Spectacular Saturday: flowers in fall

It’s a glorious Saturday here in the Garden City – warm, sunny, and full of that back-to-school excitement that energizes a town with students of all ages. And even though our flowerbeds are starting to get tired after blossoming for so many months now, a few fall blossoms are popping up purple-ly.

tiny blurry cyclamen
glowing autumn crocuses

Wishing you an equally happy heliotrope Sunday,


Freestyle Friday: feel the love

When I was writing Kiss in the Wind, I figured I had an excuse a responsibility to research it properly. Obviously, that meant making and eating chocolate things.

Because my family has a 20-year history of food allergies and sensitivities, I learned a long time ago how to adapt recipes to exclude dairy. Then eggs. Nuts, of course. Then gluten.

Now, I’m not claiming that I’m a good cook; but I’m a flexible cook.
In the back of Kiss in the Wind is Granny Coral’s recipe for no-bake coconut-oatmeal chocolate cookies, made gluten-free and vegan. (Warning: this doesn’t mean they’re healthier than other cookies because, y’know, they’re still full of chocolate and sugar.)

Another of my favourite recipes is for spicy chocolate-coffee cookies.

I don’t remember whether it inspired a scene in the book or the other way around, but I adapted it as well. I use gluten-free flour plus a little xanthan gum instead of wheat flour, coconut oil instead of butter, and voilà! Fab freestyle treats!

I even had to go a little rogue with the kitchen implements. When I couldn’t find my rolling pin, I resorted to using an empty bottle of Mack’s (really McClelland’s) whiskey. A full bottle would work too, apparently.



The muse shows up

The bar had Prosecco on tap. I had a glass. Lee  McKenzie and Sharon Ashwood and I were talking about how much fun it is to make up stories, and by the time we left our empty glasses on the table and walked, blinking, out into the sunshine,  we’d decided to write a series of linked stories set in a chocolate shop and there would be a ghost and, hey! We’d better get Shelley Adina in on this! And Shelley brought along a pirate!

We’ve been having a blast ever since.

I can’t wait to sail you into Corsair’s Cove and introduce you to Livy, Mack, Bonney the parrot , and the rest of the crew! The first novella in the series, Lee’s Kiss at the Cove, will be out in August, followed two weeks later by my Kiss in the Wind, then Shelley’s Kiss on the Beach, and then the last novella, Sharon’s Kiss in the Dark.

But we were having too much fun to stop there, so we’ve also got a short story to wrap up the series in time for Christmas!