Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Where to Stay Current with Jamie Tremain

June 12 2024

You may have noticed there have been no new posts for a year now. But that doesn't mean we aren't still writing!  As "Ferris Tremain" we are halfway through a new Mechanic Falls Gem Caper Adventure - 'Where We Stand'. Also Pam and I are working on the 4th Grant's Crossing - as yet untitled.

About a year ago, Pam and I decided to turn our hand to a monthly newsletter and that's now where we keep friends, readers, and fans up to date on all things Jamie Tremain - as well as Ferris Tremain.

As always, we stay active on FaceBook, but as more and more folks spend less and less time there, we needed a way to stay in touch on a regular basis.

If you haven't already signed up, you can find the form to fill out on our web site, or here is the direct link for the newsletter. We promise to never, EVER, share your name with anyone else!

Don't forget - you can contact us with any questions directly at - we truly love hearing from you!

Until next time - Cheers!


Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Time to go Home

May 31 2023

After living in Ontario, for fifty seven years, I still call Scotland home.

I decided this was the year I'd visit some old haunts and spend time with family. The week before I was to leave I tripped on a carpet and fractured three bones in my foot. Wearing a large boot to hobble around in a city with cobblestones and lots of hills was daunting. 

Flying into Heathrow Airport to catch a train to Peterborough to visit my sister and family was a breeze, as the airline staff ferried me about in a wheelchair and picked up my bags. Then took me to the tube to catch the train. Good service.

Three days with my English relatives.


Rosemary, Cara, Pam with Norman and Elsa

My niece Claire and I out for lunch.
                                                         This was a theme for the entire trip.

My brother Raymond met my sister Rosemary and me at Waverly Station in Edinburgh -  one of the most beautiful cities in the world and it's never a disappointment. Cherry blossoms were everywhere and the yellow gorse was on Arthur's Seat when my brother took us for a drive around the city.

Edinburgh is the world's first UNESCO City of Literature. Designated in 2004, the capital of Scotland has a population of almost 500,000. It is the birthplace and home to world-famous writers, poets and playwrights including Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes), Walter Scott (Waverley), and JK Rowling (Harry Potter). And so many others.

A view of the castle and Walter Scott monument from Arthur's Seat

Beautiful Gorse
Learn more about Edinburgh Castle here.

A mingling of the old and the new.


Rosemary and I had lots of catching up to do but we could have done without the hail when we were out walking. So we retired to a lovely Steak House and bar, as one does, to drown our sorrows. On another day we visited with the cousins Anne and Eleanor at The Dome restaurant for lunch. So much fun catching up.

Capturing the beautiful Dome
Another view. So beautiful.

Sunday evening we taxied to the “Dockers Club”. Raymond, was playing drums with the band he has played with since the sixties.  “The Hipple People”. This was the first time I had ever seen him play as I left for Canada in ’66. I even got up to dance with my big black boot. Well, I moved sort of. No pictures of this world shaking event!

Rosemary, Raymond and Pam at the Dockers club

Raymond letting loose with the drums


A laughter-filled four days with my sister Rosemary was just what I needed. A life spent apart in different parts of the world. Stories to be told and shared, Magic!

We also visited the Caledonia Hotel, now owned by the Waldorf Astoria for a coffee and... what else,a scone and jam but also to visit the plaque on the pavement outside, dedicated to our grandad, Sandy James who was the doorman there for forty years.

Pam admiring the paving stone outside the 'Caley'. Caledonia Hotel


After Rosemary left to return home to Peterborough, Raymond and I sought out a childhood place where we, and our siblings camped in a small hut with an outside toilet. We were only eight or nine at the time so we were not aware of the significance of this site as it was in the Glen (valley) of Roslin Chapel. Dan Brown’s novel, the  ‘Di Vinci Code’ put Roslin Chapel on the map but its been around since 1446. Also spelt Rosslyn. They have done a wonderful job preserving the building and it’s still a working chapel. It's surrounded by the Pentland Hills.


Magnificent masonry at Roslin Chapel
Entrance to Roslin Chapel

Pam and Lynda
My lovely niece Lara O'Brien
Raymond and Lynda at their home.


A visit to Chirnside in the Border country to spend time with my friend Glynis was more of the same. Eating, drinking and visiting old country houses. Friends for sixty years we had much to talk about. A visit to Berwick on Tweed for some shopping and Paxton House. One of the many houses open as a tourist attraction with many original furnishings. They needed to add central heating  for me or light the many fireplaces. It was a damp rainy day we visited but the grounds were glorious with fields of daffodils surrounding the buildings. Of course they had a tea shop waiting for my daily scone and jam to warm me up!

