Y'all, I'm tired.

But I needed to drop in to make sure y'all know I am still writing, even if it's not romance.

Do me a solid and check out The Devil's Revolver series. It's 4 books, plus one FREE short story, and as of Oct. 2019, it is complete!

Y'all can pick up the first book, The Devil's Revolver, for $1.99 USD at most ebook retailers. or ask your local libraries and bookstores to stock the series.

Visit www.devilsrevolver.com for excerpts and more! I can't write if I can't eat, and I'm tellin' ya, raising a 4-year-old takes a lot of Goldfish crackers.

I'm on a podcast! I was interviewed by the Toronto Public Library about the romance genre. Note: the interviewer was Mike, the librarian who made up the "Vandalize a romance book cover" Valentine's Day campaign a few years ago, which I sounded off about in my open letter.

Mike's a good guy and he, like many people, had certain biases and preconceptions about the romance genre. I think I might have given the hosts a little something more to chew on.

You can listen to it here.

Wow, it's been a year since my last blog post. Strange to see my cat's face up here. A year later, I'm still keenly feeling his loss, imagining his presence on my desktop as I write and he tries to get me to pet him instead. The other day I caught myself moving to go feed him. I sometimes think he's still hanging around in spirit form...

So the past year has been mainly focused on finishing THE DEVIL'S REVOLVER series. I'm editing a draft of the final book now. After that, I'll be taking a writing hiatus to refill the well, start reading all the books in my TBR pile, and spending time with my Irrational Biped, turning three this October. I've been greatly blessed with a loving, understanding husband, and I need to have time with my family to appreciate what I've accomplished.

For anyone in Toronto, I'm doing a few workshops and making appearances over the next little while: I'll be doing a one-hour workshop on Worldbuilding at the Toronto Romance Writers first ever convention Sept. 22. I'll be at Word on the Street Toronto as V.S. McGrath reading from The Devil's Standoff, book 2 in the series on Sept. 23. Then I'm hosting a two-hour Romance 101 workshop Nov. 3 at the Pape/Danforth library. In April, I will be presenting a 3-hour workshop on Characterization and Complex Conflict. Details for all of these events are available on the Events page.

The world is kind of a terrible place right now, which is why you might only see RTs on my Twitter and Facebook pages. As much as I like engaging, I am at a stage in my life where I've decided my mental health, as well as my physical health, can stand not being exposed to toxic garbage all the time. But I'm here, and I'm listening and watching.

Yours in internet spirit,



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TW for pet death.

The death of a pet is hard. Even moreso for writers, for whom these furry companions are often the only company they have day in and day out while they work. And so, here I grieve in the only way I know how: by writing in the absence of a cat no longer here to sleep on my laptop, or swat at my furiously typing fingers. His ghostly presence remains, in the echo of feet padding up and down the stairs, in the phantom brush of his soft fur at my ankles, reminding me not to push my chair back before checking. I keep looking around, expecting to see him basking in the sun or sleeping at the top of the stairs. But he's gone.

Smartikus was diagnosed with congestive heart failure more than a year and a half ago, and has been on strong medication since then. At the time, the vets couldn't say how long he had--days, weeks, months. All we could do was be grateful for what time we had with him.

He survived past the average 5-months allotted to cats with this condition. He survived through basement renos and the birth of baby Mara. He got to watch her grow from pooping burrito creature to full-on walking, talking toddler who pet him "gently, softly" and cuddled him whenever he let her. He spent much of his last night on earth in her nursery, watching her while she slept, and when we were headed to the vet's, she meowed to him softly, singing a kitty dirge.

The vet was shocked to see him still alive and kicking in July. We thought he might live forever--he was always a warrior, after all. At age four, he'd survived a life-threatening urinary tract block that resulted in full penile removal; he'd lived to tell of the time he got out onto our roof the night Rob Ford was elected. If he could talk, he would regale you with tales of that time the vents were cleaned, or that time he got a plastic bag stuck around his neck and exorcised it by peeing all over the house. He would tell you about the time he conquered the defrosting chicken breasts, dragging their carcasses throughout the house as one might drag their slain enemies' bodies through the streets.

He probably wouldn't tell you about all the cuddles he loved to give his feeders, or admit to nightly routines of standing on the dinner table, pushing his furry head into their bowls to see what they were having that he could share. He loved to bite John's ankles after he'd showered, had a disdain for food that'd touched the floor, loved having his silky hair brushed, and enjoyed smothering his keepers while they slept. He was a cat that contained multitudes.

Alas, Smarty's literally big heart failed his body, though his spirit was strong. He'd stopped eating two days ago. He was panting heavily, foaming at the mouth constantly--a clear sign his belabored heart was not strong enough to clear his lungs of the fluid that was slowly drowning him.

He lost control of his bowels that morning, and when he stumbled down the stares and looked bleakly into our eyes, we knew it was time.

