Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Tales of Sheltering in Place



(Did the Hamiltons own a cat? I doubt the relationship would have been as formal as that. In the 18th Century, cats lived mostly in barns and stables and the houses of the poor. Cats were déclassé. Dogs were, and still are, a more gentrified proposition. It just occurred that although I have cat characters in every book I've written, there are no prominent pussy-cats in A Master Passion.)  
***

Life for me and my husband has slowed to a crawl while we shelter in place. It's been five weeks for us, hiding out, around here. That is nowhere near as long as more urban areas nearby, so we're grateful for that. We are also grateful that we do not have to get up and go to work every day, risking our lives for a paycheck, like so many younger folks with small children at home are doing. The experience for us is like being under some form of 1%er house arrest. 

We try to keep to a routine, but it's not easy for me. I confess to liking senior classes at the gym and before this disaster movie became the new normal, those kept me to a schedule. Now going out is a fraught undertaking, while you suit up like you are going out an airlock. It's too much trouble--and if you don't have to, you find yourself inventing reasons not to go out at all. 

We're staying up later and sleeping later, too, rolling around in a warm bed until long after the sun comes up--for which I give deep, heartfelt thanks! I'm a senior who needs a great deal of sleep--the main difference between me today and when I was three is I don't fight naps.


For the last few weeks, just as I begin this delayed awakening, Tony materializes, conjuring himself out of thin air. He leaps onto my chest and then settles as a furry weight, purring loudly.  The Male of his Caretaker/Servants gives him too many treats, because he is such an adorable little beggar. Since the Quarantine, his once svelte gray body has blimped into a gray, overripe zucchini. Turns out, there even is a zucchini breed to supply the perfect new nickname for our newly tubby Anthony: "Grayzini." )



 There is stuff in this refrigerator that needs to be checked out.


His weight settles me. What's there to get up for? I'm supposed to stay home, after all and if I get up too early I'll find myself with no excuse not to clean. As soon as that idea crosses my mind, I have no strength to struggle. His purr is a nearby waterfall. Almost immediately I sink into the Dark Arms of Morpheus--or somewhere similar. REM sleep in the morning is very, very close. 

Tony's silver paws knead in time with those waves of sound. For several days this was nice and we'd go back to sleep together. Lately, though, he's got a new plan, and it isn't as nice as before. Sorry to report, he begins to knead my neck. I need to detach those claws quickly, before they can puncture me. I'm afraid that he'll go at it in the same heartfelt way he tears at the carpeted cat tree he's inexorably destroying downstairs. Apparently cuddly is so over! This week, he's jack the ripper.
***

Joining the crowd, I've been baking more than usual. My go-to comfort food is bread.  Unfortunately, flour and yeast are both in short supply. 


Horrors! This frightens me more than the t.p. shortage. My primary comfort food is buttered toast. Of course, that will quickly turn to pudge all over me because there are No Actions, Especially Involving the Ingestion of Gluten that does NOT have consequences for my metabolism. 

Despite that, I remain a reflexive bread baker.  It "looms large in me legend" as Ringo says in Hard Day's Night. When I got married, same year as that movie, I could cook burgers, boil potatoes and fry eggs, but that was the extent of my culinary skills. To show that I was in earnest about this new wife business, I read, cover to cover, The Joy of Cooking with which my in-laws had thoughtfully presented me.  Bread baking seemed to be the best Real Housewife Kitchen Activity I could adopt. Of course, my stern New England mother-in-law was pleased by this; she instructed me. She baked bread every week for her family, and for many, many years I followed her lead.

Now, faced with a lack I've never encountered before--yeast--I've been watching videos to discover methods of creating yeast via fermentation with dried fruit, flowers, potatoes, even from Yellow split peas. I hope yeast making(?) doesn't become a necessity, but it seems that in these perilous times of The Great Global Reality Check, it's time to learn some new-to-me but genuinely foundational cooking skills. If there is an "after," how-to knowledge is always grist for the historical novelist's mill.  
    


