Mindful Mondays – Week 72 – Gratitude Among The Chaos

Today I am filled with gratitude. You see tomorrow is the release of my second historical fiction title, Stealing Mr. Smith so my heart is singing with gratitude. This sense of gratitude though, does not come without the packaging of chaos. There are many tasks to accomplish, loose ends to wrap up, and readers to engage with.

Despite the many demands ahead of me, I am grateful that I have the opportunity to be in this exact moment. I have immense gratitude for the opportunities I have, to follow this dream of being a writer. I love being a writer. Immersing myself in the lives of my characters is like hanging out with old friends. Watching a setting unfold, is equivalent to visiting a long ago town built on hard work and simple values.

It is with the end product of a book, a story to share with others that makes my heart soar. So, tomorrow I begin my day by sharing all that I’ve worked on for the past several months with readers around the world. Some have been patiently waiting for the continuation of the story. Others have no idea it exists at all. Either way, this journey to the publication day was not reached alone, and that is what I am most grateful for.

Today, I am thinking of all the people who helped me navigate this path to publication. It is a list not unlike what you will find at the back of any author’s book. That list of people who coddled, protected, and supported the book’s life up to its publication day and beyond. 

So, even among the chaos of a book launch, I want to take the time to show gratitude and appreciation for those individuals who helped bring Stealing Mr. Smith to life. I simply couldn’t have done it without you.

Gratitude for the release of Stealing Mr. Smith

The story continues with Stealing Mr. Smith on September 25th, but if you’d like to pick up your copy of Becoming Mrs. Smith first, you can grab yours now and take advantage of the SALE pricing at your favorite online retailer.

Becoming Mrs. Smith ON SALE NOW

Mindful Mondays – Week 64 – Early Readers Requested

Readers are the lifeblood of an authors existence. We may start out by writing for ourselves, happy for awhile to entertain our own minds. Then as we branch out, we begin to share our work with our family and friends. When the time comes, we are either pushed or take the leap into the literary world as an author.

Publishing a book is the defining moment when a writer becomes an author. It is also the moment when authors find a kinship with readers. An author is also a reader and thus the coming together of readers and writers is a natural phenomenon. We share a love for great stories and whether we read on a Kindle or a paperback, we are drawn together for the love of a book.

As I prepare to launch my next historical fiction title, Stealing Mr. Smith, I am excited to invite readers, just like you, to join my early reader / review team. You may know it as a street team or a launch team but essentially signing up to be an early reader / reviewer means that you will receive an electronic copy of Stealing Mr. Smith to read and review prior to the publication date. 

I am excited to share this story with you. Space is limited, so to join the TEAM, email me at info@ripplingeffects.ca with your request to join ASAP.

I look forward to getting to know you better.


Mindful Mondays – Week 35 – The Magic of NetGalley

NetGalley? Do you know what it is? I certainly didn’t until I immersed myself into the world of fiction writing. Oh my! My head spins when I think about all the books I missed reading, simply because I did not know about this bookish website. So I am here to let you in on the not so little secret about the magic of NetGalley. Did you know that NetGalley is a free service for readers and reviewers looking to get their hands on digital copies of a multitude of books?

We are talking, advanced reader copies from well loved authors that haven’t even seen the fluorescent beams of a well lit book store yet. The NetGalley bookshelves brim with new talent, just emerging into the literary world, as well as many favored authors whose latest titles we eagerly await. In fact, many of the big publishers and authors use the platform to showcase, test, and determine the temperature of their recent literary work from the pool of NetGalley’s avid readers.

Becoming Mrs. Smith on NetGalley

This month, Becoming Mrs. Smith is available for download from NetGalley and I couldn’t be more pleased. Not only do readers/reviewers get to vote on book covers (I love that part!). But they are also invited to request, read, and review as many titles as time allows. Some titles linger for awhile. Others make only a brief appearance. So checking back frequently is the key to getting the most of this wonderful reading experience. Continue reading

Not your typical Tuesday…

I don’t normally create a blog post on Tuesdays, but today is not a typical Tuesday. Today is the official release date for my debut historical fiction novella, Becoming Mrs. Smith. If you are interested in reading Becoming Mrs. Smith, you can find it for FREE at Amazon Worldwide until October 12th, 2017.

Becoming Mrs. Smith

This book release is near and dear to me for a couple of reasons. First, of course, because Becoming Mrs. Smith is my debut into the world of fiction writing. There is always something about a first love.

Secondly, Becoming Mrs. Smith came to fruition because two female characters in the novel I was working on decided they wanted to tell their own story. They convinced me by keeping me up at all hours of the early morning, pleading their case. One of the characters was Violet (Becoming Mrs. Smith – October 10, 2017). The other was Bernice (Stealing Mr. Smith – eta 2018). Whether it was their persistence or my lack of sleep, I eventually agreed to write a story from each of their perspectives before releasing the main novel.

