Look On the Bright Side…

So…here it is mid-Spring in Niagara, flowers are blooming, the trees are leafed out and the birds are tip-tapping at the window, and…it’s snowing! Fruit Trees in Blossom

But…on the bright side, if it were a beautiful, sunny, warm spring day like the day I took the above picture, I wouldn’t feel like polishing the manuscript that’s due in two weeks or reading the page proofs for another book in the pipeline or working on a new proposal for the next book.  😉

And my sweet hubby has fired up the old wood stove, so this is turning out to be a nice cozy afternoon. Of course…the real excitement starts this evening when I get to babysit my grandchildren. 😀

By later tonight, I should have a fun photo or maybe even a video to add to the bottom of this post. The children have discovered that their Poppy can video them in front of a green screen and send them to the moon or to wherever they like.

Okey dokey…I’ve procrastinated long enough. Have a great week!

 

Silence in the Dark by Patricia Bradley with Giveaway

I really enjoyed Patricia Bradley’s newest release,Silence in the Dark. This the fourth book in her Logan Point series, but you don’t have to have read the previous books to follow it at all. But if you have, it’s fun to revisit many of the characters you’ve met in previous books.

Silence in the Dark 

Here’s the book’s back cover blurb:

When Bailey Adams left Logan Point two years ago for the mission field of Chihuahua, Mexico, she thought she was getting away from her problems. Running into her ex-fiancé Danny Maxwell was not part of the plan—neither was being chased through the city by the local drug cartel, the Calatrava. Now despite her best efforts, Danny is her only chance of escaping the people chasing her and getting back to Logan Point safely. Can Bailey find the strength to face what’s coming? And in the midst of the chaos, can she keep herself from falling in love with her rescuer all over again?

My thoughts:

This fast-paced suspense kept me turning pages late into the night. It was a perfect blend of mystery, suspense and romance. Reunion romances make the idea of a romance blossoming in such a short time in such dire circumstances so much more believable. And I love that Danny got a second chance to prove his love. Pat did a fantastic job of believably portraying Bailey’s struggle to put God’s will for her life ahead of the desires of her heart. The spiritual thread is nicely woven through the story. And I love how Bailey’s parents show their love and support to her (but I won’t tell you how, because I don’t want to give anything away).  5 stars!

I asked Pat to answer a couple of questions about the book:

First where did you get the idea for this book?

Funny thing about that. Bailey came out of nowhere in a conversation between Ben Logan and Danny Maxell when I was writing the second book, A Promise to Protect:

“Have you heard from Bailey?” Ben asked when he caught up with him.

“A letter every now and then.” Danny’s clipped words warned Ben away from the subject.

I had to know why he hadn’t heard from her and where she was.

That’s too funny. Non-writers must get a chuckle over how little we sometimes know our own characters until the words spill out of their mouths. Now the first part of the book was set in Mexico. Did that present challenges for you?

A little. Since I’ve never been to Mexico, I had to talk to a lot of people who had, particularly to Chihuahua. From all the photos I found on the web, it is a beautiful area.

Hmm, it’s not a place I’d be in a hurry to visit after reading your novel! Too scary. 

Readers, I’m giving away a copy of Patricia’s book to one randomly selected commenter. I’ll pick the name after midnight EDT Saturday. So…

Your Turn: Do you have a question for Pat? About the book, the series or her writing?

If you’d like to connect with Pat, you can find her at: PT Bradley (1)

www.patriciabradleyauthor.com

www.facebook.com/patriciabradleyauthor
https://twitter.com/PTBradley1;

http://www.pinterest.com/ptbradley/

And her Silence in the Dark can be purchased at:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

CBD

Meet me in St. Louis, ur Niagara Falls!

On Saturday April 30th, I will be participating in a wonderful event called Authors For Indies Day. This is the 2nd annual such day in Canada with the purpose of the event being to support and celebrate our local independent book stores who so kindly carry and promote our books.

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 Last year’s event saw 123 stores and 692 authors across Canada, taking part in their local shops. This year you can find me at R&B Novel-Teas on Queen Street in Niagara Falls. As an author I will be there to read and sign copies of my books but you might also see me behind the counter putting purchases in bags, serving a cup of tea, or helping someone find the perfect book to read.

Mark the date on your calendar! You can find more information about the national event at their website http://www.authorsforindies.com and the local event at www.novelteas.ca. If you don’t live in this area there may be a store near you who is participating. You can find a list of participating stores and authors on the website.

 At 1:30 PM, I’ll be speaking with with fellow Christian fiction author Lisa Belcastro.

Prebook tickets here (no cost, just helps with planning, but please bring a non-perishable food item for charity).

The super cool thing about R&B Novel-Teas is that it has a tea bar inspired by the tea shop in my Port Aster Secrets novels.

tea bar

Parking is free in downtown Niagara Falls and two local restaurants are offering 15% off meals that day so plan to stay for lunch or supper if you like.

 

Team Nate Supporters Have Their Say

Last week, I shared the impassioned reasons of one avid reader on why Serena should choose Tanner. This week, I’m giving the floor to the self-declared president of Nate’s fan club.  😀

Take it away, Lisa!

