Month: December 2018

Christmas Show 2018 BSW 017 20181225

Welcome to Blood, Sweat and Word’s first, annual Christmas show. Today we are chatting with three Vancouver Island authors:

Jacqui Nelson

Judy Hudson

me – Jo-Ann Carson

Sit back and enjoy.

Jacqui Nelson


Award winning author Jacqui Nelson has a rich background to draw on as a writer. Her love for historical romance with adventure, grit and passion came from watching Western movies while growing up on a cattle farm in Alberta, which is in northern Canada. She says she had the best childhood imaginable.

Jacqui focused on computer programming in university and worked for years number crunching in the business industry. She moved into animation and worked on Harry Potter computer games. [how cool is that]

Then she started writing. She now splits her time between writing and working part-time at one of the most popular bookstores in Victoria.

Show Notes

  • Christmas memories of growing up in snowy Alberta with 2 1/2 TV stations
  • the Mail Order Brides shared world series
  • how she creates characters and plots
  • her favorite drink from the Christmas Market in Germany


Fall in love with a new Old West… where the men are steadfast & the women are adventurous. You’ll find Wild West scouts, spies, cardsharps, wilderness guides, and trick-riding superstars in my stories. Those are my heroines. Wait till you meet my heroes! My love for historical romance adventures with grit and passion came from watching Western movies while growing up on a cattle farm in northern Canada. I’ve been nominated for over 20 awards and won the RWA® Golden Heart® — but my best reward is hearing from readers who have enjoyed my stories.

Jacqui’s Christmas Books

Robyn: A Christmas Bride

Who’s the perfect match for a flame-haired Welsh tomboy who loves driving wagons?

Raised by three free-spirited older brothers, Robyn Llewellyn has learned to fight for what she wants—and now she wants to transform her boss and best friend, Max Peregrine, into a life-long partner. Determined to become the image of what a marriage-minded man wants, Robyn trades her trousers for a dress and heads to Max’s hometown of Noelle, Colorado. But changing who she is with the help of the now happily-married Brides of Noelle puts her friendship with Max at risk.

Who’s the perfect match for a work-addicted Denver business owner who loves his independence?

Defying his brother and grandpa’s wishes for him to stay with them in Noelle, Max Peregrine has created his dream job—leading a highly successfully branch of Peregrines’ Post while working beside the only person who makes him smile every day. But when Robyn leaves without a word, Max follows her to Noelle where the choices they both must face could make it impossible for them to stay together beyond Christmas day.

Inspired by My Fair Lady, The Gift of the Magi, and the spirit of gift giving, Robyn: A Christmas Bride is a classic Western historical love story set in a small town high in the mountains during Christmas 1877.

The Calling Birds: The Fourth Day

The 12 Days of Christmas Mail-Order Brides series

Many years have passed since Bernadette Bellamy fled the Cariboo Gold Rush and her reputation as the sister of a French-Canadian gang of thieves. Armed with only an honest talent for sewing and a willingness to lead a solitary life on the run, she stays one step ahead of everyone seeking her brothers’ last—and now lost—heist. Until a craving to settle down makes her reinvent herself as Birdie Bell, a dress shop owner. The arrival of an old foe combined with her desire to hold onto her treasure trove of fabrics has Birdie joining a wagonload of brides bound for a remote town.

After losing his leg and his wife, Jack Peregrine buries his pain under a mountain-high pile of work. He only agrees to sign up for a mail-order bride to save the town of Noelle, keep his freighting business, and care for his absentminded grandfather. But Jack’s request for a sturdy bride who won’t crumble under his burdens brings him a woman as tiny as she is troubled. Can two mismatched people band together to become the perfect match?

A wanted woman’s flight, a man in pursuit of honesty, not stolen gold…and only nine days left to save the town.

The 12 Days of Christmas Mail-Order Bridesseries blurb (if it can be used) …

Twelve men. Twelve brides. Twelve days to save a town.

