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Category Archives: Interviewing fictional characters

Merry Christmas from Beyond Blood characters and Sharon A. Crawford

Dana Bowman, David Bowman and Bast Overture from Beyond Blood are here with me on this Christmas Eve. I am posting a day early this week because southern Ontario has a horrible weather forecast from late tonight and into tomorrow – very heavy winds so there is the worry of damage and power outage. Scrooge’s saying “Bah Humbug” comes to mind.

Dana: Now Sharon, it’s not that bad.

Me: Fine for you to say – you are 30 miles north of Toronto in Thurston.

Dana: But we do have Snow Lake, a pretty big lake so could have lake effect weather issues. We do have a wind warning.

Me: But not 60 k an hour with gusts up to 90 or 100 k depending on where around the Great Lakes you are.

Dana: True.

Bast: It doesn’t hurt to make preparations.

Dana: Yeah right, little brother. Like you did for Y2K? Bast already is creating outside-the-fridge storage for our food.

David: And I’m making a tent for my stuffed beavers.

Me: Really? How many beavers do you have now?

David: Twenty.

Me: Will they all fit in your tent?

David: Yes, it’s a big tent.

Dana (scratching her head): At least that gets them out of his bed. At this rate we’ll have to get him a bigger bed.

David: Aw, Mommie.

Me: I, too am making preparations for this wind storm, but hadn’t thought of a tent. Anyway, aside from the storm, what are you doing to celebrate Christmas? David, I bet you are waiting for Santa.

David: Yes, Uncle Bast says the chimney is big enough for him to get down. But is it safe for him to land on the roof?

Bast: Santa could also land on the ground and get through a window.

David: But all the windows are locked.

Bast: Santa will figure a way to get in. Don’t forget he is magical for Christmas.

David: Goodie. Mommie; don’t forget to leave a snack out for Santa – near a window.

Dana (ruffling David’s hair): Don’t worry, I won’t.

Me: So how else are you celebrating Christmas? Is Great Aunt Doris coming for dinner?

Dana: No way. If that woman comes, she stays and stays and stays. No just the three of us this year. We have a turkey…

Bast: already cooked in case of power outage.

Me: And where are you keeping it in case?

Bast: In a Styrofoam container on the back porch outside the kitchen door.

David: With a brick on top to keep out racoons.

Me: I thought Thurston was rid of racoons.

Dana: Sh. Don’t give the plot of Beyond Blood away.

Me: Did I mention Beyond Blood?

Dana: Well, no.

Me: Let’s just wish everybody a happy and safe Christmas.

Dana, Bast, David and Me: Happy and safe holiday.

David: And build a tent to keep you safe.

 

Next week’s post will feature my review of another suspense-mystery author’s new book – Rene Natan’s The Woman in Black. I’ll also be asking Rene some writing-related questions. Stay tuned and hopefully I’ll post on New Year’s Day instead of one day early.

Meantime see Sharon’s website http://www.samcraw.com for more info on Beyond Blood and other writing, editing and workshops. And visit Sharon at Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sharon-A-Crawford/412730865439394
For last-minute Christmas shoppers: see below and click on book covers for online purchase of Beyond Blood e-copies from the publisher Blue Denim Pess (e-pub and Kindle). For print copies go to http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/contributor/author/sharon-a-crawford/?langtype=4105 Or go to any bricks and mortar bookstore and ask to have the book ordered in.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

 

 

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Dana Bowman from Beyond Blood takes over

