Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy St. Nicholas Day

Around the world, people celebrate many different occasions in the month of December. But they all have one thing in common. Children around the world string colourful lights, filling their homes with festive decorations, and lighting candles. This does indeed brighten up the darkest month of the year. We’ve had our Winter Solstice, the shortest, darkest day and now we look forward to our days growing longer and brighter. We must acknowledge our multicultural world and grow to understand one another. That is my Christmas wish, 2015. From our family to yours, we wish you the Merriest of Holiday Seasons. Thank you to everyone who so generously supported J.R. and I in our Paige Maddison Series adventure.

My son and coauthor J.R. Matheson at his graduation from McGill University, Montreal, June 2015.

My son and coauthor J.R. Matheson at his graduation from McGill University, Montreal, June 2015.

We are all pictured here at J.R.'s graduation. Lee on the left and husband Kevin on the right. Proud parents. Shoot for your dreams.

We are all pictured here at J.R.’s graduation. Lee on the left and husband Kevin on the right. Proud parents. Shoot for your dreams.

From our home to yours. Happy Holidays.

From our home to yours. Happy Holidays.

 

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Happy Birthday to my Fellow Scorpios! Celebrate Yourselves.

Happy Birthday fellow Scorpios. It’s my birthday today. I have a life story you won’t believe. You see, I was told in my early 30s that I wouldn’t live past the age of 40. I was told this negative gem by a Specialist. I literally walked out of his office. And a second Specialist told me I’d be on disability for the rest of my life, and never be able to hold down a regular desk job. I walked out of his office, too. He was so distressed he had his secretary call me to return because he was concerned about further treatments. A very caring physician, I decided, but he and I differed on my outcome.  While I thanked him for his healthcare and compassion, I walked away from him that day and have never looked back. I have a rare disease, and asthma, and a few other health challenges, including the after-effect of a parasite that almost killed me in my mid-20s. I’m here to tell you, it’s all in what you, the patient, believe.  I turned to Dr. Xiu-Min Li, an Asthma and Allergy Specialist in NYC. She works

Words I live by. Scorpio, November 20th. Lee Bice-Matheson

Words I live by. Scorpio, November 20th. Lee Bice-Matheson.

 

Dr. Xiu-Min Li, M.D., The Mount Sinai Hospital, NYC

Dr. Xiu-Min Li, M.D., The Mount Sinai Hospital, NYC

at The Mount Sinai Hospital and accepted me as her patient. I knew she had invented an alternative Chinese herbal medicine for treating asthma in children. Dr. Li said because of my health issues, she would help me and maybe I could help prove through trials and testing that chinese herbal medicines can be used in replacement of steroids for childhood asthma.  At our first appointment, she examined me and said my asthma wasn’t the only problem. She said I was quite ill, in fact. I replied, “Please don’t label it, just fix it.” And she did. My asthma is in remission, as it can never be cured. I asked her for help to also supervise me while weaning off my steroids. The ongoing lung function testing

was done in conjunction with my local General Practitioner. Thank you for your support as well! It has been 6 months since my last puff. I am running now. I haven’t run in 25 years!

My loving husband, Kevin, moved us to fresh air in Orillia. You see, we lost seven very important, loving, family members from my mom and dad, to Kevin’s dad, my aunt and uncle, my maternal grandmother, and my best friend (who called me her adopted daughter) within 3.5 years. Too much of a coincidence? We think not. I am forever thankful Kevin! And imagine moving our Chiropractic Clinic in mid-life? We didn’t know a soul in Orillia, but Kevin knew he had to save my life,

Dr. Kevin Matheson, Matheson Chiropractic Clinic, Orilla, adjusting a patient.

Dr. Kevin Matheson adjusting a patient at Matheson Chiropractic Clinic, Orilla, ON.

and he did. Dr. Li had looked him in the eyes, at one of our appointments, and she said to him, “The best thing you can do for Lee Anne, is to lessen her daily stress, and move her to fresh air.” I am teary as I write this – he did both! I share my story for those of you who have been given a bleak medical report. Know this. It’s all in what you believe, as well, that counts! The mind is a very powerful tool and one not to be underestimated. I envisioned myself healthy, without the use of steroids, and running again, many years ago. Please let me remind you, this is never to be done without the help of the medical community. You must have supervision for any reduction of medications you’ve been prescribed. I am forever grateful to have met Dr. Li and for her exceptional healthcare, support, and friendship to me. 

My life's philosophy. Lee Bice-Matheson

My life’s philosophy.
Lee Bice-Matheson

Pictured here with my husband, Kevin Matheson. You win for the Best Husband Ever! Love you, Dear.

Pictured here with my husband, Kevin Matheson. You win for the Best Husband Ever! Love you, Dear.

And to my husband, Kevin, I am in awe of you each and every day. Without your loving, undying support, I probably wouldn’t be here today. How can I ever thank you enough?! You are my Rock! And the chiropractic adjustments you gave to me to open up my lungs and air passages helped more than I could ever have imagined. You taught me the healing power of chiropractic treatments and wellness care. I Love You Now and Forever.

Today I turn 55. I’m going to say this all day long! It feels fantastic. I didn’t become an author until the age of 50 and co-authored Destiny’s Gate with our son, J.R. Matheson, since then. I have to acknowledge to our loving son, Justin, you changed our lives for the better on the day you were born. I couldn’t have done any of this, including my health, without your loving support. You’ve been our Rock.

J.R. Matheson and Lee Bice-Matheson after our event held at Furby House Books, Port Hope, ON.

J.R. Matheson, loving son, and Lee Bice-Matheson after our event held at Furby House Books, Port Hope, ON.

