Laura Kelly and the launch of VILLAINOUS VACATIONS, A Collection of Crime Stories.

Hello everyone!

Villainous Vacations, our anthology of crime short stories is officially up for sale!  V VcoverEbookMED And last Sunday we had our launch party at The Sleuth of Baker Street bookstore which was absolutely fantastic. It was my first launch party (and my very first publication, woot!) and it was so much fun. Not only was it wonderful to get to spend some time with the other authors from the anthology, who are all fantastic, it was great to get to meet and talk to some of our readers. Without you guys we wouldn’t get to do what we do.

Part of the launch party was every author getting a moment to read an excerpt from their story. I’ve spoken on my blog about my love of listening to a story being told in the context of audio books and podcasts and this was no exception. Hearing from my fellow authors was a great way of getting a different perspective on their work, really good experience. And I read, even with my dislike (re: fear) of public speaking, which was very exciting.

Everyone at the book signing also got the first look at the trailer I made for the book, which I’m very proud of and happy with the way it turned out. (Especially since working on it killed my old computer monitor. Hot day with no A/C + video editing = one very overheated monitor.) I just have a few details to deal with before it goes online, so stay tuned for updates on that front.

Blurb:

MYSTERY, MURDER AND MAYHEM: Why settle for one nefarious crime when you can have eleven?

If you like spine-chilling tales of felony, villainy and scandal, with shocking twists and thrilling turns, then you will love this new collection of edge-of-your-seat crime stories guaranteed to make you flinch.

You will not be able to put “Villainous Vacations” down. Or fall asleep after reading these gripping stories.

Re-connect with familiar authors and find new favourites in this delicious collection.

BUY LINKS

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1OTHgcB

KOBO: http://bit.ly/1X3qujK

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/25skeH0

iTunes: https://itun.es/us/FTiKcb.l

Author Bio:  032

A recent university grad and avid reader, Laura Kelly has been writing stories since early elementary school. She loves to travel, learn new languages, and is always looking for new places and histories to influence her works. When not writing she can be found either at the library with her nose in a book or curled up at home with a good video game. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Toronto Romance Writers.

You can visit her online at www.lauraekkelly.wordpress.com.

Favorite Food Thursday – 24 Hour Coleslaw

24 Hour Coleslaw

The summer is upon us and this is one of my favorite recipes when we BBQ. I got it from my sister and I hope you enjoy it too. Coldslaw

1 – large cabbage, shredded

1 – large onion, chopped

1 – large green pepper, finely chopped

1 medium carrot, shredded

2 cups white vinegar

1 cup canola oil

3 cups granulated sugar

4 tsp salt

4 tsp celery seed

1 tsp dry mustard power

½ tsp black pepper

Put cabbage, onion, green pepper and carrot into a large bowl. Measure remaining ingredients into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Pour hot mixture over cabbage mixture. Stir to mix and press down until vegetables are wilted and are covered with brine. Cool. Store in covered container in refrigerator. Let stand 1 or 2 days before eating.

Lori Kane interviews her character Jess from JAMIE in VILLAINOUS VACATIONS, A Collection ofCrime Stories.

Lori Kane author of “Jamie” a story from the anthology Villainous Vacations sits down with her main character, Jess Campbell for a little look inside her story.V VcoverEbookMED

LK: Jess, the story starts with you heading home in a panic to help in the search for your missing sister, Jamie. It’s intense, but you seemed able to hold it together well. How did you manage?

Jess: It’s not easy, but when you have a sister with mental health issues, you learn early on that you have to remain calm and clear to be of any use in a crisis situation. I go into auto pilot a little, I guess.

LK: You seemed reluctant to head home for Christmas and wouldn’t have gone if it weren’t for this unfortunate situation. Am I reading that correctly?

Jess: Let’s just say that I left someone behind a couple of years back and even though I chose to leave, facing him, Jack, was not part of my plan.

LK: Unresolved feelings?

Jess: I didn’t think so, but if I’m honest, I never really got over him and seeing him again would just open it all up again. It doesn’t help that he’s my older brother’s best friend.

LK: Awkward!

Jess: A little. But the important issue here is my sister. She’s only eighteen and not always good about to staying on her medication. If someone has taken her, well, we’re going to move heaven and earth to find her and bring her home.

LK: You’ve got a lot on your plate. We’ll leave it there for now.

Find out what the story is with Jess, her missing sister Jamie and the lost love Jack that finds himself square in the middle of the action.

Blurb:

MYSTERY, MURDER AND MAYHEM: Why settle for one nefarious crime when you can have eleven?

If you like spine-chilling tales of felony, villainy and scandal, with shocking twists and thrilling turns, then you will love this new collection of edge-of-your-seat crime stories guaranteed to make you flinch.

