Category Archives: It Happened in Gastown

2020 Reader’s Choice Awards

A different book – a different contest. This time it’s the 2020 Reader’s Choice Awards by TCK Publishing.

And what is the title of my entry? Drum roll, please … It Happened in Gastown!

2020 Reader's Choice Awards

Blurb

Trainspotting meets Hot Pursuit

Hilary Dunbar is a uniformed constable with the Vancouver Police with an agenda to rid the streets of drugs, especially the bad ones the notorious dealer, Carlos Navarra, is trafficking.

Heroin addict, Erik Layne, has lived on the streets of Gastown for as long as he can remember, having left home and Toronto as a rebellious teenage addict. His and Hilary’s paths cross when she finds him unconscious in an alley after injecting a batch of the contaminated drug. He must fight for his life to keep from dying, not only from the tainted smack but also from the man who provided it.

A domestic disturbance call goes wrong, and Hilary suffers life-changing injuries as a result. As luck would have it, she and Erik are hospitalized in the same ward at Vancouver General Hospital. When she sinks into a deep depression, it’s he who pulls her out of her doldrums.

But will Hilary’s obsession with bringing down Navarra and others like him destroy their relationship and, more importantly, jeopardize their lives?

Buy Links

Kindle

Kobo

I hope you’ll show my sweet romance some love and vote for it at https://www.tckpublishing.com/2020-readers-choice-voting-page/. Please note the “How to Vote” section above the titles.

You’ll find my entry in the 2020 Reader’s Choice Awards on Page 7.

 

A snippet from It Happened at Percé Rock

a snippet from

A snippet from Book 3 in my It Happened series. I recently posted about hearing voices and that after a long silence my main character started talking to me. And in the wee hours of the morning, no less. Well, she had quite the story to tell.

Here’s what may or may not be in the book, but it sheds some light on why she escaped to the village Percé where the famous rock is located.

Snippet…

Melissa Scott raced along Water Street carrying the bed-in-a-bag she’d purchased from jonathans. The cranberry and navy tartan quilt, bed skirt, and pillow shams were perfect for the bed that, after her wedding, would grace the one she and Iain would share.

The package wasn’t heavy, but the narrow cords on the large paper shopping bag cut into her fingers, forcing her to switch it from one hand to the other as she walked.

A large ship was docked at the Marco Polo Cruise Terminal near the Saint John Port Authority, almost directly across the street from her future home. Once she moved in with Iain after they were married, this would be an everyday commonplace view. Diamond Jubilee also had a terminal on this side of the Saint John River, but it was closer to the Bay of Fundy.

Her fiancé worked as a guard at the Saint John Regional Correctional Centre on Old Black River Road and scheduled to be on duty. She planned to drop the purchase on her lunch break so that after work, she could go straight home and take her black and tan dachshund, Buddy, for a walk. The condominium would be empty, so there was no need to stick around. Drop the package inside the door and leave.

Outside the front door, Melissa pulled the key from her purse, unlocked the deadbolt and walked in. Everything seemed fine until she turned to leave. Articles of clothing littered the stairs to the upper level, most noticeably Iain’s uniform shirt. If he was at work, why was it there? Any other time she’d dropped packages off, their future home was immaculate. Things didn’t add up. Tiptoeing up the wrought iron-railed oak staircase, she pushed a white T-shirt, another piece of his clothing, aside with her foot.

When she reached the landing, grunts and moans emanated from the master bedroom. Melissa crept to the door, and reached for the knob, but pulled her hand back. Did she want to discover the cause of the noises? She sucked in a deep breath and swallowed, then turned the knob and flung the door open.

Iain’s naked back and broad shoulders filled the gap, and a pair of slender feminine legs encircled his waist. He was in their future marital bed with someone else.

“I-I-I,” she stammered, unable to form the words. A strangled moan formed within her and intensified in volume.

He immediately froze then leapt out of bed, pulling his uniform trousers on as he went. The woman he’d been making love with, grabbed the sheet and pulled it up to her chin to cover her nakedness.

Melissa turned and ran down the stairs.

a snippet from

I’m surprised she didn’t kill him on the spot, but this is a sweet romance, not a murder mystery. If I revealed she committed the crime in the first scene, the premise of the book is gone.  😉

Anyway here’s where the series started – on Dufferin Terrace in Quebec City.

a snippet fromMiracle on 34th Street meets Sleepless in Seattle

Toronto business consultant, Serenity Layne, knew the only person she could depend on was herself. Busy with her career, she has no time for other pursuits and life’s intangibles

Widowed for three years, Roger Scott, a data security specialist in Quebec City, is a single parent to his ten-year-old son, Adam.

