Posts Tagged ‘authors’

Guest Blogger Judy Penz Sheluk: The Power of “What If?”

Posted on: July 18th, 2015 by Carrick Publishing 6 Comments

Judy Penz Sheluk As a mystery writer, I’m often asked where I get my ideas. The answer to that varies by the story, although I’ll admit that there’s always some impetus that drives me to want to develop the fictional characters and inhabit their world for a while.

Let’s take, for example, my short story “Live Free or Die,” which appears in World Enough and Crime (Carrick Publishing, Nov. 2014). Although the story takes place in Toronto, as the title suggests, New Hampshire is most definitely represented. Without giving too much away, the plot involves a naïve twenty-one-year-old, Emerald (Emmy) and her love affair with Jack, a thirty-year-old man from New Hampshire who’s not all that he seems. Am I Emmy? Of course not. But, like Emmy, I did once work in the credit department of a Toronto-based insurance company, and I did have the misfortune of falling head over heels with a cad I met while working there. I merely took those circumstances and said, “What if?”

Judy Penz Sheluk - Hang Man's NooseBGWriting a novel takes even more of those “What if?” moments. In my debut mystery, The Hanged Man’s Noose (Barking Rain Press, July 2015), freelance writer Emily Garland is cash-strapped, newly single, and tired of reporting on the same old Toronto condo stats. When she’s offered a lucrative assignment in the village of Lount’s Landing, she decides to take a chance. All she has to do is relocate and uncover the real story behind a proposed redevelopment plan. And that’s where “What if?” comes in—along with a greedy developer and a feisty antiques shop owner who will do anything to preserve the integrity of the town’s Main Street.

Once again, I’m not Emily Garland. I have, however, been a fulltime freelance writer, specializing in art, antiques and the residential housing industry, since 2003. (I’m still waiting for a lucrative assignment to come my way!) I’ve also seen firsthand how irate people can get when unwanted development comes to their neighborhood. What if???

Getting ideas is as simple as paying attention to the world around me. The “what if’s” are what help me turn those ideas into fiction.

Judy Penz Sheluk is a member of Sisters in Crime International, Guppies, and Toronto, as well as Crime Writers of Canada. Find Judy at judypenzsheluk.com, where she interviews other authors and blogs about the writing life.

Judy Penz Sheluk’s debut mystery novel, The Hanged Man’s Noose, is scheduled for publication July 21, 2015. Click on the Barking Rain Press logo to sign up to receive the first 4 chapters FREE and get a 35% off coupon to buy the book!

New Release! Silicon Slummin’…and Just Gettin’ By, novel by Steven M. Moore

Posted on: March 1st, 2015 by Carrick Publishing

~by Donna Carrick, Carrick Publishing

Mary Jo Melendez is back. The protagonist of Muddlin’ Through takes a permanent security job in the Silicon Valley after bouncing across the U.S. through temp jobs.

Her future isn’t all bright, though, as she discovers she has a stalker. Moreover, two teams of agents, U.S. and Russian, are in hot pursuit.

She hires a PI for surveillance and protection who becomes a new love interest. The two match wits against her pursuers.

Will this ex-USN Master-at-Arms survive this time?

Steven Moore - The Golden Years coverAfter the 2013 release of The Golden Years of Virginia Morgan, I asked Steven how he could manage to create and develop such strong, believable and likable female protagonists.

To paraphrase his answer: It all comes down to life experience. I’ve been blessed to surround myself with strong, intelligent women. Their ideas and attitudes find their way into my female characters.

It’s clear to the casual reader that Steve brings a great deal of his own intelligence and human understanding to his novels and short stories. From characters as diverse as “Chen and Castilblanco”, to DHS Agent Ashley Scott, to our mystery heroine Mary Jo Melendez, “believable” and “likable” are the labels that fit across the board.

Silicon Slummin’…and Just Gettin’ By is the second in the Mary Jo Melendez mystery series. If you haven’t already met Mary Jo, you’ll want to get your hands on a copy of Muddlin’ Through.`

Buy it, read it, and grow to love Mary Jo!

