Category Archives: Author Interview

New from Ellie Gray ~ WARWICK’S MERMAID #interview #romance #giveaway

Mermaid

Warwick’s Mermaid

by

Ellie Gray

 

Mermaid

Genre:   Contemporary Romance

Release Date:   11 October 2017

Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing

Having escaped an abusive relationship, Chloe MacGregor is determined to put the past behind her. The little cottage high up on the cliffs overlooking the beautiful North Yorkshire town of Whitby is her safe haven, somewhere she is free to be herself.

When the arrival of her new neighbour and boss, Luke Warwick, threatens her peaceful, sheltered life, Chloe is forced to confront her past and to re-evaluate who she really is. Falling in love with Luke is not part of her plan but, to her surprise, Luke is falling for her too. The only thing preventing their happy ever after is Chloe herself. Will she ever truly learn to leave the past where it belongs?

EXTRACT

Chloe stared at the bright blue front door, not quite sure if she was willing it to open or remain shut. Cerulean Bliss. She had been drawn to the name, conjuring up images of crystal clear Mediterranean Sea, sandy beaches, and cloudless skies. Chris had appeared amused by her decision to choose the paint based on the name rather than the colour.

‘‘Babe, if you want Cerulean Bliss for the front door, Cerulean Bliss is what we’ll go for.’’

But when he’d returned from a boys’ weekend away to find Chloe had painted the door, it had been a different story. He had flown into a rage, claiming she hadn’t consulted with him on the colour and had gone behind his back, waiting until he was away to make changes to his house. That was the first time she had been on the receiving end of his anger; the first time she had been frightened and confused by his apparent about-turn on something he had previously agreed to. It hadn’t been the last time.

Chloe glanced at her watch, frowning when it showed only a minute had passed since she had last looked. The frown deepened when she lifted a hand to rub her eyebrow and saw how much her fingers were trembling. A gentle hand touched her forearm and she looked up to meet her friend’s calm gaze.

‘Don’t worry. It’s going to be fine.’

Chloe shook her head, unable to prevent her gaze from returning to the front door only twenty or so metres from where they were sitting in her car. What if he glanced around and saw her? What if he didn’t?

‘What am I doing, Bekah?’ She dropped her head in her hands, squeezing her eyes shut and immediately wincing as that small movement resulted in more pain than it should.

‘The right thing, that’s what.’ Rebekah rubbed her friend’s forearm. ‘Come on, Chloe. We talked about this.’

‘I know, I know we did.’ Chloe lifted her chin, but didn’t remove her gaze from the door. ‘I just…I keep thinking about it, over and over. He’s not always that bad, not really, and I think…I think maybe it was my fault.’

Chloe didn’t have to see her friend’s face to know she was angry; she could feel it radiating from her in waves. Rebekah remained silent and reached across to pull down the sun visor in front of Chloe, lifting up the small flap covering the vanity mirror.

‘There is nothing you could have done that would ever justify what he did to you. Nothing.’

Chloe stared at her reflection, taking in the dark purple bruise circling her left eye—now bloodshot and half-closed—the ugly graze reaching across her cheekbone and further down to the swollen and split bottom lip. Without thinking, she licked her lip. The tip of her tongue slipped over the injury, and she drew in a sharp breath at the sting it produced.

She met her gaze in the mirror once more, noting the confusion and uncertainty dulling their green hue. ‘I know. But it’s not usually this bad. He pushes me around a bit sometimes, nothing major, and he says things…you know, usually when he’s had a drink.’

‘That doesn’t make it right. You know that.’ Rebekah blew out a long breath. ‘I can’t believe you never told me.’

Chloe avoided her friend’s accusing gaze. What could she have told her? That Chris was proving her mother right? That she wasn’t woman enough for any man?

‘It doesn’t matter now anyway. I—’ She drew in a strangled breath as the front door opened and, shrinking down a little in her seat, Chloe prayed he wouldn’t glance down the street and recognise her car among all the others parked along the kerb.

