Guest spot – Sigils and Spells

September 24, 2017  •  No Comments

Carmen Fox, a fellow author, got in touch and asked if I could help spread the word about the Sigils and Spells box set. When she explained that the theme of the collection was diversity, I agreed at once. It’s a topic that rightly inspires a great deal of discussion, and there can be no argument that the book world will always be richer with more voices and greater representation than without. So, here’s my plug for this fantasy collection!

A dangerously beautiful vision of unique worlds that’s sure to leave its mark.

Cross through the looking glass into Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Dystopian realms where you’ll meet valiant heroes, kick-ass heroines, and dangerous creatures waiting to unveil the hidden corners of the universe.

SIGILS & SPELLS includes more than twenty exclusive novels that roam the sands of Egypt, slip into the shadows of 1940s Los Angeles, voyage to the mystical land of Mabi, and dare to traverse the stars.

From the deserts of Africa to the streets of San Antonio, mythological adventurers strike out to discover brand new worlds and unravel the mysteries of Earth in a limited edition boxed set offering the diversity and originality you haven’t been able to find before now.

Dare to enter forbidden realms of unexpected beauty and peril? Secure your copy of SIGILS & SPELLS today – before it disappears forever!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | BN | iTunes | Kobo


Dreams and Promises

July 1, 2017  •  1 Comment

Giving a bit of air time to my chapter mates. They’ve done a box set in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday!

Genre: Women’s Fiction/ Romance
Release Date: July 1, 2017

Dreams and Promises includes six short stories and novellas written by authors who live in beautiful British Columbia.
It’s our way of honoring Canada’s Sesquicentennial.
Some of Canada’s major cities were founded in the seventeenth century, but July 1st 2017 marks 150 years since our country became a Confederation.
Our stories range from the era of the fur trade, to a commercial enterprise that opened up the Canadian and American West, to present day James Bay, a thriving neighborhood in the garden city of Victoria, British Columbia.
Among our heroes are a World War One soldier suffering from amnesia, an RCAF pilot from World War Two, and a pioneer prairie farmer.
A British war bride, a suffragette and a modern-day university student are just three of our heroines.
Our stories play out in a land of infinite promise and sometimes heartbreaking challenges.
Thank you for helping us celebrate our nation’s milestone birthday.









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My Baby Wrote Me A Letter- Jacquie Biggar
A family’s brush with the past will threaten the fabric of their lives.
Grace Freeman is eight months pregnant, and with her navy husband away on a mission, she craves the security of her childhood home in Canada.
When she finds a letter written by her long-lost mother, it creates a tear in the foundation of those she loves.
Can Grace find a way to bring her family peace, or will a message from the past destroy their future?
Rendezvous-Anna Markland
Ian Donaldson is a gentleman clerk with the NW fur trading company in 1815. Newly arrived in Fort William from Scotland, he is immediately drawn to Nindaanis, a metis woman with an illegitimate child. When the baby’s voyageur father returns for the annual Great Rendezvous, Ian defies convention and fights for the woman he loves.
With Glowing Hearts- Reggi Allder
Would you leave everything to follow the man you love?
A Royal Canadian Air Force pilot and a British nurse meet in London during the Blitz. Can the love that blossoms between them survive the ravages of war?
Once Upon an Attic- LizAnn Carson
Kate is Jamie’s ideal woman. His meddlesome grandfather agrees. Only two problems stand in the way: Kate has uncovered Gramps’ long-hidden love story, and Gramps is… a ghost.
Prairie Storm- Sylvie Grayson
It’s 1918, and prairie farmer Shane Narraway is doing his best to help feed the Allied troops overseas. But his real goal is to marry Emily Waddell. With the war news worsening daily, his brother fighting in Europe, and the outbreak of the Spanish flu, Shane’s life is about to unfold in ways he never imagined.
When the Boys Came Home- Alice Valdal
When Dot McGuire’s fiancé is reported missing during the Great War, she accepts the inevitable and builds a new life for herself. Then he comes home, suffering from amnesia. Does her future lie in the old dream, or in the changing world of the roaring twenties?
Jacquie Biggar is a USA Today bestselling author of Romantic Suspense who loves to write about tough, alpha males and strong, contemporary women willing to show their men that true power comes from love.
She is the author of the popular Wounded Hearts series and has just started a new series in paranormal suspense, Mended Souls.
She has been blessed with a long, happy marriage and enjoys writing romance novels that end with happily-ever-afters.
Jacquie lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her family and loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. She swears she can’t function without coffee, preferably at the beach with her sweetheart. 🙂
Free reads, excerpts, author news, and contests can be found on her website.
You can follow her on Facebook or Twitter.
Or email her via her web site. Jacquie lives on Vancouver Island with her husband and loves to hear from readers all over the world!
You can also join her street team on Facebook or her exclusive Review Crew.
And sign up for her newsletter and stay up to date on her new releases.
For this anthology Anna Markland enjoyed writing about a more “modern” era than the medieval times she normally use for her settings. Anna’s page-turning adventures have earned her a place on Amazon’s All-Star list. You can find all her books listed on her Amazon page.
Besides writing, Anna has two addictions-crosswords and genealogy, probably the reason she loves research. She’s also a fool for cats. Her husband is an entrepreneur who is fond of boasting he’s never had a job.
Anna lives on Canada’s scenic west coast now, but she was born and raised in the UK and loves breathing life into history.
Escape with Anna Markland to where romance began.
You can find her: website and Facebook page, Anna Markland Novels.
Tweet @annamarkland, join her on Pinterest, or sign up for her newsletter.
Reggi Allder writes romantic suspense including Money Power and Poison and contemporary romance including Her Country Heart, part of the Sierra Creek Series, where determined women and alpha men intersect. She relates the tension between the hero and heroine. They fight to keep their motivation when offered temptation and untenable situations. Her characters struggle to reach opposing goals while falling in love.
Reggi lives in the west with her hubby and two dogs. She enjoys long walks and always brings her camera as well as her dogs.
It makes her day when she hears from readers so drop by Facebook and say hi.
Check her out on Amazon or visit her website for recipes and excerpts.
LizAnn Carson cheerfully conjures up her own fairy-tale life, writing stories of romance and fantasy (often with a humorous twist) from her base on beautiful Vancouver Island. In her free time, you might catch LizAnn hiking, quilting, or watching her cats sleep.

Visit LizAnn through her website or purchase a book via Amazon.

Sylvie Grayson writes romantic suspense in contemporary stories such as The Lies He Told Me, and sci/fi fantasy in Khandarken Rising:The Last War series. When she’s not travelling, she works, plays bridge and spends time in her garden.
There are lots of ways to connect with Sylvie. Website, Facebook, Twitter or Amazon.
History fascinates Alice Valdal; it’s where the best stories are found. She spends hours happily doing research for her historical novels. The first two books her Prospect series, stories set in the gold rush, originally published by Kensington Books are now available as e-books on Amazon. She is currently working on a third book for the series.
When not writing she gardens, knits, plays with the cats and does her best to avoid housework.

You can connect with her via her website, or on Facebook. She posts a weekly Blog and invites comments there, too.




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Tami 1


Five Wishes – guest Shereen Vedam

Emma Jane Holloway
December 8, 2014  •  58 Comments

I’ve been a fan of Shereen’s stories for years, so it’s with great delight that I welcome her to my blog.  If you like fairy stories, romance, adventure, and the occasional talking broomstick, I highly recommend these books.  This blog contains sound advice for writers, but readers should note THERE IS A CONTEST FOR A FREE BOOK BELOW!!

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Grant Me Five Wishes

The best way to improve our writing is to pay attention to what our readers want. Though it might sometimes feel as if they ask for the impossible, satisfying reader-needs is a sure fire way to win their hearts.

