Summer Storm Fun in Canada

Monday July 27 tornado mb

Wow, I’ve been quiet lately. Sorry to all you awesome folks who like seeing me post. Guess the summer got to me and I’ve been out doing things rather than posting. Sadly, the ‘things’ I’ve been doing haven’t involved much storm chasing. I’m in this strange place where I very much want to get out and chase everything that even looks promising (or even those that don’t), but I’m not confident enough to go on my own. I can see me getting out there, getting eager to get close to a storm and then finding myself in terrible position. The kind that people don’t walk away from. Yikes! I like my family too much to be risking a lot. Also, there wasn’t much to chase this year. Not within driving distance at least. I seriously considered how disruptive it would be to uproot my family and take a vacation to Oklahoma for a few months. Abysmal would be the word I would use. I now understand why chasers spend hours and hours and months on the road to chase. Sitting still and waiting for storms to come to you is brutal.

Thankfully, while my season has been terrible, my favorite chase team has been busy. I miss the days they were live streaming but it’s still fun to follow their FB and Twitter sites to get updates. I can’t wait for the season premier of Tornado Hunters on CMT, but I’ll get to that in a moment.

Last week, July 27th, the guys were finally chasing in Canada. I love when they chase in Canada. Not only because I am Canadian, but because these guys are local and it just feels right watching them chase here! Plus, that usually means the storms are near me and the chance goes up that we might get hit with some fun!

Yep, I am hopelessly in over my head with this draw to storms. Often times I wonder, in slow seasons, if it would be easier to just go back to hating storms… but I can’t. I’m addicted.

Back to the story. Last Monday the pros were all seeing some sweet weather patterns setting up. Greg, Ricky and Chris (and their entourage) booked it back up here, from Arizona I believe. The day was slow and the afternoon continued on as though there was nothing much to talk about. A friend of mine posted a picture on Facebook of a chaser convergence. Which we had fun with since a chaser convergence in Canada is nothing compared to the ones in the US. He, like them all, was in waiting mode.

Canadian Chaser Convergence by Ryan Crouse

Canadian Chaser Convergence by Ryan Crouse (Yorkton Storm Hunter)

Yep, that’s the Dom 3. Waiting. Everyone waits.

It was worth the wait. Finally the action began and the chaser were off. I spent most of the night following Yorkton Storm Hunter (Ryan Crouse), RAIDEN (Notanee Bourassa) and Nick Schenher live stream. While I didn’t get a chance to see the beast that the storms produced, Greg Johnson, Ricky Forbes and Chris Chittick (the Tornado Hunters) did!

Sweet Wall Cloud

Wall cloud

Since I wasn’t there, maybe next year, I’ll let Ricky describe it.

That moment

“My favorite part of storm chasing is this moment right here. When we get right underneath a massive rotating supercell. A monster chaotic storm over 50,000 ft tall above us yet so eerily calm below, as we watch the clouds start to slowly twist and churn above us. Feeling the rush of the winds blasting into this storm, and then the clouds start to lower. Faster and faster the clouds spin and tighten up, lightning blasting down, torrential rain beside us, and then a huge tornado touches down and its game time.”

Could I be more jealous? Probably not.

Then, as Ricky said, the huge tornado touched down.

MB tornado chittick pic MB tornado July 27 201 MB tornado July 27 2015 tornado tornado MB july 27 2015 July 27 2015 EF2That thing is a BEAST! Wow! It was on the ground for three hours! Three. Hours. That’s only a half hour less than the current record for longest known tornado on the ground, the Tri-State Tornado. Thankfully, though this beast was on the ground for three hours and reached a kilometer wide (I heard) and maybe more at some point, unlike the Tri-State tornado no one was killed in this storm and there was very little damage done. The rating, because of this, was an EF2. The Dom 3 measured the winds on the back of the tornado at 122 MPH. Pretty wild!

Chasers like the Tornado Hunter team, and many others, make it possible to get warnings out early and keep eyes on storms like this so that people in the path can prepare. I’m so grateful for chasers and many people owe their lives to them.

July 27 tornado damagePretty amazing to see the road torn up by that tornado. I can’t imagine the power that was in that storm and in that tornado. I’ve been told it’s not that uncommon for roads to be torn up like this, depending on the age and upkeep of the road. However, I’m still pretty impressed with the damage and the cool shot.

