Friday, February 23, 2018

What makes you read a book twice? @LeoRosanna.

I've been in a purging mood lately. I've always been a big believer that an uncluttered space leads to an uncluttered mind. When things start to pile up in my house, I grow edgy. That's when I feel the tickle of little hands at the back of my neck. Whose hands? Well, the purging elves, of course. The little demons who tell me, "Clean up, for God's sake, woman. We're drowning in old books and paperwork. Throw something out!" When the purging elves dig their nails into my skin, nothing is sacred.

Lately I've been eyeing my book collection, thinking it's time for a cull.


Yes, I hear you, fellow book hoarders. I feel your pain but now I ask you to feel mine. I store my old books in the basement on a few very large, cluttered shelves. That's prime real estate in my house. I could renovate that area and make a comfy nook. Or I could turn it into a yoga studio. Did you know I'm doing yoga now? You know, like, once a week. (Perhaps I'm not quite dedicated to it yet.)

But discard my books? After all, you don't throw a book away, right? You might read it again.
Or will you?


You see, every time I stock my basement bookshelves, I say to myself, "This one's a keeper. I'll read it at least one more time." Honestly, I rarely do. I can count on one hand the number of books I've actually reread and those ones have a place of honor in my collection. The others? They were fun, but their time has come and gone. They weren't bad books. They simply served their purpose. I absorbed their messages and don't need to revisit them.

I'm always shocked and humbled when a reader tells me she reread one of my books. Don't get me wrong, I'm not insulting my own work. However, it's such a pleasant surprise based on my rereading history. My assumption is, to reread a novel, it must have really spoken to the reader in some way.
What is that magic element for you? What makes you pick up a book for the second or even the third time? Is it simply because you enjoying living in that world and want to dwell there a little longer? I would love to know what makes you want to "hoard" a book.

In the meantime, I'll be over here throwing things know, everything except my books.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

I am a queen and this is my castle by @elle_rush

Just because I live in

doesn't mean I exist in a world of ice and snow.

Except when I do. For the first time ever, we in the 'Peg we visited by the ice castle fairy. It was created during our brutally cold December, but I got lucky and was able to visit it during the warm (-5) streak we had in the middle of January. This amazing #icecastle was created with over 25 tons of ice and had lights built into the wall, giving it an ethereal glow.

It was spectacular.

You may be saying, "Elle, what kind of date is this?" For most people, date night means fancy clothes, nice hair, and maybe a fireplace. They generally don't mean layering on the long underwear, snow pants, toques and scarves.

But those people don't live in Winnipeg.

For one night, we got to wander through this:

Be jealous, Elsa. Be very jealous.

The walls were made of icicles. There were twenty-foot tall  ice arches to walk under And I don't know how they did it, but they had a fountain made of ice that was actually shooting up streams of water. We went when the temperatures were just below freezing. I don't know if this would even work when it's -20C.  (That's the Museum of Human Rights in the back right.)

They also had an ice slide, but the line was insane. I held mittened hands with my sweetie, and only part of it was because it was really slippery inside. It was freezing and dark and still romantic.

For those of you who are interested, it was down at the Forks, which also had a skating path through the area and onto the river, a skating ring, a toboggan hill, and a crockicurl patch, so it could have been an all day date. But the ice castles were enough for me.

If you haven't had an outdoor winter date with your significant other, I highly recommend it. Bundle up and go for a walk in the dark (it's extra romantic if you do it when there is snow lightly falling.) (LIGHTLY falling, don't do it in a blizzard.) (And shovelling your driveway doesn't count.) Go somewhere with lots of lights that can reflect off the snow, smile with your eyes since that's the only part you'll be able to see of each other, and when you get home, make some date plans for summer.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentines Day! Special excerpt. Uninterrupted. Bound4Ireland Short Story. @tdanielsauthor

I haven't forgotten about you lovelies. Today, instead of my usual ramblings I've decided to share with you an excerpt from my Valentine Short story... Uninterrupted.
It is a short story that is best read after finishing the entire Bound4Ireland Series but even if you haven't read it,  I think you will enjoy and appreciate this excerpt.


