And one more for the road…

angel_sequel_autobiography_472395We’ve got one last late-comer to the blog tour party, but we’re happy to have her! Five in Ohio is a busy mom with a blog full of recipes and reviews for you to enjoy, and she recently took the time to read Evil on the Peace River. I’m delighted that she enjoyed it, and she raised a point that several others have on this tour: might there be a sequel?

Now I hadn’t considered this before, but you just never know. Maybe there’s room for more evil on the Peace? Hmmmmm….

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Everyone loves Sam!

PhotobucketI’ve been asked a few times recently who my favourite character is in Evil on the Peace River, and I figured people might be surprised by my response, because it’s Sam! Yes, Sam with no last name. No last name, because he’s a dog! I’m a sucker for a good animal story (no surprise if you’re a long-time reader), and was dying to have a four-legged hero pop into this book. So imagine my surprise when I found that one of the reviewers on our blog tour felt the same way.

Over at Bookworm Babblings Sam the Dog made a new fan! Because really, we all need a little ‘Lassie’ in our life!

The gift of imagination is priceless

imagination libraryI came across a news article the other day that I wanted to share with you all. It’s not the most uplifting piece, but I think it’s important for us all to think about.

This isn’t really ‘news’, in the sense that most of us know that children from poorer face so many more challenges on so many different levels. But in a lot of ways, I think it’s something we’re not doing enough about. That’s why I was so happy to hear about a project started by someone you might be surprised by: Dolly Parton!

Yes, Miss 9-5 herself is doing an incredible service to help low-income children beat the odds when it comes to literacy. It’s called the Imagination Library, and here’s how it works. Starting it in her home state of Tennessee, she designed a program where children’s books are mailed directly to the homes of children age 0-5, across the region—no matter what their income.

It’s become such a success that it’s been able to expand, even to Canada! It’s not available everywhere, but parents can register online to see if they’re children are eligible.

I honestly think that a great book is one of the best gifts you can give a child. I still remember vividly reading Heidi as a youngster and how deeply the story touched me. And more than that, it inspired my love for story-telling and lit the spark for my own writing. I think that anything so simple that can inspire that kind of a passion in a child is well worth our attention. So take a look at the work The Dollywood Foundation, and I hope you’ll be inspired to think about how you can instil the love of books in the youngsters in your communities!

Yesterday we made a stop at Mommy Reads Too Much (no such thing in my books!), and Lisa really felt that the book was a great pick for anyone needing a bit of Christmas magic in their lives!

Today we’ve got two more blog tour stops, first at Cozie Corner and then at Turning the Clock Back. Thanks for letting us stop by!

Blog tour: day two!

We’ve got two blog stops on our tour today! Our first stop is at Uplifting Reads. I think this really was a perfect stop for us, since her site is oriented towards suggesting reads that, as the title suggests, are uplifting! Andrea chooses books that are heart-warming and desgined to give your spirits a bit of a boost–we all need that once in a while! I’m glad Andrea enjoyed The Three Saints of Christmas and that she too thought it would be a great way to open the door for discussions with youngsters on our pioneer pasts here in Canada.

Our last stop of the week is at My Mommy’s World, a great place to stop by for a huge selection of reviews and giveaways! Theresa’s a busy mom, but somehow she still has time to blog about books and products for children of all ages. Great to see a little bit of Canadiana making its way across the web. Thanks for reading!

Writers can be a crazy lot—our quirks and collections can rival anyone out there. Most often, our collections are focused around the tools of our trade: notebooks, pens, pencils, typewriters, etc. I myself have an impressive collection of notebooks and pens, but it’s not strictly ornamental. Despite how digital everything, including the writing process, has gotten I still find myself taking an ‘old school’ approach to my craft. While it may surprise many: I write everything first with a pen and paper.

I’m the first to admit I’m not the most technologically savvy of people, but it’s no techno-fear that’s led me to writing longhand. I really feel like there’s something fundamentally different about putting lead to paper as opposed to banging away on a keyboard—I just feel more creative doing so. And it turns out, there’s some science to back me up!

It turns out that children write better when they use a pen as opposed to a keyboard, and the simple act of connecting the form of each letter actively engages your brain in a way that isn’t seen in typing.

But even if there wasn’t the scientific evidence there, I doubt you could dissuade me from utilizing my trusty notebooks. The fact is there’s something special about how these simple tools have been used to create masterpieces. This author summed it up beautifully.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go get some fresh notebooks and a spankin’ new pen.

Lovely, lovely, Labour Day

Ah, the September long weekend—here at last! I often think of this as the last long weekend of the year, really. Sure, there’s Thanksgiving, but given that it’s usually already pretty cold by that point we don’t really get the chance to enjoy it. And of course, you’re inevitably inundated with family visits and cooking like a fiend.

But the September long weekend, that’s just for you—a time to relax and have a few days to yourself to catch up on things around the house or just to take some time to yourself  to do what you love best.

So it’s probably no surprise to most of you that I plan on doing a bit of writing this weekend. Now, I’m not going to be venturing into the madness that is the 3-Day Novel Contest I talked about last week, but I am going to try and make a dent in some new projects.

If you’re using the Labour Day weekend to get ahead on your writing projects but aren’t sure where to start, here are some great tips I found to get you rolling.