Paxton House
Glynis and Pam. We met at sixteen in our first jobs.
 We haven't changed a bit. She keeps reminding me I'm older than her!


I was now back in Edinburgh with my fifth sleeping arrangement. This time with the Blance clan. So good to relax and visit with my nephew and his wife and to have a long chat with my brother-in-law and his lovely wife of sixty eight years.
Robert and Elma are now in their 90’s and were a sight for sore eyes. Enjoyed my visit immensely.

Robert, Pam and Elma Blance
A view of the lit up ski slopes from my bedroom window. '      .





Margaret , Pam, and Peter Blance














This was taken at Greywalls Hotel, Gullane, near Muirfield golf course. 

The most wonderful afternoon tea. Spectacular!

When I was not eating scones with jam and clotted cream, or having my favourite, Black Pudding (Blood Pudding)on a bun, YUM, I was eating fish and chips. Diet is starting any day now.

Not many cities boast a castle in the middle of town and the largest monument to an author, Sir Walter Scott stands on the main street, Princes Street. I had the pleasure of a trip to his home, Abbotsford, near Melrose. Built in the Baronial style,1817, it houses a collection of 10,000 artifacts. The library was my favourite but was fascinated to find Lord Nelson's, and Bonnie Prince Charlie's  locks of hair and Flora McDonald's small purse.

Outside Scott's house in  Abbotsford. We were lucky with the weather that day.

Peter and Pam outside Abbotsford
A bust of Sir Walter Scott
The library at Abbotsford

This home is the extraordinary home of Sir Walter Scott, the 19th century writer of Rob Roy and Waverley; the 'Great Scott' who popularized tartan, saved the Scottish banknote and rediscovered his country's Crown jewels. ( This from their pamphlet)

My photographs didn't do it justice. 

The Waverley Novels

The inscription inside
 Cherished possessions.
The inscription says, From Ma and Pa, Xmas 1889. 

 On my last day, Peter, my husbands nephew and his wife Margaret asked if I wanted to see some alpacas that were in a field near where they live. If you know me at all you know my fascination with all things alpaca. My favorite animal and their yarn is the best to knit with. Arriving at BobCat Alpacas, with a big boot or not I was going to climb the hill to see them. A herd of sixty spied us and they raised their heads and down they came to say howdy. I was in heaven. There were a few crias (babies) and most were hoping to be fed pellets from my hand to supplement the grass.

Shall I buy some yarn?

                A championship herd with loads of awards.  I couldn't resist buying some!


Having a lesson on Alpaca care.

He's not listening to me!                                              












This trip was long overdue and no, one does not go to Edinburgh for the weather. Chilly and wet was the order of the day but it didn’t dampen my enjoyment seeing family and friends and the joy that is Edinburgh.

Until the next time, without the boot!



Monday, May 1, 2023

Family Vacation Time - Gulf Shores Alabama

 April 30 2023

The Lindsays are blessed to be a clan who love to hang out with each other. Past family trips have included a trip to Virginia Beach in 2015 and the best time ever when all but one of us were able to have a fantastic week in Cuba in 2019.

Family plus friends Virginia Beach

Family in Cuba

Then we all know what happened the following year. Never mind a family trip, not even a visit for weeks and months!

So when the opportunity arose for us to take a road trip in 2023 it was full speed ahead! 10 adults,4 teenagers and 2 dogs. Oh, and of course, Mary Blue Eyes!  She manages to accompany us on most trips and family events.

Smiles generated courtesy of a "sunjabs" memory.

We decided on a locale that none of us had been to before, to make memories that would be new to each of us. We settled on a 2 acre rental property in the Gulf Shores, Alabama area. More specifically, located in Fort Morgan, Alabama. A wonderful Mediterranean influenced 4 bedroom home, with 2 smaller guest cottages on the property. Perfect for our group. While we weren't on the Gulf of Mexico, we did have a spectacular water view of Bon Secour Bay, which is part of Mobile Bay. Pelicans by the dozens and a pair of beautiful herons were on view constantly. No alligator sightings, but there was a dolphin at the end of our dock, and slithering at the base of a palm tree, a small snake, ugh!

A pool and oversized, screened in lounge area on the dock, with an outdoor fire place made for the perfect family evenings.

We arrived at the tail end of a monstrous thunderstorm, but for the rest of the week enjoyed a beautiful sunny week, with a well deserved day at Orange Beach, where we enjoyed the sights of the Gulf of Mexico.

