About Me!

cookie cat
This about sums up my days - my fluffy old girl in my lap while I try to write, drink coffee, and eat healthy oatmeal cookies 😉
The short of it is:
I'm an allergy-free food blogger, romance writer, historian, and occasional moving van stunt driver. My husband and I are semi-nomadic people (hence the moving van experience!) with one soft-coated old cat who often steals the best spot on the couch... and the bed... and anywhere else she can spread out. I love cooking, eating, gardening for hummingbirds and bees - when I have a deck or a sunny window - reading, drinking wine with my girls, and travelling to random small towns in hot, wretched buses in countries where I speak the language poorly, but people are nice enough to let me muddle through. 
The long of it is:
I've always been a big book nerd, and grew up raiding my parents' bookshelves every time I ran out of things to read. On the one hand, my mom tended to read more contemporary bestsellers, while my dad leaned towards pre-Soviet Russian writers, philosophers, and literary fiction. By the time I was fourteen, I'd read stuff ranging from Dostoyevsky, Kafka, and Tolstoy to Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, and The Joy of Sex (thanks for that, btw, folks. It was a real score as a kid to find that hidden in the back of the shelf, and I feel like it's stood me in good stead in my writing career 😉 )
It was only natural that I would write short stories and poetry in high school, and of course went on to a BA in English Lit (with extra credits in Classics like the uber-nerd I am) at the University of British Columbia. I put myself through my undergrad working by day at a greenhouse and various other jobs (legal recruiter, technical writer, waitress, ESL tutor, I've done it all!) and by night as a professional belly dancer (ok, not so very nerdy) in Greek and Middle Eastern restaurants and at weddings and birthday parties. I've also taught dance classes off and on for almost twenty years.
When I finished my BA I still wasn't sure what I wanted to be when I grew up, so on impulse I signed up to go to Egypt for a few months to complete intensive studies in Arabic, and to travel the Middle East, of course! When I came back, I did an MA in History with a focus on dancers in Egyptian cinema at Simon Fraser University.
During that time, I met my husband and fellow hermit-like nomadic creature. The two of us can happily ensconce ourselves in our apartment with our fluffy old cat for days at a time, and if you want to know more about the man in my life... well let's just say there's a little of him in every romantic hero I write. He has supported and encouraged me to write every step of the way, going so far as to try and create writing schedules for me and impose some order on my otherwise totally random and scattered brain.
In between school and work I discovered I was allergic to a whole lot of things - trees, dust, a ridiculous amount of fresh fruit and vegetables and nuts, as well as gluten. I love to cook and had a heck of a time trying to figure out how to convert my recipes to be GF and healthy. So I started a food blog... which led to three allergy-free cookbooks. You can find my recipes and food allergy / eco-living articles on my food blog Poor and Gluten Free.  
Of course, you can stay updated on all my other stuff by subscribing to my email list here, and I'll send you occasional emails with things like sneak peeks of cover reveals, free chapters, bonus material, and advance notice of giveaways.