Cover art by Sara Carrick


To learn more about the works of Steven M. Moore, or any of our Carrick Publishing authors, don’t hesitate to contact us at:
carripublishing email

Join us for Rosemary Aubert’s signing of Don’t Forget You Love Me, Feb. 21, Sleuth of Baker Street

Posted on: February 16th, 2015 by Carrick Publishing

Rosemary Aubert-Sleuth

The season of love is well underway!

With that in mind, Carrick Publishing would like to invite mystery lovers in the GTA to join us at the Sleuth of Baker Street bookstore, where author Rosemary Aubert will be signing copies of Don’t Forget You Love Me.

Sleuth of Baker Street bookstore
Saturday, February 21, 2015
from 2-4pm
Address: 907 Millwood Road, Toronto, ON M4G 1X2
Phone:(416) 483-3111

Refreshments will be served!


When a profound personal tragedy propels Ellis into a puzzling case with no suspects and no clues, he’s forced back into the world of crime. Against the drama of a Toronto conference that brings world leaders to the city, Ellis finds himself surrounded with new enemies and old allies, one of whom threatens to make demands on him he’s in no position to meet.

Don’t Forget You Love Me is the 6th novel in Aubert’s beloved Ellis Portal mystery series. It was chosen by both J.D. and Marian of Sleuth of Baker Street as their January, 2015 “Pick of the Month”, and with good reason!

Rosemary Aubert has achieved world-wide attention with her Ellis Portal series. She is a Toronto writer, teacher, speaker and criminologist who mentors fresh mystery writers and treasures classic ones.

Critical acclaim for Ellis Portal and the Ellis Portal mystery series:

The New York Times “…in Ms. Aubert’s sensitive treatment, a character with great dignity and unusual moral depth.”

Washington Post “Rosemary Aubert has a touch of the poet.”

Kirkus Reviews “Heartfelt and often piercing in its portrayal of life on the edge.”

New Brunswick Reader “An absorbing read that stays with you long after you put it down.”

The Globe and Mail “Aubert has done a fine job…taking on some of the social issues that bedevil a big city…”

Don’t miss your chance to meet this exceptional author and support Canadian Crime at its finest!

Launch party for World Enough and Crime – Sleuth of Baker Street, a smashing success!

Posted on: December 8th, 2014 by Carrick Publishing

We’d like to thank Tammy-Li Carrick for the photos shown in the following collages.

We also send a huge Thank You to Ken Quan for the lovely photos immediately following the collages!

Click to view the powerpoint World Enough Sleuth Launch.

Click to view the full Powerpoint created by Ken and Sophia Quan  World Enough and Crime Ken Quan 2014 12 06

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Below: Sleuth of Baker Street bookstore, 907 Millwood Road, Toronto.

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The food table was laden with wonderful treats: home-baked cookies by Joan O’Callaghan, a fruit tray from Rosemary McCracken and Ed Piwowarczyk, and sandwiches and cheese from the Carricks.

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Excellent musical background was provided by Ted Carrick.

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Author Rosemary Aubert (the Ellis Portal mystery series) chats with Ed Callway. We thank Ed and Madeleine for bringing the wine, and Ed for manning the drinks table.

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Donna takes a break with Ted and Tammy-Li Carrick.

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Hard-working authors arrive early to sign copies of World Enough and Crime.

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Left to right: Authors and friends Judy Penz Sheluk, Sylvia Maultash Warsh, Melodie Campbell and Dave Campbell.

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Donna, Ted and Tammy-Li visit with dear friend Sophia Quan.

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The store was hopping with energy throughout the event.

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Donna takes time out for a quick photo-op with our anthology.

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Our lovely anthology among the many great crime books!

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A crowded bookstore is a beautiful sight.

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Dear friend Gaby Gaedecke was a very welcome guest, sharing a hug with Donna and Tammy-Li.

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Sleuth of Baker Street store owner Marian Misters rings up a sale of World Enough and Crime.

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Percy stands guard over the book-stash!

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Melodie Campbell (The Artful Goddaughter) reads from her story “Cover Girl”.

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Donna Carrick (The First Excellence) reads from her story “Doctor Shediac”.

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Rosemary Aubert (Don’t Forget You Love Me) reads from her story “The Prime Suspect”.

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 Rosemary McCracken (Black Water) reads from her story “Antonia”.

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Alex Carrick (“Five Scoops” is an Addiction) discusses the inspiration for his story “The Peace of Mind Thief”.

