3 Month Anniversary of DESCENT

My Facebook launch party is set and the date is special to me. BLAZE will be published on the 3 month anniversary of DESCENT.

When: October 25th, 2-4 PM EST

Where:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1630121803934943/

A special group of authors will be giving away their books. All you need to do is join the party, be the first to answer a trivia question correctly, and you win. I’ll announce the author list closer to the date… Can’t give you all the information at one, now could I?

If you want information on how to host your own Facebook launch party, click here. And if you do host one, be sure to let me know. I love attending them.

Early praise for BLAZE is just a thrilling to me as the early praise DESCENT received. The first I received was from Phyllis Smallman.

“Evil in a beautiful landscape—Blaze is an inferno of action and tension. ‪Its sizzling plot will keep you guessing until the end.” —Phyllis Smallman, award-winning author of the Sherri Travis murder mysteries

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If you’re looking for something to read and you haven’t read DESCENT yet, now is your chance before BLAZE comes out. Find it at: myBook.to/Descent

And if you have read DESCENT, I’d be very excited if you pre-ordered BLAZE.

Thanks for reading…

BLAZE Available for Pre-order (Stone Mountain Mystery #2)

Working with a modern publisher such as Imajin Books has advantages.

I counted on the Imajin Books website, and the company currently has 26 authors including me. This means each author gets individual attention and a fast track to publication.

So let me define fast. DESCENT was released July 25th, 2015.

BLAZE is now available for pre-order on Amazon and will be released October 25th, 2015.

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 7.31.28 AMDoes this mean I wrote two books in one year?

No. I wrote four novels during the five years I lived on a sailboat. I’m currently working on the 5th. I think I needed to write four books to learn how to write a book. When I finished the fourth, I went back to the beginning of the series and rewrote all four novels. Only then, did I feel ready to submit to the first two.

It takes time to create fiction, but now that The Stone Mountain Mystery series is underway, I’m glad to be with Imajin Books and get the novels published quickly and professionally.

Forest fires are a hot topic this year in North America, and I’ve brought it close to home for Kalin Thompson…

Instead of exchanging vows, Kalin Thompson spends her wedding day running from a forest fire near Stone Mountain Resort, and the pregnant friend trapped with her has just gone into labor. Meanwhile, Kalin’s fiancé, Ben Timlin, hangs from the rafters of a burning building, fighting for his life. Can the situation get any hotter?

When the fire is declared as arson, finding the firebug responsible becomes Kalin’s personal mission. In the course of her investigation as Director of Security, she discovers that some people will go to extreme measures to keep her from exposing their secrets.

If you haven’t read DESCENT yet, now is your chance before BLAZE comes out. Find it at: myBook.to/Descent

And if you have read DESCENT, I’d be very excited if you pre-ordered BLAZE.

Thanks for reading…

IDEAS: Where do they come from? How do you keep them?

Thank you, Melodie, for hosting me on your blog. And Melodie is…

buy link: Amazon
Buy On Amazon

The Toronto Sun called Melodie Campbell Canada’s “Queen of Comedy.”  Library Digest compared her to Janet Evanovich.  No surprise, then, that Melodie Campbell got her start writing comedy.

Melodie has won ten awards for fiction, including the Derringer and the Arthur Ellis.  In 1999, she opened the Canadian Humour Conference.  She has over 200 publications including 100 comedy credits, and 40 short stories.  Her tenth novel, a mob caper entitled The Goddaughter Caper (Orca Books) will be published in 2016.

Originally posted on Melodie Campbell (The home of Bad Girl Comedy)…


I’m very pleased to welcome friend and colleague Kristina Stanley here, a crime writer who has been nominated for prestigious crime awards before even having a book published.  Well, that is definitely a secret to getting a publisher, folks, and now come the books.  Over to you now, Kristina!

Late one night in Unteruhldingen, Germany I was reading MOONLIGHT BECOMES YOU by Mary Higgins Clark. The opening—a woman trapped in a grave. Darkness and silence surround her, and she doesn’t know where she is. I can still see her fingers clawing at the edges of the coffin.

… View Remaining Blog at: Melodie Campbell

Thanks for reading…

If you’re interested, you can buy or download a sample of DESCENT at:  myBook.to/Descent

Descent’s First Official Review

DescentCoverEvery day, it seems like the publishing journey sends me a present. But before I tell you what today’s present is, let me talk about what I learned this week.

Imajin Books taught me reviews are important for the success of a novel. This includes online reviews which Amazon won’t allow until the book is released – a good thing since how can someone review a novel if they haven’t read the book. These reviews have to come later.

The other important aspect are reviews from professionals who publish on blogs, in magazines and in newspapers.

How do you get a review? Well, you honed your skills writing query letters, didn’t you? That’s the big ask. The first letter to an agent or a publisher is the hardest. The asking gets easier with time. If you’re self published you’ll still want reviews and still need to ask.

To write a letter to a reviewer I included:

  • What I was asking for
  • The back jacket description of DESCENT
  • Who my publisher is along with release date
  • What my credentials are (award wins and nominations)
  • Early praise for DESCENT
  • And finally, I asked if the reviewer would read an Advanced Reader Copy of DESCENT. I didn’t send a copy until the reviewer said yes.

So now you’ve waited patiently to see what my present is. It’s my first review. You can hear a drum roll, can’t you?

