The days are getting longer already even if we can’t tell yet and the weather is warmer and nicer than last year – the year of the ice storm. Wishing everyone the best of the season with family and friends. And as Santa says in the poem, ‘Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night’!
Toaster oven with one leg? Keep for now. Mom’s behemoth microwave? Same. Suspiciously floury bag of durum semolina? Are those teeth marks? Out!
Emptying the kitchen for the renovators is like editing the novel.
Some new clean lines for the counter top – clear direction for the plot. No spacious islands – no extra words.
Woohoo! You could win a copy of a fabulous new crime anthology from Goodreads! The Whole She-Bang 2 is a mix of 24 stories ranging from noir to cozy, funny to thrilling and everywhere in between.
Twenty-four stories written by yours truly and 20 other super Canadian Sisters in Crime writers.
Goodreads has two copies of the anthology to give away. Enter the Goodreads The Whole She-Bang 2 Contest Now! Contest ends December 1, 2014. So enter today!
A comprehensive exhibit of premiere east coast painter Alex Colville is on at the Art Gallery of Ontario until January. His images influenced the Coen brothers, among others. A good painting gets me into creative mode and helps me start a new story or gives me the impetus to get back to the fine edit of one that is almost done. We have just launched The Whole She-Bang 2 which has a story of mine “Special Delivery” in it and I was thinking about what draws mystery writers to their sometimes very dark vision. (Mine is not so dark!) I went to the exhibit for a change of pace but discovered an even darker world in the tight control of the artist’s careful brush strokes. I have always loved Colville’s famous Horse and Train picture. And the iconic girl with binoculars and man with pistol pictures.
But seeing the exhibit I knew for the first time where his anxiety and fear came from. Colville was a Canadian war artist and the pictures in this exhibit that highlight some of that, show how much else he must have been exposed to. He joined after graduating from university in 1942 and was made a war artist in May 1944. His unit relieved the 82nd Airborne Division at Nijmegen, Netherlands in mid-September 1944 during Operation Market Garden and remained there until the following February 1945. He continued on to tours in the Netherlands and Germany, where he was also tasked with depicting the horrors of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. He felt life was dangerous because he had seen the worst.
I feel way more understanding about Colville’s obsession with painting nudes of his wife now that I see how utterly controlling he felt he had to be in the middle of a mad universe. To see the pictures I mentioned and the war paintings check out the exhibit at
The Whole She-Bang 2 our new short story collection from the Toronto chapter of Sisters in Crime is now available at Amazon, Kobo and other book sellers.
I am honoured to be in this anthology in company with such excellent mystery authors.
A grant from the SinC International has also sponsored us to participate in Inspire The Toronto International Book Fair starting today. http://www.torontobookfair.ca
We are also doing a reading and presentation on plot development from 3:30-4:00 Friday, Nov. 14 on the Spark Stage at the conference.
The list of authors attending the conference is phenomenal including Ann Rice, Margaret Atwood and Peter Robinson. This fan girl can’t wait to see and hear them in person!
One of the best movies I saw at the recent Toronto International Film Festival was The Riot Club based on young playwright Laura Wade’s smash hit of the same name. Lone Scherfig directed. The Riot Club follows a group of students starting classes at Oxford University. Some of the students are upper class twits – members of the very private Riot Club. The Riot Club believes in the divine right of the wealthy and well-connected to rule and exploit. The Oxford settings are gorgeous and the cast terrific. At first their antics are funny but their sense of superiority and entitlement becomes deeply disturbing – especially when you learn that some current political leaders in the U.K. belonged to a similar group when they were at Oxford.
Red leaves overhead, Halloween yellow and orange ones crunching under your feet. When we were kids we knew you could try any house with the light on but we preferred the pumpkins with their scary lit-up faces. It showed good intentions, we felt. No one approached the witch’s Victorian mansion complete with a widow’s walk high above the street. And no one went to the dismal bungalow hidden behind from the road by overgrown shrubbery. If you went in there, who would hear your screams? Anyway even the ordinary homes with lights on were maybe not safe. They might not take kindly to little spidermen in red and blue with gelled hair. Or to princesses in their pink dresses and home-made foil crowns.
