Saturday, December 20, 2014

Saturday Snippets–The No Sex Clause, Free eBook!

perfect heroine
Yes, I come bearing a gift! First off, many thanks to all the people who downloaded last week’s free ebook, my romantic comedy, Marrying Money. Love you all!

Next up, here’s the second free eBook I promised. This one has a Christmas theme and a very feisty heroine who has reached a point in life where she re-examines her life and her past – and finds true love and friendship where she least expects it. The book is The No Sex Clause (but don’t let the title mislead you!)

Here’s the blurb:

nosexclausefinal (2)abAnna Findlay needs a man.

Anna has gone from being the bullied Mouse in a small town high school to the perfectly groomed and wealthy author of a pop psychology book on sex.

When her publicity agent talks her into going to her high school reunion at Christmas, there are two problems - Anna hated high school, and she has no one to go with. So, in her own pragmatic style, she hires an escort from an agency - a move that will change her life forever.

Anna finds herself revisiting her past and learning that she has never been comfortable in any of the personas she has invented for herself.

It takes falling in love - and Christmas - to show her that all she needs do is be herself.

The No Sex Clause is free from Saturday, the 20th of December, until Wednesday, the 24th, on most Amazon Kindle sites such as and

And while you’re on Amazon, pop over and take a peek at my latest romantic suspense, Another Man’s Son, from The Wild Rose Press Lobster Cove series Winking smile

141May your holidays be merry and bright!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wednesday’s Writing: Don’t Know What to Give the Writers on Your List? Problem Solved!


winter cardinalHave a writer on your Christmas gift list? Stuck for ideas? That’s not surprising, considering you’re dealing with a person who can have anything he or she wants – in their imagination, of course!

But buying for writer friends or family needn’t be a chore. And it needn’t be expensive, either. Of course, the latest word processing programs, computer technology, a library full of books or a year’s rental on a retreat to a villa in France, would all be welcome gifts. Bear in mind that the latter could be very pricey indeed, because most of us writers are broke much of the time so you’d definitely have to throw in air fare and stock the place with food.

But for more realistic purposes, here are a few writer pleasing ideas:

1) Fancy pens, pencils, cute notebooks, or other desktop gadgets. Sure, we know we’re in the age of high tech, but there’s nothing like the allure of a clean, virginal page or a fancy new gel pen.

2) A really good diary with at least a page per day for notes. Or more than a page, to help keep track of word counts, deadlines, book signings, talk events, submission dates, etc.

3) The online version of The Writer’s Market.

4) The online version of Writer’s Digest

5) A comfy cushion for the desk chair – you’d be amazed just how numb one’s posterior can get after a few hours of typing madly, butt in chair….

6) One of those little desk puzzles, to give the brain a break from words. Careful with the choice, though – nothing too difficult. Writers are all too familiar with failure, and not being able to do the Rubik’s Cube, for example, can begin a slow slide into depression as fast as any rejection letter.

7) A pair of those woolly fingerless gloves, for typing when the power is out – or has been cut off – and there’s no heat.

8) Woolly socks with tops that will fit over flannel pajama bottoms.
9) Flannel pajama bottoms.

10) A gift card for Starbucks or Tim Horton’s, so that your writer won’t get black looks after sitting in the warm cafĂ© for hours, typing without buying…..

11)  Probably the very best gift for a writer costs nothing: Time. Yes, time to write without interruption is such a gift! Be a friend. Don’t take offence when your writer buddy rolls her eyes at your suggestions that the two of you go out, when you know she’s on deadline. Offer to take the kids for a couple of hours, cook a meal, pick up groceries, dry cleaning, kids from school. Don’t talk for hours on the phone. Listen when she needs a sounding board, otherwise give her some space.

lady in pj'sTrust me, she or he will eventually emerge from the writing cave, eager and ready for human interaction again……one the writing is done. Until the next book, of course….

And speaking of the next book – don’t forget Saturday is the day for the next free eBook that I promised. This one has a Christmas theme to help get you in the mood, but it’s not all sweetness and light…..Be sure to check out Saturday’s Snippets this weekend!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday’s Inspiration–Live Your Passion

hardest decision"If there is no passion in your life, then have you really lived? Find your passion, whatever it may be. Become it, and let it become you and you will find great things happen FOR you, TO you and BECAUSE of you.." ~ T. Alan Armstrong

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.." ~ Howard Thurman

“Passion is the oxygen of the soul” – Bill Butler
Quotes from Inspiring Quotes of the Week

You have probably heard that expression: “Follow your passion and the money will come” and scratched your head wondering how to make that happen. For artists, you wonder when you’ll earn enough from your passion to live without a job.

There’s the tempting possibility of quitting the day job, working like the devil turning out books, artwork, pottery, one-of-a-kind crafts and clothing, fabric arts, or whatever inflames your passion, and just hope that the cash comes in.

But in your heart you know – especially if you have the responsibility for others – that the bank isn’t going to accept your artwork as a mortgage payment, and the grocery store won’t take copies of your books in lieu of cold hard cash.
How, then, short of winning the lottery, can you follow your passion?

Here’s my take on that:
First off, an attitude change. Stop calling your everyday job The Evil Day Job. That tells your brain to hate what you spend 30-40 hours a week doing. Isn’t that in itself a recipe for restless misery?