Thirdly, the research that I undertook to create a true sense of time was a winding road through the past. I am extremely fortunate to have family who experienced first hand the world in 1935 and beyond. My journey was even more blessed because they opened their hearts to me in order to share their knowledge. I am most grateful to them for their insightful comments, photographs, and understanding of what a writer was seeking.

History fascinates me and I am honored to be able to share some of the knowledge I learned along the way through historical fiction. I hope you enjoy the story and if you do, please post a review on Amazon and / or Goodreads.

Happy Reading!

Mindful Mondays – Week 22 – Giving Thanks…

Giving thanks seems only fitting with our Canadian thanksgiving taking place today. It is a wonderful time in the autumn season to pause and take stock of the importance of gratitude. A grateful heart has many layers and this year I want to share with you what my heart is giving thanks for.

  • Pumpkin pie. I know it sounds ridiculously simple, but as I sit here writing this blog post, my “to do” list includes baking two pies for our family gathering and thus I have the anticipation of the first bite of pumpkin pie to be grateful for.
  • Family. A natural fit with almost any holiday. Though we are not in a position of being able to spend the holiday with all of our family, they are never far from our minds. Each year brings new gatherings, with a variety of individuals and each year my gratitude for those I am fortunate to call my family, grows.
  • Puppies. Yep, that’s right, I have an abundance of gratitude when it comes to puppies. And just to be clear here, I don’t care how old a dog is, they will always be a puppy to me. My thankful heart desperately misses my puppy of twelve years, but I give thanks for having had the great fortune of having her love us so completely for those twelve years.

    Puppy Cuteness Who could resist a face like this?

  • Chai Tea Lattes. OK, perhaps I shouldn’t have skipped lunch today, but seriously, I have been enjoying my homemade cup of joy for a few weeks now. In the spirit of thanksgiving, I am going to share with you the wonderful cookbook where the recipe came from. Check it out here,  Against All Grain. I warn you though, once you start perusing Danielle Walker’s recipes, you’ll want that cup of chai in hand, cause you’ll be there awhile enjoying her amazing creations.
  • Inspiring events. Last week I had the pleasure of joining a friend for an evening with Roy Henry Vickers. Now, even though I am a PJ by 8:00 pm kind of girl, I braved the chill in the air and ventured beyond Grey’s Anatomy. I was drawn in by this inspiring individual whose love for mankind is larger than any I’ve witnessed in a very long time. If you ever get the chance, make yourself available to listen for a few minutes. What you’ll feel is hope for our future through stories from the past.
  • My book launch team. I have been blessed with an amazing group of individuals to act as my book launch support system for Becoming Mrs. Smith (launching October 10, 2017…aka tomorrow! But if you simply just can’t wait to read my debut historical fiction book, head on over to Amazon and download your FREE Kindle version today). Each launch team individual brings a fresh perspective to the book and it has been an absolute joy to have them behind me as I navigate the waters of a book launch. I am ready to share Becoming Mrs. Smith with the world, because of them. Heartfelt thanks to each and every one.

    Becoming Mrs. Smith Available October 10, 2017

  • The writing life. I am so very fortunate to have the love and support of my family and friends as I live my dream of being a writer. Writing provides me with a life full of joy, inspiration, and balance. The writing life gave me the courage to step into myself, fully and comfortably. Writing fuels my spirit and warms my heart. I simply couldn’t ask for much more.

So, I give thanks for all of this and more. And also to you for taking the time to read my blog posts. May your hearts be filled with love, joy, and gratitude no matter when you celebrate pumpkin pie day!


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Mindful Mondays – Week 20 – 5 things I learned while writing a book

Writing a book is a fairly large endeavor and one that has times of joy and times of frustration. There is the time vacuum, as you research your characters, story plot, and all things genre related. Then there are the words. Those lovely, lovely words. Where at first there just simply aren’t enough of them and then suddenly there are too many. Oh, how the words play tricks with the writer’s mind.

Once you decide to write a book and then force yourself to sit down each and every day to begin the task of writing, you are immersed in a world unlike any other. To give you a little insight into the writing process, well, my writing process anyway, here are 5 things I learned while writing Becoming Mrs. Smith. Becoming Mrs. Smith Continue reading

Mindful Mondays – Week 19 – Stepping out into the world

Stepping out into the world can take the shape of many forms. It can be going after that dream job. Or harnessing the courage to ask that cute girl out. Each of us have been there. We’ve teetered on the brink of staying where it is warm and safe while contemplating the leap into unfamiliar territory. Either way, stepping out is worth the nerves and sometimes out right terror, it brings with it.

One of my most vivid memories of stepping out was when my son started kindergarten. There he was with a crisp fresh hair cut and sparkling blue eyes. He stood in line with all the other excited five-year old kindergartners. His Thomas the Tank Engine backpack bounced up and down as his nervous legs refused to remain still. I remember thinking in the moment, that I, perhaps was even more nervous than he.

I admired his willingness to meet his new friends and watched as he embraced the teacher and the school environment. For him, it was just the beginning of learning how to face the unknown. He stepped forward regardless of any insecurities he might have had. For me, it was also a new pattern of learning to let go. As you truly cannot step out without also letting go.

