My love wand is on a strike. As bad as that blows, pun unintended, it’s 10 times worse for me. I’m a male escort, but not just any escort, I’m the escort. The one with a mile-long waiting list and a pristine reputation that’s very well-deserved.
Only now, I’m on hiatus. Because after years of pleasing women all over the city, my man missile decides to get finicky. And the only woman he wants? Someone I can never have – my best friend’s younger sister, the nerdy and awkwardly adorable Sienna.
She’s working at the agency this summer, keeping me organized, handling paperwork, and, most importantly, keeping me on track to finish writing my book about sex and intimacy, which is due to my publisher in 30 days.
She thinks I hate her, that I don’t want her here. The truth is much more twisted. I get hard every time she walks into my office. Her wide blue eyes and pouty mouth drive me wild with desire, and if she stays, I’m not sure how much longer I can stay away from her.
Little Miss Overachiever says she’s here to help? Fine. I’m going to put her nerdy, curvy tush to work.
This book intrigued me just by the name alone. The Hook-Up Handbook? I mean come on. Plus it’s a Kendall Ryan book. On top of that Erin Mallon and Jason Clarke. This is a recipe for a great time. Kendall Ryan did not disappoint with this book. Let’s be real though any book she writes it never disappoints. Sienna and Case their story is so cute. Sienna is looking for a summer fling to get over her ex but she as not expecting to fall in love with her boss. Case just wanted to help a friend out by hiring his little sister he did not expect Sienna at all. The writing and the dialogue I love it. It feels real. Please pick up this book.
Erin Mallon and Jason Clarke. I love them. Together the are one of the it duos for me. Their voices pair together so well. Erin has a great range when it comes to her voices. Same goes for Jason. I can’t say enough good things about these to.
Thank you all for joining me here in our little part of wonderland. Please don’t forget to feed the unicorns on your way out.
Torn between two men; one was what I needed, the other was what I wanted. One man was safe and the other was dangerous. But both men would lay down their lives to save me. ATF agent Sam Cortez is fighting to bring down the Estrada family empire, which was built on murder and corruption. Alex Estrada did what was needed to keep me safe…and paid with his life. Starting over as I try to rebuild my life, it’s clear that the past is never what it seems. What no one knew was that we were all bound by lies.
We are back in the world of Rebecca Shea. I was so excited. I finished the book in one sitting. I have come to one conclusion I HATE Sam. Like I wish we didn’t get his POV at all. Alex and Emilia I would have just loved if it was them two. I mean just them two. I really don’t want to say much because there is HEA and to me that is all that really matters. Rebecca Shea just plays with my heart in this whole book. It was really good. I do recommend this book.
Vikas Adam and Erin Mallon I like them together. Erin is an auto buy for me and Vikas is really good at what he does. However again the female voices can use some work. I will listen to more of his work because he he is a really good narrator.
Thank you all for joining me here in our little part of wonderland. Please don’t forget to feed the unicorns on your way out.
He’s a Wall Street wolf. She’s been hired to tame him.
From New York Times best-selling author Lauren Layne comes a wildly sexy novel of business and pleasure.
Twenty-eight and filthy rich, Matt Cannon is the youngest broker on Wall Street. He may be a “boy wonder”, but he’s every inch a man. Ask any woman-any night. But when Matt’s latest fling makes scandalous headlines, his clients get anxious, and his bosses at Wolfe Investments level an ultimatum: Keep his assets zipped, get a “real” girlfriend, and clean up his act. Only one woman can help Matt with something this hard.
For PR genius Sabrina Cross, the best fixer in Manhattan, playing Matt’s steady is going to be a challenge, even if it’s just for show. They already have an explosive history, she can’t stand the cocky party boy, and worse – she can’t stop thinking about him. So who will dare to break her “no touching” rule first? Because when that happens, Matt and Sabrina’s game of let’s pretend will get so hot it could set both their reputations on fire.
This is the second book in the series so if you have not read the first review or read the first book it is called hot asset I would recommend either reading that review or reading the book because it is an amazing story. We are back with Lauren Layne. This is the story of Ian‘s best friend Matt and his other friend Sabrina. We meet them in the first book hot asset at and they have a love hate relationship. Which in this book we get to explore and I think I like this book better than the first one. Lauren writes the characters that feel very 3-D to me. What I mean by that is they are likable there a time do you want to hit them for the choices that they’re making. I guess all in all it feels like you are rooting for your friends. And what an author can make me feel like characters who aren’t real feel like friends you know the author is doing their job.
