Remembrance Day ~ November 11th

Lest we forget ~

Tomorrow at the 11th hour of the 11th day in this the 11th month, our country will pause for two minutes’ silence to remember those  heroes who have given their lives and in respect of all who offer their service … in every country. 

We owe so much to so many. 


I have posted this page in years past on this date. Since there are many new followers of my website, I want to share it again for those who haven’t seen it. For others, I hope you don’t mind the repetition. I feel these stories can never be shared too often.

In 2010, my husband and I went on a journey to locate the grave of my Uncle Harry whose Lancaster bomber had been shot down on June 13, 1944, near Cambrai, France. All six crew members  perished.


We discovered they are buried in a small Allied cemetery in the middle of farmland, rather than in one of the major cemeteries in France.

It was quite an experience just finding it, but that’s a story for another day. When I inquired as to why they were in that location, the Office of Military Affairs explained that they had been buried there by the nearby villagers at the time and so would remain close to where they had died. The cemetery was immaculately tended … and watched over by curious cows.


Coincidentally, just a week before our visit, another relative of one of the crew had visited the cemetery. He left a note in the guest book (found in metal boxes at every cemetery) that gave us some personal information about the day these men died. They had been on a bombing raid over the rail yards in Cambrai. The war was being won. The men were heading back to their base in England to make it in time for the local dance that evening.

Sadly, they did not get there.

Learning this small piece of personal information, made our visit that much more emotional and intimate.

As a child, I had always been intrigued by stories about my Uncle Harry, the youngest of 5 boys, and only 20 years old when he died. There were framed photos of him in his uniform with a dazzling smile in my parents’ and grandparents’ homes. You could feel his pride. And theirs.

When we went on our mission to ‘find Uncle Harry’, we also spent a few days in Normandy and did the tours of the WW2 landing beaches, something I recommend to everyone who has the opportunity.

It’s an emotional experience as the history of the war becomes vividly presented by guides who must take courses in this information and pass exams before receiving a license to guide. The French take the preservation of this history very seriously and are to be commended for doing so.


As we toured the museums and memorial centres, it struck me that in so many of the photographs of men and women in service for their country, pride was stirringly evident in their expressions. It seems to go with the wearing of the uniform and the understanding of what that represents.

Thank you to every one of the members of armed services – past and present – for putting yourself in danger for your country and taking on that onerous task with such commitment. We are proud of you and eternally grateful.

Thank you, Uncle Harry.

Normandy 2010

Wear your poppy proudly. Please make certain to preserve and keep alive the stories of the members of your families who have served in the armed forces. Always remember. In doing some research, I discovered this excellent video. It only pertains to the American cemeteries but could be talking about all of the Allied burial grounds. 


No matter what our country, hearts are touched by the selfless giving of all who serve. The museums and preserved landing beaches of Normandy offer an emotional lesson in historyto all who have the good fortune to visit there.

Most Canadians proudly wear a poppy for a week or so before November 11th to show their respect for veterans. Click here for an  excellent explanation of how the poppy came to be such a strong symbol of remembrance.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Have you preserved stories of your family’s service?

Stuff Your Stockings with Books and Joy!

Well, it snowed in Toronto today so I guess that means it’s not too early to start with festive thoughts.

I am teaming up with good friends Tammy L. Grace, Judith Keim, Tess Thompson, Susan Schild and Suzanne Kelman to offer a seasonalicious (artistic license here!) opportunity to Stuff Your Stockings with some great reads and other enticing prizes. The grand prize is a doozy ~ and my contribution, along with books, is a box of macarons and other goodies from France (no surprise there!). The Grand Prize winner will receive signed print books from me, not ebooks, and all the other books promised here. Check out this next graphic to see everything you could win and then dive into the Rafflecopter below to start building up entries.

All you have to do to enter is visit each of our blogs, click on the Rafflecopter and jump right in. All will be revealed at that time, and please feel free to share the links with your friends. Who doesn’t love to find books in their Christmas stocking or as a Hanukkah gift … or just because?


a Rafflecopter giveaway

It’s that time again!

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving

By Patricia Sands October 12, 2019


Happy Thanksgiving in Canada! It’s my favourite holiday of the year. And to our American friends, I wish you a happy Columbus Day!

I’ve seriously neglected my blog since I returned from another wonderful South of France Memories Tour two weeks ago. The twelve days my co-host and BFF, Deborah Bine, and I spent with these 18 great women (pictured in Antibes below) built memories to last forever. We feel so blessed to have this opportunity every year now. This was the sixth tour and I will be posting all about it on the blog soon! Well, as soon as I finish the manuscript I’m working on …and get the load of photographs sorted …

The good news is that the writing is joyful work … particularly because it makes me feel like I’m back in the south of France. You know how I love taking you there with me! The deadline to finish Book #3 in the Villa des Violettes series, and get it to my editor, is the end of this month … but I’ll do it!

