Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Writers' Police Academy

 The second day at the Writers' Police Academy started with a bang.  The Sheriff's Office and Guilford Technical Community College And Public Safety Training Academy, in Jamestown, N.C. staged a mock shooting and hostage situation where they deployed a tactical response team while we looked on. This bad guy (really a good guy) shot someone and then went into a classroom and took a hostage.  It happened scary fast.

 Kind of intimidating having all those guns pointed at you. And the baddy does a great dive when 'shot'.
Before the police check his health they cuff him and keep their guns on him. A police officer goes into the classroom makes everyone put their hands on their heads and wait.

The officer looking in our direction has a twinkle in his eye :)  He's the same officer who locked me in the back of the squad car the day before--with great enthusiasm I may add :D
 A quick pulse check and then (very handsome) EMTs come in to test for a heart beat on the monitor.  
 The pretend bad guy is pretend dead. They put paper cups over shell casings and evidence.
The police don't take their guns off the gunman the whole time and the victims have to keep their hands on their heads and are not assumed to be innocent.  I'd pee my pants.
These are all the photos I could get from my view from the floor.  The adrenaline was flowing and it was all very intense.  This was a great experience and as close to a hostage situation as I ever want to get.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Writers' Police Academy

I'm not sure what it says about me that I'm grinning so hugely at being stuffed in the back of a police car.  I did moan loadly when they shut the doors though because it was HOT!!  Apparently all the scumbags say the say thing :D



The Sheriff's Office has its own Mobile Crime Lab, Underwater Recovery Team, S.E.R.T., Hazardous Devices Team (which made me think of my brother-in-law who clears landmines in the Congo and Sudan for a living), and a really fancy bus which forms a communications hub plus a coffee and loo stop. I did ask the diver guys how the dive persona I know and love from being a Marine Biologist (lots of good time, hard partying people) mixes with the seriousness of being a police diver (the guy just grinned at me :).

My only complaint about North Carolina--like many US States they do not know how to make hot tea. 

I'll blog somemore about WPA this week but I better get on with the day job. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Gone to...

The Writers' Police Academy in North Carolina (a state I've never visited before).  Hope to update from there.  If time.  So excited!


PS.  Happy Birthday, Bones!!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Looking forward to reading...


I just ordered the above books from Chapters plus a book and a CD for hubby's Christmas or birthday and they were all free.  Muwhahaha.  I love airmiles!!!  I confess I would have already have bought an ereader by now except I was told not to.  Now if I end up with a new jumper for Christmas I'm going to be pretty disappointed :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Interview with Mary Campisi- author of THE SWEETEST DEAL

Welcome to Mary Campisi (a fellow Wild Rose Press author) who has a fun-looking romance coming out from Carina Press.  Because I'm nosey I asked her a bunch of questions :)  From her answers I think we may be the same person...

Where are you from?  
I grew up in a very small town in northwest Pennsylvania. The population was under 4,000 and you could drive through downtown in less than three minutes – including stopping at the crosswalks. The man who owned the theater also owned the drive-in and would close the theater when he opened the drive-in and vice versa. And don’t think you were going to watch a new release. We had to drive thirty minutes to a big town to do that! We had no fast food places but there was this Tastee Freeze run by a man named Joe that had amazing fries!  

Big family or only child?  
I’m the third child of four, all within a 6 year span. My brothers are both older and I have a younger sister. When the boys wanted to play football or soccer, my sister and I got drafted. She had her front tooth knocked out while she was playing goalie and my brother clocked her. He said the tooth was loose anyway….I once got tackled by that same brother while I was running for a touchdown, even though it was flag football! And when it was snowy, we’d play manhunt and use our dog as tracker. We really had great imaginations and no computers or electronic gadgets. Can you tell?  
(I am also third of four kids spaced close together--it isn't easy :))

Best ever trip? 
Several years ago, my husband and I took a trip to Ogunquit, Maine. I’ve always wanted to see craggy rocks and I read this place had them! Ogunquit is a smallish artist community by the Atlantic Ocean and is filled with beauty and quaintness.  There’s nothing big happening here, at least there wasn’t when we were there, but that’s our kind of vacation. We have enough commotion in our daily lives that when we want to get away, we don’t want timetables and schedules. This was the perfect place to kick back and relax. We saw the most beautiful flowers, spilling from baskets and containers, growing in beds, and along trails. I’m a big flower person so this was especially enjoyable. The water looked cold for September but there were several swimmers who didn’t hesitate to jump right in. I applauded their courage. At night, we ate lobster or fish and on occasion, made our way to the ice cream shop in the middle of town. The highlight of the trip was a whale watching tour we took. I’m not particularly fond of water but I so wanted a chance to do this and I knew this was probably my only opportunity for a long time. I pushed back my fears and got on that boat. Once I boarded, I didn’t think about being sea sick, or scared, or that the boat was pretty small compared to a Beluga whale, or that we were traveling 26 miles out. I didn’t think about any of it. When we reached our whale watching destination, the guide slowed the boat and we waited. The sun shone on the water and cast a haze in the distance. There was no shoreline. It was as close to Heaven on earth as I’ve ever been. Suddenly, from not too far away, a Beluga whale burst through the water. He was huge! He spouted water and went back under with a graceful sweep of tail. It was amazing and unforgettable.
A beluga?  How cool is that? 