You will not be able to put “Villainous Vacations” down. Or fall asleep after reading these gripping stories.

Re-connect with familiar authors and find new favourites in this delicious collection.

BUY LINKS

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1OTHgcB

KOBO: http://bit.ly/1X3qujK

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/25skeH0

iTunes: https://itun.es/us/FTiKcb.l

Author Bio: Lori

Lori Kane loves a good mystery, but it’s even better when mixed wit ha good romance. A PRO member of RWA – TRW chapter, Lori loves adding intrigue and suspense to her romance stories and plans to continue doing so for many years to come.

Connect with Lori on Twitter @lovelorikane

 

 

Crochet collar with beading attached.

Last week I shared with you my first attempt at making jewelry. Building on what I learned in class, I decided to design and make a necklace with matching earrings.

I wear a lot of blue clothing so I thought a blue and white necklace would look good and I could wear it with different outfits.

This time I crocheted a white collar from a pattern that my Aunt taught me years ago.

I choose the white beads with the blue flowers then added the plain white beads, the blue beads and the clear beads.006

Then I took head pins and build the bead design with a clear bead on bottom, a bigger blue bead, a solid white bead, next the biggest bead with the flower design on it, another white bead, and blue bead completed the design.

I made seven then attached five to the necklace and made earrings out of the last two.

This is a very comfortable necklace to wear because the crochet cotton is so soft.

Next week, I will show you my next project.

Tell me about your beading experiences.

Character Interview by Jeffrey Charles, Villainous Vacations, A Collection of Crime Stories

You’re the main character in the short story, Room 9 in Villainous Vacations, A Collection of Crime Stories. Tell us a little bit about yourself.V VcoverEbookMED

Well the story isn’t far from a boring day in anyone’s life really. Just a lonely clerk working a lonely job in an even lonlier place. Then a brief collapse of the boring as a small slab of chaos enters the picture.

I can’t really explain it any better than that. You just have to read through my tale without getting lost in the line between reality and the extraordinary.

One thing is for sure, at the end of the day we can all agree that cleaning blood stains; whether on hardwood floor or carpets, is a real pain.

What do you do for a living?

I currently work at a motel in the middle of nowhere. The hours aren’t the best and the pay isn’t anything to write home to mom about…yeah I don’t really know why I’m still there…

What was your childhood like?

Tough question actually. I recall us moving around consistently, to the point where it all just seems like a blur. As far as I know it was happy when not moving all over the place.

 Do you believe in love at first?

I sure wish I could, I definitely want to believe in that idea. But the realist in me knows that is unfortunately nothing but a lie the desperate people tell themselves to make it through each day.

What is your favourite food?

Toughest question yet! I love meat so it is difficult to narrow it down to one thing. A solid rare steak probably wins for me though.

Thanks for visiting us today.

Blurb:

MYSTERY, MURDER AND MAYHEM: Why settle for one nefarious crime when you can have eleven?

If you like spine-chilling tales of felony, villainy and scandal, with shocking twists and thrilling turns, then you will love this new collection of edge-of-your-seat crime stories guaranteed to make you flinch.

You will not be able to put “Villainous Vacations” down. Or fall asleep after reading these gripping stories.

Re-connect with familiar authors and find new favourites in this delicious collection.

BUY LINKS

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1OTHgcB

KOBO: http://bit.ly/1X3qujK

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/25skeH0

iTunes: https://itun.es/us/FTiKcb.l

Never say Never Again

Release Day for VILLAINOUS VACATIONS, A Collection of Crime Stories.villainous vacations cover

I know I said I’d never do another anthology again after NEFARIOUS NORTH, but when you have such a talented group of writers to work with it’s hard to say no.

Joining me again are Linda Cahill with her story, ESCAPE FROM THE BEACH, Jeffrey Charles with his story, Room 9, and Kollene McKeown with her story FIXED.

My multi-published friends, Kate Freiman with her story, A MATTER OF MINUTES, Gina X. Grant with her story, SUMMER STALK and Joan Leacott with her story TOLLKEEPER’S LEGACY.

First time authors Lori Kane with her story, JAMIE, Laura Kelly with her stories, LAST CHRISTMAS, and WHAT COULD GO WRONG? and Teri Lyn with her story AFTER EVERYTHING.

Of course, I have included one of my stories, DESTINY.

If you like spine-chilling tales of felony, villainy and scandal, with shocking twists and thrilling turns then you’ll love each and every story in this anthology.

If you’re in the Toronto area, please join us at our launch at Sleuth of Baker St at 907 Millwood Rd, Toronto from 2 – 4 on Sunday, June 12th.