On a day out on the Plains of Abraham with their black Labrador Retriever, Roger’s cell phone rings incessantly. Adam has played matchmaker and put his father’s profile on a number of online dating sites.

The week before Christmas, Serenity is heading up a series of meetings after a six-month study of the Canadian retail chain, jonathans. After an unpleasant encounter with one of the store managers, she escapes from the boardroom of the Château Frontenac Hotel, only to be bowled over by Roger and Adam’s dog.

Guilty over the accident, Roger invites Serenity out for a drink by way of apology. Over the course of the week, and spending time together, feelings long dormant for Roger are re-awakened. At the same time, emotions foreign to Serenity fill her with contentment and happiness.

Will the couple get their happily ever after?

Kindle
Kobo

And book 2 in the series, set in the Gastown neighbourhood of Vancouver.

a snippet fromTrainspotting meets Hot Pursuit

Hilary Dunbar is a uniformed constable with the Vancouver Police with an agenda to rid the streets of drugs, especially the bad ones the notorious dealer, Carlos Navarra, is trafficking.

Heroin addict, Erik Layne, has lived on the streets of Gastown for as long as he can remember, having left home and Toronto as a rebellious teenage addict. His and Hilary’s paths cross when she finds him unconscious in an alley after injecting a batch of the contaminated drug.

He must fight for his life to keep from dying, not only from the tainted smack but also from the man who provided it.

A domestic disturbance call goes wrong, and Hilary suffers life-changing injuries as a result. As luck would have it, she and Erik are hospitalized in the same ward at Vancouver General Hospital.

When she sinks into a deep depression, it’s he who pulls her out of her doldrums.

But will Hilary’s obsession with bringing down Navarra and others like him destroy their relationship and, more importantly, jeopardize their lives?

Kindle
Kobo

I’ve learned from various writers’ conferences and workshops, that knowing where the story begins is important. Cut the first two chapters and start with the third, etc. Time will tell if I do that and reveal her fiancé’s infidelity through backstory, which also causes problems, like info-dumps. An author must skillfully weave backstory into the plot in little snippets.

If it’s February 9th, it’s Read in the Bathtub Day!

Happy Read in the Bathtub Day!

Read in the Bathtub Day!

There’s nothing like a long, leisurely soak in a hot bath. Add bubbles, a book and something to drink, perhaps a glass of wine, or maybe a cup of cocoa, and it becomes heavenly. Read in the Bathtub Day is the perfect occasion to take part in this relaxing past time. So what if you spend so much time in the tub, your toes end up shrivelled like prunes? It’s the reading in the bath that counts.

Reading in the bathtub works much better if you have more than one bathroom. I mean, you don’t want people pounding on the door to get in. You want to be able to relax and spend as much time as you wish, soaking up the hot water and bubbles, and the prose you’ve chosen as your reading material.

To properly enjoy Read in the Bathtub Day, you should have a caddy for your tub. After all, you don’t want to drop your tablet, or heaven forbid, a physical book in the water.

Read in the Bathtub Day!

These caddies come in all shapes and sizes – in bamboo, teak, stainless steel and more. Some are fancier than others like the one above, which also has a place for a wine glass.

So why not buy yourself a book (preferably one of mine), run a bubble bath and pour yourself a glass of wine (or your tipple of choice) and escape for some self-indulgence.

Not sure which of my titles you fancy? Click on any of the images in the sidebar and you’ll be taken to your amazon store where you can read the decription and, if you so choose, purchase the book.

Sorry for the shameless self-promotion. It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it. 🙂

 

And the winner is … #giveaway #sweetromance

As part of my launch for Book 2 in the It Happened series – It Happened in Gastown – I ran a giveaway for the book that started it all – It Happened on Dufferin Terrace. Only five people left comments, two of which didn’t want to be entered in the giveaway. That left three. So, I’ve decided there won’t be just one winner, there will be three!

And the winners are …

Yvonne – who commented at Beverly Stowe McClure’s blog

Carolyn Howard-Johnston – who commented at Joan Y. Edwards’ blog

and

Nancy Jardine – who commented at Chris Longmuir’s blog.

Congratulations to each winner! I’ll be in touch through your blog host to find out in which format you’d like your copy of It Happened on Dufferin Terrace – mobi for kindle, epub for other readers or pdf.

If you didn’t win, you can buy It Happened on Dufferin Terrace for only $0.99/£0.99.

