Algebra And Other Hateful Things

I like to watch Wheel Of Fortune…love solving puzzles. Tonight there was a young woman contestant who teaches algebra in middle-school.

There were several things I loved in school…the first of which was history. There were two things, as a kid, I cried over. The first was spelling. Man, this is going to date me. But in grade one I got caught, along with all the other kids, in a pattern change in the teaching techniques for spelling. It was my worst subject. And the more the teacher punished me (she would smack a wooden ruler across the palms of our hands), the worse I became at it. Finally I taught myself and my mother, for years, proudly annouced that I was self-taught when it came to spelling. Typos are another matter, LOL. It came to light several years later that the grade one teacher had a few problems of her own…but we kids suffered for it.

The second thing I hated was algebra. When I hit highschool, that subject hit me right between the eyes. It didn’t go into my brain, ever…I just didn’t get it. I carried it over another year and still didn’t get it. I excelled at English and History but a mathematician I was not.

So I switched electives, which meant I could not go on to university. Ha! Not so. After ten years at working at this and that and being disatisifed, I returned to school and spent two years in college and picked up a number of university diplomas.

In the end, the dreaded algebra didn’t do me in after all. But algebra in middle school. That made me shudder! LOL

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The Process

Lila’s Dance went live at Amazon and Smashwords yesterday, which made me very happy…I didn’t think I was ever going to have that puppy available. *g* I kept editing it, even as I was proof reading. I didn’t change the story from the original, but re-typing is a chance to fine-tune a few things.

It’s wonderful to see it available after all these years. The title came to me while I was attending my first Romantic Times Convention. Spring Blossom had just been released and RT had nominated it for an award as best first book in Historical Romance. So, there I was in Chicago, totally high with all excitement. Running up a massive telephone bill as I called home every night to report the great things that had happened during the day.

That was where I met Marsha Canham, btw. Marsha lived on the east side of Toronto and I lived west and we met getting into a limo to go to a booksigning in Chicago! Huh.

Back to the title…I walked into my room at the hotel one evening, flipped on the TV and there was a ballroom dance competition going on. Watched that for a few moments and, voila, Lila’s Dance…jot that down.

So, I had a title and that was all.

A few weeks later I was enjoying a driving vacation and stopped for breakfast at a small place in the country that cooked wonderful food. But the conversation at the table beside us proved very interesting, indeed. Went back to my car…grabbed paper and pen and made a few notes.

Now I have a title and an underlying theme of small town, family life. From that, the romance between Lila and Daniel was born. And out of that story came one of my fav characters…Sammy. I don’t know where he came from in my imagination, but I love him. *g*

Have a great day, everyone!

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Memory Flashes

Do you ever have flashes of fond memories that can be so far back in your past you tag them “Ancient”?

Met up with an ex-neighbor recently. Our families lived side-by-side. And it made me think fondly of our days on Tannery Street (yes, there had been a tannery just up the street but eventually it turned into a bowling alley). Anyway, the youngest neighbor boy and my younger brother were constant companions. Those two little boys got into the best of mischief. One winter day, with my brother wearing a brand new snowsuit, the boys went across the street and got messing around with an above-ground oil tank. They opened the valve, drained all the oil, and ruined their suits. Oil was less expensive then (what wasn’t) and that neighbor agreed there should have been a lock on the value. Meanwhile, two more snowsuits had to be purchased.

Another day, the boys (and they were little guys then) got behind my father’s lovely home-made bar and got into the Vodka, thinking it was water. One sip did it and they were staggering up the stairs.

The following summer the boys went uptown and were caught by the village police officer, throwing stones at cars. They were taken home in the one and only patrol car and were quite proud. 😮

Of course, I never pulled any of these pranks. Oh, there was the time I put my baby brother in my doll carriage and pushed him across town with him screaming all the way. Someone called my mother and ratted me out. 😮

By the way, our phone number in those days was one long ring and two short. LOL What does that tell you?

Share some of your fondest memories. Come on!

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Blog List for a Few of Your Favorite Authors

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Gerald M. Weinberg
Doranna Durgin
Marsha Canham
Jacqueline Lichtenberg
Jeffrey A. Carver
Jill Metcalf
Terry Odell
Maryann Miller
Patricia Rice
Pati Nagle
Lorraine Bartlett or Lorna Barrett
Karen Ranney
Tonya Thomas

Visit BacklisteBooks to keep up with many more of your favorite authors and stop by the Bookstore, while you are there!