  ~~Juliet Waldron

All My Historical Novels




Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Romance, Handsome-Hunks, and Moon Milk by Connie Vines

It is April, well, almost May, and we are all still sheltering at home.  Like everyone else, I’m trying to establish some-sort-of-daily routine which is proving extremely difficult.  The weather goes from fall-to-winter-to-spring, and repeats.  However, as of yesterday, it slammed full-throttle into summer. 

Chanel, my sassy toy poodle, follows me around in confusion.  Last week were didn’t venture past the covered patio because of continual down pour of icy sheets of rain.  Then it was the wind and then rain, again.  Now we both get-up to at 5:30 a.m. and water the yards, etc.  before having a cup of coffee; while it is still dark outside. Chanel thinks I needs intervention. She positions herself on the davenport, where ‘we’ have our coffee and watch the 7:00 a.m. news, and barks at me (anyone who lives with a poodle knows they can give a dressing-down like southern mama) demanding I sit down.
I ignore her, and go outside--she follows me (mumbling all the way).

Calendars. Boy, do I have calendars! A poodle calendar in the kitchen, 2 small calendars in my purse (1-writing; 1-personal), a ceramic Snoopy Dog House (Peanuts) calendar where you change the month and daily date.  Well, you get the idea—I still can’t keep my days and dates straight.

However, I do have a system.  I eat brunch (because if I’m hungry at 9:00 am, I eat breakfast.  If I forget to eat until 1:00 pm, it’s lunch). Then there’s an evening meal and usually a snack (often with the vitamins I forgot about mid-morning).  I write/blog/post to social media daily.  You have probably noticed my newly vamped website and Facebook page, too. I’ve been posting cooking videos (without audio because, talking and cooking equals mistakes).

My current WIP is my Anthology (set in New Orleans, Louisiana) titled: Gumbo Ya Ya: for woman who like romance Cajun, and my 2nd Sassy & Fun Fantasy novella, titled: Bell, Book, and Gargoyle.  New Orleans is one of my fave vacation spots (my husband is from Louisiana).

Café du Monde serves the best coffee au lait and beignets (I wear my powdered sugar well). And then, let's revisit my swamp adventures—GTK, I was able to out-run a gator!

While Bell, Book, and Gargoyle takes place in Hollywood, California, so it in easy drive (if you ignore the hours and hours of bumper-to-bumper traffic) from my house.

All of my readers are aware of my ‘obsession(s)’.  One of which residing/experiencing the world of my characters/ aka: setting.  When it is impossible, physically, it is possible to live in my characters' setting in other ways.

1. I listen to the music/YouTube the local news station.
2. Cook the local cuisine.
3. Research, research, and research again.
4. Study the fashion trends.
5. Etc.

New Orleans is a snap (relatively, if you ignore the swamp adventure), I've vacationed there numerous time.

Southern California—I’ve got this! 

Ummm, now there’s the Gargoyle—still working out the ‘flying’ thing.  So, I decided to focus on my heroine.  She has trouble sleeping.  What helps her fall to sleep—especially after a fleeting encounter with a Gargoyle?


Moon Milk.

What is Moon Milk? You ask.  If you aren’t familiar with the natural sleep-inducing beverage, I’ll share both my research and personal experience.

Moon Milk is a drink made out of warm milk, honey, spices, and herbs. Supposedly, sipping on moon milk before bed time helps you drift peacefully into sleep.

The most important ingredient in moon milk is ashwagandha (also known as Indian ginseng, "has wide ranging health benefits and has a grounding and relaxing effect on the mind and body," to quote Dr. Chanoff , “It's used to treat stress, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, and nervous system disorders she added. You can buy it in powder form at your local health food store or on Amazon). *I’m not endorsing ‘ashwaganha’, as the warm milk, alone, is effective for me.