She’s married to her job… He’s a widowed father…
winner

Miracle on 34th Street meets Sleepless in Seattle…

Toronto business consultant, Serenity Layne, knew the only person she could depend on was herself. Busy with her career, she has no time for other pursuits and life’s intangibles

Widowed for three years, Roger Scott, a data security specialist in Quebec City, is a single parent to his ten-year-old son, Adam.

On a day out on the Plains of Abraham with their black Labrador Retriever, Roger’s cell phone rings incessantly. Adam has played matchmaker and put his father’s profile on a number of online dating sites.

The week before Christmas, Serenity is heading up a series of meetings after a six-month study of the Canadian retail chain, jonathans. After an unpleasant encounter with one of the store managers, she escapes from the boardroom of the Château Frontenac Hotel, only to be bowled over by Roger and Adam’s dog.

Guilty over the accident, Roger invites Serenity out for a drink by way of apology. Over the course of the week, and spending time together, feelings long dormant for Roger are re-awakened. At the same time, emotions foreign to Serenity fill her with contentment and happiness.

Will the couple get their happily ever after?

BUY LINKS

amazon

kobo

 

 

It Happened in Gastown (It Happened Book 2)

The moment you’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived! At least I hope you’ve all been waiting for it. 😉 Drum roll, please … Here for the first time is the beautiful cover of  Book 2 in my It Happened series – It Happened in Gastown – a sweet romance with suspense.

Here we go, without any further ado, I give you

It Happened in Gastown

 

it happened in gastown

Isn’t it beautiful?

Blurb

Trainspotting meets Hot Pursuit…

Hilary Dunbar is a uniformed constable with the Vancouver Police with an agenda to rid the streets of drugs, especially the bad ones the notorious dealer, Carlos Navarra, is trafficking.

Heroin addict, Erik Layne, has lived on the streets of Gastown for as long as he can remember, having left home and Toronto as a rebellious teenage addict. His and Hilary’s paths cross when she finds him unconscious in an alley after injecting a batch of the contaminated drug. He must fight for his life to keep from dying, not only from the tainted smack but also from the man who provided it.

A domestic disturbance call goes wrong, and Hilary suffers life-changing injuries as a result. As luck would have it, she and Erik are hospitalized in the same ward at Vancouver General Hospital. When she sinks into a deep depression, it’s he who pulls her out of her doldrums.

But will Hilary’s obsession with bringing down Navarra and others like him destroy their relationship and, more importantly, jeopardize their lives?

Excerpt

Chapter 1

Out on routine patrol, Constables Hilary Dunbar and her partner Lukas Stephanopoulos drove north on Cambie Street towards the Gastown Steam Clock. As they passed the end of Blood Alley, she shouted, “Back up. Something’s down there.”

“Your imagination getting the better of you again?” He teased, but pulled over to the curb and slowly reversed until they blocked the mouth of the narrow passage.

Originally they called the lane Trounce Alley. Some maps still referred to the laneway as that. Others labelled the back street Blood Alley. Given the appearance, Hilary thought the latter more appropriate.

Window down, she trained the beam from the powerful spotlight mounted on the cruiser’s mirror into the alleyway. “See, beyond those dumpsters.”

“Likely just garbage.”

“Wait here; I’m going to take a closer look.”

Before exiting the car, she plucked a pair of nitrile gloves and the naloxone kit from the glove compartment. Once out, she shoved them in the pockets of her trousers. With the fingertips of her right hand brushing her gun holster and gripping the barrel of the torch in her left, she sidled towards the object.

Graffiti tags covered the walls of the buildings as well as the wooden hydro poles. The farther into the confined space she crept, the hairs on the nape of her neck bristled beneath the bun in which she styled her black hair. Whatever was down there wasn’t rubbish, as Luke said. The pong of stale urine made her eyes water.

Past the second dumpster, the body of a young man leaned against the wall. Dishevelled and filthy, his body odour was strong enough to make the foulest of skunk spray seem mild. At first glance, he appeared dead. His skin had a bluish tinge, and weeping sores dotted his face. Dark circles surrounded his eyes. Inching forward, Hilary squatted beside him.

A blood-filled syringe protruded from his left arm. Flashlight held under her chin; she donned the synthetic rubber gloves she brought with her and felt his neck for a pulse. The rhythmic throbbing beneath her fingertips, barely discernible.

The naloxone. The kit had been made available to officers who wanted the medication. Luke was against carrying the opioid blocker in the cruiser, but Hilary persuaded him. Now was the time to use it. She took the package out of her other trouser pocket, peeled the wrapper open and placed the nozzle in the victim’s left nostril and pressed the plunger.