Imagine what I would have missed if I had believed my diagnosis: dead before 40?! I feel blessed to have met all of our wonderful supporters at each and every book signing, the bookstore owners and staff who have hosted us, the fascinating interviewers and radio show hosts, waiting on our loyal and always interesting patients at Matheson Chiropractic Clinic, meeting JR and Ruth Colombo, my mentors and friends, spending quality time and trips away with my family and extended family members,

Here is my extended family that show up to our events when time permits. We are the Bice sisters and families. :)

Here is my extended family that show up to our events when time permits. We are the Bice sisters and families. 🙂

and just enjoying the great outdoors again. Living in my former hometown of Sarnia, I was rarely outside in the spring and summer months, the last year we lived there, 2010.

Loving Algonquin Park. My backpack weighed 50 pounds! We canoed and portaged in to Ralph Bice Lake, our ancestor!! #grateful

Loving Algonquin Park. My backpack weighed 50 pounds! We canoed and portaged in to Ralph Bice Lake ( our ancestor)!! #grateful

Now, I’m outside each and every day, even when it’s -40C. I wouldn’t miss it for the world! Loving life, living large, feeling blessed! Thank you. It shouldn’t surprise anyone reading this, Kevin and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this December, 2015. 🙂 Blissful and happy. Forever grateful.

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Paige Maddison’s Birthday is November 19th. Find out why.

I’m sitting at my computer gazing outside at the beautiful 100-year-old trees that line our backyard, much like a fence. Today is a sunny day, the fog has lifted, and blue skies have appeared. It is a bittersweet week for me. My birthday’s on Friday, however, it was my Mom’s birthday, the day before mine. Margaret Mary Jane Bice died 10 years ago, this year. It’s hard to believe how fast time flies. I miss her every day. I celebrate her life each birthday, privately, remembering the beautiful Mom she was. This year, I decided to share with all of you some of her sage advice. If you would like to read her pearls of wisdom…please do, read on.

Pictured here with Mom. Isn't she pretty? Still missed by your daughters: Lynn, Cindy and Lee. I was 18 years old.

I am 18 years old in this picture with Mom. Isn’t she pretty? Still missed by your daughters: Lynn, Cindy, and Lee, spouses, and all of your grandchildren.

First of all a little known fact: Paige Maddison’s birthday is November 19th, chosen because it was our Mom’s birthday.

1/ Lose the weight Lee Anne before you grow older. Don’t be like me. Thankfully, I had gained a lot of weight while I was pregnant, 23 years ago, which protected my baby, son, and coauthor, J.R. Matheson. I had alloimmunethrombocytopenia which generally means my body should not have been able to deliver a baby. It took me years to lose the weight and it’s still ongoing. But I am healthy, happy, and the most active I’ve been in my 54, soon to be 55, years of age. Thanks Mom for your sage advice.

2/ Get along! so you don’t lose the closeness with those you love. We all have our differences of opinion, especially when growing up with our siblings, and family, or friends. In my youth, I played competitive tennis and if you’ve ever played a sport like this, you’ll understand that it takes drive, passion, and sometimes anger to win the match. I was testy in my teens for a lot of reasons. Thank you Mom for emphasizing this to me – it’s important to be tolerant, compassionate, understanding, and loving towards others.

3/ I watched as Mom overcame many of her fears, by facing them head on. She was never a camper and not comfortable sleeping outdoors, in a tent, with a sleeping bag between her and the groundsheet. What animals might be encountered, after all? Yet my husband and I took my parents to the Pinery Provincial Park near Grand Bend. Mom was a trooper and she even said she enjoyed it. Mom had a fear of the water. She couldn’t swim, yet she agreed to be picked up in an inflated Zodiac, boated to our sailboat, and she climbed up the ladder while the waves were pushing our boat onto its side. Mom sat down, relaxed to have a day’s sail. This I could not believe, as I had watched Mom accidentally pushed into a pool once, and she sank straight to the bottom. My dad jumped in and saved her. Face your fears head on! It’s empowering.

4/ When hosting a party, it’s important to put on your best and make your guests feel welcomed. Thanks to Mom we’ve hosted many dinners, get-togethers, and parties that have been successful. Many great ideas are born from socializing. If you hadn’t shown me the way Mom, I wouldn’t have a clue how to do this.

5/ Mom taught me pride of ownership. She often redecorated our home in simple, non-expensive, ways. By painting a wall, or fireplace, the whole room looked fresh. By rearranging ornaments or paintings/pictures, what is old is new again. By lighting candles, the room looked softened. What a wonderful and fantastic interior decorator.

6/ Mom was a clothing professional. I’m not a ‘shopper’ per se, but Mom worked in several higher end women’s clothing stores. Mom would put aside maybe 10 outfits, that I would burst into the store, try on, and buy the top two. I worked as a Manager in a busy corporation, so it would be on my lunch which was a half hour. And she would say, Lee Anne, never buy at the first sale, or second, wait until the third sale, and that’s nearer to the store’s cost. Thank you Mom for this very important tip that has helped me many times over.

7/ Lastly, and this one took me a long time to get…stand up for yourself. Mom once told me that I was often misunderstood, and insisted that I stand up for myself. But instead, I argued that people will think what they want, regardless of what you do or say. Even if they’re wrong. But, now and again, when someone repeats something to me about me, that’s totally off the rails, I will look them in the eyes and say, “That’s not what I meant, or, you must have misunderstood me. This is what I meant…”  People use their own filters to judge others, and their filter, may have nothing at all to do with how you live your life. But it’s their interpretation and it’s the way they judge others and the world at large…not using all of the facts but the illusion they live with, live in. Funny, I grew up believing we aren’t the ones who get to judge each other. Capital H…He does.

Thank you Mom for all of your life lessons. You are our Rockstar. And I am happier, stronger, and loving because of you. May you, forever, rest in peace. I’ll miss you again this birthday. Much love, xo

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Chapters Bayview Village Has It Going On! Coauthors J.R. Matheson & Lee Bice-Matheson Attend an Instore Book Signing

Saturday, November 14th, was the first snowfall for us. We set out early for Toronto, with a stop along the way, and then dropped in to see Douglas Gardham, author of The Actor and The Drive-In at his book signing, Indigo Bay Bloor.