Sharon reads from her Beyond book series

Sharon reads from her Beyond book series

Listen to Sharon talk about writing Beyond Blood including characters and plot at

http://bluedenimpress.com/authors/sharon-a-crawford/

Dana: Okay, Ms Creator, I have a big question for you…

Sharon: Hey, wait a minute, you are supposed to be talking about yourself. So, I’m going to ask you to do the same as I asked your brother – talk about your feelings about what happens in Beyond Blood, particularly your son’s kidnapping and well, just being Dana.
Dana: Oh all right. But I’m watching carefully what you are writing in our next mystery novel.
Being Dana, as you put it, is fun and exasperating. I’m not sure how much of me is you. We both feel things very deeply, especially where our sons are concerned. I know your son is in his mid-thirties but he was once six like David. Losing David from kidnapping broke my heart but there was no way I was going to do nothing. So I had to get out there and look. It meant talking to my ex-husband Ron even though I never wanted to see him again. But circumstances, thanks to Ron’s actions and Fielding’s follow-up (see, I’m not giving it away) put me in a position where I had no choice.
And before you ask about Fielding. Yes, we were attracted but after Ron I did not want to get involved with another man. Ron hurt me too much. Fielding can be a pain. He is protective but he pulls that “police business” card and that just makes me want to investigate more. I think he thought he was God and he was the only one who could find David and find Debbie’s killer. No spoilers here – like Bast said this info is on the back cover of Beyond Blood.
Having close friends, like Debbie, get killed is a terrible blow and handling it badly with her mother and my best friend Madge, I don’t think I can ever forgive myself for that. But some of that blame has to go to Great Aunt Doris.
That woman – Doris is really Ron’s aunt but I hate her habit of just dropping in on us when she feels like it. She stays and stays and interferes with everything. At least she helps Madge. But Doris thinks I’m a bad mother and in Beyond Blood I wonder if she isn’t right. What good mother would “let” her son be kidnapped almost from right under her nose. I should have stopped it. Maybe if I had let him stay for our Attic Investigative Agency open house as he wanted to, he would never have been kidnapped.
And I know what you are thinking here, Sharon A. Then there would be no story, or not as much of a story. And it might not tear at readers’ hearts. Mothers and their children – kids or adults – feature a lot in Beyond Blood.
I guess I am glad you created me –for whatever reasons – and let me have my say and way. If you want to hear Sharon talk about us and Beyond Blood, listen to her in this radio interview at http://bluedenimpress.com/authors/sharon-a-crawford/

Dana, Bast and Sharon A. Crawford: Merry Christmas to all.
See Sharon’s website http://www.samcraw.com for more info on Beyond Blood and other writing, editing and workshops. And visit Sharon at Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sharon-A-Crawford/412730865439394
For last-minute Christmas shoppers: see below and click on book covers for online purchase of Beyond Blood e-copies from the publisher Blue Denim Pess (e-pub and Kindle). For print copies go to http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/contributor/author/sharon-a-crawford/?langtype=4105 Or go to any bricks and mortar bookstore and ask to have the book ordered in.

Cheers.
Sharon A. Crawford
Dana Bowman
Bast Overture

 

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Beyond Blood character takes over blog post

Sharon reads from her Beyond book series

Sharon reads from her Beyond book series

Last week I mentioned that the fraternal twins from Beyond Blood would be posting here for the next couple of weeks. Today, Bast Overture will write this post. He was given one criteria – he had to discuss his feelings about his actions, etc. in Beyond Blood – without giving away the plot. Bast…

Bast Overture here and I have my recorder turned on. I know, bad habit of a former crime writing journalist.

Sharon A. has given me a difficult task. Talking about my feelings is not my big point. My twin, Dana, however, wears her emotions on her sleeve. But we are connected as only twins are, even though we’re fraternal twins.

When Dana’s six-year-old son (and my nephew) David is kidnapped … and Sharon this is NOT a spoiler as this info is on the back cover of Beyond Blood … I was almost as devastated as Dana. I say “almost” because Dana is David’s mother. As Dana had to cope as both a mother and private investigator, I tried to keep cool, tried to keep an even keel with some humor in our talks – but never anything insulting about what had happened. When Dana hit her down side I tried to comfort her, tried to help her. But I felt so helpless. So I did what I do best – dug in like the crime writer I used to be and helped Dana interview some of the people we had to talk to.