Don Graves is a long-time mystery and crime reviewer. For many years he wrote a column for the Hamilton Spectator and has won an award for his Spectator reviews of Canadian mystery novels. Heres what he had to say about DESCENT

Descent is the first in a series of Stone Mountain mysteries. It’s an action packed story. Testosterone, stress, dangerous corners and pain lead to murder on the slopes of this remote ski resort. Kalin Thompson, head of security is ordered to investigate by her boss. A growing list of suspects leads Kalin to wonder if the dead Olympic calibre skier got what he deserved.  Descent, a mystery that keeps you riding the lift for one last read and the killer’s identity. – Don Graves, Canadian Mystery Reviews

If you’d like to help me celebrate , Descent’s Facebook launch partyJuly 25th, 3-6 PM EST. You are invited and most welcome to join us to help celebrate. Come and win a book from one of the amazing authors donating their work! Click here to join.

DESCENT is now available for pre-order in eBook format. The paperback will follow shortly.

If you haven’t read my blog before, I’ve signed on with Imajin Books and will blog about my publishing adventure. I’ll share what I learn and hope it helps someone out there get their novel published.

Please feel free to share this post and help me get the word out.

Thanks for reading…

Scapple and Writing

If you haven’t used Scapple, it’s a neat tool for organizing thoughts when editing or writing a novel.

I made bubble diagrams of each suspect in my novel, Avalanche.

Things I found that helped:

  • Connections between characters that could strengthen the readers belief that one of the characters was guilty.
  • Inconsistencies with clues.
  • Ideas for more clues.
  • At what point in the plot did the protagonist learn important details. Then I made sure I didn’t reference the information earlier.
  • Were the clues evenly balanced amongst the suspects?
The software is free flowing in the sense that you can draw what you like. Bubble diagrams, flow of information etc. It has a free 30 day trial so if you’re interested, you have nothing to lose.

It’s a fun and easy tool to work with, and I think has tightened my plot. See Literature and Latte for a better product description.

Here’s a shout out to Kirsten for pointing out Scapple to me. She always blogs about something interesting and useful.

Do you have any tools to help you write?

Thanks for reading . . .

Reading to Write Well

I believe to write well, you have to read. Read everything in the genre you write in, read everything close to the genre you write in, read books you would never write but love to read, but find the time to read.

This is a lovely excuse to spend time reading. I pretend I’m working. Yup – working. Then I don’t feel as if I’m slacking off and not doing other things I should be doing.

So how do I find books to read?

Every year when the Crime Writers Of Canada announces the Arthur Ellis Short lists, I read all the books on the list.

I read by category. The Best Novel, Best First Novel, Best Novella.

Then I play a game with myself and pick the winners. After the winners are announced I compare my list to the winning list. If I’ve chosen a different book, I go back and look at the two books and try to figure out why a certain book one over the one I chose. It makes me look at the book in  a different way and helps me learn new writing techniques.

I hope you find time to read too.

Thanks for reading . . .

Crime Writers Of Canada: Arthur Awards

I’m giddy with happiness and need to share.

Writing  and trying to publish a novel is a long, seriously long, journey, with very few accolades along the way.

With trepidation, I entered DESCENT in the Unhanged Arthur competition. This competition is for Canadian writers and is given for excellence in mystery, suspense and crime writing to unpublished authors.

I submitted my entry last fall. In January came the first exciting news. Descent made the long list. A wild sense of relief filled me. Descent had made it that far, and I felt pretty good. Now, all I had to do was wait until April 24th for the short list announcement.

That’s sounds easy, right?

Wrong. I didn’t sleep for the four nights leading up to the announcement. On the night of the 24th, I went to bed not knowing if Descent made the list or not. I woke up more times than I want to admit, but forced myself not to turn on my computer and check. If Descent wasn’t on the list, I knew I was in for a completely sleepless night.

On the morning of the 25th, I took my first sip of coffee, opened my laptop and collected my email.

The first message I read was from a facebook friend. The text read : Congrats on making the short list.

I looked up at my husband and smiled.

“I told you, you would make it,” he said with a big grin on his face.

Next I read the email from CWC (Crime Writers of Canada) with the official notice that Descent was short listed.

I asked my husband to read the email, just to make sure I wasn’t reading only what I wanted to see.

“Yup, he said. You made it.”

Friday turned out to go by in a blur. I couldn’t quite believe I was on the list.

Saturday morning, I woke up with the first feeling of happiness about the award.

I’m still in the middle of my journey, but once in a while it’s good to stop and enjoy small successes.

Thanks for reading . . .

Here are the places I found the announcement:

CBC Books

Crime Writers Of Canada

Blog Mystery Fanfare

Blog Criminal Element

Blog Shots Crime and Thriller Ezine 

Blog Mystery Mavin Canada

Blog Black Mask

Blog The Rap Sheet

Blog Mystery Scene

2013 Arthur Ellis Awards – May 30, 2013

So you’re looking for something to read?

Want to read books by Canadians?

Want to read crime/mystery novels?

Then this list if for you.

The winners of the Arthur Ellis awards are:

Best First Novel

Simone St. JamesThe Haunting of Maddy Clare, NAL

Best Novel

Giles BluntUntil the Night, Random House Canada

Best Novella

Lou AllinContingency Plan, Orca Books

Best Short Story

Yasuko Thanh, “Switch-blade Knife” in Floating Like the Dead, McClelland & Stewart

Best Nonfiction

Steve LillebuenThe Devil’s Cinema: The Untold Story behind Mark Twitchell’s Kill Room, McClelland & Stewart

Best French Book

Mario Bolduc, La Nuit des albinos: Sur les traces de Max O’Brien, Libre Expression

Best Juvenile/YA Book

Shane PeacockBecoming Holmes, Tundra Books

Best Unpublished First Novel, aka The Unhanged Arthur

Coleen SteeleSins Revisited

Derrick Murdoch Award

Lyn Hamilton