Here’s a sweet video by the Tornado Hunters of the wedge tornado.

While I miss the live stream these guys used to do, I can’t wait to see the footage of this storm on the new season on Tornado Hunters coming this fall!

If you haven’t heard of Tornado Hunters on CMT Canada, you’re missing out. Last year they did a few webisodes and a couple episodes to feel out the show and I, along with many others, really liked what we saw!

You can find the webisodes here to prepare for the new season!

In my review last year of the pilot of Tornado Hunters, I said: ‘This show is a very clear look into the lives of these guys and the realities of storm chasing as a profession. All the thrills, frustrations, joys, angers, laughs and tornadoes that go along with it.’ I hope, and expect, that the new season will be the same! I can’t wait to see it and I know these guys have been busting their butts in order to give us the best show that they can!

Ricky, Greg and Chris, I can’t wait for the new season of Tornado Hunters! It’s one of the only reason that I am looking forward to fall.

Find team Tornado Hunter on their website, Twitter and Facebook page!

Ricky: Facebook Twitter

Ricky Forbes

Greg: Facebook Twitter

Great helment

Great helmet

Chris: Facebook Twitter

Chris Chittick

Here’s hoping the season isn’t over for me, or for these guys who will continue to chase as long as the season holds out. I wouldn’t be surprised to find them chasing blizzards next!

How about you? Do you love the thrill of a storm chase? Are you, like me, an arm-chair chaser and watching these awesome chasers do what they do? Maybe, like me, you’re hoping to do some chasing of your own. Tell me your story!


The Reckoning by MaryLu Tyndall ~ A Review

The Reckoning

When Morgan Shaw crept into the hold of an old pirate ship replica at San Diego’s Annual Tall Ship Festival, her only intention was to avoid the guy who had just dumped her and who was now boarding the ship with two women on his arm. What she didn’t expect was to wake up aboard a real pirate ship three-hundred years in the past. But of course, it wasn’t real. Her wealthy father had obviously staged it all in an effort to get her mind off her upcoming chemo. Or had he?

Pirate Rowan Dutton seeks enough treasure to repay a debt to his sister and reinstate the Dutton name among British Jamaican Society. He is but one major haul away from accomplishing his goal when a strange woman appears on his ship and causes him to lose his prey. Despite his anger, he is enthralled with the little minx, her strange clothing, odd speech, and her insistence that they are all actors playing a charade paid for by her father.

Yet when the brazen little lady divulges Rowan’s secret to a longtime nemesis, events are triggered that could cost them both their lives and change the course of history forever.

I went into this book expecting a full and adventurous read. What I got was so much more.

Morgan has a problem. Cancer. As everything seems to fall down around her and she isn’t sure she could feel more alone, everything fades away and she finds herself in an even more unpredictable situation. Anxiety soars as the world grows more unknown. She faces down an unruly pirate captain and his crew, while trying to hold herself and her world together. When she’s not sure she could possibly face another moment, when a simple breath is beyond her, she has a decision to make. Face the rest of the unknowns alone… or put her life in the hands of the One she doesn’t think cares.

Rowan is a mighty Captain and one tough pirate. Known for his cunning and ruthlessness, he meets his match in Morgan. He can’t figure her out and she seems to not care for his charm, which usually sends the ladies swooning. Morgan is not swooning. In fact, she seems to be immune to him… but is he immune to her?

As a person who fights anxiety, this heroine spoke to me. MaryLu draws the emotions of anxiety out and I could nearly feel Morgan’s panic. I also love how MaryLu dealt with anxiety and the other trials that Morgan had to face. Numerous times I wiped tears from my eyes as truths were spoken that even spoke into my life.

Not only is this a wonderful read if you struggle with anxiety, it’s a fantastic adventure for anyone. MaryLu knows how to write a fantastic pirate story. She knows her ships, pirates and adventures and knows how to grab a reader and yank them into the story. It was really hard to put this book down and yet, when it ended, I was sad to read the final page.

This will definitely be a book I will re-read many times. I loved it!

*I received this book from MaryLu Tyndall in exchange for my honest review. I didn’t have to love it, but I sure did!*

You can find MaryLu on her website, facebook, twitter, and goodreads.

