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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A Walk on the Writing Side

It’s interesting how our lives take spins and turns, based on choices. I actually started writing back in the late 1980’s. Spring Blossom was my first published work and was one of the two launch books for the Berkley Homespun series that was extremely well received in the 1990’s. I went on to write 5 more historical romance stories for the series.

Then I was asked to write a non-fiction book and I accepted. Big mistake…a huge mistake for me. I was a long way from retirement then. I was working 5 days a week and, as it turned out, working the weekends as well because that is how it felt, working on the non-fiction. It took two years. During that time my muse went into hiding and my passion for writing romance disappeared along with it.

A very well known Romance Author once told me that she wrote something everyday, no matter where she was or what else she had to do. She was afraid, if she didn’t write everyday, she would never write again.
Hmm…profound, now that I look back on it.

But this new, wonderful world of e-Books is an exciting venture. I was thrilled to see Spring Blossom available again and I’m currently re-typing Family Reunion to make it available, also. Unfortunately, at this stage, those are the only two books for which I have had my rights returned. But I’ve requested the rights to the others and am awaiting THE word.

As I am working these days, I’m hopeful that my muse will come out of hiding and hit me on the back of the head. I need new characters mingling around in there, telling me what to do. LOL

Signing off today as…Hopeful.

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Ready or Not…

eWorld, here I come. I hope. Venturing into the digital book world has been quite an experience. I’ve torn my hair out over formatting, dragged my heels because I’m old enough that big changes are to be resisted! Always! *g* Finally told myself to get over it and move on. Reminds me of the day someone mentioned ‘wireless’ internet connection. I argued that one…how could one connect to the internest without a phone line? Humph!

Guess who is working ‘wireless’?

This morning I uploaded Spring Blossom to Amazon Kindle and it is “In Review”. If I’ve submitted it properly, the book should be available in the Kindle Store in approx. 48 hours. This was my first published book, now out of print. It’s like a first baby…well, close enough that you get my drift. And it’s about to be re-born. Ha!

Am I excited? Damned right I am! *g* I’m reserving my Cheshire Cat grin until I see Spring Blossom in the Kindle Store, however. So, call me a doubting, weak-kneed and exhausted. I am.

It’s been quite a morning. Time to make another pot of coffee…or maybe I’ll just warm up the cold stuff in my cup by adding a dash of brandy.


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Spring Blossom

Just wanted everyone to see the beautiful cover for my out-print-book, Spring Blossom. This cover was designed and totally developed by my friend, author, Marsha Canham. I am so pleased with this cover. Thanks again, Marsha.

Now, I have the cover, where is the e-book, you might ask? It’s coming. I’m getting there. It will be my first attempt at doing this but, first, I’m re-typing the entire story. Spring Blossom was written in 1991…on a typerwriter. Remember those? So, no disc to transfer the data. But I really don’t mind re-typing the book. While I’m not changing any major components of the story (I wouldn’t dare, or fans of that book would have something to say) but it does give me a chance to change some choices of phrasing in the dialogue that have plagued me. So, the typing is almost done…then the proof-reading and one last edit review. Then, all I have to do is upload it to Amazon, etc. Wish me luck!

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Just came back from Trooper’s evening walk. Not a bad night, cool but I was comfortable in a light jacket and we have a 3/4 moon and lots of stars are visible.

Starting to see pumpkins, scarecrows and orange lights at various houses and I made a mental note to start bagging up some treats for the kids who will come to call. We don’t see as many children at the door as we used to…in the past I would make up 100 bags containing chips and gummy bears and little chocolate bars. But parents seem to be opting for house parties for their children, more and more. I suppose that’s the safe choice but it’s a very sad statement to our times.

I was raised in a very small town and trick or treating was very much anticipated. No one would have dreamed of finding razor blades or pins in the treats. We kids ran everywhere around town and would race first to get to the home of the Graydon sisters, because…the Graydon sisters made candy apples. But they only made maybe a dozen. If you weren’t there fast enough, you ended up with a handful of popcorn thrown into your treat bag. LOL Those were the days!

I’m fortunate enough to have a lot of fond memories of childhood and vacation trips I’ve taken to far away places. Some of my favorite memories are from driving trips throughout the United States and Canada and I’ve used some of these in my books. A situation over breakfast in an old railway car turned restaurant, of all things, in the country in Connecticut comes to mind. Breakfast was great and the conversation at the next table was very interesting. My story entitled, Lila’s Dance, benefited from that trip.

I love how memories just jump into the foregrounds of our minds. What would we do without them?

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New Blogger…Beware!

Well, I don’t know for sure how I got here, but here I am!  Blogging for the first time. LOL. This could prove to be a mess, but we’ll see. Just remember, please, that my intentions are good as I learn.

I’m the author of several historical romance books that were published in the 1990’s. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I’ve been away from writing for the past 10 years but I’ve never lost my passion for reading or for writing. I have retained friendships within the writing and reading communities that have kept me afloat and now that I have retired from the old day job, I’m hoping to get back to my first love…writing stories that entertain.

I am currently working at obtaining the rights back to my out of print books and converting them to ebooks. So far, I have the rights back for two; Spring Blossom and the sequel, Family Reunion. Because these books originated via a typewriter (remember them?) I’m having to retype the books. But that’s okay…I’m enjoying getting back into the ‘feel’ of my work, if you know what I mean.

After being away for 10+ years, I’ve been certain no one would remember my work but just this week a dear friend and author, Marsha Canham, emailed me a note that Family Reunion was listed in a reader letter to Romantic Times Magazine, Sept. issue, as one of her favorite books featuring a disabled hero. How pleased was I? Dammit, I cried! That’s what makes the work and sweat of writing all worthwhile…even one reader remembering, and enjoying, the story.

Well, that’s all I’m going to dare for tonight.  I’ll be back to try again and hopefully build some confidence in this world of blogging.

Best to all and thanks for taking the time to stop by!

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