J.R. and I were happy to drop in and see Douglas Gardham at his book signing, Indigo Bay Bloor. Great to see you Douglas.

J.R. and I were happy to drop in and see Douglas Gardham at his book signing, Indigo Bay Bloor. Great to see you Douglas. Congratulations.

Doug often RTs and shares our FB posts, and he dropped in to meet us at The Word On The Street book fair held in Toronto, September 27th. We were thrilled to return the favour. Great to see you working, Doug! Congratulations on all of your success. J.R. and I were anticipating our instore book signing at

I had to post this exquisite sign for Bayview Village.

I had to post this exquisite sign for Bayview Village.

Chapters Bayview Village since it was first booked months ago. Our family visited this bookstore many years ago and wondered what it was like after all of these years. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint. From the moment we walked in, we were enthralled with our surroundings. Approached by a staff member upon arrival, he directed us to Andrew who paged our host, Colin. Thank you so much to all of you. It was so nice to be greeted and taken to our table on the second floor with a fabulous location. J.R. and I observed the customers and figured out pretty quickly,

Here we are at Chapters Bayview Village. Love this bookstore. Great location for our table too. Thank you Colin.

Here we are at Chapters Bayview Village. Love this bookstore. Great location for our table too. Thank you Colin. November 14, 2015.

Chapters Bayview Village has many regular, repeat book-buying customers. We were first approached by this young boy who was excited about our series. Quite intelligent, I might add, he asked us many questions about the books, read both of the

Loved this boy's questions for our series. He was so polite, intelligent, and thoughtful. Thank you for stopping by.

Loved this boy’s questions for the Paige Maddison Series. He was so polite, intelligent, and thoughtful. Thank you for stopping by.

novels’ synopses, thought carefully to himself for a few minutes, and then said, “I would love to read your books.” We smiled broadly, of course. J.R. and I do not push our books on anyone. We feel if a customer is interested in ghost stories and the supernatural, and it’s appropriate for them, they’ll buy it. Next, I was seated at the table tweeting about our day, when a young girl ran up to me with her four family members and exclaimed, “I really want to read these books. May I please?

Young lady raced up to us and asked announced she really wanted to read the Paige Maddison Series. We felt famous. Thank you for making our day! We hope you enjoy the books.

Young lady raced up to us and announced she really wanted to read the Paige Maddison Series. We felt famous. Thank you for making our day! We hope you enjoy the books.

I really want to…” We had not spoken a word to her, yet I was signing her books as though she knew us. Thank you so much. You made our day. I was also surprised to find out her name. You see, my family felt bad that we couldn’t connect with my husband’s mom, Barbara, as it was a very busy day for us. This young girl’s name was Barbara, spelled the exact same way. Coincidence? Well, if you’ve read our series, you’ll know the answer to this question. My mentors stopped in and we were all thrilled to see JR Colombo and his lovely wife, Ruth.

Wonderful to see my mentors J.R. Colombo and Ruth Colombo. Truly spectacular you dropped by. Thank you kindly. We enjoyed our visit.

Wonderful to see my mentors J.R. Colombo and Ruth Colombo. Truly spectacular you dropped by. Thank you kindly. We enjoyed our visit.

It is always a pleasure and indeed an honour when they give their stamp of approval on our series. Thank you JR for helping to sell some copies. JR Colombo is Canada’s Master Gatherer, author, and anthologist to over 200 books. Ruth is an insightful poet. Your friendship and mentorship mean the world to me and to my family. Thank you for coming. We sold sets of our series and copies of Wake Me Up Inside, the first book in the series.

This young lady asked lots of intriguing questions about the Paige Maddison Series. Thank you for the conversation.

This young lady asked lots of intriguing questions about the Paige Maddison Series. Thank you for the conversation.

One young girl said, “If I like the first book, I’ll come back and buy the second.” I have no doubt she meant this. We hope you enjoy it. Thankfully, Colin asked us to leave signed copies behind so we are now in our second Chapters bookstore. A young mom and her son approached us and she asked what is the appropriate age for our series. I said 10 years old and above but all ages are reading it. Then I went on to explain that our family spent many hours in Chapters bookstores while J.R. was growing up, just like she was doing with her son. We had a great discussion on the importance of reading and also doing Brain Quest books.

J.R. Matheson is signing Destiny's Gate, again. What a wonderful son and coauthor. Thank you for your partnership, J.R. I am blessed, indeed.

J.R. Matheson is signing Destiny’s Gate, again. What a wonderful son and coauthor. Thank you for your partnership, J.R. I am blessed, indeed.

Thank you for the kind chat. We enjoyed our afternoon spent at Chapters Bayview Village and the many interesting conversations we had. For this blog post, I couldn’t point out who bought our series as Santa is coming very soon. Let’s just say we felt elated to be a part of some of the families’ Christmas gift giving. Thank you so much for including us in your celebration and buying our series.

Thank you for your interest in our series. Remember, I cannot always say who bought it as Santa is coming very soon. :)

Thank you for your interest in our series.

This young lady said if she likes Wake Me Up Inside, she will return to Chapters Bayview Village and buy book two. Awesome! We hope you enjoy book one. Thanks for the interesting conversation.

This young lady said if she likes Wake Me Up Inside, she will return to Chapters Bayview Village and buy book two. Awesome! We hope you enjoy book one. Thanks for the interesting conversation.

If you’ve never been, and live in, or near the Toronto area, or visiting, please drop in and browse this awesome bookstore. They have thought of every kind of gift you can imagine, and there are books galore displayed so well. Thank you Colin for having us.

We loved our afternoon spent at this awesome bookstore: Chapters Bayview Village. Thank you Colin and staff for having us.

We loved our afternoon spent at this awesome bookstore: Chapters Bayview Village. Thank you Colin and staff for having us.

We’d love to return to Chapters Bayview Village with book three.

