The Magic of a Storyboard

Here’s the latest stop on the blog tour – I do a guest post over on Jill Weatherholt’s blog on the use of storyboards to conceptualize a novel. Please pop over and visit Jill’s great blog. Comments get you a chance for a free book mailed right to your door.

Jill Weatherholt

The Light Never Lies - 3-D bookcover Today I am thrilled to welcome Francis Guenette , author of The Crater Lake Series. Her novels Disappearing in Plain Sight and The Light Never Lies are set on the shore of a Northern Vancouver Island lake, rich in rural life, family dynamics, and romance.

Francis has a talent for bringing her characters to life. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book where both the characters and the setting felt so real and alive. I was truly impressed with her writing in Disappearing in Plain Sight. Her style was sharp and vivid, grabbing my attention from the first page. I look forward to devouring The Light Never Lies.
Guenette - Storyboard overview 1
Francis is here today to explain how she utilizes a storyboard. I’m a visual person, so turning a book idea into a visual tool, with the use of a storyboard, works for me. It can help make…

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Grandma Break


Following a lot of other bloggers is a wonderful thing. You get to open your WordPress reader and see so many interesting posts streaming down the page just waiting to be read. I follow writers, readers, travellers, photographers, cooks, grandparents, young people, middle aged people, older people – everyone with their own unique point of view and special location.

But at times this abundance, this potpourri of story is a double-edged sword. The times I watch all those great posts streaming down the page and I have no time to read and know I will never catch up – those times are hard to bear.



But we all need a change of pace at times and the stories will keep coming, fresh and new for when I finish up doing active Grandma duty and have a moment to sit back and relax. For now, it’s go, go, go. Swimming pool, park, go for a walk, play in my room, let’s build a fort, let’s play a game – LET’S PLAY ANYTHING AT ALL! And my all-time favourite – they wanted to play book store and they let me sell my books at their store. What could be more fun?


The swings

Patience all my favourite bloggers, I will be back to read and like very soon. Until then, well – the order of the day here is fun, fun, fun.

Bike Riding at Jerry Sulla Park

Author Kristin Anderson’s double book review: Disappearing in Plain Sight and The Light Never Lies

A couple of really thought-provoking book reviews for the Crater Lake Series – Disappearing in Plain Sight and The Light Never Lies. Kristin Anderson’s take on the novel gave even the author a couple of ‘aha’ moments 🙂 This blog is another stop on the tour so get your comments in over on Kristin’s blog for a chance to win a book.

Author Kristin Anderson

Earlier this year, I announced that I would be delving into the world of Indy author book reviews. Since then I have acquired a diverse array of reading material, and it was difficult to choose whom to read first. But then I came upon the intriguing Crater Lake series by Indy Author Francis L. Guenette. Set in a lake side community in Canada, the Crater Lake Series currently comprises: Disappearing in Plain Sight (January 2013, Friesen Press) and The Light Never Lies (2014 Friesen Press).

Disappearing in Plain Sight by Francis Guenette

When I read the first chapter of Disappearing in Plain Sight, I knew that author Francis Guenette was an accomplished writer, but I was worried that I had signed up to read a teen romance. Instead, I discovered a book that explores relationships between friends, lovers, personal identity and the myriad factors that shape a person’s current…

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To Read Gillian Hamer is to Fall in Love with Northern Wales

Menai Bridge & Menai Straits

It is my great pleasure to have Gillian Hamer on my blog today. She is the author of three exquisite, crossing genre books (Closure, The Charter, and Complicit), all set in Northern Wales.

SONY DSCBorn in the industrial Midlands, Gillian’s heart has always yearned for the wilds of North Wales and the pull of the ocean. A company director for over twenty years, she has written obsessively for over a decade, predominantly in the crime genre. She is a columnist for Words with Jam magazine and a founder member of Triskele Books. She splits her time between Birmingham and a remote cottage on Anglesey where she finds her inspiration.

Without further ado – take it away, Gillian.

My love of North Wales and Anglesey is genetic, passed down particularly from my father who spent most of his childhood holidays along the North Wales coast as his family (courtesy of a car mad eldest brother) were one of the lucky ones to own a motor at that time.

Consequently, that passion filtered down into my childhood too. Caravan trips were followed by a family owned cottage, and some of my earliest memories (like digging for treasure from the Royal Charter on Red Wharf Bay) have later made their way into my stories.

Anglesey is such a beautiful island (if you catch it on a good day with the sun shining) and reminds me very much of the landscape of Cornwall. It has the same rocky coves and golden beaches, the same high cliffs and tidal estuaries, and most importantly the same strong Celtic traditions.

Southstack Lighthouse, Holyhead

It also caters for my love of history and archaeology. You can’t help but admire the Neolithic remains, from burial mounds to hut circles. Plus the Roman influences, from abandoned towns to Bronze Age slave chain finds. Coming from the Midlands, right in the centre of the UK, I’ve always been amazed at the wealth of archaeology to be found around Anglesey, but after reading Island of the Seas, I came to realise that the coastal areas were populated so much earlier than the mainland, because of the inhospitable forests that covered most of Britain, and the earliest transport being ships. It was easier for Bronze Age people to transport themselves and goods from Cornwall to Anglesey than it was to venture inland.