Becoming Mrs. Smith Book Release October 10, 2017

So, here I sit, 3 weeks away from releasing my first historical fiction title, Becoming Mrs. Smith, into the world and I find myself in the position of letting go and also stepping out. Neither one, without a few fears and a little doubt.

Continue reading

A Letter From Violet…

A Letter From Violet

Dear Readers,

Let me start by introducing myself. I am Violet Smith, the star in Tanya E Williams upcoming novella she aptly named after me, titled Becoming Mrs. Smith. I wanted to take a moment to say “hello” and tell you how excited I am that the story, (my story really) will be reaching you all in a few short months.

We, and by that I mean myself and Mrs. Williams, have spent countless hours putting our heads together in an effort to convey to you the heart of my experiences. We have laughed together, just as we have cried together. There have even been a few moments of frustrated silence as we each sat in our own corners trying to navigate the waters of a time long since passed.

We have lain awake at night, watching the motion picture of my life flutter by in our mind’s eye. Our excursion through history was exhilarating and sometimes a little frightening and emotional but together we stayed the course. I am exceptionally proud of our end product and truly hope that you enjoy the story just as much as I enjoyed living it.

Mrs. Violet Smith
Cedar Springs, South Dakota 

Writing under the wire. Pushing myself towards a deadline.

Writing under the wire hasn’t truly existed for me since teachers posted due dates on notice boards in school several years ago. It was only just in the last year that I began using a writing deadline again to help keep me on track with the goals I had laid out for myself.

To be honest, I was a little haphazard about it to begin with. I set out vague ideas of what I wanted to accomplish and then went about stabbing at things in the dark to see if anything would stick. Some of those ideas morphed into actual plans with a specified course of action. Others fell by the wayside as lack of interest on my part, suffocated any life that remained in them.

I realize now, looking back, that this is the road that leads to that place where all the stories I was seeking reside. The road was far from easy, straight, or entirely visible when I set out upon its path. But it was always there offering me somewhere to walk. Somewhere to wander around until I got my bearings. There were side streets to distract and entice me. There were hills, some worthy of the effort it takes to climb them, others not so much.

Which way I travel is completely up to me. This is how diversity in our world exists. When different individuals choose different paths along the same road. It’s quite magnificent really, when you think about it.

There is always a choice in life, in story telling, in everything we do. So, a couple of months ago, I made a choice. Then, I made a plan. I had to educate myself on things I’d never encountered before. I had to become both the student and the master. The road was bumpy and often fraught with rabbit holes, but it was my road so I just kept putting one foot in front of the other.

At the beginning of March, I established a deadline to have the first draft of my novella, Becoming Mrs. Smith, completed in one months time. As the days passed, I was writing under the wire and loving every minute of it. I wrote six to seven days a week. I was determined to sit in front of my computer until I had conjured 2000 plus words a day.

Some days I wanted nothing more than to veg in front of the TV or read the rest of the book I was already deep into enjoying. The deadline loomed in front of me and oddly enough, that was all it took. That deadline kept me seated, working away until it no longer felt like work. Words began to flow and I found the heart of the story and in the process, I learned even more about what I was capable of.

I missed my deadline by three days. Still, I accepted this as a success as I had become a better writer. I had become more dedicated, more driven, and certainly more focused along the way. And now, I have completed a first draft that I am proud of. I have a few weeks of intense editing ahead of me, but you can be sure, I have a deadline for that too.

Writing towards a deadline for Becoming Mrs. Smith.
First draft completed!

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Becoming Mrs. Smith, a novella is born…

Several months ago, I began writing a novel. I was happily moving forward, creating chapters, enhancing subplots, and getting into the minds of all the players. Then it happened. Two of my characters began to pester me. Actually, they demanded to be heard. Generally around the inconvenient time of two o’clock in the morning, they would clamor for me to tell their side of the story.

I pushed their voices to the side for weeks, certain they would quieten as the novel’s progress continued. “Why can’t I explain how I felt when he decided to travel via the World War II express?” said one character in a somewhat childlike voice, laced with pout a mile long. “If she gets to tell her story, so do I” demanded another adding, “Why can’t he just forget about her? He should be focusing his attention on me.” They argued inside my head daily, while I continued on my novel writing path, countering their protests with logical insights, such as too much backstory makes a boring novel.

Then I happened upon a social media post that simply said, “I never truly understand my antagonist until I’ve seen them as the protagonist in their own story.” It hit me like a bolt of lightning. Aren’t we all the hero in our own story? Why, yes we are, I thought and those pesky but vocal characters should get their chance to tell their story too. So the decision to write two novellas prior to launching the main novel was made.

The voices have quietened a touch as I write novella number one, at least enough to allow me to sleep most nights. I am happy to announce that novella number one titled, Becoming Mrs. Smith will be released electronically in the late spring, early summer of 2017.

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All who wander are not lost. Announcing novella number one, Becoming Mrs. Smith
There is always more than one path that leads to any given destination.

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