**I did look up ‘ashwaganha’ for health alerts. “For most healthy people, ashwagandha is considered safe. However, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid it, in addition to people with hyperthyroidism . Furthermore, this herb may interact with sedatives, as well as medications for the following conditions: diabetes. June 11, 2019, consumerlab.com **  (inclusive on positive effects on hypothyroidism—so I monitor when I add ashwaganha to my Moon Milk). The ashwagandha powder smelled very off-putting. I was concerned about the taste. It proved to be delicious—creamy, cinnamon-y and sweet.

MOON MILK


1 cup whole milk or unsweetened nut milk (such as almond, or cashew)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground ashwagandha
2 pinches of ground cardamom
Pinch of ground ginger (optional)
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon virgin coconut oil or ghee (I do not like ghee)
1 teaspoon honey, preferably raw

RECIPE PREPARATION

Bring milk to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in cinnamon, turmeric, ashwagandha, cardamom, ginger, if using, and nutmeg; season with pepper. Whisk vigorously to incorporate any clumps. Add coconut oil, reduce heat to low, and continue to cook until warmed through, 5–10 minutes (heat, the stronger the medicine). Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in honey (you want to avoid cooking honey or you'll destroy its healing properties). Pour into a mug, drink warm, and climb right into bed.

It's 11:45 pm and it's time for Chanel (see picture) and I to go to bed.  I am not sipping Moon Milk.  I have be 'drinking coffee' (this was probably a bad choice of beverage).

Happy Reading, Stay Safe.  (remember my book are 60% off at Smashwords).

Remember to visit my author page at the 
Chanel while I write this blog post.








bwl website! For book purchase links and more!


Connie's website   (my blog feeds here)

 Connie's Blog

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October 2020






August 2020


Monday, April 27, 2020

How do sci-fi and fantasy novels resonate with today’s concerns? by Vijaya Schartz

Award-winning sci-fi fantasy romance
available from your favorite retailer HERE

The most popular stories are written to entertain, by authors concerned about the issues of their day. No matter what we write, the questions in our minds have a way of popping up into our work, and like good little problem solvers, our brains imagine possible solutions. 

 


The best stories often take inspiration from legends and myths and ancient history, which are part of our cultural background and define the way we think. Many great storytellers throughout history tried to illuminate the problems of their day through such tales, from Homer (Odysseus), to Shakespeare, to Victor Hugo (Les Miserables), to Jules Vernes, Hemingway, Faulkner, and closer to us, Glen A. Larson (Battlestar Galactica), Gene Roddenberry (Star Trek), J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter), George Lucas (Indiana Jones, Star Wars), James Cameron (Avatar)… the list goes on.




But even in a very elaborate and colorful fictional world, created by a talented storyteller, what sticks inside our minds are the people involved in the story… their struggles, their mistakes, their strengths, their resilience, their determination… and their weaknesses. We can relate to them. We wonder what we would do in similar circumstances. We wonder whether we would have the courage to do the right thing… if we could figure out what the right thing is.



Whether it’s good vs evil, or the dangers of totalitarian empires, or whether the machines will one day take over our lives, these hypothetical stories have roots in what happened before or what might happen if we are not vigilant. I like being entertained with a tale that makes me wonder how we can improve as individuals and as a society. Fiction allows the writer to tackle hypothetical situations in a neutral setting, without ruffling too many political or religious feathers. It gives us the perfect stage for freedom of expression, philosophy and satire.

I predict that in the years to come, pandemics may become a sci-fi sub-genre. It will depict heroic health workers, overwhelmed hospital ships, suffering, tragic death tolls in senior care sick bays, disorganization, catastrophic mistakes, selfishness, greed, corruption, as well as self-sacrifice, and unimaginable acts of kindness… and that will become a classic theme for many stories to come, because this generation of authors will have lived through it… and so will their readers. 



Like World War II or 9-11, this pandemic experience will become part of the collective memory, part of the recorded archives of our generation… part of the experience of the modern human race.