TheCharter_Cover_KINDLEI find inspiration everywhere on the island. My first novel, The Charter, came from the earlier mentioned tale of treasure hunting. I grew up with the legend of the wreck of the Royal Charter and have visited the church at Llanallgo (that features in the novel) many times.

Llanddwyn Island - Cover for Closure

With Closure (which was actually the first book I wrote about the area) I used my love of

Closure_Cover_EBOOK Llanddwyn Island (on the Menai Straits opposite mainland Caernarvon) as the inspiration and setting. The name Llanddwyn comes from the Saint of the same name, who is actually the patron saint of lovers. There is an ethereal quality to the place, which I just had to write about, including the pilot boat cottages and lighthouse as they are today.

Complicit_Cover_EBOOKAnd finally, in Complicit, I used my love of history. I’ve spent many hours in Beaumaris, or one of the other villages along the Menai Straits, staring out at the beauty of Snowdonia Mountains on the mainland opposite, and pondering where the Romans actually staged their invasion. There have been rumours and counter-rumours over the years, but still it is a mystery, and I wanted to explore what it would have been like at the time, from both the Roman and Druid sides.

I’ve enjoyed taking these real life historical facts and threading them into modern day murder mysteries. However, in my next books, I step away from the past and focus on the present, with a series of straight crime, police procedural books, titled The Gold Detectives.

But it goes without saying, location won’t change, Anglesey and North Wales will remain at the heart of my novels.

Gillian, thank you for sharing your writing inspirations with us. Now, just in case you aren’t totally hooked and already on your way to buy one of Gillian’s books, I want to share my five star review of, Complicit.

Prose that snaps off the page, crisp, clear and powerful

I loved this book and simply couldn’t put it down. If it takes a special reader to enjoy bouncing from AD60 in Northern Wales to a police investigation in 2013, then I must say, I am that reader.

No spoilers in this review – the book is a mystery wrapped in layers of history and I won’t give any of that away. What I can say is that the characters in this book come alive with thoughts and emotions that ring true and make the reader truly care about what’s going to happen to them. I was amazed at Hamer’s ability to describe a setting with such clarity – be it a windswept cove or the inside of an older woman’s home. Thinking back on the novel, it is almost as if I had been watching a movie rather than reading a book, the images of the setting are so clear.

Without a doubt, I am on the lookout for more of this author’s work. Bravo, Gillian Hamer.

Llyn Penninsula on Welsh Mainland

Click any of the three book covers above to go directly to or follow this link to a special boxed set of all three titles.

For more information visit Gillian’s website or follow her on Twitter

All photos courtesy of Gillian Hamer with many thanks Smile

Selling My Books: Francis Guenette’s Top Tip for Book Promotion

The latest stop on the blog tour – I discuss book promotion with Deb Young over on Off The Shelf. Remember – every comment gets you another chance at a free book.

Every Writers’ Wednesday, a successful self-published author shares a favourite book promotion tip here

Francis Guenette Meet Canadian author Francis Guenette

I’m delighted to welcome Canadian author Francis Guenette for the first in a series of conversations with self-published authors talking about the best way to sell more books.  Fran is the author of two excellent novels (read my reviews on my author blog here). Living and writing in the vast, sparsely populated countryside of British Columbia brings its own marketing challenges, and I really admire how Fran has capitalised on local opportunities to get books into bricks-and-mortar stores. 

Debbie Young: What is your all-time favourite top tip for book promotion? This needn’t be the one that has sold the most books – it might equally be one that you enjoy doing so much that it keeps you motivated for the rest of the book marketing grind!

Francis Guenette: Developing contacts…

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“So many people are shut up tight inside themselves like boxes, yet they would open up, unfolding quite wonderfully, if only you were interested in them.” ― Sylvia Plath

A thoughtful review of Disappearing in Plain Sight. Should get you in the mood for the sequel – The Light Never Lies. This post is another stop on the blog tour. Commenting makes you eligible for a free book.

Jade the Obscure

Beautifully captivating.

Disappearing in Plain Sight – Francis Guenette


Francis Guenette lives with her husband on the West coast of British Columbia. She has an MA in counselling psychology and is on the way to completing a PhD in education psychology. Throughout the course of her life she has worked as an educator, trauma counsellor and researcher. Guenette now spends most of her time writing novels that draw on her own life experiences. The first book in her debut venture, The Crater Lake Series, is entitled Disappearing in Plain Sight and was released in 2013.

The book introduces the reader to sixteen-year-old Lisa-Marie, sent to spend the summer with her aunt Bethany in a remote town on the edge of the fictional Crater Lake. Her aunt resides in a simple A-frame within the confines of Camp Micah, a counsellor’s camp for young ways and strays. Like any sixteen-year-old, Lisa-Marie is instantly…

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