's first assignment was reflecting on the previous year. So I thought today I'd do a similar version of that old assignment -- going back a few years LOL -- and reflect on 2016.

It was a crazy freakin' year! 2016 has to be the worst in history for deaths and tragedy, and well, let's face it, a possible leader of a country that has put the fear of everything we can ever fear into play. But I'm not about to get political here. 2016 will be known as the WTF year, IMO.

For me, it was a year of amazing moments. And this year I choose to look at the positives and not dwell on negatives. My top moments, the ones I basked in and enjoyed the most will always be remembered with love and so many feels!

As always, the top thing is that my hubby and kids all are doing well health wise. That's always first and foremost. My oldest son is still kicking Type 1 Diabetes ass! He does what he needs to in order to be healthy and makes me proud of everything he accomplishes. At the end of March we were blessed with a new addition to our family, my nephew Benjamin was born. And OMG he's a joy. A bundle of smiles and happiness. He's teething and doing okay with it, the first couple were horrid for him of course, but when anyone pulls out their phone to take his pic, he's posing and giggling and a bundle of fun and love.

In April, Momma and I went to our Meet & Greet / Concert with Johnny Reid for the fifth time. Can't help it, love our Scottish country singer! <3
Love love love this man!
In June, our oldest graduated from her Nursing Program at College. What an emotional and proud day for her Daddy and I. To top that off, she made the Dean's List too! She's always been a hard working young lady and never backs down from challenges. I'm pleased to say she found a job in September at a Nursing Home not too far from our house, her first time applying for a job in her field and she landed it. She's been there about four months now and boy does she love it! We're very proud of her. And it's so awesome that she has a job in her field. I admit I worried about that. Not everyone finds a job after graduating.

Summer flew by and before I knew it, kids were back in school. My youngest started high school - Grade 9! I can't believe it still. All my kids are out of elementary school and I don't have endless trips to go on, classes to volunteer in regularly and such. Then October rolled around and my hubby and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. Again, time has flown by and I'm amazed at just how fast. I remember the first time I met him, as though it was yesterday. Love that man even more today than I did the day I married him. Life is very good when married to a wonderful man who is an even better father.

In September, I traveled to London, Ontario for a book signing. I got to hang out with some members of this blog -- Amy, Kali, Kayleigh, Tricia, Roxanna -- and it was a lot of fun. London is a nice little town. I also, finally able to meet one of my Critique Partners, SJ Maylee, while I was there. She made the trip from Michigan, and I from here, and we "met in the middle" so to speak. I roomed with SJ & Kali, and they are two ladies whom I adore with my whole heart. They became fast friends as well, which I loved because they are so dear to me. I knew they'd hit it off.  The book signing was a lot of fun and it was wonderful revisiting with readers I'd met before and meeting new ones. And I loved meeting other authors I'd never had the opportunity to meet before. There's nothing like a book signing event to bring people together.
With my roomies and BFFs - Kali & SJ

I'm with the awesome Kayleigh Malcolm
With my fave Harlequin author, Amy Ruttan

Book news excitement -- I contracted THREE new books with Evernight Publishing in October and November!!

SJ & I at the Falls
October was also a trip I'll never, ever forget. First, I drove myself to Niagara on the Lake. And it's a huge thing for me because I'm not much of a long distance driver. Heck, driving my kids to and from in our area is bad enough for me, but driving through Highway 401, etc to get there -- I was in near panic mode for about 6 months just thinking about it. (and Kali drove me to London in May, by the way LOL). I went to Niagara on the Lake for the first Writer's Retreat for my publisher, Evernight Publishing. Again, I met SJ Maylee there, we roomed together again and spent a few days talking and talking. Many authors attended, two of whom are on this blog too -- Michelle Graham & LD Blakeley. We all had a great time. We got to meet the wonderful owner of the company in person, chat with our Marketing/PR force of nature who is amazing, and it was fabulous putting faces to the names I'd only met online. I got a great amount of writing in that weekend, which was the focus of it, but well as authors do -- we chatted A LOT! Lots of laughter was heard through the resort!