Favourite Author?  
 I have several authors I admire and read but my all time favorite is Judith McNaught. 

Favourite Music? 
My very favorite is rock-n-roll and that would be The Rolling Stones, (and Rolling Stones Symphonic), followed by Bob Seger and Fleetwood Mac. That said, I also listen to Rob Thomas, Sara McLaughlin, Enya, Black-eyed Peas, Tom Petty, ACDC, Yanni,, Bocelli –and I love the sound track from The Phantom of the Opera. It really depends on my mood.
I love The Rolling Stones. Used them for my SEA OF SUSPICION soundtrack. I discovered them late, but not too late :)

Favourite Artist?  
Renoir- I have ‘A Little Girl with a Watering Can’ over my fireplace. The painting reminds me of one of my daughters when she was that age. There’s something about Renoir’s work that captivates me.
My mother adores Renoir and I grew up with his pictures on the wall (well, copies). I saw several in the Musee D'Orsay this spring and they are even better in real life.

Favourite Childhood memory? 
On Easter Sunday, before Mass, actually I think it was before breakfast, my sister and I would find our Easter baskets, (they were always hidden), bring them up to our bed and grab the solid milk chocolate baby. We’d start at the head and see how far we could get before it was time for Mass. Solid chocolate only lets you get so far without a break and I think we never made it past the head….

How do you relax?   
Sit on the front porch with a cup of coffee. Read. Spend time in the yard with my flowers- transplanting, cutting back, fertilizing. Press flowers. Walk my lab rescue mix, Cooper, every day – hot, cold, humid, snow, sleet, rain….clears my head, gives us both exercise and lets me think about my next scene. Watch a good movie with my husband or take a ride on the back of his Electra Glide Classic. On occasion, we’ll play Sudoku at Caribou- I know it’s a solitary game but we have fun doing it together- and Text Twist on the computer, but only once in awhile because it’s addicting. I’m a fast typist and can get all the small words, but he gets the big one that takes us to the next level. And once a month, faithfully, I put on Pride and Prejudice and swoon over Mathew McFayden as Mr. Darcy. 
I love your dog!  And I'm a Colin Firth fan, but I totally understand the obsession with P&P :)

Carina Press, September 6:

The Sweetest Deal by Mary Campisi

The Sweetest Deal

An impossible demand...
Max Jernigan is ready to close the most important business deal of his life—all he has to do is agree to one request from Grayson Crowell: impregnate the mogul's daughter.
No way can Max do this. He's a decent guy. But he would love a child. He just doesn't want a wife.
An impossible man...
C.C. Crowell gave up on dreams of a family after Mr. Worse-Than-Wrong broke her heart. Hiding behind spreadsheets, boring suits and an icy attitude, she's more than a little suspicious when arrogant, handsome Max is suddenly chasing her. But she can't deny their chemistry. Until she learns about the deal and plans to pay Max back in kind....



Finally, because it's Monday, don't forget the Author Blog Hop that's kicked off every Monday by Lisa, the California Cheer Mom writer extraordinaire. A great way to meet writers, bloggers, book lovers and generally other people with absolutely nothing else to do on a perfectly good Monday. Seriously, folks, it's fun.

Hop on, authors! Link is provided below:

Friday, September 17, 2010

My summer movies...

Last night I watched The Ugly Truth. I don't know what I was expecting but it wasn't a foul-mouthed chick flick. Strangely enough the foul-mouthed bit was the best part. I enjoyed it, but it was almost in spite of the plot.



Thanks to zip.ca (Canada's equivalent to NetFlix) I've seen a bunch of movies this summer--see below.




Thought provoking, evocative and downright sad--A Single Man.
This movie I really enjoyed. Matt Damon is cool.


Ricky--what were you thinking?

 
Scared the crap out of myself with this one, and cried at the dog scene...
I didn't like any of the characters in CLOSER. I can see it would be a great stage play but the movie didn't work for me.
Cute fun. Who doesn't love Sandra Bullock?

I've got more satisfaction out of TV than movies recently.  Me and my son have been pouring over Man versus Wild Season 4. Gotta love Bear Grylls.
So what have you been watching lately? Any movie recommendations?

