by Alison Bruce
Kate recently inherited half her father’s private investigation company and a partner who is as irritating as he is attractive. Kate has been avoiding Jake Carmedy for years, but now her life might depend on him.
Kate and Jake are on the hunt for a serial cat killer who has mysterious connections to her father’s last police case. Kate’s father had been forced to retire when he was shot investigating a domestic disturbance. Is the shooter back for revenge? And is Kate or Jake next?
“Have you been up all night going through Joe’s stuff? You should get some help with that so you don’t dwell on it so much.”
I wanted to snap at him. It was my job. I was his daughter and executor of his estate. Magnus would round up a posse when it was time to move things, but it was my job to sort through the remains of my father’s life.
Before I started to rant, I did a mental check and decided that it wasn’t an appropriate response. Some of my feelings must have shown judging by the expression on Carmedy’s face.
He shook his head.
“I’d order you back to bed if I thought it would work.”
I forced my tired eyebrows to rise.
“I am the senior partner. And you’re the one who put my name above yours on the door.”
I looked at the mistletoe. Peace. It would be a lot easier to maintain if we collaborated instead of butting heads.
I took my coffee to the couch. This was where my father seated clients when he wanted to make them feel comfortable. I curled up at one end of the three-seater. Carmedy sat at the other end.
“I was going through one of Dad’s case files. I knew that his last police case involved domestic violence. I remember reading the papers at the time. There were conflicting reports of the incident depending, I suppose, on who provided the information to which reporter. I tried to sort it out while we waited for my father to come out of surgery. I figured I’d come up with a theory and Dad would tell me if I was right or not.”
“Assuming he knew. Trauma often causes the victim to block out events immediately before, during and after the event.”
Sometimes I forgot that Carmedy was a combat veteran and had been through his own medical and emotional trauma.
“You’re right. Like my father said after the surgery, we constantly train for the moment we hope will never come, when we need to act without thinking about it. And a good job too.”
“He said all that after surgery?”
“I didn’t say how long after surgery.”
Carmedy smiled back. I wondered if I could get the florist to source me fresh mistletoe year round.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Alison Bruce has had many careers and writing has always been one of them. Copywriter, editor and graphic designer since 1992, Alison has also been a comic store manager, small press publisher, webmaster and arithmetically challenged bookkeeper. She is the author of mystery, romantic suspense and historical western romance novels. Three of her novels have been finalists for genre awards.
http://www.alisonbruce.ca (author and business website)
https://www.facebook.com/alisonbruce.books (author page)
http://alisonebruce.blogspot.ca (author blog)
Alison Bruce is also a regular contributor to:
Pop Culture Divas: http://www.thepopculturedivas.com
Cowboy Kisses: http://cowboykisses.blogspot.com
Alison agreed to answer a few of my inquiries into her writing process. Thanks for joining me today, Alison!
What do you think is the best way to publish these days?
I think there is only one way to publish that is best – professionally. That can be with a publisher or self-published, but I think we owe it to our readers to produce a professional product. This includes having someone other than the author edit the work and someone who isn’t the author or editor to proofread. I’m an editor as well as author, but I know I can’t edit my own work. I can’t see the mistakes. After going back and forth with my editor, both of us can miss typos that a fresh set of eyes won’t.
And that’s just the book! Covers are more than a pretty picture. Layout isn’t rocket science, but it’s fiddly even with the most advance programs. I do print and web layout as part of my day job but I’m happier letting someone else take care of my books.
What are your favorite genres to read? Why?
I read mystery, history, fantasy and science fiction but everything I really enjoy has an element of romantic suspense and at least a little humour. I love the tagline of this blog because “romantic suspense with attitude” is what I like to read and write.
Do your characters talk to you?
Talk to me… not so I’d admit. I often talk to them. I’ve been known to swear at them too. Sometimes I get a character who stops the action and shakes their head as if to say, I am NOT doing that. That’s not me. I can hardly argue with them. I created them that way. It doesn’t stop me from swearing and shaking my fist because a perfectly good plot point is going to have to be changed. But it’s either the plot point or the character that has to go and usually the plot point loses.
How do you approach starting a new book?
It depends on whether I’m writing for a series or a new set of characters. If it’s a stand-alone or new series, the thematic idea comes first. Something, a dream, a conversation, a news article, or in the case of the Carmedy and Garrett mysteries, all of the above, will speak to me and say “write me.” Then I start gathering the pieces and see if this spark can be fanned into a novel.
When I’m writing a novel for a series, the needs of the characters usually act as the drive to find the next story. For Deadly Season, I knew I needed to further the relationship between Kate Garrett and Jake Carmedy while solving a case. I wanted it to be a private case, not a consulting job with the police—at least to start. So I needed a case that was urgent but not the usual police fare. A series of pet poisonings in Toronto provided the inspiration—plus I’d be able to mete out justice, at least on paper. That gave me my start.
What is your writing process?
I usually start writing “by the seat of my pants.” Once I know that I like where the story is going, I start investing time in research and plotting. From then on I seesaw between writing, research and plot tweaking. As I mentioned, sometimes the characters won’t do what I want them too. They develop to a point where my original plot points don’t quite work. Or it maybe it’s research that causes me to adjust my storyline.
In Deadly Legacy, the first Carmedy and Garrett mystery, I had to change my method of delivery for a drug overdose. One of my beta readers was a nurse and showed me the error of my ways. The destination of the plot stayed the same, but I had to make some serious course corrections.
What are the best writing books or blogs you’ve ever read?
When I was polishing my first novel, I found How I Write by Janet Evanovich very useful. I read it and listened to it in the car while I drove. Her advice was practical and easy to apply.
What are your non-writing hobbies, or what do you do to relax?
I read a lot for relaxation and for research but I can’t say that’s a non-writing hobby because it’s a vital part of being an author. If you don’t read you don’t have any business writing.
My truly relaxing occupation is playing Animal Crossing. When I get stressed out, I call it Animal Crossing therapy.
What was your best date ever?
My best date was an utter failure but it was a wonderful day. I went on a blind date with a friend of a friend and his friends, a married couple. I’d never met any of them. We went to Stratford and saw two plays and dined at a brew pub. That’s a dream date for me. The company was great too. I especially got along with the married couple. We were like old friends. Not so much my date. We didn’t dislike each other, but there was no spark. We parted with polite pleasantries and never met again.
Navy SEAL or cowboy?
Why can’t I have a Navy SEAL who was cowboy or vice versa? Well? You bet I can!
Chocolate or chips?
Depends how good the chocolate is and how spicy the chips are.
If you could have a superpower what would it be? Why?
I want Wolverine’s healing ability. For that matter, I want Wolverine too (the Hugh Jackman version).
Fancy restaurant or picnic?
Fancy picnic! No, I won’t be difficult this time. I’ll take the restaurant. I like the great outdoors, but I’m not crazy about ants and wasps.
Beer or wine?
Beer. Except I can’t drink it anymore which is one of the reasons I want Wolverine’s healing ability.
I have two: Georgette Heyer and Terry Pratchett.
Smooth or hairy?
Me or the men I like? If it’s the men, I have no strong preference.
Alison Bruce will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.