In hindsight I probably should have interviewed them all. But Dana being Dana had to do some of it herself. That’s the way she is. She won’t let herself sit still and do nothing.

I was the one who found Debbie’s body (not a spoiler, as it’s also on Beyond Blood’s back cover), I was sickened and could barely stagger back to tell Dana who had just found out David had been kidnapped. That surprised and infuriated me – I’m supposed to offer support and comfort to my twin, even though she is 43 minutes older than me. And she makes sure I know that. In all the crime stories, some with gruesome details, I’ve written, I had never seen a murdered dead body until Debbie. But I used some of these crime stories to help Dana get to the truth. I even passed along some information to Detective Sergeant Fielding.

However, I’m sorry I encouraged Fielding and Dana to go on a date on his sailboat. Well, maybe not entirely or maybe the story would have ended differently. Maybe…

Dana: maybe what little brother? You’re not supposed to give the plot away.

Bast: What? I didn’t see you come in. And I’m not giving away the plot. Why are you here? Your turn isn’t until next week.

Dana: Well, I had to hear what you were saying about me.

Bast: And do you approve?

Dana: Yes, except for Fielding.

Bast: So there is something going on between the two of you.

Dana (shaking her fist): That’s none of your business unless I make it so. After all, as you said, I’m 43 minutes older than you.

Bast: But I’m 15 inches taller than you.

Dana: Oh for Christ’s sake, Bast, grow up.

Bast (shrugging): Fine. You’ll have your say in next week’s post. So, now together let’s say it.

Bast and Dana: Read Beyond Blood by Sharon A. Crawford. See below and click on book covers for online purchase of Beyond Blood e-copies from the publisher Blue Denim Pess (e-pub and Kindle). For print copies go to http://sleuthofbakerstreet.ca/ . Or go into a bricks and mortar bookstore and ask to have the book ordered in.

Cheers.

Bast and Dana

and Sharon A. Crawford

Cover of Beyond Blood by Sharon A. Crawford, published by Blue Denim Press. Click for link to purchase e-copies

Cover of Beyond Blood by Sharon A. Crawford, published by Blue Denim Press. Click for link to purchase e-copies

 

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Book Launch Beyond Blood Musings

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

This country’s crazy in terms of fame and what people think it means. They expect a writer to be something between a Hollywood starlet and the village idiot.

  • Kent Haruf

Beyond Blood and Dead Wrong received a big send-off last Sunday October 19 at our mutual book launch at Paintbox Bistro in Toronto, Canada. It was a lot of work – for my publisher Blue Denim Press to set it all up and for my author colleague Klaus Jakelski and I to invite (and persuade) people to show up. The two guest authors reading – Rosemary McCracken (author of the Pat Tierney mysteries http://rosemarymccracken.wordpress.com/ and Nate Hendley (true crime author who writes about the baddies and Stephen Truscott http://www.natehendley.com/books.html also were a draw. See the Blue Denim Press website www.bluedenimpress.com for photos.

But there are stories behind a book launch – the before, during and after and maybe some lessons to be learned, especially as this was my second book launch.

Not everyone invited will come. I emailed out around 200 invitations but didn’t expect that many to attend – they would have been out on the street if they had. One thing that bugged me at my first launch two years ago and again this go-round is people not letting you know if they can attend or not, but more so if they say they are coming and then don’t show up – unless they have emailed at the last minute that they can’t because of whatever. The last is acceptable. Things happen.

The upside is people invited showing up unexpectedly.

This time round none of my cousins could make it, but my son, Martin and his girlfriend, Juni (bless them) did. I was thrilled when they walked in and Martin handed me a big bouquet of flowers. I was determined to keep it close and when I left it at the restaurant where we ate after the launch, I got off the bus (one stop after boarding) and raced back to the restaurant to collect it. If I hadn’t have done that I would be so upset. How did I miss grabbing it? I guess my mind and hands couldn’t take in more than a big shoulder bag, purse and doggie bag of leftover dinner. I also had stood the bouquet up on the wall behind where I sat to keep it safe. Safe from whom? Me?

