Get my App

Android app on Google Play

Link to Me

Save the badge above and link to www://

Most Popular Posts

Featured on Buck Books

Saturday, June 23, 2018


Eve Gaal
It is my pleasure to welcome you to my blog today, Eve. We’ll start out with a few questions. If you choose not to answer any question, please feel free to skip it, and if there is anything that I’ve missed, you’re welcome to add a comment.

Let’s get started.
1)  Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m the author of Penniless Hearts which you read and reviewed. My husband and I were married in Hawaii so it naturally became a great setting. The second time we went for our first Anniversary. For some reason, I began noticing things about Hawaii that made me see things without rose colored glasses. Hawaii is gorgeous, but people still go to work. Crime happens. Even the prettiest bouquet of tropical flowers will someday wilt. The contrast of beauty and crime made me have fun with my characters. I enjoyed researching Pele, helicopters and lava flows. It was a fun book to write.

Thank you, Kenna. I appreciate your kind words about my book.  Here’s a link to your wonderful review:

2)  As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

My third Christmas, I received a small baby grand piano. I think I drove my parents crazy pounding on the delicate keys. Though I always loved music, it wasn’t meant to be because the following year, my father made sure I had a child’s typewriter. That’s when my storytelling began. My tiny, illustrated books were primitive but somehow, each one had a basic plot.
 I hung out in the school library and read books during recess. During summer, I signed up for the reading programs and checked out tons of books. I had a thirst for good stories and I still do. I also believe that if you don’t find the book you’re looking for, it might be your turn to write it.
I wrote poetry as a young girl and sent them off to magazines like McCall’s. Of course, I received many, many rejections. My high school yearbooks published a few of my poems which encouraged me to continue writing. My diaries and journals mention my future as a writer.

News items sometimes bother me enough to also end up as part of my books. A few months ago, there was an actual story about a child who was stuck in a furniture store overnight. It really made me wonder about the parents, the store security, the managers and the fears that the child must have gone through. That little tidbit is mentioned in my upcoming novel when Lani goes missing, her mother thinks back to the time she hid in an armoire, in a furniture store, to read a book. 

3)  When did you first start writing?

I started those poems at age nine but the rough little books came a bit earlier.

4)  When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I always knew it.

5)  How long does it take you to write a book?
Two to three years when I’m not suffering from some bizarre malady.

6)  What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
1-5 most days.

7)  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I prefer complete solitude and will go to almost any length to achieve it. I even moved to a desert home in La Quinta for eight years and when that wasn’t quiet enough, I pulled a desk into a closet. While in the desert, I finished Penniless Hearts and The Fifth Commandment, which is a short, faith-based novella.  I don’t live in the desert anymore, but still like having privacy in a closet. I use a laptop that isn’t wired into the internet so there are very few distractions. Of course, with two Chihuahuas around, distractions are inevitable.

8)  Where do you get your information and/or ideas for your books?
That’s an interesting question because The Fifth Commandment came to me in a dream. So, I felt compelled to write it. A higher power guided me through that small novella and I’m hoping He helps me with a few others. That particular book has hit the Creativia bestseller list and did very well in Australia.
The action scenes in Penniless Hearts and Penniless Souls came to me when I’m waking up. Basically, I listen to my heart. I feel all stories come from a good place. Even bad stories are meant to teach us something.

9)  What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I enjoy swimming, walking my pups and crocheting beanie hats for chemo patients.

10)                 What does your family think of your writing?
My husband is very supportive. I have an international family that reads in many languages. It’s like the United Nations. Almost everyone is bilingual. Some read books in Spanish and they are not that interested in reading my books written in English. There is however, a Spanish version of The Fifth Commandment available.  Other family members prefer reading in Filipino or Greek and even Hungarian.

11)                 What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating books?
That even my thirty years of marketing and advertising experience cannot help sell my books. I am most surprised that people openly admit that they don’t read. Reminds me of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

12)                 How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have written three books but one of them is a new release that will be coming soon.
Guess I don’t have a favorite because they are all unique.
I like Penniless Hearts for being lighthearted and fun. It takes people on a journey of the Hawaiian Islands and gives them a sort of bird’s eye view of Kauai and the Big Island. I pull readers into dream sequences and various hallucinations because my main character runs from tough situations through her imagination. I imagine Penny running around in one of those famous Escher prints where the stairs run up and down and there doesn’t seem to be any escape.

Penniless Souls made me reflect on philosophical ideas such as the multiple types of determinism, fatalism, subjectivism, deism, I Ching, compatibilism, even quantum physics.   Have you ever wondered where you get your good luck? Your bad luck? The story touches on the dark side of Las Vegas and human trafficking. It’s about coincidence and a mother’s love. How far would you go to save your child? It was an interesting book to write and I can’t wait for others to read it.  

I like The Fifth Commandment because those pages are certifiable proof that I’m sorry for being a difficult kid.  

13)                 Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
There are so many books on the market and they have so many choices that I am always flattered when I hear they liked my novel. Usually they say they enjoy the action and the dialogue but honestly, I don’t hear from them much.

14)                 What do you think makes a good story?
That depends. I like many types of books. My favorites usually consist of a journey. The Alchemist by Paul Coelho or Life of Pi by Yann Martel or The Wizard of Oz, Robinson Crusoe, etc. If you’re writing a book--take me on a trip--let me see things through your eyes.

