Would you, if you could, live with aliens?

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Would you, if you could, live with aliens?

One of the joys of writing fiction is the freedom to imagine and create something beyond the realities that we know. I’ve always believed that there have to be other life forms in the vastness of our universe. Heck, there probably are ghosts too. I’m sure I saw the ghost of our dog after she died. Then again it could have been an hallucination.

But, back to my question. In my Em and Yves series, aliens toy with Em, use her to “fix” Earth, play with her emotions and her sanity. None of it fair, of course, but then every novel needs some spice. Of course, I had to give her a chance for a bit of revenge so I let her wild emotions impact the aliens, much to their horror.

As I wrote books 2, 3 and 4, I wondered if Em or any human could or would leave Earth,

leave everything they held dear, likely forever, to go live on another planet with other beings. What would it take to tempt a person to do such a thing? What reassurances would they need? A promise to be able to return home, the opportunity to bring their family with them…?

Would I? Could I? What circumstances would lead me to make that kind of decision, to go into the unknown?

I don’t have answers for myself and so I ask, would you, if you could, live with aliens?



Bring the Azer Children Home






Yesterday, my family and I traveled to Vancouver to attend a vigil for the four Azer children who were abducted by their father and illegally taken from Canada in August of 2015. Their mother, Alison Azer, searched desperately and located them in Northern Iraq. They are now in Iran.

I cannot fathom her pain and anguish as her battle to have them returned to Canada continues.

Today, Mother’s Day, must be unbearable for her. My heart goes out to Alison and my greatest wish is that she be reunited with her children long before another Mother’s Day comes to pass.

For those of us lucky enough to celebrate with our mother’s and our children today, let us truly understand what we have. As Alison said so eloquently—”appreciate every little moment.”

For more information:

National Post April 28, 2016



CHEK News April 28, 2016

Azer children located in Iran but remain with father

Memories of Mom


I grew up with a mother who had a saying for everything. They were always prefaced with the words, “As my mother used to say….” Her mother was Belgian and my mother claimed that the sayings rhymed in Flemish and sounded so much better. I have to doubt that, for what kid would like hearing these even in rhyme?

When we were playing too rough:

“Someone will end up crying.” Of course someone did run to Mom in tears and then it was:

“If you live long, you’ll get hurt lots yet.” Which wasn’t as callous as it sounds for she always had sympathy for true hurts.

If we stubbed a toe or banged a knee:

“It’s the badness coming out in you.”

If we were upset about something, depending on the situation it would be:

“It’s a great life if you don’t weaken.”

“Live and learn.”

“It could happen to anyone, but the dumbest first.”

If we were swamped with work:

“There’s no rest for the wicked.”

“Never leave till tomorrow what you can do today.”

When something needed to be done:

“If you want something done, give it to the busiest person.”

“If you want a job done right, do it yourself.”

I hated the sayings and swore I would never use them with my own children. And then came the day I heard myself say, “As my mother used to say, ‘It’ll be in the last place you look for it.’”

As an adult, I’ve come to appreciate the bits of wisdom contained in these sayings. One in particular, strikes me—especially when I’m watching the news.

“It takes all kinds to make a world, but some we could do without.”

But, perhaps the wisest of all:

“Believe half of what you read and nothing of what you hear.”





Bug Zoo

Bug Zoo


You are not going to believe this!!! Today, I went to the bug zoo in Victoria, not willingly, mind you. My granddaughter dragged me there. And, NO, I did not touch any of them and I did not think any of them were pretty, and NO, I did not buy one of the suckers with a cooked insect inside, but I do admire the ants for their industry and the incredible ant hill/farm they have created.


Tacos de camarón



Hungry? Time for tacos de camarón (served with hot sauce, or for us northerners, mild tomatito sauce) at our favorite seedy bar in Mexico. Yes, it’s seedy with lots of drinking and dart games and drinking and eating and drinking … but, we’re not about to let that stop us. We take the munchkin and go early enough to beat the crowd, chat with the staff who’ve already placed our order–they saw us coming–and enjoy our tacos (and beer) in peace.





Around the corner and down the street

in small town Mexico, we find little delights.

Walking home from the beach, we often see people out for a trail ride. The horses live just off main street a few blocks away.


Off for dinner in the next town (a few minute drive away) we find the main street blocked off for the Spring parade, the floats all manned by the kindergarten classes of the area.



Then we see a charming painted wall on a street leading to the beach. I want to live in one of these houses, if only they were real.




HELP! I have a major dilemma


Your response is vital information for authors. We strive mightily to market our books, but are restricted in our efforts by vendors who insist we place our novels in categories and genres.

For example, I struggle to pick a genre for my Em and Yves series. People ask me about EMBATTLED, book one in the series.

Is it?

Science fiction?  Sure. Aliens from other planets are involved, but it’s not hard-core technical sci-fi and it’s set mostly on Earth.

Paranormal Romance?  Would seem so. There is a love triangle between an alien, a human, and her human lover.

Contemporary?  Definitely.  Lots of world events as the alien tries to make Earth a better place.

Mainstream? For sure. Lots of world issues—enough to capture the interest of many readers.

Urban Fantasy? Fits the definition. Urban setting with supernatural or magical elements.

Adventure? You bet. Jujitsu training, hand to hand combat, war, soldiers, terrorists….

Now, how do I roll all of that into one genre? What would your advice be?


Purple Hibiscus – the role religion plays


Some readers see my books as anti-religion. Others ask me if the heroine is God. When I began writing my first novel, religion was the farthest thing from my mind. I was focused on romance, adventure and sci-fi elements that could bring some magic to my story.

I’ve abhorred organized religion for many years and many reasons. I’ve particularly been enraged by missionaries. Their self-righteous imposition of their beliefs on others seems to me the greatest of sacrilege.

Then I read Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The legacy of missionary zeal, the brutality of missionary zeal is laid bare. The power and the danger of missionaries is brought home through the story of Kambili and her family.

Fifteen-year-old Kambili is the dutiful and self-effacing daughter of a rich man, a religious fanatic and domestic tyrant whose public image is of a politically courageous newspaper publisher and philanthropist. No one in Papa’s ancestral village, where he is titled “Omelora” (One Who Does For the Community), knows why Kambili¹s brother cannot move one of his fingers, nor why her mother keeps losing her pregnancies.

Papa, of course, passes on the lessons he has learned in his own childhood, taught by brutal Catholic missionaries; the abused is the abuser. Rigid religious instruction, intolerant and unforgiving, is the tool with which this man terrorizes his wife and children.

Most frightening of all is the family’s acceptance of this man’s behavior, and long after the abuse ends, the lasting desire for his love.


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