But the potential dangers or prowling in the dark asking for candy gave our Halloween sorties a thrilling edge. In the night, in costume, you tried out the grownup role. You went out into the world trying to judge for yourself the pros and cons, the safety and the risks of your actions. For a few hours you were in charge. Loaded down with candy, you learned that the world could be a generous place.
Kayden Claremont writes irresistible characters. Her new book Hell’s Bounty has just arrived, so I’m excited to ask her a bit about her writing.
Welcome Kayden! Thank you for stopping by.
Thanks for having me today Linda. I always like a chance to talk about my characters.
That’s good because the sparks really fly when Raven and Marcus meet. Can you tell us more about Raven and Marcus?
Raven Hart is a succubus bounty hunter working for hell. Her job is to collect souls. She’s good at it too, but she doesn’t trust her incubus master. He’s been keeping secrets from her.
Marcus is a Nephilim working for heaven. His job is to stop the sexy succubus from getting any more souls destined for heaven.
How do they meet?
Raven is sitting in a bar waiting for her prey and he walks in. There is spontaneous attraction but they both try to avoid it because they have jobs to do. Of course, they can’t.
You describe Hell’s Bounty as ‘the steamy supernatural.’ What attracts you to this kind of storyline?
I am a romantic. I love writing and reading stories about people falling in love. Of course I like the hotter stories. The supernatural part is easy to explain. Humans fall in love all the time, we write about and make TV shows and movies about it so why not supernatural beings? In Hell’s Bounty their love is forbidden love.
Do you listen to music while you write or do you like it quiet?
I listen to music. I love WWOZ broadcasting from New Orleans. They play a lot of instrumentals. Once I was listening to a rock station and I was humming along to the tunes. The next day I read what I wrote and it was the lyrics. Lol. Since then it is only instrumentals.
I also write in coffee shops. I need the white noise to get into the creative side of my brain.
Raven and Marcus have great chemistry. I hope we’re going to meet them again.
Hell’s Bounty is the first book of the heaven and hell series. Neither of them will be in the second book, Hell Hath No Fury, but right now I think one of them will be in the third book of the series, Hell Bent for Leather.
Raven looked over at him. “Marcus, this is the coroner, Doctor Hill. Doc, this is my new partner, Detective Marcus Dionysius.”
Marcus extended his hand to the doctor, but he just paced back and forth, ignoring the proffered handshake. “Oh, my dear, you shouldn’t see this.”
“Doc, I’m a detective. There isn’t much I haven’t seen.” Raven’s no-nonsense tone had no effect on the doctor.
“No, dear, not this time.” He took her by the elbow and led her a few feet away from the body. Shaking his head, he continued, “This time it’s too personal. You don’t need to see this.” He pointed at the body on the ground. “It’s Stephen, my dear.”
Marcus watched shock flash across her face for a moment before she got control again. She wasn’t expecting to see her late partner. She hadn’t done this, but that didn’t clear her of the other attacks.
The captain was sleazy. Everyone in heaven and hell knew it. And everyone thought that because Raven worked so closely with him, she was part of his plan. Marcus hoped the sexy succubus wasn’t connected with hell’s mess. He moved closer to the body.
Doctor Hill glanced at him and stopped talking.
Clearing his throat, Marcus said softly to Raven, “I’ll handle this if you’re not up to it. The captain can assign another detective to work the case with me.”
Raven looked up at him, anger flaring in her eyes as she answered, “What do you think I am? Some fragile female who can’t do her job?”
Kayden is hooked on Paranormal Romance. She loves writing about the rollercoaster ride of demons, angels and watchers and the consequences they must endure when they fall in love. Her sensuous style drives the characters in lustful romps.
Kayden is a member of Sisters in Crime International; Sisters in Crime Toronto; Romance Writers of America, Toronto Romance Writers.
When she’s not at her day job she’s crafting more tales of love, crime and the supernatural or spending time with her husband and children.
Hell’s Bounty is available now: