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:

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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?

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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?

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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?

Why Art Crime?

With only 3 weeks until A Fool and His Monet releases (2 weeks for the Ebook release), I thought it would be a great time to share with you some of the inspiration behind the Serena Jones Mysteries series, which tracks the exploits of art crime agent Serena Jones.

Art thieves aren’t as cultured and clever as shows like the Thomas Crown Affair and White Collar would have us believe. But when they succeed in making off with millions of dollars worth of fine art in a daring or brazen escapade, their thefts do make for sensational news stories.

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Central courtyard of the Gardner Museum during my visit last year

The arguably most famous is the 25+ year old, unsolved case of the Gardner Museum theft. In the wee hours of Mar 18th 1990 (while Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations were beginning to wind down), two thieves disguised as police officers entered the museum, tied up the guards and proceeded to steal 13 very different works of art. Considering the specific pieces stolen, some have speculated that it was a theft to order. Others, such as Robert K. Wittman, founder of the FBI’s art crime team, believe the men were merely incompetent. Art that hot is impossible to sell. The buyer could never display it.

Yet, the museum remains optimistic that the stolen art will yet be recovered. Until then the empty frames from which priceless paintings such as Rembrandt’s Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee remain hanging on the walls as haunting reminders of the collective heritage stolen from all of us that night.

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To aid in their recovery, the museum is offering a $5 million reward for their recovery. Click the image above to link to their virtual tour of the theft and pieces stolen. Maybe you have a clue to where one of these pieces could be now and don’t even realize it!

As I began communicating with the FBI during my research for this series, one person suggested I write a mystery to solve this case. Maybe it would help the FBI solve it, she said.

Wouldn’t it make an intriguing story for a fiction writer to elicit the help of her readers in recovering priceless paintings and solving a 25+ year old crime?  😀

Your Turn: What do you think? Have any theories?

Always Watching by Lynette Eason

I’m super excited about my friend (and super popular romantic suspense author) Lynette Eason’s new series Elite Guardians.

Book 1, Always Watching, releases Feb 2nd, although it’s already available for digital download.

And…for Goodreads members in the US or Canada, you still have time to enter the Goodreads Giveaway for a chance to snag one of five copies. The giveaway ends Feb 2nd, so don’t delay!

The Elite Guardian series is about female bodyguards and their clients who can’t stay out of trouble.

Always Watching

In Always Watching, when it becomes clear that popular psychiatrist and radio personality Wade Savage has a stalker, his father secretly hires Elite Guardians to protect his son. But when Wade’s bodyguard is attacked and nearly killed, agency owner Olivia Edwards must step in and fill the gap.

Olivia’s skills are about to be tested to the limit as Wade’s stalker moves from leaving innocent gifts at his door to threatening those closest to him–including Olivia. But in her mind, even more dangerous than the threats to her life is the hold her handsome client has on her heart.

Colleen Coble, author of The Inn at Ocean’s Edge and the Hope Beach series says: “This is one of the best romantic suspense novels I’ve read in a long time. Highly recommended!”

1602 Lynette headshotLynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice, the Deadly Reunions, and the Hidden Identity series. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She lives in South Carolina. Learn more at www.lynetteeason.com.

And a Goodreads Giveaway for…

A Fool and His Monet begins Mon. Feb 1st