Father and son! Manager and author. Thank you Kevin for supporting J.R. and I so well. We couldn't do it without you.

Father and son! Manager and author. Thank you Kevin for supporting J.R. and I so well. We couldn’t do it without you.

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First Time at Chapters Peterborough for the Paige Maddison Series by J.R. Matheson and Lee Bice-Matheson

J.R. and I were delighted to be invited by Andrea to the Chapters in Peterborough. What a lovely bookstore!

Pictured is author Lee Bice-Matheson, Paige Maddison Series.

Pictured is author Lee Bice-Matheson, Paige Maddison Series.

As you enter the store, books are displayed front and center with lovely gifts found on each side from plush ‘cottage’ faux fur throws, to nicely designed tea cups, or scented candles…everything to set the scene for readers. My husband, Kevin, and I wished customers a Happy Halloween as they entered and as you can imagine, we received quite a reaction to our Halloween table.

Here is our table decorated for Halloween, 2015, Chapters Peterborough. The wailing ghost is voice and motion activated. Spooky.

Here is our table decorated for Halloween, 2015, Chapters Peterborough. The wailing ghost is voice and motion activated. Spooky.

Our wailing ghost, voice and motion activated, caught customer’s attention. What I found to be interesting, is that some people thought we were manikins until we moved and began to talk. I guess we gave the ‘trick or treat’ on Halloween to the customers of Chapters Peterborough.

Thank you Judy for the interesting conversations. You definitely are a storyteller and I think you have a career in writing. Please look into this. I think you have talent! Thanks for buying our series.

Thank you Judy for the interesting conversations. You definitely are a storyteller and I think you have a career in writing. Please look into this. I think you have talent! Thanks for buying our series.

Many book lovers stopped by our table and we had many interesting conversations. One family asked if I knew anything about witches and what do they celebrate on Halloween night. Sorry, I am not an expert in this area. But we do know a lot about ghosts. 🙂 Our series is loosely based in fact.

Blue Eyes accompanied us to Chapters Peterborough. Kevin caught me talking about Destiny's Gate to a young customer.

Blue Eyes accompanied us to Chapters Peterborough. Kevin caught me talking about Destiny’s Gate to a young customer.

Yes, it’s true. Since our book buyers are often tweens, Ages 10+, I do not post their photos on my blog. But they sure are wonderful to talk to. Full of imagination and embracing the Halloween spirit. Only one person asked us to turn off our wailing ghost and that’s quite all right. The concept is not for everyone. Destiny’s Gate is filled with earthbounds (ghosts), spirit wolves, and angels…the good kind…not the Dr. Who kind. Our series is family oriented, tackling the subjects of estrangement, the love between grandparents, their children and grandchildren. They help each other in time of need, protecting family at all costs like Paige does as she must battle the evil on the O’Brien Estate. A strong teen heroine, Paige must solve a mystery on the estate in order to save her grandfather’s life. It is filled with Celtic folklore, First Nations folklore, we incorporate Grey Owl, a Brit, who lived amongst the First Nations and was the first to insist on conservation of land in Canada, Edgar Allan Poe’s poems, and more.

Thank you for stopping by. We had a delightful conversation about our series.

Thank you for stopping by. We had a delightful conversation about our series.

Well, the people of Peterborough seemed to love ghost stories and we were asked to leave signed copies of our series for the first time on our Chapters bookstore tour.

Lovely to talk with you about ghosts and Halloween.

Lovely to talk with you about ghosts and Halloween.

They are in-stock on the local Ontario authors’ shelves. Thank you kindly, Tom! What a wonderful trip to Peterborough. It’s a lovely city to visit. We enjoyed touring the area with the surrounding Kawartha Lakes. In fact, I saw one of my favourite animals of the forest…a porcupine crossing the road.

Thank you Kevin for stepping in for J.R. Matheson. You wore it well.

Thank you Kevin for stepping in for J.R. Matheson. You wore the masquerade costume well.

My husband, Kevin, jammed on the brakes, parked the car, and took photos of him. If you haven’t seen a porcupine in person, they are so cute.

Cute porcupine had just crossed the road and heading home, fast!

Cute porcupine had just crossed the road and heading home, fast! Peterborough Petroglyphs

They do a mating dance. I’ve experienced this at the Muskoka Wildlife Centre several times. ‘Quilber’ performed a mating dance to me and my husband filmed it. I tried to ‘adopt’ Quillber but unfortunately the zoo closed down. He reminded me of a cartoon character and he will remain in my memory forever.

Of course, candy is a must on Halloween. I believe our friend, the crow, drew Judy over. Can you see what's hidden in the basket? Yes, it's a wolf's head. I was Little Red Riding Hood at Chapters Barrie, October 24th, to kickoff Halloween week. Must have a sense of humour on Halloween.

Of course, candy is a must on Halloween. I believe our friend, the crow, drew Judy over. Can you see what’s hidden in the basket? Yes, it’s a wolf’s head. I was Little Red Riding Hood at Chapters Barrie, October 24th, to kickoff Halloween week. Must have a sense of humour on Halloween.

Thank you so much to the staff of Chapters Peterborough: Tom, Rita, Meghan, and Andrea for inviting us, to the interesting people who stopped by and our wonderful conversations we had, and thank you kindly to the book lovers who bought our books.

This family wins for the best decorated 'scary' home. Mason is dressed as The Joker. Thank you Mason for the tour, and to your family also.

This family wins for the best decorated ‘scary’ home. Mason is dressed as The Joker. Thank you Mason for the tour, and to your family also. Photo taken in Omemee on our journey home. Happy Halloween!

J.R. loved the sign for our series. He gives his regrets that he was unable to make it on Halloween. But J.R. will be at our next book signing at Chapters Bayview Village on November 14th.

J.R. loved the sign for our series. He gives his regrets that he was unable to make it on Halloween. But J.R. will be at our next book signing at Chapters Bayview Village on November 14th.

