News, Muse and Interviews

    My fun new hobby!

    I’ve fallen in love and I’m having a ton of fun with it! I’ve fallen in love with geocaching! I received a new phone for Christmas, and I’ve finally been able to download an app for geocaching. If you’re not familiar with geocaching, it’s basically a treasure hunt – people hide caches and post latitude and longitude co-ordinates or waypoints. Using the app (or a GPS), you can search out the hiding spots, find the caches, and sign a log to note that you’ve found it. The caches can be anything from a miniature tube hanging on a branch, a small container hidden under a rock or in a hole in a tree trunk, a fake bolt, or something tucked into a more elaborate secret compartment behind a little library, for instance. Geocaches are hidden all over the world and even in my own neighbourhood, I’ve visited beautiful parks, gems really, that I didn’t even know existed. Stealth is often required to keep the caches hidden and non-geocachers from moving them. There are EarthCaches that teach you about the geography of the area and newer virtual caches, often placed in areas with a lot of foot traffic where pulling out a container would be too obvious. Some of the caches require you to solve a puzzle to calculate the co-ordinates. It’s great for kids and adults, and I love that you can do it anytime, solo or in a group, and that it’s free! So if you’re looking for a fun new hobby to try, check it out. Here’s the website to learn more about the caches in your area: https://www.geocaching.com

     

    If you’re looking for another fun way to pass the time, pick up a copy of Perfectly Honest. It’s the first book of the Perfectly Series, six stand-alone romantic comedies. When Mikaela meets Sam’s mom for the first time, she’s a bit taken aback by the advice she receives – and is trying to hide the fact that the engagement isn’t real!

     

    Perfectly Honest

    Medical Romantic Comedy

    You never know where your words will take you…

    When Mikaela Finn agreed to be Sam’s “fiancée” for a weekend, she probably should have told him that she’s a doctor. Sam O’Brien, aka “Dr. Eye Candy,” is trying to shed his playboy reputation and convince a small town hospital that he’s ready to settle down.  But when his “fiancée” helps deliver a baby in the middle of the meet and greet, it’s a bit of a shock. If he’d known the whole truth, he might have done things a little differently because somehow his “fiancée” ends up stealing his job and his heart. Not exactly the change he wanted.

    Lies and deceit – it’s a match made in heaven!

     

     

    Enjoy an excerpt from Perfectly Honest ~

    your horoscope

    ARIES (March 21-April 19)  Emotions will escalate and confusion will set in with regard to a partnership you thought you could count on.  Take time to absorb what’s happened.  You are sitting in a much better position than you realize.  Bide your time.

    As they stirred their tea, Marla leaned forward with excited eyes.  “I want to know all the details.  What’s your sign?”

    Mikaela blinked.  “My sign?”

    “Yes.  You know, Sam is a Scorpio.  I hope you’re not a Virgo. All the Virgos are a little…zealous. Too much energy, if you ask me. And I don’t know that Pisces would be a good fit either. They tend to daydream the day away, don’t you think?  I think Sam needs someone a little more grounded. Taurus would be okay, but they do tend to be a bit stubborn and Leo, well I think a Leo would be a bit too boisterous, maybe a bit too bossy for Sam. I wouldn’t like to see another Scorpio. Could you imagine? That would be the worst kind of clash. Don’t you think? Now, last year, I would have said Sagittarius. It was a good year for Sagittarius. This year, I’m thinking a Libra or Aquarius would be good.  I could see that working. I’ve given this a lot of thought. I’ve told Sam. I told him he has to watch the sign, but I never know if he really listens.”

    Mikaela’s head spun. “Ah, I’m an Aries,” she said hesitantly.

    “Oh perfect.” Marla clapped her hands. “That’s a good match, especially this year. The moon cycle is perfect for an Aries-Scorpio match. I’ve always thought Aries was best at thinking things through before they do something irreversible. That will be the perfect balance to Sam’s Scorpio impulsiveness,” she announced confidently.

    Mikaela almost burst out laughing. Yup, that was her all right. Thinking things through. Planning change. Avoiding the irreversible. Marla’s nailed it, she thought ruefully. Sam really should have paid more attention to the sign.

    “What is your Chinese zodiac?”

    “Pardon?”

    “You know. Your heavenly stem, your earthly branch, your animal, your element?”

    “I’m not really sure.”

    “Hmmm. We’ll have to figure that out. Sam is a Tiger. At least he’s born a Tiger.  Personally, internally I think he’s a dragon. Truly there is a bit of ox and secretively, I suspect a little goat. But then I’m his mother.” She patted Mikaela’s hand. “So if you were a horse, dog or dragon, that would be wonderful. Oh dear, I do hope you’re not a monkey. That would not be good.”

