Wednesday, November 6, 2013

In the Stars released!

In the Stars, my third women's fiction novel, was released today! You can order it from Amazon or find it at a bookstore near you!

What's it about?

Charlotte ‘Charley’ Southard’s life has hit rock bottom. She is fired from her job at a top law firm in Calgary, she hasn’t had a lasting relationship in years and a recent incident with a declined credit card at the grocery store has just brought her over the edge.

Charley just knows that everything was better when she was with Drew, the popular football player she dated for two years back at university. All her troubles began when they broke up after graduation. So with the help of her best friends, Josh and Heather, Charley sets out to track down the old boyfriend from her past.

But what if Drew is married? What if he doesn’t remember her? And just how far will she have to go to find the love of her life? Not to mention, what if he’s not the Prince Charming she remembers?

In a fast trip to Victoria, British Columbia, Charley Southard discovers the truth about "the one that got away," along with realizing a few unexpected things about herself in the process.
It's a great book, getting awesome reviews so far and I really hope you read it and tell your friends! Here's what some people are saying:
"I truly enjoyed this book and hope it does well. Whitney Boyd is a talented writer with a gift of making the unbelievable come to life. She has a confident style and you fall easily into her expert storytelling." - Amy Saia
"This was the third book by Whitney Boyd I've read and it is my favourite! So funny, thoughtful and entertaining, it made me laugh out loud and at the end I even cried. This is a romantic comedy I would recommend to everyone! The one that got away is such a relevant theme... every woman out there needs to read this! " - DJK
"I'm a huge fan of Boyd's writing. Her style is witty and fun, while possessing a smooth, seamless, quality. Essentially, melted Dove chocolate for the eyes. If you're looking for a fun, light read, that is well-written and laugh-out-loud funny, with a most heartwarming ending, then this is the chick-lit novel for you." - Julie Ford
"Love this book!!!! The story was so relateable... fate and destiny and trying to correct the past. I liked how real Charley was, esoecially how she changed and grew. And I absolutely loved the ending. Beautiful and perfect!" - Wendy James
Finally, just a small note about this. The kindle version was released a week ago but for some reason there was an issue with the format on Amazon and only about 2/3 of the book downloaded. Amazon has since fixed this problem, but anyone who read this book right when it came out would have found that it cut off abruptly. Please note that this issue is fixed and that Amazon has placed a corrected version on your kindle devices. Sorry for this inconvenience!
So... spread the word! Tell a friend, buy a Christmas gift (it gets free shipping on Amazon!) and help me get the word out! Love you all!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Final pre-publication review of IN THE STARS

So the final pre-publication review of IN THE STARS has come in... and this one made me very happy! It is by Angela Trusty, the 'Ask Angela' columnist for Washington Times and Deseret News. You can follow Angela and her hilarious slash heartfelt advice on Twitter or Facebook and you can read her blog here.

And she has cool hair... and facial expressions...

And now... drum roll, please... here is the review!

"Another excellent book by Whitney Boyd. One of the reasons In the Stars is so entertaining is because Boyd captures her main character's plight so well. Who hasn't chased after a guy? Who hasn't thought, "oops...maybe I missed my chance at happiness with this past man? Better go back and get him!" And yet literature never seems to get it quite right! The pain, the desperation the heartache and the self discovery of it all. What story can wrap all of those deep - and sometimes (in hindsight) humorous - feelings into one book?

"Where others have failed In the Stars succeeds. Through every bump in Charley Southards journey I wanted to shout, "I've been there!" or "I've felt this!" she is just such a relatable character and her honesty and vulnerability along with Boyd humor make this such an excellent read! I suggest anyone who has ever sought after true and lasting love read this book. You'll love it!" - Angela Trusty
Thank you, Angela! Hopefully you will check out her great advice columns. You will thank me. Anyway, In the Stars  will be released in print on November 12 and is currently available at an ebook pre-release bargain on Amazon. Only costs a couple dollars... so check it out and let me know what you think!
Have a lovely day, all!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Review of 'In the Stars'

Of all three of my women's fiction novels, 'In the Stars' was my favourite to write. It relates, albiet abstractly, to a lot of people I know, especially my close friends and family. The characters are real, I could visualize them perfectly, I knew their histories and their quirks and I loved them all. And the growth that I felt as the author and inside the head of the main character made it all the better.

The book is currently available as a kindle on Amazon with a pre-publication special price, and the paperback version will be out on November 12.

Anyway, because I love this one so much, I was nervous to begin sending it out for pre-publication reviews. It's like standing naked in a crowd... people get to see inside your soul. And yet, when my first review from Julie Ford came back, I was relieved that she loved it.

And now I'm ready for a great weekend because yet another great review has come in.

Amy Saia, author of 'The Soul Seekers' and blogger at ThatAmySaia, just sent me her review of 'In the Stars'. Read it below:

"Charley Southard is one of those people who thinks she has nothing but is surrounded by treasure. She just can’t see it yet.

Recently—and wrongfully—laid off from a job at a law firm, and without a penny to her name, In the Stars starts with Charley in one of those situations we all hope to avoid: too many items at the checkout counter and not enough money to pay for them all. I instantly felt bad for the girl and was glad she had cute best friend Josh to sympathize, yet push her through, all these seemingly insurmountable troubles. Unfortunately Charley is stubborn. Everything would be better if she reunited with an old flame, her college boyfriend Drew. Soon Charley is on the road with a mission that feels doomed from the start. But what does she have to lose?

My favorite sections of In the Stars were the descriptions of Charley’s job as a law clerk. I found these parts of the book extremely unique and well done. Also interesting is that the novel takes place in Canada. Perhaps I’ve been missing out, but there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of modern fiction in that particular setting and I really liked reading about the landscape, architecture and society of Canada.