As she watched, Chris locked the door before turning and sauntering along the path, tossing his keys in the air and catching them, his lips pursed as he whistled. Chloe couldn’t hear from this distance, but she knew he would be whistling the tune to whichever song had been on the radio before he left the house. She glanced at her watch once more; 8.15am on the dot. Chris was a creature of habit.

‘Bastard.’ Rebekah thumped the dashboard in obvious frustration as he got into his car without glancing left or right before driving off. ‘Look at him, acting as if he hasn’t a care in the world. You should have let Sean come round last night and hammer ten bells out of him, see how he liked it.’

Chloe gave a weak smile. ‘I don’t suppose that would have solved anything.’

They sat in silence for a few minutes before Rebekah finally opened her door.

‘So, come on then. Let’s do it.’

Chloe bit her lip and immediately winced in pain, wishing she hadn’t. Gingerly exploring her lip with her fingers, she saw they were stained with blood, and stifling a sigh, searched in her bag for a tissue.

‘What if he comes back? What if he’s forgotten something?’

‘He’s not coming back. He’s gone to work,’ said Rebekah, nodding her encouragement. ‘Come on, the sooner we get in, the sooner we get out. We’ll only be a few minutes.’

 

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2w2k6Sk

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Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/742773

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I had a chance to visit with Ellie recently and I’m sharing our conversation with you…

Where did the idea for the book come from?

I originally started this book years ago, way before I was published. It’s one that went on the backburner once the first draft had been completed, because I knew it just wasn’t right but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was wrong with it. Despite that, I always had a clear vision about Chloe’s little cottage high up on the cliff tops and that it was her sanctuary. I just had to work out why she needed a sanctuary. This manuscript went through the RNA New Writer’s Scheme and some of the feedback included making more use of the setting. That helped me to see where I was going wrong – it could have been set anywhere and, although I knew it was set in Whitby, I hadn’t really built on that or written it in such a way that the reader could connect with it. I also needed to take the time to get to know Chloe, and to explore her backstory, which was really important.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing since I was nineteen or twenty, although I’ve always made up stories, full blown novels, in my head. I began writing them down and, knowing nothing really about writing, having completed a first draft sent them out to agents and publishers. Although I received one or two very encouraging ‘thanks but no thanks’ letters with positive feedback, I received many more standard letters. Not surprising considering the state of those manuscripts in hindsight! When I got married and started a family, I stopped writing and it was only when the children were older that I began to read those old manuscripts and the writing bug gripped me once again. I also made a much more concerted effort to look into the mechanics of writing and take it seriously. Still, it’s taken me ten years of hard slog to get to the point where I secured a publishing contract. And I’m still learning!

How difficult is it to come up with a good title for a book? Did the title change at any point or has the book always been called Warwick’s Mermaid?

Oh gosh, I struggle with titles. The title has always been Warwick’s Mermaid but, when I re-visited the old manuscript and began making some serious changes, I did consider whether I ought to change the title. I thought about perhaps picking up on some of the current trends in titles, for example using the word ‘Girl’, so I thought about Girl by the Sea, or perhaps something like The Little Cottage by the Sea. In the end I kept the original as I really like it but, yes, I struggle with titles. (ed note… I struggle with titles, too. Writing the book is the easy part. Coming up with the proper title, not so much.)

How much time do you devote to your writing each day?

To be honest, I don’t. I work full time in a fairly stressful job and when I get home I find it difficult to find the motivation to write…. unless I have a deadline looming, of course. My writing tends to be done on a weekend – usually a Saturday afternoon and evening, and a Sunday morning, although this tends to fit around cleaning and general weekend outings etc. It depends on where I am in the writing process. I do sometimes edit on a weekday evening, when I can print out the manuscript and make notes on it, but generally writing is done on a weekend.

Tell me 3 interesting things about yourself.

• I’m obsessed with ancient Egypt, and have a sarcophagus in my conservatory, which is probably not a surprise to those of you who have read Love on the Nile….
• I’m getting married next year
• I once attended a Christmas Party hosted by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer in No. 11 Downing Street

What’s next for you? Do you have a new book in the pipeline or do you have other writing projects you’d like to go back to?

