Meet My Book Baby, “Opposite of Frozen”

Opposite of FrozenYesterday was a little overwhelming. Thank you so much, folks, for the cheers, encouraging words, and kindnesses. I’m not one to talk in religious terms, but the best word to express how I’m feeling at present, is “blessed.”

If I had been smart, I would have probably just done one announcement and not taken your time two days in a row. Live and learn, right?

So I’ll get right to it.

Here’s the blurb:

Shepherd fifty-one seniors on a multinational bus tour, including a ninety-five-year-old with a lethal cane?

To preserve his sick brother’s travel business, retired pro athlete, Oliver Pike, would do far more. But then weather intervenes, forcing the tour bus off-route into the small mountain town of Harmony, Alberta.

In the hold of the bus, amid the walkers and luggage, lies a half-frozen stowaway. Page Maddux is commitment-averse and obviously lacking in common sense. Once revived, she’s also the person Oliver must depend upon to help him keep the “oldsters,” as she calls them, out of harm’s way.

When their week together is over, will Harmony recovery from the group’s escapades? And what of Oliver’s heart?

This standalone novel is book 2 in a 12-book series of sweet-to-warm contemporary romances written by different authors, but set in a fictional town in the Canadian Rockies. It features a happy-ever-after, a large cast, and shenanigans that would be at home in a Cary Grant/Katharine Hepburn movie.

Want to read some of the text?

Right now, the series will be available via the Kindle Lending Library, and also via Amazon in ebook form. (If you don’t have an e-reader, they make it easy to download software and convert your phone/iPad/laptop into an e-reading device.)

I expect to have a paperback edition at a future date.

In the meantime, here are some purchase links:buy_amazon  |  |  |  |

Don’t forget that if you’d like to start with the first in the series, written by Brenda Sinclair, you can go to for the blurb and links.

Thank you, all!

The Thurston Hotel Series Writing Cooperative Explained


Zesties, since releasing Opposite of Frozen, I’ve had a lot of interest in how the Thurston series is structured from the writerly perspective. To that end, I’m honored to have multi-multi-published children’s author, Sophie Masson, host me on her blog for a brief interview.

In it, we cover:

  • The origin of the series and keeper of its bible.
  • How the complexity of working with other writers both helped and hindered my writing (and might do the same to yours, if you decide to pursue a similar project).
  • The mechanics of braiding our stories, and my particular tactics to limit the number of moving parts.
  • The long-term plan for the series.

In the meantime, let me express my gratitude for all the help you’ve given me in spreading the word about my book and the series. In many ways, I had the softest of launches possible, but the book already has 2 reviews and 5 Goodreads ratings with 4 reviews, making it seem less of an orphan.

Please come visit Sophie’s blog: A unique project: an interview with romance writer Jan O’Hara


So…I Have Publishing News

thurston-hotel-imageLast December, under a veil of secrecy, I got together with ten other women in a Calgary restaurant to talk about a group writing project. Our fearless leader was one Brenda Sinclair. And her proposal? That we would write a series of standalone sweet-to-warm romance novels set in the fictional town of Harmony, Alberta.

We would share certain stock characters and settings—in particular the 100-year-old Thurston Hotel, its staff, and permanent guests. We would work to plant foreshadowing and clues within each others’ novels. We would each “own” one month of the year, and tell a key part of another couple’s romance. So in addition to our own novel, there would be a series arc. (Though as I said, these books can be read as standalones.)

We ended up with eleven novelists and twelve months. I guess Brenda had too much time on her hands, because she book-ended the series AND served as continuity editor AND general project coordinator, etc.

I tell you this all because the first Thurston Thursday happened six days ago, when Brenda’s January book was published. (A Thurston Promise—for her blurb and more details, you can go to

The February book is mine. And I’m launching it tomorrow. (Meep.)

When my book actually goes up, I’d appreciate your help spreading the word to the people in your life who you think might enjoy it. Essentially, my promo efforts suck, because personal circumstances meant a choice between writing this novel or yapping about it. I believe I made the right choice.

That said, I’m proud of this book and would like it to find the kind of readers who enjoy contemporary romance, with a generous dollop of comedy and adventure. Actually, the book is a lot like my tagline for this blog (Art. Attitude. Vitamin C.), in that it’s a wee bit literary, a little cheeky, and involves themes around health. Weird how that works out, huh?

I’ll share the actual blurb and cover art tomorrow, but for today, a few quick notes on background.

I’m someone who has to write to discover the story. When I started this novel, I knew I was dealing with a town set in the Canadian Rockies, in the depths of winter. My mind started playing with threats emanating from the weather.

Around the same time, I was providing a lot of eldercare, and my mind was still preoccupied with a post I wrote for Writer Unboxed called A Call to Pens—Writer as Social Activist. If you can bear the self-reference, here’s a snippet which explains its essence:

Instead, cast the elderly in the role of (reluctant) hero. Position their health troubles as a call to adventure. Weave narratives in which they gather mentors and allies. Have them engage the enemy and fight their way to solutions which are respectful, holistic, empowering, and which won’t create more problems than they solve. (Or not. Show us how the system must be changed to make these solutions possible.)

So guess what ended up happening?

Somehow, the book coalesced around a hero and heroine who meet in a mountain town, and who are pushed together repeatedly by a group of boisterous seniors.

More tomorrow!

In the meantime, I have an actual Author Page on Facebook now. If you haven’t already “liked” me, please feel free! At some point, it’ll become a probable portal for contests and giveaways, etc. (If you’d like to also join the Thurston Facebook page, that’s here.)

PS: Boy, I’ve missed you.