I will admit to cringing as Charley headed toward what could be called stalker status as she located and pushed herself on Drew. Oh no, Charley. Nooooooo. At the same time, I could see those exact moments the kind that would make a really fun movie. The author takes you through each moment you told yourself couldn’t and shouldn’t happen and yet still manages to wrap things up in a realistic and bittersweet way. In the Stars is a young book with a wise heart. I truly enjoyed the author exploring all aspects of the flawed Charley: her life, how she treats people, what it means to grow up and accept responsibility, yet still stand up for what you believe. You feel as if no stone has been left unturned. You the reader have been respected with a novel that has been written with grace and honesty.

Overall, I truly enjoyed this book and hope it does well. Whitney Boyd is a talented writer with a gift of making the unbelievable come to life. She has a confident style and you fall easily into her expert storytelling. "
- Amy Saia


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Racketeer by John Grisham - Book Review

I love John Grisham. He is probably my favourite author in the entire planet... his writing style is intelligent yet easy to read, his books are fascinating and his characters are always believable. However, his newest book, The Racketeer, that came out late last year, is better than any book I've read by him yet!

The Book Cover Of The Racketeer.jpg
Amazing book. I give it a 5 out of 5 rating and would give it even more if I could. It's that good.
What's it about? Malcom Bannister, a former marine and former lawyer, is in prison. As a lawyer, he had become involved in a real estate transaction in good faith. However, this turned out to have involved the purchase of a secluded hunting lodge where a crooked Capitol Hill lobbyist invited corrupt Congressmen for orgies with underage girls. When the scandal was exposed, Bannister was caught up in big a FBI sweep, his name was added to many others on a hundred-page racketeering charge sheet, his protestations of innocence ignored, and he got a ten-years prison term. It's been five years... his wife has left him, he has been disbarred and his son hasn't seen him since he was arrested. He is extremely bitter because his life has been effectively ruined by the government.
But then a federal judge is murdered and the FBI have no clues... except Malcom knows. He knows who killed the judge and why and promises to tell the FBI if they set him free.  This he achieves by the middle of the plot, dictating his own terms to the FBI. However, his revenge on the US Federal Government is far from complete.
There are so many twists and turns in this book. Just when I thought I knew what was happening, everything got mixed up again and again. This is the most fascinating book I've ever read by anyone. Period. Loved every page and will definitely read it over and over again! Go read it. You will thank me for it!
And when you're finished, if you want to read something lighter, how about trying one of my novels... Tanned, Toned and Totally Faking It is the story of a celebtiry caught up in Hollywood life.  Iced Romance is the story of a highly publicized scandal that sends Kennedy on the run... escaping to a brand new life while trying to hide from her past. My third novel, In the Stars, will be released on November 12.
Have a lovely day, everyone! And, if you've read The Racketeer, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. Did you love it as much as I did? 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

In the Stars - Book Review

My third women's fiction novel, In the Stars, is being released on November 12, 2013! Very exciting news for me and all you wonderful people who have read and enjoyed my previous two novels.

Here is the first pre-publication review of In the Stars. The review was written by Julie N. Ford, an author of many women's fiction and chick lit novels.

"What’s a woman to do when she has no boyfriend, no job, no foreseeable prospects, and so no money to speak of—essentially no definable future? She does what many of us do, and confuses the irrational with the rational. Desperate times compel desperate measures, and all that. Falling back on her deceased grandmother’s superstitious advice, Charlie surmises that all her troubles began when her college sweetheart dumped her. And since she doesn’t have work or a current relationship to fill her time, and against the advise of friends and family, she concocts a plan to win back this man’s heart.

For me, this novel started out on the verge of unbelievable. I mean, is it feasible that a smart, formally successful woman would arrive at the conclusion that her life, and future, will miraculously get back on track by reconnecting with the “one that got away”? But then, whom I am I to judge another person’s misguided assumptions? And when it came right down to it, I wasn’t far into the story before I was hooked, rendering Charlie’s motivations inconsequential. Truth be told, I was captivated by a sick fascination to discover what calamities this poor, confused woman would bring upon herself. And I wasn’t disappointed ;)

And to make this novel even more compelling, woven into Charlie’s injudicious path is the most endearing hero, Josh, and love-in-the-making story I simply couldn’t get enough of.

I’m a huge fan of Boyd’s writing. Her style is witty and fun, while possessing a smooth, seamless, quality. Essentially, melted Dove chocolate for the eyes. If you’re looking for a fun, light read, that is well-written and laugh-out-loud funny, with the most heartwarming ending, then this is the chick-lit novel for you."

For more about Julie N. Ford, you can visit her website:  Julie is an amazing author and I have read and enjoyed many of her novels.

You can find my first two novels, Tanned, Toned and Totally Faking It  and Iced Romance, on Amazon, at Barnes and Noble and many other bookstores near you! Tanned, Toned and Totally Faking It is the story of a celebtiry caught up in Hollywood life. However, as secrets come out and those close to her betray her, she realizes that fame isn't everything... especially when the truth about who she is threatens to destroy what matters most. Iced Romance is the story of a highly publicized scandal that sends Kennedy on the run... escaping to a brand new life while trying to hide from her past.  

Friday, September 13, 2013

Sabroso - a fab new Calgary restaurant!

We went to Sabroso (a new restaurant that opeed up on 16th Ave in Calgary recently) last night to celebrate my brother's bar call (yay, he is officially a liar...I mean, lawyer... now. Shifty eyes.) Seriously, though, it was a very exciting day for him and our family. We are all quite proud of him and to celebrate, we went to Sabroso.

