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The day after the day after a new release.

January 20, 2018

Warning: this post diverges from my usually positive offerings.

Yesterday I set out to write a massively joyful post about Dowser 7’s great release – biggest release day ever, great store rankings, fun live release day party. I wanted to thank my amazing and supportive readers. And to tell you how blessed I am to have you all in my life.

Then I got blindsided.

Tagged. On Facebook. By a reader who just had to let me know how lacklustre she thought my new book was – less than 24 hours after its release. A reader who’s name I recognized. A reader who I’d had positive, fun interactions with previously. She decided that the first thing I should see the morning after I’d released a new book – the accumulation of months and months of my life – was just how bored she was with my newest effort.

Of course, I answered her politely, as is my default. And I shook it off. Not everyone likes every book (I certainly don’t). And I’ve had people be nasty to me before, though usually in a private message.

I went to work. I spend my entire morning boxing up giveaways. Hundreds of dollars of giveaways. Happily. Because I do love to give things away.

Then a couple of hours later another reader decided to comment here on my blog, expressing his disappointment in the book. He was rather detailed, including informing me (the lowly writer) that my FEMALE character had learned her greatest lesson from an OLDER MALE character and that she should just stick with that. I imagined I was supposed to reply with gushing gratitude. What with me being a FEMALE writer and him being MALE, he was totally in his rights to tell me – in my personal space – everything I could be doing better. Right?

Nope.

Fortunately the comments are moderated on this blog aka my personal space. So, yeah, I deleted that message. And then went on with my day.

I must, must mention that positive after positive message was also filtering in through all of this – lovely reviews, lovely readers who seemed to understand and appreciate the tenor of the new book and what it was setting up.

But, of course, I’m exhausted.

I’m empty.

Drained.

I just didn’t realize just how tired I am. So the nasty messages are what stuck to me (as they do to any of us). And by the end of the day I just shut down. Far, far down. As in needing to be in a dark room with my head pressed against the wall with Michael trying desperately to figure out was wrong and how to fix it.

And, after he coaxed me out of the dark and got some food in me, we made a plan. A plan that has me working less, and buffering myself from nasty people more. And that is sad. It is sad that because a few people are nasty, I have to pull back on all my relationships, that I have to pull back on my level of commitment to keeping up those relationships.

But, eager to keep moving ever forward, I started my new routine this morning – namely, half days rather than full days, on Saturdays. Yes, I’ve been working six, often seven days a week, for over three years now. No vacations that last longer than two days, and I had only one of those in 2017. But this morning was a new day, a new plan. I headed out and got my driver’s license renewed – only 3 months after it had expired – and I helped Michael with errands instead of working like I usually do.

Because if I’m balanced, I shouldn’t be so thin skinned, right? I shouldn’t allow myself to get so empty that someone can make me cry after a great release day because she tags me on Facebook just to make certain that I read and understand her opinion.

Anyway.

Moving forward.

I did errands this morning. I bought myself some new seeds. I reminded myself that there is life away from the writing.

I’m sure the names of these tomato seeds speak for themselves and why they caught my eye this morning.

After I made my hot chocolate, I happily wandered back into the office, ready to box up the last of the giveaways (I had to buy padded envelopes to do so).

And in my inbox sits an email. Another male reader. This time complaining about the preorder giveaway.

Now – unfortunately – readers do like to complain about my giveaways.

Yes.

People complain about how I GIVE things away.

This has happened in some form or another many times. Usually it has to do with shipping – over which, as I’m sure you understand, I have no control. Occasionally, I also apparently make giveaways ‘too difficult’ to enter.

But the reader who felt compelled to email me this morning informed me that I’d disappointed him – funny how men always seem to need to express their utter disappointment in me when giving me a scolding. He was disappointed because I hadn’t given him enough time to enter the preorder giveaway. Yes, the giveaway announced on my blog over a month ago, then mentioned weekly (sometimes more) on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Google Plus, then mentioned in my monthly newsletter on January 2. That giveaway.

Apparently, I needed to make a bigger effort so that he’d had more time to enter.

So …

I’m starting a Shit List. Yep. For the first time in my long writing career, I’ve been pushed too far. Three straws in less than twenty-four hours have dented my resolve to be perpetually positive. I opened a Word document and I wrote three names in it. It’s titled: shit list and saved to my desk top.

And now I’m writing this blog post, publicly admitting that I’m tired of being treated badly by people who just expect me to suck it up.

So here it is, for everyone to see and understand, if you are nasty to my face in my space – my inbox, this blog, or any of my personal social media pages – I’m putting you on my shit list.

