On Festivals and Readings…

Full_sails_off_Denman_Island

Full Sails off Denman Island

When you don’t hear from me for ages, you can assume the writing is going well, but even so, where did August go?

I’m at the Vancouver airport on an extremely long **yawn** layover to Toronto, and thought I’d take the opportunity to catch up with you.

Comox_Airport

Comox Airport

In July, at the Denman Island Reader and Writer Festival (DIRWF) I had the great pleasure of introducing award-winning author, Eliza Robertson. She read three short stories from her book, Wallflowers. I also had the opportunity to introduce eight of Denman Island’s local writers to the stage, and I then shared a reading from Penance.

I also attended the DIRWF writer-in-residence with Steven Price. You might remember that I’ve got a few writing projects on the go. One of them is a companion piece to Awakening. It’s the story told from Jackson’s perspective with the working title Sins of the Father. I took Sins to Steven Price’s workshop and the participants’ feedback improved and inspired the story. Can’t wait to finish it.

Mars_Water-Bomber

Mars Water Bomber over Denman Island

I’ve also been working on a new story, which I’m calling Witness. I’ve worked out most of the outline and even written a number of chapters. Interestingly, because I’m writing Witness from the third person point of view and Sins from the first person point of view, I’m finding it a challenge to work on both at the same time. When I try, I inevitably mix up the two.

Last week I attended When Words Collide in Calgary and had the opportunity to meet the extremely personable Diana Gabaldon and hear her read from the as yet unpublished ninth book in her Outlander series. What a treat.

Waiting_at_YVR

Waiting at YVR

Which brings me to now … waiting to board a plane to Toronto and from there, points north. In addition to visiting family, I’ll be doing a reading at McKellar Public Library on Monday, August 24th at 1:30. If you’re in the neighbourhood, please stop by (701 Highway 124, McKellar, Ontario). I’ll be reading from Penance and offering a few other surprises. Come and check it out, and then check out a fishing rod and head down to the river to catch your dinner.

See you there.

The Gift Legacy books are available to borrow from the McKellar library, but if you’d like your own copy, you can pick up Penance for Kindle with one click here.
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J.P. McLean – Reading Recommendation Revisited

JP McLean:

Many thanks to Susan Toy for inviting me back to Reading Recommendations. Here’s the latest . . .

Originally posted on Reading Recommendations:

J.P. McLean was first featured on Reading Recommendations in January, 2014 after she had published the third book in The Gift Legacy trilogy. Since she has now just published the fourth book, making this a full-blown series, I decided it was time to invite J.P. back to update us on what she’s been doing in the past year-and-a-half. Besides, this is a woman who writes in a space with a view that rivals my own on Bequia! She must be an inspired writer!

JPMcLean Author Photo #2 for SToy

I’ve been hunched over a quill in a dusty corner of my hovel, scratching away for untold hours in the dark, deprived of all sustenance, devoid of human touch …

Ah! Just kidding – I LOVE this writing gig and I’m happy to report that The Gift Legacy is growing. Penance, the fourth book in the series is now out, and I’m grateful, Susan, for this…

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#New-books ‘The Gift Legacy. Penance’ by J.P. McLean (@jpmclean1) The fourth in the series. And where do we go from here?

JP McLean:

It’s such a privilege to be featured on Olga Núñez Miret’s blog. Not only is she a talented writer, but she’s a tremendous supporter of authors. Thank you, Olga!

Originally posted on Just Olga:

Hi all:

As you know on Friday I bring you new books and authors. J.P. McLean has already been my guest before and her series (initially a trilogy, but these things have a way of growing…) The Gift has featured with pride of place before. I knew that the next novel was nearly ready, and the author has been so kind as to send us her reflections about her writing and where she is now. And here, the floor is yours, J. P.:

Author J.P.Mclean Author J.P.McLean

Thank you, Olga for once again hosting me on your Friday guest author feature. It’s great to be back.

