Paperback Writer

Finally, I have my e-books into paperback and it was a frustrating journey. First, the technical designer I hired didn’t work out after three months of back and forth with her. Then, the second technical consultant wasn’t able to put two of my e-books into paperback either because the one of the original e-book cover no longer existed or the owner of the other e-book was asking an exorbitant amount of money to use it. Then, there was the problem of Kindle’s size requirements, which luckily my technical consultant was able to deal with.

In the end, I ended up having to choose different covers for two of my paperbacks. So, three months later, here are my paperback novels.

About the Getting to Mr. Right Series

The series starts off by focusing on Campbell Jones –an award-winning relationship-therapist at the peak of her career. Friendship and support shared between the characters of Campbell’s focus group evolves as the novel progresses.

The underlying theme throughout the original Getting to Mr. Right and the four novellas which follow is “being true to oneself.” The novellas are all expansions of the main story – dating adventures for Missi, a café for Suzy, dealing with an uprooted life for Felicity and an unexpected pregnancy on the edge of mid-life for Campbell. The series has gone beyond the original premise of “Getting a man” and in true women’s fiction style, deals with the issues that come after “happily ever after.” Although all these women are now in romantic relationships, it’s more the by-product of living their lives fully than a pursuit for finding a partner.

Click on the book titles to order

Book 1: Getting to Mr. Right

Campbell’s research into the father/daughter dynamic and how it affects a woman’s personal choices proves that Prince Charming is nothing but a myth. In a few months, she will receive international recognition for her work.As part of her study, Campbell gives workshops to help women still seeking Mr. Right. Her latest group is made up of three women: Missi Morgan, who can’t seem to let go of a philandering spouse; Suzy Paradise, a self-proclaimed queen of online dating; and Felicity Starr, whose life and career are dictated by a controlling father.In the midst of her study, a charming and personable man enters Campbell’s life, putting her theories in shambles. Not only does she now question the validity of her research, but she must choose between her career and having her own Prince Charming. This personal dilemma makes it difficult for Campbell to give these women advice, as she encourages them to find their own paths to happiness and helps them set themselves free.

Book 2: Missi’s Dating Adventures

Missi Morgan is your everyday middle-aged woman who is suddenly thrust into an online dating world after years of married bliss. After learning to let go of Max, her husband who dumped her, Missi explores the world of online dating. Through one disastrous date after another, Missi learns lessons that help her discover what she truly wants. She may not find the perfect match but she finds the perfect self.

A romantic comedy for anybody having to tackle online dating and letting go.

Book 3: Not By Design

Ever since she first appeared in Getting To Mr. Right, Felicity Starr has been struggling to find her own kind of contentment. Now, at thirty-five and living in Rome, Felicity is about to break into the world of fashion design, and caught in a flurry of plans for her wedding when calamity strikes. Her father’s sudden death brings into question the whole meaning of success. Then Marco, the man she’s about to marry, leaves her when he learns of her Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis. Forced to return to Montreal, Felicity finds her life thrust into unexpected turns. As she confronts the on-going challenges presented by her disease, she gains the strength to let go of old beliefs and face her inner truths. Love, friendship and rewarding work come in different forms and Felicity finds it all in ways she never imagined – in a life that’s not by design.

Book 4: Cafe Paradise

Most of Suzy Paradise’s dreams died along with her son over twenty years ago.
One thing has re-ignited her passion for living – running her own café, which specializes in home-baked donuts. For Suzy, this is a long-cherished dream come true. Her business is starting to flounder when Donuts-A-Million, a giant chain, opens across the street from her. Her unexpected attraction to Coen Walsh, a regular customer at her café, creates more tension when she learns of his affiliation with her competitor.
Café Paradise is about Suzy’s fight to save her business in spite of the odds. Sometimes, she realizes, dreams have an expiration date and it takes just as much courage to let them go.
Along the way, she must re-define the meaning of work, family and romance so she can find her own formula for happiness.