We couldn’t do this without you. We hope you enjoyed our Halloween extravaganza. And thank you for the kind invitation to return to Chapters Peterborough. We will look forward to it with book three in 2016.

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Chapters Barrie Encore Book Signing for Destiny’s Gate, by J.R. Matheson + Lee Bice-Matheson

It’s that spooktacular time of year again…Halloween is fast approaching. Also called All Hallows’ Eve, it is a central theme in Destiny’s Gate, Book Two, Paige Maddison Series. What better time of year to be invited back again to Chapters Barrie on Saturday, October 24th, to help kickoff Halloween week. From the moment I arrived (while setting

J.R. and I are ready for the day at Chapters Barrie. We are so excited to be here.

J.R. and I are ready for the day at Chapters Barrie. We are so excited to be here. Saturday, October 24, 2015.

up our table) interested book lovers approached me and asked about our series. Thankfully, J.R. Matheson arrived from Toronto, on time, and we dressed in our Halloween costumes. Ready and raring to go at 1 pm, we were delighted with all of the people who stopped by our table.

Chapters Barrie with future readers of the Paige Maddison Series. Ages 10+

Chapters Barrie with future readers of the Paige Maddison Series. Ages 10+

Our series is for Ages 10+ so when younger children approached us, we wished them a Happy Halloween, offered them a caramel (approved by their parents’ of course), and explained that it would have to wait for another few years before they could read the Paige Maddison Series. You’d be surprised by how happily many kids responded and said they’d look forward to reading it when they are older. Truly wonderful kids enjoying the Chapters in store festivities hosted by Erica, in the Indigo Kids section of the store. Isn’t it great that Chapters staff do this for our youth? We’re impressed. Next, up tweens approached with their parents. We wrote our series for this age group, in particular. It began with the first book, Wake Me Up Inside. I wrote it because my coauthor, and son, said there weren’t many novels written for this age. As it has progressed, our series now includes YA or young adults. And we are happy to report all ages are reading the Paige Maddison Series.

Wonderful couple who moved here from the East Coast many years ago. They bought the series for their daughter and the mom said, "I'm next in line to read it, too." You made our day. Thank you kindly.

Wonderful couple who moved here from the East Coast many years ago. They bought the series for their daughter and the mom said, “I’m next in line to read it, too.” You made our day. Thank you kindly.

We know customers have a very busy day, some are quickly stopping in to pick something up, so we had to bring along our newest addition to our team…the wailing ghost. People’s reactions to it were fantastic – lots of laughter, exchanges of ‘Happy Halloween’, and some customers wore parts of their Halloween costumes, as we requested on our Twitter feed. Top to bottom, our afternoon at Chapters Barrie was full of fun, belly laughs, and fascinating conversations from readers. One couple had moved from the East Coast, a couple stopped by and we discovered they were formerly from our hometown of Sarnia,

This young family inquired about our series and asked many fascinating questions. Thank you for your genuine interest and buying our series. We hope you enjoy it!

This young family inquired about our series and asked many fascinating questions. Thank you for your genuine interest and buying our series. We hope you enjoy it!

 

Lovely fellow former resident of our hometown, Sarnia. Her family moved to the area many years ago. Thanks for the memories and lively chat. And thank you for buying our series, once again.

Lovely fellow former resident of our hometown, Sarnia. Her family moved to the area many years ago. Thanks for the memories and lively chat. And thank you for buying our series, once again.

and many local people living in Barrie and the surrounding area all dropped by. We talked, laughed, and signed sets of our series for buyers. We gift a special present to everyone who buys Wake Me Up Inside + Destiny’s Gate at each book signing.

J.R. Matheson explains Destiny's Gate to readers. What a nice time speaking with these two customers.

J.R. Matheson explains Destiny’s Gate to readers. Thank you for your interesting questions. 

Thank you, Erica, for inviting us back! It was great to talk with you. Thank you to your wonderful staff for the warm welcome, and to all of the people who dropped by and we had conversations with – please know this is what we look forward to most! I just need to know, did the wonderful expectant Mom have her baby on Saturday?

Lovely to talk with this expectant Mom. We hope it has gone / is going well for you. Please let us know. Thank you for stopping by. Lee + J.R.

Lovely to talk with this expectant Mom. We hope it has gone / is going well for you. Please let us know. Thank you for stopping by. Lee + J.R.

Please let us know it went well. We’re sure it did. Healthy and happy baby to you! I shared my story with her, and her young daughter, that our family spent many hours in the Indigo at the Eaton Centre. J.R. would search the bookstore for his favourite books and return 2 – 3 hours later with an armload. My husband, Kevin, and I would go through each book to make sure it was appropriate and J.R. left the store smiling ear to ear. Imagine, we are coauthors now, touring with our series in the Chapters/Indigo bookstore chain? One just never knows which way our lives can twist and turn.

We thank everyone who stopped by to talk, buy, listen, ask questions, and to the wonderful staff of Barrie Chapters - a very grateful thank you indeed.

We thank everyone who stopped by to talk, buy, listen, ask questions, and to the wonderful staff of Barrie Chapters – a very grateful thank you indeed. Pictured with Lee and J.R. is our Manager, Kevin Matheson, my husband, J.R.’s Dad, our loving supporter. xo

We are grateful to all of the Chapters/Indigo bookstores for hosting us,

This is my all-time favourite pic of J.R. Matheson. I think he enjoyed the day. We both did! Lots of good old fashioned fun. Of course, I'm acting up as I'm politely waiting for the shot to be taken. :) Thank you Kevin, once again, for all you do for us, our Manager, and my husband, J.R.'s Dad. xo

This is my all-time favourite pic of J.R. Matheson. I think he enjoyed the day. We both did! Lots of good old-fashioned fun. Of course, I’m acting up as I’m politely waiting for the photo to be taken. 🙂 Thank you Kevin, once again, for all you do for us. xo We couldn’t do it without you!

and to all of their wonderful staff for welcoming us. Thank you so much to the buyers of our series, our supporters, our family and our friends. Happy Halloween! Next blog post will be about our event held at Chapters Peterborough on Halloween!! Costumes worn, J.R. and I will be there from noon to three pm.

