Monday, May 22, 2017

What's up with me



Though not for lack of trying...

Doesn't look like that much damage, does it? It was bad enough for the insurance company to write-off the car. Of course, much of the damage is out of sight. 

Although I only felt shaken up, I knew I'd probably suffered a hyper-extension injury, aka whiplash. What I didn't realize, until my doctor told me, was that, although I didn't hit my head, my brain hit the inside of my skull giving me a concussion. Like the car, I had hidden damage. Fortunately I couldn't be written off.

I'm sure I must have bruised my brain before this. I've been in more than one serious car accident... accidents where it's obvious the car isn't going to be repaired. 
  • In the front seat when my father's station wagon was rear-ended by a street car. Thank heavens he let me sit up front.
  • Rear-ended by a pickup truck that wasn't as good at stopping as my father was when presented with an overturned eighteen wheeler on the 401. 
  • T-boned by driver unable to stop her car on the ice. 
  • Rear-ended on the Elora Road when an SUV didn't notice that there was a line of vehicle stopped while a car waited to make a left-hand turn. (My car looked like an accordion after that.)
Come to think of it, maybe this time was worse because of the previous injuries.
Filler until the real cover is created.


For a week I couldn't work at my laptop. Then I could work, but not for long periods of time. I probably shouldn't have, but I could work on my tablet. I still needed breaks but not for as long. I could keep up with my email and. it turned out, I could edit. Not write, though. That took too much concentration.

Way back while I was sending UNDER A TEXAS STAR and DEADLY LEGACY to publishers, I wrote GHOST WRITER, thus proving I am a true genre slut, unable to keep from wandering from one genre to another.

When Imajin Books and I found each other, GHOST WRITER, a second draft novel by this point, went on the back burner. It pretty much went right off the stove since I thought writing Western Historical Romance and Mystery/Romantic Suspense was enough genre hopping for one writer. The accident changed that.

It wasn't just that it was something I could work on, it was something I really wanted to work on. So when Cheryl at Imajin Books asked for something completely different, I knew what it would have to be. As of now, I have a contract and am looking for advance reviews. When I have more news, you'll see it here.


If I don't get hit in the head.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Everyone Loves A Man in Uniform

(All verified purchases and I don't know any of the readers.)

Unusual twist to a spy story
Unwed mother of twins gets involved with spies. Her antics keep this fast paced story going. There is some romance to spice up the pages. Thoroughly enjoyable read--looking forward to more books from this author.

Good book!
Loved getting to know the characters as they developed. Pru was a hoot & took all the events as well as the multiple suitors in stride. I'm hoping there will be more books, in this series.

Well Written Romantic Mystery
This is a well-written mystery/romance about REAL people, which means that the action is not immediate. Complex relationships exist and the characters behave as people in such relationships behave. The Heroine is an author, which normally I don't like because it leads to "inside jokes" and references, leading the book away from story telling. But here, the Heroine's work is part of the reason the plot works so very well. The Hero is a man that I would LOVE to have in my life. This is a Canadian based, police procedural, adventure Romance. I totally enjoyed it.

The book is gentle, with the people behaving like your next door neighbors would. The mystery of who committed the murder is resolved without resort to tricks or literary devices. Writing is neither glamorized nor denigrated.

While the attitude towards marriage seems VERY strange to me, it is presented in a believable manner and may simply be a part of the slower "rush" to involvement in the real world. Or it could be a more "Canadian" approach to involvement. This book totally overcame my reservations about books written by authors from other Countries and cultures. In the past, the differences have been too great to ignore. (It is easy to tell a non-American is writing through the language and slang, even if the author blurb doesn't disclose is.)

I HIGHLY recommend reading this book.

If the person who wrote the last review quoted reads this blog, the attitude toward marriage isn't particularly Canadian. It stems from my mother (though she did marry my father). It's a longish story. If anyone wants to read it, let me know in the comments.


And in other news... The Year of the Chicken so far:

Every year I do an I Ching forecast for me and whoever else happens to be around and is interested. This year I'm at risk for accidents but, in other things, perseverance brings success. ("Perseverance brings success" comes up so often we refer to it as PBS.)

Well the accident warning has proved itself. I've had two falls on the ice and skidded on ice into another car. I'm hoping I'm done with ice and accidents for the year.

