ROW80 Update and Farewell to the Forum: Final Houseparty

ound of Words in 80 Days update!

We have 35 days to go in this round.

These were my initial ROW80 goals (shared the same day as my cover reveal!):

Learning: Keep up with graduate school work!
Performance: catch up on the September X on the Forum and finish entering all edits for The Charm of Time

Learning: Keep up with graduate school work!
Performance: send The Charm of Time to betas, work on two short stories with a view to submitting them places, (re)learn how to crochet!

Learning: Essays for school
Performance: NaNo! Time to work on the sequel to The Charm of Time, which I've been calling A Handful of Time (which is the title of one of my favourite YA books, by Kit Pearson)

Learning: Keep up with graduate school work!
Performance: Take a break! Time for a reading holiday. Probably with some crocheting, too. I'll also be busy compiling my year-end books read posts and statistics.

As is the nature of ROW80, these have gotten tweaked. I accomplishe…

Story Playlist!


It occurs to me that I haven't shared a story playlist in a while.

Usually, my playlists are directly related to songs that my characters are listening to or love.

This collection, for The Charm of Time and A Handful of Time, is a bit different, as it's mainly songs that remind me of what's going on in the story, and some of the emotional arcs that need to be resolved. Although the second song is one of Christianne's favourites, and Rory is a grunge rock fan...

Hope you like them!

The Smiths, Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want

Roxette, The Heart-Shaped Sea

Neil Finn, Second Nature (the song from his new album, Out of Silence, that most reminds me of Rory and Christianne is Love Is Emotional, but that one's not available on YouTube)

Whisky Trench Riders, Some Memories Don't Fade

Alice in Chains, Would?

Alice in Chains, Jar of Flies (album)

The Carter Family, The Storms on the Ocean

Runrig, Faileas Air An Airigh

Yes, this means that NaNoWriMo is in f…

NaNoWriMo and Mini Book Reviews: Kait Nolan and Montreal Noir

ini book reviews are back!

Kait Nolan has a new book out this week!

Good old, reliable Pru. Of the four Reynolds sisters, Pru is the natural choice to take on custody of the girl their late mother had planned to adopt. At thirty, suddenly becoming the mom of a teenager means big changes, but Pru's ready to do whatever it takes to adopt Ari. Before she settles down, though, she wants one thing for herself.

Enter Flynn Bohannon, the sinfully sexy Irish musician in town for her sister's wedding. He's led the kind of free, vagabond life Pru can hardly imagine. Definitely not the kind of guy she should be dating, but he's the perfect guy for a crazy fun fling before her life changes.

When Pru proposes a brief, no strings affair, Flynn's not about to say no. But when unexpected complications endanger the adoption, the two find themselves in a phony engagement.

Now they have to convince a sharp-eyed, skeptical social worker, a teen who's too smart for her own good, thr…

Canadiana Part III: John Dunsworth and Gord Downie, and Hugh MacLennan


I've had many previous posts on Canada and Canada-themed books and music and travels, including the time I interviewed Vince Ditrich of Spirit of the West on his favourite children's books!

I've also featured Canadiana parts I and II on my knitting blog, including Talli Roland/Leah Mercer's books.

Today's Canadiana features two sad items, the passing of actor John Dunsworth, who most recently played the character of Jim Lahey on Trailer Park Boys, and of Gord Downie, the lead singer of The Tragically Hip.

Here's a playlist featuring some of the funny bits from the first season of Trailer Park Boys:
(I didn't create this playlist; I hope it's a good one!)
Here's a playlist I created a while ago featuring a few songs by The Tragically Hip, in no particular order (subconsciously they may reflect the first recording I owned by them, which wasn't an official album but a mix on tape (yes, on cassette!) made for me by a friend):

Listening to t…

Jaunt Round the Blogosphere II!

one fishing...

Or, more accurately, I'm wading in school work and a bit of my own writing (how's that for a mini-ROW80 update?).

This week, then, I leave you with links!

I've done this a few times before: my most recent jaunt round the blogosphere was in July, and my post for the letter G during the A to Z Blogging Challenge collated all the previous jaunts!

Lots of intriguing blog posts by fellow bloggers, a few of which I list here:

Tammy, on a struggle that's all too familiar: querying
Adam has a new job!
Carol has a new book!
Inky Fool also has a new book, on the history of drunkenness. My wishlist knows no bounds...

