Friday, April 29, 2016

April 30 – Z is for ZIGZAGGING




 April 30 – Z is for ZIGZAGGING

This is another thing we do every waking minute of every day. Zigzag back and forth between two or more choices. Cereals or porridge for breakfast? Shall I clearn the kitchen first or the bathroom?  Shall I take the blue top or the green one? Is this lettuce better than that one? Or what about the one over there? They all look pretty much the same but are they really?
 
It’s not that we don’t know what we want, we’re simply spoiled for choice. If there was only a blue top in our size, or just one lettuce left in the bin, we’d take it and be perfectly satisfied. But when there’s more than one that’s when the fun starts. We want to be quite sure we’re getting good value for our money, that the lettuce we chose first is indeed the best of the bunch, or that maybe Suzy was right when she said I looked better in green than blue.

Some years ago I bought a painting from the artist. One in his display of about a dozen water colors caught my eye. But then I saw another I thought I maybe liked better, then another, and within seconds I was totally confused. That’s when the artist stepped in and said since the paintings were all equally visible if I was going to buy anything it should be the one I’d first noticed. He was right. I don’t remember the other paintings, but I bought that first one and it still hangs on my dining room wall.

To all the A-Z bloggers and those who follow our ramblings, thanks for the comments and the views. And here’s hoping to see you all again next year.
 

^ ^ ^

I hope you’ve enjoyed this year’s challenge and don’t forget to check out the other bloggers and their posts. You’ll find them by clicking on http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

 
Cool mysteries and hot romance - http://www.chrisgrover.ca
Latest releases:  It’s Complicated -
http://www.mlrbooks.com/books.php

 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

April 29 – Y is for YEARNING




April 29 – Y is for YEARNING 

There are so many times in our lives when each of us yearn for the unobtainable. To be something we’re not and never will be, or to have something that’s totally outside our grasp.

There’s nothing wrong with seeing ourselves as something larger than life. As small children, we may yearn to be anything from a favorite cartoon character, to a prince or princess, to a fire chief. As we move on through the teenage years our horizons widen. Now our hearts are set on becoming sports heroes, or entertainment superstars, or perhaps we want to solve the problems of the world, perform medical miracles, or do something worthy of earning a Nobel Prize. 

By the time we’re adults our yearnings are usually tempered with a dash of reality. We know we’re never going to climb Mount Everest, win an Oscar, or become a billionaire, but there’s nothing to stop us yearning for the small stuff. Maybe a miracle to fix a hopelessly out of date kitchen, or hoping our kids will do something to make us proud.

Yearning is just another word for dreaming, and what a dull life it would be without those golden moments when we reach out and try to touch the stars.
 

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I hope you enjoy this year’s challenge and don’t forget to check out the other bloggers and their posts you’ll find by clicking on http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

 
Cool mysteries and hot romance - http://www.chrisgrover.ca
Latest releases:  It’s Complicated - http://www.mlrbooks.com/books.php
And The Cat Came Back - www.allromanceebooks.com
http://www.facebook.com/chris.grover.71  http://twitter.com/chrisgrover2
http://christianefrance.blogspot.ca/

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

April 28 – X is for X MARKS THE SPOT




April 28 – X is for X MARKS THE SPOT 

The dictionary didn’t have much in the way of emotions, feelings or thoughts under the letter X, but when I think of X MARKS THE SPOT it can apply to a whole range of different things:

The shiver of excited anticipation that slides down my spine when someone or something touches a particularly sensitive spot on my body.

Or the excitement when the numbers I marked with an X turn out to be the winning lottery numbers.

Then there are those old maps where I’ve marked the places I’ve visited with an X. I only have to look at them to start remembering—mostly with joy but sometimes with a little sadness… London, the city where I was born. The tiny village between London and Oxford where I was raised and picked primroses, violets and bluebells in the surrounding woods. The same place where my parents and sister are buried. Paris, the city of light. The Palace of the Popes in Avignon, France, and the Chateau d’If, a short boat ride from the port city of Marseille. The Jungfrau in Switzerland. Italy’s Amalfi Drive and the Italian Riviera. Torremolinos in Spain, and Dusseldorf in Germany. Vancouver Island, Seattle, San Francisco, New Orleans, Las Vegas, and New York City. So many X’s marking so many spots and each one reviving so many wonderful memories.  