She keyed the mic on her handset and started to speak. “Constable Dunbar.” As though on cue, the nearby Steam Clock began whistling — no sense in trying to outperform the contraption. Wait for the completion of its proclamation of the top of the hour — Westminster chimes followed by singular whistle blasts counting out the time. Soon relative quiet returned and Hilary tried again. “Constable Dunbar. Badge 8652. I need an ambulance at Blood Alley and Cambie Street. Suspected drug overdose. Have administered four milligrams of Narcan nasal spray. No response as of yet.”

By now, Luke had the cruiser’s roof lights on. Blue, red and white alternating then running from the driver’s side to the passenger’s side of the vehicle.

The wail of the siren grew louder. In minutes, paramedics jumped out and trundled a stretcher and medical equipment to the stricken person.

Hilary stood back, letting them do their jobs. “I gave him Narcan,” she said, handing the spent plastic bottle to one of them.

“He’s alive … just. You found him in time. We’ve bagged the needle so they can run tests on the contents at the hospital. Figure out what he shot into his veins.”

Buy Links

It Happened in Gastown releases on December 1st, but you can pre-order your copy now for the low price of $2.99/£2.99.

Kindle

Kobo

Book 1 in the series – It Happened on Dufferin Terrace is on sale for $0.99/£0.99 or you can enter my giveaway to win a kindle or kobo copy.

To enter, leave me a comment. Your name will be entered in a draw on December 1st (launch day for It Happened in Gastown).

Progress Report ~ It Happened in Gastown #sweetromance

progress report

Progress Report

I’ve been conspicuously absent from my blog, so I thought it was about time I got my skates on and wrote a post. This one is a progress report on my work-in-progress – It Happened in Gastown.

The book is written. Yay! There could be an epilogue but that can be written and edited separately.

Currently, this episode of the “It Happened” series is longer than the first (It Happened on Dufferin Terrace), but that’s okay. Many series have different length books in them. Harry Potter comes to mind.

It Happened in Gastown has been through Grammarly – copied and pasted from Scrivener one scene at at a time – and corrections made in both applications.

Next, I compiled the entire document to word format (.docx) using Scrivener and imported it to Autocrit. That process wasn’t without its challenges. It seems the version of Safari I’m running on my MacBook Air and Autocrit didn’t like each other. Only a portion of my document loaded. Nothing past chapter 15 and there are 21 chapters in total.

Thanks to Kevin at Autocrit, that problem is sorted and I’m happily editing away using Chrome. Again, I’m making the changes in both applications so if something goes pear-shaped (as things sometimes do), I’ll have an up-to-date copy.

The Office 365 version of Word has the ability to read your manuscript back to you, but since I don’t have that version, I depend on either Scrivener or Natural Reader to do this step for me. The beauty of doing it in Scrivener is the corrections only need to be made once.

Finally, it’s off to my readers who will undoubtedly pick out errors that slipped through the cracks.

My plan is to post a cover reveal at some point during this process with pre-order links for kindle and kobo.

If you would be interested in hosting a cover reveal for It Happened in Gastown, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you with the details.

 

It Happened in Gastown ~ Opening Scene

Here you have it, ladies and gents. The opening scene to Book Two in the It Happened series – It Happened in Gastown. Somewhat darker than the first in the series, but I promise along with the heavy stuff there will be sweet romance.

Out on routine patrol, Constables Hilary Dunbar and her partner Nik Kalivas drove north on Cambie Street towards the Gastown Steam Clock. As they passed the end of Blood Alley, she shouted, “Back up. Something’s down there.”

It Happened in Gastown
Steam Clock on Water Street, Gastown, Vancouver

“Your imagination getting the better of you again?” He teased, but pulled over to the curb and slowly reversed until they blocked the mouth of the narrow passage. Originally the lane was called Trounce Alley. Some maps still referred to the laneway as that. Others labelled the back street Blood Alley. Given the appearance, Hilary thought the latter was more appropriate.

Gastown
Blood Alley at Cambie Street, Gastown, Vancouver

Window down, she trained the beam from the powerful spotlight mounted on the cruiser’s mirror into the alleyway. “See, beyond those dumpsters.”

“Likely just garbage.”

“Wait here; I’m going to take a closer look.”

Before exiting the car, she plucked a pair of nitrile gloves and the naloxone kit from the glove compartment. Once out, she shoved them in the pockets of her trousers. With the fingertips of her right brushing her gun holster and gripping the barrel of the torch in her left, she sidled towards the object. Graffiti tags covered the walls of the buildings as well as the wooden hydro poles. The further into the confined space she crept, the hairs on the nape of her neck bristled beneath the bun in which she styled her black hair. Whatever was down there, it wasn’t rubbish as Nik said. The pong of stale urine made her eyes water.