While I’m on the subject of writing, I should let you know that these four novels are on sale for October! Thank you Amazon! If you already have your copies, now is the time to pick up some to gift to friends at special times. It’s easy to do, just click here for directions, and they will thank you … as will I.

I know I promised photos from the tour (and, of course, I took a bazillion) and I feel badly I haven’t gotten to that! I will. I will! And now … seemingly all of a sudden … it’s Thanksgiving weekend. My favourite time of the year.

I hope you won’t mind if I post a similar message to past years. It’s the message I want to share at this time every year … every day, really …


Thanksgiving. No shopping for anything but dinner ingredients. No lists of gifts. Bags of food being filled for the Food Banks. Volunteers serving turkey dinners at homeless shelters. Quality time spent as families and friends gather to share memories, love and laughter. An attitude of gratitude prevails. I am so thankful for the life I have. I hope you feel the same about yours.

As we consider our individual blessings, let’s remember those who struggle with hunger, illness, poverty, war and a multitude of other challenges in our own backyards and around the globe. The refugee crisis is heartbreaking. Let’s try to make the sentiments of Thanksgiving a part of every single day.

What a good feeling to see the food donation bins overflowing today. If you can’t get out to help, here’s a way you can play a part without leaving home! Click right here.


I’ve written about these sites before, but they are always worth mentioning from time to time.  All you have to do is go to  once a day and click on the button — sponsors give free food. You are not put on any list or bombarded with spam. There are other links to click where sponsors donate for appropriate benefits: Breast Cancer ~ remember it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month; Child Health; Literacy; Rainforest; Animal Rescue and a few others. All of this has been verified as legit by Snopes years ago. I pop in every day. Why not?


While we are at it, have you ever played FREERICE.COM? ~ This is a unique way to increase your vocabulary and donate rice to needy countries. Play it with your children as there are 60 levels. It’s a great place to learn new words for Words With Friends … ahem, my addiction when I need a few minutes off from writing. It’s such a fun way to keep connected with friends too.

One big personal thank you to the readers who take the time to contact me. I love hearing from you and appreciate every single message. Thanks for subscribing to my newsletter (just click on the link in the column to the right) and for sharing my books with your friends. You light up my life!


Canada has a federal election coming up on October 21st. Living in a country where we can freely express our political choices, and vote without fear of losing our lives, is truly another reason to feel thankful. Please exercise that privilege and GO OUT AND VOTE! IT’S FREE! IT MATTERS! LET’S ALL DO IT! FIND OUT ABOUT YOUR CANDIDATE AND THE ISSUES AND BE INFORMED! Click here for more information.

Oh, excuse me, I think all those bold, upper case letters might have seemed a bit loud. Sorry, but this is important for each and every Canadian. Take an active role in what happens in your country. Plan a party to watch the results on the 21st and, whatever the outcome, be proud you did your part. Let’s do it! We’re going to an advanced voting station this weekend. How about you?


Warmest wishes from me to you!

Newsletter #71

If it’s Friday, it must be France …

It’s the first Friday in September and my bags (a carry-on and a computer bag … whoopee, I did it!) are organized as I fly to France on Sunday evening. I will be there until the end of the month and for twelve of those days I will be co-leading our South of France Memories Tour with my BFF, Deborah Bine (aka Barefoot Blogger)

I’ll be posting daily photos here and hope you will follow along. On y va!

Meanwhile, south of the border ~ Hopefully Dorian has blown out to sea and life for most is returning to the best kind of normal. For those who can help in any way with the heartbreaking reality in the Bahamas, here is a link with information.  Every little bit helps. Please share the information and let us all do what we can. 

And, in case you haven’t subscribed yet, here’s my most recent newsletter. Enjoy … and good luck with the giveaways. Bonne chance!

Newsletter #71                                                     August 27, 2019

Bonjour mes amies

Where are you spending these last few days of August? As I write this, I’m looking out a window with a beautiful view of Georgian Bay, two hours north of Toronto. A strong breeze is rustling the leaves of birch trees and a light drizzle is falling. No tennis with grandkids this morning!

And that is just as well, since I need to get this letter off to you. I always plan to write my newsletter mid-month, and then find myself scrambling to make it before the month is gone! Sigh … I’m not really a procrastinator, but things just seem to pile up. Know what I mean?

What’s piling up for me this month is a lot of writing, as I attempt to finish Book #3 in the Villa des Violettes series before I leave for France in two weeks. And leaving for France is, as you might imagine, a serious distraction. I  c a n n o t  w a I t.

