A Little Book Love for Valentine’s Day

Redesigning Rose is 0.99 all weekend because:

1. Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and my book has a wee bit of a love story.

2. In my part of the world, Monday is Family Day and Redesigning Rose is a little bit about family.

3. I love sales.

4. I love book sales the best.

5. I love readers, especially new ones – so please spread the word. And then I’ll love you much longer than just one day a year on February 14th.

$0.99 Sale Available at:





Google Play

A Creative Jump Start

Last weekend Mr. Z and I wandered up north for a few days of relaxation and a unexpected marathon of Downton Abbey (Seasons 1 & 2), and when Saturday turned into the loveliest November day ever, we wandered outside. Thankfully he remembered the camera and I wandered along behind him, mostly not watching for moose. Or bobcats. Or cougars. Or wolves. I was happily snapping photos instead.

I had begun to worry in the weeks prior that my writing mojo had evapourated and that my first novel was a fluke. I couldn’t seem to get into Book Two. But that afternoon it came roaring back. Sometimes it takes a little something different to jump start us, so now I know to grab my camera and head out for a long walk when I’m feeling blocked. Here are a few of my finds.








And for all you doubters, we’d just had rain so were lucky enough to find some evidence of the creatures surrounding us…that wasn’t always in dung form.




The Best Book Investment I Ever Made

Not only did I break up with a boy who was absolutely not “The One” because of Jennifer Weiner, but she also attending my recent wedding with “The One”.

Sorry, I skipped ahead a bit. I’ll start at the beginning…

You can’t read women’s fiction without knowing her name. You can’t write women’s fiction and not know her name. And you definitely shouldn’t watch The Bachelor without monitoring her hilarious tweets.

My introduction to Jennifer Weiner came thirteen years ago during a bookstore browse where I happened across her debut novel, Good Good in Bed by Jennifer Weinerin Bed, displayed on a table. The title snatched my attention (how could it not?), the synopsis drew me in, and I grasped the book in my hands in debate. It was a hardcover. I had very little money at the time. Negative money, if we’re being honest. But there was something about the book, and I found myself unable to set it back down. After a quick ping-pong back and forth in my mind, I walked back to my boyfriend with the book tucked under my arm.

“Whatcha got there?” he asked.
“A book!” I said, holding it out. “It looks great. I can’t wait to read it!”
His eyes narrowed as he pulled it out of my hands and put it down on the closest table. “Don’t be ridiculous. You can’t afford this. You don’t have any money.”
I snatched it back, stalked off to the cashier, and used more negative money to buy it.

It was the best book investment I ever made.

Two of my BFF’s and I all read it twice within a year, and then I passed the book onto another friend who devoured it before giving it to her sister. That copy never made it home. I did, however, buy another which I kept and have subsequently read over the years.

The boy became history shortly after the bookstore incident. Thank you, Jennifer Weiner! He didn’t understand my love of books. He didn’t get me. And he definitely didn’t do himself any favours by once saying “What am I, the bank of David?”* at some ridiculous one dollar item like a bottle of water when I was thirsty and couldn’t find a bank machine. Although I like to think I would have been smart enough to figure it out eventually, thank you for saving me from this very bad man via both the book purchase illuminating his bad boyfriend behaviour and for your wonderful heroine who I’m sure also encouraged me to get his balls rolling, I mean the ball rolling.

Even more important than breaking up with Mr. Tight Wad and passing on a phenomenal, inspiring novel to friends (it still remains one of my favorites to this day), Good in Bed reignited my passion for writing, for the genre that would come to be known as chick lit, particularly the more serious side of it. As much as I loved Bridget Jones’s Diary, a novel that also inspired me to write, and all the other light and fluffy pink covered books out there at the time about shopping and shoes, I adored Good in Bed even more. I loved how serious the novel was amidst the humour, how real. It was smart and funny and it made me think about life and reading and especially writing in a whole new way. Thank you again.

Okay, so maybe I was stretching the truth a bit earlier when I said Jennifer Wiener attended my wedding. She wasn’t actually there in person. She was, however, there in book form. At some point I took my wedding and made it bookish. I think I’ve mentioned this in another post before – do NOT google ‘a bookish wedding’ two months prior to your nuptials. A disaster of epic re-planning proportions will ensue.

Here’s a photo of our place cards which were handwritten library cards fanned out in two books, one of which was Jennifer Weiner’s Lydia_Reno-297novel, In Her Shoes. While a bit sad about defacing the book, I’m happy to report that it still sits on my entrance table and holds mail and other bits and bobs that need a home.

And that’s how Jennifer Weiner attended my wedding. And changed my life.

*Name changed to protect he who was not “The One.”

Me and Bridget Jones

My love affair with chick lit began just over thirteen years ago when I was handed a copy of Bridget Jones’s Diary. It was the year 2000. I was 28. It was spring. And I had just split up with the boy I’d lived with for two years. But new love was in the air.