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WOTS UP DOC? The Word On The Street that’s what, Toronto 2015

From the first moment I heard about The Word On The Street,

First time for coauthors Lee Bice-Matheson + J.R. Matheson to attend WOTS. We had book lovers thank us for coming!! We in turn thanked them for coming as well! :)

First time for coauthors Lee Bice-Matheson + J.R. Matheson to attend WOTS 2015. We had book lovers thank us for coming!! We in turn thanked them for coming as well! 🙂

I was intrigued. Not only is it the biggest book and magazine fair held in Toronto, but the book lovers that attend are at least 200,000 people plus. Imagine authors that sit in a room, by themselves, or like us, two together, and write a novel. It takes us about two years from the start to the finish. Opportunities like WOTS don’t come often and J.R. and I wanted to see what it was like. We showed up the night before to see where our booth #106 was located.

We just had to see our booth before WOTS on Sunday. And we were lucky to have the chance to thank the volunteers who set up our booth! Thank you to everyone involved in organizing this wonderful event WOTS. :)

We just had to see our booth before WOTS on Sunday. And we were lucky to have the chance to thank the volunteers who set up our booth! Thank you to everyone involved in organizing this wonderful event WOTS. 🙂

Lucky for us, it was along Queen’s Quay sidewalk and it would be one of the first booths attendees saw when they arrived from the east. Happy, we set off for an early supper as 6 am Sunday morning would come soon enough for us.

In its inaugural year, joining with the International Festival of Authors (IFOA), WOTS was held at the Harbourfront Centre along the shores of Lake Ontario and it was a beautiful sunny day.

Our team is ready and waiting for WOTS to open. Did I mention I'm obsessively early for events? :)

Our team is ready and waiting for WOTS to open. Did I mention I’m obsessively early for events? 🙂

People were smiling and laughing…it doesn’t get any better than this.  Of course, my husband and manager, Kevin, and I arrived super early to set up. I like to look around at the other independent authors and to my surprise I met a fellow FriesenPress author, Julie Whitley, with her first book titled Secrets of the Home Wood. It looks intriguing and we’ll be checking it out. Congratulations Julie!! Keep in touch. 🙂 Next up, Benjamin Gabbay arrived with his lovely family. Imagine our surprise when we realized we were sharing our booth with the author of the Wingheart Trilogy. His second book in the trilogy arrived a week ahead of WOTS. We are so happy for Benjamin. Not only is he talented but a very nice person, too. It must’ve been interesting for attendees to see two sets of families behind the tables. 🙂

Mom-Son coauthors reunited at WOTS 2015.

Mom-Son coauthors reunited at WOTS 2015. Thank you Justin for being the best son and coauthor a mom could ever have dreamed of! xo

Of course we never forget Blue Eyes (wolf), a character from Destiny’s Gate, and we positioned him up front and to the right of our booth, located right along the street. We laughed as dogs passing by swerved away from him, or barked up a storm at Blue Eyes. In fact, one large husky veered away and his owner wondered what happened. When we shared with him about Blue Eyes, he laughed, as did we. We are dog lovers and they certainly have their personalities.

Halfway through the day, we heard some beautiful music playing and I turned to J.R. and said I wish the musician would move closer. Next thing we knew, the street musician did!

Beautiful music created by this Street Musician in Toronto, WOTS.

Beautiful music created by this Street Musician at WOTS: Toronto.

His music was lovely to listen to and a wonderful addition to the day. Thank you so much, kind sir!

We feel very blessed when people stop at our booth. Why?

It was busy all day long and we couldn't be more grateful.

It was busy all day long and we couldn’t be more grateful.

Happy to see book lovers interested in the Paige Maddison Series. :)

Happy to see book lovers interested in the Paige Maddison Series. 🙂

There were over 200 authors, many publishers from HarpersCollins Canada to ChiZine Publications. So many choices for the attendees! We talked so much, I lost my voice. It was book enthusiast after book enthusiast.

Interesting conversations abound. This happy couple took snaps of our book ISBN and business cards to message a teacher / librarian in Massachusetts. She said the librarian will love our series for the students. Thank you so much!! #grateful

Interesting conversations abound. This happy couple took snaps of our books’ ISBNs and business cards to message a teacher/librarian in Massachusetts. She said the librarian will love our series for the students. Thank you so much!!

Book lovers galore at WOTS, Toronto, 2015.

Book lovers galore at WOTS, Toronto, 2015.

At one point, I had to leave the table and drink some water so I could continue on with our day. J.R. and I loved it! All of the conversations with fellow book lovers were interesting from discussions on how to self-publish, how did a mom-son team begin, to questions about the Paige Maddison Series.

 

 

Interested book lover reading the cover of Wake Me Up Inside. Look who's to my right? Sister Lynn. Thank you for coming, again!! And Katy, our niece too. Thanks a million.

Interested book lover reading the cover of Wake Me Up Inside. Look who’s to my right? Sister Lynn. Thank you for coming, again!! And Katy, our niece, and nephew Craig too. Thanks a million.

Now this gentleman was eager to attend WOTS and we were the first booth he hit. Very interesting conversation. You made our day! :)

Now this gentleman was eager to attend WOTS and we were the first booth he hit. Very interesting conversation. You made our day! 🙂

I was shocked to see Douglas Gardham, author of The Drive In and The Actor, my fellow twitter friend and colleague, walk up and say hello. He drove to WOTS to see the Festival but said he also wanted to thank us for our retweets on Twitter. And believe me, we thank you too Douglas! Authors supporting authors is what it’s all about.