But unlike today’s grim reality, popular sci-fi can offer a safe escape, where the sacrifices are not in vain, the heroes are rewarded in the end, and the villains get their comeuppance.

Happy Reading.

Vijaya Schartz, author
Strong Heroines, Brave Heroes


Byzantium Space Station series
Standalone story

When bounty hunter Akira Karyudo accepted her assignment, something didn't add up. Why would the Galactic Trade Alliance want a kidnapped orphan dead or alive?

She will get to the truth once she finds the boy, and the no good SOB who snatched him from a psychiatric hospital. With her cheetah, Freckles, a genetically enhanced feline retriever, Akira sets out to flush them out of the bowels of the Byzantium space station. But when she finds her fugitives, the kidnapper is not what she expects.

Kazmo, a decorated Resistance fighter, stole his nephew from the authorities, who performed painful experiments on the boy. Stuck on Byzantium, he protects the child, but how can he shield him from the horribly dangerous conditions in the lawless sublevels of the space station?

Akira faces the worst moral dilemma of her career. Law or justice, duty or love. She can't have it both ways.

"Wow! If readers want to see and feel and believe they are in deep space, then "Akira's Choice" is the perfect choice! With a touch of romance, the vivid descriptions and beautifully developed characters masterfully presented by Schartz create a virtual world that invite the reader not merely to observe, but to walk amongst them and participate... This is a delicate art, and Schartz wields her weapons with precision and skill. Banzai!" 5 stars - exceptional - recommended read - Ind'tale Magazine

"A captivating story with interesting, appealing characters. Being a cat lover, I found the relationship, with its psychic element, between Freckles and Shane absolutely captivating. As always, Ms. Schartz’s solid plot and crisply-written prose incorporates a good blend of action and intrigue... This story can easily stand alone... but I believe you’ll enjoy this exciting Sci-Fi series much more if you start reading it from the beginning... a must read for all fans of Sci-Fi romance. Go pick them up and settle into your favorite armchair for some entertaining reading. 4.5 stars - Manic Readers

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Did I honestly write that? Tricia McGill

Book 4 and the final in my Settlers series is coming in May. For links to all my books go to my BWL author page


One thing we writers know what to do when we are in forced isolation is, of course, write. It’s strange, but we spend a lot of time sitting in front of our screen (or wherever we chose to write) and in my case with only my dogs for company, but now that I am being warned that I should stay home for my own safety I am, like many others, becoming stir crazy. Difference is, that normally when I hit a snag in my writing and just need a break, I nip down to the shops. All that is now at a standstill while we order online and have our necessities delivered.

When I get bored I mainly do one of two things—I move furniture that should be left where it is, and I buy things. In this past week alone I have bought a new printer which has just been delivered and set up, two lots of grocery shopping (Because I forgot a few things with the first order), a new torch just in case the power goes off in the middle of the night, and yesterday bought four items of clothing which I do not really need but they were a bargain <big sigh here> and I never could resist a bargain. I rearranged my study, moving my desk and printers around to suit wintertime which is just around the corner. I can now see out into my garden while at my computer, but unfortunately it seems that even the birds seem to have gone quiet. Perhaps the braver ones have headed north where it is warmer. No doubt they are wondering where all the humans have gone.

Anyway, to explain my heading. While rummaging through old files I came across a story that I wrote many years ago, so thought I would revive it. Was I in for a shock? I have never seen so many bloopers in my life and at times have thought of abandoning it or changing genres. It might still get put back in that dark corner where it probably belongs. To explain, one of the worst mistakes I found was my overuse of words such as “he expounded” or “he exploded”, when a simple “he said” would do just as well.  What was I thinking?

My hero was not as heroic as he should be and in fact I started to dislike him when he became a bit cocky. There’s a big difference between being sure of your charms and just being downright big-headed. That would not do for one of my heroes and how I ever wrote one scene I have no idea. Of course that has been trashed.

