Category Archives: General

2015 North American Hammett Prize nominees announced

Canadian author Hammett prizeMichael J. McCann is one of the nominees for the 2015 North American Hammett Prize for literary excellence in crime writing by a Canadian or US author. McCann has been nominated for his latest novel, Sorrow Lake, which is set in eastern Ontario and is the first book in a new series featuring Ellie March and Kevin Walker of the Ontario Provincial Police. McCann is also the author of the Donaghue and Stainer Crime Novel series set in Maryland.

Last year’s winner of the Hammett Prize was Stephen King for Mr. Mercedes.

For the list of 2015 nominees, please see


The unveiling of Tim’s Magic Christmas

The Unveiling

You’ve seen the cover of Tim’s Magic Christmas revealed a bit at a time every day this past week. Now, it’s the unveiling of the actual book!

I received an email from CoBa Studios & Print Shop at 7:20 pm Friday, June 12th saying that my books were printed and I could pick them up any time. The email went on to say that they would be open from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm the following day if I wanted to pick them up then.

Can we say no brainer? I couldn’t wait to see all my “book babies” even though I already had a proof copy. Saturday morning, I was up early (nothing new there) and ready to head to CoBa’s location in Merrickville to be there shortly after they opened.

Once I got my “book babies” home, I transferred them from the copy paper box I’d brought them home in (a bit difficult to do a series of unveiling photos in a box with no lid) to these “plain brown wrappers” which were the perfect size!

So, let the unveiling commence!






For Tim Frost, Christmas 2011 is a washout. No Santa. No presents. Nothing. His father lost his job when the mill closed and now the family is on the verge of losing their home.

A chance encounter with Nick Kringle, a modern-day Santa Claus, teaches Tim that the greatest gift you can receive is the gift of giving.

Currently, Tim’s Magic Christmas is only available in paperback. If you’re interested in finding out more about this book or purchasing a copy, please leave a comment.


Paparazzi Pair – Roxie Rebel’s Photographs

able caneAble Cane coming to you from the City of Lights. My capable cohort, Roxie Rebel, has been able to catch up with the world-famous author, Melanie Robertson-King.

So, Roxie, what can you tell us – or better yet, show us?

Roxie RebelWell, Able, it’s been hard to get her photo without being spotted and even harder to get good shots with my best zoom lens broken. But this is what I’ve managed so far with what equipment I’ve got.

paparazzi Paparazzi Paparazzi Paparazzi Paparazzi
Thanks for… ahem… sharing those photos with us, Roxie. Hopefully, you’ll get your camera fixed soon so that you’ll be able to get some better pictures.

This is Able Cane signing off from Paris.

Paparazzi Pair

The Paparazzi Pair are on the trail of a late-breaking story. Able Cane - Paparazzi PairAble Cane coming to you live from Pearson International Airport where world-famous author, Melanie Robertson-King and her husband, have just passed through security and are now working their way to their departure gate. I’ll see if I can catch up with them and get a word, or a hint as to their destination. Melanie isn’t moving too quickly – as you’ve heard she was injured in a mishap in her home about two weeks ago. I nudge my companion, Roxie Rebel, the photographic genius behind a number of the pictures you see in all the big tabloids.

Roxie Rebel - Paparazzi PairWe move swiftly to the check-point only to be thwarted by a burly security guard. Damn! I so wanted to get a word. Thankfully Roxie has her biggest telephoto lens on her camera and she starts shooting, holding the camera high in the air.

Oh dear, we have to run…

Let me catch my breath. *huff and puffing* That was too close. We’ll have to try a different approach to find out where Melanie is jetting off to. Never fear, the Paparazzi Pair will track her down wherever she is.

Tune in again…

Where do you think Melanie and her husband are going? Leave your guesses in the comments below.






Winter, winter go away…

Winter 2013/2014

Ugh! I’ve had it with this winter. It’s lasted waaaay tooooo looooong. Enough already, I say!

Family and friends in the UK are posting pictures of daffodils, crocuses and snowdrops in bloom. Even the magnolia trees are in flower. What do we have here?

Just another blizzard. What else is new this winter? The wind is high enough (and the gusts even worse) that the snow is falling horizontally. Couple that with the blowing snow on the ground and you don’t see very much.

Hubby’s car in front of the house. Mine is tucked up inside the garage.
Our street looking north towards the corner.

The drive home from work was far from fun. The snowplows haven’t been out so about all you could do was keep it between the snowbanks (ice banks is more appropriate since we had a thaw before this latest freeze) and hope you were on the pavement.

There are two places along the highway where it’s easy enough to drop your wheels off the asphalt in perfect conditions and lucky me, I found them both. Oh, and I had some yahoo driving a Ford Super Duty 4×4 that rode my ass most of the way. I was so tempted to jam on the brakes a couple of times to shift him, but that would have only succeeded in having him and his truck in the car with me.

I’ll leave you with this comment…

L’hiver et la neige… PHOOEY!

