Excerpt from Lee Child’s Make Me

Survey question for you (answer in the comments): Who is your favorite thriller author?

[  ] Lee Child

[  ] James Patterson

[  ] Someone else…?

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules at Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along!

I love Lee Child’s Jack Reacher books, and just finished Make Me. It is classic Jack Reacher, sensitive yet hard-hitting, lots of tension  and clever dialogue. A fresh and intriguing puzzle. If you’ve read Lee Child, you know what to expect!

At which point the motel keeper’s twelve-year-old grandson ducked into the general store, to the pay phone on the wall just inside the door. He dumped his coins and dialed a number, and when it was answered he said, “He’s searching the town. I followed him everywhere. He’s looking all over. He’s doing it block by block.”

Lee Child, Make Me

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“Why is this town called Mother’s Rest?” That’s all Reacher wants to know. But no one will tell him. It’s a tiny place hidden in a thousand square miles of wheat fields, with a railroad stop, and sullen and watchful people, and a worried woman named Michelle Chang, who mistakes him for someone else: her missing partner in a private investigation she thinks must have started small and then turned lethal.

Reacher has no particular place to go, and all the time in the world to get there, and there’s something about Chang . . . so he teams up with her and starts to ask around. He thinks: How bad can this thing be? But before long he’s plunged into a desperate race through LA, Chicago, Phoenix, and San Francisco, and through the hidden parts of the internet, up against thugs and assassins every step of the way—right back to where he started, in Mother’s Rest, where he must confront the worst nightmare he could imagine.

Walking away would have been easier. But as always, Reacher’s rule is: If you want me to stop, you’re going to have to make me.

Excerpt from The Builder

I announced last night that I have finished the first draft of my Camp Nanowrimo novel! 

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules at Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along!

I am currently reading The Builder (The Young Ancients Book 1) by P.S. Power. It is a young adult fantasy/magic book and has been quite interesting so far. Lots of effort has been put into explaining the ‘science’ of the magical systems in this world. I have been surprised a few times by the use of modern language in what would normally be a historical setting. No attempt has been made to find historical euphemisms for words like bathroom and sex. The main character is not a naive  eleven-year-old, but a scholarship student of three years, I would guess around fifteen years old. He is a hard-working student with a sometimes snarky tone:

Count Thomson. Freaking hell. The guy wasn’t just a giant, but one of Kolb’s best fighters. If he decided to beat Tor to death, not only could he get away with it—legally since he was a Count—but there was nothing the much smaller Tor could do to even slow him down, much less stop him.

P.S. Power, The Builder

[*update – I would not classify this as YA. It is at least mature/upper YA.]

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Tor Baker is a builder. A person that creates the magic that makes the kingdom of Noram function.

At least he will be one, if his first project hasn’t failed miserably, and if he manages not to be expelled from school for taking unscheduled time off to try it.

What Tor doesn’t know is that his innocent little project has caught the attention of some very powerful people, and the world he thought he knew his whole life, is a lie.

Between his own innocence, and a world filled with royalty and power, the humble little baker’s boy from the backwoods is going to have to scramble if he doesn’t want it to all fall apart, or end up in the gallows for making a few simple mistakes.


First draft of Camp Nanowrimo project complete!

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  • Goal was 100,000 words.
  • Rang in at 100,913.
  • Fifteen writing days, averaging 6,700 words per day.

My shoulders tell me that next time I’d better dial it back to 5,000 per day, do yoga every day, or use dictation software part of the time!


“Mrs. Gable is really nice. I’m glad she offered you a place to live.”

“Me too.”

“You think it will work out there?”

“How do I know?” Dakota challenged. “I don’t usually stay anywhere for very long. People promise to take care of you… and then they don’t.”



Parker’s mother always said he jumped into things without thinking first, and that’s exactly what he did when he saw Dakota, cold and hungry, fending for herself on the city streets. How could he ignore the pain and fear in her dark eyes? Dakota was eager to go to school and she made friends quickly, eager to make up for a dismal childhood full of deprivation and abuse by enjoying every moment she could.

But there was something wrong with Dakota. It wasn’t just the hollowness in her eyes or her traumatic past. Others sensed it too and warned Parker not to get too close to Dakota. But despite his questions, Parker just can’t help falling for her.

Dakota holds her secrets close and Parker is worried that if he pushes too hard for answers, she’ll just run away.


Excerpt from Forgive me

dontforgetstevenI still have free Audible downloads codes for my first audiobook release, Don’t Forget Steven. Comment below if you would like one!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules at Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along!

I just finished Forgive Me by Daniel Palmer. An edge of your seat mystery/suspense book with  lots of gritty background about human trafficking and some interesting twists and turns.

Her mother would pounce if a single tear leaked out.

“Toughen up, Nadine,” she’d say. “The world is a brutal place, and you’d best have a thicker skin.”

Daniel Palmer, Forgive Me

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At DeRose & Associates Private Investigators in Virginia, Angie DeRose strives to find and rescue endangered runaways–work that stands in stark contrast to her own safe, idyllic childhood. But in the wake of her mother’s sudden death, Angie makes a life-altering discovery. Hidden among the mementos in her parents’ attic is a photograph of a little girl, with a code and a hand-written message on the back: “May God forgive me.”