    “I’m pretty sure I’m not a monkey,” Mikaela assured her.

    “That’s a relief. There are so many things to think about when you choose a mate. Are you a yin or yang?”

    “Yin?” Mikaela guessed, hoping to make Marla happy.

    “Perfect,” Marla beamed. “Sam’s a yang. The perfect match. You know Olivia and Ron are yang-yang, so I do worry. But they produced the most beautiful daughter.  Just goes to show there’s something good there somewhere.”

    “And what is your favourite color?” Marla asked earnestly.

    Seriously? She was engaged to her son and that’s what she thought was important? She was beginning to understand why Walt went for a swim. “Ah, aquamarine?”

    “Oh, aquamarine,” Marla repeated, nodding her head.  “Now would that be more blue or more green?”

    Mikaela just stared. “Blue?”

    “Oh lovely. I love blue, too.”

    “That’s important to finding someone compatible?” Mikaela asked skeptically.

    Marla laughed. “No, now that would be silly, dear. No, I just asked because I enjoy quilting in my spare time, and I’ve decided to make a quilt for each of the kids as a wedding present. So yours shall be blue. And I’ll get started on that right away.” She leaned forward. “Have you picked a date for the wedding?”

     

    Buy link (free with KU):  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08V9CWRMK

     

     

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    Protect Your Eyes!!

    This is soooo important --> DON'T LOOK AT THE SUN DURING A PARTIAL ECLIPSE!!

    The sun won't seem bright enough to hurt your eyes, it won't be painful, and it won't make you squint, but it can cause PERMANENT DAMAGE and BLINDNESS if you look at it - even for a few seconds.

    The partial phase of the eclipse occurs both before and after totality - that means that for the 2 hours before the moon completely blocks the sun and for the 2 hours after the moon completes blocks the sun, you are at risk of permanent, irreversible changes to your vision if you look at the sun. It's pretty scary - it will be painless and it may not be apparent for up to 96 hours later.

    Sunglasses won't protect your eyes and you cannot look at the sun through the lens of a camera. In fact, it will also ruin your camera. There are special solar glasses available, but they have to be approved. And keep in mind, that this is a once-in-a-lifetime event so how exactly are the glasses tested ??  If the glasses are scratched, don't use them!

    The glasses cause complete blackness - don't lower them to check the position of the sun and don't plan to walk around once you put them on. Better yet, don't look at the sun at all!! Just experience the eclipse by watching the shadows on the ground.

     

     

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    Happy St. Patrick's Day!

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Have you ever wondered how the four-leaf clover became a symbol of luck?

    According to folklore, the leaves of a four-leaf clover represent hope, faith, love, and good luck. The fourth leaf of a clover is an uncommon mutation and therefore rare, so it’s thought that if you find one, you’re lucky! I was surprised to learn that the traditional Irish symbol of a shamrock is actually three-leafed and not the lucky four-leafed one. The iconic symbol probably began around 1707 when Scotland became part of the United Kingdom. Scotland associated with the thistle, England with the rose, and Ireland with the shamrock. It continues to be an emblem of Ireland today and certainly any St. Patrick’s Day party wouldn’t be complete without a few green decorations and a shamrock or two! Just make sure yours only have three leaves.

    If you’d like to escape with a fun, sexy medical hockey romance, the In the Game Hockey Romance series is perfect! There are 4 stand-alone stories to enjoy! Here’s a peek at the first one, Between the Pipes.

     

     

    Sarah Jain is a family doctor in a hockey-crazy town. She hates hockey. She hasn’t gone anywhere near a rink in years, until her friend, the team doctor, calls in a favour. Mike Wallace is the starting goalie for the Clarington Quakes, the local professional hockey team. He’s not about to let an injury slow him down or a rookie doctor call the shots.

    Sarah and Mike don’t respect each other’s jobs. When they have to work together, sparks fly and ice melts. Can they play a game they both can win?

    Love on the ice doesn’t always go smoothly.

     

    Enjoy an excerpt from Between the Pipes

    “He’ll be in the intensive care unit overnight, but they’ll probably move him to another room tomorrow,” Sarah said. Coherent and professional. So far, so good. She could hardly be blamed for being distracted, though, considering what she was up against.

    Ben popped his head into the dressing room. “Mike, how’s the chest?”

    Mike’s gaze darted to Sarah and then back to Ben. “Fine,” he responded curtly.

