Last Day To Vote!

Goodness. Another two weeks has passed and that means voting in the American Title writing competition closes midnight EST tonight.

8 entries remain and we’re all vying for the coveted publishing contract with Dorchester Publishing, but come Monday morning 2 more entries will be cut. I’ll let you know as soon as I can how RISING SIN fared.

Vote now!If you want to cast your vote for RISING SIN use the voting button or visit Romantic Times.

Thanks again to everyone for your support! It’s greatly appreciated.

And in the meantime, a question…

What are one (or two) books that stand in your mind as the ones that shaped your reading habits and/or your life? You can share why if you want to. I’ll tell you mine in the comments.

Minus a Million With The Windchill

As much as I’d like to, I’m not going to whine about the weather. Not even a smidge. Although (let’s be honest) I really, really want to. After all, what’s the point of living somewhere cold if you can’t have bragging rights? But still. I’m standing strong and I won’t!

Let’s just remember SPRING, glorious SPRING is coming. We know it. We’ve just got to buck up and get on with things while we wait. And let’s not forget, things could be worse. After all, this time last year I was splitting logs and then lying on a cement floor in my nightgown to feed our WOOD guzzling furnace which had a malfunctioning damper so that we had only two heat settings consisting of…

A. Cold breeze aka put your parka on OR 
B. Stifling hot breeze aka move the curtains away from the vent so they don’t ignite and open the windows – NOW! 

You can surmise that choice B defeated the entire purpose of heating the house and was a vicious circle in which to be entrenched. Choice A wasn’t much fun, either.

So where was I? Oh, yes. Not whining about the weather. In fact, I’m not whining about anything. Today was a perfectly lovely day (not counting American Title induced stress – sorry I can’t tell you how RISING SIN made out until…uh, checking my calendar…oh jeez, December 18!) Gosh that’s a long time away. Or at least it was until I realized moments ago that November is almost over. Lordy Pete. What happened to November?).

Ignoring the fact that the month of November has slipped from my fingers and Back to the topic at hand (the lovely day, remember?) I wrote, did some assignments for an online class I’m taking with Margie Lawson (in which I received some very gratifying praise), played with my children and spoke with both my mom and my sister and several good friends.

Life is good and though Thanksgiving is over for both Canadians and Americans alike, I’m thankful. My gratitude to you for helping make it so!

Feet That Are Happy and Happy Feet

happy-feet-DVDcoverSo while everyone is raving about Casino Royale and the new James Bond (Daniel somebody ;) ), I (because I have children) get to go see Happy Feet.

Which is fine by me. I can catch Casino Royale on DVD.

Besides, I like penguins. And Robin Williams and I hear that the late Steve Irwin has a voice part, too. Plus I love popcorn. Bonus!

And though I’ve been feeling lousy the last few days with a sore throat thing, I did a little retail therapy to ease my illness. Feast your eyes on these babies…I dare winter to test me now!baffin-boots

These Boots by Baffin are rated to -60C (-76F), have oil and acid resistant uppers and steel plated toes just in case I should run into an oil rig that needs my expertise. My daddy always did say it was better to be warm than to look good. I think he was talking about these boots!

The Esquimalt Look Out – A Novel Approach

A novel approach – public decides winner

Melissa Atkinson
November 20, 2006

A news snippet on human trafficking sparked the idea for Meretta Pater’s first novel, a romantic suspense story set in Japan.

For two years, in-between caring for her three children and maintaining her home in 4 Wing Cold Lake, she tapped away on her keyboard until her heroine’s story was complete.

The 365-page novel follows E.R. nurse Taren Gildman to Tokyo and into the Japanese Mafia in search of her kidnapped sister. When the Mafia discover she’s learned too much about their nefarious business dealings, they put a hit on her. The romantic twist comes with Zach Bodine, an ex-US Ranger searching for an American Senator’s daughter. He insinuates himself into her search, hoping to access vital information.

“Why romantic suspense? The romance part because love is universal and gives us all hope in a world that sometimes is very bleak. Suspense because while I like my own life to be calm and calibrated, I do crave a bit of edginess and excitement, so I get that living vicariously through my characters,” she says.

Her husband, Cpl Clint Pater, dreamed up the title: Rising Sin.

“It’s a play on the rising sun on the Japanese flag and comments on the nature of sex-slavery and human trafficking that is too common in the world,” says the 34-year-old author.

Instead of knocking on the doors of publishers, she submitted her work online to the third American Title competition, with the first prize a coveted publishing contract. Within a few weeks, she was chosen as one of 10 finalists out of 250 submissions.