M.L. Tyndall (MaryLu) grew up on the shores of Southern Florida dreaming of romance and adventure upon the sea. She now lives with her husband, six children, and four cats in Northern California where she writes inspirational adventure romance novels. MaryLu’s novels have been praised for their fast-paced action, strong inspirational messages, and incredibly vivid settings. Her first novel, The Redemption was nominated for the prestigious Christy Award for Best Christian Fiction.



Interview with Ronie Kendig + Grand Prize Giveaway!

FALCON Blog tour 1

This is a big day for me. If you follow my blog, you know that I am a big fan of Ronie Kendig. I never miss one of her books and pretty much spend months looking forward to them before their release date. FALCON was no exception. This book was made even more exciting for me when I found out that I was going to get the chance to interview Ronie!! Seriously, this is so awesome for me. I’m am honored to call Ronie friend as we’ve had many conversations about writing, editing and life. God blessed me with one of the coolest gifts when He brought Ronie into my world. I am still a bit starstruck each time I chat with her. Even thought she is one of the most humble, most down to earth ladies I know! FALCON released this month and I got to ask Ronie some questions about this amazing book. Here’s what she had to say!

Ronie, thanks for chatting about FALCON with me! I thought it was one of your best books to date. I seem to say that a lot about your books, but this one was so far exceeding my expectations… and I have high expectations when it comes to your fantastic writing!

FALCON cover 1

First of all, what do you hope readers get out of FALCON?

As with any of my novels, I pray that readers come away with a sense of hope, that no matter how dire things are in life, they know there is hope in Christ. I’d also like to see readers recognize the important of self-forgiveness, because, sometimes the hardest person to forgive is yourself.

What was the hardest thing about writing FALCON?

In all honesty, simply writing. I was so terribly burned out when it came time to get FALCON done, that I literally cried *every* time I sat down to write. I truly leaned on God, and I give Him all credit for the story that lives between the pages of that amazing cover.

What do you love most about Sal and FALCON?

To me, I loved writing Sal because, to many of his teammates, he had it all together. He was an excellent soldier, and he had unwavering dedication to the team. Inside, however, Sal was crumbling. I really like writing raw characters, because I think most of us in the real world are raw in one respect or another. And this book was one I loved because it brought closure to the team, to the series–and that’s always satisfying, in a very bittersweet way.​

Since FALCON is the last in the series (I’m still secretly hoping for Titanis to get his own book), what was your favorite thing about writing this series?

You’re not the only one holding out for Titanis. *grins* I really liked this team of soldiers. They were different from the Nightshade team because they each felt (at least to me) like their own person, with distinct idiosyncrasies that often caused some friction among the team, but also a cohesive unit. They had their beefs with each other, but when it came down to it, nobody mess with their team. 

My last question to you is, HOW COULD YOU?

One line from Aladdin comes to mind: Phenomenal Cosmic Power!!! Itty bitty living space.” Haha. As the author of the series, I saw what was coming, but I was confined to the story arc. But I also wanted readers to know…I’m listening. I hear ya. I’m right there with ya. What I write doesn’t always make me happy. There are things I’d rather not write. But then…the story wouldn’t be real. And Raptor would probably come after me. :-P​

Well, I sure wouldn’t want you to go against Raptor! Thanks for the chat, Ronie!

If the last question grabbed your interest and you want to see what made my jaw drop, you’ll want to enter my giveaway below! You have a chance of winning your very own copy of FALCON! Trust me, you want to get your hands on this amazing book! Enter today if you live in Canada or the US!
(Draw goes until May.25th, 2015!)

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you don’t win, get yourself a copy of FALCON (and all his Raptor brothers) at:





Connect with Ronie on her (AMAZING new) website, Facebook, Goodreads and twitter!

Ronie Kendig


Wonderful Blessings

If you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time, you’ll know of Noel’s story. It is an amazing story of hope and sorrow, darkness and light.

Today, I am so beyond thrilled to be able to bring some more of the joy of this story to you all!

I have many words but I would rather let Caleb and Alex show you.

(Sorry, I wanted to share the video but can’t sort out how to. If I figure it out sometime soon, I will post it!)

Caleb and Alex

Caleb and Alex 1

AMAZING NEWS! Caleb and Alex are adopting a baby due in September. They are so excited to be parents again! Please join me in congratulating them and I look forward to sharing this new journey with you as Caleb and Alex allow!