We were so surprised to meet our friend Douglas Gardham in person. He promoted Destiny's Gate to his followers. Now this is no ordinary author. Check out his books. Thank you kindly Douglas! You made our day.

We were so surprised to meet our friend Douglas Gardham in person. He promoted Destiny’s Gate to his followers. Now this is no ordinary author. Check out his books. Thank you kindly Douglas! You made our day.

Douglas has been on a Chapters/Indigo book tour for quite awhile and is an inspiration to us. He is doing very well. Check out his books and see for yourself. Thank you so much Douglas for coming by!! You made our day.

The rush was on for the draw to win a Kobo Aura. Many people participated.

The rush was on for the draw to win a Kobo Aura. Many people participated. Thank you Mark Leslie for pointing me in the right direction. 🙂

Author Lesley Donaldson also stopped by to say hello and she will be coming out with her first novel soon titled The Queen’s Viper. It was so great to see you Lesley. We became friends at INSPIRE! TIBF held in Toronto, November 2014. While on our journey, we love to promote other authors and offer assistance along the way when we can. To us, that’s the only way to go through this awesome journey – PAY IT FORWARD.

J.R. and I held a draw to win a Kobo Aura. Many eager participants filled out ballots and we are happy to announce Jan won.

Jan won draw for a Kobo Aura provided by J.R. Matheson and Lee Bice-Matheson, Paige Maddison Series.

Jan won draw for a Kobo Aura provided by J.R. Matheson and Lee Bice-Matheson, Paige Maddison Series.

Congratulations, Jan. We hope you enjoy it.

I had told Benjamin before the Festival began we were new to WOTS and he suggested to me, “You won’t want to leave your booth because it gets so busy.” Thank you, Benjamin! You were so right. Sage advice from such a young author! 🙂 And very popular too. We are very happy for your success and know it shall continue! Write on!

Thank you to all of our supporters of the Paige Maddison Series.

We were so honoured to see and talk to so many WOTS attendees. Thank you for coming by our booth 106. And thanks to everyone who bought the series. It is the first time for us, both books were bought together each and every time! :) #grateful

We were so honoured to see and talk to so many WOTS attendees. Thank you for coming by our booth 106. And thanks to everyone who bought the series. It is the first time for us – both books were bought together each and every time! 🙂 #grateful

We write for tweens/teens/and all ages. Our series is a clean, family-friendly series because we believe that’s what life is all about. Many schools and librarians purchase the Paige Maddison Series for the students. Thank you! Check us out at Chapters/Indigo or FriesenPress and see for yourself. You can also find out where to buy it here.

Wonderful of everyone who stopped by! Thank you!

Wonderful of everyone who stopped by! Thank you!

Couldn't do it without my husband Kevin. He is so very supportive of our career. Thank you Dear! xo

Couldn’t do it without my loving husband Kevin. He is so very supportive of our career. Thank you a million times over, Dear! xo

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Enjoyable Summer Writing Book Three, Paige Maddison Series, with J.R. Matheson

A friend of mine asked me, “What summer vacation did you and your family enjoy?” I looked away for a moment then replied, “Well, we really didn’t have a summer vacation. We’re writers.” (Remember our son, J.R. Matheson, is my coauthor.) I thought this answer conveyed my reasoning – though it may look like we have holidays, we work while we’re on holidays! When my friend stared blankly at me, it was only then that I realized just how much my world has changed since I first published Wake Me Up Inside in 2010. A writer never takes a vacation, seriously. We are always writing: whether it’s imagining a scene while hiking in a forest; taking a boat ride with friends and family and imagining what might be happening in that old haunted school along the waterway that people still whisper about; or while chatting at a summer garden party, studying the behaviour of people surrounding us and collecting some of their traits for a new character.

Our family used to vacation in Port Charlotte, Florida. Three years ago, Christmas, J.R. and I stayed in and wrote Destiny’s Gate while occasionally glancing out our lanai

This alligator is like the one that used to visit our small lake in Port Charlotte. This photo was taken at Gatorama, Palmdale, Florida.

This alligator is like the one that used to visit our small lake in Port Charlotte. This photo was taken at Gatorama, Palmdale, Florida.

to the small lake below, looking for our friend the local alligator, wondering when we’d get a sneak peek of him. And now that there are two books published and J.R. and I are writing book three, plus marketing the first two books…well let’s just say life becomes a bit more complicated. In the beginning, I knocked on doors to ask if a bookstore would host us, or another kind blogger, but eventually, if you work hard and write a book people are interested in, the change occurs – you are asked by others to do a book signing or blog post/interview. We are eternally grateful for each and every opportunity and never take one of them for granted. You can read about all of our events archived on this blog or on our events page. (I also work in my husband’s Chiropractic Clinic and help patients with their health care plans.)

Getting back to my ‘looked away’ remark in my first sentence, it wasn’t until I was asked this question that I realized my whole life has changed since I began writing the Paige Maddison Series. And lucky for me, I asked our son, J.R. Matheson, to join me along the way.

J.R. Matheson is entertaining and wonderful to work with at the book signings. One very proud Mom!

J.R. Matheson is entertaining and wonderful to work with at the book signings. One very proud Mom!

I am grateful for his partnership, his fellowship, his input, and his brilliant writing.  J.R. has added so much more to the series. And he is the best son we could have ever imagined!! Next, let me mention my husband, Kevin, for his managerial support. He sets us up and breaks it down for us at each event we attend. And he is always with me when I approach a new contact for an instore book signing.

Here is our Manager, Kevin Matheson, husband and father. He supports us at each book signing and is pictured here reading to us from Arianna Huffington. Great read Arianna!!

Here is our Manager, Kevin Matheson, husband and father. He supports us at each book signing and is pictured here reading to us from Arianna Huffington’s book. Great read Arianna!!