    Ben nodded as if that was the answer he’d expected to hear and left with a salute.

    Sarah thought his chest was more than fine, but that probably wasn’t what Ben had meant. She looked over at Mike. “What happened?”

    “Nothing. I caught a puck in the ribs in the third, but it’s fine.”

    “Against your chest pads?”

    “No. I must’ve twisted, and it found a hole.”

    “Is it painful?” she asked, wondering if he could have injured a rib. From the little she’d watched of the game, it didn’t appear that the players held back when they shot at the goalie. It wouldn’t take much to fracture a rib.

    He gave a short laugh with a shake of his head. “I’m a goalie. It would be unusual not to have pain after a game.”

    “Maybe I should take a quick look.”

    “No. It’s fine,” he replied with a hint of anger and a whole lot of impatience.

    Sarah cocked her head to one side and looked at him. Why wouldn’t he want her to check it, to make sure it wasn’t something more serious than a bruise? She grabbed a towel off the bench and threw it at him.

    “Hey,” Mike said, startled, and he instinctively reached for the towel. He twisted as he reached out his arm and grimaced, missed the towel, and grabbed his right side. His face was a study in pain, and he scowled at her.

    If looks could kill…yikes. She set her bag down and pulled out her stethoscope. “Let me listen to your chest.”

    He pressed his lips together, and his eyes darkened, but he stood and turned around.

    “Can you take a deep breath?”

    “Of course.”

    Sure. He splinted his chest, barely moving air in and out, but it sounded normal. She ran her fingers gently over the side of his chest, feeling the ribs. He winced when she palpated a small bump on the right side. It was already starting to bruise. She looked him in the eyes when he turned back to face her. “You know, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve fractured a rib.”

    Mike’s expression was stony. “I cannot have a fractured rib. I’ve worked my butt off to become the starting goalie, and I intend to stay that way. I’m not giving that up. I know my own body. This is not a fracture.”

    Sarah watched his face. There was more anxiety than anger behind those words. She removed the stethoscope from around her neck and folded it to put it away. “You may be right, but you need an x-ray to be sure.”

    “No.”

    Sarah’s heart pounded. “I can’t let you play if your rib is fractured. It’s too dangerous,” she said quietly. She willed her hands to stay steady. She was right, she knew it. Danni always worried about players who insisted on playing through an injury. Sarah hadn’t understood how it felt to be in the position of deciding their fate until now. It didn’t feel very comfortable. “You can’t play until I’ve seen the x-ray result.”

    “You can’t do that.”

    They both knew she could. She stayed silent. He drew himself up and reined in the anger.

    “I’ll transmit the requisition to the hospital,” she said.

    “Fine.” He didn’t look at her. That hadn’t sounded fine.

    “As soon as I hear the result, I’ll let you know.” She picked up her bag and headed out.

    That went well, she thought ruefully. Man, she hated hockey.

    Buy link (99c / Free with Kindle Unlimited): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078SHLX8T/

     

     

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    Following the Clues and Falling in Love!

    Love and the Hidden Hockey Clues coverLove and the Hidden Hockey Clues

    When she was younger, Dr. Abigail Clark dreamed of playing professional hockey, but the world wasn’t ready for a female player. That stung. She skated as far away from hockey as possible – until she lands a job in the emergency department of a hockey-crazy town and buys the house of the late beloved Zamboni driver. A tin box is discovered during the renovation of her new home, and Abigail brushes it off as a time capsule left by the previous owner – that is until someone tries to steal it. Turns out, the odd collection is more than just sentimental hockey memorabilia.

    Abigail inadvertently embroils Del Braebury, captain of the local pro hockey team, into helping her sort it out. Her history with hockey players is rocky at best, but he comes in handy when she needs to access parts of the rink that are off limits. Del is happy to be tangled up in the clues of the hidden hockey loot. In the process of solving the mystery, he hopes to win Abigail’s heart!

     

    Buy link ~ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09YJXZS7H/

     

    Behind the Scenes with Love the the Hidden Hockey Clues ~ 

    What inspired Love and the Hidden Hockey Clues?

    Love and the Hidden Hockey Clues, is the first in a new series, Laugh-out-Loud Hockey Caper Romance. It’s about a doctor who finds a tin box hidden between the studs during renovations of her home. She thought the items were random hockey mementos but realizes they are clues and enlists the help of the captain of the local pro hockey team to help her sort out where they lead. I’ve always thought it would be cool to find a hidden treasure during renovations and that sparked the initial idea. I also love escape rooms with the challenge of clues to decipher and puzzles to solve. I thought I’d weave that type of white-collar crime mystery into a romance. Add in a smart, sassy doctor and a swoon-worthy professional hockey player, and the stage is set for a fun, clever hockey caper.