Past the second dumpster, the body of a young man leaned against the wall. Dishevelled and filthy, his body odour was strong enough to make the foulest of skunk spray seem mild. At first glance, he appeared dead. His skin had a bluish tinge, and weeping sores dotted his face. Dark circles surrounded his eyes. Inching forward, Hilary squatted beside him. A blood-filled syringe protruded from his left arm. Flashlight held under her chin; she donned the synthetic rubber gloves she brought with her and felt his neck for a pulse. The rhythmic pulse beneath her fingertips was barely discernible.

The naloxone. The kit had been made available to officers who wanted it. Nik was against carrying the opioid blocker in the cruiser, but Hilary persuaded him. Now was the time to use it. She took the package out of her other trouser pocket, peeled it open and placed the nozzle in the victim’s left nostril and pressed the plunger.

She keyed the mic on her handset and started to speak. “Constable Dunbar.” As if on cue the nearby Steam Clock began whistling. No sense in trying to outperform the thing. Wait until it finished its proclamation of the top of the hour. Soon relative quiet returned and Hilary tried again. “Constable Dunbar. Badge 8652. I need an ambulance at Blood Alley and Cambie Street. Suspected drug overdose. Have administered four milligrams of Narcan nasal spray. No response as of yet.”

By now, Nik had the cruiser’s roof lights on. Blue, red and white alternating then running from the driver’s side to the passenger’s side of the vehicle.

The wail of the siren grew louder. In minutes, paramedics jumped out and trundled a stretcher and medical equipment to the stricken person.

Hilary stood back, letting them do their jobs. “I gave him Narcan,” she said, handing the spent plastic bottle to one of them.

“He’s alive … just. You found him in time. We’ve bagged the needle so they can run tests on it at the hospital. Figure out what he shot into his veins.”

Book Two in the “It Happened” Series

Book Two in the It Happened Series is set in Gastown, an area of Vancouver, British Columbia. It’s appropriately titled – It Happened in Gastown.

This book features Erik Layne (Serenity’s brother from It Happened on Dufferin Terrace.) It’s also my project for NaNoWriMo 2018, but life got in the way and I won’t get my 50K words written before the end of the month, but I thought I would share the opening scene.

Keep in mind, this is a first draft and the premise behind NaNo is to write, not edit.

Here it is…

Out on routine patrol, Constables Hilary Dunbar and her partner Nik Kalivas proceeded along Cambie Street towards the Steam Clock. As they passed the end of Blood Alley, she shouted, “Back up. There’s something down there.”

“Your imagination getting the better of you again?” He teased, but pulled over to the curb and slowly reversed until they blocked the end of the narrow passage.

Window down, she trained the beam from the powerful spotlight mounted on the cruiser’s mirror into the alleyway. “There, beyond those dumpsters.”

“Likely just garbage.”

“Wait here, I’m going to take a closer look.”

Flashlight clutched in her left hand and fingertips of her right brushing her gun holster, she crept towards the object. Graffiti tags covered the walls of the buildings. The further into the confined space she crept, her neck hairs bristled beneath the bun she tied her black hair into. Whatever it was, it wasn’t trash like Nik said. The pong of stale urine brought tears to her eyes.

Past the second dumpster, the body of a young man leaned against the wall. Disheveled and filthy, his body odour was strong enough to make the foulest of skunk spray seem mild. At first glance he appeared dead. Hilary inched forward and squatted beside him. A blood-filled syringe protruded from his left arm. Immediately, she felt his neck for a pulse. It was there but extremely weak.

She keyed the mic on her handset. “Constable Dunbar, Badge 8652. I need an ambulance at Blood Alley and Cambie Street. Suspected drug overdose.”

By now, Nik had the cruiser’s roof lights on. Blue, red and white alternating then running from the driver’s side to the passenger’s.

The wail of the siren grew louder. In minutes, paramedics jumped out and trundled a stretcher and medical equipment to the stricken person.

Hilary stood back, letting them do their jobs.

“He’s alive … just. You found him in time. We’ve bagged the needle so they can run tests on it at the hospital. Figure out what he shot into his veins.”

They loaded the stretcher into the back, pulled a U-turn and raced off in the direction of Vancouver General.

“Looks like we’re off to the hospital,” she said dropping into her seat and fastening the belt.

“Great. More wasted time and a ton of paperwork because of a drug addict,” Nik complained.

“That drug addict is someone’s kid,” she snapped.

“Ooh… aren’t we touchy? Turning soft are you? Biological clock ticking?”

I’d love to hear what you think. Let me know by leaving a comment.