Tuesday, 8 December 2015

The Andy Weir thing and The Cistern Prologue

Hi everyone,
It's been a while since I've put an update on my blog, so this one is a doozy.  The 2nd book in The Alcrest Mysteries...The Menu...is out and available on Amazon and Kobo.  Things are going well.

A friend asked me why I don't do the Andy Weir thing.  If you don't know who he is, he wrote The Martian which became a great movie starring Matt Damon.  I saw the movie and it was great.  I bought the paperback and found out that Andy Weir wrote the story and put it for free on his website/blog a little at a time.  People loved it, a publisher saw it...bing, bang, boom...published and movie.  So why don't I do this?  I write a book for a year, put my soul on the pages, have fights with my family over the time I put into my writing and stress out over whether the storyline of imaginary people works...doesn't that deserve some payback?  I think so.

Of course after saying that I'll take a chance.  Here is the prologue for The Cistern (warning:  it's not for everyone and the faint at heart)  If I get a few comments and interest I will post another chapter every week.

Note:  The Cistern will be on sale on Amazon and Kobo for only .99 cents December 15 to 20th.

The Cistern:  An Alcrest Mystery



A tank for storing water, especially one supplying taps or as part of a flushing toilet
An underground reservoir for rainwater.


Twenty years ago

He wondered what the cat wanted more - to be let out of the wood box or to have the cinderblock lifted from its tail.
He stared at it, with what his mother called his big baby eyes.  The cat screeched and thrashed about wildly without getting anywhere.  Its feet dug into the bottom of the box wanting to pull its tail out from under the concrete block.  One of its nails had pulled out and was stuck in the plywood bottom.
The boy's tongue flicked out and licked the saliva collecting on his lips.  His head tilted to the side as he pondered how long it would take before Whisker's tail popped off.
He smiled.  It was like that rhyme before you flicked the dandelion head off the stem with your thumb.  "Momma had a baby and her head popped off."
Things were tingling inside the boy.  He didn't know why or how it all started, but he didn't want to let it stop.  He wanted to see how far it would go.  If the boy saw Whiskers pull its tail off would he moan in ecstasy like those men in the movies his father watched after everyone went to bed?  Would he be shocked?
This was different than the cat he put in the barrel of rain water.  He watched Tabby try and swim to the edge.  Then he pushed the cat back to the center with a stick.  It splashed around a long time, but then just gave up and it was over.
Whiskers was different.  His face got warm.
He knew that if the grey cat could pull its tail out...
"Momma had a baby..."
...it wouldn't be over.  Any bone, or whatever was in a cat’s tail, was crushed.  He could still hear the sounds from when he tipped the heavy cinderblock over.
"Hush kitty," he said in a calming tone.  "Everything’s okay."  He reached out a hand.
The cat riled up.  Its paw swiped.
The boy pulled his hand back.  There was pain on his fingers.  He looked down as crimson bubbled to the surface and squeezed through the thin holes left by razor-sharp feline blades.  He put his fingertips in his mouth and sucked.
Stupid cat.
He searched the yard.  There were more cinderblocks.  He could take one, hold it above the box, count to three...
"What are you doing?"
He spun around.  The girl from down the road stood at the corner of his house.  It was only the two of them and the howling cat.
The boy’s eyes narrowed.  He tasted blood on his tongue.  Cats and dogs were one thing.  He took a step toward the girl.  This was going to be something altogether different.  Part of him grew.
"...and her head popped off."

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Exciting Stuff Happening

Next week I have 2, possibly 3 interviews happening from one being taped, to another being on live blog-talk-radio and maybe even a TV spot.

The Menu is finished...the first draft at least...and it has been sent off to bata readers to figure out what is good and what is not.  Next step is editing and cover design. 

Thursday, 16 April 2015

What's Happening....aka Subscribe to my Newsletter.

Hey, sorry I haven't been around much as of late.  Things in the book department have become a little glum over the past few months.  That's how it goes sometimes.  Then one day I really wasn't feeling good.  I had a bad headache and felt icky.  We were on  trip to Edmonton for my daughter to compete in cheerleading and had to join the rest of her team at a trampoline park.  Wall to wall trampolines with screaming kids of all ages.  I found myself a couch to sit on and tried to relax.  I had a bottle of Dr. Pepper, a big yellow post-it pad and a pen, so I did what I do and started to write.