Christmas, 1876: Noelle, Colorado is in danger of becoming a ghost town if the railroad decides to bypass the mountaintop mining community. Determined to prove their town is thriving, twelve men commit to ordering brides before the railroad’s deadline six days into the New Year.

Each of the twelve women has her own reason for signing up to become a mail-order bride. But after they arrive in the uncivilized settlement, they aren’t so sure they’ve made the right decision. Neither are the grooms.

Will the marriages happen in time to save Noelle? The countdown starts on Christmas Day.


Jacqui’s Special Christmas Drink

I love Glühwein (the hot mulled wine traditionally found at German Christmas markets) but I’ve never made it. I’ve just had it at markets. Now after finding a recipe, maybe I’ll be inspired to try making it at home.

Judith Hudson


Award-winning author, Judith Hudson, lives on Canada’s wild west coast. her Fortune Bay Series, focuses on relationships, between friends and families in a small town, and each story has its own happy ending. Her Pacific Northwest setting is based on Honeymoon Bay, a logging town on Vancouver Island, but she changed its name to Fortune Bay and moved it to the Olympic Peninsula to, shall we say, protect the innocent.

Besides being a talented writer, Judith is an artist and photographer with a Fine Arts Degree. Her understanding of cover design is amazing, so I’m really happy to talk with her about that as well as Christmas.



When Star’s van, her childhood home and only inheritance from her mother, broke down in Fortune Bay, she thought her mother had guided her to this warm, friendly place. But now, one year later, she still hasn’t figured out why. Her job at the café certainly isn’t a reason to stay, and although everyone here is very nice, so far she hasn’t met anyone really—special.

Now she’s moving into the Murphy’s cabin and couldn’t help noticing that everyone who lives there seems to find their happily ever after — even if it isn’t exactly what they’d thought it would be.

Harry Brewster has ended up in Fortune Bay too — a place he’d never expected to be. He’s kept his old buddy Marshall’s band on the road for 20 years, and although the life was getting old and he’s starting to look forward to settling down, does it have to be here, in Fortune Bay?

He’s never been the one in the band to get the girls, and although there had been a few women in his life over the years, there had never been anyone like Star. She was the yin to his yang and just might be the one to help this bottled-up business man slow down and smell the incense.

Starlight and Tinsel – available as an e-book or paperback on Amazon.

Buy Link

 Jo-Ann Carson

Whatever you believe, wherever you live … I wish you unlimited joy and infinite fun! May this holiday season revive your spirit.

Here are my three Christmas stories. They are free on Amazon and The Highlander is free across platforms (Universal Book Link). My gift to you. Merry Christmas.

A Highland Ghost for Christmas

I Messed Up Christmas

Murder for Christmas

Mimi Barbour: The Success of Boxed Sets_BSW13


I have to make an admission here. I’ve known Mimi for seven years. We live on the same island in the Pacific and share a love of books. She is a cherished friend and a mentor.

Who is Mimi Barbour?

NYT & USA Today, best-selling, award-winning author, MIMI BARBOUR, has seven romance series to her credit. She’s also created many single titles and has a huge number of box sets. Some of these sets are her own, others are multi-author collections, and that’s what we’ll be talking about today.

Mimi writes romance with humor and heart. She’s been known to say: “If I can steal a book-lover’s attention away from their everyday grind, absorb them into a fantasy love story, and make them care about the ending, then I’ve done my job.”

Show Highlights

  • boxed sets sell
  • working with other writers is rewarding and profitable
  • with good authors and good marketing you can make a best-selling list
  • her latest box set did make the USA Today best-selling list

Mimi’s Books

Love Christmas 2 – 99 cents USD

Sprinkle a little Christmas magic into your life with 26 ALL-NEW, never before released romances. Each title – exclusive to this set – is inspired by a favorite holiday movie, spun into a fantastic love story by a NY Times, USA Today, and/or award-winning, bestselling author and delivered to you in this wonderful collection full of cheer for the coming season.


Special Agent Charli

The only man she wants in her life is her old Gramps, and all he wants is a grandchild.