I’m loving all these comments about Nate and Tanner. And I’m convinced more than ever that Nate is the man for Serena.

Why Nate?

First – Nate takes care of Serena’s cat. As a cat lover and owner, any man who volunteers to look after my beloved cat is a great guy!

Serena's Cat

Second – They have common interests that do not involve Serena’s job. As a couple, one can expect initial chemistry, but there has to be shared interests and great conversation skills to keep a relationship growing and fun. Serena and Nate talk, laugh, watch movies, share meals, love pets, and enjoy art (impressionist art nonetheless). Nate also makes popcorn. Any man who makes me popcorn is a keeper.

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Third – Nate is smart, sexy, funny, handsome, and not married to his job.

screen shot from Bradley Cooper’s FB fan page

Fourth – Nate doesn’t kill the mice that appear in Serena’s apartment. He takes the time to drive them to a new location. This one hit home with me because my dad does the same thing. Whenever he or my mom find a mouse in their humane trap, my dad drives the little guy about ten miles away to a large field on the other side of town. My dad is one of the best guys on the planet, and if Nate shares some of my dad’s qualities, then Nate is perfect for Serena.

Fifth – I wasn’t overly fond of Tanner insulting Serena and Nate when he said that dating Nate is “an idiotic choice.” Petty comments reflect a person’s true character.

Sixth – Tanner’s also 10 years older. We’ve got to ask ourselves if he doesn’t have more of a bossy interest in Serena. He did manipulate his invitation to dinner through Serena’s parents, and he’s altogether too chummy with Serena’s father, essentially sucking up to his former professor.

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Lastly, while I do believe that Tanner is a nice guy, let’s not forget that he was her supervisor and that they still work together. I’m not thrilled with co-worker relationships, and FBI agents dating could become distracting on a case. Not a smart move on Tanner’s part. In fact, probably a selfish move on Tanner’s part.

coworkers fighting

Nate has a life of his own, a great deal of mystery to that life which is rather exciting. I love a good mystery, hence the reason we read Sandra’s books.  😉

reader on treadmill

Nate is the one, the only one, for Serena!!

Your Turn: Wow, Lisa gives strong arguments and twice as many as Team Tanner. What do you think?

If you missed the arguments for Team Tanner, you’ll find them in the previous post.

And if you haven’t voted yet, you can vote here but please read A Fool and His Monet first.

Photo Credits: Popcorn Image courtesy of Carlos Porto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net ; Two men chatting Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net; Business woman scolding her colleague Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

The Battle is Heating Up!

Do you think colleagues should date? Do you think opposites attract? Are you lining up on Team Tanner’s side? Or Team Nate’s?

Have no clue what I’m talking about?  😀

Well…at the back of A Fool and His Monet, I invited readers to visit my Vote For Your Favorite page to tell me who they want Serena Jones to be with by the end of the series–Serena Jones Mysteries.

Vote-for-Tanner

I REALLY do plan to let YOU decide!

And wow, readers are passionate about their choices!

Check out these reasoned arguments from “JL” championing Tanner’s cause:

Reason 1) Tanner is her best and most loyal friend. Friends with the whole family, not just Aunt Martha (and do we really trust Martha’s friend choices?)

Nate is an infatuation.

Reason 2) Tanner’s protective but respects Serena as a capable, strong woman. He’s confident but realizes he can’t have “any woman he wants.” He knows he has to fight for Serena, and she’s worth it to him. He also recognizes Nate is a worthy opponent, as much as he tries to hide it.

Nate is like the mice he’s catching – moves himself into her life without invite, appearing in unexpected places – like her window. Nuff said.

Reason 3) Tanner’s getting up there, he’ll likely want to slow down/settle down in the upcoming books, right after he plays a vital role in Serena solving the mystery of her grandfather’s death, and Serena decides crime investigation no longer means to her what it had.

Nate still has to hit his midlife crisis, where he’ll grow his hair, get an “I love mom” tat and Harley Davidson across America to the anthem of “Life is a Highway.”

Plus, Serena could develop a rare tea allergy or be transferred to a remote island without TV, or mice – and then what would she and Nate have in common?!

Tanner 100%. I rest my case.

Sandra here: I’m rolling on the floor, laughing, picturing Nate on a Harley with that tat.  😆

Your Turn: Agree? Disagree? If you’ve read the book, be sure to vote!

In a few days…I’ll share reasons from the president of Nate’s fan club.  😀

Skip the Meeting at Your Peril

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of facilitating my So You Want to Be a Writer? workshop at a meeting of the Niagara Branch of the Canadian Authors Association. We plotted a murder mystery set at the meeting and can you guess who we opted to make the victim?

A local thriller author who failed to appear.

Ideas for potential suspects and their motives abounded. We’re talking as diverse as an Argentinian in search of the grandson of W.E.B. Griffin, world-renowned author of spy novels, to an anger-management-challenged attendee whose parking place the victim scooped.

Nothing like a good brainstorming session to get the creative juices going.