Angie has no idea what it means or how to explain other questionable items among her mother’s possessions. Her father claims to know nothing. Could Angie have a sister or other relative she was never told about? Bryce Taggart, the US Marshal working with her agency, agrees to help Angie learn the fate of the girl in the photograph. But the lies she and Bryce unearth will bring her past and present together with terrifying force. And everything she cherishes will be threatened by the repercussions of one long-ago choice–and an enemy who will kill to keep a secret hidden forever.

Crazy Canuck Blog Hop – Summer is Short on the Prairies

Canada Day Blog Hop



Thank you for all of those who participated in my Summer is Short on the Prairies Questing for a Dream Canadiana Prize Pack giveaway! I’ll be sure to let you know of any future promos.

The winner of the giveaway is… Trevor Jarvis! Congratulations Trevor! (Of course I have already let him know by email, but congratulations again!)

The grand prize for the blog hop has also been awarded to Christopher M. Congratulations, Christopher.

Throughout my school years, summer started on my birthday. June 29 was either the last day of school or the first day of summer vacation. Either way, I didn’t have to do schoolwork on my birthday, and it was the transition from the rigors of school to the freedom of holidays.

I was born in Fort McMurray (which you may have heard about in the news lately…) and my summer memories of my birthplace are of fresh raspberries and peas from the garden, incredibly long days, and mosquitos the size of small aircraft. My mother recalls the day that my brother and I ran into the house screaming about “bugs with beaks”!

Moving to Calgary brought shorter days, drier weather, and conventionally sized mosquitos. We took vacations to Grandmas’ houses, to Park Lake, and day trips to the zoo, Heritage Park, or the dinosaur museum in Drumheller.

And the library. I devoured books. Being finished school meant that I could spend all the time I wanted reading. (Aside from chores, those trips, etc.) I read a lot. And I made bug houses out of jars and boxes and collected various creepy crawlies. As I got older, I also wrote.

Which brings us to the Crazy Canuck Canada Day Blog Hop!

Follow the links through the block hop. Each blogger has a posting about summer, a contest to win a prize, and a link to the grand prize contest, a $50 Amazon gift card!

First, sign up for my contest! My “Summer is Short on the Prairies” Questing for a Dream Canadiana Prize Pack includes, among other items:

  • prairies instaAn autographed copy of Questing for a Dream, a compelling and poignant account of Native teen Nadie Laplante’s quest for meaning and purpose. This thought-provoking and eye-opening story of poverty, prejudice and addiction will inspire readers of all ages and remind them that they are not alone. (Yes, this story takes place in the Canadian prairie provinces);
  • A maple leaf hardback notebook/journal (pages are unlined);
  • A dreamcatcher windchime;
  • Owl necklace and earrings;
  • And more!

Then, visit the other bloggers on the tour for their blog posts and contests:

Jessica Subject – a paperback copy of Alien Next Door – the Complete Series

Romarin Demetri – A Mirror Among Shattered Glass

Lisa Emme – a signed copy of Home Again

Julie Coulter Bellon – Book Lover’s Basket, including autographed copies of The Captive and The Captain

Nathan Burgoine – a copy of Light

Kayleigh Malcolm – $20 CAD Amazon Gift Card

Cori Vidae – a paperback copy of Rough Edges


And don’t forget the grand prize draw! Think of all of the awesome books you could read this summer if you won the $50 Amazon gift card!




Audiobook release Don’t Forget Steven

steven mock-up-1Don’t Forget Steven is my first book available in audiobook format! I consume a lot of my reading by audiobook, so I am happy to be able to offer one of my own. You can find the audiobook of Don’t Forget Steven at the following online stores:




I will have some Audible coupons that will get you Don’t Forget Steven for free. If you would like to be in line for one of these coupons, comment below!

He never told what went on behind closed doors. But this time, he can’t remember.

Things never have been easy for Steven. He accepts that, and just makes the best of things. He might not have parents or a happy home. Or enough to eat most days. But at least he has a couple of loyal friends who stand by him and help out when they can. At least he has school, someplace he can go to escape the abuse.

But just when he thought things couldn’t get much worse, they did.

Steven is accused of murder. But that isn’t the worst part. The really bad part is not even knowing if he did it.

Praise for Don’t Forget Steven

“I couldn’t stop reading.”

“The chilling tale of domestic violence and Steven’s struggle to overcome his traumatic experiences, “Don’t Forget Steven” is a fast-paced, compelling read that keeps the reader on the edge from beginning to end.”

“An interesting and insightful peek into Steven’s life and what it is like to be abused… I really loved this book and would read it again.”

Excerpt from Under Your Skin

endless kindle coverCheck out my promos if you haven’t already; still lots of freebies and good deals available! And don’t forget to enter my Summer is Short of the Prairies prize pack contest!

Camp Nanowrimo has started, which means I have a new book under way. I am already 20,000 words into Endless Change, and I like the way it is shaping up.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules at Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along!