Little known fact: it was my husband who said I must start to write and share my stories with the world. Thank you, Kevin!! And this is not to mention my extended family

Here is my extended family that show up to our events when time permits. We are the Bice sisters and families. :)

Here is my extended family that show up to our events when time permits. We are the Bice sisters and families. 🙂

who show up at events and offer their undivided attention and support. I am very grateful for my two sisters – Lynn, who helped to edit the first two books but recently informed me ‘Your series is too big for me now. You have to get a professional editor!”

Sisters Lynn, Lee, and Cindy pictured with J.R. Matheson at Chapters Square One.

Sisters Lynn, Lee, and Cindy pictured with J.R. Matheson at Chapters Square One.

And my sister Cindy for drawing the first sketch of the O’Brien Estate and has insisted a professional must draw the next sketch. How lucky am I to have these two sisters as my posse?! And thank you to our nieces and nephews for attending when time permits. But I must call out Katy.

Niece Katy is on the left with her mom Lynn, my sister, and J.R. and I.

Niece Katy is on the left with her mom Lynn, my sister, and J.R. and I.

She is one of my beta readers and always provides insightful advice. Thank you so much, Katy!!

I have often said writing is a calling. It’s not a choice. One day you may wake up and decide to take a writing course, put a pen to paper, or type on your computer.  And soon, you too will look back and have the same question asked, “What summer holidays did you and your family enjoy?” And you’ll look away and may think to yourself, as I do, I enjoy each and every day of my life. When you enter into the world of writing and publishing, every day is an adventure, a gift. Being a writer makes life much more animated, more enjoyable, through the eye of the observer, and often times the active participant, and ultimately the active writer. Try it. It’s freeing.

While writing book three this summer, J.R. and I attended two book signings. I’ve written about the Chapters Barrie book signing and Chapters Square One. We are pleased to say both bookstores have asked us back for encore book signings. We have also been hosted on Cheryl Carpinello’s blog called Carpinello’s Writing Pages for the Kid Lit Blog Hop. I was approached on Twitter by Cheryl and it is an honour to be on this blog tour. Thank you so much, Cheryl! I will be writing more on this later.

It was a really busy summer and still is.

J.R. Matheson is now enrolled at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacology specializing in Addictions Research. Best to you, J.R.! J.R. is also writing book three of our series. What a son! :) Love Mom xoxo

J.R. Matheson is now enrolled at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacology specializing in Addictions Research. Best to you, J.R.! J.R. is also writing book three of our series. What a son! 🙂 Love Mom xoxo

Remember, the first day of Fall is not until September 23rd. Enjoy the rest of your summer!! 🙂

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Paige Maddison Series at Chapters Square One: Book Signing, Saturday, August 15th

We had an enjoyable afternoon at Chapters Square One! What a busy location. It was great to speak to the book lovers of Mississauga. They asked us lots of questions about the Paige Maddison Series, what our self-publishing experience is like, and what it’s like to coauthor as a Mom-Son Team.

J.R. Matheson with mom, Lee Bice-Matheson at instore book signing, Chapters Square One. Thank you Nadia for hosting us!

J.R. Matheson with mom, Lee Bice-Matheson, at instore book signing, Chapters Square One. Thank you Nadia for hosting us!

We truly appreciate all of the people who stopped by to talk with us and also to those who bought the series.

Our first customer of the day at Chapters Square One. Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words of support.

Our first customer of the day at Chapters Square One. Thanks for stopping by and your kind words of support.

Always nice when family stops by to support us. And they sent us flowers for the special occasion at Chapters Square One! Thank you kindly for your loyal support.

Always nice when family stops by to support us. And they sent us flowers for the special occasion at Chapters Square One! Thank you kindly for your loyal support.

Our family members dropped by – our niece Kristin from Calgary, sister Cindy & nephew Craig from Sarnia, sister Lynn and niece Katy who live in Mississauga. We were delighted. Thanks for coming!                                                                            

Donna supports new writers and was willing to give our series a chance. We hope you enjoyed both books in the series, Donna. Thank you so much for supporting us.

Donna supports new writers and was willing to give our series a chance. We hope you enjoyed both books in the series, Donna. Thank you so much for supporting us.

Thank you kindly, Donna! She is a supporter of new authors and bought both books in the series. We hope you like them.

This nice lady checked out our series for her sister who loves supernatural stories. Thank you for your kind conversation!

This nice lady checked out our series for her sister who loves supernatural stories. Thank you for your kind conversation!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had quite the time with this lovely family. They are soon moving out of the country and we wish them all the best. The young boy bought the first book in the series. He is 9 years old and told us nothing scares him. Let’s hope Wake Me Up Inside does not. Great conversation! Thank you kindly Kalista for supporting our series and promoting literacy to your children.

Film producer, actor, but more importantly founder of The Youth Code in Toronto.

Young boy pictured with his Mom, Kalista Zackhariyas, Film producer, Actor, but more importantly founder of The Youth Code in Toronto.

Thank you Nadia for having us and for inviting us back for an encore book signing. You are terrific and a special shoutout to Tom for marketing our book to Chapters’ customers. Thank you kindly for giving out the flyers about us. Great time at Chapters Square One. We shall return. 🙂

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For Signed Copies of the Paige Maddison Series: Check Out These Independent Bookstores

Proud Mom at one of our Independent Bookstore signings.

Proud Mom at one of our Independent Bookstore signings.

If you are looking for instore signed copies of either Wake Me Up Inside, Book One, or Destiny’s Gate, Book Two, you can find them at the following Independent Bookstores:

The Book Keeper, Northgate Plaza, Sarnia, ON

Manticore Books, Downtown, Orillia, ON

Furby House Books, Port Hope, ON

Blue Heron Books, Downtown, Uxbridge, ON

The Oxford Book Shop, now located at 262 Piccadilly St., east of Richmond St., London, ON

Thank you to the owners and their staff of these wonderful Independent Bookstores for stocking our books and hosting our book signings! If you haven’t visited them yet and live in or near the area, they’re a must-see! Lee + J.R. double stamp of approval.

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