Stepping Out of Time

A non-athlete, it took me a while to find a preferred physical activity, but once I discovered yoga, I was hooked.

That was ten years ago.

Since then, I’ve gone off the “yoga wagon” several times—interestingly enough right before prolonged writer’s blocks—but have now settled into a practice that both center and challenges me.

Continue reading on Brenda Whiteside’s post.


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Spotlight on Shades of Justice

I’m happy to welcome international bestselling and award-winning author Carolyn Arnold. Today, Carolyn shares her latest release, Shades of Justice.

Blurb

The line between good and evil isn’t always clear…

Detective Madison Knight has risked her badge—and her life—in the pursuit of justice before, and she just might need to do so again. Two victims are found murdered and naked in the home of Steven Malone, who is the largest contributor to the Stiles PD. One victim is his wife. The other victim is a John Doe. This high-profile double homicide immediately pits Madison against her sergeant, who seems more intent on protecting the Malones’ reputation and retaining a benefactor than catching a killer.

Madison will need to pull on her tenacity and courage if she’s going to follow the evidence without prejudice. In the process, it becomes clear that finding justice isn’t always black and white, and often the shades in between tell the fullest story—and it’s not something she will forget anytime soon.

Excerpt

“We need to talk to the daughter and find out what she can tell us about her parents’ marriage,” Madison said. “Do you know where she is, Cyn? I didn’t see her as we came back here.”

Cynthia slid a glance to Terry.

“What is it?” Madison asked, turning to her partner. She didn’t care for the way Cynthia and Terry were looking at each other, as if the two of them shared a secret.

Eventually, Cynthia said, “Sergeant Winston took her home.”

“He what?” Madison spat.

Cynthia held up her hands. “I’m just the messenger.”

A responding officer should have taken Kimberly’s statement, and she should still be here for Madison and Terry to question. At the very least, she should have been taken to the station and set up in a soft interview room, nestled on a sofa.

“Tell me you at least swabbed her hands for GSR,” Madison said.

“I did,” Cynthia replied, “but it will take a bit before we’ll be able to process it and get the results.”

Madison had a feeling Cynthia would tell her that, yet the sergeant still let Kimberly go home. Not that testing negative for gunshot residue should have been enough to excuse her, either. GSR findings were fickle and didn’t rule out guilt.

“What about bullet casings? Did you find any?” Terry asked.

Leave it to Terry to carry on like nothing’s wrong.

“None.” Cynthia shook her head. “No sign of the murder weapon, either.”

She shook aside her fury at the sergeant and redirected her thoughts to the case. If Lorene had been cheating, Madison could somewhat understand where Mr. Malone was coming from if he’d been the one to kill his wife and her lover. After all, she was familiar with the pain of being cheated on, all because of Toby Sovereign. He had been her fiancé at the time she’d found him in bed with another woman. That image and resulting heartbreak took her over a decade to purge. Toby wasn’t her favorite person on the planet, but they’d at least made peace. It still didn’t mean she was looking forward to walking down the aisle with him at Cynthia’s wedding. He was Lou’s best man. Lucky her.

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Author Bio and Links

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.

Giveaway

Carolyn Arnold will be awarding a personalized paperback copy of Power Struggle to a randomly drawn winner (International Giveaway) via Rafflecopter during the tour. Enter here.

Follow Carolyn on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour here.


Replenishing My Inner Well

In 1992, I picked up a copy of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Hoping to inspire and motivate my inner writer, I spent an entire weekend devouring the book and then decided to incorporate morning pages and artist dates into my life.

That enthusiasm fizzled after only one week.

At the time, I was in the thick of my career and personal life. Busy with course preps, curriculum meetings, extra-curricular activities, and family health issues, I found myself unable to even consider adding one more activity to my schedule.

Continue reading on the Soul Mate Authors blog.


A Perfect Fit for Baci Perugina!

When a book blogger asked me to compare the Gilda Greco Mystery Series to chocolate, I had no problems coming up with the perfect answer: Baci Perguina, the most famous chocolate brand in Italy and popular with Italians worldwide.

Perugina’s signature recipe includes whipped milk chocolate, gianduia filling, and chopped hazelnuts all in bittersweet chocolate. Each bacio (kiss) comes individually wrapped in silver and blue packaging and hugged by a poetic love note.

The three books in the series—A Season for Killing Blondes, Too Many Women in the Room, A Different Kind of Reunion—contain romantic elements, humor, and bittersweet moments. A perfect fit for Baci Perugina!

Continue reading on the Sisterhood of Suspense blog.


Watch Yourself

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

While the following is not technically a Zen story, it is said to have been told by the Buddha himself. Its message of self-care is one that will resonate, especially with women.

There was once a pair of acrobats. The teacher was a poor widower and the student was a young girl by the name of Meda. These acrobats performed each day on the streets in order to earn enough to eat.

Their act consisted of the teacher balancing a tall bamboo pole on his head while the little girl climbed slowly to the top. Once to the top, she remained there while the teacher walked along the ground.

Both performers had to maintain complete focus and balance in order to prevent any injury from occurring and to complete the performance. One day, the teacher said to the pupil:

‘Listen Meda, I will watch you and you watch me, so that we can help each other maintain concentration and balance and prevent an accident. Then we’ll surely earn enough to eat.’

But the little girl was wise. She answered, ‘Dear Master, I think it would be better for each of us to watch ourself. To look after oneself means to look after both of us. That way I am sure we will avoid any accidents and earn enough to eat.’


Movie Review: The Grizzlies

Set in Kugluktuk, Nunavut, an isolated town with the highest suicide rate in Canada, this sports drama is based on actual events circa 2004.

High school English teacher Russ Sheppard (Ben Schnetzer) is unprepared for the challenges that await him in the classroom. A naïve, well-intended southerner—referred to as qallunaat by the locals—Russ plans to stay for only one year while he waits for a teaching contract at a private school in Halifax.

After learning (the hard way) that the authoritarian approach doesn’t work with these neglected students, Russ tries to inspire them through sports. At first wary, the students eventually do come around and join the lacrosse team. Slowly—and not without obstacles—Russ succeeds in creating a spirit of camaraderie among the players.

Opposition to this fledgling group can be found almost everywhere in Kugluktuk.

The school principal, Janace (Tantoo Cardinal), tries to discourage Russ from starting this venture. When Russ decides to take the team to Toronto for the high school nationals, Janace advises him not to add to the long list of promises that have been made to the Inuit and never kept.

Several sets of parents and grandparents believe their young charges should be hunting and not spending so much time with the qallunaat.

Alcoholism and abuse exist in many of the homes. From the opening scene where crates of liquor outnumber the passengers in a small plane to a colleague’s advice on surviving life in the North— “I do the same thing everyone else does, I drink” to the depressing night culture…Russ faces many obstacles during that first year.

The specter of suicide can be felt throughout the film. Each time, I was unprepared for the events and ensuing consequences. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to live in a community where everyone has lost a family member or friend to suicide.

While the cast is predominantly male, two young female actresses deliver outstanding performances. I enjoyed watching Miranda (Emerald MacDonald) gain confidence and acquire leadership skills as the team’s manager. Spring (Anna Lambe) experiences the tragic loss of her boyfriend but manages to bounce back and become part of the lacrosse team.

First-time director Miranda de Pencier has crafted a powerful film that humanizes the grim statistics about youth suicide in Canada’s North.

A must-see film!