If you’re not able to join us, then you can still enjoy the book from these retailers.

BUY LINKS

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1OTHgcB

KOBO: http://bit.ly/1X3qujK

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/25skeH0

iTunes: https://itun.es/us/FTiKcb.l

 

 

Interview with Nell Castle, author of A LEAP OF FAITH

Welcome Nell. I’m excited you’re here today.

Tell us about your new release.

It’s an old-fashioned story, influenced by the dozens of coverless Harlequin Romances my ALeapofFaith_cover_medium (2)mother would buy from drugstore bins in the late 70’s. Sophia, my heroine, is a “good girl” who sacrifices her own needs for others. In her late twenties, she’s only just beginning to recognize her right to self-fulfillment, but not before her chronic low self-esteem pushes her straight into the arms of the wrong man. The arrival of Jackson, the man she’s destined to love, sends shock waves through her quiet life. Making the hero a celibate minister with a checkered past was a nod to The Thorn Birds, one of my favorite novels growing up. I love the sexual tension that builds between two people forbidden to be together.

A  Leap of Faith buy links:

Amazon:  https://amzn.com/B01EZM8MD0

The Wild Rose Press: http://goo.gl/7CsDF8

Please tell us where do you story ideas come from.

My heroines are inspired by women I know, who are then buckled and bent by my imagination and the demands of the story. I visualize a man who I think would make her happy, create a world in which they both plausibly exist, throw a lot of obstacles in their way, and eventually launch them into Happily Ever After.

Are you in control of your characters or do they control you?

I spend so much time working out the details of the plot that I feel firmly in control of my characters when I begin the story. But the story always twists away from my control when characters need to do or express something I hadn’t allowed for in the pre-writing stage. And that’s okay. In fact, those tend to be my favorite chapters.

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

There are lots of half-forgotten life experiences I’ve found useful to include in my writing. For example, in my just-completed manuscript, I drew on an experience at a laundromat off a canal in south Florida twenty years ago. Glad I got to reuse that setting—how often can you watch alligators while you fold your towels? As for personality, some of my secondary characters seem to voice the sarcasm of their author. I try to keep cynicism away from my main characters. I know it’s an unlovely trait.

What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?

Intersecting the twists and turns of the plot with the character arches, so that the story fits together like a puzzle—that is SO much fun. Getting the story down, revising it, and sending it off to the publisher with a little prayer feels great. Knowing you’ve written a book, an actual book! is an indescribable high. However, working on round after round of edits is quite a grind.  Trying to sell your little book in a big world is probably the hardest part of the process, at least for an introvert. And most people who write books seem to be introverted.

Tell us about your new release.

It’s an old-fashioned story, influenced by the dozens of coverless Harlequin Romances my mother would buy from drugstore bins in the late 70’s. Sophia, my heroine, is a “good girl” who sacrifices her own needs for others. In her late twenties, she’s only just beginning to recognize her right to self-fulfillment, but not before her chronic low self-esteem pushes her straight into the arms of the wrong man. The arrival of Jackson, the man she’s destined to love, sends shock waves through her quiet life. Making the hero a celibate minister with a checkered past was a nod to The Thorn Birds, one of my favorite novels growing up. I love the sexual tension that builds between two people forbidden to be together.

Fast Round Questions

Fruit or Chocolate?

How about vegetables? Okay, chocolate.

Coffee or tea?

I would rather die than live without coffee.

Go to the movies or watch TV.

With shows like Game of Thrones, The Americans, Masters of Sex, and everything Netflix has to offer, the TV offers more than enough distraction.

What is your favorite punctuation mark and why?

I overuse the semicolon, in personal writing at least, and I’m not proud of it. It demonstrates how I fail to think through a thought to its completion; there’s always something extra I want to add.

Author Bio:  Nell Castle grew up in western Pennsylvania and graduated from Temple Nell Castle hu (2)University in Philadelphia. Since then, she’s lived in Key West, Anchorage, Sarasota, and Virginia Beach. She moved back to northeastern Ohio to raise her kids closer to the family homestead but looks forward to moving to a gentler climate after her youngest graduates. Until then, she revisits white powder beaches and craggy mountain tops only in her writing. She’s submitted a new manuscript to her publisher, The Wild Rose Press, and is currently at work on a novella.

Contact  links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Nell-Castle-1113668521990989/?fref=ts

WordPress: nellcastle.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/nellcastle

The Wild Rose Press: http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/1309_nell-castle

A Hunter’s Destiny

lindamacdonaldcahill

V VcoverEbookMEDKaren Blake-Hall creates memorable personalities in her novels, short stories and novellas. Feisty Molly Jackson’s appealing strength kicks the romantic suspense novel genre up a notch in You Are Mine while ‘the scary guy’ in Your Number is Up imparts a delicious paranormal tinge to her short story in the Nefarious North anthology.