Book 5: The Longest Nine Months

In Getting to Mr. Right, Campbell debunked the Prince Charming myth, only to meet a special man who turned all her assumptions upside down.
Now she’s married to Chand. But Happily-Ever-After turns out to be another illusion.
Campbell deals with job burnout and struggles to find her place in the world. An unexpected pregnancy and its complications undermine her relationship with Chand and take her to a difficult crossroad. No matter which way she decides to go, nothing will ever be the same!


Warning Signs

A psychological crime novel about obsession. Eugene’s research into his criminal mind is not about the why, but how to prevent his horrific crimes. Angie, a young woman starving for passion sees Eugene as her savior from a lonely life of caring for her heroin addicted mother. How far is she willing to go in order to save her relationship with Eugene and his promise for a future together? Detective Van Ray is on a vindictive mission as he attempts to solve the murders of young girls in Youth Protection. Their lives collide in a mixture of mistrust, obsession and ignoring the warning signs. A psychological crime novel about human frailty and loneliness.

Mourning Has Broken – A Memoir on Grief

Mourning Has Broken offers a moving and poignant look at grief and loss. In this collection of narrative non-fiction essays, the author speaks from the heart not only about the death of a dear sister but also about the mourning of a mother, a father, a dear friend, a career and a religion. Readers who have known loss will find much to relate to in this book, and will particularly appreciate the author’s ability to be frank and open and at times humorous about feelings that might be difficult to acknowledge.

Ten Great First Dates: The Market

Raise your hands if you’ve been guilty of suggesting going for a coffee on a first date? Oh, my, quite a crowd.

Well, I’m here to tell you that going for coffee on a first date sucks for many reasons. First of all, meeting a guy for the first time makes me nervous enough without having to add more caffeine to make me look like I’ve just been released from a study on clinical anxiety.

I know. Yes, of course, I know. Coffee is just a metaphor for let’s meet somewhere (preferably a coffee shop) where you can tell me all about your favorite breakfast cereal and I can tell you how much I hate these first dates. Then what?

So, my suggestion is that you roam around a market where you can have interesting things to talk about.

For instance. Look at these beautiful leeks.


I have a great recipe for a leek pie. Took it from The Silver Palate Cookbook and modified it. No longer put in cream but milk. Sometimes substitute the Gruyère cheese for goat’s cheese, like the Greeks do. Have you ever been to Greece?   Oh, you have. So how do you like to travel? Continue reading

Wrong Guy

Brenda’s cell phone rang. It was Marvin telling her that he was wearing shorts for their date later on this evening.


“Yeah, it’s so hot outside.”

True, they’d had a spring thaw but it was still February. Hardly what she’d call hot. Wearing shorts was gauche.  Still, she wasn’t going to let his lack of social grace keep her from what she was planning on wearing:  her jean jacket with the faux fur collar over a woolen dress and a pair of knee high boots.  What was it Naomi Wolf had said?  Dressing for sex is sex and grooming for sex is sex. Not that Brenda intended on having sex with Marvin. Did she?  Certainly not if he was wearing shorts on a dinner date.

Annoyed at Marvin, she clicked her phone shut. There were guys who inspired you to write dating advice for men; after five dates with him, Brenda concluded that Marvin supplied the perfect do-not-do list:

– Never answer your cell phone on a date unless it’s a total emergency like your mother is dying any minute or the parole board needs to get in touch with you at all times. Especially don’t answer it five times during the meal and each time excuse yourself to go and talk in private like you don’t want the person on the line (a secret wife or girlfriend) to know that you’re with another woman.

-Don’t ever complain about the slow service which goes with don’t wolf down your meal as if you can hardly wait to get out of there.

-When you’re leaving the restaurant, don’t walk ten feet in front of your date talking on your cell phone like you’re making some kind of drug deal.

-Finally, and this Brenda felt particularly hurtful, do not text message to ask a woman out on a date and especially do not add “if the hockey strike is still on”.

Marvin picked her up at eight-thirty sharp and at nine-fifty exactly he dropped her off at her doorstep. When he came to kiss her on her lips she diverted so that his kiss landed in the space between the car door and her earlobe.

