Abandoning My Babies

Heading off on summer vacation feels strangely akin to abandoning my babies

woman embracing book

I’m referring to my books, of course.

Strange as that might seem, they’ve been with me so long, they do feel like my children. And since I’ve so recently launched them into the world, I feel a pretty constant anxiety about their welfare. Even though, like our young adults gone off to college or world travel, there’s little we can do for them.

University Tours

Ironically, the other activity that’s characterized my early summer is touring a number of universities, both close to home and across the country, with my teenage son. My real empty nest looms on the horizon.

Though a full year away, the fact that he’ll be leaving home so soon is quite daunting. And like my books, I want to do as much to smooth his path and make sure he’s safe as humanly possible. I want him to succeed!


A Well Deserved Break

Of course after a very busy winter of editing, publishing, promoting and moving house, a few weeks of travelling, visiting friends and R & R is well-deserved. I don’t really feel guilty about it.

In fact, planning the trip, designing the perfect capsule wardrobe so I can go three weeks with one small carry on bag (Incredible. I know, right? But I’m doing it) and anticipating all the museums, galleries, sidewalk cafes, gardens and monuments we’ll see is rather exciting. I’m really looking forward to spending time with friends we haven’t seen for years.

A Writer’s Research Never Ends

I’m also excited about researching new locations for future books since travel abroad has always fueled my writerly imagination. I won’t be going to Spain or Greece this year. But I’m sure London, Paris, Amsterdam and Rotterdam will supply plenty of inspiration. I have a notion I might want to set one of my future “Life is a Journey” novels in Utrecht or Amsterdam. My mind is already playing with the idea of a student of Art Restoration, and Holland seems a perfect place for such an endeavor. All those Vermeers, Rembrandts and van Gogh’s! So I’ll be on the lookout for locations, and the seed of a story. All I need now is a nice tall Dutch romantic hero to set things in motion.

fantasy picture of book with woman and birds flying

It’s Hard to Let Go

Nevertheless, after birthing and nurturing my books over many years, I guess the constant worry and vigilance gets a bit addictive. I think, probably this is the source of empty nest syndrome. We’ve been preoccupied for so long we just don’t know what to do with ourselves. We don’t know who we are anymore without the child, or the project, we’ve been dedicated to for so long.

Frankly, it’ll be nice to stop worrying for a while. I have the sense that I’m already doing everything I can. Like an anxious parent, I read books and study (i.e. blogs and webinars) about how to best care for my fledgling offspring. I swear, I’m doing it all. I’ve checked the list. And, like parenting, we very often hear conflicting advice. Each new strategy or tactic is something we’re trying for the first time. We have no expertise, and no real idea if what we’re doing will work. Maybe we’re doing our babies more harm than good.

But there’s only so much you can do. Sometimes the true test of survival comes only with the passage of time.

Of course, as a modern author in the digital publishing world, that’s only partly true. Our books, our community and our careers truly do need our constant cultivation. There are just too many books out there to leave our books on there own. They’re likely to get lost forever.

In truth, the analogy to growth and maturation probably applies more to “me” the authorpreneur than to my books, per se. I need time and tons of support to “grow up.” I need to learn new tricks and practice and stretch continuously in order to take my career as a published author to the next level.

I need to continue to hone my craft, write and publish more books, continue to nurture my author platform, study, apply and even innovate book marketing strategies. And over time, just like adults, we get a little more polished, a bit more confident, and closer to achieving our goals and dreams.

And toward that end (because it’s a lifelong road) I guess it won’t hurt to take a few weeks off.


Bon Voyage!

So have a great summer. I’ll be back in August with more stories to tell. Make sure to sign up for my email list (form in top right sidebar) to get your free copies of bonus summer reading, including short stories, deleted scenes and a sneak preview of Coming About. Follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter if you want to see photos and videos of my travels, because that’s where I’ll be (buttons also in sidebar.)