The sun did come out later this afternoon and with it came a much-improved word count!


I’m going over to do this year’s South of France Memories Tour with my BFF and co-leader, Deborah Bine. Once again, we have a great group of women joining us who have all been getting to know each other on a private Facebook page. The excitement is mounting and I’ll be posting lots of photos on my blog as usual. I hope you’ll join us in spirit!

A lifelong friend is also coming on the tour, which makes it even more special for me. We treasure our girlfriends, right? Right back to when we were 19 and 20 and shared an apartment in Toronto … and then we went to Europe together for the first time … oh the memories! We are going to spend a few days in Paris first before the tour and a few days in Antibes afterward. More memories!

The header this month is one of my favourite views of Nice as the plane approaches the airport. If you have visited the south of France, you know what beautiful views you have along the Côte d’Azur with the plane at such a low altitude. The Nice airport is right in town … seriously … and simply provides a spectacular show on the way in, with the runways built out into the Mediterranean. I may have just sighed out loud as I wrote that …

This next shot is one taken right above the vieux port in Nice and after that above  Antibes on another approach. I never get tired of this trip.

While I am on the subject of travel, I want to share some exciting information about a trip my good friend (and sister Lake Union author) Steena Holmes has organized this year. After traveling there herself, she has arranged a Christmas Market cruise and many of her readers have signed up. She let me know there are just three cabins available, if you hurry!

 I would love to go on this some time! After writing about the Christmas Market in Strasbourg in The First Noël at the Villa des Violettes, I’ve wanted to revisit some of those amazing towns that transform into something even more magical in December. Steena’s cruise will go along the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland from December 4th to 11th and the return flight is from Zurich.

Click right here for the link to the trip with all the contact information.

Let me know if you go!

The giveaways this month are from three of the eleven authors in our Blue Sky Book Chat group. If you haven’t joined this welcoming community of book lovers, simply click on this link and don’t miss out a minute longer.

Giveaway #1 ~ One ebook of The Promise Kitchen and one print copy of The Welcome Home Diner are being offered. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, Peggy Lampman lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan and writes stories that are delicious in many ways, including food-related. She says her free time is spent herding kids and indulging in her barbecue addiction with Big Green Egg cult cookery. She also keeps her foodie fans happy at

You can connect with Peggy here.

Giveaway #2 ~ Kellie Coates Gilbert is offering one ebook and one print copy of Sisters (Sun Valley series, Part 1). Kellie is a former legal investigator who was born and raised in Sun Valley, Idaho. She now lives with her husband of over thirty-five years in Dallas, where she spends most days by her pool drinking sweet tea and writing the stories of her heart.

You can connect with Kellie here.

Giveaway #3 ~ Marilyn Simon Rothstein is offering one ebook and one print copy of her hilarious debut novelLift and Separate. You may already be familiar with the great humour Marilyn brings to every conversation. Her sunny outlook is catching! She grew up in New York City, earned a degree in journalism from New York University, began her writing career at Seventeen magazine, married a man she met in an elevator, and owned an advertising agency for more than twenty-five years.

You can connect with Marilyn here.

As always, send your entry for these giveaways to Names will be chosen randomly using This month please tell us a book you read this summer that you would like to recommend. We will make a list and share it. Thanks! Good luck with the draws! Bonne chance!

It’s a pleasure to offer these giveaways from my writing friends. Thanks for the enthusiastic responses we receive each month. I’m glad you appreciate the opportunities and are so keen to enter. In case you wonder, we read every single one of your entries and appreciate them! I hope you enjoy meeting authors who might be new to you, and connecting with those you already follow. Savor their books, find out more about the writers and pass along their information to your friends.

The best way to hear about a good book is by word of mouth from dedicated readers like you. If you have time to write a short review, even better, and always appreciated.


Congratulations to last month’s winners: 

Anne Hardy 
Lesley Poole 
Margo Arel 
Barbara Pacific 
Kellie Metzker 
Diann Pickard 
Mimi Howenstine 
Sharon Losee 
Maria Styacko


Have you marked your calendar for our Blue Sky Book Club meeting on September 4th?  At 7:30 EDT we will be discussing Alison Ragsdale’s poignant new release, The Art of Remembering . See you there to share in the joy of reading and the fun of friendship.

All members of Blue Sky Book Chat on Facebook are welcome to join in and post questions and discuss. It’s a book club that you don’t have to leave home to attend. Come in your jammies!

In a recent newsletter, I wrote about the awesome Soul Safari trips organized by my good friend, author Jacquie Gauthier, who lives in South Africa. is another project that is an important part of Jacquie’s life and I’m happy to share this information.