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Bianca Marais reads from her story “The Savages Among Us”.

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Joan O’Callaghan (Amazing Days) reads from her story “Runaway”. Earlier Joan also read from “Delights in Novelty” by Brad Ling.

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The yummy food and wine provided a welcome re-fuelling for our gathering.

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John Thompson (Spirit Over Steel – MKII) reads from his story “What Fresh Hell is This?”

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Ed Piwowarczyk reads from his story “The Angels Wait”.

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M.H. (Madeleine) Callway (Windigo Fire) reads from “The Ultimate Mystery”. Earlier, Madeleine also read from “Potluck” by Lynne Murphy.

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Alex Carrick (“Four Scoops” is Over the Top) reads from his story “The Peace of Mind Thief”. Earlier, Alex also read from “Live Free or Die”, by Judy Penz Sheluk.

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Our thanks to Holly Quibbell and Thomas Cazes for providing delicious gourmet tea samples for our event!

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Thomas chats with Carrick family friend Sophia Quan.

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Below, left to right: Madeleine Harris-Callway, Donna Carrick and son Thomas Cazes.

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Donna chats with long-time friend Stephanie Bell.

Authors M.H. (Madeleine) Callway (left) and Rosemary Aubert (right) enjoy a break with friend and fellow-writer.

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We want to thank everyone who made this day a great success!

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World Enough And Crime ~ daily Feature: The Ultimate Mystery, by M.H. Callway

Posted on: September 6th, 2014 by Carrick Publishing

Donna Sara3 June14***Coming soon***
WORLD ENOUGH AND CRIME***,
(Carrick Publishing, Fall 2014)

At Carrick Publishing, we’re thrilled to be working once again with a group of talented professional authors. It’s been a hell of a ride, and we’re not there yet, but by October we’ll be ready for the release of this exceptional Crime anthology!

Meanwhile, allow us to whet your anticipation. Leading up to the launch of EFD2: World Enough And Crime, we’ll feature daily “snippets” from each of the tantalizing stories.

Stay tuned, folks! This is but the first of many delightful excerpts to follow:

EFD2 - World Enough EXCERPT Callway

EFD2: Crime Antho Submissions are now open!

Posted on: June 12th, 2014 by Carrick Publishing

SUBMISSIONS ARE NOW OPEN FOR EFD2: OUR UPCOMING CRIME ANTHOLOGY!
**DEADLINE: JULY 31, 2014**

Effective Thursday, June 12, 2014, we’ll begin accepting submissions for our second Excerpt Flight Deck Anthology, EFD2. Now the fun can begin for active members of the Excerpt Flight Deck FaceBook group:

This collection will include short Crime Fiction stories between 800 and 6,000 words in length.

Each installment will be footnoted with an author photo, brief bio, a link to the Amazon author page and/or website link, and an editor’s note about the author’s use of genre.

This ambitious project is possible thanks to the experience Carrick Publishing has acquired through our own literary endeavors and the work we’ve done for our Associated Authors .

This exciting opportunity will be open at no cost to EFD group members only.

    Submission Guidelines:

1- Author must be an active member of the FaceBook group “Excerpt Flight Deck for Readers and Authors”, hosted by Donna & Alex Carrick of Carrick Publishing. If you are not already a member, please join prior to submitting your story.

2- Submission must be previously unpublished in e-book or electronic format.

3- Author must possess full copyright and must be the author of the work. Public domain work is not eligible.

4- Carrick Publishing will be granted exclusive copyright for publication and e-publication of the work. This exclusive copyright will remain in effect for 2 years after the date of publication of the anthology. In other words, the author will not publish or e-publish or cause the submitted work to be published or e-published elsewhere.

2 years after the publication of the anthology, copyright will revert to the author and will then be shared by Carrick Publishing and the author.

This is critical to ensure we comply with Amazon Kindle’s strict copyright policies. Also, from time to time we may enroll the anthology in KDP Select to ensure broadest exposure. This means it must not be available anywhere else in e-Format.

Once the two-year period has expired, the author will be free to re-publish the work in print or electronically.

5- Each contributing author will receive an equal share of the Net Royalty Earned. Carrick Publishing will retain 50% of that Net Royalty Earned. The balance will be distributed to contributing authors when received by Carrick Publishing.