We are also back with Samantha Cook and Zachary Webber. If you read my last review then you know how I feel about these two together. Zachary is one of my favorite nail narrators actually he is my favorite male narrator. So anything he reads I know I’m going to absolutely love. Samantha was a new to me voice actress when I listen to the first book and she has quickly become one of my top 10 favorite. So everything about them was great. I can’t remember if there was any accidents in this book specifically. So I can’t come in on their range here. However each of them has a great range of voices for their respective parts. You will not be bored while listening to these two. I finish this book in one day that is how much I needed to know the story and how captivated I was by these narrators.￼￼
Thank you for joining me here in our little part of wonderland. Please don’t forget to feed the unicorns on your way out.
I had no idea how much I would love Alex the day he walked into my life. He changed everything. The way I breathed. The way I thought. The way I loved. He brought me back to life. He gave me strength and a safe place to land. And then he broke me.
Finding Emilia was a chance to do something good for once in my life. I wanted to change. She believed I was her savior. I ached to be. She found her way into my heart and claimed it as her safe place. I should be telling her the truth about me…. Instead I break her with lies.
This book is one hell of a ride. It goes by very quickly. I honestly felt like I finish this book in five minutes. This is a book about Emilia and Alex. I love this duo so much. This book starts off with Emilia and something really bad happens that set her on her way to Phoenix Arizona. It is here that she meets Alex. He is in his early 30s and he is gorgeous. How she meets him is under some really shitty circumstances. She is staying at a city hotel and he feels compelled to help her. So Emilia goes and is invited to stay with Alex at his penthouse apartment. Basically she is there until she can get back on her feet. She gets a job at a coffee house. This is where she met Sam. Sam gets on my nerves in this book. He is trying to get in between Alex and Emilia and I don’t like it. Overall I think Rebecca Shea writes a really compelling story. I mean I truly did feel like I listened to this within five minutes so the fact that I got so sucked and that I kind of was like wow it’s over already tell you something about her ability to write a really good story.
Now onto our narrators. We have Erin Mallon. If you’ve been a reader of my blog for a while you know how much I love her. She is a fantastic voice actress. Every time I hear her I’m just happy because she really brings out the story. This book was no exception it was fantastic. Her range of voices is great she has a different voice for every character and she had to do some accents in this book and I found them to be good. Now we have the male narrator￼￼￼￼￼ Vikas Adams. This is the first book I’ve heard Mr. Adams read for and he does a decent job. He does have a range of voices and his accents are pretty spot on for the people he has to do them for. Some of this book takes place in Mexico so some of the Spanish accents he had to do sounded spot on.￼ Personally I’m not a fan of his female voices but that’s nothing against him typically when it comes to mail narrators I’m not a fan of when they do a female voice. He kept me engaged and I really liked him voicing Alex I think he did a very good job. When he voiced for Sam I wanted to punch him in the face just because I didn’t like the character. Overall together I think they are a great combination. when it comes to reading they really did bring the story to life for me and I am excited to listen to the next book where they are also narrating together￼
Thank you all for joining me here in our little part of wonderland. Please don’t forget to feed the unicorns on your way out.
It’s been four years since I ran away – from home, my brother, and my maybe father. I created a life free of expectations while pretending I wasn’t being hunted by all of the above. I managed to stay under the radar all this time…or so I thought. When big brother shows up and saves my ass, I’m forced to face everything I left behind, including her.
It’s been four years since I became another statistic. I made a lot of mistakes when it came to Keenan Masters. The first was loving him at all. He took something from me the night he left, and when I told him I still loved him, he told me he’d always hate me. After that, I learned how to be okay…until he came back. Gone was the boy who always knew how to make me laugh, and in his place was a cold, arrogant monster.
hello wonderlandians. I figured I would try starting out there of you like that instead of starting it up at the top let me know what you guys think. So this is book 3 of the broken love series. This is probably so far my least favorite book in the series. If you read my other review fear you then you know I’m on book 5 as I’m writing this review. If you have not read my first two reviews of the series fear me and fear you please go read those before you read this review.