John Gilchrist, a CBC food critic, rated Sabroso one of five restaurants to check out in the fall. And it is delicious, so I can see why he said to go there!

How to describe it... it's latin food, but not tacos and burritos. It's much more of a high class dining experience. There were grilled shrimp skewers and scallop/mango salsas for appetizers along with calamari and delicious potato wedges. All very tasty. Then for the main course, I went with a Vera Cruz snapper dish... the fish was cooked perfectly and was served with seasonal vegetables. Stephen had chicken with a really yummy rice and bean and corn salsa. Everyone at the table enjoyed their food... especially Jake, who gleefully made a mess, especially of the churros that we got for dessert. Churros are sort of a donut, only thinner and a bit crispier and served with chocolate sauce. Very yummy.

It's also very affordable. The dishes were from about $13 up to around $20 for the most expensive. Not bad at all for a high quality menu.

I love food. I was probably a very large, happy chef in a previous life, because food gives me a lot of joy. And this restaurant did not disappoint. Even the location isn't too bad... in my head I thought that 16th Ave would be an nightmare because of traffic and parking, but it wasn't that bad. There is parking behind the restaurant, and traffic wasn't even horrible.

So... next time you are in Calgary, check them out!

Oh - and did I mention? The owners are my sister-in-law's brothers. So good food, good people who run the place. Definitely worth your while. To check out the menu, visit and you can see for yourself.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Patty Shukla CD Review - Wiggle It

Remember when you were a kid and you listened to Raffi non-stop... over and over and over again? Well, I have found the new Raffi. Patty Shukla is a singer and songwriter whose music is absolutely addicting for kids. My boys are addicted, my neices and nephews listen, and I am trying to spread the word. She has a fun mix of nursery-rhyme type songs and then a whole plethora of music she created... songs about superheroes and trains and pirates, songs that get you off the couch and running around the house, songs that make you dance. She's got them all.

I recently got her newest CD, Wiggle It, and LOVE it. Definitely a 5 star album. It's her fifth CD and is geared toward a younger audience, perfect for Jake and Oliver. There are classic songs, like "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" and new songs, like "Wiggle It" and "Choo-Choo Train" that get Jake giggling and racing around the house every time they come on.

One thing I love about these songs is how Patty enunciates every word. I'm trying to get Jake (1 1/2 years old) to speak clearer, and hearing songs he adores and having the words be sung clearly is a wonderful thing. Another great thing is how lively and exciting the songs are. They get Jake so wired up dancing that after music time is over, he crashes. Wonderful, wonderful nap time.

Wiggle It (2013)
Go out and buy this CD now. It's available on Amazon and at Miss Patty's website and worth every penny you spend.
Oh... and if you want to listen before buying, check out Patty Shukla on Youtube. Her music has some great videos to go with them and I promise you won't be disappointed.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

In the Stars, coming December 10, 2013!

Exciting news, everyone! My third and latest women's fiction novel, In the Stars has an official release date... December 10, 2013! This is my best work yet... set in Calgary, Canada with characters who are funny, down to earth and fully relatable, this book will grab you.

Here's what it's about:

Charlotte 'Charley' Southard's life has hit rock bottom. She is fired from her job at a top law firm in Calgary, she hasn't had a lasting relationship in years and a recent incident with a declined credit card at the grocery store has just brought her over the edge.

Charley evaluates her life, realizing that everything was better when she was with Drew, the popular football player she dated for two years back at university. All her troubles, she determines, began when they broke up after graduation. So with the help of her best friends, Josh and Heather, Charley sets out to track down the old boyfriend from her past.

But what if Drew is married? What if he doesn't remember her? And just how far will she have to go to find the love of her life? Not to mention, what if he's not the Prince Charming she remembers? In a fast trip to Victoria, British Columbia, Charley Southard discovers the truth about Drew along with realizing a few unexpected things about herself along the way.

This is the story of the one who got away... and just how far someone will go to get him back. I love this theme. Who hasn't wondered about the 'what if'... what if that relationship had worked out? What if he hadn't moved? What if I hadn't taken that job? What if, what if, what if. The topic of regret is something most people can relate to... what do you regret from your life? Don't you wish you could makethings right? This is Charley's quest to make it all right and she ends up growing and finding new truths as she goes.

I can't wait for it to come out! And until then, read my first two novels and pass the word on to a friend! Iced Romance, where a highly publicized scandal sends Kennedy on the run... escaping to a brand new life while trying to hide her massive secrets, and Tanned, Toned and Totally Faking It, where a celebrity realizes that fame isn't everything when the truth about who she is threatens to destroy what matters most.

In two brand new 5 star reviews of this book, they said:

"I loved this book and the way the author wrote in the first person aspect. Not many authors can fully pull that off but she did. Looking forward to reading more from her. I absolutely loved Micky and Jordan and of course story wouldn't be what it was with out good ole Kurt!" - Kim Beck

"This book easily kept my interest. It's written in a breezy, casual style and has very likeable characters. How could you not like a story about a 20-year-old brand-new rock star? It was fun to read. I picked it up and didn't put it down until I was finished." - Kitty L.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Q&A with Author Whitney Boyd

I've received quite a few questions over the past year and a half since my debut novel hit bookshelves everywhere, and decided to post a few of my most frequently asked questions here to (hopefully) help future authors and to satisfy reader curiosity. As a disclaimer, I am speaking from my own personal experience, and so some of my answers are subjective.

