Would you get married on Friday the 13th?

Superstition holds that Friday the 13th is the unluckiest of days, but is it?

Wedding-photo-of-Jean-&-Carl-McLean-April-13-1956

Jean & Carl McLean April 13, 1956

I know one couple who would disagree, at least as far as weddings are concerned, and they tell me they had their pick of church and reception venue bookings for that unluckiest of days.

That couple is Jean and Carl McLean, who were married sixty years ago on Friday, April 13, 1956.

The life they’ve lead isn’t extraordinary. They worked hard, played hard, raised four children, and paid off cars and mortgages along the way. What is extraordinary is the love and respect they share, despite the hardships and challenges they’ve endured.

To this day, my father is incorrigible where my mother is concerned, and throughout our childhood, my siblings and I rolled eyes in witness to their smooching and stolen pinches. I can’t even say “when they thought we weren’t looking” because they were and still are, unabashedly, in love.

Jean-&-Carl-McLean-April-13-2016

Jean & Carl McLean, April 13, 2016

It was a privilege to be there to help them celebrate their diamond anniversary … a celebration that spanned several days, thanks to some clandestine sibling planning, and the company of family and good friends.

Thank you to everyone who had a hand in the planning, execution and celebration.

Congratulations, Mom and Dad. Love you lots!

The Gift Legacy recently received some fabulous 5-star reviews. See what the fuss is about. Get your own copy of Awakening with one click right here!
Or click on the images below for more purchase options.

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A Spring Update … and Bleating Lambs

Lambs #2Warm days with the kiss of summer test my resolve to keep my butt in the writer’s chair. Across the road, the bleat of new lambs draws me to the fence to try to catch a glimpse of their antics. Today I walked over and had a visit with John and Linda and took these photos of the new lambs and the yearling calves.

lambs#1Wandering back to the house, I stroll by the flower gardens and can’t help but pull a weed and pick a bloom.

It’s probably a good thing I have some deadlines to keep me focused. With that in mind, I thought I’d share an update.

YearlingsI’m very close to finishing the companion piece to Awakening, which is Jackson’s story. The title is The Gift: Betrayal. I’m starting to think about covers and need to line up editors and beta readers. It’ll be a push, but I’ll try to have it published this fall.

primulaI’m also excited to be presenting a workshop on indie publishing which I’ll be delivering in a fifty-minute format at the Creative Ink Festival in May, and in a three-hour format at the Denman Island Readers and Writers Festival in July. My goal with both workshops is to provide participants with a better understanding of what to expect before, during and after publication.

magnolia bloomOn the audio front, the excerpts for the first three books are now done and live. You can find them here: Awakening  Revelation  Redemption. There have been mixed reviews, and making them is far more time consuming than I imagined, but it’s a lot of fun and I’ll be going forward with recording the excerpts from Penance and Betrayal.

My other writing projects aren’t getting a lot of writing time, but they’re never far from my thoughts and percolate on the back burner while I clear the deadlines.

Farmer John

Gentleman Farmer John

Meantime, boxes of books are arriving as I stock up for the year.

Enjoy the warming weather. Until next time …

The Gift Legacy is enjoying some fabulous 5-star reviews. See what the fuss is about. Get your own copy of Awakening with one click right here!
Or click on the images below for more purchase options.

New_cover_for_The_Gift:_Awakening   Cover_for_Revelation   WindStorm_Edition_Book_Cover_For_The_Gift:_Redemption   The_Gift:_Penance_Book_Cover

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Writing and Wellness Features J.P. McLean

If you’ve a writer or other creative person, and have not yet discovered Colleen M. Story and her blog Writing and Wellness then you’re missing an interesting and valuable resource.

Her site’s mission statement is “Writers and other creatives need to stay well to keep producing the work they were meant to do.”

Pretty good fit, I’d say. And today, Colleen is featuring me on Writers on Wellness.

“When I think of physically challenging jobs, I imagine professional athletes, construction workers, or firefighters. Writers…not so much…”

But when back pain sidelined my writing, my gardening and even my ability to sit comfortably, I revised my thinking.

So, though writing may not fit into an expected definition of physically challenging work, sitting for long periods of time, no matter how fit you are, is asking for trouble…

To continue reading, go on over to Writers on Wellness and check out!

Rest and relaxation is a key component of Wellness. There’s no better way to relax than by reading. Click here to get Awakening, or for another selection, click the covers below:

New_cover_for_The_Gift:_Awakening   Cover_for_Revelation   WindStorm_Edition_Book_Cover_For_The_Gift:_Redemption   The_Gift:_Penance_Book_Cover

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The Gift Legacy: Awakening (* * * * *!)

What a lovely surprise to wake up to this review this morning.

J. F. Kaufmann

awakening

I don’t give 5 stars easily, but I gave them to J. P. McLean’sAwakening with no hesitation. It has everything you’re looking for in a contemporary fantasy: masterfully crafted characters, exciting plot, believable magic. I love the pace. I love the setting. I love the narrative voice… I read it in two days; I couldn’t put it down.
Awakening is a deeply moving book and it will stay with you forever.
It’s refreshingly free of cliches. It’s gentle and lyric, and it’s dark and hard. It’s an intelligent novel, generously sprinkled with beautiful, subtle humor, and written by a natural storyteller. What a treat!

Awakening is the first novel in The Gift Legacy series and it’s followed by Revelation, Redemption and Penance.

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J.P. McLean – an update on her series

Susan Toy is featuring me on her Reading Recommendations blog today. If you get a chance, check out her featured authors. There is something for everyone on RR.

Reading Recommendations

Thanks for this opportunity to update your readers, Susan. The last time I visited Reading Recommendations was in July of 2015. I had just released The Gift: Penance, the fourth book in the Gift Legacy series. It was the first book I published with WindStorm Press, and since then, I’ve re-released the first three books. The last one came out a few days ago, and now all four books are published under the WindStorm umbrella.

Changing publishers gave me the opportunity to do an editorial review of the books, spruce up their covers and lower their prices. Of course, the Canadian dollar has since tanked, so the price of the paperback is creeping up, but the price of the eBooks is unaffected (whew!)

Here’s a look at the new covers, re-designed by the original artist, Viona Halim.

Legacy Collage for SToy

I also wanted to report an update to one of the…

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Does This Recording Make My Voice Look Fat?

I’m miles outside of my comfort zone, in an entirely different format, as a matter of fact. I’ve decided to try my hand at audio recording. After all, I’m often invited to read from my books. It’s in that light that I decided to record audio editions of the excerpts from all four books in the Gift Legacy series.

How hard could it be?

Let’s just say it’s been an eye-opener.

I now have a much deeper respect for voice actors who are able to switch up their voices in a variety of ways to speak for different characters. I don’t have that knack. Nor, apparently, do I have the ability to read a simple sentence with the same intonation three times in a row over a very short span of time.

But it has been fun, despite stealing time away from my writing. I’ve learned a lot about mics (dynamic is the type you want for voice recordings) and boom stands (rental is much less expensive than you’d imagine) and Audacity, an incredibly easy to use and free software program that I would highly recommend for audio recording.

Awakening for Audible 1563x1563And though I may never do more audio recording than these excerpts, it’s been an incredible experience.

Click here to hear the excerpt for The Gift Awakening. I’m working on The Gift Revelation right now, and the others will following in the coming days. I’ll put up a link on the “excerpts” page when I’m done.

I would love to hear your opinion of the recording. Whether you find it pleasant, are indifferent, or hear nails on chalkboard, leave your comments below.