Blowing My Own Trombone Book Launch Blog Tour by Emma Calin

Hello Melanie – thanks so much for letting me visit your blog to tell everyone about my new book


Boxed set Kindle

Now, this tour of mine is called the “Blowing my own Trombone Book Launch Blog Tour”.  We have had The Muppets and Cabaret and today – it’s Edelweiss from The Sound of  Music – I’ll leave you to be the judges of that…

The ‘Love in a Hopeless Place Collection‘ is a set of five of my stand-alone titles amalgamated into one. A bargain way for you to get your hands on my gritty tales-with-a-twist.  Initially available for e-books (Kindle, iPad, Android, iPhone, Mac, PC etc on Amazon), the paperback will follow and an audiobook is in production. The titles in the collection are all novelettes or short stories. They stand alone in their own right but are linked by a common theme:  the universal quest for survival, love, passion and respect against the gritty backdrop of working class life.

Sub-Prime – a gritty short story

The Chosen – a short story with a twist

Escape To Love – a novelette, a suspense romance with a twist

Angela – a short story

Love in a Hopeless Place – a novelette, a romance.

The title of one of the books and also the complete collection, “Love in a Hopeless Place”, comes from the song by Rihanna “We Found Love (in a Hopeless Place)”, which  played on the radio at a pivotal point in this individual tale,  but also really expresses the flavour of the collection as a whole.

Here is a small excerpt:

‘To want is easy. To be wanted is a delicious warm bath but with someone else’s hand on the hot tap. Once you’ve jumped the fall takes no courage or talent. I did a parachute jump once for a hospice charity. If you look up where you’ve come from it’s speeding away from you and you can never go back. It’s better to look at the ground because that’s where you’re headed and it’s an obtainable certainty. I knew by inviting her I’d crossed a frontier and as yet the guards hadn’t opened fire.’

LIAHP for vine copy

I am pleased to be able to tell you that during July and August ‘ANGELA‘ the short story from the collection is FREE – so you can even try one before you buy the set!

I would like to thank Melanie for having me on her blog as part of my ‘Blowing My Own Trombone Book Launch Blog Tour’.  If you want to read more excerpts from all the other titles in the collection – or would just like to hear me blow another tune, come along to the other blogs on my tour over the next 10 days:

Blowing Blog logo17th July Anneli Purchase

18th July Love a Happy Ending Lifestyle Magazine

and Real Life According to Emma

20th July Sheryl Browne

21st July Nicky Wells

22nd July Melanie Robertson-King

25th July Bonnie Trachtenberg

26th July Patricia Sands

27th Stephanie Keys

28th Linn Halton

31st July Venture Galleries Authors Collection

About Emma Calin:

EmmaCalinrectangular500KEmma Calin was born in London in 1962. She currently lives part of the year in the UK and spends the rest in France. She has been writing since childhood and has won numerous local, national and international prizes for poetry and short stories.

Emma enjoys writing love stories firmly rooted in social realism. She blogs about the contrasts in life on both sides of the English Channel, which she likes to explore on her tandem whenever weather and fitness coincide. She is a Lifestyle Contributor on Loveahappyending Lifestyle.

She defines herself as woman eternally pedaling between Peckham and Pigalle, in search of passion and enduring romance.

Emma Calin Links

The Love in a Hopeless Place Collection on Amazon Worldwide

For more books by Emma Calin:

Emma Calin Blog:

Emma Calin Website:


Facebook Page for book:

Twitter:@Emma Calin



Emma Calins 6 titles Medium 1700

What a beautiful way to start out the month of May

After the long, cold and snowy winter we had, it was wonderful to be able to tear another leaf off the calendar – May 1st. The temperatures were in the mid 20s Celsius which meant a body didn’t need to wear a coat although the morning did start out on the cool side.

When I go to work, I always take the motorway but when I come back home, I drive the road that runs along the river. It makes for a gorgeous drive in good weather. Last night was no exception. The river was like glass, it was so calm. It begged to be photographed. And so I did.

About halfway between home and work, is a village where there is a place to pull off the road and enjoy the scenery. It’s also where they fill up the volunteer fire department tankers. Still, you can work around the pipes that go into the water for that.

down river
Looking down river towards Montreal
up river
Looking up river towards Lake Ontario

There is only one thing that would have made these photographs even more perfect than they already are – having one of the huge lake freighters passing by… although I have a better location in mind to capture that. One where it looks like the ships are close enough you can reach out and touch them. Here’s hoping I can capture that image soon.

Happy Christmas everyone!

Happy Christmas! It’s snowing here this morning making it look quite magical – that is until a gust of wind blows up, then it doesn’t look so nice, after all.

Yesterday’s wrapping marathon ended well after supper and the 4th gift bag I thought I had, well let’s just say, I didn’t have it anymore. At least I had a huge shopping bag from one of my favourite stores, so it was pressed into service. I just hope the recipient doesn’t think his gift came from there…


He’ll be disappointed if he does. Have a few other tricks up our sleeves, too. Enjoy your day with family and friends!