Yes, I’m working on a new contemporary romance novel although I’m also dabbling on a romantic suspense story that has been written in my head for years, and I’m looking at resurrecting a young adult novel that is in the first draft stage. Perhaps I need to re-think my ‘only writing at weekends’ rule…

About Ellie Gray

Mermaid

Ellie Gray is a contemporary romance author who loves to write heart-warming, sensual romances with characters her readers can really identify with. Her novels are set in places inspired by her own life and travels, including the beautiful UK Yorkshire countryside as well as far flung, exotic countries such as Egypt.

Currently working on her fourth novel, and still tinkering away at a young adult novel first started some years ago, Ellie loves to hear from her readers. You can contact her through any of the social media links below or through her website.

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/elliegrayauthor

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/elliegray58

Goodreads Author Page:   https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14900908.Ellie_Gray

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/elliegray58/

Website: https://elliegrayauthor.wordpress.com/

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DEVIL’S PORRIDGE by Chris Longmuir #authorinterview

devil's porridgeWelcome back to Celtic Connexions, Chris. I see you’ve brought your latest novel with you. Can you tell us about Devil’s Porridge?

Devil’s Porridge has been on my radar to write since 2008, but I kept putting it off, mainly because other things got in the way, like winning the Dundee International Book Prize in 2009 which meant I had to concentrate on my contemporary crime novels, namely the Dundee Crime Series. So, Devil’s Porridge had to take a back seat for several years. But it’s always been niggling away at the back of my mind, demanding to be written. We authors are slaves to our books and characters.

The book is a historical murder mystery set in Britain, during the First World War. I have mixed real events as well as fictional ones into the story. For example, I start off in East London with the massive munitions factory explosion which almost obliterated Silvertown. How could I resist an event like that, it made a great start to the story. The secret service plotline features Captain Vernon Kell and William Melville who actually did exist and were part of MI5, and the visit to Gretna by King George and Queen Mary did take place on 18 May 1917, although my assassination attempt is purely fictional.

I suppose you could describe Devil’s Porridge as a murder mystery with bits of sabotage, spying and an assassination attempt thrown into the mix. I must warn you there are quite a lot of characters in Devil’s Porridge, and varying subplots. I should also say I write in a multi-viewpoint style in a modern fashion rather than a historic one. So you won’t have to cope with any outdated language. And, for those readers who like to delve into the history behind the book, I’ve included a historical endnote.

Did this book require you making a trip to visit the locations used in your book or were you able to get everything you needed online?

This book needed a lot of research. I stumbled across information about Gretna and the munitions factories when I was researching the origins of women police. Did you know that the Ministry of Munitions (a UK government department) contracted with the Women’s Police Service to supply women police to patrol and work at Britain’s munitions factories? So, my initial research originated in Joan Lock’s excellent history of the origins of women police ‘The British Policewoman’. After reading that I sought out other books, and did a lot of online research, both about women police and munitions factories.

I also visited Gretna and Eastriggs where the main action takes place. Unfortunately I couldn’t access the ground the munitions factory occupied because it is owned by the MOD (Ministry of Defence) and no one is allowed access. Goodness only knows what they do there! However, they have a fabulous museum in Eastriggs, also called Devil’s Porridge, and the secretary allowed me to access the archives.

I also had to do research on the Belgian situation during the First World War, because Kirsty teams up with Beatrice, a Belgian refugee. And because I have Irish revolutionaries working as navvies at Gretna, I had to research the Irish situation and the Easter Rising of 1916. I also delved into how German spies operated at this time, and the handlers of my German spy were real people based in Antwerp. I could go on and on, the research was a massive task.

This book is set, two years (I believe) before The Death Game so Kirsty has yet to arrive in Dundee.  Is she a member of the Women’s Police Service in Devil’s Porridge?

Yes, Kirsty joined the Women’s Police service when it was formed in 1914. Did you know that the women police were initially voluntary organisations formed by suffragette societies when they gave up their militant activities at the start of the war? There were actually two different sets of women police at this time. The Women’s Police Service, and the less militant Women’s Patrols. Kirsty was in the Women’s Police Service which was contracted to police the Gretna munitions factory. The agreement was signed in October 1916, and at its peak there were 167 policewomen serving at Gretna. I have included details of the different organisations in my historical endnote.

