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Monthly Archives: September 2014

Beyond Blood – open the door to…

Cover of Beyond Blood by Sharon A. Crawford, published by Blue Denim Press

Cover of Beyond Blood by Sharon A. Crawford, published by Blue Denim Press

Every man at the bottom of his heart believes that he is a born detective.

  • John Buchan

 

Two uninvited visitors have just entered the office of the Attic Investigative Agency a few days before the agency’s official opening. Dana has asked why they are there.

Lois Chalmers: Is that any way to speak to your boss? Right, Ray?

Ray (her husband) shrugs his shoulders.

Dana: Actually, Mr. Bevens is my boss for doing security at the Mini-Mall.

Lois: Very well. But don’t forget I’m head of the merchants’ association for the mall.

Bast: We know that. But why are you here a few days before we open? You were sent an invitation to the opening reception.

Lois: We wanted to check it out beforehand. Might be able to send some business your way.

Dana (chuckling): Yeah, right. More like protecting your interests. And what about you Ray? What does the Chalmers Shoe Store want here right now?

Ray shrugs his shoulders again.

Dana: What Ray? Cat got your tongue?

Ray points to Lois: It was her idea.

Lois: Oh for goodness sake.

Ray: We just er, wanted to see the place.

Dana: Very well. Bast shall we give them the pre-opening tour?

Bast: Sure. Why not? Let’s start with the reception area out in the hall.

Lois: Novel idea, reception area right at the top of the stairs. But an attic has less space. What does this door lead to?

Bast (rushes forward to the door): That’s my room. Not part of the agency.

Lois (looks around the hall): But good location near the office in case of an emergency. And even a washroom up here.

Dana: Well, as you said, it is an attic. Wouldn’t want clients to have to run downstairs to answer the call of nature.

Bast: Let’s return to the office.

Lois (points to a glass door): And where does this lead?

Dana (opens the door): The balcony.

Lois: Neat. On hot days you can shoot the breeze with clients out here. Better be careful they don’t jump over the railing.

Dana: Lois, really.

Lois: Just kidding.

After they go back inside, Lois walks everywhere in the office, touching bookshelves, desks.

Lois (peers over the monitor of Bast’s computer): Hmm.

Bast (leaps his six foot three inch frame over to Lois): That is confidential business.

Lois: Oops. Sorry. But that’s great you already have business.

Dana: Lois. Why did you and Ray really come here?

Lois: Oh, I forgot. I have a cheque for your last two weeks’ service at the Mini-Mall. Mr. Bevens said to bring it over.

Dana (holds out her hand): Thanks. Is that it?

Lois: For today. Ray and I look forward to your opening reception on Friday.

Lois and Ray Chalmers leave. As their footsteps are heard going down the stairs, Dana scratches her head.

Dana: What did she really want? She has never delivered my cheque in person before. I’ve always picked it up from Mr. Bevens’ office in the mall.

Bast (strokes his beard): I think she was checking out the competition.

Dana: Hmm. I think it was more than that. That woman is up to something. Better keep an eye on her at the opening on Friday.

More footsteps are heard charging up the stairs.

Dana: Christ. Who is it this time?

Stay tuned for next week’s post.

Meantime check out my books. The book at the top of this blog post links to Amazon. Click on Sharon A Crawford for my profile.

For those of us with Kobo’s, here is that link for the e-pub version. http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/beyond-blood-1 And check out my updated web page at www.samcraw.com and click on Beyond Blood. Scroll down to Sharon A’s Gigs to see where I will be appearing with Beyond Blood.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

 

 

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They’re back – PIs Dana Bowman and Bast Overture in Beyond Blood

Cover of Beyond Blood by Sharon A. Crawford, published by Blue Denim Press

Cover of Beyond Blood by Sharon A. Crawford, published by Blue Denim Press

Ideally, I like to integrate the human issues into the suspense story itself.

  • Jeffery Deaver

 

As the book launch for my prequel mystery novel Beyond Blood is gearing up for October 19, 2014, Dana Bowman and her fraternal twin Bast Overture are back here on my blog post. So are some of the other characters carried over from their four linked short stories in Beyond the Tripping Point. The time is August 1998 and the scenarios coming up now and the next few weeks are supplements to Beyond Blood.

In this session, Dana and Bast are mulling over the opening of their Attic Investigative Agency upstairs in their house, when… well, you’ll have to read on here to see what happens.

Dana enters the Attic Investigative office where Bast is hunched over his computer.

