Sunday, January 24, 2016

It's all in the Collaboration

It’s been two months between posts and I have no real excuses other than, Christmas shopping, Christmas eating and partying, traveling for New Year and more eating and partying. There is a theme going on here and it’s about to stop. There is only one box of chocolates left in the freezer where I hid them. I do not want them! Really!

When I was not working on the edits of The Silk Shroud I was reading. Collaborating with Liz Lindsay as Jamie Tremain. I am drawn to other authors who do the same. Co- authoring is on the rise and ‘big name’ authors are getting into the act. Writing a novel is a mammoth task and sharing the load makes sense, with a few ground rules.
The books I read during party season were all co-authored.

 Melodie Campbell, an award-winning novelist, and author of ten books, teamed up with Cynthia St-Pierre and created the Fashionation with Mystery Books series published by Imajin Books  
Cynthia is also an award-winning author and marketing professional.

     The first in this series came out in 2012. A Purse To Die For. Anyone who knows me can testify that fashion is of great interest to me and I would rather have a new purse than new shoes. But the book languished on my ‘to be read pile’ until the next in the series was published last year. Killer Necklace. I like necklaces too.
     I am hooked on this series. Great characters and sexy, funny dialogue. Is there another in the works ladies?
"A Killer Necklace does not disappoint...hard to put down..."
Lorna Gray, author of Finding Daylight

Award-winning author Gloria Ferris and debut author Donna Warner  have entered the collaboration stakes with their novella thriller Targeted published by Black Opal Books.  Also available at Amazon.

This thriller has it all. An exciting ride to a beautiful Carribean resort. Blue sea and sky and sizzling sandy beaches, handsome men and those mahitos are to die for. Likable well thought out characters had me zipping along with this tension- filled story. I stayed up until the early morning hours to read the conclusion. Hope to see more of Peidmont and Blair.

Two authors I have read over many years are the fabulous Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. 
Both prolific writers having written many books together and alone. I follow the Special Agent A.X.L. ( Aloysius) Pendergast series. Aloysius is a law unto himself.

       White Fire is my abosolute favourite.

"The best Pendergast book yet- a collision between past and present that will leave you breathless. " -- Lee Child

"Heart pumping action and an intricate plot that pits a vengeful killer against the most interesting character in fiction". -- Suspense magazine.

 I will get to this one shortly.

With today's technology, collaborators do not have to be in the same room to write let alone be near one another.

Melodie Campbell lives in a different town but the same province as Cynthia St-Pierre. Gloria Ferris and Donna Warner are within spitting distance (well maybe 10-15 km's away) and Liz Lindsay and I are 70 km's apart. Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child don't live in the same State. Douglas divides his time between New Mexico or Maine and Lincoln lives in New Jersey.

For Liz and I, using email, Googe Drive to share documents, and Skype is our method of working together.Once or twice a month for a face to face, with lots of coffee and reinforcements also works. 
You do what works for you.  Liz and I had a great day yesterday and have a handle on the edits going forward. One step closer to see The Silk Shroud in print.We'll keep you posted.

Jamie Tremain's calendar is being filled for author interviews  and guests on the blog for 2016. You can look forward to learning all about Dee Willson's debut book A Keepers Truth.

The rest of the schedule TBD.

Talk soon,

Saturday, January 16, 2016

I'm Sold -

On Cruising That Is

I’ve just returned to winter here in Southern Ontario after a glorious week in the Caribbean, and crossing off the first item on my bucket list – taking a cruise.

Many of you know where I work, and each year, top performers are recognized by earning a cruise. This year, my best friend at work, earned this honour and chose me as her guest! What a fantastic opportunity to try a cruise; all expenses paid!  Technically a business trip, there were mandatory events and learning sessions to attend. Nine hundred top performers, plus their guests, and various executives and support teams ensured we had the entire ship to ourselves.

Celebrity - Constellation (our home for 7 beautiful days)

We set sail from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Jan 7, stopping first at a beautiful beach in the Dominican Republic. Sun, sand, and activities for a few hours and then a return to the ship anchored in the bay.

Dominican Samana Beach paradise

Our next visit was to St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. I’ve always heard how pretty the island is and the photos I managed don’t do it justice at all! And the shopping – wow! Some day when I’m rich I’ll be back to shop for the fabulous pieces of jewellery on display. Diamonds of every colour conceivable!  My co-worker and I wandered the shops and spent a fantastic day browsing and choosing one or two treasures.

Then it was on to San Juan, Puerto Rico, where we visited the famous Castillo, El Morro.  Lots of walking and mostly uphill, which, for me, was slow going. But we eventually made it. The team of organizers, always wearing red shirts, could be spotted on almost every corner ready to answer questions or point us in the right direction.

Our final stop was in Nassau, but unfortunately only for a few short hours. And the weather was grey and cool. However, we were greeted at the dock by a marching band specifically for our cruise. That was special and the private hotel beach where we attended a business presentation was quite magnificent. I can only imagine how spectacular it would have been with full sun.

Our ship, Celebrity Constellation, provided for every comfort and the service was beyond anything I could have expected. We were fortunate to have a balcony with our stateroom and I spent quite a few hours just gazing out to sea and managing to read two full books!   

One being Targeted by Gloria Ferris and Donna Warner. As their book is set in the Caribbean I thought it appropriate to save it for the trip.  It’s a great read and I do recommend it highly.

Overall it was an experience I’ll never forget. The waters were calm and being gently rocked each night while drifting off to sleep is something I’m already missing. Cruising is definitely the way to go. Next up, for me, would be an Alaskan cruise. We’ll have to see what the future will bring.

Palm trees, sun, sparkling blue water – a perfect combination for a wonderfully relaxing time. Even with work being part of the week, the batteries have definitely been re-charged.

But now back to reality and Pam and I have to get in gear and get our first revision completed and back to the publisher. Enough of this lolli gagging about.

Cruising, for me, gets a two-thumbs up and wistful thoughts about another opportunity. If you haven’t tried it and get the chance, go for it.

Cheers and a belated Happy New Year!


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