The title is unusual. How did you decide on Devil’s Porridge? Is there a meaning behind it?

Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, visited the Gretna munitions factory in 1916 and wrote an article based on this visit, which was published in the Annandale Observer. You have to understand that Gretna Munitions Factory was a vast place. Nine miles long and two miles wide, and they built two new towns, Gretna and Eastriggs, to service it. At the Eastriggs end the munitionettes mixed guncotton and nitroglycerine together, with their bare hands, into a paste needed for the manufacture of cordite which was the propellant used in bombs. The paste the munitionettes kneaded in lead drums was likened to a porridge consistency, and it was this that Conan Doyle named Devil’s Porridge. Here is what he said “Those smiling khaki-clad girls who are swirling the stuff round in their hands would be blown to atoms in an instant if certain very small changes occurred. The changes will not occur, and the girls still smile and stir their ‘devil’s porridge’, but it is a narrow margin between life and death.” The name caught my eye and I thought it would make a great book title. As I said before there is also a museum with this title so they must have had the same thought I did. If you are ever in the Gretna area you really must visit this museum, it’s something special. Here is the online link for it http://www.devilsporridge.org.uk/

Do you prefer writing Historical Crime as opposed to your Dundee Crime Series?

I really don’t have a preference. I like writing both contemporary and historical, it’s the crime and the mystery I find intriguing. I’ve read a lot of crime fiction over my lifetime. I like the darkness of Scandinavian crime fiction, and I find the American and Canadian style of writing has more action and suspense than a lot of traditional British crime fiction which seems to be more cerebral. But on the other hand, I like the puzzle element of British books – Agatha Christie was superb at this style of writing. So, I think my crime fiction is a cross between the crime thriller, mixed in with the puzzle element. It seems to work, and readers seem to like it.

What’s next for Kirsty Campbell? Are you working on another novel featuring her?

I’m tossing up at the moment as to whether to write a Kirsty Campbell book next, or a DI Bill Murphy one. I have readers clamouring for both. But, be assured, both Kirsty and DI Bill Murphy will be back.

If you, or any of your readers are tempted by Devil’s Porridge, there is a description of the book on my website, plus a link to read the first chapter.

Thank you for having me, Melanie. It’s nice to visit Canada again, even though a virtual visit doesn’t let me explore your lovely town. I have fond memories of my last visit when I did the Thousand Islands boat tour, as well as the creepy witch walk in the evening.

Check out Devil’s Porridge on Chris Longmuir’s website

And while you’re at it have a look at Chris Longmuir’s blog

 

THICKER THAN WATER by Bethan Darwin #interview #giveaway

thicker than water

Thicker Than Water

by

Bethan Darwin

 

THICKER THAN WATER COVER

Genre: Fiction

Release Date: 18 August 2016

Publisher: Honno Press

Some secrets take their time to travel home

Gareth Maddox has his own successful Cardiff Bay law firm, a clever and talented wife and four perfectly imperfect children. Then along comes Cassandra Taylor, managing director of a Canadian shirt company wanting to set up a major manufacturing plant in the Welsh valley Gareth hails from. It seems like the kind of work he will excel at and an ideal way to see the valley pull back from joblessness and despair.

Back at the end of the Great War, in the wake of a community splitting strike, Gareth’s Great-Great-Uncle Idris sailed off to Canada in search of his fortune and a new way of life. Behind him Idris left his twin Tommy and Maggie, Tommy’s wife, who shared her childhood and much else besides with both brothers.

Decades later, Maggie’s secret life is revealed – and for Gareth nothing may ever be quite as it was before Perfect Ltd came to Wales.

