Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Apparently Lake Superior State University publishes a list of words each year that they feel should be banned. This year’s list, complete with comments, can be found HERE. For the sake of brevity, I include it below as well.

I admit I have used “amazing” (in it’s proper context and not repeatedly) and “man cave” (but only once or twice).

What about you? Are you guilty?

List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness – 2012

1. amazing

2. baby bump

3. shared sacrifice

4. occupy

5. blowback

6. man cave

7. the new normal

8. pet parent

9. win the future

10. trickeration

11. ginormous

12. thank you in advance

You writers out there, be sure to keep these little ditties out of your manuscripts! 😉

Can anyone add to this list? I would add, “epic” and I know my eldest would add, “just sayin.'” 🙂



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These mornings when I wake up, the dew is just a little heavier, the air a bit chillier and the sun is lingering just a little longer at the horizon.

Fall is on its way!

While I love that autumn is coming…I adore the colors, the freshness and just the change of the season…I will miss my beautiful backyard which has become my “go to” spot for just about everything this summer.

Whether reading, studying, hanging out with BH and/or the girls, the backyard is the place to be. The pond fish are relaxing to watch, the birds that visit are fascinating and since we live here–on the West Coast–did I mention, NO BUGS?

My writing CP (critique partner) once pointed out a flaw in one of my manuscripts where the setting was the West Coast and I’d mentioned a screen window.

“No screens,” she wrote in the margins.

“What about the mosquitoes?” I asked.

“They’re aren’t any.”


“Not enough for people to need screens.”

Well, I never!

Having lived in Alberta and Ontario and the Northwest Territories, it never occurred to me that Canada had areas that were without mosquitoes.

Quelle surprise!

And really, it’s amazing how the presence of insects in your environment changes your lifestyle.

Without bugs to worry about, we hardly ever shut the door behind us, the windows (without screens) stay open with little consequence (the odd fly wanders in, but they always seem to get out again), we sit outside in blissful peace (no swatting or consequential itching), we no longer take bug juice (Deet) with us everywhere we go and we no longer need to coat ourselves in it.

PLUS, I no longer need to worry about Running For My Life.


Which makes it so much easier to enjoy this beautiful backyard. 🙂

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Manhunter by Loreth Anne White


My good friend, Loreth Anne White, has just celebrated the release of her latest book, MANHUNTER. I’ve read it (and loved it!) and am offering a chance for someone else to win it and see if they will enjoy it as much as I did.

It’s not often we see Canada as a setting in category romance, but Loreth has done an incredible job bringing the vast beauty of our great country to the romance reading world. With the wild Yukon as the backdrop to the emotionally appealing story of two scarred souls –tracker, Silver Karvonen and RCMP officer, Gabriel Caruso– it was a story that I had to finish in one sitting.

Here’s what some other folks have said:

MANHUNTER review at CataRomance

MANHUNTER review at EHarlequin

To enter into the contest, please visit Loreth’s website and tell me the name of any of her other books. I will draw the winner on November 10, 2008.


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The Heart of a Renegade by Loreth Anne WhiteMy good friend Loreth will be giving away two signed copies of THE HEART OF A RENEGADE, the latest installment in her Shadow Soldier series out this month. I’ve already read it and again, I’ll tell you it’s fabulous!

Read an excerpt of this great book, click here.To enter, head on over to her blog and post a comment with the words ‘RENEGADE’ and ‘contest’ in it, or drop her line via the contact form on her website.As well, I’ll be running a contest in conjunction…if you enter Loreth’s contest, come back here and tell me via a comment on any of my posts that you’ve done so and I’ll put your name in for the drawing of a gift certificate worth $10 from either Chapters or Amazon or Itunes. Your choice! Contest closes midnight March 6/08.Loreth will also be visiting and answering questions from Monday March 3 – Wed March 5 at Romance Novel TV. Stop by and say hi on the guest author message board – you can ask her all sorts of questions about the craft of writing or just say hi!

p.s. if you don’t see your comment come up immediately do not be alarmed…I have a spam filter installed and all comments by “new” posters need to be approved. Trust that it will appear soon!

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But this time without me.

It was a disappointing day three weeks ago when fellow finalist
Lindsey Brookes and I received the news — our entries had been cut from the contest. Too few votes and there we were.


With the disappointment came a huge sense of relief though and a return to normal life. Three weeks is a good cut of time and in those weeks I’ve gotten back into a regular writing schedule which is a blessing unto itself.

The contest has been fantastic fun, but it definitely isn’t conducive to a stress free life, which wasn’t a bad thing, actually.

Before American Title, I was only focused on getting the words on the page and then submitting to the appropriate publishing house. I hadn’t considered the myriad other aspects to writing like deadlines, marketing and networking to name but just a few. I’ve learned a great deal and for that I am grateful.

And I’m extremely grateful for all of you that voted. Your support was incredible and I appreciate it so much. You’re an awesome bunch of people. My thanks to each and every one of you!

Be sure to head over to Romantic Times today and cast your vote. Six contestants are still in the running for the publishing contract with Dorchester. This next voting period will be a tough one as it falls over the Christmas holidays and ends New Years Eve, so be sure to help them all out and spread the word.

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American Title IIISo it can now be officially announced…RISING SIN has made it to the next round of American Title and voting has once again commenced. You have until November 26th to vote.See the button up top? It’s linked to the Romantic Times site just for you! Please use it!

And don’t forget to tell EVERYONE you know to vote! Email is a wonderful tool, people. Let’s use it! ;)

Despite the happy news, there is also sad news. Cathy Pegau and Sally Stotter have not advanced. HOWEVER their work was great enough to be chosen for the finals in the first place and they are winners too, so please join me as I raise a toast in their honor!

May they hold contracts in their hands soon!

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Ballot BoxIn an hour and a half the email will arrive in my inbox and each of the American Title finalists will know who has been cut and who has not.What a pandora’s box of emotion and we haven’t even gotten the email yet!

If I’m cut, it’s not the end of my writing world, but I will be saddened. There has been a lot of effort expended here and not just by me! I want that to count for something. And dang it, I want that contract.

If I go on, I’ll be elated, but at the same time, sadness for those who didn’t will be present, as well. And then there’ll be the guilt. And gosh, I do guilt well.

Regardless of whether I go on or if my American Title journey ends here, the contest continues! November 13-26 is the next voting round and on the stage will the best Hero and Heroine.

I’m sorry I can’t tell you today if Rising Sin will be on the next ballot, but you can bet that if it is, I’ll be inundating your inboxes again in a few weeks.

Thanks everyone!

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