Evernight Publishing Authors

November was to be uneventful really, but sometimes life has a way of surprising us. And thanks to Kali, a dream came true for both of us! (as well as Tricia and another pal of ours) Quite unexpected, Kali got us all organized and on board, though it didn't take much, to get VIP tickets to go see the hunkiest man in the world. Our own Baby Boy, Shemar Moore. And to say I'm "a fan" is a huge understatement. Trust me, the man is everything!! My husband understands how much I adore Shemar and he's okay with it. Shemar is exactly as he portrays himself to be -- charming, flirtatious and a voice like butter! Mmm, he's amazing. At the club, where he was making the rounds in Toronto to promote his indie movie "Bounce Back", he danced with all of us. Took his time talking to as many as possible, we snapped pix, he showed his abs and his dancing skills. And when the man hugs, he doesn't do it half-assed at all. He pulls you in deep and fully into his embrace. As I said to my hubby, "you couldn't get a slice of cheese between us" when he hugged me, multiple times I might add. LOL  Hubby understood and reaped the rewards of me meeting Shemar when I got home! *wink*

Sexiest, sweetest man. Love me some Shemar Moore!

Rounding out the year was a great Christmas here at home. The hubs and I, the kids and their significant others, and Grandpa. It was a quiet, perfect way to end the year. We're all very blessed and I tell ya I'm thankful for my wonderful family who supports me, gives me strength and understanding in everything.

I'm grateful for my author colleagues, here on this blog and others I've met along the way.  I have some of the best friendships with authors that I never expected to have in my life. I'm happy for what great things 2016 gave me, and I'm ready for all the powerful and unexpected moments 2017 has in store for me. 

I hope you all have a wonderful 2017!! xoxo

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Holiday seasons and the new year beginning with the Daniels. Our first Blended Christmas together.

Happy New Year! I hope you and your family had a magical holiday season. I found that with the changes in the weather, and the shift into a new phase in our lives, winter this year seemed tougher. Less Magical for lack of a better way to describe it. Mr. D. works longer hours and crazy shifts. My corporate career ramped up to be ridiculously demanding and in the midst of all the craziness, going into December this year, we merged two households into one teeny tiny 1000 sq ft townhouse.

Unlike other years, it was nearly mid December before I could find time to put up our tree and drag out the decorations. It's not Christmas until the house is properly dressed for it. Tinsel and sparkles, lights, mistletoe and the works. I didn't think I'd ever see the end of cardboard boxes and suitcases piled in every nook and cranny of our tiny little home. Finally, a living room emerged from beneath the chaos and I pouted until Mr. D dragged all the Christmas decorations out from the crawl space.  I lovingly ignored him, when he inquired as to whether we could possibly sort and get rid of some of the excess. Doesn't everyone have 15 containers of decorations, one for each color? Every year I pick a color, or color combination for the theme. Mr. D. being a guy, just doesn't get it. Actually most of my girl friends don't get it either. I've often wished I could do a multi-color, everything goes Christmas, but welcome to my OCD. Pink and brown were the colors of choice this year and I used bronze and silver accents to tie in the ornament that Mr. D bought me to celebrate our first year together. He is a hopeless romantic. (and he's ALL MINE) :)

Although our children are all adults, Christmas still remains an important family tradition for me. Not just the decorations, but the music and the childhood Christmas classic cartoons. I had a shopping list of special treats that I look forward to at this time of year and a file folder full of some new Christmas cookies and desserts that I wanted to try for the first time. But time was short and so was my energy level. I'm no spring chicken anymore and advanced osteoarthritis and anemia were determined to slow me down. My first attempt at baking goodies after working a 13 hour day ended with a dozen butter tarts out of the oven and dropped upside down on the floor. In tears, I called it a day.

On top of everything else, this year we had to deal with retail work schedules, mill shifts, extended families... blended families and a son who now lives in Calgary. Due to a critical operations issue at work, I was unable to take my usual few days of vacation to shop, bake, wrap and rest. I don't know about anybody else, but my hormones are off the chart at the best of times, but during the holidays a long distance phone commercial is enough to push me over the edge.

My hopes of a traditional family Christmas (my idea of one) all came to a crashing halt when my boys, reminded me that it was the year that they were to have Christmas dinner with their dad. Then Mr. D told me that his son was spending Christmas day with his In-laws and Boxing day with his girlfriend's dad. We wouldn't even get to see our Granddaughter over Christmas this year. Her first Christmas. Ugh... Since they are all from families of divorce and so are their partners, each of our kids has to find time for four sets of parents now.