I’m at an interesting crossroads. Having recently released Penance, the fourth book in the contemporary fantasy series, The Gift Legacy, I’m now ready to start a new project. The decision is whether to take the road that leads to the next book in the…

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What’s Next?

Full-wrap-Penance-coverSince finishing the fourth book in The Gift Legacy Series, I’ve given a lot of thought to which trail I should traipse down next. There are a number of tantalizing story lines in the gift series I could follow up on, and a number of dormant ones that would roar to life with a poke in the right place, but is this the right time to tread that trail?

After all, I’ve been on that merry-go-round for a while now. The Gift has been a great ride, but perhaps it’s time to develop the other story ideas that vie for the limited space available in my head? After all, the new characters look interesting—the story lines are suitably dark and mysterious. The promises they whisper are compelling. Maybe it’s time for a change?

I’m sure I’m not the first series writer who has wondered if the readers who enjoyed the initial series would be interested in a new, unrelated story. Are the new protagonist and storyline suitably distinct and interesting enough to hold their attention?

Sometimes I even fantasize that I can write both stories simultaneously, but then I trip on my eyelashes and remember that for me, multitasking only extends itself to autonomous functions like breathing while pumping blood. Interfering in those processes inevitably leads to capsized canoes, broken unicorn horns and soggy underwear.

If you have an opinion on the subject, I’d love to hear it. Otherwise, I’ll just stand here a while and savour the crossroads like an early riser at the bakery counter contemplating the tasty options.

Ever wonder which tasty morsel prompted The Gift Series? Get your own copy of The Gift: Awakening on Kindle with one click right here. Ooh! and I see it’s on sale for $4.61!
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On Summer, Cherries, and Shoulds …

Bumper_Crop_of_CherriesLook at those cherries! Man, what a crop. It’s been a fabulous spring – biggest, sweetest cherries ever! And now spring is behind us and the cherries are already gone. Even these long perfect days of summer will fly by far too quickly.

So why not take the time to savour what’s right in front of us while it’s still sweet?

We’ve all got things we should do, and they won’t go away for neglecting them. For example, I should clean the spider webs out of the window casings, and I should transplant the winter jasmine before it croaks. I should definitely promote my new book.

But summer days aren’t getting any longer, so I’m going to put the shoulds on the back burner and spend a day writing in the shade of the brolly with an iced tea—I might even up my game with a glass of wine. I’m going to enjoy the hell out of a girl’s night out—late—on a weeknight! I may even indulge in a lazy afternoon pedicure and let my nails dry in the sunshine with a book in my hands, my phone close by and my friends on speed-dial.

I hope you’re able to put your shoulds away for an afternoon or two as well. Enjoy the summer while it’s here.

And if you’re looking for something to read in the shade of that brolly, click here to buy Penance. It’s good for the soul!
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Sizzling Summer Read

WindStorm Press has released Penance just in time for a sizzling summer read. So go ahead—put the wine on ice, frost the beer glasses, or chill the iced tea and settle in for an exhilarating ride. This time Emelynn Taylor has two partners, one a detective, the other her lover. Both will be pivotal as she serves her penance for shedding light on a secret that’s been kept safe in the dark for hundreds of years.

Facebook Pic with title & rounded corners 3 in—Giselle Roeder, Author of We Don’t Talk About That, calls Penance An exciting journey.

—Annie Siegel says Penance is Fun, exciting and addictive.

Get your copy now on Kindle, on Kobo, on iBooks or Barnes & Noble, including Nook. Coming soon in trade paperback to Amazon and Chapters-Indigo, or order it today from your local independent book store. ISBN 978-0-9936004-1-8, 318 pages.

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Spain in May

Inside Sagrada Familia

Inside Sagrada Familia

Normally, vacations seem to fly by, but the two weeks we spent in Spain felt like a good, long holiday. We savoured every day, filled up on castles, cathedrals and tapas and enjoyed almost perfect weather. We had six days in Barcelona, then one day each in Valencia, Cordoba, Granada, Seville, Madrid, Girona. We finished off with one day in Lyon, France and two days in Vevey, Switzerland.