     

    Is there anything special you would like people to know about Love and the Hidden Hockey Clues?

    This is the first book in the series and all of the (stand-alone) stories will have an element of white-collar crime – like a cozy mystery without murder! I also decided to make these stories sweet with the feel of a sexy romance – sweet with heat.

     

    What do people get wrong about writing romance?

    I specifically write medical romance and here are 3 things that authors may get wrong when their main characters are doctors:

    Physicians cannot/would not date their patients – unless they want to lose their licence to practice medicine. I know that readers are sometimes asked to suspend reality when reading fiction, but a doctor hooking up with their patient makes me cringe. It’s so unprofessional. If you want to write a romance with the doctor as the hero or heroine, their love interest could be a colleague. Generally, the rules about dating a fellow hospital employee aren’t as strict as they are in the corporate world.

    Something else I’m often asked about with respect to the scope of practice outside of a clinic or medical facility – doctors can pretty much only do First Aid and CPR like any other bystander. Not many doctors carry around a stethoscope, medical equipment, or urgently needed drugs on an outing!

     

    Gone are the days of old when a doctor, usually a surgeon, stereotypically a neurosurgeon, goes around throwing out arrogant orders to the doctors-in-training or nursing staff. That is no longer tolerated. Doctors are expected to maintain a level of professionalism – on and off the job. A couple of years ago a doctor was reprimanded by the College of Physicians and Surgeons for swearing at another driver after a minor motor vehicle accident. It wasn’t medically related at all, but it was deemed that the doctor’s behaviour was unbecoming to the profession.

     

    If you were suddenly transported back to Victorian England as a member of the aristocracy, would you be thrilled or appalled? Would you be willing to stay there permanently?

    I would be appalled. A female physician in Victorian England was pretty much unheard of, and the practice of medicine was very different. The use of anesthetics, antibiotics, and even basic sanitization practices were all still evolving. I would be anxious to be transported back to today.

     

    Is true romance – the wooing, courtship, passion, seduction, the little gestures of affection – dead? Why or why not?

    I don’t think so, at least not in my heart. It’s the little gestures of affection that carry the relationship forward. The wooing and courtship allow you to get to know someone and develop trust and respect. They build the foundation of affection and attraction, and the passion and seduction have to wait until your heart is ready. That foundation, in my opinion, has to be in place for a long-lasting relationship.

     

    What’s the best thing that has ever happened to you as a writer?

    The best thing is when a reader tells me they love my book. It’s not just the words, but the sparkle in their eye or the laugh when they recount a scene. Sometimes they haven’t finished reading it yet, so I can’t say too much because I don’t want to spoil the ending. But that genuine enjoyment is so uplifting to me as a writer.

     

     

     

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    Happy Valentine's Day!

    Valentine’s Day is a wonderful reminder to tell the people in our lives that we love them and to let them know how grateful we are that they are part of our lives. It takes energy, compromise, time, patience, and acceptance to nurture a relationship. It sometimes takes difficult conversations – ones we’d rather avoid - to make a relationship stronger. So, once a year, pat yourself on the back and celebrate that you did all that and more to keep your relationship strong. And why not make a point of thanking all the loved people in your life – from children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents and other assorted extended family to the server who pours you coffee, the IT guy who rescues your computer, the contractors that show up on time and take pride in their work, the readers who pick up your book and encourage you to write and the myriad of people who make your world a better place. It may be a different type of love, but they’ll appreciate hearing how much you care and appreciate them! Happy Valentine’s Day!

     

    Looking for a fun hockey romance to curl up with? Love and the Hidden Hockey Clues, is the first in the Laugh-out-Loud Hockey Caper Romance series. It’s about a doctor who finds a tin box hidden between the studs during the renovation of her home. She thought the items were random hockey mementos, but she realizes they’re clues and reluctantly enlists the help of the captain of the local pro hockey team to help her sort out where they lead. It’s a fun romance with an element of white-collar crime – like a cozy mystery without murder!

     

    Love and the Hidden Hockey Clues coverHere’s the blurb for Love and the Hidden Hockey Clues ~

    When she was younger, Dr. Abigail Clark dreamed of playing professional hockey, but the world wasn’t ready for a female player. That stung. She skated as far away from hockey as possible – until she lands a job in the emergency department of a hockey-crazy town and buys the house of the late beloved Zamboni driver. A tin box is discovered during the renovation of her new home, and Abigail brushes it off as a time capsule left by the previous owner – that is until someone tries to steal it. Turns out, the odd collection is more than just sentimental hockey memorabilia.