About Being an Author
Q: Self published vs published through a publisher... Which is better?
A: I am perhaps biased on this one. I have read quite a few self-published e-books on Amazon and have not been impressed. Typos, puncuation errors etc are all over since they typically do not have trained and experienced editors reviewing the book over and over again like books that get published traditonally are. So for me, quality is better if you go the publishing house way. Additionally, self-publishing puts all the risk on you. If you choose to self-publish as an e-book, there is hardly any monetary risk, but if you actually want your book in print and you self-publish, it can cost upwards of $20,000 out of pocket. If you go with a good, old fashioned publishing house, then you don't spend a penny. Sure, you make less money when your books sell, but at least you don't lose money if they don't. For me, based on quality and risk, I would choose a publishing house over self-published books any day of the week, but this is of course just my opinion.

Q: How much money does a typical author make?
A: I read a statistic when I first was looking to get published that said roughly 80% of books purchased are written by 20% of the authors out there, and that most authors will never sell more than 1000 books in their lifetime. Sobering stats to be sure, although these did include self published works. There are some authors (like John Grisham, Mary Higgins Clark, Sophie Kinsella, J.K. Rowling etc) that will sell millions of books. Others will not. From my own contracts and discussions with other authors, typically an author can expect to earn anywhere from 10%-20% of each book sold. So if you buy a book for $10, the author will make $1-$2 from it. E-books are usually a little higher, closer to 50% of the selling price. So, if you are looking to support yourself as a full-time author... well, maybe think again. If you enjoy writing and want a little extra money, then that is more than likely the scenario.

Q: How do you find a publisher?
A: It's not Anne of Green Gables where you write a book, print it off and send it to a publishing house and wait with fingers crossed. You need cover letters, resumes, sometimes the first three chapters are required, and you need, in many situations, a literary agent. Some publishing houses, especially smaller and medium sized ones, like WiDo Publishing (my amazing publisher), work directly with the author, but larger ones, like Random House, only work with agents. Additionally, most large publishers and prominent agents do not even look at works by first time authors. There are exceptions (like Stephenie Meyers' Twilight) but this is rare. Expect to have a lot of "no's" before you hear a single "yes". There are many books out there, including Writer's Guide to Book Editors, Publishers and Literary Agents, that can help you find the right fit for you. Another idea to help you out... Check out who publishes books you enjoy reading and go from there.

Q: How long should a typical novel be?
A: I wondered this myself when I was writing my first novel. On my computer it would say 100 or so pages, but how many computer pages equal a page in a book? It was confusing.  I write women's fiction / chick lit, so my answer is for that and obviously there are much longer books out there as well. Most fiction novels are between 70,000 - 90,000 words. Don't count pages, since font size, etc. can make it hard to get an accurate idea. Count words. Some books can be a little less, but I would say the absolute shortest you can go is 60,000 words, and for a debut novel don't go higher than 100,000 words.

About My Books
Q: How long does it take to write a book?
A: It depends. My first book took quite a few months from start to finish. Close to a year before it was accepted for publication and then editing took another year on top of that. My newest book, coming in December, was much quicker. The first draft was only a few months in the making and the editing went faster because I knew what I was doing (more or less!)

Q: Where do you get your ideas?
A: My books are based on me, my dreams, my friends and my experiences. My first novel was written when I was stuck in a boring job I did not enjoy and it was my escape. What if I were a Hollywood star? What if I had money and fame? Daydreams evolved and soon I was writing it down, the story of an average twenty year old who became a superstar almost overnight... faced with fame and feeling out of place, she tells a simple lie to a new guy she meets and slowly has to deal with the consequences. My second novel was based on the idea of fight or flight. I read an article one day about some celebrity who cheated on their girlfriend and it got me thinking... how would I react? How would I face my everyday life? And then I realized... I would probably want to run away, to escape and start fresh. It's the whole idea of a "new you". Haven't you ever wanted to just start again? So it came from there. My last book came from the idea of finding your first love... the one who got away. Most people have regrets and look back at a stage in their life when things were "better". What if you could track it down? And then the book just came together. I find it so much fun to see how the books evolve.

Q: Do you know the ending when you start the book?
A: Yes and no. I know the basic ending... who I want the character to become, who I want them to end up with etc,  but as the book progresses, the ending sometimes shifts a little. I try to "map out" my book... putting a rough idea of what each chapter should include, when I first start out, but as for having a clear understanding of it all at the start? Definitely no. Much like real life, my books and the people in them evolve and it almost feels like I am sitting back and watching a movie. Very surreal.

Q: What are your books about?
A: Iced Romance is about a cheating fiance, a runaway bride, and a potential new Prince Charming, all while Kennedy, the main character, tries to hide her secrets and escape into a new life.  Tanned, Toned and Totally Faking It is about a celebrity trying to hide who she is from the one person in the world who matters most. Betrayal, gossip, celebrities and fashion, this is a must read! For more complete descriptions you can check them out on Amazon (see the links) and even read the first few chapters for free.

Anyway, there are a few of my most frequently asked questions. Hopefully they will help some newbie author out there... and if you have any other questions, feel free to sound off in comments and I will do my best to answer them for you!


Monday, July 15, 2013

Book Review - Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

For my birthday I was given the newest Sophie Kinsella book, Wedding Night, and I was really excited. I love this author. However, I found this particular novel to be a huge disappointment. While a moderately interesting storyline, there were no laugh out loud moments like I usually have with her books and the characters all were so shallow I didn’t care much for any of them. No one experienced growth, no one was “likeable yet ditzy” like many of her characters are. They were merely dumb or rude or a combination. Anyway, here’s what it’s about.

