Monday, November 27, 2017

Ghost Writer Review by Gloria Ferris

During the Cold War, a US Navy Arctic Station sank in Canadian waters under mysterious circumstances, killing all aboard. Now, a group of surviving family members want the truth. Along with a documentary crew, they hire an expedition ship and vow to raise the Station.

Jen Kirby signs on as the onsite writer and interviewer, battling seasickness and missing her son who is away at summer cadet camp. While Jen has seen a few ghosts in her life, she is faced with the entire spectral crew of the Arctic Station, some protective, a few menacing, all determined to help her discover the truth. When “accidents” begin to happen to Jen, it’s clear someone very much alive doesn’t want her to find the answers. With the crews of the expedition ship, Canadian and US navy ships, and the documentary staff, there are plenty of suspects.

The scenes of life aboard three sea-going vessels, the conditions inside the sunken Arctic Station, and Jen attempts to gather diving expertise, are vividly crafted. The depiction of international politics is bang on. The story is rich with well-developed characters.

Okay, now, let’s get to the men. Readers may find themselves wanting all three (or is it five?) men who tempt Jen. All hot, available, and honourable. Her choice will not disappoint, nor will the ending.

When Jen pieces together and serves up the facts of the last days of the Arctic Station, the ghostly crew is satisfied, and departs to wherever specters go when their earthly business is complete. Jen faces one last attempt on her life from a corporeal being, and that’s all I’m going to say to avoid a spoiler. Except that I did not see that culprit coming.

I think any reader who enjoys paranormal suspense, with a twist of mystery, and a dusting of romance to ice the cake, will enjoy this story. Five stars for Ghost Writer.

Canadian award-winning author, Gloria Ferris, began her writing career by writing and editing operating procedures for a nuclear power development. It was an exciting job, but opportunities for plot and character development were limited. So she turned to crime fiction and found it to be a lot more fun. Gloria returned to her native Guelph, Ontario after spending twenty-five years in Kincardine and Port Elgin, small lakeshore towns which inspire her mysteries. 

Gloria is the author of the Cornwall & Redfern mysteries
(Corpse Flower; Shroud of Roses; Skull Garden)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Interview with a Comedy Queen

Sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs…

Jennie has been a widow for two years.  Her twelve year old son thinks it’s about time she started dating, and so does her friend Angela. So Jennie signs up for an online dating site. Within hours, she has several first dates lined up for the week. Surely they’ll be one Prince Charming in the bunch.  And if not, it’s only one date, right?  How bad could it be? WORST DATE EVER!

Today I'm interviewing one of my favourite authors, Melodie Campbell.

Melodie, you are an award-winning comedy and crime writer. I think it's safe to say that romance is not your usual genre. What inspired you to write one now?

My publisher!  Here's a big hint about the way the publishing business works:

Publisher:  "We'd like to experiment with a non-crime book for the Rapid Reads line.  Something like a romantic comedy."
Me (aghast):  "But I'm a crime writer."
Publisher (in case I didn't hear):  "We need a romantic comedy."
Me:  "Gotcha. A romantic comedy, it is."

And that's what inspired me.  Okay, that's not the whole story.  I was sitting with a bunch of readers at a literary AGM, and I asked them what they liked about my Goddaughter mob caper series.  They said they loved the humour, and the fact that the books had a female protagonist.  Also, that they weren't violent.  So I went back to the publisher and said, "readers are telling me they want funny stories about female protagonists, that aren't violent."  This is when I learned that you never suggest something you aren't prepared to write.

The Worst Date is a lovely romance, but not a typical one. Who are your favourite romance authors and who comes closest to your style?

Closest to my style?  Probably Janet Evanovich, for both my series.  Worst Date Ever has similar humour to Evanovich's early romances.  The Goddaughter series has been compared to Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series.  My own favourites are a little more down the suspense line.  I adored Mary Stewart.  But truly, my favourite escapes would be the loopy madcap romantic comedies of the 1940s and 50s.  That's the sort of thing I've always wanted to write.  And I wish more people would write them so I could read them.

What was your worst date? And what character would be your dream date?

My worst date was the last one in the book. (Read it and pity me!)  Luckily I met Dave, my husband, about three weeks after that. 

My dream date?  Hmmm...there seems to be a theme here.  I absolutely adored David Niven in The Pink Panther.  He played the title role of the Pink Panther burglar.  Something about the twinkle in his eye, the dry wit, and the daring.  The next who comes to mind is George Peppard from The A-Team.  Again, the cleverness, that devilish wit, the daring..."I love it when a plan comes together."  My next book - The B-Team - is a tribute to him.  It comes out in February.  Looking at these two, it seems to me that writing capers was a predictable outcome for me.  I have no idea what that says about my character.  Probably, we shouldn't go there.

Melodie Campbell

The Toronto Sun called her Canada's "Queen of Comedy."  Library Journal compared her to Janet Evanovich.  Melodie Campbell has shared a literary shortlist with Margaret Atwood, and was seen lurking on the Amazon Top 50 Bestseller list between Tom Clancy and Nora Roberts. She has won the Derringer, the Arthur Ellis, and eight more awards for crime fiction.  WORST DATE EVER is her 12th book.

Read Melodie's humour articles on her Funny Girl Melodie blog.
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