I cracked open Bridget Jones’s Diary on a camping trip and was gobsmacked to discover my own life splashed across the pages. Not only did I have my very own office scoundrel worming his way into my thoughts, but there were also scandalous workplace instant messaging involved! It was unnerving and wonderful all at the same time. Reading Bridget Jones, not the very bad man I had stupidly grown fond of. Screenshot_2013-10-22-08-08-55

And now, just over thirteen years later, Bridget Jones is not only back with the third book in the series, but just this week two wonderful things happened. First, I watched my own novel, Redesigning Rose, hit number four on an Amazon’s Women’s Fiction, Humour Best Seller’s List. It was just below the Bridget Jones sequel, Mad About the Boy. I almost fainted from the shock and couldn’t believe I shared a Top Five spot with one of my inspirations to write. (Thank you eReader News Today!)

And then just a day later, I met Helen Fielding at an event hosted by ELLE Canada and sponsored by Girls Night Out Wines!

I feel like I’ve come full circle. Now if only I can stay within the lines!

Meeting Helen Fielding was incredible. She’s so lovely and warm and so very, very funny. Kathryn, my BFF, SIL, and co-founder of Novel Escapes, and I wanted to put her in our pockets and take her home with us. I would have settled for sitting down and sharing a bottle or two of Pino Grigio. I might have gone a bit fan-girl when I gushed about my life while reading the first Bridget Jones and thanked her for inspiring me to write.

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Back when I first read Bridget Jones’s Diary, I was amazed by how relatable the novel was. Like Bridget, I was single, I drank, I smoked, and I swore like a sailor (although not on the same level as Shaz!) I still am some of these things, although I’m married now and quit the smokes. I had insecurities. I was approaching thirty with no man in sight – well, there was a man. My very own Daniel Cleaver. But that’s another story. Or maybe not as Fielding managed to portray my life at the time quite accurately. I do like to think Bridget Jones’s Diary made me smarter regarding this very bad man.

Reading the book was validating on so many levels. My insecurities. My fears. My love life. My friends. Even my alcohol intake was all in check. And it was all very amusing to read. I laughed at every situation, and I knew my own shenanigans weren’t far off the mark. I wasn’t alone in the crazy single world I inhabited and that was astounding.

I’m just over halfway through the sequel, Mad About the Boy, and I’m loving it so far. It’s more mature, but still oh-so-very funny, and I’ve guffawed and giggled my way through. But I’ve also chocked up from time to time and have had to take a few deep breaths. Bravo, Helen Fielding, Bravo. This is a brave book and you’ve written something wonderful and true to life with all it’s unplanned misfortunes, misadventures, and things gone awry. You mentioned these at the event, and you portray one’s “life’s plan” going to pot ever so eloquently in Mad About the Boy. Thank you for the initial inspiration, and for continuing to inspire me with this wonderful sequel.



Book Buzz Toronto

I’m getting buzzed on books in November! Not that I’m not already always buzzed on books, but that’s besides the point…

I’m thrilled to announce that I will be participating in Book Buzz Toronto on November 7th, 2013. I’m joining nine other authors for an evening full of books, cocktails and mingling. I may even put on something other than my author track pants. There could even be a dress involved. And heels.

I’m so incredibly excited and honoured to share the floor with this amazing group of women, many of whom have become friends over the years we’ve chatted online (I can’t believe I’m going to finally meet them all now!) and hopefully I’ll make a few new ones!

Come get your Book Buzz on! 

November 7th, 2013 – 7-9pm

*Free Cocktail

*Free Snacks

*Signed Books

Don’t forget to RSVP: bookbuzz2013@gmail.com

Looking forward to to seeing you there!


Writer Brain

This is my brain on writing one morning this week.

Roll out of bed, rub eyes, stumble into the kitchen and pour coffee. Sip. Pad softly to the bathroom. “Write” a kick ass first sentence for my new book in the shower.

Edit until perfect and repeat twelve times. Promptly forget it while applying lotion. Screech and curse.

Why don’t I have one of those writing pads for the shower? I do my best work in there. Grumble all the aqua-notes-homeway to the subway. Hold the door open for a teenage kid twice only to have him forget to return the favour and slam the door in my face after he had swaggered past me. Why so disrespectful? What happened to him not to say a simple “Thank you” or return the favour? Is it because I’m a woman? Does he hate women? Maybe his mother left him as a small boy. Maybe his dad did. Maybe he’s just a punk and doesn’t care about anyone. Maybe he hangs out with the “wrong crowd.” God, I’m old.

