Monday, November 21, 2011

Catch Up

Hi All,'s been a busy few weeks in my part of the world.
At the beginning of November, my family and I packed up and took off for a sunny vacation in Disney World! We had an awesome time, but it's definitely not a relaxing vacation. Between running from ride to ride, character dinners, and swimming, I'm still tuckered.  But it was worth it. I think the kids are still smiling and have memories that will last a lifetime.

Just before we left, I found out that my New Voices entry was selected to receive a critique by the Mills and Boon staff. Colour me excited! I wish I could have been here when it posted (mine was in the last group of critiques--you can read it here.), but I was internet-less while cuddling up with Mickey. It was exciting none-the-less to read the critique when I got home. They had some wonderful things to say about my writing (yay!) and provided some helpful tips for improving my entry (which I completely agree with).  It was just the boost to my writing ego that I needed.

So now that the end of November is fast approaching, I have my daughter's birthday party to plan, Christmas plans to make, baking to do, the regular day job, and writing to fit in. Does anyone know where I can get a couple more hours in the day?

Any tips on fitting writing into an already overflowing schedule?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kristan Higgans is my idol!

I was feeling the need to read a feel good book, so I picked up Kristan Higgans' All I Ever Wanted. All I can say is she does not dissappoint! I'm only a few chapters in, but I''ve already laughed out loud more times than I can count.

Between Susan Wiggs and Kristan Higgans, I am having some serious envy issues. These ladies are fabulous writers! Why can't they teach classes? (Hint, hint, ladies in case this post shows up in your google alerts *g*)

Friday, September 23, 2011

I did it!

I finally hit send on my New Voices entry. Yippee!
Here's the link. Or you can also access using the handy dandy New Voices badge on the right (thanks Lacey Devlin). I'd love it if you'd stop by and give it a read (maybe even leave some comments, pretty please?).

Now that it's off my plate, I may venture in and read some of the other entries. Hopefully I don't get too jealous of all the talent out there.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Real Life Motivation

A few weeks ago I encountered a situation which made me realize that it's our instinct to seek to understand motivations...not just in books but in real life. We want to understand what makes people do the things they do.  Because without motivations, their acts are just...random. And that's scary.

Although I'm Canadian, I live close to the border and sometimes go shopping in the U.S. On this particular day I was shopping In Niagara Falls New York with my sister. My sister normally does the driving, but I wanted to drive her in my first ever BRAND NEW car. And we were having a great time until our last stop...

Returning to my car, I discovered that someone had taken a key and scratched up and down BOTH side of my car. Why? Why would someone do that? I figured it was probably some kid with nothing better to do, but still I searched for answers. The desire to know was so great that I called the police and had them go through video surveillance to see who would do such a thing.

Let me tell you...the answer shocked me. The culprit was a woman in her mid to late twenties! A woman? Right away the police officer started asking questions. Had I cut her off on the way into the store? Did I park too close to her car? Did I say something to her in the store. Even he wanted to explain the behaviour because there HAD to be a reason. But the answers were all no, no, and no. Then my sister started hypothesizing. Maybe it was the Canadian plates. Maybe it was the foreign make of my car. Unfortunately we'll never know because we weren't able to get a good look at the licence plate of the car she drove away in.

But at least I can say that the incident made me realize how important it is to get the motivations right in the stories we write, because without the proper motivation, our characters' acts feel random. And that will leave the reader feeling unsettled, like something is missing.

Just like me and my poor scratched car : (

Monday, August 22, 2011


I recently re-entered the contest ring entering the Where the Magic Begins contest with a new ms I've been working on. The final judge is from Special Edition, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed I get that far. If not, I hope to get some constructive feedback. I'm thinking it may be wise to wait for feedback before entering New Voices if timing allows. I'd hate to make the same mistakes in 2 contests.

Anyone else entering any contests? Planning on entering New Voices?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New Voices is Returning!

I just saw this post on Kate Walker's blog about the return of the Mills and Boon New Voices competition!
It was so exciting I had to share!