I had also tried to get plenty of sleep the nights before so I could avoid being in a daze like the previous book launch. The enough sleep part didn’t work out but no daze. My wits were in place and I made a point of moving around, jumping up from where I was sitting to talk to everyone who came to the launch.

The readings went well, although I stumbled up the stairs and Sarah the publisher had to grab me. Note: I was not drunk. Hadn’t had anything stronger than water to drink. But my very short intro to Beyond Blood and the short excerpt I read went very well. One of my writing colleagues says I read like audio. True, I channel my characters as I read and got the chance to do that at the end of the launch presentations when Klaus and I did a short humorous skit where my main character PI Dana Bowman interviews his main character Dr. Peter Martins. Klaus was lucky as he could appear in his dress suit. I had to alter my appearance. I have long brown-grey hair and wear glasses. Dana has short black hair and doesn’t wear glasses. At least we are both short in height.

I pulled my hair into a ponytail and shoved it under a cap. The glasses went and I buttoned up my sweater and made it look like a sweat shirt – one of Dana’s wardrobe items. I kept my black slacks and black shoes but carried that big shoulder bag mentioned earlier and a sketch pad. Dana sketches while interviewing people. I can’t draw to save my life.

But I could see without the glasses and didn’t trip going up or down the stage stairs this time.

Afterwards the spontaneous dinner arrangements got a little hectic. Paintbox Bistro was closing for the day, so we decided on a Thai restaurant nearby. Shane and Sarah from Blue Denim Press were packing up everything and going to drive to meet us there. Another couple of friends, Sheila and Rod drove. My friend Bob, Martin, Juni and I walked there.

The restaurant was closed on Sundays. We made another choice. But couldn’t text Shane or Sarah to let them know because I didn’t bring their cell phone numbers with me. So the frantic activity began with Martin rushing back to Paintbox and texting Juni back that it was closed and no one was there. Meantime Sheila and Rob had arrived. So when Martin returned we devised a plan. Sheila and Rob would drive to the other restaurant; Bob wanted to walk, and Martin, Juni and I would wait outside the closed restaurant for Shane and Sarah. We waited and waited. Then Juni and I walked to the new restaurant and Martin waited.

Bob, Sheila and Rob were seated in the restaurant when we arrived. A couple of minutes later the other three walked in.

Really, my organization skills are better than this. They have to be because the book launch is only a part of promoting your book.

And more on that in future posts. Meantime click on my book cover above – it will lead you to my publisher Blue Denim Press’s website. Scroll down and you can see where Beyond Blood is currently available, including at www.bluedenimpress.com.

And check my website www.samcraw.com – click on Beyond Blood. I constantly update the gigs etc. on that page.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

 

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Come to Sharon A Crawford’s Book Launch Sunday Oct.19

Sharon A Crawford author of the short story collection Beyond Blood published by Blue Denim Press

Sharon A Crawford author of Beyond Blood published by Blue Denim Press

Fiction is about stuff that’s screwed up.
– Nancy Kress

 

Dana is scurrying around The Attic Agency Office when Bast walks into the room.

Bast: What are you doing?

Dana: Getting ready for the big launch.

Bast: Our agency opening reception. I thought all was…

Dana: No, no, not that. Sharon A. Crawford’s book launch. You know the author who created us?

Bast: Of course. That is coming up already?

Dana: Yes, this Sunday. October 19. We have to get the word out Bast about her book Beyond Blood.

Bast: You mean before our agency opening?

Dana: Yes, and Sharon’s book launch has to happen first so that Beyond Blood can happen.

Bast: You mean our actual launch, the kidn…

Dana: Sh. Bast, don’t give it all away. People have to come to the book launch and buy a copy of Beyond Blood to find out what happens.

Bast: Right. And we should also mention what else is happening at the Book Launch.