Another outing was to the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, which I unfortunately had to pass on because my deteroriating hips wouldn't have dealt well with crawling around a submarine or decks of the battleship! Those who went were impressed by the facility and I was disappointed to miss out on this excursion.

And of course there was a theme park day at Tropic Falls for those who love the thrills of roller coasters and/or lazy river meanderings. Another pass for moi.

All too soon it was time to leave, but we had earlier made plans for a side trip on the way home for most of us. Gettysburg, PA.  I'm so glad we did. It was far too brief - basically a drive through, but it whet our appetite to see more. So we have tentative plans to return for a three day visit this fall.

Not a statue

This is a statue - one of hundreds!

All in all, another amazing family vacation with tremendous memories filed away. I'm still working through photographs - thank goodness for digital pictures - can't imagine dropping off 2 dozen, or more, rolls of film to be developed! Only to probably discard three quarters of the results.

My personal count now of American States I've driven through stands at 16. We hadn't travelled across the border in a few years and I have to admit to a small level of nervousness and anxiety. But now having broken the travel drought, I look forward to a smaller trip back to Gettysburg.

As noted in Jamie Tremain's May 1 Newsletter Pam has also been travelling. She crossed the pond to visit relatives in England and Scotland and should be back on home soil by the end of this week. No doubt she will have travel tales to share later as well.

What about you? Summer is fast approaching - do you have travel plans? We'd love to hear about them, or about a favourite place you long to return to?



p.s. This is Mary Blue Eyes - she bugged me to be included properly!

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Kathleen Kaska - Murder at the Pontchartrain

March 22 2023

Our first author interview for 2023 features Kathleen Kaska and we are more than pleased to have her with us as she prepares for the publication release of her newest book - Murder at the Pontchartrain - available this June (details to pre-order further below)

There's a story behind those red boots - read on!

Kathleen is a multi-faceted woman! We've known her for a few years within our writing community and continue to be amazed by the diverse and passionate intererests she has.

As an author she may be best known for her award-winning Sydney Lockhart Mysteries, as well as her Kate Caraway Animal-Rights Mystery Series. But she didn't stop there. She also authors The Classic Triviography Mystery Series. And anything she doesn't know about Sherlock Holmes would probably fit into the bowl of one of his pipes.

But wait, there's more! In addition to her writing, which she blogs about, she's also branched out as a writing coach, and edits manuscripts. Who better to share and mentor others than this author who never stops learning!

We also enjoy her blog series "Growing Up Catholic in a Small Texas Town". 

Wow, Kathleen. When do you get a chance to breathe? And how do you relax or wind down from all these activities?

Sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe. Meditation early in the morning helps. A glass of wine in the evening also does. But the best way for me to unwind is to run, a habit I picked up in college. Running keeps me fit and provides an excellent time for my brain to relax, allowing my imagination to flow. I can plot my mysteries and figure out how to tie up loose ends. This is also when my characters talk to me, and new characters introduce themselves.

Your latest book (which I eagerly anticipate), “Murder at the Pontchartrain” is number 6 in the Sydney Lockhart Mystery series. How did the theme of hotel murders, in the 1950s, come to you?

The idea came to me one Thanksgiving weekend when my husband and I checked into the historic Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs, Arkansas, for our annual vacation. Our room was not ready, and we had to wait several hours. That wasn’t a problem because being in the hotel lobby was like stepping back in time. My mind started to wander, and I began to imagine reasons for the long delay. The answer was given to me when we were finally allowed into our room. I was unpacking when a woman came out of the bathroom complaining there was a dead body in the tub. That woman was Sydney Lockhart. I told her I would help her find out who killed the guy, but she’d have to agree to accompany me to other historic hotels (I was already making a list) where she would encounter more murder victims. A wicked smile spread across her face, and she agreed. We’ve been partners ever since.

Why the 1950s? Sydney not only stepped into my world but also out of the 1950s, the decade I was born. It just seemed natural, and I didn’t question it.

I love it! As authors, ideas can come from anywhere! Can you give us an overview of this new book?

To do that, I’ll mention the previous book, Murder at the Menger, set in San Antonio, Texas. The plot centers around horseracing, but in the 1950s, horseracing wasn’t allowed in Texas, so I had to develop a few scenes in New Orleans, which meant a research trip was in order. That’s when I discovered the Pontchartrain Hotel and used it in book number six. The Pontchartrain was built in 1927 and opened as a luxury apartment building. It was turned into a hotel in 1940. Its rich history just begged to be written about. Signing the register were notable guests Cole Porter, Evelyn Waugh, Richard Burton, Rudolph Nureyev, and Rita Hayworth. Tennessee Williams lived there while writing A Streetcar Named Desire. My character, Ruth, Sydney’s bubbled-headed blonde cousin, had a lot to say about Williams and the title of his play, something she couldn’t get her pea-brain around.