Will you be entering?

Thursday, June 09, 2011


So, yesterday was one of those milestone birthdays for me (ick, boo, ugh), which got me thinking about my writing goals. When I started writing 9 years ago, I never would have imagined that I'd still be unpublished at this age. Then again, I never would have imagined that if I was still unpublished, I'd want to keep trying for that brass ring.

I mean, what's wrong with me? Is it some sort of sickness, or am I just a glutton for punishment? You'd think I'd be tired of the rejection by now, lol.

Either way, yes, that drive is still there. So I'm going to keep at it. Keep writing. Keep submitting. Keep pulling out my hair.

Cause that's what us writers matter what the age.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011


Yesterday I signed up for a writing workshop that I hope will give me the kick in the butt that I sorely need. It's called "What Does Nora Roberts Know That You Don't?" with the Colorado Romance Writers (Thanks to Lacey Devlin for bringing it to my attention). I read the first lesson last night and all I can say is ...WOW! There is a LOT of information. The trick will be applying it to my own writing.

I'm hoping that thinking about writing will get those fingers moving on the keyboard once again.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Oh Kitchen, how I miss you...

Never thought those words would EVER flow from my finger tips, and get there they are. We've been without a kitchen for approximately 3 weeks in preparation for the installation of a brand new shiny one, and I really miss it. I even missing washing dishes in a real sink (instead of in my laundry tub)! Crazy, I know. But the wait is almost up. The cabinets are being installed today and tomorrow, and the counters will go in in about a week. Yippee! I keep telling myself that once the kitchen is done, I'll start writing again. I know its a procrastination technique, but I really do want to get focused again. I just can't do it in the middle of this chaos. But in a few weeks, I'll have no more excuses.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Nanny Story With Sass Factor

Hi All,

I'm lucky enough to have Judy Jarvie swing by to tell us about her next release (2 in a month--can you believe it?), Nanny Behaving Badly. It's a fabulously fun story, and I know her readers will love it. So heeeeere's Judy!

A Nanny Story With Sass Factor

Nanny Behaving Badly was a blast to write. Mostly because I gave sass factor full freedom!

Since Marcy is my long-time CP she will attest I love to let my characters banter. I like a bit of fun, a bit of attitude. And most of all I love the underlying sensual tension that causes characters to play along.

I love to let them have fun, say outrageous things, wind each other up – I guess it’s all related to pulling pigtails in the schoolyard. I especially love a hero who can give as good as he gets! It gets even better when the sass stops and things turn serious.

And in Nanny Behaving Badly there was a lot of things that fired things up between hero and heroine:
For starters rebel heroine Maddie Adams finds herself in hot water when she pushes the boss a bit too far at the end of Chapter One. (Note – I won’t spoil it by giving the story away but let’s just say she makes the worst impression possible with her new coffee shop boss, Lyle Sutherland).

Then they have to work together even more closely when Maddie accepts Lyle’s offer to be his son’s nanny. It may be a wise career move but it ups the banter and temptation factors hugely.

I loved writing their encounters, their fun asides and their differences of opinion.

If sass is the spice of romance writing, then Nanny Behaving Badly definitely gave me a chance to create something really piquant!

And lastly HUGE thanks to Marcy for helping me along the way. Nanny Behaving Badly took a lot of dirty drafts to get right and Marcy held my hand and kept me at it. I’m very very grateful.

WANTED: Nanny Behaving Badly

Waitress Maddie Adams hits black ice when she shocks her new boss, hot coffee king Lyle Sutherland, then agrees to be his son's SOS nanny.

It seems like the perfect solution to his childcare dilemma. But strong, silent-type Lyle is soon left reeling by his son's sassy new nanny.
Is off-limits attraction a 'naughty step' penalty? Can Maddie resist bad behaviour with the boss?