Oh--and I'm interviewed today on Deanna Jewel's blog. And I even have a giveaway.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Marie Treanor--Agents, Luck & Vampires

Many thanks to Toni for inviting me to blog today! Though we’ve never actually met – had a couple of near-misses in Scotland – I’ve been a fan of Toni’s books ever since I read Her Sanctuary several years ago.

Anyway, since I’ve had a bit of writers’ luck recently, Toni suggested I blog about how I got my agent. I should say at the outset that I don’t think my agent story is a very usual one, but it is quite inspiring because it shows how luck can come out of the blue and make a huge difference to a struggling writer’s career.

I’ve been writing romance – mainly paranormal on the steamier side – for several years now and have a scary number of titles listed on my website – mainly ebooks and all with small presses. Some sold better than others but despite a slow growth in sales I was nowhere near earning a living out of writing. It never entered my head to look for an agent, since you don’t normally need one to submit to ebook publishers.

Then, about a year ago, I received an email from Robert Gottlieb, chairman of the Trident Media Group of literary agents. I almost deleted it – gulp! – assuming it was a scam, or simply spam; but since he’d actually given a website address, I warily checked it out, and nearly fell off my chair. Next, I decided this couldn’t actually be the Robert Gottlieb contacting me. I even had my techy husband checking out the email to see if it really came from the email address it claimed to. He couldn’t find anything wrong with it at all. Cautiously, I emailed back and then kept my phone permanently attached to me, waiting for him to call. Which, inevitably, he did while I was in the bathroom, but that’s another story. Suffice it to say, it’s very hard to sound professional from that position, but somehow I managed not to alienate him!

My burning question for Robert was, “why me?” And the reason, apparently, was that he’d come across my books on Kindle, and one in particular, The Devil and Via, had stood out for him. He believed I had potential and was keen to represent me. Not as keen as I was!

So we discussed my career and what my next step should be; and the upshot was that I wrote a proposal for a new vampire trilogy and the opening three chapters of what became Blood on Silk. Within a few weeks, he’d sold the trilogy to NAL.

Blood on Silk, the first Awakened by Blood novel, came out this month, and the second Blood Sin, will be released in April 2011. I’m in the process of revising the third book. I’ve no idea where things will go from here, but if they never go any farther, I’ll still be happy . I like my agent story, because it shows that if you have work out there, you never know who will read it or where it will take you next.

And if you’d like a taste of Blood on Silk – which I hope you do! - here’s the blurb and an excerpt. My heroine, I should say, is writing a thesis exploding vampire myths, so she’s not falling for any paranormal nonsense!


BLOOD ON SILK: An AWAKENED BY BLOOD Novel
By Marie Treanor
NAL Signet Eclipse, Available Now
Order now from Amazon or Barnes & Noble


Scottish academic Elizabeth Silk is spending the summer in Romania researching historical superstitions for her PhD. While she is tracing local folktales, one subject in particular sparks her imagination. His name is Saloman, legend's most powerful vampire, a seductive prince staked centuries ago. Now, in the ruins of a castle crypt, Elizabeth discovers the legends are real. Her blood has awakened him. Her innocence has aroused him. But Elizabeth unleashes more than Saloman's hunger.

An army of vampire hunters has amassed to send Saloman back to hell. Sworn to help - yet fearing Saloman's deadly blood lust - Elizabeth seeks to entrap him, offering her body as bait. But something stronger than dread, more powerful than revenge, is uniting Elizabeth to her prey. Caught between desire and rage, Elizabeth must decide where her loyalties lie...and what the limits are to a yearning she can no longer control.

*

Emerging from the picturesque vaulted arches that covered the pavement in this part of the old town, she glanced up at the jeweled sky—and something hurtled down on top of her, rolling her to the ground.

Winded and shocked, she could do nothing for the first disoriented moment. Then she realized it was a man’s heavy body pinning her to the ground, a man’s brutal hand shoving her face to one side, and she reacted from pure instinct. Grabbing his hair in both her hands, she heaved with all her might. At the same time, she jerked her knee up between his legs and felt it connect with the softness of male genitalia.

He didn’t scream, and the rising cry from her own throat got lost in shock as she stared into the red, glaring eyes of her attacker. His mouth gnashed like an animal’s, revealing long, pointed incisors. He seemed to grin as he lunged once more toward her neck, paying no attention to the hair that came away in her hands as he pushed downward toward her bucking body.

She changed tactics and punched his face instead. Though it drew a grunt from him, it made little difference to his progress. In wild desperation, she tried another, thudding her left fist into his ribs at the same time. But still his slavering mouth found her neck—just as he was plucked off her and thrown several feet across the pavement.

Gasping for breath, Elizabeth glimpsed a tall figure with his back to her. He wore dark trousers and a white shirt, and long black hair streamed down over his broad shoulders. It couldn’t be. . . .