So what do readers want? Why, it’s simple. They want writers to grant them five wishes.

Wilcox in public domain WISH #1 – Indulge me – This wish is not about drinking hot chocolate on a cold winter day, but it could offer an avid reader an equivalent amount of enjoyment. We grant this reader wish when we pay homage to writing basics. Eliminate typos, revere grammar, be concise, and use literary techniques with skill to the point where  readers becomes so immersed in the story, they are unaware we have even used such tools. Mastering this wish will take patience, practice and persistence. Start by building a relationship with yourself through your writing – write every day, week, month and year. Then begin to edit with a reader in mind.

WISH #2 – Convey me – This wish speaks to suspension of disbelief, which in turn is linked to meticulous research and solid world building. Whether our story is a mystery or a paranormal, a contemporary or a historical, we must convince our reader that he or she has just bought a train ticket to our fictional world. If that world has unusual elements, then explain them up front so the reader can enjoy the ride without being bumped out. If we have twists and turns, lay the ground work so those shocks are absorbable. Paint vivid and atmospheric sceneries, employ a captivating conductor (an engaging narrative voice), populate the train with intriguing passengers (fully fleshed-out secondary characters) and ensure the main characters are people a reader will be enthusiastic about spending time with during this exciting journey.

WISH #3 – Intrigue me – If this train ride gets boring, a reader might be tempted to get off at the next station. To avoid this, ensure all scene changes and chapter ends have solid hooks crafted to make a reader say, “Maybe I’ll read just
A Beastly Scandal 450 newa little longer.” A Beastly Scandal’s editor had a favorite question that she would scribble at the end of my scenes: “And then what?” Every time I read that, I wanted to reply, “Well, keep reading and you’ll find out.” But what she meant was, “What’s to keep me from putting this book down right now?” Give the reader a reason to keep reading.

WISH #4 – Amuse me – Karl Iglesias, in his Writing for Emotional Impact, devotes eight pages to this reader wish. He believes that a reader always tries to second guess a story line. It’s part of the fun of reading. So inject humor, plot twists and endearing character quirks. And if we can intermingle surprise with suspense, that train will be chugging on late into the night.

WISH #5 – Delight me – This final wish is about a story’s ending. But this wish does not simply refer to a happy ending where the hero and heroine end up together, though that is a strict requirement of any book labelled a romance. To truly satisfying a reader by the end of a story, we must tie up all the story threads. It’s about ensuring the ending is solid and strong enough to justify the reader having spent their precious money and time to travel with us. It’s leaving a reader sighing with pleasure at the end of their journey and then wanting to buy another train ticket from us.

As writers, are we up to granting readers these five wishes? Of course, we are. But we could use a life line. There are many books on how to edit well, but authors also need insightful feedback from the people who have our backs: critique partners, contest judges and editors. If their comments always make us feel proud and pleased about what an excellent writer we are, we need a stronger supporter who can be fearless about hurting our feelings when necessary. Someone who will at times make us so furious, that we passionately gripe to family and friends about how wrong this person is about our work.
640px-Leighton-Courtship public domain We need this type of honest, uncomfortable feedback to force us to re-examine our work with a critical eye. To clearly see both what’s working, and what isn’t. And don’t be afraid of your righteous anger. That fury can trigger creative breakthroughs. When we’re royally cross, we gain the courage to step out of our comfort zone and shed those easy answers with which we normally pad our work. This process is necessary to ensure our story doesn’t wander, will read faster and stays laser focused to hold a reader’s undivided attention until the very last stop.

Remember, our goal is not simply to write a good book. Our goal is to win a reader’s heart. To do that, we must craft stories that leave our readers in awe, and forces them to ignore their TBR (to be read) piles while they anxiously scour the internet or bookstore for our next book. And curse us if we haven’t yet released it.