Out now with Embrace Books –

More info at and

Flirting With The Fireman also out now from The Wild Rose Press –

Thanks for letting me drop by - and a big big thanks to Marcy. Without her - Nanny Behaving Badly would never have gotten as far as she has! In fact Marcy features in the dedication to the book!
(* Marcy here...Awe, you're so sweet, Jude*)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I broke through the post R slog and started writing again. Yay!

In a few days, I was able to write the short story (aimed at Woman's World) that I've been noodling for weeks, and it felt darn good! After another sweep to make sure everything is absolutely sparkling, I'll be back in submission waiting limbo.

It's small, but it's a start.

Anyone else starting something new?

Monday, February 07, 2011

My First Guest Blogger!

This is a first at my blog...I have a guest Blogger! Yippee!

I met Judy Jarvie many moons ago over on the eHarlequin Community boards, and we've been critiquing for each other on and off for years. And since this is a very exciting time for Judy (2 releases within a month!), I'm thrilled to have her visit to tell us a little about her first release--Flirting with the Fireman. Take it away, Judy...

Busting the Waffle

Big thanks to the lovely Marcy, my long time CP, for letting me drop by and trumpet about my books.

Marcy’s the best placed person to tell you about my writing foibles– since she’s read so many dirty drafts! I wanted to write a brief post about the wonderful editor I met at Wild Rose Press and how she helped me so much. Her waffle-busting skills blew me away.
Vicky who deals with Sweetheart Rose is a very special editor. She read my book – saw things she liked in it – but told me it wasn’t quite right. She wanted more. I went away and expanded. It still wasn’t right and it needed a hard edit. Vicky tells it like it is but she also really fired me to want to get it right and impress her. At this point Vicky could easily have given up. Written me off as too much to learn. But she believed in the story. She liked the voice. And this gave me confidence to try again and make it better.

That’s what makes Vicky so special. The fact she taught me to be my own waffle buster!

What happened next was that Vicky gave me a brief tutorial on putting my own foibles right. She only showed me once but she showed me so well I was fired to follow in her footsteps.

Here’s what I learned:
I repeat.
I explain.
I can’t stop myself doing the above.
This drags pace. This pulls a reader out.
It may have strong voice but the story is the most important thing. And asides obscure the story.
Keeping the reader’s interest is paramount. They want to know what’s happening now.
So she made me stop. And boy do I feel a big difference. This post is a thank you to Marcy and to Vicky – who stuck with me on the journey and were prepared to try to help! We all need an extra eye to help us work out our foibles.

Flirting With The Fireman was released by The Wild Rose Press on 28 January. You can find out more here Link -

Cyber sparks...combustible consequences
Felicity Truro's diary is fast filling up with problems. First there's the ugliest bridesmaid's dress in the world, then there's her sick aunt's serious secret. But it's Rod McAllister, the handsome firefighter best man with attitude, who's melting her willpower and frazzling her nerves the most.
Can Flick survive being a bridesmaid for the eleventh time whilst falling for the groom's aide for real? And how will she cope when Rod needs a stand-in and she's promoted to top of the candidate list?
And if you enjoy Flick and Rod’s story - on February 14th my release from Embrace Books, Nanny Behaving Badly, will be launched. See for more information!
HOT News - The Wild Rose Press has just won the Best Print/Ebook Publisher in the Preditor's & Editor's Readers' Poll FOR THE THIRD YEAR RUNNING. Huge Congratulations. Thanks for letting me drop by Marcy - as ever, you're fabulous!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bits and Bites

Can you believe that it's almost the end of January? Hopefully we've seen the worst that Winter has to offer here in South Western Ontario because I don't know how much more bitter cold I can take!

On the writing front, I've started polishing up my New Voices entry cutting a load of back story getting ready to enter it in the eHarl Valentines contest. The prize is the mentor ship of Silhouette Desire author, Tessa Radley. What an awesome prize! And if nothing else this contest is getting me writing again, which is always a good thing.

Plus, in the next 2 weeks, I'll be posting some information about a new release from my lovely CP, Judy Jarvie, so stay tuned!