The contest is held in a series of five rounds, with the public voting on each round. The two writers with the least votes are knocked out. Pater has survived round one, Best First Line, and is now hoping to score votes on best hero and heroine description. She’s looking to the military community to keep her dream of getting published alive.

“Having been chosen from 250 entries tells me that I’m doing something right with my words, and that sometime soon my book will be sitting in a bookstore. As well, I’m one of two Canadians in the contest, so I’m looking for a little home country support to keep that U.S./Canada rivalry going. It would be nice that if Canada can’t have the Stanley cup, at least we can have the American Title,” she says.

If she wins she’ll have to keep it tight-lipped. The winner and runner-up are sworn to secrecy until the Romantic Times convention in Houston, Texas, next May, where the winner’s cover is revealed. If she doesn’t win, she’ll keep on cheering for the other writers.

“The 10 of us have already formed a writing loop to keep in touch with one another and offer support. It’s a great camaraderie. And of course, I’ll keep writing. Someday my books will be sitting on the shelves. I hope sooner rather than later, but definitely someday.”

To vote for Meretta Pater in round two, between Nov. 13 and 26 go to or send an email to with Rising Sin in the subject line.

A Life of 34 Years…Things I Have Learned

1. When the dog’s tongue sticks to metal in freezing temperatures… DO. NOT. PANIC.
2. People deserve forgiveness.
3. Time really does pass more quickly as you age.
4. If you have a TV interview, wear lipstick.
5. If you don’t try, you won’t know.
6. Loved ones who have passed on are always with us in our hearts.
7. I’d rather be fun than cool.
8. Children are the world’s most precious resource.
9. I can run. And far.
10. It’s possible to love someone more each day.
11. Only the rich can afford to buy cheap things.
12. Always remember to walk a mile in another’s shoes…
13. Dancing always feels good.
14. Lime Margaritas are the best kind.
15. “Thank you” and “Please” and “You are welcome” are an integral part to any good friendship.
16. Music always sounds better loud.
17. There is chocolate and there is GOOD chocolate. Try to stick with the GOOD stuff.
18. Slow and steady wins the race, too.
19. A great book can change your life.
20. A good night’s sleep cures a lot of things.
21. Everyone should laugh until they cry as often as possible. But not while driving.
22. People can disagree strongly and still respect each other.
23. Don’t code in html when you are tired.
24. Family is important
25. Friends are the family you choose.


Keep it going!

Put A Smile On Your Face

The CranberriesOkay, before we get to the chuckles, can someone tell me how The Cranberries have escaped my music radar? I’ve JUST discovered them and am completely enthralled with their sound! It’s as good as discovering a fabulous new author. WOW! It’s been awhile since I felt this way about music. Did I say WOW?

Okay, back to the scheduled laughs…and just so you know, I am SO doing number 6!

1. At Lunch Time, Sit In Your Parked Car With Sunglasses on and point a Hair Dryer At Passing Cars. See If They Slow Down.

2. Page Yourself Over The Intercom. Don’t Disguise Your Voice.

3. Every Time Someone Asks You To Do Something, Ask If They Want Fries with that.

4. Put Your Garbage Can On Your Desk And Label It “In.”

5. Put Decaf In The Coffee Maker For 3 Weeks. Once Everyone has Gotten Over Their Caffeine Addictions, Switch to Espresso.

6. In The Memo Field Of All Your Checks, Write “For Smuggling Diamonds”

7. Finish All Your sentences with “In Accordance With The Prophecy.”

8. Don’t use any punctuation

9. As Often As Possible, Skip Rather Than Walk.

10. Order a Diet Water whenever you go out to eat, with a serious face.

11. Specify That Your Drive-through Order Is “To Go.”

12. Sing Along At The Opera.

13. Go To A Poetry Recital And Ask Why The Poems Don’t Rhyme?

14. Put Mosquito Netting Around Your Work Area And Play Tropical Sounds All Day.

15. Five Days In Advance, Tell Your Friends You Can’t Attend Their Party Because You’re Not In The Mood.

16. Have Your Co-workers Address You By Your Wrestling Name, Rock Bottom.

17. When The Money Comes Out The ATM, Scream “I Won!, I Won!”

18. When Leaving The Zoo, Start Running Towards The Parking lot, Yelling “Run For Your Lives, They’re Loose!!”The Cranberries

And Then There Were 8

Monday, November 13th, 2006

Vote now for Rising SinSo it can now be officially announced…

RISING SIN has made it to the next round of American Title and voting has once again commenced. You have until November 26th to vote.