In addition, each author will receive exposure via Kindle links within the ebook, as well as being offered exposure at our site as an “Associated Author” for not less than one year following the anthology publication date.

The author will also receive full credit as author on the Amazon Kindle selling page, or any other selling page associated with the Anthology.

6- Carrick Publishing will retain this shared copyright and will be free to reproduce the work in other formats down the road if so desired, including but not limited to e-Pub edition, print or audiobook. Author will continue to receive full credit each time the work appears in any format.

7- Crime Fiction Short Stories are welcome for submission. Canadian publishing laws will prevail. (No hate literature or material of an extremely offensive nature will be considered.)

For purposes of this anthology we ask that you eliminate all ultra-violence and explicit sex from your submission. The editors will employ their discretion regarding such issues as strong language.

8- To ensure a high quality product for readers, Carrick Publishing will reserve the right to copy-edit as needed.

9- Size of entries:

Short-Stories: Crime fiction — maximum 6000 words.

HOW TO SUBMIT:

Send your submission in Word doc format to CarrickPublishing @ rogers . com . (Remember to remove all spaces.)

In the subject line say: EFD2 — EXCERPT FLIGHT DECK SUBMISSION
We will be reviewing all submissions in August and will get back to you at that time.

Thank you in advance for participating! We can’t wait to see what you’ve got.

Our very best regards,
Donna & Alex Carrick

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Readers on the Couch: Why do people love mysteries? ~ guest blogger Cecilia Dominic

Posted on: October 2nd, 2013 by Carrick Publishing 1 Comment

The Mountain's ShadowFirst, a huge thank you to Donna Carrick for inviting me to write this post!

As a psychologist and behavioral sleep medicine specialist, I hear the following three complaints most often in my practice:

1. I can’t sleep.
2. My mind won’t stop racing.
3. Why is this anxiety/depression/sleep problem happening to me?

I address the first two a lot. The third one doesn’t come up quite as often because people, being naturally curious about themselves and their own lives and minds, usually have a good idea of how their sleep problems started. However, when I ask if they can think of what kicked off their insomnia, about ten to twenty percent of patients frown, wrinkle their noses, and eventually admit they can’t say why or give some vague answer like “stress, but my life has always been stressful, so I’m not sure that’s it.” Some are very distressed that they can’t figure out the origin of the problem because, as human beings, we like to have explanations. Knowing why gives us a sense of control.

According to writing professionals, people love mysteries because it’s fun to play along with the detective to solve the puzzle, they like to know about why the murderers did what they did, and it’s a safe way to satisfy the thrill-seeker in all of us. They satisfy us on a deeper level when justice is served, and everything turns out, if not okay, then as okay as they’re going to be in a satisfying way. The appeal of mysteries goes beyond the good/evil story, though. I also believe they give us a safe place to explore the question of why bad stuff happens.

The mystery at the heart of the plot of my debut novel The Mountain’s Shadow, which was released October 1 by Samhain Publishing, is what happened to the main character’s grandfather and why, but the broader issue faced by the heroine Joanie Fisher, a behavioral health researcher who has just lost her job, is, “Why did all this awful stuff happen to me?” Isn’t this a question we all face at some point?

Part of my heroine’s struggle is that the answer lies in her own genetics, and the disorder she’s been researching takes on a frightening personal significance. Some might argue that this was a convenient happenstance for the purpose of story, but it grew out of experience. We had a running joke in graduate school that we study what we struggle with, so, for example, those of us on the alcohol research team had latent drinking problems. We didn’t, at least not any more than your average psychology graduate student, but you can bet it was something I thought about. I suspect that a lot of us who go into psychology wonder at times if we did it to fix something we don’t like about ourselves.*

In mystery novels, one of the fun parts is figuring out the motivation of the villain. My favorite villains are the ones whose reasons for killing, robbing, or other illegal behavior go beyond monetary gain or pure badness. Sure, sociopaths are interesting – to a point – and they can be very entertaining when matched up against their polar opposite (e.g., Holmes and Moriarty as portrayed in the recent BBC series Sherlock – sorry, but it’s been ages since I read the books, and I don’t remember if Conan Doyle explained Moriarty’s backstory), but for me, again, it’s got to go beyond pure good vs. evil. Even the definition is up for debate, as is explained in the book I’m currently reading, Humanity’s Dark Side: Evil, Destructive Experience and Psychotherapy. One of the questions the chapter authors keep coming back to is whether evil is just fundamentally present in some people, or if it arises from other circumstances. Several argue the latter, that people do “evil” things because of how they were raised, genetic history or biological factors, previous learning or other experiences, or societal circumstances.