I am currently reading Under Your Skin by Sabine Durrant. I am still trying to figure out who committed the murder in this mystery, and why. I have my suspicions, but too many of them!

PC Morrow says, “Can I have your autograph?” and I turn, instinctively smiling, hand obligingly raised, before I realize she just wants me to sign my statement.

Sabine Durrant, Under Your Skin
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Gaby Mortimer is the woman who has it all. But everything changes when she finds a body on the common near her home. She’s shaken and haunted by the image of the lifeless young woman, and frightened that the killer, still at large, could strike again.

Before long, the police have a lead. The evidence points to a very clear suspect. One Gaby never saw coming . . .

Full of twists and turns, this is a dark and suspenseful psychological thriller that will make you second guess everything. Because you can never be too sure about anything, especially when it comes to murder.

5 ways to get free and discounted books

It’s that time of year… end of the school year, national holidays, and the beginning of summer fun.

What fun would summer be without a stack of new books to read?

Promos, promos everywhere! Here are some great ways for you to plump up your TBR pile. If you find any links that are not working, please let me know! Some of them have changed in the last day or two.

insta free promoAre you Ready for Tick Season? (Limited time)

Sign up for a free Kindle copy of my newest release In the Tick of Time. This deal is not available at stores; you have to follow the link!




Canada Day Blog HopCrazy Canuck Blog Hop (July 1-8)

Eight authors are running contests for eight days, plus a grand prize giveaway of a $50 Amazon gift card! Sign up to win my Summer is Short on the Prairies Canadiana Prize Pack and check out the blog hop for more chances to win!


Brain to Books Generic Posts (1)Brain to Books Indie Pride Day Book Blast (July 1-3)

There are already over 100 indie authors signed up to bring you free and discounted books for this event! There will be discussions, contests, and all kinds of book-related fun going on in the associated Takeover Events. My YA takeover is taking place July 1 at 11 a.m. MDT (1 p.m. EDT). Hope to see you there!


BookStackSummerReadsSupport Indie Authors Hash’s Bash 2.0 (July 1-4)

Support Indie Authors is featuring a four-day weekend full of free and discounted books by over 45 authors. I am featuring two free books, two $0.99 books, and two discount box-sets! There are going to be dozens of deals.

Smashwords Summer Sale (July 1-31)

And this one just came up today; I don’t even have a banner for you. Hundreds of ebooks are free or discounted up to 75% off at the sitewide Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale (yeah, depending on which hemisphere you are in.) All of mine are discounted here.

Excerpt from A Mother’s Trial

Don’t forget I have a Kindle freebie promo running for In the Tick of TimeCheck it out! I am going to have a contest and a bunch of promos going for Canada Day and Independence Day, so check back here this weekend.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules at Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along!

This is the second time I’ve read A Mother’s Trial by Nancy Wright, so you know it’s an interesting book! A flagship book about Munchhausen by Proxy, A Mother’s Trial presents the story of Priscilla Phillips. It will keep you engaged from beginning to end, but may leave you with more questions than you started out with. Non-fiction teasers two weeks in a row:

He had learned that most pathological people are convincing not in spite of but because of their pathology: they believed their own stories.

Nancy Wright, A Mother’s Trial

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FACT: Priscilla and Steve Phillips adopt a Korean baby. Shortly afterwards little Tia begins developing strange symptoms. In and out of the hospital for months, she finally succumbs. Cause of death: unknown.

FACT: The Phillipses adopt a second Korean infant named Mindy. Once again the same symptoms develop. Near death, the child is taken away to intensive care, away from any interaction with her mother. The child recovers.

FACT: Mindy is removed from the Phillipses’ home. Months later she is adopted by a new couple. After a few weeks in her new home, she falls ill once again.

As far as anyone knew, Priscilla Phillips was the perfect mother: A pillar of her church, a social worker, a devoted wife and loving mother of two sons of her own. Priscilla lavished endless love and attention on little Tia, and later on her sister Mindy. To this day she claims total innocence of any wrongdoing.

Yet she was arrested and tried for murder. Was she a mother who literally loved her children to death? A woman so desperate to be needed that she’d take any risk, pay any price?

Here is her incredible true story.

Excerpt from Stiff by Mary Roach

Don’t forget I have a Kindle freebie promo running for In the Tick of TimeCheck it out!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules at Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along!

I don’t generally post teasers from nonfiction books, but I couldn’t help sharing an excerpt from a unique book today. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, by Mary Roach. Yes, a humorous nonfiction book about dead bodies! I learned a lot and had fun doing it.

As Harris points out, the difference between a blast test and an anatomy class dissection is essentially the time span. One lasts a fraction of a second; the other lasts a year. “In the end,” he says, “they look pretty much the same.” I asked Harris if he plans to donate his body to research. He sounded downright keen on the prospect. “I’m always saying, ‘After I die, just put me out there and blow me up.’”

Mary Roach, Stiff

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Stiff is an oddly compelling, often hilarious exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem. For two thousand years, cadavers―some willingly, some unwittingly―have been involved in science’s boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. In this fascinating account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries and tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.