Nourish is a not for profit organization based in one of the most poverty stricken and under- served areas in South Africa.  We believe that anti-poverty is anti-poaching, and that by helping to grow healthy, educated communities with access to economic opportunities we can break the poverty cycle and impact the poaching happening in rural areas.  

 Nourish is based on five pillars: education, conservation, tourism, economic development and sustainable farming. Our projects are all interlinked to help create a resilient, sustainable community. Depending on your interests and talents you will be able to shape your volunteer experience by choosing to focus on one or more of the many projects we have going. 

To find out more visit

Don’t you love the giraffe photobombing this shot?

I often hear from readers who are involved in extremely worthwhile projects, both locally and far spread. It’s heartwarming, encouraging and inspiring to hear your stories in a world where we often become bogged down with bad news. So many people truly are working to make a difference in other’s lives. An excellent book I recommend to support this is Random Acts of Kindness by Dete Meserve and Rachel Greco.

And now I better get back to story writing and thinking about organizing my packing.  I’m on my “pre-France lose a few pounds regimen” now so I can indulge in patisseries guilt free while I’m away. Salads are helping! Click here for a few of my favourites from which to choose. Bon appétit!

One reason for my diet? Odette! It will be one of our first stops in Paris … right around the corner from our hotel and just up the street from the Shakespeare & Company book store (our second stop!). There will not be a newsletter in September while I’m on the road, but please do drop by my blog and join me in spirit!

Reading keeps you cool!

If it’s Friday, it must be France …

La canicule ~ the heat wave ~ continues in France and many other places where you may well be. I’m hoping everyone is finding a way to stay cool although there may be times it won’t be easy. If I found myself in Antibes right now, I would be claiming that vacant striped chair! I’m happy to let you share that fantasy, if you wish.

I’ve always loved this photo, not simply because we were at my favourite Plage de la Gravette, but also because two people very dear to my heart are sitting in those other two chairs. Special memories!

Wherever you are keeping cool, I hope you are doing that while you read a good book. I wanted to remind everyone that DRAWING LESSONS continues to be on sale in the USA and the UK for .99 until July 31. If you have not read this story yet, perhaps this lovely review will persuade you. My thanks to Betty Taylor of Reading Is My Passion for this. She captures the essence of the story without spoilers.

Author Patricia Sands gives us a beautifully written story of human frailties and human strengths, of facing a major change in your life and learning to move on, of healing.
When I began this book I was expecting it to be a romance novel, but romance is actually only a small part of the story. And when it does enter the story it is beautifully done with a slow progression of two mature characters getting to know each other. But the strength of this book lies in how GREAT characters from various backgrounds with their own mix of life challenges come together to further their love of art and how they compassionately share their collective life experiences and lessons in support each other. For the main protagonist Arianna it is truly a life-changing two weeks as she struggles to come to terms with her new life.

Ms. Sands’ love of the French countryside is revealed in her stunning descriptions. I was so enthralled I just had to view the images myself on the internet – images of the walls of Aigues-Mortes, the wild horses and the enormous salt deposits of the Camargue.

I was able to totally lose myself in this delightful story and highly recommend it.

Click here to order your copy. If you love the story as Betty does, thanks so much for posting a review … and don’t ever hesitate to let me know. I enjoy hearing from readers! That’s really the best reward for an author.

I wish you a BON WEEKEND!

Christmas in July

Bonjour everyone ~ news flash!

I don’t usually send anything to you except my monthly newsletter. But I did not want you to miss out on this special offer.

Ho! Ho! Ho! ~ No kidding! Santa decided to make a summer stop just for you! Enjoy browsing this delightful selection of holiday season stories, many of which are reduced to Christmas shopping prices.

My December 2018 release ~ THE FIRST NOEL AT THE VILLA DES VIOLETTES is included and discounted to $.99 for this event only!  

Click on this link and see what was left under the tree for you! I have a feeling there are a few books you will want to read or gift to a friend.


June Newsletter

Coucou! That’s yoohoo in French … and I like it! If you did not receive my June newsletter, here’s a chance to read it. For anyone who would like to subscribe, just add your email address in the column on the right, where indicated. I’d love to have you join us. You’re welcome!

Newsletter #69                                                                   

Happy summer solstice! There’s a shocking heat wave in some parts of Europe right now … a canicule, is the word for it in France. We hope wherever you are, you are managing to keep cool and hydrated.

The header photo this month is from Corsica, also known as the “beautiful island” and the “scented island”. We visited this captivating part of France a few years ago and I enjoyed sending my characters, Kat and Philippe, on a motorcycle trip there in my latest release. A Season of Surprises, Book Two in the Villa des Violettes series, became available on June 20th. It’s always a thrill to publish a new story and I want to thank all the readers who have already written some wonderful reviews. I’m working on Book Three and hope to have it ready for you in November.