Climb aboard subway and begin to read. Get distracted and watch a seeing-impaired woman enter the subway car with her guide dog. Cute doggie. Don’t pet the dog, Lydia. That’s bad form, something I know from living next door to a seeing-impaired man several years ago. I golfed with him. True story. He was incredible. Too bad my ex-husband inherited him, staying in the house and all. I digress…  I gawk around to see who offers their seat. One person on the opposite side stands, but the woman had already turned to ask someone closer. Why doesn’t anyone get up? Are they too tired? Are they really sleeping or faking it? Can’t she see or feel the dog at her side? I can’t believe she had to ask someone to move. Wow, the woman who moved looks mighty pissed about it. What a jerk. Is she extra tired today? Did she not eat and is weak? Maybe she has an invisible illness and needed the seat just as much, but didn’t want to cause a stir because no one might believe her? Or maybe she’s just a bitch. Do her children think so? Is she estranged from them, or did she teach them the same horrible habits? Maybe she has no children. Maybe that’s why she’s miserable. Maybe there was a tragedy…

I turned back to my book and look over a couple of minutes later. The dog is gone! Nope, there he is, tucked under the seat. Gross. How many germs are under there? What about all the germs on this pole I’m clutching? If there was an outbreak in the city, I’d be the first to go. I have the worst immune system. I’d bring it home to my loved ones…

Oh, look at that guy! What a swagger. And that stance! What is he wearing? Talk about high maintenance. Oh yuck, I’m surprised he hasn’t asphyxiated on cologne fumes. Or his ego. Geez. I wonder what he does for a living. Thank God I don’t have to date anymore. This guy would be a treat on a date. I bet all he’d talk about is his car. Something sporty. Expensive. I wonder if anyone’s ever met on the subway. What an unusual way to meet someone…reader-brain

I can’t stop making up stories about the people I see, the things I hear. Of particular interest lately was a woman crying on the subway – and the woman who sat down beside her.

It was later in the evening, and I’d had a couple of beverages that may or may not have involved vodka, so I didn’t even notice the weeping girl until a woman opposite me got up. Instead of moving toward the doors, she sat back down in my periphery. This was a highly unusual occurrence so I took notice, which was when I discovered the girl in tears.

Why? That’s all I could think. What would possess a woman to cry on the subway? I’m loathe to cry anywhere except the comfort of my own home with the exception of a fantastic book that will make me leak tears wherever I am, so naturally I began wondering about her. Did she just get dumped by the love of her life, did someone die, was it the love of her life, or did she herself just receive terrifying medical news? Why was she riding the subway after terrible news? Had she lost her job and couldn’t afford the privacy of a taxi to shed her tears. What if she was crazy? Bi-polar? What if she’d just committed a crime? Did she run away from an abusive boyfriend? What if she just found out she’s pregnant and knows her parents will kick her out. Maybe they just did because she came out as a lesbian. Did she just have an abortion? What if she’s on her way home to commit suicide?

And what about the woman who went to comfort her, a guardian angel of sorts? Maybe they become friends. Maybe not. Maybe the encounter changes both their lives – but how?

And this, my friends, is a writer’s brain. No drugs required.

Note: I went to work that morning and pounded out a thousand words in between calls, emails and calendar invites. Shh.

The Care and Feeding of an Author

Author Love 2Love a book? Show some author love in ten (mostly easy) steps:

1. Buy it.

2. Tell one person it. Better yet, tell ten.

3. Like and follow on the interwebs.

4. Tell another ten people about it.

5. Like it, tag it, share it and blog about it.

6. Rate it on Goodreads, Amazon, Shelfari, etc. 

7. Better yet, consider a review with words.

8. Gift it.

9. Tell ten more people.

10. Tell the author how much you loved it.

Notice the last one…is last? As much as it’s wonderful that you tell ME you loved Redesigning Rose, and it leaves me feeling all warm & fuzzy

like the Prosecco I’ll be celebrating my latest review with later, I’d much rather you shouted it out to someone who might consider buying it. Just sayin’.

Wedding Day Shenanigans

One year ago today I agreed to do this:


Seven months later, we pulled it off.  Here are a few moments from our magical day.


My gorgeous friend, Dee, from Glamorous Planning, making me beautiful.


And the result…my eyes have never looked so good!


Little people!


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I love how my niece is about to go all zombie on me in this shot!



This is one of my favourite shots of the day.



Mmmm. Hubs had this bottle for years and years, saved specially for me. Okay, it was for his wedding day. I just happened to be the one marrying him.


More smiles! AND champagne!



Dancing Shoes! I think I should send this shot to Sketchers.

Happy, Happy Day!

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Friday Favourites – Fall Things

It’s been a crummy summer, but somehow I’m still looking forward to the fall. I love this stunning season almost as much as I love the spring, and even though I loathe the long, frigid months that follow, I still enjoy the lead up, the anticipation of fall. 

Here are some of my favourite fall things:

Hibernating begins. And I’m not talking about the bears. I’m eagerly awaiting things to slow down, to catch up on some sleep, to rest for a while.

TV! Boardwalk Empire, The Walking Dead, Parenthood, and Survivor! 

Long, lazy nights.

The gorgeous fall colours – I could drive around and stare for days.

Turkey and everything Thanksgiving. Particularly pumpkin pie.

The smell of cool, crisp days.

Diminished concern over donning a bathing suit.

Knitting, which is something my fingers itch to do as soon as the nights turn cool.

Stews, soups and roasts.

Cuddling up under cozy blankets.

No pressure to be out ‘enjoying the weather’ so I can curl up and write – or read – without guilt.

Curling up in front of the fireplace.

 What are your favourite fall things?