Special Agent Charli Madison can’t get a break. After the stress of her last horrific assignment, all she wants is to spend time vacationing with her Gramps in Fort Lauderdale, a city they both love. Plans go awry, and she’s forced into witness protection, guarding a teenage girl who’s the only person able to identify a notorious killer.

To make matters worse, she has to accept the womanizing local FLPD Major as her fictitious fiancé and her backup on the dangerous mission.

Heaven knows, she doesn’t deserve this mess…

Blake Sebastian is tired of his role as lover for the women who hang around him in droves. Problem is – he doesn’t trust any of them with his heart, never mind with his future.

When pushed, he admits to the curly-headed, disapproving FBI agent under his jurisdiction, a man can get sick of so much sugar. Every so often, he needs a little sour to offset that much sweetness.

Charli was not impressed.

Meet Mimi

NYT & USA Today, best-selling, award-winning author, MIMI BARBOUR, has seven romance series to her credit. She’s also created many single titles and has a huge number of box sets – her own and multi-author collections.

Mimi lives on the East coast of Vancouver Island with her husband and writes her various romances with tongue in cheek and a mad glint in her eye. She’s been known to say: “If I can steal a book-lover’s attention away from their everyday grind, absorb them into a fantasy love story, and make them care about the ending, then I’ve done my job.”

Her reviews are numerous and incredibly positive:

“Love Mimi Barbour, love her books. When you can read a book that within just a few words, you are brought right into the book. You feel, taste, see everything going on. Great story lines. Fantastic characters, fantastic plots, story lines like real life both honest folk and of crooks. Humor that will have you giggling then full on belly laugh. You may even shed a tear or two. All in all, Mimi never disappoints.” ~ Reviewed by Shirleen Miller

Email / Website / Amazon Author Page

Facebook / Twitter / BookBub / Newsletter

Favorite Adult Drink

I drink rye and coke. Tall glass full of ice. A small amount of rye whiskey and fill the glass with diet coke. It’s so good after a day of wracking my brain to keep up with all the chores.


As always, Canva

Help me keep this podcast going:

Click on the image for the link.

The Podcast’s weekly newsletter, BS & Words, delivers you information about the latest episode and writing tips.

Click here to sign up.

Mary Buckham: Multiple Streams of Income for Writers BSW015_181211

“The stories that each of us has are stories only we can tell. And if we don’t find a way to get those stories out into the reader’s hands, the world is a lesser place.”


I first met Mary seven years ago at a workshop she gave on writing active hooks. She blew my mind. Every sentence she uttered was pure gold. Since then I have attended several of her workshops. She’s a phenomenal speaker on all aspects of writing craft and a gifted writer. She’s published several series of the paranormal persuasion in adult and young adult categories and crafted a long list of reference books for writers.

And besides all of this, she has a large family. I figured if I wanted to know more about multiple streams of incomes for writers she’s someone I should speak to.

Show Notes

  • there are all sorts of opportunities out there for writers
  • create multiple, inter-related products
  • she writes fiction, non-fiction, creates webinars and does live events
  • the term writer-preneur fits the new reality
  • work less, do more by repurposing content
  • having kids taught her time-management
  • when you finish a book consider how you can enhance it
  • we need storytellers in our world – we need to value them
  • feed  your creative soul with the different projects
  • new writers should focus on craft and then look at the business of writing
  • once you have the craft and business down, then consider going wider
  • “trying and learning” is part of the process – see what works for you


USA Today Bestselling author Mary Buckham learned to get into and out of trouble at a very early age. Time has added to her opportunities—detained by Israeli intelligence; strip-searched by a Greek border patrol while traveling with a priest, sneaking into Laos. When not personally avoiding nuisances caused by her insatiable curiosity she creates lots of disorder in her Urban Fantasy Invisible Recruits series. Her characters at least have paranormal and preternatural abilities!