He left this world peacefully and painlessly at the vet's, with his loving owners at his side. They say pets are heartbreak waiting to happen, and we'd been waiting for a while. His upkeep was expensive, but worth every penny. All I have to do is think about how soft his fur was, how silky his ears, how loud his purr rumbling against my chest. He met us at the door every day, seemed to know when we needed his comfort the most, and never failed to remind us who was really the boss in the house with a simple cat butt to the face at 5 in the morning.

He was loved and adored and irreplaceable. He was the best cat and companion we could have asked for, and we were blessed to have had him in our family.

Who would helm your (relation)ship? Here's a ranking of captains I'd bang (or not).

mal Captain Malcolm Reynolds

As seen in: Firefly, Serenity

Boinkability out of 10: 8

On the one hand, Mal is a sturdy, loyal, heart-of-gold guy with tight pants, a wry sense of humor and a twinkle in his eye that aims to misbehave. On the other hand. there's a good chance he'll be cancelled before the end of his first season, leaving you whining about his loss fifteen years later.


Csexy-picardaptain Jean-Luc Picard

As seen in: Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Generations, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, Star Trek: Nemesis.

Boinkability out of 10: 6.5

I have a soft spot for Jean-Luc. He's a tea-drinking, Shakespeare-quoting, bald headed beau who has helmed the Enterprise for more than 7 seasons and numerous movies. And he doesn't age. Seriously, the guy looks younger now than he did when he started the series in the late eighties. Still, I can't imagine the son of a vintner and former borg hostage/mouthpiece being as wild in the sheets as his generational predecessor, James T. Kirk.


Cahookptain Hook aka Killian Jones

As seen in: Once Upon A Time

Boinkability out of 10: 9.9

I like me some seamen. Which is to say, I appreciate a true seafaring captain who knows how to have a good time, and Killian Jones has had over 300 years of good times, which include mastering the artful application of guyliner while manning the Jolly Roger. Except for a slight drinking problem--which he thankfully never seems to let get out of control--Hook is the bad boy you take to your bunk when you've dry docked your ship for too long.


chrisevansCaptain America

As seen in: Captain America: The First Avenger, Marvel's The Avengers, Captain America: Winter Soldier, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War

Boinkability out of 10: 8

You really can't say no to a perfect man, even if he is the blancmange Aryan boy scout who turns out to be a secret Hydra all along that Steve Rogers is. Still, I can't resist those puppy-dog eyes and carved-from-butter muscles. Didn't think "super soldier" meant smooth and hairless as a dolphin, but there you go.


jackCaptain Jack Sparrow

As seen in: Pirates of the Caribbean franchise

Boinkability out of 10: 7

Despite my love of seamen and the fact that he's played by Johnny Depp, Captain Jack falls much farther down the list from Hook based on the simple fact that hygiene in the 18th century wasn't particularly conducive to passing-ships-in-the-night encounters. Even if he is the most cunning and courageous of pirates, I can't get over the teeth. Or the matted hair. Or the general air of unwashedness around him.


crunchCap'n Crunch

As seen in: Cap'n Crunch cereal

Boinkability out of 10: 0

Nothing boinkable about the Cap'n. He's not even than old--53 according to the history--but he's got a bit of paunch on him unbecoming of a naval officer of his rank. His roof-of-mouth-destroying bounty doesn't make for great foreplay snacking, either. Best to leave the cereal out of it altogether.



It's Oscars night! And despite the disappointing lack of diversity among the nominees, I still admit to enjoying the pageantry of the red carpet.

dressEvery year at work, we send around an email listing our choice for dresses and red carpet dates. This year, I'm "wearing" this vintage Rudolf dress, which would probably look terrible on me.


tennantMy date: Tenth Doctor and rough-voiced Broadchurch detective David Tennant. I think he'd be fun to hang out with.

Who would you wear and bring as your date? Comment below!


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So I'm really into Doctor Who right now.

I mean REALLY into it.

Oddly enough, the question "Where have you been all my life" is one that can be answered: on TVO after Polka-Dot Door. I used to shut the TV off as fast as possible when that terrifying theme music started.

With the "new" series (which started in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston's Ninth Doctor) I don't know how I've gone this long without watching it, considering my previous love affairs with Star Wars, Star Trek, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and assorted other genre TV shows.

Engaging in a new fandom does crazy things to you:

You start to see references everywhere and find out who else is into your fandom.


You start to quote things from the show.


You laugh at things only other fans would get.


You collect pins on Pinterest. (It's currently my most populated board, with over 200 pins.)


You make crafts...

Sadly, not bigger on the inside.
Sadly, not bigger on the inside.

...and you Photoshop your own jokes. TENNANT parking only


You watch anything and everything associated with show, including symphonies, webisodes, parodies, fan-made videos, blooper reels, behind-the-scenes extrasconvention panelsinterviews, and whatever this is...

...and you pick up shows that your favorite Doctor (or other characters) happen to be on, even if they're remakes of shows they've already done on the BBC.


You write fanfic.

This, I'm sure, was their actual reaction.
This, I'm sure, was their actual reaction.

And you dress up and go to fan events.



And when a new episode is on, you experience a joy like no other.

Happy Dance!


This is all a long way of saying...

Doc 10 should be writing