Enjoy a few moments on the island of Corsica …

While I’m on the topic of enticing destinations, let me share this information about a dream trip put together by my good friend, author Jacquie Gauthier. Jacquie makes her home in South Africa now and her Soul Safari is the stuff dreams are made of. In her words: 

What is a Soul Safari?    It’s a 10-day journey of introspection and exploration. An opportunity to connect with nature in the African Bushveld, and to connect with yourself.   

Our home is Ngama Tented Safari Camp, located on a private game reserve just outside of Kruger National Park.  This charming, intimate camp is the perfect place for yoga, meditation, and Zen bush walks among the zebras and giraffes. 

(No yoga experience is necessary; I teach an African flavoured yoga that is suitable for all levels.)     

Ngama is also ideally located to allow us to go out and explore; Big 5 game drives, rugged mountains, the world’s largest living canyon and Kruger National Park.       

We also get to enjoy the colour, culture and cuisine of South Africa. The next Soul Safari is November 17 to 26th, but we are now also taking bookings for 2020.      

Put together your own group (minimum of 8 required to have exclusive use of the camp) or meet new friends on one of the open tours. 

For more information contact Jacquie at or send her a message on the “Soul Safari with Jacquie Gauthier ” page on FB.

I’ve got more exciting news, so will just get right on with this month’s great giveaways. Two of my sister authors from our #BlueSkyBookChat group are offering great reads for you. 

Giveaway #1 – Alison Ragsdale is offering two ebooks of her brand new release, The Art of Remembering, which will be out July 16th.  A proud Scots lass, Alison was born in Edinburgh and the connection to her homeland has never left her. Her novels are set in the stunning Highlands and islands of Scotland. A former professional dancer, and marketing executive, Alison now lives near Washington DC with her husband and dog.

Here’s the blurb:  Professional ballerina, Ailsa MacIntyre, is at the peak of her career when her world is shattered by a shocking diagnosis. Life-saving surgery leaves her with a fractured memory, little recollection of her husband, Evan, and none of her career as a principal dancer.

While recuperating at home, Ailsa hears beautiful music coming from the apartment upstairs, and the sound of the grand piano at the hands of a talented new neighbor sparks her muscle memory. As her recovery progresses, the broken pieces of her past gradually re-emerge, a picture not quite as idyllic as Evan would have her remember. Ailsa must navigate the conflicting visions of her past, and potential future, as they collide. 

Giveaway #2 – Sandi Kahn Shelton, who also writes as Maddie Dawson, is offering two ebooks of her bestselling novel, Matchmaking for Beginners.  Her bio is long and hilarious. The short story is that she grew up in the South, born into a family of outrageous storytellers–the kind of storytellers who would sit on the dock by the lake in the evening and claim that everything they say is THE absolute truth, like, stack-of-Bibles true. The more outlandish the story, the more it likely it was to be true. Or so they said. Today she lives in Connecticut and turned out pretty normal: married, children, dishes in the sink, deadlines, laundry, sleep deprivation, toothpaste cap lost, cashmere sweater in the dryer by accident. The full catastrophe, as Jack Kornfeld put it.

Here’s the blurb: Marnie MacGraw wants an ordinary life—a husband, kids, and a minivan in the suburbs. Now that she’s marrying the man of her dreams, she’s sure this is the life she’ll get. Then Marnie meets Blix Holliday, her fiancé’s irascible matchmaking great-aunt who’s dying, and everything changes—just as Blix told her it would.When her marriage ends after two miserable weeks, Marnie is understandably shocked. She’s even more astonished to find that she’s inherited Blix’s Brooklyn brownstone along with all of Blix’s unfinished “projects”: the heartbroken, oddball friends and neighbors running from happiness. Marnie doesn’t believe she’s anything special, but Blix somehow knew she was the perfect person to follow in her matchmaker footsteps.And Blix was also right about some things Marnie must learn the hard way: love is hard to recognize, and the ones who push love away often are the ones who need it most. You can connect with her by clicking this link.

Giveaway #3 ~ is from me! I’m happy to offer two ebooks of A Season of Surprises.

Here’s the blurb: The Love in Provence characters are celebrating a glorious spring on the Côte d’Azur. There are sweet-smelling blossoms, buds bursting into bloom, explosions of golden mimosa, dazzling sunshine, a shimmering sea … and a worrying disappearance! A hidden past is uncovered and shocking truths are revealed. But life goes on. Kat and Philippe welcome their first B&B guests to the Villa and continue to be busy with other demands, all the while keeping hope alive as police search for their friend. A special request from Simone and an unexpected appearance turn a planned motorcycle trip in Corsica into so much more. Springtime at the Villa des Violettes is filled with secrets and surprises. Congratulations to last month’s winners:

Valerie Hildebrand, Faith Creech, Alyson Widen, Rina Horenian, Tcelia Klosowicz 

As always, send your entry for these giveaways to Names will be chosen randomly using This month please tell us your favourite summer beverage for keeping cool!  Good luck with the draws! Bonne chance! 