BUY LINKS

http://www.honno.co.uk/dangos.php?ISBN=9781909983465

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thicker-Than-Water-Bethan-Darwin/dp/1909983462/

https://www.amazon.com/Thicker-Than-Water-Bethan-Darwin/dp/1909983462/

https://wordery.com/thicker-than-water-bethan-darwin-9781909983465

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Welcome to Celtic Connexions, Bethan. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m a lawyer based in Cardiff, specialising in employment and corporate law, a proud Mum of two and a happy wife which is just as well as my husband is also a lawyer and we work together.  I run a women’s networking group called Superwoman which also raises money for charities at its events, I write a bi-weekly column on law for Wales’ national newspaper The Western Mail and regularly review the papers for a variety of BBC Radio Wales programmes.

I was born in Toronto but from the age of 5 I grew up in Clydach Vale in the Rhondda Valleys, where my mother also grew up.   My parents didn’t speak Welsh themselves (my Dad is a proud Lancastrian) but they sent me and my three siblings to Welsh medium schools and I am fiercely proud of being a fluent Welsh speaker.  My children also attend Welsh medium schools.

My favourite way to relax is for the four of us to walk our two dogs on the beach at Barry Island.  I am a better version of myself when I am by the sea.

How old were you when your family moved from Canada to Wales? Did one or both of your parents have Welsh roots?

My parents were the first in their respective families to go to University, attending the LSE.  My Dad is from Wigan and my Mum from the Rhondda.  They met at LSE and married in 1961.  They and a number of their friends from university made a move to Toronto, Canada after graduation.   My father also had an uncle living in Oshawa and they visited there a lot.  They stayed a number of years and had me and my brother there.  My Mum got homesick and wanted to move back home to be closer to her family.  I was five when we moved back to Wales.

How long have you been writing?

I always said I was going to write a book some day but it wasn’t until around 12 years ago that I realised that if I didn’t sit down and actually start writing I was never going to do it.   So I did!

Have you written and published any other books? If so, what are they?

My first novel, Back Home was published by Honno in 2009 and my second, Two Times Twenty, was published in 2010.  It has taken a while for me to write Thicker than Water as my day job has been very busy in recent years.  This one features the Rhondda, lawyers and Toronto.    There are always lawyers somewhere in my books!

I see from the back cover blurb, you have a Canadian going to Wales to start a business. Is this based on your own family history?

No, it’s just a story.  But if any Canadians would like to start businesses in Wales that would be great.  I know a good lawyer!

Are you a plotter or a panster?

I had to google what that meant!  A panster.   I start off with an initial idea and make it up as I go along.  Like all writers, I keep a notebook and write down things I see or hear in real life, especially funny things people say, and sometimes I write entire scenes around one funny sentence.   Being a panster does mean a lot of re writing when the story goes in a different direction than you had been writing.  Perhaps I should convert to being a plotter.

When you write, do you like to listen to music or do you prefer complete silence?

I don’t listen to music, no, but there is rarely complete silence when I write.   We have a busy house with children coming and going and two dogs and I often write in short bursts of time throughout the day in between legal work.  I am pretty good at blocking out external noise when I am concentrating on something, though, which my family find a little annoying.

**********

ABOUT BETHAN DARWIN

thicker than water

Toronto born but Rhondda raised, Bethan studied law at King’s College London and was a partner in a law firm in the City of London for some years before homesickness got the better of her and she returned to Wales.

Bethan is now a solicitor and partner at a Cardiff law firm. She also runs women’s networking group Superwoman, writes a bi-weekly column for the Western Mail and is a regular contributor on BBC Wales.  She and her husband have two children. It’s a struggle finding time to write fiction but she squeezes it in instead of doing housework or going to the gym.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BethanDarwin

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Author Interview with Mystery Maven, Maggie Wheeler

Welcome Mystery Maven, Maggie Wheeler

I’m pleased to welcome local author, Maggie Wheeler to Celtic Connexions! Sit down, make yourself comfortable and we’ll get started.  I’ve got water here on the side table so if you feel the need, say the word. I know I tend to get dry when I do a lot of talking so I assume you do, too.

For the benefit of those who don’t know you, could you share a bit about yourself (50 or so words) before we get started?

It’s always hard for writers to write about themselves! I’m a native of Central Ontario but Eastern Ontario has been my home for most of my life. I have three wonderful daughters and a beagle named Bagel. I currently call Brockville, the River City, my home on the St. Lawrence River.