I have to put a big ass trigger warning because there is a lot of triggering things in this book. I may not get all of them but I will try my best so here we go manipulation, obsession, possession, rape, death threats, psychological warfare. I don’t know there was a lot to this book and I found it weirdly intriguing. This is a dark romance novel.
Already so onto the review this book follows Keenan and Sheldon. Keenan and Sheldon are in the very first book I didn’t mention them in my review because in all honesty I really wanted to focus on the two main characters from the first to book and Keenan and Sheldon really aren’t featured much in the second book so I didn’t think it was prevalent to mention them. But basically Keenan is the cousin of Keiran. Sheldon is the sister of their best friend Dash. Who I will talk about in the next review because he is the Male MC of that book.
So things happen in book 2 that make Keenan leave and this book jumps four years ahead. So to give you a little bit of background Keenan was a very fun loving and funny guy. He was also very easy-going. There was an event that happened in book 2 that made him change over the course of four years.
Sheldon was a very Spitfire kind of girl. She didn’t take shit from Keenan and I really appreciate her character. She went through a lot in the first book and she really wasn’t in the second book.
I believe I said in my review before that there were certain aspects of this book that I just feel weren’t necessary and to be completely honest I felt like everything that happened in this book wasn’t really relevant to the overall story. Actually I believe I said that each book has two storylines you have the big storyline that runs through all five books and then each sub book also focuses on the relationship between two characters. There is an event that happens in this book that I feel can push the overall story line but at the same time I feel like what was the point of it because a lot of the book was about Keenan and Sheldon and not the overall story line. It was about them kind of finding their way back to each other while this event was going on. So in my mind the big event that’s going on there really wasn’t much focus on that even though there should’ve been. I don’t know I just feel like the book overall was unnecessary and I would’ve liked to just continue with Lake and Keiran.
This saddens me because I really like these two characters I just wish that the event that happened honestly what takes place in book for and book 5 really don’t didn’t need box 3 to push the agenda along if that makes sense. I honestly feel like this book was a filler. I didn’t joy it it’s just I felt like it was completely unnecessary to the overall big story. And I feel like I keep repeating myself but this is honestly how I feel.
We are back with Ava Erickson and Teddy Hamilton. I gave all my thoughts on them in my last review my opinion has not changed I think they are wonderful together and I feel like they really add an extra layer to the story that I wouldn’t have gotten if I was just reading it myself.
Now when it comes to the overall production of the audiobook I am not a sound engineer so I really don’t know what goes into making an audiobook. I will say this it sounded very professional there were no weird skips or pauses in any of the chapters. The sound wasn’t distorted while listening to it. There are some audiobooks I listen to and it sounds like it was recorded in a zoo this was not that so I’m quite happy with the overall production of the audiobook it was quite professional.
How are you guys liking the new these reviews of this series. I wanted to do reviews individually instead of as a series because each book I have very deep thoughts on not very deep thoughts but I do have the lights on and I thought it would be best to talk about them individually it is a dark romance so please heat up my trigger warning at the beginning of this review.
Thank you all for joining me here in our little part of wonderland. Please do not forget to feed the unicorns on your way out. They do love their treats. And as you guys know at this time of the year they are granting wishes so if there’s something that you’ve been wishing for don’t hesitate to make a wish it may or may not come through.
This isn’t another “I hate you because I secretly love you” story. Boy really does hate girl. And this isn’t just a forbidden love story. This is obsession at its darkest.
I don’t believe in fairy tales and Prince Charming.
I believe in fear.
He taught me how to be afraid.
We first met on a playground on a wonderful summer day. It was the first time he hurt me and it wouldn’t be the last. For 10 years, he’s been my tormentor and I’ve been his forbidden. But then he went away, and yet I was still afraid.
Now, he’s back, and wants more than just my tears. You see…he thinks I sent him away so now he wants revenge…and he knows just how to get it.
This book is a complicated one for me. There are many aspects of this book that does not sit well with me. It’s a dark romance. Typically when it comes to dark romances I do read the reviews 1st because I want a better understanding of why this book has really high ratings or why a book has low ratings. This audio book had some very high rating. It seems like the general consensus seems to really enjoy the book.