Olive Vendor at La Boqueria, Barcelona

Olive Vendor at La Boqueria, Barcelona

A few observations of note: Facecloths, hair conditioner and tissues are not standard issue in the vast majority of Spanish hotels; both dotted and solid lines on roads in Spain are only suggestions; your Spanish driver will NOT scrape the mirrors off the side of the car going down lanes that would challenge a bicyclist.

Gaudi Apt in Barcelona

Gaudi Apt in Barcelona

I didn’t write a word through the whole trip, though I did spend a few hours the first few days updating files with retailers and distributors for the May 30 release of Penance. The break from all writerly things was just what I needed.

Here are a few pics from our visit. (Seems I can’t take a straight picture to save my life–it’s a good thing there’s a program to fix that!)

L'hemisferic, Valencia

L’hemisferic, Valencia

Overhead Heat Relief, Cordoba

Overhead Heat Relief, Cordoba

Festival de Patios, Cordoba

Festival de Patios, Cordoba

Gardens at Alhambria, Granada

Gardens at Alhambria, Granada

Hemingway Hangout, Madrid

Hemingway Hangout, Madrid

Girona countryside

Girona countryside

In Lyon

In Lyon

Dinner in Vevey

Dinner in Vevey

Terraced Vineyards, Vevey

Terraced Vineyards, Vevey

Chateau de Gruyere

Chateau de Gruyere

Lots of Gruyere

Lots of Gruyere

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Penance: Now available for pre-order!

Cover_for_The_Gift:_PenanceI feel like a hungry bear emerging from its cave, blinking up into the light after a long brutal winter, bewildered and clutching a newborn cub. That cub is the fourth book in The Gift Legacy series, Penance, and it is now available for pre-order on Amazon and Smashwords. Placing a pre-order puts you at the front of the queue and the book will be delivered to you immediately upon release, May 30th.

After release, Penance will be available in print and ebook at all the usual outlets.

The process of bringing Penance into the light of day has challenged me to the core, and the last two months in particular have tested my sanity. So I’m taking a break to recharge my batteries. First up is a visit to Vancouver to attend the Creative Ink Festival on April 25. When I return, I’m packing my bags for a trip to Spain. I’ve never been and can’t wait. Sight-seeing and people-watching are rich fodder for the imagination, and I’ll be taking notes along with plenty of photos. Mmm, I can almost taste the sangria.

If you’d rather stay home, you can visit the West Coast through Emelynn’s eyes in The Gift Awakening, available with one click right here.
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Cover Reveal: Penance

Penance for mail chimp cover revealComing fresh on the heels of Penance‘s sneak peek premiere on The South Branch Scribbler, I am thrilled to present the cover for the fourth book in The Gift Legacy series.

This is The Gift: Penance.

It’s been months in the making and once again, graphic artist, Viona Halim, has designed a cover that not only reflects the book’s ominous mood, but she has also captured the setting beautifully with a watercolour scene from beneath the Granville Street Bridge in Vancouver, British Columbia. And if you look carefully, you’ll find Emelynn in her cover debut.

Deadly Games …

Coerced into a deal with International Covert Operations to protect the secrecy of her gift, Emelynn Taylor goes undercover to unravel a dangerous drug ring. But who’s chasing whom? Stalked by an ancient and dangerous society … Intimidated by devious law-enforcers … Threatened by friends—old and new … Can Em play this new deadly game and navigate her way to safe shores?

Available for pre-order this April.

If you’d like to be the first to know when Penance is available, sign up for my newsletter here. I don’t bitewell, not big bites. I never share your email details, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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The Scribbler Features Penance Today

Each Friday, Allan Hudson features “SHORT STORIES. GUEST WRITERS. 4Q INTERVIEWS. ITEMS OF SIGNIFICANCE” on the South Branch Scribbler.

Today, I’m proud to say, he’s featuring Penance. And … he has the first sneak peek at it. Go on—I know you want to check it out!

Penance on the South Branch Scribbler

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