I had my characters using a telephone when of course everyone uses their mobiles these days. It came as quite a reality check when it hit me how times have changed in the past 20 years. Most of the shops now have automatic check-outs, and the shelves in the supermarkets give us so many choices I personally get a headache searching for exactly what suits my needs. How my mother would have loved having her shopping delivered. Having a large family to feed, she shopped most days for food and necessities. The baker and the milkman were the only daily deliveries. Upside of that was that the shopkeepers all knew her by name. As things are currently, we barely get the chance to say a quick ‘thank you’ to the delivery man as our shopping is left by our door because we must keep that safe distance. My dogs barked at the open door a while back because someone walked past our unit, and that was all the excitement for today—apart from the delivery man and our daily walk around the nearby park.

Keep safe and write up a storm. And if you have someone there that you can hug, do it as often as you can. It’s becoming a sad world when our contact with another human is being denied.

Visit my web page for excerpts etc.


Saturday, April 25, 2020

The Manuscript and the Stock Car Race by A.M.Westerling






If you’ve been following my blog posts over the past months, you’ll know I’ve been posting excerpts from my latest  manuscript, ‘Sophie’s Choice’, Book One of The Ladies of Harrington House. Well, I’m thrilled and proud to announce Sophie’s Choice was released earlier this month! You can find it at your favourite online store HERE.


I know what you’re thinking. How can there possibly be any connection between writing a manuscript for a Regency romance and running a NASCAR race? I’m sure you’re also thinking I’ve spent way too much time at the keyboard! However, like writing a book, running a race has its stages.


The first stage, the beginning of the race. The cars are bright, shiny, unscratched, not dented. The drivers are fresh, cute and full of energy. There are the driver introductions, the fanfare, the invocation, the flyover, all building up to those fabled words: “Drivers, start your engines.” The motors roar to life, fans are on their feet, the cars roll around the track for the warm-up laps until the green flag drops and the race begins!





The first few laps are amazing. The growl of the engines rumbles in your chest, the speed of the cars is dizzying, the jostling for the lead exciting. You settle in to watch, convinced the next two hundred and fifty laps are going to whiz by as fast as the cars flying past on the track. 


The first stage of a manuscript is similar. It’s your new baby. The characters are engaging, the ideas shiny and different, the plot brilliant. You sit down at the computer and your hands scoot across the keys as page after page of absolutely the most dazzling book ever appears beneath your oh so nimble fingers. The first fifty pages come together as if by magic. This is it, you think, this is the book to end all books. This is going to land me on the NYT Best Seller list. 


Then hits the middle stage. Quite frankly, the race has become rather ho hum as the excitement has worn off. It’s hot, you’re thirsty. You check the score board and realize only eighty laps are down and you have to sit there for at least another three hours.  Your favourite driver is somewhere in the middle of the pack and nowhere to be seen. The drivers settle in and peel off the laps, regularly going in for pit stops for fuel and tires and whatever minor repairs are needed. Someone might make a mistake, a tire might blow, there may be a crash. There will be caution laps. But really, there’s not much at stake as the finish line still seems so far away. All the drivers can do is circle the track, counting down the laps. 





For a manuscript, it’s the dreaded saggy middle. Now your manuscript is absolutely the worst thing you’ve ever produced. The characters have become limp, the plot has fizzled. But you need to do it. You need to have the middle because otherwise how would you get to the end? This is where you take your pit stops and take a step back to replenish the well. You may very well have your plot crashes where you’ve written yourself into a corner. Like an extra long pit stop, or even a trip behind the wall to the dreaded garage, you may need to back track and tweak something to keep the engine/muse going. But you will do it. You need to do the laps.


In the last stage, the race picks up again. The last fifty laps become racy as drivers and crews know the elusive finish line isn’t so elusive anymore. It becomes important for the drivers to stay close to the front so they can make a move to finish first. Teams become aggressive because they know the chance to win is small but in order to even have a chance, they must be positioned properly.