How long have you been writing?

Personally, my whole life. Professionally, about 20 years including 15 with mystery fiction.

What got you interested in writing, and what inspired you to write your first book?

An early love of reading translated into a childhood dream of being a writer. I loved Composition in public school, and was always dreaming up stories of my own. The first book materialized when I was running a corporate communications business in the 1990s. I had everything I needed in my home office to work on the book and had been thinking of doing it for years. I was and am a great fan of mystery fiction, so I started work on a mystery novel of my own.

Which comes first for you – characters or plot?

Plot. Absolutely. With mystery fiction, I’m a traditionalist—weaned on the likes of Christie, Sayers and Conan Doyle. The mystery is the point, so I begin with what I call my plot formula: X + Y = Z. This person kills this person for this reason. Once I have that, everything else must work to support it and help the reader figure it out—or take them on a wild goose chase, legitimately, of course!

Names are important. How did you decide on your characters’ names?

Many of the names in my first novel A Violent End come from my family. For example, Farran’s father’s name (Hal Leonard) is a composite of my father’s and paternal grandfather’s first names (Harold and Leonard). Others I have taken from books on hand in my personal library.

How long did it take you to write your first novel?

About 2½ years. I did research around the needs of my young family and my business for two years. When I finally sat down to write out the story, it took three months for the first draft.

Did it require lots of research and did you have difficulty finding the information you needed?

Yes, I did a lot of research. The story was going to showcase a painful time in my community’s history so I had to get it right. I started with interviews with people from the Lost Villages, followed by book research and lots of time on the Cornwall Public Library microfilm with the back issues of the Cornwall Standard Freeholder. The Lost Villages Historical Society was also very helpful. It wasn’t difficult more than time-consuming. It had been 40 years at that point since the completion of the Seaway construction, and people seemed ready to talk about it.

There are currently four books in the Farran MacKenzie Lost Villages Mysteries series. Will there be more?

Yes. This fall, I am beginning Book Five in the series that will bring back all the regular characters and also work in the amazing history of the British Home Children through Farran’s family tree.

Any humorous moments/incidents during your research you can share? (I’m thinking of the one you mentioned at Writer’s Ink when you went to the police detachment talking murder)

There were many memorable moments for me over the years, especially doing the research for the first book. You learn as you go! Two that come to mind involve the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and Upper Canada Village.

One afternoon, my ex-husband was going to be home so I left the children with him and scooted off to Long Sault, to the OPP detachment that Jerry Strauss works out of in the books. I had a police procedural scene in the second chapter concerning where the body is found. I felt more comfortable than average with the Long Sault detachment as that was where my father had worked years before. With no advance call, I walked into the OPP station and asked to see an officer for information about homicide procedure. Still don’t know why they didn’t arrest me…A young constable took me to the interrogation room and tried to interrogate me/answer my questions. After a few unproductive minutes, a sergeant came to the door and escorted me down the main hall to another room where I asked all the same questions to the sergeant and another officer. Finally, it dawned on me that perhaps I looked suspicious. I took out a newspaper clipping with the announcement of my project and told them I was harmless, just an author. The sergeant smiled and said he was running my licence plates through the system as we spoke and would shortly find out just how harmless I really was! At that point, I was grateful for having a police officer for a father, because he’s made me toe the line growing up and my record was clean! I got to go home!

Another time at Upper Canada Village, I was “casing” the saw mill where the first murder in the present day takes place. Eventually, all the other tourists were gone and the village interpreter came up to see if I needed help or if he could answer any questions. Standing beside the great gears churning in the water, I asked him this: If you were standing here with someone and threw them into the gears to kill them, would it stop the gears? I can still see the look on his face…but he answered (after moving away a bit) and said what is in the book. “The river runs it. You’d have to stop the river.” I’m sure they still talk about that in the staff room, under most amazing questions asked!

Thanks so much for agreeing to this interview. It’s been wonderful hosting you here today. I do have one final question for you though.

What book are you reading now?