So there’s another reason to enjoy mysteries: it’s hard to acknowledge the parts of ourselves that predispose us to end up in troublesome situations, but it’s fun to explore them in others. Whether it’s the genetics that make us likely to develop some sort of disorder or the mistakes parents made, we all have to face the origins of our own bad behaviors – and we all have some, although hopefully not at mystery villain level – at some point, or at least try to, and decide how to deal with it.

This brings me back to my heroine. She has to embrace, not fight against or avoid, what she is and what she learned from her past life as a researcher to rescue herself and her friends from a potentially deadly situation. She also has to face the consequences of some bad behavior in her past that eventually ended her up in her current situation. Since the big villain in the book doesn’t get revealed until the very end, I won’t tell you what that entities’ motivation is, but the apparent villain’s reasons for his actions have both evil and redemptive qualities.

So why do people enjoy mysteries? They give us a safe space to explore the questions of why bad things happen and how people overcome both external and internal factors to deal with their challenges. Who knows? Maybe thinking about what we identify with in these stories can point out areas we need to explore in ourselves, which may then lead us to some helpful explanations and growth.

* If this is the case, don’t go into psychology, just seek out your own therapy. Trust me, it’s less expensive and a lot less effort to face whatever it is than to avoid it by trying to fix it in others.

The Mountain's ShadowCecilia Dominic wrote her first story when she was two years old and has always had a much more interesting life inside her head than outside of it.

She became a clinical psychologist because she’s fascinated by people and their stories, but she couldn’t stop writing fiction. The first draft of her dissertation, while not fiction, was still criticized by her major professor for being written in too entertaining a style. She made it through graduate school and got her PhD, started her own practice, and by day, she helps people cure their insomnia without using medication.

By night, she blogs about wine and writes fiction she hopes will keep her readers turning the pages all night. Yes, she recognizes the conflict of interest between her two careers, so she writes and blogs under a pen name. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with one husband and two cats, which, she’s been told, is a good number of each.

You can find her at:
Web page: www.ceciliadominic.com
Wine blog: www.randomoenophile.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CeciliaDominicAuthor
Twitter: @RandomOenophile

Some mistakes can literally come back to bite you.
The Lycanthropy Files, Book 1

First it was ADD. Then pediatric bipolar. Now the hot behavioral disorder in children is CLS, or Chronic Lycanthropy Syndrome. Public health researcher Joanie Fisher was closing in on the cause in hopes of finding a treatment until a lab fire and an affair with her boss left her without a job.

When her grandfather leaves her his multimillion-dollar estate in the Ozarks, though, she figures her luck is turning around. Except her inheritance comes with complications: town children who disappear during full moons, an irresistible butler, and a pack of werewolves who can’t seem to decide whether to frighten her or flirt with her.

Joanie’s research is the key to unraveling the mysteries of Wolfsbane Manor. However, resuming her work means facing painful truths about her childhood, which could result in the loss of love, friendship, and the only true family she has left.

Warning: Some sexy scenes, although nothing explicit, and adult language. Also alcohol consumption and food descriptions that may wreck your diet.

EFD1: Starship Goodwords is coming to Print!

Posted on: September 24th, 2013 by Carrick Publishing

EFD1: Starship Goodwords

Good news, Anthology fans! The first in our Carrick Publishing series of anthologies, EFD1: Starship Goodwords, is coming to Print!

The expected release date is October 30. Stay tuned for availability news!

Buy From Amazon, Kindle

Carrick Publishing is pleased to present: EFD1: Starship Goodwords, the first in a series of cross-genre anthologies brought to you by editors and contributing authors Donna and Alex Carrick.

This collection includes: Mystery, Crime, Flash Fiction, Poetry, Literary, Paranormal, Science Fiction and Humor.

There’s something for every reader in this exceptional sampling of today’s authors.