On the upside, each of those accidents could have been much worse. Mitigating luck was on my side.

So, why did the chicken cross the road? It better not until spring.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Happy Chinese New Year

It's almost the end of the first day of Chinese New Year. We've celebrated the day with Chinese food. Any sweeping and laundry that hasn't got done can wait for a couple of days. I don't want to sweep or wash away any good luck that I may have.

My mother always worried about leaving by the same door that she entered when visiting someone's home. She always knocked on wood so as to not tempt fate. All her superstitions, which she would be the first to laugh at, came from her British upbringing. My superstitions and traditions are more of a fusion of cultures... not that I'm a slave to them, of course. For instance:

Chinese New Year's Day Taboos
To be avoided on the first day of the Chinese New Year:

1. Medicine: Taking medicine on the first day of the lunar year means one will get ill for a whole year.
I blew that one when I took Tylenol for an earache. Probably being sick on the first day of the lunar year isn't very auspicious but I can't do anything about that so I'll forget it.
2. New Year's breakfast: Porridge should not be eaten because it is considered that only poor people have porridge for breakfast and people don't want to start the year “poor” as this is a bad omen.
Oops! My diabetes nurse tells me that my habitual oatmeal, fruit and yogourt is a healthy start to my day. Perhaps the addition of cherries will give the porridge more class.
3. Laundry: People do not wash clothes on the first and second day because these two days are celebrated as the birthday of Shuishen (水神, the Water God).
That's easy. I don't do laundry anyway. That's my oldest son's job and he's at his dad's.
4. Washing hair: Hair must not be washed on the first day of the lunar year. In the Chinese language, hair (发) has the same pronunciation and character as 'fa' in facai (发财), which means ’to become wealthy’. Therefore, it is seen as not a good thing to “wash one’s fortune away” at the beginning of the New Year.
I read this just in time! I'll put off my shower to tomorrow morning.
5. Sharp objects: The use of knives and scissors is to be avoided as any accident is thought to lead to inauspicious things and the depletion of wealth.
See, porridge was the best choice. My other choice was a bagel which I would have had to cut.
6. Going out: A woman may not leave her house otherwise she will be plagued with bad luck for the entire coming year. A married daughter is not allowed to visit the house of her parents as this is believed to bring bad luck to the parents, causing economic hardship for the family.
Hmm. That sounds a bit sexist to me. Why women and not men?
7. The broom: If you sweep on this day then your wealth will be swept away too.
Easily done.
8. Crying children: The cry of a child is believed to bring bad luck to the family so parents do their best to keep children as happy as possible.
Neither of my nearly grown up children cried so we're all good here.
9. Theft: Having your pocket picked is believed to portend your whole wealth in the coming year being stolen.
That's bad luck at any time.
10. Debt: Money should not be lent on New Year’s Day and all debts have to be paid by New Year’s Eve. If someone owes you money, do not go to their home to demand it. Anyone who does so will be unlucky all year.
Beats the heck out of breaking knee caps.
11. An empty rice jar: A depleted receptacle may cause grave anxiety as the cessation of cooking during the New Year period is considered to be an ill omen.
Check. I try to never have an empty rice jar. (Or in my case canister.)
12. Damaged clothes: Wearing threadbare garments can cause more bad luck for the year.
If my friend, a woman, had not left her house to visit for lunch, I might have broken this taboo.
13. Killing things: Blood is considered an ill omen, which will cause misfortunes such as a knife wound or a bloody disaster.
Good to know.
14. Monochrome fashion: White or black clothes are barred as these two colours are traditionally associated with mourning.
I wore green. Red might have been more festive, but then I would have had to do laundry.
15. Welcoming the New Year: According to tradition, people must stay up late on New Year’s Eve to welcome the New Year and then let off firecrackers and fireworks to scare off inauspicious spirits and Nian, the New Year monster.
We used to do this. The kids and I would stay up and bang pans to scare off bad spirits. I miss those days but our neighbours are too close now.
16. Giving of certain gifts: Clocks, scissors, and pears all have a bad meaning in Chinese culture.
Some day I will have to find out why oranges are lucky and pears are not. Scissors being a bad luck gift I'm familiar with. My mother would never give scissors or knives without the exchange of money (small change will do). To give either as a gift risks cutting the relationship.

Peace and prosperity in the coming year!