With a manuscript, it’s the point in the story where you realize exactly how it’s going to finish and how many scenes have to be written. You’ve done your time and worked your way through the middle. The end is in sight and enthusiastic, you’re back at the keyboard pounding away. Your excitement builds again. For me in Sophie’s Choice, it was around Chapter Fifteen, when Sophie discovered the pages in Bryce’s library that could mean he was involved in smuggling. From there I knew what had to happen to complete the book.


Finally, the race is over! The winning car crosses the finish line to the frantic flap of the checker flag. Fans cheer, the driver circles the track carrying the checkered flag and spins doughnuts in a cloud of smoke and dust before heading to the winner’s circle for a few minutes of glory and media attention. Then it’s back to work. One race is only one race in a long season. Load up the semi trailer trucks and move on to the next track.


A writer’s finish line excitement is typing “THE END”! It’s when you can stand up and do the happy dance, congratulating yourself on a job well done or treat yourself to a lovely glass of wine. It’s been a long haul but your baby is finished. You read it over a few times and marvel at your skill. It’s your sure ticket into the hearts of thousands of adoring fans. You did it. You finished the manuscript.


Now it’s time for business. Time to send it to your publisher for final edits and it’s time to start the next book. For it too, will be your new baby, shiny and fresh and ready to run the next race. I’ve already started my new baby – it’s Book Two of The Ladies of Harrington House series, Leah’s Surrender. You’ll find an excerpt in the back of Sophie’s Choice for a sneak peek of the adventures in store for Leah.



A former engineer and avid NASCAR fan, A.M.Westerling writes historical romance and is currently on the opening laps of her seventh race, er -, manuscript. You can find her on the BWL Publishing home page www.bookswelove.com, Facebook, Twitter or at www.amwesterling.com


Friday, April 24, 2020

Canadian Authors Past and Present by Joan Donaldson-Yarmey--British Columbia



http://www.bookswelove.com/donaldson-yarmey-joan/


Canadian Authors Past and Present
Canada celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2017. To commemorate the occasion my publisher, Books We Love, Ltd (BWL) brought out the Canadian Historical Brides Series during 2017 and 2018. There are twelve books, one about each province, one about the Yukon, and one combining the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Each book was written by a BWL Canadian author or co-authored by a Canadian and an international BWL author.
Each province and territory of Canada has spawned many well-known authors and my series of posts this year will be about them-one or two from the past and one or two from the present, the present-day ones being the authors of the Brides book for the corresponding province or territory. The posts are in the order that the books were published.

British Columbia

Stephen Reid was born in Massey Ontario (ON) on March 13, 1950. He is the author of two books but his main claim to fame is that he belonged to Canada’s notorious Stopwatch Gang of bank robbers. The gang which also included Lionel Wright and Patrick Michael "Paddy" Mitchell who was the leader, was given its name because of the stopwatch Reid carried during the robberies. The gang was also known for their politeness to their victims and their non-violent methods.
     During the 1970s and 1980s the three men stole an estimated $15 million from more than 140 banks, gas stations, and shops across Canada and the United States. With the help of an inside man they robbed the Ottawa, ON, airport of $750,000 in gold in 1974. They were arrested but by 1979 they had all escaped from prison.
     Stephen Reid was arrested in Arizona in 1980 and returned to Canada where he began serving a twenty-one year sentence at the Kent institution in Agassiz, B.C. He started writing in 1984 and sent his manuscript to Susan Musgrave who, though her home was on Haidi Gwaii off the coast of the B.C. mainland, was the writer-in-residence at the University of Waterloo at the time. They developed a relationship and were married at the prison in 1986. Reid’s first book, Jackrabbit Patrol was published that year.
     When Stephen was released on full parole in 1987 the couple lived in Sidney, B.C. where he taught creative writing at Camosun College. He also worked as a youth counsellor in the Northwest Territories. Unfortunately, he became addicted to heroin and cocaine and returned to his old ways, robbing a bank in Victoria in June 1999. This time he was sentenced to eighteen years in prison. In 2007, a National Film Board of Canada produced a documentary film titled Inside Time about Stephen Reid’s life. His second book, A Crowbar in the Buddhist Garden: Writing from Prison, was published in 2012. It is a number of essays about his life in prison and he won the Victoria Butler Book Prize for it in 2013. Reid was granted full parole in 2014. He lived on Haidi Gwaii with his wife, Susan, until June 12, 2018 when he died from pulmonary edema and third degree heart block.
Note: Patrick Mitchell wrote his autobiography titled, This Bank Robber's Life, while he was in prison. He died of lung cancer on January 14, 2007 and his manuscript was published posthumously in 2015.
Lionel Wright, was nicknamed ‘The Ghost’ because he had the ability to blend into a crowd and disappear. He was released from prison in 1994 and his whereabouts are unknown.