15)                 How did you choose what genre to write in?
I’m not really sure because Penniless Hearts is part adventure and part romance and I don’t think I can push it into any genre. Maybe it’s a contemporary romantic adventure? Is there such a thing? Penniless Souls is more of a romance but it’s also an adventure. The Fifth Commandment is more of a Christian fantasy.  I just write. There is no plan other than a basic outline.

16)                 Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Yes, it happens all the time and unless it’s a medical problem or a bereavement, there are ways I overcome it.

17)                 Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
How can I pick one?
Many books influenced me growing up, especially the Bible.
 I think of Willa Cather and the tree she went to hug in the middle of the prairie in O Pioneers. I remember the confidence of Templeton in Charlotte’s Web. The fox telling The Little Prince about how it is only with the heart that one can see clearly. How about Scarlett in Gone with the Wind telling the reader that she can cry tomorrow? What a great point! Kahlil Gibran reminding me that by knowing my deepest sorrow, I can appreciate my deepest joy and Harold and his Purple Crayon telling me that I can do anything.

18)                 Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published? 
      I had to self-publish due to an emergency. Seriously. It’s a long story. Maybe I’ll write about it someday.

19)                 What was your favorite chapter or part to write? Why? In Penniless Hearts my favorite part is when she’s in the Waipo valley and takes a nap on the beach after hiking straight down through a forest of guava trees. The wild asses roam through there and eat the sticky, fallen fruit. She wakes up to getting sloppy kisses from a member of the roaming herd. (I’ve made that hike and seen the animals. They are super cute with long eyelashes and no, they didn’t kiss me. My husband kissed me under a macadamia tree.)

20)                 How did you come up with the title?

It came to me one day. I kept wondering why myself. Later, I thought it might sell a lot of books because people might confuse penniless with penile. Penile-less. And no, it’s not a story like that but I thought a few people might take a second look. LOL

21)                 What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment? The toughest criticism usually has to do with my short chapters. I pull the reader into action and pull them out rather suddenly. It’s the same way I talk. You can talk to me face to face about something and my mind might wander. A few minutes into the discussion, I might compliment your sweater or ask for a drink of water. I usually go back to the subject at hand, just as I do in my novel. (I had a college English professor tell us to write the way we speak. It’s not always a good idea, but I must have taken it to heart.)
The best compliment is that my books aren’t boring. Nothing worse than a boring book.

22)                 Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
I mentioned it a few times up above. Longer chapters, more straightforward and more drama. I hope you like it.

23)                 What projects are you working on now?
I really want to get back to writing more commandment stories. I’ve started writing The Tenth Commandment already.

24)                 Will you have a new book coming out soon?
Yes, yes, yes!! Penniless Souls

25)                 What famous person, living or dead, would you like to have lunch with? Why?
I know this sounds strange, but I’d pick the lovely Melania Trump or any of our lovely First Ladies. I received a letter on White House stationary from Mamie Eisenhower when I was born, welcoming me as a new citizen of the United States of America. I’ve always been in awe of everything the First Lady has to do.

26)                 What would you serve?
A fancy salad with mixed greens, arugula, dried cranberries, goat cheese, fresh chopped red peppers, chopped green onions, a bit of cucumber and balsamic vinaigrette dressing served with fresh multiple grain bread and butter and a tray of delicious cakes for dessert.

27)                 If you had a magic wand to grant any wish, what would that be?
Peace, love and happiness to all.

28)                 Is there anything more that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Thank you for choosing my books to read. I know there are endless options. Most of all, follow your heart.

Thank you, Eve! It's been a pleasure having you on my blog. I would encourage your readers to pick up a copy of Penniless Souls! 

Have you tried Kenna's supernatural fantasy trilogy -- dark but quirky humor!

5 stars: "Dark and Twisty People"
"This is a fun read right off the bat!! I finished the first novella hysterically laughing at everyone's ill fate. George and Bernice will be missed!!!"

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

A Brief History of Weed in Canada

As many of you may know, I am a Canadian and I live in Edmonton, Alberta. 

Here in Canada, recreational marijuana is well on its way to becoming legal in all of the country.

Marijuana can be purchased from a vending machine in Vancouver, I hear. You're more likely to be arrested in Saskatoon. 

Weed was legal in Canada until 1923, and indeed, the US didn't make the bud illegal until 14 years later.

Marijuana's medical benefits were being touted in the late 1990s and 2000s and medical marijuana became available in Canada to those with a prescription, from a medical marijuana dispensary.

Notwithstanding the suspicious sweet smell of pot hovering about downtown in my area of the city and in the lobbies and hallways of this building and others, recreational weed is still illegal in Canada and probably will be until September 2018 at least.

As well, the legalization of weed in Canada is incumbent on international treaties that our country has signed with other nations, and until those are sorted out, it is likely that the status quo will remain and consumers will continue to be busted for possession.

The finale for the story of marijuana in Canada has still to be written.

Consumers continue to light up and wait for the completion of the 2015 Liberal platform to give them the golden key or, as Timothy Leary in my generation might have said:

Turn on, Tune in, Drop out
Timothy Leary