^ ^ ^

I hope you enjoy this year’s challenge and don’t forget to check out the other bloggers and their posts which you’ll find by clicking on http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

 

Cool mysteries and hot romance - http://www.chrisgrover.ca
Latest releases:  It’s Complicated - http://www.mlrbooks.com/books.php
And The Cat Came Back - www.allromanceebooks.com
http://www.facebook.com/chris.grover.71  http://twitter.com/chrisgrover2
http://christianefrance.blogspot.ca/

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

April 27 – W is for WHERE TO FROM HERE?




April 27 – W is for WHERE TO FROM HERE?
 

When life throws me a curve ball, I usually take a deep breath and say, “Okay. Where to from here?” 

I’ve had to deal with several unexpected curve balls over the past few months, but the world still keeps turning. I know this just as I know I have to accept whatever changes come my way as a result and adapt my life accordingly.

Where I’ll go from here is impossible to say. Losing my husband was huge, but I have great support from family and friends, I have my kitties, and I have my writing. Maybe I’ll find new interests, and maybe my life will just continue on much the same as before. And maybe I’ll wake up one morning and decide I want to take a trip to Hawaii or move to the other side of the world. I probably won't do either, but its nice to know I could if I wished.
 

^ ^ ^ 

I hope you enjoy this year’s challenge and don’t forget to check out the other bloggers and their posts you’ll find by clicking on http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/
 

Cool mysteries and hot romance - http://www.chrisgrover.ca
Latest releases:  It’s Complicated - http://www.mlrbooks.com/books.php
And The Cat Came Back - www.allromanceebooks.com
http://www.facebook.com/chris.grover.71  http://twitter.com/chrisgrover2
http://christianefrance.blogspot.ca/

Monday, April 25, 2016

April 26 – V is for VARIETY





April 26 – V is for VARIETY 

Variety is the spice of life, or so they say. When it comes to publishers, with so many small companies being gobbled up by the big guys, the advice is to spread oneself thin. In this way, if one publisher closes instead of all my books going out of print I will at least have some backup. 

Until now, all my books were with one publisher and it worked out well. With the demise of Amber Quill, I’ve come to understand the wisdom of putting that advice into practice. Between two new publishers, a friend who is working on a couple of boxed sets of paranormal short stories, and a little self-publishing, I hope to eventually get them all reissued. 

^ ^ ^

I hope you enjoy this year’s challenge and don’t forget to check out the other bloggers and their posts you’ll find by clicking on http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/ 

Cool mysteries and hot romance - http://www.chrisgrover.ca
Latest releases:  It’s Complicated - http://www.mlrbooks.com/books.php
Still Missing - www.allromanceebooks.com
http://www.facebook.com/chris.grover.71  http://twitter.com/chrisgrover2
http://christianefrance.blogspot.ca/

Sunday, April 24, 2016

April 25 – U is for UNDERSTANDING



April 25 – U is for UNDERSTANDING 

People say they understand, but do they really? Do they even care enough to do that?

I make an excuse to get out of doing something and the other person says, “That’s fine. I understand.”  Or when the situation is reversed and I say the same thing, do we truly understand and appreciate where the other party is coming from or are we just mouthing words? Do either of us bother to stop and understand the guilt the other would feel at leaving a sick child or partner to go out and have fun? Or do we cut to the chase and think to ourselves, oh, sure, what I understand is that you’re just making up excuses--your jealous boyfriend won’t let you out of his sight, or your spoiled kid will throw a fit, or you can’t afford the outing but won’t admit it. Or my all-time favorite—we’ve waited weeks to do this and now you have to go and get sick.