Emily Carr was born on December 13, 1871, in Victoria, B.C. She was the second youngest of nine children and she and her siblings were raised by parents who kept the English customs they had been used to in England. Their home had high ceilings, decorative mouldings, and there was a parlour. Sunday mornings were for prayers, and there were evening Bible readings. Emily’s mother died in 1886 and her father in 1888.
     Emily’s father had encouraged her in her artistic pursuits but it wasn’t until two years after his death that she enrolled at the San Francisco Art Institute. She returned to Victoria in 1892 and over the next twenty years she alternated between travelling to aboriginal villages in British Columbia to sketch and paint their lifestyle and going to England and France to study art. During that time she took a job teaching at the Ladies Art Club in Vancouver but the students didn’t like her because she smoked in class and cursed them. She left after a month.
     She continued to paint and even opened a gallery in Vancouver. However, it was not a success so 1913, she once again moved to Victoria. For the next fifteen years Emily ran a boarding house called the House of all Sorts. She continued to do a little painting and over time her work was recognized by influential members of the art world and she put on an exhibit at Canada’s National Gallery. She is best known for her paintings on Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest and later in life her modernist and post-impressionist styles.
     Emily Carr suffered heart attacks in 1937 and 1939. She had a serious stroke in 1940 and another heart attack in 1942. These left her unable to paint so she concentrating on her writing. Her first book Klee Wyck was published in 1941 and she won the Governor-General Award for non-fiction for the book. The Book of Small came out in 1942 and The House of all Sorts, named after her boarding house which provided material for the book, was published in 1944.
     Emily Carr died from a heart attack On March 2, 1945. She had three books published posthumously: Growing Pains (1946); Pause, The Heart of a Peacock (1953); and Hundreds and Thousands (1966).
     As an author, Emily Carr was one of the earliest story tellers of life in the province of British Columbia.

Book 4 of the Canadian Historical Brides Series:  Barkerville Beginnings (British Columbia) - A.M. Westerling) - June 2017
A.M. Westerling grew up in a small Alberta town. She loved to read and when she was in her teens, her mother introduced her to romance novels, then her father got her reading historical romance novels. Historical novels are still her favourite today. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, from the University of Calgary, married and worked in the oil industry. She tried writing but when she and her husband had two children and began an engineering business in Calgary she set that aside.
     After selling the business years later, A.M. began her full-time writing career, concentrating on action-adventure, historical romance. Her aim is to take her readers away from their every-day lives and transport them into a different time. Her first two novels, A Countess’ Lucky Charm and Her Proper Scoundrel both came out in 2012. Since then she has had three more books published with Books We Love, Ltd.
     Besides writing, she enjoys gardening, camping, yoga, going for walks, and watching sports, especially her hometown Calgary Stampeders and Calgary Flames. She belongs to the Romance Writers of America, and is active in the Calgary chapter of the RWA.
     As she says: “History is romantic. To combine history with a love story is my ultimate joy and, I hope, yours as well.”