Dana: Yes. The book launch is also for another first time mystery novelist, Klaus Jakelski’s book Dead Wrong. It’s a medical mystery.

Bast: Yes. And Klaus is a medical doctor in Sudbury, Ontario.

Dana: And Sharon, like you is a former journalist, although she covered health as well as some crime stories.

Bast: Sharon is also short like you. In fact, she has a couple of inches on you.

Dana: Bast. Leave my height out of it.

Bast (chuckling): Okay, if you wish.

Dana: What I wish is to find that poster that Blue Denim Press, Sharon’s and Klaus’s publisher, had printed. Have you seen it?

Bast: Yes, right here on my desk.

Dana and Bast grab the poster, hold it up and together announce:

Blue Murder with Blue Denim Press:

Join in the murderous mayhem at the launch of two debut mystery novels:

Beyond Blood by Sharon A. Crawford

Dead Wrong by Klaus Jakelski

More mayhem provided by guest readers Rosemary McCracken and Nate Hendley

Launch presented by Blue Denim Press.

Mayhem provided by all.

Location:     Paintbox Bistro

555 Dundas Street East (at Parliament St.) Toronto (parking inside building), Ontario

http://paintboxbistro.ca/contact

Time and Date: 3 p.m., Sunday, October 19, 2014

Bring a guest or two if you wish.

There is an entrance cost of $15. per person. That entitles you to a copy of a Blue Denim Press book-. Your guest(s) can choose another book published by Blue Denim Press. No charge for children 16 and under.

See you there.

Cheers.

Dana Bowman

Bast Overture

And

Sharon A. Crawford

And check out Sharon A. Crawford’s Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sharon-A-Crawford/412730865439394

Linked In profile http://ca.linkedin.com/in/sharoncrawfordwordssparkle

Sharon A. Crawford’s website www.samcraw.com and click on Beyond Blood for all the details of Sharon’s gigs.

And visit Sharon’s publisher Blue Denim Press at http://www.bluedenimpress.com to see that poster.

 

Cover of Dead Wrong by Klaus Jakelski, published by Blue Denim Press

Cover of Dead Wrong by Klaus Jakelski, published by Blue Denim Press

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

 

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Beyond Blood’s twin PIs receive ominous phone calls

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

Fiction is about stuff that’s screwed up.

  • Nancy Kress

 

Dana speaking into her cell: What do you want?

Voice on the other end: Hello to you too. Just want to touch base and see how you are doing.

Dana: Right, after three years. What about David?

Bast speaking into his cell: Hello. Yes. Who is this?

Muffled voice on the other end: Someone from your past to tell you I will be at your detective agency opening this coming Friday.

Bast: It is an investigative agency. We’re in Canada.

Muffled voice: I know that.

Bast: Who are you? Identify yourself.

Muffled voice: You don’t need to know now who I am. Expect me at your investigative agency opening.

Click:

Bast: He hung up.

Dana, looking over at her brother: Who was it?

Bast shrugs his shoulders: I don’t know. He disguised his voice.

Dana: Maybe it’s a she.

Bast: No, I’ll bet my interest in the business that it’s a man. Just don’t know who. And who are you talking to?

Dana, covering up her cell: Ron, my ex.

Bast: That jerk. What does he want?

Dana: Don’t know and don’t care. I’m just letting him ramble.

Bast: Is that wise?

Dana: He didn’t even ask about his son? He leaves us on our own and…wait.

Ron: … so that’s why I’m late with the support payments.

Dana: So, what’s new? You are always late – when you send them.

Ron: Now listen here.

Dana: No, you listen. I want all the support payments you owe me up to now and I want them here before the end of this month. Do you hear?

Ron: I hear but I just told you why I’m late this month. Weren’t you listening?

Dana: If it were just this month, I might listen and give you some leeway. But it is always this way, excuse after excuse.

Dana hits the off button on her cell and starts swearing.

Bast: Hold on Dana. Take a deep breath. It’s just pre-opening jitters.

