The Canadian flag at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
Image by Jared Grove (link)
Continuing our celebration of Canada Day on July 1, Shana Gray joins us from Ontario. From her bio,
Shana's passion is to enjoy life! She loves to travel and see the world, be with family, friends and experience the beauty that surrounds us. Much of her experiences find their way into her books. Her stories range from scorching quickie length to longer erotic romance novellas.
She splits her time between her house in a small Ontario town with her twentysomething son's, four cats, two budgies and, as the world knows him, Meat Man's house. It's an adventurous challenge that she loves.
Learn more about Shana and her books at shanagray.com.
Kim: What is your favorite sight, sound, and smell of your part of Canada?
Shana: I love our cottage country. I’m a country girl at heart so the forests and lakes of Ontario calls to me. The smell of the country air, heavy with forest greens and mists, is like perfume. Fresh cut hay. My absolute favourite sound in the whole world is the spring peepers – you know those little frogs with the big song? To me that is a single our winter is FINALLY over and summer on the way. They only sing for a little while and it’s usually the middle of April.. But, I also love the call of the loon. It truly signifies Ontario north.
Spring peepers - link.
Common loon - link
Kim: Can you share a unique Canadian saying or slang that resonates with you?
Shana: This is a tough one. There are lots of sayings we use that are different. How about this ...
I'm definitely going to be a Snowbird when I retire and heading to Florida is a whole lot of klicks from up here. I used to drink double-doubles but now just drink double cream. My favourite beer is Alexander Keiths or Moosehead and if it's on sale I'll get a two-four, but if I drink too much I have to go to the washroom all the time. The first time I ever got drunk was on a mickey of Southern Comfort, I was fifteen! I have a cool toque to wear in the winter when its minus 15 Celsius and friggen freezing. But man in the summertime we can get up over 30 Celcius with a humidex that make it feel like 40! Whenever I do book signings I bring chocolate loonie and toonies in my knap sack, people love them, eh!
Kim: (laughing) Thank for for an introduction to Canada! What would you recommend a reader to see, eat, or drink to enhance their travel experience to Canada?
Shana: Another great question. Canada has so much to see, eat and drink it’s hard to pin one thing down. For drinking, I’d have to say you must try our Niagara Ice Wine. It is so delicious- don’t get it confused with dessert wine…it’s SO not the same. Our beer is stronger than American beer too. Of course poutine is a must try! My favourite is crunchy golden fries, with cheese and gravy, sometimes I’ll put bacon crumbles and a bit of sour cream too. Another thing is back bacon, a very Ontario meat. To see? Algonquin Park in Ontario. It’s one of the biggest Provincial parks and will take you into our Ontario Cottage country which is a definite must see. The further north you go, the better chance you’ll have a seeing the Northern Lights. As a Canadian I’m sad to say I haven’t seen as much of my country as I should have by now. I’ve been to Banff, Calgary, Quebec and of course Ontario. There is still so much to see!
Algonquin Cache Lake Lookout
Creative Commons (link)
Shana caught my eye with MORE THAN A FLING from A TASTE OF PARADISE:
Lana Hunter has a few precious days in Hawaii before a big business meeting—time to relax and indulge herself. But indulgence takes on a whole new meaning when she meets dishy South African Grant Rankin. It's the perfect fling—brief and wicked. After days exploring volcanoes and nights exploring each other, how will Lana ever return to real life?
I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway,
1. Leave a comment about what you hear in your backyard - I hear orioles!
2. Comments are open through Saturday, July 1, 10 pm in Baltimore.
3. I'll post the winner on Sunday, July 2.
Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City
Toronto, the Capital of Canada
Image by John Vetterli (link)