Monday, May 29, 2017

The New Kid on the Heartwarming Block

Hi there! I’m one of the new kids on the Heartwarming block, having moved into the Harlequin village in March. Given that Harlequin is global, I suppose I should say ‘metropolis’, except it feels way more like a small town with the way fellow Heartwarmers have cyber-strolled over with their introductions and welcomes, and have invited me into their circle of doings and get-togethers.

Like many an author of clean, contemporary romances, my stories too are set in a small town, specifically the one I actually live in. I moved to it twelve years ago to raise my kids, and their dad and I agree that it was the best decision ever. We moved here on the cusp of a boom here in Alberta, and the population has nearly doubled since then. Still, it remains family-grounded, community-minded, and with its clean and open lake, picturesque.

I’ve changed the town’s name to Spirit Lake and all the people in my stories are my invention but the town itself is perfect for my stories, so perfect that I use it just the way it is, practically street for street, business for business. Yes, yes, I also admit that I lack the imagination to recreate an entirely fictional town.

Soooo…I thought I’d show you my town and what will become your town in 2018 when my three stories are released. Come walk with me and my trusty iPad on a Saturday evening in late May in a small town somewhere in central Alberta….

Let's start with your tour guide: me.






A few blocks on is one of the many walking paths that wend through the town.





Street (with ubiquitous black truck), another walking path and a the railroad track. We've had three derailments right in town in the twelve years I've been here. Go figure.


At the end of the walking path and off to the right is our palatial Town Hall and grounds. I intentionally captured the playground because it existed before the Hall and municipal blueprints had to build around it.


And swinging in the opposite direction is the downtown. Usually there are gorgeous hanging baskets up. Hmmm....maybe they'll be there in time for the town's June Days festivities.



This is the town's pride and joy, with a grand opening earlier this month. Our recreation/sports plex. The shorter attached area to the right of the entrance (you see just a slice of it)  is the new meeting room for weekly bingo.

And even though it's a warm summer evening, inside Canada's favorite obsession continues. Yes, hockey training camp.




I was trying for a pic of a man with his two dogs on another walking path opposite when these two vehicles crossed in front. Now, we have a man with his two dogs in a truck.


A longstanding watering hole here. Motorbikes, pedal bikes, a taxi and trucks. Note the tattooed woman and old-timer chatting. I know, tiny, tiny. 


And finally, The Lake. 

Fishing off the pier.


A sense of the shoreline, where the lake meets the town. On Canada Day, July 1, the grass can't be seen for slowly roasting human flesh. 

While uploading these pics, I realized all the good ones I didn't take. Next time, right? Meanwhile, connect me with below or at my website or my Facebook page . Have a bright, safe day!


45 comments:

  1. Welcome to the Heartwarming family, Moira! It's nice to have you join us . . . and good to see another Canadian in our midst. Thank you, also, for the tour of your town. I look forward to hearing about your debut Heartwarming release!

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    1. You're from Ontario, right? I could see us doing a blog about comparing the East and West.'Dry cold' vs. 'wet cold', yeah?

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  2. Thank you for showing us pictures of your town, and congratulations on your upcoming Heartwarming releases. I love reading Heartwarming books and I look forward to hearing more about yours.

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    1. I will give more details closer to the date. I don't have a cover quite yet, but when I do, I will most definitely be doing a reveal.

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  3. Welcome to Harlequin! We are happy to have you :) I liked your Author Page and can't wait to read your books!

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  4. Welcome from another "initialed" author! I like your website, too. I write about small towns in Pennsylvania, so it's always interesting to see the differences and the similarities. Best of luck!

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    1. Ah, Pennsylvania. Now, that's a state with a lot of layers. Thanks regarding the website!

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  5. Hi, Moira! Welcome, welcome! Your little town looks like the perfect setting for some Heartwarming books. Looking forward to reading about Spirit Lake and the characters who inhabit it.

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    1. Thanks, Carol! I'm eager to discover more about Spirit Lake as well. *wink*.

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  6. Welcome to Heartwarming! I live in a smallish town in central Alberta, too, so I was trying to figure out your town. I can't pin it down, though! LOL!

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    1. Clue: it has 'Lake' in its name. Now I'm curious about you. Are we close enough for a coffee, sometime?

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  7. I enjoyed the walk around "Spirit Lake", Moira, and look forward to reading more about it next year. Congratulations and welcome! You're right, it's a very nice 'club'.

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  8. Welcome, Moira. I love small towns, and your looks like a particularly nice one with lots of green space. I'll look forward to my visit to Spirit Lake.

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    1. And Anchorage reminds me of Whitehorse, Yukon. No tall buildings there but the same kind of individualism vs. community dynamic.

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  9. Welcome, Moira! What a beautiful part of the world you live in. :) Looking forward to your books!

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    1. My amateurish photos really don't do it justice. I hope my books will!

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  10. Hi, Moira. I'll add my welcome to Heartwarming. Your town looks like an interesting place to live and with lots of possibilities for story ideas. Looking forward to your debut novel.

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    1. Thanks, Linda! February is the release date for the first one about a roofer and a widow.

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  11. Welcome, Moira! What a lovely town and I would really go for those walking trails everywhere. I, too, write about my hometown, but honestly, mine needs a serious paint job, a platoon of carpenters and some tuck pointing to be "ideal". I'm looking forward to your books!

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  12. Walking paths and playgrounds fill this town. When my kids were really young, we'd do a version of a pub crawl called a playground crawl. We'd get on our bikes and go from playground to playground until we'd feel as beat and unsteady as drunks!

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  13. Heartwarming is such a great place to be! So glad you're here, Moira! And I enjoyed your tour.

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    1. Thanks, Patricia. I had fun doing it.

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  14. Since there's almost nothing I like better than walking paths and trails, especially if they're right in town, I'm already drawn to your setting. I'm a newcomer, too, and I've had exactly the reaction to everyone here. It's been so gratifying reading these blogs every day and getting to know the other authors. Thanks for telling us about Spirit Lake.

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    1. I hope to catch a pic of the deer that regularly use the paths to cut through town. And yes, we all live in such quiet yet spectacular parts of the world!

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  15. It's great to meet a new member of the Heartwarming team, Moira. I loved your hometown tour! Congratulations on your upcoming release!

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    1. Thank you, Jill! It was a very useful exercise, creatively as well as physically.

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  16. Loved getting to know you and your town!

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  17. What a wonderful town. So happy to know both it and you!

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  18. Hi! I'm sorry I'm late! But I wanted to wave and send you cyber hugs and say welcome to the neighborhood! I loved the tour!

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    1. No worries, LeAnne. Cyberhugs back to you!

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  19. Welcome! Love the pics of "Spirit Lake." Congratulations on your three books.

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  20. Hi Moira and congrats on being a Heartwarming author. Exciting. Hubby and I have traveled Alberta a lot during the summers. Such a beautiful province. Loved seeing your town and knowing its where your story is set.

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    1. You're drawn to the Rockies, right? I hope to catch a shot of the Rockies which can be seen from one of the town's high points on a clear day.

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  21. Nice pictures! And welcome to you. I look forward to reading your stories.
    Cynthia

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    1. And I look forward to writing them...well, most days. *wink*

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  22. Sorry that I'm late, but I want to welcome you to the Heartwarming Sisterhood, some of the finest, friendliest authors out there!

    Your story sounds delightful, and I can't wait to read it! Loved the pictorial tour of Spirit Lake!

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    1. The Sisterhood...love it! Wouldn't it be great to have a pair of pants that fit no matter what?

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  23. Welcome to the block! Love your small town photos and looking forward to your stories!

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