 

Contributors by Genre:

Foreword: Donna Carrick
Crime Fiction: Catherine Astolfo, Family Recipe
Crime Fiction: Donna Carrick, Corner Store
Crime Fiction: Alexander Galant, Remember Me
Crime Fiction: Joan, O’Callaghan, Stooping to Conquer
Flash Fiction/Crime: M.H. Callway, Incompetence Kills
Flash Fiction/Crime: Sylvia Maultash Warsh, Family Values
Flash Fiction/Literary: Kathleen Bjoran, Giving Thanks
Flash Fiction/Literary/Humor: Melodie Campbell, The Battle of Beavercoat
Poetry: A.C. Cargill, Treasures in the Attic
Poetry: Rosalind Croucher, Dance
Poetry: Sheila Jeffries, Finding Calm
Poetry: Michael C. Slater, Murmur
Persuasive Article: Paulissa Kipp, Fostering Humanity Manifesto
Literary Fiction: Melanie Robertson-King, Cole’s Notes
Literary Fiction: Tracy L. Ward, Running Parallel
Paranormal/Fantasy: Susan M. Botich, The Minstrel’s Spell
Paranormal/Horror: Dayna Leigh Cheser, The Legend of Corkscrew Swamp
Paranormal/Horror: Troy Lambert, The Mighty Pen
Paranormal/Science Fiction/Humour: Ira Nayman, The Predator’s Prerogative
Humor/Fiction: Alex Carrick, My Wife and I Argue over our Travel Plans (Hey, I’m not Cheap but…)
Humor/Anecdote: John Thompson, “Oh, Okay, and the Good Soldier Schweik”

Excerpt from Family Recipe by Catherine Astolfo

Years after Pom-Pom disappeared, the trunk arrived at my door.

That afternoon I had Skyped the girls—young women, really—who, I can tell, I’m not stupid, are a little frustrated that their mother is still hovering. Their faces satellited in and out of the screen, frozen in cyberspace from time to time, but even through the cosmos I could feel the impatience. After two thoroughly dissatisfying conversations from different parts of the world, I went out and stood on the front porch, shivering, sneaking my last—once again—cigarette. I didn’t want any of my coats to give me away by soaking in the smell, so I was freezing to death as I inhaled the final (I swore it was) blessed smoke.

Just as I sucked out the last possible drop of nicotine, a delivery truck slid its way into the fortunately empty driveway and skidded to a halt. At first the cargo resembled a small coffin and I was not sure it was for me. But my formal title was clearly marked on top and once I’d proven my identity to the pimpled delivery boy, he left it in my front hall.

I tried twice to break open the thin wooden bars and façade in which the trunk had been delivered. Deciding to use something more efficient than my hands, I stopped by the bar, filled my glass with vodka and orange juice (the juice because it was still early), and proceeded to the garage. There I found a crowbar, an item I hadn’t known existed in the house of a politician whose hands, to my knowledge, had never even held a hammer. Back at the carton, I hacked away at the veneer until I uncovered a deep brown chest.

Exquisite engravings graced every face of the rectangular box. Beautiful figures in long sinuous gowns, male and female, danced through carved gardens from panel to panel. Their faces were slightly oriental, long hair flowing over shoulders or twisted into buns. Flowers, vines and stems intertwined over the lid and corners. An upturned brass handle, sealed with a rusty combination lock, grinned invitingly. The little trunk stood proudly on four brass claws.

Astonished by the craftsmanship of the trunk, but curious about the contents, I returned to the garage. I once more hunched over with a tool in one hand and a newly refreshed drink in the other. The pliers would not normally be strong enough to crack a lock, but this one was old and rusty and snapped after only a few minutes of muscled determination. A cloud of dust sprang into the air as I lifted the lid, forcing me to gulp quite a lot of my screwdriver in defense.

I got down on my knees and peered into the depths of the chest. It appeared to be mostly empty. A shoebox, a bunch of letters bound together with a withered elastic band, and an old photo album were its only contents. I went for the photos first. New drink in hand, I carried it to my reading chair, switched on the light, and opened it to the first page. And there, in the small black and white images, was my grandfather.

Thirteen — the making of a great Crime anthology!