I want to give you a little look and to the process of my brain while taking notes for this audiobook review.
LAKE TRYING TO SAVE THE PEOPLE SHE LOVES
LAKE HAS BEEN THREATEN FOR 10 YEARS
LAKE TELLS KNOW ONE
LAKE TRIES TO FIGHT BACK AGAINST KIERAN
THIS IS A BAD IDEA
SHE SHOULD HAVE PLAYED ALONG UNTIL SHE HAS AN OPPORTUNITY TO GET AWAY
THOUGH THAT WOULD NOT REALLY MAKE THE STORY BETTER
THIS IS A DARK ROMANCE
LAKE HAS STOCKHOLM SYNDROME
KIERAN FLIP FLOPS THERE ARE MOMENTS WHEN IT SEEMS LIKE HE CARES ABOUT BUT THEN IN ANOTHER BREATH THREATENS TO KILL HER OR THE ONES THAT SHE LOVES
LAKE KEPT DOING THINGS TO PISS OFF KIERAN
WHEN LAKE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO CLEAR HER NAME SHE SAID NOTHING UNTIL FORCED TO
NOW THAT WE ARE IN THE LAST FOUR HOURS OF THIS BOOK IT SEEMS LIKE A DIFFERENT STORY
DOES THIS MEAN CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
THEY ARE SIMI ACTING LIKE A NORMAL TEENAGE COUPLE
THEN THEY DON’T ACT LIKE A NORMAL COUPLE
SHE KIND OF STARTS GETTING THE ANSWERS SHE WANTS
SHE REALLY DOES ASK ALL THE WRONG QUESTION
THEN SHIT HAPPENS AND THEY ACT LIKE A “NORMAL” COUPLE
MORE SHIT HAPPENS AND THEN EVERYTHING GOES TO HELL
So as you can see above that is my whole thought process while I was listening to this book. I have to put a big ass trigger warning because there is a lot of triggering things in this book. I may not get all of them but I will try my best so here we go manipulation, obsession, possession, rape, death threats, psychological warfare. I don’t know there was a lot to this book and I found it weirdly intriguing. This is a dark romance novel. The events that happen in this book are very unrealistic. I’m not even gonna go into the plot of this book again I had to take a very clinical approach to listening to this book. The author weaves a tale two high school kids. One wanted to see the other ones suffer. The main male character has a very messed up past. Which does lead to his actions of a threatening lake all the time. Now I’m not saying that what he’s gone through as an excuse for him to treat lake the way that he does. I’m just stating I can understand why he is the way that he is. Also there is child pornography in this book so if that triggers you please do not read this book.
Once again started reading comments on this book because when I first started listening to it it wasn’t at all what I thought it was. This is the type of book that needs trigger warnings. There is none so I am definitely going to have to deduct points from this because there is no trigger warning and there needs to be. So overall I’m gonna give the book about a two stars because of the content of the book it kind of was confusing but it intrigued me enough to where I did listen to the second book and I will listen to the third box because I have invested 22 hours into this book series that I might as well just goOnto reading the other three books. I really want to see where all of this ends.
Basically the gist of the story is lake moved to six Forks when she was eight years old she was on the playground trying to help this boy but the mail main character Kiernan decided that he hated this girl because of something that happened in his past. We basically torments her for 10 years and then he basically it’s on the way Juvenile detention on a drug charge he gets out he thinks lake is the one who set him up but the reality of the situation is lake did not set him up and so he is on a mission to take her virginity and basically break her.
He doesn’t really end up breaking her in all reality he ends up falling for her more so than he wants to. He wants to be this person who doesn’t give a shit about other people but sadly that’s not the case.
I have finished the second book for my review on that will be up in a couple of days. I want to say the redeeming quality of this whole novel was Eva Erickson. She is a fantastic narrator I love everything that she’s ever read. So I will continue to listen because I have a goal to listen to everything that she is narrated it so yeah
Thank you all for joining me here in our little part of wonderland. Please do not forget to feed the unicorns on your way out.
What is more important? Friendship, loyalty, or love?
Colleen Hoover and Griffin Peterson collaborate once again to bring fans of Maybe Someday back into the musical world of Ridge Lawson and Sydney Blake. And Maggie. And Warren and Bridgette.