Instead, consider what that work allows you to do – you have contact with people you can learn from, socialize with your co-workers, working together, you have a viable skill set with growing experience that may stand you in good stead, you have the opportunity to people watch, learn from the lives of others (invaluable if you’re a writer!) and, on top of that, you get to pay for the roof over your head and three meals a day.

Imagine if you spent all day at a desk in a room, alone, with no outside contact. Just you and your imagination. Yes, I know – it sounds wonderful. But pretty soon you’d get bored, restless, in need of contact and inspiration from the outside world.

For the creative person, every experience, every contact, is grist for the artistic mill. Use what you see around you, what you feel, what you learn from other people, your everyday experiences, yes, even your day job, to fuel your passion.

Next, Fake it until you make it!

First, you need to find your passion. Here’s a great article by Barrie Davenport in TransMind: What Do You Do When You Have No Earthly Idea What Your Passion Might Be?

Live the artistic life. Find some time every day to add to your growing talent, expertise, and insight. Paint, write, draw, create. You can squeeze a little time out here and there, even if it’s only happening in your head.

Go to conferences if you can, take your work to shows, to craft sales, to community events. I’ve heard from writers who have sold more books at a local crafts fair than through regular channels!

All the while you are stoking your passion, building your skills, using the daily grind of life to fuel your creativity.And one day, with luck, talent, hard work, something wonderful will happen.

You’ll be living your passion.

This week’s free ebook is Marrying Money, a fun romantic comedy set in Ireland. It’s free on Amazon Kindle from Dec 13 – 17 – get yours now for a relaxing read!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Saturday Snippets: Free Book: Marrying Money!


MarryingMoneyNew CoverWeb
I promised free ebooks before Christmas, and here’s the first! I know this blog has been neglected for the past couple of weeks, but I’m back and I’m raring to have you read this story about a modern day English aristocrat who needs a husband. She has a list of what she wants – but love has other ideas! If you love Brit humor you'll really 'get' this book!

Here’s the blurb:
Diana, Lady Ashburnham, needs to find a rich husband, and fast.
She's the last of an aristocratic line stretching back 500 years, and she's broke. The family fortunes have been eaten up by the crumbling mansion and impoverished estate. Not wanting to be known as the 'Ashburnham Who Lost The Lot', she refuses to sell off heirloom jewelry or let the estate be auctioned off to a millionaire or heavy metal rock star. 

That's when Diana has her Great Idea – she'll follow a new take on the way her ancestors raised money – by marrying money! 

So Diana corals her best friend, commoner Sally Barnes, into joining her on a trip to Ireland to try to net a – preferably titled – millionaire. After all, with the Celtic Tiger economic boom, Ireland is supposed to be awash with wealthy guys. As she tells Sally, Ashburnham ancestors plundered Ireland with Cromwell, so why shouldn’t Diana do a bit of plundering there herself? 

Sally, very much a common commoner from a council house, reluctantly agrees to the trip. 

They meet up with Diana's very pretentious but untitled cousin, Mairead, who married money herself – a wealthy 'paper products' entrepreneur. His line of work has led to many rude family jokes, but Diana has to admit that Mairead had landed herself in the lap of luxury with her marriage choices. 

It looks like Diana isn’t going to be so lucky. Not only do the very valuable Ashburnham Emeralds disappear at the Galway Races, where Sally, not Diana, is chosen the winner of the Ladies' Day Prize, but there seems a huge shortage of titled wealthy young men who would be willing to fork out the millions required to keep Alexandria House, the Ashburnham estate, and Diana all in the style to which they want to become accustomed.......

And things get even more confused when the titled Irish aristocrat who is perfect for Diana has other ideas, and Diana’s heart flutters for a tradesman…..

Reviews For Marrying Money:
4.5 star review from The Long & The Short:
Take a pile of crumbling stones called Alexandria House, add in a garrulous narrator, and you’re all set for a romp through a series of comedic calamities.
Ms. O’Connell marries comedy and suspense together as tightly as bindweed. She captures the idiocyncrinacies of the English class system so beautifully, then adds in some Irish blarney, and hey presto, you’re off again, until the tears of laughter stream down your face.
Her heroine, Lady Diane is larger than life and willing to admit to her flaws. Sally, her best friend, but ‘not her social equal’ is as Dr. Watson to Sherlock Holmes. She brings balance to events, and still manages to throw in some thought provoking personal digs, just when Lady D is in full flow.
Lady D is so busy looking for ‘The Right Man’, to save her estates, she doesn’t see him when he’s standing under her nose.
Bob the Builder, Ms. O’Connell’s hero, is everything a hero should be, but for Lady D, so entrenched in a search for a man from her own social echelon, he’s not in the running.
Lady D has lessons to learn, and part of the suspense is created when it seems she may not learn them in time.
If you enjoy reading about settings you feel you are standing in, surrounded by a vibrant cast of characters, with a pot-full of suspense and a happy-ever-after, then this is the book for you. If you can stop laughing long enough to clear your eyes of tears, that is!

Four Stars from
By Marion H. Campbell (Burbank, CA, US) -
This review is from: Marrying Money: Lady Diana's Story (Kindle Edition)
What happens when two girlfriends try to find the perfect rich man to marry? Great romp, fun book! Add a cool drink and the beach, and this makes for perfect summer reading.

Marrying Money: Lady Diana’s Story, is free on Kindle (and don’t forget you can get an app to read Kindle books on your PC, laptop or tablet – or even your smart phone!)
Free from Saturday, December 12, to December 17.
Get it on Amazon - here on
Or on