^ ^ ^

I hope you enjoy this year’s challenge and don’t forget to check out the other bloggers and their posts. You’ll find them by clicking on http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/
 

Cool mysteries and hot romance - http://www.chrisgrover.ca
Latest releases:  It’s Complicated - http://www.mlrbooks.com/books.php
And The Cat Came Back - www.allromanceebooks.com
http://www.facebook.com/chris.grover.71  http://twitter.com/chrisgrover2
http://christianefrance.blogspot.ca/

Friday, April 22, 2016

April 23 – T is for TOMORROW



April 23 – T is for TOMORROW
 

We all play the Scarlet O’Hara game of, I’ll do it, Tomorrow, or, I’ll think about it, Tomorrow. But nine times out of ten we don’t because today is yesterday’s tomorrow and we escape doing or thinking about whatever it was with the excuse that tomorrow never comes.

I was raised on the premise of: Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Whereas the man I once worked for followed a slightly different rule: Don’t do what you can put off. Two strong-minded people with totally opposite viewpoints, yet it worked without either side giving in. In thirty odd years there were no harsh words, no unpleasant confrontations or ultimatums. The work got done, and the closest we ever came to a confrontation was the day he pushed the envelope a wee bit too far. I slammed his office door so hard it made the entire building shake.

^ ^ ^

I hope you enjoy this year’s challenge and don’t forget to check out the other bloggers and their posts you’ll find by clicking on http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/


Cool mysteries and hot romance - http://www.chrisgrover.ca
Latest release:  It’s Complicated - http://www.mlrbooks.com/books.php
http://www.facebook.com/chris.grover.71  http://twitter.com/chrisgrover2
http://christianefrance.blogspot.ca/

Thursday, April 21, 2016

April 22 – S is for SADNESS




April 22 – S is for SADNESS 

So many things can make a person Sad. The loss of a family member, a friend, or a beloved pet undoubtedly top the list. But what about the innocence of childhood and the loss of youth? Then there are the changes that happen in the name of progress? Beautiful old buildings demolished to make way for a parking lot or a new superstore. 

Another thing that make me sad is when I see lives wasted for no good reason. People with talent to spare but no ambition to pursue it. The same goes for opportunities that are missed for the same lack of interest and always with the flimsiest of excuses—I couldn’t be bothered, it looked like a lot of work, or I didn’t think it was for real. 

But today is far from sad for me. Today I’m doing the happy dance, thrilled to announce the re-release of It’s Complicated from MLR Press http://www.mlrbooks.com/books.php - the first book in the Peninsula Heights series.

 


^ ^ ^

I hope you enjoy this year’s challenge and don’t forget to check out the other bloggers and their posts you’ll find by clicking on http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/
 

Cool mysteries and hot romance - http://www.chrisgrover.ca
Latest Release: Still Missing - www.allromanceebooks.com
http://www.facebook.com/chris.grover.71  http://twitter.com/chrisgrover2
http://christianefrance.blogspot.ca/

 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

April 21 – R is for REGRETS




April 21 – R is for REGRETS
 

As the song says: Regrets, I have a few. 

I regret ill-health prevented my parents from visiting me in my adopted country, that my sister was unable to come more often, and that not one of my late husband’s family ever made the trip. It was talked about a few times, but it never happened.

I regret silly arguments or differences of opinion that have ruined friendships. Or friendships that have been lost because one of us didn’t make the effort to keep it alive. 

I love music, but I regret having no musical talent. I can’t sing and I can’t play an instrument. The same goes for painting and drawing. I do a great line in stick figures, but that’s my limit.
 

^ ^ ^

I hope you enjoy this year’s challenge and don’t forget to check out the other bloggers and their posts you’ll find by clicking on http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/
 

Cool mysteries and hot romance - http://www.chrisgrover.ca
Latest Release: Still Missing - www.allromanceebooks.com
http://www.facebook.com/chris.grover.71  http://twitter.com/chrisgrover2
http://christianefrance.blogspot.ca/

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

April 20 – Q is for QUEASY




April 20 – Q is for QUEASY 

Queasy. That horrible feeling I get when the doctor frowns instead of smiling. Or the dentist says I need not one root canal but two.