It’s a pleasure to offer these giveaways from my writing friends. Thanks for the great response each month. I’m glad you appreciate the opportunities and are so keen to enter. In case you wonder, we read every single one of your entries and appreciate them! I hope you enjoy meeting authors who might be new to you, and connecting with those you already follow. Savor their books, find out more about the writers and pass along their information to your friends.

The best way to hear about a good book is by word of mouth from dedicated readers like you. If you have time to write a short review, even better, and always appreciated.


We are thrilled to announce the Blue Sky Book Chat group will now be hosting an online Book Club, with Live Author Chats, Q & A, and open discussions each month.Our first FACEBOOK LIVE book discussion will take place on Sunday, August 4th, at 7:30 pm (EST).

Our first book selection will be “Emily, Gone” by our own Bette Lee Crosby. Already an award-winner, this novel is the tale of an unthinkable act that sets the lives of three mothers on a collision course. It is a novel that has been hailed as powerful and compelling and one that promises a stimulating discussion.

On the first of each month, we will announce our selection for the following month, so you will have plenty of time to buy or borrow the book and finish reading. The book discussion will be hosted by the author of that month’s book and in addition to providing those juicy little behind the scenes tidbits, the author will have an open Q & A discussion. We are currently working on a format which may enable us to invite some of the members in attendance to join us online to participate in the discussion.All in all, we believe these monthly book club meetings will be fun events where we can all share in the joy of reading and the fun of friendship.

All members of Blue Sky Book Chat on Facebook are welcome to join the fun–listen in, post your questions and discuss. Now there’s (should that be “here’s”?) a book club that you don’t have to leave home to attend, and you can come in your jammies!Here is where you can download a free sample or purchase your copy of “Emily, Gone” – Doesn’t that sound like fun? Have you joined us yet? Click right here and get in on the fun

I hope your weekend is filled with fun, family and friends! The coming days are full of celebration on both sides of the border here. Happy Canada Day on July 1st and Happy Fourth of July in the USA!

Stay well, my friends, be kind to one another, read a lot and appreciate every single day. Profitez de tous les jours! I’m reminded on a regular basis that the best part of being an author is hearing from readers. I value the messages I receive from you. Thanks also for sharing my books with your friends and for the reviews you write. It’s all most appreciated and inspiring. See you next month!

À bientôt!

A few days left …

This sale is over at the end of June, so don’t miss out!

I’m always happy when I see a message from Amazon Marketing letting me know one of my novels is on sale. Along with word of mouth, these sales are the best way for readers to discover new stories. For those of you who already have these ebooks, now’s the time to do some shopping for birthdays or other special occasions for friends and family. Just click here ~ happy shopping!

Did you know that the Villa des Violettes series continues the story of the characters from these books? Thanks to so many requests from readers, it’s been fun for me to continue writing about Kat’s ongoing adventures in the south of France. I’m glad you are enjoying them too.

New release!

If it’s Friday, it must be France …

I’m delighted to let you know that Book Two in the Villa des Violettes series is now available on all platforms. I hope you enjoy the ongoing adventure of Kat and her new life in the south of France.

Click right here for the page!


The Love in Provence characters are celebrating a glorious spring on the Côte d’Azur …

There are sweet-smelling blossoms, buds bursting into bloom, explosions of golden mimosa, dazzling sunshine, a shimmering sea …

And a worrying disappearance!

A hidden past is uncovered and shocking truths are revealed. But life goes on.

Kat and Philippe welcome their first B & B guests to the Villa and are busy with other demands, all the while keeping hope alive as police search for their friend.

A special request from Simone and an unexpected appearance turn a planned motorcycle trip on Corsica into so much more.

Thank you to everyone who has already taken the time to leave a review! Every single one is most appreciated.

My May Newsletter

It’s June already and this newsletter was hot off the press last week. I squeaked it out just in time!

Every once in a while I post a copy of my monthly newsletter here on my blog. If you already subscribe, then you’ve seen it and there’s nothing new here. If you would like to subscribe, just click on the link in the right column of this page. I’m still learning how to deal with the WordPress changes to setting up posts, so I apologize for the disparity in the size of some photos. I’ll keep working at it!

With almost 5,000 subscribers, I want to say thank you to all of you who enjoy my news and enter the great giveaways from my author friends. Now I have to begin thinking about the one for June! Bon weekend!