Dana: Still sending out invitations for our open house reception? Or, do we already have some business?

Bast: No just emailing for some more publicity.

Dana (frowning): That’s what I’m concerned about.

Bast: Publicity? Thurston may be a large town but not everyone knows what everyone else is doing. Have to get the word out to get business.

Dana: Yes, I know and that’s what I mean. I really want to do this but I’m still having concerns about our location.

Bast: Dana, we’ve been over this before many times. We are centrally located, a few blocks in from Main St. in downtown Thurston. And having the business in our home keeps us close to David.

Dana: That’s it – close to David. He is a six-year old and I’m still not sure if the top floor of the house he lives in is safe for him. We will be dealing with criminal cases, probably interviewing some shady characters, and…

Bast (swings around to face his sister): Whoa! Hold on there Dana. The office is separate upstairs with a closed door. David will be downstairs or outside with one of us or Debbie when she comes over to babysit. Sometimes she’ll take him to her apartment, as she does now. And David will be in school full days starting next month.

Dana: I suppose. But I keep getting this funny feeling in my gut.

Bast: You’re just hungry. You need to eat more. You’re

Dana and Bast: too skinny.

Dana: Let’s leave my weight out of it.

Bast: You are under 100 pounds.

Dana: I’m also under 5 feet short. No, food won’t remove that gut feeling.

Bast: We have an alarm for the office.

Dana: Yeah, but you haven’t tested it yet have you?

Bast: No. All right. I’ll do it now.

Bast goes over to the alarm, sets it, leaves the office, and returns.

The sounds of silence fills the office air.

Dana: See what I mean.

Bast: All right. All right. I’ll call the alarm company.

He has just done so when loud footsteps are heard on the stairs and two figures rush into the office.

The sound of the alarm vibrates inside the office. Both Dana and Bast jump up.

Dana: What are you two doing here?

 

Stay tuned for next Thursday’s blog post to find out just who did rush into the room and why.

Meantime check out my books. The book at the top of this blog post links to Amazon. Click on Sharon A Crawford for my profile.

For those of us with Kobo’s, here is that link for the e-pub version. http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/beyond-blood-1 And check out my updated web page at www.samcraw.com and click on Beyond Blood. Still more updates on my reading gigs to be added as I get them.

 

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Beyond Blood shows up in print

 

Cover of Beyond Blood by Sharon A. Crawford, published by Blue Denim Press

Cover of Beyond Blood by Sharon A. Crawford, published by Blue Denim Press

To write what is worth publishing, to find honest people to publish it, and get sensible people to read it, are the three great difficulties in being an author.

~ Charles Caleb Colton

 

My publisher just delivered my print copy of Beyond Blood and it is bloody good – lots of red on the cover, better than the icon here.

Beyond Blood had a long journey from inception to print. The original story was first conceived in the late 1990s. I researched, wrote, rewrote, rewrote (many times),

Think again, Sharon A.

Sure, one publisher asked for the full manuscript and read it – but rejected it. So did several other publishers who looked at only one to three chapters.

Into the drawer. Hide it on my computer.

Until my short story collection Beyond the Tripping Point was published by Blue Denim Press in fall 2012. Just before that the editor at BDP, Shane and I were talking about a series and I mentioned the closet novel. He was interested in looking at it.

So the big rewrite began. I started working from a printed copy because that is easiest for me to grasp the whole story and scribble notes. Not that I looked at them all when doing the rewrites. Something about putting it down on paper ingrained the changes in my mind. And when I rewrote, the ideas expanded.

I thought it was ready for Blue Denim Press. Not quite. But they were willing for me to have another go. So I did with Shane’s suggestions and fine-tuned it some more. Then I sent it back.

Not quite yet – but they were accepting it. I just needed to do some more rewriting. So, with Shane’s suggestions (and some more ideas of my own that they spawned), I got back to work rewriting. Even hired a freelance editor to proofread it and the author who wrote the back page review even took it upon herself to comment in a few places. So more changes were made.

After a bit more to-ing and fro-ing of questions and comments between Shane and I the bloody manuscript was ready. And I’m not swearing – remember, the novel’s title is Beyond Blood. And that was my original title.

It’s taken 17 years, but Beyond Blood has come to fruition.

So all you “closet” novelists, keep writing and rewriting. Keep persisting. Get feedback.

Don’t give up.

For a peak at what Beyond Blood is about – go to www.bluedenimpress.com Check out the flyer for information on the book launch October 19 – and if you are in the southern Ontario Canada area, come to the book launch.