Because no.

Just no.

You can’t be nasty to me and expect to enter and win giveaways. I might have always adhered to the random number generator in the past. I might be Canadian. I might love to laugh. But I just cannot do it any longer. I cannot be quiet about rude, inappropriate behaviour. I cannot reward nastiness.

Be nasty about me or my books in your own space, in your reviews. That is your business, and your right to your own opinion.

I will not be mentioning this again. I don’t want to mention it ever again. But try to make me cry? To make me feel like I’m worthless? I’m putting you on the shit list.

And now I will post this, then happily go back to addressing giveaway packages.

Oh! There are new T-shirt designs coming. That’s fun. And Dowser 7 paperback giveaway, of course. I just ordered copies.

Dowser 7: paperback proof

January 19, 2018

I thought I’d share some pretty photos of the paperback proof for Dowser 7 that showed up in the mail this morning:

Paperback cover design by Elizabeth Mackey Design.

Interior file formatting by 52 Novels.

For those of you who are holding out for the paperback version of Dowser 7, it should be available on Amazon soon and on all other retailers within a week. Yay!

Dowser 7: chapter one, part two

January 16, 2018

Click here to read chapter one, part one first.

Continued …

“Nine minutes,” Kandy said.

I jutted my chin out. “This isn’t the right spot.”

The werewolf bared her teeth. “It’s exactly the right spot, dowser.”

Belligerently, I took two wide steps to my left. I might have been only half-witch, but I could still feel the slumbering current of magic that I was about to try to tap into underneath my feet.

Kandy narrowed her eyes at my position adjustment, but she didn’t comment.

“We could have at least set up distraction spells.” I gestured around the empty park. “People jog at night around here. Chalking runes on the seawall is going to look weird, even in Vancouver.”

“You know that any other spells might interfere with the casting of the grid.” Kandy’s tone was unusually cajoling. She was babying me in response to the baby I was being.

I exhaled harshly. No matter my previous bravado and declaration of might, in truth, I was worried that I was going to ruin the intricate spell that my grandmother and Kandy had spent six months planning and constructing. Twelve witches — most of whom had flown into the city for the occasion — were currently set up all around the borders of Vancouver, waiting for the stroke of midnight. Because together, we were going to attempt to raise a magically triggered boundary around the city.

In its primary phase, the grid would help the witches track magic users within a wide area — from the north edge of the Lions Gate Bridge to the property that Rochelle, the oracle, owned in Southlands; from the western edge of the University of BC to three eastern points along Boundary Road, the border between Vancouver and Burnaby. And if that initial grid held and functioned properly, the witches had plans to expand the coverage to include all of Greater Vancouver — aka all of the territory held and regulated by the Godfrey coven.

“Eight minutes.”

“Screw you, werewolf.”

“Any time, any place, dowser.”

I laughed. Kandy flashed her teeth at me.

“Fine. I’ll give it a go.” I glanced down at the runes carefully printed on the paper Kandy had given me, wishing I had more light and that the paper wasn’t so crumpled. “Why is it all wrinkled? It looks like someone balled it up and threw it away.”

Kandy shrugged.

All right, then.

I hunched down to chalk the first rune, copying it as precisely as I could from the paper onto the concrete. It looked a little like a —

Kandy cleared her throat expectantly.

I cursed under my breath. “What? Do you have a freaking checklist?”

“Hand them over, Jade.”

“You know it doesn’t matter if I’m wearing them, right? They are me.”

“Illuminating.”

“You know what I mean. What if I told you that you were going to have to take off the cuffs?”

“I refer you to the T-shirt,” Kandy said, her tone deceptively mild. She was pointing at her chest, where the words I do bite were emblazoned in thick black lettering on orange cotton. The aforementioned cuffs — gold, rune carved, and three inches across — adorned her wrists, creating a perpetual aesthetic conflict with her sporty outfits.

CHAMPAGNE, MISFITS, AND OTHER SHADY MAGIC (DOWSER 7)

COMING JANUARY 18, 2018

PREORDER NOW

AMAZONiBOOKSKOBOBARNES & NOBLESMASHWORDS

 

New to the Adept Universe? Find the reading order here.

Dowser 7: chapter one, part one

January 9, 2018

The green-haired werewolf handed me a broken stick of bright-pink chalk, fishing a crumpled wad of paper out of her backpack and halfheartedly smoothing it out on her blue-Lycra-clad thigh. The fake leather backpack was dyed bright purple and adorned with puffy leather spikes, mimicking some sort of dinosaur. It clashed spectacularly with the lithe werewolf’s deep-green-dyed hair and orange T-shirt.