A Shadow in the Past…have you heard of it??

Maggie’s Books

A Violent End

mystery mavenFollowing the death of her mother, university history professor Farran Mackenzie begins searching for her parents’ past in the Lost Villages of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Her arrival surprises the old-timers, and stirs up memories amongst the former villagers, many of whom were already rattled by the recent reappearance of Farran’s father ─ from beneath the waters of the St. Lawrence where his body had unknowingly lain since the flooding, forty years before. Then, when a friend of her parents dies in a suspicious accident soon after her arrival, Farran is forced to put her research skills to new use, before her father’s murderer finds her.

The Brother of Sleep

mystery mavenFarran Mackenzie couldn’t have been more surprised when Alison Perry walked into her University of Waterloo office. It had been thirty years since she had last seen her best friend in high school, and thirty years since her best friend’s father, a police officer, had been killed in the line of duty. And now Alison was asking for help in discovering who had really killed her father.

Farran has doubts about helping her long-lost friend. A lifetime has passed since Alison walked out of her life with no explanation but doubt fades when a car bomb results in the death of Sergeant Perry’s old partner, nearly killing Alison and Farran, as well. Someone obviously doesn’t want them to dig up old skeletons, so Farran takes them to the only place she feels save ─ the St. Lawrence Seaway. But the past keeps catching up with them there, too. A fated meeting in the local cemetery with Paul Vaughn, a police officer from Newfoundland, has Farran revisiting the origins of the St. Lawrence Seaway, a journey that turned her own life upside down only a year ago, and threatens to do so again. She feels a strange attraction to Paul, whose life seems to mirror her own, but what about Jerry Strauss, the OPP inspector to whom she owes so much? Too many police officers in her life, both past and present, and too many coincidences. Farran’s heart if playing havoc with her instincts, which could prove dangerous, if not deadly. Whom can she trust? And is the truth worth the price of knowing?

All Mortall Things

mystery mavenInspector Jerry Strauss does not believe in ghosts.

As commander of the Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry detachment for the Ontario Provincial Police, he deals with facts, not fancies. But he and Sterling House, now a B&B in Ingleside, have a long history, going back to his childhood when the house was a private home in the Lost Villages of Wales. As a boy, things weren’t quite so black and white, and both the home and the village had an unearthly air that last summer before the flooding of the St. Lawrence Seaway caused the house to be moved and the village to disappear forever. Death came to the house then, and now death has returned, nearly fifty years later. Jerry Strauss soon discovers he’s connected to both. If she were there, Farran Mackenzie would tell him to listed to the house. Inspector Strauss isn’t sure he wants to hear what it has to say.

On a Darkling Plain

mystery mavenSo much for a summer of light emotional entertainment. In the month marking fifty years since the inundation of the St. Lawrence Seaway, the remains of a young man gone missing during the Project days surface near Old Iroquois and stir up a hornet’s nest on both sides of the river. While dodging a cold-blooded killer, her approaching fiftieth birthday, and emotional commitment to Inspector Jerry Strauss, Farran Mackenzie faces reconnecting with the daughter she gave up twenty-six years before ─ and the dark secret that drove them apart in the first place.

Paperback versions of these books can be bought directly from the author at maggiewheeler.com.

E-books will be available soon.

About Maggie Wheeler

mystery maven

As author and historian, Maggie Wheeler has spent over a decade showcasing the social, cultural and psychological impact of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project on Canadians affected. She is the author of the regionally best-selling “Lost Villages” historical murder mysteries, which have garnered a nomination for the Ontario Premier’s Awards for the Arts, an Ontario Provincial Hansard, and the “people’s choice” Seeker’s Award for Literary Artist of the Year 2013. The series has been used to teach English and history from intermediate to post-secondary levels in Eastern Ontario and Upper State New York. Since 2001, her work with the Seaway history has kept Maggie on the public speaking circuit and in the media at local, regional, national and academic levels. Her most recent contribution is the “Lost Villages” article for Historica Canada’s The Canadian Encyclopedia—the official national online resource for all things Canadiana.

Find out more at www.maggiewheeler.com.