Just a sample cover for now
So for 1 hour I sat there amongst crowds of kids and teens (and some adults) screaming and having fun while writing about a female detective inspecting the scene of a crime.  A hiker found a naked woman face down in a meadow with her hands staked to the ground with railroad spikes and the skin pealed from her back.  I'm hoping to get it finished and make it free for all those who love a little mystery and gore.

In the meantime I'm finishing up the next Alcrest Mystery...THE MENU.  The cover model is picked

and soon I will be running contests to see what others think of possible covers.

The thing I am excited about most is starting my own monthly newsletter to be delivered to your email once or twice a month.  I really hope people subscribe because I love getting in touch.  Click on the Subscribe part over on the left side under the links and I'll be in touch soon.  Anyone who subscribes between now and the May long weekend (May 15th) will be eligible to win a cooks apron from The Menu.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Help me scare the crap out of you!

Hi, I'm trying this crowdfunding thing again because, to be honest, I can't do it alone.  Putting a novel out there (a good one) takes a lot of money.  Sure, I could write it, upload it, and away we go - but I said a good book.  I want to do a professional sexy cover and have it professionally edited.  Can't do that on my shoestring budget any more.

Please click on THE MENU and go see what this whole thing is about.  If you can't help with funds (I know how that is) please share it around.  Every tiny bit helps.

To give you a little help here is what THE MENU is all about....

Chrys and Spencer are asked to find a former foster child, Luke Weston, a young man who basically seemed to have walked off the earth.  When the body of a young woman is found beaten to death in an alley Luke's secret life comes to the surface.  A young man who always thought he should have been a woman.  Chrys will not stop until she finds out who ended his life and why.  Hate groups, drag queens, terrorists, gang-bangers and the Irish Mafia...she will challenge them all as her brother tries to save the family business.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Women of The Alcrest Mysteries

For my first post of 2015 I thought I'd talk a bit about secondary characters.  Sure, you don't read a book because of the secondary characters, but they make it a hell of a lot more interesting.  They add colour and a realism.  You go through life as the main character of your own story and have a hell of a lot of secondary characters who add substance to what is going on.

As many of you know, I base a lot of my characters on real people (usually with permission).  Sometimes I write the character and then see a real live person to lean against.  I might know the person.  I might not.

In The Menu (2nd in The Alcrest Mysteries) which I am currently writing Chrys and a bunch of her co-workers from The Alcrest Gastropub go out to a club for ladies night.  Without these secondary characters tagging along she would have a lonely night.

Dee (Diane) with her favorite shoes
Dee - was originally based off of 2 people, but became twins. (1 of which will not show up until a future novel)  Dee is a shoe fanatic.  Her twin sister travels around the world and sends home different and often expensive shoes.  She's based off of my friend Diane who I have known for many years.  She also is the one I go to when in need of shoe and clothing information.

The 2 faces of Hanni
(Nicole and Hanni)
Izzy - She is a brand new character to this book.  Her first appearance is supposed to be in the Sgt. Reid Series when Sgt. Reid comes to Middleton and visits the restaurant where his niece works.  (Yes, that would be Izzy)  She, to be honest, is not based off of anyone I know.  She is based off of a one-time character on a TV show.  She's nothing like the actual character, but I liked the look of her.

Hanni - It's pronounced Honey.  Was originally based off a woman I worked with.  She was a very flirtatious bartender who insisted on where high-heeled boots.  As she developed I began to think of her more as my sister-in-law and her name changed.

Jessie (Dominique)
Jessie - also Spencer's girlfriend.  She was and is based off of a server I saw at a restaurant around the same time I was creating her.  A year ago I met a young girl who looked remarkably like the real life Jessie that I thought they had to be sisters.  There was no relation, but she became the face of Jessie.

These characters make the novels real.  There are a lot of other secondary characters, as there are in life, and without them the novels would be short and boring.  In The Cistern you find out a little about Hanni, Dee, and a fair bit about Jessie - but more is coming in The Menu.  Some of it controversial.  Some of it perhaps shocking to the real live amazing women that these characters are loosely based on.  All of it important to bring to life the adventures of Chrys and Spencer Alcrest.