Queasy has been my constant companion for the past few months. Adjusting to being single again is not easy. Friends have told me I need to reinvent myself. Take yoga classes, learn how to make pottery, volunteer, find new interests, and learn new things. I’ve never been a joiner. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried. I’ve joined classes and groups. I even went on one of those group holidays one time—the kind where you fly to a certain destination and then all travel around on a bus, visiting the sights and pretending you’re one big family. Sorry! Not my thing. With so much crammed into the space of a few days, rather than happy memories that trip remains little more than a blur. The thought of doing it again makes me very queasy. I much prefer to take my time and visit one place or event and enjoy it to the full before moving on to the next.

 
^ ^ ^

I hope you enjoy this year’s challenge and don’t forget to check out the other bloggers and their posts you’ll find by clicking on http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

Cool mysteries and hot romance - http://www.chrisgrover.ca
Latest Release: Still Missing - www.allromanceebooks.com
http://www.facebook.com/chris.grover.71  http://twitter.com/chrisgrover2
http://christianefrance.blogspot.ca/

Monday, April 18, 2016

April 19 - P is for PATIENCE and PERSEVERANCE


 
 
April 19 – P is for PATIENCE AND PERSEVERANCE

I’ve found that the things we really want from life rarely just happen. They take Patience and they take Perseverance. 

I started to write when the only game in town was NY and for that I needed an agent. I had one, for a while. The last I heard, the agent had been arrested. It was either find another way or forget it. 

By then becoming a published author was my dream and I wasn’t about to give up. That’s when patience and perseverance finally paid off. Around the same time I lost my agent, e-publishing was starting. I talked to an e-pub rep at a conference, and a couple of months later my book was accepted, and published the following year.  

That first publisher didn’t last long, but since then, I’ve been fortunate to publish approximately 70 books with others. Unfortunately, my longtime publisher closed down at the end of March, and most of my books are currently unavailable. Hopefully, not for long. Between a couple of other e-publishers and self-publishing, they’ll soon start reappearing.  The three books in my Amethyst Cove mystery series are already back at allromanceebooks.com, Kobo, Nook and a few other places. It’ll take patience and perseverance to get them reissued and it’ll take time too, but fingers crossed they’ll all be back out there in the not too distant future.

^ ^ ^

I hope you enjoy this year’s challenge and don’t forget to check out the other bloggers and their posts. You’ll find them by clicking on http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/
 

Cool mysteries and hot romance - http://www.chrisgrover.ca
Latest Release: Still Missing - www.allromanceebooks.com
http://www.facebook.com/chris.grover.71  http://twitter.com/chrisgrover2
http://christianefrance.blogspot.ca/

 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

April 18 – O is for OPPORTUNITIES - #atozchallenge




April 18 – O is for OPPORTUNITIES - #atozchallenge
 

The one thing life never lacks is Opportunities. One door closes, another opens, and hey, voila there’s the chance of a lifetime if you have the courage to grab it and see where it takes you. 

Grabbing an unexpected opportunity is how I began my career as an author. A co-worker said, albeit jokingly, that we need to figure out a way to make money. Big Money. I went along with it and said something along the lines of, “Oh, sure. Like how?” and she replied, “Write a blockbuster novel.” My creative writing had never progressed beyond letters to family and friends, but just for fun I decided to give it a try. The first few attempts were a little rocky, but creative writing is something one has to learn the hard way—by doing it over and over until you get it right. It took me a while but I’ll never forget when my first book, Where’s Michelle, was accepted for publication. The email came around 11p.m. when everyone was in bed except for one night-owl girlfriend. She got the news first and the next person I told was a fellow employee I met on my way to work the following morning. 

Where’s Michelle is story of mystery and suspense. A woman’s young daughter goes missing soon after she arrives in another country to visit in-laws who don’t seem to exist. The book is out of print right now, but I’m hoping to get it reissued sometime this summer. 

^ ^ ^

I hope you enjoy this year’s challenge and don’t forget to check out the other bloggers and their posts you’ll find by clicking on http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

Cool mysteries and hot romance - http://www.chrisgrover.ca
Latest Release: Still Missing - www.allromanceebooks.com
http://www.facebook.com/chris.grover.71  http://twitter.com/chrisgrover2
http://christianefrance.blogspot.ca/

Friday, April 15, 2016

April 16 – N is for NEVER SAY NEVER - #atozchallenge





April 16 – N is for NEVER SAY NEVER - #atozchallenge
 

We all say, I’d never do this, that or the other and there can be a ton of reasons ranging all the way from fear, to plain don’t want to, right through to the lack of the necessary resources. 

I know I’ll never reach the top of Mount Everest, go to the moon, eat sushi, swim, or have a dragon as a pet. That’s okay though since none of them are on my wish list. 

Then there are the things I once thought beyond my reach such as my beautiful, loving daughter, two incredibly smart kitties, a backlist of around 70 books, and a circle of wonderful and amazingly supportive friends. 

With all the restrictions and unrest in the world traveling is not the fun it once was and I don’t much care for doing it alone. I figure I’ll never see Italy or France again. I’ll never get back to California and I’ll never see the wonders of Hawaii or Alaska.  

But then who knows? If there’s one thing I’m sure of its Never Say Never. 

^ ^ ^ 

I hope you enjoy this year’s challenge and don’t forget to check out the other bloggers and their posts you’ll find by clicking on http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/
 

Cool mysteries and hot romance - http://www.chrisgrover.ca
Latest Release: Still Missing - www.allromanceebooks.com
http://www.facebook.com/chris.grover.71  http://twitter.com/chrisgrover2
http://christianefrance.blogspot.ca/

 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

April 15 – M is for MOVING ON - #atozchallenge

 
 



April 15 – M is for MOVING ON - #atozchallenge 

Letting go of the past is difficult, and Moving On is a challenge. Change is never easy, but losing my husband and my long time publisher within the short space of three months has turned my life inside out and changed it in so many ways. 

Shopping for food and cooking for one is a trick all by itself and not as easy as one might think, but I’m getting there. I’ve discovered that cooking for two every other day is the answer and not having to consider anyone’s taste in food other than my own is an added bonus. 

Amber Quill Press could not have chosen a worse time to close, or so I thought when the notice arrived on January 2, 2016. I was in a total panic. I’d lost everything. Life as I knew it was over. While that was true in many ways, AQP’s closure has given me other things to think about and other publishing avenues to explore. 

The two most important things in my life gone forever, yet one coming so quickly after the other has actually helped me to Move On. Life does indeed work in strange and mysterious ways.


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I hope you enjoy this year’s challenge and don’t forget to check out the other bloggers and their posts you’ll find by clicking on http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

 

Cool mysteries and hot romance - http://www.chrisgrover.ca
Latest Release: Still Missing - www.allromanceebooks.com
http://www.facebook.com/chris.grover.71  http://twitter.com/chrisgrover2
http://christianefrance.blogspot.ca/

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

April 14 – L is for LETTING GO - #atozchallenge



April 14 – L is for LETTING GO - #atozchallenge
 

Eventually the day comes when, for whatever reason, an important part of our life is gone—be it our partner, our children, a beloved pet, our job, the home we thought we’d never have to leave. Suddenly it’s all gone and everything fades to black. Letting Go of how it was, the good times, the companionship, the memories, the place where you lived, and the neighbors who were like family, is hard.

As I’ve recently discovered myself, after first losing my husband and then, less than three months later, losing my publisher as well, Letting Go doesn’t merely involve accepting change, it’s understanding that change is necessary. That once the initial hurt begins to heal it’s time to fill that big black hole with something new--new friends, new experiences, new interests, and new homes for my books.

What with preparing posts for the A-Z Blog Hop and rehoming the books, the first few months of this year have been extra busy for me. I haven’t had time to spread my wings and embark on new adventures, but with the warmer weather there will be all kinds of summery things happening around town I can attend. Or I can just sit outside in the sunshine and relax.

^ ^ ^

I hope you enjoy this year’s challenge and don’t forget to check out the other bloggers and their posts you’ll find by clicking on http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

 
Cool mysteries and hot romance - http://www.chrisgrover.ca
Latest Release: Still Missing - www.allromanceebooks.com
http://www.facebook.com/chris.grover.71  http://twitter.com/chrisgrover2
http://christianefrance.blogspot.ca/

 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

April 13 – K is for KNOWING - #atozchallenge




April 13 – K is for KNOWING - #atozchallenge
 

Such as Knowing unimportant but juicy bits of gossip that need to be carefully considered before being passed on: Is it true? Is it nice? Is it necessary? 

There’s a soap I watch that believes in “telling all” regardless of who gets hurt. Why? Stories always gain something in the retelling. A small added twist or nuance the teller included. Maybe unintentionally, or perhaps for dramatic effect to make it all sound more interesting… Such as the, “She didn’t actually say it but I know that’s what she meant,” without stopping to think of the harm the addition may cause. The teller puts her or his spin on the story, then the listener does the same and suddenly everything changes. There’s never anything lost in the retelling and by the time the story has been retold a few times the small incident or event that started it has become a three-act play. 

Was what I heard for real? Was there more to it than they said? Was it true? Was it a lie? Or did they just make it up? Heads will roll, lives will be ruined or forever changed, and for what? All because someone couldn’t resist giving the pot that little extra stir.  

^ ^ ^

I hope you enjoy this year’s challenge and don’t forget to check out the other bloggers and their posts you’ll find by clicking on http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

 
Cool mysteries and hot romance - http://www.chrisgrover.ca
Latest Release: Still Missing -
www.allromanceebooks.com

Monday, April 11, 2016

April 12 – J is for JEALOUSY - #atozchallenge




April 12 – J is for JEALOUSY - #atozchallenge 

IMHO Jealousy is a completely wasted emotion. It will twist you up into a snaggle-toothed monster crying your heart out and railing against the injustice of whatever you find so wrong or unfair and for what? You don’t stand a chance of the decision being reversed. Someone else won or was given what you thought should be yours, and you lost out. Period. Full stop. The End. 

A little jealousy over another person’s good fortune or possessions is normal to a degree. But don’t get carried away. With a little hard work maybe you can get yourself some of those goodies. 

Jealousy in regard to the actions of a partner or close friend is the biggest waste of all. If you’re right and the loved one is a cheating, lying, son of a gun, jealousy won’t hurt anyone but yourself. And if you’re wrong and they’re not the two-timing loser you thought, jealousy is one of the quickest ways to drive that person away.  
 
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I hope you enjoy this year’s challenge and don’t forget to check out the other bloggers and their posts you’ll find by clicking on http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/


Cool mysteries and hot romance - http://www.chrisgrover.ca
Latest Release: Still Missing - www.allromanceebooks.com
http://www.facebook.com/chris.grover.71  http://twitter.com/chrisgrover2
http://christianefrance.blogspot.ca/

Sunday, April 10, 2016

April 11 – I is for INDECISION - #atozchallenge




April 11 – I is for INDECISION - #atozchallenge
 

Indecision is first cousin to Hesitation, but it’s a whole lot more complicated. With Hesitation it’s usually a simple case of yes or no. Can I afford it? Do I really want it? Do I actually need it? 

But when it comes to indecision, it’s usually a case of I want it But. So then I go through all the reasons as to why not—it’s impractical, inconvenient, too costly, I don’t have the time, it’ll take up too much space, it’s risky—what if it doesn’t work and I can’t get my money back? Plus a whole laundry list of other reasons. 

Of course, I desperately want whatever it is regardless of all the why nots, and that’s where the real tricky part comes in. How can I justify making it mine? 

Sometimes I can’t and I have to let the item or opportunity go. But, needless to say, not before I’ve thoroughly exhausted every possible angle or avenue.
 

^ ^ ^

I hope you enjoy this year’s challenge and don’t forget to check out the other bloggers and their posts you’ll find by clicking on http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/
 

Cool mysteries and hot romance - http://www.chrisgrover.ca

Latest Release: Still Missing - www.allromanceebooks.com
http://www.facebook.com/chris.grover.71  http://twitter.com/chrisgrover2
http://christianefrance.blogspot.ca/