     

    Abigail inadvertently embroils Del Braebury, captain of the local pro hockey team, into helping her sort it out. Her history with hockey players is rocky at best, but he comes in handy when she needs to access parts of the rink that are off limits. Del is happy to be tangled up in the clues of the hidden hockey loot. In the process of solving the mystery, he hopes to win Abigail’s heart!

     

    Enjoy an excerpt ~

    Abigail put her purse on the floor at her feet. “I found a date for next Saturday.”

    “Yeah, I got that, but rewind a moment.” Sierra put up a hand. The black curls framing her face bobbed with the movement. “You’re going with some random guy from the gym and to seal the deal, you kissed him?”

    Abigail rolled her eyes. “It wasn’t to seal the deal. It was to get a five-thousand-dollar donation to the hospital.”

    Her three friends did simultaneous double takes. If she didn’t feel so sheepish about the whole thing, it would’ve been funny.

    “He paid five thousand dollars to kiss you?” Bailey’s eyes were wide. “I mean I know you have sex appeal, but that’s impressive.”

    Abigail laughed. “He had a bet going with his friends. They promised to fork over five thousand if I said yes and five thousand if we kissed before the night was over.” She shrugged, feigning nonchalance. “I just sped things up.”

    “Abigail Sarah Clark, it seems we need to have a little talk about appropriate behaviour with the opposite sex.” Sierra gave a good stink eye.

    Abigail sighed. “I know, I know. It was an impulse. His two friends were so smug. I was goaded.” She’d had to quash her own pang of embarrassment over the kiss. “He is quite easy on the eyes, though.”

    Bailey leaned forward with a wide smile. “Deets.” Her heart-shaped face, porcelain skin, and fine features belied the adventure in her blood.

    Abigail laughed. “Close to one-hundred-ninety centimetres tall, black wavy hair, and an angel face with a sexy five o’clock shadow.”

    “What’s his name?” Piper asked softly. Her warm brown eyes held more worry than censure. Abigail could imagine she was the most appalled, though she’d never say so for fear of hurting Abigail’s feelings.

    “I don’t know.”

    Again with the simultaneous double takes.

    Sierra blinked rapidly and held up her hands. “What do you mean, you don’t know? Didn’t he give you his name? Didn’t you ask?”

    Abigail cleared her throat. “Not exactly. In my head I was calling him Muscles. I don’t think he introduced himself when he came over and then after that kiss…” She bit her lip. “You know that emoji with the big saucer eyes and flushed cheeks?”

    Her friends nodded.

    “That was me.”

    Bailey laughed and wiggled her eyebrows. “Good kisser, check.” She made a big check mark in the air.

    “Over the top,” Abigail said with a nod. “I was in the locker room before I realized I’d forgotten to ask his name, and when I came out he was hanging with his friends again. I didn’t want to give them the satisfaction of knowing that I didn’t know, you know?”

    “So you have a date for Saturday, and you have no idea who he is except that he’s a good kisser?” Sierra asked. Her hands might as well have been on her hips.

    “Pretty much,” Abigail said, a tad sheepishly. “I’m sure I’ll see him again at the gym before next Saturday. I’ll ask him then.”

    “What’s the name of the gym?” Bailey asked.

    “Break Point.”

    Piper’s eyes widened. “Isn’t that owned by one of the Edge players? I heard the team hangs out there.”

    Sierra’s jaw dropped. “You kissed a hockey player?”

    “What? No.” Although they certainly were built. And they dropped ten grand like it was Monopoly money. “Oh, jeez.”

    Bailey laughed delightedly and pulled out her cell phone. “The woman who has vowed never to date a hockey player, who disses hockey players at every opportunity, who shows nothing but disdain for women who date hockey players…is going out with a hockey player. Wouldn’t that be karma?” She searched for pictures of the Brighton Edge players and handed it to Abigail.

    Abigail took Bailey’s phone reluctantly and scrolled through the team members. Her heart dropped when she found him. She held the phone out to show the others.

    Bailey whistled, Sierra’s eyes narrowed, and Piper tried unsuccessfully to hide a sympathetic smile.

    Abigail was going to the dinner and dance with Del Braebury, captain of the Brighton Edge hockey team.

     

    Buy link ~ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09YJXZS7H/

     

     

     

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