If you’re more of a “reader” than a “listener,” get your own copy of The Gift: Awakening with one click right here.
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Under the Monster Storm

Bush_honeysuckle_in_bloom

Bush Honeysuckle

A winter weather emergency is blasting the east, and I’m with you in spirit here on the wet, muddy West Coast, buried deep in down comforters and keeping toasty warm.

It hardly seems possible that underneath all that winter white, Spring is stirring, but it is. Days are getting longer and Spring is only eight weeks away. In my neck of the woods, signs of life are popping out and up everywhere, even if they’re only at the contemplation stage. (Except for the dandelion – that one means business.)

Dandelion_bloom

Dastardly Dandelion

It’s enough though.

I feel like I’ve been in limbo for a month, dabbling in bits and bobs of writing, reconnecting with Facebook and Twitter friends, and catching up on publishing news.

It’s been fun. Relaxing. And I’ve enjoyed my wee reprieve immensely. But, as usual, the characters in my head are tapping their pencils on the desk. They’re telling me enough is enough – get back to weaving our worlds!

Hazelnut_Catkins_Open

Hazelnut Catkins

It’s time. The editorial review is finished and the entire Gift Legacy Series is now back in print and online. I’m excited to dig back in where I left off, with Jackson’s version of Awakening.

And just to keep things interesting, I’m learning how to make a voice recording, or the basics anyway, so look for audio excerpts from the books to come to a link near you!

Click here to join my email list and you’ll hear it before anyone else. Is that a sneak listen?

Or click on the covers below to purchase from popular retailers.

New_cover_for_The_Gift:_Awakening   Cover_for_Revelation   WindStorm_Edition_Book_Cover_For_The_Gift:_Redemption   Penance for mail chimp cover reveal

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A New Cover for Redemption

WindStorm_Edition_Book_Cover_For_The_Gift:_RedemptionIt gives me tremendous pleasure, on behalf of WindStorm Press, to reveal the new cover for The Gift: Redemption. The Gift Legacy covers are now complete, and I couldn’t be happier with the results.

A big thank you goes to Viona Halim, the digital artist who created the original covers, then patiently tweaked the original artwork, and re-designed the title treatments, spines and back covers. Viona has been part of The Gift Legacy project right from the start.

Early on, she captured the dramatic coastal setting and the ominous mood of the books, and she’s been a joy to work with through all the back and forth that such a detailed project entails.

Redemption will return to print and ebook formats in mid-January.

With the editorial review behind me, and The Gift Legacy fresh in my mind, I thought I’d rummage through my notes and start dreaming up story ideas for the next book in the series. This part of the writing process is such fun! Feel free to add your two cents in the comments below. I have a feeling Sebastian will continue to be a thorn in Em’s side, the Tribunal will face new challenges under Mason’s leadership, and I believe Emelynn had some decisions to make …

If you’d like to find out where it all began, click here to get your copy of The Gift: Awakening, or for another selection, click the covers below.

New_cover_for_The_Gift:_Awakening   Cover_for_Revelation   WindStorm_Edition_Book_Cover_For_The_Gift:_Redemption  

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The Gift: Awakening (The Gift Legacy, #1) by J.P. McLean

Can’t think of a better way to close out 2015 than a terrific review of The Gift: Awakening by Karen Oberlaender on her blog, My train of thoughts on …

Source: The Gift: Awakening (The Gift Legacy, #1) by J.P. McLean

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Happy Hot Toddies!

J.P._McLean_&_her_dog_Molly

J.P. McLean & Miss Molly

Another Christmas Eve has arrived. The tree is up, the wreath is hung, and the shopping is done. December 24th is my favourite day of the holidays. For me, it’s the calm before the storm; a quiet day to enjoy with a warm toddy, a soft dog and fluffy blanket in front of the fire.

And as the seasonal gatherings roll on, and we exchange holiday cheer with our friends and family, I’m reminded how very fortunate I am, and for that, I am grateful.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your encouragement, laughter and support over this past year.

From our home to yours, here’s wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas, and a healthy and happy 2016.

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