See the button up top? It’s linked to the Romantic Times site just for you! Please use it!

And don’t forget to tell EVERYONE you know to vote! Email is a wonderful tool, people. Let’s use it! ;)

Despite the happy news, there is also sad news. Cathy Pegau and Sally Stotter have not advanced. HOWEVER their work was great enough to be chosen for the finals in the first place and they are winners too, so please join me as I raise a toast in their honor!

May they hold contracts in their hands soon!


poppy fieldThe eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month marks the signing of the Armistice, on 11th November 1918, to signal the end of World War One.

At 11 am on 11 November 1918 the guns of the Western Front fell silent after more than four years continuous warfare.

Terry Kelly – A Pittance of Time

CSI Cold Lake

At the risk of turning stomachs, I am purposely not including photos.

CSI Log, Stardate 2006

Two days ago

Three days ago

November 4, the big white barky dog otherwise known as Tala disappeared. When last seen she was headed for the back of the property and barking. Nothing new there. Bark, bark, bark. Run, run, run. Such is the life of Tala.

When we returned from swim lessons three hours later though, barky dog was still not home. {insert loud and suffering sigh}

NOW, many of you don’t know it, but waaaay back when I had that internet kafluffle with the leaves interrupting my signal, barky dog and diggy dog disappeared. Together. They were experimenting with their inner selves, expressing their repressed wolf emotions and letting loose with their pack mentality.

In short, they took off.

It took an entire day for us to find them (they were unharmed, but very tired and cold). So hence the long and suffering sigh. I figured Tala had gone “wolf” again and I was about to lose a good day of writing searching for a dog that didn’t care to be found.


So, I trudged off, following her tracks in the snow and doing that CSI thing. (Just so you know, Horatio’s got nothing on me!)

I soon found myself deep in the woods and wondering about cougars and other large carnivorous mammals and so I thought maybe I should make some noise. I called and called and called, mustering bravado and strength and wouldn’t you know it? She came!

Color me stunned.

Especially when noting all the blood on her face.

Hoping she’d found something dead and not brought it down herself, I investigated. And cautiously so as not to trample the crime scene.

Further investigation brought me to a deer that had been shot (but not tagged — which is poaching) and it was soon revealed that this particular deer, a doe, had already been partly skinned out. For whatever reason the poacher had left her. The perpetrator’s rubber gloves were still at the scene, tucked under a log, and I thought about taking them as evidence, but what were the odds Fish and Game would fingerprint the latex and match it to some previously incarcerated poacher and/or conduct a search for the perp?

Not bloody likely (pun intended) especially since most of the evidence was inside my dog.

I finally coaxed Tala away from her feast (hindsight – when hunting for a missing dog, always bring the leash! grumble, grumble), but not before she ripped off a rib to bring back home for an afternoon snack.

Thus setting a precedent of sorts.

Back at the house, I tied her up, not wanting her to wander that way during the night and be taken down by a pack of coyotes or wolves.

The next day though, she went back to her prize and came home with a leg.

Hoof still attached.

Today she proudly dragged home the hide.

She’d better not return with the ribcage tomorrow. I don’t think I can tolerate a ribcage in my yard.

Does anyone else have problems like this or is it only me?

I’m just wondering.

Laugh A Little

Okay, if you had to choose just one…which would you put on a T-Shirt and wear?

1.. My husband and I divorced over religious differences. He thought he was God and I didn’t.

2.. I don’t suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.

3.. Some people are alive only because it’s illegal to kill them.

4.. I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

5.. Don’t take life too seriously; No one gets out alive.

6.. You’re just jealous because the voices only talk to me.

7.. Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

8.. Earth is the insane asylum for the universe.

9.. I’m not a complete idiot — some parts are just missing.

10. Out of my mind. Back in five minutes.

11. Nyquil, the stuffy, sneezy, why-the-heck- is-the-room-spinning medicine.

12. God must love stupid people; He made so many.

13. The gene pool could use a little chlorine.

14. Consciousness: That annoying time between naps.

15. Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?

16. Being “over the hill” is much better than being under it!

17. Wrinkled Was Not One of the Things I Wanted to Be When I Grew Up.

18. Procrastinate Now!

19. I Have a Degree in Liberal Arts; Do You Want Fries With That?

20. A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

21. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance.

22. Stupidity is not a handicap. Park elsewhere!

23. They call it PMS because Mad Cow Disease is already taken.

24. He who dies with the most toys is none the less dead.

25. A picture is worth a thousand words, but it uses up three thousand times the memory.

26. Ham and eggs. A day’s work for a chicken, a lifetime commitment for a pig.