What's the official launch date for Murder at the Pontchartrain?

Kathleen: The book will be released June 15 2023, and is up for preorder from my publisher, Anamcara Press

I enjoy your blog “Growing Up Catholic in a Small Texas Town.” Big families and relationships are so important to a good story. Will you write a book with all those stories of your Czech relatives as characters?

Funny, you should ask. I am working on a new mystery set in my hometown of West. Locals like to refer to it as West (Comma) Texas to let people know that West is the town’s name and not the state’s region. Adding the comma to the name has become so popular that the local high-school football team has jerseys that read The Comma. The story is set in curtain time with another cast of crazy characters. I’m having a blast writing it; many of the scenes will come from actual happenings. However, I’ve never based my characters on real people. Since I am related to half the town, I have to be careful because folks naturally look for themselves in books.

When I write my “Growing Up Catholic” blog, however, I often write about my relatives, but I always warn them ahead of time; actually, I ask their permission. I've never had anyone tell me no; they are usually flattered to end up in my blog.

Who influenced you in your early days of writing and why?

The authors who influenced me early on were Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. I read all the Sherlock Holmes stories and novels and everything Christie wrote. When I started to write the Sydney Lockhart mysteries, Janet Evanovich, Carl Hiaasen, Elizabeth Peters, and Martha Grimes were my inspirations. They all write or wrote zany mysteries with quirky characters.

I cut my reading teeth with Sherlock and  Dame Agatha as well.  It’s obvious you care about animal rights – is there anything in particular you’d like to say?

My first series was the Kate Caraway Animal-Rights series. I was influenced by Nevada Barr, who set her mysteries in national parks. I love the outdoor setting and the environmental messages the stories convey. They inspired me to write a mystery with a cause, and the cause became animal rights. While living in Austin, Texas, I was a member of Wildlife Rescue, which cared for orphaned and injured wildlife. Most of the wildlife I took in were birds. It was such a satisfying feeling when I released an animal into the wild.

I’d love to know the story behind your red boots – if there is one?

Yes. It was cool in the 1950s for kids to dress up like cowboys and cowgirls. Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers, and Dale Evens, and the Lone Ranger filled the airwaves and TV screen. When I was little, my parents gave me a cowgirl outfit, complete with red boots, for my birthday. The rest is history.

Will there be another book in Sydney Lockhart's 'Murder at the...' series? And if so, can you tell us a little about it?

I’m just getting started on a new Sydney mystery. I can tell you that Sydney is back in Texas, but my chosen hotel will remain a secret for a while.

Tell us a little about your coaching program? Is this suited more for beginners and debut authors?

My business, Metaphor Writing Coach, is geared toward helping new authors write, complete, polish their books, and sometimes find a publisher. But I also work with published authors who need someone to edit their manuscripts. My experience comes from being a publishing company’s marketing director and editor. Before I started writing, I taught school. Teaching is in my blood; I love doing it.

Liz: Anyone who is interested in Sherlock Holmes would love to hear about your Sherlockian pursuits. How did your passion for this classic detective begin? How can someone wanting to learn more contact you?

My second trivia book was about Sherlock Holmes. While writing it, I learned about Sherlock Holmes societies, groups of people who gather regularly to discuss the Great Detective. There are more than 500 societies worldwide, and I joined the Waterloo Station Society in Austin. When I moved to Anacortes, Washington, I founded The Dogs of the Nighttime, a scion of the Baker Street Irregulars organized in New York City by Christopher Morley. When we first started meeting, there were only four members in our group, but over time we've grown to about forty. During the pandemic, we started meeting virtually. Now we are a hybrid group, meeting in person and virtually. We have folks joining us from all over the U.S. and Canada. The Dogs been meeting once a month for about twelve years. We discuss the original Conan Doyle stories, but also movies, TV shows, pastiches, and anything dealing with Holmes. We’re an informal group. The public is welcome to attend any time.

Anyone can visit my author website: and my coaching website: I welcome emails at:

Thank you, Kathleen. We truly appreciate the time you've spent with us today and hope our readers will become new fans! We wish you much success with the newest book in your series. 