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

It isn’t far away. And, being a romantic person, I’ve thought about ways I could wish all my FB page and Twitter friends a Happy Valentine’s Day. I couldn’t possibly send cards to everyone and an e-card just didn’t seem personal enough. So, I’m offering a 30% off coupon at Smashwords for Spring Blossom from now until February 15, 2011. Just enter the coupon code QC77E in the appropriate field. What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with a little Romance? I hope you enjoy! And have a very Happy Valentine’s Day, everone!

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My Guest today is Author, Julie Ortolon

Welcome, Julie. I’m really happy that you are here! This is a fun and very interesting post.
Tea and Coffee in the lounge, everyone! Special Offer toward the end of Julie’s post.

Why I Love eBooks
by guest blooger Julie Ortolon

I take pride in being indirectly responsible for dragging Jill into the ebook world through our mutual friend, Marsha Canham. Like a lot of authors, I’m sure Jill crossed the threshold with a good bit of apprehension and a strong desire to grab onto the doorjamb and scream “I don’t want the world to change!”

I don’t blame her. I felt the same way! But boy am I glad I jumped into the water, and dragged a few friends in with me. I’m excited about ebooks—not just as an author but as a reader, too. Why?

Variety, my fellow romance novel lovers. Walk into any bookstore and look at what’s on the romance aisle. Looks pretty different than what you would have found back in the ’80s and ’90s when I first fell in love with romance novels. Where are the cowboys, the ship captains, the knights in shinning armor? New York publishers decreed years ago that readers no longer wanted long historicals with a lot of history. So out those went.

In came the age of fun, sexy contemporary romance, which was good for me, since that’s what I write. I had nine novels published by big name houses, hit the USA Today list, and won some prestigious awards — until publishers decreed romance readers don’t want books like that either. At least not in large enough numbers to make publishing them worthwhile.

So there I sat a year and a half ago with my highly acclaimed, award-winning backlist going out of print and no new books on the horizon. Equally depressing, as a reader, I found very few newly released romance novels I wanted to read. A sad place to be.

Then came the ebook revolution, and everything changed. Now, as an author and a reader, I’m no longer restricted by what print publishers deem marketable. Or what big chain bookstores choose to stock on their shelves. Thanks to backlist ebooks, I now have a world of affordable romance novels available that appeal to me.

I’ve also just re-released the third book in my popular Pearl Island trilogy as an ebook. Much to the joy of readers who loved the original print book, I added a bonus chapter at the end of each book, so people can see what’s happening at the Pearl Island B&B today.

My Pearl Island trilogy encapsulates everything I personally love about the romance genre, it’s fun contemporary romance with bits of history and pirate lore thrown in thanks to the island’s ghost. The series did great when it was first published in the early 2000s. Would it sell to New York today? Probably not. Will it sell to readers? You betcha!

And that, my friends, is the joy of ebooks. Variety adds spice to this new world of fiction.


SPECIAL OFFER: To celebrate the release of Don’t Tempt Me, the final book in the Pearl Island trilogy, Julie is offering a 50% OFF coupon for book one in the trilogy, Falling for You. Click here and enter the coupon code TX24R. You can learn more about Julie and read excerpts of her books at
Julie’s ebooks are available wherever ebooks are sold, but the best place to be sure you get properly formatted copies is Smashwords.


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Long, LONG, Ago

There is a hill here in town…heck, there are lots of hills around here. The Region isn’t called Halton Hills for nothing. Anyway, back to the hill…it’s a favorite place for kids in the winter. They swarm that hill with their toboggans and flying-whatsits, no matter the weather. If there is snow, the kids are there. And dutiful parents stand at the top, huddled into winter coats, stomping their feet in a futile effort to keep their toes from freezing.

I was raised in the small village of Streetsville. Streetsville had a park with an outdoor skating rink but that park also had a really great hill…a huge hill… the best around for tobogganing. If you didn’t have a toboggan, you went behind the IGA and grabbed a cardboard box…flatten the thing out and it served the purpose. And we kids would swarm that hill, just as the kids here do today.

Now, about half way down that hill there is a substantial ridge. We would cram as many kids as possible on a tobaggan and we all knew, if you were last on, what was going to happen when that tobaggan flew over that ridge. Last kid on was usually the only one to fly off. And, if you fell off you were the schmuck who had to tote the mode of transportation back up to the top of the hill. That’s the way it was…code of honour amongst kids. But it was great. We would spend hours there, no matter how cold it was. Then face concerned mothers when we all went to our respective homes, soaking wet to the skin.

Today…well, I have to go to the store. I need a bottle of dark beer to try out a new slow-cooker recipe. I’ll go to the store in my car and my car has a working heater. But, I don’t wanna go! Baby it’s cold outside. LOL

How times have changed!

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