This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Alison Bruce will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
The first thing I did when I read the topic for this blog was to go ask my friends what was fun, interesting and edifying about me. (Embarrassing I can do on my own.)
#1: Nancy, my oldest friend, reminded me that we were Stratford Festival fanatics. From the year I got my driver’s license, until the season the ticket prices shot out of our reach, we’d go to Stratford Ontario and see two or three plays a summer. We were predominantly Shakespeare fans but there was the year I saw Shaw’s Arms and the Man four times.
#2: This reminded me of a truth most people wouldn’t expect an author to admit to: I hated English class. The only good thing about high school English studying the requisite Shakespearean play. The only English course I took that that didn’t involve Shakespeare, was Science Fiction. The only reason I took it was because it had a writing component.
#3: My children can honestly say that their mother wore army boots. I did basic training with the Canadian Army when I participated in Katimavik— a Canadian youth program. Although technically in the Reserves, for three month we lived and trained like regular army recruits. For a while I even considered enlisting. But this was a very different army than the one we have today. The most likely trade I’d get after basic training would have been administrative. Now, if they let me become a driver-mechanic, as my aunt was before me (albeit during WWII) my career path might have been military.
#4: Instead, after earning bachelor degrees (with honors) in History and Philosophy, I became a comic book store manager. I was already a reader and collector. Comics were my relaxation reads when I needed a break from dialectical materialism (good and evil are relative to context) and deontological rationalism (duty-based ethics). Of course, comic books are also a treasure trove of examples of philosophical theories, especially ethics. (So is The Game of Thrones. Ned Stark is a textbook example deontological ethics in action.)
#5: Everything I learned about writing I learned through reading. Yes, I took a course in Science Fiction that included writing, but I already knew about Clarke’s Laws, Heinlein’s Rules (much harder to keep) and Suspension of Disbelief (high school English does have its uses.)
I’m not dissing writing courses. Had I the time and the money, I probably would have taken them. Unfortunately, student debts put the kibosh on that. When I had time, I had no money. When I had money, I had no time. And then there were those periods when I had neither time nor money.
However, if nothing else, university had taught me how to read critically, whether it was for research or analysis. I also learned that many of my favorite authors wrote about writing. Long before the blog, authors were using their introductions and author’s after words to share their process. Some even wrote books on the topic. Even if they didn’t, everything you need to know about authors can be divined by reading their books.
Kate and Jake are on the hunt for a serial cat killer who has mysterious connections to her father’s last police case. Kate’s father had been forced to retire when he was shot investigating a domestic disturbance. Is the shooter back for revenge? And is Kate or Jake next?
Read an Excerpt:
Hungry, I reached for my dinner bag. To give him his due, Carmedy put together a good sandwich. Not as good as David’s Reuben but way better than ham and processed cheese sandwiches my mother put in my lunch before she decided I was old enough to make my own.
Half a sandwich later, I moved to a new spot with a view of the park. Someone was taking a walk. Doing up my coat, I decided to see who was out so late. As soon as I stepped away from the car I activated the recorder on my eCom. In a low voice I told it where I was going and why. An app would add the time and GPS coordinates to my report and a code word from me would download the information with a request for help to Emergency Response Coordination.
We hadn’t had a major snowfall yet. The paths were clear and grass was visible through the light powder. I plotted an intercept course across the lawn, walking purposefully but not rushing. As I walked, I sent out a ping to make sure this wasn’t a member of the watch. It was the same app that people had been using since the turn of the century to tell them when their friends were close by.
Not a member of the watch.
I took a couple of photos. Even with enhancement, they were probably too far away. While I kept my eye on my quarry—who was probably some innocent guy out for a stroll—I tried to work out height, weight and gender, even the colour of his coat. I should have been looking where I was stepping. My heel set down in something soft and slid forward. I tried to catch myself but ended up landing hard on my tail bone.
“Fu—” Then the smell hit me. “Crap!”
I’d landed in dog shit. In my pocket my eCom alarm went off. My quarry was now running away.
“What is the nature of your emergency?” asked the ERC operator.
“False alarm,” I said.
“You really have to come up with a better emergency word, Garrett.”
“I thought I had.”
When I got back to the car, a blue and white was waiting. It looked pretty sleek beside the company clunker.
“What’s up, Garrett? You stink.”
Just my luck, it was Zander Mohr. He was one of my father’s old cronies. He was also my field training officer when I was hired. He saw it as his duty to keep me humble.
“Hold on a sec.”
I wrenched opened the passenger side door of Dad’s car and grabbed a handful of napkins from the glove compartment. Heading for the nearest receptacle, I wiped the worst of the mess off as I walked. When I got back, Mohr was holding out an industrial sized wet-wipe.
“I was checking on someone in the park and slipped on dog poo.”
“I can smell that. What happened to the other guy?”
“Got spooked and ran away.”
“Natural response to an alarm going off. I heard it from the other side of the park.”
I winced. “Too loud?”
“Nope,” said Mohr, shaking his head. “Just loud enough. Go home, Garrett. Or go to a laundry. Get outta here. The cats are safe tonight.”
About the Author:
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Pop Culture Divas: http://www.thepopculturedivas.com
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