If you wish to learn more about Kathleen here are links to explore:

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Blog-Letter February 1 2023

 February 1 2023


"Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you." 

Walt Whitman

Will he - won't he - see his shadow? The groundhog of course.  Or does it even matter. Some would say we'd be lucky if there were only 6 more weeks of winter! January 2023 in southern Ontario has been particularly dreary and sunless this winter. 
For those new to our newsletter, did you know Jamie Tremain is not one, but two authors? Pam Blance and Liz Lindsay write together as "Jamie Tremain"


From Pam:

I’m not a winter person by any stretch of the imagination. My idea of winter is sitting by the fire with a good book. Or in the car with the heated seats warming me like toast. I never want to leave. Best invention ever!

The snow is lovely when it’s falling and I can see the joy it brings to kids and dogs. Never knew a dog that didn’t like snow, but as for skiing, skating, snowmobiling and all things to do with snow…not for me. Skiing I’ve not tried. I’d most likely break my neck. Never been on skates but I do enjoy watching the dance skaters.

I tried snowmobiling many years ago and I have to admit it was fun, but as it was New Years day I probably had enough Dutch Courage in me to keep me warm. 

When the kids were young we would join a party of friends for a winter barbecue at a conservation area.The kids would play hockey on the frozen lake and loved to toboggan. I even tried snowshoes. Disaster!

Where I live, near Lake Ontario, it tends to be milder and although the weather forecasters keep predicting wild weather patterns and heavy snow storms it doesn’t always materialize. Road conditions are another matter. Freezing rain and snow squalls are not for driving in. I cancelled lunch with friends because of the ice on the roads. Even though the sun came out by noon and it was probably fine to drive. Better safe than sorry.  

Having noted all my dislikes about winter, one of my favorite books and movies of all time is Boris Pasternak’s ‘Dr. Zhivago’. I read the book in the sixties and have watched this movie at least a dozen times. The scenes with the house in Varykino, frozen in time, is a classic.

You’ve guessed it. I like to watch the winter from my comfy chair either looking out the window,  watching movies or preferably lost in a book.  When I wrote this the sun was out, and the snow is melting. I can’t wait for Spring but it’s like wishing one's life away.

Busy February is coming up. Liz and I are about a third of the way writing book number four in the Dorothy Dennehy Series -   Cultivating the Truth Other projects are also in the works.

Oh, bring on the snow! I’m hibernating at my computer while I wait on Liz’s next chapter. Maybe I’ll watch Dr Zhivago again or dig out the book. It’s in my bulging bookcase somewhere. 


From Liz:

Book Review -  The Newlywed by Anna Willett


I love fictional cold case stories and this latest by Anna Willett checks all the boxes. The Newlywed is a perfect blend of cold case detective work, complex characters, and human emotions. For me a bonus that it’s set in Australia – a setting I always enjoy!

Why did Jane Wilson vanish shortly after her marriage? How is her husband’s twin brother involved? What is causing her so much unease to return as a newlywed to the small seaside town of Seabreak, where she vacationed as a teenager?

Years after Jane’s disappearance, and assumed murder, D.I. Veronika Pope leads a new investigation. Coincidences are not her thing, and the clues mean more questions, especially when similar disappearances are discovered.

Anna Willett has created believable, and likeable, characters with D.I. Pope and her team. The tension and suspense that builds towards the conclusion are brilliantly woven. I cannot wait to read more of this series and would love to see D.I. Pope come to life as a television series.

If you’re a fan of good detective work, police procedurals, and an engaging mystery, read “The Newlywed” – it won’t disappoint!

Jamie Tremain News

As mentioned last month, our Genre 5 Writer Group Christmas get together was postponed courtesy of Mother Nature. But it was worth the wait when we gathered early in January. Over a delicious meal and cozy time by the fire, we enjoyed laughter and also found time for those serious topics that good friends can easily discuss. Did we solve the problems of the world? That would be telling - what gets discussed in our gatherings stays there. The headbands were an extra bonus!

Pam   Gloria   Donna   Liz   Donna

Wishing everyone a Happy Valentines, or Galentine's Day (Feb 13). The idea of this day, first originated with one of Liz's favourite shows, Parks and Recreation - the holiday focuses on the declaration of love and affection to the gals who make up our support system.  The above picture is a perfect example for the day!

And  Remember -

Kindness is more than deeds. It is an attitude, an expression, a look, a touch. It is anything that lifts another person.


We'd love to hear from you!  What are you reading? Have you taken a long over-due trip or vacation? Comment here or drop us a line at

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