And stay tuned – the fraternal twin PIs from the Beyond books – Dana Bowman and Bast Overture will be back here starting in next week’s post.

The book at the top of this blog post links to Amazon. Click on Sharon A Crawford for my profile.

For those of us with Kobo’s, here is that link for the e-pub version. http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/beyond-blood-1 And check out my updated web page at www.samcraw.com and click on Beyond Blood. Still more updates on my reading gigs to be added as I get them.

Cheers.

 

Sharon A. Crawford

 

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Book launch of Beyond Blood has two guest authors reading

Cover of Beyond Blood by Sharon A. Crawford, published by Blue Denim Press

Cover of Beyond Blood by Sharon A. Crawford, published by Blue Denim Press

Publicity can be terrible. But only if you don’t have any.

  • Jane Russell.

This just in.

Nate Hendley who writes true crime books and Rosemary McCracken who writes mystery novels are guest readers at my book launch October 19.

They will certainly add variety to the two of us from Blue Denim launching our books. Lots of murder and mayhem (in the books, not in the Paintbox Bistro, Toronto launch location). Let’s see:

Nate Hendley has written several books about the baddies such as the The Black Donnellys: The Outrageous Tale of Canada’s Deadliest Feud, American Gangsters: Then and Now, The Mafia: A Guide to an American Subculture and Crystal Death. His current book focuses on something different – a miscarriage of justice – Steven Truscott: Decades of Injustice (Five Rivers Publishing, 2012). Nate is also a Toronto, Ontario-based freelance journalist and the Ontario VP for Crime Writers of Canada. I have been helping him line up public readings for CWC authors in Ontario. Find out more about Nate and his books at http://www.natehendley.com/ And check out his crime blog at http://crimestory.wordpress.com/

Rosemary McCracken, another Crime Writers of Canada member writes a mystery series about financial planner Pat Tierney and if you think that sounds dull, think again. Pat seems to get herself embroiled in financial mayhem and murder, and usually some family member is involved somehow. So far the series books are: Safe Harbor (Imagin Books, 2012), and Black Water (Imagin Books, 2013). Pat Tierney also appeared in Rosemary’s short story “The Sweetheart Scamster” in the short story anthology Mesdames of Mayhem Thirteen (2013). Check out Rosemary’s website at http://www.rosemarymccracken.com/Home_Page.php for more book information and her Moving Target blog at http://www.rosemarymccracken.com/Home_Page.php. Rosemary and I did blog tours and my blog post there is at http://rosemarymccracken.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/interview-with-author-sharon-a-crawford/

Nate, Rosemary and I have also made several appearances together and done readings with these CWC presentations. The three of us may be touring together later this year or early next year for more readings. Stay tuned.

And of course, the two of us with books being published by Blue Denim Press

Dead Wrong by Klaus Jakelski – a medical murder mystery. And yes, Klaus is a medical doctor with a family practice in Sudbury, Ontario, but his book takes place in Boston, Massachusetts and Toronto, Ontario. His book is available in e-copy at http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Wrong-Klaus-Jakelski-ebook/dp/B00N32O9Z4

And my book, Beyond Blood, with the infamous fraternal twins Dana Bowman and Bast Overture, a mystery taking place during eight days in August 1998 in fictitious Thurston, Ontario, just north of Toronto.

Meantime, yours truly is still frantically doing pre-book launch promo. Not going as fast as I had hoped. It doesn’t help that both my email/website server went down for a day during maintenance and yesterday my modem-router went off the ISP grid for a bit but only on the hard-wired connection on my desktop computer. The wireless was fine and my laptop was connected. Glitches fixed thanks to good techies at the other end(s). But it steals from your time.

I’m blaming that on why I haven’t updated my website page for Beyond Blood. Some of the updates are off-line but when I had the time to load it – that’s when the website server was off. More info will be up on my website www.samcraw on the Beyond Blood page in the next few days.

Check out the details on my book and my colleague Klaus Jakelski’s book at www.bluedenimpress.com.

The book at the top of this blog post links to amazon.com and for those of us with Kobo’s, here is that link for the e-pub version. http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/beyond-blood-1 And when I (finally) get my amazon profile and web page updated I’ll give you the links to them.

Print versions of Beyond Blood and Dead Wrong are coming out soon.

Watch for Dana and Bast. They will be returning here in these blog posts soon. And I promise, Bast will not go missing this time, but somebody else might.

 

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

 

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