Category Archives: Good Reads

My Novels are Getting Their Black Friday On!


This just in! Two of my novels are part of the site wide BLACK FRIDAY sale my publisher Curiosity Quills is having this weekend! The sale starts today, November 27th, and runs through to midnight November 30th!

Both Half Dead & Fully Broken AND Burn Baby Burn Baby are on for $0.74 at AMAZON (OR $0.99 AT AMAZON CANADA!). It does NOT get better than that. Grab them up now!

You can read the reviews at AMAZON or on GOODREADS.

Speaking of reviews, Burn Baby Burn Baby received two of them yesterday. You can read them HERE and HERE.

Let’s recap, shall we?074-cent_37549_md.JPG$0.74 for BURN BABY BURN BABY at AMAZON US




November 27th – November 30th

HURRY! :-)



My Bailiwick Rebuttal to Self – Scraping the Sides of the Bowl

Sometimes, when you’re making cake (or cupcakes, or icing, or vindaloo, or a PB&J with the crusts cut off), it can appear as though the bowl is empty when it really isn’t. When you think you’ve run out of sauce (or peanut butter, or cake batter, or icing, or cheese), sometimes it’s good to scrape the sides of the bowl and re-evaluate the situation.

Yesterday (or the day before? I can no longer remember), I wrote a blog post about my year of silent no-writing. What I failed to take into consideration is all the STUFF that happened in that year that was ACTUALLY writing related. I’m NOT writing right now. I often of late feel as though I will never write again. But to say I wrote nothing in the past year is a downright lie.

In March (which was only two short months ago), I actually wrote a short play and had it performed in front of LIVE audiences. Those were words, goddammit. I wrote words. Not a lot of people experience the pleasure of seeing their words come to life on the stage. In July (which was STILL IN THE PARAMETERS OF THAT YEAR IN QUESTION), I wrote approximately 1/2 a novel during the 2014 Muskoka Novel Marathon. A half a novel. In one weekend. I also worked on a couple of other works in progress (WIPS) throughout the year.

I wrote articles for the WCDR Wordweaver. Two? Three? I don’t know. I forget about these things as soon as they happen. But I remember having one or two or three published. WITHIN THE PAST YEAR. I wrote the odd poem.

And there are writing relating things that don’t actually involve actual writing. I was interviewed by Charlene Jones for her radio show OFF THE TOP. I thought that was PRETTY cool. (-: It instilled in me, if only for a fleeting moment, that, ‘Hey, I must be a writer. I’m being interviewed about writing. It only stands to reason.’ So what if I felt like a charlatan because I wasn’t actually putting words on paper at the time. So what if I felt like I had no sage wisdom to offer because I wasn’t deep in the thick of plot bunnies. If Charlene Jones says I’m a writer, I’m a writer!

Also, I’ve been approved to be a workshop facilitator for the upcoming December WCDR Roundtable Meeting’s After-Breakfast Mini-Workshop. THE 10-MINUTE PLAY’S THE THING. Der. Like I wouldn’t glom on to an opportunity to discuss my beloved 10-minute play medium. Such a delightful experience, I feel I must share it. By far NOT EASY TO PULL OFF. It is truly an art-form to get it just right. I get to share what I’ve learned through having 9 plays produced since my first in 2009! I’m thrilled for the opportunity. AND—this is me BEING a writer, no? When we hone something that we love for year after year, there comes a point where the passion outgrows the space in your heart for it…where you MUST share it with others to steal more space. So, there’s that.

My rebuttal? My note to self today? Get over yourself. Shut up. Why do you constantly make things difficult for yourself? Why do you never give credit where credit it due? So you’re not finishing those mocking manuscripts in a timely manner. So what. Shut up. Move on and drop the whiny ‘tude. What have I told you about this Ferris wheel?! It only goes around once. Wait. No. That’s not right. I’ve been on actual Ferris wheels. They go around several times. Wrong analogy. What have I told you about this LIFE?! You get one chance to get it right. Well, not right…no life is right per se. You get one chance to live it. Don’t beat yourself up every time you fail to tap your fingers on a keyboard. You’ve been busy. You’ve been living the life and riding the Ferris wheel. Literally. You’ll write again. It’s your bailiwick (one’s sphere of operations or particular area of interest). It interests you, therefore it is neither a burden nor an obligation. It’s fun. So…in summation. SHUT UP.

Sometimes, you have to scrape the bowl to realize you’re a writer. It’s that simple. When the spatula stops collecting the ingredients, you could probably even scrape a little bit more with your finger. Get right in there. NEVER GIVE UP. Especially if it’s cake!

That is all.

While I have your attention, there’s a GOODREADS GIVEAWAY winding down for a print copy of BURN BABY BURN BABY. Click the pic below to be taken to Goodreads to enter. The contest closes in two days, so you better hurry!


Team Carter Begins in 4 Days. Change Everything (MNM, MaleSurvivor)

I’m getting excited about the arrival of my 5th novel, HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN. I remember with great fondness writing this one at the 2010 Muskoka Novel Marathon! I’m sure you’ve heard all about this marathon by now. It takes place in a small town in Northern Ontario…but its reputation has now gained something of an international notoriety. For those of you NOT acquainted with the marathon, I will share with you now the movie created to celebrate it. This movie aired on national television here in Canada. It’s comprised 100% of still images, but looks like live action. It’s really quite amazing. I can’t even remember the amount of still shots gone in to make this movie. Here it is, for your viewing pleasure:

So, basically, 30ish writers get together over a 72hour long weekend. We each write a novel. We sleep, we eat, we laugh, we cry, we angst, we shout, we sing, we get stupid, we write, we write, we write. We also each come in with sponsors. It’s a marathon to raise funds for literacy. And raise funds, we do. In 2014 alone, we raised over $21,000.00 for literacy programs in Muskoka/Simcoe County.

Half Dead is the story of Carter Colby, and his dead twin Marcus. I will include the synopsis at the end of this post. While writing this story, I was in a completely overwhelmed with emotions. It was a thrilling roller coaster ride discovering the story while I frantically wrote into the night into the morning into the afternoon into the night into the morning into the afternoon into…you get the picture. From beginning to end in 72 hours, just rushing through the story to find out what happens next. My favourite way to write. I hope I caught something in the story worth the time of my readers. I feel like I did. I cried while writing the ending. That’s usually a pretty good sign. (-:

While I have you, I like to mention an organization that has helped me in the most profound way. It’s an organization that continually saves lives. MALE SURVIVOR. Their tagline, for those who are unfamiliar with the organization, is MaleSurvivor provides critical resources to male survivors of sexual trauma and all their partners in recovery by building communities of Hope, Healing, & Support.

Below, you can watch their video entitled WHAT IS MALE SURVIVOR:

Through attending 2 of their Weekend of Recovery retreats, I count myself among those saved by Weekend of Recovery. They made me realize that I had the power to change everything. Only when one is willing to work on past pain, can one eventually become free of it. Please consider this my semi-regular shout-out to Male Survivor. If you are a victim of sexual abuse, or know someone who is, there is no need to suffer in silence. Seek help. If not from MaleSurvivor, then from an organization in your area. The more we raise our voices against sexual abuse, the more resources we will have to combat its effects. You are not alone. And it is not your fault. Rebirth is just a step away. Having waited over 30 years to take that step, I know intimately how difficult it is to take it. But I promise you, it gets better once you take that first step. The road to recovery from the all-encompassing and devastating effects of sexual abuse is right there…just waiting.

So, here’s the cover for HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN. You can click on it to go to Amazon, where it is already available for PRE-ORDER:

51OeS9ITAHL._AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-46,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_The story goes like this:

Carter Colby is the most unpopular teen at Jefferson High. This would be easier to deal with if his identical twin brother, Marcus, weren’t the hottest, most popular boy in school.

When Marcus is killed in a motorcycle accident, Carter discovers the one thing more painful than trying to compete with Mr. Wonderful: wearing his dead brother’s face. He felt invisible before the accident, but with Marcus dead, everybody turns away from him in mourning. How can he blame them? He can’t bear to look in the mirror.

When Carter begins to see Marcus’ ghost, Mr. Wonderful’s quest to save the world and spread happiness may not be over after all, even in death. Marcus knows that Justin Dewar, the boy who drove the truck that crashed into his motorbike, is struggling with the guilt of taking a life. Melanie, Marcus’ mourning girlfriend, was also hit hard by the tragedy. Marcus wants to make things right before it’s too late.

With Marcus’ help, Carter experiences love and friendship for the first time in his life. But is Mr. Wonderful’s helping hand enough for Carter, Melanie, and Justin – three kids fully broken by the tragedy – to save one another?

Half Dead comes out on Monday January 19th. It will be my 5th published novel. It was also my 3rd of 4 BEST NOVEL AWARD wins at the Muskoka Novel Marathon. I am absurdly proud of my wins at the MNM. If you pick up #HDAFB, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. And I also hope that, at one point or another, you cry like a baby. (-: Looking forward to your indoctrination into #TeamCarter (-;

In other news, my BURN BABY BURN BABY is getting the most incredible reviews I’ve ever had. It was released last month and has had a steady stream of beautiful praise that has left me speechless. You can check out Burn Baby Burn Baby on Amazon by clicking the book cover below:

51Wb19wCHtL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_You can find all my books on GOODREADS RIGHT HERE.

Remember one thing…you have the power to change everything. No matter what it is. Either for yourself or for others. Don’t be afraid to use that power.

I leave you with the song that began to play while I walked into my first MALE SURVIVOR WEEKEND OF RECOVERY. It gutted me like nothing ever gutted me before or after. The anxiety I was feeling, dealing with uncovering a lifetime of darkness, might have had something to deal with it. But I still can’t listen to this song without shattering. It came to me at the moment of my first step. I knew it was going to be one of the hardest weekends of my life. And I also knew, as I listened to this song, that it would be my rebirth.


On the (Almost) Eve of Release Day – Novel Number Five – Feeling Half Dead and Fully Broken

13 Days. Less than two weeks. That’s when my 5th novel will be published. Between you and me, it’s also my personal favourite! HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN wrote itself. No surprise, but it was yet another Muskoka Novel Marathon novel. I wrote it in 72 hours. It’s my fourth marathon novel to be published. And it’s also one of the four that won BEST NOVEL AWARD at the marathon. Half Dead won Best YOUNG ADULT Novel…way back in 2010. That well and truly feels like a lifetime ago from where I’m standing at the moment.

Background on Half Dead? One of my readers recently pointed out to me that I have twins in practically everything I write. This is something I actually wasn’t even aware of. I don’t know how one doesn’t become aware of something so glaringly obvious as that? It unhinges me. Another example of my habit of going through life with blinders on. Not always a huge plot point, I have nonetheless sprinkled most of my novels with the presence of twins.

Where was I? Yes…background. So Half Dead & Fully Broken is the story of identical twin brothers Carter and Marcus Colby. One is the most popular boy in school, the other is the least popular–showing that looks are only one of the deciding factors that go into creating the hierarchy of popularity.

Carter is the story’s narrator. He is also the surviving brother. It’s not a spoiler to tell you that Marcus doesn’t make it. In fact, Carter will let you know this fact on PAGE 1. The story is really about what happens after DEAD Marcus comes back.

For the record, if your twin ever dies, be prepared. It’s out of this world freaky when a dead guy looks exactly like you in every way. A lot creepier than you can ever imagine when they actually come back. But, hey, he is my brother. I can’t turn my back on family just because he’s dead. Believe me, though, I thought about it.

Carter is a bitter sarcastic guy who is sadly misunderstood. (-: His amazing brother, even dead, is there for him. Marcus is one of those guys EVERYBODY loves. When he sees an injustice, he works to correct it. No surprise he carried on this noble trait even after death. The twins kind of team up to right the wrongs created in a moment of bad decision-making. Fallout is a terrible thing to live through…unless you’re lucky enough to have a guardian angel on your side.

Here’s the synopsis for HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN:

Carter Colby is the most unpopular teen in school. This would be easier to deal with if his identical twin brother, Marcus, weren’t the hottest, most popular boy in school. Sharing a face with Mr. I-can-do-anything-better-than-you, Mr. Helpful, Mr. Reliable, Mr. Freaking Wonderful—it’s not as easy as it sounds. When Marcus is killed in a motorcycle accident, Carter discovers there are things even harder to deal with than trying to compete with Mr. Wonderful…and that’s sharing a face with a dead Mr. Wonderful. Nobody wants to see Carter now that he’s walking around with Marcus’s face. He felt invisible before the accident, but with Marcus dead he sees everybody turn away from him in mourning. But how can he blame them, he can’t even bear to look in the mirror anymore.

But Marcus has a plan. Even dead, he’s still up for saving the world and spreading happiness. Carter begins to see Marcus’s ghost and Marcus has a few magic tricks up his sleeve to share with his brother. But there’s a reason for his presence. Marcus knows that Justin Dewar, the boy who drove the truck that crashed into his motorbike when Marcus ran a red light, is struggling with the guilt of taking a life. Marcus’s plan is to put everything right before it’s too late and all is lost. But he needs Carter to help him…he needs to use Carter’s body to bring his plan into action. It may sound hard, but it really isn’t. He just has to slither inside and take the helm of his brother’s body. Once inside, the two become the superhero Carter once dreamed of being as a child.

With Marcus’s help, Carter experiences love and friendship for the first time in his life. Marcus, even in death, has the power to do the right thing. He brings Carter together with Melanie, his mourning girlfriend, and Justin, the boy who drove the truck that plowed into his motorbike. The three are all broken after the accident, but with Marcus’s help they just might be saved. It’s a race to save the distraught Justin, though. With Marcus’s help, Carter and Melanie set out to do just that. And along the journey to saving Justin, they might even inadvertently save themselves.

HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN releases on January 19th, but you can pre-order with 1-CLICK on Amazon today! Click the cover below:


I’m kind of stunned that HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN is finally getting published. It’s my absolute favourite so far! I loved loved loved writing it. The most fun I ever had writing a novel. And I’m almost finished a BOOK 2 too. ALIVE & KICKING is another Carter Colby story. It’s darker and more dangerous…but just as much fun to write. Here’s hoping it will one day be available to my readers. (-:

Meanwhile, BURN BABY BURN BABY got another amazing review today on Amazon! This one from a soon-to-be teacher who said they’d love to use BBBB in their curriculum. You can check out all the reviews at Amazon and 1-CLICK Burn Baby Burn Baby too. Just click on the cover below:


From the latest review, mentioned above: “I plan to be a teacher someday and I definitely see myself using this book in my lessons to teach about bullying, acceptance, and compassion.” To visit the full review on the reviewer’s blog go to: TINA, THE BOOKWORM

Hashtags: #BurnBabyBurnBaby and #HDAFB


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