Ethan stands in the doorway, watching Olivia distribute lunches into four jam-packed backpacks. Six months ago, she was pregnant with twins but you’d never know it. She’s always had curves in all the right places. All his favorite places to be exact. He crosses the room and wraps his arms around her from behind, brushing his lips on her cheek. “Good morning, Beautiful,” he says, in his sensual Irish brogue.
Olivia stops what she’s doing and enjoys the attention. Leaning back against his chest, she lets him find his way to her lips. A quick glance around the corner, confirms that the kids are engrossed in a show on the television. He tightens his grip, banding his arms around her waist and nips at the sensitive skin on her shoulder. He smiles at her sharp intake of breath as she responds to his touches and pushes back against his hips. He lets out a low feral growl, as he presses her firmly against the counter. “I have half a mind to make love to you right here,” he breathes heavily into her ear.
His words make her twitch. “Do it,” she pleads.
“Tempting.” He reaches up and takes her breast in hand, giving it a firm tug. “But we both know you’re a screamer.”
She squirms in his hold, becoming more aroused by the muscular body holding her captive. “Whose fault is that?” she protests.
“Oh, I’m not complaining about your audible appreciation of my skills, Mrs. O’Connell. But there are children in the other room.” He slides his hand down her stomach, expertly maneuvering into her panties and making her moan. “Something you need?” he asks, as he teases her.
“Bedroom,” she pants.
“As you wish.” He releases her and makes his way out of the room. She grabs his arm, stopping him at the door. Startled, he looks at her confused.
She places her finger to her mouth. “Shhh.” She nods in the direction of the kids. “Be really quiet,” she mouths.
Ethan nods and winks, then begins to hum the theme song to ‘Mission Impossible’ as he crosses the foyer to the other side of the hall without being noticed. He peeks around the corner to ensure the kids are still preoccupied then waves her over. Olivia flashes him a threatening look as she tiptoes across the wooden floor and hits the squeaky spot.
“Go… go… go…” she whispers anxiously as she reaches the other side. Pressing her hand on his back, she pushes him down the hall toward the bedroom. She locks the door behind her and turns quickly. Grabbing his belt buckle, she tugs, releasing it. Pausing, she looks up into his meadow green eyes.
“What’s the matter?” he asks concerned.
“I’m having that déjà vu feeling again.”
He laughs once, dropping his trousers to the floor. “I should think so, it’s not the first time you’ve been in my pants.”
Olivia jumps into his arms, wrapping her legs around his waist. He kisses her with a hungry, long overdue passion, as he moves to lay her down on the bed. She lifts her hips, allowing him to lift her dress and rid her of her panties in one swift motion. Electricity pulses through her veins making her impatient. When he fails to join her on the bed, she opens her eyes. “What are you doing?” She watches exasperated as he languidly unbuttons his dress shirt.
“Hanging up my shirt. I just ironed it.”
“Are you kidding me? I’m laying here half naked and you’re worried about your shirt getting wrinkled?”
He stops mid-button and considers what she’s said. “Feck, what’s happened to me?” Tossing it on the floor, he climbs in on top of her. “Now, where were we?” He brushes the hair out of her eyes and then pauses, quirking a curious brow. “What’s that sound?”
Olivia stiffens beneath him. “No. No. NO!”
“It’s the reminder alarm on my phone. It’s time to get them ready to leave for school.” She attempts to sit up but he thwarts her efforts.
“Be late,” he suggests as he moves his hand to her throat, closing it gently around it as he claims her lips.
Her fingers rake playfully through his hair.
When he pulls away, he leans back, supporting himself on his muscular forearms. Moving his hips, he adjusts his position, preparing to enter her. She takes short anticipating breaths and arches her back, forcing him in.
The look of desire on her face makes him twitch and lengthen. “You’re so beautiful,” he whispers as he thrusts his hips forward, sinking himself all the way in. “It feels so good,” she purrs.
He teases her with a slow retreat, followed by another inspired thrust, then stops.
His body tenses as the door rattles several times and the knob begins to turn.
“Mommy? What are you and Daddy doing in there?”

Until Next Month, Live your life so it's a story worth telling ! 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The joy of finding your Tribe @SusanHayes

Writing is a weird profession. We wordsmiths tend to spend extended periods of time sitting and staring into space, spinning words into worlds and listening to the voices of characters only we can hear. To the outsider, it can look a lot like daydreaming, laziness, or outright insanity. I’m okay with people not understanding my process. (Sometimes, I don’t get it, either.)

What I’m not okay with is when people I know dismiss what I do as a hobby. They call me an author, but there’s a set of air quotes (and on one occasion, actually written quotes) wrapped around the title, deliberately diminishing it. Sometimes its because they don’t believe that any artistic endeavor has value, but most of the time, it’s because of what I write: romance. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve been asked when I’m going to write a real book. Most of the time, I can brush it off and keep moving forward. I love writing. I love writing romance. That’s not going to change. 

There are days though, when even though I know better, the weight of all that dismissal and diminishment starts to crush my creativity.

That’s when I reach out to the ones I know will understand - My tribe.

For me, my tribe is made up of romance writers. We’re from different countries, time zones, and backgrounds, but we share the same passions and many of the same challenges. We talk each other “off the ledge”, cheer each other on, and keep each other strong. This week, I needed them, and they helped me climb out from underneath the crushing weight of doubt and got me back on track again.

I’m blessed to have found my tribe. If you haven’t found yours yet, keep looking. Embrace your passion. Chase your dreams, and let your light shine brightly so that others can find you.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Make your own romance (no, not like that!) with @elle_rush

Canadian romance fans in Winnipeg (or those within driving distance), lend me your ears!

Are you an aspiring romance writer in the Winnipeg area, or do you know one? I am putting on a one-night "Introduction to Romance Writing: workshop in conjunction with the Manitoba Writers Guild on February 15th starting at 6pm.

We'll be discussing the basics of romance publishing, as well as how to craft a romance novel.

I'd love to see you there.  Tickets and more information here.