This full-length novel is a follow-up to the New York Times best-selling novel Maybe Someday. For the best listening experience, Maybe Now should be listened to after Maybe Someday and the spin-off novella Maybe Not. However, Maybe Now can also be listened to immediately following Maybe Someday.
Finding this book was like reuniting with old friends. I absolutely loved maybe someday. I love the way that Colleen Hoover creates her characters. Sidney and Ridge were a couple that really fought hard against their attraction to each other but in the end at one out. The first story really takes you through an emotional roller coaster. It’s about for bidden love and whether or not to stay with somebody out of obligation. So since maybe someday took the reader on an emotional roller coaster I was very happy with the reprieve of this book. Maybe someday is a story with a dual perspective. This book has a total of four perspectives. Sidney, Ridge, Maggie, and the new guy Jake.
I read reviews while I was listening to the audiobook. I typically don’t let other peoples reviews sway my opinion. This is why I don’t mind reading reviews as I’m listening to a book because a lot of the reviews I read are not spoilers. I have to agree with some of the reviews that I read. I personally would’ve really liked if this book stuck to the two main characters from maybe someday. Although I do appreciate having Maggie‘s perspective I personally think she should’ve gotten a book solely on her own. I feel like there was more that we could’ve learned from Maggie and it really could’ve gone in depth in her own story. Like I said I appreciate the fact that we got her perspective in the story. Colleen Hoover introduces a new character as one of the main peel these in this book. There was a lot of backstory and I feel like again if he was just stuck in Maggie’s book we could’ve really gotten to know both of these characters individually.
Sidney and Ridge We’re absolutely cute in the story. It was really great to see them grow as a couple and how they interacted with their friends as well as Maggie. I don’t want to give spoilers in this review so I will say one thing I really do appreciate about Colleen Hoover with these books is how much sure everybody is. Nobody’s freaking out and in the first book there was a lot of drama so with this one I like that it was pretty much a smooth ride. Everybody was trying to navigate how because Ridge and Maggie broke up how everybody fit into their lives. Everybody is pretty much mature and can talk everything out which I like. I read a lot of novels where the two main characters go assuming with the other one is feeling or making the decision what’s right for the other person instead of just sitting and talking it out. I understand that this is to further along with Story and create angst but I also appreciate that there’s a book out there where the characters can sit down like adults and talk it out.
The narrators absolutely did a phenomenal job. Angela and Zachary it was such a pleasure listening to them together again. Zachary weber is one of my all-time favorite male narrators and I could just listen to him forever. Rebekah Ross also known as Elizabeth Louise is again one of my favorite narrators. I think the way she narrates is so beautiful. Her voice is very soothing. Jonathan Todd Ross is a new narrator to me. I think you did OK overall in the book but there was just something really monotone about his voice. It kind of felt like he was reading a script. Now I know that he was reading a script but it shouldn’t feel like he’s reading a script. His range invoices was really nice and he was OK to listen to.
The production of this audiobook was absolutely fantastic. Between all four narrators there wasn’t any awkward pauses in any of the chapters. The sound mixing was really professional. That’s all I can say about that because I don’t really know what it takes to be a engineer of sound.
If you guys made it through this review there and you guys deserve a cookie. I’m really sorry that I haven’t been around over this past year and really only posting reviews when books were given to me. This book was not given to me and I did buy it with my own money.
As always thank you for joining me and our little part of wonderland. Please do not forget to feed the unicorns on your way out.
What goes on behind closed doors doesn’t always stay there.
Calamity (Callie) Barnstable isn’t surprised to learn she’s the sole beneficiary of her late father’s estate, though she is shocked to discover she has inherited a house in the town of Marketville – a house she didn’t know existed. However, there are conditions attached to Callie’s inheritance: she must move to Marketville, live in the house, and solve her mother’s murder.
Callie’s not keen on dredging up a 30-year-old mystery, but if she doesn’t do it, there’s a scheming psychic named Misty Rivers who is more than happy to expose the Barnstable family secrets. Determined to thwart Misty and fulfill her father’s wishes, Callie accepts the challenge. But is she ready to face the skeletons hidden in the attic? Find out.