My recent release, a paranormal Regency novella, is part of a Christmas anthology, One Winter’s Night. Below is an excerpt from this Goldilocks-inspired, Regency romance, A Season for Giving, where you are about to meet one of the three “bears.”

December 20, 1812, London, England

CHRISTOPHER DE WYNTER skimmed his hand across the page as he wrote down the time, date, location, and purpose One Winter's Nightbehind this final experiment. Flickering candlelight from three lit candles accented his perfectly-written script. His mama used to say his writing was a work of art. It was in Christopher’s nature to be precise, a useful trait for his work with volatile mixtures.

And important work it was. He designed trigger mechanisms for guns that soldiers in combat could use in a dependable and safe manner. He had recently been inspired to use a small canister linked to a braided rope-type fuse in place of the less reliable fuses made of straws or quills filled with black powder. He hoped that one change would greatly reduce the hazard of accidental explosions.

With the war still raging, the navy had gone to great lengths to ensure Christopher’s work was kept top secret. If successful, his new fuse could hasten the end of the war and save numerous lives. Still, such an invention was best kept out of the hands of the enemy. Only his family and his naval commander, Sir Trigg, were privy to his work.

Christopher had been given permission to use the Royal Arsenal’s laboratory in Woolwich to work on his theories. Its location, on the outskirts of London, was far from his family home in Mayfair, so on those nights when he worked late, he stayed in the barracks nearby.

While there, he still took pains to ensure his most dangerous work was conducted only when no one else was likely to be nearby. He scheduled his tests when his colleagues had left for the evening or were at church on Sunday when the adjacent offices were certain to be empty.

Despite painstaking precautions and triple checks of his routines, occasional unexpected explosions did occur, and they were hard to keep quiet. Come daybreak, neighbors nearby were known to complain about the loud blasts at night and charred debris spewed on the streets. Those annoyances were tiny compared to the stir that would be caused if such disruptions were to happen in his laboratory at his home in Mayfair, where the ton of London, with strong connections to members of Parliament, resided.

As for his own safety, Christopher, with an insatiable thirst for knowledge and a predisposition for working with chemicals, had spent the last couple of years surviving the dangers of his chosen profession. It helped that he had a special family talent that enabled him to escape an imminent blast. An unusual inheritance passed down over many generations had kept him out of harm’s way.

The story went that one of his ancestors, a Spanish gypsy, had been a tightrope dancer in a circus until, in retaliation for a perceived wrong, a witch had cast a curse that clashed with the gypsies’ protection spell. Christopher was unclear about the specifics and uncertain if he even believed in such far-fetched tales, but all direct de Wynter descendants could race like a gazelle, scale walls as nimbly as a squirrel climbed trees, and leap like a startled Yorkshire hare. On occasion, a de Wynter was known to even defy gravity and rise straight up in the air.


A Season for Giving by Shereen Vedam

After one unsuccessful season, Miss Honoria Gilbert knows just what she wants in a husband. And she’s finally found him. But Christopher de Wynter isn’t your typical English gentleman. He’s living a double life, doing undercover work for the crown, and has no intention of letting anyone get too close. But then again, he’s never been up against the power of a young lady’s Christmas wish . . .




I have a Kindle copy of One Winter’s Night to offer as a prize to one randomly chosen commenter. To enter:

  • if you’re a reader, share a wish you’d like writers to grant you
  • if you’re a writer, share one of your readers’ heartfelt wishes


shereenShereen Vedam
was born in Sri Lanka but her roots are now firmly planted on Canada’s West Coast. After thriving for 5 years in friendly Winnipeg with its -40ºC wind chill factor, she decided sandals and shorts for 9 months of the year was preferable to 6 months of parkas, snow boots and frozen nose. Vancouver Island’s magical rain forest, with its ancient cedar, red-barked arbutus and giant weeping sequoia, inspires her writing. Among her published works, you’ll find heartwarming historical and fantasy romances that have a healthy dollop of mystery, with a pinch of magic.