Other bloggers to visit: Zan Marie, In the Shade of the Cherry Tree
DL Hammons
Tara (and don't forget to vote in the sex scene championships!)
Neurotic Workaholic

Two Jos:
Jo Murphey
Jo Bourne, and the Word Wenches

And don't miss author Margaret Buffie's wonderful lakeside photos!
Here's a screenshot to entice you:


Mini Book Reviews, a Blanket, and ROW80


In between readings for school, here's what I've been reading:

Summer Fire by Sally Wentworth, because it has the same name as my novel, coming out in December!

This book was published in 1980. Let's just say that tastes and conventions in romance have changed quite a bit since then...

Reach for the Sky by Paul Brickhill (who became a prisoner of war and was sent to Stalag Luft III, where he assisted in a mass breakout in March 1944, which became the basis of his book The Great Escape).

This book is about Douglas Bader:
"Aged 21, Bader was a rising star in the RAF: an exceptional pilot with a natural flair for stunt flying and an outstanding sportsman, tipped to play rugby for England. Then disaster struck. Carrying out a banned “slow roll” at low altitude, Bader crashed so badly that he had to have both legs amputated.
Drawing on his own experiences as a fighter pilot and prisoner-of-war, Paul Brickhill takes us through the exhilarating highs and devastating lows o…

IWSG Day, and RIP Tom Petty

oday is Insecure Writer's Support Group Day!

Today is also show your insecurity day!
Love seeing mini-Alex wearing that scarf!
I forgot to bring my IWSG shirt with me, and the weather is not cooperating, so instead of the Alps, here I am working on a blog post with a sequoia outside my window:

I'm also interviewed at Carole Anne Carr's blog today!

OPTIONAL IWSG Day Question: Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?

Short answer: don't we all?

Long answer: I've always loved Tolkien's line from the foreword to The Lord of the Rings: "An author cannot of course remain wholly unaffected by his experience, but the ways in which a story-germ uses the soil of experience are extremely complex, and attempts to define the process are at best guesses from evidence that is inadequate and ambiguous."

One thing that readers may not realise is that different bits of real life -- from a specific fri…

My Cover Reveal, and ROW80 Goals


The Dirty Bits, from Carina Press!

"A new line that’s meant to be fun, sassy and, well, dirty. Although these romances are shorter in length, we are definitely not compromising on that high heat level we’re known for.

The Dirty Bits from Carina Press are “micro-romances”, designed to be read in an hour or two. ... guaranteed to pack a punch and deliver a happily ever."
The first book in the series -- Seducing His Student, by London Hale -- is out now!

There'll be a few other releases between now and December, but in mid-December... Guess what?

Summer Fire by Deniz Bevan
Is that my name on the cover?!

A few minutes to bask in the reflected glory of that book cover... and then it's back to work.

The final round of A Round of Words in 80 Days for this year has begun, and here are my goals for the round, including -- in keeping with the latest ROW80 blog post -- both learning and performance goals:

Learning: Keep up with graduate school work!

Snips and Character Faces

oday is snip day!

I’ll break up the text with some photos of the characters involved.

Summer Fire
Ayşe Meral had been in Istanbul for two weeks and hadn’t had a single moment to herself since the day she’d landed. ... Family members, touristy sites, endless meals. She wasn’t ungrateful, but on the long flight out from Montreal she’d developed a secret hope that something – no, someone – exciting would come along. Now, with little more than a week of her trip left to go, and her grandmother on the phone every day rounding up more of the clan, Ayşe had resigned herself to an interesting, but in the end unromantic, holiday. ...

All the running around, obliging her relatives, wasn’t that far off her part-time work at the hospital. When she started her residency on her return to Montreal, she’d have all kinds of experience in being polite, anticipating people’s needs, and rushing from one hot spot to another. Maybe.

Pushing aside the nervousness that came with every reminder that she’d fini…

Summertime Photos from Founex, Switzerland

hotos from a staycation!

Not exactly, as these were taken over the course of the summer, and we did travel to other places. But many weekends it's nice to stay home and explore our surroundings a little more.

I've posted photos of Founex and the neighbouring towns before, and collated all the Switzerland photos during this year's
A to Z, but for the sake of completeness, here they are again:
Founex #1
Founex #2
Founex in the snow
Founex #4
Founex in the summer
And then two more posts from after the A to Z cut off:
Winter in Switzerland
February in the valley

Here is this summer's collection:

A new tea shop in the town of Coppet
Looking down on the Dole, the highest peak of the Jura, from the plane
Photos from on the Dole:

Looking towards Geneva on the right, at the end of the lake