10 Interesting Facts About Chief Detective Carlo Fantin

As the love interest in the Gilda Greco Mystery Series, Carlo Fantin is torn between his growing feelings for Gilda and dedication to duty. Here’s a look at his back story.

1. Born and raised in Sudbury—a mid-sized city in Northern Ontario—Carlo embraced the sports culture of the community. During the warmer months, he swam, water-skied, and fished in the lakes that surrounded the area. In the winter, he enjoyed playing hockey, downhill skiing, and snowmobiling.

Continue reading on the StoreyBook Reviews blog.


Touring with Great Escapes

I’m so excited about my tour with Great Escapes. Starting tomorrow and continuing for two weeks, I’ll share posts, spotlights, and interviews at selected blogs. When you visit, remember to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway – you could win a $10 Amazon gift card.

Check daily for link updates.

July 10 – StoreyBook Reviews
July 11 – Socrates’ Book Reviews
July 12 – CelticLady’s Reviews
July 13 – Books, Dreams, Life
July 14 – Teresa Trent Author Blog
July 15 – Christa Reads and Writes
July 16 – Island Confidential
July 17 – Jane Reads
July 18 – Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book
July 19 – Dee-Scoveries
July 20 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy & Sissy, Too!
July 21 – Varietats 2010
July 22 – Escape With Dollycas Into a Good Book
July 23 – Valerie’s Musings


What About the Men?

Since the release of Too Many Women in the Room, I have received many comments about the temperamental female characters that populate the novel.

Potential readers have also asked…

What about the men?

Three male characters play significant roles : Chief Detective Carlo Fantin, Chef David Korba, and Photographer Michael Taylor.

Continue reading on the Sisterhood of Suspense blog.


The Back Story

Once I get the initial spark of an idea, I like to play around with a What-If scenario and after much deliberation come up with a title for the novel. Only then can I start writing the first draft.

That MO worked well for Book 1 of the Gilda Greco Mystery Series:

Spark: Dead blondes turn up in dumpsters throughout the city.

What if… A woman wins a $19 million lottery and then returns to her hometown, only to find herself the primary suspect in the murders of four blondes. Can she prove her innocence and solve this case before it’s too late?

Title: A Season for Killing Blondes

Book 2 presented a challenge. I toyed with several storylines about a Greek restaurant, a charismatic chef, two murders, and a group of women who didn’t always get along. Frustrated with these disjoint elements, I turned my attention to shorter pieces and hoped that inspiration would soon arrive.

It came from an unlikely source.

Continue reading on the Mysteriastis blog.


Movie Review: Rough Night

Co-writers Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs have pushed the boundaries of questionable behavior in this R-rated comedy that has been described as the bastard child of Bridesmaids and The Hangover.

Or in some circles as the first post-Hillary movie.

Scarlett Johansson stars as bride-to-be Jessica, a budding politician running for State Senate. Her posse includes over-the-top kindergarten teacher Alice (Jillian Bell), activist Frankie (Ilana Glazer), wealthy divorcee Blair (Zoë Kravitz), and Aussie flower child Pippa (Kate McKinnon).

The women meet in Miami for a weekend bachelorette party that has been meticulously organized—everything from baskets of “favors” to tequila shots to cocaine to a male stripper. Standard party girl fare until Alice accidentally kills the stripper and sets in motion a series of wacky scenes.

After quick deliberation—Jess can’t compromise her political career, Frankie can’t risk a third offense on her record, Blair can’t put her custody battle at risk—the women decide to dispose of the body instead of calling the police.

As the women plot and execute different disposal strategies, they must also deal with old rivalries and grudges that have festered for the past decade. To further complicate matters, aging neighborhood swingers (Demi Moore and Ty Burrell) hover and put the moves on Blair.

Frantic with worry, fiancé Peter (Paul W. Downs) decides to drive down to Miami, cranked on expired uppers and clad in adult diapers.

Definitely a manic pace but with great chemistry and not-so-subtle hints of dark humor.


Happy Summer!

summer-solstice-clipartLonger days and shorter nights…Today marks the start of the summer solstice.

The term “solstice” is derived from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still). The sky at noon does not appear to change much during the solstice and its surrounding days. The rest of the year, the Earth’s tilt on its axis—roughly 23.5 degrees—causes the sun’s path in the sky to rise and fall from one day to the next.

Here are ten of my favorite “summer” quotations:

Summer’s lease hath all too short a date. ~ William Shakespeare

Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August.
~ Jenny Han

And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer. ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

It’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip of wine … it’s summertime! ~ Kenny Chesney

Summer is the annual permission slip to be lazy. To do nothing and have it count for something. To lie in the grass and count the stars. To sit on a branch and study the clouds. ~ Regina Brett

Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability. ~ Sam Keen

Summertime is always the best of what might be. ~ Charles Bowden

I love how summer just wraps its arms around you like a warm blanket.
~ Kellie Elmore

There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart. ~ Celia Thaxter

The summer night is like a perfection of thought. ~ Wallace Stevens

summerday


First Two Pages—Too Many Women in the Room

While deciding whether or not to start with a prologue, I recalled advice I had received from a workshop facilitator: “Use only if the prologue adds an interesting and integral layer to the narrative.”

Interesting and integral…Definitely a challenge and one I decided to tackle in my new release, Too Many Women in the Room. Having written the rest of the novel in the first-person POV, I wanted the reader to be privy to the thoughts and feelings of the victim in his final hour.

Continue reading on B.K. Stevens’ blog.


How Toastmasters Helped Me Find My Writing Voice

When I retired from teaching in 2008, I was determined to create an oasis of calm. Three decades of teaching mathematics to adolescents had cured me of any “yang” tendencies. Or so I thought. After several months of luncheon dates, book club meetings, afternoon yoga sessions, and large blocks of reading time, I found myself suffering from “yin” overload.

In short, I was bored.

I toyed with the prospect of launching a second act as a writer and spent considerable time preparing for my new career. New business cards. New computer. And dreams of a runaway best-seller.

One problem – my underdeveloped writing muscles refused to budge.

On a whim, I visited Royal City Toastmasters. Not knowing what to expect, I relaxed when I saw twelve people in the room, most of them women. I felt an instant camaraderie with the group and volunteered to participate in Table Topics (one to two minutes of impromptu speaking). As I stood in the front of the room, I received many encouraging smiles. I took several deep breaths and started to share an anecdote. At one point, everyone started clapping.

Continue reading on Kristina Stanley’s blog.


All About Martinis

When it comes to food and hospitality, Chef David Korba is the consummate pro. In addition to developing signature entrées and desserts, David also offers trademark martinis with such tantalizing names as Babyface, Bellini, and Long Kiss Goodbye.

Definitely an auspicious start to Xenia, an innovative Greek restaurant near Sudbury, Ontario. But the VIP dinner quickly spirals out of control and the guests leave with empty stomachs. Well, almost empty stomachs…those trademark martinis provided a pleasant interlude before all the drama started in Too Many Women in the Room.

Continue reading on Marsha West’s blog.