The Whole She-Bang 2 – The Reviews are In!

I’m over the moon this morning. Just checked my email and discovered Jack Batten gave “The Whole She-Bang 2” the short story collection I am in a great review (The Toronto Star, December 28, 2014.) This follows last week’s good review by Margaret Cannon in The Globe and Mail, December 20.

Wow!She-Bang is two for two.

The Whole She-Bang 2: Crime Anthology

The Whole She-Bang 2 Scores with Critics

Editing the Kitchen

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.

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Kitchen Now

Just… excitement!

Book Giveaway for The Whole She-Bang 2

Goodreads Whole She-Bang 2 Giveaway

Goodreads Whole She-Bang 2 Giveaway

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!

 

Sense of Menace Pervades Alex Colville’s Art for a Reason

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

http://www.ago.net

Hurray! She-Bang 2 Our New Anthology is Here

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. The Whole She-Bang 2: Crime Anthologyhttp://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!

http://www.TorontoSistersinCrime.ca

One Per Centers Rule in The Riot Club

The Riot Club Movie

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.

Happy Halloween Thrills

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.

 

 

The Whole She-Bang 2, I’m in!

The Whole She-Bang mystery anthology and author Maureen Jennings

The Whole She-Bang Anthology held by internationally acclaimed author Maureen Jennings.

The Whole She-Bang 2 is the second anthology being published by Sisters in Crime Toronto chapter later this year. I am thrilled to say that my short story “Special Delivery” has been accepted for publication. Being in this company of notable authors sends me over the moon. Sisters in Crime Toronto’s first anthology was published in 2012 with fantastic cover art by Antonia Gorton.  Here’s the cover of the first anthology. The book is held by Sisters member and author of the Murdoch Mysteries, now an internationally acclaimed TV series, Maureen Jennings.