I’m also running a big promotion of The Art of Enchantment over the Labour Day weekend, so keep an eye out if you want to grab a copy for FREE. I’m still hopeful book two in the Having it All series will be ready to release by then.

And if you have any great ideas about my handsome Dutch hero, or some fun ideas about a story set in the Netherlands, please leave a comment or suggestion below!

Author Book Signing at Indigo Marine Drive – Today!

Poster regarding North Shore Authors signing books at Chapters Indigo Marine Drive in North Vancouver, BC, Canada, Including M A Clarke Scott, Alexander Boldizar, Lawrence Verigin, Jackie Bateman, 1pm . PST, prize draw free books & gift card

Meet North Shore Authors Today!

Four award-winning North Shore authors, including  Jackie Bateman, Lawrence Verigin and Alexander and myself, will be at Chapters Indigo on Marine Drive in North Vancouver today, Saturday, June 10th from 1pm to 5pm.

On the North Shore, or just looking for something to do with friends or family this weekend? Drop in and meet the authors. Better yet, if you’re an avid reader or already a fan, this is a great opportunity to buy books. Get them signed by the authors, and enter a draw! Support your local talent.

Lawrence Verigin, author of Dark Seed, winner of the 2014 Chanticleer CLUE Thriller Award, the 2015 Eric Hoffer Award, and more, as well as the sequel Seeds of Control, 2016 Chanticleer CLUE Thriller Award for Eco/Natural Resources.

Jackie Bateman, National Book Winner in Canada for first book Nondescript Rambuncious, and it’s sequel Savour, shortlisted for the 2015 Relit Awards,

Alexander Boldizar, author of The Ugly, 2015 Chanticleer BEST BOOK Award, the SOMERSET Prize for Literary Fiction, 2016 Indie Lit finalist in both Literary and Humour, NGIBA winner (and more).

M A Clarke Scott (that’s me!), author of The Art of Enchantment, Grand Prize winner of the Chanticleer CHATELAINE Prize for Romance and Women’s Fiction, and Reconcilable Differences, Book 1 in the Having it All series.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to chat with local authors one-on-one, ask them questions about their books. What inspires them? What are they working on right now? And what does that bizarre, drawn out metaphor really mean?! Or just share the love.

Visitors can pick up a “Reading Passport” when they arrive. Make sure you stop to meet all four authors. Get them to autograph your passport, then enter to win one book from each author plus a $40 Indigo gift card.

See you there!

The Art of Enchantment receives 5 star Readers’ Favourite Book Review

The Art of Enchantment receives 5 star Readers’ Favourite Book Review

Readers' Favourite Five Star review sticker for The Art of Enchantment by M A Clarke Scott

5 Star Readers’ Favourite Review for The Art of Enchantment

“Awesome characters…. A masterpiece, this is!

Loved it, loved it.”

Reviewed By Christian Sia for Readers’ Favorite

“Excitement, pure delight, and an emotional adventure await the reader in this thrilling contemporary romance, The Art of Enchantment by MA Clarke Scott. Clio wants only one thing: to complete her PhD program, hence fulfilling one of her father’s greatest wishes for her. But then Guillermo, the hot and charming Italian architect, happens. Two powerful souls with a great and refined appreciation for beauty and art and history! They are from two different backgrounds, irrevocably drawn towards each other. Things get even more complicated when Guillermo’s ancestral home risks being sold to an American pop star who may not value the historic significance of such an investment. Can Clio pursue the exciting romance, help Guillermo save his home, and still succeed in getting her PhD?

The Art of Enchantment is exciting and I enjoyed the themes of art, romance, history, and family and how they are masterfully written into the engaging plot. Clio and Guillermo are interesting characters. While Clio is shy and composed, Guillermo is boisterous and outgoing, two opposite personalities that perfectly complement each other. The prose is equally exciting, composed of descriptions that are absorbing, and great dialogues that read like natural conversations. It is wonderful to note how the characters evolve throughout the story. The external conflict is evidently developed throughout the story, but the one that arrested my attention was the internal one taking place within the minds of the characters. It was fun watching Clio faced with multiple dilemmas. MA Clarke Scott has become my new master of the romance. Can’t recommend this one enough.”

The Art of Enchantment Wins Chatelaine Grand Prize

The Art of Enchantment wins Chatelaine Grand Prize

To celebrate the exciting news that The Art of Enchantment won not only the top category prize for contemporary Romance and Women’s Fiction, but also the Chatelaine Grand Prize, I’ve created a Goodreads Giveaway for three first edition copies of the print book. Click on the box to enter between April 17th and 25th!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Art of Enchantment by M.A. Clarke Scott

The Art of Enchantment

by M.A. Clarke Scott

Giveaway ends April 25, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

So, this is why I’m a writer…

And yes, it feels great to be singled out from among a huge group of extremely talented and dedicated authors to be given this prize. Obviously it makes me happy and proud, and it’s a great way to launch my newest baby into the world.


But that’s not what I’m talking about…

M A Clarke Scott with Chatelaine Prize category win blue ribbon, with Margie Lawson, writing coach

Here’s me geeking out over the category win with Margie Lawson. And no… that’s not spinach in her teeth. She got it out with a stiletto heel just in time for the photo op. ;-D

In fact at the Chanticleer Author’s Conference Awards Banquet April 1st in Bellingham, WA, I was pretty thrilled when the book was called out as the category winner. Awkward in public settings as always, I was nevertheless okay with walking up to receive my blue ribbon, pretty chill receiving the congratulations of my fellow writers in the room, and content to drink wine and laugh at stupid jokes with my new friend and table-mate, writing guru Margie Lawson.

Within a few short minutes, the room went silent as each of the Grand Prize winners was announced. When they got to the Chatelaine, the speaker read out my series title first, before mentioning the book title, and I, since I’d just changed it twenty times before publishing it, didn’t recognize it! I just sat there smiling, happy for whomever was winning the prize.

And the Socially Awkward Introvert Grand Prize goes to…

Chatelaine Prize winners M A Clarke Scott, Diana Forbes & Gail Avery Halverson

The Chatelaine Award Winning Authors: M.A. Clarke Scott [C], Diana Forbes [R], & Gail Avery Halverson [L]

Then, stunned to realize they were talking about me, I went up to receive my second ribbon in so many minutes, and the only thing in my head was…”That’s a pathetic series title! Is that really the best you could come up with?” So when I got to the podium and saw, gak! the microphone, all I was capable of saying out loud was a muttered, “Thank you, thank you very much. Uh…” I then proceeded to drink too much wine for the rest of the evening.

A Revisionist Worldview

It wasn’t until about, oh, four days later, lying awake in the middle of the night, that I thought of what I should have said. Something along the lines of…

“Thank you [ladies and gentlemen…except writers are seldom so formal]. I especially want to thank Kiffer and Andy and their staff for all their hard work year round, running a stellar writing contest, making professional book reviews available, and organizing this brilliant author’s conference.

Thanks also to the many judges who read thousands of manuscripts and had to choose from among so many excellent, worthy stories, to single out just a few to recognize tonight. I’m humbled and honored to receive this award. Congratulations to all the winners, short-listers, and to all the writers to completed their manuscripts and entered the contests. Bravo. And don’t ever quit.

It’s opportunities like this that help to bring us writer-trolls out of our dark and solitary hovels, to mingle with other writers, learn, be stimulated, practice our social skills, and to shine a light on some of the new works and emerging voices in this increasingly crowded publishing marketplace.”

Or some such. By the time I fell asleep I’d revised it five times and decided I was too verbose anyway and it was just as well I became catatonic in the spotlight or I’d be one of those people the long hooks were invented for, and have to be dragged from the stage.

That’s why I’m a writer,

…and not a press secretary or a lawyer or a politician or tv host.

So here’s a formal thank you and shout out to Chanticleer Book Reviews and Contests and all the hard-working people who made this possible. Please check out the official announcement of all the winners on the Chanticleer website, and follow them so you receive the book reviews that this organization makes possible. And then buy the books you like, and take a moment afterwards to post a favorable review on Amazon or Goodreads or Librarything.

Because we writer-trolls need all the love and attention we can get.




Author Interview Podcast

Author Interview Podcast

My First Podcast Interview

This week I had a ton of fun chatting with Booktastik’s Dione Lister. You’ll find my book special listed there under New Releases, along with a lot of other great deals. And today the podcast of my author interview is live. I talk about my latest book, my last book, my next book, and about my writing process. As well as other things, like inspiration, process, community and cats.

Check it out here!

Author photo M A Clarke Scott

I Promised Italian Food! Here’s the First Course!

Cherry Almond Biscotti

The Art of Enchantment book coverI promised you food  as part of my All-Italian blog week to celebrate the launch of The Art of Enchantment. And I woke up this morning with a serious craving for biscotti.

When I want biscotti, my go-to recipe is always by Christine Cushing. No need to re-invent the wheel here. If you are a biscotti fan, this is the BEST!

Lately I’ve seen a trend in coffee shops to monster-sized biscotti of strangely ubiquitous consistency and no discernible flavor. Be careful not to break your teeth.

This is not that.

The recipe is quick and easy. I laid out my ingredients first, since I just moved this week and I wanted to know that I could find everything. There are other versions, with hazelnuts, chocolate or whatever you like best, but today I wanted dried cherries and almonds. In my opinion, the secret ingredient that makes these cookies so good is the grape seed oil. Don’t substitute anything else for that. And don’t leave out the lemon zest or anise because the flavor is so Italy.

ingredients for cherry almond biscotti recipe

Basically I mix up the dry ingredients in one bowl, blend up the wet ingredients in the mixer, stir them together and presto!

Then I pour/drop/shape the sticky dough into two long, rather narrow logs on buttered parchment. Bake for about 20 minutes. It gets quite golden brown, but it’s still a bit soft inside.

cherry almond biscotti after first baking


After the first-baked slabs cool for fifteen minutes, slice on the diagonal into 3/4″ slices, lay them on their sides and bake again until crispy and dry. Yum. You can dip them in your caffe latte if you like them soft, but they are just as delicious eaten straight off the pan all by themselves. Buon appetito!




1 1/2 cups and 2 tbsp. all purpose flour (405ml)

2 tsp baking powder (10 ml)

1 tsp ground anise seed (5 ml)

pinch salt

grated zest of 2 lemons

1 cup sugar (250 ml)

1/3 cup grape seed oil (75 ml)

3 eggs

1 cup toasted whole almonds, skin on (250 ml)

1/2 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped (125 ml)

butter, for brushing baking tray


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment. Brush with butter.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder, ground anise and salt into a medium bowl. Add almonds and cherries.
  4. In another bowl, add lemon zest, sugar, oil and eggs. Whisk or mix until smooth. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon and blend well.
  5. Divide dough in half and shape each into a cylinder (roughly 12 x 2 inches). Dough will be sticky so use a little oil on hands or spatula to shape dough. Arrange the cylinders on baking sheet, leaving at least 3 inches – they will spread out as they bake.
  6. Bake for 30 to 35 mutes or until golden and firm. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes before cutting to keep shape. With a large spatula carefully scrape cylinders off tray and transfer to a cutting board. Carefully slice crosswise on the diagonal with a serrated edge knife (in one full cut) into 1/2-inch slices. Put slices back onto the baking sheet, laying flat and not overlapping. Bake a second time (again at 325 degrees F.) for 20 more minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Makes about 40 cookies.

Note: I used my new convection oven for the first time, so I adjusted the times down about 5 minutes per stage.

Let me know if you try the recipe and if you agree they are the best biscotti ever.

I hope you make yourself a nice coffee, sit down with a biscotti or two turn on your soundtrack and settle in to a good read, once you pick up your copy of my new release, The Art of Enchantment, on special this week for only .99. Ciao!