Posted on: August 23rd, 2013 by Carrick Publishing

THIRTEEN. An anthology of crime storiesOn September 1, Carrick Publishing will be pleased to release THIRTEEN, an anthology of Crime stories by the Mesdames of Mayhem.

But, you may ask, what goes into the creation of such a collection?

First, you need a project manager with a clear, realistic vision; one who can express ideas coherently. She must also possess the ability to excite others, motivating them to meet deadlines and strive for excellence.

Thank you, M.H. Callway, for sharing your creative energy!

Then, you need an outstanding group of authors. These people should ideally hail from various backgrounds, so as to offer a mix of literary ‘flavors’ that will entice readers and keep them interested throughout the book.

Our exceptional collection will include stories from 13 of Canada’s new and seasoned genre authors:

Catherine Astolfo
Rosemary Aubert
Jane Petersen Burfield
M.H. Callway
Melodie Campbell
Donna Carrick
Vicki Delany
Catherine Dunphy
Rosemary McCracken
D.J. McIntosh
Lynne Murphy
Joan O’Callaghan
Sylvia Maultash Warsh

Our gratitude goes out to each of these gifted contributors!

Third, you need a stunning cover. We thank Sara Carrick, graphic designer extraordinaire, for her brilliant work on Thirteen!

Next, you need a core team with unending drive and a passion for words. These people must be willing to put in the hours, toiling to ensure the finished product is one all contributors can be proud of.

You know who you are; thank you.

Finally, selling books is hard work. We’d like to take a moment to thank our own Joan O’Callaghan for her tireless research into the art of book promotion. Joan, your ideas have been invaluable as we rapidly approach our release date!

Donna Carrick — August 23, 2013

Mesdames of MayhemThirteen is an anthology of crime stories by the Mesdames of Mayhem, 13 Canadian Crime writers.
Kindle release: Sept. 1/13
Carrick Publishing
Print release: Oct. 15/13
Carrick Publishing

Sales Rankings — Not just a number…

Posted on: June 18th, 2013 by Carrick Publishing

Suits and LaddersWhether you’re in the market for a great e-book on corporate survival, like Suits And Ladders, by Suzen Fromstein, or a gripping literary thriller for the sunny summer days ahead, chances are you’ve encountered Best-Seller Rankings within the Amazon book and e-book retail machine.

How important are those rankings, really?

The answer to that question will almost certainly depend on who you ask, as experiences will vary given genre and the popularity of the author.

I believe the position of a book or e-book within its category is important, both for readers and for authors.

From my perspective as a reader, while a high ranking won’t guarantee I’ll enjoy the book, it does at least position the title where I can see it — on the category’s best-selling page at Amazon.

This alone is worth the effort of trying to manage your book’s rankings. I value it as advertising for my books. If a reader is searching for a Literary Thriller by a Canadian author, I like to believe they may discover The First Excellence thanks to it’s current placement at the top of the Kindle World Literature/Canadian list.

The First Excellence

From my point of view as an author, I’d naturally ask: Do rankings have a tangible value in terms of sales?

Again, this will depend largely on genre and the author’s existing name-recognition. From my own experience, there is a value in achieving a sales position within an on-line retail site like Amazon.

The rankings become, for want of a better phrase, a self-fulfilling prophecy.

An increase in sales will produce the desired lift in your book’s rankings.

A rise in rankings will cause your title to be displayed in the Best-Selling pages, which is valuable free advertising for your book. This will usually result in a bump in sales.

And so it goes.

But how do we achieve that initial increase in sales?

Lesser-known or Indie authors face this dilemna daily. Sadly, there is no easy answer.

However, I can tell you with some assurance that “name recognition” is the key. For those of us blazing our trails without the benefit of traditional publishers and media assistance, the path is not an easy one.

It comes down to building an effective platform. (See my previous 4-Part Series on “Today’s Author: Building a Platform”, Part I; Part II; Part III; Part IV.)

In the final analysis, each of us has to be prepared to answer one question: How badly do we want to reach readers?

If getting our work into appreciative hands and minds, whether in print or e-book format, is something we are determined to accomplish, then building an effective Author Platform can help.

Donna Carrick speaks and blogs on the topics of Social Media for Authors, e-Publishing, and Independent Publishing.

Her Literary Thrillers can be found at her Amazon Author Page.

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