The frustration continued when the mill decided it was not shutting down and Mr. D was scheduled to work Christmas eve. Then Daughter-in-Law #1 got scheduled to work on boxing day and DIL #2 wanted my son to spend Christmas morning with her family. Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, the phone rang and it was my oldest son in Calgary calling to say that there was just no way he could get time off of work to come home.  Panic set in when I realized that I wouldn't even have time to courier him his presents and he'd be alone, without presents on Christmas morning. The thought made my stomach feel sick.

I was tired, disappointed and a complete mess. Determined not to give up on it, Mr. D found someone to take his last shift so he could be home Christmas Eve. He planned Christmas morning BRUNCH so that we could have Christmas with my boys after they opened presents at the girlfriend's parents and before they went to their dads. He arranged for us to have Christmas dinner with his parents and others in his family and included my mom so she wouldn't be alone.  Boxing day we planned on cooking the turkey and all the trimmings that we had bought, just for ourselves and whoever was home. The rest of the kids would come visit after new years when they could find time. It wasn't what I had envisioned, but his thoughtfulness and determination to create me a perfect FIRST blended family Christmas really restored my spirit.

To say the least, I'm very blessed to have Mr. D. His patience and gentle nature is a much needed balance for my anxiety at this time of the year. Here it was Christmas Eve and the tree was decorated and shining bright, but there wasn't a thing under it yet. Thanks to Pillsbury refrigerated cookie dough, I managed to make a few Christmas treats while watching Rudolph. Mr. D. suggested many times that we embrace the idea of using 'gift bags' this year in an attempt to get something under the tree before morning. But knowing how much I enjoy watching the kids unwrap their gifts, he bit his tongue and stayed up until 2am wrapping presents. Christmas was officially here. The house was ready, but empty, and it was perfect! Mr. D and I ate a few cookies, put on some Christmas music and started our first Christmas together dancing in the glow of the Christmas tree lights. After all the stress of the past few weeks I knew without any doubt that this man loves me, unconditionally. This new phase of our life doesn't have to be a stressful one, if we can just learn to be compromising and flexible.

Boxing day was quiet, I wasn't quite sure where everyone disappeared to.  After we picked up my mom and brought her over for the afternoon, I put the turkey in the oven and we started washing dishes. The door opened and I half turned, up to my elbows in soapy dish water. My middle son, smiled and stepped to the side. Mr. Daniels dropped a glass, startled by my screams.  In the doorway stood my oldest, all the way from Calgary.  In the next few hours my house transformed from the quiet empty nest it had been for two days.  Mr. D's son was the next surprise, with our granddaughter. Almost everyone was home for Christmas dinner. When the phone rang and Mr. D's daughter said work had let her go early and she was on her way, my heart overflowed.

We did it! Our first Christmas together and by some sort of holiday magic, we got all our family together for Christmas. Although my dad had passed several years ago, I felt him with me too. Blended families are never easy, and we are lucky that everyone gets along. After opening presents and stockings, desserts were cleared from the table to make room for an evening long game of Christmas Beer Pong. It was loud and noisy and crowded, but the smiles, the laughter and the memories will stay with me forever. That's the important part. Not the matching Christmas tree ornaments, or the cookies made from scratch. Not the wrapping of the presents or the perfect turkey stuffing. I don't know how often we'll be able to get everyone together all at once, but the times we do will be a tremendous blessing. When the night wound down and we once again found ourselves in a quiet moment, Mr. D asked me what I wished for, for Christmas... He already knew the answer.

To celebrate Christmas this year, I released my Trilogy in an e'bundle with a bonus Bound4Ireland short story. For a limited time you can get this Collection for $2.99 on Amazon. But Hurry! The price will go up soon! Reviewers are calling this modern day story, with a few romantic looks into the past life of these soul mates, an emotionally charged series you don’t want to miss. Fate can change and destiny isn’t always an easy path. Sometimes the journey to the HEA is full of twists and turns, but love is the only true magic, for only true love transcends all time. Join this hot Irish alpha, for a journey of mystery, humor, and smoking hot sex scenes. #bound4ireland #series #irishalpha #triciadaniels #booksale #alpha

Stay safe and warm!  I'm out for now!