An inarticulate whimper left her mouth at last, for her attacker had picked himself up off the ground and was charging headlong at the man in front of her. The force of his crash should have knocked the other man off his feet, and yet he didn’t even sway. The two men seemed to be inextricably tangled. Elizabeth heard a sound like a snarl, and then a snap, and her attacker simply disappeared.

For an instant, dust danced like stars where he’d been. The other man whirled around and strode toward her. Glare from the streetlight bounced off his pale, handsome face. It couldn’t be, but it was—the man who’d played Saloman.

No residual dust now clogged his pores, his hair, or his clothes. No seventeenth century cloak swung around him for added dramatic effect. Instead, a tall, fit man of the twenty-first century bore down upon her. His clean, black hair shone under the streetlight, stirring in the air as he moved. His strange eyes bored into her, twisting her stomach with unwanted memory.

Bending at the waist, just like last night’s first encounter, he seized her, dragging her upright and into his arms. There was no denying they felt good around her, hard and strong and comforting after the violence of her attacker, but she couldn’t forget what had just happened.

“Where is he?” she gasped, trying to peer past his broad shoulder. “What did you do to him?”

“I killed him for you.” Even speaking such chilling words, his voice vibrated through her like an agitated flame. “Reward time.” He lowered his head, bending her body into his. His silken hair fell across her shoulder, tickling her naked skin, and she felt his lips on her neck.

“Oh, don’t start that again, you stupid bastard!” She slapped his head hard enough to sting her own hand. “What is wrong with you?”

His body stilled, then began to vibrate. He lifted his head, and his eyes gleamed so brightly she realized he was laughing at her. She struggled in vain to throw him off. Just like last night, he was too big, too strong—terrifyingly strong.

“I’m hungry,” he explained, catching both her agitated hands and dragging them behind her back. “And you really don’t believe in me, do you?”

“No,” she spat. “I don’t.”

*******************************************************************
Thanks so much for Marie visiting today!  I'm so happy for her and wish her so much success with her books.  She is a fabulous writer.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11

It still breaks my heart thinking about that day.  I was 4000 miles away, no relatives of friends in NYC, but I remember cradling my baby and thinking the world was truly a terrible place when such things could happen. And yet the most remarkable thing from that day, and the days after, were the stories of courage and love and strength shown by our fellow human beings.

It's a sad day, a sad reminder of hate and malice and war. But more importantly it is a day when we should remember those who died so tragically and publicly.
May they rest in peace.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Busy busy busy

I've been an appalling blogger recently.  I have plenty of reasons but the main one, like the rest of you, is I'm just too busy. I'm telling myself busy is a good thing... ;)



But on Monday I am hosting a good friend of mine, Marie Treanor, who's not only going to tell us about her newest book, but she's also going to tell us how she got her legendary agent, Robert Gottlieb, Chairman of Trident Media Group, in these tumultuous publishing times. 

Check back, Monday.

And although I haven't got much writing done this last week I did find a new hero.  Something about David Paetkau's character in Flashpoint really resonates.  I love that show...

Monday, September 06, 2010

Happy Labour Day!

Happy Labour Day Weekend!!   Needless to say we have spent it hauling timber, building decks and ferrying kids from football to birthday party to BBQ to...whatever :)

After the guys built our amazing upper deck yesterday (I think we could sail to Europe on it) DH took them to the pub for a few beers and then I cleaned their clocks at poker.  Win:Win for me :)

All of a sudden it seems like summer is nearly over. The leaves are curling golden and crisp and starting to fall. The temperature is dropping closer to zero when all the summer plants wither and die and mark the end of this year's flowers. I hate the anticipation of winter in this extreme climate, it's worse than the reality of winter.

The kids go back to school on Wednesday so tomorrow will be the final preparations, gathering all those loose ends and tying them up. Making sure we have snacks and supplies for school lunches. Unfortunately I can't dive 100% into writing b/c I have some paid work to do (boo for the work, hurray for the money), but I'm getting some stuff done.

And in the spirit of writing it is Meet An Author Monday so check out some interesting authors on this blog hop :) Enjoy!!!

Friday, September 03, 2010

STORM WARNING--Back Cover Copy

I can finally share the blurb for my October Romantic Suspense release from Carina Press.

Sorcha Logan is looking for peace.

Recently returned to her hometown on Scotland’s craggy coast, Sorcha wants to tame the spirits that made her flee. When she finds a corpse in the surf, however, she can’t suppress the memory of discovering her father’s body. Nor can she suppress the ghosts that haunt her—or the town’s conviction that she’s dangerous, and a witch.

Ben Foley is looking for a killer.

An American DEA agent, Ben is in town to investigate the suspicious death of his partner. He’s sure that Sorcha knows more than she’s letting on—but the more time he spends with the sexy suspect, the less he can fight their illicit attraction. And the less certain he is she’s involved with a drug cartel.

But can Ben protect Sorcha from being set up? Or worse—killed?