Newsletter #68                                                                       May 28, 2019


How are things in your neighbourhood? I’m happy to report that today we have windows and patio doors open with joyful birdsong wafting in. And I would say it is about time, Toronto!

Wisteria is just beginning to bloom here, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to share these photos from visits to France at this time of year

Do you have wisteria growing in your garden or neighbourhood? Send me a photo if you do! I know it is prolific in some of the southern States.

Ta-daaaaaaa ~ Here’s a cover reveal we released last week of Book Two in the Villa des Violettes series. We have a few small details to finalize and then the book will be published! Stay tuned!

We’re all very happy with this new cover! The same talented artists who created the cover art for Book One, Donna Fedele and Clare Strohman, transformed the winter look into a glorious spring profusion.

In this new story, Molly refers to the explosion of purple blooms around the door of the Villa des Violettes as wisteria hysteria. It’s quite fitting, isn’t it? And yes, Molly comes to visit Kat and Philippe!  I’m pleased to announce the book will be out in just a couple of weeks.

The photo below, with cover artists Clare and Donna, was taken on our South of France Memories Tour last September … and no, we did not colour co-ordinate!

While we’re waiting for my new release, I’m happy to let you know that Amazon is offering each of the Love in Provence ebooks at a special June rate of $.99 US. NOTE:  JUNE 1 TO JUNE 30. If you already have your copies, that will be a great time to gift some to your friends. It’s so easy … just click on the “Give as a gift” link on the buy page! Instant gift shopping solved.  

The past couple of months I’ve been busy with edits and rewrites, but there’s also been an exciting change with our Women’s Fiction Fans group. As many of you may have already discovered, the name of our book loving community is now Blue Sky Book Chat and we are bigger and better than ever.

Part of the reason we changed the format of our page was to let readers have the option to post comments about books they like or other topics. In the past, only we authors could post to you and we wanted to give all members the same opportunity. We look forward to conversations with you about literature, laughter and life! The month of June is going to see thirty days of giveaways and other prizes to celebrate our new community. Tag a few friends and join us! Just click right here!

Speaking of books, here are this month’s giveaways. As usual, there’s an excellent selection and I wish you good luck with the draws.

Giveaway #1 ~ Lisa Barr has a new release coming next week and I couldn’t be more excited about itTHE UNBREAKABLES is set in Chicago and Paris as well as the south of France (no wonder it caught my attention!).  Lisa is offering two ebooks and if you don’t know her, you definitely should!

Along with writing novels, Lisa is also the editor and creator of the popular parenting blog GIRLilla Warfare: A Mom’s Guide to Surviving the Suburban Jungle.
Lisa has served as an editor for The Jerusalem Post, managing editor of Today’s Chicago Woman, managing editor of Moment magazine, and as an editor/reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times. Among the highlights of her career, Lisa covered the famous “handshake” between the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the late PLO leader Yasser Arafat, and President Bill Clinton at the White House in 1993.
She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and three teenage daughters.

Connect with Lisa here.

Here’s the blurb: The worst birthday ever might just be the gift of a lifetime….
It’s Sophie Bloom’s forty-second birthday, and she’s ready for a night of celebration with Gabe, her longtime, devoted husband, and her two besties and their spouses. Dinner is served with a side of delicious gossip, including which North Grove residents were caught with their pants down on Ashley Madison after the secret online dating site for married couples was hacked. Thirty-two million cheaters worldwide have been exposed … including Sophie’s “perfect” husband. To add insult to injury, she learns Gabe is the top cheater in their town.

Humiliated and directionless, Sophie jumps into the unknown and flees to France to meet up with her teenage daughter who is studying abroad and nursing her own heartbreak. After a brief visit to Paris, Sophie heads out to the artist enclave of Saint-Paul-de-Vence. There, for the first time in a long time, Sophie acknowledges her own desires—not her husband’s, not her daughter’s—and rediscovers with painful honesty and humor her essence as she reawakens both her sensuality and her ambitions as a sculptor.

As she sheds her past and travels the obstacle-filled off the beaten path, Sophie Bloom is determined to blossom.

Allowing her true self to emerge in the postcard beauty of Provence, Sophie must decide what is broken forever … and what it means to be truly unbreakable. (FYI – it’s described as a steamy beach read, and it is in parts … oh là là … but more than this, it is a well-written story about family, forgiveness and starting over).

Giveaway #2 Bette Lee Crosby, a sister Lake Union Author and good friend, is offering one signed copy of her exciting new release, EMILY, GONE.