Lottie: the main character, thinks she is getting proposed to by her longtime boyfriend Richard, but when he doesn’t pop the question she breaks up with him. She then runs off with an ex she hasn’t seen in years and elopes with him.

Fliss: the sister. Older, wiser, bitter from her own divorce, she tries hard to not get Lottie to elope. When Lottie does anyway, Fliss decides to sabotage the wedding night (because if they don’t consummate the marriage, they can get an annulment and won’t have to go through a messy divorce like she did).
Ben: Lottie’s very immature ex who shows up out of nowhere. Handsome, charming, rich. Lottie and Ben had a fabulous summer together years earlier when they were 18 and now want to get the magic back.
So that’s the gist of it. There are a few other characters thrown in, some mildly funny moments, but that’s about it.
My other complaint about the book was the language. Usually Kinsella has a few swears thrown in throughout, but this one had a lot. And they weren’t mild ones either, if that makes sense. I don’t mind d--- and s--- but the f word always makes me uncomfortable. And it was there. Many, many times.
So… do I recommend this book? Not really. It’s not horrible. It’s not amazing. It’s just somewhat meh in between. I’d give it probably 2.5 or 3 stars out of 5 simply because I really like Sophie Kinsella as an author. This book, not so much. But I definitely do recommend her last book before this one, I’ve Got Your Number. If you want a hilarious and truly enjoyable book, that is the one for you. J
Have a great day everyone, and don’t forget to check out Tanned, Toned and Totally Faking It and Iced Romance, two great summer reads that will keep you turning pages. Hollywood, glitz, glamour, love, breakups and more, these should be on your summer reading list!


Friday, May 31, 2013

Greatest Kids Songs Ever? Check out Patty Shukla

My little one year old loves music. He bobs along to it, dances like a total frat boy, and giggles. Now, as I have learned over the past few months, not all children's music is created equal.

There are songs that are so annoying you want to pull your ears out.

There are 'entertainers' who dumb down the songs and talk in such baby high voices you can feel your child lose IQ points as you go.

There are cartoons with grainy, boring characters.

There are songs that you learn with, and songs that you don't.

Jake is very particular. If he doesn't like a song (which happens more frequently than you might think), he gets very angry. He throws his head back, sobbing, as if the world was about to end. This is why I have to share what I have found to be the greatest kid songs ever.
Sign Language Short Phrases - Patty Shukla: Clip 2:18 - In this video ...
Patty Shukla (with a channel on youtube and a website to check out if you are interested) is amazing. Her songs are a mix of kids jumping and playing and acting out the words and cartoons. The music is upbeat and educational. She also encourages kids to get off their butts and move! This is huge in today's world of videogames and iPads. Songs like "Twist", "I Can Do It!" and "Follow Me" make my little man run in circles and get his little baby exercise that he needs. Songs like "Grandma's House" and "Puppy" are cartoons and Jakey loves watching them when he's tired.

I recently learned that Patty has practically a whole empire... not just a few songs on youtube. She does Mommy and Baby music time popcasts, Music Time for older children and all kinds of things to help encourage love of music in little people. She also does sign language songs to help them learn ASL.

I love it.

My only complaint? How bloody addictive her songs. They WILL be stuck in your head all day! :) But definitely check her out on youtube and maybe even get a CD or two if you like her. She's worth it, as my baby will attest.

Thank you for many happy afternoons, Patty!  Now if only you made a song about balls... and Jake's life would be complete. :P

And for you momma's out there who need a nice break, check out my two published novels (with the third coming soon!) Iced Romance, where we deal with a cheating fiance, a runaway bride, and a potential new Prince Charming, all while hiding secrets and trying to escape into a new life. Or, if Hollywood is more your thing, you'll love Tanned, Toned and Totally Faking It, about a celebrity trying to hide who she is from the one person in the world who matters most. Betrayal, gossip, celebrities and fashion, this is a must read!


Monday, May 27, 2013

Book Review - Mary Higgins Clark "The Lost Years"

I have always been a Mary Higgins Clark fan. I started reading her when I was probably twelve or thirteen because my mom loved her books... and I fell in love with them too. They typically are keep-you-up-at-night thrillers and I adore them. I still think of scenes from Remember Me and Weep No More, My Lady, books that touched me and drew me in.

The newest one, The Lost Years was so far gone from those books I loved it's actually sad.

The premise was good. Here's the blurb from the book cover: "Just weeks after discovering a letter that may have been written by Jesus Christ himself, biblical scholar Jonathan Lyons is found shot to death in his study. Police suspect his wife, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, murdered him in a jealous rage. But the priceless parchment is missing, and Jonathan had recently confided to a family friend his suspicions that someone he once trusted had designs on the ancient document. It is up to his daughter, Mariah, to clear her mother of murder charges and unravel the real mystery behind her father’s death—before her own revelations become her last."
I was interested.... BUT when I tried to read it, I could not get into it. I forced myself past the first chapter... and then past the second chapter and so forth. It was never a can't-put-down novel, despite my best efforts. I found Mariah, a 28 year old, to be OLD. Her conversations sounded like a 50 year old woman, her mental state and the way she handled everything was not what a girl in her twenties would do. I should know... I am one! Even the love interest part was annoying... how do you go from "I am non-commital about you, since you are my dad's friend" to "I hate you because you probably killed my dad" to "I love you" all in a matter of chapters? Totally unrealistic.
Not to mention, all that aside, the premise of the ancient document was hardly touched upon. They had a blurb that was repeated almost word for word about the document that said "It was written by Christ to Joseph of Arimithea to thank him for his kindness" or something along those lines, and that was about all we got. I wanted more of a Dan Brown feel to it... give me something more!
Overall? Not her best work. I'd give it a 3 star rating... simply because I can't bear to give her worse than that! If you want a good mystery, stick to her earlier books. You will love them. But as for this one? Pass, unless you are a die hard fan.
xox Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Choose to Be Happy....