We opted to make a librarian, who sat in on the meeting, our sleuth. Her stereotypical quiet, studious nature brought a lot of strengths to the investigation. And her introvert nature and resulting low self-esteem allowed us to show her personal growth through solving the crime.

I’m so glad they didn’t pick me as the sleuth. I REALLY didn’t want them to speculate on the areas of my life that could use improvement!

Hopefully, many of the attendees will take up the challenge to write a short story based on our brainstorming session. If you’d like to read one I wrote after a similar session last spring at a volunteers retreat, subscribe to my newsletter and I’ll email you the link and password.  😉 (Membership has its privileges)

Join Me Today at:

International Christian Fiction Writers, where I’m talking about family food favourites, inspired by my character Serena’s British heritage (which also happens to be mine.)

And for an interview at Suzanne Woods Fisher’s Amish Wisdom Blog No, there are no Amish characters in my novels, but if you’re burning to know the answers to such questions as can you make a living from writing and what do you like least about writing, I will tell all (more or less). 😉  And…there’s a giveaway!

Have a blessed Easter Week!

 

Feeling Stressed?

Tell me about it! My characters are out of control.

FBI agent Serena Jones has taken on a life of her own and is appearing around the blogosphere.

Today she’s blabbing about me and about painting to relax and about I’m afraid to look what else. But if you want to, you can check it out here:

http://anastasiapollack.blogspot.ca/2016/03/crafts-with-anastasia-guest-art-sleuth.html

If colouring to relax is more your speed, here’s a blog I found where you can download adult colouring pages:

http://nerdymamma.com/11-free-printable-adult-coloring-pages/6/

I’ve decided to colour the peacock. :-)

I have to try something. My characters are stressing me out!

Later this week, Serena’s Aunt Martha gets into the act with an interview at Jaunty Quills. And when she talks, there’s no telling what she’ll say. I’ll share the link once it’s live on March 11th, if…I’m not too mad at her.  😉

In the meantime, have a great week. Happy colouring or painting or whatever you do to relax. If it’s reading, and you enjoy the thrill of entering giveaways, check out this book review blog:

http://bestreads-kav.blogspot.ca/2016/03/a-fool-his-monet.html 

Google alerted me this morning to the reviewer’s giveaway of A Fool and His Monet. Kav is a voracious reader and posts a new review (often with giveaways) almost every day.

 

Let the Whirlwind Blog Tour Begin!

I’ll be flitting around the blogosphere a lot this month sharing tidbits about how I researched and wrote A Fool and His Monet. 

For those of you who are already deep into the story or <gasp> finished, don’t forget to vote for your favourite guy and check out the book’s bonus features.

Today – March 1st – 

I’m at Stitches Thru Time sharing through pictures how the story location and character evolved, and…hosting a giveaway of the winner’s choice of an oil or acrylic art kit to help her relax in the same fashion as my heroine, Serena Jones.  😉

Art Kit Giveaway Prize

Wednesday Mar 2nd – I’ll be at the More To Life Blog, chatting about listening to your mother, something my heroine finds herself wishing she’d done.

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Thurs Mar 4th – I’ll be interviewed at USA Today’s Happy Ever After Blog and they talked me into sharing a…shall we say dated never-before-seen photo.  😎

I’ll also be interviewed on Motherhood Talk Radio and will share the link once I have it.

Fri March 5th – I’m being interviewed at Suspense Sisters

A Fool and His Monet Releases TODAY in Ebook

Join me at Patricia Bradley’s blog and meet the men in Serena Jones’s life. I had soooo much fun writing this.

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They and I are competing–game show style–in Are You Smarter Than Your Characters?

I’m not sure how I feel about creating characters who might actually be smarter than me.  😕

We’re also giving away fun stuff.

Hope to see you there!

 

On another note:

afoolandhismoney

Goodreads members, there is still time to enter the 5-book giveaway here:  https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/170107-a-fool-and-his-monet 

3 Compelling Ways to Show Her You Love Her

Serena Jones, the heroine of my newest series, seems to attract male interest without effort, but she’s pretty much oblivious to it. So what’s a guy to do?

Valentine's Weather

Well…I’ve compiled a list for the men in her life, and readers of my blog, to help us all out.

See if you agree with them, then after you read A Fool and His Monet, you can see how the men in Serena’s life rank. And…

then pop over to this page to register your vote for your favourite man.

Because let’s face it, there are lots of people in our lives we can love, but how many of those relationships can we make last forever?

Heart Envelope

Okay, so here’s my test:

 

  • Does he respect her?

 

Respect her opinions, her choices, her values?

 

  • Does he protect her?

 

Both physically and emotionally. Does he run on the outside closest to traffic while out for a jog? See her to the door after an evening out? Guard his words to not crush her? Stand up for her against the harsh words of others, whether she is present or not? Take her side, not her mother’s, or worse, his mother’s?

 

  • Does he make sacrifices for her?

 

Give up a golf game or night with the guys so he can attend that event that is so important to her. Is she more important to him than his career? More important than his friends? More important than his family? More important than living where and how he’s always dreamed of living?

Your Turn: Any other questions we should add to the list?