Dana: Yes, but look at who has been here – in person or by phone. I don’t trust Lois or Ray Chalmers as far as the end of my desk. Debbie looks like a ghost and now we have Ron and some unknown muffled voice. Methinks the opening will not go well.

Bast: We’ll just have to hope for the best. And stay calm. Look why don’t we focus on something else.

Dana: Like what?

Bast: What about the author of our novel Beyond Blood? She has a big book launch coming up soon.

Dana: Very well. Tell me more about it.

Stay tuned for next week’s blog where Dana and Bast provide details about the Beyond Blood book launch with a unique twist.

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

For those of us with a Kobo, 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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Beyond Blood – …and open the door again…

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

If you will practice being fictional for a while, you will understand that fictional characters are sometimes more real than people with bodies and heartbeats.

  • Richard Bach

Footsteps are heard coming up the stairs to The Attic Investigative Agency.

Dana: Who is it this time?

Bast points to the doorway. Debbie Sangwell, babysitter for Dana’s six-year-old son and daughter of Dana’s best friend, Marge, stumbles in.

Dana (joking): Rough night?

Debbie trying to get her breath: No. Must be the stairs.

Bast: We have an elevator.

Debbie: Yeah, right. Didn’t see it. Oh, this place looks neat. I guess you are wondering why I’m here.

Dana: And where’s David?

Debbie: He’s with Mom. She took him to the park. I’m not feeling that good.

Dana: You coming down with something?

Debbie: Oh no. Just something I ate for breakfast. I’ll be okay. I just wanted to check on the arrangements for Friday evening.

Dana: The reception starts at 7.30 p.m. so you can come over maybe around 7 p.m. or earlier. Hey, why not come for supper?

Debbie staggering a bit. She grabs the back of a chair: Maybe. But 7 p.m. sounds good.

Bast jumping up from his chair: Here, Debbie sit down. I’ll get you a glass of water.

Bast exits the agency office.

Dana, swivelling her chair around until she is almost knee-to-knee with Debbie: You look awful. Your face is pale. You don’t look like you’ve seen a ghost; you look like you are the ghost.

Debbie: I said I’m okay. Just something I ate.

Dana: Okay, just concerned. Okay, back to Friday night. David will probably want to come up here to see all the guests but there will be adult stuff talked about and to tell the truth, some of our guests may be old school and not take kindly to having the son of one of the business owners around. If it were up to me, I’d let him come in at the beginning, introduce him to all, let him look around a bit and then go back downstairs.

Debbie: Got it. I will keep him busy on the second floor, mostly in his room. We have a pile of books to read and… are the Randalls next door coming?

Dana: No, why?

Debbie: Just thinking. Maybe I could take David there to see Mr. Randall and his big train set-up downstairs.

Dana: Hmm.

Debbie: Before his bedtime. I could come here at 6.30 p.m. and take him over.

Dana: Hmm. Well check with Mr. Randall first.

Bast returns with a glass of water which he hands to Debbie. She leans over to grab it and almost falls forward. Dana catches her arms and helps her sit up.

Dana: You really don’t seem well.

Debbie: I’m okay. Just something I ate. Think I’ll go home and rest up for Friday.

Debbie gulps down some water, hands the glass to Dana and manages to stand up without keeling over: See I’m fine. I’ll give you a call before Friday or drop over before.

Dana: Okay.

Bast: Take care.

Debbie: I will. I’m going to have a little nap when I get home.

Bast. I’ll take you to the elevator.

Debbie: No, stairs are fine.

Dana and Bast listen as she goes down the stairs. Her footsteps sound like they are going at normal speed. When they drift off from the second stairway down, Dana turns to Bast.

Dana: Something is up with that girl.

Bast: I agree. You better speak to Madge.

Dana: Will do.

Dana’s cell phone rings. She picks it up

Dana: Hello. What do you want?

Bast’s cell phone starts ringing and he picks it up.

 

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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