With 20 published novels, Bette Lee really needs no introduction to readers around the world and she has offered giveaways here before. It is the wit and wisdom of her Southern Mama Crosby that she brings to her works of fiction. The result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away. Bette is a sister Lake Union Author and I love all of her novels. She lives in south Florida with her husband, Dick, and her sweet Bichon, Sugar.

You can connect with Bette here.

Here’s the blurb:  A missing child sets the lives of three women on a collision course in this powerful and compelling novel by USA Todaybestselling author Bette Lee Crosby.

1971 – When a music festival rolls through the sleepy town of Hesterville, Georgia, the Dixon family’s lives are forever changed. On the final night, a storm muffles the sound of the blaring music, and Rachel tucks her baby into bed before falling into a deep sleep. So deep, she doesn’t hear the kitchen door opening. When she and her husband wake up in the morning, the crib is empty. Emily is gone.

Vicki Robart is one of the thousands at the festival, but she’s not feeling the music. She’s feeling the emptiness over the loss of her own baby several months before. When she leaves the festival and is faced with an opportunity to fill that void, she is driven to an act of desperation that will forever bind the lives of three women.
When the truth of what actually happened that fateful night is finally exposed, shattering the lives they’ve built, will they be able to pick up the pieces to put their families back together again?

Giveaway #3 BEAUTIFUL STRANGERS is Camille di Maio’s newest release and she is offering two ebooks. Also from a sister Lake Union author! Award-winning writer, Camille Di Maio has lived in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California, and spends enough time in Hawaii to feel like a local. She’s traveled to four continents (so far), and met Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. She just about fainted when she had a chance to meet her musical idol, Paul McCartney, too. Now she lives in historic Williamsburg, Virginia with her husband and four children.

You can connect with Camille here.

Here’s the blurb: A legendary hotel on the Pacific becomes a haven where dreams, love, and a beguiling mystery come alive.
1958. Kate Morgan, tethered to her family’s failing San Francisco restaurant, is looking for an escape. She gets her chance by honoring a cryptic plea from her grandfather: find the beautiful stranger. The search takes her to Hotel del Coronado, the beachfront landmark on the Southern California coast where filming is underway on the movie Some Like It Hot.
For a movie lover like Kate, it’s a fantasy come true. So is the offer of a position at the glamorous hotel. And a new romance is making her heart beat just as fast. But as sure as she is that Coronado is her future, Kate discovers it’s also where the ghosts of the past have come to stay. Sixty years ago a guest died tragically, and she still haunts the hotel’s halls.
As the lives of two women—generations apart—intertwine, Kate’s courageous journey could change more than she ever imagined. And with Coronado wending its way through her soul, she must follow her dreams…wherever they may lead.

Congratulations to last month’s winners:  Ola Norman, Donna Neale, Andrea Stoeckel, Susanne Nadeau, Bev Farningham, Agnes Zelgert.

As always, send your entry for these giveaways to Names will be chosen randomly using This time we are curious to know what is growing in your garden right now. Finally, we have spring bulbs blooming everywhere in Toronto … it’s been a long time coming!

It’s a pleasure to offer these giveaways from my writing friends. Thanks for the great response each month. I’m glad you appreciate the opportunities and are so keen to enter. In case you wonder, we read every single one of your entries and appreciate them! I hope you enjoy meeting authors who might be new to you, and connecting with those you already follow. Savor their books, find out more about the writers and pass along their information to your friends.

The best way to hear about a good book is by word of mouth from dedicated readers like you. If you have time to write a short review, even better, and always appreciated.

This has nothing to do with books, but I couldn’t help mentioning it. Are you an NBA basketball fan? Toronto is recovering after a very noisy weekend celebrating the 6thgame win of the Toronto Raptors over the Milwaukee Bucks to clinch the Eastern Conference title. For the first time since the franchise began in 1995, they are headed to the NBA finals. Most of these games were nail-biters and I think it’s going to be an exciting series against the Golden State Warriors.

There are times when a lot of the news we are reading is not very uplifting, and sports has a way of bringing people together. Whatever team you cheer for, enjoy the competition and the tremendous effort athletes put into what they do.

This month I want to leave you with an article about cheese. As you know, Philippe is a fromager in the Provence stories and cheese often makes an appearance in the stories. I hope you find this article of interest. I’m going to look into ordering some of those porous bags they mention for storing cheese. I’ll let you know how they work out! (This photo was taken at “Philippe’s” fromagerie at the Antibes market.)

Stay well, my friends, be kind to one another, read a lot and appreciate every single day. Profitez de tous les jours! I’m reminded on a regular basis that the best part of being an author is hearing from readers. I value the messages I receive from you. Thanks also for sharing my books with your friends and for the reviews you write. It’s all most appreciated and inspiring. See you next month!

À bientôt!