Her Urban Fantasy series is centered around five women drafted to combat preternatural beings agitating for world domination and combines a fantasy/paranormal element with high stakes and the pace of action-adventure stories. Mary loves creating thrills, spills, and spells as she follows the ups and downs of fascinating characters starting with Alex Noziak, the heroine of INVISIBLE MAGIC, INVISIBLE POWER, INVISIBLE FATE, and INVISIBLE JOURNEY  and Kelly McAllister, the heroine of INVISIBLE FEARS, INVISIBLE SECRETS and INVISIBLE EMBRACE. A prolific writer, Mary also co-authors the young adult sci-fi/fantasy Red Moon series with NYT bestseller Dianna Love.

When taking a break from the paranormal Mary crafts Writing Craft non-fiction including, A Writer’s Guide to Active Setting (Writer’s Digest Books), Writing Active Hooks and Break Into Fiction®co-authored with Dianna Love. If Mary’s not hiding out, find more about her and her writing projects by visiting:

She can also be found on Facebook at

Twitter at

Goodreads at


For information on Mary’s street team, Mary Buckham’s Book Ninjas, go to


As always, Canva

Help me keep this podcast going:

Click on the image for the link.

The Podcast’s weekly newsletter, BS & Words, delivers you information about the latest episode and writing tips.

Click here to sign up.

Julie Howard: Building Writing Communities BSW14_2018


Mystery writer Julie Howard is  a former journalist. She worked as a reporter and editor for publications such as The Las Vegas Review-Journal and The Sacramento Bee, and she wrote for a national news service and magazines. In her reporting life, she interviewed Oscar winners, Emmy winners and top business executives. She also did political writing for three governors in Idaho.

Then came book writing. Julie Howard worked as a ghost writer for a former Hewlett-Packard executive who wanted his memoirs written.

Her first published book, Crime and Paradise,  was released in August 2017 by The Wild Rose Press.

She is a member of the Idaho Writers Guild and founder of the Boise chapter of Shut Up & Write.

And that brings us to our topic today, Building Writing Communities. Welcome Julie …


Show Notes

  • Julie has a rich and varied background in writing
  • Crime in Paradise released in spring 2017, Wild Rose Press, the first in her Wild Crime series – latest release, Crime Times Two featured below
  • founder of the Boise chapter of  Shut up and Write
  • Shut Up & Write is an international organization
  • it has it’s own “method” – you gather with writers of different genres, chat a bit and then shut up and write for an hour
  • not every writing group works for every person – you need to find your own fit
  • lots of benefits to belonging to writing groups

Crime Times Two

Meredith knows three things: First, the man in the library begged her to help him. Second, he was afraid of his wife. Third, now he’s dead.

While the evidence first points to a natural death, Meredith is certain there’s more to discover. People are tight-lipped in this small mountain village, and the man’s wife isn’t talking either. Then a second death occurs, with remarkable similarities. It’s time to talk about murder.

As a slow-burning relationship heats up in her own life, Meredith struggles with concepts of love and hate, belief and suspicion, and absolution and guilt. Nothing is clear cut…

She must decide: Is guilt, like evil, something you can choose to believe in?

Who is Julie?

Julie Howard is the author of the Wild Crime series. She is a former journalist and editor who has covered topics ranging from crime to cowboy poetry. She is a member of the Idaho Writers Guild and founder of the Boise chapter of Shut Up & Write. Learn more at



Julie’s Favorite Drink

Straight Up Margarita


1 fresh lime

kosher salt

2 oz frozen limeade

4 oz water

2 oz Cointreau

5-6 oz top shelf tequila

large handful ice

Wipe rim of chilled cocktail glasses with fresh lime. Dip glass rim in a saucer of salt. Tap glass to shake off excess. Even you don’t like salt, don’t skip rubbing lime around lip of glass.

Combine limeade, water, Cointreau, tequila, and ice in cocktail shaker. Close and shake until frothy. Strain into chilled glasses. I usually serve over ice.

(Note: Don’t skimp on quality ingredients. Good tequila and orange liqueur is a must!)

My question to you:

What is your favorite quote or concept from this episode?


As always, Canva

Help me keep this podcast going:

Click on the image for the link.

The Podcast’s weekly newsletter, BS & Words, delivers you information about the latest episode and writing tips.

Click here to sign up.