FALCON by Ronie Kendig ~ A Review

FALCON Blog tour 1

Special Forces operator Salvatore “Falcon” Russo vowed to never again speak to or trust Lieutenant Cassandra Walker after a tragedy four years ago. But as Raptor closes in on the cyber terrorists responsible for killing two of their own, Sal must put his life—and the lives of his teammates—in her hands. Despite his anger, Cassie is ill-prepared for his resistance and the fallout when she must protect the one asset who can end the attacks. As allies become enemies and hostiles become unlikely partners, Raptor fights for its very existence.

FALCON cover 1

I have long been a fan of Ronie Kendig and her amazing writing style. I knew that FALCON would be no exception. What I didn’t expect was the mind-blowing twists and turns in FALCON. Following RAPTOR 6 and HAWK, FALCON is the fast paced conclusion to this amazing trilogy!

Salvatore “Falcon” Russo is a tough guy. Special Ops kind of tough. Raptor is an exclusive and secretive team. Only for the best in the world. Rator is sent reeling and fighting on their own turf after an attack leaves them on the defensive. Sal does not like being on the defensive, almost as much as he hates having Cassandra Walker anywhere near. Sal is determined to end the attacks and send Cassandra packing, but the cyber terrorists aren’t going down without a fight. Sal is also hiding a secret. One that is affecting him and the team more than he realizes. Sal is one of Ronie’s best, very-human, heroes. (Canyon still holds my reader heart!)

Cassandra Walker is strong. Even though she doesn’t see it. She struggles with Sal’s animosity but still has a mission to complete. She doesn’t realize how invested she is going to get as the mission begins to go sideways and she is thrown into a decision that she never expected she’d have to make. Cassandra is also harboring her own secrets.

Together, Sal and Cassandra are oil and water. Explosive conversations are had and both are fighting each other as they fight a common enemy. Will the secrets tear them further apart, or break down fortified walls?

Threatening to tear the team apart, and seeking destruction, are both inside and outside forces.

Ronie outdid herself on this book. All of her books are page-turners but this one had me flying through at break neck speed in order to find out if any of the characters would make it through the book alive. The twists in this book were more shocking than The Sixth Sense movie. So many times I found myself picking my jaw off the floor. Countless times I exclaimed ‘WHAT?!’ Enough times that my husband inquired if I should maybe take a break from the book. To which I replied with a sort of distant look and then moved on to the next sentence. He just laughed at me. This book was so unpredictable. Never did I expect I would be reading a Ronie Kendig book and find myself in tears. This was the book that did it.

If you are a fan of Ronie, then you NEED to read this book. If you haven’t ever read a Ronie Kendig book… let me tell you that you’re missing out. Ronie writes a kick-butt, military action book. Her characters are so real that they become friends. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

Once you Go RFF

MAKE SURE TO STAY TUNED! On May 27th I will have an interview with Ronie Kendig and a GIVEAWAY!

*Thanks to the author for a copy to review!*

Ronie Kendig

Find Ronie on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and her website!

Find FALCON here: Amazon, Chapters, Barnes & Noble, and Christian Book.

See my other reviews on Raptor’s team: RAPTOR 6 and HAWK

Weather Wednesday: Arm-Chair Chasing

Amazing storm structure from Craig Hilts

Amazing storm structure from Craig Hilts

I am so excited to be able to start talking about storm season again. We didn’t have a terrible winter but it always feels SO long to someone who is dying for summer storms!

The last few weeks has seen a return to arm-chair chasing for me and many other storm enthusiasts. Looking forward to even more live stream viewing as the season heats up!

Live streams? If you’ve never heard of them, you’re missing out and I’m here to let you in on one of the coolest things I’ve discovered in the last few years. Arm-chair chasing. Love storms but don’t have any in your area? Spend six months without them and almost physically crave a storm? Live streams are the thing for you!

Sometimes when you are watching TV you get the weather guys and gals breaking into your favorite show because of severe weather. They often have footage — someone following the tornado so you get to see it up close and know where the beast is and where it’s headed. This footage often comes from a chaser and a lot of chasers have live streams. Where you can watch, chat with others and with some you actually get to interact with them. The ones you get to interact with are my faves. I love when people can ask questions and get answers. It’s a huge community of storm-enthusiasts, wanna-be chasers (I’m in both of those categories) and chasers. There’s a wealth of knowledge to be had. Even if you are terrified of storms, this can be an amazing place to start losing some of those fears. Knowledge is the first step to dispelling fears. My story started with terror of storms, now I dread the arrival of winter and months of no storms. You can read how it all changed for me HERE.

