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2018 HOLT Medallion Finalists

2018 HOLT Medallion Finalists

Since 1995, the Virginia Romance Writers chapter of the RWA has been hosting the HOLT Medallion contest. Medallions are awarded to authors whose books are selected by a panel of romance readers as the best in each of twelve categories.

I am happy to announce that A WEDDING AND A WHITE CHRISTMAS is a finalist in the Short Contemporary category!

As luck would have it, a fellow Calgarian is also a finalist in the contest. My friend Lecia Cornwall entered her book, ENCHANTED BY THE HIGHLANDER. This one is a finalist in the historical category.

2018 HOLT Medallion FinalistsHere is Lecia’s book:
Enchanted by the Highlander

Enchanted by the Highlander is the fourth book in a charming and enchanting Scottish series that reimagines fairytales by Lecia Cornwall.

Gillian MacLeod is shy and quiet, the least likely of all her sisters to seek out excitement and adventure. But on a moonlit night at a masquerade ball, Gillian steals a kiss from a mysterious stranger, knowing she’ll never see him again.

John Erly, disowned by his noble English father, started a new life in Scotland. Most people are suspicious of the foreign mercenary and he does everything in his power to avoid romantic entanglements. But he can’t forget the bewitching beauty who kissed him in the dark, and stole his heart, even though he has no idea who she might be.

A year later, John is given the duty of escorting Gillian to her wedding and immediately recognizes her as the temptress he’s dreamed of for months. There’s not much he can do when she’s promised to another man, but fate intervenes and this time, passion—and adventure—can’t be denied. Honor demands he stay away from the MacLeod’s enchanting daughter, but love has a very different ending in mind…

And here’s my book:
A Wedding and a White Christmas

Getting from “I do” to “I don’t” before anyone finds out!

On a whirlwind Christmas visit to Las Vegas, and after a long night of merrymaking, Emily and her best friend, Mark, stumble into an Elvis Chapel and get married.

The next morning she realizes her mistake. Although she loves Mark, and has since childhood, he’s not marriage material.

For Mark, it’s not that he has commitment issues—or any issues, for that matter—but marriage would complicate things. He and Emily are friends and he doesn’t want to mess with that. Besides, he knows Emily is on the rebound. She’s not over her failed engagement to Dan the idiot.

On top of that, there’s Emily’s aunt. Myra doesn’t like Mark and if she learns about this elopement . . . well, let’s just say, there will be no Peace on Earth this Christmas!

The winners of the HOLT Medallion will be announced at a party in Glen Allen, Virginia on June 9th.

Unfortunately, that would take about nine to ten hours of travel from Calgary, so neither one of us will be going. However, we are considering dressing up on June 9th and celebrating here!

Snow

Snow

We have had so much snow this winter.

Thank goodness for “snow angels” – the people who shovel your sidewalk while they are out shoveling their own.

In this weather, sidewalks often need to be shoveled more than once a day so we seem to be taking turns with the neighbours. Sometimes snow shoveling becomes a “meet the neighbours” activity.

This is what our backyard looks like. 
snow covering the firepitThere’s a firepit under that heap of snow . . . much like the firepit in the backyard at Aunt Myra’s in A WEDDING AND A WHITE CHRISTMAS.

Of course, the mountains are benefiting from all this snow. Yesterday, we drove to Banff to ski at Sunshine Village.

Starting out, the car temperature gauge said minus 24 (- 11 F). As we crossed Morley Flats, the temperature rose suddenly to minus 17 (1 F) and the road filled with fog and blowing snow. Traffic slowed and almost everyone was driving with four-way flashers on. I could see the flashers about 8 car lengths ahead. It was as if the cars were “holding hands” as we inched through the fog. Fortunately, that only lasted about fifteen minutes and then we got back to good visibility.

By the time we reached the Bourgeau parking lot at Sunshine’s base, the temperature had dropped back down to minus 24, and there was hardly anyone there. Too cold, I guess.

The gondola whisked us up the mountain in about 17 minutes and when we exited at the Village, the temperature was closer to minus 15 (5 F). So warm, I took off my neoprene mask. And the skies were sunny.

We rode a couple of times on the new Teepee Town heated chair. Once you are aboard, you pull down the orange cover to block the wind. It’s a much nicer ride up than taking the Angel chair which is always windy and cold.

After a couple runs to warm up, we went right to the top of Divide.
at the top of DivideThe thing I like most about skiing is being outside in the sunshine. When you get a clear day with all that white, I don’t care how cold it is.
happy skiierMother Nature gave us a break after lunch, sending the temp all the way up to minus 9 (16 F) Quite pleasant!

Do you enjoy the sunshine on a snowy winter day? Are you dressed nice and warm for the cold weather? Are you a snow angel?

A Wedding and a White Christmas

A Wedding and a White Christmas

Getting from “I do” to “I don’t” before anyone finds out!

On a whirlwind Christmas visit to Las Vegas, and after a long night of merrymaking, Emily and her best friend, Mark, stumble into an Elvis Chapel and get married.

The next morning she realizes her mistake. Although she loves Mark, and has since childhood, he’s not marriage material.

For Mark, it’s not that he has commitment issues—or any issues, for that matter—but marriage would complicate things. He and Emily are friends and he doesn’t want to mess with that. Besides, he knows Emily is on the rebound. She’s not over her failed engagement to Dan the idiot.

On top of that, there’s Emily’s aunt. Myra doesn’t like Mark and if she learns about this elopement . . . well, let’s just say, there will be no Peace on Earth this Christmas!

 

NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo

It’s National Novel Writing Month and for the first time, I am trying NaNoWriMo. This is pronounced na-noh-RY-moh.

 According to Wiki, NaNoWriMo is the brainchild of freelance writer Chris Baty who started the project in July 1999 with 21 participants. In 2000, NaNoWriMo was moved to November “to more fully take advantage of the miserable weather.”

I don’t know about “miserable” because I like writing when the snow is falling.
Here’s how it works:

Participants take on the challenge of writing 50,000 words of a new novel from November 1 to the deadline of 11:59 pm on November 30. To “win” you submit your work to some kind of “scrambler” which automatically counts your words. Even if you don’t hit the 50,000 words mark, you’re still successful because you have at least created a few scenes of a new book. And, as the old adage says, you can’t edit a blank page. So, if nothing else, this exercise will provide a starting point.

The focus is on completion, rather than perfection. This is hard for me, since my modus operandi is to edit as I go. But nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I’m giving it a shot.

I am still discovering new stuff on the NaNo website and, while I am off to a slow start, I remain motivated. My goal is to write 50,000 words of the next book in my “wedding” series. So far, my characters have names and they’re on an airplane, arguing about something. Not sure what.

I’ll report back next Tuesday. Wish me luck!

snowflake from photos.com #452594187