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The Sheik’s Captive Canadian Princess

If ever I wanted to write a romance about a Sheik I suppose now would be the time. I’m just back from an amazing holiday in Dubai. I wasn’t keen to go, in fact only booked the trip because my daughter is working in the UAE

CJ Goes To Dubai
CJ Goes To Dubai

for a few months and I was worried she might be homesick. (Okay, I was worried I would miss her.) But Dubai, I must admit, dazzled me.

The modern architecture, the amazing malls, the traditional souks…and most of all the creek that runs through the oldest part of the city…everything was utterly captivating. If you’d like to see my photos, please check my Dubai album on Facebook. I think it will be pretty obvious that, despite my low expectations, I had a wonderful time in Dubai–not to mention a great visit with my daughter.

As for that Sheik Romance Novel I was talking about…well, you never know, but I don’t think so!

The Story Behind The Dedication

My newest book, The P.I. Contest, is dedicated to all my friends who celebrated their “milestone” birthday, along with me, in 2009. What milestone, you ask? Shame on you. Have you no manners? Let’s just say it’s a number between 49 and 51.

And how did we celebrate? Well, there was Shannon’s sock hop birthday party where the girls dressed in 50’s poodle skirts and the guys wore jeans and white t-shirts and we jived the night away to songs like “Around The Clock” by Bill Haley and His Comets.

Then there was the “month-of-Simon” which was celebrated with a house party, a ski day in Lake Louise, a dinner at the Post Hotel….it just goes on-and-on!

In the summer, Fred celebrated his birthday with a beach barbecue at his and Sue’s cabin, then for Sue we went to one of our favorite Calgary restaurants–The River Cafe.

Girls' Weekend In Wakefield
Girls' Weekend In Wakefield

Lucky Dennis was serenaded by his wife for his birthday, and as for the rest–Myrna, Rhonda, Cheryl, Myrna-Joy, Lynda, Lorna, Debbie, Kate and Wendy–well, we had a fabulous girls’ weekend in Wakefield Quebec this fall. Delicious food, beautiful autumn scenery, long walks, shopping, and great conversation…

You know, turning ** isn’t so bad when you do it with friends!

Making Fudge

Yesterday I spent the morning making fudge with a dear friend…it’s become our holiday tradition. We use a recipe of her mother’s that is absolutely fabulous. My friend has given me permission to share the recipe, and I do believe that if you put in the effort to make this fudge, it will be the best you’ve ever tasted.

So here’s the recipe…

Chocolate Vanilla Rolled Fudge

Step 1: Lay out a sheet of foil about the size of a cookie sheet. Chop 1 1/2 cups of nuts (I like pecans, my friend prefers walnuts) into quite small pieces. Spread them on a the foil in a long rectangle about seven by twelve inches.

Step 2: Combine 3 cups white sugar, 1 cup whipping cream and 1/2 cup corn syrup in a large pot. Stir, then cook to the soft ball stage (about 240 degrees on a candy thermometer). Remove from heat and add about 3 tablespoons of butter and 2 teaspoons of vanilla.

Step 3: Melt 2 squares of unsweetened chocolate in a large glass bowl. Add 1/2 of the heated sugar mixture to the chocolate and beat with a large spoon until it loses gloss and begins to thicken (about 5 minutes). Pour evenly over the prepared nuts, and spread until the nuts are covered.

Step 4: Return your attention to the pot of white fudge. Beat this by hand until it also loses its gloss and begins to thicken. (about five minutes). Pour down the center of the chocolate rectangle. This will be the vanilla center of your log.

Step 5: Sliding your hands under the foil, roll the fudge into a long log, so that the chocolate lines up and the vanilla is in the middle. Try to match the chocolate ends together, without letting any of the vanilla seep through. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect…it will still taste great!

Step 6: chill for several hours before slicing. This stays well for several weeks, if you keep it wrapped in the foil in the fridge. For serving, slice it thinly…this looks as beautiful a it tastes and would make a wonderful gift!



My fudge turned out less than perfect this year. Too much talking, perhaps? The center should be all creamy vanilla, without that line of chocolate. Also, the log is a little flat. But, hey, it still tastes great!

Surprise Contest!

For the next couple of months, I won’t be running my usual monthly contests, but every now and then I’ll post a surprise contest on my Desk Diary. Today is one of those days!

If you’d like a chance to win an autographed book & exotic bookmark, just send an e-mail to and put “CJ’s Contest” in the subject line.The winner will be selected at random two weeks from now.  If you tell me which book from my backlist you’d like to receive, I’ll try to send you your prefered book (if I have any on hand).

Special…for FTHRW Members….If you participated in my on-line course on conflict for the RWA Chapter “From The Heart”, please tell me one thing you learned from the course and you’ll have an extra chance to win.