Sometimes life can suck. Things get thrown our way that have the potential to rob our happiness from us. But don't get bogged down in this. Choose to be happy. Religious leader Gordon Hinckley said: “Stop looking for the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight.” This is truth.
With disasters in the world and horrible things we hear about on the news and hard things occuring in our lives, it is easy to see the bad and not the good. "One day," you might say, "I will be happy." But you can be happy today.

Choose to be happy.

You have the right to be happy.

A venture not yet realized or an experience not yet undertaken, but planned, is a reason to be happy.

Life is short. Sadness is a waste of life.

Serve someone each day, even if it is just your family.

Be grateful for the things You do have.

Enjoy the positive things in your life without hesitation.

Stop looking for happiness around the corner. Choose to be happy. Choose to smile. Today.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Great books for the summer!

Summer has always been a time for sitting in a lawn chair or on a beach towel and reading in the sunshine. I love summer books. Absolutely love them. Something about the warm weather and escaping in the lives of fictional characters always makes my day.

So here's my summer reading list:

  • Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella. This book looks cute... Lottie, a girl who is desperate to get married and have babies and start her life, breaks up with her boyfriend when he won't commit. Then, out of nowhere, an ex calls her up and reminds her that he was her "if we're not married by the time we're 30, we'll marry each other" guy. So she jumps at the chance. Only her sister isn't too thrilled with this idea... and sets out to sabotage it. I love Sophie Kinsella books. They are not  feminist, girl power books, but that's why I love them. They are silly, sometimes stupid and the characters are likeable, sometimes ditsy and really fun. This book is on my list!

  • Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns by Lauren Weisberger. I liked The Devil Wears Prada. It was fashion and fab and the movie was pretty great too. This book is 8 years later. Sometimes I love sequels, sometimes I don't. Hopefully this is a good one! :)
  • The Racketeer  by John Grisham. Not a chick lit book, which is usually the ones I adore, but anything by Grisham is amazing in my eyes. Especially excited to hear that there is a Time to Kill sequel in the works too. This one is about a federal judge who was murdered and a man, Malcom Bannister, a former lawyer now in prison, is one of the few people who knows why. FBI, secrets, exciting. Can't wait.

What are you excited to read?

And, if you haven't read these two books yet, you need to.

Iced Romance and Tanned, Toned and Totally Faking It by Whitney Boyd.   Here's what people are saying about these books on Amazon:
Iced Romance:
"5 stars! Heartbreak and recovery complicated by secondary fame. Like cigarette smoke being involved with celebrities can be hazardous to your heart health. This is an entertaining read with a find yourself and recovery theme." - Linda Jean

"Loved this book! 5 stars! This book had me laughing out loud. Just what I needed to relax and escape for a while. Whitney [Boyd] is just too funny--I can see her in high heels at her job." - Kaikai

"Fun read! A clean, hilarious and captivating book. Kept me turning the pages. Loved the ending, not a typical romance, and I adored it. Will read again and again." - Lydia

"I liked this book. It was your typical love story in most ways, but had a different twist to it. If you are looking for a fun, easy read, then this book is for you!" - Melissa Rice

Tanned, Toned and Totally Faking It
"I loved this book and the way the author wrote in the first person aspect. Not many authors can fully pull that off but she did. Looking forward to reading more from her. I absolutely loved Micky and Jordan and of course story wouldn't be what it was with out good ole Kurt!" - Kimberly Beck

"The second book I read by this author. Great book. Loved how clean it was, funny and relatable. It is the perfect book for an evening in. Could not put it down."  - Lydia

"Totally enjoyed this book. It is such and upbeat book and it gives you a good feeling. Thought it would be a predictable book, but the author kept making turns that kept me from putting the book down. I actually think it would make a good movie. Of course they always say the book is better. I am now anxiously awaiting Whitney Boyd's next publication." -Rondopop

Don't be the last to read these great bestsellers! xox YOLO!

Happy Reading!

Friday, May 3, 2013

American Idol Judge Suggestions...

So the ratings for American Idol keep slipping. It is nowhere near the show it once was, despite many diehard fans hanging on, hoping for redemption. I liked this show a lot once upon a time. It was my date every Wednesday and Thursday night. But now? I watch a bit and occasionally read articles about it. I am not invested in the show anymore, sadly.

The judges have made it painful. I know, I know, this show isn't all about the judges, right? It's about the singers and their personalities. Actually, no, not for me. The judges back in the day were great. Simon and Paula had chemistry and even when they disagreed with each other, it was small and cute and funny and they got back to business. Simon also was truthful. He didn't mince words. He was honest and said what the audience was thinking. Randy was fresh... he didn't just repeat himself over and over. And it was mainly about the singers.

Remember Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson? And Kellie Pickler, who always made me laugh? And Chris Daughtry who had the good looking guy appeal, a ridiculous voice and the edge of being a unique rock genre? Mandisa, who could actually sing Whitney Houston?
You miss me. Admit it.
They were all singers who I connected with. Even annoying ones to me, like Katherine McPhee and Taylor Hicks were still fun.

But now? They focus way too much on the judges.

Keith Urban is good. He is the no nonsense type guy who says what he thinks, is kind, and you can tell he loves the music. He sways and sings along and always gives good feedback.