I had needled Kandy about the backpack when she’d shown up wearing it, just before she dragged me from the comfort of my apartment fifteen minutes before midnight, forcing me to jog to one of the many parks along Kitsilano Beach. But needing to deflect the tension I was feeling over the spell I had been asked to cast, I couldn’t resist teasing her again.

“So … did you lose a bet? Or what?”

Once again, Kandy refused to engage on the backpack topic. Instead, she offered me a deeply disapproving glower and the still-wrinkled piece of paper. Of course, I might have been reading the judgement into the look.

I glanced at the carefully printed design, noting the handwriting of both my grandmother, Pearl, and my mother, Scarlett. Apparently, I was now expected to chalk the ornate circle they had scribed on paper onto the seawall. At exactly midnight. With only a smoke-shrouded sliver of a moon overhead for light.

“Runes?” I moaned dejectedly. “I thought it was just supposed to be a simple circle. And, like, just standing here.”

Kandy shrugged her backpack-laden shoulder. “The witches decided you might need some help. You know, focusing.”

I eyed her snottily. “I’m one of the most powerful Adepts in North America. A renowned dowser and skilled alchemist. I can tear down wards with my bare hands!”

“And you bake the tastiest cupcakes,” Kandy said mildly. Then she glanced at her phone. “You’ve got ten minutes.”

Still grumbling under my breath about my magical prowess, I surveyed the well-worn concrete path under my feet. Then I glanced to either side of the seawall running along the edge of Kits Beach Park. The Maritime Museum was just a short distance away, but this part of the seaside park was pretty much just a wide stretch of trimmed, mostly brown grass. So other than a large-leafed chestnut tree to our left, we were standing out in the open.

The eclectic mix of homes across the swath of grass behind Kandy were mostly dark, though I could see that someone was watching TV in the uppermost window of a Spanish-villa-inspired converted triplex on the eastern corner.

Those houses along Ogden Avenue rarely came on the market, as teardowns or otherwise. Hence the mixture of architecture. Practically every decade since Vancouver had been established was represented in this one residential block, from the fairly modern sandstone-clad mansion on the western corner, to the untouched Cape Cod. Across from where I was supposed to be chalking a rune-marked witches’ circle, a recently painted Craftsman stood, which I vaguely remembered was one of Godfrey Properties’ long-term rentals.

So yeah, I was dithering. Over architecture.

CHAMPAGNE, MISFITS, AND OTHER SHADY MAGIC (DOWSER 7)

COMING JANUARY 18, 2018

PREORDER NOW

AMAZONiBOOKSKOBOBARNES & NOBLESMASHWORDS

 

New to the Adept Universe? Find the reading order here.

Click here to read chapter one, part two.

Cupcakes mentioned in Dowser 7

January 6, 2018

Champagne, Misfits, and Other Shady Magic (Dowser 7) features Jade back in her baking groove in Vancouver. Since readers last saw her (in Reconstructionist 1) she has created seven new cupcakes, and I’ve been sharing some of those recipes in my last few monthly newsletters. I will update the Dowser Cookbook to include those new recipes, and re-release the free PDF ‘aka the third edition’ to my new release email list on January 18, 2018.

But! I know that some of you like to bake cupcakes on or around release day (I normally do as well) and since there are numerous cupcakes mentioned in Dowser 7 – twenty-four!! – I thought I’d share the entire list ahead of time.

Appearing in Dowser 7: peanut butter cake, fudge cake, honey buttercream, chocolate buttercream, and peanut butter icing.

Cupcakes marked with an asterisk (*) appear in the Dowser Cookbook. Cupcakes with double asterisks (**) have been released in my newsletter and will be added to the cookbook for release day.

In order of appearance:

  1. Elation in a Cup** – peanut butter cake with chocolate buttercream
  2. Delirium in a Cup** – chocolate peanut butter cake and chocolate peanut butter icing
  3. Clarity in a Cup* – apple spice cake with honey buttercream
  4. Happiness in a Cup** – peanut butter cake and honey buttercream
  5. Enchantment in a Cup – chocolate peanut butter cake with peanut butter icing
  6. Glee in a Cup** – peanut butter cake with peanut butter icing
  7. Exultation in a Cup – chocolate peanut butter cake with dark chocolate buttercream
  8. Wonder in a Cup – white cake with dark chocolate buttercream
  9. Lust in a Cup* – dark chocolate cake with chocolate cream cheese icing
  10. Charm in a Cup* – citrus yellow cake with strawberry buttercream
  11. Hug in a Cup* – dark chocolate cake with buttercream
  12. Buzz in a Cup* – mocha fudge cake with mocha buttercream
  13. Comfort in a Cup* – banana cake with buttercream
  14. Cozy in a Cup* – chocolate chip banana cake and dark chocolate buttercream
  15. Serenity in a Cup* – carrot cake with cream cheese icing
  16. Bliss in a Cup** – fudge cake with peanut butter icing
  17. Tart in a Cup – blackberry cake with blackberry buttercream
  18. Vixen in a Cup* – chocolate gingerbread cake with salted caramel buttercream
  19. Love in a Cup* – dark chocolate cake with strawberry buttercream
  20. Sass in a Cup* – chocolate blackberry cake with chocolate blackberry buttercream
  21. Flirt in a Cup – blackberry cake with chocolate blackberry buttercream
  22. Harmony in a Cup – white cake with cherry buttercream
  23. Sex in a Cup* – cinnamon chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream
  24. Ecstasy in a Cup – double chocolate cake with lemon buttercream

I think I’ll either bake Cozy in a Cup or Serenity in a Cup. Join me live on Facebook at 4pm PST January 18 to find out which cupcake I decided to bake!! And seriously, between you and me, getting through chapter five of Dowser 7 without cupcakes is going to be difficult!

Will you be indulging in any treats and/or cupcakes while reading Dowser 7? If you do, and you enjoying sharing photos, please tag me in your social media posts!! I’d love to see what you’ve baked/chosen.

Tags: Facebook/Instagram: @meghancianadoidge Twitter: @mcdoidge

Possible hashtags:  #dowserseries #cakeinacup #[cupcake name]inacup #amreading #dowser7

GETTING EXCITED!

Dowser 7: Kandy’s motto

January 4, 2018

CHAMPAGNE, MISFITS, AND OTHER SHADY MAGIC (DOWSER 7)

COMING JANUARY 18, 2018

PREORDER NOW

AMAZONiBOOKSKOBOBARNES & NOBLESMASHWORDS

 

New to the Adept Universe? Find the reading order here.

Dowser 7, chapter 1: taste of peppermint

December 28, 2017

Walking the seawall, rather than cutting through the streets of Kits Point, we rounded a wide corner as the sandy stretch of Kits Beach came into view. The ocean was to our right, with a stretch of sparsely spaced evergreen trees interspersed with picnic tables to our left.

The taste of peppermint tickled my senses. My step hitched.

“What?” Kandy whispered, immediately alert.

I glanced around. The moon was still a tiny sliver overhead. The buildings ahead of us were dark. I could see a pair of joggers in the distance, lights clipped to their wrists.

But no magic.

No vampires.

Specifically, no Kett.

“Kett,” I murmured. “I thought I tasted Kett’s magic.”

Kandy grumbled under her breath. The werewolf was seriously peeved at the executioner and elder of the Conclave, who hadn’t been in Vancouver for longer than a day or two since the previous October. And who had barely communicated with either of us since late April.

“He’s coming for the engagement party, isn’t he?” I asked, slightly annoyed at the needy note that twisted its way into my question.

“He RSVPed,” Kandy said with a shrug.

COMING JANUARY 18, 2018

PREORDER NOW

AMAZONiBOOKSKOBOBARNES & NOBLESMASHWORDS

WONDERING WHAT KETT HAS BEEN UP TO SINCE DOWSER 6? You find out in the Reconstructionist Series, starting with Catching Echoes. If you haven’t had a chance to read Wisteria and Kett’s trilogy yet, you still have 21 days to catch up!

Dowser 7: synopsis

December 24, 2017

Coming January 18, 2018 

Synopsis:

I had everything I’d ever wanted — a successful business with a second bakery in the works, a sexy fiance who I adored, and good friends who loved to laugh almost as much as I did.

So of course it couldn’t possibly last.

Unfortunately, this time the trouble was homegrown in Vancouver, threatening my own backyard and those who were under my protection — whether they wanted to be or not.

I was, after all, the wielder of the instruments of assassination.

Apparently, cutesy cupcakes and being nice only stretched so far.

PREORDER NOW

AMAZONiBOOKSKOBOBARNES & NOBLESMASHWORDS

***

New to the Adept Universe? Start with Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic (Dowser 1) and you can find the full reading order here.

Nanaimo Bars for Winter Solstice

December 21, 2017

I’ve gotten a few requests for this recipe over the years, but I never take the time to type it up. Well, here it is. Unfortunately, you will have to do the metric conversions yourself (if needed) as I didn’t have the time to test it both ways tonight (Google is helpful, of course, but I never want to convert without testing).

