Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Blog-Letter March

 March 1 2022


***Note from Jamie Tremain - most of this letter was put together before the horrible situation erupted in Ukraine and we would be remiss not to mention that our hearts and prayers go out to the leaders and brave people of Ukraine and like everyone else we hope and pray for a peaceful resolution!


This month has Spring in it! And here in the Northern Hemisphere, we eagerly await its arrival.

Liz's Book Review -      Crimechurch by Michael Botur

This is an author I'd never read before and I was asked to provide a review. While this is not a book I would have likely picked up because of the subject matter, I'm not sorry I read it.

MichaelBotur, 38, is from Whangarei, New Zealand, and is a fiction writer and poet. As of 2020 he has published two literary fiction books, traditionally, and has self-published five short story collections, one poetry collection and has received numerous accolades.

The book description for Crimechurch -

My Review:

I’m exhausted and overwhelmed reading this harsh tale of gang life in Christchurch, NZ, and  I feel as if I have just emerged from a freakish carnival roller coaster ride. Moments of intense graphic violence were relieved sporadically when I uttered a laugh at unexpected, but totally appropriate, humour. The book is populated by inhumane and psychopathic gang leaders and those who would do their bidding,  who occasionally show a glimpse of sentiment. A bungee-cord ride from start to finish.

Gritty, raw, and bleak don’t even begin to describe the general tone of this remarkable account given life by the author. Entering gang life – as a choice, drug use, violence as a means to an end and a never-ending string of creative profanity – this is not a life I would ever care to be part of. Knowing it exists is bad enough, but I applaud the author’s ability to peel back some of the layers of lost lives to bring them to a very realistic level of believability.

His weaving of several distinct character voices is well done, bringing different points of view to experiences shared by two or more of these characters.

Yet some of these messed up, and beyond-lost gang members find a way to connect with the reader so that there is an engagement that makes you want to see how their messed-up lives will end.

As in real life, some lives are restored, and others are forever lost. This is not a book I will easily forget. Marty, Winston et al will lodge in my brain for a long time. 

Jamie Tremain News:

Despite bitter winter driving conditions, we met up for a JT writing weekend this month. We collaborate online most days, but nothing beats being able to work together face to face. And have a little fun and good food as well.

We have lots of irons in the proverbial fire and are easily distracted by thoughts of a new "what if" for a story-line! But we are hard at work on the third Grant's Crossing book and hope to have it released by mid-summer at the latest. We're also continuing our collaboration with author Gloria Ferris on a crime caper. Some of these characters will be unforgettable!

As well, we're drafting a list of new author interviews for the upcoming months - stay tuned for more details.

If you are an author and would like to be interviewed, please contact us. jamietremainjt@yahoo.com

Pam's Input

February in Ontario has been cold and snowy with endless news of the changes in our lives. COVID statistics, can we travel, and unrest amongst the truckers across Canada, especially in Ottawa. 'Nuff said on that subject!

Do you know what doesn't change? A well-written book. If you're feeling stressed, pick up a book and transport yourself into someone else's world. Liz has reviewed 'Crimechurch" this month and I will start next month with my own review.

One book on my to-be-read pile is The Long Call, written by Ann Cleeves. If you're not familiar with her writing you may have seen her two longstanding series on TV, Shetland and Vera. As much as I enjoy these shows I much prefer the books. Look for a review in April.

Liz and I have been collaborating for nearly fifteen years. It works well for us but what we miss most since we are both now retired and live in different cities is talking face to face. We felt earlier this month was a safe time to chew the fat. Zoom or Gmail meetings don't cut it sometimes. So plot and plan and a glass of wine. Read out loud our WIP, have another glass of wine. Of course, food was involved and more wine. We both slept well before we started again the next morning. I won't tell you what ungodly hour Liz gets her MOJO working. Needless to say, I joined her a few hours later. So much fun.

You can check out the blog archives for our Canadian author interviews at jamietremain.blogspot.com. We may re-interview some of them to catch up with them on their journey. 

This is When You Get Them Started. A friend's daughter is reading Jamie Tremain's Death on the Alder. What good taste she has!


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