The other three? I'll pass. Mariah and Nicki are too obsessed with themselves, how they look, how their hair is, and what accent they are going to use and what nicknames they will call the contestants. They are shock factor... looking for drama to up the ratings. Watching them constantly roll their eyes when the other speaks? Not cool. Not professional. It's gotten to the point where even though they occasionally have good suggestions and input for the contestants, they are so all over the place that it's hard to listen. And as for Randy... he's saying the same thing he was a decade ago. Bland. Boring.
OK, why don't people take me seriously?
So here is my suggestion. Go back to having 3 judges. A panel of 4 is too many. Leave Keith because he knows what he's talking about but replace the others. Pink would be an awesome judge. She's been around since I was a teenager... a young teenager... and her music is amazing. She has an incredible voice, her personal life (while having the occasional rocky moment) is pretty stable, and she is a decent role model. She also does not beat around the bush and says what needs to be said. Check out any interview with her if you don't believe me. The last judge I think would be great is Ben Folds, the judge on The Sing Off. He is a singer/songwriter and record producer and really knows his music. He knows what is marketable and he is kind yet truthful. These three would be great.
 I am pretty awesome, huh.
And then? Focus on the singers. Give us guys and girls to root for. Tell us their stories. Choose contemporary theme nights that we can relate to and update the music lists of allowable songs so we aren't hearing the same song every single season.

And that is how American Idol can be great again.

You're welcome. :)

What do you guys think? Do you have any great judges you'd like to see on the panel? Do you miss the Idol  old days?


And, if you haven't read these two chick lit romantic comedies yet, you are missing out.  Iced Romance and Tanned, Toned and Totally Faking It, two novels that are clean, hilarious and will keep you turning pages. Dive into the life of a Hollywood popstar in Tanned,  or escape from a heartbreaking cheating ex with Iced.  You only live once, after all... read them, no regrets! :)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Places in Novels

I read an article this morning about books written about or in Calgary, my hometown growing up. They were talking about how excited they get when they read a book and suddenly stumble across a scene set in Calgary or when a character is from Calgary and went on to list a number of books that they've found that have this wonderful city in them.

I completely agree with their sentiment. I love to read about exotic places, and books by Sophie Kinsella, for example, always make me want to travel to England one day and whatnot. But there is something really special when I find a book that is about Calgary or Kissimmee, Florida, or any of the other places I've lived in throughout my life. Well, if they paint it in a flattering light, that is.

I've read a few books where Calgary is the setting and they make Albertans out to be a bunch of backward rednecks. Which, for the record, is not the case. A city of more than a million people, with oil and gas complanies making the citizens wealthy, Calgary is far from podunk.
My third novel, tentatively titled The One Who Got Away, which is due out probably later this year (it's in editing mode with my publisher right now) is set entirely in Calgary with a brief stop in Victoria on Vancouver Island. I love this book. It really does feel extra special to me. However, my other two books, Iced Romance and Tanned, Toned and Totally Faking It, still have Calgary connections. One has the main character who was born and raised in Calgary and the other has a character who visited Calgary. I feel the same way with Kissimmee, Florida, another place I lived in for a little while and grew to love immensely. That's why Iced Romance is my Florida novel, set in the city I have such fond memories of.

Do you prefer reading books set in places you have only seen on google or in your imagination, or are you like me and the authors of that article, and feel partial to a book set in your home? Also, what are your favourite books set in your local area, if you have one? I'd love to have you weigh in on this!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Diva Salon and Spa

I went to Diva Salon and Spa for the first time ever last week. Until last week, I had a hairdresser whom I adored and have never seen the need to go to a salon. Always sounded charming and like something out of the movies, but do I need that? Exactly. Anyway,  about a month ago I happened to see a contest on facebook to enter to win a free spring makeover. I never win anything. Ever. But I entered, because that is the type of perpetually hopeful person I am.

To my shock... I won! What? That never happens.

I was so excited to get this 'hair makeover', if only for the fact that I could save my usual $175 when I go to my hairdresser and get myself some new clothes or something with that money. Excellent!
I made my appointment and went in. My stylist was one of their instructors, which was a good omen. If she's teaching it, she's gotta know it, right? (Absolutely!) I wasn't expecting anything outstanding... I figured it would be a typical hair appointment like the hundreds I have had over the course of my life. But it ended up being so. much. more.

 I arrived a few minutes early and they asked me to sit and wait, offering beverages and taking my jacket. A short while later, my stylist appeared. She led me to the chair and asked what I wanted done.

It was quite simple... I am growing out my hair so not too much off the length, and I wanted to go lighter for summer. She commented on a few things... the colour I should go that would high-light my skin tone, something I could do for the cut to make it more "fun" while still growing it out. And she said that my hair seemed a little dry so she would do a hair therapy treatment of some kind.

The salon was relaxing, nicely lit, fun music. I didn't feel too much like chatting, and my stylist picked up on that and politely allowed me to read magazines and veg without unnecessary babble.  After my foils were in, my stylist then pulled up a chair and gave me a hand massage, one of their complimentary services. Ahh, that was nice. Then, after the haircut was complete, she gave me another complimentary service, free makeup touchups and recommendations.

It was such a great experience, and I wanted to thank this salon for such a wonderful gift. Truly a celebrity treatment. If you are in the Calgary area and are looking for a new place to get your hair done, check them out! Highly recommend!

BEFORE: boring, bland and dark

AFTER: light, easy to style and a gorgeous colour

Whitney Boyd is the author of two women's fiction novels, Iced Romance and Tanned, Toned and Totally Faking It. Her third romantic comedy is a work in progress. When she's not writing, Whitney enjoys catching up on celebrity gossip, running and spending time with her one year old.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Book Review - Replacing Gentry

I just finished Replacing Gentry by Julie N. Ford, and I really enjoyed this book. It is being released on April 9, 2013 and is available for pre-order on Amazon. Honestly, this is a 5 star book and a true joy to read.