Enjoy!

First in pictures:

Improvised double boiler for the butter, cocoa powder, sugar, and vanilla.

Graham wafer crumbs and finely flaked coconut.

Add the egg to the warm chocolate/butter mixture. Stir quickly so the whites don’t start cooking (as they did when I paused to take this picture).

My base turned out rather buttery, so I might have measured slightly wrong (or not stirred it enough?) Either way, it will still be tasty (and hidden from view).

Custard powder and milk.

Fluffy custard flavoured butter icing.

Spreading the butter icing over the chilled base.

Try to make it somewhat smoother than I managed. I suck at working with icing.

Melt butter with chocolate. I always want to up the amount to 4 ounces of chocolate, but then it cracks when I cut it into squares. So this seems thin, but it works.

Top with slightly cooled chocolate, but work quickly. Mine started thickening on me (again pausing to take the picture might have been the issue).

Chill until the top is solid.

For a party, or a gift, I would tidy the edges. But for me these look perfect!

 

And here is the PDF for download.

Enjoy! I am. 😉

Happy Solstice!

ETA: based on your comments/concerns since I posted this last night, please let me add a plea here to NOT substitute ingredients if you don’t really, really need to. There are A LOT of bad Nanaimo Bars in the world. A LOT. In fact, I rarely like any. Most are sickly sweet or too mushy or the chocolate is inferior. And yes, I understand I’m difficult to please but we should all be that difficult! LOL

So here is my addendum (with links, please let me know if the links have gone stale).

Graham Wafer Crumbs = Graham Cracker Crumbs. I use Honey Maid (Amazon.ca link) (Amazon.com link) (Amazon.co.uk link) but I don’t think the brand is important. They are simply called wafers in Canada.

Custard Powder. I use Bird’s Custard Powder (Amazon.ca link) (Amazon.com link) (Amazon.co.uk link) but again I don’t think brand is important. But please, please don’t sub instant pudding. Or if you do, know that the consistency and taste will be completely different.

Dowser 7: preorder giveaway

December 18, 2017

GIVEAWAY CLOSED! THE WINNER HAS BEEN NOTIFIED.

The preorder giveaway for Champagne, Misfits, and Other Shady Magic (Dowser 7) is A BIG box of swag!!

Included so far (more items might be added):

  1.  six Dowser audiobook CDs
  2.  three Reconstructionist Series autographed paperbacks
  3.  six Dowser Series autographed paperbacks
  4.  three Oracle Series autographed paperbacks
  5.  four Cake in a Cup stickers
  6.  twelve Oracle butterfly tattoos
  7.  three Reconstructionist postcards
  8.  three Dowser Series postcards
  9.  two chocolate bars (both mentioned in Dowser 7): Hispaniola and Fleur de Sel from Hummingbird Chocolates

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

To enter: email proof of preorder or library request/reservation and your preferred email address to preorder@madebymeghan.ca

Proof of preorder: email a screenshot and/or your actual electronic receipt (with any personal information struck out, if you wish). Please include your preferred email address. The preorder inbox WILL NOT be closely monitored. If the random number generator selects your entry and you’ve forgotten to attach or forward your preorder receipt then your entry will be skipped over. Email is the only way that preorder giveaway entries will be accepted.

ETA: LINKS ARE NOT AN ACCEPTABLE FORM OF ENTRY. Only an account holder can see the receipt on their own account (links go nowhere for anyone else). Only screenshots and forwarded receipts will qualify. PLEASE GOOGLE HOW TO TAKE A SCREENSHOT.

Library reservation/request option: it may take a few weeks for your local library to get access to the preorder of Champagne, Misfits, and Other Shady Magic (Dowser 7) via Overdrive (or wherever else they get their ebooks). If that is the case, please feel free to email proof of reserving/requesting the first book, Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic. All my ebooks are available to libraries for free via Library Direct, Baker & Taylor Axis 360, and Odilo. As well as Overdrive (though they charge libraries a minimum price).

Notes/Rules: OPEN INTERNATIONALLY. Every entry that follows the above guidelines will be entered to win the swag box. One entry per person. One winner will be selected by random number generator. Email addresses are not collected for any purpose other than to contact the winner. No purchase necessary (see library reservation option).

Giveaway closes THURSDAY JANUARY 18, 2018 at midnight PST.

AMAZONiBOOKSKOBOBARNES & NOBLESMASHWORDS

Are you new to the Adept Universe? Book one is Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic (Dowser 1).

Click here for the reading order of the Adept Universe.

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