Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Writer's Retreat - Part 2

 August 31 2021

A sequel to the previous post.

Pam and I enjoyed a rejuvenating, and much needed, three-day writing retreat with our fellow Genre5 members – Gloria Ferris, Donna Houghton, and Donna Warner. The location was Donna Warner’s cottage in the Muskoka’s (prime cottage country in Ontario, don’t you know). Thank you, again, Donna, for hosting and seeing to all our comforts!


Early Morning - Lake like glass
Water Activity

There were only five of us, but the amount of food and refreshment we brought along would have fed a crowd three times the size! No starving artists this time around. And with no readily available internet, distractions from the outside world were kept at bay for three days. Imagine – we survived!

The weather was perfect to enjoy the clear waters of Sparrow Lake. Barbecues, hot tubs, kayaking and paddle-boarding helped round out the days.  Evenings were spent by the water, safely ensconced within a bug free gazebo. A propane-fueled fire pit added to the relaxing atmosphere.

Gloria added to the fun by providing an activity to help cool us all down. “Wear a hat, and red lipstick”, were the instructions we heeded. As well, we coordinated our clothing for a photo ‘shoot’.  Our historic, laughable, attempts at selfies have been rectified. A proper stand and light ring for our group shots have solved the problem!  Next up – videos???


But yes, we did ‘work’. After not having a real get together in a year and a half, we had much to discuss! Brainstorming over marketing and promotion. Along with the next steps in our group collaborative writing project.

We’ve decided to be more serious with marketing our Genre5 ‘brand’ – especially if we intend to write a book together! Stay tuned for more details on this.

Donna Warner, Liz Lindsay, Pam Blance, Gloria Ferris, Donna Houghton

An Instagram account has been created – Genre5Authors – and you should be seeing lots from us in the future. Make sure you follow us to stay up-to-date!

Award-winner Gloria  is the gifted creator of her successful Cornwall & Redfern Mystery series, as well as 2 books in her YA series – Blood Patch and its sequel, Blood Shield.  She co-wrote two novellas with Donna Warner – Targeted, and Death’s Footprint. Donna Houghton has a wonderful, and enthralling, fantasy in the works which is nearing completion. 

Yours truly, of course, as Jamie Tremain, have 3 books in the Dorothy Dennehy Mystery Series, and are this close to the launch of our new series – Grant’s Crossing. The first in the series is called Death on the Alder, and we hope to have its debut in October. This series is more cozy than crime/mystery, and we hope our fans will continue along for the ride! With a slight change in the genre, we are hoping to attract new readers as well.

Once again, we are delighted with the cover work for Grant's Crossing - Death on the Alder, provided by our cover designer, Jennifer Gibson.  She is also an author and her series focuses on Jessie, a high school student who is hearing impaired. Learn more at her site here.

September is upon us, and all around, there is much to be unsettled about. For me, reading a good book is such a wonderful distraction – when I’m not writing! Currently, I’m enjoying  “You Will Remember Me” by Hannah Mary McKinnon. I’m a big fan of her writing! Next up will be Louise Penny’s “All the Devils are Here”. As well, I’ve added to my Kobo, Edward Rutherfurd’s “China”.  So, as you can see, I’m prepared for the autumn!

What books have carried you through the summer? And how tall is your 'to be read' pile?

The retreat was a week ago. Memories made to last a lifetime! I feel incredibly blessed to say I'm an author, but even more blessed to say I have wonderful friends within this special group. Long live Genre5 Authors!



Click on the name to buy on Amazon

Jamie Tremain:  

Gloria Ferris     

Jennifer Gibson   

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Busy Summer

 Aug 11 2021

Nearly mid August! Like so many others who are commenting on how fast this summer seems to have gone, I shake my head at the speed with which days are flying by! Maybe because for a lot of us, restrictions have been lifted, or eased enough, to finally allow gatherings, to attend events, or to travel. It feels as if we are either making up for lost time, or filling our calendars in the event these long awaited freedoms are curtailed again. COVID is far from over. 

As mentioned previously, Pam and I enjoyed a lovely three day retreat last month. And guess what? We have another one scheduled in two week’s time! We will be joining the other three members of our Genre5 Author Group for a few days of catching up, writing and discussion. All against the back drop of a lakefront cottage. Can’t wait.  Other than a back-yard, socially distanced meeting last summer, we five have not gathered together since the virus put all our lives on hold. Grateful to have had Zoom to stay in touch, but nothing beats face to face.

Speaking of faces, a long running joke among the five of us is our complete inability to take a group selfie. Yes, we’ve tried the stick – let’s just say there were technical issues. But I may have found the solution and all will be revealed at our next gathering.


Out of all our group selfie tries, this one successful effort, from three years ago, remains my favourite. 

In the meantime, both halves of Jamie Tremain have been busy. Pam’s social calendar is bursting at the seams! I’ve been enjoying family gatherings at long last. And optimistically hope we can celebrate Christmas in our usual fashion this year!

My fun this week was technical. My faithful laptop, which had been showing its age, finally succumbed, and I spent yesterday setting up its replacement. With the ‘cloud’ and other advances, this set up went faster than I expected and I’m now enjoying better speed and a few new features.  As well, I’m borderline anal when it comes to backing things up, which paid off big time this time around.

And as far as Jamie Tremain goes, we’re now working with our amazing cover designer, Jennifer Gibson, to start the process for Grant’s Crossing – Death on the Alder. We plan for a release date of October 1.

We’re also developing a newsletter – more details to come on both!

And a reminder about the contest we offered with the last post. It ends August 13!

We hope your summer has been going well.  If you’ve purchased a copy of Beholden to None, send us a picture and we’ll feature it! We love hearing from you, because after all, without readers, what is the point of writing a book?

Now I’d best get back to my turn with our next project: Grant’s Crossing – Resort to Murder.




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