Today I am interviewing one of her most exciting characters yet, Hunter, from the short story Destiny in Villainous Vacations, A Collection of Crime Stories. Hunter is at a holiday celebration.

“Tell me why you went to the party?”

“Ted and I were in the forces together. He’d never get off my back if I didn’t show up, but the truth is I didn’t want to go. Never liked celebrating the holidays. Too much family drama.

“Your family has a lot of drama?”

‘No.” Shaking his head, he continued. “I don’t have a family. Right now I’m…

View original post 319 more words

Character Interview with Honoria Sweet from “A MATTER OF TIME, in VILLAINOUS VACATIONS, A Collection of Crime Stories.

My name is Honoria Sweet—you can call me Honey; most people do—and I see dead people. Not all of them, of course; just the ones who want me to see, and hear, them. But not the ones I want to see, like my late parents, so I could tell them one more time how much I love and miss them. And, while it might be helpful in my day job as a defense attorney to know if I’ve got an innocent client or not, I’ve yet to meet the spirit of a murder victim in any of my cases. That would be too easy, wouldn’t it?

Oh, and one more thing you need to know about me: I’m a fictional character created by Kate Freiman. You’ll get to meet me for the first time in Kate’s short story, “A Matter ofvillainous vacations cover Minutes,” in the Villainous Vacations anthology edited by Karen Blake-Hall. I’ll appear in my own full-length novel, Haunting Justice in the near future. I’m certainly not her first character to encounter formerly-living-people. Between Kate and myself, I’m the only one who can commune with ghosts, so I’ve been asked to try to explain why Kate writes stories with—to put it bluntly—dead characters in them. (I’m in the middle of a really irritating murder trial, so this will have to be brief.)

According to Kate, and I quote: “Birth and love are the most profound miracles of human life, while death and love are its most profound mysteries.”

The thing is, Kate says, she doesn’t “get” death. What happens to our thoughts, our ideas, our emotions, when we die? What happens to our regrets and postponed intentions? It’s hard to think that everything that makes us alive, makes us human, just disappears when we die. What if we’re not done yet? How can people about whom we say they are “larger than life” suddenly not exist? Where does the love go?

Storytellers get to make up the rules of their story worlds, so Kate has created a world in which some people manage to stay after they… leave. Justice and resolution have a lot to do with that world. Kate’s big on the concepts of justice and fairness and resolution, so in her world, it’s possible for some—not all—people to finish what they’ve left undone, repair what may have been broken, close doors that should no longer be open. She’s also big on the notion that love lasts beyond the end of life. And really, I can’t find fault with that, even if her logic and knowledge of biology and physics are a little… weak.

That’s one of the best things about fiction, isn’t it? Storytellers can play what if? with all sorts of ideas and who’s to say whether the “truth” of a story is—or isn’t—really true?

Blurb:

MYSTERY, MURDER AND MAYHEM: Why settle for one nefarious crime when you can have eleven?

If you like spine-chilling tales of felony, villainy and scandal, with shocking twists and thrilling turns, then you will love this new collection of edge-of-your-seat crime stories guaranteed to make you flinch.

You will not be able to put “Villainous Vacations” down. Or fall asleep after reading these gripping stories.

Re-connect with familiar authors and find new favourites in this delicious collection.

BUY LINKS

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1OTHgcB

KOBO: http://bit.ly/1X3qujK

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/25skeH0

iTunes: https://itun.es/us/FTiKcb.l

My new hobby, Beading 101

When I retired, I wasn’t sure what I would do to fill my time. I write romantic suspense under Karen Blake-Hall, and I also write paranormal erotic romance under Kayden Claremont, but I can’t write all the time so my friend and I decided to go take a beading course.

We signed up for a course Jewelry 101. It was all about stringing beads. Sounds easy, right?

Choosing the beads was great fun. I close black beads with silver hearts to make the bracelet. We worked out the pattern on the multi strand beading design board.056

Stringing the beads was easy, but before we did it, we had to attach the lobster clasp. Now that was harder than you would think. After we put the stringing wire through clasp, we had to then take a crimping bead and attach it to the wires, then clamp it tight so the wires did not move. I dropped the crimping bead about a dozen times, but I finally got the hang of it.

Then I took the beads from the design board and strung them. I was delighted with my success. Then I faced the hardest part of the evening. We cut the wire, wrapped it thought a joining ring then had to stick it back through the beads to make it tight. Then I struggled to get the final crimping bead on it.

The result was a lovely black and silver bracelet.

Next time I tell you the story about beading a necklace and making matching earrings.

Have you ever beaded?