Judy Penz Sheluk is the Amazon international bestselling author of the Glass Dolphin Mystery and Marketville Mystery series. Her short stories can be found in several collections, including Live Free or Tri and The Best Laid Plans, which she edited. Judy is also a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she serves as Vice Chair on the Board of Directors. Find her at http://www.judypenzsheluk.com.
Claira Jordyn is an on-camera and voice over actress based in New York City. She can most recently be heard on a variety of television and radio commercials encouraging you to ski in Colorado, shop at Old Navy and also to try a particularly popular makeup brand this holiday season. She can also be heard reading countless books including Opaque, The Endless Horizons Sagas and an upcoming retelling of children’s fairytales. She lives just north of New York with her husband and super mutt Junebug, loves telling stories for a living and is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to do that every day.
Hello Wonderlandians long time no talk. I am back I know I need to be more active on this blog so will start with this review. So let’s jump into this. It Iowa’s very excited when I was able to receive and review this book. This author is new to me and I’m always on the hunt for new authors. Judy’s story was an absolute delight to read it. Mystery isn’t typically my thing but I pretty much listened to the entire audiobook in one sitting. Judy’s writing is very fluid. If that makes sense. This amazing mystery grabs you and takes you on a really cool ride. Trust me when I say I was not able to put this book down. Since it’s a mystery I don’t want to give too much away. I will leave you with it is definitely a must read. Now let’s talk about the narrator.
Claira Jordyn is a new voice actress to me. She was such a delight to listen to she really brought the characters alive. I will say though I did amp up the listening speed to about x 2.50 I do find that for me this was a good speed to listen to. Miss Jordyn does read a little slow for my liking but once I was able to speed it up I find that her voice really is very nice to listen to. I liked her range of voices. She annunciated each word to where I was able to understand. You guys know I have a thing about females doing male voices and males doing female voices I think she did an amazing job with switching over to a male character. There was one person who had an accent that I can remember and it was a British accent and I think the voice actress did an amazing job. It did sound very authentic and realistic.
Now let’s talk about the overall production of the audiobook itself. In the beginning there were a few areas where I could hear the narrator take like a breath of air or I could hear her swallowing. Other times there was a bit of a background noise. But I wouldn’t say that it was anything too bad to where it made me wanna stop listening to the audiobook. It honestly was like maybe three seconds and then it was gone. So other than that little blip I thought the production was really well professionally done. The sound mixing was great. I was very overall happy.
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Judy Penz Sheluk. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
Q&A with Author Judy Penz Sheluk
Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format? I believes it completely depends on choosing the right narrator. I have a collection of three short mystery stories that comes in at about an hour. Kate Tyler narrates that and she does a great job, absolutely nails it. But as much as I enjoyed working with her—she’s a complete pro—and loved her narration of Live Free or Tri, she didn’t have the right voice for Calamity (Callie) Barnstable, the protagonist in my Marketville mystery series. Find the right narrator, and any book will be a good fit for audio. After all, just like traditional readers, audiobook listeners have a variety of interests.
Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing? Not initially, no, in fact, when I first started writing I never thought any of my books would end up on audio. However, when we were recording (narrator Kelli Lindsay) A Hole in One, book 2 in my Glass Dolphin mystery series, Kelli pronounced Graham Gilroy as “Gram Gilroy.” I’m from Canada (Toronto area) and here Gram is short for Grandma…we say Gray-ham. I consulted with fellow members of Sisters in Crime and discovered this is very much a regional thing. Some parts of the U.S. say Gray-ham, and others, like California, say Gram. Because the book is set in Canada, Kelli switched to the Canadian pronunciation.
Fast forward to writing A Fool’s Journey, book 3 in my Marketville mystery series, and I have my protagonist, Callie, entering a foyer. Now, in Canada we say Foy-eh, but I know from watching house hunting shows set in the U.S. that Americans say Foy-ur. To avoid another Gram/Gray-ham situation, I switched it to “Callie entered the front hallway.”
Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing? All of my books are loosely inspired by real life events, emphasis on the loosely. The idea for Skeletons in the Attic came to me while I waited with my husband, Mike, in our lawyer’s office in Newmarket, Ontario. We were there to update our wills, and our lawyer’s goldendoodle kept us company while our lawyer was detained at court. The opening scenes of the book are culled directly from that experience: While Mike spent the time reading back issues of Bicycling Magazine, I started thinking… “What if I was here, not to update my will, but to inherit…what if there were strings attached…what if I inherited something I had no idea had existed…what if that something was a house in a small town called…Marketville.” I started scribbling notes down (I always keep a notebook and pen in my purse) and by the time our lawyer arrived I had finished chapter 1.
In the case of Past & Present, the inspiration came from a train case found at the back of my late mother’s clothes closet. I’d never seen the documents inside—her immigration papers from 1952, an old passport, her mother’s death certificate, among other things—made me want to delve into a past she’d pretty much kept to herself. Before long, that research became Callie’s research. The book is dedicated to the memory of my mother, Anneliese Penz, and there is a character in the book named Anneliese Prei, who was murdered in 1956 in Toronto, after immigrating to Canada in 1952. Prei was my mother’s (my grandmother’s) maiden name, something I learned for the first time from the death certificate in that train case. A personal aside: Skeletons in the Attic was the last book my mother read.
How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?Burn-out is what I felt working in a 9-5 corporate world, mostly in management positions. In 2003, I walked away from that life and started to work as a freelance journalist, which eventually led to Senior Editing positions for several different magazines. In 2012, I went to a writing conference as a reader and came away knowing I had to write a book; the result was The Hanged Man’s Noose (published July 2015 in print/ebook and in Nov. 2017 in audio). My writing journey hasn’t always been easy, but I’ve never looked back. There’s something magical about creating a world, living in it for weeks and months, and knowing when to write THE END. By the time I do that, I’ve already got an idea or two for another book.
If this title were being made into a TV series or movie, who would you cast to play the primary roles? I’ve been told that this series would adapt well to film, so I love this question. In Skeletons in the Attic, Callie is 36, so perhaps Evangaline Lilly, who is also Canadian. Kate Hudson would make a great Chantelle Marchand, Callie’s best friend and, in Past & Present, her business partner. But wouldn’t it be fun if the role of Callie became a breakout for an actress hoping for the perfect part. Let’s put that thought out there in the universe: The Marketville Mystery Movie Series. I do like the sound of that!
What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?There’s an old saying: You can’t judge a book by its cover. You also can’t judge a person because they choose to listen to a book, for whatever reason, instead of reading it. Even when it comes to “real reading” people have different preferences: hardcover, large print, paperback, e-book…as an author, I’m delighted if someone enjoys what I’ve written, regardless of format.
In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series? I’ve written two series (Marketville and Glass Dolphin mysteries), and zero standalones, though I am working on a standalone. The pros of a series is you create a world and then keep adding to it, so it becomes familiar, not just to the author, but to the reader. The cons are exactly the same: it becomes familiar, meaning the author must allow the characters to grow and age. A standalone can be freeing…everything is shiny and new and you don’t have to worry if your character suddenly does something completey out of character (in the way you would with a series) because no one really “knows” that character yet. The con is that from a marketing perspective, there’s no one following the series, or waiting for the next book in the series. Because there is no expectation, it’s easy to put the project aside for another day.
What’s your favorite:Food: cheese pizza, but any non-meat topping pizza will make me smile
Song: Bulletproof by Jim Cuddy
Book: Emily Climbs by L.M. Montgomery, which I first read as a young girl, and is one of the few books I’ve read more than once.
Television show: Gilmore Girls
Movie: The Sting (tied for second, Primal Fear and The First Wives Club)
Band: Blue Rodeo
Sports team: Toronto Maple Leafs though I’ve recently hopped on the Raptors bandwagon
Are any of those things referenced in appearance in your work? Callie loves pizza, though she orders it with hot peppers and extra sauce. I mention Blue Rodeo and Jim Cuddy in my Glass Dolphin series. And there’s a scene in A Hole in One, book 2 in my Glass Dolphin series, where Arabella recites lines from The Sting. That’s an old movie, but it holds up. If it was re-released, as is, it would still be a runaway hit. Great cast, great writing.
What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?I always answer this question with a quote from Agatha Christie: “There was a moment when I changed from an amateur to a professional. I assumed the burden of a profession, which is to write even when you don’t want to, don’t much like what you’re writing, and aren’t writing particularly well.”