Why she agreed to his invitation for a meal at his place the following Friday evening had little to do with her believing that she might have missed something grand about him, nor was it because of the book she was reading which advised going out with a guy at least ten times before throwing the towel in. As she drove Friday evening to Marvin’s house, veering her car beneath the highway underpass she knew that she was going there for sex and only sex.

Yet, she hoped that somehow when she saw him she would feel for him the wild, inexplicable chemistry that she’d been seeking but never finding. As soon as he’d open the door for her she’d feel her heart jump with sexual excitement. He would forget about the hockey game, even turn the TV off and lure her into hot passion as he slowly began to touch her, his shallow breath quickening. Unbuttoning her cardigan he would lead her into the bedroom, taking her hand as if he were protective of her. Lying on the bed she would stare into his wonting eyes as he tenderly looked down on her. He would tell her how beautiful she was and she would feel the rush of her blood going through her veins.  In bed it would be glorious. He would instinctively know where to touch her and spend hours kissing her eyelids and the nape of her neck, teasing her. They would hungrily search each other’s mouths, softly biting each other’s shoulders and forearms. It would …Brenda screeched on the brakes just in time to avoid crashing into the car in front of her…be a fantasy.

“Come on in,” Marvin said and raced back in front of the TV.

“I thought the hockey game is on strike.”

“It is. These are old games I taped.”

Brenda sighed. If there had been the tiniest wave of electricity it had instantly gone mainline. Still, as she sat next to him his hand was on her thigh and although Brenda felt no sprinting of her heart for him it pleased her that he wanted her. It had been a long time since a man had desired her even though this was not the way she wished to be desired.  After the game, and the commentaries that followed, Marvin led her into his bedroom where their sex was boring and mechanical. She lay beneath his bony body staring at his peeling paint on the ceiling and thought how they were just two people who hated being alone more than they hated the emptiness of their lovemaking.

“Was it good for you?” he asked.

What kind of question was that? There was no other answer to that question than a lie. “Yes,” she said and then rolled over, got out of bed, pulled on her jeans and t-shirt and said “I have to get home. There’s laundry to do.”

It took Marvin a week to call back. “I’m looking for a man who will call me the next day we have sex and tell me how wonderful it was. I’m not looking for a man who waits over a week and calls on Monday. Those kind of men are a dime a dozen.  I want to be a man’s Saturday night girl; not Monday’s leftovers.”  Brenda said all this and then hung up.

Excerpt From Kissing Frogs

Substitute teaching suited me fine because I didn’t want to waste my evenings and weekends correcting boring papers. I never taught much. I mainly just fooled around with the kids and told them jokes to make them laugh. They liked me and behaved because I gave them what every kid yearns for: fun.

The teacher’s room was filled to capacity as it always is at ten o’clock when everybody is in a rush for their mid-morning fix that will let them get through the remainder of the morning.

There were two teachers I got close to. Julie and Patty. Julie was forty and had two children, seven and nine and was divorced while Patty was fifty and also divorced. I was smack in between them, age wise. Patty had been married twice. Once to a man who abused her and the second time to a man she never loved.

“Why did you marry him if you didn’t love him?”

“Because of this strong physical connection I thought I was in love with him.” It depressed me to hear that because not only did I think that but I also longed for that.

Patty and Julie each had profiles online and that’s all they talked about, the men they met and dated. Those they had lined up for the flowing weekend. How could they do it I thought. “How can you trust them? Aren’t you afraid you might run into a psychopath? Who knows if they’ve been in jail or terrorists wanting a place to build their bombs.“ Continue reading

Who’s Brenda?

For the past decade or so (I hate to say) I have been an online dating user. It has been at times a frustrating and discouraging ride. I’ve been on sites such as where I met a guy with whom I had a wonderful summer fling and from whom I learned the ethics of golf. A very short-lived relationship with a man on e-harmony who painfully extracted every cavity of my neediness. There was Lavalife and on Plenty of Fish where the pond has been getting shallower and shallower and where I caught a minnow rather than a salmon.
Brenda is a fictional character out of my own experiences with online dating.
I hope you will enjoy her blog.