When Julie asked me to review her book pre-release, I accepted without really knowing anything about the book. Julie herself is an author of several books, including chick lit, and I thought that this book would probably be in that genre. As I read, however, the book drew me in and I couldn't put it down.
So what's it about? Marlie Evans, a Cali girl, meets Daniel Cannon, a southern widower with two twin boys and it is love at first sight. Marlie, a social worker, usually prides herself in using her brain and not leaping into things, but when it comes to love, it's hard to stay strong. Daniel proposes the day after they meet and she agrees. Without knowing much about her new husband, a state senator, she soon finds herself unwanted in the South... by her inlaws and by Daniel's associates. Mysteries surround her husband's late wife, Gentry, a woman who appeared to be beloved and yet whom nobody will talk about. Marlie begins digging deeper and is shocked at the answers she digs up.
Conspiracies, secret societies and people who will kill to keep their pasts in the past, this book is the perfect women's fiction... mystery blended with real emotions as a woman tries to connect and integrate herself into a new family and new society.
I started this book during my toddler's afternoon nap and couldn't put it down! There were twists and turns and it was far from predictable. It reminded me of classic novels such as Jane Eyre or Gone With The Wind in the development and attitudes of many of the characters, and yet was modern and addressed many issues that face us today.
Marlie's interactions with her stepsons made me think about how I would deal in that situation. The title itself speaks to this... how do you replace a mother in the lives of her children? How do you replace her in the life of her husband? And how do you keep from feeling like you are second best?
This is an excellent novel and I highly recommend you go out and get yourself a copy! 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Book Three Accepted for Publication!

Exciting news this week... my third women's fiction novel, The One Who Got Away, was just accepted for publication! I am thrilled about this book... not only is it a story I truly enjoyed writing, but it is also the best of my three novels. Just like anything, the more you do it, the better you get, and I feel like I have gotten better with every book I have written.

No release date yet, but if it follows the pattern of my first two novels, it should take between eight to twelve months to come out. I will, of course, keep you posted as I learn more.

I am also very excited to continue to work with WiDo Publishing. They are such a professional and dedicated publishing house, and yet they are small enough that I never feel like just another number, just another author, just another book. My editor, Karen, pushes and prods me until the book is better than I could have ever imagined on my own. I know that WiDo will only get bigger as more and more excellent authors continue to find them and I am honoured to be a part of it. Thank you, WiDo, for once again believing in my story.

The One Who Got Away is a first for me... it is the first novel I've written that is set entirely in Canada, my home. Both of my previous novels have been set in places where I have lived and/or visited several times, but this one was alot more personal. It is about a girl, Charley, who had just hit rock bottom. She was a lawyer at a high powered law firm, but was fired (unfairly so, in her opinion) and is now out of money and very down on her luck. She looks at her life and realizes that everything bad started after she and a boyfriend, Drew, had broken up five years earlier. With her best friends, Josh and Heather, Charley sets out to make things right and to find the one who got away.

This was a joy to write. I think most people in life have regrets from their past... whether those regrets are missed opportunities, failed relationships, chances you didn't take or things you wish you hadn't done. I know that I have a few things I regret. Looking back, I realize that most of these shaped me into who I am today, and so I shouldn't regret them as much as I have when I get in my wallowing moods. Charley, in the novel, comes to understand this as she finds true love with just a little confusion, heartbreak and mishap along the way.

Anyway, I'd love to hear what you think. Do you have one who got away in your life? Have regrets shaped you or do you just regret? Which of my first two novels is your favourite? (If you haven't read them yet, you can find them on Amazon. Tanned, Toned and Totoally Faking It, about a young girl swept up into Hollywood overnight and having to hide who she is in order to fall in love, and Iced Romance, where a woman finds her life turned upside-down after discovering her fiance was cheating, so she decides to escape it all and start over.)

Have a lovely day, everyone!

PS - I am also very excited to announce that I will be a guest author speaker at the Alberta Association of Library Technician's conference to be held in June! I will have a one hour guest lecture, followed by a book signing. Very grateful to have been asked. Thank you and I look forward to this event!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Book Review - Predator Girl

I read this book about a month ago. And I meant to write a review sooner, but life kept getting in the way. Predator Girl by SB Roozenboom was a great read. I give it a full 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy books like the Twilight series.

Predator Girl
Here's what it's about: Jared Ferlyn is a Finder, a human who works for the government tagging and tracking unusual beasts... faeries, vampires, shapeshifters, witches etc. They do it to protect humanity from unnecessary fear and danger. One day a strange new girl comes to town and Jared knows she is different, but is not sure what she is. He tracks her, she gets the better of him and decides on a whim to bring him with her rather than kill him. She kidnaps him and carries him to the wilderness of Canada, where he learns exactly what she is and why she needs his help.  
It's a thrilling book. It had twists and turns, good guys turned into bad guys and bad into good. It was empowering to women yet also had a lovely romance, a jilted lover, and plenty of action and mystery. I usually am not a huge paranormal fan, but this was a joy to read.
I completely recommend this as a must-read. Go buy it now. :) You will thank me.
As a side note, the author, a fellow writer at WiDo Publishing, my publishing house, is super young! She started writing in high school and is now published at 21 years old! I love this! So support a new talent and check her work out! And for those of you who love a good romantic-comedy chick lit book, feel free to check out my two novels, Iced Romance and Tanned, Toned and Totally Faking It. They are 'witty, seamless and have plenty of laugh out loud moments' that will keep you turning pages.