I thought today I’d post some of my favorite links of live stream chasers to watch! Some are incredible. Some interact, some don’t. Some are pros and some are newer chasers. It’s a great collection of people to watch. The chat rooms are usually a lot of fun and the storms are awesome to watch!

I hope you’ll join us this storm season! Come arm-chair chase with us! Today (April 22, 2015) could be a great day to watch as there’s some expected storm action in Texas!

TORNADO HUNTERS <— I talk about this team a lot because they are awesome to watch.

TVN LIVE <— A pretty big collection of chasers to watch.

There are a bunch more and I’ll be updating this post anytime I find a new one to watch! Arm-chair chasing is great. All of the action, none of the danger. Which is super handy if you find storms pretty terrifying like I used to!  Now I just want to get out there!

If you have a live-stream site you want listed here, let me know and I’ll check it out!

To all you awesome chasers out there who live stream for us, you rock! Thank you for all you do!


Storm barn july 24-13

Awesome shot by Greg Johnson



Five Minute Friday ~ Plan

I’ve missed these days. Five Minute Friday. The day we just write without worrying if it is just right. Unedited, unscripted, unpolished. Just write. Welcome to my Five Minute Friday post.



We all have them. Some of us have a 1-year plan, others have 5-year plans, some even have retirement plans when they are 30.

That’s all well and fine, but what happens when God has another plan?

I’ve been following this amazing blog called Mundane Faithfulness. If you’re not following it yet, do yourself a favor and get over there. (Though, can you finish reading this first? Once you get there, I won’t see you for a while) :)

Let me just say, Kara Tippetts faithfulness is anything but mundane. She is a superstar in my eyes when it comes to faithfulness.

This beautiful, loving, kind 38 year old is seeing the very possible end of her planning days. Her body is failing. She is dying. God has a plan.

What amazes me, day in and day out, about Kara is her attitude. I have no doubt that God’s plan looks nothing like she hoped it would. In fact, I’m reading her amazing book The Hardest Peace and I am seeing how she, like everyone, had a different plan in mind than diminishing health. Church planting, a young family to raise, friendships to make.

However, in spite of her life taking a very hard turn, she has not only accepted but embraced God’s plan in a way I wonder if I would ever be able to.

You know when your plans go askew – maybe that vacation you were planning for had to be cancelled. How do you handle it? Are you angry, bitter, sullen? Yeah, usually my reaction is similar. Even in the small things.

Yet, Kara has been asked to trust and embrace an eternity plan, and she is shining through it. She is so very real on her blog that I know she has her very sad days, but she trusts in the One who had the plan from the beginning. She knows that, even in the hard, God’s plan is the best plan.

Peace flows like a calm river from each of her blog posts and the pages of her book.

She accepts the plan of her Creator. She knows that whatever He is doing is good. She may not see all the good now, but she trusts that she will one day know it all. That He will wrap His arms around her and reveal His plan and how many people she has touched in this journey for Him. The journey in the hard of life.

I know that one day He will embrace her and say “Well done, good and faithful servant”.

He has a plan. My life has been intertwined with Kara’s, thanks to the internet, for a time. She doesn’t know me, but I feel like I know her. God’s plan for Kara’s life has touched mine. I know God has a plan for my life too. In the good and in the hard, I want to have mundane faithfulness like Kara.


Kara, you probably won’t see this but I want to place it here in case you do. You have deeply touched my heart with your honesty and bravery in this journey you are on. You have a peace that I desire so deeply and have encouraged me to dig deeper in my quiet times that I too might be able to have peace in the hard. You have touched many lives and don’t, even for a second, believe that God isn’t working through you. Even from that bed, you touch lives all over the world. Bringing hope, encouragement and a yearning for a glimpse of the God that is holding you. Thank you, dear sister-in-Christ, for sharing your journey with me. I pray for you often and look forward to the day when I will meet you in eternity and give you a hug. Thank you for all you’ve given me in your humble blog.


If you want to get in on the awesomeness of Five Minute Friday, please click the image below and join in! We love getting people hooked on this unscripted, unedited joy of writing. Let me know if you join in as I’d love to read yours! You can see my others HERE.